Tuesday, October 15, 2013

On Hold

A few days ago Natalie asked me a question that has stuck with me. I was on the computer, reading or typing something, ironically I can't remember what it was. She said something to me and I automatically replied, "Just a sec." 

"Mommy, why do always say 'just a sec' when I am talking to you?" 

Ouch. It stung because it was true. Every time I am on the computer and typing or reading, I put her on hold. I put all the kids on hold. I immediately closed the computer and pulled her onto my lap. 

"You're right; I always do make you wait to talk to me so I can finish what I am doing first." 

"Why do you do that?"
"I don't know, but I'm not going to do that anymore. You are so much more important to me than whatever I'm reading. I'm sorry that I've been ignoring you. What do you want to ask me?"

It's so hard to drop everything to listen to a four year old jabber nonstop about ponies or what her brother did that was naughty but these are the things that are important to her. If I ignore her now, she'll give up talking to me altogether. When the time comes that she will really need to tell me something important, I need to be available to her. I need to be available to all of my kids. 

Even if right now the questions she's asking me are making my head spin...Why does fire make people die? Why can't I climb on the roof? Why don't snakes have legs? 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Admitting Defeat

I feel very defeated today. I am exhausted. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of nonstop chaos. School started, which meant a brand new school for Timmy, all day every day, and dealing with an overly tired five year old is definitely wearing thin on me. Natalie now goes to school three days a week, which isn't a huge deal. I'm frustrated with her because she went through almost the entire month of August and the first half of September without any accidents at all. The last week she has peed in her undies at least once a day again. If she were actually trying or felt bad when she had accidents I wouldn't be so upset, but she just doesn't try and she just doesn't care. She lies to me about it. So she gets a time out. I reiterate that the time out is for lying, not for the accident. She just doesn't care. Have I mentioned that age four is my least favorite age so far? Timmy was the worst child I had ever seen when he was 4. Now Natalie has his that age and I'm ready to run away forever. And Sammy? He refuses to wear diapers but pees on the floor. He rarely naps now and is unbearable when he doesn't. He has discovered how to voice his opinion and is getting physical. He pushes Tim and Nat and yells at everyone. He screeches that pteradatcyl screech any time he doesn't approve of something. My head is ready to explode by 5pm.

Then Chris was gone on a trip to the UP and then for work and while I am happy he got to have some time to himself to go hand out with friends and do something fun, I am incredibly jealous. When is it my turn? When do I get to go away for a week without kids? I never have. I'm fairly certain that the only time I have ever been able to be away from my kids over night (by myself) was when I was in the hospital last year. Oh boy, what a vacation that was! Almost dying, hopped up on incredibly strong drugs, and in constant and severe pain. Party time!

I joined the Moms Club in hopes of making new friends (which I have!) and being able to get out and do fun things with the kids but I haven't done anything! It's partly on me - when I am actually able to go do something with them I am just so exhausted and grouchy that I stay home so that no one has to deal with me being a whiny pile of over-tired mommy. Now I start a new "gig" tomorrow and help with childcare at a Bible study. I'm happy to help this and start saving some of my own money, but now I'm really feeling like I'm being spread too thin. I'm trying to help with things at Nat's preschool, I want to be involved with Timmy's school, and I feel very overwhelmed now.

What I want - a trip to a nice hotel (doesn't have to be overly fancy, just something with a clean tub, nice smelling towels, a comfy bed, a fridge, and an awesome TV with lots of channels. I want to be by myself - ALL ALONE - for like three nights. Somewhere with a continental breakfast and coffee available at all times. And not in Grand Rapids. I don't want to be close enough that if my kids want me I feel guilty being that close. I want to be far enough away that it wouldn't make sense for me to go home so that I don't feel as much guilt for being away from them. I want to watch movies and crap TV. I want to write. I want to crochet. I want to nap whenever I feel like napping. I want to take a walk by myself in an area where I'm unfamiliar so that it seems like an adventure.


