Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Food For Thought

Last night at dinner, Ben asked me if fish was healthy.  After I replied "yes," he asked why and what it does for your body (he is his father's boy.)  I told him it had lots of protein and also had stuff in it that is good for healthy hair and makes your brain work better.  "You mean it will help me think better and come up with good ideas?"  He got it.  He always gets it.  

Today, while building with his favorite blocks (Trio blocks - get some!), he built something intricate that he had never built before.  He suddenly brightened and said, "Mom, that fish really worked!  Look at this great idea it gave me!"  He has asked to have salmon for dinner again tonight.  He's on a roll with this "good idea" thing!


I guess I was taking a little too long in the bathroom this morning because my "audience" came to find me and ask what I was doing in there.  Isn't it obvious what I am doing with my pants down, sitting on the toilet?  But little kids are masters of the obvious, so I had to sit there with three little boys watching me, asking specifics about my...well, the whole process.  Mitchell was certain I wasn't finished yet because my poop was too big to come out (he just had that problem a few days ago and no, I was not suffering from that problem) and asked if I had "saw poop."  When I asked him to explain what that was, he said, "You know, the sharp kind that hurts to come out!"  Ben quickly joined in saying, "Oh!  I call that Stegasaurus poop!"  Wow.  Those are both quite...descriptive terms...but also quite accurate!  Nothing like a little humorous entertainment from my "audience" while parked on the pot!

Monday, August 30, 2010

He's A Killer

Mitchell can't decide what he wants to be when he grows up, but for now, he has it narrowed down to two choices: dentist or killer.  Yes, I said "killer."

Today, he took a break from being the usual - a dentist - to be a killer.  He put little blocks on the end of his fingers and said, "Watch out, mom!  I'm the killer guy!"   Apparently, he has given it some thought, and decided he wants to be a killer when he grows up.  I asked him who he wants to kill and he said, "Just some bad guys...and sometimes Ben."  After a chuckle, I asked him if he knew what it meant to kill someone.  It was clear that he didn't understand, so I explained what it means.  He then looked at me and said, "Ok, I'll just pretend to kill.  And then I'll give them my magic potion to make them alive again."

I have no idea where his violent career choice has come from.  We don't watch anything resembling violence on TV, nor do we encourage abnormally violent games between the boys.  We let them wrestle and beat each other up a bit, but that's normal, right?  I don't pretend to always understand boys.  I guess he just feels the need to kick some butt right now.  I'm not quite sure what to do about it, but at least he carries a magic healing potion to correct his mistakes as he goes along.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Where Did He Go?

I asked the question "Where did he go?" more than once today.  We'd all be sitting around, relaxing together when I would suddenly look around and wonder where Jack was.  I would be in the kitchen and hear something crashing upstairs and see everyone but Jack busy playing in the living room.  I came out from the bathroom and Matt was busy reading a story to the big boys but Jack was suspiciously missing.  Where did he go?  How does he move so fast and why can't I find him anywhere down here?

Jack is a maniac at my stairs!  He can not only crawl up them completely on his own, maneuvering the corner with ease, he can do it FAST!  So fast, he is up there and gone in the time it takes me to use the lady's room!  He can sneak up there in the middle of playtime with the other boys (granted, it doesn't take much to sneak past Matt and the big boys when they are doing their thing).  For some reason, he wants to be upstairs, whether we all want to come with him or not.  

I have decided not to put a baby gate up.  You may disagree with my choice here, but he needs to learn to get up and down and so far, he needs no lessons at all!  Why put a gate up now, only to take it down later to teach him?  I will try to keep a closer eye on you, Jack, but well done, my brave and determined baby boy!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

That's All You Want?

Last day of soccer today.  It's been fun.  We got off to a shaky start with Mitchell, but it only took a couple weeks for his true colors to show through his attitude.  As you can see from the pictures, he even changed his mind about the uniform!  He decided that he actually does have an imagination and it was fun to pretend to be a shark or a race car or a booger or whatever the heck they do out there.

Ben rocked the field with his shaggy hair and sweet soccer shoes.  Although not always the most coordinated or focused player on the team, he had a great attitude and was clearly loving his coaches and the game in general.  

After their last class today, I took them to McDonald's for a post-game treat.  They have just discovered the concept of a drive-through and much prefer that to actually going inside (awesome!).  As we sat in line, I asked what they wanted.  Ben asked for his very own pop!  I tried to clarify, making sure he knew he was not getting that on top of a milk shake, certain he didn't quite understand, but he was positive: a Coke is what he wanted.  That's it.  "I want my very own Coke like daddy drinks and I don't want to only have a sip and I don't want to have to share it."  Mitchell, of course, quickly echoed the same thoughts, so a couple dollars later, we have the cheapest special treat ever!  Two tiny Cokes, coming up!  

