Saturday, January 31, 2009

Nighttime Dancing

Last night instead of reading we watched the Celtic Women DVD. Highly recommended!! It was one of the better gifts that Santa brought the family. Anyway, as we were watching these very talented, beautiful women sing tremendous songs from a castle in Ireland EG started to get fussy. The other kids were a little annoyed at the interruption so I picked her up and began to dance. This brought back memories. I have danced with each child at some point or other. It is one of the more wonderful memories I have of my childhood. I remember my mom picking me up and dancing with me. I used to dance with Nature Girl a lot. We would be home alone a lot at night and one way we would pass the time was to put in Willie Nelson's Stardust and just dance. Then as the family got bigger, daddy would have to be involved. So, he preferred Three Dog Night and we would take turns dancing and holding all of the "babies" as the music played. In all honesty we haven't danced together in quite awhile. So, last night when EG was fussing I just picked her up and around and around we went. The bigger kids got up periodically and danced by themselves. Life can get hectic and bedtime is so important but I hope we continue this future memory . . .

Friday, January 30, 2009

Growing Baby

It is amazing to me how quickly my baby is growing. From thumb sucking to wanting to sit up in a matter of days!! She has the cutest little bouncy seat she sits in when she is done eating. The other day she was getting increasingly fussy in it. I couldn't understand what the problem was. I sent the other kids over to talk with her and play with her. That worked for awhile then she started to fuss again. So I went over to check it out. She was pulling her head off of the seat. Like she was trying to sit up!! I was like "Wait a minute! You are only 10 weeks old! I don't think you are suppose to be doing this!!" But the next time she sat in her bouncy seat she fussed again. Thankfully a veteran mom friend of mine bought me a Bumpy Seat (at least I think that is what it is called) for a shower gift. So we pulled it out and stuck EG in it. Problem solved. She loved sitting up in it. In the picture she looks a little uncomfortable but she really does like it. She can see her legs and feet and will stare at them for a couple of minutes. I don't let her sit in it for long. I still think she is too young to be sitting up. But it gives her a different perspective of life. At least for a little while . . .

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Waiting for Bedtime

It is no secret that good night time sleep and obtaining it boarders on being an obsession around here ;) I have always had to have a good night's sleep and that was the hardest thing for me to adjust to when I had my first baby (and still is for that matter ;). I remember when Nature Girl was still an infant, I asked a friend of mine if I was a bad parent for waiting and wishing for bedtime? There was a brand new mom that I used to go to softball games with (our husbands played on the same team) and she would tell me that she would keep her baby up way too late at night because she wanted to spend time with him (she worked during the day.) My gut ached. Some days I couldn't wait for 8:30PM so I could put Nature Girl to bed and just have some alone time. Having little ones in the house is physically, emotionally and mentally draining ;) I justified my feelings because I was home all day with my baby and got to spend a ton of quality with her. As the years have gone on, I have run into moms that have felt the same way I do. Counting down the hours to bedtime. It doesn't happen every day and I am equally excited to see them first thing in the AM (at least if it is after 6:30 :). Also, as I now realize how fast they grow, I am trying to REALLY appreciate the time we have together! And as they get older it is kind of fun to sit up a little later and read or watch a TV show, movie or sporting event. I have long since left the guilt behind. I am the best mom I can be 15 hours a day, seven days a week. My children, all day, everyday have my attention. It is OK to be guilt free when bedtime rolls around . . .

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Thumb Sucking

Out of the four kids we have never had a thumb sucker until now. I turned around yesterday and here little EG had her thumb in her mouth and was just sucking away. It was soooo adorable. But then I started to worry about all the problems thumb sucking can cause. It has always been my view that at least with a pacifier you can have some control but with a thumb, well, it is all access all the time. Daddy's view was "Hey, at least she is quiet." Ha, ha!! Yesterday afternoon she was sucking her thumb and had her other hand twirling her "hair." It cracks me up that I have never had this happen before! It really is a precious sight. I guess like everything else in parenting it will work it self out. But for now I am just enjoying the sight (and sound!) . . .

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lunch Date

Yesterday Nature Girl had an eye appointment. It just so happened it was daddy's day off so I asked him very nicely if he would be interested in taking her. Then I wouldn't have to take everyone. He graciously agreed. I was thrilled!! Anyway, we have changed insurance companies and the eye doc didn't except our new plan. Long story short, Nature Girl didn't get her eyes checked. But, she did get to spend quality time with her daddy which was way more important! They went to look at new dressers for the girls' bedroom, the returned a scale for me and they made one other stop I think but I can't remember. Anyway, about 11 o'clock I get a call from daddy asking me if it would be OK if he take Nature Girl to lunch? Did I need him? Well, of course I need him. I always do. But I was tickled to death that they could go to lunch together. One thing I have wanted to be sure he does is spend some alone time with his girls. I was excited how that just kind of happened. The few times we have "planned" it something always comes up. They went to a "grown up" restaurant (not Chick-fil-A or McDonald's). Nature Girl got wings to eat which she loves!! I am sure daddy got some too. Now this Sunday is Little Mama's turn . . .

