Monday, September 29, 2008

My Aren't I Chatty Today

Kind of makes you think I have the evening to myself doesn't it....3 posts in one day just might be a record. I had to add another because RK has already turned out another series of you know what!

That's right, everyone's favorite blogger get to know you game! Tonight's subject is laundry!

1. Who does the laundry in your house?

Steven does our laundry. I started out doing it and did for many years, but I never really did the laundry the way Steven prefers to have it done. So after kid number 3 I believe he volunteered to take it over - and by that time I was more than willing to let him have it!

2. Are you/or they a sorter? What's your system?

If I sort I separate the clothes from the towels and bedding and then the piles go like so: whites, naturals, darks and brights. When I still felt the need to be in control of how the laundry was washed I would go down and separate the clothes for Steven and then let him do the rest. He would never keep the piles they way I wanted them though - so I came to a crossroads - either let him do it the way that he wants to and let it go or make this a huge battle every week. So needless to say I stay out of the laundry room these days.

3. Do you fold at the dryer? Dump on the couch? Not fold at all? (Psst, Karen K, I like your system, do share with the class.)

I dump it out onto a bed or something and do it all load by load - if I get to it! Often times I was pulling wrinkled things out of a laundry basket at the end of the week though. Steven is a bit more on top of things - he usually washes the majority on Friday and Saturday and spends Sunday afternoon in the downstairs bedroom folding away and listening to his music.

4. Do you have any "laundry quirks"? Things that *can't* go in the dryer, dry in a specific manner, hung on a specific hanger, only get washed by hand--no matter what the care instructions say?

Steven's laundry quirk is that everything is air dried. Even in the winter, all articles of clothing, bedding, towels and anything that has been washed hangs from a clothes line in the basement or backyard. This is what made me hand the duty over to him - I hate taking the time to line dry - I shove it in the hot temp. dryer and the faster the clothes are done the better. Steven prefers the stiff scratch of line-dried material. So since he really wants it that badly - he can do it. I have been known to pull things off of his line and fluff them up a bit in the dryer - but other than that little exercise, our poor dryer sees no action. One pet peeve I have is that he often puts the boy's wet shirts on an adult sized hanger to dry and it stretches out the neck line of the shirt. But again, I've pointed it out, asked him to stop in a respective manner and it still happens - so I just sigh, mutter under my breath and remind myself that at least I don't have to do the wash. :o)

5. Do you have any great tips for stain removal?!? Please share!

I used to use Oxy clean - but Steven isn't into spending time on stain removal. I just purchased shout gel spray and use it cause you can treat the stain and leave it on the fabric for up to a week. So since Steven doesn't check to see if a garment has stains, I try to catch them before they go into the dirty clothes basket - so far so good - but we've only been doing this a week or two! Not really a good strong line of research!

So anyway I've aired our dirty laundry on the subject (ha, I know, that was bad). Basically my role in chore is don't make the guy mad cause I don't want the job back!

Books, books, books

I don't read as much as I should....I do try to read some and I will find books that I really like and then it seems that I always fall out of the routine of reading said books, forget to pick them up for quite awhile, and in so doing I forget what I had read to begin with - to the point of not being able to pick it up again from where I had left off. I can read a very few number of authors in one sitting - experiencing the total "pulled into a book" phenomenon where I do not want to put it down until it is done - but those books are very few indeed.

The flip side of this problem is that I am constantly finding books that I would like to read. Mostly non-fiction these days. I don't have the time to really find what and who I like stylistically in the fiction genre, so I stick with learning about things and subjects that I need a better handle on or a strong lesson about. Currently these are the books that I have started, but have put down and and they have now met the fate of me forgetting what I had started in the first place....the sad thing is each and every one of these are books that I was really getting something out of and just happened, and happened to get in the way of my reading time.

