Monday, August 30, 2010

Fruit on jammie Monday

It wasn't a true Jammie Monday since we did leave the house. :) Our friends are moving out of the neighborhood, so our playgroup had a goodbye party (with pizza and cookie cake--we weren't gonna miss that!). :)


Today we talked about the fruit of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control).

Side note, when I got to self-control, Anna-Kate said, "Oh, I know about that, you tell me to get some all the time when I'm being naughty!". I laughed. Really hard.

We talked about how the fruits are God's gift to His children, to help us be more like Him. I showed her a rotten and black banana and a nice yellow one and asked her which one she would rather eat. We both agreed that the yellow one was much nicer--and that's how God wants us to be. I then asked her which one we looked like to Jesus when we were being sinful, ugly and disobediant. She looked sad and pointed to the nasty banana. I said, "but God can make even something ugly and yucky wonderful again, can't He?" Then, we talked about how ugly, yucky bananas make wonderful banana bread. (It's always coming back to food for us, evidently). We talked about each of the "fruits", what the words meant, and how we could show that fruit every day (ie, being faithful means being loyal to our brother and choosing to play with him, or being good means obeying and doing what we know is the right thing to do, even when no one is watching).

Then it was craft time! Anna-Kate colored all of the fruits, cut them out and then glued (all by myself, she said.) the fruit into a basket.

I love jammie Mondays!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Garage Sale-ing

Anna-Kate and I hit up some garage sales yesterday-so fun! A nice neighborhood was having a huge sale, so we drove over and she had her first bargaining experience. We got: a snow white doll (it's the size of an American Girl doll) and her accessories, a doll potty, doll bathtub, Gap jean skirt (for AK), Thomas (wooden) trains, Veggie Tales book, sound machine, Strasburg dress, and a box of dress up hats including sombreros and pinatas (stuff for a party) and only spent $20.25.

Clearly, she's a good student at the school of bargaining, because we were at our last house and only had $5. I wanted to get the jean skirt for next summer, (we always have one for her to wear to VBS since she only wears dresses and has nothing to wear with her t-shirt) but she was holding Snow White and the doll stuff. She had an especially pitiful look on her face because the lady let us take it all for $5.25! :) We then had an impromptu Target date and split some popcorn. Fun times.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


AK: "What's that line in your hair?"
Me: (in my head..."I just got my hair highlighted, how is there a line?") "What are you talking about?"
AK: "That line. (and points to the part in my hair) It's like my line." (and points to her own part).
Me: "Ooooh. That's called a part in your hair."
AK: "It looks like an open book to read on your head."


Ry: "Where we going, Mama?"
Me: "Church"
Ry: "Ryan no want to go to church."
Me: "Why not? It'll be fun, your friends will be there, and there is a special snack."
Ry: "Oh yes, that's right. I want to go to church. Get special snack."
(our priorities are clearly where they should be).


Every night, as a stalling tactic Ryan asks to count my fingers. He either forgets to count my thumb or in the craziness of moving from my pointer finger to thumb, adds one (for a total of 6 fingers, which neither of my hands' has). The other night he was counting and he got to five, then circled back around to the pinkie and said, "...six. O look Mommy, you got an extra one of those!"

Friday, August 27, 2010

Oh no!

My morning was good (despite having to remake a burp cloth and take 2 kids to the post office).

I think my luck is turning, and that isn't a good thing when I look at my to-do list. When I was making a phone call I accidentally stepped onto the side of my bowl of popcorn (that I put on the floor so I could write where the bowl had been) and sent all seeds flying around the room. I put down my diet dr. pepper to clean up the seeds and it somehow managed to fall down, hitting the chair on its way. And that was just in one minute.

Wondering if I should just watch tv so as to prevent future problems this afternoon?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I'm going crazy!

I have been doing a lot of sewing and embroidery lately. I've loved doing it, as it's been a while. Anyway. I made 5 burp cloths last night. I came in my craft room today during naptime to package them up to ship and I could only find 4 burp cloths. I have looked everywhere for the blasted missing burp cloth. How is that even possible?? I even started questioning if I'd actually made it or just thought that I had (I did, the thread scraps and fabric scraps are still out).

