Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Season of Giving

Mitchell loves his school friends. He finally prefers some of them to adults.

Lately, he has been excited about giving them special gifts. He has quite a bit of time after Jack has gone to bed and before Ben gets home to plan who gets what and what he will give each day. Most times, he just draws them a picture, puts their name on it, folds it up tightly, puts it in an envelop (which also needs their name on it), and carries it to the park, where all his friends are also waiting for their older siblings to get out of school. Last week, he even handed out some of my extra Christmas cards.

Sometimes though, he is in a more generous mood and he digs through his multiple treasure boxes, looking for something that is special enough to be a gift, but not so special that he can't part with it. Sometimes, not wanting to part with a jewel or sharp stick or old belt buckle, he makes a treasure out of something normally not considered one.

Today, one friend gets a tongue depressor, another gets a rock. Merry Christmas, best friends! You can cross "rock" off your Christmas list!

To be fair to my thoughtful boy, he did write their names on their gifts. He also drew a knife on the tongue depressor and a picture of himself and his friend on the smooth rock. Judging by these same friends' reactions to the earlier pictures, I think they're gonna like these...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Late Night Discussions

My boys stayed up later than Matt and I did last night. The excitement over their first sleep-over was just too high to wind down and I drifted off to sleep hearing them still going strong in their room.

Before I gave up trying to wait them out, I tiptoed down the hall to spy on them, just to make sure no one had a sleeping bag on their head or were sleeping naked or all the lights on with legos dumped everywhere. One quick peak told me they were obediently bundled in their sleeping bags, Ben and Mitch on either side of their buddy, lights off (besides flash lights and light sabers), and fully discussing some pretty important topics that needed straightening out:

Ben: Man, I really HATE zombies!

Mitchell: Yeah! Because they chop your heads off and eat your brains!

Jake: But zombies aren't even real!

Ben: Well, that's true.... But if they were real, I'd really HATE them!

Mitchell: Hey Jake! Did you know that people actually EAT brains? They do! Not people brains, but cow brains! And hearts too!

Jake: Yeah! And lungs too!

Ben & Mitchell: No!!! You can't eat lungs!!

Jake: Yes you can! I ate a chicken lung! It had a lot of air in it....

Ben & Mitchell: *laughing*

Ben: But ghosts are not real either even though kids at school think they are. Man, they are so wrong! DEAD wrong!

I sensed perhaps the conversation was going to circle back here, so I quietly walked back down the hall to report to Matt and we had a good chuckle at the important discussions of our boys.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Doing My Part

So today I ditched Matt with the kids and after hitting up the gym (all by myself!!!), I ran some errands. One of these errands was to return something.

I felt great. I felt like I made some money, man! I'm pulling my weight, for once! I made $35 today!

I don't know about you, but I find it hilarious that I am proud of myself for "unspending" $35 and calling that an accomplishment! Perhaps I should overspend more often just so I can return it and "make money" more often!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Christmas Room

I know many of you love Christmas decorations. You love to get the boxes out as early as you can and for a month, (or more for some of you if you can manage it somehow) you love seeing your house covered from top to bottom in lights, flowers, wreaths, reindeer, candles, trees, fake snow, snow globes, santas, snowmen, and all manner of twinkly, fragrant, red, green, gold, and silver decorations.

I am not one of those people. I am, unfortunately, a bit... decorationally-challenged. I love to see someone else's beautiful home decorated well. I actually like tasteful outdoor decoration (when I say tasteful, anything that requires its own pump to keep it up is most definitely NOT included!) And I have a handful of items I love inside my house: a tree and my nativity set are the main ones.

But in my own home, most Christmas decoration is just festive clutter - something else to buy and dust and straighten. I, find myself cringing as I pull out the boxes thinking, "Man... where in the world am I going to put this stuff that will be out of the way, won't tempt little fingers to explore it, and won't tempt me to clean the house every single day?" And I have to put it all away again in a month!

