Noah, Berean and I just got back from a very nice mini vacation. The boys just got back from their grandparents. When we arrived to pick them up, Deacon ran straight to Berean without even a glance toward me. Immediately he was babytalking and telling her how much he loved her.
I gave Roman a hug and told him I had missed him. He said, "well, I missed Berean".
I am glad they love their sister. And I am glad that they don't cling on me. But, really, where is the love?
Deacon did say later that he was glad to see us. So I guess that will have to do.
Now, without further ado, here are some pictures of Roman's cakes. Speaking of cakes, have you seen that show about the cake decorators? I am so glad that we don't have cable, because if we did, between watching the cake-making drama and learning about ancient Egypt- I would get nothing done.
This is the Ewok cake that I made for his "big parent party"
He requested the head for his portion.
And this is the penguin cake. I went to all the work of making a penguin, and then they decided that I should add the duplo penguins too. I got the impression that I could have just made a blue cake with the 2 duplo penguins on it and they would have been just as happy.
I am planning to get around posting pictures of the penguin cookies, the penguin cake, and the Wicket W. Warrick cake...eventually.
I would love to do it now, but I need to be responsible and finish folding the 4 baskets of laundry. After all, tomorrow is another big day. At least that is what I tell the boys.
But in effort to post something, here are four little tidbits:
1. Deacon had gone upstairs to get Berean up from her nap. When they came down I asked if he had rescued her. "Did you hear her, Mom?" he said, "She was screaming like a mad chicken!" I laughed and said, "Do you mean that she was mad as a wet hen?" Yep, that is what he meant :)
2. Roman made a new friend at school. He told me that he didn't know what her name was, because she hadn't told him and he hadn't asked. He then preceded to tell me that he did know how to spell her name, however: M-A-I-A. I told him how to pronounce it. I am not sure if he just remembered the letters or if he was trying to remember them so that he could ask someone what her name was.
3. Lincoln had his second phonological preschool today. He was very proud to show his brothers his classroom. He also said his verse for Cubbies last night. He is getting more talkative, and that is fun to see!
4. Berean can now successfully self-maneuver into a sitting position! We are all very thrilled for her :)
Sorry about the last post- apparently I can't write coherent sentences at 0200.
I have a lot of news to report and not a lot of time (sound familiar?), so we are going to bullet it up.
*I took all 4 of the kiddos to both Lincoln's speech therapy and to Berean's 6 month checkup. Guess what? It went fine.
*fine except for the small incident where Lincoln pulled the help cord in the Doctor's office bathroom. And the nurse came running. But even that was fine.
*Berean is 16 pounds, 9 ounces and 6 months old. I was all concerned because she weighs less now than the boys did at 4 months. I mentioned this to the doctor and he said. "Would you rather have a big girl and dainty boys?" I quit talking.
*He did reassure me that she was proportional and looked fine. He also commented, "she seems like a really good baby. Babies like this make you want to have more." He is a very perceptive man.
*When a person decides to take 4 children to a "cake and candy" store, the person should really call first to make sure that they are open on Mondays.
*When pulling up to a "cake and candy" store on a Monday, a person should really take note of whether or not the lights are on in the store before unloading all the kids and approaching it.
*When the door remains locked on the "cake and candy" store even after pulling on it 6 times, it is better just to leave then to call out "why God, why?"
*My mom refers to my house as "the black hole". When things get brought here they don't leave and when people "stop by" they often get sucked into the chaos and end up "staying to help out". Some people are able to quickly escape, but they are clearly made of stronger stuff than most.
*My mom stopped over tonight to get some measurements of the boy-who-is-turning-5-this-week. I called her 3 times before she came to ask her to A) bring a duck cookie cutter to be reshaped into a penguin B)powdered sugar and C)black food coloring.
*She got sucked in and spent the evening making 40 penguin cookies for Roman's school tomorrow.
*Roman is the "Big Apple" at school. He is bringing Penguin cookies, his penguin costume and a book about a penguin.
*How theme-y is that?
*Thanks, mom for the help (and the company that was taller than 4 feet).
I am on call for the hospital for the next 42 minutes.
Which is why I am still up.
