Tuesday, December 29, 2009


  • Potty training is going pretty well, but it's still a work in progress.

  • Christmas was really wonderful - but I'm ready to get the tree down and the house cleaned up and ready for regular life.

  • Hubby and I have been working on renewing our marriage in many, many ways - and though it takes a lot of work to change old, bad habits, I can already see the fruits of those labors and feel so blessed to see such a beautiful new relationship taking shape. And for the first time since having kids (almost 8 years) we made it a priority to go away overnight together - just the two of us. It's not something we'll do often, but going to bed and waking up in the morning with no one else's needs to meet but each other's was a beautiful gift. It's amazing to think that every single morning for the vast majority of our married life we've woken up and almost instantly met the needs of our kids. It was just lovely to have a little bit of a honeymoon after all these years. ;o)

  • I'm 34 weeks along now - I've always given birth within a week of my due date so I'd imagine that we'll have our newest little addition in 5-7 weeks. It's funny how much shorter that looks when you think of it in terms of how many weekends you have left to get anything done. 5 weekends left that I can pretty much count on to get anything done that I want to do before we become a family of seven. That means all projects, all family gatherings, any special date time, family activities we might want to do before Baby comes... only 5 weekends left to accomplish them all. 10 days, people. 10 weekend days. I was shocked when I thought about it like that.

  • I threw my back out for the first time ever as a largely pregnant lady. No fun - but boy do I appreciate how small and inconsequential the normal aches and pains of life feel after not being able to move for a good week!

  • Birthdays are fast approaching... Finny will be 6 on January 11th, Jelly Bean is due to be born around February 8th, and Punky will be 8 on February 18th. Fun, busy times we have around here in the winter months!

  • I'm dropping the unit study approach for schooling and trying out a more subject-specific style. We'll see how that goes. On the agenda for 2010: set times for weekly history and science lessons. That's a first for us - I hope we can find the perfect slot for it and that everyone enjoys it. We'll be using Story of the World for history and we'll be doing some fun lower elementary level study of the human body at least for the first couple of months of the year.

  • We're still doing occupational Therapy for Finny for his Sensory Processing Disorder, but we're looking into other areas to help him - currently focused in the area of helping him learn better how to self regulate. He definitely needs some sensory help, but there seems to be more to it than that... more on that when I know more that I can share. ;o)
  • Punky is an AMAZING young man. I am just in awe of all that I see coming out in the character of that boy. He's so very big, and so very little at the same time. I just feel so blessed to be his Momma. Oh - and boy, I had no idea how much an almost 8 year old could read when enjoying a good book. He's hit that point of just loving the book he's into, and he's devouring 3-400 page books these days (in less than two weeks' time). This from the boy who 2 short years ago would be in tears after 5 minutes of struggling through Dick and Jane stories. Thank you Lord for Vision Therapy and for healing my boy's vision. It's so easy to forget how hard that was for him!
  • Finny is doing really well in so many areas. He's sweet, funny, shockingly bright and so thoughtful in so many ways. When he's really focused and feeling good, he's so very sweet, especially with the younger two that I am melted each time I see him voluntarily offer up a toy to share or run Girly Pie to the potty just because he wants to help her. What a wonderful boy he is. And worth of note - he's doing really well with all his school stuff. He just seems to love to learn, and feel so very proud of his accomplishments.

  • 3 1/2 year old boys are so much funnier, sweeter and more enjoyable when they are your third rather than your first. How on earth did I manage to lay so much responsibility on Punky at this age? Goose is just delightful and adorable and LITTLE feeling. Punky seemed HUGE at this age. Sigh. Point here is - Goose is great and wonderful and we all think he's the funniest thing ever. Never a dull moment if that boy's around to add a comment to the topic.

  • 1 1/2 year old girls are completely intoxicating. I had no idea. That little Girly Pie can melt our hearts a dozen times a day. Why didn't anyone tell me how sweet it is to have a little girl wrap her arms tightly around my neck and say "Wuv you" followed by sweet little puckered lips coming in for a kiss? I remember so many sweet things from the boys at this age too - but there is most definitely a new and different sweetness with her. Not better, just different, if that makes sense.

  • I'm still trying to find the perfect schedule. I KNOW we need one. I still just haven't perfected it. And with Baby coming in a month and a half, I doubt perfection will find me anytime soon...

