Monday, August 31, 2009

Ending on a good note

Tonight after dinner (and numerous attempts to get her to go potty- but no accidents) Liliana suddenly yelled out, "Momma, I gotta go poop!" I've started to realize that this actually means pee. So we run in to her potty and she does her thing- she was even wearing underwear! So we did the potty dance, gave high fives, put up a sticker, and as we clapped for her, she bows to her waist and says, "Thank you! Thank you!" as if she just gave the performance of a lifetime.

Always nice to end the day like that!

Just Overheard

Grace: "Liliana! This is Dark Vader. He's really bad. He makes everything dark."


Why did I wait till 3 to potty train?

Because I HATE it.

I forgot that until I started... ok I didn't forget, I just forgot the magnitude at which I hate it. I actually gave up yesterday after a pee accident 1 minute after getting off the potty and 2 poops in 2 hours. Plus it was sunday, and we had to go to church, and I didn't have the energy to even think of doing that there.

But I started again this morning. Well, after I emerged from the fog that clouded my head from being up with Moira last night, which meant a wet pull-up. Oh well. So I put her potty in front of the TV while she watched a movie, and she sat on it the whole movie- and not a drop! (Course, had I left her in a pull up or panties, I would bet my robot vacuum that there would have been an accident!) So I spent all of lunch getting her to try going potty at regular intervals, with no success. I gave her juice. I gave her crackers so that she would want more juice. I made her sit for long periods of time. Nap time crept up on us and still nothing. At this point I'm frustrated because I know she has all this juice in her now, and I don't want my efforts to be a total waste (ie her going in her pull up during naptime). So I had her sit on the potty and told her she could not get up until she went. The minutes ticked by... nothing. So I gave up. I sat up ready to put her pull-up on and take her to bed when I heard it...

There are few times that I have been more relieved. We did the potty dance (which changes every time- i need to come up with something concrete) and put a sticker on her 'chart,' and gave lots of high-fives.

But I still hate potty-training. :)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

What do you do when you don't want to buy anymore size 5 diapers?

You go into full time potty training mode. We've had three accidents and 2 successful potty trips, one of which was initiated by Miss Liliana herself. She kept asking for a diaper at first, but I resisted. She's three... it's time :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Please ignore me

Sometimes I hate myself. Seriously.

I've noticed that when I'm meeting new people I feel the urge to connect-Quickly- and to my brain the fastest way to do that is to spill my life story. And it's not a pretty story, so while it might be interesting to a point, I'm pretty sure the people are wondering why I'm spilling my guts to them. And I walk away with a pit in my stomach wondering what the heck they think of me now. And I vow to never do it again, but I just can't control it in the moment. It's always pertinent to the conversation- it's not like I just bring it up. But with my obsessive need to tell the truth, details fall out that really shouldn't be out yet- things that really could just be glossed over or ignored. I studied this all in college- it's called the onion theory. It's the only communication theory that I remember.

I just have this need to be known. I'm afraid that people will get the wrong impression about my character or misunderstand my potential. Perhaps it's with all this moving I feel like I'm losing my identity, piece by piece, and I don't want to to lose me. And I don't want to be in pieces strewn about the country. I don't feel whole, and I want to desperately. Granted, blabbing my childhood woes probably isn't the best way, but in my head, that part of my life is so essential to who I am now, I guess I have a hard time believing that someone can know me without knowing the story behind me.

So if you have ever had to endure my life story, especially when I dominated the conversation and didn't let anyone a word edgewise, please forgive me. I literally don't see it until I've walked away. And if you see me doing it in the future, just give me a signal- a kick in the knee if you have to. I'd rather limp than walk away feeling pathetic again.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Liliana's 3 years in pictures

I put on more pictures than I expected, but it was such a nice trip down memory lane, I couldn't help myself. :)

Liliana's 3rd Birthday!

Liliana had a great birthday today! She came downstairs to the kitchen decorated with streamers and balloons. We then went to Target to pick out her party paper stuffs, provided by Grandma Susie. We found an awesome Dora party pack with big and little plates, napkins, cups, and a tablecloth. She also picked out some candy and a princess party hat (it's times like these that I love having all girls- so much reuse in the future!).

Pop and Grandma Jay showed up shortly after we got home, so we grilled hamburgers and hotdogs, with which we combined some oranges and french fries.

I've realized that I'm not much of an artist, so I made Liliana's Dora cake by putting a mini Dora house on her cake. She loved it- AND she gets to keep the toy. Plus it's cheaper than the store cakes.

Next came presents of course. We successful kept Grace at bay so that Liliana could open her own gifts.

