Sunday, February 26, 2012

Do What You Say You are Going To Do

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The other Orion was trying to play hide and seek with Grace.....just to get her to hide so he could sneak next door for an outing with Grandpa. She is only two but she would have for sure realized he didn't come looking for her like he said he was going to do. I tried to make it clear that you have to do what you say you are going to do because that is how people learn to trust you. Crazy yet very creative kid he is. Another problem we have with him is his "forgetting". Every time he doesn't do what he is supposed to or tells a lie his excuse is "I forgot". A perfect excuse for some things...but you can only forget what you did two seconds ago so many times.

The very next day after the hide and seek incident we were getting ready to do school. We hand out tickets at the end of the week for all the chores that were completed and I give Orion an extra few if he has mastered a new skill with his school work. We have a box full of miscellaneous toys and pencils, stickers and whatnot's that are priced by tickets for them to choose from. I told him we would do them after school when he asked ahead of time. We did school then went about our day. Not only did I forget, I didn't do what I said I would do. A DOUBLE WHAMMY!

I've always known they learn from watching and not hearing. What I do not realize is how often I display the behavior I attempt to correct in them. "Do as I say and not as I do" is NOT the kind of mom I want to be. I wonder now if many of the times he has said "I forgot" is because of how often he has heard me say it.  I stay pretty busy but I say that way too often. I forget to do what I say I'm going to do. Now the sad part is that he says "I forgot" when he lies about something. Does he think I'm lying about the things I say I forgot? He obviously thinks it's a good enough excuse for Momma it should be a good excuse for him too. I am not sure how to correct this issue in myself.

I have started asking him to remind me, which I suppose is a start. I've also started using the phrase "we'll see" rather than "later". That way I'm not saying yes or no and can make up my mind when the right time arises. Right? I Don't know what the best way to handle this situation is. I know one thing though....I need to do what I say I'm gonna do.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The End of the First of the Third Child's Injuries

Orion's Grandpa took him to the barber shop for a haircut. Once Orion's hair was done it was Papa's turn in the chair. The lady didn't do a really good job. She cut his side burns and around his ears REALLY high. As they were leaving Orion calls out, "Good thing they stopped Papa! You woulda been bald!"

What a week! After the insane amount of frustration and worry about Faith's head,  it is FINALLY over! I found ONE honest Doctor to tell us the truth and not let every decision and thing that came out of their mouth depend on policy. We went through one doctor, a radiologist, and a neurosurgeon (all of whom told us, "she looks OK but let me send you to so and so just to be sure") before we finally said forget it and got a second opinion from an unaffiliated Dr. which was the best decision in a while!

 It took the neurosurgeons office "policy" of calling CPS if we didn't agree to a CT Scan and full skeletal xray for us to do it. Why these people are willing to put a little baby who acts 100% normal without any evidence of injury through 101 tests to get to the same answer of "she's fine" is completely beyond me. So glad I found Dr. Capps at Lost Pines Family Medicine! He's a medical renegade apparently...he said "she's fine as long as there are no symptoms, definitely doesn't need a CT Scan and if CPS calls I'm happy to talk to them." .....WHAT?! You don't need me to pay you $4000 for a scan just to make sure you CYA?! You can just use your 10+ years of medical training? 

WOW! I have for certain found a new family doc. Anywho, I am very ready to get life back to normal around here. It's amazing what you don't get to keep up with when you have worry hanging over your head. I can't believe how far behind I can fall and how our schedules can become so quickly non-existent. But that's ok. After all your kid only gets a skull fracture once right? Lord I hope so! That's all I can take!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Helping Hands 2-7-12

Little Miss Grace has a way with helping. She LOVES to "help". Everything from cooking to feeding the animals to taking our trash. She is now in the "I do it" stage and accepts little help from anyone once she gets it in her head she wants to do something. I will give her a job while I'm cooking like putting the washed lettuce in the bag or putting seasonings in the food. So far shes done great. She can't stand for you to be doing something she isn't though. You start her on lettuce and she sees you cutting onions and immediately its "I do that"... she wants to try that instead.

 I'm always amazed at how much she picks up from watching. The other night I had dinner about ready in the oven and was changing the baby. I go into the dining room once I finish and she has everyone's places set with silverware and plates and pot holders on the table waiting for me to bring the food. How much a two year old can help is surprising to say the least! What a BLESSING! 

