Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fall 2014 DITL

I'm linking up with Laura at Navigating the Mothership for another Day in the Life post. This DITL is from Tuesday, October 28, 2014. I am 33 and E is 34. Miss A is 4.5, Little J is just a month shy of 3 and Baby C is almost 3 months. I got out my big camera to take pictures for the day, took one picture, then went back to my iPhone for the rest (and took a lot of selfies).

Baby C swaddled and ready for bed Monday night.
1:30am: Baby C is up. This is really early for her. Not a great start to the night (most nights she sleeps until 2:30-3:30am). As I get out of bed I realize how sore I am. I went to my first Body Pump class since having kids on Monday, and it totally kicked my butt (in a good way). I take Baby C downstairs to feed her and we stay downstairs to sleep. She's up again to eat at 4:30am. She's really restless all night, so neither of us get a great night sleep. 

7:00am: Baby C is up again. I feed her and snuggle for awhile. I check in on social media, including my new favorite, Timehop, which is making me super sentimental about how quickly my girls are growing. Especially a recent streak of photos of Miss A back when she was our only child. Craziness!

7:45am: Miss A comes out and wants to snuggle a little. E is also up now. He is normally off to work by this time, but today he is driving to St, Cloud, and doesn't have to be there until a little later. I get up to iron a shirt for E and Miss A snuggles Baby C while I'm gone. She can be quite sassy, but she is a really sweet big sister. In addition to snuggling Baby C this morning, she also tells E to make sure he gives Little J a kiss before he leaves, and she tells me to make sure I do something fun with Little J while she's at preschool.

8:00am: Little J is up and looking for me. Normally the girls take their bath at night, but they were watching part of Despicable Me with E last night, so bath time was moved to the morning. I get Miss A and Little J ready for their bath, and get Baby C changed.

Every morning her arms go strait up when I unwrap the swaddle. Big baby stretches!
Such a happy girl!
8:20am: Get Miss A and Little J out of the bath tub and get them dressed.

8:30am: I set Miss A and Little J up with some cereal for breakfast, and I decide to put a little make up on. I showered Monday night, so I don't need to shower right away today.

8:45am: I almost forgot to do Miss A's hair, so I quickly get her hair in pigtails. Nana put her hair in pigtails when she was here for Mother's Day, and Miss A has stuck with the style all but a handful of days since. It's cute and out of her face, so I'm happy with it! Rush the girls to get shoes and jackets on so we can get Miss A to preschool.

*See my scarf? It's made by Itzy Ritzy, and it's actually a nursing cover/scarf. When you unfold it it's really big and covers everything up really well. I've been wearing it a lot when we're on the go for feeding Baby C and it brightens up my normally very black/grey outfits. Another thing I love about it, the tag says "You're doing a great job." Such a nice reminder :)

8:55am: Get everyone out to the car, seatbelts on, and we're off to preschool. Thankfully Miss A's preschool is less than 2 miles away, so we make it pretty much on time.

9:00am: Arrive at preschool and get everyone out of the car. Miss A insists on taking her jacket off when we're in the car, so we have to get it back on before going inside. I take Miss A to the bathroom, then to her cubby and class. I see sign up sheets for parent teacher conferences so I call E to see what works for him. So weird to think about being the parent at conferences after years as the teacher.

This is how Miss A smiles for the camera now.

9:15am: I'm back in the car with Little J and Baby C. I try to run at least one errand while Miss A is at preschool. Today we're off to Ikea to get some frames and a new apple slicer.

9:45am: We get to Ikea, but it doesn't open until 10am, so we hang out in the car for a few minutes. I brought a coloring book for Little J and she's excited to color and use all the stickers. I write down a few notes about our morning for this post.

10:00am: I see a worker unlocking the doors, so I get the three of us ready to go. I brought the double stroller so I could keep Little J confined, but she really wants to walk. I agree to let her walk as long as she stays by me. She does an awesome job helping me find the things on our list and not running around or touching too many things. Way to go Little J!

Why is it that the water from my water bottle is so much better than all the rest of the water??

This new gift wrap/paper goods/party section could be dangerous for me ;)

10:40am: We pay for our things and Little J tells me she's hungry. Not surprised because she didn't eat much of her breakfast, so we get cinnamon rolls. Yum! I also get a Diet Pepsi because I'm already feeling so tired.

