Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mealtime Memories & Widdle Walkers

I wanted to remember how the Steece monkeys are evolving these days. The kids are all so different--they are constantly cracking me up. I took some pics this morning to document what our mealtimes are like--please forgive the "bed-head-hair!" ;)

Last week, Mommy decided to begin "Steece Sippy Cup Boot Camp" (has a nice ring to it, eh?)---it definitely was "Hell Week" for sure! Mean 'ole Mom took away every single bottle in this house and packaged 'em up for other babies .

---yep! That's right...COLD TURKEY! I had a good chit chat with my quad mama mentors and decided enough was enough. The three month gradual transition to taking milk out of sippy cups was NOT working. Sure, juice...water...you name it, but they refused to take milk from a cup!

(One of the MANY different types of sippy cups we have in our cupboards! This is the cup that 3 out of the 4 quads are currently taking--hooray for straws! We really like the Nuby sippy cups--any of them--especially the ones with the straws!)
Meals are also not going so great: one day they will LOVE something, and the next time they eat it, they will spit it out as if it were poison! Especially Savannah--she likes to determine WHAT she eats, WHEN she wants it, HOW she eats it, HOW MUCH she eats of it...its the one area in her life that she has complete control over---oh, my Little Miss Independent....how you remind your mother of herself!


With the identical boys- Ethan & Andrew- being lactose intolerant, it sure does make it difficult to get 4 servings of dairy in every day. Soy yogurt and soy milk are my go-to weapons. (Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated!) I've made a couple of things with soy cheese...but still--very limited. I have gradually been re-introducing the boys to Mac 'n Cheese (made with soy milk, but still containing cheese and milk from the powdered sauce packet) and they have been doing well with it! So that is promising--hopefully they will grow out of it. (Not to mention how expensive it is! Sheesh!)



It is ROUGH being a first-time mom, trying to figure all of this stuff out, and multiplying everything by FOUR! By day 3, I was REALLY having a tough time. It was SO difficult to watch the babies get frustrated and just start crying. I wanted to run into the kitchen, open the packed boxes of bottles, and warm one up for them!...but...I held out and guess what...by day 4, the babies were taking their sippy cups: no more fussing, no more frustration...they just "got it"! I was reminded by my good friends and pediatrician, that the babies will NOT starve. This is SO normal for little tykes turning into toddlers with their own personalities and likes/dislikes. (Good to know!) They will eventually eat when they get hungry enough. They will eventually drink milk out of a sippy cup when they are thirsty enough.

Sav caught on pretty easily with her sippy cup.



Ben has been a little rock-star throughout the whole transition. He has been eating up a storm AND taking his sippy from Day 1, like it was nuthin'. (Little Man had finished HIS bottle of milk, and grabbed his brother's SOY milk...notice the sour look on his face? ha)



Poor Drew--he was so upset with Mommy for taking his bottle away. He still hasn't quite figured out the straw yet, so he is taking his milk out of a sippy cup with a soft top like a bottle nipple. (***New note: Drew took his first sippy cup with a straw this afternoon!!! So proud of my little man!***)



Ethan recently graduated to a straw sippy! But after we had finished breakfast this morning, Mr. Man was still hungry and Mom was just trying to take pictures...give the boy some more FOOD already!



Seriously, two seconds later, after Mom pulled out the Cheerios: Ethan was back to normal--patiently waiting, hands folded, legs crossed....he is such a polite little eater.



Ethan's legs---always crossed. Usually right over left at every meal.



Drew's legs---always crossed. Usually left over right at every meal.



Sav's legs...my little Priss is usually the only one under the table who isn't crossing her legs! Ben crosses his too, but I forgot to get a pic. (I know, useless information, but I just want to remember b/c it cracks me up)



Ethan eating...one at a time, very slow, focused, well-mannered. He has the tendency to whine constantly when he is really hungry and Mom is moving too slow.



Drew eating...like Ethan, slow, one at a time, but has the tendency to make grunting noises or high pitched squealing noises if Mom is going too slow!



Ben eating...just grabbing them forcefully and shoving them into his enormous mouth. Halfway through, he will start hitting them as hard as he can with the palms of his hands and smash them all into bits. Always playing with his food.



