2018 Chapter three: January 17

We got significant snow this week! Kids had so much fun that they stayed out as long as it took to get all their snow gear on (not as long as it took to get it on and off, but still pretty good). The trick was giving everyone a cup to play in the snow with. I cannot stop laughing at Jacqueline in this photo. This is the only one where anyone is looking, but even if there were a perfect one, this would be my favorite. I'm going to print it out just so I can laugh at it every time I walk by. 

But really, she's the cutest and sweetest and most kissable thing. We all know this. Just a first of many hilarious pictures. 

Wade kept asking to make sure that this snow was okay to eat - that it wasn't yucky or salty. We've apparently have a lot of conversations about what snow is good to eat and what snow isn't. 

But really, other than the fun snow, this week was entirely about sleep. Or lack there of. So much lack. I guess there's such a thing as two year old sleep regression. But it feels more like them being turds and the universe kicking us in our shins. For naps today I took away a blanket or pillow each time they got up and made them stand against the wall for a minute - if they didn't want to sleep then they get to stand. 

They finally passed out snuggled together in the corner of their queen bed - look at that little finger of comfort. 

Standing. Jac still saying cheese, cause I had my camera out. Notice the empty room. No adorable headboards. No toys. No blankets. What you can't see is that there are also no lightbulbs. It worked - tonight they feel asleep by 9. Better than the after 10 bedtime they've been opting for. Oh, but they do have blankets on them tonight. And pillows. We gave them back. 

This was the scene we were coming into every morning (or in the middle of the night - lights were always on). All the clothes out of their dresser. Breaking the wicker on their headboards. Missing frames from the walls. General mayhem. Everything is now in the closet and the closet now has a lock on it. My enjoyment of my children is tied to not having a disaster to clean up after every nap. And it's an angry mess - they're mad about bedtime, so they have to open things and throw things (Blake's newest tantrum is to open up all my kitchen cupboards). I feel devastated that their cute room is bland. I've been working on it and it was getting so cute! They couldn't care less, but I do. I'm hoping that they'll refigure out sleep and I can enjoy all the sweet cuteness that is their room. 

Oh, and you may recall that last week Blake destroyed a pompom blanket I made. I made two, and I hid the other one in the closet, on a shelf, with a chair in front of the door. She apparently shimmied past the door, climbed the shelf and got the pompom blanket - like some pompom seeking bloodhound! How did she even know it was there? How did she even know to be so persistent? Well, she destroyed that one too. I saved about 7 pompoms that I'm sure I'll put to good use. Unless Blake, the bloodhound, finds them first. 

One night we came up to check on them. Their light was on. They weren't in their room. The closet light was on. They weren't in the closet. Our room door was shut. They weren't in our room. We found them in Wade's room, up against the door - finding solace with their (sleeping) brother. 

Last night was perhaps the worst night. We tried splitting them up having one in Wade's room and having Wade sleep in their room with the other. It didn't work, but Wade was so excited to sleep with them, so we attempted to let them all sleep together. It was cute - I could hear Wade telling them to lay down and fall asleep. I felt like Jekyll and Hyde - going in with patience to see what they needed, just to come in the next time spanking bums and yelling. Wade ended up going to his own bed around 9:30 and falling asleep immediately (so sad it was like he was being punished cause his sisters kept him up) and that's when the girls started losing blankets - it was effective. 

An added bonus this week has been that they're really tired so they're also really grouchy! Woohoo. It also didn't help that I had a few down days this week (one bad headache and one day with terrible vertigo!). On the vertigo day Jac found me in bed, snuggled up to me and then I heard her start to breath loudly. This has never happened! She fell asleep at 11 am. 

Okay, sleep stuff is over. This very long post and all I've talked about is my crappy sleepers. Here's a picture of Blake. Playing with curtains. Cause they're fun. 

And my rubber bands that I use for pillow dyeing (shibori, so it sounds cooler than tie dye or crafting). Oh man, that was my big project this week and I forgot to take a picture! Isn't that always the case? I organized all my craft crap! It looks so awesome, and I used the pompom blanket carcasses to cover up some boxes to really make it so perfect. 

