Thursday, March 31, 2011

The End of My 31 Project

Finally day 31.  I’m glad I made it.  I won’t lie – it was a commitment, and a little bit more of a commitment than I expected.  Part of that is that I didn’t really think about how much work it would be.  I knew that there were a lot of stories and things happening that I wasn’t documenting and that I would inevitably forget, and so on March 1 I randomly decided to do a blog post every day in the hopes that I would get all those stories written down and therefore capture this period of time in our lives.  That worked.  But I definitely know that I am not ready for a 365 Project, like Cathy and Brian who are still going strong.  I do think that I’m more likely to do a post without photos now, which is something I usually avoided.  That will probably lead to more blog posts, but definitely not daily blog posts!  In fact, as a warning, I may be taking a few days off here. . . .

I do have some ideas on upcoming blog posts, including some posts with my new camera (whenever the weather cooperates enough for me to get outside – I don’t think I can just start inside) and maybe even a post about the kids’ current favorite toys.  Lots of thoughts and ideas to work on eventually.  I’ve also been spending the first part of the year trying to catch up on various things – like making blog books on Blurb, hanging those photos that we’ve been meaning to hang for the better part of a year, selecting 2010 photos for printing, putting 2008-2010 photos in photo albums, cleaning out and organizing closets, and other things that I want to share with you as I finally complete them.  These things have been in-process for quite a while, and I finally am starting to see the results of my work, which is really motivating me to finish all of these things up.  I’m also starting to get excited about the arrival of my new nephew in a few weeks, and I’ve started doing a little planning (with Cathy and Amanda’s help) for the kids’ third birthday party.  So, there’s lots coming up in the next few months!

I do think that I may be ready for a 31 (or 30 or whatever) Project some other month this year, but it will probably be a while.  For now, at right this moment, I’m finally going to watch that DVR’d Teen Mom 2 finale that I’ve been trying to watch for 2 days, and I may even get to finish it before my bedtime.  Well, maybe not, but I’ll get to see a bit of it.  Have a great night, and see you in a few days.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Typically, we’re told that Piper and Rosemary look like Gary and that Henry and Penelope look like me.  However, both Amanda and JoLynn pointed out the similarity between Gary and Henry in these photos:

day 22 portrait W DSC_0487 W Hmmmmm. . . .  Maybe they’re a little more similar than we previously thought!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Almost Forgot. . . .

Here we are on day 29 of my promise to make 31 daily blog posts in a row and I almost forgot to make one!  Good thing today is easy.  Click HERE to see the proofs from Penelope’s 6 (almost 7) month photo session from earlier this month.  Love these photos.  I have no idea how I’m ever going to narrow these down!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bad Fever

This morning while the kids were getting up and dressed, Rosemary was playing with the temporal thermometer.  She put it up to her forehead, pressed the button, and dragged the sensor across her forehead.  Then she looked at the screen on the thermometer.  Her eyes got big and she said, “ohhhhhhhhh no!”  Gary asked her what it said, and she said, very seriously, “Nine.”

Nine, of course.  I should have known.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Something amazing happened today.

The kids ate lunch, then we put them down for their nap.  About that time, earlier than normal, Penelope decided she was hungry.  So, we went to her room and I nursed her then put her down for her nap.  I came downstairs and cleaned up, did some laundry, and ate lunch myself.  At this point, I still didn’t hear anything going on upstairs, so I decided that I may have 30 minutes to take a nap myself.  I crawled into bed, expecting nothing, but hoping for a 30 minute nap.

Thirty minutes later, the ringing phone woke me up.  It was just the University of Florida calling (presumably to ask Gary for money), so I ignored the phone and rolled over to sleep for a few more minutes until the kids woke up.

An hour and a half later, I woke up.  I looked at the clock several times trying to figure out what was going on.  I finally realized that it was the middle of the day, the kids were all asleep, and so were Gary and I (well, until just then when I woke up).  I sort of just hung out for a minute trying to figure out what to do.  I finally got up and did some laundry, unloaded the dishwasher, started dinner, and generally felt a little lost, when Penelope started stirring and was hungry again. 

I still can’t believe that we all took such a long nap.  Truly amazing!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hanging with the Boudreaux Trio

Today we visited with the Boudreaux Trio (and their parents and grandparents).  It was awesome.  It is great to get to spend some time around other parents of triplets (which is a word we usually avoid, but really is the only one that works here) who understand some of the issues that come with have three kids the same age.  We don’t have to explain much of anything that usually requires explanation to parents of singletons, and I got a kick out of the fact that all 4 of us parents ate standing up while watching the kids eat – and none of us thought anything about it until later when someone cracked a joke about it. 

