Our Five Ring Circus: April 2015

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Busyness, Parties, and Sickness...AKA: Life Lately

I am currently in the season of life where everything flies by in a whirlwind.

My days are nonstop, and I don't slow down until I pass out in the wee hours of the night.  I race through my days attempting to meet every single need, make it to every single appointment/commitment on time, and check things off my rapidly expanding to do list.  There is NO TIME left over.

I know this is just a season, and seasons change. Right now, my life can only be described as constant busyness!  As tiring and overwhelming as it can often be, I love this life.  I'm not quite sure what I will do with myself when I do get a break!

Grant is just as busy.  Work is overwhelming right now, and he has a long commute to and from his office.  I swear, his coworkers get to see him more than we do!!!  When he's home, there are so many projects we need to tackle, but we just don't want to spend our time working!

Dylan got his stitches out on Friday.  It was rough!  His doctor had a hard time getting them out, and Dylan ended up getting woozy.  He spent a good half hour laying down on the exam table after they were taken out.

We're at the doctor to get his stitches removed. He isn't thrilled about it, but at least we all got to sleep in!

Of course, he deserved a donut after that experience!

Poor dude almost fainted after getting his stitches out. The doctor had to tug and pull to get them out, and his head immediately started pounding and he got dizzy. He deserved a donut after that ordeal!

Dylan stays after school once a week for choir. He enjoys it, and is considering starting an instrument next year. Thankfully, I missed the deadline for signing him up for baseball, because he isn't allowed to play sports for a few weeks while his knee heals! He's very excited to start basketball in the Fall, though!

Lexie is doing great!  She is so smart and creative. Second grade really agrees with her.  She loves her teacher and friends, and is getting straight A's.  She works hard and hasn't missed a single day of school.  I offered to let her stay home today because she was complaining of a scratchy throat, and she refused.  She actually wanted to go to school!  We can't seem to get her to commit to a sport or activity right now.  She keeps changing her mind. She loves singing and musical theater, so Grant and I are really hoping she follows in our footsteps.  For now, I'm hoping she settles on something by Fall!

Lily spends her days at home with Liam and I. She attends Storytime at the library once a week and LOVES it. She goes in by herself, so I have a feeling she's going to adapt well to Pre-K.  She's currently trying to decide between gymnastics and ballet for the Fall.  The two of us have been working on a lot of fun projects together! We'll be sharing more of those soon!

Liam is currently sick with a cold.  He got a really high fever on Sunday evening, which lasted 24 hours, then the cold symptoms showed up.  Other than congestion and a runny nose, he's finally starting to feel better!  I'm so glad, because he was miserable for those 24 hours!


His speech is really taking off and he's starting to take more unassisted steps.  He's just so happy and so sweet.  He is such a joy to live with!

We're currently trying to plan our summer vacation!  Due to some unseen circumstances (a job change, another job change, a pregnancy), we were unable to go for the past two years.  We're so excited to end our summer with a week at the beach!

Finally, we celebrated the 4th birthday of our sweet friend, Charlie, over the weekend!


I didn't take many pictures, and have none of the older kids, but it was because we were too busy having fun!  Our friends are like family to us, and we are so thankful for all of them!  Four is off to a good start for Charlie!


As the saying goes, if your kids are TOO quiet, expect trouble!

AND it only took me 14 hours to finish this post!  That's a wrap!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Lying Game

As a mom of four kids, I quickly learned that dealing with lies is just part of the parenting game.

We don't want to deal with it and we fully believe that our beautiful, innocent babies will NEVER tell a lie, but guess what?  It happens. That's just the harsh reality of parenting.

Sometimes you don't even realize your precious child is lying, but other times, it is blatantly obvious.

Case in point: My oh-so-innocent 3 1/2 year old recently told her first lie, after I discovered she dumped out an entire bin of toys just before we left the house.  When I asked her why she did it, she told me she wasn't the one who did it.  She told an elaborate story about how her friends came to our house while I was in the bathroom for THIRTY SECONDS, dumped out the bin, and left.  Her face was so serious that I was almost convinced she fully believed that was what happened. Unfortunately, she found herself picking up toys, which made us late for her playdate.  Lesson learned.  At least, I hope.

