Tuesday, July 28, 2009

William is 3

I am sure I have written this before, but I truly believe a child is born with their personality. William was my subsequent-pregnancy. I got pregnant with him a mere 8 weeks after loosing the twins. Unlike previous pregnancies I was not excited about his, not because he wasn't wanted but because I was resentful of having to go through morning sickness again and terrified he wouldn't be born alive. It was a very conflicting time in my life. I denied his pregnancy until I was 20 weeks along and I still didn't celebrate his life until he was safe in my arms.

The last few weeks were the hardest. I was still convinced he would die in utero. As the end neared he was getting bigger and moving less. I made one panicked trip the L&D because he wasn't moving. I started canceling plans so I could stay home drink a Pepsi and do kick counts. I was a mess.

On July 28th at 39 weeks we decided to induce him. Since it was my 4th delivery and just 11 months since my last delivery I figured it would be fast. Boy, was I wrong. And William hasn't ceased to surprise me since then. I was in labor for 29-hours. My stubborn little man had his own agenda and it didn't match mine in the least. He was named for his Great-Grandfather on my husband's side. We told everyone that there would be no nicknames and that he would go by William, but my father started referring to him as Wild Bill and honestly I can't think of a more fitting nickname.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Road Trip Car

I'm so excited. As our family has expanded our car has shrunk. Although we have a 7-passenger minivan, it only seats 6 with the car seats in it. And with relatives who live in town we often have to take 2 cars to go to the zoo or out to lunch. But no more! We now have an 11-passenger van. A diesel Mercedes engine Sprinter.

This opens up so many possibilities for us. We can road trip with family. Or go with friends to the Aquarium. I no longer have to say no if a friend asks me to carpool or take another child home from school. I am free.pic outside

A New Necklace

My dear friend Nic designed the image for the twins' headstone. She did a fabulous job capturing our feelings and emotions. But I can't very well take their headstone with me in my daily life. So we set out to find a nice necklace that would symbolize their short life. But after a few years we realized that a pendant would have to be made. Caskey and I worked with the jeweler and the picture from the headstone. The image is supposed to be Jesus holding 2 babies in His arms. I hope you like it.

pics pendant

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Scootering Technique

This shouldn't even be my post. I should have my husband write this as a guest author. But we all know that won't happen. If you want to read his works be prepared with a technical dictionary and go to Paralipsis, his blog. So you are stuck with my account of the day my kids learned to ride their bikes sans training wheels.

I think I need to start off the story when Lainy Ann was still a wee baby. Caskey started researching how to teach kids to ride bikes. He spent hours reading different blogs and finally settled on the right strategy for teaching her. She was 1. Ever since then when I say its time to help Lainy Ann ride with 2 wheels, he replied with, "its easy, remove the pedals". Since tools fall under his category it hasn't happened. But this summer I had a few goals for the kids; one of which was riding bikes without training wheels.

Since its a holiday weekend and we have NO plans (and I like it that way) and I don't want to go anywhere and fight the crowds I figured it was the perfect weekend to commit the time to this. I figured it would take most of the 3-day weekend. The hardest part of the process was ferrying the bikes one at a time up to our house in the trunk of my car. Then Caskey set to removing the pedals and training wheels and fitting the kids for the right bike (we had 3 to choose from).

There is a school of thought that thinks the skills should be broken down into smaller pieces. My kids have been able to effectively pedal for a long time, but the balance was the main issue. However, by giving them a bike without pedals (seat lowered to the bottom setting so their legs will comfortably rest on the ground, an undersized bike works well for this) they are able to scooter around and work on balance without worrying and the starting and stopping or the pedaling. We had a nice collection of new and old bikes to choose from so the kids were adequately fitted for their bikes.

This is such a popular theory that companies now sell bikes for the explicit purpose, but save your money, simply removing the pedals is a much less expensive solution. However, if you like to shop (like I do) check out the Step2 and Kettler versions of this training bike. Or if you are really fancy there is a European version too from One Step Ahead (I love their catalog!)

All of the above bikes make promises of children learning faster. Its really true. We spent a total of 2 hours teaching the kids to ride their bikes. That includes all the tinkering required to move seats and removed pedals. There were only 2 falls and no band-aids. It was a very painless experience that I wish we had done 12 months ago.

This endeavor has been so successful I am seriously considering teaching William to ride a 2-wheeled bike next week.

Enjoying the view from the shade.

No Pedals and ready to learn to balance and steer.

There is a small hill in front of our house.  
The children had to "scooter" 30 times before they got their pedals back.


Friday, July 3, 2009

$0.11

We have doing a lot of learning about the value of money lately. I usually compare a purchase to the price of everyone eating at Mc Donald's. So when they ask for a toy I compare the cost of it to the cost of other things we do or will be doing. Just recently the children had to earn back their scooters by doing chores at $0.10/ea. Now they have connected hard work with payment and money, which you can then buy things with.

So when Connor heard that his good buddy was coming over to play he knew he would need his bike at our house, instead of at Grandma's where it usually is. The problem is it doesn't fit in my car. I told Connor that we weren't going to be able to bring it home. He came up with the idea that Papa should bring it in his truck. So he dug all his money out of his piggy bank and put it in a ziploc bag, safe for the travels to Grandma's house.

When we got there he shoved all the money into Papa's hands. Papa was quite surprised as he wasn't sure why he was being given money. So we talked Connor through the process of asking Papa for a favor. Papa told him that delivery of a bike was cheap, only 11 cents. Connor counted it out for Papa and the following day we had the delivery of a bike.