A Confession…

Yesterday, when I told you that Josiah won’t each much of anything, I mis-spoke. Because there is one thing he really does love to eat: butter. So what I should have said is, “won’t eat much of anything except butter”.

Preferably in stick form, and preferably slightly soft, like after Mommy has left it on the counter for a couple of hours to make it easier to use in the baking of cookies. Or even better, with wrapper off, and beautifully presented on a plate on the table, because it was supposed to be used as a spread for the dinner bread.

I have caught that sweet child of mine twice in the last three days hungrily gobbling up the better part of a whole stick of butter. So strange…

” ‘Ooot Dack”

which when translated for normal ears, means “fruit snack”…is the only name Josiah knows for construction vehicles. And all because he has grown accustomed to and fond of the little packaged fruit snacks from the grocery store with Bob the Builder’s various crew members inside. So now whenever we ride around town and spot a cement mixer, backhoe, or basic work truck, Josiah points excitedly and yells, “ooot dack, ooot dack!!!”. Unless of course it is a particularly large contruction vehicle, in which case he will very seriously add the qualifier, “BIG ooot dack!!!”.

Snuggle Buddies

Josiah the big two year-old seems determined to grow up as quickly as possible, and leave the trappings of babyhood behind. A few months back he started hollering each evening about sleeping in a big boy bed. Upon realizing that we were determined to keep him in his crib for awhile longer, he took matters into his own hands. And has now made it a habit to park himself in one of the big kids’ beds each evening when he knows it is time for him to go into his crib. His adoring big sibs think this is hilarious, and will usually play along by tucking him into their bed and kissing him goodnight, but often they jump into bed with him, and try to convince me how wonderful it would be to let him sleep with them “just for tonight”.

Last night, Josiah climbed into Abigail’s bed before I could even get his jammies on. As if to proactively communicate to me how serious he was about staying in her room. While he snuggled under her covers, and yelled “sleep!! bed!!” over and over, I got some pretty cute shots with the camera. Which should tell you what a great parent I am at this stage of things…while my child willfully disobeys and hollers at me, I smile and take pictures of him. Ah, how the mighty have fallen!

But now, since I have taken all these cute pictures, I must share a couple with you. Please note big sister’s cheerful new bedding which finally went on clearance at the same time as an additional 20% off promotional coupon was in my possession, so we were able to get a fantastic deal on it. How nice that after a year and a half in her ginormous bed, she now has bedding to fit it.

Here is the very cute but disobedient little boy:


Along with his mischievous partner in crime:


Giving Momma “The Fits”

I use this expression all the time in jest with my children when they are getting a bit out of control, joking with them that if they don’t settle down, they are surely going to “give their momma the fits”! but tonight I think Josiah actually did just this. Mind you, I don’t even know what “the fits” are, but they sound ominous, don’t you think?

Tonight, within the space of maybe 15 minutes Josiah caused two major upsets in the house, just as we were trying to get everyone peacefully into bed for the night. Now they are all tucked in and quiet, but my nerves feel a bit jittery.

For starters, our toddler, feeling the need for a drink of juice, opened the refrigerator, and attempted to get to the very large, very heavy tupperware container in which we mix and store our orange juice (we’ve switched to the frozen variety since the fresh has skyrocketed in price). Of course, the pitcher was much too heavy for Josiah and as he lifted it from the shelf, down it came, splashing juice everywhere both inside and outside the fridge. What a mess. While Daddy toted the offender away to have a “chat” with him, I cleaned up the aftermath.

Just a few minutes later, we were in the boys’ room getting them settled in bed. We opted to keep Josiah with us, since having him out of sight is a dangerous proposition these days. I had barely turned my back for a minute when I all of a sudden heard a soft whirring sound. And there was Josiah in trouble again: he’d managed to turn on an oscillating fan (which shouldn’t even be in the boys’ bedroom, let alone on a surface Josiah could actually reach on his own – Jonathan reports their babysitter moved it to their desktop last night b/c they were feeling warmish, but I hadn’t realized this yet, bad Mommy) and then get his chubby little fingers inside the wire cage which surrounds the rotating blades. Now that was a very scary sight. Using absolutely no restraint whatsoever, I screamed loudly, mostly out of sheer horror, which surely startled Josiah enough, but then followed it up with a couple of hand swats and some very serious scolding. Hopefully he will feel no desire to explore a fan again anytime soon.

