Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Extra Kids

Or as Logan called it, a sleepover.

That's right.  For the first time in his 7.5 years, Logan had a sleepover.  Not one, but two boys stayed at our house this past Saturday night.  They are all in Cub Scouts together, but each at different levels.  Their mom is the Treasurer and she came over Saturday afternoon so I could help her get some spreadsheets straightened out.  Then we took all four kids to the park by our house. 

Then, after listening to the kids whine a bit, we realized we hadn't eaten since the Cub Scout pancake breakfast that morning.  So we headed over to Chick Fil A for some yummy chicken and ice cream cones and time for the kids to play in the kiddie area.

While there, Logan and his friends started begging to let them stay the night at our house.  I didn't take much convincing.  Their mom was very adamant about not letting them if it was a bad night, but goodness knows we didn't have anything going on.  Plus, she was planning on coming back Sunday afternoon anyway for some more Treasurer help.

All the boys did really well.  The youngest, a first grader, went back and forth playing with Grace or Logan, while the oldest, a fourth grader, stuck more to himself and played video games.  Logan switched back and forth between both boys.  Grace was enamored since Ethan (the youngest) even played Barbies with her (he later claimed she made him).  Logan had some trouble remembering to share the Wii.  He likes playing it, so anytime he got a turn it became him playing, and no taking turns.  But with anything else they played, they all did great, even managing to include Gracie quite a bit.

I think by the time their mom got back the next day they were all pretty worn out.  Ethan fell asleep waiting for her to finish the Treasurer stuff, Tyler (the older boy) had a bit of a meltdown after learning we weren't going back to the park that day, and Grace fell asleep at 6:00 pm in the recliner.

It was a fun time, I just wish I'd taken a few more pictures to document the event.  Below is the only one I have, of the kids shortly after they woke up.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mood Swings, cont.

The funny thing about Grace and all her carrying on is that when it happened I immediately began wondering where she could have learned this kind of behavior.  Was it a kid at school?  Was it Logan?  Was it a cousin?  It never crossed my mind (at the time) that this was just Grace being Grace.  Grace is a little girl who doesn't like not getting her way and still expresses her anger by crying, yelling, and screaming.  This wasn't behavior she learned from someone else.  This is Grace, take it or leave it.

Do all moms do this?  Do we just inherently believe that our children are angels who only learn bad things from someone else?  Sometimes it's obvious that the action was picked up from someone else.  For example, Logan and I were watching the end of the Daytona 500 on Sunday.  Dale Jr. (our favorite) was  running very well and our hopes were high.  Then, crash, he's done.  Logan, in a moment of disappoinment, yelled "Dammit!"  And then sheepishly looked at me.  I didn't freak out, just calmly told him he knows that he is not supposed to say those kinds of words.  But I know where he learned it.  Daddy.  Alright, maybe me too. 

The point is, sometimes I have to remember who my children really are and not immediately begin pointing fingers at innocent bystanders.  And sometimes they remind me.

Grace has a quick fuse when she is told no, but get her giggling and all is forgotten.  When she misbehaves, a sharp word hurts her feelings enough to get her to straighten up (most of the time).  When she smiles it lights up the room.  Her laugh makes it clear she's happy - no hesitation.  She likes to wear skirts and play in the dirt with her brother.  She doesn't care that it's February - she wants to wear flip flops.  She is opinionated and headstrong and expects to get her way.

Logan, however, doesn't seem to care that you're telling him no until you're yelling at him and threatening to take away Wii.  Then he cries because you're yelling at him, not because he's in trouble.  He smiles in a sneaky way, like maybe he's up to something, or maybe he just loves you.  He hugs fiercely, sometimes pushing me back with the force of it.  He doesn't like wearing his jacket, even as snowflakes land on his shoulders.  He is a go with the flow, get along with everyone kind of kid.

I guess what I mean to say with all of this is, I love these kids.  Even when they've woken me up at 1:00 in the morning and I'm fighting to get them back to bed, I love them.  Even whey they yell "I hate you!" in anger, I love them.  I suppose this is all part of being a mom.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mood Swings

As I previously mentioned, I made a deal with the kids to stay in their own beds all week long and then they would get a surprise.  Suprisingly, Grace did awesome with this, while Logan quickly lost his surprise.  If he came down and I tried to take him back up, he'd actually fight with me.  Grace, however, just needed a little reminder of the surprise and she went back upstairs peacefully.

Saturday night we had a little sleepover at our house (I'll post on that later).  The kids were exhausted following the late night and constant playing.  Gracie gave up and fell asleep in the recliner at 6:00 Sunday evening.  I finally woke her up enough to take her upstairs to her, change her clothes, and tuck her in to her bed.  Logan went right to sleep at his normal 9:00 bedtime.

