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Sorry I have not been posting regularly. We have been pretty busy with the day to day business of managing a household of six. I have some more photos to post, but those will have to wait till I get back home.

I am in Las Vegas at the moment. I have never been to the strip before and so I am struggling with "Do I go out and see some things, even thou I have no money to spend?" or "Do I just take advantage of not having toddlers clinging to me and go to bed?" I figure I have about thirty more minutes before going out would be pointless. As I am sitting here in my boxer shorts, my motivation is on the wane.

I have not been able to get a hold of Kari this evening. I hope nothing too crazy is going on. But, last I spoke to her things were pretty good. The twins have both had nasty coughs and we took them to the doctor yesterday. We figured that it was probably a virus and they would be able to do nothing for them, but it is better to error on the side of caution. We have been letting them go for a few days and they have not improved. They said that their lungs sounded clear, but sent us to get X-rays just in case and gave us a prescription for antibiotics.

The X-rays came back this morning and Jordan has a touch of bronchitis. Madison's X-ray was clear. So I guess the antibiotics were a good idea. If the girls don't improve in a few days we are to take them back to the doc.

Rylee and Reagan are doing well.

Presently we are struggling with discipline, especially with Rylee. We got into a conversation with Hillda about what she did with her six kids. She separated from her husband shortly after number six arrived and so out of necessity was pretty strict. No means no and there is no negotiating.

That would be nice. That is not exactly what we have been doing. Sometimes it is easier in the short term to give in to repeated requests and tantrums. When you are tired and stressed it is easy to give in, even thou you know that you are causing more trouble for yourself in the long run. I think that if we start sticking to our guns a little more, our lives we be much easier in the future. So that is what Kari and I have decided to do. (We talked about this the day before yesterday.)

That being said, let me give you a couple of examples.

Many evenings Rylee will not stay in bed. Like last night. She asked to go to bed. I got her teeth brushed, tucked her in, gave her a kiss, turned out the light, closed her door, and before I even got to the bottom of the stairs I heard her door opening. She wanted different panties, the ones with Dora the Explorer on them. (That will be my next example) I told her no, I wanted her to wear the "overnight" pullups not the Dora panties. I put her back in bed. About two minutes later she comes down stairs and says "poop" while pointing to her overnight pullups. So I checked - no poop. "You didn't poop. I just put those on you. It is time for night night."
"Dora" she said.
"No Dora, night night." and I hauled her back up stairs. About one minute thirty seconds later she appears again, with no pants on. As I step toward her she sprints to the diaper pail and deposits her overnight pullups, which she had been holding in her hand, and proceeds to dig in the drawer for Dora pullups. I gave up, put Dora "panties" on her and carried her back to bed. You would think that would be the end of it, now that she has achieved a victory over Dad, but is not over yet. Next, she wanted milk. "No milk, bed time." Back upstairs we go. Now I am locking the gate at the top of the stairs, thinking that if she knows that she can't come down she will tire of this little game. Nope. I put her to bed at least 8 times before Kari got home from her "Mothers of Multiples" meeting. I was nice at first. And I was fairly stern by number 8. I probably should have employed a time out, but I didn't. I don't want her to be scared to get out of bed. If she needs something, like a glass of water, or gets scared, I would like her to seek our help. So where is the line? At any rate I was looking at a 4a.m. date with the alarm clock, so I turned bed time over to Kari. I saw Kari put her back in bed twice before I even got my teeth brushed. Mom says that she is more strict than Dad, but guess who was snuggling in our bed when I woke up at 4:00. Yep. Rylee is a master manipulator.

On the other hand, I like having her sleep with us. I just don't want this to be an every night event. I mean, time is moving so fast and it won't be long before she won't want to sleep with us. You should take advantage of times like this while you have them, right? So, where do you draw the line?

Example two: It has somehow become a custom for Rylee to pick which pullup diaper she wants to wear. For the record, I have always tried to discourage this. I won't go so far as to say that I have never honored her request, but I don't give her the choice out right. I see that this is going to be a problem. What happens if we run out of Dora? And I love Hillda, but Miss "No means no" has helped to propagate this problem. Not that we have given her directions to the contrary, we haven't. It is not a huge issue in the scheme of things, but helps illustrate our, ever evolving and complex, relationship with our oldest child.

Example three: Candy and Eating good food.

