Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The One About Chores

I'm blogging from my living room... on my BRAND NEW LAPTOP! Mom got a good deal on it and gave it to me for Christmas! I'm so shocked! I LOVE IT! :)

I've been doing a lot of thinking about children and chores. Why must it be such a chore to get them to do their chores? We use incentives as in allowance... *I* use nagging *blush* Doesn't work too well, really. So, after reading a book and chatting w/ a friend I'm coming up with a new system.

They will each have their daily required chores. Then there will be 'extras' that they can choose to do. All chores are worth 10 cents, so they can earn more or less depending on how many extras they do. Then, for extra bonus, if they do it promptly & w/out arguing about it, they get a sticker for the day. Once they earn 10 stickers they get 100 "Mima's Moolah" bucks. (Something my MIL invented) They can then use those "Mima's Moolah" bucks to "buy" something from the "Mima's Moolah" box.

I talked to them about it this morning and they all said it sounded like a good plan. It puts them more in control of their chores and attitude about their chores, so we'll see how it goes...

Monday, December 29, 2008

The One About Parenting

Parenting is definitely the hardest job I've ever had. I struggle with allowing my children to develop their God-given personalities, likes/dislikes and wills. Some days (A lot of days) I'd rather them all be quiet, genteel, meek children. I remember that when I was growing up there was a lot of talk about "breaking the will of the child" and "spare the rod, spoil the child" (Which interestingly enough I thought was a Bible Verse, but it turns out that it isn't!)

Anyway.. some days I wonder if parenting that way would be better. Spank for every misconduct. Discipline for every little wrong doing and don't ever back down until their will is broken.

But then I think... where did they get that will? What if I break the will that God was going to use for His glory one day? And if I do break that will, what is going to happen? Will that child, when s/he comes of age, use the will however s/he chooses because s/he was never taught that it was ok to have that strong will if they are using it to glorify God? I have seen this happen in a lot of the "strong willed children" I knew while growing up.

So I truck along... doing what I'm doing and praying that it's what the Lord wants me to do. Still... at times... I think that the appearance of 'perfect' sounds wonderful.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The One About A New Christmas Tradition

Good morning!

Day 2 of Christmas Vacation! I love it! No arguements about schoolwork AND it's so much easier to keep the house cleaned up when I have the morning free! WOO HOO!

Shhh!!! Don't tell the kids, but we're having Christmas at our house tomorrow! They don't know... They think we're going to be opening our gifts here on Friday, so it's going to be fun surprising them! DH is getting home from work early & then I'm going to take the kids somewhere: either outside or for a drive & while we're out he's going to set up all the gifts. When we get home, we'll have present time!!! And I'm making Christmas Dinner for us too: Turkey, Stuffing, Mashed Taters, the works! I'm kinda excited about starting our own family traditions. I felt a little silly doing it before because the kids were too young to care, but this year it's going to be fun!

Friday, December 19, 2008

The One With Pictures

We recently decorated for Christmas... our tree is filled w/ homemade ornaments and the kids keep adding to it :)

Do you remember these things? They were big when I was a kid and are making a come back, I guess. My kids love to do these & my oldest even made a WAll-E and an Eve out of them!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The One With Various Topics

Topic 1: It snowed a lot last night, so we made sure to get some good outside time after school was done. It's not too cold, thankfully. It's much easier to enjoy the snowy outdoors when it's not below 20 degrees. Even Alyssa was happy out there. My goal is to get some outdoor time daily, but that's difficult to do in the winter, especially when it get below 0, so I'm trying to get out as much as possible now cause I know we'll be cooped up later.

Topic 2: I was thinking the other day how much that we, even as adults, need our parents. I know some of us have "shunned" our parents in a way, but many of us still call them for various reasons. This hit me because of Sammy's tonsillitis. Who did I call when his fever hit 105? Not my Dr... I called Mom. And the time we were at my Moms house and Beth fell down and passed out? I called my step-dad to come help cause I was too scared. Over the years, tho I'm married & have children of my own I still find that I rely on my parents to keep me reassured when things are a bit scary... or to offer advice when I'm not sure what to do. I know it's not like this for all families, so I feel blessed that I am able to still have a good relationship with them.

