Thursday, December 29, 2011

Celebrating the Season!

We had fun doing more of our advent chain activities. And who knows, there may be more still to come. I'm sure it will be no surprise to you that we didn't get to do everything, but we did our best. No one's complaining, we had a busy & fun Christmas.

Give everyone crazy hair!

Decorating nativity pictures 

 You may not have know this, but something I found out while decorating the nativity pictures was that the wise men brought Jesus - "gold, Jupiter, and Mars" We are definitely going to have to go over the Christmas story in a little more detail from now on...

And the painting of the toenails was a popular activity. Daddy is NOT a fan of polish for his little girls but their feet did look so sweet and they loved it!
Paint everyone's toenails

Thursday, December 15, 2011

More favorite sites

To continue my earlier post, my second favorite web site right now is Pinterest. Now Pinterest is not for everybody. But it's great for moms or people who like to do crafts. People who decorate or like to cook or bake. Or if you have any hobbies, or just like looking at funny or interesting images. Or anyone who just wants to waste/kill time. So, pretty much everybody :)

It's too hard to explain what Pinterest is, just pretty much the ultimate time-waster, ha! But I have made 5 or 6 things that I found, and used it to get some picture ideas. I would do a lot more if I actually did have time to do some of the things but for now I just like to look. I'm gathering ideas for our basement and future crafts for the kids, that sort of thing. My favorite quote about Pinterest, found on pinterest is "Thank you pinterest for helping me feel creative even though I've just been sitting at my computer for three hours". So true :)

 And now, a picture of the kids visiting Santa. We are doing HIPPY again. A Home based education program for 3 & 4 year olds. I am actually fortunate that Kaleigh & the twins get to do an extra year b/c their birthdays fell in October. So Kaleigh was able to do a 5 year program, as will the twins. Anyway, they had a little Christmas party and Santa was there. True to her word, Avery would NOT sit on his lap. He didn't seem up for a screaming kid so I didn't do that to him, but Alexis & Emory sat with him.
Making snowflake ornaments

scooping out reindeer food for Christmas Eve





Avery Enjoying her snacks

Thursday, December 08, 2011

My favorite web sites...
I thought I would list some of my favorite web sites over the next few days, just for fun. 
It will probably not come as any surprise to those who know me at all, that my favorite web site is amazon.
Oh, my dear amazon, why do I love thee so? Let me count the ways...
(1) Obviously for shopping. During the holidays when many people are running around town from store to store buying things, I'm sitting on my computer clicking "add to cart". I have free prime through amazon mom and anything I get is free two day shipping. And gone are the days when amazon was just for books. Oh no, if you can think of it, amazon has it. I once purchased some unstretched canvases and guess where I was able to find very affordable wood stretcher frames? I've been buying diapers through them for over a year. I was able to get Pampers for cheaper than WalMart brand and sometimes way cheaper! Unfortunately, their prices have recently risen on diapers and thankfully two of my three in diapers are about 90% potty trained. Their prices can be really good, but I always check around to be sure. Prices on amazon fluctuate constantly.
(2) Amazon is a great place to check for reviews on items, especially toys. Have you ever spent $25 or more on something you were sure your kid would love, only to find it didn't work properly or was falsely advertised? Well, if you check amazon, you can almost always avoid this type of scenario. You still have to take it with a grain of salt, but if something gets 4.5 out of 5 stars, you can probably be confident in that purchase.
(3) I use amazon to find new books to read. I don't buy them from there, I just follow the trail of suggestions from a book I enjoyed to similar type books, read the reviews, then request them from my library. I've found many books this way that I never would have otherwise.

So, if you have time to kill, go on over & check out all the wonders that amazon has to offer!

Monday, December 05, 2011

How has so much time gone by since I last blogged? It really does boggle my mind. Somehow we also haven't taken any pictures in the last month. I'm pretty sure there won't be a Christmas card this year :( But that's okay. Christmas will still go on...

Since I last blogged Nathan's been hunting twice. He got 3 deer (or something like 2-1/2). We had a little holiday, that's nestled in between Halloween & Christmas, called Thanksgiving.  And I'm most excited about the fact that the twins are pretty much potty trained. Avery did just as I predicted. One day out of the blue she wanted to go and within a couple of days was staying dry. Nathan and I refinanced our house to a 15 year mortgage. We are so excited to know that we will have so much more paid off when the time comes to move again (which will hopefully be a while).  His work Christmas party was Friday and we came back with $60 worth of gift cards. Not too shabby. And the kids sang at church last night, it was a really neat program. It really did get me in the Christmas spirit.

