Thursday, December 30, 2010
But now that I have abandoned that burning hay wagon, I have found myself with a few minutes to blog.
Noah and I have been married for 10 1/2 years. We got engaged during my junior year of college and his senior year. We were dating/friends during late highschool early college and just liked each other during junior high. It has been a long road, filled with all kinds of drama.
There is a box in my office filled with notes and letters. The notes and letters are from me to him and from him to me. The box is a 92 Target Diaper box. Needless to say, there are a lot of letters and they include a lot of drama, a lot of baseball play-by-plays and a lot of other stuff that makes no sense to my 30 year old self.
Not that the baseball play-by-plays make any sense to my 30 year old self, either. Truth be told, they didn't even make a lot of sense to me at the time, although I would never admit that to my 17 year old love interest. Love me, love my sport, right?
Round about 1996 Noah spent a couple weeks out in Colorado attending a Summit Ministries Conference. Let me break this down for you: Summit Ministries is a highly conservative Christian ministry and there are a lot of high school boys there who are out to change the world, and there are a lot of high school girls there that are desperately trying to find their sweater vest wearing soul mates.
He left 2 weeks after he gave me roses for my 16th birthday.
I was convinced that he would come home from Summit betrothed to some jean skirt wearing, long hair sporting, homeschooled girl who had goals of becoming a secretary(only if she wasn't married and making her own butter first!) and then homeschooling his 12 children.
Never mind that if I could see the future I would know that he would be married to a jean skirt wearing (but it has big slits!), long hair sporting (but ONLY when I don't have time to get it cut), homeschooled girl (but not through high school!) who had goals of becoming a nurse and then homeschooling his (ahem) 4 children.
Ahh, but back then I didn't know the future.
I am out of time...
The drama will continue...
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Teaching children the concepts of needs vs. wants, love vs. thanks is difficult. I try to just write down what they say, because it is their prayer. I do make attempts to discuss the concepts with them, however, if the opportunity arises. I hope to look back over the years and see their spirituality evolve from "I love you because you let me have a Turbo Tank for my birthday" to something deeper, more meaningful. I want them to understand that we don't love/hate God just because he gives/doesn't give us what we want. Love is bigger than that.
Earlier this week we came to the "I am sorry for..." section. Deacon piped up with "I am sorry that I dropped my lego stormtrooper's gun down the drain." Poor Deacon. He will still come out of his room at night sometimes and cry telling me how bad he feels about losing that gun. I have told him and told him that it was an accident, he didn't mean to drop it. I tell him that he can be sad about it and try to be more careful next time, but that he has to forgive himself. I try to tell him there is a difference between feeling bad about something we do by accident and needing forgiveness for wronging someone intentionally.
But it concerns me because I am the same way. I beat myself up over things that I can't control, things that I need to let go. I don't want him to hang on to accidents, ruminate on them, never be willing to let them go. Yes, of course I want him to learn from his mistakes, and I want him to feel guilt when he does something wrong and needs to ask for forgiveness, but I wish he wasn't so hard on himself.
He also has a really hard time letting stuff go. He cried when we had to throw out his old shoes. He gets practically hysterical when it is time to sort through stuff and give stuff away- even when it is not his stuff.
And I don't know what to do about it.
Noah and I both have a tough time relenquishing our hold on "stuff" and it plagues us. I did not want to pass this on to my children. I want them to hold the things of this world loosely, and instead store up treasures in heaven. And I want to teach them that. But it is so hard!
And so I plod on tonight, attempting to teach both Deacon and myself what it means to forgive and what it means to let go.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
And he can write his name.
It is such a funny thing to have a child at the articulation level of probably an 18 month old, but to have the mental capabilities of a 3 1/2 year old.
People ask me why I haven't taught him sign language and I say that it is because he has no need or use for "baby" sign language- simple signs taught to alleviate frustration. If we were going to do sign language, we would need to do the whole ASL- and that would be very time intensive. Right now we have chosen just to concentrate on his speech.
In the last couple months he has made a couple of verbal "jokes" or using his words to be funny or silly. Baby sign language doesn't allow for that.
