Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Finger Paint.

Eeeeeeewwwwwwwww!! Look at those hands.

My parents gave the boys finger paint a couple of years ago. Yes, at least 2...and I finally got brave enough to let the boys use it! I'm not one for messes. Not that my house is always picked up (or ever, for that matter)...and I am definitely not a neat freak. But something about letting my kids get gooey just creeps me out. I'm trying to get better at this...really I am. I keep telling myself to let them be kids! Let them be boys! So today I did.

First things first...get all the gear and head outside. Second....dig the art smocks out of the back of the closet in order to keep them somewhat clean (it was a futile attempt). Third...and maybe most importantly...thank God that Crayola makes washable finger paint (so maybe I can relax and enjoy the mess...and the fun.)

Sawyer decided two things. One, he didn't want to get messy...and two, he was not about to wear a smock. I just kept telling myself -- it's ok. It's washable. The clothes are washable....the driveway is washable....and the kids are washable.

Even a little paint in the hair is no big deal...right?? Say it with me...it's washable!


The important thing is they had fun....they got along (an added bonus)....



...and they each created a favorite masterpiece.


And maybe most importantly...we used all the paint, so I'm off the hook for a while!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Compliments

We had a good day at the store today...and that is something definitely blog-worthy. You see, with a soon-to-be 5 year old and a 2 1/2 year old, you just never know how a shopping trip is going to go down. Usually when we go shopping, there is a part of me that is nervous to take my kids out in public. Here are a few of our typical scenarios:

Scenario #1: Jackson wants to help Mommy push the cart. This one always turns out the same. Jackson is a good mommy's helper and at some point during every shopping trip he wants to help me push the grocery cart. Well, when you are only 3 feet tall, you have to really stretch your arms in order to reach the cart handle. More importantly, when your younger brother is sitting in the cart, his feet are right at the pusher's face level. Sawyer, being an instigator, can never resist the temptation to kick Jackson in the face. Of course this sends Jackson into a fury...and Sawyer into a laughing fit. This makes Jackson want to push the cart even more (because Sawyer won't let him) and results in more face kicking. Note: If you ever see a mother patiently (or not so patiently) trying to separate her children in a store...please smile at her. She's not having a good day.

Scenario #2: Jackson gets to put something in the cart....when of course Sawyer wanted to put that exact same thing and nothing else in the cart. It doesn't really matter who gets to put what in the cart...the other one wanted it and wanted to put it in the cart. This always results in a lecture that it doesn't matter who puts it in the cart...the outcome is the same. The item will end up at home. Unless, of course, you can't behave in the store and then the Ding Dongs are going back on the shelf!!! Note: If you see a mother raising her voice in a store...please don't call security. Ignore her. She's not having a good day.

Now, the reason I am so excited today is because I actually received a compliment while shopping. The boys were keeping themselves somewhat entertained by singing. And no, they weren't singing the usual Lada GaGa or Boom Boom Pow...they were singing none other than "Jesus Loves Me." And let me tell you...they were singing their hearts out! I saw an older woman shopping with her mother and they were both smiling at them. The daughter came over to me and said, "We sure are enjoying their singing!"

This made me feel wonderful! Not only were the boys behaving (somewhat), but they were also singing a wonderful song that everyone enjoyed. I said "thank you" and accepted the kind woman's compliment.

It's a good thing she saw us in aisle 5...because in aisle 3, they were pointing to items on the shelf and yelling, "Run! It's POOOOP!!"

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Some kids suck.

Sorry for using the "S" word in the title of this post. (I'm sure my mother is still cringing...) But you know, sometimes there is just no other way to put something. Case in point -- some kids just suck!

I took the boys to the "big park" today. I was very excited, seeing as it is the first day of school around here for the big kids. That means the park will be fun! No big kids knocking down the little kids. No 10,000 unruley people at the park. Nope. Just us mommies and the little kids. Fun! So, after eating a picnic lunch, the boys headed off to play. Today their favorite thing was the super duper swirly slide, which is about a story high and has 3 or 4 twists. (This is the first year Jackson would even go down it!) They were doing great....going down the slide, running a huge lap around the park, and back down the slide. Well....doing great until little "Mikey" showed up.

Why does there always have to be a bully at the park? So...Mikey was probably a year older than Jackson...and did I mention that he was a bully!?! As my boys are running another lap with huge smiles on their faces...little Mikey shows up at the top of the slide and blocks it so the boys can't go down. Jackson, not being into confrontation, turns around to walk back down the ladder of the slide. "What are you, chicken!?!" Mikey yells.

"No," Jackson said nicely. To which Sawyer then yells at Mikey in his deep throated growley voice, "WE'RE NOT CHICKENS!!"

"Jackson," I said. "It's ok. You can go on down the slide."

"But that boy is in the way," Jackson said.

"It's ok," I said. "Go around him and go down the slide." I stood and watched for a minute as the boys went around the little bully and went on down the slide. As the boys were hopping out of the slide, little Mikey was hanging off the slide with his arms folded up into wings and was yelling "BWACK BWACK BWACK!!!"