As I sat there and held him afterward, so thankful he’d not been hurt, but still feeling very shaken, he looked into my eyes with his big brown ones, cradled my head in his pudgy hands, and asked quite seriously, “Mum….ad???” (which translated means, “Mom, sad?”). So even if he’s highly mischievous and into everything, we can at least say he’s also a deeply sensitive wee lad. Needless to say, I love this little guy oh so much, but I pray for the ability to safely parent him into adulthood. He doesn’t always make it easy!

That’s the WRONG Sink, Baby!!

Tonight after a really delightful evening of supper and visiting with dear friends, we were rushing the children through their bedtime routine, and there was a bit of backlog in the boys’ bathroom. While Nicolas had his turn at the sink, little Josiah hollered and pointed to his toothbrush, impatient to step up on the bathroom stool and brush his teeth (his favorite bedtime task).

Jay, hoping to get Josiah started on the process, handed him his toothbrush with only a little water on it, and Josey contentedly began to brush. Somewhere in the next minute or so both the parents lost track of what was happening in the bathroom. Nicolas, having finished his hand-washing, and tooth-brushing, was now filling his sippy cup with water, and was still (in Josiah’s mind, I guess) hogging the sink. From the baby’s point of view, perhaps he might never get a turn with the sink and faucet if circumstances were left up to the big people.

But I have to hand it to Josiah. Instead of bellowing and throwing a tantrum about the situation (which would be par for the course for our 23 month-old), he decided to figure out an alternative. After all, there is more than source of water in a bathroom…am I right??

And that is how I found him: leaning over the potty, dipping his brush into the nice big pool of water as far as his little chubby arm would allow, vigorously getting a good few brush strokes in, and then enthusiastically shoving that toothbrush back into the nasty, hadn’t been washed in almost two weeks toilet. Ugh.

Please, dear Readers, shudder and gag along with me, if you will!!

Living by Bread Alone!

All our offspring around the age of 18 months go from eating almost anything they are offered at table, to picking at their meal, and turning up their cute little noses at most foods they previously loved. It is a time of frustration for us as parents, as we fret that they are not eating in any sort of balanced fashion, and frankly, as the wee ones try their mommy’s and daddy’s patience time and time again till we are rather worn out.

Josiah, for instance, pretty much survives on wheat toast and goat’s milk. In his case, this disgust for all foods other than bread or milk quite obviously coincides with his “little” temper finally bursting forth and really showing itself in most every other situation he is put into ALL DAY LONG. From the battle at the breakfast table (in fact he is sitting right next to me yelling this very moment!), to the anger at my needing to change his diaper, to the crying himself to sleep…. every. single. nap time. and nighttime too.

All our kids, while not wonderful eaters, have responded well to our efforts to encourage them to form better eating habits, so I do not despair over Josiah’s finicky nature at all, at least at this stage. But I certainly look forward to helping him make progress in this area in the future. And let me encourage you that it would make my day, if when you are invited to my house to eat a meal, that you ooh and aah over whatever I feed you, and even perhaps beg for more! And I can promise you with certainty that I will not serve you wheat toast or goat’s milk.

Rub A Dub Dub…

three boys in a tub!