So now, I will make another. Sigh.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Ryan has a leapfrog toy that has helped him learn his lower case letters (he knows them all!). Anyway, when he gets 5 right in a row it says, "you did awesome!". Ryan gets a big kick out of this saying, "I op-some, Mama!".

Ryan has been doing so well going to the potty, telling me he needs to go and not having accidents. I can't express how pleased (and relieved) I am. Anyway, I was kissing him before his nap and told him I was so proud of him and that I was going to call Daddy and tell him what a good job Ryan was doing. He said, "Umm, yes. You go call Daddy and say, 'Ryan op-som!' OK Mama?".

I about fell out of the bed laughing. I sure love this little guy!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Alternate title: Long Live Jammie Monday!

So, we decided to keep Anna-Kate home on Mondays. Even though she was skipping school, I still wanted there to be an element of discipline, you know, sit and follow directions, but I wanted it to be fun/special time with Mommy (in our pj's, of course!). Enter, "special projects". I shamelessly borrowed ideas from my friend, Taylor, and we set out for a day of learning about rainbows.

For breakfast we had rainbows, err, bagels cut in half with both sides like a rainbow.

During that time we talked about what rainbows meant (a promise from God) and read about Noah. What was quite helpful is that my mom got it in her head to do an experiment with the kids over the weekend, mixing colors. I had planned to do this myself, but she saved me the mess effort. We then talked about how all colors come from red, yellow and blue and the colors in between them makes up the rainbow and I told her about the silly old man, Roy G. Biv (you know, to help her remember the order of the colors) and we learned a song about the order of the colors. Both kids were highly entertained by these exercises and Anna-Kate thinks that "indigo" is the funniest word ever.

Then, it was time to begin our first project. I made "craft boxes" for each kid (cute old-school lunchboxes from the Target $1 bin last week) and put kid scissors, crayons, stickers, glue and markers--for Anna-Kate--in them. It is so the little things with kids! Anyway, I had strips of construction paper with various shapes on them that Anna-Kate cut out while I tried to teach Ryan how to cut. This was his maiden voyage in the cutting paper department. It went as well as can be expected. :) He lost interest after about 3.5 minutes. Anna-Kate did great! After all of the shapes were cut she got to glue them in the correct space, then write the words, in the appropriate color. I thought she would completely baulk at this, but she ate it up and loved it!

We took a break to run around and play a while and then did our second rainbow project. We colored the stripes of the rainbow, in the right order, and glued cotton balls on the clouds. (Sidenote, I recognize that I am cool simply by allowing there to be glue involved. I only took a few deep breaths as I let her put it on the paper. Impressed? Probably more likely...rolling your eyes. :) ).

The last part of our special project was lunch. They had their sandwich, and then got to eat (in order): red strawberries, orange carrots, yellow bananas, green grapes, blue yogurt, indigo (purple) skittles, and violet fruit snacks. Lest you think I stuff my kids, it was just a few of each. :) They thought this was the greatest thing ever! So fun and amazing how quickly they scarfed down each color to get to the next!

It really was a fun day. In fact, this morning when I took her to school she started crying as we approached carpool drop off and said, "I don't want to go to school today. I want to stay home and do special projects with you again!". This was kind of an experiment to see if homeschooling could be a possibility for us. In the past, Anna-Kate has responded much better to others teaching her (swimming etc) and from Chris as far as homework goes. I have been very hesitant to think too seriously about it because of that, but am encouraged and ready to pray about it with a truly open heart now. We shall see.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Mary's

So I've written before of Anna-Kate's imagination, and imaginary friends (and if you call them "pretend friends" she will correct you and tell you that they are "imagination friends". Lol.). At least she realizes they are imagination friends and we don't have a "Beautiful Mind" on our hands. Recently, she's taken it to a whole, 'nother, level.

Anna-Kate's "go-to" name is Mary. When she was 18 months old she had conversations with Mary (that would be the mother of Jesus) and Joseph. Since then, her "friend" Mary has evolved into Mary Martin, but now includes "the Mary's" (her saying).

