Thursday, January 28, 2010

Honking Hysterically

Today, the kids and I all went to the church - I had a meeting in the morning and then we stuck around so that I could get some work done in the afternoon. When we were leaving at 2:00pm, I knew that Lillie (and possibly Avery) would not make the entire car ride home in an alert state of being. They always fall asleep in the van and it's a good half hour to our home now so there is no keeping them awake.

So I'm always left with a dilemma when we pull into the garage. Do I try to wake them and just view that 20-30 minutes as their nap for the day?... do I try to carry them up the stairs and strip them of their coat and shoes to lay them down in their beds and hope that they are convinced to stay and nap longer?... or do I leave them sleeping in the van and check on the periodically to bring them upstairs when the wake up? Those are my options and none of them are very good.

Option #1 - the kids are bears when they don't get their nap and they make life difficult for the rest of the family many times. And then to pile on the complexity of the decision-making, both Avery and Lillie refused their nap yesterday... so not only were they very tired, but they would have been extremely grumpy if they woke too early.

Option #2 - not only is this option a pain (and not just because I would have to carry them up a very nice flight of stairs), but it is rarely successful - both of them usually wake up... Lillie will refuse to try to go back to sleep in her bed and Avery will pitch a fit because he was awakened early. So the outcome is very similar to the down-side of option #1.

Option #3 - I've done this before once or twice in the past and it is rather successful, in that they stay asleep. But it's usually somewhat traumatic for them to wake up and realize they are still in the van and everyone else is gone. Plus I'm constantly having to check on them and every little sound I hear makes me wonder if it's them waking up or upset... so I don't usually get much accomplished.

Well today I chose door #3. I figured they are tired, I didn't want to risk waking them and the garage isn't that far away.. "I will be able to hear them," I thought.

I was washing the dishes about half an hour after making this decision and all of a sudden I hear my van's horn repeatedly honking. I run down the stairs with my wet, soapy hands and I see my 4 year old with eyes as big as saucers hysterically honking the horn. I opened the door that I had left cracked and grabbed him and he repeated over and over again, "Mommy, I lost you!" And of course the commotion of this moment totally freaked Lillie out as well.

So the "mother of the year" award has once again slipped through my fingers and I'm fairly confident that option #3 will not be visited again in the very near future. I don't believe Avery and Lillie are scarred permanently because of this incident. I sat them down to watch the movie Nemo after it happened.... hmmmm... in retrospect a movie about a kid becoming separated by half an ocean from his father may not have been the best movie to choose... oh well, both stories end happily ever after.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Last Name Doesn't Help...

We survived the other day (see previous post) - all of us, fully intact even... and we enjoyed some early bedtimes to boot.

Today is a clean house/school catch-up day, but I'm not motivated to do either. Thankfully Isaiah is really determined to become a better speller today. He gets frustrated when he writes something and every couple of words go under my *scrutiny* and then has to be rewritten. He was in tears about it last night... sobbing that "all his friends can spell" - really? - they, as second graders can spell? Hmmmm.... (and I also find it funny that one of his first episodes of "but everyone else is doing it" is over spelling!)

But hey, if this is what motivates him to learn it, that's fine! I gave him a list of very commonly misspelled for him... all of the question words mostly... his "why" is usually "wie" - "what" is "wut" - "was" is "wus" - yeah, you get the picture.

So we are going to tackle that list along with a review of the silent "e" - because that boy wants to stick an "e" aftere. everye. worde.

Yeah, to answer the long pondered question I am sure you all have had.... no, a "Spellman" doesn't automatically know how to spell...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Today is One of Those Days

As in, one of those days. You know what I'm talking about? The kind of day, when you as a mom, feel like the old woman who lives in the shoe made famous in the nursery rhymes.

Everyone is tired... including mom

Everyone is loud... when mom wants quiet (but I do occasionally add to the loud when find myself yelling at them out of frustration.)

Everyone is fragile... nicely playing one moment and screaming bloody murder because of some point of injustice the next

Everyone needs a nap... but few will admit to it

So today is very close to become a divide and conquer day... the only technique that keeps me sane on days like today. I will isolate everyone in their own corner. One will draw at the table, a couple of them will be assigned to play in their room, one may watch a movie by themselves in the living room... everyone will have their own area - they can't really yell at themselves (geesh, I hope they won't anyway...) and in the process of isolating them I will gladly isolate myself a bit as well.

