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Archive for the ‘Phinehas’ Category

Now that I’m a stay-at-home mom, I attend a women’s Bible Study on Tuesday mornings.  They have childcare, so the boys go with me.  In typical ‘Jayme is out in public with 4 boys’ fashion, I always use my double stroller for the 2 youngest and Finn and Stephen are learning to walk by the side of the stroller.

I had just picked up 3 of the boys, heading to the 4th boy’s classroom when I passed 3 other women in the hall.  After I passed them, I heard one of the gals say “That woman [me] that we just passed has 4 boys really close together and they’re all CLONES of each other!”.  I chuckled because it’s kind of true.

Now I’ve never been very good at the “he’s got your eyes!” game that people play with babies, but I have thought that Finn and Stephen looked alike as babies.  But then Sam looked different when he was born, so I thought we broke the clone machine.

Then Benjamin was born and looked like Sam.  But as each week goes by, I really think they’re all starting to look alike.  They’re personalities are different, but I think we definitely have a specific look going for us.

Here are pictures of them all at 13 weeks old:

kids_week13

 

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First Day of Preschool!

It’s Finn’s first day of preschool today!

I did the obligatory first-day-of-school pictures last night since Jeff was home and then I wouldn’t need to be rushed.  Besides, it was the night of his Preschool Open House, so maybe that really is the first day of pre-school?

As usual, Finn stayed perfectly still while I took his picture:

first-day-of-school-all-smaller

 

Here are my favorites:

finnfirstdaycollage

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Finn: 4 Years Old!

Finn is 4 years old today!  For the last 11 days, I’ve had a 3-year-old, a 2-year-old and a 1-year-old.  Won’t be repeated again as Baby #4 (still unnamed) will be here in June.

Finn…how to describe him?!?  He can be so kind and tender sometimes.  And so mean.  He can be willing to do whatever you suggest.  And also so stubborn and tough to deviate from the path he’s set for himself.

He’s still not great at potty training (no medical issues; he just doesn’t seem to care much about accidents).  He’s all about “best friends” these days.  Sometimes, I am his best friend.  Sometimes, Stephen is.  Sometimes, he names random people as his best friend.  It’s kind of cute watching him work out what relationships really mean.

He loves doing things “all by himself”, but he also loves having someone there watching him – get dressed, clean up toys, eat a snack.  He’s my kid that as soon as I sit down, he wants in my lap – even still at 4 years old.

He’s showing a good ability to think about things.  Often, he’ll give me reasons why he can’t obey or that he’ll obey right after he does x, y, z.  I’m glad that he’s a thinker and logical (though not surprising given his parents’ backgrounds in Computer Science & Electrical Engineering), but we’re working on obeying.

He’s a big reason that I’ve decided to stay at home for now.  It’s him that I want to influence and help guide for a while.  He’s got 2 years until he’ll go to Kindergarten and I want to make the most of these next couple of years.

He’s not a big eater.  He isn’t picky, but he just doesn’t eat much.  He’s 34 1/2 pounds (38th percentile) and 41 inches (77th percentile).

He’s the only one that “gets” (to any degree) that there’s another brother coming.  He thinks we should name the baby Sammy and he wants to make sure that baby sleeps in his room with him.

Our Finn…he’s ours and we love him!

FinnBirthday4

 

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Man, could my boys be triplets or what!?

(By the way, you can definitely tell which 2 were born in the same season based upon their clothing – Finn and Samuel were both born in April, so their clothing seasons are the same, while Stephen was born in October, making him in the complete opposite season!)

Here are pictures of them taken when they were 38, 39, 40, 41, and 42 weeks old.

kids_week38kids_week39kids_week40kids_week41kids_week42

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Potty Training Woes

I hate potty training!  Believe me, I’ve read all the books.  Twice.  All the magazine articles.  All the blogs.  It has not gone well.

We first started training Finn at 18 months.  Within a day, it was clear that he wasn’t ready and didn’t get it.  (It was also really clear that apple juice gives Finn diarrhea.  Naked + diarrhea + 18 month old = no fun!)  So we stopped.