I really want to make this season special for the girls. We can't do a lot with two 3 year olds and a gettin crazier every day almost 2 year old! But I made a little advent paper chain and each link has an activity on it for each day. We're a little behind already but so far they got to have a bubble bath and make salt dough ornaments. Just something special to look forward to each evening.

My sister's wedding is now 12 days away, so we'll be busy with those preparations too! It's still strange to think of her being married but I'm excited for her & Brett.

So that sums up the last month, but much more excitement to come for this month...

Monday, October 31, 2011

We love October - full of fun! Especially dressing up & getting candy.

But, we decided not to dress up this year.

Instead, the kids just went as themselves...








The Statton Circus!




Kaleigh the tightrope walker...

It truly is a circus!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Birthday Madness!

Three of our kids have had birthdays since I last blogged so I'm just going to try & catch up as best I can. In all, in less than one month's time we have 7 birthdays of close family members! On top of that, October always seems so busy anyway, doesn't it?

So anyway, I'll start with most recent & work backwards, I guess. Kaleigh is six! How is that possible? She's still the skinniest little thing, with long legs. She is getting taller, she's almost grown out of size 5 jeans and into 6 now. Speaking of jeans that's all she wants to wear now! A year or two ago it was only dresses! I look forward to seeing her styles change over the years.


Our beautiful six-year old!
She's doing great in school. She loves to write and draw and lately likes to write little stories. I took a picture of a sample of her work. The spelling is all hers :). I'm so proud of her b/c before she started school she never would have done this type of thing without knowing that it was all completely accurate. I'm glad that she is doing things on her own now.



It starts off saying "hello my terrific 17. We did go to computer lab. In lunch I had hamburger and peaches and french fries then I had recess then I had naptime then I left. The End"










We had her party and the twins' together. Really most of the twins' guests were siblings of her friends. I didn't invite her school friends this year but next year I think we will have to. The party was at church & I did a magic theme. My dad is a pastor & has done little magic tricks for a kids' sermon in the past & I asked him to do a few tricks. The older kids were really into it! Some of the tricks even had a biblical message!

The picture station made for some cute photos!


















I made the cupcakes - so much easier than cake and fun to decorate. I made the fondant toppers myself, copying some I found online. It took some time, but I just sat down one night and worked on them while watching TV and it really wasn't hard at all. It was like playing with Play-do! The fondant stores well so it was something I could do ahead of time.




We were excited to have my parents & Lance & Kristin here for most of the week. It was a really fun time, still busy even though I tried to do as much of the "work" ahead as I could. I think it was the longest we've gone (1 1/2 months) without seeing my parents, but the shortest we've ever gone seeing my brother & sis-in-law.















Also just a sneak peek at the basement. Nathan's finally had a little time to work down there and we are making some progress. This is a look at the bathroom & closet.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Not feeling like writing much so here a few recent pictures. We've just been playing around with the camera a little bit. I'm glad to report that things are a little bit better with the kids' behavior too. I got sick last week and my MIL took Avery & Emory for the day. I had the nicest, easiest day with just Alexis. She was so sweet & mild. I think the feeling of competition was completely gone. It was a relief to know that circumstances do play such a large role in the negative behavior. So here's some pictures of my funny little girlies.

Playing dress-up with some yard sale finds!


Add caption

Eating is Exhausting!

Precious Sisters

Monday, September 12, 2011

Family News

I mentioned in my last post that our family had a lot going on. My dad who is a pastor just got called to another church. They were here in AR, about 1 1/2 away and just last week moved to Louisiana, about 7 hours away :(. I'm happy for them b/c it seems to be a great place, but sad to have them so far. I didn't grow up near my grandparents and feel like I missed out on not getting to know them better. My parents reassure me that they will come back & visit often, probably every couple of months, but it won't be quite the same. We will adjust, though.

And my brother & sister in law just left their church in North Carolina b/c they feel called to start a new church in a suburb of New Orleans. What a huge undertaking but they feel like God is leading them to do this. I'm looking forward to seeing all that happens with it, my brother is amazingly informed about the role & function of churches and how to reach as many people as possible, so I think it will be a success.