Sav eating...she is very dainty, but will grab as many as she can with both of her hands (I guess she knows that eventually her brothers will be trying to steal her food). She is definitely a "hoarder of food". Savannah also likes to play with her food--examining every little detail....tearing every piece to shreds. (especially green beans)



Sweet Ethan



Sweet Drew



Sav & Ben---don't let these sweet, little innocent faces fool you...they are definitely two little peas in a pod when it comes to meal times....copying everything the other is doing: laughing, shaking their heads, slapping the table, making silly faces, banging their sippy cups on the table, grabbing for each other's hand...


Mischevious Ben (Nice hair, little dude...the boy has some crazy thick hair! I've already cut it TWICE in the last couple of months!)



Savannah copying her baby bro and flashing HER best silly face.



Ben done with eating and entering total "play mode"



Sav laughing at Ben



---In other Steece news---

What constitutes "walking"? Is it when a child is walking the majority of the time and not crawling anymore? Is it when a child is independently taking up to 5 steps before falling? If it is the latter, than my boys have been walking for weeks! ;) I LOVE how excited they get when they are trying to walk to you! They get these little grins on their faces, like they are SO proud of themselves...just melts my heart.

Ben is up to 3-4 steps..he is more lazy than anything. He could totally walk if it were "easier" to walk rather than "crawling" to get what he wants. But he LOVES those walker toys and will grin from ear to ear walking up and down the hallway. (Better stay out of his way, though...He will definitely run you over!)

Drew is up to 3 steps...he really wants at least one finger to hold onto and he will walk for miles. He grins with the cutest little underbite--you can see the determination in his eyes--they sparkle when he is trying to walk on his own. He loves trying to walk to you and lunges at you--gotta be careful if you are not paying attention. He will lunge for you and fall flat on his face! Silly boy.

Little Savannah is not too far behind. Her hips are SO much stronger and she is really trying to walk like her brothers. She gets so excited and takes these tiny little baby steps while holding onto your hands...laughing from deep down in her belly. She definitely has the sparkle in her eyes as well!

Ethan is up to 5-6 steps--he is walking independently to every piece of furniture in the house...going from piece to piece. I knew Ethan would be the first walker--he has always been the first to crawl, first to pull up, first to walk around holding onto things. I've been trying to capture some of these walking moments on video--but it is very difficult! Especially when I have three other babies wrestling for the best position in Mama's lap! (which is exactly what is happening in this morning's video of Ethan taking steps--Sav is not happy = the camera is shaky).




post signature

60 comments:

Jennifer L said...

Totally constitutes walking! Awesome post.

The Wade's said...

I went through the milk war with my son Jackson and when we finally had enough with the bottles, he figured that since he had no other choice, he took the sippy cup. Now, he wants real cups, and that is so much more trouble and mess!!

RowdyGirls said...

Your kids are absolutely precious! What a wonderful mommy you are! We have dairy (and soy) issues over here, too. Our nutritionist said we can make up the dairy difference w/ other fats, proteins and calcium sources. Try tofu cubes, avocado, scrambled egg yolks and flax seed oil (I mix it in w/ vanilla rice milk and banana to make a smoothie for my girls).

Jules said...

Hey Suz - long time reader, not sure if I've ever posted a comment before. But I wanted to let you know that my boys are also dairy/lactose intolerant, and soy isn't an option for us either. So I struggled like crazy to find something else with the nutrients they needed. Turns out most cheeses do not have lactose - my dad is in the dairy industry and informed me of this one day. So I gave it a try, and sure enough both boys can eat cheese without any problems. I have also found that for mac n cheese, the easy mac packets have less milk in them for some reason so they tolerate that much better than the regular boxes.
But as you know all kiddos are different so what works for us may not work for you little men. Just wanted to pass along what I've learned throughout the darn dairy struggle! I just wish we didn't have to keep buying Rice Milk! It's so expensive!

DJones said...

I remember going thru that with my daughter. She would push the cup away and turn her back to whine. It was really pitiful! Just like yours, in a few days she was a pro. My son on the other hand, I just don't remember any issues. He was/still is food motivated so he really didn't care how he got it- as long as he got it. I'm sure alot of it was he wanted to "be big" like his sister.

Heidi said...

