Friday, September 28, 2012

Life Emerges from the Drain

     We have a double sink in the kitchen. I only use one side of the sink, the one with the disposal. It doesn't make sense to me to rinse the dishes on the other side and catch the gunk in the drain cover and then have to empty it out. It seems like an unnecessary second step. I am pretty busy taking care of the babies so I try to simplify. Apparently, I really neglect the second sink. I did a double take when I saw something peeking out of the drain from the corner of my eye. Upon closer inspection, I realized a seedling had sprouted and was growing up around the drain cover! I could barely believe my eyes. Greg was pretty surprised too when I showed him.


       I was amazed by the miracle of life that could grow up through a drain from a fallen seed. Greg asked me if I wanted him to throw it out. "Throw it out," I exclaimed, "No!"   So, he placed it in a cup of water for the night and the next morning the seedling, which had an impressive array of roots perked up in the cup.


     I gathered some recycled soil and moisture beads and made a new home for the seedling. I cannot wait to find out what kind of plant it becomes.

     I plan to show the stages of the plant's growth to the babies.  They are too young to be impressed by the seedling sprouting from the drain, but they will enjoy counting the emerging leaves and giving it a drink of water.  What has been happening with your family?  I would love to hear from you.  As always, comments are welcome.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Artsy Play Wednesday

Artsy Play Wednesday with Capri +3
     Welcome to Artsy Play Wednesday on Capri + 3 where each week creative blogs add links to posts about arts, crafts and play activities for children.  I will get things started with a paper plate and wild rice jack-o-lantern craft that I did with the babies.  Then, please add your links.
You will need:
Large sturdy Paper plate
orange tempera paint
paint brush
green construction paper
wild rice (or white rice died black)
white glue
     Have your children paint the paper plate  turned upside down orange.  This can be done one day ahead which spreads the project fun into two days.  Once the plate is dry, trim around the edges (cutting off most of the rim) leaving a small tab sticking up to glue on the stem.  Cut a stem from the green construction paper.  Older children can do this.  Have them glue the stem onto the pumpkin where the tab is sticking up for support. Draw the jack-o-lantern face with white glue and have your children sprinkle on the wild rice.  Gently shake off the excess rice.  Once dry, the jack-o-lanterns look cute along with the pulled cotton ghosts on the mantle for festive fall decor.  Our babies proudly point to their ghosts and jack-o-lanterns on the mantle which makes me smile.
Finished Jack-o-lantern

Grayson loved to dip his brush in the paint

and Ryder liked to look at the orange paint all over his brush and fingers.

Xayden concentrated on sprinkling the wild rice

and Capri loved every part of the process.
     Now it is your turn.  Please add links directly to your arts, crafts and play posts (so that everyone can find them later).  It would be great if you would add the Artsy Play Wednesday button (html code above) to your linked posts (or a text link) so that your readers can come over and enjoy all of the great ideas.  Feel free to pin any of the posts you enjoy or you can pin Artsy Play Wednesday so that you can return when  you have time and see all the great ideas in one place.  Feel free to leave comments.  I enjoy reading each and every one.  It is time to inspire and be inspired.  enjoy.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Playing with a Parachute


     All four babies are in speech, physical therapy, Early Intervention and occupational therapy at home once or twice a week.  We want to make sure that they are on track with their developmental milestones and opted to get an early start.  Their Early Intervention therapist brought a parachute and their speech therapist, physical therapist and Early Intervention specialist worked with them using the parachute.  The parachute is used to give them a different sensory experience with the bright colors and the feeling of wind as it rises and falls.  The babies held onto it and helped bounce balls and beanbag animals in the center as it went up and down.

Xayden loved the parachute right from the start

and enjoyed the feeling as it rose above his head.

Ryder enjoyed playing with a beanbag animal on the top of the parachute

but was not so sure about sitting underneath it.

Capri's hair stood on end as the parachute flew above her head.

