Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Painful Parenting

My friend Becky wrote a post recently about how being a parent has caused her a lot more physical pain than she ever thought possible. (Read Becky's post HERE) And as all parents know, she's absolutely right! She listed several instances where her own children have caused her injury, most of which I have also experienced, and I won't repeat them here, so you should go read her post!

But I will share was is to date the greatest injury the kids have given me, I think. I can't remember a worse one. The story was too long to leave in a comment on Becky's post.

I was in the kitchen, cleaning up the kids after lunch one day. Zachary and Thomas were already clean and out of their chairs. I was rinsing the rag out at the sink when I heard behind me the sound of children playing with cans of food. I rushed to the corner of the kitchen where there are two boxes of canned food stored within reaching distance of toddlers and there are Zachary and Thomas pulling cans out of the box and rolling them all over the place. I start yelling and Thomas runs, Zachary just sits there. I squat down in the floor to pick up the cans, put them back in the box, and deliver a lecture to Zachary and all other children within hearing distance about how we don't touch the cans. Now, at this point, I am squatting in the floor, in a rather small space between the kitchen table and the china cabinet.

Unbeknownst to me, while I'm distracted with my can collecting and lecturing, Thomas has come up behind me and sneakily opened one of the drawers in the china cabinet. A drawer he knows he's not supposed to touch! So when I stand up, swiftly and with a purpose, I SLAM my back into the razor-sharp corner of the china cabinet drawer. I literally screamed out in pain and surprise and immediately dropped back down to the ground, clutching the side of the table for support. I know my scream scared the kids. It was really loud. The next thing I heard was Reagan saying, "Okay, Momma? Okay, Momma?" I told her no, I wasn't okay.

The resulting wound was a very tender scratch about two inches long and a bruise the size of a tennis ball. Currently I'm mostly healed, but I'll bet it leaves a scar!

Oh, the pain that goes along with the blessing of having children!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Jonathan Update

Jonathan went back to the dr at the end of Aug (I know, this is SO late) for another weigh-in. It had been 4 weeks since his last one. At the latest visit, he weighed 22.6lb, which was a loss of a pound and a half. It was a little disheartening; however, it was a morning visit as opposed to the previous afternoon visit, and that could have easily affected his weight. Still, the good news is that even at this lower weight he is up to 10% which is pretty normal for him. The drs are feeling better about his weight, but would still like him to gain a little more. (For previous posts check here and here)



We're working hard to up his calories every chance we get, but as I've mentioned before, he's just a picky eater. For awhile we were forcing him to eat at least one bite of foods he didn't touch, knowing that if we could get him to eat one bite, he was likely to discover it tasted good and eat some more on his own. That has ceased to work since now any bite of food forced into his mouth gets promptly spit back out. Oh, well. He eats what he eats and I try to make it as calorie-filled as possible!



He goes back for another weight check at the end of October. We're hoping he breaks 23lb!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Company!

Over Labor Day weekend we were privileged to house Aunt Jojo (my sister), Uncle Jeff, and Cousins Kinley and Kallen! It was a super-special visit since Kallen had never been here and it was the first trip for the rest since before Kallen was born!




Kinley




Kallen




Thanks, Kim, for leaving those popsicles! They sure came in handy when we discovered we only had three ice cream cones! Obviously, three would not have been enough!



We enjoyed introducing Kinley and Kallen to all the fun activities our backyard can offer, namely the the swingset, the Bounce House, and the POOL!! The pool was definitely Kallen's favorite!




Zachary enjoyed making sure Aunt Jojo didn't get to take a nap!



We sure can fill up a table!



Reagan LOVED the extra girl-time! Looking at this picture it's hard for me to believe that only a year separates Reagan and Kinley. Could Reagan possibly be THAT tall next summer?




We were sad to see them go. Here are the kids watching their car through the window. From the left: Zachary, Thomas, Jonathan, and Reagan
We had a great visit! Hopefully it was just the first of many visits that Kinley and Kallen will make to Knoxville to play with their cousins! Come back soon!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Reagan's Wedding Part 2!!

I posted a few weeks ago about Reagan's brilliant debut as a flower girl. (See Reagan's Wedding) Well, now I have VIDEO TO GO WITH IT!!!!! Thank you Josh and Erin for giving us a copy of your wedding video! We've cut the clip down to be just Reagan's portion. It takes a tiny bit for her to show up. We aren't perfect! You'll see the aisle, and then a blond boy will come out of the audience and up the aisle (he was hoping to entice the ring bearer to join Reagan), and then Reagan will show up. Watch how adorable she is trying to climb the steps in her long dress! Also notice that the ring bearer did come down the aisle, escorted behind the bride. Poor thing, he kept stepping on her dress! I also learned that the whole time he thought he was a ring BEAR and kept growling at people. Too cute!



