Monday, November 20, 2006

November 2006

Things seems really, really tough lately. Ansley is not well and it really makes me sad and emotional. After some conviction from the Lord, I am decided to go off Zoloft. I realized I was taking it as a treatment for sin (anger, emotions, etc.) and I wasn't at the root of the problem. How can it really be solved - for me to really let go of the control, house clean issue that I have? It is so tough and so minute by minute by minute. It is so yucky to go through this and I wonder if there will ever be an end.

I plan on looking at pictures taken over the past couple of months in order to accurately blog what all has gone on.

In general, however, Lily has taken off in the speech department. Instead of saying "I come," she now says stuff like, "I am coming." She loves to put puzzles together and truly "play" with toys and things. As always I want to have more time to play with her and interact and do art things. Last week she saw the letter "W" and gave it to me and said "dub-ya." I was pretty impressed. In October, she went from saying Ma-ma, to Mom-Mom to Mommy. Her hair seems to grow and grow and grow and I realize it is just about time to get it cut! It is so incredibly LONG and beautifully thick! She still loves Dora and Barney. She likes to play with anything that has buttons and makes noise. It is time to reorganize her room so she can reach some toys and play in her room. I probably need to get some shelves in her closet for toys as well since she doesn't have the built-ins like Sadie. We moved her into a big bed over market and for the most part it was such easy transition. I was resistent, but Jay pushed it because of furniture market. She only had one or two nights of getting out of bed. She responds well to spanking and stayed in after that. I have had some trouble iwth napping during the day. She likes to pull all the clothes out of her drawers - I don't know why.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Summer Notes

As I sit here documenting our summer and changes in the kids, I am blown away with how fast time is going by. I look at Lily and she is truly no longer a baby. She is still very happy and just a delight to be around. She throws up her hand and says in a very southern way - "Heeeeyyyyy" to just about everyone. Some of her more recent phrases include seyatoon (see you soon) - so cute. She is such a little chatter box. She knows a few colors - blue, red, green, the number 9 (a little bizarre), the letter D and O. She will sit on the potty for a long, long time (1-2 hours), but not do anything. She thinks she is going potty which is cute. She asks to go right after she has done it. So, I know we are getting close to starting. I kinda of dread it, but know that once it is all done, it will be great not carrying any sort of diaper bag around. But that means she has truly grown up, too. I need to get that photo of her pointing to all of her body parts like I did Ethan and Sadie. She certainly knows them. She is completely into Dora now after a good stint with Barney (still loves him). She tries to sing the song - d-d-d-d dora. She loves to dance and move her body to music. Ethan is officially called Buddy - I LOVE IT! What a sweet thing to have a special name. It is only fitting because Ethan is the one who calls Ansley, "maimie". I am not really sure how to spell that correctly because it is not mamie like in Gone with the Wind. She sometimes calls Mom, Mimi and Colby, Beebee. She loves, loves, loves Henny and he always says that he would give her the world. Speaking of, we asked Henry if he would be the next in line to take the kids if something were to happen to us. After mom and john and oma and opa, we have to have another person and really Henry is the one. In ten years, he might be listed first based on the health of our parents. Thankfully, the children should be well taken care of financially (life insurance and sale of our assets) so that should not be a concern, but it felt good to ask him and I feel great with that decision.

I am listening to Ethan singing to a great Christian song. So sweet.

Ethan has had a good summer. He lost two teeth in June (actually one at the beginning of June and one at the end of June. It is the two bottom ones and I love his look without the teeth. None of the other ones seem loose so we will wait. He really loved having Jay pull them - it was that mix between anticipation, excitement and a little fear. He went to several camps this summer - music camp at church, tennis camp, and horse camp. He also had horse lessons each week this summer. At the end of the summer he was able to walk, trot and cantor by himself. He also made a small, small jump. He loves riding Pegasus and I think it might be something he continues to do in the future. It is good for focusing, too. We still have issues in that area. He has trouble following multiple step tasks that I ask him to do. He can't comprehend everything I say and seems to hear every other word - much like his daddy. That can be a little frustrating for us both. I heard some improvement in his reading last night. It is still a struggle, but I finally heard him get the words: what, now, something, and down. However, he still can't get car. I need to do some work on rhyming words with him. I think that will help.

Ethan has also started to not want to kiss me in public. This happened when I dropped him off at horse camp this Thursday (august 9). He kind of looked around to make sure no one was watching and gave me this quick kiss on the cheek. He told me later it was "embarrassing." I was completely taken aback. Who does he think he is to make that decision!!! :) I had some cute conversations with him in that same week. He is my stinky-foot, horse-smelling, skittles smelling boy. He loved that! He also told me (despite the changes in public displays of affection) that his favorite thing in the whole world is to snuggle with me. Still me sweetie.

