Blessings

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 🙂

Easter 2011

Posted in holidays on May 1st, 2011 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Easter is definitely a favorite holiday of mine.  Can’t be THE favorite because nothing beats Christmas, but it’s proven to be even better than Halloween these days.  No matter how you celebrate Easter, there is always lots to do this time of year, and I think our family found the perfect balance between celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and the traditional kids’ stuff like Easter eggs and bunnies.

Every year, our community has an Easter egg hunt, and my kids always love it.  My oldest is now too old to participate, but I was proud that she chose to come along with us and that she was a HUGE help with the little ones.  Our community’s Easter egg hunt is more of a candy scramble now.  They used to have it in the park, and the volunteer teens from the high school would hide the candy all around the park, but they got tired of having to move the event indoors at the last minute because of inclement weather.  With Easter being in April, you just can’t guarantee a sunny, dry, Saturday morning without muddy ground in which to hide the Easter surprises.  So now they have it in the middle school gym, and while they can’t exactly hide the candy, the kids seem to love it all the same.  If the kids find a piece of candy with a colored dot on it, then they win an extra prize, and 2 of my 3 kids did just that – those of you who know our family can guess who was the one with the (as always) bad luck  – poor kid.

At church the following day, we had two special guests join us – one friend who doesn’t go to church but began to come after falling on hard times in his life, and a new friend who is also going through tough times and looking to switch churches.  I’m so happy to report that New Friend now calls our church her church home – she and her kids really like it!  Also, Friend #1 has been coming to church every week since!  God is amazing!

Monday, we were invited by some friends to attend “The Living Last Supper”, a show near Fort Wayne Indiana staged solely for God’s glory – to depict the last days and the death and Resurrection of Jesus.  It was an awesome, powerful show; one I strongly recommend.  This will be an annual tradition for our family for sure!  Especially since all 4 of our children were moved by the performance, and we didn’t even need to use the child care!

Friday saw the annual kid-friendly tradition of egg coloring, and I think this was really the first year we’ve done egg coloring with a little BOY in the house.  Our son is 2, and what a difference there was between his rowdy excited way of dropping the eggs into the colors versus his sisters’ delicate quest for prettiness in their egg designs.  Our son barreled through his allotment of eggs so quickly that his sisters were still working on theirs when he was done, and this is what happened:

After dinner, our family sat down in a circle to do another one of our favorite Easter traditions: Resurrection Eggs.  It’s a set that was given to us by my sister last year, and I have to remember to tell her how much we enjoy doing this every year.  We even lent our set to some friends this year for them to enjoy!  It comes with a booklet, and we take turns reading the little paragraphs that tell the story of Jesus’ death.  The booklet asks questions and gives you places to pause,  and you open each of the 12 eggs when prompted.  Each of the different colored eggs contains a little something that represents the part of the story that was just read, and we have kids take turns opening eggs.  It’s a wonderful way to combine the eggs aspect and the spiritual meaning of Easter into a fun-filled educational family activity, and we love it!

Saturday morning the kids got a nice surprise – the Easter Bunny had visited early and hidden their gorgeous eggs!  I think the Easter Bunny thought it would be too much for us to search for eggs while trying to get to church on time Sunday morning, and he was right 🙂  Oh, here’s a pic of the kids with their eggs; Dude is still recovering from his egg coloring tantrum:

After the egg hunting , we attended a fun Easter event at the community theater up the street, and the weather actually cooperated.  There were Easter egg hunts, games, lunch, and plenty of prizes for everyone, and the kids had a blast.  We returned home and made a last minute decision to check out another Easter drama at a friends’ church.

It seems that the Easter Bunny made another visit to our house on Saturday night since Sunday morning the kids woke up to a laundry basket for each of them full of surprises.  We went to church, and I enjoyed a whopping class size of 13 first-graders to teach!  Problem was, all of their jacked-up-on-candy brains could only think about the other aspects of Easter, and we had difficulty doing some of our planned activities.  It’s often difficult to accomplish much when I have a class of that size anyhow, so I took it in stride and we went to the gym early to run around and burn off some of that sugar!  At adult worship, we were blessed to see enough friends join us so that our group filled up an entire row!  It’s not about quantity, but it was amazing to see some friends there who don’t regularly go to church and some whom we’ve been inviting for years and haven’t come until now.  I am so excited to see what God is doing in the lives of those I care about!!!