Enjoy!

video

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ladies Bible Class

Yesterday, Zachary woke up with a runny nose and all I could think was, "NOOOOO!!! Ladies Bible Class starts tomorrow!!! I don't want to miss it!! You can't get sick NOW!!!" But, alas, his nose was runny all day and still runny this morning, so what did I do? I WENT ANYWAY!!

BUT I kept Zachary in class with me and only put the three healthy children in the nursery. And his was very, very good! I won't make a habit of this. I don;t normally go anywhere if one of the kids is runny. It's just that I had been waiting ALL SUMMER for LBC to start up again and finally it was the first class and I just couldn't stand to miss it!

I LOVE LADIES BIBLE CLASS!!!

There's just something so special about getting together with other women to study the Bible. I have learned so much from the other women in my class, from the younger ones and especially from the older ones! It's a setting designed for sharing and discussing. I feel comfortable to ask questions and make comments. I've even had the opportunity to teach a few lessons myself, and all the ladies have been so encouraging!

For years I missed out on LBC because I worked, so I'm extremely grateful to be able to attend now! I'm particularly grateful since West End provides free babysitting during the class! Without that, I wouldn't be able to go! What a blessing!

I hope every woman has the chance to attend a Ladies Bible Class at some point in her life. There's just nothing else like it! If you're a woman and your church has a Ladies Bible Class and you don't have some obligation that you just can't get out of, you should absolutely go! If your church doesn't have one, find a church that does! You are welcome to come to ours!

You're going to love it!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Tagged by My Sister

Well, Jodie tagged me on her blog, so here goes...



The rules are:



1. Include a link to the person who tagged you.



2. Mention the rules.



3. Tell six unspectacular quirks of yours.



4. Tag six bloggers by linking.



I'm going to break the rules by not tagging anyone. I feel like a couple of my friends have already done this on their own blogs, but I'm not sure and I don't want anyone to have to repeat themselves. BUT I will say that anyone who wants to do this on their own blog SHOULD! And then leave me a comment so I know you;re doing it! Then I'll go back and edit this post to include a link to you! Because really, it's kind of fun to learn about people's quirks.



Here are some for me and the kids. maybe jim will leave a comment about his own quirks, but I'll spare him from doing it myself! haha!



Me first: Like my sister, I have a tendency to leave behind the last bite of certain foods, particularly anything sandwich-like. This includes hamburgers and hot dogs. And pizza crust. I often do this with meat too. The last bite of steak. The last bite of chicken. Weird, I know.



Another quirk of mine is a need to have things in alphabetical or chronological order. This orderliness has had to take a backseat since the kids were born, but given the free time and no mile-long list of other things to do, I would happily return many things in the house to the order they used to be in: books, CDs, movies alphabetized, my Disney movie collection back in chronological order...on some level it bothers me that the kids' names are not alphabetical by birth order, but there's nothing I can do about that now. Birth order reigns here at the house. Anyone who helps out here regularly knows that I like to order things in birth order. It just makes it easier for me. I'm not obsessive about it, but it does make me happy!



Now for the kids: Even at the tender age of 2, they have a few quirks.



Jonathan: We've discovered that although he CAN skewer his own food with a fork he often chooses rather to sit and stare at it, rather than eat it. If you skewer it for him and hand him the fork, he'll gladly eat it...and then put the fork down. And quite happily not eat another bite. Very annoying.



Zachary: He likes to eat fuzz. He'll chew on it for awhile first. He also likes to run down the list of all the words and phrases he knows from TV shows before falling asleep. So he'll be lying in his bed and just listing things, generally going one show at a time, and to give you a feel for how it sounds, imagine the first syllables emphasized. Ex: (Wonder Pets) WUNner Pes... TUck... INney... MEEN-meen... TEEMurk... WUNner tuck ina WHAle!... and then Backyardigams and Dora. It's very cute!



Reagan: She likes to dip apple slices in ketchup. Actually she likes to dip everything in ketchup and has been known to rub it all over her arms like lotion.



Thomas: He likes to sing himself to sleep. He doesn't do it all the time, but it's fairly common. He doesn't sing actual songs. It's more like lyrical mumbling. He has done this probably as long as he has made sounds that aren't crying. Jim says the other kids are probably so used to it that it even helps THEM fall asleep!



Well, I hope you enjoyed learning all these quirky facts about me and the kids! Jim could probably entertain you with several more. He always notices quirky things! That's one of HIS quirks!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Cool!

Happy Friday everyone! Just wanted to take a quick minute to point out, in case you didn't notice on your own, that today the kids are 2 years, 2 months, 2 weeks, and 2 days old. That is SO fun! I intend to take a picture this afternoon. We'll see how that goes! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Big Kid Beds

Oh, what a journey this has been! I think I would not be exaggerating one bit to say that this is the hardest transition we have ever had to make. But maybe that isn't saying much since all our other transitions have been so smooth!


