Tuesday, May 27, 2008

May 27, 2008 Part 2

After becoming a mom, one of the things I have thought about and appreciated quite often is that each day is a new one, where I get to start over and try again to be the mom that I know God would like for me to be. I am still very thankful for that.

When I went to get the boys from their cribs this morning, they were both asking to go to the mall. Nick also said he would not cry. I reminded him "no fits" and he agreed. We had a very good time at the mall play area and even met a man from Russia who was there with his son. His son was born in the U.S. but currently only speaks Russian. The Russian man spoke English pretty well and we had a nice chat. He and his wife have three kids and they moved here from Russia about 5 years ago. I really enjoyed visiting with him and there were lots of kids for the boys to play with (or around:).

We came back to the house after about two or two and a half hours and the boys wanted to draw and color for a little while and then it was time for lunch. After lunch we played with blocks for a while, then put together one of our large floor puzzles and then they played with their barns, animals, trucks and tractors on top of the floor puzzle, which has a picture of a barnyard on it. Then we played with some small letter puzzles (put 'A' together with 'a', 'B' together with 'b', etc.) for a little while and then it was nap time.

When I was putting the boys down for their nap, I was rubbing Nick's back. He was real sweet and got up to hug and kiss me. I found this quite touching.

I forgot to mention what we did for the Memorial Day weekend. Two of my nieces graduated this weekend. On Friday we drove the 1.5 hours up to where my sister lives. We had a hotel room just across the street from my sister's house, so we would not have to tote the boys around until all hours of the night. The dad stayed with the boys while I went to one graduation (my sister's daughter). She gave a short speech, since she was one of the top scholars. She is also the one who spoke at my grandmother's funeral. She does an amazing job of speaking in front of large groups. After the graduation, my sister stayed with the boys in our hotel room while the dad and I went to my other niece's graduation reception at her house. It was already around 10:00 by the time we got there but the party was in full swing and there were lots of people there to congratulate the graduate.

The next morning, we went back to my brother's house again. He lives on a farm and he has a new baby lamb and baby puppies. The baby lamb was given to him, as it's mom had triplets and only had enough milk to provide for two lambs. They feed it with a bottle and it follows them around. When they go in the house, it will stand outside the screen door and "baaaa baaaa". It is about a month old and it is absolutely adorable, the smallest/youngest one I have ever seen. The boys got to feed it with a bottle and I held it for a while. It loves to be held and pet and it just tucked it's little head up under my chin like a little baby. It was too cute. Our camera was out of batteries but our friends took pictures and said they will send them to us. The puppies were just as cute and the boys enjoyed playing with them too. But their favorite thing by far was to sit on the two tractors and to take a ride on one of them. Yesterday morning, when I went into their room to get them up, the first thing Ben said to me was "mommy, two tractors", as he held up two fingers. They went back and forth between the two tractors, sitting on them and pretending to drive them for quite some time.

The boys were exhausted when we left and slept most of the way home, which was not a long enough nap for them. We put them to bed that night an hour early and they still slept to their normal wake-up time and took a longer nap the next day. Overall, we all had a wonderful time and the boys have been asking when we are going back every day since.

We have a play date scheduled for Friday and we will be going back to the farm around the beginning of June, so we will stay busy and they will be back there before they know it. It is a wonderful environment for little kids to run around all over the place.

We have been having a lot of cloudy days and thunderstorms at night lately. We have been very fortunate that we have not had any close calls with tornadoes, although we have had some hail.  My only complaint about this stormy weather is that it really wreaks havoc on my head. I have these really bad head aches when the weather is like this and then we get a really pretty day and my head feels just fine. I think it has something to do with the changing air pressure and my troublesome sinuses. I used to get these headaches in Houston sometimes when we had stormy weather but they seem to have become more regular since moving to Oklahoma.

Well, I better get some things done while the boys are napping. I hope you are having a good day today:).