I know, in 16 years my kids will theoretically be out of the house and then I'll get my break, right? Probably not. But I can dream!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Long Lost Blogger

Yep, as usual life got going and I haven't update in ages. Let's see, what is going on here in Cavaland...

+ Timmy started kindergarten! He is having so much fun in his new class and has already made some new friends! He talks a lot about Eden (a friend from preschool!), Mussa, Ryan, and Riley. The days are long and he often comes home an emotional mess, but he is learning so much and his mind is such a sponge. He is sounding out words and trying to spell words on his own. Yesterday he spelled out a-b-l and said, "Look! I spelled apple!" Even though it wasn't even close to most people, I was really impressed by him trying to find the sounds in the word.

+ Natalie started MWF preschool This is going to be the year that will decide if I put her in kindergarten next year or in young 5s. The way she is going now, I can see her going straight into kindergarten, but it's so hard to say. She IS potty trained FINALLY but recently has been having random accidents again, but I remember Timmy doing that at 4. She loves school and has so many little friends to play with, her favorites being Megan, Kenzie, and Ki'ahir.

+ Sammy turned 2 over the summer and he is definitely taking the terrible twos very seriously lately. He is exerting his own will most of the time and yells NO to us a lot, but he is still a very sweet snuggler who jabbers nonstop.

+ We went to the UP with Tim and Nat in August. It was actually a lot of fun with very little issues! We hiked and went to Lake Superior but most of the time we spent our days being lazy at the cabin and enjoying the beautiful weather and scenery. Natalie loved collecting toads in a bucket while Timmy loved fishing and swimming with Chris. I enjoyed not having to chase a two year old, but did miss my Sammy. He spent that week with Grandpa and Grandma C getting to have his own special time being spoiled.

+ We said goodbye to Wriley last week. It was her time, as the saying goes. Her hips were getting really bad and her legs would go out from under her while she walked and her aggression was getting really bad. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Timmy and I were a mess. Every day now we talk about what Wriley and Cooper are doing in Doggy Heaven. We agree that they are usually swimming or eating.

+ I joined a Moms Club through an online friend who actually happens to live by me! I haven't been able to do much with the group yet because Chris was gone to the UP for a few days and then had a work conference for a few more, but I'm really hoping to be able to do some more things with them in October. The ladies are all really nice!

+ I'm starting a new "job" this week! On Thursday mornings I'll be helping with childcare at a church nearby while there is a Bible Study going on. It does pay AND I get to bring my kids with me! Awesome! It may not seem like much, but it's a start! It won't be long and I'll be heading back into the working (out of the home) world and will need some things to plump up my resume considering I haven't worked out of the home since 2008!

That's about all I can think of right now. I'll try to do individual posts about the kids and how they are doing eventually, but for now I am just trying to keep up on any updates!

BTW - I don't plan on making this blog be JUST about the kids - I have so many other things I want to write about - my struggles with weight loss and health troubles, things I like, crafts and what not...but for the most part I do just love writing about my kids and about parenting from the perspective of a flaky mom with her hands full most of the time. I hope people do continue to read even if it does get boring!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Natalie-isms - the drama edition

Yesterday, Natalie was running through the house and being super crazy. Running in the house never ends well for my kids (Timmy ended up with stitches from running in the house last summer). She happened to hit her hand on the wall and I'm sure it hurt, but with Natalie everything is three times as dramatic as it needs to be.

I snuggled her in the recliner and asked if she was okay.

"I wanna move to a new house!" Chris and I were trying very hard not to laugh. I failed. "I wanna move to a new house! This house has bad walls!"


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Timmy at Five

So, my itty bitty baby Timmy is FIVE now. He turned five on March 13, and thinks he is the coolest kid EVER now, especially since he is older than his two best friends, Andon and Parker. So...Timmy at five...what to say. He is sitting next to me now, so I can ask him some questions.