My Mother in law had the milk problem with my youngest brother in law. He wasn't lactose intolerant, but he just didn't like many dairy products. She would melt a little cheese into any dish that she could, spaghetti o's, things like that. The doctor also told her that there was a calcium enriched orange juice that she could use for him as well. I don't know if either of those will work for you, but I hope that you find something that will!

MEGAN said...

The fun just never stops!

The Petro Family said...

Oh Suz, I have been going through H*LL with my 15 month old and the bottle. I have cut it cold turkey 3 times and ALWAYS resorted back to the bottle. He refuses to take milk out of a cup too. I followed the doctors suggestion and tried it cold turkey with no juice or anything. He said he would get thristy and drink it. TWO DAYS of about 2 ounces of liquid. He was dehydrating and not about to take the cup. Some said it was the cup, but he takes juice just fine out of it. This past Saturday he figured out how to use a straw, so I guess I should try that cup you have. What kind is it?

Anonymous said...

Oh, your cute video led to a cute moment with my 17mo old!!! BTW, He loves watched vids of all the quad mommies who blog!! So, the second I pushed play, he was over wanting to see the video and he put two and two together and used a new sign we've just taught him!!! He looked at the screen and heard Sav in the background and signed "baby"! AW! So, age is all in perspective - they are still your babies!!

Also, as an encouragement, all the things you said in this post and commented are all things I've been saying as a first time mom of a singleton! Just keep rolling with the punches!

As for the soy, my little guy outgrew his intolerance to milk by one (thankfully) but if you google vegan mom sites, I'm pretty sure you'll find a lot of suggestions for substitutes and brands.

Unrelated but: If you ever need to mix in protein, use a blender to chop chickpeas into a paste and mix them in - they take on the flavor of anything and barely thicken it. (My kid won't eat meat now). They are a great source of protein.

I hear ya girl on the picky food stage - it's normal and lasts a little while but it is really frustrating to cook a nice meal for yourself and then have your kid look at it, refuse to open their mouth and then sign "all done" at you. Ugh. The trials of toddlerhood.

The Murray Crew said...

E - you're tearing auntie Jen up over here. So proud of you little ones! =)

Hugs and Kisses,
Auntie Jen

Brooke said...

Have you tried Lactaid? It is organic milk with an enzyme that removes the lactose. It tastes just like regular milk to me. My husband thinks it is a little sweeter. It is also cheaper than your normal organic milk.

Andria said...

Wah! Cold Turkey??? It breaks my heart everytime! What a super momma you are. And I'm happy to hear that it took only 4 days! I can live with that! lol. I'm sure to go through this with my youngest in about 6 months. And knowing he's my last, it'll be hard to give up those "baby" years!

Love how A&E mirror each other! Great post!

The Gerwer Babies said...

How exciting!! WALKING!! That is awesome!
And i dread sippy cup and bottle tranistion, hopefully i wont stalk you for support, it looks like you did a great job with it :)
They are adorable!!!

Kalle said...

What a cute video of Ethan, that smile on his face says it all! I haven't had to deal with lcatose children but I did just find out I'm allergic to dairy (sad sad day). When you have time check out www.godairyfree.org They have lots of great ideas and articles about a dairy free house hold.

Casey's trio said...

Exciting times in the Steece household! You rock on the bottle bootcamp...My girls had their bottle before bed until they were around 18 months-sheesh! I love reading your posts because it takes me back...time flies so quickly!

Emily & Eli said...

Hi!
I've been stalking your blog for a while now. You do a great job with your 4 little cuties. I wanted to tell you my 16 month old was lactose intolerant at first too. He grew out of it by 12 months. Hopefully yours will also. It's so expensive.

a cowgirl at heart said...

Walking...already...I just can't believe it! They are so precious and every time I see pictures of them all together I'm amazed at how similar Ben and Savy look! I mean I know they are fraternal obviously, but they really resemble each other! Precious precious peas!

Oh, remember the piggy banks I gave the kids when they were born with their names on them? If you have them handy, will you take a picture and either post it or send it to me or put it on Facebook? I just thought of them and I've never seen what they look like to tell whether they were a cute investment or not! Ha!

Ross Family said...

Way to go with the sippy cup transition. Our life is definately easier now that the kids can hold their own cups and the bottles are gone!

