Thursday, February 27, 2014

On Being a Kid and Growing Up

Noah has turned into such a funny bright boy. Yes, I had some doubts in the beginning. But, he makes me laugh (and usually scream) every day. About a month ago, he found David's swim cap. This picture always makes me laugh.


This morning, David had to leave for work extra early. Noah woke me up demanding more Ninja Turtles. I got out of bed and turned on his favorite show. I was preparing my coffee and I heard this rumbling from behind the sofa. I turned to make sure it wasn't a bear, and I found Noah ready to head to battle.


I turned in Noah's Kindergarten registration a few weeks ago. I realize that his life is about to change drastically in 6 months. Gone are the lazy mornings of watching Tom & Jerry or Ninja Turtles and demanding coffee while laying under the electric blanket. Sure, he goes to preschool now, but 3 days a week for 2 1/2 hours is pretty much just a play date with some letters, numbers and a snack. He just gets a small taste of reality.

As do I. I try to get as much as I can done in that 2 1/2 hours. I workout, volunteer at the school, do some work, run errands. I only get a small taste of what's to come as well. In August, I'll be kid free. I sometimes think about that time and what I'll do. Emily will be 10 in August. For 10 years, I've stayed home taking care of my kids. I've adapted my life to always include a child. Everywhere I go, they go; to the grocery store, doctor's appointments, the dentist, the vet, the bathroom. For heaven's sake, I've taken a kid with me to get my annual pap smear! It's life, and it's been my life for 10 years. That's all about to change.

I know I will be sad on that first day of Kindergarten. But, part of me thinks I may run out of school doing bell kicks! I've loved being home with my kids. I've loved letting them be kids. To stay in their pajamas all day or dressing up in costumes. To watch TV or play with their toys. To stay in our home and just do what they want and be happy. It's a very short span of their lives and I'm thrilled I got to spend every moment with them. I know one day, I will look back and this will be the time I wish I could go back to. But, we can't live in one moment forever. I'm ready to move on from this chapter and work on me for the first time in 10 years. I'm not sure where I will start...I could tend to the garden, learn how to work my fancy camera beyond the AUTO mode, read a book, sign up for kickboxing or yoga maybe, keep a tidier home, try cooking new meals for my husband.

And it would be nice to get a frappuccino and not have my kid lick all the whipped cream off before I even get a sip.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Granny's in the House

My mom came a day early. We are so happy to see her. Noah is getting his ninjas out right now. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Warmth

I haven't been blogging much lately. It's been really nice out and when we are not doing our normal everyday mumbo jumbo, we have been outside enjoying the weather. Yesterday, we did yard work. Today we went to the park!



It's been nice. Although, we would've like some snow this winter. Oh well, there's always next year.

We are expecting my Mom for a visit this week for a few days. Noah is most excited. He misses his Granny so much. She always played ninjas with him. Then, my Dad and Suzy are coming up for the night on Saturday, and David and I have a party in Phoenix. So, we'll get to visit and get a few hours to ourselves.

Up next week, sanding and staining the playground. It's non stop excitement around here.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Eight

Ben turned eight on Saturday. I can hardly believe it. He wanted a party at the park. While our relatives are drowning in snow, we are basking in sunshine. He had 5 of his friends there, and I think he had a great time.




We had pizza.


And presents...


His friend Andrew wrote that Ben looked like a monkey and he smelled like one too. Quite funny.


And we had cake. There was a good enough breeze that the candle didn't want to stay lit.


Ben was all over the place with this birthday. He wanted Lego invitations. He was going back and fourth between a Batman and Pacman cake. And he wanted a Ninja Turtle pinata. I guess that's a boy of 8.

We finished the party and came home. I love parties at the park. No fuss, no muss. We get a cake. Pizza gets delivered, and we are done. We got home and Ben hadn't even mentioned if we bought him anything. He got to open a few gifts. Video games. I guess that's a boy of 8.


Then, we went to our friends house for dinner and more celebrating. I think Ben had a great birthday. Ben is such a special kid that I just want him to be happy. We went to see the Lego movie this morning as an extended celebration. He loved it. Ben gets more into movies than anybody I know. I love that about him. I love everything about him.

Happy birthday to our sweet boy. It's a privilege to be his Mom.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Love

We don't go overboard on Valentine's Day. I buy the kids a few candies. David brings Emily and me flowers. David and I exchange cards. That's about it. I know the day is about love and is to be celebrated, but I feel like every day is full of love around here. We end most nights with 20 minutes of lovin'. That means our kids' are in our arms at the end of most every day. Then, we tuck the kids in and David and I hold hands while we watch TV. Seriously, we are very fortunate and I may take it for granted from time to time. But, my life is blessed. This much I know.

Last Mother's Day, I told David that I'd rather have flowers that were potted from Trader Joes instead of fresh cut flowers. I'll get to enjoy them so much longer. On Mother's Day, he bought me a beautiful hydrangea that lasted all summer. Yesterday, he brought me an orchid and Emily a lovely rose bush. I love it and love that I'll be able to look at them and feel the love for months to come.


We are enjoying some unusually warm weather for this time of year. Although, we are all disappointed we didn't get any snow this winter. My thought is if it's not cold enough to snow and enjoy that, then it might as well be warm. And warm it is. Ben's birthday is tomorrow and we are having his party at the park with temps in the 70's. Even our sweet Rocko dog is enjoying the warmth. He has a rough life.


