Friday, March 30, 2012

It's Derby Time!

Pinewood derby, that is. Mister's (and my) first. Grandpa helped Mister cut out his car, then Mister took it from there, sanding and painting. J and Mister went to Ron's office to melt metal for the bottom of his car. All of this hoop-la paid off, as Mister's "Video Game" car raced to 4th place. Mister got a certificate for "Best Game Player." (I was just glad that H didn't wreck the track while we were there. We had some close calls, and his record for not destroying things is not good, seeing as how earlier that day, he pushed over the 4-foot panther in the office of the kids' school, and it shattered into pieces.  The principal consoled me, saying, "I think it only cost us $10,000.") But anyway, here's our Derby winner and his prize car and some of the action:

Daddy-Daughter Date: Rockin' the Rink

Last Saturday, J tore himself away from watching Prison Break on Netfix long enough to take Sweetie on a daddy-daughter date to the ice skating rink. Sweetie's first time on skates, and she rocked the rink.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What has that crazy H been up to?

Daily sayings by H:

"So, what you doin?"
"So, I have cookie?"
"So, you read me bookies?"
"So, I have M&Ms, ride scooter down to the park, watch movie with daddy?"
"So, I look at pictures on your phone?"

Other than repeating the above sayings 20 times a day, H leads a full life of
baking (he's actually pretty darn good at stirring and dumping various ingredients)
 sneaking things into the cart at Target when I'm not looking,
 stealing my phone to delete pictures :(, to look at pictures, to take pictures (some of which turn out, as evidenced below)
and some of which do not. 
 He also keeps busy raiding others' bedrooms for things to wear (J's hat and Mister's shoes in the pic below)
 And I cannot forget his obsession with diapers, particularly with lining them all up to see the characters on them. He also leaves stacks of books in his various reading spots around the house.
 And the scooter riding. He is a scooter-riding maniac. Not only is he a speed demon on the older kids' scooter, but he also prefers Sweetie's bent scooter (from being left right behind the van when I backed out). I'd think it would be harder to balance, but whatever.
 And he's a sucker for his backpack, which he fills with pretzels and goldfish and all kind of snacks that he helps himself to after pulling chairs over and climbing up to the snack cupboard. 
We love our crazy H!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Give Me a Break, a Spring Break

Last week was spring break.  We usually stick around because the weather is so nice, and we kept with tradition this year. In the first half of the week, the kids played with friends, played with friends, played with more friends.  Fun for them, not always so fun for me. We went to the park a lot.

We also watched Harry Potter #4 because we finally finished the book (Mister, Sweetie, and I are reading the series together at night.) H woke up for the last part. 

We also went to the zoo with friends. I had vouchers for the kids to feel the rays at Stingray Bay and to ride the camels. The older 2 preferred the rays, but H thought the camel ride was "awesome, Mom!"

 We had a great time--lots of the animals were out on the Arizona trail (can you see the bobcat in the pic below?) and the new bear was really close and active.
 Of course, the day was not without incident. H would not ride in the wagon and kept running. He fell in the water seen in this picture, and he chased a bird and skinned his knees up pretty good.

On Wednesday, Mom and Dad arrived! Thursday we went to the Kartchner Caverns, kind of a long drive, but the formations in the caves were amazing. Sweetie thought they were creepy and scary. H did better than I thought he would in the hour and fifteen minutes underground. We couldn't take pics, so I'll borrow some from their site:
After the cave tour, we had a picnic and headed back. Friday we celebrated J's 35th birthday. I had emailed family and friends to compile 35 great things about J. It was a good experience for me to read all of the kind things people said about him and to remember how amazing he is--it's sometimes easy to forget things like that in the humdrum of daily life. We attached one or two good things about him to balloons and put the balloons all over the house. Vickie, Ron, and their kids and Louie and Kathy joined us for Mexican food and for cake/ice cream/presents after the restaurant.  

