Friday, September 23, 2016

Best Approval

Tonight at dinner I asked the boys if they liked all their teachers at school (ya know- librarian, PE, music, classroom, etc). Thankfully, Gavin and James love them all. Brad told them of how he didn't like his 1st grade teacher... he remembers her being kind of mean. Then I said the only teacher I didn't like was my 7th grade teacher. When asked why, I told them that she didn't really like me so I didn't like her. She wasn't very nice and was kind of hard on me. This particular teacher was one of 'those' teachers... the one who is too aware of who the 'cool' kids are and plays favoritism. I would never be described as one of the 'cool' kids in any of my years of schooling. I let them know that back then, I wanted to be cool and accepted. Now, I am really grateful I wasn't because it just isn't who I am. James immediately goes, "Mom, I like your nerdiness." (or something to that affect... can't remember it exactly). Best compliment ever! Then Jack said, "I like you, Mommy!". Why is the approval and love of a child just the best?!?! Love it. The boys started talking about how they don't want to be cool, they just want to be who they are. Hopefully it sticks. I mean, if they end up in the cool crowd, great (?). But... I want these kids to know that just being them is the best thing of all. Be with those that make you have fun and be comfortable and have your same standards. Life is simpler than you think sometimes and this is one of those times. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

A Real Hero

Funny... I've been meaning to write this post all week and haven't gotten around to it. But it works out perfectly with what I'm going to say and what today is.
Last week James told me that he got to watch videos about Martin Luther King, Jr. He was so excited to tell me all that he knew. James started asking me questions about why things were the way they were back then... man, reality right here. So I asked him if he knew what segregation was and he said, "Yeah, it's when you have things separated." This was big for me because James isn't the most focused boy, but when he is, he is. Learning about MLK definitely had his attention. And his history-loving mama was all to excited to talk to him about it. I asked him if he had heard about Rosa Parks and he kind of knew her story so we went over it again. This is what I love about children- James was just having a plain hard time understanding why it even happened. Aren't we all, buddy... aren't we all. We had a good 15-20 minute conversation about it all. Sounds short, but for him it wasn't. James was trying to remember a speech that Mr. King had given so we started looking up quotes by him. It was really enlightening. I hate to say this, but I didn't realize how many wonderful things Martin Luther King, Jr. had said. I knew he gave great speeches, but I had never really looked into it that much. While we were looking, James just starts crying. His little heart was just breaking thinking about why some person would kill such a great man who was doing the right thing. Oh, you sweet boy.  We've talked about putting different prints up in James' room, so I asked him if he'd like a quote from MLK up in his room as well. I've been looking on pinterest and etsy, and though there are some good ones, I haven't really seen any I want yet. I might just design one  myself in the end, who knows. 

I asked James if Martin Luther King, Jr. was his hero. He said yes. I didn't realize how special this moment would be. His first real hero. A real person who did GOOD things and lived a good life. Not just some fictional super hero or knight or prince from the old times. But a real person with real words for my little boy to look up to and admire. My little boy is growing up :) I know the super heroes and the knights are not going anywhere, and that is great. But how wonderful to have his world open to someone who lived

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Conversing

Today was mostly a good day. I'd say the only not good part about it was my parent's left to go back to California. Sad face :( Though they were terribly missed the second they left, we actually had an amazing day together. Well, I guess there is another not good part and that is Brad wasn't feeling very well. Sore throat, tired, and a headache... sounds like a cold might be joining us. Even with that, he was able to go outside with the boys and take them on a small bike ride and watch them 'practice' after. These kids are true Oregonians- it was raining and it didn't deter them at all! When they came in I made James some apple cider and Gav some hot cocoa (they love to call it hot cocoa, not hot chocolate... sheesh...). They also got to play with Legos for hours today. We also did a floor puzzle from my brother's family and Gav and I did his new puzzle together. Since I was cleaning a lot today, they got out their new Marble Works and played for a few hours on that as well. Score! Gotta love getting toys they enjoy! Gavin busted open the new art tub they got for Christmas and drew some cool things for us. A few shows were watched as well. All in all, a great day for us.

