Saturday, June 27, 2009

Quiet

It is really amazing how quiet it can be at home when Brian takes our spastic, loud, overly-energetic daughter out of the house so I can pack for our vacation. Her noise, coupled with her brothers knack at aggravating her, is enough to make even the most sane parent check into the mental ward.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

What Caitlin Found During Storytime

Wednesday is library day. Our "town" is little more than a housing development, so there's not a lot of infrastructure. The local elementary school opens up its library on Wednesdays for kids . There's a reading program in which children who read for a certain number of minutes/hours win prizes. If you're at the library at 5:00 pm, some local person reads a story. Brandon's really into this. He *loves* to listen to stories. For example, our church back in California had a bi-weekly story time at their coffee shop, and Brandon never understood why it was so short (it was an hour). Caitlin, however, is another story.

Caitlin likes reading, or having stories read to her. It's been a struggle to get her into books, but now she likes to sit with me and read. Brandon loved books from a very young age, and can sit for hours while you read. Caitlin has issues with sitting still for long periods of time. She grew weary of the book reading yesterday, about 20 minutes into it. I had stepped outside the library with another mom, and Caitlin decided to join us. A few minutes later she decided she needed to use the bathroom, which was down the hall. Two minutes later she ran out, skirt and underwear at her ankles, excited beyond belief. "Mommy, Mommy, come look!" she yelled with passion. I ran down to see what she'd found - and to cover her up! She ran (well, shuffled) into the bathroom to show me the great thing she'd found!!!!!

The urinal.

Caitlin was in the boy's bathroom. And she'd found the urinal.

And she wanted to sit in it. She almost showed me.

I made her use the stall. She was mad at me for a good hour.

*Sigh*

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Evening Antics

What a crazy evening we had yesterday! I'm sneaking in a few minutes to blog while the kids are still napping. Yes, Brandon fell asleep, too. I'll pay for this later, but right now I'm just trying to enjoy the moment.

We've actually had a crazy week, but that's another post. Caitlin and Brandon were having an awful time going to sleep last night. Brandon has been very good about not coming out of his bedroom, but I could still hear him. Caitlin, on the other hand, must be doing cheerleader moves in her room, since it sounds like a whole troop of girls is up there! Around 10 pm I heard a huge thud. Enough to make me hustle my rear off the couch and up the stairs! What could that noise be? Caitlin (of course it was Caitlin) had managed to topple her 4 and half foot dresser! Luckily she was not hurt. However, she was sufficiently scared. I vacillated between being the concerned and caring mom, holding her and rocking her and making sure she wasn't hurt, and the stern, pissed-off mom who'd already had enough 3 year-old antics earlier in the day to fill a book! Caitlin cried and cried, and refused at first to tell me how she pulled the dresser over. She's done this before by pulling out the drawers and scaling Mount Dresser, but only on her shorter, more stable dresser. This time she wanted to see what was in the top drawer of her taller dresser. I'd taken the furniture wall mounts off the dressers a few months ago when we had to rearrange the room for her new bed, as I thought she was done climbing dressers like a rock climber. I was wrong. Guess that earthquake kit needs to come out again! I thought I was done securing furniture to walls here in Colorado.

After Caitlin finally calmed down and got back into bed, I headed back downstairs to finish whatever I'd been working on. A few minutes later Brandon came down, saying he still couldn't sleep. Caitlin's crashing dresser had roused him from his semi-sleep state, and he couldn't get tired again. We've all been there. When I sent him back to his room, he burst into tears, saying that he could see the ghosts hiding in the corners waiting to get him as soon as he closed his eyes. Ghosts! Who is putting this into my boy's head? I asked him where he'd heard it, and he told me that our new neighbor boy (who is all of one week older than Brandon) told him about ghosts (he's also introduced Brandon to Jaws, all types of sharks, and SpongeBob, which doesn't thrill me). He's a nice kid, and I love, love, love the fact that a family with a child has moved on to our formerly childless street, but the stuff he is into is very different than what Brandon's been into. This boy has been influencing Brandon more than other friends he's made in school. It's a little crazy, and I don't like it. I realize I can't hand-pick my child's friends, but I'd like to. His dad (who is the stay-at-home parent in this case) doesn't keep a close eye on him, and he's frequently roaming the street. It's a safe street, but the kid's only 5! Back to Brandon - I had to go and lay down with him in order for him to go to sleep. It only took 5 minutes, but that's not our normal routine. Nor do I want to become our routine.