Favorite Food: Mac n Cheese
Favorite Movie: Cars 2
Favorite TV Show: Twisted Whiskers (aka Twisten Whiksers)
Favorite Teacher: Mrs. Foote
Favorite Color: Green and blue
Best Friends: Lucas and Ryan and Parker and Andon
Best GIRL Friends: MacKenzie, Marcella, Presley, Paige V, and Kennedy
Favorite Game: Cars 2 Video Game & Tackle Daddy
Favorite Drink: Orange Juice
Favorite Song: Abba - Dancing Queen (Thank you, Lord)
Favorite Adult Friend: Mommy & Lindsey
What do you want to be when you grow up?: A Fireman, I ride in the back seat by the ladder
What's your favorite thing you like to do with Daddy: Play Cars 2 Video Game
What's your favorite thing to do with Mommy?: Snuggling (Melt my heart)
What's your favorite thing to do with Natalie?: Play Cars toys with her
What's your favorite thing to do with Sammy?: Watch Gabba with him
Favorite Animal: Bear
Favorite Sport: Basketball
Favorite Car: Lightming. (Yes, Ming)
What's your favorite thing to do in the summer: Go to the cottage and go tubing with Peter and Andrew.

Words Timmy still can't say the right way: Lightming (Lightning), Oitmeal (Oatmeal)

He loves to watch Ghost, Space, and Weather shows with me.

He is stubborn, moody, aggressive, and mean on his bad days.

On his good days he is affectionate, compassionate, patient, mannerly, and snuggly.

He is very social and loves to spend time with his friends. He is just someone who craves attention and loves to lavish his attention on you. He's just a very smart, clever child.

He is approx 41" tall and 41lbs. He's a square.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Grocery Shopping with Natalie

It's a rare that I get a chance to grocery shop without all three of the kids in tow, so when it was just me and Natalie, I took advantage. It was a couple weeks ago and in order to remember the events that unfolded in just that 90 minutes, I sent myself texts so that I wouldn't forget the adventure.

First, it was a trip that included bringing back bottles. For those of you that don't live in states where you can return pop and beer bottles for a cash refund, this involves shoving your cans, plastics, and glass into machines that will add up the amount for you. This is nice, but it's kinda sticky and gross. Remember when you had to count them up ahead of time and then the cashier would add them up and yeah, it was okay if you were one or two bottles off, but if you were off by more than that, those dimes mattered and you'd both recount all of your bottles? Classic times.

Well, it was a Saturday...a busy Saturday, complete with samples at the of every aisle, and other families trying to cash in their bottles too. Natalie wanted to help me with the bottles, but it already took every bit of geometry and puzzle knowledge I had to fit the bottles into one cart so that I could get them, and us, inside the store safely. All I wanted to do was get through the bottles quickly, but Natalie wanted to help so she would hand me bottles and of course, we would both end up covered in an icky corn syrup goo...really, that right there should cut me of my caffeine habit...

We finally got done with bottles and Natalie said she had to go potty. Okay, that's good. We head to the front of the store only to be reminded that the store is under construction and that the restroom was in the back of the store...by the toys....

We are now in the bathroom, the handicap stall so that I have room to maneuver with my not-yet fully potty trained child. I decided I better get my potty on while we were in there, so while I sat, Natalie decided that the handicap bar would serve as a good ballet bar and danced. Well, that was until she noticed that someone was in the stall next to us. So she kept peeking under the walls to see who was there. Awkward...

Finally, we head back to the front of the store to get a cart to finally do our shopping. That was when Natalie noticed someone. "HEY MOM! LOOK!! THAT GUY HAS NO HAIR! WHY DOES HE HAVE NO HAIR!?" Said bald man and his two tween sons turn and look at us and I flash an exhausted smile. They do not return this smile as Natalie continues to yell about the bald man with no hair.

I manage to actually have a pretty decent shopping trip until Natalie sees a kid with an Angry Bird hat. "MOM! LOOK!! AN ANGRY BIRD HAAAAT!!! LOOK! LOOK!!!! LOOOOOOOK!!!!! DID YOU SEE IT!?!?" Yes. I did. As did everyone else in the 50 yard radius of our cart.

