Friday, August 29, 2008

Apparently, I Need to Watch More Cooking Shows

Caedon and Gavin have figured out what the Golden Arches are.  Now, every time we pass a McDonalds, they start talking about how hungry they are, how they can't wait until we get home to eat, how there is a restaurant right over there with good boy food.  

We've been having several conversations with the boys about junk food.  We've said that while it is ok to eat junk food on occasion, we can't eat it all the time because it will make our bodies sick and unhealthy.  They seem to get the concept, although it is not their favorite topic  as it limits their intake of the things they see as essential to their survival, things like fruit snacks, candy, chocolate milk, etc.

Yesterday, as we were driving to Dan's work to do the kid swap (I had to go to an evening work meeting), we passed a McDonalds and Caedon immediately launched into the spiel about how hungry he was, how he couldn't wait any longer to get the picture.  "Caedon, I already made dinner for you guys at home.  You are going to eat with Daddy when you get home."  I reminded him (he had been talking about how good the food in the crockpot smelled all afternoon).  "Awwwwhhhhh Mooooooommmmm!" he whined, "McDonalds is a better cook than you!!"  

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Family Bed

Dan and I have never been fans of the "family bed."  We don't even like to touch each other when we're sleeping...we need our space!  Plus, I'm pretty positive that if my husband can sleep through the kids crying out at night or my constant moans and groans when I was pregnant and had to turn over, then he could sleep through rolling over onto one of our kids in the night.  So, no family bed for us in the traditional sense, however, this is a common scene in our bed early in the morning (long before the rest of the world wakes up).   Aislynn wakes up and comes into our bed to eat.  Right about the time she finishes and I lay her between us, the boys wander in. Inevitably, Gavin always asks, "What ya doin?"  They climb in and try to elbow their way in between us and practically on top of their sister.  We all manage to rest happily for about a minute and a half.  Then, the boys' "Ninja instinct" kicks in and they start moving around, kicking each other, standing up and falling down with loud shrieks when they bounce back up.  Finally, Dan and I can't take it and we're forced to get up to officially start the day.  I'd love to hear how others start their day each morning.  Leave a comment and let me know!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Secret Agents

I have figured out how to get my boys to do all those pesky things that they don't like to stop playing to do (clean up, get dressed, take bath, etc.)!! What is it? Why, turn it into a game, of course.

Dan has been gone for the last couple nights running in the insane Hood to Coast relay so I've been chugging along with all 3 kids by myself. Last night, as bathtime approached, the boys were busy playing a game of Superhero (which is really just a game of "Let's be as rowdy as possible until someone gets hurt or mom loses her mind). I knew that my request to start getting ready for bath and bedtime would be met with the inevitable screaming and gnashing of teeth (just kidding on the teeth...but just barely). So, I decided to use my many years of education and experience as an early childhood educator and turn the chores into a game.

"Secret Agents Hawk and Hawk, I have a very important mission for you." I whispered. They were instantly intrigued. "The bad guys are coming and we need to clean up all the evidence that we've been here. Quick, let's clean up all of our spy gear!" I continued. The family room was free from toys and clutter faster than I've ever seen before. "Are you ready for your next mission?" I questioned. "Yes!!!" they screamed and then Gavin continued, "Betause we are the special Setret Agents and we have a MISSION." (Imagine his arms waving wildly in big circles as he overemphasized the word Mission).

" we need to go get in the bathtub and get cleaned up so the bad guys don't smell us when they come in." Off they ran to their room. After the bath, they needed to get their "Secret Agent Super Suits" on (you know...the ones that can turn invisible at any sign of trouble aka their PJs). Then came the all important brushing of the teeth to make sure that they didn't give away their location with their stinky breath. Next they needed to take their "Super Power Tablets" aka gummy vitamins. You get the drift. Of course, we had to whisper the whole time so the bad guys wouldn't hear us which also had the added side effect of not waking Aislynn!!

Here's the beauty of the whole situation. We didn't have one meltdown. I didn't hear "But, I don't want to ______" the during the entire evening. And, I had a blast playing with them. If only my Mommy brain would remember to make fun out of the small things more often!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The King of Ideas

Caedon has a lot of ideas. He loves to announce, "Mom! I have an idea!" several times a day. Yesterday, I was trying to decide what to make for lunch when Caedon asked me what I was doing in the kitchen. "Well, I'm trying to decide what we should have for lunch,"I replied.

"Mom! I have an idea about what we could have!!" He announced. "What?" I said. "Well, I have lots of good ideas about lunch because I'm a boy with good ideas. But first, I need to look in the cupboard." So, I opened the cupboards up for him and he climbed up on the counter. I stifled my laughter as he seriously checked each shelf before finally shouting with glee, "I know my idea! I like graham crackers! Let's have graham crackers."