Ok. Now I was ticked. I had to tell myself that I am a mommy. I am calm. I am cool. And I am not going to beat someone else's child (especially not in public). By this time the boys had made another lap around the park and were back at the top of the slide. Mikey was now running up the slide so the boys couldn't go down. I begin talking myself down...when suddenly a woman comes over from the opposite side of the park. "Mikey! That's warning number 1! You get three warnings and then we're going home!" Thank the Good Lord, I think to myself. It does have a mother!

The boys proceed down the slide happily. As they run past me, I grabbed Jackson and told him he didn't have to play with that little boy. "Why?" he asked. "Well, if he isn't going to be nice to you, then you don't have to play with him!" I said.

"Ok, Mommy," Jackson sweetly says.

This time as the boys are running their lap around the park, little Mikey meets them halfway and jumps in the middle of their path and growls at them like a monster. Mikey's mother stomps back over to him, "That's number 2, Mikey!!" At this point, I'm thinking go on Mikey...one more mess-up and your ass is outta here! I was actually kind of hoping he'd get in trouble again so his mother would take him home.

So...as the boys make their way to the top of the ladder...guess who has already made it up there? Uh-huh. Monster Mikey. Jackson looked at him and nicely said, "Don't play with us."

I think Monster Mikey thought about this for a second...and then he said "What's the secret password??" Jackson looked at me and said, "What's he talking about, Mommy?" (And about 2 seconds later, Sawyer is growling back at Mikey again...apparently he didn't understand the word "password" and thought Mikey had called them worms. "WE'RE NOT WORMS!!" Sawyer growled back at him. Atta' boy, Sawyer. You tell him!)

"The password, Jackson...you know...to get through," I said. At this point I was trying to help them play and get along. Finally Mikey said, "Just tell me a secret word and I'll let you through."

To which Jackson replies, "Will you please let us go down the slide?"

"Fine," Mikey says. The secret password is please. Just please." So Sawyer said the secret password and went down the slide. Eventually, little Mikey became a little bit nicer and the boys got along...but I was never comfortable with the little monster.

I just hate that some kids are so mean. It makes my heart ache to think of all the school days my kids have ahead of them. I know there will be bullies and arguments...and I wish I could fight the battles for my kids. I know "it's life"...but why do some people just have to suck!?!

The funny part is...on the way home...Jackson told me his favorite part of the day was making a new friend. Ah, boys.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What do YOU do on the hottest day of the year??

Just as soon as I gush about how nice the weather has been....we get a heat wave! Oh well. I can't really complain seeing as this is the first time it's been in the 90's since June. Not too shabby.

So, what do normal people do when it is so hot out? Go to a lake? Go swimming? Run in the sprinkler? Of course! But...what do I make my family do when it is 90 degrees outside?? Go to the park and let mommy try out her new camera lens, of course! (Insert sounds of evil cackle.)

Yes, for my birthday, Brad got me a new camera lens. Unfortunately it had been back-ordered until now...but I finally got it! Weehoo for my new glass! (That's camera talk for you common folk. Aren't I so cool??) I must admit, everyone was actually excited about our little outing. The boys just couldn't believe there was a bridge at the park...to them this was another childhood adventure!

Here's a pic of our little angels walking hand-in-hand, as usual. (Ahem! Excuse me.)
Now...my little Sawyer is a pretty easy model. He's agreeable, happy, and usually does what Mommy tells him.
Jackson, on the other hand...is not quite so simple. He's busy. He's not as agreeable. And he'd rather not take pictures. But every now and then I can make him smile without saying "CHHEEEEEEEEEEEESE!"
Now...something I've discovered about these little family "photo outings" is that the boys have to have fun. You have to let them play. (Here they are playing "checkers" with rocks.)And you have to remember that little boys cannot sit still for long.But if you let them have fun, then you will be surrounded by happy boys. And happy boys are loving boys...
And loving boys make for happy mamas and papas.

The End.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The weather is here...

I don't know about you all...but we are absolutely loving the weather this summer. Nice cool days with crisp evenings -- it's perfect in my book. If this is the results of "global warming," then I say bring it!
And yes...Jackson is in his jammies. That's what happens when you slack on doing the laundry. (And as for the jammies themselves...I had nothing to do with them. Brad let Jackson pick them out himself. Nice job, eh?)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sports scholarship on its way!

I've always said that Jackson will get a scholarship for his brains and Sawyer will get a scholarship for his athletic capabilities. I mean, if you've ever been around these two boys, then you know that Jackson is our little analyzer and Sawyer is the one who will tackle you (or anyone) to the ground.

Well, last Monday, Jackson had his last "sports class" of the summer. It was nothing major...just a little class he did through our park & recreation center. Here is some video of him on the last day. Really, he's not this bad...but the video clip had to be shared. (Don't forget to pause the music.)

video

Now...here is a little fancy footwork of Sawyer's. He was running backwards and having a great time. We've got some major talent in this family. Get ready to witness the "Sawyer Shuffle." (The Chicago Bears would be ever so proud.)

video