Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Valco Runabout Tri Mode Twin

Try saying that three times really fast!

Look at THIS contraption. I don't even have any words for this, especially since it appears to be the stroller that I may very well end up with, only in red of course. The only foreseeable drawback is that I once bought a car, an actual real life automobile, for less money than the sticker price of this Valco, but the reality of the matter is that we do in fact need a triple stroller and this one seems to be the only one I can find that will meet all of our needs. Now I just need a way to convince Brendan.

* I had a fantastic post nearly finished about this, complete with pictures of other obviously far inferior strollers, a brief account of my presently dwindling love affair with the BOB Duallie and even some footage of our current double, a Kolcraft Contours Options, when all of a sudden Safari shut down "unexpectedly" (thanks for the sympathy Apple) and I lost it ALL. Now there are hungry babies demanding some lunch and attention and I simply don't have the time to devote to a complete do over. I do however have a great 20% off coupon code good for all strollers at Babies R Us, only good through tomorrow so holler if you're interested.*

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Crib

I must admit that I have done very very little to actually get ready for the arrival of June8ug. You know, we have practically everything we need for a baby, infant car seat(s), Baby Bjorn, swing, bouncy seat, Bumbo, play mat(s), about a million and one baby outfits suitable for either a boy or a girl. I mean, you name it and we've probably got it. The one thing we don't have is a crib. Well, I take that back, we actually have TWO cribs, but it just so happens that they are both being used at this very moment by two hushed and lullabyed toddlers who are sleeping very peacefully. Initially, and even up until a few days ago, we figured that June8ug would make do with a pack n' play or a cradle or heck maybe even a cardboard box until the twins were ready to give up their cribs and graduate to toddler beds. I mean what's the point of having 3 cribs when in just a few short months we won't have a need for 2 of them? Seems kind of silly to buy another one now........or at least it did. I guess the nesting bug has finally caught up with me, because ever since last week it has been bothering me, really bothering me, that the baby still doesn't have a place to lay her little head once she joins us at home. 

I have actually been nesting for quite some time now, but I took advantage of it to get some other projects done around the house. We cleaned out the garage, we gave the girls a brand new bedroom, we organized our entire basement storage room (ok, this one is a slight exaggeration, but you should have seen it before I 'tidied' it even just half way), why we even remodeled our entire living room for crying out loud! The nesting that I've experienced during this pregnancy has benefited our entire family, well everyone that is EXCEPT for June8ug! I've been very practical and patient, knowing that we have all the necessities, the fact that they are all in storage didn't bother me. I've been biding my time, knowing that all my labors are late to start and slow to develop and so I've been waiting to really get prepared. During Maija's pregnancy I got every single detail finished weeks before she arrived, and I spent those final weeks surrounded by a million lovely baby items without a lovely baby in my arms. Which didn't matter to me then because I had the luxury of time and space and quiet. I spent hours in her nursery, folding baby clothes, organizing her changing table and most importantly DAYDREAMING about life with a new baby and the ways in which my transition into motherhood would forever change me as a woman. I feel guilty admitting this, but with 7 kids running around here nowadays, I don't get a lot of time for daydreaming, at least not the productive kind. You know the daydreaming which inspires you to sort out the baby clothes and pre-wash them? The kind that motivates you to pre-stack all the diapers and arrange the baby lotions and ointments in a neat little row? The type of daydreaming that warrants a trip to Babies R Us to buy a crib?!? No, most of the daydreaming that takes place between June8ug and me occurs after I have dragged my weary body off to bed. I hug June8ug, surround her with my love, imagine what those tiny toes are up to in there and fall asleep almost immediately. Not exactly the type of daydreaming that gets the job done, the crib assembled, the swing brought up from storage or the itsy-bitsy diapers stacked.

Well all of that has changed my friends! Once it started bothering me that the baby does not in fact have a place to sleep yet, well everything else just started falling into place, and this is what we now HAVE to do while daydreaming about June8ugs arrival.......

