From a 5 year old’s perspective-

So, humbling can take different forms…

After our really busy weekend of travelling we were all pretty tired this morning.  We decided that the girls would stay home from school today to get a rest but Winnie really wanted to go.  I asked the other two if they wanted to go and they both agreed with me that it would be good to have a day at home, so we ended up sending Winnie to school by herself.

At supper time I asked Winnie if anyone at school had asked her where her sisters were today.  She said, “No, I just told them!”

“Oh, what did you tell them?” I asked.

“I just told them that Mommy asked my sisters if they wanted to go to school and they said no, they didn’t want to go, and I said ‘yes’, I did want to go.”

“Oh, really.  Hmm, did you mostly talk to kids, or did you tell that to some adults too?”

“Oh, it was mostly adults I told that to, Mommy.”

Way to cast my parenting skills in a great light, Winnie!  Ha.


"I want to be like that"

Our family traveled this weekend and stayed with a very special family for two nights.  They offered to host us and from the moment we walked in their door on Friday night we were welcomed with open arms.  It is no easy thing to host a family whom you’ve never met with four little kids.  The kids immediately dove into the totes of toys they had waiting for them and spent every free moment playing with little playmoblie people in a four story play house they had.

They spoiled us rotten with delicious meals, gifted us with boxes of classic books and school supplies, loaned us their GPS for the rest of our time here in Canada and listened patiently as we rambled on and on about ourselves ad nauseum.  

After we got back home tonight the girls discovered a bag of playmobile people and furniture that they sent home with us.

“They are sooooooooooooooooooo sweet!” Winnie exclaimed over and over.  “I want to be like that,” she said.

So do I, Winnie.  So do I.

Q is for Q-B-doo-B

Q-B-doo-B, also known as Winnie on my blog, is the perfect thing to talk about for the letter Q.  Our third born, this little person adds so much sparkle to our home.  She loves turtles, silliness, scraps of paper, cuddles, paper, small little things, and … paper!

We just celebrated her 5th birthday last week.  Since she was our youngest for four years of her life she has many of the youngest characteristics- she loves to make people laugh and sometimes still acts a little like a baby.  And of course we treated her like our baby for four whole years so I’m not too surprised.  Sometimes I still have to scoop her up and cradle her in my arms when she’s walking by…  She’s so dinky that she still fits nicely in there.

Q-B-doo-B is very unique.  She will play quietly by herself for hours, making up little games with little toys or scraps of paper (have I mentioned the paper yet?).  She is left handed and often writes perfectly backwards and mirror-image from right to left although she is able to write forwards and properly as well.  I’ve wondered about that sometimes but she just tells me she likes to do it the other way more.  

We just love our little girl and are so thankful she is a part of our family.

Winnie playing a game she made up-  I’d try to explain, but it was complicated. 🙂

(For some reason the photo uploader on blogger has been doing this to my pics lately.)

Drawing with Winnie and Button

Me: What are you drawing, Winnie, a T.V.?
Winnie: No.  They aren’t the same, Mommy.
She draws two examples on the whiteboard.  One has a big screen that fills the whole box.
Winnie: Here’s the T.V.
The second drawing has a tiny little box screen atop two dials.
Winnie: THAT’s a television, Mommy.

Then Button explains how it is done.
Button: See, Mommy, first you draw a foreshortened square, like this.
I looked at her with a funny look on my face.
Me: A what??
Button: A foreshortened square!
She rhymes it off like everyone and their dog should know such a common word.

Sadly, Winnie swiped the board with that eraser you see in her hand just as I was going to take the picture.  But you can still see Button’s version of the “television” along with a table Winnie drew with a plate on it.  If you look closely you will see a banana on the plate.

The book the girls are using for their drawing lessons is in the picture, given to us as a resource by a friend here.

