Thursday, April 28, 2011

Don't Pull Your Hair out!

     Have you ever really, really needed a vacation from your kids?  I thought this was a good and timely post by The Homeschool Post to help in dealing with "those days".  I have certainly been haveing a few "pull your hair out" days lately. 
    I have been reading "For The Children's Sake" By Susan Macaulay, and beginning to feel guilty for the amount of reading (or I should say 'lack of') I do with the twins.  By the time Anna was two, we were firmly established in a bed time story routine, and we were already moving up to more meaty books.  The twins on the other hand are still at the point and name stage. 
     A couple of nights ago I decided to remedy that situation and start a bedtime story routine with them.  Part of the reason I haven't before, is that the second I open a book around them, they start mauling me, each other, and the book, in order to have the prize position in the middle of my lap.  One on each leg just won't do; it's all or nothing for them.  I think however, I have figured out a trick for peaceful story times.  First I give them a bath, then when they're all cold and wet, I bundle them with blankets on Anna's bed, and then break out the story book.  This has worked so far, I think partly because of the novelty of getting a story read before they've even gotten into pajamas.  I've been reading "Bumblebee, Bumblebee, Do You Know Me?", and they really like the clear simple illustrations depicting things they know and recognize.  I would like to get some more books like that.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Like Day and Night- Potty Training Twins

     Potty training the twins has definitely served to underline just how different they are.  I really don't think there could be two more different people.  Samuel is my enigma.  Everything he does is completely his own, and he rarely does what the books say children are suppose to do.  For instance, I got a little potty seat for the twins when they were eighteen months old.  I didn't expect them to use it that early, but it was on sale.  Samuel showed immediate interest in it, so I took off his diaper and sat him down.  To my surprise he actually peed!  I thought, Wow! this guy is going to be a breeze to potty train.  Only eighteen months, and has bladder control!  He continued to show mild interest for about six months; going on the potty before baths and after diaper changes.  He wasn't ready to be completely diaper free, but I felt this was a good start.  Meanwhile, Abriel wouldn't go near the potty.  She thought it was "yuck" and somehow in the domain of Samuel. 
     After he turned two, Samuel started taking off his diaper and leaving "deposits" on the floor, so I figured it was time to really start the potty training.  He did OK, but but didn't seem to be making any real strides.  I was starting to get a little frustrated. 
     Back to Abriel.  She has suddenly decided to give going in the potty a try, and is soon doing great.  Within a month she is completely diaper free, even staying dry at night.  There's just one problem though; she won't use any other potty but her own little one.  She will not even go in to a public restroom.  So how did Samuel take to his sister's potty proficiency?  He stopped wanting to have anything to do with the potty, except at public restrooms.  Then he boldly goes where no baby has gone before, and shows his sister up in the one area she will NOT go.  So now I have Samuel happily taking his time on the nasty public potty, while I am trying to keep a hold on Abriel, who is in full blown screaming panic mode, and is trying to make a dash for the door.  People are looking at me like I'm crazy, and that I must surely be doing something really terrible to the poor screaming child in my arms. 
     This status quo goes on for a while, with the only time that Samuel goes on the potty is if he can find some new and inventive was of doing it.  Such as sitting on the potty backwards.  I decided to back off with him, and wait until he seemed ready and Abriel was more independent.  She still has to have me, and only me, go with her to the potty every time.  This takes up quite a bit of my time.
    Then something unexpected happens.  Samuel is getting over a stomach bug, and is going poop many times a day.  Diaper changes are a major cramp in his style, since he has to be still for seconds! I think being still is physically painful for him.  Well, I guess he gets tired of it, and comes up to my bed one morning with the announcement, "I go pee-pee." He then proceeds to take off all his clothes, walk by himself to the bathroom, climb on to the big potty, do his business, wipe, climb off, and flush all by himself.  He does this all day without one accident!  He also refuses to let me help him with any part of the process, which is kind of gross, but I was so thrilled I didn't care.  The next day was the same thing; total independence.  I thought, This is it!  Not quite.  As soon as he got over his diarrhea and didn't need all those diaper changes, he quit going in the potty. ARRRRRRRRRRRG!!!!  Some times I just don't get him.

