The Kids

The Kids

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Yes, It Breaks

I have heard the quote "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."  After this morning, I am thinking that is fairly accurate.

My day started great.  Woke up at 5:45 to work-out, read my Bible and started my routine of packing lunches, backpacks, and making a bottle.  Woke everyone up and then I made my first mistake.  I told Caleb to use the potty right away.

I do not know what I was thinking.

To clarify, he still wears a pull-up at night.  The boy cannot wake up to use the bathroom no matter what we have done.  I am told this is still normal for a lot of boys and since they still make pull-ups for his size, I have not been too worried.  However, I am trying to stress going right before bed and right when he gets up.

Well, apparently, Mr. Sunshine was not awake enough to agree with me that he needed to go.  First argument of the morning.  Add on fighting with his sister, being a complete slowpoke getting dressed, and again refusing to use the bathroom-well, my voice was not the quietest.

It seems that when I begin a bad mood, then everyone has to follow suit.  Suddenly, all attitudes were negative and everything that could go wrong, did.  Not finding items needed for school that day, realizing Caleb had wet his bed (even with a pull-up?) and above all of those things, Noah following me around and whining the entire time.

I think my favorite part was after everyone left, door slamming behind them, I dared to empty the dishwasher.  As I put the silverware away (figuring I should do that first, since Noah could grab a knife and hurt himself) I heard a crash.  Somehow, my 10 month old grabbed a Corelware bowl and dropped it on the floor, causing it to shatter in a thousand pieces.

The reason we have Corelware and not nice dishes is because of children-it is not supposed to break!

Well, evidently, it does.  You know...from the fierce strength of a baby.

Even as I type this, my normally content baby is screaming in his crib like someone is torturing him.  (Do not worry, I checked on him and he is fine-I am not that bad of a parent.)

Sometimes I think my day could be a lot easier if I just stopped after the work-out and quiet time.  But, how boring would that be?

Even on mornings like this, I know I am supposed to strive to be the Proverbs wife.  You know-the one none of us moms like to think about.  Thank God for his grace because I continue to fail miserably in the role He has called me to.

The crabby baby is finally starting to fall asleep so I will attempt to take a shower.  I am a little hesitant to find out what catastrophe occurs while I take five minutes for myself.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Competitive Caleb

According to Nick, God is laughing at him right now.

Mr. Competitive now has a son who is just like him.  Caleb played his first soccer game yesterday.  He did really well and scored a bunch of goals.  However, the rest of his team were like typical four-year olds and spent most of their time on the field, waving at their moms and laughing.

Not our son.  Once he saw the other team score twice in a row, he was determined that would never happen on his watch.  Whether he was on the sidelines or on the field, every time the other team scored, I saw his face fall a little bit more.  As he watched his teammates dance around the ball, not really going anywhere with it, I could see him thinking, "What are they doing?!" 

During the entire game, I was proud of him.  If he fell, he got right back up.  Even though he was keeping score, he did not cry or complain-he just got out on the field and did his best.  He even passed the ball when his coach told him to.  Which is why when the last whistle blew, I was blown away by his reaction.

As the parents lined up to make a tunnel for the kids to run through, I heard a terrible scream.  Was someone hurt?  Was someone being attacked?  Nope.  It was Caleb.  On the sidelines.  Crying because they lost.


I have never seen anything like it.  It was not just a few tears, but screaming and sobbing.  Part of me was feeling his pain (I have been told I am also a little competitive), while the other part of me was embarrassed to admit he was my child.  I mean, come on...if I saw someone's child behaving that way, I would strongly question their parenting skills.

As I am sure all of those other parents were doing.

Eventually, he calmed down and by the time he was eating lunch in the car (super smart timing by the way-let's schedule the youngest kids to play at lunch time), he realized how ridiculous his behavior was.  We talked a lot about good sportsmanship and he promised to never react that way again.

Let's hope that is true, since it looks like it is going to be a long season.

Part of the problem is, Caleb has watched his sister play soccer for two years.  During her first year, her team never lost a game and she continually scored goals without hardly trying.  He also loves watching sports with his dad and knows how to keep score.  Plus, his sister's team played right before him and won.

Add all of that up, plus hunger and the heat, and it was a disaster waiting to happen.  Excuses aside, though, Caleb is learning the important lesson of losing gracefully.

I just pray he learns it quickly.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Nice Words

After listening to Abby and Caleb argue with each other while I was making dinner, I came up with the perfect solution to stop them.

I announced, "From now on, you have to really think about what you are about to say before the words come out of your mouth."

