Thursday, January 08, 2009

Silent and Deadly

This is NOT about what it sounds like it’s about.

No, it’s about Ethan. Again.

Ethan is a very jovial little fellow. He talks non-stop, asks “why” after everything I say, and has more volts (or wattage, or ohms…whatever works) than the energizer bunny. The kid lives and plays hard, then when he’s tired, he falls to the ground where he is and is nearly impossible to wake.

With Mason homeschooling, I often find myself distracted. I’m not complaining about it, but I can’t finish folding a basket of laundry without having to take Ethan to the potty, or find Ethan’s Thomas, or fix Ethan a snack, or juice, or put his shoes on. A couple times this week while Mason and I have been working together I’ve said, “Wait…do you hear that?”

“What, Mom?” he asks

“That silence. I must find your brother.”

Once, after one such interchange, I walked to the top of the steps to find that Ethan had decorated the hardwood floor with every sticker he could find in the house. There were monster trucks, Disney Princesses, Thomas the Tank Engine, and various cars and other vehicles. I believe these stickers were stocking stuffers…purchased from the Dollar Tree, no doubt…so one can only surmise at their quality. It didn’t take me long to realize that their removal was going to be a time consuming job, one I decided to leave for later. Bad idea. I’ll leave it at that.

One other time, after hearing a deafening and uncharacteristic silence from my youngest, I traipsed downstairs to find the playroom totally trashed. Books thrown from the shelves to the floor, paper spilled everywhere, Barbies strewn about, the desk overturned. I even found a ballet outfit on the one-legged Ken. Hmmm…

In both of these instances (and I have more), Ethan learned some (painful!) lessons about operating within the boundaries of the rules of our house (especially rule #4 – We don’t make unnecessary work for others), and I was reminded of something, too.

Here it is: If I don’t keep my house in order, it will progress to chaos very quickly. I don’t mean my literal “house” either, but rather “life”, I guess, though certainly my home would fall into this category. I’m thinking of things like relationships, physical, mental and spiritual health, and even my relationship with the Lord. If I don’t maintain my relationships, encourage them and keep short accounts, they can grow stale, or distant. If I don’t exercise and watch what I eat I can become sluggish and tired. And if I’m not daily feeding on the word of God, sitting at His feet and talking to him, it’s ME who suffers because I’m more prone to trust my own thoughts and feelings in the moment rather than what I know is true.

Chaos can slip up on me when I’m not watching out for it. Maybe I should be more alert!

Bless ya!

Tales From the Potty

This one IS what you think it’s about, so if you’re grossed in the slightest by bathroom stories or references, I implore you to hit the page down button. This will serve as your disclaimer!!!!! No complaints!

It seems like with each child potty training has gotten more difficult. With Mason, I bought “How to Potty Train in a Day,” or whatever that book was called. I followed it’s instructions more or less, and Mason was trained in mere days.

Caroline was a little more difficult, but still basically easy.

Molly, though she was (and is) a bright little spot of sunshine, she just about pushed me over the edge and Michael had to finally barge in and rescue us both.

Now we have Ethan. Ethan, Ethan, Ethan.

Ethan will go #1 when I take him and make him. This involves setting the kitchen timer for every 30 minutes, which I do. Sigh.

As for the other thing - #2 – not one ounce of success. I have tried and tried and tried, but he just won’t cooperate. In fact, I have had him sit on the potty for 30 minutes or so, only to have him “make his deposit” the minute I put the big boy pants back on.

The other afternoon I just decided that he and I were going to hang out in the bathroom and have fun. We made up songs about the potty, we made up cheers about things one DOES in the potty. It was a party. The time just flew by. I wish I could say that it was effective, but I cannot. I think Ethan’s favorite was: “Push it out! Push it out! Waaaay out! Hey!” Which he, in turn, DID as soon as the Blue’s Clues big-boy pants were back in place.

