31 March 2009

Chase is Four

Chase turned four on Sunday so we let him decide what we would have for dinner. He chose pepperoni pizza, Cheetos and root beer. It was an
all around crowd pleaser.

He also requested a monster truck firetruck birthday cake. That was a little more complicated than pepperoni pizza but he is only four so basically any truck shape with a ladder and sirens qualifies.

The blue thing is supposed to be a car that the monster truck firetruck is crushing. I used marshmallow fondant to cover the body of the truck and though it was a mess to make the result was satisfying.

Over pizza, Cheetos, root beer and cake he told us the following things about his four year old self:

1. His favorite color is yellow.
2. His best friend is Miss Trish (his morning preschool teacher)
3. His favorite toy is a truck.
4. His favorite movie is John Deere.

Monday he got to celebrate his birthday at afternoon preschool. He brought juice boxes and fruit snacks for his friends, and his teacher gave him a balloon and a crown. Even though the day had been pretty exhausting we managed to wake him up and drag him to Sam Hawk for dinner.

When we picked him up at the airport almost four years ago he came with a whole bag full of stuff. In it was a hanbok that he was supposed to wear on his first birthday. He did but it was way too big for him, so I pulled it out again this year and he wore it and his crown to dinner.

You know you're having a pretty good time when grandpa Jim dons the crown.

Chase ended the evening by preforming "Tower of Power" from the Backyardigans.

I like to think a good time was had by all.

24 March 2009

Anniversary Smanniversary

For our anniversary Michael had a painting made for me. It was done by Nate Ashby, and it is the coolest thing EVER.

Everything in the picture represents something memorable from our 10 years of marriage.

For example, we got engaged on Halloween so there is a mummy proposing to a witch. There may be more symbolism in that than I'd like to talk about.

There is a blue bird on one of the buildings because when Maddie was young we lived in the second story a dinky little apartment by Pioneer Park. A lot of homeless people sleep at this park and one night a drunk homeless man started wandering up and down the street yelling that he wanted everyone to call him Blue Bird. It was pretty hot that night so we didn't want to close our windows.

Needless to say the painting is pretty damn cool. You should come and see it in person.

23 March 2009

10 Years Ago Today I Actually Talked Someone Into Marrying Me

That's right-- today is my ten year anniversary, and from the looks of this picture I got married when I was 17.

As a special anniversary present from the public school system my kids don't have school today. I decided to take this opportunity to sleep in until 8:15 when I heard my children say these two things--

Kai: "WOW! Look how many coco puffs I have! I think I need more!"

Chase: "I smell something STINKY!"

You'll be relieved to know that Kai hadn't filled his bowl with half a bag of coco puffs and no one was stinky. Apparently it just a ploy to get my lazy butt out of bed.

Happy Anniversary!

19 March 2009

I Can't Eat That.

This morning Chase refused to eat his pancake.

"I can't eat it. I need a new one. I can't eat a Chase pancake."

The likeness it pretty uncanny. In fact if I saw that pancake in the store I'd KNOW it was a Chase pancake they look so much alike.

17 March 2009

What I Didn't Know About Boxers Could Fill A Book

Did you know that white boxers sunburn easily? Or that boxers have square heads with blunt, broad muzzles? Did know you that they have been around since the late 1800s and they are a mix of bulldog and mastiff?

I didn't know any of these things until this morning. The boy has been doing more boxer research.

He is fairly certain that we are going to get him a boxer puppy and wants to make sure that he knows how to take care of it. He checked a stack of books out at the library yesterday and today he told me that I should just buy him a couple of books about boxers because I'm probably going to get sick of renewing these books all the time and he needs to have a book on hand in case he forgets something and needs to look it up. I realize that was a run on sentence, but that's how the boy talks. Seriously. We recently had some people over for breakfast who's little boy told him he "might want to do less talking and more eating."

He was very excited when he read that boxers could easily pull a small child around, "Did you hear that mom! EASILY!" I pointed out that might make it hard for him to take the boxer on walks. "No." He said, "I'll walk him. You have to mom. You have to walk your boxer for an hour EVERY DAY."

