Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sick Day . . .

Lyddie is sick. She is usually the only one who stays well. Thank goodness too because girl does not handle illness well. Pitiful, crying, coughing, sobbing in the middle of the night. My drama queen actually has something legitimate to dramatize over. She is in her element.

This morning called for an hour of Popeye cartoons, followed by a trip to the CVS in PJ's to pick up the Redbox movies I had reserved online. This shall be a day where the 1 hour TV limit is thrown out the window. Honey tea shall be served along sides of crackers.

School is put on the back burner as Elijah gets square eyes along with his sister. His reading and writing will have to wait until I put the sick girls down for a nap.

Baby is soaking alone in a bubble bath, singing every song she knows, moving piles of bubbles from the teapot to the bucket to the doll to the ledge of the tub. Hoping that the slight stuffiness and hoarseness Bethy is exhibiting isn't the start of her coming down with Lydia's illness, but what can I say, when it comes to germs my kids are great at sharing. Since Bethy's TV attention span is about .47 seconds, she is up here with me, soaking, bubbling and letting Lydia rest pitifully on the couch, in her pj's, under fuzzy blankets, clutching a lovey.

I know that by the time dinner comes around and Justin walks in the door I will be more than ready to bail and head out to bible study. I only have so much lovin' in me. After pulling a sweet mommy all nighter with the middle child and babying everyone all day long, I will need a break!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Happy

Working on finding true joy.

True joy like my oldest, Elijah, 5, singing and snuggling and rocking his baby sister Bethany (2) to sleep yesterday at nap, then dragging her to the bed and tucking her in with a kiss and a "good nap." Standing outside the door listening to him croon, off-key and off-tempo, each and every request of his sister until she hung limply in his arms. One of the most precious things I have ever seen. Baa-baa black sheep, away in a manger, twinkle twinkle, Jesus Loves me . . .the sweet repeat of countless bedtime rituals with him, repeated by him. This boy is going to make a great daddy.

True joy like obedience and helpfulness when I need it most. Life and marriage have been especially tough lately. As much as I try and hide my sorrow, my pain, my hurt and most of all my anger, some of it seeps through into my mothering. When the children are pushing each and every button I have, tiring me out, disobeying at nap. I felt myself getting to that point. The point where every word coming out will be a criticism, a yell, a correction. So I stopped. We sat. I put them all on the couch, told them I was tired, sad, angry and I was frustrated with the way they were treating each other. I went one by one, told them why they were so special. Words of affirmation that they needed but more importantly I needed to remind myself of. They all left the couch grinning from ear to ear and Elijah immediately took control of the situation. He grabbed the clean up list, assigned chores to his sissies, came into where i was cleaning up and said "Let me get that for you mom, I can do it" and he unloaded the dishwasher. Every piece of silverware got crammed in the drawer, every dish shoved in the cupboards and he was just beaming. He knows I HATE the dishwasher. He immediately finished and grabbed a rag to wipe the table and counters, just like he's seen me do. He found the clothes on the floor and put them in the laundry. Checked on his sissies and got them back on task. "What else mama? What else can I do to help you?" Words to bless a mama's ears. True joy that, while I may not be doing everything right, while I may yell more than I want to, my actions, my love, my service are being noticed. In that brief 30 minutes of helpfulness I saw my little boy becoming a man. I wanted to weep.

These moments I am able to see the fruit of my efforts. My constant discipline. My constant teaching. My kids know how to be helpful. They do have empathy. They do love and want to serve one another.

I was snapped back to the grind shortly after the helpfulness. The bad attitudes brought on by hunger and tiredness caught up with the children. I was ready. I was in my prime. "Stay calm and press on!" We ate a snack, we read books, we snuggled and told silly stories, they took a really long bubble bath and played bedbugs naked while I changed the sheets. They had dinner late with daddy and went to bed an hour later than I wanted them to. I am not in control. But I can influence my home. I set the tone. Yelling, fighting, angry? Fun, silly, playful?

