Saturday, March 27, 2010

Naming the Nameless...

So, we (my daughters and I) collectively decided that it is time to give the poor dears blog names. I am giving it much thought and deliberation and will try to give them names that, although will not be their own, will have some significance to them in some way. See, I have gotten to the point that saying Daughter #1, Daughter #2, Daughter #3, Daughter #4, Daughter #5, and Daughter #6 is a little impersonal and flat for a bunch of girls with so much life and personality. Baby Boy isn't so bad but a bit boring.

First, we thought that giving them flower names would be just grand. Names like Rose, and Daffodil...Daffy for short. One would think that anyone would be slightly insulted by being named "Daffy".. but not my girls. They chuckled and giggled at the thought of it...thought it would be fun to be given that name! Daisy is another name that was brought up. The problem with flower names? I just don't think I could think up 7 of them that I like! And what flower has a masculine enough sound to fit my little guy? I might have to use Daffy and Daisy for a couple of the girls though. The rest will just have names or nicknames that we've used for them.
Okay. Our first-born, first teenager......hmmm....Joni, remember this one? This is the first nickname that comes to mind: Lolly-Palooza. A little too long though. This one will be a little difficult and I'm sure she will veto whichever one I come up with, finding a more suitable one for herself. Which is just fine, of course. It's just that I am at work, it is night, she is asleep...I will have to come up with one myself for now. And I pick....Molly!

Second-born: Viva! That's the name she was given by her 2 year old sister so that's what her blog name shall be: Viva.

Third-born: Here's either Daisy or Daffy....hmmm...even though my natural inclination would be to say she's the one to be called Daffy, since she loves to act a bit daffy at times, for a name I think she would rather be called Daisy. Let's stick with that for now; she's Daisy. Actually, no. Her nickname has been Fia before and she liked that. So she shall be Fia.

Fourth-born: Now this one would probably like to be called Daffy, but she's about as un-Daffy as one could get. There's one nickname she had for a while when she was quite a bit younger. Betsy. I think that I will go with Betsy. I hope she likes it! :)

Fifth-born: We call her Ky-Ky. Since that already is her nickname, that will also be her blog name.
Sixth-born: She has actually started to, from time to time, call herself Izzy. It's not her name, it's not her nickname, we don't even call her that but she has told us, out of the blue quite a few times, "My name is Izzy!" So Izzy she shall be.

Our Baby Boy and seventh-born: For some funny reason, this kid has had quite a few nicknames in his short life. He was Ah-dah to Izzy right after he was born. That's how she said his name. So that's how everyone else said his name. Weirdly, it's a girl's name in Finnish, but spelled Aada. Then he became Yo-yo. If you knew his real name, you could see where that came from. Now, Y0-yo or Yodie...again, pretty close to Jodi...poor kid! But I think I might just have to stick with Yo-Yo. I know, it sounds mean but he's a pretty cute Yo-Yo! :)

So here we are, with no further ado...presenting my children:


Align Right









Sunday, March 21, 2010

Negatives to Positives...

Ever have times in life that you think it just can't get any more overwhelming...there is just no way...and then it does?

Ok, this is not going to be a whining post, however. As much as I feel like whining right now. I decided that instead of being weighed down by all the difficulties, I am going to look at the positive side of each of the challenges.

Here goes:

1. It seems like this week has been the week for peeing through diapers, poopy blowouts, dog accidents. My yucky laundry of the wet and poopy variety is piling up...I just haven't been able to get to it all. Wait, I think it's been the month for it 'cause it has been going on for a long, long time!

positive: (Shoot. I forgot it already. Hang on....Oh!) At least right now, we still have clean socks and underwear for everyone (a small miracle in itself) and even clothes for everyone and tomorrow is still looking good for mass washing during the day and then laundromat to dry in the evening. Laundromat=evening out (with a couple helpers...they are such good folders and sock pairers I wouldn't dream of leaving home without them)!

