Saturday, December 27, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Scene 1: I'm in the kitchen and the kids are playing in the adjoining playroom. Thomas runs halfway across the room, then screeches to a halt, staring at the ceiling.
Thomas: Momma! I think it's missing! (pronounced mEEs-ing)
Me: (Looking towards the ceiling, wondering what he could possibly be staring at or talking about) What's missing, honey?
Thomas: I don't know, but I think it's missing!
I never did figure out what he was talking about!
Scene 2: It's "bedtime." I have just entered the kids' bedroom for the 400th time because they won't stay in their beds or be remotely quiet and go to sleep. I am OVER IT! I have Zachary in my sights this time. He was jumping on the bed, but immediately laid done when I opened the door.
Me: (leaning over his bed, angry voice) Zachary! Do you WANT to be in trouble?!? DO YOU!?!
Zachary: (tilts his head slightly, lays his index finger upon his cheek, turns his eyes toward the ceiling with a look of serious thinking) Hmmmm....
He never did actually answer my question. He just kept tilting his head and saying, "Hmmm..." I finally just had to leave before I burst out laughing and ruined my angry mood.
And this one, caught on tape! This was back in October and I've tried to post it before with no success. Actually, it took me 4 tries to get it to post today! Enjoy!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I'm thankful to finally have a chance to post about ANYTHING!
I'm thankful the weather that day was nice, and we could spend some time playing outdoors!
I'm thankful Jonathan and his siblings could further explore their fascination with leaves...and sticks...and rocks!
I'm thankful for adorable pictures like this one of Zachary and his Daddy!
I'm thankful for football!
I'm thankful for the time we were able to spend with family!
(Thomas with Aunt Jayne)
I'm not thankful for the depressingly few pictures we were able to take on Thanksgiving.
But I am thankful that the ones we DID take turned out pretty good!
And I'm thankful that I'm getting to do this post before Christmas gets here!
Monday, December 1, 2008
Jim told the kids I was "going to work" which was something they could understand and worked out well because they didn't freak out when I left the house. Neither of us mentioned that I would be with Kay Kay and Aunt Jo Jo. Then I would have had to bring them all with me! What I actually did was go shopping, stay overnight at the Opryland Hotel, and get to see the Rockettes perform! And I had a great time! But I'll admit that I spent a lot of time smiling at other people's children, got a little teary at the beginning of the Rockettes show thinking about how much the kids, and especially Reagan, would enjoy seeing it in a couple of years, and had a hard time falling asleep without a monitor to listen to.
But I know what you REALLY want to hear about! What was Jim doing while I was gone? After all, this was his first time to keep the kids by himself for more than a few hours, so it was a big deal, and he was naturally a little nervous about keeping the horde entertained for such a long period of time. Nevertheless, in typical Jim fashion, he did a fabulous job! And even found time to document his adventures for your viewing pleasure!
I left the house after breakfast Sat morning and didn't return until after naptime Sunday afternoon, which means Jim undertook two naps, one bedtime, four meals, and hours of playtime with no help or guidance from me. They played. They wrestled. They colored. And then Jim brought out the big guns! He had found a train set for a reasonable price, so he put it together and amused the kids for a good long time! It played music and had a nice big track. It was also remote-controlled with only four buttons, so even the kids each got turns running the train. They LOVED it! In fact, they've begged to play with the train every day since.
Yes, the kids had a blast with Daddy! And I think Daddy had a good time too! And not only did he take care of the kids AND take pictures so I didn't miss a minute, but he also cleaned the kitchen, put away the kids' toys, and washed a load of laundry! Watch out folks, he just might be Super-Dad!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Scream? Who? Us? Never!
Jonathan, Thomas, Zachary, and Reagan, looking deceptively innocent
Zachary: dume cuck (dump truck) and gic-cume (vacuum)
Reagan: bunnits (buttons) and geeps (grapes), especially when used in the following sentence:
Oh, I yuv geeps! (Oh, I love grapes!) It's just too cute the way she says it!
And finally, all the kids call M&M's simply M's. So adorable! I don't know why!
And while I'm talking about language, let me say that sometimes it's really hard not to repeat their mispronunciations. I want to call Zachary Ya Ya, like Regan does. I want to tell them I'm going to get the gic-cume out of the closet. I REALLY have a hard time not calling my friend Michelle by the name Chelle because that is what they ALL call her. I guess to an extent some of that is okay, as long as Reagan doesn't start junior high wanting geeps in her lunchbox!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Let me start with Plan A. A is for Ambitious. Here are the thoughts that formed the framework for Plan A: 1. I want to train them all at the same time so peer pressure can work in my favor. 2. I want to go straight to underwear so when they go they know it, they don't like it, and they'll want to use the potty next time. Pull-ups are just going to slow the whole process down! 3. I want to reward them for success, but not scold them for failure. I expect a lot of accidents, and that's okay! Doesn't it sound like a great plan?
So I acquired 4 potties (We borrowed 2 of them. Thank you kind friends!) and I set a date. I picked the first Monday of November. Halloween was over. There was no Ladies Bible Class that week. I could stay home the whole week and devote all my time to potty training! Genius, right?