Should work, if they cooperate. If they don't? Well, I can't be held responsible for anything that might happen as a result.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Miracle Cure

Ok, so maybe not exactly a miracle cure, but it certainly has helped tremendously.

Avery took us on an adventure into the land of severe eczema this winter. He's had it at times in the past - he has ALWAYS had skin issues - it's always been very dry, but this winter it went from dry to scaly and then from a little bit scaly to full blown scaly, cracking, bleeding, covering the entire back, and creeping down the arms and onto the neck and belly etc. He was close to becoming very, very miserable (if not already there!).

So I called my dermatologist... and they told me that since Avery was a new patient they couldn't (or wouldn't) make him an appointment until mid-February. Seriously? My four-year old is scaly and bleeding but you can't squeeze him in until February? (and I was calling at the beginning of December!) Ya think I'll be calling them here in a week or two with a complaint?? Oh yeah.

Long story short I begin to inquire about the more homeopathic remedies for eczema... and while on vacation visiting some family friends, the mom told me that her son had it when he was little and she learned it was a zinc deficiency, so she increased his zinc intake and bam, the eczema cleared up. Note to self indeed.

So meanwhile, I flag down a dermatologist in our congregation at church and asked him to look at Avery - I hate doing that to the medical professionals of our church (asking them to check out my kids problem when they are heading into worship and without bothering at even trying to make an appointment) but I was desperate to get the rash clearly identified. He collaborated that is was in fact eczema and prescribed a steroid and told me to use a lotion that I had already tried on Avery which would send him into a panic of stinging hot fire... so I went to the store and got the vitamins.

Now Avery isn't the best eater for sure, and I would force (bribe, beg, plead) him to ingest some sort of variety of foods at mealtime, but admittedly I probably should of had him on a multivitamin months, if not years ago. So I went to the store and got a good multivitamin for kids as well as an additional vitamin that had an extra kick of vitamin D, zinc and something else that sounded really healthy...anyway,

THREE DAYS LATER... yes, only 3 days later the scaly, bleeding skin was almost completely cleared up! Now his skin is still not smooth and fully hydrated feeling, it's a bit rough and dry, but it is not eczema, it's just basic dry skin.

I wish I had taken before and after pictures. Really I do. It was that amazing of a difference. I will tell you for full disclosure that I asked my dietitian friend about the zinc deficiency/eczema link and she had never heard of it... and looked a bit skeptical. BUT regardless, something within the vitamins has helped tremendously - this could not have been a coincidence. Also, if we forget to give him the vitamins for a couple of nights (like when he stays over at grandmas or we have a busy bedtime routine, etc.) his skin will start to scale up once again.

Crazy huh? So there you go - if a child of yours starts to break out with eczema, give the vitamin thing a try... it's worth a shot!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Avery Sings.

Avery loves to sing. Avery loves to go to school. If Avery comes home from school, and has learned a new song... well, all is right in the world. And our world gets to hear the new song, over and over, and over... so I thought I would share the joy with you... but if you want the complete effect you must push "play" at least half a dozen times in a row for the continuous music, k.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Why Yes, I Do Still Have Children...

I just don't talk about them much anymore. I never know what is worth documenting... you know, what will I want to remember in the years to come? Will I go back, look at this blog and think to myself, "why in the world did I feel that story was so important?" Probably. But oh well.

Isaiah is getting too big and I don't know what to do about it. He is now 8... which is very close to 10, which is very close to preteen, which is just as close to regular teen, which means he'll be thinking about where he needs to go to college, which means that he will be leaving the house, and then he'll be getting married!!! Ok, so maybe not that old, but man, it really is just around the corner. I feel like I'm on a roller coaster ride and it's ka-chunking it's way up the hill and I'm about 3/4 of the way to the summit... just waiting for the moment when it plummet down at full speed and all I can do is hang. on. He is a sweet boy - who I continue to try to screw up. Thank God that He created first-borns to be a little more resilient than the rest (I think He did anyway). He is sooooo into history - loves, loves, loves the civil war and WWII the most I believe. He has recently discovered Elvis *sigh* and luckily, so far, his infatuation is just contained to one cd he saw and purchased at Cracker Barrel.