Grayson was frightened at first

but grew to enjoy the experience.
     It is great that the babies have the opportunity to be exposed to so many new experiences.  I appreciate having the therapists there as resources.  They are extra pairs of eyes that catch things I may not have noticed and they share wonderful ideas of activities to try with the babies.  Have you done parachute play with your kids?  I would love to hear your stories and ideas.  As always, comments are welcome.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Forty Tiny Toes

      It has been a rough week with the babies who have battled temperatures above one hundred and four degrees.  Capri was walking like someone who was intoxicated as her temperature climbed.  We have memories of her getting a virus last Thanksgiving which knocked her out for months.  Our giggling girl was only seen in fleeting glimpses and her developmental progress slowed in those months.  We have fears of that happening again as her body fights the latest infection.  All four babies have coughs and runny noses and I have also come down with a milder version of this illness.  In physical therapy, I asked about Ryder's walk sounding like the clomping feet of a horse and his therapist suspects one leg is longer than the other and said we will need to keep an eye on that.  That seemed to be another thing added to our list.  The babies have all been tired and cranky and have cried like it is the end of the world when any small thing did not go as they imagined. I have been feeling tired too and decided to take a break on the computer after they went down for their naps.

     I came across a blog in someones blog list with the title, Thirty Tiny Toes.  I thought to myself, "This must be a blog about triplets.  I will have to check it out."  So, I clicked on the link and was faced with a blog post titled, "3 Month Angelversary."  I read along until I got to the point where she said, "I miss my babies so much."  My heart stopped as I realized she meant that her babies had died.  Denial kicked in as I thought, "No, it could not have been all three," only to read further and find out that they did indeed lose all three of their babies. My eyes welled up with tears and I had difficulty reading any further.  Her babies did not have the flu or runny noses; they were gone.  My babies were asleep upstairs. 

     I read many of her posts as she discussed how she should be tired from sleepless nights up with her triplets and should have a house full of toys and gear.  Instead, she is faced with returning to work as a teacher not knowing what her students and colleagues will say.  I often leave blog post comments and usually my Google account is linked or my blog is linked to the comment.  I could not imagine leaving her a comment with a link to my Google account with the name "Multiples Mom.'  I am sure that is the last thing she would want to see.  So I left her this comment:

"I just read your story and I am in tears. I cannot imagine the strength you need to get through each day. The sunset pictures are beautiful. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I had multiple miscarriages which was excruciating but that does not compare to looking into your children's eyes and holding their hands and then losing them.
     It was signed, "Anonymous." Reading her blog put our issues into perspective.  The quad stroller broke.  Our kids are sick.  Ryder may have one leg longer than the other.  And the list goes on.  Our babies have forty tiny fingers and forty tiny toes and they are here.   We recite "this little piggy went to market" as we wash those toes.  We hold their hands as they learn to climb the stairs.  We read them stories and sing songs each night.  We have four babies to hug and to hold.  Not everyone has a happy ending to their fertility journey.  I think I had forgotten that, because our sorrows ended in joy.  Her story hit me hard and reminded me to count our blessings every day.   I did not complain about my pregnancy and I never took it for granted because we lost so many babies.  Morning sickness was a blessing that meant I was still pregnant.   I have been jolted to remember that every day with our babies watching them grow is an honor and a privilege that not everyone has. I would love to hear your thoughts.  As always, comments are welcome.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Artsy Play Wednesday

Artsy Play Wednesday with Capri +3

     Welcome to Artsy Play Wednesday on Capri + 3 where each week creative blogs add links to their arts, crafts and play posts so that we can access their wonderful ideas.  I will get things started with a craft I did with the babies and then, please add your links.  The babies made ghosts from pulled cotton.
You will need:
cotton balls
white glue
one paper plate per ghost
a pen for drawing the ghost
black construction paper
Draw a free form ghost onto a paper plate and cut it out.  Have your children pull apart the balls of cotton to make them fluffy.  Put the glue on the ghost shape for toddlers or older children can do that part themselves.  Have your children attach the pulled cotton to their ghost.  Cut out eyes and a mouth from the black construction paper and add glue to the back.  Your children can stick the eyes and mouth onto their ghosts.
A finished ghost

Ryder was fascinated by how easily the cotton pulled apart

and Capri just loved to pull the cotton.

