Friday, September 21, 2007

The Rat Pack

I am starting to see pack rat tendencies in my sons. I don't blame them - I blame heredity, because God knows, they come by it naturally. The amount of "stuff" we have is starting to overwhelm me. It is mostly toys and most of them they don't even remember they have and rarely, if ever play with. My friend is having a garage sale in a couple weeks and asked me if I had anything to put in it. Having just had my own sale in May where I sent almost all the remaining items to Goodwill, I told her I did not. But playing in the basement with Evan this morning, not even being able to walk without stepping on parts to toy after toy after toy - I started thinking that Christmas is coming up and the amount of new "stuff" that would be adding to the piles might mean we needed to purge a bit.

I started pulling out some random unplayed with items and telling the boys we would put them in a garage sale. They would cry out "NO! You can't put that in a sale - We love that" or "Not that - that is my favorite!" Mind you, this is stuff they could not pick out as theirs in a lineup if their lives depended on it. I feel for them, I really do. I was the same way as a kid and still am to this day. I don't like to get rid of stuff - I have to fight my genetic makeup to do it. The only garage sale we ever had growing up - I was 22 years old I think. It was hard to watch people buy my stuff. I can't imagine the damage it would have done if I had been younger. I don't know why exactly I have such an attachment to things. I watch Clean Sweep - I get that the "things" are not important, they are not love. As a kid I always thought of things to have feelings - even food - leftovers had to be split into equal parts so they had friends in the trash. Ask my sister about that - how much guilt eating was done over leftovers on a plate. Therapy anyone? I am much better now - I have had several of my own garage sales and I have to admit that it feels really good to get rid of stuff that is weighing you down in a mental sense. I feel so much better when stuff is uncluttered and organized.

Then there is the gluing. I include this in part of the pack ratness because - "Why throw something out when you can fix it?" This really only pertains to Spencer since Evan is still pretty much a glue novice. Spencer was fooling around the other day and broke one of his wooden nesting dolls. Shattered it! It was almost surreal, because watching it happen, you just wouldn't think it would break that way. It did and the tears came instantly and I told him probably a little too harshly that was what happens when you horse around with your stuff. He looked at me with his tear stained face and said "But we can GLUE it!" There is the DNA again. I was a gluer! I remember one instance near Christmas time where my sister came bounding down the stairs and knocked one of the ceramic three wise men on to the granite tile floor. Shatter! My mom reacted pretty much the same way I did with Spence and as Dana ran sobbing to her room in shame, the Gluemaster (me) worked her magic and the wise man is still with us to this day.

Spencer's nesting doll is glued and resting comfortably waiting for some touch up paint - I still have the gift.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Human again

It is amazing how a little cold virus can throw off a whole household. Evan's sneezes from last Thursday erupted into a full blown cold that he managed to pass on to everyone else in the house (except Daddy). Spencer seemed to only get a touch of it - he only felt semi-yucky for a day or so. Hailey had (and still has to some degree) a runny nose that interferes with her sleeping and eating and makes her generally irritable.

Evan and I got it the worst. Ev has been snotty and coughing and full of general malaise since the weekend. I had to keep him home from school yesterday. I felt bad since it was only his third day of class. I have had the nagging headache and non stop snottiness that absolutely drives me crazy. The Sudafed does not seem to help either. Not even the behind the counter stuff that you have to basically give up your first born to get. I know it is the rules but c'mon, there has to be a better way. I look completely horrible, I have a two snotty kids in my cart - hurry up with that 20 pack of Sudafed because I need to get home to my Meth lab.

I also notice how much I take sleeping and breathing for granted until I get a cold. As I am laying in bed with post nasal drippyness like a faucet trying to get comfortable - I would give up my left thumb to be able to breath out of both nostrils at the same time. At that moment you feel like you will never have that clear breathing again. My dilemma is that if I take something to clear my nose before bed, my throat/nose area is so dry at some point in the night I wake up to a terrible coughing fit. Like coughing so hard I almost throw up - that was last night.

Today is much better. I am feeling almost human again. Evan seems to have turned the corner as well. If I ask him how he is feeling, he will cough out a response but if I don't bring it up he is fine. Let's hope when he goes to school tomorrow it doesn't start all over again!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

How hungry is a muffin?

That Evan, he just makes me laugh! We use the expression "starvin' like marvin" around here quite a bit. This morning Evan told me he was "hungry like a muffin". It just made my morning.

