Monday, December 6, 2010

More Mommy Insanity

The other day I was taking a much needed 5 minutes for myself with a glass of gingerale when Samuel started freaking out that he had to pee. I say "that's fine go get on the potty" to which he responds "I can't, I have to go too bad". He uses this response a lot and it kind of gets frustrating. I keep telling him to just get on the potty. Finally I get up to help him and he has pulled his pants down and is covering himself. Then he starts crying and as he does this he starts peeing. You wouldn't believe how much power he has; it was skirting around his hands in all directions. At the time he was in the doorway facing the hallway so needless to say the pee is spraying down the hallway. I pick him up and drop him in the tub. In the process he lets go and hoses down the wall the cupboards and the entire bathroom. Then he is balling his eyes out that he is peeing on his feet in the bathtub. Obviously I left him there and started trying to wipe up all the pee. .....
Meanwhile in the other room. Ellianna has opened Samuel's windown pushed out the screen and is scooping the muddy dirt out of the planter into Samuel's room. .... When I found her and started cleaning up that mess she went into the living room and found my abandoned Gingerale which she proceeded to "drink" all over her front and the furniture and the floor. ...
This was all in a period of 5 minutes. Can't imagine what a mother of 6 children must experience in as much time.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Crum Pictures October 2010

I am so behind on my blogging but I did manage to get two of my photo batches finished. This is my wonderful friend April and her family. I so love these boys and truly enjoyed the day(s) we spent on these pictures.
I love the older brother protectiveness that radiates off of Gideon in this shot

This is by far my favorite one

Thanks again April!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bellewood Acres

Samuel had his first ever field trip today with his preschool. Ellie and I got to come along. We went to Bellewood Acres Apple Farm. When we arrived our tour guide told all of the children that they will be treated like apples that have just been picked off of the tree. They will be taken through the process as if they were apples.

First the apples are picked and put into big crates. From the crates they go to an apple bath and polisher, then from a conveyer belt they are directed to four different sections according to their size. The workers then inspect every apple to decide weather they are pretty enough to be 1st apples, and shipped to the grocery stores or 2nd apples to be sold at the farm. Any of the children who were willing were stickered as 1st apples.

The kids got to try on the picker's carrier although they were swimming in it.

Then we went on a "wagon" ride down into the orchard to see the pickers in action.

Sweet Jeremiah was being a great sport.

Each child got to pick their own apple. I think they were supposed to save them and put them in bags to take home but all of the kids ate them.
At the end of our tour we tasted 4 different apples. Our favorite was still honeycrisp. Jeremiah even tried one. He was pretty upset when April took it away. Sucking on it just didn't cut it for him.
Random tidbits: Did you know that there are 7000 kinds of apples? Bellewood currently has 16 and will have 18 next year.
Did you know it takes 20 years to cultivate a new apple type?
If the weather gets to cold for heaters to be effective they mist the apples enough to create an ice jacket which insulates the apples.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What is Samuel learning at preschool

The color red, circles, (these he knew pretty well already) crisscross applesauce and friendly hands (sitting still with legs crossed and hands folded), standing in line.

The not so positive items that have started since school started: "na", "cause" as the answer to everything, "that's not fair", "I don't love you anymore mommy" and a few rather curious comments about his private parts. Granted Zach started into a really busy month at the same time that school started and hasn't been around at all. I am still debating whether the good experiences gained outweigh the bad attitudes acquired. Should I have started homeschooling now instead of Kindergarten?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Samuel's paraphrase of Mops Lesson

There were 1, 2, 3 disciples. They were very good. They drank all of their grape juice. Then one of them died on the cross. Then they were all dead. (insert *gasp*). Then he rose from the dead and they were all alive again. (inser *cheering*)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Where does he come up with these things

My wonderful mother-in-law took the kids for a few hours on Saturday night so I could join my family at a Dinner Theater. Zach has been working 7 days a week so he couldn't come. She told me this morning that when she was putting Samuel to bed he kept telling her that he didn't want her to leave him. She said that he had his monkey and kitty (his stuffed animals), so he had plenty of company. His response to this was "actually grandma, I need company that has bones." I don't know if I have every explained to him what bones are, but apparently somewhere along the way he picked it up.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Parker Nicholas

This morning at 7am I got the call that my sister in-law Karissa went into labor with her first. So as soon as I could get the kids and I loaded up we headed that way. By the time we got down there Karissa had been rushed into an emergency C-Section. After a long hard labor, which she was proud to announce she managed without pain meds, there were complications. So even though a C-Section was not in the plans, the results were the same.
Parker Nicholas is beautiful and healthy and so is Mommy. For this we are very thankful.

