Saturday, May 31, 2008

Just for fun

You Are a Cappuccino

You're fun, outgoing, and you love to try anything new.

However, you tend to have strong opinions on what you like.

You are a total girly girly at heart - and prefer your coffee with good conversation.

You're the type that seems complex to outsiders, but in reality, you are easy to please

Friday, May 30, 2008

Tales from the Potty

Ok, first let me explain exactly why things happened the way they did.

Because we live in a 2 story house, I figured that bringing Ian's potty downstairs would be much easier than our racing upstairs each & every time he had to use it. But, I also wanted to not have said potty sitting on the carpet, so I put it in the most reasonable, tiled area in the house - the kitchen. In both cases, it was a smart decision on my part.

Now, the tale...

Ian was 4 for 8 today - not too bad for a first-timer. I have to admit that after the 3rd accident on the carpet, I was beginning to wonder if I'd made a mistake and was pushing too hard. But, when he finally (and I do mean finally) used the potty (and by used, I mean dripped accidentally into it), and the potty yelled "Hooray, you went potty!", I was beginning to feel like maybe he would eventually get the hang of this going potty thing if I could just stick it out for the day. And, I was right! The 2nd time the potty yelled "Hooray!", he looked up, smiled his little mischievous grin and let it rip - the boy almost filled up the bowl! At that moment, he & I started laughing in unison, and then began dancing around and high-fiving each other. We were a sight, I'm sure - him with absolutely no clothing on, and me spinning around with his naked self in my arms, smiling broadly.

The sticker chart worked like a charm - he loved picking out 1 smaller one for pee and 1 large one for the poop...oh yes, the poop. Hold onto your hats because that's the tale I wanted to share.

While eating dinner, Ian was the first to be 'finished', so we allowed him to dismiss himself from the table before the rest of us. But, I reminded him that he needed to sit down on his potty since he'd just eaten to see if he needed to go pee pee or poop. He immediately informed me that he needed to do both, and promptly dropped his drawers right there in the middle of the breakfast room - which is where his potty was so it made sense. So, while he sat making funny noises and laughing at himself, Michael proceeded with the conversation he had started earlier. Then the potty yelled, and Michael got a puzzled look on his face - he didn't know the potty spoke and could sense being filled. So, we all made a big deal about Ian again using the potty and keeping Thomas clean & dry, he picked out his sticker and put it on his chart, then we all went back about our business. But Ian then informed us that we were celebrating prematurely - he still needed to poop. So, I told him to just sit there to see if it would 'come out' - and you have to excuse the graphic details here, but they are important. Anyway, Michael started his story again, then abruptly stopped when Ian grunted loudly (and I do mean loudly) and said "Its stuck!". I giggled and told him to keep sitting and it would eventually come out, then turned my attention back to Michael who just sat there smirking about the whole situation. After another minute or so, Ian told me that he couldn't go and was done, so I told him to pull up his underwear and we would try again in a bit. When he stood up, I could tell that he had pooped and told him to quickly sit back down while I went to get the wipes. He was shocked and immediately turned around and checked his potty. While I was gone fetching the wipes, it was then that he yelled, "Look daddy! I pooped a bone!!!" When I returned with the wipe box, Michael simply looked at me and said "I think I'm gonna be sick", followed by "does it have to be here next to the table?"

And there you have it - tales from the potty, located in our breakfast room, right next to the kitchen table. Some things are just necessary, right?

Aren't you glad you kept reading :)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Becoming a Big Boy

Since today was the official last day of school for Alex, I am officially on-the-clock as a stay at home mommy - no more galavanting for me! I tend to try to stick closer to home when all 3 kiddos are in my care, so I figured this would be the perfect time to begin potty training!
This evening I took Ian to buy himself a new potty, which he promises to use beginning tomorrow. He picked it out himself and insisted on carrying it to the register (while sitting in the cart holding it in his lap since the box was almost as big as he is!)
We also purchase some new big boy underwear - Thomas the Tank Engine, of course!

And we purchased stickers to use on one of many FREE potty training charts I discovered online this evening.

And, when all else fails, I'm armed with lots of bleach and laundry detergent :)

And so begins my official summer vacation!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

13 & Counting

Today, I celebrate 13 years of marriage to a wonderful man. I truly believe that God brought us together, then saw fit to bless us with 3 beautiful, healthy kiddos! And I know that God has a huge sense of humor when it comes to putting 2 different personalities together and expecting them to live in love & harmony.

Do you know why I would think this?

Because only Michael & I could find the humor in celebrating our 13th anniversary by eating, with our children, under the Golden Arches :) Me, the person that absolutely hated McD's and grimaced every time he took me there during our dating years - the things we do for love, right? Him, the man that always threatened to take me there for a special occasion, adding a table cloth & candles to make the venue a bit more romantic, but not breaking the bank or budget.

Well honey, you forgot the table cloth & candles, but I always knew you were a man of your word...I couldn't have asked for a better anniversary meal with the one man I love, and 3 children that steal my heart each & every day. OK, well maybe I could have, but it was special and fun, and oh so us!

