Thank you all for sharing in the lives of our three amazing children- Mairead, Jack, and Ben. We hope you visit often!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mostly Mairead

Recently, Mairead has taken a new interest in baby dolls. For a long time, she really didn't care about them. Maybe she figured that we had enough babies around here. Now, though, she is attached to her baby and does a great job caring for it. She feeds the baby and gives her a pacifier, takes her for walks, and gives her kisses on the top of her head. Talk about melt-your-heart-cute, huh? She also takes the baby in the tub with her and gives her a bath. This is really great to see since expanding her play and caring for a baby doll means that she is developing more and engaging in more creative activities. We are so happy to see her doing this and it's so fun to watch her little mind working while she searches for a blanket for the baby or decides what the baby is going to do next.

Jack has learned to say, "baby" and tries to follow Mairead around while she has the doll. Ben follows her around, too, with mixed reviews from her!

I was actually taking a picture of Jack when she insisted that I take this one of her. She just kept saying, "Cheese!!" until I took it! I like it because I think she looks pretty, but I dislike it because she looks too old!

Jack just decided to have his snack in this little chair the other day. He is having chips. Both babies can now say, "Chips,' and Jack says, "more chips." All three of them LOVE to use the sign for "more"! It is definitely the most commonly used sign in our house.

I did take the 'real' camera to swim lessons this week. Things went MUCH better. Dave and I planned better, for one thing, and got there just about 5 minutes before the lesson started, so Mairead didn't have to wait long to get in the water. Also, we took her for a walk around the pool a couple of times and asked her to find things (Do you see a clock? Where is it?) and this occupied her enough to prevent her from throwing a fit because she couldn't get in.
She seems to have a good respect for the pool. She does not try to jump in without us or run around the pool area, which is good. She LOVES the water. I mean, giggles and screams with delight pretty much the entire time she is there. She is infectious and the other kids and moms laugh with her, too. I can't tell you how great it makes me feel to see her so incredibly happy.
She is getting pretty good, too! She has no problem going underwater and likes to jump off the sides into Daddy's arms. Poor Dave gets such a workout- she is the biggest kid in her group and by far the heaviest. All of the other parents are hoisting kids who weigh 20, maybe 30lbs at most, and Dave is tossing around Mairead at 38lbs!

Ok, this one looks a little creepy...

Yeah, she likes to drink the water and stick out her tongue while swimming. Sometimes, when Dave dunks her under, she is laughing so much that she doesn't close her mouth. Doesn't bother her a bit, though!

The boys had their 15 mos appointment today and the pediatrician thinks they look great. Jack is 22lbs 8 oz, and Ben is 22lbs 15 oz. Ben is taller by a half inch at 30 1/2 inches tall. They are still just in the 25th percentile for height and weight, but they are healthy and that is what matters. It's so amazing that they are so close in height and weight- they are just little bookends (physically, at least, definitely not in terms of personality!). They each had three shots. If you have ever taken one baby or toddler for shots, you can imagine the misery that is taking two. I can't really comfort anyone since I have to just move on to the next baby and then dress them and get them out of there. They are a little cranky tonight, but hopefully they will get a good night's sleep and feel better tomorrow.
Our next big events are both on Monday. One is Mairead's IEP meeting on Monday morning, at which point we learn what (if any) services the schools will provide for her in the fall. I am very anxious about it because she needs this so much, and I am just hoping they will provide what she needs. If not, we will have to look into private preschool and private therapies. Please say a prayer for us- we need it!
On Monday afternoon, Mairead will have her first hippotherapy appointment. I hope she loves it. If she doesn't, we're all in trouble... mostly the poor horse. I think she will be hesitant at first, but she loves animals and being outside, so I think this will be great for her. I'm not sure if they allow you to take pictures because the flash may be disruptive, but if I can, I will!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Pool School, a Pretty Dress, and Other Updates

On Wednesday, we took Mairead for her first swim lesson. Since we will be spending a lot of time at the pool this summer, we wanted to make sure she was comfortable in the water. Dave was great and volunteered to be the one to get wet. When we first got there, I thought we were headed for disaster. The first class had not yet finished, and we had to wait in the pool area for our turn. Of course, Mairead wanted to explore the very slippery and crowded pool area, or to just get in the water. Neither of those options were available to her, so she got incredibly frustrated and threw a tantrum. She just couldn't understand why we we would bring her to this pool and then not let her get in. With all of her communication and other issues, there was no way for me to make her understand what was happening, and she continued to get more and more upset.

