Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Otter Baby (pun intended)

Ok, no Emu.  In fact, check out the great post that my friend Annalia put on her blog: HERE.

Instead I'm going with Otter.  Owl and Otter.  Here's why:

Otters are cute and playful.  Like my baby E.
They like the water.  Like baby E.
They have cute little faces, and my baby E sometimes has a little otter face, but even when she doesn't it's still a cute little face.

That's all that I know of Otters, so that's all the similarities that I can find.  But it's good enough for me.

Keeping Up with the Streadbecks

I have a friend (Mrs. Streadbeck) who is always captivating all in her social circle.  She has the most amazing stories of crazy things that her kids do.   Half of the thrill of the stories is the wonderful way that she tells them...she's destined to be the next Erma Bombeck (if her kids give her enough peaceful time to write a book, that is).  But of course, the kids do provide the fodder for the stories.

Anyhow, lately I feel like my kids are giving the Streadbeck kids a run for their money.  It's something to aspire to, at least.

Last night Monkey cut her hair.  And we're not talking about a little snip here or cutting bangs...she butchered it.  She cut all around, so that no area could be left alone. (unless I gave her a full-on mullett).

Fox said to just leave it like this and not cut it.  men. seriously.

I tried to leave it fairly long, but had to keep using a shorter guard on the clippers in an effort to disguise the butcher marks...but I went down to 1/2" and had to call it good enough...so she still has shorter hash marks on the back of her head.


The upside is that if anyone had to get an impromptu buzz cut then I'm glad it was Monkey.  She has a great head shape, and a pixie face.  She actually looks good with short hair.  In fact, the hair in the back was a pretty color and had natural soft curls...but she had some crazy cowlicks that made it hard to style...most of the time it tended to just be a crazy mess.

The downside is that Chick and Mr. Fox have BOTH accidentally called her Moose...and Mr. Fox seems quite taken with the similarity between Monkey and Moose.  "They're like twins! Stand back to back, kids!"

Anyhow, if this was Chick, I would think that the rash of haircutting-makeuping-shenanegans that Monkey has done was all on purpose.  Because Chick calculates.  She does things to get certain outcomes...she thinks ahead.  But Monkey isn't like that.  (Those two girls are opposites in so many ways!) Monkey doesn't think what the outcome will be--she is curious and impulsive.  She find scissors and thinks, "what is nearby for me to cut?"  I don't think there was any deeper motive than that.  She's an artist, too, so she has always been most prone to do body art and to cut things.

So I need to figure out how to supervise better...even while breastfeeding two babies at once.  It's kind of a tall order, but what about having five young kids ISN'T?

In the meantime, I'm glad that I've made a few new headbands...we'll be putting them to good use, I guess.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

In the Trenches

D will be Owl.  Because: she's a night owl.  And because when I told her that she was being a night owl she looked at me with eyes wide open, and I had to admit: she even LOOKED like an owl (but not always).  So Owl she shall be.

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E will most likely be Emu.  I'm testing it out.  I wanted something that started with E, just to make it easier for everyone to remember who is who.  Also we love the Emu Books (Edward the Emu and Edwina the Emu).  And it goes well with Owl.  And it's shorter to type than Elephant.  It still might change, since it really has nothing to do with little Miss E herself, and I like having something personal about it.  But it is a cute little name, and she's a cute little lass...so maybe that's enough.

HH, my handsome handyman, is getting a name that will fit better with the rest of the family.  From now on he is Mr. Fox.  Or just Fox when I'm lazy.  Fantastic Mr. Fox when I'm feeling really plucky.  I've never cared for how HH looks typed.  Besides, he's a clever fellow.


Will she ever learn?  This week she hid under my bed (in the company of her older sister, who did not participate), and put on make-up.  "You got into my make-up?!"  "no, it was my makeup."  "What makeup do you have?  show me."


sparkly fuschia nail polish eyebrows.
Moose is growing up before my eyes.  All I can say to that is "STOP IT!"  But anyhow, I wanted to write down some of his cute verbalizations before they're a thing of the past.

"Alla."  Alla has been how Moose says water for a long time...until recently when Mr Fox actually TAUGHT the boy ON PURPOSE to say water.  BOO.  I was so sad when Moose came to me and was telling me something about Chick's "water bottle."  Thankfully he still slips back into old habits and says Alla sometimes.

"Either."  Moose adds "either" to the end of most everything that he says.  "I don't want to either, Mama." Sometimes it makes sense, and sometimes it doesn't.  Often it's said semi-belligerently, because that's how he says a lot of what he says.  unfortunately.

"Ah-la-lee" is his youngest sister's name : )

"Uh-wuh-wuh" is underwear, which he is starting to wear now.  By the way, after having two girls, I find it very hard to remember to call them underwear instead of panties...anyone else have that problem?

"No nakes" is no thanks.

His new phrases are: "I note know" "I don't want to (either, Mama)" and "I love you" (I can't think how he pronounces it right now, but he says it to the babies most of all).

Today I heard him say, "Numemmind, Daddy" for the first time.  Two-year-olds are so cute!