She got 2 books, stickers, a Belle barbie set, her horse, a Margaritaville shirt, a frame set, a Dora backpack, notebook, colored pencils, 2 Dora movies, a Buzz Lightyear and Woody set, and Diego coloring book. As you can imagine from that list- she's a very happy girl, although a tired one, since she hasn't had a nap. Thanks to everyone for making the day so special to Liliana!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Flashback Friday

This was laying on my desk (ie easier than getting into albums) . This is me just before I turned 2- Curtis must have just been born since there's a bouncer in the background.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pictures from JC Penny

Here are the pictures from the photo shoot at JCPenny's, which I have to note, I handled all by myself. I like this studio (Fair Oaks Mall) better than Lake Forest. They had toys and cartoons on to distract the kids until it was our turn (but we didn't have to wait long!) and the photographer was really good with the girls. Moira didn't smile her usual smile, prob cuz I wasn't able to coax her, since i was with the older two. Oh well, she's still cute. And as you can tell, Grace LOVED the camera... and Liliana was a pill :) Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

There's a new sherriff in town...

Yesterday was Moira's 6 month appointment (about 1 month late). She weighed 14lbs 6oz, 25.75in long (25%) and her head is 17 1/8 inches around (50%). At least she hasn't fallen off the chart... yet.

While we were there I asked Liliana to do something and she told me NO. I explained that yes, she needed to to it. At this point she started talking sternly to me, but I kept my face straight and listened, since it's easier to understand her now. "No Momma, I in charge. Not Momma, Me!" Grace and I both thought thought this was hilarious, and giggled a little before I again told her to do whatever it was that she was supposed to do. Liliana in charge would be an interesting time... :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Flashback Friday

I've been in a French mood this week, so I decided I should get one of my pictures out, which turned into four...didn't want to leave anyone out. Sometimes I am still surprised when I see pictures of me in France. Especially as I looked over some of the landscape shots I got... it's such a beautiful country- so old, but mixed with the modern.

This was my closest group of friends- Vanessa, Aurelie, Anne, and Aurore (and her mom)- we were staying at Aurore's have fondue and then getting up in the morning to dress up as the Adams Family, go out in the streets, and beg for money, which we then used for dinner. That would be a blog in itself...

These are my American friends Katherine, Jessica, and Tina. They were always there when I needed to vent... in english :)

My big group of school friends on my last day. They were all so good to me. I was a lucky person to be so well accepted.

And my Canadian friend, Colleen. A kindred spirit in many ways. We were in my French mom's new Beetle :)
What a crazy, amazing experience... :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Yes, My Hands Are Full

Now that Moira is older and Liliana can (at times) understand reason, I have started to dare to go out in public with all three girls more often. They are usually well behaved, since I try very hard to time these outings so that they are not overly stressed or tired, and I keep the outings short. They don't make trouble, they aren't very loud, and they stay under control.

Still, every time, and I mean EVERY time, that I have ventured out, someone has felt the need to say, "Wow, you sure do have your hands full." And so I nod my head, and laugh, and say, "Yes I do" or "We have a lot of fun." Other comments I receive are "Are they all girls?" to which I reply, "Yes, and I have promised my husband a man-room in 10 years." or "Are you going to try for a boy?" Me- "No, if we have more it will just be for a healthy baby." yada, yada, yada...

So this afternoon I take the girls with me grocery shopping. Liliana cried for probably 10 minutes because Grace seatbelted her into the car they were sitting in (at which point I seatbelted Grace in as well, haha). I actually saw a 20-something man smiling to himself as I casually ignored Liliana's cries and calmly responded to her whines. I was impressed that he wasn't irritated. And then near the end a middleaged woman caught sight of Moira and doted on her a few moments. At which point Grace stuck her head out of the car to claim some of the attention (which she got) and so I felt the need to inform her of Liliana on the other side of the car, which the woman was delighted in seeing all three and told me how beautiful they all were.

But then I entered the section of ready-made meals and deli sandwhiches where, at 5:30pm, it was full of professional women in their late 20's/early 30's picking up dinner for the night. They swished by me in their well cut dresses and designer outfits, not taking any notice of me or my abnormally sized brood. But I noticed them, and I noticed my 4 year old capris and 3 year old t-shirt with a day full of childrearing on it. I didn't envy them- but perhaps I felt less than them in that "I know I'm not cool enough to play with them" way.

At this point I actually started thinking of blogging this post and I started going over in my head the demographics in which I live. Reston is a nice place. There are million dollar homes around, as well as a nice professional singles scene near Reston Town Center (or so I hear) with its highrise apartment buildings. At times I honestly don't know how we live here with our 3 children and $100k student loan debt. We seem so out of place, or maybe I just feel out of place. I mean, my three children are such an oddity that people feel the need to comment on them, and yet I probably spend less on food in a month than most singles do. Contradiction, anyone?

