Saturday, January 31, 2009

Weekend Top Five 2/2/09

I was really grumpy on Saturday. For no reason, just a complete jerk wad to EVERYBODY. I feel so bad about it now, but I feel like I have to at least admit it to everyone, as a way of atoning for my bad behavior. I choose to blame it on hormones, and meanwhile, send off apologies to my poor helpless husband and boys, who didn't deserve the "Wrath Of Mom".

Here's the Top Five list from the weekend.

5. Friday Visit to the Airport
Aaron and I picked up Deb's daughter Hannah from school and headed over to pick Deb up from the airport after a 48 hour mommy break. Aaron and Hannah loved watching the plane taxi in (it was too cloudy to actually see anything land) and they were amazed at the fact that the luggage just appeared out of nowhere up a ramp.

4. Saturday Morning Gymnastics

I noticed Noah being less attentive than in previous weeks and in the afternoon, he admitted that the teacher had threatened that he would have to leave if he didn't shape up. I'm glad she got him back in line.

I still got a few good pictures though.
Noah's splits after a high jump from a trampoline

Aaron's landing from a seat drop on his little trampoline

3. Saturday Afternoon Playtime With Daddy

As my Mommy Madness continued, Daddy was smart enough to zoom the boys outside to play in the snow while he constructed quite the amazing fort. He had Noah dig through and made a full tunnel through the snow.

At the same time, I had a chance to finally sweep and mop the kitchen floor, and then leave for a little while to get some groceries. I was in a much better mood when I got home, just in time to sit down and do some snuggles with Aaron, the one who took the worst of my mania a few hours earlier when he was refusing to take a nap (that he desperately needed).

2. Saturday Night Taxes

Pretty sad when you need tax preparation to get your mind of of being a BAD MOMMY. But that's exactly what I did. It feels good to get it done and to know that we will get just enough to get our mortgage caught back up and set us hopefully back on the right track.

My piano load has picked up so I have hopes that we won't sink so far again for awhile.

While doing taxes, we also discovered that somehow we are now signed up for dental insurance through Steve's work. We just may keep that coverage after all.

1. Sunday Church
Aaron's class recited their bible verse last week in front of the congregation and this week was Noah's turn. The 1st graders recited John 3:16. The only verse that I ever remembered learning growing up that I still can recite to this day.

The first grade class is usually the LARGEST grade in the church with an average of about 12 kids. Several were afraid to come forward but the three (including Noah on the left) were loud and strong and did a great job.

Honorable Mention

A. Even though Noah has been doing great ever since school came back from Christmas break, he kept having one day where something just "went wrong" and he couldn't quite get a perfect week in. But he did it this week and he was super proud of himself. As a reward we did movie night and made brownies. I also got him a little castle guy that he played with the rest of the weekend.

This week will hopefully be a little more calm now that the transition from preschool is over. I think I had a much harder time adjusting to it than he did, and definitely harder than I had anticipated.

Did you post your weekend? Let me know so I can come visit.

Friday, January 30, 2009

So Glad For Friday!

I SOOO needed Friday to come. It has been a crazy week. Both the transitions of Aaron being home from preschool and Daddy being home early and not having babysitters have thrown the household off kilter, but we'll get right back on track.

As for the bakugans, after speaking to the boys who took them this morning, I am quite sure that the they have now lost them. I am not going to pursue it any longer, but when Noah asks why he can't take toys to school, the answer will remain that he can take toys again when he retrieves his bakugans. If he wants to pursue getting them back, then he can. Otherwise, it's time to let it go.

Aaron is so behind in his sleep after two days without a nap, that he is extremely unpleasant and he won't get one today either since we're picking Deb up at the airport this afternoon. I think he (and Deb's daughter Hannah, whom we're picking up from school) will have fun watching the planes take off and land. But you can bet tomorrow will ABSOLUTELY be a required nap for him. If he survives that long. The problem is that the longer he goes without a nap, the less he sleeps at night and the earlier he wakes us ALL up in the morning.

I ate almost an entire bag of Hershey's kisses this week so I know my stress level has been high. Now I have to pay the price in guilt.

I usually take about 100 to 200 pictures in a week. This week I took seven. Not seven hundred, SEVEN. If that doesn't speak for itself, I don't know what will. Here are a few of my favorites though:

Here is Aaron "comforting" Pumpkin the morning after the kitten vomit fest on Tuesday

As far as I'm concerned, the cat's name is no longer "Pumpkin". I am now going to call him "Mutt"

As you can see, Big Sister Minnie wasn't too concerned about little brother Pumpkin's digestive issues.

