There are two things that you should know about Evan before you read this short story:
1. His favorite show right now is Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. (He thinks that the dwarves are hi-LAR-ious.)
2. For whatever reason, Evan was a little stinky last night when he was sitting on the couch next to Henry. We are theorizing that it had something to do with a rather large broccoli intake the night before.
And now, on with the story.
We were watching (you guessed it!) Snow White, and Seth found something that the dwarves did particularly funny. He was laughing so hard that I had to stop watching the movie and just enjoy watching him. (When something really tickles Seth's funny bone, it's hard not to laugh at him laughing!) So I said to Seth, "Hey buddy, cheer up, will you?!" And then, in honor of the movie we were watching, I said, "If you were a dwarf, we might have to call you 'Grumpy'!"
Without skipping a beat, Henry said, "And I would have to call Evan 'Gassy'!"
That's what my daughter is. I picked up a Fusion Fun kit for Caroline and her friend, Sydney to do at their sleepover last night. I had no idea what a hit they would be. The kids placed little plastic beads on a form, and then I ironed the finished project to hold their work in place. I couldn't believe how long the girls worked at creating these little crafts, and how many hundreds of beads they must have placed. Caroline was so thrilled with her work that she carried her pieces around with her most of the day, and they are currently spending the night on her bed stand.
Sometimes, as a mom, I feel like I have such a weight on my shoulders.
It is partly my responsibility to analyze my children's strengths, encouraging them through the right activities or experiences or conversations so that they can have a fulfilling, happy, successful life now and in his adult years. I sometimes tend to overthink this, as Seth pointed out in a recent exchange I had with him.
Me: (Internal Thought Process) He's very good with animals...he has fish and frogs and we'll soon be getting a dog...the neighbors' pets all love him...he reads about animals all the time...we need to renew that zoo pass...hmmmm...maybe he'll be a zookeeper someday, or an animal trainer, or a veterinarian?
I share my ideas with Seth, trying to compliment him on his patience, kindness and understanding of animals, and suggest that working with animals might be a good career path for him someday. Want to know his response to all of my analyzing and planning for him?
Seth: "Mo-om, I'm 8. I don't need to figure that stuff out yet!"
I'm so PROUD of this boy!!! He is such a swimmer! He can blow bubbles a-plenty and keep his whole head underwater for 10 seconds! He can monkey crawl around the edge of the pool, and jump in the water to his teacher with no hesitation. With assistance, he is swimming on his front and back, so he'll be moving up to the next level soon. He loves going to class (or, as he calls it, Jeremy's house), and his teacher (Jeremy) is probably one of his favorite people around.
Today, two of the classes were able to "walk the plank."
Evan thought that this activity was the coolest thing ever, partially because he loves pirates. When I picked him up after class, he immediately asked me if I saw him, and was absolutely beaming when I told him that I did. He said, "I'm such a big boy, Mom!"
Honestly. This time of the year is very tough on my ability to keep up with life in general.
How will I ever find time to do the stuff I normally do at night (like paperwork, clean-up, decluttering, blogging) when I HAVE to invest so much time to Dancing with the Stars and American Idol? It's really not a good situation.
And my POOR HUSBAND. He is definitely not a fan of these shows. He is not a fan of this time of the year. Thank God he loves me.
On another note, I just thought I had to share a funny message that I got from my friend, Kathy. Henry spent the night over at her house last Friday (as well as the whole next day). Her son, Alex, is one of Henry's best friends.
Here's her message: "So I just had to tell you this. Tom (her husband) told me not to, but I thought you'd find it funny. First off, fish fillets (basically big fish sticks, lol) HUGE hit with your son. He ate three!!! He kept talking about how good they were. Then he told me, "I wish we had these at home. All we ever have are spaghetti and pierogi's." I was laughing because they were FISH STICKS. I told him we basically have the same few things too, they are just new to him. And that fish sticks are not really cooking. It was so funny! The things kids are impressed with! And just in case you don't think it's funny, Alex asked me the other day why you bake really good stuff all the time, and I don't, lol."
So, upon getting this information about Henry from Kathy, I've decided I need to expand my family's menu selections. Sunday and Monday we'll do our usual: spaghetti, and then pierogis. Tuesday is when it will get really exciting at our house. FISH STICKS. Henry will be so excited! Wednesday and Thursday? You guessed it...the usual. But Friday? Time to celebrate the week (and Lent)! FISH STICKS. Saturday? Leftovers.
