Friday, September 28, 2012

what makes me happy

When I was in high-school I bought name brand clothing. I remember thinking to myself that I will never buy clothes from Wal-Mart. I used cosmetics that were from department stores, not the pharmacy. I wasn't over the top, but what I liked weren't the cheapest. I remember owning Calvin Klein jeans.

When I got married, we combined debt, we're on our own and taste had to down grade. It wasn't a big deal. We didn't even notice it, it just happened. Then kids came and one day, I realized my clothes were from Wal-Mart, cosmetics (if I used them at all) came from the pharmacy, and what I bought for myself came with guilt. What a change it was. I remember asking hubby for to give me money as a birthday gift and that I would just shop for myself. That shopping trip was not fun at all. I argued with myself. I felt like I was wasting money.

Now, after 4 kids, I am ever cheaper with my taste. If that were even possible. I don't grumble about it though, because again it just happens. I just started realizing it when I go with some mom friends, and some of my old friends and they still have the name brand stuff. I looked at my stuff and felt slightly ashamed. Very slightly. Teeny tiny bit.

When I think about what I have, I actually have more than any other person in the world. I have the greatest husband in the world, I have 4 awesome kids, I have a home, my husband provides for more than we could ever need, and we are all healthy. How can I be jealous of the name brand stuff? That is not to say that I don't have my vices. I like purses. But the coach purse I got for Christmas last year didn't make me any happier than my $30 purse from Kohls. The thing about having a  lot of purses is that I don't get to use them that much. It also doesn't make me feel guilty to give them to salvation army when I have to purge. Let it bless others, I enjoyed them, and I felt good passing them on to others.

Today I am brought to happiness by non-material things. I am happy when I see my kids play together without fighting. It makes me happy when I stop doing and just be with my family sitting on the couch watching a movie that the kids enjoy. Lately, I am most happy when I see the excitement of my kids after I make them a shirt and all they want to do is wear it for a couple of days. It brings a big smile on my face. I am happy when my husband comes home earlier than expected. :) I am happy when at the end of the day, I realize no one has had a tantrum and I didn't blow up on anyone.


We love to read!

The Library had a "get a card" event this weekend so we came and got everyone a card. There were crafts, Ice cream, goodies and raffles.

An hour or so after coming home, I get a call that Big M won a prize pack. He got a lot of books, crafts and the thing he was most excited about was the Star Wars wallet. What a lucky booger.

One on one time with little m

With the kids at school, sometimes Little M and and I get to do fun thing together. Last week I took him to the park with a soccer ball. He enjoyed running around, kicking the ball, and inspecting bugs in between.

This week we went to a play place with tons of toys and things to climb on. However, getting Little M to leave was not so fun. It reminded me of the eact same things when it was only Big M.

Time flies.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

school picnic

Last week we attended our school's fall family picnic. There were hotdogs and hamburgers, and families were assigned to bring either a dessert or side dish to share. This was our first school picnic with 3 students. We had no idea what to expect. Big M was the first to ask to go with his friends, and I tried desperately to hold on to K and J so that we could be in line for the food. Daddy had to go back to the car with Little M to grab our picnic blanket. It was chaotic for me to keep track of everyone. 

Finally Daddy came, we made them eat really quick and then the 3 disappeared. Daddy said it was fine, we were in school grounds and it's normal for them to want to be with their friends. For the most part it was great. Kids running around, there was a DJ trying to get the moms and dads to join the hoolahoop contest (Daddy and I were terrible) and just kids being kids. We had fun. 

The key to watching 4 kids to to be in a location where you're close to one, but can see where the others are that you're not closed to. There was a moment when K came to me crying saying she couldn't find me anywhere, though she did go to where we had our blanket (good girl!).

We helped clean out the dessert table. :)

We were in the dessert detail so I made my oh-so-yummy chocolate chip banana bread (individually wrapped). I only gave the kids a tiny piece to share so they raided it at the picnic and got their fill.

Fun with daddy

Little M loves goofing around with Daddy. Sometimes he wants To be just like him.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Awesome work

K has to do a page about her family that she enjoyed doing. If course it wasn't complete until it had sparkles. The problem is not 5 minutes into it, Little M started ripping it. After tears and a promise of getting it fixed , K finally stopped the screaming.