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Boy's Playground

Our street has turned into a construction zone.  While this is generally a nuisance for me - shutting off water, closing off the road so we can't drive on it, plenty of dust and dirt, and even more noise - the boys are just loving it!  Every morning, we sit at the living room windows, watching all the equipment and dump trucks and workers show up.  They park outside our windows, rumbling their engines while the men read their papers and drink their coffee (can't they do that with the engines off so early in the morning??) while the boys point out their favorite machines as well as scope out the scene for any new tractors that might have shown up.

It is fun to see them excited to watch this, but the best part of the day comes after the work day is over and the workers have gone home, but left all their equipment unattended on the street!  Not only can we play in the middle of the street, which for obvious reasons, is usually forbidden, but it has turned into a little boy's playground!  Are we supposed to be touching and climbing on this stuff?  I doubt it, but how can they possibly hurt any of it?   Every afternoon, Mitchell asks, "Mom, can we go check out the struction yet?"

They sit in the bulldozer scoop, crawl through giant cement pipes, dig in the dirt, climb gravel piles, and throw rocks into the puddles.  I basically have to hose them off and then immediately toss them into the bathtub when I finally drag them away, but they need a bath anyways and a good hosing is always a good time!  

So as much as I am looking forward to this construction project being finished, we are thoroughly enjoying it while it lasts.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Did Someone Call Me?

I was busy downstairs while the boys were playing upstairs.  As I was busily accomplishing something extremely important I'm sure, Ben called me from upstairs.  He wanted me to "look at them."  This usually is worth my while, as they have done something they think is hilarious and even if it isn't really, it is worth it to see them crack up about it.  I looked up the stairs, and at first, didn't know what it was they wanted to show me.  This is what I saw:

"No, mom, look up here!"

Oh, there you are!  Wow... 
And where do you think you are going, Jack?

I guess I need to just camp out on the stairs so that my kids can all three play in their most favorite spot to play without adding a trip to the emergency room to our daily list of activities. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Our Little Photo Shoot

I woke up with a vision of how my morning was going to go.  I needed some new pictures of all the boys together so I had a photo shoot planned for us all.  I gave it a lot of thought and came up with some different places around the house we could shoot.  I did the laundry so the boys would have some good neutral clothes to wear.  I charged my camera batteries.  I even went so far as to schedule ahead of time exactly what our morning would look like so that I could maximize my time (those of you who know me know I am not a big scheduler.)

Well, the best of plans sometimes don't work out.  The boys were fabulous (aided by plenty of lollipops and popsicles) and tried their hardest to cooperate, but I was having a tough time with lighting and poses and other challenges an amateur photographer struggles with.  After a while, I gave up on my dream of beautiful pictures and perfectly "candid" poses, and let the boys take over a bit.  I let them goof around a bit more and pick their own poses and locations and it turned the whole shoot around!  I got some great pics of my boys being boys!  

Let this be a lesson to me:  stick with what works for us - strict structure has never been our way in most areas, so why attempt it with pictures?  When I think about it now, a picture of all three boys sitting perfectly still, all looking at the camera and smiling perfectly would seem...fake.  When do we ever sit like that?

When Will I Ever Learn?

This afternoon, a simple trip to Costco turned into quite a long ordeal simple because I can't seem to learn from my own mistakes.

Let me begin by quickly telling you that a few weeks ago, while helping Mitchell on his bike, I had Ben push Jack in the stroller so I could focus a bit more on Mitchell.  Jack started to get fussy and bored, so I gave him my garage door opener to play with, which did the trick!  Everything went smoothly until I got back to my garage and could not find the opener anywhere.  After retracing my steps not once, not twice, but THREE times and still no luck, I ended up having to hop a fence and open it from the inside.  So I have already lost a garage door opener because I gave it to Jack to keep "safe" for me.  Lesson learned, right?  Apparently not.

Jack was already fussy when I put him in the giant-sized cart at Costco, so what did I do?  I gave him his favorite toy: my car keys.  My thinking was that he is right there in front of me and keys are noisy.  If I don't see him drop them, certainly I will hear him!  Well, drop them he did and I didn't realize this until we were all the way out at the car, ready to load up.  I searched for them for a moment before it hit me that I had done it again: I had given something important to Jack and he had not taken care of it like the responsible and mature 8-month-old he is!  

I told Ben that the keys were lost (no, not a very positive way to tell a 5-year-old) and he panicked.  He got quite scared and started crying.  He thought we were stuck at Costco forever.  "This is terrible, mom!  What are we going to do!  We'll never leave now!  Those keys are lost forever!"  He wasn't whining or complaining, he just really was concerned about this!  I assured him that the keys had to be in the store somewhere still and if he could calm down and help me, we'd find them quickly.

