Thursday, November 20, 2008

More Cute Words

Okay, I meant to post about the entertaining games my kids play, but they are currently playing the not-so-entertaining Scream at Mom through the Door of Our Room because We Are No Longer Napping Game. So I've deleted everything I had already written because I can't concentrate on it well enough and will do this instead. It's much shorter and I'm determined to post SOMETHING today!

Scream? Who? Us? Never!

Jonathan, Thomas, Zachary, and Reagan, looking deceptively innocent

Here are a few more words and phrases that the kids say and I find adorable:

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

Potty Time Pain

Okay, about the potties...I know you've all been desperate to hear about the experience so far. Well, here goes...

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

Pumpkin Fun

Nothing says fall like pictures in a pumpkin patch! We visited two this year. First, Jim and I took the kids to the local patch just down the road where we have purchased our Halloween pumpkins every year since moving to this house. (This is our 6th Halloween at this house, in case you were curious!) Unfortunately, the day we went, they were having a big festival, so the kids were distracted from the pumpkins by the big inflatable bounce house, so we didn't get a lot of great pictures. But here are a couple:

Jonathan attempts to heft his pumpkin choice.

Zachary, Jonathan, Thomas, Reagan
Next, Michelle and I took the kids (mine and hers) to The Fruit and Berry Patch. We had a lot of fun, but it was pretty cold that day. Next year we'll have to make sure we go earlier when the weather is still nice!

In the corn maze, with Michelle's friend Stephanie who bravely and generously volunteered to come and help keep up with all the children!

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!

Thomas-Corn is FUN!!

I LOVE this picture! I only wish it had all the kids in it. Zachary had already caught up to Michelle when she turned to take the pic, so you can't see him because he's below the camera.
After the corn maze, we visited the animals. This was easily the kids' favorite part!

Reagan liked petting the horse, until it stuck its head over the fence and nibbled at her sleeve!
Thomas-I wan kiss goat! I'm not sure if he actually did or not, but he certainly gave it his best effort!

Zachary LOVED every bit of it!

Pure toddler joy!
After the animals, we finally made it to the pumpkin patch, also known as the coldest, windiest place on earth! We didn't stay very long because we were just too cold! When we left, Thomas was shivering and kept saying through his chattering teeth, "It windy, Momma! It windy!"
My little pumpkin princess!
Thomas, Jonathan, Reagan, Zachary
They are SO ready to get out of the cold! But can I say I love the camo fleeces! I hope at some point this season to get a really good shot of the boys in these fleeces.
After escaping the frigid pumpkin patch, we visited the little store and Michelle purchased a bag of apples that she let the kids fill for her. Mine, especially Reagan, had a blast getting to pick out apples from the big boxes to fill Michelle's bag. Then she very generously sent us home with half of them! And let me say, those were some of the sweetest, yummiest apples I've ever had! The Fruit and Berry Patch was a lot of fun. We will definitely go there again! We hope to go at berry-picking time!
Also, since we're talking yummy food, I'd like to share that I made some delicious Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread last week. I got the recipe from another quad mom when she mentioned it on her blog. You should try it too!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Some Thoughts on Sewing

This was the third year that I have made the kids' costumes for Halloween. I can thank my friend Michelle for starting this tradition when she sugested we make the kids' candy corn costumes for their first Halloween.

The kids may have hated the hats, but these costumes were really easy to make. Nice straight lines. Velcro shoulder straps. All four just the same. Michelle's sewing skills to guide me. Easy peasy!

Last year was a little more ambitious. My sister lent me Kinley's ladybug costume for Reagan, and Michlle conveniently had a bumblebee costume from her own children, so I decided to make two more bumblebee costumes, using Michelle's as a guide. I just guessed at how to accomplish this task, since I had no pattern and wouldn't have known what to do with one if I DID have it having never sewn an article of clothing in my life. However, at least the two costumes were the same shape, so what I learned by making one could be applied to the other. And I was pretty proud of the results. From a distance at least, they look just as good as the store-bought one!

