Thursday, July 24, 2008

Nap Time

One of the biggest challenges every day is getting all four kiddos to sleep at the same time. And to be honest, I'm amazed at how well they do for the most part. We have our challenging days - more specifically, our challenging children.

C has never been a "good" napper. Ever since about 18 months, she has struggled to take a good nap. If I can ever get her to be still for long enough, she'll crash for a good 2 hours. But the whole discipline of being still is something we are continually working on.

I do think one reason C struggles more than her sisters is she experienced two moves at very critical life stages - at 18 months and 2 years. I've heard you can make or break a child in 3 years, and I do believe those years are so important in shaping a child for life.

So anyway, we possible screwed little C up with all those moves, but what can I do now to help her move beyond this and succeed in disciplining herself? The newest experiment: C cannot get up without falling asleep. (Or that's the way I explain it to her.) Hey, if she happens to be still for 2 straight hours without falling asleep, that's a huge success, and I will gladly reward her progress. But the likelihood of that happening are slim to none.

So how does this play out? Not sure yet. Yesterday was the first day of the "experiment." To make a long story short, she missed a lot. She had to stay in her room in her bed all afternoon. It wasn't fun for any of us, and her crying broke my heart. Andy and I both had to help each other be strong and not give in. But I think she learned how this new system works.
And today as the girls were getting into place for nap, C told me that she was going to make good choices so she could play with us in the afternoon. We shall see.

I'm excited about this experiment and am praying for success. I'm so blessed to have the ability to stay home with my children and try different techniques to help them grow. I love the challenge! I love my kids!

Mini-update: I just walked to the kids' room to check on them. All are sound asleep except for C. I whispered for her to go ahead and fall asleep. She shook her head and said, "I will Mom." I couldn't hear very clear, so I stepped closer for her to repeat. I heard her, and she added, "If some big people, like the size of you, will get out, I'll be able to go to sleep." This sounds sassy and disrespectful, but that wasn't her attitude at all. She was earnestly asking me to stop talking and leave so she could go to sleep. Oh how I pray the next update is positive!
Update: WOO HOO! We've got success! The trials and heart break of yesterday were so worth it. My precious C has fallen asleep - and within 20 minutes! I know this doesn't mean she'll never make bad choices at nap time again. (Hello!! Don't you wish we could learn the first time around, and never make the same mistakes?! That would be real nice.)
But we may have found a system that works for C for this season in her life. I love helping my children grow and develop! Way to go C! I'm so proud of you babe!
And now I'm off to take a nap. I'll be out within 3 minutes - tops. :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Most would think that A would consider this torture. I mean, he's trapped in a box. I'm sure it wasn't his decision to get into the box. And he has no control of getting out when he wants to. Surely, this is not a positive experience for him.

But check it out. He loves it! The girls are having so much fun teaching him how to play. Maybe a little too much fun at his expense, but fun nonetheless. And he adores his sisters.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Woohoo!! J is now the proud wearer of dry panties! I'm so proud of my little girl! Maybe I'm just getting used to the whole pottytraining ordeal, or this girl was truly the easiest so far. She handled that potty with ease. And I'm amazed at how few nighttime accidents she had. It's rare for me to make it through the night without having to potty. Hmmm.... maybe I shouldn't drink anything after dinner either.

Way to go J! You've tackled a major milestone that will be with you for many years to come. Wear your new panties with pride, hon. You've earned them!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dress up

There are some things we do every day around here. The obvious would be potty, eat, brush our teeth, etc... But also making the list is playing dress up. Yes, it happens every day. It started early this morning, before breakfast even. C found the swimsuit and white dress (both J's) on the table. She decided to put on the dress, pair it with a bracelet and sunglasses. She called herself a movie star. Of course J had to put on the swimsuit. (She is my lover of water. She tries to float on her back in the tub. Funny girl.) But that leaves M without anything special to put on. No fear. She can use C's PJ pants to make a funny wrap for her head. You can imagine my delight when I found them this morning. They are so creative and love playing.
M really cracked herself up with this outfit. She had the giggles all day long.

Friday, July 18, 2008


The girls love to play with bubbles. I hate the sticky mess, but love summer bubbles in swimsuits so I can easily hose them down. Swimsuits are fabulous! The girls live in them during the summer. It's much cooler, makes for great impromptu water fun, and easily cuts laundry in half. Woohoo! I love summer!
Here a some fun pics from the last time we played with bubbles. J's finally getting the hang of blowing air through the stick, not blowing raspberries on the stick. Fun times. I love it!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Gross Out!

