The Face and Charts!

Winter came back! Gone are the 50-60 degree days and instead, we have icy snow blowing and we’re back to winter coats and accessories. I wish the weather would make up it’s mind!

Miss E and I braved the morning rain and went to her first eye check-up since getting her cool new glasses. She did great! First time with no tears, although she did sport her new grumpy face half the time (see below). As soon as we pulled up in the parking lot, she put on grumpy face and said, “Wan’ it eye dotter.” “Wan’ it’ means DON’T want it in Fissy language!

She got a good report, lowered eyebrows and all, and doesn’t have to go back for 4 months!

More cuteness from yesterday:) She looked so cute in her dress and her brother’s shoes:)

Here is an example of “the face.” Sometimes she does it with no apparent reason at all! It’s a pretty darn cute grumpy face, if I don’t say so myself:)

And she’s back! She can turn on and off those emotions with the pro of a 2 year old:) In other Missy news, she peed on the potty for the first time tonight! I got her a little cheap potty from Ikea last week and I ask her before bath if she wants to sit on it. Sometimes she does, sometimes she doesn’t and there’s no pressure! Tonight she wanted to sit on the “big potty” and so I held her on there for a few minutes while she looked at a book and she went! Big girl!

Two of my main guys:) Both have new charts up with incentives to earn prizes. Samuel, who was jealous of Z’s chart, has a “Good Attitude-Be Nice” chart since he struggles with the attitude part and being nice to little bro. Zakkai has a “Potty Chart” because he’s working to stay dry all night. He even has a sign with a big toilet on it hanging right above his head on the bottom of Samuel’s bed that says, “Go Potty, Zakkai!” on it:) He’s such a deep, deep sleeper that he struggles in this area and often doesn’t want to leave his warm, cozy bed in the morning. With our new plan of Rays being gone and some other things we put in place, including the chart, he is ready to go! In the potty that is:)

Both were thrilled to earn stickers today and begin working for their rewards. Go boys, go! We can’t believe how easy it’s been to get Eliana off the paci and Zakkai away from finger-sucking. I guess they were ready! After all the battles we’ve fought over the years over many things, it’s nice to have a couple of them go easy on us!

Hoola Hoopin’ and Rain Dances.

What a rainy, warm day! Eliana and I took a few walks today because Daddy had the car. We went to and from school and took a trip to the library for some Dora books. Eliana is very big into Dora these days!! She brought her Dora umbrella to catch any stray drizzle, too:)

I’m trying to keep this Little Lady active to wear her out so she will nap! It’s been nice to have the warmer weather so we can get out. Unfortunately, that’s about to end! We signed up for storytime again so hopefully she’ll meet some new friends.

Eliana found the boys’ hoola hoops today and wanted to try them. She begged me all day to help her, which was not easy, considering how small she is and how big they are! She loved it when I showed my excellent hoola hooping skills. Don’t expect a video of that anytime soon though!

I like to call this “Rain Dance.” Keeping silly boys busy!!

Happy Tuesday!

Highlights

Some highlights from our day:

* Eliana’s nap time strike is officially over!! We went on a nice long walk before lunch (without the stroller so she’d get tired!) and she went right to sleep and took a good, normal nap. She knew I was happy with her and made sure to tell brothers, “Good nap!”

*She is talking so much and in great sentences now. She loves to say, “I did it!” or “I do it.” She was very bossy with me today, saying, “Mama, pway! (play) Mama wead (read) book? Mama lookit dis. Mama eat!”  Bossy little thing:)

*Zakkai did great for his second night without his Rays but tonight started to get sad about it. Growing up is hard!! Hopefully he can stay strong and know that we are proud of him.

* It was ridiculously warm today for the end of January (47 and tomorrow 60!) so we were able to walk to/from school all day, which was nice. I guess we should take advantage of these strange breaks from the bitter cold!

*Samuel keeps getting good reports from school about how well-behaved he is, despite a lot of his classmates not being. We are proud of him!

I can’t think of anything else that anybody, other than us, could possibly want to know so that’s it! Short and sweet tonight. I’m off to sew now:)

Cheese!

The Blueberry Gang:)

It took a bit of convincing for the boys to pose for this picture. And boy, look at Eliana’s face! Pretty much what she’s been like the past 2 days. She doesn’t handle colds well:(

Zakkai did GREAT last night being Ray-less and fingerless! He’s pretty darn proud of himself. And I totally forgot to take a picture of Mr Z and his new bedtime companion, Ice Bird. Oops!

Eliana didn’t do great but not quite terribly either. I feel bad taking pacis while she’s sick but yet, at the same time, it seems like the right time. She was up about 4 times crying for me last night but settled back down easily until the last time, which was quite a bit early than her usual wake-up time. I felt really anxious about naptime since she’s been fighting it so much. I tried to rock her and get her sleepy but gave up after about 30 min. She asked for her pacifier only once and got a little teary but it was over very quickly. I put her in bed and after lots of squawking and calling me for things for about 20 min, I went in and laid her down and tucked her in without saying a word and left.

That worked her up and she cried for almost 40 minutes:( Then, all of the sudden, blessed silence for the first time in four days! She only slept an hour and woke up crying and crying but bedtime went much smoother tonight and we are hopeful that once she gets past this sickness, she’ll be content without her beloved pacis and sleeping much better!

I hope I make it til then. A cranky 2 year old is exhausting!!
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This morning I made a new recipe for breakfast that was a smash hit with all so I thought I’d share!

