Saturday, August 31, 2013

It's Getting To Feel Like Oklahoma Here We Come!

Scott & I were up at 4:30 am to leave town by 6:15 am for a 9:30 am flight out of Portland. We made it to the airport and finally found a parking spot amongst what looked to be thousands of parked cars. Sebastian was eagerly awaiting the airport shuttle ride. He had been wanting to ride in an airport shuttle again for years. Today was his lucky day! He was so excited. The kids were fantastic on the plane. The boys watched a movie while Willow slept. It was pretty much the same for the second flight. We made it into Oklahoma in the early evening. On the drive to Ada Scott & I stopped for coffee. When we were on the road again Sebastian says, "Why did you have to stop for coffee?? Now it's dark out! We're all going to fall asleep back here!" haha. We still had an hour and a half until we hit Ada. Thankfully he doesn't have a good concept of time yet, so he didn't understand that we still had quite a ways to go. He had thought we would be getting to Ada in the daylight. He was soon content playing Angry Birds on Daddy's phone. We arrived at Meemaw & Granddad's around bedtime. Willow was pure exhaustion. Judah ran into the living room and said, "We're here!!". He was full of energy & completely at home. He was so excited to see Meemaw & Granddad & be in their home. Sebastian was excited as well. It wasn't long before he was asking Granddad where he kept the train track. After dinner the boys built a huge track from the living room to their bedroom. We stayed up until probably midnight (10pm Oregon time). Everyone slept like a rock! Sebastian was up by 8am (6am Oregon time!) digging holes with Granddad to plant about 10 flowers in the front of Granddad & Meemaw's house. The flowers they planted are bright yellow & add even more light to their beautiful home. Gosh I didn't even mention the house! It is just amazing, so beautiful. It's in a gated area away from traffic & has an enormous backyard. Scott & I have decided that Meemaw & Granddad have our dream bathroom. Personally I think the closet is even better! It's an absolutely gorgeous home, and it's definitely just that, home.

These are some Sebastian quotes I wrote down yesterday. I thought they were great.

There were some bumpy turbulence on the flight into Denver. The boys thought it was hysterical. There were definitely the only ones laughing on the plane! Sebastian says, "That guy is sure a crazy driver!"

As we were landing in Denver Sebastian looks out his window, turns to me and says, "Welp, it doesn't get any better than this."

We were walking through the Denver airport and I asked Scott what we were doing. Sebastian thought I was asking him and said, "We are looking for a place to get lunch. Okay, let's look for an ice cream place!"

Lastly, landing in Oklahoma Sebastian says, "It's getting to feel like Oklahoma here we come!"

Friday, August 30, 2013


Packing, packing tonight. Did we remember everything? I guarantee we did not. Thankfully we will just be in a different city where there will be stores. I'm looking forward to some book reading on the plane (hoping the kids sleep!!), an adventurous day at the airports & just overall easy travels. Our last trip as a family was one of the most eventful, stressful trips I've ever been on. It was such an emotional roller coaster. That was over 3 1/2 years ago. We agreed at that time that we would not be traveling as a family again for a long time to come. It feels like the right time to give it another go. Granddad & Sebastian have bike riding to do. Willow has many new milestones to share. Judah has growth to share & play time to catch up on with Granddad & Meemaw. Scott & I just need a break! We leave Portland mid-morning & get to OK around dinner time. It will be a full day of travel. It will also be a week of memories that we will capture in our minds, stories & photos. Here's a poem I found about family vacations.

The places we have gone to
and the trips that we have taken
Photographs of love and laughs
of another family vacation.

It doesn't matter where we go
as long as we're together
At different ages, on these pages-
we'll be on vacation forever.
Author: Gina Marie Lauchner

Thursday, August 29, 2013

I Should Be Packing.

Just a quick post this evening as I should be packing for Oklahoma! Scott won't be around tomorrow night so there's a chance I may not be able to get much done.

Judah had a great speech therapy today. The therapist commented that he did not immediately sit in my lap like he always does. I didn't even notice, but she was completely right. He didn't sit in my lap until near the end of the session when he was getting tired. There was a new intern there today. It may have been that he was a man but Judah seemed like he wanted to hug him when he saw him. He acted the same when we were leaving. Judah was being very patient during the session & playing very well. He was extremely comfortable & said some new words for the therapist. He heard a train outside & said, "train!". Then he jumped up on the chair to look for it out the window. It was a really good session. He had a good day at home too, lots of initiating interactions with me & a great job dressing & undressing today. He was interacting with his sister with eye contact, holding her hand to help her get to the car & smiling at her too. That was very unusual, but very awesome. Unfortunately she didn't take to this change very well.

Sebastian is such a problem solver. He's quick too! I've noticed lately that he can solve problems better & faster than Scott & I!

Willow is still being her little hilarious self. She's still saying what her brothers say & has finally figured out how to wear my flip flops! Every day seems to be the best day ever to her. :)

That's it for now! Must pack!!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Life Lessons

Score one for my planning skills today! The kids & I had two separate & important activities to attend this morning. One was a doctor's appointment & one was the yearly play group picnic that I had committed to. I had known about both for weeks & both were on my phone (just in separate places). Crazy as it may sound, it didn't dawn on me until this morning that I had scheduled us to be in two places at once. Unfortunately I had to choose the doctor visit over the picnic. It's a good thing I hadn't talked my mom into changing her schedule to help me watch the kids at the picnic.. oh wait, I did do that! She, in turn, had told Dave about the picnic, who offered to join as well! It just gets better & better. My mom had even baked pumpkin bread for the picnic the night before. So not only had I screwed up my schedule & my kid's schedule, but I had made a disaster of Mom & Dave's as well! When I realized my huge scheduling mishap this morning, I explained to Sebastian that we would have to miss the picnic. He was pretty upset. Of course this was all my fault, but I didn't see any way around it. Suddenly my mom calls & we figure out a way to make it work. She's good at that. We decided that I would drop the boys at the picnic where Mom & Dave would watch them & I would head to the doctor with Willow. The plan worked, but unfortunately Willow & I didn't make it back to the picnic before it ended. Mom & Dave really saved the day.

Now maybe you can see why I am so stressed about school starting! Having your kids in school definitely involves a lot of planning & obligations. This is not one of my strengths!

While they were at the picnic Dave noticed some huge progress with Judah. I'm just going to paste what he emailed me. It's good stuff!

There were two instances in very different settings where Judah joined in with other children of his age (or size, at least) and was clearly interacting with them.
The first occurred while I was watching him on the playground equipment. (Rita and I traded off time with each of them there, as we often do when they are both with us. She was trailing after Sebastian on his bike). One section of the playground equipment has a flexible bridge that he and another boy his size were clearly working together to make move up and down in unison, looking at each other. While there was not verbal interaction, there was clearly communication occurring.
Then, when we all went over to where the play date group was gathered to eat and make the swords, Judah went off on his own from me to play with a group of small kids and was moving among the kids, stopped to look at them and even play "swords" a bit with one boy his size. Both were very polite with each other. Unfortunately, things broke up pretty quickly after they began as we were all beckoned for the group picture. I would really liked to have seen where that interaction might have gone.

Communication is Judah's biggest struggle. His progress today was huge! He basically woke up talking this morning, making lots of sounds, gestures & eye contact. This continued throughout the day. His desire to enunciate clearly really showed today. He was mimicking a lot of sounds as well. He said some new words today & was really pushing hard, yet calmly, to help me understand what he was saying. He would initiate getting dressed or undressed after I told him what he needed to do. This is outstanding for him. Tonight he saw that it was dark outside. He pointed to the balcony & said, "Night!". We went outside & it started sprinkling. I asked him if he could feel the rain. He said, "rain" with his hand extended out catching raindrops. Today was a very good day for him.

Sometimes I think about all of the frustrations Judah must have from the minute he wakes up to the minute he goes to bed. Will they understand me today? Will I get to do the things I've been asking to do? Will my words be more clear to them? Will their words be more clear to me? Will today be different? Will today be easy? I just can't even fathom. He is the hardest working little guy I know, that's for sure. But then I think about people, and how we are all different. Each one of us is different. Most of the time Judah is just working 20 times harder than everyone else. He is living with huge frustrations & learning to cope at an extremely young age. It makes him unique, special and it makes him very strong. I can only imagine what the future holds for someone who has at the age of 3, already learned that everyday is a challenge & the change that comes with each day is absolutely extraordinary & is something to be cherished. He's learned that life is full of compromises. He's selfless. He's empathetic. He appreciates life. He's motivated. And he knows that communication can happen in all forms & that nothing can stop life from being fun & fulfilling. He's learned more life lessons than any 3 year old I've ever met before, that's for sure.