His speech therapist asked him last week if he wanted the yellow car or the green car. In the past he would stiltedly say "yellow green" meaning he wanted both. On Monday he said "both". When she asked him where he wanted to put a certain car instead of pointing or saying "here" he said, "middle". We talked about it a little. It is just funny to hear a child like him using more high level descriptors. Obviously the vocabulary is there, it is just the pathways from the brain to the mouth that need practice, and he is not able to use all the words that he does know, because his brain to mouth connection won't make them. He is forced to repeat as best he can, and to rely only on the words he can articulate.
Today Deacon and Roman wanted to go the the icerink. I had already told them that we were not going to be able to go today because it was too cold for me to take Berean down there. Lincoln didn't want to go either. Deacon (who has taken to spelling words for emphasis) made up a poem. "don't say no, just say let's G-O". Lincoln gets a twinkle in his eye and says "N-O". Deacon said, "G-O" and Lincoln repeated "N-O". Even though the whole conversation was rather obnoxious, it was fun to watch Lincoln figure out the spelling and use the nuances of language.
I was in the shower the other day and he actually told me, through the closed door, that he wanted a drink. I rely very heavily on visual clues to figure out what he is asking/telling me, and I think it was probably the first time that I was easily able to figure out what he said without seeing him.
Roman has been doing a lot of interpretation for him as well.
And it is cute. Deacon got a Star Wars Guess Who game for his birthday. The boys have been playing it, and Lincoln loves it. He knows how to play and asks "does he have a purple light saber?" Or "is he a clone?" with the best of them. And it is building his confidence.
We are just waiting to see what will happen with him next!
Monday, December 20, 2010
So I followed her around, making sure she didn't head for the stairs,
Sunday, December 19, 2010
We were volunteering in the homeschool co-op nursery a few days ago.
And there she was, eyeing another little girl's Hot Pink Cat.
Berean grabbed that cat's face.
And the girl grabbed that cat's back and pulled.
And the girl had probably 20 pounds on Berean,
so she didn't fight.
But she watched.
Poor other girl is not potty trained.
As soon as she was whisked away for a diaper change,
Berean saw her chance.
She headed for the Cat and grabbed an ear and shoved it in her mouth.
It is mine, now.
I removed it from her mouth and set it aside for the Other Girl.
No Hot Pink Cats.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Deacon helping to hang. Yes, it is December and I am wearing 4 layers while my son runs around in boxers and my baby is naked. It is weird. I admit it.
Deacon's homemade star and the Abelskiver Days commemorative ornament.
Noah's family likes expensive, glitzy ornaments. They are on the top of the tree.
All of our ornaments have a story and I love bringing them out every year and telling the boys about what each one means to me and about the relatives and friends that gave them to me.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Today I am going to go through my front hall closet
and my office
and my basement.
Today I am going to have a pile of trash
and give away
and "find a place to store".
Today I am wondering which pile will be the biggest.
Today I must go distract that little girl,
Or else I will spend most of Today rewrapping toilet paper.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
for us, and maybe a future of being able to find our shoes.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Today was the big day.
The day of the Boy's Dental Visit.
After their last appointment I informed Noah that I was not doing that alone again.
So he stayed home.
No bribes were given or offered.
No punishments were suggested.
I laid down the cold, hard rules.
We don't kick or hit people.
This includes Dentists, hygienists and our parents.
We don't scream and yell.
Even if you don't like how the toothpaste tastes.
I was in charge of Roman.
I held his arms.
I heard him scream.
But he quit when he realized that it wasn't really that bad.
Noah was in charge of Lincoln.
It took a lot to keep all 40 pounds of 3 year old anger in that chair.
What about Deacon?
He is almost 7 and I really needed him to not freak out.
He is big.
And still traumatized over his oral surgery visit from age 4.
He got into the chair (grudgingly)
And I was struck with an idea.
I told him he could hold Berean.
I sat next to him.
Berean sat on his lap and he held her hands.
He wanted to be a brave big brother.
And he was.
Not a fuss.
Not a yell.
He just held his baby sisters hands.
