The Kids

The Kids

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What To Do With A Messy Room

How bad can one room get?

After growing tired of hearing my voice say, "Caleb, clean your room," I decided to play a different tactic.  I would wait to see how bad it would get before he would realize that it was not livable.

It has been a week and a half and here are some shots of the boys' room.

Notice the effort to which he goes to not pick up one single thing, including his pants

Poor Pooh

It looks like a scene from The Hangover

It has finally come to the point where my son is not allowed to play in his baseball game Friday until his room is cleaned.  That gives him 36 hours.  I think he just might need all of those hours.

Monday, April 23, 2012

My Two Minute Day

I went to our church plant meeting Saturday night and my friend, Jill, took one look at my tired expression and knew that it was just one of those days.  She said that she has started defining her days by minutes.  If it is a three minute day, that means you had three minutes to eat, three minutes to shower, three minutes to...make your list and you get the idea.

Saturday felt like a two minute day.

Abby had a 9 am soccer game.  No problem, if the weathermen were not completely wrong.  I was expecting temperatures in the 50's, not the low 40's.  Add on the drizzle, sometimes actual rain, and it was pretty miserable. 

Caleb had a 10:30 am soccer game.  More cold, more rain.  And the boy was a mess.  He suddenly became shy about playing and was freezing, since he had just sat through his sister's game.  My son, who loves sports and is a barrel of energy, sat on the sidelines pouting for the first half of the game.  He finally got over himself and played the second half.  By play, I mean stood around and sometimes went after the ball.

After that fun game, Abby came running over to us and said, "The car won't turn on!"

Let me back up-we all took turns sitting with Noah in the van, parked where we could see the game.  Noah happily watched Laurie Berkner and stayed warm while we froze our butts off.  The routine was to turn the van on for a few minutes, then turn it off, while the dvd player kept running on its own.  Every now and then, you had to slightly turn the key to keep the dvd player on, but then you turned it off again.

Here is a lesson learned-do not leave the key slightly on.  It will drain the battery.

I asked the car next to us if they could move so that we could move one of our numerous family cars next to us for a jump.  The man in the driver's seat was about to respond when the woman in the passenger seat replied, "No!  We're not moving.  We just got here."

Um, okay?  I mean, I understand that the soccer field parking lot is a nightmare and getting a good spot is a miracle, but there were at least eight spots within sight that they could move to. 

I just backed away, speechless, and tried to explain to Nick's dad, as he waited for the spot, that they were not moving.  Then, for whatever reason, the guy started backing up his car-he must have won the argument on what is considered basic human manners.

Let me add that in the midst of this, it was rainining, there were cars moving in and out of the parking lot everywhere, Nick was driving past with his car, thinking he was going to jump it, Caleb was off wandering around, looking for his team who were supposed to be celebrating a birthday after the game, and I was in a hurry to go clean a house.  Found out that the party was going to be moved to someone's house, so after switching car seats around, getting texts with directions to the new party place, and pretty much basic chaos, we were on our way.

Nick took the boys to the party.  My in-law's took Abby to a friend's house who was going to take her to a birthday party.  And I left to clean a house on an empty stomach because I had planned my lunch around the birthday party at the field.

At this point, the day was not even half over.

After parties and carpooling and cleaning and crabiness, Nick stayed home with the kids while I went to our church plant.  Which is when I explained to Jill that I was having a two minute day.

I have come to love Mondays.  There are no sporting activities tonight (except for Nick playing softball and he completely understands that we will not be watching those games until school is done).  My kids will come home and we will do nothing but sit around and play. 

It is lovely.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My Reading Boy

It is official-Caleb is a reader.

I noticed it a few weeks ago, when he was "reading" a story to me.  Considering he had heard that particular book plenty of times, I figured it was a matter of memorizing.  But, I finally paid attention and realized that he was actually reading the words.

He has read lots of new stories to me, sounding out each word and proudly looking at me for approval.  He is also reading commercials, billboards and toy magazines.

Okay, so maybe all this reading is not always the best thing.

Seriously, though, I am so proud of him.  And I am thankful to his teachers.  As my sometimes lost in the middle kid, I know that I have not been spending as much time reading books with him as I did with Abby.  Somehow, he has still discovered a love for reading and I could not be happier.

I will use this as a reminder to stop what I am doing and read with Noah when he brings books to me.  Well, it might be more helpful if he did not throw his wooden books at me every time he has the urge to read.

My children need new book shelves-they are running out of room.  It is a good problem to have.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Destruction Of Boys

Caleb insisted on playing baseball in the house.  Ignoring my warnings, he hit a ball right into my shelf, breaking the top of a vase.

This was within an hour after he broke a picture frame in the same location.

Amazing how the "I'm sorry's" actually seem sincere when he sees the look of wrath coming from his mother.

