Dry all night 

When you become a parent there are some things you give up, like sleeping through the night, having your bed to yourself, or using the restroom ALONE!  All these former luxuries…vanish.  But your life is never the same.

Phoebe had never been dry one single night of her life…never.  My pediatrician told me to just let it go when I took her in for her four year check up.  She said I had enough to do:). So I did.  By the time she was 5 I was beginning to worry I was training her to actually wet the bed, I freaked a little.  Because of that I spent 3 night in a row sleeping with a child that peed on me.  Neither of us woke up, it was unpleasant.  So I fretted to her teacher and out her back in pull ups.

When we set out on our trip this May, Phoebe got sick.  She ran a high fever for 4 days causing her to wake in the night for water.  She started asking if she could go to the bathroom when she woke up and of course I took her.  She was dry the next morning and every morning during the fever.  I worried that it was dehydration.  Finally the fever passed and the night waking went away but the dry in the morning stayed!  The entire trip!

So just like that with no intervention from me some flip was switched and Phoebe is now dry every morning and hasn’t worn a pull up in 3 weeks.  A lesson for me in faith that all things will happen in their own time.

5th Grade

Fifth grade is a turning point in education.  This is when children typically enter the “logic” phase of development.  I suspect Lela has been there for a while and that Piper is about 6 months away.  This means that I have to up my homeschooling game a bit.  Lela and I have been busily planning the next phase of her (and Piper’s education).  We are still going to take science with Covenant House and probably do one day of homeschool co-op.

Coursework for 5th Grade

Logic, Mathematics, History, Language (this is spelling and grammar), Writing, Science, Latin/foreign language, Religion (world religions), Art and Music

I am gathering all my new materials and organizing existing materials.

I am pretty excited about 5th grade:)

They are breaking up

Well it was bound to happen at some point but the big girls have broken up.  They split their rooms.  It is bittersweet for me but a step towards independence for them.  I don’t know exactly why they wanted it, at first Lela was making remarks about having her own room, I think because Piper is messier than Lela.  So Lela kind of planted the seed and it took root and grew.  Now Lela is NOT one for change so by the time the writing was on the wall she had changed her tune but it was too late.

We moved Landis and Phoebe to what used to be the unused guest room and Piper moved in to Landis and Phoebe’s old room.  So Piper and Lela share a Jack and Jill suite and spend a lot of time in each others rooms.  They both have a trundle so they can have sleepovers with each other.  I just want them to stay as close as they are now so they always have someone to talk to, just in case they don’t want to talk to their mother:)

As expected Lela’s room is neat as a pin and Piper’s room…well it looks loved.

Holy Crap what a tantrum

OY! This 4th child is a humdinger. Actually she is ALOT like the second child but with much more drama. Poor Phoebe can only see injustice in her life due to all the fun, cool things her older sibs can do and all the things they get. This leads to so much drama in her life and in mine, not to mention in her sibs.

So Phoebe has been asking for dance class. Lela struggled for a long time to find her thing, and it can’t be just a thing it had to be her thing and her thing only. We ended up with a Chihuahua for this reason until she realized she could not claim the dog for herself and the dog would go to other people, fail. Same with the Beta fish, fail. But now she has her horses and it is her thing and it makes such a difference in her life and in ours. So I started thinking maybe dance would be Phoebe’s thing. No one else does tap or jazz so why not. We have looked at studios, talked about types of dance and tried to find a place we liked and would also fit in to our schedule. Alas we found a place. Now for shoes etc. During this whole process Phoebe has been relentless in her asking about when and where.

Today was the day finally to go and get Phoebe her tap shoes. So we go to the store and get the shoes. The big girls know that we don’t buy things just for the sake of buying them, if there isn’t a need or a very strong want we don’t buy. Phoebe doesn’t get this. So as I am standing in line to buy the tap shoes and tights, she starts screaming at me because I won’t buy her some other shoes. Then she starts hitting me and screaming more. It gets worse. I am the epitome of calm and deserve a medal. I am doing my best to diffuse the situation without running out of the store. If this was two kids ago I would have just left but I only have so many hours in the day and this was the ONLY hour I had to get the shoes.

