Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Self portrait 101

Take the camera OFF zoom.

Take glasses off and get the correct angle.

Smile, darn-it!

Choke child!

Oops!  Too dark.


Lazy Days

Usually lazy days in summer involve some sort of water activity outside in the morning when you can still stand the heat and humidity and then reading, drawing or relaxing inside with toys in the afternoon because you can't stand the heat outside.  Not this summer!  We have barely even had the air conditioning on.  It has just been beautiful all day long.  The downside to this is that if we do anything with bathing suits and water I have shivering, cold wet boys after about 5 minutes.  

So to keep water as part of our summer I invested in 4, $.99 cent water bottles.  They are WONDERFUL!  Harrison, Bennett and I were at a play-date with his preschool about a month ago.  We were at the wading pool and a mom brought out some water bottles.  Harrison and his friend Adrienne were instantly jealous.  Eventually they got to use them to and the rest is history.  We went right to Target and got our most treasured summer possession.

The boys love these water bottles.  And to me, who has no guns in the house, they are perfect for water fights and just plain old spraying.  And that is how we started at our house.  Bennett and Harrison just wanted to spray things.  They sprayed the deck, they sprayed the fence, they sprayed the ants.  They just sprayed.  And I filled and refilled and refilled water bottles.  Eventually my brilliance popped to the surface and I got a bucket of water out so that they could refill their own water bottles.

Somewhere along the way Bennett discovered that he could suck the water out of the bottle.  This is kind of funny and kind of gross all at the same time.  It's not like it is dirty water, but the bucket wasn't fully sanitized from all the dust and dirt it contained.  And then he taught Miles how to suck water out of the bottle.  Letting my own child drink and eat dirt is one thing, but someone else's precious baby... I cleaned the bucket.  But, kissing cousins they are - water bottles get shared - germs will get shared! 

Regardless, the boys have had a GREAT time with $.99 cent toys and I still haven't bought a toy gun!  Water or otherwise.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

1, 2, 3, 5

Bennett and I were just sitting out on the porch this morning; me with my Sunday Register and coffee and Bennett with his 'Ucky Arms' (Lucky Charms for those of you not in the know!) and orange juice, when two squirrels jumped off the house and onto the tree.  This caused the branch to move and make some noise.  Bennett and I looked up and he exclaimed "Ooo - squirrel!  1, 2, 3!  Look, Mommy!"  Now there were only two squirrels but I am so proud of Bennett!  I think this is the first time he has ever counted anything independently without any prodding from me or without copying Harrison doing it.  He's getting so big!

On a side note, when Bennett does count he counts just like this "1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 2, 10!"  And it is like this almost every time.  The '1, 2, 3, 5' for sure but even the latter part is usually the same as well.  What a goof!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Bedtime Stories

Reading before bed has been something that we have done since Harrison was born.  It's what we do.  It has always been a fun and rewarding time with the boys.  We were slightly challenged when we started reading to the boys at the same time; what books will be appropriate?  What books will keep both their attention?  Etc.  We got over that challenge and life has gone on, reading blissfully.  Until last night.

There is always random commentary during our stories.  I will ask Harrison if he comprehended what the chapter was about.  Harrison will ask what the sloth really does all day.  I will have Bennett point to the giraffe.  And occasionally Bennett will ask "Whas dat?"  Until last night.

Last night the world changed.  Last night reading books with Bennett became almost unbearable.  Last night Bennett asked "Whas dat" no fewer than 1,000 times.  And he asked things like:

Whas dat?  -  It's a tree, Bennett.
Whas dat?  -  It's a ball, Bennett.
Whas dat?  -  It's a house.
Whas dat?  -  It's a mouse.  Matty, remember?  (We were reading a story about Matty the mouse)
Whas dat?  -  Tree
Whas dat?  -  Ball

I think you get the picture.  AND after every response I gave to his question he would say "Oh" like a tree was a new concept he has never heard of before.  It was cute and funny at first.  Harrison had to ask why I was giggling.  Then it became maddening and annoying.  Do you know how hard it is to read a story with someone talking over you, asking you questions?!?!

I finally finished the story, put the boys to bed and promised never to read to Bennett again.

