Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Mysterious Name on the Wall

I'm sure all kids write on the wall at some point or another. I don't remember doing it myself, but I'm sure I did. However, it always surprises me when mine do it. I just expect more from them, for them to obey and learn when I tell them to only write on paper. Maybe it's their creativity and using a different medium than paper.

Anyway, it wasn't long ago when Child C's name appeared on the cabinet under the sink in the kitchen. Black letters, not very large, but still there. How did I know who the culprit was? Her name begins with "S" and a few years ago when Child A was learning cursive, C decided to turn her "S" around backwards so she could link the letters together better; her attempt at cursive even before she had mastered printing. So there it was, her name, starting with a "2", instead of an "S". A dead-giveaway.

I asked her if she used a permanant marker, to which her reply was, "No, I used a Sharpie." Sigh. She had to scrub it off. Here's how good my kids are at scrubbing... I gave her a damp paper towel and told her to scrub until it came off. Now, I know that a damp paper towel won't take the marker off, but I wanted her to have to work for it. After about 5 minutes, she helped herself to the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser in the cabinet. At least she knows what takes off permanant marker!

Just a week ago, I found Child B's name written vertically on the door jamb in the kitchen. I don't know if she was staking her claim or what. This is the same door jamb she used to climb when she was younger. She, too, had to use a damp paper towel to scrub. She, too, asked for the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.

I'm sure your children have written on something in your house. Please share your story in the comments.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Facebook versus Blogger, Round 2: 8/2010-10/2010

8/13/2010 -- I was listening to 4-year old, Child C, talk about God being alive in her heart. "He NEVER sleeps, Mom! He's always awake in there - even at night!"

8/22/2010 -- I'm thinking of all of you whose kids are either already back in school or getting ready to go back to school.... nya-nya-nya-nya-nya. We're still enjoying summer!!! (And not sick of them being home!) :)

9/7/2010 -- There is truth in every single message in this video and it communicates them very well. Moms and Moms-to-be, this is for you! (Thanks, Karen, for sharing this on Facebook!)

9/9/2010 -- I love Praise Moves for Children!!! My 4-year old is stretching and exercising while repeating scripture. It keeps her busy while the other 2 work on handwriting, math, and language. One of these days I'm going to have to check out the videos for adults!

9/21/2010 -- I just finished helping my second grader, Child B, fill in a missing verb. I ______ a little boy. She cheerfully fills in "hit", "I hit a little boy." If you know her, then you know that she speaks the truth. She has indeed hit many little boys. {sigh}

9/30/2010 -- I just pulled my oldest baby girl's (10 & 1/4 today) last baby tooth. {sniffle} {wiping away tears}

10/5/2010 -- I was helping my 7-year old daughter, Child B, with math at the dining room table when I realized she was standing up rather than sitting. I asked her the obvious, "You'd rather stand than sit?" She replied, "I'd rather be a peacock!"

10/7/2010 -- I'm sure my kids would fail this experiment, too, but I will show this to them anyway. Too much of what we eat isn't meant to be called "food." Thanks, Chris, for sharing it on Facebook.

10/8/2010 -- My kids have discovered that sticks fit in the pencil sharpener.

10/12/2010 -- Two hours to bake 3 fozen pizzas that should take 15 minutes each. Hmmm. That doesn't seem right. Guess I'll be making a phone call to an oven repairman soon... (I'm really ready to not have any more unexpected expenses for a while - this year has been full of the unexpected.)

10/14/2010 -- During their time in the mine, one of the Chilean miners had sent up a note saying there were 34 down there, not 33, because God was with them. Makes me think of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the furnace of fire. But when King Nebuchadnezzar looked in, he saw 4, not 3, walking around unharmed in the fire. (Daniel 3)

10/22/2010 -- I had a nice conversation today with the kids. In the midst of them grumbling I asked, "What blessings would *you* count right now?" Child B came up with the first: "I'm blessed that I don't live in an orphanage!" She also came up with the second: "I'm also blessed that I don't work in a factory because kids can really get hurt in factories!" (I guess the movie Samantha has really had an impact on her.)