Monday, January 26, 2009


Yes I am talking about the game. I had a wonderful opportunity on Saturday to play with my baby boy. I have played games with him before but it has always been with the whole family. But Saturday Sissy came and got the girls so they could go spend their gift certificates they received for Christmas and that left me with Boop and EG. (Nice little break - I was even able to finish East of Eden - awesome book - highly recommended!) So, while EG was taking a little nap Boop asked if we could play a game. First he wanted to play Monopoly but I explained he needed to be a little older. So, his next choice was Candyland. We had a great time. He was an excellent opponent. Not a competitive bone in his body. He was very gracious in taking turns and was not bent on winning! He even wanted to go backwards because it looked more fun. I have always felt it important to always play by the rules no matter how old the child. That it is important to take turns and I never allowed the kids to move more than the should so they would win etc. And it has always paid off. All of my kids are pretty good sports. I so far haven't had melt downs when the lose or miss a turn. I know it is part of my OC nature but sportsmanship is so important these days. I like for them to be gracious losers. Sure there are moments with the girls when they get a little feisty but I explain it is only a game. You win some and you loose some. Boop grabbed those concepts very easily on Saturday. We had so much fun I played a second game with him! It was great to spend time with my baby boy alone . . .

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Squawky Hawky the Hawk

Gotta love the name! My kids are very original! Last year about this time (near as I can remember) we were visited by what we determined to be a Red Tailed Hawk. We watched it for at least an hour. It was a foggy morning and it would fly from the trampoline, to the fence, to the swing set. I think it even landed on our camper. We had great fun just watching it and taking pictures and trying to determine what type of hawk it was. Well, this morning as I was making breakfast I looked up and the hawk was back!! This caused much excitement in the house. Everyone stopped what they were doing and just watched. I opened the door to the backyard and you could see his head swivel to where the noise came from. But he did not fly away. I took a couple pictures but because something is wrong with the downloading I can't get them off my camera. (These pictures are from last year.) If I get the camera and computer to work together I will post the pictures from this year as well and we can compare. He/she seems bigger this year. Anyway, he flew from the trampoline on to the ground. He/she didn't seem to mind Angel the dog. He watched for a few minutes, flew up to the back fence and then eventually flew away. We watch the skies all the time for hawks. They are so graceful when they fly. It is so neat to see one right in our own backyard . . .
Programing Note: As I looked for the hawk pictures from last year I discovered that last year's pictures were taken the exact same time as the hawk siting this year! How cool is that . . . .

Friday, January 23, 2009

Babies in Bassinets

As I lay awake last night numerous times, I was wondering what I was going to write about today. Then it hit me, like it usually does. EG and I are in a rough spot. She goes to bed about 9:30 but is waking up at least twice every night. Our nocturnal routine goes something like this: get EG out of bassinet, nurse on one side, swaddle nurse on other side, check arm to see if it is limp like a noodle, place back in bassinet. Then for the next 20 minutes or so I watch the bassinet. The bassinet sides are pretty high so I don't see her inside. But, there are two things I am watching for (and have happened with all of my kids). If she is not willing to go back to sleep I will see an arm pop straight up. I was thinking how funny it would be to have a picture of just the arm sticking straight up out of the bassinet - that is all you see. But I was unwilling to get up, go in the kitchen and look for the camera so you will just have to imagine it in your minds eye :) Then the next thing that happens is the bassinet starts to rock back and forth rhythmically. It is not the little shimmer that happens when EG is settling in for sleep. It is an almost violent swaying! Then comes the squeal, cry or some other noise that lets me know "Come get me." Last night this happened not once but twice. By 5:30 I had given up and just put her in bed with me. She didn't wake until 8:11. I pray for a less eventful night tonight . . .

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Prayer Update

Thank you for the prayers. I am home and a little uncomfortable but certainly nothing to complain about!! The nurse said she was 99% sure it was not cervical cancer. I will receive the results in about a week. God is good . . .


I ask it for two reasons today. First, this afternoon I go to the OB/GYN for a follow up to an abnormal pap. It is my understanding they will biopsy my cervix. I also understand that this happens fairly frequently and nothing really ever comes of it. But, it is also my understanding it can be a little uncomfortable. So I ask a prayer for minimal pain and little cramping. I don't have time to lay on a couch with a heating pad on my tummy :) Second, I pray for my hubby and grandma and my babies because this will be the first time in 10 weeks I will not be with them. Hubby and Grandma will be babysitting during my appointment. I know they will do great but I also know that I cannot help thinking about my babies!! So prayer for them as well!! Thank you . . .

