Tuesday, July 28, 2009


This week is VBS. I asked the girls, ahead of time, if, since they didn't need me with them at Campmeeting this summer, that meant I didn't need to go with them to VBS either, but A informed me that "it's loud at VBS anyway, it won't matter if Little Bit cries" LOL.

When we were registering them, Starla (who works at hubby's office and A&L adore her!) came by so they were able to find out which group she was working with, and get in that group. Which means they stick close to Starla and pretty much ignore me LOL. After Monday night I asked them if I could at least stay inside when they went outside for games tonight, and they agreed to that. So I stayed in the nice air-conditioned gym while they went out & ran relay races and such LOL.

When we left tonight, A told me "tomorrow night you can stay in the gym the whole time, we didn't really notice you anyway". And also said that MAYBE by the next night I could just drop them off, so we shall see . . . I'm taking my knitting and a blanket for Little Bit to play on tomorrow night & we'll see how it all goes.

So, everything is going well. The girls are enjoying crafts, and even ok with the helpers actually helping them (apparently at campmeeting they were still afraid to ask for help with the crafts and just waited until I got there since crafts were the last thing). They still don't want to participate in Bible time, but I think a big part of that is just to give Mr E (the Bible room guy) a hard time. He teases them and they tease him back by refusing to speak to him. But L did answer a question tonight, and got candy for it, so perhaps now that they know they get candy for answering questions they'll decide candy's more fun than teasing Mr. E, we shall see . . .

Little Bit's not entirely thrilled with it all. She's used to people "talking" to her, and the kids obviously don't care about a baby and a the adults are too busy keeping track of the kids. So she's getting less attention than she's used to and it's evening when she tends to be abit fussier and more inclined to cluster nurse anyway, so she's doing ok, but, as A mentioned tonight "she probably liked campmeeting better because more people talked to her". And having to get back in the carseat and ride home at 8:30 every night is NOT her idea of a good time LOL.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Update on Little Bit

Little Bit is growing up much too fast!! Next week she will be 4 mo old (and has a check-up so we'll find out weight & such then). In the last couple of weeks she has:

  • Started sitting. Not for very long, though I think it's more that she wants to get on her tummy so leans forward till she topples to her tummy, I think if she WANTED to sit she could do it. She sat for quite awhile on the kitchen island at my parents' house when her sisters were sitting across the island from her, so she was "talking" to them.
  • Can pick things up and bring them to her mouth (toys). The hanging toys on the playmat when from wonderful entertainment to horribly frustrating, so we added more rings so now the toys hang low enough she can catch them and chew on them.
  • She "talks" all the time. I desperately need to get some video of it (if only I knew how to work the video camera LOL), it's soo cute!
  • I've become more & more convinced that she says "hi". It's not clear but it's a certain inflection and such that DOES sound a little bit like hi, and she consistently says it when she sees someone. Mom's starting to agree with me too LOL.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Getting Into a Routine . . .

No doubt, as soon as I type that, everything will hit the fan again, but for the moment life has slowed down a tad, Little Bit is stretching out her nursing, and enjoys playing on the playmat, so we're actually doing some school and I'm getting abit of housework done and such, it's nice for a change LOL.

I'm easing the girls back into their chore charts. We'd pretty much abandoned them with things being so hectic, what got done, I needed to do as quickly as possible and when time allowed, not working through it with the girls on kid-time. But this week they've done at least some chores every day.

"School" right now is just Polished Cornerstones (Bible) and read-alouds for history. We read the Kirsten (American Girl) books last week, this week we've just been reading the Little House books (we need to finish the series (we're reading "The Long Winter" right now, so only 2 1/2 left, we'll wait on First Four Years) so we can start over with our Prairie Primer curriculum this fall). I was thinking I'd go through the rest of the American Girl books with them this summer, but I think they'd rather just use the Little House books for both "school" and bedtime for now, so we'll do that, and probably use the American Girl books for bedtime stories later on.

We NEED to go raspberry picking, the bushes behind our house had quite a few berries the beginning of the week, but it's been raining so much we haven't found a time to go around to the bushes up by the pond.

Last weekend we went down to my parents. There's a dairy farm that lets you go feed the calves at feeding time (nice of them to "let" people come do their farm chores huh? But the kids love it). So we met friends there and fed the calves and had ice cream on Thurs. afternoon. Fri we visited friends and then went to a fun park near my parents' house. They have a water slide that we thought the girls would like, but then about the time we got there it started raining (forecast was for isolated thunderstorms), it wasn't thundering at all, and the girls pointed out that "we'll be wet anyway" so we went ahead and got them the water slide wrist bands. It rained the WHOLE time we were there (thankfully there was a covered picnic area by the slide where mom, Little Bit, and I could sit while A&L were out in the rain), but the girls had a blast! There were only a few other kids there because of the rain, so they spent about 3 hours going down the slide, running back up the stairs, and down again. I don't know how many miles (more or less) of stairs they climbed altogether, but they got good exercise and had a ton of fun! The rest of the weekend we mainly just hung out at my parents' house, but the girls always enjoy riding bikes and such there.