***If any of you would like to add more of Judah's qualities in the comments section that would be wonderful.***

Beyond the picnic the kids had more outside time at home. We played in the front yard. Willow watered the sidewalk and a few flowers. Judah watered the same flower over & over & then smashed it with the watering can. He tried riding the plasma car from the sidewalk into the yard a few times. It didn't work so he rolled it down the hill into the garden repeatedly instead. Sebastian rode his bike up the driveway & through the yard a million times. And I monitored the area to make sure no one was about to get run over and that no one was wandering into the street. Later Sebastian rode his bike in the backyard while I simultaneously chased Judah & Willow & played fetch with the dog to keep her from biting our ankles as we ran.

We also had much garage time today. This morning I asked Sebastian to grab a swimming noodle from the garage for us to take to the picnic. They were going to make swords out of them. I didn't realize that he would have to climb a shelf to accomplish this task. He came back inside really excited. "Is there anything else I can get Mom??", he said. So of course when we made it back home from the picnic he really wanted to hang out in the garage. Suddenly he was hoping we could organize it. That way he would have a reason to climb the shelves again. We did do some organizing but I only let him climb on top of plastic totes. He seemed fine with that. His climbing infatuation was still very much alive though. Later he climbed the balcony stairs from the wrong side of the railing.

So it was a pretty active day! On top of that we of course did a lot of dancing. Anytime a song comes on, Judah & Willow both hold their arms up and say, "Daaa?". This means I have to pick one of them up & dance them around for the remainder of the song. With Willow it's no big deal but with Judah it's getting to be a real workout!

Needless to say, everyone crashed pretty instantly tonight. I don't know how I'm still awake! On that note I'm going to shut down this laptop & hop into bed! Goodnight. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Scavenging For Colores

Sebastian & I just got out of 2 hours of Kindergarten orientation. I got all of my questions answered.  Sebastian got to meet his teacher & play with some kids during most of the meeting. Many of the kids he played with will be his classmates. I'm just flabbergasted by how cool & confident he is about this huge transition. He is about to start a brand new school & leave the one he was at for 3 years. On top of that, he's getting ready to be immersed into a new language, Spanish. From day one he will have a teacher who will be speaking to his class primarily in Spanish. Does this not sound stressful??! I'm soo sooo sooo relieved that he is taking this on with stride. "Come on Mom!" he says to me as I am fumbling to get my stuff together outside of the school. I'm a nervous wreck!

Judah turned to look at me nearly every time when I said his name today. He understood when I would ask him to come with me, and was usually pretty cooperative. He really loved the praise I gave him for making more effort to get dressed & undressed. With lots of praise I think he will get that down soon. He asked me for help when his diaper was poopy. He's never done that before. He will now say, "want phone" instead of just "want" and then being prompted for "phone". He started saying, "want chip" completely on his own. I heard a lot of that one today. This afternoon he rode on the tricycle for the longest he ever has. Willow & I pushed him from behind. He still isn't pedaling but he was trying! Judah & I played cars for a long time today, re-enacting scenes from the Cars movie. After that he kept asking me throughout the day to play cars with him. So lots of cars playing today! He seems interested in what I'm eating for dinner. He will lean over the table & look at my food. I will offer him some & set a small amount beside his plate. He hasn't snatched it up yet, but I'm hopeful that milestone may be upon us soon. His diet has expanded some, but it seems to be variations of things he already likes. We just have to keep trying! That's how it is with raising any child. Once you figure that out you just have to be committed & keep on track with pursuing their goals. If you do this the difference you will eventually see will be dramatic. I'm constantly reminding myself of this, and reminding myself that I have seen this in our children. It really does work.

Sebastian made a haunted house in his bedroom this afternoon. He turned off his lights & invited me in. I was holding Willow. The dog joined in as well. As soon as we walked into his room he popped out from underneath his bed & started roaring with his hands in the air as if he was going to claw us. It scared the crap out of Willow & the dog. For the next haunted house he wanted to have a monkey swinging from his ceiling. He advised me not to bring Willow this time. So we tied the fabric belt from my Hello Kitty bathrobe to a hook on his ceiling. We tied a plastic chair at the end of the belt. That's about all we accomplished. Of course he wanted to sit in the chair but I couldn't allow that. He always has wonderfully creative ideas, & he is never crushed if they are ideas that I can't allow him to do. Instead he just comes up with a different idea. He's also very into climbing. Today he climbed to the top of the refrigerator. When we got to his new school this evening he nearly climbed to the roof of the car - I had to stop him. His bike-riding skills have flourished in no time at all. He rode up the driveway & through the yard many, many times today. Judah was fast on his tail, chasing him & laughing. They had lots of fun. Willow was just trying to avoid being hit. At dinner we had pasta with vegetables. I explained to Sebastian that the broccoli were like little trees. Then he told me, "Yeah, I never thought of it like that before. It's like a little tree with branches I could climb on." haha. While we were sitting in the school library waiting on orientation to start he was persistently looking for my phone in my purse. I covered my purse with my hand & told him he needed to stop. He looked me in the eye and said, "Do you really want to fight this fight?" hahaaa. I don't know where he comes up with this stuff. He still says things incorrectly. He says dream for drain, ome for gnome, Flamesha for Felicia, and more. He asks me to "carve down" spider webs. I can't bring myself to correct him. His words are so endearing, as are his unique noises. He makes a siren noise when there is an "emergency". Then of course he will yell, "Emergency!! Emergency!!" Today we got to experience this because the toilet was clogged. It's never anything major, but it seems to be to him. There are too many Sebastian noises to list. They are great though.

Willow did lots of watering outside today. Mainly she watered the sidewalk but she really enjoyed it. She was upset (and soaked) when we had to go inside. I'm really starting to figure her out. If I hand her the food in this manner she will eat it.. If I talk to her in this manner she won't run away, etc. Sorry sweetheart, Mommy's got your number. ;)

Sebastian did so well on his Spanish lesson today. I wrote a little story about it. See below.

So I’m walking down the street with my daughter in my arms, minding my own business, when a large group of teenagers in fluorescent yellow shirts passes us. Before I know it they have turned around & are running directly towards us! They start yelling, "Ma'am!! Excuse me!! Ma'am!!!" Thinking I'm in some kind of immediate danger I am not aware of, I stop to hear what they have to say. "We're doing a scavenger hunt & have to find someone in pink shoes," they tell me. I look down at my grey sneakers & look up at them confused. Then I realize my daughter has her pink sandals on, so I sign their paper. "Woo-hoo!" one of the girls screams, completely stoked that they have checked off one more item on their list. This obviously gets me thinking about scavenger hunts & remembering how much fun they were as a kid. So today as part of Sebastian's lesson I took him outside & asked him to find the 12 colors he is learning in Spanish. He had so much fun that he wanted to do it twice! We spent an HOUR working on his lesson & he was interested & excited the entire time! The enticement & delight of scavenger hunts is truly timeless.


Monday, August 26, 2013

When It Rains...

We don't have to water the flowers! When it rains we can turn the a/c off, open the windows & listen to the cars coasting through the streams of water on the street. When it rains the dog doesn't need to go out as much. When it rains Willow has a real reason to put on her brother's raincoats. When it rains we are forced to get creative with indoor activities.

Today was a light rain. It was a nice change in weather. My dad said they had a wonderful rainstorm in Phoenix. That doesn't happen often. Rainy days for all I guess. :)

The boys got in some outdoor fun before the rain. Sebastian rode go-carts & played miniature golf with Grandma & Papa in Wilsonville today. He got a very cute haircut too. Judah joined later for some park time. Earlier in the day Judah, Willow & I made parachutes with paper napkins & tied Judah's cars to them. Judah enjoyed flying his Mater truck around for a few minutes, then it was just too tempting to rip up the paper napkins/parachutes. Sebastian suggested using plastic bags for the parachutes next time, obviously a much better plan.

It's no secret that Willow and Pixie are best friends. Apparently man isn't dog's only best friend, who knew! Unfortunately this close bond that they have formed has led Willow to believe she is part dog. Often times she will curl up in the doggie bed inside Pixie's crate. Sometimes instead of giving Pixie her treat directly she will stick it in her own mouth first. Surprisingly she never looks disgusted. She just smiles. She loves to sit and play with the dog food. She crawls around like a dog, often with one of Pixie's toys in her mouth. Sometimes she gets on her knees and scratches at the door to go outside, just like we taught Pixie to do. I'm extremely curious to know what is going on in that little baby head when she's doing these things.

I noticed today that I can nearly always tell what Willow is saying to me, usually it's a request. She's only 20 months! Today was the first time she hardly cried in Child Watch. When I walked in to get her she got up from her seat, grabbed her snack, stopped to look at me and then headed for the door! As we were leaving she let me hold her hand on the stairs, but otherwise she wanted to walk on her own and lead the way! She was the same way when we went for a walk outside today. She's somewhat like a little adult, who sometimes pretends to be a dog.