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Part of History

Part of (or should I say most of) school yesterday was watching the inauguration. I have to admit I don't think I have ever watched one before. Later on in the evening when my mom asked the girls what they thought of it they said it was boring. I suppose it was to them but I told them later on in life they can say that they watched the first Afro-American President being sworn in and it will mean something to them :) It is a huge part of history. It was really neat to discuss some of the questions they had. Things that we take for granted. They were both very curious about where the President was going to live. I showed them the White House. I explained that all of the Presidents lived there. They wanted to know where former President Bush was going. I explained he was going back to Texas to live a "regular" life. We discussed how President Obama can't just go to the grocery store to buy shaving cream. They wanted to know why. So we talked about security and being famous. And how he is the most influential/powerful man in the world. Of course they wanted to know why. So we talked about how the United States is the most powerful country in the world and how that is such an awesome responsibility. We touched on the fulfilling of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream. What did that mean?? So we broached the subject of slavery and civil rights. Instead of reading last night we watched some clips from all of the balls. Nature Girl couldn't wait to see the ball gown that Mrs. Obama was going to wear. We had to DVR the event because Mrs. Obama hadn't shown up by bedtime! So, at some point today we will turn on the TV and look at the dress. Yesterday's school day was made up of history, politics, geography and fashion. Not a bad day at school . . .

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Natural Consequences

I think one of the most important lessons a child can learn is that of natural consequences. And probably one of the hardest a parent can teach. As parents our natural inclination is to protect our children. To ensure their happiness. To keep them from hurt or disappointment. And I think that is very important to a degree. But I think if you think about it, life is all about the decisions you make and the consequences of those decisions be them good or bad. I think you spend the younger years explaining decision making, reminding them of what good choices look like, what we base our decision making on, explaining the consequences of bad decision making. And then at some point, sooner rather then later you let them make their own choices based on what you have tried to teach (and a lot of prayer). Example: the girls got a real miniature tea set for Christmas. I see it laying around the house all the time. I have told them, repeatedly, that something will probably happen to it because it isn't in a safe place. This morning Boop got a hold of it. I could hear him clanking it around. Motherly instinct wants to say to Little Mama "Get your tea set. Boop has it and he could chip it or break it." But I kept my mouth shut. It has been weeks that I have been instructing the girls about this particular toy. At some point, what I do just becomes nagging. And no one pays attention to a nag :) So, a few minutes later Little Mama comes to me and says "Boop has my tea set." I very lovingly and calmly say "I have told you before to keep it in a safe spot." Thankfully nothing happened this time. Little Mama was able to get her tea set back and put it in a safe place. Now I do say to Boop "You are not to touch things that don't belong to you." Another example: The girls wanted to spend $10 of their own money on a Valentine Build A Bear outfits. My usual response is let's think about it because there are better ways to spend our money. A day or two later Nature Girl opted to buy a great pillow for her newly decorated room. I praised her on a really great choice. But I let her know that once the pillow was purchased it could not be returned (store policy) and if she wanted we could wait a day or two. (She is my impulsive shopper.) She was insistent that she wanted it. OK. Little Mama still opted for the outfit. The day came to take Little Mama to get the outfit and Nature Girl was sad. She had changed her mind and wanted an outfit for her Build A Bear. I searched my mind and heart for a way out of the situation but I had made it perfectly clear that if she picked the pillow there was no turning back. During the trip to the Build A Bear store she didn't pout or beg. I was proud. She was still visibly disappointed but I knew I had made the right choice. There were so many lessons to be learned from that one incident. First, money doesn't grow on trees. Second, it is important to think through every decision/choice that you make. Third, how to be happy with what you have. Fourth, their are consequences for every decision/choice. I could go on and on. I will use that example for many years to come. All I can do is teach what I think I know. And then pray for God to do the rest. This parenting thing isn't easy . . .

Monday, January 19, 2009

Who's Who

A wonderful friend of mine and avid follower of my blog - wink, wink, made this suggestion. So here it is. Do you know who is who?? The pictures have all been take about the same time. Around 2 1/2 - 3 mos. I can tell you in about 10 years I will have to look twice :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I LOVE Basketball

It is my all time favorite sport. I love other sports as well but LOVE basketball. Those boys/men are true athletes. They have to play hard. Running up and down the court. Offense - Defense. And some of the shots they make are soooo awesome. I grew up watching basketball in a bunch of different ways. I guess some of my earliest memories are of the Milwaukee Bucks. My dad owned a convenience store in the Milwaukee area. The convenience store sponsored the Bucks. I don't have specific memories but I am sure we went to at least one game. I remember Kareem Abdul Jabar (spelling). Then I remember going down to Oshkosh with my dad to watch my cousins Mike and Paul play high school basketball for Lourdes (spelling). I remember sitting in the bleachers watching them run back and forth. I admired them greatly :) When I got a little older I was a cheerleader for St. Pat's and would cheer for their elementary school bball team. We would travel to other elementary schools in the dead of winter to play other catholic school teams. I remember the uniforms - green and white. My first crushes were on two brothers who played for the team. They were awesome. Then during the spring and summer we would go across the tracks to a asphalt bball court were they would play pick up games. It was in the 80s so they would have their boombox out there as well :) I remember going to my junior high basketball games. Our colors were purple and yellow. One of my best friends played on the girls team. Of course I went to my high school games. I want to say we even when to a tournament because I have vague memories of going to the arena to watch them play.