This morning, Bennett and I headed down to the farmer's market.  Short drive.  Little to see.  I got the usual "WATER!" and "TRAIN" when we went over the Raccoon River and train tracks and then we turned onto MLK Jr Parkway.  This is when the assault started again.  "Whas dat?  Whas dat?  Whas dat?"  OMG!  Was he put here to torture me?  He is just randomly pointing out the window asking what things are and expecting me to know what he is pointing at.  Does he not realize that I am driving?!?!  And again.  We are talking about pretty simple things that this kid already knows.  Buildings, trees, bridges, windows, etc.  Once he pointed to a motorcycle and I answered "big truck."  He paused and said "No, motorcycle!"  Maddening!

I talked to my friend Kari about this this afternoon and she said that this was his way of trying to start a conversation with me.  I tell you, I have enough conversations with Harrison.  Do I have to talk to this child as well?!

Even tonight at dinner he was asking what was on the table.  Soda.  Plate.  Taco.  Eventually Harrison said "Here we go again!"  Bless his heart.

So bedtime came and I decided to break my promise not to read and picked out Harold and the Purple Crayon.  This book is one of Harrison's favorites and minimalistic in it's pictures.  I was hoping for the best.  And I didn't hear one "Whas dat" throughout the whole book.  Awesome, right?  No.  What I did hear was "Baby" on every page.  And if I didn't let him know that I heard him say "Baby"  and point to the baby on EVERY page he wouldn't let me turn the page.  Eventually he started describing what the baby was doing and that was sort of ok as reading should be a learning experience, but...

It's the end of the day and I don't really want to hear the sound of my own voice let alone the voices I have been trying to ignore all day.

Well, time to go tuck them in.  They are asleep already, but I can't resist going in every night to make sure they are sleeping peacefully and get a look at them one last time before I go to bed.  Darn Mommyhood.  Can't help but love it!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

ICubs Win!!!

We headed out to the ICubs game tonight.  They were playing the Oklahoma City Redhawks and beat them 2 -1.  It was a great game with several great plays by both teams and a foul ball that I am surprised didn't kill someone.  It was fast and low and very unexpected.  I don't think anyone got hurt, but wow, it would have hurt to get blind-sided by that one.

Harrison is really getting into the game of baseball.  He wants to know what is going on and why it happened.  He likes to root for the Cubs and celebrates at all of the right times and takes it hard like a true Cubs fan when they blow it!

The fireworks after the game were wonderful.  Those guys down there do a great job.  I am afraid my little man might be coming down with some fears and loud noises is going to be one of them.  He spent most of the show nestled into my neck, hiding his face.  

Late night for the boys.  I hope they sleep in (5:43 am this morning!).  We have a busy couple of days!

Crafty Flag

I am being crafty this week and while searching for things to do online, Harrison decided this one would be fun.  I couldn't agree more.  Thank you to Serendipity for the great idea.

When I painted Harrison's foot red he couldn't stop giggling.  He kept telling me "It tickles!  I gotta move!"  So when I painted Bennett's foot I expected a little squirming as well.  He didn't squirm at all; until Harrison asked him if it tickled and then he was giggling and squirming too.  Funny boys!

I think I will ultimately hang it in the boys room as I am working towards a baseball/red, white, and blue theme in there.  I think it is very cute!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July 1st - a new beginning

Today started a new beginning for Harrison.  No more quiet time in his room and no more tv during the day.  Oh the challenges...

No more quiet time in his room is fine.  He rarely sleeps anymore and he was just wasting time in there anyway (he got to get out of bed as soon as Bennett was asleep).  So now he sits on the couch for 1/2 an hour, reading and then goes to the table to do an activity by himself for another 1/2 an hour or so.  After that is Mommy and me time.  Today we started a 4th of July craft.  We made salt dough and used cookie cutters to cut out stars.  Then we baked the dough.  More on this later! 

We had left over dough so Harrison decided we should use the letter cookie cutters to cut out his name and Bennett's name.  He spelled his name and Bennett's name correctly.  His only trouble came when it was time to cut out the second 'r.'  He couldn't find another 'r' shaped cutter!  It took me a couple of times before he really understood that we just used the same cookie cutter twice.  He got a much better grasp when we did Bennett's name!

The no tv thing during the day is going to be a struggle for the both of us, but I am up to the challenge.  It is not that he was really watching too much tv, it was that he could have been doing other things.  Especially since it is summer and the weather has been gorgeous.  So the new rules are that the tv gets turned off at 8:00 am and doesn't get turned on again until after dinner.  This goes for me too!!!!  What will I do without Sharon/Nick/ Phyllis?  