Topic 3: Why can't children just do their chores w/out complaining? They have a chore chart, they are required to do the chores daily... and still it's a daily hour (or more!!) of complaining and me redirecting them back to doing their chores. (Cause they get distracted while doing them.) Case in point: Right now it's chore time. I'm sitting in the kitchen because James and Levi tend to bicker if I'm not w/ them. Annoying phase, but hopefully will be over soon... anyway. James' shirt is wet, so he needed to go change it. That was 3 minutes ago and he's still not back. Beth is cleaning the living room, but what she does is pick up one book, look it over for a while, then put it away. Then she picks up another book and does the same, etc, etc, until it's done. *sigh* I think part of my issues w/ it is that I just want it DONE. I don't see why they have to dawdle... it just needs to be done.

Topic 4: Dairy is extremely difficult to avoid.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The One With Sleep

Good morning! I got SLEEP last night... Alyssa & I were asleep by 9:30 and she didn't wake up for her first nursing until 4:35!! That's 7 hrs of sleep! Can you believe it?!?! Then she nursed in a sleepy way and zonked out for another 3 hrs. It's shocking, really! I'm sure it was a fluke... but it was soooo nice.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The One Where the Monkeys Got Into The Gingerbread House

Uh oh... look what the monkeys were caught doing. We decorated this the other day... and they (w/ the help of a certain 2 y/o) keep undecorating it. he he

The One About Snow

This morning we woke up to 6+ inches of snow! The kids were so excited that they were bundled up and ready to go out by 8:20! We went outside to play, but it only lasted about 35 minutes before Sammy was complaining that he was too cold. It was pretty chilly... but SO NICE to finally get outside. I feel like we've been cooped up for too long. Unfortunately the snow wasn't good snowman snow, but kids seem to be pretty resourseful and have fun in it no matter what. They made snow angels, tried to do snowball fights, ate the snow and made tracks all over the yard in it. They had a really good time.

While I was out there I realized how nice it is not to be pregnant. Even with Alyssa in the sling I was able to move around the yard and play w/ the kids so much easier than I could when I was pregnant. My hip and back problems are correcting themselves now and it's so freeing to be able to move with minimal pain again!

OFF TOPIC: (This is becoming daily.. maybe I should make it a daily thing! Lol!) I realized that Smart Balance has dairy in it! So I really haven't been off dairy yet at all. *sigh* So... Today is the REAL day 1 of being dairy free (hopefully) Alyssa's skin was starting to clear up just w/ cutting back on the dairy, so hopefully her other problems will resolve themselves once our bodies are clear of dairy for a few weeks. This is more difficult than I remembered it being.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The One About Being Kind

We've been having issues here lately w/ the children being unkind to each other. They just seem to get on each other's nerves easily and blow up at the smallest things. I've been talking to them about being kind to each other. Then last weekend I had an idea for my family. We are to each draw a name & do something special for that person. I mentioned it to the kids & James decided to do it now and he decided to pick Beth. (he he... not exactly the way it works, but oh well). So today he's been doing special things for Beth. He drew her a picture, let her choose a movie and even offered to help her clean her room!

I think we'll draw a new name every day and spend the day making that person feel special up until Christmas. I know it could continue past Christmas, but I want it to be something special and not get to be 'old hat'.

Side Note: I'm so sad... my crock pot died! That thing is a life saver and now it's dead. :(

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The One About Smiles, Coos and Children's Behavior

This morning Alyssa melted my heart. I crawled out of bed before she woke up and made bfast, lunches, etc. Then I peeked into my room and there she was, laying on the bed looking around. I said "Well, good morning sunshine." and she gave me the biggest, most heart warming smile she's given yet. Then we were dong school and she started 'talking'. It was so cute... she sat there looking at Nathan and making baby noises... so sweet.

Now, Sammy on the other hand, has been a complete pill this morning. He keeps throwing fits about EVERYTHING! I know he's not 100% healthy yet, but it's very annoying to hear his screaming.