Then college came. Oddly enough when I was in school I didn't go to the games. But once I got out of college I watched FSU play all the time. FSU is part of the ACC so the games were always awesome. And I got to watch some of the best college teams ever! Some memories of that are:

Having a crush on Bobby Sura.
Watching basketball at my girlfriends house while grilling steaks.
Hosting the visiting basketball teams at the hotel where I worked. Seeing Coach K.
Flying on the same plane as the North Carolina Tar Heels. Montross (number 00) was a big fella.
Watching FSU in the Sweet 16 in the lounge of the hotel where I worked. It was dark and a fire was burning.
Leaving late from my parents house in Clearwater to drive back home just so I could watch us play in the NCAA tournament game.
The kids' first game was the NIT tournament and Boop was just 3-4 mos old.

We have errands to run this morning. BUT I will be home by noon to watch the Seminoles on TV. GO NOLES . . . . !!!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

No Way

Things I said I would never do:

Use a sling

Sleep with my baby

Use a pacifier

Be a pacifier

Use a bottle

Feed formula

Let my baby cry

I admit I have done all of those things recently. I am vowing not to say "never" ever again . . . :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I love to listen to my kids' conversations with other people. When the girls are talking to their friends, it makes me smile when I hear what they talk about. They are so grown up. It gives me insight to who they really are :) What they find important. What makes impressions on them. So different then how the talk with me. Last night I overheard a conversation that daddy and Boop were having while daddy was giving him a bath. It went something like this:

"Daddy, were you in mommy's tummy?" "No, CoCo is my mommy."

"Did Grandpa Joe have a baby?" "No, silly, he is a boy."

And then daddy walked out of the bathroom. I was like "Dude, what are you doing? How can you walk out on a conversation like that??"

He accused me of eavesdropping and trying to get info for my blog. That really wasn't my intention but what the heck . . .

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

College Education

Hubby and I have been talking about money and savings a little bit these past few days. Because of hubby's job we don't really worry about him loosing it. He has one of those jobs that more positions are needed! He has been with the department for 15 years so he has seniority and most of all he is good at what he does. As I have mentioned frequently, when we need extra cash he has the ability to work overtime and best of all details. We don't count on that money because the details may not always be there. As we were discussing where that money goes we talked about college for four kids. (We also are saving to buy a house some day.) I remember when we were at Disney. I was about 6 mos pregnant. A man from out west sat down with me and the kids and commented on the fourth bun in the oven. His first comment was "Wow, you will have at least two kids in college for a lot of years." My response was "Yes, but I don't worry about that now." And honestly I don't. I know hubby does seeings how he is the bread winner. There are a couple of reasons I don't worry. First, God blessed me with these children. I have no doubt in my mind that he will provide for them as He sees fit. I have to make good choices and I have to be a good steward with the money He gives me. But I can't do any more than that. Second, I am not sure each of my children needs to go to college. I know there are many out there who disagree. And, yes, to some extent a further education is necessary but I don't think I would force my child to go right out of high school. Especially if they are not sure what they want to do. Yes, I got my degree but never had a job using my "area of expertise." Hubby went to the law enforcement academy. I think if the child was responsible enough and driven enough I would allow them to wait to go. I have seen to many kids (myself included) take class after class, changing their degree time after time. College is a way to find themselves I suppose but it is an awfully expensive way. Lastly, I worked my way through school and am a better person for it. I relied on financial aid cuz I definitely qualified. So, I received Pell grants and scholarships. Plus, I worked full time - all the time. I drove a ragged car (wish I could share a picture.) Lived in a mediocre apartment. Only once in 5 years went on Spring break weekend otherwise worked every single weekend. I did end up spending more than I brought in and spent years paying it all back. But, never charged a thing again in my life!! And that is a reason I feel I am pretty frugal. So, I know it can be done. To be honest, I am sceptical of those kids whose families take care of everything. To much time to play. If the parent thinks it is more time to study, in most cases they are mistaken!!

My biggest thing as far as whether a child of mine goes to college is whether or not it is God's plan for them. If a child of mine is following God and they want to go work somewhere first I don't think I would have a problem with that. As long as I see prayer and a thought process and plan along with that choice. College is expensive and we are not rich. And who know what life will bring . . .

