February 28, 2011


I'm hiding. Seriously.

I'm hiding from this:

I told the boys I was going downstairs to do laundry.  They don't like to help with laundry.  They are thankfully unaware that Monday is laundry day and today is not Monday.
***yes, I know the day you're reading this is Monday but this happened on Sunday.  This blog is not always in real time ;)

I am downstairs. Not doing laundry. I'm Hiding. It's come to this.

He is in rare form today.  Strike that.  It isn't exactly 'rare form' these days.  Its the norm.

A simple reminder to 'say please' somehow manages to turn in to an hour long showdown.  His little fists will beat anything within range.  His legs.  The chair. Me.  Hitting is not allowed, but if when it happens it requires an apology in this house. Apparently he doesn't take requests.

I can see him struggling inside.  Consequences of his actions that he'll face versus his need to be in control.  I'm struggling too.  Teach him right from wrong and be mentally exhausted or turn a blind eye and let him get away with it all.

His big brother is watching.  He knows the rules.  He already sees that his little brother gets certain advantages (like being carried more often, shorter time-outs).  He's been on the losing side of his little brother's hitting and biting attacks.  I have to stay strong and ride this tantrum out.

I am surprisingly calm through his tantrums.  I'm sure the neighbors hear his high-pitched screams and think I'm beating him.  I'm not. Hitting is not allowed.

But now I'm exhausted.  And I fear any single wrong word will set him off again.

I'm choosing not to battle by way of avoidance.

I'm hiding.


Here's a little ode to the temper tantrum (and a little reminder to myself that even the crankiest little monkey just needs a little love)

February 27, 2011

waiting for springtime

The snow was fun (for a few hours).  The teaser weather we had in the 60s plus was great.  I really need sunshine and signs of green sprouting... right now would be good.  Below was on a 50+ degree day, beautiful sunshine, and snow.  The snow is gone but the gloomy weather is not.
Come on Spring, please visit soon.  Maybe stay for awhile.

I really miss you.

Its been too long.

February 21, 2011

Joy of Love {days 15 thru 21}

Its week 3 of the Joy of Love project.  I think I've started a project I can actually finish.  It helps that February is the shortest month of the year.  The prompt for Day 15 is "kiss".  I had a different picture for this one but after our attempt at family portrait Round 2 (below) the boys ran off to man[handle] the camera and we got this.  We actually now have several shots of just the two of us - thanks boys!  Soon the camera was pushed a little to close to the edge of the stool it was propped on by all their button pushing (so I also have several shots of me crawling madly towards the tipping camera. thanks boys.)

Day 16: together (self portrait).  This was Round 2 of our together portrait.  There is a bag of chocolate chips behind us because Round 1 did not go so well.

Day 17: Staying in.  We've done a lot of that lately.  Boredom always leads to underwear on the head.  I have boys, I guess I should get used to this sort of thing.  He's also started to wear his jacket as a cape.  He loves the super hero role - I'm just not sure what power the underwear on his head affords him??  Thank goodness for a bit of nice weather and day 18... going out.  All underwear is worn under pants in public

Day 19: when they are gone.  When his big brother is gone, off at school, I get to fill in as his playmate.  Sit and spin never gets old.  I don't fit on it (thank goodness!) I get to cheer from the side lines: spin, buddy, spin!

Day 20: when they are home.  When daddy is home his lap becomes THE place to be.  Mr. Stubborn refused to take a nap and decided that he'd take cover from me in daddy's lap. I stared him down (have I mentioned I'm stubborn).  I left the room for two minutes and come back in to them both napping. I'm jealous.
Day 21: hands.  Those little hands.  He still clasps his little hands around our necks.  It is one of the best feelings ever.  They get bigger and you still get hugs, which are awesome, but there's nothing quite like the little hands on little arms that can't quite reach around you so they grab on where they can.  bliss.

February 14, 2011

Joy of Love {day 14: jewelry}

I lost my wedding ring almost a year ago.  We borrowed a metal detector. Scoured the house. I even bought the boys pirate gear and bribed them with chocolate if they could find the "hidden treasure".  No sign of it anywhere.  I didn't want to give up the hope of finding it and I couldn't stand the sight of seeing that finger bare so I put on a ring that had been passed on to me. It was almost as dear to me, it had been my father's.

The box that the ring is sitting on is a jewelry box my husband built for me as an anniversary present.  Its beautiful and I love it.  He is so talented and I love him.  Someday I hope to find the ring.

February 13, 2011

Joy of Love {day 13: routines}

Morning milk on the couch; it's been a routine for almost 5 years now.  The boys are early risers (and have made me in to an early riser).  Its about thirty minutes of quiet cuddling and cartoons.  The milk buys me just enough quiet time to fix a pot of coffee and pour a cup for myself before joining them.

