Thursday, March 29, 2012

growing crystals from a kit

I took Big M with me to an errand to Michael's and he wanted me to buy a crystal-growing kit. With Daddy's help, they set it up and after 4 days the crystals did not grow as big as the box said it would. What a disappointment for children. With the disappointment, we researched into growing our very own at home and so Big M is once again excited. Daddy is excited to be doing something with his boy that is his expertise.

This morning Big M took some of his crystals in a bag and planned to show them to the school bus ladies and his 1st grade class. The ladies from the school bus have been asking him for days if his crystals had grown. The boy is truly a talker, just like his Daddy. But I am glad, since the one time he read a book in the bus, he came home with sick bag. So after that, I told him the only thing he could do was to talk, talk, and talk. The school bus ladies I'm sure would like that better.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

say what?

I read many weeks ago that at about age 6 is the age where kids develop a sense of themselves by comparing to others, and hence the "not fair" begins. This is absolutely true about Big M. If he doesn't get something he asks for he says, "but it's not fair that [so and so] got one". "Not fair" has become so much a part of his everyday language that his sisters, who are a few months shy of 5 years old, and his almost 2-year old brother  are now saying it too.

Can you imagine having to explain and justify your parenting decision to a 7 year old? I'm sure this is somehow a segue into teen-hood and I have 4 going through it at the same time. Four children is a  chore, and having twins in the middle adds it's unique challenges.

Welcome to parenthood, where "the days are long, but the years are short". (Thanks to the Minivan MacGyver for the quote.)

Friday, March 23, 2012

an after dinner activity

It has been uncharacteristically warm here in upstate NY (so we're told) with highs in the upper 70s in the past week. While we discovered that our walls are pretty good at keeping the cold out, unlike our house in Texas, it also meant that it was pretty good at keeping the heat in. It has been too hot at night for us, that I had to run out to the stores in search of fans. But because it is unseasonably warm, the stores did not yet have fans in stock. I searched and searched before I found them at Lowes. The clerks didn't even know they had them in yet, but I found them still in boxes. I had to call someone to open them for me. Thankfully it is dipping back down this weekend, so much so that we need to start wearing coats again.

But because it's been warm, we decided to visit our local park after dinner one day. It's a beautiful park and it's less than 5 minutes away.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

pre-k and parent-teacher conference

At 9pm Sunday night, K threw up in bed. This 8 days after J had her episode.We truly thought we escaped with only one casualty. I slept (no, I didn't really sleep) in her bedroom to help her out. Thankfully she only had a second episode but that was it.She didn't eat at all the next day, but she was perfectly normal. On Tuesday she and J went to their new preschool.

Their first day was great, except they wanted "kids their size". The pre-k is combined with the 3-4yr olds because there are not many. I think there is only one other pre-k in addition to K and J. But they did have fun. When they came home they were very happy that there was one other kid that was their size.

On the same day, Daddy and I had a conference with Big M's teacher. His teacher had great things to say about him. She said Big M has done such a great job of fitting in, and that she is amazed when she realizes that he has only been in her class for 3 weeks. Kudos to Big M for being such a super friendly, super social kid!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

how to get homemade slime out of your child's hair

I found a recipe for homemade slime last week and so this weekend we tried it for the first time. The older kids had tons of fun with it. It was relatively mess free and it's more amusing than playdoh. Big M was discovering all the great things he could do with it, including put it on his head. I admit this may have been my fault when I placed a glob on my face and pretended my face was melting.

They were playing by themselves when Big M called out. That was when we saw the mess on his hair. What were we to do? Well, first I grabbed my camera then I went to work. On the back of my mind I was thinking if all else failed we would need to cut his hair. But thankfully, I discovered that instead of pulling the globs it was easier to stick it to itself (without letting it stretch).

With a fairly big glob on my hand, I started smacking it on Big M's head (lovingly, of course). I stuck the whole thing on the hair and pulled the whole piece as a whole and it slid off the hair. The important thing is to pull slowly without letting it stretch. With the left over little pieces, just keep on sticking a whole glob on and pull off.

Big M was upset that I he saw I was about to post this picture on Facebook because he said I was making fun of him. I told him that when he gets older and have his own kids, he will understand that it is his birthright to be able to make fun of his offspring. I don't think he went with that so I said I was posting it so that other kids who might find themselves in the same situation will know what to do without having their hair cut off.