May 27, 2008

A couple of funny things to document. Today, at the grocery store, we were checking out and an older couple got into the line behind us. Nick started saying 'wait your turn', 'wait your turn'. He had said it twice before I realized that he was talking to them. Fortunately, they either did not hear him or did not understand him.

Today, when we got back from going to the grocery store, the boys were pretending to shop with their shopping lists. At one point, they were both at the table, writing (scribbling on) their grocery list. I asked them what they were writing on their list and Nick said "a, b, c, d". I guess we forgot to buy those when we were at the grocery store this morning:).

Saturday, May 24, 2008

May 24, 2008

Here are a few pictures I took yesterday of the boys. I was gathering a ton of clothes to give away to our friends who have a 14 month old son and I decided I should take some pics of the boys in these cute overalls, since they are basically too small now and I need to pass them on.

These overalls have a sentimental place in my heart for three reasons:

1. My grandpa used to wear these kind of overalls every day when he was working on his farm. I spent many, many days running around after him, tagging along and following him around during my many visits to the farm to see my grandparents when I was a kid. He always cleaned up real nice when we were going to church or to 'town' for something or another but my fondest memories of him are with him wearing these kind of overalls.

2. My niece gave the boys these overalls and she has a special place in my heart, so that makes them special too.

3. The boys just look to darn cute in them, don't they?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

May 20, 2008

This is a quickie but I want to document it before I forget.

The boys and I went to the park today and we had a fun time on a beautiful day (although it is getting pretty hot now). We were getting ready to leave and Nick was a bit ahead of me and Ben, when I heard him say very urgently, "Mommy! A mouse! A mouse!".

I looked to where he was pointing, not too far from us, but there was a big tree in the way. I kept looking, thinking that I would soon see a squirrel run from behind the tree. He was standing where he had a better perspective and could see past the tree better than I could. Again he yelled, "Mommy! A mouse! A mouse!". He was so excited.

A second later I saw a lady come from behind the tree, walking down the sidewalk and a millisecond later I saw her little tiny chihuahua come trailing after her on a leash. She had heard Nick calling her little dog a mouse and she was cracking up and, by then, I was cracking up laughing too. It was quite a funny moment.

Monday, May 19, 2008

May 19, 2008

It is officially hot here now:). Summer has arrived. The boys have been outside playing in the water for the past couple of weeks. One day last week, it was warm outside but was not hot yet. They were wearing shorts and T-shirts and playing in the couple of inches of water in their little swimming pool. They waded in it once in a while but, for the most part, they were leaning over the side, filling up containers with water and then walking around the patio and yard and dumping the water on various things. I was sitting on the patio, reading a book. Out of the blue, they both decided they wanted to take off their shorts and their diapers but they wanted to keep their shirts on. We have a wooden fence around the yard and, heh, you're only young once, right? So they played for a while with their T-shirt on and their little birthday suits from the waist down. I thought it was quite funny.

Today, the dad was outside with Nick, while I was in the house cooking dinner and Ben was sitting nearby at the kitchen table, coloring, cutting and pasting. The dad later told me that Nick was going behind the bushes to hide and then yelling, "honey! honey!" at the dad.

We are now hearing almost-full sentences from both boys and they never shut up! (I love it most of the time:) Today Ben told me "mommy, boo boo all better".

Tonight at the dinner table, Nick said "that tasty", after tasting lemonade for the first time. That was the first time I had heard either one of the boys use the word 'tasty'. They pick up on new words so quickly these days. It is so amazing.

Whenever we are out shopping and someone happens to be in our way, as we are going down an aisle with a shopping cart, before I have a chance to even consider it, one of the boys will be telling them 'scuse me'. They say this to each other in the house if one of them is in the other's way and they also sometimes say it to stationary objects that happen to be in their way...and of course, they also say it to the cats if they are in the way.

Nick is now at the point where, if he happens to hurt me accidentally, by kicking me in the head when we are laying together on the couch for example:), and I say 'ouch, that hurt', he will immediately say 'soddy mommy' and give me a hug and kiss. He is big on doing this with brother too but brother frequently does not want the hugs and kisses, as he is annoyed at being injured. Nick also gives Ping a hug and a kiss and says "I'm soddy", as we read the book The Story About Ping (I think that's the name).

