All of the Gang...

All of the Gang...

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Potty Training: Three Down, Three To Go...

    Potty training has been non-stop at our house.  With the exception of July to December of last year, we have had three children in diapers at all times for the last 4 years.  First it was Sutton with Pearson and Peter, then Pearson and Peter with Cyrus and now Cyrus with Hadley and Sophia.  If anyone needs to own stock in Pampers, it should be us.  I am anticipating one more short break for about a year before taking it on with Hadley and Sophia.  I am by no means a pro, and each boy has proven to be a challenge, in their own way. 
    With Sutton, I didn't want to pressure him into potty training because we had just had Peter and Pearson and I had heard that rushing it when there is a new baby (or in our case, babies) could cause regression in the child that was potty training.  With that said, we still haphazardly began his toilet training. It began the day that his diaper became unfastened and slid out the pant-leg of his shorts during my first trip to the grocery with him and his brothers....alone.  In a panic I quickly grabbed the diaper and shoved it into my purse (thanking God that it was still dry and not full of a so called "surprise".  I quickly finished my shopping and headed on our way to his daycare, diaper-free.  I was ecstatic that we had made the three mile trip accident free.  After that, he actually got the hang of it rather quickly and within 3 months was even sleeping without a diaper at night. 
    Peter and Pearson proved to present different challenges, even just between the two of them.  With Pete, it was just a matter of being patient.  When he decided he was ready, he was serious.  It took him only a matter of three weeks to be virtually accident free.  Now Pearson, he was going potty on the toilet for almost two whole months before Pete even acknowledged that there was this strange thing in the bathroom called a toilet.  
    The issue with Pearson was the actual sitting to do his "business".  We tried books, songs, games, stickers, you name it, we tried it.   Then I remembered the scene from the movie "Look Who's Talking" where the little boy was afraid of the toilet because he thought it was a monster.  So....after weeks of Pearson going potty in the toilet and then having temper tantrums so he could have a diaper for his "other business" I decided enough was enough and told him that he had to go poo in the toilet to scare the toilet monster away.  I called it the "Scare The Poo Out of Him" tactic.  I was at the end of my rope.  I was changing I don't know how many diapers a day (at that point it included little Cyrus) and I knew Pearson was capable!  Low and behold, IT WORKED!  Sutton would even cheer for Pearson as he sat on the toilet, "Poop on the monster!  Poop on the monster!"
    Now we come to Cyrus.  Like with Sutton, we didn't want to rush him because Sophia and Hadley just joined us and we didn't want to make things harder on him than need be.  So we thought, we'll just let him determine when he's ready.  Winter ended, spring came and went and next thing we knew, it was summer and  one month shy of his third birthday.  Cyrus was going to have his first trip to grandmas, all by himself.  Again, I didn't want to pressure him...then my mom called us one evening while he was staying with her.  Cyrus had been doing all his "business" just like a "big kid" and had been diaper free.
    That was easy, I thought...just send him to Grandma's!  Ya, right!  It's been almost a month and a half since his return from Grandma and Grandpas, and we have our good days and our not-so-good days.  There are the days that I am hopeful and let him romp around in his camo unders only to have at the end of the day an entire load of just little boy unders.  We'll get there though.  Monster in the toilet or not, one day, and one day soon I am sure, I will do the little 'potty dance' in excitement of having all of my boys potty trained.  I have heard that girls are easier, all I can do is cross my fingers.  Now if I can only get them to clean the bathrooms....

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summer Smoothies!

  With having six children we are always trying to find something different, healthy and of course easy to fix that the kids will love.  With the exception of Thursdays, which are designated for muffins, I usually let the boys choose what they want for breakfast and every morning tends to be the same:  Cheerios.  I felt the need to mix things up a little today so this morning when I opened the fridge, I just started grabbing things.  Our boys love blueberries.  We will go through a 5lb. box in less than five days.  I also looked at the over-ripe bananas that I had.  I had one too many for a loaf of banana bread, so I snatched up one of those.  Again, with a family as large as ours, we often buy things in larger containers than that of the typical family.  I grabbed the large tub of yogurt that had just enough left in it for one person, but not worth starting a riot over because there wasn't enough for everyone.  The end product, a drinkable breakfast that everyone loved!

1/2 c. blueberries
1/2 c. strawberies
1 ripe banana
1/2 c. vanilla yogurt
1 tsp. honey
2 c. milk
Add all ingredients to blender and blend until banana is well chopped up. (about 30-45 seconds)

Good Night Moon, Good Night Stars, Good Night Mom with a Big Head.