And it all came together so neatly in the checkout line. The only people who don't give me the "hands full" line are other parents of multiples. Queue the well dressed woman who got in line behind me with her 2 boys, one of which started playing with Moira (totally adorable to watch). She asked me if the other two were girls and said yes. We started chatting and she said that her husband wanted a girl, but that she was sure that if they tried, that it would be a boy, and she wasn't about to lay down the money for gender selection. I laughed, thinking she was joking, but then she added, "My friend had all girls, so they did that to get a boy- he's the most adorable thing." And there it was- multiple kids and more money than you know what to spend on all rolled up into one. And again I felt totally out of my element and a little silly- I mean, I want another kid and I honestly don't care what the gender is... how could I be so careless as to not plan ever detail- and not have their college fund in place before they are even conceived? (yes that was sarcasm, i know sometimes it's hard to pick up in the written word, so just in case you were wondering...)

So if you ever hear me say that I feel alone, or out of place, or weird, this is why. My husband is a young professional in the DC area with a family the size of a typical middleaged professional man. He is where he is because we paid for his masters degree with a loan (ya know, back when you could actually get a loan, haha), but now we are dutifully paying it back, which makes our budget tight. I'm not complaining- there's not much I'm missing in my life other than the deed to a house, but I'm coming to the realization that Kaylon might never agree to that anyways. It's just that compared to my peers around me I'm different, and that is going to take some getting used to, since I'm coming from a place where I was very much the norm. I love my life- I love being a mom to three girls. I guess I'll just have to get a shirt made that says:

Yes, they are all girls, but
No, I'm not trying for a boy.
Yes, they keep me busy, but
Yes, we want another.
Yes it's expensive, but
It is worth it every day.
Yes, my hands are full,
But so is my heart.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Happy 8th Anniversary!

This is by far my favorite wedding picture. Janet Gordon did our pictures and at this point she said something along the lines of: Relax, you guys are getting married- look like you like each other, which made us laugh and more naturally hold each other. There are a many things that I can count on in our relationship, and one of those is that we make each other laugh (mostly because we have the same warped sense of humor). Marriage isn't easy- I'd accuse anyone who said otherwise, but Marriage is worth it. I think we've gotten through the hard times because we have never let go of certain things: our friendship that started our relationship, and that has only gotten stronger; our desire for a healthy, happy home for our family; our love, that while tested at times by our own weaknesses, has grown stronger through the refiner's fire; and our desire to serve the Lord, who, we know, will help us through anything if we only ask.

So, Happy Anniversary Kaylon. I love you more today than I did 8 years ago, and have faith that in another 8 years I'll be able to say the same.

Notes to self

#1 Don't take benedryl while watching children- it knocks you out.

#2 Check swim diapers for poop BEFORE you take them off. ugh

Grocery Store

Recently I have actually been brave enough to take all three girls to the grocery story with me. I can usually keep the older two in check with the promise of a donut if they are good. Moira is typically content to sit and take in everything.

Well, I realized today that Moira is old enough to sit in the cart, and she was sick of her carseat after all our errands, so I tightened the strap and plunked her in. She LOVED it. She was so happy to be able to sit and see and play with all the new cart parts she had never seen before.

But that's not even the point of this post. As I was checking out I looked down at Liliana and Grace, who were sitting in the car attached to the front of the cart, and I did a double take. Something was off. It took only a few seconds, but I figured it out- Liliana was shirtless. I calmly told her to put her shirt back on (thankfully in the car not many people saw) and chuckled to myself. I love my kids. :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Our "old" home

I promised Grace when we moved that we could go back for a playgroup this summer. The drive isn't bad when it's not rush hour (40 minutes or so). I didn't tell Grace where we were going, but she recognized her surroundings when we got off of the 270. Excitedly she exclaimed, "It's our old home! Are we moving back???!!!"

I felt so guilty at that moment. She was just so happy. I had to tell her that we weren't moving back, but that we were going to playgroup. That cheered her up, thankfully. She saw a lot of her friends and had a good time playing (so did I). It just made me want to find a place to settle down once and for all, and soon. I know that she could be fine, even with moving a lot- I mean look at me... oh wait, that's an argument against moving around... ;)

Grace made the best of it though- she had brought a pad of paper with her, which she used to draw all her favorite places as we drove by them- the playground, the mall, and toys r us... she wanted to draw our old house, but I didn't have time to go back that far and still miss friday afternoon traffic.

Flashback Friday- Liliana

There's something sweet about a baby falling asleep outside of their crib. This is Liliana in March of 2007. If I didn't know better I'd say it was Moira...