Thursday, December 14, 2017

I Love Mom

Henry threw a huge fit at lunch time today. One of those fits where they just scream at you no matter what you say or how calm you say it. 

The kind where if you just walk away, they follow you so you can better hear their screams. 

The kind where he tells you what’s wrong but when you suggest a solution, he screams harder because how dare you minimize his anger. 

The kind where you try to pick them up, they scream at you for suggesting such a horrifying idea and then scream at you to “PICK UP!!!” 

Luckily, my patience was at its peak. Otherwise, he may have ended up being tossed outside and told to fend for himself for awhile. 

So, back to the fit. It was right before lunch, so hunger was no doubt playing a role. And he was mad. Seeing-nothing-but-red mad. So, instead of forcing the high chair, we just sat down at the table and started eating. I sat right next to him to make sure he stayed put and ate and every time I got up to get him something else, he followed me. 

About 3/4 the way through lunch when the anger had drained out of him and the lunch had filled his belly, he was making silly noises and I was repeating those noises. He’d crack up every time I copied him. 

I leaned over and gave him a kiss on the cheek and said, “Oh Henry, I love you.” And without skipping a beat, without being prompted or asked, he said, “I love Mom.” 

I love Mom … this is the first time he’s ever uttered those words without being asked to do so first. 

It melted me and at just the right moment. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

I did, but I didn't

Scene: Grace comes running downstairs screaming that Claire kicked her. 

Me: (Ugh) Claire, because you kicked your sister when you were supposed to be cleaning your room, we are skipping our Harry Potter reading time tonight. 

Claire: WHAT!?! I didn't kick her. 

Grace: Yes you did!!

Claire: No I didn't! How do you know she's not lying? I stretched my foot out and she was just in the way. 

Me: So, you did kick her. 

Claire: I did not! 

Me: But you just said you accidentally did. 

Claire: I was lying then. 

Me: So, either way you’re lying. 

Claire: No. (**know-it-all tone*) Actually, I’m right either way. I did kick her AND I didn’t kick her. 

Me: *dumbfounded look*

Claire: You see, I stretched my leg out to try to kick her, but I didn’t. 

Me: So, you did try to kick your sister? 

Claire: Yes, but I didn’t actually kick her. I tried. But I didn’t. What’s wrong with that?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Harry Potter Fever

As you may know, the girls and I started reading Harry Potter together earlier this year. We just finished the third book. They are still loving the series, although I could tell they were getting a touch bored in the middle of this last book. It’s hard when you only have 10-15 minutes to read each night and the only thing that happens in that 10 minutes is a single Divination class. But as soon as we got to the exciting stuff, they were back into it, hanging on my every word. 

The timing of their HP excitement was great because we also attended a Harry Potter event on campus this weekend and now the girls are constantly carrying their wands and calling me Professor McGonagall. In our Hogwarts world, Claire’s a first year and Grace is Head Girl trying to keep Claire on task with all of her classes (art imitating life a bit here). When Scott gets roped into the imaginary play, he’s Hagrid, and Henry is, of course, “a Slytherin boy.” 

I think all of my dreams are coming true. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Falling into Fall

There are so many things to love about fall — a respite from the summer’s heat, the trees turning gorgeous colors, pumpkin-spice everything, and, of course, watching your children experience so much joy just from jumping in the leaves. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Driving Mr. Henry

Henry loves cars. Did I say loves? I mean is obsessed with cars. Well, at least toy cars. He doesn’t have anything against real-life cars, but toy cars are his main jam. 

His Dad also loves toy cars (age is just a number, folks) and often buys Henry a new car when he’s at the store. So, we’ve accumulated quite the car collection. This combines two of Henry’s favorite things: cars and orderliness. He puts them in his car case. He takes them out. He lines them up. He pushes them one-by-one on the hard floor. He puts them back in his car case. He takes them back out. He puts them down the car ramp. He puts them to sleep by turning them on their backs and saying "nighty night" to each one. Which, can we all agree, is stinkin’ adorable? 

