Saturday, July 16, 2011

What a Boy Likes

Holy Hanna, where have we been?  Well this Momma has gone back to work which has caused some adjustments.  It has taken us a bit of time to figure out our new roles and many tired nights and marathon training meant that this blog had to go on the back burner.  I am trying to bring it back though.  I commit to write at least a few times each month.  I figured this might be a good time to do some catching up because all my little stories have been missing so we have missed boys growing and changing. 

So the boys are helping me out tonight as they watch Funniest Videos and eat apple slices.  So here we go (see my comments in brackets):

What is your favorite thing?
Ben: Grenade launcher (oh my, we have enough toy weapons for every kid in the neighborhood.  I try to keep my mouth shut about it so as not to make them even more attractive but I have had to set some limits!)
Jack: Nothing (clearly we have some 5 year old attitude here)

What is your favorite thing to do?
Ben: Play guns with my friends (sense a trend here?)
Jack: Nothing (and yet another trend)

What is the best thing about Mom going back to work?
Ben: Nothing (awwww, major bonus points for Benny)
Jack: Nothing (by the way Jack thinks I am a security guard because my office is in the same building as the security department at the university I work at.  He thinks this is cool so we haven't really corrected him.)

What is the worst thing about Mom going back to work?
Ben: That i don't get to see you (More points for Ben)
Jack: Nothing

What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy?
Ben: Play guns (oh boy)
Jack: Play guns (pretty sure he just repeated after his brother on this one!  At least it wasn't another "nothing")

What is your favorite thing to do with Mommy?
Ben: Watch America's Funniest Home Videos with you
Jack: Mine is the same as Ben's

What is your favorite book?
Ben: Holes
Jack: Do we have to do this?  Max and Ruby.  Do I really have to do this? (in his very best whiney voice)

Enough for tonight, we will pick this up later.  Little Jack just pulled up for a snuggle and since these are likely to be in short supply I am more than happy to oblige. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

First Communion

They grow and they grow and they grow!  All of the sudden it seems my biggest boy is ready for his first communion.  It was a great day and I must say I did not expect to be so moved by the ceremony.  It is a rite of passage and Ben took it all very seriously.  I remember feeling almost sick to my stomach at mine I was so nervous but not my Ben.  He is a gulp in life kind of guy and loved it.

Poor Jack was not so into it and had a grand mal temper tantrum at having to change his clothes to go to church.  Always lovely when the grandparents are down to visit!  We found out why at the church though as he very quickly fell asleep with Don.  It turned out nicely though because when it was time for the parents to go up to the front for the first communion my dad came with me because Don had his arms full.

So there we were, three generations celebrating a special moment.  Could not help but shed a tear.  Ben of course was totally excited to eat his treat and happily skipped through the church.  Gotta love his spirit.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A New Passion

From the moment Ben discovered he could use his arms and legs to get around he has been going.  When he was little friends used to be amazed at his energy.  We were told many times how he seemed to have more energy than any other child they had ever seen.  I believe them!  

I think though that we may have found his niche.  The perfect sport to fulfill a child who needs lots of action and a little danger.  A tough combination for any mother to accept.  Good golly I will some day have nerves of steel!  Sorry, got off track.  Sooo the new passion is BMX biking and I must say it is cool!

From the first moment he went down the steep hill to pick up speed you could see the pure and utter joy on his face.  It went on for two hours and he was amazing.  He quickly learned how to balance himself at the start gate and hopes to have a BMX career. 

We found a used bike online and Don got it all painted up for him.  He is thrilled with it.  I am so happy he is happy.  This was the sight I found the morning after his first evening after the track.  I think it says it all.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Baker Boys

Last week was Don's birthday.  It was also my birthday.  Yeppers, we share the same birthday, though not the same birth year.  I will always be the younger gal in this relationship.  I thought it would be cool for the boys to have total control (yeah, this was hard for me because I like to help...too much) over making their dad a cake.  But bake they did and an awesome job too. 

Benny read the instructions and measured the ingrediants while Jack mixed it all up.  They were super thrilled with themselves.  The most exciting part I am sure was mixing up the frosting!

Once their creation was baked they set to work to carefully decorate it.  I had bought two containers of frosting so you can imagine just how much there was to get onto the cake.  But very carefully and with love they got it all on.  Most of it piled into the center of the cake (believe it or not there was a hole in the middle of that cake)!

