Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Bat Disguised as a Vacuum

     We took the Sugar Snaps to a baseball themed birthday party for twins recently.  The theme of the party was the Minnesota Twins because the birthday boys' daddy is from Minnesota and they are twins.  I thought this was such a clever idea!  My husband enjoys watching some sports but neither one of us is especially sporty.  This was very clear when the Sugar Snaps were exposed to toy baseball bats at the party for the first time.  Xayden proudly exclaimed  "vacuum!" when he saw the bat.  At that moment I realized that they may need a little more exposure to sports. 

Grayson used the bat as a walking stick

while Ryder peered down the drain holding the ball and bat.

Xayden caught on pretty fast for mistaking the bat for a vacuum...

Capri ran with the Minnesota Twins flag.

We loved the cute Stadium food.  The Sugar Snaps will have to wait to try cotton candy though...

   Sugar Snaps on sugar is an experience to be avoided.  I was tempted by it and resisted.  There is something fun about fluffy sugar clouds. We enjoyed the wonderful party and they gave the Sugar Snaps Bats and balls as favors. We can now reinforce that they are balls and bats rather than vacuums!  Have you been to any parties with fun themes?  What themes have you had for your children's parties.  I'd love to hear from you.  As always, comments are welcome.  

If you have an extra moment, we would really appreciate it if you would vote for Capri + 3 in the Circle of Moms Top 25 multiples blogs. We are currently #14 and are the underdogs who did not make it last year.  Please help us make it this year.  You can vote once every 24 hours through May 8th.  Just follow the link and scroll down until you see the picture of the Sugar Snaps next to Capri + 3 and click 'vote.'  Thank you!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sailor Love

     We went out on a date night  to see West Side Story and my sister-in-law, Leanne, graciously agreed to watch her niece and nephews, which is busy to say the least, while she is pregnant.  Our newest niece is due in July. We dressed them in their sailor suits for added cuteness while they spent time with Aunt Leanne.  Before she arrived, I took some photos of the Sugar Snaps on the couch.

     One thing we have learned is that Capri, with her infectious laugh, has a special place in her brothers' hearts.  Each one of them likes to be next to her and they love to give her a hug.  At times, her brothers do not want to hold hands with each other, but do not object to holding Capri's.  She enjoys her popularity and smiles a charming smile which keeps her brothers in awe. I did not plan to take photos of each brother with Capri.  It just worked out that way.

Grayson and Capri shared a moment

and then a cute sibling kiss.

Ryder felt shy as Capri  went in for a hug.

Xayden is the most in awe of his sister.

     Whenever I bring the Sugar Snaps a treat, Xayden says, "Thank you Mama.  Thank you Capri."  Any time he has the chance to pick up her "Bunny Hop Hop" when she drops it, he does and brings it to her with a smile.  She has a sparkle that appeals to all of her brothers.  We can't resist her laugh either as she lets it take over her whole body.  Is there a child in your family that is popular with the siblings? If you have family photos that you'd like to share, I would love to see them.  Just leave a link.  

     We would really appreciate it if you would vote for Capri + 3 in the Circle of Moms top 25 Multiples Blogs.  You can vote once every 24 hours per network. We would be so grateful for any Facebook shares or shout outs on Twitter (or in your community).  Just scroll down the list until you find Capri + 3 (a picture of the Sugar Snaps from the Spring Photo Shoot, currently #12) and click 'vote.'  Thank you!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Our First---and Hopefully Last--Trip to the ER

    It is pretty chaotic having four toddlers running around at the same time.  The other night, Greg and I were both home and I had Capri on the changing table to put on her pajamas.  Xayden was sitting at the horseshoe shaped table which has four little seats hooked onto it.  It has been so nice to have those chairs as they allow the Sugar Snaps to sit at the table and eat or do 'table time' activities like puzzles and art.  For a while now, some of the Sugar Snaps have tested boundaries by shimmying out of their chairs, even when strapped in, and either standing up or climbing onto the table.  I have lost track of how many times we have said, "sit down!"   It is so many though that they can all imitate it complete with the same intonation.  It is interesting to hear how we sound through the voice of our children.

     On this night, Xayden shimmied out of his seat and quickly stood on the table while Greg and I called 'sit down!' from across the room as I changed Capri and Greg helped Ryder.  Before we could prevent it he fell off the table on the inside of the horseshoe and hit his head hard on the slate floor. Greg, who was closest ran and scooped Xayden off the floor feeling the large bump that had risen immediately out of the back of his head.  He walked over to me (still at the changing table) and I took Xayden and felt the bump on his head. While Greg watched Capri, I ran to the freezer with Xayden to get a bag of frozen grapes for his head.  Then, I ran to the car and drove him straight to the emergency room of a local hospital. 