Phoebe took it upon herself to go back to the shoe section and get some shoes. Then she came to the front of the store and demanded that I buy them for her, I said no and to please put them back. She swung them as hard as she could and whacked me in the head. OMG, is this happening? All the while a Grandmother is in front of me and two first time moms (established by the grandma who asked) were staring at me, I am sure they were horrified. The big girls had gone outside because no one that is 7 or 10 wants to be embarrassed like I was being at the moment.

I was wishing the Grandma in front of me would hurry the heck up so I could get out of dodge before it really got bad. I finally got up to the till and bought the shoes and tights FOR PHOEBE. Then I left the store. But the fun wasn’t over yet. She decided to continue to yell at me about how she didn’t like me and was not going with me because I did not buy her the shoes she wanted. I had to take the other girls to the car and go back for Phoebe. By now the Grandma was leaving the store and Phoebe was actually running from me and shouting. I almost lost it, I wanted to snatch her up and spank her butt, but I had to catch her first. I did catch her and haul her to the car. Only to be rewarded with more shouting about how horrible I was along with kicking of my chair. I calmly put on Little House on the Prairie for the bigs to watch and put in my ear buds hoping that I didn’t crash the car in to a wall on the way home to spare us all the misery. About halfway through the 40 minute drive home (we had just been in Scottsdale for horseback riding) the remorse set in.

This was the way it happened with Lela as well. In fact Lela was bawling her eyes out about 5 minutes after leaving the store (hence the distraction of LHOTP). Lela remembers being so upset that she called me names and said horrible things and she remembers how badly that made her feel. She was reliving those moments and was feeling regretful:( Anyway, Phoebe apologized and then shouted that she still wanted the shoes, so apparently she wasn’t quite remorseful YET. She progressed and by the time we were home she felt shame and regret and promptly went to her room to play by herself. After about 30 minutes of that she came out and said she was sorry for the way she acted and that she loved me.

We talked about consequences for her actions and I asked her if anyone else deserved an apology and she said yes. She apologized to all her sisters. She will be making it up to them in different way such as cards and pictures. I will make her atone for her poor behavior by being kind to those she hurt.

Lela has turned out to be an amazing and compassionate person so I know that Phoebe will get there. I also know that Landis understand why we can’t have everything we want and why we choose to spend our money and time on those things that we genuinely love. So I know it is right around the corner for Phoebe but I swear if she punches me one more time I might become start carrying wine in my sippy cup:)

Thank you to my children for teaching me humility, patience and gratitude, I just hope it doesn’t kill me:)

Baby bird

This morning Landis saw a baby bird on the ground under a tree at Phoebe’s school.  The teachers saw it and apparently told the kids not to touch it, I didn’t hear this or see the bird but Landis told me about it.  I don’t like seeing things injured when I can’t do anything about it so after we discussed it, I put it out of my mind.  

When we went back to pick up Phoebe, landis asked if she could go over to a spot on the playground, I said yes and went to the other side of the playground to get Phoebe.  After 10 min or so I called over to the girls and told them we were going, they started over and I headed inside with Phoebe.  When Piper and Landis caught up with me, guess what Piper had in her hands??  Yes, the baby bird.

I was startled and anxious and I told her you never should pick up a baby bird.  She said Landis told her to and started to cry.  I told her we had to put i back, so we went outside and put it back.  Piper was really upset, she told me it was a myth that you can’t touch baby birds and coming from her I believe it, that is the kind of stuff she reads.  I was upset with Landis because she knew better, she heard the teacher explain it and she conned Piper in to picking it up.  By now Landis was crying.

I comforted them both and looked up info on found baby birds from the Audobon Society on my phone.  I read it over and explained what it said to the girls and then gave it to Piper to read.

Once we got home Piper went to lay down because she was still upset.  I talked with her and explained that her empathy was her gift in life and it would bring her success and happiness but she had to learn to use her gift and it would be hard.  Everyone loves Piper and I know it is her empathy that shines in her eyes and lives in her heart that attracts people but it also leaves her vulnerable. 

