Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Oh, so easily amused!

While Josh and I were here this morning I decided to look at the boy's closets and try to arrange their fall /winter clothes. I took Josh upstairs after breakfast and after seeing Dima off to the school bus with a toy catalogue to look over. This will be a great time of year for him since we're getting all sorts of stuff in the mail that keeps him busy browsing and asking '"can I get a__________(fill in the blank with whatever's got his attention on the page)" He can sit for a half an hour looking at all the stuff and is very content to do so. I got some of the closet stuff arranged and decided to show him a box that I had emptied and he had a grand old time getting into the box to pretend that I was mailing him to Nana and Pop pop or to Gramma and Poppy or - his idea -"to the princesses" and I would pretend to be the princess getting the box and he would just squeal when I was "wondering what was in the box " and when I'd open it and say "I got a boy" he'd just throw himself into my arms and jump around then beg to do it all over again. It was fun and funny at the same time one of those things I'll never forget.

While I was up in their rooms doing stuff I can't do while it's naptime I set Dima up with and alarm clock. When I told him about it during lunch he said he was full and wanted to get going to naptime so he could see it. I made him stay with us to talk about how it's to be used and what his duties will be each morning when he gets up on school days. Making the bed, using the bathroom, putting on his clothes that we'll pick out the night before. I've got to go through our magazines and pictures to make him an agenda of pictures so he can do it himself. When we finally did settle in for nap he was saying "it changed, it changed" every minute so I had to remind him that nap time is quiet time. I would not be surprised if he laid there through the whole nap time watching it change. He was quiet so I'll let him go. He was so excited when I told him about it that his legs were wiggling a mile a minute under the lunch table in anticipation. When I showed him what it'll sound like when the alarm goes the radio had the weather report on so that made him even more excited. I got this idea from a friend and I don't see why he shouldn't be able to carry this out by himself. The school clothes are all in the same drawers so eventually he should be able to pick the clothes on his own too. With both of them if they get shoes on the wrong feet or something on backwards I usually don't mind as long as they're trying on their own and as long as whatever it is doesn't hurt them.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hewo Big Fly!

Josh and I were having our own play date this afternoon while Dima was having his at a friend's house I got our our wooden train set so he could play without having to share it with Dima. As I carried it upstairs Josh yelled "HAPPY DAY!" I asked where heard that one and he said in school. He's learning new phrases all the time and learning their meanings as he goes he got pushed down by a girl on the playground at school after he asked her "do you want a piece of me?" Maybe he'll think twice before using that one again... Ironically enough he got that one from the intro to one of the Veggie Tales videos that are supposed to teach morals and values.

Last week Josh started saying " Hewo Big Fly! " That's an imitation of me saying " Hello, McFly" - a reference to the movie Back to the Future - when someone isn't paying attention, repeats something that was just said or asks something that's totally obvious. Totally is another word he's started to use as in that car is "totally cool" but when it comes from him I usually have to have him repeat it to figure out what he's trying to say. That's another thing that I guess I didn't realize how much I say it until the little parrots repeat it.

Poor Josh was pretty upset when we dropped Dima off at Dylan's house and that kind of stuff reminds me of what it's like to be the younger kid and not being able or allowed to do what the older kid is doing. At the time it's upsetting and disappointing and hard to understand why. Especially in this case it really brought those feelings back for me. One of the reasons I drove over today was cause I figured that Josh would freak at not being able to stay. They are literally right across the back yards and we could have walked but it was better to keep him contained. Once we found stuff to do back here he seemed content to play and to tell me how to play with his cars.

The first ever play date for Dima seems to have been a success. It sounds like Dima's afternoon was mostly bouncing on their trampoline and playing at their play kitchen in their basement. The boys have equal energy so they're a good match. I'm betting Dima will be out like a light tonight at bedtime. I'd like to reciprocate one of these days, I'll have to figure out what to do with all three of them here since I don't have car space for more than two of them. Looks like a mini-van will have to be our next vehicle cause this kind of thing has come up before.

Josh was just sitting here talking about his classmate Dylan and saying that maybe he can go to his house too. I'm trying to explain that he just has to be nice to the other kids and he'll get a friend like that sooner or later. I hope he doesn't pester "his Dylan" about it.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Josh's first ever ride on a bus.

