Saturday, January 31, 2009

What we've been up to

What have you been up to lately? We've missed you.

The babes are still working on their verbal skills. They are repeating a lot of words we say. We are working on throwing and chasing balls, and each other.

We are finishing up our third week of only taking one nap a day. The transition has gone pretty smoothly. The first two weeks we had Lucia sleep in a Pak-n-Play in our bedroom. Since she usually wakes up first, this kept her from waking the others. Over the past couple weeks her nap time has continued to get longer. I would say they average napping two and a half hours a day. That is pretty good. The days where they only nap an hour and a half are tough for me. But, most of those days were in the beginning. The naps have continued to lengthen and I feel good about where we are right now.

The children like to watch the talking Elmo doll they received for Christmas while they eat. When Elmo throws his head back to laugh, they throw their heads back to laugh too. Lucia calls him "Ah-bah."

Mazie has taken to wearing bracelets. When she first started wearing them a week or two ago, she would walk around with her hand up to keep the bracelet on.
Our friend T, eleven years old, killed an eight point a couple of weeks ago. He and his dad brought it by to show Elliott. Elliott was quite impressed and thinks T will be able to teach him a few things in a couple of years. (T and his two brothers are also excellent fishermen.)
My Mom visited this week and the chidren had fun playing with her. Thanks for coming to see us, Grancy. Here is Lu and Mazie reading books in diaper boxes and enjoying being together.
We hope you had a wonderful January. Like our friend Karen just said, "only eleven more months until Christmas."

Monday, January 26, 2009


Everyday we are given little gifts if we are quiet enough or attentive enough to notice them. Most of the time these gifts are things we can't touch: an email from an old friend, your son resting his hand on your knee while you read him a story, a pretty sunset. But some times, the gifts are tangible. Last week when the babies and I were meandering in the wagon, this apothocary bottle caught my eye. It was covered in dirt and just laying there on the ground. It says "Bromo Seltzer Emerson Drug Co. Baltimore." Next to it was the piece of broken china. H thinks there was a house in this place (right across the pond from our house) at the turn of the last century. Maybe there will be more gifts to find in this old burried trash pile.
Here is hoping you enjoy your gift today.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy 90th, Nannie

Today, H's Nannie turned 90 years old. She is a very young ninety. The family went to eat fried catfish to celebrate on Sunday and then today the babies and I went by her home to wish her a wonderful year ahead. Nannie loves the babes so much and we are lucky to have her in our lives. She is a wonderful model of love and patience and gracefulness. Happy Birthday!

The first picture is of H and Nannie. The second is Elliott, Mazie, and Lucia with Nannie.

Our Moment

We watched the inauguration of President Obama with the babies this morning. They paid attention for different portions of the ceremony. I think Ms. Aretha Franklin might have been their favorite. When George Bush and Barack Obama got into the limousine at the White House to travel to the Capitol, Elliott said, "Bye-bye," and he and Mazie kept saying "bye-bye" and waving as the two slowly drove down the driveway and street. During President Obama's speech though, they became more enthralled with Elmo and his story of Cookie Monster.

CNN was doing a collection of photos of President Obama taking the Oath of Office--your own view of the scene. I think they meant those on the Mall in DC, but H and I thought the view of our babes watching their future get brighter was a beautiful shot. Today is a great day for our family and our country.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Word Update

Language acquisition is so fun to watch. The babes are really enjoying trying out new sounds and words. They still love to sign, which is becoming more and more helpful as they become more and more expressive. We usually eat bananas at breakfast, rarely at other meals. The other night at supper Mazie was not happy with her food choices. She said "bah" and I thought she wanted her bottle. I told her "No, we don't get a bottle until bedtime." She then said "bah" and made the sign for banana. I said, "Oh, banana?" She got a huge smile on her face and was so happy when I started cutting her up a banana.

Lucia has started saying two syllables. Bye has become Bye-bye and Buh (for her brother Bubby) has become Buh-buh. Lucia also will say "thank you," unprompted when we hand her something. Her thank you sounds like "tie, tie."

Elliott says some words correctly, like "wah" for walk, but he also is making up some words. Like his cousin Avery, he now loves the moon. We have a bright light that shines from the other side of the pond at night. He points to it and says "moon moon." He also points to the moon in the sky and the moon in books and will excitedly say "moon, moon." Except, his word for moon is buh. Being the Southern he is, buh is usually two syllables, occasionally three: "boo-uhh boo-uhh." Also, he loves lights: the lights in the car, the lights on the ceiling. Lights are "cah, cah." Of course, car is also "cah," but he is always pointing when he is telling what he sees.