I love you!! Happy 13th Anniversary to the love of my life!!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Just Hangin' Around

Ok, so Tuesday is my day to be gone - I work away from the house on Tuesdays while Michael stays home and plays Mr. Mom to Ian when Grandma doesn't take him for the afternoon. It really is too bad that Grandma didn't take him today. The poor boy almost lost his head! But, let me explain the events that led to this almost-decapitation:

Today was a slower day for me, only working for a whole 1 1/2 hours this morning. So, because I left 'the office' a little earlier than planned, Michael & I decided to go have lunch, with Ian in tow. We made a visit to one of our favorite burger joints, had a pleasant lunch, then picked up Morgann from her 2nd-to-last-day of preschool and headed home. The plan was that I would drop my little three-some off, then head out to spend a few hours browsing a little homeschool store I discovered last weekend. At the suggestion of my friend Cori, I had decided to take Alex with me to browse around too, so I hurried out the door and grabbed him from school right before boarding the bus. So while Alex & I shopped unworried about the rest of the crew, Michael stayed home with Ian & Morgann - and the neighbors 4 kiddos who decided to come over to play for a while.

Now I've only heard this 2nd & 3rd hand, but this is how it was presented to me...

As soon as Alex & I returned home from our fun afternoon together, I was greeted by one "Hi Mommy!" and one very loud, wailing, "Mommy, my head got stuuuuuuck!" - sniff, sniff, sniff. You can imagine my (1) concern and (2) curiosity as to how such a thing might have occurred, so I pressed for details - from my crying 3 year old. The best I could understand...his head got stuck in his brother's bunk bed. So I pressed further..."Sweetie, how did you get your head stuck?" His response was garbled, but the gist was "It got stuck like this, and it huut wiwwy baaaaaad!" (it was at this juncture that he made a gesture that led me to believe that he had hung himself - sideways).

Ok, so now I'm really puzzled! "Honey, why don't you show mommy where your head got stuck". The response was classic, "Wite heuh mommy" (pointing directly at his neck). Well duh!

Ok, let me try again! "No, show me where on Alex's bed your head got stuck". At this, Ian jumped up from the couch, grabbed my hand and dragged me up the stairs as quickly as his little legs would take him. When we entered Alex's room, Ian ran to the side and pointed - directly to the space between the top bunk - and the wall! About a 6 inch opening, by the way.

It was later when I pointed out the huge scratches and bruise on the side of Ian's head to Michael that he says, matter of factly, "Oh yeah! Ian got himself stuck between the wall and the top bunk. His head was turned sideways and he was just dangling there. I had a hard time figuring out how he managed to get there, either by climbing up or falling down, so I just got underneath him and shoved him back up. He was really freaking out!"

Um, ya think????

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Hope your Sunday was a good one! Us? We moved our office (2 desks plus the paraphanalia that goes with them, 4 drawer filing cabinet, 2 chairs, 2 printers, cables, 4 computers, etc.) upstairs into the old playroom, then moved the sectional sofa/hide-a-bed combo downstairs - ok, so Michael's dad came over last night and help Michael get the sofa downstairs, but I had to help move it around the room while we finished moving the office up! Then we arranged it all to look presentable :) We are what you might call "POOPED"!!!

So much for "on the 7th day they rested"!!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Prove It!

Any parent knows that if a child says that he/she wants a piece of candy, you will be hard-pressed to get them to admit that they didn't really want candy, but instead wanted a juicy piece of grapefruit. But, that's exactly what I tried to do to Alex just a week ago (ok 9 days, but whatever!).

When Alex asked me to consider homeschooling him next year, he literally pulled the rug out from underneath me. You see, I had plans for next year; both Morgann & Alex would be at school Monday through Friday, from 8:15AM to 4PM (which includes a bus ride), and Ian would begin preschool on Tuesday & Thursday. This would leave me 2 glorious days all to myself, and I was going to relish each and every second. Me, all by myself, with no diapers to change, lunches to fix, or fights to stop. These were my plans and I was determined that I would have my ME time, at all costs!

But, the more I tried to walk away from his request, the more I have found myself buried in homeschooling websites, curriculums and, yes, school supplies! I have been focused on just one thing...helping my son to finish his 2nd grade year with the best scores he can possibly get, just so that we can get to the summer and begin preparing to...wait for it....homeschool for 3rd grade!

What a difference a week can make!

Just 10 days ago, I was relishing the thought of having 2 glorious days, all to myself, with no children to deal with. And now I cannot wait to begin studying the 3rd grade - again! I have become a mommy possessed - and we all know what a danger she can be! Everything I do leads me to wonder if this or that might be a good way to teach Alex this lesson or that lesson. I have spent 4 sleepless nights, tossing & turning while visions of textbooks, world maps, and planning charts dance through my head. I have found myself at ever turn talking about the newest homeschool website I found, or the coolest chore chart site ever! I think Michael might be ready to wring my neck. Even now, while sitting in bed with my laptop on my lap (imagine that, ha!), this is the only thing I can blog about. It has literally consumed me to the point of making me crazy - and very, very tired!

