The above are some pictures of the aftermath of the most recent ice storm. I find it interesting that we have had quite a few ice storms (for our area) along with 80+ degree weather this winter. Hmmm.
The ice has been a little limiting, but nothing limits Joel for long. He is certainly trying to keep me on my toes these days. The way a 3-year-old's mind works just amazes me sometimes. Yesterday he was coloring and I heard him say, "I'm making a pink nose like a clown!" I looked and he was drawing the nose alright ... on himself! Last night we were talking about when everyone got up that morning and Steve commented that the boys didn't get up too early. I said, "yeah, except that I couldn't go to sleep, and then Evan got in bed with me for a couple of hours in the middle of the night, and then I woke up with you this morning. So when Joel got in bed with me I was not ready to get up." Joel added, "Yeah, I got in bed with mommy when it was still dark, but when it was light I got up and came into the kitchen!" Knowing his propensity for sneaking food, Steve and I looked at each other and asked what he was doing in the kitchen. He sweetly, and somewhat hesitantly replied, "I was looking for something to not eat."
He has been asking what things are made out of a lot lately, too ... like apples, pears, chocolate milk, etc. This morning he asked me if saltines were made out of salt. I told him they were called saltines because they have salt on the top. He asked, "And do they have pepper on the bottom?" He is making some good connections, huh!
One more story - Joel had a saltine stuck between his teeth. I told him to keep eating and maybe it would come out. His suggestion was to use the vacuum cleaner.
My children are sensitive, but not in a good way. Evan has some sort of auditory sensitivities. For example, he complains about the noises people make when they eat. If he is tired, he will cry about the sounds Joel makes. Now, Joel is not a quiet eater but I can't see that crying is called for. If Joel is crying at bedtime, Evan will chime in because, "Joel's making me cry!!!" His favorite line is, "I can't help it!" Of course, sometimes he is still crying after Joel has stopped, but that doesn't change his story.
Joel is more of a tactile child so his sensitivities run along those lines. Lately it has manifested in his clothing. His underwear, socks, pants, etc. are all too tight. It doesn't matter what kind of socks he is wearing, they are too tight. It doesn't matter that the underwear/pants fit okay last time he wore it - today it is too tight. I have decided to look for boxers for him, but I am not sure how successful I will be. I mean, come on, he's three. Do three-year-olds really need boxers?
Today was another field trip day for Evan. This time we went to the Planetarium and The Science Place in Dallas. We had never been to either of these places before, and we found them to be quite fun. I also found the planetarium to be funny, but I think it was just me. We first watched a video on the dome ceiling about the solar system. There was a lot of the narrative that seemed to be over the heads of kindergartners. I understand the concept of using "big words" so that they will learn "big words", but I also think that it is good to mix that in with age-appropriate language. This movie was heavy on the "big words". One of my favorite phrases was in the description of a moon's surface - "a cacophony of volcanic eruptions!" I would giggle to myself every time I heard a phrase like that, and it was often. It was a good movie, however, and I am sure that the kids enjoyed it.
After the planetarium we went to The Science Place for a lot of hands-on science learning. Mostly the kids were just doing stuff at an exhibit and then running off to the next one before the previous one could be discussed. Well, that's what my son did anyway.
It was a fun day, but I am glad to be back at home where I can relax, though. I kept losing Evan in the play area just before we left. Now he is in the backyard, and he hasn't tried to "escape" - at least not yet. :)
When Evan was younger he demonstrated his desire to be in control at portrait sessions. Just before he turned two we were taking Easter pictures and he rearranged the large Easter egg props. When he turned 3, he suggested an alternate pose to the photographer, which was quite cute.