Noah curled up asleep. He sleeps hiding under the covers every night, but when I went to check on him last night, I loved how the blanket framed his face.

Noah has had perfect days every day this week and if he does great today, he will have had his first perfect week since November. I down played it though so he didn't get too stressed about it. His reward is going to be movie night tonight with white pop and he is going to be allowed to make a recipe from the book that my sister sent home with me on Wednesday. (He LOVES this book, Shannon!)

Have a great weekend and come back on Monday and share. Maybe I will win the Home Depot card from the bloggy carnival and get to paint my living room...hey, one can dream :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Putting the Letter "F" To Rest

On the way home from school today:

"Mommy, R said sorry for saying that I said the letter F. Mommy, what IS the letter F anyway and why is it bad to say a letter?"

I think this issue is now laid to rest.

More Follow Ups

1. So after talking with Noah about this bad word situation yesterday, I am completely convinced that he didn't say THE WORD. He is completely confused because he is sure that he is in trouble for saying the word "stupid" and keeps asking me what bad word starts with the letter "F". Now I really am afraid that he will go up to the girl accuser and ask her what it is.

I emailed his teacher about it and she got back to me. Apparently, this girl went and told one of the other moms that Noah said it too. Mrs. T completely believes me and will honor my request to move Noah away from this girl and said she will also speak on Noah's behalf to the other mom. These same 11 kids are going to be together for the next 11 years and I don't need bad feelings among the parents (although if this continues I may have a few words for the girl's mom). At this point, Noah still doesn't really know what this all about and I hope I can keep it that way.

2. As for the two missing toys, they are still not back in Noah's possession and he threw a mini fit this morning when I wouldn't let him take any more toys to school. I told him that nothing goes to school until he retrieves ALL of the toys he had given away. Truthfully, even then I am not sure if anything will be allowed to go or not. I will be talking to the other boy after school today and also to his mother if it doesn't come back tomorrow. Whether Noah should have given it away or not, there was still some swindling going on.

3. Pumpkin seems to be on the mend. I went into the basement last night and found a ton more spots where he had thrown up and ended up pulling out a lot of the foam tiles we had on the floor downstairs. It seemed that both cats were trying to show me where they all were, which was kind of strange. I guess Pumpkin has lived through some of his nine lives but had a few left.

4. Church went very rough last night. I am so sick of all of the other parents letting their kids spend the entire evening running and screaming through the church. I make a serious effort to keep our kids separate from the chaos, but it sure seems to follow them. Then, by the time we get them home and into bed, it's 8:30 at night and they don't fall asleep until close to 9. Then I have to deal with grumpiness every Thursday morning. BOTH boys had timeouts within fifteen minutes of getting up this morning.

Enough updates for now. I need to go clean the house again and actually make it to the store to buy stamps. I am a bit on pins and needles this morning about these school situations but I need to let them go for now.

Thirsday Thirteen: Since Aaron's Been Home...

13 Things that Aaron has done in his first week home from preschool

1. Helped clean up/reorganize the bedroom by carrying multiple loads of books up and down the stairs

2. Thrown up in the entry way to his old school and then again in the hallway on the way to the bathroom, when we went to return the class mascot

3. Attended library story time, sitting quietly and participating fully

4. Played in the play area at the mall

5. Read books at the book store in the mall

6. Charmed the pants off the employee of the teacher store that we visited to find stimulating activities for him whilst at home

7. Took a nap every day

8. Watched the van go through the car wash because it was "filthy" according to big brother Noah

9. Spent a morning at Aunt Shannon's preschool

10. Played at Grandma and Grandpa's

11. Watched way more television way more than in previous weeks

12. Been allowed to eat cereal for breakfast instead of the required peanut butter for school mornings

13. Snuggled Pumpkin when he wasn't feeling well.

Not too bad for the first week home.

Guess what he hasn't done? Asked about going back to school.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Updates form Earlier Post

1. One Bakugan retrieved, other two have been lost by this other boy. Other boy's class had substitute today so I will have regular teacher send home note with child tomorrow.

2. Pumpkin is eating. I guess that's a good sign

3. Chester has been found

New one: I picked up Noah from school today and teacher pulled me aside and said that another student said that Noah said the "F" word today. Noah has no clue what the "F" word is and is begging me to tell him what it is. Now I am afraid that he is going to ask this girl what it is tomorrow and then he WILL know. UGH!!!!!

