Thursday, September 29, 2011

"I am a puppy!"

This girl is convinced she is a puppy! She loves all things puppy, she pretends she is a puppy, she talks about puppies all day long... She found an old pair of pj's that once belonged to a brother and she wants to wear them every single night now, actually she wants to wear them all day long as well.I would say it's adorable, except she takes it a little too far. You see my girl is potty trained {thank goodness!} and wears undies all day long, keeps her diaper dry at night, totally and completely potty trained... except for one little thing. She likes to poop in the back yard... like a puppy. Yes, you read that right. I am at a loss for what to do. It's getting pretty ridiculous. A couple days ago I caught her once again getting ready to poop in the yard and I said the first thing that came to mind. "Leiella you are not a puppy! You don't poop outside, you poop in the toilet!" To which she replied "I am a puppy!" What followed was a never ending argument about whether or not she was a puppy... yeah it wasn't my best moment. But seriously, you are not a puppy. I'm all about kids using their imagination, but there is a line... and pooping in the yard crosses my line. Big time. I do not like doing poop checks in the backyard when I don't even own a dog! Never imagined as a parent hearing my boys shouting "MoM, Lala's pooping in the yard again!" Good Grief. I've given up on convincing her she is not a puppy and instead I'm working on convincing her that even puppies get potty trained... not that I've ever seen a dog use a toilet, but hey I did say I'm all about imagination right!?!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Let it go... but keep the beauty.

Yesterday a very nice older gentleman came over and measured our playroom for carpet. {So excited!} He ended up being here for over an hour talking my ear off! I was actually already told that he was a talker, and boy was he! Over all he was very nice, but there was one comment he made that hit me hard. It was made when he glanced at our wedding picture above the cabinet. See I was pregnant when I got married. So he saw it and commented on the fact. He was just one of those guys that says what ever he's thinking and it wasn't meant in a mean way, but it hurt all the same. Because I know that others have wondered the same... if Ryder and I got married simply because I was pregnant. And it bothers me. I feel like I need to explain my wedding picture every time some one notices it. I feel like I need to tell people that we met when I was 15. That we were together, and dedicated to each other for years and years and years before we got married. That it was me not him that had hang ups about getting married. That he proposed to me before I was pregnant and we had already picked a date... so we stuck with it even after I got pregnant before the wedding. That there was no shot gun involved.
I hate that I feel this need to justify and explain my wedding day. It was one of the most beautiful days of my life, held second only to the first time I held each of my children in my arms and gazed into their little faces. {So I guess technically it's 5th?}

I've had people assume that we had a little wedding at the river because I was pregnant. Like I was hiding out or something. We had a little wedding because it was perfect for us. That's it. We got married at the same place Ryder proposed to me, and we had the people who were the absolute closest to us at the time at our wedding and that's all we felt we needed. Not that we didn't love everyone else, we just didn't want everything diluted with all the pomp and fuss that goes into a big wedding. It was already planned that way and had nothing to do with being pregnant.

I look at these picture and I remember how I felt and how everything seemed perfect. Flooded with love. Marrying the love of my life, and being pregnant with my first born, I was overflowing with good feelings. I hate that I do often wish I wasn't pregnant in my wedding photos now, that I feel embarrassed about it. Because of the comments and looks. It takes away from those really good feelings, and I hate that. I really do.
It sometimes makes me want to cry. I shouldn't want to cry when I look at my wedding photos. I shouldn't let what other people think bother me so much. But I do, that's just me.

How can I though, looking at these pictures? You can see the love, the excitement. I know the truth, the reasons. I need to let the rest go.

I need to embrace these photos and see them for what they are... photos of a very happy, very pregnant women marrying the only man she has ever loved. Living a dream.
Yes we were together for 11 years before we got married and we are still together 7 years after getting married and we love each other just as much. If not more. And that if you ask me is beautiful.

I need to let it go. Maybe I'll just put a different wedding picture up, one of just our happy shining faces so that I no longer have to deal with comments from people who don't understand. But then I feel like I'm trying to hide the fact that I was pregnant and I don't make apologies for that. I don't regret that, not one tiny little bit.

