Monday, March 23, 2009

My Princess

Tomorrow we leave for Disneyland and a Mexican Riviera cruise. We will be gone for about 10 days. The kids are super excited and Eric and I are thrilled to be able to have some fun family vacation! One of the things that I find absolutely necessary when I go to Disneyland is a visit with the princesses. We went last year but Lucy didn't have a princess dress. The ones at the park are absolutely beautiful but they cost an arm and a leg. No way would I be able to convince Eric that Lucy needed to have one. So this year at Halloween time I found this Sleeping Beauty costume for only $1.50 (it was 90% off!).

I have been trying to convince Miss Lucy to wear the stinking thing for weeks now. She would scream and scream when I put it on. It was going to break my heart to not have her wear a dress in Disneyland on the day she met the princesses though. So! Yesterday I decided that I would try washing it and see if that would help.

Also this morning I cut off the sleeves that were super skinny and tight and net. They looked ridiculously uncomfortable and I though that maybe they were part of the problem. Lucy wasn't thrilled to be wearing it when I put it on her this morning but she didn't scream the whole time either so I am counting it as a success! I am taking it to Disney with us and she will wear it on Princess meeting day. Maybe she will decide to be a princess for me after all!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Discipline at Our House Starts YOUNG!!!

Eric and I have very effectively used the timeout method with both of the boys. It seems to work well and is a very PC way of discipline. The only downside to it is you have to be dead serious about it and it certainly takes more work than a quick spanking does. Although, I should mention, we are not opposed to a spanking now and again, depending on the offense. The kids have all been very different with how they have responded to this discipline.

Andrew was a super easy little boy all the way up until he was about 2. Before 2 all it took was a stern look or a little talking to and the behavior changed. He was extremely sensitive (still is) and easy to discipline. Once we started doing timeouts though it was an entirely different story. I remember one day it took me an hour and a half to accomplish a 2 minute timeout. Not a fabulous day but it was a battle worth fighting because he has never again tested me on it.

Zane was MUCH younger when we started the time out process. He was (and is) completely oblivious to stern looks and gentle rebukes. Unless you are actually physically removing him from the naughty situation he will continue on in it. He is just a much more boundary testing child in that way. I think Eric and I started with the whole timeout thing with him when he was about 16 months old. He may have been younger. All we would do is set him against the wall and hold him there for about 30 seconds. As he got closer to 2 we upped the time more toward a minute. Do I think he really knew and understood what was happening? No. But I do think he realized that whatever behavior he had been doing was unacceptable to us and he did not get to continue it. Plus our kids don't get timeouts without warnings, at least not at the start. And it did sink in that he was getting put into timeout. When he did turn 2 and we started setting him in the timeout spot he did not get out. He would sit there the whole time without a fuss. So I guess it was a success to start so young in someways.

Why all this talk about timeouts and discipline you maybe asking yourself! Well today Miss Lucy got her first timeout. And yes, she is only 14 months old. She has been randomly hitting me, Eric, the boys for the last few weeks and frankly that is unacceptable in this household. I will not tolerate it in the boys and I am certainly not going to tolerate it in a sassy little girl who thinks she is too cute and the rules do not apply to her. The time had come for a little lady to get a taste of discipline in our house. After 2 warnings to stop hitting Eric's leg, I promptly picked her up and carried her over to timeout (speed is important at her age, otherwise she forgets what she did) I set her in the timeout spot and held her there for 30 seconds. No eye contact, no talking. Just passive resistance to her squirming and shrieking. When the time was done I told her she was not to hit. It was not acceptable and then we went and said sorry to daddy and got/gave kisses. Simple? yes. But it is a lot of dedication on our part because now she has started this trip down discipline/manners road and Eric and I are determined to have pleasant well mannered children. And frankly the work involved in that starts a lot earlier than any parent wants it to!

I should mention that I have been EXTREMELY blessed in a hubby like Eric. We team parent and both of us are on the same page with discipline. I don't have to worry that he is not going to back me up. We are in this together and have a common goal in mind. That isn't to say that we don't disagree occasionally about methods or severity of punishment. But for the most part we stand together as a unit. And discuss differences later, not in the heat of the moment and not in front of the kids. Something EVERY parenting couple needs to do. No one parent needs to be the bad guy. Kids respond best when the boundaries are similar enough between the two that they know what the expected behavior is. Ok, off my little soap box now!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A New Game for the Crew

Our church has an annual garage sale to support the Vacation Bible School that we put on. This weekend was the sale and I got this new (used) fooseball/air hockey/ping-pong/pool table for the kids for only $15. This is the perfect size for the boys and Lucy (when she is on a chair) to play. Eric and I have been debating getting a larger pool/air hockey table combo but intended to wait until they were a bit older. But hey, for $15! we couldn't pass it up.

Now, I must admit that fooseball is my game. At my private school I went to growing up I played all the time. It was one of the only things to do when it was raining and we had inside recess. So I got pretty good at it. Eric, on the other hand, has never really played the game so I have finally found something I can smoke him at. Kinda nice actually!

