Monday, March 30, 2009

Just Plain Fun

There is something to be said for remembering to document the day-to-day stuff that goes on at home. I put in fresh batteries and had the camera at the ready. Yep. All of these came from today. So, did the following two blog posts about the doghouse and my genius, Number One.

Apparently the Dogs Will Be Looking for a New House Soon

I couldn't find Pretty and the Beast when it was time for dinner. After much searching, I noticed the dogs looking a little confused. Upon further inspection, I came to understand why. Let me just clarify that use of crayons and scissors without supervision is strictly prohibitted in the house due to some unfortunate incidents involving...well, pretty much everything cuttable. (Is cuttable even a word?)

Yeah. I'm so proud.

I asked Number One to let me take some pictures of him for my blog today. This is what he gave me. Somehow I don't see him getting many dates in the near future. Believe it or not, this kid is supposedly gifted.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happy Birthday, Number One

Number One turned nine this past Tuesday. Nine! Where did the time go? It seems like just yesterday that I found out I'd be a mom for the first time. I still remember our first night home with him and wondering when his mom would be coming to pick him up. We've come a long way since then.
Of all my children, he's the one who challenges me the most. I think that's because he's most like me. He knows what he wants and isn't afraid to go after it. He's so strong-willed that it drives me completely nuts and makes me proud all in the same breath. He makes me crazy while at the same time compelling me to be a better person and a better mom.

He's also a brilliant student and has been in the gifted program since first grade. He made the honor roll with absolutely no effort. I swear knowledge just comes to him. On the reading part of the standardized testing for our state, he didn't get one single question wrong. Who does that?!!? I'm curious to see how he'll do on the math part in April. (By the way, the brilliant part of him is something he gets from his dad, and certainly not from me.)

We told him we'd be having a smaller party this year. Money and time were a factor, but I just thought it'd be better to do something small so he could really enjoy whoever he did have over. I'm glad we kept it small because the weather didn't hold out for us. We were going to set up the bounce house and play outside, but it was 44 degrees and raining. Instead, I took them to the dollar theater to see Inkheart.
Number One hates cake because of his egg allergy, so we let the kids build their own sundaes instead. Let's face it. That's a ton more yummy anyway. The kids had a great time, my house was trashed, and all was well at the end of the day. His friend, H, gave him some walkie talkies which he LOVES. His other friend, D, gave him enough money to buy a new book at the book fair. Number One is a voracious reader, so I can't think of a better gift for him.

As for us, we took him out to eat on his actual birthday and gave him a watch and some deodorant. I can't decide which one he was more excited about, silly kid. Then, just before his party, we gave him a bike he's been just aching to get and some safety gear for the bike and his skateboard. Part of the beauty of having a smaller party was that we had more money to get him a bigger gift this year.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

What a Week!

It's been quite a spring break around here. I'm exhausted, but thrilled with the way the week was spent. There are so many pictures I wish I would have taken, but didn't.

The Beast's Room is Sparkly Clean
As is common knowledge to anyone who follows my blog, the Beast has some highly questionable habits during the night. One of them is peeing in strange crevices in his room. There are no words for how thoroughly disgusting it really is. YUCK!!! It was smelling like a poorly-managed nursing home in there. I decided it was time to pull out the carpet and not put anything new in there for him.

My friend, Gabriella, came over and helped me do it. We took out more junk than I care to describe. I finally opted to just put a trash can outside the window and just throw things out the window. It was so liberating! When it was finally time to get the nasty carpet out, the thing was dripping. Literally. Dripping. Ugh! Boys are so gross. GROSS I TELL YOU!!! The Beast was concerned that I would take too much of his precious stuff away, but it really had to go. I was stunned at some of the missing items I found hiding in special places in his room. I have to give the kid credit, though. He is beyond creative.