For the past 6 months or so we have cooked for the homeless ministry of our church. Well, it's mostly Dan but we all pitch in some...I'm usually the cleaner upper. :) Usually Dan will meet our Pastor in Austin and serve the food we've cooked. Orion went once several months ago and he loved it and was so happy to have the job of handing out water to people at the park. He HAS to go now, after all, it's his job. We had a schedule conflict a few weeks back and Grace ended up going along for the adventure with Dad and big brother. Now she's hooked too. Every week or two when it's time she gets all excited about going to feed the "homes". 

Today we did the usual prep and Grace was getting to go help all by herself since I needed Orion's help with Faith on our adventure to the Dr's office. There was a mix up and the Pastor wasn't going to be able to make it so it ended up being just Dan and Grace to serve 40-50 people lunch in the park. And of course she had to help. She got right in there with Dad and passed him plates and helped dish up food. He didn't have to say anything, she just kind of knew what to do.

So often I see her help as "help". It slows me down and makes a mess! But what a joy and privilege to watch when I slow myself down and appreciate it for what it is. A tiny sweet heart just wanting to do something for someone...and maybe craving a bit of attention for being the big girl she is.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Fractured and Exhausted

Funny Kid Comment of the Week - 
"I don't get paid until Tuesday? That's not fair! I've done all my jobs!" says Orion. I reply, "I don't remember the last time I got paid for doing your laundry". His reply, "That's because that isn't a real job!" He now owes me $30 for doing his laundry this month! What a stinker!

 Last Tuesday we discovered our 7 month old Faith fractured her skull during a fall that weekend. She was fine after the fall, none of the tell tale signs they say to look for if there is brain damage, concussion, etc. So we didn't worry much until we noticed she had a giant, not regular size, GIANT knot on the side of her head. The doc checked her out, ordered x-rays, and gave us the news. Then he asks they we take her to a specialist to confirm we need to do nothing else and just let her heal. They schedule the appointment for the following Tuesday. One week after we find out about her initial injury.

What are we supposed to do in the meantime? "It would be good if she didn't hit her head in the same spot again." Ok. A very active 7 month old just learning to crawl and pull her self up on furniture is supposed to not hit her head again for a week. That should be easy right? NOT AT ALL! I am so far beyond exhausted at this point, 5 days later. I never realized how many times babies fall at this stage until I tried making sure it doesn't happen. Helmet? yes, we need a helmet. Padded room? yes, that too. And Momma? She needs an EMT standing by for when her heart attack or seizure finally occurs.

I don't think I realized until this week that I handle things much differently than I did years ago. I used to get chest pains when I was younger related to stress but haven't in years though much remains the same. We have the usual stressors - money, kids acting up for a day- but this is a new level of stress, accompanied by the return of chest pains and gritting my teeth....awake. I think the last two days the adrenaline in my body has finally been completely drained and the plea for sleep came in it's place. But sleep...psht...that would be too easy.

The same little baby came down with a runny nose yesterday, slept most of the day (as long as I was holding her anyway), then spiked a fever last night and was up all night. I am so glad Dad is off the next two days. It has been an insanely long, strenuous, exhausting, emotional, trying week. I am definitely ready to hand over the reins for a two hour nap! And the specialist appointment? I was relieved it was schedule a week later because I thought "that means it's nothing urgent, Yay" Which is still true, but it hasn't made the anticipation go away. If they ever try to make me wait a week again (which hopefully will be completely unnecessary because no one here will ever again need a specialist)  I do believe I will throw a fit! Or at least buy a helmet, pad a room and find an off duty EMT to remain on call. It would sooooo be worth it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Beyond the Fun

I've been trying so hard, as every mother does, to keep up with the house. I started telling the kids a few minutes before Dan gets home to "Hurry lets get the living room clean for Daddy when he gets home!". This was working great until today. Today I said the usual and my son said "Why?" So I told him. "We want Daddy to be in a good mood when he gets here cause he's worked all day. When the house is clean it feels calmer and more relaxing." His reply, "Cleaning a house takes so much work its not relaxing! Dirty houses are much easier to do." Oh! Out of the mouths of babes!

It's so hard to get a child to enjoy having a clean house. Especially if they have to pitch in to keep it that way. Grace is at an age where we can sing the clean up song and she's excited to help for a few minutes, at least. But Orion has heard that song for many years now. I try to encourage him with the prospect that one day he'll get to be the "foreman" and just help the younger ones with these kinds of tasks but I don't know how long that will work. He's getting so smart so quick and what once I could explain without getting into the logic of the matter has quickly shifted into having to explain myself.

