Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Momma Has Been a Little Crazy Lately...

Dear Ben and Jack,

I am sure you must sometimes notice that Mommy gets a bit nutty.  This is a nice way of saying that Mommy sometimes gets a wee bit cranky.  A little too focused on the details and forgetting to stand back and see the bigger picture.  I believe that all households go through hills.  Sometimes we are high up on the hill with everything running perfectly.  We cannot imagine even the possibility of a rotten day.  Other times we are in the valley and just getting through the day or week is enough of an effort.

Just want you both to be sure that even when Mommy is overwhelmed and yes CRANKY I still love love love you both.  Also want you to know that at the end of each valley is a new hill to climb.  The trick isn't to avoid the valley because they are what make the hills seem so high. We must instead become expert hill climbers for life is full of valleys but it is worth the climb my boys.  Now let's climb shall we?

Love Your Crazy Cranky Momma

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Halloween Practice

I wish I had pictures of this but I don't. Still a story worth sharing. Remember how I said we lived in the best neighborhood? Well we do and it was further evidenced to me just last week!

Picture it...Friday night and all the Moms and Dads have picked their little ones up from the bus and the usual street play is underway on the cul de sac.

Things take a dramatic change when one little girl decides to distribute a bag of candy to the rest of the children. I believe we counted 11 of them. One rule applied though, you had to have a bag to put the candy in. 11 children scurry around the cul de sac looking for bags so they can get their candy treat.

I think at this point there were a few girls who had been playing dress up but after the bags and the candy their little imaginations were just pumping! Ben and Jack came home and got bits and pieces of last year's Halloween costumes and before we knew it we had 11 kids running in a pack trick or treating!

As it happened that night about half of our neighbors were away so only the parents of the children on the street were at home. This meant that the kids had free reign to knock on every door in the cul de sac without fear of offending anyone.

Well, the parents who were visiting on the front lawns, enjoying a few drinks all caught the spirit of both their children and Halloween. We all scurried trying to come up with treats for this trick or treat session. I believe at the end of the night each bag contained:

* a Kool Aid jammer
* cheese slices
* gummy candies
* cheese and crackers

Perhaps the best moment of this mock session was when the neighbors across from us pulled in from getting groceries. All the parents were doubled over when we saw 11 children in a mob surround their car and come out with a big bag of cheesies!

Not a bad haul for the middle of September!

Jackie is Five!!!

Ah Mister Jack.  You are now five years old.  Hard to believe so much time has passed since we first met you.  You have been looking forward to this day in "Xtember" for months now and were simply thrilled to learn the time had arrived.

"Jack, your birthday is here."
"Is Xtember here Mommy?"
"Yes, it is Jack."

A train party was organized and the guest list made.  You delivered all of the invitations with a little hop in your step.  Kellie (my good good friend) did face painting at the party.  Thank you Kellie!  You supervised decor.

"Mommy, there aren't enough decorations in the hall for my party."
"Don't worry Jackie, we will get to it."

And get to it we did.  I bought tons of streamers and Ben and Jack coated the stairway with them.  Nice work boys, would hire you both in a second.

The cake was perfect!  Friends of ours from down the street created the most amazing cake.  The photograph doesn't do it justice but it is a steam engine with Jack photo shopped in as the conductor-complete with authentic Via Rail hat.  Thank you Ange and Steve!

My favorite part of the party was when you opened your gifts.  Some might rush this process, anxious to get to the next gift.  Not you though.  You had me read each card to you and each gift was opened with care.

Now you are five my boy.  Now quit growing already!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Forts From Daddy

Who loves a good fort?  My boys do!  What is the preferred building material???  My couch cushions of course!  Even though these boys have an extensive collection of invent-a-tent it always comes back to this.

Techno Bonding

Yes, I know it is wrong on many levels but a nice cuddle at the end of a long day outside can't be all bad even if we do each have our own little screen.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Going To University To Get Your Car.

As you know this momma is way attached to her boys.  This presents certain conflicts.  One example is university.  I really want the boys to go to university after finishing high school.  I completed my BA over about 17 years through night...between 8 and 11 unfun! I would not want my boys to choose this route if at all possible.

So although I really want the boys to do this I also realize that along with this comes the chance they may choose to attend a school which is far away.  So as soon as the topic of university comes up we have always joked that the boys can choose to go to school in another town and we will pay for residence OR they can go to school locally and live at home and the residence money will go towards a car to get them back and forth to school.

Practical?  Yes.  Without selfish motivation?  No.

The other night Jackie was asking me about how school worked.

"First is kindergarten right Mommy?"
"Yes Jack, and then you go to grade twelve and then to university"
"Oh, that's where I get my car"

Yes, it is Jack.  Yes it is.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lego Marble Track...Mommy and Jack Style

I remember when I first stopped working and stayed at home I was quite serious about the whole venture.  I spent much time planning way cool activities and crafts.  Then somewhere along the way this slowed.  I suppose it coincided with a newfound interest in friends as opposed to playing with Mom.  Every once in while though I am totally game for a new project and we GET INTO IT.

Sometimes though the projects can go a little wrong.  Remember the great Lego sort that led to...well sorted Lego.  Ben was at school today and Jackie decided he wanted to make a Lego marble track.  He had been so patient while I did housework that this seemed like a request that deserved granting.  So we headed to the nicely sorted pile of Lego (suppose it was good for something if not it's intended purpose!) and got to work.

Mommy try try tried to make a motorized elevator but we soon realized this was not to be.  Ok so in reality I spent many minutes trying to figure out a way to make the motor work for us and Jack finally said:

"Mom, no motor ok?"
"Ok Jack"  to self:  "Thank goodness!"