We also had to stand directly under a speaker so that we could listen to the song "Somebody's Baby" by Jackson Browne, in it's entirety. Unfortunately, we were in the busiest row in the store. Who knew so many people would need sugar at that exact moment?

While we were checking out, we saw a preschool friend - James. It was a relief to see a friend - because there was a glimmer of hope that someone else was experiencing such a joyous shopping experience.

Despite all this, I'd still rather go shopping with her than the other two.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Samuel at *Almost* 21 Months

This Boy. This Samuel Harrison. I cannot begin to even describe this little guy. He is one of the most laid back, mellow, affectionate little boys I have ever seen. Most of the time. The rest of the time, this kid is  climbing. Everything. EVERYTHING. He is HILARIOUS too - the way he rambles his gibberish, his expressions, the things that he does with toys...too much.

He is starting to talk a lot more and show likes and dislikes in all areas. He LOVES Yo Gabba Gabba (just like his bubba and sissy!) and can't get enough of Brobee. He loves to eat and would all day long if we let him. He loves animals and babies and his favorite toys are cars, Nat's My Little Ponies, Cabbage Patch Dolls, books, and anything small that he can just carry around all day with him.

Some of his words are: Bow-beh (Brobee), Goggy (Doggy), Bye, Hi, Mama/Mommy, Dada/Daddy, Nini (what he calls his doll), Baby, Jump, Gabba (For Yo Gabba), Abbey (our cat), No, Deez (Please), Muk (Milk), Boat, Shoes, Eat, Nana (Banana), Coat, Socks...lots of words! He also "sings" along with music in the car or on TV.

He is obsessed with light switches, shoes and socks, and Brobee. He is starting to play with the other two, but still more of a parallel playing style. He loves any toys that make music and light up and with lots of buttons to press.

He is about 25lbs and 32" tall. Squatty boy. His eyes are really hard to tell what color they are. They are dark blue on the outside with a ring of hazel in the middle. I bet he'll go dark the way Natalie did. It took her two years for her eye color to change to green. His eyes are so round and expressive and he knows how to roll them already.

Some big news in his life is that we are in the process of figuring out some food allergies. He spent the entire winter with a terrible case of Eczema on his face, legs, and bottom. Nothing would take care of it. He also had a chronic runny nose, nasty poos, and would be irritable at bedtime. I took him into the doctor last week and she was 99% convinced that he has a dairy allergy. We have completely cut any and all milk/dairy from his diet. He is actually on almost a Vegan diet because he doesn't like to eat a lot of meat so I have been looking up a lot of Vegan recipes. I'm also learning that there is milk or milk proteins in so many foods I'd have never suspected - which makes me wonder what else is being snuck into food that we don't know about. While all of this is a pain in the butt, it has really inspired me to really think about the foods we are putting in our bodies. I've started making a lot more things at home so that I know what is going into them. I made some almond butter that Timmy says is better than the store bought peanut butter we have. All that is in it is almonds and a pinch of salt! I also bought cashews and peanuts so that I can make some other things that are high in protein that I know my boys love. Natalie, on the other hand, can't stand any type of nut or nut product.

We've had to switch his diapers (he is now using 7th gen dipes, but I am considering switching back to cloth because those dipes are insanely expensive.). We can no longer use the soap and detergents that we have been with him. I made a fresh batch of laundry soap for the entire family so that we don't have to constantly sort out Sam's clothes. I plan on making a dryer ball out of wool yarn so that I can get rid of dryer sheets.

I also have to limit/cut out as many citrus and acidic foods as I can, like certain fruits and veggies. I am learning so much from my friends who have had to deal with food allergies - and I'm glad that my sister dealt with this as a parent because my nephew had a LOT of food allergies when he was small like Sam. I think he has since outgrown most of them but may still have a few allergies.

