Saturday, June 18, 2011

In Between, Gaining, and Losing

For the moment, I am renaming my children.

Little Lady = in between. She teeters in being absolutely adorable and a mischievous little devil! One second she is planting sweet little kisses on our cheeks and says 'I wuv oo' -- and the next minute you have been pummeled by a flying fork or other dangerous object.

Squeaker = Gaining. He is becoming quite the karate master. It truly has been a great thing for him. His balance, attention, and motor planning is so improved - thanks to OT and karate. He is now an orange belt!


Finally, Little Man = Losing. This tooth fairy is going to go broke! Three lost teeth this month and one more to on the verge. His smile says it all:



Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Brings out the Best in My Kids

Happy Belated Easter.  I am really slacking on my blog posting.  I do have a few good reasons, though... does that count???  It might help if I listed those reasons: 
  1. Color, Construct, Create Studios is up and running.  We will have our first class mid-June and are SUPER excited! :)  The final weeks are here and all the last minute prep work is underway.  
  2. My 21-month old decided to potty train herself.  She had been asking to go to the potty for a few months now for "#2" but finally decided enough with the diapers and went for it.  Just in time, too, as we needed to order the next size diapers like that week.  I resisted for a while, but man, she sure picked it up fast.  Only problem is she is not even 2 and has a hard time getting her bottoms off, getting on the potty, and getting her bottoms back up again.  So, seems like it isn't easier for me, other than the needing to have diapers all the time.  She is even dry at night and during naps.  might be short-lived is the only problem.  
  3. Spring break and lots of kid time and little to no kid-free time. 
  4. Traveling... of course, no post from me on our adventures, but you can see some pictures here.  

Now we come to Easter.  It was fun, and once I scan in our "professional" photos and upload my "not professional" photos, we might get some up here.  In the meantime, here is how our Easter egg hunting went.  Squeaker followed Little Man around the yard.  This really meant that Little Man got most of the eggs and Squeaker did a lot of crying.  If Squeaker dropped an egg out of his basket, he cried, and also Little Man picked it up.  Here is the aftermath of one of those "incidents"... amazingly caught of video.  

video

As an aside, the guilt got the best of Squeaker and he gave it back and apologized.  Were the tables turned, Squeaker would have never found out.  Kids sure are different!

Monday, April 11, 2011

More House Progress

Here is our house after paint and before landscaping updates.

Here it is now:


Monday, March 21, 2011

Yellow Belt

So, Karate. Squeaker has been taking karate lessons since the beginning of the year. Some of our reasons for putting him in karate were to develop:

  • strength (to sit in a chair for longer than 30 seconds)
  • balance (to not fall out of said chair each time he sits down)
  • discipline (to follow through with a task)
  • attention (to follow directions)
  • individuality (to do something that his brother is NOT)
  • body awareness (to move where he intends to move without knocking stuff over)
  • coordination (to move without falling over, period.)


We are now mid-March... 2.5 months into it, and the yellow belt testing was this evening.

video


The whole thing was about 45 min. They had to do a variety of things, including what you just saw above. In addition, there was a great deal of strikes, kicks, balancing, pushups, and kiai-ing. In the end, here is what I have learned:

  • He is such a cutie patootie in his little karate uniform!
  • He is a very hard worker when someone else is yelling at him!
  • He does best in a 1:1 environment, no doubt.
  • But, he CAN pull it together when he is having a hard time, with big tears running down his cheek, and finish up his task accurately.
  • He has improved on overall balance, strength, and coordination.
  • He still has trouble following auditory directions in a visually busy environment.
  • He makes the funniest "mean" face.
  • He makes his parents the proudest parents EVER!


It was quite a site to see this 4 year old with two older boys (perhaps 9 and 11) and an older girl (perhaps 7) all lined up doing the same thing. He did a fantastic job, better than I ever could have imagined and I hope he knows what a great job he did. Something tells me he does:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Constructing...

I can't believe it is the middle of March. And ohmygosh, we have to start on our taxes! I think last year we already had our refund/payment whatever it was (I am blocking it from my mind)... by now. Yikes. So, March. March is a long month. No holidays, no 3-day weekends. It is full of work and school and general life activities. And, to add to that, we have have been 'constructing' at our house.

Our Home
We are still working on the front yard, slowly but surely. I promise to put in a FINAL PRODUCT picture as soon as it is done. Hopefully by the end of the month? End of April? It is hard when I work on Saturdays and we have t-ball, CCD, and other activities on weekends.

