Tuesday, December 18, 2007
It's crazy that it's that time of year again, but I'm very excited. The girls and I made some Pfefferkuchen today...it's a traditional German cookie, much like gingerbread, but much tastier in my opinion (I'll post the recipe later). My Oma used to make Pfefferkuchen for us every year and sent it out in a Christmas tin with Andes mints inside. I just bought some Andes mints, for old times sake and I'll bake up the cookies soon. It was a few years ago that she stopped sending the cookies because the dough is very thick and she was getting too weak in her old age. She passed away 2 years ago on December 15th, so it's a tradition I like to carry on in her memory.
I've got all of my presents (all of those that have arrived at least--some are still in the mail) wrapped and sent to my parents house so I don't have to deal with it when we travel. Now it's just a waiting game. Jeremy is on "duty" this week, so he's working weird and crazy hours--he's actually in Monterey today for work and will probably be home after the children are in bed...and I really wish we could just head up the hill and let the celebration begin...but I know I must be patient. We still have plenty to do anyway. I've almost got the adventure kits I talked about in my other post finished. My mother in law made cute letters to stick to the kits to personalize them, but it's going to require measuring and exacting work to stick them on properly and I'm not sure I'm up to the task...hahaha!!
I'm praying that everyone stays healthy for the next week. It's always touch and go this time of year...with all of the children around and all of the various illness being spread to and fro...and it always makes me a bit nervous because I want Christmas to go off without a hitch...and to be enjoyed by all. My mom has Saturday thru Thursday off--so that means she'll be home all of the days we're there except for one...it'll be so nice to have all of that time to spend together. I love it when everyone is together, it makes me all warm and fuzzy! Not to mention that I actually get to partake of wonderful hot baths and indulge in reading and other past times a mother rarely gets to engage in!
Speaking of which...time to wake one child up (Abby) and put another down (Luke). He slept in until nearly 11 this morning (I had Abby wake him up), so it's now 3:10pm and I think he's ready for some more Zzzz's.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Yes, the girls are gone for a few days. Yesterday I took them to their cousin, Ashley's birthday party at Pump it Up. It was very fun. The last time we went to a party there, I was overdue pregnant with Luke, so I didn't get the chance to participate in any of the merry-making. So yesterday I got to climb, jump, slide...all of that. It was a good time! My parents met me after the party and took the girls home with them until Tuesday. I got to go out and do some shopping alone and came home to Jeremy and Luke. I tell ya, when you're used to 3 children, having just one is like having none at all! It's SOOOOO nice!! Of course I miss the girls, but it's so nice to have some time to catch up on things. I have presents to wrap, a tiny bit of shopping to finish up, Christmas cards to make and send...all of that wonderful stuff that goes along with this WONDERFUL time of year.
So yesterday while I was doing my shopping, I discovered my new favorite store. It's called Home Goods. It's like a Marshall's or TJ Maxx, but with all housewares. MY KIND OF STORE!! It was amazing, I'll definitely have to put a "Home Goods" fund in my 2008 budget. I got some awesome gift boxes that are like suitcases...I've been wanting that exact thing and didn't know that they really existed until yesterday I saw them!!! I'm going to make the girls "Adventure Kits" for Christmas. The girls have been asking for Adventure Kits for Christmas for some time now, and when I went to the store to look at them, they're pretty junky and cheap. Not something I'd actually get for them because it's one of those things that they'd get, enjoy for a day or so and then throw into the corner. So I bought these boxes, binoculars, magnifying glass, journal...and I'm going to have my dad make a simple flower press and buy some "specimen bottles" and I'll make a little drawing book and add some colored pencils, and they'll be set for exploring and gathering. Once I get this together, I'll post a picture of the finished product. I think it'll be pretty cool! Savannah has been asking for a horse for Christmas. She has her heart set on a horse...obviously I cannot get her a horse, so I'm on a mission today to find a suitable stuffed horse that she can love and take care of. I decided to get each girl a big gift, so I got Abby a cradle/stroller/high chair set from Costco. It's really cute and made of wood. And I'm hoping that it'll get lots of use...Abby is very baby oriented. She LOVES, LOVES, LOVES babies!! Since Savannah LOVES, LOVES, LOVES horses, I really hope that Savannah will love a stuffed horse. She saw one at the toy store the other day and told me how much she wanted it...hopefully it'll be worth the price, because they're definitely not cheap!
So, here's the latest news:
Abby is her usual, spirited self. She has such a wonderful, funny personality. She's SO exuberant and does EVERYTHING with full-bore feeling. That ranges from getting VERY mad at ME (of all people) when she gets hurt to bursting out in song just because she feels like it. She grabs my hand and plants a firm, SWEET kiss on my hand randomly throughout the day. She is such a cute, rascally little thing. She's getting better and better with writing her name, although I do need to sit down and work more in earnest on her writing skills. She's just recently shown interest in doing school work...she pulls out her workbook every morning while Savannah and I are doing school and gets to work. After the first of the year, I guess she'll be added to the official homeschool roster.
Savannah has a LOOSE TOOTH!! The other day she came in the house crying because she had been pulled down and got a nasty scrape on her leg. I put her in the sink to rinse her leg and she looked at me and pulled her lip down and said, "MOMMY look!". I thought, "OH no, she's fallen and chipped a tooth", and I said, "Oh no, did you hit your face?" and she smiles and says, "No, I've got a loose tooth!!". OH my! I wasn't expecting that. It just dawned on me that she is about that age...but I really wasn't expecting it until she got closer to 6 since she was pretty late in getting teeth...but hey! How fun!! I'm very excited...I get my first shot at playing Tooth Fairy!! Savannah is doing great with her school work. She isn't so difficult any more. She doesn't argue too much about getting to work, but she still isn't LOVING it. Her writing is definitely improving, her reading is outstanding and her math is getting pretty good as well. I'd say she's at least at the end of first grade level as far as reading and writing...and definitely doing well in math, although there are some skills we need to work on more in Math. We have lots to work on in the next semester, but it's going very well, and I'm very pleased.
Luke is growing and growing. He's a big guy--probably around 21 lbs. He's still so sweet and wonderful. Lately he's been sleeping from 8:30pm until 10am...pretty consistently. Occasionally he'll wake up around 7am, sometimes I'll hear his mobile going (he's learned to turn it on) and he'll fall back to sleep, and sometimes I have to give him a bottle (I just give it to him and leave since he can hold it now and he's TOO wiggly and distracted to drink it while I hold him...it's kinda sad, I like that snuggle time) and he'll fall back to sleep until 10 or 11am. I pretty regularly have to wake him up. He's eating 2 solid meals a day also. It would be 3 if he didn't sleep in so late, but I'm not worried...he's FINALLY a great eater. He likes pretty much everything these days. I usually do oatmeal and fruit for breakfast...sometimes some yogurt in addition and then we do a Gerber meat and something jar for dinner...with yogurt after if he's still hungry. He's clapping, he's doing the pinscher grasp now...he LOVES cheerios. He loves imitating his sisters...if they cough, he coughs back. He says "Dadadada" all of the time. And last night he was sitting on the floor clicking his tongue at me. It was so cute...I'd look over, click at him and he'd grin and click back. He's such a sweet little doll. I feel so blessed to have a child like him. Really, all of our children are absolutely AMAZING, but Luke is just a gem. Never fussy, just so happy-go-lucky and exactly what our family needed. Praise God! He's sitting up really well now. He's at that perfect point where he's happy and content and still IMMOBILE! I wish we could freeze things right now. The sleep is great, he can't go anywhere...it's perfect. I know crawling is just around the corner though. In his crib he'll pull his legs up under him and when he falls in the living room, he can get around quite a bit. He spins around in circles...travels pretty quick backwards, and "swims" forward by digging his toes into the floor and pushing off. It's very cute! I know that mobility is imminent, and I'm excited about it...but also kinda nervous because I know my days of relaxing are nearly over--for a while at least.
