Monday, November 10, 2014

Monkey Shiner Babblings

J - We should get dad some new shoes.
M - Why?
J - So he can go running.
M - Why does dad need to go running?
J - So he can get extra-size because extra-size makes people feel better.
M - That's nice of you, but dad has a head cold.
J - Oh.

H - Mom, you really need to talk nicer to dad.
M - I'm not talking mean to dad. I'm just upset that I don't have any friends and I'm just expressing that to him.
H - Well mom, I'll be your friend.
M - Oh thanks Hunter.
H - And James and Charli are your friends too.
D - Who are also her children...
H - Dad, do you need friends too?
D - [Looks at him with raised eye brows]
H - Okay, Roxy [the dog] can be your friend.
M - Boom. Hahahaha!

M - Oh my gosh. I do not feel good today boys.
J - You'll feel better if you take us to the park...

M - You know what we need to do? Start thinking about Hunter's birthday.
D - You know what you and I need to do, Hunter? Go pick out your birthday present together.
H - Yeah! And get a nurf gun!
M - More like something to help you play your favorite sport. What's your favorite sport? Football, hockey, soccer, baseball, tennis, volleyball, running...?
H - Dodgeball.
D - No, what do you like to play outside with me?
H - Croquet. No no golf.
D - No, golf isn't a team sport. What's the one you have to have others to play with?
H - Ohhh. Duck duck goose.
M - *face palm* We're looking for baseball, Hunter. You like to play baseball...

Sunday, November 9, 2014

From Crib to Toddler Bed - Already?!

This little girl is growing up faster than I can fathom! She'll be 18 months in a few days! 
I'll admit, I'm not ready to give her crib away. And I didn't think she was old enough herself to give it up yet, but she's proving me wrong so far! If I recall, we moved Hunter out of the crib when he was about 15 months to make room for JP. JP stayed in the crib until he was about 20 months, I think. We had a heck of a time with Hunter, probably because he was too young, but we didn't have much of a choice. JP was a rock star at it too, like Charlotte.
For right now, she's using the same bed the boys did, except I painted it. It was royal blue but I wanted it to match her room. I need to touch it up a bit because it gathered a few scratches when I was assembling it. 
Because we are going to be giving our crib to Perry's sister, who is due with her first (A GIRL!!) in January, I thought I'd start moving Charlotte to a bed now. My plan was to just do naps in the bed, and sleep at nigh in the crib. But she did so well, that we let her try sleeping in the bed at night too. 
Words cannot explain how cute she is either! On her first night in her bed, she only got out of her bed once and *very* quietly walked down the hall to the kitchen and just stood their with her blanket in hand. Adorable! It's even cuter to watch her try to get onto her bed. Because she's so little, she kind of struggles, mostly because of the white railing on the side. She likes to get on at the end of the bed, but her knee hits the bars when she's climbing. Now she has a little step stool.
Last night I checked on her before I went to bed, and it was painfully obvious that she had fallen out of bed and then went back to sleep. This morning Perry and I were awoken by the sound of something crashing, followed by baby cries. Not what you want to wake up to...After she woke up and couldn't pull the door open, she became curious and started pulling out the drawers on her dresser until it tipped over...on top of her. Perry made it to the room first and started screaming, "NO! CHARLI!!! NOOO!! CHARLI!!" All I could see was a toppled dresser with a leg sticking out. I think Perry was on the verge of tears as he heaved the dresser off of her. She was clearly shook up, and could have been severely hurt, but her guardian angels saved her. She was running around a few minutes later with nothing but a scuff on her noggin. Thank goodness! Now I remember why we had the dresser in the closet...Hunter did the same thing before, except it didn't land on him. 
Isn't she adorable?! If she keeps this up, we might have to put the crib away for good!

