Friday, February 4, 2011

Question and Answer: Part I

Q: Are there any specific things that your boys argue over (I'm sure they don't fight...) without names is the hierarchy an issue... do you have one specific grain of hopeful advice you wish to pass on to a mom, wrestling with boys.

A: I'm here scratching my head trying to think of something they DON'T fight over. Hmmm. Everything is a competition or a physical interaction. Sadly, the thing they fight over the most is who gets to pick the TV show they are going to watch, since there is only one TV. (Yeah, that should be an easy problem to solve.)

Since my boys are still young, I'm not sure I'm the one to ask for hopeful advice. {wry grin} How about: the personality traits that make successful adults aren't always the easiest to take in children, particularly boys. I console myself with that line often, so please don't burst my bubble.

On the positive side, I will say that my oldest son is a great big brother in that he is a 'the more the merrier' personality and needs 'subjects' and players for his imaginative ideas. The two younger guys are usually happy to play along. They are team players, but have fewer imaginative ideas of their own. For the most part, we don't seem to have hierarchy issues, but that is more due to the way the personalities are distributed, I think. Leif is a very capable little guy and Levi is happy to get interaction. If Leif were the oldest and Levi the youngest, we'd have problems.

Oh, I thought of something else positive. God has changed ME from a control-freak perfectionist to a slightly more relaxed/flexible human being who is much less judgemental of other parents than I would have been with three sweet, quiet, well-behaved daughters. Sort of like praying for patience. Sigh.

Q: I'd like to hear more about how you manage your boys. Mine are 2 and 4, and I can't believe how much physical violence I have to nip in the bud already. How have you tried to raise your lads to get along with each other? How do you encourage them to exhaust their aggressive impulses somewhere other than on each other? How much do you step in, and how do you discipline them when a line has been crossed? I figure you must have some wisdom to pass along in this department, or you would have been institutionalized by now.

A: Don't ask me today. An insane asylum sounds REALLY GOOD about now. I often wish to sit in a padded cell all by myself. In total silence. I find it easier to put up with their physical aggression than the noise. They are all tough boys who take turns instigating and no one boy gets the brunt of injuries, so they deserve what they have coming to them. (Don't I sound sympathetic?) I suppose I'd step in more often if they were less evenly matched.

But the noise. OH, THE NOISE!!!!!!!!! They all talk (LOUDLY) or make noises NON-STOP. Today, I would like to bury my head under the pillows and stay there. I can't. function.

When things get really crazy, I either have them go run around the outside of the house or send them to separate corners to read quietly. I really want to get them on swim team SOON so that they can use up their energy on exercise rather than on each other.

Q: My question has to do with photography...Specifically, how do you backup your photos? I back up to an external hard drive but keep looking at all of those online storage sites. I just keep thinking if we have a fire I could lose my computer and my backup and my prints all at once. Thoughts?


I also am curious to know about your photo backup procedure. I'm thinking of putting more stuff online that I want to remember about my kids (besides just pictures) in case of a fire or something. A lot of those memories would be gone (funny things they say, etc). I guess you could call it "Backing up their baby books".

A: Right now I have an external backup drive, but I don't use it often enough. My hubby bought a new backup device for me, but he started using it and now he doesn't want to give it to me. (Silly guy.) I REALLY need to get more of a procedure in place to protect all my photos. All the photos I post on my blog are also on Flickr, but they are in the format I use on my blog and a lower resolution than I'd use for printing. At least I'd have SOMETHING in case of fire, etc. I do think of my blog as a sort of scrapbook of our life, and feel good about having it stored online just in case. I probably won't be using an online storeage service for all my photos due to cost.

Q: Now this may sound funny, but in all serious, do you get to shower every day? I have three (6, 3 and 6 mos), and some days, I don't get a shower. I've stopped feeling bad about it. I brush my teeth, wash my face, comb my hair and move on.

A: Actually, I DO get a shower every day. I feel bleh all day if I don't and my hair looks awful (the bad part about having short hair that can't go in a ponytail). But, before you are highly impressed, let me assure you that it only means there are other things that don't happen. Like starting our day at a reasonable time. It also means that my boys watch TV almost every morning to keep them out of trouble while I'm showering. Sometimes they watch educational DVDs, but they also watch more than their fair share of mindless cartoons. It was much more difficult when the boys were younger (and in need of a constant watchful eye). I'd put Leif in the exersaucer to keep him from roaming around.

