Friday, December 7, 2012


I am no Martha Stewart or Susie Homemaker. It would be nice, especially if I got paid to do it, but I'm not. I can cook. I'm better at baking. I know how to follow a recipe. I can clean...sometimes I do clean. Anyway, back on topic, earlier this week I felt like I could be a Martha Stewart or Susie Homemaker.

1. I made a dish that is ridiculously easy, but it called for ingredients I don't generally have on hand, so I made my own. I felt awesome. The dish is Italian Cream Cheese Chicken (thank you, Pinterest). Four ingredients and a crock pot, how can one go wrong. I'm a little strange (and addicted) so I usually have cream cheese on hand. Cream of chicken soup and Italian dressing seasoning, not so much (again, I'm strange). So, I made my own cream of chicken soup and my own Italian dressing seasoning. It was awesome. Here are my tips if you do this:
- cream of chicken soup is easy to make and it smells delicious, why buy it
- in the seasoning mix, use garlic powder (I did) and don't use the 2 tbsp of salt (I used 1 tbsp and it was too much)

2. I made freezer meals. What, I was thinking ahead, bought lots of chicken and chicken sausage, and actually did what I was thinking of. It's true and I'm super excited. I made 6 meals (huge, we'll have leftovers I'm sure) and some spaghetti sauce (two quart bags worth). I still have one more meal to make, but there is currently no room in my freezer. It doesn't require meat, so I plan on doing it a little later. Here are the links to the recipes I used along with how I altered them in any way. I can't tell you if they taste good yet, but soon...very soon!

Loving My Nest
- Bean Stew - haven't made but plan on doing soon
- Sausage and Bean Supper - the sausages aren't pre-cooked, just in their casings. When it's done cooking I'll cut the sausage up (I meant to take it out of the casing so it would cook and the crumble when stirred but I got in a hurry).
- Spaghetti Sauce - I dumped everything in the crock pot (sausage not cooked, would probably brown it first next time) and used pureed tomatoes (about 10), diced tomatoes (about 5), and spices to make my own spaghetti sauce instead of using store bought. The idea for which spices came from here. I also added in some oregano.

6 cents
- Hawaiian Chicken Sandwiches - pineapple was on sale so I cut up one whole fresh pineapple and I didn't add the chicken broth, I'll do that when I throw it in the crock pot

Stacy Makes Cents
- Chicken Fajitas - I've made this before and it's yummy. Again, I didn't add the stock, I'll add 1-2 cans (I use more than she calls for) when I put it in the crock pot.

Crepes of Wrath
- Shredded Chicken Chili - I didn't change anything. I did just as it says. :)

Ring Around the Rosies - She has some awesome tips as well.
- Sausage and Peppers - I halved the recipe.

Get Crocked
- Sausage, Potatoes, and Green Beans - I left the sausage uncooked and in it's casing. I'll just cut them up when everything is done cooking.

We Pass the Time of Day to Forget How Time Passes
- Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup - I haven't done this one yet, but I think it would be good to do. I'd only put what is mentioned in Step 1 of the directions into the bag.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Somehow three years have passed since the twins were born. There were days I wondered (and still do) if they would survive childhood through their own clumsiness and through the joys of having brothers. They are smart, funny little boys who bring a great deal of joy into our lives.
A few days old
1 year
2 years
3 years
Note: In all pictures, J is on the left and G is on the right.

December daily - modified

Last year I attempted to make a December Daily photo album. It turned into a daily post on my blog and an album that has yet to be finished (printing pictures every day doesn't happen in my world). This year I'm doing a modified version. I'm using some one word prompts to take pictures and adding in some photos of our family traditions and some new things we want to be traditions. Some will posted on my blog (not daily) and it may or may not end up in an album. My desire is that it would, but I'll be realistic about that part.