This year, I found the perfect solution! We decided to put up our tree in a room that was formerly the "fort room." This room has not been used for anything really since the boxes were finally all flattened and stored. But we did some rearranging and now this room has some comfy furniture, a beautiful Christmas tree, and almost ALL my decorations! Christmas kinda threw up in there!

I love this solution because it gives us a Christmasy place to enter when needing a little bit more Christmas in our day. The boys love it because it is how they would love EVERY room to look!

We are suddenly moving our favorite books in there and there is now a bin of blocks in there. Ben does his daily reading curled up under a blanket in there. The ornaments on the tree have become their new favorite toys and they all have names and occupations and keep having tree climbing contests (the ornaments, not the boys.)

I am so thankful to be in this house and be able to have an out-of-the-way-yet-still-convenient room to make-over in this way. And I have to say, we are all having so much fun with the Christmas room, I find the decorations slowly leaking out of there and finding homes in other rooms. Perhaps the joy it all brings my boys is worth the inconvenience of clutter for me.

And candles really are pretty...

Monday, December 5, 2011


Jack is a lover of books, this I have talked about many times. But have I mentioned his growing love of my IPhone as well? I try to use it sparingly, but sometimes I have two choices: grumpy and/or crying baby because I have drug him to one too many things past his nap time and he is tired of sitting in his car seat, singing songs with me and looking for Christmas decorations, or happy, entertained baby watching the dang Elmo potty song or "Move It, Move It" for the hundredth time! I hope I am not alone in my allowing my 2-year-old to surf through his favorites on YouTube sometimes.

So he loves my phone. I admit it. I didn't realize his understanding of it though until today when I paused too long during one of the way too many stories I read to him. I paused for too long, he waited a second, then looked at me and said, "I wait. Just loading, mom. Just loading."

How many times have I reminded him to wait patiently for Elmo's amazing singing/song-writing talents to be performed with the words, "Just wait a minute, Jack. It's loading."

Apparently, my IPhone isn't the only thing that takes a while to load. Man, sometimes I just need a nap! Be patient, Jack! Mommy's still loading!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A BMW named Mater

My BMW-loving 2-year-old finally got one of his own.

He cruised around on this bad boy all afternoon yelling "Watch out! Here comes the W! Here comes Mater!" Why not... Mater's a pretty cool character and at least he didn't name his car Moto Moto the hippo.

Happy birthday, my littlest big boy! So excited for you to be a 2-year-old finally!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ever Changing Personalities

Remember how I told you Jack likes to be called by different names?

It just keeps evolving. After watching Madagascar 2 with his brothers, he has now decided he would like to be called "Moto Moto," or "Move it Move it" (because of the song from same movie.)

If I try to call him Jack or even cute Mooksie, he patiently (or not so patiently depending on my level of cooperation) insists I repeat the entire sentence replacing "Jack" or "Mooksie" with "Moto Moto" or "Move it!" then proceeds to sing his rendition of "Move It" complete with dance moves while demanding to watch the YouTube clip on my IPhone for the hundredth time.

These new developments are, quite frankly, annoying. I don't love calling my little boy "Move It." It's not even a name!

Perhaps "Move It" and "Moto Moto" are a quickly dying phase though. Just last night, as I was putting him to bed, he came up with a new one. He likes to say goodnight to all his photographs in his room. He says goodnight to the picture of a bird Ben drew for him: "Goodnight bird from Ben!" He says goodnight to the picture of daddy carrying him on his shoulders: "Goodnight, Daddy!" He says goodnight to the picture of himself: "Goodnight, Jackie!"

Then, he looks at the picture of himself as an infant and says, "Goodnight, Baby Jesus!" I pointed out to him that that was actually a picture of himself as a baby: "It's not baby Jesus, it's baby Jack!" Then he said, "I am Baby Jesus!"

Mooksie, Moto Moto, Move It, and now Baby Jesus. What's next?


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