Friday, September 14, 2007

First day of Preschool

Evan's first day of Preschool was great! He was not scared for me to leave him - not even a little. It was fine for me as well. While anticipating the day, I thought that I might be more sad. When Spence went to school I was so worried about him being able to leave me, that I did not even worry about what I would feel about leaving him. With Evan though, I thought it would be different. I knew that Ev would have no problem. He has always been a brave and confident little guy. There is not much that scares him, which is scary to me. School is fun for him, a place he can get out and be on his own for a little bit.

Three year old preschool is crazy! With Spence I never experienced it because he wasn't potty trained in time to start and from what I can tell so far...four year old preschool is completely different. It is nuts what a difference a year makes. The 3 year olds just run around crazy and do and go wherever the wind blows them. I actually felt a little sorry for the teachers having to deal with a class of 10 of these little people. Of course it has only been two days and the kids don't have a clue what they are doing, let alone any kind of routine established. It might get better - I certainly can't see it getting any worse.

Evan has brought home a couple of little art projects and it is so cute how proud he is of his work. He tells me " I can't wait to show Dad and Dad will say that is a great job Evan". He has also brought home a cold bug. Two days. It doesn't take long in those germ breeding grounds a.k.a classrooms. The kid sitting next to him yesterday was coughing up a lung while I was kissing Ev goodbye. So we get that to look forward to making the rounds 'round here.

I better make an appointment for flu shots.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

When good art goes bad...

God bless the person who invented the Magic Eraser. If not for him/her I would be getting ready to re-paint Evan's entire room. Instead of taking a nap today, Evan decided to play in his room and part of that play was to cover pretty much every surface in his room with marker. It was a little overwhelming at first, but the Magic Eraser did a pretty complete job of putting it back to normal. Makes me wonder what the "magic" is... or maybe I don't want to know because I wouldn't be wiping it over every surface of my child's room.

Usually not a good sign of things to come.

Not even Diego's rescue center was spared.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Portrait of the artist as a young man

Who is that book about? I can't remember. I think I had to read it in my Good Books class in college - 16 (gulp) years ago.

I went outside to put the bills into the mailbox to be sent out. On my way back in I glanced in the window and I could see Evan painting at the dining room table. He was so serious looking and intense. I just watched him for a minute because it seemed like a moment I would want to remember. Then I grabbed the camera.

Hey! Is that Mom out there?

I see you Mom! Cheese!

His first painting of the day. Colorful boats.

I painted the body of the person, but he put all the facial features in the right place. Pretty good!

I did the circle and asked him to add the features. The four lines across the middle are eye, nostril, nostril, eye. The green spots are not ears but arms. The black dots under the head are leg, heart, leg. I am the red person with the mohawk. I am not sure why we both look like Rolie Polie Olie.

He has a much longer attention span for things like painting and drawing compared to Spencer. After Hailey was born, Ev would sit and paint for like an hour without a peep. We would joke that he was taking his aggression out through his art - sort of like the little brother on Wedding Crashers. But who knows, he could come by it naturally, my Grampa J. was an artist. He was a great painter. Maybe Ev will be one as well.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Hailey Marie - 8 months old

Hailey is 8 months old today! Sometimes she still seems younger than that to me. I know that you are not supposed to compare kids - every kid grows according to their own time clock. Since they are my kids, I am going to compare them anyway. Spencer started crawling at 8 months - the thought of that is just scary to me. I am so not ready for her to be that mobile. She is mobile enough with her roly polyness all over the floor. We already have to use our super parent eye scans for Legos and Magnetix and whatever food substance of the day is all over the carpet before we set her down. Of course Evan didn't really crawl until 11 months ( I think... bad Mom moment) so maybe that is the brother she will follow in the footsteps - or kneesteps - of. She is not showing any of the traditional crawling signs. No rocking on all fours. She doesn't even get up on all fours. She can sit up like a champ though! She looks so cute sitting there with her perfect posture - then she flails to reach something and topples right over.

She is a wonderful eater. She is still nursing pretty much exclusively. She will have bottles if we are out or if someone is watching her. But if we are home, she nurses. I plan to keep that up as long as she is willing since it is so much better for her and much easier on the checkbook. Spence was finished nursing at eight months and Evan quit about 11 months. Weird! Maybe once you take the ninny away they start crawling? Or maybe I should get my old baby notes out because my memory is shot? Most likely the second scenario. She is eating the "2" baby foods. So far there is nothing that she doesn't like. She gobbles them down too. Man, sometimes I think we are starving the girl. She loves to try to pick up Rice Krispies. They are a fun addition to our kitchen floor. Snap Crackle Pop every time we walk past her highchair. Daddy loves it! Ha! He has the Dyson out pretty much every night. I bought her the Gerber sweet potato puffs today and she was crazy about those too.