We went out to brunch, took a family nap, and then we took the kids to the movies.  No, we didn’t see Hop, which might have made sense for Easter, but our older kids have already seen it.  So we took in Rio, which is a cute family movie about a couple of rare parrots – fitting for our family since we reside with a jerky parrot of our own, and we had fun.

Overall, one of the best Easter seasons ever; actually, this season just keeps getting better and better every year, especially as I become aware of what the season is all about and how to really celebrate it.  I am truly blessed!

So a belated happy Easter to everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful Easter and have many more to come!  Celebrate Easter, celebrate Jesus, celebrate love, celebrate family – Easter is great & we have God to thank!

Let It Snow… Well, Just For Tonight

Posted in Everyday Life on January 7th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I am glad to be home.  I’ve got a nice warm cup of coffee next to me as I sit at my computer…  but don’t let my facade of relaxation fool you.  I’ve already changed 3 dirty diapers and broken up 4 squabbles in the past hour since I’ve been home, with more of both sure to come.  But my errands today went even worse – one of those days where most things, even the littlest things, are going wrong – too many things to list, and I’m exhausted.

And it’s snowing, which made everything I did today more difficult.  It depends upon the news outlet of choice; the radio says we are to get 2-4″ of snow today with another possible inch tomorrow.  I am also a fan of weather.com, who says my area is due for a possible 3-5″ today, and another 1-3″ at night.  Basically the same forecast, but I know they weren’t exaggerating this time – there are already at least 3″ of snow on the ground.  I know because I had to trudge through it, both on foot and in the car.  The roads are terrible, but walking is a breeze thanks to the boots I got a few months ago.  Well, it would be a breeze if it weren’t for all the little ones I have to bundle and re-bundle and lift out of the car at every stop.  I had so many stops to make and was so sick of the snow today that I decided to not go to the library and pick up the second Harry Potter book.  I know, it sounds great to be snowed in with a good book, especially because hubby is working all night, but it’s difficult to imagine that I will achieve any kid-less time.  I just couldn’t bring myself to make that extra stop, especially when the day’s other errands had already gone so awry.  Some of it was just plain bad luck and some had to do with the fact that all 4 kids – well, ok, 3 of them, but I’m not mentioning any names –  have been terribly behaved lately.

In what has turned into a ranting blog post of complaints, where was I?
My husband had a major issue with his work in December, so he needs to work basically whenever he’s awake to get our family back on track.  I lost my other best friend in this house in December, and it feels kind of lonely when the people you hang out with all day do nothing but poop, cry, or argue, sometimes all doing all 3 things at once.  And I started today on such a good note; where on earth would I be right now if I hadn’t?  I stayed positive this morning while I cleaned the poop out of the bathtub, and I even smiled when my son pooped again on the floor and slid on it like it was a banana peel – disgusting, that’s obvious, but you have to admit that it makes for a humorous mental picture (no one was hurt, unless you count my bathroom floor).

The trip to Walmart today went surprisingly well, even though I didn’t leave myself enough time for lunch.  But then the kids lost it as I was loading the groceries into the car, and between the yelling and the snow, I realized I was not really IN the drive-thru at McDonald’s – I was kind of taking up the drive-thru lane AND the drive-past lane simultaneously.  It was too late for me to move over, at least not until the car in front of me moved, and sure enough, there came someone squeezing past me…  I turned my head, ready for the dirty look I knew I was about to receive, and the driver did not disappoint.  He glared at me, and that’s when I saw it was a county sheriff, and I sank low in my seat – how embarrassing.  And great – I feel sorry for the other red vans that get pulled over if this guy is looking to get revenge on me; he looked awfully perturbed at my ignorance.