I choose joy for my family.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The poor Doggie

After playing "vet" with her brother and sister for the last 15 minutes Beth runs up to me and urgently says . . . "I need to go upstairs and operate on the doggy's scrotum" . . .she was wielding a toy dog and some scissors. I guess she plans on neutering him. sigh.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Playdates Rock

Top 10 Reasons why I love Playdates

1) Mommy talk time
2) Seeing how others discipline their kids--always open for inspiration
3) Seeing other kid's misbehave--I am NOT alone--helps me appreciate my own kids
4) New toys for my kids to play with
5) Someone Else's house gets messed up or the other mom's help clean up MY house--really, win win either way.
6) Usually get great naps out of my three from a good morning playdate
7) Usually get great early bedtimes out of my three from a good afternoon playdate
8) Watching my three gravitate towards one another, even with others in the room--that tangible brother/sister bond is awesome for me to behold
9) Watching the kids get good at sharing/leading/helping others
10) Mommy talk time (because really--playdates are just as much about me as them--deserves mentioning TWICE!)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sp-ahhhhh




Elijah spent the night with nana and the girls got their Spa on.

I've created a monster. Lydia loved it. She's already asked to soak her feet about 3300 times today. She also keeps claiming her face is rough and she needs another mask.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What do we want, where will we go?

Our wonderful lease-to-buy agreement has fallen through. Our seemingly "perfect" solution allowing us to move to Durham, make ends meet financially and more is not working out. March 1st we have to decide . . . move back to Wilson and try and sell the Durham house, try and sell the Wilson house (and take a huge loss on the property and all that we put into it), rent out the wilson house again and hope that it goes better this time and sell it if and when the market picks back up, sell both homes and rent something in Raleigh closer to work (I seriously think I have HAD it with buying a home!!) . . .

I hate decisions.

There are pros and cons to every choice.

I hate Durham, I love Wilson. Hubby feels the opposite.

Kids don't like Durham and want to move "home" to the Wilson house.

No preschool in Durham. Waiting to hear about charter school possibilities in Durham. Feeling backed into a corner when it comes to homeschooling.

Family in Wilson, MOPS in Wilson, Friends in Wilson. Haven't connected (yet) in Durham . . .despite REALLY hard efforts on my part to find friends and forge relationships.

Small group in Durham ROCKS.

Summit Church is the most awesome church EVER.

Moving again--all the packing and unpacking--makes me want to throw up.

Justin's office is moving soon--his commute from Wilson or from Durham will be back to an hour--that's the reason we moved in the first place, to decrease his commute so we'd have more time as a family.

I love love love the 4 bedrooms here--no one sharing means a lot more sleep for mommy!

Wilson utilities are EVIL. Durham is much better.

Energy efficient house with a laundry room inside (as opposed to the garage), swimming pool around the corner, park around the corner, cul-de-sac, sidewalks and a very family friendly community here in Durham. The amenities are really great.

UGH!!! I hate deciding stuff. I wish God would just lay it out clearly in front of us and say "GO THIS WAY."

That's not the way it works. So we'll think, pray, and try and figure out what to do.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Overheard . . .

Today Elijah was trying to convince his sissies that watching IMAX Deep Sea Creatures was waaaaaay better than Strawberry shortcake. They weren't having it. Bethy was crying because of the "spooky fish" and Lydia was talking.
Elijah: "Lyddie hush up . . .a really cool fish is coming up next. I think its an angler fish .. .oh no, its a hatchet fish. Well the next one is surely an angler fish. . "
Lydia: "Do you know what you are talking about? Admit it, you don't know what you're talking about!"
Elijah: "OK you got me . . . I've never been in the deep sea, I'm just guessing."

Three minutes later Bethy tore into the room with a fitted crib sheet (one from the poop-casso incident earlier in the week) that was clean. Lyddie put it on her head to run around and Bethany crawled into the pack and play.
Bethany: "I Jesus, you're Mary, let's play baby God."
Lydia: "Ok--away in a manger, no crib for a bed . . ." sings the song. Elijah comes on over
Bethany: "You yo-sef."
Elijah: "I'm not Joeseph!"
Bethany: "Who you then?"
Lydia: "He's not a wise man, that's for sure. He didn't know about the fish and he don't know about babies either!"

Finally tonight at bed, after forcing Elijah to eat his dinner of lentil spaghetti, we were talking.
Elijah: "Mom, why do you go down and clean up the kitchen before daddy gets home?"
Me: "Daddy likes stuff clean when he gets here. Its one of the ways I can show him how much I love him, by doing stuff like that for him."
loooooong pause
Elijah: "When I get married, one way my wife can she me her loves me is to NOT cook me lentils. That would be thoughtful."

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Stuff. . .

