Thursday, January 29, 2009

Stupid :(

Just a quick little story. My kids know that they are not to use the word stupid but they do anyway sometimes. So last night when we are trying to go to bed my kids are all trying to talk to me. Dougan wanted to know again how old he would be on his birthday. I say four. Then Eades says, "Like me?" I say, "No, Eades, you're five." Then Koen chimes in, "See Eades you are stupid." I say, "Koen, you aren't supposed to use that word." He says, "I mean stupid in the way that you don't know anything." I'm thinking isn't that the only way stupid is? Besides does that mean it's okay to say it? So I give him a frown and tell him to say sorry, but on the inside I am totally cracking up. When they couldn't see my face I was finally able to smile and laugh a little.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Total Rehaul

With the beginning of the new year our family has begun a total makeover. We have set new rules, made new charts, started new incentives, and I've tried to stop yelling to be heard. We didn't just start it all at once. We've been taking baby steps and the motivation has come from the success of the prior step. I was just talking to Tony yesterday about how much easier I have it now with some of the new expectations from the kids. For example, now that they have a new rule of placing their shoes and coats in the proper place as soon as they walk in the door, we don't have to pick them up later. They feel like they have responsibility and therefore they also don't bring all their toys downstairs like they used to. That was just something that naturally happened when they realized keeping it clean means less cleaning later on.
So now after I've been pulling my hair out for almost seven years cleaning up after the boys who would then mess it up immediately afterward, I've learned the trick to let them clean up their own mess. What a concept. People have probably told me this before and my lack of faith in my children kept me from expecting that help.
Tony and I have seen a change in the children already and it hasn't even been a whole month. All of us are much happier and the family functions so much more smoothly. Another big plus is our nice peaceful home life is now creeping it's way into our public life. The boys are even listening to me when we are out and about, which in the past is when they would be so hyper it was like talking to a brick wall.
It feels great to feel like I am finally able to handle four boys. I always hated when people would ask me before how I did it with four boys. I knew that the honest answer was that I wasn't. I was totally overwhelmed and I felt like I was treading water. Now I feel like I can answer that it's hard work but WE'RE doing it. I hope that we continue to see more success especially since we do have another one on the way. Our next goal that we want to work on is having a baby-sitter so we can go on a date. The last time we did that was for my birthday a couple of years ago. I'd say it's something we need. I think our boys are almost there that we wouldn't feel horrible leaving them with somebody while we went out and enjoyed ourselves. I'll let you know when that happens.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Results Are In

I had my ultrasound today and everything is in tip-top shape. It was so fun to see the little feet and fingers and the little heart beating away. The doctor even said that the baby was photogenic. That would be a first for our family, but he was right, it was almost as if this baby was posing with the perfect profile and everything. I know I would say what the sex of the baby was as soon as I found out but I'm trying to draw this puppy out. So first I'll just say that it's twins. Just kidding, I always wanted to say that, and this is most likely the last time I'll get a chance. SO.....would you believe that we were having a fifth boy? I kind of figured that is what I would be having because this pregnancy hasn't been much different than the others. So when the lady told me that I was in for surprise I just couldn't believe it. She showed me the proof which doesn't mean anything much to me but she was 100% sure that we are having a girl. So now I'm just beside myself thinking about all the things that will be different now. What if she won't like going camping on vacation or watching all the superhero guy movies? How early is to early to shop for pink clothes? What if she hates pink? This is all uncharted territory. The boys are all excited. This is what they wanted, and Tony is ecstatic. Now I am just so impatient for June to come around. I always get like that after the ultrasound. I guess it just helps to actually see it. I'm still only half-way there so we still have quite awhile to wait. So, that's the news.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I want to move somewhere where it doesn't snow. My boys love to play in it but I don't. I hate being cold. Yesterday I got stuck in my driveway. I hate shoveling because it keeps piling up. I've become a hermit because it doesn't sound appealing to trudge out to the van to scrape it off and then take my chances with everybody else's tires and snow driving abilities out there. I am in desperate need of a tropical vacation. The airport would probably be closed due to snow the day of my flight. There has to be something out there for us snow sufferers to help us get past these gloomy glum days. For now I'll just be glad that I'm inside where it's warm and I'll dream of an early spring.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


I am always looking for different ways to motivate and discipline my children. I really want to find something that works really well. Over the years we've counted to three, offered trips to Chuck E. Cheese, threatened tv time, etc. So recently we decided to try a sticker reward system again. We were going to change it up a bit because my kids like different things now. Every time they get a sticker it equals one quarter. Don't worry, we're frugal with the giving out of stickers. They usually get one or two a day, and they could lose them with bad behavior. We chose quarters because my kids love the gumball machine at the grocery store. Koen is trying to save his up to buy something really cool. After a few weeks he's up to about $3. It has really really worked for Koen, he has totally started to have desires to help clean up and to stamp out arguments before they turn into fights. So I was proud that we found something that worked so well. I was telling a professional child psychologist friend of mine about our chart and how well it was working. She was very disappointed with it that the reward was money. She offered a few suggestions of other rewards that would work.
The thing is that everything I try is an experiment. I told somebody else who I think is wise about my experience with the professional and she told me that my friend might not know everything and that I just might know something about my kids that she doesn't. So back to the experiment. I know that it was working, especially with Koen, who is my most rambunctious (thanks for the word mom). So I really want to keep going with my current method but maybe I should listen to someone who is supposed to know what they are talking about. What do you guys think? Should I make some minor changes in the reward system or should I keep going until this stops working?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Candy Critter

So we have a ton of candy on top of our refrigerator. While I was looking up something online my son Eades moved the table bench, which is right behind me, next to the fridge. He then stood on his tippy toes atop the bench to grab the candy. He sorted through and found something he liked and didn't realized I was watching him stuff it in his underwear to eat later. Now he knows that he us not supposed to sneak candy. So when I ask him what he's doing guess what he says. The only thing he could say, "Nothing". Well I certainly don't want him to put the candy from his drawers back so I just order him to put the candy basket back up. Normally I would have been mad because he was doing something he wasn't supposed to be doing but the guts that it took this kid to try to do this while I was in the very same room with him kind of threw me off my game. Well, maybe it wasn't guts, maybe the kid was just thinking with his sweet tooth instead of his brain. Sometimes I just have to shake my head.