Saturday, May 24, 2008

Kallen's Cast

Just a quick update: Thank you all for your continued prayers for my niece Kallen. As you may recall she has been in a half-body cast since March due to her hip dysplasia. You can read all about it here. Well, joy of joys, she is scheduled for cast removal on Tuesday! Please pray that all goes well and nothing happens to postpone this happy event! I'm sure that suddenly being able to move her legs after such a long confinement will take some adjustment, but I know that Miss Kallen will do just great and will soon be just as delighted with being able to move her legs again as her Mom and Dad will be to be able to snuggle their baby girl without that huge heavy cast getting in the way! Hurrah!

Personal Security

You'd think that children who always travel in a herd, who constantly have their own squad of companions, wouldn't need comfort objects. After all, they are never alone. There is always someone around to comfort them, right? But I suppose the fact that there is also ALWAYS someone around to snatch their book, run off with their truck, steal their ball, or shove them out of the way, also creates the need to have objects that are ALWAYS the possession of a single child, rather than the group. That being the case, the kids have each laid claim to their own personal security blankets.
Jonathan is partial to this blanket, one of a set made for the kids by our wonderful friend Matthew's wonderful mother Sue. He doesn't really care which of the blankets it is, as long as it's one of Sue's blankets. It almost always has a wet spot from where he has been chewing or sucking on it.
Zachary is attached to this blanket, made by Grammy Pammy. I don't know for sure, but it wouldn't surprise me if she spun this wool herself! She knows how to do that! Isn't that amazing? It's super-soft, and he loves it!
Reagan, my little girly princess, has claimed the one and only pink silky blanket. It is the softest, girliest blanket ever! She was actually the first child to claim a blanket as personal property and responds quickly with a high-pitched squeal of irritation if anyone else touches it.

Thomas' blanket is, sweetly enough, my former baby blanket! I have to say it warms my heart to know that one of the kids prefers this one to any other, since it was mine. Although, I have to admit that I don't think I was ever particularly attached to it myself. It is certainly in good condition, so I didn't wear it out if I was attached to it.

I don't know that I was ever really attached to any blankets. Maybe I was, but I don't remember, so the attachment must not have lasted very long. I was more of a stuffed animal girl. The kids have those too, but aren't as needy of them as they are of their blankets. Except for Reagan who has recently become quite attached to a squishy, jingly, pink baby doll. Such a girl!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Security Measures

As the kids have become more mobile, more intelligent, and more mischievous, certain things had to happen to provide a safe home environment. Well, at least, as safe as possible! We hope!

The gate is now down, an unfortunate loss to our defenses, but we press on! We have some of the regular safety items around the house. I have mentioned the doorknob covers before. We also have drawer latches and cabinet locks. Like most homes with children old enough to get into things but too young to know better, these items keep the kids from getting at the cleaning products (Hey, Zachary, look at this cool green juice I found!) stored under the sink, the wooden kabob skewers (My eye! My eye!) in the bottom kitchen drawer, the trash can (Hey Reagan, remember the macaroni we dropped in the floor last night at dinner? Well, I found it!) closed safely up inside the laundry room, and all the food (Oooo! Maple syrup!) locked up inside the pantry.
However, in addition to these common household safety items, we have been forced to add a couple of extras. This may look like an innocent nickel atop a doorframe, but it's actually an unlock-the-nursery-door-from-the-outside-when-the-kids-have-locked-it-from-the-inside key. Luckily our doors do not need anything more specialized than a nickel to be opened from the outside, since I have had to do this more than once. For those of you with less mobile children, find out now what it takes to open your doors from the outside. Don't be like a friend of mine who had to call her dad in a panic to come help her get her son out of the room he had locked himself into because her doorknobs were not this easy!
We have also employed this fancy gadget, the stop-your-toddlers-from-pushing-the-chair-up-next-to-the-counter-so-they-can-reach-whatever-is-up-there-like-the-steak-knives-maybe strap (aka Daddy's unused belt). Luckily my kids had not yet reached for the steak knives and had contented themselves with just picking up the mail or a sippy cup left out on the countertop. But these items were just inches away from the steak knives! Keep this in mind moms! Another friend of mine walked into her kitchen to find that her daughter had pushed a chair up next to the oven and used it to climb onto the stovetop where she was sitting quite happily pushing the timer buttons just inches from the knobs that would have turned on a burner and fried her little bottom!
These are just some of the more interesting changes we've had to make to keep our home safe. I doubt they'll be the last! Just when you think you've figured out all the things they can get into, they surprise you with some new skill or their reach suddenly extends 5 more inches!
Pray for us when they learn they actually learn that teamwork is not just for the Wonder Pets and doesn't necessarily have to save an animal in trouble!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

I sincerely hope that all you moms out there had a wonderful wonderful Mother's Day! What a blessing it is to be a mom! Whether you've got one child or several, biological or adopted, boys or girls, one at a time or all at once, you know how special and rewarding it is to be a mom! Every child is a challenge at times and will go through phases that make you want to tear your hair out, but then they can turn around and do something that just melts your heart! And you know that no matter what they do, you'll always love them in your own special mom way!

