Thursday, September 26, 2013

Random Acts of Love

Sometimes when Ben gets up, he'll get on the computer for a little bit before school. This morning, I told him to put on headphones as I didn't want to hear the cartoon he was watching. I hadn't had my coffee yet. A few minutes later, Noah climbed up with Ben which he often does. Then, I caught the sweetest thing. They were sharing ear buds and Ben was holding it in Noah's ear because they don't stay in his ears.
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So sweet!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Noah's and David's Father/Son Night

All three kids have gone to the same preschool. They always host a father's night in September. The Mom's get a tea in May. It's awesome.

You can read about Emily's Father/Daughter night here. I wish I would've included more in her post. Regrets...I have more than a few. We also didn't have nice phones that we could take video on the spot like we do now. We also didn't have a scanner at home, like we did for Ben. I guess in this case, the third child is NOT getting the shaft for once.
You can read about Ben's Father/Son night here.

Last night was Noah's night.  There is always a theme.  Tonight was cowboy night.  Giddy up.
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Here's Noah at preschool with Dad all ready to sing....or not.
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They sang a few songs. David was cracking up about this little girl next to Noah that kept knocking his hat.




Then, one of the teachers reads a few things each kid said about their Dad. The first comment about David having his head up is because Noah walks into preschool everyday with his head down acting shy. I guess Noah notices that David doesn't ever have his head down.



Then, they did a craft. David just let's Noah come up with the story, and he writes.
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It was great they got to spend a little father/son time together. It was his last Dad's night. Crazy (and sad) to think that we are doing all this things with Noah for the last time.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Evolution as a Mother

As a Mom, I feel I've come around over the years. With Emily, she wore adorable outfits that were seasonally and weather appropriate. We saved her "good shoes" for special occasions. Then when those occasions came, we found out she had outgrown the good shoes, and they went in the outgrown bin unworn.

With Ben, I was a lot more relaxed. First, he is a boy. The super cute dresses or shoes don't exist. But, he did wear a superhero costume everyday for about 4 years. And I let him. Even in February when people would look at him and wonder if he just came from a costume party. I might have said to a stranger or two, "he's in a dress up phase". And not one gave me that judging eye. They all usually just said they had a kid who went through the same thing. He did wear regular clothes to school everyday.

I lay out the clothes for all three kids on the dining room table the night before school. I figure it makes the morning a little easier. Noah isn't really used to this routine yet, since he only has 8 days of school under his belt. Yesterday morning, he went in his room and got dressed for preschool. We were thrilled that he was excited enough to get dressed as some days he's complaining he doesn't want to go, and I have to peel his pajamas off him.

He comes in my bathroom to show me his masterpiece. It's certainly not an outfit I would pick out. It's a Christmas shirt...in September. It's long sleeve (well, 3/4 since it's too small), and it's still in hot outside. It doesn't match the plaid shorts. And, he wasn't wearing underwear. He was very proud of himself. During my Emily period, I would've said, "Oh, you can't wear that." After a screaming match (which of course I'd win), I would've changed her into a seasonally appropriate, weather appropriate and matching outfit...with underwear.

For Noah, I told him he did a great job getting dressed. No screaming, no tears, just praise. I did have him put on underwear. But, other than that, he was dressed, happy and excited for preschool. And for that, I thought he looked fantastic.
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Maybe I've just become too tired and lazy as a parent over the years to care what he wears. I like to think that I've evolved into a better Mom. Yeah, let's go with that....

And on a side note, when I picked Noah up from preschool, he grabbed from his bin this little one inch by one inch picture magnet of Emily that he had brought to school. He noticed a few of them on the file cabinet the other day at home. David took him to school and had no idea he even brought it in school with him. Maybe it was in his pocket. I asked him why he brought that picture of Emily with him to school. It wasn't show and tell day. He said, "because I wanted to have her with me". My heart melted. Maybe as a Mom, I am doing a few things right.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

WTF

Noah is my most challenging child. He constantly keeps us on our toes. We were at dinner a few weeks ago. Noah finished early and left the table. He was playing. He came around the corner and says to the rest of us at the dinner table, "What the f..."! He actually said the word. Oh my.

David looks at me assuming I taught him that. But, that's not my phrase. Other bad words, I would take the blame for, but that's not typically something I say. Where did he hear that?

It turns out it was on a Spiderman cartoon youtube video that Ben was watching. Ben will search for those cartoons, but he knows if he hears a bad word to close out the video and move on. And that's what Ben did, but the damage was already done since Noah heard it to. There's no parental controls on things like this on youtube. Ben can handle it and knows what is okay and what is not. Noah does not.

Our shock at what he said probably just fueled him. We told him it's a very bad word and kids (or adults) should not say things like that, and he should never say it again.

But, he did.

We sent him to his room.

He said it a few days later.

David spanked him.

