Posted in health on March 5th, 2012 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We always knew that we were blessed with our 5 healthy babies, but the reality of how blessed we really were is beginning to sink in.  Our first 4 children were very easy, content, healthy babies, so our 5th child, Luke, has rocked our world a little bit.  He has always been an intense baby; very energetic, playful, sleepless, alert and specific about his wants and needs.  But during the past few months, he’s been sick as well, so the poor little guy is having  trouble being comforted.  We’ve taken him to the doctor a few times, and he’s been diagnosed with bronchitis and an ear infection.  As if these illnesses were not enough, his chest x-rays show he has an enlarged heart.  We are currently praying that this is not a symptom of something seriously wrong with little Luke’s health.  My husband made me promise not to google it since we’ve made a few medical scares in our family worse by scaring ourselves with random internet information.  We are currently waiting for our appointment with the pediatric cardiologist.  Scary stuff.

I will continue to update when I can.  In the meantime, prayers for Luke would be wonderful 🙂

Toy Culling

Posted in Kids on December 20th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A few weeks ago, our kids were chronically misbehaving.  Our oldest, a tween, was sassing back and saying “no” too much, her younger sister (the “spirited” one) was throwing lots of tantrums and trying to cause trouble with her sisters, and our youngest daughter was constantly upset and insecure about the continuous chaos in the house.  Desperate times call for desperate measures, so one day while the oldest kids were at school and the younger ones were sleeping, my husband took off work for an afternoon of “toy culling”.  This is a drastic discipline measure we only use in emergency situations.  It is time-consuming and intensive labor for the parents, but well worth it, at least in our house.

Toy culling consists of us going into the girls’ room (the three oldest girls share one big room, and our baby boy isn’t yet old enough to cause trouble) and taking out every toy.  We leave the tv, computer with educational games, books, and the clothes and board games in the closet.  Everything else goes – dressup clothes, doll clothes, dolls, stuffed animals, all the little miscellaneous toys that can really junk up a child’s room quickly, etc.  If you have lots of time, you can sort it all by what you want to keep and organize the rest, but we are very busy people and so we just took all their junk and put it in our son’s room for now.  He’s a baby who wakes in the night so he’s still in our room.  When it’s time to move him into his room, we’ll have to clean it out obviously, but for now it was a means to an end of the horrible behavior of the girls.  We leave the board games, and they know that they take one out and put it away when they’re done, just like the books that are left.  If the rules aren’t followed, anything that’s left on the floor in subsequent days gets culled.  You need to check their room everyday, and it’s imperitive that you follow through with rule-enforcing.  And for some reason, this process really works.  I don’t know what it is…  Perhaps a feng shui effect where the much more pleasant ambience of the room and the mucho extra space is what leads to the kids being in better moods and hence, less trouble and more obedient.  It could be the fact that there are less toys over which to fight.  Maybe they’re happier not having it constantly hanging over their heads that they’re going to have to clean their room.  But I don’t care what the reason is, the toy culling has worked wonderfully the 3-5 times we’ve had to set aside a chunk of time to do it.  My kids are now putting their dirty laundry in the hampers that are provided, and their trash is going into garbage cans.  Also, their room is staying clean, and I don’t have to worry about it staying that way because they don’t have anything with which to mess it up!  And, as the behavior improves, they can earn their toys back – you don’t have to spend money to get them any special reward PLUS the kids feel senses of accomplishment = WIN/WIN.  Toy culling proves that less is more, and it helps put a damper on the sense of entitlement that can cloud the good attitude of even a generally well-behaved child.

I think I first read about the method in a parenting column in the newspaper.  I’m not sure which expert gets the credit, but I do know that I highly recommend toy culling!  And oh yes, early December is a perfect time to do this – makes room for the burst of new things they might receive for the holidays!

Trouble spelled C-U-T-E

Posted in Kids on April 3rd, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

 Disney, our youngest-for-now, got into some trouble today.  She went “missing” for about 10 minutes while I was making lunch, so I started thinking to myself, hmmm, she must have fallen asleep somewhere.  So, I went to search for her and found this:


 I went to the store and bought some toilet paper today.  I had it on the stairs waiting to go up, and apparently she found it and thought it would be fun to play with.  It was no big deal, as far as how much trouble toddlers usually get into.  And, when I think about it now, the fact that I thought she was sleeping when she was “missing” really says a lot about what kind of baby, err, toddler she is.  When my middle child was that age, if she went “missing” and the house was actually quiet, we knew there was going to be REAL trouble – and there always was.  Our middle child went through a – how to put this eloquently – a ‘playing with poop’ phase.  She would wake up in her crib, take off her diaper, and paint with the contents of her diaper, all while we thought she was still asleep so there was little we could do to intervene before it happened.  We even had to postphone opening Christmas presents one year because we had a huge poopie painted mess to clean up before we could see what Santa brought.  Good thing big sis was really patient about that one.  Our oldest child, Taylor, was kind of like Disney as a baby – never any real trouble.  In fact, she also had a toilet paper incident – see flashback photo below, note the stream of toilet paper behind her:


So anyway, Disney is a very sweet and mild-mannered child.  In fact, she really likes to play with my glasses and my Chicago Cubs hat, but she will only ask (yes, that’s right, she asks) to play with them when I’m not wearing them.  And unrolling toilet paper is her idea of trouble – for now anyway.  She is nearing 2, so I am anticipating more trouble from her, but so far, this is it.  I just hope kids don’t come in any sort of behavior pattern.  Meaning, our first and third have been exceptionally good, our second is a HANDFUL (putting it mildly), so the fourth would be…

I’m not going to jinx us…  we’re hoping for the best.  I don’t know if I can handle another poop player!