Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Little Off...

Lillie and Avery have been a bit off today - Avery has had violent mood swings and Lillie has been crabby....she's hardly ever crabby.

I think Lillie is finally trying to poke a tooth through that bottom gum line - that is probably why she is a bit off. Avery? Who knows? I am terrible at guessing his problems. Sometimes his problem is that he's 3. Sometimes its that he's the third boy in the family when he sees himself as much older and much more influential. Sometimes I really think that he has something allergy related going on with him and that he just doesn't feel good. But most of the time I think it's a combination of all three things.

Tonight we put everyone to bed at 8:00pm. That is a little early for Avery because he took a good strong, long nap this afternoon and that usually sets him up for being up for quite awhile. So even though he was sent to bed over an hour ago, he is still awake.

"Mom! Mom!" he yells to me from his bedroom door, crying.
"What is it Avery, what's wrong?"
"I dunno"
I tuck him back into bed, pull the covers up to his chin and lay my head on his shoulder.
"I cold" he tells me.
"Your cold? Aww, I turned your heater on ok?"
"Ok, mommy. Goodnight."
"Goodnight Avery."
"I yuv you."
"I love you too Avery" (We're whispering to each other as I lay my head on his shoulder, such a touching moment...)
" go away."

Touching moment gone :o)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is my favorite holiday gifts, no hustle and bustle - just gathering with family to enjoy a good meal and reflect on all we have to be thankful for. It's the best. So here is what I have been reflecting on these last few days.

"Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 This same verse in the New Living Translation reads this way, "Always be joyful. Keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus."

Now I know if you have followed my blog for any length of time you are aware that I do not live up to God's will for my life every minute of every day. That is why this blog is entitled "moment by moment" because each moment of every day and in every circumstance I have to make the choice as to how I am going to react to the situation around me. Here recently I have failed many, many times and I can blame it on any number of things. I can rationalize my behaviors away to the point that I come out of the situation looking pretty justified for my reaction, but when it comes right down to it - if I'm not joyful, if I'm not praying, if I'm not thankful, I'm missing out on God's will for my life.

So what does this have to do with thanksgiving? I think this verse really teaches me the "how-to" of giving thanks. God has a plan for me...I need to continue to pray to Him for strength and guidance so that I can follow that plan...I need to choose joy and thank God for every road He leads me down - cause there is a lesson in that road, no matter how difficult it becomes.

Therefore here is shortened list of my thanks for today....

1. I have a husband that is dependable, helpful, level-headed and even-keeled. He completes my knee-jerk, impulsive, flighty self tremendously!

2. I have 3 wonderful boys that drive me crazy. They drive me crazy because they constantly hammer me out of my natural bend. Everyday they help me to discover more about my selfish self and give me a better glimpse into who I really am when the doors are closed....and sometimes I really don't like who I see....but would I have ever realized it if they were not in my life and showed me that mirror? They slowly help to shape me into a different kind of person and I like that. I resist at times, many times. But slowly, slowly, slowly I see how very strong they are helping me to see it's happening because I am so very weak - but in my weakness, He is so very strong.

3. I have a beautiful baby girl that helps to soften our house full of boys. She is already teaching this brood of men how to be a kinder, gentler wild eyed crazy man...and they all love her for it.

4. I have so much family right here in town that will do most anything to help and assist and sometimes downright spoil any one of us.

5. I have a brother and sister-in-law just a couple of hours drive down the road that are able to come and spend these great holidays and special days with us.

6. I have an awesome church family to laugh with, to live along side of, and to grow closer to.

7. I have a job that gives me a creative outlet in want with the flexibility to pick it up and put it down at just about any time that is convenient for me and my family which I desperately need.

8. I have the internet and this blog that connects me to so many people that I love to hear from - whether they are old friends that I have become reacquainted with, brand new friends that I have never met in person, or the same friends with which this blog has become my easy way in which I can keep them in the know - I love it!!

And for the most part every one of these are a constant blessing....and even when these blessings become difficult and yes even a trial - I am learning how to be joyful, how to continually pray for guidance on how to deal with them, and how to give thanks no matter the circumstance, all because God has made it His will for me through His Son.

