Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I would post some really cute pictures of the kids in their costumes, but my phone/digital camera messed up (not sure how it could be user error) and I lost all of them. Considering my computer crashed a few weeks ago and I thought I lost all the pictures I had on the hard drive, I'm not sure digital photography is right for me. Fortunately, the computer pictures reappeared but right now I'm not too optimistic about my phone pictures.

Regardless, the kids had a great time going around the neighborhood. Jack was great about saying trick or treat and thank you. At some of the houses, the kids would sing the trick or treat song from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. It was actually pretty cute.

Now I'm just exhausted and even though I tried to get Jeremy to finish his homework before all the craziness got started, he did not. So now he is sitting at the dining room table acting like he's never seen words let alone letters before. And that is why I'm on the other side of the house typing on the computer -- trying not to yell at him and letting him suffer the consequences.

Monday, October 29, 2007

We are not only entering the Holidays around our household. It's also a birthday bonanza starting with me. This is the lineup for the next three months -- Nov. 11, 14, and 28; Dec. 30; Jan.26. Poor Jack is the only one who has to wait until spring to get birthday presents.

This time of year also means birthday parties. I don't feel that we've ever gone overboard on parties. Anna and Jeremy don't have big parties every year, and actually Anna won't have another big party (inviting more than 10). However, Jeremy has only had what I would consider a real birthday party. He chose the activity and who he wanted to invite. He had a party at Chuck's once, but he was only two and it was a combo party with his sister so it doesn't count.

Last year I had just given birth so there was no way I was up to the challenge of issuing invitations, making reservations and buying party favors. So this is his year. I thought I had a great idea -- lunar mini golf. Very cool, fun and no one has done that yet (not that I'm try to compete). But he said no. What?!? He doesn't want to golf, but he doesn't have any suggestions right now.

Until...While he was praying before a meal recently, he told God he hoped he could have a birthday party at Whitewater. He was devastated to learn the the waterpark is only open in the summer - not in November. Even worse, he already told his friends he was having a party at Whitewater. And once again, my kids got the lecture about running things past mom and dad before inviting anyone and everyone to do whatever it is you want to do.

Back to the drawing board...

Friday, October 26, 2007

During dinner this eveing, D and I were discussing the fact that our dry cleaning needed to be picked up tomorrow. I said that I could've picked it up after 5 today, but at the particular time, I was not in a very good place -- meaning the kids were driving me crazy and I was quickly losing my patience. However, when I mentioned that I wasn't in a good place, my dear, sweet, over-thinking-everything Jeremy said, "Where were you?"

My answer to him? Home.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I had a really catchy title for this post, but now I'm too tired and medicated to think of it. I'm lucky I can remember what I was going to write about since I thought of it about five hours ago.

I'm beginning to see the light at the end of this title called babyhood. Within the month I will begin packing up baby bottles and we have purchased the last can of formula. Every member of the family will soon be forward-facing in the van, and hopefully, we will no longer need to buy diapers by summer 2009 (I'll give Baby until he's 2 1/2 to potty train him).

He's finally began sleeping through the night again this week, so I pray the trend continues. He's very close to walking, and pizza and Froot Loops have already become his favorite foods.

Now I can focus more energy on getting our finances in order so we can afford to build on another room because as Baby reaches each of these milestones, all of the kids keep getting bigger and needing more space (or am I the one who really needs the space?).

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I was reading the blog du jour, Because I said so, and she had a post about controlling yourself because you can't control your kids. You set the example by controlling your own emotions and your kids will learn from you and also from the consequences of their actions. That sounds great, but I don't think I would last very long.

My mom is one of the most mellow women you will ever meet. When I told her I was getting married, she said "that's nice." When I told her I was expecting my first child, she said "that's nice." She was genuinely excited and happy. It just wasn't outwardly noticeable. When I was a kid, she very rarely raised her voice. So here's the million-dollar question...where did I get my short temper?

My dad was working all the time and sleeping or watching TV when he wasn't, so I wouldn't say he was much of any influence on my emotional reaction. He had a bigger impact on my work ethic.

