Monday, November 30, 2009

Best Way to Spend a Cold Day

Gather wood, lots of it.

Build a pretty fire.

Add LOTS more wood! (From a safe distance.)

Roast marshmallows. Mmmmmmmmm.

Eat marshmallows (along with lots of chocolate & graham crackers!)

Build a silly sandman while sugar overload coarses through your body!

Still recovering from from stuffing ourselves with amazing amounts of amazing food. Today's report from George's aide was that he was very distracted, wiggly, and bossy to the other kids. Gotta love a long weekend for throwing these kids completely out of routine, every time!

Lots of fun stuff going on around here this week with fun holiday surprises for the kids. Pictures to come, as always!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I started this blog to easily share stories and pictures with our families while the Army bumped us all around the country. We're no longer moving every three years, but this blog has become so much more than a newsletter for our family. It is my scrapbook (or rather, the place I jot down stories so they can later make it into the scrapbook), it is my journal, it is the place I brainstorm and sort out issues, it is where I celebrate our silly little family, and it is a gateway to the blogs and communities of other families like ours.

Happy Thanksgiving to my friends and family, I am thankful for all of you. For your support, encouragement, humor, and love.


No, I don't know what a fluffy, white, googly-eyed chicken has to do with Thanksgiving, but it came home from Kindergarten, so I shall be a proud momma and post it! Thank you to all the amazing teachers in our life, we are so grateful for you and all you do!

Friday, November 20, 2009

School Lunch

school lunch with G school lunch with E

What I learned from having lunch with my kids at school today:
  1. Kindergarten girls are freaking adorable and think the word coconut is hilarious.
  2. George can handle me coming and going throughout the school day, making it possible for me to possibly volunteer in his class.
  3. Cafeteria lunches have vastly improved since I attended elementary school, but I'm still glad my kids prefer a packed lunch.
  4. Kindergarten kids are much better behaved in a group setting than third grade kids. And quieter.
  5. Emma's friends are awesome.
  6. A bully who thinks it's a good idea to ignore rules about staying away from my daughter will change her mind about where to sit for lunch if I'm sitting on the other side.
  7. Showing up at school for 1/2 an hour will make my kids' entire day.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


A lot of the drama we've been dealing with the last couple of days has stemmed from the beginnings of George's search for independence:

Told to wear a coat on a windy day = full meltdown in the school hallways.

Told to brush his teeth before school = full meltdown in the living room.

Told to walk with me, not run ahead = full meltdown in the school parking lot. (It's somehow both embarrassing and wonderful that all of his aides and teachers knew what was going on before we even made it in the building, as the principal had radioed in to them. They stepped in and took over with complete calm and confidence.)

Told to quit poking at his sister while she was getting dressed = well, both of them were poking, so that turned into quite a lot of yelling from all of us.

There are so many things that kids are told to do throughout the day. Our days are always very structured, both kids respond well to knowing the plan for the day. But the little restrictions, rules, and corrections that occur all day long must get tiring. Especially when you're an active little guy, anxious to do everything independently. (He stopped holding my hand shortly after school started this fall. Ripped my heart to shreds!)

So much of what I was dealing with was really a power play. I had it, he wanted it. So yesterday after school, I started paying attention (about time, huh?) and changing how I wield that power.

Instead of telling him to put on his coat after school, I brought a sweatshirt with me and allowed him to choose which one to put on. He chose the coat, and put it on without a fuss.

Instead of telling him it was time to brush his teeth, I asked him to go "wake up Wall-e" (his toothbrush has Wall-e on it, and is stored in the medicine cabinet). He ran to the bathroom, yelling, "Good morning, Wall-e! It's time to get up and brush teeth!"

I still reminded him that we had to walk together as we went in to school, but I allowed him to lead Emma & I in games: like walking in a line, pretending to be a train; or having him tell me when I should duck down to walk beneath tree branches, and then exaggerating the movements.
While they were getting dressed this morning, instead of doing chores, I sat down on the floor beside them. I was able to keep Emma moving, deflect skirmishes before they got going, and help keep the energy calm and happy. I give Emma a lot of credit for that, too. I asked her to help me maintain a peaceful morning and she did a great job.