Grace came down to my room about 1:00 in the morning and did not like that I wouldn't let her stay there.  She yelled and screamed (actually screamed), cried, flopped on the floor, and carried on like a crazy person.  I finally got her upstairs where she kept yelling at me that I'm always mean to her, I'm never nice to her, and tomorrow when I tell her to go to school, she's not going.  I left her crying in her bed and stood in the hallway waiting for her to calm down.

Finally, as she was winding down, I went back in, kissed her goodnight, and told her I love you.

When she woke up this morning around 6:00 she came to my bedroom, woke me up, and said, "I'm sorry I was so mean to you last night."  No prompting, just the first words out of her mouth.  All was immediately forgiven.  She even said it again when we actually got out the bed.  Bless her little heart.

She took a shower with mommy this morning since she didn't get a bath last night.  She played for a bit, got out, and got dressed without drama.  Then it was time to put shoes on. 

Dun, dun, duuuun.

She started with her purple Converse.  She tried to put the right shoe on her left foot which of course didn't work so she threw the shoe across the bathroom in frustration.  Fine.  I told her to go find a different pair of shoes if she didn't want those.  She came back in with flip flops.  Flip flops.

I started to explain to her that she isn't allowed to wear flip flops to school, but she interrupted me to explain why these were the only shoes she wanted to wear.  After her not very good reasoning, I again told her she wasn't allowed to wear flip flops to school.  She could wear them when she got home, but not to school.

Well, she wasn't having this.  She spent the rest of the morning crying and fussing about only wanting to wear flip flops and no other shoe would do (about 15 minutes).  Finally, Logan and I are ready to walk out the door and she's still sitting on the floor crying.  I grabbed a pair of shoes, shoved them on her feet, and out we went. 

That induced another round of tears and fighting and "I'm always mean to her".

Finally, finally, we made it to school.  She walked in with her apple danish, sat down in her seat, kissed me and said I love you, and out I went.

I think we're both going to need to be medicated soon.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Musical Beds

This weekend the kids and I played a fun game called Musical Beds.  What?  You've never heard of this game?  Let me tell you how it goes:

  1. We all started the night by falling asleep in our own beds.
  2. Around 1:00 am Grace joined Joey and I in our bed.
  3. Around 2:30 am Logan also decided to join us in our bed.
  4. Since there is not room for us all to sleep comfortably in one bed, Logan and I went upstairs to sleep in the guest bed instead.
  5. Around 3:45 am Grace came to the guest bed looking to sleep with me.
  6. Since there is not room for the three of us to sleep comfortably in the guest bed, Grace and I went to sleep in her bed instead.
  7. Being incredibly uncomfortable, I moved back to my own bed pretty quickly.
  8. Logan came down to sleep in my bed again.
  9. Grace then also came back down so she and I went back upstairs to the guest bed.
  10. We quickly realized that Logan had abandoned the guest bed since it was now "wet."
  11. Grace and I moved back to her bed.
  12. After sleeping for a bit, Grace was up and at 'em shortly before six, soon joined by Logan.  The two of them played quietly.
  13. I moved back to my bed and slept somewhat peacefully until approximately 9:00 am when the kids decided I'd slept long enough.  So began my day.
This is a thrilling game with never ending possibilities.  For example, last night (in a shortened version):

  1. We all started the night by falling asleep in our own beds.
  2. Grace came down to join Joey and I in our bed.
  3. I took Grace back upstairs and put her in the guest bed going back to my own bed by myself.
  4. Logan came down to join Joey and I in our bed.
  5. After fighting a bit, I got him back up the stairs and into his own bed.
  6. We all slept peacefully until normal wake up time.
Disclaimer #1: Last night was only shortened due to my promise before they went to sleep last night that if they stayed in their own beds all week they would each get a surprise at the end of the week.  This made it less tricky to get Grace back upstairs, but didn't help with Logan, who still put up a pretty good fight.

Disclaimer #2: This does not happen every night, just most nights.  Sometimes we all sleep the whole night through, or Logan, at least, stays in his bed all night.  Lately, Grace rarely stays in her own bed all night.  We're working on it.   The key is to ALWAYS take them straight back to their beds when they come down.  However, this momma does not always wake up enough to care or to get out of bed.  Like I said, it's a work in progress.