So here's the list:

Parenting is Heart Work by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller
Good and Angry: Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids by the same folks as above
Prayer: Does it Make Any Difference? by Philip Yancy
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell (and this one was work assigned no less!)
Thrilled to Death: How the Endless Pursuit of Pleasure is Leaving Us Numb by Dr. Archibald D. Hart

Now all of these have been started at differing degrees - some are chapters into it, on others I have just barely scratched the surface. Now listed above are 5 books that I need to read - books with which I need to follow through with the task I have begun - and what comes in the mail today?

The Birth Order Book by Dr. Kevin Leman. I purchased this one used on Amazon cause I couldn't find it at the library. I have heard a lot about it and while I doubt that I will become totally sold out to the birth order theories of behavior and development of personality, I am very curious to see how accurate his research is concerning our own family. The back of the book is intriguing enough..."It's no coincidence that comedians Billy Crystal, Martin Short, Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, and Whoopi Goldberg are all the youngest of their sex in their families." Ummm, hmmmm, that is coincidental cause our little nut Avery is right there with them in birth order.

So while I am very curious to see what this book has to say, I feel very "wasteful" to tear into yet another new book when I have left the ones in the first list totally abandoned. So, I am going to start at the top and work my way down the list....hopefully one book a month is my goal and since October is already upon us, it will be a good time to start my new (yet another new) routine and goal....don't worry it will soon be abandoned. I bet I get this trait of book abandonment because I am the second born to an older brother in my family. I bet Dr. Leman has it all figured out as to why I do this and it's spelled out in his book....but no, I won't start reading it - yet....and I'm sure I'll never finish it.

Juggling Kids...

That's what it has felt like this past week - I had a staff retreat the end of last week - I was gone Thursday, Friday and Saturday. While I was gone the kids had a total of 6 people caring for them at different times. The time leading up to me leaving was a crunch to get all of my responsibilities done before I headed out of town - a lot of helping hands went in to allow me to do that too.

I came home Saturday evening and less than 12 hours later Steven left for a week-long business trip in Minnesota. So I am facing a week of single parenthood. The week has started off busy. Sunday is my work day - so I am very thankful that the grandparents attend the same church or I would have gone crazy trying to get all the kids where they were supposed to go and doing my job of making sure all the classrooms were running smoothly and all the teachers were where they needed to be.

Sunday afternoon I started tackling the house. I had told myself that while Steven was gone on this trip I was going to go through all the nooks and crannies and start pitching things. You know, things that take up valuable storage space....things we never use....things that hang around, just hoping that we don't identify them as the trash they really are. My folks came with their little truck and took away a couple of loads of books to recycling. I took a break after that stretch and continued to chip at it late into the night last night. I had to work quickly because our trash pick-up is tomorrow morning, but for the most part as I am typing this out our curb is filled with a good 75% of what I was hoping to go through.

I still have a couple of closets and cabinets that I hope to get to before tomorrow morning...but if it doesn't happen I will still feel good about it all. Now I just have to clean up the messes and the yucky dead critters all this cleaning has left behind. The majority of the stuff came out of our basement laundry room and garage - perfect breeding grounds for spiders and creepy crawlies...dirt + unmoved junk + damp dark rooms = pests + heeby-jeebies.

So the kids have been very cooperative so far. I took them on errands with me this morning and bought them a round of chocolate milk for allowing me to get so much done. The best part is after tomorrow, the next couple of days are free and clear to do fun stuff - in a clean house no less! I think Steven will be pleased. I really did it to enable us to better use the space we have...but Steven tends to hold a bit tighter than I do - which is why I tackled this while he's gone. Oh, and by the way, reason #45 Isaiah is soooo much like his daddy. It made him cry to see all the old college books and dilapidated folders and such go into the trash! The sight of stuff he would never use going to recycling broke his heart. *Sigh*

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Will Be Quiet For a Moment....

I have a thingy I have to go to the rest of this week - work is loudly calling for me to go on a trip/retreat with the other staffers. So I have found places to put all of my sweet children while I am gone and so away I must be going. I will be checking in again after Sunday. Let me know if anything happens though....Avery is taking notes for me while I'm away.