Three Worries For Today

This is one of those posts where a person writes down what they're worrying about in order to try to get it off their mind for a few minutes. I have three that I lost sleep over last night.

1. Bakugan Mania

If you dont know about bakugan, think stickers when we were all little, increase the cost per each one by about $5 and you have bakugan balls. Noah got three of them for Christmas and was instantly popular with some of the second grade boys when he took them to school and let them hang in his locker (they're magnetic). I protested him taking them to school, but the teacher said as long as she didn't see them it was fine so I was trumped.

Anyway, yetserday, when Noah got into the car he said,"Mommy, I gave all of my bakugans to "N" and he said he'll give me a SPECIAL one later."

No way. Is my kid really getting swindled already? I couldn't quite decide which road to take...the one where I talk to him about giving away things that mommy and daddy spend hard earned money on, or the fact that he was probably swindled and too innocent to know any better.

I kind of let it go but I did tell him that he is expected to get them back this morning when he got to school. "N" only had one of them and said he would bring the others tomorrow.

I am not quite sure how to proceed from here and I may just let it go with a discussion of leaving toys at home from now on. His teacher told me when I asked her about it yesterday that the day before he had told her he was going to do it and she had told him that she didn't think his mom (me) would like it and he told her that I said it was okay. Now there's a lie in there too.

I will keep you updated as this drama progresses.

2. Pumpkin

As I have mentioned many times, Pumpkin is a nightmare. But now we have a bigger problem. He spent the entire day yesterday throwing up, and instead of his usual craziness running and jumping on everything and everyone, he just wanted to go hide under things and not move.

When we put him downstairs last night, we weren't even sure if he would come back up this morning, and he didnt for a good ten minutes after we opened the door.

We don't have hundreds of dollars to spend on vet bills for this cat so I don't know where this will take us. Will we be explaining death to a six and four year old, or did he just eat something that needs to pass?

At the moment, he is lying near the register not moving.

Once again, I'll keep you updated.

3. Chester

Last week when Aaron was Star of the Week at preschool, he brought home a little stuffed animal that was the class mascot. We were supposed to bring it everywhere and then write in a notebook about his adventures with us. He got left at church Wednesday night and I got quite the scolding on Thursday when he didn't return.

We brought him home from church on Sunday and then decided that Aaron wouldn't be returning to preschool on Monday. So Monday afternoon after school, I went into school to return the bag. As we were walking in, Aaron proceeded to throw up all over the entry to the school and again in the hallway. I threw the bag with Chester in it on the office counter and then brushed Aaron off to the bathroom to clean him up.

After we returned from the bathroom, the secretary seemed extremely preoccupied so I made sure to mention several times that the bag for the preschool was on the counter but then I hurried out before Aaron had a chance to throw up again.

Yesterday, there was a message from the school secretary wanting to know WHEN I would be returning Chester and also to come pick up his left over artwork.

This morning on the way home from dropping Noah off, I got yet another call wanting to know about Chester. I once again made it clear that I HAD returned the bag on Monday but the secretary is insisting that she didn't hear me saying anything an d the school thinks that I have lost Chester.

So now I have to go in and deal with that too.

I know all of these things are just every day issues, but I am feeling a little stressed from them at the moment and I hope they will all work themselves out.

For now, I am going to go curl my hair and Aaron and I are going to head up to my sister's for a few hours.

Have a good day.

Thanks, Shannon!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Serious Hat Head

Tackle It Tuesday: Two First Days

Both last Thursday and yesterday, I had "firsts" in the morning. And both days, I accomplished a ton of stuff in the first few hours of the day.

Let me share them with you.

As I mentioned last week, I disabled my facebook account Wednesday night and I learned the next morning just how much of my housework I had been neglecting because of the computer addiction from which I was suffering.

In two and half hours, I managed to:

Clean and vacuum the living room

Unload the dishwasher

Dismantle and scrub all of the pieces of the stove

De-clutter and disinfect the kitchen counter (I wish I had a before was bad!)

Scrub the bathroom floor

Dust all of the end tables in the living room

Wash, dry, and fold three loads of laundry

Has anyone else noticed that every time I post a picture that was taken in my living room, there is always a cat lazing around somewhere in the picture?

Have enough patience to let Aaron mix the eggs for lunch.

As I also mentioned, I decided to pull Aaron from preschool. So the first morning home we decided to tackle his upstairs bedroom. On Saturday when the boys were playing upstairs, Noah came down and said

"Mommy, the whole thing just fell down!"

