Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dirty Mondays

With the first week of school under our belt, we headed to the lake to relax one last time and say "goodbye" to summer. We had a great time just being together as a family with my parents, and both of my sisters.

The time was filled with fun in the water, a campfire, snuggling, stories, puzzles, and laughter.

Tonight we got home early, bathed all 3 boys, fed everyone supper and Isaac went to sleep early (by the grace of God) so I let the older 2 play for 20 minutes before bed while I put things away.

When I yelled downstairs to tell them it was time for bed, I heard a siren go off from Elijah.

He was upset because he didn't have enough time to play, and he just started with a certain toy, and he continued to thrash around and cry while I attempted to interpret between the cries.

When I finally got on the floor to hold him and ask him what was really wrong, he burst out crying harder and said, "I don't want tomorrow to come because Jonah is going back to school!"

Then he continued to wail!

As my heart broke into multiple pieces and I tried to comfort Elijah, while I was feeling the same way, he made it worse by saying, "and I love my brudder so much and I miss him so much when he is at school! Why can't I go too?"

(Insert dagger into heart)

Wow! I could hardly keep from crying myself after that comment.

Fortunately, the new stories from the library and snuggling on the couch helped him feel a little better. He also started planning what they were going to do when Jonah got home from school.

Change is hard. It broke my heart to watch him missing his brother already.

I love that they are so close and pray tomorrow I can help fill the gaping hole in his heart.

So I have never really cared for Mondays.

I have a pessimistic outlook on them...they are the end of a beautiful weekend and the beginning of another week.

Monday's just sneak up on you, and often leave you depressed about what was.

Better get to bed so I can greet the day with a smile.

Now Mondays are rough for me and for Elijah.

Dirty Mondays.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

4 years old a day filled with celebration!

I am just a little worn out from a BIG day last week in which we celebrated a certain someone's 4th birthday! I can hardly believe my sweet "Lou" is 4 years old!

When I asked him what he wanted to do for his special day he said "eat all the treats in the world, buy all the toys in the world, and have everyone I've ever known over."

Since that wasn't exactly what I had in mind, we went for plan B.

The day started with breakfast of his choice: pancak
es with chocolate chips, whipped cream, and sprinkles and a touch of bacon on the side.

(When I pulled out the "You are Special Today" plate for him to eat on he passed it to his brother and chose one with a Christmas tree on it instead.)

Next, we had the traditional "measuring" ceremony to see how much he had grown over the past year. It was pretty remarkable!
Tough competition in this house to see who will be the tallest...

Opening birthday mail is always fun! Especially when there is a surprise inside!
Thanks Grandma Irene!

He and his big brother spent the rest of the morning exercising their brotherly love/hate relationship until we headed to Micky D's for lunch with Grandma Teresa and Auntie Laura.

Following our nutritional happy meal lunch, we moved the party train to the movie theater and watched Despicable Me. It was absolutely adorable, one of the best kid movies I have seen in a LONG time! I highly recommend it and will definitely be purchasing it when it comes out.

It was also super fun that we were the only ones in th
e theater and that my parents and sister Laura joined us and that Isaac slept through almost the whole movie.

Then I frantically finished the Bumblebee Transformer birthday cake that had been requested and we headed to the birthday boy's favorite place for supper: Space Alien's.

We were joined by my parents, my grandmother, my sister Laura, and my sister Nikki and her hubby Tom. The boys had a blast playing games, eating, opening Elijah's presents, and getting to pick out a super prize from the wall (because they had so many tickets) versus the quality stuff in the glass case.

Opening presents
A few of the party attendees
Grandpa snuggling Isaac
Daddy and Auntie Laura
Uncle Tom and Auntie Nikki
Great Grandma Sharon and Isaac

Playing Games

The grand finale was at our house where Elijah opened a few more presents, we sang happy birthday and ate cake, and watched the boys enjoy the new gifts.

A family picture
Getting ready to sing and eat cake
Happy Birthday Dear Elijah...
Happy Birthday Day To You!

Just as I was realizing how grown up my little man seemed and dreaming of how fast the years have already flown by and how they will only speed up and just seconds after I had marveled at his great behavior for the day, he brought me crashing back to reality with an amazing tantrum. I was actually relieved as his life stopped flashing before my eyes and I took joy in the stomping, yelling, and tears.

Happy 4th Birthday Elijah, We Love You!

Welcome to my life with boys

I have been surprised by many things living in a house full of boys.

Life is very different with a male dominated household than with a female dominated one (like the one I grew up in).

My expectations change frequently too, as I learn more about raising boys.

I have learned to be flexible and to pick my battles.