See, in our house, we don’t even have barstools anymore.  By the time you get one kid out of the sink, another kid is in the glasses cabinet, and another kid is on top of the refrigerator.  Since we can’t pull three kids out of the sink/out of the cabinets/off of the refrigerator at the same time, we just got rid of the barstools – though we do hope that one day we can bring them back into the house.  Sure, it’s a little weird not to have a place to sit down to eat (unless the kids are in bed and we can eat in the living room), but we just got used to it. 

Gary and I – and the kids – had a great time today.  We can’t wait to hang out with the Boudreaux Trio again!  Thank you, Brian and Crystal.  What a perfect Saturday!

Friday, March 25, 2011

No Ear Infection

Any parent who has a kid prone to ear infections will tell you that they’ve considered buying an otoscope and learning how to use it.  It is so frustrating to go into the doctor for a two minute exam just to be told it’s nothing – and then it’s even more frustrating to go back in two days later to find out your kid has a raging ear infection.  Anyway, Gary and I have talked about buying an otoscope regularly, and after my friend Cathy recommended the same thing, a couple of weeks ago we bought this one.  We figured that if it saves us just one trip to the doctor (and the copay) that it will pay for itself.  After a few nights of Penelope not sleeping particularly well, and as she was getting over a cold, she started hitting her ears and temple while nursing (which is what she did the last two times she had an ear infection).  I told Gary that she may have an ear infection.  He pulled out the otoscope and pronounced her left ear fine, but said that he couldn’t see her right eardrum due to some earwax.  So, we went to the pediatrician’s office yesterday morning to check on Penelope’s right ear.

The pediatrician was impressed with Gary’s ear infection diagnosing skills and said that her left ear was indeed fine – and that once the earwax in the right ear was moved that her right ear was fine, too.  Our pediatrician thinks that Penelope is just feeling some transferred pain from teething and recommended that we use her ear drops to numb her ears a little bit to give her some relief.

We did find out that Penelope now weighs 17 pounds 1 ounce – which is almost a pound more than Rosemary weighed at one year.  That is a gain of 20 ounces in 21 days.  That’s newborn baby weight gain.  I suppose that’s what happens when a 7-month-old has a snack or two in the middle of the night for a few weeks. . . .

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Piper at the Botanical Gardens

Love these photos of Piper.  These are just typical Piper expressions, especially the second one. . . .

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Henry at the Botanical Gardens

Unlike Rosemary, Henry wasn’t so into having his photo taken this past weekend at the Botanical Gardens. 

DSC_0487 W He was, however, into giving some love to his sisters . . .

DSC_0479 W . . . and annoying his sisters.

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Luckily, I was able to sneak in a cute photo of Henry here and there anyway.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Rosemary at the Botanical Gardens

As I previously mentioned in a blog post a few days ago, Rosemary was really in a photogenic sort of mood at the Botanical Gardens on Saturday. . .

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Penelope at the Botanical Gardens

And finally, I have a few days of photos lined up for you.  I hope that’s not cheating on my daily blog post promise!

Penelope had a great time at the Botanical Gardens on Saturday.  She cracked me up the way she threw her leg out of her stroller and got comfortable for the trip. . . .

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

This Weekend

We had a busy weekend.  Not that much was planned, but we made the most of the beautiful weather we’ve been having.  Friday night we have pizza night with Auntie Ann, then Saturday morning we went to the Botanical Gardens with the kids (I have photos to post soon).  Saturday afternoon I worked on cleaning out my closet during naptime, then baths/dinner/bedtime took up the rest of the day.  This morning we went to church, I did laundry during naps, then we all played outside.  While Gary did baths, I ran to the grocery store.  Now Gary and I just now finished our dinner, and we are hoping for a good night’s rest before we shift gears to work tomorrow.

In interesting things over the weekend, Rosemary continued her love of the camera (or should I say, her assumption that the camera loves her).  There were zillions of photographers at the Botanical Gardens, and Rosemary thought they were all there for her.  If anyone came near her with the camera, she stood in their way and struck a pose waiting for them to take her photo.  I even explained what she was doing to a few people, and they pulled up their camera to snap a photo of her, then Rosemary gladly went on her way.  She must get that from Gary.

I’ve been complaining about my closet for months and I’m so glad that I finally started the process of cleaning it out.  I pulled everything out and have put most of it back in.  I have a huge stack to go to goodwill that I need to inventory for tax purposes.  I have maternity clothes to return to those who so kindly loaned to me.  I finally have put away all of my maternity clothes, including a few pairs of maternity pants that I find myself wearing at least once a week (if you’ve ever worn them, you have to admit that maternity clothes are unbelievably comfortable)!  From now on, I don’t wear maternity clothes.  I will miss the comfort of that nice elastic waistband, but I this weekend I told them goodbye.

My friend Cathy recently cleaned out her closet.  She came up with several rules on whether to keep clothes or not.  I like them.  I used them.  And, I came up with my own rule to add:

Just because it was one of your favorite items of clothing in {insert any of the past 15 years here}, doesn’t mean that it is – OR SHOULD BE – a favorite item today or at any time in the near future.