Ethan even sang it for Michael when he got home from work. Michael wasn’t impressed.

Finally, I decided that the approach to take with Ethan was just to lay it all out there and have an honest heart to heart talk. It went a little something like this:

ME: Ethan, sweetie, there’s nothing to be afraid of. Everyone poops in the potty! Mason does, Caroline does, Molly does, Daddy does…

ETHAN: Pawpaw does?

ME: He sure does!

ETHAN: Aunt Lynne does?

ME: Yes, yes! You’ve got it!

ETHAN: Yeah! Woo-Hoo! Hey Mommy…I lost my udder quock (translation: other croc)

Any tips? If anyone is still here reading this, I’m desperate!

Bless ya!

Life Soundtrack

I totally ripped this off from my friend Julie over at . This is just a fun/silly thing that tells you what the soundtrack would be if your life was a movie.

Here’s how it works:

1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that’s playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don’t lie and try to pretend you're cool… and alot of the songs will fit with the setting

Here are mine...

Opening Credits:
I surrender all – amy grant

Waking Up:
in my hiding place – mike lunsford

First Day At School:
great and mighty – caedmon’s call

Falling In Love:
the shadow proves the sunshine - switchfoot

Fight Song:
we all bow down – twila paris

Breaking Up:
god is in control – twila paris

Prom night:
do you love me – andy cloninger

Jesus whispers – red mountain church, the gadsby project

Mental Breakdown:
the nightshift watchman – david wilcox

where the streets have no name – u2 (ha!!)

we have seen your glory – twila paris

Getting back together:
trip through your wires – u2

you’re the only woman - ambrosia (yes... I DO like Ambrosia. No snide comments, please)

Birth of Child:
the world is alive – casting crowns

Final Battle:
spin - david wilcox

Funeral Song:
enter in – twila paris (!)

Final Credits:
now to him – paxson & allison jeancake

Yep, that's 2 minutes of your life you're not getting back!

Bless ya anyhow!

Sunday, January 04, 2009


Ethan has said a couple of really funny things lately, and I wanted to share them.

When your kids are born you just automatically think "Here he/she is...the cutest, smartest, most wonderful child to ever live!" And of course it's true, because it's YOUR child. And we other parents don't mind hearing it from you, because we have also thought/said the same thing.

I think that with Ethan being the baby and everyone so much older than him, we forget the mental capabilities of one so young. For example, if I put a Matchbox car in the shopping cart, he knows it's for him, he wants it then, and he will ask for it when we get home. But for some reason it seems like I ought to be able to load up a cart full of his favorite toys - with him never noticing.

My 40th birthday is just around the corner. Michael has been taking the kids out "running errands" with him a lot lately. Recently after one such excursion, the girls were sitting in the floor of the kitchen and I walked in...

CAROLINE: Mommy, we went shopping for your birthday and we bought you something that you are really going to like! But we're NOT going to tell you what it is!

ETHAN: It's a phone.


OK, fast forward to last night at dinner. We're all sitting around and Caroline brings up the fact that while I do know it's a phone, I don't have any idea what kind of phone it actually is...

ETHAN: It's a Blackberry.


One more example, then I'm done.

Michael and I have been trying really hard to potty train Ethan. Yes, he's 3, no he's not potty trained. One of the methods that we, as parents, believe in is pure, flat-out bribery. We are telling Ethan that if he learns to go potty like a big boy, we will give him a fire truck!!! Fire truck, fire truck, fire's all we ever speak of as we wait with bated (baited? I just don't know/care) breath for him to perform the...tasks...we've been trying to teach him.

As Michael was dressing the other day he told me that he bought a T-R-A-C-T-O-R for Ethan instead of the item we had discussed giving him (fire truck!). He spelled it out slowly and carefully for me then Ethan looked up at his dad with those big blue eyes and said, "Daddy, can I have my tractor NOW?"

He makes me laugh.

Bless ya!