So then I get home, and my little boy has fallen asleep (only took 15 minutes of crying in the car), so I put him in his crib and venture back out into the snowstorm because I  forgot milk – a morning requirement in this house o’ kids.  But because it was today, and because anything that could go wrong was going wrong (remember that I’ve left out still most of the gory details), the first store I check is completely out of milk.  So I go to another place, and they do have milk, but there I run into an acquaintance with whom I am forced to make chit-chat.  Normally, I’d be ok because I like most people I meet, but there are a select few (usually those afflicted with P.A.S.) who really get on my nerves.   Enter this guy, today, one of “those days”.  But I’m nice, I’m still in a positive mood, I’ve got my milk, and I’m on my way home.  When I slide into my driveway (reminding me it has to be shoveled later), I want to sit at my computer with my cup of coffee and relax, but I decide instead to play a game of Dora Candyland with my 3-year-old because it’s something we can’t do when her brother is around and wreaking havoc.  No sooner do we get out the Candyland than her brother wakes up – great, so all I accomplished during his nap today was getting milk!  No “me” time and worse yet, no quality one-on-one time with my daughter – just errands, UGH!

Well enough ranting for now, let’s just say that I did end up with my cup of coffee and my quiet time.  But if you think the kids relented and gave me this on their own, you should read more of my blog posts because that is SO not the case.  My husband had to take a break from work and spend it with the kids.  So now it’s my turn, and my quiet time is over.  But let it snow – we don’t have anywhere to be because Girl Scouts was canceled this evening due to snow.  Maybe we can counteract some of today’s unpleasantness by spending some quality family time together tonight while we’re snowed in….  but please, not another day off school for the kids – after today, I don’t think I could handle a snow day!

IT Is HERE

Posted in Everyday Life on November 8th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , ,

It’s official – there is a flu wreaking havoc in our house.  I don’t know if it’s H1N1, but all the signs are there.  Our middle-schooler came down with it Friday night, and she’s been in bed ever since.  She had to miss a birthday party and church this weekend, and she won’t be going to school tomorrow.  Today our 5-year-old and 1-year-old starting showing symptoms, and tonight our 3-year-old looks like she might be starting to get it.  And oh yeah – why would you think this one skipped Hubby, who  gets EVERYTHING that comes around?  Looks like it’s making an appearance in him tonight.  As usual, (except for the flu season when I was pregnant and was sick from Thanksgiving until Christmas – one bug after another) I remain the last one standing, as yet untouched by the virus (crossing fingers, knocking wood…)

So up goes this post, and down goes our family – I think a flu outbreak is a good reason to go to bed at 10, don’t you?  Here’s hoping and praying that it doesn’t hit us too hard and also that I  may stay well enough to care for my family.  We are going to have to quarantine ourselves this week, which is a shame since we had plans for every single night.  Tomorrow will see a slew of phone calls made and emails sent to cancel everything.  Health comes first, of course.
Best wishes to readers for staying healthy!!!

Puzzling The Night Away

Posted in Kids on November 8th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , ,

Our 3-year-old Disney is really good at puzzles.  Last night, she tried her first 63-piece puzzle, but she didn’t quite finish it:

Disney fell asleep doing puzzle 11-7-09 002

She got a pretty good start – that puzzle is particularly difficult.  We were all enjoying a wonderfully peaceful evening since our little 5-year-old instigator had her first sleepover at a friend’s house.  She had a great time, and when she returned home today, the conflicts between siblings resumed immediately.  There’s always one in every bunch, I guess 🙂

And today’s lesson in everyday life:  Coffee can dye a black dog brown.  Don’t ask me how I know that, but it was quite a mess.

A Note To Add To That Last Post…

Posted in Everyday Life, Kids on August 23rd, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , ,

I will be one of those frantic parents in the Walmart checkout line on the first day of school.  I’ve never been there to witness them myself, but I know they exist; I’ll find out for sure tomorrow when I join them.  Yes, I planned ahead well enough to buy the necessary school supplies, but what I failed to do was to supervise the middle-schooler who was excitedly stuffing her new backpack, apparently ignoring the direction to “pack what’s on your list”.  Not really her fault – like I said, I should have been supervising her more carefully.  But as a result, our 4th grader now has a locker full of 4th grade school supplies AND Kindergarten school supplies (she brought them to school last Friday during orientation), while our Kindergartner has an empty backpack.