One of my favorite routines has always been nap time.  It was always like clockwork.  It was my time to get stuff done.  Now they have both started fighting the naps.  Its more work to try to enforce naptime or even "quiet" time then it is to just let them skip naps.  There are a lot of stages and phases that I miss but naptime is the the one I will miss the most.

Valentines Day | DIY Crayon Hearts

We've been stuck inside a lot.  I can't remember how long its been since the ground wasn't ice or snow covered.  We been busying ourselves with projects and way too much Wii.  We needed to do Valentines for 20 classmates and I've always wanted to try melting crayons to make new ones.  I found a silicone mini heart shaped mold and thought heart shaped crayons would be perfect for Valentines this year ~ I just hope none of the kids thinks they're candy and tries to eat them.

Supplies needed:
Crayons (we have tons of broken cans, restaurant crayons, etc)
Muffin pan (mini works best, any shape will do, but this project may just ruin it for future use so choose wisely)

Peel the wrappers from the crayons (I used an exacto knife and slit down one side to make it easier for them to get the wrappers off).  Break up the non-broken crayons and place in mold.  Put in a 220 degree oven for about 20 minutes.  Let cool.  Some of the darker color combos just mixed into a solid dark color but most made great color mixes.  We had fun popping in bits of gold, silver, and white from the few crayons we had in those colors.

The kids (my niece joined us for the day) put the crayons in little baggies (I think they are candy bags) and decorated them with punched out hearts and circles from old paint chip samples.

There is a layer of cloudy wax that forms on the top - it doesn't have color and makes the one side of the heart concave.  I shaved this off using the slicer/grater.  This was a very easy project and a good way to use up those broken crayons - my crazy kids won't use crayons if the tip is broken off.  The decorating the baggies and getting Evan to sign his name 20 times was the hardest part.

Happy Valentines Day everyone!

February 12, 2011

Joy of Love {day 12: eyes}

The eyes... my boys have beautiful eyes.  I'm biased, I know.  He got his blue eyes from me, one of the few really good things about him I claim.  Unfortunately he's just as sensitive to the sunlight as me.

I love both my boys eyes.  So much expression from them.  And when they cry.... oh my!  It only makes them glisten more.  I'm such a sucker for teary-eyes.  I'm pretty sure it would be unkind to go grab my camera to catch their teary-eyes in the midst of their distress.  I'm pretty sure one day I'll risk the bad-parent award and grab the camera anyway.

February 10, 2011

Joy of Love {day 10: spaces, where they are comfortable}

There aren't really a lot of toys in their room. Legos and dolls is about it.  They don't really play in the playroom or their room that much; they save that for whatever room I'm in.  But they do love their beds.  They associate them with story time and cuddle time so why wouldn't they.  Its where they go when they're sad or need a little space.  Its also where they go to plot and scheme.  When they are in there and quiet I know that some kind of trouble is brewing... usually bobby traps and sneak attacks are being planned.

The picture is fuzzy and the lighting is bad but it is a true moment of their everyday life.

February 4, 2011

Joy of Love {days 4 thru 8}

Joy of Love {day 4: what they wear}
Phil's daily wear for work.  The hat is a standard for him, work or weekend, through the winter. I see this image 5 days a week as he's preparing to head out the door and then again when he gets home (only with a little more dust, dirt, or paint on him)

Joy of Love {day 5: love to hate}
He is 3.  He has hit the terrible two's.  He has a voice now and he uses it daily to state his many opinions, his many strong opinions.  More stubborn than me (I'm hard to beat in the stubborn department).  I am constantly (and silently) reprimanding myself for daring to engage in a battle with a three year old.  It is exhausting.  This is him refusing to say sorry; he's putting me in 'time-out' as a penalty for requesting that he tell his brother sorry.  This I ignore; but he insists repeatedly for another 10 minutes of the drive home that "I not say sorry - you go time-out".  As my mother has always told me... one day you'll have a child just like you.

Joy of Love {day 6: who they love}
He loves mommy and daddy.  He loves his little brother "pretty much". He loves his aunts and uncles and grandparents and cousins.  He loves his teachers and classmates.  He loves everybody who is anything in his life.  I couldn't pick one person (and neither could he) so I focused on the objects he loves.    He is loving his stuffed animals, some from his baby days.  His "pets".  He cares for them, cuddles them, sleeps with them.  It takes me back to when he was still in a crib and his number of must-sleep-with items went from 2 items to 8 items.  

