RSS Feed

Category Archives: Everything

What Our School Day Looks Like (On a Good Day)

Posted on

8:00 “Emmie and Gareth, school starts at 9:00. That means it’s time for you to get dressed, eat breakfast, make your bed, and brush your teeth. Emmeline, I mean make your actual bed. Leaving a pallet on the floor doesn’t count.” Emmeline cries profusely since she has a love/hate relationship with her bunk bed, but she finally emerges from her room at 8:13, and her bed is made.
Gareth meanwhile pops out and proudly exclaims, “I’m all dressed, Mommy!”
“Did you change your underwear?” I’ll take his immediate return to his bedroom as a “No.”
8:53 The five minute warning to the two minute warning. In our house, this is an actual thing.
8:58 “Kids, school starts in two minutes. Get your snacks now.”
9:00 School is supposed to start, but we spend the next three minutes filling up cups with those snacks they were supposed to grab two minutes ago.
9:03 Morning Time, aka, sing a hymn, poetry and Bible verse memorization, read the Bible, read a poem, and today since we have a few extra minutes, we do our picture study. We’re studying James McNeill Whistler. I hand them each their pictures and tell them each to look at it without talking for two minutes. “See, kids, I’m setting our visual timer for two minutes so you can see how long it is.” Only five minutes later I realize the visual timer app I use is broken. But on the flip side, they looked at the picture quietly for FIVE MINUTES!
9:20-9:40 Math. Teach Emmeline new concept, start her workpage, spend five minutes counting with Gareth, give him a math toy, go see why Amelia is screaming, help Emmeline, and count the sides on the shape Gareth has made with the geoboard.
9:40-10 Spanish! This is new for this year and we’re having a lot of fun. We’ve learned a few very useful words so far, such as hello, goodbye, teacher, student…turtle…and rabbit.
10:00-10:15 Break time! I’m trying to teach them some Swedish Drill since it’s a great way to keep working on the skills they were learning in occupational therapy (i.e. listening, following directions, standing still, bilateral coordination, etc.). But it is a STRUGGLE for them. We’ve spent all week learning how to form a line. Then after two minutes Emmeline is crying and covering her ears, so I send her outside to jump on the trampoline, threaten Gareth within an inch of his life (OK, not really) if he doesn’t LEAVE HER ALONE, and I go take a quick shower and kiss Amelia, who is spending time with one of her favorite babysitters, Trotro the Rabbit.
10:15-10:45 Read aloud to Emmeline for 15 minutes then give her crayons to draw her narrations, so I can read to Gareth. I show him the book and he goes, “Oh, that one? I remember it. We already read it.” He has a freakishly good memory and can recall books he listened to when he was THREE. But it’s too bad for him because these are the kindergarten books. We have them, and we’re reading them.
10:45-11:00 Emmeline reads to me. We’re working on A First Look at Animals Without Backbones by Millicent Selsam to introduce the idea of her reading her own schoolbooks. It goes well until she gets to “elephants,” and she’s convinced it says “elpenats,” and we hang out there for a while until she finally uses her finger to read the word more slowly.
11:00-11:20 Copywork and dictation (aka spelling). My analytical daughter has to know why all the things in the world work the way they do, so she is relieved to learn that we are going to do spelling words so that she can learn some more phonics rules. Then she grabs A Handbook for Reading and ABC’s and All Their Tricks and asks to look at them by herself. Meanwhile Gareth and Amelia are running through the house screaming, first because it is their favorite game, second because at some point she grabbed his doll stroller with his Bitty Twin in it and he wanted/needed it back. This of course results in an interruption from school while Emmeline covers her ears and starts crying because of the noise. (She only did that twice today! It was a good day.)
11:20 We have ten minutes left so I get out a puzzle that ends up taking 20 minutes. Gareth wants to help, but he and Emmeline really cannot share a puzzle, so he throws a screaming fit and then does a different puzzle and then takes up his screaming fit again.
11:40 Education is a lifestyle, but the 2.5 hours of scheduled, academic learning is through for the day. The afternoon is for all that “schoolwork” that’s super educational and teaches you a lot, even if you have no idea you’re still learning. These are things like playing outside, drawing in our nature journals, quiet time (OK, this is usually just ABC Mouse or Netflix. This is not educational), free reading, snack time, listening to classical music, and chores.