Madison decided that if the boy gets a boxer it should be a family pet not just his. His response, "Get what ever pet you want Maddie, just make sure it isn't a cat because my boxer will chase it."

Sometimes I get the idea that he isn't really listening to what other people are saying.

13 March 2009

The Art Expo

The boy and the girl turned in collages they made for the art expo at school. The theme was "Dreams are Free" or something like that.

Madison wants to be a writer so she did a collage all about the BFG (one of her favorite books). She made most of it out of an old copy of the BFG that was falling apart and ripped. Then at the bottom she put "I dream to write what others read to dream." It's very cute.

My favorite parts are the little girl's hair, and the heart she added onto the book. You can't really tell but the green paper she chose to make the clouds has little swirls in it like the swirls she made with the glitter. I love it! I absolutely LOVE it.

Kai decided that because he really wants to be a veterinarian he would draw a picture of him putting a cast on a dog. He wanted to do a collage too and decided he could draw the parts of the pictures separately and put them together like a puzzle. So that's what he did.

He was adamant that the dog had to be a black and white boxer. But he didn't really know what boxers look like so he looked at a lot of pictures of boxers on the internet before drawing his.

Then he drew the table and himself. Because he was drawing all the pictures separately he had a hard time judging the scale of each image. The picture he drew of himself was ended up being too short to reach the dog on the table. I suggested he redraw it and he said, "Don't worry mom, I'll just make him a stool." And he did.

Unfortunately this picture might be more realistic than he'd like as I see a lot of stools in his future. My fault entirely . . . I know.

BUT Have you ever seen a better looking boxer? Don't you just love the stool and The crazy hair he made with cut up rubberbands? It's SO him I have to smile every time I look at it.

Oh and for your viewing pleasure . . . Chase. Because heaven forbid I take a picture of the other kids and not take a picture of him.

12 March 2009

I Think She's Exaggerating

Madison is playing hookie today.

Tuesday night she got sick. My mother was always a little bit of a push over when it came to sick kids. When I was sick I got to sleep in my parent's bed and watch cartoons all day. She would even get me bean burritos from taco bell if I asked. I loved that. I think if I was well enough to eat taco bell I could have probably gone to school. My dad was a push over at times too. I remember convincing him that the only thing I could eat after having my braces tightened was a Wendy's hamburger.

So Madison got sick Tuesday night and I kept her home from school on Wednesday. I had to drive carpool and run a bunch of errands on Wednesday so instead of dragging her around with me all afternoon I dropped her off at my mom's to sleep on the couch and watch cartoons. I left her with the TV on and piece of bread with some peanut butter on it. When I came to pick her was still watching TV but now had grapes, crackers, and a 7-UP. It was pretty obvious she had been very well cared for. In fact, I think the only reason she didn't have a bean burrito is because she didn't realize it was an option.

Even though she was fine yesterday afternoon her stomach cramps returned last night and stuck around this morning. So she is staying home again today. Unfortunately, Chase doesn't have preschool and I don't have to run errand today which means she gets to stay home with me and two of her three lovely little brothers. I have a feeling she'll be feeling much better tomorrow.

Updated to add:

She just came in and made herself a plate full of peanut butter crackers and lifesavers. I think she's going to make it.

11 March 2009

Morning Routine Update: The ADHD Motivator

This is what I've come up with. It is a combination of my old system and other people's suggestions. I like to call it the ADHD motivator.

It is a one month whiteboard calendar that I bought at Target. Each weekday has a daily reward and a daily punishment written on it that is covered by a post-it.

Michael gets the boy up at 7:00 every morning. He then has a half an hour to get going and eat breakfast which officially ends at 7:30. Then we start the first 15 minute timer. If he gets ready in this 15 minutes he gets to pull the post-it off and get a daily reward and a star. For every five stars he earn a comic book. Once he has earned three comic books he gets to choose a larger prize; right now he is one comic book away from going bowling.

If the first timer goes off and he isn't ready we start the second timer. If he gets ready in this 15 minutes he gets a star, but no daily reward and no daily punishment. We still pull the post-it off to record the star and so he can see the reward and punishment he missed. This morning he was disappointed to find out that if he had been ready earlier we would have gone on a bike ride. However, he was also relieved to find out that he wouldn't have to do a 20 minute mommy chore after school.