Sebastian's school orientation is tomorrow. He has Kindergarten testing soon. I think I'm more nervous about all of this school stuff than he is! He's cool as a cucumber. I'm just feeling a bit disorganized and anxious! Keeping up with school activities and such hasn't proven to be easy for us in the past. Hopefully these things get easier with time. And maybe in time the baby will stop pretending to be a dog, who knows.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Shoulder Rides

Today I washed, dried, folded & put away a mountain of laundry. This was mainly to get a start on packing for our Oklahoma trip. It's hard to believe we will be leaving so soon! What's even harder to believe is the school year beginning in 2 weeks. My heart aches a little when I think about Sebastian starting Kindergarten. When he was little he always said that he wanted to stay little forever. That too makes me so emotional! He has such a fun, knowledgeable, beautiful spirit. It's hard to let him go. I can't even fathom the thought of him entering 1st grade. And Judah, I'm hoping that he will enter into his school year with ease. He'll be in the same classroom with the same teachers. I'm hopeful that will make the transition from fun summer to school time smooth. The bus ride will be a positive reminder as well. He loves the bus. Watching his growth over the summer has been nothing short of amazing. His sweet spirit is angelic. He's like no one I've ever met. I will miss him dearly.  And Willow, well I'm holding onto her forever. She's so funny. And smart! She picks up on things so quickly. She understands what I say to her almost all of the time. It's incredible that such a young little person can soak up so much knowledge & social ability in such a short amount of time. She's our last baby. It will be impossible to let her go. I may need to home school. ;)

Willow discovered "shoulder rides" today. Grandma & Papa came over to pick up the boys this morning & Sebastian of course requested a shoulder ride from Papa. Grandma then offered one to Willow & was probably a bit surprised that Willow immediately understood & pointed to her (Grandma's) shoulders, letting her know she too wanted a ride. After that there were baby giggles throughout the house. We ended up giving her many shoulder rides today! She learned to say the word "ride" pretty instantly. She woke with a fever after her nap this afternoon. We gave her Tylenol & not long after she was back to her busy little self. Scott was out running around a lot so I had much baby time today. She constantly changed from one activity to another, never missing a beat. It was nearly impossible to get anything done. She is somewhat exhausting, but so much fun to be around. Her positivity is addictive.

While Willow & I were busy doing literally one thing after another, Judah & Bash went to Super Bounce with Grandma & Papa. They, of course, had a blast. They love that place. Grandma texted me a couple pictures of them going down the big slide. They were going so fast they were a blur! Luckily it wasn't crowded there today so I'm sure they got to do all of the bouncing they wanted to. They ate lunch at Baja Fresh too, their usual joint. After they dropped Judah off I think Sebastian went bike riding with Papa. Both the boys ate a lot today, probably in lieu of all the energy spent playing. So it was a good day for them.

Willow's fever came back again this evening. It was pretty easy to get her down. She's just like the boys, even with a fever she pushes hard to play.

We are shooting to be packed up & ready to go by Thursday. Scott games Wednesday & Friday nights so we won't be able to get much, if anything, done those evenings. The kids will be helping me get everything together. I know Willow will want to pick out all of her outfits, and of course Sebastian will too, but not as much as her. Judah will help pick out the toys, books & movies to bring.

Grandma is getting Sebastian tomorrow to work on his lessons. I think Papa may be taking him miniature golfing as well. By Tuesday we should be back on our schedule. I've got to come up with some new outings for them this week & some new lessons for Sebastian. They love trying new things, which helps a lot.

"Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate." - Anonymous

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Last Beach Day of the Summer

Dressed in pants and long sleeves, we headed to the beach today for our last time this summer. Much to our surprise the weather was gorgeous! We should have worn summer gear! The weather on Oregon beaches is hit and miss, usually miss. Today was a beautiful surprise. We spent hours there, playing in the ocean, digging in the sand, making sand castles, making sand angels. The kids were a mess! It will be a very sweet memory. We took a ton of pictures. This was the first time we had all really enjoyed the beach together. Willow braved the sand & water. Everyone had so much fun!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Thank You.

Before I lay down to sleep for the night I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for being so supportive. Yesterday was very scary. Your kind words felt nice. Thank you.

I'm folding laundry & trying to prepare for our beach trip tomorrow. As I'm folding laundry I realize that we haven't bought any back-to-school clothes for the kids. Do they need brand new clothes for the first days of school? Of course not. Does it make a difference to them? Absolutely. To this day I remember buying & wearing my back-to-school clothes, carrying my brand new back-to-school folders & backpack. We've got to get this done. I don't want them to miss a thing.


For the first time since I was a child I can see on my own! When my vision finally stopped changing as an adult I was at the point of eye doctors being surprised at how bad my vision was. It's been a very sensitive issue for me. For a long time now I've had dreams of losing my vision entirely. It's been one of my biggest fears. To be able to open my eyes & see the world clearly on my own is an experience of immense emotional magnitude for me. A surgery that lasted minutes has given me something I never dreamed I would have again. I am truly & forever grateful for our growing technology, research & the persistence of people to make life better for one another. Thank you. You've changed my life forever.
Today August 22, Molly had her Lasik surgery. Everything seemed to go ok. Since she was in bed all day I was left to take care of Judah and Willow. Judah wanted to play lots of trains. He liked it when I would get Diesel and chase his Thomas train around the couch. We also attempted to make a real life angry bird course. Judah had one of our stuffed Star Wars angry birds and I built a large structure out of couch pillows and I used stuffed animals for the pigs. He threw the bird a few times but then just decided to use himself as the bird and jump onto one of the pigs while crashing the structure. It was a lot of fun!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Lasik In The Morning!!

Today we went to the A.C Gilbert Discovery Center. We have a one year membership so I'm trying to take advantage of it. They have an enormous play structure. That in itself is worth the cost of the membership. The kids love it! They also have different houses with rooms filled with adventure & learning. They love those too. Judah's favorite is the train room. There's an old electric train that runs around on tracks built in a circle. The kids push a button & off it goes! Judah could watch that thing for hours. It is pretty cool. In the center of the tracks is a very well built scale model of Riverfront Park (an actual park within walking distance). We played at the Discovery Center for an hour & a half & it still wasn't enough time for them. There was a huge summer camp group there today. Kids kept getting lost. I remember thinking, "Wow they really need to get a better system.", and then I lost my kid. Sebastian went down a slide while Judah, Willow & I explored the large, wooden play structure. Before he ventured off down the slide I reassured him that we would find him at the bottom. But in the mass of children it took a while to get to him. He was upset & standing by an adult waiting for us. Poor guy. Other than that it was a fun time.

Sebastian had the incredible idea of cleaning out the car today, sigh. We pulled out all of the car seats, cleaned out all of the trash & miscellaneous toys, books, etc. Then we vacuumed the entire thing. Sebastian did most of the vacuuming. Today was one of the hottest days of the week. It was exhausting! But the car looks great now, the inside anyway. It was worth it. 

Tomorrow morning I go in to have my eyes permanently changed with a laser. The process itself takes minutes. It's the prep & post-op that take a while. The whole process will take about 2 hours & then I have to go home & sleep for the rest of the day. I really don't mind that part at all! They gave me a prescription for sleeping pills. I laughed on the inside when she handed me that. I never get a full night's sleep. I chase 3 kids around all day. I think I will easily be able to sleep without medication. I have to sleep for my eyes to heal. Supposedly by the next day I will be fine & able to watch the kids on my own. Scott is taking tomorrow off to take over my stay-at-home mom position. I love those days, when he gets to see what it's like for me all day long, haha.

This week we have been sticking to the schedule pretty well & getting in our outing every day. Now typically I would be nervous about taking them on so many outings. I usually have to mentally prepare myself & give myself many pep talks before we leave. However, Judah has done a 180 when it comes to outings. He rarely makes a fuss about leaving our outing & is so clingy that I know he won't run off & do something dangerous. Willow, on the other hand, she loves to run off. She thinks it's hysterical. Sebastian also sticks nearby. He's afraid of getting lost. We lived up to that fear today, unfortunately. I'm sure that didn't help any!

Scott & I are both feeling much better, thank goodness. He was feeling bad all night long. He had a fever this morning. Thankfully it all went away & he was able to get some work done. He worked from home today.

I'm going to go look through my Lasik paperwork & make sure we are completely prepared. I told Sebastian that I will be in funny glasses tomorrow. Then Scott says very seriously, "So when will you be in the funny glasses?" haha. We do that all of the time, use" kid talk" in our everyday conversations. We no longer go to the bathroom. We go to the potty, haha. And we don't think twice about talking like that - it feels very normal!

I'll try to get Scott to write in here tomorrow since I will be asleep.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Cleaning Children

Just taking a break from cleaning to write in here. Every time I try to sweep the baby grabs the broom from me & proceeds to do it herself. She's having fun so I don't stop her. Who knows, maybe she will learn to enjoy cleaning like her brother does. Sebastian cleans something every day. Yesterday he was dusting the top of the refrigerator! He seriously vacuums better than Scott & I do. The other day he was vacuuming the edges of the carpet & the trim. He's a helper!