A Functional Closet for JP: A Closet Makeover

Toward the end of summer, Perry and I went on a "get-things-done" spree, where we worked on finishing up projects that we had started, or intended to start. One of them was finishing JP's closet doors. It was an easy project that I headed up. The look on Perry's face was price-less when he saw me coming up the stairs with the doors in my hand. The plan was to sand and stain them in a weekend and be done with the project. But one thing leads to another and then I'm on Pinterest looking at how to make the boys' closets...
 
If I would have known JP would LOVE green, I never would have painted his room, but I did. Anyways, his closet just wasn't cutting it for me...Who stores their wedding dress in their kids' closet? I DO... But my main concern was that JP couldn't get his clothes down without using a chair, and since I'm all about fostering independence, getting dressed was fairly hard for my short little munchkin. 
With a little extra time, Perry gutted the closet and worked on making him shelves, while I painted the inside. I'm impressed with my closet doors. They look so much nicer in his room! JP now has two bars to hang his clothes on. The upper bar is for out of season clothes, that still fit but I don't want to pack away. On the right side, he now has shelves to store his stuff, like his big pillow, suitcase, and the *large* number of puzzles he's acquired. Added perk for JP - he now has two knobs on his doors instead of one ugly one! Now to get Hunter's closet done...

Hunter's Room: Before

We've lived at our home now for almost 5 1/2 years. I cannot believe it's been that long! When we bought this place, I wouldn't have called it a fixer-upper, though it HAD to have new paint throughout, but it's turned into one. 

Hunter's room downstairs is really the only room that we haven't touched. The color on the walls wasn't horrible, and for a kids room, we dealt with it.
 It was the carpeting that was in need of an update. It didn't even have a pad under it...
 When we finally moved Hunter downstairs to have his own room, I added a few cars to his walls to make it more kid-friendly. Painting those things took *a lot* of time! Since there is a ledge in his room, I painted it black and added a center line to make it into a road. I was always tickled when I'd see him and JP driving their cars on it!
 In typical Hunter fashion, his room didn't stay nice for long. Only days after I finished the yellow car, he took the black permanent marker to it. (Because I hadn't put it away yet since I was still working on the other vehicles...) And a while later...
...he woke from nap time and dug into my cake dyes. Isn't that just a pretty spot on the carpet? We've since always kept something over top of it. Like his dresser. Which soaked up some of the green... Hunter was one big mess when I found him...
 But most recently, this is what his room looked like. If you look closely, you can kind of see the different shades of the blue/green above the yellow car. Perry was going to touch up paint once, and after painting the majority of the room, and wall with the cars, he realized the colors were different, and stopped... Since Hunter is *almost* 6 years old (when did that happen?!) we figured it was time to update his room. A lot. So here comes one big project!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Mom Confessions: I Need a Friend

Lately I've been feeling a little unloved. Maybe unloved isn't the right word to use because I know I'm loved by my husband and by my family. But I've been feeling unloved in a sense of friends. I vent about this to Perry far too often and I'm sure he's pretty annoyed by it when I get into these funks. Maybe I should say unwanted?

I supposed I need to learn how to control my mind a little bit better. This recent "no friends" sadness comes on the heels of my best friend's decision to leave her husband. When putting myself in her position, other than her, I have no idea who I could go to who would understand me as a friend, or who I could talk to without my family judging me. I know my family would be there to support me through whatever I would decide, but I think friends tend to fill a void. I drove two and a half hours to help gather her things from the house and was relieved to see how many of friends showed up to help her out. And then I wondered, who would help me? Would anyone drop what they're doing to help me out when I most need it? If something were to happen to Perry, I'd be lost. *On that note, no, Perry and I are not getting divorced, nor have we even thought about it.*

Perry knows I've been struggling with "being wanted" for a long long time. I'm embarrassed to admit that once I threw my engagement ring at him because he didn't invite me to hang out with his friends in our garage. I knew most everyone out there, but I didn't want to join in on the fun unless I was asked to. It was stupid of me, but we eventually worked through it between the two of us, but ultimately, I still want to be wanted by others. I want to be wanted in a way where people need me. Where people want to do things with me. I want to be that go-to person who someone calls just to talk to.