And with that new rule, I will be donating (or flat out discarding) many, many clothes that have been cluttering up my closet and drawers for the past 15 years.  Just because they served me well once doesn’t mean I should keep them around any longer.

And in the way of big milestones, today Penelope began CRAWLING and immediately followed that up with pushing herself up to sitting from a crawling position.  Wow.  Penelope thinks that she is as big as the big kids are, and apparently she is out to prove it!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


People ask us on a regular basis whether Piper and Rosemary are identical.  We don’t know.  They could be identical.  Usually people assume that you can tell whether or not they are identical by whether they shared a placenta (Piper and Rosemary did not).  However, there are different types of identicals and sharing a placenta is not a requirement of being an identical.  You can read all about that here under the heading of Degree of Separation.  If Piper and Rosemary are identical, they would be dichorionic-diamniotic (because we know that they did not share a placenta or an amniotic sac). 

At first, we assumed that Piper and Rosemary were not identical.  Particularly because Piper weighed 3 pounds 2 ounces at birth and Rosemary weighed only 1 pound 14 ounces.  However, we learned the day after they were born that Rosemary had a velamentous cord insertion, which means that her umbilical cord did not pass through the middle of the placenta.  Velamentous cord insertions are more common with multiples, and low birth weight could result from a velamentous cord insertion.  Having a velamentous cord insertion is unrelated to whether Piper and Rosemary are identical.  Anyway, Piper and Rosemary looked so different at first that we assumed they couldn’t possibly be identical (you can see our first photos of them here).  Then, as time passed and Rosemary fattened up a bit, they started looking more alike.

Many people claim that Piper and Rosemary look exactly alike.  To us, however, they don’t look what we consider to be identical.  But, I have to admit that as they get older, I actually find myself confusing them even more.  If I have time to really look at them I can easily tell them apart, but if I just get a glance or a couple of seconds, then it takes me a while to figure out which one is which.  The two biggest differences are (1) Piper is still bigger than Rosemary and (2) Rosemary has what appears to be a shorter chin than Piper, which I think makes her appear to have a rounder face.

And then there are those other things that make me think they may be identical:  they have the same feet and toes, they have the same eyes (which are pretty unusual in color), they have the same ears, they both got their teeth in the exact same strange order, they both have unusually short legs which causes all sorts of pants issues, they have the same mouth and teeth spacing (according to our pediatric dentist), they have the same hair color, etc.  All of these similarities didn’t seem that strange when 2/3 of my children had the same characteristics.  Now that just 2/4 of them do, I start to wonder.

Henry and Penelope look very different from Piper and Rosemary.  I mean, all the kids look like siblings I think, but they do look different.  Henry has the lightest hair color and bright blue eyes, and Penelope has darker hair and green eyes.  At first I really just assumed that my “boys” looked like Henry and my “girls” looked like Piper and Rosemary.  But I was thrown for a loop when Penelope was born looking like herself and no one else.  I don’t know why it surprised me so much, but I had truly expected that she would look like either Henry or Piper/Rosemary.  Now that I see that I have three “looks” to my kids, I have to wonder even more if Piper and Rosemary are identical.

We can have them tested to find out.  We’ve talked about doing it before, but so far haven’t paid to have it done.  Gary said that he sort of enjoys guessing whether they are identical and doesn’t want to know if they are not identical.  I’m in sort of the same boat.  It’s pretty fun to guess.  But in a way I also want to know for sure, though it really doesn’t matter – other than that we could finally answer all those people who ask us if they are identical. 

What do you think?  Are they identical?  Should we find out or just keep guessing?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Still Rambling . . . Day 18

I can’t believe I’ve made 18 blog posts in the last 18 days.  Well, in a way I can believe it, because it’s starting to wear on me.  Again, you people (Cathy and Brian) doing the 365 Project have dedication.

Tonight we had our regular pizza night.  Most every Friday night, Auntie Ann comes over for pizza night.  Tonight was a special pizza night, however, because Auntie Ann’s birthday is on Sunday.  To celebrate, we gave her an Edgar’s strawberry cake.  We were kind enough to help her eat a bit of it. . . .

Today I took a long lunch and went clothes shopping – for myself.  My kids dress better than I do.  And lately, they dress a LOT better than I do.  I hope that I’ve narrowed the gap after my shopping trip today.  The last time I went clothes shopping for myself was well over a year ago when I took a long lunch.  I bought a lot of clothes, then got back to the office and decided that, before I took off the tags, just for the heck of it, I’d take a pregnancy test, just to make sure. . . .  And that is the day I found out that we were expecting Penelope!  We returned the clothes.  I guess today was my day to buy them back. 

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Writer’s Block?