Well, we did not find them quickly.  We walked all over Costco, searching for keys and trying to keep our tired baby from having a melt-down.  After a while, we gave up looking and went back up front to see if anyone had turned them in yet.  While I was there, I met another crazed mom with two little girls who was waiting for the very same thing - lost keys to turn up!  At one point during my cruising around, searching for the keys, I bumped into yet another mom who was looking everywhere for her Costco card!  Apparently, I am not the only mom with only half a brain when it comes to keeping a baby quiet and happy in the store.  

The keys turned up and this search only added an extra hour to our Costco run.  Ben breathed a sigh of relief that he would not have to actually live at Costco, Mitchell had a great time during that extra hour climbing around on the cart and eating extra snacks, and Jack tired himself out with plenty of crying and squirming and making mommy sweat.  

Have I learned my lesson this time or will I give Jack more important tools as "toys" in the future?  Only time will tell I suppose.

My Inner Vandal Surfaces

I'm not sure why or when exactly this started, but the boys and I have been on a mission to find wet cement.  Why?  I should think it obvious - we want to touch it, of course!  We find pictures or initials written on sidewalks all over our neighborhood and beyond, and each time we see one, we have to stop, read it, study it, talk about it, then excitedly revise our plans of making our own someday based on what we did or did not like about the last one.

So we have really been on the look-out for a patch of wet cement.  You wouldn't think it would be too difficult, given that everywhere we look lately, there is a construction project going on.  We have two old houses torn down and new ones going up within view of our living room window - and those are just the ones we can see without going anywhere!  There are countless road projects going on within walking distance as well as a giant grocery store slowly rising out of a once bare lot a block away.  Even with all this construction going on though, the timing really has to be perfect, doesn't it?  You can just wait around for a cement truck to drive by, follow it, watch the cement pour, then walk up and say, "Excuse me, we'd like to draw here."

Well, last night, the stars all aligned and I found my patch of wet cement!  It could not have been more perfect!  Good thing I missed my early morning run and had to do it in the evening, or I would never have seen the men smoothing out a section of sidewalk less than a block from my front door!  As I ran by, I smiled and gave them a nod and tried to study their work as quickly and innocently as possible, all the while thinking, "I have to make good time tonight so I can get home before this dries and before Matt puts those boys to bed!"

I have to say, I did make pretty good time.  Nothing like quickly drying cement to get those feet moving!  The moment I walked in the door, I got the boys' shoes on them and explained that we had a secret mission to attend to and we needed to be quick and quiet.  Mitchell's eyes got wide and he said, "Are we going outside in our jammies in the dark?"  I think maybe that was the best part for him - he had just about passed out on the couch before I got home, so the idea of doing something normally not done and the fact that I was so animated and excited myself really got him hopping - literally!

I didn't tell them where we were going or what we were doing, only that it was a secret mission and that we had to be sneaky and quiet.  How perfect for us that it was dark and there wasn't crowds of people milling about!  When we got to the wet spot and they saw the caution cones set up, it suddenly dawned on Ben what we were up to and he said, "Mom!  It's wet cement!  We found some finally!"  That is exactly how I felt too!

We got close, scoped out the scene, made sure no one was coming, then bent down and pressed our hands into the cold, wet cement.  It was awesome.  We finally left our mark in the neighborhood and it is right down the street where we can see it every day!  Now, if we could just buy the brand new house that is being built there, everything would fall into place! 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ice Packs In The Underwear

My boys love ice packs.  You know - those blue, jelly-like ice packs that get all squishy as they thaw?  Mitchell especially will carry one around with him all day, inventing all sorts of things to do with it.  

Well, tonight, he and Ben found a new "use" for it.  I'm not sure if they were hot or if they were sore from all the bike-riding.  My guess is they were just being silly as usual and since anything having to do with underwear or private parts or both is simply hilarious, adding a beloved ice pack to the mix is a recipe for pure enjoyment!  They put their ice packs in their underwear and ran all over the house laughing and making funny noises and well, I'll quit there before I get too graphic with you.  

They went to bed tonight nice and cooled off.  Maybe I should remember the ice pack in the underwear next time the air conditioner breaks...

Which Side Is The Wrong Side Anyways?

Although he wakes up quite early, Mitchell is not a morning person.  I think eventually he will discover that it is a wonderful thing to be able to go back to sleep if you want to, but so far, he is lugging his tired body out of bed much too early.  We have learned to give him his space for a while before trying to interact much with him or we are greeted with silence and glares at best and tears and angry words at worst.  