If the weather's good on Sabbath, I think we're going to go to the Philadelphia Zoo, so they should enjoy that.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


This was taken a month or more ago, I'd forgotten to download it off the camera. A wanted to try wearing Little Bit in a wrap, but Little Bit wasn't so sure about it, so I told A to go walk outside (both because Little Bit likes to be outside, it generally calms her, AND because I figured there's less for A to bonk Little Bit's head on out there than in the house LOL). I'm not sure how long we were out there but as long as A kept walking, and singing, Little Bit was content, and A was so proud of herself LOL.
Happy 4th of July! The shirts I had for A&L as babies still fit Little Bit (though only because they were onesies and I had mom convert one of them into a shirt (w/ wool covers I've found I prefer shirts to onesies, the tight onesie compressing the wool cover can lead to some dampness, AND not having to snap/unsnap the onesie makes diaper changes a few seconds easier, yes I'm THAT lazy LOL), I don't think a 3-6mo onesie would still fit her, in length, but mom kept the onesies-to-shirt conversions as long as she could make them, so they're still fitting. But the big girls liked the idea of having shirts the same as Little Bit, so we went to Old Navy & got them all new shirts for this year. L wanted pink (of course) but the baby sizes didn't come in pink (or they were out?) and A wanted one JUST like Little Bit's so, A & Little Bit had red & L had pink.
Little Bit's first tub bath. I generally just shower her with me, but decided to give her a quick wash while L was taking her bath last night.

All wrapped up in the (wonderfully cushy) hooded towel a church member made for her. Since L got to hold her for the tub picture, A had to pose with her for the towel picture LOL.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Elimination Communication

Warning, this is a post all about baby pee & poop & such. If you don't care, feel free to move along LOL.

Ok, so when I was researching cloth diapering stuff before I was pregnant with the big girls, I came across the concept of Elimination Communication or Inf ant Potty Training. But with being a new mom and then finding out we were having twins, "reading cues" for EC didn't seem feasible, so I didn't bother looking into it further, or trying it.

In a nutshell babies are born with the ability to hold their pee/poop, but when you never give them the chance, they "forget" so then as toddlers they have to re-learn. So with a young baby, if you consistently give them the opportunity to go potty, they will retain that ability, and over time, they will tell you when they need to go (by sounds, sign, etc), and wait for you to take them. You can also encourage them to go by making a specific sound & holding them a specific way when you want them to go (ie. I hold Little Bit over a bowl/sink/whatever facing out with her upper thighs resting in my hands and her upper body leaning against mine, and say "pshhhhh").

When I got pregnant again, I started reading abit more about it, and figured we'd at least try it. . . I got a slow start with it, and, while I'd generally "offer" her a chance to potty in a bowl or the sink when I changed her diaper, I rarely "caught" anything. The advice about baby giving cues when they need to go, I found didn't work for us AT ALL. Maybe I'm just not observant enough . . . but the signs the books, etc. say young babies use are things like "wiggling alot", and Little Bit hasn't stopped wiggling since she was conceived!! Ok, that may be an exaggeration but she was super wiggly in utero and she still is! No way every time she wiggles is an indication of needing to pee, and if it was, I'd never get ANYTHING done if I stopped and pottied her every time she wiggled LOL. . .

So anyway . . . I figured I'd keep offering at diaper changes, but not stress about it for now. I also added the sign language sign for toilet and figured if nothing else in a few months she can make that sign to let me know she needs to potty (I did this with the sign for milk, for nursing, with A&L and long before they could talk, they could make the sign for milk to let me know they wanted to nurse).

Up until now, the only "useful" thing about all of this has been in the poop department. Little Bit tends to go 2-3 days or more w/ little to no pooping, and then when she does poop, she POOPS!!! No diaper could hold all the poop when she poops, BUT if she's right with me when she poops, so I hear/feel her right away, she will usually stop and wait while I take her to a bowl/sink/toilet, and she does the rest of her pooping there, which saves clothes & diaper covers LOL. If she's in the bouncy seat or something, forget it, at the very least the diaper cover is going to have to be washed LOL.

