Monday, March 24, 2014

Finally Five!

Dear Peanut,

Last night I tried to explain to you that today is your birthday. The conversation made me laugh so hard I could barely watch where I was going.  It went a little something like this:

Me:       Peanut, tomorrow when you wake up it will be your birthday
Peanut: Today is my birthday!
Me:       No, tomorrow is your birthday.
Peanut: Oh you mean in 5 days?
Me:       Nope, I mean tomorrow.
Peanut:  Does tomorrow mean today?
Me:       No, tomorrow means tomorrow.
Me:       Peanut, do you know when your birthday is?
Peanut:  Yup, tomorrow!

Every single day you make me laugh hysterically with your wit, amaze me with your vast knowledge of so many topics, inspire me with the pure joy you find in the most simple moments (like when you exclaim, "Look, a rock!" as if it were a rare gem on our walk in the woods, and humble me when you work so hard for some things others just take for granted. 

Right now you know just about everything there is to know about space and the planets, you rattle off facts about Venus and Jupiter, tell me that stars are made of helium and hydrogen.  You love to talk about dinosaurs and all natural disasters but especially earthquakes and volcanoes.  You could read about magma and lava and tectonic plates with me for hours and then you go and turn all of that knowledge into pretend play while you scream that the tectonic plates are shifting and pretend the earth has swallowed you up or that your bed is a rocketship that is taking you to Mars.  I love all of these things about you daily, but there is one thing that you do that brings me the most joy.  You skip.  Everywhere.  You skip to the bathroom, to the kitchen, you even skip to the step when I put you in timeout.  To me, skipping is like rainbows, they just make you happy and are proof of all that is good in the world.  I love watching you skip because it reaffirms for me that you are a joyful, happy little boy still untouched by the craziness and hardness that growing up can bring.  I hope you skip forever, but for now I will just hope that you skip at least until your 6th birthday.

Papa Bear and I love you so very much.  We wish you a very happy 5th birthday.  Keep playing and pretending to be an astronaut, a garbage truck driver, a paleontologist and a dad.  We would love for you to be any or all of those things and keep skipping through life because nothing can stand in your way!

Mama Bear

Friday, March 7, 2014

Just Call Me Caveman

Two cavemen, two bunnies and a sabertooth tiger joined together to create the worlds first art festival, complete with a cave wall painting, song, dance, artwork and costumes.  What an awesome Odyssey of the Mind team!

Here is the link to a dress rehearsal:

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Too Big for Kisses

I knew this day would come but I was hoping that I could put it off for a few more years.  At the start of the school year, Little Man would let me walk him to the bus stop, give me a hug and a kiss before getting on the bus and never think twice about it.  I loved those moments and hoped that he would stay little and unaware of "being cool" for as long as possible. 

Recently, we were getting ready to go to Little Man's basketball game and he asked if Papa Bear could take him instead of me.  I was surprised because basketball was kind of our thing to do together so I asked him why.  I was hoping that my enthusiastic spectating wasn't upsetting him.  It turns out that it had nothing to do with basketball and everything to do with the sleep over he was going to after the game.  Apparently he didn't want me to come to the game because that would mean that I would insist on a hug and a kiss before he headed out with his friend and Papa Bear doesn't insist on that level of affection. 

Of course, I understand where he is coming from and get that can be embarrassing.  So after the game I told him we could say our goodbye in the car or around the corner where no one would see but that the hug and kiss goodbye meant a lot to me and isn't anything to be embarrassed of.  So we did.  With a huge sigh and a teenager like rolling of the eyes he gave me a quick hug and kiss and went off with his friend.  I really wish we could have delayed this because I think we have way too many years in front of us before giving your mom a hug becomes cool again. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Nap Time...a thing of the past

