Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Big Girl Bed Update

No fall-outs the last two nights! Yay!

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Lily and Santa's loot.
Lots to cover here - so forgive me if I leave anything out.

Christmas Eve we went to Mass with the girls for the first time in a couple years. We tried two years ago, but they just wanted to run all over the place and ended up out on the playground with my mom the whole time. So, when I saw that St. Michael's was having a children's pageant mass at Green Hope HS, I thought we'd give it a shot.

The pageant was a big hit. The girls loved seeing "Mother Mary" and "Father Joseph" again along with all the angels, shepherds, etc. It wasn't as crowded as the normal church, and we were able to get good seats on the aisle.

Lily pretending to be Santa and asking Madeleine what she wants.

Lily insisted on pretending to be the Virgin Mary pretty much the entire mass. She brought her baby "Jesus" with her and wore a receiving blanked on her head for much of the time. She didn't want to sit in her seat, but kneel in the aisle in various poses. I'm not sure if the other people there could tell what she was trying to do or not.

We ducked out of there early after Communion, and both girls went with me and were blessed by the priest. Of course Madeleine asks very loudly as we were trying to sneak out the side, "Why did he put the body of Christ in your mouth?

Afterwards we went to Grandma and Grandpa Bench's to open presents and have snacks. The girls wore princess dresses the whole time and were very excited to open their presents. The biggest hits were lipstick and the jeep from Uncle Mark and Aunt Laura (which we haven't been brave enough to try since).

Christmas morning they woke up at a normal time, and didn't seem especially excited to head upstairs. Madeleine got her "office" - an old laptop I'd set up in the corner of the living room. They tired quickly of opening gifts, so it was a struggle to get them through the pile (ours plus Aunt Robin's).

Then we headed off to Greensboro to Grandma Goodman's and Poppy's house. Lily didn't sleep at all in the car, and we opened gifts there as well. As you can see the girls got helmets to go with their bikes/skates/jeep.

We came home on Friday and have had a pretty low key weekend. Saturday is rainy, so we just hung out inside. We've watched the Polar Express twice. We did painting and more paper chains. Today we went for a walk in the woods with the wagon.

Big Girl Beds

Well, we made the plunge to toddler beds last week and took off the side rail of their cribs. I figured if I was going to be up all night, it would be best if I didn't have to go to work and could nap during the day.

Based on my other friends' experiences, we've been pretty lucky. They stay in their beds at bedtime and don't get out of bed until I tell them to get up in the morning. That's 90% of the problem right? So what's left?

Falling out. On average we're going in 2-3 times per night (1 1/2 times per girl) to pick somebody off the floor. I feel kind of bad for not even trying this with a rail of some sort, but I was under the impression it was just a matter of getting used to it and after a few weeks they'd do better. We've put pillows down on the floor, so it's not like they're landing on something hard.

Madeleine's the crier. She'll just lie there and get upset. Lily's a trooper and will attempt to get back in on her own if we don't get there first. But I feel awful about the whole falling thing.

So I looked online at rails today, and the one I really like is super-expensive ($100 each). I don't think I want to pay that much for something we'll probably be using less than a year. I've posted online in some other forums to see if anyone else has any advice, but I haven't gotten anything useful yet. Singleton moms seem to forget I have TWO in the same room, so I can't just buy two full beds and call it a day. Others have suggested trying to find cheaper rails, but I've seen things online about how hard it is to get them to work with my brand of crib. I don't really want to put the mattresses on the floor either.

So, we'll keep at at a while. I'm at home for another week.

While the beds haven't been keeping me awake, Madeleine's coughing has. The few days before Christmas, she was up coughing every 1 1/2 hours at night. The only thing that stops the episodes is water. The past few nights it's been just twice, but I'm still not getting more then 4 hours of sleep at a stretch.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Mother Mary, Father Joseph

Sunday night I took the girls out to see a live nativity at Ephesus Baptist Church in Raleigh. On Friday I saw the ad in the paper and considered it. But it ran from 7-9 on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

So Sunday night after bath, I told everyone to get in their pajamas and we were going to see something special. Eric helped us to the car, and we were off just after 7. It was already packed. It was cold out, so I had the heat cranked in the car.

A nice gentleman with the church explained the setup to me and how everything would be on the passenger side, so I unbuckled Lily so she could sit in the front seat next to me.

The first stop was the Angel telling Mary she was going to be with child. The second stop was Mary and Joseph not finding room at the inn. The girls had a lot of questions about these two.

The third stop was the Angel talking to the shepherds. The girls got excited here because there was a shepherd's crook involved. Next were the three wise men.

Then the finale - Mother Mary, Father Joseph, more shepherds, and the wise men. Madeleine was calm, cool, and collected, but Lily was so excited. She could have sat there forever watching. I pulled up to buckle her back into her seat, and she freaked out. She wanted to run and hug them and was mad that I wouldn't let her.

I thought driving around to look at Christmas lights would calm her down, but I was wrong. We arrived home 30 minutes later, and she was still sobbing. But she was probably just overtired too, as she fell asleep almost immediately.

But today she was talking about it and how great it was, so I'm totally glad we went. I just need a huggable nativity instead of a drive-thru.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It figures...