I don't have any huge success stories to report with my kids, but I am reading lots of parenting books right now. Soon I will be the most knowledgeable parent around, or the most mixed-up, I'm not sure which ;). One of my goals right now is to stop the practice of threatening my kids. Either punish them or don't, but threatening is just pointless. Just this morning I caught myself telling Alexis "Come here right now or we're not going!" Okay, not only was that not helpful, it was obviously a lie. Bleh. Pay attention to yourself if you have kids, see if you do it to. :) I got that little tip from "Have a New Kid by Friday" by Kevin Leman.

I've been going through my pictures, organizing & ordering prints, and I found this blast from the past. Hard to believe...

Monday, September 05, 2011

Terrible Two's Times Three - AAAaaahhh!!

These have not been the best days at our house lately. It is still fun at times, and we do laugh a lot at times, but over all it has definitely been hard. It's sad b/c there has been a lot going on but I feel that mostly we are in survival mode here. Emory's been okay, she's just a handful and demanding at times but mostly pretty sweet. It's the twins who are having some, shall I say, behavioral issues. They've had me in tears more than once.

The problem is major tantrums. Screaming, crying, anger over little things. Crying for something, then tossing it away, then asking for it again. Mostly I think the problem is twofold. (1) They are tired. They've stopped taking naps even though I can tell they are sooo tired and majorly need to sleep. Their behavior is so much better in the morning than any other time of day. But how to make a kid sleep? They are still in a crib so they can't get out. I leave them for two hours so I'm definitely giving it time. Not sure what else I can do. I've tried different times, earlier & later. Any tips? and (2) They need more attention than I can give and aren't good at sharing me. If I could just sit & hold them for longer I think they might get a little more secure and stop acting out. But at times that's just not possible.

What to do? I'm willing to try most anything! We've tried all kinds of punishments for tantrums. I've done spanking, time-out, sending them to their room, taking things away... Most of that doesn't work when they are in a full blown fit. I've read a little on positive parenting techniques which are anti-spanking and more attention to direct the kids on a more positive path. I don't feel that it would work for all kids but I'm willing to try it with mine. I do believe in spanking but I hate to do it, especially if it's not working! I'm re-reading Creative Corrections to try & come up with some other ideas too. Nathan's says it's not as bad as it seems, just that there are 3 of them throwing fits at different times! I hate to sound like I'm complaining, obviously we are so thankful & blessed. They can be the sweetest things, cuddly and loving, smart and funny.

Other than that, it's been fun & busy around here. I'll post more on that soon. Lots of changes in my extended family. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Emory 18 Months

Emory turned 18 months old on August 4th. I took her to get a checkup yesterday. Here are her stats:
  • Weighs 22.6 lbs., is 31 1/4 inches, head is 18 1/4
  • Walks & runs all over the place, falls a lot!
  • Climbs chairs, Kaleigh's bunk bed, the slide at the playground
  • feeds herself with a spoon, refuses to be fed - she does pretty good when she wants to
  • just recently started coloring, before now she just ate the crayons
  • can point to nose, ears, belly, mouth
  • can take off her shirt
  • talking, talking, talking - she stayed steady for a while, adding new words & just recently started saying more phrases & sentences. More on that below...
She seems to be extremely healthy & developing great. She's been really healthy since her last ear infection at the beginning of the year. Nothing since. I was a little concerned that she's covered with bruises, but not really since she's so very active!

When Dr.Rhodes was asking about her development, I kinda laughed when she asked if Emory could say at least 5-10 words. I said yeah, more like 50. But it's probably way more than that. She's constantly repeating the twins now and does a pretty good job. I can't always understand her but she does make her wants known! I'm not sure what her longest sentence is but she has said trampoline, swimming pool & puppet show. When I hang up my phone she says "who's at mommy?" (who was that, mommy) After I tell her she says "oh, okay".

Nathan recently taught her to do a fist bump. She puts her little hand out & goes "fis bump". It's so cute. This morning Nathan got up with her and she came to my bed, gave me a big kiss right on the lips. Said "fis bump?" & after I gave her one, said "dank oo". I laughed & said "thank you!" & she said "welcome". It was the funniest wake up I can remember!

