Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My New Calling

(For non-Mormons, "calling" is LDS speak for "my current job at church"). I just got called to be the Primary Pianist. Can you get more of a gravy job than this? At least 90 percent of the songs in the Primary Song Book are easy enough, that I don't need to practice them. I just show up and play songs for children. It's fun, and practices my sight reading, and if I mess up, the kids don't notice, or care too much. Gravy.

Plus you sometimes get to hear the kid's say funny things. Last Sunday, Aunt Claudia was giving a Sharing Time lesson on following Jesus' example. She told several stories of Jesus, and pointed out a different aspect of Jesus' character that we should try to follow. She told the story where Jesus heals the blind man by spitting in the dust and making clay to put on his eyes. She said something like "We may not be able to heal the blind man, but what else can we do to be like Jesus from this story." (She was fishing for "Service".) Dulaney Reed piped up and says, totally serious "Spit in the dirt." Funny!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Highlights

1) Spending time with family. Sounds cheesy, but it's true none the less. I love my family! (I also include Bruce's family as "my family;" they are.) My side of the family and Bruce's side are so very different, in some ways. My family are insanely silly, and his are very not silly. His family think I'm a bit of a weirdo. It's all good. I love both families way much! I don't know if Todd reads this, but I know Suzanne does, so I'm directing this comment to both: I miss you guys! Let's get together more. Love you!

2) Jonni opening a present and yelling "I hate this!" I felt bad for Uncle Trent, who got her the present, but it was funny. I'm glad it wasn't my kid (this time).

3) My favorite presents that I gave were: a) I got Ashley a t-shirt that said "I love boogers" on the front, and "Nase Bohren" on the back. See, we had a drawing and I drew her name. You were supposed to put a wish list on your card, so that who ever got your name would have a clue what to get you. All Ashley put on her "wish list" was "I love boogers." She laughed, and put it on immediately. b) I printed out the entirety of both of my blogs, bound them, and gave them to my parents (who still don't have Internet.)

4) Dad and Mom both laughed themselves literally to tears over The Maverick. (That's an entry on Tadpoles, my other blog. I think it was so funny to them because it is about them.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Losing My Mind and Other Important Bits of Stuff

They say having children eats your brain. It must be true.

Last Saturday was the Christmas party for Bruce's Dad's former place of employment. The whole extended family goes every year and has a good time. It's a fairly large thing, with the blow up bounce house things, Santa a real reindeer crafts, a magician, food and such like that. The only bad thing about these big places is that it is easy to loose the little ones among the throng. Lydia, Ross and Mark are big enough now that I don't worry about them too much, Justice is another story. I lost him about 3 or 4 times that day. Lydia was holding Clayton while they got their picture taken with Santa, and saw the reindeer. She handed him off to someone afterward and went off to play. I was standing around talking to Bruce's parents. After a few minutes I started looking around trying to see who was holding the baby. I couldn't see anyone from our group who had the baby. I asked Bruce's Dad & Mom "Where is the baby?" They looked weird at me.

"Justice?" they asked me.

"No, he's right there. I mean Clayton. Who's got Clayton."

They continued to look dumbfounded at me. I continued to scan the throng, looking for my baby, and starting to feel a little panicky.

"Where is Clayton. Who did Lydia give him to?"

More weird, crazy looks. She had given him to me. I was holding him on my hip. Seriously. I guess I'm just so used to his weight, that I'd forgotten that I was holding him. Moron!

This morning as I was packing up my diaper bag / purse to take Ross and Mark to the dentist, I missed my wallet. I checked in my purse where I usually keep it. I swear it wasn't there. I started combing the house. I had Mark look in the van, I looked every place that I might have set it down. I was starting to worry, and I had all of the older kids "on task" looking for my wallet. Lydia found it - in my purse, in the exact right compartment. I swear, I'm losing my mind!
Oh, and here are some gratuitous pictures of the Clayton, and the kids at the Christmas Party.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

More Old Funny Stories

We were remembering at breakfast, so I want to record this funny Lydia story. I can't remember if I've done this one already, but I don't think I have. It was one of those moments that you just wish that you had a camcorder going. I could have earned some money off of this one.

Lydia was a cute five year old dressed up in her pretty ballerina outfit, complete with a pink leotard, pink floaty skirt, and some satiny pink "ballerina slippers." She was playing "dance teacher," and I was playing along as a student. " it just like me okay, do exactly what I do, okay!" Then she did this really fast spin around pirouette thing, lost her balance and crashed into the radiator with such momentum that she bounced off and fell in the opposite direction, knocking the front of the radiator loose. As the radiator face crashed down on top of her, she finished her performance with a fart. You'd have had to see it; it was sooo funny!

