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Archive for the ‘Phinehas’ Category

So, here’s how our Halloween went this year:

About 2 weeks before Halloween:

  • Stephen wanted to be Thomas the train for Halloween.  So I ordered him a costume in time for him to open it for his 3rd birthday.
  • Finn kept changing his mind on what he wanted to be.  I got all kinds of answers: mashed potatoes, a super hero, a bad guy, a monkey, a puppy, a bad guy who eats people (what!??!)  I finally pinned him down to a super hero lion because we already had a lion costume and I’d just make a cape.  He picked red for his cape.
  • Sammy was going to be either Tigger (from Winnie the Pooh) or a puppy, depending on the weather.

1 week before Halloween:

  • It was Stephen’s birthday.  He opened his costume.  Unimpressed.  Still said he wanted to be Thomas though.
  • I made Finn’s cape.  Didn’t do that great of a job, but he liked it.

1 hour before Trick-or-Treating on Halloween:

  • Finn put on the lion costume.
  • Stephen refused to put on the Thomas costume.  “I don’t want that.”  So on went a puppy costume that he also got for his birthday.
  • So Jeff put the Thomas costume on Sammy.  Fit great.  He refused to wear the neckerchief thing and the hat.  Kept ripping it off. Oh well.
  • Ben got put into the dalmatian costume that we had.  Very itchy costume so it was on just long enough to take a picture.

30 minutes before Trick-or-Treating on Halloween:

  • Finn said the lion costume itched too much.  But he still liked the cape.
  • So we debated if he could go trick-or-treating with just a cape.  We nixxed that idea.
  • But we didn’t have another costume that fit him.
  • We went down to the basement to grab another lion costume that I had planned on giving him for Christmas.  But now he no longer wanted the cape.

 

So..here’s our picture:

(Not a great shot, but it’s the best I got!)

halloween2016

And here’s Finn in the costume-he-really-went-Trick-or-Treating-in:

finnhalloween2106

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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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