That’s how we do it. And tomorrow? Breathe. Grab more coffee. Pray. Repeat.


2014 in Review

Posted on

I haven’t written in a long time, partly because when I’m pregnant I feel like everything I write sounds like whining. In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, I generally write a couple of blog posts in the month of January. In my mind it goes something like this: “I’m going to write every day! Well…maybe every week…” and by Valentine’s day I’ve given up for the year. So to sum up 2014, here’s some of what happened:

I was pregnant. In the spirit of “resting” I channeled all of my neuroses into crocheting cute little baby hats and sweaters.

I had a baby! I never wrote my birth story, but I still remember it vividly, and it was a sweet experience. I went into labor on a Saturday morning. I was feeling sick to my stomach, so I didn’t eat more than a couple of saltines (BIG MISTAKE). We arrived at the hospital around 1 pm, and I wasn’t very far along, but since it was my 3rd pregnancy and my last labor went very quickly, the triage nurses kept finding reasons to hold me longer. Bless them! I was so worried they were going to send me home and Amelia was going to be born in Opry Mills mall or something. They admitted me around 6, I had my doctor on call for me, I got a room with a tub, and before labor got too intense, there was some really sweet, quiet moments with just me and Josh listening to hymns. Amelia was born around 9 pm. I was starving. She came out so fast, Josh almost had to catch her, but the nurses got there just in time. Dr. Bellardo walked in with a shocked look on his face as one of the nurses told him, “You missed it!” Amelia has been a chill baby for her entire 4 month existence. If she had been our first baby, we would have been incredibly arrogant parents. Thankfully, we had Emmeline and Gareth to humble us before God blessed us with a low-maintenance child.

Emmeline started kindergarten! Since we’re homeschooling, and it’s hard to start school and have a baby at the same time, we weren’t very consistent during the fall. My plan was always to start in January and go through the summer. I always wanted to homeschool my kids, and I genuinely enjoy doing her school with her most of the time. She’s very smart, and she loves learning.

Gareth is at times sensitive and affectionate and wants to hold his baby sister and dress her up in “faboolus” clothes, and at other times he is violent and aggressive and just a little wild man. Potty training him was so easy, I can’t even remember when he stopped wearing diapers, but he was young for a boy. He’s terrified of bugs. I found a video of him as a little 2 year old and he had the cutest southern drawl and a head full of golden curls. Now he’s tall and all muscle, and when he’s mad he throws metal Tonka trucks at the wall. His love language is quality time, and nothing makes him happier than when you take him on a date or play pretend with him.

Josh always tells me how much he misses my writing, and I have missed it too. Adjusting to 3 kids, I’ve had so little free time, that I feel like my identity is entirely wrapped up in being a mom right now. There are things I really used to enjoy and be good at that I don’t get to do anymore, and I’ve struggled with that. I feel guilty for feeling that way because I know this is just a season, and I am so blessed to get to stay home with our three healthy children. There will be plenty of free time when they’re older.

I always hear that the key to making New Years resolutions is to make small, attainable goals. Earnest Hemingway’s infamous advice was to “write drunk; edit sober.” I joked with Josh that since I never seem to have time to write, maybe I should stop resolving to write more in the coming year and just resolve to drink more (KIDDING!). So here’s to 2015; I will probably write 2 or 3 more blog posts and spend the rest of the year going back and forth between, “I should write a book!” and “I should just delete my blog because I am worthless and can’t follow through on anything!”

5 Years ago today

Posted on

Five years ago today, extremely sleep-deprived versions of Josh and me checked into Vanderbilt for the 4th time in one week. I did not know the difference between real contractions and Braxton Hicks, and apparently I was a slow learner. Oops (and oops again, and again). I don’t remember much due to a drug-induced haze, but I know I slept, and a baby was born at 2:58 PM. I, off course, loved her immediately, I think I cried–I know she did–and I didn’t want to share her with anyone. I have vague memories of people coming to hold her (i.e. “Stealing my baby”)–people like her Daddy and her grandparents. I know Josh kept telling me to sleep, and I wouldn’t because I couldn’t stop staring at her. I kept interrupting her while she was eating because I was convinced I was doing it wrong. The one thing you should never tell a mother-to-be? “If you’re nursing your baby correctly, it shouldn’t hurt at all.” They should tell you, “Nursing feels WEIRD at first, but you’ll get used to it.” At some point during my hospital stay a nurse made me cry. I can’t remember about what. I hadn’t slept in about 5 days straight. On the day we were supposed to leave, they forgot to check us out, so we sat in our room for 2 hours packed and waiting…and waiting…and waiting. We took a very orange little carrot baby home. She ended up in the children’s hospital a couple of days later for what one of the nurses at our pediatrician’s office later told me were some of the highest jaundice levels she’d ever seen. While we were there we learned that good nurses make all the difference in the world, and if your child is being admitted to the hospital, you should remember to pack changes of clothes and a grownup sized blanket for yourself. We were there for two nights. At one point I remember Josh and I going on a “date” to the hospital cafeteria for Ben and Jerry’s.

Now Emmeline is five. She loves math, science, mud, bugs, princesses, all things pink and sparkly, and building lego cars. She is excited to meet her baby sister and help change her diapers. She wants to feed the baby cheese and bananas and was very upset when I told her that was a no-no. When I told Emmie she wasn’t allowed to play with bumblebees, she ran inside crying. If she’s mad, she’ll shut herself in the bathroom. Emmie loves stories, but prefers to look at the pictures and make up her own words. We’ll get books from the library and she’ll tell me, “You don’t have to read that to me, Mommy. I already read it to myself.” She could spend an hour sitting at the table with art supplies. She’s saving her birthday money for something, but she hasn’t decided what. She’s stubborn, intelligent, dramatic, and always thinks her way is the right way. She defends the ones she loves. She wants to stand out in crowds, and she usually succeeds. We’ll never have to worry about her giving into peer pressure because she won’t even give into parental pressure. She’s a difficult child to parent but an incredible child to watch grow up.  She’s full of personality, she’s never bored, and she’s never boring.


She has always been her Daddy’s girl.

My Day

Posted on

I wake up in the morning to the sounds of the kids screaming and fighting and Josh telling one child to stop doing something to the other child. I decide waking up can wait a little while. Repeat three times. Remind myself to be thankful Josh is home in the mornings. Once the kids are playing outside, I get up and fix myself breakfast. Now that I know they’re not inside to see me eating sausage and chocolate donettes, it’s safe to eat. I’m greedy with snack foods when I’m pregnant. Don’t ask me to share my breakfast meat or my processed mini chocolate frosted sugar cakes. Josh leaves for work around 10 am. Emmie is watching cartoons on Netflix, and Gareth is running back and forth from the computer to the printer, bringing me the coupons I’ve printed to go with my grocery list. For about 30 minutes things are fairly peaceful in our messy house. When the kids go outside to play in the backyard I can take a very fast shower without having to get out every other minute to break up a new fight. They’ll probably still be fighting in the backyard; I’m just oblivious to the screams while the water is running. I feel guilty for thinking that and get out of the shower, so I’ll know if something terrible happens to the kids. I wonder how far a kidnapper could get in five minutes. I decide I probably don’t want to know the answer to that, and I finish getting dressed. I’m wearing actual clothes before noon–better than yesterday’s time. I go outside and “read a book,” meaning I open a book, set it down, and go swing Gareth until it’s time for lunch.

Lunch is cold pizza, which I previously convinced the kids is much better and more exciting than warm pizza (“It doesn’t burn your mouth!”), so I don’t have to do any work to feed them lunch. I ask Emmeline a question. She tells me a lie. I wasn’t mad originally, but now I am, so I punish her. She tells me the same lie so many times she can’t even remember the truth anymore. I give up and send her and Gareth to their rooms for rest time. I burst into tears because my whole life revolves around my family and right now it feels like it bears no fruit. Gareth is worried because I’m sad. He is extra obedient and goes potty without fussing. He helps me pick his toys up, the whole time asking me, “Your baby giving you trouble Mommy? Why you sad, Mommy?” I leave the room to put something away, and when I come back I trip over the baby gate and land with all of my weight on my right knee. Ouch. More crying. Gareth is now too worried to move or ask questions, so he just sits there and waits for his story. I read to him, and he doesn’t protest at all when I close the door for naptime. I go to read the same story to Emmeline, but she’s chosen a page out of her Usborne Human Body book about lymph nodes. So I read that and show her where to feel her lymph nodes. She thinks it’s the coolest thing ever. Being her mom is a rollercoaster ride, but she’s a great kid.

I sit down to eat my (not cold) leftover pizza for lunch. It was a gesture of love and goodwill from Josh last night, along the lines of, “I love you. I’m sorry you’re sad. I’d offer to take you and the kids out to dinner, but that would probably make it worse. Would pizza help? At least you wouldn’t have to eat leftovers.” Josh calls to check on me, since I may have blown my fall out of proportion. He encourages me about the kids, tells me how he can see such a difference in them and that I’m doing a good job. He ends the phone call with, “Don’t forget, Emmeline is a very difficult child. She’s smart and spontaneous but she’s very stubborn and difficult to parent, and you get the brunt of that.” Sometimes the best encouragement is hearing someone else affirm that the thing you think is really hard actually is really hard.  

Mid-lunch I hear, “Mommy, I pooped!” from Gareth’s bedroom. He’s filled up two sticker charts now with all of the times he’s peed in the potty, but number two is still a no-go. I get him cleaned up and send him back to his room. Now that he’s convinced I’m feeling better, he gives me a little more trouble this time, so I bribe him with two jelly beans, I mean, “rewards for obedience.”  I finish cleaning his underpants, and I don’t know whether to be thankful that at least his poo is generally well-formed and easy to clean, or if I should feel sad that I’ve reached a point in my life where “well-formed poo” is something to be thankful for. 

After two hours of alone time, we’re all feeling better, so we take our afternoon snacks outside. Everything is going well for a few minutes, then Gareth sees a bumblebee and gets nervous, so he comes to sit with me. I reflect on the fact that I’m no longer the family member most scared of bugs. Even though he doesn’t have me beat by much, and I was just as thankful for the cuddle. Emmeline comes up and wants to hold the bumblebee. I tell her, “Bumblebees sting. Never pick up a bumblebee.”

She runs off crying, “Mommy told me I can’t hold the bumblebee! She’s so unfair!”

Gareth decides to be offended on Sissy’s behalf, shouts “Rude Mommy!” And stomps off after Emmie. I give up on outside time and tell them to come inside. I get Emmie started on some phonics worksheets. The more independence I can give her, the better it goes. So I go back and forth between her and the dirty dishes for about 15 minutes, until her attention span runs out. She doesn’t have a lot of patience for reading; she just really loves doing worksheets. She reminds me, “We haven’t done our science school about the stars and planets!” I go pull up the online sample of Apologia’s elementary Astronomy textbook. I’m trying to figure out how long I can drag out one sample lesson about the sun, because she loves this book so much, and we don’t have 60 dollars to spend on a science book and accompanying worksheets right now. (I’ve learned this about Emmeline: anytime something comes with worksheets, get her the worksheets.) I’m partly wishing I hadn’t shown it to her–I should’ve known this would happen. But she’s so cute when she’s learning something about science. I say, “Tell me what you learned about the sun today, Emmeline.” 

She answers, “I learned that if I look directly at the sun it will burn a hole in my retina, and I’ll go blind and I won’t even feel it happening!” She said that with the excitement and enthusiasm of someone who will probably want to try it on her little brother later. For now, though, she just wants to find her magnifying glass so she can burn a hole in a leaf. I remind her not to be disappointed if it doesn’t work. When I’m in charge of science experiments, they basically never work. Unfortunately Gareth lost the magnifying glass. He also lost one of my workout DVDs. No one wants to help me look for these, so science is over. I look for my missing, case-less DVD and stew about the fact that I get no respect. I then remember Josh never answered a question I asked him earlier. I text him again, hoping he can feel my unspoken rage burning a hole in his phone. OK, so I’m not really mad at him, but it’s a good time to sulk and be angry about the great injustices of my lot in life. 

I think about how Josh told me he wishes he could read a summary of my day in three or four paragraphs. It’s that or do laundry, so I sit down to write. I get up once to break up a fight, once to make sure they’re actually playing not suffocating each other, and once to help Gareth get to the potty and sit there with him while he plays with himself. (Josh told me not to worry about it. Apparently it’s part of little boys’ potty training learning curve, and I’m not supposed to freak out about it. Here’s to self-discovery!) By the way, he did tinkle, so he got another sticker and a jelly bean. We sang his special song (the 20th century Fox theme) while we put his sticker on his chart. He’s now three stickers away from his second potty training prize, and still no number two. But on the bright side, even though Josh is working late tonight, I don’t have to fix dinner because we still have leftover pizza. Pizza twice in one day will have the kids declaring me, “The BEST MOMMY EVER!” Forget all that other stuff we did today. They’re just in this for the junk food. 

We ran away! (But we came back.)

Posted on

Gareth and Emmeline are playing at Bik-Bik’s house. They prefer going alone because they get spoiled more when I’m not around. Only their grandparents are truly capable of giving them the love and admiration they feel they deserve. Josh and I are just here to spoil their fun most of the time. Josh is working the evening shift tonight, so we decided at the last minute that I’d drive him in so we could go out for a quick lunch date. When you have small children, spontaneity is extremely rare and much appreciated. Nothing makes my day quite as much as, “Hey, the kids aren’t here. You want to go out to lunch/dinner/coffee?” 

Josh’s carefree nature was one of the first things I loved about him (you know, back before we were dating, when we were “just friends”). He broke me from my addiction to post-it notes. I had every list, calendar, dispenser, tape, and cutesy hot pink thought-bubble shaped sticky pad imaginable. I was a bit of a planner. Josh balanced me out with his attitude of, “So what if it’s not on your to-do list? Let’s go spend two hours browsing the bookstore. I’ll buy you coffee!” 

Of course, that all changed when we became parents. Thankfully Josh’s spontaneity wasn’t the only thing I loved about him because otherwise we would probably not still be married. I remember how hard that first year was. I spent a lot of time crying about how it seemed to take two weeks of planning just to make a quick run to Wal-mart. Sometimes I still feel like that: “So I’m going to go to Sam’s and Publix on Thursday, and Friday I’ll go to Aldi and Kroger. Can you make sure I wake up early so I have enough time to get there and back before you need to leave for work?” But five years and a couple kids later, I expect it, and I don’t cry about it (much). And as a side note, Josh was very thankful for my uber-planner side when his life was crazy with grad school. Unfortunately, by that point everything was on Google calendar so I never had any excuses to buy post-it notes. Sad.

It comes down to this: If you are about to become a parent, your dating life is about to be very. very. different. It’s OK if you want to cry about it. And for everyone else, here’s my helpful suggestion: If you really want to show love to young parents, call them up at the last minute and surprise them with free babysitting. They will love you forever. You will be their hero. They will talk about it for months. “Remember when so-and-so offered to babysit completely out of the blue? They’re so nice. We should bring them cupcakes/macaroons/whatever dessert is trendy right now.” 

Sleep, sleep, my kingdom for some sleep

Posted on

I wasn’t planning on writing anything tonight. But when I sat down to watch TV, Gareth, the resident bedtime drama queen, started screaming bloody murder because “Your gro’mup show HURTS MY EARS!!” And I’ve learned that I can’t win that battle. So I’m sitting in a quiet room waiting for him to fall asleep. I’m also caffeinating, since Josh won’t be home until later tonight and I don’t like to fall asleep until he’s back. When he works nights I really miss having our German shepherd mix in the backyard.

Josh rolls my eyes when I refer to Gareth as a drama queen. Even though he totally is one, and “drama king” or a gender neutral “overly dramatic person” just don’t have the same ring. Boys can be just as overdramatic as girls can be. Everyone says Gareth will outgrow this before he goes to college, but I’m not so sure. His dorm applications might say “Can’t fall asleep without cuddles. Can’t sleep on dirty sheets. Will flip a lid if someone is watching TV while he’s trying to sleep. Has woken up at least once almost every night since he was born.” 

I read a blog post that was aimed at mothers of newborns, and in an effort to be encouraging it said something like, “Don’t worry, this period won’t last forever. Your baby is going to start sleeping through the night eventually.” My first thought was, “HA! That’s if you got one of the good ones.” But of course it’s not nice to scare off the parents-to-be. Best to just let them find out on their own that they may never get a good night’s sleep for the rest of their lives. OK, I’m sure that’s not true. But it might be a few years. 

Gareth is a very cute, charming child. He’s bubbly and affectionate. He loves smiling for his picture. He’s funny, silly, and ticklish. Since he’s the baby, I tend to fuss over him more than his big sister. It’s unintentional, and I do try to be fair with compliments and affection, but honestly it comes easier with Gareth because he seeks it out. (Emmeline is a super-cuddler, but you have to remember to initiate it.) All that to say, since Gareth is the baby he gets most of the “Oh he’s so cute and happy and charming!” But while he may be great at emotionally manipulating you into thinking he’s all kisses and giggles all the time, let me just say, that he. is. a. horrible. sleeper. 