Several weeks ago, I tried keeping her naked (on a waterproof mat with a prefold under her) to figure out when she pees, in hopes of getting on a "schedule" of sorts, since I haven't found that she cues me in any way. And the main thing I determined from that is that, at that point, she generally peed WHILE nursing. Now yes, the books/websites say you can hold a bowl under baby while she nurses, but I generally nurse on a boppy, so that wouldn't work. Additionally, I wear skirts, so holding a bowl "between my legs" doesn't work as well in skirts (most of mine are either denim, so abit stiff for holding a bowl between my legs, or a silk/satin material, that the bowl just slides right out of). So, I figured I wasn't going to try to catch pees as long as she was peeing while nursing (I'd offer the potty at diaper changes and if we caught some, great, if not, no biggie).

But these last couple days, something has finally clicked. We're certainly not "diaper free", but we went all afternoon yesterday in one diaper! Even with making a trip to Target!! I pottied her before we left, and she fell asleep in the car on the way there, and stayed asleep in the sling most of the time we were shopping, she woke up and was quiet for a little while, then started to get restless. I was trying to decide if it was worth dragging the big girls to the bathroom just to see if we could keep Little Bit's diaper dry, when L told me SHE needed to go potty. So that answered that. That Target has a "family bathroom" so we went in there and while L used the toilet I held Little Bit over the sink. Note to self, be aware of the motion sensors in public sinks, this one the faucet was off-center & a higher than normal faucet, so Little Bit got her foot wet when the water turned itself on LOL. I dried off her foot and tried again, making sure to hold her away from the faucet/motion sensor & she peed! Then again when we came home, and again later in the afternoon . . . it wasn't until I was busy fixing supper and the girls were playing with her that she wet her diaper!!!

The most consistent "catch" I'm making is when she wakes up from a nap. She generally wakes up dry and if I take her potty as soon as she wakes up, she'll pee.

So, we're using a few less diapers (though not many) and the ones we do change tend to be less-wet (a single pee), so she's staying drier overall. And I have hopes that once she reaches the point of being able to sign toilet (or otherwise signal her need to potty in a way that both I, and the big girls, can recognize) we'll have even less misses.

For our "set-up" I just use plastic bowls (the ziplock disposable containers or one of the other brands, I don't remember which). I have one on our bed (where I also have a changing station set up, at the foot of the co-sleeper), one in the family room (where we change diapers downstairs) and one in the car. The one in the car, I have the lid with it & a flatfold diaper inside it, I generally take the diaper out when I potty her in the car, and I don't think she's ever actually GONE potty in that one, but if she did pee (or poop for that matter) and I wasn't somewhere that I c0uld empty it, I figure I can put the flatfold in to absorb, and put the lid on, and it shouldn't spill even if kids knock it over. If I'm somewhere else, say on the floor in hubby's office, like I did quite a few diaper changes last week, w/o a sink or toilet, I'll just hold her over the wet/dirty diaper & cue her, that doesn't keep it off a diaper, but it puts it on one that's already wet/dirty instead of a clean one, and it keeps her dry longer. Not sure what I'll do in that scenario if she's dry . . . probably go ahead & hold her over the diaper to cue her, unless there's a sink/toilet relatively close by (though at hubby's office, he grumbles about me holding her over the diaper (Don't do that here! What if someone SEES you?!?!), so I know he'd object to me dashing off to the bathroom w/ her LOL), but even if it doesn't save a diaper (and remember, we use cloth diapers so it's just decreasing laundry, not adding to a landfill or costing money to buy more disposables), it will mean she doesn't ever have the wet cloth against her skin if I potty her on a dry diaper & then put a new dry diaper on her. . . if/when she reaches a point of being consistently dry, I'll probably just take her to the bathroom & potty her there, that's getting easier (in bathrooms w/o changing tables) as she gets less floppy anyway).

And that's where we're at on our EC journey . . . it's kind of fun, doesn't cost anything, and at the very least should make potty training easier/sooner than it might otherwise be (though even w/o EC the big girls potty trained at 27 mo LOL).

Sunday, July 5, 2009

School for '09-'10

We've been reading the Little House books for bedtime stories for the last while (we're currently partway through By the Shores of Silver Lake, but we skipped Farmer Boy (it seems confusing to me to read it in the middle of all the others, we'll go back and read it once we've finished the rest of the series and know who Almanzo is!) and the girls are LOVING them. A few years ago I heard about The Prairie Primer and ever since I figured we'd use it at some point. It's geared for 3rd grade & up, but I figure we can use it now, skipping things that are beyond them, and then re-use it in a few years when they're older, and Little Bit's old enough to be somewhat interested in it (ideally in a few years I'd like to incorporate traveling to some or all of the places Laura writes about, but we shall see . . .).