I'm also with you on the meal situation. Our kids have always been great eaters but not so lately. I've heard it comes with the independence (walking) but I'm afraid it's the beginning of attitude.

Your kids are all so adorable and you guys are wonderful parents. So many things we have to be thankful for this holiday season, right?!

Marie said...

What a sweet video. I love how they cross their legs, it is great. What kind I sippy cups are those? I am looking for some with a straw for McKenleigh. Thanks for the updates, they are precious.

Anonymous said...

Hi..we struggled with dairy/soy at our house as well....and after seeing a acupuncturist/herbalogist and doing MUCH research...soy isn't all it's cracked up to be! It was very much put a media push when it became so popular, but in all actuality soy is VERY difficult for you body to digest, and can actually cause more problems! Have you looked into rice or almond milk/products?? most of the gluten free things are also dairy/soy free!! Just a thought?!?!?! They are adorable!!!!

Tiffany said...

I kind of knew you at Harding (by that I mean, I knew who you were and disliked you for no other reason than being so darn pretty) and I've been blug-stalking your site for awhile now. But anyway, as someone already mentioned, most cheese are lactose-free. Kraft definitely is, so I'd recommend trying that. Broccoli and your dark green leafies are another option for calcium (turnip greens and collards are the best).

Good luck!

Mrs. Wilson said...

It's so exciting when they start walking!

My little girl is 18 months and I guess it's about time to get her off the bottle! Maybe I'll try the cold turkey way, thanks for the idea!

Cindy (and Brian) said...

WOW this is so exciting! So many changes. You're doing a great job! They've grown so much! I love that they're taking steps. And that video of Ethan is priceless. He has such a sweet face. :)

Following Him said...

What a MEAN momma. JUST KIDDING!!! I can not believe that they are almost completely walking. What sweethearts. I LOVE their sweet smiling faces. As for trouble, not the sweet Steece crew-no never :)
~Elyse~

Stella said...

Dude, you are a rock star taking care of four babies and living to post about it!

Angie said...

YOu have given me hope!!!! I am stuck in sippy cup hell with twins! You can do with 4, I can do it with 2! Thanks for the encouragement!

The Epps Family said...

Hey, Suz--Can you BELIEVE they are already to this stage? The speed of time passing will make you CRAZY!

McGee Family said...

I haven't read all the comments, so I don't know if someone else has already suggested this. Anyway, one of my boys was allergic to milk & didn't tolerate soy very well either. We had him on rice milk & he did great with it! (I know there is almond milk available too, but he is also allergic to nuts, so we didn't try that.) He outgrew the milk allergy around age 3, but not the nuts.

Barbara Manatee said...

So much excitement in your household! Congrats on toughing it out through the transition to cups! And YEAH to the kiddos for walking! Look out mom!

Elizabeth said...

I didn't think you could get any cuter pictures after the quads in a tub picture but my goodness these are so cute. I love you quads!! Told you they were going to be walking before I see them again.
Love,
Aunt Liz HAHA

Angela said...

Our middle son (Ethan) is dairy sensitive. He isn't allergic, but it does aggravate his ezcema really badly. So I put him on Soy and he has been on it since I stopped nursing at around 9 months (he is almost 4 now) I give him dairy occasionally and it still breaks him out in dry patches. Someone just today was telling me how bad soy is for you because it is really hard for the body to digest and it causes more problems that may not manifest themselves immediately. Nice. So we are going to try rice milk and see how that does. We do a lot of calcium fortified juice and a food based multivitamin (they come in liquid form for babies) As for the picky eating, somewhere I read that it can take up to 10 times for a toddler to get used to the taste/texture of new foods. Just keep offering it to them. You are doing an awesome job, they are absolutely precious.

Brittany said...

Hi! I am new to this blogging thing. And don't have mine up and running all the way yet. I was telling my friend about my troubles with my only child (15 months) and the bottle. He will not take anything out of the sippy but water/juice. She told me about your cup you were using. I tried finding it online and couldn't. Where can I get them. He will drink out of a straw so I think this is my solution. Please let me know! brittany.kimbrell@yahoo.com Thank you so much. And I love reading about your little family. Precious!!!!!

Stephanie said...

