Thursday, March 31, 2011

Good Friends

Today we had a playdate with some friends from mama's childhood days. I've known both Nicole and Jenn since middle school (so we were what, 12-13???) That means we've been friends for about 20 years. They both live about 20 minutes away (opposite ways mind you), so we met in the middle and had a playdate today. The kids are pretty spread out, Thomas and Joshua are the oldest at 5 1/2, Savannah is 2 1/2, Katie and Molly are nearly 2, and Emerson and Mallory (more twins!) are 9 months.

We had so much fun though. The kids played and played and had a great time. We adults were able to sit and chat and visit. Oh, I can't wait for our next playdate!


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cougars and Seahawks

Dan was given a Seahawks blanket a couple years ago (Christmas 2009) as a gift. Molly immediately became enthralled with it. It has since become her blanket.

Now, the blanket is tattered and torn, but she absolutely loves it. I recently found them at BB&B and decided to wait until it was necessary. Tonight it became necessary. Her blanket got some of a nap-time blow-out and it would be impossible to wash by bedtime. So, to the store we went.

She was so happy when we got home.

What I failed to realize was the Katie thought she had one too. Meltdown occurs. Poor kid! So, off to the store Dan went with his coupon for another blanket. There weren't many choices. It was a) Chicago Bears- the second best choice, b) Cougs, c) Gonaga- a horrid bright red color, d) Nascar. So WSU won out.

Katie is sooooo happy.


Something About Kmart

What is it about Kmart? I might never know.

When the boys were newborns we randomly stopped at Kmart. It was the worst shopping experience ever. From the moment we stepped into the store, Joshua was freaking out. As a newborn. Totally freaking out. Dan eventually left with him and sat in the car.

Repeat one year later. Imagine a one year old freaking out in a shopping cart. Hysterical beyond belief. Another failed shopping venture.

Since then I have not stepped foot inside of Kmart with that kid. Something about that store he cannot handle.

Recently we passed the store and he wanted to go in. I declined stating we'd go another time. Today was the perfect opportunity. We had an errand to run and Kmart became the place to go. Again, years later, from the second we stepped into the store Joshua was losing it.

He never was able to verbalize why he was losing it. I nearly walked out of the store several times. I was never once able to rationalize with him or talk with him. He was just a mess in the basket of the cart, screaming, crying, and carrying on. The minute we walked out of the store he was totally fine.

I'm telling you, there is just something about Kmart. We will not be entering that store with that particular child until I am ready to deal with that exeperience again. It might be several years.

Spelling

Let me just start by saying that we never spell words in front of the kids. We find it easier to either a) just say the word and let them learn to deal with disappointment, or b) use a synonym they don't know. For example, instead of asking if we should go swimming at the Y, I usually ask if we should visit the aquatic center.

Tonight I randomly asked Dan if we should go to the p-a-r-k. Dan said no. The boys sat there trying to sound out the word I spelled and Molly ran up to me, "I go park. I go! I go! I go park! Now!" Oops. No more spelling. The girl was upset the rest of the night.

We did run to the store and when we got home she played outside in the puddle. Katie promptly ran inside, took off her pants, put on shoes, and ran back outside to join us. Some quality time outside.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Uncle Adam

Have I ever told you how blessed we are to have Uncle Adam? We are lucky! I am lucky to have him as a brother and the boys are lucky to have him as an uncle. (Of course we love all our aunts and uncles, but based on yesterday's events, a big shout out is in order!) Uncle Adam can take a shaking traumatized Joshua and get him to a calmer happier mental place. Going to the ER is a scary event for a mama, but I take A LOT of comfort in knowing that my brother will take the best care of my son. He is in the best hands possible.

2010 Hospital Visit with Uncle Adam-



2011 Hospital Visit with Uncle Adam-


Thank you big brother! I couldn't be more grateful to be able to call you brother.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day????

Every year I write this, and then I encounter something else....stitches.

Let's revisit last year.

2010-After the St. Patrick's Day parade, Joshua falls in the car and we imediately head to the ER. Joshua endures his first round of stitches.
Fast forward to 2011. The day is already harsh. I start off with a procedure at the doctor's office that leaves me feeling a lot less than capable of proceding with this day. I dig through it and prepare for our annual St. Patrick's Day dinner with friends. The kids finish rest time and head outside. I call Dan home to help as I'm just feeling under the weather and needing some backup. I am less than 5 feet away and I hear the thud. That sound. I look and see Joshua crumpled on the ground grabbing his bleeding face and Thomas above hiim with a horrified face and a golf club in hand. It takes me three micro-seconds to know that we are headed to the ER.  I see our neighbors chatting across the street and immediately call for help. Thank goodness Randy is amazing and he leaps over two fences and holds a towel to Joshua's face while I load the kids in the car. Then I load Joshua.