On the flip side, she is definitely strong willed! Just last night the nursery worker at church was tellling us how Emory would not let her hold other kids & made her walk around the room holding hands. I think she thought it was funny, but some don't. What she wants to do it's just easiest to let her. She's so sweet that it's easy to forgive her those more difficult personality aspects though.

She's recently learned some new songs. Nathan's been teaching her "Jesus Loves Me" and she picked up from somewhere the alphabet song. Here's a video of her singing that. She does much better on the first half, you'll see!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

IT ALL BEGINS...

Kaleigh headed off to Kindergarten yesterday! I have to admit that before now I really didn't get all the hype about kids starting school. I do remember when K was 1 or 2 driving by the school that she would have gone to and tearing up thinking about it. But honestly, I will miss her but I do have three little ones at home to occupy me so this mom is not sitting around moping!

It is a big deal though. For the next 15 (or more) years, someone else is largely responsible for her intellectual, emotional & social development. I guess the reason I wasn't real sad is b/c I wasn't doing that great a job for her around here! Not that I didn't try, but she's had to entertain herself a lot since she turned 3. We've always done the HIPPY program so at least there was that, but I didn't even come close to being able to do some of the amazing creative activities that I know my friends do with their children.

I'm pretty sure she's going to do great. She is very ready academically. She's extremely social & well adjusted. She can be very stubborn and gets frustrated easily, which would be her main areas to improve on. Her personality is soo much like Nathan, good & bad!

The main adjustment for us all will be the schedule. I know that no one is going to sympathize with me when I say this, but I'm having to go from getting up at 9:00 (yeah, I know!) to before 7:00. Kaleigh's a fairly early riser but not quite that early. Still, she usually gets up with a smile and starts talking, don't know where she gets that from, ha! But yesterday afternoon she was pretty tired & cranky and we had a battle over her thumb-sucking (which is worst when she's tired). We are going to have to really work on having her in bed by 8:00 or 8:30.
Outside her room
Her teacher, Mrs. Payne in the background


Settling right in
So here's how the day went yesterday - I forgot to factor in rush hour traffic and we ended up being about 4 minutes late. So we parked and were running in, me snapping pictures along the way. I didn't get the shot outside the school that I wanted, we'll have to do that later. She went in the class and her sweet teacher greeted her and she sat down at her table & started playing with blocks. I went to hug her and she kinda pulled away from me. :( To make up for being late in the morning I left the house about 30 minutes early to pick her up. I waited nervously to find out how her day went. She told me it was a lot of fun. They read a book called The Kissing Hand and went on a treasure hunt. I asked the dumb question, "do you want to go back tomorrow" but thankfully she said yes. This morning when I woke her up she said "I'm so excited to go to school today! Yesterday was fun and today will be fun too!" Seriously, isn't that what I'm supposed to be saying to her? Love that girl!                                       
 

Friday, August 05, 2011

Back to School Busyness

For us it's not really "back" to school since K will be going for the first time, full time. She is very excited. She got a DVD when she registered, about 12 minutes long, showing what kind of things she will be doing and the teachers & faculty. She's watched the video probably 20 times. :) I'm very excited for her. I will miss her but knowing it's best for her makes it so much easier. She's extremely social and likes to stay busy and just gets restless at home since I can't spend the time focused on her that she would like.

I've had fun shopping for & gathering school supplies. I've made sort of a game out of seeing how cheaply I can get everything. My personal goal was $20 or less. It's not that we don't have the money, but I like to save & take advantage of some of the great deals. Each week I look through the ads and find which stores have the best price on things I need. I don't make special trips though, just attach it to another errand. I've done a little price matching at WalMart but they usually don't have the same quantity or whatever it is that I'm trying to get. Here's my list & what I've spent so far.
  • Disney Princess BackPack - 12.99
  • Lunch Box - free w/ Backpack
  • Labels - free w/ credit at website
  • plastic school box - 0.59
  • Elmers glue -.40
  • rest mat -$1 @ yard sale
  • tissues - .67 Kroger deal
  • pkg pencils -.19
  • 4 boxes crayons - $1 (.25 ea)
  • Fiskars scissors - .79
  • 6 glue sticks - 1.20
  • Crayola watercolors -
  • quart ziploc - 
  • GermX -
 So far I've spent 18.83 (not including tax) and I still have to get the last 3 things on the list. Probably won't make my goal unless I find some amazing deals, but we've still done well, I think. I couldn't resist picking up some other things that weren't on the list, for me or for the future. I found 5 cent folder & pencil cases, cheap highlighters, lead pencils, etc. What can I say, I just like school supplies.

