Thursday, September 7, 2017

Back to School We Go!

After a fun and busy summer I think all of us were ready for some routine and structure to make its way back into our lives.  James went back to school first which always makes me sad. He is gone so much of the day and I miss him!  It is also hard on Harrison to not have his play mate at home.  James was thrilled to go back though, he loves school and was very excited about first grade. 

All four kids dressed, only one missing shoes, fed and ready all before 7:30 in the morning. #momwin

Ready to walk to school! Love that we live so close

Harrison thought he was hot stuff this morning 

H is very jealous he is not at the same school with James yet

James was so ready to get to his classroom that I had to force him to pause so I could get some pictures! 

A couple of weeks later it was Harrison's turn!  His first day drop off didn't go so smoothly.  To begin with the twins had speech so we had already taken James to school, gone to the hospital for speech, gone back to the preschool, and Andrew and Kate were not in a good mood. To make matters worse I realized upon arrival that I had forgotten the double stroller.  Both twins ended up having epic meltdowns. I mean on the ground kicking and screaming. I was trying to wrangle them both (in front of every mom and dad in the preschool)  and poor Harrison barely got a goodbye kiss before we booked it out of there.  I felt so guilty that his special moment was overshadowed and also super annoyed that Ryan wasn't there to suffer   enjoy this experience with me.

Sweet boy looking so grown up and proud! 

It all went downhill from here
The next day was the day I have been dreaming of since I found out I was pregnant with twins: 1st day of preschool for A and K!  I love being a stay at home mom and I wouldn't trade it for anything but boy I have needed some alone time! It is so nice to have a couple of mornings a week where I can just get things done.  Someone asked me what I was doing that first day and my response was "sitting at home, alone on the couch, and drinking hot coffee."  3 things that have rarely happened the past few years!  Also as I pointed out to Ryan, even on days they go to preschool I still get to be with them for 10 hours so it's not like our time together is lacking :)

I had in my mind an adorable image of the two of them...not happening lol 

I just had to include this to remember the chaos of trying to take a picture at this age 

Andrew woke up with swollen eyes due to bug bites but he still looked adorable! 

Miss Kate was super proud of herself 

Harrison was so helpful to hold Kate's hand and walk her to her room 

Andrew went into freak out mode immediately but I kissed them goodbye and said "see ya!" and ran out the door without a look back  :) 

I dropped A and K off first so I could do a repeat of drop off for Harrison and make up for the day before! 

A and K's teacher sent me these pictures- both sitting on their mat

Hard at work!
According to their teachers all four kids have had a great start to the school year. I feel like we have entered into a new phase of life in the Holland household!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Potty Training Twin Edition

Oh potty training.  I have dreaded you from the moment I found out I was having twins. I mean how on earth do you potty train two kids at once?  I knew I wanted to train them together because I sure wasn't living through the misery twice.  There are lots and lots of ways to potty train but since I had a lot of success with James and Harrison using the 3 day method I wanted to do it again with the twins.   It is 3 days of misery but then it is over and you are done.  I also trained James and Harrison at a young age.  With James it was a matter of financial necessity.  Ryan was in residency and the money we spent on diapers was needed to pay for Mother's Day Out so that was my incentive.  With the twins I will be honest.  I'm over it. I'm over diapers; I'm over changing pants, and I am ready to move on!!!  Even though both big boys trained early a lot of people thought I was slightly crazy to do it with A and K.  They had no interest in the potty, both (particularly Andrew) struggle with communication, and neither were even two.  That being said in my gut I knew they could do it and I wanted to give them the opportunity.  Part of me also wanted to prove to myself that even though they are preemies and have had some delays that they are more capable then we often give them credit for! We also had two weeks until preschool started and I wanted them to be comfortable with it when they went. 

I got out my trusted tools: Elmo potty, stickers, and bribery (mms)

Neither of these two had any interest in the sticker chart.  I also caved and bought one of these little potties. I personally find them disgusting but I knew both kids would probably need to go at the same time and also when we traveled it would be a whole lot easier to pull over and use this versus me having to haul four kids out of car seats and into a store by myself!

"Mom, what are we doing?" 
I have to admit it was a weird feeling changing that last diaper before we got started.  The first morning was AWFUL.  Poor Andrew went crazy.  He freaked when I put those underwear on him, freaked out when he sat on the potty and I have to admit I wondered if maybe he wasn't ready.  Kate quickly established herself as someone who can wait hours to avoid going to the bathroom.  We went through countless pairs of underwear, one kid having an accident and then the other one running and sliding through the mess. Total chaos!!!!

We basically stayed in the kitchen all day. We drew with markers. 

We colored on the paper, on the floor, and on ourselves. 

Ate lots of snacks. 
It was interesting to observe how much longer Kate's attention span is. 

Slightly traumatized Andrew 

Time for dot dot paint!

I even let them have juice so they would drink a lot and get lots of practice 

We took a chance on the carpet and watched a little tv 
I'm not going to post the picture but when Ryan came home that day he found me sitting on the floor in the bathroom, both kids on the potties, and I said "I need a vacation."

We painted with water 

Cleaned the kitchen
 Day 2 I woke up praying things would turn around and there was a huge improvement! Only a couple of accidents. 

That night I went with a couple of friends to Beaufort to escape dinner and left Ryan in charge with very specific instructions.  Well an hour later I got this text lol. 
 Day 3- we were starting to go a little crazy from being in the house but things were improving.  Andrew basically had it down by this day!  I try not to be one of those parents that brags on their kids but I will be honest, I was SO stinking proud of him.  Everyone says boys are hard to potty train.  A lot of things in life has been harder for him thus far and being a twin means you are always compared to your sister, not to mention your older brothers.  He is significantly more speech delayed than Kate and communicating is hard for him.  All this being said he rocked potty training!

Mommy is going crazy...

Sweet Kate. Bless her heart she struggled.  This was a 11:00 at night and I heard her cry out "pee pee pee pee hurry hurry!"  
 Poor Kate had a hard time just relaxing and not being scared. I thought for sure she would be easy but she ended up being my hardest of all four kids!  That being said by day 5 she was good to go.

Over the next few days we had a couple accidents here and there but both continued to improve.  2 weeks after starting they began preschool and have had NO accidents at all!  Pretty much the only time they do have an accident is if I am not around and they tell me but I don't hear them.  Way to go Andrew and Kate! So long diapers- you are not welcome in the Holland household ever again!!! I am so thankful to be done but I will say this was the most time I have ever spent with just Andrew and Kate and it was really special for me to have that time with them without the distraction of the big boys. Speaking of the big boys while we potty trained they were having a blast in Greenville with my mom.

Getting to eat chicken pastry 

Going to church with Nene 

Making (and eating) homemade bread 

Getting to go see the solar eclipse 

And having some fun at the jump house. Thanks Nene! 
The boys have been hilarious about the potty training.  Harrison tells everyone who comes to our house "can you believe our babies are wearing undies now???" They have also been happy to clap and cheer for success and have provided lots of big boy encouragement!