Tuesday, February 24, 2009

All About Montana

Here's some of her hard play. There was also another interesting setup I dismantled before I thought to take pictures.

Enjoying the "work in progress" fireplace. It still needs the hearthstone and mantel to be complete.
"Here's the good news, guys." That's what she said to us when she came into our room at 5:58 this morning. I found it quite funny coming out of her mouth, actually. She says a lot of funny, grown up things I wish I kept track of. She continued with, "I slept longer than anyone else last night." That was after a full day of nastiness out of her. With Montana there is no inbetween. 90% of the time she is good. I mean, she is sweet, helpful, compliant, and just plays all day doing her own thing -- imagining, pretending, creating. But when she's bad, she's BAD. I'm talking just mouthy, defiant, tyrant tantrum type behaviour. And she doesn't give in. She doesn't let go. She doesn't give up. She has a very strong will on these occasions. Usually it all boils down to sleep deprivation. It's amazing how completely different our kids can be when they go to bed and when they wake up. It's like they remember nothing of the night before. (Which much of the time is good.)

Speaking of sleep deprivation, I need to go try again now. One wierd thing I've noticed over the last few nights is the way my feet feel when I step out of bed 5 times a night. They don't feel right. It's hard enough actually getting out of the bed, but then to land on my feet and for a moment feel as though they might just pop or something is just great. I am ready for this baby to be out of me.
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Monday, February 23, 2009

Sleep Update

We have had three blissful nights of sleeping through the night! (All the kids, not me.) I am still struggling with 3rd trimester insomnia. But we did conclude that I had a sinus infection and I am now on antibiotics and feeling much better. So, I will take Benadryl again tonight to see if I can get some sleep! 3 weeks to go!

Friday, February 20, 2009

I forgot to mention...

That inbetween vacation and trying to move Hallie into the big bed, I slowly took away her pacifier. In the picture you can see it hanging on her blanket. Well, if you could see the other side, you would just see a nub. And so, one more traumatic thing I did to my daughter in a matter of weeks. She is still not sleeping. Last night she cried for 3 hours. She used to be a good sleeper. Now I've gone and messed everything up right before a new baby. I'm in trouble! And I'm exhausted.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Hallie's Big Room

Hallie has really given me a run for my money in these last fleeting weeks before a new baby arrives on the scene. In her defense, I haven't been the greatest mom either. We have pretty much made each other's lives miserable. When we built our house, the downstairs bedroom was intended for a nursery. We knew we would have two more kids. I also hoped to have my kids share bedrooms and keep the upstairs room as a guest room. As Hallie neared her second birthday, she showed signs of being ready/wanting to move into a big bed. As we would put the older two to bed, she would climb in a lay still, in hopes that we would let her stay. While I intended to put her in Montana's room, I concluded after a 15 minute "test run" one night that it would just be a big game and that we would get bunk beds for Carson's room, Tana could sleep in there and Hallie would not have someone to distract or be distracted by. When we eventually got the bunk beds, that didn't work out either. Not only did Hallie ask to go back to her crib, but Montana kept Carson awake, which stressed me out with school. So Hallie continued to sleep in the nursery. Meanwhile, I decided to turn the crib into the toddler bed to at least adjust her to that aspect. That was about two weeks prior to our vacation. After a couple of rough nights, she was sleeping fine in the toddler bed! However, when we returned from our trip, she stopped taking naps in there! She got into everything. One day I found A&D Ointment all over the place, one day she had all the wipes out, etc. By this point, I had decided we would have to give up the guest room to her, because I couldn't see any other solution. It seemed silly to "nap proof" the nursery at this point because of the imminent arrival of #4. So, in a 3 day process I quickly converted the upstairs guest room into Hallie's big girl room. (see picture above) No toys and nothing that she could hurt herself with during nap time. I was excited. When I showed her the room, she was excited. Then it came to bedtime. Not so exciting. There was an hour of my laying with her, leaving her, then laying with her again and finally she went to sleep. She woke three times in the night and I had to lay with her every time. So, basically, we had a week of no naps, bad sleep and we both had colds and I was at the end of my rope. I could see that she was not ready to move out of the crib, but I couldn't have her in there with access to everything that was in there. She wouldn't claim any bed. She says both of them are the baby's bed now. I decided I had to put the crib back into a crib and put Hallie back into there to sleep. Sleep was the most important thing to my sanity. I am resolved not to worry about having the nursery painted or set up for the baby at this point. But I definitely have a lot on my hands with this girl. I don't know if she is psycologically damaged or confused or what. She cries that the crib is for the baby, yet she asks to use a baby bib at meal times and wants to drink out of a bottle, (which will NOT be happening) which she wouldn't even do when I needed her to take one back in the day. Okay, I have to stop. Just know that this is a stressful situation and I still don't know the solution. The picture below was taken at one of her night wake calls. I set her on the counter while I was getting her a drink and I guess she was too tired to sit up.
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It has been warm (30s) and the days have been longer, so the kids have been enjoying some outdoor play. Hallie just has to join them. Thankfully, she manages pretty well out there for up to 15 mins, until she decides to take off her mittens and then comes in with cold hands. I am fortunate to be able to watch from the windows and see all the areas of our back/side yard. The neighbors came over this day and the kids played outside for a couple of hours. I know Jaime got some better pictures. As for the snow gear, Montana, who for some reason can't stop calling it "geter" does a great job of getting hers on all by herself! Carson still insists on help getting his pants just right with his boots. Hallie wants to wear hers all the time. This morning she got ahold of her boots and wore them around the house in just a diaper for a few hours. When I tried to dress her she asked for her snow gear and got mad when I said we weren't putting that on.
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The Big Bath