Well that is the news for now. It's now 10am and I've got TONS of stuff I want to do. I'll be back soon with pictures and more updates.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Luke: Has started sleeping on his tummy and is finally (mostly) unswaddled!! My parents (and plenty of other people) give me flack about swaddling my children so long. They never did it in "their day", but I do it with my children, and all of them stopped being swaddled at around the same time-when they started rolling over and it made me worried!! Luke is still wrapped from the waist down at night, mostly to keep him warm while he sleeps. He's been napping wonderfully though and....DRUM ROLL PLEASE....he's FINALLY eating food!! Yes, yes, he's been "eating" food for a while now, but now he's actually seeming to enjoy it...and WANTING it. He usually eats oatmeal with banana for breakfast (he'll GLADLY fee himself banana--he's actually rather good at feeding himself finger foods) and yogurt with cereal and some other fruit/veggies mixed in. I haven't gotten him to eat any real savory stuff yet, but I just bought some chicken thighs that I'm going to cook up for him and try some chicken and noodles, chicken and rice, etc. and see how he likes it.
Luke is sitting up quite proficiently these days. He likes to be outside watching the other kids playing...it keeps him rather entertained. Savannah has started giving him "dancing lessons", she plays music for him and starts dancing and he'll start rocking back and forth along with her, it's very cute! Luke also babbles a lot, usually saying DADA or some form of the word...tonight we were praying and as I was praying he said, "DADA" really loud...so I said, "yes, we pray for Dada too" because Jeremy wasn't home. It was cute how Luke threw that in! Oh yes, one thing I was going to add in about him eating more is that he's started sleeping even better. Of course I don't want to jinx myself, but he's had quite a few nights recently where he goes to sleep just after 8pm and doesn't wake again until 9ish in the morning. No wakings at all. It's been marvelous!!!
There was something else that I wanted to note, but I just cannot remember...it's hard enough typing right now with my blurred vision from the tears in my eyes from yawning so much...perhaps I should go to bed and finish this tomorrow!!
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
I've been talking with a good "friend" of mine (you know who you are) about an issue I have regarding children who aren't my own. I've admitted to her...and now I'm admitting to all of the people who read my blog that I'm not a lover of children. Don't get me wrong...I ADORE my own children. Just watching my children brings tears to my eyes and there is no way I could ever explain how deeply in love with them I am. It's OTHER peoples children I have the problem with.
Growing up I never wanted to have children. It wasn't until I was dating Jeremy (my husband) and his cousin had a baby that I even considered that I might one day want a baby of my own. I became an auntie when I was 9 years old. My nieces were darling, but when they were in their cutest stages I was at some of my worst (early teens--yuck!), so I never appreciated them...they just got on my nerves...why would I ever want that??
Anyway, I digress. Loving other peoples children has been a very difficult thing for me. I see the flaws in my own children, of course, but my love for them covers many, many imperfections. With other children the flaws stick out like a sore thumb and I don't have that deep love to override the annoyance of these less than perfectly behaved children. It's not that most of the children I've known are any worse than my own...we've definitely had some "fun" issues to deal with, it's just that it's so much more blatant with other children. Perhaps it's that with my own children I see their "issues" as something to work on, habits to change, behavior to mold and for some reason with other children it seems like more of a character flaw. Please, don't get me wrong...I know this is flawed thinking, I'm FAR from perfect I'll be the first to admit.
Okay, so onto the whole point of this--God's sense of humor. We moved into this neighborhood when Abby was 2 months old, Savannah was 19 months old. We were outside and all, but with such small children, interaction with other children was fairly limited...not to mention that our entire block had just been remodeled and we were the first family to move in. Shortly thereafter our neighborhood filled in nicely and all was well--until the interaction began. For anyone who has never seen my neighborhood, let me just tell you: It is a sight to behold. A family must have at least 2 children to live in the homes that make up my neighborhood. There are a TON of children around here. God has put me amidst not just a couple "difficult" children, but a PLETHORA of "difficult" children. It all started with the neighbor whose daughter seemed to delight in making Savannah cry (let me just say, it's not hard to make Savannah cry, she's VERY sensitive). I cannot tell you how many times Savannah came running home in the early years of our residence here crying her little eyes out because Jackie wasn't her friend anymore. *sigh*. Then there was the kid who I would watch pinch Abby (she was just a toddler) and when she would cry he'd comfort her and say "Oh, what's wrong" as if he had no idea what made her cry (he was 7 at the time). We had a little girl who would mouth off to me like you wouldn't believe. I actually had to make her leave my house once because she opened a card and "read" aloud, "Dear Mom, I hate your freakin' guts" (she was 3). There is the boy who called me "STUPID" because I wouldn't let him have candy without his parents permission. Oh the list goes on and on and on. Some of the things have been pretty outrageous and others are just things "normal" kids do...but when you multiply it by 10-15 kids EVERY SINGLE DAY, it's UNREAL! The hitting, biting, screaming, name calling, stealing toys, coming into my house at 6:45am...just to START the list...is just a bit overwhelming to someone who doesn't particularly "like" children! Hahahaha...so tell me, is God funny or what??? Do you think he put me here for a reason??? And the sad thing is that I'm just starting to understand that. My "friend" I've been talking to just opened my eyes to this fact. I need to learn to see children for their hearts, the way Jesus saw them, and the way He wants me to see them. He wants me to see past the behavioral issues and into their little hearts that need His love, His compassion and His salvation. WOW! Afterall, child or adult, who wants to be defined by their worst behaviors?? Not I!
Thank You Lord for this revelation!!
Now the question is: Do I delay learning my lesson so we can stay here for 4 more years?!?! Hahahaha...JUST KIDDING (kind of!)
Friday, October 26, 2007
Abby is now 4 years old and finally PACI-FREE!! Yay!! I'm so very proud of her...although I have a funny story to share about that, but it shall have to wait until later.
**Funny Story** Updated November 15, 2007--finally!
Abby went down for her nap on her birthday--first nap with no paci. I have to admit, I was rather nervous. She got up a couple of times and then finally settled down for her nap. It was awfully quiet and after quite a while it was time for me to go wake her up--just as I do for EVERY nap she takes. I thought, "Wow, that was easy...she had NO problem with a paci-free nap!"...I walked into her room and there she was, absolutely zonked out with a PACIFIER in her mouth!! WHAT?!?! She must have stashed one away and then found it and plugged it in and dozed off happy as can be! I knew there was a paci missing, but I had no idea she took it!! It was so funny! Thankfully we've had no hitches without her paci...she's been doing GREAT!!
Jeremy had his birthday and returned safely home from Portland, flew out to San Diego and is back from there now. He arrived on the evening of his birthday, so we didn't get to celebrate too much...but we're having a family birthday party tomorrow, so that will hopefully make up for it!
Luke had his 7 month check up...the boy is a big guy! He's 19lbs6oz and 28inches long. Apparently there are some HUGE babies out there though because he's only 50th percentile for weight! OH WOW!
Okay, I know that's very sad, but that's all I can manage at this moment...I've got lots of work to do for the birthday party tomorrow...and we're having a "Cake Party" this evening for Abby...so I'm busy, busy, busy!!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Here's my big guy...sitting up all on his own! He's 6.5 months old and the girls didn't do this until they were 7.5 months old. It'll be interesting to see if he does other things physically more quickly or not. He didn't roll over until WAY later than the girls, so we shall see. Now if only I could get him to eat his food well!!! Still struggling with that!!