Dec. 1 - 64 degrees - view and joy
Joy - G
Joy - J
Joy - H (and his silly face)
Joy - W
Dec. 2 - 62 degrees - holiday movie
Our newest in the collection
Dec. 3 - 65 degrees - red and home decor
Red leaves
Red shirt (G - J in blue)
Our home decor (as I wait patiently to get a tree)
Advent/Nativity - Sunday started advent (we did it Monday due to children without a nap falling asleep early). Each Sunday we'll light the candle for that week (and the previous weeks) and add the corresponding figure to our nativity.
Candle #1 and the prophet

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Tough questions

H is full of tough and interesting questions lately. Friday he started asking if Jesus was coming back down here and when. I explained that he was and we don't know when. Next he wanted to know why I don't know when and I told him it's a surprise. He has asked at least once every day since then if Jesus is coming back and when. He even gives me answers. I don't know why it's on his mind but I think it is fascinating and I hope he continues to ask and think about it. Saturday he asked me what a soul is. I was a little stumped at how to explain it in a way that would be fitting for a 5-year-old. Thankfully we have people to ask for help. I mentioned asking our pastor when we went to church, and that is just what he did. When we were in services he asked if it was time to talk to the pastor. Once services were over he ran up to him and asked. He was satisfied with his answer and now will tell me when I ask him (complete with hand motions). It is our whole person/being. He's a smart little cookie. I don't know that I feel totally ready or equipped for the questions I know are coming in the future, but I'll do what I can to get ready and be thankful he feels he can ask me.

Heart treasure

W recognized me and smiled. My heart melted. I can't say it's the first time, but I've never been this far away. Husband was holding him on the couch and I walked into the room. Even now, hours later, when I think about it it brings joy to my heart.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

From worse to better

Not the best morning. A tired and sore mama isn't usually the best mama. I'm glad to say we're doing better. The back door is open and outside play has commenced. Between working on laundry, pushing children on swings, trying to convince H that a bouncy ball and a basket make for a great game (which worked but didn't last long), and finding a feather things are looking up. W has a snotty nose and I'm hoping it's nothing but a snotty nose due to weather. Regardless, he's a good baby and we're having a much better time now. I plan on sprinkling bits of creativity time (we've had some drawing/coloring time) in there as well. The goal is to play the energy out, take a nap, and then do it all over again. I'm thankful we have some blue skies so I can keep that goal without going down to McDonald's. Then again, I'm thankful there is a McDonald's close enough that we can enjoy the play place if we need to.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Happy, tired, thankful, and maybe a little over the top

I adore my children. They are wonderful and amazing. Here is only a small list of why each one is awesome.

- he's learning Spanish (and he's bringing it home which I love)
- he's trying to sound out words and read them
- he loves his brothers and can be very sweet with them
- sometimes he picks his outfits based on how they match his underwear
 - he wants every child in the world to have jello, and he's willingly to be the person who makes it and gives it to them

- he loves each of his brothers and he shows it in different ways
- he has a smile that makes me melt
- he loves books
- he still likes to be held
- he wants to be more independent (getting dressed and putting on his own seatbelt)
- he colors inside the lines (and has for a while now)

- he always wants to know where his brothers are and will ask
- he's a klutz and doesn't let that stop him from doing things I think he shouldn't do, like climb
- he doesn't often smile for pictures, so most pictures of him with big smiles are pictures of real smiles
- he doesn't care about coloring in the lines
- he knows the color black
- he loves and looks adorable in them

- he's two months old (9.5 weeks to be exact)
- he puts himself to sleep
- he doesn't use formula 99% of the time
- he's beautiful (and sometimes reminds me of a cabbage patch doll)
- he doesn't talk back, get into things he shouldn't, etc (I know the day is.coming but I'm treasuring that it isn't right now)
- he's a cuddler

 So, that's just part of why my boys are awesome. I never pictured myself a mother of four boys age 5 and under, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I can't say I've felt this amorous about it all day. They have exasperated and worn me out, but that's what they do. I still love them, and sleeping boys are so peaceful and perfect looking it makes it easy to forget the bad and remember the good.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Random tidbits of life

So much going on lately (and yet it feels like we don't do much at all). Here are some highlights of our last 2-3 weeks.

