Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wait! Those are my children, sitting quietly?

After much searching I think I have finally found a regular church for us to attend. It's very small (very very small), and they do not have a childrens church during the regular service. The children attend the adult service. The Pastor prefers the children be in there, he likes them to be there and doesn't mind if they make a little noise or walk around. The thing is, they have never met my little children (insert Jaws theme music). I haven't yet had the little girls come with me to a church service. They will be attending with us for the first time on October 18th.

I was a little stressed out about how they would be acting in the church. They do not like to sit for very long, and they certainly are not quiet. I found a couple of stay at home mom blogs where they discussed training kids to sit in church. It's self control training and listening training. The term is "blanket training".

I researched blanket training and there are several ways this can be done. This is what we have done so far. We picked special blankets for blanket quiet time. We went over the rules.
1. When you sit on this blanket you have to stay on the blanket and stay quiet. (quiet means not screaming or yelling, it doesn't mean not uttering any sound)
2. You must stay here until the timer goes off or Mommy says to get up.
3. If you leave the blanket you don't get your treat.
4. You may have a book or a toy to play with quietly while you sit.

I made sure I talked in an excited voice so that they understood this was a nice fun game, and if they followed all the instructions they would get a candy treat after.

The instructions were to start the kids off with 5 minutes a few times a day then gradually increase in increments until they can sit on a blanket and play quietly for a longer period of time. Yeah right, I'm thinking. My kids will never ever do this.

We started off our first day with 5 blanket time sessions of 5 minutes each. They actually sat there quietly for the entire time. The next day we moved it up to 10 & 15 minutes. Still quietly. I tried out a 20 minute blanket time so I could shower. AMAZING! Now after less than a weeks time, they can sit there for up to 30 minutes quietly with their toy or book.

One mom described this as her play pen in a purse. The blanket can be taken anywhere and used whenever, and they know that if they are sitting on this blanket they must follow the blanket rules. We even took the blankets to the store with us and put them in the shopping cart. Usually, they are climbing in and out of the cart, from front to back, riding on the bottom etc. I placed one blanket in the back and one in the seat of the cart. They sat the whole time and read their books, and didn't once climb out. AMAZING AGAIN!

This may not be any big deal to some, but if E and J were your children, you would understand. Hopefully by the 18th when I take them to the service they will be able to sit most of the hour without disrupting.

I also read about teaching and training children to listen to instructions the first time and act immediatley. I read about an obedience game and we started to play. They love this game. First I give them a fun instruction and they, are supposed to say "Yes ma'am, it would be my pleasure" They say, treasure instead of pleasure, it's cute. Their instructions may be to go touch the bedroom door and count to 5 and then come right back. No chores or cleaning up is done during the game. It's still to teach them to do what they have just been asked to do. When they come back form completing the task they get tons of cheering and hugs and kisses. Emily and Julia are LOVING THIS GAME. While we are not playing the game I have asked them to do little things like put their shoes in the shoe box, and they go and do it right away.

In less than a week, these little monster children are calmer, quieter, they have been asking for things instead of scaling the fridge to get the stuff on top. They have had more self control and have not been terrorizing everything. I have been less stressed and it's been a lot more fun. They enjoy all the extra praise and games.

Adam noticed a change in then just after the first day. He has been totally impressed.

Here is the website for our new church.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

J's First Emergency Room Trip

Today we had our very first emergency room trip for J. With as brave and daring as these little twins are, I'm surprised we haven't and any before this.

I had just made the girls popcorn, and put it in a large mixing bowl, as soon as I set the bowl down J tried to pick it up. I told her not to carry the bowl and just sit at the table and eat it. Then I went into the hallway to switch the laundry over.

Of course as soon as I am starting a new load of laundry I hear the bowl hit the ground in the living room and then J screaming. Irritated, because I just told her not to pick it up, I went to get her. I picked her up to give her a lecture and saw the bridge of her nose was split open and bleeding. I inspected a little and decided this probably needed stiches. It looked like she hit it on the corner of the coffee table. I started to have some anxiety as things raced through my head.