If anyone reading this has any advice, tips, recipes, etc for children with dairy allergies, I am all ears! Thanks!

And now I leave you with a few cute pics of Sammy.

Eating lunch with Brobee

Reading, one of his favorite things to do

Gotta have a Brobee shirt!

Wearing Timmy's shoes

Swinging at Riverside Park

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Timmyisms: The Buffett Edition

Timothy Philip, age 5

"This is MY song, Mommy!" ~ while listening to Margaritaville in the van.

"Look, Mom! Eyeballs!" ~ while shopping in the laundry aisle and seeing the Tide pods.

"Look, Mom! That guy is wearing a bra!" ~ while looking at the ads on the side of Facebook.

"Mom, I wanna go outside and use my lookers to look at things that are really far away!" ~ after opening up binoculars for his birthday.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Natalie at 3.5

It's been awhile since I've done updates on the kids, so I'll start with Natalie Claire.

Natalie is now officially three AND A HALF. Where does the time go!? She is smart as ever and has a very sassy little personality. She can be very bossy and snaps at people if they aren't listening to her. She will not be a girl who will be pushed around and while dealing with her attitude can be hard at times, I love that she is not about to let anyone walk all over her.

She is doing really well in preschool for the most part. She is still not potty trained but I keep reminding myself that sometimes really smart children potty train later than others. It's just not a priority for them. She is learning her letters, numbers, shapes, and colors and is doing really well with that. The only issue she struggles with really is cutting but that will come in time. She has a lot of friends at school but is also able to play independently. Her best friends are MacKenzie and Ki'ahir but she also talks a lot about Nico, Josie, Megan, Addison, and Jaeda. Her best friends outside of school are Kenley and her cousin Joel. She also loves to play with all of Timmy's friends from school.

At home she dotes on Sammy. She loves being a big sister and when we are out and about with him she loves to be "in charge" of him. She still wants to spend time with Timmy but now that he is getting older he wants to do more "big kid" stuff and doesn't always want his little sister tagging along.

Her favorite things to do are coloring and drawing, dancing, singing, playing cars and angry birds. She loves to watch Care Bears, My Little Pony, and Angelina Ballerina. She also loves to sit and watch youtube videos of angry birds and cars.

She is about 28lbs and 38" tall now and her blonde hair is still very soft and fine. She has a soft spot for animals of all kinds, even snakes and insects. She loves to find worms in the dirt and make them her pets. She also loves to help Daddy make dinner and loves to help me edit pictures. She is in size 6-7 shoes and mostly in size 3/3T clothing with some 4s.

Nat is a sweetheart, very affectionate, and loves to give hugs and if you don't give her a hug before you leave somewhere, she will cry for an hour. She makes me very proud to have a little girl but also very glad I have only one!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Updates, Updates, Updates

Wow, I haven't updated since last year! Things have been CRAZY around here, but not in a bad way. 

+ Physically I am okay. I'm assuming that the PE is dissolved by now, but I'm still feeling the effects of having gone through such a traumatic ordeal. Some days I am totally fine and other days I feel like I can't catch a breath and that my heart is going to pound out of my chest. I also get frequent migraines now because of the meds. Sometimes it's bad enough to lay me out on my back and send me to the bathroom every thirty minutes. In general though, I'm doing really well. 

+ I have been doing my best to get to the gym 3-5x a week. I am so happy to have a gym so close to home that provides a clean and safe environment to go and exercise. They also provide childcare so you can't go wrong there! I am also glad that I have awesome friends with memberships there as well and I don't have to always be alone. I always feel more motivated to work harder when I have a friend by me. 

+ We've also been really busy with preschool events - mothers night, beach parties, valentines day parties, etc. I do my best to go to the ones where childcare is provided and help out as much as I can. The teachers there are doing such a great job despite everything that has happened this year. The least I can do is to help out where I can and do what I can. 

+ I will try to update on each of the kids and how they are doing at a later date :)