I'm so totally disgusted, I just don't know what to think. So Andy and I are talking the other day. The girls recently got balloons that had a disclaimer: BEWARE - chocking hazard, or something to that effect. That got us to talking about how the justice system in America has somehow decided that because a child is playing with a company's toy, the company is now responsible for the safety of that child. Huh?! Um, no. I'm responsible for my child, and it's my job to make sure what I allow them to play with is not harmful.
Nice, decent adult conversation wouldn't you say? (I don't get it often, as I'm usually surrounded by toddler talk.)
I was really enjoying our dissection of American culture and children, until the conversation turned sour, pretty quick.
Andy asks, "So, have you ever chewed on a balloon like it's a piece of gum?"
Now I'll be the first to admit. I've done some totally gross out things before. (Do I have to share tickle torture with childhood friends, one of whom would not break until a tongue hit the bottom of his foot? And who did the honors? Yours truly.) But I can honestly say, I have never chewed on a deflated balloon like it was a piece of gum. Yuck. I couldn't understand the fun in this because doesn't a balloon taste like rubber? It smells rubbery, it feels rubbery, I would assume the taste is rubbery. No. Andy claims the taste is netural - words from his mouth, not mine. I gave in. Fine, deflated balloons can substitute for chewing gum.
I thought we were done with this until he says, "Now, you know what really tastes bad is ear wax." "WHAT?!" I said, "Please tell me you have never really tasted ear wax." "Oh yeah," his response, "you haven't?" Um negative on that one as well. Why in the world would I ever taste ear wax? Then he went on to explain how easy it is to accidentally get a chunk of ear wax in your mouth. We finally decided I've never encountered this because I don't tend to dig in my ears with my fingers. I'm a fan of Q-Tips and use them religiously every morning. (Honestly, I wish I could say I'm as faithful with my quiet time.)
So now I've been enlightened. Deflated balloons can be used as a substitute for chewing gum, but beware of ear wax. The taste induces gags and vomitting.
Disclaimer: If you must experiment, you're doing it at your own risk. I have nothing to do with it. If you happen to choke or vomit, welcome to the world of cause and effect. Do something dumb, experience the natural consequences of that dumb act.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Daddy Time

I've always loved bedtime around here. Getting the kids into bed signals the end of my workday. I try to do no housework after the kids are in bed. Most days I'm just too pooped to care about dirty clothes. Also, this allows me to spend time with Andy.

But I've got a new favorite time of day -- Daddy Time! Andy has started doing a pre-bed mini-devotion (emphasis on mini since the girls are 2, 3, and 4) with the girls. The girls love this special time with Dad, and I do my best to stay out of their way. Sometimes it's too sweet a time for me to miss, but I know the girls and Andy get more out of it when I'm not involved. (Hey, the girls and I have each other all day long!)

The other night I captured a few pics. While snapping pictures I overheard some of the lesson. The girls were learning about being faithful. Andy was explaining that faithfulness is doing what you say you are going to do - keeping your word. After prayer time with each of the girls, C said, "Okay Dad. Now I am going to potty and get in bed. And I am going to be faithful. I'm going to do it right now." With that she walked to the potty, did her business, and quietly climbed into bed, waiting for us to come cover her up. How precious!

Who would have thought that teaching toddlers Biblical principles would impact their everyday activities?! DUH! How dare we ever forget how relevant the Bible is to our lives and even the lives of our young children.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Making biscuits

One of my favorite childhood memories is making biscuits with my Mom and brother. Mom would always give us a little dough to shape like we wanted. Our creations didn't always turn out edible. I think the focus was more on art than breakfast. My brother got pretty good at shaping a man soaking in the bathtub, smoking a cigar. Oh what fun memories!
The girls and I tried our luck with biscuit making the other morning. They're still a bit young to give them freedom with their dough. We're still mastering circles. It was a mess, but lots of fun. We'll do it again, soon. Tradition in the making - I love it!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Good Morning Preacher

I love Sunday mornings around here. On every other morning when the girls wake up, they potty and begin playing in the playroom. They know to stay playing quietly in the playroom until I come get them for breakfast. But Sundays are different; they are allowed to come see us when they wake up. Sundays are the one morning that I am delighted if they happen to wake a little early. We leave the house by 7:30am, so with them waking a little early, it allows us more time to get ready and out the door. (I hate being rushed.) I've never verbalized to them to come let me know when they wake up, but the system has somehow worked its way into our home, and I love it!

So yesterday morning I was in the laundry room ironing when C found me. She was wiping her eyes, just having opened them seconds earlier. We begain our routine morning conversation of good morning, did you have a good night's sleep, etc... M joined us shortly and joined the conversation. After hugs and good mornings C turned to M and said, "M, now let's go and tell our preacher good morning."

