Wednesday, November 25, 2009


My three-year old is now the only kid in the house with a full set of teeth!!

Becca has two bottom teeth and a top tooth just broke the gums two days ago. I can see three very distinct bumps on the top too, so she'll have all four top teeth in no time at all. That explains some of the crankiness I've been seeing!

Autumn is missing a top middle tooth (as of a month ago?).

And last but not least...

Heidi lost her first tooth this morning! She came in and said it came out during the night. We thought she must've swallowed it, but she found it in her bed later. She's so excited.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I've been thinking. Shocking I know. But in all seriousness, a lot of people near & dear to me as well as mere acquaintances or complete strangers have been telling me lately that I am superwoman. Sometimes it's in reference to me having four kids but lately it's been in reference to the fact that I am homeschooling them.

I have to say on both counts, that I am not superwoman. And today it hit -- the best way to describe this. Yes, I'm doing something different than many others and it is hard for some to fathom and others just seem to think it's super-human or beyond them. But I am no different from you. I simply have chosen a different normal. Granted, once I made my decision, there was a period of adjustment. But aren't all big decisions like that? And once I crossed over that hump, it became my routine and my lifestyle. My new normal. Does that make sense?

And just as we all encounter challenges in the day-to-day aspects of our lives, I encounter challenges in homeschooling. But just as you meet those challenges head-on and find a way to work through them, so do I. It's not extraordinary. It's life. And isn't it wonderful?!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

She likes to sneak into my room to look for things. My room is the fall-out zone for things that have yet to be sorted. The girls have been playing "baby" with Esther lately and Heidi keeps trying to take Becca's binkies for their playtime. I told her she can't have them and so now she has been on the hunt for a bag of old binkies that Becca didn't like.

I told her to stay out of my room and she told me she would if I gave her the bag of binkies!! I countered that I wouldn't even consider giving her the binkies unless she stopped sneaking into my room.

She was pushing in the books on the living room bookshelf today and I told her to stop and asked why she would do that. Her reply? "I was making a code."

Earlier this week? We have been using goal charts for their schoolwork and other goals around the house each week. The system is this: if they have all greens and three or less yellows by Friday after school, they can pick something from the treasure box. Any reds? No treasure box. This was actually Heidi's idea and it has helped tremendously with her motivation to do her lessons. But day she opted out of doing something correctly because she knew she could get three yellows and still get treasure box. Later that same day, she figured one more yellow wouldn't hurt. And by evening, I heard her saying to Autumn, "Want to clean our room and put things in the wrong places and get a yellow? Wanna do that? We can get three yellows."

Oh my dear, dear, Heidi. She loves to be in charge. She loves to do things her way. And she loves to have a choice in the matter, however small it is. I love imagining all the great things that she will do as she grows and matures! I believe she will be destined for great things.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dear Neighbor one street over (I believe that's where you are),

Despite what you think, it is not okay for you to blast your music in your backyard and have a party which makes me feel like there is a party in my front yard.

It is also not okay to do this twice over a two month period of time.

Yours Truly,
Mother of Four YOUNG children

P.S. - And yes, that was me that called the cops. Both times. You're welcome.


Dear Neighbor NEXT DOOR,

I know your mother just turned 61. I understand you want to celebrate. I understand you want to do something special and you don't usually do this.

That does not change the fact that your DJ is playing music in your backyard, adjacent to MY backyard and my children CANNOT SLEEP. Rent a space. Blast the music INSIDE. Figure something else OUT.

Yours Truly,
Mother of Four SLEEP DEPRIVED, YOUNG children


Dear Neighbor one street over with whom I share a backyard wall,

I understand it is someone's birthday. Probably a 40th from the black balloons I see. I understand you love karaoke.

I do not.

Please, go somewhere else or keep it in your house. You have NEIGHBORS and this is NOT an apartment complex. Be courteous. Are you shocked? Do you really think I am the ONLY one bothered by this? Ask around. You'll see your loudness is not appreciated.

Yours Truly,
Mother of Four YOUNG children, one of which has a cold and is having difficulty breathing/sleeping and I'm sure YOUR NOISE DOES NOT HELP.


I know, I know. Welcome to Los Angeles and all surrounding cities?

Well I quit! The bear has come out of hibernation and if you cross me again I will BITE YOUR HEAD OFF. Got it?


On a more serious and less raging sidenote, any suggestions? Is my only recourse really to call the cops? I have talked to one of the three of these neighbors and they turned it down for a bit but what can I really ask? What I want to say is "Um, could you please send everyone home?" Yeah...for some reason I don't think that would get me very far...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Esther's outfit choices are always fun. Always.
Socks on her feet and socks on her hands.
Fairy wings on her back.
Can you see the tutu sticking out of the leotard?