He's starting to string words together in longer sentences (which seemed to happen overnight)...

It's always sad to see them growing up, but at the same time it's thrilling to see them learn new things.  I'm happy for Moose's new linguistic skills.  Now if we can get the tantrums to lessen, and the uh-wuh-wuh to stay dry....

Update on Owl and Emu:
At their 8 week checkup this week the stats were--

Owl weighed 7#6 oz (about 10th percentile)
and was 20.5 inches long (about 5th percentile for height).

Emu weighed 7 pounds even (5th percentile) and her length was the same as Owl's.

They are doing fine, but are a bit delayed on things like smiling, neck strength, and eye focus.  They are more like two week olds rather than two month olds...but in a perfect world they WOULD be two weeks old, so it's not a big deal.

Emu has been pretty raspy for the past couple of days, and I'll be very relieved when she gets past that.

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l-r: Emu, Owl.  back row: me.
My favorite way to carry them is both of them tucked in the sling.  They like being squished together.  I also put them in the same swing sometimes.


People have said that they'll sleep through anything because of my older three kids, but I think they'll sleep through anything by virtue of being a twin.  Honestly, one can be screaming her head off, and the other is sleeping peacefully right next to her in the cradle. 

Emu loves to take baths...her little mouth goes into an O, and she puts her head back in the water.  She must take after her mother.   : )

During feedings I've been watching a lot of Monk episodes (currently watching season 8).  Consequently I say things like "here's the thing."

I've also read quite a few books.  Mostly dystopian YA books-- Matched, Divergent, Shatter Me, Birthmarked, sequels to those....

Oh, and I totally LOVE the Applegate Farms commercials.  My favorite is THIS ONE. My second favorite is THIS ONE.

I'm working hard to establish a "one load a day" habit for laundry.  I've also decluttered a lot-- on Monday I did 100 items, and I've done 10-20 items almost every day since then.  I'm hoping that it will make it easier for me to keep the house clean if we have less to mess up.....

I also try to find a couple of minutes each day for crafty stuff.  Currently I've been making hair bows and accessories for the girls.  Have you seen the nylon headbands?  So quick and easy and cute (tutorial HERE)!  I'm also working on a spectacular menu planner (that keeps getting more involved, which is why it's still a work in progress).  And I'm making a Family Home Evening chart, which has been a long time coming, but I did make a step forward this week.

I still am the beneficiary of wonderful volunteers who take my kids for a few hours, or who come over to let me take a nap, or who bring an occasional meal.  I don't know how I'd manage without their help, honestly.

And on the days that I'm on my own: there's always  Nutella.  Actually, there isn't anymore, and based on the velocity with which it disappeared, I will not be allowing myself to buy any more!  Plus the babies spit up a lot more by the end of the Nutella days...so for their sake I should refrain as well.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

My Poor Boy

Evidently Moose is allergic to mosquito bites.
We need to remember to start spraying him before he plays outside, or he's going to look like we beat him every summer.
This picture was taken in June.
Picture taken this morning.
He looks like a cartoon character. 
He also has a good sized goose-egg on his forehead, but you can't see it in this picture.
When I walked into the kitchen this morning everyone was eating breakfast.  Moose's back was to me, and he was at the table with his sisters.  HH was standing nearby.  The FIRST thing I saw when I walked into the room was the poor boy's huge red monstrosity of an ear...but no one else had even noticed it!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Chick's Photoshoot Date


The other day I took the kids up to visit Grandma and Grandpa N's house.  We had a nice visit, and for part of the time Grandma and Aunt Judy watched the four younger kids while Chick and I went on our date.  Chick's birthday photoshoot was only half a year late.....

DSCN5785 Anyhow, I love the photoshoot date tradition.  I love being able to actually SEE that they feel important and special to be out alone with me...which kinda makes me feel bad that we don't do dates more often.  I'll try to work on that, I think.

Chick really got into being a MODEL.  Some of her poses made me think that I want to isolate her from seeing any media, but for the most part she had fun being goofy.  She liked calling the shots on things like, "Lets try taking some pictures over by that bush."  She's growing up for sure.  {sigh}

We just took the pictures in downtown Mt Vernon, since some of the buildings are old and lovely, and it was close to G and G's house.  A couple of pictures were at the park nearby...though by then we were both pretty much done with photos and ready to go get some ice cream : )

DSCN5817Chick got a cone with rainbow sherbet and rainbow sprinkles and a cherry on top, to make it fancy like Fancy Nancy.  (I got a cone with Moosetracks ice cream).  We loved the cute vintage-y ice cream parlor.

These are my favorites:


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These are Chick's favorites:


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These are some of the funny goofing around ones:



I should note that I chose her outfit.  She loves the green shirt, but really balked at wearing jeans.  Chick almost NEVER wears jeans.  I think they're too stiff for her--she is fashion-minded and likes to be comfortable.  She doesn't think that jeans fulfill either requirement.  She wears skirts a lot.  Anyhow, she did agree to wear the jeans, but I wanted to document the fact that her outfit was out of character.