Feeling my son kicking around in my tummy and being with loved one, everything felt so very complete and perfect and whole.

If I'm being perfectly honest the only thing I truly regret is that I looked as big as a house in my wedding dress... but that's just vanity talking. :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Another {birth} day has passed


I'm not even going to pretend I feel good about it, because I don't. Yes I'm thankful to be here on earth and with my family, yes I want to enjoy every minute of that. It's just the getting old part that's getting to me. The little things.

Last night at the grocery store I had Leiella with me at the check out stand. She started to throw a fit about some thing and so I crouched down to talk to her. The check out lady interrupted me and when I looked up she said "oh I just wanted to see your face" and in her hands was a bottle of wine. Apparently one glance at my face told her all because she most certainly didn't ask for my ID.

I've got greys I need to cover and 20 extra pounds I need to lose and I'm not feeling so good about my aging self. There doesn't seem to be a spare moment in the day that I can take for me. This last year and a half with all the craziness of Atty's health issues, his diet and having a baby {who is still not totally weaned by the way} plus the fact that I have four little kids to raise... well lets just say I've let myself go in a lot of ways. And I'm feeling kind of sad about it, but I seriously don't have the energy to do anything about it, I hardly have the energy to take a shower. So I really shouldn't complain, but complain I will because this is my blog and well getting older is hard. For me. I recently glanced at my reflection in the window of our van while pumping gas and I could spot all sorts of new lines, and my face just looks old. Some where along the way it lost it's youthful look and I'm really not quite sure when that happened. I don't feel old enough to look this old, well that's not totally true some days I feel ancient. Okay most days I feel ancient. Bleck. I guess I should look this old.

I went and got some henna for my hair so that's a little step. Haven't had a spare moment to put it in though, that's a whole different thing. But I have it, so that counts right? I also talked to my husband and he told me to go ahead and get the Curves membership I've been dragging my feet about. I hate to spend extra money like that but I really don't like going on walks by myself and work out video were just so not working. The moment I'd put one on every one of the kids would need something different, or they'd start getting into something or whatever. It just wasn't working. We don't have anywhere to put exercise equipment, so I've ran out of options. I don't want a gym membership, had one to many experiences with creepy guys at gyms, course now that I'm old it might not be such a problem any more... hummmmm. In all seriousness I'm going to try and force myself to join Curves {I like the all women thing} I did it after I had Bubu and thought it was wonderful. I do hate signing up for memberships though, guess I need to get over that if I don't want to be 20 lbs over weight any more.

Maybe I'll just end up one of those bitter old ladies that is over weight but doesn't do anything about it and just complains all day. Fun.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

One week down... the homeschooling has begun!