An Embarrassing Moment:
Back when L, R, and M were all preschoolers, I had a group of friends from our ward (church) who I used to meet with for playgroup type stuff. We met often at the library for story time. As is my custom, I was running late and had gotten dressed in a hurry. After story time, a group of us grown-ups were standing around talking. I noticed something funny feeling on the inside of my pant leg. I realized there was something extra in my pant leg, and it was working it's way down toward my foot. I kind of casually wiggled my leg until it came out. There on top of my foot, in plain site, was a pair of my underwear that had apparently gotten washed inside of my pants. You can imagine my embarrassment as I bent down and casually picked it up and stuffed it into my diaper bag.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"Making a Mystery"

I was feeling like it was high time that I did something fun with my kids. Ross asked me on Saturday to "make a mystery" for them to solve. I didn't come up with anything that day, but today I decided to follow the examples of my mom, John, and Erik and make a treasure hunt of sorts. While older three kids were at school, I set it up like so:

I taped this note to the face of the TV screen (so as to be sure that it would be noticed right away).

Attention! Hoppy, Jumpers and Lydia's CD player have all been kidnapped!
If you ever want to see them again, you must follow these instructions immediately and exactly! You must find each of the following:
A broken heart and a contrite ... wait, that's the wrong list!

5 golden rings, 4 calling birds, 3 french hens, 2 turtle doves,... no, sorry wrong list again!

3 jugs of milk, toilet paper, a rubber salami ... oh that's my shopping list.

Okay, here's the real list of things to bring:

1 Pony tail holder

1 red, 1 yellow, 1 blue, and 1 black crayon

2 pair of matching socks belonging to your father

2 pennys

1 twig that is over a foot long

1 bike bottle of water

Once you've found each of these items, bring them to the Dangerously Crazed Captain Silly Face for inspection. There you will receiver further instructions.

Next I gave them a clue with a code to crack, which led to a treasure map, which led to a riddle to solve, which led them back to their original clue and told them to look for the clue hidden in the background. I had their things hidden in the box in the back of the picture with the ingredients for making rice crispy treats and a note that said that their friends were waiting for them to make a tasty treat with them. So, we made the rice crispy treats.

It was a huge success! The kids loved it, and have requested more mysteries. Fun stuff.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My Bed Is Too Crowded

Now just picture Bruce squeezed on the other side of Justice, and you've got how we end up sleeping about half of the time. No wonder I'm always tired!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Potty Training By Renae

So, lots of people have asked me how to potty train lately. I guess having 5 kids, people think I know how to do it or something. Well, I hate to disappoint, but I REALLY don't feel like an expert. However, being on my 4th go-round here, I do think that I've learned a few things.

1) You HAVE to wait until the child is ready. Until then, it just ain't gonna happen, and you will just get yourself and your little one needlessly frustrated. Be patient. Lydia was about 2 1/2 when she got it, and my boys, Ross, Mark and Justice were all nearly 3. Believe me, I know how much we all want our children to be out of diapers. But trust me on this, if they aren't ready, don't waste your time. Don't give yourself a needless headache (or your child needless guilt trips) and don't feel like a bad parent either. Some kids will be ready before others, and that's fine. I don't know how to tell when they are ready. They may show an interest, heck a keen interest in the potty early on. This may or may not mean they are ready. Yes, try it, but if it doesn't work, don't sweat it. Let it go and try again in a few months. When they are ready, it only takes a couple of days till they just get it, and then they are completely there. That's how it's been in my experience anyway. If you've tried and after a day or two, they just aren't getting it, don't push the issue, try again in a few months.

2) Don't waste your money on pull-ups as a general rule. Face the fact that you are going to have to clean up a mess or two or three or four. Pull ups are just like diapers to them. They just pee, and it gets absorbed, they don't care. Let them pee their pants with underwear (or go bare bottom, if you prefer). Let them see and feel the consequence. They probably won't like it. Now, if you are going out of the house, and they aren't quite totally trustworthy with those undies yet, yes, use a pull up or a diaper. But at home, NO. (If you work, wait until a Saturday when you can spend most of the day or a couple of days at home before you even try.) If your child is really ready for the potty, this stage shouldn't last too long. Like I said eventually it just clicks and they know what to do.