Today we invited a couple of the neighborhood girls over (Felicity, Josephine and Rowan) and their moms and we had a tea party/craft day. It was rather fun. First I got up and baked a delicious Apple Cake, courtesy of Paula Deen (Grandgirl's Fresh Apple Cake from Georgia and my moms famous Spinach Squares. Boy did the house smell FABULOUS!! I brewed some black tea and some peppermint tea, set the table and we started. The girls weren't the most well-behaved I've ever seen...not mine, the other girls. My girls were good...well, Savannah was great, Abby was distracted! We made a decopauge (sp?) picture frame and put in a photo of all of the girls present. I'll have to take a photo of the frame I helped Savannah make (actually we moms did MOST of the work). All of the girls had their frames say, "Best Friends Forever" except for Savannah...she was adamant that hers say, "Green Martians"!! I had a terrible time finding all of the right letters so she says, "Mommy, would it be easier to do 'Blue Martians'??" Hahahaha...what a goose!! Anyway, we had a very fun time...it's definitely something I'd love to do again soon.
And here is the photo we put in the frame we made:
Friday, October 5, 2007
Savannah got up the other night (Did I ever mention she sleep walks?), walked all the way to the downstairs bathroom (that's 2 flights of stairs as we have a 3-story house and she sleeps on the 3rd floor) and was fussing. I happened to be getting ready for my shower and she comes in, fussing. I asked her what was wrong--I thought for sure she had a tummy bug too since Abby had had it that day), but she just said, "I have to go potty!!" and proceeded to take her SHIRT off! Hahaha...I grabbed her, took her potty and had Jeremy carry her back upstairs. Poor sad girl. She didn't remember any of it the next day...and the whole time she was in the bathroom with us, she was actually SLEEPING! It's very strange!!
Abby asked me if she could invite Santa Claus to her birthday party. Isn't that sweet?
One of Luke's nicknames is "Baby Guy", a name coined by Abby when she would lean over him when he was first born and say OVER and OVER, "Hey guy, hey baby, hey baby, hey baby guy, hey guy...." and we thought "Baby Guy" was so cute that's what we started calling him. Well her newest thing she says to him is "Brodda Boy" which I think is just too cute. I could just squeeze that cute little pain in the rear she's such a doll...and such a turkey!
Here's a little tidbit of info I learned today: Did you know the Wolverine is the largest member of the WEASEL family? I had no idea they were related!
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Abby has been "potty-trained" for a L-O-N-G time. The problem is that she wet herself CONSTANTLY! Gee, sounds terribly potty trained to me!! Hahaha. She would get busy and just go...not a lot, but enough to be gross and stinky and cause the sand in the sand box to stick to her nether-regions and look really bad!!
I was at my wits end and didn't know what to do, so here's the idea I had. This was along with my dad telling her she couldn't go to Tahoe with them and go on the boat and stay at a hotel if she was wetting herself--not to mention the fact that she's ALMOST 4 and it's about STINKING time that she "got" it...but anyway, here's the idea...and it's working for a LOT of bad habits!!
Each time she went potty on HER OWN (without me having to take her because it's really annoying to drop what you're doing to take a child who can very well go potty on her own) and her pants were dry, I'd give her a nickel (not too much money on my part and she doesn't really understand money too much anyway, it was more exciting to just HAVE the money than to worry about what she was going to do with it). If she was wet, I'd TAKE a nickel. I have to say, it took about a week and she had a jar full of nickels and my dirty laundry no longer reeked of urine! Horray!!
It's also worked with her addiction to her pacifier...she still sleeps with it but had gotten into the bad habit of taking it downstairs with her and leaving it in weird places so I had to hunt for it before bed...and she'd cling to it as long as possible and she's just TOO DARN OLD FOR THAT!! So I started giving her a nickel each time she came downstairs from bed with NO paci! She's EXCELLENT with it now. It took 1 crying/screaming fest and it's a done deal. It's also been good with keeping her in bed once I've tucked her in at night--no 20 trips to the bathroom, trips downstairs because she had a "bad dream". She's been very good about it.
Today I took away a nickel for each shoe of the girls I found outside...I'm tired of them leaving their shoes outside. We'll see if that one worked!! Hahaha!!
Now the difficulty is finding more thing Savannah can EARN nickels for. I need to start a chore chart...just another thing that's been on my TO DO list for AGES and has yet to be completed! Just like GOING TO BED!!!!
Yes it's still busy here...barely enough time to breathe, but things have been much better. I've switched brands of birth control pills I've been taking and I'm not sure if it really has helped, but I think my hormones are more leveled out now and that definitely helps with the overwhelm! I was starting to think, either my character is COMPLETELY flawed, or I need some happy pills! I know a womans hormones can definitely do a number on her though, and the fact that I'm still technically post-partum leads me to believe that a lot of my "issues" are hormonal! Anyway, I'm feeling better now, leaning on the Lord more, although definitely NOT enough. It's weird how I seem to think that that's just one MORE thing to add into the daily "stuff", but really, without my daily time with the Lord, without CONSTANT prayer for wisdom, patience and strength...I cannot make it through the day successfully. Yes, I can make it through the day, but it'll be one of those days when I notice my windows and door are open and cringe because I'm sure the entire neighborhood just heard me "gently" chastising my children. Oh, I'm always gentle!! Hahaha...Uh Huh!
Anyway, with much encouragement from my friend, AmyBeth...and much prayer as well, I'm re-evaluating the way we're homeschooling. I mentioned it before, but things are somewhat coming together to make that happen. We're still doing the same math, we're still doing handwriting (although a bit different from day to day) and we're still doing reading--just less and more focused lessons. I'm integrating more read-alouds into our daily routine, more character development stuff and *cringe* I need to add Bible study into our DAILY lesson. Yes, I do admit (albeit VERY shamefully) that Bible has fallen by the wayside. It's not that I don't love doing it with the children and they love it as well...it's that Savannah is at a higher level than Abby and I want to do it with both children...so of course what I need to do is Bible from BOTH levels. The girls have also started AWANA, so they have their weekly memory verses from that that we can throw into the mix. Savannah is now a Sparky and after MUCH nervousness and pleas of "Mommy, I changed my mind...I want to stay in Cubbies", she's thrilled to be a big Sparky. Abby is back in Cubbies and is excited because Kaeden is in it with her...yes, that's the Kaeden who woke us all up a few weeks ago at 6:45am. I'm happy to have my Wednesday nights back again where I can have coffee, go to the mall or have a "date" with Jeremy (and Luke of course) while the girls have AWANA. It's wonderful
The girls are riding their bikes like fiends lately. It's so great! I can finally go on walks with them where I ACTUALLY get some exercise!! I put Luke in the stroller--he loves walks--and we take off to the park, around the block or to the library. The girls need to get into a bit better shape because it IS hard work (strangely Abby is in better shape than Savannah...either that or she's just more stubborn and determined--hmmm...yes, that's probably it!) but don't we all need to get into better shape? Savannah can actually ride Jeremy's electric Razor scooter. It goes pretty fast and it's so funny to see her zooming past! She's got the throttle and brakes down pretty well. What a big kid!