Of the two games (that we tried today) I think the kids enjoy pool the best. We don't have the cues yet but that is ok. They kids are having a fabulous time just rolling the balls into the different pockets. Lucy stands on a chair at the end and can play too. Lots of fun for all three and it is going to be great for the long rainy winter/spring days ahead!

T-Ball Practice

T-Ball practice started for Andrew last week. I didn't go because it is right in the middle of Lucy's normal nap time. Kinda a bummer but we are making it work. Today we got Lucy down for a nap early and so we all went to watch Andrew play. I managed to only get this picture of Andrew during practice. His team is called "The Zoo Crew" because there were so many different animals suggested. The practice only lasted an hour and Andrew had a wonderful time! He was kinda disappointed when practice ended so early. But he does have a freakishly long attention span in comparison to kids his own age.

Zane had fun at practice. I think he was a bit interested but I should have brought snacks for him. Snacks always make other siblings practice more appealing.

Lucy was in seventh heaven running around the field and finding any and all mud to play in. Crazy girl. I can tell that she is going to be trouble on game days. She wants to be in the thick of it and that is just not terribly safe!!!

Can't wait until his next practice or game which will be after we get back from the trip. I think Andrew is going to be quite the baseball player. He is great at hitting the ball and fantastic at catching it. Eric and I were very surprised at how well he was doing catching the ball when other kids throw it. He just has practice with us so I was curious how that was going to work. It is going to be fun, fun, fun all around for sure!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Not Miss Manners!

Miss Lucy and I have been at war for the past few days. I feel it is important that she starts to learn how to say (sign) please. This is something I did with the boys and they responded very positively to it. Generally getting them in the habit of saying please is pretty easy. You just keep asking them to say it until it becomes like second nature and then when they actually speak everyone is impressed with their wonderful manners. I usually ask them for the sign when they want some more crackers or milk or up on my lap. Miss Lucy though does not feel like she needs to be polite. She will stand and scream at me until she is all worked up but she will NOT sign please. The logical thing to do would be to help her do the sign and then pick her up. The only problem with that is she acts like you are ripping her arm off when you grab it to do the sign. She totally stiffens her arm and refuses to bend it plus she falls on the floor in a heap and screams. I don't really want to hurt her so I usually do this a couple of times until she lets her arm be slightly pliable enough to bend and force into the sign. Then I pick her up. Usually by this time almost 10 minutes of screaming have occurred and she has gotten herself totally worked up. But miss stubborn pants WILL learn manners. Just somebody please send me a crate of tylenol. I think I am going to need it!

Friday, March 13, 2009

BRAT and a New Medicine

Zane has been sick with the antibiotics he was prescribed for his sinus infection. I thought that it was just a phase but it has been getting worse and worse and worse. I will save you all the super disgusting details but just know that there have been several full changes of clothing and hose downs because he had absolutely zero control. I will just leave it at that. After talking to my ladies today (combined there are over 26 kids from 6 moms) the consensus was that maybe just maybe Zane is allergic to the meds. Plus I have been giving him Immodium for kids and it doesn't stop the problem or even slow it down. I called the doctors office this afternoon and finally this evening ended up on the phone with a nurse for the walk-in clinic because I had never gotten a call back and didn't want to give him anymore of the meds if he truly is allergic to them. I was actually kinda annoyed that my doctor had not called me back after I had called multiple times that day. Anyway, the end result is that I get to push liquids/Pedialyte, no dairy and a strict BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast and the nurse added in pasta noodles) until his tummy is calmed down and I am not supposed to give him the new meds until tomorrow night. I don't remember what they prescribed this time but it is a once a day thing and I have to wait until he is "firmed up" a bit. Poor little man. Eric finally put him in a diaper because he was having such a rough go of it. Plus I think Eric was tired of shampooing carpets. Hopefully my Zaner will be feeling MUCH better tomorrow!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My Little Scholar!

Just because Andrew is in Kindergarten doesn't mean that he doesn't have homework. Even though it is voluntary, not graded and just for the kids if they get bored. I try to get him to do some of the assignments throughout the week because I figure it is good for him. Plus he doesn't really mind the extra work. To him it is kinda fun.

The one area that I really have to encourage him is in his writing. It is by far his least favorite activity and it is also the one that he periodically misses out on due to his speech therapy. When I asked him last week about how he seems to miss a lot of writing/journal time in class he just got this sneaky smile on his face and said he didn't mind because it wasn't his favorite. AHA! That just means that this mommy is going to make you do it at home to kinda make up for it.

I did mention it to his teacher that he always seems to be missing writing and she has since then changed the class schedule around so he is not always missing it.

One of his homework assignments this week was to read a book, write out the title and say what was different and what was the same about the characters in the story. Andrew did a FABULOUS job of it. I couldn't be more proud! I will tell you that the name of the book was Dot, Sam and Tig and see if you can figure the rest of the words out. Most are spelled like they sound, a la "Hooked on Phonics" style. If you get totally stuck though I will help you out!

The second homework assignment that I had him do this week was a math problem. The problem was if there are three mommy kangaroos and they all have a baby kangaroo in their pouch, how many kangaroo's total. He needed to draw a picture and write a math sentence to go with it. The little stinker is totally getting math and he had the answer before he even drew anything. I made him do the whole assignment though just for practice.