This morning was a classic example of "morning Mitchell."  When I denied his request for a popsicle for breakfast, he had a melt-down.  After sending him back to bed until he could interact with us pleasantly, Ben and I got to talking about "the wrong side of the bed."  I told Ben that Mitchell seems to always wake up on the wrong side, which made Ben think for a minute or two.  Here is our conversation: 

Ben: Which side is the wrong side, mom?
Me: Whichever side Mitchell gets out of.
Ben: But I watched him get out and it was the right side!
Me: How do you know?
Ben: Because it was the side without the guard rail!
Me: Well, that must be the wrong side I guess.
Ben: No!  It's the right side!  
Me: Why do you think that?
Ben: That's the side I got out of and I'm so happy I feel like singing! 

At this point I had to cut off the conversation because he made a logical point and also because I needed to point out that some sayings aren't necessarily logical - they are just funny sayings.  "Well, that is a pretty silly saying, but it is kinda funny."

Unfortunately, when Mitchell came down to attempt a more positive attitude, Ben had to bring up this discussion with Mitchell (who is far from logical and even farther from humor in the morning) and insisted he understand the idea of "waking up on the wrong side."  This insistence quickly led to more tears on Mitchell's part and one more trip back to bed.  He must have climbed over the guard rail the third time though, because he came down only pretending to scowl and not doing a very convincing job.  All I had to do was whip the camera out to capture the moment when a smile broke through the storm that was Mitchell's morning.  

By the way, we had Cheerios for breakfast, not popsicles.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I Guess Some Rules Are Just Mom's Rules

I never quite know what to expect on the weekend when Matt is home and playing with the boys. The boys get to do things with daddy that I would never even think of letting them do.  I have many reasons why certain things are not allowed, among them safety concerns and more often, trying to keep the messiness to a minimum.  

But when I am gone and daddy takes over for a while, they get a bit...creative and always end up doing something that is borderline naughty.  I don't think Matt or the boys sit down and think, "Now, which rule can we break and what will make the most mess here?"  I think Matt just turns back into a little kid himself and they don't alway think about what I would do or allow if I were around.  I always return home to find plenty of laughing and often quite a mess.

This time, the mess was minimal, and they cracked me up, showing me that some rules really are only in place because I don't want the mess or clean-up, not because of a real right-and-wrong issue.  I am OK with some rules being bent when daddy is in charge.  Why not have special things to do only during "dude time?" 

They were all upstairs and when they heard that I was home, there was plenty of shushing and whispering, "Dad!  Mom's home!  Shhh!"  They snuck to the top of the stairs and then called me over to check them out.  They had decided facial hair could not wait a few more years, so they got out the non-permanent markers (I have to hand it to Matt for finding these markers instead of the Sharpies) and speeded up puberty a bit (yes, Matt is still awaiting puberty when it comes to facial hair as well.)

Notice them proudly clutching their weapons of defacement here.  The look on their faces says, "Mom, we are getting into so much mischief and daddy helped us!"  True true, boys.  You would never have gotten this one past me had you asked me first.  Good thing you have a dad who loves mischief almost as much as you do and who encourages you to be the crazy boys you are.  Don't try this one when I'm around though, and don't let me catch you drawing on Jack!

Friday, August 20, 2010

I'll Give You One Guess

Today I opened my kitchen drawer to get my cherry pitter, and it was missing.  Later, I couldn't find my pizza cutter.  My suspicion aroused, I dug around in the drawer to see what else was missing.  In addition to the cherry pitter and pizza cutter, the other missing utensils were a can opener, bbq lighter, scissors, and a bottle opener.  Hmm... I was busy in the kitchen when I made this discovery and didn't really have time to investigate, and I quickly forgot about it.  

I'll give you one guess who was behind the disappearance of my kitchen utensils - I'll bet you don't even need to guess!  

Later in the evening, when I laid down on Mitchell's bed while Matt was tossing the boys around (yes, he was actually throwing them into their bean bag), the bed felt a tad...lumpy.  Mystery solved - I found the missing tools.  Mitchell had brought them all up to his room and buried them in his bed.  Why?  Who knows....  Good to have you back to normal again, my funny little boy!

Just Like It Used To Be

Mitchell is beginning to recover from his sickness, but as he continues to sleep it off, Ben and I have had a lot more time together, just the two of us, and it has been so fun!  After I get the little guys settled down for a nap and Ben and I have both had a small "alone time," we spend the rest of the time together in a way we rarely get anymore.  He has read me simple stories, we have made paper dragons, soaked our feet in buckets of cold water on the patio (not sure where and why he came up with that idea, but it did feel nice!), laid around talking, and made tons of fun little snacks (I get mighty hungry during this part of the day!)

This middle part of my day is usually when I brew my second pot of coffee, and Ben, wanting to be a part of that as well, wanted us to make the drinks a bit more special this time.  Now this was a lot more work than just pouring a nice, hot, black cup of coffee for myself, but his way was a yummy change in the routine.  His choice was a hot chocolate "latte" for himself and a latte with cinnamon for me.  Mmmm...
I don't think I made his quite hot 
enough though because he downed that thing in about 1 minute!