However, I've been very thankful for Beth's help.... Lately she has had quite a knack for helping Sammy get out of his bad moods. She encourages him or distracts him. It's been so wonderful to see her growing and learning to help out more.

And despite the fighting we've been doing, I think that James is doing a little better too. He still fights and complains over E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G, but I'm realizing it's 6 y/o isms & that helps me because I realize he will outgrow it. So I try really hard to view each arguement as a teaching session. I also have decided not to tolerate any disrespect, so once he starts going off in a disrespectful manner he is put in his room until he can control himself. Once he gains control he comes out, apologizes and things are better. Phew. It's exhausting tho... I'm not saying it's easy. It takes a ton of patience and a lot of time to deal w/ him when he gets on his rampages, but I'm hoping & praying it will help in the end.

Off Topic:
We were given a few unexpected blessings of cash over these past couple of weeks and I am SO THANKFUL for them.... because that means I can pay all the bills this month despite Matt's small paychecks. What a blessing!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The One Where I Ramble: Take One

It's Take One because i'm sure I'll ramble in more than just this post. *wink*

I tend to spend time online to escape from my reality... just for a few moments to realize that there are other Moms out there dealing with the same issues we deal with here in our home. The only problem is getting caught up in the drama that comes with message boards. Yes. drama. And it seems so crazy to get so involved in other people's lives... people I will never meet in my entire life. Yet it happens & connections are made, friendships are formed & enemies are made. It's interesting. But I needed a new place that I could feel welcome, but have no expectations of who I am placed on me. I found this board: http://www.justmommies.com/boards/index.php?showforum=116 It's an AP board, but doesn't have a Christian emphasis tho many of the mamas there are Christians. It's nice to be the 'newbie" and have no assumptions made yet about who I am or who my family is. That'll come w/ time tho.... That doesn't mean that I'm ditching my 'online home'... I'm just saying it's nice to have found another neat place to chat w/ women like me.

That being said, I think I need to try to find a way to fellowship w/ other women in real life. That's more difficult. Having 5 children definitely makes it harder to get involved and stay involved in things. I need to think up a way tho.

LOL... I'm sitting here at the computer, bouncing Alyssa on my knee and blogging when I look down and notice I need to dust the desk. How do I know this? Because James (6 y/o) wrote his initials in the dust at the base of the computer! LOL! How embarrassing to admit that I haven't dusted in a while *blush*

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The One About Tonscilitis

It turns out that Sammy has viral tonscilitis. The poor little guy... And looks like Beth (5 y/o) is getting it now. Dr. C. said that Alyssa should be ok since she's breastfeeding. I sure hope he's right. Dr. C. said it takes about 72 hrs of fever and then Sammy should be feeling better, so hopefully by Monday we'll be good.... w/ him anyway. The joys about having a handful of children means that when it goes through one it tends to go through them all...

Friday, December 5, 2008

The One About Being Scared

There is something very scary about seeing your toddler's temperature rise to 105 and not go below 102 for over 30 hrs. There is something very scary about the thought of your newborn getting this fever as well. We're all praying she won't get sick.

The One Where We Play Hookie

This blog is so much easier to blog in... no having to sign in and out and anyone can post a reply w/out having to have a blogger blog. I like that...

We're playing hookie today. Homeschoolers can't really play hookie unless it's from an organized activity w/ other homeschoolers. We were supposed to go to Friday School this morning, but Sammy was up hourly last night and still lethargic w/ a bit of a fever this morning. Levi is complaining about a yucky stomach & Alyssa (the baby) seems off still too. *sigh* But it's all good... Alyssa and Sammy are sleeping and the other 3 are watching a movie, so I'm cleaning! It's already starting to look better in here... which is good. I have a lady coming to pick up a puppy tonight & I like the house presentable when people come over. NOT an easy task w/ 5 children in the house. But I'll do it... it's worth it to be down to 6 puppies. :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The One About Illness

So to make matters... um.. more interesting, Sammy (my 2y/o) started running a fever this morning. It has not gone below 102 all day...even w/ tylenol. Poor kiddo. Add to that the baby is feeling not herself too. She seems funny... cries in a different way, just seems uncomfortable & isn't nursing the way she usually does. So I have no idea what is going on with them, but I spent the ENTIRE day holding at least one and often two of them. DH just got home & now he has them both and I can breathe for two seconds. What to do? What to do? Dishes? Laundry? General Pick Up? :/ I'd rather sit here.....

