Monday, September 24, 2007

Now I can see why you need breaks...

The boys spent this past weekend having lots of time-outs at my parents' house while Chris and I went to Gettysburg for a family wedding. Apparently they decided to test their boundaries at Gramma and Poppy's "We don't have to listen to you!" and jumping around on the sofa and being wild even while Gramma was trying to explain that she' not just trying to be mean to them by giving them timeout after time our but that they need to listen to what they're told. Even yesterday on the way back here they stopped at Mc D's for happy meals and didn't earn their toys since again, Dima wasn't listening when my Mom told him to stand back with her while Dad ordered - I probably would have marched him out of there for a timeout in the car if nothing else. Maybe for future use, divide and conquer might be a good idea. Give them timeouts in separate rooms so they can't feed off each other and start acting up while they're supposed to be contemplating the error of their ways. They did behave well enough to get out to pick apples and they also spent some time in the hot tub as well as playing with the neighbor, so it wasn't all time outs but my Mom said she felt like it was at times.

We had a great time at the wedding - it's always nice to see all the family members and I got to know several of the women since I was at both the Philly and the G-burg bridal showers. It was nice to see them too. We also had a friend there from Alt Washingtonia. One of the women there does videography for weddings and Chris had sent his cousin her website and she was the one they chose to do the job. It was nice to see her but had to keep reminding myself that when I was waving to her it was getting on the videotape. She said that everyone was so nice to her and the rest of the people working on the photos and all that stuff - they were all impressed at how nice the event was and how welcoming everyone was. I saved a cookie that was brought by Chris's uncle in honor of their great-aunt and gave it ti Elisabeth, she was honored that I'd done that for her.

I always debate mentally when the kids are being baby-sat about calling to see how it's going and leaving them alone. I don't want it to seem like I don't care about what's going on but I don't want to seem like I don't trust that things are okay. I must say that I check my cell phone regularly to see if there have been any calls, but in this case I don't know how I would have advised them to settle the kids down.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Josh's law

Josh's injury today came from a pinch by a pair of kid's sunglasses. We were leaving a playground this morning while Dima was in school and I handed him a pair of sunglasses to put on while we were in the car. He started shrieking a few seconds after I gave them to him and as he was putting them on he pinched his finger in the little hinge that holds the arm on the glasses. It really did pinch a big section of his left middle finger but he wouldn't let me look closely at it or try to wash it - there was no blood - so that made me feel a little better . What are the odds that a kid is going to do something like that?? With Josh whatever can go wrong will...

The rest of our morning went relatively well, we went to have my tires rotated so Josh got to see the car lifted up I thought that would be the highlight of the trip but he really went berserk over a Motor Trend magazine. I actually planned to do this on a day when he was out of school so he could see them do the tires but little did I know we could have looked through a magazine any time and he would have been just as happy.

We went to a playground to waste time until it was time to get Dima and he surprised me again by playing in the sand on a volley ball court instead of doing slides and the jungle gym. He spent about a half hour making sand angels and knocking over castle walls as I was trying to build them.

Once we got Dima the only tidbits of info I could get out of him was that they had a salad for snack and that one of the girls on his bus got a reprimand in class and didn't get a sticker on her behavior chart. I'm glad I signed him up for the snack program at school since they're giving them good stuff it also gives me one less thing to remember in the mornings when I'm trying to get them out of here in time for the bus. When Josh does get to go to school he's easy to get up Dima seems like he'll turn out to be a night person cause he drags in the mornings. He's still enthusiastic about riding the bus and going to school so it's not that he's lost interest it's just harder for him to wake up than it is for me and Josh.~~

Monday, September 17, 2007

self inflicted bite wound

Poor Josh just learned to look at his food and pay attention to what he's doing at the table when he bit his own finger during lunch. When I pick him up at school he usually tells me right away about the snack for the day and a close second was about a fire drill they had at school today. He was sitting here with me wrapping up lunch and talking about the fire drill again when he started crying and he actually made his right index finger bleed. Both of the boys have been sitting at the table lately crossing their eyes and saying"two Mamas" or two cups" I'm not sure if he was trying to do that when the incident occurred but I wouldn't be surprised. As far as I saw he just kept eating when he came to the end of the green bean he was munching. After he bit himself I decided to show him how to look at his food while it's coming toward his mouth and he put his head so low that he ended up with bits of hard boiled egg from the trays they use for meals on his fore head. It's really hard for me to keep a straight face right now - but I don't want him to start doing it on purpose to get the laughs. Right now instead of using his hand to hold down the bunch of grapes he's eating from he's draping his while arm over them so his finger doesn't hurt while he's pulling grapes off with his other hand. It took me a little while to figure out what he's doing but he says that's it. Ya live and ya learn: Don't bite your own fingers while eating.