"Well, graham crackers are a good snack, but I'm not sure they'll make a great lunch." I explained. Not deterred, Caedon replied, "Well, I have lots of other lunch ideas, but I have to check the refrigerator first." After scanning the contents in the fridge, he said, "Mom, I really like chocolate sauce. It's good in milk, but it taste better on graham crackers." Now I really tried not to laugh. Caedon was suggesting graham crackers with chocolate syrup on them for lunch. Again, I gently turned him down. I suggested a few other options such as tuna sandwiches, grilled cheese, tomato soup, etc. All of the sudden, he interrupted me, "I got it Mom! This is a great idea!!! Let's have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and we can have graham crackers and chocolate syrup for dessert! That's a good idea!"

I was so impressed with his reasoning that we had the following for lunch:
Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches
String cheese
Graham crackers with a swirl of chocolate sauce for dessert.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

8 Years

Dan and I have been married for 8 years today.  The number 8 has always been my favorite number.  When I was a little girl, I always thought that I would have 8 kids (HA!).  So, I'm pretty excited to be here at our 8 year mark.  Here are 8 reasons why I would marry my husband all over again today:

1.  The way I feel completely and wholly loved whenever he wraps his arms around me.
2.  Laughing together over the most silly things
3.  Watching him wrestle with my boys
4.  Seeing him cuddle with Aislynn
5.  His commitment to support our family
6.  Seeing him tear up whenever he sings certain worship songs
7.  The way that he loves me for who I am, but challenges me to grow 
8.  Realizing that there is no one on earth that I would rather be next to as we maneuver this life together.

Happy Anniversary Dan.  Thanks for the best 8 years of my life so far.  Looking forward to more!  

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Art of Sharing

Mine!  That's a word I hear a lot in my house.  It's usually followed by screaming and fighting.  Ahhh, the art of sharing.  When, exactly, does it get any easier?  Today, I was at the park with a good friend of mine and her two kids.  It was a little cloudy out and her son was feeling cold.  I had already asked Caedon if he wanted to wear his sweatshirt to which he had replied, "No Way Mom...that will make me sweat on my head!"  So, I offered the sweatshirt to my friend's son.  He wore the jacket happily the entire time we were at the park.  

As we prepared to leave, I told Caedon, "We'll need to get your jacket back from Jonathan so you'll have it at Grandma's house."  All of the sudden he realized that someone else had been wearing HIS sweatshirt.  "MOM!!  I was SO COLD this whole time and I NEEDED my SWEATSHIRT!!!"  He shrieked.  "Caedon, I asked you if you were cold and if you wanted to wear it when we got here and you said no."  I reminded him.  "Mom, that's just because I wanted to surprise you when I told you how cold I've been."

Caedon had no desire to wear his sweatshirt, but couldn't believe I had loaned it to someone else.  How often to do we see this as Mommies?  A child wants nothing to do with a particular toy until another child goes to play with it?  Then is is "MINE!!"  

I was wondering when it gets better and I realized that it probably never will.  We all have certain things that we don't like to share.  We all have to make a calculated effort to be more giving and less selfish, despite our human nature.  But, we are so greatly rewarded when we do give selflessly.  

On the way home, I talked with Caedon about how he shared his coat (albeit unknowingly).  "Jonathan was very cold and it was a kind thing to do to let him borrow your coat." I said.  Caedon thought quietly for a minute before saying, "Yeah time I'll make sure to bring my coat so Jonathan doesn't have to be cold because he's my friend and I want him to be happy."  Sweet progress, if only for a moment.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Four months in...

Aislynn is already 4 months old. Where have the last few months gone? She is already smiling, laughing, shrieking, sticking out her tongue and trying to roll over (she gets about 3/4 of the way). Anyone who knows me knows that I was really nervous about having a third child. It seemed like my life had all the chaos it could hold with my husband, 2 boys, big yellow puppy and grumpy orange cat. Plus, I love those 2 boys with such ferociousness that it didn't seem like there would be enough love to go around with 3 kids. But, God amazed me yet again. Not only can my heart not contain the love I have for this little girl, it justs wants to burst open, but the love I have for Caedon and Gavin has not diminished in the slightest.

I am so thankful for the blessing God has given me in this little family of mine. He has shown His love for me through the love of my husband and children. And He has shown me how to love more fully, more compassionately, and more selflessly through these little people.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Mummy

The other night Dan went in to check on the boys before we went to bed and immediately came in to get me.  "You have to see Caedon." He said.  I walked into the room to see that my son had become a mummy.  Caedon had completely covered his body with his blanket (including his head) and had somehow managed to tuck in all the edges nice and tight.  The most hilarious part was that he was snoring very loudly from within the mummy suit!  What a funny kid!