So I'm giving thanks and no I am not a naive, everything's hunky dory, wearing my rose-colored glasses kind of gal. I realize that there are many times in life that our circumstances make it very difficult to look to God and say, "thanks." But God knows that too and He even said that sometimes praising Him would be a sacrifice. So if you're in the middle of a life full of junk and obstacles, know that there are answers and maybe trying to find that joy will be a great first step.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pajammie Day

Today has been a stay at home kinda day. It's 20-something degrees outside (the sun is shining) and that just doesn't motivate you to head outside. Huston and Lillie are still in their pajammies and Avery changed into a new pair of pajammies (after a little trial run of potty training this morning).

Avery was "Piderman" all day. He colored piderman pictures with Isaiah and generally ran around and acted crazy jumping from one piece of furniture to the other - always taking the time to remind everyone that "I am Piderman!"

So of course I took he is in the classic spiderman stance (classic to my kids - who really knows that much about spiderman anyway!)

And in this picture he says that he was a "happy piderman" - so I guess his grin is a little more cheesy to portray the happiness.

And yes, you heard me correctly I did a trial run with potty training this morning (can't necessarily call it a "dry run"). You see with the other boys I basically waited until the moment they told me they wanted to go in the potty - which for both of them was a few months after they turned 3. And by waiting until this time they were trained in a couple of days with a very few number of accidents here and there for a few months after they made their decision. It's the easiest potty-training method ever and all the seasoned moms told me to wait until this time comes to start the training.

So we talk about it constantly waiting for the day that they take the ownership of it. Today with Avery I really wanted him to start becoming more aware of things so I stripped him down, turned up the heat and gave him lots to drink. Then he went potty in the toilet - I praised him continuously, gave him candy told him if he did it again more candy would come and gave him another drink. About 20 minutes later he peed in the floor. Oh well, it was still a bit of a success cause at least he's making connections that will help later down the line. I hate potty training and I just don't want the stress of a several month training we'll wait some more.

Another milestone happened this week that I completely forgot about. Lillie turned 2/3 of a year old on Wednesday. She's growing up and she's growing hair. None of my boys grew hair this early. I am so excited - I just think girls need hair to pretty up.

Appreciate these pictures - it took me forever to get her to hold still long enough to take them!

Just to give you an idea of what we had worked with in the past here is a picture of Avery at his first birthday that my sister-in-law emailed me recently....

He's pretty much a cue ball aye? I had totally planned to pierce Lillie's ears if she was a cue ball for so long - but I don't have the urge to do that any time soon.

So we'll keep you updated on the hair - I'm hoping its not a fluke thing and will stop growing again - it's filling in nicely and I would like to continue to see progress!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I've been thinking a lot about the impressions that I give to people lately and I really can't figure out how I feel about it all. Here recently Huston has had a hard time dealing with a few things. The one morning a week preschool has it's pluses and minuses. He always seems to have a good time while he is there, but here lately it has been a real psychological battle for him to gear himself up to go. He has had a lot of separation anxiety lately - not only for Wednesday morning preschool, so that phase (cause I really do just think its a phase) coupled with a few other factors has made him a bit of a sad boy.

The teacher has started to notice and talked to me about him this morning. I'm glad she did because I had thought that Huston pretty much snapped out of his sadness the moment I left.... she told me that for the most part he does, it's just that here lately he has had a few moments of drama concerning some things that have happened at school and he will then get really sad and cry. She said that she needed help in knowing how to help him cope with things in class.

I immediately felt bad for Huston....then I felt bad because I feel like I've made a bad impression with the teacher from the get-go of the school year....and I am afraid that her impression of us may not be totally accurate, and then I feel bad because my impression of her impression may not be accurate either....confused? I know I am.

Basically Huston is at school to have fun. I want him to try new things that we can't or won't do around here because of little hands reaching to destroy or reaching for objects to quickly stuff into their mouths. Huston's class is offered three mornings a week and he is the only child in the class that does not attend 3 mornings a week (strike one). You see, Huston attended just one morning a week last year and it was awesome. He loved it, the teacher (who is a personal friend) was so great and the lessons didn't seem to build on each other - so when Huston showed up on Wednesday morning it was a brand new day with new activities to do.

That is not the case this time. This is a PreK class, which means the teacher's ultimate objective is to get the child ready for kindergarten. Huston isn't going to kindergarten (strike two). I can't afford to send him to class three mornings a week and I wouldn't send him that often even if I could afford it because academics is not our priority at this time. I told the teacher this in a survey she gave to each parent to fill out regarding personal insight/information of her new students. When I said that my goal for Huston was fun and not academics I think this very organized, goal-oriented teacher was a bit disappointed. I told her I was planning to home school and that I was of the school of thought that involved kids just being kids for as long as they could and that the academics would come when they were ready....and I think in a weird way this might have intimidated her...I don't think she knows what to do with Huston - and it might be because of me.