...but come early June of this year, we'll be getting one of these.
We've put down a deposit for a Wheaten Terrier girl puppy, and we honestly couldn't be more excited! The puppies will be born in early April. It's almost like we're expecting again! The breeder will be emailing pictures of the puppies to us when they arrive, and then will continue to send us pictures weekly until our little girl is ready to be adopted at 8 weeks. What a nice thing for her to do. The kids are going to love seeing their puppy grow!
We're going to get a little girl because poor Caroline is tired of being outnumbered. She thinks that there are too many boys around here. Now we're faced with the challenge of coming up with a girl name that is not to "girly" for the boys. We have a list going, so if you have any suggestions for us, please share! :)
Names suggested so far:
1. Cubby (Henry's favorite)
2. Lucy (It's an early favorite...Caroline and I love it, and Seth really likes it because his teacher's dog is named Lucy.)
5. Maeve or Fiona (Irish girl names for an Irish dog)
6. Moxie (think all the kids might like it...spunky, fun, full of it) UPDATE: The kids all like this one! I believe we have a winner!)
8. Scooby-Doo (Evan's favorite)
9. Bridget (Irish)
10. Ella (Irish) or Ellie
11. Keely or Kelly (Irish)
13. Kaya (Native American name meaning sister)
14. Schatzi (German for sweetheart)
It's a good thing that we have two and a half months. This is tough!
His oldest brother is at a friend's house. His other brother and sister both have strep throat, so they are not up for playing. Poor Evan is without his usual playmates.
When I saw him doing this when watching a movie with Seth and Caroline, I knew he was getting a little bored...impressively flexible, but bored. So, I got him dressed and brought him over to the kitchen, thinking he could "help" me clean up a bit. Evan cleaning up in the kitchen usually means playing with water and dishes in the sink. Today it meant grabbing on to my leg while I drag him along.
Perhaps he thought the floor needed a little buffing.
He's so thoughtful...
and so, so funny. Is it any wonder that I sometimes have trouble keeping up with housework with a monkey like this hanging around?
Thankfully, soon after this picture was taken, Dave took him outside so that I could really clean the kitchen. :)
There was an open house at the kids' school tonight. All of the kids were excited, but perhaps Henry was the most so. He couldn't wait to show me his owl pellet that he dissected, finding a rat skeleton inside. He was so proud, and I have to admit, I found it pretty interesting.
One of the activities that the parents could do in Henry's classroom was to match a picture of their child with a picture of where they would like to work when they grow up. Apparently, Henry would like to work at a Cheeto Factory. :) (He and his friends were picking very random jobs, so this activity was actually quite amusing.)
Then we went on to Seth's classroom...Here Seth is with two of his teachers, Mrs. Weimer and her student teacher, Miss Olsen. He loves them!
One of the activities they had displayed was about book recommendations. The kids could choose any person in the entire school to interview, and then they were to choose a book to recommend to them based on what they found out from that interview. Seth interviewed his good friend, Will, and I think he was spot-on with his recommendation.
Seth also shared a book that he wrote this quarter. Caroline was so excited to find out that it was all about her. Seth told her that when he can take it home from school, she can have it.
Here it is...
Then we went on to visit Caroline's classroom and her teacher Miss Pierson. She is one happy girl to be in Miss Pierson's class.
The children in Caroline's class recently did a Dr. Seuss writing assignment. Caroline's was all about the letter K.
Being in Caroline's class also gave Henry the opportunity to catch up with his former teacher, Miss Pierson!
I'm not so sure about that. The last time I checked, it was a train station that had a pirate ship docked in it. At times it is also a wrestling arena and a campground. Its an amazingly versatile room.
When I picked the kids up after school today, Henry and his friend, Alex, were begging for a playdate. I had every intention to take Henry over to get his allergy shots, but for some reason, today I just didn't feel like taking 4 kids to sit in that doctor's office for an hour. (That means we have to go tomorrow. Bummer!) So, we played hooky today, and went on a hike instead.
Dave often takes the kids on hikes behind our house. There's a pond, a creek, a mini-forest...all fun areas that the kids love to explore. Today, feeling a bit of spring in the air, I decided to explore with them. So off we went, Henry, Alex, Seth, Caroline, Evan and I. There were so many signs of spring... buds on the trees, grass greening ever so slightly, water running in the creek (nothing frozen in sight). There were so many discoveries to be made...five kids shouting, "Look at this! Cool! See what I found! Come over here and check this out!" There was climbing, jumping, shouting, running, studying, and just general joy in being outside.
