Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thursday Thesicle

At 6am, it's a long, treacherous crawl to Mom's room for a snuggle. 

"This tiger is sprawled 
so still and so flat
a question arises
when glancing thereat-
is he asleep?
to be perfectly frank
he looks more as if
he was creamed by a tank!"

(Calvin and Hobbes)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

How Buzz Lightyear Underwear in My Purse Made My Day- and Other Little Happy Things

I've always had a bit of a poetic fascination and delight in the little things in life. I always get excited about that first moment in fall when you can see your breath, and the first tulip blooms of the spring- things like that. After Brian and I got married I wrote a poem about how much I loved waking up and seeing our slippers next to each other. Seriously.

But having kids makes me even more that way because they get excited about the little things too. And our day-to-day life is filled with little things.

I've been trying to keep mental notes of which little things make me happy after an experience the other day; Cal had a little mini accident in the bathroom at a friend's house. It wasn't a change-everything-and-hop-in-the-bath accident, or even a change-everything-below-the-waist accident. No, it was only a need-to-slip-into-a-clean-pair-of-underwear-and-go-on-with-my-life accident. And I was actually excited, because I had been carrying around this annoying pair of Buzz Lightyear underwear in my purse for about four months. I was vindicated! I was a prepared! Yessss! It rarely seems like I'm a mom prepared, but it did that day.

Another thing that has made me happy the past few days is our new dining room table. It's amazing. And my Valentine's tulips on top make it even better. We sold our other table that had big chairs and was just a stationary, standard table and bought one from Ikea that folds up into a tiny shelf. We bought respectable folding chairs at Costco and with those changes, our dining room has become awesome. When we're done eating we can fold the table down, or at least fold it halfway down, and open up the whole room. When the table is open all the way we can easily fit six chairs around it, and probably eight if we squished. Before, fitting five or six around our old table (which was almost the exact same size) was nearly impossible. Also- there are drawers in the table. Yes. Drawers. Six drawers! Simply exhilarating. They now hold kids bowls and snack containers, bibs, placemats, a I think one drawer is still empty! Props to my awesome husband for the selling and the buying and the moving that made our dining room much more user-friendly.

Half table
half table, different angle
Full table
Folded table- open room!
Here are some other little things that have delighted me lately:
  • Newly ripped holes down low in the fencing around the construction site by our house. The boys can look through at the workers and the work without me picking them up!  
  • Three nights in a row of no wet beds! 
  • Little kindnesses I've experienced from people after my last seizure
  • When Clark said the other day, "I'm sure happy that this family is getting another baby." 
  • The peapod outfit that my friend Aimee dropped off for Peapod (picture below)
  • Being woken up every morning by two happy boys who want to snuggle
  • Baseball spring training starting
The boys love little things too. Cal notices the smallest details, it's astonishing. He remembers what clothes people wore the last time we saw them and things like that. They both often comment on how beautiful the weather is, the sky is, the flowers are, and that makes me happy. One day Cal used up several crayons coloring a piece of poster board different shades of blue and declared it to be his Beautiful Blue Sky. He wanted to tape it on the ceiling. It's been taped to our ceiling (with beautiful blue painter's tape) for probably around three months.

So anyway, that dumb pair of Buzz Lightyear underwear in my purse not only made me feel like a prepared mom, it also gave me some other things to think about being thankful for. Which reminds me, I need to replace that pair of underwear in my purse...
Cal's beautiful blue sky
This peapod outfit, complete with knitted hat, was a gift for our little Peapod!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Our Big Little Sports Fans

We didn’t exactly intend to create giant sports fans or kids who think they are athletes, but we seem to have done just that with Cal and Clark. Maybe it’s that there are two of them, and therefore there is constant opportunity for competition and teamwork everywhere they turn. And maybe it’s also that Brian and I like sports a little.

One of the most recent sports elements that has become a part of our nightly routine is that the boys pick out their “jerseys” the night before their "big game." And there’s a “big game” every day. I assure you neither of us had anything to do with this idea. I think it's pretty clear that I never think about what I'm going to wear the night before. I have no idea where the concept came from. Fortunately they have turned nearly every shirt they own into a “jersey.” If there’s any image or decoration on the shirt, they name it a team, and declare it a jersey. My favorite nonsensical one is a Hawaii souvenir t-shirt from Aunt Kristi with snow cones across it. For some reason, that team is The Bugs.