2. Our house is really messy and dirty lately.

positive: At least it isn't tornado season where a tornado could lift the roof off and then in all the aerial shots from the news helicopter, everyone all over would see how messy we live!

3. Our house is just getting smaller and smaller with our growing family. It's hard to move around here without stepping on someone, something, or in something really gross!

positive: At least we have a house! (Seriously!)

4. My baby, who was coughing and coughing, just after drinking a whole bunch, barfed up at least 68 ozs of milk...straight into the crockpot I had just finished washing out and setting up to put chicken into overnight!

positive: At least the chicken wasn't in it yet! :)

5. Oh, and baby also barfed all over the dishwasher.

positive: At least the dishwasher door was shut for a change, cause the dishes in it were all clean...and in this household the dishwasher is probably just as often open as it is shut.

6. Also, much of those 68 ozs of milk ended up in a huge pool on the floor. And down my clean shirt.

positive: With as much that was just hanging out on the floor, at least no workbooks, notebooks, school work or mail didn't happen to be there and a clean towel that happened to be partially wet that I had just wiped up a huge puddle of water with happened to be close enough that I could just toss it over the puddle of milk and wipe it up with my foot. And the shirt? It's washable!

Oh, and I happened to have papertowel around, which is another small miracle, to wipe the front of the dishwasher with, after I got baby rocked and sang to sleep and tucked in and the frozen chicken forced into the crockpot.

So, things are actually kind of looking up! :)

And, tomorrow is another day! I get to start fresh, albeit tired I'm sure, and try all over again!

Home Schooling Update:

Now, I don't even know if I ever wrote on here that in about mid-December we started using an online school for the girls we had been homeschooling. I was just too worried that I wasn't teaching them enough, never knew for sure which direction to take with planning curriculum, etc. The online program seemed to be just the solution!

Soon after becoming enrolled with this school, we were up and running, with all the lessons available online until the textbooks, workbooks, etc. started rolling in. The girls had LiveLessons scheduled regularily, we got a loaner is quite the amazing program, really.

The only problem? We weren't quite the amazing household that one is required to have in order to be able to school a 2nd, 4th, and 6th grader following a public school format...with stinky diapers parading by in the middle of a LiveLesson, or a toddler obsessed with getting in on every one of our 2nd grader's math lessons, 'cause it had a froggy wind-surfing on a lily pad that she found to be so enthralling, or a baby and toddler rocking (and crying loudly) in mom's lap while one of the girls was trying to listen to a lesson, concentrate on a test, or recording a fluency assessment for her teacher. It was a novel thought but it just didn't work for us! The girls kept falling farther and farther behind and, although they all were getting A's in their classes, we ended with them each about a week behind! OUCH!!! We were lucky enough to have the teachers just end them with the grades they had received for the completed assignments and leave it at that. We are now officially homeschoolers again! :) Whew!

Our first day of lessons as homeschoolers took place on the trampoline, with toddler right in the middle of it. We all sat down, started out with going around the circle doing math facts, then changed it to sitting, bouncing on our bottoms, moving our arms to assist with the bounce, rotating them in different directions and first straight out to our sides, then straight out in front of us....I had them show which muscles they could feel these actions were using..just getting them aware of the direct link from movement to exercise. While we did this little gym routine for about 15-20 minutes, we did poetry, each doing a line and passing it on to the next person to add on.

So there! A lesson in math, language arts, gym and health...oh, toss in gardening and composting too 'cause we were eating snack, consisting of oranges, apples, bread, cheese and grapes. We discussed then which byproducts of our lunch could go into the compost (orange peels, apple cores, grape vines) and the container to recycling. We then discussed what we learned last year what we learned about composting and gardening, each of the girls happily revealing what they still remembered from last spring...which was quite a bit, I was pleasantly surprised! From there, we decided who was going to research what topic, composting: what it is, what are the two types of compost materials, what are the components needed to make composting work, what is the end result; gardening: what seeds need to be planted when, how does a seed grow into a plant, explain how plants are nourished (nutrients and water moving up the veins of the plants), photosynthesis; and harvesting: what goods from our garden-to-be can be frozen or canned for use into the winter. We'll see if we get to those papers! :)

So now I'm feeling so peaceful and happy that we are doing our own thing again. I can clearly see that we will make much better use of our time learning our own way because we can fit toddler, baby, kindergartner, everyone into our schedule instead of trying to work around them, over them, ditch them, etc. to get our schooling in.