We could follow our oldest daughter into her new middle school tomorrow to repo her sister’s school supplies, but I’m pretty sure being the only student whose parents follow her into school (especially with little brother and sisters in tow) could cause her emotional damage beyond repair.  I’ll take my chances at Walmart.

Back To School!

Posted in Everyday Life, Kids on August 23rd, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Well, summer is officially over – school starts tomorrow!  I could be like everyone else and say “where did the summer go?”, but for me, it actually didn’t go as fast as I would have thought.  We were so busy; though it was good-busy; not like so-much-work-to-do-busy.  But much fun was had and I enjoyed every minute!  Last week was spent at school open houses and orientations, as well as a training event at our church to allow us to volunteer with our church’s student ministries.  That was an interesting evening – it began with us volunteers breaking off into groups of about 15 and making lines.  We were given a spoon tied to a string which was wound around a “spool” ie, an empty tube of toilet paper.  The first person in the line (me) was to put the spoon down their shirt and pants and give it to the next person who was supposed to put it up their pants and shirt, then to the next person who was supposed to put it down the shirt and pants, effectively “threading” the line of people together.  Kind of strange, I thought, but what’s going to happen once we’re all “wearing” the string???  It was a little scary, but luckily, the threading was the entire ice-breaking activity, and the rest of the evening was pleasantly spent listening to a guest speaker while munching on all kinds of orange snacks (orange was the theme for the evening – I never really thought about how many party snacks are orange before!).

Today we had so many activities and volunteering planned for church that we were on the go from 8:30 in the morning until about 3:30 in the afternoon.  Busy, but it was time well-spent, especially since we finished up the day with Kidstuff (a cute show with a wonderful message for the kids) and then a carnival with LOTS of treats and fun for the kids; they had a blast.  Good thing too – we need to get settled down early tonight in order to get our oldest to school by 7:30 in the morning!!!  She is starting middle school, and yes, to those of you who have asked – she will be switching classes, kind of like the “block” style they had when I was in middle school.  My daughter has a homeroom, but then she switches for language arts and math and perhaps other subjects as well.  And they do gym class strangely – there are 4 classes: gym, music, technology (typing, etc.), and art, and they take one of these 4 classes every day for 9 weeks and then switch to another.  That sounds pretty cool to me!  I would have LOVED it if I only had to worry about gym for 9 weeks of the year!  But, being in middle school also means that she has to change for gym class, poor thing – I remember that aspect of middle school making a lot of kids really nervous.  And at orientation last week, the principal gave us parents a talk about making sure we wash the gym clothes – the kids are getting to “that age”, she said, which prompted me to whisper to my friend nearby, “I’m not ready!”  But my daughter IS ready for middle school, and she seems to be making her way from tween to teen in no time –  UGH!  Poor thing got her first pimple just in time for the first day of middle school, but she doesn’t seem to mind too much, so we’re not making it a big deal.  It’s not like we’re publishing it on the internet for the entire world to read or anything…  But what are moms for?  She can thank me when she’s older and finds this through some sort of google search or something.

Our second oldest is starting Kindergarten.  This is our “difficult” child; our strong-willed one.  Samantha has a mind of her own, and some of the things she says leave us in stitches – others leave us shaking our heads, but we’ll stick to the positives here.  It seems that Samantha has the same Kindergarten  teacher that her sister had a few years ago, and my husband and I are chuckling to ourselves about the unintentional “joke” we’re about to play on our local school system.  We are wondering how many years it will take for word to spread amongst the teachers in town about how much of a…  well, difference there is  between Samantha and her big sister…  No need to go off about it here, like I said, we need to call it an early night, but it will suffice to say that any teacher of Taylor’s who gets Samantha 4 years later will probably be surprised 🙂

I was going to write about the younger two as well, but it’s bedtime already and this post is long enough – that’s what I get for not blogging regularly, I guess, an über-post!