Totally walking! They are so stinkin' cute! Thanks for sharing your day to day life with us. Have a great week.

Stephanie - Bryan/College Station

Karen said...

I am interested in hearing what the twins do when they have dairy. My nephew is on Lactaid but he throws up when they give him dairy. Now he is doing it more, even without the milk. I think the hidden dairy in foods also needs to go. Way to go on the walking!

Jessie said...

Wow, you've inspired me with the sippy cup boot camp. My 15 month old twins are the same way... they'll drink anything but milk from a sippy cup. I've tried to switch out one bottle for a sippy for several days at a time, and it just never works. Sadly, I think boot camp is the way to go. If you can do it with four, I can do it with two. Thanks for sharing your life with quads with us.

Brittany said...

Wow! I'm so proud of all four of them. They are just so precious. And that definitely constitutes walking. Pretty soon they will be running around like crazy!

I LOVE the picture of Drew patiently waiting on his food. That is SOOOOOOOOO CUTE!

BethE said...

Wow, they look so big! Growing up so fast!

Jodi said...

They are absolutely adorable!!! Love your blog. Can't believe how bit they're getting. You are a super woman - times 4!!!

Jodi

Anonymous said...

We love love love Nuby cups. We started out with that same straw cup and then went to the big straw sipper and now use the sippy with adjustable valve. I think they make great products!

Sooz said...

Any step constitutes walking in my book. This post is great!
Sorry about the lactose intolerance. My mom had that problem with me and I couldn't even handle the soy products. Fortunately as an adult now I have grown out it mostly. Yay because I love me some cheese!

TheBMillers said...

They say training a toddler only takes 3 days, sleep, bottle, pacie - I think it's just more the WILL of the parents to be able to make it those 3 days.. Congrates

Barbi

Nursery Kulture said...

Enjoyed this post, especially those pictures of the leg crossing paticulars!

Frugal Jen said...

Congrats on going cold turkey, I need to get some of those straw sippy's. My 18 month old looks like Suri Cruise still having that bottle.

Happy Campers said...

Hi! I found your site through my cousin, Robyn Areheart's blog. LOVE your blog & your adorable family!

On the milk front...

Reese HATES milk, and powdered milk has been our savior. I put it in EVERYTHING...extra powdered milk goes into Mac & Cheese, pancake batter, peanutbutter sandwiches, mashed potatoes...anything!

A friend of mine uses this method with her lactose intolerant child...she said that powdered milk processes differently than liquid milk? So perhaps if the boys do OK with the Mac & Cheese powder, they might tolerate powdered milk OK too?

Just a thought...thanks for sharing your life with the blogosphere! :)

twinsx3 said...

Love the pics and video. You are doing a great job. Are those straw sippy cups BPA free? Just curious. I am looking for a new sippy cup and haven't seen those before! It is so nice when they can drink from a straw for a juice box and such...

Kathleen

BoufMom9 said...

LOVED the crossed legs while eating. SILLY!
Can't believe your little ones are starting to walk!
One of my twins JUST started to walk and he just turned TWO on oct 7th!
Your babies are amazing!

nicole said...

ive been following your blog for over a year, but have never commented! so i thought id drop a little knowledge that i recieved a while back. Because my little cousin is deathly allergic to milk, etc. (faithfriendlyworld.com) we have found that soy actually carries alot of horomones with it, and isnt good to give too much of, as im sure you know the effects of a hormone overdose! haha. But i have started giving my daughter rice dream and i interchange it with soy to keep her interested, as she gets bored quickly. But if you check out the site, there is some good info on substitutes and what not that my aunt has put together, and there is also her email, she has completely molded her life around her daughters illness and im sure she wouldnt mind giving you insight if you want, or even just advice on things you can substitute if its not on the site.
goodluck!

The Golf Widow said...

Congrats on the new walkers! How exciting.
I always took my girls bottles away cold turkey too(the day after their 1st birthday).Great idea with the straw cups. It took my youngest forever to learn to use a straw.Good luck with the soy.Hoping they out grow it soon!

Midwest Mommy said...