It was hard for me to drift off after all the evening activity. That, coupled with rising early for VBS this week has made all of us tired.With Brian gone for the week, the craziness of doing it all myself wears me out anyway! Only a week and two days left before we leave on our summer vacation. I'm looking forward to hanging with our friends and seeing family. I think I might be able to take a breather from this crazy home life.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Soap and Mirrors

It was my turn to pick the kids up from VBS today. J's dad and I have been taking turns. Our church is just over 12 miles away, one way, so the ride-sharing is much appreciated. Approximately 5 minutes after loading the kids up in the car and heading for home, Caitlin, she of small bladder control, busts out with "Mommy, I have to potty!" Really, Caitlin? You couldn't have told me this at church, where there are bathrooms?

Using my mommy radar, I keenly observed that we were driving by a Rite-Aid drugstore. Surely they have a bathroom there! Since the law frowns upon me leaving my kids in the car when I'm in the store, I unloaded Brandon, Caitlin, and J from the car and went into Rite-Aid. They have quite nice bathrooms at this one, I must say. No actual people shopping, but really nice bathrooms. Brandon has not wanted anything to do with the women's bathroom this year, so I've been letting him have a little freedom. He can use the men's bathroom and wait for me in the hall. After Caitlin was done, we washed hands and met the boys in the hall. Brandon then told me that J had hit the soap dispenser a lot, and so hard that there was soap on the mirrors. There was no one in the men's bathrooms, so I went in to check in out.

Soap. Everywhere.

Images of Brandon and J, in high school, riding in a convertible car entered my head. Brandon's driving slowly past rural houses while J is leaning out of the car hitting the mailboxes off their posts with a baseball bat. Lovely. Coming back to reality, I notice there is foam soap all over the walls, two mirrors, the sink and the floor. Foam soap! How hard to you have to hit the dispenser to get this stuff to fly? And why would you? Seriously, J? What is wrong with you? Hasn't anyone ever told you that this stuff is wrong?

After 10 minutes of mopping up soap and wiping down mirrors and cleaning up as best as one can when all you have is public bathroom paper towels , we finally left he store. I kept my head down and rushed out so that the security cameras wouldn't see my face. I was ashamed to have this kid under my watch. Why would he do that? My kids wouldn't, and they're pretty average kids. Is it because he's unsupervised? He hasn't lived next door for very long, and I can already see that he gets away with a lot. I just don't know. This is a bit crazy for me. I hope it doesn't get worse.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Hailing

It was hailing outside. In June! Pea to marble sized hail fell for about 5 minutes. Brandon wasn't convinced that it didn't hurt, but we did manage to keep him from going outside. Amazingly, all the noise didn't wake Caitlin. She was probably pretty exhausted from the birthday party this morning. I did have to lay with her early on in her nap, as she is no longer a fan of napping through loud thunder and lightning storms (one of the storms the other day was right above our house, I think, and the thunder made the floors and windows shake).

I'm wondering if all the hail will melt today. The highs for the last two weeks have barely reached 70.