I have writer’s block tonight.  I just really cannot think of anything to write.  Well, I can think of things to write, just nothing very coherent.  I don’t really have any photos to post, and may not have a lot for a week or so as my camera’s shutter is going out and I’ve ordered a new camera, which I’m sure I won’t know how to operate when it gets here.  But I have to do a blog post today for my 31 Project so I’m just going to start typing and see what comes out. . . .

I’m pretty tired.  Not bad tired in the I-have-a-newborn way of tired, but just generally tired.  Penelope just hasn’t been sleeping that well.  Last night she slept completely through the night, but that was the first time in about 3 weeks.  She pretty much stopped making it through the night in early February with that first ear infection.  I really don’t know what is going on with her.  The tiredness and lack of sleep isn’t a whole lot of fun, but I really don’t mind that all that much.  I’m not up for that long – she wakes up, I nurse her, she falls asleep, I go back to bed.  The biggest thing is that I just WANT to know what is going on.  WHY is she not sleeping?  Is she hurting and I don’t know what to fix?  I give her gas medicine, occasionally I give her Tylenol if I think she’s in pain, but it doesn’t really seem to be either of those things.  If she’s just going through a growth spurt and is hungry, then I’ve fed her and that’s okay.  If she’s teething then I’ve comforted her and that’s okay.  If it’s habit, well, then it’s habit and that’s okay, too.  But what if it’s an ear infection?  Or what if it’s something more?  I just don’t want something to be wrong that I could fix if I only knew.  I don’t care about fixing it so that she sleeps so much as I want to be sure there’s nothing wrong.  The not knowing is driving me batty.  Today during lunch a friend suggested that I try some gripe water, so we’re going to give that a shot.  I would have tried it today, but completely forgot to stop to pick some up on my way home.

Other than that, Penelope seems to be doing great.  She’s eating her solids well and has been going up on all fours and rocking.  She’s totally getting ready to start crawling!  The question is just when. . . .  I thought that Piper was going to crawl forever before she finally took off.  Henry, on the other hand, just started crawling one day without ever showing many signs that he may be getting ready.

The kids have been just talking up a storm lately.  What is really neat to me is that they are actually calling each other by name (Pie-pee, Henny, and Roe-ee), which I think is so sweet.  And Piper has developed this habit of asking us, “Okay?” after she tells us anything.  Another thing that I love is that whenever we are laughing at something, Henry gets this funny grin on his face and comes up to us and says, “It’s funny!!” as if we may have missed it otherwise.  Rosemary has started saying, “Oh Lordy” whenever something deserving happens.  I love it.  Those kids just crack me up.

Well, that should be enough randomness for tonight.  I’ll pick up again tomorrow night!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sneak Peek of Penelope's Photo Session

Click HERE to see a sneak peek of Penelope's last photo session on our photographer's blog, which includes a photo of all four kids together!! That in and of itself is amazing!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Nebulizer for Number 4

Now that Gary and I fully understand just how much the kids understand, we try to talk in code (which they’ve probably already figured out).  I always hate when someone is talking about little Johnny in front of little Johnny and says things like, “Little Johnny is just so shy he can hardly speak to anyone.”  Well, maybe he is, or maybe he just keeps hearing how shy he is. . . .  But that’s a whole new topic.  Anyway, we try to avoid doing things like that and also try to avoid talking about the kids at all in front of the kids.  When necessary to communicate in front of the kids about the kids, we used to call them by their first initial.  Now that Piper and Penelope have the same first initial, we’ve taken to calling them by their birth order number.  Once they really learn to count and learn about birth order, we’ll probably have to stop doing that, too. 

Tonight Penelope had her first nebulizer treatment.  She seems to have allergies and stays congested, particularly after being outside a lot.  We spent a good bit of the weekend outside, and Penelope has had red, swollen eyes since then, and even more congestion than normal (Rosemary had the same issues as a baby until she went on medication to help with those problems).  It looks like it’s time to put Penelope on Claritin on a regular basis.  Our pediatrician had warned us that Penelope may need a breathing treatment at some point, told us what dosage to use just in case,  and even gave us an extra mask to keep on hand for Penelope.  Sure enough tonight she started wheezing a little.  She was fine one minute, and then a few minutes later she was breathing a little hard.  She didn’t love the nebulizer, but she did pretty well with it and is now breathing fine. 

Rosemary has always had these breathing issues and allergies, and was diagnosed with asthma about a year ago.  She now takes Singulair and Claritin on a daily basis, and breathing treatments as necessary.  I had assumed that Rosemary had all these issues from being premature and so small, but now seeing the exact same thing happen to Penelope, a 39+ weeker born weighing almost 8 pounds, I think that perhaps Rosemary’s issues perhaps aren’t related to her prematurity after all.  We’ll never know, but that doesn’t stop me from wondering nonetheless. 

I don’t think I ever heard of a nebulizer until the past few years.  Have they always been around?  I wonder what people did without them?  I don’t remember other kids having them while we were growing up.  I’m sure that we would have had some extra trips to the Children’s ER if we didn’t have our nebulizer.  I’m just thankful that we have something that we can do at home before taking that Children’s ER trip (which of course always comes in the middle of the night).