Jeremy just walked in the door--finally home from work at 9:45pm and I said, "Can you believe that September is almost over?" to which he replied, "I CAN'T...my life feels like it's been on TURBO!". NO JOKE! I was just thinking earlier this evening...this is the time in my life where I wish all of the wonderful gems of each day could be recorded so that later in my life, when things slow down and I'm able to sit with a cup of coffee and reflect and enjoy each day, I could watch these memorable moments and enjoy them because right now, it's very hard to find the time to stop and enjoy the moment. Of course, there are those sweet, precious times (like today) where we spread a blanket on the grass, lay on our tummies and read a couple of books together outside. We do find the time to stop in the afternoon and sip tea and share a few moments together as a family. But the days FLY by, the months even slip through my fingers...where does the time go??? It's kind of sad because I know these are truly the sweetest years of our lives...watching these little blessings grow and learn...and I know these will be the times we reflect on and reminisce about in the future...I need to remind myself daily to take time during EACH day to enjoy the sweet moments as they come...and then RUN inside and jot them in my journal so I don't forget one more funny, insightful thing the children say or do.
Luke has been rolling over. Not super often, but he's done it a number of times now. The other day he was in his crib and he started crying and I thought he had rolled. I went up and the poor guy had pulled a blanket over his face and couldn't escape!! Poor thing...it must be tough to be so silly!
He has also discovered his FEET! He's been grabbing at them like crazy and has managed to get them into his mouth a few times...I'm sure he'll just get better and better at that one!
Luke can sit up pretty well, although I wouldn't leave him on his own...he still leans WAAAYYYY forward and is rather tippy, but he's definitely got the strength!
Luke LOVES animals! Every time he sees a critter he goes crazy. He gets all shaky and crazy and squeals and talks to it. His favorite is when they finally give him a good lick in the face!!
Luke always smiles and coos and squeals when other children are crying. I don't know if he is trying to make them feel better, because it is rather funny the way he does it, like he's trying to get their attention or something, or if he just plain thinks it's funny that they're crying. Either way, Abby gets all upset when he laughs when she's crying...she thinks he's "making fun" of her!
I hope that's all...I know it's not, but that's all my sorry brain can remember at 10pm!! Time to go to bed!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Friday September 28, 2007
Most recent food: BANANAS
Reaction: PRETTY GOOD
He's still not chowing down by any means, but we're getting there.
Thursday September 27, 2007
Most recent food: APPLESAUCE
Reaction: PRETTY YUMMY!
Luke is finally starting to eat better. He's still very messy, rather tentative and very slow, but I'm hoping that he'll take to eating in the very near future. I'm going to work toward 2 meals a day very soon, but I just recently started doing one meal a day consistently. I got 5 cans of formula today and it was $78.00, so I'm looking forward to being totally weaned off of that stuff in the next 6 months!!
Thursday September 20, 2007
Most recent food: CARROTS
Reaction: SOMEWHAT TASTY
This entire year has been quite full, but with the onset of homeschooling, it’s just getting more busy. We’re plugging away with our schooling, some things are going well—better than expected in fact (not that I can mention what those things ARE right now!) and some are definitely going to require some ironing out. Savannah is incredibly smart. She learns quite quickly and is definitely above her grade level in most things. The problem is that she’s very lazy. She’s definitely mine and Jeremy’s child! “Hmmm…how can I use my brain to get past having to do this??” Unfortunately at this stage, there are many boring, dull, repetitive things to learn. Handwriting just isn’t all that FUN to learn, I’m sorry! While I’m trying to make it more interesting and fun, I also feel like I’m always at least one step behind (if I’m lucky…usually it’s more like a hundred!). With 3 children, one of whom doesn’t yet have a set schedule and needs a lot of mommy (although I have to say, Luke is definitely a wonderful little guy and gives me LOTS of slack!), I find it so hard to keep up with everything. We’ve been homeschooling for 3 weeks now and there have been at least 3 or 4 days when I just wanted to throw in the towel and send Savannah to public school and put Abby in preschool. I know that’s not what I really want, but my goodness, some days it’s just so hard. I know it’s always going to be hard in the beginning…but I read the blogs of some of my friends and it seems like they’re just having a jolly good time and plugging along with nothing but success. Not only are THEY enjoying it, but the children are just thriving! I can’t say the same here. Savannah lolly-gags through her work, she sighs and makes faces and tells me how much she doesn’t want to do her work. She acts like she just doesn’t get what I’m teaching her and I wonder if I’m pushing too hard or if she’s just being lazy. Last week we were working on math and she just was NOT getting it. I stopped and let her do some basic addition worksheets—more for the number writing practice than anything else. Then a few days later when we went back to her other math, she got it with no problem. Perhaps I’m working too fast for her, perhaps I’m approaching it all wrong or perhaps she’s just not wanting to do it yet. I wish I could put life on pause for a good long while so I could get caught up. There is so much to research and organize, but alas…that’s just not going to happen!
Have you ever noticed that everyone has a ton of advice and yet they never want to step in and walk in your shoes? It’s that whole arm-chair quarter back thing. Yes, I too could come up with the PERFECT plan, the PERFECT life and the PERFECT schedule…the problem is: I don’ t have the PERFECT life, I don’t have the PERFECT children and for heaven’s sake, I’m just about as far from PERFECT as someone can get. It’s so hard to teach someone self-control when you lack it. It’s hard to teach patience when you lose yours regularly. I tell my children not to yell at each other and to be kind to one another and then I lose it with them and yell at them… Oh to be like Jesus!! How in the world do I do it?
Anyway, I digress…sorry for the bummer, but life has definitely been a bit on the rough side lately. I’m definitely thinking that I need to step back and re-evaluate how we’re going about things. I did just purchase the Hooked on Math program, hoping that it can make something as boring as rote memorization of addition facts a bit more exciting. The handwriting is not going to stop, it’s a necessity. Reading…well, she’s a great reader, but that always seems to fall by the wayside because she’s already above her grade level and by the time we finish with math and handwriting, there are always so many other things that need to be done. I think I shall re-read some of the Charlotte Mason literature I have and construct a more nature-based study plan. I really, really want her to enjoy learning and I can already see Abby looking at Savannah thinking, “Oh dear God, I don’t want to do THAT!” and she wants nothing to do with “school”! EEK, NOT WHAT I WANT!!!
Okay, on to more simple things:
Luke rolled over the other day for the first time. Poor guy, he rolled over and bonked his head and cried and cried and cried! But it’s pretty exciting! He’s getting very big and strong. He’s SO incredibly grabby! Giving baths is always a wet, fun messy time. There is no way to get through bath time without getting totally soaked—well, there is ONE way—pawn it off on Jeremy!! Hahaha!
Luke is not the world’s greatest solid food eater. I’ve given him rice cereal, oatmeal, bananas, peas, sweet potatoes and carrots. Most recently we’ve been doing carrots and oatmeal and he does OKAY with it, but he’s still got a pretty strong tongue-thrust reflex. My goodness, the little guy is almost 6 months old, he needs to start eating! He likes the sweeter stuff a lot better and seems to do better with oatmeal than with rice. He’s still got some time, but I’m hoping he starts eating better soon.
He’s started waking at night more recently. Some nights it’s 1pm and then 3 or 4 or so for a bottle and then waking a bit earlier in the morning—lately he’s been the first child awake! I can definitely feel something in his bottom gums, how close he is to actual teeth shall remain a mystery though. Of course he never lets me take a good look, but he LOVES having his little gummies rubbed. He likes to blow raspberries (something the girls did when they were teething), but I don’t think it’s close enough to actual teeth yet…not a whole lot of drool yet. You never know what it is that’s making them wake up, but I have to say, I’m not fond of it! I really can’t complain though, he’s been such a sweet, good baby. His naps aren’t as good these days either, but they’re still decent. He usually takes one 1 hour nap in the morning and one 1.5-2 hour nap in the afternoon and then usually a little 30 minute cat nap in the early evening.