For example, I have accepted the fact that my boys will no longer allow me to dress them in cute outfits (plaid shorts & nice shirts), but rather prefer to wear gym shorts and superhero t-shirts every day.

Independence, while wonderful, has a price.

We have come to an agreement that they will occasionally have to wear "nice" things when I say so, but otherwise can wear whatever makes them comfortable.

I also have come to accept the fact that boys have a certain attraction to bodily functions and noises that accompany them.

One rule at our house is that such noises are not to occur at the dinner table.

Also, if they are heard then a simple excuse me is to follow.

Well, I have always wondered if this attraction is genetically acquired
or one that is learned.

For all who have been living in suspense as I have, you no longer have to wait!

I have the answer!

They are simply born that way.

How do I know?

After Jonah's 1st day of school, he and I were the disaster relief team for whatever natural disaster had passed through our basement the few days prior.

Isaac was sitting in his bouncy chair offering moral support and squeals of encouragement.

While Jonah was bending over to pick something up he farted.

Right on cue Isaac started giggling hysterically!

Then without missing a beat, Isaac farted, thus cuing Jonah to start laughing hysterically.

(I do think one of the hardest parts of being a parent is not laughing at laughable moments when children need to be taught certain lessons)

I was trying to decide how to tackle this situation, when Isaac burped loud enough to be mistaken for someone 3 times his size.

At this point Jonah began burping on demand, invoking giggles from Isaac continuously for about 10 minutes.

(If you live in a predominately female household, and are sitting there in shock reading about the unsolved mysteries of males, I am sorry).

While I am sure a parenting book could have directed me as to how I should have handled the situation, I instead smiled and joined in laughing.

(I did intervene when I wasn't sure if Isaac could breathe as he was laughing so hard)

I had a mom moment as I proudly watched my oldest and youngest son bonding, despite the fact that it revolved around bodily functions.

I also was pretty proud to hear my oldest son giggling excuse me after each, ahem, noise coming from both ends!

I guess that is better than no manners at all right?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Randomness from my Kindergartener

3 days down and Jonah is LOVING school!

Weird? Wonder where he gets that from?

He is adorable and although it is still hard for me to have him gone all day, I sure enjoy picking him up at 3 and hearing select pieces of his day.

I am pretty sure he is exhausted, and I am hoping I will hear a little more as his body adjusts to the new 7am wake up call and school schedule.

Instead of asking him what he learned, since that gets me "nothing" I have been asking him about his favorite things of the day. Or just some new things he learned.

These are a few of his answers:
  • Lunchtime: Because he gets to punch in his lunch number on the keypad!
  • Snacktime: Who doesn't love snack he says!!!
  • Recess: Playing outside is great, but he couldn't tell me if it was before or after lunch :0) Just that it's a little cold and a little hot out when he has it.
  • Winning a scratch-n-sniff monkey sticker at Bingo. (Won't tell me what kind of Bingo he was playing, but oh well)
  • Free time: He wishes there was more free time in the day 'cause he likes all the new toys
  • Learning stuff: He forgets what kind of stuff, but reassures me it's important stuff!
Here are a few fun quotes from the past few days:
  • When I picked him up the first day and asked him how it went he told me "It was great! There is something for you to buy in my backpack." He told me we had to buy it or send it back. I looked in the car and saw it was a calendar from the school to support the district wide art program. I told him I would talk to his dad, but that we would probably just send it back. He said, "I told my teacher that! I said that you wouldn't want it, but she sent it anyway!"
  • The second day he comes out of his classroom and tells me..."today was my 2nd day of school. After my 3rd day, Auntie Laura is taking me out for ice cream you know."
  • After the 3rd day he told me today was good because "I learned how to eat really fast during lunchtime. I know your not supposed to do that, but we have only a little time to eat so I have to mom. Sorry."
  • "Did you miss me? I bet you did!"
  • "Sorry Elijah, I can't play right away 'cause I probably have millions of homework to do!"
  • He gets to be the helper next week and I asked him what that meant. He says "I don't know but it's a BIG job mom! That's what my teacher said!"
  • " 5 days on and 2 days off it? That is my schedule! If you forget, just remember it is just like daddy's"

So glad that school is going well and he is enjoying it so much! He wanted me to just drop him off and let him walk in by himself, but I told him I couldn't do that.

I am looking forward to spending a few days with him and also watching Elijah come out of his mini depressed state he has been while Jonah is in school!

He sure perks up when his big brother gets home and they start playing! So sweet!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

First day of Kindergarten

Today was a BIG day in our house!

Today my oldest son started school.
(wipe tear from eye)
He was so excited to start and last night he picked out his outfit, got his backpack ready, and set his alarm.

Richard and I heard it go off at 0700 and when we went in to see if he was getting out of bed, he was frantically taking off his pjs and getting dressed with a smile on his face from ear to ear and his eyes hardly open.