It was almost becoming a daily thing and ended with a spanking or a time out.

At his point, I'm very thankful that he's quiet in preschool. Can you imagine him blurting that out during show and tell? His teacher would be mortified (as well as his parents). Remember this is the teacher that starts every day off with a prayer.

He's 4. Taking away a favorite toy or something means nothing to him. We needed something impactful. Sunday night, David and I were watching Dexter in our room. The kids were watching something in the living room. Noah said it again. Emily came and told us. This kid is just not getting it. So, I told Noah that if he says it again, I would put soap in his mouth.

I remember a few years back one of my friends did this with tabasco sauce. I thought it was so awful and couldn't imagine doing something like that to my kids. But, Noah needed to learn a lesson, so I made the soap threat.

And he said it again 10 minutes later.

I had to follow through. So, I did. I put one pump of the foaming hand soap in his mouth and told him not to swallow it. I was going to make him keep it there for a minute, but after 15 seconds or so, he looked like he might throw up or swallow it. I let him spit it out. Emily and Ben were watching the whole thing shocked.

We rinsed Noah's mouth. He started blowing bubbles which we all though was funny and I call him Bubbles now sometimes.

It's been 4 days and he hasn't said it again. I think it worked.

I'm documenting this simply because in 10 years, the kids will retell this story and probably say, I made him eat an entire bar of soap or something drastic. One pump. 15 seconds. That's all it took.

And now he can go back to being our cute sweet Noah without a potty mouth.
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And I will go back to not being nominated for mother of year.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

7:45

Mornings are a busy time around our house. Most mornings, I'm getting 3 kids ready for school, feeding them breakfast and making them lunch at the same time. My counter looks something like this:
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Emily always has a ham sandwich with extra mustard, pretzels/chips/cheesey crackers. Instead of fruit, she wanted broccoli and ranch. I also made homemade pumpkin cookies, so they get one of those. Ben gets a PB&J with the crusts cut off, fruit, pretzels or chips (he doesn't care for cheesy crackers much) and fruit. This morning, it was raspberries, strawberries and bananas. David and I agree that they must have the best lunch in the entire school.

It's hectic and crazy and then at 8:15 something magical happens. David loads all the kids up for school and it's silent. Well, not on Tuesday and Thursday because Noah doesn't have school on those days, but the other days are pretty wonderful. It feels so strange to have the house to myself. Nobody is asking me for anything. I can work uninterrupted. It's only for a few hours, so I make the most of it!

Noah isn't loving school yet, but he does seem to like it once it's over. That's something, right? He's always happy when I pick him up. Dropping off though, his head is still down and he's just unsure about everything. Last night he kept saying A MAN. I didn't quite get what he was saying. Then, he told me they all say it at school and close their eyes. Oh, you mean AMEN! Got it. His teacher is great and starts the school day off with a prayer. Noah recited it for us in this video that Emily took. You can hardly hear him though because David and Ben were wrestling on the bed. He says, something I can't understand and then, "Dear God, thank you for all the children. Amen."

His teacher is a special woman. She taught Emily and Ben too. She's in her 60's and when most of us would be thinking about getting an RV and traveling around the country. But, her and her husband just adopted 2 foster children. I'd love to be more like her, but I'm too selfish. I figure in heaven she'll be on an upper tier and I'll be with the common good people on the lower level. I'm okay with that.

Monday, September 9, 2013

3:45

This is what my house looks like at 3:45. All three kids doing their homework. Noah got homework for the first time today. He thinks its fun. That won't last.

Friday, September 6, 2013

No Tears

David took Noah to preschool today and there were no tears. Thank goodness. David is a little more hard core. Signs him in, helps him wash his hands, puts on his name tag, gives him a kiss and see ya later! I get him all settled in a play area, etc and maybe that's where the problem is. I just need to have a man approach. I'll work on that.

Noah is really into drawing ninja turtles right now. Lots and lots of ninja turtles. Then, he wants me to put them on my printer and make lots and lots of copies. Anyone need some ninja wallpaper?
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With Noah in school, I got to help in Emily and Ben's class. It was great being there and working with their teachers. It's only for an hour in each class, but I think it helps the teachers a lot and I love to know what's going on. I had big plans for my time alone when Noah wasn't with me. It looks like Monday's, I'll be working. Wednesday, I run errands, and on Friday, I volunteer at the school. Oh well. I'm still grateful for the few hours to do what I like.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Mommy, You Came Back!

Yesterday morning, I had to take the kids to school. 80% of the time, David does this and then goes to work. Yesterday, was my turn since he had to go out of town. Noah was still asleep and we had to leave. I told Emily to go wake him up. She wanted to make a video of it like she does about most of her life.


