Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pretty Girl!

I love this pretty face! I love the perpetual smile on her face and the wind in her crazy hair. She's such a joy!

I LOVE Landon's eyes

All my kids eyes have changed over the course of their first two or three years but I keep hoping Landon's won't! They are SO pretty! I'm sure if they change they'll still be awesome but they are so crystal-y and bright.

Total Slacker

Well, I've been totally neglectful about blogging lately. Oops. Four kids is boggling my mind. I thought we'd be getting into a groove. Not so! Life is crazy! There's just so much going on all the time that I can't catch my breath! We'll get it figured out soon enough, but in the meantime, whew! I wish I was the Energizer Bunny. I found an unfinished post and I think I'll just post it at whatever point it's at and move on. I think I've posted once or twice since I started it, so it will be down the page a little ways, but it has some great pictures so it's worth a look. I think I'll continue with the here's and there's and then post our Cali trip and whatever other categories of things are on my camera. And these are in backwards order because blogger hates to put the newer batch of uploaded pictures at the bottom of the post. I hate that.

Today I made a baby carrier for Alaina. I had some new ideas and I wanted to try them out without wasting cloth, so I just used scraps. It's called an onbuhimo and it's a Japanese style carrier, much like a mei tai except that instead of straps at the waist, there are rings. The shoulder straps go over the shoulders, cross in back, go through the rings and tie in back (or reverse that for a back carry. Confused? youtube has some videos if you're really curious). I totally got lucky with the shoulder strap on this one. In fact, the whole idea to make an onbuhimo instead of a mei tai was impromptu. I didn't have any fabric long enough for straps so I thought of using the rings at the waist (I'd seen pics of the Japanese style carrier before). Then I looked in my fabric stash and found a bunch of scarfs that my mom had given me and there happened to be a black one (I was hoping for two). I went back to the carrier and discovered that the top rail was open in such a way that I could just slide the scarf through the "tunnel" and voila! Two straps, no cutting, no sewing! Alaina thought it was great and I thought it was adorable!

None of the edges are finished, so you'll have to excuse the crudeness of it. I mostly wanted to see how the snappy idea I had would work. It's much too hard to explain, but I wanted to be able to have a narrower crotch seat so that Russell could sit forward facing comfortably. It would work, but it's not as pretty.

Yesterday Alaina wanted to give her dollies a ride in my mei tai. It looks so funny with little twin dolly heads poking out!
I LOVE that my girls can pull off boy clothes! I just think it's so darn cute!
Alaina does this funny little scrunched-shoulders run. I have to get it on video before she outgrows it. It's SO cute!

Sleeping boxer pose
Ryker came down with a fever one day at my parents house. He wasn't even phased about it. He looked SO sad, but when I asked him if he was okay (before I knew he had a fever) he said with a chipper voice, "Yeah! I'm fine!" He was sleepy but never cranky or anything. He's such a tough kid.
Alaina loves to walk around with things on her head and crash into things (she's a HUGE sensory seeker. It will be interesting to see how sensory things go with her as she gets older). This time it's a big box. At home she likes to walk around with a pink bucket on her head. It cracks me up! (We'd been working on potty training and she was running around semi nude hence the drawn-in shorts)
Baby asleep in Grammie's lap. Awwwww!

Alaina hunting bugs.

For Kari:
She couldn't get that Indian style pose back but she tried! (Yes, I said Indian style--she's got some Indian in her, right?)

More for Kari:
(Kari gave us some adorable outfits wanted to see pics of Alaina wearing them)
During potty training boot camp (read the full story here), we played in the backyard when the weather was nice. Hence the naked bum. But I love how much kids learn from watching their parents (and sometimes I hate it). I loved how Alaina was measuring and marking things. Cutie pie!
By the way, she's pretty much potty trained at 20 months! A few accidents here and there when things are out of the norm, and she wears a diaper at night, but all in all, I'd say she's got it! And as far as I'm concerned, baby pottying is the way to go! It didn't go quite like I'd hoped due to morning sickness putting things on hold, but it was still SO worth it to be done with diapers by 20 months and to have the potty training be SO stress free and power struggle free! I'd do it again. I AM doing it again with Landon.

Love Russell's shirt!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Airing some dirty laundry

So, what does it mean when your child uses a 6 inch long bolt to whack and stab a picture of Christ? It means you were a good parent today.

