Friday, September 30, 2011

To nap or not to nap?

Jon has been spending naps time quietly playing in his room for the last month or so. This was totally fine until he started getting louder and louder and then venturing out into all different rooms of the house - waking up Becca frequently. So we decided to start a new "rest time" routine with him. Starting Tuesday this week, I brought him up to my room with his pillow, snugglie, and some books and quiet toys just before 1:00. We made a little nest for him in my bed, and he was instructed to stay in the bed until the clock said 2:00. Both Tuesday and Wednesday he played quietly and then fell asleep before 1:30. I think without the shelves of tempting toys to distract him, he was able to calm down well - something he has trouble doing now without his pacifier.

So then Wednesday night at bedtime, our Jon is not tired at all. I assumed that it was because he napped two days in a row and probably only needs a couple of naps a week now. So yesterday I let him stay downstairs and watch a sesame street we had taped during rest time. About half way through the show he got very quiet:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Coloring Time

On Tuesday when Michael was home we had some coloring time. Michael was never into this much as a toddler but Jon and Becca love to get the crayons out. Becca is actually pretty good at scribbling. I noticed this week that she was staying on the paper (mostly) and even holding the paper in place with her other hand.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Speaking of Chores

I mentioned yesterday that I love to have the kids help with chores. It starts very early in life with having them help picking up their toys. Usually we begin by handing them a toy and having them put it in the bucket, but it soon becomes a fun game for them. Laundry is always another favorite early chore. The kids pull dry clothes out of the dryer and then help put the wet ones in. Becca likes to help with these types of chores. She is even getting into pulling clean dishes out of the dishwasher to hand to me but it means I have to be very careful to empty sharp knives and things before she gets there. It is a bit of work to let her help, but it does keep her from getting into trouble elsewhere while I work. For example, the other day while I was folding laundry without her she pulled my laptop computer onto the floor (luckily onto a pillow an it is fine) and managed to open it up, pull up some strange web pages, and pull off two and a half keys.

Jon is still in the stage where I'd say his help with chores doesn't really save me time, but he is getting pretty good at picking up an sorting shoes. I definitely appreciate not having to bend down so many times to pick up things on the floor. Michael is now getting old enough that he can actually be very helpful with chores. He can clean up a room on his own (although we need to check under the couch to make sure he didn't just stuff everything there) and can even wipe down a bathroom pretty good. This is one of the boys favorite chores - bathroom cleaning. They each take a clorox wipe and Michael does counters and sinks while Jon does toilet tops and seats. They do a pretty surface level job but it is enough to get by so I don't have to clean them as often - perfect because bathroom cleaning is NOT one of my favorite chores.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Haig House Preschool

Yesterday was on of Michael's school days so I thought I'd use my camera to document my preschool day at home with Jon and Becca:

Little did I know that the day would start off with a bath. When I went to get Becca up I found that at some point in the night she had pooped and then stuck her hand in her diaper - it was everywhere. Uggg! No more two piece pajamas for her for a while. Of course this was right around the time Michael was suppose to be picked up by his ride for school, so I told him to watch through the window and yell to me when they came so I could supervise the bath upstairs. I was so nervous that I wouldn't hear him and he'd just leave without me knowing, but it all turned out fine. And I had supper happy and clean little ones splashing away for a while.

After baths we set about playing with the trains. Jon and I had put them together the day before during "each kids plays in a different room" time. Jon and Becca love these as they can really set up the trains and get them going well. And I could use the time to get myself dressed and do some chores upstairs. I was frequently interrupted - they would play for a couple of minutes, then come and check on me, get bored with my sorting of laundry and return to play, repeat. However, I got about 20 minutes of work done which is an accomplishment.

Throughout the morning we kept taking potty breaks! Jon has been resistant to sitting on the potty until I bought another one for Becca. If I talk to Becca about sitting on the potty - Jon doesn't want to be left behind. And yes, those are in my living room (a bit yuck but very practical) and yes, Jon is on the pink one - apparently the new one is way cooler than the older one (and I wouldn't want to gender stereotype my kiddos). :)

OK, I promise that is the last picture that is a bit x-rated. Next up is making banana bread. They had so much fun dumping things in, stirring, and making a mess. And don't forget licking the spoons!

