Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Why I Love Having a Bat in my Van

Sometimes the boys leave their lights on above their van seats. I try to keep up with it, but sometimes I forget.

Occasionally when I am leaving for a night shift I turn the van on and these lights appear. I am usually running late and it is mega annoying to jump out and run around the van and over seats turning lights out. But it is also super annoying to have lights on in the back of the van while trying to merge.

Enter the bat.

My van is usually a mess, and I usually wish it wasn't. But on the vanity light nights, it is a real life saver to have a plastic bat just hanging out- from the front seat I can just grab that bad boy and shut down lights all over the van.

Problem solved.

Do you know what else I love? Having a 6 year old. This morning he made himself and Lincoln breakfast. This afternoon he scooped out the yogurt for everyone's snack. On Sunday when he thought we had left them all at the church picnic he got his brothers together- shoes and all- and went out looking for us. We hadn't left them, but it was nice to see that he could handle himself in an "emergency situation".

This summer is another "bench summer" for me. The boys can manage themselves at parks and in the yard- I can play with them, but I don't have to be pulling woodchips and dirt clumps out of people's mouths this year. All I have to do is TELL Roman to take the woodchips out of his mouth and he DOES IT HIMSELF. Yeah for me! It only took us 4 years to get to this point.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Practice What You Preach

This weekend I was driving home from work around 0430. Obviously it is still quite dark at that time. Guess what I saw? A woman on a bike riding right by the entrance to the interstate. And she wasn't wearing a helmet.

I thought it was a rather odd time to be riding a bike, and it seemed to be a rather odd place.
I hoped she wouldn't get hit, she was pretty difficult to see. And I wished she was wearing a helmet.

Noah and I wear our helmets. We insist that the boys do too, and we want to practice what we preach. And they notice, oh, how they notice.

Deacon will talk for days about it if he sees an adult or an older child riding without a helmet. He peppers us with questions about why they are doing it (often while they are still within earshot) and then brings it up again and again.

I can't remember if I blogged this before (how would I know, I don't label my posts). The other day Noah got home from work late and grabbed his bike to dash down to the park to catch the T-ball game. Deacon saw him coming and looked at me with shock. "Is that DAD riding his BIKE without a HELMET?"

Last month we all went to the bike shop to look at a road bike. The owner got it ready for a test ride and I went to get on it for a spin around the parking lot. Deacon very pointedly stopped me, "Mom, are you going to ride that bike without a helmet?." I started to explain that I wasn't going far and that I didn't have one with me, but before I could really get into it the owner jumped in and said that he had one I could use.

So I rode the new bike around the block with the borrowed helmet.

And Deacon was pleased.

Monday, July 26, 2010

and it's Monday.

It is Monday.

The laundry is stacked high, each piece waiting it's turn to be cleaned.

It is Monday.

I feel sluggish, tired, warm; hoping we can get a good deal on an AC unit soon

It is Monday.

The kids have been imagining this morning. They are Max. I am Ruby.

It is Monday.

Almost every dish I own is dirty, stacked by the sink. I am out of dishwasher detergent.

It was Friday.

Noah and I went on a bike ride, ate Chipotle. I love my bike. I love Chipotle. I love my husband too. Went to work for a little while.

It was Saturday.

I caught up on some house stuff. Hung out with friends visiting from Mozambique. Ate steak. Went to work for a little bit.

It was Sunday.

Church and church picnic. Sat in the shade chatting with friends and watching my boys (Noah included) go down the slip n' slide over and over. They were the last ones on it.

It was Sunday.

Watched some of our friends kids. Read the paper. Went on an 8 mile run in 94 degree heat. Worked for a little while.

And now it is Monday.

The lawn will be mowed. The house will be cleaned. The kids will play. And the week will start.

Friday, July 23, 2010

My Little Secrets

1. I am really unorganized. If you look at random backs of envelopes, calendars and letters around my house you will find odd combinations of letters and numbers. Some may be circled. Do you know what they are? Passwords. Confirmation codes. Log ins. But nothing is marked, so if I come across a code I wrote I usually have no idea what it is for. So I put it in a drawer as a possibility to try sometime if I am stuck.

I also don't label my blog posts so I have no idea what I blog about and what I don't.

I jot stuff on a plain old calendar. I bought a calendar to use in my purse, but I don't use it. I have an ipod touch, but the only events that get put in there are entered by Noah - and even then they are just things he makes up.

This has worked up to this point in my life. Lists on scraps of paper serve me fine.

But on Monday morning I suddenly realized that in planning my day I had forgotten about speech therapy. And on Thursday it took me until midmorning to remember that t-ball should be on my radar for evening. And my shifts at work? The combination of 4s, 8s and 12s on a random schedule is finally getting hard to keep track of.

