Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Party of 5

It's not even 8am and all three up my kids are up, changed, dressed, fed, and teeth brushed.  The littlest one is even back down for a nap in her very own room.  It's also not even 8am and my middle child has already removed 3 ornaments from the tree, chiding himself with a finger wave and a "no, no!" and my oldest is running circles around the house, trailing a string of broken Christmas lights, subsequently trapping his little brother in a mass of prickly bulbs.  *sigh*

Oh, Jack. I'm still waiting to decide if 3 years old is more difficult than 2.  It is certainly an interesting age.  Jack is saying EVERYTHING.  I love that we can have full conversations now.  Of course, they don't always make sense:

"Jack, why did you take your socks off?"
"Because I took my socks off."
"I know, but why?"
"Because I did." 

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He loves his "pack-bag." Don't ask me why, it's almost always empty.

He's also picking up on everything we say.  He calls Julia "Sweetie" and says "Hey Sweetie, why are you crying?  It's okay, it's okay."  He calls Jude "Little Buddy" and says, "Hey Little Buddy, want to play me?"  He usually bursts into the room saying, "What's going on here?", responds with "That's a great idea!" when we mention something like eating lunch at Chipotle, and tells me at least once a day, "I getting very sick, Mommy."  (Usually right around the time he realizes he's the last one left at the dinner table.)  Some of the phrases I've been using all my life suddenly sound dumb when I hear them repeated by my toddler.  For instance, when I asked him (for the upteenth time) to finish his beans and rice he said, "You're killing me Mom!  You're killing me!"  Of course, it's fun to play around with a language-learning toddler:

"Jack, who's stronger - Mommy or Daddy."
"Mommy!"

"Jack, are you a boy or a girl?"
"I a boy, Mommy a girl."
"What makes Mommy a girl?"
"Her hair!"

And probably his most oft-repeated phrase is "I come baaaaccckkk."  He uses it when we bring him home from school, or when he's just gotten home from running errands with Daddy.  And then he usually reminds us that he went to Marmie and Poppa's house and Mommy, Daddy and Jude stayed home.  Dude, that was like 4 months ago.  Stop rubbing it in!

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Always experimenting with his food ...
Of course, the 3's are definitely not without their difficulties.  We are having a very tough time with Jack's naps.  I guess he's finally figured out that we can't make him go to sleep.  But I can make him stay in his bed, and not move or talk ... for 1.5 hours.  You'd think he'd eventually drift off at some point, but no.  I'm lucky if I get 2-3 naps a week out of him at this point.  The other days he has to stay in his bed, with his head on the pillow, until Mommy says he can get up.  It wouldn't be so bad if he didn't need a nap every day but he most certainly does.  Because on the days he doesn't fall asleep he's usually an emotional train wreck by dinnertime.  And it's just slightly exasperating for those of us who must share a house with him.  The only good thing is that he's more than ready for bed at 7pm.  I'm really hoping this is just a phase and we'll get back to more consistent naps soon because 12:30-3:30pm is my most favorite time of the day!


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Jack has officially "thinned out."  Like me, I know you've all been waiting for this moment.  :)  In fact, for the first time since his very early weeks, Jack's in the same size clothing as his age.  But it won't be long.  Some of his size 3 shirt sleeves are getting short and he often tells me his tummy hurts if his pants are buttoning too tight.  I'm still not quite sure where my little giant came from...

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It's unfortunate that Jack's the big guy and Jude is so tiny.  If it was the other way around they might be a good match for each other.  As it stands now, poor Jude is so easily outmassed.  But that doesn't stop him from trying.  Our middle child has spunk!  I've caught him on several occasions actually instigating a fight with Jack.  He never wins, but he seems to enjoy a good spar.  So much for my sweet, sensitive boy.  Actually, some people like to warn me that Jude will likely be my "strong-willed child,"  I suppose every parent should expect one of these.  I thought we had already determined who that would be in the family.  But let's just say Jude has been throwing down some fits that we've never seen before.

When he doesn't get his way (say when Mommy is feeding the baby and can't hold him) he'll throw himself on the floor and scream and kick his legs.  And he'll keep it up until I intervene.  Yesterday he was face down on the floor for 45 minutes while I fed Julia.  He eventually stopped crying and just laid there.  And just when I thought he'd surely fallen asleep he started right back up again.  He's pretty easy to conquer though.  Once he gets my attention he's back to being a happy guy.  And if that's not available the next best thing is "the stool." 