Today Josh got to go on a field trip to an apple orchard and rode a bus for the first time ever! He still had a moment in the car when he didn't want to go into the school but it didn't take long to convince him to go. (He's been hesitating to go in for just over a week and I've found that if I allow extra time in the parking lot and we just kind of sit there a while before going in then he's better about going.) They got to go on a hayride and pick apples and got a bag to bring home with apples and a little pumpkin. He's doing well as far as going to the potty when he's not too distracted. I think cutting bananas out of his diet and not giving him so much cheese has made the while thing easier for him. Yesterday he went into our powder room to use the potty by himself he found out the seat was up as he got his whole butt and his shirt dunked into the toilet bowl- I guess that's one of the dangers you face when you're too short to reach the light switch! Funny once he stopped crying about it. He might have been a little freaked out since I always tell him that toilets are dirty so he won't touch them or play with them. Poor Josh!

Since Dima and I had time after I picked him up from kindergarten and before we had go get Josh I took him to a Japanese Steak house. He sat nicely for the most part (except for blowing the paper off his straw, which I think is actually condoned by Chris when they go to their sports bar/ restaurant... we'll have to talk about that one) and attempted to use chopsticks and was speaking in a quiet voice once I pointed out that the other people there were not talking loudly and that they wanted to have a relaxing lunch with out hearing him. He tried tempura shrimp and vegetables and rice and tried my salmon and liked everything except the salad with ginger dressing. The waiter was pretty impressed that he was willing to try everything.

We just got a copy of a article that ran in the Washington Post Southern Maryland section with two pictures of Dima at the Hard Bargain Farm Oktoberfest. He's actually dancing with the big guys in one and looking into the bottom of an alphorn in another. A former neighbor who came to see us that day mailed us the actual article and we had already seen it online. Both boys danced with the Almrausch kids on this past Friday evening and at one point Josh started yelling at Dima during a dance so we had to have a talk about how that's not acceptable behavoir on the dance floor. The place was an assisted living facility and I get so nervous with the kids running negotiating through places like that since you have so many people with canes and stuff. Josh barely pays attention wto where he's walking anyway so I always make him hold my hand though he's not too thrilled about it. Some of the kids came with us to the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City for a performance yesterday but I was glad to not have to keep tabs on my kids in a place as crowded and as stimulating as that.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

that's insegence

Lately Dima's been trying to say "that's interesting" and instead it sounds more like "that's insegence" I'm sure it's only a matter of time until he gets it right but it's kind of funny when he says it thinking he's using my expression. Yesterday he also tried "if I do say so myself" and kind of got that one. I don't realize how often I say the same things until I hear it coming from the mouths of the kids. One advantage of my being with them all the time is that I can figure out what they're talking about from the context or from what ever we're doing at the time.

Today was a first for Josh he actually asked to go home when we got to his school. He went to the other side of the car once I un-did his buckle and really didn't want to go. Luckily a friend came out and said that her son was inside waiting for him and then he let me carry him to the school. Once we got to the door he ran inside so hopefully this won't happen again. He could have wanted to play here or something instead of school. He did get up late today so I guess he's especially tired. He has also been coughing so that could be part of it too. I'm going to try to get them to take a long nap this afternoon. It's raining and just one of those days that every one wants to stay in bed. I think this will be a play-doh and crayons kind of day once they get up later.

Dima had the chance to see a fire engine up close today at school and they gave him a booklet to color so as he was looking at it on the way home we was telling us about feeling doors and stop, drop and roll. We have a few roses growing out front so we went out this morning to cut some along with a lily for Mrs. Benner. He really is a pretty thoughtful kid and once you give him an idea he'll use it again on his own. Then ironically they made a "garden" in class today with cut out flowers with manners things written on them (please, thank you and stuff like that) and green pipe cleaners with a little fence thing to put them in.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Oh no, now what did he do??

Last week the boys and I were out for a walk when one of the neighbors whose son is in Dima's kindergarten class came out of her house and was walking across her lawn toward us and at the time I was thinking: Oh no, now what did he do?? to her kid. Then she said "I've been meaning to call you " and I was really thinking " Oh great!!" Apparently her son Dylan talks about Dima all the time cause they ride the bus together and are in the same class so she wanted to invite Dima over for a play date!! Whew! Was I relieved and impressed that Dima is actually making his own friends. He's been asking me every day when he'll get to go but we had the weekend and their family had to leave town for a funeral so we still have to work out the details.