I love being a mom to my four beautiful children! I love their sweet faces, their hugs and kisses. I love it when they come running to me when they are hurt. I love it when Zachary points at me and yells, "Momma!!!!" I love to hear Reagan bouncing in her bed saying over and over, "Momma, momma, momma." I love how Thomas wants to name everything that's mine, "Momma shoe? Momma cup? Momma keys?" I love it when Jonathan runs to me crying and clings to my neck like his life depends on it when someone takes his toy.

I love being a mom, even when Thomas dumps hos plate on the floor that I just mopped, even when Zachary is screaming impatiently for the cup of milk even though I'm standing right in front of him making it, even when Jonathan takes his diaper off during naptime and throws it into Zachary's bed, even when Reagan snatches Jonathan's toys just to make him cry. Despite the screaming and crying and messiness and snatching and tantrums. Even when I'm so mad and frustrated that I want to scream myself, deep down, I love being a mom! I may not always act like it, but I truly do love being a mom!

Here are a few shots from Mother's Day:




Here I am struggling to get all four kids to sit still and look at the camera for a nice Mother's Day picture on my new swing, a Mother's Day/Anniversary present from Jim. Isn't it great! As you can see, Thomas is trying to slide down and Zachary is crying. Needless to say, we didn't get a nice Mother's Day picture. Oh, well!




Having a cuddle with Jonathan




Relaxing with Zachary



Surrounded by my wild bunch!
It really doesn't get much better!
Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Failed, but Funny

The kids were shouting NO at each other across the table the other day, so I ran for the camera to try to capture Reagan's NO on video. I didn't exactly get what I wanted, but it's pretty cute anyway!


video

Thomas' Wild Hair

The kids love it when they can stand in front of something windy and feel all that air rushing through their hair! Thomas is especially fond of this, and the other night he got his lucky break! We were getting the kids ready for bed, and somehow Thomas managed to be the only one in the room when Jim decided to tilt the air purifier down so it would blow into his face. He had a blast (literally!) and I just had to get that hair on film!




Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Nnnnnnnnno!

The kids love to say NO! They say it all the time, to me, to Jim, to each other, to no one or anyone at all. It's a favorite word for all four of them. But it's particularly hard not to laugh at them, and myself, when the NO is accompanied by the shake of a finger because I know they got that from me. Reagan is especially entertaining as she wrinkles up her top lip and drags the "n" sound out when saying NO. I hope to get it on tape. It definitely needs to be recorded!

I hope this isn't what I look like!

Hugs

So, Easter was a while ago, I realize that. I kept meaning to have an Easter egg hunt with the kids and post those pictures with the few random ones we took on Easter, but it was cold and then it was rainy and well, then I packed up all the Easter stuff, and Easter got passed over by the blog.



However, these pics are pretty cute of the kids hugging each other, so I thought I'd post them after all!


Thomas hugging Reagan




It may look like he's about to shove her across the room, but Zachary really is hugging Reagan!




Hugs from Jonathan too!




Reagan wasn't the only one to get some love!
Since that time, they have gotten better at hugging without looking so scared at the same time! They have also recently added kisses to their list of skills, as well as begun giving out hugs and kisses without being prompted first. What a precious joy when your child comes running to you arms wide open and full of hugs and kisses!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Free-Range Quads

Well, the kids finally won their battle against the gate a couple of weeks ago, so we have bid it farewell. Now they have free roam of the house (except for the rooms which are all kept closed off and doorknob-covered). It has been an adjustment, but nothing too awful. The only real change has been that I tend to leave them strapped in their chairs while I clean the kitchen floor after a meal, instead of letting them loose in the playroom. They don't like it much, but that's too bad!


No more gate!



Some of you expressed an interest in knowing more about the gate itself. Here's a pic of it brand-new, and you can click here to read the post about when we first installed it.




It is called the Sure and Secure Custom-Fit Gate. We needed a gate that would span the wide distance of the doorway between the playroom and the kitchen. We also needed one that was adjustable shape-wise to allow the jumpers we were using at the time to stay in the doorway as well. This is the one we ended up with. Jim found it at Babies R Us. It served us well and lasted just over a year.


It was certainly a handy thing to have when I needed to confine all the children to a safe space. And I know it was nice anytime we left the kids in someone else's care that they could contain the kids in one spot and not be constantly chasing down the ones who had run off. But I have to say, it sure is nice not to have to go through the gate every time I need to get to the washer/dryer or garbage can, all of which were housed in the laundry room on the playroom side of the gate!

Outdoor Fun

As promised weeks ago, here are some shots of the kids playing outside while Bud and Kay Kay were here. Be sure to notice our beautiful new fence, brought to you by our tax return and Jim's annual bonus!
Hurrah for outside! (also known as: Go Vols!)
Cheese!
Wow! I've got the slide all to myself!
What do you mean we can't touch the fun green things?
What?!? Not the dirt either?
This isn't a super shot of Reagan, but it is a good shot of the fence!
Enjoying the wide open space!
I know...I'm pretty!
Hey! Look what my hair does when I'm jumping!
Racing to the top of the hill