Sunday, December 20, 2009

Let it snow round two

We had a good snow earlier this year. We even got to miss three days of school. Good times. No such luck this time. The snow came the Friday night that we got off of school for Christmas break. Not only that, but the snow came fast and heavy and was much too deep to play in. Oh well, it makes for pretty pictures. Everything looks prettier in the snow.

This first shot was after about an hour of the white stuff falling:

I just like comparing, the picture above was the night before around 6:00 the one below is about 9am the next morning.

Brooklyn's concert and Seth's program

My two little actors had programs two weeks in a row. First, Brooklyn had one for choir. She donned her white, button-down shirt and black pants and was ready to sing her heart out. I took her to the school along with her friend, Grace. There was a bake sale and I bought them some treats and we settled in to enjoy the show. Brooklyn's choir was first and they sang three songs. She did a great job and smiled as she sang, no stage fright for my kid! These pictures aren't that great but it was the best I could get. She is the furthest on the right. She has no vest.
Seth had a program too. He was so excited. He got to make a top hat in art to wear for his dance! The fifth graders sang and each third grade class did a dance. Seth had a small speaking part and did such a good job! I was so proud of him. I brought my camera and as I turned it on I discovered that I had no memory card. Brilliant I know. Just imagine my little guy, with big eyes in a top hat that was a tad too big for him, grinning and dancing away!

Caleb's birthday.... late, I know

I have been a horrible blogger lately. I have been busy but that is no excuse. I really was avoiding the blogging until I got a picture of Caleb with his new bike but that never happened and I kept putting it off so I'll start with Caleb's birthday.

Caleb turned 10 on Dec. 2. We celebrated the Sunday before and let him open his presents and got him a cake. Unfortunately, the cake had flowers b/c it was bought last minute. More about that later. He requested spaghetti for that dinner. Bobby grumbled about it but then said it was the best spaghetti he had. I told him I'd remind his of that every time he complained about eating spaghetti. Caleb successfully blew out all his candles, I wonder what he wished for.

On Caleb's actually birthday we took him to Friendly's, a place totally geared to kids. Check out that kid's menu. Insane. They have a better menu than the adults. They had a great time there. The Saturday before his birthday Bobby and I played a trick on him. We talked about stopping by Target to pick up some face cream and trash bags and bought him a bike. He was totally taken off guard and was so excited. Then, Merritt sent him a bike helmet and a book and Aunt Holly sent him two books he has asked for. Grandma and Papa sent him some cash and so did Aunt Noreen - he was rich! We were going to have a party for him but since his present was quite pricey, he agreed that we could wait until next year. It really was a great birthday for him and lasted several days!

Caleb has been doing very well in school this year. I don't hear any behavior problems so if he's acting up it must not be too badly. He is working very hard to keep his grades up, he really has grown up so much this year. Caleb is great with Dillon. He's patient and eager to help him. He has a girlfriend but that is pretty much the only person we hear about. I hope he has other friends too. Caleb is trying harder to complete his chores without being reminded so he can earn time on his bike. He still asks a lot of questions and has a booming voice but he's calmer and less inclined to argue. We're so proud of him!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bragging

Most of the time, my job as a mom is not one to brag about. It consists of so much nagging, yelling (yes, I admit it) and pulling of hair. That is, me pulling my own hair. I am not the super cool, fun parent I thought I would grow up to be. I am not as understanding about being a kid as I thought I would be when, well, when I was a kid. I suppose, to give myself some credit, it was much easier to remember what it was like as a kid when I was living it. I complain about my kids driving me crazy and then feel badly because that is not the sum total of how I feel about them. It's just easier to complain I guess.

Not today though! Today, I brag. Today was a rare good day. I'm not saying I didn't snap at the kids or get frustrated with the fighting and the tattling and the repetitive, "Just do what I asked you to!". All of that happened today. It happens every day. It was the bits in between that were lovely. First was Brooklyn's attitude. She spent the night at her friends and when I told her I was going to pick her up this morning around 9:45 or 10:00, she did not argue in the least. She was cheerful and pleasant. Wow, what a change. No whining. No, "Ma---ooomm, please can I stay longer?" Just a, "Sure, I'll be ready." And she was!

The next small thing was Seth. He has held onto the $5 his grandparents gave him for a month now. He has not spent it because he wanted to go to the bookstore and buy a book - of all things. I won't hide my pleasure here. I think that is wonderful! Anyway, I asked him what book because we were going to Target. He said Target won't have it. He wanted Oliver Twist. He didn't want a child's version of the book, he wanted the real book. I took him in and the sales associate led us right to it. She was impressed, heck, I was impressed. He didn't hesitate. He knew just what cover he wanted. He picked it up with a grin and we purchased his book. He is on chapter two. The chapters are not long and he is determined. "I'm going to read it mom, really read it and finish it." Funny, how when one sets their mind to something it can be accomplished. I admire his drive in plowing through Dickens.