It occurred to me after, that Noah's life just changed forever after that video. It was the end of his wake up whenever you want life as he's known it. Today, he started preschool. It's only M, W, F mornings. But, he's basically going to have to be woken up to go to school/work for the rest of his life or at least the next 60 years. Gosh, life is the pits.

In any case, Noah started preschool today. We thought we were ready and that everything would go fine. He seemed really excited to go and play with his friend Sawyer. I took a few pictures of him this morning. They don't bring a backpack to preschool, but he put one on anyway.

He was all goofy and smiley this morning.
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Then, we got to preschool.

That's not a happy face.
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We found Sawyer. Whew. He was baking a cake. He was so nice and told Noah to help him bake a cake and it can be Noah's birthday.
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They were sharing. This is going so well.
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Now, Noah is playing. YES! I'm home free!
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Then, I told Noah that I'd be right back and he can stay and have fun with Sawyer. I was being breezy and quick and not making a big scene.

And, he lost it. "No Mommy, don't go."

Heart. Breaking.

"Please Mommy, please don't leave me."

Knife in heart, turning slowly.

I assured him that he would be fine and I'd be back.

He wasn't having any part of it. He started crying. Not just a few tears. He was bawling.

I knew my being there was making things harder. One of the teacher aides came over to talk to him and I quickly escaped. I was standing outside by the door and I could still hear him crying. Life is truly the pits.

I left and called my husband to cry about Noah crying. Then, I ran around to the library, doctor, 2 grocery stores, CVS, met someone to sell something from Craigslist, Kmart for a return and back to Noah's preschool in 2 hours. The amount of things I can get done when I am childless is staggering.

I arrived 15 minutes early. Exactly as I had planned. They have recess last and it's always one of my favorite things to watch my kids when they don't know I'm there. He sat at the bottom of the ladder for about 5 minutes before he decided to go up.
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I was praying he wouldn't grab the telescope like the kid in the picture and spot me. But, he didn't. He just hung out on the right side of the platform for awhile.
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Then, he didn't go down the slide. He climbed back down the ladder. Okay.

I could hear the teacher tell all the kids to sit down at the table. That's Noah, the one kid still standing up. I heard the teacher from the parking lot. I'm sure he heard her. He finally sat down. I don't think he knew where to sit. He was just feeling everything out. Finding his place.
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They went inside for storytime. I came in and talked to the teacher. She said he did great and he only cried for a few minutes. That's a relief. She told me I could go sit with them and listen to the story. Noah was sitting in the very back of the group. I sat down next to him. He looked over and saw me. His eyes lit up and he smiled, "Mommy, you came back!"

Of course, I came back. Then, we listened to a story about a dinosaur and left.

We got to the car and I was asking him all about his day. He told me they had crackers and polka dots for snack. He said he didn't like the polka dots, but the other kids did. I found out later the polka dots were raisins. I told him when he cried, he broke my heart. He said, "I sorry Mommy. Do you need a bandaid?" and put his little hand on my chest. Oh my gosh, I love this kid.

He said he had a fun day. Is he ready to go on Friday? I'm not sure. But, it's David's turn to take him. I'll pack him some band aids, just in case.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Nine

My sweet girl just turned nine! I can hardly believe it. She's turning into such a sweet and smart young lady.

I know how Emily's brain works, and I knew the first thing she'd want to do on her birthday is open presents. It was Friday morning and they had to get to school. So, I let her open Aunt Pam's present. I knew she'd love it. She got a doll and a knew outfit, which she immediately put it on. She was happy heading to school.
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I had brought in cookies for her class, so I knew she'd feel special that day. When I picked her up, she wanted to open more presents. I told her we would have to wait until David got home from work. Luckily, he came home a little early and she got her wish.
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Ben gave her a popsicle star that he made camping 3 months ago.
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She got right to work.
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She wanted a make up kit. Just for play.
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Grammy sent her a doll.
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She loved her!
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I made her favorite dinner of roast, mashed potatoes, carrots and rolls. She was happy.
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Then, we noticed a beautiful rainbow in our backyard. It looks like she's at the end of the rainbow. She's our perfect pot of gold!
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My girl never wants cake. No, that's too basic. She wants a pumpkin roll. Emily's birthday means I'm in the kitchen most the day, but she's worth it.
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We san happy birthday.
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Another picture with her Dad. Can you tell someones been playing in her make up kit?
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She wanted 2 candles and to make 2 wishes.
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I think she had a wonderful day. In lieu of a big party, she wanted to have her best friend over for a day of fun and sleepover. So, that's what we did. We went to the Smurf movie. Then, we headed to play golf in the dark. They had fun.
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The sleepover went well and I think Emily had a great birthday. I told her that half her time with us is done as when she is 18, she'll probably move out and head to college. She assured me, she is never leaving our home. I'm writing that down to remind her of that when she is 18. I love my girl and I hope she stays with us for as long as she wants. We have great colleges around here, and I can still make her pot roast!