And one more of Blake, putting fruit snacks on the fish tank. Perhaps I shouldn't post this, cause then husband will see it and be less than pleased. Husband did get two new fish this week - not that I remember what they're called, they're both orange. 

Sheesh, how did Blake steal the show this week? Cause she's a disaster. Daddy brought home cupcakes from work with purple frosting, it dyed her and her spot pink. Oh and this outfit. She's wearing this outfit because I was thrift shopping on Monday (50% off day!) with friends and one of my friends kids were watching my kids (it was heavenly! And so fun cause my friend started a new job and we were able to help her outfit herself for it...and I found myself plenty too) and Blake pooped through her pants while they had her (I super owe them!). They just took her pants off and I bought this jumper for her from the thrift store. Got to their place and put it on her - it's a 2T and it's too short and gives her a wedgie! When did my little girls get so big? I pull out more 2T clothes to be put away each time I do laundry. But luckily there's a lot of pink stuff from their cousin that Jac is now able to wear. 

I've been watching Craigslist for an IKEA Pax wardrobe for over a year - they're so expensive! But I finally snagged one - the picture they posted had the door sticking out a little, so no one wanted it, but it was just a box sticking it out. Anyway, I got it for $75 (less than half of what they originally listed it for, pictures matter!) and fit all 93" of it in my car, with the trunk shut. This car has been amazing to me. Now the the wardrobe is lying on my front room floor and has already had a few stickers placed on it that I needed to scrape off. Let me add that these weren't just stickers, they were stamps. So very expensive stickers - luckily they thought the big logo stamp sticker was the coolest, so only two actually stamps were used. It'll go in Wade's room - now that the girls room is disassembles, I'll focus on his room with all of my winter-time stir-crazy energy. 

Wade's been the best little helper this week. As best a four year old can be. I keep hearing him say things like "Jac, come hide with me!" or "Blake, run with me like this!" The highlight would be today, we had to get out and ended up at Target. Everyone got a $1 slinky, on the way home Blake dropped hers on the floor and I couldn't reach it - so Wade gave her his slinky. One of the sweetest moments of motherhood yet. 

One last thing that defined this week for me: black beans. Husband decided we should eat more black beans and rice (from his mission. I'm wondering if he's forgetting that he got really fat on his mission...). Well, we had this unopened, 25 pound bag of black beans in our food storage of undetermined age (at least 6 years old cause it's been here since I've been in the family...my guess is older). Anyway, it took two dismal fails before realizing that the seal on my instant pot got off a little and that I had to really presoak these old beans before cooking them. The fails were taken extra hard cause this week felt like a failure, but of course I fixated on the beans, cause why not. But then today, I got it right and they were delicious! And now we all have gas.


2018 Chapter two: January 10

Today was a balmy 40 degrees! Which means that everything is gross and Stella keeps leaving muddy paw prints everywhere and I don't think to take care of it when I let her in cause its January in Minnesota. It also meant that we went to the car wash! Which is really feels like the biggest waste in the winter, but also necessary. Both girls thought the rainbow soap was really cool, but things quickly went south and I ended up needing to hold both their hands for the duration.

Jac is maybe getting her molars. Or getting sick? Im not sure, but she's been a royal tyrant the last few days. I need something to explain away her behavior. I put pig tails in her hair yesterday and she cried for 30 minutes about them until I caved and took them out. Today she stole Blake's hat in the car so I reached for a toy on the floor and it was a play phone, with Jac wanted more than the hat - she screamed and kicked and lost her mind for 15 minutes. We were waiting to pick up Wade from preschool and I ended up just getting out of the car cause I couldn't take it. Really feeling sorry for the Blake - but she was playing with the phone pretty smugly. Just a few tidbits into life with Jac right now.