Little J's fake laugh
11:00am: Back in the car and on our way to get Miss A. 

11:30am: Pick Miss A up from preschool. She's excited to see us, Baby C most of all. She must be kissed immediately.

11:45am: We make it to the car and head home.

11:50am: We're home. I unload the car, bring in our recycling bin, check the mail and pick up a few things before I remember that I haven't fed Baby C since 7am. Oops!

12:05pm: Sit down to feed Baby C. Miss A asks Baby C, "Are you ready for Mommy's famous milk? It's going to be tasty!" Ha ha! The big girls convince me to let them watch a cartoon. Doc McStuffins it is.

12:30pm: I put Baby C down on the Boppy and get started on lunch, PB & J, Honeycrisp apples and pretzel thins.

Yay for my new apple slicer!
12:45pm: While we eat lunch Miss A tells me about the rules for Halloween at preschool (no masks or weapons). Little J sings her version of a song from Miss A's preschool, "I'm thankful for my family, I'm thankful for my family..." So sweet! She also tells me "I don't feel good," (constant lately) and asks, "What animal does this (bread) look like?" Miss A sings a "booty butt" song. Both girls tell me about their "great ideas!" Dangerous! The girls eat all of their lunch, so I give them each a blueberry yogurt. They're excited that the yogurt is purple. After lunch I give the girls two pieces of candy corn. I tell Miss A she got two because that's how many I got in my hand. Her response, "What if you got 59 in your hand?" Silly girl, if I had that many, I would be eating them. Baby C hangs out in her swing while we eat.

1:15pm: We're done with lunch so I clean up a little. Baby C gets hiccups and is not happy about it.

1:30pm: I change diapers and start getting the girls ready for a nap. Little J has started wanting to use the changing table again. She looks extra big on the changing table! I read stories with all three girls. When I'm almost done with the second book, Baby C starts losing it. I quickly wrap up the stories, get the big girls in their beds and go to feed Baby C.

Little J trying to help, giving Baby C her nuga (pacifier)
2:05pm: Feed Baby C. She falls asleep and I check in on Instagram and read a few blogs while snuggling.
Nothing better than a sleeping baby :)
2:40pm: I make myself get up to do a few things while the big girls rest. I pick up more stuff from around the house, pay bills, take a few notes about the day and check my planner to see what I need to do. I decide to clean out the front closet. Miss A comes out of her room and asks, "Why did you make such a big mess." The big girls are not resting well. I tell them many, many times to be quiet. GRRRR!!!

I need to find a better scarf solution.
3:00pm: E comes home early (yay!) but has to do some work from home. He checks on the girls, and heads upstairs to work. 

3:30pm: Miss A and Little J are up from their "rest." I get the girls started cleaning their room. I tell them that we will do a craft project as soon as their room is clean. E comes down after a phone conference, and plays hide and seek for a few minutes. He goes back upstairs to work, and I try to get the girls refocused on cleaning their room. 

4:00pm: Their room is still not clean. In fact, it's a bigger mess than when they started. No craft time today. I do some cleaning and fold laundry.

4:45pm: Miss A and Little J's room is finally clean, after I took some of the toys away. I tell the girls they need to rest more while I take a shower. My phone dies :(

5:15pm: I get out of the shower, and find the girls are sleeping. Really? All that rest time this afternoon, and now they sleep? I finish getting ready and feed Baby C.

5:30pm: E gets Miss A and Little J up because we need to get ready for Miss A's end of the season soccer pizza party. 

5:50pm: We walk to the rec center for Miss A's party. It's only half a mile from our house, so it's a quick walk. 

6:00pm: We go to the gym, and the kids run around, then the director gets the kids together for a short "ceremony." By that I mean he calls each kid's name and gives them a certificate. Little J thinks it's super fun to clap for the kids. When the ceremony is over, we move to the other side of the gym for pizza. We sit with neighbors and one of Miss A's preschool friends. After pizza, we talk with the other parents and the kids run around again.

7:05pm: We leave the rec center and walk home with our neighbors and check out some crazy Halloween decorations along the way. Some people really go ALL out for Halloween. Wow! Girls find a big pile of leaves and decide to jump in it for awhile (sorry neighbors!).

7:25pm: Finally back home, E sets the girls up watching the rest of Despicable Me. I'm still hungry so I suggest making popcorn. E makes the suggestion to the girls. Little J runs in the kitchen to tell me, "Daddy has a great idea!" I put E in charge of the popcorn and start getting Baby C's bottle ready. When the movie is over Miss A has a little dance party.

