Sunday, August 26, 2012

Baby Fight Club

August 26, 2012

Earlier this week, I saw this article. It told of some day care workers, encouraging some toddlers in their care to fight, and egging them on. I was horrified, and I was horrified by the making light of it by calling it toddler fight club. It is really nothing to joke about, and I feel badly for the families involved.

Later that day, I mentioned it to my husband and said the phrase, 'toddler fight club' out loud. My almost 4 year old, Zed, overheard this and ran with it. For 3 days, the kids have been screeching, "Baby Fight Club!" and pretending to fight each other, like babies. They call Sunshine, 'The Milkman,' because he keeps spitting milk at them. Zed was pretending to shoot blueberries at his brothers. And the 2 of them have been pretending to box each other and wrestle each other, as they do anyway and see all of their siblings do. In a house of 5 boys, there is often wrestling and pretend battles! The baby fights inevitably turn into all 4 littles attacking daddy in a 4 on 1 melee, that ends when they all finally run out of steam and daddy is left whimpering on the bed...
The kids all agree that the Baby Fight Club champion would be Sunshine. He has a wicked left hook (which I have unfortunately experienced while trying to cuddle him!), is as tough as shoe leather and never, ever gives up.

I hesitate to share this story, because I don't want to make light of the daycare horror story. But my kids knew nothing of that and were just making a game for their amusement. In fact, at this moment, the middle 2 are pushing each other with pillows and pretending to knock one another into a mud pit. This is my life. Loud and active. And full of laughs.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Life.

My heart is filled with gratitude and joy today. Not for a specific reason, I think mostly because I have been choosing to do rather than to endure.
I had been rather down and mopey the last week or two. Circumstances and worry were weighing on my heart, and instead of giving all to God and resting in him, I was churning it all over and over again.
On Saturday, I pulled myself out of the mire a bit. My husband's school was having a street party for the employee's families, and even though my husband was out doing field work, I took the kids to the party.
Now this sort of thing is not my scene. I would happily stay home while my husband took the kids. I do not enjoy crowds, I get very anxious, and the noise overwhelms my senses. I am in continual fear of losing sight of the kids. I do not do well. So I surprised myself by taking them. And I surprised even my husband by having a fantastic time. I was gushing about it to him later. It was so very well executed. There was lots of space and lots to do and eat. We never had to wait in line, and we all had a complete blast. So weird!
Sunday morning we went to church and the worship service was full of exactly what I needed to hear. I raised my prayer of trust and worship and casting my cares upon him who is big enough to care for them all. When we got home, I actually picked up the phone and called a dear friend. I spent a few hours with her sipping tea and sharing and laughing. By the time I got back in my car, I felt like a brand new being. Oh the joy that comes of the twining of two woman-souls.
I was so refreshed, as well as bolstered by my experience on Saturday, that I decided that I should take the kids to the spray park and then have a wiener roast afterwards. So we did. Now the spray park was torture for me. I kept losing sight of my 3 year old and Sunshine kept falling and hurting himself. But the kids enjoyed it and we kept it short so that we could meet Daddy for our cookout.
We so enjoyed each other's company and a long, restful evening.
Monday was even better. Brent's first day back at NAIT! I drove him to work in the morning and we got to spend some time together, sipping our coffee and just being together. His NAIT job is so incredible for our family, because he gets to spend so much time with us. His hours are perfect. After I picked him up in the afternoon, we went to get our second born from his first high school football practice. The kids played in the park while we watched Superboy with his peers.
I will admit to being a bit choked up after I dropped him off in the morning. Our boy has been home educated since kindergarten, so full time school will be a huge adjustment. But one that we are all embracing with anticipation.
Yesterday was our 18th wedding anniversary, and even though we couldn't afford to give lavish gifts and go out to dinner, we had a beautiful evening with our family, barbecuing and just being together. Appreciating the life that we have been blessed with and grateful that God has been the glue that has kept our family whole. I love my life. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Win/Loss Parenting

This is a post I wrote early this spring, but never published. I think it still fits my life!

Sometimes I feel like my life as a parent is like a win/fail balance sheet

Successfully bribed toddler with gum to pee on the potty again - win

Picked 15 pieces of gum off of my floors yesterday and one out of said toddler's hair today - fail

Fed the kids healthy, well-balanced meals and snacks today - win

Got started on school by 8:30 am and was mostly done by 10:30 am - win

Continually nagged and got impatient with middles who could not seem to settle into their bookwork - fail

Started making lapbooks with timelines for our Ancient Rome studies - win

Ignored baby's chatting with me while he ate so that I could finish making timeline - fail

Took out my frustration with some grown-up troubles by being angry when one of my middles broke a little mirror - major fail
(my views on spills and accidental broken items is usually pretty philosophical. "Let's clean that up together...")