Several months later when he was over 2 1/2, we did it again.  It went well initially, but not for long.  Lots of accidents and he just didn’t care.  He knew how to go potty.  He could tell that he had to go potty.  He’d go potty if you took him there.  He just didn’t care if he had an accident.  The promise of being a big boy didn’t matter.  Promise of preschool and going to the beach didn’t faze him.  Getting M&Ms or smarties wasn’t enough to make him go.  Having him go to the bathroom every hour didn’t help.  Accidents would still happen 10 minutes later.

Then this past summer, we really focused on it.  Helped, but didn’t get much more progress.  In addition to potty training not going well, Finn was not very obedient.  He’d be mean (in ways that 3 year olds are mean).  He’d disobey.  He’d ignore.  Sometimes because he just had a different idea than you did.  But sometimes, he’d disobey just for the sake of disobeying.

Enough we said.  Jeff & I started seeing a counselor with Finn.  She gave us some things to try and they seem to be working!  We focused on some things that I had been doing.  Some different things that Jeff had been doing.  Things that our babysitter had been doing.  But we weren’t all consistent.  I did things just a little differently than Jeff did who did things just a little differently than our babysitter did.

Nothing new we’ve done is rocket science.  We’re focusing on the positive. We’re being very verbal with our praise so that he knows when he’s done well. We’re downplaying the misbehavior as much as possible (addressing it without giving it lots of attention).  We’re spending concentrated one on one time with him.  We’ve made sure that all of us are consistent.

And it’s working!  Accidents are now few and far between.  In fact, he went 7 days without an accident and earned a trip to the Ferris Wheel at Scheels (he had seen a picture on Grammy’s phone).  This was from the kid who would have multiple accidents each day.  We only met with the counselor 3 times over the course of 2 months, but it was time and money well spent!

FerrisWheel

Potty Chart

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In preparation for our 3rd child, Finn and Stephen started sharing a room.  Finn in a bed and Stephen in a crib.  A whopping 3 weeks later, Stephen learned to get out of that crib!  Thus entered the bedtime battle blues.

Jim Gaffigan says:

“Bedtime makes you realize how completely incapable you are of being in charge of another human being. My children act like they’ve never been to sleep before. ‘Bed? What’s that? No, I’m not doing that.’ They never want to go to bed. This is another thing that I will never have in common with my children. Every morning when I wake up, my first thought is, ‘When can I come back here?’ It’s the carrot that keeps me motivated. Sometimes going to bed feels like the highlight of my day. Ironically, to my children, bedtime is a punishment that violates their basic rights as human beings. Once the lights are out, you can expect at least an hour of inmates clanging their tin cups on the cell bars.”

This became my world.  Hands down, it was the worst part of my day.  I DREADED it.  I tried to get out of it and make Jeff responsible for all bedtimes for the next 18 years.  No dice.  We tried just letting the boys play, figuring they’d eventually get tired.  Nope.  Instead, they removed all the clothes from every drawer and pulled out every wet wipe from every container.  (They don’t even have toys in their room – can you imagine what they’d do if they had toys to strew about!?)  What tipped the scale is that they discovered that they could get the mattress of Stephen’s toddler bed and jump on the rails!  Which, of course, broke.

For the next 3 months, I cowered in fear of bedtime. My blood pressure shot up to 220/150.  (Not really.  Didn’t measure it.)  Even at the new house, the battles continued.  We tried to exhaust them before bed.  We tried putting 1 to bed before the other.  We tried everything.  It was always, always a fight.  And it always took hours.  (Or it seemed that way.)  And it exhausted me.

Finally, last week, we separated them. The toddler bed finally completely broke.  So we headed to the furniture store, and bought a bunk bed for the boys.  The kind that can separate into 2 twin beds.  We put Finn in with Sammy.  We left Stephen in his room alone.

It has been WONDERFUL!!!  So wonderful.  Without an audience, Stephen no longer tries to entertain someone at bedtime.  Without a playmate, Finn falls right to sleep.  Sammy sleeps through the night most of the time and the couple of times that he has cried, Finn sleeps right through it.

