Tuesday, March 31, 2009

no cereal for Jaden

I messed up this morning. I yelled at my boys while we were trying to hurry out the door to get to preschool and work. It was the first time it happened since I went back to work in January. God has been helping me a lot with my yelling problem.

Yes, I do have a problem with yelling. I let things get under my skin and either don’t or can’t deal with them until they come spewing out. It really isn’t attractive or loving when it comes out on my boys.

I intentionally don’t try to rush out of the door because it only makes things harder for the boys. They just don’t understand and can’t deal with rushing.

The thing that set me off this morning was finding out that Jaden didn’t get cereal at school yesterday because we got their just after 8am. He had been looking forward to eating cereal at school as he does most days. That morning, yesterday, we were running a few minutes later than the day before. The lateness had been building and each day I have been getting a little later. Yesterday it meant that Jaden didn’t get cereal. He did have some fruit on the way to school and he turned down a bagel, which Clay gladly accepted. He actually dealt with it very well but was wanting to get to school earlier today so that he could have cereal. That was a good idea but it would have been better (I think) if he had told me before we were already going to be later than 8am to school.

Jaden did pretty well with the whole fiasco but Clay ended up crying and screaming for the last 15 minutes before we made it out the door. They both had a hard time getting their coats and boots on and getting their toy for sharing time. That is when I lost it and yelled

We planned ahead and got a full breakfast in the van of pear, grapes, bagel and granola bar, with the boys each choosing different items. We were too late for Jaden to get cereal today. We will try harder for tomorrow without the yelling.

I felt just terrible. I had unhappy boys. I yelled. Veggie Tales music in the van did help cheer them up. I apologized and they forgave me. I love that my boys are so forgiving. We prayed in the van before getting to school and they were happily dropped off. Now if I can only accept their forgiveness and God’s forgiveness. Grace is starting to sink in.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

especially thankful

I am feeling especially thankful for many reasons.

Thankful that I have a job that I love.
Thankful that I am not getting moved off of the NASA Ares rocket at ATK, like 23 of 27 of my program colleagues are undergoing.
Thankful that I have an amazing boss that is not trying to fire me or blaspheme me as Bryan's former boss. (Bryan has been doing amazingly well despite the turmoil at work. He is trusting God because it is all he can do.)
Thankful that I am not at risk of losing my house or having flood waters wreck my possessions as all of Bryan's family (in Fargo, ND) is dealing with right now.
Thankful that I have 2 very happy boys that laugh a lot and share their joy with me.
Thankful that we found a great school for the boys that is taking good care of them. (We love their teachers and school more and more.)
Thankful that we don't have to worry about money or providing for our needs.

Monday, March 23, 2009

lots of kid time

Last Friday (3/20) I had the privilege of staying at home and taking care of my two boys and my nephew, Eli. Bryan and Eli's parents (Eric-Bryan's brother and Laura) got tickets to watch the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament in Minneapolis on Friday and Sunday. I planned a couple of things for us to do to help the day go by faster.

First we made frozen fruity fun pops with bananas, pineapple, plain yogurt and a little sugar. We used and ice tray and straws for the sticks. I got the recipe out of a Sesame Street cookbook that I bought for Jaden over a year ago when he turned 3. It was the first time we used the book but the kids have enjoyed looking through it many times.

Next we went outside to make a spider web out of yarn. The kids had lots of bun throwing the yarn back and forth to "spin" a web. We also had fun throwing frisbees through the web.

Then it was time to go inside and we had a picnic lunch in front of the TV so we could watch some basketball. The NDSU Bison from Fargo, ND were playing in the big tournament for the first time. They only just became eligible as a division one team this year. It is quite amazing that they made it. Eric and Bryan are both NDSU alumni and I went there one year too. The boys had lots of fun watching the game and even thought they saw their daddies several times on TV. Jaden even thought Uncle Eric was playing in the game. So cute!
And we got to enjoy our frozen fruity fun pops! It is just too bad that the Bison lost.
We wore Eli out. All of the boys went down so easily for naps. We need to get outside and play more often.
I am pretty proud of what I accomplished this day. Having stuff to do made the day go a lot better. Just so you know, I am not a super crafty, have-it-all-together mom. Just read my previous post (my son at church without shoes). It was the first time that I used the kids cookbook after having it for over a year. And I got the spider web idea from Family Fun magazine. I sure was glad to get some help with the kids when Laura came home around dinner time.