We tried story time at the library this morning. It was so packed! We looked in, contemplated going in, tried going in & Judah refused. That was understandable. It probably wouldn't have been that much fun with such a large crowd. We played in their Discovery Room. This month's theme is dinosaurs. Then we played in the children's area. They had fun. We hadn't been there in a long time.

I spent most of the evening in bed with a pretty bad headache. Scott just went to bed not feeling good as well. Hoping for a better tomorrow!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Super Bounce!

Last night I made flashcards on the computer for Sebastian. Each one was a picture of a family member. On the bottom it had their place in the family, mother, father, etc. On the top that word was translated into Spanish. We went over them this morning & he thought they were fun. We played some Spanish games on the computer that were geared towards learning the family members in Spanish. Later he wrote out the family members in English & we worked on their translation into Spanish. Grandma is going to work on this with him tomorrow as well. Today he seemed to enjoy it - that's always a plus!

After his lesson this morning we went to a place in North Salem called Super Bounce. It's basically a building filled with different kinds of bounce houses. They loved it! There was a gigantic slide near the entrance that the boys couldn't get enough of. That was the only one Willow wasn't tall enough to do. She enjoyed all of the other smaller slides though. There are some really interesting bounce houses out there - who knew! Some of them were like obstacle courses, one had an inflated basketball hoop inside & balls to use & another was a pirate ship. They were really cool! We did that for an hour. At that point the kids were sweaty, pretty much ready to go but still smiling ear to ear.

This afternoon we made a birthday card for Grandma. I traced all of the kid's hands & used them to make butterfly wings. We turned it into a butterfly, decorated it & Sebastian wrote out the card that we attached to the bottom. It turned out pretty cute. Later that evening we went to see her & celebrate her birthday. Willow & Judah relaxed in the hammock for their first time. Willow absolutely loved it! The kids had a big dinner there, baths & went home completely ready for bed. Unfortunately Judah didn't go down until 11pm but the other two passed right out!

Tomorrow we are going to brave story time at the library. I'm hoping for some mild kid behavior. It only lasts 30 minutes & then we usually go to their Discovery Room to play. We just haven't been in a while. It will be a cool outing for them to do in the morning.

I'm off to work on the ant problem. It's so gross!!!


Sunday, August 18, 2013

The School Needs Our Cleaning Supplies??

Yesterday we took Pixie for a first time visit at the kennel & today we gave her a first time bath (from us). Yesterday we also spent a lot of the day in Portland so she was stuck in her crate for a long time. Needless to say it was a hard weekend for the dog! But it was a good one for the rest of us.

Today Scott picked berries from our berry bushes. He ended up filling a large bowl, and there are a million more to be harvested! He also took out an enormous amount of weeds while he was down there. Sebastian helped him. The weeds were taller than he is! We got in lots of play time at home. The kids Skyped Granddad & Meemaw as well as Grandma & Papa. They haven't Skyped in a while. Willow is real character on Skype now. She lit up when she saw people she knew on the screen. She sat in the computer chair with Sebastian & seemed to be mimicking him, waving her hands in the air & chatting up a storm in her little baby talk. It was pretty cool. Sebastian listed off all of the breakfast foods he would like when he visits Meemaw & Granddad at the end of the month. Judah still isn't much interested in Skype. Can't blame him though, it's pretty bizarre to see people you know talking to you on your computer screen.

We got Sebastian's school supplies in order today. Luckily I had most of the items on the list already, thanks to couponing. It was an interesting list. I guess all of the supplies we buy will be combined with everyone else's and shared with all of the children. The list included some items I wasn't expecting like baby wipes, Clorox wipes, hand soap & tissues. Like I said, it was good I had most of this on hand. It would have been a little pricey!

Dad- Thank you for the McDonald's freebies. They arrived this weekend. We will use them! Thanks for thinking of us.

It's been an uneventful Sunday with lots of relaxing at home. Looking forward to an awesome week - mom's birthday tomorrow & Lasik for me on Thursday! We're going to try & get in some beach time next weekend or possibly a visit to the OMSI museum in Portland. We'll do something fun for sure. That will be our last weekend here before we take off for Oklahoma. Then school will start immediately upon our return & we will have a Kindergartner! I'm trying not to think about that part. Have a good week everyone.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Castle

Sebastian has been begging to go to "the castle" for months now. We discovered it a couple months back when we had some unforeseen problems at the trampoline place in Portland. That day we made the drive to the trampoline place & they proceeded to kick out all of the customers for a private party two minutes after we arrived. We had called with some questions at least twice before we came but none of the employees we talked to informed us of a 3 hour closure for a party that would be happening that afternoon. It was very disappointing. Obviously we couldn't drive back to Salem with a car full of kids expecting to have a super, awesome fun day in Portland. So we did some googling (thank goodness we finally got smart phones!) & found PDX Playdate. PDX Playdate is a huge indoor play area that was built to satisfy the energy & creativity of children as well as serve as basically an open restaurant & relaxation area for the parents/caregivers. The kids can run rampant being as loud & fast as they want to be while the parents kick back and relax. They even serve beer! I guess that isn't shocking, it's Portland after all. So this place houses an enormous play structure built to look like a castle. There are multiple slides, a dance floor, guns that shoot soft balls, brightly colored tunnels, structures to climb & swing from, etc. It's too much to list. Even adults can play in it, there is ample room. Scott & I played in it for hours with the kids today. I missed my gym workout but I'm guessing our indoor play structure adventure might have made up for that.

Judah played on his own & with Daddy quite a bit today while we were at PDX Playdate. Typically if I'm present he is often clinging to me or panicking when he can't see me. He did exceptionally well being independent today. Willow dove right into the fun. She didn't last long in the "toddler" area. She was more than ready to get into the big play structure & have some big kid fun! I made a video of her dancing on the lit up dance floor. She boogied down with Judah & a bunch of other kids. It was great.

Scott took Pixie to the "dog hotel" for a meet & greet today. She spent an hour there with the other dogs. Apparently she did really well & was very friendly and calm around the other animals. In the past she has always gotten antsy around other animals, so it was surprising & relieving to know she has changed. We will have her stay there one night & see how she does before we leave her there the week we go to Oklahoma. This kennel has an outdoor area the dogs can play & relax in as much as they want. They are only put in the kennel for an hour a day & of course through the night. That's why we chose it, so she won't be locked up all day long. It's in Dallas which is a drive, but worth it if she has some freedom there. She is a dog that we rescued. She had some very obvious signs of past abuse the first week we had her. We definitely don't want her somewhere where she is going to be really scared. This is the best place we have found for her. Lucky for us Scott's co-worker mentioned it to him!

Today I was getting ready to change Judah's diaper. He followed me back to the baby's room & took off his diaper! That was a first! Other times today I prompted & gave him minimal assist & he again took off his diaper & also pulled up & down his pants. I've tried to get him to do this before but he usually doesn't seem to understand which way to go with his pants or does nothing at all. He helped me get his shirt off tonight & is trying to learn to get them on by himself as well. This was huge progress today, very exciting. Scott hasn't seen this yet & seems to be in disbelief. That's just how it is.. it's so hard to believe he is changing & so quickly! Like I've said before, it just seems like he suddenly decided to try a little harder & has realized some new qualities he has & seems to be very proud of them!

Tomorrow we will likely spend a lot of the day at home. Scott got the weekly grocery shopping trip out of the way tonight, so that won't eat up a chunk of our day tomorrow. There's always so much to do though. The weekend is the most time we have to get things done & the most time we have as parents to enjoy our children at the same time. It's definitely a balancing act. The kids usually seem to win out. The grass dies, the bookshelves get dusty & things get thrown in a closet more often than they should. But it's worth it. You only have this time with your children once. We try to make the most of it.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Judah's Growth & A Busy Day!

First let me do an update on Judah.. Words, words flying everywhere! You know how some people say kids start talking over night? I never understood that. How could that honestly be possible? I still don't believe it. However, Judah's progress in the past 2 days has been nearly as unbelievable (to me anyway, I was scared he would never talk). Today he was repeating a lot of what he heard. He'll say a word or two here & there. I'm understanding them now & seeing that they are very appropriate. He knows a lot. He's been listening. That's become very apparent to me. It's as if he's just decided to try harder & in doing so is realizing that he can talk. I think babies pick up speech quicker, so I'm guessing that it may not be as easy for him to learn to talk as it seems for Willow & was for Sebastian. But honestly I don't care. The fact that I am hearing my son's decisions without having to guess them is astonishing. I'm hearing his little voice make new words on a daily basis - I could never even imagine what this would be like.  My world has just been flipped over. Soon we will be hearing his opinions in detail & knowing what he thinks about all day & what he wants to do, what he wants to eat.. Soon we will get to know Judah, and that will be unbelievably amazing to experience. We've all been waiting a long time.