Right now Josh is playing with a whole lot of tickets that we got at a show we did for a Knights of Columbus in NJ. They had these long strips of 50 /50 tickets and the guys at the event were tearing them apart to put into the bin to shuffle them and then draw the winning ticket. Somehow they recruited both Dima and Josh to help with the ticket process and Josh actually ended up on stage to pick out the winner. After they were done the winner came and found Josh to give him a twenty dollar bill! Since the tickets were now worthless the boys started collecting them so Dima could decorate a fake tree ant people started to bring them over for the boys and they got a dollar each from a woman who was helping them gather tickets. She spotted a five under a table and after checking near-by to be sure it didn't belong to anyone there she showed Dima where to find it and let him have it! Once again cute pays!

Dima actually danced for the first time with the GTV Almrausch. He's been hesitant to do it in the past so I didn't push him to do it but one of the other moms talked him into it by going out with him as his partner.

We're going to Maryland this coming weekend for another fest with our old dance group and I'm hoping they'll both dance there. Josh cried last time he tried it - I think because there's an explosion involved and he doesn't admit it but I think it scares him. Ear plugs might be a good idea too cause it can be really loud out there, another potentially frightening thing for a kid. Now I have a CD of German music on and every once in a while he says "Auf geht's !" (Let's go) and he says it at the right time in the song he likes.
He also knows some of the words to "I'm Looking for Freibeir" (free beer) I'm thinking maybe I should remove that one from our playlist since it might not be the best thing to have him singing that at his Christian preschool! Our friend Karin has 10 year old twins and has said it's interesting to try to explain what we do on weekends when asked at school. Josh already talks about "Oktoverfests" to him it means goofing around with the other kids and sometimes going on rides as well as dancing and getting lots of attention.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Are there toys in college?

While talking with the boys about school Dima asked how long until they are done and I briefly went into how they get breaks each summer but how school goes on for years through elementary school ,middle school, high school and then college and Dima's next question was: "Do they have toys in college?". Now there's a loaded question....

This morning while I was cleaning up the kitchen and the boys were still at the table eating breakfast when Dima said to Josh : " so... what do you want to talk about?" which is what I usually say when we're eating and they've already covered school and the snack for the day and whatever else is on their minds. For now we have a Conversation Bell which is a bell that I can ring if they're both trying to talk at the same time and we lay it down on the table to show who is supposed to be taking their turn to talk. While they were at the table by themselves the bell was upright so Dima said "so, ceiling, what do you want to talk about?" I thought that was actually pretty funny. While driving somewhere the other day Dima saw some Christmas lights still up and he's heard us saying "Merry Christmas" when we go by a place that has them up all year long and Dima asked if the people in that house with them still up would take the lights down once Christmas time comes... I thought that was really funny!

It's kind of funny to hear them saying stuff that I say. A few weeks ago it had been raining off and on and Dima asked Josh if it was raining and he said "not at the moment" which is something I always say. And lately Dima's been trying to say: "that's interesting" which is another thing I always say and his words are getting jumbled into different sounds but I still know what he's trying to say so I work on showing him my mouth as I say it and they both try to copy me. I'm sure it won't take long to get it.

Today was Josh's picture day at school and I had him eat his breakfast with a robe and big bib on so he wouldn't mess up his clothes , I dressed him in what we call a "Pop pop shirt" for the pics cause it really does make him look like his Pop pop when he wears them.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Our weekend

After doing the school thing in the mornings for several weeks now we're into a routine of waking up on school days, getting Dima to make his bed, getting dressed and then coming downstairs for breakfast with both of the boys covered with "eating suits"(for Josh it's a full bib with long sleeves and for Dima I took some old shirts we got from my Dad and trimmed the sleeves off and he puts them on backwards to cover up) so they don't mess up their school clothes. They both like bowls of cold oatmeal - I can make it and keep it in the fridge then top it with yogurt and applesauce and wheat germ and then I mix in raisins and or dried cranberries or sometimes fruit. Josh goes ballistic if I give him anything that's too hot so I started the cold oatmeal thing for him and it's so easy to make it while I'm making pasta or something like that and then have it ready for school days. Josh usually jumps up ready to go but there have been days I've had to coax Dima out of bed. This morning and yesterday they were tired from their busy weekend since they didn't have a nap on Saturday cause they do ice skating lessons from 2-3.