Possibly having to disappoint my kids and myself by not being able to afford to do something this week that we have been looking forward to for a month - fail

Watching my lovely son reading while doing the dishes and being able to appreciate his beauty, his love of reading and learning, and his multi-tasking abilities, rather than nagging him - win

Not being able to take the kids to the gym as planned - fail

Made sure that I sang lullabies to my sweethearts at the end of the day rather than hiding in my room - win

Sometimes my mind is filled with my failures and my heart is heavy, and then I have to remind myself that I am human and I fail, but God is greater than all my shortcomings. He loves me and my children more than I could fathom. And he covers over my mistakes with his love. I am blessed beyond measure.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Weekend Vacay

EEE! I am so excited! Today we get to pick up our 17 year old, aka The Boy, at the airport. He has been in Mexico for the past week or so, volunteering with some of his youth group at a mission.
I was more than a little emotional as I said goodbye to him last week, not so much because of his trip, (he had gone to the same mission last year) but because I wasn't going to be here to say goodbye to him and take him to the airport. But he made it away safely, with the help of some wonderful friends and now, thank God, is on his way back to us.
We weren't home last weekend because we were on a mini vacay to Lethbridge for the Alberta Summer Games. Our 14 year old earned a spot on the Edmonton Elite to play football for our city at the games. It was so thrilling to watch him go through the whole process and even more so to watch him play!
They won their first 2 games easily, then went up against their rivals in Calgary and lost 13 - zip. That was a hard loss, it meant that weren't going to go to the gold medal game. And, come on, it was to Calgary!
They came back strong on Sunday morning and came away with the bronze against zone 5, which is the cities surrounding ours. He will be going to high school in one of those communities, so we were really hoping that Edmonton would pull off the win!






We had a wonderful weekend, hanging out with our littler 4, watching Superboy and some of his friends compete in the games, cheering on one of them as he ran track and screaming ourselves hoarse at football. We stopped at a lake on the way home and splashed with the kids and just enjoyed their company. So thankful that we got to go and experience that with our boy.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

4 Eyes

7/25/12
My little Sunshine is 21 months old and a complete ham. He keeps putting on these glasses frames and posing for me. I think he looks flipping adorable.
Just now, I caught him running around naked, holding his penis and saying, "psssss!" at everyone. Boys. He also loves to stop nursing, point his wee finger guns and me and make machine gun sounds.

Sunshine is also a mimic. He is constantly copying my intonations. I realize that I use a sing-song voice a lot and he is always mimicking my sounds and often the words too. Like the other day when he discovered my eyebrows! He stroked them and said, clear as day, "Eye-bow," in the exact tune that I had said it.

Lately, he has been saying my name just like a teenager, "Mo-om!" It is kinda cute, but a wee bit annoying when your toddler sounds irritated with you all the time.

My favourite thing about my almost 2 Sunshine are his hugs. He wraps his arms around my neck, settles his entire being into me and squeezes with all his might. He holds on for an extra long time, way longer than you expect for a toddler, making the embrace even sweeter. 

My Sunshine is full of energy, loves and mischief. He fills my life with sunlight and snuggles. Love!



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Front Row Seat

I posted one of Ezra's funny sayings on my facebook last night and this was my Mom's response:
"That brilliant little man, what wonderful role you have Kristen, you get to be surrounded everyday with the truisms, the growing sense of humor, the questions, the declarations of developing little geniuses. Where else on this globe could you find such a pivotal place in the progress of the world toward something better, greater and more inspiring. Have a wonderful day as you help create the future!!!!"
Where else, indeed? What a blessed woman I am, in such a wondrous place, surrounded by those I love best, adored and loved on. And what power I yield, to mold and shape and guide. I need to be always aware of that and careful as to how I use each moment. God, let me be your hands, your mouth, your love to these precious, small people that you have entrusted to my care.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Brain Pain

Little Zed, who is almost 4, keeps me on my toes. The stuff that comes out of his mouth causes me to stifle giggles or my jaw to drop, each and every day.
Today, he told me, while tapping his temple, that his mind just wasn't working properly. I tried to pry some more information from him, but he just repeated that his brain wasn't working properly.
I have been perplexed ever since. What DID he mean by that?!