Noah got into the lazy susan cupboard, took our my huge (and heavy) salad bowl and somehow smashed it to pieces.  Yes, I was in the house, only a room away.  That is how quickly the tornado hit.  It was a wedding shower gift that had lasted over ten years-gone.

Not finding that satisfying enough, he decided to get me where it really hurt-my floor lamp.  While I was moving some things off the carpet (carpet cleaner was on his way), I heard a scared sound come from Noah.  I turned around and found him holding the living room floor lamp in his arms, afraid of getting stuck.

Well, genius, that is what happens when you pull the lamp over on yourself.

As I raced across the room, he let go and it shattered.  The entire glass cover broke into many, many, many pieces.

Noah looked scared, cried, and ran away.  Not sure if it was because of the fear of something falling on him or the fear of his mother.  Either way, good thing he left.

After picking up the many, many, many pieces of glass (and cutting my fingers many, many, many times), I looked over at Noah and he was fine.  Perfectly fine, emptying my tuperware drawer.

Oh, and then it gets really fun.  I had my printer out in the living room (what was I thinking) from my time of printing coupons and school stuff.  Because I got lazy about putting it away (but did keep it unplugged and out of the way), Noah decided it was a toy.  A few broken pieces later, and I can no longer get it to work.

So, let's tally it up.  One salad bowl, one floor lamp, one picture frame, one printer and one vase.  Add on one more vase, on serving dish, one glass cooking pot, a few ripped up cook books, and the outer cover up my checkbook tore open and that equals...

One exhausted mom who wonders how she will survive these boys.

Deceivingly cute, aren't they?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Easter Story According To Abby

Abby's Theme at Easter...

Easter is about Jesus dying on the cross.  When Jesus came in to Jerusalem people waved palm branches and said Hozanah!  He stayed and did many miricals.  But soon he knew he would die.  Soon it was time for passover.  He told his friends to eat bread because it was his body and he said to drink wine because it was his blood.  They did't understand but they did what he said.  Soon passover meal was over and Jesus went to the garden of Gesemimie to pray.  Soon the guards came and took Jesus away.  The disiples tried to defend Jesus but Jesus stoped them.  He was taken away to the govener and then hung him on a cross.  But, three days later, Jesus rose from the dead!  The people rejoiced.  And that is the Easter story.

I really have nothing to add.  Happy Belated Easter, everyone!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Caleb's Dad Is The Coolest

We all got out of the car and started heading to the field for Caleb's first t-ball (oh, excuse me, he wants to make sure that I call it baseball) practice.  Nick suddenly elbowed me and said, "Look, do you see who that is?"

I looked around and saw a tall guy helping his family out of the car.  Nick saw Scott Rolen, player for the Cincinnati Reds. 

As Scott and his family followed us to the same field, I saw Nick getting giddy with joy.  As it turned out, our kids are playing on the same team.

Oh, it probably helps that our coach used to be the trainer for the Reds.  Our sons are good friends from school.

Anyway, it was a fun practice.  As I walked around, pushing Noah in the stroller, I was able to observe a lot.  Apart from the obvious hilarity of little boys and girls attempting to play baseball, I noticed my husband trying to play it cool.  I also watched Abby realize that some of her classmates were on the team, which led her to beg to play as well.  Well, since we were already there...

At the end of the practice, the coach went around and introduced all of the parents to the kids, calling us "Coach so and so," even though half of us have no business being called a coach.  It was pretty sweet to hear the kids say, "Hi, Coach Rolen."

I was sure that Nick was going to pass out.

What I find funny, though, is as much as Nick said to Caleb, "Do you know who that is?!," Caleb was just excited about playing.  He wanted to hit the ball, run the bases and make some plays.  And he really wanted his dad to be there.  Joey Votto could have been there and Nick still would have been the most important person on Caleb's list to show off for.

Caleb is at that perfect age where he worships his dad and wants him to be around all of the time.  While I get the one word answers to how school was, Nick gets the details.  I do my best to pitch the ball, but Nick does it better.

I think it is pretty awesome.  I get to be married to a pretty cool guy.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

18 Months

Mr. Noah is now 18 months old. 

It is kind of bittersweet.  Bitter that my baby boy is growing up so quickly.  Sweet that he is pretty funny and enjoyable as a toddler.

That is, when he is not screeching.  Yep, still does that to make his point.  It's fun.

Because I was not blogging when the older two were this age and because I was a bad mom who did not write absolutely every milestone down in their baby books (which reminds me, I should really try to find those), I do not have much to compare Noah with.  So, every little thing that he is doing now amazes us, even though the chances that Abby and Caleb did those things at an earlier age is pretty high.

Anyway, little Noah has been talking a lot, lately.  I know-one of my kids is a talker-shocking.  He calls Caleb "Budher," Abby "Sista," Nick "Dada" and me, "Baba."  I seem to recall Caleb calling me "Baba" for awhile, too, so that's pretty funny.  One of his favorite words is "crack."  Before you call social services on me, he means cracker.  He walks to the cupboard, points and says, "crack."