Today was the fifteenth daily blog post in a row.  I’ve really enjoyed this exercise – but I’m really glad I’m only doing this for a month and not a year!  You folks doing the 365 Project have dedication!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Trails of Africa

The Birmingham Zoo has been under construction for quite a while working on its newest exhibit – the Trails of Africa.  That exhibit opened up to members of the zoo earlier this week.  The kids love the zoo!  This morning the nursery at church was going to be closed for Spring Break, so we just made the decision to skip church (you’re welcome, fellow churchgoers) and head out to the zoo.

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This was our first trip pretty much anywhere that we let the kids run free (no “monkeys” a/k/a safety harnesses and no stroller).  Penelope was happy in her stroller, and the kids were thrilled to be free.  They actually did a pretty good job of staying with us, though I don’t think that one person alone could have handled it.  From now on, however, I think that our default when it is all six of us will be one stroller for Penelope and freedom for the big kids.

DSC_0261 W DSC_0266 W DSC_0270 W Because the kids seem to still be starving all the time, we took a break about mid-way through our trip to eat at the new joint inside the Trails of Africa.  Again, the kids were on their best behavior.  They all sat down for the entire meal (without being strapped in) and actually ate without trying to get up and run around.

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We walked around some more, and of course had to go see the monkeys.  The whole time we were there, Henry was asking to see the monkeys.  Every time we passed a building that looked remotely like the primate building, Henry started yelling “MONKEYS!”  He was beside himself when we finally went into the primate building.  He’d run up to each glass exhibit, and yell, “Monkeys!”  He’d watch for a bit, then say, “More monkeys!” and head off to the next glass exhibit.  When we finally ran out of monkeys, Henry said that “monkeys are all gone” and then everyone seemed to be done with the zoo. 

We took a break to sit down before we left, and I managed to get a photo of all 4 kids.DSC_0313 W

Penelope was as happy as she could be the whole time.  She sat in her stroller and smiled and laughed, whether we were walking or sitting still.  I think she really enjoyed being out with her brother and sisters – and of course seeing the animals.  It was her first trip to the zoo, after all! DSC_0318 W

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Shark Attack!

It started out as a normal bathtime.  Everyone was nice and clean, we were getting dressed, and we were thinking we may all be safe.  And then we spotted that shark again.

DSC_0235 W He started chasing us all down . . .

DSC_0237 W . . . and then he identified his target . . .

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Friday, March 11, 2011


Rosemary has been "counting" a lot lately, and it's clear that her favorite number is nine. Here's how she counts: "One . . . two . . . tree . . . fie . . . nine . . . one . . . nine . . . fie . . . NINE!!" Then she looks at us with a big smile on her face and waits for us to tell her how incredibly smart she is. What is strange is that when she counts to nine, she usually is actually counting nine items, but she doesn't get there in the traditional way. Sure, the first three numbers are right and the last number is right, but the numbers in between just aren't quite right. Well, that and there are a few too many nines in there. We just don't have the heart to tell her she hasn't got it exactly right!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bedtime Delay

The kids try to delay our leaving their bedroom at night and tonight was no exception. Tonight we did all sorts of things. We wrapped stuffed animals up like babies, we wrapped kids up like babies, we kissed doggies good night, we picked up dropped lambs, etc. Not long after we left, Henry started screaming. Gary, and then I, went upstairs to check on him. Eventually we got him calm enough to lay down and we covered him up. I was on my way out the door, absolutely determined not to step foot in that room again no matter what, when I heard a really soft voice say, "I need a hug." I immediately turned around and gave Henry a huge hug. Then I heard the girls saying, "I need a hug!" I gave out several hugs. If they are looking for a way to delay me, they've found it. I don't think I could ever walk away from a request like that!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Joy of Love

I recently took the Joy of Love photography class that I mentioned a while back.  I really enjoyed it.  And best of all it was free!  For this class, the teacher (Willette) said that we could pick any subject we wanted – spouse, kids, pets, family, etc. – and that we didn’t have to use the same subject for the entire class.  During the class, we got a daily e-mail lesson, with recommend photos to take for each class.  That’s 28 days of e-mails with lessons! 

I almost always take photos of my kids, so this time I decided to take photos of Gary.  And it was about the Joy of Love, after all!  BUT I didn’t want to tell Gary that I was taking photos of him, so I sort of snuck them in. . . .  Unfortunately, I don’t have photos for every single day of classes, but here are the ones I do have:

day 01 {what they do} ~ Gary works.  A lot.  But each morning he sees the kids before he leaves for work, then comes home for dinner.  And then he works some more. 