When the teacher sent out her welcome letter for the year she really emphasized the importance of the children attending all three mornings because each day would build upon the other. So now I think we are at a difficult place because of a whole array of factors and it's compounded upon by Huston's current, weird separation issue. And I don't know what to do.

1. Huston just wants to have fun.
2. He can't/won't attend all three mornings of school.
3. He's overwhelmed because the other kids are further along in projects - because they are there longer to work on them. (strike three - nothing frustrates Huston more than being overwhelmed by a task before him).
4. Mommy and teacher have different educational philosophies and this may or may not have tainted the teacher/student relationship.
5. BUT through all of this Huston still comes home happy most every time...proudly showing me the simple craft and worksheet he has finished.

So what can I do? I reminded the teacher that Huston is overwhelmed by large tasks, but if they are broken down into simple steps for him he is more than likely to come around and succeed. I thanked her for telling me about the situation and I will start to talk to Huston about not worrying about what everyone else is doing/has done in class and just have fun with what is going on. (Which, can I tell you, is exactly why I don't want my children in the "school system" so early...why would I want to stress a 4 year old out over his ABCs???)

But really am I just trying to stuff a square peg in a round hole? Maybe this just isn't a good fit for him....but I don't want to give up on it just because it's difficult....there could be a good lesson in this for all of us. *Sigh* - who said preschool is easy?!

Anyway, through all of this I think making a blanket judgment about a person based on your first impression is so very dangerous...getting off on the wrong foot with this teacher has just led us down a yucky path. I feel like quitting will just seal the bad impression we've created....but really it just might not be my job to worry about how others perceive me... hmmm....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Random Questions, Fall 08: #5 Hot or Cold?

(Don't you like her new graphic!)

1. What do you set your thermostat on in the winter? A toasty 78, chilly 62, or somewhere in between? Is it different from night to daytime?

Steven usually has us set at 68ish. There are times when its really windy or the air is that damp feeling cold that seems to permeate everything, that I will kick it up a few degrees just to get things toasty again. But for the most part if I am up and moving and working or have a sweatshirt on I am just fine. The nighttime temp is a few degrees colder.

2. Has this changed over the years? Are you adjusting your heat use this year due to heat costs/financial frugality?

Ummm....I don't think it has fact we've been poorer in the past few years so I think it's just the temp that Steven prefers to pay for. I either have gotten used to it or my internal temperature regulator has a different reading (which is very possible because I am very certain that I am less cold-natured than I was before children)...and really if I get too cold I just turn on the oven and bake something.

3. If you have kids, are they cooperative with dressing warmer for the chilly times or do they still prefer to be in the least clothing possible?

For the most part they are - Isaiah has been dressing himself in very warm clothing because he says he is cold...Avery will wear whatever I give him....same for Lillie of course. The one that throws the kink in the planning is Huston. And that to me is very funny because he is the one that was always cold in the summer time and curling up with a blanket. Now he is fighting to wear short-sleeves and go out without a jacket. He still comes down most mornings and asks if he needs short-sleeves or long-sleeves - at least he has given up on wearing shorts.

4. What is your favorite item of cold-weather clothing?

I really love hooded sweatshirts or jackets and jeans. I still will go around the house without socks at this point, but I will soon pull those out too. The great thing about the hoodies is that you can layer them with other shirts and be so very toasty warm. I'm not much of a hat wearer - they have always made me look quite goofy...wish I could pull them off though.

So that's that. I guess it is definitely the time of year to be thinking about warmer clothing....I am constantly cold these days - maybe I should be pulling out those socks.

Monday, November 17, 2008


That's the perfect word to describe my mood. I feel a bit like Ebeneezer Scrooge - but the angst is not necessarily created by the holidays. I have no motivation whatsoever today...I have no idea what to write...the energy of my children far outweighs my own once again and I am tired of constantly having to battle and climb to reach their level. Last week was busy and crazy and today I am still in recoup mode - but the situation does not lend itself to that.

Lillie scared the crap out of me this morning when she secretly grabbed a large piece of french toast and tried to eat all in one gulp....luckily the sweep of the mouth move was still in play and all she suffered from in the end was watery eyes - I had a small heart attack. Avery is constantly fighting somebody - he spent a night at grandma's - now all discipline I had been building up has crumbled away a bit around the edges. Isaiah and Huston want to run outside, split open pumpkins to collect their seeds, rake up a leaf pile, eat everything in sight, play Yahtzee, and wrestle loudly, chomp food savagely and make a mess every time you turn around.

