Necessary Distractions

Posted by on Oct 3, 2012 in Homeschooling, Mothering | 2 comments

I haven’t been writing much lately and there are multiple reasons behind it all. Don’t worry, none of those reasons include pregnancy or moving to Nashville or any other life altering seeeekrits. My days have been FULL. I remember once listening to a mother of a lot of children telling me about another mother with a lot of children who said that once she leaves her bedroom in the morning, she doesn’t make it back into that room until the evening. I’m not in that place, but in the interest of full disclosure, the changing table is currently in my bedroom. I’m in there plenty.

The baby is in full-on-death-mode. I’ve found her chewing on cords, trying to make out with an electrical socket, attempting to sit at the top of the stairs where there isn’t actually any floor, climbing on top of toys in the crib in a feeble and ill advised plan of escape, leaning out of her high chair towards the floor while I put the tray down on the counter, shoving all kinds of things that could potentially choke her into her pie hole (none of them were pie. Sad face). She is the greatest reason for my full-tiltedness. She’ll be eight months old next week. Goodnight.

Gideon read his very first book all by himself today. It was about a rat who’s wearing a tan hat. There is also a cat. I think you can figure out what happened.

He got a sticker and tons of self confidence. That’s how you get proper self-esteem, by the way. You do amazing things, things you didn’t think you could do, things that look like a giant, St Helens sized obstacle and then you tighten your crampons and you go. When you’re standing on a precipice and you think you aren’t going to make the summit and then you do it. You summit. Like a boss. That’s when you know the next time that book or that volcano is taunting you with your possible inability, you remember that last Kilauea whose steam you felt but triumphed over and you think, “be quiet fear. This is doable.” You don’t build real confidence any other way.

Piper used scissors to make ANOTHER snowflake this morning. It is as if she is summoning the cold from December and wishing it upon our day. She’ll care when it arrives (this weekend, maybe?) and she can’t wear those shiny pink sandals anymore. In the meantime, she’s rocking out My Little Pony episodes and taking names from anybody who wants to mess with Twilight Sparkle. The show bleeds over into her play every day, but thankfully not so much in the details because I am guessing its writers drop acid and then beat their heads against a wall when they get a creative block and need more material to fill those excruciating 22 minutes of awful.

We’re knocking out work as fast as we can without compromising quality. It’s good and exhausting. It’s hard to know what comes first, the exhaustion or the sinus infection and mastitis. Do I wear my body down with lack of sleep and then get sick or does the sickness make me crazy enough not to sleep. Okay, yeah, it’s the first one. Regardless, there’s plenty more to do, which will hopefully get crossed off tonight while the Pres and the dude who wants his job square off tonight. I hope they throw in some jazz hands or that the moderator’s chairs turn around or something so that the rest of ‘merica will watch. Maybe they’ll parade out overweight southerners in pageant clothes instead. I say go where your heart leads politicians. Make us proud.

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From Their Mouths to My Ears

Posted by on Sep 12, 2012 in Mothering | 0 comments

Can I eat the hard part?

Do I have to be Princess Celestia?

Is Dave Ramsey still alive?

Will you please attach this blanket to the ceiling?

Can you be a Decepticon?

Is it good for you? Does it have protein in it?

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7 months

Posted by on Sep 10, 2012 in Mothering | 1 comment

Dear Greer –

You began the 7th month of your life without any teeth, not really moving and wonderfully content. Upon completion of your seventh month yesterday you had four teeth through your gums, climbed the stairs a few times as you crawled as fast as you can muster after your siblings and screeched about the idea of being placed inside a crib or pack-n-play instead of being allowed to free range with the older two. At 5:30 this morning when I heard you crying to eat, I found you standing up in the pack-n-play, clutching the side while giant tears rolled down your cheeks. You are so much older than I want you to be.

Your chub is thinning out, although you are still the chubbiest one to date in our house. I love your rolls. I love squishing my face into your chubby tummy and hearing your deep laugh. I love blowing your short, thin, wispy hair and watching your bright blue eyes blink in excitement over it. I love watching you watch your brother and seeing you light up. I love how you smile at just about everybody, provided you are not amazingly tired and the person you are staring at is not sunburned.

I love that you love the stroller. I love that you don’t fuss too much when I force you to upend your nap schedule on account of preschool hours and church activities and my absent-mindedness about the time. I love that you hug and snuggle. I love that your feet are sweaty. I love that you barely cared about the cold you caught last week, except when it made you choke in the middle of the night.

I love you so much. I always will.