Monday, June 18, 2012

24/7 My Beautiful/Crazy and Fleeting Days

Get up.
Do laundry.
Make food. For 8.
Get ready.
Do laundry.
Get in the car.
Drive a kid to an appointment.
Get back in the car.
Drive home.
Make some food. For 8.
Do laundry.
Teach some school.
Pray for patience.
Try to clean something.
Do laundry.
Make some food.
Pray for patience.
Drive a kid somewhere.
Drive home.
Do some laundry.
Make some food.
Kiss husband hello and goodbye.
Drive 2 or 3 kids to different places at the same time, hauling grumpy toddlers.
Watch sports. Chase grumpy toddlers. Take photos. Listen to whining about food.
Pray for patience.
Drive home.
Make some food.
Do laundry.
Wash children.
Brush teeth.
Read stories.
Try not to fall asleep while reading.
Pray with said children.
Listen to them pray. (Listening to your preschooler blessing his siblings and their friends is so precious!)
Sing lullabies. (all bedtime is done while being screamed at by grumpy toddler)
Distribute bedtime kisses.
Receive bedtime kisses.
Nurse squirmy toddler.
Put yelling toddler in crib.
Put child back to bed.
Pray for patience.
Put child back to bed.
Put child back to bed.
Pray for forgiveness for losing patience.
Do laundry.
Put child back to bed.
Drive somewhere to pick up a child.
Pray that I won't fall asleep while driving.
Drive home, picking up something at the store.
Put child back to bed.
Do laundry.
Try to clean something.
Stare comatose at computer or book.
Pass out with the light still on.
Nurse toddler.
Leave soaking wet preschooler in my bed snoring.
Put on dry pajamas.
Crawl into preschooler's dry bed and try to hang on to a few more precious minutes of sleep.
Listen to toddler yelling from bed, pretending to not hear him.
Give it up.
Do laundry.

Monday, March 26, 2012

1000 Gifts 13-20

13. The spring sunshine.
14. That Superboy got to go to 3 months of intense football training.
15. That football training is over and we have no where to go tonight.
16. Supper is all prepared and ready to go.
17. My husband is home from work.
18. My husband's job and it's awesome hours.
19. Seeing my mom this weekend.
20. Getting to try some amazing Thai food with her and her friend.

1000 Gifts 1-12

I give thanks for:
1. My heavenly Father.
2. His son and my savior, Jesus
3. My comforter and mighty power, the Holy Spirit
4. My husband.
5. My eldest son B.
6. My second son R.
7. My first daughter, Kalila, who is resting in my Father's arms.
8. My third son J.
9. My second daughter, A.
10. My fourth son, E.
11. My fifth son, S.
12. A healthy family.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Husband 2 Wife 0

My husband is often very thoughtful. This weekend, when I was having a particularly grumpy and irritable day, he came home with a dozen tulips for me. I love tulips. They give me immense joy and he knows me well enough to know that. I am not a red roses kind of girl. I am a tulip girl. I love that he knows me.
One thing that you may not know about me is that when I am feeling grumpy, and I am grumpy with you, I don't want you to be nice to me. It makes me feel resentful. Because I am not ready to let go of being mad and when you are nice to me, then I feel guilty for being such a grump and then I can't stay angry because then I would be indulging in bitterness and unforgiveness. I am pretty sure that my husband also knows this about me and that makes him a pretty smart guy.
So, I pouted for half an hour before opening the flowers and putting them in the vase, and another 2 minutes before forgiving and kissing and thanking. That makes me feel ashamed, but there it is.
Today, my very thoughtful husband called me up on his way home from work to invite me to have a latte date with him. I refused because all the latte money in our budget has been spent... But he told me that he had received a Starbucks gift card and instead of saving it to use at work, he wanted to share it with me. Love that guy! We had a lovely, grown up talk and coffee before returning to our evening duties, such a fantastic break.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dr. Seuss Week

In honour of the role he has played in my and my children's lives, we are celebrating the birthday of Theodore Geisel on Friday, March 2nd, with Seuss Week!
On Monday, we read the very first of Dr. Seuss' children's books, And To Think That I saw it on Mulberry Street. He had to write that story, because he was driving his wife crazy with muttering this rhyme over and over again to himself as they sailed home from Europe in 1937: And that is a story that no one can beat, And to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street...
Mr. Geisel had a very hard time getting that dear book published, but we are so glad he did. All 4 of my readers, cut their teeth on Dr. Seuss beginner books, as their father and I did before them. My littlest 2 are well on their way with a love of verse and being read to. Three year old Zed is already asking, "What's this word say?" and reciting these well loved rhymes to himself as he 'reads'. What a blessing to our home!
For the rest of our Monday, we also read Oh the Places You'll Go and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. The kids made lovely pastel drawings of their own crazy things that they saw on our street!


Tuesday was our celebration of The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham. I doubt there are many parents out there who couldn't recite both of those books from memory and maybe cringe just a little when their small ones appear with those books in hand. We read the stories, listened to them on the iTouch and even had a special dinner to celebrate these favourites. The Sneetches and Mr. Brown Can Moo also made the list yesterday, our toddlers love Mr. Brown!
Our meal was inspired by this Pinterest post.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

22/366

Today was pink and slow.