Recently at our tea party the (imaginary) door bell rang and she said, "Oh, it's the Mary's!" and went to answer the door. "Oh hi, Mary doodee, Mary cocoa, Mary shaddy and Mary Martin, (her favorite of the Mary's) won't you come in and have some tea?". She showed them their seats and poured tea, with plenty of milk and sugar for each and carried on 4 conversations with them, and me--such a born hostess. :)

I know this is silly, and to be honest, a little weird, but I want to remember this. So, I write it here.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I got him good!

Well, Chris changed decades this weekend (leaving me alone in my 20's--ha!). He made it abundantly clear to me a few months ago that he expected big things for this milestone year. So, I set to work planning a surprise party. The plan: go to my parents' house for the weekend and Saturday "decide last second" that we should come back early to attend our own church (Chris unknowingly helped this out when he called last week to see if I cared if we came home Saturday night so he could make coffee at church. "I guess, it's your birthday" was all I had to say. Brilliant.).

We celebrated his birthday at the house early. I made one of his favorite dinners and we gave him his presents. Love this picture of him and the kids:

Amongst other things, I got him an electric fly tired of him going Rambo on the flies in our house and sending any picture frame that gets between him and said fly, flying.

I underestimated how hard it is to plan a surprise party in time to go out of town (and have a clean house, food cooked etc) with no one being the wiser and without help from hubby. Thankfully, our friends, Jonathan and Leigh-Ann, helped me (and her mom helped her out by taking her kids for the weekend...a big thanks all around!). I baked at their house Thursday evening and left everything that needed to be chilled there (cheesecakes, sausage balls, white wine and beer). Friday, while Anna-Kate was in school, Ryan and I baked cakes. This was his first cake baking experience, so I had to document:

We made a double recipe for a 2 layer 13x9 inch cake. I was a sad girl when the second cake broke into multiple pieces as I took it out of the pan (not sure if it wasn't cooled enough or not greased well enough after baking the first cake???). I had to get Anna-Kate from school, feed the kids, bake another cake and pray it cooled quickly enough to ice/decorate it before Chris got home (early) to go to my parents'. I had just put icing in my decorator to begin when he called saying he was 10 minutes away and to load up the kids. I decorated it faster than I ever have before, (not my best work, but whatever) and threw the cake in the microwave when I heard the garage door opening. I was very sad to leave my floors unswiffered, but figured that would give it away if I said, "oh, let's wait a few extra minutes and get stuck in more traffic so I can just swiffer real quick, 'k?". So, we left (crumby floors and all.). I had to try really hard not to give it away when he asked why the kids weren't already loaded in the car, what I had done all day ("oh, nothing...") and, "then why are you so tired?". We had a nice dinner at my parent's house (with my aunt and grandparents there) on Friday. Saturday we layed low and enjoyed doing nothing most of the day. Then, as my parents were in on the plan, we went to a yummy dinner at Chris' favorite bar-b-que place, they hurried us off ("to get us home by dark") and away we went. Disaster was averted (Leigh-Ann had given their key to our house to my parents after Jack was born since they couldn't find theirs, so they had to track down another key to the house) and I casually texted our e.t.a. along the way.

Verdict? Success! He was surprised! (I may or may not have taken a few years off of his life with this one...) Side note, watch Ryan's facial expressions change. Pretty funny. I guess he thought everyone was yelling at him? Or maybe he just doesn't like surprises. Ha!

The table of goodies (trail mix, sausage balls, bruschetta, cheesecakes, cake and homemade peach icecream).

That's a lot of candles!

I'll huff and I'll puff....err, wow, he got them all in the first try! Hope he made a good wish (I wonder if it was to stay at the Polynesian, like Anna-Kate's wish was? Ha!).

Ryan and his buddy Jack were extremely excited about cake and icecream!

Anna-Kate and "baby" Lauren enjoying cake!

Family shot. To be fair, this was 8:40 at night and my kids were about done. O well.

Happy Birthday, Chris! I love you and am so thankful for you!! Here's to the next thirty, and more. :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Tea party

It's that time again! The time where I try and be cool and actually take out the camera so I can document life...Fun Mom Friday with Moriah over at please pass the salt!