I definitely got my fill of kid time over the weekend because Bryan had to work and I volunteered to take care of my two nieces on Sunday. On Sunday afternoon, it was Laura and I with 6 kids that are 4 years and under and the youngest is just 6 weeks old. It was quite the undertaking and we even made it to church! I sure was thankful that Bryan met us there. Everyone made it with shoes to church!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

not feeling like a great mom

So, this afternoon I watched the documentary, Supersize Me, about the man that ate only McDonald's food for 30 days and reported on the repercussions on his health. It was entertaining and did make me think about what I am putting in my body.

I had to wake my kids up from naps at 4:30 to go to church at 5 tonight. Bryan is working tonight so I was on my own. Waking the kids up is usually no fun. I should have left myself more time to do this but it is hard to decide between getting out the door earlier and letting them get a few more minutes of sleep.

Anyway, I quickly had 2 cranky kids and tried hard to get them on the toilet and out to the van as quickly as possible. I gave them suckers to get them to stop crying. Great start after watching Supersize Me! The crying did end.

We left the house. I soon realized that I put on the wrong shoes and had brown shoes on with black pants. Oh well. Let it go.

10 minutes later, Jaden asks me where his shoes are. Oh no, I forgot them at home and now we will either be a half hour late for church if I go back to get them (we will just miss church instead) or we can go without the shoes. I decided to go without the shoes and was feeling really bad about this. It is clearly bothering Jaden and he wants to go back to get them. Oh well.

We make it to church at 5:04. Yes, of course we are late. There is not enough parking at our new location. Oh, this is the first night at our new location so I really wanted to be there.

I was not expecting to get a spot anywhere close so I just pulled up the closest door to temporarily park there to check my kids in because I had to carry Jaden in without shoes. Well, I was surprised to find an open spot. How nice! That saved me some time. I took the kids in and of course someone mentions right away that Jaden is missing his shoes. I just say it's my fault. He is not happy.

Church was great and overflowingly full. Lots of energy and great music but not sure what they will do about the space issue. They were not expecting it to be this full.

Then after church, what did we get for dinner, none other than McDonalds'!

How great: cranky kids, one without shoes; me with unmatched shoes, kids with succers and fast food for dinner. That makes me feel like one great mom!

This was not the first time I have grabbed the wrong shoes for myself but the first time I forgot them for one of my kids. Oh well, I am trying to shrug it off. I know that my kids are good fruit and veggie eaters but I do wish that we ate out at restaurants less, fast food or not.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

the wants

I have the wants. I can't seem to get rid of them. The phrases, "I want this," and "I want that," just won't seem to leave me alone.

Ever since we moved into our house in Bloomington, I have had a list of things that we intend to buy going in my head. I wrote them down this last week. I am not sure what my intent was but now I am hoping that by writing them down that I can let them go.

I have somehow justified everything on my "want list." I'm sure some of you think they are justified too. Truth is that none of them are necessary, well, not yet and we can live well without them. I want to be content with what I have but I am still hung-up on "the wants."

I want a new washer and dryer because ours are 25 years old and go on the fritz occasionally (but they still work, just sometimes slower than I would like, after 4 rinses and spins later).

I want a new camera because our current digital camera is draining any lithium rechargeable battery we give it. Our current one stills works but we if we use the screen to view the pictures, we can only take about 10 pictures. If we don't use the screen we can take about 50 pictures. It is fine for now but will not do for a trip where we take lots of pictures.

I want new beds for my boys because Jaden has maxed out the length of his toddler bed but this would require (in my mind) getting matching beds for both boys).

I want a new office/computer armoire and matching bookshelves. Our books are double stacked on our current bookshelves and we need 3 to have room for all of our books. We currently have a table-like desk for our computers and printer, etc. I really don't like it because it is always a mess. I want to hide it in an armoire that is smaller than our current table-desk. I would also appreciate a little office space that is enclosed with a drawer or a cupboard that is on our mail level.

I am sure that there are more things on my list that I can't remember right now and I don't want to get up to review my list.