10/25/2010 -- Child A just asked me if Goliath was *really* a giant pickle. She's 10. Can I just say that apparently there is such a thing as TooMuchVeggieTales?!

10/28/2010 -- I went in to check on my girls at 11:30 and 2/3 of them were still awake and goofing around. Must be time to fold some laundry. They finished their load and promptly went to bed for real this time.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Facebook versus Blogger, Round 1: 6/2010-7/2010

I've mentioned that since I joined Facebook, my blog has suffered. Well, I'm recapping my Facebook statuses that pertained, or may be of interest, to my family so that others in my family who are not on Facebook can feel more connected. Many of the statuses actually apply to the blog; it's just easier to type up a one or two line comment and hit enter than to create tiny blog posts. So, if you've seen them on Facebook, you will get to enjoy them once again here. Some of them may have more background information or details than when they were put on Facebook. If you don't care to re-read them, then just skip over any blog post that has the heading "Facebook versus Blogger". :)

This round is from June and July of 2010, so keep in mind all the kids are a year and a half older now.

6/26/2010 -- I want to know: Who hid their gum on the carpet behind the plant??? My guess, a certain 4 year old sneaky little girl!

7/2/2010 -- "Dear Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, I LOVE YOU! With <5 drops of H2O on a corner and wrung out, you take ballpoint pen off the cover of a hardback book. In doing so, you spared 4-yo Child C a beating from 7-yo Child B. You are amazing. Thank you for restoring peace between my children. Oh and for the super-cleaning job! Now if you'd only begin taking the initiative to clean the rest of my home without me having to hold onto you."

7/3/2010 -- If you come visit, you might be surprised and wonder about the whole roll of toilet paper unrolled in a heap on the bathroom floor... or you might not.

7/5/2010-- All of a sudden there are bubbles floating around my family room…

7/8/2010 -- If you hear a watermelon gurgling, get it out of the house NOW! Or it might already be too late.

7/8/2010 -- First, a watermelon exploded in the kitchen. Second, 4yo S peed in front of the 'fridge (again). Let's not think about "third time's a charm" today, m'kay? Just sayin!

7/8/2010 -- "The power of unconditional love. I mean, there is no power on earth like unconditional love. And I think that if you offered that to your child, I mean, you’re 90 percent of the way home. There may be days when you don’t feel like it — it’s not uncritical love; that’s a different animal — but to know you can always come back, that is huge in life. That takes you a long, long way. And I would say that every parent out there that can extend that to their child at an early age, it’s going to make for a better human being." Warren Buffett

7/8/2010 -- Walking through the kitchen just now I found a sliced kiwi on the kid's table and my kitchen scissors on the counter - covered in kiwi. Creative. Funny thing is, the kids have only been home a few times today for a few minutes each time. When did they do this? It must have been during the lightening snack round!

7/12/2010 -- Two of the 3 kids are eating salisbury steak, the other is eating what I actually made for dinner. 4yo Child C just asked for more roastberry beef. She just cracks me up!

7/14/2010 -- kitchen floor + 1/2 gallon of lemonade + disobedient 4 year old = not a happy momma at the moment. Do you have any idea how much of the kitchen floor a 1/2 gallon of lemonade can cover? I do.

7/18/2010 -- I'm listening to my kids tell me about the time they locked 4yo in the bunny cage. I've heard this story before but always doubted it's reality. Now I'm starting to believe it. But only the basic version, not the embellishments that keep getting added: it was all day, mom and dad weren't home, mom wasn't home and dad was asleep. Those are just too unlikely. But would 7yo Child B lock 4yo Child C in the bunny cage? Yes. She would.

7/20/2010 -- I took my 3 girls to see Toy Story 3. Now the kids want all their old toys down from the attic. They don't have any room for them because the house is over-flowing with all the toys that have yet to make it up there. Great, now they'll never want to part with anything! (It's a little frustrating that's what they got out of the movie.)

