Thursday, December 31, 2009

Let It Snow, Let It Snow

at least for now I'm still loving it... if it's still this way in a month, I might go batty. Here are some pics I took of the kids out in the beautiful stuff. The kids were a teeny bit tired and grumpy though... does not make for the best of pictures, but we might have a chance to try again later.

At this point if you are wondering where the grumpy is... here ya go...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas 2009 Without Pictures

Not nary a one! I'm such a terrible photographer at times. Especially birthdays and Christmas because I seem to be one of the main organizers and facilitators leaving me a bit too busy to man the camera.

But Christmas went really well this year. It was quite quiet. My brother and Steven's brother were both at the in-laws for Christmas this year. Steven's extended family has moved into a new phase of life and everyone of the grandkids (meaning Steven's generation) has pretty much established their own households, which makes "getting together for the holidays" almost impossible anymore... which is kinda sad.

So we stayed home - literally - we didn't even have to get out of the house to go to a parents house. Both parents came to us on Christmas morning and we just spent the day together eating, resting and watching movies - oh yeah and opening gifts too.

Steven and I don't do the Santa thing for the kids - we are just spoil sports that way I guess... but the kids don't seem like they are missing out on things! Decidedly the opposite actually. They get spoiled at Christmas by the grandparents and this year was no exception... and they got some really fun gifts.

On our vacation to the gulf, one of the souvenirs we brought back was a pet hermit crab. Yes, we decided to delve into the responsibility brought by a pet... and to tell you the truth, I think we actually did pretty well to start out with the hermit crab - so far it's rather low maintenance and isn't dirty or smelly which is a definite plus.

Upon reading about the hermit crab, though, we discovered that they are rather social creatures after all. So for Christmas I went to the local pet store and got a friend for the Mississippi crab we named Ted. So Fred joined Ted as part of the kid's christmas from us. We also got them some art supplies (like paints) and we got them some of the Scholastic video collection, which they all enjoy.

The grandparents did the rest: marshmallow guns, snow sleds, legos, play mobile Pirates, and board games. Lillie got winter clothes and baby dolls and the kids loved every bit of it.

Steven and I received a deep freeze! So now we can bargain shop for our meat and other things! (Like all the day old bread Steven purchases... because he is addicted to the day old bread store!)

The snow sleds were put to quick use, because we had one of the first white Christmases that I can remember in a long time.

I am very thankful for all the things given to the kiddos and I love that it only took an afternoon to find a place for everything and to put away the Christmas. That is a good indicator to me that maybe we didn't go overboard afterall (relatively speaking anyway...)

I hope all of you had a very merry Christmas, and most importantly were able to reflect on importance of the holiday to begin with. Have a very blessed new year too!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

She's A Little Faker!

Who is? Lillie is, that's who.

Last night my mother-in-law took the kids for an over-nighter. We were all excited about this... Gloria had been away for a couple of weeks and needed a grandma fix, the kids needed a grandma fix, and I needed an alone by myself fix.

Around 9:00 pm the phone rings. It's Gloria and she's concerned about Lillie. That evening Lillie had started limping and favoring her right leg. By the time bedtime had rolled around Lillie was refusing to walk on it and would crawl around or put her hands up for someone to carry her around. The odd thing about it was that there was no massive accident or fall to cause an injury, nor was Lillie acting like she was in any pain. Gloria actually described her as quite happy and playful - she just wouldn't put any weight on that leg.

We decided to give her Tylenol and put her to bed - hoping that she was better by morning. Well, morning came and Gloria called back to let me know that Lillie was still limping or refusing to walk - nothing seemed better, but she still was not complaining about it.

I went ahead and called the doctor and set up an appointment, then I headed to grandma's house to pick up the patient. I walked in to see a very smiley and happy baby girl... that refused to put weight on her right leg. She hobbled around like an old lady, but by the time I got her stuff together to go, she seemed to be walking around a little bit more and I was getting more suspicious.

The girl didn't act like she was hurting - she was acting like she was enjoying the attention grandma was giving her. Grandma is a great grandma, very attentive and especially loving and sweet to those grandbabies. If one of them is hurt, by golly they are going to receive the best treatment around. Me? I don't baby the sick and wounded. I try to show them that they aren't dying and that we can deal with things without all the drama. So the more that Lillie was with me (the mean mom that I am) the more she was acting like her normal self. She was still limping some, but it was becoming less and less pronounced and at times seemed to almost disappear.

