Saturday, August 31, 2013

Football

The family I grew up in seems to live off of football once fall rolls around.  My brothers are some of the most avid fans for the local college team that I have ever met.
Today was the first game of the season, and so almost eveyone was gathered at my parents house to watch the game.

For some reason football has never really stuck with me as it did my brothers,  and the hubs is one who would rather play sports than watch them.  Therefore,  we have never really gotten into the football thing.  However,  the hubs sister was moving today, and lives closer to my parents than we do.  So we decided to pay a visit to my parents while we were in that area.

I felt like we stuck out like sore thumbs.   Everyone else was wearing clothes to support their team.  We weren't.   I don't think we even have clothing for all of us with that teams logo.   I was able to visit with a few people who didn't get sucked into the game, and a few others when the game wasn't on.

However,  I am not sure if game day is the best day to visit.  Unless you like football.   (Unfortunately that kind of rules out all of fall.  :(  )

Friday, August 30, 2013

Guy's shirts

Guy has a bad habit.   We have tried to break it several times, however it just keeps coming back.
His habit is chewing on the neck of his shirt.   I think often he does it because the shirt gets wet and is irritating his skin.   However,  I think it is a nervous habit as well.   He tends to chew on more than just his shirts,  but his shirts are the most noticiable.

I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions to help him stop?  I am all ears.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Reading

This morning I took Spike and Scooter to the library.  Spike had a lot of fun going around getting books for his siblings, and then having me read some books to him.  However his favorite part was him "reading" books to Scooter.

The kids really enjoyed reading the books that I got, once they got home from school.  Cinderella was a bit disappointed in my selection for her, but that didn't keep her from delving into "The Fairy Rebel".


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tea Party

Today Aurora and I had a tea party.  Actually we had one yesterday too.  We had made up names, and had imaginary applesauce tea, with mashed up carrots and cream (Aurora's invention).  We also had cakes made from Duplo blocks.

Yesterday while we were playing I was trying to come up with conversation, and without thinking too hard, I started to talk, and then I realized that the kind of conversation that was about to come out of my mouth, was gossip type conversation.   All be it about imaginary people, but gossip none the less.    I quickly changed my train of thought and talked about purple grass and cows.

I found myself wondering why that type of conversation was what my instincts would pull up.  I realized that in books or movies, that is the kind of conversation that often goes on at tea parties.  And with my lifestyle, I haven't really participated in an actual tea party.  I try to not be someone who gossips, and I don't want to teach my children that such is acceptable.

So today while we were having our "tea party" I found the opportunity to talk about a book that I had read, making up a story about a princess who barely escapes being eaten by a dragon, but then finds that if she kisses the dragon's tail, he turns into a prince.   Aurora then favored me with a rendition of Goldilocks and the 3 bears.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pretend play

I often have my kids tell me they are BORED!  or ask to play the computer and when I tell them no, they say they have nothing to do.

I was remember this morning, when I was teaching a preschool class in collage, that we had different areas set up, and we would rotate the toys weekly.

Sometimes we would have a theme, and pick the toys that went with that theme.  Other times we would just have different toys that stood out to us, and we would put those out.

Right now I am trying to brainstorm ideas of themes or play ideas to build off of.

For example; they could play farm.  I could stock the toy bins with little people tractor, farm animals, the little people barn, and farmer, I could put out other toys with farm animals, maybe some dress up farmer or cowboy clothes, a hobby horse, blocks, some books on farm animals, etc.

What ideas do you have?  How do your kids play?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Screen Time

Today I discovered what it is really is that is making my life a bit more stressful lately.  It isn't the absence of my older children.  It is the fact that I am trying to not let the kids be babysat by screen time as much.

I need to set up some guidelines of when screen time is acceptable and stick with it.   For the younger children I think it will be acceptable during quiet time.  I haven't figured out what I am going to do for the older ones yet.  Right now I just make them have their homework and chores done before they play or watch.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Introducing Scooter

So it is official.  Baby now has a blog name!  Scooter.