DING! End of Round 1

Friday, November 11, 2011

The year of slow blogging

It's been hard for me to blog this year. No specific reason, but a lot of various reasons. This year has brought on some serious and deep thought for me and not all of it has been things that I want to share. More recently there have been a couple things that I really do want to write about. Some of the things I hope to share with you soon (not necessarily in that order):

  • a HUGE development in my middle daughter, the one with Sensory Processing Disorder and likely on the autism spectrum

  • baby powder

  • nail polish

  • a mysterious name on the wall

If you are friends with me on Facebook and can keep track of things since Facebook made their recent formatting changes, you may already know about the baby powder. That's OK. There will be some redundancy over the next several blog posts because I will be recapping all my Facebook posts for my aunt. (Hi, Aunt Charla!) This blog is one of the ways that she keeps up with the family, and since phone time is often challenging with our schedules and the kids, I'm going to re-post everything in chronological order. In my Facebook versus Blogging series, blogging will eventually win. I'm getting tired of feeling sucked in to Facebook and not really having anything productive come away from that time.

So, what have I been thinking so seriously about this year? In a nutshell, here goes...

January 19, 1997, was the day my mom was diagnosed with cancer. The date is etched in my mind and in my heart. She fought that battle for two-and-a-half years. I spent so much of my youth being angry with her for one reason or another that I struggle to find the good memories. I have some and am thankful for those.

My youngest daughter was due to be born on January 21, 2006, but made her appearance mid-day on January 19. Praise God for bringing me joy on that day! This year, January 19, 2011, the most dear, sweet, humble, and faithful woman I have ever known met her Maker and Savior face to face. There is deep sadness in that joy and I still can't write about it without crying. Every day that I think about her, I feel like I didn't know her well enough, didn't learn enough from her, and I wish I had.

We finished the best year of homeschooling yet... Last "school year" was the easiest and met with the least resistance. All the kids were mostly enthusiastic and we started summer with a plan to keep going with some things through the summer. The warm weather came and stayed and the pool beckoned us. We went. We had fun. We love summer. We didn't keep up with our plans, though. September arrived with a struggle to get started again. The hardest year before was when I had one in third-grade, one in kindergarten, and a toddler.

This year is sixth, third, and kindergarten. Let's just say I don't enjoy kindergarten or third-grade at all. I don't know why, but those years bring difficulty to me. Teaching a child to read is very hard for me. I want to just pour the information in, but that isn't how learning to read happens. A child with a short attention span and little patience doesn't make it any easier. She memorizes books the first, second, maybe third (if I'm lucky) time she sits through them, so then she's not really "reading" them - she doesn't even look at the words. Third grade brings new attitude to the table. Since this is my daughter who thinks the world is set up to make her miserable, anything I make her do that she doesn't want to do must be because I hate her. Really? At 8-years old she is starting with this attitude? Some days seem much longer than others. Now we are three months into our school year and are switching things up a bit and making some changes by combining history and literature. One of the great things about homeschooling is that if something isn't working well for any one of us, we can make those changes.

Couple these things with my scrapbooking group dissolving and my knitting group (which I joined to replace the scrapbooking night out) having various interruptions (not meeting for several weeks, or even months, at a time) and it makes for a very stressed and tired me! So, what's best for fighting stress and exhaustion? More activity, right? A neighbor and I started walking early in the mornings before the families wake up. It's been very helpful, even considering that I am a night owl and am hatching into an early bird instead. The one-hour, three-miles a day walk has been good for me, but I'd still like a relaxing evening out with a group of other moms.

A couple months ago an old acquaintance from high school committed suicide. How's that for transition from one paragraph to the next? The thing is, that's how suicide affects a person. It's sudden and there is little preparation for those who go on living. There's a bigger story here and I don't know whether or not share it on my blog. No, I don't know the details of his death and what led up to it. I just know my thoughts on it. I want to be sensitive to those who read my blog who also knew him; yet, I think it's a topic that needs to be put out there. I have a few neighbors who have had suicidal tendencies affect their lives recently. (I won't blog about them.) Obviously, though, this has been on my mind. I'm pretty sure I think about it several days a week, whether or not to write about it and how it has affected me, that is.