Not exactly a crib quite yet, but you can't have a crib without a fresh coat of paint now can you? And you definitely can't have a fresh coat of paint without stripping the walls of their paper, right? And you certainly can't strip the wallpaper without taking apart three bookshelves hmmmm? And you absolutely cannot take apart three bookshelves without finding new homes for approximately 400 books, no? And the list goes on and on and on, but I figure you get the picture? June8ug will be sharing our room until s/he is ready to join the twins in the nursery. My LONG term goal for this is to have a bunk bed with a trundle pull out, but for now there does not seem to be a way to avoid buying another crib, so 3 cribs for 3 peanuts it is! But first, the dreaded wallpaper project.......

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Who could have ever guessed that bubbles would keep a group of children wildly entertained for days and days and days? It seems that even the older ones are wishing that their Easter baskets had come complete with bubble wands. Here they are just goofing around....

The cheapest and most entertaining products I've stumbled upon have been: Bubbles, balloons and card board boxes! At Micah and Finn's birthday celebration Oscar played inside of this box for what felt like hours!

As for the allure of balloons, well I think that's fairly self explanatory. The night before Micah's 5th birthday we snuck into his room while he was fast asleep and left nearly 25 balloons floating around on his ceiling, so that when he woke up he was completely surrounded by them. It was a big hit!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Year Ago Today

A year ago today this is what my little niblets were up to...

Can you tell who is who? What a silly question, of course you can!

Looks like we had a very busy day last year, playing in our new high chairs, lounging in the sunroom and even taking a walk around the block in the stroller. Wish I had that type if energy today!

As it stands, I did manage to get us all out the door and to the Y in time for a morning water aerobics class. The babies of course went to childcare so that June8ug and I could splash about whole heartedly, and after nap time we are going for a routine prenatal appointment. I'd be lying though if I tried to deny how sluggish I am feeling lately and I can only hope for a boost in my energy levels soon. There is still a lot to be done before our new little one arrives on the scene.

Ferry Time

Throughout my own childhood years I took many trips to Devil's Lake. My grandpa, Ace, was an avid outdoorsman and we made a fall trip to the Devil's Lake campground annually. One of the highlights of our drive was a trip across the Wisconsin River aboard a car ferry, so I was really looking forward to taking our own kids on the ferry. You know it never ceases to amaze me, the way everything gets much smaller as you grow older. I remember the ferry being very large and the river being very wide. Alas, this is no longer the case now that I am 29. When we reached the loading dock and looked across the river I couldn't help but giggle a little bit at just how short a ride it would be, as the other shore looked like a mere hop skip and jump away!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Here you are ladies and gentlemen.....
Proof that some children will go to dangerous lengths for a little extra computer time!

Although, one could certainly make the argument that this ONLY proves that some parents will go to dangerous lengths for a good blog photo!


I recently overheard these hilarious conversations between the kids....
The first of which occurred while we were at a park this past week.

Ruari: Nuala is so fat, she is sooooo fat! (which for the record is not entirely off the mark)

Sidhe: (horrified) Ruari! DON'T talk like that about poor little Noodle.....(this is Nuala's nickname)

Maija: Nuala is a RAVIOLI noodle.....(as if ravioli is an acceptable way to say "fat")

Ruari: Yeah! That would make Oscar a Ramen Noodle!!!!!

*So there you have it, whatever noodle you're in the mood for we've got em all! The next conversation took place yesterday as the girls were cleaning up their art room.*

Sidhe: I am dying! (apparantly cleaning will do this to you)

Maija: (laughing) No you're not.

Sidhe: Well if for some reason I AM really dying, could someone please tell Finn that it doesn't feel like tickling!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Devil's Lake