By the time the examination rolled around I was highly doubting that there was anything wrong with the little drama queen. I explained what had transpired to the doctor and let her know that I was kind of thinking that this little girl had been playing her grandmother. After Lillie was checked out, my suspicions were almost confirmed. I was told that toddlers will do this from time to time and it's really not all that uncommon for them to feign a leg injury. She said one time a mom brought in her toddler because they all of a sudden refused to walk completely. She mentioned that we could run tests, but they were probably unnecessary, instead just keep an eye on her to make sure that she doesn't get worse.

So I brought her home, kinda pouting because my home alone morning had been ruined, but also finding the whole thing rather funny. Lillie is quite a character that is for sure and I did enjoy having her all to myself today too. And just so you know, she isn't limping anymore. Steven told her that she's going to have to pay for the doctors visit...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Did You Notice I Was Gone?

We're back from a little vacation to Mississippi! It was fun, it was a lot of driving, it was a little unorganized and a lot of "I don't know where we're going" - but it all came together for a good time.

We ended up visiting friends in southern Missouri and in Memphis, TN the first few days... then we drove on to Vicksburg, Hattiesburg, Natchez, and the Gulf Coast (mostly the Biloxi area). We did spend 1/2 a day at Dauphin Island, AL too. Then on the way home we came on up the state again and saw popped in to see the state capital in Jackson.

The kids loved the ocean and the war memorials and battlegrounds along the way (especially if there were cannons involved). I loved the old houses and the fact that there is a Sonic on every corner!! :)

We are quite tired of the van at this point and it is in desperate need of a good vacuuming. We logged a tad bit over 2000 miles of travel... and I won't lie and say that it was all good family togetherness, but it definitely was for the most part. Lillie learned the words "mine" and "no" on this trip very quickly...

Here are a few pics of the travels. I can't wait until we can do this when all the kids are older and car seats are no longer needed... but by that point they will find us parents old and boring...

Elephant Rocks State Park, Missouri

Vicksburg National Military Park, Mississippi

Natchez, Mississippi

Armed Forces Museum, Camp Shelby, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Dauphin Island, Alabama

Biloxi, Mississippi

Capital of Mississippi in Jackson

Thursday, December 10, 2009


That boy will continue to amaze me all throughout my lifetime I do believe.... guess who just told me that he needed to go and promptly sat down to do his business??? Yep, that's right... just when I thought it was a total lost cause. God has a way of giving me perspective and reminding me that I pretty much have no idea what I'm talking about, that is for certain. We are celebrating with brownies :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Things Learned from the Potty

1. Avery is determined to not use it.
2. Pedialax lies
3. A proud boy does not equal a converted boy
4. I must come to terms with the fact that I am the mother of a 4 year old boy that will not potty train... and will just have to wait until he's ready...

If you are new to the whole potty training saga (and that really is not an exaggeration) you can pick up at the beginning here, here, here, then here, and finally look down the page at yesterday's entry, and the day before... (told you - SAGA!)

The final chapter all started when I took Avery to his preschool class Tuesday morning and I asked him to please (please, please) keep his pants clean for his teachers at least (he was wearing a pull-up just in case). I bribed him with a soda on the way home if he succeeded. He did in fact stay clean and I thought to myself as we were traveling home - sodas in hand - that the afternoon would be the perfect time to tackle this whole "fear of the potty" thing.

So I put the boy on the cushy donut ring throne as soon as we got home. I gave him the Pedialax and we waited, and waited, and waited and waited and waited some more. I could fill this whole page with repeated "we waiteds" - let's just say that by hour 3 I was determined to see some sort of results. By this time I had upped his Pedialax dosage to the maximum recommended strength (works in 30 minutes to 3 hours my foot...), I had also filled his belly with whole wheat english muffins, a whole wheat waffle, some raisins and a couple of baggies of pretzels... this on top of his lunch and breakfast. That boy had to be primed and ready to go.

FIVE AND A HALF hours later I hear him calling for me (no way did I wait in the bathroom by his side for 5 1/2 hours!) He had finally produced... and at the risk of divulging wayyyy too much information, let's just say, the amount he produced in no way matched the amount he had consumed that day. But I didn't care at that point, I screamed with delight. You think I'm exaggerating, but I'm not! I jumped. up. and. down. I was nearly brought to tears and the little boy was so. proud. I did ask him in passing, "do you think you have more?" "No," he answered quite certain of himself, and I wasn't going to argue - I wanted to keep the delight of the moment.

