Monday, April 30, 2012

one-on-one time is good for the soul

It's been a while since we've had one-on-one time with the kids and I didn't realize how much I've missed it until I went grocery shopping with K the other day. It is amazing how mature she is when she is by herself, with no one to distract her and make her act crazy. She helped me with the groceries, we talked, we were silly, we accomplished a common goal. She said things that just made me pause for a moment and take notice that she is indeed growing up. She is almost 5 years old. At home, she and her sister and brothers play a lot so they are mostly engrossed in their own world. It's hard to keep a conversation too, because someone inevitably hijacks the conversation, and then the screaming, the yelling...(from all parties).

Being alone with one of the kids allow us to connect in a deeper level. It sounds odd, but it's an opportunity to know them individually and appreciate their differences, more than their similarities.

Monday, April 23, 2012

new routines = busy = crazy

The girls started at their new school this past week and it meant that we all had to get used to a whole new routine. The girls go to school everyday from 8:20 to 3pm. Sometimes hubby drives them, and I stay and walk Big M to the bus stop, and sometimes we switch. Daddy cherishes the alone time he gets with Big M at the bus stop; they get to chitchat without any interruption and just be silly. I, on the other hand, make use of the time I take the girls to school and go buy groceries on the way home.

The girls love their school and their new friends! They also love the fact that they get to bring their own lunch. However, preparing lunches for 3 kids take as much as an hour even with hubby's help. I hate that piece of chore, because it eats into my "me" time after everyone has gone to bed.

Big M also started soccer practice. We found out that the team is co-ed, unlike his team in Texas. We all went to the soccer practice which proved to be a big no-no. It was quite a trek to get to the soccer field, and with kids who have been in school all day, it is too much. Everyone was cranky. Daddy will have to take over the soccer practice while the other kids and I stay home. That's the plan anyway, and we better stick to it for our own sanity's sake.

While everything is busy, I am craving "me" time more and more. I've been watching TV after the kids have gone to bed, and now that's just boring. So I've dug up my craft things and made space. So at night, while watching TV, I've been sewing. I finally finished Big M's PJ that he picked the fabric for last fall. Of course, if I make one for one child, I feel I have to make one for the others. Besides, K and J need a new PJ too. Everything they own are now midriff shirts because they have gotten so tall. So now I have the sewing bug. I've also been bit by the embroidery bug, so I have plans for that. Last but not least, I've started to go into bottle cap crafts. This one the kids have been enjoying with me as well.

Not to be forgotten, Daddy is starting to pick up his wood carving. I guess he sees me sewing away and wants to join in a very rewarding "me" time. He has other unfinished project from last year, but right now he is being driven by the desire to do something for Big M. Big M's anxiety is slightly up again and it is manifesting itself in the middle of the night. He wakes up and he can't sleep. He said he is afraid of monsters/ghosts, but if experience has taught us anything, we need to dig deeper into the cause (if we can find the cause at all). Daddy wants to make him a magic totem that would keep him safe at night, so he is designing that.

Little M is continuing to grow physically, mentally and his attitude. Big M's toddler shoes that I dug up for him in January are now getting small. The boy is eating us out of house and home in spurts. If there is food he didn't get to finish at lunch time, he eats them as soon as he wakes up from his nap. He is proving to be much like his older siblings - big! His sisters started out swearing their size clothes, and jumped up at age 2 1/2. Little M seems to be doing the same thing.

puddles, puddles!

It is rainy an cold this morning, but it surely fun to walk Big M to the bus stop. Little M had a lot of fun with the puddles.

Friday, April 13, 2012

making the kids their own space with wall decals

Renting means we can't paint personalize the kids' rooms with paint. Well, let me rephrase that, I don't want to paint it only to repaint it when we move out in a year. But the girls are wanting their own space like they used to have in our old house. It is especially important now that they are sharing a room. 

With a little research I found that RoomMates had tons of removable wall decals. Big M actually had Star Wars in his old room, I just wasn't aware that they had so many other choices. Averaging about $10 each pack, I bought a few from Amazon. The girls love them! They are removable without any sticky residue so  we can take them with us when we move out. The girls had princesses before too, but we were in such a rush to move out of our house that I didn't have to patience to stick each decal back to their paper backing. 

Little M is currently into trains so I chose Thomas for him. He is very excited by them. Big M chose Star Wars again, but he didn't put them on right away so I don't have a picture.

The bottom left is on the upstairs hallway. Poor Daddy wasn't fast enough to get his own banana.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

down to the bat cave!

We had so much fun at the Howe Caverns! We told K and J that we're going to a cave and they were both excited. But once we were there, J got increasingly upset. As far as Daddy figured out, it was because our tour guide kept saying " be save, please..." which made her think that we were unsafe. Both J and K held on to Daddy's hands, I wore Little M on my back (the terrain is not stroller friendly) and Big M did as he pleased. Big M's imagination was being fed the entire time and we let the beast loose. :) Little M was probably fascinated too since I didn't hear a peep out of him behind me, though I did feel him use his weight swaying from side to side.