Anna-Kate is obsessed with tea (hot, not cold...don't know where she got that, but whatever) and tea parties (with her little tea set from Aunt Julia...sadly, we've had a couple of saucer casualties, but we're fighting through our losses). Anyway, one day last week I put the boys down for their naps and we had a girls only tea party. We did the whole thing, milk, sugar, tea pot, teensy tea cups I couldn't possibly jam my finger into...and she was in heaven. :) We had her favorite, (herbal) gingerbread tea with milk and sugar and princess cookies(like teddy grahams) to eat along with it!

Welcome to the tea party!

Ever so carefully putting sugar in her tea.

Stir in the milk...


Yummy! Tea fit for a princess. :) She even had her pinky up and dabbed at a spill with her napkin. How dainty.

As always, I'm reminded of just how special my time is to Anna-Kate. She absolutely thrives under my undivided attention.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dear Me,

The other morning I was listening to our local Christian radio station as I sat in carpool line and they were talking about what top 3 things they would tell their high school self. It got me thinking and I think I've come up with my top three (sad that it's hard to narrow it down so much...hindsight really is 20/20).

1. Don't have a boyfriend, date and have fun--you won't marry him (thank you Jesus!) and it isn't worth the time and heartache.

(I'll wait to continue while everyone who knew me in high school recovers from laughing/rolling their eyes/muttering "I told you so"). OK, ready to continue?

2. These are good, even great, years, but they are not the best years of your life. Don't sweat the small stuff, life gets bigger and better as you age. :)(and as a tagalong to are not that tired or stressed out, you are not busy, this is not hard. Give life a few years and then you can say you are tired, stressed, busy and life is hard).

3. Be confident in who you are and don't worry so much about what other people think about you. I would kill to have the muscle tone I did in high school...yet even then, I thought I was fat. So sad. Don't let anyone tell you how to think or who to be--God made you and loves you and you are His--that is more important than other people's opinions of you.


What would you tell your high school self?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rising early

I have felt convicted for a while about being lazy, not exercising, playing online while my kids were awake and needing attention, but especially where my quiet time with Lord was concerned. Our assistant pastor preached through James this summer and a running theme is self control (through a tight reign on the tongue, prayer, a heart akin to Christ's that we can see other's as He does etc).

So, I decided I needed to wake up early. This pained my soul. I had a really good thing going with 8 am wake time for my kids. Want some honesty? I could count on 1 hand how many times I set the alarm in May-July. Sad. Thankfully, the Lord continued to convict and has helped me want to get up early since the beginning of August (this is a big deal for me!). Amazing how time in the Word has such an effect on the words that come from my mouth. I am certainly not saying I am the essence of self control and patience, but the daily reminder that I am to "be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry" (Jms 1:19) has been helping my attitude and the conscious way I try and guard my words, especially where my children are concerned. More so, even than my words, was my heart (you know, that thing I'm always harping on my kids for making like Jesus'?). I've been praying for a heart like Jesus' which shows a genuine love for others, (regardless of my time, convenience and schedule!) a pure heart, and an extra measure of patience.

This time in a quiet house has been so great (I know this is painfully obvious to some of you who have done it for years...)! Before my kids get up I've spent time with the Lord with a nice cup of coffee, checked my email, (while waiting for said coffee to brew) made my bed, (really helps my position to the kids that making our bed is the first thing we do in the morning, when my bed is already made) and gotten ready for the day. My goal is to slowly work my way up to a little earlier and incorporate some steps (if you know me you know that I detest working out. Alas, post-partum tummies demand it.).

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cruel Irony

Alternate title: Sigh
Alternate, alternate title: Will my mountain of laundry ever go away?

(No, it won't.)

Last night I finally changed Ryan's sheets. We went to McDonalds and they played on the nasty, disgusting playground until Ryan's hair was matted to his head he was so sweaty for over an hour. I had every intention of giving him a quick bath before his nap, but he fell asleep and I just wasn't going to wake him up for that. Ya, that was Friday. Anyway, I finally changed his sheets last night and, as I was doing it, thought to myself, "wouldn't it be funny [not the "ha-ha" funny--more the "it's my luck" kinda funny] if he had an accident or got sick tonight and I had to change these again?". Oh, famous last words. How you taunt me. Evidently, our power went off in the middle of the night again.