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Perpetual Motion

Bet you thought I was talking about Boop the 3 yo boy. Gotcha!! I am talking about me. It seems that every move I make is purposeful. There are no wasted motions in my day. I have often thought, if my life were different I would have been an efficiency expert! If I am in the bathroom I don't leave without putting toothpaste on the kids brushes. If I am in the cupboard getting glasses for morning drinks I get mine out that I use to take my supplements. Just this morning I knew that if I wanted to get a shower I was going to have to do it right after I finished feeding EG before Paul left for work. I knew I needed to wash my hair because tomorrow I needed to go out in public as well and I might not get a chance to. Every motion, every chore, every project is planned not just for its benefits for today but where it will help me later on in the week. Last night, meals were planned for the week. While I am in the school room getting ready for school I have started my blog post for the day. I will now take Boop to the bathroom and while he is getting dressed I will blow dry my hair. If I am in my closet I get out any card making stuff I might need during the day (in case I actually get to make cards.) My brain is always 5 steps ahead. I have already figured out what is for lunch and what is for dinner. What time Boop needs to take a nap so we can get to tumbling on time. It isn't even 9 o'clock yet. Part of it is a sickness, part of it is just survival, part of it is my need for control of the day. I have washed dark clothes this morning because daddy works three days and he needs his special black t-shirts for those days. Plus, he asked me to :) I went to lunch with a good friend on Saturday. I sat for almost an hour. When I got up my legs and back hurt. I wasn't use to sitting for so long. I think I am unique. Or a little off my rocker. Maybe there are others out there who share my sickness. If so, let me know . . . :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Seriousness of Sleep

As a mother of an newborn, I can't go anywhere without people asking me if I am getting enough sleep. It is truly something I obsess over. I can tell you that a lot of time during the day I am thinking about how I can get good night's sleep. Our first pediatrician said that wouldn't happen until Nature Girl was like 8 I think. That thought horrified me. When I talk with friends sleep is always discussed. My girlfriend just yesterday did a blog on her four kid's sleep schedules. So she has inspired me to share mine. My husband is a blessing in many ways but he does not/will not get up at night with the kids. Half the time he doesn't even know that I have been up. He is a very heavy sleeper and really never hears them unless I wake him. Which I have done maybe 5 times and that was with baby number one. I will say this, when Nature Girls was a newborn, she had her days and nights mixed up. While on paternity leave, he helped out as best he could. He was on night shift when he went back to work. I would call him at 3/4 in the morning in tears because we were still awake. He would come home as soon as he could and he would watch her from like 5-8 so I could get some sleep. I am very thankful for that!!

Nature Girl now is my night owl like her daddy and grandma. She fought sleep from the minute she was born. She would stay up all night if I let her. All the kids have the same bed time but she will read, play or listen to music quietly in her bed until 10 sometimes 11 o'clock. There have been nights I fall asleep on the couch or go to bed and she is still awake. This is one of the reasons she is homeschooled. The flip side of her late nights is she sleeps in in the mornings. I will finally wake her at 8:30 if she hasn't gotten up on her own. Last night she informed me she has her own schedule. She has a clock in her bed. She goes to bed when the clock says ten and then gets up when the clock says eight. Works for me I guess! She does not like to sleep alone. She likes having her sister in the bottom bunk.

Little Mama has always been a good sleeper. Very rarely did she "argue" about going to sleep. When she was a toddler we could travel and if she didn't get a nap she was OK. She will "read" or play or listen to music for a little while at night be she is usually asleep way before Nature Girl. She is also one of the first ones up. There have been mornings when I ask her to go lay back down in her bed because it isn't time to get up yet. When you look at her sleeping she usually is posed in such a way that she looks like she has fallen off a building. Legs and arms all spread out. Very rarely does she wake at night. If she does, you know she is getting sick. She is the cuddler. On the occasions that we have had to sleep together she is right up against me. And would probably lay on top of me if she could!

Boop has been the champ. He has never fussed about naps or night time sleep. I can name on one hand the times he has been awake in the middle of the night and that has been just recently. He falls asleep somewhere between the time Little Mama does and Nature Girl. That is because he still takes a little bit of a nap. He is always the first one up. The beauty of it is, though, he has been told not to get out of his bed until someone comes and gets him. So, about 6:45 most mornings you hear this moaning or singing or something over the monitor. I will let him lay there for a good half hour, 45 minutes and he is OK with that. I don't want him ever to know he can actually get out of bed - ha, ha!! Just recently at night he yells from his room to the girlies room just to make conversation. Last night he had to be told to be quiet.