When I write blog posts I ask myself, “Would I want my teenage kids coming back and reading this?” And that generally keeps me from complaining about them too much. But I just want to say, Teenage Gareth, if you are reading this, it has been almost three years and you have not gone a solid week without waking your poor mother and father up at night. You refuse to spend  the night at anyone else’s house, and your Aunt Alyssa is the only other person in the world who can get you to fall asleep quickly (be extra nice to her, because by the time you’re in your teens she has probably babysat you a lot for just that reason). We love you to the moon and back, but we are tired. And you owe us, Son. So get a good job, because when the early dementia sets in due to chronic sleep deprivation, we’re sending you the medical bills. Of course, by that point, your older sister will probably be running the world, so stay on her good side and maybe she’ll loan you the money to pay them. 

Gareth is asleep now, so I’m going to go scoot my recliner very close to the television and turn my “gro’mup show” on at a very low volume. 

12 Weeks

Posted on

Baby Size: A lime. We went to hear the heartbeat this week, and in addition to the heartbeat, the doctor pointed out noises that meant baby was kicking. It’s still too early to feel anything, but it’s nice to know there’s a healthy, growing baby in there.

Foods i’m loving: Carrots and ranch dip, pastries (I keep craving chocolate croissants and cheese danishes), Jeni’s ice cream. Jeni’s is so rich a little goes a long way. I can barely finish one 1/2 cup serving.

Foods i’m hating: Onions. Henceforth they shall be stricken from all recipes. I can do some leftovers now, but not too many.

Sleep: I’ve got a little bit more energy now, so I can make it through the day without having to nap. That’s encouraging.

Symptoms: Still nauseated but not as much as before. I have a lot of back pain when I’m pregnant (chronic back problems and pregnancy don’t mix), and that has already started to get worse. I’m used to managing it though, and I can usually find the right mix of rest, exercise, and heating pads.

What i miss: Meal planning, oddly enough. I’ve pretty much given up on that, since I don’t really know what food is going to sound good from one day to the next. I’ve tried a couple of times to just eat food anyway because it’s what I had planned for the evening or because I didn’t want to waste leftovers, but it leaves me sick every time, so I’d rather just take it one or two days at a time. Also, I miss advil. I have an awful sinus headache today, and I just want some Ibuprofen.

What i’m looking forward to: In a couple of weeks I’ll be in the second trimester which means I’ll start feeling better. Putting food aversions behind me will make life easier.

Emotions: Optimistic. I’m so thankful I’m not working full time. It has taken a lot of the emotional pressure off of me this pregnancy. It’s nice not to feel like I have to perform a job to someone else’s expectations. Being a stay-at-home-mom has its challenges, but since I’m my own boss I get to decide what I’m capable of accomplishing in a day. Sometimes I wake up feeling miserable and knowing that my productivity will be limited to keeping everyone fed and making sure we all nap. I’m at peace with that even if I do wish those days never happened. When I was pregnant and working, I couldn’t just decide, “This week I’m not going to do any work at all, but I am going to take long lunch breaks, nap for 2-hours each day, and go home early.” With the first two pregnancies I was in denial about how it would affect my productivity level–mostly because I had a full-time job to perform regardless–but my energy levels aren’t the same because everything I’m doing right now–even sleeping–I’m doing while I grow a human being. I can never stop multitasking. Admitting that to myself and adjusting my expectations accordingly has left me happier in my third pregnancy. Overall I haven’t been the depressed, anger-ball I was the first two times.

Family life: The impending arrival of another child has woken me up to how much I do for the kids each day. I baby Emmeline a good bit, and  that needs to stop. So I’m trying to do better about:
1. Teaching her to do chores and help with housework
2. Velcro her own sneakers (Yes. She can’t even do Velcro herself. Mom fail.)
3. Towel herself off after her baths.
I’m also trying to be more intentional about making her share her room with Gareth. The new baby will probably go in her room, so I want her to stop thinking of it as all hers. And don’t feel sorry for her, because she has two hours of alone play every day, so the child gets plenty of space and privacy.

We’re also easing into potty training Gareth. We haven’t taken away his diapers yet, but we need to soon because he’s taken to it pretty easily. I hope he’s easier to train than his sister was. It would be nice not to have two in diapers this September!