The result was a fantastic gift for their dad.  Of course we all enjoyed eating it.  Well, except for Jack who is far too picky about his cake. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sleepover Time!

I love love love a good sleepover so we have lots of them!  I think Ben started having sleepovers when he was three years old.  On this night we planned a huge sleepover with kids from four different families.  The moms are my besties and everyday we collect in the cul de sac so the kids can play, dinners with each other, parties with each other.  All the good stuff besties bring.  In fact I love that saying "friends are family you choose" because these ladies and their children have really become more like family than anything else.

Anyhoo, on this night we had eight kids for a sleepover.  The boys and I prepared carefully.  the right snacks, entertainment and a craft of course.  I would say that we hit a home run with edible play dough. 

By the looks of it I would say we had just as much fun making it.  We made it the night before so it could harden in the fridge over night.

It looks kinda gross here but it was quite tasty.  Peanut butter, flour, corn syrup, and margarine made this dough both playable and eatable!

As the sleepover got underway there were of course kiddies running around everywhere but the play dough quickly became the center of attention.

There were oohs and ahhs as everyone realized that eating it was not only ok but encouraged.  These became even louder as they realized that it actually tasted good!

As the night wore on I put some movies on up in my room.  Due to the basement finishing underway there are two futons up in my room along with our king size bed so it only made sense to let all the kiddies take over my room.  They watched some Smokey and the Bandit and with minimal threats were all off to sleep by 11:30.  They had an awesome time.

And in the morning this was the sight on my couch.  Tired kids snuggling with me on the couch.  Successful mission and a wonderful memory for my boys!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Great Wolfe Lodge

This is the boy who fell asleep only one time ever before bedtime.  What could possibly make him sleep like this?
And this boy too???  How did we do it you ask?
Great Wolfe Lodge!  One Wednesday deep in the dark part of winter Don and I knew we needed to get out of our house.  we have wanted to go to Great Wolfe Lodge forever so we figured this was the perfect time.  We booked a room for the following night and the look on the boys faces when they learned where they were going was priceless.

We scurried around buying our supplies and getting ready to leave the next day.  While we did this Jackie decided to do some recreational chair jumping in his brother's room.  Unfortunately this resulted in a quick side trip to the ER.  That poor kid scraped most of the skin off his nose and it was swollen!  Luckily the ER doc assured us the chlorinated water would not affect his nose.  Thank goodness because we could cancel the room and the whole point of going there is for the huge indoor water park!  Disaster averted.

The hotel was totally amazing.  We spent our time going from the water slides to the gift shop where Jack built a teddy bear complete with karate suit and where Ben bought a huge cup full of candy (which would later give him a very sore belly).  In the evening we hit the arcade in the basement.
The arcade was perfect for them and for 40 bucks worth of tokens they each got to choose some army men to take back to the room with them.  It was a great trip and we all had a blast.  The water park was impressive, big enough that you had a hard time finding each other if you got split up (or if you left your glasses in the room-I wandered for a good 20 minutes at one point).
Ben set up his 'room' in the sitting area complete with cup o candy and movies on the laptop.  He actually ended up staying up after all of us went to sleep.  He was feeling pretty grown up that evening!
It was a great trip and we will be back next year.  It is a great way to get out of those winter blues!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Karate Grading

Benny is such an enthusiastic fellow.  I can't think of a time where I have suggested he try a new activity where he didn't jump up and say sure!  Right now he is enrolled in karate and soccer and he hopes  to give BMX biking a whirl this summer.  A natural born adventurer to be sure.

The karate class we attend is held in a community hall and the people who run it do it because they love it because at 20 bucks a month they sure aren't making any money!  It does take a bit longer for the kids to move through the belts but really Ben does it for the pleasure of participating not so much for the belts.  This has been a big year for Ben.  He has really matured and changed so much.  No longer is he the boy bouncing off walls, he has harnessed his energy and this was noticed in karate and so this winter he earned his yellow belt.  Proud boy?  You bet!  I think he knew that this recognition symbolized a new era for him.  A chance for him to be an example for the younger kids.

We were oh so proud on this evening.  So was Ben.  We celebrated with a stop at Tim Hortins on the way home.  A doughnut well earned.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tears of GLEE!