They are both very big into the blame game these days. If I ask 'who did that?', they will both say the other one did it.

I got tired of hearing the boys whine and ask me to help them every time they got stuck while riding their tricycles in the house. So I finally told them, "when you get stuck, you should say 'oh man!' and then get off your bike and move it so it is not stuck anymore'. This has really worked remarkably well and I smile every time I hear 'oh man!', as they are riding around the house. If they forget and start whining, I give them that raised eyebrow look, like only a mom can deliver. That usually gets a cute little smile and then 'oh man!' and then the stuck child climbs off the trike and pulls it free.

Today I bought a $4 vinyl table cloth that I can throw over the kitchen table when the boys want to color, draw or paint. Much nicer than using newspaper every time and much more likely to prevent writing on the table. Ben really enjoys sitting at the table and coloring (scribbling), cutting and pasting often now.

It seems like we definitely have two opposite personality types in our house with our two sons. Nick loves being outside and would stay out there all day long if we let him. When we have been outside for a few minutes, Ben is likely to start asking to go into the house. Twice within the past few days we were outside, I was reading and the boys were playing, when the dad got home and came outside to join us. I had to go inside to start dinner and, soon after, Ben wanted to come in with me. As soon as he came inside, he asked to sit at the table and color, cut and paste (he always does all three:). Nick stayed outside with the dad until he absolutely had to come in.

This evening Ben asked me "mommy, read, read?". As he climbed up on the couch next to me, out of the blue he said "no poopy mommy". Big red flag. I asked him if he was poopy and he said again "no poopy mommy", so I checked him and, sure enough, he was. I had not even suspected anything until he spoke up. He was not too happy when I told him that we needed to change his diaper before we read our book.

Today was the last day that our Parents as Teachers lady will come for the summer. We will see her again in August but we will age out when Nick turns 3 in November, so we will probably only see her again three more times, once each in Aug, Sept and Oct and then we will probably be done. I think I enjoy her visits as much as or more than the boys. She and I spend a lot of time talking about everything and anything while she is here.

It's hard to believe that summer is already here. We have two graduations to go to this Friday evening. My two nieces are both graduating from different high schools on the same night. I think within the next week or two, all of the schools here will be out for the summer.

Friday, May 16, 2008

May 16, 2008

I am very excited about homeschooling our kids but I am also very realistic, or I try to be anyway. I know that there will be times in the future, once we really start school, when I will be tired and frustrated and it won't all be a bed of roses at our house. Sometimes it is hard to remember things like this when I am in the throes of research and planning. I really enjoy the research and planning.

Nick loves to ride this little rocking horse.

Nick trying on my readers.

My grandmother's funeral was yesterday and we were very blessed that it did not rain. My husband was able to get off work and my grandmother's church provided a very nice lady to watch the children during the service. She was great and the boys loved her and had a great time. When I asked them if they had fun, they shook their heads yes and said "again?, mommy, again?", indicating they would like to go back and play at that church again sometime. They cried when we left them but they soon stopped and obviously had fun and they were happy to see us when we returned.

The church family also provided a meal for the family before the service. My grandmother has a pretty big family these days, so that was quite an undertaking. They had two large hams and a large turkey, with all of the veggies, potatoes and gravy, bread, drinks and desserts too. It was quite a nice spread and it was very nice for the family to be able to sit down together and spend some time visiting and catching up. Several of my extended family members had heard a lot about our sons but had not met them yet so it was nice that they were finally able to meet. Several of my family members had also not met my husband yet, so it was especially nice that he was able to meet them.