Mazie is our babbler. Here are things we hear her saying: "guh bah guh bah guh" and "bagel bagel bagel." She spends all awake time in her crib babbling and then babbles throughout the day as well. She does say words, too, like the others. Some of her favorites are "go," "walk" ("wah"), "milk" (mee), and she says "bah" for a lot--Bubby, bottles, banana.

We got to observe something fun with Mazie before we left for Christmas in Kentucky. Mazie had been calling Elliott "Buh" for a while. Then she began pointing to Elliott and asking "Buh?" We'd say "Yes, Bubby." Then she'd point to Lucia and ask "Buh?" We'd say "No, Sister." This went on every morning for about a week. Now she points to Elliott and says, "Buh" and Lucia and says "Si." It was interesting to watch her process that their names were different. These are the things I love observing with them at this stage. Their little minds are always working.

The pictures are of Mazie in her Nana's gloves and ear warmer.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Napping Schedule

Apparently I've been denying the inevitable. Friday I was telling one of my child rearing consultants about how the babes are not napping well. She very directly yet gracefully told me they are wanting to go to one nap. Not something I wanted to hear, I let it roll around in my head all weekend. Then Sunday evening, H and I talked and decided to plunge into a One Nap schedule Monday. Today is our second day with one nap. The transition, while not painless, continues to be easier than I thought.
I thought the toughest part would be keeping them awake until noon. They've been going down for a morning nap about 9:30. This has been relatively painless though. I let them play a lot. About 10:30 I put them in the wagon and we go check on our new farm additions. When we get back about 11:30, it is time to eat and then time to sleep. The wagon is great because the children have to sit up; they don't lean back like in the stroller where they would just fall asleep.
With this new schedule the babes have been going to sleep rather easily (knock on wood). My biggest concern after going through our first day yesterday is the length of that One Nap. Lucia only slept an hour and a half. And Elliott slept the longest, at only just over two hours. On their two nap schedule, they were getting close to four hours of sleep from their naps. This mama needs her babes to nap longer than two hours a day.
Lucia has always needed the least amount of sleep. When she woke up first yesterday, she sat in the chair like a big girl for a few minutes and read a book while I finished a project I was working on.
Mazie also enjoyed doing some reading this morning.
The wagon Cousin Avery gave the children for Christmanukkah is such a great piece of our daily schedule. It is going to make the transition to one nap easier. Walking the babes in the stroller would not be good, as they would be out like lights as soon as we hit the dirt road.
(And Yes, Summer, this is indeed another set of camo fleece the babes received for Christmas. We are apparently firmly rooted in at least some aspects of rural culture.)
We are in for a chilly week with several hard freezes predicted for the upcoming nights. I love it, but do hope our new animals will be able to find warm places during the nights.
Today was our second day trying to stay up until noon and our second day rambling about in the wagon. Today Elliott and Mazie were either more comfortable in the wagon or they were exhausted. Maze leaned back and snoozed the last few minutes, despite my annoying efforts to try to rouse her.
Elliott did the terribly annoying head bobbing thing; he'd snooze off, dropping his head down thus waking himself up. It was painful to watch. Luckily we were almost home.
Pretty Lu was the only one to stay awake for the ride today. After eating their lunch, they went down for their nap. Here's hoping it will be a longer one today.

Monday, January 12, 2009

All Call

On our trip to Kentucky, during our closer-than-normal quarters, H noticed that the babies have a call they do at night to make sure the others are still there. It sounds like the word doll without the lls at the end. One will call it out, and if another is still awake they will answer with the same sound. Now that we have noticed, we realize they do it during most naps and every night. It is sort of like they are checking in with one another.
This weekend H and I rearranged the nursery. We were so excited. Some things needed changing--we couldn't see Mazie in her crib, Lucia figured out she could turn the lights on and off--and we decided to tackle it Saturday. This may seem like normal chores to many, but for us it was no small feat. The babes milled about while we got the job done. It felt good to accomplish something just the two of us.
The photos are of the children playing with some of their Christmas gifts.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Droves and Herds

Perhaps it is the moon's influence, but at our quasi-farm we got six babies within 36 hours: two goats, one Mouflon sheep, and three Barbados black-belly sheep. And, in that group are two sets of twins. Multiples must be in the water around here.