Who do I call first?

K and A need to be picked up in an hour and a half. Do I call their friends mom? My mom?

Where do I go? Urgent Care? Emergency?

Get in the car and drive and then call?

E said "J need to go to the Dr." and she started to walk outside to the car. Such a smart kid.

Things couldn't have gone smoother.

I called Adam first, and he said he'd leave work right away. Then I called my mom, who just happened to have the day off today, to come get K and A from school. And finally got on the phone with Kaiser, they advised me to go to Walnut Creek Emergency. I called my best friend "D" on the way to WC and she was sweet enough to let me drop E off at her house on the way. E was totally excited when we got there and went with D no problem. I was worried because she is my clingy Mama's girl. Whew! I then rushed to the hospital.

My car was totally, gas light on out of gas, yesterday. I wasn't planning on filling up until today when I went grocery shopping. For some reason, I stopped real quick and put gas in yesterday. THANK GOD!

The ER at Walnut Creek Kaiser, was wonderful. They were so nice, it was clean and there weren't a bunch of weirdos hanging all over the place. They triaged her and took her right in. The nurse said she'd need at least a stitch. She was feeling a lot better by then and wanted to run around. She was quite entertained by the rubber glove balloon I made. Adam made it there in time. And the surgeon came in to fix her up.

The Dr. was worried about her squirming around so they wrapped her like a little burrito in a sheet and had a nurse hold her head steady. The surgeon decided to glue her instead of stitch her. He said it's a medical grade super glue. She was so good while they worked on her. She didn't move or cry or squirm. She closed her eyes and stayed real still. She was such a tough cookie. I was so proud of her.

As soon as they said she was done, she hopped right up and said "Yay, now we can go to D's house and play with E and the boys".

Here she is all patched up with her glove balloon.

God must have given mothers very strong hearts, otherwise we'd be dead from the frequent heart attacks children give us.

ARCHIVES: All the "twin" questions answered!

I posted this a long time ago on a myspace blog. I thought I'd dig it out and post it, because I still get asked some pretty stupid questions while I'm out. People need to think before they speak.

I've been a mother of twins for almost 11 years now. Over the years I have heard some of the most rediculous questions/comments. Well, add a second set of twins to our freak show and the questions get, well, annoying. I wonder if one thinks before they ask a question. Do they walk away thinking, "wow that was a dumb question, why did I say that?" Do they ponder all night about being a moron? Now don't get me wrong, some questions are normal, ie: are they identical? how old are they? etc. But some just baffle me!!!

All of your "TWIN" questions/comments answered. Some of these are answers I only wish I could give.

1. Are they twins? No. it was 2 for one day at the hospital. DUH!!!
2. Are they a boy and a girl? Um. 2 PINK blankets, dresses and bows in their hair. Hmmmm. That's a tough one.
3. You have your hands full!!! YOU THINK?
4. I'm glad I'm not you! ME TOO
5. Did you use fertility? Nope sure didn't. These are the result of drinking way too much beer. But, if we had used fertility, would it matter? This is actually a really rude question to ask someone.
6. Do twins run in your family? Actually there was one set, 80 years ago, they were fraternal ours are identical and identical twins are not genetic. (the every other generation thing is a myth)
7. Do twins run in your husbands family? I'm generally puzzled by this question. Twins are determined by the mothers, not the father. Fathers have no control over how many eggs are dropped during ovulation. And they have no control over a egg splitting.
8. (a day without the kids) Wow you have identical twins? Do they really look alike? *sigh* Actually, they look, well, IDENTICAL.
9. Which one is the good one? You watch way too many Lifetime movies.
10. Which one is the evil one? Which one of your children is the evil one?
11. Do they have their own language? Yes, boths sets did. It's quite cute actually, though I have no idea what they are saying, but they certainly do.
12. (someone said this to my mother) WOW!! You don't look old enough to be a Grandmother let alone a Grandmother to Twins!!! My forehead still hurts.
13. How do you do it? Well, just like you actually, but everything you do, has to be done again.
14. (just walked up and said) Vaginal or C-section? Quite taken back by this. How does one just say "vaginal" in the middle of a crowded store? And why do you care, they are out aren't they?
15. Which one is older? K is 31 mins older than A, and J is 1 min older than E.
16. Can they hear one anothers thoughts? Feel what the other one feels? I don't know (pinching Kiley), "August did you feel that?"
17. Are you planning on having more? I wonder why people care how many children you have or will have? If we get pregnant again, then yes, we will have more.
18. Oh I'm so glad you didn't give them rhyming names. I wonder what the response would have been if they did have rhyming names?
19. UH OH, Double Trouble. Wow, that was original.
20. Why don't you dress them alike? Why do you dress them alike? I can't win.
The next one takes the cake. I don't know if anyone will ever be able to top this one. And the Oscar goes to......
21. (loud) WOW!! YOU HAVE 2 SETS OF TWINS? DID YOU GUYS PLAN THAT? (she was serious).