Our Jobs
My business partner and I have been working hard getting our business off the ground... We are quite excited but are trying to stay on top our all the paperwork, and forms, and fees, etc. That takes up most if not all, of my free time these days. My latest project... building our website.

Our Family
We are busy trying to instill some good values in our kids... it would be nice to see something other than constant "battles" going on at our house that involve some sort of weapon (light saber, cutlass, or machine gun). SOOO, we have been talking a lot about the Easter season and what it means to 'give things up' and why we try to be good and all that. I shared with the boys that I gave up chocolate (oh boy, difficult!) and asked if they thought they could give something up for 40 days, too. Squeaker gave it some thought and then declared he'd be giving up, and I quote, "climbing up walls with rope". Little Man gave it more thought and suggested he could give up helping his brother with his chores since he didn't like to do it anyway. Um, I think he missed the point too. Maybe I did not do a very good job at explaining the Easter season. So, after a few more discussions, and a couple of days into Lent, he went between giving up dessert and giving up Legos. Legos finally won and we are sticking with it. We are about 4 days in and so far only 1 reminder that he probably should choose another toy because of his promise to give up legos. No fussing, but he suggested that perhaps he'd like to change back to dessert... Um, sorry kid, stick it out! :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pronounced "FEE"

Backstory:

Squeaker and I were doing some "Preschool" work. I had him write letters, tell me the sound, and then we thought of words that started with that letter. So, we came to "f". He starts making the "ffff.." sound, then pops out with "Fee". I said, there is no such thing as a "fee" as I didn't think he knew what "fee" actually meant and was just making sounds. I was right. BUT, the clever little boy says, "yah... a fee is a bug". So, I asked if he meant "flea"... no, he really meant "fee" for "real live" (as he likes to say). So I proceeded to ask about this so called "fee". He went into great detail. Then after a few other letters, I said we were done and he asked if he could draw a "fee" for me. Please see below. He wrote the word "fee" by sounding it out.... "ff uh ee" FUE. Okay then! Just because I can't see them, doesn't mean they don't exist, right?


FUE: "A bug that loves to live in haunted houses. If you hold them and shake them all around, they will "puff" and make your hands all black. The arms are tentacles to grab you, kick you, or bite you."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

No More!

We have had quite a month so far and although it is a short month, we still have one whole week left!

The whole dang family has been sick for like 3 weeks. Seems like Little Lady has been sick for like 5 weeks and Little Man may have gone through it twice. Anyhow, we are at the tail end... I hope... and are recovering. I am going to get a new can of lysol and a few rags, and wipe everything off and kill all germs.

Despite illnesses, we have made some big changes around here over the past few weeks:

No More Diapers (almost)
Little Man is FINALLY potty trained at night. FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY! Yeah! We, of course, bribed him. I told him that on Jan 1, we were starting. He had a month or so to prepare mentally. Then on 1/1, we did it cold turkey. It took several days initially to get the idea. Our deal was, if he can go 14 days without a wet bed, we'd have a BIG prize for him. I asked him for suggestions on a "BIG" prize. He immediately (and enthusiastically) says, "a bouncy ball!" We encourage him to think "bigger" because who would really want to get out of a cozy, warm bed every night to go pee for a... bouncy ball??? So, he thought that Disneyland was a good idea and also watching all the Star Wars movies (that we told him he could watch when he was 12). So, eventually, we landed on Star Wars (and our wallets were quite happy with his decision!)

Anyhow, it only took 1 month to get 14 days in a row. Unbelievable. He was amazing. Obviously, he was ready and my doctor's "age 9-12 for maturity" comment was not accurate in this case. He was simply l.a.z.y. And, I am glad. We are on movie 5 of 6 with 6 to be watched today. I can't wait. Little Man is a little less enthused as he watches mostly through the other side of a blanket or from across the room.

No More Sounds
We have been using sound machines in the kids rooms since birth. We are finally tired of having to worry about bringing the sound machines with us on all our travels and sleepovers. So, we decided since we weren't sleeping due to coughing (see above re: illnesses) AND there was no school for a week... we'd go cold turkey on this one too. No problems. Yea!!!