Amish Baked Oatmeal
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
fresh/frozen fruit

Preparation:
1. Combine first 8 ingredients; mix well. Spread evenly in a greased 8×8 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

2. Serve with fresh or frozen fruit! 

I doubled the recipe and cooked it in a 9×13 pan. I am not at all an oatmeal fan but I loved this! Would be good with fruit baked in it, too!

3 Cheers!

Tonight is a big night for 2 of my munchkins! We have been talking to Zakkai for awhile about some changes he is going to have to make by the time or when he turns 6. One of the big ones is to stop sucking his finger. We tried that last year and it was successful for a very short period of time before we realized he was doing sneaky things like ripping the tape off his finger in the middle of the night or just choosing a new finger to suck. Kids are smart!

The finger sucking/Ray (his special blankets) obsession has led to some other issues so we decided to quit cold turkey tonight. Ben and I mapped out the plans for the things we are asking him to change and we told him all about it today. We told him that Rays were going to get all cleaned up, folded nicely and tucked safely away with me on “vacation” for awhile. We said it would be hard for him but we would get him a new stuffed animal to hold on to at night while he was working on the no finger sucking thing. Or kicking his addiction, whichever:)

He was sad for like 2 seconds and then totally on board with our plan! We went to the store this afternoon where he picked out an Angry Birds Space bird (picture tomorrow) and tonight he gave Rays a big squeeze, handed them off and got tucked into bed! He really wants to be a big boy and loves when we’re so proud of him. I hope this works!!

And as for the other munchkin, that would be Miss E. She still uses a pacifier at night and nap time and none of us were ready to break that adorable relationship. Until she came down with a cold this week and has refused naps and has slept badly due to not being able to suck her pacifier because she’s so darn congested! So, I was pretty frustrated today after round 3 of nap failure. We brought our little red-nosed, dark-circled eyed, stuffy little girl downstairs and I told Ben that maybe it was time to go cold turkey with her, too.

It makes sense. She can’t use the pacifier anyways right now because she can’t breathe! So we decided to do it, even though it’s a little sad. Letting go and all that:) I gave her her bath tonight and told her in a nice 2 year old way that pacifiers went “bye-bye” but she would still have all her other special things: elephants, pillow, blankets, etc. She said, “in woom” (room). I told her, “No, pacifiers aren’t in your room anymore. They are gone!” 

She didn’t even blink an eye, didn’t ask for them while going to bed and fell asleep! Now, to be fair, she was SUPER tired, can’t breathe anyways and we have no idea what the night ahead looks like, but still! At least it was a good start. 

3 cheers for my big boy and girl!!

TGIF!

 TGIF!!! It may have been a short week but it felt like a long one. Boy. It was just a run, run, run week with little to no down time each day that has left me feeling wiped out. Last night I was in bed, asleep by 9pm!

Eliana finally got a good night’s rest last night, after being up multiple times the night before with her cold. But she refused to nap today, mostly because she couldn’t breathe. So instead she drove her mama nuts by spending the entire 2+ hours yelling, crying, talking, singing and throwing everything she could get her hands on out of the crib.

This is what I came into.

What a stinker!

And here’s the little angel enjoying her snack. She got this cute outfit from one of Ben’s aunts and she just loves being all purple! I put the headband on her and she kept saying, “Missy’s ‘band!”

She didn’t get to enjoy her brothers’ presence too long because she got sent to bed early. Yes, m’am! This was one tired little cookie, who fought with every last drop in her little being until she dropped off to sleep out of pure exhaustion.

 Our upstairs is very poorly insulated so we bundle up with as many covers as we can each night. Samuel wrapped himself all up and begged me to take a picture:)

And so, of course, I had to get one of my Z-man, too:) After we banished the princess to her slumber, the rest of us played the game “Sorry” and ate our pizza. This weekend’s homemade treat (we try to only eat dessert on Fridays and Saturdays) was upside down pineapple cake! It was a smash hit with all my men:)

It’s nice to be appreciated!

We FINALLY got a teeny tiny bit of snow here in Chicago. It was a very slow, lazy snow that has just barely covered the ground and dusted our cars. It was pretty while it fell but BOY, is it cold out!!! I guess I shouldn’t have complained about such a “mild” winter last week:)

Eliana, who was perfectly fine yesterday, woke up with a cold in the middle of the night. So strange! She was slightly crabby and congested today but not too bad. I am hoping it will be mild and pass quickly. We were doing so well, too. Darn.

We have started doing some new parenting techniques lately. I volunteer in the LRC (library) at Z’s school on Wednesdays and the lady who works in there copied these CD’s for me from this guy who founded the Love and Logic Institute. I have really been enjoying listening to them and picking up new tips. He talks a lot about how easy it is for your first reaction to be anger or yelling but how you will teach them so much better if you use “consequence and sorrow.” He has great tips on avoiding power struggles, teaching responsibility and so much more. And he’s really funny which makes it enjoyable to listen to. We are coupling these CD’s with a book I borrowed from the library called, “The 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons.” So far? Wow. A definite must read for anyone who has a son!

It’s so scary, exciting, wonderful and overwhelming to raise a child. I constantly think, “What if I ruin them??” But I also pray that God will cover us in our mistakes and that He will give us the wisdom to raise them in this increasingly scary, horrible world.

We’ve had a lot of great changes in our household lately that make us feel hopeful and ready for this fresh new year. A year filled with possibilities!!