They not only pick out their jerseys, they also like them to be hung up on hangers displayed on their "lockers" (closet handles), ready for the game in the morning. When they get up in the morning, they take the jerseys off their hangers and lay them out on the living room floor before they get dressed, as they discuss the upcoming game and its importance. 
Jerseys for tomorrow's game
They are always aware of which shirts are dirty, which are clean, and want to know when we will have their favorite ones clean. If, on any given day, there is a Redskins or Capitals shirt clean, at least one of them will most likely be wearing it. 
A Redskins shirt and accompanying Redskins pants
 (two sizes too big) make up the most desirable outfit
in their wardrobe. Whoever has the Outfit has the Power.
For awhile they would make football helmets from their astronaut helmets left over from Halloween. One of them would get the adult-sized catcher’s mask to go over top of the helmet. Since the helmets were made of paper mache, and made in October, they were pretty beat up (despite lots of lovingly-applied duct tape and electrical tape) and recently I had to throw them both away. 

Brian bought yellow washcloths and rubber-banded lentils in them for penalty flags that they can now throw whenever they deem fit. We use them as well, whenever we feel like it. It will usually stop play that might be getting a little too rough, or too near the fire.

Proof that they loved their helmets: Cal set up and took this picture.
Another frequent occurrence around here is for the boys to be running around with laundry hampers on their heads and any other odd assortment of costumes, hats, scarves, gloves, etc, claiming to be mascots and/or the Nationals Presidents, that, “You don’t have to be afraid of, Mom.” Phew. Good thing. Calvin especially obsesses over it. He likes to empty out every possible container and stack them all on his head. So odd.

Hamper-head here expects to be taken seriously.
(He's wearing two hampers and a block container.)
About a month ago I woke up after a delightful weekend morning of sleeping in, to find Brian and the boys just completing a hockey rink made of painters tape and masking tape in the middle of our living room floor. Awesome. It started when the boys asked Brian to teach them what the lines on the rink meant. Now they know. That rink adorned our carpet for over a month and provided excellent entertainment. 

Face-off circles and all!
The boys tried making skates. Among other methods of skate-creating, Cal put two of the car parts from the Duplo block set and had me strap them on his shoes with rubber bands. 

They have had hockey sticks since last hockey season and this year Brian made them a puck out of two lids with play-doh inside it and a Capitals logo on one side and their minor league team’s logo on the other side. 

Anything with clear plastic can be converted into a penalty box or the clear front part of the helmet, and we frequently use the “penalty box” as a discipline tool. It goes over better than a real timeout, even though it's exactly the same. It's all in the name.

Play-doh inside the puck
Cal's skates
Mittens= hockey gloves, baseball glove= goalie's glove, plastic container= goal

Saran wrap hockey helmets- another of Cal's inventions
We stopped by the Captals’ practice rink the other day and the boys were in awe at the size and the penalty boxes and the amount of jerseys for sale. 

We’ve also found a local kids hockey class at a rink near our house and they will probably start next fall. We took them ice skating for the first time ever last weekend- at a seasonal outdoor rink across from our house. They were in heaven. Since I can’t skate in my with-child condition, Brian alternated between boys. While one boy was off the ice with me, whoever it was would ask me to interview him about how his game was going. Clark is always Alex Ovechkin and Cal is Mike Green. (Though when they were first learning players’ names, Clark was Alex O’Redskin.) Clark has been reminding me daily that the rink is “just a short walk, Mom.” I’m sure we’ll be back soon.

Cal-ex Ovechkin
Clarky Ovechkin
Getting their skates on with Dad!
I didn't get a good picture, but their grins were gigantic.
Something Brian has done to teach the boys about sports tournaments as we watch them, has been to put up tournament brackets on our hallway wall. During the baseball playoffs and the football playoffs we’ve had team names and logos pasted all over the wall. They cross off games and write down scores and when it’s the Nats and the Redskins being eliminated,we're all sad.

October playoffs!
There go the Redskins...
When we’re outside, one of their favorite things to do is play “swing and a long drive,” which is them calling the Nationals' Jayson Werth’s game winning home run from the playoffs. They scream and yell and whoever is Jayson Werth, throws his helmet way into the air and they jump all over. They also randomly ask to watch the video replay of the moment. Or maybe that's me...

It's a game-winning, season-saving home run, for Jayson Werth!
Even when we found out about Peapod’s sex, it somehow turned into a competition. Cal had been saying the whole time that he wanted a sister, and Clark that he wanted a brother. When I told them they’d be having another brother, Clark raised his arms in ecstatic victory. “I win! I win! Cal loses!” Oops. 

Here are some other sports pictures.

Calvin cheering on Teddy's first win with Aunt Bean!
They built a baseball field with Duplo blocks.
Every once in awhile I catch them prepping for games
by "lifting weights."
Practicing for the amazing catch
Another version of Cal's football helmet
Cal in an intense coaching moment

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thursday Thesicle

Sometimes, Spiderman and Batman have strangely coinciding nap attacks.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Way It Is

Last Sunday I had another seizure. It’s the second one I’ve had while pregnant this time. I fell straight down on my abdomen from a standing position. I fell partially on Calvin, and my coffee splattered all over the carpet. Fortunately, Brian was right there since it was Sunday. He called his mom to watch the boys while we went to the emergency room to have the baby checked out.