With the growing up comes more responsibilities of course. As I mentioned in the previous post my big boy is now responsible for dinner dishes. I have done a time or two with the kids a fun dinner night when Dan is working late. They get to eat and drink out of any dish they want - soup pot, deviled egg tray, something from the china cabinet, a shoe, ANY thing they want to pick. We had so much fun and Orion even told me once that he had always wanted to drink out of this jug he was drinking his tea from. Well....the other day I said, "Ok ya'll you get to pick a dish tonight!" "I know what I'm getting!" screeched Orion, "a paper plate." Huh?..... "Are you sure? You get to pick ANYTHING you want?! Why a paper plate?" "Because I've got to wash all those dishes!" I hate the logic in that statement! He skips out on fun just so he can skip out on the extra work.

It's sad yet satisfying all at once. Satisfying because that was a really quick response and the thought process that went into that in those few seconds was pretty nice for a little kid! And it was awesome to see he was thinking about the consequences of his actions WAY ahead of time.  But..Its sad seeing that he's beyond the point that fun dominates his thinking & reasoning. That only lasts for a short while and it is hard to see it go. I'm looking forward to the future with gladness and I am excited to see what this new stage of child rearing holds for us!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The power of a star

"Idle hands are the devils playground" has so much more meaning than I ever realized. Anytime these kids are not involved in something productive they are hitting or making messes or taking toys away from one another...etc.etc. The same goes for me too though. When I am not doing something productive I'm surfing the web dreaming about all the stuff I can't afford to have or do.

 Orion is pretty easy. We are out of the toddler stage with him and he is a productive member of the family, doing his chores, helping around the house and with his little sisters & probably getting blamed for fights he didn't start in the process. He definitely has his big kid troubles now. He knows everything. And he now gets to do 5 push ups for everything he knows more about than us adults! :)

We started him with "chores" when he was 3ish +/-. Gave him a chart with small jobs to do around the house like put all shoes in shoe basket, pick up trash, really any little thing we could think of that he could do wtih a 3 yr old's attention span. We paid him good too- a quarter a job! I can't tell you how many Transformers he saved up for and bought with his own money that year.

Grace is the girl form of a rambunctious boy. She is into everything...all the time. Jumping off furniture, beating up her big brother, bossing around her little sister. She's just now two but I figured I may as well keep her idle hands busy. So I gave her - her very own chore chart. I know, I know. A two year old with chores?! She helps unload the dishwasher, puts away all the toys and dirty clothes at the end of the day, makes her bed (all with some help), and has to behave during school time. We've only been at this a week now, but day by day she gets more excited to see her gold stars lining up on her chart on the fridge.

 With the success of the chore chart climbing we made a chart for "Potty trips". This is just an example of how strong willed she is. She knows when she needs to go. We can be gone all day at someone else's home and she won't have one accident. If we are home she will strip down and go do her business in a corner rather than going to the bathroom. We've tried stickers, candy and every form of bribery or scolding...but oh those stars....We went from 5-10 accidents a day to 1 in under a week.

What on earth did parents do before the invention of the golden star sticker? It's amazing, and somewhat silly, that a child will rearrange their entire behavior for a sticker smaller than a dime. Orion knows that those stickers mean money so I understand his willingness, but Grace hasn't even made it to the end of the week for payday yet! Thank you golden star sticker inventor!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Orion started reading today! It was so exciting! He has definitely been bored with learning letters but you could see him light up once he figured out how to put some sounds together. He only read about 8 words but he did it with little prompting and lit up from ear to ear when he realized what he did! I got all teary eyed.  I am so so thankful to have this time with my children. Every day they amaze me. I am so thankful and blessed to get to experience so many firsts with them.

I can only imagine the things God has planned for these kids. Today Danica, the sweet yet strong willed and outspoken angel, was singing "God is so good" Nigerian. Now I would toot my own horn and say look what I taught her, but I didn't teach her this. Orion has sang it a couple times while learning to sing it for VBS months ago but we never attempted to get her to learn or even pay attention when he sang it. It's amazing the things they pick up on when you think they aren't paying any attention.

There is a song out by Casting Crowns called 'Slow Fade'. One of the verses in it says "Oh be careful little feet where you go. Cause it's the little feet behind you that are sure to follow." What a task we parents have been assigned! What a privileged yet scary road to walk daily knowing that someone is there watching you all the time. Even when you think they are paying no attention whatsoever, they are watching and learning. They are figuring out how to make decisions and behave and they are learning from how we act and not how we say to act. The poor babies wouldn't have a chance in the world if it were up to me to get us all through. I'm so glad I have Someone guiding me. I only hope I pay attention enough. Father God please make my paths straight!