Sunday, March 29, 2015

Easter, Early.

Gramma's having knee surgery soon, so Easter had to come early. Obviously the kids had no problem with this!

The kids got fancied up mid-afternoon to head over to Gramma & Papa's for a plastic egg hunt & delicious Gramma/Papa dinner. Sebastian ate strawberries by the fistful & Willow fell deeply in love with Gramma's cupcakes. Judah's focus was 99.2% on his new toy that he had just been gifted from Gramma & Papa. Eating wasn't much of an interest for him.

Scott & I assembled Judah's new toy, with Judah's help. If he noticed we were not doing something right or wanted a certain sticker on, he would show us how & where to fix the toy. Before that he had collected the pieces of his new toy into his Easter bucket, so we could put it together inside the house. It was then that he exclaimed, "YES!".. doing the signature move we all do - arm bent, fist clenched, arm moves directly back as if you are elbowing the guy behind you. He was so stoked to get that toy. It will attach to his favorite toy at home.. making his favorite toy even cooler! Last night he saw girls on TV doing the "running man" dance to MC Hammer's only hit - "CAN'T TOUCH THIS". Judah was drawn to this. He practiced it a bit.. 10 minutes later I walk in to find him doing the running man in front of the TV! ha.

Sebastian gathered 79% of the plastic eggs into his bag during the egg search at Gramma & Papa's. Willow went at her own speed, very eager to get to the chocolate inside the eggs. Judah gathered some, very excited in the beginning. Five minutes later he brought his bucket to the porch, set it down and said, "All done." Then he immediately went back to his new toy, ha.

The neighbor lady brought us more chocolate today & apologized that it was "sugar free". ??!?!! As if my kids need sugar, ha. The other day she brought 2 boxes of Fudgesicles and a grocery bag full of cocoa packages to the door and said, "I can't eat chocolate anymore. It gives me gas." ha! (in case you were wondering why she was giving us all of her chocolate)

Sebastian's friend from school came over for a play date this afternoon. His friend's little sister came too, who is four. Willow befriended her easily. Willow let her ride her Hello Kitty bike. Willow put her hand on her new friend's back nearly the entire time as her new pal rode down the sidewalk all the way to the mailbox. Unfortunately this did not encourage Willow to finally begin riding her bike. I was hopeful!

Sebastian had huge tantrums directly following the play date. I don't know where the anger comes from. Rageful screaming and punching the walls. He was upset over Willow being able to watch TV while he took a shower.. ?? The TV was on for 2 minutes, she decided that she wanted it off.. and the tantrums from big brother only got worse. ?? It was almost as if he was searching for any outlet to let the rage escape him. Unfortunately Willow becomes the chosen outlet a lot, Daddy does too. He punched Daddy the other night. The next day he had no screens (TV, I-pad, computer) the entire day & two other consequences on top of that. Tomorrow he has one consequence. We started a system.. 3 marks on the dry erase board and you get a consequence. It's visual. He pays attention to it, but unfortunately it hasn't seemed to make any difference behavior wise so far. We also started a chore system, which they are all doing really well at!!! Sebastian likes to get his chore out of the way early in the day. On Sunday they get a prize for doing all of their chores that week & I read them my notes on extra things I saw them doing or saying throughout the week that were really awesome. Sebastian always seems surprised as I read off the big list of awesome things I saw him do that week. And it's always big!

The other day Scott grabbed lunch with Sebastian & they went to a park nearby (that Sebastian had been wanting to go to) to eat. Later that day Sebastian told me, out of nowhere, "Daddy is very wise. Granddad is too." ha! And he was respectful & appreciative of Daddy for quite a while that day. I asked Sebastian if he had thanked Scott for lunch. He said, "Well, he didn't thank me." Then he stopped and said, "Yeah, I probably should do that."