1. W is growing. At his 5 week check up he was 9 lbs 5 oz and 23 in long. And, as I'm am super excited about this fact, that is without having to use formula on a consistent basis.

2. H is getting an award at school tomorrow. I'm not sure what it's for, but I'll find out. I think it may have to do with passing his second sight-word list early, but I don't know.

3. We met with H's teacher for a conference on Monday. She is extremely happy with his progress over the last two weeks. That might sound funny to say, but he has improved since the beginning of the year, and even more so over the last two weeks. He went from knowing how to count to 5 in Spanish (and that was it) to knowing some of the letters and their sounds and being able to count to 10. He's understanding directions better, writing neater, and completing more classwork. He's also bringing words home. He always calls his backpack a mochila, says salud when we sneeze, and throws out other words as it suits him. Probably the most exciting things is hearing him try to sound words out. I am one super proud mama.

3b. H's teacher also shared that there was a student in class who was having a hard time making friends and who had been absent for several days. When he returned H walked up to him and told him he was glad he was back and that he had been missed. She said the little boy's face lit up as H turned around and went back to his seat. It makes me even more proud that, despite his very five-yr-old-boy attitude sometimes other people see his kind heart. Being at home with him and his brothers (and not getting very much sleep) I sometimes forget how much he cares about other people. This story made me more proud than any work he could ever do in school.

4. H wants to be a firefighter when he grows up. He used to want to be a policeman, but now he's changed his mind.
When I grow up I want to be a firefighter.
5. The twins are talking more and making sense. They often repeat the last word or two that you say when answering them or giving them directions. They talk to us, they talk to each other, and they talk to those with whom they feel comfortable.
J and G
6. The twins are potty trained. I only have one child who's diaper I change, and he's six weeks old. I can handle that.

7. D returned to work. It's sad (turns out it was really nice to have both of us home all the time), but he's happy to work and I'm happy he has a job.

8. I'm getting things done, maybe not all I want to, but things are getting done. I may not have it all down, but I feel like I can handle this thing called parenting four children 5 and under and still kind of run a house. I made a healthy dinner last night, and plan to again tonight. May not seem like much, but I'm sure Husband is glad we aren't eating cereal, nuggets, or leftovers and I know he's glad we aren't spending money on going out to eat.

9. Husband found some lizards while doing yard work yesterday. The twins enjoyed looking at them and then were quite happy to let them go. I'm glad they have a chance to see lizards and a dad who is glad to catch the lizards for them.

10. We went to a Bug and Reptile day at a local nature reserve. All of my boys touched or held a snake (I guess that makes me happy, though I had nightmares that H picked up a venomous snake that night) and were so excited to see the wildlife (in cages) and run around.
11. places they should and shouldn't (and yes, I tell them to get down frequently).
Following H's lead
Checking out the neighbor's party
Talking to the neighbors
12.Almost forgot, Husband is going to get his eyes "blazed" as H says. He has lazer eye surgery in less than a eek and he is very excited about that.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Things I love a lot right now

There are tons of things I love a lot right now, especially in relation to my boys, so I thought I'd "jot" them down.

1. I love that all my boys call Dumbo Jumbo (the name his mama gave him).
2. I love that my boys love "Jumbo" and don't feel sad watching it.
3. I love how J adores W and wants to hold him and comfort him all the time (now to work on a better solution for not crying than putting his hand over W's mouth).
J and W

4. I love that H is doing well in school and starting to better understand and learn Spanish.
H brought these too me and told me that one was pequeño
and one was grande.
5. I love our friends - we have amazing ones.
6. I love the drawings that H does - they are so funny and creative. This is especially true on his homework - those are the best!
A shark that ate a bathtub (rotate left)
H dreaming of a paintbrush (rotate left)
7. I love my husband and how he takes care of us and that he was super excited to be a daddy again.

