Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My funny children (emphasis on Chloe)

Chloe and Ryan (but mostly Chloe) had me laughing pretty hard this evening.  Neil was working in Sonora until late, so it was just the kids and me.  As soon as I announced dinner was ready, Ryan disappeared.  I didn't notice where he had gone because I was busy getting food on plates.  As I headed to the table and asked Chloe if she'd seen him, she replied,

"He's in timeout."

When I asked why, she shrugged her shoulders and said,

"I don't know.  He heard you say dinner was ready and ran straight to the laundry room." 

I had to laugh, and let me explain why.  Lately, getting Ryan to eat has been gosh darn impossible.  In his own defense, he's had a bad case of the runs for the last five days straight and has been on a liquid diet minus a few bites a day of this or that.  But aside from that, eating issues have been present for months.  Generally when we sit down at the table he's already fussing, "it's too hot!" or "but I'm not hungry."  We coax him, humor him, reverse psychology him, whatever it takes to get him to try a bite and realize that I'm not such a bad cook.  What we've done in the past when he's refused to eat is sent him straight to bed.  Well now when we're sitting down to eat he'll often automatically say, "I want to take a nap instead."  But that's just too easy of an out, and frankly, if it's only 5:30 in the afternoon, that's the last thing I want him doing!  So we've changed our strategy a bit and now send him to timeout for however long it takes before he's willing to eat.

Tonight, Ryan was a step ahead of me.  I'm still laughing at the fact that he put HIMSELF in timeout.  I tried and I tried and I tried to get him to eat, but he would have nothing to do with it.  Even after several attempts, more timeout and a spanking to finish it off, he just wouldn't give in.  He was in bed by 6:25, which is not too early (unlike 5:30).  Thankfully, due to the fact that he doesn't nap anymore (or at least regularly), I can get away with putting him to bed as early as 6:30 and he'll sleep a solid twelve hours, which is perfect since I get up at 7 every day.  Perhaps we'll have better luck with food intake tomorrow. 

So onto Chloe.  Amidst fighting Ryan to eat his potato soup and green salad, Chloe chattered away like always, half the time not even noticing that I was preoccupied with her brother.  One thing she said did catch my attention though, and I just had to share it.

Chloe: "I can't wait to go up to heaven and see Heavenly Father and Jesus."

Me (wondering where on earth this came from): "Why are you excited to see them?"

Chloe: "It's gonna be fun!  They love me so much and I'm just gonna get up there and jump on them and hug them!" 

After a slight pause, she went on: "But  when you die, your body stays on earth, right?  Like a statue?  But the rest of you goes up?!" 

Another slight pause (while contemplating).."So that's called your spirit!  So your spirit goes up to heaven!"

While I found it interesting that Chloe would bring up such a deep and random topic at the dinner table, I was pleased to see that she is beginning to grasp the basics of our mortality and the purpose behind it.  Love the way her smart little mind thinks.

After dinner, Chloe and I were practicing her reading.  Each week she's sent home with a new set of words that all end with the same few letters.  They're called "word families," I believe.  Anyway, this week she's working on the "ot" family.  Well, she whizzed right through the packet of words tonight and I was so impressed, as always.  I swear the kid's smarter than I am.  At one point, in addition to reading the words, she started tacking on an example of how the word could be used.  This is how it went, and again, this is ALL her:

"Lot! a parking lot!"
"Not! 'I'm not going to paint that!"
"Pot! 'I'm cookin' something up in a pot!'"

This one's hands down my favorite:

"Rot! 'rat' in a British accent!'"

The final word in the packet was "Tot," to which she said, while giggling, "I thought that was 'toot' at first!"  Then a few seconds later, "How do you spell 'toot' anyway?"

Let me give you just a bit of background before I share the final conversation of the night (which, I should warn you contains a private body part name).  A few weeks ago, Chloe asked Neil what he does for work. He explained that he watches a lot of surgeries and helps the doctors to know how to use the various instruments that he provides for the surgeries.  In explaining what a surgery is, Neil referenced my c-section and showed Chloe my scar.  When we told her that that's where she and Ryan came out of my body, she naturally then wondered if all babies were born that way.  We answered honestly and told her that while many babies come out that way, most babies come out of their mommy's vagina.  Hey, we are all about using anatomically correct terminology.  Anyway, here's what Chloe said to me as I was tucking her into bed:    

Chloe: "I wish I had a baby sister.  And a daughter."

Me: "Well, you've got quite a while to go before you have a daughter!"

Chloe: "I know.  But I don't want to have them cut my stomach open to get her out.  I want her to come out of my vagina."

I chuckled and kissed her goodnight.  Love her honest, blunt innocence.  May it continue to blossom!