In the service, one of my nieces did a wonderful job of playing the piano and singing a song, accompanied by her good friend on the guitar. Another niece did an amazing job of writing her own speech and then standing in front of the congregation and speaking about grandmother Rilla. She had everyone shaking their heads and leaning to the person next to them to say "yep, Rilla always did that", or laughing about funny things that grandma did. It was so good that everyone clapped when she finished, which is a bit unusual at a funeral. My dad's wife sang with her two friends in a trio and they did a beautiful job. They sang a song that my grandmother had specifically asked her to sing at her funeral, so that was special. My grandmother's pastor spoke and then my uncle, who is a Baptist preacher, spoke for a while. He did an awesome job and I know it could not have been easy for him to do that at his own mother's funeral. He also had us laughing, knowingly nudging each other and crying at times. The church was packed out, which was not surprising. She knew a lot of people and everyone who knew her loved her. There were lots of tears, from those of us who will miss her smiling face so much....she would have been 97 years old tomorrow. She and grandpa lived on their farm together for over 70 years and he had been gone now for about 10.5 years. After 45 years of going to grandma's for visits and always having her meet me at the door with a big smile, it is hard to imagine never doing that again. I will miss her dearly but I am so happy for her because she is no longer suffering. She is in heaven with Jesus Christ and she really is singing with the angels now.

Yesterday was the first day that our sons have not taken a nap. They actually did quite well, considering. I was really surprised because I thought they would both fall asleep as soon as we started home but they did not. They both fell asleep when we were about 15 minutes away from home. We were all exhausted yesterday evening. We put the boys to bed an hour earlier than normal, which seemed perfect since they woke up at their normal time today (they normally sleep late if they go to bed late and wake up early if they go to bed early). They were pretty tired by nap time though so I'm sure they are still catching up and will likely take a longer than normal nap today.

Today the boys and I took their cardboard 'slide', turned it over and spread it out on the floor. Then, using some permanent markers, we drew out roads, houses, stores, parking lots, a church and school and a park (I am no artist so believe me when I say it is very crude). At one end is our house and our neighbor's house and at the other end is grandma's and aunts' and uncles' homes, because it is a long drive (1.5 hours one way) to visit them. In between, there are all of the other stores and park and stuff. It is pretty simple but I think they will enjoy playing with it and we had fun drawing it out. I will let them color it later and am thinking of adding some tunnels and hills.

The boys are spending more time these days coloring, cutting and pasting. We are now doing this at the kitchen table, which has a lot more space....much better than using their little play table. I am getting to where I frequently leave stuff out on the table so they can get up there and doodle as they want. I don't leave the scissors and paste out though:).

I have an alphabet book that I bought at the homeschool convention that has a different Bible verse that starts with each letter of the alphabet. The boys wanted me to read it to them before nap time today and I was asking Ben what sound some of the letters make. I was quite surprised at how many he already knows, although I still think he is a ways from being ready to move much further than that.

According to our local school district, our sons should officially start kindergarten in August of 2011. So we have three more years of playing and having fun before we really have to start school. In the meantime we will continue to have fun, while learning what we can along the way. It is amazing how much they pick up from just playing. If they show an interest in doing more before then, we will.

I have an interesting situation with Nick that I need to pray about more. He often seems very reluctant to let me show him or teach him things. The other day, we were outside and I had pulled out the little plastic T-ball set we have. I wanted to show him how to hold the bat and he threw a little fit and wanted no part of it. Later, the dad came home and I quietly told him what happened and suggested that he try and see how Nick would respond. It was interesting that, when the dad asked Nick if he wanted him to show him how to do it, Nick immediately said yes and wanted his help multiple times. I am thankful I have some time to pray about this and learn how best to approach Nick before we really have to start school. It is very likely that I need to learn a different way to approach him or something and, hopefully with God's help, I can figure this out in time and maybe Nick will mellow out about this as he gets past the two-to-three year old age.

Monday, May 12, 2008

May 27, 2008

I thought I would end the day on a happy note. These are a few things I have been wanting to document so I would not forget them.

-- Nick is going through a stage where he wants to pull stuff out of the books we read or climb into the book to play with something. Today he saw a slide in a book and put his feet up, trying to climb into the book and slide down. Tonight at bedtime, when we were reading the children's Bible, he wanted to bring Hannah out of the Bible. He does this quite often these days. When he is trying to get in the book or take something out of the book, he makes this 'uh? uh?' sound and looks at me as if I should know how to do this.

