This has been such an eventful week. On the weekend we painted the large main room in our house. We painted it a color called "Light Incense." It is such a fitting color for the Clayton house. It is a light creamy, yellowish color. It lightened up the big room and we are pleased.
We have this little room that is supposed to be a dining room, but we use it as a play room. It sits open just off of our great room. We wanted to paint this room a different and more dramatic color as an accent to the rest of the house. We were torn on the color, because our kitchen also sits open to the main great room and it is green.
I diverge--this is such a first world problem. These are troubles of having an open floor plan and an ample home. It's not a huge house, but I feel it's enough that we could raise a large family here happily.
Anyhow, we chose a color for our little room called "Cork." It was a golden, bronzy color. It sort of reminded me of the gold one sees in reproduction Icons. One afternoon I painted the little room myself with a three year old and five year old apprentices. I swear I spent more time cleaning after them than I did painting. When my husband came home, he looked in the room and said it look orange. Then he got very grumpy. It did look orange. It had dried a very tangerine color. We had bought a sample paint and tested it on the wall. We did not know how we had made such a mistake. It was so overwhelming. It was just too much. We spent a couple days pondering what to do. We finally bought more "Light Incense." Everyone felt happy sand calm again. I guess we are just vanilla type people and that's okay.
I really want to but a few more large prints for our walls. But there are sooo many other things we need to purchase. Shoes, a new blanket, a carseat for the new baby, more cloth diapers, more homeschool materials…Someday. I know good things come to those who wait.
After a week of collecting supplies, I have finally begun the icon writing process. I have decided to do six copies of the same icon for our Godchildren and friends. It is simple and small so I am hoping to achieve this feat before Easter. It is my practice to send something to the Godchildren at Easter. This week I have gessoed my icons. Next week, I hope to get them traced and maybe paint the cartoon. I just need to keep moving on it and not get bogged down in the magnitude and length of the project.
I think I am doing all right on the New Year's Resolutions. Rome was not built in a day, right? I started working on icons. I sat outside for 1h30 today while the kids watched a movie for their quiet time and I just gessoed and prayed. It was nice. The kids have stopped watching T.V. first thing in the morning. So they are watching a lot less T.V. My answer to that was to simply get up early before them and wake myself up so that I was ready to make them breakfast and get them going on their morning activity. They have not seemed to miss it. I have not had as much patience with the children as I had hoped. It seems like I am always putting out fires and I am not always so quick on my feet to think of the best and calm resolution to whatever is going on. My kids seem to violate every BIG No-No behaviors daily. I do not know why they think their behavior is acceptable when I constantly remind them of how to be respectful. I constantly remind them of the golden rule to help them understand why their behavior is unacceptable. The big no-no's are biting, hitting, respecting each other's space and they are obsessed with saying the words for private parts and bodily functions (it's their toilet humor and they run around giggling). I have been praying more, but not like I had hoped in my resolution. I am working on it though. We have been eating better and that is largely due to not eating holiday food anymore. And I joined a gym, finally. I have had the membership a little over a week and I have gone five times. The kids love going and having a little play time outside the house too.
Now for kid updates:
Alex has fought me every morning on doing his home school lessons. He is so defiant. He wants to play. He wants to do anything, but his school work. I do not ask him to do much. I do not ask him to do something that is above his age. The lessons are enjoyable. Eventually, each morning he decides to sit down and he enjoys the work and gets it done quickly. Usually, I announce that if he does not want me to be his teacher and do his home school work, then he will have to go to public school six hours a day. He immediately straightens up and does the work. He definitely wants to do home school. But, why does he give me such hassle in the morning. One morning this week I was near tears. Home schooling just makes sense to me and we want this for our children. They say they want it too. But, I cannot go through this battle everyday. I know this is his personality. I have known that he is this intense since he was in the womb. I just need to find a way to work with him better. When I ask him to do his home school, I need him to sit down and do it. He is a great kid, loving and we really get along well, except he likes to be his own boss and I understand that. I just have to figure out how to let him be his own boss while still getting stuff done.
Kristiana gave up her pacifier this week. We were going to the store and I told her that she could pick out a special toy if she gave up her pacifier forever. She agreed. We packed up her pacis and went to the store. She picked her toy and paid for it with the pacis. From that moment on she understood that she was done with pacis. She did not ask for the pacifier the rest of the day. She did mention that she just wanted to see Annie's pacis at bed time. Then she went to be bed without any fuss. She has not tried to take Annie's paci like I expected either. She has been without it for days now and she is still fine. Although, we have heard a lot more screaming from this little girl lately. She has one less coping device and so when she gets frustrated, she just screams and screams. Her first reaction to anything that troubles her is to scream or whine. I am working hard to help her react by communicating her frustrations better . Poor baby girl still has fluid in her ear as well. The doctor's office has not called me back, but I am thinking she will be getting a tube in her ear very soon. This will probably help her communication and touchiness.
Annie thinks she is just as big as the other kids. It has been really amazing to see her blossom from baby to little girl. She has been sleeping in a big bed and sitting in a booster chair. She babbles at us like she is really talking. I say babble, but I am pretty sure she is trying to say real things. She definitely understands a lot of what we are saying to her. She plays like the other kids. When they sit down to color, she tries to color on paper too. I took her to a gymnastics gym free play and she did not want to play in the toddler area. She played with the big kids. She hung on the bar and swung. She toddled on the balance beam. They have a long trampoline to run on and she waited in line and ran down it. It was hilarious to see a baby act like a big kid and do it with skill. She wore me out. She is so sure-footed. But, this does not surprise me. Alex and Kristiana were just the same. When Kristiana was Annie's age she was scaling the big kid play ground with speed and agility.
Baby #4 is 25 weeks gestation and growing. I felt pretty good and STRONG this week, because I went to the gym. I am just as happy and excited about this baby as the rest, but I am more at ease with my 5 years and 4 babies worth of experience. In other news, Baby #4 has a name. We are pretty settled on it. It came to us very naturally as did the other kids. It is a name we have long considered and the right child has come along to receive it. I asked the kids what they would like to name the baby and after they came up with some silly names like, "Thunder Go Awesome," they asked me to list a few. After hearing the list, they picked one. They were pretty certain of the name choice. Once Alex makes up his mind, no one can change it. We are going to call our little girl, Lucy Macaria (St. Macarius and Greek for blessed). I really wanted her first name to be Macaria. But I could not sell my husband on it (or anyone else, but he's the only one who counts). We all love Lucy. Kristiana can't wait to call her Lulu.
Oh, was that too much to read? Well, I know some will just want to skip to this next part, and I don't blame you. A few snapshots from the week.
Look! We discovered how to get Alex to eat vegetables.
It's called, "Green Slime Smoothie." Alex saw it on Allrecipes.com while I was looking for recipes for our weekly menu.
He had to try it. It consists of strawberries, bananas, yogurt and spinach.
Two months ago, Alex was given a fast food kids meal toy (blue bird on the right) while I was at my insurance agent's office.
This week he asked if we could get more of these toys. They're called Dino Tots. He calls them Dino Tops, because they only have a top.
I said that I am sure the fast food place did not have the toys anymore. But we decided to make a TyrannoTot out of felt. I made the dino on the left one afternoon this week.
Here is proof that we painted our house and that Annie thinks she is older and bigger than she is.
She speedily, scaled this 8 foot ladder all by herself . Daddy spotted for safety measures.
But, she was so quick he almost did not get there in time for her to make it to the top. Crazy kid.