Beyond talking he's also starting to understand some new things. When I tell him it's time to go inside he follows me inside. When I tell him it's time to get his diaper changed or when I tell him it's time to leave, he understands & cooperates!. Leaving places he enjoyed used to be a nightmare. Lately it has suddenly become easy! It's bizarre! There has definitely been some major Judah growth in the past few days. I wish I could share this coolness with the world. I feel so special that we are the lucky ones who get to witness & experience such an awesome, special event.

Today we did our schedule for the first time. It went pretty well but man was it exhausting! I forgot to factor in Mommy down time & other things I need to do for myself during the day. But for the most part we stayed on track & did some great tasks. Sebastian & I worked on his Spanish this morning & this afternoon. This afternoon we combined it with writing so he could practice his writing while reinforcing the Spanish he had practiced that morning. A friend of mine that I saw today has her son at Harritt, so she was able to tell me what Spanish words they will cover in Kindergarten. This gives us a good starting point. Judging from what she told me, he has already gotten part of it down. This conversation was at Latte Play (our outing for the day). Sebastian brought his board game, Candy Land. He made a friend there & sat with her to play the game. This gave me some good one-on-one time with Judah. Willow joined in the play with Judah & I. After we made it back home Willow napped while Judah, Sebastian & I planted the flower Sebastian got me in the front yard. We also pulled weeds in the front yard & played. The kids played with modeling clay for their first time today. Sebastian made letters, Willow tore it into little pieces & Judah laughed at how it felt & made a tunnel. The kids & I played for quite a while as a group inside. It's so cool how they will all play together when Mommy is involved. When it was time to pick up toys Sebastian did an amazing job. He even vacuumed afterwards! He vacuums better than Scott & I do, so anytime he offers I say yes please! Judah & I got plenty of one-on-one time today. Sebastian got in some reading time with Daddy at the end of the day. I felt like they had a fun, productive, educational day. And we still had lots of time to spare!

Now to find that Mommy down time..


Thursday, August 15, 2013


Orphan Molly exclaimed to her best friend Annie, "Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness!". This was my exact feeling today, for Judah is having breakthroughs! It began during speech therapy today. He was focused nearly the entire time we were there. He began asking for help consistently and using two word utterances! This doesn't happen often. He was doing it over & over. It was so amazing to hear. He actually had fun during speech therapy. He was laughing a lot. Unfortunately this was our last day being lucky enough to have two people working with him during therapy. The intern is heading back to her job now. She was incredible at speech therapy. We got very lucky. Later today I was getting the bath ready & I asked him to get undressed. He started to take his shirt off. This too is a breakthrough! Typically I undress him. He knows how but he never does it at the appropriate times. Lately he has also been trying to put his own shoes on, another new action. He let me know that he wanted me to play trains with him for the second day in a row today. This is yet ANOTHER new occurrence. Of course I happily played trains with him. I've been trying to play one-on-one with him more, so that could have been what prompted him to request I play trains with him. When I was getting ready to go to the gym tonight he said what sounded very much like, "Don't go! Don't leave! Go away..". These of course are brand new two word utterances & so many at once! It's just been bursts of progress for him throughout the day. It feels like we are on a roll. This means that we need to work hard to keep him going & boost him with confidence as much as possible. He always smiles when we praise him. He loves it.

Willow was talking a lot today too. She has been repeating Judah a lot lately. Tonight in the tub he said "ew". So she repeated him and said "ewwww!!!" right in his face. She continued to say "ew" hoping to get another response out of him. She thought it was so funny. She also called Pixie by name after she heard me calling her. Again she was smiling. She thinks things like that are so funny. When I try to get her down for a nap her sense of humor just explodes. She thinks everything is funny & will do whatever she can to try & get me to laugh (and avoid the nap too I'm sure). Yesterday when we were playing I told her & Judah to put their socks on. She walks over to Judah, looks him in the face & says, "socks on!". She's very helpful.

We had a few sprinkles today. It hasn't rained in some time. Judah & I watered the plants in the yard while Willow took her nap today. I gave him a full watering can & showed him which plants to water. After watering each plant he would throw his arms in the air & say, "I did it!!", yet again another breakthrough!

Sebastian is registered at the dual-language school. We are going to start working on his Spanish at home to refresh his memory. He is looking forward to starting a new school. We asked to see the Kindergarten room while we were there but unfortunately it was under construction. We asked about him riding the bus & were told he can't because we are in a different school district, darn!! He was so looking forward to that. He took that news surprisingly well. He shrugged & said, "It's okay.". I'm trying to find out if he can ride Judah's bus since it's a Salem/Keizer bus. Otherwise I will be driving Sebastian to school while Judah rides the bus to the exact same place, seems silly.

I spent over 3 hours at the eye doctor today. Apparently there was only one eye doctor working today. I'm not sure what happened to the others. This is a big office with multiple waiting areas that takes a handful of eye doctors to run efficiently. All of the customers that I overheard talking were complaining about the wait time. Granted my visit was a bit more complicated than an eye exam, but I was told it would only take thirty minutes. Unfortunately I sat in the waiting area with my eyes dilated during the majority of my wait time. This meant that I couldn't read magazines or play on my phone. It was just like the olden' days when people sat for hours & enjoyed the "peace & quiet". It was boring as heck. When I finally did see my surgeon he filled me with confidence about the procedure. He answered all of my questions & gave me a paper listing all of the risks. After reading it thoroughly I felt like it was still a good plan. I'll be having the surgery soon.

Sebastian spent the day with Grandma. They brought home a zucchini bread that he made with her help. It is delicious!!

Hoping tomorrow that I will be able to list even more Judah breakthroughs in here! Very exciting!!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

He Called Me Mom

Judah has been saying "ew" a lot today. This is new. I'm having a hard time getting all of them to eat. Judah is "ewing" at a lot of food. Sebastian is still sick. His tummy isn't needing much food. The other two just suddenly have no interest in anything they used to eat. Time to try out some new foods I guess! If they get hungry enough they should eat anything right? It's worth a shot. I would love it if we could expand Judah's diet at least.

Sebastian's face was slightly pink today as were his hands. The nurse I spoke to on the phone said it was most likely the hand, mouth, foot virus. She said if it wasn't then it was probably a different virus known as fifth disease. I have no idea what that is. He had a fever this morning but was fine the rest of the day. He spent most of the day with Grandma. They went to see Planes, then Papa came home & gave him lots of shoulder rides. It sounds like he had a pretty fun day.

I took Willow & Judah out for some play time today. At one point Judah couldn't find me and he yelled, "Mom!!!". This was very exciting to me because he rarely calls me by any name. He has called me Mom on occasion, but it certainly hasn't been often. If someone were to ask me what he calls me I probably wouldn't even remember that he has called me Mom. So I'm guessing this is his name for me, which is really nice to know. He definitely teaches me not to take small things for granted.

Tomorrow Judah will have his speech therapy & later I go in for my pre-op visit. I'm having Lasik surgery done next week. I can't wait to be able to see without sticking something in my eye every morning! To wake up & be able to see, I can't even remember what that was like as a kid. It's probably going to be very strange, but I'm sorely looking forward to it.

Today's spontaneous haiku..

Sacred name unseen
Soaring through the sky and air
Caught today, it's Mom.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Definition of Cutie-Pie

Update on Sebastian - He only had Tylenol once today & never had a fever. His temp was a few degrees higher than normal though so his body is still fighting it. I gave him medicine when I saw he wasn't doing so great. The majority of the day he was fine though. We pulled more weeds, went to play at McDonald's, he picked strawberries in the front yard & played on his plasma car. So he's been doing pretty well today! Some of you were concerned & texted, thank you for thinking of him.

Judah has been worrying me more than usual lately. He's hitting his brother, sister & the dog whenever he doesn't get what he wants. It's very hard to watch & control. Thankfully at this point I can predict when he is going to act out. I have no idea what to do to help him though. I'm pretty sure he doesn't have control over this behavior, but of course his siblings & people who stare at us in public don't understand that. Thank goodness I've stopped caring about what people think of me as a parent! Sometimes to find good help you need to find people that can directly relate to your issue. Unfortunately sometimes those people seem to be camouflaged in society, painted into the world so perfectly that you'd never know they were there. Being a parent means learning more about your child every single day & figuring out what direction to point them that is best for them. Sometimes I just wish someone could point US in the right direction. I really wish those camouflaged people would break out of the woodwork & lend a hand.

Tomorrow I'll take Sebastian to register for Kindergarten at Harritt, a Spanish immersion school close to us. He seems to be mostly excited about riding the bus but does have a big interest in going to a new school as well. He will miss the truck ramp at Buttercup, however he doesn't seem very sad to be moving on, which is awesome for us.