The girls are out of day care sick for about twice a year, and it usually lasts a week. The last time was April, so I knew we were overdue. And last year it was the week before Christmas, so it's very familiar.
When I picked them up Monday night, Brianna said Lily wasn't herself. But no fever when I checked her. Madeleine, on the other hand, was 101.6. No change in her personality though. They both ate dinner like I hadn't fed them in forever. They stayed cool all night and slept through the night fine.
This morning temps were about 100, so I kept them home. They were happy as clams all day. I attempted to work at the kitchen table, so there was more TV watching than I ordinarily allow. After the third time watching Max and Ruby Christmas DVD, we headed downstairs to play "fashion show" in my closet.
Madeleine got all into it. She picked out a nice shirt, necklace, shoes, and sunglasses. Lily preferred her ballerina outfit and just went for shoes. I let them wear them all day until bedtime.
I didn't give them Tylenol most of the day since the fever didn't seem to be botherting them. It was still about 100 when they went to bed (I gave them Tylenol then).

Naughty or nice?

Sunday afternoon our multiples group hosted a "Milk and Cookies with Santa" party in Raleigh. I was excited to go because it meant that we were able to go see Santa without waiting in the crazy long lines at the mall.
It was a little chaotic at least, but if I've learned anything the last three years, it's patience. So, we sat quietly at the table and ate cookies while other parents with little babies haid their pictures taken. For the first time, our girls were some of the oldest kids at the event. I loved all the kids who were 18-24 months just freaking out at the thought of Santa. As a dad of multiples himself, it was also funny to me to watch Santa holding infant triplets on his lap when his own kids went off to kindergarten this year.
Lily was very excited to see Santa, and Madeleine told him she would like an "office" for Christmas.
Of course, our busy weekend with activities has resulted in what I was afraid of: illness. Madeleine had a fever when I picked her up from school yesterday, so they're both home with me today. But they're not acting sick, so that's the hardest part for them. I'm hoping they're well for their Christmas party at daycare on Friday. One of the other moms is going to do gingerbread house decorating with them, and everyone will get to do their own gingerbread man cookie.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Disney On Ice

This weekend, the girls went to see the spectacle that is Disney on Ice. I was interested to see how they would react to skating that wasn't hockey since they hadn't seen it before. I had gotten discount tickets through work, and Aunt Laura joined us for the morning since Daddy was out of town.

We got there about and hour early because I'd seen a "Princess Party" advertised that looked pretty cool. So, we headed up to the club level to check it out. The line was huge, and Lily really didn't want to stand in it much. It was moving pretty fast, which surprised me. When I got inside, it was obvious why.

The whole thing was kind of lame. The promotional picture I'd seen had Snow White posing with a little girl dressed like her, so I thought all the princesses would be milling around and taking pictures with kids. No, it was their dresses on headless mannequins. Cinderella was off in the corner on a pedastal with security guards.

On the concourse level, it was packed with people and merchanidise stands. Even food was marked up quite a bit because it was in souvenir buckets and such. The girls saw the vendors walking around and begged for snow cones. I promised that I would get them on at intermission.

The first half of the show was awesome: Cars, The Little Mermaid, and the Lion King. The girls liked the Lion King part best and when the male skaters picked up the women skaters.

At intermission I left our seats to go in search of snow cones, but at $10 each I had to make an ATM run first. Then at the booth I chose, they were out of spoons, and I refused to pay the extra $2 for a souvenir spoon. So then I had to run around looking for straws and spoons. I got back to the seat just as the second half was starting. Guess what? Girls don't like snow cones. We held the cups the whole second half just to dump them out when we got home.

The second part was all Tinkerbell, and I think the girls found it hard to follow since they knew the plot of the other stories. They asked a lot of questions I couldn't answer. Their favorite part of this section was the flowers growing at the end.

I'm glad Aunt Laura was with us. As she said - this event required "man-to-man" offense.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Movie Madness

We took the girls to see their first movie in a movie theater over the weekend, and it went much better than expected. They rarely sit still at home more than 10 min. when watching a movie, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect.

A couple weeks ago the IMAX theater announced that they would be showing The Polar Express this Christmas season. I thought this might be the perfect first viewing experience because:
  • The Polar Express is their most favorite book of the past year
  • As far as I know, they hadn't seen the movie yet.
  • The aisles are wide
  • They have a 10 am showing - perfect fit for naptimes.

Of course - there are reasons why this could have gone terribly awry:

  • IMAX is huge and more intimidating than a regular theater
  • 3D glasses required
  • Has a chance of selling out unless we plan ahead
  • $50 for a family of 4 to attend

I bought the tickets online Saturday morning just as Eric said we were going, and we made the mad dash to the car. We got there just as the show was starting. Luckily there were some seats right as we came in because it was VERY dark in there.

Lily sat with me, and Madeleine sat with Eric. Lily refused to wear the 3D glasses, so she saw the whole thing blurry but didn't mention it. She only got scared a couple of times, but sat there very attentive until the end. She wore her reindeer antlers the entire time and held on to her baby polar bear.

Madeleine's comfort object-of-choice was a bag of paper she had cut up earlier in the morning.

Afterwards we had lunch at Roly Poly as the girls demanded a snack immediately following the movie. So we sat there and talked about the movie and their favorite parts. It was really nice.