Thursday, October 29, 2009

Boo Bash!

Tuesday was the Halloween celebration at work, "Boo Bash". I did go to work that day, so I got to take part in the food, treats, costume-gawking, and fun! Most of the departments decorate and dress up to a theme and when the employees' kids come through the building in the afternoon for treats, they vote on the best room. I didn't get to help out this year, since I only come and go occasionally, but my department did awesome! It was a general fairytale theme, with castles, an enchanted forest, a magical talking mirror, a knight guarding a giant dragon, a king and queen, and a slide to ride down into a pool of packing peanuts! I'm sure that room won, because you couldn't tear the kids away from the slide the whole time.

My boys had a blast, of course. Baby Bear was a little overwhelmed I think, but came along for the ride. I'll be taking more pictures of them on Halloween, and hopefully those will come out better. (Still no sign of the camera battery around here.)

Today Aunt Jen and Joshua came over and played with us for a while. We spent a little time at the park. For some reason Popo got the most camera time today. The last one is of him hunched over on the swing. He wants to love it, but just can't help but panic.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

She's getting so big!

We had a fun trip to Walmart today...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

184 hours to go!

Our camera came back several days ago, but I can't figure out where the "safe place" is that I put the battery while it was gone, so I'm still working with the cell phone.  Here are some pics from the last few days.

Fuzzy, but you get the gist of her super-girlie-adorableness

Stud Popo

Our newly-rainbow-organized kids' bookshelves. This was fun to do.

Found when I was sweeping the leaves off our patio this week. (Snake skin, if you can't tell)

The first draft of our picture schedule system. Popo loves to move the notes when we are finished with something.

Bubby forcing nibbles of his tater tot down. I try to explain that they are just mushed-up french fries, but they don't buy it.

Action-man Popo

Bubby crushing acorns on our recent walk. We had a blast crushing them and learning about baby trees inside them and we "planted" several so they can grow into big trees.

The stash I got today at the Great Jacksonville Book Sale for $16. We went with my mom and it was so fun. I'm considering going tomorrow (even cheaper on the last day), but would love to go without the kids this time, so I can loiter.

Some of the books I got just because they were crazy humorous or nostalgic for me. This one is dated 1954. It's so cool to flip through it and see what the concerns and advice were back then. There's a whole chapter on whether comic books are okay for children and how to get them to read "real literature".

This one is a little notebook they explain as "a socialization skills primer for pre-schoolers". It's from 1977, and it's written by two hippy ladies. Really interesting.

And this is one I've heard of, and it seems to be well known. This is the first US edition from 1980. Too cute to pass up.

This one takes me back...

Eating mac n cheese (whole grain, with hidden sweet potato and broccoli in it, yay!) while watching some of the VeggieTales we got today.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Sweetness!

Today is the 13th anniversary of the day my sweet man asked me to be his girlfriend. On the phone. It was so stinking cute.

B: "So, people have been asking me if we're going out."
A: "Oh, really?"
B: "Yeah."
A: "Hmm."
Blah, blah...
B: "So... Do you want... to be my girlfriend?"
A: "Okay."

Heehee, very romantic of both of us. Today has always been special to both of  us, even when we weren't dating for a couple of years. We both "observed" it to ourselves. I don't think either of us remembers the date of our first date, prior to this day, but this one has stuck with us.

Congratulations, baby! We've both come a long way from those silly little kids. I think. I know you are even more Godly, patient, giving, caring, funny, studly, and adorable a man!

(I owe so much more updating, but since I got less than four hours of sleep last night, chances aren't good I'm going to stay coherent long enough to get it up here today.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rambling Fool

Grossness warning: I didn't get to shower today, so I'm hurrying up this post to get that taken care of. I'm just gonna list a few things I was thinking of.

First of all, apparently I need to whine more often in my posts. You guys really came through for me on the comments! Heehee. Thanks you guys for all the love! I'm hanging in there!

Baby Bear's tooth has a buddy now. Its match has ever-so-slightly popped through the gum. She actually did a smidge of damage nursing tonight, but nothing major. Yet...

I finally removed the gate leading up the stairs yesterday. We could have done it a long time ago, but were too lazy to commit to giving the boys freedom to roam the entire house. I did go up and down the stairs a lot more often yesterday, to help them with things and make sure they were following their upstairs rules. I think we'll have to install a crazy-long extension to the light pull in the middle of their room. It's the only way to light the room, and it'd be great if they could take care of that themselves.

I booked our Orlando vacation yesterday as well. When Daddy gets home we are spending a few nights at the Nickelodeon resort there. We're staying in a Spongebob suite, and the boys will have their own twin beds. I hope we get to use the cool water park and entertainment and stuff there. We'll also be spending one day at Disney. Hopefully it'll be an exciting but relaxing time, as I think we all dream our vacations will be.