He came walking out of his room at 0705 and said he was ready to go.

He was a little disappointed when he found out school actually didn't start for another hour. I tried to distract him by taking a plethora of pictures which only caused more stress in his life.

He wanted one with Isaac though when he woke up.
This one was right after I asked if he was excited...
Today was daddy's first day of school at Valley Middle School as the Interventions teacher too!
We had to wait for a few minutes for the first bell to ring and I thought Jonah was going to explode with anticipation.
He doesn't look excited at all does he?
He was really excited to find his name all over his classroom and outside of it.
Elijah had a pretty hard time saying goodbye. He climbed into Jonah's carseat in the car and was pretty solemn as we drove away from school.

He also asked me if I would play with him since his brother was at school.
He was really intrigued by the thought of having his own desk. He was also fascinated that the top lifted up to put all his things inside.
It was pretty hard to say goodbye and walk away.

Jonah was all smiles and confident, which made me proud but I still wasn't sure I would be able to walk away from that room and leave my little boy for the whole day!

I managed to choke back the tears until I got outside.

Fortunately Richard was there to give me a big hug and remind me Jonah would be ok.

I also had lots of texts, phone calls, and a playdate organized by another mother of a kindergartener for a few fellow moms who needed a distraction and a friend this morning. It has certainly been strange not to have Jonah around.

I am really excited to pick him up at 3 and see how his day went!


Words can't even express how proud I am of you! I have watched you bouncing around for months with excitement as you anxiously waited for this special day and now it's here! I had butterflies in my stomach as I waited for this day to come, only because I wasn't ready to let you go.

I can't believe how fast the last 5 1/2 years have flown by! I wasn't sure how I would feel watching you cross this milestone. I have to say you handled it marvelously.

Watching you confidently stroll into your room, hang up your backpack, and sit at your desk without a care in the world was reassuring. Although I had no doubts you would do just that, I wouldn't have minded if you were a little sad to leave me!

I LOVE that you love learning and pray that continues through the years.

I also want you to know I held in the tears until I got outside and then they started flowing. It felt like just yesterday your dad and I brought you home from the hospital sleep deprived and full of excitement to see what the future would hold.

I am glad you are more than ready to embark on this adventure of learning, but sure wouldn't have minded a little more time with you home.

I think your brother Elijah feels the same way! He was a little lost without you today and asked many times what time you were done.

I love you so much and can't wait to hear how your first day went!

Love, Your Proud Momma

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mr. and Mrs. M

Last weekend my cousin married the woman of his dreams!
It was a beautiful wedding outside on a golf course.
We had a blast celebrating with them after too, dancing the night away!
The sweet bride had younger girls on both sides of the family as the junior bridesmaids and flower girls.

They were all allowed to pick their own dresses and looked like little princesses.

Here are my cousin's beautiful little girls getting ready to walk down the aisle.
Aren't they stinkin' adorable?
Another fun picture of some more of the girls...
The groom and his mom right before the ceremony
The bride-to-be with her brothers getting ready to walk down the aisle.
Saying "I do"
Daddy and Jonah
Mommy and Isaac
(Elijah refused to be in a picture but we love him just the same)
The happy couple getting ready to dance the night away!
Congrats you two!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

To my 4 year old son

Elijah Lou,
I feel as though it was just yesterday that we were smelling your sweet baby cheeks and trying to get back on the train after you caught us off guard by your early arrival.

Here we are 4 years later and I can hardly believe where the time has gone!

You have proved that despite being able to pass as your big brother's twin, you are his polar opposite. You are also continually surprising us and keeping life interesting to say the least.

Your Dad and I have enjoyed watching you reveal more and more of your personality as you face the challenges life presents to you head on. You are an individual and not one to follow the crowd and I pray God is able to use this personality trait to do great things.

You have an amazing imagination and I love that you allow me to see, hear, and live in your world each day. I also love that you let me play along.

Despite your ability to turn anything you see into a weapon, you still are love kittens and butterflies. (I wanted really badly to give you a real kitten for your birthday, but your dad and I very strongly dislike them. So I am glad you loved the stuffed ones we have you instead.)

You adore your big brother and I am so grateful that he is your "bestest friend" in the whole world. You two have a very special relationship and I pray it only grows stronger as the years fly by. I am amazed at how often you are giving him the bigger cookie or simply worried about where he is and when he is coming back if he is gone.

I am also proud of how well you have transitioned to being a big brother and love watching you care for Isaac. I know you prefer to do things on your own time, which makes the moments I do see you loving him (reading him stories, teaching him about superheroes, and singing hims songs or plugging him with his pacifier when he is upset) even more special.