It was a lot of driving and a lot of waiting for the four older cousins. The kids did really well although they started to get a little antsy at times.
I had the privilege to invade on some of Adam and Karissa's first family time to get some pictures. It just melts my heart to see how proud Adam is of his baby boy. And Karissa is obviously completely in love.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mommy Insanity

This morning I had both the kids on the potty. Samuel on the toilet and Ellie on the potty chair. I was on the phone with my MIL when Samuel starts freaking out that Ellie flushed the toilet. I keep telling him that it was OK it wasn't a big deal. He was devastated though. Why you ask. Ellie flushed his own pee away when he wanted to flush it. She flushes his pee all the time and it has never bothered him before. I told him he could flush hers but that made him cry all the harder because he wanted to flush his own pee. He starts jumping up and down stomping his feet. (you have to remember he is butt naked) My MIL asks what is going on but I lose it when I start to think about how absurd the entire situation is and am laughing so hard I am crying. Then Samuel climbs up on the potty in an angry huff and starts crying even harder because "he has no more pee left". All this while my MIL is trying to relay that she would like me to be at church early. Only I can't hear her over the escalating drama. I later apologized to my poor traumatized son for laughing, but inside I am still laughing. Aren't you?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Garage Sale was a success ( a little long winded but fun memories)

We had our first garage sale today. (If you don't count the one that was at our church to fund raise for our year in missions). I know it is silly but I was rather intimidated by the idea of having a garage sale. I pushed it off all summer until now when things are pretty soggy. I really wanted my garage back though so I was forced to do it. I lay awake this morning from the time Zach left for work at 530am worrying. I tried desperately to command my mind into quiet submission but it just would not obey. I didn't have a cash box. What do I do with the money? How do I keep my kids in sight at all times with a bunch of strangers milling around? What if nobody comes? I finally gave up and got up. I know I know. There was no need to worry those things were not a problem at all. I kept the bills in my pocket and Samuel would not leave the quarters so I always knew where he was. (almost)

Samuel decided that he was the keeper of the money (coins only by the way) to the point that he asked everyone who came to our garage sale if they would like to have some. He even chased our first customer back to his car to hand him a fist full of quarters he thought the man might like to have.
I tried to make him understand that the people were giving us money and we were giving them our stuff we didn't need anymore. So he started changing his tactic to welcoming them to our garage sale and asking if they had money to give him.

Mom made molasses cookies to sell but we only sold one bag. My kids however were sustained on them for the duration. Bad mom. Especially since I think Ellie has had about 2 cookies in her entire life prior to today. Every time I turned around she had another bag and before we could get it from her she would quickly take a big bite out of one so we couldn't very well return it to the customer pile. Smart girl!!!!
My favorite cookie moment was when she used the bathroom scale to reach the cookies.
I actually had fun in a really weird sort of way. You meet some interesting people. Some serious garage salers:
There are the collectors who showed up before we opened, knew exactly what they were looking for, and tried to haggle me down before I even started. Thank you eBay for educating me on the value of my junk.
There are the collectors who showed up when we opened and were kicking themselves when I said, "sorry the other guy cleaned me out", his response "ooh that Art got here before me again"
There are the serious guys who try to be subtle while they use there little scan guns on all of my media.
There are the foreigners who pretend they can't read a sign posted to a table with numbers on it and give you a quarter of what you are asking. I kind of thought numbers were universal. When you correct it they say "oh but this is OK yeah". Um I have been open for 5 minutes, maybe if you come back at closing.
There are the foreigners who come and actually don't understand. They offer way more than I am asking. I could have taken it but she was so sweet and I felt so bad I gave it to her for half of what I was asking.
There are the elderly who just drop by to tell you a joke and have a conversation. Sweet man.
There are the elderly who come by to buy all kinds of misc. stuff which they pile into their overflowing vehicle, then come back to see what else there is. When spotting a phone she says "oh I don't need another phone I live in a trailer, I don't have any room for more stuff." I glance at her vehicle and the stuff piled to the roof in the back seat from other garage sales and I chuckle, inside of course.
There are the drive by garage salers. We had a lot of those towards the end. It kind of gave me the creeps to be perfectly honest.
The kids did great. I don't know what I was so worried about. They loved all the people and hanging out in the entrance to our garage all day. Samuel had to be reigned in a couple of times for his curious questions and comments. Although inside I am going, "he is almost three and he wants to understand how the world works, that does make me happy"
One time a rather hippyish man with long grey hair came in and Samuel said "you might need to get a haircut soon, my daddy cuts my hair" and then he went right on playing with his quarters. It never crossed his mind that he shouldn't comment on it. The man didn't seem to bothered but he left rather quickly after that. Oooops. Well he could use a hair cut, it's true, but only a three year-old is honest enough to say it, rude as that may have been.
The bulk of our stuff was gone in 2 hours. After that, every time I thought maybe we should quit for the day 2 or 3 cars would pull up and take more stuff. It sprinkled on and off. The first time it quit we started moving the tables out but the second we put them down it started raining again. Eventually we just left it all in the garage.
We came out with $434 for a bunch of stuff that we didn't want. What a blessing.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

1st day of preschool

Even though the plan as of now is to homeschool from Kindergarten we opted to have Samuel go to Preschool at my mom's church. Samuel is very excited about it especially since his best friend Gideon is in his class.