We speed (at a lazy 20 mph...thank you Spokane drivers) to Deaconess with a call to my brother Adam who works in the ER. Adam is so fantastic. Joshua is clearly traumatized and really upset. Adam took Joshua and talked with him and settled him down while I dealt with the other traumatized and upset children. Luckily, because I had already called Dan home and then redirected him to the hospital, he was right behind me.

Again, luckily, Adam took us right back to a room where a plastic surgeon happened to have an extra 30 minutes that she could do Joshua's stitches. I cannot say enough about Dr. Morimoto. If you are going to have work/stitches/whatever done, go to her, she's amazing! Joshua has 8 stitches, 3 deep ones and 5 above the skin.

Here is Joshua immediately after stitches. And may I say, my boy is amazing. He didn't cry during stitches. He let her know if it hurt and wasn't fond of the numbing, but was a real awesome dude. Ice cream in his future FOR SURE!

After stitches we waited for a bit and saw the doctor to discuss facial xrays and head trauma. Joshua is amazing and it appears he was hit just perfectly (if that's possible) and no presumable damage was done. We'll definitely keep an eye on him but he looks to have escaped with just stitches and a huge face! We were then released to go home.

Here is Joshua a few hours after the incident:


It's going to look really great tomorrow.

After we got home, our friends managed to make it over for our really late dinner. Thank you Worthy Family! We were thankful for the distraction and the ability to talk and focus on friendship instead of the events of the day.

I have to tell you how thankful I am to so many people. Adam really came through as my big brother and it made what could have been a terrible, scary experience for both Joshua and me, into a situation where we knew Josh was well taken care of and comfortable. I am thankful for Randy who jumped two fences and provided Joshua with the initial comfort and calmed him as much as possible while I loaded the car with the other kids. I am thankful for the friends who came over for dinner and gave us some reprieve.


Thank you friends. I can tell you that next St. Patrick's Day the children will be wearing helmets!!!!

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

2011 (Thomas & Joshua- 5 1/2, Katie & Molly- 23 months)
Last year- (T&J- 4 1/2, M&K- 11 months)



Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Those Moments

There are some moments when being a mom is hard.

video
Then there are other moments when being a mom is just the neatest thing ever.

Katie woke up different today. It was easy for me to see. She wasn't physically different, but everything else about her had changed. Katie has been known as our screamer. She screams. All the time. Loudly. Screechingly. It's really hard to listen to all day long. Then today, she figured out how to talk. All the sudden she figured out how to form words with her mouth. She followed Dan around all morning talking to him and asking him questions. "What you do daddy? What you do? Go work now daddy? Go work? Me too? Pease?" It was hilarious.
Molly, always the talker, is just a big girl. She likes "pretties" in her hair. And she likes dresses.
Thomas, my infomercial kid, has the memory of an elephant. He came out of the bathroom with this statement upon seeing that I had purchased new toothpaste: "Mom, you know the Colgate Total you have in the bathroom? It keeps germs away for 12 hours! And if you use the other toothpaste that you use to get, the germs will come back. So, good choice on the Colgate Total."

Joshua, has just been the best big brother lately. He is the main reason the girls talk so much. I'm telling you! And it's not just because Joshua talks nonstop. And by nonstop I mean he breathes maybe twice a minute and he doesn't stop talking for either of those breaths. He will sit with the girls and have them repeat words after him. He will play with them, help them,and love them.

Today was "Doughnuts with dad" day at preschool. Here is a picture of daddy and boys before they left for the event.


These are the moments.I want to remember these moments. Even the car one. I'll look back and laugh at that one too, right?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Too Cute

Who can resist this little face?

Dr. Seuss Storytime

We've discovered that there are storytimes at Auntie's Bookstore. Since the boys are rightly jealous of the girls' weekly attendance at the library storytime, this is a good way to have some quality time. This week the theme was Dr. Seuss. Our favorite story reader, Auntie Violet, dressed up in her Dr. Seuss garb. The girls dressed up for the occasion as well. It's an hour long storytime, so it's a little bit hard for the girls, but the boys do great! And really seem to enjoy it!
After said storytime (in an unusually busy day) we met Auntie Kim (Ba) and Grandma Nancy and Grandpa Larry for lunch. (Daddy was at Guard this weekend). Look at my cute bunch!

Then Thomas and Joshua got some "big kid" time and went to a free Kid's concert with the grandparents and Auntie.

Phew! What a day! Thanks to everyone who helped!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Chuck E Cheese

Chuck E Cheese. Most parents say it with dread. A groan in their voice, a roll of the eyes. We say it with glee. We love Chuck E Cheese (in moderation)! It's an enclosed environment. They are occupied with games and therefore stay out of trouble. And everyone is worn out in the end. We love it! Plus, we like playing the games too!