Another treat we discovered in our special time together was a new favorite way for him to eat watermelon!  He loves it any way you prepare it (I think he'd dig right into a whole melon with his fingers if I let him - maybe we'll try that one day!), but this way delighted him for some reason.  We cut the end off and made it into a bowl for him, then he used a fruit spoon to dig it out.   He got 
quite a kick out of that cerated edge on the spoon and also loved to drink the juice out of the bowl when all the 
fruit was gone!  It is so easy to entertain this kid!

Being alone with Ben for a couple hours every day has reminded me of how it was for us before my other two joined the party.  It can be so easy sometimes to just take care of one big kid!  Sometimes, at the park or other public place full of kids and parents, I watch the mom or dad who is there with just one kid.  You can always tell which ones they are because they are busy building a sand castle in the sandbox, or pushing the child on the swing endlessly, or following the child tirelessly from one toy to the next, fully participating in whatever game is going on.  I envy that parent at that point and wish my kids could each have my undivided attention, but I am lucky if I can keep them all in one area of the park for long enough to kick my shoes off!  Just when Mitchell has decided we are playing trucks in the sandbox, Ben needs a push on the swing and Jack has crawled off and gotten himself stuck under the slide again!  "One child mommy" does not have this problem, but she also doesn't have the ability to sit back and let the kids entertain themselves and feel the pride and satisfaction that brings.  I suppose there are some children out there who don't need a playmate and who easily entertain themselves, but not many I'd bet.  Just when I start feeling badly that each of my boys could use a bit more of my time, I see them band together and have so much fun doing it!  So while I do envy "one child mommy" occasionally, most of the time I feel so blessed to have my two older boys so close in age and so happy with each other!  A lot more would be required of me as a playmate had Mitchell not come around when he did!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I Miss You, Mitchell

It seems as if most of my posts are about Mitchell, my craziest and most willful of the three boys.  He is a handful, for sure.  All his energy and stubbornness make for great blog posts, but also often make quite a bit of work for a parent!  I sometimes find myself wishing he would just calm down a bit, relax, and just listen and obey me for goodness sakes!

Never would I have expected that the very things that daily frustrate me about my middle child are the very things I love the most about him, though.  This fact has been pointed out to me in the last few days when he has been sick.  He has croup, which has left him very sleepy, very snugly, very sad, and without a voice.  For Mitchell to not have a voice makes an amazing difference in the overall volume level in our house!  He also is not usually one who needs a lot of sleep either, so the combination of sleepy and quiet has been quite a shock around here!  You would think I would secretly relish this crazy son of mine being sick, but I don't - not even in secret!  I now realize how I have come to depend on him to get us energized and moving in the mornings.  He keeps us on our toes and keeps us going when we are wearing out.  He makes us laugh when we are all tired and tired of each other.  He plays funny, silly games with Jack when I have run out of what it takes to entertain a baby.  He keeps Ben thinking and planning and creating new games and keeps him from sitting around with "nothing to do."  He keeps me re-inventing and re-evaluating, forces me to remain focused on being a good mom/parent, and just brings so much fun and humor amidst all the other stuff!

I do not wish another sleepy day upon him.  He has slept almost 2 whole days now and we are all ready for him to wake up and "do his duty" for his family again!  We need you, Mitchell and we miss you!  And I need more blog material!  Get well soon!

So Much for Getting Organized

Occasionally, I get to thinking too much.  It's a dangerous past-time - this "thinking."  Lately, I have been "thinking" that I need to get more organized, based on the cleanliness of my house and my boys as well as plenty of unfinished or even un-started projects.  All this "thinking" has resulted in some serious list-making on my part!  I now have lists all over my kitchen!  I have project lists and daily to-do lists and fun things to do with the boys lists.  I have sticky lists on my desktop and even reminders on my phone!  Today, I looked at my house plants and thought, "man, those plants could use some water!"  What did I do?  I put "water plants" on my list!  Instead of giving my live plants a nice drink of water, I wrote it down on a piece of paper!  Now my plants are still wilting and I have one more thing to do still!

I think maybe I will just go back to my organized chaos because that was working for us.  Yeah, my boys are always some degree of dirty and my floors could always use a good scrubbing, but it all gets taken care of in the end!  This list-making only puts it off for another day!

I must say though, the one advantage to making lists is being able to cross something off that list.  It really gives unloading the dishwasher much more significance if you can do it than scratch a big, fat line through it, doesn't it?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Containing the Pest

Ben had a friend over today and they were quite busy all afternoon.  So busy, in fact, that they hardly needed me!  The showed up occasionally for food or water, then disappeared to their adventures.  At one point, I had to invade their little world to leave Jack with them.  I had to go to "the dungeon" to move some laundry along (I'll tell you all about my dungeon someday!) and didn't want to leave Jack on his own.  