I've been laughing more since I started walking in the mornings. The rush of endorphins first thing in the morning has been good for me and for my family.

So, I'm curious... What do you do for stress relief?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Homeschooling as a lifestyle, not just a method of education

I was surprised today when a friend came over and she thought we should have a "school room" for our home school. She was surprised that I cook and bake with my kids in the kitchen with me and that they learn while participating.

This time of year, many homeschool bloggers are writing about what they plan for the upcoming academic year and how they have arranged their various "schooling areas". Many have been brave enough to share pictures. I have to admit, I love looking at those pictures. It's comforting to see the bins and bins of what is used every day and the bookcases and bookcases of books.

To a non-homeschooling family, it looks like stuff. Maybe even clutter. They might wonder, "Do you really use all that? Why does it have to be in your dining room?" OK, yes, I do have clutter that isn't part of our homeschooling, but that's not what this is about. This is about the shelves and shelves of books and games. Did I say games? Of course. Didn't you know that kids learn best when they are hands-on and having fun? Did you enjoy learning all those dates in history? How many do you still remember? What about the states, capitals, and abbreviations? So many adults get the abbreviations mixed up for AriZona, AlasKa, ARkansas, and ALabama. You might even ask why you need to know those abbreviations. If your child ever has a temp, job, order entry job, customer service job, or even appontment setting for a major cable company, this is important to know. Can you imagine how uneducated they will sound when they pull up an account and confirm that you live in Little Rock, Arizona, because they think AR is Arizona? Or better yet, they don't know what it stands for, so they just say the abbreviation? Yes, it happens all the time. Do you have any idea what a mess many companies' databases are because kids don't remember these when they grow up? (I do. I've cleaned up a number of them in my database days.) My point it, the more materials that are used to reinforce the information and the more fun it is, the easier it is for kids to learn. The more books that are available, the more likely a child is to pull a book off the shelf and read. So, yes, we use all of that.

We use every room in our house. {Gasp} I know. Not a single room goes unused in our 3-bedroom, 1 bath, no-basement house (with 1 bedroom converted into a family room, where we watch tv and sometimes play video games.) Our homeschool takes place in our home and outside our home. We sit around the fireplace in the living room in the winter while reading the Bible and history. We sit at the dining room table to discuss language and math and work on writing. Science experiments are conducted at the dining room table, kitchen counter, or outside. The kids sometimes sit at the 3-child desk my totally awesome husband built for them (in a weekend when I was in a back-to-school panic), especially when doing anything on the computer (and sometimes they are distracted by a bird or squirrel out the window - and I like that. That distraction gives us opportunity to pull out a book about birds in our area and read about what they eat, why they live here, how they nest... This is something that if I just pulled the book off the shelf and read it to them, they may not be interested. At this moment they were distracted by it, so it applies to an immediate interest. See how this works for us?) I won't forget to mention that I use the couch in the living room or futon in the family room while helping Child C work on reading, but we've also done this in the kitchen. Really.

This video is from December. I am NOT wearing a sweater in August! :-)

Actually, the kitchen is my favorite place for "school." How many times in school did you ask yourself or someone else, "When will I ever use this?" Reading a recipe is real-life application math and science. I can't even guess how many times I've hidden the 1-cup measuring cup and told my kids to use to 1/4 or 1/3 cup. Two-thirds of my daughters knew basic fractions before they were kindergarten age. (I should get moving because my third is that age and apparently I've been slacking!) We love to double or triple a recipe and work out those calculations in our heads! It's a game with my girls and they consider it fun. Converting ounces to cups to pints to quarts is so much more fun when using them rather than just memorizing them. This isn't the only math education they receive, but it reinforces what they are learning on paper. Why not understand why baking powder is necessary in a recipe and what it does - or doesn't do when left out? Why not learn to read from M-I-L-K and B-A-K-I-N-G S-O-D-A? Some of Child A's first words that she read were F-R-O-Z-E-N F-O-O-D-S at the grocery store. Each one of my kids is learning to cook and bake along with math, reading, and science. Learning a life skill, coupled with their education.