EG is a work in progress. . . I subscribe to a theory that predictable day time feeding, wake and nap times promote good night time sleep. It worked with Little Mama and Boop (didn't know about it until Nature Girl was almost 7 mos old). I started this little schedule the minute EG was born. When she nursed I encouraged her to nurse and get a "full feeding." It takes a couple of months to get things worked out, to get some kind of loose routine going. I wake her every morning at 7 so I can nurse her before the rest of the crew gets up and going. Then she has a little wake time and then she takes a nap. In the beginning we do this every 2 1/2 hours. By 8:30 at night she will get a bath, nurse one last time and then put to bed for the night. I wake her at 4 to feed her. I do this for two reasons: 1. I need the milk supply stimulation and 2. Then I can sleep until 7. Eventually I won't wake her in the middle of the night - maybe when she is nursing better and I/she doesn't need that extra feeding. She is still in my room and will be for awhile. She can be a very active sleeper. She was wiggling pretty actively around 1 and 3 this morning. I chose not to feed her because she never was really awake. Some nights she does wake up and I do feed her then. She takes a couple naps in her bassinet but for the times when she is suppose to be sleeping and we are out or she just screams, I have actually bought a sling. Yes, that is right, a sling. I borrowed a friend's at ballet last week and it worked like a charm. (EG hates her carseat) So yesterday at crunch time (daddy just got home, dinner need to be made, kids needed to clean up etc.) I put her in the sling and she slept! When you have that much going on all the time, you need to be flexible and open to other options. I know when the time comes she will take a morning nap on her own and an afternoon nap. But for now we need to progress through this period taking everyone into consideration.

I am a morning person. I like to be in bed by 10 and ideally I would like the option not to get up until 8 although I am usually awake by 7. Daddy is the night owl. When work doesn't require him to get up at 4 AM he will stay up to watch the 11 o'clock news. He would love to sleep in and I try to let that happen occasionally but sleeping in is a thing of the past for now. Our day will come . . .

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Park Day

What a beautiful day yesterday. It takes a lot for me to venture out and yesterday I was glad I did. The kids and I met Grandma at the park for a picnic and nature walk. When we got there the kids played and played. The girls had been to this particular park with Grandma before but it had been awhile since Boop had been there. It has equipment for all ages. The kids got to play for about an hour. Then Grandma got the blankets out and we had a picnic in the sun. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chips, juice boxes, grapes, raisins and tangerines. Perfect picnic food. And yes, I actually nursed in public. It didn't go so well. I am such a klutz when it comes to that. Not a smooth operator like many of my friends!! Anyway, after lunch we went for a walk through the Frisbee course and over a wooden bridge. We saw purple and yellow flowers. A blue jay and a cardinal. We also spotted a beautiful yellow and black striped butterfly which Nature Girl says she has seen at Grandma's. The kids picked up various souvenirs. Rocks, sticks, leaves and flowers. Boop and I left early in hopes of taking naps when we got home (didn't happen :(. But the girls stayed with Grandma and they explored more of the nature trails. It went so well that I might be enticed to do it again . . .

Friday, January 9, 2009

Boys and Their Toys

When my hubby bought the retro Hotwheels track as a Christmas present for Boop, I wasn't quite sure who it was for. A couple days after Christmas I figured it out :) Daddy got such a kick out of putting it together and picking out just the right car to race around the track. Which one would go the fastest and stay on the track the longest. Boop tried to have input but daddy was resistant at first. I, in my meek way - ha, ha, explained to hubby that I was pretty sure it was Boop's Christmas present and wouldn't it be nice if Boop could choose a car to race around the track. Reluctantly daddy agreed :) It turned out Boop picked the perfect car and it stayed on the track for a couple of laps! They boys had tons of fun!! This hasn't been the first time that daddy has "bought something for Boop." Every time the boys go to the grocery store (which has been a lot lately), Boop comes home with another Matchbox. I find it amusing because no way would he buy a little toy for the girls. It makes me wonder who the Matchbox is for. Then for the rest of the day daddy will tell whoever is listening what kind of car the Matchbox is and how it was his favorite when he was young. "So and so had that car when I was in high school." Blah, blah, blah :) For Boop's second birthday, daddy bought GIJoe's off Ebay for Boop. Of course we then got to hear daddy's stories about his GIJoes and who he played with and what they did with them. And, gee, which of his three brothers has them or the footlocker etc.
The other day I watched four brothers play together. They were having a blast. So physical and running and tackling and goofing around. While Boop just kind of sat off to the side playing with a truck and sand. I felt a little bad because he really didn't know how to fit in. Of course I couldn't stop thinking about it. But then I thought how lucky Boop is. His daddy can give him all the boy attention he needs. Daddy can just focus on him. Share cars, GIJoes, fishing, hunting, tools, lawn work, fixing things with just him. I suppose there are daddy's out there who can do all those things with all their sons but I know this family makeup is perfect for our family. Plus, hubby said "He isn't getting a baby brother" . . . . :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