Joy of Love {day 7: generations}
The framed photos on the wall haven't been swapped out in years (at least 4 years).  Its on my list of things to change up but they're all classics so I'm hesitant to do so.  The boys love to pick out mommy and daddy in the pictures.  They can even pick out some of their aunts despite the photos being 10+ years old (sisters, you've aged well).  They love the pictures of young grandma and grandpa but I'm pretty sure they don't believe me 100% that those pictures are really of grandma (mom, you've aged well too.  I'm sure it's just the wedding dress throwing them off).  This wall of photos is a conversation starter every time with them.  They get to hear stories of multiple generations and extensions of our family.  They get to hear stories of a grandpa and an uncle they've never met.  Hmmm, I think I just took changing it up off my list of things to do.

Joy of Love {day 8: gift from the heart}
I love spring time for many reasons.  One of them being that I really dislike winter.  Another being that I get wild flowers brought to almost daily.  Big brother is so proud of the gifts he picks out for me; so happy when he sees me proudly display them.  He is a pleaser; he loves to make people happy.  The pine cones are one of the last gifts he brought me before the snow and ice buried everything for weeks. They are in a jar on the buffet, maybe not as lovely as the gifts of spring but still given with love.

February 3, 2011

Joy of Love {day 3: then and now}

Day 3 of the Joy of Love is then and now. "How long have you known your loved one? What has changed since you first met him or her?".  I've only known my kids a few years but the changes in them from then to now are incredible.  I've known Phil a long time and I just don't see that he looks much different now than he did then.  If I look back at pictures I can see it and I like pulling out the old albums and looking at pictures of him so he's my focus for day 3.

I met Phil just over 12 years ago; I actually went to high school with him years before meeting him... just somehow never managed to meet him. We've gone from our young twenties to our late thirties. The typical changes have occurred in both of us: a little less hair, a few more wrinkles, a lot more aches and pains, and a little shifting of weight.

I loved "then" but I love "now" better. I do wish I could visit "then" sometimes, for maybe a few hours, but I'd quickly come back to now.  We've come a long way, we make a good team, we have a wonderful life.  It took years to build all that (but surprisingly little effort).

To learn more about the workshop, and join in (you can join in anytime to receive the daily emails, prompts, and tips) go to www.willettedesigns.com.

On a side note:  Happy Birthday to my sisters! and love and prayers to my mom for a quick and problem free surgery and recovery.

February 2, 2011

Joy of Love {day 2: how they look}

Day 2 of the Joy of Love is how they look. "Capture your loved one at their best (or at their worst).  Or both.  What you’re trying to capture is the TRUE essence/expression/attitude/posture that SCREAMS your loved one!"  To learn more about the workshop, and join in (you can join in anytime to receive the daily emails, prompts, and tips) go to www.willettedesigns.com.

This guy is not a fan of a camera pointing directly at him (don't know where he gets that from) but can usually be bribed or tricked in to a picture.  Of course for this I wanted a picture true to the prompt of 'how they look' and so I had to be fast and sneaky.  A split second later his eyes are buried behind his hand.

This guy has a million looks and he can through them all in about five seconds.  Most of them are happy or silly ones. Silly is good but glad I caught happy today.  I might have just told an underwear joke (that is like a magic smiling wand on a 5 year old boy)

Day two of being cooped up inside safe from the icy roads.  We've pulled out all the puzzles, games, books, and decorated the room with stuffed animals - yeah we're getting to the bottom of the idea barrel here.

February 1, 2011

Joy of Love {day 1: what they do}

For the month of February I've signed on for the free workshop Joy of Love... a month of documenting the ones I love.  To learn more, and join in yourself, visit www.willettedesigns.com.  The blog is full of wonderful photography tips and pictures; plan on staying for a while. You can also visit Wilette on Facebook.

Today is Day 1; what they do  "Find something they “DO” and document it." is the first task.  My focus was on the kids but with Phil being home most of the day he got in there too.  With all the cold weather we have been inside a LOT.  I'm out of ideas.  The boys are just doing what they do.  Finding anything to do to entertain themselves.

We have all the windows open to let the light in.  Lots of sleet coming down.  They were forecasting a great big storm that was supposed to bring 15 inches of snow... now it looks like we might get just a couple inches if any (on top of ice and sleet).  Prior to them downsizing the predicted snow storm the boys were window watching for the snow and checking out the ice covered trees.

After realizing the snow was not coming the boys set about doing something they love to do.  Playing Mario on the DSi.  We have two right now thanks to Aunt Kathy being a sucker and giving her's up whenever one of them gives her the sad puppy eyes (or the happy joy eyes, or even the evil stink eye... she's a real softie when it comes to her nieces and nephews).

Just got the call that there is no school tomorrow.  I'm looking forward to day two of the Joy of Love and the coming task and tips... especially knowing that we'll be stuck inside. again.  :)