Friday, July 13, 2012

Mommy Accomplishments

I miss my blog. I miss sorting out my thoughts in my quiet office with my cup of coffee while Toby and Elijah nap. But we have been parted, my blog and I.

Toby is outgrowing his nap. This is a very sad development for me. I would like to still put him in his room each afternoon for some "quiet" time, but Elijah is now learning to nap in his crib next door, and Toby still can't remember instructions to be "quiet" longer than a minute or two. This means Toby stays up and plays loudly, Elijah gets woken early and screams, and I get...well...not much of a break right now. Alas. But this is not the only reason I've had to put the blog aside.

I've also been feeling convicted about being more intentional when it comes to raising my kids. When they're so little if you keep them clean, fed, and safe, and if you teach them the basics of obeying rules, sharing toys, and other social skills, you are a good parent. There may be some time left over to blog. But they are growing now, and I'm starting to feel behind. I've been devoting two evenings a week now to swimming lessons at my in-laws' kiddie pool, and I'm pleased to announce that Naomi's swimming pretty well now, and Hannah and Emma aren't far behind. One point for me. Bike riding lessons have been put on hold entirely due to the heat. I am still trying to potty train Toby, and still failing, but I just got another idea for incentive when he dove into the matchbox cars display at Wal-Mart and tried to pick up armfuls of cars before I drug him away. One potty chart with Matchbox car rewards coming up. That would be $0.98 really well spent if it works!

Then there's my littlest time thief. I spent the last week trying to get baby gates installed at the top and bottom of my stairs because Elijah is rolling around now, and may not be far from crawling. There's mischief in his eyes and no carpet on my stairs, so baby gates are a must. One gate had to be installed into a hollow plaster wall, so it took some creativity, three trips to the hardware store (with five kids in tow), and serious woodworking skills to create a solidly anchored piece of wood to install the gate into. But they're up now, and they are not coming down. Elijah's also getting to like his baby food meals, which is great, but time consuming to prepare, serve, and clean up three times a day. I did let Naomi feed Elijah yesterday and it went pretty well until Elijah grabbed the spoon from her and flung baby food all over his face. At least we had a good laugh.

When I do get a small window of calm in my day I now sit down with Emma at the kitchen table for her daily speech therapy. Some days it kills me, because I so want to just relax, but I know I need to do this for her...every exceptions. And she wants me to help her, reminding me one day, "Doh or-geh my pee er-a-pee!" (Don't forget my speech therapy.)

So I spread yogurt on the back of a spoon
and move it around the outside of her mouth, while she attempts to lick it, to help her learn to control that unruly tongue. We smack our lips and paint the roof of her mouth with yogurt. Then we work through speech flashcards that her therapists have sent home for her to practice. We're especially targeting "n," "t," "d," and "s." Last we spend 20 minutes working through the book, "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons." I like this book because it is very slow and incremental and spends a good deal of time pronouncing words slowly and then fast, which works out to be excellent speech practice for Emma as well as reading preparation. We just finished Lesson 13 where Emma read her first three-word sentence today, and she was so proud of herself.

It is worth every minute. It's worth it to see her now pronouncing many words much more clearly (N, T, D, and S are in a lot of words!), and to hear from everyone around her how much more they can understand her now. It's worth it to see her confidence soar, and her personality bloom. Exhausting, but worth it.

At the end of the day, when I lay in bed, I never wish I had spent more time relaxing. Lately, I've been so glad that I've put in the extra effort: Elijah is safe and well fed, Toby might someday learn to use the potty consistently (maybe), Hannah and Naomi are swimming, and most exciting of all Emma's speech is improving.

It's a good thing I'm feeling encouraged and energized, because bike riding lessons will need to commence soon, and thanks to the generosity of someone who thought my kids should have a piano, it looks like piano lessons are next on the agenda.

I miss my blog, but I may be away for awhile. Here's to meeting again soon, with lots of accomplishments to report.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Katherine,
    I have enjoyed reading your blog since Your mom pointed it out on FB. (She and I were classmates.) Have you considered a glide bike for your kids to learn to ride? I think it would be a terrific investment since there will be no end to bike lessons in your foreseeable future! With these bikes-without-pedals children learn to balance, go fast, and look where they are going without having to figure out how to do all that while pedaling. It is amazing what an easy transition it is to a real bike without training wheels.

    You have a beautiful family! God bless!!