Friday, July 23, 2010

Universal Parenting Truth #31


If you want to make your outing 229 times more fun for your kids…

Riding the Bus

Involve the city bus.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

She’s starting to look like a cancer patient

Seen comics that look like this?



Well this is my life.  Faith really does this.  All of the time.  (Ryan’s cousin pointed out the other day, when I was whining about it, that you see it in comic strips and as a euphemism for frustration.  No one thinks it’s real!)

In case you haven’t noticed…Faith is a little bit of a challenge.  I’ve had 4 other toddlers and I know about tantrums, and I KNOW that this girl does not have normal tantrum issues.  I cannot figure out how to work with her.  We’ve tried EVERYTHING (and trust me when I say that I am awesomely consistent at stuff like ignoring, removing, not giving in). 

She is extremely willful.  I’ve kind of figured out that she’s a “strong-willed” or “explosive” child.  When things don’t go her way she does any combination of the following:

  • screams
  • falls on the floor and kicks her legs
  • begins to gag and barf
  • pulls out handfuls of hair (so upsetting)
  • goes on for hours
  • writhes and kicks and makes it very difficult for us to physically control her
  • tries to bite us and, if that fails, herself



She is very hard to calm down, distract, reason with (obviously).  Sometimes when another person gets involved (Emma, Ryan), she will settle down…I think because she doesn’t want to “give in” to the person issuing the directive to buckle in her car seat, eat only on the wood floor, get dressed, not steal her siblings’ stuff, stop reading a book, etc. etc.   She is the WORST when we leave the house, because she knows she can get way more leverage when we are in Target and nowhere near her bedroom.  I think it’s mostly about control and she’s VERY smart about figuring out what buttons to push (hair pulling for Vain Me, barfing on the floor for Clean Ryan).

We’ve prayed and I felt directed to become an “expert” on this type of child, so I checked out a million books and searched the web and I found TONS on Strong-Willed Explosive Children, but nothing for kids under 2-3 years of age. 

Can you help?  Any websites, therapists (in the Spokane area), books, articles, ideas would be so greatly appreciated.  This girl RUNS this house with her moods and tantrums and I literally dread when she wakes up in the morning and I have a big knot in my stomach when I have to go anywhere with her.  I kind of wanted to enjoy my last kid, you know?

Friday, July 16, 2010

No…we live on the other side of the state

Disclaimer:  We use all of our travel money and time, generally, to visit grandparents/family in Utah and California.  This year we made a big effort to save some resources to take a trip with just our family.  We really wanted to just spend time with the kids.  This is why, Seattle-area Friends (Yosts, Andrea, Jeanelle), we had to skip on any extraneous visits.  Next time, okay?

Best traveler:

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She slept and was adorable the whole 5 hour trip


Best Hotel:


Embassy Suites in Bellevue

We never stay in hotels—always cheaping out with relatives.  The kids loved the pool, the two TVs, the breakfast buffet.


Best Rockstar:


While everyone enjoyed the Experience Music Project in Seattle, Seth was the most hilarious when he was working on his Sarah McClachlan


Worst Tantrumer:

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Yeah.  She doesn’t stop when she leaves the city limits.  In case you were wondering.  (Notice the seriously bald head from tantruming hair pulling.)


Jane’s Favorite Tourist attraction:

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While the kids loved seeing Seattle from airplane’s heights at the Space Needle, Those With A Phobia (me) stayed safely inside the building (except for this picture), while the kids ran like crazies on the deck.


Biggest Life Lesson:

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The scene of the crime. 

After parental suggestions to allow us to carry the little blue money pouch, Jane’s $12.75 was literally taken from the floor while she did this exhibit at the Discovery Museum.  Seriously:  she went to find it moments after a big crowd of kids swarmed the area…and it was gone.  So sad.


Longest Wait to Be a Tightrope Walker:

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(walking the tightrope)

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(In their safety harnesses)

45 minutes at the Discovery Museum’s Circus exhibit.  It was cool in the end, though.


Coolest Use of the Crazy Mirrors:

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I’m awarding this to myself.  Not my most attractive look, however.


Person who spent the entire time in children’s musuem playing Giant Chess:

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Favorite Day:

Saturday was super sunny!

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We did Pike Place Market,

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walked the Piers,

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had lunch at Ivars,

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visited the Aquarium,

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and took an Argosy cruise.


Everyone else’s favorite Tourist Attraction:

The Aquarium. 

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Loved the aquarium diver presentation,

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the feeding of the otters

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and the touching pools.


The only 4th of July in history where I didn’t take pictures:

(I told you I didn’t take any pictures!  Probably because we didn’t anything remotely 4th of July-ish)


The Biggest Spender:

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I know!  He must have must a conscious effort to not say one word about the hundred’s of dollars we were spending eating out, at museums and the market.  It was so stress free because of his concerted high-rolling efforts.  Thanks, honey!


BEST value:

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The city pass.  Seriously.  Go to the website (here) to see if they have one in a city near you.  We went to everything and saved tons of money.  Much easier just to spend the money once (to buy the booklet) and then walk into everything (ahead of the ticket line, btw) without paying.


Prettiest Zoo:

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Really.  Seattle’s Woodland Zoo is gorgeous and just the right length (~3 hours). 


Funniest reaction to the bird eating off of the birdseed stick:

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(Faith wasn’t a fan)


Funnest Meal:

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Ivars and the seagulls, of course.