It's a popular jaunt for birthday parties the last couple years so I've developed a little bit of a method to the madness. 1) I have a couple games that I can quickly amass several hundred tickets from. This means we generally experience CEC with about 400 tickets. 2) I use coupons. We don't generally buy food there because we are there for a birthday party. But we'll buy a drink and I'll use several coupons for free tokens with a purchase. 3) When we check out and use our tickets, I allow each child 1-2 picks and then get a voucher for the rest. That way we just build up our stash of tickets for something good instead of some junk I have to throw away at the earliest opportunity.

We finally saved up 2400 tickets tonight and got the one thing we've been waiting to get..

A CEC pinata, pre-filled with tickets (which I will be trying to snag out of there if possible) and candy. Sweet! The boys are so excited to have friends over to do a pinata!

Twinkle Twinkle Little STAR!

You know those small moments? Those moments that really shake your world? Those moments that you see through the eyes of a child and see that joy.

It happened last night. We took a late night walk to FROYO (frozen yogurt). The girls in the wagon, the boys in the jogger. As we were walking back I could hear Molly singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and staring into the sky. I stopped walking, knelt down beside her and sang with her. Then I attempted to show her that those twinkling lights in the sky were indeed stars. Real stars. There was a pause and then a huge moment where that connection took place. You could see it. Her furrowed thoughtful brow turned to a total expression of awe. Magical people. It was magical.

"Star! Star!" Then we sang again. Then she pointed, "Star! Star!"

I didn't even want to start walking again. I wanted to sit in that little spot on the side of the road and look at the stars with her all night long. Those moments, those special moments, they mean everything. And with all four of them they are happening all the time right now. I'm so thankful.

Joshua the Hero

Our weekly trip to McDonald's was a bit more stressful this week. We go once a week with grandpa Bob (and usually grandma Patti). It's routine. But on this particular day, the play area was a zoo. If I was by myself, I would've walked right back out and found somewhere else. But with extra hands and the knowledge that the kids are really comfortable there, we continued to a table and set out to enjoy lunch. My lunch is stopped by the screaming of a child easily identified as Molly. I start to search for her screams. I find her up in a hexagonal part of the structure. She is attempting to get to the slide but blocked by two big(ger) boys. What happens next makes my jaw drop. They surround her and push her back into a corner and begin screaming in her face. She struggles, trying to get away, whilst my blood pressure soars. I attempt to yell at Molly to use her words, I tell her to move, I tell her to let those naughty little boys know she doesn't like it. My passive-aggressive attempt to get those little boys' parents involved fails.

Plan B. I call over Joshua. I point out Molly. I instruct him to get to her as soon as possible. And to save her from these mean boys. He hauls butt up the structure and gets to her in no time (with mass food in mouth as I have interrupted his lunch). I tell him to tell those boys she doesn't like it (they won't let him get to her). No go. I then tell him to shove his way in, grab her, and drag her back through the tubes with him. The good little boy that Joshua is, follows my instructions to the very last word. He shoves his way in, and literally drags her through the netting and tubes to a place where I can help. Those naughty little boys though, follow him and continue to yell in Molly's face as she's drug through the structure to safety.

I then lose my cool and begin telling (loudly) those little boys that a) she doesn't like it, b) they better stop and c) I will come up there myself if they do not stop. Luckily I must've scared them (and I should because my fangs were out!) and they backed off.

But my heart was racing and I was about to go off my rocker. I never did discover who the parents were. I packed up fairly quickly and left out of frustration and knowing that I might really lose my cool if it were to happen again.

But I cannot tell you how proud I was of unconfrontational Joshua. He really stepped up to the plate. To be fair, both boys will save/protect/help their sisters when asked or when needed. But this was a time where there wasn't a lot of explaining, he listened and helped. Thank you Joshua.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Puddle Jumping

Thomas had skate class tonight. It worked out that Dan was able to take Thomas and really focus on him while I stayed home with the other three. We took the opportunity to go for a puddle jumping walk. It was dark outside so we just took a quick jaunt around the block. The kids had a blast!




Yoga

We've recently reintroduced yoga to the household. And I don't mean for the adults. Right before bedtime Joshua will ask for it. And he usually has a partner. It's soooooo cute!


Halloween in March

The littler personalities are shining through right now. So much fun! The girls decided that instead of coats they wanted to wear Halloween costume tops to the boys' speech class. It was ADORABLE! The last picture has that darn foggy spot. Augh! It was raining! The girls were actually crying because our  neighbor was moving the van and they thought instead he was stealing the van. Good times. :)



Yes, I realize Molly is wearing two different shoes. It's just the way she rolls. :)