Last week my parents went to the movie together and told me they were doing so multiple times. I thought it was nice to see them go out together. Then my sister came over and informed me she was going with them. In that moment I was a little hurt because I wasn't asked to come along, regardless of if I could or not. The next day Perry left me at home to go to a movie with his mom and the sting of feeling unwanted stung a little bit more. Why am I not being asked to spend time with other people? I get that I have kids, but I can work around them!

Like I expressed to Perry last night, I don't understand why I'm having such a hard time making friends. I've invited numerous moms to come over with their kids for a playdate, which most have come, but that's where it ends. That's where I get frustrated. We seem to hit it off really well but then I'm never asked to do anything, whether it be to grab a coffee, or meet them at a park.  It usually goes something like me saying, "Would you want to meet up on Saturday at a park?" and them responding with, "I love to but we've got plans. I'll let you know when I'm free." Guess what? They're never free. Ever. I understand that people like to go do things on the weekends because their weekdays are filled with work, but how many times do I have to ask before I'm just annoying? I'm not asking for them to spend the whole day with me, but give me an hour? Stay-at-home moms are worse because they don't have work to schedule around, but I've yet to receive an invite from one of them yet. I had one of my son's friends come over the other week and the two of them played nicely together and his mom and I got along really well, to the point that she said "We need to have you guys come to our place sometime." Imagine how I felt when I heard her inviting other people to come over, while standing next to me. Jealous much?

I will probably cry when someone finally asks me to do something with them, without me reminding them that I extist. I'm pathetic but I've been waiting and waiting for some one to just call me, or shoot me a text, or Facebook me something that says, "Want to come over for a playdate?" "I'm going to the park with the kids, want to join?" I know that friends aren't made over night, but I feel like every time I meet up with people, it's always one sided. Me putting myself out there and you just tagging along to entertain your kid for an hour. How do I get a call back after a playdate?

What am I doing wrong? Was my house too clean because I scrambled to pick up all the toys before you came over so I could make a good impression? Or was it too dirty because I hadn't mopped or dusted in a while? I feel like I've been going out of my way to try to make friends, even acquaintances. I purposely stand around the pre-school doors with a "happy" look on my face because happy people are easier to approach than mad looking people. If I don't then I feel like I'm suffering from Resting Bitch Face. (I know it sounds dumb - Perry laughed when I told him that too. Feel free to laugh with him but it's a real thing. Google it.) I'm coming to terms with the fact that if I don't approach people, they won't approach me. Coming from someone who has a hard time putting herself out there, approaching people isn't easy for me! I really have to psych myself up to do it. I've gone to the extent of buying new clothes so I would feel more confident in myself when approaching people. How dumb is that? It all leads me back to the questions of "What am I doing wrong? Why don't I have people who want to do stuff with me?"

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A Wreck It Ralph Themed Halloween