No More Cable
Unrelated to kids (sorta) we decided that we really don't watch a lot of tv. I mean, we have a few shows we enjoy watching and those are mostly on the local channels. We never got into the pay channels, aside from "someone's" addiction to ESPN. We did a little research and decided that in order to watch just local channels, we'd need a digital converter and an antenna. I solicited recommendations on a digital converter. Everyone I talked to tried to sell me a T.V. instead. Okay, so finally after someone (not me) got a bonus at work, we/he decided that we might as well invest in a nicer tv. Not that there was anything wrong with our 10+ year old sharp crt tv. It was doing surprisingly well, all things considered. We found a great sale on a highly rated digital t.v.... one that fit in our tiny little room and still was (and IS) awesome. So, I also bought an antenna. It works quite well. We signed up for a free trial to netflix and so far, all is good. It has been only 1 week, but it is great. My computer hooks right up to the tv for any online shows (i.e., disney, nick, etc) but eventually we'd like to get a dedicated computer for that so as to not wear out my fancy computer. As for now, we are cable free!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Girly

My girly-girl daughter loves:
necklaces
purses
dolls
babies
bows
dresses
tights
shoes
chapstick
lotion
and her latest addition... earrings!



Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Sneaky Busy Month

February always sneaks up on me. I don't know if it is that I am finally relaxing after the holidays that I just don't pay attention... or what?! Anyway, apparently it is February. I am glad it is, too... lots going on!

  1. My BEFRI's* birthday is in Feb and I think I might get to a quick visit with her (and her hubby) this month (see #3 below)
  2. T-ball starts! Little Man is a little anxious because he isn't sure he can hit the ball off the tee. He is all about hitting, throwing, and (working on) catching, but the tee... oh dear. he gets very nervous. He 90% of the time will hit the tee vs the ball. We tell him "practice, practice, practice" but we'll see how it goes. :)
  3. We are going on a trip sans kids. Holy Cow! This is the first time we have left all three. Wait, we haven't been away from our kids, together, since July 2006. We went overnight for our anniversary while my in-laws watched LM. We lived in VA at the time and it was hot, humid, and I was pregnant. We walked around a cool part of Richmond, but I was cranky, hot, tired, and pregnant. Oh, and I was tired and pregnant. Sounds like a blast, eh?  Sooooo, I am really looking forward to this trip. We are headed up to San Francisco for 2 nights. I can hardly wait! Oh, and as mentioned earlier, we will hopefully get a quick visit in with our friends.
  4. Jake's bday is in February. I love birthdays!
  5. Valentine's day is in February! Enough said.
  6. I have a dentist appt, eye doctor appt, haircut, and have scheduled several other needed appointments for my children. Not all great and exciting things in this one, but... I am going to feel SO productive at the end of this month. THAT is a good thing.

Man, I am tired just writing all this!

*Did you have those heart necklaces when you were in middle school...? One side said "BE FRI" and the other said "ST ENDS"... maybe I was the only one?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tired and Cranky and a NEVER-ENDING To-Do List

We are tired and cranky over here... probably due to a plethora (I love that word) of snot, related coughing, and general malaise. This weather, this gorgeous weather, is actually not helping. It is kicking up all kinds of dust, pollens, and the warmth is making some flowers think it is spring. I am not complaining, just stating the facts, ma'am.

Anyhow, the bedtime resolution I made a few weeks ago... not. going. well. There is simply too much to do. And, 8-10pm is NOT an optimal time for productivity. I am worn out and slow and ready for down time. Thus, my 2 hours of whiddling down my to do list turns into 1 hour of attempting to do things I have no brain power or physical energy to complete successfully, followed by sitting in front of the tv for a "break", ending in 2 hours of tv watching and ohmygosh, it is WAY past bedtime! What was I thinking?

UGH. So, tonight it is to bed, and our adventures tomorrow will likely wear me out, but I have banned TV after the kids go to bed in the hopes that I can be productive knowing sleep will be upon me so very soon.

Hey, look... while typing this message, my laundry was miraculously folded! CHECK! Oh and dishes... DONE! My equally tired and crabby and busy spouse is on FIRE! (maybe I should keep typing... shhhh). :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Did you hear the news???