Ayden is on day three of big boy underwear. The real trial was today. We were from 8:30 until after noon. He stayed totally dry and only used the potty twice while we were out. A major feat and I'm so proud of him. Not only that, but he insists on washing his hands each time! I pray that stays with him as he grows older. Should I hold my breath?

Caleb argues. No doubt about it, he has that personality. The child that questions everything. Not just things around him but everything, including choices I make. This has a good side and a bad side. He gets in trouble constantly for arguing and just plain talking too much! He reigned it in today and kept control. I know he questioned what I said several times during the day but he kept his mouth shut and showed he really can exercise some self control. I am so proud of him today.

Bobby. Dear Bobby. He works hard, his job is stressful. He gets migraines and had a wicked one this morning. He had to go to his store around 3am this morning because the store alarm had not been set. He is exhausted. However, he came home, watched the kids while I went to the store, agreed to go out and eat some food (he hates leaving the house once he's in) and even joined in on my plan of surprising Caleb by taking him to Target to buy his birthday present on the way home. Currently, he is watching GIJoe with all three kids. It was a great day. Days like this, I have to brag. They are few and far between but they are what make all those other terrible days worth it.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I Did Remember


My mother and my youngest share a birthday. So... although I posted for Dillon on the 19th, I thought of my mother all day. I love you mom and I know you can hear this message.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I met you...

a year ago today.



It was love at first sight.
You keep us very busy.

Everyone loves to play with you.
Your smile lights up our home.



Happy First Birthday Big Boy!! We've had a great year!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Neglect

To any family or old friends who still look at my blog, I apologize. I have been neglectful. I have not been updating this blog very often. School is kicking my rear this year but I do think I'm happier there than last year. I love my two sixth grade classes! Who knew sixth graders could be so sweet? Maybe it's because I have one at home now, but, for whatever reason, I am truly enjoying them. Several other things have kept me away:

The babies have been sick. Ayden started it off with a bad cough and then passed it along to Dillon. Ayden has not been sleeping well, he whimpers in his sleep, tossing and turning. Dillon was up from about 3:30am on this morning. Neither one is eating well so we've been battling those good times. Last night I came down with whatever they have - good times. Will we ever go to church two Sundays in a row again?

I was out of town for three and half days. I flew into Houston Tuesday night, November 3rd with Dillon. I returned home Friday. Dillon did great on the flight there so I thought the flight home, which is about 45 minutes shorter, would be a breeze. I was so wrong. We did get the row of two seats to ourselves but he became very restless and fought a nap although he was tired. Then, he fell asleep only to awake 30 minutes later screaming because we were landing and his ears hurt. Poor baby. Bobby missed his turn to the airport and was late, so I stood there with a crying baby and three bags, waiting. Dillon cried the entire way home and was a bear to get to bed. The next morning he had nasty, crusty stuff all over his ear. I don't know if his eardrum burst or if it was all the pressure from the plane. Poor guy. He felt better after that though. Now, he has Ayden's cough so he doesn't sleep well. Why were we in Houston? Well, of course it was great to see my family but I had things to take care of. I stayed at Holly and Brian's and they were very hospitable. Sheryl was thrilled to get a chance with Dillon, all to herself. I went to speak to a lawyer and sign some papers. We are trying to get everything in order for Bobby to adopt the kids. We're excited even though we've hit a few snags but I'm not giving up. Bobby's parents were so generous to come help Bobby with the kids while I was gone. With his new job, I don't know how he would've handled it without them.

Bobby's job. It has changed. He is now a manager of a Hollywood video since the GameCrazy closed. He is very stressed. The store was not in good condition and he has a lot of work to do. He is home much less and when he is home, he's trying to destress, which isn't easy in a house with five kids and a wife that works long hours too. He gets home later and some nights the kids are in bed long before he gets off work.

Despite all of this, the kids are doing great. LOL Ayden is wearing his big boy underwear today and so far it's dry. He chose to do this. I like to wait until they want to do it so they care. Otherwise I feel like I'm just training myself. He has been successful before too but the next day asks for a diaper. I wonder what is going through his little head when he decides one day to wear a diaper and the next that he wants the potty. Dillon has now learned to wave bye bye and hello. He has become so fast he walks across the room in an instant. He is very sure and steady on his feet now. He wants to go outside with the older kids so badly and cries when we come inside. ETA!!! I forgot to mention that he has been doing the funniest thing. He spins. He likes to make himself dizzy and will spin around looking down at the floor with a goofy grin on his face. I'll try to get video but who knows if he'll let me. I've never had a child this young spin! Brooklyn is in a dance club at school and is busy meeting with friends after school two or three times a week to choreograph a dance. Seth has brought his grades up and his behavior has improved. His teacher said he has gotten better at focusing on his school work and it seems he is not so forgetful as he was last year. Caleb has discovered he enjoys reading. I guess he finally figured out that when he takes the time to read the story instead of just look at the page, he is interested in what it says! Go figure. I'm so excited that he has discovered a love of reading.