  • I'm cutting back on computer time in general - I need to focus more on things like loving on my husband, meeting the needs of my 7, 5, 3 and 1 year olds, school planning, baby preparation, home making... all that jazz.

  • I have fallen woefully short on my efforts to make daily time to read the Bible and have quiet time with the Lord. I hope to remedy that ASAP.

  • I am very much looking forward to the coming weeks as we let go of the holiday hustle & bustle and welcome in the New Year - complete with new schooling goals, new OT goals, new schedules - even a new baby! ;o) So much NEW this year, apparently.

  • Though we are just now heading into the thick of winter (which is fine by me, I'm ready to cocoon!) I spent a few minutes on a cold, sunny day yesterday with Finny running around a baseball field and got just that little, tiny taste of spring. I can't quite explain it, but I was so overcome with the thrill of all that comes with each new season. I just love how God allows for so much change every year, and so many blessings with each new thing.

  • Pregnancy is going great (now that my back is better!) and I am really enjoying it. I've been healthy and gaining weight well at all my appointments (a great thing for me!). I've just ordered the homebirth kit, and we're looking forward to another birth at home. I'm prayerful that God will bless us again with a smooth, safe delivery.

  • This little one moves plenty but is pretty gentle and soft in his or her wiggles. Still no major feeling one way or the other on gender. What I tell people who ask is that I FEEL like it's a girl, but I THINK it's a boy. ;o) I'm just getting so excited to meet him or her for the first time, either way.

  • No names picked out yet either.

  • Life is good. Not perfect, no. But oh so good. I feel so blessed in each day, even when I feel like I'm failing at something (or everything!). And today, even though I can see where I am falling short, I still feel such hope and joy for all that is, and for all that is on the horizon. Things get busy, I get tired, plans rarely go as I intend them to. But I'm right where I need to be, God is there with me holding my hand through each step, and He's blessed me into a family who loves, needs and cherishes me. Can't ask for much more than that.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Potty Training, round 4

Well, we've been toying with the potty for Miss Girly Pie since she was still a crawler, jsut getting her used to it and hoping for ease when the real potty training stage hit in earnest. She has had decent luck over the months, and as I have yet to do two in diapers my hope was to have her in undies before the new baby arrives in early February and keep the streak.

I had planned to wait to give up the diaps and go to underwear sometime this month, when she was 19 months old. That's about how old all my boys were when we started and with varying degrees of ease, all three of them were accident free before or around their 2nd birthday.

Punky was dry and clean and officially a pottier 19 1/2 months after only two weeks of training. Finny was also 19+ months when we started with him, and though he got #2 down on day one, but wet his pants constantly for months. He was the longest, and wasn't what I considered reliably potty trained until a month or two after his 2nd birthday. Goose was a little later at starting, about 20 months old. He got the pee thing down pretty well in a month or two, regressed a bit when Girly Pie was born at 22 months, and then was good again after a little refresher course. He has struggled with some withholding issues since then, and to this day is very sensitive to his routing getting thrown off, but I think that one is more of a personality thing and a training issue.

So when Girly Pie started peeing regularly on the potty at 16, 17 months old, I figured it was good practice, and well within the norm for my kiddos. I kept her in diapers, as I had no interest in actually going through with all the many changes and accommodations one makes with a new potty trainer. Honestly, I kept pushing back my intended start date, figuring she'd be that much more ready the longer I waited. But when your 17 1/2 month old daughter is keeping her diaper dry through the morning at home AND through church, only to pee in the church potty - well, I guess I felt like she was ready even if I wasn't.

So at the earliest age yet, we pulled diapers at just over 18 months old for Girly Pie. We've been at it about 3 weeks now, and just as I suspected it's at frustrating and wet as ever. Just like with all the boys I have considered that she really was too young and I should just put her back in diapers and wait until she's older. Really, some days I wonder just how many underwear and pants one girl can go through. But, there are plenty of days when she'll stay dry all day and tell me every time before she needs to go. So I know she can do it. She's just doing it when she feels like it. And from what I've heard about most people who wait until the 2 1/2 to 3 year old range to start potty training, I guess I don't feel confident that she'd do it any differently if we had waited or if we give up now and start again in a couple of months. I know she can do it, and I know that it's no big deal washing a load of wet undies every night instead of cloth diapers. Really, it's been three weeks. She's just barely 19 months old. It's not like she's doing anything wrong! ;o) I just have to remember not to assume that my timetables work for my toddler.