Scooter has figured out how to get around.  If he is in his bed he gets on his hands and knees puts his forehead down against the mattress and pushes off with his feet.   However if he is on the floor he either rolls or lays on his back,  arches his back up into a back bend position, except his head and neck support the upper half of his body.  He then checks out his path and scoots to where he wants to go.



Saturday, August 24, 2013

Zoo

Took the kids to the zoo.  Was tiring but fun.  Maybe I will post pictures tomorrow.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Unappreciated

Today I felt unappreciated.   I went to great efforts to interact in positive ways, and the kids didn't seem to care.
I wonder do I do it for me or for them?  And if my efforts are for me, what can I do to make them more for them?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Blessings and balance

When you are experiencing something it is very easy to see the difficulties and stresses that are there,  however once the situation changes to something with different difficulties and stresses it is easier to see the blessings from the past.

As crazy as my home was during the summer, I didn't realize how much having my older kids home kept my younger kids occupied.  Since school started again, it seems like I constantly have at least one child attached to me or within a foot of me at all times except when I am in bed.  It is rather nerve racking.  

However don't get me wrong there are plenty of blessings right now too.  I am able to get more one on one time with my kids.  I am able to get a lot more housework done.   I just need to figure out how to get everyone on the same page.   All of the kids actually going to bed when they are supposed to, so that I can go to bed before too late.  I have been running on little sleep lately, and the effects really hit home today.

After spending the morning running errands with my two youngest boys, I came home got the kids lunch, fed baby and crashed.  I was so shaky, and wiped out.   I need to find the balance, because something needs to give and I don't want it to be me.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

School day 2

I am slowly getting back in the swing of things.  I was able to spend some time playing with the kids, and still get all of the laundry taken care of.

It still got a little crazy when all the kids got home from school, but not quite as crazy as yesterday.

One day at a time.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Managing after school time

So today was the first day of school for Cinderella and Guy, and the first day of preschool for Aurora.  It seemed to be a positive day for all of them, other than Aurora throwing a fit when I left the preschool.

Spike, Baby and I had fun at home, and played a lot.  I will need to figure out how to balance giving Spike the attention he is wanting while he is wanting me to play with him, and get my jobs done.  But other than that it was great.

Well then came the time when school is over.  Aurora came home at lunch time, but Cinderella and Guy came home in the afternoon.   I thought I would have a little bit of fun and make cookies for the kids so they could have them for snacks when they got home.

Well Cinderella and Guy got home.  I got them drinks of water, and then their cookies.   Then we looked through their backpacks at all of the papers they brought home, and then started their 20 min. of reading homework.

I had just sat down with Guy to read, when Baby woke up from his nap and started crying.  So I went to get baby, who needed a diaper change, grabbed a clean diaper and headed down to the living room so that I could still hear Guy.  Then I heard Spike start screaming.  I go to find him and found that he fell down the back steps into a rose bush.  He is tired and hurt and doesn't want to be consoled.  I took him back to the living room, set him on the floor by baby, and then tried to listen to Guy, while Spike was screaming and I was changing Baby's diaper.   Then Aurora insisted that she wanted me to come and color with her.   I told her I couldn't right then, so she started having a temper tantrum.  It was crazy.   I finished changing the diaper, threw it away, cleaned my hands, took Spike to his room for a late nap, picked up Baby and then sat back down by Guy while I ignored Aurora who was screaming on the floor.  Aurora noticed Baby and came and started playing with him, while I listened to Guy.  

Once the kids were done reading, Baby was crying to be fed, so I let the older kids play the computer, because they had finished their chores, and headed up to Baby's room to feed him and get a little bit of downtime.   Well once the timer for their computer time rang, it got crazy again.

Guy came and asked me if he could have another cookie.  I told him no, and then he proceeded to go and raid the cookies with Aurora.  Well when Cinderella found out what was happening, she tried to put a stop to it.  So Guy and Aurora locked her out of the house.  She found a window that was unlocked and got back in, and brought the cookies up to Baby's room to ask what to do with them.  I had her leave the cookies in Baby's room, and then I took them out when Baby was done eating.  

