It’s the day we’ve been counting down to for weeks in our house. It’s all we’ve talked about. We’ve been planning all kinds of festivities and even strangers have been talking about it with my kids. And, finally the day is upon me. Zero days left. Can you believe it!?!?

Tomorrow is Josiah’s 4th birthday and Eila’s 1st day of school. So exciting!

Also, sorry that I forgot to update with Eila’s status for school… We got our letter in the mail last Saturday. She will be going to afternoon Kindergarten and her bus stop is a good distance from the house, but she’ll ride it home most days. And once she learns how to get home from there, she’ll walk on her own – I hope. The boys and I will drive her to school after lunch and Thaddeus will return to a life of two naps or a morning nap and a very early bedtime. All will work out wonderfully!


Yes, I’m Complaining.

I am a planner. I like to plan and have everything organized and know what to expect as much as possible. I don’t really like surprises or last minute things. I don’t like to have every minute scheduled, but I do like to be prepared and have a general plan.

Apparently, that is only for home-schooling moms. If I want to be a planner and send my daughter to public school; that’s not going to happen. In June, when I expected to get a letter informing me of our child’s assignment to morning or afternoon Kindergarten, I was mailed a letter which basically stated that they don’t know anything and will send a letter in August with some information. At least I received my letter, the two other families that I know in the same K got an empty envelope and a blank letter… Why bother with an expensive mailing – wasting paper, money, energy on nothing!

Well, now I find out in the school district newsletter that there will definitely not be midday busing, which is all fine and good for saving money, but I’ll have to wake up a napping kid and that does not make me happy. I vaguely recognize that schooling is not about keeping parents happy, but making things really inconvenient is not a good policy to keep enrollment up and money coming in when I, and others in my position, could easily and happily homeschool and save myself the hassle.

Now that I’ve gotten all that out in the open, I’ll just say that in our family “We choose to be joyful even when we feel like complaining.” That’s our family way for this week! (See Our 24 Family Ways) Ironic, I know. So, I’m all done and am now ready to be joyful. Maybe next time, I’ll be ready to be joyful without complaining first… I’ll work on it.


Playing Catch Up

Systems of organization used to be my forte, but now I feel like I’m in a perpetual whirlwind of piles and things to do. And yet, I choose not to do most of those things piled up and waiting to be done…

Today, my excuse was that the weather was too nice, so we had to go outside and play. The same will be true tomorrow. We are playing and growing and learning and sometimes doing the other stuff.

I like to think that I’ve changed in some way and matured – choosing to do the important over the urgent, but I still like to control everything and one day I hope that I’ll have it all under control too without doing any of the work…


Not Yet Gray

But I’m definitely getting older. I cannot believe that today we celebrated my daughter’s fifth birthday. She really is growing up and while I am very much a part of her every waking moment, I’m afraid that somehow I’m missing it. The days are often a blur of household chores, shopping, or even fun outings, but still going so quickly as to all jumble together. I am so grateful for Eila and all her spunk. Her name is perfect for her and her joie de vivre. She is sensitive and smart with a laugh that makes everyone around join in. It is my great privilege to be the one who kisses her scrapes and bruises, who sings her lullabies and tickles her until she begs for mercy, who stops her bossing her brothers around and teaches her to set the table, who reads to her without end and loves her even more than that. Happy birthday to my sweet baby girl, who will always be my little girl – just like she promised me this week!


Time and Time Again

Little Yee #3 is almost 7 months old and he is crawling, cruising, clapping and generally very busy. I am sort of in shock at the simple passage of time. I am proud of all that my kids do. Well, maybe not all that they do, but at least proud of them most of the time. I am also terrified of the crazy speed at which they are growing and changing. Not that I don’t want them to mature and develop in the amazing ways they were designed for, I do.
BUT, I feel like I’m so busy with just taking care of them at times that I don’t even see the changes. It’s like I’m missing their growing up simply by being too close… I am so grateful to be able to be so close and yet very aware that it is only for a short time (relatively speaking – since yesterday when #2 was waking up #3 and emptying the toilet paper roll AGAIN and eating all my cider mill donuts seemed like a very, very long time!)



This is what I’ve been up to recently…

Me: (opening the door and getting a big whiff of calendula cream) Josiah, where is Thad’s diaper cream?
J: In there. (pointing to the air vent at the bottom of the wall)
Me: Where did you put all the cream? (finding the container, two marker lids, some paper and a few other toys in the vents)
J: On my arm.
Me: Wow. (feeling how smooth and soft his left arm is)