Please don't turn me in. In addition to many other of my BAD parenting practices, I am guilty of leaving my children unattended in the bath. It's a treat for them to take what they call "a big bath" in our champagne bubbler tub. Rather than jets, air is forced through lots of tiny holes on the bottom of the tub, thus bubbles are okay. This time I paid the price for my inattention -- or not thinking to remove the soap from the bathtub ledge. It was full, now it is less than half full.
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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Tribute to my Valentine

I don't have any pre-marriage pics readily accessible on my computer, but I really like this picture of my two men right around our second anniversary. I have to give my husband credit for 8 Valentine's days of trying. He is a regular guy, a good guy, just trying to figure me out. I gave him the impression in the beginning that I didn't care for flowers and jewelry, but over time, my tastes have changed a bit. Flowers and jewelry are all good now, as long as they are the right flowers and jewelry! Of course, I don't want to tell him straight out what I want, or else it won't feel authentic. But acting like I don't want anything doesn't work, because then he acts on that. He's a guy. I'm a woman. We don't think or operate the same. I haven't been the best at graciously receiving his Valentine's attempts in the last years. I try to be good at first, but not much time usually goes by before I make some comment regarding the presentation, the gift itself, the lack of gift, etc. In short, I am not a very good gift receiver. I do feel bad about that. But I have to say, I could have it a lot worse. And he has been improving over the years. This year my man did a stellar job picking me a gift all on his own, and while I unfortunately learned that a gift was coming (thus, thwarted his surprise), it is still my best Valentine's day ever! I can't wait to see what happens next year. :)
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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Feb. 7, 2009...Carson turns 6!

We had a little space-themed birthday party for Carson. I wasn't planning on doing a friend party, but about a week before his birthday when I asked him what kind of cake he wanted, he said he just wanted to to invite 3 friends. I figured that was doable, so I threw it together very last minute. I wish I wasn't such a procrastinator! I would like to throw out the excuses that I am nearing the end of my pregnancy and exhausted, basically unmotivated to to anything, and just getting back from vacation. But, I could have planned it before that. It's just not my style! In the end, it all worked out, and I think Carson enjoyed himself.

Happy Birthday Carson!

It's hard to believe I am the parent of a six year old! That age just doesn't sound like a little boy any more. And Carson has definitely grown up a lot over the last few years. As a stay at home mom of young children, the days may go by slowly, but the years go by fast! I tried to get pics from each year, but I couldn't find many from age 1. I hope there's a disk with them around here somewhere. What can I say about Carson? While it's easy to focus on the negative or difficult parts of his personality, there's a lot to love about this kid! He's a mama's boy. He's extremely smart. He's funny. He wakes up every morning with a smile.
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Friday, February 6, 2009

More Day 6

Dad getting into the beach play.
Carson getting buried.
Tana and Hallie ready to go to the Hula show. (Thanks for loaning us the beautiful dress, Emry!)