So, life has been extremely busy. My house has suffered, the laundry situation has suffered and the blog has suffered but the kids are fed and growing and happy and we are blessed with a nice home and good jobs so I can't complain. I will update soon with Dillon's birthday and some other fun pictures.

Here are some from my visit to Houston.
Dillon loved Papa G and playing outside:

Holly and Brian now have a chicken coop on their property and Holly took me out to feed the chickens. They had a lot of rain just before I came so it was very muddy and I had to wear Brian's boots. We all thought that was pretty funny.

I had to get a photo with Papa G, I miss his quiet, gentle presence.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ayden is 3!

And he knows it! We ask, "Ayden, how old are you today?"

"THREE!" he yells gleefully.

We did not get to celebrate his birthday in a big way this year but I figure, 'hey, it's the last year I can get away with it so why not?' When I got home from work I took him with me to Target and to the grocery store. Just the two of us. We picked out a red motorcycle that he can ride on. He used his birthday money from Aunt Noreen for that. Then, we went to the grocery store to pick out the cake. He chose the one with balloons. Then he asked, "Can I eat some of that?" He's so funny. We bought ice cream and he asked for skittles at the check-out. I couldn't resist. Luckily, with the cake hype, he forgot about the skittles. We will save them for another day. The first thing he wanted to do once we got home, was ride his motorcycle but it had to be put together. That was not a problem except, Bobby had dinner ready. The motorcycle had to wait. After dinner was cake. Ayden enjoyed being sung to and blowing out his candle. He chose a piece with a balloon but didn't eat any of it. Go figure. He was actually too excited for Daddy to put his bike together! Bobby got right on it and, after borrowing a hammer from a friend, he was finished in no time. I'm glad it didn't take too long as Dillon really wanted to snack on the parts. All the children surrounded Bobby as he finished it off and then, Ayden went for his first spin. He is thrilled! He has more fun to come since he still has Aunt Holly's gift to open. Yes - it's here, she got it taken care of in time, I just haven't been able to get to Wal-Mart yet. Hey, it's out of the way big time and on a very busy road. I will be able to pick it up tomorrow, I hope. Trunk or Treat and the chili cook-off will be tomorrow too. Then, we'll have trick or treating on Saturday. So Ayden will just get to load up on sugar and celebrate all week. He will enjoy every minute of it.

Ayden updates: At the ripe, old age of three, Ayden is very close to using the potty. I see it in the near future. *crossing fingers* He is stubborn and likes routine. He has to have his juice and watch "Imagination Movers" first thing every morning. In fact, he usually says it before we even take him out of his crib. Yes, his crib. He is still in his crib. He likes it. He stays put in it so I'm not pushing him out. We found a $35 crib on Craig's List for Dillon so I'm thrilled. I can't say he has a favorite food because it's hit or miss with him. He usually likes chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, pizza, pork and beans... kid stuff in general. He loves skittles. He is not a big chocolate eater and still thinks peanut butter is gross. He's my son. (Yes, I like peanut butter but I'm not it's biggest fan.) I can understand about 95% of the words he uses and I can always understand what he's trying to tell me. He is much happier now that he communicates so well and things are much calmer around here. Now he understands when I say that first he needs to do X then we will do Y. That is a new accomplishment and it's huge! He loves to play outside with his brothers. He is very social and tells everyone "Hi". He is sweet and thoughtful, totally rough and tumble and absolutely all boy!

Daddy gave his hat to Ayden and Ayden quickly turned it around to wear it 'his' way.

Daddy got a bit scary with the knife.


It wouldn't be a holiday or birthday without a little 'yelling at the toy' moment.


Ayden was such a big boy and helped Daddy.


What a sweet ride! It was worth the wait!

The video is just because I like the way he says 'airplane'. It was, in fact, the space shuttle.

video

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pumpkin patch - Year 2!

This year Bobby was able to come with us to the pumpkin patch. We had to go on a Friday after I got home from work but it was totally worth it to have him there. He also saved us $10 by doing the 'all you can carry' instead of paying by the pumpkin. Ayden was so excited this year. He remembered going last year and kept yelling, "Pumpkin!" He was thrilled with the tractor/hay ride. He loves tractors. He wasn't as interested in finding his own pumpkin this year as he was in running up and down the field. Bobby set off with Ayden to find a white pumpkin and I followed Brooklyn, Caleb and Seth to get pictures of them with their pumpkins. Caleb went for a smaller one this year. Brooklyn found one she liked but said there were ticks on it (they were gnats but whatever). She settled for a smaller one with more green on it. Seth found his immediately. There aren't as many good shots this year since I had to carry Dillon around on my hip. He just looked on, totally content. Afterward we took the kids to McDonald's and even had ice cream as a special treat for doing well in school. I'm already looking forward to next year. Here are the photos we did get from the day:

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