At least, that's what I hope it means. Ryker had a hard day today. To his credit, he has had the BEST attitude the last few days. Whenever he gets "no" for an answer, his response has been, "that's okay" and he'll come up with some reason for why he can deal with not getting his way. Every time. He's such a good boy. But today was an off day. Today we went to the store and found a toy he really wanted and it was on clearance, so I bought it to use as a reward for not sucking his thumb. We went and got food and I let him pick a lot of treats: cheetos, chocolate milk, uncrustables, sprinkles for a kind of frosting he wanted... You get the idea. Lots of junk. When we got to the check out line, he asked for candy. I thought he had enough crap in the cart and said no to that one. His good attitude was nowhere to be found. Granted, he was tired and hungry, but still... We must learn to cope even when conditions are not optimal. He whined and complained and I ignored him. I asked him to help me unload the cart and he didn't. No biggie. Landon was just really done being in the carrier (I have to start using a different one for him right now because he hasn't been comfortable in my mei tai lately--too big for legs in, too small for legs out) and SCREAMING was all. But I let him sulk and took care of it myself. I went up to the register and then I noticed that the wipes were at the end and not on the conveyor belt enough to get pulled down the lane. I asked him to push them on all the way. He refused. I asked him to please be a helper. He went and pulled them all the way back so they weren't touching the conveyor belt at all! Amazingly, I didn't lose my cool like I usually do. I asked him if he was going to be a helper or if I should give the Imaginext toy back. He sulked. I put the wipes on the belt and handed the toy to the checker and asked her to take it back. He cried and yelled at me. Still kept my cool. I told him I was sorry he was sad and then ignored him. As we walked away from the line, he grabbed the waist strap of the mei tai and pulled backwards telling me he wanted me to go back and get him the toy. I drug him along behind me for a few steps until he let go and flopped on the floor. I'd taken Landon out of the carrier and was holding him in one arm while pulling the cart with the other hand. I had no way to get Ryker out of the store and to the car. So I left him there. Fortunately, we aren't in San Bernardino or any place scary and I wasn't overly worried about it, especially since I had a pretty good parking spot and wouldn't be too far away. I drove the cart out, put the baby in the car and turned back for Ryker. An employee was walking him out just then and he sulked across the parking lot to me. He complained and complained about how mean I was and how he hated me and this family. He said he never wanted to be a part of it and I made his life miserable. I went about getting the babies taken care of and ignored him. I usually blow up at him, not because of what he's saying (I know he doesn't mean it) so much as because it's ANNOYING! He never stops! And I hate how rude and malicious he is with his words. At one point I interrupted his monologue and picked him up gently and tenderly where I normally would have been rough and uncaring and I sat him in the car and hugged him (he hugged me back). I told him I was sorry that he was so sad but that if I bought him a toy when he was naughty, I was teaching him to be a bad boy. I talked to him about that for a minute or two and explained that God wanted me to teach him to be good and to obey his parents and to obey God, so I couldn't do things that would teach him to be a bad boy. He said that the way it works for him is that I have to buy him toys and candy when he's naughty and then he'll be good. I told him that all the time I was going to school I was learning how to be a good mom and what things work and what things don't and that I KNEW that rewarding bad behavior ALWAYS teaches little boys to be bad. I went and finished loading the groceries. He followed me and continued to complain. I picked him up (still gentle!) and put him in his seat and buckled him up. I usually yell at him to get his blankety blank (that part's just in my mind) behind in his seat and buckle up. He doesn't. I yell more. I throw him in the car and tell at him to do his seatbelt. Eventually, I threaten to take something he really wants or punish him really bad and he buckles up. Not this time! I just calmly put him in the car and buckled him up. We were going to go to the park for a picnic, but I told him that he had to choose to cheer up first. He didn't. He continued to complain so we just went home. I carried him up to his room with him trying to grab anything he could to slow us down: chairs, doorways, stair banisters, etc. I put him in his room without throwing him on his bed like usual and walked out. I went down to attend to the fussy babies who were both hungry. After I fed Landon, I thought I'd better go see what all the banging was coming from Ryker's room. I found him up there with a big bolt, banging it into a picture of Christ. I was shocked and appalled. All I could say was, "Wow, Ryker." I picked up the picture and the bolt and the other picture of Christ in his room (the one with a glass frame) and anything else that looked like it could be damaged or do damage and I went out. He screamed at me to let him out. He hasn't behaved that poorly in a long time. Not since before his birthday when we put a swing in his room (his swing has been broken for several weeks now and his behavior is slowly deteriorating--someone want to take some of Brice's load so he has a minute to fix it? Please? I'd really appreciate having the not out of control Ryker back!). If you know Ryker, you know that as much as he is terrible, he is also tender, sweet, loving, and good. I think and hope that his rationale for trying to put more nails into his Savior was that none of my regular buttons were working today and he hoped that by doing something SO bad, I would finally lose it and be my predictable, unstable, irrational, yelling, punishing self. I didn't lose my patience with him once that whole time. As appalling as it was to see him doing something so awful, I hope it means I was doing something right. For once.

I will admit that I did lose my patience with him later in the day when he was scratching Raelin and she asked him to stop nice and politely twice and he stopped for a second, thought about it, and scratched some more. I whacked him on the head with a stuffed animal. I'm not perfect. But I keep trying! I hope that I can have more days like today where I don't lose my cool and I don't let him get to me. It would be nice to do that, however, sans Christ-defacing behaviors.