Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Multiple Kid Monday Guidelines

1.What is Multiple Kids Mondays?

Multiple Kids Mondays is a "blog carnival" of sorts. On Mondays, you can post any tips, fun stories, how-tos, lessons learned, etc. from being a mom of multiple children (not just those with twins and triplets but any of us with several children). I started this to answer the "How do you do it?" questions that I get almost daily when I wander from our home with our four tiny kids. Some of the best tips I've learned about how to handle four small kids is from other moms, so I thought we'd play nicely and share!

2. How do I participate?
You write your blog entry on your blog. Then you post a link back here to my MKM post, and you enter your link to your post on your blog in the "Mr. Linky" form at the bottom of my post.

3. Can anyone join?
Yes, just start blogging. I do ask that all entries be G-rated and constructive. Nothing offensive, foul, etc.

4. Can I use your banner?

Yes! I'd love for you to use this! I made this to represent my three girls and my little man...and I'd love for you to put it on your site when you participate in MKM.

5. Please link to MKM only if you've written a MKM post yourself. Mention MKM in your post, and link back to my master list here.

6. Make sure that you link to your MKM post and NOT to the front page of your blog so that others can quickly find your post.

7. Please DO NOT host your own Multiple Kids Mondays "Mr. Linky" at your site. My blog will be the only homepage for this carnival.

8. When you enter your link on Mr. Linky, you will most likely notice that it says "delete link" next to your name. If you click on that, it will let you delete what you just posted.

9. Enter a 3-4 word description of your post after you enter your name. Be specific and brief.

For example, where the box below says "Your Name", you might put:

Wendy (Lunch Prep)


Laura (Bible Devotions)

Please keep your name and description to just a few words.

10. I'll put my Multiple Kids Mondays post up by 8 a.m. each Monday although I may sometimes start on Sunday night to make sure it gets there! I will close it at 8 p.m. to avoid spammers!

11. I reserve the right to delete any links that I deem inappropriate.

12. Also, just because someone participates in MKM does not mean that I endorse everything that she says. But I learn so much from various moms, and I'm glad we can teach one another. Thanks for always keeping this a positive, rewarding carnival!

Works-For-Me Wednesday

I decided that I'd join in on this today for the first time. I was going to write about some systematic thing I do...but then I actually experienced something today that was perfect. I had a little MOMS homework to do, and I needed to do it while the kids were all awake. So I let them watch a pre-saved (TIVO or whatever you call it for Direct TV) Olivia show while I did my study. This worked for me on several levels. I was able to finish my study with few interruptions. They were able to enjoy a little TV (they don't get much). They experienced some non-Mommy-involved time which I think was good. Grant napped through it all, so he got a good nap...yay! And my girls got to see me study my Bible. It's so hard for me to follow through on this because I try to do my study while they are asleep (usually naptime). But I think it's important for them to see their mom study the Bible that she talks I was really glad that I tried this different approach today. The other part of "works for me" is that we played outside for a good hour BEFORE the TV break. So everyone was worn out and ready to relax...and we'd gotten some good playtime in. I think we may have to try this strategy a little more often! It worked for me today!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Brave Like Abs

Today I was checking Abby's blood sugar, and Isabella actually grimaced at the sight of the whole thing. My kids are so used to the sight of blood that they don't act the least bit bothered ever. So this was noteworthy. Jokingly I said to Isabella, "Do you want me to check your sugar?" I got an immediate "no." So I headed off downstairs to get Abby's shot ready.

Isabella comes to the top of the stairs and says, "Mom, tomorrow you can check my blood sugar." I asked, "Why?"

She said, "So that I can be brave like Abby. Then I can eat my bar."

"What bar?" I asked.

"The bar with protein and chocolate chips." (The granola bars Abby loves!)

Oh, how sweet of her to recognize how brave her big sis is. We continually praise Abs for her bravery, and I loved hearing Isabella proclaim it. I told Isabella that she's already a brave girl too and that we don't have to check her sugar to know that. Gotta love that sweetie!

Delight in Real Life!