Emily made this video just for her Grammie and Grampie. They request piano videos, so Emily tries to please.


On this Valentine's Day, we aren't doing anything grand. I'll hug my kids a little tighter and kiss my husband a little longer, and honestly, I don't want for anything more. Life is good.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Green Belt

Ben had a belt promotion from yellow to green belt on Friday night. I'm always so nervous for him. It's definitely hard for the kids, especially breaking the board. All I pray for is that Ben won't kick and kick and kick and nothing. This happened a few times at the last one. The kids always gets it or the teacher will switch up the kick after too many hits. Last time, this girls hand was bloody for hitting a board and she just couldn't get it. The teacher let her do it with her elbow and she got it.

Here's Ben doing his warm ups with the other belt promotion students. I love his focus.


Then, had to do some kicks.


Look at his speed.


Then, they have to go through their self defense moves. Emily thought the little girl testing next to Ben was adorable. She is super cute. Her name is Ginger and you just want to pick her up and put her in your pocket.




Look at Ben fighting off his attacker.


Then, he does his basic form moves with the 2 other students who were also getting their green belt.


Then, it was time to kick the board. He had to do a sideways kick, and I don't think he realized that at first. In any case, it took him a few tries, but he got it. I always think when the teacher steps in to hold the board he helps break it, but I watched the video in that part several times, and I can't see his hands change at all. It was all Ben. We were so proud of him.


He got his green belt and did a handshake with the teacher.


And a high five.


And a fist bump, and a head butt.


And he got a trophy.


Here he is examining his trophy.


Emily took a few pictures of us. Some were blurry and well, David is tall, so some are missing the top few inches of his head.


Emily congratulating her brother after.


I tried to get Noah in a picture too, but he was being pouty. So we got home and he told me he was ready for his picture. I thought he wanted to get a photo with Ben, but he just wanted one alone.


Ben is an official green belt now. He'll probably move on to purple before the end of the year and then we will quit for the summer like we usually do. I wonder if he'll want to continue on next year. He says he wants to get a black belt which I think takes about 4-5 years.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Chores

David and I don't believe in an allowance or chores really. If something needs to be done around the house, we ask our kids to help, and we expect them to pitch in. When I needed windows cleaned, they helped. Garbage cans scrubbed out? I know I can count on them.

I can see both sides to an allowance. I understand that it teaches a kid about money and saving for things they want. But honestly, my kids have everything they need and their wants are very few. I think it teaches kids irresponsibility most of the time. They do a few chores, get some money, save it up and blow it on something they don't really need. Is that how life works? Heck no! In the real world, you bust your ass, get paid, pay your bills and are lucky if you have enough money to buy more ramen noodles, let alone a treat for yourself.

Side story: I was helping in Ben's class today. I got there and everybody was out at recess, even the teacher and aide as they had recess duty. I went to Ben's desk to look at what he was working on. He was writing a paper on the Student of the Week. They all have to write a page paper about what the student said they liked, etc. Ben's first sentence was: What is top ramen? I about died. The kid said his favorite food was Top Ramen and Ben has no idea what that is. He probably feels like he's missing out. Yeah, not so much.

I digress...we've tried a chore chart a few times and the kids are all excited at first. Then, after a few days, they get less excited until it's just...well, a chore. Then, they start doing everything half assed. In the real world, they'd get fired and they'd be back to ramen noddles from mac & cheese. Here at home, I just tell them to get out of my way and go play. I'll take care of it.

But, I'm afraid my kids have become lazy. Don't get me wrong, they'll play all day and never say they are bored, but am I doing what I can to make them self sufficient one day? No. My guy cousin whose in his early twenties wrote on Facebook the other day how sad it is that girls his age can't even cook, like anything. I don't want that to be my daughter or my sons for that matter.

All three kids got in trouble the other night. Noah has gotten into the habit of coming out of his room every night and waking us up. We put him back in his room, but we stay up for hours and can't fall back asleep. Ben and Emily used to sleep together every night.  They are afraid of Bloody Mary (thanks, Pam!).  We never minded.  I like that my kids get along.  I like that they can lay in bed and make up stories and talk until I yell at them to go to sleep.  As adults, they will look back on their childhood and remember that time with each other.  But one school night a few weeks ago, David found them lights on, laughing, practically having a party at 1 AM. Now, they only get to sleep together on the weekends. But, the other night, Emily went in Ben's room, got him to come into her room to sleep and then Ben was trying to sneak back into his room at 5:30 before we woke up. Too bad David was already awake and heard the door opening.

The point being, yesterday was no coffee in the morning for Noah and no technology for Emily and Ben all day. They came home from school and Ben said, "I was thinking today that I want to do chores". I asked him why and he said, "it's the least I can do for having the privilege to live in this home." Gosh, he sounds like his Dad sometimes. Emily was all excited too. She said sometimes she doesn't have anything to do and would like chores. Noah is on board with anything. So, we made chore charts.


I reminded them, they wont get paid to do this stuff.  They do it because we love each other and you need to contribute to our home.  They are on board for now.  First lesson: how to cook ramen noodles.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Cowboy

Noah had Cowboy day at preschool. He even brought Woody for show and tell since the letter of the week was C. I tried to take a few quick photos before he got in David's car.


I thought I could get a better picture, so I tried again, but he was looking at his Dad.


Then, he was looking at the man walking his dog.


Then, he was upset because I yelled at him to look at the camera and smile.


Then, he gave me this fake cheesy smile.


Next time, I'm stopping at photo #1.