We had a great spring break and the kids loved seeing both sets of grandparents. Thanks for coming!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

On losing your first top tooth

Dear Sweetie,
So all of the wiggling and wiggling finally paid off. I know you wanted to loose that top tooth 2 weeks ago when Elle had Mr. C pull hers out after promising you that you could lose your top teeth together. But hers was ready and yours wasn't. I know you wanted to loose it before Matt and Laura came to visit. And I know you wanted it out so badly that you had your uncle Ron use his dental tool to try to get it out last Sunday, but it was stubborn (it is your tooth, after all!).

As for me, I am not so excited to see it go. I remember when you got that tooth, you know. I remember the pain it caused as it pushed through your swollen gums. I got up in the night with you, rubbed orajel on that tender little spot, and held you against my shoulder in the green glider in your room, rocking and singing softly the hymn that I always sang to you--"How Great Thou Art"--until you settled down.

Now you are rejoicing at its absence and the way your tongue feels against the vacant spot in your mouth. You are looking at the new you in the mirror.  I am looking too. In the loss of your first top tooth, I see the beginning of the loss of your childhood. I know what will come next--that gap will be filled by a tooth much larger than the old one and you will begin to look older too. The baby tooth is gone and with it, the baby I rocked and sang to.

I know it's not all bad--although I am not excited to see that tooth go, I remember being thrilled when it finally came in--now you could eat cheerios and bananas, things that I didn't have to sit and spoon into your open mouth. I could do the dishes and let you wrestle with the cracker to your heart's content. The tooth brought me some freedom and you some independence and contentment. The next tooth heralds the coming of more independence on your part and that's not a bad thing. It's just sometimes a hard thing for me.
Love, Your Sentimental Mom

Monday, March 5, 2012

You can call me Dr. Jekyll. Or, er, Mr. Hyde.

This week J was gone to the basketball tournament in Vegas from Thursday morning to Sunday afternoon. So I was determined to do some fun stuff with the kids, enjoy each others' company and all. And we did--we flew kites, got take-out, had a movie night with lots of treats, went to the Transportation Day, made cookies, had a lemonade stand, and so on. But I ended each night disappointed in myself and wondering if it's worth the effort to try to do fun things with the kids. It seems like each activity fluctuated between the highs and the lows. We had tons of fun, we relaxed, we bonded, and then there was tons of fighting/whining/disobeying, etc. and then I got mad and yelled at someone.

Case in point: the kite flying. I forgot how relaxing it is to fly a kite, how enjoyable it is to stand in the breeze with the sun on my face and feel the kite pulling back and forth. And, of course, I can never get enough of H's excitement: "Whoa!" he yelled, running around under the kite. After handing Mister the first kite, I prepped the second one for Sweetie and then Mister thought his kite was going to go into a tree. "Leave the kite there," I told Sweetie, "I'll help you in one second. Don't touch it."  So, of course, she did, and the kite tail and strings were tangled so badly. While I spent 30 min untangling them (a miracle in itself since I am NOT a patient person), they fought over the kite. And the bike. I got tired of the fighting and frustrated with the kite and yelled. Then, on our way home, Sweetie was flying the kite and riding the bike at the same time. "Don't do that near those bushes," I called out to her 3 separate times. "Hold the kite as you go up the hill or it will catch in the bushes." What do you think happened. Aaaarrrggghhhh!

Again today: Transportation Day. So fun to try out all of the vehicles, honk all of their horns (okay, that part was not so fun for me after a while). Once again, H was in his element. The web site for the Transportation Day had listed all of the vehicles to expect, plus bounce houses, and then had said, "Free."  So, silly me, thought everything was free. But the bounce houses and obstacle course was not, and I had no cash. Cue the whining. And the fake sobs. And the yelling on my part that we'd had a fun morning and we should focus on that and not on what we didn't get to do. So STOP WHINING!!!


 If anything, events like these make me realize that I have a long way to go. I love my kids. So much. I think one of my ways of communicating it is to try to do fun things with them and for them. I hope they get that, despite the yelling episodes that always seem to accompany the outings.