Though we had lots of fun together, the best part of the day came at dinnertime. Ok, so we just had Christmas and guests over... there are lots of leftovers in our fridge! And after cleaning and organizing all day, I did not quite feel like making more food when we had plenty in our fridge. James immediately wanted a meatball sandwich with gravy (we had Swedish meatballs for Christmas dinner). Gavin and Jack couldn't really decide so I made them a quesadilla. Yes, not really leftovers but those two are the more difficult ones to make happy with this type of dinner. So, here I am in the kitchen making these random dinners (as well as figuring out what I want), and I am having this full blown conversation with my kids. Mainly Gavin and James, but Jack was definitely listening and inputting when he so desired. The boys talked about and asked all sorts of things. Some that I can remmeber- 
Why does daddy call you babe?
because it is a way for him to show me he loves me
When you reach 100, you are like a giant!
well, actually, you don't keep growing. you guys will probably stop growing around 20. i stopped when i was 16
Wait, you are thirty and now you are sixty??
no, sixTEEN. i was a teenager in high school. *James eyes light up- he loves hearing about high school. poor kid is in for some future disappointment...* 
Gav- no, thirTEEN is a teenager
thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen are all teenagers. I was 19 when i dated daddy so I was a teenager *holy cow, felt a little crazy saying that...* I was in my college years when we got married. You'll probably be in college when YOU get married. Do you guys want to get married someday?
Gav- Well... I don't know yet. I think I do. I probably will because I want to have children!
Jack- Yes, I will!!
James- *kind of starry eyed thinking about being married*
Just be sure your future wife likes me and I like her! *just being real and honest! mom to all boys here!!*
James- You were in college when you had me? 
Yeah, you started it all. We prayed and fasted and cried for you to come. We really wanted to have a baby.
Yeah, before I came to earth, I was an angel baby. And I lead the way. I chose you to be our mom.
You did?! Why did you choose me?
Because you really wanted a baby. And you're the best mom.
And did you choose daddy? What made you choose him?
Because he's strong. And he never gives up. He works so hard for us. And he's smart. 

*there was more to this conversation, but apparently i had stopped writing it and now forgot what was said (01-18-16). and this is why i need to record more of our day to day. to not forget the great things... and even the not so great at times*

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

My Date With Gavin

Tonight was my first date with Mister Gavin. I love doing things with the boys and seeing their different personalities come through. When I have taken James on a date (the two times...), he likes to look good and dress up. Gavin, on the other hand, could care less. And I was pretty grateful for that tonight- I was rather tired and not really feeling the "dressy" part. Next time ;) We had yummy grilled cheese sandwiches and veggies for dinner before Brad came home from work. Once we were able to go out, we headed for Red Wagon Creamery, my favorite place to go for dessert/ice cream. It is THE BEST ice cream. Gav got the cracked candy cane ice cream and I got one of my favorites, Oregon Mint Chip. Mmmm... we each took a lick of each other's and approved the choice. When you hang out with Gavin, you realize he is chatty. You just can't miss it. But being one-on-one with him... c-h-a-t-t-y. I loved it. He said he wanted to be an ice cream maker when he grows up. And he wants to make chocolate ice cream. I was almost done with mine and he just couldn't have me finish first. I nibbled at mine while he rushed to finish his- he won :) Next stop- Target and the pet store (our cat needs flea meds, lucky us). On the way, we pointed out all the Christmas lights and even drove by Fifth Street Market because they have really pretty ones. On the way to Target, Gav informed me that what makes him feel special is getting a hot lunch and being the first person. Gee, I'm so glad this awesome date doesn't make you feel special, Middle Child (totally kidding). Gav loved being at Target and chose a new Level 1 Star Wars book. He couldn't wait to tell his brothers. We then walked over to the pet store to pick up the flea meds and also check out the adorable cats they have there. Man... they are my weakness. I could seriously take each and every cat home. Gavin agreed :) His favorite one was already adopted (yay for her!). His next favorite was a calico cat. Not going to lie... those cats are calling me back! If only Brad was easily swayed by his wife or kids... Onto home after purchasing the flea meds. It was a really great night and I am so grateful I got to spend it with him. We have been wanting to make a habit of so many things, dates with our boys being one of them, and we just haven't been following through. I'm pretty sure the boys won't let us forget these anymore and I really hope they do get on our case to consistently spend special time with them. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Day a Dog Bit Jack