So that's the main plan for next year. I'm currently watching ebay for the best deal. We'll also continue using Polished Cornerstones for Bible (though there is also Bible included in Prairie Primer, but I am assuming it will be very different so won't seem like duplication to include both.

Obviously if the girls express an interest in some other topic and want to pursue it in addition to the above, we can always do that (or even take a break from Prairie Primer to do something else if they prefer), but for planning purposes, I think that about covers it. I also recently discovered this site that has printable monthly calendars of "PE" type ideas. Most of the time the girls are good at coming up with their own active/outdoor activities, but I figure this is a good thing to print out & keep in our notebook for if/when we need inspiration.

Another Hectic Week

We got home from my parents on Monday and then Tuesday morning hubby's boss (and technically mine too) called and said he was ready to work with me on the combined financials that I'd agreed to help with, and that it needed to be done asap. So . . . I packed up the kids and we headed in to the office. Tues-Fri I worked a total of 16+ hrs!!! Am getting a couple days of guilt-free "break" from it now while I wait for information I need from others, and then once I get that information I THINK will only take a few more hours and I'll be DONE!! The girls all did AWESOME with being stuck at the office so much this week. Thankfully there were people there willing to let the big girls chatter at them, and when weather was nice, the big girls could play in the yard right outside Daddy's office windows. Little Bit nursed/napped in the sling, sat on my lap, or kept Daddy (or others) from working. Finally on Fri. we got her to nap in the portable swing for awhile (the office is closed on Fri so we were the only ones there, and the big girls were playing outside, during the week she'd be almost asleep and someone would come in and talk to her LOL).

So all things considered, it's gone EXCEPTIONALLY well, and while it's been kinda fun to pull together a financial stmt again, and prove to myself that my brain really does still work for such things, I'm ready to wrap it up and go back to being "just" a mom.

We visited Grandmom (hubby's mom) yesterday afternoon. The weather was GORGEOUS so the big girls played outside and the rest of us hung out on the porch. On our way home last night we happened to be coming through town the little town closest to us) just as they were getting ready to start their fireworks, so we stopped in the Aldi's parking lot (it's at the top of a hill where the view is good, and while still congested, was less congested than trying to get downtown) and sat on the grass and watched the fireworks. The girls enjoyed it, and since Little Bit had just slept most of the 2 hr drive home from Grandmom's, she was awake and "watched" some of it too.

I was hoping the late night (it was probably around 10:45 when the girls went to bed) would equate to sleeping in this morning, but no such luck, A was in our room at7am on the dot (7am is the earliest she can wake me up), she cuddled with me and talked for a little while until Little Bit woke up, then I brought them downstairs. L slept for a little while longer but not late at all considering her late bedtime.

This morning hubby's back at the office (working w/o his kids & wife around to distract him for a change LOL) and the girls and I went to the farmer's market, and now we're back home. I'm feelign pretty accomplished, I got the diapers washed & on the line before we left this morning and when I got home, I'd misplaced my debit card (knew it was in the car, just couldn't find it) and the car was a DISASTER after all our busy weeks (it got super messy during campmeeting week since we were gone for hte day every day, each morning I'd throw things in htat we MIGHT need, then we'd get home and Little Bit would be fussy & I'd be tired and I'd never make it out to bring in what we didn't need, and it's just gotten messier since . . .) so I took advantage of Little Bit being happy "talking" to the "baby in the mirror" while in her carseat and managed to get the car at least semi-cleaned out except for the area around the big girls' seats (they sit on the 3rd row seat of hte minivan and their floor and the seat between them is COVERED with trash and toys, that'll have to wait for anohter day, or I'll get them to do it) so feeling better about that (and yes, I did find my debit card in the process).

School's taken a back burner during all of this. We did manage to do Bible one day this past week (Tues morning before Mo called and asked me to come in), but that's been it. Of course one time when I went to make sure the girls' weren't bothering other people TOO much at the office I found a secretary teaching them all about galaxies and such, so they were still learning even if I was too busy LOL.

One thing that HAS to be a priority this week is gathering up the horribly overdue library books and get them back to the library or renewed and figure out what, if anything, more we want to do going forward with our current history studies . . . I think I might just abandon the "curriculum" and go through the rest of the American Girl books to give them a taste of "more modern" American History and call it good for this year, just because right now spending time outside is better & I have other things planned for next year (which I'll probably try to have ready to start in Aug . . . or whenever we decide we want to start), more on that in a bit.