Huston is growing as well, but I am choosing to ignore it. I feel like it might be working. Really though he is my laid back one for the most part. He is super sweet and super cute and I caught a little girl batting her eyes at him the other day at a restaurant (luckily the boy looked at her like he had no idea what her problem could be...). He loves to work with his hands and will play toys and manipualte objects all day long. Please don't read much to him though, or his eyes glaze over and he starts to make finger puppets with his, well, fingers... in order to entertain himself through the boredom. He has a slow side, ok well, he has a permanent "slow" speed in all that he does, but he is so darn sweet that for the most part you can overlook that frustration. He is a great friend and he has developed one of those natural, they-just-click type friendship with a sweet little boy from church. They are such a great pair, and have I mentioned they are sweet?
(They really are in a very intangible, cannot describe it type way.)

Avery is a hoot. He is his own man, still. He LOVES to draw and many people (people not related to him) tell me that he is quite detailed with his pictures (and yes, good at it too). It will occupy him for hours --- that and tape. The boy wants to (scotch) tape everything. I figure we have an artist on our hands... and he can be just as flighty as some artists are as well! I will NOT talk about potty training, because I am sure you are tired of reading about it quite possibly as much as I'm tired of talking about it... but no he's not quite there still. at the age of 4. but I'm over it. kinda. He loves craziness and singing and he always makes us laugh.

Lillie is sweet and sassy... just as I predicted she would be. She's all girl, and she can also keep up with the boys. She loves babies, and dresses and looking pretty and shoes and purses and all that girls love. But she also will wrestle and bite and hit and put the boys in their place when they are bothering her (we aren't encouraging the hitting and biting... just so you're aware.) She can say quite a few words, but a lot of them are only identifiable by her family members. She seems to chop the front of the word off most times... so "ock" is both "sock" and "rock".... and "og" is both "frog" and "dog"... you get the picture. She also loves to try to sing and totally, hands down loves to make a good mess and is quite good at it. She is quite aware that she is the "princess" of the family (Avery tells her that she is) and will have a really big head if we don't keep her pride in check. I'm thinking the brothers will be just as good at bringing her down a few notches as they are at building her up. :)

So there you have it, there is the most recent happenings, developments of the Spellman brood. We'll see what they have in store for us in the future months....

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


oh how Lillie loves to eat thee...

Saturday, January 2, 2010


A new year just isn't that bigga deal to me. I don't know why that they don't thrill me... maybe it's because I feel like I have never followed through with any major change in the history of my life, so the resolution part of it is out... and I'm not that crazy about college football - so there ya have it. What else is there?

I have some good intentions for a new start to things, but I would never call them resolutions ('cause I just don't resolve, I'm too distractable to resolve). And among my good intentions at this time of my life (just to be clear, I have good intentions all throughout the year so specifically the ones for right now, this moment are...)
  • eat healthier (but Sonic, I love you)
  • do something for exercise (besides chasing my kids...)
  • get a more focused plan for homeschooling (hahahahahaha)
  • read more (this would require moments without children and me not falling asleep)

Exciting, eh? I guarantee that most everyone of these are on the lists of homeschooling moms around the country and the top two are on practically everyone's list because we are coming off two of the most gluttoned holidays of the year back to back. Everyone feels blah and unhealthy after the Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year's Eve blur.

I do have other goals, but I'm not even going to list them here because I will be too ashamed to come back to you in a month (or a week...) and report that I have broken every. single. one of those too. (And just so you know, I realize that perfection is not the goal... really, I am just too distractable to keep to nearly anything!)

So let's just say that for the year 2010 I resolve to be better than I was in 2009 at something. Moderation in all things will continue to be my mantra. And hopefully by this time next year I will be proud of some new skill or habit that I have created or will be satisfied to see that growth has taken place (unless it's in my girth...)

Now, as for the children... they had just better whip themselves into shape this year...