Going to bed and being woken by the phone ringing 1/2 hour later is not fun.
I worked a 12 on Thursday night and an 8 last night.
I was scheduled for another 12 tonight but was offered call. So I took it.
I feel guilty when I take a "holiday" or call because I don't get paid for it. Well, I get a nominal rate for the hours I am on call, but that is it.
So here I sit, blogging and feeling guilty that I am not working.
Some of the benefits of staying home? *house got cleaned up *read to the boys *nursed the baby before her bedtime *long political discussion with Noah *long discussion with Noah about Genesis *3 games of sequence *may get some sleep tonight, so I will be able to enjoy church and family tomorrow!
Just gotta keep remembering the benefits...
I am not working much during the week right now because of the homeschooling going on around here. It is so conflicting. I know I need to be home and at my best during the week, but having 4-5 day stretches off every week makes me more anxious about the shifts that I do work. It is hard to switch gears every weekend to work and than switch back to home, which is what (I think) is feeding my anxiety.
But...I've been meaning to post about homeschooling.
Things are going well. I occasionally have thoughts about how nice it would be to have Deacon in school all day and the other boys in preschool, but I know that it is somewhat selfish.
And for me, doing what is right for my kids is more important than my free time.
Yes, sometimes Deacon and I butt heads over the way school should be run...but do you know what? I am an adult and I should be able to having a working relationship with my own child. Don't you think?
We are busy though. Generally we can finish school in 2-3 hours if things are going well. In addition to that I try to do something for PE everyday. They are both doing swimming lessons once a week at the Y, Gym and swim once a week and Deacon is in flag football. We are also going to try to take advantage of the rock wall at our Y. The boys are all in AWANA and Deacon will start kid's choir too (he does not want to do choir, but I am insisting). Lincoln goes to preschool through the school district once a week and to private therapy once a week.
But the thing we are all most excited about?
The boys one-day-a-week school.
I found a place a little north of us that offers classes for homeschoolers. It is a little expensive, but I think it will be worth it! Once a week we go there for 3 hours. Roman is in the kindergarten class and Deacon is in a 1st/2nd grade Art/Science/Writing rotation. This has great benefits! They get to bring backpacks, get homework and have teachers and co-students; but they don't have to be gone every day from 8:40-4:20, which is how long the kids in our neighborhood are away being bussed and schooled every day. I love the program because unless it is my day to do some volunteer hours, I can drop the boys off and concentrate on the other 2 for the morning. I really didn't want to join a co-op and have to attend a parent support group...
We are using a hodge-podge of curriculum. I am using the language art books and math books that our school district provided for us. Deacon really likes them, and I have been fairly impressed as well. We are following Sonlight for science, Bible and history/geography and I have been supplementing it with "what your (K,1st, 2nd) grader needs to know" series. And of course we use the library a lot to supplement our text books.
We are all learning a lot!
Well, I am only on call for 3 more minutes, so I think I will call it a night. Happy Sunday, all :)
Only it wasn't sour at all- it was only rice cereal. We started given it to her a few weeks ago at around 5 1/2 months. She likes the rice cereal, but she doesn't like the other food we started introducing last week. She seems to be teething and going through a growth spurt, so I would like her to eat more - but instead she has chosen to add in another nursing session at 0300! I am letting her do it for now because she does seem hungry, but hopefully soon she will be back to her 10-11 hour nights!
Berean can now successfully inchworm across the rug and get whatever she wants.
Yesterday it was Qui Gon Jin's lego cloak.
I took it away from her and told the boys again that they need to keep their legos picked up.
Deacon took poor Qui Gon from me and said, "Mom, will the slob come out of this? And will it ever be normal again?"
Thank goodness "slob" dries, or we would all be one soggy mess over here.
Normal? Well, that is a question for another day...
Hoping to get a post up soon, but between homeschool continuing, coop classes starting, speech therapy resuming, L's preschool beginning, flag football, swimming lessons, gym and swim, Awana and a birthday week to plan- I am out of time!
Deacon and I had gone out on a hunt for Star Wars fabric with which to make Roman a birthday present. We were unsuccessful, and upon finding that out Deacon exclaimed, "Why would you even HAVE a store that did not sell Star Wars stuff?"
