Saturday, March 31, 2012

Has it really been that long?

3 years ago, on the 30th of the 3rd month of the year, I found out I was having 3 babies. I couldn’t help but take this opportunity to write  a little reminiscent post with this anniversary upon us. 

So many thoughts were running through my head the days, and weeks, and months after learning that news, and I still can’t believe that I am actually living all the scenarios I had envisioned in my head. Okay, some of the things I pictured didn’t involve as much screaming, fighting, and crying (and I’m not just talking about the kids here), but what I had envisioned was the happiness, love, and pure sweetness that they would bring. And about those parts I was right on.

We have been having quite a few struggles around here, as I figure out how to deal with this age, among other challenges that life continues to present. Sometimes things just look bleak, and I don’t know how I can continue to do this job with any amount of success. But, when I am listening (sometimes it’s really just too loud to hear anything), the Lord often reminds me of the crazy and wonderful blessings I have in front of my eyes every day. I often remind myself of the great lengths we took to become parents, and it really does give me what I need to push through the most challenging moments. That, and the option of putting the naughty one in their crib and closing the door for a while. That’s been helping quiet a bit lately. 

I love these babies. They give me goose bumps when their beautiful faces meet mine and they show me those perfect little dimply smiles. I think they really do love me too. I know the hard times will continue on as they grow, but I hope and pray they continue to smile at me like that. The happy times, as few and far between as they seem sometimes, really do make it so, so worth it.

For fun, I made a little collage of all of my belly shots. I took one almost every week from 8-29 (I delivered at 30). I’m pretty sure I was holding the belly up in the last couple pictures. And it’s funny how the color of the hospital wall (in the last few pictures) is almost the same color ours at home. How I remember those rapidly expanding days. 2009_05_31-1

And this was my reward. Again, so worth it. 11-1-09 042

Monday, March 19, 2012

Easily Pleased

So, our back yard is a little on the white trash side of things. There isn’t really grass, but just a weed-like covering, and the little, but nice, landscaping that was done by our landlord years ago, has been completely overgrown by taller weeds. I promise I raked it a few weeks ago, but it still looks like a rake never touched it. And it doesn't help that our “sandbox” is made out of a plastic storage bin. It’s just so hard to put any tlc into the space when we’re just renting. It cleans up nice enough when we put a little work into it, but for the most part, it looks pretty rough.

Which is why I love that kids don’t let those types of materialistic things get in the way of having fun. It took me a while to take them out there on a regular basis. When they were younger, it was  a little nerve wracking being around all the acorns, hills, and steps by myself. Yes, even such a small space is scary with three babies wandering about, putting anything in their mouths. But of course we can easily let them loose out there now, and it’s always the highlight of their day! And mine, watching their happy faces as the clock ticks closer to naptime/daddy coming home. It’s so nice to have the outdoors to help pass the days. There’s only a fraction of the fighting that goes on indoors, and the kids really tire themselves out. Ruby has been our most ambitious child from the start. Here she demonstrates a new little activity she thought of all on her own. The others have all since tried it, including Penny, and only Bennett is still a little apprehensive. She scooted that little car all the way from the patio to the hill. That girl is turning out to be quite our little athlete.

She has also taught herself to collect bouquets. One day I just saw her with a pretty little bunch of leaves in her hand, and now she does it almost every time we’re out there. She had selectively chosen each one, and placed each stem carefully in her hand. So, she does have a dainty side as well. 120135122136

And as you can see, it’s even been hot around here already. We broke out the pool and sprinklers the other day, and the kids were more than thrilled. And yes, the partially deflated pool helps with our white trash look (the stores don’t have much pool stuff out yet. It’s on my list.) But again, the kids didn’t mind one bit. It was lovely. Although, I was pretty exhausted getting all their wet, sandy bodies into the tub after that. Oh, how they love to fight me! And love to track their dirty shoes everywhere if I don’t catch them in time to take their shoes off. These kids are a seriously exhausting bunch.087088116127129143149150rubypoolDSC_0628DSC_0634DSC_0651

They also are huge fans of sidewalk chalk. Alex tries to hoard it all, or as much as he can manage to carry. I’m trying to introduce Easter pictures, so they can finally stop asking me to draw a snowman! They color on any surface they can find, from the garbage can, to the bricks on the house. I love when they can entertain themselves for lengthy periods of time. LOVE it!146

Someday, we’ll have the yard we always dreamed about, but for now we don’t mind being a little ghetto if it keeps us all happy. Right, Ruby?099104

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Anniversary, Etc.

Well, would you look at that. It’s been quite some time since I gave this little blog any attention. I have every intention to keep the posts coming regularly, I’ve just been dealing with life’s daily challenges (KC working until all hours of the night with some crazy deadline his boss gave him, kids fighting and whining until I think my brain will explode, the washer acting up for the second time in a month, occasional nap rebellions, you know, just regular stuff), and sitting down to write hasn’t been on my to do list.  The challenges seem to be more than usual lately, and so my mind has definitely been preoccupied. I’m hoping the stress lets up soon here, and I can feel like I’m actually above water for a change (though I don’t see these terrible twos going anywhere for a while). Wouldn’t that be nice. So, the best way to start down that path is to focus on the positive, right? So, let’s do that.