All of these are wants and truth is, that we decided to put our money elsewhere right now, like giving it away and building up our savings. I do not regret those choices but I just wish I could let "the wants" go. I don't want to just go buy everything to get it off my list. I want to be content with what I have.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

down day

We are having a down day. I mean a relaxing, do nothing day. I just want to sit around a lot. I think Bryan has been working much harder than me today. Bryan has been doing a lot of dishes from having our meal group (small group) over last night for dinner. He also made me breakfast and took care of the kids while I hung out upstairs.

Now we are both sitting around on our laptops while the boys nap. Jaden is sick again and hopefully getting better. He threw up a lot last night, more than his stomach should hold. And our whole small group got to experience it in our family room. We are hopefully going out to buy a carpet cleaning machine today. We are sick of scrubbing the carpet and could use a little help. We are also hoping that our planned date tonight without the kids stills works out. The last two weeks we have tried for a date and our babysitter canceled last week. We have another one lined up for tonight. Let's hope Clay doesn't get sick now.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

my painting boys

I am not a super-crafty mom and don't really like traditional preschool paper projects. I have been wanting to show the kids that I do truly appreciate their art skills so I bought two canvases for them to paint some kind of space pictures to hangup in their bedroom.

Here are the pictures. I wouldn't mind them making some money from their art someday. I will do what I can to encourage the artist in each of them. I had a blast doing this with them but they painted the pictures completely by themselves (well, almost--I only helped Clay get the sides of his canvas painted). Great job, boys!

Jaden is doing what he loves-creating and painting. We used lots of smaller brushes once we got the canvas covered.

Look at that tongue on Clay! Just like his dad!

Can you guess who is the artist behind each picture? If you know my boys at all, you sure can.

Jaden's painting is on the left and it is titled by him, "Shoot Star" with an orange/brown rocket on the left with fire coming out of it and a blurry moon in the middle and a whole lot of stars, or shooting stars. It is full and busy and chaotic which describes Jaden.

Clay's picture is on the right and it is calm and organized and has a big story too. Clay titled his painting, "Broken Rocket, Shooting Stars." He knows that they are called shooting stars, not shoot stars. Ha ha, so much attitude in such a small body. Clay's painting is of a broken rocket with fire coming out midway and fire coming out at the bottom (a little bit). He also has many stars but they are grouped together, as he wanted them. He did admire Jaden's use of many stars and did add a few more to his painting because of it.

I can't wait to get these hung in their bedroom this week.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

complaining boys

Just thought I would share a little moment with you from this morning.

Jaden came into the bathroom when I was getting ready and started complaining and whining that he didn’t want to go to school.

I encouraged him about all of the fun he would have but still the complaining continued.

I changed the subject to his memory game that he made yesterday. I encouraged him and said he could work on it more at school or at home with me tonight and still the complaining continued.

I talked about sharing time at school and the Eli and Austin (cousins) picture he had to share and still the complaining continued.

I told him that he would only have to go today and tomorrow and then get to be with us at home for 4 days. We talked about the week and that there are 7 days in a week and 3 of them he goes to school and 4 of them he gets to spend with me. And still the complaining continued.

I was about to lose it. I felt it coming. Thankfully he used the toilet and left to go wash his hands (I hope) elsewhere.

I thought I handled the situation very well but his persistence wears me out. I am just thankful that I didn’t get upset and make it worse.

Amazingly the complaining stopped after he left the bathroom and didn’t start up again when he came back.

Jaden, the persistent negotiator, asked me if he got his boots and coat on nicely, if he could have a candy. I already had asked him to do this, it wasn’t his idea but the candy was a nice reward. I said yes and off both boys went. Clay started complaining that he couldn’t get his boots on and Jaden helped him! They both got candy and were happy all the way out the door and on the way to school. Yaaaaay!

Another cute thing that happened yesterday when we were getting ready to leave was that Clay didn’t have his straw rocket (that we made at a cool museum, The Works, in Edina, MN last Saturday) that he wanted to take for sharing in the gathering at school. I wasn’t sure if we left it at Kira’s (cousin) or in the van but we had Jaden’s in the house and mine was there too. I said Clay could have mine and Jaden piped up, “Clay, you can have my rocket if you want to.” So sweet, and Clay accepted.

I need to remember these stories when it is hard to get the kids excited to go to school (almost everyday). There is happiness usually buried under the complaining, whining and refusal to get out the door. They really do have a lot of fun at school but the mornings are usually hard.