When I returned, I fully expected Ben to be crying or at least moaning about how Jack had destroyed what they had built or that he slobbered on their fort, but it all sounded happy and fairly calm still upstairs!  Turns out, Jack had indeed tried to destroy something, so Ben set up a little "Jack zone" for him.  He picked him up and stuck him in the corner with pillows and all his stuffed animals, put a basket of baby toys next to him, then blocked him in with big bins of toys.  Jack was, so far, oblivious to the fact that he had been relegated to the corner and was happily playing away in his Ben-made quarantine!   

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Atta Boy!

Ben is a lingerer in the bathroom.  He really likes to take his time to fully appreciate the entire process.  Who knows, maybe that is where he comes up with some of his more ingenious ideas and schemes.  It could be that he enjoys a little bit of privacy every now and then, which none of us get much of around here.  Whatever his reasons, when nature calls, he really makes the most out of it.  So the other day, when he had run off to use the toilet and hadn't returned 10 minutes later, I didn't really give it much thought, as that is not unusual for him.  After about 15 minutes though, I began to wonder if he had finished and then curled up for a nap somewhere so I walked half way up the stairs and called out to him, asking what he was up to.  He answered, "I'm still in the bathroom!"  When I asked what was taking so long, he said, "Well, I finished a while ago, but I ran out of toilet paper.  So I got a new role out and I'm just trying to figure out how to get it put on here properly!  I keep getting it on backwards so I'm still trying!"

Wow.  I didn't know he was aware of the fact that new toilet paper doesn't just "magically" appear when the old one runs out, let alone know how to replace it himself!  And it wasn't enough for him to replace it, he knew which way was the correct way!  Although I'm positive I've complained about empty toilet paper rolls plenty of times, I'm pretty sure I haven't actually taken the time to teach him this process.  Now if I can just get him to teach this little trick to his dad...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Watch Out, World!

This post is a bit out-dated as this major milestone was passed a few weeks ago at about 7 months, but as I have nothing more important to write about today, I dedicate this one to you, Baby Jack!  Your funny bottom wiggling, push-ups, slithering, and rolling has finally all paid off!  All your hard work has produced one of the fastest crawls I have ever seen!  Ben and Mitchell crawled a bit earlier than you, but you have them beat in speed at this age!  

He really is a speedy little guy.  He no longer is content to be left alone in a room, but will crawl with all his might as soon as the action starts moving to another place.  The big boys can no longer just move their game to a slightly different location to escape his babyish pestering.  He moves when they do.  I have honestly never before used a baby gate in any of my houses for either of my other boys, but this guy can move so quickly, I felt it necessary to protect him in this way.  

I sometimes leave the room to get something from another room, and when I turn around to go back, there he is, slap slap slapping the floor, furiously trying to keep up and doing a fairly decent job at it!

Already, he is not satisfied with his new skill.  It is not enough to be mobile.  He thinks he can walk and tries to prove it every time he pulls himself to standing position, then turns around and lets go, crashing down each time.  I guess all that chub makes a pretty good cushion for such instances!

Good work, little guy.  We're all watching you, every step of the way!

I Think I Need A Second Opinion

I did something to my back last weekend, leaving me with quite a soreness that hurts most when I pick up my giant baby or when I get jumped on unexpectedly by my 5 year old.  While picking up Jack cannot be avoided, I do try to keep the "jumping on mom" by the other boys down to a minimum right now.  Last night, I got a sneak attack though.  Ben had clearly forgotten and jumped from his bed over to Mitchell's bed where I was laying.  Ouch.  After the groans on my part and plenty of apologizing and hugging on his part, the boys decided it was time to play doctor on me.  (I love this game because it requires me to lay down.)  Dr. Ben and Dr. Mitchell got out all their "tools" (it is always so funny to see what Mitchell picks as his tools) and got to work on me.  

After plenty of cutting, poking, gluing, patting, and screwing, along with the appropriate sound effects for each, Dr. Ben diagnosed me: I just need some new bones!  Dr. Mitchell's diagnosis was a bit more...puzzling.  He was certain my legs needed to be cut off and replaced.  I tried to tell him my legs felt just fine, but there was no stopping him!  So while Ben took out all my back bones, replaced them, then glued my back back together, Mitchell busily sawed my legs off at the knees, then replaced them again.  After a high five between my two doctors, they told me I was all better and shouldn't have a sore back anymore!

Well, after all this special treatment from my personal docs, the recent pain from being jumped on had faded, so I guess (although I think I could have kept my original legs) their surgery worked to some degree!  

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Where Have All My Pillows Gone?