The it was time for a snack and some Mickey Mouse.

You can barely see it but there is a music player on the fridge. Some day I will try to get a video of this, but my kids love to dance and sing along.

We found a month on the window that was fascinating to Jon so we spent some time talking about butterflies and moths.

We also did a ton of laundry that morning as we were pretty far behind. I'm a firm believer that kids should start helping with chores even before they can walk. I certainly don't expect their help to make the chore go faster - in fact it often takes longer, but it is good training and good quality time together. Here Becca is taking things out of the dryer and passing them to me to be folded.

Finally we got to eat some of the nice warm banana bread for lunch!

And all of that was before noon. Well, actually I'd say all of that was about a tenth of the things we did before noon!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Medication recall

So there was a recall for the birth control pills I've taken over the past year. I have had them filled apparently at three different Meijer pharmacies, because within about a two hour time bracket one morning I had three messages from Meijer pharmacies asking me to call about a drug recall (not exactly the topic you want to hear about for your medications). So I called one of them. They told me that I had filled my prescription there last June and that there was a recall on those pills. They then asked if I had any of the pills left. I wanted to explain to the pharmacist that there were 28 pills in the pack and that I took one each day and that it is now September, so if I had any pills left in that pack I might a bigger "problem" with my birth control than a recall. Instead I just said, "No." She replied with, ok, well if you did have any left I'm suppose to tell you to use alternate methods for birth control that month.

??????? That was in June and you tell me now ???????

So then I called my home Meijer store to see what they wanted me to do about my current pack. They told me the recall was because some of the packs were rotated 180 degrees when the pills were inserted so I should bring it in and trade it for a replacement from another company. Now these pills for those who don't know come in two colors - three weeks of one color and the forth week of a different color. So I politely asked if I could just look at the colors of the pills and find out if mine was rotated. She said, "Well, yes I guess you could."

So thinking it was all behind me I continued on with life. A few days later I got a letter in the mail from the third pharmacy asking me to call them about a drug recall. Apparently my prescription information can be pulled up by all the stores but not the fact that they already reached me (twice) to tell me about the recall. So I called them back and assured them that I had already talked to my home Meijer store and was aware of the details surrounding the recall. This pharmacist asked if I had brought my pills in and traded them for the replacement. Mind you I got my pills from them sometime like last April and my current pills were all in the right order, so instead of going through the previous two conversations again, I simply told her that I had.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I finished my 2010 Album

So far in my scrapbooking fun I've been jumping all over the place. I scrap a page about something current and then I scrap some pictures from 2006 or something. Since I do them on the computer I can just store them in files without them taking up any physical space. However I've decided that It's time I start printing some pages so I decided to work through 2010 and scrap all of the pictures that I wanted in the 2010 album but hadn't gotten around to yet. This past week I finished the Thankmas and Christmas layouts!!! And I sent a whole bunch off to be printed. I can't wait until they get here later this week and I can complete my 2010 album. And I'm happy to say that it is before 2011 even ends. :)

So for those who want to get in the Christmas spirit very late - or I guess early now for 2011 here are my Christmas layouts:

Credits: All Things Magical by Traci Reed and Meghan Mullens, Tempate by Cindy Schnider, font is Rita 2 by Darcy Baldwin, Photo actions by Holly McCaig

Credits: Template from my Pack 8, Jolly Jingle Collab from Litttle Dreamer Designs, font is DiNarrow, photo actions by Faith True

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I didn't do it!

This morning I heard Jon running up the stairs, yelling, "Mom, Mom, Mom!" and Michael was screaming at me "Whatever Jon says I did - I didn't do it!"

So my question is does that mean my middle child is learning how to make things up to get his big brother in trouble? Or does it mean my oldest is pestering his little brother so much he doesn't even know which of his transgressions will be tattled about?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

We found a new playground

Becca's favorite - a new kind of swing!

Notice the sweatshirt. Last week when I had to put long pants on Jon he complained that they bothered him that they touched his feet (he's use to shorts of course) and refused to wear a sweatshirt. This day I thought it was going to be cold again and dressed them accordingly. By the time we got to the playground the sun was out and it was pushing 80 degrees, but now Jon wouldn't take it off. :)

My boys on TV.