My little girl would never hold her bottle. EVER. I introduced a sippy cup after she was a year and I refused to ever hold it for her. She had to figure it out. Eventually she would drink milk out of the sippy cup and I ditched the bottles.
Good for you! Cold turkey is the way to go. That's what I did this summer with potty training and I got my 26 month old trained in a week. It all has to do with the mommy's attitude and you have an awesome one!!

Kids are just so cute.

margie said...

oh my goodness, i couldn't stop laughing, that table, those floating babies.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how I came across your blog but I've been following you guys a while now - your babies are darling! (Perhaps I should say toddlers and not babies!)

Just wanted to tell you I was lactose intolerant for about 2 years, around ages 9-11 or so. It was not probably diagnosed for a while (the doctor told my mom I was faking it, and we found a new doctor). I don't believe we did anything special - just gradually tried dairy again and now (18 years later) I have no problems at all. So, keep up hope that the boys will outgrow it! ~Rebecca

Carissa said...

I just found your blog through my friend Erin's blog. My sister had identical quads (no fertility drugs) almost 4 years ago! I haven't had time to totally read all of your posts, but your belly pics look so familiar! She got up to 55 inches around before delivering at 23 weeks and 6 days! I kept a blog while she was pregnant and for a while after they were born, but don't keep up with it anymore, but you can see it at http://breedlovequads.blogspot.com. Nice to "meet you"!

Melissa Dovel said...

Good for you doing the transtion at one year. The longer you wait the harder it is. We do soy milk for everyone. I have only one child who needs it but its a healthy choice for everyone. Its kind of funny if I try to give them regular milk they tell me the milk is bad:) One more thing soy milk will not make pudding (just thought i would tell ya)

Blessings,
Melissa

Anonymous said...

Hi Suzanne,

I follow your blog via Tubre's, but never left a comment before. Sorry about that. You are such an inspiration to so many. I'm not a mom, but would give anything to have beautiful kids like yours. You will reap what you sow, and you are doing such a great job, you're going to have WONDERFUL little adults one day. God surely knew who to give those little ones to. Keep up the good work!!!

Deanna said...

WTG Suz!! Getting rid of the bottle is hard but you did it!! Kuddos to you!! They are looking so good! You and Joe are doing an excellent job and if you need someone to talk to don't hesitate to email me. I have been there and doen it twice.

(Hugs)
Deanna

Corrie said...

Suzanne--You don't know me--I stumbled across your blog shortly after you found out you were pregnant with 4 (news like that travels!) Congrats on your beautiful children!
In your entry this time, I noticed that you said meals are not going so great, especially with Savannah. I wanted to reassure you that the control that she likes to have is actually a good thing. I have found a wonderful book called Child of Mine: Feeding With Love and Good Sense by Ellyn Satter. It is about what she calls the "division of responsibility" in feeding. I am oversimplifying the book, but basically, the parent is responsible for the what, when, and where of feeding and the child is responsible for the how much and whether of eating. I have a 4 year old and a 2 year old and this has been wonderful for them and for me. They don't feel pressure to eat too much or too little and I know my job is done when I get a healthy meal on the table. They decide to eat based on how hungry they are and what their body needs at that time.
I hope this is helpful to you--it is one book I love to pass on because it has been so helpful to me! I enjoy reading how the babies have grown over the past year. Thanks for letting me share!

Mandy said...

A-DOR-A-BLE!

Just a caution--MOST children will not starve themselves, but some will. I never would have thought it possible until my daughter completely stopped eating. There are many children who develop severe oral aversion or other similar problems and have to go through therapy for years to overcome it. Listen to your mommy instincts and you'll be fine. I'm not saying this to add any worry. Good luck with everything!

Katherine said...

What about Lil' Critters calcium vitamins. My kids can do milk, but we take them anyway to be sure they are getting the calcium they need. Natural food stores also sell other brands, but Target carries the Lil' Critters, as does Amazon in mass quantity.

Millicent said...

Long time reader, not sure if I have ever commented. But I just wanted to let you know my son had a milk allergy (not lactose interant, it was milk protien he was allergic too) and could only have soy. But he grew out of it by age 2. His Dr said it was fairly common for them to grow out of it by that age.

Anonymous said...

I was warned by the lady at our local health food store that Soy is NOT a good choice. She says "Soy is bad, bad, bad". SO..research it. I have no clue if there is any truth in it.

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