Back to the blog, one of the examples she gave was getting her kids to do their homework. She doesn't fight with them to get it done. She wants them to do their homework so they can realize the reward of completing an assignment. If they don't finish, they suffer the consequences at school. I would like to be that laid back about it, and I know that if they are going to learn that not doing their work will result in negative consequences, now is the time to do it -- before their grades really mean something. But it is still really hard.

I feel like I live in chaos constantly, and sometimes I feel like I'm drowning. I guess I hide it well because a lot of people say they don't know how I do it. Well, I don't that I DO do it. I'm just getting by the best I can, and hopefully, my kids won't be too screwed up.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Jeremy is going to be the death of me and he's only 6-almost-7 years old. He corrects me, argues with me and disregards my vast knowledge. It doesn't usually happen with D who claims to have his bluff in. What bluff? Is D scarier than I am? And what does that have to do with being right? He was looking for some pants in the dryer, and for the second time I told him that he didn't have any clothes in there. I informed him that only Jack's clothes were in the dryer. Of course, he noticed right then that Anna's jacket was mixed in. Good grief!! Obviously I had to make it crystal clear -- Jeremy YOU have no clothes in the dryer. Later he gave me a note that said Mome I luv you. I tell ya he's going to kill me.

Now back to the Rutgers-South Florida game...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The deep cleaning went relatively well. My kitchen cabinets and floorboards look shiny and new while the rest of the house is still cluttered with junk.

Today is the last day of the first nine weeks of school. It is also the deadline for Jeremy to master the first five pages of sight words -- not an easy task. I sent the last two to school today hoping his teacher tests him early so he will remember "away" and some of the other words he stumbled over. We're going to jump on the next several pages and not wait until Christmas break to turn them in. I was reading to him yesterday and we came across a word that he thought I spoke incorrectly. I asked him how long he thought I had been reading and don't I probably know how to read a lot more words than he??? He chose to agree with me for once.

God is definitely sending me a message -- I made the right choice to only have four children (or that I was pushing it having the fourth kid). Baby is 11 months old and still wakes up at least once a night! It's not right! Anna was sleeping through the night at 6 weeks, and while girls are usually quick learners, the other two boys caught on around 10 and 11 weeks. I don't know what's wrong with Baby, but he's slowly killing me and he's not even driving yet!

Friday, October 12, 2007

I am actually excited about this weekend. Since Anna's Saturday game was rescheduled and played last night (they lost 5-3 against the best team in the division-it was a very close game), we have designated Saturday as a deep-cleaning day. We're going to assign the kids tasks such as cleaning the baseboards, windows, cabinets, storm doors, etc., while we tackle bigger jobs like cleaning/organizing the garage and cleaning behind/underneath the major appliances. I also plan to give the showers, tub and tiled/linoleum floors a good scrubbing and organize our deep freeze. I got some good feedback from Laura the Organizing Junkie, so I'm going to pick up some containers such as milk crates to sort the meat and other stuff.

Then to reward ourselves, we may go to the centennial parade in downtown OKC. Since we won't see another centennial in our lifetime, we thought we should try to participate in some of these events.

However, if the Watonga cheese festival hadn't been cancelled, that's what I would be doing today. I'm very disappointed because this was the perfect year for me to go on Friday -- no kid to pick up from school in the middle of the day. I can't believe they didn't consult me before cancelling it! :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Anna's soccer season ends in mid-November -- the same weekend Jeremy's basketball league starts. I may get a month off in the spring between the end of his season and the beginning of Anna's spring soccer season. Good thing I like sports. I just hope his basketball games do not interfere with OU basketball games (and football of course). However, if OU's season doesn't improve over last year, I may glad to have an excuse to miss the games.