Big M had to write a poem about fall. I had to help him but the the very awesome adjectives are all his.

The row houses were K's work before school. I didn't find it until after the kids had left school. She is so creative!

Friday, September 21, 2012

I cannot believe I had to pull out the "I carried you for 9 months!" card so early.

Friday afternoons are crazy (actually so are all the afternoons) because I have to pick up the kids from school in order to have time to snack and rest a bit before heading to Drama Kids. All the 3 older kids are there, but it isn't held at school.  The problem is that J doesn't seem to be adjusting to the demands of school because by 4pm, she is tired and whiny. Today was such a day. At first it was just her, by the time we get loaded in the car to head home, the others where in on it. Today, all the whining made me feel like my head was going to explode.

When I dropped them off to Drama Kids, Big M wanted to show one of the teachers that his baby brother was wearing a spiderman costume. The teacher was talking to another parent, so she ignored Big M. That didn't stop Big M from saying, "LOOK AT MY BROTHER! LOOK AT MY BROTHER!" Then as if that wasn't enough, K came to the teacher and started tugging on her arm. "Look! Look! LOOK!!!" she said. Finally the teacher was irritated, paused to address them and said, "You cannot talk to me while I am talking to someone else."

This all happened a few feet away from me, while I was busy trying to prevent Big M from choking his little brother to drag him to the teacher and show him off. I was so embarrassed. I tried to get K's attention to address her and tell her what she had done is not polite, but she was already off and running. I tried to tell Big M the same thing, and he started saying, "YOU LIE!" At this point, I took Little M and left. I figured if the teachers wanted to talk to them about the rules, I better had off and let them handle it. Besides, my kids weren't going to listen to me, and I was too busy trying to prevent Little M from joining in and running away from me.

Daddy picked them up on the way home from work, and when they got home, I immediately talked to Big M about his behavior. Instantly it set him off and started screaming and shouting that he wasn't bad and that I usually give him 3 chances before he gets in trouble. It was a whole lot of mess and a lot of screaming from him and then he went to his room. 

After a while, Daddy came in and talked to him. Then I was summoned in there so he could apologize. While apologizing, I told him that though he is doing the right thing by apologizing, my feelings were hurt and talking to me the way he did was not acceptable. That's when I pulled the "I carried you in my body for 9 months" spiel. He teared up and was truly apologetic and said he was just to mad and said things that he didn't mean.

We have made amends, punishment has been dealt and we're all good. I just can't believe that I had to do this with a 7.5 yr old. Right behind his heels are twin 5 yr old girls. ARGH! 

Sometimes I'd like to pretend my kids aren't mine and that I'm just a babysitter who doesn't speak English. For reals.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Crazy mornings

Our time in the bus stop is usually filled with crazy energy with backpack-tugging, shoe-stepping and running around kids. I have instituted a hands-to-yourselves rule but no one listens. I td them they had to stay in one square of the side-walk and still no one listens. I have to reserve most of my attention to the 2-yr old so he doesn't run into the street, which he seems to understand is very dangerous. Thank God.

There are 2 other boys (3rd graders) in our bus stop and we amuse their parents. The girls and Little M takes to the dad. Sometimes Little M asks, "where's mah dad?" when we arrive at the stop first. One would think he doesn't have a dad at home he liked to tackle on a daily basis. The girl are also touchy with this man (holding his hand and tugging on it). I had to give them a talking to about not touching strangers. But I guess I need to change that term as we are seeing him everyday.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I'm a soccer mom, ballet mom, busy mom

Little M pretty much attacks his sisters and brother when they come home from school. He misses them a lot and now starts to demand that I sit with him during the day.

Big M lost a tooth this weekend via the twist and pull method. He was watching TV in our room when he absent-midedly pulled his tooth off. He was happy about the tooth fairy visiting again, until he saw blood and started freaking out. I was out on an errand at the time, and I get an upset phone call from him saying his Daddy just smacked him and knocked a tooth out. Silly kid. He was very convincing too.