The boys are both doing well in their ice skating lessons, Dima so well that they think he should be in the learn to play hockey classes next time and Josh is now skating without using anything to hold himself up. After lessons they were treated to a Slushie at the local Wawa and Chris said he turned around for a second and next thing ya know Josh has a donut in his mouth - and when asked where he got it he pointed to a display of donuts that was within his reach!!... and you wonder why I don't take them into places like that!! Keeping track of the two of them in a situation like that is something I don't want to have to do so we literally don't go there. Even when getting other treats if I have to I'll use a drive through or make something at home. If that had been me I would not have given him the Slushie, and they know it cause they told Papa that I'd be mad if I knew about Josh doing that. There's a lesson in there about taking stuff without paying and about asking for treats instead of helping yourself.

We had a late night on Friday night since we had to go to practice for the kids dance group and they have both been pretty good about paying attention lately and they had a good time playing with the other kids afterward. There's a little girl that has been coming to practices this year that Josh has latched on to and he always wants her to be his partner, the first time he met her he kept asking what her name is which is what he seems to do when he likes someone.

After their lessons on Saturday the boys and Chris went to a fest at Victory Brewing Company in Downingtown with both boys in their lederhosen and hats and everything. Josh almost blew a gasket when they got there cause there was apparently a Porsche club that had a lot of cars parked in the same area and he kept going "aaahhhh!, aaaahhh! and pointing at the "spoirers" (spoilers) on the backs of them. He was his usual outgoing self and charmed the girls who were there as dates of the hockey team players as well as a couple of kids his own age and some strangers as well. Several people handed him their tickets for food and drinks as they left the place. Cute pays!! Dima ended up with his own root beer stein and goes around trying to sing Ein Prosit. He's like me in the lyrics department I'm really bad at hearing and remembering the lyrics to songs and I'll make up new ones or just sing "something, something" when I don't know them. Root beer was all over his shirt but it washed right out. He was well behaved for the most part.

Josh came to Ambler, PA with me on Sunday to a dance show and had a great time. My parents came to watch him dance and I didn't tell him ahead of time that they would be there. He was thrilled to see them and was totally cute and very self confident while dancing. As we walk through the crowds at places like that you can hear the people - especially the women - going "LOOK AT HIM HE'S SO CUTE!! or LOOK AT THE LITTLE LEDERHOSEN!!" He certainly isn't lacking any self confidence, while dancing he looks around and smiles for cameras and looks at the other dancers and has a great time. The women in the group have said he makes them smile cause he looks right at them while clapping and going around with the guys in what Josh calls "the bye bye dance" (we wave good bye at the end) . While people were trying to take pictures of the other kids in the group he would go over to get into the shot. Two women asked me to pose for a picture and next thing you know he's in front of me to get in it too, they ended up hugging him and taking his picture alone with each of them. Someone from the Ambler Gazette asked me his name and age, I think they got some shots of the kids in the group and he could end up in the paper. I'm hoping this self confidence and the exposure in the performances will help him out later on in life with things like speaking in public - something that I'm still not fond of.

Since he had no nap the day before he looked exhausted especially earlier in the afternoon and was literally dragging himself around I was surprised that he didn't fall asleep on the way home but he was so busy talking about the day that he kept himself awake. We went to an impromptu picnic at the home of one of the couples in the group after the performance and he did very well playing with the other kids even though most of them were older than him. He was eating an apple so that helped keep him occupied on the hour long drive home. While we were at the picnic he had the chance to eat a hot dog and corn on the cob and tater tots but the other kids were getting up and calling his name to come to play even though they weren't all finished eating so he was really distracted and didn't want to sit there to eat. He had a great time playing with a pretend kitchen/ grill and running around playing duck, duck, goose and tag. He tends to be miserable if he falls asleep in the car and we get him up so it was probably just as well that he stayed awake.

Now that we're back into the week we're doing our same old same old routine, breakfast, school, lunch, nap then walk either before or after dinner, 7 o'clock bath then in bed by 8. Dima brought home a library book with just pictures and is having a great time "reading" that by himself.