Becca has no fear. When she saw the slide she climbed up on her own and went down before I noticed. She flew down actually, going right off the end and falling face first in the sand at the bottom. I picked her up and tried to clean the sand off her face, but she kept squirming out of my arms to go again.

This is what Michael calls his tricks.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

We have an upstairs playroom!

When we moved into our house we were thrilled to have 4 bedrooms. That meant each kid could have their own - how perfect?! Jon, however, had other plans. He hated being alone at night and would cry at least once a night until I came in and then he would easily settle back down to sleep. All of this was fixed when we moved the boys back in together. Jon got a roommate and Michael got his longed for bunkbeds. Jons old room? Well it became a place to put stuff.

So this past week we cleaned it out. We put in two shelves and brought up the play kitchen. So one shelf now has the huge train set and the other has mostly things for the kitchen. The kids are loving it and so I am since they are so entertained with the new space!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sept 11, 2011

At church last Sunday we talked a lot about a big Why question: Why does God allow bad things to happen? This of course was in reference to it being the 10 year anniversary of the tragic Sept 11 attacks in the US. It got me thinking a lot about that day and about other tragedies in my life. I can remember as a child reading Philippians 1:23-24 "I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body." I couldn't imagine longing to die even if it meant I would be in heaven with Jesus. There was so much I wanted to do on earth yet. I would pray that God would grow me to love him so much that I could say this prayer even with so much I was longing for here on earth. I think that as you get older and live through more tough times you begin to get a different perspective on our temporary life here. Yes, I'm still excited about living and all of the things God has planned for my future, but I also know that in many ways heaven will be a relief - to be with God and all the goodness and love and away from the sadness, anxiety, fear, and troubles of this world.

As I was listening to the message in church about our response to the question of Why, I kept remembering what my parents have said in response to this. While it is an important question, it must be matched with its counter: Why in a world of sin do good things happen?

So to manage all of my thoughts, I put together this layout:

The background has the verse from Philippians 3:20 "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ."

The journaling reads:
Ten years ago today tragedy hit the United States. I was teaching in my classroom when a note from the principal was delivered to all the staff. It told us that two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center towers and that the Pentagon had also
been hit. We were instructed to not turn on our TVs and to plan on meeting after school. At first my brain registered that there was a plane crash. This happens every day I thought – why the special notice? Then I read the note again and the full impact settled in. My parapro and I worked as calmly as we could until the
students headed off to lunch. Then I was finally able to turn the TV on and watch the news. The rest of the day I felt a bit numb and that evening I headed over to my parents' house, not wanting to be alone. Looking back I see this as a strong reminder that
When horrible things happen we always ask “Why?” Why would an all powerful and all good God let something like this happen? This of course is a question we really can't answer. We cannot see the picture as big and in as much detail as God can. However, I think that it is so important to also asking the matching question: Why
in this world full of sin is there any good left? With Satan having such a strong foothold on this earth, how is there still love and joy and peace and faith? Because God is Love and he is here with us. God's spirit is alive and at work within us and this world. He loves us so much and continues to pour good things down on us. And there is even more reason for hope. This is not our permanent home. Our citizenship
is in heaven and we eagerly await the coming back of our savior to take us home forever.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Oh how I hate teething!

Michael got his first tooth at 4 month, over Christmas vacation. This meant that he cried and cried on the car trip and quite a lot for poor grandma and grandpa that wanted a sweet baby grandson to play with. It also meant that he was way too young to understand that he shouldn't bite while nursing which led to some moments I happy to forget about.

As it turned out Michael actually got a lot of his teeth when we were on vacation. I sometimes wonder if our relatives simply thought we had an always cranky baby.

Jonathan did not get his first tooth until after he gave up nursing at 10 months. I was told that the rate of teething seems to run in families and to expect Jon's around the same time as Michael. However, those of you who know Jon, understand that it is part of his mission in life to be as different as he can from Michael and this was no exception.

I really don't remember much about Jon teething, but since he was in a habit of waking every hour, crying for me to give him his pacifier, I don't remember a lot of specifics about life over that year as I wasn't getting much sleep.

