Sunday, February 28, 2010

But Wait... It's Been 8 Years!

Eight years of kids and 8 years of naptime... could it be possible that this lovely phase of motherhood is really coming to an end? Lillie refused her nap today. *sigh* I tell you, it must only be the beginning of the end.

When I was pregnant with Isaiah, a good number of seasoned veterans offered their litney of advice, through most of it I just smiled and nodded then did what I wanted to do anyway... but when a mom told me to "nap when he naps," I thought "Sure! No problem... that's one thing that I could do well." I gladly followed that advice until I've become so totally dependant upon that afternoon "rest" that functioning without it seems impossible.

Really, it's more than a nap, it's a little escape within the day. A time when all older siblings must be quiet while the younger ones check-out for an hour or two... a time when I can rest my mind as well as my eyes. What will I do without it?

Yes, I know that I will still enforce "quiet times" but they are just not the same. There will still be chattering and needs that must be met and interruptions that will frustrate. I may just need to invent a "let's just get out of the house" time instead. A change of scenery does wonders for a ho-hum day.

There are bright sides to this I suppose - no more having to work everything around the afternoon nap time - we can pick up and go wherever, whenever.... but still it's the end of an era... one that I may not be ready to let go of.

Well, I'm sure today was a little flukey, I mean she is still pretty young. I may have a year or so of the nap time still ahead of me. One can hope.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hello!

Sorry to have left you with that last (and rather unsavory) post for so long. Our poor old pc picked up a virus this past month and has gotten progressively worse until at last all things google related are unreachable... including the dashboard of my blog.... and my email.... and my reader... and the search engine. Stink.

So here I sit, in my office at church, quickly scrambling to get something on here so that at least you don't have to keep coming back to read about Avery's bowels. :) (By the way, he is getting soooo much better in that area - and is doing it all drug free thankfully).

Our pc picked up the virus about the same time as everyone else in our family... well everyone minus two. Steven never gets sick, which is fine with me because he is such a cat when he does. He just curls up in a corner and closes himself off from all of the world... but I'm getting off the subject. Huston also dodged this bullet (hopefully) but the rest of us has had a turn with a lovely stomach bug that hits you out of nowhere, makes you think you're about to die and then leaves as quickly as it came.

We've managed to string it along over about a 2 week time frame but everyone seems to be back on their feet now. Today, the kids are at Grandma's - I think it has been awhile since she's had all four of them, but truthfully I don't know because I can't even remember what I ate for dinner last night.

But while the kids have been away I have been greatly reorganizing and documenting the home school stuff (and reminding myself over and over again how much easier it would be if I would not procrastinate with these things.... ummm yeah, you'd think I'd learn.)

I have determined to be better in a lot of areas ahead - here's hoping that I can follow through. I'm not necessarily setting grandiose goals in front of me... I just want to be better than I am now. Baby steps, baby steps.

As for now I will enjoy the quiet. Listen...

No stomping.

No yelling.

No whining.

No running.

No hopping up and down.

No sliding across the floor.

No annoying little noises from 4 different mouths.

No kicking.

No toy throwing.

But... no laughter... no stories... no content play times....

Yep. I'm missin' the kids.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

No, I'm not a medical professional. This post has nothing to do with the official diagnosis and/or treatment of the legitimate form of irritable bowel syndrome (and for that, we all breathe a huge sigh of relief.) In fact this post will address a new phenomenon we are experiencing in our household... one that is not too icky to discuss but is causing a pretty good sized paradigm shift in the dynamics of home life. (and will also proves that I am never satisfied.)

(cue the menacing music)

Avery and the potty...

I hear you sighing already - trust me, I'm not going to go into great detail here. I'm tired of talking about this just as much as you are tired of hearing about it... But, there has been a change and who knew that I would reach a day when I would actually be wishing that Avery wasn't potty trained.

So here's the deal. Avery doesn't poo in his pants anymore and for that we are eternally grateful, really. But he still doesn't enjoy the potty experience... so what's left is a very irritable Avery that puts off going potty as long as he can.

He really reaches a point where he is not fun to deal with - I think it was easier for us if he would just go off somewhere and do his business in his pants! Yes I was tired of cleaning up after him, but if I knew that it was a trade off for a very cantankerous Avery I would have chosen the dirty pants (I think.)