I really wanted Tana to see the hula dancing on her trip to Hawaii, but the cultural and historical aspects of Hawaii are not the big draw to the island of Kauai. There are a handful of luaus to choose from, but none of them had great reviews. We opted not to spend all the money on the entire luau, but just pay for the show portion instead. I think Montana enjoyed it (despite having a hard time staying awake), but it was definitely on the cheesy and inauthentic side.
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Feeding the fish on day 6

So here are a few pics of feeding the fish at the beach right by our hotel. It should be looking familiar by now. This is the day I spent the most time in the water. I think what made it hardest to come home is that each day of our trip the weather was better!
You may wonder why I've opted to post my pictures in this manner, rather than using a slide show or collage to get more on in less space. I just hate how small they are in those formats, and I really want them to show well!

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Feeding the chickens

One freaky thing about Kauai is the chickens and roosters. We did not go one place that they were not. They crow all day, waking you as early as 4:00 am. They are on every beach, lawn, picnic area, park. Carson left his Costco hotdog exposed on the table in the outdoor eating area while going to the restroom, and a chicken descended upon it. Of course, there are many other types of birds as well, including pidgeons, which are not afraid to go scrounging through one's belongings if left unattended on the beach.

The baby chicks were too cute not to feed. And after the first breakfast they received at our cottage, mama hen showed up with her brood every morning promptly at 7.

Hawaii Day 5

Cool chick with the sunglasses.

Sleeping after hard play. (Hallie's under the white towel.)
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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Day 4 Hawaii

A picture to torture them with when they are older! I was so impressed and relieved with how well they all slept on this vaction! Much better than I did.
At the playground.
Nothing better than relaxing on the beach with a sandy snack. Later we fed these goldfish to the fish. Cruel, I know.
Our own Baywatch Beauty.
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Day 3 Helicopter Ride

As preggos were not accepted on the catamaran cruise that I really wanted to take, Matt and I opted to take the helicopter tour one day while Mary watched the kids for us. Kauai is such a beautiful and diverse island. I absolutely love the landscape. I put some of my favorite pictures on here, but left off the ones of the Waimea canyon because there was a bad reflection of the pilot in them. We travelled "in" to the wettest place on earth in our helicopter, which was a bit creepy. Supposedly, at every moment, some place on the island it is raining.
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Hawaii Day 2

This is at Ke'e Beach. There are all these huge trees with roots being exposed as beach deteriorates from under them. The first couple of days were a bit chilly with wind and clouds and on this day we spent a couple of hours at Anini beach (quite cold, but not complaining), then drove to the end of the road to find this beach. We arrived at 5 and got out to check it out. It was gorgeous and warm! There was no wind or clouds, people were swimming still. I was really bummed we didn't get this far to begin with.
We stuck around for an hour enjoying the sunshine, until my stomach had to have food!
This is a friend we found in our cottage upon our return. I had to share about him, because catching him became quite an ordeal and Hallie became very scared of the "bug". Her fear was full-on hysteria at one point and she would not let me put her down. I took her into the shower and she still screamed the entire time I was not holding her. When we got out and Dad was not there, she was very concerned for his safety. Once he was back and she was reassured that the "bug" was no longer there, she went to bed. But the first thing she asked about in the morning was the bug and for a few days she was quite afraid of every flying and crawling thing (flies).
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First Day Beach Play

Hawaii Day 1

It's very difficult for me to choose pictures to post of our excellent Hawaiian vacation! For those of you who are interested in seeing more, they are all uploaded to the web album, which should be linked to each day's title. The trip was so great. The only regret I have is that it was so short. I now understand why people take longer vacations and I know our kids can handle being "out of routine" for awhile. I think it's all about location. Our accomodations could not have been better for our family! I highly recommend the Aloha Beach Resort to any family with young children travelling to Kauai. (And it was super cheap at this time of year!) We had a one bedroom cottage, which had a kitchenette. We were right next to a huge playground -- literally, we watched the kids playing there from our lanai. It was two minutes to walk from our cottage to the beach, where there was a protected "keiki" pool that was knee deep and a larger protected pool that went about to my ribs at it's deepest point and was teeming with tropical fish and other fun creatures to feed and view. We spent most of our time there and loved it.
This tree is at the beach. Behind Carson's feet are the cottages.

This is walking to the beach on the first day.
First day at the beach. This is the smaller pool, you can see the larger one next door.
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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Not for the weak stomach...

From the back just a chunky girl....

look again! She's pregnant!

I apologize if you are grossed out, but if you ever wanted to see a pregnant belly, here you go. This is six weeks to d-day and I figured I better do it because I have never before and most likely will not have another opportunity.
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