I also talked with Landis about her decision making and did she make a good or bad choice.  She felt bad for what happened and wrote Piper a note all on her own and I thought that was awesome on her part.

Ah….life, so many lessons.

More Texas

After our time with the Pleasant family in Austin we headed to see Nana and Papa in Schertz. There was some craaaazy weather going on in Tx with power outages, flash floods and big rain so we were glad to get there safe and sound. We just hung around the house and played games, we went to the park once and tried to stay away from the bloodthirsty mosquitoes without much success.

   
      On Tuesday we headed to New Braunfels to hang withUncle CM, Aunt Mel and Ava in their “new” old house. They bough an adorable pier and beam house built in the 1940s near the historic downtown New Braunfels area. It has excellent walkability and great neighbors.

   
   The girls had a great time “shopping” in Uncle CM’s swanky new office. They scored some great clothes and sunglasses from his samples.

   
    Today we walked downtown to do some shopping and I almost melted in to a puddle. The town is so quaint, I really love it. Seems like the folks that got fed up of all the changes in Austin moved to New Braunfels to set up shop. I am glad that they found a place that they love and it suits them so well.

  

Back to Texas

Well we couldn’t stay at my Uncles forever even though we wanted to, so after a few days we loaded up the hillbilly minivan and headed to Texas.  We stayed one night in Louisiana before crossing in to the Lone Star State.

 We headed to Austin to stay with my friend Shannon.  She and I worked together in high tech and became fast friends.  She has boy girl twins that are 8 years old.  The girls had a great time and I did too spending time catching up.  It is easy to take for granted how much having a friend that thinks and believes like you and how comfortable and reassuring that can be.

 After a week of biscuits and grits, Lela was in heaven to see a veggie tray with hummus.  Sometimes it’s the little things:)  

  

Uncle Vance and Aunt Donna

I have fond memories of my Uncle during my summers growing up.  As I have gone on with my life and been admittedly selfish I had lost touch but I couldn’t be that close and not go “home.”  I was a little nervous because it had been so long but as soon as I stepped on to the property that I had known as a child it felt like home.

  
The most wonderful thing is how the girls reacted to this land that has been in our family for over 100 years.  They loved it.  So many things had not changed one bit and that was comforting and a bit surreal.  My Uncle and Aunt really went out of their way to make us feel comfortable.  Apparently it worked because a two day visit turned in to a five day visit.

We spent time riding and caring for the horses, playing with the cats, climbing trees, feeding the raccoon and spending a lot of quality time with some wonderful family members.  It was definitely the highlight of the trip for me.   
         

Mobile, Ala

Growing up I spent many summers in Alabama visiting both sets of grandparents.  I remember going all the way through college and then never going back…until now.  After we dropped Jason at the PCB International airport we headed to Mobile.  Our first stop was Battleship Memorial Park and the USS Alabama.

   
 

We also toured the submarine and looked at some cool planes.  I’m not gonna lie the humid air was killer.  Lela is slightly claustrophobic, as am I, and after we went down two decks she was clamoring for some “fresh air.”  Sad to say all that was waiting for her was a mouthful of humid sad air.

While in the area we also went to Dauphin Island and visited the Sea Lab and learned about estuaries.

  
While on the island we got to go to Fort Gaines and learn about its role in the Civil War.  There was even a working blacksmith shop and it was HOT!  We spent quite a bit of time in the air conditioned museum after touring the rest of the fort. 

   
     

Panama City Beach

After our fun in Orlando we packed up the hillbilly minivan and headed to Panama City Beach.  I went to high school in PC and haven’t been back in almost 15 years.  My high school best friend lives there and the girls had never seen the beaches in Fl so we decided to add it to our trip.  We had a bit of a rocky start to our trip with a broken air conditioner in our condo but after a “this is where we pull together and support an exhausted mom and dad” pep talk we reloaded the hillbilly mini and headed down to our air conditioned, 15th floor, beachside condo.

We spent time at the beach, in the pool and cruising the strip in a golf cart.  We had a blast.  All of the girls really took to “Ms. Kelly” and it was amazing to see her for me as well.