I am going to be an AUNT! I am so excited and oh, my kids will have a cousin! :) Check out my brother and sister-in-law's website.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Naming a Business is Like Naming a Baby

I (We) are trying to come up with a clever name for our business venture... only we don't have 9 months.  We have found it to be quite difficult.  We don't want to change it later on when we decide we didn't really like this name or that name.  We had one decided on for a while, but I thought it wasn't really something I would want to say over and over again as a mom taking my kid somewhere (if that makes sense). There are some clever business names out there, we just haven't found THE one.  So, we are reaching beyond our two brains (and our kids' and spouses' brains) in the hopes that someone has a new clever something that we Love love love!  And, please don't be offended if we don't like your suggestions, I am sure it is lovely :)  We are just super picky... Hence all the difficulty.  Maybe we need to hire a advertising or branding person... nah, too expensive.  so, Tag, you are it.

Criteria:
1. Fun
2. Catchy
3. Simple
4. Art and/or Child Related
5. Optional: Related to developing, special needs, etc.

Ready, Set, GO!

Oh, WAIT... We are desperate for inspiration, so there could be some yummy chocolate chip cookies involved...  

Okay, NOW... GO, Internet, GO!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

SuperKid

My Little Man was superkid last week at school. Along with all the "special jobs" the superkid does, he also gets to hear a lot of wonderful things about himself from the kids in his class. We brought home a life-size poster on Friday and after reading it we are sure of 2 things:
1. We are not worried (we never were) about his academics. He is doing well. Other kids have noticed.
2. We are glad we put him in PEPP... apparently we are still working on some 'issues' with self-control! :) Ahh... a few more months to work out the kinks!



"(Little Man) tries to keep his hands to himself. He walks quietly in the hallway."



Sidenote: Just used Adobe Photoshop Elements "Panorama" feature to connect three images... amazing!  Took me several tries, however, to get the image small enough to upload.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Specs

Squeaker got new glasses... Check them out!


Now, we can't decide if he looks more like Peter Parker, The guy from Wheezer (Rivers Cuomo)/combined with Buddy Holly (Wheezer song reference), or Justin Timberlake... maybe you can decide? I am sure there is another celebrity look-a-like that would be better, but no time to keep pondering. We love the glasses, though.



House Progress

New Roof... CHECK!

New Paint... CHECK!

New landscaping... Well, almost done. The weeds do add a little something, though, no?

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Resolving Underway

Update on Resolutions:
1. Done, as evidenced by original post. I love checking things off.
2. I am averaging 10:30 pm for bedtime, which is a step in the right direction, but having trouble waking up at 6. Will keep trying. I have over 300 days to work this one out.
3. I started on book, given to me by my mother in law last Christmas, but have trouble finding time these days to read. Having trouble finding time to blog, eat lunch (skipped lunch the other day for no reason other than I forgot), or vacuum.
4. Business plan underway, but really need to get on this one. Again, with the time thing.
5. Checking out local gyms today.
6. Check out this blog!

Whew, I am already exhausted!!!

Friday, January 07, 2011

Evil Momma

Recent conversation with Squeaker:

Me: Squeaker, no hitting, time out.
Squeaker: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! (at the top of his lungs)
Me: silent
Squeaker: Runs away screaming NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Me: silently points to time out spot
Squeaker: goes to sit and glares at me. Shouts NOOOOO, Momma! No!
Me: walks away
Squeaker: wiggles away from his time out spot to play with toys
Me: calmly puts him back in his time out.
Squeaker: NOOOOOO! Evil MOMMA!
Me: What? Do you really think I am an evil momma?
Squeaker: No, mommy, I love you so much. crying
Me: thoroughly confused by the emotional lability.
Squeaker: says calmly, "Is my time out all done?"
Me: not yet. You just started.
Squeaker: NOOOOO, EVIL MOMMA!!!!!

I am not kidding, this is real live crazy over here. :)

New Year, New Resolution

I am not one to make solid or achievable new year's resolutions, but I am turning over a new leaf. Hey, my first resolution:
1. Make an obtainable New Year's Resolution

Here are my others:
2. Get more sleep! (I believe this will fix many other "would be" resolutions, like "be more patient with kids") Stick to a 10pm bedtime and get up at 6am every morning to get a jump start on my kids.
3. Read more books that I did last year. This should not be hard as I only read 1 book last year. Oh, and this does not count books read to kids (which is in the billions) - only books for me as my list of books to read does not get smaller with each passing year.
4. Start my own business (with a partner).
5. Exercise regularly and for longer than 3 months. I did keep up with soccer last year, but I need something more that a once per week thing.
6. Be more creative with meal planning.


We'll see how this goes. :)