So January has come and gone and like every day in my life, it is just a blur. Although every one was mostly well, we did have a few doctor visits, a lingering sinus infection for Mommy, x -rays for William's mysterious limp and lots of car trouble. Here are the other highlights.
Happy birthday Granny!
On January 5th, my Mom celebrated her birthday, and we got the chance to celebrate with her. Often we don't get to be with her on the actual day, but this time I decided to be spontaneous and packed all 3 kidlets in the car and met Mom at Pollo Maria's in Carlsbad for lunch. Then we headed to Fallbrook where the boys and I whipped up some brownies so we could sing "happy birthday" to Granny. Yes, that is a match standing in for the candle. I told you it was spontaneous.
The Boob Tube
Another big event for me was my first full day away from the kids. All of them. All day. Allright! Aaron watched them while I went to hear a homeschool speaker by the name of Carol Joy Sied. She was fantastic and I came home refreshed and excited about teaching my kids. ( I was also secretly pleased that Aaron asked how I got anything done during the day, because he could not) One of the biggest things I came away from the seminar with was the reminder of how much I don't like my kids to watch tv and the conviction of how badly I've been failing in that area. Even Lilly was turning into a tv addict. That just makes me downright sad. When we all had the flu for days on end, the tv became my friend. But it was just so easy to let the kids watch one video in the morning so Aaron and I could sleep in, or while I cooked dinner or cleaned the bathroom. It pretty much guarantees no screaming, fighting, breaking things or even any messes to clean up. Of course, that is because their brains are operating at the same level as when they are asleep, but who am I to quibble about such insignificant details as brain activity?
Anyway, I turned off the tv. It was actually quiet nice. Their behavior improved. We played outside more. They invented games and played pretend. It didn't require a major detox, because they really weren't watching all that much. But to me, even 1 video a day was more than I am comfortable with. The first thing we did was head to the library and stock up on books on tape. There has been a lot more reading going on too. Oh how I love 2 brothers reading together.
We also had a week or sos worth of summertime weather. It was the middle of January, the dead of winter, right, but we headed to the beach. The boys got to use their Christmas tools, Lilly checked out the sea gulls and I remembered how much I can't wait for summer when we spend looong mornings on the beach. The kids play, the mommies talk and everyone is tired out when we get home. I love summer, especially in January.
I took another thing away from my homeschooling seminar. Carol reminded me of something I already knew, but haven't really been putting into practice. She said, "don't do anything your kids can do for you." Or something to that effect. Especially when they are 4 and a half years old and they want to help do "work" and you don't let them cause they won't do it right. How will they ever learn? I realized the truth of this and immediately put James to work. I taught him to unload the washer and load the drier. He was ecstatic when I showed him how to work the washing machine. He is now in charge of folding all washcloths and does a better job than Aaron. (since he actually paid attention when I showed him how to do it) And I felt very proud when he leaned down in the bathroom one day and said, "Mommy, these baseboards are dirty. I'm going to get a rag and clean them. He's in charge of baseboards too.
We put Lilly to work too. She goes to the office everyday. She really seems to enjoy her work there: chewing on the teether, pushing the rings around, pounding on her desk and spinning herself.
William likes the office too. In fact, sometimes he likes to pretend he is Lilly in the office. He'll say, "I'm a baby and my baby name is Lilly" Poor middle child. It is so hard to find your place in the world.
What Lilly likes best of all is to sit in her office on the front porch and watch her big brothers ride bikes on the front sidewalk. They used to be content riding bikes in the backyard, but now they've tasted the sweetness of wide open sidewalk and there is no going back. James is ready to take off his training wheels and William tears it up on his scooter.
Should I be concerned that my 6 month old daughter can down an entire jar of baby food in one sitting? And then wants more? Lilly has food rage. It is almost the only thing she gets mad about, actually. My friend's baby, a few months older than Lilly, eats the same amount of food over the course of a whole day. What can I say? The girl likes to eat.
And she has the legs, and belly to prove it! I must admit that I have no problems with her beautiful chunkiness. She is just so squeeezable. Even strangers want to give her legs a little squeeze, and they often do. We love our chunky monkey.
And so January passes by in a flash. The first month of the year is already gone. Everyone tells me my kids will be 20 before I know it and I am beginning to believe them. Life is very fleeting, so I am doing my best to enjoy it. Sleepless nights, napless days, dirty baseboards and all.