I knew what he meant but I never went up to investigate because I didn't want to see. So when I went up Monday morning, this is what I found:

After about an hour and a half of ONCE AGAIN, sorting toys, moving furniture, etc. I ended with this:

So I guess both of the "first" mornings were quite productive. I actually am a little worried about not getting as much done now that Aaron will be home in the mornings, but instead, I will choose to enjoy these next few months of enjoying spending time with him.

P.S. How is your carnival craze coming? I have found a few favorites.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Weekend Top Five 1/26/09

One of the biggest struggles facing us this weekend was making the decision to pull Aaron from preschool. We went back and forth all weekend long. Friday was the end of the semester so it seems that if we were going to do it, this would be the time. Finally, Sunday night, we finally decided that he won't be returning Monday morning. I need to call the school to let them know and ask if I can pick up all of his work that is currently hanging in the hall. I don't want to go into full detail and I wasn't worried about his safety, per say, just an overall less than comfortable feeling. Since he won't be five until late October, he still has another year before I plan to put him in kindergarten, so I don't feel the immediate urge to re-enroll him anywhere else. We'll just finish off the year with library programs and activities at home.

Here are some other highlights from the weekend.

Report Card Day

Noah's second quarter report card came home Friday afternoon. He is doing so much better this year and his teacher even included an award with his report card commending him on how hard he has worked to show good behavior.

4. Friday Night Game Night

No movie night because the boys just seemed too tired so we did Family Game Night instead. While Steve was giving Aaron his bath, Noah and I played Battleship (he's starting to get pretty good) and then after Aaron joined us, all four of us sat on the floor and played Disney DVD Bingo. What a fun game. The Bingo calls come up on the screen and then after about 10 calls or so they have a WILD moment, where they show a quick clip from a film and then let you pick a space to cover. Each boy won a game and we were still able to get them in bed by 7:15.

3. Saturday Morning Clothes Trial

Gymnastics was canceled this week so we stayed home for the morning. So while the boys were playing, I decided to pull out all of the shorts from last year to assess what we were going to need for our trip to Florida in a few weeks.

What I discovered is that both boys have grown so much this winter that Aaron inherited EVERY SINGLE pair of shorts I bought for Noah last year and has 15 pairs of shorts. Noah has NONE! So I figured we would head off to the mall to get him a few pairs for the trip.

This was a nightmare. All of the shorts that fit him around the waist are WAY too long and nothing is on sale. I can't bring myself to pay more than $8 for a pair of shorts. So I will wait for a few weeks, I think that the stores will put out more shorts in the middle of February and I will try again.

Did I mention the JOYS of getting a six year old boy to try on clothes in a dressing room? I didn't? Oh, well remind me to share it with you some time. Any horror stories you would like to share might bring me some relief :)

2. Saturday Night Dinner

After we left Deb's house (see below), we had a gift card for a restaurant building downtown Grand Rapids that was built in an old warehouse. Quite neat. So we headed there to eat (since I needed to go grocery shopping and was too lazy to go Friday night). The food was delicious and the kids loved going up and then down the stairs.

My favorite part of that little trip was my AWESOME parallel parking job (if I do say so myself).

1. Sunday Church

It was a little bit different of a week. I took just Aaron and left Steve and Noah home since we didn't have bell practice and the church had the annual meeting after the second service, followed by a brunch that our kids wouldn't eat. My youth chime group performed for the early service and it was Aaron's preschool class' turn to recite their memory verse in front of church.

"Shout for joy to the Lord all the earth." Psalm 100, 1

Does it look or sound familiar? If you have ever scrolled to the bottom of my blog, you will notice that that is the verse I asked Shannon at Gabi's World to put on my site when she designed it.

We did nothing else for the rest of the day on Sunday. Just lazed around the house. A true day of rest.

We also celebrated Deb's daughter Becca's 3rd Birthday Party on Saturday. The kids played really well. If you would like to see pictures, head on over to Mom of 3 Girls.

Are you geared yup for the Bloggy Carnival this week? I probably won't be participating as much this time around now that I have a four year old at home again, but MAYBE during nap time?

Feel free to join Mr. Linky if you shared about your weekend.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Photo Story Friday: Noah's Recipe

I am not the most adventurous mom out there. As a matter of fact on days when I am feeling down, like I was on Monday, I would prefer to curl up in a ball and wallow.

Which I did to a certain extent.