Teaching Is Probably Not My Forte

Posted in church, Kids on June 14th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Another tangents.org blogger, who is also a very  good friend of mine, blogs about his (mis)adventures concerning substitute teaching.  He has posted a poll or two about what subjects and ages his readers would like to teach if they could choose.  I never really took the questions seriously since I could never picture myself in the situation to teach.  After all, you need a degree to teach most anything these days, and I stopped college short of a degree to get married, which is one of the best decisions I  ever made, no regrets.  So I would answer those polls, and I would say I’d like to teach zoology or animal behavior or something like that because I love animals.  And I guessed that I would like to teach kids younger than high school, because I was a kid once, and I remember how older kids treat their substitute teachers…  But again, until a few weeks ago, I never thought I’d find myself in a position to actually teach a class…

At our family’s church, childcare is provided.  Over the summer,  understandably there  are many childcare volunteers who need a break, so they ask parents to volunteer.  My husband and I quickly signed up – after all, we have 4 kids in childcare there every  week, so it was time to give back.  We didn’t state an age nor gender preference of our students; we just noted that we didn’t want to be in the 4-year-old nor 2-year-old classes since that’s where our two daughters are who would have a chance of being clingy with Mom and Dad volunteering in their class.  Basically, it was the luck  of the draw – and our “luck” dictated that we were to be in the 3rd-5th grade boys class.  Ok, no problem.  I’ve seen the tail-end of those Brownies meetings while waiting to pick up my daughter – 9 or 10 tween girls running around; screaming, giggling, gossiping, sometimes somehow doing all 3 of those things at once…  So um, no thanks, boys will be just fine for Sunday school.  So I thought…

We got our “lesson plans”, and there were not fewer than 10 pages of instructions to follow for our 1 hour and 5 minute class.  Well, add-in the arrival games and we were in charge for about an hour and 15 minutes.  But I haven’t seen  time crawl by that slowly since before I had kids; it was the longest hour I’ve had in a long time!  Not that I wasn’t having fun, because I was –  A LOT of fun, actually.  So anyway, all week, my husband and I have been poring over these lesson plans; I was committed to go in there today knowing exactly what I was doing and determined to keep  control over those boys.

So  we arrive, and the helpful leader tells us to  grab snacks for the kids ahead of their arrival, but we don’t know how many we’ll be expecting, so in her words, “10 should be plenty”.  We get to the classroom, she explains a few things, and kids begin to arrive.  From the beginning, it was clear we were going to have to  keep one eye on a rambunctious and mischievous (though intelligent) little boy named Avery.  In fact, the very minute after I made a mental note to watch Avery very closely, I looked up and he was gone.  I had no choice but to leave my poor defenseless husband in the clutches of the growing number of 8-10 year-old-boys while I literally ran after the wayward Avery.  The Kid’s Kingdom building of our church is still somewhat of a maze to me, so it was pure luck that I got out into the hallway just in time to see the back of Avery disappearing through a set of double doors.  “I’ve got you now, sucker”  I  thought as I ran through the gym after him.  I chased him right up to the kids’ check-in desk, where I, the newbie, had to explain to the staff person why I was chasing a kid who had escaped from my classroom.  Luckily for me, she seemed to know Avery and to be familiar with his escapades, and she was grateful that I had chased him down.  Turns out, he had decided to get himself a name tag (which he is supposed to do before class but evidently did not), so he decided to leave the classroom to do so without telling anyone, which of course is a big no-no.

So I collar Avery, and we return to the classroom, and there are now kids everywhere who all had apparently arrived during the chase scene!  There was one teeny-tiny little girl who stuck out like a sore thumb in a room full of all boys years older than her, so I went over to her and offered to walk her to the girls’ class –  and that’s how I found out that she was a guest of one of the kids in the class, who turned out to be one of the pastor’s sons.  Actually, he was the son of the pastor who was our friend before we chose this church, so seeing him was a bit of a relief – for that moment anyway.  I thought for sure he would be a nice, helpful boy…  but more on that later.  We did a head count, and we discovered in our classroom, we had 14 boys + 1 little girl + 2 freshman teachers with Ø experience = fun times ahead!