My day has been non-stop but very, very good. How about yours?

This is all very random, but this is what's on my mind right now, so this is what you get. :D I realized partway in that the pictures are fitting because they're random too!

The girls put this on their windowsill and Autumn said it made her feel safe. I guess I'd think twice too before coming in their window if I saw a giant cockroach with a yellow Halloween skeleton in its clutches.

My throat is hurting. Not because of yelling. I think I've just been talking too much today! The girls are going a mile a minute and when I keep up with them I wonder what we all sound like to someone on the outside listening in. It's a wonder I haven't lost my voice.

Yesterday Becca woke up from a nap and I was in the middle of a very intense lesson with Heidi. I asked Autumn to get a bottle of water and some fruit puffs and after that she got Becca up from her nap and here is the "set-up" she had ready for her. She's sandwiched by our fire-proof box and her basket of her toys. She can sit up on her own and catches herself now when she loses her balance but her big sisters are extra attentive.

Becca had a fever late Sunday to early Tuesday. I never did take her temperature because I could tell it was high enough to keep an eye on but low enough that we didn't need to go in. Last night I noticed she had a rash. After doing some research today (and Rae's invaluable memories of Savvy being sick last year), I am relieved to know she has roseola. I am relieved to know what it is, to know that only one sister may catch it (or have unknowningly shared it in the first place), that Eric & I are in the clear for catching it, that we haven't been anywhere to share it since it started, and that she won't need to go to the doctor. I am also extremely grateful that aside from some mild fussiness and clinginess, Becca is not having a really hard time. All good things.

Esther wearing two of my socks.

We tried a new playdough recipe today and love it. It's a pretty basic salt dough recipe that is made on the stove. I usually steer clear of those and prefer the quick ones that just require mixing. I'm glad I tried this one out though! The mix-only versions tend to be a lot grainier and harder on the hands. This was nice and smooth and didn't smell funny either. We made five different colors and then made the uppercase alphabet as part of Heidi's writing practice today. We put each letter on wax paper so we could move it into place in our alphabet and that worked well because after we were done we were able to easily make a lot of words. Autumn was singing the song from Leapfrog's Talking Words Factory - "First you add the 'b', then you add the 'at', put them all together and then you have..." and then she'd pause and wait for Heidi to fill in the blank. After that they used the same wax paper to make "candies" (like saltwater taffy). And after the playdough had been cleaned up for a few hours, they asked for it again and unwrapped all the candies and made cakes. They asked me to save them for Eric to see when he comes home tonight. I think we sure got some good mileage out of this dough already! And I hear it lasts forever (if your kids don't squish it all together making nasty colors and then you throw it away because you can't stand the sight of it...). Maybe this batch'll last till their cousins come for Thanksgiving. :)

Playdough cakes the girls made

I've noticed a new trend with Becca at naptime. I give her a binky/pacifier/whatever! at naptime and she takes it, pulls it out of her mouth, rolls over onto her side and pops her thumb into her mouth. And then she drops the binky out of the crib after I leave. Hah! I was really hoping she'd prefer the binky over her fingers. This from the voice of experience. You can't cut off fingers! I have three other finger suckers and Autumn still struggles if she's got a blanket close by. I don't even want to TALK about Heidi yet. My dentist grandpa said as long as they stop by the time they're five it won't cause any damage. Don't do the math on my older two.

The girls made good use of some of our toilet paper. I especially love the look on Sulley.

It's funny to look at how my perspective has changed over the years. When I had Autumn I always said, "Oh, I'm not giving her a pacifier! I don't want to get up in the middle of the night to put it back in her mouth." The funny thing about that is that I never thought to myself, "I just won't give her one at night!" Not until my sister-in-law (Anna, you are awesome!) had her first kid and told me how they were doing the whole pacifier thing. Just don't give it to them at night! Oh. Duh. Why didn't I think of that? Not to mention she rarely gave her daughter a pacifier and as she got older, Anna was so awesome about weaning her from it gradually. By two it was gone. Just like that.

So now I really, really wish I had been that smart. But...also, I have to cut myself some slack and say that it seems that some kids want to suck on fingers, some on pacificiers, and some on nothing at all. I have nephews (several!) who didn't want fingers or pacifiers. I have a niece who loves her pacifier. Another niece who didn't want one and doesn't suck a finger. And then another nephew who wanted a pacifier for a short time. I'm starting to wonder if there's really anything we as parents can do to make them prefer one over the other! Anyone want to put in there two-cents here?

Such a cutie!