This is a stubborn thing. I really want to just remember. I don't want to have to keep careful notes or be organized. I want a mind like a steel trap.

Maybe I need to give in and organize my life.

2. People think that I am a fairly laid back mother. And I am. My 2nd born wears pajamas all the time, my first born jumps off of things. My 3rd born pees in the bushes (but only in an emergency). My babies heels sometimes hang off the blanket. But I am a freak about some things. I don't like any blankets thrown over my baby in her carseat while she sleeps. I don't put stuffed animals or blankets in her bed. Well, she finally is allowed to have this duck because it is not soft and squishy so it seems less dangerous. My kids are not allowed to unbuckle for any reason while the car is in motion and I don't leave them alone in the car for just a "minute". Except in my driveway. Those all seem common sense to me, but the more people I talk to and the more I observe, I am in the minority.

3. I am a food safety freak. It drives Noah crazy how much I ask him if he thinks something is too old to use or if it smells ok etc.

4. My follow through is not as amazing as my initial ideas. I am a little worried about this one in regard to homeschooling in the fall. I want to do well with it, but I am used to living my life a little unorganized. It is going to take a good deal of discipline to really commit to a schedule. We have never had a schedule. My babies nap on the go. We eat lunch around the same time everyday, but I have no problem being flexible. My babies eat on the go. We read books when people need to calm down. We have quiet time when we need it. We play outside when the weather is nice. They play together unless they get separated for fighting. We go to the Y when I need a run. We mow the grass when it is long. We go to the park when we are tired of being home. I am going to have to make school a first and foremost priority and that is going to be difficult for us all.

Part of the problem is that my job is such random hours. I am not sure what I am going to do about that.

5. Getting the mail was always my job as a child. And it is my job as an adult. And I get a little cranky when someone else gets it. Like Noah. Or a child. But it seems like a good way to give one of my children some independence. But I don't want to give it up. I just don't. Maybe I can have them take down and bring up the garbage cans. 'Cause do you know what? I will walk down to the get mail and walk right by the empty garbage cans on the way up the driveway. And I don't bring them back up. Why? I just don't like to.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I May Wear it Every Day

This is a picture of the Tee shirt that Noah got me for our anniversary.
'Cause he knows that I like shirts that make me look young.
You know. Shirts with obscure band logos. And Karate Monkeys. And Pepsi symbols.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sometimes I Don't Know When To Stop Doing Laundry

Sometimes I just don't know when to stop doing laundry. Do any of you have that problem? I do all the laundry and then, when the last load is finishing up and I am getting ready to fold, I get the news: someone just had an "incident" with a mud puddle. Or I glance into the hamper and see that it is already half full.

What to do? Oh, what to do.

Since I am in the laundry groove, should I just do another load? Or should I let it sit in the hamper awaiting another laundry day? Sometimes I get all worked up about it and I have to tell myself: STOP! STOP DOING LAUNDRY.

And then I do. For approximately 12 hours.

Sometimes I don't know what to do with my kids. Roman's pajamas look disgusting. Do I break his little heart by throwing them out and forcing him to wear the clothes in his closet? Do I let him keep wearing the dirty little things? Do I throw them out and go buy him nicer pjs?

Now that Berean is rolling the first thing she does at night is rolls over to her tummy and falls asleep. Red alert! Baby sleeping on tummy is a bad, bad thing. Now all my kids did this. As soon as they could roll they slept on their stomachs and there was nothing I could do about it. But it still makes my rule following nature shudder.

Our 10th anniversary was last week, and I still haven't gotten my blog post down on paper. Do I even bother now? What about finishing my kid updates from last month? And my vacation pictures from last summer? And thank you notes? Is there a statute of limitation on those?


note to self: don't do the 30 day shred workout 2 when you have eaten too much popcorn.

I have always scoffed at people who think that their kid is so intelligent or so mature that they must go to a class that they do not qualify for. This was especially annoying to me since I grew up in the homeschool community. "Oh, this is my son (they would say), we must not pigeonhole him by giving him a grade level. I guess we can just plug him into whatever activity we want to, whenever we want to."

Whatever, dude, your kid is just not that smart.

But mine is.

Of course I am kidding.

But here is my dilemma. Roman is going to be 5 in September. He will not be in Kindergarten this fall at church but we probably will do "Kindergarten" Homeschool with him. Mostly because we need to keep that boy busy. Oh, by the way, my sister told me that he knows his right from his left. And my mother-in-law mentioned he gave himself a haircut, which I hadn't even noticed. The haircut didn't bother me. The fact that both my mother (who never mentioned it to me) and mother-in-law saw the devious deed when I hadn't even noticed didbother me a little. In my defense, though, I think I was sleeping. Maybe that is not a good defense.