The other night Sebastian read a chapter of his "Frog & Toad" book to me at bedtime. That's his current favorite reading - the "Frog & Toad" books. And he is READING now! It's really cool! It's not completely smooth, but it's getting close! Anyway, he wanted to do the reading that night. Before he read he told me that he was reading to me because of all the times I had read to him & because of all of the many things I do for him. After he read he asked me what my "favorites" were. I was a bit stunted. He suddenly had this grown-up interest in me. It took me a minute to find the answers. I need to get back to doing my favorites. I deserve that.. & my kids & husband deserve to know that part of me.

That's it for now. Just wanted to check in, I've been meaning to for some time!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Stars Aligning

I spotted a keyboard at a resale shop today. It had been collecting dust on a shelf for some time - it had been marked all the way down to half the price they started at. I looked it over.. piano size keys, tons of instruments & beats, no cord (bummer).. I just skimmed the top of it to make sure it  had some features that I knew my oldest liked. Turned it over.. no battery cover. I didn't see that as much of a problem.. we have lots of duct tape, and it wasn't like he was going to be throwing it around, well possible chance I guess...he does try to throw his bed & the wooden filing cabinet. He really enjoys playing the new keyboard at Gramma & Papa's. I've been wanting to get him his own for some time. Although, with all of his destructive behaviors this year it probably makes much more sense to be removing things FROM his room rather than putting more things INTO his room. Just bringing breakables into the HOUSE is a risk. But this was different.. it was MUSIC, an amazing means of communication & creativity. The chances of it being therapeutic for him, I thought, would probably be worth it. And honestly we'd spend more if we picked up fast food for dinner than I was about to spend on this keyboard.

I texted Scott to get his 2 cents. He thought it sounded alright. I asked him if he was sure and he texted back.. "Buy it."

Upon arriving home I decided to leave the keyboard in the trunk of the car. I knew Sebastian & Daddy were doing grocery shopping very shortly and would be gone for some time.

They left & I raced around like a road runner, re-arranging all of the furniture in Bastian's room. I had re-arranged it yesterday to make more space for him to practice karate on his punching bag. He had walked in as I was finishing yesterday & couldn't believe what I had done. It made him sad, I felt awful. So, when they left today, I put it all back.. without telling him I was planning on doing so. Then I threw batteries into the keyboard and set it safely on top of his wooden crates. I grabbed the fold-up pink stool from the back of the garage door - that became his "piano stool". He loves that stool.. pretty much just because it folds up, haha. They got home right as I was finishing up.

Of course, Sebastian had decided, even after Daddy had just taken him out to dinner, that tonight would be a good night to throw a carnival of his dreadful past behaviors! He seemed impossible to re-direct. Scott didn't know I had already set the keyboard up.. he kept telling Sebastian to go to his room & get his pajamas on, but since Sebastian wasn't doing anything we asked, he didn't go to his room. It was over an hour later that Sebastian decided to open his bedroom door. He found his lights off, the string of blue Christmas lights that cover his wall & frame his closet were on, as were his 2 nightlights. Then we heard a squeeeal. And no more behaviors for the rest of the night.

When I went in to see him after reading to Willow, he had a smile as big as Texas on his face! His mouth appeared to be stuck in that position.. that's not something we see much of. Obviously this gift was just what he needed & wanted.

I couldn't resist leading him to inspect his new keyboard. The fact that it was nearly 2 hours past his bedtime & the other 2 were snoozing away really didn't seem to be that significant. I was excited to show Sebastian how many different instruments & beats he could choose from (100 of each) on his new keyboard. I wanted to play a few different instruments & beats for him to hear. Obviously I'd never played this keyboard before, so I didn't know how to start things up. Then suddenly I had a strong flashback & performing the 3 steps you take before the beat will start came to me instantly. Somehow, in that resale shop, I had stumbled upon the same keyboard I had as a child.