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Helping me make bread.  Except he pushed some buttons on the machine when my back was turned and a few hours later we ended up with whole wheat flop. :(

It's one of those three step stools that we keep in our kitchen.  The boys love it because they can stand at the counter with me while I cook or do dishes.  But Jude really likes it.  He's my kitchen boy.  He's perfectly happy putting silverware into the pitcher, army men into pots and pans, plates into the toaster (okay, I did have to put a stop to that one).  It's to a point where I can't even get a glass of water without Jude coming up behind me and saying "stooool?  stooool?"

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Mixer?  Nah, that's a truck without wheels and with a long tail.

"Stool" is just one of his many words.  When he had his 18 month well-baby check-up the doctor seemed to be a little concerned that he only knew around 10 words.  Well since then his language has practically exploded.  Maybe I just wasn't paying attention a month ago.  But he says it all now.  And his voice is so, so cute!!  I'm most excited that he's finally picked up on the word "yes."  After months of hearing "no" to every question I ask, it's nice to get a resounding "Yesh!" every now and again.

Poor Jude is still very accident prone.  I used to always trip over him when I was pregnant and couldn't see past my belly.  Well now I tend to trip over him when we're walking out the door and I can't see over the carseat I'm carrying.  I always turn around to look for him right as he runs by me and then he gets whacked on the head with Julia's carseat.  But really, a tiny thump on the head is nothing compared to his more recent injuries - a blood blistered pinched finger, a gash on his chin from falling in the shower and a big, fat purple lip from being pushed down the slide too fast. Let's just say I've had to hold off on taking the kids' Christmas photo until Jude's face requires a little less digital editing.

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Despite being on the receiving end of numerous injuries Jude is not very sympathetic to others, namely his baby sister.  It's like he's finally realizing he's a big brother.  We've gone from eye-poking attempts to whacking her on the head with toys.  And whenever I'm trying to feed her on the couch he crawls up next to me, steadies himself by leaning on my shoulder, and starts body slamming her with his belly.  When that doesn't work he swings his little leg up to kick her in the head.  He tries to do this every time.  I'm totally on to you Little Buddy.

Which brings us to the littlest one.  She's a survivor.  Everyone tells us she's going to grow up to be tough with two older brothers ahead of her.  She's certainly getting ample opportunities to practice already!  But for now I'm trying to keep her my baby for as long as possible. 

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Can you believe it's been two months since we had a baby in a car?  Actually, I still can't believe we had a baby in a car period.  Julia weighed 11 pounds, 4 ounces at her check-up yesterday, which is the 50th percentile.  She's been there consistently since birth so that's always a relief to hear.  I was a little concerned she wouldn't be getting enough calories since she's been sleeping through the night for the past few weeks, but the doctor was happy with her weight gain.  So yes, she's still going strong with 9 hour stretches.  And some days I even have to wake her up to eat in the mornings.  I pushed her bassinet against the wall so she's not right next to me at night anymore.  Soon she'll be in her own room and before I know it she'll be off to college. 

But back to the here and now.  And here and now we have ... MORE BABY SMILES!

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These aren't "just gas" or "smilin' in her sleep" moves, she genuinely responds to my crazy mommy voice now with a big, toothless grin.  I love 'em.  And cooing too.  It's simply the best.  And totally makes up for the fact that she's still fussy every evening, wants to be held, doesn't want me to sit down, gotta keep her moving and bouncing and swaying ...

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And then there's us parents.  Jon has been dealing with a horrible cough and difficulty breathing for over a month now.  After missing several days of work off and on for the past few weeks, visiting the clinic on base three different times and finally driving himself to the emergency room after work yesterday, he's finally been diagnosed with walking pneumonia.  We're just relieved to hopefully have him on the mend now. He was supposed to fly out to Texas tonight to meet up with his sister and brother-in-law and help them drive their moving truck back to Pennsylvania, but had to cancel.  And I was supposed to take the kids up to Pennsylvania myself to visit my parents and meet Jon there when he arrived.  And that trip's been canceled as well.  Hopefully we can use this freed-up time to get our house clean and finish off Christmas projects.  A photo of the kids, for starters.  Now won't that be interesting - getting all three kids to look good for the camera at the very same instant.  As usual, will keep you posted!

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