Milestones

August 16, 2011

We have been hitting a lot of milestones, especially today. It’s Collin’s second birthday and Bradley’s first day of kindergarten. <big sigh> I’m trying to hold back the tears.

First day of school –  All over America moms of kindergartners are crying as they watch their little ones go into the very beginning of their school career. And I’m sure some mother’s of older children are cheering, “Yes! They needed to go back to school before they drive me crazy!” Right now, I’m the crying one.

I woke up before all the kids on the first day of school, feeling that old excitement and fear as if I was in grade school again. I wonder who I will sit by? I wonder who will be in my class? I hope my teacher sure is nice? I can smell the new notebooks, glue, and crayons now. I remember when I couldn’t wait to use my new paints, and sport a new outfit and book bag.

Bradley was still fast asleep. I love sleeping children. I didn’t really want to get any of them up, but it is the “big day” and there’s no putting it off any longer.

Ready for the first day of kindergarten.

I studied the photocopied pick up and drop off procedures for Bradley’s school the night before and in the morning before we left. I looked at it through blurry eyes as I tried to push back those big momma tears that always want to spring out and overflow when you send your kid to kindergarten for the first time. I tried to orientate myself with the streets and the map, doing a rehearsal in my head. My brain did not want to cooperate since time and places are so confusing right now. I mean, he’s only a baby! And now I have to pull up, push him out of the car,  and send him into the big brick building all by himself (along with the seventy other something kindergartners)?

And I kept thinking how scary for him, but as we pulled up I smiled and in my most cheery mom voice said, “We’re here! You’re first day of kindergarten! How fun!” Fun for him, not for me – is what I really meant. I’m going to so miss having him home with me during the day. I really thought of holding onto his book bag and giving him a hundred kisses before the teachers had to pull me off, but I restrained myself. I also held back those tears (a.k.a. uncontrollable sobs) that I think all mom’s get that first day. I mean, I didn’t want to scare the poor lil’  fella’.

The thing that drove me crazy is I should have parked and made sure he got in the right line, etc. But I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep a handle on Collin, there wasn’t enough time, and there wasn’t anywhere to park anyway.

I got out anyway and helped him put on his book bag, gave him a kiss, “Have a good day. Mommy will be here in this line when you get out. Look for our car. And make sure you see Mommy in the car (for fear he might get into some other black SUV) before you get in.”

I asked one of the school staff standing there, “Where is he supposed to go?” I couldn’t really leave the car since Collin was in it, and you’re not supposed to park there (drop off only zone).

“Just go and get into the Kindergarten line,” she said motioning over to the hundreds of  lined up kids on the other side of the playground. “We goota keep this line moving. Your teacher will be holding up the Kindergarten sign. Oh wait, you probably can’t read yet. Ummm…” she was clueless. “I guess you could go park.” I looked around, park where? Two blocks away? I doubt we would make it to school on time. Cars were zooming in and out as they dropped off their kids. Movement was everywhere, and I just wanted to stay planted to that spot. “No, don’t go,” but I didn’t say it.

I took control of the situation. “Bradley, do you see that lady standing there in the white pants? See, there are two ladies, one in white and one in black? Go run up and there and ask her where the kindergarten line is.” And I held up the drop off-line while I watched and made sure he reached the ladies and was in place in line. Ticket me. I don’t care.

He was so happy and proud when I picked him up.

My dad was watching the girls, so when Collin and I got back home my dad says, “Happy Birthday, Collin! How old are you? Are you two?”

“Holy crap! I have been so busy running around to be on time this morning I forgot it was his birthday!” I mean, I remembered a week ago, two days ago…but it just slipped my mind this morning. I spoiled him the rest of the day.

He even got balloons and candy delivered from Connie at Miller’s Florist.

And…

He even got to eat the extra vegetables after dinner. (He helped himself.)

Cake and icecream for dessert.

*I forgot to get frosting. Oops. It just makes the cake healthy. ;)* And he’s two, so he doesn’t know any better yet. It also went well with the banana split icecream.

Other milestones, Mallie is crawling and pulling herself up on everything. This girl can get around…and gets into everything. I can tell she is going to be Collin’s partner in crime.

Don't eat the dog food, Mallie!

And Elsie has a tooth! Just one coming in on the top. If she gets the other one, I’m gonna call her Bugs, like Bugs Bunny. “What’s up, Doc?”

Elsie and Mickey

Oh, my sweet girls.