About 2 weeks ago Luke discovered his voice. We were visiting at Steve and Valerie’s house (Jeremy cousin and his wife) and Luke just started squawking away. He was super loud and it was very funny. He definitely loves to squeak and talk, no real babbling yet though…I really, really look forward to that. That same day he also started shaking his head back and forth like he’s saying “NO” like a maniac. That’s what he now does when he’s done eating or when he doesn’t want his paci and we’re trying to put it in his mouth.
There is so much more I could write about, but it’s late and I’ve got another busy, crazy day ahead of me…although tomorrow I think we’re going to take it a bit easy.
One more thing I wanted to note. Last night I asked the girls to put the laundry from the washer to the dryer and start the dryer. I really didn’t think they could do it since it’s quite hard to reach into the washer…but they worked together and managed to do it! I went downstairs last night and opened the dryer and inside was a load of freshly dried laundry. I tell ya, I was BEAMING!! I’m so proud of those little girls! They’re definitely precious!
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
We're focusing on 4 major areas:
As I get better and more into the groove, I hope to add more creative projects in as well as more detailed nature study and more structured activities and also GERMAN.
I've got Rosetta-Stone, Usborne First Thousand Words in German and also Muzzy, so what's my problem?? I feel that since I don't speak the language well enough, I'd like to be at a point where I can at least follow along so they're learning properly. But I also realize that all of this will fall into place as we get more into schooling.
I do have more detailed ideas for science and we're using the Story of the World for history. I've got the book and the CD's, so Savannah has been listening to it during "rest" time.
So this morning we started out with writing. This is the area Savannah needs the most work. She's very advanced in reading and math, but some of the math she can't do yet because she can't write her numbers. I'm not too worried because I'm not a big worksheet/book-work kind of person, but it definitely is something that needs to improve. She's currently doing first grade Singapore Math and although we're using the Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading, today I just had her read to me from her Bible...she is an AMAZING reader!! Definitely above where she should be right now, so I'm not sure if we'll do a structured teaching part on that or if I'll just allow her to read and learn from doing. We'll see how things go.
Considering this was our first day I think it went pretty well, but I've already definitely seen areas that I need to work on myself...and PLANNING is the biggest area. So I'm off to write out a calendar of housework and meals so I don't have to think of that...and then get a lesson plan started for this week...and if not this week, I'll definitely have it for next week. I'm still considering this week our trial!
I did something fun with Abby this morning while Savannah was working. We took Play-doh and letters from a puzzle and pushed the letters into the dough and spelled words. She can do her own name, but I did C-A-T and D-O-G so she can start to get the idea of blending sounds. She knows the letters and the sounds they make, but it hasn't clicked in her head yet how you blend them together...but I have seen a very dim light bulb go off in her head, so I know it's coming soon!! :) Watching your children (and being an active participant) learn is so much fun!!
Monday, September 3, 2007
Next we need to buy another Wii-mote so the girls can box each other...let's see if we can channel that frustration!!
Speaking of frustration (totally off topic here), Abby told me that she had a dream that when she was getting frustrated, she turned into a monster...and she started turning all red...hmmmm...very interesting!!
One more side note:
Luke ate his first food yesterday. I've fed him numerous times, but last night he actually ATE it instead of spitting it out. It was fun because our friend, Lorraine (from New Jersey) was here and she got to be the one to feed him! How special!
He's also getting SUPER grabby...grabbing for everything within reach and "clawing" at everything. We've got a little toy in his crib that hangs on the rail and he never paid much attention to it until just recently...yesterday he was pushing at the buttons and all. He still doesn't know how to "push" stuff yet, but I have a feeling that'll be just around the corner!
Thursday, August 30, 2007
So we just got back home from my parents house. The girls went up there on Saturday morning and then spent Sunday and Monday in Tahoe. Lucky girls!! Grandma and Papa brought them up and took them out in the boat. They stayed at a hotel with a swimming pool and hot tub. They were living the high-life! They had a really good time. I'm going to get my parents to blog about it for me...since they know all of the details.
I'm ending here for now, I started this post last night and I've just gotta get it out there. I'll post more photos soon too!
www.homeschoolblogger.com/CupHalfFull (Which belongs to my good friend AmyBeth) and
www.greenrepublican.blogspot.com a blog I didn't even know existed until the other day and belongs to a long time online friend (the woman I'd like to be one day! Hahaha :))
Anyway, in comparison (and yes I know, there is no comparing one mommy to another and all that stuff, but in comparison, my blog is sad! I guess there is always something to strive toward and I do thank you ladies for being a constant inspiration, but for heavens sake, you're making me look bad!!!
Anyway, I am who I am and by the Grace of God am (hopefully) improving every day. I'd like to have strong political, nutritional, environmental views that I feel so passionate about that I have to get it out there and share with the world my cause...but I'm not there yet. I do have a passion for many of these things, but I'm still learning to FLY (so to speak). I also wish that I had an organized menu and homeschool plan and all that stuff...and hey, while I'm at it, wish I felt like gushing about my husband and how wonderful he is (which he is, I just don't feel that way all the time!!) and sincerely mean it...perhaps one day I'll get there. For now, I've got my simple stories, ambitions and lackluster passions to share...and with much prayer and of course each new day it'll improve. For those of you who are STILL with me and STILL reading my blog...THANK YOU! It's good to feel loved!!
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Of course I've always known that Savannah's sensitive nature and somewhat eccentric way was due to the fact that she was a total genius, but she never ceases to amaze me with the things she comes up with. She's started writing short sentences with the magnets we have on the refrigerator, and of course the number of letters we have is rather limited, so she improvised...I thought it was rather brilliant using a "Z" for an "N" and a "V" for an "A". I tell ya, where does she come up with this stuff??
Something she said recently that cracked me up: "Mommy, what are you going to get me for Christmas?" to which I replied, "I don't know, what would you like?" She looks at me and says, "Hmmmm...give me some options!" Hahahaha...OPTIONS??? I didn't realize a child her age needed "Options"!
Friday, August 24, 2007
Abby has been staying dry like a champ!! She hasn't had an accident in a while and has actually earned new panties for Savannah AND herself. She was pretty excited about that. It's so nice that she's going to the potty on her own, without me having to remind her constantly. I never thought we'd get here!
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Last night the girls had their very first camp out in our backyard. Grandma Karen and Grandpa Jonathan were the brave ones to sleep outside in the tent with them. It took quite a while for everyone to wind down (it didn't help that our kitty, Daisy was harassing them from outside of the tent) but just after 10pm everyone drifted off.
Grandpa and Grandma came over yesterday during our usual Friday morning "play-date". It was a bit hectic because there were LOTS of kids here. Liza was here with Joshua, Jackson and Joel and Julie was here with Brianna and Timothy. Jason, our new neighbor who is 3 was also here as was Felicity...then Grandpa and Grandma arrived! Talk about a bit overwhelming. It wore Grandpa out so fast he had to go take a L-O-N-G nap!
Once everyone left we got into more of a groove for the day (even though it was actually about 1pm by then). We had lunch, Abby took her nap and then the fun began. The girls helped Grandpa set the tent up. Tents have come a long way, this one was REALLY cool and was put up SO fast we had to do it twice because Jeremy missed the first take! Then we started a fire, roasted hot dogs (threw away the freshly purchased MOLDY buns--EWW!) and marshmallows and had s'mores--YUMMY! Apparently that campfire was the attraction of the decade because we had quite a group of kids over here. It was a great time though and it was so nice sitting around a camp fire, it's been a LONG time since I last did that.
The girls slept pretty well, although Savannah was up at 6:30--go figure. Abby actually slept in until after 8, even though it was pretty noisy and rather bright. When she's sleepy, she wants to sleep! What a good girl!