8. I love that I was able to drop H off at school this morning with three other kids in tow. I can do this!
9. I love my sister and how frequently we talk (not as often since W's been born, but still).
10. I love that my brother and I have a good relationship even though we don't talk very often. Maybe I should work on that...
11. I love that I have four boys.
12. I love this face.

13. And this face.

14. I love that I'm able to stay home. I have no idea how long it will last, but I'll take it for as long as I can.
15. I love nap time! I especially love it when it takes place wherever they drop.
16. I love that the twins are content with water cups when we go through a Starbucks drive-thru.
17. I love how the twins, especially G, want homework because H has homework.
H doing his homework
G and J doing theirs - I draw things in highlighter for them to
trace, color, or whatever they desier
18. I love hearing my boys tell Husband, "Read, Daddy" and "Sing, Daddy."
19. I love hearing H retell stories he heard at school - his current retelling is The Three Billy Goats Gruff.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

2 weeks

Little W made his appearance two weeks ago. I can hardly believe it has been this long. His brothers adore him and love to hold him. They want to be around him and kissing him all the time. We're working on gentle touches and how to love on babies so that they don't scare him.

He's such a mellow little guy. He likes to eat and sleep, but rarely cries. When he's awake he'll lay in bed (or the floor, or our arms, or "sit" in his fully reclined high chair) and watch all that's going on around him. He tolerates all the noise and crazy of our house so well. Even when he jumps, he doesn't usually fuss. We're settling into a routine, and trying our best to work it around an existing one. Of course, some things can't be rushed and I'm glad we had time with my mom and have time with Husband home to get things fine tuned before we are left on our own, just Mama and four boys, to figure things out.

He prefers to sleep on his tummy, though he doesn't mind his side and sometimes tolerates his back. Even knowing he sleeps longer this way and could possibly give me an even better night's sleep (he does at least one 4 hour stint), I still can't bring myself to let him outside of nap time. Probably because nap time takes place in a cradle in the living room right were I can see him. I don't know how long stopping him from sleeping on his belly will last. He's managed to wiggle his way to his tummy from his side several times now.

Husband did note that he doesn't smile too much (except for in his sleep). He does appear to be more pensive than all the others. I'll attribute that to coming into a chaotic world instead of the more calm and serene of no children or one child the other's had. Regardless, he's sweet and precious and perfect and I am so glad he's here and loved by all, completely accepted into our family by all those around him.

Friday, September 21, 2012

#4 has arrived, and he has a name

Well, #4 made his appearance a little early (about 2 weeks), but given his size I'm glad he did. We went in on Sept. 11 with some contractions (6 min. apart), pain, and a worried mama. I expected to be sent home. Our doctor decided to do the c-section rather than get called in a midnight (something we may have done to him almost three years ago). So, #4 was here earlier than planned. He arrived at 6:17pm, weighted 8 lbs. 3 oz. and was 21 in. long. He is my biggest baby, and I was quite surprised as they called out the weight and length. Still, when you add an extra 3 inches, the extra pound doesn't seem that huge. He is the spitting image of his oldest brother, H, and everyone is excited he's here. He eats well (not a surprise considering) and sleeps through the boys playing and noise extremely well. Already he's been kind enough to give me a few nights that have included a 4 hour stint in them. If he keeps this up, I might actually get a full night's sleep before he turns a year, what a dream that would be.