Basically Lincoln and Roman together without Deacon (who is a little bit of a tattle tale, even if he is telling on himself) is a scary, scary situation. So we need to keep him busy.

And he is starting to read. I have known that he is, but I have been holding him off so that he doesn't pass up Deacon. But I think I am going to quit doing that because Deacon has no interest in practicing, and Roman does.

Anyway, I was going to sign him up for this preschool homeschool class thing but it is for 3-5 year olds. Roman in a class with a bunch of three year olds could be very bad. Roman with a little fear is manageable, Roman with a little confidence is well...kind of like trying to keep a ping pong ball under water. And Roman with a little confidence and a posse of 3 year olds? Well, I fear for the teacher.

But there is this other class which is for children at "the Kindergarten Level". Notice it doesn't say "Kindergartners" but instead children "at the Kindergarten Level". Do I do it? Am I really willing to be that parent that says, "Here is my boy with a sparkle in his eye. He is so smart he is ready to join your class even though he is barely 5". And then what do I do when I get the call 2 weeks in saying, "he may be smart, but you need to send him to preschool boot camp to learn a little more about sitting still and following directions."

Oh, what to do.

Lincoln used a 4 word sentence today. "I want a drink". It was so cool I almost cried.

I better wrap this up so I can cross it off my list.

Have a great Wednesday!

Saturday, July 17, 2010


It has been a jumpy kind of week for me-


-opened a locker in a fairly empty locker room, only to have an elementary aged girl jump out of it yelling. (she has been lying in wait for her friends).

-walked into the dark bathroom, reached out a hand to turn on the light and ran into Deacon

-heard a lot of screaming and turned around in the kitchen to see a very large dog running through my living room. He had gotten away from his owners and my kids had been afraid and ran into the house, but didn't get the door shut before he followed them in!

-grabbed a handful of weeds, felt something squishy and looked down to see a small toad in amongst the weeds I was pulling. YUCK! and I was squeezing it! Double yuck!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Quote of the Day

"I never knew that the world was so complicated until I was asked to explain it to a 6 year old"


*What is 3D? What is 4D? I think I will make my comic in 10D

*what does it mean when someone says they "passed out"?

*On Odyssey they say that the Bible answers all the questions, but it doesn't say anything about all the questions I have about star wars. Why is that?

*Why does Mommy have us bike on one side of the street and daddy has us bike on the other?
*could someone skateboard off of that? And that? And that? Why or why not?
*why won't I be able to build my own speeder bike?
And many, many more. All day, everyday.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Skateboarding in Rubber Boots

*Deacon was out skateboarding in rubber boots today. These people can NEVER FIND THEIR SHOES! Speaking of shoes, Lincoln's toes are coming out the end of his crocs. He wants a red pair. Anyone have any luck with any croc knockoffs?

*Except for speech therapy we stayed home today. I did some baking, some cleaning up and laundry. I looked around the house at 5:00 and it looked like I had done nothing at all. So I gave up. Maybe I can reclean everything after the kids go to bed. Unlikely.

*Noah and I played sequence last night. We love to play board games, but we just haven't had much time for anything like that lately. He won 3 games to 2.

*Speaking of Noah, it is our 10 year anniversary on Thursday. Wow. 10 years. I think the top of our cake is still in my in laws freezer...

*speaking of our anniversary, I might talk about marriage on the blog this week. Or maybe not. Who knows? No promises here.

*My mom finished Berean's newest diapers this week. They are cute. I will have to post some diaper pictures on here sometime. Because when you cloth diaper, you share it on your blog. It is just what you do.

*We went on a family excursion to the zoo and mall yesterday. Of course the kids were more interested in the park and the splash pad at the zoo than in the actual animals, but that is ok I guess.

*yeah! Just got cancelled for the first 4 hours of my shift tonight. I have 64 hours on my time card from last pay period. It actually wasn't so bad, but I need to do some catch up around here.

*it was about this time 9 years ago that I started my first job as an RN. That was an exciting summer. I passed my boards, turned 21 and we celebrated our 1st anniversary. It really doesn't feel like that long ago.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

These Two

There is this boy...

And this girl...

She thinks he is the best, and he thinks that she is...

When he gets in trouble or is sad, he goes to her for comfort...
it is a little codependent, I guess.

All in all though, their working relationship is


Last week he was showing her a baby spoon and waving it in front of her face. All of a sudden she reached out and snatched that spoon! She was so quick and he was left looking at his empty hand...
A few minutes later I noticed that he had taken it back and was waving it around again, but this time he was standing a whole foot back!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

4 months! (yesterday)

She likes to look at things. If you are talking to her and turn away she coos and kicks her feet to get your attention.
She gets in fights with her blankets, and she usually loses.
She rolls over.
She reaches for stuff, especially her aunt's hair - or her brother's spoon.
She likes her toys. And her bed. And her brothers.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Book

I know I have been making blog promises that I am apparantly unable to keep. Things like blogging my way through a book.