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An Introvert Walks into a Group

Posted by on Sep 5, 2012 in Mothering, Uncategorized | 2 comments

The kids are resting soundly after an evening of fun and over stimulation. Piper came through the door announcing that Gideon is just over tired and that Cubbies was SO FUN. Gideon came through the door overwhelmed and ready to get in bed. Since his night involved football practice and sand at a park, he was ushered into the shower. He told me there were six billion kids in Sparks. He told me that this night was not like the other nights and they didn’t do anything normal. He told me he didn’t have any fun. He told me he doesn’t like Awana.

Good thing Jud was there to record this:

He was having fun here. He is smiling. Of course, he is hanging out with high school students in a much smaller group of people than the giant group of children his own age.

But here is who [I am pretty sure] he is: Planner Inspector: ISTJ. His Meyers Briggs profile provides the following:

Family is of the utmost importance to the ISTJ. The order and schedule of a home life is very important. Any family member who rebels against order is likely to anger the ISTJ who revolves their life around a sense of conformity. The ISTJ is likely to want breakfast at 8, lunch at 12 and dinner at 6 no matter what, holidays with the family are of paramount importance and no sacrifice is too great to keep the unit intact.

The ISTJ likes to also have order in their friends and in their appearance. Hanging out with the wild and crazy isn’t likely to happen. ISTJ’s tend to develop strong, loyal, consistent friendships that stand the test of time. ISTJ’s may have trouble showing emotion but within the strength of a time-tested friendship they often find comfort.

In love relationships the ISTJ is a strong believer in taking responsibility. They also say the things they mean. Often they are accused of being uncaring but they view the benchmark of commitment by actions and not words. The ISTJ is more interested in being the Rock of Gibralter and day to day success than words that are not backed up with actions.

The predominate configuration of the United States Military is ISTJ. If you like order the military is the place to be. Other professions that tend to draw the ISTJ’s wants for schedules and results oriented satisfaction are general surgery, law and accounting. The ISTJ can be a success at any career but tend to shy away from careers that require abstract thinking and interpersonal spontaneity. Other popular ISTJ career directions include: Management, Accounting, Auditing, Engineer, Dentists, Stock Brokers and Law.

The ISTJ is often a good student. In classes such as science and math they tend to excel due to their factual nature. More abstract classes tend to frustrate the ISTJ but they try to do what “should” be done. In summation the ISTJ student will usually try to do what the instructor asks because that is what should be done.

Piper had only happy thoughts to share from Cubbies. Her friends were there! They colored! She got papers in her bag! Look! Papers!

And here is who I think she probably is: Envisioner Mentor: ENFJ.

The ENFJ is known as the great communicator. They often focus their direction on other people and are adept at understanding other people. They are ready to lead friends and display loyalty to those who follow them.

In love relationships the ENFJ is looking for happiness. They do sometimes over indulge in this pursuit and can forget to listen to a mate rather than force their view.

Family events are fun for the ENFJ. Without even being asked the ENFJ will assume responsibility for entertaining those around them. If the ENFJ is affirmed, all the better for their efforts.

ENFJ’s are drawn to careers that serve others with minimal chance for conflict. Detail and paperwork can cause angst for the ENFJ who hates to be alone. They are often drawn to religious groups and academia, situations where they can interact with others and be challenged. Other popular ENFJ career directions include: Entertainer, Artist, Psychologist and Occupational Therapist.

The ENFJ is an imitation learner. They like to have role models or heroes and do their best to emulate them. They will follow these heroes to roles that may be far away from their natural talents.

Two very different, wonderfully different kids. Two different nights and two different perspectives. I love them so stinking much.

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The Fall

Posted by on Sep 4, 2012 in Mothering | 0 comments

The day after tomorrow Piper will enter preschool for the very first time as a student. She’s been begging to go since Gideon left her when she was just two. Her words are big about the whole thing. She talks in stories and dreams about how fantastic it is going to be. She saves some bright adjectives for talking about the place and the people and the things she will learn. But I’m not fooled. Her voice is just a little too high, her tonal quality gets shaky every now and then. The kid is nervous.

She peppered her discourse about the excitement over preschool with one little question that completely gave her away. “Mom,” she asked, “will you stay in the building while I’m in school?” The answer was and still is no. I won’t be sticking around. Her eyes only slightly widened when she heard it. She was steeling herself against the harsh reality of being alone in a room full of people.