Our school year has started... and I've already had a melt down, ha ha! We took a day off after our road trip and started on a Tuesday instead, even so Tuesday hit me like a ton of bricks and all the sudden I felt totally overwhelmed. This is the first year I've done Kindergarten with anyone, I've always taught preschool in the daycare and last year I did preK with Bubu which is just a little step up from preschool so it didn't really phase me. This year there are a lot more subjects to cover in more detail and something about that threw me off. Also I think it will take a while to get into the groove of things and everything just felt really forced and unnatural. Add in to that two toddlers who weren't use to the change yet and wanted to climb all over me and do what Bubu was doing and two more kids who wanted in on the action and I just really felt the whole thing spelled disaster. Thankfully it's gotten better since then...There is always an adjustment period when you change a schedule with children or throw new things in. Our daycare schedule hasn't changed but with the added home school schedule for Bubu thrown in there it's definitely changed our day. After that first day and a melt down the next morning just thinking about starting the day, I've made some changes and things have gone a lot smoother.
The problem was mostly me, as usual. I'm afraid of failure. Always have been, so much so that it's held me back in life in a lot of ways. It hit me all the sudden that I could fail big time with this and I sort of froze up for a moment. I let it overwhelm me and started doubting myself and my ability to teach my children. I had to take a step back, speak with my husband and some homeschooling friends and supporters, and get my perspective back. I know that homeschooling fits our family best, at least at this moment, and so I am willing to throw myself whole heartedly into it.
I've also made the decision not to take on another daycare kid even if a good opportunity presents it's self. In fact I feel at this present moment that I am done taking on any new families ever. My current family is planning on having one more and I only have one more available opening anyways so I will be open to watching a second child of theirs and that's it. Even so that leaves about seven more years of childcare. That's enough for me. Hopefully at that time I will be able to stop daycare and focus on my children's schooling alone. At that time I will have ran a daycare for about 14 years! It will be hard for me to call an end to my childcare but I have a feeling it will be the best decision. If it wasn't for the love I feel towards my little daycare kid and my desire to watch him {and the fact that the family is a blessing to work with} I would call it quits now, even though that wouldn't be the wises financial decision. But he really does fit into our family dynamic well and so it doesn't add in a lot more stress then say my daughter alone. The only issue is the work it takes running a daycare and following all the daycare protocol as well as keeping my house in running order and cleaned up enough to open each day. That is actually the most stressful part for me right now. Sometimes I just want to be able to relax the schedule a bit, or leave the kitchen a mess in order to work on something with the kids, things like that. But I can't and that is what overwhelms me the most and causes the anxiety I feel. I hate feeling behind or having to rush to catch up, and I feel like my days are consistently like that right now. All those down times I use to spend cleaning and catching up are now spent teaching... where do I fit in the cleaning with out driving myself mad and staying up until midnight?
All that being said I do love teaching my children. It's exciting. And when I let go of the other stuff and focus on that it's a lot of fun!
We have some really great materials this year. I pieced together a kindergarten curriculum for Bubu for this school year but next year we will be using the full Sonlight curriculum. If I was braver and more confident I would love to put my own curriculum together, but for now I will rely on a really great program to do that for me. :) That way I know for a fact that every thing that needs to be covered is in fact being covered. There is a lot of book reading and less work books and text books in this curriculum so I feel that it fits our family well.

I spent some time organizing a corner of our playroom to fit our needs. I've changed it around a few times since then and it still doesn't feel perfect but it's almost there. The kids have easy access to the things they need and their own spaces for their school projects and papers. I have space for everything I need and it flows pretty well.

I organized and rearranged our art shelves in the laundry room, which is right next to the playroom. I made room for each kid to have their own shelf for their school work and such. I was going to move this into the playroom but for now I think it might be best out of the way {and out of the hands of the little ones}. It's easy enough to get to.

I posted Bubu schedule so that it was easy for me to see and know what comes next. I've already changed it a few times to make the day go smoother, it's all a learning process. I have the bulletin boards all prepared, although I might move them closer to the learning corner. I do wish that the school corner was a bit more separated from the play room but there really isn't anything I can do about that right now, and I also need a table and chair set up that is better for little kids, so that their feet can touch the floor. That I just have to figure out here in the next few weeks, maybe find a shorter table/chair set up or just make the current one shorter... not sure yet. Our school day right now is from 8:30 to 3 at the latest, broken up by breaks and snack/lunch. We are doing a 4 day schedule with Fridays used more freely. Sometimes they will be used for bigger projects, or any catching up that needs to be done. Sometimes we might just take a Friday off to enjoy the sunshine, or take a breather. Maybe even use them to go on a field trip. Who knows, but for use the four day a week works best for now. You'd be amazed by how fast you can cover a subject with just a kid {or four}.

So there you have it, our first week. The ups and downs and all. :) I will try to post more about our year, mostly so that I can look back on it all, hopefully with fondness. ;)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Road trip!

We had an amazingly wonderful trip to eastern Washington. My sister and I went with the kiddos over to a friend's house for the first time ever. We were going to tent camp one night, but at the last minute I found out there were cabins at the campground and I reserved one of those instead... soooooo glad I did. I might be ready to tent camp next year with the kids, but for now it's cabins for us. We went fairly slowly on the way there, making a few stop and having some fun. First major stop {Besides potty breaks, egads going on a road trip with a recently potty trained little girl... yikes. She did a great job though, even if we had to stop Way Too Many Times!} was at the Chelan County Historical Museum in Cashmere. Lala was seriously enthralled with this poor bear. I think she thought it was real at first. She kept wanting to go back and stare at it... There were A Lot of taxidermied animals at this museum... not my favorite thing. But the information and artifacts were very interesting.

