Saturday, July 31, 2010

Help the Hungry

Billy, Taylor, Blake, & Aunt Susie
Today was a day that we did something outside our comfort zone. We set up camp for two hours outside a grocery store to help collect donations and food items for the St. Charles County Food bank. We knew that our church had set up an organization to help our community, but when I heard of the volunteers that were needed for this particular event, I shied away. I love to help others, but I am very uncomfortable asking anyone for anything.

I had my mind made up and really figured I couldn't help anyways, with my two kiddos in tow... UNTIL...One of the sweetest members of our church, Kathy, asked us if we would volunteer to help with this cause....I couldn't say no (that's another thing I have trouble with-lol!)...and thank goodness I didn't. I volunteered my Aunt Susie to come along and help me with the kids (you are so welcome!) and decided that it would be a great experience to make them part of! And, as it turned out, Billy got to be a part of it with us!! He NEVER gets a Saturday off, but it all worked out perfect!

The day before, I helped the kids make cute little signs and decorate them however they wanted. Taylor's sing read: HELP the HUNGRY and had rainbow scribbles all over it. Blake wanted his sign to read: FEED the NEED and he drew detailed little food items all around the words. Seeing them stand there with their little signs made me want to cry! They definitely helped reel in the donations...who could say no to them?!?!

We started out really nervous...stuttering as we asked for food or change, but... by the end of it...we had our script down and realized that, although some people might look the other way and pretend not to hear or see us, MOST people were generous, caring, givers. We even had people thank US for giving our time to help those that are hungry...WOW!!!  I thank Kathy for asking us to be part of this wonderful cause, it made us try something "outside our box"...we loved it and want to be more helpful where we are needed. 

During these tough economic times, there are people standing in line at these food banks that used to be able to give to them. The food banks are low and the demand is is sad to think that there could be a person or child out there right now, who hasn't gotten to eat today. Thank you   for organizing such great efforts to help our community!

Blake & Taylor decorating signs

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Losing it

2 weeks ago...tooth still there, just loose & scooted over!!!

After two weeks of wiggling this tiny little bottom tooth, whining about it hurting while he ate, and running from us when we talked about all the wonderful ways a tooth could be pulled (lol!!)...Blake finally lost his first tooth!

Blake has been babying this tooth for too long, even bribes of tooth fairy bliss wouldn't convince him to let us pull it !!!  Finally, after taking two hours to eat a peanut butter and honey sandwich, all the while he's whining "I want this tooth OUT!  It hurts!  I can't stand having a loose tooth!"  ......I quietly gathered the "tooth-pulling" neccessities (orajel, warm salt water rinse, napkins, string/floss, and of course, the camera), called him into the kitchen, asked if I could feel the tooth, then I used a paper towel and just pulled it right out!  He didn't even know it came out!  I showed it to him, took some pics of his gappy little smile, and then off he went, like nothing even happened!  My sister and I kept asking him to smile so we could see the gap, he got so mad and begged us to just leave him alone!  Well, I guess the excitement is over...EXCEPT...the fact that he is making these slurping sounds...NOW he claims he can't keep his spit in his mouth, talks funny, and will never be able to eat with a missing tooth.....AARRGHHH !!!!!  Now I'm about to LOSE IT !!!

FINALLY !!!  A lost tooth !!!

BTW... the tooth fairy DID come  "pay"  Blake a visit last night...we put the tiny little tooth in a ring box, stashed it under his pillow, and when he woke up, he found an oragami-folded dollar bill and some loose change!!  A huge "THANKS" to Nicci for the wonderful Tooth-Fairy story to tell:  The toothfairy uses all the lost teeth that she gathers to build her castle have to keep your teeth brushed and clean because she does NOT want a yellow castle !!!!   So cute and Blake totally agreed,  as he ran to give his teeth a good brushing !!  No one wants to let down the Toothfairy !!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Obsessed or just having FUN ???