Now, I had been talking to the kids about the potties forever, and everyone but Zachary seemed pretty pumped about the idea. So Monday morning, we got up, we ate breakfast, and then I said, "Who wants to wear big underwear today and go in the potty?!?" Everyone was excited! I let each child pick out a pair of undies, and we shucked the diapers and put them on. I did not give them any pants to wear.
Then I said, "Who wants to go sit on the potty?!?" We ran to the bathroom, and I helped them pull their undies down. None of them liked having them around their ankles, so they kicked them all off in the floor. They sat on the potties. Nothing happened. "Nobody needs to go potty? No? Okay, we'll try again later." At that point the boys decided they'd rather not put the undies back on. Naked is much better! Reagan really wanted hers though, at least for a little while.
The rest of the morning passed in a blur of accidents that couldn't always be matched with a corresponding child, lots of trips to the potty, many encouraging words, and two successful pottiers (Jonathan and Thomas), but ended with one of my success stories in tears and begging me to get him a diaper, please! Heartbreaking!
By naptime, all four children were back in diapers. And they have been ever since. Here's what I learned from my Ambitious morning:
1. Some kids can have accidents all day long and hardly notice. They just don't care. At least not yet. For these kids, nudity is useless.
2. For other kids, having an accident on yourself can be more than just yucky. It can be terrifying if you're 2 and new to this whole new big kid potty world.
3. A terrified toddler who delightedly sat on the potty this morning, doesn't want to go anywhere near it in the afternoon, even if he got M&M's and stickers for his morning success and knows he could get more.
4. Perhaps Pull-ups are not such a bad idea after all.
5. Perhaps it's time for a new plan.
So I have since instituted Plan B. B is for Back Off. We are staying in our diapers for awhile. The potties are still there in the bathroom. The bathroom door is always open, so the kids can see them anytime they want. Occasionally I bring them up to see if anyone is interested. Occasionally they mention wanting to sit on the potty and I happily assist in that process. I'm not pushing anything, for now. I have gotten Thomas to sit on the potty with his clothes on. That's a step in the right direction. I don't think Zachary has sat on it once since the very first time Monday morning. He simply doesn't care one bit about it. We'll do this a little while longer, and then move on to Plan C. C is for Cautious. It involves Pull-ups. I'm considering moving just one child to plan C, maybe Jonathan or Reagan, and leaving the others in Plan B land a little longer. They will be allowed to enter Plan C land whenever they want, but right now I'm thinking that once you enter the land of Plan C, there's no going back to the land of Plan B.
Disclaimer: All plans are subject to change at any moment and without warning. All changes will be related to the reader after the change is already in affect.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Zachary, Jonathan, Thomas, Reagan
Jonathan discovers what fun a corn stalk can be, and Reagan and I walk down the path after having somehow managed to make it out of the corn maze!
Friday, November 7, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
As we are but newly pirates, we tried out our pillaging skills at an unlucky local church before embarking on our true journey to discover Halloween treasure. We arrived in true pirate style!
After taking on all the booty we could carry, we posed for a victory picture to celebrate our pirate glory!
Monday, November 3, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
1. The use of adverbs (maybe that's an English teacher thing!) Like when Thomas told me that his blanket was PROBABLY on his bed. Probably? It's PROBABLY on your bed? You understand and can properly use the word PROBABLY?!? To me, that's a serious jump in cognitive development, the idea that something may or may not be in a particular place. I don't know, it really struck me.
2. Saying "please" and "thank you" without being prompted and understanding that "please" sometimes gets you things you wouldn't have gotten if you hadn't said "please." Every morning when I hand out the kids' breakfasts, they almost always say, "Tanks, Momma!" And if I don't say "You're welcome!" right away, they keep thanking me until I do!
Sometimes, when they ask for something and don't get it, they repeat the request with an added "please," which I have to admit, usually works. But not always:
Example: Reagan has eaten the fruit off her dinner plate, but nothing else.
Reagan: Mo pears?
Me: No, you can't have more pears. Eat your chicken.
Reagan: Peez? (Please)
Me: No, eat your chicken.
Reagan: Peez, mo pears? Peez? Peez!
Me: NO, eat your chicken.
Reagan: PEEEEEEEEEEZ! PEEEEEEEEZ! (with tears even)
Me: I appreciate your good use of the word please, but no, you have to eat your chicken.
3. Being specific. That is, actually telling me what they want instead of just pointing, gesturing, and making vague references and hoping I figure it out. For example, instead of handing me the bubbles and grunting eagerly, Reagan will hand me the bubbles and say, "Bow my bubbles, peez." And since she asked so nicely, I will stop what I'm doing and blow her some bubbles.
Unfortunately, this skill rarely extends to explaining why someone is crying, unless it's Thomas. He's pretty good at telling you who pushed him or that he fell down or he hurt his knee. The others are more likely to just look at you and continue crying.
There are also some special words and phrases that I LOVE to hear the kids say, either because what they are saying is so cute or HOW they say it is so cute.
I love it when I grab hold of Jonathan's leg and he says, "Weggo! Weggo, Momma!"