Right before the halfway point, K and J turned around on our boat ride. The cold water was only about 2-3 ft high and the tour guide grabbed on from one bar to the next to get us moving forward. But something about the boat just made the entire experience fun for the girls. In fact, they were having so much fun they started divulging family secrets to the tour guide; mommy does this, daddy does that, etc. Thank goodness they didn't say anything embarrassing.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Happy 2nd birthday, Little M!

Little M had a very full birthday weekend starting with the easter egg hunt, a tour of the Howe Caverns and the funnest of all, Chuck E Cheese's. He loved his plasma car, which he had to defend from his brother and sisters because they all wanted to get on it. He also got some toys, but I think the biggest his was the Thomas balloon Daddy got for him. He had to take it to his bed.

Little M, you are an independent, highly opinionated, very articulate and a very affectionate little boy. Your Daddy and I love you to bits and can hardly believe that you are now two years old. Your sisters love you even though they do terrorize you. Your brother can hardly wait to start playing Lego with you and teach you all the things he knows!

Monday, April 9, 2012

baby, I think the kids grew

The high today was only 50 but we took the bikes out anyway. It's been a while, and obviously the kids have outgrown their bikes. Big M's bike is now the perfect size for J, and J's Barbie bike is actually perfect for Little M. Poor J was frustrated with her bike and cried and begged for us to buy her a new bike. Today. I told her we will probably buy her and her sister new bikes, before the weather gets warmer. But really, that means we need to buy 3 new bikes. Yikes.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

Our awesome local park hosted an easter egg hunt that was short and sweet. Though I don't think they had too few eggs. The girls and Little M were in the same age group, unfortunately for Little M. He was much too young to compete with the bigger kids. Big M was in the older group so Daddy went with him. It was in the upper 40s (with wind), which as far as I recall is currently our coldest easter so far. There is certainly no easter dresses in this egg hunt.

We used last year's easter baskets, which meant Little M didn't have one since he was too young. But no fear, we had a Halloween bucket for him. I don't think he minded one bit. This is Little M's first egg hunt, and he was all about the candies.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

it is just not a perfect fit

We are not entirely happy with the girls' preschool. They can not bring outside food unless they have a doctor's note. K and J used to be allergic to milk, but they outgrew it at 3 years old. They have also done well eating school food in their old school in Texas. In fact, they have done well in this situation that due to peer pressure or other reasons they end up eating foods they don't normally eat. That is except their current school. They come home cranky with a headache. I was told by director that they do not let kids go hungry and that they offer grilled cheese sandwich. The only unfortunate thing is that they don't eat grilled cheese sandwich. Growing up not eating cheese products, it has taken them very long to get used to the taste. They now eat pizza, and J eats mozzarella string cheese, but there are cheeses she just doesn't like. K wouldn't even try any straight cheeses.

So Daddy asked his coworker where they go to preschool so I checked it out. It's a catholic school academy which educates kids up to 8th grade. We loved it. It is a classroom set up, it is everyday, and it is actually cheaper than their current school where they go 2 full days. Amazing.

Daddy talked to director about our plans to pull the girls out in 1 week. We were told we needed to give 2 weeks notice or we'd have to pay the tuition. We paid $250 for registration, they attend the school for 3 weeks, and now we have to pay for withdrawal. Not too thrilling.

I don't like that I have to pull them out and would have to make new friends, but it is the best decision all around. The school is farther, but considering all the pluses it is not worth complaining about.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I diddit!

Last week Daddy and I woke up to Little M jumping on our bed saying, "I diddit! I diddit!" He climbed out of his crib for the first time and was happily celebrating it. Daddy and I agreed that it wouldn't be long when we have to convert the crib into a toddler bed to prevent him from falling head first.

That afternoon when I put Little M for nap, I checked the monitor and there he was with his legs dangling on the outside of the crib. I yelled at him to lie back down, which he did but I knew he would be climbing out at every opportunity. So that evening, Daddy looked through the unpacked boxes in the basement for the hardware and converted the bed. Surprisingly, Little M took to it without any issues. He stayed in his bed when we put him down, although he did get out of it as soon as he wakes up in the morning.

Last night when I was getting ready to go to bed the lounge chair in the bedroom started moving. It freaked me out until I saw that Little M had moved to sleep there. The little bugger.

He's words have taken off, too. The other morning after waking up early, again, I couldn't find him in the room. I called out to him and he answered, "In here. In here." He than snuck up to me and said, "I'm gonna eeehyoooo! [eat you]"

On another day, I told him to stop playing around the fan and he said, "I'm borrowing it!" After that every time I asked him to put something that he said he's borrowing it.

The little monkey is turning 2 in a few days. I can hardly believe it. My eldest is 7 and my youngest is 2. WOW!