Our cabin was adorable, clean and comfortable. Only thing that would have made it better would have been if it had a fridge for our food... but it wasn't that sort of set up. We survived regardless. I brought a camp stove and we made a campfire as well. It was kind of neat to do all the camp stuff on our own... I'll admit I leave all that stuff up to my husband for the most part. :) I had everything well planned out and organized so the whole thing went off with out a hitch. Except for the part where Lala had like 4 accidents in a row after we set up camp... she made the whole drive dry and then just lost it. Lets just put it this way, she pooped at the playground in her underwear while we were way far away from our cabin, I had to bring her back and I got lost and was wandering around with a poopy little girl {I had thrown the nastiness away but she was still a mess} in super hot weather, tired out from all the driving, and at that point I didn't think the trip was very cool any more... thankfully it got better after that.
Such is life with little kids, the unexpected always happens. It's more about building memories for them, and practicing selective memory for myself. ;)

Cute little chaos creator... on her way to the bathroom, thank goodness.

My little trooper.

Crushing nuts with a rock, Bubu thought this was a super cool idea that his Auntie came up with. He thinks his auntie is the smartest person in the world... seriously. I try not to be insulted by that because she is admittedly one super smart lady. When I don't know the answer to something, or I'm just tired of the never ending questions I just say, "ask Auntie Rissa, she'll know". It's kind of fun some of the questions I send her way. :)

Atty finding bird feathers, of course.

This girl was super proud of her big girl swinging... she was even trying to pump, ha ha!

This camp ground had an really big fun play ground for the kids, they loved it!

If you are wondering by now why my daughter was running around in just her undies, it was hot, and she wasn't inclined to wear clothes and I didn't feel like a fight. So there you have it. At least she agreed to the undies, and sun hat...

This tree was a favorite with my little monkeys, right out side our cabin.

The view from our cabin.

The lake at the campground had a really nice swim spot for the kids. I'm thinking next year we are going to try and find a way to bring the hubby and stay for a few days. :)

Love my adorable sister. She took a day off work at the last minute for me just so I wouldn't have to go alone... and she had to work the day we got back, after a 6 hour drive home! I seriously couldn't have dreamed up a better little sister.

Bubu keeping his little brothers safe on the board walk. :) His idea. He's such a caring, loving big brother.

We were at Lincoln Rock State park, can you see Lincoln?

A super sweet lady offered to take a group photo for us, and also told us some really interesting local facts. Then we found out that although she grew up in that area she actually now lives right around where we do, as in minutes away! Small world.

Always have to find rocks to climb!

Love this sweet picture, with her little arm wrapped around her auntie's neck. She knows who to suck up to, considering her auntie will carry her everywhere... Mommy not so much.

The next day we hit the road around noon after a slow relaxed start. We took a few pictures along the way but not very many stops. Even so it seemed to take Forever to get to our destination this time. Dry yellow field and rocky canyons get old after a while...

Finally, reached our friends house, the kids were so excited to see their long lost friend. She use to be a daycare kid before they moved and my kids have missed her badly... We talk about her often, but they had no idea where she had gone to and they were excited to find out. :) Their back yard is of course dry, so there wasn't much grass and lots of awesome dusty dirt... which was super cool in their book. Wow did they get dirty fast! After being cooped up in the van I just let them have at it, and they had a blast!!!

We figured since they were already dirty and in need of a bath, why not make them sticky first too... haha! It was definitely a hot watermelon type day. I'm pretty sure Bubu could eat a whole watermelon on his own if I let him, he has always loved watermelon...

Ummmmmmm, yummy! Then off for some serious bathing. :)

The next day we were treated to a local fair. Lots of fun.

It happened to be my birthday as well and so my sister bought me a really cute tie-dye dress at the fair... I then bought my daughter and my sons some tie-dye as well. So cute.