Now we'll see how long this sense of relief and peacefulness stay before they are replaced with worry, apprehension, fretting, and concern that we are not doing the right thing! We sure are enjoying it in the meantime though!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Our Life in Pictures.....

...In preparation for Wacky Wednesday....
Um, check out the words on the T-shirt. "I Eat Brains. You're Safe." I like it.

And Wacky Wednesday.

Well, it doesn't work so hot to lean forward and sideways at the same time in a stroller, young man!

The Jo-Meister grin. He usually manages to have eyes totally squinted shut when he sees the camera coming.
...And the Johawk! (pronounced "Yo-Hawk")

The Winter Bonfire Nights:

Ha. I caught the ever-elusive, camera-shy girls on here.

I think the bonfire smoke was getting them sluggish. I usually can't get pictures of these girls!

*Poof!* We realized we had to get going to the laundromat to dry clothes and pitched big snow blobs onto the fire. Looked pretty cool!

And our budding photographer who takes about 90% of our photos nowadays...outside with the two youngest girls...

The End

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mom is out on the herself!

A night out. A neat concept. I finally got one. I hardly know what to do with myself. I actually do know what to do with myself but the problem is, when I only have one evening and about 3 years worth of stuff I would love to do. So I packed up my new netbook and a new parenting book I just got in the mail today from Amazon, came down the road to a coffee shop, am sitting here facing a fireplace, catching up on Facebook and eavesdropping on everyone behind me! Tee hee! And, I'm only on phone call number four from my family. Not bad!

I am so thrilled. This handy little netbook is so tiny it fits in my purse, it has up to 8 hours of battery power, there's a little port for my memory card for my camera....!!!! What more could I ask for to keep keeping up on my blog? Now I hope the coffee shop doesn't close at 9pm like I'm afraid it does cause that only leaves me 15 more minutes to get my pics on here and blog! And I didn't even get to that parenting book I just got. It's called, Parenting With Love and Logic, by somebody. And somebody else. I've heard a lot about it and I've tried two little tactics from it that my sis-in-law told me about....and they worked!!!! I'm sold already!!!! And I have the whole book to read! :)

One of the tactics that was so fun to try, and it's worked everytime, is with my 5-year-old. She has gotten into these little (or kinda medium or even big) temper tantrum meltdowns. She gets upset about something and right away starts to just fuss and whine and cry and throw herself about. Our rule is, "It's okay to fuss. It's okay to get upset. Angry even. Just take it somewhere else. When you are all done, you are welcome to come join us again." That though usually was followed up by, "One. Two. Three..." as they're even more frustrated but running down the hallway to their room cause they know that they need to have some good progress toward their destination by the time I reach three.

With this new tactic however, it's, "Umm, dear? It's okay to fuss. It's okay to get upset. Angry even. Just take it somewhere else. When you are all done, you are welcome to come join us again." Followed by intensified fussing. Which is followed by a very calm, sweet, "Uhh, would you like to go to your room with your feet on the ground or would you like to go to your room with your feet in the air?" The first time she didn't really pay attention to what I said, apparently, cause she didn't respond. I just as calmly said, "Hmm, I take it you would rather go to your room with your feet in the air." And calmly went to pick her up, making a point of having her feet straight out in front of her so she could see her feet in the air. Now, it takes a moment for it to register, then she howls even louder and takes off trotting down the hallway to her room! 'Cause she just wants to be in control. Even in her outburst. Gotta love it!

K, just got two pics uploaded and got kicked outta the coffee shop... They're closing, I guess!