Avery was on cloud nine! He walked 2 inches taller and repeated how he was a "big boy, yeehaw!" I drove him to town at 7:30 that night to buy him the promised treat of a chocolate milk shake (it was originally a chocolate donut, but the oldest brother got ahold of him... but I digress). All the way there and all the way back I praised him and we talked and we laughed and we cheered, a huge smile on both our faces. So hopeful I was.

Today, I put him straight in underwear. I reminded him of last night's success and I gave him the biggest big boy pep talk that I could muster... and it didn't work. He's right back to his old ways and he could care less.

So I give up. He's probably going to be 35 and still needing a pair of depends, I just hope that he at least learns to clean up after himself rather soon. So I call this the final chapter, because I'm done. The goal is obviously not going to be attained by any strategy that I implement. The boy is going to have to determine that he wants to be trained. It's the policy I had with the two older boys, basically. They were just much younger when they decided the time was right. Oh, for the time to be right.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

So I'm Taking the Final Step...

I think tomorrow might be the big day... or maybe Monday. Anyway, I have purchased the final ingredient (that I know of) that I can throw into this potty training recipe... the last resort has come.

Pedialax - do your thing. So yeah, the overnight stand-off didn't work at all. He sat on the potty for over an hour and even though he finally became a willing participant in that hour and did have some good attempts, it was a no go. And when the boy started nodding off while sitting on the potty, I graciously (or should I say mercifully) put him back to bed.

The next morning I caught him right as he woke up and he went straight to the potty again. At first, once again he was a willing participant and his attitude seemed great... I was getting hopeful because there were a few signs that thing were ready and moving... but the closer we got to an outcome, the more resistant Avery became to the idea.

I gave him a little break - I fed him raisin bran for breakfast - and soon after he finished it, I sat him back on the potty. He was becoming more and more combative though. Not willing to try anymore. I had him sit for quite awhile, but I finally sent him to his room for a break (I needed it too!) I gave him pretzels and water (hoping that things would get very uncomfortable, yet easily moved). I soon had him back for another try - still nothing. By this time he was crying and totally not a willing participant. I determined that this would be our routine for the day - make him sit on the potty, give him a little break so that he didn't develop a permanent toilet ring on his bum, but repeat this process until we had results.

Well, during the break the little stinker pooped his pants when I was busy helping his brother with some homework. I put myself in time out.

For him? I cut out treats - this boy would live on cakes and cookies and snacks. We don't have them in the house very often ('cause I eat them!) but on this occasion I had the-middle-of-the night-batch of brownies as well as a batch of muffins I was making for an event coming up. I gave some to Isaiah, I gave some to Huston, even Lillie had a brownie. When Avery asked for one I told him, "Oh no, only big boys that poo-poo in the potty get brownies." To which he replied, "I can have an apple!" *Sigh*

This morning he came crying to me, telling me that "Isaiah call me a little boy..." I took the opportunity - I answered, "Well, you are a little boy as long as you poo-poo in your pants. When you go in the potty, then you will be a big boy." He answered (rather happily) "I a little boy!"

So I bought the pedialax. I've long determined that this whole thing is over control. He knows that this is one thing that he can still control - I may be able to lead him to the potty, but I can't make him poop. Well, he's about to learn how medical science can even let me control that too, heh, heh, heh.

I never thought that it would come to this --- ok, well I kinda thought it probably would, but I just can't believe we are actually to this point. Here's hoping that my 4 year old will finally surrender to the natural order of things.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's 2:30am... Do You Know Where Your Children Are?

3 of mine are safely in bed. One is in the bathroom... no, he's not sick... just poopy. I was awakened by Avery's crying tonight. I went in to see what was wrong and I could smell him. I checked his pants and the *object* was right there. I swooped him up and sat him on the potty... that was 1/2 an hour ago.

Yes, it's ridiculous. But so is being 4 years old and still pooping your pants. I'm done with it. So we are at a stand off this very moment. Yes, I'm tired and keep second guessing myself. Yes, Avery is exhausted and I feel bad for keeping him up. But it's a power struggle... pretty much has always been a power struggle and by golly I want to win this one.

I've made brownies at 2:00 in the morning in hopes that they will lure him to compliance. I'm not sure it will work. I'm not sure I will have anything to show for this in the end except an extremely moody and tired little boy come morning. Wait, it is morning.

So right now I'm on the fence. Did I just imagine it? Is there really nothing there and I've kept this boy on the potty for this long for no reason at all? Or do I keep fighting the fight until he does something... anything? Why, oh why does this need to be so stinkin' hard?

In the end, at least I'll have some form of a brownie to show for the effort.