Yay! I'm so excited. I just stumbled across a website for the lady who taught Not So Desperate Housewives a few years back at Bellevue. This was a great class on how to be the Proverbs 31 woman that we are all as Christian mamas striving to be. These two women I believe have taught this class under a few different names. Now it seems they are speaking several places and expanding their mission. Way to go! I've been really trying to get more organized and more orderly at the Stine I was pumped to find this site! Check it out on the right in my favorite online spots list. I need to dig out my Family Notebook that we made in the class. If I would start using that again, I'd be ahead of the game.

Monday, February 23, 2009

New! Multiple Kids Mondays

So I'm going to start posting every Monday something about life with multiple kids (not necessarily multiples as in twins, triplets, or quads...I'll leave that up to my dear friend Lindsey) but about having several children. People are genuinely intrigued by moms who have multiple children. Just follow me for one day and see how many comments I get from random strangers. It's almost worse than when you are pregnant, and everyone comments on your impending due date and size! So for those of you interested in what life is like with four tiny kids...sit back and enjoy the ride!

Todays' Post: Getting out the door!

One of the hardest daily bits of being a mom of four kids ages 5 and under is physically getting out the door to go somewhere. I start 2 hours before we have to leave the house to get everyone dressed, fed, diapered, and ready to go. This goes. Abby and Isabella had a dentist appointment at 8:15. I woke up at 7:00 (note: I did get up with Abby at like I was tired!). I woke up in a panic when I saw that 7 on the front of the clock! YIKES! Thank goodness that Matt was staying home with Grant and Ali Kate. (We don't take all four to the dentist...recipe for disaster...another note about having several children!). So I rushed into the kitchen to prepare lunches and backpacks for preschool (which I normally do the night before but neglected because I was designing some incredibly cute stationery last night). I grabbed every easy-go food available...juice pouches, bananas, bag of chips, and PBJ. Then I rushed into the shower and showered at Tazmanian devil speed. Then I scrambled to get milks poured, teeth brushed, clothes out, and backpacks finished. While I finished getting myself ready, Matt jumped in to tie up loose ends. Our morning went something like this:

Matt: Who needs teeth?
Wendy: Abby and Bella now...Ali can wait.
Matt: Abby wet her bed.
Wendy: Bathe her.
Matt: Didn't she already have a bath?
Wendy: No, she was dressed up in a princess gown and missed bathtime last night. It's'll only take 2 minutes to whisk her through the bath.
Matt: Why didn't you bathe her? I thought you bathed her.
Wendy: No, I didn't. You could have already bathed her in the 2 minutes we've been talking (all said in a loving voice of course).
Matt: (Goes and bathes Abby who does NOT want a bath)

In the meantime, Grant's playing in the crib with his toes. Bella and Ali Kate are chasing one another around the house while I put on my makeup. Matt gets Abby bathed, and I come back for a status update. Status updates are KEY in the Stine household. You have to know who has done what and what hasn't been done!

Wendy: Abby needs her insulin at 7:30.
Matt: Ok
Wendy: Open a new N.
Matt: How much insulin does she get for 330? I can't find the sheet.
Wendy: We don't have protocol for a number that high. Give her x. That should do it. Well, I don't know since we have a new bottle.
Matt: Well, what do you think?
Wendy: Go with x. Get it in her now please.
Matt: I'm headed that direction.
Wendy: Don't let her eat for at least 25 minutes.
Matt: Did you pack their lunches?
Wendy: Yes..on the counter.

And so the morning goes with teeth brushing, kid dressing, bow matching, lunch packing, backpack packing, lovey gathering, dentist office preparing, feeding, and diapering activities until Wendy, Abby, and Isabella finally leave for the dentist at 8:05.

The dentist visit was wonderful. I dropped the girls off at preschool to find out that today was picture day. I thought it was Wednesday. Well, Matt dressed Bella in a not-picture-taking outfit. Abby's would have done except that it was a spring picture and she was in a floral corduroy. So I rushed home to grab the girls matching spring dresses and hairbows before making a mad dash back to preschool to hand off the garments (hoping they fit since they were new and we haven't tried them on)! Now...that was just a snippit of one morning when I only had to get 2 kids out the door. You can only imagine the other days when we go to dance, MOMS, and preschool when Matt is already gone to work! Maybe I'll relay one of those days one day.