2 vs 3

The terrible twos vs. the terrible threes. This subject has come up twice in the past week. It has been the consensus among most of my friends that the terrible threes totally beat the terrible twos. Part of the problem is is that nobody warns you about the terrible threes. There is so much hoopla about the terrible twos. Tantrums and whining are expected for the twos. If you have a plan and are consistent and handle it well it doesn't really amount to much. You get to the end of the twos and you think you are home free. You pat yourself on the back and count on one hand how many times you have had meltdowns in public places. You tell yourself that wasn't so bad. The books must exaggerate. I am a good parent. I am on top of my game. Then come the threes. Now of course I am only speaking from my own personal experience. When I talk about the twos I have always said "Twos, not a problem." "Now threes that is a different story." At the age of two children are experimenting, testing, checking things out, finding out how the world works, figuring out where they belong in the big scheme of things, discovering emotions, thoughts, feelings. And what happens when the do certain things - disobey, throw a tantrum etc. BUT at three, their thoughts, feelings, actions, emotions are more purposeful. The have figured some things out. They think on their own. They have their own ideas and they have figured out their strengths. They have a greater vocabulary and are not afraid to use it. They realize cause and effect. THEY ARE SMARTER. If you approach a two year old with love and expectations and discipline and consistency, I think you can survive unscathed. But all the tricks you learned while dealing with a two year old don't work when they are three. I have also always thought that each time one of my kids was two, I was either pregnant or had a newborn. I was not necessarily focused on the terrible twos. Boop is in the threes. He is a sweet, lovable, flirtatious boy. Now, he is still all those things but he uses them. Scold him and he turns his head to the side and smiles. Tell him to go to his room because of some offense he has committed and he waits to go until you take a step towards him. Ask him to put on his pants and he tells you he can't bend his leg. (My friend Katie's boy has said the same thing.) Boop has learned his strengths. When the girls turned three they were much more emotional. Boop is much more physical. All I can say is "Beware of the threes." Let's get the word out . . . . :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Yesterday's Adventure

Or should I say misadventure. In only our second outing we decided to pick up Taco Bell for dinner last night. Daddy had worked all day and was also working at night so I was trying to make things easy for me. 16 hours by yourself with four children can be a little draining to say the least :) Anyway, I have a rule (go figure) - anytime we go anywhere in the car we need to have shoes on. I have a pretty big fear of breaking down and having to walk somewhere. As I try to explain to the kids as they ask for the thousandth time "If we are not going inside anywhere, why do we have to wear shoes." So yesterday, along with every other time they ask, I explained if we were to break down and have to walk somewhere we would want shoes.

So, after I was through nursing EG last evening we headed out to the car to run to Taco Bell. It is just up the street and we were going through the drive thru so I didn't bother to bring a diaper bag or a cell phone. I usually bring the cell phone everywhere (for the above mentioned fear). But we were half way there when I realized I didn't have it. No biggie. We were just going up the road. As we were turning a corner the car made a ding like we were out of gas. I knew we weren't so I looked down and saw the battery light on. (They don't call them idiot lights for nothing.) I was concerned but I was also hungry so I continued on to Taco Bell. As we pulled into the parking lot the car started to die. I left it running and took all the kids inside to call Daddy to figure out what to do next. He told me to order dinner and go back out and see if the car would run. So we gathered up our food and went to the van. No such luck. It had completely died. So back into Taco Bell we went. You should have seen the kids. They looked like ragamuffins. No matching clothes, all dirty and hair not brushed. I asked to use the phone again and called Daddy. While we waited for him to show up we ate our dinner. A couple of the employees came over and asked how they could help us. Finally, Daddy showed up in his squad car. He jumped us off and we made it as far as the parking lot driveway. He jumped us off again. We made it to the street right before our subdivision. By this time it was completely dark and Little Mama was scared to death that we were going to have to walk. Daddy jumped us off one last time while the kids and I prayed in the car. He pulled the cables off and we zoomed home and made it into the driveway. Daddy checked on us and went back to work.

Many lessons learned by the whole family. 1. Always were shoes. 2. Always bring the diaper bag. 3. Always, always bring the cell phone . . .

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tidbit Tuesday

So, on Saturday (I think) we, meaning the whole family daddy included, went in search of bunkbeds. I am still working on getting everyone in the car with all the necessary equipment. As we were turning the corner it dawned on me that I had a diaper bag with no diapers. Kind of a necessity. Needless to say I had to turn around.

Yesterday went pretty well. When you don't have high expectations it is easy to meet them. :) I was even able to make dinner AND have glass of water ready for daddy when he came home! I think he was impressed. I don't hold as much hope for today.

Also, yesterday was the first day I ran errands with everyone. There again I didn't have high expectations. If we didn't get things done it wasn't any big deal. So we went to the library, Starbucks, the post office and Goodwill. Little Mama had brought a dollars worth of quarters with her to buy stamps. They love sending letters and cards. Nature Girl was a great help. As I was filling out the envelope at the post office, she took the stroller and kept it moving so EG would stay asleep.

As I was nursing EG last night, I was gazing down at her. She had this smile/smirk on her face. I swear she looked just like the cat that ate the canary.

Well, off to another day full of adventure . . .