I had gone to Wal-mart on my 13th (??) birthday with my Dad.. it was quite a drive from Noel. We got to the keyboard aisle & he told me to pick out the one I wanted. When I noticed the massive amount of instruments & rhythms on the Casio, and the piano size keys, it was an easy choice.. I remember feeling & knowing that it was EXACTLY the keyboard I wanted. We went home, and instead of running inside to show off my super awesome brand new keyboard, i was stopped quickly at the front door & blind-folded by my mom! Then she spun me around in circles! When she took off the blind-fold I opened my eyes to see my younger brother throwing home-made confetti at me. ???! I walked into the living room & all of my friends popped out from behind furniture screaming, "Surprise!!!"

Another nostalgic moment in Sebastian's bedroom at bedtime.. both moments (tonight & the other night) were really fun memories from Noel. Although I remember being a bit irritated that I had on a really dumb t-shirt & headband when I had been suddenly implanted into my own birthday party, ha. I even remember the t-shirt & headband I wore!!

The keyboard works great. I shared with Sebastian that his new keyboard was the same one I had as a kid. Then he asked me if it was the same one. He wanted to know if it was physically the same keyboard. I thought about his question for a minute and then answered completely honestly "I don't know..." 

Friday, March 6, 2015

20 years

Twenty years goes by quick.. my dad tells me this over the phone today. This instantly reminds me of the conversation I had with a couple of ladies last weekend, where I learned that women need to get a mammogram at 40. That's less than 2 years away for me. ?!?! How did THAT happen? These ladies garnished me with huge medical knowledge in a matter of only 15 minutes. Apparently I need a colonoscopy as well, as colon issues & colon cancer have shown up in my family in the past.

Ironically I did a lot of little kid things today, which was nice because I was able to temporarily shed 30 years of age for a while. I played dolls with my little girl. She has a very small, random selection of dolls. It's pretty clear now that she loves dolls, so we should really work on her collection. I had no intention of pushing dolls, pink or tutu's on her, I wanted HER to decide. She plays with her brothers. We have lots of trains & cars.. they seem to give birth here.. and we have many births. She was slowly introduced to the "other" kinds of toys and once I led her down the pink toy aisles at Target it was painfully clear that she was much more into pink than cars. But not just "into" pink, she wants to be a princess EVERY DAY. She's completely opposite of childhood Molly.

So today I played dolls with her. She has an enormous doll house, thanks to a coffee shop my friends owned that recently had to shut it's doors. We got the doll house and the 2 big McQueen & Dinoco cars that Judah was always magnetized to when we went to their coffee shop. The dollhouse came with the assortment of leftover dolls they had acquired over the years.. an African American doll with a Mohawk & tattoos that someone had "inked" on her with a pen. Willow calls her "Mom". Then we have the doll that reminds me so much of a doll my mom kept in her sewing room when we were wee little ones. It's about 6 inches tall with a yellowish plastic body, no hair & weird eyes. I think of my mom's old sewing basket when I see that doll. The doll house also came with a Ken head. Yes, that's right, Ken's head with no body. That's Willow's favorite of the "dolls". But it's a beautiful Ken head! A make-up artist in Barbie world had to have done his make-up, it's astounding. We got some random dollhouse furniture as well, a big sink with a lid (which may be a toilet, I'm not sure), a very good size pink bunk bed with peculiarly long beds.. I can't remember what else came with the doll house, but the point is, Willow needs Barbies, Monster High, Bratz.. she really isn't picky. Today we had to use Dora (the one that sings the Spanish & English potty song). Dora was the GIANT.. she couldn't fit in the house unless her legs were bent. But she was still a child of the African American Barbie sized doll that Willow affectionately calls "Mom". Mom is the only one with clothes.. she has a jacket, that is wide open, so pretty much pointless as far as being clothed is concerned.

It was so fun! We were supposed to be headed outside to play with Sebastian, but I really didn't want to stop playing dolls! So we didn't stop, until Sebastian came in for like the 3rd time to ask what was taking us so long. Childhood Molly definitely missed out on the doll thing!! What fun!

I'm teaching Willow to dribble a basketball. She really wants to do karate though.. over everything, even gymnastics. Judah wants to do gymnastics and play piano. Willow wants to play drums. Sebastian hasn't decided, he'll probably take a swing at everything.

