Friday, February 25, 2011

finding myself somewhere in all this

What I find really funny:
Donovan climbs onto his Daddy's lap, holds his two pointer fingers together, and says, "itckle."
"He wants you to tickle him," I said.
"No, he wants you to play 'cut the pickle, tickle, tickle'", says Connor.
Have you ever heard a one and half year old laugh hysterically? When his daddy indulges him and cuts the pickle over and over again, he laughs his little head off. It is hilarious and very infectious.

What I find frustrating:
My three year old, who was potty trained right after he turned three, is no longer potty trained 6 months later. We have slid down this slippery slope of a mountain called potty training, and are resting back at the start of the trail. I am trying very hard to take the pediatrician's advice and not think of him as a three-year-old-that-should-be-potty-trained.  He is simply my unique little boy that has his own time table for things.  So I just suck it up and pretend this is normal when I pay for a box of diapers and pull-ups at the store. Baby steps, its all about baby steps. I will worry about trying to get him weaned off the fiber gummies at another time. Maybe once the summit of the mountain feels very far behind us.

What I find heartbreaking:
My first grader's nurse called me at 1:30 on Wednesday, Connor's first day back at school after a week home.  She said he was ready to come home. I had to give him a piggy-pack ride out to the van because he couldn't walk. Why oh why do kids have to become ill?  Why do they have to become so ill that they cannot walk and why oh why is there no treatment for HSP? My poor boy has been suffering from this vasculitis for over a week. He has swollen joints, bleeding in his stomach, and a pretty amazing looking rash on his lower body. If I could take his pain, and be sick for him, I would do it in a heartbeat.

What I find heartwarming:
My dear hubby picks up the slack every evening when he comes home.  And there's been a lot of slack these last few weeks. I don't know what I would do without him.

Monday, February 21, 2011

For once - I love Mondays!

Our world is white and fluffy, and I can hear the steady drip, drip of melting snow falling from the eaves.
I am thankful that there is no school this Monday. The temperature is in the single digits and the roads look rather icy. I am more than happy to extend our relaxing weekend into one more day. I am in my pajamas and slippers and enjoying a warm cinnamon roll (I love my new slippers! And I love that I got them for $2.50 on the clearance rack at Target). This morning, I am almost wishing I was a coffee drinker!

We've had lots of snow shoveling, snow ball making, and curling up under blanket moments these last few days. A big snow storm is a good excuse to slow down, to spend three days inside with the whole family and try to get along. I'd say we've been pretty successful, although Dean may or may not have been happy to head back to work this morning.

As my poor boy has been laid up with swollen joints, we had already stocked up on audio books, and have been enjoying them. The kids also  played a lot of the game-boy this weekend. And caught up on school work. And played card games. And had their share of 'kid coffee' since they can't handle the hot cocoa like Daddy can. And laughed and giggled with far-away cousins on Skype (I love Skype. If you have family or friends far away, you've got to get Skype).
On Monday's like today, tomorrow's worries are just that - tomorrow's worries.
Enjoy your Monday!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I'm feeling pretty special

I was shot by cupid's arrow.  Or something. 
On closer inspection, I think I discovered it was actually an orange nerf bullet. I guess that's my husbands way of showing his love, bombarding me with his son's new toy. 
Actually, he did shower me with some lovely roses and some of my favorite drink, Naked Juices.
I feel pretty special.
My children wrote me Valentine's cards and Connor gave me a kindness coupon. I feel pretty special.
When I was growing up, I can remember one Valentine's Day where all of us girls found a pretty little mailbox  on our dresser's filled with red and pink candy. I don't remember if my Mom left us a treat every year or not, but that was the first memory I have of Valentine's Day, and I felt pretty special.
And being the busy, forgetful mom that I am, I don't remember what I gave my own kids last year, but each year I do try to let them know how loved they are.
This year, I made a special dinner. Turkey and sweet potatoes don't have much to do with Valentine's Day, but I did make the table look pretty.  Aubrey told Brant, my three year old, to look at the table when they came upstairs for dinner. Brant said, "Oh cute!" 
He made my day!

Aubrey was quite pleased with the prospect of a Valentine's Day party complete with cards, candles, cake, and a box of chocolates of her own.  She must have thought she'd have to wait until school for a party.
I hope I made them all feel pretty special.
This picture is actually from this morning. See how bad I am? I don't even fully clear the table when I do the dishes! To tell you the truth, Dean actually did all the dishes. He washed every pot and pan. 
I feel pretty special.

Friday, February 11, 2011

What a Week!

Last weekend, my oldest turned seven! Does that make me sound old? I  have a first grader, a seven year old!
The poor birthday boy was on day 3 of a fever and stomachache when he was supposed to be partying with his friends and grandparents. We had a quiet to-do at home; he's still waiting for his 'real' party.
Unfortunately, his crummy luck didn't stop there. One sleepless night, one run to the ER, and one ruptured eardrum later, we might be getting back on track, although we have one off-balance and hard-of-hearing boy. Hopefully we can make it all up to him soon.

Right in the middle of all this, Aubrey decided she would like her hair short. That was fine with me, I've had short hair and I loved it. What I couldn't believe was that we cut off six inches!
I love it, and so does she! After she found out how easy it was to comb her hair, she decided she didn't ever want it to grow again.  I think it fits her vivacious personality perfectly.

Perhaps I have weird kids, I don't know, but every time we are near the pet store, they have to go inside. We don't even own any pets. So, after making a trip to OfficeMax this week, we trooped inside Petco. I still feel a little embarrassed about spending 20 minutes in the store and leaving with nothing, but what could I walk out with? A doggie bag?
I suppose one of the reasons Petco is so much fun is their little shopping carts. The funniest thing is that Donovan doesn't want to push one himself; he wants to ride in one.
When we looked at all the parakeets, Aubrey said, "It looks like they're having a party in there!"
We've got partying on our minds. 
I could do without the cupcakes, though.  Those things are too messy!