-- Ben has discovered that he enjoys licking windows and then rubbing his finger all around on the window where it is wet. He especially likes doing this when he is outside, which I find odd because I would think they would not taste very good, as they have not been cleaned in a while. I am trying to discourage this behavior, since it makes quite a mess of the windows. However, it is quite funny and I usually have to hide my laughter before telling him to stop.

-- Today the boys and I were outside playing in their sandbox. Nick found a small rake and started raking the sand around. I heard him mention 'poo 'poo' a couple of times and was wondering if he had found some cat poo, since we had left the top off the sandbox for 24 hours the other day. I finally figured out, as Ben joined in the 'game', that they were pretending they were cleaning the cat's litter box:). Isn't that special? Since they are in the "help mommy" stage of life, they are always wanting to help me clean the cat box but, much to their disappointment, I make them keep their distance.

Tonight for dinner, I fixed some stir fry Asian veggies. They came frozen with a small package of sauce to put on them and they were quite good. They had mushrooms, broccoli, snow peas, peppers, water chestnuts, those baby corn on the cob things, carrots and I am sure I am leaving out a couple of other things. The boys had not ever tasted water chestnuts or the baby corn on the cob things. They both ate it and enjoyed it. It was funny because Nick especially liked it and I lost track of how many helpings he had. He kept asking for more and more and was still eating about 20 minutes after the rest of us had finished. When he first started eating, he would pick up a piece that he had never seen before and ask me what it was. I would tell him the name and he would repeat it and then pop it into his mouth. I am amazed at how both of our sons will still try any and all new foods and they seem to like everything.

We knew the restaurants would all be packed after church on Sunday so we planned ahead. We brought a menu with us for the place where we wanted to eat and, as soon as we got into our car after church, we called and placed an order to go. By the time we got there, it was ready and we took it home and ate it. It was such a great idea, as the restaurants around here have really long lines during busy times like Mother's Day after church. And we had a delicious, quick and peaceful lunch at home, without having to cook and very little clean up.

One of the side dishes that came with my meal was some spinach orzo which is not something I really care for. I was not eating it and Nick pointed to it and asked for some of it. I gave him a little, thinking he would not care for it and he ended up eating more of it than anything else on his plate. Ben liked it too, although Ben seems to be eating much less of everything these days. It is so odd to see him eat like this.

My attitude about the eating less thing is that I provide plenty of healthy foods for them and let them pick and choose what they want to eat. It is interesting because at some meals they load up on the carbs and just eat a bit of protein and veggies and then at other meals, they load up on the veggies or the protein. When you look at the big picture, they seem to eat what their little bodies need, they are just doing it in a different way now. I have to be careful how much I fix for them for lunch and snacks because we end up wasting more food if I'm not careful.

Tomorrow we are going to the bouncing place again. Our friends have free tickets and they invited us, which is very nice. The boys were excited when we were saying our good nights.

My sister called this evening and it looks as if my grandmother's funeral is going to be on Friday afternoon. I have been trying to figure out the best thing to do with the boys, since the dad will not be able to leave work (he has to see patients on Friday). Our babysitter is out of state on vacation so that's not an option. There will be lots of relatives whom I have not seen in a long time and probably won't get to see again for a long time. So I am thinking of going early and taking the boys with me. Someone can watch them while I say my goodbyes to grandma, I'll get to visit with the family and introduce the boys to many people who have been wanting to meet them but I will not get to go to the actual funeral. That's the only thing I can think of.

May 12, 2008

I have such a mix of emotions today. My sister called a bit ago to let me know that my grandmother died this morning. She was 96 years old but she would have been 97 in five more days. She had been in quite a bit of pain from the many cracked and broken bones she had had over the years, as she had osteoporosis for quite a number of years. She was a bit confused of late because of the pain medication. She had gotten to a point where she could no longer get around without assistance and she had been eating very little for a couple of weeks.