I'm not just shoving information into their little heads and expecting them to remember it - I'm walking them through life. One doesn't have to homeschool to do this. It's a lifestyle. I remember when Child A was very little and everyone I came across said the same thing - kids are sponges at that age. Guess what? If information is presented in a fun or interesting manner, kids of all ages are sponges. They don't outgrow that.

So whether kids are educated outside the home or inside the home, they are still always learning. What they are learning is not always valuable or useful, but they are always learning. I like that my kids learn in every room of the house and that they enjoy participating in life with me. It's a great experience and it's preparing them for life in their own homes one day.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Growing Up

If you read my February post Light at the End of the Tunnel, you may remember that 5-year old, child C, has started going through some difficulties with her sensory system. She avoids certain types of clothes and completely melts down if she has to wear them, to the point where I just don't think it's necessary to make her wear those clothes at this time.

I mean, really, have you tried to take a child to the store just so she could flail about in the middle of an aisle trying to rip her clothes off her skin? Have you tried to carry such a child, naked, out of the store? Yeah, I'm not going to either! However , in order to help her adjust gradually, we have a reward system in place to help her get used to these sensations slowly and for short periods of time. For example, if she wears a certain piece of clothing for 10 minutes then she earns a sticker, or a penny, or a few minutes with a favorite activity. This is how she adjusted to wearing winter boots. Uhm, that's also when she gave up underwear... but I digress.

She is now back to wearing underwear and skorts and tights. We also had a mini-milestone when one day she wore this:

Did I say "mini"?
Okay, that was huge

She wore the tank top, jacket, and jeans for about 30 minutes before ditching them. However, she wore them and, yes, she did get rewarded. She has tried the jeans on a couple times on her own since then and promptly taken them back off. The jacket has become part of her regular wardrobe. Yay!

This (below) is what you would probably see her wearing on any given day, including Sunday. If not this, then replace the leotard with an Ariel one-piece swimsuit. Yes, even on Sundays. I know, but really, would we even make it to church if she pulled the grocery store scenario?

But, did you notice something about my baby girl? Uh, besides that she wrote all over herself with, apparently, non-washable marker ...

She is growing up, you know. It's funny how certain things are exciting when your oldest goes through them and then we grieve a little when our youngest goes through them. Okay, look closely so you don't miss it.


Someone make sure the Tooth Fairy doesn't get distracted tonight!

Wordless Wednesday

(For the story behind this picture, you will have to visit Growing Up.)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The light at the end of the tunnel

"There is a light at the end of the tunnel." It's a note of encouragement when things are dark and difficult that things will get better - the light. Looking at the glass as half full, instead of half empty. Being positive. Looking at the bright side. Right?

There is a saying in the autism community. Perhaps you've heard it applied to other situations. There is a light at the end of the tunnel... and it's a train. Yes, I've said it. I've believed it. I've let it get me down and then I feel like I have no hope, not as a mom and not for my daughter. Then one day, God spoke to me and reminded me that He doesn't make mistakes. He knew before He made her that there would be challenges for her. That there would be challenges for us, her parents. But aren't there challenges anyway? Parenting is not easy. In fact, it is probably the hardest thing I have ever done - even without autism and sensory disorders in the mix.

Children have minds of their own. Their own opinions and preferences. Their own pet peeves. Their own attitudes. We try to form them into the people we would like them to become, but they still choose whether to be the way we encourage and influence them to be or whether to explore the foreign territory of temptation. Children learn more by example, mimicry, if you will, than by what we tell them. That's probably what makes parenting so difficult.

I got off track... Let's go back to the light at the end of the tunnel. Child B has always been a little different. In short doses, you likely wouldn't even notice. But we did. Not just in comparison to A, either. Her gross motor skills were beyond belief at a very young age. When most babies were just learning to roll over, B was climbing. She couldn't crawl yet, but she could pull herself up and climb at 5 months. I took A to the bathroom and left my 5-month old baby on a bare floor in a room with a child-size table where A left her lunch of beef-a-roni. What did I find when I came back? B was standing up, holding onto the table, and eating beef-a-roni with one hand! Yes, she was 5-months old. At 10 months, she was learning to walk, which isn't unusual for a 10-month old, but to find her standing on the sit-and-spin, spinning herself and giggling, was a bit unusual. Even more so was pulling her off the arm of the rocking chair, where she was standing and holding onto the back of the chair with one hand, and moving back and forth to make the chair rock, squealing, "Whee!" I knew she would be a handful.