Anyway, I wasn't about to put a new carpet in his room just for him to pee all over it again. So, we decided to go ahead and just paint the concrete. If I was going to make the floor look nice, though, I decided I'd also make the walls look pretty. So, I did. I started by letting the Beast tell me what color he wanted. "Orange rainbow on the wall with funky stuff on the floor. Red, blue, pink, green, all of the colors." I should have known that asking would lead to something like that. I got some sky blue paint for the wall and a light sand color for the floor. It looks AMAZING! I just wish I'd have taken before and after pictures.

Family Cookie Night
Number One made choices on Friday morning. I won't go into details, but suffice it to say he lost out on his playdate that day. Instead, he spent a lot of time alone in his room. I was really disappointed in his choices, but proud of him for taking his consequence. I decided we could do something fun as a family in the evening before bed.

Snort and Little Guy were too tired to stay awake and join in the cookie-making fun, but the rest of us had a great time. My little chefs have some unique ideas about cookie decorating, but luckily taste isn't dependant on looks.

A Clean Garage
The city is coming this week for Spring Clean-Up. I wanted to take full advantage of it, and after cleaning the Beast's room, was feeling very motivated. So, I convinced the King to help me tackle the deathtrap that we call a garage. This place hadn't been cleaned in years and was looking BAD. I was afraid to even look in there let alone clean it. I called in the reserves. Angela came over. Marlene came over. I even hired a youth from church to come and wrangle the kids so I could focus on my task. (She did an awesome job, by the way. Thanks, Gabrielle!!!)

It took us eight full hours to do the job. We threw away things that you don't even want to know about. The pile of junk on the front yard is now on maps and somewhere listed as a new mountain. I'm expecting Sir Edmund Hilary and some shirpas to show up any minute to try tackling it. In addition to all that stuff, I filled the back of Gabriella's truck with stuff for Goodwill. Really, it was a huge purge.

I'm so sore today from all that hard work, but it was beyond worth it. My garage looks better than it has since we've lived here. I can probably even get the van into the garage. Imagine that! I won't be putting a vehicle in there, though. The kids are too excited about having enough space to ride their bikes. I don't have the heart to take that away from them. That, and I secretly like walking in there and seeing the big, empty space that's left behind.

I do have issues with the people who drive by looking through my trash for treasures. I didn't even get to take a picture of my mountain because people were taking stuff off the pile before I could even finish building it. Seriously, it's trash for a reason, people!! But, that rant will be a whole other blog post of its own.

A Bounce House Plus Popsicles Equals New Friends
Before cleaning out the garage, I wanted to do someting fun for the kids. So, my friend, Anne Marie, came over with some popsicles and I set up the popsicle out front. What fun!!! The kids had a blast, and neighborhood kids came from all over. I met neighbors who have lived just doors away from me for six and eight years. What a crime that we haven't met them before.

The Beast has been really enjoying playing with a little boy and a little girl a few doors for a while now. I finally got to really meet their parents, and learned that the little girl is going to Kindergarten at the same time as the Beast. The school principal had asked us to choose a friend to be in his class, but I didn't think there was anyone. Little did I know she was right under our noses. He's been playing with her for weeks now. She's so tiny (smaller than Snort!!!) that I didn't realize she was old enough for kindergarten.

Anyway, that was our week. I'm tired. Exhausted really, but I'm so glad we did all that we did this week. I spent time with my kids, improved my home, spent much needed time with friends (I love you guys, Nicole and Kyle!), gave my kids a chance to be with each other and their friends, and made an overall good use of my time. Now I have to put the inside of my bedroom together.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

We Went to Buck Day at the Zoo

It was Buck day at the local zoo. It's just a tiny zoo, but we had a good time. We met up with some MOFia friends as well as some friends from church. We learned that the hawk doesn't like you to pet him. Well, the Beast learned that. We also learned that nursing babies are for more interesting to kids in petting zoos than the animals you're there to pet. We're going to the much bigger zoo on Saturday with the King, too. Anyway, here are a few pictures.