Biggest contributor to Seattle’s Tourist Economy:

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Seen here modeling one of her purchases. 

Person who wanted to hog the most pictures:

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(Every single statue: “Take a picture of me on this one, Mom!”)


Best trip in a LOOONG time:

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Well…you just read about it!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Quick Quote #40

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Seth: “Mom. I had eggs and those flat things for breakfast.” 

(Since the flat things were bought at McDonalds, one could understand why Seth might have a hard time identifying them as actual Pancakes.)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Join the Club


Current members,





and Mom:


would like to welcome our newest member,




the Broken Arm Club! 

Welcome, Seth!

(We were playing at a park downtown and Emma was helping Seth on the monkey bars.  He slipped and she came running, crying, “It looks really weird!  Seth’s arm is really bad!”  I got him, rushed him to the Emergency Room at the hospital that was 3 minutes away and my mom, who was here, luckily, took all the kids home.  Seth had surgery later that evening to pin his arm (the humerus detached from the elbow).  He stayed overnight, everything went well and was released the next day.  He’s starting to get the hang of moving around with the cast.  The doctors said it would be on for 3-4 weeks.  We’re grateful that we have insurance, money to pay for medical things, modern medicine and a Grandma that could take care of kids for two days!)

Some documentary pictures:

In the ER:

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Hospital Jammies:

Seth Hospital1

Before surgery, after “Happy Juice”:

Seth Hospital2

Enjoying the service:

 Seth Hospital3

Tuesday, July 6, 2010



The next few posts are going to be all “this is what we did…” but, in the end, this is a journal, so bear with me.

1.  Look close at this awesome picture (is it even possible to take good pictures of children’s school performances??):

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That’s Emma in the navy blue at her violin concert.  We had a violin in the basement (I played for 10 years) and the school lessons were free.  The cost was about equal to the effort Emma put into it, but she is signed up for violin at the middle school next year, so maybe the passion will surface one of these days.


2.  Ryan’s company paid for us to go to the local amusement park this year

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They even gave everyone wristbands for free soda at every refreshment stand in the park.  Our kids were in carbonation heaven.  We also became well associated with every restroom Silverwood has to offer, due to the excessive bladder fillage that was happening.

This is what the four oldest kids did the whole day:


This is what Faith did the whole day:


It was pretty bad, but after an exhausted, cried out nap and a trip to the water park area, she got a teensy bit better.

Seth, true to his “Funnest Kid Ever” status, looked like this before he went on his first major roller coaster:


And looked like this after his first major roller coaster:


I sat next to him and listened to him laugh the whole time.  See?  Funnest Kid Ever.

3.  Here’s Gabe in his Dale Chihuly costume.  We put off a much needed haircut for a month so that we could roll his hair in sponge rollers to mimic the curly hair of Washington’s most famous glass artist.

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4.  And how cute is this?

For Jane’s birthday, Jane asked for a new outfit for her “Jane” doll that she got for Christmas.  Ryan’s mom, having noticed Doll Jane’s loved on appearance during her last visit, requested Doll Jane for a complete makeover.  Real Jane even noticed new blush on Doll Jane’s cheeks.  Grandma also sent a matching pajama outfit for Real Jane and they look pretty cute going to bed together.

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5.  Jane had her “author party”, where the first grade teacher gives you a book full of all of Jane’s notable assignments and then plays a slide show, to the song “Let Them Be Little” which makes you start to bawl by slide #3.  Don’t look to Jane’s journal entries for any real family history, though, because apparently she played soccer that I never signed her up for, went on a few trips that I wasn’t present at, and viewed some movies that I never drove her to.  Maybe she should label it a work of fiction, just to avoid any embarrassing Oprah moments in the future.Picture 063

6.  Here’s the Romney’s first garage sale attempt (at our town’s famous community wide yard sale event). 


I sold everything good the day before via Craig’s list and Gabe was selling his VERY used Battleship game for $10, so we didn’t get a lot of stranger traffic.  Despite Seth’s awesome sandwich board sign:


Luckily there are 26 kids on the court so they all went around purchasing each other’s yard sale crap and bringing it home.

7.  We had a fun visit from Grandpa Sherrill and Grandma Genie, during which we did the usual:

Trip to Manito park:



Trip to Tubbs Hill:

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Huge Sunday eating:

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We did get crazy and take a trip to our county park:


and make some backyard S’mores:


8.  We had a fun end of the year party on our court, complete with a garage full of hot dogs and kids


and these cute, cute summer-themed cupcakes:



8.  Here’s Faith at my friend Jessica’s house, while I participated in a birthday brunch.  I’d left her there the day before while I helped out at school and Faith wasn’t about to be tricked into staying a second time—she stood by this door, with her hand on the knob for at least 15 minutes.  That girl is tenacity embodied.



9.  Some other random pictures (because this post isn’t long enough):

How Faith spends much of her days.  Not kidding.  It’s exhausting.  Picture 020

Which is why I’m including this picture, so that we both remember I smiled with her sometimes:


Gabe’s fishing pictures from Cub Scout Camp:


And an honorary picture of Cousin Swap.



Ryan’s oldest sister sent her two cute, cute girls up and they partied for a week with my girls and the Daines cousin.  They tubed, swam, got primped at the local beauty school, slept little, roasted marshmallows and did a mall scavenger hunt.  Fun week to be a girl around here.

And I’m not even done…stay tuned for the Seattle Vacation Recap.  It’s pretty exciting around here.