It is currently 12:54am.  Guess who just wandered downstairs?  A certain grumpy boy who refused to eat his dinner.  And what's the first thing he said?

"I'm hungry!"

The second thing? "Can I just snuggle with you for a few seconds?" 

Guess I'd better get to it.  Goodnight, everyone.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The rest of Fall break

Well I had good intentions with my Fall break posts.  Obviously those intentions didn't mean squat though because Fall break was nearly two months ago and I didn't make it past Day 3.  That said, let me quickly summarize the rest of the week.

The kids went to the dentist!  This was Ryan's second time having his teeth cleaned.  The first time he had it done was in April, and it was after watching Chloe have her teeth cleaned and deciding that he wanted to give it a try too.  Both kids did awesome and neither had cavities!  Always good news!

After their cleanings, the office staff took the kids back to a special room containing a treasure box where each was able to choose something to take home.  Um, can we say generous?  Chloe left with a 20-pack of markers and Ryan with a race car!  They don't mess around!  Between their treasures and goodie bags containing new toothbrushes, floss, stickers and a pencil, they were in absolute heaven.

On our way home we stopped at the mall to cash in a coupon I had for a free candle at the new Yankee Candle store.  Naturally everyone was hungry by this point, so what did the kids get?  A cinnamon/sugar pretzel!  Yep, that was their lunch - straight from the dentist's office!  Where's my super mom award?

We took it easy at home that afternoon.  Ryan astonished us by taking a nap, and Chloe played quietly in her room.  At one point she did a puppet show for me...

...which prompted a Christmas present idea.  That's right.  Neil's building Chloe a puppet theater for Christmas!  She loves doing puppet shows or any kind of performing for that matter, so this is really perfect.  We went to IKEA today and bought some new hand puppets to go with the theater.  I can't wait to see the look on her face come Christmas morning!

As soon as Ryan woke up he wandered into Chloe's room to see what we were up to.  I took a few more pictures.

Here they are watching Chloe's puppet show I'd just recorded a few minutes earlier.

I miss lazy afternoons like these.  We don't have them too often anymore.

The following day, the kids made an Autumn window display.  It was super easy and a huge hit!  Original source: HERE.  I'm pretty sure this will become an annual Fall craft tradition at our house.  We all loved it.  In fact, it's still up on our door!  Probably time to take it down.

Who knew coffee filters and water colors could be so entertaining?

While we had originally planned to cut out leaves, Chloe decided snowflakes would be fun as well!

Waiting for the painted coffee filters to finish drying.

The finished product!

 It was a fun-filled week.  I enjoyed not having to set an alarm and just being on a more relaxed schedule.  The kids liked it too.  Less stress, and more time to play.  Now with the Christmas season upon us, we have another break just around the corner.  I can hardly wait!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Funny kids and a mom who doesn't do everything...

Oh, life.  Why art thou so crazy?  Truly, I am shocked by how much busier things have become since Chloe started school.  I was so naive to think it would slow down just having one child at home with me during the day.  Now I laugh at my four-month-ago-self.  Then I look at moms of multiple children and wonder, "How?!"  How do they do it?  How do they keep up with dentist appointments, maintain a clean house, volunteer at school, build and maintain relationships with each child and ensure their individual needs are met, enforce scripture study and FHE, keep up with church callings, spend quality time with their husbands, exercise, keep milk in the fridge and meals on the table, shower daily? It especially shocks me when these moms, on top of appearing to have it all together, also manage to always look cute.  They say you just find your groove.  Well (chuckle, chuckle), I'm still looking for mine, and it's likely to take me the rest of the school year to find it.

There's no question I am my own worst critic.  I set high (and often unrealistic) expectations for myself, busting my rear to fulfill them.  And perhaps to some, I appear to have it together.  Some days I do!  But more often than not I fall short, and sometimes, in staying on top of one thing, completely neglect something else.  It's hard to find that constant balance - that "groove."  Recently I stumbled upon this quote. 

What a basic yet profound statement!  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  I'm trying to do too much.  Then came another epiphany.  These moms, who have found their "groove," don't do it all.  They focus on the important things and set aside the not-so-important things, even if that means making sacrifices and stumbling along the way.  They know their limits and don't try to cram in what they know they can't handle.  I think it's when I accept that I can't do all the things I thought I could or wanted to do AND, most importantly, that that's okay, my mind is suddenly clearer, my heart lighter and my life simpler.  It reminds me a lot of this talk by Dallin H. Oaks.  I am still learning how to manage my time and responsibilities, but slowly, in changing my focus and pondering the truly important things, I'm getting there.

Speaking of important things, here's a glimpse into the recent madness of our lives.  Oh, the things they come up with. 