I later found myself laughing about it as I shared the story with my friends, but the important thing was that there was a consequence for her actions.  It's still hard to believe my sweet little girl would ever lie!


At age 8, Lexie doesn't lie much.  When she does tell a lie, it's usually just a partial truth with a few omitted facts, usually in the form of tattling.  She always comes clean!  

We can tell when Lexie is lying.  The guilt shows on her face and is evident in her voice. All it takes is one repeat question of "Are you SURE that's what happened?" and she spills the beans.  We always thank her for telling the truth, but she knows she will get a small consequence. We're always very reasonable with her, and she admits that she understands wrongful actions result in a consequence.  She really is a good kid.  She better stay that way as she grows! 

171 copy

Dylan is 10 years old now.  We're walking on that rocky slope of parenting a tween.  He is still a very sweet, polite, well-behaved boy, but every so often a "harmless" lie will slip out to cover up his poor choices. 

He recently had a book report due that was half of his grade.  He had a month to read the book and write the report, and I thought he was doing a good job. He reads at a reading level much higher than his grade, and enjoys reading.  I wasn't worried at all, but I regularly checked his progress and made him write down a recap of every chapter after he read it.  

When it came time to type up the book report, I read through the final written draft, then skimmed through the chapters to check his work.  What I discovered was that he picked out ONE sentence from each chapter and expanded on it, even if it wasn't entirely accurate.  

I was FURIOUS!  I know it was his very first book report, but his work was lazy. We immediately canceled all Friday night plans and I made him redo the entire report. I sat by his side as we went over every single chapter and wrote a proper recap.  While I do believe that he didn't quite understand just how big of a deal this book report was, he needed to learn that he can't just do a poor job and hope that the teacher never read the book.

Dylan did end up getting a 100% on his revised book report, but I made him tell his teacher exactly what happened and how we fixed it.   She was very proud of him for stepping up and admitting his mistake, and he was overjoyed when he came home with his graded paper.  I'm calling that one a win!


I fully believe that open communication and talking things out with our kids really helped.  They do understand our reasons for setting consequences and they know that we love them very much.  In return, they trust us.  I know we're in for new experiences when the teen years arrive, but I really do hope we are able to keep our line of communication open! 

As for my littlest dude, he'll never lie.  EVER. 


How do you deal with lying?

My children are just telling little white lies (and it better stay that way!), but the Rayburns, on the new Netflix original series Bloodline, are covering up some huge family secrets by lying.  Although I haven't had the chance to watch the show yet, I've heard great things about it. I even heard a few juicy spoilers, but I still added it to our watch list!

As for now, I'm continuing my obsession with streaming Gilmore Girls on Netflix. There's definitely an abundance of little white lies on that show, which often results in hilarious antics or a harsh dose of real life. If you haven't watched it yet, GO NOW.  Seriously.  It might even be worth watching a second or, ahem, a third time through!  

Netflix always has titles that are relevant to EVERY aspect of life!

Here are a few more Netflix titles about lying and consequences: 

                                                       For your little kids:
70197201 11749233
70287604 4167324
80011539 12868113
70254353 4103108
For your big kids:
80026692 11880484
ANT Farm
70106286 2181907
70258405 13018238
And for teens and parents:
80010655 13044733
70197037 11165109
70235174 11899351
70180057 9727888

Here's what's new on Netflix for kids and families:

80020132 12071612
70298991 12117837
80025273 13024257
SUPER-4 USA 571x800 002  1

Happy Streaming, my friends!  


*I'm a member of the Netflix StreamTeam.  All opinions are my own. I was given a free year of Netflix Streaming and promotional items in exchange for my monthly review.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Oh Hey, Friday Favorites!

Happy Friday!

