*Please Note* - I am about to be really stereotypical and make a huge assumption. I know this assumption is probably false, however I'm sticking with it for no real reason other than to make a cohesive blog post on Working Mama Wednesday.
Furthermore, I apologize to anyone who may be offended by this assumption. To make it better, let me first give a shout out to the Stay at Home Moms out there...granted not many of you have a 1, 2, 3, and 5 year old that you have to keep quiet while your hubby sleeps during the day, but nevetheless ya'll have a hard job. A good job, but in case you never hear it from a working mama, one that requires a lot of work.
End preparatory apology.
Being a working mama, I really look forward to the time I get to take off to spend non-stop time with my kiddos where they don't have to go to school/preschool and I don't have to go to work. In our home, these times are few and far between and are usually spent visiting family out of state, which doesn't really lend itself much to down time at home.
This holiday we've been able to use the last two weeks of the year at home as a family. We've spent as much time as we could with family traditions and lots of play (which also means lots of cleaning, hence the work).
This type of non-stop attention-to-kids doesn't happen often enough, therefore we've also used it to maximize those parenting things that take at-home attention. With 4 kids at these ages, there's quite a few things that need done that require this type of attention. I'd imagine that stay-at-home moms probably space these things out. They have more than 2 weeks of this type of time and I'd imagine would focus on 1 or 2 of these critical life-skill lessons at a time for sanity's sake.
I haven't had that option, so here's what we've attacked, all at the same time, over the past week.
2-Wheel Bike: Logan received a bicycle from Santa last year. It was a bike big enough to grow with him for a bit and he likes riding it and training wheels were helpful with that. He's now big enough and capable of riding the bike without the training wheels but we just haven't had the chance to spend enough time with him to learn at least in part because when we're in the front yard I have to make sure the 3 other kids are staying out of the street. Being home has given us countless naptimes where we've had the chance to go out and practice. As of yesterday, he could ride about half the length of our street by himself. A few more practice sessions and he'll always be a bike rider. So much fun.
Potty-training: Summer is just passed 2 and it felt (to us) like time to get her out of diapers. We bought a few pottys before her second birthday (when we still had #8 who was the same age) and have slowly gotten her used to the idea of going on the potty, but she hasn't really shown any interest. Knowing I wouldn't have a chance like this for a while, we decided to take it on and boy are we surprised. She's taken to it very well! She's even pooped on the potty several times. I bought regular training panties for her yesterday (instead of the pull-ups) hoping it will help us to the point where she doesn't like being wet. Here's hoping the rest of this goes naturally!
Big-Girl Bed: Summer has been in a crib - our only crib - since she came to us 17 months ago. When #10 came we had a decision to make - buy a toddler bed for Summer or another crib. We decided it would be less expensive to buy a toddler bed and since she's older than 2 it's a good time to move her to one. Here this - we were MORE than happy to have her in a crib and not so happy to begin the process of moving her to a bed. But we've done it. The first night she spent about 2 hours getting up, playing, doing everything but staying in her bed. It finally took daddy's spanks (3x) to keep her in bed. Last night it took 2 spanks and only about 45 minutes, so it looks like we're making progress!
Walking: #10 is a big boy who hasn't walked. He can walk by taking 2 or 3 steps at a time, but he doesn't prefer to walk at all. At 16 months old he weighs 30+ lbs and is about 3 feet tall (as big as our Summer). On top of his large size, there is some concern that he may have a physical reason for his delay, like a weak hip or something. Personally so far I believe he's just not received the right attention and with his size it's taken more effort to walk and he's learned to prefer crawling, but we'll see. In any case we've taken on the task of getting him to walk. Summer started walking last year on or around 12/23, so it seems a good time to teach a new kiddo to walk. Two nights ago we did it (well, he did). We were walking around and he wanted to get to his daddy who seems to hold the moon for him. So, he walked 7-8 steps to get there. After receiving huge praise for his accomplishment, he was done crawling and started walking everywhere. That was right before bed-time and I was worried he'd forget by the morning. Not so - he's been doing a great job really walking since. We have to keep working on it to build his strength and stability but overall he's doing great.
So far so good in our home for these kiddos.
This has made #9 uncomfortable. All the other kiddos are getting super praise for what they're accomplishing, but she isn't working on an obvious milestone at this time. This means we've got a 3 year old (who's the size of a 5 year old) telling us every time she walks "look at me I'm walking!" or everytime she goes to the bathroom "mommy I went tee-tee on the potty!". It's quite an experience, but we've taken it as a milestone for her - to learn that she's loved and cared for in our home regardless of her accomplishments (like folding the laundry). Sweet girl.
So that's what's going on in our home! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our home to yours.