Sweet Pea has been ready to give up her nap for a while but I was fighting it.  I loved that quiet time in the afternoon while Peanut played quietly in his room even if it meant that bedtime was more drawn out.  Peanut stays in his room happily and even requests quiet time, he likes to recharge but there was no way I was going to keep Sweet Pea in her room playing for an hour or more like Peanut.  But over the last week a new solution has revealed itself.  Sweet Pea and Peanut play together in Peanut's room.  Sometimes they play in parallel and sometimes they play together but it still provides me with an hour or two of down time, they love playing together and bed time is a breeze. My favorite part is listening to the giggles that emanate from the room.  Sweet Pea is usually the "baby" and Peanut plays the "Daddy" or they are both dogs and their pretend play is absolutely hysterical.  I have started to think that Peanut going to Kindergarten in the fall is going to be just as hard on Sweet Pea as it is on me.  That first year or so was so tough, but having kids only 18 months apart is really a beautiful thing to watch.  These two can go and play together without fighting or causing problems for hours at a time especially if Little Man isn't around to try to boss them around.

*** As I was typing this Sweet Pea decided to be a dog and pee on Peanut's pottery barn chair.  I am no longer celebrating their close age and relationship and am instead wishing naps back and scrubbing out pee.  But it was a great few minutes of thinking I had this mom thing figured out***

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Oh The Drama!

Everyone warned me that the drama with a girl would be different than the drama with the boys.  But knowing and experiencing it are two very different things.

Peanut can be in the middle of a full blown tantrum, get distracted or just turn it off and move on.  Little Man is still my worst in the whining department but he moves on quickly and can be easily reminded that whining doesn't work.

But with SweatPea, oh the drama, and the tantrums and the inability to let anything go...

"He's looking at me!!" 
"He was thinking about looking at me!"
"Can we go to LaLa's house? Cillin's house" now put this on repeat ad nauseam and this is my day...every single day.

Sweet Pea nags, complains, screams as if being stabbed and it all works.  She is also sassy and is my most likely to say a bad word or name call. 

All of that being said, she is also sweet and so kind and grown up in so many ways.  I love all of my time with her but I could really really use a little less drama and I have heard that it only gets worse.  Oy!

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Little Understanding Goes A Long Way...

I typically spend 30-45 minutes every afternoon reading to the little kids while Little Man does his homework/reads with us.  This is not because I am good mama, this is self preservation during the witching hour (4:00-5:00).  Today, Peanut and Sweet Pea and I were reading a book and Little Man sat near working on his word study.  I looked over at Peanut and he was picking his nose.  This is a habit that really bothers me so I told him to go wash his hands and face and then noticed that there was snot smeared on his face.  I told him to go quickly and pushed him in the direction of the bathroom.  Then I hear Little Man quietly ask, "Mama, did you throw up a little bit in your mouth?"  I replied, "I did."  He says, "I understand."

Sometimes a little understanding goes a long way to make you feel better.

Little Man's Basketball Team - The Little Golden Waves

It is no secret that basketball is my sport.  I love playing it, watching it, teaching it and now watching my 6 year old work the court.  He scored 4 points in his very first game and has come so so close to scoring in every other game.  He loves playing, dribbling, shooting and is working hard on rebounding too.  This is his first of what I hope is many more seasons!

The Case of the Mistaken Finger

It is fairly rare that we eat out as a family, mostly because it isn't all that relaxing with a 3 year old, 4 year old and 6 year old but for the most part we are turning the corner on that.  Everyone can sit still (for the most part), use inside voices (for the most part) and use good manners (for the most part).

Friday night we took everyone out to eat after Little Man's basketball game. All was going well even if we were smooched into a booth more appropriate for a family of 4 than a family of 5, that is until Peanut started crying uncontrollably.  It came on as sudden as if he had been stung by a bee.  Papa Bear immediatly asked him if he had bitten his tongue and he yells "No!  My finger!  I bit my finger!"  I was sitting next to him so I had my arms around him, comforting him and soothing him.  Then he confesses quietly to me.  "I bit mine finger because I thought it was a french fry."  I couldn't help it.  I laughed and laughed and laughed and eventually he joined in, calmed down and started eating again.  It is just so much fun to be his mama.  He is always saying something surprising or doing something that completely catches me off guard and cracks me up.