That's where we're at - the boy hasn't made a mess in his pants for about a week now... but you better stay on the right side of him when he's uncomfortable and full! I think I will be trying some MiraLAX to see if that will soften him up a bit, if ya know what I mean.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Even His Dog is a Melancholy...

That is a line from a VeggieTales, I can't take credit for it, but I do think of it every time I run across this attitude from Isaiah.

I can't stand it. Really I can't. The boy is so mopey and sulen and sad and keeps throwing himself the biggest self-pity party that I can tolerate all because I want him to do schoolwork. That's it. The boy's life is ruined because I am expecting him to preform at a second grade level. It stinks... and is the number one reason I think about quitting the homeschooling stuff.

Don't worry, I'm not quitting. But I must admit I threaten to. I shouldn't, but I do. There are tooooo many other reasons why we have chosen this path. I won't throw it all out because my 8 year old decides to be down-in-the-dumps about learning. I am sure it's probably a phase... I'm hoping that it most definitely is a phase. And I am trying my very hardest to address the issue calmly and with the right frame of mind, but grrrrr, this makes me so crazy.

Seriously though, I am calming down now, I will stop ranting.

Isaiah is naturally a rather pessimistic type person... instead of focusing on all he does get to do he always, always notices what he's missing out on. If he stays 3 nights at grandma's house, but doesn't get to go eat at Burger King, he's going to pout about missing out on that greasy hamburger. It's a constant battle. Now I know everyone has a propensity to do this to some degree... it's a very human characteristic. But it can drive me crazy.

I must do it to some degree, because I'm sure that's why it bothers me so.

So for the past week or so this has been the pattern... if he's able to do what he wants and play all day in the snow he's as happy as a lark for the most part... but if I ask him to stop for a moment to do some lessons, his face totally becomes downfallen and he sulks, majorly. I just want to shake him. I wish I knew how to respond to it properly and effectively. I just get put out... and I feel like it will damage our relationship. I'm hoping the book I'm reading will give me some ideas... but I'm totally just going to have to bathe it all in prayer.

Kids are so stinkin' hard.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Gotta Start Hittin' The Books

I ebb and flow as the leader of our little Spellman school. I'm gung-ho for a time then we kinda lull into an "it'll wait" type of mindset and it's always due to my sporadic leadership.

So I'm going to be setting up a new system and I think it might help. And I'm not going to tell you about it, cuz just as soon as I do the new system will fail. No, I'm not superstitious... I just know it happens that way.

Part of the fun of homeschooling is that you don't have to stick to a prescribed schedule... but there are times that I wished we did have more daily requirements by law, because it would give me better motivation.

Anyway, enough about that.

I have been reading more often. That was one of my new year goals (remember, I don't easily resolve). In the evenings, Steven and I usually end up sitting in the living room, each with our own book... (psst... don't tell him I said this, but his books are boring!). Right now I am wrapped up in reading the Bible - there is a 90 day program out there and I hopped onto it... I love it. The daily reading goals are not insurmountable and it is so nice to actually see progress so quickly. I am already to Nehemiah and I only started a month ago. Plus it's much easier to get drawn into the stories when you're reading chapters at a time and not just verses. I will admit that Leviticus was yucky-hard and other parts are just plain boring... but I do come away with a different perspective about something every day.

I'm also in a book study for moms at my church which I love as well. Right now we are reading this book:

Good and Angry: Exchanging Frustration for Character by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN

I read this book on my own a few years back when I only had 2 kids causing me anger and frustration, and it's great to read it again now a few years later... cuz while I see where I have successfully adapted some of their techniques... I can also clearly see that we have settled back down into some old (bad) habits too. It is so nice to be able to read it with other moms now - to gain their ideas and perspectives as well as just have the accountability... cuz that's obviously what I need when it comes to hitting the books!

Monday, February 1, 2010

On Lillie's Trail...

video

So, yes I was cleaning in the boys' room and came out to discover a trail of cherrios on the floor... the movie will help you to draw conclusions as to what happened. Lillie is the perp.

I don't think that's what Wal-Mart meant by a "great value"...