Our baby girl is now 6 months. It has flown by and we can't imagine life without her. It is so fun to have a baby for the older kids to enjoy, and their enthusiasm over everything she does makes me experience every coo and movement in a whole new way.
I love all my kids, but I feel like I have been able to enjoy her the most. Deacon got a lot of attention, being the first, but I was a new mom in the middle of a move and I was a little obsessive about things at times :) I was so worried about Roman's reflux and his breathing all the time and so busy with 2 that I don't even really remember his babyhood. Lincoln was thrown into the mix and I remember even less about his infant stage. But Berean? I am really relaxed about her and I am just loving having a baby.
Have I mentioned that I love babies?
So here is a quick update:
*Cloth diapering. I cloth diaper during the day when we are home and use disposables at night and when we go out. It is a perfect combination to me. I love using the cloth, but I feel no guilt over taking a day off if I feel like it. My mom made me a bunch of all in ones and Noah really likes those :) And so do I.
*We have started Berean on some rice cereal and bananas. Sometimes she likes it and sometimes she doesn't.
*She gets up on all fours and rocks. She rolls. She likes to eat paper.
*She got her first tooth this week!
* I have no stats because I haven't taken her for her 6 month check up yet. I suppose I should make an appointment.
*She is sitting up to play now and seems to like that
*She is still sleeping well. She sleep from about 7:30-5:00 on average. Then she eats and goes back to sleep until about 7:30. She sleeps longer when Noah is the only one home. I think she somehow knows when I am not there. Sometimes she wakes up in the middle of the night, but we let her cry and she just goes back to sleep. Then she naps from about 9:30-10:00 and again for 2-3 hours in the afternoon. If she has an early afternoon nap she will maybe conk out for another 15 minutes or so later in the afternoon.
In non Berean news, we still haven't heard back from the insurance about the speech therapy appeal. We were supposed to hear 5 days ago and haven't. I called them today and it is still in process. I am not sure what that means and what the consequence of them not having our appeal done by the "deadline" is. I will look into that I guess if it is a less than favorable outcome, but I guess for now I will let it play out.
We started homeschooling in these parts this week.
I called my mother and apologized for all the moaning, groaning and wailing that I did during my own homeschooled years.
It has been going pretty well. We start school at 0830 and are able to finish everything by 1130 with a couple 15 minute breaks. It may get longer as time goes on, but for now everything that needs to get done is getting done, so that is ok with me. We have been spending our afternoons playing games, doing puzzles, playing with legos and going to the Y or the park for recess/PE.
Next week we start some "classes" at a homeschool organization, swimming, football, awana, Gym and swim, private speech therapy and phonological preschool one day a week for Lincoln.
But this post isn't about homeschooling.
It is about manipulative little girls.
Yesterday we went to the "far away" park. Basically it is the park that is a mile away versus 3 blocks. There were a lot of other kids there- mostly girls. My boys started playing with the girls and after some initial instruction by one of the "girl mothers", "No, you have to let the boys play." and some whispered instructions from the "boy mother", "Don't you dare pull down your pants and pee in the woods". They were off and running.
They were penguins, they were pandas, they were children and some of them were hamsters. They were camping, they were hunting- and all in one small grove of trees with paths.
I noticed all the of the girls running out of the woods and playing elsewhere at one point. The woods were suddenly silent. I ventured over to find my boys. They were sitting on logs in the middle of the trees. Silent and appearing bored.
"what's up?" I asked.
"That older girl told us that we had to stay in this room until morning." Deacon reported.
A million thoughts ran through my head. I grew up with sisters. No elementary/preschool age girl would get away with telling another one to "stay in this room until morning". Either the girl would have super powers to get out of the fake room or would go running to their mom.
But my straight forward boys who actually pretend to die when they are "killed", had apparently accepted this "older girl" as the alpha dog and were willing to play her way.
"You don't have to do what she says, you know". My leftover 2nd grade girl came to the forefront and I couldn't keep my mouth shut. "Besides, this isn't even a room. Nothing is keeping you in".
The game went on and my boys were sad to leave. Sad and clamoring to come back today.
So we went back. And the girls came back.