A book called "Have a New Kid by Friday".

See, I was so busy working, shuttling kids, implementing the book strategies, traumatizing-my-child-so-much-that-he-refuses-to-get-into-the-water, etc that it left me with no time to blog.

My kids are very high energy.
And very much individuals. (Roman wore snowpants to the park today.)
They do ok, but I usually have to tell them things multiple times and that is wearing. Especially with 4 kids.

I have been working on these 2 things:
1.say it once
2.turn around
3. walk away

and B doesn't happen until A is complete.

This is how a few scenerios have played out, what I did right, and what I did wrong.

(we are not using this method with Lincoln right now very much because it is hard to implement with everyone all at once and we decided to start with the older two first. He is struggling with his speech so much too, so we will tackle him next. Deacon has just been noticing how things are going for Roman and has been toeing the line pretty well.)


Deacon was late for Tee ball Tuesday night because he didn't get his room cleaned.
(B- in this case tee ball- doesn't happen until A-in this case room cleaning- is complete). I didn't stress myself out over it, nor did I clean the whole thing.

I did help clean a little because Lincoln was sleeping and a lot of it was his mess.


I forgot to bring Roman a long sleeved shirt to swimming lessons. His only options were 2 different tee shirts that belonged to his brothers. We had a 35 minute stand off in the locker room. I quietly sat there while he threw a fit. I gave him his options and then ignored him. No threats. No bribes. He came around.


Roman misbehaved at the park and than disobeyed as well. I made a mistake and told him I was taking him home (threat). This was a problem because as soon as it came out of my mouth I realized I could not follow through. I knew he would throw a fit and we were a mile from home. I was not going to be able to haul a fit throwing Roman a mile (and yes, he could carry on for a mile) while managing the other 3.

I had him sit in the stroller. And he sat.

Then I apologized to him for "promising something" (the threat) that I was unable to carry out. He seemed surprised and slightly confused, but gave me a hug when his fit was over.


all in all, I think the behavior is improving but what is improving most is my stress level. I have a plan and I can use it. These big things don't happen very often though, so now maybe time to move onto other more minor behaviors (while still attacking the big situations head on when they do present themselves).

I did notice that it was harder to work on this over the long weekend when Noah was home. When i am with them all day I get into the rhythm of the day and know how each person is feeling/acting/thinking/behaving. It gives me resources to handle situations. When Noah and I are both there but maybe "taking turns" parenting I feel out of the loop, out of sync and it is harder to effectively implement the strategies.

I will try to continue to keep you appraised of the situation.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

He Said Baby. And a Joke (or 2)

I worked 40 hours at the hospital last week.
And do you know what?
Things didn't fall apart at home.
The kids were happy.
The husband survived.
The house didn't look like a tornado hit it.
(Just a small earthquake.)

I was curious to see what would get neglected.
And do you know what it was?
Sleep and Blogging.
Go figure.

Lincoln said "baby" today. Multiple times, very clearly. I know that is something that people get excited about for their 1 year olds. And he is 3. But we are excited. We are trying to work really hard with him at home, and he seems to be very interested in learning how to talk.

He tried to tell me a knock, knock joke the other day.
"Ne Ne" (knock, knock? I asked)
"Who is there?"
"oa who?"
Then came the explanation.
I don't know what he was saying.
I guessed every knock knock joke I had ever heard.
He shook his head.
He proably made it up.
Made it up in his head.
And it will stay in there, all locked up.
Until he learns to talk.
And he can tell us.
I can't wait.

Deacon used to make up jokes too. They made no sense.
The ones he makes up now don't make sense either, but he is trying.
"What do you call an airplane with 10 people on it?"
A: "A fuel" (the fuel from the airplane and few from only 10 people. He was trying to make a play on words with the few and fuel sounding similar. I appreciated the effort, but we will need to work on execution. For sure.) Deacon is playing tee ball. He thinks he is awesome.

Roman is Roman. There is not much more to say. He wears pjs and beat up crocs. He runs fast when he feels like it. He is my lynch pin in behavior modification. If I can get him in line, everyone else will fall into place.

Berean is a sweetie. She rolls over. She loves me. She loves the boys. She loves Noah. She laughs. She smiles. She carries her purse. She "talks". We all love to look at her. She sleeps from 7 or 8 until 4 everynight. Then she nurses at 4 and goes back to sleep until 8 or so. Can't complain about that.

Life is good.