I no longer fear bedtime.  And it’s so incredibly freeing.  I have my life and sanity back.

FinnNewBed

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Phinehas is such a blessing and a handful to us.  In the last 6 months, especially, it’s been so fun to watch his vocabulary and logic skills just skyrocket!  He can communicate so much more clearly.  He’s capable of increasingly complex thoughts.  It’s just fun to see him and to hear him process his world.

He is a very strong willed little boy. It’s hard to talk him into anything.  It’s even hard to expect little things from him – like potty training.  He knows to use the potty.  He doesn’t forget to use the potty.  It’s just that accidents don’t bother him.  Until you notice the accident, then he’s bothered by it.  The other day he didn’t want to go to the playground with the other kids in his Sunday School class, so he ran off.

He can be so kind and affectionate.  Sometimes, I’ll give him a cup of water and you would’ve thought I’d given him the moon.  “Thank you mommy!” he’ll exclaim. And he’ll randomly give me a hug or blow me a kiss.  If Sammy starts crying, Finn’s the first to go over there and talk to him saying that he’ll (Finn) make him happy.  Not get him to stop crying, but to make him happy.

He can also let his anger take over.  If he gets mad enough, he’ll just throw whatever is in his hands.  Just chuck it.  Or reach out and kick (usually Stephen) if someone is nearby.

We’re still learning how to parent him.  I suspect we will be for the next 16 years.  And that’s okay.  We’ve prayed.  We’ve read the books.  We’ve taken the parenting classes.  We’ve sought out opinions from wise people.  And from people on facebook.  We’ll continue to do all those things.

He’s just so precious to us.  Here are some of the things that I want to remember about 3-year-old Finn:

  • How he wants to make Sammy happy when he cries.
  • The other day he couldn’t find his shoes right away. “Mama, I’m disappointed.  Disappointed means sad.”  His tone said that he didn’t think I knew that.
  • He just started sharing a room with Sammy instead of Stephen.  Sammy woke up in the middle of the night one time and it work up Finn when I went in there.  I got Sammy out of his crib, but Finn tried to stop me: “No mama, he’s MY Sammy.”  Sorry Finn…gotta feed him.

And some great conversations:

Finn: Mama, I built a house (showing me his ‘house’ he built out of blankets.)
Me: How many kitchen tables does your house have?
Finn: ALOT! 3 of them.
Me: That’s good. How many bedrooms?

Finn: 2!
Me: How many bathrooms does your house have?
Finn: None. We’ll just wear diapers.

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Finn: “Mama, sometimes I wanna be big. But sometimes I wanna be little too.”
Me: “Me too, Finn, me too.”

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Finn: “Mama, Jesus gave me lots of pennies.”
Me: “He did?”
Finn: “Yeah. But He said that I just have to go find them.”
Me: “Interesting.”
Finn: “Mama, do you have any pennies?”

**************************************************************************************************************

Capri: Hi Finn.
Finn: Wanna play Hide N Seek?
Capri: No. Wanna play House?
Finn: Okay.
Capri: I’ll be the mom. You be the dad.
Finn: Okay! I’ll be the dad that plays Hide N Seek.
Capri: Okay.

Win-Win!

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We had a guy come and mow the lawn.

Finn: He’s half nakkie mom!
Me: What?
Finn: Yeah, he has pants. And shoes. And a shirt, but I can see his arms.
Me: Oh…well, that’s not really half nakkie Finn. That’s just him wearing a tank top. That’s okay.

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Overheard when he was playing with Little People:
“Do you hear that plane? It’s in the sky.”
“We went on a walk last night.”
“Mama and me made a cake. We get to eat it tomorrow.”
“I have to listen to my body.” (For when it’s time to go potty.)
“When the house is on fire, I have to shut the fire down.” (He likes to pretend he’s a fireman.)
“Sometimes, we have to go to bed even if we aren’t tired.”
“When Sammy wakes up, we’ll give him a bottle.”

FinnAge3

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