When I made Hunter a Wreck It Ralph cake last year for his birthday, I was surprised as to how many people hadn't heard of, let alone seen, the movie. It's a Disney movie! Obviously it's one of my favorites too! Despite my annoyance with no one knowing the movie, we went ahead and had a Wreck It Ralph Halloween too. I sat down with the boys in August and asked them what they wanted to be for Halloween, and this was one of their ideas that I could actually do! 
 JP was the lucky one who modeled the costumes for me the day before. He wasn't thrilled about putting on Ralph's hands though so we were in the middle of a meltdown...Can't you tell? 
JP has been counting down the days since the beginning of October until his Pumpkin Party on Halloween at school. As soon as I packed up Hunter's backpack and explained what he needed to do to get his costume on for his parade, I helped JP get into his costume and off to his party we went. Not surprisingly no one recognized him, even when I said he's Fix-It Felix from Wreck It Ralph. 
 After lunch, we took a trip to Hunter's school to watch the costume parade and to check out his party. I was responsible for bringing some fruit to the party. I was going to bring oranges that looked like pumpkins, or the banana ghosts that I brought for JP last year, but I figured someone else would. So I instead brought cantaloupe and used cookie cutters to cut them into bats. (I was going to cut them into pumpkins, but I forgot about the seeds in the middle....) As his teacher was rearranging the food table, she looked at the bats I brought and said, "I think someone has too much time on their hands!" Then there was an awkward pause as I slowly said, "That would be me..."
 Anyways...JP enjoyed watching the parade. He couldn't take his eyes off the "guy without a head." There were a lot of original costumes there!
 Charlotte didn't get to watch the parade because I brought her inside in her carseat so she couldn't run around. And with a failed nap attempt, she missed out on lunch and instead ate while we watched. Hunter was so excited to be Wreck It Ralph, but I doubt many people knew who he was... 
 After the parade, we went back to Hunter's classroom to stop by his party, but his class was at recess. Just as we made it outside to say good-bye, the bell rang for them to line up to go inside. JP wanted to say good-bye to Hunter, so we made it over to Hunter's line before they went inside. Words cannot describe how sweet Hunter was to his little brother. My heart melted for 20 minutes. Hunter immediately took JP under his wing and told him exactly what to do. "We have to stand in a line, so you can hold my hand and walk next to me, or you can walk behind me." (Gah! We're not staying, but okay...!) Once inside they had carpet time where they sang a pumpkin song. "You can just sit right next to me." 
 Then it was craft time, so we tried to leave. "Jim, you can sit right by me at my table. Just stay right here and I will go and find you a chair." I'm pretty sure he stole someone's chair for his brother, but now that he had a chair, we had to stay a bit longer. It took a lot of convincing to get JP to leave, and to let Hunter let us go. JP really wanted to ride the bus home, but Charli really needed a nap soon. 
 When Hunter came home from school, we packed up in the car and drove to Grandma's work to do some trick-or-treating there. I only showed Charlotte once what to do with her candy and after that she helped herself to the candy and filled up her bucket before we left. On the way out the door, JP still hadn't grabbed any candy so I told him not to pick the kinds I liked or he might not get to eat them. On the way home, he held up a Kit-Kat bar and a Snickers and asked if I like them. I told him I loved the red on he was holding and would trade him something for it. He put both back in his bucket and pulled out a Reeces as asked if I liked that one. I told him if he gave me that piece now, I'd let him have a piece to eat out of his bucket, to which he responded, "No, I'm trying to figure out which candy you like, so I can trick-or-treat for them and give them to you." Seriously, how cute is that? This kid is going to make someone REALLY happy someday. 
 