Second day of school – I actually cried more than I did the first day. Bradley jumped out of the car, “Bye, Mom!” as he went running. He forgot my kiss. He ran up to a teacher, “Where’s the kindergarten line?” And he was off.

Tomorrow my dad is taking him to school…on the Harley. Bradley is super excited. He is getting too big! But he will always be my baby.

xxx

Elsie Lorraine

Elsie Lorraine  a.k.a. Elsie Cakes, Tater Cake, Else

When we first brought the girls home I was so scared I would not hear them whimper or cry. They barely had a voice. They  would grunt and groan, which is common for preemies, I guess. When they did cry they sounded like little kittens trying to yowl. If you were in the other room there was a good chance you wouldn’t hear them cry at all. So I stayed real close.

1 week old

 At 3 a.m. one morning I was woken up by an ear-piercing scream. I bolted upright out of bed and was by the girls’ crib in a nanosecond. I was sure I was going to find something horribly wrong with that kind of scream, just what I had no clue. But it was just Elsie. She found her voice. And her voice is a high-pitched scream.

My ears started ringing only after a minute of hearing that kind of cry. I rushed to make her bottle just to shut her up. Ughhhh! is all I could think…and I hoped her voice would change to a regular cry real soon. It hasn’t. But it is amazing what you get used to…even at 3 am.

Strange such an alarming and screeching cry can come from someone so sweet and tiny.

Elsie at 4 months

Check out her happy scream in the recent video below:

It’s funny because it is usually the other way around. Mallie is laughing and making all kinds of noise and Elsie is the quiet one. Today it was Elsie’s day to do all the talking, I guess. Mallie was to focused on the camera. 🙂

I have all kinds of laundry to fold today…before it starts walking itself up the stairs and wanting to be fed.

Have a great day!

xxx

Recipes, ‘Spearmints, and Pooping Jellybeans

I hate to do laundry. I hate it so much that some sort of inspiration always hits me, some great project that helps me procrastinate. I excel at procrastination in a very creative way. I call it creative procrastination. 

This is what we did today.

Recipe for a ‘Spearmint (Experiment)

by Bradley Ledbetter

Measuring cups, spoons, whisks, spatulas, and anything else you can find in the kitchen drawers.

Assorted pots and pans of various sizes.

Red, yellow, and green sprinkles. Some chocolate ones, too. And the cinnamon things. All that stuff up there in the cupboard that you can find. Don’t forget the food coloring.

Flour, sugar, salt, rice, spaghetti, and anything else your mom will let you get your hands in.

Ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and other various condiments.

Pour, shake, stir. Mix it all together. Add a dash of this and a shake of that. Sprinkle in some more spices, pour in some more flour. Shake it, swirl it, put a spell on it. Do this all on the floor. There, it’s ready to pour.

But don’t let the dog eat it!!!! He will poop jelly beans.

No! Don't feed your sister. Yuck!

I had started my laundry but couldn’t pay enough attention to my little helper, Collin. There is just way to much for him to get into and too great of a possibility of him blowing the house up; furnace, water heater, etc. 

Normally he presses his face against the glass of the washing machine (we have front loaders) and watches the clothes roll around and around in there, making himself dizzy and silly. But lately this hasn’t been enough entertainment.

So I moved to the kitchen. He is also a big helper in there. As I was trying to unload the dishwasher he kept banging the door open and closed. There are times that I say “no” way too many times in a day, I really feel like I am going bonkers. I felt like putting my head in the dishwasher or banging it against the oven. Instead, I gave Collin a pot with a little bit of water at the bottom and some sprinkles for cookie decorating. Kept him busy while I was able to get a few things done in the kitchen, and still play with him. I only had to say “no” two times, when he was trying to feed Mallie his concoction, then Murphy, as you seen from pics above.

We even ate our lunch on the floor – pizza, not the ‘spearmints. It only lasted until Collin started putting blue sprinkles on everybody’s pizza.

I may not have got much laundry done, but the kitchen got cleaned, swept, and even mopped!