     I'm always amused at Pearson's thought process.  Jeff and I have recently found ourselves talking about how Pearson manages to rationalize things in his own special way and how often times he comes out being right.   There was no exception tonight.
     As the boys took turns hoping in and out of the shower Pearson asked me, as he dried off, to wrap the towel around his head the way I do when I step out.  I tried and after a few failed attempts and his frustration growing he asked why it stays on my head that way and not on his.  I tried to come up with the simplest explanation possible.  I told him it was because I had so much more hair.  This answer was not good enough.  He asked, "Daddy doesn't have lots of hair, so why does it stay on his head?"  My next best explanation was because Jeff and I were bigger and our heads were bigger.   "So when I am bigger the towel will stay on my head?", he asked.  "Yes."  I replied, which seemed to finally be an adequate answer for him.
    Jump ahead about 45 minutes.  The boys are all lying in their beds and each are taking their turns for our bedtime prayers and saying what they are thankful to God for.  "Thank you for laughs, God.", Peter prayed.  Cyrus added his prayers of thanks for his new friend he made at the park today.  Finally, Pearson chimed in.
"Mom, when we go see God I pray that he will let you ride in the back seat because your head is big.  Goodnight.", and with that he rolled over to go to sleep.
    I sat there for a couple minutes wondering about what he just said.  Our family talks about Heaven quite a bit, especially since the passing of our dog, Patches at the end of last year.  So I thought, does he think we take a car to heaven?  And then of course, why does he think my head is so big it requires me to ride in the back of the car?   I'm sure there is some simple explanation that he has.  As for now, I will just have to focus on just how big my melon is and be thankful that I will at least be in the car that takes us to Heaven and not tied to the roof.

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Monday, July 26, 2010


Poop-tas-tro-phe (noun) [poop-tas-truh-fee]
*taken from the Toms Personal Family Dictionary

Derived from the English words poop and catastrophe.

1. A sudden and often violent explosion of poo from a small child's diaper where the poo is no longer contained in said diaper or clothing.

How to use it in a sentence:
"Sophia's pooptastrophe was so severe that her daddy laid out newspaper on the floor to change her, as there was shit everywhere!"

When does this usually occur?
Pooptastrophes often, but not always, occur when a parent is in a hurry for an appointment that they are already late for. They go to lift the child out of their bouncy seat, Bumbo or other said play seat only to find poop up to the child's shoulder blades and down to his or her knees. Such an occurrence typically results in the child becoming covered in poop on other areas of the body due to parents attempt to remove clothes when they should just be cut off and thrown in the trash, while after all, in the end they will end up in the trash anyways.
The end result is a cleanly bathed child, a parent with the poo smell in their nose for the remainder of the day (or until they, themselves have the time to take a shower, which for some may be more than one day) and a re-scheduled appointment for another day, leaving the possibility for this to occur again.
1. Montezuma's Revenge, shit-splosion

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Change of Plans

This morning I woke up thinking to myself, "Yeah! I'm going to have a laid back, do nothing day." I had managed to get all the laundry and dishes done yesterday so that I could finally have a Saturday not filled with that "stuff". My first plan was to make the boys pancakes and have a nice sit down breakfast. Ha Ha! Right.... they fortunately settled for cheerios and bananas since their sister Hadley was exercising her right as a baby to be fed immediately. No problem, cheerios it is.

As I was feeding Hadley and Jeff was getting ready to leave for an appointment I tried to think of something that I could do with the kids. Hmmm... a quick trip to the park. I could manage that by myself while we waited for Jeff to return.

Now, Jeff and I have learned that it is NEVER a good idea to announce plans until just shortly before we are to implement them. We do this because we have had too many incidents of a "change of plans" that are then followed by wailing meltdowns of disappointment and frustration. I felt safe though, this morning things were going good. The boys were fed, the girls were fed. All we had to do were slip on some shoes and head out. So, I made the announcement. The room was filled with screams of excitement and little bodies jumping up and down in anticipation.

Just as I had finished cleaning up the girls and helping Cyrus with his sandals, Jeff headed upstairs to grab his shoes and I headed to the garage to get the girls stroller. Suddenly I heard Jeff, with a sense of urgency in his voice, calling me upstairs. As a mom, when I hear someone scream the way he did, it seems as if a thousand horrific thoughts race through my mind within a millisecond.

As I ran from the kitchen to the stairs I looked to my left, all kids are accounted for, they're okay.
"Oh God. Something is horribly wrong with Jeff!", I thought to myself.
"Is he having a heart attack?" He's a little young, but it's not unheard of.
"Did he cut himself?" Why I thought that, I don't know. He was getting his shoes, they weren't glass slippers.
As I raced to the top of the stairs I saw him standing in the hall that leads to the boys rooms.