Charming, Daring Xayden...

     The bump was so large that emergency room personnel did not have to examine him to see it.  They saw it as soon as I approached the counter with Xayden in my arms and said, "we need to get this kid triaged."  When they found out he fell from a table onto a slate floor, they found us a bed right away where I sat and held him.  I am sure they wondered why I let my child stand on a table and fall onto the slate floor (as evidenced by momentarily raised eyebrows).  I explained that we have four two year-old toddlers and it seemed to make more sense to them. 

     The very nice ER doctor took a look at Xayden and explained that many doctors would automatically send him for a CT scan based on the size and location of the bump but he wanted me to know our options based on science.  He said that the kind of trauma where there is bleeding in the brain is like a needle in a haystack, rare and hard to find.  Xayden was alert, had not vomited or lost consciousness and his pupils looked normal.  It was unlikely, though possible, that Xayden had that level of trauma.  He explained that the back of the head is more vulnerable than the front in terms of skull fracture.  I was surprised as I would have imagined the opposite as the front feels more vulnerable because of the face.  He explained that if he had bruising underneath or a fracture, he would likely be admitted and then would have more CT scans to monitor him and it was like 'opening Pandora's box.'  Each CT scan would increase Xayden's chances of getting cancer in the future and no further treatment would be provided.  Given that information, after speaking with Greg on the phone, we opted to take him home. Every two hours I awoke Xayden who we put in a pack'n'play by the bed and asked him what letter his name started with and what was the name of his Lovie (with whom he sleeps). Luckily, he knew the answers.

     The next day, we took the Sugar Snaps to a birthday party at a park.  This was the same park where we did the Easter Egg Hunt and a child from our multiples group had fallen off the structure that day and was momentarily unconscious.  They went to the emergency room and he was fortunately all right.  We had all four Sugar Snaps at the playground.  Grayson has stood perilously close to the edge many times and Greg's eyes were on him (and Ryder) as they climbed higher.  Capri climbed onto another part of the structure while I watched her.  We had momentarily stopped watching Xayden (though we knew exactly where he was).  He had never had the tendency to dance with danger on the edge which made play structures seem 'Xayden proof.'  But, this time he did and fell right off, landing on his bottom before falling back onto the bump on his head.  We felt like parents of the year.  He fell not once, but twice in the same weekend!  Parents shared their ER stories with us and we realized that we are not the only ones who have been there.  While we do not want any families to need emergency services, it is nice to know that other parents are human too and their kids have also fallen when they were right there.  I spent another night waking Xayden up every two hours and asking him questions just in case.  Thankfully, he is doing well and describes his experience as "uh oh table.  Xayden fall bump head."

      Have you been to the emergency room with anyone in your family?  Please share your experiences in the comments. It helps to know we are not alone.   If you have an extra moment, please click on the Circle of Moms Top 25 button on the upper right side of the sidebar and vote for us by finding the Capri + 3 button on the contest and clicking 'vote.'  You can do this once every 24 hours through May 8th.  We'd love to make it to the top 25 this year.  Thank you.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Jump Into Spring Photo Shoot

     We had so much fun doing a Spring photo shoot with Mia Z photography last year, that we decided to do it again. Mia is also a Mama of multiples and is wonderful with children. If you missed last year's Spring shoot, or you want to compare, click here to see that post.

The Sugar Snaps watched as Mama and Daddy acted silly.  (Mia Z Photography)



I like this photo of the transition between positions. (Mia Z Photography)

 The Sugar Snaps (Mia Z Photography)
     Whenever we have the chance to do a photo shoot with a professional photographer, we enjoy it.  Mia has talent and an eye for photography which shows in her work.  As you can imagine, getting four toddlers to look in the same direction at one time is no small feat. 
      Since we had our four all together, we get one shot at capturing their childhoods and we want to capture everything we can.  I think they will enjoy looking back at these moments growing up together.  I hope they will experience lifelong friendships due to their shared experiences and connection.  Do you enjoy doing photo shoots with your family?  Feel free to leave links to your photo shoots.  I'd love to see them.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Choo choo!

   We started to introduce a little educational programming for the Sugar Snaps when they were almost two.  They love the ABC Train DVD and also books about trains.   We can hear the train from where we live and they excitedly shout , "choo choo!" when they hear it in the distance.  Each night as part of our bed time routine, we sing "Down by the station" with them and then do a few rounds of "chuga, chuga....choo choo!" while we pull our imaginary levers.  When we found out that a local train was having a special one hour ride suitable for toddlers, we knew we had to go.

