Many May Milestones

This month has been one for the record books!  At least in our family.  Each one of my kids has accomplished some major feats and I could not be more proud!  And also sort of terrified and nostalgic and overwhelmed.


I do not know where this kid came from!  She is something else.  This year she has participated in more activities than I have in my entire life.  Since she is the only one of my children old enough to really get involved in activities, I decided to just let her experience anything and everything.  So at one point this winter she was a gymnast, a ballerina, an ice skater, a basketball player, and an actress all at the same time.  And she loved every minute of it!

Her first year as an elementary school student culminated in many very exciting events, starting with field day.

For her school field day, each class competed on its own in 6 different events.  Three events gave the kids the possibility of placing in the top three and earning a ribbon.  Jade was awarded 1st place in all three events (the 50 yd dash, the softball throw, and long jump)!!!  Go here to watch her in action.IMG_1082

Next came her gymnastics show and ballet recital on back-to-back days.  This session she was moved up a level in gymnastics and is the youngest in her class.  She’s also the youngest in her ballet class.IMG_1134






And last, but certainly not least, she lost her two front teeth!  It was quite a battle.  She was hanging on but the teeth wanted out and they finally won.


Oh, and one more thing: Next week Jade will be honored by her class and her teacher at the last Student of the Month assembly of the year 🙂 Shhh…It’s still a secret, so don’t tell her!


I wish I had video to prove it, but Lochlan’s vocabulary has exploded this month!  He really only says a handful of words that I can understand (mom, daddy, cracker, more, and ball) but he spouts off sentences like he owns the conversation.  He knows exactly what he’s saying and he gets frustrated, I think, that I don’t get it.  Also, his hair is getting sort of crazy.  Maybe a real haircut will be another big milestone.



Now onto the really, really big stuff…

Everest and Calder


There’s not a word that describes what has been happening in my brain since the big “P” day.  And I do mean day literally.  I foolishly attempted to use Teri Crain’s Potty Train in Just One Day method.  For someone who thrives off of being in control, this is a vulnerability like I’ve never felt before.  Potty training twin boys!

“The day” actually went surprisingly well.  As you can see, I was prepared.  And I was determined.  I had a small window of opportunity to make this happen while Jade was at school and Lochlan was at Grandma’s.

IMG_1030Our *Potty Party* started, of course, with gifts.  And what better gift to give a child than a Disney stuffed animal wearing a diaper.

The goal, of course, is to have the child tell their new doll that its time to get rid of the baby diapers and to teach them how to use the potty.  Both Goofy and Donald successfully mastered their first attempt (using a medicine syringe filled with water) and were rewarded by big boy undies!  Calder and Everest were so proud that they helped their new friends choose a reward sticker and put on their new underwear to watch a movie. IMG_1035

Now it was time for the twins to try!  This is what the next 9 hours looked like…

IMG_1034Only sometimes the sippy cups were filled with chocolate milk, juice, or pop…

And sometimes they switched potty chairs.

What a day!  After a few hours Everest was our first success story.  By the end of the day they each had half their chart filled up, and by day 3 (yeah yeah, I know it was only supposed to take 24 hours) they’d filled them completely.

IMG_1036I can’t say that my twins are “Potty trained” per se — What does it even mean when someone says “It worked for my kid!” ? — We’ve been at it for a week now and, while they haven’t put a diaper on since, I’m pretty sure pullups accomplish the same goal.  They know I’m not going to risk it and since we try not to sit at home on the potty watching TV every day they have spent most of their days/nights in these cop-out undies.

The good news is May has also been a month of many baths.

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The Privilege of Motherhood

From the top of the stairs: “Mama!”

“Yes?” I call from the kitchen.


“YES! What is it?”  I say louder.

“I need to change my diaper, I have poopies!”  My 3 year old says, immediately followed by, “I need to change my panties too because I went potty in them.”  This coming from my 6 year old.  This happened twice.  Today.

I’m not surprised.  She’s had the stomach flu off and on all week.  So in addition to my 1 year old’s teething-related bowel problems and my 3 year old twins who are still not potty trained, I have changed, cleaned up, flushed, scrubbed, laundered enough excrement in the last week to fill up every bath tub in my house (I have 3, one of which is a large soaking tub).


Astonishingly, I have been okay with this.  Of course its not a pretty site (or smell), but I watched this video again, after having watched it several years ago before I was quite SO up to my knees in all of this.  It hit me harder this time as I imagined what would it would be like for my children to be going through what they’ve been through this week without a mother to care for them.

A few days ago my daughter had been throwing up all day, unable to keep anything down and barely able to sit up.  She said she wanted to sleep on the couch upstairs (in the same spot she hadn’t moved from in 12 hours).  I sat beside her rubbing her back and pushing her hair back out of her eyes as she breathed weakly.  Finally I equipped her with a big plastic bowl and a sippy cup of water before going downstairs to be with my husband.

We sat at the kitchen table playing a lovely game of skip bo (that I won) and trying to enjoy the much needed silence during the rare time when all 4 kids were sleeping, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I needed her to be closer to us.  I needed to hear her breathing.  So I made my husband go upstairs, pick her up and carry her, her blanket, cup, and bowl down to our bedroom to sleep on the floor.