Today was Wade's last day of preschool for a few months. He's loved it - this morning he was talking all about what he might learn in preschool today! He finally settled on "I guess I don't know what I'll learn today." Both of the high school students that were his teachers gave him little notes - one of them signed it Emma. I've been calling her Sophie all semester! She never wore her name tag and I kept trying to figure out her name and one time Wade was talking all about Sophie, and in context it was her. Only apparently it wasn't. So, that's cool. Wade really did learn a lot this time, on Sunday he found some letter stickers and spelt his name all by himself and then asked me how to spell mom and dad (he had to ask me cause Husband kept telling him the letters in Portuguese and that was too frustrating). I was at the stove making dinner, he did this by himself. Feeling obnoxiously proud.

Meanwhile, the girls discovered that grapes rest perfectly in the little holes of these chairs and when you poke your finger through that the grapes pop up.

Wade's been really into "what people do" phrases. "People wear shirts at night, right?" "People wear coats at the dentist." "I don't need pants cause people don't wear pants to bed." He's checking on the social normality of everything - but mostly justifying any behavior he wants cause that's what people do. 

Wade's always stripping, as I've mentioned before, I'll often find a trail of clothes on the way to his spot on the couch or up to his room. He's actually keeping them on more! But there's always a reason. If he doesn't want to be under the blanket, he'll keep is pants on. If he wants under a blanket, pants come off. But sometimes its just too much work to pull them up after going potty, so he just pulls up his underwear (which, went to the doctor last week cause he was going pee every 5 minutes, everything came back fine, so we've just been encouraging him to hold it and he has. Now we get reports on if he's holding he pee). Shirts get worn more because people wear shirts - but they get taken off if they're spilled on. This week there was a first of "Mom, can I take my shirt off, cause it doesn't have a tag." I've noticed that he likes to play with the tags on his shirts, but I never pieced together that it was important. 

Yesterday Wade asked, "Can I have milk to wash down the cookie dirt in my teeth? They're so dirty!!" 

Mama and Papa Billa got the girls baby doll beds for Christmas. We finally braved IKEA and picked them up. I assembled one and explained to everyone that they're only for baby dolls, not for big kids to climb on. The base of the one was broken before I had the first piece of the second screwed together. They were terribly thin particle board pieces (while the rest of the crib is pine and sturdy) so we thought we'd just cut out some wood to stick in, but turned out they work really well without a base in them at all! 

I've decided to organize my craft room (which, judging by the amount of craft crap I have, I should do more crafts). Which involved another trip to IKEA, this time with friends and with the first day of Jac's impressive unreasonableness. So grateful for friends that happily help mother my children and don't make me feel weird or bad or like a burden - my village is great, just busy. We also went to Mendard's solo to buy some shelves - the girls were extra helpful. 

 Putting them together was pretty ridiculous - the directions talk about sliding stuff into place and using a light tap of the hammer if necessary, meanwhile I'm pounding the crap out of these shelves to get them to go together. I guess that's what you get when you buy cheap! Wade went and told Husband, "Mommy's not very good at building shelves. She mad."

The kids have been "helping" me organize a lot (Wade snagged the letter stickers from this mass organization). I must say that I did give them this paper that was pre-cut for scrapbooking, cause I knew they would love making the mess (and picking up all the garbage, of course).

And Jac is lying dramatically on the floor as part of a dance routine. We've been listening to "The Greatest Showman" nonstop around here. Every time a song ends Jacqueline looks at me with such seriousness in her face and holds up a finger and says, "One more." And we always play one more. Everyone dances and has their favorite song - but Jac just goes and goes and goes. And she will do running leaps and twirls, and jumps off of chairs and some footwork and her arms are so graceful. It's awesome. She'll mimic everything I do - it's much cuter on a two year old. In my mind I look awesome, but then I catch a glimpse in the window and I look like an idiot. I did almost break my banister from trying to do a swinging jump off it. I also realized that I can't hold the banister and stick my leg out without hitting the wall with my heel. I did find a aerial dancing place that I'm signing up for! So then I can look like an idiot in front of people and suspended from a hammock in the air. Oh, and I learned that I can still do a back bend. High fives all around. 