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day 05 {what you LOVE to hate} ~ Rosemary gets her photo issues from Gary.  Turn a camera on them, and they’ll make some crazy face.  I was trying to do this whole Joy of Love project on the sly, and Gary made it almost impossible to get a decent photo.  So, I love to hate that he made this surprise so freaking difficult!

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day 06 {who THEY love} ~ The whole family (except for me) is in this photo.  It’s not a great photo, but it is everyone, so that has to count for something.

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day 08 {love from the heart} ~ For Valentine’s Day, Gary gave me some charms for my Pandora bracelet.  Love it!  I mentioned one day a while back about how much I was enjoying my bracelet (from Mom for Christmas two years ago), and he remembered and totally surprised me!

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day 10 {space} ~ Today’s topic was about where our photographic target is comfortable.  Gary is very comfortable on the couch.  He loves that space, as you can see.

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day 13 {routines} ~ In the mornings, sometimes Penelope gets up early while I’m getting ready.  Gary usually gets her out of her crib and they hang out and play until I’m ready to take over and nurse her while Gary gets ready.

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day 14 {wedding band/jewelry}

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day 17 {staying in} ~ We’ve had a lot of sicknesses and injuries lately, which have led to some weekend days where we just stayed in.  One recent weekend day Gary had to work, but at least he was able to do some work outside with the rest of us!

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day 22 {face – portrait} ~ Again.  The funny face.  Sorry, Gary.  You should have cooperated.  I know you didn’t know what I was doing.  But seriously, just cooperate next time, okay?

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day 25 {when you love them the most} ~ Okay, here are the before photos.  Gary took THIS and cleaned it all up!  We now have a nicely organized garage!  Here is what it looked like before (“after” photos to come soon):

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day 27 {what they say} ~ Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh, open up!

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day 28 {the future} ~ Us.  Our kids.  Teaching them things.  Having fun.  Enjoying life.

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I just love this last photo.  This is Gary in his element, hanging out with the kids.  As you can see, they all love it.  And I love my family, whether or not Gary cooperated with my Joy of Love project!  Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day, Gary!

P.S.  If you’re interested, Willette is having another free class coming up next week – the Joy of Luck!  Please sign up if you’re interested! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Busy Day

Today was a very busy day. I've been playing catch-up with work, plus today was a big day on the "personal" front. . . .

Penelope had her 6 month photo session with Heather Swanner this morning (even though she will be 7 months on Thursday). Miss Sally, our nanny, and Auntie Ann went with us to the photo session. We started out with the kids there, just to get a few shots of all four kids. That went way better than could reasonably be expected. Then Miss Sally and Auntie Ann took the kids to the zoo, while Penelope and I stayed behind to finish the photo shoot. Well, it wasn't quite that simple. Rosemary wouldn't leave until Heather took a few shots of just her. I don't think that Heather understood what was happening when everyone was leaving and Rosemary was positioning herself strategically between Penelope and the camera. I finally said, "Oh Rosemary, do you need to have some photos taken of you?" Then Heather obligingly took a few photos of Rosemary, who then left.

Hilarious. That kid cracks me up.

Penelope and I got home, and I had time to eat lunch and check e-mail when it was time to go to a meeting for the kids' speech therapy. Once the kids turn three at the end of June, they are no longer eligible for speech therapy through Early Intervention. Instead, that service goes through the local school district. Our development specialist had set up our initial meeting with the local school district several months ago, and that meeting was this afternoon. The meeting was mostly informational. We provided proof that the kids were ours (thus the need for the birth certificates), blue forms, and proof that we lived in the school district. We went though each of the kids and gave some background information, plus discussed their strengths and weaknesses, as well as our areas of concern. The next step is to go back to have each of the kids assessed by a speech therapist, then we have a meeting again to discuss whether the kids qualify for speech therapy through the school district and to discuss those details. If the kids qualify, they will continue speech therapy through June with Early Intervention, and will get a break before they start with the school district in August when school starts back.

When we discussed the strengths and weaknesses for the kids, our biggest strength that we could list for Rosemary was self-confidence. For instance, some mornings she will walk up to me and announce: "I look pretty." Just in case we didn't know already. She never seems to be the least bit unsure of herself. I wish I had a little more of that quality myself! Hopefully we will raise her in a way to maintain that self-confidence.

I'll post sneak peaks of the photos as soon as I get them!

Monday, March 7, 2011


Lately, Piper has been really hungry. About 30 minutes after a meal or snack, she starts asking for another "nack" (meaning "snack" -- which is what they call all their meals). Yesterday right after I finished cleaning up from breakfast, Piper started asking for a snack, and this is the conversation that followed:

Piper: I need a nack.
Me: Didn't you just eat breakfast?
Piper: Nooooo.
Me: Daddy didn't feed you breakfast?
Piper: Nooooo.
Me: Why not?
Piper: {hands out wide} I don't know!