I thought it sounded like the perfect thing to say.  You know, because kids always listen to their parents.

Abby was quiet and chose her words carefully throughout dinner.  Caleb was thoughtful, too.  I saw him staring off into space and then gradually grinning.  He said (half to himself, but half to us), "No, I can't say that."  Then he continued to think and grinned again and said, "Nope, can't say that, either."

Somehow, I do not think I made my lesson stick very well as I could not stop laughing.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

1st Grade and Preschool

School started today.

Did you hear the shouts of praise coming from my house?

Okay, so I do not want to be one of those moms who longs for school days to get rid of the kids.  I love my children.  I love having them around and I miss them when they are gone.  However, I could do without the fighting.  And the whining.  Apparently, they are angels for other people so why not bless others with their company?

My baby Abby started 1st Grade today.  I seriously have no idea how that happened.  She hurried along the halls this morning, saying hello to her friends, anxious to get settled in her new classroom.  No long hugs good-bye or tears of fear.  I stood in the hall, waiting for some sort of acknowledgement of a farewell, but she was completely embracing her six-year old academic life.

When I was debriefed on her day that afternoon, she loved it.  I heard stories of recess ("It is not as long as last year, Mom!"), lunch ("I did not get a cookie with my lunch!") and friends ("I saw my old friends at lunch and recess!").  Apparently, everything worth mentioning involves the playground or food.

My little Caleb started his second year of preschool.  Just like his sister, he ran into his classroom and I never had that hug or tearful regret.  It helped that all of his buddies were there.  They encouraged each other so well that the need for moms was long forgotten.

Breaks my heart a little bit.

Caleb's summary of the morning?  "The snacks were good-Teddy Grahams...There are new bikes on the playground...Noah, Ollie, Marc Hayden and I played with puppets...we went to the library."

That was actually more information than I ever received last year, so I guess that is something.  I still have no idea what he learned, but I did receive some fun answers to my questions...

Me:  "Did you play with any of the girls?"
Caleb:  "Uh, no, I guess not.  I don't talk to them much."
Me:  "Did you have any accidents?"
Caleb (with surprise in his voice):  "Actually, I did not!"
Me:  "What did you learn today?"
Caleb:  "Uh, I don't remember."

Glad to see our tuition money is going to good use.

All in all, a good first day.  It ended with the two of them picking on each other, Abby in tears over some girl drama and Noah getting crabby.  I personally think he was spoiled by the quiet all morning and then was mad it did not last long.

Oh wait.  That was me.

Seriously, though, I miss my babies when someone else is taking care of them.  Part of me already misses the summer.

And the other part of me loves the fact that I got to finish my book today.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Abby The Girl

Abby is such a girl. 

After spending the weekend with my college friends and doing some thrifty shopping at Goodwill, she was super excited to see the new dresses that I bought her.  She immediately tried them on and modeled them for us.  And by model, I mean she twirled around and smiled over her shoulder.

Where did she learn how to do that?

Then she noticed the two purses that I bought.  When Nick saw them, he said, "Don't you already have enough purses?"

Men just do not get it.

Abby, on the other hand, saw them and said, "Oh, Mommy!  I love the red one!  You needed a new purse so that you aren't always using the same one through the seasons!"

I swear that I have never said that to her.  Somehow, she just gets it.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Radio Technology

Caleb heard a song on the radio in the car that he liked and said, "Mom, fast-forward back to the beginning of the song!"

Um, well, first of all, it was the radio and that radio does not have a DVR.

(Although, I personally think it should.  How has that not been invented, yet?)

Secondly, "fast-forward back?"  Let us introduce the word "rewind" to your vocabulary, Caleb.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mommy Ailment

Noah has been suffering from an ailment that I like to call "Need More Mommy."

The symptoms include crying when set down on the floor, crawling after one's mommy everywhere that she goes, and not being happy in anyone else's arms, but one's mommy.

Other signs of this disease are whining, lack of motivation to play alone, and an irrational fear of one's mommy not returning from the bathroom.

The prescription is to simply outgrow it and eventually give one's mommy a bit of freedom.  Sometimes it takes a few days, other times it takes months.  Either way, I am hoping my little boy soon figures out that he does not have to be my shadow every second of every day.

At least he is really cute and forgiveable.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Soccer Mom

Soccer started this week.

Need I go on?

I still feel like I am twenty-two years old and just out of college.  So, how is it possible that I currently drive a soccer mom mini-van?