Also last week, fall soccer season began. Big M (red shirt black socks) is in a different team that last season because we signed him up at the last minute.  I wanted him to focus on Junior Academy and not both that and the recreational soccer. Apparently, the two do not coincide so here he is. Junior Academy (more competitive soccer) doesn't start until late fall.

Today, J and K are back in dance class (K is in the foreground, J is the last one). Miss J impressed me when the teacher called out ballet terms and tap terms and she knew what they were. Here I thought that she never paid attention in class last year back in Texas. She is proving me wrong. 

I think we may have to change days, as this is just too early for Daddy to be home. He needed to be home today because Little M is sick and I just can't drag him with me. Poor thing. Though I don't know how a class later in the day would work out. Both K and J just about had a melt down towards the end of class because they were tired and getting sleepy. Hopefully in a couple of weeks they will be well adjusted to the activities and Kindergarten.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

our big but wonderful family

Like previously done before, we are took a family picture because of one of the kids' school needs. We really must take pictures regularly to see how everyone has grown up.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

the rest of the first day of school

After waiting over 30 minutes at the bus stop, the kids finally arrived.

From Big M:
He said the principal went in their bus to collect the Kindergarten children in order to walk to their teachers awaiting them in the front lawn of the school. However, both K and J said they were older kids and didn't go with the principal.

He also said that he was so mad at J because when he came in the school bus as the end of the day, he didn't her right away but saw K. So he was beside himself with worry that J was not in the bus. He then saw J later on the ride home (I guess maybe she was slouching and couldn't be seen above the seats).  I told him that though Daddy and I were both proud of him for worrying about his sister, he shouldn't have worried by himself and should have told the bus driver about his worry.

Big me also said, "K has a boyfriend! .... well, not a boyfriend, just a friend who is a boy." This tattle-tailing earned him a glare from K.

From K:
She said she had fun, and answered that she didn't miss J when I asked if she did.

From J:
She didn't come with her lunch box, nor her water bottle because she placed them in the wrong bin. She also said she was put in time-out at recess. I asked her what for, and she said it was because she made a face to boy repeatedly when she saw the boy being mean to another girl.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Look out, world. The Collins brook is taking over!

I can hardly believe that 3 of my children are off to school. My girls in kindergarten, who would have thought. I remember the assembly-line process of changing and feeding them as infants, and now they are in school. I can't even remember the in-between.
K, Big M, J looking like rock stars! They were all excited.

We were outside waiting for the bus about 10 minutes before our scheduled pick-up. Of course we knew that buses would be late with parents trying to figure things out and taking pictures. Little M had to have a backpack too. What he didn't know was that he wasn't going in the bus, so it was a big tantrum. He "wand machu, dodo and tatie!" Then he cried and cried after Daddy left for work. After that he started asking for everyone, like his Nana!

Little M and I headed to school for the parent coffee, but we arrived there much earlier than the kids. I got to see K find her class. She saw me and waved with a big smile in her face.

Then I saw J. She is all smiles here but as they marched to their classroom, she wanted to make sure that I could pick her up from school. I had to remind her that she is riding the bus but that I would be waiting at the bus stop. She had the saddest look in her face after waiving goodbye but she marched on. She is wearing a picture necklace of her and me, and Daddy and her. I told her she could look at the pictures when she felt sad.

After running some errands, Little M and I had lunch together at a local restaurant. We had Bacon, scallion, spinach quiche and sweet potato soup. He loved the food. He was a handful, and it took a while for him to stop asking for everyone but we did enjoy our meal together.

Monday, September 3, 2012

bedtime toddler chat

What is it about the time before settling for bed that gets young kids chatting?

Little M was telling me all about this Beyblade night lite just minutes before. Of course, he stops chatting when I get my phone to take videos, so here I am trying to urge him to talk.

Of course, outside Daddy and me, no one really understands what he is saying.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

2nd Grade DIY stenciled shirt

The first day of school is upon us and I just decided to make the kids shirts. I bought a plain t-shirt r Walmart and made my own stencil using freezer paper. I got a picture off the Internet and modified it, used an x-acto knife and voila. I used a fabric paint and got working. I would have used appliqué but that would have taken too long and having to make 3, time is not on my side.

Per Big M's request, he is getting a ninja shirt. Watch out, 2nd grade! Here he comes!