Gary said that the same conversation happened today, except it was about the teacher at playschool not giving them lunch. After playschool, the three kids together ate an entire bag of grapes, and after nap they ate apples followed right after that by dinner. They keep asking us for fruit, which is good, but I hope they don't want too much fruit tomorrow because we are almost out of fruit!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Worn Out

On weekday mornings, I get up and take a shower and get ready.  Then, Gary takes a shower and gets ready while I get Penelope up, nurse her, and pump before the kids wake up.  While I pump, I lay Penelope on the floor on a blanket with some toys to play.  It looks like I’m not the only one tired from all of these recent middle of the night nursing sessions.  Here is a photo I took of Penelope this past Friday after I finished pumping:

DSC_0215 W She did sleep through the night last night, but the night before we got up twice.  Now I think she’s in the middle of a growth spurt – she nursed twice more today than she normally does on weekend days.  I guess that time will tell.  Penelope is as happy as she can be, though, which is the most important thing! 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Rainy Garage Cleaning Weekend

One thing that I've learned since having kids is that things don't get done the way they did before we had kids. Not that our house was ever completely organized or anything, but it was usually somewhat in order. And, all in all, I think we do a pretty good job of keeping things straightened up now, all things considered. But, we have a few dumping grounds. For instance, we dump things in our bedroom. Every 2 weeks we clean up the bedroom for the housekeeper to clean. I really can't imagine how horrible it would look if we didn't have to clean it at least that often.

Another dumping ground is the garage. We used to both park in the garage, now we have the minivan for the nanny in there, and strollers on the other side. Gary and I park in the driveway. Anyway, since we have a little more room in there, we seem to dump a ton of things in there. It has been getting a little out of control. So, Gary and I decided that I would assume total kid patrol this weekend while he cleans out the garage. Unfortunately it was really rainy today, but Gary didn't let that stop him. It's done! And Gary even fixed the garage door opener on the wall of the garage that hasn't worked in years. Gary still has to make a trip to donate some things, a trip to the storage building, and put some things in the attic, but the garage looks SO much better. I took some before photos to post, but honestly it was so embarrassing that I'm not sure I can bring myself to post them.

We also made some room for another deepfreeze. We bought a small one not long after the kids were born to store frozen breastmilk. However, we'd gone through what I have frozen by the time the kids were 4 months old, and then used the deepfreeze for the kids' baby food that I had made, and after that used it for normal frozen food, etc. Now I'm still freezing breastmilk, and I've filled up our little deepfreeze. So, we're going to buy a larger deepfreeze for the breastmilk and go back to using the smaller deepfreeze for food (and especially Penelope's baby food). After we are through with the breastmilk and baby food stage, we are somewhat considering buying a "half a cow" and using the deepfreeze for that. If not that, then I can use it to freeze meat that I buy on sale to try to save a little money (and to keep some meat on hand). Regardless, I'm sure the new deepfreeze will not go to waste.

As a note on yesterday's blog post, Mom read it and called me first thing this morning. She had several things to say: (1) she is really and truly shocked that now you can just go down to the county health department and pick up a birth certificate (years ago the only option was to obtain a copy from Montgomery using snail mail); (2) she absolutely would have freaked out on me if I had turned the kids loose with their own birth certificates in front of her; and (3) she would not have been sleeping at night had she known that I didn't already have the kids' birth certificates.

I've made it five days of daily blog posting! I do have some photos to share soon. . . .

Friday, March 4, 2011

Birth Certificates

My oldest kids are 2 years and 8 months old, and until today I didn't have a birth certificate for any of my kids. Apparently at some hospitals the paperwork is done so that the birth certificate is automatically mailed sometime after the baby is born. I guess that doesn't happen at my hospital. I did go home with paperwork telling me how to get the birth certificates, but I just never did. I had put it off for so long that I was actually worried that I may have missed the window to get the birth certificate.

When we were growing up, my mother treated our birth certificates like they might spontaneously combust at any minute. I don't remember ever being allowed to actually touch mine. I think she whispered "birth certificate" when she referred to them. And she was constantly inferring that really bad things would happen if we ever lost our birth certificates. I'm sure that my mom still has my birth certificate put up in some place very safe and that, most likely, no one but my mom has actually touched them.

So, you can imagine my surprise when I learned that you can just go down to the county health department and get a birth certificate. I assumed that this must be some inferior copy of a birth certificate and perhaps not something that was accepted for schools and other important things where birth certificates were required. So, I called down to the state vital records department and made a few inquiries. After cross-examining the lady on the phone and determining that one may indeed get as many original certified copies of a birth certificate as one wants to pay for, which are not copies or inferior, I finally just asked her why my mom always acted like it would be the end of the world if we lost ours. She laughed and said she didn't know but her mom was the same way.

So this afternoon I made the trip to the county health department to pick up the kids' birth certificates. To my surprise, I was in and out in about 15 minutes. It was overall a really pleasant experience.