It was the second night that we stayed up most of the night rinsing out the bowl, changing clothes and sheets, bathing, and rubbing backs (third night if you count doing the same for the baby).

My one child who hasn’t been sick this week (so far) is the one who laughs, cackles even, hysterically and uncontrollably in the middle of the night almost every night.  Usually I enter the room in a fit of anger, only to have him calm my rage by stroking my face and telling me “I like your eyes.  I like your cheeks.  I like your hair.  I like your fingers…”.  I can’t help but laugh as I say “I like you too”.


I’ve said it more times than I can count, and every time I feel a little bit guilty, but MOTHERHOOD IS HARD!  If anyone wants to argue with me that it is not the most difficult job in the world, feel free.  I will win.

But in the same breath I can say that I am SO lucky to be the one to take care of these children.  Everyone once in a while I get a glimpse of how in the WORLD God would think I can handle this.  I’m so grateful for the perspective that sick kids give me of my purpose.  It may be a thankless job more often than not, but this week I have gotten more thank you’s, I love you’s, and cuddles (from the one who can’t talk) from these little ones than I think I deserve most of the time.


“Its a tough job but somebody’s gotta do it” and I wouldn’t want it to be anyone else but me.

Children Are Like Zombies

ZombieKidsI’ve put a lot of thought into this.  And while the comparison is pretty gruesome, the similarities are uncanny.  So don’t let these sweet stares fool you.


Fortunately, unlike actual undead zombies, most children grow out of these habits around age 8 (so I hear).  Earlier if you’re lucky.  But for the rest of us who have to live with these creatures for what seems like an eternity, here are 10 things to look out for that may help you get through the Zombie years with your brain in tact.  Or at least let you know you’re not alone.

1. A closed door is the only thing that will keep them off of you.  Besides reason #2, this is what first tipped me off.  Its most obvious when you’ve got at least 3 little movers and they are all coming at you at once.  Sometimes I just need to go into the bathroom to grab a tissue, and within milliseconds, suddenly they are all over the place!  One on my leg, one in the toilet, 2 climbing onto the sink and eating the toothpaste.  I decided a long time ago that the easiest (and cheapest) way to take a vacation as a parent is to tell your kids you have to go potty and then very quickly lock the door.  Don’t be surprised when you see tiny fingers under the door.  Just close your eyes and pretend they’re not there.

2. They communicate by grunting.  The strange thing is that with tiny zombie #1, she outgrew the grunting very quickly.  But as soon as she had two new little zombies proving that grunting was the easiest way to get what you want, and then a third, it became the new form of communication, with mom and dad just guessing what each little sound meant.  “Hmpf.” “You want water?” “Mmmmmpf.” “Um, juice?”   “Gmmmmphff!!” “Ok how about milk…” “Uhhhh huh.”  Oooook, milk it is.

3. Reasoning with them is a lost cause.  This one speaks for itself.  Say one of them bites the other (which did happen yesterday).  Try explaining to a 2 year old, “Honey, if you bite again I’m going to have to put you in time out.  Where you clearly won’t be tied down or anything but I’m hoping you will just sit there and think about what you’ve done and decide never to do it again.  Biting hurts.” {Blank stare}


4. They have a one track mind.  It was the funniest thing to me the other day when I was holding my one year old (who wasn’t quite one on that particular day) on my lap.  The TV happened to be on, and when I reached up to stroke his face, he very deliberately put both hands on my arm and pushed it down and out of the way.  To test my theory, I tried again.  Three times.  Finally he looked me square in the eyes as if to say “Seriously?  Didn’t you get the hint the first time?  I’m watching tv here!”


5. They live in filthy clothes.  Try getting clean clothes on a thrashing zombie.  Your options are leave them in the clothes they’re in, very quickly rip the dirty clothes off and leave them naked, or get your way but get scratched and bruised in the process.

6. They’re picky eaters.  Okay so my kids don’t eat brains, but brain is probably healthier than the things my kids usually want to eat.  Plus, I’m pretty sure whatever is in that bowl could easily be brains…


7.  They’re messy eaters.  Have you ever seen a zombie able to eat something (err…someone) without getting stuff ALL over their face, hands, body, feet even?  I have no idea why food can’t just go from a plate into a mouth without somehow ending up in the strangest places.


8. Day or night, they don’t sleep.  I think if I were to meet a real zombie, I would probably tell him/her, “Hey, I think if you got some sleep you may not be so cranky.  You don’t really HAVE to walk around all night long.”  But this takes us back to #3.


9. They are resilient.  How is it that more often than not they (children and zombies alike) can trample over each other, get hit, fall down the stairs or off of a swing set, get up, and keep moving?


10.  They are unconsciously on a quest to destroy your brain.  Really, since all essential bodily functions of a zombie have ceased, including the brain, I don’t think they consciously have it out for people.  Its just what they do (see #4).  I’m sure if they COULD mean well, they would.  They just don’t know what they’re doing yet.

Of course, I guess they could also just be Zombie hunters looking for field experience, in which case they’re much more clever than we think.  Aren’t kids just the best??