Today was smooth sailing and the tv didn't even get turned on after dinner because Dad invited Harrison and Bennett outside to play baseball.  They were outside until 8:30!  Then it was time for a shower - Harrison does this all by himself (Bennett still gets his bath!) - and a story.  Harrison and I started a new chapter book, Mystery Cat and the Chocolate Trap by Susan Saunders while Bennett took his bath.  I haven't been to the library in a while so I ran out of Magic Treehouse books.  This is an oldie but a goodie.  I hope it's not too advanced for him, but he seemed to understand the first chapter so we will see.

And then it was time for bed.  Both boys were ready as it was after 9:00 but I want to try and get them onto a bit of a summer schedule where they stay up a little later and sleep in a little longer.  Time will tell...

We're home!

We got off the airplane yesterday and both boys ran into Grandpa's waiting arms.  It was good to be home.  

Leaving Florida was hard.  Kaitlyn cried; not so much because we were leaving (although I know she misses her Aunt Beth terribly!) but because she couldn't get out of her car seat when Meredith dropped us off!  James and Harrison were sad and didn't understand why we couldn't stay "just one more day!  I promise we can leave tomorrow.  Just one more day!"  We had such a good time and it was hard to leave, but home was calling.

The plane took off at 2:00 pm so I was looking forward to 2 boys napping most of the way.  Harrison was by the window, I was in the middle and Bennett was on the aisle.  I got Douglas out of my bag and they both lay their sweet little heads in my lap.  The good child was out in less than 5 minutes.  The rowdy one was, well rowdy!  He thought it was really cute to lay on my lap and tell Douglas to go night-night and then giggle and try to roll over and then lay back down and pretend to close his eyes and pretty much do EVERYTHING not to go to sleep.  I tell you what!  So instead of me getting to read my 2 new magazines and maybe even take a nap myself, I entertained my precious 2 year old as long as I could before I broke out the snacks.
 Skittles? :)

Harrison woke up after about an hour and he was ready for snacks as well.  
Harrison decides on fruit snacks.  Now, fruit snacks are fruit snacks, right?  I guess not.  Bennett had a package of Target brand fruit snacks.  I had brought these from home.  He hadn't eaten his on the way down.  Harrison had a package of Mott's fruit snacks from Aunt Meredith's pantry (I happen to like this kind very much).  He had eaten his favorite Target brand fruit snacks on the way down to Florida.  Why am I making you read a silly story about fruit snacks you ask?  Well, about 3 fruit snacks into his little bag Harrison gags and throws up all over himself!!!  He doesn't like this kind is his explanation.  I don't have a change of clothes for him so I am trying to get him as clean as possible with wet wipes.  AND just as he throws up, the pilot turns on the seat belt sign meaning we are supposed to stay in our seats and not visit the bathroom to clean up said puke!  Uggggg.  I get that all cleaned up and the boys engaged in activities when Bennett looks at me and says "Poopy. Mommy.  Poopy."  Are you serious?  

Did I mention my mom is sitting a row back from us and next to the window?!?! 

Side note: I have rules.  No pooping at the dinner table - this was true for breast and bottle as well as current situations and no pooping on airplanes!  What doesn't Bennett understand?!?!

So I gather my gear (thank you Meredith for making me take 2 diapers) and head to the tiny airplane bathroom at the back of the plane.  Ummm, changing table?  No.  The steward is nice enough to help me put the seat down and set a garbage bag across the seat.  Comfortable.  NOT!  Bennett is too long and squirming all over the place.  I get him to lay still and begin the task at hand.  Do you remember that Harrison has thrown up and I used wet wipes to clean him up?  Yeah - I am dangerously close to running out of wet wipes.  But, luckily I get the job done.

When I left for the bathroom, Harrison was crying because I wouldn't let him come along.  So am I surprised to see my mother standing in the aisle next to the bathroom in the front of plane?  No, not really.  He just HAD to go to the bathroom.

The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful.  Bennett played with his puzzle book and Harrison did Sponge Bob Sudoku while I enjoyed a few pages from Real Simple.  Ironic how nothing about this flight was real simple!  Bennett was a more experienced flier this time and knew what to expect with the loudness and the bumpiness.  But being the talker that he is, he let us know about the loudness and the bumpiness just the same.

The best part of being home was Bennett running into his room and saying "My bed!  My bed!"  How cute is that?