Friday, September 14, 2007

cough, cough welcome to school

Both kids are into school now and both have coughs and runny noses after having been exposed to everyone and their germs. Today was the last day of Josh's first week of school. Each day he is just bouncing off the walls in excitement to be able to finally go after watching Dima go and stay there and have fun for two years. The first day he ran in and hugged the school administrator and she yelled down the hallway "Ok, we can start now that Josh is here!" Alot of the teachers and the administrator know him cause we have been going in to drop off Dima and of course Josh has to say hi to everyone as he goes. He's been going right into his classroom without even a glance backward and asking about when the garage for the toy cars will be out to play with. He has a good memory - the garage is probably something he saw while Dima was at that school and he won't forget about it and will probably ask about it daily til he gets to play with it.

Yesterday was his first "enrichment day" an extra day at the school that's less structured than the usual days are where they get to play on laptops and make snacks and do fun stuff instead of the usual schedule. At dinner time last night he was sitting there naming the parts of our laptop and singing the songs that they sing in class. They do some kind of hello song and they also do his little grace "Oh, the lord's been good to me..." at snack time. I'm sure he's one of the more vocal kids in the class and I can just imagine what he'll do in front of an audience for the fall and spring shows that they put on. America's Funniest Videos here we come!

Dima was off school yesterday and today so we had some time to ourselves. Yesterday we went to Waterloo Gardens to check out fountain displays and walk around after we dropped Josh off at school. As we pulled in a trailer for the Busch series #60 car came in right behind us and there were signs that the car would be there from 12 to 6. So Dima and I walked through to look at the fountains and other stuff - including Halloween decorations already! and I told him that if Josh was good at school we'd bring him back to see the car. Since we had time Dima and I went into Acme to get sammiches and grapes for them and salad for me so I didn't have to do Happy Meals again this week. I got them Happy Meals on Tuesday since Josh had his regular check up with the doctor and did well - at least until the shots came out (and I don't mean the kind of shots that make adults get happy and silly)- he was really wailing when he had his shots. To reward him for the good behavior I decided to get them lunches. At least you can get the meals with apple slices instead of fries and with milk instead of soda. Dima actually managed to keep the car a secret til we got to the place. When we got there Josh ran to the car and went around again and again pretending to change the tires with his little noises that he makes. I had to explain to the guys with the car and to a woman who was there with her kids what he was doing. He was really good about not touching the car, but checked out every inch of the exterior.

Today Dima got to see Mrs. Vache, his teacher from last year. He spoke to her better than he does most times when adults try to have conversations with him. She's good though too about looking him in the eye and using words tha the'll understand. I've asked him who he plays with at school and who he sits with on the bus and he always says "nobody, I sit by myself" That isn't physically possible in the classroom since there are so many of them and he's already had a reprimand for talking there. Yesterday we were taking a walk in the neighborhood and one of the first graders who we've seen around a few times asked him why he doesn't sit with him and he just kind of stared straight ahead and wouldn't really talk to the kid. Later on, when the kid was out of earshot I asked why and he said he doesn't know where that kid sits and I just told him to look for him when he gets on the bus next week.

Both of the boys have been playing in the 'play room " lately pretending to be cooking on the sofa and then pretending the "princesses" are coming to eat with them. They get pots out and jumble the fake food around and then set up chairs for the princesses and act like we must look when we're setting up for a party - running around getting things ready and cooking and arranging stuff.

Tomorrow afternoon they'll both be in skating lessons I hope that Josh can stand this time - last time he tried it he was clinging to the side of the rink going "Mama, Mama!" and sliding all over the place. Not a good first experience but hopefully he wasn't traumatized and will have a better go of it this time.

Next week will be Dima's first full week of school (first we had a two day week - then Labor Day week - then this week with yesterday and to day being off for Rosh Hashana) and Josh will be going every day now except for Tuesdays.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Count down to school

Tomorrow is the first day that both boys will be in school at the same time and I'm probably just as excited and probably more nervous than they are. Ive already got their clothes laid out for the whole week - mine for tomorrow - and a pot roast ready to go into the crock pot including chopped vegetables and the crock pot is out and ready to go. Josh was so excited about school that he wanted to go this morning and I told him that no one else would be there and he said we could go and wait. We had a great time at Josh's open house and I'm glad that we have neighbors who will be in both of the boy's classes. I've been saying that tomorrow morning Josh will be running in the door and I'll be running out - and I honestly don't know what I'll do with myself. Might just come back here and enjoy the silence.

One of the other moms in the same situation said that she'll have a cleaner house and I must say that I would not have thought of that one on my own. I've got a workable routine that keeps our place presentable and I don't know if my first real free time in three years will be devoted to cleaning. As far as organization I might use the time for that - like getting all of our clothes organized when it turns colder and figuring out if Josh is in 4Ts yet we have lots and lots of stuff ready for him when he's big enough. Thanks to our friends both kids have been pretty much outfitted for free. We get hand me downs regularly and I'm always grateful to have them.