This week was much better than last week.  No ER visits, so I'm already calling that a win!

Dylan is getting out his stitches this morning, so we get to sleep in an extra hour and a half.  We're following that up with donuts.  Getting stitches out requires a treat, right?!?

After I drop Dylan and Lexie off at school, Lily, Liam, and I have some chores to do. Hello, mountains of laundry and our monthly stock-up shopping trip at Costco!

As for now, here's what I'm loving this week:


This tea.  It was a birthday gift from my sweet friend, and I love it!!!  It's just as good as my beloved orange pekoe tea!

Let me just say, I hope this helps! Gotta love insomnia!


Gorgeous weather, and lots of time spent outdoors.  Of course, Pittsburgh decided to go back in time after that.  It's currently 30 degrees and snow flurries were spotted on Wednesday and Thursday.  That is SO not my favorite.

The girls grabbed their lunchboxes filled with mini animal figures, grabbed their cups of hot tea, and ran outside to escape their baby brother. I'm sure they will be out there all day! The look Lexie gave me was my cue to give them their privacy. #weeken


My super adorable 20 month old! He decided to celebrate by getting his 8th tooth, learning how to climb up on furniture, and taking more unassisted steps.  That may not seem like a big deal, but it's huge for him.  He has to work twice as hard as "typical" children to do the things that come easily to them. He does it all with a big smile and unbeatable determination!

Our sweet Liam turned 20 months old today! He celebrated by getting another tooth, taking several unassisted steps, and climbing onto the coffee table all by himself for the first time! We cheered while he climbed, because it was a huge accomplishment for
Practicing his newly acquired skill: Climbing onto furniture! He pushes the ottoman over to a taller piece of furniture, climbs onto the ottoman, then climbs onto the furniture. This is a huge accomplishment for him, but nothing is safe anymore!


Our new homework caddy.  I was so fed up with constantly searching for sharpened pencils and art supplies.  Thanks to the oh so dangerous Target Dollar Spot, I completed my project for $6. Something I should have done 5 years ago!  Here's to organization!

It only took 5 years to do it, but we finally have a homework caddy! I was so sick of searching for sharpened pencils and art supplies. Really hoping that this makes life just a bit easier. Thank you, Target Dollar Spot! Grand total? $6! #organization


A Sunday Funday as it's called.  Lexie had an awesome birthday party at a local art studio, so the rest of us spent two hours the Burger King next to the studio.  We had the huge, indoor playground to ourselves!  Lexie had a great time, Dylan and Lily had a great time, and Liam thoroughly enjoyed salad and ice cream!



A super messy, but super fun project this week.  We made Goop!  Just cornstarch, water, and food coloring.  So easy!  You can read more HERE.

For this week's activity, we made goop/oobleck! Lily was fascinated by how it felt almost like playdoh, but dripped out of her hands like a liquid! Such a cheap, easy activity, but I highly recommend a plastic tablecloth!!! I loved this stuff when I was i


Another Target Dollar Spot find.  That place is so dangerous for me.  But so helpful!  These adorable milk jug-style cups found their way into my cart.  I used to fill up cups for Dylan and Lexie before I went to bed, so I didn't have to fill cups all day, but I never did it for Lily.  Dylan and Lexie can obviously get their own drinks now, but Lily still needs help. I always leave water out for Lily and Liam, but she does like her milk and daily cup of juice, too.  I'm going to attempt the fill before bed trick! They are the perfect size!



A successful trip to the dentist with all 4 kids.  I SURVIVED. Everyone was cavity free, although Lexie will need braces.  Goodbye, money.



Last, but definitely not least, our new favorite shirt from Littlest Warrior Apparel.  This shirt means so much to me.  You can find out what it means HERE. We adore our sweet boy so much and we really, really, really love "Holland."


I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!!

I'm linking up with Andrea, Narci, and Erika for Friday Favorites!


I'm also linking up with September Farm and The Farmer's Wife for Oh Hey, Friday!