She had been in an assisted living facility she had to move out because she could no longer take care of herself to the point they required. My dad and his wife took her back to her own house a week or two ago and they moved in with her to take care of her, along with help from my uncle, aunt, sister and almost daily check-ins from nursing staff. She really wanted to be home so it is wonderful that they were able to take her home and care for her until she passed away and that she was able to be home when she died. She was with it enough to know she was home, for a few days anyway.

So, I am very joyful for her, that she is no longer in pain, no longer suffering and unable to do the things she enjoyed so much. She was an avid reader and, for many years, that was about all she was able to do for enjoyment but she had lost her eyesight to the point where she could no longer read much over the past number of months. I am very joyful for her, that she is in heaven and with my grandpa, who died quite a number of years ago and whom she never stopped missing. She missed him so much. She told me once, when he had been gone about 5 years or so, that people had told her that it would get easier as the years went by but it had not. They had been married since she was very young, maybe 17 or 18 years old I guess. I think he may have been gone around 10 years now.

She was such a wonderful Christian lady and such a great example. She loved the Lord so much. My sister told me that one of the workers at the assisted living place had told her that she (the worker) came in to check on grandma and grandma didn't know the worker was in there yet and the worker heard grandma just a singing away. The worker asked grandma what she was doing and grandma told her "I'm singing with the angels". She loved to sing the old hymns and my sister would sit and sing them with her when she went for visits.

She was a hard worker too. She and my grandpa had around 400 acres of land that they raised cattle on for many many years. At one time, they had a dairy and chickens and pigs and stuff but for as long as I can remember they only had cattle (not dairy cattle). When I was little, they always had a big garden and us kids would help to snap the green beans and shuck the corn in the summer time. We would always go stay with them for a week in the summer. It was a wonderful place to spend a week every summer in childhood, much like something you would read about in a book. I would always try to tame the baby kittens that would inevitably be running around the farm wild. We would go fishing at the many ponds, pick blackberries and play in the small wooded areas. We would chase after grandpa and follow him around so we would not miss out on any trips out into the fields to 'check the cows'. When we were big enough, we would open and close all of the gates for him, so he probably loved having us around during those years.

My grandmother could fix quite a huge, down home, wonderful meal. She could cook everything up from scratch in no time at all and, boy, was it good. She had some great stories too, about her childhood and what things were like back then.

Overall, she was just one of those really good, wholesome people. She was well loved by many and will be missed.

So I am sad because I will miss her dearly. It just seems odd to think that she will not be here anymore. But I am happy and joyful for her. As my Houston pastor, Dr. Ed Young, used to say, she has graduated and is now with our heavenly Father.

And now I have to go because the boys have awakened early and it sounds like they are tearing the place up upstairs. They are doing great and we had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend. More about that at another time, along with some cute pictures.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

May 6, 2008

It is a dreary, cloudy day today in Oklahoma (at least where we are anyway). I don't mind that. We have enough beautiful, sunny days that it is kind of nice to have a rainy day here and there. The bad thing is that these big storms and fronts that move through give me bad sinus headaches. I don't like that part.

So, last night I woke up around 2:00 or 2:30 and could not go back to sleep. Just one of those times that I started thinking about all kinds of stuff, nothing bad, just busy:). It never fails that it is times like these when my self discipline really kicks in and I lay there thinking how I am going to eat so much better the next day and start working out. After thinking about this a while and not getting any sleepier, I got up, retrieved a flashlight and proceeded to move the headset attached to our downstairs TV (where I watch news when the boys are sleeping) and took it upstairs. I had recently traded the larger TV in our upstairs game room with the smaller one in our guest room, because my brother was staying with us and he enjoys watching baseball. So, I traded the TV's back to where they were and then hooked up the headset to the TV in the game room so I could listen to the news while working out on the EFX machine. Yes, I did all of this around 2:30 to 3:00 in the morning. I worked out for about 20 minutes, although I could not use the headset after all because I could not get it to work.