One of the features we love about our new house is the really great configuration of bedrooms/bathrooms, particularly well suited to our family, especially given the genders of our children. Two of the secondary bedrooms have what I believe is referred to as a “Hollywood Bath” between them (NOT Jack ‘n’ Jill, as I’d formerly called it – see, you learn something every day!). So, the room on one side houses our two bigger boys, and on the other side of the bathroom sits Josiah’s nursery. Now that he is big enough, all three of them love to take baths together in the “boy bathroom”, and play with lots of toys, and make lots of noise, and splash lots of water, and well, that is just what little boys do, as I’m learning. But after all the noise and water everywhere (including on Mommy and Daddy!) comes one of my favorite things as a parent – snuggling clean, sweet-smelling little boys in soft towels. Here is a shot of them having fun in their bathtub:


Wee Hours of the Morning Blog Post

I am up again in the early morning..the very early morning. Little Josiah continues to struggle with sleeping peacefully through the night, as he has rather frequently since the month of March. He will definitely win the prize among our children for “highest maintenance sleeper” in the early months of life. (Not counting the newborn months, the first six of which he slept like a little angel.)

We know that all of his ear infections (which started in March) months six through about twelve certainly contributed to wakefulness at night, as well as to an overall general destruction of the good sleep patterns he’d established up to that point. But those troubles have thus far been curbed with his ear tubes, and we are so thankful.

These latest issues at night appears to be nightmares or terrors of some sort – he wakes, and cannot be easily comforted by Mommy or Daddy, but cries and cries as if in distress, and acts scared until his attention can be otherwise focused. Allowing him to “cry it out” does not seem to work, as he can go on for hours, intermittently crying, trying to settle himself, only to burst out with wails again in another few minutes. Only time and patience appears to help…and just being in Mommy’s arms isn’t enough to necessarily calm him in the midst of one of these episodes. After managing to help him calm down tonight/this morning (?) I finally put him back to bed about 15 minutes ago, and he is back to a good cry again…but sadly, as with most of these incidents, it’s been over two hours since the crying began, with no obvious end in sight, and that’s a long time to be awake and upset.

So, here we are, trying our best to figure out how to help our little fourteen month old guy, first for his sake – he certainly needs more sleep than he is getting, and it is hard to watch him start to settle down only to “freak out” again and work himself back up to a state of high distress – and for the sake of his Mommy, who, given all the night-wakings, is once again feeling like she has a newborn…to say nothing of developing those attractive little circles under her eyes again just in time for Christmas!

If any of our dear readers has had a baby who struggled with something like this – where it was more than just waking every night to eat, or because they just hadn’t learned to sleep through the night – and if you found a helpful solution for your family, please feel free to chime in with any advice!

Good night, and sleep tight (I hope!)!

Our Baby Patient

We Hornes wouldn’t want things to get dull around here. It is not enough to buy a house, list another for sale, and keep it pristinely neat ALL THE TIME, run between both houses to meet workers of all types and sorts, spend countless hours on projects for the new place (which, have we mentioned, needs LOTS of love?!), prepare for our move at the end of the week, begin Nutcracker rehearsals, and keep up with all the “regular” things around here. No, this week we decided to add in surgery for Baby Josiah. It was this morning.

Josiah has suffered 9 ear infections since December, and after many attempts to curb these infections with every antibiotic known to pediatricians, as well as some alternative methods of treatment, we’ve had no success in putting an end to them. Finally we saw an ENT who prescribed tubes with no hesitation.

Though I’d hated the thought of tubes and the surgery (with general anesthesia) that goes with them, we became quite convinced this was the appropriate thing to do for our poor baby. His naps and nighttime sleep have been disrupted since March as he battles ear pain and increased pressure when he lays down. He’s as cheerful a baby as we’ve had by day, but at night he lets us know things are not going well.

He was so sweet all through the process this morning, and in between charming all the lovely nurses with his dimples and playing happily in his hospital crib, he modeled his little blue surgery gown for the camera. Isn’t he cute?!?!


He didn’t even cry when his anesthesiologist picked him up to carry him back for the procedure, though I must admit I certainly wanted to shed a few tears! After coming out of the anesthesia he was not happy at all, but some cuddling and feeding from Mommy seemed to comfort him.

We were home by 8:45am, and he was down for a good nap by 10am. I hope and pray his sleep will be more peaceful, and his ears healthier from here on out. How very thankful I am today for such good compassionate medical care for our baby boy.