Done. That's all I'm saying.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

my little beauties

Before we left Texas, we've already paid for their dance recital costumes and the recital fees. The girls' teachers were nice enough to ship the costumes to us to at least be able to play dress up with them. K and J are both bummed about not being able to dance at the "show". They both love dancing and have already asked me if I am looking for a new dance place for them.

Friday, March 16, 2012

from not quite 2 to 7

Our places in the dinner table is never fixed. Where we sit is dictated by who calls dibs first on who they want to sit beside. Today I ended up sitting with Little M. But Little M isn't so little anymore.

Little M: Daddy!! Sit. Here.

Mommy: Mommy is sitting with you. Daddy is sitting there.

Little M: awww. (slumping his shoulder and wearing the biggest frown). No fay [No fair].

Daddy and break out into laughter after that. We hear that "no fair" whine often from the three older kids. It started with Big M, and it spread like wild fire. And now from a toddler who isn't even two yet? Holy cow!

away, evil germs!

With all the registration papers filled out, crib sheets and nap blankets all set to go for a start at a new preschool on Tuesday, we had to cancel because we were visited by evil germs. On Monday at about midnight, J called out saying her stomach hurts. I told her to go to the bathroom to go get a drink of water and go back to bed. Half an hour later I hear her scream that she had just thrown up. I tried to give her a bath and clean up her bed at the same time without waking Daddy up, but it wasn't possible. So I did wake him up and put him on bath duty. The man was gagging the entire time. I thought I would have to clean up after two pukers. Thank goodness he didn't.

An hour and a half later we're all back in our beds, but moments later I hear J vomiting again. So I set up a cot in the girls' room and slept there. Every hour or so, poor little Miss J vomited. So there was no sleep for either of us. Even K didn't sleep with all the excitement.

Fortunately by morning, J has stopped. She had a mild fever during the day but that was it. Today is Friday and noone else has been struck by the evil germs. Daddy and I were bracing for this bug to decimate our family, reminiscent of Christmas 2007. It also reminded us of our 2009 summer in NC when both K and J battled some sort of bug for weeks at a time for a period of 2 months. Thankfully this one doesn't seem to be any of the sort. Or did I just now jinxed my family? Oh, please. Stay away stomach bug!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

goodbye nap time, hello crankiness

Since we moved here to NY, the girls have again been sharing a room. It's quite a downsize of living space from 3500 sq. ft. to 1700 sq. ft. so the girls are sharing room. Of course they are back to their old antics since we separated them at 3.5 yrs old. They talk, squeel, argue, jump around, etc. They keep each other awake. There is a point at which they both sleep through each other's shenanigan, but that's when they are extremely tired. To be fair though, still napping at almost 5 is a miracle. We're just not ready to give them up for our sanity's sake.

But just as experience taught us with Big M, moodiness is the price to pay for a period of time after giving up naps. And having moody twins is just too much to digest sometimes. It "results" in constipation, indigestion and premature aging. 

Experience also tells us that it is a phase. How long it'll take is anyone's guess, but it is just a phase. In the meantime, I'm glad that Big M doesn't nap anymore because his room is right next to the girls' room. And with the noise they make, no one would be able to sleep a wink. I'm also glad that Little M sleeps in our room because we're at least in the opposite side of the house. What is not fortunate is that we live in a town home. There are people on either side of us and having the girls' window occasionally open would surely result in some unhappy vibes from the neighbors. 

The crankiness. Well, it rears its ugly head right about dinner time when that time is already cursed as it is. Everyone is cranky at dinner time. Everyone wants different things and they wanted them an hour ago!

Monday, March 12, 2012

my little hermits

For the past week, I leave the 3 younger kids at home while I take/get Big M from the school bus stop. I leave Little M in the playpen while the girls are watching on TV. The bus stop is very close that I don't even need to leave the garage until I see the bus come around.

But today, the weather has been the warmest since we've moved here so I told them they must come out with me. Only I was met with some shocking reaction. J started crying and demanding that she be left alone in the house. K was a little less dramatic but wanted the same thing. Pretty shocking for kids who have been cooped up indoors.

We drive each other crazy, I don't get as much unpacking done, and the lack of activity is making them cranky and driving me nuts. It is time to look into a new preschool!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Where has time gone?

