Monday, January 21, 2013

The Threes: Terrible or Terrific?

I'll give you both sides and let you decide on your own.

First, the case of terrific....

-The girls actually know their colors, are learning letters slowly, and can do big kid puzzles (with some help)! Not the easy ones, the actual jig-saw variety.
Madeline working on her puzzle.
-Overall, the girls have known how to act when interacting with Will. They like touching him very gently but aren't all in his face. I feel like when my girls were 2 they wouldn't have understood that.
While watching a show, Madeline cuddled close to Will and interacted with him off and on.
Love this picture! 

-I love listening to them talk. They are especially talkative when they are not too wound up (during story time at night in particular). They talk about "yesterday" and "tomorrow", and who likes what, etc.  So fun!

-Once in awhile they will play with other kids! (They have played with their cousins for awhile now.) They stick together and are pretty cliquey at ECFE, but they recently made a friend at tot time open gym and had a blast with Anna and Elsa (my friend, Leah's kids).
Ring around the rosy, pocket full of posies.... (with Anna and Elsa)
We all fall down!
-I don't need to use the stroller for many outings. I can count on them to stay close in the parking lot. We're not to the point where they would stay with me during a grocery store trip or anything, but it's progress!

-They are still impatient, but I can reason with them on why we can't have dinner yet (we're waiting for dad!)

-Potty trained! (kinda)

Here is the case for terrible...

The girls were happily giggling while Dan and I were in another room. We had no idea what they were up to.
This was at 10 pm, more than an hour after we put them to bed (and had already told them to stop talking and go to sleep multiple times). They had taken their PJs and diapers off and were trying on clothes I had stored in their dresser.

Not cool. (Although we laughed after they couldn't see us!)

OK, so playing in the mud isn't a big deal, but it is if grandpa told them to stop and they just ignored him and kept doing it! Where are my good listeners?

-I can't just dress them how I want anymore! They know who has to wear what color and often insist on particular shirts, even if it's for the third day in a row. I say, pick your battles! I do know this is a very normal toddler type of phase and they are just craving independence, yada, yada, yada. (Sometimes I purposely put a TV show on that distracts them because then they won't notice what I'm putting them in- HA!)

-It seems like they get into more stuff now than when they were two. They never would have helped themselves to Resolve carpet cleaner and some wash cloths and cleaned the front door as two year olds, but YUP, they did that yesterday. Next time I'll show them where the Windex is.  (Just kidding, we're finally getting a lock for the cupboards.)

-Neediness and tantrums are still full-blown sometimes. Sofia is having the hardest time lately with neediness, but it is tied in with the whole baby adjustment, I believe.

-Potty training. It's on both sides because although they are basically potty-trained they still have accidents and it's stressful being out in public  After so many accidents you just want them back in diapers!! I never thought about how easy diapers make your life until it was time to lose them.

What I look forward to is for them to be "independent" potty-trained, for them to dress themselves (they're working on it), and for me to trust them when they're in another room. I am not wishing time away, but I can fondly anticipate the future, right?

Here are a couple more pics...
Leah practicing holding a newborn again! (She's due to have her 3rd child- a BOY- in March).
Sofia playing Jake and the Pirates
Josie happy to be showing off her "meow's yarn" (a loofah).

Meanwhile, Will (three weeks old now) is a very laid-back newborn. He only cries when he's hungry and when he's sleeping we barely remember he's there! Last week he was giving me good stretches at night, but the last three nights he wants to be fed every two hours still. I'm lucky, though. I know that he will get more demanding, but I'm hoping it's at the same time the girls get less demanding, more independent, and/or more trustworthy. (I know those are lofty hopes and dreams but maybe I'll be so lucky!)
Nice outfit! (Thanks, Jimmy and Susie!)

Luckily, I have had great help since Will has been born (Thanks, Deb and Mike and mom and dad!) A new baby makes everything more complicated, but I'm slowly getting the hang of it and won't need as much help. The hardest part to do alone is from dinner until the girls' bedtime because Will naturally cluster feeds. Since Dan is home during that time it's great, but he is set to travel next week.

Hope you are all doing well!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Introducing Our Newest Love, William James Klopp

He's here, he's here! I'm so over the moon in love with our son, William ("Will"). Pregnancy, labor and delivery, and our son are all I could ever dreamed for. The quad pregnancy was very unique and it produced my first loves, but I am so happy that I could experience the normal singleton pregnancy, too. If you have some time, here's my birth story. Sorry if it's too long! If you want to skip the story and just see some pics, there's a link at the end of the post!