I was a little surprised at the wave of emotions that rolled over me as I stood there holding my four kids' birth certificates. It felt official. It was as if I can really say now that I have four kids and that they are actually mine, because now I am a mom with birth certificates. I still haven't decided whether I will let them touch them or not, or if I'll brainwash them into thinking that very bad things, whatever those things may be, will happen if they lose their birth certificates. Or maybe I can wait until one day when my mom comes over and let the kids loose with their birth certificates, which would inevitably end up destroyed. That may be too much for my mom to handle, but it'd be pretty funny to watch.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Six Month Appointment

Penelope had her six month appointment this morning, at 6 months and 3 weeks. Here are her stats:

Weight: 16 pounds 12.5 ounces (just over the 50th percentile)
Length: 26.5 inches (75th percentile)
Head Circumference: 16.5 inches (25th percentile)

The pediatrician said that she is doing great. Her ear infection is finally gone and everything else checked out great. We do think that Penelope has allergies. She has been congested now for about a month (which leads to ear infections), and after being outside for a good bit this past Saturday she woke up with red, swollen eyes on Sunday. Rosemary used to do the same thing until we started her on Claritin. The pediatrician said that we can get Penelope started on some Claritin and see if that helps. We finished up the appointment with 4 shots, and although they really upset her when she got them, she was okay in no time.

You can tell that Penelope doesn't feel that great today after her appointment -- but part of that could very well be due to the fact that her other bottom tooth has finally made an appearance. She did sleep all night last night, so maybe now that the tooth has popped through she'll sleep well tonight, too. When we put her down tonight I heard a little singing and squealing, but it's been pretty quiet up there since then.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


It seems like funny things usually happen at bedtime. For instance, last night, Piper demanded that Gary get her a clean blanket (which, by the way, is pronounced "kwee wookie"). It wasn't so much that she was demanding the clean blanket, it was how she was demanding the clean blanket. The armoire in their bedroom is full of blankets. Gary was standing at the armoire trying to figure out which blanket she wanted, and Piper was getting really frustrated with him. She was looking at him like he was being intentionally difficult, and was holding her hands up toward him and repeatedly demanding the "kwee wookie" just as if she was instead saying, "Just give me a clean blanket. That's it! Just a clean blanket." At one point Gary said, "I'm trying! I'm trying! Just give me a chance. Geez." It was hilarious. I'm afraid that Gary is going to have a lot of women telling him what to do.

The latest change in our bedroom routine is that the kids climb into their cribs by themselves. Yes, they can climb into their cribs. Why they haven't figured out that they could climb out of the cribs I don't know, but I'm not questioning it too much right now. I don't think that we're ready for big boy and girl beds just because I think the kids would spend a lot of time playing instead of sleeping, but I think we are getting close. Maybe in a few more months, around their third birthday.

I think Penelope is still working on her other tooth. She got up around 1:30 this morning, but thankfully went back down pretty easily. I think that she's working on that other bottom tooth. I guess we'll find out soon enough. Tomorrow is Penelope's 6-month appointment (3 weeks late due to the snow) and so I'll have some stats for tomorrow night's post!

Good night, blogworld.  Let's see if I can make it three nights in a row tomorrow. . . .

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

31 Project, Fruit, and a Tooth!

So I have a couple of friends (Cathy and Brian) who are doing a 365 project, which means that they take and post at least one photo per day for an entire year. I think it's awesome -- but I know that I'm not ready to make that sort of a commitment! Maybe another year. . . . Anyway. I was thinking earlier today about how something blogworthy seems to happen each day, but I rarely actually write the blog post -- and then the moment is lost and likely eventually forgotten. I've decided that for March I'm going to do a blog post each day. Most of them won't have photos, and more than likely most of them won't have a coherent subject. But I'm going to give it a shot. I'm calling this my 31 Project. So here's my first one:

On the topic of notable conversations, as soon as the kids finish their dinner, they start telling us, "I need cake!" If we tell them we don't have cake, they suggest, "Cookie?" Last night the kids ate their pot roast and veggies so well that we let them have dessert, which was Goldfish S'mores. If you don't already know, Goldfish S'mores are a combination of chocolate goldfish, graham cracker goldfish, and little marshmallow fish. The girls were holding up the marshmallow fish and saying, "Candy!!" Henry said, "No.  Fruit!" I guess that's one way to justify dessert.

As far as notable events, Penelope has had two ear infections in the last 3 weeks. For each ear infection, she woke up once or twice each night for a week or so. The only way to get her to go back to sleep is to nurse her back to sleep, which I've been doing. I'm pretty tired. I did get two nights off, then last night it started back up again. I was immediately worried that it was the ear infection bothering her when it should be getting better. But this morning I found the reason for last night's wakings -- A TOOTH! Penelope's bottom left tooth is poking through, and it looks like the right tooth is not far behind. Gary said that she's ready for her first steak now. Now I'm hoping for a good night's sleep for everyone tonight. . . .