Notes from week three of parenting class.

1)Kids coming in to bed with you at night: Gently lead or carry them back to their bed. Stay outside the door until they are quiet. Open the door if asleep, and cover them. May have to repeat until child will stay in their own bed. Parents may have to take shifts.

2)Misbehavior in public: Take charge in loving way. May have to sit child in a safe place for “time out” until fit is over. If child doesn’t calm down, may have to hold child until calm, no matter how many people show disapproval.

3)Use enforceable statements: Use enforceable words. “If you don’t stop picking on your sister, you will go to your room”. Say what you mean and mean what you say. The only thing parents can control is how they react to a situation, cannot always control the child’s behavior. Must always follow through with the enforceable statement initiated.

4)Model behaviors you want kids to learn: Use excitement and joy when wanting kids to learn a behavior or act a certain way. You have to model that behavior. Kids copy things and learn more when not being preached to. Use this for everything from brushing teeth, to buckling seatbelt, to having fun with chores.

5)Potty training: Make it fun. Say things like, “Bye bye pee pee, you’re out of here!” when flushing the toilet. Let them flush the toilet.

6)Start kids helping with chores: Start them with chores as soon as they can walk. Model silly ways to have fun with chores. Example, “Die germs, die.” Get them to help take clothes out of dryer. Teach them to see how fast they can get the clothes out. Make a game out of it.

7)Explain morning routine on Sunday afternoon:   This is helpful at the start of a new school year or with a change in routine. For example, “The car leaves for school at 7:20 in the morning. This is what the clock will look like when it is time to leave.” Give them a 5 minute warning in the morning that it is almost that time.





John Luke and I came home for the weekend to see my mom “Babo” and step-dad “Papa” or “Poppy”.  I love going home, but there are always challenges.  Their house is on the Hiwasaee River with a 30 ft drop in the back yard, and they have a Koi fish pond in the front yard.  And nothing is baby proofed!

Saturday we went to a campaign breakfast for the local mayoral candidate in town (my family is very interested in politics).  We came home and let John Luke ride his four wheeler around the yard.  The neighbors dog “River” paid frequent visits, and at one point, took off with John Luke’s pacifier Ducky.   Having already lost his other pacifier Froggy, I had to run after River to fetch it.  John Luke thought we were chasing each other, and thought the whole thing was hilarious.

We took a drive Sunday along the Ocoee River, and watched some Kayaking and White Water Rafting.  We stopped at the Ocoee Dam Diner for lunch.  They had a pet rooster that paroled outside the restaurant for crumbs.  I asked the waitress if it just hung around all the time.  She said it was the owners and they hand fed him.

We are leaving tomorrow.  Josh said Maggie, our Lab, has been pouty and wondering around the house like she’s lost.  He thinks she’s missing the baby.

It’s been a good weekend at Grandma’s.  Then, it’s always good to get home and sleep in my own bed.



Grant has an imaginary friend named Camper.  Camper showed up this weekend and has apparently been on a number of adventures with Grant.   Grant’s stories typically start with the phrase “when I was a kid…”  He and Camper have gone to concerts together, sleep overs, and spent a lot of time playing together.  I asked what Camper looks like and he said that “Camper is another person.”

We are still working on potty training Grant.  I’ve come to the realization that he is fully capable, but just doesn’t care.  Some days he does very well and others are not so well.  When putting his underwear on I always remind him and ask him what it means when he’s wearing underwear.  Most of the time he says “Pee on potty.”  On Sunday, I guess he was tired of the question and answered with “Poop on a cracker.”  Sigh.

One day when Grant had an accident Maria replied, “Ohhhh, G.”

I wonder if Camper is potty trained?

Birth Orders





This week, I got curious about what it supposedly means to be at a certain spot in the birth order.  This fascinates me because none of my children will be where they were “supposed” to be.  Brae is the oldest in our family, and yet, he has an older half-sister.  Sienna will be the middle child in our family, and yet she is the youngest in her genetic family, with two older siblings.  This next Colton baby will be the youngest, and yet, if we had gone about creating a family in the “traditional” sense, he/she would have been the oldest.

According to some sites, this is what birth order means, and whether it rings true with my kiddos:

Oldest (Brae) — These siblings tend to:

1) Take responsibility for siblings (yes)
2) Get along with authority figures (does Mom and Dad count?)
3) Be high achievers (yes)
4) Need to feel right, perfect, or superior (yes)
5) Be the “good” kids who follow the rules and set examples for siblings (debatable)

Middle (Sienna) (this is a little unfair to her, because she doesn’t know yet she will soon be the middle child) — These siblings tend to:

1) Try to catch up to older child’s achievements (not really)
2) Try to be opposite of older child (yes)
3) Rebel to find their own place (yes)
4) Have the ability to get along with almost anyone (mostly, yes)
5) Have an easy going approach to life (yes)

Youngest (Colton baby) (perhaps a look into the future) — These siblings tend to:

1) Be spoiled (probably)
2) Be clever, self indulgent, and highly creative (sounds like Brae)
3) Be treated as the baby (oh, joy)
4) Suffer from low self esteem (oh, no)

An interesting caution I’ve seen given to parents is that when the second, third, etc. child comes along, there doesn’t seem to be as many pictures taken, videos, etc.  I raise my hand shamefully on this one.  I haven’t even taken a belly picture with this precious baby yet.  I know Sienna’s photos are also woefully behind her brothers (and yet, she’s also lived half a lifetime less than he has, so I can’t be too hard on myself).

I’m excited to see how our family takes shape and how each child’s personality develops.



There was a discussion on the an embryo adoption support regarding biological vs genetic parents and how EA moms define ourselves.  I have always felt that I am their biological mother in the sense that I carried them and my body/blood sustained them.  I know their DNA isn’t from me so I do not refer to them as my genetic children.  We refer to the donor family as the genetic family and not the biological family.

Through that discussion there was an article posted about how genes can be impacted even if a child is not with their genetic family.  In essence, the environment that someone is in determines how genes are expressed.  Grant and Maria are who they are down to the genetic level because of Jeremy and me.  Fascinating stuff.