Sadly this mother has been ignoring this little space where memories have begun to collect but I have promised myself that has to stop.  I am back!  Things have gotten a little nutty here because I just got a two month contract working at Queen's University.  Great because it will give us some summer fun moolah but it has made things a bit crazy around here!

Last week Benny told me that his class was doing a dance routine and that he wanted me to come and watch.  I was at his school working with the reading program so off to the gym I went to see what this dance was all about.  Turns out they were preforming a song from the television show Glee.  As soon as the music began so did my tears.  It was as if a tonne of bricks fell onto my heart because in that moment watching his class assume the roles usually played by high school students I knew, I mean really knew that one day very soon they would actually be high school students.

So I cried.  just a bit at first.  Easily hidden by pretending to wipe something from my eye but as each chorus sounded the tears came harder almost reaching the point where shoulders start shaking in the unmistakable way of all out sobbing.  Control was difficult and I was tempted to run out but I couldn't not watch.  So I did my best to mop up my tears lest I embarrass my child for years to come by being the Mom who cried.  I was rewarded by a truly spectacular performance.

Ben was in his element.  He had moves like I have never seen before.  You are a born performer Ben and you made my heart fly into outer space!

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Brotherhood of the Travelling Jogging Pants

I see Jack everyday learning from his big brother.  Often it is sweet things he is learning like how to build the perfect Lego Star Wars ship.  Sometimes it is an important life lesson like how Mommy is more likely to pass out a treat after you tell her you love her and call her Mama.  Today he learned a fashion tip from an 8 year old who beyond the odd request for a Lego or Star Wars shirt has never expressed any interest in how he looked.

Last week Ben had a gymnastics field trip at school.  Sadly he missed it due to a quick bout of the stomach flu.  However in preparation for the trip I laid out a pair of jogging pants.  He wore them around the house that day until the neighbourhood kids got home from school at which point he told all of us that he couldn't possibly wear those pants in public and raced upstairs to change into a pair of jeans. 

I chuckled a bit to myself at that moment.  Yet another sign of his growing sense of self and the gradual growing away from us that seems to be happening so much more quickly these days.  This morning I found out that his little brother had indeed been paying attention when I laid out his jogging pants for the day and as he marched back upstairs with the pants in hand and said:

"There is no way I am wearing these pants out in the public!"

Many more things to learn from his older brother are in store I am sure but this was one that made us chuckle.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Guest List for Ben's 19th Birthday Begins

I was helping out at the Shrove Tuesday Pancake breakfast for the school when Ben's teacher pulled me aside.

"I have a story about Ben that I must share with you."

"Really?" I said, swallowing back fear.  What is going on? I think to myself.

"We had a conversation the other day in class about why people need to RSVP to parties.  I asked for examples and some kids said that you needed to know how much food to buy or who was coming to the party."

Uh oh I thought to myself.  Where the hecka is this going???

"Ben raised his hand and told me that the reason people need to RSVP is so that the adults know how much beer to buy!  Make sure you invite me to Ben's 19th birthday party, I think it will be a good one!"

I chuckled because his teacher was chuckling but of course inside I was really wondering what his teacher must think of us!

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Boy is Growing Up

Happy Birthday Benny!  You are 8 years old now.  Right now you:

* Love to Lego
* Love to spend time with your friends
* Love new adventures
* See the opportunity to meet new friends at every turn
* Are a best friend to your brother

We celebrated with a cake and a sleepover with three of your best buddies.  You are growing up on me.  As much as I may try to keep you little for as long as I can I know you need and want to grow.  We love you so much.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Winter Project 2011

Have I mentioned before that we are finishing our basement this winter?  Well if I haven't I should because it seems to be consuming much of our spare time lately.  My two little guys have been very patient with all of it though.  I suppose this little beauty of a homemade jungle gym a la Daddy helped. 

As did using the space for an impromptu Beyblade tournament.  One where no adult (ok I confess it is me me me who is always nattering) "Don't hit the walls, those things leave marks!" Because there are no walls yet to worry about.

Wish this photo was clearer but what can you do, my photography skills leave something to be desired.  Now little Jackie it seems actually has a bit of a passion for home improvement.  On this particular night we use over 200 tapcon screws to secure the sub floor to the concrete.  Daddy would use the hammer drill to make the hole and Jackie followed behind to put the screw in.  He developed a procedure which he used at EVERY single hole.