[I'll wait while you recover from your shock.]

Imagine my surprise when Anna-Kate came in my room this morning (in the dark of morning and my clock was blinking). Ryan was banging on his door (and she heard him as she wakes up early). I went to get him and he said he needed to go potty. I went to take off his diaper (we are trying to use the last of them at night) and found, there wasn't one. Oh no. Lamby was drenched. I left him on the potty to investigate. His diaper was only a little wet. My super-sleuth skills would tell me that he woke up as he was going a little and he didn't like having wet "underpants", so he took off the diaper, never mind that it was the middle of the night. He must have woken up again when he had his next accident. (I am sensing another alternate title, "Ryan is no where near nighttime potty trained") Everything was drenched. His sheets from last night are still in the washer. So, I put him back to bed on top of his quilt (which, miraculously, stayed dry).

Happy Tuesday! I can only be thankful that a) it isn't Monday and, b) we weren't dealing with poop in this instance. Silver linings people, silver linings.

So, I have a question. Do you change your kids' sheets regularly (like, every Friday, or something) or do you wait for a reason to change them (sickness, accident) or some random formula of waiting for a reason with parameters?

Now, I'm off to do laundry.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Updates all around

Jack is loving his cereal. Last night, he ate every bit I made in the bowl. Unreal. Such a sweet boy. When he wakes up he plays in his crib for a while then fusses. I go in to get him and he gets the biggest grin on his face. It turns to giggles as soon as I feed him or put him in his excersaucer. I wish I could be as happy, so simply, as my boy.


Ryan is doing so great with the potty! I cannot even begin to express my happiness! He is staying dry and going to the potty about every 1- 1 1/2 hours. He is generally telling me when he needs to go, and always tells me when he needs to poop. I'm so proud of him (this is only day 5...of round 2...)! Only killer is he is waking up mid-nap needing to go. O well, at least it's sticking. I am so thankful for God's grace and forgiveness for my pride and pushing Ryan when he wasn't ready. Praying God's grace will continue to cover my sins and that my children will know how much I love them and not remember how often I screw up.


Anna-Kate is doing really well in school. She has a couple of really good friends in there, and her teacher is precious. I'm completely torn and unsure of what needs to happen. I feel like she is too young to be in school every day (and selfishly, am not ready to give up jammie/reading days at home with all of my kids!). Last week she did well, but by Thursday was begging to stay home. I spoke with her teacher about keeping her out a day; she was not a fan. If I do it, I want it to be a consistent day so it isn't a matter of "I don't feel like going to school today so I won't" kinda thing. I don't know. With my current schedule, the only day that would work to keep her out is Mondays and I feel like that might be weird always missing the first day of the week. I've been praying about this for months, but still don't have a peace either way about it. Why must everything be so difficult?


Not much new for me, but we are gearing up for Chris' birthday this weekend...the big 3-0! :) So, as always, I'm off to attend to another project.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Jack eats!

Just for kicks, we decided to give the ol' cereal a go tonight. Jack's been waking early from naps and nighttime sleep wailing and smacking his lips, and he's begun following our food from our plates to our mouths with his eyes. We were hesitant to start this early (he isn't quite 5 months yet) because of Anna-Kate's food issues. [We began her on solids around 4 1/2 months and she had major intestinal/GI problems (so much so we had to do barium and x-rays etc all to find out that her digestive system wasn't mature enough for solids and we weren't able to supplement until she was about 7 months old.)] For that reason, we didn't start Ryan until 5 1/2 months. My mom said I should give it a try, you know, that whole parenting each child as an individual. Why is that so hard to remember?

[Gonna give a shout out to my friend Tamara, who gave me some coupons for a new line of baby food, (to be clear, free coupons. She speaks my language. Ahh.) HappyBellies cereals (there is a whole line, but first things first).]

Me with my big boy!

The first bite:

Not so sure...