His brothers brought him this official note-taking pencil from Branson last week -

See it's got an eraser, just in case he makes a mistake -

And with the size of this pencil - no worries about running out of lead -

Doesn't he look so very not to worry, the blog is in good hands.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Random Answers - Fall Edition

It's back...this is the Fall '08 installment of RK's famous Random questions you must let me know what your habits are in these areas too, cause I just think this kind of quirky stuff is fun to read. It helps us to get to know each other a little better. The theme of this installment is shopping!

1. How do you shop for groceries? Is it a family event? Always the lady of the house? Or is it the guy's job?

I shop for groceries when I am missing something - it's that simple. I don't have a scheduled day to do it, I don't have a particular store I'm loyal to. I don't really have a method to the process once I'm in there. I just know what I need and depending how many kids I have in tow, I just fly through - get the stuff - pay for it and get it home. If I only have a couple of kids or fewer I tend to slow down and impulse buy a little more. There are times that Steven goes shopping for me. He likes Aldi, but I just never think of going there cause its too far out of the way. I want to go somewhere close, get in and get out. Steven and I never go shopping together. We used to when it was just us...but now one person usually has kid duty while the other has shopping duty, although the shopper usually takes one kid with them and it becomes kind of a parent date with that child. Steven does a pretty good job with the shopping but he does usually come back with a few things that make me stop and question when in the world we plan to eat that.

2. Women, does your guy go clothing shopping with you? Guys, what's your feeling about it?

I can not stand clothes shopping with Steven. I don't want him to comment on what I am wearing, I don't want him to see the price of what I'm purchasing (not necessarily because its high - the problem is most any price is too high to Steven, and to him, most any clothes item is something you can do without). I don't want to be with Steven when he is clothes shopping for himself. It is such a painfully slow process. Each garment must be masterly inspected, tried on for a considerable length of time while he practices reaching into the pocket, stretching his arms out, bending over, etc. He must look in the mirror from every point of view and come out to show me. I just say buy it, take it home - if you don't like it, take it back! See, he must insure that the garment is of good quality because the man is planning to wear it for the next decade or longer. I myself would rather find something cheap and then if its ruined by kids or I plain grow tired of it - who cares - I've gotten my money out of it.

3. Does Daddy have any preference about what the kid(s) wear? Hairstyles/hair length?

Steven doesn't have a preference about what the kids wear usually....really none at all. The older it looks, the most mismatched or strange the outfit is - the better. He has not really ever chosen an outfit for Lillie yet....that's a good thing. He wants the boys' haircuts short in the summer and long in the winter, and would prefer them to be cut at home cause anywhere else is too pricey. See, Steven is kind of a cheap old man trapped in a 30-something year old body.

4. When you get home from the grocery store, do you rotate your canned items or others that you have duplicates of? (Like if you bought green beans but you still have a can in the pantry, do you take the oldest can out to put in the front to be used first?)

I don't rotate the cans - I have no idea what the date is on any of them. I am assuming that I am getting them eaten under the 3 year time span that canned goods usually are good for. No one has gotten botchalism yet anyway. Hopefully that trend continues.

5. What about your parents? How do they shop? Do you see a generation difference?

I can't really shop with my mom much either, dad doesn't shop. Mom and I usually drive each other crazy. Mom will suggest something for the kids and most of the time its not a style that I would go for...and I'll hold up something that I like and she will not look that enthused about what I've chosen either. Every once in awhile we hit on something that we both like. If we are shopping for ourselves I fade out a lot sooner than she does usually. I am ready to go when she is still contemplating on whether to try something on. Mom's style is a bit more conservative than my own - I think that's natural - but we aren't so totally different that we never agree.

So anyway that's the story of shopping in the Spellman household - the young hip mom constantly battling the old man dad :o) Ok, it's not really that bad - but kind of close.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

An Encore Presentation

Many have commented on the clip I posted awhile back of Avery singing twinkle, twinkle, little star. Like I said before, Avery loves to sing. Last night he was serenading me with a Sunday school song....this one may not be as familiar to some of you, but its an oldie but goodie to those of us that grew up in country churches. So without further adieu here is Mr. Avery singing his version of the Lord's Army. (you can check out the lyrics here if you need some help deciphering...)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What I Did On My Summer Vacation....

