As the Family Goes

JP II Quote

"As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live." John Paul II

Sunday, March 3, 2013

March 3, 2013 Snapshot

We are loving the warmer weather this week!  Not sure if it's safe to say goodbye to winter just yet, but the mild temperatures sure are a welcome change.  Here's how we've been enjoying ourselves this week (starting top left, and moving clockwise):

Joseph has been after me for a while to make pizza "his style" (translation: all meat and cheese).  I guess he's getting sick of all the tomatoes and spinach on mine.  So one evening this week when Jeff was working late, I stopped by the grocery store on our way home and picked up everything he needed.  I stepped back and let him go to work, and the result was pretty delicious.  He even got to invite a friend over, and I could tell he was proud that he made the supper.  It's so cool to see him stepping up and taking on new and bigger challenges (someone remind him when he complains about making dinner that it all started here!)

My little girl came down with RSV this week, and it hit her pretty hard.  It started on Wednesday and was at its worst on Saturday - she was so congested and wheezy. Today she is showing signs of improvement, and we are so grateful.  It's hard to see little ones so sick.

Stephen is just on the verge of reading.  This week I started him on the pre-reading levelled readers, the kind with simple words that have picture cues to help kids read them.  I can't believe how fast he's picking it up, and am certain he will be reading before the school year is finished.  It's so exciting to see the first seeds of reading take root in your child, especially when you are the one teaching him.  Such an incredible honor that I get to be doing this with him.

This little girl had her first ballet recital this weekend - and I missed it. I had to stay home with my sick little one, who was in no condition to leave the house. I'm still sad about that, but incredibly grateful that her dad, all her brothers, and her grandparents were there to cheer her on.  My husband was very impressed with the school, and said he'd like to keep her in it. It's so much fun to see her with a whole group of girls, since she is surrounded by boys here (even the neighborhood kids are all boys!)  That makes her a pretty tough little girl, I joke that she is more like a linebacker than a ballerina, but I love that.  And make no mistake about it, though she can hold her own with any boy any day, this kid is definitely a little princess.  And a very fine (if heavy-footed) ballerina.

We've started reading Little House on the Prairie during our school day, and I am absolutely loving it.  The kids are so into Laura's accounts of pioneer life, and I love the detail in the way they explain every little thing they do (how the house was made, how Pa goes hunting to catch their food, how Ma cooks over a wood fire and does laundry).  Makes me pine for a little bit of the simple life.  Timothy announced one day, "If I was in Little House on the Prairie, I'd be Pa." And I know it's not because Pa's the only boy of the family, but because he is so strong and industrious, and protective.  And I have no doubt that when this kid gets older, he will be very much the same.  Stay tuned for the Little House in Summerville series, coming to a bookstore near you.

Mary, sticking her tongue out.  I just love this little girl! When she started to feel better at the end of the weekend, that was the best gift ever.  It's so sad to see a happy baby down and out.  I'm grateful she's on the mend.

I took this picture on Saturday, when Jeff sat down to play Wii with the kids.  At one time they played it every day, but last year we cracked down and put some serious limits on it (they hardly play it at all through the week).  So it's become a real family event, something to look forward to on a lazy Saturday after a long week.  I'm not against video games, but I think there is a proper order for them. And I'm happy we've managed to find a way that works them into our family life, without taking over.  They sure do love a good game of Mario with their Dad.

This afternoon my nephew came over, and our neighbor wandered up, and all the kids were outside playing because it was so nice out.  It was glorious!  Now that we've had a taste of spring, I can't wait for it to arrive.  I love having a yard full of kids playing, it makes life so happy.

And ending off, we're potty training this little guy.  I posted this picture to facebook with the caption, "at least he's doing something on the potty" because at that point, we had probably cleaned sixty puddles off the floor and he had not done anything on his potty.  I read a book recently that suggested kids should be trained between 15 and 22 months (regardless of whether they were showing signs of readiness) because that's how it had mostly been done prior to our generation.  And since this guy is 26 months I thought, why not give it a whirl?  I had no idea our little one would take sick, and it did make things hairy for a few days (though truthfully I think it was a blessing in disguise, because it kept me from obsessing too much over my little girl). And the happy news?  After six days of nothing, today he used the potty on his own. For the last half of the day he used the potty exclusively, and all without any reprimands or gimmicks from me (the book stressed not making a big deal over messes or over using the potty, similar to when you teach your child to use a spoon - you don't get angry over messes, you expect them.  But you don't lavish praise on a child who uses a spoon either, you just expect that it's part of getting older).  This will be the first child I've potty trained that it has not been a big ordeal.  I'm sure there are still plenty of accidents ahead, but I'll try to take them in stride.  It was so encouraging to see him finally getting the hang of it!

Enjoy the springy weather.  Cheers!

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