Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Evie 16 months

Evelyn is 16 months old tomorrow and she is so much fun!  She is quite the little chatterbox and I don't have a clue what she is saying, but she is serious when she talks and she thinks she is telling me something.  It is pretty cute.  It is even cuter when she talks to you with her sideways glance.   She is quite the little explorer, too.  She loves to look at everything and touch everything and move everything and break everything...

She is learning to take her walking to a faster pace called a stumbling-around-really-fast-like-a-drunk-person until I get where I am wanting to go.  It is pretty cute and entertaining.  She still will sit in her bouncy seat for a little while if I need to get something done or just need a break from chasing her.  She loves her new found freedom with all day access to the big girl playroom.  She was barricaded from that but we moved all little swallowable toys up to the loft and so she can play in the playroom unrestricted.  Pretty exciting for her and her big sisters love it, too.  They are enjoying Evie becoming more of a part of their little group.  They look forward to her waking up every morning and are always asking for her to get out of her high chair before she has even finished eating because they want to play with her.

She loves the playroom, but she isn't always fond of playing with her sisters.  They don't leave her alone much of the time.  Today, they had her nailed to the floor and were hugging her very tightly and not letting her go.  She was getting extremely angry (I don't blame her).  She much prefers the times when they are not around where she can play uninhibited by their constant control.

She is a pretty good eater.  She isn't a fan of meat or cheese.  But she loves fruit and will tolerate some vegetables.  She still drinks like three cups of milk per day and will drink some watered down juice.  Her favorite food seems to be grapes and french toast.  She also likes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and goldfish.

She is still taking 2 naps per day for me (usually).  If she misses her first nap it usually isn't a big deal for her or me.  She takes nap every day at 2.  Often she will sleep 2-3 hours for me.  She goes back to sleep for bed around 8:30 and wakes up at 8 in the morning usually.

She loves to play, go outside, take walks in the stroller or wagon, watch Trolls, give hugs and kisses, randomly check in on us, ride in the car, go to church, go to Mimi and PopPops, and then play some more.  She loves to be held and cuddled and she likes to make you laugh.

She doesn't like cold water (hoping she will get use to the pool), being told no, toys being taken away,  getting her diaper changed, getting her hair washed, getting dressed.

She is such a fun little girl, full of herself, the most curious of my three girls, and such a ham.  She is a joyful and active little thing.  I just love her to pieces and am so grateful for her being in my life.  She brings such joy to so many people and I pray that will always be a part of who she is.  I pray she will radiate joyfulness to others.  She is a beacon of light to our little family and to others.   What a great and awesome gift she is.  I can't wait to see how her life reflects the joy of the Lord and how she will inspire others with her joyfulness.

Oh and she has really crooked teeth!  𝩧𝩤𝩥𝩢𝩣𝩡

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Evie is 15 months

Evie is such a fun kid!  She is mostly happy.  She finds joy in the small things.  She loves to giggle, laugh and play.  I love her exuberant personality.  She is just super easy to be around.  She loves life and it shows.  

Below, this is a rare moment for her.  She doesn't often get so bent out of shape, here she was distraught over not being able to fit on my lap since there were two other sweet girls sitting there.  

Here she was wanting to be held and she did  get upset when I couldn't hold her in that moment.  Like I said earlier, she doesn't get mad over much, but when she does, it usually involves not being held.  And, I will add, when she does get mad-WATCH OUT!  She has a temper and she will aim anything in her hand at you.

This girls loves to eat.  She eats pretty much anything you give her.  Of course,  her favorites are anything involving carbs.  Overall, she eats pretty much anything.  She still drinks milk 3 times per day, but there are times when she says, "noooo" because she does NOT want that.

She loves her horsey lovey.  She has since she was teeny tiny.  One day I found her in the playroom pushing her horsey in the stroller.  It was pretty cute.

I also watched her stack these rings.  Obviously, they are not stacked correctly, but I was impressed that she was able to do this and get them to stay put.
One night I walked in to check on her before I went to bed and this is what I saw.
I love sleeping babies and how peaceful and serene they look.  I probably stood there staring at her for like 5 minutes.

And how cute is that face!!!
Goldfish is one of her favorite snacks.  

Every time I put her down for bed, we play peek-a-boo with her blanket and she loves it.  Even being put to bed and she is as happy as can be.                                                  

This little girl has been a blessing.  She is absolutely adored by everyone in this house.  Her big sisters think she is the cutest thing and are so loving towards her.

Other info for this month:
-she wears mostly 18-24 month clothing
-she is a chatty kathy.  She says more, bye bye, mommy, daddy, nin-nin (Winston), good, coo coo      (thank you), yuh you (love you)
- she takes mostly one nap per day
-she goes to bed around 8:30 and sleeps until about 7:30
-her favorite thing is her horsey
-she loves to play with her big sisters.