1) Jack picks up his box of screws to go to the new hole (even if it is only a couple feet away he without fail would bring his box with him).
2) Jack walks over to the hole and uses the toe of his shoe to kick all of the concrete dust off the hole.
3) Jack then locates the hole by stepping on the plywood to make the dust poof out of the hole.
4) Jack installs the screw and moves to the next hole.

This went on for almost an hour.  Not too bad for a 5 year old.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lego, Lego, and More Lego

We are absolutely guilty of buying you both way too many toys.  We have slowed this habit a bit.  One day we realized that plastic toys do not biodegrade in the basement.  In fact if one keeps buying them the pile will grow and grow into somewhat of a monster.  This occurrence has happened more than once forcing us to go through the piles and kijiji some things and throw out the ones which did not match the strength and play requirements of two little boys and their friends.  Which as an aside I am always shocked about!  Seems like three times a year I throw out entire garbage bags of plastic bits.

Anyhow, I digress!  Our toy habit seems especially prevalent in the January to March months.  For a couple reasons.  First Ben's birthday is in March so there are the usual influx of toys associated with birthdays.  Then there are the rewards that happen after one has accumulated 15 magnets on the fridge (Ben for good behaviour at school and Jack for not whining or being negative).  I think though the biggest thing is that in Canada we are cold and tired of being indoors at this time of the year so we make ourselves feel better by bringing new toys into the house.  It works for sure.

So having explained our penchant for toys I can say that we posses a large Lego collection and it did indeed grown more this winter.  On this day of Legoing my boys asked that I take a photo to show off their creations.  They even set up the 'background' for the shot.  Very dedicated builders they are!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Craaaazy Hair Day=Crazy Morning

It was crazy hair day around here.  A spirit day for school.  If you pay a dollar you get to go to school with wacky hair.  I did NOT leave enough time on this morning to transform the boys.  This resulted in a rather harried Momma barking at the boys while obsessively checking the time...

"Stay still so I can tease your hair!"
"Stop, moving!"
"Do you WANT to go to school with crazy hair or not?"

Realizing that I was quickly turning what was supposed to be a fun moment into a terrible experience I attempted a lame recovery in my 'super sweet nice voice'.

"You know Mommy used to have a mohawk." 

I guess I hoped that this revelation would somehow make up for my barking.  The boys were leery at that point though.  Knowing that Mom was teetering on the edge of a nervous breakdown they did what what they could, just nod and smile at the crazy lady smearing green dye in your hair.

Thankfully for everyone once we got it all under control and once I was confident that we would not miss the bus we were able to enjoy some of the crazy hair.  I do love the expression on Benny's face here.  It says "I really don't want this photo taken but I am gonna do it to keep the nutty one quiet."  Thank you Ben.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Where the Hecka Have We Been?

Holy Man I haven't been here in a while but I promise to catch up soon soon soon.  It is March in Canada and that meens mega hibernation and maybe a bit of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which I swear we get a touch every year around this time!  However I am starting to feel a bit better so we shall catch up on our adventures as soon as this Momma finds a quiet moment to sort through photos!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

How we Spent Saturday Night

When Don works nights on a week end I usually plan sleepovers.  This week end was no different we had some neighborhood friends for a sleepover Friday and then a school friend over on Saturday.  On Saturday evening this was the sight from my kitchen.  Three little guys enjoying some hard core gaming--age appropriate of course!

Monday, February 7, 2011

What the Hecka is Going on Here? Part 3

Oh yeah baby, at the end of this winter craft we had somewhere around 12 kids running around the fort painting it with the spray bottles full of paint and water (FYI use food colouring not paint). 
Everyone had a chance to express themselves in the snow and the result is nothing less than fabulous.  My front yard has been transformed into a massive fridge front covered with drawings from all the the neighborhood kids.  So far this morning we have all taken our tuns running to the dining room window to check it out.
This is one of my favorite pictures of the day.  The two moms admiring their work knowing it was thoroughly enjoyed by many.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