Here is the group from a distance, all hanging out together.
The Mouflon are to the left, the goats to the left of the tree trunk. A black-belly baby is between the Mouflon and goats.
Here are the black-belly twins. The other black-belly baby is back to the left.
Here is one of Verma Lee's babies. Our goats are named, but not the sheep. Don't ask me why. I don't know. Maybe because we have less goats.
Here is Verma Lee with her twins, born earlier in the day.
Here is Big Daddy. He stood by the fence and when Sipsey, our lab, would get too close to the fence, he'd stamp his foot at her.
He is gorgeous, isn't he? So regal.
He's is not someone to mess with.
Here is the black-belly singleton with its mama.
Look at those ears.
Here is the Mouflon mama and baby. This baby was already frolicking about.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Whatever you call it

loony bin
funny farm
nut house
hoo hoo hotel
the fifth floor

If all my days were days like today, you'd have to come visit me there.

we were having guests for lasagna at six
the dessert i made turned out ugly, not at all my vision for the creation
the dessert leaked a sticky mess all in our deep freeze
lucia did not take a nap--all day
no one took an afternoon nap
lucia was very fussy--all day--due to no nap and fourth molar trying to break through
our well broke down so we had no water from ten am to six pm
therefore not only was I unable to shower, but i also missed my window to get my teeth brushed until suppertime

but the end of the day wasn't so bad

a nice man named steve came to fix our well
the babes went right to sleep
our friends brought good company and flowers
we drank a bottle of wine
i took a hot shower

i'll tackle the sticky deep freeze at a later date.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Weight, Weight, Don't Tell Me

That's right. It's time for the newest edition of Weight, Weight, Don't Tell Me, version 16.0.

Today, on their sixteen month birthday, we took the babies to the big city for their check up. Their Nana went along with us and we had a good day, our rides to and from the big city timed perfectly with the babies' need to nap (this rarely happens). We also went to lunch at Ruby Tuesday's, the same restaurant we took the babes to last month. This time we left an even bigger mess, and, therefore, an even bigger tip.

As for the pediatrician, she thought everyone looked good. Ears are all cleared up. Their chests are clear. She is pleased with their developmental milestones and their varied diet. We don't have to go back to see her until the babies' second birthday. And, the babes' favorite news, no more shots for two years!

We discussed our concern over Mazie's weight with her. Mazie has stayed on her same little curve and because of this the doctor says not to worry. She is doing just fine. Failure to Thrive babies do not follow a curve; their weight plots horizontally. Also, they do not reach milestones appropriately. Mazie does not fit either of those characteristics. Though we won't be taking her in for check-ups until September, Mazie will be getting weighed once a month through April for her RSV shots.

So, here are their heights and weights at sixteen months. The percentiles are for full-term babies.

Height: 31" (50%)
Weight: 21# 6 oz (25%)

Height: 32" (50%)
Weight: 23# 10 oz (25%)

Height: 30" (25%)
Weight: 18# 2 oz (<5%)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Casual Days

We have a nice family in town who hands down some of their triplet attire and accoutrements. Yesterday we spent the day hanging out in these shirts. We didn't dress until 5:30 when we had to go to Nana's for supper. Below are some scenes from our day.

Here is Mazie playing with the babes' new Ladybug Stars Nightlight (Thanks, Grandma). It is her current obsession:
Here is Mr. Serious sporting his new Life is Good hat:
Lucia with brother's stolen hat:
Admiring herself:
Here is Lucia drinking one of her three bottles for the day:
(Just Kidding. The lid in on.)
Thanks for checking in on us. We hope you have a casual, comfortable day soon.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Dear H

Today is H's birthday. She had a wonderful day filled with lots of wishes for a wonderful year. We went up to her mom's for fried shrimp and crab casserole, a delicious meal. One of her favorite gifts was from her grandmother. She and Nannie share the same birthstone and Nannie gave H her first pair of earrings that her parents had given her: a pretty pair of garnets and a special gift.
Last year H's birthday was not the best. We had three babies about to turn four months old and were a little on the sleep deprived side. I won't paint the entire day for you, but the sketch of it involves eating McDonald's and getting in an argument in the Wal-Mart parking lot before going in to drop hundreds of dollars on diapers and formula. Happy Birthday to you!
So this year I wanted her day to be better. Sunday I arranged for (three shifts of) childcare so she and I could go off for the day together. We saw a few friends and then spent the day shopping and had lunch. Then today I made one of her favorite cakes (The Joy of Cooking's 1-2-3-4 Yellow cake cooked in a tube pan after adding a cup of chopped pecans and a bag and a half of chocolate chips. It is divine. Make it today) and a Ray Lamontagne CD. She said she enjoyed this birthday much more than last year's and I am glad.

Happy Birthday, H. We love you.

Here are some scenes from our time at Nana and Papa's house: