Thursday, June 19, 2008

So... Go Take on the Nap

(snort) I wish...

One problem I have with Dr. Laura is that she only had one kid.

Not that I have a huge issue with only children, really, it's just that she dispenses all of this parenting advice having been successful with her one son. Her one-personality, one-kind-of-reaction, all-attention-given-to son.

Um, in case you haven't noticed: kids are different.

I, while full of parenting flaws, am actually pretty consistent. We've done pretty similar things with each kid: sleep training around 5 months, insisting that our kids eat well-rounded meals, using the not-listening chair as a Time Out system, instituting a fairly successful chore system etc.

Of course we react to each child differently based on their birth order, their sex, what's going on in our lives at the time, but not hugely.

And guess what? They are totally different in how they behave.

The reason I'm bringing all of this up? Seth is a bad egg.

Okay, not totally bad. But we've never had a kid give us a run for our money like this one does.

He is now in a big boy bed. And he won't stay in it. For the first few days, we nicely put him back, blah blah blah, but lately we've had to pull out the big guns.

Can I chronicle for you previous children and their reactions to this scenario?

Child #1: My second most headstrong kid. She and I went the rounds at a few naptimes and bedtimes between the ages of 18 months and 4 years old, but basically after I

  • consistently put her back in bed when she got out,

  • and then locked her door,

  • she would scream and cry,

  • I would ignore her

  • she would figure out that I meant business

  • after 2-3 times, would stay in her bed

Child #2 and 3: Watched Child #1 take a nap/stay in bed at night and just figured that's what we do, and really never challenged the concept.

Child #4: Same household, same example, same expectations= VERY DIFFERENT RESULT. In the last two weeks, we have

  • warned,

  • placed gently (and not so gently) back in bed,

  • held the door shut, tied the door shut,

  • switched the door knob so it would lock

  • locked it

  • ignored yelling/crying pleas: "Mom, I'm peyoopy! Mom, I need a tiss (kiss)! Mom, I'm taking my diaper off! (and our personal favorite) Emma, Gabe, can you open dis door?!"

and you know what? after weeks of this--he stills gets out of his bed almost every night and we do it all over again.

And nobody likes it (the kids all groan from their rooms when I head up to turn the lock), and we are getting sick of the game. We are kind at a loss.

So there, Dr. Laura, what do you have to say about that?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tuesday Tummary

We've just been having too much summer around to bother with Sunday Summaries...

Emma is shown here, exulting over the last day of school. She's wearing the shirt all of her classmates signed (just in case you think I send her to school on the last day wearing oversized men's T-shirts).

We met up with bikes at the school and rode to McDonald's for a celebration lunch--along with half of our little town. (The noise level in that PlayPlace was deafening.)

Later that evening, we continued the party by taking the whole family to our favorite local hike in Coeur d'Alene. Seth did the whole thing at a dead run in a hilarious and darling attempt to keep up with his siblings.

Jane enjoyed the sundaes-as-big-as-your-head at the local dessert shop. One (we had many) was called The Big Bash and we don't think she ever got the name right. "Can I have some Major Mash, mom? Some Berry Bash? The Cake Smash?"

On Saturday, we had the thrill of the annual piano recital. (FYI: piano recital pictures rarely turn out to be anything you'd want to enter in a photo contest).

After the recital, we took a walk around the town's HUGE yard sale extravaganza and the kids picked up some major treasures: Jane--a new stuffed animal (always need one to add to our 82 others) and some broken heart sunglasses. Emma--a wine glass dangly thing. Gabe, however, actually bought something useful: a $3 scooter that he's been on ever since.

Sunday we had such a fun Father's Day that we didn't take any pictures. Ryan requested my Mother's Day Meal (with Key Lime pie for dessert) and I almost cried with joy that he didn't take any of his gifts back (a Garmin running watch, a MP3 player and money for some new clothes).

On Monday, we called in the family favors and invited ourselves over to Uncle Doug and Aunt Marcy's swimming pool and had a great time. Here's Seth in his goggles:

Gabe ditched us yesterday for his "8 year old Week" with Grandma Nut/Romney. She hosts all the cousins who turn 8 for a week of movies, San Fransisco trips, swimming and their favorite food. Here he is getting on the airplane with cousin Mallory:

We already miss him like crazy. Especially when he calls us and leaves messages that make him sound like he's 4 years old.

Waking up late, hanging out in swimsuits and eating popsicles is our description of heaven and we are there right now. Hope you all are enjoying your summer!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father Knows Best

My father in law has taught me about being easy to relate to and being enjoyable to be with. Whenever we get together he orchestrates late into the night conversations covering deep thoughts and real life topics that I am interested in. He demonstrates how to be complimentary and thoughtful to me and to my children. I love having him as a Grandpa to my kids because he plots and plans how he can build long lasting memories that will be in their hearts forever.

My dad has endowed me with a life full of fun. As a child he was always laughing or making jokes. Sometimes the humor drifted towards irreverence, but always it was funny to me. He can create a ditty about any topic ... on the spot. I have kept this tradition with my own children, evoking the same mirthful annoyance that I used to exhibit. He taught me how to find humor in the sometimes oppressive seriousness that life tries to impose. My life is a happy one filled with laughter because he is my dad. I have always been well aware of his love for me and for that alone I love him back.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Some suggestions

Visit this:
This is my good friend Jessica A's adoption website. They are dying for a baby and apparently the way most couples get to adopt is because a friend of a friend knows someone who is thinking about placing their child for adoption.
They should definitely place with Aric and Jessica.

Rent this:
Totally scary and a little violent, but kept me guessing the whole time. And thinking about it for days afterward. Loved it.
Use this:
This is my favorite face tanner. They were out of it when I went to buy it this season and I got another brand and DO NOT like it as much. Except I think this picture says gel bronze and I hate bronzer, so I get the Clinique face tanner without bronzer. Totally natural look, no skin cancer.
Read this:
Of the books I've read in the past couple of months, I'd have to say this was my favorite. Kind of a slightly more adult, girlish Harry Potter--I thought it was a total page turner and have loved the sequels.
Watch this:
Quite possibly my favorite show of the year. And Ryan's. Don't tell him I told you.
Make this:
BBQ Chicken Salad
romaine lettuce
green onions
heated black beans
monterey jack cheese
grilled chicken--
(I grill it with bbq sauce on it and then toss it with more)
ranch dressing
Serve with bread or whole wheat muffins and fruit. Easy, fast, yummy summer meal.
Anything else you need?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

An Orphan's Plea

**credit to Stie who did something along these lines last year. Don't click on this link; you'll realize hers is funnier...but she never got called of God, so there.

I must really have an international reputation as a do-gooder, because look at the email I just got:

Dearest One,

I know that my message will come to you as a surprise since I dont know you in person or met with you before, but I am of the believe that God would use you to come to my help.I am Miriam, 18yrs a Medical Student undergraduate, from Cote d' Ivoire,the only child of Late Mr R. G. Kolo who was murdered alongside my mother and only brother last year by rebels. I am Presently in an orphanage because of wickedness of uncle's and relatives. Before his death he had a domicilary account here, up to the tune of (Four Million Five Hundred Thousand US dollars) . Please I need your assistance to get this money tranferred to you for my education, investment and to be my guardian before my uncles will get hold of me and the money. I shall forward to you with the necessary documents on confirmation of your acceptance to assist me for the transfer of the money to you. As you will help me to travel and to complete my studies.I am willing to offer you reasonable percentage from the total money as compensation for your effort.

May God touch your heart and use you to bring back happiness and joy in my life. Call me on +22508995621

Your Sincerely

Was it the money I sent to American Idol Gives Back? Did they get a hold of my Tithing slip from the Church? Maybe it's cause Ryan always hands out granola bars to the Vets Who Spent All Their Money in the War...

How sad is it that her father, mother and brother died?! Lucky they left her $4,500,000 before it happened. And that those dastardly rebels haven't gotten a hold of it yet!!

The problem here is that I have no idea what a "domicilary account" is. You'd think she'd seek help from one of those smarties who set it up for her. I'll do my best (for a percentage like she's alluding to, I can do-good all OVER the place), but I hope she's not disappointed in her "Dearest One".

Ryan had a good question, when I showed him how God was about to touch my heart: "They have email at that orphanage?" Domicilary accounts, medical education AND email?? That's some orphanage.

This post is just to let you know, that because God is using me to help Miriam, I might be able to pay a Blog Post Writer in the future, as I seem to be out of fun ideas lately. What do you think?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sunday Summary

We started our Monday evening off in a traditional way. Here's how it goes:

1. Jessica has a recipe that says to GRILL chicken. Jessica does not have an outdoor grill. Because she is a "rule follower" she needs to barbecue the chicken. Luckily she has a grill component to her awesome stove. She begins prepping the indoor grill component.

2. Ryan begs Jessica to NOT grill the chicken. The grill component is not so awesome in the venting department and so the house is all smoky and the alarm goes off repeatedly. And it's messy. All these things bug Ryan.

3. Jessica ignores Ryan and begins to grill.

4. The smoke alarm begins it's ringing.

5. Seth has seen this happen so many times that he immediately grabs a towel and heads up the stairs (with Gabe) to wave it in front of the smoke alarm so that we can shut off the alarm for the next 30 seconds.

(6. Jessica makes a yummy BBQ Chicken Salad and Ryan exclaims: "You are the best wife ever and I hope you will continue to grill indoors forever!")

The Non-Traditional thing that happened on Monday was this:
Lindsey fixed the necklace Jane broke a few months ago. I dropped it off at her house (10 minute drive away) and she gets it done and drives it over to my house in one hour WHILE SHE IS GETTING READY TO MOVE and then apologizes for not having a long enough wire and making those cute earrings with the leftover beads.

This is the same Lindsey who did this post about cupcakes and then I wrote a comment whining about my morning sickness and pregnancy cravings and the next day she showed up with a plate of cupcakes (half cake, half frosting: just how I like them). I was planning a post to thank her, and I kept planning to take a picture of me porking out on them, but then I ate them all before I could get a picture, so then I didn't do the post.

So for those reasons and others, I'm jealous you Arizona bloggers get to be close to Lindsey (stop by her blog and say hi). She's OBVIOUSLY a good blogger to be close to.

Wednesday, upon returning from the gym at 6:30 am, I noticed Seth's light on. (He often wakes up in the night, turns on the light and then plays until he's ready to fall back asleep). When I left for the gym the light wasn't on, so I knew he'd gotten up. Ryan was still asleep and Seth wasn't in his room, so I was a little worried he'd headed outside for a walk or something. I walked all over the house and finally found him like this:

Here he is in the girls' room, asleep bridging the gap between the chair and the trundle bed. He slept like that for another 90 minutes.


this is me and Seth so happy together because, starting on Thursday, he began going to the potty on his own, without any reminders and hasn't had an accident since!!!

He'd been going in the potty and totally holding it, but had never, in 13 days, initiated going on his own. I'd given up and told him a few days before that he could wear his "Iego" (Diego) underpants until he had an accident and then he had to wear diapers. I did that for a few days and he really hated the diapers.

On Thursday morning, he got down from the breakfast table and ran to the potty and went. I ran upstairs to tell Ryan the happy news and, seriously, HAD TEARS IN MY EYES. It was a little embarrassing to cry in front of my husband about my two year old going pee, but you KNOW how it is...

On Saturday, Jane was the completely cutest thing EVER at her dance recital. These pictures are so ridiculously bad, due to no flash (the "dancers could be blinded and fall off the stage"--direct quote), not-that-great camera and distance. But seriously, you would have died at the cuteness of her Hippy Hippy Shake.

And this picture is Ryan participating in the dance recital (his first EVER) and I'm sure you would all like me to go into detail about the fight we had about this number, the 4 hour long dress rehearsal, etc. (I would if I were you) but I shouldn't. It all ended just fine and in much darlingness.

We also had a GREAT time on Saturday with Romney aunts, uncles and cousins, and despite the 5 blogs between us, didn't manage to get a single picture. Mostly I think it's cause they were mad I beat them so badly at Speed Scrabble, but whatever.

(thanks Doug and Marcie for a fun Rainy Saturday Afternoon!)

We actually have some sun today, so excuse me while I go try to get my Vitamin D requirement for the week by taking a walk with my family. I have to hurry: it's supposed to rain all week. Welcome to June.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Reality Romneys--Tagged!

I've seen this tag on a few other blogs and thought it was really cute, so I was glad when Jessica tagged me. I think it's a fun insight into the minute-to-minute reality of our lives.

So here are the rules: You take pictures of the following things...WITHOUT cleaning or changing anything. I am a BIG rule follower (I will never cheat if I play a game with you) and so here it is, totally unvarnished.
Which was not easy because these pictures were taken between 5:35 and 5:50 and you KNOW how hideous the house is right during the witching hour.

But I did it anyway. Because (Holly!) I really am not a naturally neat person and people should know, right?? I have strengths, like holiday celebrating, and I have weaknesses...and you wouldn't be my true friends if you didn't know all of it, right??

1. The fridge

Please don't enlarge this photo. It looks so much nicer with poor lighting and a few extra feet. Notice there is no rhyme or reason to the placement. 25% my fault, 75% kid's fault, 0% Ryan's fault.

2. The closet

There are better closets I could have chosen, but in the interest of truth, I'll show you the worst. In my defense, a)I'm transitioning from winter to summer clothes and I haven't cleared it out and b) I really have to try on 10 things to decide what fits and so they get thrown on the floor out of irritation by the time the process is over.

But really, my closet is usually not neat. Sorry, Ryan.

3. The sink

At least it's right in the middle of dinner prep. And you know you want to lick that banana bread bowl.

4. The toilet

This is the guest toilet. It's usually pretty clean. I could've gone upstairs because I KNOW that there are un-flushed remnants in the kid bathroom, but you can go look in your own for that, can't you?

5. Favorite shoes.

Modeled by Seth. (It said FAVORITE, not "ones I actually wear".)

6. Favorite Room

See, some rooms in my house are clean!

This is the family room and I like it because it's decorated simply and cleanly, like I like and it's a comfortable room to be in.

7. What my kids are doing right now

Their jobs. Jane: dishwasher, Gabe: table setting, Emma: laundry sorting, Seth: not potty training.

8. The laundry room

Thanks to my laundry system, it stays pretty manageable. Plus, Emma had just done her job (see above).
Wait, I just noticed the assortment of bottles, not in their cabinets, on the dryer.


9. Self-portrait.

Here's the belly at 18 weeks.

(notice the thermals and cords. There is nothing more irritating than Spring in the Northwest. Thermals in June??!)

10. Dream vacation

Right before I got married, I went to France, Italy, Spain and Belgium on a five week tour with my best friend Adrianne. Although, I'd love to go somewhere new, I'd rather go see it all again with Ryan.

While you all feel sorry for the mess I wallow in, I'll just dream about France...and dwell on the evidence that my kids actually do their chores!

(oh yeah...I'm not tagging anyone specific. Just do it if you need a post idea.)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

You know you know someone

Come on. Isn't there someone out there who has a friend, neighbor, sister-in-law, parent who needs to move to the funnest neighborhood in South Jordan??

We have a rental house there and we are selling it (because Ryan's sister seems to think she should take her in-laws up on the offer to live in their house for free, while they're on their mission). It's very cute and well-kept and backs up to a park, pool and rec center. And also has a great ward and active neighborhood. And you can see the new Oquirrh Mountain temple from the front porch.

So go to this website right here and convince someone you know to buy it. I'll totally send you a prize if your friend/family member buys it. It'll be so great. For all of us.

Quick Quote #23

This is one of those that I can't properly explain the silliness of, unless you are there to witness the nonsense. Basically Seth is in a phase where he just spouts words he's heard and easily 25% of what he says is completely random. He's just recently started telling us, for no reason at all, at different points in the day: "I don't weally have a good clue."

Which, frankly, is completely true.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sunday Summary Report Card

There's so much to go over (you're welcome to check out, unless you are a grandparent, by the way), and in honor of the end of the school year, I thought we'd do a report card on the last few weeks' events.

1. Jane's 5th birthday (so big, we have to do sub-categories...)

The birthday breakfast of crepes and cherries: B

(Due to some poor measuring and melted candle wax in the crepes, we can't give high marks on this one.)

The princess party:

Games C

(everyone was scared to kiss the frog, but Ryan was hilarious as the Princess and the Pea host

Cake: F

(yeah, that's my hand trying to make it look less tippy. Jane came downstairs on her birthday morning and said, "OH, I love that cake!! But it's a little bit bendy.")

Amount of Pink involved: A

(pink cake, pink frosting, pink tablecloth, pink homemade crowns, pink cheeks, pink jewels, pink shoes, pink plates, pink ice cream)

Costumes: A

Seth's enjoyment: C

(Loving the opportunity to be Princess Charming, but hating his banishment to Ryan's "office" halfway through)

Jane's End of the Day Birthday Surprise at Build-A-Bear: big ol' A+

2. Jessica's Memorial Weekend Alone with the Kids:

First of all, I definitely get an A for Effort:

(Trying to kill time by spending hours at gorgeous Manito Park and Riverfront Park (where crazy snowfall and extreme melting have the Spokane River close to flood level--and me completely out of my mind due to heights phobia on the bridge).

No Comment on my Sunday behavior (when kids were in bed by 7 pm and Jane woke up asking if I wanted to say sorry on Monday morning.)

3. Gabe's debut as Pete Moss in the Second Grade production of "Save the Plants":

Oh, you have NO IDEA the amount of awesomeness: total A+++++

(He was crazily funny and comfortable on stage and had the entire audience laughing. He was SOO good. Autographs, anyone?)

4. Ryan's putting together of Jane's Birthday Bear from Grandma Nut:

Effort: A
(as Jane's mom seems to be incapable of sewing ANYTHING, Ryan sat down and made Jane's night by putting this together).
Skill: C
(Notice the seams at the bears crotch. It might have worked better if he'd had something to sew with besides dental floss. But the bear does smell minty fresh.)
5. Emma's Third Grade Titanic Extravaganza

Decor: A
(Check out of the china, menus, flowers! Ryan said he was super impressed).
Ryan's parenting: A
(having volunteered Ryan as the maitre'd without realizing it was a 3 hour thing in the middle of the work day...he was a great sport!)

Emma's dance partners: A

(apparently during the waltz, the above pictured boys kept "cutting in" to dance with Emma.)

Costumes: A (Check out how cute she is!)

7. Potty Training
Thursday: F
Friday: F
Saturday: F
Sunday: F
Monday: F
Tuesday: F
Wednesday: F
Thursday: F
Friday: F
Saturday: F
Sunday: F

(but I'm not bitter)

8. Finishing this whole long, million picture post: