Monday, May 31, 2010

First Flight - On Angel's Wings

The kids LOVED their first flight on an airplane. They did really, really well. They've been troopers all day and are sacked out even though it is as light as mid-day at 10 pm. I was so proud of Buster while we were in the security line at the airport. He was nearly in tears 'cause he had to go pee and he didn't want to wet his pants. We were really, really short on time. . . . but we found a minute to take him potty. However, the thrill of flying was too much for him and he peed his pants on take-off. He's used up half his suitcase of pants and underwear already.

Little Miss has been dry and clean day and night for several days now. We are quite pleased. Going potty is still a trial for her. It must hurt or something. Most definitely it is frustrating. I'm looking to get a referral to a pediatric gastrointerologist. That there is something wrong, there is no doubt. No one can be so constipated on the diet I'm feeding her and not have something terribly wrong. NOTHING works. Somethings help, but nothing cures.

Our VERY OWN Miracle:
On Angel's Wings

God saw fit to bestow on this family the treasure of our very own miracle today.
While praying for God’s intervention in our behalf, Steve asked that he would remember one of the promises in the scripture that pertained to our dire straits… and I immediately thought of Matthew 19:26. “For with man it is impossible, but with God ALL things are possible.”

How very fitting!

Truly it is not possible to leave our home and drive over the mountains to the airport, park, check in  and get through security and arrive at our flight gate in two hours and fifteen minutes, however this is exactly what took place. Steve and the girls arrived home from Bible ARME camp at 10 pm. We finished packing and were in bed by 11:30 after setting the alarm for 2:30 AM. Suddenly, at 4:29

I awoke with a start and a great need to see the clock. TWO hours too late. I flew out of bed and woke all the kids. They all were instantly awake and moving. Only Steve was in a stupor and not too coherent. We dressed and loaded the suburban in record time and were flying down the highway by 5 AM.

I knew the Lord had awakened me  so I was sure that HE wanted us to be on time for our plane, but I asked for angel wings to carry us the distance in less time than it normally takes. We actually enjoyed a very sweet and inspiring time of prayer together as a family in the car and trusted that all would work out according to the Lord’s will.

The trip takes us two and half hours just to get to the airport at the best of times, but we did it under two hours and got through the airport and were standing by our gate at 7:15 with 15 minutes to spare. That’s how I know we were born on angel’s wings all along that winding road and that’s how I know we were suppose to be here in Bethel today.

We arrived safely and immediately jumped into the fray… this will be one busy week!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Marathon Day

It is impossible to accomplish everything that needs to be done today. Steve and girls will be home by 9 pm.... (make that an hour past what he says and it should be about right.) And we leave at 4 am for Alaska..................

I fell into bed last night at 8:30 and slept hard. Yesterday wasn't too bad. Missy woke up in a bad mood and I was a basket case (blame the hormones) and everytime she defied me I bawled and the more she acted up the harder I cried until I was praying out loud for strength to get through the morning. I asked Little Guy to go and get me my Bible and he opened it to 2nd Chronicles before giving it to me and asked " Is this your verse?" I flipped the page over to chapter 20 and prayed through it. "The battle is not yours, but GOD's." Missy gave up and decided to be on my side. I don't think she cared for all the crying --- HA!!!!! a dose of her own medicine, but she had a change of heart, too.

We were late for church, but we were in time for the sermon. Though I had not brought a thing for potluck I stayed when I was invited because I didn't have the energy to go home. We were blessed by the caring of the Tom and Elaine and the kids ate heartily. We went with them to the homeless ministry in the park where the kids played with their friends. We arrived home by 5 and I laid down on the couch for a nap. Buster came out all changed and says, "Are these good clothes for our hike up the mountain?"

"A hike up the mountain? WHAT hike!!!!!!"  Well, of course, we ALWAYS go hiking on Sabbath.

"It's Sabbas", he says."Which mountain are we climbing?"

 I hauled myself off the couch and threw their bikes in the back of the car and took them to the river and I walked the length of the smooth path while they rode. He's figured out how to start himself on the bike without help now.

Okay, so off to my impossible day remembering that, "The battle is not yours, but GOD's"

Friday, May 28, 2010

Can We Just Call it a Day Yet?

I know it's only three, but I'm wishing I could put the kids to bed for the night.

I could tell someone was praying for me this morning.I really could. I felt the presence of the Lord surrounding me and the twins.  The kids were okay, but on edge and it took quite a bit of TLC to get through our morning routine. I  did a lot of praying on my knees in front of the bathroom door and I  read my Bible aloud. The kiddos were actually  interested and found their Bibles, too. We got through the bathroom stuff without a major fit. I needed to run a few errands and they seemed to be doing fine, so buckled them up and left for town.

At the first store they had cute little grocery carts. The twins nearly had a fight over who could push it. I decided that Missy could and that Buster could push the one at the feed store. All went well at those two stores. Next on my list was the grocery store. Before getting out of the car I announced that it was my turn to push a cart. I had good reasons.

Buster exploded! It was an all out tantrum. I took off his shoes to minimize the damage he could do and then set him on the trunk where I could face him better and stood just out of his reach and tried to calm him down. People were very curious onlookers. Missy was doing her fair share of acting out, but not so bad so I left her buckled up.

In consequence ( they love shopping) we had to go home. I was the really disappointed one. I was starving and craving some treat food. I'm quite frankly tired of shakes with flax, etc...  :-) I feed everybody and sometimes I'm too busy to put something satisfying on a plate for me. Anyway, the only place I could treat myself without getting out of the car was Taco Bell. I ordered a single  burrito and told the kids that their behavior did not warrant anything fun. It wasn't exactly what I was craving. Oh, well.

So here's the fun part:

I look up to see the sign say 25mph and look down to see the speedometer say 35mph and look up again only to see a police whip around.
"OOOOOOOOOOh! no! I've been had."

I pull over. The twins see the lights and immediately hysteria begins. I'm being kicked from behind and deafened by the screaming.Did they think the police had been sent out to get them for being so bad in the parking lot?

Police asks, "What's this all about?" .  (We are shouting above the din). I Explain that we are adopting and foster kids are afraid of everything and hand him my license... ...

"um... that's your credit card."

He asks if I have a bottle of aspirin and I laughingly tell him I was trying to go to the grocery store but they started a tantrum in the parking lot so decided to go home instead.

He shakes his head and backs away from the car and says, "Have a good day - and watch your speed!"

I laughed the whole thirty minute drive home.

For the record - this is the third time I have been pulled over and I have yet to get a ticket, but this certainly is the best story of all.

We had a fit over what was being served for lunch. We are having a fit over having to go potty.... and it's only 3 pm.

Call Me Nuts

So after yesterday's shenanigans Little Miss could not go to sleep. She was playing around and being noisy and disturbing her brother. Finally at about 8:30 I asked her to go potty only to find her pull up already used up. Wow! If a nighttime pull-up is just an excuse to pee in your pants then I will remove the excuse. She piddled around in the bathroom drawing out the simplest tasks at a snail's pace even with me standing there asking her to get a move on and I decided she was in need of some serious exercise. Told her to get her shoes on and run to the lower barn.She can really run. I was faster on the uphill, she was faster on the downhill. Both of our shoes came untied at the same time. She stepped on mine and I stepped on hers and we both went down hard. No worse for wear. Made her run back and forth until the giggling stopped and she was calling out, "I tired, I tired!!!!!!"

"Tired enough to be quiet and go to sleep?"

She was practically begging me to let her go to bed. And then I shocked her with the announcement that she was going to bed without a pull-up and that when she needed to go potty to use the toilet not her bed. I did put a protection pad on the bed.

She was awake at 4:30 this am creaking around in her bed, so I took her to the bathroom. She was still dry. She did go back to sleep.

The exercise accomplished two things. She went right to sleep and I had the asthma attack of the year that kept me from sleeping. . .

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Day one just about down.

Steve and the girls left this am for Bible ARME Camp. As they were driving out of the drive I said to him - I can guarantee I will be dealing with tantrums in about 20 minutes because you are leaving.

Twenty minutes  nothing.

More like 2. But thankfully Little Guy decided to pull himself together and make the most of it. Missy decided to defy my very existence and it has lasted ALL day.  She spent a lot of her time in bed screaming and beating the walls and saying NO to me. Needless to say we did not go swimming as planned. We did not go to town. We did not do very much that was fun. Part of the time she slept. Part of the time she sat in front of a cup of water she refused to drink. Part of the time she was on the toilet refusing to go.

Eventually she had no choice but to drink said cup of water and two more over the course of the day. Eventually she had to try go poop. Eventually she had to apologize and obey.  She tested me on everything and tried to boss me around, which didn't fly too well. Little Guy and I spent a lot of time together outside mowing the grass and working in the garden.  He loved the one-on-one. Crying and screaming was quite boring when there was no one to listen so she would be quiet almost as quick as we would shut the door so, while I had stayed close by all morning, I spent the afternoon outside.  Thankfully she doesn't move from the spot I place her in during a tantrum.

I'm doing fine. Initially the adrenaline rush puts me in a fight or flight  mode and I have to work hard to maintain composure. I'm not always successful, but when I walk away and decide it's just a really stupid way for a 6 year old to try and gain some control over the life she has no control over I go into no feeling mode; the just do what's right and keep doing what's right mode. It helps to pray for wisdom and love. It helps to exercise hard - the push mower in our 2 acres of weeds works pretty well for that. Not saying I handle everything the best way. Sometimes I just handle it. It would be nice if I knew just what to do every time. Maybe the episodes would end sooner. Maybe they wouldn't happen at all. I don't know. For the moment I'm not going to analyze anything...

One down.... three to go.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Great Day

He learned to ride his bike without training wheels thanks to the persistence of  Christina. This is huge for Buster Brown!! Three months ago he had to learn how to ride it with training wheels and that was quite a feat.

The pants have been amazingly clean and dry today. I'm very excited. It hasn't been perfect, but I am not looking for perfection I am just looking for a willing spirit and effort in the right direction.One child wore no pants for a couple hours to remind him and then he earned them back and he is pant-less again as of a few minutes ago...  But that's it. Missy hasn't missed once.

I rearranged their room to make it more functional. It looks great since I delivered it of unnecessary toys.

Besides biking and playing with their pet chickens (no longer tiny chicks) the kids played play dough, colored, had a tea party and were generally able to entertain themselves without too much ado.

I best put them to bed before something happens.

With or Without?

With or without pants, that is.

Yesterday the twins were really into peeing their pants. About 5 pairs each before noon. That's ten pairs of pants and ten pairs of unders! Gracious! the laundry around here!!!! Finally, I had them both sitting on the toilet and I told them I really didn't know what to do but this could NOT keep happening, so it was time for them to come up with a suggestion of how they were going to learn to stop wetting their pants. Of course I was greeted with silence, but I told them to sit there and think about it and when they had an idea they could let me know. I left them and went to make lunch.

Brianna's like, "You actually expect them to come up with anything????"

Well, truth is, no, but I didn't know what to do either and they were safest with their behinds on the throne while I thought.

After awhile Buster calls me.

Me: "You have come up with a good way to teach you not to pee in your pants?"
Him: "Yes".
Me: "Good, let's hear it!"
Him: "I donno...."
Me: "Well, think a little harder and then call me".

Two minutes went by and Little Missy called me.
Same scenario only instead of shrugging with a "I dunno" she said, " I NOT pee or poop in the pants or (else) I have to wear diaper and no pants."

I guess I had threatened earlier. . . they don't forget.
So we made a deal and compromised. They could get dressed but if they peed in their clothes again then they would get to wear unders with no pants. They also had to load the washing machine for me.

In 15 minutes they were both bare legged. I stayed right beside them and when I needed to go I made a big deal and a mad dash, etc... and they caught on and were doing the same thing. They went to bed that night having gone a whole afternoon of being dry in a T-shirt and underwear. Somehow it has to be their idea to make a change... They didn't even fuss about no pants.

This morning they can put on their pants... BUT we'll see how long they will get to wear them.

Anyone want to hazard a guess?

Monday, May 24, 2010

I'm Starving, Mom

It wasn't quite supper time when Little Guy started in on the starving bit. I laughed at first. It was the first time he had used that with me. Usually he says, "I'm hungwy". But he was pretty insistent and since I wasn't anywhere near ready I selected a nice looking ripe D'Anjou from the case of winter pears someone had graciously brought to us as a gift and washed it and told him to start with that. I knew of course, that he had never eaten a pear before and would not be inclined to. He didn't even try it before he declared that he didn't like it! I told him he surly wasn't very hungry and certainly not starving if he wouldn't eat a pear. Everybody else grabbed and washed their pick and bit into the delectable juicy fruit.He sat and pouted. I wasn't giving in. I decided not to even look like I was going to serve anything else. Finally he grabbed the dumb pear. Yanked it's stem out and took a big bite.

His first words: This is delicious!!!!!!

The juice ran down his chin and all over the counter before he was done. We had to explain about the core and how to get around it. Tomorrow he will turn his nose up again, I'm sure. It takes awhile but he'll learn.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Looking At Photos

Pulled up the pictures from when we first met the twins and they came to live with us. It's amazing! All of us are in shock. They looked like babies. They were babyish in their expressions and in their stance. They were also a lot chubbier faced, too. I know they have grown, but there's something about their eyes! They look so much more confident and steady. There's a sparkle and even a bit of mischief and sassy-ness about their recent pictures - in a good way.

Come on folks, it's only been 11 weeks. How can it be?

A Little Bribery

I thought I would try something.

I told the twins if they could keep their underwear clean and dry all day they could have a scoop of soy ice-cream for supper.

They did very well. Little Guy had a tiny bit of trouble keeping dry twice. It wasn't a waterfall like usual, and he told me several times today that he had to go so I was quite pleased, but he never asked for ice-cream come supper because he knew he wasn't completely dry. No one said anything to him about it he just knew he had been a little wet. Little Missy was fabulous! She was clean and dry and did her job well and drank water happily on her own, etc... She thought she had the "prize" tonight and right when it was time to get it, she didn't think I would ask her to go pee one more time... She didn't think anybody would check... she wet herself good and proper right then. She was embarrassed at being discovered. I told her I was disappointed and I hugged her and told her to try again tomorrow.

As the behaviors are improving I'm fine tuning my responses and putting them into action quicker. For instance there was a time that if someone would cross the little guy he would go into a full blown screaming tantrum. It's getting to be less and less. The duration of the tantrums, the force behind them, the frequency, everything is less then before. Tonight he was crossed and he pouted and stomped to the couch and sat rather heavily away from me and refused to look me in the eye. I asked him to be respectful and look at me and apologize to his twin. He only partially complied so I asked him to please go to bed. He was stunned. The anger evaporated and he sobbed broken-hearted on my shoulder. I prayed with him and he still missed the story and went to bed before Missy. I know the Lord is working in their lives. I know that these kids are not as difficult and hard-hearted as they appeared, either.

The Beautiful Things are Coming

It wasn't my intention that this blog should turn into the poop chronicles. I would have rather have written a beautiful blog with only sweet things to say...

But I promised to be honest and real. No sugar coating the truth.

When we were called to invest our time and family in needy children I had no idea our calling would include 50 million pairs of poopy pants and hours, days, weeks and months hugging smelly, screaming kids on toilet seats encouraging more poop. Who would have ever thought? Even understanding that the twins wore diapers at 6 years old, I did not know what training them would mean. No one knew. We entered the surprisingly deep, dark cavern of their fear and stubbornness, poor health and experimentation with only a hope that somewhere there would be a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

I see it.

There's a few shafts of light coming through now.

I can't promise we are anywhere near the entrance of the cave, but I know that beautiful things are coming.

Our incredible journey through the dark will be worth it, 'cause beautiful things are coming.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Go Figure

We are home.

Steve and I are looking at each other shaking our heads. Little Missy was thoroughly offended when I told her she would be wearing a diaper today since she wasn't choosing to use the commode. In fact, we had a nice little tantrum to deal with. I told her if she could manage to keep it dry and clean until we got home she could then put on a pair of panties.

And she did.

Told her she couldn't have supper until she did a big poop.

And she did.

I re-evaluated my observations on her bathroom issues.

Yes, I did.

I thought I was mean, but apparently I'm not mean enough.

I Give Up

She's wearing a pull-up to Children's Hospital. Standing three feet from the bathroom seconds after cheering for her brother she pees on the floor of the hotel.

Does anybody have any ideas? I've used up all of mine.


We are still in yonder big city. Found out my dad - world traveling preacher, was in same yonder big city at the same time as us waiting in the airport while we were touring airplanes with the kids. Hmmmmm.....

Buster was able to do a partial job before we left on the trip and then after lunch did another and was super successful and went swimming with the girls and Steve for the first time. He was so happy. He was sure he could just jump in the pool and swim like everybody else. LoL. I made him wear water wings and he quickly adjusted.

His sister messed her pants regularly as usual all afternoon. She was dry and clean all morning but come afternoon she was a disaster. While checking out the girls in the pool she peed puddles on the floor - twice! I took her up to the hotel room for a bath and she started to poop in the tub. I switched her to the toilet but she was refusing. I told her she could eat supper soon as she did a big one and in 5 minutes she had. DOn't tell me she isn't in control of this!!!!!!!! I realize she can't "go" easily, but she can stay dry and like I always say, she can at least try.. .

Touristing was interesting. Missy does really well with it. Little guy gets pretty excited and when he crashes, he crashes! It's a little embarrassing to deal with a tantrum in public but we didn't change a thing about how we handled it and eventually he was able to pull himself together for the rest of the day - but he stayed close to me. On one of my bathroom (long bathroom breaks) with Missy he was crying when I came out and sobbed in my arms for a couple minutes and then was fine again.

Today is Children's Hospital day for teeth issues and then home again.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Before My Very Eyes

We are seeing changes; Major changes, Positive changes in Buster Brown. In the last week he's turned into a different kid. It's amazing. He's responding to all of us in a new way. He's excited and happy and much more even keel. He's playing more. He's either playing by himself, or with his twin, or interacting with other people and kids, and using his imagination.

I'm losing count but I think today is day 12 of pooping in the toilet.

Don't know if he'll ever stop peeing in his pants, though. He does run for the bathroom but he's always too late.

Missy has her back up against a wall. She's not going to be potty trained if she can help it.... but of course, she has no say in the matter. Interestingly enough, a little friend came over to play today while she was on the potty refusing to try and we all went out to pay attention to our visitors when I heard :"Mommy!!!!!! Come here".

She'd pooped because she wanted to go play. Hmmmmm.. . I'm sorry to say my blood pressure went up a notch or two. Grrrrr....

We have a children's hospital visit in yonder big city and so we are taking the opportunity to go on a field trip and I'm a little worried because we have to leave at 7 am... There's no way to get potty time in before leaving. I'm worried. Praying for a solution.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Still Deaf

Little Missy had the wax removed today but I was sorely disappointed to hear that she's still deaf. The audiogram was flat-lining due to fluid in the ears.

Next step.

Wait 6 weeks to see if it goes away.


Insert tubes and consider hearing aids.


Today was the day we've been waiting for.... well, okay. One of the days we've been waiting for. Today Birth Mom relinquished.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tea Party Fun

Christina hosted a garden tea party for several of her girlfriends today. They received little home made invitations from her a week ago and the excitement has been building all week. They were all dressed up and excited!! It was a little work to help her get ready, mow everything, and make sure all the food was prepared, etc... but it was worth it. Christina's been feeling like she hardly sees her friends and all we do is potty train. . . hmmmmm sounds like her mother. LOL! I don't want her feel like life had come to an end.

Little Miss was invited by mail, also, and she was thrilled. She LOVED every minute of the tea party and playing with the girls. She has quite an infectious laugh. The girls were very sweet to her even when she was stinky and poopy - and sadly she was a few times!!!!

Buster Brown was invited to a birthday party and so I sent Brianna with him and he had a good dose of imaginary play. The little boy has a tree house and it magically turns into a ship, or an island, or a fire engine, or forte on a whim and he is full ideas. Brianna had to guide him through this kind of play because he did not understand what was going on at first, but as he grasped it he enjoyed it, so long as they didn't change the storyline too quickly for him to follow. It's good to see the kids' experiences broadening. It's opening the minds to new thought. Anyway, I asked how he did and everyone thought he did great. I thought he might disintegrate within an hour or so, but he was happy and sweet and cuddly right up to closing his eyes in sleep. Today was day 9 of going potty and he had clean underwear all day and he so knows just how excited I am about that!!!!!!

Missy was exhausted tonight and she did fall apart. No screaming - thankfully, just stubborn and stomping around to show me how displeased she was with my requests. I don't allow stomping and acting haughty. I find it quite curious that she needs me to see just how offended she is even though she knows it won't be without consequences. Early bed worked for me tonight. Basically it was fulfilling a need as well as letting her know that her attitude wouldn't be doing her any favors.

The apple cider is helping. I couldn't find any in the grocery store... so dropped in on "famous little fruit candy factory in our town" and they had a very pretty bottle. $8. It lasted 3 days. We only live in Apple Capital.... but it's not the season! We even make it sometimes, but to make a long story short I checked out one of the fruit stands and they had it in half gallon jars for $5. The lady was very kind and interested and she gave the kids each a smaller bottle after I had paid for a gallon. She told me her name and encouraged me that this would do the job for Missy. The trick will be to find out just how much is enough and not to give her too much. She is quite okay with going gluten free. Surprisingly it didn't faze her that some of the treats at the tea party were forbidden...

We've made quite a big deal of putting flax into everything for the twin's bowel health. . . and I read just the other day in a book about speech problems that flax will help with improving speech issues. All the Omega3's are good for the brain. I knew that of course, but I had not connected it to speech before, so now we are making brain bars ( full of flax and walnuts and pumpkin seeds, etc... and taste sort of like fudge) for the twins and dumping the omega rich foods in everything! I know we are making progress.... I just can't wait until their ears are cleaned out on Tuesday. It should make a difference to be able to hear - you think?

I'll post the brain bar recipe sometime. It's actually on my other blog... which, POOOF! disappeared today. Yup three years of blogging is missing. Apparently Homesteadblogger is changing everything and supposedly they aren't planning on losing our posts. We'll see. I'll sure be sad if they do. I have all the tea party photos ready to post and no blog to post it to. SAD

Saturday, May 15, 2010

"Buster Pooped in My Pants!!!!!!!!!!!"

LOL! We are still rolling on the floor laughing here. It was so spontaneous and oh so ridiculous and said with so much vehemence that the entire family was in stitches!! I wanted to show Buster that I was very, very pleased with him for keeping his pants clean today that I offered him a small bowl of soy ice-cream as a treat before supper. Not only has he kept his pants clean ALL day, this was day 8 of faithfully having a good sized bm in the right place every morning before going into the day's activities. This doesn't mean he hasn't had accidents in the last 8 days, but this is a true milestone and deserved recognition. I gave him the ice-cream while his twin was outside and he was thoroughly enjoying and savoring it so that it took him longer than it probably should have and Missy came in to see the tail end of the treat disappear before her very eyes. He carefully explained to her that he had kept his pants poop free all day and this was his reward. She just stared at him in utter disbelief. Then she put a huge pout on her face and turned and marched towards the door. He mind was wheeling... and suddenly she came out with her ridiculous statement and threw herself into Vanessa's arms! We were laughing hysterically. We couldn't help it. Steve said, "It's the age old response. The blame game."

I have had a VERY hard day with Missy over the underwear issue. She and I missed Sabbath School again and she was hardly sweet to deal with. We barely made it to the church in time. We were having a big concert with the children's choir and being I'm in charge I absolutely needed to be there. The concert went well, but the panties did not survive. . . and neither have a half a dozen pairs since. This is a kiddo who can't lie and get away with it. Her eyes give her away. She'll tell you her panties are clean and if you didn't have a nose you would still know it isn't true. She can't hold her gaze and those baby blues scream "Liar". Poor kid! I know she's frustrated, but she does need to try and cooperate. We were an hour or more late to our picnic lunch on account of her potty issues and she couldn't even keep clean through the lunch.

Anyway, she is officially on a gluten free diet starting last night. It isn't so bad since I'm already cooking gluten free for my dh and Brianna. I so badly want her to be successful I'll do whatever it takes. I'm at my wits end. It's been ten weeks since we launched into potty training..... I have to say it is VERY isolating.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Overheard at Our House

Little Guy was found wandering the house reciting:

I will instruct you and teach you in your math and show you the way you should go. Exodus 14:20

*SMILE* don't try and look it up. It isn't there - at least in that spot and in those words, but I dare say you'll find the promises mean just that. He learns his weekly memory verses pretty well so we're trying to fill his head with the promises of God.


I am feeling better, thank you.  I had to.... life doesn't stop for me. It was a good thing hubby was home yesterday to watch the kids. I spent a greater part of my day in the DMV just getting Vanessa scheduled for her driver's test next week. When we were finally served the guy took a look at my license and saw that it would expire in two months and suggested we get it renewed right then and there so I wouldn't have to wait in line again. How very kind of him!!! One problem: I have hated the picture on my driver's license for the last how many years. It doesn't really look like me, so this year I was going to make sure it looked like me. HA! Well, I was not expecting to have it done for another two months and so, being the hot day that it was, and being in a rush to get from my shower to speech, and from speech to home, and from home to algebra, and from algebra to the DMV I happened to be wearing my hair in two ponytails. My hair was wet when I left the house and my neck was burned so this was the easiest.... SO my photo on my driver's license has this 40 year old in pigtails. Lovely. Just Lovely!

Speaking of algebra... Last week Vanessa took the college entrance exam and she scored 99% in writing, and 98% in reading but a lowly 34% in algebra, so we hired a tutor to bring her and Brianna up to speed and that has added to the running-around we do. We are trying to fit in 2 sessions a week. My days are full. Speech, PT, OT, writing classes, piano, harp, flute, biology, etc... and now algebra, too. You are all wondering where the HOME fits into homeschooling, I'm sure! The school year is ALMOST over - YES! Christina learned yesterday that she won 1st place in our local newspaper's Young Writer's Contest and Brianna won 3rd place, so we are doing the happy dance here.

The twins spent a lot of time outdoors. We had planned to go out in the evening but I stayed home and tried to put them to bed early since they were whiny and tired. It didn't work out so well. Missy flatly refused to go potty and it turned into a screaming session that lasted an hour. I just carried on with giving Buster some attention and read him a story etc... and when he was finally in bed I turned my attention on her. She escalated at that point, but I was firm and eventually she did what I said. Later I was holding her and talking to her about how I wanted her to grow up sweet and beautiful, but laying on the floor screaming is ugly and makes me think she's being a naughty baby. I reminded her that no matter what she has to do what I ask and she can do it sweetly and happily or she can be ugly about it and be miserable and she still has to obey. I don't know if she was tired of me talking or if she truly was heartfelt, but she spontaneously apologized for her behavior with many promises to be a good girl today. I hope it is true. She had been a stinker from the moment she got up yesterday.

My husband is losing his mind. He said something about expanding the house and getting ten more kids....

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It's Been a Day

I have succumbed to the flue. I hurt all over. Advil kept me going today. The PUD was here most of the day with two huge trucks, two pickups, a backhoe and a dozen men working on putting in fiber. The phone bill is going to go down and the internet is going to speed up. Yeah!!! But they had the power off most of the time. The holding tank sprung a HUGE leak and so my husband worked on that and we had no water most of the day either. We planted part of  both gardens, and I taught piano and choir. It was our last choir practice with Reflections for the season. The inside of the church was 90 degrees and we could hardly get the temperature to come down at all. It was so blasting hot we had a short version of a rehearsal for Saturday's concert. I came home and found the twins still in the garden with Chip, our oldest mini-rex bunny,  following them everywhere. I made supper and suddenly the advil quit working and here I am totally whipped and hurting.We are all sunburned and ready for bed. Thankfully the water is fixed and Buster's in the tub and Missy's waiting a turn. The rest went to prayer meeting. The twins had a good day. We only endured one tantrum that I can remember. Ha! It's all a blur. They still have diarrhea so there were many accidents and I couldn't expect too much of them in that way. Buster seemed to handle having a bunch of kids over during piano lesson time pretty well. I never asked much of him, though. It has seemed like he usually erupts if he's been stimulated too much. It feels like he's making progress in this department.

Oh boy! I really must go to bed.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lets Just Say

I hate miralax.

They can't do without it.
They can't be successful with it.

We're trying a new dosage.

Little Man did TELL me he had to go this am. That was very good. He was a tad late... but not totally. I am happy for that.

I'm sick,
I'm hungry,
and I need a friend...

Those are words to a song in my children's choir and they are ringing through my head!! Partly because indeed I am sick. I'm tired of cooking and would love to eat someone else's food for a change and I'm feeling the need for some peer adult interaction. When I missed church  I pretty much missed out on our socializing for the week. Well, tomorrow is coming. Katie always visits me on Wednesdays.

Monday, May 10, 2010


For the record:

She's cleaned out. I thought it would plug the toilet. I had ALMOST given up on the sitting session. It pays to be determined.

As for Buster Brown - he's had a good bm in the toilet on command for the third day in a row. I don't trust him for second, but we are learning to act on every clue.

Hey - it's only 10:57 we have the whole day wide open to us. Can you imagine????!!!!

Power In the Word

I admit I am tired. Deep down in the middle of my bones I am exhausted. Nine weeks of this concentrated potty training and character rebuilding has taken a toll. My personality is tenacious. I cannot allow defiance, blatant disobedience, or other unGodly trait go unchecked - ever. period. Five or six years of neglect, fear, anger and defiance is a lot to work towards undoing all at once. It's easy to lose sight of the big picture when you are buried so deep in the mire.

I admit I don't always handle it right. In fact this is the greater source of my discouragement than all the shenanigans those two can can come up with. When I begin to think I cannot do this it's because I have failed again and I am shocked and disgusted at my own character and heart. The very traits I labored and prayed over in my three girls with tears in their training years I am seeing in my own character. They are more patient then I. They can totally be trusted to do the right thing with the twins  - every time. This has been a family endeavor and a family learning experience  - and how!!!!!

I admit I am weak, and because I am I grasp hold of God's promises and plead with God to fulfill them in me. He has won the victory for me already - so why must I fail?  Somewhere along the way I have allowed self to grow roots deep and strong. Just finding the roots is painful - never mind digging them up. These children may be the means of saving my soul. . . and not mine only, Steve continually speaks of how they have revealed to him things he didn't know about himself.

Buster has given me a run for my money in the last couple of days. He's testing me with a lot of defiance.... interestingly enough, most of it has not had much to do with the potty training. He's trying me in every other way and I cannot not trust his word. For today I claim this:

The issue of the battle does not rest upon the strength of mortal man.
"The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man,
He shall stir up . . . like a man of war:
He shall cry, yea, roar;
He shall prevail against His enemies."
Isaiah 42:13
In the power of Him who rides forth conquering and to conquer, weak finite man may gain victory.
MS 151, 1899
This morning on my knees, with tears,  in the bathroom doorway with kiddo's little hands in mine I entreated the Lord on the behalf of both of us and I would not give up until victory was there. I told Him HE had promised and I was holding Him to it. The child was defiant about nothing. Frustration was welling up in me. The bagel I had just eaten was making it's way up into my throat and I needed grace RIGHT NOW!

He came through. Bless the Lord, O my soul and all that is within me, bless His holy name.

Fifteen minutes later I was in a new battle with the other twin....

We can never think we've arrived. We can never lay down our guard. We can never think the victory in the last battle with self will carry over... we must take fresh stock in the Power of the Word.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Can't Go till You GO

Told the kids we couldn't go to church until they went potty and he wanted to go to Sabbath School so bad that he did his job in record time. She couldn't.  I stayed with her and we tried on and off all DAY! She was in such bad shape she could not eat breakfast and ate little for lunch. The fumes were horrendous. The kid is toxic. We went hiking in the afternoon... still no go. Today has been better, she managed some, but not much. I'm doing all I can. I took them hiking and to the river this morning to play in the sand and after lunch I told them I would take them to Small Woods Farm to see the animals after they pooped. He did. She's still trying - - -

So, it is as I suspected. He can go when he wants to and she can't. It's always hard to figure out what is going on in their heads and their bodies and how to deal with it. Knowing he can is helpful. He needs incentive to put it in the right place. Knowing she can't makes me work all the harder for her.

Friday, May 7, 2010


The day was busy, busy..... Supper was late and I was thinking out loud, "So, where DID the day go?"

Bri never missed a beat, "We flushed it down the toilet!"

It's so true it's sad.

I've been so very, very careful not to feed the twins anything that would cause them diarrhea because there's just no way to be successful when it's coming out all over the place and yet trying to keep things moving at the same time. I'm working so hard at this. I calculate everything.  I put flax in everything. I make pumpkin bran muffins, I still make shake twice a day. I monitor their food intake - whole grains, whole beans, whole fruits and veggies... You read about Tuesday's morning affair with the commode. Well, Wednesday was a pretty good day because, knowing the transit time is slow, we didn't worry about accidents until late in the day and there were none and then they managed to clean out at 7 pm. Yeah, I know, it's strange they both go at the same time.... but anyway, Thursday was scott free . Remember the transit time is about 36 hours, and so .. .  that brings us to today. We started trying after breakfast for short periods of time. Try - then exercise, then try, then water, then try then exercise.... NO GO! Buster caught onto the "game" and rushed to get his shoes and coat on and headed outside by himself directly after being let off the pot and in 5 minutes he had started to fill his pants. I caught him and he was NOT happy. We endured a very trying time in the process of the clean-up. We knew he had not finished the job so it was on and off for longer periods of time ALL day. Missy never did go. Her belly is distended and hard. She's gassy and miserable - but she won't go. What to do! We've done prune juice and hot drinks and cherry shake and pumpkin bran muffins. It's just nuts.

We've all spent so much time in the bathroom that we feel a little disoriented and out of touch.


Little Missy keeps asking me a startling question.

"Momma, are you old?"

EH? What'd you say????

Is it because she talks so softly and unclearly that I can never hear what she's saying and she figures I'm so old I'm deaf?

Maybe so, but  the question always comes right after I've told her she can't help with something, as in, -Your too little for this job so I'll take care of it.

"Momma, are you old?"

"Yes, dear! And with you two around I'm sure to be ancient soon."

Steve brought out a box of hair dye. He's offering to do the job for me . . .

Just call me Grandma.... sigh....


Little Guy has made some noticeable improvements in his eating habits. He's now eating canned and frozen fruit and jams and fruit sauces. He likes bananas a lot now. Apples are still a no go, but he's  eating green beans and soft veggies and he hasn't gagged and thrown up at the table in awhile. I always put a little of everything on his plate. If he wants a graham cracker or desert or a treat after the meal he must clean off his plate and he always does without too much ado after the initial "I like that  NO!!!!!"  so I'm most certain that flavors are not an issue with him. It's textures that cause him grief. Speaking to the Speech Therapist about that she commented that this is something that shows up in kids that have been on the bottle too long. He was five and still drinking from a bottle. Probably never had much experience with a variety of foods where he came from and he needs to actually learn to chew, and swallow and deal with different foods. I see huge improvement. He still swallows everything whole. We were at a dinner where they used candies for decorations on the table. Missy asked for one and I agreed. Buster asked for one and I said, "no". Steve wasn't thinking and asked, "why not?"
 "Because I think he'll choke on it."
But Steve thought I was being unfair - to say nothing of Little Guy's feeling about my decision so I relented. In 5 seconds he was seriously choking and a great whack on the back from Steve dislodged the pretty offender right across the table.

He has always choked on lettuce leaves and acts like he hates salad. Yesterday I made a huge Asian salad with all the bright colors of purple cabbage, orange peppers, red tomatoes, green cilantro, etc... and rice noodles with dressing. Yummmm it was so good! I put a tiny little bit on Buster's plate and more on his sister's. He was almost offended. "I want lots and lots of salad!!"
Okay - so that's a first!!!!!!!And miracles of miracles he asked for more and he ate every bite, too.

Popsicle are  hilarious to feed these twins. They don't know what to do with the cold. They eat it as fast as they can then run to their bedroom, throw themselves on their beds and pout until their mouths thaw out.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Here is the Patience of a Saint.....

She has unending patience.
What a blessing!

Speech Today

The children's memory verse for this week is:
I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say. Exodus 4:12

I claim this as a promise. We went to speech today and while discussing Little Boy's slow word recall and speech the teacher suggested that he may never improve in that area. That only time would tell.
My mind went back to the memory verse and  I decided it was God ordained that we should be learning this verse this very week, so I came home and looked up the context and here it is.

Then Moses said to the LORD, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” 
So the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD? 
Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.”

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

TMI .... A Morning in the Life Of ...

I heard the kids talking and playing in their room around 6:45. As soon as I know they are awake I like to send them to the bathroom to remove their nighttime diapers and to put on their underwear. I was a little surprised to find that Missy's diaper was soiled a bit already. It could only mean one thing - that she needed to "go", so, even though it was out of our routine I asked her to sit. Of course, being out of routine is "not acceptable" but, I hung tough and she had no choice but to abide. Vanessa came to the rescue with a little table and some Polly pocket toys and she even sat down and played with her for a bit. We are trying to stimulate imagination and conversation through this kind of play.  It's town day. Vanessa couldn't play forever, so she left her to play by herself eventually. She was not happy about that and broke both arms off of one of the dolls and I proceeded to remove the toys which started the howling. I offered her drinks and told her she could not get off until she could produce. Finally she did; two rabbit pellets.

Meanwhile, brother was well into the morning routine of quiet time on the couch while breakfast was being made. We were out of bread so I was a bit concerned about making sure the kiddos had enough to eat to hold them for awhile.  I did not restrict anything and Little Miss launched herself into a good tummy ache. Live and learn....

Directly after breakfast I sent both kids to go potty and I was already two steps behind. Both had begun to soil their pants. There was a whole lot of screaming and crying and I quickly removed any and all objects within arm's reach of the toilet. I must have missed the plastic cup in Buster's bathroom because it went sailing through the air and hit the door just as I closed it.  My response was instant. We will not allow throwing, kicking or banging with the fists.

The house was in a whirlwind of three girls preparing to leave for classes and two kids on the commodes screaming. I was grateful a friend had called and offered to drive the girls so I wouldn't have to leave so early. Her daughter takes the same classes as my girls. Once the girls left, I concentrated on the two who were calming down a bit.

It's hard. You can't force someone to go poop. You can't force yourself to go poop if your body isn't ready, but I've been at this for 8 solid weeks. I KNEW they both needed to go or they wouldn't be soiling every little while. One can't poop when uptight and screaming, either. I was prepared to WAIT!!! And wait we did. I offered plenty of liquids and balloons and talked and cajoled and encouraged forever. They gave a marble or two. Finally I told them to work on it while I got the laundry going.  I folded three dryer loads piling up to the ceiling and finally they produced enough to say they had tried and I showered them, had them dress and make their beds and prepared to leave for town. It was 11 AM.  We were already late. Where did the morning go?

Ummmm..... wait a second. What's that smell?

You have got to be kidding!

Groan. BOTH. They both had soiled their pants in the time it takes to make a bed. We'd wasted the whole morning trying to avoid this and here we were at square one.

Accompanied by tantrums we started all over again. I got right in Buster's face - made him look in my eye and I asked, "Are you mad at me?"


" I didn't poop in your pants, did I?"


"Who did?"


"So why are you mad at me?"

"I donno....."

The steam was gone. And I told both children that there was no use bawling it wouldn't change a thing. We wouldn't be going to town until they drank their water and pooped a BIG one.

I hastened to clean the house and me-oh-my it surely needed it. Obviously, I couldn't stray far from the bathrooms so there's this obvious line of how far I could go... the rest is disastrous.

Missy started her usual, "Mommy, I done!" cycle which repeats every three seconds. I came back and told her that I would not be answering because we would not be done until she drank her water and pooped. Amazingly she quit and all was quiet as I vacuumed.  It helped to do something loud :-) I can only sit in the bathroom encouraging for so long. They were not willing to try and so, I left them to themselves for awhile saying, "The Lord was good to me today and gave me lots of time, so we aren't going anywhere until we are through...."

A few minutes later the house began to stink and I knew the battle was over. BOTH children had finally given up the control and pooped the leg of a chair. We cleaned up and re-dressed and buckled up in the car.

It was noon.

Overheard at Our House

"Morrow, I NOT pee or poop in the pants. I not wet this diaper (nighttime pull-up). I will keep it dry all NIGHT!"

...... this was Little Missy, of course. She was giving herself a talking to after spending the evening watching the big girls go swimming at the pool where only potty trained kids are allowed to swim. Both kiddos sat down to watch with great excitement and both promptly peed their pants!

Monday, May 3, 2010


Everytime he was told to go potty yesterday Little Boy didn't even blink an eye. He never even cried. The girls and I were in shock.

What made the difference?
Did he just give up?
Or was it that dumb Princess and the Potty book that he's been dragging around the last couple of days?
Or did he embarrass himself really good when he pooped a big job in his pants when he was playing with his friends after church ? It was embarrassing - but not for me. "Sorry guys, this is what having these kids is all about." The woman's bathroom had to be barricaded and the underwear thrown out. Everyone had to know what was going on and we weren't even at our church. My children's choir had put on a program in nearby town and the entire choir - age 6 -12, were having a grand time playing outside after the fellowship meal when Buster Brown pooped. Did he care? I don't know. Is he even concerned about what others think? I don't know.

I know one thing for sure and that is I will expect him to resume the fight at any moment. Every step of progress seems to go backwards for a time and then the next step is incrementally a bit further ahead.  I just know I enjoyed yesterday very much. It was fun to be able to work in the garden with them and to teach them how to dig up earthworms. It was enjoyable watching them play with the ducks and the rabbits. I loved watching him ride his bike knowing that he wouldn't be a putrid mess any minute because he had not fought the toilet and had done his job.

I'm praying for these kiddos. God has a plan for them. I need extra grace and patience to teach them, though.