Ellie was not very happy to lose her brother for the day. She kept telling me to "find school, get Sammy" I still haven't figured out our routine yet so it felt a little weird not having Samuel with us. Other than potty training Ellie and the occasional day that our parents took him we have not really been apart like this. I am not sure yet how I really feel about it.

His teachers name is miss Brea, she is really great. Samuel has even made a new friend already, Noah (the girl).
Let's just say I am really glad that our plan is still to homeschool from Kindergarten. That Preschool is only a total of 5 hours a week. And that he is attending preschool at a church I really love.
I wanted to make a special first day of school pancake breakfast but worried about feeding my bouncy son sugar before sending him to someone else. Instead we went to Subway for lunch and Dairy Queen for a sundae to celebrate with Gideon, April and baby Jeremiah.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Camping at Lake Connor

Zach's schedule has been unpredictable enough that we have only made it down to Lake Connor with the family one other weekend. Zach had to work again this weekend so the kids and I decided to go down anyway.
(one of many potty breaks on the side of the off ramp, ooooh the joys of traveling with a newly potty trained toddler. No wetting the car seat yet. Thank God)

This is the most recent lot that has been added to the family. It is the kids' playground. The boys filled the turtle with gravel off of the lot. Austin was quite upset when Levi dumped some of it back out of the box.
We normally put our kids to bed at a somewhat normal bedtime even when camping. On one of the nights we let them both stay up pretty late for camp fire time. It didn't take much for them to stay entertained. A couple of giant flashlights and they found all sorts of things to do. I love camping with family. Our kids all play so well together. The two younger ones still tend to play around eachother rather than with eachother but this has by far been the easiest year so far to camp. Ellie is no longer eating all the rocks and Samuel entertains himself. Next year there will be two new little ones.
We got rained on a little bit. Between showers we still managed to do a maternity shoot with Kelsie and Karissa. We even spent about an hour in the heated pool before everyone started to get a little blue around the mouth.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Embarrassing Mom Moment

Today we had a long busy day down at picture people. Since we are potty training we saw a lot of bathrooms and parking lots. We made one more stop on the way to the car. This time I needed to use the bathroom too. This was an interesting task between trying to stop the kids from picking on each other and touching the nasties in the public restroom. Then Ellie opens the door and out run Samuel and her with me on the toilet. Now I am calling the kids, jumping up and running stall, buttoning up. The kids are nowhere to be found. I run back in the bathroom when I hear Ellie giggling. They had locked themselves in another stall. Aaaaargh.

Friday, August 27, 2010

3-Day Potty Training - Day 3

Samuel was so excited to see Ellie after being gone for 3 days. She moved to the booster chair from her highchair while he was gone. He dragged his chair all the way around the table because he wanted to sit next to "his sister."
I have determined however that I don't want my kids gone for three days at a time. Every time I turn around they change dramatically. He looks so much older to me. Now I understand why my mother always wanted to "put a thumb on our heads"
Both the kids were getting pretty hyped up by each other after not seeing each other for 3 days.
Tally without nighttime:
12 False Alarms
10 Perfect Potty trips initiated by her
2 Perfect Poo trips initiated by her
So before bed time. We have had 0 accidents, 1 pair of undies, and the same sheet all the way through nap time. Woohoo! I have hope that this is working after all. Yay!!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

3-Day Potty Training - Day 2 complete

Day 2 is almost over. Ellie is in bed but we have yet to do the whole nighttime wake up routine. I am not sure I feel like today went better than yesterday. We had a lot more accidents. I keep praising her for anything in the potty regardless though.
We have continued to pump the fluids and spend lot's of mommy-Ellie time. It is so amazing the difference of her focus and concentration when it is just her and I. She actually sat and meticulously threaded every one of those beads in the next picture herself. Every time she got one on she would shout "I got it", when she missed she would shout with the same enthusiasm "missed one." I love this girl.
We painted toes, played the fishing game, fed dolly, played with cars and the list goes on and on. Though I am tired and getting a little cabin fever. I am so loving the quiet time to just focus on Ellie. I am also thankful for my good friend who brought me lunch since every time I stepped away to grab something Ellie peed.
Final Tally not counting Night:
Successful trips to the potty with my reminders: 5
Successful trips to the potty without reminder: 1
Accidents: 4
False Alarms: 21
I didn't go into her room at one hour like I was supposed to b/c yesterday at one hour she really was not happy I woke her up but when I went in at about 3 hours she was wet. Again when Zach got her up when he went to work she was wet. And when I got her up in the morning she was wet.
One step forward 2 steps back. Oh well keep plugging away.