Last Friday my mother, the patron saint of shopping, bravely hopped in our minivan and made the rounds as the five us navigated clothing stores to gather up items that will hopefully not have to be replaced until spring. We found pants and leggings, shirts and jeans, a coat that Piper looked adorable in (but she claimed it was choking her to death and that she would freak out every time she had to wear it) that we didn’t buy, sleepwear for the giant baby and some awesomely on sale swim trunks for next year. New shoes were purchased today and the items we ordered online last week arrived here this week.

There are so many new to us and brand new items in the closets. There’s a pretty pink backpack hanging up too, just waiting to be taken to preschool. The newness of the stuff was always a way to soften the blow of the difficulty of a new school year. A box of new, never before used, crayons were to be saved for the actual classroom so that I would look forward to being in that classroom. The clothing that I wanted to wear everywhere was saved for the mornings that without those new shirts and pants and socks, I would have had space to dwell on relationships and situations of which I was tremendously unsure.

Piper came downstairs this morning after breakfast in one of her new dresses and I thought about telling her to save it, to go back up and put it away until she was ready to wear it to school, but I held my tongue. She’ll still need the stark reality of change softened and handed to her in a way that she can grasp and I’m sure she’ll be wearing a special and new outfit on Thursday morning but perhaps she’ll have her own way of handling the stress of life changes than sweaters and shoes. However it all works out, I am sure her mama will be proud.

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By the Numbers

Posted by on Aug 29, 2012 in Homeschooling, Mothering | 3 comments

3 – Mad Men Episodes I have watched since the last time I posted here

6 – Subjects covered in school today

2 – Times we listened to ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’

18 – Days the library claims a My Little Pony book is overdue (it’s not. Twas returned. How do I prove this?!)

12 – Times I feed Greer-girl milk every day

1 – Glass broken during lunch

6 – Number of cents over my Gap order for today that qualified me for free shipping

1 – Size of shoe I ordered for Gideon’s Rock N Roll shoes

5 – Times I’ve thought that I should have ordered a size two

24 – Digits with nails that I clipped (the baby only had four done before I gave up. It is the worst baby care job) today

3 – Beds unmade

2 – Children happily playing in Gideon’s room

1 – Baby sleeping

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Posted by on Aug 27, 2012 in Mothering | 0 comments

Last night we kept the kids out to a truly insane hour. The older two generally place their heads on soft pillows of awesome sleep patterns by 7:30. On the very rare occasion that they somehow are awake past that time, I pretty much want to pull my own hair out while the disobey, get sassy and hide for no reason at all. But last night we were in the church building when that time came and went and by that point I’m pretty sure Gideon has dissolved into tears no fewer than three times. The kid was exhausted. Piper was having a fantastic time with one of the girls from the youth group that she loves. If a girl she admires is playing with her she could probably stay awake for days. She’s an extrovert. It’s her deal. Her brother, on the other hand, is our introvert and he is also a fantastic creature of habit. He was so over all of the activity and pressure required to keep himself together. He stopped keeping himself together. He cried.

Upon arriving home all three were hurried off to bed. All three woke up during the night. All three slept just a little bit beyond where they usually do. All three were a little bit out of it today.

I knew this would be the case so we covered all of our school subjects with speed, no tears, but plenty of time laughing. Being silly and fun is the only way to get over all the complaining about having to sit up and do things properly. In spite of the loss of sleep he read the following today:

sam sat.

a cat sat.

a rat sat.

He was excited about it all. He was shouting the words, actually. I’m so glad that I get to be there for those moments. It feels like he is walking for the first time all over again, only this kind of walking will be the key to him learning every other thing he ever needs to know (or at least until he discovers tutorials on Youtube). I hope he goes back in time and falls in love with one specific part of history. I hope he travels into the depths of the ocean to learn all about those underwater volcanoes he loves so much and the magma he can’t seem to stop dreaming about. I hope he loves reading and understands how it is the key to gaining knowledge and the key to keeping his mind sharp when his years get long.

When we finished all our lessons for today, I didn’t even bother putting the books away. We just played and waited for the baby to wake up from her second nap. Then we high tailed it for the park. Three people walking and one tiny person loving her umbrella stroller makes the walk incredibly enjoyable. Gone are the days of wrapping the littlest one and pushing the middle girl. I am so thankful. Piper filled the walk with observations and exclamations and by the time we made it to the sand, she was shouting about how hot is was outside. She was right. It was hot.

We played for over two hours out there. Running and climbing and digging and pushing the baby around and swinging and more and more running. It was a long hot afternoon. We walked home. We showered up. We ate leftovers for dinner. We kept their stories short. They’re all sleeping now. Soundly. I’m right behind them.

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