Technically it is still summer, and technically this is my week of vacation. Although like I explained before, over here, this vacation is a bit different that usual.

Steven and the boys went packing for their camping trip on Wednesday morning. I had hoped we would do some fun whole family things the first part of the week, but it just didn't work out - we had the car in the shop (our only vehicle) most of the day Tuesday and Monday was a wash. So anyway, the boys left yesterday after Huston's preschool class and headed down to Branson, MO where they are camping at Table Rock Lake and heading for Silver Dollar City during the day. I miss them, I miss that we aren't experiencing all of that together, but I know that taking the little ones camping would have been quite an ordeal...and a headache that I wasn't wanting to deal with.

So what are we doing? Well, without a vehicle, we aren't doing much - but I did get a big birthday present from my mom - a painted kitchen. I picked the color, she bought the paint and came with our friend Mel on Wednesday night and we painted. My mother-in-law, Gloria came to help corral the youngins while we worked and my husband has no idea that this has happened. Think he'll notice?

Here are the before pictures- Avery is the model for these shots...the wall color was not white, but close - it was a very light peachy kind of color - a lot lighter than I had hoped when I picked it out 4 years ago.

This shot is from the kitchen into our dining area, the opening to the left goes into our living room...

and this one is from the dining room area into the kitchen...

Here are the painters - my mom - great with the trim work....

and Mel, trying to reach those hard above the cabinet areas...

Now here is the final product - the color doesn't come across well on the camera - its not that overwhelmingly orange...and even this evening it seems to radiate less than it did this morning - after we were done painting the room almost seemed to glow - I wasn't going for glowing....but as it has dried and I have returned the furniture and stuff, it has settled down quite a bit. Lillie is the model for the after pictures...the color is called sahara sun - its a warm, creamy, rosie color with an slight orange tint to it.

So other than the painting I don't have much else to report about my vacation. I was able to borrow my grandma's car for tomorrow, so I think we will be working at the church some, but we may be heading to the library or trying to do something fun as well. The best part of it all is that I get some good alone time with these two little ones - who are growing way too fast...Miss Lillie will be half a year old tomorrow and Avery will be 3 in a little over a month.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Last Month in a Flash...

I have been so lazy lately with the blogging thing. We've been doing stuff, but to sit down at the computer and download and explain, I think about it and sigh. I like to, I just don't have enough hours in the day it seems, and if I do it when the day is over - it cuts into my sleeping time :o)

So sorry I have been so scattered lately - so here are the last 2-4 weeks in a nutshell...

In our attempt to become more active I have been trying to take the kids around to different parks and trails here in town. We have a small state park called Rockbridge and the boys love to go - I need to take them more often - we're just not quite there age-wise yet....too many stairs and too long of trails to really let everyone enjoy them. But I dropped Lillie off with my mom one afternoon and took the boys and just did the boardwalk trail. Here are some pictures of that little trip. The fun portion of the trail was under will see....

Here they are looking down over the rail into the cave that is in the park - you have to have a boat and a guide to tour the we just look over the edge.

What they were looking at, a little sky light view of the cave.

Here is the fun part of the trail....what gives rockbridge park its name....a little creek flows under a huge natural rock of a bridge. You used to be able to walk right under the bridge to the other side - look for bats and slippery slide your way across the boardwalk. But all that moisture has taken a toll on the boards and the walkway is in disrepair....hopefully they will have it operational again, but right now it doesn't look like they are doing anything to correct it at this time - and its been quite awhile.

Avery looking at the can kind of see the mouth of the tunnel just at the top edge of the picture....

So since they couldn't go under the true rockbridge they found their own smaller ridge to climb and use as a bridge....