This afternoon Willow saw an old sleeper outfit Judah used to wear as a baby on the floor. She pulled her shirt up & said, "shirt", wanting me to help her get undressed. She said "pants" and pointed at her pants. Then she tried to get her diaper off as well! So I got her completely undressed, totally nude & she picks up Judah's baby outfit. I pulled it over her head & yanked it down as far as I could. It was much too small for her. The bottom of the pant legs hit just below her knee. I couldn't even button up the diaper area. It was pretty funny. She smiled big after I got it on her. She wore it around proudly, even though it was long-sleeved & probably really hot! She certainly is the definition of cutie-pie.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Stuck at home.

Well, Sebastian is having symptoms pretty similar to what Judah bear had. Fever, medicine, 4 hours pass, fever, medicine. He really fought it today. He had a fever & tells me with his eyes half open, "Can we go ride my bike in the garage?" Kids don't want to be sick, they want to have fun. They live to LIVE. As adults we get sick and see it as an opportunity to get some sleep, do some reading & just have a break from life in general. I'd much rather have a kid's perspective on life.

We were stuck home today due to his illness. We made the best of it though. Judah & I played trains & cars, everyone colored (Sebastian liked that the most), we pulled weeds in the backyard (exhausting!), organized the garage, the kids played in the garage, we did a lot! Around noon we headed downtown & as I was pulling into a parking lot the car began to sputter, and then it completely shut down. Luckily it started back up on the first try. Scott came down & followed me home. I was very nervous about driving across the bridge! Fortunately he was able to get it to the shop & get it fixed. Apparently we have a slew of car problems. We've hardly had any problems with this car so maybe it was just time. Scott found out today that the tread on our truck's tires are at the point of being illegal. So we'll be replacing those soon, along with the brakes on the car. Just so much at once, but that's usually how it seems to go.

I had an awesome workout at the gym tonight. When the kids go to bed I head to the gym for a bit & get out my stress. It feels great & it's such a nice break.

Sebastian asked to lay with me today like Willow does. He laid with me & felt my hip bone. "What IS that?" he asked. I told him it was my bone & he says, "You need to see the doctor so he can push that back in." Ha ha!

Willow likes to pick up random bags, throw them over her shoulder and say very loudly, "Buh bye!". Then she'll walk towards the front door continuing to say bye. It's so funny. I need to get it on video soon. She really talks loudly sometimes & is very headstrong about getting her point across. Sometimes I can't figure out what she is saying & she gets very upset. She bends her knees & puts her face down on the floor crying. She will talk to us with such a serious look in her eyes, as if she is completely expecting us to understand her. I think all of our kids did that. It's the cutest thing. You have to wonder what they are saying.

Judah likes to pick up my bag & hand it to me. This is his way of letting me know he wants to go somewhere. He will start walking towards the door & say things like "go car!".  Willow & Judah both have their fun ways of getting messages across to us. They are smart little kids!

Hopefully tomorrow we'll be able to get out beyond our backyard! We are all looking forward to it!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Hand, Mouth & Foot Part 2!

Sebastian complained of throat pain early this evening. He also said he couldn't walk. He always says he can't walk when he gets a slight injury or doesn't feel well. This time was much worse though. His whole body felt hot & he had a fever. He said his head hurt & his body ached. We had to carry him to bed. We called a nurse & were told to watch him for 72 hours. She believed it was viral, which means there is basically nothing you can do but keep him comfortable. So that's what we are doing. After his Tylenol kicked in he requested his favorite smoothie & told me exactly where Daddy kept the rainbow sprinkles. When your little one is sick you'll do pretty much whatever they ask because it's such a sad sight to see, makes you feel horrible. Needless to say he got the smoothie. He also got to spend time with Daddy, reading a Garfield comic in his bed. Later he started feeling a bit better, was up & around some, watched a bunch of home videos on the computer with his siblings & was chatting away like he was his usual self. I'm sure it's the hand, mouth & foot virus since his throat is hurting. I will keep you posted on how he is doing. Unfortunately we will miss our play date tomorrow. We haven't been able to go on many this summer since they are usually outdoor play dates. I tried a couple outdoor play dates but it's just too stressful with my three children. Some moms can do it but it's the most unrelaxing thing in the world to me! I'm sure we'll find many fun things to do around here. I'm working on a schedule for the kids. Judah's therapist has been recommending it, as have his teachers. Routines are good for kids. They give them a sense of stability. Hopefully we'll get that together soon.

Susan, Alvin & Dad be on the lookout for a package coming your way soon!

Judah & I spent a lot of time together while everyone else was grocery shopping today. We crashed trains, played outside, watched Cars (I recorded it on tv) and did much dancing. He loves dancing. Anytime music comes on during a movie he says "daaa!" and holds his arms up to me. So I pick him up & throw him around, jump up & down and dance all over the living room. It's completely exhausting but he loves it. He laughs & smiles the whole way through.

Willow did something funny this morning. I was digging through her random assortment of bigger sized shoes & came across & golden pair of flats. They had a tiny bow on the top & were very shiny. She saw them & instantly began to remove her usual blue sandals & demanded to wear them. This baby's got style, what can I say! Earlier this evening she put them on and said, "Daddy!!". She really wanted him to see. She was wearing them around with only a diaper & a t-shirt on. She's very proud of her shiny Dorothy shoes.

I guess that's all the news for now. It's been a good weekend. Scott is cooking burgers & we'll be catching the latest episode of Big Brother (our guilty pleasure) over dinner. We watched Shadow People last night. It was a great time to catch up on conversation & snuggle time with my husband. Awful movie. Next time we'll try Magic, Magic with Juno Temple & Michael Cera. At least there are people we recognize in that one. That was actually my second choice last night. If any of you have seen it please feel free to post your review!


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Demands From a Little Person

Today started out pretty well. The boys went with Grandma & Papa to build airplanes at Lowe's. I went to a friend's yard sale in our neighborhood. Scott got our oil change done. I had time to go the gym before he took Judah to see the much anticipated movie Planes. Judah had such a busy day with Grandma & Papa that he got pretty tired watching the movie. Scott said at one point Judah laid down on the floor. Another time he sat on the floor & watched the movie through the space between the chairs in front of them. Overall he seemed to enjoy it & Scott said it was mostly an appropriate movie for little kids. There was maybe one scene that was violent. That's pretty good for a child's movie now a days. Although the old movies are pretty terrible too if you think about it. Pinocchio involves smoking, drinking, kids setting buildings on fire & more. Alice In Wonderland has a witch who likes to chop people's heads off. Old children's movies & stories, nursery rhymes & songs can be pretty graphic & awful. When you really think about their message they don't seem very sweet at all, but quite the opposite. Anyway, he thought Planes was okay for our kids to watch. There is a website we use often to get parental & children reviews of movies we haven't seen yet or don't remember, It's a good resource for parents & grandparents to have.

While Daddy & Judah were at the movie I spent much one-on-one time with Willow. This baby wouldn't give me a break!! Every 2 minutes she would let me know of something she wanted to do. Like I've said before, her communication is downright amazing. Today it was exceptional. I had a little adult on my hands, a demanding one at that! Of course we want to encourage communication & learning so I went through with most of her requests, unless they were dangerous. She's suddenly very interested in climbing & perching from high spots. She is somewhat rebellious in a way as she doesn't want to sit in her booster seat appropriately anymore, instead of eating at the table she prefers to walk around the house with her food in a bowl & a few other things. It's pretty cute. Her personality is blooming for sure. Her brothers are definitely an influence.

There was a thunderstorm during the late afternoon/early evening. That was exciting since we don't get those often. We get rain for sure, but rarely do we get thunder & lightning. The dog was either scared or outside barking at the loud noises. Willow was a bit scared but got used to it quickly. It was nice, very relaxing & nostalgic. I opened the windows & let the house fill with the smell of rain & the songs of nature booming away outside.

Scott just got back with a movie for us to watch, Shadow People. I'll let you know how it is tomorrow. He's making us French toast for dinner. The kids are sound asleep in bed. I love Saturday nights. :)

Friday, August 9, 2013


I can't even put into words how much in awe I am of our little Judah. He's such a beautiful, loving, happy child. He's beginning to use more words & is suddenly comfortable trying very many! Even phrases! He looks at us when we say his name now more than he's ever done before. Today Sebastian spilled ketchup on the floor at McDonald's. Judah looked down & saw it, grabbed some napkins from the napkin holder, bent down & cleaned it up! He decided completely on his own to do this & did it very naturally, like it was just something that needed to be done. I praised him very much, which made him very happy. It's so interesting to see his changes because we really don't know what to expect. It makes every minute with him exciting. He is an awesome kid.