Monday, April 25, 2011


     Leading up to Easter has been really hectic this year, since we are currently remodling our kitchen. But more on that later.  Easter tured out to be a nice little break from all the insanity.
     I spent Saturday night getting the kids baskets all ready for the morning.  I love doing that kind of thing; getting everything "just right".  Everyone loves Beatrix Potter, so I got Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail chocolate bunnies, and gardening tools for everyone.  Anna also got a flower to put in her garden.  She planted tulips last fall, and they looked beautiful this spring, until inevitably the twins got a hold of them.  They have been pretty good about leaving most of my flowers alone, but the tulips seem to magnetically draw them. I just can't stop them.
  Of course, if you give a boy gardening tools, this is what he is soon going to look like.  (Note the mud plastered feet and hands)  I guess, like Piglet, he needed to get back to his natural color after his Saturday night scrub down. 

They cleaned up pretty nice though.  I love spring and all the pretty colors that go along with it.
     After church it was off to my big family get together.  I am the fourth of six kids, and when we all get together, it's loud, crazy, and very joyful.  Everyone is very close and affectionate, and very exuberant.
Here are glimpses of just a few of us.  There are seven grand-kids two and under, so that's a lot of little ones under foot!    Everyone looks after all the little ones though, and even though you might find a little one year old licking caterpillars, (Yes, this really did happen) they all survive. 

Niece Lucia and Nephew Asher
Samuel;, up to something as usual
Sister Sarah with my lovely, and very grown up looking niece, Elena

Brother Nathan with his wife, Christine.  Nathan is the "baby".

My Mother and Father

Me with my sister in law, Raquel
Abriel, reclining on her Daddy, and trying to eat an entire plastic egg

Nieces, daughter, and brother of Christine, Easter egg hiding for the little ones to hunt

Water, Easter dresses, what could go wrong?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Some Things I've Been Working On

I can't get enough of working with wool, whether it's yarn, felt, or felted wool sweaters.  Here's a few things I've been working on lately.
   Here is a backpack I made for my grandson's Birthday.  It was made from a lambswool pullover I found at Goodwill.  I liked all the different shades of gray in it, and so I tried to incorporate that into the design.  His middle name is Bear, and so of course I had to put a bear on it.

     I continue to love  making felt play food.  Recently I've started working with 100% wool felt as oppose to acrylic.  The difference in how they feel, look, and work, makes the price difference well worth it. 
     The bow tie pasta was super easy to make, and everyone (including Anna) loves "cooking" with it.  I am probably going to have to make a bunch more, since they also enjoy fighting over who gets to play with it.
       The breakfast set is suppose to have two pieces of bacon and two pancakes, but they disappeared before I could take a picture of them.  The pancake showed up later, but the bacon is still
missing.  Was it eaten? 
     All the food is a little smaller than scale.  I have tried to stay fairly consistent with it, since I can remember hating the tiny banana next to the giant donut, and other such scale faux pas in my own play food.

     This is something I whipped up in just a few moments, but it has been extremely useful.  A glasses retainer strap for Abriel.  We had to get her a new pair of glasses to have as a back up pair, (she has already broken her first pair) but the new ones can not be worn with her Croakies retainer strap.  Her glasses fall down her little button nose without a strap, so I thought, why not use my favorite materiel to make a strap?  So here is my felted wool glasses retainer strap.  It is a lambs wool, angora, spandex blend, so it's very soft and has a little stretch.  It seems much more comfortable than neoprene.  It's one flaw is that it is an extreme pain to put back on the glasses after she rips it off.  Which she does, frequently, many times a day, much to the annoyance of her dear Mama.  I am pretty sure I can fix this flaw though, and I will soon be making a new strap.  Right now however, I am off to make a felt pizza.