The kids have all been on spring break this past week, which of course meant that I had all 7 home with me all week long. We had a blast! You know it's funny, but when the twins were born I received a good deal of advice from women and families and dr's and well all sorts of people, but no matter who I was talking to, whether it was the receptionist at my OB's office or the lactation specialist at the hospital or even just a friendly neighbor out walking their dog, a common theme I encountered was that everyone told me just how much "help" I would have once they learned about our large family. Now at the time, I was already well into the newborn sleepless night stage and was feeling a wee bit overwhelmed what with all the crying and nursing and not sleeping. I was even beginning to feel as if my adept and very wonderful partner couldn't even truly "help" me (forgive me honey, I have NOT in fact forgotten all those long nights you spent cradling one screaming baby in the glider while I fed another) since he, through no fault of his own, was unable to feed our hungry newborns. I've hinted to this in the past, and have even thought about devoting an entire post to the topic, but learning to breast feed Nuala and Oscar was a rather challenging task that took weeks and weeks for me to really feel comfortable with. There was even a point at around day 10 or so that I finally broke down and told Brendan that I was ready to quit and it was time to get some formula. Ironically that also happened to be the same night that Nuala gave me a 3 hour stretch of sleep and oddly that was all it took to rejuvenate my spirit and stubborn determination. At any rate, whenever people would tell me how much help I had at home, well I just didn't GET it. All I could understand was just how physically dependent the twins were and how much of that dependence was placed solely on me, the milk maid. Don't get me wrong, I grew to love nursing them just like I knew I would, and when they weaned this past winter I had a hard time with it, but I digress....somehow this spring break story is turning into the breast feeding story I have been mulling over in my head. Ok, ok, let's see, everyone told me that I would have a lot of help at home and BOY WERE THEY RIGHT!!!!!
So, having the kids home from school all week has been a wonderful treat for a lot of different reasons, I mean they are after all wonderful and extremely lovable people, not to mention very funny, but I must admit it was rather nice to have some extra hands around here during the daily rigamarole. Our kids are fantastic older siblings, seriously going to make a lot of money babysitting some day, and I can't say this enough, but I feel like the twins are incredibly, INCREDIBLY lucky to have Finn, Sidhe, Maija, Ruari and Micah around and vice versa. All seven children benefit exponentially from having one another in their lives, in their hearts, as part of their family and part of their fabric, past, present and future. As a part of the bigger picture we are all lending a hand in building together.

Ok, getting off track once again.....hmmmm, what to do?

Originally we planned on going camping over spring break, but unfortunately nature did not cooperate with us as we had hoped it might and spending our nights in 25 degree north woods weather did not seem overly appealing to us once all was said and done. So instead the kids and I took many short day trips to museums and parks and basically had a good time goofing off around the home front. Our final event, the piece de resistance if you will, took place yesterday when Brendan played hooky from work and we took a mini road trip to one of the most beautiful State parks the midwest has to offer, Devil's Lake. We left the babies behind with Sarah, which had me feeling a little torn, but really it was hard enough wrangling June8ug up the side of the east bluff, I really don't see how we would have managed it with 2 fearless toddlers in tow. Although we did come across a young couple carrying their 30 pound Bull dog up the boulders (ummm...honestly!?!), so I suppose it COULD have been done, but I guess we just weren't feeling ambitious enough for it! Don't worry the babies had a great time staying back in the city, and even got to take their first trip to the library. As for the rest of us, well THIS is what we were up to.....

By the time we reached the top and made our way to Devil's Doorway, everyone was pretty much exhausted. I tried to stay as upbeat as possible, but I have to admit that I had a hard time imagining the long climb down!

Once we landed back on solid ground the kids were more than happy to play by the lake before our drive home....

Well this has gotten about as photo saturated as possible, but I still have pictures from the ferry ride we took to get to the park. They can wait until next time, today is the final day of spring break and I have some kids to take swimming (indoors of course) and a neglected house to tidy. You can only imagine what our house looks like at the moment.....


We took the kids rock hopping at the nearby creek again this past week, remember the magnificent group shot I got of them ALL looking in opposite directions? Well, good thing I took a handful of shots because they ended up redeeming themselves rather splendidly. As usual though, it is very tricky shooting all 7 at once, and while I did suggest that we perhaps seat the babies in some laps on the log, Brendan looked at me as if I had grown a third eyeball for even entertaining such an idea! So we kept the log shot reserved for the 5 oldest children, after all they deserve their own special space in the spot light.....

Once again our newest creek recruits were absolutely mesmerized by the water and the stone throwing. Oscar kept trying to find the BIGGEST rocks he could muster, while Nuala stuck to the pebbles. 

Afterwards we all took a quick jaunt over to the playground, although I have a sneaking suspicion that everyone much prefers the creek, even the babies who truth be told are still suckers for a slide.