Blake has always been a kid that had a "favorite" toy.  Not your usual teddy or security blanket, but a toy that he cannot stop playing with.  When he was two years old, he LOVED Lightening McQueen from Disney Cars movie.  He literally carried him with him to play dates, church, grocery shopping, dinnertime, & even to bed every single day for more than a year.  Obsessed. 

Next came TRANSFORMERS...all of them...he started playing with them at age four and still loves them.  He repeated all the same things once again.  I watched the movies with him and enjoyed helping him transform his toys, but, I had to put an end to the battles.  I would always use the wrong weapon, or not defeat his guy the correct way, so I told him that Mommies do not like to that part for when your Dad gets home! (you are welcome, Billy)  This lasted over two years!!  Obsessed.

Now, at six and a half years old,  he is all about STAR WARS.  He still plays with his Transformers every day, but he can't stop talking about:  the Jedi, Skywalker, the Clones, R2-D2, droids, and let's not forget the one thing that we "get" to take everywhere we go...the "LIFESAVER" aka Light saber !!!  Obsessed.

This particular obsession is quite frustrating for me... I just want to make dinner, not have a "duel"...I just want to get the shopping done, not decide if Quigon (sp??) would be proud of our choices...I just want to make it through another day with Blake and his complete and total Star War World without freaking out!!  I try to play, pretend, and constantly watch him act-out the movie in our family room, but cannot keep it up for much longer.  I am making an effort to be more interested by having a play date movie night, with another Mom and her kids.  We are planning to have an evening where ALL we will do is watch STAR WARS, order pizza, and let our boys act out all the "lifesaver" duels their little hearts desire !!! Wish me luck!!!  

Our camp trip...

Fourth of July...

Visiting Aunt Sissy...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Charting it out

A couple of weeks ago, Billy and I stood, with out house in total running, screaming, dog barking at the running, screaming kids, no schedules, everything completely "out of whack".  Summertime.  We decided that we needed to go back to the chart...Blake used to use a chart for everything.  Daily Routine, Chores, Rewards, etc...they work great and he really loves them since he is very goal-oriented.  He had actually asked to do a chart!  SO....dry-erase board...we're back...and we LOVE it !!!

Blake gets an allowance of $3.00 per week IF he gets his chores completed.  He gets to mark each daily chore off, and if he missed any, he "misses" some of his allowance!  He hasn't missed one yet!!!  To give him a visual...I broke the $3.00 down into 12 quarters so that we could visually cross a quarter off if he doesn't get a job done.  You don't get paid if you don't do the job!  :)  

His chores include: feed/water the dog twice per day, put his laundry away, brush teeth twice per day (had to add this to make sure it gets done!), pick-up family room each evening-mostly toys.  I started very simple to ensure he could realistically meet the goals.  Now that I know it's working, I am definitely adding some of the chores I dread!! lol!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It's an EMERGENCY !!!

Not sure if this a "girl thing" or what, but Taylor is sooo dramatic.  When Blake get hungry, he asks for a snack.  When Taylor gets hungry, she runs to the pantry, tugs at the door, throws herself onto the floor and literally screams, "Mommy, I hungie!!  Hungie, hungie, hungiiieeeee!!!".  ~ For one thing, I just got breakfast cleaned up...Second thing, "CHILL OUT !".  Everything, I mean everything is an emergency to her. 

Blake was not like that.  Another thing, Blake refused band-aids like they were the plague...Taylor, on the other hand, would love to get an "owie" just to get a "ba-aid".  She sees even a freckle on herself and cries out (of course with NO tears), ", peez hurry!!!" 

Just the other night I commented that neither kid had been quiet, even for a second, all day...I said that i thought something was wrong with their little lips...they wouldn't stay!  Next thing I know, Dr. Taylor Ann had "fixed" both her and Blake !!

How am I possibly going to get through this dramatic time !!!!'s an EMERGENCY !!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bittersweet Bouquet

Taking some recent photos of our garden plants reminded me of something that happened this spring...we had been given six tiny little tomato plant sprigs by a friend from church.  The kids and I watched them grow in our windowsill, water, fed and just babied these little plants for weeks.  