Ben and Mitchell are really in a good "groove" these days.  They are always great together, but right now especially, they are really the best of buds.  They are playing well together, making up games well, wrestling without whining and crying, building things together...they are just of like mind and in their own little world.  It's been great.  Sometimes Jack and Matt and I are invited into this world, sometimes they don't need us.  Sometimes they disappear and I wonder what kind of mischief they are getting into, but when I hunt them down, they have simply gone off on their own to create one of their games or build a fort or just...do whatever it is they love to do together.

A few days ago, I had one of those moments where one minute they were playing with Jack and me, the next minute they were stomping up the stairs together, off on an adventure they didn't need us for.  I love it when they do this for many reasons, so I just smiled to myself and continued to play with Jack.  After a while though, I began to wonder what they were up to and why neither of them had called for me even once.  Jack and I decided to investigate.  We began our search in my room, and, while there were no boys in there, my bed was suspiciously empty of all pillows/bedding.  I checked their room and they were not in there either!  I have a pretty small place and there aren't many places to hide, so this was a bit puzzling!  Then I heard a giggle from their bathroom and took a peek.  They had filled their shower with all my bedding and were just camped out in there.  They knew I was looking for them so whatever they had been playing had been put on hold until this game of hide-and-seek was over.  They love it when they think I can't find them and try so hard to keep hidden, but the giggles always give them away.

I flung the shower door open, screaming "Found you!" and they rolled around in laughter.  Turns out they needed my pillows inside the shower to build a boat.  So they sailed in this pillow/shower boat, using shower knobs as controls and pillows as seats.  Ben was captain (of course) and Mitchell was dutifully following orders by turning knobs, all while slowly dripping water all over my bedding.

Luckily, I had just cleaned the shower and it was just a little clean water dripping onto my bedding.  They were having such a great time, that I left them to their sailing adventure.  I wish I could picture what their little imaginations were creating for them.  

Why Boys Are More Better Than Girls

I was reading through Dobson's Bringing Up Boys and found a letter that a little girl had written to him about why girls are better than boys.  Apparently, he printed this and many little boys heard about it and he was flooded with letters from boys of all ages, fighting back against the "incorrectness" of this little girls' list.  I am not going to list all of them, just my favorite ones followed by a couple quotes also sent in by little boys.  (Any typos were left in on purpose, by the way.)

Why Boys Are More Better Than Girls

1. Boys can sit in front of a scary movie and not close their eyes once
2. Boys don't have to sit down every time they go.
3. boys don't get embarrassed easily.
4. Boys can go to the bathroom in the woods.
5. Boys can climb trees better.
6. Boys are better tractor drivers than girls.
7. Boys rite better than girls.
8. Boys can build better forts than girls.
9. Boys are way more cooler.
10. Boys have less fits.
11. Boys aren't afraid of reptiles.
12. Boys don't do all those wiggaly movements when they walk.
13. Boys don't scratch.
14. Boys don't brade another's hair.
15. Boys aren't smart alickes.
16. Boys don't cry and feel sorry when they kill a fly.
17. Boys don't use as much deoderant.
18. Boys learn to make funny noises with their armpits faster.
19. Boys can tie better knots - specially girls pony tails.
20. Boys get to blow up more stuff.
21. Without boys there would be no babies.
22. Boys eat with a lot of heart.
23. Boys hum best.
24. Boys are proud of their odor.
25. Boys don't cry over a broken nail.
26. Boys aren't clichish.
27. Boys bait their own hook when they fish.
28. Boys don't wake up with bad hair.
29. Boys aren't stinker. [what?]
30. Boys don't take two million years to get ready.
31. Boys don't put a tub of makeup on all the time.

"Boys care more about sports, having fun, and not caring about the way they look (unless they are going somewhere nice.)  I was made to write this letter.  Most boys do not like to write."

"I was reading through your letter and I saw the list of...reasons why girls are better than boys.  Know what I did with it?  I stomped on it!  P.S. you have permission to print this."
I'm glad little boys of all ages can see and appreciate the differences between themselves and the "fairer" sex.  These are some important differences!  You guys crack me up!  I'm not sure I agree with you that you aren't "stinker" or "don't wake up with bad hair" though...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

When I Grow Up To Be A Man

Mitchell has a thought stuck in his head that he often brings up and wants reassurance about.  He is concerned about becoming a man.  It began with, "Mom, will I be a man?"  I assured him that he was, thinking he was excited about the idea, but his next question suprised me - "Do I have to be a man?"  Over the last week or so, he has been loaded with questions about "being a man" and he's just not sure it sounds like what he wants to be.  Some more of his questions have been "Why do I have to be a man?" and "What is a man?" I clearly have not made it sound like a good idea - this turning into a man business because after these sorts of questions, he makes statements such as "I don't want to be a man" and "I don't want to be a man, I just want to be Mitchell."  