And she watched.
And once she tried to get the tooth brush.
And she helped him to be calm.
And maybe he gave her some career aspirations.
I love the support system that siblings can be.
We were listening to a radio program- Adventures in Odyssey- the other day. I hadn't heard the episode before, and so I was as surprised as the boys when through a series of events this little boy's mom miscarries his baby brother. The boy had been jealous and was afraid that he had caused the miscarriage by saying he didn't "want the baby".
I didn't really know what the boys were thinking.
The car stopped and the boys unbuckled.
Deacon leaned over Berean and in a quiet voice said, "Oh Berean, I am so glad you didn't die. I always wanted you."
Roman and Lincoln both quietly and quickly added affirmations of their love for their baby sister.
Berean had her 9 month check up today. She is 17 pounds, 7 ounces. Basically she is about the same size as my boys were at 4-6 months. But that is ok. She is almost exactly the same weight as I was at her age.
She is crawling up and down the stairs and trying fancy moves like only holding on to objects with one hand while standing. She is currently also very into clapping her hands.
She has 5 teeth, but doesn't like to eat food very much.
Let me rephrase that: she likes to feed herself and she is not very interested in being fed. She really likes pancakes, crackers and things that she can make a mess out of.
Soon to come: pictures of our gigantic tree and our fruitless quest for the perfect holiday photo!
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
I love the guesses on the last post...but my dad, sister and Noah's-coworker-who-has-a-12-year-old-daughter were right...Justin Bieberesque was the style Noah was going for as he combed Roman's hair.
Hmmm...we'll see what Roman looks like in 10 years...
Monday, December 6, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Poor Berean. She may never know.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
That means a minimum of 6 coats in the entry way.
12 shoes in the entry way.
12 boots in the entry way.
6 scarves, 12 mittens, 6 hats.
6 pairs of snowpants.
And that is the minimum.
It is overwelming, to say the least.
So do you know what I want for Christmas?
A mud room
The room of my dreams.
A room with doors.
A room with hooks for coats.
Lots of hooks.
A room with with bins for shoes.
A room with drawers for mittens, scarves and hats.
And one for spares.
A room with a sink.
To rinse off boots.
A room with cupboards
For swimming stuff, and backpacks.
The room of my dreams.
Really, it is all I want for Christmas.
And it is clearly laid out in my addition plans.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Here is Deacon. I am hoping his pants don't start saggin' anymore.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
We did a little research and on the recommendation of a neighbor, we booked a room at the Wilderness- home of multiple waterparks, both inside and outside. Of course the outdoor ones were closed.
Taking 4 young children anywhere (even the grocery store) requires at least a loosely thought out plan. Either that or a random aunt or grandma that can come along as an assistant. Alas, our aunts all had work or school and hmmm...I guess we never invited the grandmas.
They are our children afterall, so we decided to attempt this waterpark hopping feat by ourselves.
And do you know what? It went fine.
Turns out, waterparks are our kids things.
We had no "Roman fits"
We had no "Lincoln freakouts"
We did have one "Deacon panic attack" but that was only after we decided to add 96.5 miles to the trip to buy Noah new pants- a panic attack under those circumstances is to be expected, I think.
Here are some things we learned. Hope they will help you!
1. after a couple of hours of waterparking, ordering pizza to your room is a good thing. No one wants a bunch of wet, cold, tired kids at a restaurant (least of all me). Having pizza delivered to our room while the kids watched the Disney Channel was a good thing.
2. bringing life jackets with hoods and handles is important. Yes, they provide life jackets at the park, but we brought our own- ones with handles. This saved Roman's life more than once in the wave pool.
3. spelling out the life jacket rules prior to entering the water is helpful. We told Roman and Lincoln that they had to keep their jackets on unless they were in the 6 inch deep kiddie area. Deacon only had to wear his in the Wave Pool. They knew these rules beforehand and they didn't fight with us about them.
4. having a totally laid back baby who is content to be dragged around the waterpark wrapped in towels is handy. If you have a baby, I recommend only attempting this endeavor if your baby is super low maintenance.
