I have LOTS of kid stuff to get to tonight, so I want to get right to it without a dissertation on parenting or theology, etc. Please, hold your applause.
It has been so great to watch my children become the best of friends. Of course, they can fight to the blood at times, but over the past few months they have really evolved into the best of friends and genuinely enjoy each other’s company. My brother and I had a very love/hate (and yes I know what that means) relationship when we were growing up. We were not quite 13 months apart and were just as passionate in our jealousy of each other as in our love. We didn’t learn how to get along consistently until we moved apart, though in the end we moved across the country, for a time, together. I just wanted to see my kids get along and be more kind to each other than my own brother and I did as kids, but I seemed to be clueless has to how to foster that. Outside of lot of prayer for their relationship I haven’t done anything I know of to help that process, but it does seem to be working itself out, and I am so grateful.
In fact, they do everything together and miss each other terribly when they are apart. The three older ones sit crammed in the back row of our eco-slasher SUV and visit and sing together everywhere we go. We have a pretty good sized house with plenty of rooms for each of our children, yet all four of them insist on sleeping in the same bedroom together (thankfully Stephen built triple bunk beds). The other bedrooms are now just used for the toys they find in them. All sleeping (and giggling and conversing that happens after being tucked in for a night) happens together in the same bedroom, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.
Evan and Julia now live in a fantasy world together. They play “mommy and daddy” together all day long. They call each other Rochelle and Stephen almost exclusively. They play “Mommy and Daddy go shopping”, “Mommy and Daddy play cars” where they actually name their cars Rochelle, Stephen, and their grandparents’ names, or my personal favorite, “Mommy and Daddy dead”, in which they take turns being “dead” or being the doctor who checks their heartbeat, temperature, blood pressure, and reflexes. After a bandage is applied, the dead mommy or daddy is all better. Fun, fun.
My kids all have a different relationships with food. Of course, Eli has a relationship exclusively with milk. Julia and Harrison will try any kind of food before ruling it out. Julia doesn’t like much, but has a good appetite these days. Harrison likes most everything, but is rarely hungry enough to eat it. Evan thinks that any kind of food not perfectly predictable is disgusting, though he has the best appetite of all of the kids. We have to force him to try new foods, though he is determined to not like them before he tries them. It all makes dinner time very. . . interesting.
The older 3 are BIG fans of the dentist. Harrison had his first appointment a couple of weeks ago where they examined and cleaned his teeth. I had my doubts that it would work out, but he thought it was great. Julia and Evan have been going for over a year and already look forward to their appointments. I actually think they like the dentist and also their pediatrician so much because they get individual attention for a bit and praised to kingdom come by the medical professionals on their staffs.
-Laughed for the first time on 9/2/08. Now shrieks and belly laughs as loud as the others.
-Reached out to grab something and put it in his mouth for the first time on 9/15/08.
-The kids treat him like he is the family’s first born child and are MYSTIFIED by everything he does. When he laughed for the first time there has never been a moment more celebrated, rejoiced, or full of wonder and amazement as that moment.
-Is easily settled down when contemporary Christian music is played at full blast, making him the only family member with an affinity for that stuff.
-Weighed 18 pounds 3 ounces at his 4 month appointment. He was in the 95th percentile for weight, 75th for height and head circumference. Maybe he won’t get the “orange on a toothpick” sized head of his big brothers :>)
-Started babbling “mama” a bit at 3 months old, making him by far my earliest one to do that.
-is not very physically able yet, just very verbal.
– His favorite song is John Denver’s “I’m Leaving on a Jet Plane”.
-For some reason calls the Tyrannosaurus Rex a T-dinosaurus Rex, a mouthful for a 2 year old.
-Has ZERO interest in potty training regardless of the bribe. I am still too burned out from training Evan and Julia to force him:>)
-Though he is definitely my most compliant kid, he is also certainly in the throes of the trying twos.
-I forgot to mention in the last blog that she finally gave up her pacifier, which she was using at night time, in July. (Well, actually she got in major trouble, and I chucked it in the garbage). She did dramatically horribly for the first 5 days and things have been great ever since. It actually seemed to mature her and help to develop our relationship as she let go of that last tie to her babyhood.
-knows many opposites and the concept of opposites as well as loves to rhyme. She isn’t terribly efficient at rhyming real words yet. Most of the time she says stuff like, “Mommy, does Evan and boe-bevan rhyme?” or “Do seatbelt and beatbelt rhyme”? I am always pleased that she at least gets the concept.
-She is painfully shy at church and in many social situations except at home or at story-time at the library. Her teachers cannot get her to say a word or participate in Sunday school activities. I am at a loss for how to motivate her to be more social except to just wait it out for her to mature a bit. She IS only 3.
-Has started in the Cubbies program at church on Wednesday nights which is a subset of Awana. Even though she shyly sits and observes the class without participating, she talks about it all week long like she loves it and she keeps up with memorizing her scriptures and Cubbies motto. (says, “he gave his one and only wife” in John 3:16) She also has I John 4:10 memorized.