I have been unable to figure out what his thinking is on this whole issue and what he actually thinks "being a man" means until he finally asked this question: "Can I turn into Mitchell again later?"  Ahhh...I think he believes that a "man" is something he will magically turn into, completely changing into something else like a dog or an ogre or a dinosaur.  Now that I have an idea where his apprehension is coming from, I can figure out better answers to his questions and more effective ways of painting a more positive picture for him.  

Because of all this "man" talk (he is talking to me about this instead of Matt because he has been out of town during this), I have had a song running through my head quite a bit.  I even sing it to the boys and while they only understand a little of the lyrics, they love it anyways because of the title and chorus:

When I grow up to be a man
Will I dig the same things that turned me on as a kid?
Will I look back and say that I wish I hadn't done what I did?
Will I joke around and still dig those sounds
When I grow up to be a man?

Will I look for the same things in a woman that I dig in a girl?
Will I settle down fast or will I first want to travel the world?
Now I'm young and free, but how will it be
When I grow up to be a man?

Will my kids be proud or think their old man is really a square?
When they're out having fun yeah, will I still want to have my share?
Will I love my wife the rest of my life
When I grow up to be a man?

What will I be when I grow up to be a man?
Won't last forever.
It's kind of sad
Won't last forever
It's kind of sad
Won't last forever.

-Beach Boys, "When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)"

Oh, Mitchell, you have so much ahead of you!  Most of this song doesn't yet apply to you, but it will!  You will grow into a man, but still stay Mitchell and I can't wait to see how it all turns out!  You have a wonderful, strong, and confident daddy to guide you along the way and make the process exciting and meaningful.  "Becoming a man" might be scary at times, but Daddy will be there to show you how to do it!  Cheer up!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Daddy's Ice Cream Cake

It has 4 ingredients - ice cream, Oreos, a little milk, and chocolate syrup (optional.)

1. Crush up most of the pack of Oreos into the bottom of a baking dish.  Add a little milk (about 1/4 of a cup little by little) until the Oreos are wet and clumpy and will smash down into a crust.

2.  Scoop a whole container of your favorite ice cream on top of the Oreos.  This works best if you let the ice cream melt a little first so that it will smooth out nicely.

3.  Squirt chocolate syrup all over and crumble up the remaining Oreos on the top.

4.  Put it in the freezer so the crust can harden and then eat it!  You can do it Norquist boy style and just dig it right out of the dish, or you can do it the more traditional and civilized way and use bowls and spoons.  Either way, it is delicious and pretty tough to stop eating until it's gone!

This is a really fun cake to make with kids because, well, it is yummy to eat while making it mostly, but also because it is fun and easy for them to crush and scoop and squirt.  Ben and Mitchell were so excited to tell Matt that they actually made his cake for him - almost as excited as they were to eat it!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Look Mom, Fingerpaint!

It suprises me how little I mind baby poop. Afterall, the first diaper I ever changed was my first baby's. I really thought it was going to gross me out a bit with so little experience dealing with it, but it never really has. This week though, Jack has pushed my limits as to what I find gross in the whole "baby poop" department.

The three boys love to take baths together. Sometimes, at the end of the day, a bath with his big brothers is the only thing that makes tired and cranky baby Jack smile and laugh. So they get baths together every single night (let's be honest - they could use baths twice a day most days!) and it is a welcome activity for all of us.

This week, Jack decided to mix things up a bit and thoroughly gross out not just me, but his brothers as well! He had had enough of the craziness in the tub, but wasn't done with the action entirely. He wanted to be near the tub, just not in it, so I dried him off and stood him up, holding onto the side to watch. With him out of the tub and no longer in any sort of danger, I ran downstairs for just a few minutes, mainly to get a diaper. Returning upstairs, I could smell the poop before I even rounded the corner to the bathroom. I knew he had pooped, but didn't know the extent of the damage until I actually saw it. Jack had pooped, then sat in it, then found it with his hands, then loved that apparently and proceeded to fill one Mitchell's crocs with it. He also had it on his face (which makes me think he might have actually gotten some in his mouth???) and had painted it all over the floor and wall as well. How in the world did he create so much...art in so little time??

Don't ask me why I thought Ben had any responsibility in this, but needing someone to scold other than a baby who only smiles at me when I scold him, I asked him why he didn't tell me Jack was pooping! He said, "Well, I smelled something pretty smelly and now I know what it was!" Both boys wanted out of the bathroom as quickly as they could and Mitchell succeeded in making himself scarce with some speed. Ben however was paralized by poop. He couldn't escape the tub for fear of entering the poop zone. After assuring him that I had it all cleaned up and he still wouldn't get out, I decided to leave him to figure it out on his own while I showered off my very dirty and smelly baby. I walked in on him a few minutes later and he had figured out a solution - he had taken down all my towels and made a trail from the side of the tub all the way to the door. No poop on those feet!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...