Wyatt Isaiah
Mama and baby - Look at those thighs,
he's our first with chubby thighs
Cheeks again
All curled up - his favorite thing to be (besides held)
Family reading time (W is in the lower right)
Sweet boy

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Mickey Mouse

Many months ago H told his preschool teacher that he was having a baby brother. She happened to have season pass to Disneyland, a place he likes to pretend we go to all the time, and one day he told her we were going there just like she was. He proceeded to tell her that we were going to buy some Mickey ears for his baby brother (nevermind that the twins don't have any and we haven't been there for over two years) and he was going to come home looking like Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck (not sure where that came from either). H's imagination cracks me up sometimes. Still, from that conversation between a 4-yr-old and his preschool teacher came an idea that I have wanted to work out for a while now. I've seen all sorts of cute Mickey outfits for newborns on Pinterest. Most of them are crocheted or knitted and most of them cost money.
Click picture to go to an etsy shop for someone with
some amazing talent
Click picture to go to an etsy shop for someone with
some amazing talent
I'm cheap, and I was sure I could find a pattern where I could quickly sew something together. Yeah, right. With nothing coming up through Pinterest or Google, I started gathering ideas in my head to do it myself from my own head. This is where things always get tricky. I think my mom, Husband, and sister-friend all get a little scared when I say I'm going to do things from my own head. My ideas don't always work, and I usually make them more complicated that they need to be, but it's always an adventure for everyone involved.

I decided I would make a hat, onesie, and booties. A friend of mine tried to help out and buy some yellow booties for us. They're cute, and I'm sure I'll use them, but I still want to make my own (I already have the perfect color material).

I got out a hat from when the twins were born. I know this hat will fit and stay on. It will be the pattern for my hat (of course, I'll be adding ears - no name on the back...maybe I can ask Husband's mom to do this at a later date). The onesie is a little trickier. I can use an existing one to make a pattern or use a freebie pattern from online (none of these are newborn size though and I tend to have small babies). I was originally going to make it black with a red bottom. Now that seems like an awful lot of effort and I'm thinking about doing a onesie and red shorts instead. Don't ask why I don't buy a pack of white onesies and die one black. I have thought about this. With about 2 weeks to go, it may be what happens, but part of me found it easier to sew one instead (see why ideas from my own head can be a lot of effort and a little scary). At this point I think a diaper cover/shorts is the way I'm going to go. Then there are the booties. They'll be cute. I think they should be easy. I have some patterns in my pattern box, so I won't be going totally out of my head on this one. Still, they should only take three pattern pieces and I have a feeling they'll be the easiest part of the entire endeavor.

My sister-friend is coming over today to help me prep our bedroom and get the bassinet all set up. After that, depending on how much time is left before a birthday party Husband and I have at 6:30, I may attempt to get started. It really is a now or never type of project. The hat is my biggest focus. If all we come home with that is "special," it has to be the hat. I don't know if H remembers saying that, or if he even still has that idea in his head, but I don't think anything will make him more excited (except maybe a Batman mask because he has decided that is what we will name the new little one - one crazy mommy idea at a time).

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Homemade Shake-n-Bake

I remember seeing the commercials for shake-n-bake as a kid and thinking it looked like fun. My mom never bought it. Fast-forward a good number of years. My then new husband asked me to make shake-n-bake and is stunned to find out I've never made it, eaten it, etc. Nearly nine years of marriage later and I can't tell you how many times we've had it. I love it. There's something in the seasoning and it is wonderful. Pair it with some mac-n-cheese and steamed veggies and you've got one awesome meal.

I had some chicken breast in the fridge that I was going to use for dinner (who knows what I was going to make) and Husband requested shake-n-bake. Only problem, we don't have any in the pantry. So, we looked up some recipes online and decided to try and make our own. It was yummy. I enjoyed the taste. It isn't shake-n-bake, but I'd definitely make it again. I don't know how it would pair with mac-n-cheese, but it was great with pasta that had a creamy tomato sauce. I think it would probably make a pretty good chicken parmesan because it tasted great dipped in the left over sauce on my plate.

There aren't any pictures. It looked like any other breaded and baked chicken cut up into nugget sized pieces (I knew that would mean less time for the oven to be on and possibly a better way to entice the boys to try it). I ended up combining a few recipes. Here's what we used.