Monday, January 5, 2009

School Starts Today

I suppose one of the challenges facing a homeschooling mom is trying to do school with a newborn in the house! It is hard enough just to get food on the table and a shower much less educate your children. Even though we haven't done school in almost two months, I don't have big goals for today. Part of today will be just getting a routine going. One that will work for all of us. We used to do school from 9 until right before noon. Now my guess is our school day will probably run most of the day just because we will have to stop and start so much. As many of you know, a huge part of our school day is me just reading to them out of really great books such as "A Child's History of the World", Shakespeare and "Parables of Nature." I will just be happy now if we get a few weeks of basic reading, writing, math and bible done! During our down times throughout the day I am going to try to finish the books we started last term - "Pilgrim's Progress", "The Little Duke" and the Burgess animal book. I think we will start "The Wind in the Willows" because Nature Girl loves the literature books. We have also picked up Brighty again but that is night time reading and we haven't quite got that routine down yet. It is a time when EG is pretty vocal so it is hard to read above the noise :) I sometimes wonder if my kids are at a learning disadvantage. But I hold fast to the fact that the things they have learned in the last two months about family and self sacrifice and changing and feeding babies would never be learned any where else. I think that gives them a little bit of an advantage. And truth be told, I don't think I could get everyone in the car by 7:30 every morning . . . . :)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Rejoice with Me

It is amazing how 5 hours straight of sleep can affect a person :) Yes, I had 5 HOURS of sleep last night. I needed it so bad!! I was smart last night I went to bed right after I put EG down about 9:30. Daddy came in around 11 and woke me to feed her one last time. We both looked at her and she was sleeping so soundly that I thought we would have an "experiment." (I love peeking in the bassinet and watching her sleep. She looks so sweet and peaceful.) The results couldn't be any worse than what had gone on for the last couple of nights ;) So, I just let her sleep. Finally, at 3:45 I woke up and was amazed! She was still asleep. I decided because of nursing issues etc. (and the fact that maybe we could all "sleep in") I would wake her and feed her and maybe she would stay asleep until 7:30ish. So I did. I put her back down and she wiggled a little bit and went back to sleep. Unfortunately I am a very light sleeper so around 6ish she started to wriggle but she never cried or fussed so I just watched for a little bit. The next thing I knew it was 7:28. God gives you what you need just when you need it. And I am VERY thankful for that!! It is amazing how some sleep can brighten the day . . .

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year's Resolution

This is the first day since I have started this blog that I honestly didn't feel up to it and wasn't real sure what I was going to post. (Not that I didn't have plenty of time in the middle of the night to think about it.) At first it was going to be pictures of a review of the year but I can only figure out how to post 5 pictures at time and that wasn't enough. Then I was going to do boys and their toys but just didn't have the creative juices it needed to be worthy of reading. The holidays and lack of sleep have finally caught up to me! So, as I was standing by the washer and dryer doing my daily laundry (hee, hee) I asked God to place on my heart something worth while to type. New Year's Resolutions came to mind. I have long since given up any kind of typical resolutions. It is something we all think about or do but most of the time doesn't last very long. We have good intentions. Long before I had kids my New Year's "Resolution" was to be a better Christian. I still remember every day driving to work through French Town praying, asking God to help me make Godly choices. My Christian walk has grown and morphed into something totally different than what is was back then. My resolution today is still the same but it has totally different meaning. It is more real. Life was easy back then. My only real dilemmas were the older women at work who would talk bad about me. Oh, I made plenty of ungodly decisions and have asked for forgiveness for them time and time again. I made choices that I know I would never make again. I have grown - spiritually. My days are ten times harder and have huge consequences for poor decisions. (Thankful for the grace of God) My actions, words, deeds effect my whole family and then some - the most important thing in all the world. As I woke up (very early) for my second day in the new year my resolution is the same "To be more Christlike in my every day living - in thought and in deed." But I have added one more that no matter who you are and what you believe can be added to your list as well . . . to smile more. What a blessing and life changing experience to smile at some one or be the recipient of a smile. A resolution that might be a little easier to have success at . . .

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me, Happy Birthday to Me

Yes, 41 years ago today I was the first baby born in the little city we lived in. My picture, along with my mom's was on the front page of the newspaper. According to my mom we got a lot of free gifts and stuff. The article said I would grow up to be a model and that I was a Packer Backer for sure. I think it was the first year they won the World Championship. (They didn't have the Super Bowl yet.) Well, I didn't grow up to be a model but I am definitely a Packer fan!! I suppose growing up having your birthday on New Year's was a little bit of a challenge. But I remember always having a party. It was usually family and I remember it always being fun. I suppose I get lost in the shuffle of the holidays. But, honestly, it never has really bothered me. Whenever I tell someone my birth date they are always like "A New Year's baby." So that is kind of special. Last year for my 40th my mom, sister and I went to New York City. I would have to say that was a great birthday present! A dream come true. I had been there once before but only for a day. This time I got to go for 3 days and 4 nights. Still not enough but it was great!! Some of the highlights were Serendipity, a Broadway show and a carriage ride through Central Park. We walked everywhere and loved every minute. This year we are celebrating with friends and family. The best gift of all . . .