The Saga of the Glasses

Some of you may be wondering what’s up with Winnie’s eyes. After all, it isn’t too often you see a tiny girl sporting some specs.
It all began in February when my mom noticed Winnie’s eye crossing in some pictures I had put up on facebook. I had never noticed it. I started looking back through pictures and sure enough, it did look like her eye was crossing a little.
I had no clue about crossing eyes but I made an appointment at an eye clinic near us. Sure enough, the doctor noticed it too and also discovered that Winnie wasn’t really using her weak eye to see. It was as if her brain just turned that eye off since it was only delivering a confusing double vision picture of everything she looked at. She also is farsighted, which is not uncommon in small children. The doctor wrote the conditions on a slip of paper for me to take home:
1. Esotropia- Accommodative esotropia
2. Amblyopia, or lazy eye
I walked out of the office with a prescription for eye glasses for my little 3 year old and a sinking feeling in my heart. I hadn’t gone in thinking that she’d have to wear glasses. I don’t really know what I had been thinking, but I suppose I had anticipated something along the lines of, “Oh, she’ll just outgrow that. It’s no big deal.” But here I was, looking for glasses for my little girl and it really was a big deal.
The prices were what I considered to be outrageous at the first store we visited. They had a very nice pair of Swissflex glasses with ‘C’ ear pieces that hook around the child’s ear to keep the glasses on. They are also designed to be virtually unbreakable. Pshhh. No way was I going to fork over North American prices when Dennis had been able to purchase a pair of glasses for himself for about $65. So I looked around at all the other stores at that mall and finally found a cute little pair of yellow glasses that cost what I was willing to pay. I bought them and they were ready to pick up the very next day.
They were so cute on her but I couldn’t help thinking as we walked through the mall that my cute little girl’s face was now covered up by an ugly pair of glasses. I felt like all people could see were those glasses. It was all I could see.
The very first Sunday she wore her glasses to church someone stepped on them. They got scratched and slightly bent. That next week they started slipping down her nose. I started nagging her to push her glasses up. She’d look at me over the top of them.
I took her in to get the glasses adjusted. It took a long time and they still didn’t stay on her nose. A few weeks later I took them to a different place, not the place where we had purchased them. They took forever and a day and finally told me, “Ma’am, these glasses aren’t made of the right plastic for adjusting.” I quietly left the store but was so frustrated that someone on this earth would even make a pair of glasses out of plastic that wasn’t good for adjusting. But it was true. The glasses were no better. They slipped, I nagged.
A month later, in March, we visited the doctor again. The doctor said that usually there is noticeable improvement in as many weeks as the child is old. But after 4 weeks there was no improvement and she prescribed a patch for my daughter to wear two hours each day. Now not only did my little girl have an ugly pair of glasses but she also had to wear a big patch part of the time. At least that is what I thought until one day I was walking through the mall and a girl about 8 or 9 years old ran past me. As she passed she looked up at me with one good eye; the other eye pointing in a different direction. She wasn’t wearing glasses. I felt so badly for her and was resolved to get over my pity party about Winnie.
At her appointment in April there wasn’t any more improvement. In fact, her eyes seemed to be getting worse. Her weak eye was still not being used even with the glasses on. The doctor gave us a stronger prescription and told us to continue the patching each day. She talked about the next step being surgery to tighten the muscles around Winnie’s weak eye.
We went in and got a different pair of glasses for Winnie. By this time I had done tons of research on the best frames for kids and knew what I wanted. I also knew by this time that the yellow pair were completely huge on Winnie and didn’t fit her properly at all. Somehow in their eagerness to make a sale none of the salespeople informed me, the naive mother, that the glasses I was picking out for my little girl were nearly 10 sizes too large.
It seemed like none of the stores carried the brands that I had researched. I looked all over the place and visited so many stores I lost count. I was frustrated and finally settled on a little wire pair from a place very close to our house- an ideal place for the inevitable adjustments.
Within a few weeks of getting her new pair of glasses they were met with an unfortunate incident involving a metal swivel stool, a flight of wooden stairs and a sister. They were unrecognizable. Twisted, missing lenses and screws. I nearly lost it. I spoke quietly to said child and waited for Dennis to get home to meet out the judgment.
We put Winnie back in the large, slippery yellow glasses and laid the shards of the “new” pair on my desk, preparing them for burial. Dennis decided to take them in to the glasses store for the final verdict. Who knew that frames damaged that badly could be repaired? I didn’t. Dennis returned triumphantly with an intact set of glasses.
A day later they were in pieces again. Apparently their tragic fall down the stairs had stripped the little screw completely. We tried unsuccessfully to put them back together but once again the slippery yellow frames came out and the shards of the metal pair lay on my desk. Dennis took them in again and discovered that they make teeny, tiny little nuts just for this sort of occasion.
The metal glasses have since stayed together but now they too slip down her nose. Oh. my.
Recently we visited the eye doctor again and this time Winnie’s eyes are finally showing slight improvement. We were thrilled.
Our childrens’ doctor suggested we take the older two girls in to get their eyes checked, too. Perhaps you will not be suprised to hear that when we discovered Squeaky needs to wear glasses for farsightedness, astigmatism and a slight lazy eye, I marched right into that very first store I had visited back when all of this began and ordered the fancy-shmancy pair. Yes, I did.

The Secret

Last Sunday the baby and I stayed home and the rest of the clan went to church. They ran into a friend there who was delighted to hear all about their new sister.

The girls talked and talked, but Winnie had one concern that she whispered into her Aunt Bee’s ear: “We won’t tell him about her belly button thing, will we?!?!”

Date with Daddy

Dennis took Winnie out for a little date to Krispy Kreme the other day while I took the other two girls to get a hair cut. He didn’t reveal anything about their conversation, but he did say that she happily drank all the juice and took one little nibble of her donut before asking Daddy to put it away for later. When I pulled the donut out of the fridge later she proceeded to lick all the icing off and declined the donut. Is this my child?