Oh, and Elsie slept through it all.

xxx

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

As I washed up the last big pan from supper I was thinking about all of the things I want to get done tomorrow. Finish putting my office together, organize my bookshelves, try to get caught up on laundry/or at least make a dent in it, clean out…WAIT! Sometimes I get so busy thinking about what I am going to get done that I forget to live in the moment and appreciate the day in front of me. But now that it is 9pm…I think I will give thanks to the day I just had. It has been a great day with my kids, family, and friends…and a very busy day! I set down the dish   soap and watched two tiny bubbles from the bottle float up to the kitchen ceiling. I’m tired and my feet are sore, but what a great day…

The girls cuddled and hung out in their crib while I got the boys ready. I had a lot of fun dressing everybody in green…or pink and green, love that color combo. 🙂

Mallie loves watching her hands and Elsie loves eating hers.

 

I love how they are cuddling in this one. Precious.

I absolutely adore putting the twins in dresses. They would wear pretty dresses everyday if I had enough dresses. I will have to learn how to do their hair all cute when they get bigger and get hair. Dresses came from my favorite store…Target.

I just fed her...but she wouldn't let go of that thumb.

 

Today Mallie was photogenic…last time it was Elsie. One of these days it will be both of them at the same time.

It  has been such a busy day and I am one tired momma! I am going to have to put today in two posts. This is the twins’ section of St. Patrick’s Day! Stay tuned for Bradley, Collin, green cookies, and the book fair.

G’night! And don’t let the leprechauns bite.

xxx

Meet the Twins: My November Babies

The girls are 4 months old now. Wow, I just can’t believe it. They have grown so much already. I look back at the pictures of when they were first born and can’t believe how tiny they were. Of course, I couldn’t believe it then either.

Elsie weighed 3 lbs 14oz and Mallie weighed 4 lbs 1 oz. Then, like most preemies, they lost weight and slowly started gaining it back. 

Here are a few pics from the hospital.

Mallie

 

Elsie

When they were first born they had to have special breathing treatments. Their heads were under these plastic domes that looked like a cake cover, kinda like you would see at an old fashioned diner. They had all kinds of tubes, wires, wrappings, and machines that monitored everything and were always beeping about something.Little tiny tubes pumped milk into their little tummies. They weren’t even eating an ounce yet.

All of these machines almost made me scared to touch them. And it was forever (about a week) before I got to hold them and even longer before they were able to be put together in an isolette, which I wanted very badly. It was a rough start but they are little fighters and were doing really good considering they were born at 35 weeks (5 weeks early).

Elsie

Elsie (pink hat) & Mallie (yellow hat)

Mallie

I plan on writing their birth story and all that we went through in getting these babies here as safely as possible, but I’m not quite ready yet. It is a long story as well as very emotional for me; long hospital stay, 911 calls, helicopter rides. One day real soon I will put it all down. But for now I will just focus on bits and pieces here and there.

It was the day before Thanksgiving that I got to bring them home. I had to set my alarm and wake them up every two hours to eat.

Elsie & Mallie

And somehow we managed. I’m not sure how I did it at the beginning with little to no sleep every night and taking care of two other children. I wished Brad was able to stay home but he had to work. My mom had to work also, but would come over on her lunch breaks. We have grown together andhave gotten into a pretty good routine. It is so much easier now that they are older…and I don’t have to wake them up every couple hours to eat.

There were times when I would be so stressed, waking up at 6 am, having only 4 hours of sleep, and trying to feed two crying babies who always seemed to wake up at the same time, along with Collin who still needed his diaper changed. Bradley, my 5-year-old, would try to be extra helpful and would climb on the counters to get the cereal down and try to make breakfast, which ended in more of a mess. Especially when he poured the orange juice. But at least he was trying, what a sweetie.

The boys love their baby sisters. Bradley is super helpful and Collin is always trying to kiss them.

What a good big brother. Mallie (left) & Elsie (right) and their first dolls from Grandma Lorraine

Bradley kissing Mallie

 

Collin & Elsie

Mallie (front) & Elsie (back)

 
Now Elsie weighs 10 lbs 2 oz and Mallie 11 lbs 8 oz.
 
They have changed and grown so much in only four short months, but some things stay the same.
 
Elsie still likes to sleep with one eye open to see what is going on everywhere.
 
Mallie is laid back and just smiles and coos all the time.
 
They still love to snuggle together. At night I put them at opposite sides of the crib and when I wake up they are next to each other. They must have scooted and squirmed to get close. They always say how twins have a special bond, it will be interesting to watch and see how their relationship develops.
 
xxx
 
p.s. They are fraternal twins. I am also so amazed at how they look nothing alike. Elsie is petite and blonde. Mallie is chubby and round with dark hair. Sometimes people say that one looks like me and the other Brad.