We had a great morning.

Every time we go through a rough spot with George, there's always a reason. And usually, if I pay attention, it's obvious. We just have to find our way through.

Happy Love Thursday

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Autobots, Transform!

So, it's been a day. Actually it's been a couple of days. Long ones. Involving meltdowns, bullies, yelling, and just general crankiness.

Until I can wrangle my thoughts into something cohesive and worth saying, here's a video! Because everyone likes the Transformers, right? (For those of you unfamiliar, he's mimicking the sound effects perfectly and transforming between Bumblebee's robot and car forms.)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Waiting with the windows wide open!

The money fairy should be here any minute now. Last night, for the first time in his entire life, George took medicine. I didn't have to restrain him, I didn't have to put the liquid medicine in a syringe and stick it way back in his throat, I didn't end up wearing any of it.

Now, to be honest, there were tears and screams involved at first. But in the end, he took the medicine cup in hand and drank from it. (After first being redirected when he tried to pour it into his ear. Because it was to make his ear feel better. Logical, but incorrect.) Emma and I threw an impromptu Yay You Took Your Medicine party and had a quick family crazy dance moment.

And then he scarfed down both his dinner and the leftover lunch sitting on the counter, and asked for dessert.

He woke up today a bit congested, but feeling fine. No temperature, no hurting ears. Very excited about sending Emma off to school while he stayed in his pajamas.

This mom gig, I don't know. I may need some time to myself in the loony bin when the kids get older. But for now, I'll wait for the money fairy to show up, or maybe try something else that I've always thought impossible. My crazy little world just keeps surprising me!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009


So we went for a nice drive in the country. Taking the Jeep out for a battery charging cruise. Emma and I shouting out every animal we see, George resting/zoning in his seat (he loves car rides, finds them very calming).

Until about 35 minutes in, past halfway.

When George threw up all over himself.

Yeah, that resting/zoning thing? Not so much resting as it was really not feeling well. Guess who wins Mom of the year this year?

He's been laying on the couch ever since we got home three hours ago. Fever hovering around 99-100 degrees, not too bad, but now he's starting to push on his ear. Hello ear infection, how are you?!

So tonight, I have to try to force Motrin into him. Then change my clothes after he spits it all back out on me. (Not in defiance, just a lovely sensory thing. We have NEVER been able to get him to swallow medicine voluntarily. And yet? We keep trying. Maybe someday he'll understand that it will help him feel better. And then? The money fairy will fly in the window with my million dollars.)

And tomorrow, we return to the doctor's office, so he can get a shot of Amoxicillin. He LOVES shots.

I'm just about ready to move us all to a deserted island somewhere, anyone know of one that comes fully furnished? And maybe has a Target just a short rowboat trip away?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

House of Germs

Rotations of the flu, viruses, etc. have been wiping out our household. I have to say, it's awfully nice having kids who are capable of entertaining themselves when I need to sneak back to bed for a nap. I think we're on the up-swing back into civilization now. I'm going to miss those naps, though, might have to keep those!

House of Germs

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Bathroom Humor

Enough introspection! Back to real life. Despite the title of this entry, I promise not to regress into a twelve year old boy. But George's aide told me a story I just have to share.

The toilets and urinals at my children's' school have automated flushing devices. Lovely for keeping the germ sharing to a minimum. Not so fun for little Kindergartners with sensory issues who find loud noises frightening. To take care of this, George's teachers taught him at the beginning of the school year to ask for a sticky note whenever he needs to use the bathroom. He places it over the sensor until he's done, at which point he yanks it off and dashes to the other end of the bathroom. Works like a charm. (Except when it falls, mid... well, you know, but that's not part of this story.)