Xayden enjoyed putting the cotton onto his ghost

while Grayson savored putting on the finishing touches.
     Now it is your turn.  Please add links directly to your posts so that everyone can find them later. It would be great if you would add the Artsy Play Wednesday button to your linked posts (or a text link) so that  your readers can come over and enjoy the party.  Add as many arts, crafts and play posts as you like.  If you have children in your life, sit back and enjoy all of the great ideas linked here.  Feel free to pin posts you like or you can always pin Artsy Play Wednesday so that you can come back when you have time and see all the great ideas at once.  It is time to inspire and be inspired.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Farewell to the Quad Stroller

     We decided to beat the heat and take the babies to the coast.  It was about an hour's drive there and another half hour to find parking.  Then we were ready to go to a nearby festival.  We were ready that is until Greg took out the quad stroller from the minivan and opened it up.  Snap!  One of the plastic pieces irreparably broke rendering the stroller useless.  Four toddlers who are not great walkers and no stroller meant we had to come up with a plan B fast.  I thought perhaps we could get a new discount double stroller, a baby backpack and an umbrella stroller and still enjoy the day.  So, thanks to Katie from In This Moment, I knew that Target had a shopping cart with seating for three so that we could make it through the store.  Katie and Target were our heroes in this Quad stroller catastrophe.

    We went to Target and, sure enough, there was the triple shopping cart.  Greg brought it over and we put three of the babies in the seats and one in the main part of the cart.  Ryder is our best walker so we figured he could walk holding my hand if need be.  We went to the stroller section and, voila, there was a lightweight discount double stroller which was super compact.  We decided just to get two as these would be lifesavers with our car space issues.  We put one stroller underneath the cart and one inside.  Ryder walked to make room for the strollers and he sounded like a miniature horse as he stomped through the store.  Two new twin strollers in hand, our day was not over.  We were able to enjoy the cool weather and stay out until temperatures cooled down at home.

Triple Shopping Cart to the rescue

     I am still not sure how to manage a solo trip to Target as I don't know if one of these amazing carts would be available. I'm not sure how to safely get the babies over to the shopping cart area.  One challenge that I face with four is that I am often homebound because it is hard to go anywhere safely with them. We have one other quad stroller that is so heavy I cannot lift it in and out of the car.  But, I am not giving up hope.  I would love some suggestions.  If you have ideas about how I can get the babies to the shopping cart area safely, I would appreciate that.  As always, comments are welcome.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Tofu for Toddlers

    A while ago, I received a great suggestion from a Mom about how to prepare tofu for toddlers using crushed graham crackers as a breading.  I tried it right away and have been making variations of it ever since.  I have used freeze dried fruit, graham crackers and different varieties of crackers.  I heat the tofu briefly in the microwave before breading it to take the chill off.  I found that if it is too warm though, the breading will not adhere.  Tofu is such a great source of  protein, is easy to prepare, and they love it. 

Breaded Tofu and Fresh Berries

Cut the tofu into cubes.

Crush your topping and shake in a plastic bag.   It's that easy.

Grayson savored his tofu

while Xayden devoured an especially large bite.

Capri tasted her tofu

while Ryder ate his with a sense of mirth.
     This is now my 'go to' recipe for a fast and healthy source of protein for the babies.  Even if you are not a tofu fan yourself, you may want to try it on your toddlers.  What are your 'go to' recipes for your kids?  I would love to hear from  you.  As always, comments are welcome.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Artsy Play Wednesday

Artsy Play Wednesday with Capri +3

     Welcome to Artsy Play Wednesday on Capri + 3, where each week blogs add links to posts about arts, crafts and play activities for children. I will get it started with a play activity I did with the babies. Then, please add your links.  We have a large Mr. Potato Head that is filled with smaller potato heads and their parts. I used the parts from the larger potato head to make Mr. Watermelon Head. I poked the pieces into the watermelon and when that was not enough I used a toothpick to make the holes. It was so much fun to see the babies interact with Mr. Watermelon Head as if he was a real person. They smiled and waved at him and then enjoyed taking off the parts and putting them back in.

Mr Watermelon Head

Grayson focused on attaching his nose

and Ryder attached his ears.

Capri gave him a dazzling smile while she reached for his hat.

Xayden had a personal conversation with Mr. Watermelon Head

and then they bonded while wearing the same sunglasses.