Jeremy is so excited about playing basketball. I told him we will probably look for some new tennis shoes for him to wear. He decided to ask a classmate where he got his. Although his friend said he got them at the mall, Jeremy decided he would just ask another classmate if he could have his shoes. At least he was going to ask and not bully the kid out of the shoes. Fortunately, he didn't act on this before he and I discussed it. I explained that while I am all for hand-me-downs, you should wait until a person is done with the article of clothing before taking ownership of it -- and only when the item has been offered to you.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Out of the mouth of babes...My kids love getting tattoos -- the kind that can wash off of course. Recently, they got a few out of a machine at the local pizza place. These tattos were Chinese writing with the English translation. Jeremy excitedly showed me his and asked me what it said. I admit I lied to him. I told him it said "shine" when actually it said "sexy." I wasn't really in the mood to explain that word.

There are times when I am glad Anna is reading very well, but this night was not one of them. When Jeremy showed her the tattoo, she informed him it said "sexy." Busted. So I lied again and said I didn't see it very well. I'm setting a great exampe for my kids.

The best part of this whole story is what they did with the tattoo. Jeremy cut the chinese symbols out and pasted them on his hairless chest. Then, with some assistance, Jack tattooed is bottom with the word "sexy." I'm not sure why they chose his bottom, but I wasn't up to asking any questions. I was trying my hardest to be firm without laughing. I should've taken a picture, but I'll have enough ammunition to blackmail him someday without adding his sexy tattoo to the mix.

Monday, October 8, 2007

I am such a sucker. More often than not Jack will not easily go to bed. On those nights he doesn't go to sleep right away, he gets out of bed over and over and over again. I try to be firm and tell him to get in bed, but then he says "Mommy, I need to tell you something -- I love you." And more often than not, I start to soften and either let him hang out in the living room with me (we watched Field of Dreams last night) or I let him go to sleep in my room. I wonder if Baby is going to have me wrapped around his finger as well...

Growing up, I never asked my parents (mom specifically) to help me with homework. Of course, I didn't have homework until well after I learned to read. Considering Jeremy is bringing home assignments when he barely knows how to read, I've been making up for those homework-free grade school years. Isn't it enough that I teach them right from wrong, how to be polite, play well with others, clean their room and cook a few dishes? Do I have to teach them to read, add, subtract, multiply and divide too? Those people who fail on Are you smarter than a 5th grader have probably not been the ones helping their children with homework.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

I'm afraid dvr may become a need for me -- a luxury but still a need. The shows I like to watch a way too violent for the kids. I don't let the kids watch them but they won't stay out of the room when I'm watching them. Also, the shows I prefer are at the 7 and 8:00 hours -- before their bedtime. Maybe I should push bathtime back to 6:30 and lights out at 7...

I try not to pick up any new shows, but I couldn't resist watching pushing up daisies. I loved it. The dialogue was fast and witty. The characters were quirky. And it was just fun. I highly recommend it.

Poor Jack. Tonight he wanted me to read his Diego and Clifford books for the billionth time but I was trying to watch CSI -- definitely not a kid-friendly show. Fortunately, his wonderful big sister read to him and then he crashed on my bed.

We've got a big weekend with the Czech festival parade, a family dinner, the OU-Texas football game and a day out with Thomas the Tank Engine. I may never feel completely rested again.

Monday, October 1, 2007

A friend who is the mother of a teenage girl has warned me that life with girls and their moods is like a roller coaster. Hopefully, Anna and I are at a highpoint in our roller coaster ride. She and I spent most of Friday and all day Saturday together without any significant mood swings or whining, and tonight she was still in a very pleasant mood while we were working on spelling words. I really like this side of her.

She was the flower girl in a friend's wedding, so I took her to the rehearsal and dinner on Friday. Then Saturday morning we were up early for a soccer game (which her team won) before getting her hair done and having lunch. Isn't she cute? She did a great job, and the wedding was beautiful.

However, this wedding also made me realize I have transitioned into a new stage of life. Instead of attending a wedding and thinking some detail of it would've be nice at my wedding, I was trying to remember various aspects that could be used in Anna's wedding some day (in the VERY distant future). It was a great wedding with many wonderful details. I especially liked a special dance they had for all the married couples which eventually led to the couple who had been married the longest (52 years I think) dancing alone. What a great idea!

I just hope that this couple enjoys their marriage as much as D and I have enjoyed ours.