Afterwards I went back to bed and still could not go to sleep. We have been thinking about going to Houston for a wedding and also a visit with friends but were not sure we could since my husband has to give 60 days notice of any vacation days (before they schedule patients. He had already scheduled the week after the wedding off, just by coincidence, but the wedding is on a Saturday so he would need the Friday before the wedding off too so we could drive down. So I was thinking about how we could make this work and was thinking I could drive down with the boys and the husband could fly down after work on Friday. I thought of lots of other stuff too, like how I could go about building a child-size coat rack type of thing on which to hang the boys' dress up clothes. I was quite the busy beaver last night:).

I was still awake when my husband's alarm went off at 4:45am and, after telling him good morning, I told him about my solution for our Houston problem. He said, "oh, I was able to take that Friday off after all because I didn't have any patients scheduled". That's great news but so much for all of my late night problem solving:). Needless to say, I am very tired today.

The boys had a dentist appointment today. My husband called me at 8:30, telling me that their appointment was at 9:30 and we had forgotten about it. The boys and I were getting around very slowly this morning (or I was anyway) and they wanted to eat eggs and toast, which takes a bit longer than oatmeal. So we had just finished eating, I had not cleaned up the mess yet and we were all still in our pajamas. We had to rush around to be ready to leave home in 30 minutes. We made it just in time, thankfully.

This time was completely different from the last dentist appointment the boys had, which was their very first one. We had a different dentist this time and she was really great with kids. We were in a small office, rather than out where all of the dental chairs were, and there were even a couple of toys in there. She had the dad hold each child facing him and then they laid the child back into her lap. She did a great job and the boys both did a really good job too. No tears or anything. It was great. We will make sure we see her the next time we go back. Their teeth were fine. We brush them really good at bedtime and then I let them brush their own teeth in the morning after breakfast. Sometimes I will do a little brushing for them in the mornings, if they did more playing than brushing but I really like to let them try to do it then.

Yesterday evening when the dad got home, he took the boys outside to play. He does a bit of reading while they play and then he also plays with them some. I cooked dinner and took it outside on the patio and we all ate out there. It was such a beautiful evening and the boys had a great time getting to spend so much time outdoors. They were blowing bubbles and using sidewalk chalk, playing in the sandbox and swinging and sliding, pushing around the play lawnmower and their wheelbarrows. They did a little of everything and, just before bedtime, we brought them in and rinsed them off in the tub. They had chalk and soap all over them. I just love seeing little boys get dirty while playing outside. It is just the way it should be:).

Here is another thing I forgot to add to my update yesterday. Both boys are really talking a lot these days and are easier to understand. I think Nick may be just a bit ahead of Ben in picking up new phrases and putting sentences together, but they are so close it is really hard to tell. I love hearing them talk and talking to them though. They still want me to repeat everything they say. Fortunately that comes pretty natural to me. Some day they are going to tell me, "stop repeating everything I say" and then I am going to have a hard time breaking this habit:).

Monday, May 05, 2008

May 5, 2008

Some things I have been meaning to document for a while:

-- Nick is now a little under 30 months old; Ben is now a little over 31 months.

-- we have not had to tape diapers for quite a number of months now.

-- although the boys can now climb out of their cribs pretty well, they don't...don't ask me why. I'm shocked that they wait for me to come and get them but I'm not complaining.

-- they still are not sleeping in their new beds. Ben will stay in it all of 5 seconds (literally) after I leave the room at nap time. Maybe they just feel safer in their cribs. I'm sure they will get it eventually, as I don't know any 18 year olds who are still sleeping in cribs:).

-- Nick finally has a little belly. I think it is because he figured out that he really likes bread/toast A LOT so he spent some time packing on the carbs. He looks really healthy though.

-- Ben is slimming down and getting taller. We no longer have to monitor what he eats, as he quits and leaves food on his plate on a regular basis now. His weight has leveled off and is staying at a pretty good level for him now. I wish I could say the same thing about myself.

-- I think we finally filled them up. Both boys have slowed down on how much they are eating lately. I think part of it is that they are at a point where they are busier and more interested in things they are playing so they would rather play than eat. They had never been that way until now.