8:00pm: Bedtime! Well, bedtime routine anyway. I'm in charge of Miss A and Little J tonight because E is feeding Baby C her bottle. The girls put their pajamas on, brush teeth and then we read books. After the books they get lots of hugs and kisses and then I tuck them in bed. Little J is very particular about how I spread out her blankie before bed.

Little J is so helpful when you try to read her bedtime books ;)
8:25pm: The big girls are in bed so I write down more notes about the day, fold some laundry and eat more Halloween candy. E and I watch part of the World Series and then an episode of Fargo. I don't really love the show, but it's okay and once I start a show, I like to have resolution. After Baby C's bottle I take her to change her diaper, clothes and swaddle her for bed. She lays on the couch by E until we go upstairs.

9:30pm: Time for me to pump before bed. Not my favorite time of the night. I check over my list for the week and think about what to do tomorrow (Wednesday).

10:10pm: E, Baby C and I get ready for bed and go upstairs. Baby C is sleeping in the pack-n-play across the room from us right now. Goodnight!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Rainbow Butterflies

I have wanted Miss A and Little J to be Thing 1 and Thing 2 for awhile, but until this year Little J just didn't quite have the hair. So this year I was excited that they could be Things 1 and 2. E was even going to dress up as the Cat in the Hat. But Miss A and Little J wanted nothing to do with that plan. They wanted to be princesses. We compromised on butterflies. Miss A wanted to be a rainbow butterfly, and Little J wanted to be a purple butterfly.

I really like to make Halloween costumes for the girls, but my crafting skills are a little more MacGyver than Martha. I can't sew, so I have to be creative when it comes to costume creation. Previous costumes include a cupcake, owl, peacock, octopus, witch and lion. For the butterflies I used this pin as inspiration, took the girls to JoAnn Fabrics to pick up supplies and started on some butterfly costumes. I made Miss A's costume first, and when Little J saw it, she decided to be a rainbow butterfly too. As I made the second costume I remembered to take a few photos along the way (until it got late and I got tired and forgetful).

I started with a big piece of black felt. I held it up against Little J to see how long it should be, then used white chalk to mark a line to cut. I made a big U shape to start, then used a t-shirt to measure a good size for the head/neck to go through. Next I started cutting out different shapes from other colored felt to make the butterfly design. I did one of each shape to start to make sure the whole rainbow would fit.

Luckily, I had a super cute helper throughout the process :)

After I had the design laid out on one wing, I cut out 3 more felt pieces of each color.

Here's where I stopped taking pictures. Oops! With all of the pieces ready to go, I laid out the design on the front of the costume then glued everything down with my hot glue gun. I went through a lot of glue sticks, but after our first outing everything seemed to hold pretty well. Once the glue dried, the girls tried on their costumes and loved them! They wore black leggings and long sleeved shirts under the costumes at a Halloween party we went to, then added big sweatshirts underneath at night. The costumes are easy for a variety of temperatures, perfect for Minnesota in October.

A super easy, super cute, Halloween costume!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Favorites: Baby Gear

Today I'm linking up with Katie with some Friday Favorites. I thought I would share a few of my very favorite baby items and a few cute baby photos that I haven't gotten to share yet :)
2 Weeks
I've mentioned that Baby C, even more than her big sisters LOVES to be swaddled. We have swaddled all three girls to sleep for close to the first year. At night we use the I use the Summer Infant Swaddle Me wraps. The newborn swaddle wraps we used with Miss A and Little J were fleece, so I picked up a few cotton ones for Baby C because she was a summer baby. We've been using all of them like crazy over here. I love these for bedtime because the velcro keeps them tight all night. Baby C is starting to outgrow the small size, so I recently picked up a Miracle Blanket. We tried it one night, and it wasn't great, but I think I will like it more when Baby C is bigger. For now I'm sticking with the velcro!

During the day, I use aden and anais swaddle wraps. I use them to wrap up Baby C for naps (or just to keep her happy), to clean her (and me) up when she spits, to cover her up in the sun and anything else I might need them for. We didn't have these for Miss A, but I picked some up before we took Little J to Mexico and they're probably my most used baby item since then. And my go to baby shower gift.