Is this what happens when God finally gets through to you???

Nope, this is.

During my initial "Is this the right move?" period, I had sent an email to my MOPS group inquiring as to whether there might be any MOPS moms that had any experience with homeschooling - either currently or in the past. I was floored by all of the response - mostly from moms that had only considered it and were passing along their research and websites to me, but I did get a few mommies that had actually shouldered the responsibility of teaching their own children at one time or another. But it was one email in particular that really grabbed my attention. It was from a former member of our group that I have never met. It just so happens that she is a teacher for a local, nearby school district. Of course, she had many concerns about homeschooling children, primarily because all of her experience dealt with kiddos that had been homeschooled, but then returned to public school, only to be lagging behind in almost every area of their education. Yes, it was her email that caught my attention. This is my biggest fear...that I not teach my son well enough to return to school in a year or 2 on-level or even ahead of his peers. So, why did this one email catch my attention?

It was because over the course of emailing back & forth regarding the "Why am I thinking about homeschooling?" issue that she offered me some logical and useful suggestions. If Alex is asking to be homeschooled because "being by himself allows him to work undistracted", then why not just ask his teacher to remove the distractions? Why not ask her to give him some private space of his own? Why not? Well, because it hadn't crossed my mind, that's why not!

And you know what? That's exactly what I did yesterday morning. Alex had spent the better part of his weekend and Monday night studying for a math test. We were both worried because he's really struggled through this last 6 weeks, and this test would determine whether he passed or failed his final 6 weeks in this subject. It was crucial that he do well. So, knowing the distraction issues he has dealt with throughout the past year, I decided to simply ask his teacher to help him succeed. "What a novel concept", I thought! And, so I asked. I asked her to move him to a quieter area where he could focus on nothing else but his test. And, she did!

When he came home with a huge smile on his face, I knew good news was coming. Not only did my child, the one that struggles to complete 3 math problems in 25 minutes, finish his test. He finished FIRST. And he passed with an 85!!! This was huge news and we could do nothing else but hug, smile and high-five each other. So, guess what I did. I asked her to do the same thing for his Social Studies test today. He passed with a 100, and was again the first to complete his work.

You know what this proves? My child needs a little piece of quiet where he can focus and study and do well. And, yes, this proves that the school can accommodate this special request without much fanfare. But, you know what else this proves? It proves that my child knew exactly what he needed to succeed. And no matter how much talking I did to the contrary, he was right!

So, you ask, "Why not send him to school with the understanding that his teacher send him off to a quieter area during tests?"

My answer is simple. I don't want Alex to feel singled out every time there is a test. And, for that matter, the problem doesn't lie in the fact that the concentration issues only exist during tests. It's a daily struggle for him. I don't want him to be sent away to a solitary place so that he can succeed. I want to encourage him to focus & learn because HE CAN. Because he is smarter than a whip and can do anything he puts his mind to. And, I want to be there, by his side for at least a year, to teach him what it means to study and focus. I want to hold his hand as he learns new studying techniques. I want him to gain critical skills that he isn't getting from the school, but that I know God will equip me to teach.

I want to prove to him that he can do all things, through Christ, who strengthens him! (Phil. 4:13) - thanks mom :)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

An Unexpected Journey

Ok, so have you heard the one about a kid that asks - or actually begs - his mother to home school him next year? Yeah, that's what happened in our house last Tuesday night. So, like any good mother would do, I squelched that little request without batting an eye. But, then it came at me again! So, I made home schooling sound worse than going to jail - staying home with me, all day, every day, while his friends go to school and play at recess without him; staying home with me all day with no friends to play with; staying home with me all day and not getting to play video games at every corner because he is bored; staying home with me every day...well, you get the point. It sounded awful to me, but the response I got was so totally unexpected that I was left speechless:

"But mom, if you were to home school me, I would be able to do my work without getting into trouble. If I was home working, it would be quiet and I wouldn't get distracted as easily. If you were to home school me, I would really love school again!"

And, so my search for knowledge and wisdom has begun.

Whether we decide to traverse down the unfamiliar road called Home Schooling, or we stick to our original plan of sending our kiddos to the local, very well recognized public school, or maybe even suck it up and find the funds to finance private education for a year, I am traversing a road that I had never expected to visit. All of my plans for the coming year - 2 days a week with absolutely no kiddos to worry with - 2 glorious days every single week! - have been tossed to the wind, and I am diving into unknown waters. I'm worried, and scared, and excited all at the same time.

I cannot wait to see where it is that God will lead us! All of us...

Thursday, May 01, 2008

6 Months Older than Me!

Today marks the point at which I can officially say that my sweet hubby is 6 months older than me!

May 1, 1972 - the date that my wonderful man was born.

Happy 36th Birthday My Love!!!