-- They still eat anything and everything. I am the pickiest eater in our house.

-- They are getting faster and stronger. I am amazed at some of the things they can do now.

-- Nick continues to be consistently ahead of his peers in his motor skills abilities. He is quite nimble, quick and coordinated for his age.

-- Ben continues to be consistently ahead of his peers in his cognitive abilities. He can pick up little counting bears, one by one, and put them into the matching plate while counting them up to 13 or 14. That's pretty good for a child who is just over 2.5 years of age. He knows all of the basic colors and a lot of others, he recognizes all letters in the alphabet and numbers up to around 12 or 13 or so and knows most of the alphabet song. He also has an incredible memory. The dad frequently lets Ben finish sentences when he is reading books to him and it is amazing how much he remembers. I will be quite surprised if he is not an early reader. He is always very interested in learning about letters and listening to me talk about the sounds they make. He watches my mouth closely and tries to repeat what I say. He has a pretty good attention span, when it comes to this sort of stuff.

-- both boys love for us to read to them and they ask me several times a day ("mommy, read, read?"). I normally read several books during morning and afternoon snack times and sometimes during breakfast and lunch and then we also sit on the couch and read a lot too. If they are not playing outside after we finish dinner, the first thing they say is "daddy, read, read?".

-- they still watch very little TV at home. My best guess is that they probably average about 15 minutes every 2 weeks.

-- Nick loves, loves, loves to be outside and is happy to play outside even when an adult is not outside with him...but he wants his brother (or someone) to be outside with him.

-- Ben loves to play outside too, but not so much if an adult is not outside with him.

-- I am still loving my life as a stay at home wife and mom. I'm far from perfect at this and still have much to learn but I sure do enjoy it and I am constantly amazed at how fast the time goes by. I can't believe that my sons will be 3 years old in just 5 to 6 months. Wow.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

May 3, 2008

We had a very busy week. We went to the park again on Wednesday and had a picnic lunch with friends. Our boys had a fun time playing together and it was a beautiful day. My mom and sister came to visit us on Thursday and it had been a while since we had seen them so it was extra nice to see them this time. Yesterday the boys and I did some grocery shopping at Sam's Club and had lunch there.
A funny thing lately is that the boys now recognize places where we have been with them previously. When we were driving in Kansas City last weekend, Ben saw the Sam's Club sign and immediately pointed and said "Sam's Club!". It was so funny, as he had only seen the sign and not the store. Both boys point and say "Home Depot", when we drive by one of those and they both recognize our bank as we are driving by on the main highway, even if we don't turn in.

This morning after breakfast, the dad took the boys to run some errands. I surprised my husband by mowing the lawn while they were gone. The only thing is that I was trying to hurry to get as much of it mowed as possible before they came back, when I ran out of gas. When I came back to the garage, I saw they were already home. Turns out they had been home for about 10 minutes already. My husband said he was surprised though and he was glad I had mowed. It was the first time I had mowed in quite a while, since my back and legs have been hurting me so bad. They did pretty well today...another sign that the chiropractor is helping.

We went to look at cars today so the boys were very late in going down for their nap. They were so tired and went to sleep very fast. They are still sleeping though and it is almost 5:00. I may have to wake them up before long. I am very tired too. Mowing the lawn made me face how out of shape I am.

So, nothing too exciting going on around here. I have still been spending a lot of time researching the various home schooling curriculum and I am still leaning towards My Father's World. I am going to go back to The Well Trained Mind and compare their recommendations to MFW's curriculum to see where we would need to supplement, as I am pretty sure we would. I am thinking of purchasing MFW's preschool year. It looks cute and I would like to see what their manual that comes with it looks like. I am going to research this further before I do though. Research, research, research....that seems like all I do these days. Thankfully, I enjoy researching:).

I need to post some new pictures. I have been bad about posting pictures lately and I so enjoy looking at other people's pictures of their children on their blogs. So I really need to get with the program.