Aren't they adorable!

We also headed to a local park, and Atty found a rainbow to hug, so funny.

Spike and his friend holding hands on the way home, sweetness.

We stayed two nights there and then woke up at 4 in the morning and hit the road because my sister needed to work and because I wanted the kids to sleep for as long as possible. They did end up sleeping for a few hours and my sister and I had some amazing conversations and got to view a beautiful harvest moon setting. It was really nice, possibly my favorite part of the trip, haha! We took a few pictures on the way back and stopped a couple times for potty breaks and to get breakfast out, but other then that it was straight home. My kids are troopers and really great road trip buddies. The only sad point was not being able to spend my birthday with my honey, but we celebrated when I got back and it just made the birthday fun last that much longer... not that I want to dwell on getting Older for very long.

Now we are full swing into our first week of school... more on that later. :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Snapshots of summer

Wow, as summer winds down {and a new school year is soon to begin} I am reflecting on how full and wonderful it truly was. We didn't do anything spectacular but we sure did have a lot of fun. And the kids grew before my very eyes! I've posted about some specific things we did, so this is a fill in the gaps sort of post. :)Sporting a beautiful dress and snow boots, haha! She knows what she wants to wear, and there is no talking her out of it now. It can be... interesting.

We played at a LOT of different park, we went park exploring. We are lucky to have some amazing parks in our area. Picnics at a park are a favorite in this family.

We also went on some amazing walks/hikes. Explored new places and old favorites. Add in a picnic with this as well, and you have a full day of fun!

Visited different spots at local rivers. Lots of great river spots around here too!

More fun at a river, most of the river banks around here are rocky, but our favorite spot which happens to be really close by is a sandy river bank, and we love it! We like the rocky spots too though, fun to throw rocks into the water and grab some for our collections. :)

This girl learned how to climb ALL OVER the play equipment this year, wow is she quick. She also wants to do it on her own and is quite amazing {and a bit scary}! I let her do most of it on her own{still ready to jump in when needed} and she has become very capable this year... and very proud of herself.

Our ladies have GROWN! They are laying 6-8 eggs a day now, and last week I stopped buying eggs at the store... We go through a crazy amount of eggs a week, so I'm really excited about this! Can't beat fresh eggs. Makes me want to figure out ways to be even more self reliant.

We went to a lot of really fun birthday parties. This one was their cousin's second birthday, and it was so much fun... Lala didn't go into the pool when she had her swimsuit on though, she waited until I dressed her and then went in, crazy girl!

Another fun party we went too, I asked Bubu to keep an eye on his sister for a moment {it was safe enough for him to do that} and when I turned back around he was holding her like this... adorable! He takes his job, as big brother, seriously. :)

Awesome rope swing, the boys all took turn, after turn, after turn... Wish we had a tree big enough to have one!

All the kids enjoyed this fun tire swing at the same house, Lala even enjoyed spinning on it with her brothers!

We want one of these, so relaxing...

Found this frog while gardening... there's been a lot of gardening this summer, always fun. The kids love helping me too, I'm lucky if I get a moment to sneak out there for quiet reflection alone because usually they beg to come with me.
{I love both, but sometimes I really do crave those quiet reflection moments in the garden alone.}

Lots of silly moments this summer, mostly from this kid... Don't ask, I have no idea why he is dressed up this way.

We went to a really great park with friends that has a water park and a petting zoo and just happened to have a fire truck to tour there too! The kids were sooooooo excited!!!

Little firefighters. ;)

Summer fun with my dear friend.

We had a few sleep overs with her and her girls and that is always a blast! Our kids play so well together and we have been friends for so long that it's just relaxing, we don't feel like we have to entertain each other, it's like hanging out with my little sister {which is also really fun}.

The kids loved the petting zoo, almost as fun as the real zoo... and not nearly as exhausting, plus this petting zoo is free, bonus! Of course there weren't any tigers and such but for now they seem to get just as excited about bunnies and pigs, so go figure.