So we'll keep at it for a while longer. I really do think she'll be great in a couple of weeks. She does great when we go out, rarely having accidents on the road. She enjoys the time reading books and loves to go in with her brothers to join in little community potty sessions. I have until February before I feel any real time crunch, so until then I really can spare the time and energy to hang in the bathroom with my girl.

But - I post all this really more as an excuse... in case anyone was wondering where I have been for the past few weeks, and where I will continue to be for the next few... I'm in the bathroom. Again. ;o)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Too funny

The other day I heard Punky and Finny playing upstairs in some very boyish fighting type game involving Legos, Transformers, Playmobil guys, or most likely a combination of the three. I'm not at all sure what the real context was of the conversation I overheard between Punky's "guy" and one of Finny's "guys," but I did catch this little snippet that made me laugh out loud:

Punky (in his very cute false baritone "manly" voice with a bit of an old fashioned but not quite British accent thrown in for good measure): "I swear, I shall not be defeated!"
(short pause...)
Punky again, still in the same accented baritone manly voice: "Then again, I do not swear."

Ahhh. The joys of raising good little Christian soldiers. They'll beat the snot out of the bad guys, no doubt. But heaven forbid they swear. That, apparently, is where the line must be drawn. ;o)

Friday, December 4, 2009

My day

Today I have:

  • showered
  • made 5 beds (usually my boys make their own but it was an act of love on my part this morning)
  • served breakfast to my family
  • done several therapy activity sessions with Finny
  • spent no less than 40 minutes in the bathroom with Girly Pie
  • spent about 20 minutes in the bathroom (again!) reading stories to Goose for some, uh, quality (stinky) time
  • washed two loads of laundry
  • changed no fewer than 6 pairs of wet undies and pants
  • overseen Punky's first efforts at typing a letter on the computer, to a missionary for his Awana work (how cute is it when you see the word "question" spelled "kwesthin" - even if it does mean a life of spelling trouble ahead for my boy!?)
  • cut up and served 3 apples and a pear
  • prepared and served lunch to the crew
  • read a daily devotional with the boys
  • done a quick pop-quiz style math drill at the lunch table with the boys, who were both very impressive in their skills
  • presented my precious Finny with his very own real Bible
  • read to Finny from said real Bible
  • played TONS with Girly Pie
  • cleaned two raw eggs up off of the kitchen floor (such a gross job!)
  • tucked one little girl in for nap
  • settled three sweet boys down for rest
  • done Jesse Tree ornaments and readings with my three boys
  • eaten food myself three times already today (if you know me IRL you know that's an accomplishment for me!)
  • looked through old photos of myself and my Hubby with the kids
  • done math with Finny
  • been blindfolded by Finny and led by his sweet hand in mine (Punky later took my other hand to assure that his mother would make the trip unscathed) up the stairs to my room, where I found the gift of a stuffed animal and a picture drawn, just for me
  • disciplined three little boys for their complete lack of obedience
  • laughed inside at the sweet sight of all three of my sons squeezed in, sitting cheek to cheek on the bottom step for a triple time-out, looking up at me with their best "I'm in for it now" faces - all so different, yet all so similar
  • watched as all three boys did a complete 180 and became the best listening, most obedient children ever
  • praised the Lord for His immense blessings
  • begged the Lord for just a little more patience and some guidance
  • thanked the Lord for my husband and the recent renewal of our relationship
  • cleaned up way too many toys

Still in the plans for the day:

  • get dough going for Pizza Night
  • decorate our Christmas tree with the kids
  • make Fruit Loop garland for said tree
  • make homemade pizzas for dinner
  • eat said pizza with my family as we enjoy our weekly Friday Night Pizza and Movie night together
  • go for an after dinner walk in the brisk cold of the dark evening air with my Man and our children so we can all enjoy the sites of the Christmas lights brightening up our neighborhood
  • tuck a few kids into their warm beds for a night of sweet sleep
  • enjoy my husband as we sit back after the long, full, blessed day and just bask in the glow of the life we are so blessed to lead.