At the same dinner, Little Man called me out regarding my use of sarcasm.  I was squished between Peanut and Sweet Pea, not really all that comfortable and Papa Bear was sitting next to Little Man who was quietly working through a word puzzle.  Papa Bear and I realized that we had unevenly distributed the trouble in the booth.  Papa Bear asked me if I wanted to switch up one of my more boisterous seat mates for Little Man and I said "Noooo!"  Little Man looked up and said, "Did you mean that?" I laughed and told him that I was being sarcastic and he said "You told me I am not supposed to be sarcastic.  Did you mean that?"  I only have myself to blame. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Buckets Of Snow

Today the sky dumped over 14 inches of snow on us very quickly.  We woke up in the morning and could barely find Papa Bear's car.  It was a snow storm of firsts for us all.  Little Man was allowed to go up to the sledding hill by himself this year.  He loved having the independence and I loved not having to drag the little ones up there if they didn't want to go.  Sweet Pea was not thrilled with the snow because she kept "sinking" and so she stuck to the shoveled paths as much as possible.  Peanut wanted to crawl through and bury himself in the snow and then would get mad that he was cold.  The last time we had a snow storm like this, Little Man was not quite 3 and Peanut was 11 months old (and Sweet Pea was born 9 months later) so it was a lot more fun this year for the kids and a lot easier on me.  Other snow day fun included hot chocolate, crafts and movie time!

Playing in the drifts

Peanut hit this ramp, caught at least 3 feet of air and landed hard hurting his back.  He was then tended to by 3 6th graders who made such a big deal out of him that he let them hold his hands and walk him home.

Traversing the lawn became more fun and treacherous

She was a great little helper since she didn't want to sink.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Taking Turns

Recently I was speaking with Peanut's preschool teacher and she mentioned that he has a difficult time waiting his turn in circle to share with the rest of the class.  At first I chalked this up to any 4 year old in a class of 16 kids having a tough time when they have something to say.  Raising our hands is a learned skill.  Interrupting and speaking out of turn, that seems to just come naturally for us all.  But then I realized that in part Peanut might be having a hard time with this because we don't usually enforce him having to wait his turn.  When he has something to say, I stop what I am doing to hear him.  When we are talking around the table he usually gets top billing if he has something to say.  Sometimes it may take him 15 minutes to get a thought completely out.  Sometimes it still takes us 10 minute to decipher his sentence.  For example, just this morning all 3 kids were piled on top of me and were all trying to outdo one another by giving me kisses.  (I know, tough world I live in)  Peanut was kissing me over and over which is not very typical for him so I was telling him how much I love every one of his many many kisses.  He stopped and took my face in his pudgy giant hands and said "Now you are a witch!"  I laughed and said that I wasn't a witch and he said "Yes, you are I am turning you into a witch with all of my kisses!"  I repeated what he said to me and he shook his head obviously getting frustrated with me.  "Witch?" "Witch!!" "Witch?" "Witch!!" "Witch?" "Witch!!" This went on for a while and then he stopped and said "You know, what you are when you have lots and lots of things.  "OH RICH!"  "Yes, I am making you rich (still sounding like witch) with all of my kisses."  He was so thrilled with me for figuring out what he was trying to say he gave me a huge hug and more kisses.  During this time, Little Man and Sweet Pea were still kissing me and trying to get my attention but I didn't take my eyes off of Peanut until we figured it out.  He needs to be heard and we still have some hurdles to jump.  So forgive me teachers of his future, but I don't make him wait his turn and saying "Be quiet or stop talking" still feels impossible to say to him regardless of how well he is doing.  The older he gets, the more out of context and complex his thoughts are getting and I will always take the time to decipher his words and let him talk until my head is pounding.  Peanut words are still priceless and I am kind of ok with him wanting to talk at school even if he forgets to raise his hand.