Here they are sliding down from their bridge, Avery and Huston had very dirty bottoms when they were done! :o)

Isaiah is still loving his swimming. We are about to wrap up the lessons and I will probably give a bit of break before we start them again. His instructor told me today that she can definitely pass him on Level 2 and possibly at Level 3 (she would have to double check the requirements). She says that he now knows all of his strokes and kicks, its just a matter of practicing them so that he can become proficient. In these pictures he is using a kick board to practice his frog kick. After this he did it without the board and was swimming so well under the water - which always impresses me because I was never able to do that! (I'm jealous)

Huston is also doing pretty well. He had a bit of a set back though. The swim teacher was to the point that in order to go further in instructing Huston, she had to have him work more independently in the water - specifically, not hold onto her so much. She tried to have him do a few things a couple of weeks ago and Huston refused - so she eventually just had to bring him back to me because he wasn't cooperating. Well that was 2 weeks ago, and while we have been swimming, we didn't have swim lessons last week because the little gal was sick - so today was his first lesson since the "scolding" of the last practice and he refused to get into the pool at all. Now, while I am disappointed that he won't go further - I am very satisfied with what he has done and when we swim right now he is a total fish - as long as he is in 1 1/2 foot of water! But at least he isn't as timid as he was.

Isaiah also started 4-H last week. He is in the Clover Kids program for the younger ones. It's a nice small group and it meets at a school just up the road from us so that's pretty handy. Last week was the very first meeting, so Isaiah was a bit shy but he seemed to enjoy it quite a bit. The studied sunflowers - they explored them, measured them and then glued the seeds on a paper plate to make a picture. I think Isaiah will enjoy it and I like that we are getting involved with other things - but I forgot to turn in his paperwork during the appointed time at the library on Sunday, so now I need to call and see what I need to do to make sure he is officially enrolled! oops...

Lillie is sitting up and loves to eat foods....she has discovered refried beans and fusses for them when we are at mexican restaurants! (That's my girl!)

Tonight the boys are camping outside - on our back deck! I guess its a practice run, because Steven will be taking the older two camping down in Branson, MO at the end of this week. As they headed out I said, "Oh let me take a picture of you in your silly little tent just a few feet from our back door." and Steven answered, "Well, its quite serious and the tent is big." (The curious george is for Avery...I think)

Yes Avery is addicted to the pacifier (and no, I don't have he energy to tackle that issue yet).

The temp is supposed to get down into the 40s tonight - a cool camping experience for sure.

So next time I won't pile all of this on all at once, I will make the effort to sit down and update you on events one at a time...I will try to anyway :o)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lotsa Lotsa Pictures

So I am feeling less annoyed now - not completely over it all but its getting better. I think the trouble was that I was coming down with yuckiness. I haven't had much of a voice since Sunday night - kind of achy and the like, so I have been kind of sleepy, grumpy, sneezy and a few of the other dwarfs as well...but I am feeling a bit more spunky today.

So to recap a few things that have been going on around here I will share some pictures. Lillie is sitting up really well these days. Not very wobbly and when she does "fall" over its usually a smooth transition forward to her belly so that she can reach something. She is getting pretty out brothers! (these are action shots - so they're a little fuzzy - I didn't want to keep using the flash on her when I was sitting so close)

Avery is still my biggest challenge right now - he's too smart for his own good...he knows when his opportunities arise to cause mischief. He always seems to want to stir the pot and keep me on my toes. He waits until my attention is divided, when he knows I cannot react to his behavior quickly and he pounces. He's like a little baby tiger learning how to hunt for his next victim. There are times when he can be really sweet...that's the only thing keeping me going right now - that small light at the end of the tunnel. It will get brighter, it will. it will! I have determined that I have to be super consistent with him, with his brothers there were times when I could be lax due to my laziness...if I do that with Avery, all I had worked on up until that point in time will come unraveled. And if it comes unraveled often times I come unraveled too! (here he is wearing an appropriate shirt...and don't let him fool you, he's not showing remorse in this picture, he is sticking out his "big belly" for me to take a picture of)

Huston's school started last week - he only goes on Wednesday mornings to a mom's morning out program at a church not too far from us. Now the school started last week, but Huston started this week because last week my head wasn't on straight and I plumb forgot to take him to his class. Luckily he was very understanding and he was ready to go this morning and had no anxiety about walking into his classroom.