We played the activity that was slated for play while the kids were arriving, and it was a worksheet where the kids matched words with the fears they represent, like arachnophobia=the fear of spiders, felinaphobia=the fear of cats, etc.  It went pretty well, despite disappearing pens (one guess – yes, Avery.  Though I countered his pen trick well.  When he said that he ate the pens, I said, well, you won’t be needing snack then, and the pens were automatically recovered).  Finally it was time to line up to go to large group.

Once in the large group room, also known as The Wherehouse, our responsibilities diminished as the leader took over and we relished a break of sorts.  We got to see a few of the kids act things out, which was neat, and we also  got to see our oldest daughter who had come over from her class.  Let me tell you, she was a pro at their songs and dances!  She just performed them without even  giving a glance over to Mom and Dad, which is so the way we wanted it and  exactly what we were afraid of when declining to volunteer in any of our kids’ classrooms.  But her section of the room was also eerily quiet, and I kind of regretted the decision to stay away from teaching our kids’ classrooms as I envied their parent volunteer with her four quiet girls versus our fourteen borderline obnoxious boys (and one little girl).  Large group was uneventful, crisis-wise anyway.  I tried some of the dances and my husband made fun of me…  but the kids don’t want to see some grumpy-looking  adult standing there,  not having fun, right?  My job was to  encourage them to participate, and I figured step one would be to participate myself!

So at 11:30, after Large Group, it was time to go back to the classrooms until 12:05.  And that’s when time began to creep in a way it hasn’t for us since our engagement.  We began class with one of the suggested games; a relay race involving cups of water.  The instructions said it was “great for boys”, so without really giving it thought, we learned the rules of that game and one other.  The relay involved carrying a cup of water on the back of one’s hand down a “balance beam” (tape line on the floor) and back again.  This was fun, but as you can imagine, there were more than a few spills.  And a note: Avery chose to get himself kicked out of this one  – kudos to my husband for putting his foot down!  Of course, by then all the boys were getting really rowdy (the pastor’s son was one of the tricksters; here I thought he’d be a big help), so we shut the door and passed out the snack.  But if you remember, earlier I said that we had only  brought 10 snacks to the classroom, which “should be plenty” but alas, were not nearly enough for 15 hungry kids.  Luckily, there were other snacks leftover from the previous session, and we didn’t bother letting them chose which of the two snacks they would get, so snack time was very peaceful thanks to my husband’s brilliant “you-get-what-you-get” snack tactic.  I maintain from my many observations of kids that the #1 cause of all kid meltdowns is lack of food.  That is free advice 🙂

So then we sat at the table in the classroom, and it was time for a coin tossing game.  Everyone got a partner (including me – a well-behaved boy named Brandon, thank goodness), chose a side and each team flipped the coin –  the person whose side was flipped answered the first question (something relating to the verse lesson and what was shown in the play during large group).  The game continued with  asking questions of each  partner, and the kids began to have some fun with it and come up with silly answers.    It was a fun game, but we finished and there were still at least 10 minutes until dismissal!  Again, my husband saved the day, and rather than trying to look over the instructions for another game and potentially losing control of the classroom whilel we did that, he made up an activity, so we went around the table discussing our fears.  And I’ve complimented him enough so far because he did an awesome job with the kids, but here’s where it gets ugly – my husband chose this moment to share my fear of frogs with 14 little boys.  If I were a regular teacher, I would be terrified and would probably move from my house and my hometown.  But as a one-time substitute Sunday school teacher, I think I’m safe from any horrid pranks involving amphibians.  So back to the game, according to their creativity, one boy’s fear was of “cinderblocks”, while a few of the students answered honestly that they were afraid of the dark.  Quickly looking for our lesson plans to determine the next activity, we found them to be missing…  “Avery” we said simultaneously, and like magic, there were the lesson plans, right in front of Avery’s chair.  But it was finally almost time to line up at the door for dismissal, and again, Hubby saved the day with another game – this one killed two birds with one stone by producing quiet AND spending time.  The boys had to be quiet while my husband counted to 20 or else he would start over.  We only had to reset twice, believe it or not!  Once for (who else) Avery, and once for two other  boys wrestling each other to the floor.  And then it was over.