I'm wrong every time I turn around - Steven doesn't believe what I tell him concerning minor issues, the boys don't listen or believe me when I teach them about day-to-day stuff, everyone at work seems to have the answers to the big questions of how to run my area without needing any type of input or advice from basically at this point I'm not sure why I'm needed....

So really all I want to do is slip away from everyone and check into a hotel somewhere in a warm luxurious place that has a bed to sleep in, a spectacular view and room service.

I get in these moods about once every 6-8 weeks....don't worry Someone always seems to pull me out of them eventually - when I sit down and listen to His advice about my own issues. Guess I had better start setting up those appointments a little more often - but couldn't the first couple be in that luxurious hotel with the view and room service???

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I can't believe it has already been a week since I've posted anything. Time is just flying by....I don't know where the first part of November has gone. I feel like I have been just hopping from day to day and it's all kind of a blur. But this past week has been full of a few pretty major type breakthroughs in a lot of areas.

1. Lillie is crawling very well. She is still cautious - which is just fine with me, because it keeps her out of the "whoa, wait, you can't have that" range of motion. I think she has face planted one too many times from her little arms not quite keeping up with those knees that it causes her to take everything pretty slow.

2. But not only is the girl crawling - she is now trying to stand on her own and she is starting to pull up. Now, ok, I gave in to the crawling and have just gotten used to the bittersweet of it all - proud that she's accomplished this, but so sad that she is growing so fast. I just get used to all of that and then she starts moving on to the next thing...just too much too fast for me thank you. And then Daddy was off for Veteran's Day and spent the morning with the younger kids while I went to work a bit and I come home to hear him say, "Oh and Lillie took a couple of steps while I held her arms this morning." To which I respond, "What?! You're practicing this!"

I don't have a picture of the standing thing she's experimenting with, but she will move from the crawling position to the straight legs, feet on the floor, hands on the ground position....yeah, I'm sure a few more face plants are in her future.

3. Avery has actually had moments of chosen obedience and compliance. That is just huge and quite amazing. I will tell him to do something and he will say "ok, mom" and go do it. The first time this happened I almost fainted. He does it a lot at home, a little out in public, but at places where he is familiar with his surroundings (church, grandparents houses) he still tests me quite often to see if I will follow through with the discipline that comes after a defiant "no momma, I said no!" But I tell you, I will continue to take on the battleground in those areas almost gladly even, if it means that he will surrender his position at home. It is quite a large glimmer of hope...he even has moments where after I have requested something of him, he will look at me, think about it and say, "well....ok."

and he is still our little nut - he found a clothes pin yesterday and decided that the place to put this thing of course was up his nose - don't worry I took it away from him, after I took his picture.

4. Huston had one of the best days he has had in his lifetime yesterday. Not only did he not really whine and pout about anything in particular, but when the friends were over for our church small group and were all forming the crazy mob mentality up in the bedroom, Huston came to me and said, "they are acting kind of crazy up there in our room" to which I responded maybe you should go in the living room and watch a movie - and he actually took my advice and stayed out of the trouble and quietly watched a movie all by himself. While the rest of the kids quickly spiraled down into situation of tears and complaining and trouble....which those traits are practically Huston's middle name, but yesterday he shunned them. Yay!!!

5. Isaiah has started blogging. I think its quite cute. He and Avery received a joint present of a fisher price digital camera for their birthdays. He told me he wanted to take pictures and write about them on the computer like I do. So I set him up with his own blog and he really likes it. We have had a little tiny break here recently though because mom needs to get new batteries for the camera - but he was making an entry almost every day (for like 3-4 days in a row! :o). He tells me what to write and I type it for him for the most part...but it is helping him start to learn how to tell a story a bit, and as he gets older, if he is still into the blogging thing, it will be a great way to get him to learn how to type and proof and edit and all that good stuff. He has already discovered the little spell check red squiggle on misspelled words, so it's already helping him to slow down and think about spelling. We'll see how it least he enjoys it for now.

6. And finally a project that I've been hoping to get off the ground at work for the past two years has been picked up by the leadership of the church and looks to be taking flight - I really hope the follow through comes along behind it and a year from now we are at a much better place with it all. It's exciting, but will involve a lot of work and I hope I am up to the challenge of it all. Right now I am really tired and unmotivated to do any more, but I also have a cold, and I think that may factor into things a little bit. I hope to snap out of this funk soon.