And this year I decided the kids would be pirates. Those costumes shouldn't be too hard right? No zippers. Baggy clothes. No problem! Well, no problem for someone who knows what they're doing! The costumes were difficult in and of themselves, but none of them were the same, so what I learned from making one didn't necessarily help me in making the next one! One jacket, two vests, a pair of pants, a skirt, and one belt. I'm proud of the results, given my level of sewing training, but I can't help but think how much better they'd be if I had actually known what I was doing!

My mom knows how to sew. She tried to teach me at least once, but I had no interest in it then. I regret it now because a little basic knowledge could really help me out every October! But how was I to know at the age of 10 (or whatever I was then) that I would someday have a need to make 4 Halloween costumes every year! Oh, well. I guess I'll just continue to muddle through, and maybe next year I'll pick something ghosts. Four white sheets and eight eye holes, done!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Shiver Me Timbers!

(First, let me assure you that there is no real potty training excitement to report yet. I had an ambitious plan. Now I have a more leisurely one. I'll tell you all about it later. I just didn't want you to think there was anything big going on here that I was keeping you in suspense about!)

(Now, please imagine your very best pirate voice) Avast, me hearties, and a happy Post-Halloween to ye! We set sail for adventure on the high seas over here and were rewarded with a haul of pirate booty! Join us, won't ye, as I spin ye a tale of conquest and plunder!

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me!

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!

Arrrr! And we brought along a couple of pirate wenches to show us the way to the best spots for plunder this church had to offer! Thank ye, Sabrina, for helping us in our exploits! Ye were certainly a great help!
We found the locals to be easy prey and robbed them blind without brandishing a single sword! Which was lucky, since we had no swords to brandish!

After taking on all the booty we could carry, we posed for a victory picture to celebrate our pirate glory!

Arrrr! Thank ye Farragut Church of Christ for being such willing victims! We look forward to visiting ye again next year! Pictured above, Pirates Reagan, Jonathan, Thomas and Zachary
And thank ye to Gwen and Pam too for helping to put the finishing touches on me costumes!
Having successfully completed our first looting, me hearties were ready to take on the biggest Halloween treasure!

Pirate Jonathan
Pirate Zachary, refusing once again to wear his head scarf

Pirates Reagan and Zachary hold Carter the vicious giraffe at bay

Pirate Thomas

Beware, ye scurvy dogs!

Avast, ye scalawags, or we'll make ye walk the plank!
Counting the booty!

Arrr! The pirate's life for us alright! What a haul of pirate gold we brought in that night! Not a single scurvy dog stood up to our menacing advances! Not even after Pirate Zachary lost his mind over who knows what and had to be returned to the ship. A man down and still the neighborhood was no match for us! Pirate Captain Momma may have kept us from entering and overtaking each and every house we came to, but she couldn't stop us from pillaging to our heart's content! Many thanks to Carter the wild giraffe and his gang of cutthroats who accompanied us on our rampage! And a special thank ye to Gammy who travelled far to join in the pirating fun!
We can't wait to do it again next year! Arrrr!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Coming Soon

Okay, I know I've been absent lately. I've been really busy and I'm not done yet, but I wanted to pop in real quick to at least let you all know that we are not deathly ill or anything. We've been fighting some colds which have kept us out of church nurseries but not out of the pumpkin patch, nor did they keep us from the Fall Festival or trick-or-treating. So we've had a lot going on and all the things that didn't get done because those things were going on have just piled up and piled up and now I have a lot of catching up to do and I don' just mean on the blog! I'm way behind in several areas right now! And there's so much to tell you about! But I just don't have time right now, so I'll leave you with a few pics to give you a glimpse of what we've been up to and will post as soon as I can!


Picking a good one

A pretty hefty Halloween clue!


The time has finally come...