The One Where I'm Overwhelmed

It's been 6 weeks since my youngest daughter was born. If you were to see me at church or in the store & ask how life is with 5 right now I'd smile and say "It's great. I'm really blessed." In reality I'm overwhelmed. Don't get me wrong: I am really blessed. But over the past few days I've felt myself slipping into an all encompassing feeling of stress. I feel like I'm digging myself into a hole and the light is disappearing... soon I won't remember how to get out.

I've dealt with PPD before and I don't feel quite like that, but I do feel if I don't start taking preventative measures I'm going to slip back into it. I don't want to... It's a dark, sad, lonely place.

So that's my feeling for today... overwhelmed..now I need to figure out how to avoid PPD or sinking further into this stress & frustration.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The One About My Husband's Job

Some people whom I've know for years from previous blogs/websites/IRL have asked me to update on this. DH has moved from auto body shop to auto body shop so many times over the years we've been married that I can't even recall all of the names. This year he has decided to embark on a new career path completely. He's now in the business of selling auto body supplies. He's a salesman/spokesman/face for the company he is working for. He spends his days traveling around our area, going to various shops and helping them to place orders, learn to use new supplies and answering any questions they may have. He started almost 2 weeks ago and so far likes it a lot. It's been very different for him & he says he feels like he's not working. The good thing for the company is that a lot of people know him and like him... in fact, he was able to get a shop to make an order yesterday and the shop hadn't placed an order w/ this company in 9 years! yah.... they're lucky to have him.

(Oh... & I'm lucky too cause it means he is home more often! woohoo!)

The One About Carniverous Creations: Take One

For my birthday this year my Mom gave me a Carniverous Creations kit. I love plants... especially fun plants. I just hope I don't kill it.

6 weeks ago we prepped the seeds for stratification and put them in the fridge. Today was planting day!! We turned it into a science lesson, of course. The kids were all little rain clouds, dripping the water on the newly planted seeds. Now we wait... and hope they grow.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Second Entry

There were tears this morning already. It's not quite 8 am and already tears have happened. They didn't belong to the children either. After the second bowl of cereal spilled and the third child complained about schoolwork... after the toddler had been up since 6 am and the baby since 5:30.... after the puppies had woken me up 4 times in the middle of the night and the baby 3 times... after my husband reminded me he has to work late tomorrow night... after I remembered today is my first day going dairy free to find out if baby has a sensitivity to dairy... I lost it. I cried. I cried and snuggled my baby girl. I'm just so overwhelmed sometimes!

But it's all good now. The children are schooling, the baby is napping, the puppies are quiet, the toddler is playing happily, bread is baking & I even found out my favorite creamer is dairy free!

Monday, December 1, 2008

The First Entry

We recently added a fifth child to our family. Not only a fifth, but the fifth child is 7.5 years!
Are we insane? Yes.
Are we happy? Yes.
Are we overwhelmed? Yes.
Are we blessed? Most definitely.

My days are filled with diaper changes, schooling, nursing, housework and all the things that being a stay at home homeschooling mom of 5 entails. Some days are insane, some are peaceful, but all days are busy. I'm trying to find the balance in parenting. Aren't we all? I'm trying to discover what being a parent is really all about and how to raise my children to become well rounded adults. I recently told my 6 y/o (James) that being a kid is preparation for being an adult. That all you learn as a child will help you to be a 'grown up' (he's always stating that he can't wait to be a grown up so he can set his own rules.) Later the next day I overheard him telling his 7 y/o brother (Levi) what I had said... so maybe, just maybe some of what I'm teaching will get through... to them & to me.