Now Joel has started. His demonstration takes the form of conversation control, though. About 10 times a day I hear, "Mommy say ...". Sometimes it is out of the blue. Sometimes it is in a conversation. Just now it was, "Mommy, say 'be careful, Joel'" as he was standing on the edge of his chair. I obliged, he took a drink from his cup, stepped back to the middle of the chair and exclaimed, "See, Mommy, I didn't fall!" Sometimes it's nice to decide what I want to say myself, but for those of you who are sometimes at a loss for words, we might start renting Joel to you. Let me know if you are interested!
So, Evan had the stomach bug and Joel was just being a typical 3-year-old. The last two days have not been pretty.
Evan started the throwing up Monday night. I got up with him 2-3 times that night, so we were both pretty tired the next day. I decided at 1pm that we all needed a nap. Evan and I fell asleep, but Joel decided that he needed to do other things instead. When I woke up I heard him in the kitchen, but not getting stuff. I told him to go back to his bed, which he did - for a few seconds anyway. After the third time I decided to get up and apply some discipline. What I found in his room ... oh, words can't describe what I felt. This was all stuff he had done before, but not all at the same time.
1. He had gotten into the tub of homemade hot chocolate mix and it was dumped mostly on his bed, but also on the floor. Not only was it dumped, but water had been added to it. Nice for the bedding and the carpet! 2. There were two different types of cereal on the floor. One had been in a bowl. The other, a special Kashi cereal, was spilled out with the bag and box missing. I found the box first and later found the bag. Thankfully there was some left. 3. There were two boxes of white fudge covered Oreos out as well. The bags were out of both boxes, but thankfully he couldn't get the bags open. I think I need to write a thank you to the Oreo manufacturers for their packaging. 4. There were at least 3 empty gum wrappers strewn about the room. I don't know what became of the gum. 5. He had gone into my bedroom and taken my facial toner and dumped it out on his floor. Just a little puddle of facial toner. This was a favorite project of his a while back, but he seemed to have learned not to do it - until yesterday.
This was after he had gotten in trouble for pouring his own cereal and taking it to the living room that morning. He also went into my bedroom, got my water and it got spilled on the carpet at the same time.
So, I got to clean up Joel's destructive messes and Evan's sick messes yesterday, with the washing machine and dryer running almost nonstop.
I thought today was going to be better. And in some ways it has been. Evan stopped throwing up about 5:30pm yesterday and has been feeling much better today. Joel, however, managed to get my brand new replacement bottle of facial toner and dump it out today as well. Almost the same spot. It's kind of like an animal marking his territory, but with facial toner. I put him in bed and moved it up against the wall, so that it was like a jail cell. To try to get out he peed on his bed. That didn't work. I made him stay in the bed because that was an intentional, manipulative trick. But, that means that the washer and dryer are back in use today.
Maybe - pray with me, please - tomorrow will be better. ;)
The boys' Christmas money was burning a hole in their pockets, so shopping we went! Almost as soon as Evan realized that he had Christmas money he declared that he wanted to spend it at Build-A-Bear Workshop, and Joel quickly agreed. We discussed different toy options, value vs. cost, etc., and the boys remained determined on BABW. I took them to Target first, just to make sure, but they were in Target begging to go to BABW. Off we went, and then the fun really began!