I also love that you are a momma's boy still! It has been hard for me to slowly watch that lessening as I see you more and more at your daddy's side "helping" him out. I cherish the one-on-one time we have together and pray for more of that as your big brother heads off to school this year!

I love that you hate it when I go to work, and that you are stingy with your kisses at times. I love that you inherited my sweet tooth, can smell chocolate from miles away and that you enjoy our Starbucks dates as much as I do.

I love that you don't color in the lines and that the grass isn't always green.

I almost love that you want to wear the same superhero shirts and gym shorts everyday and often change more times than I do a 24 hour period.

I also almost love that you would wear pajamas all the time if I let you. Or that you want to wear long sleeves in 90 degree weather and shorts that are too small when it is 60 degrees outside.

I love that you have a low tolerance for the way your clothes fit (you unfortunately inherited this from your dad) but I love it about him too!

You are quick to tell the truth and have also been very vocal lately when you are unhappy (like ear piercing vocal).

Believe it or not, you have helped me learn to hold my breath and close my eyes when I see you trying things on your own, instead of rushing to your side and doing it with you.

You have helped me see many things in a different light.

You could listen to stories for hours and I think that is fabulous.

You could also tell them for hours too, and I enjoy that as well.

Most of all I am truly blessed that I was chosen to be your Mommy and grateful for all you have taught me in just 4 short years.

I pray God continues to shape you and mold you into the little man He has made you to be and that He continues to instruct and guide me on how to help that happen.

I love you Elijah,

Happy 4th Birthday Lou

Love Your Mommy

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Could it be?

Could it be that I have a son old enough for Kindergarten?

In just a few weeks I will be celebrating another milestone with my oldest son.

He is starting school!

His Momma is choking back tears and he is practically jumping up and down with excitement!

We made our first family trip to Target for school supplies!

Elijah had a hard time not being able to get one of everything for himself, but he did pretty well considering. He is devastated his big "brudder" is leaving him with his boring mom and going to school without him!

We managed to find almost all the necessary items to keep a kindergartner happy: 16 glue sticks, 3 packages of markers, 3 packages of crayons, 2 boxes of kleenex, pencils, an iron man lunch box, safe scissors (if there is such a thing), disinfectant wipes (weird you'd need those in a room with 5-6 yr olds), a pencil keeper box, a backpack, and a towel for rest time.

My sister Nikki helped us locate all the items and celebrate our oldest son's exciting day!

Jonah chose Cold Stone for his post shopping treat.

This little man is sure going to miss his big brother each day!

He may need a little extra TLC to get through the next few weeks.

The third little man will also miss the many times throughout the day he is loved by his biggest brother!

I just can't believe it is really true! It seems like just yesterday we were staring into those big brown eyes and wondering when his first smile would be, or first steps, or first words!
Jonah we are so excited for you as you begin this journey! Your Dad and I can hardly wait to watch as you explode with knowledge throughout the years. I pray your love for learning continues and you are able to enjoy school! We love you so much and your brothers and I are sure going to miss you each day!

Love Your Teary-Eyed Momma!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Transformers 101

So while I have MANY posts waiting to be finished, or ahem written, about our summer adventures, here is one about learning while you wait.

(These summer adventures include a visit from some special Californians, trips to the lake, and one to a sunny place called Florida)

With school right around the corner, I found this post quite fitting...

Transformers 101
Isaac is changing so fast, a little too fast in fact! It is always amazing to watch a child observing the world around them and soaking everything up like a sponge.

It is warms a mother's heart to watch her children teaching each other.

Even if it is about Transformers.

Which is exactly what took place a week ago while I was frantically packing for a little trip Isaac and I took to that nice warm state called Florida!

Anyway, we have been indoctrinating the older boys to a heart of serving and helping. One of the ways they can show us this is by entertaining or "babysitting" Isaac while I do a small task in a nearby location upon which I am able to supervise the "babysitting".

So while I was flying from room to room packing last week I found the following scenes...

It brought me to tears as I hear the older 2 going into great detail about each Transformer...
...including names, special weapons, and whether they are a decepticon or an autobot.

Isaac was studying his big brothers quite intently and would answer with shrieks and excitedly flap his arms and kick his legs.

Isaac adores his big brothers and beams with joy when they give him any attention.

They enjoy "teaching" him extremely important information like how to burp your name, make farting armpit noises, wrestle each other, and of course properly kill ant hills with a single stomp of your foot! Every once and awhile he will also learn animal noises, select letters of the alphabet, and how to kill any bad guy with a stick found in the yard.

I pray their relationship continues to grow as brothers and I will hopefully catch many more teaching moments between the 3 of them.

No matter what the subject happens to be.