Those moments make me even more frustrated with the fact that we are getting nowhere with neurology. Mairead was genuinely upset and though she DID over-react and scream way more than was necessary, she just didn't understand, and I could see her frustration growing with every second. Every parent in the place is staring at us and probably wondering, 'what's wrong with that kid?' It's not like she has a sign on her forehead that tells everyone that she has a neurological problem that has created cognitive deficeits, and it's not like I am going around to tell everyone that. But those moments are hard for us because when she gets frustrated like that and we can't help her or make her understand, it just kills us.

One mother came up to me after Mairead was happily swimming in the pool and said, "Don't worry- we've all been there." I thanked her for being so sympathetic and did tell her a little about how Mairead has some trouble understanding new situations. She was incredibly nice and reassured me that every kid has some special needs that make things tough on parents, and that all we can do is go with the flow. I was so thankful for her- she came to me just at the right time and really made me feel better. This was the day after our failed visit to the neurologist, so I was even more frustrated wtih things than I would have been on any other day. Thank God that there are kind people in the world who still go out of their way to help others.

These pictures were taken with my cell phone so they are not the best quality-- I will take the 'good' camera next time. Once she was in the water, she LOVED it. She didn't want to leave. These swim lessons are so great for her muscle tone and strength, her self confidence, and just for fun time with Daddy!

We hope to figure out a way to bring the twins, too, but with just one kid, it seems to be a two-man operation, so we may have to bring one twin at a time or bring in reinforcements!

Today, we went to a graduation party for my cousin, Joe (congrats, Joe!) and Mairead wore a new dress that was a gift from Jimmy and Jessica. The picture doesn't even do her justice- she looked absolutely adorable.

Mairead is learning to use more words and phrases all the time, and is getting much better at verbalizing what she wants. This is great news for us since she is less frustrated and more engaged. She is starting to use this against us, though. For example- she can have one cookie after dinner, and to get it, she says, "I want cookie please." The other day, I asked, "what do you want?" She replied, "I want two cookies, please." Smart cookie, huh?

I have to tell you how proud of myself I was on Friday. Dave left for work at 6am and had plans after work, so he didn't get home until almost midnight. This meant that I did the entire with the kids 100% on my own. With three under three, 3 was my number for the day! I...

did all diapers and dressing for 3 kids
prepared, served, and cleaned up after 3 meals (one of which was spaghetti so I think I get extra points for that)
took 3 kids to the playground
remembered to bring those same 3 kids home from the playground
got 3 kids to nap at the same time
emptied 3 diaper genies (yup, 3, and we empty all of them at least 2x per week)
gave 3 kids baths
got 3 kids to bed

I also worked on my online class and picked up around the house a bit. It was exhausting!

Now that I have impressed you, I will tell about the things that I am not so proud of that went on Thursday... all in the span of about 8 minutes.

I brought a big bag of laundry down and dumped it into the already running washing machine when I heard something thud against the tank. At that point, I remembered that I had stuck the video monitor into the bag to carry it downstairs since I had a baby in my hands. Yeah. I threw the monitor in the wash. It was submerged. I am not holding out a lot of hope for it. Goodbye, $150.

I then walked upstairs to where the boys were playing in the den. There, they have a little table that plays music, says letters, numbers, etc. It is about a foot tall. Aaaaannnnd, Ben was standing on top of it and dancing. He had managed to pull himself up on top of it even though it was in the center of the room and there was no furniture, etc, to grab on to. I grabbed him and brought him up for his nap. When I came back down to get Jack, I found him pulling tufts of insulation out from a doorframe that is a work in progress. We are a comedy of errors pretty much 24/7.

Jack is walking a lot more and is doing great. He is trying to keep up with his brother and sister. He is also using a lot of words and phrases like, "where's the bird?', and "go bye bye?" He still LOVES cars and trucks. It was a pretty exciting day on Friday when the Guziejka's landscaping company (friends of the family) was working across the street. They had ride on lawnmowers, a bobcat and all kinds of exciting equipment. I had to put one baby in each kitchen window while they ate lunch so that they could watch the excitement. The boys were clapping for the Guziejkas and when they left, Jack was signing, 'more, 'more.'

And Ben... oh, Ben. Ben has become a climber. Of everything. Coffee tables, toys, furniture, whatever he can find. He is remarkably strong and has great balance. Today, he found the car keys and was waving them around yelling, "Bye bye! Bye bye!"

I usually play music for the kids during meals and in the car. The boys' favorite song right now is Safety Dance... the Glee version. They bob their little heads to it while eating. Super cute! Mairead likes to request "more Gaga music" since her favorite song is 'Bad Romance' by Lady Gaga, also the Glee cast version.
Thanks for reading- we have been busy, as always, but we are certainly having our share of fun!