The boys skipped their naps today because Bubby had difficulty with his lunch. Part of their well-balanced (I specify because it's not often I pull that off, and I was proud of their lunches today) meal was broccoli. I try to continue to offer them veggies, knowing full well they won't touch it. I also had some yummy yogurt for them, which they were given to eat once they swallowed the minuscule grain of broccoli I broke off for them. Popo managed to comply and ate his yogurt all up. Bubby couldn't swallow it. He eventually gave up on the yogurt, wasn't phased by everyone else finishing up and leaving the room, wasn't motivated by Spongebob in the living room (I turned it on specifically to lure him), and didn't mind sitting in his chair for AN HOUR all by himself. I checked on him regularly and tried to give him advice on getting it down, pulled the whole "I love you and I want you to be big and strong, and you have to swallow this broccoli so it will go down in your tummy and make you a big, strong boy" thing, tried to force him to keep it on his tongue (he was storing it between his teeth and lip), was sweet to him, stern with him, and everything in between. I was praying so hard that I'd know what to do. I eventually got a smidge of bread and buried the broccoli in it. He watched and then I cheered him on to chew it up quickly and force it down. It worked, but I'm totally unclear on whether I accomplished anything.

So that took lunch way into their naptime and I decided to let it go.

It's really frustrating to sometimes feel like I have to choose between two extremes when it comes to these food issues. On the one hand, there's the argument that they have to be obedient, no matter the topic. In my impatient state lately, this is the extreme I'm tending towards. So if I tell them they have to eat x amount of carrot, they have to eat x amount of carrot. On the other hand, I'm bombarded with junk about not making mealtime a battle because the kids will be permanently traumatized by it and have eating disorders as they grow up. I usually feel like we're in the safe gray area with our general policy of "they'll eat if they're hungry", mixed in with a little deceptive veggie concealment. But sometimes I get sick of tiptoeing around the table.

Okay, that's off my chest... So much for a quick run-down.

We did some tracing, coloring, and pasting practice today. Things are improving on all fronts. Popo is really taking off with the tracing. He's holding the crayon correctly with no prompting from me. I usually have to remind them how fairly often, but he ran with it. Bubby wasn't as on it today, and I think I bugged him too much. I tried to back off him the rest of the day because I think I caught a sign of stress on his face about the whole thing.

Oh, Brandon: I'm not sure I'll remember to tell you this. Out of the blue while we were singing Wheels on the Bus at bedtime, Popo had a crazy memory flash and was telling me about how we sang that song when we were waiting at Tire Kingdom last year. I don't even remember singing it then! He explained to me about the cars being up in the air and they were fixing the wheels so they could go on the road and stuff. I found it somewhat disturbing.

They are really absorbing the dentist information. We got The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist at the library yesterday and they really seem to get it. And today we made some cool mouths with torn-paper teeth and when I was explaining how if I was a dentist, I'd want to look close at those teeth to make sure they were healthy, blah, blah, and they ran with it, telling me what a dentist is, about his chair, his mirror to see the back of their teeth, etc. They think it's pretty cool. Hopefully they'll keep that outlook when we go for their first visit on Monday.

Okay, apparently I could ramble on forever, so I'll cut myself off here. We expect to get out of the house tomorrow, yay!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ups and Downs (again)

Baby Bear's first toothie finally poked through today! I've been able to see the whites of both middle bottom teeth for a while now, but they were still covered with some gum-skin. Today I was able to discern that one of them has cut through. The boys were so excited about it. I'm thinking I'll do some "homeschooling" about teeth. Yay! I'm excited for her. For now. Remember, she still nurses...

And Bubby almost got to make his first trip to urgent care tonight, yay! Oh wait... Yeah, he ker-plunked, head-first, onto the floor as he was climbing into his booster chair at the kitchen table. I did a little shriek, picked him up, let him cry in my arms for a couple of minutes, tried not to giggle at Baby Bear sitting in her chair at the table and cracking up, tried not to be frustrated with Popo in our faces: "What happened? What happened? What happened?", then took a look at the damage. He instantly had a crazy purple and red doozie on his forehead. It was huge and it was different than the usual ones, so it freaked me out. My mom and the pediatricians' nurse advised me. He wanted his Tylenol and when asked said his head hurt, but really seemed fine right away. Until he squeezed his pinkie finger in the folding door. Bad night for the little fella.

Somewhat difficult day again today. We were very lonely and had cabin fever. We didn't make it to church because Baby Bear's been sick. She was still a mess today, but could be much worse.