When I headed down stairs, I heard the outside water on, and came out to find Guy and Aurora playing with the hose.  I told them to come inside and sit in time out.  They then proceeded to run up to the boy's room and hide from me.  I went and got them back to the time out chairs where they then played around, jumping all over, and goofing off.   It was really frustrating.  Sometimes I really don't know how to discipline my children.  


So now the question for you.   What do you do to entertain your younger children while you help school age children with their homework?   Or is it chaos at your house too?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Test Run, Blast Off, and the Dentist

Today was the last day before school starts.  My kids were planning on ridding their bikes to school.  However last night, because they were disobeying and continually getting their bikes out and riding around the cul-de-sac even after I asked them not to, their bikes have been confiscated.  Therefore, Cinderella  and Guy will be walking to school.  The school isn't that far away, and we often walk to our church which happens to be right by the school, so I know they can do it.  However I wanted to get a good accurate timing on how long it takes them to walk.  So this morning we did a test run. I loaded up the younger kids in the stroller and we walked to the school at the pace Guy set, because he is the slower of the two.   It took them about 30 min.  Tomorrow we shall see how they do.

Then for lunch today I had a little fun, and made an outer space themed lunch.  I cut slices of bread into large circles and buttered them to be a moon.  Then I took some cheese and cut it into stars, and then I cut a piece of ham into a rocket shape.  I added grapes to be planets, and jellybeans to be asteroids.  I think they had fun with it.  It always amazes me how much better some of my kids will eat a lunch that looks fun.

After lunch we went to the dentist.  We all got a good checkup except for Guy who has 3 cavities.  I am not entirely surprised, seeing as how getting him to brush his teeth (using toothpaste, and brushing all of the teeth, enough to build up bubbles in his mouth) is a regular battle.   Maybe one day he will learn.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Bath time, bath time, so much fun!

Baby loves his baths.  He can't sit up yet so he just lays there in a little bit of water, but he kicks his feet, and slaps his hands down, splashing all over, with a big huge grin on his face the whole time.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

"When Our Family Get's Together"

Today we had a extended family get together.  It was my turn to organize it.  It was a bit of stress.  I wanted to make it a more active than some of our get together are.   I planned a bunch of water and relay games, we were going to meet at a park, have a BBQ and just have fun.

Well as we started driving that way a thunder storm started.  So we ended up meeting at my parents house instead.  Unfortunately this turned into more of what our get together are usually like, with people just sitting around talking and not really interacting as much.

On the plus side I came up with a group parlor game on the fly.

Have everyone write down their name.  Put all the names in some kind of container, then have everyone draw a name out.  Then the group takes turns asking each other questions about the person who's name they drew, and tries to figure out who is who.

It was pretty fun, but we did come up with a few issues, that I would maybe try to resolve if I played that game again.

First I asked my sister a question, and then it was her turn to ask someone a question, and the questions moved around the group this way.   When someone thought they knew what name someone had drawn, and it was their turn to ask a question, they can ask, "Are you...."  
The down side to this, was that once someone's person was found out, they were out of the game, because no one is going to ask questions about their person any more.

The other issue was that it got difficult after a while to keep track of the answers different people had given.  So I would supply people with paper and pencils to take notes in the future.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Making lunch

Overall,  I don't stress about what my kids will eat, except at lunch.  Lunch time, I don't usually make a full meal for everyone,  it is usually a much lighter meal, like sandwiches,  or finger foods, and I usually make something different for me, than what I feed my kids.

The other meals of the day, one thing gets made, of you don't like that too bad for you.  But at lunch I turn into more of a short order cook.  (To a degree, however I don't usually take requests, I just try to think more about their likes and dislikes.) 

Well, yesterday Guy was complaining about the type of cheese I put in his lunch, so I told him that today he got to make his own lunch.  Qs it turned out pretty much everyone either made their lunch today, or at least picked all that went in it.  And do you know what?  I don't think they ate their lunches any better today than they usually do.  Therefore,  I am not to blame when they don't eat their lunch, and then tell me they are hungry 30 minutes later.  (Don't worry.  I don't usually place all that stress and blame on myself.  But I do wonder if I could do a better job picking what goes in their lunches.)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Bean bag chairs

So if you read yesterday's post you saw that I am contemplating the idea of making a reading nook for my kids.  I thought that some bean bag chairs might make a nice addition to this nook, and might make a good Christmas present for each kid.

