Monday, December 23, 2013

Just some observations and stuff…

I’m looking at Jackson and he’s sitting next to me with his hands behind his head. This seems to be his laying/sitting lounging pose. It’s very cute. Just as cute as his standing lounging pose where he leans on something with one or both hands in his pockets and one foot on top of the other. Right now he’s patiently waiting for Despicable Me to be over so he can watch his evening episode of Team Umizoomi*.

*Team Umizoomi is Jackson’s most favorite show in the universe. There is no program he likes better. He asks to watch Team Umizoomi alllllll of the time. He loves it. I’m so happy that it’s actually quite educational.

Jackson has been talking a lot. And making total sense. He says things like “that would be great!” and "Mommy, I don't want to do that. I want to ..." or “Where is Katie and Jacob?” when we got in the car last week and it was just me and him on the way to school. Stuff he says makes me stop and stare for just a moment. I don’t remember the other kids being so clear and forming full sentences at two years old, but I could be mistaken. It just seems weird that he's SO clear!

Jacob also likes Umizoomi. It's not his favorite show, but he enjoys it. He’ll shout out the answers to the questions they ask… like, which unit of measure is larger. Or what color in the pattern comes next. Or how many cartons of milk are there. He’s always right, too. I told him today that he’s super smart. His reply was short, sweet, and to the point… a simple “I know” and then as he's craning his neck to see around my face, “mommy, you're in the way… I can’t see Umizoomi.”

Jake also has a new routine at night. It involves him racing Jackson to bed because the first kid in bed gets their song sung first (point to mommy for thinking this up). So, after I sing Jacob’s song to Jacob, and Jackson’s song to Jackson, and pray with them, and give Jacob his water with ice, and give Jackson “fresh” water, and say “what” about 800 times and try to answer those 800 questions, and finally say “that’s enough, it’s time to go to sleep”, THEN Jacob will tell me “Good night and sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs light” (yes, he does say “light”), then Jackson will say “good night, sleep tight, I love you”. And then... finally it’s okay for me to leave the room. This process cannot be altered by much or it makes for a long evening of interruption. The interruption is limited to Jacob because Jack’s still in his crib and hasn’t figured out how to climb out of it yet. (There was one touch and go moment where I overheard Katie and Jacob start to tell him how he could get out all by himself but I stopped them with a loud hiss and a very emphatic “NO! It’s too dangerous. He could fall and hurt himself.” That was the main reason but a very close second was that he stays put when I put him to bed. I want to hold on to that for as long as I can.)

Katie was playing downstairs with the boys earlier today and she sent me a note using Jacob as a messenger saying that I needed to come down and talk to her “about a thing.” Apparently Jacob was misbehaving. She wanted me to sit and listen to her explain everything in (very detailed) detail. When I suggested she make a list* and give it to me later, she got out a piece of paper from the stack next to her and drew a line down the middle. She labeled one side Good, the other side Bad. Well, I thought bad sounded a little harsh so I suggested she use “area for improvement”, which would have been amusing for me, but she said no, she was using the word “bad.” Apparently, the person sitting on the princess chair behind the princess table gets to make that call. A few minutes later I had to go upstairs to see what Jackson was up to and I haven’t seen that list yet. But I probably will.
*Katie is very good at recording behavior. One weekend when the kids went to the lake with their grandma and grandpa, Katie gave me a chart of behavior she recorded for one of the days. She used the colors they use at school… green is good, yellow is not great, red is really naughty. I’ll just say that Jacob’s favorite color in the world is red. It’s the color of Darth Vader’s light saber AND the color of hot lava. It's not easy being Jacob's teacher at school. I really feel for them.

Things start out okay...


But they go downhill pretty quickly...
I went to Katie’s conferences a few weeks ago. She’s pretty much awesome in class. She’s a great kid and a great student. The only thing the teacher mentioned is that she doesn’t turn in her homework. It doesn’t concern the teacher because Katie’s doing really well in class. This is good, because I think homework is dumb. Yes, you heard me... I. think. homework. is. dumb. I thought so back when I was in school and didn’t turn mine in, and I think so now that Katie is in school and not turning hers in. So I don’t push for her to do it much. I would rather know that she’s got the people skills and is good at thinking for herself. Now, if she was sick and had to stay home for a few days, I would want her to do it so she would be familiar with the lessons but generally, I’m not going to be the homework police.

Everyone’s asleep now and I’m sitting in the living room enjoying the peace. And thinking of the stuff I need to do before Tuesday. For Christmas eve. You know... TWO days away. Oh, the pressure!
Aside from the worry that I'll forget something important, I’m really looking forward to Christmas this year. Getting together with my family, eating some really good food, and watching the kids open presents and play together.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Ho, ho, ho! or Traditions are Fun

Yay! It’s almost Christmas… and I have the presents to prove it. They’re all stored in my bedroom.