It took some time to put the pieces together that she sought stimulation by swinging, spinning, balancing, etc. She would put things on her head that were heavy in order to feel the pressure. But light touch would send her through the roof. She couldn't be comforted when injured. Not through nursing, swaddling, cuddling, even from birth. She wouldn't have any part of it if she was upset or hurt. She still has a hard time with comfort - 8 years later. And some things just didn't affect her much - like when her elbow was dislocated in a spinning/swinging incident when she was 2. She simply held her wrist and whimpered a few times before falling asleep rather quickly. (I knew something wasn't right and she had it fixed within an hour.) And she avoided groups of peers during play dates, often retreating to a quiet place where she could play alone, but then later she would ask why no one was playing with her.

Now some may ask how early she received any vaccinations, and I will assure you that she was demonstrating enough "quirkiness" early enough that vaccination played no role in the challenges that B has. She did, however, have a completely natural malpositioned birth. She had significant bruising and some muscle rigidity. Did that play a role? Only God knows. And He was OK with it. He has a plan for her and has provided excellent therapeutic services to help her learn how to deal with what is difficult for her and how to interact better with others. What she has not needed any help with, and God has blessed her with, is her ability to tell it like it is. She is very literal and brings great joy to our lives with her questions and quick observations. She notices everything.

When she first became aware of communion, her eyes looked like they would pop out of her head. As the basket of bread and little cups of juice passed, she asked, almost horrified, "Is that really Jesus' skin and blood?" Later that day I explained to her how they represent exactly what she suspected and she had tears in her eyes. I remember thinking that even at the young age she was, "She gets it." She has an amazing knack for understanding things way beyond her years and asking when she doesn't. Silly books like Amelia Bedelia have helped her understand figures of speech and when something isn't literal. In fact, she uses the word "literally" quite frequently in order to let others know when she really means what she's saying.

So, what does this have to do with the light at the end of the tunnel? Well, B has made tremendous progress. We just celebrated her 8th birthday this past week. A couple years ago, when she was 6, she seemed more like a 4-year old in maturity. Now I have to remind myself that she just turned 8, she is not 9! We have stepped into the light.

Oh, but did I mention that in the past couple weeks, my just-turned-5-year old can't stand the way underwear feels? To the point where she won't wear it. She throws herself on the floor screaming, trying to rip it off. She hasn't worn pants in 2 or 3 years because she doesn't like them. She used to wear skorts, until the underwear thing started. She can't stand those now either. She might wear a skirt when we leave the house, if I put it on her and carry her out while she kicks and screams... and I make her wear something under it! She has developed what seems like a cough to an observer. However, it is chronic - every couple seconds, clearing her throat or exhaling deeply, like a sigh, every few seconds. In other words... constantly. What is going on? It's all sensory. While B was mostly a sensory seeker, it seems that C is mostly sensory-avoidant, which is a little more challenging. Think about it... if you know you need something, you seek it out and the need is met. On the other hand, if something bothers you, you will avoid it, even if it the very thing you need in order to get better. She avoids those sensations that she needs to be exposed to in order to get used to it. If you cannot relate to this, just take my word for it - it's hard, it's exhausting, and it's frustrating.