1 sleeve of Ritz crackers
about 1/8 cup of dried parsley flakes
about 1 tbsp paprika
about 2 tbsp dried oregano
about 2 tsp of celery salt (when I do this again I'll just use one)
about 2 tsp of garlic powder
about 2 tsp of onion powder
fresh ground pepper (I have no idea how much - probably about 1 tsp. I just kept grinding until it looked good to me)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut up (there was plenty of mix made to use more chicken)

Crush the crackers in a gallon sized ziplock baggie. Combine all other dry ingredients in the gallon ziplock bag. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add chicken to bag (it can be cut up into bites, strips, or left whole - you can also use skin on, bone in). Shake until coated. Place on cookie sheet lined with foil (because no one wants to wash extra dishes if you don't have to). Cooking time depends on size of meat pieces. I cooked the nugget size pieces for about 15-18 min. An uncut breast takes about 30-45 minutes depending on size and thickness. Cut it open or use a meat thermometer and check for doneness.

Here are the recipes I used to get an idea of what to do.
All Recipes
Hillbilly Housewife
Dinner, a Love Story

**You can use bread crumbs or saltines if you'd prefer. I was aiming for about 1 1/2 cups of crumbs. I was using what was on hand (that was the purpose of the exercise). If bread crumbs didn't require the use of our oven (and if it hadn't been so close to dinner time already), I might have made some.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Getting Antsy

I have three weeks left with the large belly (well, with this large, baby-filled belly). It's exciting and daunting all at once. I'm tired (story of a life with young children, I know), but I feel ready in many ways. I'm ready to hold him and stare at him. I'm ready to cuddle him and smell the new baby smell. I'm ready to dress him in little onesies, and to have his brothers entirely smitten as well. I'm ready to teach them and show them how to be kind and gentle with a new little person. I'm ready to love this little one on the outside and let others love him as well.

At the same time, there are still things I need to do to get ready. The clothes are clean and out. We have diapers (in many sizes except the ones we need to begin with). I have a bassinet, but it needs to come out of the garage, be cleaned, and put in our room. That means our room needs to be cleaned. The boys room needs to be cleaned, and possibly rearranged. I have to clear out the changing table (it's secretary desk style) and fill it with things that are useful for changing diapers and taking care of a newborn. I had dreams of building a new bunk bed with three beds, but I don't think Husband is up for that challenge right now and I know I'm not. Still, it would make the room better for when I do eventually get out the crib. The bottles are clean and ready to go, but we need to buy nipples. That will all wait until we see how things go with this little one and the ways of nature. I really do feel like what I need to do isn't that big a deal. Yes, I want a clean house (which I'm neglecting). I want a to go through and get rid of things and minimize our stuff so there is more room for this little one. At the same time, I don't feel motivated to get things done, and I don't feel like it's a big deal. He'll fit in. We'll love him. Life will go on as it always does.

I'm nervous. Any time I've brought a baby home I haven't had to worry about the schedule of others. Husband has work, but that's it. Now, Husband has work and H has school. I don't want him to be late or miss school, and I'm not certain how that will work out the first few months. I know we pretty much have the first 3 weeks covered, but it is hard to let other people take care of it and be out of control with those things. My goal was for him to have perfect attendance this year. It's still my goal, but suddenly the outcome lies in other people's hands. The twins were an interesting adjustment, but we managed. Getting a schedule down with everyone didn't seem that difficult. I don't know how this little one will be with the schedule. I'm going to have to work harder to fit him into our schedule. Life can't stop because he arrives, though I'm sure there are parts of me that wish it could. Parts of me that wish I could focus on him like I did H, or even G and J who got a lot of attention because there were two.

So many things to do, so many thoughts running through my head. It is going to be busy, busy, busy. And, yet, here I am thinking I'm ready. Ready to embark on another adventure by adding another boy to our lives. Ready to bring him home and add chaos to chaos. Ready to have our family together in a way that everyone can experience. Thank goodness we have good friends and family who are here to help. I'm so glad my mom is coming down to take care of me for a week and my sister-friend will taking a few days off while I'm in the hospital to give her a hand. I'm grateful for a husband who loves me and does all he can for our family, who is willing to take time off and help out when the time comes.