Noah came home from school Monday with an idea in mind. As anyone who knows my little boys will tell you, he is a true scientist, the way his mind works. It amazes me how much he loves to learn about how things work. On Friday last week when his class filled out a paper honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. they had to fill in THEIR dream. Noah's was to be a chemist to make medicine for people (with quite creative spelling I must say).

So that must have been on his mind when he saw me embedded in the couch and headed into the kitchen because he decided that he needed to cook something. I kind of blew off his request because I was in a very bad place and didn't feel like dealing with the mess.

I know...Bad Mommy!

But he headed into the kitchen anyway. I didn't really think he would do anything until Aaron came tattling "Mommy, Noah has eggs!"

Okay, apparently I am not going to be allowed to wallow and actually have to deal with this after all.

I realized this might be a teachable moment and told Noah that if he writes out a recipe and shows it to me, I would let him make it.

I had to alter it a little...

15 eggs became 1 egg

1 cup became a half cup.

Juice instead of jelly

A whisk would work better than a spoon

In goes the flour

In goes the soda (one of Steve's cans of Sprite)

After these, I decided to add a little bit four and some brown sugar, just to maybe spruce it up a little.

Then he wanted to taste it. The raw egg kind of worried me a little so I made another suggestion

Try the microwave

At which point little brother was totally jealous and needed to get in on the fun

It came out very hot but Noah was determined to convince me that he liked it

Never mind the messy counter in the background...I was having a very bad day.

Aaron had his own unique way of trying it. For some reason he was having a momentary evasion to using a spoon

Aaron gave it his thumbs up because he didn't want to admit how yucky he thought it was

But Noah finally decided to tell the truth

Are you wondering if I tried it?

The answer if yes, a little. It actually wasn't bad. I think the idea of adding sprite to add sweetness is intriguing. And I think maybe the oven to cook it for awhile before we try it.

As I was pouring it down the drain, Noah told me he wants to try another one the next day.

I am glad that I got my bum off the couch and let him try the experiment. Like I said at the start of this, I am not adventurous and unfortunately, I think I say "NO" way too often to these curious minds.

Who knows, maybe these experiments will lead to amazing undiscovered recipes that will become world famous. And you can all say you knew him when...

Have a great weekend.

P.S. Did ya notice the new curtains? We have a much warmer kitchen thanks to all of your encouragement last week.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pumpkin Goes To School

I have mentioned so many times that Pumpkin is driving us nuts. He is destructive and mean to Minnie. There is rarely a time when I am on the computer that I don't hear Minnie hissing at Pumpkin because he is being a pain.

But he is also a beloved part of our family. How can you bring something into your home, love it, and then shoo it aside?

Aaron was determined to have Elmo in this picture when I took it

A few weeks ago, Noah asked if he could bring Pumpkin to school for his next show and tell. As luck would have it, his show and tell day fell on the same week that Aaron was Star Of The Week for his class. He has been waiting for it all year long. As Star of the Week, you are allowed to bring your pet to school.

So this week, Pumpkin logged quite a few travel miles.

On Tuesday, it was to Noah's first grade class.

First Noah sat in front to answer questions. I should have called Deb to ask how old Pumpkin was since I didn't remember when he was born and made a guess.

Then he carried him around in a circle to let every one pet him

But true to cat personality, Pumpkin preferred to roam on his own.

Look at this picture and tell me that Noah wouldn't be scarred for life if Pumpkin went away. He is cradling him just like a baby with the sweetest look on his face.

He was so proud the whole time.

The entire time, Aaron was pouting because HE didn't get to pet Pumpkin. It didn't matter that he gets to pet Pumpkin every day of his life, the fact that he didn't get any attention while Pumpkin was in Noah's class was quite upsetting for him.

Which is why it was good that the next day on Wednesday, it was Aaron's turn to bring Pumpkin to school.

I figured he would be so excited. And he was, when I walked in the door. He sat down in his special Star of the Week chair and started talking about Pumpkin.

Then he was determined to be the one to hold him.

That's when the trouble started.

Just like the previous day in Noah's class, Pumpkin didn't WANT to be held. He wanted to be off and exploring.

Aaron got so upset, actually embarrassed I think, and started crying shouting "I want to go home". He had so much trouble getting calmed down, the poor kid actually had to go sit at a table while I carried Pumpkin from kid to kid in order for them to pet him.

So it was not quite the best experience for Aaron, but it is also another little piece of the puzzle of why I am still struggling with the decision to pull him from preschool. But more on that another time.

So Pumpkin got two days in school. And he was VERY happy to get back home and be subjected to a bath by big sister Minnie when he returned.