Sebastian helped me wash a ton of dishes today. We also made pink lemonade cookies, his idea. Willow absolutely demanded to help. Honestly I didn't even think to see if she wanted to help, which obviously didn't matter because she was going to help no matter what. I stirred the dough & she repeatedly let me know that she wanted to be doing that! Like I've said before, she understands SO MUCH. I can ask her to do something & she will. It's amazing. She's just this little baby who learns at an incredible speed (as a lot of babies do) & knows everything that is going on. She communicates so well. She's going to be helping me out around the house very soon, I can see it now, haha! Sebastian is such a helper. If I turn something into a "job" most of the time he will want to do it & enjoy it. Something else I've learned is that if I say something with huge excitement in my voice it helps in many situations. Parents out there give it a shot! Or if the kids think I'm sad or feeling bad, they will also do most things at that time as well. Just a few tricks I've stumbled upon, completely by accident. ;) Sebastian has actually been begging me to mop the floors for weeks! It's just hard with 3 kids to get that one done. I do wonder when the cleaning won't seem fun to him anymore. Hopefully it lasts a while! The other day he vacuumed most of the house & had a great time doing it! Ahhh, extra help is so nice. Unfortunately I would need about 10 little Sebastians to get everything done!

Today we found out that Scott's Nanny was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. I really can't imagine the devastation & emotional state his family must be in. Scott was shocked & sad. It must be like losing pieces of someone you love a little bit at a time. It must hurt that she can't do anything about it & would never choose to be going through that. It must hurt badly to know that you can't do anything to make it better. We are keeping the Ada family in our thoughts a lot. Nanny is definitely surrounded by people that love & care about her very much. She is a very strong woman - her past defines that well. She is a loving, generous woman who has taken on the task of caring for her great grandchildren out of love, she seems happy to do it - even though it has to be exhausting!! She has Sunday brunch at her house every week, and has been doing that for years. She feeds her large family & welcomes anyone with open arms. She did that for me. I can't imagine how scared & saddened & upset she must feel right now. She has worked so hard at making people happy her whole life & in turn has definitely made the world a better place. It seems so unfair that she would be faced with something that is pulling those memories from her, so very unfair. Our thoughts & love are with all of you in Ada.

With that said I'm going to try a little harder to bring love & happiness to the world like she does. She is inspiration. Honestly I don't even know her that well, but in the time that I have spent with her it was very easy to see who she was & I instantly admired her. We are all lucky to have such a beautiful woman, inside & out, in our lives.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Like Riding a Bike

Very bittersweet moment today, Sebastian started riding his bike without training wheels! We had attempted this before quite a while back but he just wasn't ready. So now, a month after his 6th birthday, he seems more than ready as he hopped on & basically took off! He would ride little by little & then take his feet off the pedals to keep his balance. By tomorrow I suspect he will be zipping down the street racing the neighbor kids. I made some videos at the park today of him riding. I will try & post them on here soon.

Judah seems to be talking more. We've been trying for a while to get him to say "want" and then whatever he is wanting at that time (usually it's my phone). He will say "want" and then will say "phone" when prompted. Today he wanted to hear the Cars cd in the car on the way home from the park. He kept saying "cars". I knew what he wanted & told him I would put it on. He then grabs the cd case (which he's never done before) and we find the cd together. THEN he says "want cars!" He did it! Today he picked out train tracks he wanted to use & I helped him put them together, even though he is really good at that kind of stuff. It's just important to give him as much one-on-one as we can. He benefits from it a lot. Later we dug through all of the movies looking for Cars. He was very sad that we couldn't find it, a bit of a meltdown (which I don't think he can control) and then just sad. The Cars movie is a staple in this household. It's also hard to keep in good condition with so many kids. I think we were on our 4th copy. We'll be on our 5th soon enough.

Gosh, it seems like Judah said more today but I just can't think of it. He definitely is trying to say more. I'm straining to make sense of what he is saying & heard a lot of responses from him today that made complete sense. I will have to write them down throughout the day tomorrow.

Sebastian spent the day with Grandma - sounds like they played outside a lot & he did well on his reading. She really enjoyed the letter he wrote her. She sent an email telling me that I was a good mom, haha.

Willow & Judah are bonding even more. They sit at the counter to eat together now. At the park they were following one another around, climbing the play structures together & always seem to be slightly watching after one another. It's very sweet. Yesterday when Sebastian was yelling at Judah about his track getting broken he announced that Judah was not his best friend anymore. I remember thinking, "Judah is his best friend, I love that!!" Kids are ever-changing, exhausting & very loving creatures, that's for sure.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Good Mom

Taking care of 3 children all day means struggling to give each enough individual time with you, undivided attention, opportunities to learn, grow, try new things and be challenged. I wish it was easier. They deserve better but unfortunately one person can only do so much. I feel bad about it everyday. I could do more. I could do better. I know they are happy - but they could be even happier if I did more with their day. I'm in complete control of their day. Its huge responsibility. I want to at least feel like I am doing the best I can. Right now I don't feel like that. I don't know that I ever will because you can always do better. You can always improve.

Today I had Sebastian write letters to family members to practice his writing and spelling. After he finished I told him to fold them up. He asked me how and I told him he could fold them however he wanted to. "I want to roll them up and tie ribbons around them like they did in the olden' days!" And so we did just that. That kid will always surprise you. His personality is the best.

Judah seems to be almost fully recovered, although his temp was 100 before bed.

I'm dying to get back to the gym. I wasn't able to go yesterday due to sleep deprivation. Tonight Scott was gaming. So tomorrow I will go & I will feel awesome. :)

Sebastian built train tracks today. He made a long track coming out of the playroom, curving in the hall and careening down a steep hill. He used to build this track often when he and Judah loved watching the Polar Express. At the bottom of the hill the track would hit the wooden floor, otherwise known as the "ice floor", just like the movie when the train goes sliding over the ice. Today all 3 of them were playing on the track, and every now and then they were completely happy and engaged with one another. This was satisfying and relieving to me. It may not have been my doing but in those moments they were learning, loving, sharing, happy and making sweet memories they will cherish. It may not have been my doing but for a minute I felt like a good mom.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hand, mouth, foot.

We took Judah to the doctor this morning & he was diagnosed with the hand, mouth, foot virus. This is a new one to us. Since it's viral it just has to run it's course. I do think he is getting better though. His temp was around 100 most of the day today & he seems much more energetic & happy. He was even talking more today! He told me a couple times, "Look Mom!" We sat down & looked at photos & he would say an appropriate word for nearly every photo. It's so exciting to me when his progress is so clear.

Sebastian made cinnamon rolls & bread from scratch with Grandma this afternoon. She said he did very well on his reading. On Thursday we are heading to the park to try out riding his bike with no training wheels! Should be exciting. He's had a lot of firsts lately. He recently started tying his shoes & also recently started reading. He has been able to do sight words for a long time, but he is actually sounding out complete words better now. Not long ago I found him in his room with scissors. "What are you doing??" I said. He told me in a very calm & confident manner, "I'm cutting the tags off my new tie shoes." So I let him be. I didn't want to crush his confident spirit. I was sort of waiting for him to call me into his room & ask for help tying his shoes, but eventually he came out & stood at his door with both of his shoes tied! "Where did you learn to do that?" I asked. "From you," he said. That was such a sweet moment. I'll never forget it. He was so proud. He tied his shoes for Daddy & Grandma that afternoon. Scott was shocked - and it's hard to shock him! He was a proud Daddy for sure.

Willow is amazing me lately. She understands so much! And her words are getting to be much clearer. It's really exciting to be able to communicate with her at only 20 months old! Since Sebastian spends the better part of Tuesday & Thursday doing projects & reading with Grandma, Willow & Judah have had much more bonding time. Today they were taking turns climbing up the slide & then jumping into my arms. They did that for quite a while. I'm trying to get Judah to share his toys with Willow when he is playing with them. This is very difficult for him to do. He rarely does it. Taking turns is something that is very important for him to learn. He loves to play on my phone. He's very good at it too. When I tell him it's my turn I usually have to pull it out of his hands. Then he will often hit someone, throw himself to the floor, etc. He gets very upset. Today he was playing on my phone for quite a while & when he was done he brought it over to me & handed it to me. He hardly ever does that. Again, clear progress. The more you work the better it gets- as with most things in life. Making the time to work is crucial. After all, it only ends in excitement & happiness, and that's the best way to see your kid. :)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Sick boy.

We weren't able to go anywhere today, but Sebastian & I got a lot done around the house. Every 4 hours today Judah had a fever. The Tylenol lasted 4 hours & then like clockwork he was knocked down again. Poor kid. At dinner he just curled up in his chair and hid. Tomorrow morning he will see the doctor. Sebastian was sick throughout the night last night. He puked in his sleep and didn't even wake up! Today he was all better. Needless to say we are exhausted with sickness in this house. I just feel so bad for Judah.