I'm not going to go out & buy her a whole bunch of clothes, either. I really don't understand that concept. She already has clothes, and she's probably going to be doing some growing during the year. I'll buy as she needs things. Plus her tastes change a lot. A year ago all she wanted was dresses, this summer the crazy girl only wants to wear jeans, ha! My friend Nitzia supplied us with some jeans. Thanks, Nitzia! Once the weather is cooler I'll start hitting the yard sales again for more great deals, or shop at a local consignment sale. I may get her one new outfit for the first day, but the way I figure it, she's young and doesn't know the difference. Anything I do now will set a precedent for the future.

I think Kaleigh will do great academically & socially. My main prayer/concern for her is that she will not be overly susceptible to peer pressure and grow up too quickly. I hope that she will be kind and be treated kindly. It is a hard world out there but I think Kindergarten is too young to learn that.

video
I'll be posting pictures soon of her first day, but for now, here's a video of her at my parents' church VBS. She looks so little next to the other kids but she really know all the sign language. And couldn't help adding a little extra hip action in there too!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

 Stranded in Pottyland...

A two-year old is kind of like having a blender, but you don't have a top for it.
Jerry Seinfeld

 I was so excited that we reached a breakthrough in potty training last week with Alexis. Until then, she or Avery would only go after sitting for forever and me giving them tons of juice until they couldn't help themselves any longer. Well, you can imagine that technique just wasn't gonna work for us. But at some point last week I took everything off of Alexis and 10 minutes later she went in there all by herself and came out yelling "I went potty, I want a sucker!" Of course I had to give her one. And then she went about 20 more times that day and has been doing pretty good ever since. No pooping yet, but I'm just glad to have made the progress we have.

So of course since she's going, Emory and Avery want to go too. Emory does actually go sometimes, Avery rarely. But unlike Alexis, they will need to sit a while and I've learned that lots of damage can be done by three toddler/ preschoolers in the midst of potty training. In the past two days here are some of the things we've experienced;
  • twice I've walked in and two of them were in the bathroom pouring water all over the counter & on the floor... 
  • while I was in the bathroom with Avery, Emory walked out without a diaper after sitting but not going. A few minutes later she apparently peed all over the wood floor, walked through it, and fell in it.
  • Someone got hold of some random stinky diapers that were folded up. They put them in their toy basket. I found them today while I was picking up toys and smelled a very unpleasant odor.
  • Avery dropped Kaleigh's walkie talkie in the toilet. I was standing right there but wasn't fast enough to stop her. 
I'm sure there will be plenty more "fun" to come. But what can you do but laugh and be glad this stage doesn't last forever! And there are some real funny moments, like walking in Kaleigh's room and finding Avery sitting on her new IKEA potty like this -

Truly a queen on her "throne"

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Book Reviews

A lot of my friends are having Hunger Games withdrawal & looking for a new book to read. I've been suggesting b/c it is the same genre - this series
 Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
This is set in a futuristic sort of Utopian society. In an effort to keep peace, every citizen is given surgery at  age 16 to become "pretty". Tally Youngblood is the central character & right up until her birthday is looking forward to following the future set before her. Then her best friend Shay inexplicably disappears. Tally is called upon by the law to become a spy of sorts & find Shay by following clues to where she may be. Along the way she finds out some terrible things that threaten to undo her whole way of thinking. And she meets David. There's always a David, isn't there?
This is the first book in a trilogy. The 2nd & 3rd are called Pretties & Specials. And even an extra book called, well, Extras.

I also read a stand alone book that I liked called
 The Scent of Rain & Lightning by Nancy Pickard
We open meeting Jody Linder, age 25 and slowly come to find out her story and even parts of her story that she doesn't know. At age 3 her parents were murdered and over 20 years later the past & present collide when the killer is freed from prison and returning to her very town. Without giving too much away, this is a mystery; a story about love, family, loyalty, greed and all the things that make people do crazy things. There are twists and the ending is pretty shocking. I will be reading more by this author...