5. if you are a nursing mama, wear a two piece. Nursing a baby in a one piece in the middle of a waterpark requires more skills than most have. It is definitely a 4th or 5th baby kind of manuver.
6. if your 3 year old loves the waterslide, be prepared to walk up all 88 steps, holding his hand, over and over and over and over again. Bonus: this will wear him out.
7. Come up with signs to use between you and your husband. You can use these when one of you is at the top of a waterslide with 2 children and you can see him on a bridge with one child. Obviously that makes one kid awol, and this must be communicated promptly. I suggest coming up with sign language for " child # blank is missing", " Child # blank is coming down slide, may need a rescue at the bottom" and "this is the last time I am taking this child down this slide. I am exhausted. It is your turn." Of course, it is more fun if you also have signs for "you look awesome in your swim wear".
8. Be on the lookout for sudden maniacal looks in your children's eyes. This may indicate that they are about to jump off their tube in the wave pool. This may mean that they have developed a sudden grand delusion of being a famous body surfer who is much taller than 40 inches.
9. I am not usually real organized and I don't plan ahead for any disaster (I don't even carry a diaper bag). I thought about the areas that were most important to me and planned for them. The 3 things I made sure I had were these 1. life jackets 2. bandaids 3. 2 swim suits for me so I wouldn't have to put on a wet one. Ewww.
10. Watch for maniacal looks in your children's eyes before they go down a waterslide. This may communicate that they are planning a dramatic somersault at the end of the slide and will indeed be chastised by the lifeguard.
11. Don't let your 6 year old stay up late watching Hannah Montana- even if he is running in tight circles around the room. Sit on him or pat his head until he falls asleep instead.
12. Let each other have fun! It doesn't all have to be about the kids. If you have a chance, gather the children around to watch one of you go down a more adult slide. Of course it is rather disappointing when the slide you want to go down requires at least 2 people over 48 inches tall...
13. Figure out before hand how tall your children are and ask the park what slides etc they will be allowed on. Then you can warn your kids beforehand and they won't end up as disappointed.
14. You will have your hands full with 4 kids. If your camera is more expensive than the birth of your children, leave it home. You don't need to be focusing on picture taking and having to make decisions like "do I jump in to save my child and destroy my camera or do I set my camera down and risk it being stolen before I jump in?" I am a little sad that we have no pictures of our trip, but I think it was less stressful and we do have our memories :)
I am not the only one up anymore, so those are all the tips I have time for today! We will certainly go back- it was an active vacation, and that is what my boys do best!
Monday, November 22, 2010
Do you know which ones I mean?
They want to talk about Peyton Manning, so they throw a picture of him up on the screen. And for a second, you think it is just a nice head shot. And then you see his shoulder twitch. And he blinks.
Or maybe they put Tom Brady up there on the screen. And once again, you think it just a mug shot. But then you notice his hair blowing slightly in the wind.
Every time I see one of those "living" mug shots I can only think of one thing:
You know, where Harry Potter goes to school.
And the portraits.
You know, the ones that are living.
The people at Hogwarts don't have to stay still in their portraits, just like the NFL guys.
And it disturbs me.
How about you? Have you noticed the correlation?
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
But the post of today takes us back 8 days to a beautiful, sunny November afternoon. I drove the kids down to Noah's work, picked him up and we went to the park for a couple of hours. It was exceptionally wonderful because it is November and we were wearing short sleeves. 5 short days later we were shoveling the driveway, but we won't dwell on that anymore.
Deacon loves shiny "sports shorts" and they really helped him on the slide! He kept flying off the end and landing on his rear. He tried to be cool about it, but I think it kinda hurt :)
Yes, I know, he is as cute as they come.
Friday, November 12, 2010
As of tonight I have slept a total of 8 hours since I got up Wednesday am.
