I finally got brave and did cornrows in Baby Girl’s hair. I have never been able to successfully French braid so I was pretty nervous about essentially doing smaller French braids upside-down.

I got Mayci showered and her hair all washed and clean and then set up all the products and brushes and combs and things and the cube for her to sit on. With a snack and the TV on I got to work.

I got her hair all creamed up and detangled. She’s very happy with this new brush for the entire reason that it is pink. We have four of these brushes now. A green one, a purple one, a black one, and this pink one. We used to have a couple more but they got carried off and lost at some point (hence why we have so many… you never know when they will grow legs).

I told myself I’d do one braid and decide if I wanted to do more. So I got the first area sectioned off and added a bunch of gel and started my very first cornrow ever.

It was looser than I’d like, but it wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be. Also, Mayci’s hair has gotten SO long over the last year. It’s just crazy how long her braids are now.

Since the first one went so well I decided to keep on going and ended up with six cornrows. All of them are looser than I’d like, but for my first try, I’m calling it a success.

In Mayci’s world, you can’t have braids without beads. She loves beads so much. She picked colors she deemed to be Easter colors. Hopefully they’ll last until Sunday!

It’s always fun to pick out the patterns for her beads. She doesn’t care how I arrange the colors at this point as long as she gets to pick which colors I use.

I’ve really struggled with doing the rubber bands at the bottoms of beaded braids. Somehow this time I just got it figured out and they just worked. So there’s one skill I have finally mastered!

Even though I see tons of mistakes and everything I need to improve on, Mayci just sees braids and beads her mommie took the time to put in her hair and is totally thrilled with them. And, really, that’s all that’s truly important.

A trip to HEB

We decided to be brave and take all six littles to HEB on Saturday. For a long time because of COVID we didn’t take any of them anywhere. We’ve been taking one or two with us to stores the last couple months. This is the first time since last February that we took all six anywhere at the same time (and that was to the zoo).

We got them loaded up in two carts with the twins in the seats and the toddlers in the baskets. I had talked to Elijah and Mayci ahead of time about walking properly and staying by us at all times and not asking for everything they see on the shelves.

These kids are pretty much angels. They all behaved so incredibly well. They were all antsy by the time we were finishing up of course, but they listened to everything we said. A couple times I had to remind Elijah and Mayci about our conversation, but as soon as I did they remembered to do exactly what I had asked them to.

The only problem was when we got some baby food suckies. Those are great for when someone is hungry in the middle of the night. Joel decided he was hungry right then (and, to be fair, it was just about lunch time so he probably was). I ended up giving him a sucky and having the checker throw it away after scanning it.

Anthony really liked arranging the food around himself in the basket. The bagger, Chris (we know his name was Chris because Mayci walked up to him and very politely asked what his name was and then introduced herself to him), handed each bag he filled to Anthony. Anthony felt very big to have such an important job to do.

We only had a few things to get. No way would I do a full grocery shop with all six (we get the majority of our groceries delivered from Wal-Mart and only hit HEB for things Wal-Mart doesn’t carry or they didn’t have/we didn’t like the substitution). But for a quick one it was just fine. Two adults are absolutely needed, though, because it would’ve been completely insane with only one cart and two places to put little ones.

Third Quarter for the Littles

A week or so ago we got winter progress reports for the toddlers. They have skills and conduct requirements listed and mark beginning, making progress, or mastered for each.

No surprise Nicholas got making progress or mastered for everything and his teacher wrote that he is just a joy to have in the class. His personality is so much like his big sister. They both charm everyone.

Anthony has a little more trouble with a few concepts and behavior. He got mostly making progress and a couple mastered and beginning. His conduct in class is mostly between beginning and making progress which is a big improvement from a few months ago.

Early elementary grades are 1s, 2s, or 3s and are more like the toddlers’ beginning, making progress, and mastered idea than grades.

Elijah got all 3s in music, PE, and health and mostly 2s and 3s with just a few 1s in conduct, reading, math, science, and social studies. He can orally count to 39 with no mistakes and can identify all letters, both upper and lowercase, and their sounds (though the sound y makes trips him up a bit still).

Mayci got all 3s in PE, science, social studies, conduct, and fine arts. She got mostly 3s and a few 2s (no 1s) in language arts, reading, and math. She can identify all the uppercase letters and all but two lowercase letters and the sounds all letters make. She can count to 29 orally with no mistakes and objects up to 16.