Other than not dying Charlotte's hair, didn't I do pretty good?
 Charlotte has the energy of Hunter, but with JP's personality, which has been making it really hard to take pictures of her. 
 After we had dinner, which is usually halloweenies, but this year I switched it up a little and made mummy calzones, we got ready to go out. We had 3 trick-or-treaters this year...down 4 from last year. And one of them was Aunt Kim dressed as a pretty scarecrow.  A combination of a little face paint and being over-tired sent Charlotte into a series of meltdowns when Aunt Kim nicely said "boo" to her. We attempted to trick-or-treat on our street, but everyone was already gone at 6:00. 
 While the boys were attempting to trick-or-treat, Perry and I stopped by the one neighbor's house who was home and chatted for a while. I watched Charlotte side-step a good half length of their car, careful not to touch the car or step on the grass. 
 Even though Kim stopped by our house, we went to her house to trick-or-treat to see her boyfriend Julian. Then we went to one of their neighbors. After doing those two houses, JP exclaimed, "Wow, we sure have done a lot of trick-or-treating!" Three houses total and he was ready to be done! But we went to Nanny and Papa's house anyways and the boys were excited to see Aunt Bobby there. 
After loading up on candy at Nanny's house, both Hunter and JP were ready to be done, but Aunt Bobby convinced them otherwise. Nanny came with us to take them to a few more houses, while Perry and Papa Craig stayed home to hand out candy, something neither of them enjoy doing. After going to the house across the street, Hunter checked out his basket and said to himself, "Okay...okay...that wasn't so bad." He apparently had to psych him up for it. A couple houses later, someone answered the door and said, "Who do we have here?" to which Hunter responded, "I'm Hunter." Hahaha, I'm pretty sure they were asking what you were dressed up as! After a few more houses, JP's basket was overflowing with candy, so much so that he was dropping it as he walked. Hunter's wasn't nearly as full. Reminded me of Easter this past year...maybe that's because they were using their Easter egg baskets...
Hunter sorted his candy out when we made it back and was very protective of it. Charlotte took her candy out one by one and then put them back in her bucket, one by one, over and over. 
I think it's also worth noting that this was Nanny's first Halloween where she's been able to hand out candy. Hunter was already a pro at it!
 And shout out to Kile's family! Remember when Hunter and JP dressed up as the monkey?! Casey is too cute, especially with chocolate all over his face. But check out him and his dad! Curious George and the Man with the Yellow Hat. Who would have thought this would be their last moments as a family of 3?! 8 hours later, Casey's brother, Dylan, was born! And I added another nephew to my list of favorite kids! 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Lego Club - Who Knew?

A few weeks ago while Perry watched some movie I wasn't interested in, I surfed the web for anything that would occupy my mind for a little while. Somehow I stumbled upon the library having Lego Club every Thursday afternoon. I planned to take them last week, but since my mom was coming to town, I figured we'd have better timing to go this week. (And praise the Lord it's on Thursday as it happens to coincide with early-out day at school...Seriously that extra hour kills me every week!) 
 We struggled to get out the door today, but eventually we made it. And after Hunter singing Halloween songs on the way to the library, over and over and over again, JP and I were excited to arrive. You should have seen the excitement on their faces when they saw all the Legos! 
 Charlotte even had fun with the Duplo Legos...that it when she wasn't running around pulling books off the shelf. 
 Both Hunter and JP alternated between the two different kinds of Legos to play with, probably because of all the boys crowding the little Legos. 
 Eventually Hunter became bored of Legos and wandered off to find a different activity. JP wandered off to look at books. I found Hunter on the computer when we decided it was time to go, and somehow JP was able to pry him off of it so he could have a turn. (He has such good posture!)

I think we're going to try to go again next week too! Maybe we'll even check out a book this time...

Missoula Maze with Grandma

Because Hunter had been having some issues listening on the bus, his bus driver and I created a rewards system for him. The other week he earned his reward of going to a movie at the theatre. Per his request, we invited Grandma to join us. We planned on going to the movie on a Saturday, but since the maze isn't open on Saturdays, we had Grandma come to town early so she could join us at the corn maze. 
 Each year there is a different theme to the maze. This year it was all about mining. 
 We all took turns leading the group, switching off when we hit a dead end, or if the boys kept taking us in circles. 
 I was fortunate enough this year to not have to tote a baby around on my chest. She was very content hanging with dad. 
 In the middle of the hay bale portion of the maze, someone volunteered to take a group photo of us. We almost had an extra person in our picture because he wasn't paying enough attention to the fact that we were taking a picture...
 At the end of the maze, we snagged a few more pictures before the boys ran off to play. 
 I took Charli to the kid's maze and she had fun wandering around through the bales. 
 Since we were on a time crunch to get Perry, Grandma, Hunter and JP to the movie on time, we had to cut our time there shorter than I would have liked. I made sure we checked out the petting zoo before we left though. 
Although the weather was a bit chillier than we would have liked, I know everyone enjoyed their time there. I hope we can go one more time before it closes for the year!