Thursday, January 26, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012
I had the boys stay home from school today. They were both well and running around, but I figured they could use another day to stop being contagious, and these were the first absences for either of them, so I figured it would be okay. That brought about the challenge of having all four kids home with nowhere to go - kids who have all been cooped up a little too long already. I decided by 8:30 in the morning that I needed a plan or I was going to end up hiding in my bathroom with Carina, listening to the boys duke it out in the playroom.
I wrote down a schedule for the boys – chores, piano practice, PE (Just Dance 3), schoolwork, lunchtime, quiet time….with a point system leading to the promise of candy. I have found with both Colin and Gabe, that once they start school they love schedules and routines and rewards. Last summer we kept a tight schedule and it saved us. Today reminded me of the summer, only now Carina isn’t a little infant who will fall asleep anywhere - she is a little girl who loves to be entertained and doesn’t love to take naps when her biggest brothers are home. Today she took two 10 minute nursing naps – the lovely kind where the baby finally drops their head back and you let out a sigh of relief as you try to slink off, only to have the baby open their eyes and smile, acting like they had a good night’s sleep. Hey, Good Morning Mom, long time no see. I don’t know if you know this or not, but 9 month old babies definitely need more than 20 minutes worth of naps during the day. So, yeah…
It was a good day though, considering. The boys fought, especially Gabe and Oliver – Gabe is Mr. Jokester-play-on-words right now, and Oliver and Mr. Literal- and Colin got restless and hyper, but we survived Ingalls-style. We worked and played and cleaned together. I liked it because my focus was right where it needed to be. I had no choice but to give motherhood my full attention and effort.
I was reminded once again that it is so much easier and rewarding to treat my stay-at-home-status like the profession it really is – my “career” and “passion” – what I believe in spending my time on. It is NOT a distraction from facebook, pinterest, a perfectly clean house, a perfectly toned boy….all those things are wonderful and awesome in their place, but sometimes I feel like my kids are constantly dragging my thoughts back to them with their demands, and today I was reminded how much more fulfilling it all is when my thoughts are just there……right there on them already.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
What a difference 24 hours can make.
Last night at this time, Chad and I were strategically gluing the weights on Colin’s first “real” Pinewood Derby car, making plans about what we all needed to do finish it in the next 24 hrs, in order to be ready for the race tonight.
(I know Colin is not included in that sentence, and it is his car, so he really should be….. but this is Keepin’ It Real Wednesday).
Not long after, Gabe threw up in the bowl he had recently requested. How sad – he won’t be ale to go to Colin’s race Wednesday night.
A couple of hours later, Colin joined him. How very very sad. No race for anyone.
A couple of hours later, I awoke to the sound of Carina throwing up next to me. Poor poor baby, but I need sleep forcryingoutloud.
And who knows when…Oliver stumbled into our bedroom, eyes barely open, covered in vomit. I think Chad is handling that, right? Zzzzzzzz
It was a loooooong day, followed by a long day of Smurfs, Mr. Popper’s Penquins, Saltines and Moneyball for Chad and I. The “good news” was that Chad had already requested the day off to go the Dr. for what he thought was strep throat, so he was home and washed loads and loads of laundry and Lysoled everything.
So here we are, 24 hours later, and while all the other Cub Scouts are racing their cars, Colin is sleeping with a bowl next to him.
Here’s to hoping to health by Friday…..
which is the big Chinese’s New Year celebration…..
Chad’s birthday. Gulp.
Please don’t let him be sick on his birthday….
or me, because that is almost as awful for him.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
I was one of the most fun times I have ever had with my family. We threw caution to the wind and let our kids stay up ‘til (gulp) midnight. Well, Carina only lasted until 10:30 – not even fussing or crying, just happy to be hanging out with so many admirers. We had brother Levi and sister-in-law Audra there with their seven kids, and my sister Christie and brother-in-law James with their three kids, so 14 kids in all. Callie, age 4, was the only other one who didn’t make it.
The cousins had such a fun time – I think the only fight of the night broke out around 11:00 and it was between two of mine (shocker). Everyone got along amazingly well and kept busy with Just Dance 3 on the Kinect downstairs, Harry Potter on the Wii upstairs, a fire outside, and………
Uncle James’ spritz gun. He helped the kids made, like, a million of these spritz cookies. He had some very captivated helpers and all the patience in the world.
Christie made a bingo game with all the cousins’ faces on it, and we broke that out not long before midnight. We an impromptu prize of McDonald’s coupons, the kids had a really good time. It was really cute to watch them looking for their cousins faces.
The game ended just in time to countdown to the New Year.
What a wonderful way to ring in the new year, surrounded by people I love.
This last picture was shortly after the clock struck twelve, with Ollie starting to fall apart and Chad telling everyone to wrap it up.
Monday, January 9, 2012
One of the gifts that Oliver got from my in-laws for Christmas is a book of preschool worksheets. While trying to get dinner on the other day, I pulled it out to distract him. His little toddler hands were quickly at work, tracing and coloring. I was impressed with him – I didn’t even know he could grasp the concept of tracing yet – and so was Gabe, who remarked, “Ollie is actually pretty good at tracing.” This is high praise from Gabe, who tells Oliver on a regular basis that his coloring isn’t good enough because he leaves “too many white spots”. Gabe got a Sharpie out and set to work grading Oliver’s work. Oliver enjoyed the attention and praise, as he always does when it eeks out of his older brothers.
As Gabe taught Oliver a few pointers, Colin came in. Assessing the learning situation at hand, he grabbed a blank piece of paper and created a pop quiz for Gabe. Without questioning Colin’s authority, Gabe earnestly set to work and was rewarded with his own Sharpie-d grade.
Straight-A students, even when graded by the 8 and under crowd. Aren’t you impressed?