As much as Donovan loves the cupcakes, I think that for this weekend's party we'll stick with regular cake.
Or maybe we'll just eat this little munchkin.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Business Update

Finally, I am giving a business update.
Starting up a home based business is definitely the experience. Add four children to the mix that need to be loved and fed, the four bedroom house that needs to be cleaned, the four husbands that...just kidding! Anyway, all those fours equal out to be one busy mom.  Hence the day of utter laziness and relaxation that ensued on Saturday. It was wonderful. Maybe I should turn that into four days of utter laziness.
Back to the story, though (which some of you may already have read parts of on facebook)...
I finalized my logo!

I love it! I actually created this from a drawing my friend made me, then with my silhouettes that I made of my family back in December. Donovan is signing "mother" (tap your chin with the thumb of your open "5" hand).

I finally settled on a name.  I received some good suggestions, most of which were already taken, so I went with one of my first ideas.
This is the header on my website, and speaking of websites, mine is up and running! There are a couple pages I'm still working on, but feel free to check it out if you want.  Let me know what you think!  I've also created a facebook page for Little Hands Sign. Since I am still learning how to use the social plugins, and since I don't know how to find them now that my get started tab has disappeared, I am going to simply give you the URL -

I missed some key things. Before I made my logo, I finished all my paperwork with Sign2Me and am now a certified instructor! I got my city business license, and sent in my state sales tax license application.  I made a business plan. My start up business kit from Sign2Me came in the mail! I now have all the materials I need as well as some lesson plans and a disc with all my documents for printing for handouts.
For the record, I did not do any jigs in my kitchen.  I was, and still am, feeling a bit overwhelmed. My biggest hurdle is still ahead of me - finding places to hold my classes and people to fill them.  

I hit a point where I wondered why I am doing this. I have no idea if Flagstaff will support this type of business. I have no idea if people are willing to pay for a signing class. The only thing I do know, is that signing with your pre-verbal children is a very rewarding and gratifying experience. I firmly believe in all the benefits of signing with your babies, and I want to help others enrich the lives of themselves and their little ones, who are so much smarter than we all think.
With that little pep talk to myself, I am ready to keep moving forward! :)

My business cards are in the mail!
Once I receive those, I will have my website complete, and I suppose nothing should hold me back from hitting the streets and scheduling my first class.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

How Do You Do It?!?

With four children, I don't really consider my family large yet.  Everybody I meet in public intimates exactly that though. You've heard all the remarks, I'm sure.  "Boy you've got your hands full." "You must be busy." "I don't know how you do it!" And on and on.
Sometimes, I'm able to do it because I have so many children. 
They are each other's best friends. They entertain each other, leaving me in peace.

Sure, sometimes they simply annoy each other, as well as their mother, but on the whole, I think that they're pretty good buds.

I can't imagine raising a single child.  Oh, the boredom! 
I cherish my childhood days and the memories of being part of a big family.
When we were growing up, every night at bedtime my mother would read to us. I love to read to this day. 
I also have the same bedtime routine with my own kids, and they all love to read. 

Yesterday morning, I was cleaning the kitchen, enjoying the quiet room, when I heard the two little boys reading books upstairs. I grabbed my camera and sneaked over to get a peek.
I love that they can entertain themselves with books.

I love that they are such good friends that they can read together.

I love how the morning light was streaming into the room

I love that Donovan is signing what he sees in these last four pictures.

I could say that I love how they are signing together, but I know that is not what is really happening here, and I cannot tell a lie (besides, the lie may be cute but the truth is kind of funny).
 I do believe that Brant just picked his nose and is checking out his gold.

I love, love, love Donovan's expression in this picture.
"What are you doing, brother? I'm trying to communicate, and all you care about is eating your boogers!?"

How do I do it?!?!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My pictures have nothing to do with this random post

I wish I could record some moments on my memory.  I don't know when I would pull them out, but I'd like them there. Last night, I was rocking my 18 month old to sleep.  At first, I was irritated that it was taking so long, and that I had to rock him to sleep to begin with.  But it occurred to me that I will someday miss these moments.  He was playing with his toes, and I loved his nonsensical chatter.  Why is it that he will fight sleep tooth and nail, and I would give anything for it??!? I wanted to remember every detail of it though.  His warm little body on my lap, his feet flying and the sound of his baby talk. Once he finally falls asleep, I usually don't want to put him in his crib.  I could sit and rock him all night long, sound asleep on my chest.

 Actually, its probably a good thing I am forced to do our bedtime routine every night.  The kids make me slow down and spend some quiet time reading and rocking.  If it wasn't for them, I would probably wear myself down working nonstop.
I am eager to get the ball rolling and get my business up and running. Having a home based business does not mean that I can devote forty hours a week to it, however. Unfortunately, or should I say fortunately, home life moves along. Today, I must do laundry, return books to the library, grocery shop, and start on our tax return.

I was alarmed to read that when operating a business, 20% of my time will be spent dealing with my products and services, and 80% of my time will be spent doing administrative work. When I think back on the last three weeks, I believe it!
The good thing is that I have come up with a logo, and a name! I have all the forms filled out, ready for submitting to the city and state. I have a healthy start on my business plan. I have content up on my web page.

Things are moving along, and as I move along, I realize how fortunate I am in my family and friends.  My mother has encouraged me to keep going, my former sign language teacher has offered her support and advice as well as a reference letter, so many of my friends have helped me with my logo, planning my website, sending in a reference letter, or editing my web content. 
It is easy to get overwhelmed and stressed; it takes more effort to slow down and be thankful.
Today I am thankful.