Third Quarter Grades for the Bigs

Fritz did excellent as usual the third quarter. Adrian, however, was doing very well and then we discovered for the last week before spring break he skipped some zooms and was playing video games and watching youtube instead of doing his assignments and paying attention to class. Good thing he’s back to in-person school again this week. Not having the temptation of non-school things to do during school hours is a good thing for him. (What he did dropped his grades in Spanish, English, and Science by an entire letter grade.)

Adrian’s Grades
Math A (95%)
Science B (83%)
English C (74%)
Robotics A (95%)
PE A (100%)
Spanish B (84%)
Texas History A (90%)

Fritz’s Grades
Spanish I A (90%)
Animation A (96%)
Outdoor Adventure A (99%)
AP Human Geography B (80%)
Biology A (95%)
English I A (92%)
Algebra I A (95%)

(4.15 GPA for the quarter)

Noah’s Surgery

Noah has his tonsils and adenoids taken out and tubes put in his ears on Monday. He had moderate hearing loss and negative pressure in his ears which was explained by the very thick fluid that he had in there. He had moderate sleep apnea thanks to his giant tonsils. Because of his age he had to spent the night in the hospital afterwards.

We had to be at the hospital at 11 for surgery at 1. He couldn’t eat after midnight and couldn’t have anything but clear liquids until 9am. It’s impossible to make a 20 month old understand that he can’t have food, especially when his twin can.

Noah was so incredibly cute in his little hospital gown. He really didn’t not like his ID anklet and soon discovered he could pull it off. He spent a while giggling while roaming the pre-op unit.

They gave him versed about 45 minutes before they took him back to the OR in order to relax him. He got very loopy and on the ride to the OR he kept trying to stand up, but would fall over because the motion and versed combined totally messed with his balance.

Coming out of anesthesia was very hard on Noah. They said that’s typical with babies his age. He was delirious, screaming and refusing to open his eyes and not really awake, for at least an hour in the recovery room.

For the rest of the day and night Noah alternated between crying and sleeping and refused to let me put him down. I spent a lot of time reading while rocking him.

By yesterday morning he was already feeling so much better. He ate some applesauce and drank some apple juice. He even let me put him down for a little while.

At 9, he had met all his goals (keep his pain under control, keep his oxygen sats up, and eat something) so we were able to take him home.

He was so happy to get back home. He’s doing so great eating and resting and healing. Hopefully within a few days he’ll be back to his normal self with no more ear pain, snoring, and apnea.

Elijah is Six!

Yesterday Elijah turned six years old.

He has grown 4″ in the ten months he’s been in our home.

He’s gone from a size 4 to a size 6.

He is such a generally happy kid, pretty much the opposite he was at first.

My mom made him his “baby” quilt, Elijah’s Friendly Dragons, for his birthday.

I’m so glad he is ours!

Felt like a dystopian novel

Jamie got his first COVID shot last week. He went to one of those mass vaccination events at the Alamodome. They’ve been doing those several weeks now so they’ve got it quite efficient. But it kind of felt like we were in a dystopian novel with the cars going through specific checkpoints and the Army tents set up for breaks for the people running it.

The first checkpoint they scanned the QR code people with appointments were emailed and IDs. They wrote on the windshield the number of shots that would be given in the vehicle and handed him four pages of paperwork to fill out. He immediately handed that to me as he does. Later he commented that if it wasn’t for me filling it out no way would he have gotten it done before they did his shot.

They have enough lanes that they can do 8 people at once. Three were running the day Jamie got his shot. It’s all done in your vehicle. You never get out. The police guided everyone into the three lanes the were using and kept order as people drove up to the tent where they administered the actual vaccine.

Jamie is not a fan of needles. He hates getting his blood drawn. He hates getting shots. There was an incident when he was little where several people had to hold him down and he’s had needle issues ever since. So he was going to look anywhere but at the guy administering the vaccine. He barely felt it when all was said and done. The anticipation is always worse.

They wrote the time of the shot +15 minutes on the windshield of the van. They had us pull up out of the administration tent. They had people checking over and collecting the paperwork (the guy commented that his job was made easy since it was filled out so well… yeah, that’s me… I love filling out forms) and setting the appointment for the second shot. They asked a couple times if he felt okay. And then, once we hit the time written on the windshield, we were free to go and Jamie had successfully gotten his first Pfizer COVID vaccine. (His arm was a little sore for a few hours, but he had no other issues from it AND he got to take administrative leave rather than use his sick leave while he was getting it.)