And then we got our beautiful oldest daughter back, and she is so good and obedient.  And our other three, they were happy to see us as well, and us them, and things were going great until we pulled out of the parking lot and our 5-year-old noticed her older sister’s new ring she had earned at church…  and so began the fighting.  And the making up.  And the familial bonding which involves a beautiful process that also makes me want to tear my hair out at times.

I am looking forward to volunteering in Kid’s Kingdom again.  But maybe next time, changing diapers for an hour would be easier!

Thrice Upon A Potty

Posted in Kids on May 1st, 2009 and tagged , , , , , ,

Yesterday saw the official beginning of potty-training for our 2-year-old.  She has used the potty a few times before, but now it’s official – we went out and bought the toddler sized potty.  She was excited about using it and has done so twice yesterday and once today!  I just worry about the time it takes to stay consistent.  She still needs reminding and accompaniment, and those things might become impossible to do at times depending on what her baby brother is doing at the moment.  But for now, we’re really excited about her progress, and maybe we can build up some consistency so that she can tend to her own needs in case baby brother is running me too ragged to help.

There are MANY methods of potty-training.  There’s the famous video/book set, Once Upon a Potty, but that is a bit graphic (I don’t think it’s important at this age to learn WHERE the poo-poo comes from), and I don’t know about your kids, but mine find it difficult to relate to a little girl named Prudence.  The “diaper free infant” method of potty-training is becoming increasingly popular.  This entails holding the newborn baby over the toilet and not letting him wear diapers.  I’m not one to complain about other people’s parenting methods, but ‘diaper free infant’ parents seem like lunatics.  The average newborn baby needs his diapers changed 8-10 times per day, and I don’t even know how they determine what a ‘day’ is when referring to newborns since they are often up all night, needing their diapers changed in the middle of the night as well.  Who is going to hold a newborn baby over a toilet 8-10 times a day and all throughout the night?  A lunatic.  But seriously, as I said, the popularity of this method is increasing, so I guess some people are having success with it.  Personally, I wait until the kid is old enough to understand.  She understands that older people and especially older kids use the potty and don’t wear diapers.  She’s old enough to not like getting messy anymore, and she’s old enough to understand rewards.  We had a very hard time potty-training our oldest daughter.  The daycare she went to at the time gave us a suggestion that finally worked – sprinkles.  When a kid successfully uses the potty, give them sprinkles (the kind you put on cookies, not the kind they’re putting into the toilet).  Once the sprinkles came into the picture, our oldest was potty-trained almost immediately after months of trying everything else.  Our second daughter was a snap to potty-train, well, ok, first we had to wait for her to get out of her “painting with poop” phase, but again, I wait until they’re old enough to understand things.  During the “painting with poop” phase, she wasn’t even 2 years old yet, and so it was really difficult to explain to her why the poop should go in the potty rather than being artistically displayed upon the walls, her crib, her toys, and even her face… YUCK!

Ok, this post has taken a turn for the worst, so I will take that as my cue to sign off.  The point is, CONGRATS to Disney for doing such a good job on the potty!

Sammie Hasn’t Done This… Yet

Posted in Kids on April 17th, 2009 and tagged , , , ,

Our almost 5-year-old Sammie is the firecracker of the group.  She likes to be the one to stir things up, and she sometimes has some crazy ideas.  My mom sent me an email with the following video and a message:  “I’m surprised Sammie hasn’t tried this.”

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I can’t imagine what those poor parents were going through.  First I’m sure horror and panic set in as they worried their little one would get injured or stuck in there – notice they wisely killed the power to the crane game.  Then, once she got out, they were probably extremely embarrassed!  I half expected to see them spank her little butt when it was the only part of her sticking out!  Not that I condone spanking really, but you know how extreme relief often gives way to anger, especially when kids are involved…  I’m certainly glad it was their problem and not mine.  I know I will not be showing this video to Sammie nor any of my kids for that matter – they don’t need any more “good” ideas!