And somewhere in the middle of all those status updates we did talk about Matt's work, my day, and my new website. And we did kiss each other goodbye...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Handsome Man

So if you're reading my blog you just have to go to to check out my little man's latest professional pictures. My good friend Jenny came over a couple of weeks ago to snap some photos of Grant, and I think she did a fabulous job. She took several more but posted just a few on her blog. She's talented, and she had a great subject!

Oh, a typical day


So I was just looking through our pictures...mostly tons of pictures of clothes we've been Ebaying...and I found this one I took a couple of weeks ago. This is TYPICAL Stine girl playtime. They love to dress up in these crazy ensembles and perform for us. This night they weren't being anyone in particular (usually they assume some type of character's identity), but they were just dancing around the living room dressed like this for about an hour. Never a dull moment in this house. No, not ever. Never! (And we wouldn't have it any other way!) Oh, be sure to check out Ali's poor tutu. She never could figure out how to get it all the way up to her waist. And she fussed when I tried to fix she danced all night with it around her knees!
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Valentine's Activities


So the teacher in me decided that we'd do a learning Valentine's Day activity. Here's Isabella playing our Valentine's counting game. I made hearts with a number on the left and a corresponding number of pictures on the right. Then I cut them in half. The girls had to count the objects and find the matching half that had the right number. They enjoyed this.

After we played this, we drew hearts out of a bag. Each heart had a magazine picture pasted onto it. For Ali Kate and Isabella, I let them tell me about the picture (size, color, what the object is for, etc.). Abby had a harder job. I had her spell the object, find something that rhymes with it, tell me the first letter, etc. She loved it!

Finally, we had a scavenger hunt. The girls were given a clue written on a pink heart. That led them to the next clue and so on. I actually stumped Matt with one of them. They had to search in the yard for a clue...and after a good ten minutes of intently searching the back yard, Matt asks, "Is it even in the back yard?" No, it was in the front! I loved watching him work to find it too. Too cute. Once in the front, Isabella found it in no time. She also found the final clue quickly...but it took the girls a while to decipher the last clue which led them upstairs to the playroom to claim their Valentine's gifts (books, puppets, and flash cards.) This was the most fun of the day. Overall, a great Valentine's Day even though we were stuck at home with sick kids.
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Valentine's Treats



So I've not been blogging much. Grant is still sick and has been since Friday. It's been a LONG weekend. Poor guy doesn't feel well at all.

My mom sent the girls a care package last week for Valentine's. They each got a Valentine's book, sticker earrings, a candy bracelet, M & Ms, and Skittles. Mom left that battle (candy with Abs) for me. Oh, well. I suggested next time sending Goldfish or Teddy Grahams...they love them and low sugar content. I helped Abby eat some of her candy...the least I could do, right? Grant also got a book. The girls loved their package. They also got cards complete with stickers from Matt's parents. That entertained for a while. His parents were also gracious to give us a gift card to Target...which went toward our whopping $160 bill yesterday for a "supplies" visit (diapers, wipes, formula, pullups, baby food, and cleaning supplies). How that stuff adds up so fast I'll never know! We appreciated the gift card for sure. Totally unexpected and very welcome!

Grant's getting fussy...I'll post later about what we did to celebrate Valentine's during our sick quarantined weekend!
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Friday, February 13, 2009

Joy in the Journey...and in the trenches

So today was one of those days in the trenches. I woke up with Abby screaming and crying as she made her way into our room to announce that her ear was hurting terribly. Of course, that meant a first of the day appointment with Dr. Narayanan. Thankfully, Matt was already home because she was supposed to go for her annual diabetic eye exam...and Matt always keeps the other kids while Abby has her specialists' appointments. So we had to cancel that and reschedule with her pediatrician. The morning went fine...she did indeed have an ear infection and an eye infection. Three drugs...$68 by the time we paid for the doctor and the drugs. Way to start the day!