Anyway, for a portion of his day, George has a different aide, one new to this school. The other day, while with this aide, George needed a bathroom break. He asked his aide for a sticky.

[Important information: George has been talking in sentences for less than a year. His language is more limited than the average Kindergartner and he can sometimes be hard to understand, especially when you're not sure of the context.]

Now his aide understood George's request to use the bathroom. He was ready to take him there, but George wouldn't leave the classroom. He asked for his sticky.

His aide heard,"Stinky."

Granted, also a word occasionally used in conjunction with bathrooms.

"I need Sticky." "Stinky?" "Sticky!" "Stinky???" "I need STICKY!"

Poor guy couldn't figure out why they were having this conversation and not progressing down the hallway to take care of things!

Luckily for George, someone else finally stepped in, and his aide learned a new routine.

Dude, sometimes a sticky really is just a sticky. Three cheers for speech therapy!

Monday, November 02, 2009


Perhaps it's the weather, driving me indoors. Perhaps it's having the kids in the same school for the first time, allowing me to be a stay at home mom that actually stays at home for more than half an hour each day. Perhaps it's Jason's deployment, making me reflect on our little family a bit more.

Whatever the reason, I find myself wanting to be a little more domestic and also, to keep better track of the memories we're making this year, so that Jason can share them with us long distance. We chat online almost every morning, so it's easy to get lazy and not post to this blog or keep up with our family scrapbook. But time is flying by SO quickly, and the kids are changing every day, I don't want to miss any of it.

So, I'm taking a class to give me a boost in the right direction. And I hope to keep up with it, daily, in order to get all these stories and memories out of my head. I keep finding so many wonderful communities online that simply enhance those I am a part of in real life, and this one appears to be no exception. (Hello classmates!)

And I'm finding craft activities for the kids, and sewing ones for me.


Getting us all away from the TV, which is far too convenient in these cold and wet months. And I'm going to take pictures along the way. I try to send Jason a disc of photos every month, but my file from this last month was pathetically small, and that's not fair to someone who is missing home.

And I'm cooking!

Banana Bread
Yummy Banana Bread recipe from Smitten Kitchen

It is so easy to succumb to the tastes of the little picky eaters (we're working on those sensory issues!) in my family and not cook. But I am so very sick of food that comes out of a box! So the kids are helping me bake, and loving the results. And I am buying single servings of all the fresh vegetables I enjoy, and not being embarrassed at the check out line by my little bags of one sweet potato, one artichoke, etc.

All this randomness written down to sort out my own goals and plans. I'll probably be returning to the workforce within the next couple of years, as the kids get more and more capable and independent. I want to make this time at home count. And I want to remember it.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

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I love when Halloween falls on a Saturday! (According to my sister-in-law's calculations, the next one will be in 2015, bummer.) Thanks to a friend who "boo-ed" us earlier in the week and some supplies I had been stockpiling, we had a variety of crafts and activities to get us through the day. Still, throughout the day, I heard, "George is excited for Halloween. George is waiting for Halloween!" Too cute. Both kids did really well with the anticipation.

Late afternoon, we headed over to Gramma & Papa's for dinner and trick-or-treating. Emma likes giving out candy almost as much as trick-or-treating herself, so we always head out early so we can get done and be back in time to help out at the door. Last year, it only took going to one house for George to clue in, and this year he took the lead! He was off and running from house to house, loudly proclaimed "trick or treat" and "thank you", handled disappointments with ease (Hello neighbors? Turn off your porch light if you don't plan to open the door!), and even went through a haunted garage that Emma refused to enter.

Emma was polite and spoke up when asked about her costume (she was Daphne from the Scooby Doo cartoons), and dealt with a slip on wet leaves with no tears. After about an hour, she declared her bucket too heavy and wanted to go back to the house. George could have continued for another few hours but was quick to agree when told he could choose something from his bucket when we got back!

All in all, a very successful Halloween! (And check out that last picture in the set! I call it the post sugar high/end of long day/holy crap I'm tired shot.)