As I mentioned last March, this is a big month for us. It is the anniversary of many things. Our marriage being one of them. Last Sunday will make is six years! I’m still glad he’s mine. He took me out for a mouth-watering steak dinner (he felt we deserved it after a week or two of salads, thanks to the Costco 6-pack of romaine hearts). And truly good steak it was. On the waiter’s recommendation, we shared their largest, most flavorful cut on the menu. I am a girl who likes her red meat. It lasted a couple more meals beyond that night. And the seriously rich, complimentary hot chocolate they provided at the end was a great little chaser, and made going out in the blustery wind more bearable. Another eventful year of great memories.014018

We celebrated Penny’s second birthday with the Ribeiras. We love having that sweet little girl around to make us laugh. We went to the park and ate cupcakes and played for a while. 111037DSC_1320DSC_1391DSC_1400

Then the kids became curious about what was outside the gate (why must they lock the gate open?!) and started wandering out into the grassy area. We’d had some crazy rain a few days before, and the kids immediately spotted the giant mud puddles. It was my first instinct to steer them away from the ankle deep mud, but I quickly realized that this is what being a kid is all about. Even if it means I have to get everyone naked in the 55 degree weather just to get home (luckily I keep bags in the car so I had somewhere to stash all the soaked clothes). They had the time of their lives. It wasn’t long before the slow, tiptoeing through the mud turned into jumping, splashing, and sitting in it. The maintenance man got THE BIGGEST kick out of watching them play. We talked to us for probably 30 minutes, laughing out loud for a good portion of it, just so pleased with how happy the kids were. He said he’ll forever remember March 2nd just because of this. What a nice, funny fellow. 010012018021029DSC_1452Here is our maintenance friend.027

And even though I had no intention of joining in the fun, it was unavoidable. They ALL took a three hour nap afterward, so I say the mud under my fingernails while I was scrubbing it out of their clothes was worth it. 025

That night, we all had a big breakfast dinner, and cake and ice cream. I made Penny a rainbow cake to go with Elise’s art theme. And Penny just seems like a rainbow kind of girl. It wasn’t my best work. But it’s been a while since I did any kind of detailed decoration, so I’m forgiving myself for being pretty rusty. I never said I was a decorator.  At least it tasted great, being lemon cake with lemon frosting, with raspberry buttercream and lemon curd fillings. That’s what really matters, right? And penny was a doll to let the kids help her open and play with her new toys. It was a fun day.DSC_0013118134I can’t tell you how much the kids loved those hats Elise gave them.DSC_1478We’re always looking pretty shabby at the end of the day. DSC_1477DSC_0060

One day the power was going to be turned off on our street all morning. To avoid being annoyed by this, I made plans to get out of the house. Luckily, it was a gorgeous day. I decided to try out a new playground. It was just the babies and me that day, and I was  a little nervous with the lake nearby (which is why we have avoided this playground until now). All was well most of the time, and it was so delightful listening to them talk each other as they played together (“C’mon Alex, this way. Let's go!”) At one point, though, they must have sensed the freedom they had with only one adult around, and all started running in the direction of the water. After a little bribing with fruit snacks, and a little dragging by the arm, they all made their way back toward the playground. Phew! We then headed to the library where I let the kids roam in the children’s section for the first time. They were a little over excited I think, pulling books from shelves left and right. But sometimes one of them would actually sit down and look at one. It was adorable. We planned on trying out story time, but that just didn’t feel like the best option with how restless they seemed, so we met up with a friend at a park across the street. Lucky kids. Not long after we got home, the power came back on. Mission accomplished. 050051053048058059060061

While we’re talking about parks, we hit up Watkins on another gorgeous day, and the kids had a blast on this tire swing. It’s so great to find things that make them all happy at the same time. 046048One of B’s quirks is that he attaches himself to different trinkets everyday. He holds onto them for hours. This day it was a car and a ball (usually it’s more like five things, making it difficult to get him dressed etc. since he freaks out if any of them are let out of his clutches), and when he realized he needed a hand to secure himself on the swing, the clever boy found out his mouth was the next best place to put his car.051

As most of us are aware, IHOP had a free pancake day a while ago. I was feeling bored and ambitious, and decided we’d try it out. We had a back-up plan in case it was too crowded, but to our surprise, there was ample seating available. We met up with a couple girls and their kids. Ruby got restless, but nothing sitting on my lap wouldn’t fix. The boys were angels (thank the heavens), and waited patiently. And, in true IHOP fashion, they took FOREVER to get our pancakes out there. I mean, besides a few sides here and there, all we wanted was a free short stack. Don’t they just have plates of those ready to go?! I think it was over 30 minutes before they arrived, and you know how toddlers can get when they have to wait for any amount of time. And we had 7 of them at our table. But, like I said, they did very well considering, and we all called it a success in the end. And I gotta say, the pancakes were delicious. 035040

So, that’s how we’ve been spending our spare time lately. The forecast is showing temperatures near 80 degrees this week! I’m wracking my brain to think of how to best take advantage of such wonderful weather. Please spring, please be here to stay!