I tell ya, there is nothing like waking up and having your hot cup of coffee outside in the fresh, damp morning air! Oh, it was wonderful. I don't think I've ever seen our yard at that hour before (granted it was about 7:30, but still, I don't usually get outside that early). Savannah sipped hot cocoa (or lukewarm cocoa, as she likes it). Apparently she was watching Jonathan put in his contacts this morning and asked him what he was doing. He was explaining how he couldn't read anything until he got them in and she replied, "That's okay, I can't read either!" Hahaha...then later she told me that she watched Grandpa put his "tonsils" in! She's so funny!
Once everyone was up and moving around, we went out berry picking. It felt like an actual camping trip. It was quite a trek through lots of weeds and stickers, but we got enough berries to make a berry shortcake for lunch. Jonathan wanted the girls to have the full camping experience, so they cooked canned spaghetti on the Coleman stove. Then it was nap time for Grandpa and Abby.
This evening we had another fire and hot dog roast...and of course we had marshmallows. Grandpa and Grandma packed up and went home, but it sure was a fun visit. The girls passed the first test of camping readiness.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Just a couple of little notes about Luke also, just so I don't ever forget. He is excellent with grabbing stuff these days. One of the funniest things he does is he'll hold his hands above his face and stare at them. Then it looks as if he's "willing" them into his mouth as he S L O W L Y moves his hands down and into his mouth. It's such a funny looking and oh so purposeful movement. This little guy almost always has his sweet little ankles crossed and when he's not busy (which isn't all that often these days), he's got his little hands folded across his chest. He always looks like he's ready to say prayers. He's always done that and I just think it's SOOOO sweet looking, especially when he's in the sling or something and he's asleep, he looks like such a little angel. He is trying SO hard to roll over these days and he's getting pretty close. He goes easily from tummy to back, but he gets way over on his side from back to tummy but he hasn't made it all the way yet...I know it's just a matter of days though because he gets so determined sometimes and tries and tries and tries! You have to admire the persistence of children, it's pretty amazing.
Last night Luke slept from 8pm until 7:45am without waking once. Of course I didn't sleep well from 5am on because I kept waiting for him to wake up. I know once he gets into the habit of sleeping thru, I will too, but for now I'm just so happy that he does have the occasional phenomenal night. The trouble has been with him GOING TO and STAYING asleep. I usually nurse him to sleep and then put him in his crib. He's usually completely asleep, but about 20 minutes later he's crying again. It's very frustrating because I've had many nights where he's pretty much attached to me all evening long and I can't get anything done. Usually the evenings are my time to catch up on anything that I didn't get done that day, plan homeschool stuff or just enjoy the evening. Thankfully when he does that I can still watch television and all, but I usually get to bed way too late because he doesn't finally go for the night until about 10pm. Way too late in my opinion.
It seems like I do so much writing about Luke and Savannah and not a whole lot about Abby. I really don't know why that is, she really is an adorable, funny little knuckle head. She's always saying very funny, silly things, I guess I just forget them too quickly. I've been trying to keep track of the funny things they say, but of course I'm not too consistent with that...but I'm going to try. And my goal is to come back within the week and write about something silly or funny Abby did or said, because for heaven's sake, they happen ALL THE TIME...the girl is a character! And OH SOOOOO cute! She has to be about the cutest little curly-headed thing I've ever seen.
Jeremy has taken the girls on a "night hike" up the "Tallest Mountain". The "Tallest Mountain" is a hill behind our house that has a water tower and some sort of building with a radio transmitter. They went up there the other night because we keep intercepting radio transmissions over our surround sound speakers...kinda creepy! And sure enough, the guy was up there in the building and he told Jeremy about a HAM radio class and now Jeremy is all interested. Just what Jeremy needs: another expensive hobby! Anyway, they took off at 8:30pm, each of them brandishing a flashlight. It'll be fun to hear what they did and saw. As they were leaving they saw the owl we hear every night, so that's pretty cool. I was telling Jeremy that in no time (probably next year at this time), he'll be able to take ALL of the children while I soak in the tub or something. I need a good soak in the tub from time to time. Don't we all?
Well I should be going now. If I actually have the time and brain cells this evening, I need to start an outline for a business plan for an idea I have. It's an idea I've had for a very, very long time...like at least 8 years...and I'm thinking that it's about time we gave it a go. I told my dad and Jeremy that I really want to do this, but I'm going to really, really need their help...as in, they have to do the majority of the work. My #1 priority is to be a homeschooling mommy and I can't let a business idea get in the way, but it definitely would be something that would be fun for all of us to work on together. Who knows, maybe one day we'll be on "The Big Idea" with Donny Deutsch, you never know!
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Luke and Matthew met each other for the first time yesterday. It was so cute, they immediately grabbed each other's hands and held on tight. Then, as Jeremy says, Matthew tried to eat Luke! Not really, he was just a bit rough because he's quite a bit bigger than Luke--hey, he's got 4.5 months on Luke!
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
He is also now able to grab onto a toy that's on his chest and of course, he eats it!
The girls are getting along so well these days. It's so great to see them playing together and be in harmony for longer periods of time. It truly brings joy to my heart. The other day we went for a walk as a family. My mom always says, "why don't you take the kids for a walk??" Hmmmm...perhaps because it's darn near painful! The girls walk so slowly...and I feel bad hurrying them along because they're just being curious children, and I LOVE that...but when we're walking, I want to walk--especially when I've got a crying baby in the stroller! So we're walking, Luke is crying and the girls are exploring (they found some pretty beads in the grass) and this man says, "Do you have a wagon?" I said, "No." and he said, "Oh good...would you like one?". I said, "Sure why not!" So Abby climbed in and Savannah dragged her along for a good portion of the walk...and they both thoroughly enjoyed it. That is, until Savannah got tired of lugging Abby around and Abby decided after resting that she was just too tired to continue walking, then all you know what broke loose. Jeremy came along on his scooter and took ABBY (?!) for a ride and poor Savannah, after having done all of that hard work, started crying, "It's not fair, it's not fair to me". Poor little one. I felt so bad I had her climb in and I dragged the wagon WHILE pushing the stroller. Needless to say, I was so sweaty when we got home. It was a good walk when all was said and done though. It'd be nice if it could be a bit easier--no crying baby would definitely help, so I know the time will come soon for that.
But now that we have that wagon, the girls are constantly pulling eachother around. It looks like so much fun!
Michelle, Hallie, James, Kathryn and Matthew arrived today. For those of you who don't know, they're our WONDERFUL friends who used to be our neighbors. They lived 2 doors down from us for 2.5 years and then moved to Virginia. The girls absolutely adore Hallie (8) and James (6)...they're best friends. Michelle is also my best friend and our families got along so well. So they're out here for nearly a month for a visit. Michelle's parents live here in Novato. It's very exciting also because when they moved, I had just found out that I was pregnant with Luke. Michelle was about 4.5 months pregnant at the time with Matthew (8 months today!). Kathryn (2) was just a little pip squeak. So this will be the first time they meet Luke and we meet Matthew! And of course so much changes when a child goes from 1 year old to 2! I can't wait to see them! I spoke with Michelle today and they were just leaving the airport. She said they'd probably come over tomorrow because today was such a busy day, etc. A little while later Savannah came in the house and said, "Michelle drove by, she said Hallie and James would be over to play tomorrow." She said it so nonchalantly that I didn't really believe her. So I started quizzing her and it appeared that Michelle did indeed drive by and talk to the girls. When I spoke to her later she said that the girls were SO EXCITED when she drove up they were almost shaking! How cute!! She said that Abby is HUGE compared to what she was a year ago--she's definitely sprouted up! But then again, there is a huge difference between a 2.5 year old and a 3.5 year old.