The Birth Story- UNABRIDGED!
Honestly, I was getting quite impatient for our son to make his appearance. I wasn't that uncomfortable, really, but was ready to see him and not have a big belly in the way! The 39 week OB check-up showed some progress that my body was starting to get ready, but of course the nurse practitioner couldn't give me a good guess when he'd come. I was planning on trying for a VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean) so there was no scheduled C-section and I also was hoping to avoid being induced. Soooo....I started going on some good walks! I had a good walk the day after Christmas trudging through snow, a good walk on Friday, and then another with just Odin on Saturday morning. Anyways, earlier that same Saturday I woke up at 3:30am with contractions that felt much different than the Braxton-Hicks that I had been experiencing lately. I couldn't sleep once they started because I was so excited and nervous that labor could actually be starting!
    Saturday morning, the contractions were irregular but still felt different. I decided to take Odin for a nice walk for some peace and to see if it could start labor. When we put the girls down for a nap, I started paying attention to contractions and they seemed to get more regular at 10 min apart or so. By the time the girls woke up, they were getting painful so I put a movie in so I could lay down and continue timing them. (Meanwhile, Dan went ice fishing - which I condoned - before the nap because I thought labor had stalled and was a false alarm). Throughout the movie I realized these contractions were coming every 4 to 5 minutes and I had to concentrate and try to relax my breathing. When Dan came home, he said he was going to cook us crappies, but I said, NO....we're going to the hospital. He was shocked and started freaking out! It was kind of funny to watch! He hadn't packed anything beforehand for himself and he was just scrambling trying to get ready. I called Dan's aunt Mary and uncle Dave to come watch the girls and they got to our house very quickly. 
    The ride to the hospital was kind of like you see in the movies. I was yelling at Dan to "ease into those stops!!!!" because I was getting really uncomfortable, plus Dan was probably driving faster than he should have. When we checked into Labor and Delivery, they said they would monitor the contractions and see if my cervix progressed. (The first cervix check was 3 cm..the last appointment it was 1 1/2 cm) The nurses told me if my cervix didn't progress they would send me home even though I was getting contractions every 3-4 min at the time. I was so scared they were going to send me home like that! I couldn't wrap my head around the fact I might *not* be in labor. Well, after less than an hour of monitoring, the nurses told me the doctor reviewed my charts and said I should stay since I'm relatively high risk (VBAC and positive group B). That was a relief! Soon after, the nurses checked me and I was at 4 cm, so I would have stayed anyways.
   Originally, I was hoping I could cope through contractions, but I didn't have my mind set on going drug-free. I hadn't taken any birthing classes- it was too hard to find the time and spend hours on Saturdays. Anyways, I quickly realized I was not prepared and basically begged for an epidural. I just could not relax my body. Once the epidural kicked in, I was the happiest girl ever! After an hour on the epidural, my water naturally broke, and things really picked up the pace. I was at 8 cm before I knew it, and half an hour later I was fully dilated and ready to push. It really struck a chord when the nurses brought in the baby warmer. That was probably the most surreal part before the actual delivery.
   I pushed through 5 contractions- which ended up being 20 minutes because the contractions spaced out a little more. He was out and my world changed! Dan and I were in complete and utter awe and what just happened. I can just picture seeing William on my belly and Dan's reaction. It was such a great experience. I want to cry just thinking of it again! We arrived at the hospital 7:30pm (?) and he was here at 1:15 am. Pretty quick!
   William weighed in at 8 pounds, 5 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long. His head circumference was 14 inches. His Apgar scores were both 9. During labor, Dan and I quickly made our guesses on weight. Dan guessed 7 lbs 10 and I guessed 8 lbs 1. He's a good-sized boy! It is sad to think about, but he weighed more than all four quadruplets combined. 
   Overall, I had a great birth experience.

Coming home felt great and the girls have been interested in him. They also seem like they need adjustment time too which is to be expected. When I'm not nursing him, I try to give them a lot of attention, but there is so much to do!
    Speaking of nursing, that has been going well- of course it's still painful but he is vigorous and hungry. I'm glad he's a "Madeline" eater and not a "Sofia" eater! (Sofia as a baby was quite lazy and often didn't want to eat.) He's still too new to have much of a schedule and he's been unpredictable. Usually he'll want to eat every 2 hours. At night he has given me 3 whole hours! Woohoo! Yup, I'm pretty tired....
    I'm putting all the pictures on Flickr again because it's much faster, and frankly it has taken a couple different attempts to finally get this blog up! Hope you all had a fabulous New Years (I barely knew there was a holiday)!!!
     Lastly, Dan and I want to thank ALL of our help these last couple of days. You know who you are and we greatly appreciate it all. What would we do without family?