Me: Josiah, do you have to go to the bathroom?
J: No. (doing the pee-pee dance)
Me: Are you sure?
Me: Okay.
J: Mommy, I have to go potty! (very desperate)
Me: Then, go to the potty! You know, I just asked you. (I’m now sitting down nursing TJ)
J: Mommy, you come! I can’t do it.
Me: Yes, you can. GO!
Me: Josiah!
Me: You can do it. (I’m walking to the bathroom, watching him dance in front of the toilet). Pull your pants down.
J: I CAN’T. (holding a small key in one hand)
Me: Give me your key, and GO POTTY!
Me: GET ON THE POTTY! (taking his key and pulling down his pants – yes, while still nursing)
J: Don’t yell at me, Mommy.
Me: (shaking my head and feeling very relieved that he went on the potty, but a little guilty for yelling, even though he did most of the yelling…)

Eila: When I grow up and I’m a mommy, you’ll be a grandma and you will be my mommy.
Me: Yup. That’s right.
E: I will drive a motorcycle.
Me: Oh, really. I’d rather you didn’t.
E: But, when I’m grown up I’ll be big and can drive a motorcycle and go really fast.
Me: That’s just what I’d rather you didn’t; I don’t like motorcycles. They scare me; people get hurt really badly on motorcycles.
E: Well, I won’t get hurt. Maybe I won’t drive a motorcycle… Does Trillion drive a motorcycle?
Me: I don’t know. Maybe, but I doubt it.
E: When I grow up and I’m a mommy, I’m going to name my daughter Trillion.

Along with countless amounts of preparing food and cleaning up and also watching Thad creep all around, spitting on everything…
It’s been good.


Getting Things Done

I’ve put a lot of things on hold since the end of my pregnancy, and am still recovering from the aftermath of that pregnancy (another kid!)
Having three kids is a lot harder than two and I’m pretty tired at the end of the day which is when I used to do all the things that needed to be done without my children’s “help”.
One of these days, I might get around to starting and maybe even finishing one or two things on my ever growing list.

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When I signed in at Jungle Java I signed a waiver as Eila’s parent/guardian and didn’t really think much of it. After lots of fun playing and a little eating, I took Josiah to use the toilet and while we were washing our hands one of the other little girls with us came to tell me that Eila needed me. So, we quickly returned to the table where our stuff was and I found Eila sobbing hysterically.
In the few minutes I was gone, she had been dancing and singing near some other girls who apparently didn’t like it and started pushing, punching and scratching her. Another mom saw it and stop it as they were getting ready to kick her. As I write these words I feel so angry and sad and helpless. I want so badly to protect my kids from any kind of harm or evil and I can’t really do that at all.
Eila calmed down (not terribly physically hurt) and the girls apologized; she forgave them and went back to playing. I am still at a loss for how to respond and help Eila respond in the future. But I am very certain that guardian is not the right term for me (today, at least).


Three’s Company?

Today I’ve only had all three kids for a short while and yet still I’m thinking that three is two too many. I’ll keep #3 and lend out the others to any adventurous and brave soul who will take them… ;p

In just three hours, #2 has succeeded in clogging the toilet with an entire roll of toilet paper – unrolled and shoved in, throwing a ball and racket at #3, smothering #3 with a blanket, waking #3 from a sound sleep by screaming as loudly as possible over and over, spitting all over #1 and the table, breaking a doll house and making #1 cry, taking over everything that #1 has and infuriating her. He has also eaten, read books, jumped on the couch and laughed a lot.

Child #1 has screamed and yelled at everyone, smashed her head into the wall, fallen off a chair AND table, tried to twist #2’s arm backwards, and kissed #3 more times than I can count. She has also sang and danced the entire time and changed clothes about six times. She did clean up her room too.

Edit (10 minutes later): The boys are sleeping and the girls are both calm and so glad that those boys are finally sleeping. They needed it!

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Book Review: She’s Gonna Blow

My good friend, Andie, lent me a book (that I lent out to another friend) that really has changed the way I parent. I knew I had a problem and needed to get some practical help as well as deal with the root issues of my problem. Well, Julie Barnhill’s book came along at the right time and was exactly what I needed to hear and act on.

I love to read, and Julie Barnhill is a very funny gal whose books are quick, easy reads, but that was not the case for this book. This book had its funny parts and is a quick read, but she has stopping points throughout the book with questions to ponder and action points. I usually just read these types of questions and answer in my head since writing answers requires so much effort. However, I knew that I really needed to process these things and to have accountability to make changes, so I wrote down my answers to all of the questions. I was easily able to see where I struggled and what changes I needed to make.

The gist of it is that anger has its place and is a good response when things are not as they should be – injustice and evil – and as long as anger motivates us to act in love and bring about good changes then it is not a problem. For most people I know, myself included, that is not usually the case when I lose my temper. I am angry at my kids for not living up to my expectations or at myself for making poor choices and then am impatient and unkind toward those around me not out of love to make them better, but just because I’m immature and would rather throw a fit. In my angry outbursts with my kids, there are times that the anger is properly motivated, but my outburst is not loving or effective in bringing about the change that is desired. So, the way to change is through prayer and focusing on the truth and love of God, along with some very simple techniques like counting to ten or taking a deep breath before I speak, taking time outs myself when I feel my body heat rising and jaw clenching.

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