However,  bean bag chairs come in all shapes, sizes, qualities,  and prices.   If you were outfitting a reading nook for children ages 9-1 (the approximate age of my kids at Christmas), what kind of bean bag chairs would you get?

Would you get quality bean bags, that are more expensive,  but will last?  Would you go with cheap ones, that may hold up for a year or so?
Would you get them ones designed for the size they are currently,  or ones they could  fit in for a long time?

Any particular merchants or stores you would buy from or look at?

Any other thoughts or suggestions?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

You need to enforce the concequences

Tonight Cinderella overheard me talking to the hubs.  I had an idea of making a reading corner, where there is a bookcase for the kids, and maybe some bean bag chairs.  Cinderella loved my idea and started sharing her input.  I then told her that I am concerned that things like bean bag chairs would just become something the kids played with, instead of just sitting in them, and they would get ruined.

She then told me, "make a rule, and enforce the consequences.  We have all these rules, with consequences, but you don't enforce them, so the kids don't know they are doing anything wrong."

Oh how wise an 8 year old can be.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Choosing to be nice

Today I worked really hard.  This morning the kids were really good helpers too.  They all did their jobs, and helped with some that they aren't assigned.  It was this afternoon, that their pent up energy got the better of them.  And me.

I had cleaned and vacuumed the family room today, only to come in at one point and find Cinderella tearing apart Styrofoam on the floor, with Guy standing by.  Lets just say I wasn't happy.  I told them they could revacuum the floor.  To which Cinderella, quickly insisted her innocence and claimed it was all Guy.  At this point I let my temper get the better of me and yelled at them, that I didn't appreciate them making a  big mess of a room I had worked so hard to clean.  They never did vacuum it.  I will have to do something about that tomorrow.

I then went to feed Baby, and when I came back into the room, they had dumped out the contents of my laundry basket all over the floor, and were using the basket as a way to trap one another.  They would take the basket and turn it over on some one and then sit on top.  Well once again, I wasn't happy, and I let them know it.  I raised my voice and yelled at them, told them I would throw away their toys if they don't leave my stuff alone, and then sent them all outside to play.

I knew I was in the wrong as much as they were, and that I needed to fix my attitude.  I wanted to get some buckets full of water and go out and start a water fight.  But I didn't.  Instead I got the buckets, took them outside, filled them with water, got a couple sponges and started them playing a relay race with some of the neighbor kids.  At this point Cinderella looked at me and asked, "Did you decide to be nice?"

I realized that just as I always tell my kids, you can't choose what happens to you, but you can choose how you respond.  I need to do a better job responding, so that I can teach them the right way to respond.  But I guess choosing to be nice is a start.  Right?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Christmas Stockings

Our family has outgrown the number of Christmas stocking we have, an where we are done having kids, I figured I could put forth some effort and make some nice stockings.  I got some fabric for them last year in December, but didn't get them made yet.

Today I decided that I should cut them out.  I know I still have many months before Christmas, but I don't know how much time I will be able to find for sewing.  And hey, if I get them all made by the end of October, then I don't have to worry about it.

I think I have some irrational fear of not being ready for Christmas.  I have reoccurring dreams that it is Christmas, and I haven't done anything to prepare.  I know the Hubs finds it funny at times how early in the year I start talking about Christmas plans, but I think that is just my way of keeping my holiday stress lower.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

What can I say?

Really today was pretty much a normal Sunday.  I had a discussion with Cinderella this morning about how murmuring and complaining just makes hard things worse.  I don't know if she got much out of that, but maybe.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A day not quite according to plans

Today was a baby shower for my sister.  The shower was being held at 1:00 at my parents home about a 45 min. drive from my home.   The local college's football team was having a scrimmage/practice that was open to the public at 10:00.  Last week two of my brothers told the hubs that they were going to take their boys to the scrimmage.  The hubs, wanted to spend some time with my brothers so he decided that it would be fun to take the kids to the scrimmage as well.  We only have one vehicle, and as I was supposed to help with food for the shower, and I hadn't gotten to the store to get my shower gift yet.  I wasn't quite sure how we could do both.  Then the hubs came up with an idea.  He could take the kids on the bus, and I could take the car.