Now, to get up and get things done; to really prepare for what we are doing now and what will be coming so very soon. Time to tackle laundry and dishes, the kitchen and living room, and getting all those little things into place before #4 arrives.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Happy Medium

I'm glad to say that school is going well. I'm not in the classroom observing H every day, or any day yet, but I look forward to the day when I can. I am excited to see him in action. Until then, I'm glad to be able to say that he is learning and growing. Watching him do his homework and seeing the way his mind thinks, it's interesting. Husband does drop-offs most days, but the days that I do give interesting insights as well. I enjoy seeing him with friends and interacting with the other kids. I love to watch him find his name tag, show me with a huge smile, put his backpack down, and run to the playground. I love that he is still excited to go when we get there, even if he isn't overly excited when I tell him he can't play because we have to get ready. He may not be excited about homework, but we're working on it and the newness of this concept. Maybe one day...maybe.

Now comes the fun of the happy medium. When do we push for more, how do we show him that even though he didn't get 100% his best is good enough. In his room they have a behavior chart based on color. Green is a good day. I'm happy and satisfied with green. We aim for purple (a great day) but are glad for green. H doesn't see it this way. He aims for purple and is upset with green. Monday was a yellow day (warning). He was sad he got a warning. That day we talked about aiming for purple. We have a book that they sent home about Bono el Mono (Bono the monkey). He goes to school and learns the rules and each of the pages is a rule he learns. We read this book almost daily (mostly to be reading Spanish and working on Spanish vocabulary), and we talk about what he did to get a big star at the end of the book. Unfortunately, H is disappointed that he isn't getting purple. He's disappointed and he wants to quit trying. Now begins the fun of encouraging and urging him to do his best, while still helping him to see that he can't give up when he doesn't get or do what he thinks he should. Now begins the fun of helping him to learn how to do more than we think we can. Now comes the fun of comforting my sad and disappointed 5-yr-old while helping him to see that I'm not disappointed in him (I'm over the moon if he had a green means he did what he was supposed to).

Life's new challenges: homework, encouragement, comfort. I suppose they aren't "new," but we are certainly looking at them from a different perspective. I pray I can help him in a manner that grows both of us to be better, me a better mother and he a better student/person.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Difficulties of Letting Go

Today I found that it is just as difficult now to leave H at school as it was the first day, perhaps harder because I didn't have anyone with me. Most mornings Husband takes him to school and picks him up because he can. I love that H gets special time with his daddy. Today I got to take all the kiddos and drop H off. I found it just as difficult, if not more so, to watch him go stand with his classmates, walk through the gate without me, find his name tag (without help), and go to the playground to play until it was time to line up. As I drove away I watched him try to hold another student's hand on the way to line up and that student told him no. Little things that make me wish I could be there with him. I want to play with him on the playground, I want to hold his hand, I want to sit with him and help him, and I have to let go. As I drove home I called Husband and let him know that I was glad he did drop-offs normally. It think I was closer to tears today than I was on day 1. I realize that being 34 weeks pregnant doesn't help with that, but letting go is hard. H is happy, he had a good day, and I am grateful that he is ready to walk a little ways without me. Now, I just have to prepare myself to let go so he can.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Happy Thoughts

A few quick and happy thoughts running through my mind this morning.

1. H found his name tag all by himself. He was so proud and he brought it over to show Husband that he did it.

2. I love how J will come to me and ask where G is (usually asking for him by middle name, not first). It is adorable to me that he wants to know and keep track of his twin.

3. G's crazy coloring skills. He's 2.5 yrs old and he colors inside the lines. Crazy, especially since I never showed/taught him how and don't stress doing it ever. Still, he loves to color with color pencils and he's amazing (coming from his proud mama).

4. Five weeks to go until the newest member of the family arrives. I'm excited to hold and cuddle him, to notice everything about him that reminds me of the boys and doesn't, to see if he has my nose and Husband's pinky fingers. I'm also realizing that time is quickly passing by and there is tons to do to finish prepping for his arrival (including deciding on a name).