So anyway, busy times. Guess that's why blogging has kind of slipped out of the radar now and then. But stick with me or Isaiah, cause we'll come back around to entertain you with mundane happenings soon enough.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


What a roller coaster of a weekend/week. Two birthdays, the "gaining of an hour", a pretty historic election, halloween, and a bid to be awarded the worst mother of the year....but that will be explained later. First the birthdays.

I already posted about Halloween and it was a lot of fun seeing the kids in their costumes and being at the church raking in all the candy. Avery's birthday is Nov. 1st. All Saints Day they claim, but let me dispel the first myth....those born on all saints day do not always act saintly on their birthdays. But more about that later (it ties in greatly to the worst mother of the year award...).

We threw a combined birthday bash for Isaiah (whose 7th birthday is today) and Avery, who turned 3 on Saturday. The day started off with me going into Avery's room to wake him and wish him a happy birthday. I was greeted with the response, "No, I not want it! I two! Isaiah birthday, Huston birthday, not Avery birthday." I must admit I found this really funny, my little boy having a midlife crises at the age of 3. (The mood would soon balloon to something much less cute, stay tuned). My brother and sister-in-law came into town (and brought their new puppy too) taking Avery on a play date; then the whole family met for lunch, after which Jason and Brook took Isaiah out for his play date while the rest of us went to my folks house and later everyone hooked up there for presents and cake and games. Here is Isaiah with their balloon bouquet - they had no #7 balloon for Isaiah so we had to get him 2 balloons, one that said "you're 2" and another that said "you're 5"....slipped a math problem in there on him.

They opened gifts and had fun with their newly acquired stuff. Avery was most interested in a musical card that my folks gave him that played this little hamster dance song. He spent quite a few minutes opening and closing that card.

Here is the new little pup trying to check out this tiny little baby thing that keeps crawling around on the floor...Lillie wasn't too sure about it either.

All in all the day went pretty well - but Avery was cantankerous a good majority of it, yet he was manageable...he certainly had a halloween hang over in a bad way. I have decided that throwing a party the day after halloween is not a good idea, ever. He finally laid down for a really good nap in the late afternoon, but woke up on the grouchiest side of the bed I had seen in a long time.

Here is where my nomination for worst mother comes in. At one point, after a long line of "we'll let it slide, it's his birthday" type behaviors, he ran out of my parents house without a word to anyone. Huston saw him and so like a big brother should, he tackled him to the ground to prevent him from wandering the neighborhood. My dad stepped in and pulled the booger back into the house at which point Avery turned and cursed him in baby/toddler screaming language. To me that was the end of the "let is slide" line and I proceeded to discipline. Of course Avery pulled out every hard-headed, strong-willed child trick in the books and I felt very strongly that if I lost this particular battle a very large piece of ground would be lost and would require many days of scrimmaging ahead to recover that valuable piece of respectability. So I didn't budge and in the end, since he refused after almost an hour of heated debate to apologize to grandad, the birthday boy had no cake. Yes you heard that correctly. So the next day at church when everyone cooed over him and wished him happy birthday and asked him "did you eat lots of cake?" I was able to relive the pain of the moment over and over. Nice, very nice.

So here is Isaiah blowing out his candle on the joint birthday cake with no Avery. (There is a redemption cake coming later...)

It was quite a day, enough to wear anyone out...

...a grown adult much less a new 3 year old. And let me now dispel myth #2 - you gain an hour at daylight savings time. Ha! It's been quite a few days of grumpy, tired children who will not sleep past 6:00 to pile on top of the already grumpy, greedy, candy and cake overdosed children that the weekend of festivities created.

Anyway, fast forward to Tuesday now, election day. I won't commentate on the results - no need to, history has been made, that chapter is over, plenty of other people have given their thoughts on both sides of the issues. I will just talk about cake. We have our church small group on every Tuesday night, and this week was no exception. I was in charge of dessert this week so I made this patriotic election day cake...

This cake would also be known as the cake of redemption. This morning, in honor of the two boys' birthdays we ate leftover cake for breakfast and sang happy birthday to both of them, with candles and the whole shebang.

So see, I'm not a total monster mom after all, (notice the little boy's shirt) I'm not guilty of biased reporting here. These are just the facts - and no, Avery still won't admit that he is now 3.