Last year I had Dima's closet and dresser drawers set to go on the first day of school and as he put on the 4T pants I realized that he hadn't worn pants all summer and was definitely in 5Ts and had to scramble to get his stuff out fortunately my Mom and I had organized the stuff and I knew where to find what I needed. So far it's been warm enough that shorts are okay and I've got some time to work out the closet situation.

So as much as I can I think I've planned ahead and am ready do get the two of them going - breakfast oatmeal and yogurt and even left over french toast ready to be reheated all set for the week - check here in a week or two to see how the plan has worked and if it's still a plan or are we the ones running down the street to catch the bus in the morning while munching a pop tart!

Friday, September 7, 2007

score one for Mama

Josh has been giving me grief lately about walking - especially when it's just us here while Dima's in school and I had a revelation today while taking my own walk before the kids woke up. I was using my digital walkman and it has some songs on it that Josh likes so I decided to try headphones on him while we walk. It worked well once I made it clear that the head phones were for him and the actual walkman was for me. He was bopping his head while we were out there and having a great time and he recognized songs from the Cars movie as well as ones from other movies that I haven't seen but he has. I didn't realize how much we usually talk until he was quiet because he was so engrossed in the music. He was funny with the head phones on cause he usually greets the neighbors and today he was yelling "HI!, HI!" and "LOOK AT WHAT I HAVE!" one neighbor was way up their drive way and he was still trying to show off the headphones. Then when he moved the headphones would fall off him so I tried again and again to explain that if he leaned back in the stroller the headphones had something to rest on and he kept trying to look around and got frustrated that they kept falling off. Once we came back here I set him up with a baseball hat under the headphones and that did the trick, and he actually wanted to walk more! So now during walk time everyone's happy. I'm going to save the walkman for walk time only so the novelty doesn't wear off and I might even program it with a bunch of songs just for him.

Tonight we have practice with the Kindergruppe of out dance group and I'm hoping that they'll both behave well - and that Dima will get the confidence he needs to dance in public. I'm always torn between trying to help them and just leaving the room so I'm not a distraction. Dima's been especially wound up outside of school lately and I think it has to do with holding himself together while he's in school. He spent almost an hour in continual time outs yesterday cause he kept doing things that he knows are against the rules. Hopefully they can both get decent naps this afternoon and behave nicely later on.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

ranch dressing

During dinner the kids were balking at eating salmon and mac and cheese and I decided to try a trick and I gave them fresh green beans with ranch dressing to dip them in and they loved it. I had read in one of the parenting magazines that lots of kids go for stuff like that. Dima's already had it on salad but Josh won't even try lettuce, there are things like that that he refuses to put in his mouth no matter how you try to disguise them. Then again, one of his favorite things is peas and he actually asks for grapes instead of fries when we go out to eat. In general they both eat well and if they behave nicely I let them have whatever fruit they want after they've finished their meals. Josh went through 2 pears and an apple after his lunch of peanut butter and Poppop's jam and strawberries and milk was finished. Of course I was a little concerned that he'd have potty issues, aka a butt explosion - with all the fruit but he still didn't do anything until he was asleep. He must be going through a growth spurt cause he's been eating very well and napping well too, and sassy as well.

We're just about to head out for a walk around the neighborhood, I bribed them into going by saying we can look for hot air balloons while we're out there. Josh is ready to get going cause he's sitting here making "start your engine" noises with his mouth.

the school bus - day 3 Tuesday after Labor Day

Dima was extremely excited this morning at the thought of going on the school bus. Good in one sense because it was easy to get him up not so good cause he could barely sit still to eat his breakfast. He had a good nap yesterday afternoon - from 12:30 to 3:30. Our dance group was part of an Oktoberfest both yesterday and the day before and we decided to take the boys on Sunday but keep them home yesterday so they could rest up for the week. Going to fests with them in tow means keeping track of them and keeping Dima from getting too wild. Josh did dance on Saturday but Dima would not, and he regretted it when he saw the other kids collecting the money that people had thrown on the floor after they finished their dance.

Once Dima was on the bus this morning I tried to go walking but Josh didn't want to go and got extremely sassy while sitting in his stroller so I ended up bringing him back and giving him a time out in his bed cause he tried to hit me. Once he was done with that we played a memory game where you place pieces with pictures on them face down on the table and try to find the matching ones. I found myself trying to explain to him that if you keep turning over the same ones you'll never find a match -the explanation was futile cause he kept wanting to look at the same ones again and again. He did stick with the game for quite a while but then declared that it was "boring" so we were done. Right now he's content to play with his cars and he's parking them in a box with a hole in the side. He has his open house at school tomorrow so he'll get his own back pack then and get to see his classroom and meet his teacher Mrs. Volante. I think he'll be really excited about school once he goes tomorrow. His first day is next Monday and he'll probably ask every day if it's time yet.

I can hear the trash truck coming now so we're gonna head outside to watch it go by and then find something to do out there.