Isaiah is writing up a storm. We've taken a break from school for a bit - I wasn't feeling up to it this week (he couldn't have heard my instructions anyway!) and next week he is leaving for a camping trip with daddy so I thought it would be a nice time for tiny vacation. He has decided to write letters this week though...he also wrote a list of rules for his room and posted them on his door. They are as follows (I used spell check when transcribing these):

"1. The devil is not allowed.
2. Do not disagree.
3. Do not use bad language.

Tell you about our room

It is a mess. It is always a mess. We like it a mess. We do not want it clean."

Hmmmm....we'll have to work on that last part....

After Huston's morning of school this morning I decided to take everyone on the trail. It didn't last very long unfortunately. Avery kept complaining about his belly and wanted me to hold him. It's hard to hold an almost three yr. old and push a mammoth stroller over pea-sized gravel. Luckily he could be easily convinced to get down and walk/run. But once I got him convinced, Lillie would fuss - so we ended the excursion early. Not before I tried to take a few pictures of all the siblings together...ugh, can I tell you how many shots it took to get this piddly handful...and these are not the best, but they will do for now. (On a few of them I am keeping them simply because their expressions make me smile...I think you'll be able to identify those)

And I will end on that, cause Huston is clearly waving goodbye and Isaiah looks very mischievous....

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Attn All Annoying People

Can you please just clear out of my way for the next few days? I'm just not in the mood to deal with you. I can be a very patient person, but I just don't have it in me right now. And the biggest problem with this plan is that you don't see yourselves as annoying and I often don't identify you in time to avoid you. So maybe I will just have to stay out of stores, restaurants, and other public places....and not answer the phone....and stay off the computer....oh heck, I'll probably just have to place myself in some type of padded room - but that won't work either because at times I annoy even myself.

So lets back up - we will try a new angle, I will attempt to deal with most of the stuff that I encounter out and about....can we just make this pact, let's not talk politics right now? I am pretty much sick of it all. I am not too keen on anyone - I will admit one party grates on me more than the other, but they both at this point in my life sicken me. I used to like politics, but now they just depress me. Everyone is phony baloney in my book and it makes me crazy that people are hepped up about any of it. So this is going to be a politics-free zone. At least this little piece of my fabricated world I can I don't care who you like and who you think is great or dumb, we are not to talk about them here...and if you see me in real life - I don't care to talk about any of it. I know - I'm setting myself up to be annoyed....I'm just glad I don't have TV.

Last night we went to the neighborhood rec center and went swimming. It was a lot of fun. Everyone was exhausted and hungry when we got home! Even Lillie stayed in the water a good majority of the time. Isaiah is really doing well with his swimming, he hops from the lazy river to the big water slide to the kiddie pool to check on his brothers. Huston is not nearly as timid as he used to be. He still stays in the shallow end (and I mean shallow as in 1 1/2 ft. of water shallow) but he dives under the water and attempts to float and swim as long as he can quickly recover with his feet when it becomes a little too intimidating. We purchased some goggles for the older boys and they have really given Huston the little push he needed to do the underwater stuff.

I think we will need to enroll Avery in lessons next summer - he loves the water and goes down the little kiddie slide over and over...he is just too cranky to take instruction at this time in the game. He is a very insistent little guy! Lillie wiggled and kicked and laughed and apart from one moment of sputtering because her mom unintentionally got her face too close to the water and she sucked some in - she enjoyed herself a lot.