Whew!
Life is running away with us and the blog is far past even the back burner. I've been using it mainly to remember the cute stuff they say and not as much to share what's going on. I know I will regret this in a couple of months when I go to do our scrapbook and can't remember what on earth we did!!

We've been keeping busy trying to adapt to our new routine. Before Christmas was busy with homeschool, storytime and trying to find playdates so that we weren't at home all the time. The kids are aching for some good friendships.

This January we started "Friday school" for Elijah and Lydia and they really like it. It is a homeschool co-op and there are 12 kids ages 4-6 in one classroom at a church from 9-12. They let Lydia in a bit early (thank goodness!!). Instead of driving the 30 minutes home, Bethy and I have the new routine of a "Panera pit stop" at Streets of Southpoint where we split a bagel. Then we ride escalators for 45 minutes or so and then play outside at the fountains or at the childrens play area inside depending on the weather. Thank goodness I am not a shopaholic!! Ever week we spend our $1.37 on our bagel and that's it. It is so much fun having just her!! It is also nice that I am forced to focus on her. I don't want her in the car for 2 hours so we don't drive home. I can't have a "to do" list a mile long. Of course, this leaves me scrambling on Friday afternoon since I am just not used to being gone all morning.

We also started Science for Elijah in Chapel Hill on Tuesday afternoons. This is probably the hilight of his week. He met a little boy, Xan, who he is buddies with. It is so cute. Unfortunatly, Xan lives in Burlington, so I don't see many playdates in our future! The girls and I either hang out and play with the other kids and homeschooling moms or we hit up Trader Joes. Fun for us either way. It just makes for a tough Tuesday because everyone has to skip naps :/

After months of begging we finally signed Lydia up for dance. She is in a preschool ballet class through the rec for 6 weeks. The commitment time was right, most of the dance studios wanted a full semester commitment (and they were a lot more expensive). She hates it. She thought it was going to be like Ballet camp with craft and a snack. .. not just dancing for 45 minutes. She has fun in class, is obedient and loves to show off at the end, but she truly cries and begs not to go after only 2 classes. I am making her go for the next 4 because she does have so much fun once we're there, but we won't be signing up for that again!! Probably going to try and plan to go back to Wilson and stay with grandparents while she does a dance camp this summer.

We've also started a once monthly swap with a mom from my small group. She has one son who is almost 1 and she comes here and watches my kiddos one day and then we go and pick him up and watch him here one day a month. IT is great. This month I am using my "Free time" to take just Lydia to the dentist to get sealant on her teeth and then on a mommy and daughter date. Love that!!!

This month my class at JoAnn's actually "made" and I was able to teach. The rough part is that is Friday nights so I felt like travelling on the weekend was just out. The great part--last night was class 4 of 4 so its over. Hoping to have some more classes in the future and they are scheduled on Monday and Tuesdays. It was fun to do!

Justin has been working a lot of overtime to meet various deadlines so most of the time we're on our own for dinner and bed. It was tough at first but now I've got the routine down pat. It is nice to have time to chill and clean up and listen to my music without talking. My ears are so tired from listening to the chatter of the little ones that an hour of cleanup is just relaxing at this point. I also love having a "clean' house to wake up to.

We've been sucked in by Lost. Love that series and its on Netflix so we can watch it with no commercials. Score! Each episode is about 40 minutes long. Been watching while I fold laundry and stuff. We're almost in the last season so we'll be done before long. It will be nice to not have the time drain, but I know I'll miss it too :)

We've still been homeschooling like mad . . . made a paperchain to count down to Lydia's party yesterday and made a "Magic E" monster who eats words and spits out a word with a magic e on the end to change it (cap to cape for example). Loving my laminator that my in-laws got me for Christmas. My FIL even had to fix it when I got something stuck in there. Works great though and there are so many uses. My favorite have been the make your own dry-erase things. Kiddos love it! Elijah does math, reading and handwriting every day. We play a phonics game or a spelling game daily too. He also has to read books everyday. He is doing great. I do think though if we continue next year we are going to do something more regimented with units like Sonlight or Abekka. I need to have boxes to check off to make sure I am hitting everything. We will find out about the Charter's and Magnets in March and that will determine whether or not we'll keep homeschooling. I am so torn but feel confident that we'll make the right decision.

That's all for now :) Hubby let me sleep in this am and I took the time to blog. Sigh. Stupid internal clock wakes me no later than 7:30. Off to enjoy a fun saturday as a family.