Savannah has been contemplating who she will marry when she grows up. There is a new boy named Josh who she says she is going to marry. Then she said, "Who do you think I should marry: Josh, Drew or James?" Drew is a definite NO and I asked her, "Savannah, does Josh love Jesus?" and she said, "I think he knows God, but he thinks that Jesus is who made the ark. And he also said that the Bible we use for homeschool isn't really a Bible." So I told her, "You know, the most important thing when you're considering who to marry is whether he loves Jesus or not." and she said, "James loves Jesus!" and I said, "Yes he does" and she said, "Okay, I'll marry him." Whew...I'm so glad that one is settled!! Hahaha!! If only it were that simple!
Well that's all the update time I have. At least this time I included the girls and some photos of them as well! Oh, I should note: the other day Abby helped me juice about 25 limes and 15 lemons! She did most of it herself and did a WONDERFUL job! She is an excellent help in the kitchen! I have an electric juicer, but you still have to use a good amount of muscle to do it!
Sunday, July 8, 2007
Well, so much for my EXCELLENT sleeper! For the past week and a half or so, Luke has started waking up 2x during the night and fighting naps like you wouldn't believe. It used to take me about 5-10 minutes for him to fall asleep...I swaddle him, pat and shhhh him until he dozes off, then continue for another minute or so to be sure he's asleep and he'd be off for at least an hour. Not anymore. Now I do the same thing but he SCREAMS and SCREAMS until he finally falls asleep. Yesterday it took me 30 minutes to get him to sleep and he only slept for 40 minutes. It's extremely frustrating!! The days fly by and I feel like I haven't accomplished anything worthwhile in ages. I'm so thankful that the girls are playing together pretty nicely, and they have friends because I feel like the most negligent mother ever. It makes me so sad because I used to be able to do so much with the girls and now I barely have time to do anything. I know it's just part of having a baby and this stage will fly by, but I'm reminded of why I'm not particularly fond of little babies. Oh yes, they've got to be the sweetest, most adorable little critters ever, but man, why do they have to be SO difficult?? I'm really trying hard to enjoy this part of Luke's life, but I'm often finding myself really, really looking forward to the future. Yesterday we went to downtown Novato for a little stroll. There is an old fashioned candy store called Powell's Sweet Shop and we've been wanting to take the girls. It was a fun little stroll...we got to check out some other fun shops (they have a really cool toy store also! I didn't know about it, so I'm rather excited!) but Luke got fussy and we had to cut everything short. I was hoping that he'd take a little snooze while we walked, but no...he didn't sleep the entire time we were out. He was awake from about 3pm until bed at nearly 8. *sigh*. I know that in no time we'll be way beyond this stage and I'll look back with nothing but fond memories...isn't that the way it always goes? So I'm really trying to enjoy this...take in every inch of his sweetness...breathe in that sweet little baby smell, rub his soft, fuzzy head and savor all of those wonderful, gummy baby smiles. And OH how he smiles!
Yes, I'll do updates on the girls shortly as well...again, there's another area where I'm neglecting my poor little chickens.
Thursday, July 5, 2007
Today Luke started pushing himself up on his arms and looking around like such a big guy! He was really having a good time as long as he could hold his head up and it was so adorable. It's always fun when babies have these big jumps in development, he couldn't do this yesterday and today he can...amazing little man!
I'll try to take a picture of him doing it and post it.
Today for his nap I swaddled him with his hand by his mouth. He was having a very hard time falling asleep, so I was hoping that'd help. I guess he slept because he was quiet for about an hour. I'm really hoping that he'll start sucking his fingers. He's a pretty easy going baby, but he's still a bit difficult to get to sleep at times, so anything would help.
The above photo isn't the best one I could get of him lifting his head, but the one where he had his head up the highest, he had a face on like he was really struggling! So this is the cutest/best so far!
Friday, June 22, 2007
Abby and Savannah are doing great. We're on day 4 of "official" homeschool. This week we've been studying the Sun and the letter "S". Abby still doesn't have the greatest attention span for "school", so she does some of the projects, and when she's napping, Savannah and I work on reading and writing. Savannah is progressing very well with both. We're doing a lot of character development learning alongside the actual school work. We're doing Bible (of course) and also God's Wisdom for Little Girls by Elizabeth George. I also have a book of character building that we'll probably start next week. Savannah is working on learning how to sit still and pay attention, she think that because it's mommy teaching her that she doesn't have to act her best at all times, but I am happy to report that the learning she's doing is definitely paying off. She's been making a conscious effort to be Helpful, Kind, Obedient, etc. Of course she still falls short (as we all do), but she's trying.
Abby is starting to respond a bit better to discipline. We've had some talks, and I've read an excellent book, which I HIGHLY recommend called, "Don't Make Me Count to Three" by Ginger Plowman. It's about scripture-based discipline and using the rod AND reproof. Something that just clicked with me is that when Abby is carrying on after her spanking, she's not showing repentance. So we're working on that and I let her know that if she keeps screaming, she's not truly sorry and we'll have to do it again until I know she truly IS sorry...and she's not doing it anymore. Praise God! I hope that she really is repentant, but at least this is a start in the right direction.
Our neighborhood has totally emptied. We have had 6 of our immediate neighbors move in the past month...and there are 2 more on their way out. It's pretty weird. There have been HUGE moving trucks all over the place. Most of the girls friends are gone, but I can't say that's necessarily a bad thing. It'll be interesting to see how things change as we get new neighbors. There are some issues with some new ones we've gotten. I think it must be because we're the closest house to the playground, and everyone must think that we're just an extension of the playground. No matter what it is, if anything is left outside, the kids think it's fair game for them to do whatever they want. I've had to limit what the girls can play with outside because everyone LOVES to play, and no one wants to clean up, and it's not fair to my girls to make them clean up the mess from all of the children in the neighborhood. It's quite frustrating. So if you think about it, please keep us in your prayers for our new neighbors. We stand to get new ones in the house attached to us and also in the house that we share a side yard with. So it could be interesting! Only the Lord knows what is best for our neighborhood, and I pray that He brings us wonderful neighbors that share our values...that would be good.
Speaking of neighbors, only 18 days until the Petie's come for a visit...not that we're counting or anything! Hahaa...we're all very much looking forward it. For those of you who don't know (if anyone is actually reading this), the Peties were our neighbors here up until last year. Our families completely bonded and I definitely consider them our best friends. Our children get along so well, they homeschool, they're Christians and we even have similar senses of humor, which always makes it more fun! They moved to Virginia last summer after Jonathan (the husband/daddy) graduated from O.C.S. (Officer Candidate School) with the Coast Guard. Michelle (wife/mommy) was pregnant at the time with #4 and I found out I was pregnant just before they moved away...so this will be the first time we see each other's little boy's! How fun!! I'm very excited!
We've been invited to dinner at another neighbors house tonight (Jeremy has been out of town since Saturday and comes home tomorrow) so I must be going. Luke is snoozin', I think his trip to the doctor wore him out today...poor little guy!
Anyway, that's the scoop for now...I actually have a couple other posts I've started but haven't completed...so I'm debating whether I should post them or not...we'll see. But keep checking back, I do update from time to time! :)
Monday, June 4, 2007
I'm still so amazed that the Lord would bless us so tremendously with the baby I had prayed for. From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I started praying that the Lord would give us a baby that would fit right into the family. One that wouldn't be too disruptive to the status quo and that wouldn't kill me with lack of sleep and frustration. God is SO good! Luke is such an angel baby. Not only did he sleep through the night, but today he also gave me his first real laugh! And I was lucky enough to get it on video! I'm trying to post it on youtube, but I have to make the file smaller, and I'm not sure how to do that with a video. Luke is still eating well and is already 13lbs! He's a big, healthy, strong, happy guy!