"I was just getting my shoes!", he yells. "What?!?!" I repeated. Next thing I know, I am yelling "What is it? WHAT IS IT?!?!" over and over and crying, my heart is now in my throat. Then he starts a nervous laugh. By now I was getting mad because he wouldn't answer me.
"There's a mouse." he calmly says with a smile, "I gotta go, but there's a mouse in the bathroom".
"How convenient.", I thought. I didn't know what to be mad about first. The fact that he was skipping off to his "massage" (aka chiropractor) and leaving me to deal with our fuzzy guest, or that for once I thought I was going to actually get to do what I had promised the kids, when I promised it and now I would have to disappoint them.

So, to make a long story short, after barricading the bathroom door and setting traps with peanut butter, we ended up waiting around for two hours for the Terminix guy to come, only for him to tell me, "Well, I can't catch it. Have you ever seen how fast those things move?". Yes, I have. That's why I called him. Isn't that his job? Apparently not so much.

No pancakes and now, no park. Fortunately, in all the excitement of having a furry "visitor", the boys forgot about the park and settled for a few runs and jumps through the sprinkler before lunch. There was no disappointment and no whining from the boys. I, however, am disappointed only in the fact that I have yet to hear a "snap", signaling that I can safely enter the barricaded bathroom with out running into Stuart Little.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Windsor Family Camp Out

It was another wonderful night for a family camp out at Windsor Lake! No thunderstorms this year though! This was our 3rd year attending this fun event and the first time that Sutton brought along a sibling. However, Cyrus I don't think was quite up to the entire event of staying the night in a tent so we cut out a little early to sleep comfortably in our own cozy beds. The feature presentation was "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs", a much improvement over last years "R.V." with Robin Williams, which though it was funny, I don't really think the kids enjoyed it as much. We arrived shortly after they started the BBQ so we quickly found our spot with chairs in tow to where we would be hanging out most of the evening. After grabbing some dinner we went over to the docks while some friends gave their first try to canoeing. I would've been more apt for us to take on a paddle boat, but did not trust Cyrus in a canoe. I'm certainly not the fastest duck on the water should he decide to stand or rock the boat. So while our friends were enjoying the scenery from the water we trekked over to the 5th Street Malt shop which has become another one of our traditions that we partake in during this special event. By the time we returned from the malt shop the movie was just getting underway. I have to say the city of Windsor has done a wonderful job once again in organizing this event! I only hope that there are more families that attend it in the future so they don't have to miss out on some good 'ole family time, outside, away from t.v.'s, computers and video games!

What We Can Handle...

As I meet people periodically and they learn about our family of "multiple multiples", I am often asked "How do you do it"? or am told "You must be one busy lady.", and of course my two favorites: " You must be crazy" and "You do know how that happens.....don't you?".
Yes, I know how that happens. Yes, some days I do feel like I may be a little crazy and yes, I am one busy lady, but what mom isn't? And as for "How do I do it?", well, again, how does any other mom do it? It's all about appreciating what God has given us and doing the best that we can with what He has given us. There is that saying "God only gives us what he knows we can handle." This came up last week when I had a wonderful visit from my childhood friend and her nine year old son who happens to be a special needs child.

I remember telling her with nonchalant-ness, before I was even a mother myself, that famous phrase "God only gives you what he knows you can handle". At the time I was grasping for something comforting to say to my best friend shortly after she found out that her child may have developmental disabilities. Humph....Easy for me to say....flash forward nine years later and her and I are sitting in my kitchen while I am getting lunch ready for the gang. I thought about that comment I made to her years ago. As we sat in the kitchen chatting there was a moment where I was sure her thoughts were the same as mine when we looked at each other, "How does she do it"? The truth is, God only knows. No, seriously.....I think only He knows. I sure as heck don't know where I get the energy to get up at 6 in the morning every day because one of my boys thinks that because the sun is shining means that "It's not sleep time anymore!" Just as sure as I think my friend finds herself wondering, "Just how do I keep my patience with people that don't understand?"

God doesn't only give us just enough for us that we can handle, but He also gives us what we can handle. My friend has the patience and understanding to tolerate people who don't understand and the little children who ask questions as to why her son is different. I don't think God gave me that kind of patience and understanding. He gave this mom, who happens to be an only child, the patience, at least on most days, to meet the needs of six amazingly beautiful children.... often times all at the same moment!