More fun at a park... told you we went to a lot of parks, and I didn't even take pictures of all the park outings and hiking adventures. Parks are free and my goal this summer was lots of fun free {or really cheap} out door or educational activities. I really feel like I reached that goal {which doesn't happen often enough} and I'm excited to add on even more stuff next year. As well as some new favorites we discovered this year.

We found really fun water parks, free water play, so exciting! I guess I'm just lucky that my kids are easily entertained...

They were finding it a little cold, but that didn't stop them. They are Washingtonians after all, on the rainy side no less!

And then there were summer time haircuts, right at the end of summer, silly boys. Ryder got his hair cut my the local hair stylist {that would be me} and then all the boys decided they wanted to look like daddy. It was a bit harsh for me, cutting Atty's hair.

No summer time post would be complete with out some pictures of our favorite sandy river spot! Lala was jumping in puddles, so cute... Splashing like a big girl.

Then there was this little drama. I left her in my bedroom for a quick moment to take the sheets to the laundry room and she managed to smear a favorite lipstick of mine all over her face. Uggggggg, at least it wasn't poop painting {I screamed when I first saw her, fearing the worst}. Speaking of thinks potty related this girl is wearing big girl undies all day long now and having hardly any accidents. She's even napping in undies now, and waking up in the morning dry... So pretty soon here she won't be wearing a diaper to bed either! She is just growing up way too fast my girl.

I've been promising myself a new play room carpet as soon as she is fully potty trained {as an incentive to keep going on those really hard days...} so I'm getting pretty excited! :)

Building towers, so proud of herself...

More fun with daddy at our favorite spot, building sand people.

Daddy snuggles, no summer is complete with out that!

Crazy dirty fun in the back yard, and silly tiny pigtails. :)

Bubu spent a morning drawing all of us, so cute! Lots of art projects this summer as well...

Then there was Bubu's sixth birthday this last weekend. I can't believe I'm the proud parent of a six year old! Got to have those birthday pancakes!!!

We went to our favorite house, to visit some of our favorite people on Bubu's birthday. We stayed over and had a camp out style dinner for him. He went on a treasure hunt for his presents in an amazing garden, it was so much fun. We have such an awesome extended family!

He got a bigger bike for his birthday, and was so excited! I wouldn't normally let him ride with out a helmet or shoes, but he just wanted to try it out real quick. :) Now to work on getting those training wheels off { I have a feeling that Spike with be doing that before Bubu though...}

Cheese cake with raspberries, around a camp fire, doesn't get much better then that!

Happy birthday to a wonderful boy.

And the biggest news of the summer... My husband decided to try out fishing and caught himself his first fish! So awesome. We are some big fish eaters in this family, and it is so expensive, so I am looking forward to some more fresh caught fish! He did all the work too, even cooked it on the BBQ, he knows how to make a lady happy... ;) He also knows there is no way on God's green earth I am cleaning a fish. He jumped right in and figured it all out on his own, I love how he isn't afraid to learn new things.

Love this picture and really loved being there to share in his excitement!

We have one last adventure coming up before we start our school year. We are going to eastern Washington for the first time. We have friends that moved over there and we are going to go visit them. It's quite the drive {about 5 hours if you drive non-stop} so I'm a bit nervous about that. We are going to split up the driving on the way there by camping one of the nights so that we aren't driving such a long stretch all at once. Plus we want to take our time and do some sight seeing. :) Then we are staying two nights at our friends house and then leaving really, really early {as in 3 or 4 am} in the morning and driving straight back with no stops. Well except some potty breaks I do believe... The only thing that makes me a bit sad is that my husband can't come now because he finally got called back into work, after being laid off for about three months {the going back to work part is a good thing though}. My birthday falls on a day that I will be gone and I haven't celebrated a birthday with out my husband in about 15 years I believe...

:( Lucky for me my sister took time off work to come with me, she's awesome like that. The idea of going alone with the kids was a bit overwhelming in all honesty.

So wish me luck and keep us in your prayers for a safe trip and I'll tell you all about it when we get back. Oh and soon I can't wait to post all about the beginning of a new and exciting school year, the homeschooling way!