It was this past Saturday, December 5, 2015. We were on the hunt for the perfect Christmas trees. We had been to one tree farm and one tree lot before we went to the place where we had gotten our first Oregon Christmas tree. The boys were being super troopers and loved walking the small rows of Christmas trees. When we arrived, an older couple had picked out their tree and the tree salesman was trimming it and getting it ready. They had a dog on a leash who seemed interested in the boys... he got up excitedly, perked his ears and wagged his tail. Most dogs do when they see three little boys... I don't know why, it's like they know these kids would love and play with them. The woman saw the dog getting distracted and moved down a different aisle. I chalked it up to she wanted to make sure the boys didn't try to touch her dog. No big deal.

It's a small place and their tree was now on the last step before they could take it home. We had to pass between the machine and the woman and her dog. The dog sat up again when Jack was about two feet away from him. He went up to, what I thought, sniff him only instead he bit his boot and started yanking on his boot. I was shocked and was thankfully holding Jack's hand. Before I could fully react, the dog let go of his boot only to quickly grab a little higher to Jack's leg and pants and yanked on him even harder- Jack was literally in the air with me holding his hand and arm now and the dog pulling his leg in his mouth. The woman got her dog to let go (this maybe took 10-15 seconds,... happened really quick, but felt like longer) and her husband quickly took his leash and took the dog to the car. Jack was hysterical... as he should be, the poor kid. The woman was so apologetic and was sincerely distraught over what her dog had done. She said he has never acted like that before and kept asking if Jack was ok. I'll be honest... me being me... I also apologized. I felt bad that we had gotten too close (which really wasn't that close...) and the dog had the opportunity to do that. I always try to teach the boys to  not go near a dog unless the owner says it is ok- well, here is our proof of why we teach that! It took a few minutes to calm poor Jack down, but in the end he was fine. He now has two small holes in his jeans and a bite on the back of his leg.

All I am hoping is he doesn't develop a fear of dogs. I could tell the dog was a good dog. Who knows what factored into his small attack. Maybe the machine was too much for him and he acted out. I am just grateful it wasn't worse. So very very grateful

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Fever Dreams

James has been semi-slammed with a flu. He has had slight pink eye but was handling it fine. He had a baseball game Friday night and then again Saturday morning. When we got home, he complained of a headache. I had him drink some water and try to lie down. I went outside and worked on the yard with Gav and Jack and I heard James cheerily say from my bedroom window, "Hi Mommy!". He had decided to read a book on my bed, I'm guessing so he could be closer to us without actually being outside. After a while I had to come inside and realized I hadn't heard James in a while. He was passed out on my bed. He stayed there for three hours. Definitely sick! He was also burning up. Once James woke up, I took his temp- 102. Poor kid! I had him rest in his own bed for a while. When his brothers were getting ready for bed, he finally seemed to get some energy back. Of course that meant he had to stay up with us till 10:30... but he finally went to sleep.

In the morning, Gav and Jack always get in our bed. James usually saunters in later due to his late nights (that's changing in the fall with full day school!). James came in basically on schedule, to inform us that he had gotten sick in the potty. A little while later, he got sick again in the tub I had put next to his bed. But he seemed to be feeling better after that. He got to watch movies or draw all day to make sure he got his rest. He even ate a little and drank some. Yes! He didn't nap at all during the day (which I was kind of surprised but grateful for so he could get back on a nightly schedule) so he was ready for bed at a normal time. Well...

