Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Room Time

One of the things that takes place almost every day at our house is something we call "Room Time". I heard about this idea when Isaiah was a baby, and it has been absolutely invaluable! It's a period of time that the kids have stay in their room and entertain themselves. We started the kids out in their playpen/crib and then, as they got more mobile, went to having them be in their room with a gate at the door. Now that the boys are older we don't even mess with the gate, they just know that they have to stay in their room. While we were training them for this, we used a timer and began at 20 minutes. With the boys, we've worked our way up to an entire hour. In fact, now, most days when the hour is up, they ask me to leave them in "Room Time" for even longer. It's been great for me because it's the time that I do things like dishes, cleaning, or checking my email. Now, granted, I do have to make trips to the room to break up fights or to stop them from climbing up Mt. Dresser.

Today was Adriana's first official "Room Time". I set her crib up with some toys that I thought would be interesting and got her started on her 15-20 minutes. Both of the boys weren't too thrilled about the whole idea when I first started them. Adriana, on the other hand, took right to it and actually seemed to enjoy it. With all four of us hounding her for cuddles and kisses, she probably appreciated the solitude.

While she was in there, Mommy actually got a quick shower. With little children around, Mommy showers always seem to be a small miracle.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Boys & Girls- Part 2

I dug up some past pictures for some more boy/girl differences.





The last picture is Elijah with his friend. I think it says something about the differences:

Monday, February 26, 2007

Boys & Girls

This morning, after playing a rousing game of "shooting range" (use your foam gun and bullets to see how many legos lined up on your dresser you can knock over) with the boys, I was thinking about the differences between boys and girls. I feel so blessed to be given the chance to mother both genders. Even though I'm only 7 1/2 months into this girl thing, I'm already really enjoying watching how Adriana and the boys relate to me, play, interact, and show emotion in their seperate ways. Instead of writing about the differences, I thought I'd just show a couple of photos instead...





I'll be adding more "Difference" pictures in future posts.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Scrub, Scrub

Maybe I'm taking this "bringing them into my world" thing a little too far. The other day, the boys woke up earlier than I expected from their nap time. I still had to get the bathrooms cleaned; so I asked them if they wanted to help. They were very eager to do so. I let them take off their socks and pants and jump into the tub to "scrub" it. Armed with sponges and a scrubbing brush, they had a ball!

We talked and had fun while we were all cleaning. They cleaned the tub for over 15 minutes and would have kept going if I hadn't stopped them. Then they begged me to allow them to clean their tub downstairs! (Is there a downside to this?) I'm thinking we'll have to go into business. How about Alyssa & Sons...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A New Way To Get Around

After trying to rock on her hands and knees, do some sort of version of the yoga "downward facing dog" position, and belly scoot, Adriana has discovered that crawling is the best way to keep up with your brothers.

Here I go:

Wait till I get faster I this:

Hey, this wasn't here before!:

I wonder how you get up these:

Oh, that's how!:

Three mobile children....triple the fun!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Hangin' With The Guys

This past weekend was the annual Helms "Mom & Sisters Weekend". We always get away and spend the weekend doing these we consider fun such as watching a girly movie (this year's choice was the BBC's North & South), playing our favorite competitive game: Nerts (wanna see sisters fight?), eating chocolate, dining at our favorite restaurant (P.F. Changs), and shopping till we drop.

Normally the boys all hang out together doing guy sorts of things. (They tell us they just sit around in their underwear watching The Three Stooges.) But this year was different...the men babysat all the kids, including Adriana. She was the first-ever girl to crash their guy party. We heard stories of her munching fries at Five Guys and going sledding in her baby carrier. I even received a picture of her that they took this weekend:

Now, before you call Child Protection Services, I've been assure that this picture is digitally altered to scare Adriana's momma.

Next year, I think I'll pack a girly survival kit for her. Maybe things like Cinderella, nail polish, and definitely a helmet...

Friday, February 16, 2007

Living Room

After much hard work from my amazing husband and father, the living room renovations are complete. The guys tore out some railing and built a wall. Then they went a step further and put in a wonderful built-in bookshelf/entertainment center.

I got to do a project as well. I tore out the flat, black shale fireplace surround and put ceramic tile around it. To top it off, my dad built a mantel. (Do you know how much those puppies cost pre-made!!) The only other thing I did was paint white over our very '80s looking stair rail. Top it off with new window treatments (I feel like an HGTV narrator), and we're good to go!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Some of my favorite firsts don't have a space in the baby book for recording. They are things like "first kiss" (which I got a couple of weeks ago) or "first baby-talk conversation." One of the those sorts of firsts that I love, is first peek-a-boo. I don't mean the first time you ever play peek-a-boo, but the first time they participate. This week, while I was doing peek-a-boo, Adriana started pulling the blanket up over her face herself. Now this is a favorite activity of hers. She pulls the blanket over her head, and then grins ear-to-ear when she pulls it back down and you say "peek-a-boo!" Last diaper changing she grabbed the clean diaper and started pulling it over her face. It's just too cute!

So I decided to get a picture of it. I thought it was funny, though, that when I pulled out the camera, she suddenly had no interest in peek-a-boo and just laid there smiling for the camera. (After 7 months of pictures, she's trained!)

With some coaxing, I finally got a picture of her playing peek-a-boo:

Monday, February 12, 2007


Last week, I had talked to my mom about how I could spend more time with my boys even on the days that I am busy with housework. She suggested "bringing them into my world" at those times and getting them involved in what I was doing.

The next day my husband surprised me with a light-weight vacuum that I had been wanting. This presented a perfect opportunity. I needed to straighten up the house for some guest we were having for dinner, and the vacuum was small enough to be handled by children. The boys were thrilled when I asked them if they wanted to help me vacuum. They (especially Isaiah) went crazy vacuuming every square foot of floor in our home.

Looking for excuses to continue his vacuuming adventures, Isaiah went over to the nursery and told me,
"I need to get this room vacuumed. I wouldn't want Jack [his friend who was coming] to have to see it like this!"

I wonder where he got that from...

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

A Death In The Family

Last week, our old faithful computer died. It came so suddenly; though we had noticed it seemed to be losing its memory. Thankfully it died peacefully in its sleep mode.

We had a touching little funeral..
With some therapy, we believe the boys will recover from this crushing blow.

Sunday, February 4, 2007


Parenting is wonderful, fun, fulfilling, and completely disgusting!! Children are so messy! As a parent, you find yourself in situations where you want to have a "Get Out of Jail Free" card. Sometimes I just don't want to accept the fact that I really am responsible for cleaning up the mess.

Today after church was a perfect example. I had just been admiring how cute my daughter looked munching on her little waffle (a first for her), and I went over to clean her face and hands. But as I lifted her out of her seat, I discovered that pumpkin waffle was not the only thing I was going to need to clean.

I'll spare you the details....

Adriana actually rather enjoyed the whole experience and had a lot of fun getting cleaned up in the laundry tub.

On a cleaner note, Adriana is now seven months old. This month she has:
  • cut two teeth
  • learned to army crawl
  • finally said "Da-da" (after saying "Ma-ma" and "ba-ba" for awhile)
  • learned to wave
  • become a full blown baby food connoisseur
  • learned stand by herself by holding onto a chair or sofa
  • found out that high-pitched shrieking can make the guys in your life pay attention
If only every month of my life held that many discoveries!