Although, I have been told my chocolate chip cookies have crack in them, making them addicting, so maybe that is what he is trying to say.

Noah loves trying to keep up with his siblings.  He chases them, falls down, and gets right back up again.  He loves books (I know, another shocker).  And he still thinks his lovey is awesome.

The kid also gets quite offended when he is told no.  One would think that he would be used to the word, since he hears it ALL DAY LONG.  But, no, the world is ending when he hears it.  For example, as I am typing this, I saw his little fingers trying to reach the kitchen counter, where a bowl of the crack cookies sits.  I said, "Noah, no," to which he looked at me, listened, then burst into tears.

Twenty seconds later he got over it and found more mischief, so he is fine now.

Noah also is becoming famous for his mood swings. 


And one minute later...

Completely ticked off
I like to call Noah my little tornado.  From the moment that he wakes up until the second he goes to bed, he destroys everything in his path.  Toys are fun, but taking out all of my pots and pans, plus every single item in the lazy susan cupboard and the tuperware from the drawer is much more fun.  I just do not get it.  Why are my cookbooks more exciting than his own books?  Why are my measuring cups a thrill compared to his toys?

Speaking of which, he has managed to lose every one of my 1/4 cups.  Never realized how many recipes call for 1/4 cup of something until he lost all of them.

Even though he is total destruction, he is a pretty lovable kid.  He makes me laugh every time that he makes animal sounds or points to his parts of the body.  His little dimple still shows most of the day because of his big smiles.  And how can I be mad when I hear that amazing giggle?

Noah, you drive me crazy, but I love you.  You are a precious joy.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

What Bunny?

Abby came home the other day and said to me, "Don't worry, I won't tell Caleb and Noah this, but I know you are the Easter Bunny."

Um, hello Abby.  How was your day today?  Can I have your backpack?  And what did you just say?

Apparently, they read a book at school that explained how the Easter Bunny story came to be.  Which made her class question since it is a story, then is the bunny for real?  Abby told me that her teacher told the truth and that the Easter Bunny is not real.

Now, I am getting this from a seven-year old, so I am sure there was more to the conversation than her teacher (who we love) destroying their innocence.  Abby was quite skeptical about Santa so finding out about the bunny was not exactly earth shattering.  She most likely made the connections on her own.

Instead of being disappointed about it, Abby is finding it amusing to know something that her brothers do not know.  When I told the kids to stay upstairs while I brought stuff in the house today (i.e. basket supplies), Caleb asked why and Abby quickly said, "Oh, just because."

She thinks she is so smart.

I did appreciate this comment from Abby over breakfast this morning (just us and not Caleb)..."Mom, since you are the Easter Bunny, thank you for my scooter."

That was two years ago, but the thank you still feels pretty sweet.

Anyway, my always questioning and smart girl said to Nick this morning (again, without the presence of Caleb), "Since the Easter Bunny isn't real, I wonder if Santa Claus is real?"

Nick's response?  He pretended to be asleep.

It breaks my heart to see her grow up so quickly and leave some of these childish games behind.  But, I also love that she knows the real reason for the Easter celebration and continues to grow in that belief more each day.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Full Reliance

Just another writing by Abby.  The subject title was, "Fully Rely On God."

One time my brother Caleb was being triple the times crazy than before.  He was stealing my dolls, scribling on my drawings, and tearing my paintings.  I had to fully depend on God. 

Feel free to take the time to laugh out loud so far.

I had to keep asking and asking God to make him stop.  Then, he finally stopped.  I kept thanking and thanking God.  He helped me a lot when that happened.

One time Noah was only two months old and he was pulling my hair.  It hurt!  I kept hitting his hand but he wouldn't stop.  Then mom said to stop hitting him.  So I tried tikling him.  No luck.  So I had to ask God to help me.  I asked and asked, and finnally he stoped.  I thanked and thanked God. 

One time I was having troble with math.  I was not that good at it.  I kept making mistakes.  I tried hard but I did not get it.  I prayed and prayed.  Finnally I started to understand it.  And now I am much better and I think its easy peasy leamon squeasy!

As much as I laughed over this, I was also challenged by my seven-year old to rely on God a bit more.  I say that I do, but all of my doubts and complaints show otherwise.  Perhaps I need to ask and ask and pray and pray some more.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What's In A Name?

I finally finished The Hunger Games triology.  Now that I am not living in some fantasy world, I can take the time to write about reality.

I think I will start with this fun conversation that Abby and Caleb had a couple of weeks ago...

Abby:  "We learned about Harriet Tubman at school.  We learned about her because of black history month."
Caleb:  "Harriet is a girl?!"
Abby:  "Yes."
Caleb:  "But, her last name ends in 'man.'"
Abby:  "That doesn't matter.  Caleb, do you like roses?"
Caleb:  "No."
Abby:  "Well, your last name has rose in it."

And that would be logic.