We love you with all our hearts, sweet Evie.  I know you are going to bring great joy to others.  The joy of the Lord will be your strength.  Never lose that radiant countenance.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

My Name is Mandy and I struggle with ANGER

It was a surprising day for me when I found out about all this anger and bitterness that was rooted deep inside of me.  It just sprang up out of me all of a sudden.  I never thought that my own children would be the catalyst in me expressing just how angry of a person I was, but they were.  I taught 6 and 7 year olds, a lot of them, all at once, in one small room.  It was like a circus all the time.  I often felt like I lived in crazy town when I taught and while I did get mad and irritated at times, I never remember seeing my anger explode out of me like I have with my own flesh and blood.

I remember the first time I got really angry as a mother.  Ava was maybe 8 months old and would not eat.  She refused anything I would give her.  After a few days of this, I started to get worried and my worry can often come out as anger.   Anyway, I remember being so rude to this sweet little 8 month old and I remember thinking that she was being defiant.  I had even convinced Curtis that she was trying to drive me crazy with her not eating because she knew how important it was for me as a mom to have her eat and she wanted to be disobedient.  So, a few more days passed and she still wasn't eating.  I took her into the doctor and she had an oral virus.  She wasn't eating because it hurt to eat and I was being so hard on her and not a nice mommy at all.

And then, I had Sally.  She tops the cake.  No-one can get me angry like this child.  She is stubborn and so strong willed.  I know those of you who talk to me on a regular basis hear me say this all the time and I know most of you will see some of her behaviors.  But, you only see a glimpse of what life is like with her.  She is hard.  Hard.  Haaaaaaaaaard.  She cries or whines the majority of the day, and waking up to it and hearing her go to bed like that is not pleasant.  Noises never seemed to bother me, not in a chaotic classroom filled with 25 different little voices all needing something at the same time.  I mean, I never thought noises bothered me.  The bunches of toys that the girls have that all talk or play music or whatever, those don't bother me.  But the whining and nagging and crying sound of Sally's voice really grates on my every. last. nerve.

I know that isn't a nice thing to say.  I wish I didn't feel that way.  And I have felt that way so much of the time.  Too much of the time.  Most of the time.

And that is when I get angry.  And it isn't pretty.  I hate it about me.  I don't even really know where it truly stems from.

Today has been brutal.  This week has been brutal.  It has been depleting.  I have tried really hard to absorb my mind, eyes, and ears with all things pleasing and good and godly and I feel like all I have done this week is fail.  One miserable failure after another.  I cried out to God today telling Him how upset I was, how hopeless I felt, how I felt like maybe I wasn't cut out to do this mom thing, after all.

I am not sharing this for anyone to feel sorry for me.  I am writing this because I am tired of being "fake".  I am tired of the fake ness all over social media.  I am tired of pretending things are perfect, which I have never really done, but there is so much perfection that surrounds me and I can't take it anymore.

We all are broken some where and in some way.  We all have our sin nature.  Anger happens to be one of mine.  And I know I am not alone.  When Revive our Hearts does a 4 day podcast on "pitchin a fit" you know that you are bearing this struggle along with other moms and dads.  I don't say that to justify my behavior.  While I know it is ok to have the angry emotion, it is not ok to act out sinfully in anger.  When Sally is having one of the millionth moments in a day, I get so angry and when I think about what I am angry about, I think about how long will this be my life and my experience with her?  Will this ever end?  Will God use this for His glory?  I am ruining her for life?  And the list and thoughts go on and on.

I am sharing my struggle with you all so maybe others will find comfort that they are not alone.  That it is ok to be real.  To be honest.  It is ok that we all have brokenness. My brokenness can be and will be made beautiful in God's perfect timing.  If I weren't broken then there would be no need for Jesus, and we all know I desperately need Him.  He makes His Power perfect in my weakness.  Where I am weak, He is strong.

I want to share one other thing with you.  I am working really hard to get to the root of these issues.  I don't want to live my life angry, I don't want my anger to be the majority of the experiences my family has with me, and I don't want to give this part of me to my kids.  I am in recovery for my anger and have begun a step study through Celebrate Recovery for it.

This week has been a doozy.  I know we are all muddling through something in our lives.  I know I am not alone.  Shed some light on your brokenness.  There is beauty to behold there.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Evie 14 months

Evelyn, 14 months old and you are just growing and growing.  I really LOVE this age.  It is a lot of fun.  You are super curious.  You are super sweet.  You are super fast.

I really slacked off this month on getting pictures of you.  I am sorry.