I still had the smallest sliver of patience throughout most of the day, but it wasn't quite as bad as last night. A nice walk and ride on their bikes midday boosted our spirits a little. And after their naps, we really had a great night together (except, of course, for the medical incidents). We had breakfast for dinner, then painted pictures and played games. I love my kids.

It wasn't really cold enough to warrant the hoods, but they love them so

This trip sure has been getting difficult for me lately. Scoop: it's really hard to be a "single" parent to three small kids, 24 hours a day, with no external forces imposing structure (like a job or something). It's all up to me to make our days organized but fun, keep them from killing each other (a task becoming more daunting each day), train them, and feed them. Oh, and occasionally get some food in my mouth. And keep our house standing. I'm not really whining, just laying it all out. Earlier today I was whining.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Something's in the air...

Sweet brothers reading together two days ago

What a lovely day! (Yes, I know I use "lovely" way too much, but it's just what I feel!) We woke to temps in the low 50s, and it took it's sweet time warming up. Very autumnal for us. And a great change from the high 80s and low 90s we've been groaning through these last couple of weeks in October. This slightly cooler weather puts me in the mood for a road trip to see family. Anyone's family, really. :)

Nana had the boys last night, so we met up at a ginormous craft show midday. Grammy and Aunt Brianna were there, peddling their super adorable clothing and paper craft wares. We were there for quite a while, partly because our hot dog lunch took something like an hour to accomplish. The boys had to go potty during it, including Bubby's midday poopie, which took like twenty minutes to... um... accomplish. Then Bubby displayed his record-setting skills at eating like a sloth. Even though I was watching him and he had food in his mouth the whole time, it still took him an insanely long time to eat a stinking hot dog.

They were good boys though, and Baby Bear was a sweetums, even though she seems to have a cold.

She had a lot of trouble nursing today, and had a snotty face all the day long. She actually pulled off her first booger bubble today, one for the baby book!

I made some super scrumptious white chocolate cookies this morning, and was able to share some of them. They are so yummy! The boys ate them up too, after dinner, without inspecting them to discover nuts in them. I think I'll go enjoy some now...

But first, some pictures from our playground time yesterday. Popo continues to be courageous as can be. Baby Bear wasn't feeling well at first, but then perked up. Oh, this was their first time on the big swing all by themselves. You can imagine/interpret which one of the three loved his swing time, and which other two weren't as psyched. Actually, these pictures are a little deceiving. Bubby loved the big swing and Popo wasn't as sure, though he clearly wanted to love it. He tried multiple times to love it, but just couldn't fake it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Woohoo, most comments ever!

I'm really proud of you guys... *sniff*

We are back on the up part of my tumultuous mood cycle. I'm all warm and fuzzy about my kids and our day. The main reason is because my little Baby Bear is a cute little cuddly bear again, no longer the rabid raging bear of the last few days. She was so super sweet and giggly and cuddly today! She kept crawling over to me and climbing up me, often stopping to giggle and smoosh her face into me. She got such a kick out of herself. When she was in my arms, she wiggled and curled up into me in the sweetest way possible. She also played all alone for good bits of the day again. It was baby heaven.

I could tell her brothers were happy to have her back too. They enjoyed her giggles and activity.

She did have a lot of potty problems today. Since I gave her medicine the other day, she could no longer hold it in, so we had some drama whenever she had to give in and deal with it (I cry for her at these times, it's pretty intense). I'm still working on how to keep that from happening. Poor baby.

The boys and I had a blast as usual. I wasn't necessarily going to do much teaching or work today, but they begged for it! We did tracing practice, cutting practice, sticker practice, coloring practice, reading tons of stories, puzzles and fun games. Now, when I specify say, coloring practice, I'm not calling anything they color "practice". I'm referring to their Kumon practice books, which are super-keen. They really take them slowly through a skill, getting a little more complicated as they go.

Oh, we also decorated everyone's pumpkins with cute pictures this morning.

We went for a nice walk tonight after some yummy leftover Filipino food. The boys took turns pushing Baby Bear in her stroller (her first time in the umbrella stroller - she loved it) and we played at the playground for a few minutes. Popo was totally brave and got up the ladder and down the slide several times. He had a blast! I know that sounds pretty silly for a three-year-old, but he's a scaredy-cat. He rarely gets all the way up the ladder without freaking out, and almost never goes down the slide, instead making me carry him down the ladder. And he really, truly enjoyed flying down the slide. There was no death-freeze look on his face. I was so proud. As always, Bubby was a crazy man.

One proud Popo, at the top of the slide

Quote of the day: "Mommy, my poopies are mad at your peepees. They are going to catch them!" I'm curious to see if anyone can correctly guess which adorable goober this was. Hint: it wasn't Baby Bear.