As far as sleeping, she does pretty well. Most nights she goes down around 7pm and will sleep though until about 5:30am. Last night was another newborn moment when she woke up at 1:30am wanting to nurse. Hopefully a growth spurt and not a new habit. She takes a nap in the morning from about 9am until 10:45am and another in the afternoon at about 1:00pm until 3:00pm.

Schedule at 8 months:

5:30am - wakes up to nurse then back to bed

7:30 - up to start the day

8/8:30 - cereal than nurses before nap

9 - 11 morning nap

11:00 sometimes nurses otherwise plays

12/12:30pm - jar of 2's then nurses

1 - 3 afternoon nap

4:00pm - nurses sometime before dinner

5/5:30pm - jar of 2's for dinner

6:45pm - nurses before bed


So that in an abbreviated form is our little girl at 8 months old. The boys are starting to interact with her a lot more, especially Evan. I think he is starting to realize that pretty soon she will be able to play with him like a real kid! He likes to "babysit" her when we need to leave the room. The other day when I came downstairs after a shower and was the only one who could get her to stop crying Evan told me " You are a great babysitter Mom!" Aww, nice compliment, if only I was paid as much. When she cries Evan always sings to her "it's OK Baby HayBay". She loves attention from anyone, especially her brothers. She is starting to coo a lot more. She says dadada sometimes but not really in the long repetitive sing song way. Her favorite position is still in someones arms. She has the biggest, happiest looking smiles - she just gets cuter everyday! We love you little HayBay!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Chuckle for the day...

During clean-up clean-up we were looking for all the parts for Spencer's pirate set. Not really thinking anyone was listening I was saying "Where are you Captain Hook?" Evan corrected me "He is not Captain Hook he is Captain Boy!" He is really Captain Kidd. Get it? Boy/Kid

We also finally heard back from the "soccer people" tonight. I say it like this because I am sure it is some sort of a freak cult and am still a little leery about being involved in it. Either that or the most poorly run organization I have ever had heard of. Spence has his first game tomorrow. Should be interesting since he has NEVER played and was not made AWARE of the first PRACTICE! Sigh....

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

3rd Degree hot glue burns!

Ta Da! Behold the binky trophy! Gramma found an old perfect attendance trophy and a plastic binky leftover from a baby shower - a little gold paint, some glitter, stickers and hot glue and voila! a binky trophy!

Today marks two weeks exactly since Evan has slept with a binky! Honestly, I can't believe how easy it was for him to give it up. Before he would go to sleep he would usually tell me " I want my binky" but I just told him we still couldn't find it and he would accept that. What a big guy! Ironically, as I was gathering supplies to make the binky trophy I found the binky! How crazy is that? Tucked in behind the fire safe blocking the drawers that hold the not often used craft items - there it was on the floor. I put it in the back of the cupboard just in case but since he obviously doesn't need it, I think it will remain "lost".

It is weird though how even though it has only been two weeks I can't remember the last time he used his binky. There is a book called Let me hold you longer by Karen Kingsbury about how we are so quick as parents to make a big deal out of all of our children's "firsts" but that we often do not notice the "lasts". I am guilty of this with the binky. I guess I didn't realize that he would give it up so easily and thought there would be many days to see the thing stuck in his mouth and hear him try to talk through it. I will miss it a little, miss hearing him ask for it, miss the baby part of him that still wanted it. I guess it is normal to be proud of him for being so strong yet a little sad that his ability to be that way means he is growing up.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

No tears!

This morning Spence had his first day of Kindergarten! There were no tears shed from either one of us. In fact, he pretty much couldn't wait for me to leave. I was proud of him. He was not shy or clingy at all. He does have the same teacher from last year, the same class room and a couple of familiar faces - but still, he did very well. He walked into the room with a big smile on his face, found his seat, said "hi" to the kids he had class with last year and started working on the project in front of him. He did ask me on the way to school how long of a vacation we had - so I wonder if he thought that the summer break was just a couple weeks long and now he is back to his class - like it is not really a "new" year. In his situation, I can see how he would think that.

Kindergarten is crazy these days. Already this week - the first week - they have DIBELS testing. From what I understand ( I should have Trent to consult since teaching seems to be so full of this alphabet soup) it is testing that is performed three times throughout the year to gauge their reading abilities and what they need to work on and their improvements along the way. When we got home, I was curious to see how Spencer would do so I found my old reading book from first grade And so you go. He could read the title no problem and even a short little story inside. Let me! Let me! He is wet. She is wet. Is pet wet? It was so cool to see him reading it. Then the guilt comes back - I should have been working on it with him this summer, then think how advanced he would be. Why does it always seem like such a competition?