Well it took everyone so long to get ready to go, that I ended up dropping them off to the stadium on my way out of town.  Then I needed to get gas, so I stopped at the first gas station, got gas, and then noticed a store right there that I could get what I needed at.  I shopped at the store, finishing at about 11:00, then got on the freeway to head to my parents house.

Unknown to me, at that same time, the hubs was leading our children out of the stadium.  The kids had been bored to tears, and he decided that he could catch a bus to the train station, and then get a train to the area near where my parents live, and then I could pick them up from the train station.

Well, the hubs got the kids to the bus stop 5 minutes too late for the bus.  He told me that at first he was quite concerned, but then noticed that the kids were having a blast watching a bunch of construction vehicles that were working nearby.  

A while later their bus came and they got on.  However as they were headed to the train station, he was informed by another passenger that the next train didn't come for an hour and a half.  Well he got to the station, and sure enough.  If he would have caught the first bus, they would have caught the train.  However, they had missed the train.  He then found an express bus that was leaving before the train, and decided to take that instead.  While waiting for the train he struck up a game of ABC eye spy with the kids.

They made it to a mall somewhat near my parents house, about 2:00 and had lunch.  Then called me about 3 to come and get them. While waiting for me, he decided to let the kids play in a nearby fountain. I went and picked them up, then  we decided to take the kids to the aquarium, and then out to dinner and ice cream.

The day didn't go exactly as we had planned, but I think overall we made a positive experience out of it.  I think the hubs did an awesome job rolling with the situations that came up today, and making it a positive experience for the kids instead of just getting stressed out and frustrated.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Fevers and medicine.

I am so ready for Aurora to be feeling better.  I'm sure she is as well.  The poor kid still has a fever when she isn't medicated.  I have been giving her only Tylenol for her fever because she said her stomach was hurting her, and I didn't want to irritate it further.
Well today I gave her some ibuprofen, but made sure she ate a bunch with it.  Less than 4 hours later her fever was back, and higher than it has ever been this go round.  I guess I will stick with Tylenol, unless the Doctor tells me otherwise.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Can you get a thermometer?

After having a couple days of aching and fevers, every time something doesn't feel right today,  Aurora asks me if I can get the thermometer and see if it (her temperature) is going up or down.

What I find funny is even though many of her complaints haven't had to do with her ailment,  most of the time she does have an elevated temperature,  and it has been long enough since her last dose of Tylenol that she can have more.

My favorite was when she asked me to get the thermometer because she had hiccups.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Long Nights and Short Days

Last night Aurora didn't sleep well at all.  Thus I didn't sleep well at all either.  The hubs is working from home this week, so he let me sleep in until 9:00.  For me, that is really late.  It made my day a lot shorter.  And then Aurora is still feeling pretty yucky, so I let her spend most of the day playing the computer so that she wasn't whining at me about how she feels awful, and there is nothing I can do about it.

However the other kids, Cinderella in particular, thought it was soooooo unfair that Aurora got to spend so much time on the computer.  I did make Aurora lay in her bed and look at books after lunch hoping she would take a nap, which she did.  But other wise she was either demanding my attention, or playing the computer.

How do you convince your children to take it easy when they are sick?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A visit to the doctors office, and ice cream

If you think your child has pink eye and you call up our pediatricians office, they don't want to see your kid, they will just call in a prescription for eye drops for you.  Yesterday, I called and then went to pick up the prescription for Aurora.  The pharmacist told me it was on hold with the insurance because the copay was $75.  He asked if I still wanted it, and I decided that where I wasn't certain that her pink eye was bacterial I would pass and wait it out, before paying for expensive eye drops.