This is where I could say that the light at the end of the tunnel is a train. Yes, I have thought to myself, probably even said out loud, "Great. Another one. I thought this was behind us." I will be honest and say that I don't look forward to taking this road with another daughter because it is so hard - for her and for me. However, the light is real. And God walked with us through it the first time. He is walking with us this time. He never left us. In fact, He knew before we did that 2 of our children would have sensory disorders. I am so thankful it's only a sensory disorder and not something worse - not something that would take her from me yet or that would require expensive medicine or extensive time in the hospital. So thankful that there are known therapies to help her. And I look forward to the day that I rejoice when she shows improvements. We've had glimpses of those days when her struggles are less. I so clearly remember the tears of joy that I cried when B asked me to brush her hair for the first time. She was almost 5 years old and brushing her hair had been torture to her every day of her life to that point. I know that God will get us through this with C, just as He did with B.

And I believe that God does not make mistakes. I trust in Him that He will use these challenges in our lives to glorify Him.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A birthday blog post

Wednesday was my baby's birthday. She's 5 now. She'll always be my baby, though. I wanted the day to be all about her. We worked up to it slowly...

She wanted a multi-colored cake. This is her cake from last year:

I just didn't have it in me to bake so many thin cakes this year (I think it was only 2 boxes split into 3 cakes each and wasn't hard, just time consuming.) So this year, I used Dawn's tutorial for candy clay flowers. It was so easy and all the kids made some. They had a great time making them in 3 different sizes. Here is the big one that Child A made:
So all 3 girls made a dual-colored cake, with green frosting, flowers, and snails. Yes, snails. I don't know why and I didn't question it, m'kay?

She loved the cake. It was a great day with lots of singing and excitement between the sisters.

She asked for a real dinosaur that would eat her sisters and then would spit them out when she wanted it to. She didn't get one. She was quite happy with her gifts anyway. She has been wanting something her sisters have and we found one used that was a reasonable price, so that was her gift. It was a very exciting moment when she opened the box and the excitement carried through the rest of the day!

Grandpa made a quick stop by to say Happy Birthday and the day was complete.

There were some sad elements of the day that I'll save for another blog entry so as not to steal the joy from C's birthday. It was a great day for her and our family enjoyed it and that's what was important for her birthday!

I still can't believe my baby is five!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011


I haven't been organized enough lately to put together a blog post about anything specific. So, I will share some random tidbits with you. You're welcome.

This evening, Children A and B were having a discussion in the van. I was sort of tuning them out and wasn't paying any attention, but A's comment brought me a laugh, "No, I think the dance you are thinking of is called The Mango."

This week we are celebrating my baby's birthday. She'll be 5. Over the weekend she shared that she wants a real dinosaur for her birthday; one that will eat her sisters and then spit them out again when she wants it to. Today she reminded me, "Remember, Mom? You're getting me a dinosaur. Remember?"

I can't believe she will be 5. She has 2 loose teeth already. She's Child C and she is stubborn and funny and loving and stubborn. She won't wear clothes most of the time. Well, not "real" clothes. It's been 20 degrees lately and she wears a swimming suit with footless tights or a leotard with footless tights, or a tank top, short skirt, and footless tights. And open-toed shoes. She lost those shoes at church last week. We looked all over for them and couldn't find them anywhere. She had to leave barefoot. Hubby carried her. We found them this weekend.

Did I mention she cut her hair in December? All the way around. She followed the natural hair line, so at least it wasn't super short. But it's shorter than it was.

See the dresser behind her? There are 2 of them right next to each other. Yeah, she pulled both over just a couple days after I read about a fellow blogger whose son died when a dresser fell on top of him. It freaked me out. Child C is getting more supervision now days. (Warning: That link shares the details of what happened to Dana's son. When I say my daughter needs more supervision, I am not at all saying that Dana wasn't providing adequate supervision. Just that my daughter cutting her hair and then pulling the dressers over indicate to me that she needs more supervision. What happened in Dana's house could have happened in any one of our houses and is just a tragedy.)

Child B has been out of occupational therapy now for 7 months and is doing well. She still has bad sensory days now and then, but she was able to tolerate a dental cleaning and cavity filling without her sensory tools. (I still brushed her in the waiting room, but I had left a few other tools at home by mistake.) She handled it very calmly and did not panic, which is HUGE. I am so proud of her with all the progress she has made! She decided she would like to play softball like Child A, so we will have a full schedule this spring.

That's it for now. I'm sure I'll have more random later.