Okay now, if you can think of any other strange/rude/stupid questions that I haven't covered. Please ask. I would love to add to my list.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Updates and changes

Adam took this picture. I just love it. I want to have it oil painted.

We survived our summer, barely. After all of our trips we were pretty vacationed out. Now that we are back to a semi-normal schedule we can relax. Um, not really. Since school has begun, I barely see K or A anymore.

The girls started middle school nearly a month ago. The excitement has quickly subsided. Two days a week they start school at 7:30 am and end at 2:30, the other days they start at 8:30, this followed by roughly 4 to 5 more hours of homework. This all lumped together with, daily chores, violin practice, soccer etc, where is our family time you ask? GONE! (more on this later)

E and J are growing so quickly. They are such a joy. They just amaze me daily. They are so sweet, so curious, so loving. They want to do and know everything. They have just started to make friends this year. They have befriended a little girl who is the same age as they are. The little girl has a sister the same age as K and A who is on their soccer team. Twice a week E and J get to play with their "fwiend" at the park. They are just so cute. This is the first interest they have shown in playing with other kids their own age. Usually they are more fascinated with older children.

I have been in the process of trying to find a home church for us. This is harder than one would think, when you have a few specific criteria that church should meet. I have visited a few in my area and have not found "the one" yet. I have two more in line for the next couple of weeks, that I'm hoping will end with one of them being the one for us. I've been lazy in not attending church weekly for sometime now and have decided I'm letting all my laziness go. K and A can't wait!

Finally, I've decided that 11 hours a day should be more than sufficient to properly educate my children. Am I wrong? The fact that they still need home teaching for 4-5 of those 11 hours, has me wondering why they need to be gone for the first 6-7? They are still little girls. They are having to endure way too much stress for a child. Don't get me wrong, my children are not coddled. They are hard working, taught to be independent and responsible. But, they are still, children.

I have been in prayer for a while for God to make it possible to homeschool them with a Christian curriculum. Since, I have been asking God for this, we have had an increase in jobs and money. Go figure. Ask and you shall receive right? YES! Adam has been called back to his full time job that he was laid off from 9 months ago. He still has work and clients, from his own business he started after being laid off. And, as I watch so many unemployed people not being able to find jobs, I have managed to get a part time night job. SWEET! So somewhere in all of this should be the $50.00 to $100.00 a month I need for the girls school curriculum. THANK YOU GOD! If you're interested in seeing what we hope to have be our new school, the link is below.

I myself have certification in supervising this particular curriculum. I attended the education classes and have my certificate. I used this curriculum while I was in high school for 2 years. 10th and 11th grades. Though, I still don't have my husband completely on board, but hopefully he will be soon.

I forgot I had this blog. haha. It's been busy here. I'm hoping to remember to write more often.

Thanks for reading all of my ramblings. HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY!
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