What the Hecka is Going on Here? Part 2

Part 2 of this neighborhood craft project involved some major snow moving.  Ben and Jack were total troopers and definitely moved a lot of snow in preparation for this craft project.  The lump of snow that we slowly accumulted was many things in the half hour the three of us worked away at it.  A mountain, a cone, a cylinder, and of course Jack prayed it would magically turn into a train.  I think the boys were pretty thankful when Katie our neighbor and Mom of Peyton and Ethan arrived to help with the snow! 
Between the two moms we moved some major snow!  I am talking a good hour and a half of shoveling.  Coats and hats were shed.  We were sweating it out, neighbors drove by and slowed as they passed us wondering what the hecka we were up to.  Slowly what started out as a big lump of snow began to take shape and turned into a super awesome snow fort complete with two rooms.  The energy between us changed and we became SUPER MOMS. 
This isn't something that happens everyday of course but once in a while you do something so cool for your kids that you are elevated to the peak of SUPER MOMNESS and we achieved it on this day.  We were great, plans have been made to expand the fort of course.  We are just waiting for more snow so we can add furniture and of course more rooms.
You can see the excitement (relief) on our faces as part 2 of this super winter craft day is completed.  Bet you can guess what is next!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

What the Hecka is Going on Here? Part 1

I love to craft.  I think the boys do too.  I know sometimes my boys get sick of it...clearly I planned a few too many at Christmas time but now that we have had a chance to recuperate from Christmas it was time to get back at it.  Can you guess what we are making?  A few clues:
1) Empty contents of all the spray bottles in the house into mason jars.
2) Fill up spray bottles with water and paint.  Two very excited boys are wonderful helpers for this step!
3) Text all neighbourhood moms and arrange to meet outside.
4) Win the Mom of the Week award!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Bed That Jack Made

I took Ben to his karate class the other night and Don stayed home with Jack.  It is so nice when this can happen because an hour is a long time for Jack to sit on the sidelines while Ben has his karate class.  Leaving Don alone with any child usually guarantees some sort of project from Daddy but on this night it was Jack who unleashed his creativity and the result was sweet.

Don came down to the living room from upstairs to find a bed made by Jack.  Six chairs, some couch pillows and two blankets later it was prepared.  Jack wanted Don to lay down with him in the 'bed'.  So they did and as entertainment took in a documentary about rivers which Jack thoroughly enjoyed. 

By the time Benny and I arrived home Jack was sleeping soundly in his new bed and Ben promptly joined him with the dog following closely behind.  Note the fake sleep pose Ben is attempting so we won't notice him awake and put him to bed.

These are the moments I must tuck in my pocket and save.  They are the ones which get me through the days when two boys hardly take a break for lunch to stop picking at each other.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Brothers Being Friends

The best way to melt this mother's heart? To see two brothers being two friends. Love to watch these quiet moments where all is in sync. There is no fighting, bickering, bothering, bugging or teasing. Only quiet camaraderie can be found in this photo. Ahhh...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Things I Know for Sure...Ugghhh

Living in the cold...yes there is sledding and skating and fort building but there is also lots of indoor time and sometimes this sort of time can make a Mom crazy.  Every year this time it seems to hit me making this installment of things I know for sure even more important to me.  I seek to reassure myself that I am not going crazy and a list of things I know for sure reassures me that I do at least know some things for sure.  Circular logic?  You bet but I will go easy on myself and let it slide...

Things that will for sure make me go Ugghh

1) Sitting on a wet toilet seat

2) Listening to two brothers fighting 

3) Making three meals at dinner time 

4) Cleaning up the fallout from stomach flu

5) Trying to craft an original and interesting school lunch five months into the school year

6) Organizing the Playmobil by theme for the 10th time since Christmas

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Stuffies

My Jack can be a hard case.  He has a reputation for being the boy who is self sufficient, a non cuddler of sorts.  It isn't very often that he will seek out my arms and so when he does I am THERE.  I will stop what I am doing to get some cuddling.

His disposition makes his love of 'stuffies' even sweeter than it already is.  Turns out this boys loves him some cuddles at the end of the day from his babies.  His newest member is a panda bear stuffie with a little baby panda.  He found it at Shoppers Drugmart when we were shopping for candy.  He saw it and offered to put his candy selection back if he could have the stuffie.  I could not say no to this request and so panda is the newest member of our family.  Above is the sight that greeted me a couple mornings ago.  I would say he is doing a pretty good job of taking care of his new baby wouldn't you?