Then came the moment I knew would come. The innocent looking, big blue eyed girls came out of the woods with sticks. I knew my boys would be close behind. And they were.
Some of the girls were poised to fight. Some of the other girls were crying.
I approached the boys. I reminded them that they were playing with girls.
"The girls wanted to play war," Deacon said. "They are the ones who picked up the sticks first."
But the girls have stick wars with their Daddies. And their Daddies love them and look out for them.
My boys are masters with stick swords and if someone challenges them with a stick, they are ready. They were born ready. And if someone opens a game of war, well that is an open invitation (in their minds) for, well, WAR.
One of the other mothers and I stepped in and tried to make it work. When it became clear that it wasn't going to work, we ended the war.
The play went on. I saw 2 little girls plotting to get this large log. A few minutes later they came running by holding it. Next thing I knew Deacon was running out of the woods with a new stick. I approached him because obviously I didn't want him threatening girls with sticks. Tears were streaming down his face. "They tricked me, Mom. Those girls came and said they wouldn't take anything from my campsite, and then they did."
And the 2nd grade girl still in my got a little riled up over my innocent son being lied to.
I told him that it is never any fun to be lied to, but that he needed to let it go.
And he did. Some of the older girls came over and negotiated a new deal with him and mediated the log conflict between him and the log stealers.
It was at that point that I chose to leave. I always try to leave when things are happy and positive versus when there are tears.
The neighbor kid was over and he was talking to the baby. She was smiling, of course, because that is what she does. Deacon said, "Todd, she sure has taken a shine to you!"
where, oh where, did he hear that?
Today Deacon and I were reading a book. He made some comment about a word and I explained something that was apparently not what he was asking about. He said, "no Mom, I was referring to this word."
I love that he uses words like "referring" and I credit his Dad for his vocabulary.
Roman was describing a picture he saw of Jabba the Hutt. "He was blue, Mom. TOTALLY Blue."
"Totally?!" I responded, trying to match his enthusiasm.
He gave me a sideways look. "That means that he was ALL blue."
The other day I set Berean on the bed and turned to grab her clothes. She flipped herself over and slid off the bed. I saw it happen but wasn't quick enough to prevent it. She had a smile on her face, thinking it was a ride, until she hit the floor.
I walked downstairs with her and announced that Berean had fallen off the bed. Here is the conversation:
Me: "Well, guys, Berean just fell off the bed. I can't believe that she fell on MY watch."
Deacon (who did not look like he had been paying attention, suddenly perked up when he heard those words): "What, MOM? Do you mean to tell me that Berean fell off the bed when you were responsible for her?"
Me: "Yes, Deacon, she fell while she was my responsibility."
Deacon: "But Mom, didn't you put her in the middle of the bed- after all, the middle of the bed is the safest place for babies"
Me: "I know it is the safest place for babies, but I did not put her in the middle of the bed."
Deacon: "You mean that you put her on the edge of the bed?!?!? The edge of the bed is NOT a safe place for babies because they can fall off. Why didn't you put her in the middle of the bed which IS a safer place for a baby?"
Need I go on? He has been paying more attention to what I have been saying than I suspected.
And the jokes continue:
Deacon made up a new one (I am sure this isn't the first time it has been made up, but I don't think he has heard it anywhere). "What does a cat read in the morning?" A: "A catalog!"
Of course Noah had to jump in on the fun with his own brainmade joke: "What is a mushroom's favorite section of the paper?" "the spore-ts section".
I had started this post earlier and never finished it. We are now back from family camp where a good time was had my all. News to report:
*Berean's first tooth erupted. The reason I know this? I saw it in her mouth. *We finally convinced Roman that he doesn't need his training wheels *Deacon jumped off of the diving board into the lake and practiced diving off the raft *Lincoln said Qui Gon Jing. Sort of. *Noah was playing softball and hit a ball so far it landed in the middle of the volleyball court and almost landed on a small child. *I put my hair in a ponytail because I forgot my hairbrush. *Men do puzzles in a very strange way
Tuesday will be the day for new beginnings: *start of the school year *implementing earli(er) rising *reimplementing strict exercise *Berean will begin eating more than rice cereal *I will begin the process of buying a new wardrobe. Maybe.