Sadie has had a difficult summer. I thought we had made some break throughs, but she has such a difficult time controlling her emotions, needs, wants, etc. The worst of this summer was this past week. It is my problem, not hers. I left her, accidentally, at home. With all of the hub-bub of getting in the car, and everything I had to carry to the car as well, I thought she was in the car. I dropped Ethan off at horse lessons and was heading into High Point and realized she wasn't in the car. It was the worst feeling I have ever felt. Meanwhile, Angie happened to call my house and somehow Sadie picked up the phone and was able to talk with her. Angie calmed her down and told her she was on her way. Then, Angie called me and I told her I was already almost home. I was absolutely in a panic. My poor, poor Sadie. I feared for her, I was scared for her, I cried for her. When I arrived home, she had turned on the t.v. and was at the phone where Miss Angie was leaving her another message. Her eyes were swollen from crying. I just held her and cried with her and told her over and over how sorry I was and asked her to forgive me. She said she wasn't mad, but sad. She said she prayed to God to bring me back to her. She said she turned on the television and there was a guy singing about smiling which helped her calm down. She said she knew it was an accident and that she knew I would come back. I thought she was very brave and very mature in her handling of what had happened. It taught me to value her and to love her more and more. I look at her and she frustrates me so much that I realized that I have to slow down in order to focus on her in a way that is effective. Oh - two cute things she has said. She was showing Graylyn her diary and said, "Graylyn, this is my diarrhea." Also she just asked to pain on the weasel (not easel).

We have finally gotten out the behavior charts (if-then and blessings). The kids seem pretty excited about them and I have found some other ways of creative discipline. Like, I have Ethan run around the outside of the house when he is out of control physically and can't focus. It has been a great deterrent. I need to set up the posters, and go over them at length with the kids.

I have had a difficult couple of weeks. The emotions were out of control. I have made a concerted effort to take Zoloft each morning. We are on day 3. I think I will see some results in two weeks. I just can't talk to anyone any more without getting criticized for my reaction. I know I release my hurt as anger and people don't understand that. However, every time I expose myself, it comes back to hurt more! I must pay, pray, pray for changes!!!

Ok - So the bonus room is completely out of control. I must get a handle on the mess with the kids!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

May 28, 2006

Is it really May 28th - the 6th birthday of my little Ethan? 6 sounds so old. I remember him as a baby and how much confidence I lacked as a mother. Then I have some flashbacks as a toddler - particularly from photos. After that, it gets hazy. Thankfully, I have tons of photos. He received the prayer award at school - I was so proud. He also scored a PERFECT score on the bible portion of their achievement test - 99th percentile. I am so incredibly proud of the boy he is becoming. I see 6 as having so much responsibility - so much more than 5. Why? I have no idea, but I do. He is so appreciative of what we do for him. He thanked me and Jay so many times for the hard work we put into his birthday. Jay is out on the back field with 2 of Ethan's friends from school, Sadie and Colby camping out. I hope everyone gets some sleep. It is nice to be inside with only Lily. She is in bed and it is so quiet!

I finally recognize the types of friends that are good for Ethan. These two boys from his class are just precious. They are so incredibly sweet, well-mannered and just great to be around. They are not demanding nor are they wild and rambunctious (did I spell that correctly?). They have been taught to love God and it shows. They have confidence and they want to be with Ethan! It is not a struggle nor do we get any attitudes, power games or pouting. There are no clicks and they just want to have fun. I am so happy for him as I see great friends for him to be around.

Sadie seems to have done a 180 over the past month. It is like she just grew up over night. She finally gets it and really feels remorse, sadness, regret, etc. It is amazing. I don't know what finally happened, but prayers and all of the hard work, trying to keep her in line and wanting to please God seems to have paid off. God is rewarding us for obedience to him. Ironically, I think that this may just be in time for issues with Lily. Sadie has expressed so much love to me lately. She just wants to love on me and seems to be so much happier. I know that spending that one on one has been key as well as doing things that excite her. She wants to please me and I try to encourage her and praise her all the time. I also try to help her understand what she is doing wrong in a much better tone than yelling. It is working - thank you GOD! I feel a pride and joy when watching her that I have never experienced with her. I know she had to feel it as I recognize it now. She brightens my day and I was really looking forward when I would pick her up from preschool.

The summer has begun. We don't have too tight of a schedule. I am thankful. I am really looking forward to just hanging around the house and enjoying each other. We have lots to do outside and the kids need to learn how to find ways to entertain each other. I also have big school and craft plans with the kids. Of course, I had those plans last year and it didn't pan out. So, I won't try to tackle too much and hope for better. I need to beef up our craft supplies so we can create more this summer. Sadie keeps saying she wants to do soccer. I have her in advanced preschool at gymnastics and Ethan in horseback riding for the summer. I figure we will revamp in the fall - Sadie in soccer and Ethan in karate. I don't want to do all that running around, but at least it will only be for the fall.

