Our giant bean bag chair continues to be money well spent. Just the other day, I went up to check on the dudes up in their room, only to find all three boys happily sitting still on top of the bean bag.
I had such a great afternoon with Mitchell today! After putting Jack to bed, I normally find or create a non-mom-involved activity to keep him busy for a while so I can have a selfish moment or two. Say what you will, I think it is good for him to be on his own a bit, inventing things to do, using his creativity, and learning to play alone. That is not always an easy lesson to learn for a middle child.
But today, I felt like spending some extra time with my middle child so, after putting Jack down for a much-needed nap, we snuggled up under a quilt on the couch with hot chocolate and coffee and just... talked. Not often one to elaborate on his own personal thoughts, today was a rarity in that he was a fountain of Mitchell thoughts! It was such a rare glimpse into the world of Mitchell!
After a while, he started talking about school, and without really meaning to (if I had asked him to do this, he would have clammed up and not said a word...) he began telling me all he has been learning in school.
He showed off his knowledge of shapes and obscure colors; days of the week, months of the year, and seasons; letters of the week and their sounds; and finally, his favorite, counting. He loves to count. He counts everything: goldfish snacks and grapes, buttons on my dashboard, coats on the coatrack, kids on the playground, plates on the table, forks in the drawer... you get it. He counts everything. It's almost a little OCD sometimes.
So he wanted to show off his counting to me. This kid is good for a 4-year-old! He got all the way to 139 (skipping 13 both times, of course... weird kid...) when he paused, saying, "Mom, am I almost to a billion?"
I smiled and told him he was nowhere close.
He though about continuing for a second and decided, "Well, this is taking a long time. I know how to count higher but I'm tired of doing this. Let's count my cars instead!"
I wonder if he will ever realize his dream of actually counting to a billion...
What is the opposite of a boy? A princess, of course!
Ever since Christmas when my nieces were here with their little princess dollies, Jack has decided there are two sexes: boys and princesses.
Jack saw me in a dress the other day and said with wide eyes, "Mommy! You're a princess!"
He saw a little girl with long hair at the park yesterday and pointed her out to me saying, "See that princess there, mom?"
What convinced me that he truly is substituting the word "princess" for "girl" though, was today after insisting on keeping me company while peeing. He said, "Mommy, you got no penis! Must be princess!"
So I'm pretty sure he wasn't trying to tell me I am pretty like a princess or that my hair was beautiful or that I exuded a certain regal "princess-ness." He was just pointing out that because I am not a boy like everyone else around here, I must be a princess.
That title is a bit of a mouthful, but it perfectly describes the picture I am about to show you. I almost don't need to give you any details... but I will!
A couple days ago, Jack was sitting on the living room floor, busy stripping from the waist down. I asked him what he was doing, and he said, "I need to go potty! Taking pants off!"
Well, great! As I neared him to help with the process, he put his hand up and said, "No help, mom. I do it self!"
Even better! Although I knew this could make a slight mess, I admired his determination and decided it was worth it for him to learn to do this without me. I stepped back and let him finish undressing, walk his naked buns into the bathroom, and shut the door. Just before he shut it completely, he stuck his little face through the crack in the door and said, "Stay mom. Need privacy."
I must have been blinded by my excitement over his desire to do this alone. I normally would have immediately been suspicious by all his attempts to be alone in the bathroom with the door shut.
Not only did I not get suspicious, I actually forgot about him in there, as I got busy doing things with the other boys, making dinner, etc.
About 10 minutes later, I noticed the sound of water running. I immediately though "Mitchell!" but he was with me. The next thing I said was, "Has anyone seen Jack?" We opened the door to the bathroom and there he was, naked from the waist down still, toilet lid open, pee in the toilet (and not on the floor yay!) standing on the stool by the sink with a sink overflowing with bubbles and an empty soap dispenser in his hand.
I do have to hand it to him for going pee all on his own. How did I miss his intentions though, when I know how badly he wants to play with that soap? It did keep him occupied and out of my hair for a good 10 minutes though. I considered pretending I didn't see it at all...
Since the birth of my third boy, I have been pretty disciplined when it comes to exercise. I have never been one who doesn't have to try hard to look her best. I am not petite. I am not "tiny." (Someday, I will do a blog about women's silly habit of calling of each other "tiny." But I digress...) Not that I don't have plenty of room for improvement, especially right after Christmas, but anyone who thinks I don't work hard to be the size I am, forgets that I gave birth to an 11-pounder, a 10-pounder, and a 9+ pounder, and one does not just "bounce back" from that.