-In the shocker of shockers, Evan has come out of the music free closet to reveal that he is NOT, in fact, tone def. He can carry a tune very well.
-Stephen was on his way out the door to work. I yelled downstairs to ask him a question for which is answer was, “I’ve got a 50/50 shot”. Evan sits wide eyed for several minutes and then asks, “Is daddy going to get shots at work today”? “Um, No”, I said. “Well, then why did he say he was going to get 50 shots”?
-His first memorized scripture verse (in August) was John 3:16. He now also knows I John 4:14.
-Has begun the kindergarten Awana program at our church this year called Sparkies and is in the K-5th grade children’s program at church. This made me VERY nervous at first, and I followed him around from a distance, but he loves it and looks forward to it so I have gotten more comfortable with it. He doesn’t turn 5 until the end of next month so he is the youngest kid there, but it doesn’t seem to faze him one bit. Fortunately he is tall for his age, so he doesn’t stand out.
-Has his 5 year check up a bit early and was measured in the 90th percentile in height (44 inches) and 50th in weight (41 pounds). The doctor was quite impressed that Evan has never needed any kind of medication under his care, though he did have a urinary tract infection at 12 months old with his last pediatrician that required an antibiotic. Other than that, he has been healthy as a horse for his entire life. Quite the blessing.
-coined the saying, “Check a load of this”, which is a combination of “check this out” and “get a load of this”.
-One morning while sitting in the dining room before the kids woke up I heard someone sneaking around the corner. I turn just in time to see Evan leap out from behind the couch fully dressed with socks, shoes, and everything. He said, “I just wanted to surprise you, Mommy”. Mommy likes these kinds of surprises.
-Evan went through a faze recently that he now seems to be outgrowing, thankfully. Several hundred times a day, while I was working around the house or with a child I would hear a horrendous thud or sequence of thuds followed by a horrific scream (mom has a mini-heart attack) which quickly turns into that whiney 4 year old voice that all mother’s of pre-schoolers are intimately familiar with. My mad dash toward the sound quickly turns into a spin where I try to run away. Eventually he catches up with me, and we have a conversation that goes almost verbatim like this:
Evan: MOMMY! I hurt my such-n-such. (This could be any part of his body.)
Me: Oh, Evan. How did you do that?
Evan: I was doing a back flip/hand stand/triple salchow off of the such-n-such (insert chandelier/piece of furniture here).
Me: Well, did you know you could get hurt when you did that?
Me: Then why did you do it?
Evan: Because I wanted to.
Me: Ok, then you have two choices. You can either stop doing stuff like that, or you can come up with some sort of pain management technique, like roaring at your pain.
Evan: But I don’t WANNA roar at my pain.
Me: Just try it with me. ROAR!!
Evan: I don’t WANNA roar.
Me: Ok, then. We are done with the acrobats until you find a way to manage the pain that happens when you do them. Just take it easy on your body. It is the only body you have, so take care of it.
At this point Evan rolls his eyes and walks away, and I get at least a 5 minute break before he injures himself with tomfoolery again.
Evan,the man of the house this day, rescued this tricylce before the creek flooded the yard.
Harrison is all boy in our flooded back yard.
He is in little boy heaven in the biggest mud puddle in the world.
More porch fun.
Hiking in the mountains over labor day weekend.
and finding a water fall.
and climbing around on it.
and making it to the top.
We spent most of labor day weekend in this “swimming pool” on the deck of the log home.
We hiked out to the longest swinging bridge east of the Mississippi.
Playing with daddy in the river on one of our hikes.
Happy to be bunking together.
All three insist on sitting together in the back of our eco-slasher 2000
They were so proud of the bibles they got to pick out for their Awana programs this year.
Notice that Julia’s bible is bejeweled with glitter, butterflies, flowers, and girly colors. She looked at a million bibles with her nosed turned up. . . then she saw this one. . .
I was upstairs folding clothes while Evan colored this on the table downstairs. He came up a few minutes later saying, “Mommy, I wrote this for you. It says Mommy, I love you”. Even though it says, “MOM, I L U”, (with two attempts to make an I and L), I was so touched and proud that I hung it on the wall.
Julia loves our peditricain so much she actually wore this dress for her appointment.
Crazy hair night at Awana
Life-long friend Grayson Carmichael holds Julia’s hand on their walk to the playground.
Books on CD from the library are a big hit around here.
Helping himself to a toy for the first time.
Thanks to my mom (and dad and aunt Sharon), Stephen and I got a few days away in Hollywood Beach, Florida again this year. This is the 28th floor view from our amazing beach resort hotel room.
I spent a whole day sitting and staring at this view. I read a book or two as well. GLORIOUS!
The pool area from our hotel room
during the day
We rented a jet ski one day. Stephen had a blast. I hate sea creatures, sea weed, and salt water. I clung on for dear life.
We finally got around to having a picture taken of us on our vacation.
Evan in his hard-earned, new Sparkies vest.
Did I mention baby love?
I could eat him