Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The joy of siblings

I get asked a lot how the kids are getting along...

Whenever there is a disagreement as to what happened between two people, they have to sit together until they can come to a coherent story that is agreeable to both parties.

"Mama! Julia hit me!"
"No I not!"
"Yes, she hit me right here really hard!"
"No I not!"
"She hit me! See the red mark on my arm?" (for the record, I could not)
"Tim...Tim..." (Julia looking at her hand trying to find something Tim had done to her)


"I hit her first but she hit me HARDER!"

Their punishment was to sit together on the freezer while I made dinner. ;)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

No puking today

...and his work is done.

I was a very, very mean mama this morning. I do know of a few things that tend to motivate Alex, one of which is playing outside. Because it's been so hot lately we haven't been outside much. So this morning I told the kids they could take the bikes and play out front, which is a huge deal around here. Amazingly enough, Alex managed to get his folder erased within 30 minutes and then started on his work. He did not finish in time to go outside (I had to make the kids come in--they were drenched with sweat and it was getting pretty hot outside before he finished) but he did get to play.

We seem to be making progress on him doing his work diligently slowly but surely. At this point, I'll take any progress at all!

Friday, July 22, 2011


Today Alex had 5 papers to do, the same as Tim and one more than each of the girls. Instead of doing his work, he chose to scribble all over his folder. This is something he has done in the past and I have asked him to stop, so when he was doing it today I told him he could now erase his whole folder. He spent so much time crying and whining over it he made himself sick--literally.

After the third time he threw up (with no fever) I sent him to bed for the rest of the day.

He is by far my biggest pain in the rear when it comes to doing work. He can do everything he's being given, and if there's a chance he can't do it or I think it's something we need to reinforce, I sit down with him and we go through it and do several examples. And then he still sits and whines about it instead of doing it. But find some kind of motivation and all of a sudden his work gets done. He just doesn't seem to be motivated by much--and believe me I've tried.

The other day he was whining about a fill-in-the-blank paper, and I finally looked at him and said, "Alex, they can't make it any easier for you. All of the answers are in the box at the top of the page." But instead of filling in the blanks, he spent an hour whining about doing it at all. I spend a lot of time rolling my eyes (I try to keep it out of sight of the kids, but I'm sure I don't always succeed. ;)). I have heard of other kids doing this--sometimes for years!--so I'm hopeful that at some point he will just decide it's easier to do his work than to whine.

But we're certainly not there yet!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pajama day

Today is pajama day at the request of the kids. They used to do these for school (the four old ones) but they had to pay $1 to do it. Between the anxiety caused by the change in routine and the cost we didn't usually end up doing them.

But now we can. :)

So the kids stayed in pajamas all day. They still did schoolwork (more on that in a later post...no, really ;)) but we didn't have anywhere to go so it was ideal. I think we may make some "theme"
days a regular part of our school year. It will break things up and I think it gives the kids a sense of family spirit.

We've also (just this week) started playing games after dinner. It's been too hot to go outside (100-115 with the heat index) so we're working on card games. The kids all love Uno and it's one that everyone can play. Right now all of the kids keep their cards face up and we work on colors and numbers with the new girls, but they really don't need much help. It just keeps the game moving if we don't have to wait for everyone to look at each card in their hand since they're already laid out on the floor. Plus it encourages more cooperation as the other kids can help someone find a card.

It's been a hot summer and I will not be sad to see some cooler weather coming. We do have window units, but even with those going it's been so hot that we're only able to get the house down to 86 or 87 at best. But I figure it's probably better for us anyway. ;)

Friday, July 15, 2011

My kids have heat stroke

They must, because I was just asked "Mama, may I please scrub the bathtub?" After I shook my head a few times to clear it and agreed, I've now had other people ask to clean the bathtub and the one cleaning the bathtub asked if she could also clean the floor.

Bizarre...maybe this is what happens when you don't have air conditioning.