Lily's hair seems to have gotten even curlier - special, perfect little ringlets - so precious. She brings such joy to me, too. I just want to squeeze her. She is starting to exert her will. I realize there is not too much we don't let her do as the house is pretty foolproof and she just can't get into things that make a mess. Well, except for Jay's computer stuff and remotes in the living room. She still only has those top two teeth, plus two molars in the back on the top. Four teeth on the bottom and two molars in the back. Speaking of teeth, Sadie will make ANOTHER trip to the dentist to have that silver cap looked at...again. Appears to be abscessed. I think we will just get it pulled...seems the easiest thing to do. I hope it is not incredibly painful for her as right now she seems totally fine despite the abscess appearance.

Lily continues to gain in her speech everyday. She puts lots of words together into small sentences. I love hearing her talk!

I am tired and though I know there is a lot to write about, I will end for now. Jay just called from the camp site to say they kids are loving playing flashlight tag. How fun!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

May 5, 2006

Well, we survived market cleaning and moving out for market. We stayed at mom's for a week and then I took Ansley and the girls and went to Myrtle Beach to stay at the Clinard's condo. We had a good time. Ansley was really tired and did a bit of vomiting. I noticed she just doesn't talk like she used to. She doesn't initiate conversations and doesn't really respond too much to chatter. We talked about it on the way home and she said she just doesn't have any mental capacity to converse. Everything she does is for the cancer and she just can't get anything else together. It is tough not to have her as her old self. I think I have been in denial that she won't ever be herself again. It is a tough thing to swallow.

I was going through pictures that I have in 2004 (still that far behind in scrapbooking). There are pictures that all I can see in them is reminders of cancer. So, I am putting them in a separate pile in order to make my own book of cancer memories. I plan to put all the email updates in them as well. It will be a painful book, I am sure to make and look at in the future. However, it is one that needs to be made.

Lily has been extremely difficult the past couple of days since we have been home. She ran a fever for a day and then just screams. I don't know if it is teeth or if it is all the changes. She wouldn't sleep last night and I thought I would go crazy as she patted me and chattered away at 3 this morning. She seems to hate sliding around in her car seat when we go around a curve. Hey - maybe tightening the straps will help. She just screams. I don't know what she wants. It is so very unlike her. I hope the next week things seem to work a little better. It is VERY frustrating.

Sadie still clings to her boots. It seems to be that she wears them when she thinks it is more of an important occasion. Very funny about it. We picked up John and Alisa from the airport (coming home to have the baby) and she HAD to wear them. She made a hilarious comment tonight to me: "Daddy left on my purple light and I can't sleep with it on, it is too bright." Mind you, she has insisted that light be on as well as her bathroom light on for the 6 months and now it is TOO bright???? Finally she is letting me fix her hair in a ponytail or pigtails or braids. She looks so grown up. This all had to be because Mrs. Nance asked her to - whom she loves. She sees Mrs. Nance like a girlfriend who she can talk to about anything. Mrs. Nance has taught her so very much about the Lord and her own character. We have been so blessed!

Jay brought home a baby pool Friday with a little slide to it. THEY LOVE IT. They pretend to be seals and dolphins and sharks as they slide down into the water. Over and over and over they go down it. I really hope to have the swimming thing down pat before we go to France in July.

I need to compose the conversation I heard between Ethan and Sadie when they were down at the creek - probably back in late March/early April. They came back without Sadie's shoes. She was too scared to go back to get them by herself. I told her to ask Ethan to go with her. She did and he said no. Then I said Ethan would you help her. He said, ok, I'll go. She said, "Promise you'll keep me safe?" He said, Sure. Off they went - holding hands. Her knight in shining armor.

The above is such a sweet moment - and now it seems all they do is fight. The back seat is a war and I am so incredibly tired of it! I am going to have to come to some resolution to it. Ethan's attitude if he is not getting everything he wants can really stink and Sadie plays ignorant of his talkings and so it gets to him, too.

Ethan is all mesmerized by infomericals now. He was insistent we needed to buy this stick on crown molding. "Just peel, place and push," he said. Then he wanted me to get the Betty Crocker easy bake pan set. So funny. I can't believe school is almost over! Now, I will have a 1 st grader. Mrs. Segers told me how much he loves the Lord and what a sweet and enjoyable boy he is. Made me feel good. I can tell he struggles with reading. Math seems to be fine, but reading makes him nervous. It doesn't come easy and we will work on it this summer.