Welcome Spring!! We LOOOOOOOVVVVVEEEEEE you!!!!!
**I wish that I would have brought my camera on our hike. It was such a last minute decision to go that I forgot it! I snapped a few after the hike, including the one of Henry and Alex. Alex did have his coat on for the hike, but took it off when Dave started chasing the kids around the yard when we got back. So here's a couple more from after the hike...
It's surprising how much a clean kitchen sink can inspire.
When clutter and mess take over at our house, many times I'll start things off at the sink. I'll wash all the pots and pans, and then scrub the sink until it sparkles. Even though it doesn't take a lot of work, it looks great when I'm done, and I'm often in a good mindset to tackle other areas of my house. (I can't lay claim to this idea...I read it once while visiting FlyLady.net , which is a website with all kinds of great ideas for housekeeping.)
So, today my kitchen sink inspired me to tackle the clutter and paperwork downstairs and the playroom. Tomorrow I'm bringing a bunch of stuff to Goodwill. One thing is leading to another, and that is a good thing.
Henry just got out of bed to get a drink, came to say good night to me again. He read the title of this post and laughed, saying that he might have to randomly say that in his most serious voice to his friends. How dare he make fun of his own mother when she's being all philosophical about her housekeeping?! Funny guy!
So...you may wonder why Caroline is dressed as a witch in this picture. Caroline went to the Daddy/Daughter Dance for Caroline's Daisy Scout Troop, and all the daughters were supposed to dress as a storybook character. Caroline decided that there were a lot of witches in fairy tales, and in Norman Bridwell's The Witch Next Door, so this witch costume was her pick tonight.
All day long, Caroline was counting down the minutes until her special date night with her Daddy. She loves having her Daddy all to herself. I snapped these pictures right before they left, and soon after I took them, she was pushing Dave out the door!
When they got back tonight, Caroline was all aglow with the fun from the night: dancing the Hokey-Pokey, Chicken Dance, and line dances, as well as winning a door prize (a stuffed animal). Dave said they had a GREAT time. :) When I was tucking her in to bed tonight, she had a hard time settling down. There was just so much to tell that she had very little need for such things as sleep. She is a sweet, little girl, if I do say so myself!
...you ask your 3 year old to get the ice cream from the freezer after dinner... Good thinking outside the box, Evan!
And if, after watching this clip, you are concerned about having dessert at our house in the future, please rest assured that we generally discourage the use of the ice cream container as a ride-on toy.
Back in May of last year, Caroline made an important dental announcement (click here to visit that post). Perhaps it was a bit of wishful thinking that she had a wiggly tooth back then, as it has taken just a couple of months shy of a year to get close to losing that same tooth. She has been so anxious to meet this milestone...she wants to use the tooth fairy pillow that she made when she was in preschool...she just can't wait until the fairy makes her first visit...and many of her friends have lost teeth.
She has been diligently working on increasing its "loose-ness," trying to eat crunchier foods and wiggling, wiggling, wiggling. As a result, said "wiggly tooth" is extremely loose now, and Caroline is one excited girl.
I went to check on her before I went to bed tonight, and noticed that right next to her tooth fairy pillow, she had written a little note to the tooth fairy. As you can see, on the note she wrote, "My tooth is get(t)ing loos(e)r tooth fairy." She also drew a picture of her teeth in her mouth with her fingers wiggling her tooth. I can't wait to see her reaction in the morning when she sees that the tooth fairy wrote a note back to her..."That (tooth) is getting looser, sweet Caroline! I'll be coming back soon! Love, your tooth fairy"
Caroline had a great weekend...a playdate, a sleepover, a birthday party and the McCAP party. However, her week is not off to a great start. At midnight last night, she came down with the stomach flu. Ugh. She's been pretty low today, sleeping a lot and not being able to eat. Although I think she started turning the corner, she'll be staying home again tomorrow. Please say a little prayer that she feels better soon and that the flu stops in this house with her!
Here's our sweet girl at her sweet friend Sydney's party on Saturday. Caroline and Sydney have been friends 4ever (or since they were three!). The dalmatian that Caroline was sitting next to was a troublemaker...
I only caught the tail end of this, but this rotten dog kept trying to steal Caroline's cupcake. Caroline and her friends thought he was the funniest thing ever! :)