Boy with a mouth full of hail


video

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

News You Can Use

We've had a breakthrough in the P-4 household. While it may seem blase to some, the fact that Brandon requested a salami sandwich is big news in our house. Big. It was only a few short months ago (maybe six months ago) that Brandon actually ate a piece of salami at his Nana's house. From then, he's moved on to summer sausage and us buying salami for him at the store. I'm not even sure who this child is! He is eating so many things these days. I have to say, packing lunches has gotten a lot easier now that I can toss cheese, nuts, salami and crackers in to a lunchbox and go. It's also a boon for us, since so many places have banned peanuts and peanut butter from their facilities for those few kids with allergies. Now I have another alternative for Brandon's away from home lunches. Yay Brandon! Way to go with trying new things.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Lighter Load

I'm done with MOPS! Doing finance for MOPS, that is. Yay!!! Today I officially handed the finance binder over to the new person. I'm very excited (can you tell? I'm almost giddy inside). I tried to make the procedures clear, but somehow it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. The whole process of explaining it all seemed scattered. I wanted the new person to have more information than what I got so she wouldn't feel as lost as I did for the first few months, but it didn't really happen the way I planned. We did agree to meet again in late September to go over the procedures as she actually does them. I think they'll make more sense then.

As for MOPS, I'm still undecided about next year. I might still attend the group at my church, just as something to do (I haven't been thrilled with the leadership decisions there). I will.not. be attending two, that's for sure. Caitlin's preschool is on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Time for me!! While I'm willing to give up a few hours of my new found free time every other week for MOPS, I'm not giving it all up. But more than that, I'm giving up the error of my ways - over committing in order to establish a community.

You'd think by my age I would have figured out my own stupid patterns, and how I tend to overdo things in order to accomplish a goal. It's not overdoing in a way that makes me an over achiever, in classic sense, or some sort of control freak (although I do exhibit that tendency, too), but it manifests itself in me obsessing about something until I wear myself out trying to bring that goal to fruition. Here, it was all about establishing myself in some sort of community or group of women. And I tried too hard. The support and friends I have were (obviously) left in California when we left. In order to attempt to have something here, I joined two MOPS groups, a Bible study, and a small group. All those groups, with their own schedules, activities and needs, piled on top of Brandon's kindergarten schedule, made life a little harder than it should have been. Times didn't work well, and I felt over scheduled and rushed. So this coming year I'm scaling back. Brandon will have to be at school by 7:55 every day, and Caitlin will need to be in Boulder by 8:30 twice a week for her new preschool. I'll start with that. Maybe I'll join a gym. Maybe I'll spend time alone. Should be interesting. I'll let you know.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Sick

It's been an interesting week. Besides just being busy with end-of-the year school activities, I came down with a cold. I'm not sure why it's called the common cold, as it's anything but. I managed to get through Brandon's school activities. By the time the weekend came, the cold had gotten so bad that Brian took over as the parent. I spent the better part of the weekend on the couch. My head's been swimming, the laryngitis has come on in full force, I have a lovely (and I mean lovely) cold sore now, and the coughing has gotten worse. It hasn't helped matters that Brian is on yet another business trip (on top of being gone two days last week, and all entire previous week). I can't help but think I might recover a little faster if I wasn't trying to do this alone with two kids. On top of it all, I'm not sleeping well. I can't seem to fall asleep or stay asleep. My sleeping patterns changed drastically after moving here, and still go in waves.

The highlights of my week, so far, have been:

-Brandon graduated from kindergarten! Yay! I have a bona fide first grader. We are still working on his handwriting, but I'm satisfied with his progression. He had a wonderful teacher, was part of a great class, and thoroughly enjoyed himself this last year.

-I have instituted "rest time"/"room time" for both kids. Brandon agreed that he'll stay in his room and play quietly or read while Caitlin attempts to nap. Oddly enough, I'm now getting more time to myself during the day than I did during the school year. So far I've only used this time to rest and attempt recovery, but I'm looking forward to having time to complete a few tasks during the day.

-Caitlin has decided to nap and sleep on the floor. Since Monday, she hasn't slept in her bed. She puts a blanket on the floor, with her pillow, and sleeps on top of that blanket with her blankey. Why, I don't know. Our upstairs carpet is comfy, but not that comfy.

-A new family moved in on our street last week. They seem very friendly, and have a five year old boy. J is a whole week older than Brandon, and they get along great. They were in different kindergarten classes and didn't know each other until last week, but it's been fun. It's also nice to have someone nearby for the kids to play with. Makes me miss living by the S's in California.