So we get home fine. Matt heads off to work. Grant was napping. So we decided to clean house. It needed it. The girls all pitched in and cleaned the windows, decluttered, and dusted. I love little hands that want to help! This is definitely not too typical around here. Not too long into our cleaning spree, we discover that Grant has horrible diarrhea. The gross, I'm-very-sick-smelling kind. I knew the day was going to get worse. So in between these diapers, I opened our reveal that Matt had clicked the wrong button by accident on the online site for our gas company and had paid for this month's bill with our OLD, CLOSED account. I was horrified. I am the kind of gal that pays things very early all the time....Miss Type A a little bit. It was an honest mistake...but one that caused heart palpitations and a few sweat droplets. We just don't do things like that. Well, the only reason we had an OLD account was due to the robbery in October. We had to close everything for security reasons to protect our assets and identity of course.
So that took a few phone calls. Unfortunately, I totally lost my joy that hour. Between two sick kids and two more screaming toddlers and the situation with the bill, I just lost it. I let go of all of my joy that I'm studying about in MOMS.

Well, we went on at lunch time to drop off a dessert we made for someone who just lost a family member. Seeing her actually pulled me out of my slump. I think I just needed to see and talk to an adult after all the diarrhea, screaming, fighting, and whatnot of the morning. I needed regular life for just a few minutes. Then we went and picked up our mini-pharamacy and headed for FAST FOOD. You know I've come to a low point if I feed my kids fast food by choice and not out of necessity. I really try to make lunch a fruit/cracker/cheese/sandwich rather than grease/fat/grease meal. They were thrilled. And my stress enjoyed some french fries!

Well, let's just say that I was so, so, so excited for naptime. I needed a break today. Of course, I continued to take care of my poor little man who had now become the primary patient (Abby was now acting better). After nap, we did have some good, fun playtime...and my joy did get restored.

In Philippians, one verse (which I do not have the reference to right now) said that Paul thanked God EVERY TIME he thought of that church. Well, I've been struggling with staying frustrated at Isabella. So tonight I literally practiced what Paul said he did. I literally thanked God every time I thought of her. Funny because I had a HUGE headache from all of her screaming this afternoon (much of it fun but still VERY loud) and I was praying these prayers while she was marching around me at bedtime banging a triangle with a drumstick. She was making lots of I thanked God that she was not deaf, that she loved music, that she enjoyed sounds, that she could make a joyful noise. I love how God gave me that prayer specifically since her noise all day had made me a bit edgy....I love that he took that in particular and made it the very thing for which I thanked Him. I determined that no amount of illness, stinky diapers, screaming kids, financial oopsy daisies, or anything else was going to steal my joy. It did for a couple of hours, but I reclaimed it. Thanks to Jean Stockdale for leading us through Philippians (her study is Joy in the Journey...hence the reference to her study in this blog post title)this semester so that I can assimilate this truth into my everyday life...days like the trenches!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

In Mom's closet


Last night the girls got out everything they own, I'm pretty sure. It was Abby's idea to use their sleeping bags, pillows, etc. and pretend that they were on vacation. We'll they literally covered most of the kitchen with their stuff (look behind them in the background). When they bored of vacation, they raided my closet. Here Abby is sporting one of my t-shirts, and Isabella has on one of my long sleeved shirts. All 3 girls have on some of my shoes. I thought Matt was back there with them (I was cooking dinner)...but he wasn't! He was upstairs, and they were having a field day in my closet. They had fun...and we had a very long cleanup time last night! Just had to share these pictures!
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Valentine's Day at School


Here are the Valentine's Day goodies that we prepared for the girls' friends at school. Isabella was thrilled to give these (they had M&Ms) to her friends while Abby wasn't. I'm still not sure why Abby didn't want to pass these out, but I'll figure it out later. Isabella was bouncing into the classroom ready to give these away. We also made those Pillsbury Heart cookies for her class, and she was very enthused about those too. That girl hasn't met a sugary treat that she doesn't love! Neither has little sis Ali Kate. Anyway, I was very happy with the way these turned out. I made them with my new Bamboo pen which I'm so excited about. It's been fun playing with my new gadget!
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Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Ok. So my mom is dreadfully scared of going to the dentist. She's the reason they invented sedation dentistry. Actually, I don't think she's ever been sedated, but she does hate the dentist. Despite her fear, she has been going very regularly the past few years. Yay, Geez! Well, last week she was going for an appointment and called us to cheer her on. Yes, she was that afraid! Abby told her that the dentist is good and that she'll get a treat out of the treasure chest if she's good. Isabella told her that she could get a heart necklace.