Sebastian & I made Grandma a card today. Willow & Judah played in the stickers. Judah ended up with little Cars stickers on his legs. Willow had them on her face, intentionally. :) She is such a character. Tonight she took off her shorts & tried to get her shirt off. She found me & demanded a bath. It was completely spontaneous & hilarious.

Big life moment last night - I cleaned out & organized our closet. It took hours. I ended up getting rid of about 12-16 pairs of shoes & a pile of skirts. I have more to donate, that was just a smidgen. It's a lot of work but I LOVE the feeling of being organized. I'm hoping to ride out this journey to have an organized life & a fun pursuit of my goals. Not just for me but for my family too. We model our parents. Being scattered and cluttered isn't a healthy example to set for them. And it's a hard way to live! We want to teach them strength, confidence, loving others, loving yourself & living well.

Tonight Scott & I are watching some brain-numbing television, the Bachelorette. Why anyone would want to go on this show is beyond me. A bunch of men sign up to date the same woman. At the end there is a marriage proposal. It's probably one of the unhealthiest ways to go about finding love & getting married (very quickly). But it's late night entertainment & easy to wind down to. Our evenings are so different now. We eat family dinners. I've started cooking dinner. After that I go to the gym unless Scott has plans. Scott puts the kids to bed & then I am back home to unwind with him. Now I just add a little blog-writing to the mix & it's a very full night!

Keep Judah in your thoughts. He is worn out from being sick. He's the biggest sweetheart ever. All I can do is snuggle him & want him to be back to himself. I'll post an update on him tomorrow.

Goodnight, live well.

Sunday, August 4, 2013


My father has a blog. Every Monday he inserts some poetry into his post. It usually tells a story, bringing about a bit of his personality & interests as well. He's inspired me to deliver a little poetry to my book too.


sunshine strength hard screams

rose petals open in rain -

my baby boy grown

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Saturday sickness, bike riding & baby talk!

The grandparents took the boys today. They went out to Bauman's farms, lunch at Baja Fresh, Toys R Us to buy backpacks, lunch bags & a Planes toy for Judah (that he later played with for HOURS). They brought Judah home & took Sebastian to Wal-Mart to buy a kid's hammock. They got that tied up in their backyard & sent me a photo of Sebastian lounging. He did some tree-climbing there & made up stories with Grandma on the car ride. He ate a big dinner, got ready for bed & headed home only to find his brother laying in his bed with a fever. Poor Judah. He had a fever over 102 so I took off his clothes, laid him in bed & put a cold washcloth on his head (something my mom always did for me). He fought me kicking and screaming as I poured Tylenol and Ibuprofen down his throat. He started to doze off while Willow stood over him, stroking his hair. She said, "night, night" and closed his door. She is a very smart & sweet 20 month old. Today she was talking so much! I was holding her & she said, "Biper! Poo poo!" Sure enough, she had on a diaper full of poo-poo. When I talk to her she understands me. Today she ate & then asked to brush her teeth "chi chi", over & over. She loves brushing her teeth. I chased her around the yard a lot today. She also went with me to the gym while I got in a very quick 45 minute workout & she hung out in childcare. She's doing really well in there now, hardly cries at all! A gym with free childcare is awesome. After the gym we spent a couple hours hitting up yard sales. She enjoyed picking out shoes & clothes & running towards the street (or whatever direction I didn't want her going). I found some really cute, like new dresses for her. I also found a chart I can use for Sebastian to document his responsibilities for the week. I think we really need something like that. I've tried it before but didn't follow through with it, which was pretty sad because every once in a while he asks me when we are going to finish it. Again, another example of me starting something & not finishing it.. and this time I'm disappointing my own kid. We'll do it this time.

Scott is out grabbing dinner & a movie. He worked nine hours today - on a Saturday!! Tomorrow he will probably work the same. His work is doing a once-a-year upgrade this weekend.

Apparently Sebastian was trying to ride his bike without training wheels at Grandma & Papa's this evening. On Tuesday we will all head to the park & see if he can do it! I'm going to make a video of this milestone event. I'm excited.. we all are. So recently he started reading, tying his shoes.. and maybe riding his bike without training wheels. It's sad for me to see him grow up, but of course exciting to see all of his firsts as well. It's exciting to watch him sprout. He is a special, sweet, hilarious, smart kid that has touched all of our lives in so many ways. His positivity shines through us all. He definitely brings with him many gifts & "surprises" (his favorite thing to do - he makes you close your eyes, he does this all day long). We are very lucky.


I'm writing this blog to share our growth & experiences as a family. This blog address has only been sent to a handful of people as my writing will contain some personal pieces of our family life. If you are reading our family blog & wish to comment that's fine. I just ask that you remember this is writing about children that they will someday read. Any negative or hurtful comments will be immediately deleted. I would never wish for my family to be hurt (or affected) directly or indirectly from this blog in any way. Thank you.

I'm sad to say that our original family blog, "Molly's World" disappeared as our credit card expired that we were using to pay for the domain name. So basically it was our own irresponsibility & forgetfulness that caused this to happen. I'm still hopeful that we can get back everything that was written there somehow. After all, once you put something on the internet it never comes off, right?? It makes me so sad to think that all of those documented moments may be lost forever. But at the same time it motivates me to not let anymore future documentation of our family time slip away!

It's so late & baby Willow is sleeping on my chest. Pixie (the dog) is on the floor whimpering, waiting for Daddy to get home from gaming with his friends.

Today we went to a play date at my friend Julie's coffee shop. There was a mountain of girl babies there! I'd never seen such a big baby play date! I added one more girl baby to the mix & two older boys. I made a new friend & talked to many others that I've known for a while. Julie & I had a long chat after the group left. She always has wisdom & interesting thoughts to share. We drank coffee & chatted while my children climbed all over the furniture. Today she was very much a gigantic help with our decision about where to send my oldest for Kindergarten. I only wish my husband would have been there to hear her thoughts & to interject some of his own questions.

Judah was confident in saying some phrases & words he knows today. He said, "bye bye" and "all done" when I was using my phone. He wanted to play on it. Typically he only says "bye bye". Once I get ready to hand him my phone he says, "want" and then after prompted he says "bone" (phone). He repeatedly said "bye!" as Daddy carried him down the hallway to his room for bedtime. He never does that. I love his surprises. They are the best.

We are constantly outside now. Why? Because we have a DOG. We have a dog that will not go outside on her own. We have a dog that will not go down the stairs from the balcony to go potty unless myself or Scott (not even a kid!) goes down with her. Being outside a lot (before the rain season starts) is great though. The kids love it. We did a lot of running in the yard today. Judah loves being chased. He always starts the game. Willow joins in. Sebastian loves to run too. He's the only one I can't catch! I noticed yesterday when I took the kids to play at the Kids Club that Judah has gotten so much better at running. He was keeping up with the older kids! His confidence was just SOARING when we were there. He was trying to say what the other kids were saying. He played with practically everyone. All of the kids had a great time. Unfortunately I hate the Kids Club, I think most people in Salem do. They charge way too much, have a LOT of rules & don't have staff that work well with children. This is a huge place and there were only 2 other customers there the entire time we were there. It's a school as well though. During break time students play on the equipment with the customers. While we were there Willow needed a bottle. It was a little before 4pm. The only drinking/eating area there is open to students only from 4-5pm. There was no place for us to go. They allowed me to stay in the eating area, but we were soon bombarded by children & we were very much in the way. Another incident- I hear Judah screaming bloody murder in the bounce house. I find him pinned down on the bounce house floor by about 5 children (all students I think). I yell at them (mother's instinct), "Get off of him!!" At this point the staff decides to come over & ask me what is going on. I tell her. She gently tells two of them as they are exiting the bounce house that they are not supposed to get on top of people. This is all she tells them. She does not make them apologize or give them any kind of consequence or give them any opportunity to learn that what they did was very wrong & dangerous. Basically they have no reason not to do it again. I was so upset I was holding back tears. Five minutes later Judah was running & having the time of his life, so we stayed. Otherwise I would have left immediately. Had I left immediately Judah would have screamed & fought the whole way home about having to leave, which of course was not at all his fault. It would not have been fair to him. I think my mommy friends & I should get together, bring in all of our toys, bikes, slides, etc. and rent out a building. We could charge a very cheap amount for parents to bring their kids to play in a secure environment, out of the Oregon rain & out of the summer heat. It would be a place where parents could relax & kids could play. The Kids Club used to be something similar to this idea. Unfortunately now they have gone in a terrible direction. Most of my friends will not set foot in there. It's so discouraging that someplace my kids enjoy so much is not a place we can go anymore. Judah in particular is usually happier than I ever see him when we are there. It's upsetting that we can't go anymore, but at the same time it motivates me to find more places they will love & Judah will thrive at just as much.

Today was exhausting, emotionally & physically. I'm hoping hard for a beautiful, happy weekend & wishing you all one as well!