Wednesday, October 24, 2012

MIA... and I peek into my life

I know, I haven't blogged in forever (or 3 months, but who is counting?  And if you are, then you should probably get a hobby.  I suggest knitting.)  I've been a little busy with work, school (mine and the kids'), soccer (all 3 boys are playing and I'm coaching a team), dance (for the princess), and a lot of laundry.  But that isn't very interesting, so I'm going to treat y'all to a few fun interactions I've had with my kids in the last week.

N (coming out of the bathroom): Guys, I gotta tell you something.
Tommy and Me (with trepidation): What is it?
N: Well, I was going to pee, and I just... I have two underwear on.
Me: Wow, I'm really glad you shared that with us.
N: Yeah, I was pulling them down, then pulling them up, and there was two of them.  And, they both had red stripes.
Me: That is so silly.
Tommy: So why did you put two on?
N: I don't know .  How does underwear just jump on you without you knowing? 

Yes, this is a mystery for the ages.  Where, oh where, is Encyclopedia Brown?  I bet that kid could tell us how this happened.

C: Mom, do you have lockers at work?
Me: No, but we have drawers that lock.
C: Do you keep nunchucks in them?
Me: No.
C: Why not?
Me: Well, that would be a little weird in an office building.
C: Not if you know how to use them.

Obviously, he thinks my work is way cooler than it is. Also, I'm feeling a little inadequate since my drawers only have paperwork, utensils, and  ketchup packets in them.  

And finally, I leave you with this fun little peek into my life.  My older boys have been making their own lunches for years (their choice).  The rules are that they have to have a sandwich, a drink and at least one healthy item (yogurt, fruit, cheese, etc.).  Other than that, they can pack what they like.  I occasionally peek in their lunchboxes to make sure they follow the rules, but don't check every night.  My oldest has gotten a little lazy this year, and tries to skirt the rules.  Earlier this school year, I had to call him downstairs shortly after bedtime to make a sandwich, which he "forgot" to do when he made the rest of his lunch.  Tonight, I decided to let him sleep, and instead left him this in his lunchbox--

I'll let him know tomorrow that if he tries to skip the sandwich again, I'll switch the junk food for fruit, and won't be leaving a yummy sandwich.  But for now, I hope he enjoys!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Battling the Yes-No's

Josh was home this morning to help me get the boys ready.  He was surprised that I woke them up with a mere fifteen minutes to get ready.  I have learned that this makes my mornings much easier.  I get ready, then wake up B and G.  I get G dressed; he and I make my coffee and breakfast, and B joins us about then to put his shoes on & help me carry out my coffee.  It's a whirlwind, but it's only fifteen minutes of crazy.  Then we settle in the car, and G listens to music while B practices twenty addition and subtraction facts from his stack of flashcards in the backseat. 

This morning, however, G was in a mood.  No matter what he chose, he changed his mind.  I have named this attitude of his "The Yes-No's".  Before kids, I swore that I'd be totally consistent.  I'd state my expectation to my children, then calmy discipline them swiftly if they didn't oblige.  After B, I was able to maintain this policy.  I could promise B a spanking for his defiance, and he'd avoid the spanking. 

Then I had the Redhead.

Ninety percent of the time, G is an awesome kid.  However, when he isn't an angel, he epitomizes stubborness.  G can take a spanking, keep fussing, get over the orignial fuss, and begin fussing over the spanking.  He has cost me thirty minutes in leaving the sitter's house (mostly when I'm picking the boys up, once while dropping them off) as he and I battled out over what he would or would not do.  He heeds Sitter's warnings at these times, but makes me look like a jerk. 

This morning's finale at our home was G screaming, stomping, begging me to hold him, then refusing to sit in his carseat.  I was totally calm, and buckled him in anyways.  I refuse to honor "Yes-No's".  I reminded B to gather his addition and subtraction facts, and B projected his voice over his brother: I don't want this!  Hold me, Mama, hold me! 

So, I did what any compassionate mother who wanted to help her angry child would do.   I offered the boy some Metallica, which he decided he didn't--then did--want.  I turned on the Black Album, and he'd calmed down before B had finished all twenty facts. 

Now that's good parenting. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Patience, My Dear

Last year about this time, I had a vision in my head for the wall above the couch in the "Reading Room" of our house.  I saw three rows of four 11x14 black frames with white mats surrounding 8x10 prints of my favorite family photos.  The frames were put up today. 

Step 1:  Print Photos and Purchase Frames.  This step proved much more difficult than I'd thought.  Several of my favorite photographs were files too small to become 8x10 photographs.  I considered going with 8x10 frames and 5x7 photos, but changed my mind.  The second obstacle was the price of the frames.  At one point, I had 12 cheap 8x10 frames without mats, but changed my mind and returned them.  There was also the issue that 10 of them were really 8x11.5 document frames.  Oops.  I ended up getting frames that were orignially $24.99 from Michaels.  I found them 40% off and used a 25% off coupon and my 15% teacher discount. 

Step 2: Prepare to Hang.  I went with Command strips.  I chose the ones that held up to 16 lbs.  Unfortunately, I forgot that I would need one for each side of each frame, so I bought exactly half of what I needed. 
Step 3: Call in the Menfolk.  This is where I had to exercise the most patience.  I waited a full week before Josh would actually hang them.  I nearly crawled out of my skin in anticipation.  I tried really hard not to nag.  He needed tools like a tape measure and a level, which I had to borrow.  B joined in and took over the sticking of Command strips.  During the endeavor, I realized why Josh had been putting the task off.  First, the process of getting rows and columns is a pain in the tail.  Second, I am the worst helper ever.  Level looks crooked to me.   Also, I had him hang the first row too high because we started with the bottom and worked our way up on the left-most row.  Our ceilings are sloped.  After the first row was hung, we worried that the right-most row wouldn't fit.   So we abandoned the left side and restarted from the right. 

Step 4: Enjoy.  For now.  I need many more Command strips: one for the top and bottom of each frame.
 That means I need to buy twice as many as I bought the first time. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Distinguishing Between "Migrate" and "Hibernate"

B knew most of his spelling words this week, but he kept messing up migrate and hibernate.  He'd sound them out, then struggle if it was r or er in the middle of the word.  On the way to school this morning, I handed him the iPad and told him to open Magnetic Alphabet. 

After having him spell migrate and because, I asked him to spell hibernate.  He added an e in migrate: migerate and couldn't remember if there was an e before the r or not in hibernate.  Teachable moment!

I told him to spell both migrate and hibernate on the same page.  Instant whine.  "Why didn't you tell me that when I spelled migrate?  Now I have to spell it again!"

My plan was to show him how mi-grate had two syllables, and hi-ber-nate had three syllables, which is why he'd need the e.  He complained and grumped, and even told me they had the same number of syllables after he'd told me migrate had two syllables and hibernate had three.  Then I had him take a snapshot with the iPad and spell each out load. 

Through clenched teeth, he spat out every letter in migrate: "...E.  A.  T."

I was going to lose it.

Why would he put eat?  That makes a long e!  I mean, really! 

When I complained to Casssie later, she suggested that maybe he didn't need so much logic.  Maybe he just needed to write each fifty times.  I think she's right--check out what I found in the iPad's photos later that day:

Also, while talking to Cassie, we determined where eat could have come from: a compound word of my and great.  I'm not giving him much credit, though.  If that was his error, he'd mispelled my.  I also decided that I needed to either migrate or hibernate after my morning debate.  If I have to do so with my offspring, though, I choose hibernate