Tonight Sebastian was telling me that he was little & that he couldn't do anything. So I listed off the PLETHERA of things he can do, which led to my childhood recess because jumping rope (the long one with a kid on each end), was on that list. He can DO that! I ended up teaching him 4 square by the end of the conversation and selfishly swimming through nostalgia for a while. We talked so much that he went right to sleep after I left his room! Usually he's up for at least an hour begging us to come talk to him more or getting out of bed to find us.

And Judah, well we re-enacted parts of the movie Cars with his stuffed McQueen car. He thought that was fantastic! I kept him up a bit longer than usual as well... because it was reeelly fun! :)

And then back to reality.. less than 2 years before the doctors are squishing my boobs with a big machine.. (that's how I'm picturing it anyway). Life goes by entirely too fast. I miss growing up. I want to find pictures of my childhood school to show Sebastian.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

My Children

I just fell asleep nose-to-nose with my Willowbean in her toddler bed.

I so love having a little baby girl.

Sebastian is planning an invention that I'm going to help him with.

I so love having the inventor son.

Judah was in the midst of pooping when he heard Willow crying..

He ran out of his room, his eyes open wide and said, "Wih-oh, ahh you okay?"

I so love having the most loving child.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Diaper Progress & Brush College Park Biking

We tried out a new park today - Brush College Park. It's directly across the street from J's school & very well hidden behind the trees & down a small dirt road.

I'll post what I wrote to Dave about it (much easier).

Yes, we tried Brush College Park. It's an adventure for sure! It is very well hidden. You drive into what appears to be a very small 1/2 parking lot on the side of the road.. but once you drive in you begin to see a small road.. and follow it around and suddenly there's a big park! It would be a great place for birthday parties & nature walks. There was hardly anyone there. They have a bunch of covered picnic tables, a playground without any areas on the play structure that made me nervous and a tremendous amount of grassy field to play in. We did cross a couple pieces of a trail that had a very small walkway with a sharp, muddy drop-off.. and river at the bottom. Willow was scared to cross those without my help- but I wasn't about to let her do it on her own, even if she wasn't scared. Other than that it seemed like a good park for the kids. 
I let him ride through the stream - he was on his old red bike. The chain on his new one is off (just discovered this today). So I wasn't really concerned about the bike and the water was shallow. He doesn't have any "play shoes" right now, that would have been a lot better, but shoes are washable. He was very excited about getting to ride through the stream. He couldn't believe I allowed him to do it, haha.
There are also muddy areas on the field that aren't viewable from far away - just fyi in case you all ever go there. Of course they found the mud. Willow thought she was stuck in it, ha. She was standing there screaming. Then we went back to the stream to get clean, ha.
I'll try to remember to post the video of Sebastian riding his bike across the stream on here. Feel free to remind me if you are interested in seeing it!! Scott doesn't know about this event yet. ;)
Judah is now putting on his diaper/underwear/pants when he has to poop completely on his own! He requests a diaper and does it himself. The other morning I refused to do it for him.. I just handed him the diaper and told him I would go charge the I-pad so he could use it (he does this when he poops). He threw tantrums, laid on the floor crying, followed me around ... "Mom-meeee!!", etc. This went on for quite a while. He finally gave in. He's done it every day since then!! Tomorrow will be day 4! Yesterday he requested a diaper and did it himself at least THREE TIMES! He's responding really well verbally lately. The other day I was in his room and asked him if he was ready to get cleaned up.. "Nope." I let him know I was going to take Sebastian to school. He said, "Okay, bye Mommy." I didn't even say bye!! Pretty friggin' incredible.

Note from Dave

Hi Molly,
I wanted to write and tell you how well Sebastian did at karate tonight. He was extremely well focused, executed his moves to perfection. Carson, who was not instructing, but observing, gave him--and no one else-- two big, loud shout outs on his technique.

I was very proud of him.

I was also regaled to and from karate with his story of riding through a river (also in his rendering, a swamp) at the park you went to today ( a secret park). He is a great, engaging story teller!