Here are some fun, cute things about you this month:

  • You are the cutest when you walk towards me with a big smile and your arms outstretched.  I melt.  
  • You love to go play and then come in and check on me with a tight hug around the leg.
  • You love to dance and try and sing to music. 
  • You love the song Feel It by Toby Mac.  
  • You love to escape with remotes and phones.  
  • You chew on everything.  
  • You put everything in your mouth.
  • You ate potting soil the other day.
  • You love your new independence with playing in the playroom.
  • You are clingy to mommy and prefer to be held by mommy.  
  • You are drinking from a sippy cup, but you like a bottle to have your morning milk as soon as you wake up.  

You are eating pretty much everything you are given.  You do have an aversion to several green things.  You aren't a fan of peas and cucumbers. But you will eat broccoli.  You ❤️ LOVE ❤️ grapes🍇!!!!  You love bread and crackers, cheese quesadillas, peanut butter sandwiches, breakfast bars, milk, turkey and many other things.

You get pretty bad eczema.  So, we have to lather you down every night with aquaphor.  Because of your skin issues you get a bath every other night.

You are getting lots and lots of teeth.  But you have been a trooper about it.

This is one of your favorite hanging out spots.  

playing in the cabinet with Sally Jean

Love your squishy face!

We are so blessed to have you.  You are a mess.  But a lovable one!  I don't know what I would do without you.

March-April 2017

Wow! March was certainly a month that will not be forgotten soon.  I think we have had almost 5 full weeks of someone being sick.  It all started with Curtis, then me, then Sally with several things, then Ava, and now Miss Evelyn.  I keep wondering when and if it will ever end.  We are totally looking forward to an end here hopefully soon, but if not, God is still there.

One thing I have learned through all this is how He does provide you with what you need to get through any and all circumstances.  I have had mostly positive thinking through all this.  He has kept me grounded and thankful.  There have been some days that were more difficult than others because being isolated is not my favorite.  He did provide some moments for me to get out here and there and I am truly thankful for that.

In this house, with the kids so small and touching everything and everyone and not understanding boundaries, it is only a matter of time until the sick one passes it on to the next and so on.  I am hoping and praying for God to put a shield around me so I don't get the sickness the girls have had because I  think it would take me out for a day or two and I need to be rested and well to take care of the girls.  Anyway, so far I have been protected.  Hand washing has become my best friend and my worst enemy.  It has kept me well, but my hands are so dry right now.

In other news, the girls and I used our time at home wisely diving into preschool.  We did many things this month,  We did some activities that were dealing with Dr. Seuss.

We started learning about the letter K and snakes because Ava had snakes on the brain.  We made snakes and decorated them, painted them, and did one with a pattern (except Sally.  I just let her decorate all her snakes.) We also put a snake in number order starting at one and ending at 10.
Ava did an AB pattern with flowers and hearts.
Sally had fun decorating with foam stickers.

Number order snake
We love Letter of the Week from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  We did the kite activity.  Ava had to put the number of kite bows on the string that matched the number on the kite.  We also did the Big and Little Kk kite sort.  

Ava also used the Letter of the Week from Confessions of a Homeschooler to graph.  She had to count the number of bows on the kite and color in that many blocks.  

Here they used the Letter of the week from Confessions of a Homeschooler to dot paint the letter K and trace the letter K.  They trace the letter at the beginning of each day.  I usually get Sally on board with anything involving dot paints, stickers, glitter, glue and scissors.  So, she loves the dot paints.  

We do Calendar and Circle time each day.  We sing the Days of the Week song, Months of the year song, a couple others.  We go over our shapes and numbers.  We also are beginning to learn about coins.  We are currently working on recognizing them and knowing their worth.  Soon, we will begin counting pennies.  We also learn a Bible verse during this time, read a Bible story and read a few others stories.  We always read a book for fun and one that is about whatever we are learning about.  So this week, it was snakes.  

Ava is learning scissors skills which are a lot harder to teach than I realized.  My students always came to me knowing how to do this.  I give the Preschool and Kindergarten teachers praise for teaching this to the kids.  It is not an easy motor skill for them to grasp (at least not overnight).  

Ava is working on some sight words.  This is her least favorite thing to do at school.  I am currently working on some ideas to make this more fun and interesting for her.  
 I found this pattern sheet from  Ava loves to work on patterns and is starting to get the hang of it.

Some of their work from Dr. Seuss and St. Patricks Day. 
Hung our snakes on the wall. 

Ava traced her hand all by herself and added
rings to each finger.  

Some of their snakes they decorated.  

Next week we will begin working on the letter L and doing some spring and Easter activities.

Hoping we are on the other side of all the sickness soon!