 We made a Joann's trip (cause my craft stuff is all organized so now I can buy more...). These two turn into everyones favorites everywhere we go. They playing and smiling - people make such positive comments. Someones running away (Jac) or sitting defiantly (Blake) or screaming their heads off (both) - people make such positive (encouraging) comments.

This was by far my favorite: 

We got a third donkey this week so we can really have a running of the bulls (donkeys) situation in the main of our house. Many races. Many crashes. They love these things. We've had them over a year and they're just now getting used regularly. 

 Girls got new bedding this week!!

Blake followed me upstairs to put the bedding on, cause she's my helper/a loner. I watched her play (and admired how cute this room is and how it's coming together!!). She immediately went and got toys from Wade's room and sat on the bed to play with them. 

Then she was playing with all the baby dolls. And trolls. Oh, these dumb trolls. I keep finding their pink hair EVERYWHERE! And then I'm sitting watching Blake as she pulls the hair out and tries to stick it on the bald babies heads! I told Husband and he said that he found some stuck to his stubble when he went the bathroom at 10 am. Haha, how many people saw that?! What a destructive little stinker. 

But, really, so destructive. Look up to the first picture of their room - there's a pompom blanket that I made. What you don't see in the picture is that there used to be two and that one is the lone survivor. This morning I came in and found this yarn carnage. One pompom made it. Then when I went to change Blake's clothes I found a few more handfuls of yarns shoved inside her jammies. Cause she's a hoarder too. 

The other night Husband was putting the girls down and he took away a little purse from Blake and she freaked out and was crying, "Poppy, Poppy!" Husband didn't know what she was talking about, so he opened the purse and there was just underwear in there that he emptied out on the bed. She grabbed them, cuddled them and fell asleep. They're clean, never been used. I feel like that needed to be said. But they were her Poppy underwear. 

Bedtime continues to be a struggle with the girls. Our newest attempt is to tell them it's quiet time and they can play in their room and then we come back in around 8 to do actual bed time with them. Wade still goes down at 7 - he's always been my major sleep lover. How's this new method going? I don't know, tonight was the first night and I was at young women's - but they girls were awake when I got home. I'm actually typing this in their room so I could sit here while they fell asleep. I think one of the best bedtimes we've had this week was when I was sitting outside the door and Jac came out and saw that I was eating an apple - she screamed and kicked the wall for a solid amount of time, finally I gave them both a bite of the apple and then they crawled into bed and fell asleep. You'd think I should just give them whatever they want so they'll go to bed, but apparently the tantrum is all part of it. 

We've got a big storm coming in tonight, so planning to hunker down and be home bodies for a few days. Which will be hard - cause three stir crazy littles is always interesting. But I did go to the library to get some books, cause I guess there's some research out there that says how much your kids see you read directly correlates to their love of reading...so guess I better ignore them and let them see me read. But, really, they'll just continue the mayhem and destruction of all my clean spaces: 

And create games that require "more soft stuff" to be pulled from all their rooms (we also have a pillow pit currently in the TV room) and play more hide and seek and dance more. Definitely dance more. And maybe be under table trolls the tickle feet. 

Oh, this week was draining. I almost said hard, which I guess it was, but it was also so amazingly fun (cause dancing and organizing stuff is apparently my idea of a good time). But I need to keep moving and working on stuff - even if it takes longer cause of needy littles, I can't just not. We all go crazy then. Their best play is when I'm working on something and they find stuff to do too - often it's them coming in to help me, but if that gets boring then they figure it out. I kinda feel like it helps me be a good mom to work on my projects, but also to give them time to let them figure it out - playing together, figuring out fights. I love when I hear one cry and then someone else mediate. Or seeing them come up with games (like under table trolls).  I was talking to a friend this week and she told me that she made a 2018 one word mantra. Her's is charity. Mine is health. I was to make decision that are healthy for me and my family. That means more water (less dr pepper or I guess just a lot of peeing), being more okay about toy messes, remembering to read scriptures together, more vegetables, less screen time. It means a lot of things that will be fluid, but I like the idea of living a healthier life - making habits that can be carried forward. And I'm pretty confident that aerial dancing fits nicely in with my mantra.