Archive for the ‘milestones’ Category

My two oldest kids are 6 and 4, but being that my four year old potty trained himself (no joke), I feel REALLY out of touch with the latest potty training methods. Frankly, I’ve been so busy just trying to keep my youngest from meltdowns that potty training hasn’t even crossed my mind. By now, I can change a diaper in three seconds with my eyes closed, so it hasn’t really bothered me. It’s a much bigger hassle trying to squeeze three kids AND a full cart into a tiny stall in the middle of Marshalls because someone “HAS TO GO NOOOOOOOWW”.

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So we’ve all heard how every child is different and, for mothers with multiple children, it becomes even more clear as you watch your various children take on the world…sometimes in VERY different ways.

My daughter and first-born was my “opinionated” one as a baby…she was VERY difficult the first few months, but she settled down pretty quickly and, to this day, is fairly “easy to tame”. Then my son Grayson came along. He was the easy baby, but then at about 1 year old, we joke about how he “woke up”. Out of nowhere, he became this active, charming, zany kid…who I still have a hard time figuring out.

And then there’s my youngest Garrett. Of all the kids, HE is my wild card. I can NOT put him into any category whatsoever. Watching him through his first year of life has been absolute frustration and absolute entertainment. I remember saying just ONE day after he was born how much he reminded me of the intensity of Mackenna as a baby…but he also possessed some of the easy-going-ness of Grayson…all at the same time. It was a strange combination.

At just over a year old, Garrett is probably the most fascinating to me of all the kids.  He cracks me up…both in the “ha ha” way…and in the “driving me insane” way. He can be so pleasant and happy and easy going, but then he gets a bug about something and will become the most stubborn, unshakeable, FRUSTRATING character I’ve ever met.

For example, his new thing now is wanting what anyone else has. He is NOT OK with the food you give him and will continue to “eh eh eh” while whipping his hand furiously toward the thing YOU have that he wants. And all I can say is he is EMPHATIC about what he wants.

Just the other day, I gave the two older kids a half of a graham cracker. I gave Garrett one as well, only I made the mistake of breaking it in two pieces so it would be easier for him to manage. He pitched a FIT. He knew he had gotten smaller pieces than the other two kids, and was not shy about expressing his disdain. He kept pointing to their crackers and muttering what I can only assume were swear words in baby language. Then he had a full blown, roll-around-on-the-floor temper tantrum because of my folly.

I refused to give in and continued to try to hand him the smaller pieces.  He would just smack them out of my hand and throw himself on the floor again. I struggled between feeling completely put-off and totally amused. I finally just set the crackers down on the couch where he could see them. After about 5 minutes of his dramatic display, he came over to get them. He picked up one of the crackers with a big smile on his face and said “Dah!”, showing it to me before putting into his mouth, like nothing had ever happened.

What a little weirdo.

This same child also, at almost 15 months old, REFUSES to hold his own bottle or sippy cup. IF he was my first child, and I had the energy to take on a 4 day war over the issue, I would. But he’s not, and I don’t. So I have, for the sake of time and sanity, given in to his ridiculous demands. Because, just putting his sippy cup on his highchair tray results in it FLYING across the room in complete opposition of my trying to teach him how to be a “big boy”.

But this is what shocked me the most…

One day, his sippy was lying on the floor next to him. He didn’t realize my husband and I were watching him, and he grabbed it and began to drink out of it. If you could have SEEN the look on his face when he noticed we were watching him! I didn’t know a 15 month old could look “busted” but he did. His mouth opened in a surprised expression and he quickly dropped the sippy on the floor and started to whine for us to pick it up and feed it to him. My husband and I were SHOCKED! Any doubt that I had of him actually being CAPABLE of holding his own cup,  just fell to the floor with his sippy. Now I was certain of what I had suspected…this guy has us wrapped.

He also refuses to walk. He CAN and HAS walked across the entire living room. But whenever we try to get him to, he will turn his legs to rubber and sit…all the while looking at us with an expression that says, “bring it on”.

I have to admit, there are days where I have referred to him as a bit of a jerk. Isn’t that terrible? But honestly, in our grown up world if anyone acted like this it’s what we would call them!!!

We’re hanging on for dear life right now and just praying that these strong personality traits are going to make him the next Bill Gates or something. He is undeniably charming, wonderfully comical, and impossibly cute. I just hope the fact that he’s kind of a jerk will get smothered underneath all of that some day.

I’ve attached some pictures of the Graham Cracker Incident below. All you moms out there with feisty children, HANG IN THERE! I feel your pain :)

 

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We did it! We finally did it! After 3 years of blissful living in a starter home…and then 4 more years of CAMPING, we finally moved out of our condo!!!!

Wait, let me back up. Hello again! I hope everyone had a great summer. I’d love to say I stopped writing because I was SOOOO busy…which is true…but not the real reason. I just took a GIANT break from doing anything worthwhile this summer. Looking back, I know I was busy but I really did NOTHING important at all. And now I can’t remember why I was so busy? Weird.

But like my  usual self, I’m now swinging completely in the opposite direction. I’m involved in two Bible Studies, MOPS, writing again…oh yeah, and I joined an Improv Team. Woah nelly.

But ANYWAY – back to the house! It’s crazy how much we’ve been PRAYING for a way out of our tiny home…trying to be grateful…then cursing the place…then praying for rescue…then trying to be grateful…circling right around and and back into insanity again.

Oh my goodness! I just realized what I did all summer…picked up toys! Seriously, I think that’s what I spent 80% of my time doing. I was at the end of my rope this summer with this house…it was wiping me out!!!  Everyone who would come over would comment on how organized it was and how it didn’t feel small at all. Now…I know what they are talking about because the house is layed out beautifully and doesfeel nice and open…BUT the major reason why it felt so organized was because I was pouring HOURS into every day trying to keep it that way. Duh. THAT’s what I did all summer.

OK back to my story…So towards the end of the summer, something came up and a friend of ours ended up renting out our home. It’s a perfect fit for her and we were finally free to go find another place. It was really awesome how God worked something out that not only benefited our family, but someone else as well. Isn’t that SOOO like Him??? We were on a tight schedule so I had one day to house hunt and fell in love with a home just 15 minutes away. We moved in August 28 and  I AM IN HEAVEN.

Well not literally, of course but getting a new place was every bit as blissful and amazing as I hoped it would be. I was partly nervous that it wouldn’t solve ANY of my problems and I’d discover that I’m just a stressed out, exhausted mom for no good reason. SO I’ve been very relieved to find out that I am now allowed to blame 90% of my problems with parenting on simply living in the wrong house. We’ll see if that lasts.

But, getting ready to move was also extremely emotional. Despite the fact that our house was NOT meant for a family of five, it was a great house. I genuinely liked it. Sometimes even loved it. I loved my front porch. I loved planting my impatiens every spring. I loved the fact that my kids were ALWAYS nearby. I despised it, but I also loved it.

And I experienced SO MANY things in that house. I became a mom there.( Every single one of my babies was born there).  I became a grown-up there.  I experienced a deep heartbreak…and amazing healing there. And  I have so many memories of Ryan and I in that little living room, working through life together. Dreaming, talking, striving, growing, leaning and learning. We became better people in that living room. That house holds a LIFETIME of memories.

I will always miss my first house. But I’m so grateful to be starting a new chapter…I’m sure I’ll still have lots of funny stories to share and I’m looking  forward to all of our great adventures in our new home!

Oh and Garrett has his own room!!! NO MORE CLOSET!!!! :)

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