The kids and Brent are entering the Valentine's day Hair Massacure, to help kids with cancer and their families. The first step in this process was to dye everyone's hair pink. Even Zed did it, we only let Girly do one pink foil though. On the second day of February, they will all have their heads shaved. We are asking friends and family to donate on our page and hopefully the kids will have a bit of empathy with kids who lose their hair due to their treatments.
Unfortunately, I chickened out and am not getting my head shaved this year. And Girly isn't either, but the 4 big boys all pinked their hair and will be bald soon.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Jam-Packed

Saturday, January 21, 2012

What a day! I am utterly wiped. We had fun, fun, fun.

Last night, I made the mistake of staying up until midnight with Brent watching Blue Bloods, because the boys were out at the movies with the neighbour boys and Brent had to go and pick them up. Well, just as Brent was on his way out the door, Baby Sunshine woke up and he was not so sunshiney. I took him to bed with me, but he was not sleepy. I was just falling asleep, when Brent woke up with heartburn and asked me to get him some tums. Then, Zed was up and in my bed.
Too many people in my bed! No sleeping for this mama. I finally got Sunshine in his bed at 6:15am and by then, the middles were getting up and ready to go.
ugh. I anticipated being a complete slug today, but instead we played with our kids all day. What a great way to spend the day.

Girly has ballet first thing in the morning, so I picked her up and took her over to Micheal's as a surprise. I saw that they were having a free, Fancy Nancy craft (decorate a crown) and storytime. She IS Fancy Nancy. I didn't tell her where we were going, I just told her that I was taking her to do something special after dance.
The whole time we were driving to dance, she was excitedly chattering about how she had no idea where we were going. At one point she said, "I just can't light my finger on where you are taking me!"
I laughed at my sweet six year old using such an 'old' expression.
The crafting was a bit of a disappointment, there wasn't anyone there, not even an employee. We ended up eventually helping ourselves to one of the prepackaged, paper crown and sticker packs and I read her the story myself. My Girly is a social being, she was looking forward to making new friends and hanging with girls. Oh well, we spent some time together and did a wee bit of shopping too.
When we got home, we packed everyone up and headed to our church for the community winter carnival. The kids had a blast, playing games, jumping in the bouncy castles, hanging out with friends and eating junk. Mom and Dad got to visit with friends as well and it was a great way to spend a few hours. The only bad part was that none of the kids won anything in the raffle at the end and Zed started balling and cried until we were almost home. Note to self: Next time, we leave before the draws.

When we got home again, we had smoothies and got ready to go to the pool. A few hours of swimming and playing in the indoor playground and we were all ready for food and bed. Which is where I am sitting right now.

Monday, January 09, 2012

9/366

The kids have been playing outside in the front yard because the back is completely covered in ice. Today Dr. J was climbing the tree and throwing down the berries to Girly and Zed.
The preschooler has added wetting his pants to the screaming. Recently, he has gotten in the habit of holding his pee until the last second, where he is running around, screaming like his hair is on fire, before finally consenting to use the bathroom. Today, apparently, he has given up trying to use the toilet and just let it go in his pants. sigh. I took to rewarding him, with the gum he has been screaming for, when he finally peed on the toilet.
We started our schooling back up this week, the big guys did their online stuff last week, but I did math, LA, Bible and History with the younger kids today. It was nice to feel like we accomplished something.
The Boy had guitar lessons today and Brent received his certificate for the adult educator course he took before Christmas. Oh! And it is football registration for Superboy again tonight. phew!

8/366

So warm for January!
Today was a total fail for me. We made it to church, 15 minutes late, and that was the very best part of the day. I have a preschooler who has been whining continually for days and he just keeps yelling the same thing over and over again at me and I am pretty done. I guess I have a new parenting challenge to figure out.

Friday, January 06, 2012

6/366

My gorgeous girl, in her leopard 'skin' coat, with her baby snow leopard. And the too small hat I crocheted. In the gorgeous winter afternoon sun, on this 0 degree day.

5/366

We are forever freaking out because someone has left the bathroom door open and baby Sunshine loves to play in the toilet. Tonight at bedtime, we were racing around looking for him, found the door open and were despairing of the mess we expected to find. That is until we found him sitting in the tub in the dark. Waiting for a bath.

4/366

"My Hockey Shirt!" "Is today a game day, Momma?"
Nana got this jersey for him for Christmas, best reaction ever, he was so excited.

3/366

Baby Sunshine has decided that his favourite breakfast is MiniWheats with milk. The cutest part is when he drinks the milk out of the bowl. (I actually gave him a little portion of seconds so that I could catch him on camera after I saw him do this.)

2/366

My long forgotten Santa's village was brought out this year. I think it may be time to take down the decorations.

1/366

Zed made a cracker man at supper. I thought it was brilliant! We had a lovely day with special friends, visiting to celebrate the new year and Dr. J's birthday. With lots of snacks.