     Now it is your turn.  Please add links directly to your arts, crafts and play posts (so that everyone can find them later).  It would be great if you would add the Artsy Play Wednesday button (html above) to your linked post (or a text link) so that your readers can come over and join in. If you have children in your life, sit back, relax and enjoy all of the wonderful ideas shared here.  Feel free to pin individual posts or pin Artsy Play Wednesday to have access to all of the great ideas at once.  Feel free to leave comments.  I always enjoy reading them.  It is now time to inspire and be inspired.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Riding in the Cart


     We recently took all four babies to the store.  I pushed the shopping cart while Greg pushed the quad stroller.  The babies had never sat in a shopping cart before and were so excited when they each took turns riding in the cart.  It got me thinking that this is a normal day to day experience for kids who are born one at a time.  It is an impossibility when I am alone with four.  When I take them to the store, I push the quad stroller and carry a hand cart in one hand. I pick up only a few items that I am able to carry while pushing over one hundred pounds of baby plus the weight of the stroller. I cannot interact with them the way I can if they are facing me in the shopping cart.  Greg and I decided that when he goes to the store, he will take one baby each time so that they can have that one on one time and the experience of riding in the cart.

     Ryder, Capri and Grayson had all had a turn with Daddy and it was Xayden's turn.  I had given all of the babies a bath and put their pajamas on before Greg got home.  He hesitated when he saw Xayden in his jammies and said he would feel funny taking him out in his pajamas.   I assured him that no one would care if a toddler wore pajamas to the store at night.   Greg decided to put something over his pajamas.  He picked a pair of overalls that did not match and we had a good laugh that he felt better taking him out in a mismatched outfit than his pajamas.

Are you really going to take me outside wearing this? one is stopping me, so I guess I will try the door.

Yes!  I get to go out with Daddy.
     Luckily, the door is still Xayden proof and he had to wait for Daddy to open it.  They went out and had a wonderful time at the grocery store and the hardware store.  Xayden could not stop smiling as he pointed at things from his special seat in the shopping cart. We will continue to find ways to spend one on one time with the babies.  The sparkle in their eyes and the smiles on their faces make routine trips to the store anything but routine.  Do you have one on one time out in the community with your children?  I would love to hear from you. As always, comments are welcome.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Make a Grandparents' Day Card

     Grandparents' Day is this Sunday, September 9th.  Grandparents deserve to have a special day of recognition.  The babies' Nana passed away shortly before Grandparents' Day last year and we lost the babies' Papa in February of this year.  They will be in our hearts this Sunday and every day.  The babies are fortunate that they have my parents, their Grandma and Grandpa as well as Great Grandpa from Greg's side and Great Grandma from my side of the family.  We live too far away from all the grandparents to celebrate with them.  So, the babies are sending a card to Grandma and Grandpa this year.  It is easy to make, and if the grandparents in your life live nearby, you still have time to make one. 

You will  need:

Construction paper in different colors
Glue or two sided tape (The scrapbooking tape rolls work nicely)
Tempera or other non-toxic paint
photograph of each child
A small piece of raffia or ribbon
Hole Punch
Scrapbooking Letters and stickers (optional)
Decorative scissors to trim photos (optional)

  • Put a blob of paint on your child's hands.   Your child can then rub her hands together to spread it  out.  Our babies loved rubbing their hands together with the paint.  Alternatively, you could paint it on their hands which would tickle and create a fun sensory experience.  Have your children make hand prints on different colors of construction paper (one set of hand prints per child).
  • After the hand prints are dry, cut around them.  Older children can do this.
  • Stick (with glue or tape) the  hand prints onto a different color of construction paper.
  • Attach the child's picture above or below the hand prints.
  • For the opening of the card, you can use scrapbooking letters or if the children are old enough to write, they can write their own message and decorate it. 
  • Punch a hole through the pages of the card on the top and tie it with ribbon or raffia in a bow.  This way the grandparents can separate the pages if they prefer to see them all at once.


Ryder (photo by Susana Bates)

Grayson (photo by Susana Bates)

Xayden (Photo by Susana Bates)

Capri (Photo by Susana Bates)

The card finishes with a photo of the babies after the  Block Party

      The babies had a great time making hand prints for the card.  I hope you enjoy a wonderful Grandparents' Day this year.  If your kids make crafts for their grandparents, please comment and add a link.  Or, you could add a link to your craft to Artsy Play Wednesday.  As always, comments are welcome.

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