This morning, in attempt to convince me that he should clip my fingernails, Ryan said, "If you let me, I'll give you a stickerrrrrr!" (big emphasis on "sticker," probably in an attempt to be more persuasive)

Also this morning, while doing his bathroom business, Ryan said, "My tummy hurts." I apologized and stood with him while he continued to look adorable sitting on the toilet.  Then he said, "I need a band-aid."  I asked him where he needed a band-aid, expecting him to point to his finger or somewhere.  Instead he said, "On my tummy."  Poor kid.  He seems to be feeling better now and has not asked for another band-aid.

Recently (okay, last month), after having lost my voice due to a nasty cold, I was reading Chloe a bedtime story.  At one point she interrupted me to say, "Mommy, I think your other voice is prettier." 

And here's an example of how Chloe's negotiation tactics have rubbed off on her brother.  The other week while in the car just after picking Chloe up from school, she proceeded to grab an apple slice out of her unfinished lunch pail.

Ryan: "Can I have an apple?"
Chloe: "Yeah, you can have one.  But just one, okay?"
Ryan: "How 'bout five?"

Here are some of the words exchanged during a recent Sunday dinner.

Ryan: "Hey, I have a big idea!  Let's turn the lights out and then use a flashlight to see!"
Chloe (raising her hand): "I'm gonna use a bone in my eyeball to see!  Bahahaahahah!"
Chloe was laughing hysterically at herself, which naturally prompted her brother to do the same.  A few minutes later, completely out of the blue, Ryan asked, "Can I be Superman for Christmas?"

Then finally, after telling the kids they could each have a popsicle if they finished their dinner, Chloe, while shaking her head and looking down at her food, said, "Here goes!"

I can't say enough how much I adore being a mother.  Sometimes I miss the easier days of having one child to care for - a child who was not old enough to be in school, and who just hung out with me at home each day.  There are certainly happy moments from that simple time in my life which I'll never forget and always cherish.  But even with how chaotic, exhausting and sometimes out-of-control my life has become these recent months, I wouldn't change any of it.  It's been just another stepping stone toward learning to do away with the less important so I can focus on the most important.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Ryan's stats and heart

Ryan had his well check-up on the 16th.  He was a crack-up to say the least, grabbing the attention (and adoration) of many in the short span of 30 minutes we were at the doctor's office.  What can I say?  The boy's a charmer.  Always has been.

It was quite the in-depth check-up, including an eye exam and hearing test and NOT including shots, which we were all happy about.  During the eye exam the nurse had me hold one hand over one eye while Ryan identified the various objects on the wall.  It was so cute listening to him say, "That's a boat!," "That's a moon!," and "That's a dar!" (star).  When he wasn't sure of something (like a letter - he doesn't have them all straight just yet), he'd simply say, "I don't know."  Dr. Daley, who was sitting in his office just around the corner from where Ryan stood in the hallway chuckled a few times, which prompted us to do the same.  Cute kid.

Ryan weighs a whopping 28 pounds, which puts him in the 27th percentile for weight, and he measures 3 feet 1 inch, which puts him in the 68th percentile for height.

During his physical, Dr. Daley spent a considerable amount of time listening to Ryan's heart.  I found it a bit strange at first but wasn't really concerned until I noticed him sliding the stethoscope over the same area of his chest a third time.  Turns out he had detected a heart murmur, which Ryan did not have at last year's well check-up.  Dr. Daley reassured me that it probably wasn't serious but definitely felt Ryan should be seen by a cardiologist.  I tried not to worry too much, but let's face it.  Any potential abnormality or problem having to do with your child's heart is naturally going to create some level of concern.  A couple days later I got a call from the cardiologist and we scheduled Ryan's appointment for the 29th, which was last Tuesday.

Here's our boy in the exam room entertaining himself while waiting for Dr. Gratian.  Initially the disposable gown, which the nurse referred to as a "super hero cape" was really cool, but quickly lost its appeal as soon as Ryan noticed the spongy letters puzzle on the floor.

Dr. Gratian listened to Ryan's heart and determined that there were two murmurs but said an EKG and ultrasound were necessary to determine whether or not they were problematic.  Ryan was so good during the tests and didn't complain or put up a fight once.  I was proud of him.  Shortly after we were done, Dr. Gratian came back in reporting that the murmurs were innocent and of no concern.  It was a relief to hear good news.  Hopefully there's never again a need to go see a pediatric cardiologist.  Once is enough for me.  On our way home, while at the grocery store, I let Ryan pick out a donut as his reward for awesome behavior.

He was grateful for the donut, and I was (and am) grateful for a strong and healthy boy (heart and all)!