There is a jogger stroller in the back, camping chairs in their bags thrown in there as well, fast food wrappers in the crevices of the backseat, and soccer balls rolling back and forth with each brake.  Every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday night, you can find me at the soccer field, watching one child play soccer, playing soccer with the other, while running after a baby who wants to crawl onto the field. 

I will take this life over being a dance mom any day.

Anyway, Abby picked up right where she left off last fall.  Once she got on the field, you would never think she had missed the spring season.  What surprised me was that at the end of her first practice, she had tears in her eyes.  Apparently, she felt lonely joining a team that had already played together in the spring.  Somehow, ice cream helped cheer her up and by her next practice, she was excited to play again.  Thankfully, a couple of other girls joined at the last minute so Abby is no longer the only "new girl" on the team.  They all seemed to have a lot more fun the second time around.

Caleb played at his first practice this week.  Watching little boys play soccer-absolutely hilarious.

When girls play soccer, even at a young age, they seem to listen to their coach and stand still when hearing instructions.  When boys play soccer, it looks like a bunch of puppies trying desperately to be good, but quickly failing.  Every little distraction had them turning their heads toward it and away from their coach.  When the coach was talking to them, they all had to join in on their opinions.

Sweet Caleb was one of the boys with the most opinions.  Shocking, I know.  I could not hear every comment he made, but I could tell by the look on his face that he was very serious about every subject he discussed. 

God bless the volunteer coaches.

Anyway, Caleb had a great time at practice.  He surprised me by not yelling or crying when he did not succeed and even laughed when he kept falling over.  Much different from his sister, who, at that age, would skip the remainder of practice if she tripped.  I love boys and their non-drama.

So, the freedom of summer is over and soccer is starting.  I am going to take notes from little Noah and just go with the flow of the hectic schedule.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

In Control

Caleb was kicking a ball around in the house (why do so many of my posts start with my son getting ready to destroy my house?) when he accidently kicked the ball too high.  It went straight toward the hutch with lit candles.

We all heard the crash, stopped what we were doing, and looked over the damage.  Even though he managed to knock the ipod out of the ipod player, the candles were still okay.

After assessing what happened, Caleb said, "Boy, it's a good thing that the Lord didn't want those candles to get hit!"

Wow.  My son has such a complete faith in God that He trusts Him to be in charge of absolutely everything. 

Even the candles not falling down.

Monday, August 1, 2011

What Happened?

This is me on the
Giant Swing
in college
I am not quite sure what has happened to me.

I used to be able to go on rides at amusement parks that spin and feel fine.  Star spinning with my campers was a breeze.  I lived for windy, country roads.

My rebellion against motion started when I became a driver.  I got so used to driving, that when I became a passenger (in the backseat), I easily became carsick.  Gone were the days of reading or doing puzzles in the car.

After that, windy roads became a problem.  Not while I was driving them, but as a passenger, I could not handle them.  The first time I realized it was on a mission trip in Jamaica.  Sitting in the back of a non-air-conditioned van for four hours of windy, bumpy roads=upset stomach for me.

Funny enough, it was another mission trip where I really got carsick.  The windy roads of West Virginia were so much fun when I was driving.  When I was a passenger in another car on those same roads...well, thankfully I made it to the side of the road before losing my dinner.

So, after all of these experiences, I am not quite sure why I volunteered to be the person who spins in circles for a minute during a game the other night.  It was a Minute to Win It game with some school moms.  After successfully running the board, our team needed another win to clench the title of...well, there was no title, but a grand prize of juice boxes to win.

I stepped up to the challenge, grabbed the edge of the toilet paper and spun in circles, wrapping myself up like a mummy. 

Even though I felt a bit dizzy afterwards, I still felt well enough to enjoy some cake that was smartly offered after that part of the game.  I still felt okay as my neighbor and I walked to her van.  I did not feel okay as we took back roads home to our neighborhood.

I kept my head between my legs as we talked of other things, but suddenly I knew it was over.  She pulled over and I lost my Bravo dinner in some stranger's front yard.

What really bums me out is that I lost such a great meal.

As if that was not ridiculous enough, as I was throwing up, a pick-up truck slowed down and yelled out the window, "Hey, we have to do the same thing!"  They drove past us and slowed down a little up the road.  Apparently, we all need privacy when throwing up on the public street.

As I approach another thirty something age (seriously, I forget how old I actually am sometimes), I am wondering what has happened to my body?  What has happened to the body that could eat anything it wanted and not gain a pound?  That could go rock climbing without a fear of falling?  That could sleep anywhere and not feel sore the next day?

That could spin in a circle for a minute without losing a meal?

Oh, that's right.  I am in my 30's and have three children.  That's what happened.