All of my girls have been pacifier babies (although Baby C also seems to really like her hand). We went through a few brands of pacifiers with Miss A before finding one we (well, really she) liked, Avent. The other girls have followed suit, loving the same ones, and not liking others very much.
6 Weeks
So far my favorites are following along with The Happiest Baby on the Block ideas, and the next one does too. We have a bunch of baby seats, but the one that we use the most is our Fischer Price Take Along Swing. It doesn't appear that Target carries anything similar online now, but it is pretty much the most basic swing they had when Miss A was born. I use it all the time. I move it around the main floor as needed. Baby C swings in the bathroom while I shower, in the kitchen while I cook and in the dining room when we eat dinner. She's even swinging now while I finish up this post.

Besides swinging, Baby C also likes to be carried. Before I had kids, I remember my neighbor carrying her younger daughter in a Baby Bjorn a lot. So when we registered, I registered for the same one. I liked it, and carried Miss A in it for a long time when she was a baby. I think I stopped using it when she was about 9 months old, mostly because it was winter and then I was pregnant again. I used it again with Little J, but as she got bigger it hurt my back. I really loved being able to carry her, so I ended up getting and Ergo. Best decision! I love my Ergo. I carried Little J in it until she was close to 2, and might have continued had I not gotten pregnant again. I am using it a lot with Baby C too. We also have a variety of strollers, but I like being able to snuggle her a little while still chasing after her big sisters. I also love that it has a pocket so I can carry a few essentials. Also, if we have a lot of walking to do (like the State Fair) we can keep Miss A and Little J in the double stroller and still have a way to carry Baby C. And I don't get any weird looks pushing a double stroller while wearing another kid ;).
3 Weeks... Our changing table has great light for photos :)
Any baby products you love for yourself or to give as gifts?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Visit to Birdwell Island: Adventures with Clifford The Big Red Dog

Back many years ago, when I was a volunteer at the Minnesota Children's Museum one of the special exhibits I remember was Clifford the Big Red Dog. Fast forward to today, and Clifford is back at the Minnesota Children's Museum! I was really excited to be able to take my girls on a little adventure to Birdwell Island to visit Clifford The Big Red Dog this time around. 

Tip: We made our trip to the MCM on a Friday night, which is a great time to explore the museum. I think I've mentioned it before, but it is worth saying again. A trip to the museum on a Friday or Saturday night, when the museum is open until 8pm, makes a great family date night. The crowds are smaller, so it's easier for the kids to explore.

As we explored the Adventures with Clifford The Big Red Dog exhibit, I took note of the signs next to the different play areas. For example, in the restaurant area there was a sign about working together. The signs were helpful for me to think about when talking to Miss A and Little J about their play.

The first area where the girls wanted to play was the restaurant. Miss A and Little J pretty naturally took different "jobs" at the restaurant. Miss A took my order, Little J cooked and Miss A took my money. Miss A really liked the money. She's working on counting to higher and higher numbers, so the play money was extra fun for her. As the girls played, I added in comments like, "I love to see you working together to get me my food."

Doesn't Miss A look excited to be a restaurant employee...
I promise she was actually enjoying herself :)
They continued working together as they were feeding Clifford, filling his bowl with giant dog bones, but I also talked to them about what a big job it is to take care of a dog and how you have to be really responsible.

Shortly after feeding Clifford, Miss A was distracted by the stage. No surprise there. The stage area had costumes, instruments and a big screen showing Clifford and some friends making music together. Miss A was quick to join in, and helped Little J find things too. We stayed in this area for the longest.

Before we left the girls had to check out Clifford's doghouse. Inside the doghouse there was paper, scissors and crayons to write letters and draw pictures that could be posted on a big board, delivered around the island or taken with for delivery. I loved the sign in this area because it encouraged being kind. The sign in the picture is hard to read but it says, "Creating special pictures and letters for loved ones can brighten a person's day. When you make another person feel better you are being kind." This reminded me so much of my dear friend Miss Heather, who sends me and my girls super fun mail all the time, so it really connected with me and Miss A (Little J was just excited to be drawing).

Overall, we really enjoyed our visit to Birdwell Island. You can read more about the Adventures with Clifford The Big Red Dog exhibit here!

Full disclosure, my family and I are provided with a free membership to the Minnesota Children's Museum in exchange for being a Smart Play Ambassador.  Of course, all opinions are completely my own.