I was able to break away from everyone for a few moments and swim laps - I am trying to find ways to get moving - I need to for my own body's sake, but I also just want to be able to set that example for my kids as they grow. I feel the burden even more so now that Lillie is in the family. We definitely live in the media age and I don't want Lillie to grow up thinking that the image portrayed in the media is the image she needs to live up to. So Isaiah and Huston and I have been swimming, walking and even jogging a little in the neighborhood and on the trails here in town. In a couple of years we will add biking when Avery will be able to keep up with us a bit.

I currently run/jog at a Huston level - when he gets tired I am ready for a running break too! and we actually go about the same pace. Which for right now is helpful cause Isaiah can run ahead and I can stay behind with Huston to encourage him to keep trying. (But I do hope to eventually break out of his level :o) I am hoping this will make exercise fun for all of us and just a natural part of our routines.

Anyway, that's kind of what we've been up to lately. I will post pictures soon, the next time even, I promise. Haven't had the camera out too much, but I will remedy soon as I figure out where I left it.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

So Today...

was not a gold-star mommy day. It was more like a Peppermint Patty "D-" day.

All the elements were in line once again for a yucky time of sleep, rainy day, tired kids, hormones (you know what I mean moms)...and all that good stuff mixed together to create a very short mommy fuse. I hate short fuse for mommy days as much as the kids do, cause its a day full of constant reminders of how really terrible I can be at this motherhood thing.

Well, we limped through the morning...then went swimming right before lunch with some friends and that really turned out to be somewhat of a bright spot in the day. The kids exhausted themselves and after eating their weight in food for lunch, EVERYBODY laid down for an afternoon nap!...and we all woke up in time to make it to Sonic for that lovely happy hour!

The afternoon was looking so good I even decided to do a bit of math with Isaiah. I usually shy away from such activities on these poopy days because they NEVER turn out well - its called adding grease to the fire. But things were clicking, answers were coming easy, concepts were getting gotten (yes I homeschool - and use the english language very poorly - you can do both)...until all of a sudden we hit a wall...and I mean all of a sudden. The very concept that the boy was telling me was "so easy" now produced a very blank stare. I breathed deeply, let out the bad air, and I got out the manipulatives...I tried to help him visualize it. I went through the problem step by step, I was even thinking to myself "my I am explaining this so clearly..." then I asked him for his final answer...I was met with the deer in headlights look and the stammering of "oh gosh, I haven't been listening to a word my mom has just said and she needs me to answer correctly..."

Needless to say I got upset - remember the evil mommy elements were lined up perfectly? I sent him to his room with him asking between sobs (I kid you not) "Mom, is it ok if I cry..." Sure, go ahead, why not - I feel like doing that myself.

So when Isaiah is in his room for punishment these days his routine is to find himself a pencil and a piece of paper and write me a note about the situation that got him to his room. This part was the lesson of the moment for me today. The note went like this - and I am quoting...

"mom I am soree (sorry) theat (that) I was not lisning (you can figure that one out) to scool. Wil you forgiv me. I am soree....(then at the very bottom of the paper in tiny letters) Be kom."

Did you get that last part of his note? He was telling me to be calm. *Sigh* why does God have to make kids so brain damaged and yet so smart too? Just so you are aware...that last part was a personal note from God Himself. I am taking His advice and I am trying to be calm. I did not punish my child anymore - I sent him to play...and after dinner? He was right back on track telling me how easy this math stuff is...

Be calm moms. :o)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Well, each September we try to take a week and plan, see and do our family vacation. The last couple of years have been really fun...camping and sight-seeing in Wisconsin and South Dakota. Because of having such a young one in tow this year we had decided to stay close to home. Originally we thought to go see some of our fun state parks down south...but Isaiah remembered his days at Silver Dollar City a couple or few years ago and he convinced dad that should be our destination again this year.

I was at first quite excited about it. Silver Dollar City is a fun park full of lots of things to see and do, and September is usually their arts and crafts festival where you can watch blacksmiths, weavers, carpenters, etc. produce their wares. It's a fun time. Steven said we would camp near the park and avoid the hustle and bustle of Branson - it sounded like a good plan...until I started taking it a step further - figuring out what to pack.