For a kid who can’t sit still for more than 47 seconds, it’s quite shocking to see your kid play with the same toy for 15 minutes. Shocking and wonderful. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Halloween 2017

This Halloween was the first stress-free Halloween since we had kids. Ok, you got me. It wasn’t completely stress-free, but it was manageable. I started planning weeks in advance. Costumes were all rounded up at least two weeks before the main event, which allowed for enough time for the inevitable changes. 

The girls settled on a Snow Queen and Belle from Beauty & the Beast. The shoes were the only sticking point for them because I put my foot down (pun intended) and wouldn’t let them wear high heels or princess shoes. They complain about their feet hurting in tennis shoes, so fancy shoes were out. We found silver sparkly ked-like shoes for Grace, but Claire was insistent that Belle must have gold shoes — silver would just not do. So, I crafted a pair of gold sparkly ked-like shoes for Claire and bam! costumes were complete. This was of course, all for naught, because once the day rolled around, they both opted for their normal tennis shoes. Naturally. 

After debating between Mickey Mouse, Thomas the Train and Curious George for Henry, I decided to go with the timeless Disney creation. He lives and breathes Mickey Mouse right now, and the costume was something he could really get into (pun intended). So, I found one at the store — a one piece where the pants and shirt were connected. I brought it home and attempted to get Henry to try it on — he noped it immediately. He started screaming and flailing about. He’s a sensitive kiddo who absolutely will not bend to your will unless it’s his will, too. I was not interested in repeating that same fit the night of Halloween, so I returned the costume and got to work scrounging up the pieces for a homemade Mickey costume. Because they were just regular clothes, he didn’t even realize he was wearing a costume. 

The big night came and I had everything timed out — Scott fetch the pizza at 4:45, back home by 5, about 30 minutes to eat before hitting the streets of our neighborhood. Trick-or-treat for 45 minutes and then pack up in the car and head out to my brother’s neighborhood to meet up with the rest of the family. 

I was bummed that Scott and my costumes ended up on the cutting room floor -- it was pretty cold and everyone was ready to go, so we just opted to not get dressed. They were going to be pretty awesome, so we'll break them out next Halloween. 

Besides the bitter cold, missing our other grandparents and the occasional mocking from Scott about staying on schedule, the evening was quite enjoyable. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

My Girls

I’ve been pretty sentimental lately. Memories of the girls as babies and toddlers have been sneaking into my thoughts. I remember how they used to want to be with me every second of every day. I remember how THEY would grab MY hand in the parking lot. I remember how they’d climb into our bed every single morning and the four of us would snuggle under the blankets. I remember how Grace would carry around her three babies everywhere she went. I remember how Claire would ask me to pretend to be birds with her in her blanket nest. 

Some days, these memories will catch me off guard and I’ll find myself smiling as I replay the moments. Other times, the memory is too intense, too missed and I’ll start blinking the tears away, yearning for my babies, one on each hip. 

So, when the opportunity arose to go trick-or-treating at the zoo (without little man), we took it. And I’m so grateful we did. Even though they didn’t hold my hand or ask me to pick them up (thankfully because they’re like 9 feet tall), I was so grateful to log another memory with me and my girls. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

A Family that Explores Together ... Gets Less Grumpy Together

One of my very favorite things to do together as a family is explore. Even if it’s a place we’ve been before, the opportunity for a new adventure is always awaiting us. 

On this particular Sunday morning, everyone in the house was grumpy and snipping at each other. So, I sounded the alarm. “Go put on warm clothes, shoes AND socks and let’s hit the trail!” 

I think everyone except Henry groaned. He would have groaned but he was too busy whining about something else. 

I wasn’t deterred though. They always groan at first, but then the magic of the fresh air, the falling leaves and the discovery of hidden treasures (rocks and sticks) brings out the smiles. After we had explored as much as a two-year-old’s legs would allow, we went home feeling considerably less grumpy.