So we went with a regular non-motorized marble track and I think the result if not particularly innovative was just right for Jack and his Legoly challenged Momma.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tea for Two and Two for Tea

My Mom passed away when I was in my early twenties and so my boys never got to meet her. This is difficult because I wish so much that she could have met them, listened to their little voices, snuggled them, and loved them. I like to believe that she is sometimes here with us and has seen them even if they never got to meet her.

In the winter my Dad and his wife Pat (who is a fantastic grandmother to these two boys) delivered all of my mother's china and finally today I decided to unpack all of it. A beautiful set all with little pink roses on it. I fondly remember sitting by the china cabinet just looking at it. Probably wanting desperately to play with it.

I was so excited to unpack everything, to touch each piece and take some time to remember my mother. I had totally underestimated their reaction though!

Once I had the set all packed away in my china cabinet there were still many items laid out on the dining room table and once the boys saw all of it they were EXCITED. Jack chose a little teacup with some flowers in it to put in his room. Ben chose a silver vase with flowers for his room. There was even a bit of a scuffle over a few sets of salt and pepper shakers.

One of the items left was a tea set and to my surprise the boys set up a tea party with the set complete with flowers. In fact I was told on several occasions to look away so they could surprise me. They did a fabulous job!

I made some cookies and filled their pot with water and they had 'tea'. My heart was never so warm. They may never feel my mother's arms around them on this earth but to know that the dishes my Mom once touched and carefully saved were now being enjoyed by her grandchildren was a comforting thought.

P.S. yes, that is a shot glass Jack is drinking out of-one of the items he selected...hehe

Monday, September 6, 2010

Letter to Ben and Jack

Hi boys,

Well it is the morning of the last day before school starts.  Here I sit by myself.  You are at a sleepover with your very best friends and Daddy is gone on an errand.  I sit and ponder...I am sad to know that another summer has come and gone because I see these summers as a gift of time with you guys.  Snuggles in bed in the morning.  Slow starts to the day and late ends in the evening.  Plays on the street while parents chit chat and play dates with friends.  Happy boys, carefree boys.

Now that you are getting older I realize that the fabric of each successive summer will incorporate a new thread. Last summer your friends were important but this summer they were the focus.  I can only imagine that as each summer passes the changes will intensify until...well until the day we get you set up in your dorm.

Just want you to know that even though I might sometimes be that crazy lady running around making you clean your room, be nice to your brother, wipe your face, change those clothes that I am also that lady who loves you.  The lady who will always love you, and will quite possibly have some sort of boundary issues when you have your own little family to love.

I love you boys,

P.S. If there was any way you both might consider not growing up so quickly that would be much appreciated.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Belly Buttons

Not sure how this ever started but whenever Jack finds a random button he excitedly calls out

"Mom I found a belly button"

and proceeds to put it in his belly button to proudly show me.  It is quite possibly one of the cutest things I have ever seen.  So cute that I have made no effort to clarify the non existent relationship between buttons and our bellies!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Ahh matchers.  My boy's pet name for the days they are dressed the same.  I know some people might find it silly but I love love love putting these two handsome fellows in matching clothes.  Of course now that they are older this isn't happening as often.  Jack has extremely particular ideas about clothing and Ben has started to feel that dressing the same as your younger brother may not be the coolest thing.

When I came home with matching snowsuits for this winter Ben very nicely asked if I could stop matchers.  I know this is time limited so on this day I got pretty crafty.  We had a party to go to so I prepared clothes for each boy and sent them to their separate rooms to dress.  They met up with me in the hall.

Ben: "Whoa look at us matchers!"
Jack: "Isn't that funny mommy?"
Ben: "Yeah, isn't it funny that our clothes match Mom?"
Mommy to self: "Yes it is boys, oh yes it is."

I found this set of matchers at the Gap.  Little polo shirts with skulls on them.  Perfect for rough and tumble boys.  I think they look super sweet and might even have to save one of the shirts in my pile of "too many memories to give away" clothes.

Super Awesome Pool Moves

Benny has always been our little water baby.  From day one when he would go into his baby bath he would kick, kick, kick.  This attitude translated directly to the pool.  He dives beneath the surface, snorkels like a pro-the boy knows no fear (my heart pitter patters on a regular basis with this boy!

Jack is more cautious.  We worried he might never get out of his little red and yellow swim vest which we dubbed the Shriner vest due to its uncanny resemblance to the vests the Shriner men wear.  In fact at the beginning of this swim season he inquired about its where abouts.  Without missing a beat I lied and told him it  was ruined by the chlorine last summer.

My lies paid off as you can see by the little boy in his underwear (Jack prefers it to swimwear).   At the end of this season he is keeping up to his brother.  Now a cannon ball expert!

Island Adventures A La Daddy

Ever dreamed about being a true pirate and setting out for adventure?  Well Benny was in heaven on our trip to visit a girlfriend and her son (who happens to be Ben's bes friend in the world!).  Just off the beach was a real shipwreck!  A paddle boat sunk and left to the ravages of the open sea (er...lake).  Three boys all age seven spent a good half hour attempting to bring the ship to shore.  The did a pretty good job of it!

Enter head pirate (aka Daddy).  The boat was pulled to shore in no time and plans were laid to set sail to an island no too far away where they would find their treasures.

Enter huge rain storm (aka dream destroyer).  All the pirates were gathered by their Mom's and told to get back to the trailer as soon as possible.

Dreams for another day...