For a complete set of rules please e-mail mrowe@Ican'

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

New Booby-Shakes

For my birthday my mom got me a gift certificate to Victoria's Secret.  I finally made it to the mall this past Sunday with the kids.  I told the kids that first we had to go in a store to get mommy a new bra.  As soon as Logan heard this he groaned and said he didn't want to (how did he learn this avoidance already?). 

We walked in the store and Grace said, "Mommy, is this where you're getting your booby shakes?"

That's right.  For reasons unknown to me, Grace has decided that instead of calling it a bra she's going with booby shakes.  She's done this for a while now. 

And no, I don't shake my boobs in any way for her to get this idea, either in front of or away from her.

So, have you bought any new booby shakes lately?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Valentine Wreath, part deux

So, I had already made one wreath for Valentine's Day and figured that would keep my obsession at bay until Easter (when I already know what kind of wreath I'm making).

I was wrong.

I kept seeing decorations using conversation hearts.  Wreaths, picture frames, and various other items.  While browsing through a different Dollar Tree than the one I usually visit, I found some foam wreath forms.  See, my Dollar Tree doesn't carry them so if I want to make a wreath I have to make a special trip to Michael's.  Well I, of course, picked one up from The Dollar Tree (looking back I really should have gotten more than one; it is an obsession after all).  I then decided to give in and buy some conversation hearts to make a wreath with.

*By the way, I think the reason I have a wreath obsession is because I don't have a lot of surfaces I can put decorations on.  However, there are doors all over my house and by hanging a wreath for whatever holiday is going on, I can still feel like I've done some holiday decorating.*

So on my next trip to Wal-Mart I scoped the Valentine candy aisle to find some conversation hearts.  However, Wal-Mart only had the traditional hearts in individual boxes, not in bags.  I knew that one blogger who made a conversation heart wreath used 2 bags of candy, so I wasn't sure how many boxes that would translate to.  In the end I settled for "Dazzle" hearts which are basically the same as the original but come in different colors, have a sparkly finish, and came in bags.  I also grabbed some purple ribbon while I was there.

Once I got home I wrapped the whole wreath form in the purple ribbon.  Many people had suggested this to keep the ugly green foam from showing through the gaps.  I then whipped out my handy glue gun and started gluing the hearts on.  I first did one line all the all way around taking care to not put the same colors next to each other and making sure they were all facing the same way.  Then, working from the first line I added more rows, again making sure to keep the same colors away from each other (as much as I could).  After what felt like an endless amount of time gluing those little hearts on I declared myself done.  I didn't fill in around all the edges or on the back - I felt like that would be something of a waste of time since no one would be able to see it and if the wreath bounced against the door I didn't want to end up with candy crumbs all over the floor. 

I then unrolled the remainder of my ribbon, which wasn't much, and made a hanger.  I took the wreath upstairs and hung it on the kids' bathroom door so we can see it from downstairs too.  I'm pretty pleased with how it turned I just have to figure out how to store it for next year.

Boogity, boogity, boogity let's go racing!

Non Nascar fans may not know, but that is how announcer Darrell Waltrip likes to start a Nascar race.  It's pretty funny to hear, actually.

This past weekend was Logan's Cub Scout troop's Pinewood Derby.  Basically, all the boys get a kit with a block of wood, 4 "axles", and 4 tires and create a race car by cutting and painting the block of wood.  Now even though this is Logan's second year in Cub Scouts, this was his first Pinewood Derby since we didn't participate last year.  He was super excited about it, too.

At the beginning of January the troop holds a Pit Crew Day.  This is a time for those of us who don't have the tools to cut our blocks of wood to gain the assistance of some of the manly men of our troop who like using power tools.  Since we don't have any of the necessary cutting tools I knew we would have to make it to the Pit Crew Day.  However, that weekend marked the first of many weekends in January when someone in our house was sick.  And unfortunately, that person was me that weekend.

Now what?  With some craftiness we managed to get our wood cut into a car shape.  Joey and Logan worked together to paint it and attach the wheels.  I came in at the end to super glue some attachments on.

Finally it was the day of the race.  Since I am one of the leaders for Logan's troop (the secretary) we arrived 2 hours early to help set up. 

Finally, the racing began with cars the adults or siblings in our troop had made.

The car in the center was called Sprinkles (since it was decorated with candy sprinkles), was made by the grandmother of one the boys', and became the eventual winner of the non-Cub Scout segment.

*The one on the right was a Princess Peach car from Super Mario.  It was our second favorite adult car, especially since Logan and I have been obsessed with Mario on Wii lately.  Also, her Cub Scout brother made a Mario car.  They were a cute combo.

Finally it was time for the Scout races to begin.  We found out that the winner wasn't decided by heat winners, but an average of placement from every race.  All cars raced in each of the 4 lanes and against every other car participating.  I had no idea how long it would take.