If he isn't ready after the second timer he gets the punishment. This hasn't happened yet, but I'm sure it will at some point.

Monday and Tuesday he got both the star and the reward. Today he just got the star. So far this system is working really well for him. I think it plays into what he needs in the morning as far as the ADHD goes. He has a visual reminders (both the calendar and the timer) as well as immediate rewards and punishments. He also has goals that he is working towards. I think it also shows him that getting ready in the morning IS something he can do.

I realize this system won't work forever but really I'm trying to teach him that he has the skills and he needs to learn how to remain focused enough to do what needs to be done.

Wish me luck, and I'll keep you posted on his progress.

06 March 2009

Things I Shouldn't Have to Deal With Before 8am

I have decided to start a new list called "Things I Shouldn't Have to Deal With Before 8am"

#1. The baby taking off his diaper, stepping in the mess and then tracking it all the way upstairs and into the kitchen.

Stay tuned to future installments.

05 March 2009

I'm Getting Desprerate

I have a very difficult to motivate 6 year old and I need help. If I have to dress him, pack his lunch and school bag one more time I'm going to lose it.

This morning he tried to convince me that he should really just stay home because he had the hiccups and didn't want the other kids in his class to catch them. Seriously.

He has an hour and fifteen minutes to eat, get dressed, put his lunch in a bag, and go. But with out fail ten minutes before we are supposed to leave he is still in his pajamas. I would make him pay me a nickel for every time I need to remind him to get his clothes on but he have to have a weekly lemonade stand just to stay out of debt, and I'd hate to annoy the neighbors.

Here are the various things I've tried.
1. Giving him his own personal timer.
2. Having him get his clothes and bag ready the night before.
3. Various awards systems for good behavior.

He is currently working on a star system. Every morning he gets ready on time he gets a star. When he has five stars he gets to pick out a comic book. So potentially he can get a new comic book ever weekend. We've been doing this for a month and a half now and he has received one comic book. He has been one star away from getting a new book for a week now.

I think variety is key. New ideas always work really well for a week or two, but then he gets bored. I need more ideas please before I send him to school in his pajamas with out a lunch, a bag, or possibly even shoes.

Eggplants Never Say Die

I am a happy recipient of my dad's cast offs when he plants his garden each spring.

Last year he gave me an eggplant. I love eggplant so I took it not realizing that I had bought so many tomatoes that I didn't have room for it in my planter box. I'm pretty sure Michael is a one planter box a year kind of guy and wouldn't be super excited about making another. So, instead of growing among my hordes of tomatoes, I put the eggplant in a pot all by itself next to my planter box.

Unfortunately my tomatoes grew much faster and wilder than I had expected and tangled themselves up so much that I had no hope of actually reaching that pot. To make things worse I had forgotten to drill holes in the bottom of the egg plant's pot. The pot quickly filled with water and it sat like that all summer.

In the fall I cleared out my planter bed. This is new for me. Normally I neglect my planter beds until it snows. Then its too late to clear them out and I have to deal with a very dead nasty mess come spring. But in my on going efforts to be a better person I decided to go ahead and clear out my planter bed in the fall like everyone else does.

Once the pot was uncovered I decided to dump out the stagnant pool of mosquito breading water that had collected in it only to find my little eggplant still alive. It hadn't grown any, but it was still green. Seeing as it was fall and a bit late for eggplant I chucked it in the planter bed and turned it with the rest of the dirt.

So what do you think I found when all the snow melted?

A thriving eggplant.

This sucker better produce some fruit. Anything that works that hard to stay alive better do something pretty damn good.

04 March 2009

Spring Has Sprung

The crocus are blooming.

There is a 50% chance of snow tomorrow and with it a 50% chance of tears.

02 March 2009

Ya. That Is Kind Of Stupid

Kai (handing me a paper plate clock): "Mom, this is ripped and I just made it!"
Me: "It's only a little ripped. We can tape it. Once its fixed you can use it in your room!"
Madison: "Use it in his room? Then he'd have to sit there all day and move it every second. That's kind of stupid."
Kai: "Ya mom, that is kind of stupid."