3) With a child who is ready, sometimes it's just a battle of wills. Justice is like this. He can do it, he's just not sure he wants to. Win the battle of wills. Put that kid in underwear, show him how to use the toilet, and let him pee his pants, poop them too. (Of course offer to take them to the potty several times a day. If you can see that they are getting ready to go, pick them up and set them on the potty.) Most little kids want to be a big kid, they want to wear the underwear, so if they are ready just enforce it (during the day, night time bed wetting is a whole other ball of wax. Some kids are just bed wetters, and so far as I know, they can't help it.) You don't have to be mean about it, just let them know that they are big and that they won't be wearing diapers anymore. Brace yourself to clean up a mess or two, and do it. Have a sticker chart, a bag of suckers, a few chocolate chips or something for a reward, and make a huge deal about it when they do use the toilet. When they mess up, show them that you are disappointed, but don't be mad at them. They are just little kids learning a new skill, they will mess up. It's okay. Having them help clean up the mess (in a nice way) will be a reminder and an incentive not to do it again. Don't make potty training be stressful for them. (Boy, don't I wish I could say that I've always done it like this! -HA HA!)

A tip that sounds good to me is to put them immediately on the toilet the first thing in the morning, as soon as they get out of bed. Don't we all have to pee first thing in the morning?

You might have a child who is like Ross was for me. He was truly afraid to poop in the potty for some unknown reason. I'm not sure what his aversion was, but he went a full year only half potty trained. He peed in the toilet always, but he would not poop in the potty. Why, I don't really know, but I think he was afraid that the toilet monster would come out and get him. What to do about that, I don't know. I tried to catch him in the act time and time and time again, and set him on the toilet when I KNEW he had to poo. He wouldn't do it though. He'd hold it all day until he got a diaper on to go to bed, then he'd poop in that. One day about a year after he was pee potty trained, we caught him at it, and he couldn't hold it any longer. He pooped in the toilet, and that was the end of that. It was a light bulb moment for him, he just realized that the toilet monster wasn't going to kill him, and it was all good. If you have one like Ross, I'm sorry. No good advice. Be patient and ready with those wet wipes.

That's all I really know. Hope it's helpful. Sorry if it's really not. I'd say, if you've tried everything you know, and it's not working, don't stress out - maybe they just aren't ready. Give it up and try again later.

-What a lot of yammer about nothing!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Bruce's Kind of Christmas Decor

P.S. Justice wore underwear all day today, and kept them dry! Happy Dance, Happy Dance!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The Potty Train

Justice is going through a very independent streak right now. He wants to do everything himself. This includes changing his own diapers. I've always said that if they are old enough to change their own diapers, they are definitely old enough to use the toilet. Well, it's 8:00 am, and Justice is on his 2nd pair of underwear today. Any bets on how many he'll go through today? A few minutes ago, he said "I want to go on the potty train!" lol

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Guilt Trips From the Guilty

Bruce's mom babysat J & C while I took the other kids to the dentist today. While I was gone, the following funny thing happened: Justice was headed for the basement, and for some reason Grammy didn't want him to go down there at that particular time. Justice flat out ignored her as she repeatedly said "Justice, come back. Justice, don't go in the basement. Justice get back here!" etc. Grammy followed Justice into the basement and gave the unrepentant delinquent a swift spanking. Justice turned around and looked at his Grammy with wide, watery, puppy dog eyes and says "Grammy, are you sorry that you hurt me?" Then he went upstairs and said to Pa "Grammy's a bad boy!"

Monday, December 01, 2008

Poopy Diaper Humor

I was just giving Brad W. a piano lesson. He was playing along for me when Justice came up and climbed onto my lap with a very smelly diaper. "Wow, you really stink!" I said. Brad, looked distinctly hurt. He thought I was commenting on his playing.

After the lesson was over, I was talking half to myself, half to Justice. I was thinking of my to-do list, and naming the things I needed to accomplish. I said "Come on Justice lets change your diaper. I need to make dinner!"

Kiddie Politics

My 6 year old, Mark and his friend, Kendall were in the kitchen having a snack when I overheard this bit of their conversation about their school's mock election:

Mark: "Who did you vote for?"

Kendall: "Who did you vote for?"

Mark: "I'll tell you if you tell me first."

Kendall: "I voted for John McCain"

Mark stared wide eyed with his mouth hanging open for a minute.

Mark: "I voted for John McCain too! Do you know what I heard about O'bama?"

Kendall: "What?"

Mark: "He will steal away all of your money."

Kendall: "Yup."

Mark: "And he wants to take away the mothers' right to have their children."

Kendall: "I don't think so."

Mark: "And he wants to take people out of the war!" --spoken like that was a bad thing.

I was chuckling to myself. Kids are funny.