I dreaded the screaming fits that would come when I decided to put all the kids in their beds at the same "naptime" but they all just went to sleep. NO PROBLEM. I dreaded the screaming fits that would come when we got rid of bottles but they just accepted it and drank from their cups. NO PROBLEM. I dreaded the screaming fits that would come when we got rid of pacifiers for good, but it was fine. NO PROBLEM.



Cool! Why didn't we ever get to stand in the crib this way before?


I was spoiled


This has been awful.




1 room +4 big beds=disaster

Tomorrow will mark two full weeks in big beds. The first week was worse than this second one has been. Hopefully that means next week will be even better, and soon it won't be a problem anymore. Only time will tell.




Jonathan


So what's the problem? They won't stay in their beds. Are you surprised? I guarantee if you have multiples who aren't still infants, you're NOT! And I expected that they wouldn't at first. A big bed offers a lot of freedom to a small child used to the confines of a crib, especially when there are three other free playmates in the same room. But I didn't expect that after explaining and praising and warning and yelling and threatening and punishing in a wide variety of ways that they would STILL not stay in their beds. (Yes, Gen, we tried the trick that worked like magic for your kiddos. No luck for us!)




Zachary


So why don't we just shut the door and let them run loose until they fall asleep? I wish we could! But unfortunately, when they are left to their own devices, they tend to end up all on one bed...jumping...until someone falls off and brains himself on the dresser/table/changing table/etc. The jumping is a serious problem. Not only is it not safe for them to do, but they've already broken at least three bed slats. AND left to their own devices they don't nap at all which makes for a very VERY cranky evening.


Reagan



Reagan and her ladybugs


The only thing we've found so far that actually works at all is physically sitting in there until they fall asleep. If you're in the room, you can make them stay in their beds, and if they stay in their beds, they WILL fall asleep. Then you can leave.

Thomas


And boy have I been mad about it! As if I wasn't busy enough already, especially during naptime! And now my naptime is even shorter because I have to spend so much of it sitting in the kids' room waiting for them to fall asleep. I was angry about it for days.

But then I had a talk with God. Actually it was more like a gripe session. And I complained to him about my loss of time and how I was already burdened by not having enough time to spend with Him, much less get anything else done, and NOW I had even less time to do all the things I needed to do, so how was I EVER going to spend any time with Him. And let's be honest, I told Him, you and I both know that when my time gets crunched, what I always cut first is my time with You. I'm not proud of it, but it true. So what am I supposed to do now, God?

And do you know what He said? (No, He didn't appear to me in a vision or anything. I didn't hear a voice from the sky. These are just the thoughts He put in in my head, and I KNOW they came from Him.) He said, I know you don't spend enough time with Me, and I know you always cut your time with Me first, and that's why I'm giving you this opportunity, Allison. Sit in your children's room and spend that time with Me.

Wow.

So that's what I have done. Naptime and nighttime I have time to spend with God. It has made me a happier person. I feel bad that God has had to trap me like this in order to get my attention, but I'm glad He did it! And the kids are sleeping better because of it. Eventually, I expect they won't need me to sit in there and make sure they go to sleep without destroying the room or each other. But I may sit in there anyway.

Because now that time is sacred.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I'm Not Happy

No, this isn't a post about the big kid beds, although it easily could be with that title! I haven't gotten that post ready yet, but I will say the beds are here, the kids are sleeping in them, it has been a nightmare, it's getting better, and I'll tell you all about it as soon as I have time to really devote to that post. It's a post that deserves to not be rushed!

Instead I want to quickly share a story with you!

For weeks, when we would be riding in the car, usually on the way to or from church, Jim and I would hear Thomas pipe up from the back and say, "I'm not happy!" He would say it over and over. I'm not HAPPY!! And we would discuss whether we thought he was just saying that or if he TRULY WASN'T HAPPY. What makes a 2 year old unhappy?

Well, about a week ago, we got our answer! I was taking the kids to Michelle's house to play and Thomas declares from the back, "I'm not happy about that, no sir!" (Actually, it was more like "I not HAPPY bout dat no suwr!") He said those same words over and over and it all made sense!

He was SINGING! That line is from a song on one of our favorite Backyardigans episodes! (Race Around the World, in case you're curious!)

What a relief it was to discover I wasn't raising a child who was severely depressed at the age of 2! Instead I'm raising a musical singing prodigy! Haha! Okay, he's hardly a prodigy. But i am really impressed by his picking up that line from the song. The kids, particularly my more verbal boys, are singing more and more these days. I LOVE it! Hopefully, at some point I can get some singing on tape.

Maybe you'll even recognize the song!

Monday, September 1, 2008

It's Football Time in Tennessee!


Much to Jim's relief, the long wait for football season is finally over! The mighty Vols play their first game tonight against UCLA! The game starts at 8, and we're counting down the minutes!


GO VOLS!!!!

Thomas, Jonathan, Zachary, and Reagan