After I hung up the phone, Abby and I were talking about Geez's fear of the dentist. Abby says to me, "Mom, think about it. What will Geez do when she sings praises to the Lord? He doesn't want to see her orange teeth!" I about fell out right there. I laughed so hard and had to call my mom right back to tell her about her orange teeth. For the record, while her teeth aren't in tip top shape, they aren't orange yet. Not even close. You gotta love kids!


Today we had a stay-at-home day...yay! I miss these since we are on the go more with dance, preschool, MOMS, etc. Anyway, at one point Ali Kate walks up to me with one of my hairclips and says, "Here you go Mama." I said, "What do I need to do with this?" Ali Kate replies, "Put it in your hair, Mama." So I complied with my 2 year old's request. Who wouldn't? As soon as I put it in my hair, she says with utter delight, "You so booful, Mama." Thanks, Ali Kate. I felt "booful" for that moment!

My OCD Daughter...Abby I just have to jot this down lest I forget it over the next 20 years. Last night the girls' room (Ali Kate and Isabella's shared room) was a complete disaster. They had played hard all afternoon and totally wrecked their room. Well, while I was busy doing something, Abby went to Matt and told him that he needed to send the girls to watch TV so that she could clean up their room. She said it was too hard for them to do, so she would do it. Well, did she ever clean up! It was fabulous. She even took every item out of their drawers to straighten and categorize. I walked in when she was using a crayon to draw diagrams inside the drawers of where the socks, shorts, etc. went. I panicked inside a little because she had already drawn a bit in the drawer. Quick Mommy solution? I grabbed some index cards and handed them to her so that she could draw her diagrams on these and place these in the drawers. She wrote their names on them and drew detailed pictures of where every item belongs. Boy was I impressed. She actually had fun doing this! I wish I could say the same when I undertake projects like these! For her hard work, we gave her $5. She fed her piggy immediately! I love that kid and her OCD personality (just like her mama!).

Monday, February 2, 2009

Ice Cream Addict!

Today we ran some errands while the big girls were at preschool, and we were at the bank next to Chick-fil-A for our last errand. Well, Ali Kate so seriously chimed in from the backseat, "Get me some icecream for myself, Mama." She knew that Mommy would indulge this treat since her sisters weren't around (we're sometimes a little bad with our diet when it's just the two of us). We went there, but the line was wrapped around the entire building. So I said, "Let's go home and eat ice cream." I knew we had a small amount left in a small container we'd bought a while back.

When we got home, she ran to her highchair and said, "Get my ice cream for myself, Mama." She was ready. I told her to grab a spoon, and she quickly obeyed. Lightning speed there. Anyway, she kind of cheated and had ice cream for lunch. No, I'm not a bad mom. This was totally a very special splurge. Not our normal midday fare! She was tickled that I'd indulged her cravings like this. Now we will not repeat this tomorrow for sure. And let me note that I did NOT eat ice cream...I've lost 8 pounds, and I'm working on those next two!

Beginning Blends

I just had to take a minute and share this. Abby and I were working on her beginning blends like br, dr, bl, etc. Anyway, we were talking about things that begin with br, and she says, "I know one....Barack Obama." Well, while it technically doesn't begin with br, I thought that was too funny.

She is also beginning to write sentences which totally amazes me. Today she wrote, "No more crying Grant for nine days." (He had been crying for quite some time with no signs of letting up despite all of my best efforts at comforting him.) She also wrote me a love note on the way to church yesterday that said, "I love mom most." Of course, I kept that and will forever. Those are just too precious.

Anyway, our little brainiac is just constantly amazing us every day. How she picks up on this stuff with no formal education yet is beyond me!