I think they’re safe in there. It’s the one place in the whole house where the kids aren’t allowed to play. They go in only to grab their nooks (and they leave the light on every single time, which drives me nuts) or wake me up on the weekends, but it’s not a gathering place.

You know, I used to have this thought that it would be sweet to snuggle in bed and watch TV together, but in reality it’s mostly  pretty uncomfortable because everyone piles on top of me and then they all vie for the best spot… which is usually the spot my head is occupying. Then, and this is all just speculation on my part (is it still speculation if it's highly likely to happen?), a serious fight would break out over who should have "the best spot," and then there would be an argument over what to watch, and then one kid would want to play on their nook but would have forgotten to charge it, and then another kid would go and get their fully charged nook and comment on everything they're doing on it which would upset the owner of the not fully charged nook, then someone would want to eat breakfast, and then someone else would be upset because they want to cuddle more, then my newspaper would be crinkled and torn in all of the ruckus and everyone would be cranky... so, no, we don’t gather there and spend lazy Saturday mornings with me reading the paper in bed and the kids lounging around in their jammies next to me watching cartoons. Instead, we do our lounging in the living room where we can all spread out unless we want to cuddle. Like right now for example… I’m typing this while Jackson sits next to me, Katie next to him, and Jacob next to her. We’re squished onto two thirds of the couch. It’s cozy and no one has their feet in my face. Plus, it’s very warm. (If I didn’t have this laptop in my lap, I would try to convince Jacob to sit with me too… on the foot rest because 1. he likes to sit there, and 2. he keeps my legs warm when he sits on them.)

Oh, we had a really fun day last Saturday. Grammy had sugar cookies made and we got to go decorate them! (On a related note, I need to buy Grammy some decorating stuff because the kids dumped all of hers out while decorating their cookies.) It wasn’t too bad of a mess because we had them put their cookies into a dish before they dumped a ton of stuff on them. We brought our cookies home and I’ve been eating them all week. They turned out really good and I would say that next year Grammy should make the same recipe for the cookies and frosting. And then she should invite us over again to decorate them. This would be a great tradition. Are you reading this Grammy?

And finally, I’m starting to get excited about Christmas. We went to the Christmas service at church and there were Christmas decorations and Christmas songs and a really good pastor message and my mom went with us. Yay! AND I’ve got most of our presents bought. Now I just have to wrap them (while watching the Christmas movie marathons on Hallmark channel, of course... that seems to have become my tradition. Yes, Hallmark channel movies and running out of tape because, for some reason, I always think I have way more than I actually have, and I always expect to find a backup roll in the last place I remember seeing one… even though I used *that* tape up when I ran out the year before. Maybe I need to find new traditions, like Netflix and buying lots of tape in advance). I’m also excited because this year I planned ahead and bought stuff for their stockings instead of waiting till the last minute.

Okay, finally for real this time, Jacob is wearing a Santa hat. He’s worn it all day, since Grandpa gave it to him. He wore it while playing, he wore it while eating, he wore it at church… he’ll probably want to wear it to bed. Yes, he wore it to bed. I took it off of him and put it on one of his toys so he'll see it in the morning.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Stepping Carefully onto the Bandwagon

I got a new phone recently. It's pretty awesome. Especially for something I didn't know I would want.

It's... an... iphone.

I was perfectly happy with my old LG Ally until I went to Target with my mom and grandma and they were looking at the iphone my mom saw advertised for $49. I was still perfectly happy with my phone while I watched as the lady walked my grandma through the process. This started at around 8:30 p.m..

I was still perfectly happy with my old phone while I did a little shopping. 

But then, you know, at around 9:00 p.m., I started thinking about a new phone. Something I hadn't had for a few years because I didn't want to renew my contract. And I started to think a new phone wasn't such a bad idea.

So I did it. I signed on for a iphone. And the best part about it is that it was free! Sure, there was a $50 out of pocket cost but then they give you a gift card for $50. Win/Win.

I picked white. Because it looked clean and I could find it in my dark purse. And I guess I like it. It's no LG Ally, but it looks like this iphone thing isn't just a fad so I'm jumping on the bandwagon.

Plus, I feel like I'm embracing the present by buying one.

(I don't even set the clock on my VCR... or program the remote for TV and cable (I changed the code on my remote about 3 weeks ago when I tried to program the DVD to work with my TV and when it didn't work AND I realized I messed up the code, I just started using two remotes; one for cable, one for volume), or change my clocks for daylight savings.)

We got home at around 11 p.m. then sat around playing on our new phones. Pretty awesome.