I am glad to have caught up on some of my "blogging" I am using this to remember more when I start scrapbooking. Oh - I need to write more about our Easter trip to Emerald Isle and the camper, church services, biking with our Easter clothes on.

Dates to remember: April 30 - Ethan rides without training wheels - learns at Grammy's house when I was at the beach, Sadie wants to do it, too and will probably do it in a matter of days (according to Jay), April 23 - Lily has fourth tooth on bottom to come in - a strange mix of teeth - two on the top, four on the bottom and two large molars in the back on the bottom.

Oh Strawberry picking today - nothing too interesting happened except that it took all of 15 minutes - so quick. Lily ate one and was clapping and excited that the juice spewed out of her mouth. Grammy and I laughed very, very hard.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

February 28, 2006

Today is my grandmother's 80th birthday. Happy Birthday, Gram! She spent the day driving and talking on her mobile phone. Not bad for 80! We had lunch with her at Mayberry's. It was good to see my grandfather. I thought I saw a flicker of remembrance in his eyes as to who I was. He likes to give kisses, on the lips. He is such a cute, lovable man, even when you don't feel much reception. I miss him calling me KT and Caymen as I began to be called later in life. I miss him joking with me. Although, I wonder if he still doesn't have it at times. He laughed at something I said about the girls at lunch. I wonder mostly how Gram will be able to deal with life when he is gone. Her life is nothing but taking care of him. I know she trusts in the Lord, but I hurt for what will be so painful for her.

Lily learned to go down stairs holding onto the railings while at the playground. She also loves to slide on the playground and she sat on my lap while we were on the swings. I think her mind is beginning to work a little more complicated these days as she seems to figure out more and more. She is able to figure out how to get what she wants physically. She is starting to talk. She can say car, ball, bowl, cracker, clock, juice, up, bath, bunny, moooo, bo-bo, I want, diaper, shoe, Nah-nah for Grand-D, and nan-nu for thank you. She is not yet saying yes or no. Yes sounds more like an Ah sound. She had her first major temper tantrum this week because I wouldn't let her have my mobile phone. Why are her favorite toys the phone and my keys? Oh - and my eyeliner.

Ethan had a note from his teacher today. He can't seem to keep his hands to himself or his mouth closed. We had a talk. I am not sure he ever understands the severity of his actions. We have started working harder at his sight words, but we definitely need to work on his "b" words. He spelled several words for me tonight in the car - five, four, three, etc. I was impressed. He also likes to make books. He is very good at making a storyline. I love the little books and his drawings. They are so well thought-out for his age - a real plot with matching drawings and he staples them together in order. I love that he is so sweet and touch-oriented. However, most kids are not like that and he doesn't understand why other boys don't like to hug like he does. He is emotional, too. I don't know how to get him to toughen up a little. Maybe I have babied him. I hope not.

Sadie had a difficult day. There are moments when I see such progress, but then...I find her with three bottles of my best fingernail polish and red polish all over her shirt and hands. She is trying to "wash" off the evidence before she is caught. There were lots of complete deafness on her part when I made requests of her. Then, she put on a great outfit after her bath before we went to church. But that was after she was crying/screaming on the bathroom floor because she was cold after her bath. What she really wanted was time with me. I realize that now, but I had to get everyone ready and fed before heading to church. I wish she understood that. She used her words when asking Graylyn to, "Graylyn, please stop doing that." Then she peed in her pants. Totally don't understand her at times. I wish I did. I try to love her as much as I can - telling her how proud I am of her, but then she can just get the best of me. I need to carve out that time to spend with her every day. She has been shuffled, well, they all have been shuffled over the past few days and I really need to spend individual time with each of them. Their behavior and my ability to reason with them seems to increase dramatically when I do. Imagine that!

The bickering between Ethan and Sadie in the car is almost to the point of insanity. They can be such a help to each other, then they will scream about who gets to listen to their song first. Tonight it was over Sadie having her light on. UGH!

The most embarrassing discovery today was that there is not doubt I have a family of mice in my car. I removed Lily's car seat and there was plenty of mice droppings. It really should not be that shocking because of the various amounts of food, crumbs, candy, etc left in my car. Just now I can think of a piece of crush toast, a handful of candy hearts from Valentine's Day, several pieces of goldfish and a few fries from tonight's rushed dinner on the way to church. They will have a buffet - field mice never had it so good.

The best news of the day was Ansley's awakening from her drug induced near coma over the past few weeks due to pain meds she has been taking. Although the loopiness provided great laughs, there was nothing better than seeing "my sister" back in her body. It was a near perfect day with her, the short time I spent with her. I want more days like this, please God.

I hope to continue this blog, even if no one ever reads it but me . It will be a nice "diary" of sorts which I can refer to when I am scrapbooking and working on other archival projects.