All the boys cars ready to race.  Logan's is the 4th car on the front row with the little Lego man on it.

The boys watching the race. 

Logan's car getting ready to go (his is one the right).  Unfortunately it came in last in every heat except when it raced against one car that couldn't make it all the way down the track.  It's okay though, he already has some ideas for next year's car.

After all the heats had run it was tied between two cars for first place.  One car was made by a boy who just started this past September.  The other was made by the son of the Pack master who had won the past 2 or 3 years.
The Batman car was the new boys car and the gold one was last year's winners car.

And the winner is...the Batman car!    Pretty impressive victory over the incumbent and as a first year player.

After the races were done they handed out "prizes" to the "Sub Scouts" in our group.  These are all the little brothers and sisters who come to the meetings and all the events.  They each got a blue plastic lunch box with a Matchbox race car in it.  And they all felt really special, which was the point.
The Sub Scouts.

Gracie saying goodbye to her chosen playmate for the evening, and also the owner of the Princess Peach car. (You can see the french braids I tried.  Not the best, but they at least stayed up.)

On the way home we were talking with Logan about how we would have to take a picture of him with his car so we could put it on Facebook and our family could see.  Logan was all for this in the car, not so much after we got home.

Ah well.  We still had a fun night, even if we were exhausted at the end.

Valentine Wreath

I ordinarily only decorate our house for the most major of holidays - Christmas.  However, since becoming obsessed with craft blogs, I decided to do a little something for Valentine's Day.  Namely - fulfill my ongoing wreath obsession.

I had seen a lot of bloggers use cupcake liners to make a wreath in the same fashion I used coffee filters.  I decided this would be interesting to try for Valentine's Day.  I bought a flat wreath form, 2 packs of 75 Valentine's cupcake liners, and some simple red ribbon from Michael's.  When I got home I retrieved my trusty glue gun and got to work.  I folded the cupcake liner in fourths (like I did with the coffee filters), added some hot glue and stuck it to the wreath.

After gluing for a few minutes I realized I wasn't going to like this one as much as my coffee filter wreath.  The cupcake liners are stiffer so everything wasn't as fluffy or laying as nicely.  I have since found some cupcake liner wreaths that use a different technique for applying the cupcake liners and I think if I used one of those methods I would've been happier.  Anywho, after I covered the wreath form this is what I ended up with.

Eh.  I decided it could've been worse so I hung it on a door into our kitchen to give myself some time to think about it.  Well, because the back wasn't covered in any way every time you opened that door the wreath bounced and banged on the door.  So I had to tape it in place.

About a week later, in some random moment, I realized what I could do to help my wreath out.  So I took it down and grabbed some white coffee filters.  I then turned the wreath over and started gluing white coffee filters on the back so they would stick out on the inside and the outside of the wreath.  I immediately liked the change.  I had also bought some glittery hearts on a stick from The Dollar Tree.  I removed the sticks from the bottom and glued some hearts on the wreath, too.

Wa la!  Much better.  I now have a wreath I love hanging in my kitchen.  And because of the padding on the back from the coffee filters it doesn't bang on the door anymore.  Oh - and I also bought some of these hooks to hang my wreaths on - so no more duck tape!  

To round out the minimal decorating in my house, I also bought a little glass candle holder at The Dollar Tree and filled it with conversation hearts and a candle.  I put it on top of my piano (the main decorating spot in my house) along with a snow globe we bought on our honeymoon in Disney World.  Although it has been a challenge to keep the kids (okay, me) from eating the candy.

I'm linking up to

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Don't Drink The Water

For reals.

It seems like everyone is pregnant these days.  Two girls at work are expecting, two of my best friends from high school (one with twins), one of my favorite bloggers announced she's pregnant today and another one is expecting this spring, along with a plethora of celebrities.

When I picked the kids up from daycare last Friday Gracie stared at my tummy for a while and then said, "Mommy, when your belly gets big then you'll have a baby."  First of all, bless that girl for saying "when."  Second, no. No. No. No.  I told her that mommy doesn't want any more babies, that I already have her and Logan and that's plenty.  She responded, "Well, when you're belly gets big you'll have one."  One track mind, that one. 

I explained again that mommy doesn't want any more babies.  She comes back with, "Well, daddy's belly is big so he's going to have a baby."  Um, no.  "Daddies don't have babies, just mommies."

She was then sufficiently distracted by who knows what (probably Logan hitting her or something) and I was in the clear.

Suffice it to say, I'm considering drinking only bottled water until the coast is clear.