     We found out that it is a 'railway tradition' to stop and get off the train while it backs up and comes down the tracks with steam rising for people to take pictures.  We decided it was worth it to get off the train with the four Sugar Snaps (which was no easy feat) to experience it.  The first picture you see is the train coming down the tracks.  What you don't see is Greg holding on to three of the Sugar Snaps hands tightly at a distance while I am standing closer with Ryder's entire arm between my legs so I can snap a quick picture without him running towards the train.  I gripped him with my legs and bent sideways to snap the photo around all the other people snapping pictures. I am sure the people without a toddler between their legs got better pictures, but it was far more memorable being there with Ryder as he excitedly watched the train coming our way. 

You can see that I was leaning at an angle to capture this shot... 

Capri seemed to contemplate her ride on the train.

 Grayson modeled Daddy's glasses and cried, "choo choo!"

Ryder was so excited that he beamed

 and Xayden cried, "choo choo!" whenever he heard the sound.
    Have you done train rides with your family?  We had a lot of fun and would definitely get off again for the 'railway tradition.'  It also beat staying on the train as they would have been squirmy by the time it started up again.  Do you have any adventures you'd recommend trying with a toddler?  I'd love to hear from you.  As always, comments are welcome. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Jump into Spring with Recyled Egg Carton Flowers

     I save a lot of egg cartons for crafts and play activities. They are great for sorting as well as cutting and making in to fun creations. I tend to look at the egg carton and envision all kinds of crafts. As I looked at one of the cartons recently, I thought that four of the compartments looked almost like a flower but not quite. So, I cut out the section of four and then cut out and glued on another section, and it transformed into a flower ready for the Sugar Snaps to paint.  If you are a teacher, this would make a great Mother's Day craft for your students. 

  Recycled Egg Carton Flower

You will need: 
  • Recycled egg carton (five compartments per flower) 
  • Scissors 
  • White glue
  • Tempera paint in flower color of your choice and container to put it in
  • Paint brush 
  • Recycled tissue paper (yellow or orange and green)
  • Construction paper in background color of your choice
     This craft requires some grown up preparations before the little ones can get involved.  First, cut out a section of four compartments and cut around each one to resemble the petals of a flower.  Then, cut out one more compartment and glue it (or staple it) on the back of the flower (side that holds the eggs).  Once the glue has dried, it is ready to paint. 

Recycled Egg Carton Flower ready to paint

     I put a sheet of wax paper underneath for easy clean up.  You could also use recycled newspaper.  Have your child paint the flower and allow it to dry.  Then your little one can crumple the tissue paper for the flower's center.  The Sugar Snaps love to crumple tissue paper (or any paper really).  Add a dab of glue to the center of the flower and have your child press it into the center.  Then form a stem and leaf with the green tissue paper for your child (or your older child can do this part).  Glue the tissue paper stem and leaf on to the background paper along with the egg carton flower. 

    Xayden loved painting the flower red.  It took a while to dry due to his enthusiasm.


Monday, April 1, 2013

Color Eggs in a Ziploc Bag--a No Mess Success!

     Last year, we colored Easter Eggs using a whisk.  If you missed that post, you can click on the link to find out how.  This year, I wanted to try another easy method for toddlers.  So, we tried coloring eggs in Ziploc Bags.  You may remember that we did painting in a bag when the Sugar Snaps were smaller, so I decided to use a similar method to color the eggs.  It was so easy and fun!

Grayson enjoyed coloring his egg.
You will need:
  • Ziploc sandwich bags
  • Food coloring
  • White vinegar
  • Water at room Temperature
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Measuring cups (1/2 cup size and 1 cup size)
  • Tablespoon size measuring spoon
Their finished eggs were vibrant.
     I have purchased the egg coloring kits many times and they are convenient, but it is also easy to color eggs using ingredients you probably already have at home.  For each egg color, mix one tablespoon of white vinegar with 1/2 cup of water in a 1 cup measuring cup (or a bowl).  Add several drops of food coloring until you achieve the desired color.  Then pour it into the Ziploc bag and add a hard boiled egg.  Have your toddler roll the egg back and forth in the bag (off of the table).  It is a good way to teach them about being gentle and that eggs can break.  We only had one egg casualty. I was very happy with that as I had all four of the Sugar Snaps coloring eggs at once. They had fun picking out their colors and watching their eggs transform.  After they finished an egg (and I placed it in the carton to dry), they switched Ziploc bags to try out a new color. 
     I hope you have been enjoying the Spring season.  We have been having a lot of fun going to egg hunts and just spending time outdoors.  I would love to hear from you.  As always, comments are welcome.

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