It is now 11:07. About ten minutes ago, he came out frantic. He said, "Mommy, I love you! I just love you!". I did not understand where that was coming from. I mean, yes, he says that a lot to me. But it was in such a desperate way, I was so confused. I had him go back to his room (sometimes he sort of sleep walks when he goes potty or wakes up from a bad dream) and get back in bed. I thought maybe he had gotten sick again, but he hadn't. We had the window open to let fresh air in and the blinds up a little because our crazy indoor cat loves open windows and blinds or no blinds, he is going to sit next to that open window. So blinds up for him to sit. Anyways, James started telling Brad and I that a man had come (freaky much??) and then he couldn't get anything else out, he was so freaked out. I got him to calm down a bit more and he said an elf man had come to the window and told James to eat all the elf food. We closed the windows, closed the blinds, and told him not elf or bad guy will come to the window again. Was I freaked out? A little. I knew it was a dream, but some guy at the boys' open windows is one of my worst nightmares, so it hit "home" a little for me. This was obviously a dream and we could tell he was so close to going back to sleep. He was kind of upset with me for not being in the room with him. He really hates that we don't sleep in the same room (attached much??). We sang some songs for him and put on a calm movie. I also said a prayer for him, to know that Heavenly Father will help him. It was just the strangest thing! Our kids don't usually have nightmares so it always catches us off guard. And he was feverish again, so pretty sure this was the evil doing of the fever. Hoping and praying he gets better and happier rest from now on tonight.

Monday, May 18, 2015

My Assistant

Gavin is the best helper. That is not an understatement. He is the best helper. He hates it when I do busy work without him. Most of the time... when I clean bathrooms, vacuum, and clean kitchen he doesn't care. Mostly because I make them watch a show so I can get those things done real quick. Anyways, Gav loves to help. Today he surprised me when he insisted on helping me with dinner. Gavin has always enjoyed helping me bake, but dinner is different. It's faster paced, knives involved, hot liquids, oven, stove top, etc. Instead of doing my normal, "Not now. You can't" because I'm too in the mode to slow down for a four-year old, I let him help. And I'm now thinking maybe he should help me every night. Or most nights. I mean, I have this kid... this four-year old kid who WANTS to help me. All I made tonight was gnocchi, pasta, rosemary cream sauce, and broccoli. And lemonade. Nothing too big. But he set the table, helped me make the cream sauce, and helped me make the lemonade. It wasn't much, but it meant something to him. He actually started stressing me out a bit (because I'm me and can't think very well when someone is talking about things out of order) and I had to tell him that when he's in my kitchen, I'm the chef. He's the sous chef- his job is to listen to me, follow my direction, and follow what I need to do next. He loved it. He had a title! So he stopped insisting on making the lemonade and instead helped me make the cream sauce. I loved it. It was a great experience together that I really hope I remember to cultivate. Saturday we didn't get home till 4pm from James's baseball game, but Brad and I still wanted to get some yardwork done. While his brothers played in the back with their toys, Gavin was diligently with me. He has to help me plant flowers. We had gotten a few new ones for the front to help it not look so sparse. I had to weed to get it all ready and he (mostly) patiently waited and helped. He loves to pull the flowers out of their plastic containers, loosen the soil and put them in their hole. He even dug his own holes. You could tell he was so proud of himself. I told him he was like a real gardener. He laughed at that. He then said I was like a gardener too... which told me that it meant a lot that I said that to him. 

I can't wait for our garden to grow in the back so the boys can help me harvest. Jack and James will actually help with that part... especially the raspberries, which never make it inside our house. Wonder why that is ;) It's things like this I know are important to instill in these boys now. Teach them to work hard and earn rewards, especially if you have someone like Gav in the family.