Q: 1. How did you meet your husband?

A: You can read the long story here. (Click on the link.) We went to high school together one year, but I didn't ever meet him there. We first met at the swimming pool where he was working. (I wasn't swimming, but that's part of the long story.) My friend knew a little bit about him and told me his story. The next day I told my mom I'd met the guy I was going to marry. I ended up on a double date with him (and my friend and his best friend) two months later. Three weeks later and we were talking about marriage. We got married nine months after we started dating. I was almost 22 and he was 25. This month marks our fifteenth anniversary!

2. What jobs have you had?

I picked strawberries when I was younger. I babysat and cleaned houses when I was in middle and high school. I picked elephant garlic and hoed something one summer (awful).

I started working at a dental office when I was thirteen. Worked there one or two days a week after school until I was a junior in high school and started working there full afternoons. A couple years later I started working full time at the dentist office and stayed until I got married and moved out of town.

While working at the dentist office, I worked part time at a department store (disliked) and then a small candy store/soda shop (loved). I also occasionally worked for a florist helping decorate for weddings.

After I was married, I worked a few months in the gift department of a pharmacy then worked for an oral surgeon surgeon for a few years. During those years, my sister, mom, and I opened our own gift shop. I stopped working at the oral surgeon's before getting pregnant with Levi. When Luke came along, I was no longer much help at the gift shop, either. Now parenting and teaching are full time jobs, but I manage to sneak in photo sessions here and there.

3. Do you like to make supper?

I really dislike it. If I had nothing else on the to-do list and could make things that *I* liked to eat (and everyone else ate it, too) I might enjoy it more. I'd much rather bake goodies.

4. Do you give your boys chores? If so, what are they?

Levi is the only one with set chores, mostly because his head is in the clouds and needs clear expectations. He always empties the dishwasher and takes the big garbage and recycling bins down our LONG driveway each week (and brings them up).

Luke is a natural helper. I can usually just ask him to do something and he is happy to do it. Levi was busy this morning, so I asked Luke to empty the dishwasher. He spent probably twenty minutes completely emptying out my disasterous flatware drawer and perfectly organizing it. He enjoys helping with laundry or meals.

Leif doesn't have specific chores, either, but I think he'll be good at them when he gets a little older. Both Luke and Leif are little shadows when any project is being done around the house, and they want to be involved.

(More Qs & As (mostly homeschooling) coming in another post. Stay tuned. Feel free to ask more questions if you think of them!)


Susan said...

Three quiet well behaved daughters! Totally laughing...I have three daughters...not quiet, not well behaved...well, getting better but we have our fair share of rumbles.

Pam Barnhill said...

Another photo bug here and a new blog reader. I have used Carbonite for the past three years. I have tons of photos in RAW and JPEG (big files) and it saves all of them for about $50 per year. I have never had to do a full recover, but have saved a few files later and the process was easy. Best part is I never have to think about it. First upload takes forever, but it is pretty seamless.

Laura at By the Bushel said...

Thank you so much!!! You gave me a 'line' to live by, 'the characteristics that make them (good) adults'. :)I still remember the photo of the boys in the grocery cart... Sometimes its just nice to hear that others face the same struggles, quite literally & physically, & NOISE level. Again, thanks!

Heidi said...

Susan~ :) I didn't mean to imply that ALL girls were quiet and well-behaved, just that if I had three like that I'd be awfully judgemental about parents of crazy boys, that's all. I grew up in a household with three not always quiet or well-behaved girls with varying personalities. My mom would still say there is a WORLD of difference between three girls and three boys, though they both have their challenges. :)

Pam~ I'll have to check into that. Thanks!

Laura~ Glad I could help. :)

Anonymous said...

Heidi, Thanks for sharing!! (Can't wait for the homeschooling Q and A, and by the way, when do you find the time to write at such length, on such a variety of topics and when does blogging become too other words...How do you balance the blogging with real life? And, you do not have to answer, just my thinking out loud :)
Also, I read your story and saw your pics from Feb '08 and I just have to say...Beautiful (your story and your pics) Beautiful!! Again, Thanks for sharing!
~C in Tualatin

Anonymous said...

Maybe this question has already been asked, but I'm really curious about the classical conversations. Is it just one day a week? What do you do the rest of the week? Is it costly? Could you give a breakdown of your day as far as homeschooling? Does the classical conversation have a curriculum and then do you follow that at home? Sorry, I just don't get it!