The girls are doing well. They're still adjusting to the disruption of a new baby which is leading to some disciplinary issues, and it's a struggle...but by God's Grace, we'll get through and be all the better for it. It is difficult at times though. Savannah seems to be doing much better than Abby, even though Abby adores her baby brother (can you say, "Elmira"?..."I want to hug him and squeeze him and love him...") I know that it's hard for both of them not having me as much as they're used to. I'm still having difficulties with her and her hitting/temper. I really don't know what to do with her. She has such a short fuse and she's quite volatile! Today she was taking a toy away from the neighbors child and he was fighting for control of it...she screamed at him and then grabbed his face. Needless to say, she lost outside privileges for the rest of the day. But even with spankings and time-outs, the behaviors don't seem to change. Any suggestions?? Savannah's issues are a bit more subtle. Of course she misses mommy time, but I think she's just at a better age...she's learning to be more independent anyway, so it's not such a huge deal...but her problem is with instigating. There's a very fine line between being helpful and being a snitch. I appreciate her "help", but the tattling gets old. Both of them bicker like mad as well. Other than that (hahaha), life is GRAND!! Actually it's not so horrible, but there are definitely days that I feel like an absolute failure. I guess that's the nature of being a mommy...hopefully I'm not alone in this, but I actually feel like a failure more times than not these days. I know it's due to my lack of time and more demands on me...but it's very difficult.
Speaking of demands on my time and all, we'll be starting homeschooling very soon. I'm aiming for no later than the beginning of next week...I've still got some loose ends to finish up, but yes, we're starting at an odd time...but what the hay? There is no reason NOT to start now. We're going to start out slow, doing the basic stuff--mostly getting into a routine and all--but we will be following a simple curriculum and I'll be using it with both Savannah and Abby. Since Savannah is a bit advanced for Kindergarten, we'll just be doing more advanced stuff with her and a little easier for Abby. We're using a curriculum called My Father's World. And I'm not using the ENTIRE thing, we're doing our own stuff for handwriting and reading. We'll also be implementing calendar stuff, chores, manners and domestic stuff (ie: sewing, crocheting, etc.)...of course some of this stuff is what we'll get to eventually. I have this whole vision of what I'd LOVE to be doing, but often the reality and the fantasy are very different.
Well, enough of this...life beckons and I must be signing off for now. I hope to be here again soon!
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Wow! My big girl is 5 today!! Well, officially at 11:19am she'll be 5, but hey, what's a few hours when you're 5?? Today we are just hanging out, enjoying each other's company. I'm getting Luke on a more decent schedule--I'm finding that if he is well rested, he's a SUPER easy baby...and naps VERY well. He seems to be a VERY predictible baby. He's always up at the same times during the night...and he was awake from his naps and went down at the same time again 2 days in a row. I know all of this is totally subject to change, but it's kinda nice having a baby who is a bit easy going!
Well Savannah woke up and was VERY excited that she's 5! I got her some Dora PJ's and another outfit just so she'd have something to open today. Tomorrow she is having a friend birthday party, as I said before...and there will be plenty of gifts and sugar! It's going to be very fun. I just can't believe that she was a tiny baby 5 years ago...it's so amazing how much changes in 5 short years! It blows me away that she is officially KINDERGARTEN aged!! WOW!!
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Luke loves his daddy. It's amazing, but he'll be fussy for me and I just hand him over to Jeremy and he's happy as a clam! It's a very nice thing because when I'm cooking dinner or doing things around the house, he's content to be with his daddy, doing whatever it is daddy is doing. Jeremy is indoctrinating Luke early, he wants to be sure his son loves motorcycles as much as his daddy!
Sunday, May 6, 2007
Speaking of which...it's bedtime for the girls, and I need to go spend some time with them and let them know how much their mommy loves them. What I lack in quantity these days, I need to try to make up for in quality...they always say it's the QUALITY, not the quantity...I say that's a big, fat joke!
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
I'm slowly working on getting a bit more of a routine down with the girls, but Luke is still a bit of a wild card. I'm guessing that'll be the case for a while though. But I'm working on getting Savannah into doing a bit of school work while Abby and Luke nap. That's going pretty well, but my goodness, she's awfully lazy when it comes to learning. It's amazing because when she's learning on her own, she's totally into it, but you just cannot force anything upon this girl. She likes to practice her reading without actually looking at the page--gee, that works well! And she resists me quite a bit, but we are making progress! I'm guessing that she'll be reading proficiently by the time she starts Kindergarten--even if it kills me! Hahaha!
Anyway, I've got to run because it's time for her "BORING" reading lessons.
I wanted to mention that if any of you reading this blog want a link to my Flickr account, let me know...I've sent an invitation to most people, but not everyone. It's been a bit difficult to post photos here (due to my lack of motivation, I suppose), so at least you can see our family photos there!
As always, I have more to add, but I'm going to try to get outside and enjoy some sunshine with the children. I'll write more soon!
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Life has been busy! These 3 children keep me on my toes and keep me super busy. Thankfully, I'm adjusting to it all and still manage to have a somewhat clean house, have a well-stocked refrigerator and generally happy children. Luke is very time consuming...as are all newborns. He's definitely increasing his awake/alert time. He likes to sit in his bouncy chair and look out the window. I put him on the dining room table and he'll just look outside for about 20 minutes. But when he's hit his limit, he's DONE. This boy can CRY! He's not very loud, but when he gets upset, it's crazy. He'll turn SUPER red and stop breathing in between wails. Thankfully, when he's not super upset, he's very even-tempered and OH SO SWEET!
The girls are adjusting more and more and I'm amazed at what a helper Savannah has been. She's done things like putting dishes away--or loading the dishwasher for me, setting/clearing the table, pouring a glass of milk for me while I was eating dinner and nursing Luke, both girls took a stack of laundry upstairs to their room and put them away in the correct drawers. It's awesome, they're so helpful. Obviously Savannah is a bit more...mostly because it's her temperament to be a helper and make things okay, but also because she's older and sees needs a bit more than Abby. Abby is still very Abby centric, especially when she's upset or tired. Speaking of tired, I had the worst night of my life the other night. Abby was up between 2 until 6am. She woke me about 5 times, Savannah woke me once and of course I was up 2 times to nurse Luke. At 5am I heard chattering in their room and the girls were both in Abby's bed, reading a story by LED light. UGGH! I was ready to scream, it was like a nightmare I've had more than once and it was not pretty. So yesterday I was pretty iritible from lack of sleep, but thankfully yesterday--and today--I've had a decent nap.
So all is pretty well here, every day is definitely a challenge but we're maintaining. The girls had gymnastics today and it was so nice getting out and doing something for just THEM! I don't want them to be on the back burner forever, but it's also good for them to develop a bit more independence. They're also being much better with Jeremy these days because he's doing much more with them...and of course when he asks them if they want to do something with him, they want to because they haven't been able to do a whole lot with me. So it's been very good for building their relationship closer and that's always a good thing.
I know there are wonderful tidbits that have gone on that I'm neglecting to write down...and I'm very sorry about that...there is not a moment of these childrens' lives that I want to forget (well, maybe a few!), but my brain is seriously lacking these days, so this will have to do.
This is all I have for now because I'm hoping to do some Bible study before naptime ceases. I'll be writing more soon...
and by the way, if you're reading this...feel free to comment...if nothing else, just to let me know you're out there! :)