Ok, I think my mommy pride has been officially exhausted for the moment. It is just so much fun watching him learn all this new stuff and see how all the wheels turn in his head.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Cure is Worse than the Sickness Sometimes

All three of the kids have been battling a cold for the past couple of weeks. I took them all in last Wednesday and only Andrew had a sinus infection. The colds have been lingering and finally on Monday I called the doctor back for some antibiotics for Zane and Lucy. I am pretty sure they both have sinus infections (nice lime green snot) so even though medicine for everyone is not my idea of a good time, I really don't want to deal with sick ones while we are on vacation.

The doctor prescribed augmentin for all three of the kids. Andrew can't stand the taste of it but Zane and Lucy both seem to suck it down. Thank goodness for flavoring in medicine!!! We have about 8 days left of it and I can't wait until it is done.

One of the main side effects of the augmentin is an upset tummy and diarrhea. Well, Andrew and Lucy have avoided any serious issues but my poor Zane is another story all together. Zane has had an easily upset tummy all his life (heat makes him miserable) and this medicine is doing a doozy on him! Yesterday I think the poor little man raced to the potty at least 8 times. Plus we had to change underwear twice. Totally sad. He doesn't seem to feel terrible but he just keeps having to go. He calls it dia-reba which is totally cute if you don't think about what he is really talking about. I have been feeding him yogurt left and right to try and toughen up the guts and he seems a bit better today. I just hope this doesn't last for the whole time he is on antibiotics. The sad thing is that I know the medicine is working for his poor sinuses because he has far less snot and he seems to be breathing better. Plus all the coughs in the house have stopped. It is nice and I am really ready for everyone to feel better!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Little Blessing #4 Revealed

Today was the big ultrasound day. I have been pretty excited this time around to see another little person. There is something about seeing your baby kicking and punching that is just thrilling every time. It NEVER gets old. The tech today was very nice and of course asked right off the bat if we wanted to know the sex. I have no ability to be surprised, plus I had a clue and a guess myself so all I really needed was confirmation.

They start the ultrasound and look for all the major organs and body parts. Kid has a brain, kidneys, diaphragm, bladder, heart, 2 hand and 2 feet. All seemed pretty good. I have had some techs look for the sex first thing. I prefer that. Then I can sit back and relax and enjoy the rest of the time looking at the baby. This tech chose to wait until the end.

My gargoyle!

Eric and I did get a glimpse (or what we thought was a glimpse) when the tech was checking out the legs and feet. We got a good shot between the legs and I thought "HOT DOG! She is going to tell us!" She didn't though and we had to keep waiting. After awhile she asked me to go to the potty because baby needed to move a bit for her to get the rest of the pictures. I got done and Eric and I both agreed that we saw a suspicious LACK of penis when she was looking at the legs but we didn't want to get too excited.

Finally she came back to the room and finished up (baby had moved, not stubborn like Lucy). She gave us all the confirmation we needed and a picture to prove it. We are having another girl!

For all you non-ultrasound people the three white lines the arrow is pointing at are the girl parts. A sissy for Lucy, won't that be fun!!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Bye Bye Phoenix

Today we are giving back Phoenix. Eric decided that he was too much extra work and stress so we are letting him go back. Hopefully he will have a hugely successful career as a K-9 with his next owner!

He has been a pain in the butt! But a pretty pain in the butt. I don't know that Eric and I will miss him (ok me especially not miss him) but the boys might and I am certain that Lucy will. She seemed to think that he was her personal jungle gym.

The time has come though. Adieu Phoenix! I wish you all the best!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A New Picture for Your Enjoyment!

Eric took this picture this morning. They were being super cute snuggling on the couch together!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

New Shoes for Lucy

As promised, here are some pictures of Lucy in her new shoes. I have been waiting for it to get warmer to get Lucy shoes but she really wants to walk around and explore outside and I think it is too cold for her to do it in her little Robeez. So off to the Stride Rite outlet we went. I really have changed my thinking when it comes to shoes and babies. With Andrew I was chomping at the bit to get him shoes. Zane, I was interested but ok with waiting. Lucy, I wouldn't buy her shoes at all if it weren't so stinking cold out that I didn't want her toes to freeze!

I was pretty particular with the shoes that I wanted to buy my little lady. I did not want to get sneakers for her because I wanted them to go with her dresses. And I didn't want to get any patent leather things because they would be just to dressy for normal play clothes. (Eric would have throttled me if I tried to buy two different pairs) These shoes were a good happy medium.

The only problem that I ran into at the outlet was that they only had what was out on the shelf for sizes in these shoes. We got Lucy's feet measured and they told me a 5 Wide. And because the shoe had a t-strap maybe an extra wide. Bummer. Here I thought maybe one of my kids would avoid the Fred Flinstone feet. Not to be I guess. Anyway, since they only had what I could see they didn't have the shoes in the color I really wanted (chocolate brown) they only had them in white. But I really didn't like my other options of styles so white is what she got. Hopefully they will fit her for awhile, although if I have learned anything about kid feet it is that they grow impossibly fast and are a wallet emptying commodity!