Getting a three year old to eat anything nutritious has been a challenge for us. Getting her to eat anything other than candy is a challenge. Hillda says that her kids eat whatever she cooks and if they don't like it they can go without. (Now that they are older, she tells them to go to a restaurants.) Lately, Rylee's diet has been made up of mostly hot dogs, peanut butter & jelly, and cheese. You can live on it, but I think that she may be lacking some of the basic food groups. Reagan is a little more adventurous about trying new food, but is becoming much more picky.

Kari and I always said that we were not going to force feed our kids and that they don't have to eat what they don't like, but they need to try a bite. That is where we have fallen down. Have you ever tried to make a three year old take a bite when they don't want to? You need to be an Olympic wrestler. When they get that head turned, the lips pursed tight, and the limbs flailing it can be quite a feat. Especially with soup. You both end up wearing most of what was on the plate to start with.

Now we are trying a new approach. They will be asked if they are hungry, and they may be give a choice of two meals, but if they don't eat it they will not be getting candy or cookies and it will be saved for them. If they are hungry they will eat it, right?

We have been pretty good about pushing and hitting, they know it is wrong and justice is swift in those instances.

In summary, I don't think that we are total pushovers, but we have a long way to go.

A Change of Pace (Again, I type what comes to mind. Sorry about the wandering themes.)

The big girl's vocabularies are expanding daily. Rylee is saying words that I have no idea where she learned them. "No" has become a large part of her vocal exchanges with us. I think that I have made it clear that "You don't tell Dad, No." But maybe I am just fooling myself.

Reagan is coming along as well. She is picking up quite a lot from her older sister, like "Uh Uhhhhhh!" The other day I opened the fridge to pour her some milk and she pointed to the Hershey's syrup and said "chocolate!" I gave her a little and said to her "You are really learning a lot of words aren't you?" the reply was "Uh Uhhhhh!" So we are working on how to use the words, but we are getting there. If you ask her if it is night night time you will get the same reply.

The twins continue to be exceedingly cute. Many more smiles, which can really make your day. The vomiting seems to be a little better except for the last week or so. The doctor thinks that the coughing is aggravating their reflux problems.
Yesterday, after the doctor's appointment, we were late giving them their medication and they had not eaten in some time, so I was hurrying. I got Jordan's meds, mixed with a little formula, into a nipple and armed with that in my left hand I tipped Jordan's car seat back to administer the medication. I had the car seat almost laying on its back to get her at a the proper angle and I was thinking to myself "this is awkward, I should have just taken her out of the seat." I was holding the back of the seat with my right hand and was using my right knee to keep the seat from slipping off the coffee table. Meanwhile, bending forward and trying to force the nipple between her, tightly clenched, jaws and avoid her flailing arms without spilling the stuff all over her face. I finally got the nipple in, but she wouldn't drink it. So I pulled it out slightly and moved it back and forth, trying to get her interested in it. She had to be hungry, she had only had a small amount of formula at the doctor's office and before that she hadn't eaten since 8:30 a.m. It was now 5:00 p.m. She started sucking a little bit and I was releaved because my back was really starting to hurt in this odd position. Then she smiled. Usually that is good, but all the medicine was now running down her cheeks and I didn't have a burp cloth. Even if I did, I didn't have an extra hand to use it. I pulled the nipple out and waited for the smile to subside and then stuck it back in, only another few milliliters to go. Another smile, pull it back out, put in back in. "Just a little more honey. Thats a good...." BOOOOOM! The stream of vomit almost touched my nose. So much for the medicine that was supposed to prevent that sort of thing. I don't think it works as well when used topically. I still can't fathom how she could vomit that much, she had to have digested what she ate that morning and we had not given her very much since then. Any way, it was a mess. Car seats are not made for easy cleaning. Kari walked in from the kitchen, surveyed the scene and announced, "I have to go to my meeting. Are you going to be ok?" I thought about milking the situation for a second, but then answered, "I got it honey, no problem." She feels guilty about just leaving for a run to the grocery store so I wasn't going to make it any worse for her. She needed a break and some adult female conversation (not in Spanish). And after all she does this everyday with her only break being a trip to the store or to pick up prescriptions.

That is all for now. I am too tired to proof read this, so you will have to live with my mispellllings and run on sentences until I get around to reading what I just typed to see if it even made any sense.


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