3-Day Potty Training - Day 2

So today has been a little more frustrating. Every time I turn my head for two seconds she pees even though I have asked her every two minutes to tell me when she has to pee. She tells me alright, as it is coming out.

She is down for her nap now. She is being really quiet which is making me nervous. We shall see. At least changing the sheets is fairly easy and she peed right before going down.

Tally so far today:
Dry Undies - pee in potty - at my prodding - 2
Dry Undies - pee in potty - without my prodding - 1
Accidents - announced as they are happening - 3
False Alarms - 12

I know this system works and that it wouldn't be easy but right now I feel like a broken record and am tired.

3-Day Potty Training - Day 1 is complete

After nap time the rest of the day went really well. We did night time like we did for Samuel.

Jammies, Stories
1hour later Potty
When daddy goes to work in the morning potty and back to bed

She did not however like the 1 hour later potty trip so I put her back to bed and waited another hour, she must of switched sleep levels because she was then very happy to go potty.

Her Final Tally was:
3 wet undies
1 wet sheet
7 perfect pee
1 perfect poo

Not bad for day one. that gives her about 85% success rate.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

3 - Day Potty Training - Day 1

We did 3-day Potty Training with Samuel when he was 26 months old. It worked like a charm. By about 1 week we had no more accidents on a regular basis. Day and Night. We had about 3 or 4 accidents in the next 6 months. I have had so many friends use this method since them with glowing reports. From the time Ellie turned 22 months it has been a niggling thought in the back of my head that I need to start thinking about it. I have procrastinated until now though. Ellie is so different than Samuel. Samuel was easy with almost everything that we did with him. Ellie.... not so much.

This week I finally got up my courage, marked out a time on the calander when my mom could take Samuel and here we are on Day 1.

About 10AM, mom came and took the three older kids. Then Ellie and I got down to business:

* We threw away the rest of her diapers (really only 1 diaper for effect, the rest I tucked away in the garage to go back to Grandma's house for other grandkids)

* Next we put on Ellie's first pair of big girl undies, which she imediatly stripped off to try out her potty but nothing happened.

Here she is modeling her "dry undies"
Next was pumping in the fluids. We don't normally do juices, mostly just milk and water. This time I filled it 1/4 way with Lemonade. This got her drinking pretty consistantly. Then it was Mommy Ellie concentrated play time. Considering that Samuel demands quite a bit of attention and they are so close in age Ellie has not gotten a lot of individual attention from me. This morning has been really nice. We played trains, kitchen, read books, cleaned up the book shelf...
Still nothing. As we were approaching nap time I started to wonder how that was going to work. We made lunch and just as I was putting the finishing touches on lunch Ellie looked up and said "poop" so I swooped her up and rushed her to the bathroom. Her undies were slightly damp but not really wet and she peed in the potty. She got a sticker for her chart, a yogurt covered rasin and lot's and lot's of praise. We even called Grandma's and Papa to tell. She was very excited.
Since the results were so enjoyable she shouted poop and was rushed to the potty several more times during lunch. False alarms of course. But I want her to know that I will respond if she tells me.
After lunch we read books and she started making poopy faces so we rushed into the bathroom and she pood and then was tucked into bed.
Of course this now seems like a game to her so she has been out of bed a number of times to use the potty she did actually pee again so she was rewarded for that. Not sure if she is going to sleep today. We shall see.
1 Pee - damp undies - sticker, yogurt covered raisin
1 Poo - clean undies - sticker, yogurt covered raisin, pick out of the prize box
1 Pee - clean undies - sticker, yogurt covered raisin
7+ - False alarms

Summertime Lazy Days

We had the girls with us quite a bit this summer. It was great. They were very helpful. They decided they preferred the living room floor to the bunk bed in Samuel's room after the first time when he danced around the room singing at the top of his lungs at 3am.
Not quite sure how she got up here. I think it had something to do with Daddy though.
Samuel fixing the traintable
This how many of our mornings started out. Samuel was ecstatic to pounce on the girls as soon as his alarm light turned green. The girls in turn were eager to get Ellie the second she made a peap.
This is Ellie learning to pretend Yawn. Looks pretty realistic to me.
I will miss the girls this year after having them here so much. They go home on Thursday. Thank you girls for being so helpful and for spending so much time with us.