And, he continues to amaze, he took it beautifully! Apart from the first bite, there was no spilling, no mess. He ate it all. I would stop to make sure he had swallowed it and he cried for more (this is unprecedented, as far as I've ever heard. Clearly, he's a genius. Well, he could just take after me and be an eater. Whatev's).

Yum, yum! This is what he did the whole time, tried to hold my hands to keep the spoon in his mouth.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Summer Sundaes

Last Friday, in honor of it being the last Friday before school started in full force, we had pizza and sundaes, and watched a movie after dinner! I'm a sucker for a good surprise (and making the somewhat ordinary special and exciting) so I didn't tell them what was coming. Chris walked in with Little Caesar's (you know, nothing but the best) and crazy bread. I know, we took a walk on the wild side for sure. :) After dinner, before even cleaning up the dishes, I pulled this out: (Thanks, Aunt Julia, for the cow bowls!! Big hit!!)

My kids' eyes were huge. They about popped out when I said they could make their own. (which got me to thinking, what else can they do alone that would help me and that they would think is cool? Hmm...)

Anna-Kate in a stage that she thinks a non-matching headband is the natural choice to complete her outfit...even with a bow already in. Brilliant, she is so fashion-forward.

Funny side note, as I was trying to take pictures (to document just how cool I am...does that make me lame?) Anna-Kate ended up pouring a little over half of the section of sprinkles on her icecream. I wish I was exaggerating. I'm not.

Ryan's new thing when he's excited about something is to say, "Oh boy, oh boy!". Then, he follows it up with, "mmm-Mmm-MMM!!!" while moving his head back and forth for emphasis. He is so cute!

Clearly, we learned our lesson. As I document my awesomeness, Chris assisted with sprinkles. We are such a good team. :)

How were YOU the fun mom this week? Join the fun over at Moriah's blog. Or, stop by for some other fun mom ideas.

Oh, and Moriah, hilarious about the child labor thing as you've written a couple posts this week about it. I had this post from last week and didn't post it in time. LOL.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Quiet...a little too quiet

Anna-Kate has quiet play time in her room each afternoon. She hasn't napped regularly since January, so imagine my surprise when I went in to tell her she could come downstairs and play, and saw this.

My little sleeping beauty:

Upon closer look, she is in her sleeping bag, in the baby doll bed my dad made for her. To be clear, it's about 2 1/2 feet long. Unbelievable she was able to fall asleep crammed in there!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


It's been a while. I try and focus on the kids and Chris on the weekends (so there's that excuse) but Monday and Tuesday? Sigh. I just haven't wanted to post. A blog is an interesting thing. In some senses, this is simply a record for me to remember the little things that compile life--the funny things they say, the cute, sweet moments...and the trials and trying moments as a mom (of which, there are plenty). On the other hand, I know that a good many people read my blog and don't want to know the gory details of potty training and how many times Ryan has been disciplined that day. Add to that, I like to have my life together, and I certainly prefer to be perceived as such, and you've got yourself a pickle. And, why I haven't written the past few days.

How's that for an intro?

Jack has been an easy baby most of his life. I was having to wake him at 8:30 am (I know, I know). Anyway, he slowly began waking at 8, then 7:45, then 7:30. I was not amused as I had grown accustomed to my mornings. :) So, one evening as I was dream-feeding at 11 it occured to me that I should "top him off" with the 1 oz of milk I had in the refrigerator. I asked Chris to bring it up, but as it was shy of 1 oz he decided to add 2 oz of formula to it--and it somehow turned into 3 1/2 oz. Jack drank every bit of it. I was shocked, but the next morning he slept until 8:20. So we tried again the next night and the next...all that to say, my body hasn't been making enough milk for him and he's been hungry! So now, every night I nurse at 11 and he gets 4 oz of formula. I do not in anyway believe that formula is rat poison or anything, but I just feel like my body is failing him (and me!). I thought breastfeeding was supply and demand? He's demanding and I've not been outsourcing what gives, where's my supply? So there's that.

Now for what I've really been putting off documenting...

