Saturday, October 30, 2010

When the Belt Breaks

So yesterday, things were going fairly smoothly before ECHO, our homeschool co-op. Pants were donned under the dress, without too much fuss and the belt wrapped around those pants, cinched to oblivion, just how she likes it, when the belt broke. Literally snapped. She yanked on it so hard for so many weeks (not to mention it was on it's third child), that it tore right in two.

And that ended the relatively peaceful morning.

I knew we were sunk. No ECHO for her, no relaxing, daughter-free morning. All that stretched before me was stress and baby-fits lasting for hours. And all that without a dose of caffeine big enough to process it all.

After dressing her, we loaded her screaming, writhing body into the car. Crossing our fingers despite the sinking feeling in the pit of our guts, telling us, "there is no way in you know what this is going to work." But we forced it because one of the lessons we are trying to teach all of our kids, is that if you say you're going to do something, you follow through. It's that simple.

We made it to ECHO. She walked into the building, without a belt cinching the top of her leggings {oh the horror}, used the bathroom. And after a slight detour, we got her to her first class. She willingly walked in {after being carried there}, let me hug and kiss her good-bye, and joined her classmates.

Once we got back home, she announced that she no longer needed a belt for her leggings. That when they felt loose, she had discovered that she could just pull them up. Like that. I have been teary thinking about it ever since. She did it!!!

She needed that belt to break. I just didn't know it.

Friday, October 29, 2010

It's True

As the Prince made his way up the stairs this morning, he tried out his new phrase: uh-oh, uh-oh, UH-OH, over and over, louder and louder. So I asked him, "What's uh-oh?" And he didn't answer, he just pointed.

At himself.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

On Groaning and the Like

**Warning: This post got a wee bit religious!** Just letting you know, since I try to keep it light around here. {grin}

I am struggling right now with how to handle this latest rash of "baby-fits", as we fondly call them here at the castle. I know what they stem from, and I know what worked last time, but that is no guarantee of a solution for what today brings. I try to put myself in her place, but honestly, I can't. It makes me feel that somehow and on some level, I've failed as a parent with her. Why else is she unable to get completely dressed in the morning without a meltdown? The "I should have's" come creeping in when I try to evaluate where I took a wrong turn.

I need to have balance in my approach with her. Compassion for the temperament that God gave her, but also teach her that first time obedience is her job, regardless of how something "feels" or when the unexpected trip out inevitably comes up to mess with her plans. Tough calling to be sure. For both of us.

I wonder sometimes if I am the only one who daily gets to the point where my prayers become wordless. Wordless because there are no words. Wordless because I am tired of praying the same prayer. Wordless because saying the words out loud sound ugly and ungrateful. Romans 8:26 has held me upright this week, I like the EST version: Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

I have been struck with the fact that my prayers for her are centered on how I want Him to change her, instead of me. So I have begun to change my prayers for her (and her sibs) to: Mold me into the mom she needs, shape me into a mom who is after Your own heart, and use me in her life for good. And He will. He promised.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Another Ramble

1. This week has been a long one. And yes, I realize it's only Tuesday.

2. I just threw away a perfectly good box of markers because I was tired of the Prince finding them and using them on every flat surface in my house.

3. Don't worry I warned the Princess' of the marker's fate if I found them out again.

4. The Prince had to clean up his pictures off the floor. He thought it was fun. At first.

5. Where was I you ask? Rescuing my pumpkin muffins from the oven. How long does that take you ask? Approximately long enough for an industrious boy to uncap and use five markers all over the kitchen floor. I'm guessing 2 minutes.

6. Princess #3's socks and baby legs are still wreaking havoc at the castle. I don't want to talk about it. I want to rage and scream about it.

7. But I don't. I just muddle through.

8. I like the word muddle. I am muddling through my Christmas knitting, but am losing steam and excitement over it. What I really want to knit is socks. For me.

9. I recently bought Cookie A.'s book Sock Innovation, and it is calling to me.

10. No soccer this week or next week or the week after that, all the way until next August. That makes me happy.

11. So does the thought of planting spring bulbs. Which I am going to do this weekend, since I don't have soccer to watch.

12. I usually forget that I've planted the bulbs and come spring enjoy my wonderful surprises popping up.

13. The Prince just brought me the marker that must have gotten away. I'm off to inspect my floors for more artwork.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Just Another Random Monday

1. My internet free week last week, went well. Not totally free of high-speed, but a definite reduction in time spent. Good.

2. As a result, lots of knitting got done. Finished the Prince's Christmas sweater. It is in desperate need of a good blocking. Then photos.

3. It got cold here. As in long sleeves and the dreaded dusting off of Princess #3's baby legs.

4. Adaptability is something she struggles with, so changes like the weather getting colder throw her. And me.

5. Today it only took 1 hour for her to put on her baby legs. I'm optimistically hoping for 45 minutes tomorrow.

6. When it takes 1 hour to put on two leg warmers, it kind of cuts into mama-supervised school time.

7. However, Princess #1 buckled down on her own and got a couple things done. Whoo-hoo!

8. We've been going on lots of walks.

9. So many walks that the word "walk" makes the Prince run for his shoes and coat and head for the door.

10. Fall is one of my favorite seasons. I hope you all are enjoying yours too!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

High Speed Fast

Well, I have decided to take an internet fast this coming week. I need a break from the up to the minute updates. And a break from the temptation to sit a few minutes that ends up being too many few minutes too many times a day. Our computer is right in the hub of our home, on purpose, but it needs to stop being the center for a while. I love staying in the loop with friends on facebook, keep up with my knitting obsession on Ravelry, and reading wonderful, inspiring blogs that people faithfully update, but I need some space.