This big boy might drive Daddy and I bonkers, but everyday we see evidence of maturity in him. I can't even believe he turned 7 years old today. 

My big man, though you have changed a lot since you were born, you have retained the qualities that have both frustrated and amazed me and your Daddy. You are smart, you are intense in your happiness, sadness and anger, and you love physical contact. You have grown with such love for your sisters and your little brother. We love you!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

how is it possible that there's nothing to eat after just having bought groceries?

It happens once in a while I buy groceries and then the next day we have to go get fast food because there's nothing to eat? I just bought $300 worth and hopefully this time around we'll be fed for at least 3 days. This is the first time I've been able to really plan and buy. Actually I planned about 3 dinners and bought the ingredients so we should be well fed. That is, if the picky people eat what I cook.

There are several kinds of picky in our house; the absolutely no veggies/bland food people, the some veggies/rice people, and the eat pretty much everything people. Daddy and Big M belong to the first category. We (me and hubby) freely admit that part of Big M's pickiness stemmed from an overbearing first-time mom. The girls belong to the veggies and everything with rice category. They only eat certain veggies and only when the mood is right. But pair most foods with rice and they are good and happy. Little M and I are the two who eat everything and would rather starve than eat very bland food. I crave meat with vegetables, and of course rice. And apparently, my littlest guy is the same. When I cook something that has no veggies, I have to steam something. I call it odd (in a good sense) that he actually picks out vegetables and eat them first. Last week he got too full after junk food snacks to eat his dinner, but with vegetables, he has room. He eats sugar snap peas, carrots, green beans, brocolli (stems only) and many other green stuff.

Of course the picky people make it hard for me to prepare food. Oh, but I love them. More so if they all eat what I cook. And when they don't drive me crazy.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

chopped meat

I got a call yesterday from a New York area code. Since we now live in NY, that shouldn't surprise me but having been here only a couple of weeks I am not expecting any local calls. The woman identified herself as the school nurse and instantly in my head I am bracing myself for a very bad news. Big M was at gym class when he was told to take his shoes off and to leave only his socks. Immediately thereafter, he slipped and landed on his teeth/lips. Of course the nurse didn't know the details at the time, so all she told me was that they were doing some gymnastics when he fell from a low height. She said he was bloody but fine and that she could him with her to keep an eye on him.

About an hour later the nurse called again and said Big M was still bleeding that it would be best to pick him up. So I called Daddy, and Daddy picked him up while I look for a dentist and trying to not to lose my mind panicking.

To make the long story short, the top left and the tooth right next to it are now very lose. The dentist x-rayed him and said there should be no damage to the root of the permanent teeth. Big M is very sore but he will be fine. According to Daddy, he was told to beg the dentist to pull the 2 teeth out so that he could get money from the tooth fairy. Yeah, by this time Daddy wanted to take him back to school.

The boy is turning 7 years old this weekend and I can't help but be reminded of the few days before his first birthday when he fell from a toy chest and busted his lip and earned him his first trip to the ER. I guess I should count ourselves lucky since he has made it this long without going back to the ER.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

the unforgettable white stuff

out shoe shopping

Unlike the girls and adults in the family, Big M has only exactly 2 pairs of shoes. He has a tennis shoes and snow boots. For school, it isn't working out so much. He wore his tennis shoes one day after it had rained and he said water seeped through to his socks at recess. So then I told made him bring his snow boots and tennis shoes to school, but he is not adept yet at tying his laces that he kept his snow boots on. The boots were not the best thing indoors because they were too warm. He also was not allowed to play in the snow because only kids with snow pants were allowed to.

Today I took Big M to go shoe shopping and decided to get him a waterproof hiking boots. It will keep his feet warm and dry for the still cool and yet to come wet weather. The problem is that we are almost into spring and these snow boots were no longer in stock so we went to store after store after store. Finally we found one. Hopefully between snow boots, hiking boots and tennis shoes he is all covered. I'm not going to bother getting snow pants now of course though.

Next year I will be ready for the winter - 3 snow pants and 3 snow boots.

Friday, March 2, 2012

after school aggression on the snow

On his second day, Big M didn't have a good day. He said he didn't play with anyone at recess because the girl and the boy he played with the day before were playing house this time and he definitely did not want to play such a boring game. We had a discussion of what alternative would be better, to play alone or to play a boring game with someone.

He came home very happy today though.