We began potty training Ryan February 1 of this past year. He took to it great and I was convinced that "boys are harder than girls to potty train" was absolutely not true in our case. Oh, how I was wrong. After about 4 weeks the newness wore off (I guess?) and he basically stopped caring. To his credit, he was great about pooping on the potty, but could care less if he was soaking wet (he simply would squat to play instead of sitting). We pressed on, for months. He would have great days (and even 3 or 4 days in a row) followed by a day or two of 4 accidents. It really started to bother me. I kept comparing him to Anna-Kate, (took a little longer, but once she got it, she got it) and thinking that by 5 months he was just trying to tick me off (I know, mother of the year, huh?). In June Ryan reached a stage of being TWO--in all of the senses you have heard two year olds described as. Add to that the potty and there were afternoons I told him he needed to play in his room without me because mommy couldn't discipline him in love (not that I was disciplining for accidents, it was that on top of his behavior--always something--just to be clear). So, in July, I told him that boys who went pee-pee in their underpants had to wear diapers. Next accident, I put him back in diapers.

I had failed at potty training.

But, my relationship with Ryan has improved so much and his behavior overall has improved. After quiting, I was able to enjoy my boy and not be frustrated with him. He has been asking constantly to wear his Buzz, Woody and Thomas underpants (and, there is a new James train for him when he fills up a sticker chart of dry underpants) and I said, "when Anna-Kate goes back to school we'll try again". Well, she's back in school. We're trying again. To his credit, he's continued (mostly) pooping in the potty, so we're mostly having to work on pee-pee (which given my options, I guess I'd prefer).

Anyway. There it is. Janelle's official application for mother of the year. :) Say a little prayer for us this week.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Parenting is like cards...

In our house we place a high importance on relationship. I want my kids to be best friends. I know that will not always be practical, but I believe that a sibling relationship is more important, often, than a friendship, (especially at a young age)--because family will always be family.

That said, Anna-Kate and Ryan are the best of friends. They play together really well and genuinely miss each other if one is away. Both days that Anna-Kate has been at school Ryan has asked repeatedly, "where's Tate, where's Tate?". He was beyond thrilled when it was finally time to pick her up. We had plans to pick up one of the girls from her class too. The girls rushed in the house and ran immediately up to Anna-Kate's room to play (and subsequently, shut the door as "no boys are allowed"). Ryan was crushed. It made my heart so sad to see that. I pulled her aside and told her that Ryan was going to nap soon and to let him play since they would have plenty of time to play alone this afternoon. Was that right? Should I have let it be? Shouldn't it be obvious to her to be kind to her brother? Ryan was all right, we ended up playing trains and reading Thomas books together.

So, here's my question. Where is the line between girls needing space to do "girl things" and being inclusive of siblings? How does one strike a balance?

Ahh, parenting. Just when you get something figured out, the deck of parenting cards gets reshuffled...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Back to school, back to school.

Today was Anna-Kate's 1st day of 4 year old preschool! For weeks she has been saying she doesn't want to go to school and that she would "only go 3 days". However, on the way to school today she said she was excited and happy about going to school and she wanted to go every day, forever. Upon pickup, we were back to only 3 days (she's an indecisive one. That, evidently, is a trait that skips generations).

Anyway. She was all smiles before we left for school:

I absolutely was laughing out loud. Can you see Ryan, peeking through the window, trying desperately to be in the picture? Ha! She told him since he wasn't going to school today he didn't get his picture in front of the house.

With her teacher, Ms. Mandy. She was, ummm, hesitant to be left. Sigh. (Notice the red eye brows? Tell-tale sign she's trying hard not to cry). She rallied.

For a special, "yay, school is fun and it's the first day of school" surprise, we went to Chick-fil-a for lunch. We had 3 moms and 8 kids 4 and under-ha!
Adam (4), Anna-Kate (4), Annie (3), Ryan and Lydia will go to MMO after Labor Day. This picture makes me laugh because they are all half-heartedly (at best) saying "cheese" because I told them they couldn't eat their icecream until they did-ha! Ryan was pretty set on continuing to eat, so his cheese is quite loud and emphatic! :)

In conclusion of her day she said, "I don't beary much like having jobs, (ie, line leader, weather girl, snack helper etc) I think I will just like to be on vacation always."

Me too.