So, I'm scheduling my blog postings now and will not touch it for the next week.

I'll be back.

I think.

Friday, October 08, 2010

A Knit A Week

Modeled by Princess #1 outside

Draped over the rocker indoors.

A beautiful shawl or is it a scarf, I haven't quite decided.
Hopefully the recipient can figure out how to wear it!

*free Ravelry download*

Yarn: Twisted in the Wisteria colorway
that I purchased while we were at the coast.

Verdict: Nice, simple knit, with a beautiful
leafy edge=a pattern I most likely will make again.
And this yarn was wonderful to work with, very
soft and the colors are stunning.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Overheard At School Time

Queen: Okay Princess #2, what is the ringneck snake's nickname?

Princess#3: Satan!

**In case you were interested it's nickname really is the corkscrew snake.**

Happy Birthday Mr. F!!

{One day old, in the doll house.}

Can you believe it was only one year ago that my castle was turned into a cat maternity ward?? Well, I guess technically it was the abandoned doll house in the garage, but still they had to move in where it was warm, right? Looking back, I can't believe we did that, not that I felt I had a choice with those three sets of royal eyes begging, "please" with all their hearts and souls. And if I am completely (painfully) honest, it did melt my heart to see that pile of kitten babies in the living room of that tiny house.

Ironically all the kittens were adopted by women who share my first name. Coincidence . . . I think not. :) And they left our house in sets of two. Just lonely Mr. F was left, what were we to do? {grin}

Happy Birthday Fergus! Hairbinders and pairs of baby socks balled together make your life the happiest. So tonight, I'll leave a pair of the Prince's socks out for you, on purpose.

{Two weeks old, eyes barely open.}

{One month old, ready to explore.}

{The white tiger, with his bcf, Buzzy.}

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


I think the most often-asked question that I get regarding our choice to homeschool, is "How do you do it all?" And my answer is always and emphatically, "I don't."

I struggle with maintaining balance. For instance, last week, I was able to maintain a clean kitchen and kept the floors swept (I even mopped once) and homeschooled three kids. However, this week, I've been all about the baking and making dinners that need extra prep work, and keeping the kitchen clean and homeschooling three kids. Floors, what floors??

I have to give myself permission to let things go. I can't do it all and homeschool. Heck, I can't even do it all without adding homeschooling to the mix. A wise woman shared with me her sanity secret right after the Prince was born and I will share it with you. Pick one area or space in your house that drives you the craziest when it is messy and do your best to keep it clean daily. So that's why I do my darnedest to keep my kitchen clean. I hate stacks of "stuff" and things that need to be walked five more steps to be put away, cluttering my counter. And since we homeschool (basically) in the kitchen, that adds to my clutter-angst.

And the second part to the doing it "all" equation is all the extra-curriculars that we add on to our lives. I have an on-going discussion with a couple of dear, fellow homeschooling mama's about how easy it is to get caught in the trap of "busy-ness". I was caught up short when one recently listed all the things that my family is involved in right now (some are temporary), she wasn't criticizing, but it made me realize that there is a reason for the fatigue I feel at the end of the day (with nothing to show for it, it seems). I am so glad that several years ago, I gave myself permission to rest. And the King is in complete agreement. Our kids will have "rest" time daily and that time is mine to do with what I choose--guilt free. I may choose to do chores (yah right!) or as I usually choose, something that gives me rest: knitting or reading.

Try it! Give yourself permission to drop an activity (even it is one of your kid's activities-gasp!) that causes you/your family stress. We decided to cut out going to Awana last year, and oh the relief our family felt!! Or create a time during the day for rest for your entire family and rest yourself without guilt! Rested mamas make for happy mamas!
{I highly recommend reading (Taking Care of the Me in Mommy by Lisa Whelchel) for more on this.}

I'm done preachin'. For now.

Friday, October 01, 2010

My Son

This afternoon as I was watching a certain adorable blonde little boy pulling his wagon around the backyard, it hit me again right in the chest. He's mine. I have a son.

Maybe it just hasn't sunk in yet, after all these years of girls, and maybe it never will, but some days I feel the need to pinch myself as I see this BOY running around my life--my BOY. My carpet is littered with "ucks" and car ramps and pint-sized tools. I don't dare take my eyes off him while dinner is getting made because I know that he'll be on the table helping himself to whatever he can find. He loves to find bugs, inspect them, handle them, and then stomp on them. At his sisters' soccer games I spend more time keeping him from joining the game than watching the game. When he sees a fire truck, he makes a siren sound. And the catch of his breath and excited voice saying "UCK" over any kind of truck he spies, makes me smile every time.

He's a whirlwind. He can be stubborn. He's as sweet as they come. He's my son.