This closet was a disaster before tonight. It's still not done but it's a lot closer now than it was before. Games, craft supplies for the girls, paper, coloring books, crayons, and the bottom two shelves will hopefully have enough room for towels, sheets, and pillowcases.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Becca decided today that if I'm giving her water, she wants a cup. Not a bottle. Not a sippy. A cup. That'll make the transition easier for me :) but what about the simple, "here, drink this" when they're old enough to do it on their own? She must know, inherently, that as the youngest of four she'll be vying for my attention. In that case, of course a cup would be the most logical choice. :D

Esther prefers water over juice. If I forget at the dinner table on a juice night, she is quick to remind me! After having a sister (you know who you are dearie!) who drank juice almost more than she ate food, and a daughter who must take after her aunt, I thought all kids preferred juice to water. She is also our resident vegetarian.

The girls are playing in their room and Esther wants to know "who" she is. Autumn is "Susan", Heidi is "Lucy". Esther is happy that she gets to be Edmund and comes running out to tell me. And then she asks who Becca is. I guess Becca will have to settle being "Peter". (They're not playing Narnia though...just using the names...) I think they're still a little young to enjoy Little Women but it sure would make it easier for them to have gender-appropriate names. Not that they care. Not today anyway!


I start to think someone is plotting against me when I hear the same ice-cream truck melodies for 10 minutes straight every night.

Or is it just California?

A neighbor and church friend one street over says there are THREE ice cream trucks that frequent our neighborhood.

And while we're on the subject of anomalies to California...

I had no idea DONUTS (or doughnuts, if you prefer) were SO popular here. We can find a donut shop every few blocks.


There's Winchell's (which we happen to love), Christy's, Donut King, Crown Donuts, Master Fresh Donut, ABC Donut, Donut Hole, Krispy Kreme, The Donut Man, Sunny Donut, Jax's Donuts No. 11 (I think we'll have to go here while my nephew Jaxon is visiting), Boston Donuts, Us Donuts (& Yogurt), Baker's Dozen Donuts, Pronto Donuts, Jean's Donut Shop (sorry Jean, no clue if they're any good! Come visit us and we'll take you there to find out!), Yum Yum Donuts, and Donuts Express -- most within an 8 minute drive from here, all within a 13 mile radius from here.

What is UP with that?

Today (and several days over the past few weeks), Esther came up to me and said:

E: "Do you know what Dobby doos (that's does for 3-year-old-speak) to the closet door?"
me: "Yes Esther. Please don't show me."
E: "He doos this."

And then she proceeds to BANG HER HEAD ON THE WALL and say "Bad Dobby. Bad Dobby."

And then she walks away and says, "That's so silly."


In other fun stuff, our toilet is a "high efficiency/low flow" toilet. In regular english that means, flushing is not very effective unless you hold down the handle. Yesterday I realized if the girls would sing the ABC's, it would be just the right amount of time.

Today this is what I heard from Esther down the hall:

"A, B, C, D, Scooby Dooby Doo, where are you..."


And I keep not saying this, waiting for some pictures. I guess I should just say it and share pictures later.


It is SO cute. And at this point she isn't mischievous yet so we can deal with it. It's been fun to watch her get to the point where she could actually start crawling. Autumn & Heidi both did an army crawling, pulling themselves along by their arms and not even bothering with their legs until they were stronger. Esther rolled until one day she got up and crawled.

I kept reading and hearing about how babies rock back and forth on all fours when they're close to crawling but never got to see that until this time around.

I think it's one of the funniest things to watch.


I have one more picture to upload, but for now - here are pictures from Grandpa, Mom & Dad's visit to be here for Autumn's baptism. I am amazed that I have a child old enough for that!

Autumn wearing her dress made especially for the occasion by my wonderful friend from church (Vicki is awesome!)

Becca visiting with her great-grandpa. She is named after his mother, Anna Rebecca Rogers. I am ecstatic that the name was still available for me when she came around! We have had a Rebecca and two Rae's named after "Grandma Rae" but NOONE has been given her entire name. She loved her name and always wished people called her by it, but alas, she was destined to be called "Rae". (When she was born, they were worried her grandmothers, Anna & Rebecca, would feel like one was a favorite if she was called by that name and so...she was called Rae!) It also worked perfectly with our naming tradition of our girls. They each have an aunt's name as one of their two names.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I just threw a tantrum.

Feeling embarrassed but still seething.

I need to find my marbles.

My happy thoughts.
(from HOOK, you know? If you haven't seen it, it's a must.)

I've pulled myself together enough to finish what we were doing.

And just when I was ready to say fine, watch a cartoon! (don't get me wrong, that's not unusual but I was trying not to use the TV today...), Heidi said "Can you get out the button factory?"

Oh how I love it when my children have creative moments and urges.

So, the moment has passed. My throat hurts, the kids are happy, and I think it's time to figure out what I'm making for dinner and have a quieter and loving evening from here on out.

The button factory = buttons + paper + glue (and anything else that sounds fun!)