We had looked at stuff online so that the store would not be so daunting when we got there. It didn't work. Online Evan saw a snowboard that he wanted. Since he already has 2 animals from this store, I thought a snowboard was a great choice. He plays a snowboarding game on the Wii, and his "buddies" could play, too. They had one snowboard left (the display), but Evan decided that he wanted a bear instead. Again, he already has 2 animals from this store, so I tried to steer him away from another one. After trying to persuade, cajole, etc, and Evan almost dissolving into tears I relented and let him pick an animal. That was not quite as trying. He wanted to buy 2 things on this day, so we found the cheapest shirt and don't you know it looked great on his new bear! Evan and his new bear, "Christmas"
So, one down, one to go. Joel found a pink monkey with pink hearts complete with eyelashes that he had his heart set on. I really thought Steve would flip about this since he wasn't too excited about the whole trip to BABW anyway. They had a really cute brown monkey that I tried to talk him into, but he wouldn't budge. Before the trip he had mentioned getting a stroller, so I tried to talk him into that, too. Again, no luck. Thankfully a good friend joined us about that time, and she was able to sway Joel to the merits of a brown monkey. He is happy with his "baby", but he still sometimes talks about the pink mommy monkey. He wanted to name his monkey "Build-a-Bear Workshop". We tried to tell him that wouldn't fit on the birth certificate. Jenn suggested "George", Joel agreed, and that got printed on the certificate. Since then Joel has changed his mind and calls the monkey "Build-a-Bear Workshop" (Just in case you were wondering, Joel's monkey was more than Evan's bear and that's why he only got one thing. Plus, he doesn't like for his animals to wear clothes. He still hasn't touched his bunny since Santa dressed it like a toy soldier.) Joel rubbing the monkey's heart on his head so it will know how much he loves it. He also wanted to help stitch the monkey up.
Thanks, Jenn, for your persuasive powers and for taking these pictures with your new camera!
BTW, when I told Steve the saga of the pink monkey he said, "Why didn't you let him have a pink monkey?" Aaarrrghhh!
This morning the boys got up before me and I heard them talking and playing. I went in to check on them and this is what I found - both of them under the covers in Evan's bed. Joel was happy with Evan, but apparently not so happy that I interrupted them. This Christmas break seemed like a long one, and the boys have had good days and bad days. But they have really done a good job of getting along and playing together. Steve and I have been pleasantly surprised by that.
After everyone was up and moving, I was at the computer when Joel came up "shooting" me with one of the Star Wars ships. He kept making the noise while I ignored him. When I realized what he was doing, I said, "Ow, that hurts!" (I am trying to teach him not to "shoot" at people.) His face immediately changed to one of compassion, he dropped the ship down, said, "I'm sorry, Mommy!", and gave me a big kiss. What a sweet boy! Another "awww" moment.
Our Christmas stuff is coming down, so it must be the beginning of a New Year. We are also going through the toys and clothes that we should have gone through before Christmas, but didn't. I suppose that it is better late than never.
Our New Year's was fairly uneventful. I had planned to play games until midnight, and I imagined the kids going to sleep on the floor or on the couch. What happened was that Joel was so cranky that he went to bed around 8pm. Evan stayed up later, and we were playing games, but then he got "punch drunk" and went to bed around 10pm. I was falling asleep on the couch, so we all went to bed before 10:30pm. Are we party animals or what!?!
Joel apparently was having some issues, because he woke up crying a little after we went to bed. Steve got him calmed down and back to bed we went. Then, Joel woke me up at 11:55pm - just in time to ring in the New Year. He cried and I tried to help, and this went on for quite a while. He was complaining about his ear, so I tried to give him medicine. He didn't like that idea very much. I dipped his paci in the medicine, hoping that he would just suck it off, but that only worked once. The second time he looked at the paci and told me to get the medicine off. He finally took the medicine after I told him that if he took it all he could have a sucker. So I went to get "the same kind of sucker that Evan had" earlier, but it was the wrong one. He didn't know that until he looked at it out of the wrapper and started to eat it, so I got to finish that one. I let him get out of bed to pick the right sucker, and once he had it everything was right in his world. He calmed down, ate his sucker and went to sleep. We didn't hear from him again until this morning. When Steve went to check on Joel this morning, he told Steve to go back to the living room. The next time Steve saw Joel he was sitting under the table with a pilfered sucker. The Christmas sucker tree is down and the suckers have been removed from the kitchen/line of sight of the boys.
I am a mother of two precious (and crazy) boys and a wife to a wonderful husband. I like to scrapbook, but don't always have the time. This is my virtual scrapbook to record the highs, lows, and in-betweens of our journey on Earth.
The journey is important, but only as it makes us more like Christ and gets us closer to our forever home.