Our Rebecca's teeth seem to want to each have the spotlight on their own. Most kids get teeth in pairs or even 3 or 4 at a time. Becca's teeth, however, have all come in one at a time. Before each one there is about 3-4 days where she drools up a storm and doesn't sleep well. Then, a new tooth appears and life goes back to normal.

She so far has all eight front teeth and three molars. However, she has been working on this last molar for two weeks now. She chews on everything and always has a toy or her fingers in on that side of her mouth. And she wakes up crying almost every night. We have gotten in the habit of giving her tylenol when she does as it is the only things that keeps her from continuing to wake up again and again. However, no tooth yet. Every couple of days I think I feel it but then it disappears. Please oh please oh please come up through the gums and give me back my sweet daughter!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Big girl seat

It seems like such a small thing, but Becca is soooo excited about her big girl chair. She has been causing quite the scares recently because she has learned how to climb out of the high chair - even miraculously when strapped in. So the high chair has disappeared to the basement and we brought up a booster seat. Her eyes just lit up when I asked her if she wanted to sit in it.

This is the first time in a LONG time that my kitchen has been high chair free.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Our Math Wiz

Tim is using some Math computer problem sets and videos from Kahn Academy for his middle schoolers. Michael has been so intrigued. He has watch a few of the easy level ones and made it up to addition with carrying and got stumped and gave up. This week however, Tim showed him the multiplication video and he began doing the problem sets with great success! You can't see the screen well, but he has just correctly answered 10x10. :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Jon and his pacifiers

Jon is now 3 and we have been talking with him about giving up his pacifiers. He has been fairly ok with this idea and so we finally put it into play Monday night. We had Jon put his pacifiers in an envelope and addressed it "To: A New Baby"

Then we put them in the mailbox. He went to sleep perfectly fine that night and slept soundly all night, much to our joy! In the morning he went to the mailbox and there was a package for him.

In it was a note thanking Jon for the pacifiers and giving him three new race cars from the movie Cars. He was so thrilled!

All in all it was quite the success EXCEPT...

He hasn't been able to fall asleep now during naps! Here I though we were doing a great thing getting rid of the pacifiers and now he won't nap. AAAHHHHHH!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Favorite activities

Well we are back in the swing of the school year. Michael is now at school three full days a week and we are settling into our school year routine. I took Michael to school this morning and then stopped by Meijer with Jon and Becca on the way home to do the weekly shopping. Can I tell you how wonderfully empty the store and parking lot are at 8:20 in the morning!! I love it. Jon can yell or Becca can screech without me feeling like we are bothering everyone. The isles are mostly empty so when Jon gets ahold of the cart and starts pushing I don't fear for other people's feet. And Jon could go around and help me get things and then scan them at the checkout without me being afraid that we would be holding up a line of people.

In our routine there are some things that seem to happen every day. Here are pictures of two of them I've caught this week so far:

Becca is obsessed with trying on every pair of shoes she can.

And Michael and Jon still play tackle football ALL THE TIME!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Blowing Bubbles

Becca is in love with blowing bubbles right now. In fact I'm so impressed because unlike her brothers at this age, she can actually blow and get some bubbles to come out. So the other day when the kids were playing with play-doh I started laughing hysterically when I saw her pretending to blow bubbles with a play-doh knife.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Some scrapbook pages

Here are a couple of scrapbook pages I've done recently. Pictures are from a while ago, bust wanted to share:

This was of our trip to Windmill Gardens this past spring with some new friends.

Credits: By the Lake by Hot Flash Designs; Fonts are Gayle by Darcy Baldwin and Brushstroke35.

Here is from raking last fall. I've noticed a few leaves falling in our neighbor already this year, so it looks like we might be at this again soon.

Credits: Template by Cindy Schnider, Better Together by Eva Kipler and Jady Day Studio, Old Typewriter Alpha Bits by Dahlia Co., and brown alpha by Suzy Q Scraps, font is Gayle by Darcy Baldwin

And this was pictures from July 4, 2010 that I never scrapped. I loved the big 4 on the page and how it turned out!

Credits: Paper Clip Templates - Jumbo Numbers by Libby Pritchett, Americana by Ellie Lash, font is Amanda G by Darcy Baldwin