I try hard to be healthy and when I feel I look good, I truly feel good and that helps all areas of my life.
That said, I can't always make it to the gym. I do go regularly, but with three boys, sometimes I just can't make it. Fortunately, my husband went ahead and set up a complete home gym for us almost immediately after I paid for a whole year's gym membership. (There was some sarcasm mixed with genuine thankfulness there, in case you missed it...)
Yesterday was one of those days I just couldn't make a gym visit work, so I waited until Jack was napping and took Mitchell down to the basement with me to keep me company. He loves that. Often times, he will do push ups or sit ups or make up his own completely ridiculous exercises that look more like fun than work.
This time though, my workout was actually something he could help with! He had my stop watch and timed me when I needed it. He stood on my feet so I could do sit-ups and yelled "punch me!" or "tickle me!" or "grab my elbow!" every time I sat up. He counted all my sets for me. He kept shouting, "Faster, mom! Faster! Time's almost up!"
He often gets in my way down there, especially when he wants to help or have a turn with the squat rack, but I have to say, yesterday, he was awesome! My favorite part was right at the end, after the timer went off and I was done. We were putting things away and he high-fived me and said, "What's gonna work, mom? Teamwork!"
On the way home from church today, Ben was attempting to talk about Jack's class with him. After telling him all about what he learned and what he did, he began to question his little brother.
Jack, what did you do at church today?
I drink juice! I eat snack! Graham crackers!
Did you play with toys?
I play with toys! Tractor!
What else did you do?
I eat snack! I NEED snack! I want snack, mommy! I NEED it!
*here is where I had to get involved and distract him long enough for them to get past his constant "need" for food and back to the subject at hand*
So what else did you do, Jack?
I show my penis!
This is when we all burst out laughing, especially the older boys. I seriously doubt he pulled his pants down and showed his privates, although I wouldn't put it past him. Certainly the teacher would have said something. I do wonder what his train of thought was though that led him to say this. Whatever it was, it was funny.
As I was busy trying to get my kids ready for school this morning, Matt came wandering into the smoothly-running and on-time schedule that is my normal morning and kept insisting on messing it up! I love having him around in the morning, but he was wandering around, drinking coffee, making jokes, and distracting the boys.
At one point, he actually blocked my path from breakfast table to kitchen sink with some sort of attempt to dance with me while holding coffee in one hand! I sighed at him and said, "Matt, the only way I have time for your shenanigans is if you are going to actually help out in here!"
To which he replied, "Did you just threaten me with child care?"
Although I set and stuck to a budget this Christmas, I couldn't help but feeling a bit overwhelmed as I was placing the wrapped gifts under the tree a few days before Christmas morning. Many of them were just little things, but I started to think there were too many presents for each one to be fully appreciated.
So I hid two of them high up in the branches of the tree.
Then I forgot about them!
After the chaos of opening presents was over, we had all eaten breakfast, and were sitting around feeling fat and happy, I suddenly rememered about them! I called Mitchell over and told him I thought I saw one last present hiding in the tree. His face lit up and he went running into the Christmas room. After a few minutes, he came skipping back in with a small, wrapped gift clutched in his hands, and a huge grin on his face. "Mom! You were right! There is one last one left and it has my name on it!"
I had actually not only forgotten I put one there, but also what was in it, so I was almost as excited as Mitchell was! When he tore off the paper, he discovered a neat little wooden box with a shiny harmonica in it. "Oh mom! This was JUST what I was wanting! I thought you forgot!"
We then experienced the excitement of an unexpected and hidden gift all over again when Ben got in on the action and discovered his nestled in the branches as well.
I think I will always save a small gift and hide it up in the tree for later. I'm pretty sure that was Mitchell's favorite gift this year!
As we have had the pleasure of having our house full of family for the holidays, Matt and I decided to take advantage of them a couple days ago and go for a run together rather than taking turns.
After changing into some running duds, we came downstairs in our semi-matching outfits of black spandex and black tops and black hats, Ben took one look at us and said, "Hey! You guys match! You're wearing the same thing! Hah!" I felt a tad foolish after this so I said, "Yeah, you're right, we do match. It's a little lame." Ben responded by saying, "No way! You look like spies!"