Then, Taylor and I literally spent an entire morning replanting them into little pots.  (If you have ever done a project with a two year old, you know just how LONG it can take!)  It was a fun little project for us to do together!

Over the next couple weeks, Blake watered them everyday and we watched them grow...until...a huge wind storm came blowing in, wrecking havoc on our poor little plants, so the kids hustle around, making trips to carry each pot inside, to "save" them from the storm...they worked hard to protect their little plants!  The wind continued to blow outside like crazy and our evening went on...I got dinner ready and as we sat down, I hear Taylor's little happy voice exclaim, " Mommy, for you!!"  As I turn to see what she had for me, I see her big beaming smile and then...I see...a fresh-picked bouquet of 6 tiny tomato sprigs, roots dangling.  I felt my face change from happy to  "OH NO", and she must have seen it too...her smile immediately drew down into the saddest frown, and then as Blake sees the "present" she had for me, he couldn't contain his disbelief, yells, "NO TAYLOR!"...and she cried so hard.  I have to say, we were both upset at the moment, we tried to save them and failed, BUT...looking back, the disappointment of losing our plants, and the loss of all the time and effort put into them was really nothing...her hurt feelings and broken heart were the worst damage done.  Even at two years old, children have such an understanding and such empathy for those around them...poor thing felt so bad that she went and put them in the trash and cried, " I made them trash, no good no more".   We consoled her, and then started over with some new tomato plants.

Two months later...we have four thriving tomato plants, two bell pepper plants, and a jalapeno plant.  We all are enjoying seeing the fruits of our labor, although Taylor hasn't quite learned a lesson (if she is left alone with them, she will still pick the blooms to give to me)  little stinker !!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Just be Happy

Yesterday, Taylor refused to follow directions, so I said, "It makes Mommy sad when you don't listen, please be good and do as I say".  She immediately turned around and came running with arms wide open..."Mommy no be sad, be happeeeee, peez, I be good now, Mommy!!!"  AWWwwwww!!!! 
     -sometimes she'll even "physically" try to turn Bubby's frown upside down...she just wants everyone to be HAPPY  :) 

Blake's Faith

Blake and I were up early on Tuesday morning watching the awful news of  Alisa's kidnapping.  Filled with such sadness, I paused the t.v. and Blake and I held hands and said a prayer for her and her family.  Blake's eyes were filled with tears as he said how sorry he felt for her because she was probably scared without her Mom.  For a moment, I thought maybe he shouldn't watch the news, guard him from some of the evil in this world, but then I realized that he is smart, full of empathy, and needs to be educated about these things, even the bad.  When Alisa was returned safely to her family, Blake confidently says, "Good thing we prayered on her, I knew she would get to come home"...WOW...what awesome faith!!  This event, as awful as it was, has restored faith to many who prayed for her and has probably saved countless other children as awareness has been heightened. Thanks God!!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fourth of July 2010

In the past, we've always celebrated Independence Day by going out on the lake, to carnivals downtown, concerts in the park, or last year...the riverfront. The fireworks are always awesome, but the crowds and traffic have taken the fun out of it for us. We decided after a two hour traffic jam in the parking lot last year that we are celebrating in a more simple, stress-free way!

We started out by visiting my sister, aka "Aunt Sissy" on Saturday night to watch the St. Charles fireworks from her front yard. Since she lives downtown, the view was awesome and the kids would rather get to see her than go to any carnival or concert...they absolutely LOVE her! It was perfect.

On Sunday morning, we went to church and heard a great message. We were reminded that our country was founded upon God and it is up to us to keep God centered within our country and lives.

After church, Aunt Susie and Aunt Sissy came over, we grilled, swam, set off our own fireworks, got rained on (of course!!), and then sat in the road and watched as the entire neighborhood lit the sky from all directions!

What a wonderful reason to celebrate...our nations birthday! What a perfect time to realize how blessed we are to live in this wonderful country and how thankful we are to the service men and women who fight for our Freedom everyday! God bless America!

My patriotic kiddos!