I love to hear Zachary say his own name "Za-say!" especially when he declares, "It's me! Za-say!"
I love to hear Reagan call Zachary "Ya-ya"
I love to hear Thomas shout after someone or something "You come back here!" He always changes up the inflections or runs words together: Youuuuuu comebakere! YOU come BACK here! You comebak heeere! It's too cute!
I've got no time for pics right now, but I'll try to get some posted really soon!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Of course, the missing child is always found, sleeping peacefully somewhere else in the room. The first night it was Zachary missing. I found him curled up in bed with Jonathan. I probably would have left him there if he hadn't at that moment rolled over and kicked Jonathan in the head. The next night it was Reagan. Strangely enough, she was asleep in the floor beside her bed, but not at the foot end of it where there is no railing and she might have rolled off in her sleep. She was asleep at the head end right next to the railing. Odd. The next night it was Zachary again. This time he was in bed with Thomas and actually laid out across Thomas' legs. I don't know how Thomas was sleeping with him like that!
And then there was last night...it was Zachary again. Whose bed is he in this time? I wondered. I scanned the other beds for extra bodies, but found none. I scanned the floor between the beds, nothing. I turned in a circle and scanned the rest of the floor. Had he curled up in a corner somewhere? Nothing! I checked the beds again, looked more closely, lifted blankets, NOTHING! Where in the world could he be?!? I could feel the panic rising. He HAS to be in here! Where? WHERE? In the closet? In a drawer? Under the bed? Hmm...under the bed...Zachary's bed is missing its drawer underneath because the kids played in it and broke it, so there is room to crawl under his bed, and Zachary DOES like to crawl under there. I looked under the bed and sure enough there was a dark toddler-sized mass there. I reached out to feel for skin and make sure it wasn't just a blanket. Eureka! I found him! But did I get him out? No. I went, laughing, to tell Jim first! I wish I could have taken a picture! Jim returned with me and expertly lifted the side of the bed and removed the sleeping child with minimal disturbance.
It reminds me of the time my parents came to check on my sister and me one night when we were very small. We were sharing a double bed pushed up against the wall. Jodie was sleeping next to the wall and I, as the older sister, was sleeping on the outside to make sure she didn't roll off the bed. However, when they came in to check on us, there I was sleeping away, and Jodie was nowhere to be found! They finally located her under the bed. There was no way she fell through by the wall, so we assume she rolled over me, into the floor, and then under the bed, and we both slept through the whole thing. Seriously heavy sleeping!
Monday, October 13, 2008
Yes, we are still struggling with our transition into big kid beds. For part 1, click here.
The kids have been in their big beds just under 2 months now. Little has changes since my last post, except the furniture in the room! A couple of weeks ago I went in to get the kids one morning and was surprised to open the door and find two children on top of the dresser, one half-way there, and the fourth waiting her turn to "climb the ladder" they had made by pulling out the dresser drawers. That same afternoon, a loud clunk followed by screaming brought me quickly to their room during "naptime" to discover one child on the table and Thomas wailing at the base of it with a mouth full of blood. I scooped him up and rushed from the room (I think I might have taken a second to get Zachary down off the table before leaving the room) to assess the damage.
Thomas had some extra skin attaching the underside of his upper lip to his gums which we had been warned would bust someday in a fall and bleed a lot, but that it was fine. Well, he had certainly busted that and it did indeed bleed a lot! He had also busted his lip. But I could find nothing more serious, and he perked up pretty fast.
So I continue to be the warden in their room when it's time to go to sleep. At naptime I stay in their room until all four children have fallen asleep which has taken anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour and a half. Most days it's about 30 minutes. In the long run this is worth the effort because I am almost guaranteed a full hour if not more of total sleeping peace once they are all asleep. If I don't wait until they are all asleep, as soon as I'm gone, whoever is awake jumps out of bed and wakes the sleepers up and it's party time! Then there is NO PEACE AT ALL! So it's worth the sacrifice of time to wait on them to all fall asleep.
At night I don't wait for them to all fall asleep. I stay in their room until they seem calm, and then I leave. Then Jim and I trade off going back in there when they are too loud or out of bed or whatever inappropriate behavior is going on. Eventually they all go to sleep. Some nights we only have to go in a handful of times. Other nights it feels like one of us is in there every five minutes for up to two hours!
It seems like we get into a pattern of good nights, but then if ANYTHING out of the ordinary happens they get all riled up and we start a series of bad nights. Just about the time we get back into the good nights, something disrupts the pattern and we start all over again. But it just can't be helped!
And so we continue this big bed transition. I keep reminding myself that it won't be like this forever. Someday they'll understand. Won't they? Sigh...
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
How fun is that?!? It was really interesting to see myself as a blond! (And for some of you it may have been interesting just to see me without glasses! Back in the good old days, my eyes tolerated contacts, but alas, those days are no more!) There were other great styles, but I just couldn't get my face to look right in them. Either the angle wasn't right, or the lighting was too different, or whatever. Still it was way fun and I think everybody should go do it too!
And as the grans finale...here is a shot of me in real life with my real haircut which is much less new now than it was when I first mentioned it. It's not the best shot of my hair, but I think you can get the picture!