But, I can't help thinking of things I am thankful for through it all. Here they are in no particular order:
1. Unseasonably warm November Weather
2. In laws who took the baby from our stomach flu infested household and cared for her all day so we wouldn't have to.
3. In laws who are hosting a grandson sleepover this weekend
4. Urgent cares, antibiodics and ibuprofen
5. Being able to see a small glimmer of humor in a 6 year old's drama when sickness takes over
6. Having a son who is totally dramatic when he is sick, but bounces back quickly and loves to help in a crisis.
7. Having another son who prefers to vomit alone and suffers in silence
8. Having parents who took care of the other boys while we visited urgent care.
9. A mother and sister who spent all evening helping me clean my house
10. A job for Noah and a job for me
11. Garbage collection!
12. A proud baby girl who can stand up
14. Deacon loving Awana and finishing his book this week
15. Seeing the joy on Roman's face during "preschool"
16. Hearing Lincoln count and sing his alphabet
17. A Grandma who brought over 2 Christmas dresses for Berean Joyce
18. Coworkers who make me laugh and who support each other
19. That all my jeans are falling off! (dropped that last 5 pounds!)
20. A new furnace for the coming winter weather
21. NOT hitting the deer that ran in front of my van
22. Getting ready to celebrate Noah's birthday
23. CD player in the van- I love listening to books, adventures in Odyssey etc with my boys!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
The above is what I use for Deacon's school work. I like the system because it is easy, quick and
Monday, November 8, 2010
Next I was going to type that I don't really know why I feel so crabby. But I do know why. There are a bunch of reasons.
It doesn't help matters that lovely daylights savings time has landed us in the dark. And it is going to get cold. And I am going to have to keep track of 10 mittens. 5 hats. 5 jackets and a variety of snowpants, scarves and boots.
This isn't really very fun, is it?
Friday morning my 2 oldest boys got the stomach flu.
Wow. Although that story is somewhat funny in retrospect, I don't have time to do it justice now.
Oh, and my next best story is one that I don't think I will be telling anyone for oh, 42 weeks or so, at which point it may move from mortifying to funny. My neighbor says it is already funny, but I am not at that point yet.
Nor do I have time to tell you all about why I am an insomniac for the week.
So instead I am going to leave you with this- a quote from my friend Kim (who runs for the joy of running and has a lot of dogs. And a husband. And 2 daughters. And she always comments on my facebook status's which I really appreciate):
"The curse of being the Mom is that the ratio of mom tasks to the number of moms in the house is freakily disproportionate." - Kim-Who-Runs-For-Joy
So true, Kim, so true.
And it is why my household has been asleep for the last 3 hours while I have been scrubbing baseboards.
hmmm...scrubbing baseboards...that sounds like a good job for my favorite 5 & 6 year olds...
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Sometimes she gets her arm out of her sleeve.
I heard Deacon say, "No, don't stop her. Let her fall down the stairs! I am the only one in the family who missed her falling last time and I want to see it!"
We had a little conversation.
He said, "well, I don't think she cried last time, so I don't think it will hurt her."
Roman chimed in, "she cried".
Deacon, upon realizing that she could get hurt, recinded his earlier wish to see her fall.
And no, she isn't always falling down the stairs. Now that she is more mobile we keep an extra close eye on her, the stairs, the legos, the playmobil pieces, the crumbs,
and the list goes on...
it is a full time job.
When we last visited this topic we were in the middle of the appeals process and we were private paying his weekly therapy session.
After I spent a significant time on the phone regarding insurance stuff- being as persistent and assertive as possible without being overly aggressive, we finally got the insurance company to agree to covering his services from the summer (what they said they would do).
We are very grateful for that.
Since September we have still been bringing him to private therapy, but we have been doing a private pay option. This option is pricey, but doable.
Lincoln also goes to phonological preschool once a week and the school district has just added an extra session for him during a drop-in ECFE class.
So between all of those things he has therapy 3 days a week. We are seeing improvements in his speech, although he is still severely delayed.
His receptive language is fine, and his preschool teachers consistently say that he is very intelligent and that his receptive skills are higher than average for a child of his age. They also say that his behavior is very good :)
As he has been talking more we have been seeing more frustration when we don't understand him. But apparently he behaves well at school, which I am grateful for.
We are still trying to figure out insurance stuff for next year, and hopefully will get some sort of resolution soon.
Thanks for your prayers!