5. I have the bestest sister-friend in the whole, wide world. Last night she and her husband took the boys so Husband and I could just hang out together. We went to dinner and got some ice cream. Then, after bed time, we watched a movie. So nice to just be together.

I'm sure I could keep going, but it's almost time to pick H up.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Week 1 Down

School week #1 is finished.

H seemed to do well. He has had some difficulties and we are working on supporting and encouraging him. I am fairly certain he loves the social aspect. I also know that is part of his struggle in class. The language barrier has made things a little difficult, but he hasn't expressed the frustration I thought he would. Some people who have experience with this program (dual immersion) say that it takes about 3-4 weeks to adjust and have the language part start to really click. I'm hoping and praying this is true for H.

We are adjusting to our new schedule. It hasn't been smooth. I'm using an alarm to get up for the first time in two years (admittedly I'm usually awake when it goes off, but now I have to get out of bed). The boys are used to some time between waking and eating and that doesn't happen on school days. Lunch is earlier than normal (which isn't too big a deal if we don't do snack or do a very small snack). Picking H up from school means that the twins nap earlier too (something I haven't quite figured out since they tend to fall asleep in the car on the way there...only an issue when I'm the only one picking him up). This isn't a bad thing, except they aren't making the transition to bed like they usually do and so they are getting shorter nap times and I'm not getting any nap time. All this lack of napping and being at school does make falling asleep at an earlier bed time easier though.

Ahh, the joys of new schedules and experiences. Here's to life progressing and children growing up. I do miss that little boy I could stare at for hours, the calm of just him and me, but I'm glad to see how he's changed and grown. I'm excited to see what this new adventure teaches all of us and how we can use it to continue to mold him into the person he will become.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


My heart overflows. This morning I found out that my H gave up his own goodie bag so that one of his classmates could have one. Yesterday, afterschool, he told me we were two short. I emailed the teacher to confirm and she said we were three short and he gave up his. There are no words to express how truly proud and happy I am. I know he is kind-hearted, and I know doesn't want anyone to feel sad, but this says so much about him and his personality. I knew he would show me how awesome he is, I just didn't expect a story like this so soon. My heart overflows!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Turning 5 and Entering Kindergarten

The day has arrived. My first born, H, turned 5 (well, tonight at 8:00pm) and started kindergarten. What a big day. From the little I could gather, he had a good time. I know he attempted to write his name, but he said he couldn't finish because he missed me and his daddy. Sweet boy! I know they colored and used shapes to build a house. He ate his fruit snacks and drank his juice and had some of his apple (no idea how much) but dropped it and threw it away because it was dirty. His sandwich is untouched, in his bag, to save for later. He said he made friends, but they did not tell him their names, and I'm not sure if he told them his. At the end of the day he passed out some goodie bags instead of cupcakes (as a teacher I didn't prefer the mess and disruption caused by cupcakes...especially on the first day of school). He seemed to enjoy his time and he hasn't said he doesn't want to go back, so I count today as a win.

We were able to drop off without tears (on all accounts) and pick up without tears. There were balloons on the gate for the first day of school, he thought they were there because today is his birthday. As we drove away, Husband noticed there was still one child on the playground and everyone else was lined up. Yep, it was H. The teacher walked over and we watched him hold her hand and chat with her as they walked to the line. Picking him up, Husband looked for the blond hair child and couldn't find him. He had on a birthday crown. When they got to the car (the twins were sleeping) he gave me a kiss and a big hug. He's growing up, and while I still wish I could be there and watch him play and interact and learn, I'm learning to let go...just a smidge, and let him show me how awesome he is.

Praying before walking to the gate
Crossing the street with Daddy (and J)
Waiting...and playing with his nose?
Welcome sign
Excited for the gates to open
Done with day one and a birthday crown
Today his 5 and a kindergartner!