Monday, March 29, 2010

Elbows and Daisies

I have been really busy lately. Several of my friends are pregnant so I have gotten on the ball and made a couple of gift sets, a couple more to go. Here's what I've got...

A matching quilt, pillow, and picture frame featuring the little engine that could.

It's for a baby whose gender will be unknown until birth. I thought it was good compromise, locomotives for boys, retro female heroine for a girl.

This started with the frame over a year ago - a way to salvage a book whose binding was falling a part. I cut out pictures and glued them to a craft-store cardboard picture frame.

A few months later I found the big fabric panel on the sale table at Hancocks. Cut in pieces it became the pillow (which I think looks BOUTIQUEFULLY AWESOME!), and the blanket. There were more squares of the story on the panel, but I didn't have enough of my red backing to accomodate it. The best part is that I didn't spend any MORE money on the little engine that could project. Even the batting is two large scraps from another baby quilt. I felt really proud to be so frugal.

And a hooded sweater and matching pink elephant for a baby girl that's due any day. In fact I wouldn't be surprised to drop by their house tomorrow and find a tiny new baby! The sweater was supposed to be newborn size, but my crocheting always comes out a little large. As you can see, Pinky enjoys hiding out in the hood. I love how the hood creates a wee bit of sailor collar in the front.

The pictures of Peter show his last curly-haired day.

We went home and I cut his hair.

It was awful. Peter did not want to be still, and I did not want to cut his hair.

Why, then did you cut it dear Liza dear Liza?

To get rid of the knots, and crying in the bathtub, and hotness dear Henry dear Henry.

At least, that all made sense 'til it was done.

Then I started crying. I cried on and off for the next eight hours. It was worst at night, and slightly better in the morning. Thankfully Peter still ACTS the same (don't laugh people, sometimes they DON'T act the same). I think I've gotten used to it after a week, but seeing these pictures still gives me a pang.

But Peter no longer screams in the bathtub while you pull at his tangles with a comb dear Liza dear Liza

Oh stuff it dear Henry dear Henry dear Henry

Peter gets lots of elbows. Sometimes he falls down and gets an elbow on his knee. Sometimes he and James play a little too roughly and he gets an elbow. Sometimes there is an elbow on his head. A few days ago he was really worried because I had an elbow on my head. It was just a little scab from a pimple, but he went on an on.

"Does your elbow hurt you mom?"

"No Pete, I'm okay."

"Your elbow is bleeding Mom?"

"No it's not."

and back to the beginning...

"Your elbow is hurting you Mom?"

Also there are a lot of oopey daisies. Any time Peter drops something it's "Oopey Daisy!"
If I drop something, "Oopey Daisy!"
If anyone drops anything (it's especially funny with Mark), we hear a tiny "oopey daisy!" issuing up from the floor.

I'm really struggling with James right now. He seems to be constantly arguing with me. Arguing is sort of a harsh term for what he does, but that's really what it boils down to. For everything I tell him, he has a reason why he should do it his way - so I explain why THAT reason won't work, then he has another reason, so I explain why THAT one won't work, and he'll have another reason. Usually by that point I explain why THAT one won't work in an angry voice and then raise my voice to get him to obey already.

That's on a good day. On a bad day I just get mad at the beginning and it saves time.

I hate being mad all the time.

James is also supersensitive and will burst into tears anytime I try to change anything. He was ready to fall apart over spelling homework today before he even started. On top of that he's really emotionally manipulative. I tried to patiently explain that with all his "reasoning" every time we asked him to do something, we were tired of listening to them - because it happens everytime! I tried to explain that if he would just go ahead and obey more often, then, when he had something he really really felt was important, then we could listen.

"You're never going to listen to me AGAIN!"

"No, no, it's just used up tonight, it will build back again - like health in a video game..." I wait for a minute for him to calm down.

"Do you understand James?"


That's when I got really angry. I was so tired I could hardly keep my eyes open. Obviously James was tired too, but we have told him again and again not to say that...

I mean what are we supposed to say back?

It immediately puts us in a position of wrongness...

"no no sweetie you're not a bad kid!"

I refuse to answer that sort of statement from him.

So I'm really sort of at a loss here. I feel like I have to walk on eggshells all the time around him (stop laughing Mom, I didn't think this would happen 'til he was a teenager), and I'm exhausted by his argueing.

So this blog isn't a complete downer, let me tell you about right now.

James has dutifully done spelling homework (tears averted), and is practicing the violin. He is a smart kid and he puts up with a lot from Peter.

I'm praying right now that God provides a way for James to have his own room. Sharing a room with a destructive two-year-old contributes a lot to his stress level. He has wonderful educational toys that he can never play with because there's no room for him to spread out with enough time to accomplish anything.

Now James has finished practicing violin, and Peter exclaims "Great Job James!" He's pretty cute even though he IS destructive.

That's all for now.

It sure is good to have our computer back.

Oh and pray for Mark, he has UIL band on Wednesday.


  1. Do you have an after picture of Peter's haircut? Hopefully you feel better about the experience now and are okay with posting it. He's a cute little boy, no matter how long his hair is!
    That's tough about the high emotions with James right now. It sounds exhausting. Hang in there! He's lucky to have such a compassionate mommy.

  2. Lissa, I LOVE the projects! The sweater is so cute; hoodies have become my favorite thing to wear. The color combination is great.
    Hopefully, here's an encouraging word (in the form of unsolicited advice) about an argumentative youngster. I had one of those, who shall remain nameless. And, here's how we dealt with it: explain in a calm time, before the storm, that any arguing with a parental figure will cost him something. And, then, we carried it through.
    "Why do have to do X?"
    "OK, now you are doing X and Y."
    "But, that's not right! I should only have to do X!"
    "OK, now you can do X and Y and Z as well."
    Repeat as necessary.
    Again and again. Until one day, the light bulb over his head went on.
    Eventually, James will catch on. But, the trick is to make it clear BEFORE you are in an argument.
    And, any time a kid says that he's a bad kid, use it as a great teaching time: Yep. We're all bad kids and that's why we have Jesus. When we repent, he forgives our sin and makes us right with Him. Yippeee!!!
    I apologize if this sounds like a "put your nickel in and get your gumball out" kind of response. I don't mean it that way at all. It takes repetition, resolve, and repentance on our parts as parents. Over and over again, just like our poor kids have to do!

  3. So cute Lissa! All your projects turned out adorably!

    I'm so sorry you're having trouble with James. I remember being the same way (having reasons for everything). I was always frustrated because I wasn't trying to be bad, I was just a thinker, and I THOUGHT I always had a good reason. Even more so, I got in trouble ALOT (like into HS) bc I wanted to explain (which sounds a lot like arguing) that I had good intentions, and wasn't TRYING to be bad.

    I don't have any grand advice, but I encourage you to know that you don't have to explain why your way is better. You can just say, "I've already thought about different ways to do this, and I've decided what to do.(Even if you don't like it, I'm the mom.) Do not tell me any other ideas, or then you WILL be in trouble."
    As for my explaining habit, it might've helped me chill out if someone had said,"I know you're trying to be good, and not trying to disobey. Now go do what I told you to do."