I don't ever buy books, just check them out from the library so I can't offer to loan these to you but they are pretty popular & easy to find. Hope you enjoy but if you don't it won't hurt my feelings :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Review on SwagBucks

Swagbucks is super easy to use. All you have to do is register, sign in, and use their search function. I signed up for Swagbucks once before and didn't really understand what they were about so I didn't earn much & was discouraged quickly. This time around I'm loving it! Swagbucks is basically just a search engine, like Google, only they pay you to use it.

My method of earning is to use their downloadable toolbar. Any time I want to search, I just type it in their search box & it randomly award "bucks".  I'd say one of five searches results in bucks. Searches are saved so now I rarely have to type anything, I just select "hotmail", "facebook" or whatever in the drop down menu. An added plus when I've forgotten what I was doing by the time I got to my computer :)

Although there are many other ways to earn, this is the only one I've used and it's working for me. In about 4 months time I've earned enough for 5 $5 amazon gift cards. And I haven't once spent any extra $, signed up for anything or wasted my time doing anything I wouldn't normally.

It's pretty effortless for something I will most definitely use. (And I would have spent that money at Amazon anyway.) I've found that on most days, I can earn anywhere from 20 to 60 Swagbucks. There are all kinds of prizes but I'll stick with the Amazon cards for now.

When you sign up, you'll get some Swag Bucks to get you started. If you'd kindly sign up through my link  http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/shellstat I'll earn a Swag Buck every time you do. Yes, this is also a shameless plug but I wouldn't recommend it without knowing that it does work. Give it a try for a month or two, and I think you will be happy with it, but if not, you are not "out" anything.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Endless Summer

Summer is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit.  A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all's right with the world.  ~Ada Louise Huxtable
 
These two are going to be trouble!
I don't know about you, but our summer is flying by. We had a fun 4th of July weekend even though Nathan and I were both mourning the fact that we should have been on our annual Guys & Wives Reunion fishing & catching up with old friends. He more than I was probably mourning! We still had fun though, had a couple of friends over and Nathan constructed this lovely slip & slide in our backyard. Because our yard does have a slight hill, it was great for that, but it also has an abrupt steep drop into a creek. So Nathan had to construct a barricade at the end using our old deck railing and some 2x4s. It was a true redneck water slide if you ask me, but it was fun anyway. Wish we could keep it but that wouldn't bode so well for the grass in our yard. What little is left of it anyway...

This photo was popular on facebook - Sara's face says it all!

Nathan's barricade at the end! Nice, huh?

Noah picked up some speed on the way down - trying to slow himself a little!

I got in the spirit of the 4th & made some festive goodies to go with our grilled chicken and sides. I made the Liberty berries by dipping the strawberry into white chocolate then into blue colored sugar. So easy and soooo good. Kaleigh helped me decorate the cookies. She used most of the sprinkles on one cookie, then we had to ration the rest! 

We ended the evening with watching the Benton fireworks show then doing a few of our own. The twins didn't scream this time but they also didn't watch much. Just hid their heads in our necks. Avery was trembling from head to toe when they started, poor thing.

Saturday, June 18, 2011















New York - VBS Style!


I'm so tired but I want to go ahead & post while this is still fresh & not majorly old news. We just finished up VBS this week. I worked in 4th grade crafts (no diaper changing for me, thank you) and we had a great week. Super busy, never an idle moment, but fun too. The kids in our classes were wonderful and I hope they learned lots.

My kids seemed to have a great time. Emory charmed her teachers and Kaleigh always has fun so this week was no exception. And the twins walked into their room each day without hesitation so I can only assume they were glad to be there. Not sure how much they learned b/c all they could talk about was the "Balloon Man". This guy was in front of the church and they were terrified of him at first but slowly developed a fascination. Every day I tried to ask them what they did or learned and all they would talk about was the balloon man. We had to drive by slowly on the way out every day too.

















They are scared of a lot right now. Besides "balloon man" they are scared of water (in swimming pools, not bath), the dark, tiny merry go rounds or any moving ride, and were terrified of fireworks as I mentioned before. Definitely the only way to deal with them is to let them ease into on their own and on their terms. Strangely though, they like bugs and dogs. Even big dogs don't scare them at all and we don't even have one.