How fun. I love my kids and my preacher husband!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Good to be home

We got back in town Saturday evening after a 5 day family escape. It was fabulous! We left early Tuesday morning for a fun filled week in Dallas. Here's a quick run-down on all the fun we had.

Tuesday - We were on the road by 4:30am and got there in time to indulge in Andy's favorite fast food -- Jack in the Box. Then we all crashed for a long afternoon nap at the hotel. We woke up and ventured out to fulfill another of Andy's favorite -- Half Price Books. Fabulous day! We could have gone home completely fulfilled after just one day!

Wednesday - Quick trip down memory lane to Ft Worth. We took C and M to see where we used to live on seminary campus. We got out and let the girls play on the neighborhood playground that is literally two steps from our old back porch. How fun! Then we went on a 45 minute mini-train ride through the parks. It was great, and the kids had a blast! Topping the night off with chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese (provided by the hotel) was almost too much for the kids to handle. They crashed as soon as their little heads hit the pillows.

Thursday - We spent the morning at Dallas World Aquarium. It's a four story building with a walking path circling around and down the center waterfall. The top begins with tropical plants, birds, snakes, monkeys, etc... You can also look over the rail, down into the water to see the fish, whales, turtles, etc to come. The bottom has all the aquariums. It's a really neat place. Andy took me when I was pregnant with C; it was great to go back and share it with the kids. By lunchtime my Mom had arrived in town and took over kid duty to allow Andy and I to get a rare dining experience alone! This one was for me -- El Fenix, quite possibly the best Tex-Mex food I've ever had. I fell in love with El Fenix while living in Ft Worth, and can't pass up an opportunity to eat there! I ate too much, but it was so worth it. :o) Dinner was at my aunt and uncle's house - lasagna. Yum Yum! After dinner we headed back to the hotel to watch the best fireworks show ever! Addison's Kaboomtown could be clearly seen from the parking lot of our hotel. The girls had a blast finding different colors in the sky. We were pooped, but it was lots of fun.

Friday the 4th -- The big party the girls had been waiting for finally arrived. We spent the day with family for the big reunion. It was so much fun! Lots of food, lots of soda, lots of swimming, lots of card playing, lots of laughing, and lots of winning pool volleyball - for me, at least, and lots of movies for the girls. We weren't ready for the day to end.

Saturday -- Getting on the road heading back home, the navigator (me) got a little confused and we found ourselves heading the wrong way. Oops. But it worked for our favor when we saw how close we were to our old church, Fellowship Church. Andy had been wanting to go see it. As a church planter, it's very inspiring and encouraging to visit someone who's been there and done that. Just driving around their campus really pumped Andy up. I'm so glad we got a chance to visit again. See, God knew what He was doing when He fuzzied my brain to get us going in the wrong direction. :o)

This was quite possibly the best, most relaxing vacation post kids. We're ready to do it again. Just give me enough time to catch up on laundry, please. :o)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

3 Lizards

I see 3 lizards. How about you? No really. There are three lizards. The first is obvious, front and somewhat center. The second just has his tail showing on the left side. The third is hiding out below.

How cool is that?! I've never seen such a tiny lizard! Andy and I were sitting on the front porch this evening, enjoying the unseasonably coolness brought in from a rainstorm. I saw a few brown spots on the blades of our monkey grass. I thought, "Oh great. Some great fungus is invading." But as we continued to talk, and I was continually distracted by the "fungus," I saw it wiggle. What?! Still thinking it was just something as simple as the drip of a rain drop, I just kept watching, thinking about monkey grass fungi and how I was going to have to research what to do about it. But then, another wiggle, and I couldn't take it any more. I actually was kind of afraid of what I was going to find (marriage has made me a big wimp!); I made Andy step close with me. And what did we see?! The tiniest lizards I have ever seen! Honestly, these babies just made it into the world. As we stepped closer to look, Mommy lizard came to attack. Andy couldn't even scare her away. She was there to protect her newborn.

How cool. I just had to take pictures, but they so don't do justice. I tried to get one with Andy's hand to capture how tiny they are, but my poor camera had no clue what to focus on.

What a great night!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Baby Steps

We've got the greatest nursery at Church Acadiana! No really. I have complete confidence in stating that.
This Sunday as I was dropping A off at Baby Steps, I told the workers that I wanted them to teach A how to crawl. (Obviously joking.) But check out the pictures they captured! He's up on his hands and knees, rocking back and forth! Go A go!!
Thanks ladies in Baby Steps. I completely trust you with my son, and you consistently go above and beyond all expectations. Thanks for making my time away from A a relief rather than a worry.