We still have two kids in diapers...Lillie still needs a bottle quite often and is starting to really want that good stuff (baby/table food) too. Avery is such a handful right now - just totally headstrong and belligerent and can scream at the top of his lungs the highest pitched scream many have ever encountered. Thinking about it all just made me tired.

Then the other questions was how in the world are we going to get all this stuff into our van? I mean Steven and I almost divorced over packing the van last year (okay it wasn't that bad, but it wasn't that good either). This time we have another kid...more stuff - for example, we have to have a stroller of some kind and that in itself would take up the majority of the trunk what is the solution? I'm not going.

Actually Avery and Lillie aren't either. I told Steven to take Isaiah and Huston, go camp a couple of nights, hit Silver Dollar City and have fun doing it. Well I think it has now ballooned into a little bit more than that, but oh well. I will miss the fun of the vacation, I will miss seeing the boys experience the fun of the vacation, but at least I will be avoiding the frustration and headache of constantly wrangling the little ones (and you know that would be my job the good majority of the trip).

So my vacation plans will be to simplify and organize this house. I hope to go through every nook and cranny and pull out, sort through, THROW away, reorganize, label and return a shadow of what it was to a happy home. I hope the boys return home seeing clean desks, closets and counter tops - fall in love with the new look and do their very darnedest to keep up appearances....I know, I know that's about as far fetched as me camping with a baby.

I also hope to take the time to really focus on Avery and maybe, just possibly, break some of these behavior habits we've fallen into. He has already made some improvements, but we still have quite a road to travel.

So it may not be the vacation I would have asked for (not the five-star hotel just walking distance from a really neat, must see attraction), but at least hopefully everyone will end the week with a worthwhile experience. (I do plan on taking Lillie and Avery places too - like swimming, they love swimming). So our vacation photos this year might be a spread worthy of Better Homes and can dream I guess.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Stories for Labor Day

Last night I was hopping around reading different blogs and learned that some chose the Labor Day holiday as a chance to tell a bit about their Labor stories...Kennedy's mama, Renee told hers and I thought it was a fun idea. So keeping in the spirit of all of my late to arrive kiddos, I will tell my Labor stories a day later than "Labor Day."

1. How long were your labors...

All of my labors were really pretty short - which I think is one of the reasons why we have 4 children, not much about my pregnancies/labors were difficult. Isaiah was about 5 days late and I was scheduled to be induced on a Monday morning. I started contractions some on Saturday night, but they went away. They returned Sunday night and I was pretty consistent with them by the time we arrived at the hospital for my scheduled induction. We got to the hospital around 7am and they went ahead and gave me a small bit of pitosin - I am not really sure why looking back at it now, but anyway it helped cause we had Isaiah out and about with us by 11:20-something that morning. I was given Stadal for the pain and vowed that I would never have it again. It made me so loopy, sick and sleepy. Dr. Jones had to tell me to open my eyes to see my baby. Every other child was induced from nothing....Huston on his due date, Avery a day past and Lillie a week ahead (my good doc was going out of town for spring break). All of the kiddos got their eviction notice about 8:00-8:30 in the morning and all were in my arms by lunch time. I only had to push twice with Avery and once with Lillie and they all were beautiful (after they were cleaned up anyway).

2. How did you know you were in labor?

Pretty much because I was hooked to an IV in a hospital bed. I had a few "practice" runs - especially with Lillie - she toyed with me a lot, but overall I stayed dilated forever but the steady contractions would never come.

3. Where did you deliver?

At a hospital - the same hospital my husband was born in actually.

4. Drugs?

I had pitosin with all of them to "start" the process.
Isaiah - Stadal :o(
Huston - nothing :o((
Avery - epidural that didn't work :o((
Lillie - epidural that was so totally awesome! :o)

5. C-section?


6. Who delivered?

Dr. Jones for all of them - the very best favoritest doctor ever.

So there you go...wasn't that interesting! Anyway - I have it written down for the kids now.