I couldn’t believe it. I’ve averaged one seizure per year for the past four years or so, and I just had one three months ago. I honestly didn’t think I’d have another one until next fall. Silly to think I could predict my own unpredictable neurological misfires.

I discovered, on returning back home from the hospital (Peapod was fine- moving all over like crazy on the sonogram), that I had forgotten my medicine the night before. That was a huge relief. I thought I’d remembered it. I can’t tell you how many times in my seizure-medicine-taking life I’ve forgotten my meds and been fine. But the only two times I’ve forgotten them while being pregnant this time, I’ve had a seizure within 10 hours of missing the dose.

Now our minds are spinning—I think especially Brian’s because he watched the seizure. What will we do with a newborn? The boys will not be able to pry me off a baby if I fall on it. They can’t turn off a pan with scorching pancakes on the stove or pick up a baby out of a bath. They can call for help on their phone, but that’s about it at this point. Fortunately we've been blessed as a family to get through this far with no horrible accident surrounding my seizures. But if something did happen we could never forgive ourselves. We feel that we need to make better arrangements. And now we are trying to figure out what in the world to do.

My seizures always have occurred within the first hour and a half to two hours of waking up. Basically I just need an alive, awake adult in my house every weekday morning for two hours. Let me tell you how this makes me feel: utterly useless. I hate that I need it, but I’m trying to swallow my pride and do what I need to do to take care of my family. There are other options we’re also looking into, but the least life-changing one would be to simply have someone come babysit me- a 32 year-old adult- every weekday morning; keep me from hurting my own children, should I have a seizure. It's grim and it makes me sad. But that's the way it is. I know it could be much worse.    

Any and all other ideas for how to face this are certainly welcome. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

How Valentine's Day Rocked: Kids, Bacon, and Baseball

Today we had a Valentine's Day party at our house. We spent time decorating for it the past couple days. The boys' art teacher had them make heart mobiles with contact paper, tissue paper, and glitter last week. So we made more of those in heart shapes and put them on windows, stuck Charlie Brown Valentines on windows, and the boys made construction paper hearts and taped them all over as well.

Art class mobile
Making our own
This one we made into a big heart for the window.

Our guest of honor was none other than Alexandra.

At our party we did a little art: scribbled markers on coffee filters cut in heart shapes and then dripped water on them with medicine droppers. The colors slowly spread out, giving them sort of a tie-dyed look. Super easy thing to do with little ones.

Markers on coffee filters
Finished hearts- I also tied yarn or ribbon through the holes I punched
at the tops so they could be displayed.
Next we did some experimenting with candy hearts: The kids took turns dropping candy hearts into various liquids and we observed what happened. We tried cold water, hot water, lemon juice, and water with baking soda that we added vinegar to. The cool one was the soda and vinegar because the hearts danced and flipped around in all the fizz. The hot water melted chunks of the hearts off, and color from the hearts slowly dissolved in the cold water and lemon juice. In case you were curious.

Philip and Alex check out the hearts and liquids.

Everyone was so curious!
Pouring vinegar on them made the hearts dance!
Next, the eight kids had a picnic on the living room floor. Grilled cheese, strawberries, and banana chips. The other three moms and I actually were able to sit down at the table and talk for a few minutes over some soup and sandwiches. The kids were awesome. Even after having mini cupcakes and Rice Krispie treats, they sat on the couch and humored us for some pictures of them all in their reds, pinks, and purples.

Picnic in February!

Rice Krispie treats on sticks with strawberry cake mix,
hearts, and mini cupcakes

Can you say Red and Pink and Purple?

Happy Valentine's Day!


After the party dust settled, I made my gift for Brian: bacon roses.


That's what I said.

I saw the picture here online and modified the instructions. I did not take a drill to a perfectly good mini muffin tin as they suggested (to account for bacon grease), but I microwaved the bacon a minute and a half first, and then rolled it into rolls and stuffed them in small cookie cutters on top of the broiler pan, like this:

I found some fake flowers and cut them off and stuck the bacon roses on.

This. Just. Happened.

Brian approved. Then he laced his leftover grilled cheese sandwich with bacon roses and I had made his dinner as well! Pretty sure I just won an award.

Then mini Nationals Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg gave me some tulips for the balcony. Super romantic.

And my gift from Brian was a subscription to MLB.TV, so we will be able to watch the Nationals even though we got rid of cable!

After my tulip gift, we took the boys to the playground. They ran around like crazy monkeys, hit baseballs off their new tee, and got covered in mud. Then it was bath time, dinner, and bed.

It's taken Brian and I nine years of knowing each other, but I think we've finally gotten this holiday right: kids, bacon, and baseball.

This was one of my favorite Valentine's Days ever.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...