This morning I noticed that Aurora had a rash next to her eye, and another one by her mouth.  I asked her if her face itched and she said it did.  I asked where and she said all over.   Then later in the day she was complaining of being cold, so I had her sitting next to me, and we were reading stories.  Her hand felt kind of warm to me, so I went and got a thermometer, checked her temperature and it was up to 100.4 F.  So I gave her some Tylenol.  After each of these symptoms showed up I kept getting on line trying to figure out what could be going on, because I am not familiar with this line up.  Then she told me her stomach was hurting and she had a headache.  At this point I decided to call the pediatricians office and ask the nurse.  The nurse told me it could be strep and I better bring her in to get checked out.    So I took her in, and sure enough she has strep.  On the positive note however, the doctor says the red eyes aren't pink eye.  He isn't sure why she has red eyes right now, but it's not a contagious form of pink eye.  So once she has taken her $10 antibiotic for 24 hours, she won't be contagious anymore, and hopefully will be feeling better.


Tonight I took Guy for some Mommy/Guy time.  We went and bought some stuffed monster's with some of his fun money, and then went out for ice cream.

Monday, August 5, 2013

When the cat is away the mice will play

Today the kids were testing their limits in many ways when they knew I was occupied elsewhere.

This morning, I put Spike in the bath and then went to nurse Baby.  Later I heard Guy saying something about Cinderella being in the bath with Spike.  Then tonight I find her PJ's soaking wet on her floor, and Aurora tells me, it is because Cinderella laid down in Spike's bath.  :|

Then later this morning I sent Aurora, Guy and Spike outside to play.  Then I find them in the van.  They know this is against the rules, but they played in there anyhow. :|

 Then later in the day we are getting ready to go somewhere, and I discover that the contents from the diaper bag are scattered around the van.  And all the snacks I had stocked in the diaper bag and car, and been munched.  :|

Then as we are getting the kids ready for bed I find that Guy's bed is completely stripped down to the mattress,  with his bedding hidden under Spike's bed.  And there is an empty fruit snack wrapper on the floor next to Guy's bed.  Guy is adamant that he know nothing about either of these things.  And I am not sure I can believe him.  :|

Then there is the fact that my kids play all the time and refuse to do their jobs.  Maybe I am too lenient on them.  Maybe I should turn into a drill sargent.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Pink Eye

This morning Aurora woke up with her eyes all pink and swollen.  They made me think of allergies.  I didn't see any discharge, like you usually see with pink eye, and I asked her if her eyes itched or hurt at all, she told me they didn't.  So I started wondering what could be causing her eyes to act like that.   Later in the morning however, I started seeing the goopey discharge.  Yep, pink eye.

We decided to take the whole family to Sacrament Meeting, and then the Hubs walked home with Aurora and they had some Daddy/Aurora time.  This way she wasn't in her primary class or having a lot of contact with other children.  Hopefully it doesn't spread a lot around home.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Family Reunions

Today we went to a family reunion.  This reunion is for all of the descendants of my grandfather's grandfather.  These reunions have been happening the first Saturday in August for longer than I have been alive.  And for a lot of years it has even been at the same place.  People come and eat and visit, there are games for the kids, we usually talk about our common ancestors a bit, remember our family history.

 I have a lot of fond memories from these reunions, and wish that I could have reunions like this with more than just this one family.  It seems to me that a lot of the other branches of my family tree have kind of stopped doing this kind of thing.

I feel kind of sad about it, I miss seeing my cousins, and relatives, however I don't know that I have it in me to organize reunions for all of the branches.  And I am not even sure if I have it in me to organize a reunion for 1 branch.  I am sure others feel this way too, and that is why reunions, at least in my family have stopped.

Do you have reunions in your family regularly?  How many generations back do they go?  Do you have them on a regular basis?  If so how often?  What kinds of things do you do for your reunions?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Focusing on the good

Today I had a nice visit with my sister-in-law, I went on a date with the hubs, and got the grocery shopping done.

I also had some points in time where I felt very overwhelmed, but I am choosing not to focus on those times, but to focus on the good.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Time off

This morning one of my friends had my 4 older kids play at her house with her kids.  It was nice to get a little bit of a break, and get some things done, that I have been meaning to do for a while but hadn't gotten around to.