Tuesday, May 21, 2013

More kid-isms

Patrick gives me material every day, I swear...

I'm engrossed in a new book again ("A Discovery of Witches" by Deborah Harkness), which means I'm not sleeping again because I'm being an idiot staying up too late, AGAIN.  And whether or not I stay up late or too late (there's a fine line there) I always love a nap. I can't understand kids who don't want to nap! Like Patrick! So I asked him, "How come you never want to nap?" He replied, "I'm just not that kind of a guy." 

Patrick's very into flags right now, like the American flag is a topic of daily conversation. Odd, but true. Over the weekend we were downtown for the Wild West Fest, which was less "wild" and more "street vendor explosion." The street we were one is lined with flags and Patrick was excitedly pointing out (I am not making this up or augmenting the story, this kid is excited about flags) the flag of Colorado, a flag that says "Pueblo," and the American flag. If you have kids you know it's a little awkward to be surrounded by people (street vendors in our case) while your mini-me is yakking up a storm, but you're maybe hesitant to quell their enthusiasm, especially about a good subject... So among all the vendors and flag talk Patrick stated loudly and emphatically, "Mom, we are so lucky." As in, to live in the United States of America. Tears sprung to my overly-emotional eyes! Normally he's a good listener so I like to delve into the finer points of things (this could be a reason why a single flag can create days worth of conversations), but I chucked aside all the finer points of news (IRS) and politics (gun control) and scandals (Benghazi) of the day and nodded emphatically back because yep, we ARE lucky. *awww, shoulder punch*

Getting up and ready one day he took an unusually long time in his room, and coming down the stairs when he was done he announced, "I got myself dressed and put my pjs in the laundry and made my bed so you could take life easy today." Well THANK GOODNESS, and I will take you up on that!

While Patrick and I were playing trouble I was smokin' him, had 3 guys out on the board and all his guys were still stuck at home, and he said "awww, the wrong person keeps getting all the footprints!" (the side of the dice you need to get out of home).  Ummm, there are only two people here, so I'm assuming you mean I am the wrong person?!  Nice, jerk.

Eli provides me with much less material because he doesn't really want to be around me. Or Joe. Or Caroline or Ethan. He likes his alone time, although Patrick can be included in "alone" as well. If Eli's playing alone and I come through the room he immediately stops playing and asks, "Mom, can you go out?" Yep! Sorry bud, just had to walk through this room to get the dirty laundry to the washer, SO SORRY to interrupt. Anyway. We had friends over for dinner the other night and they had two girls, one of whom is 9 months old and a CHUNK. Sweet, adorable, off-the-weight-charts-CHUNK. She does a good impression of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man! She's so cute! But Eli for some reason didn't mind her being downstairs as he had his alone time, he actually embraced a new buddy, and after entertaining her for quite some time he came and announced to out friend that he was "being nice to the fat baby!"  GREAT! Only usually when we're being *nice* we don't call out fat to people's faces.
Stay Puft, Mashmallow Man!

Saturday, May 18, 2013


Not really ketchup... I just need to catch up.

Kids have been great, I'm happy to report. In fact, if I were writing a report card for the Jacobs Family for the month of May I'd give them (us) an A+. That's mostly because my PMS and Joe's Man-PMS hit back-to-back and were at the end of April, so so far May has been pretty breezy! Watch out, last 2 weeks of May, things could get ugly...

The kids have been getting along really well. Particularly, Caroline has been getting along with her cousin Amelia really well and Kari's been gracious enough to adopt her for entire days, even one entire night - Caro's 1st sleepover! Don't worry, no boys allowed, even Kari's husband was gone for the night (which makes me think Kari must be a sucker for punishment). They like to hang out and be goofy together, like hanging in their younger siblings' carseats.

I've been working on thinning out... not myself, but the house. Yes, I'm signed up for a 5-K on June 1st but instead of running I've spent my time baking (and eating) cake.  So there's not a lot of obvious stuff hanging around in my house that needs to go away, but once you dig deeper there are numerous places (kitchen cabinets, coat closets, under the bed) that harbor things I don't really want/need/use/remember that I even have. So I've been thinning them out, slowly but surely. Those kitchen cabinets yielded up a WONDERFUL, yet under-used, cake pan of 3-D cars. My mom bought the cake pan since we've got boys, but our boys ended up being into dinos (and now Power Rangers) and not so much cars, so I never really thought about it. Once I DID think about it, I realized my sister Elsha is a cake maniac (connoisseur? Artist? maniac sounds more fun) and really spends time on cool cakes, where I really spend time CONSUMING cakes and not caring what they look like. So I offered the pan to her, but before it left we had to get in one more 3-D car cake extravaganza....
 I was watching Amelia for a while one morning and Joe had some volunteer thing at work (Target does lots of volunteer hours around the community) so it was me against 5 kids, which seems like adding cake and frosting and sprinkles on top of it all would make ME a sucker for punishment, but it kept the kids busy for a solid 45 minutes. And, like I said, I got to EAT CAKE at the end of it. Time well spent.
 Caroline spent HER time frosting and re-frosting one car. 45 minutes, frosting only, one car.
 Eli laid it on thick and deep, then drowned it with coconut shavings. I ended up eating his car. It was delicious.
 Amelia would frost for about 2 seconds, then forget the cake project and dig into the sprinkles. Who needs cake when you can have tiny sugar nuggets?
 Just so pleased with her finished product! (Other kids eventually added decoration)
 Patrick decorated 2 cars and a road (overflow from the cake mold that I had to cut away and then creatively called a road), and I swear he put a lot of detail into it all, but it really looks like a pile of goop. And don't worry, he ate the whole thing.
 Coming back from their errands, Kari and Jonathan brought me some healthy Subway for my thanks, I gave them a kid on a sugar-high. You're WELCOME!

The end of the "school year" is coming right up, this next week is the last week of Joy School. Year 2 has been awesome, the kids are really great friends by now and I'm so glad we did Joy school! I love the curriculum and being involved in lessons and seeing the kids blossom over the 8 or 9 months...
 ...and now I am dearly looking forward to one of those kids finally going to Kindergarten. Yay Patrick! I think he'll be a stud at school. I am also dearly looking forward to summer, I'm ready for a break from pretending I'm totally patient and love to hear ridiculous non-related comments when I'm trying to teach a lesson. Gotta take a few months to regain my teaching composure.

 Ethan is a crawling anywhere and everywhere - always busy, frequently stuck, and impossibly cute. He's one of those babies that makes girls wanna have babies. And also eat babies, I just want to sink my teeth into him! Garrrrr.... yummm.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

In the heart and head of my 5-year-old

Kinda hard for me to believe Patrick is 5... as in, he's ONLY 5?!? I have spent what seems to be my entire LIFE raising him, but he's only 5?! Unreal. Grow up already!

Of course, he does do some pretty cool things that tell me he's come a long way since conception, like write a book about snakes, but more often than not I get glimpses what's going on in that noggin' of his in what he says and how he acts just in day-to-day stuff. For instance:

The boys were playing outside and Eli got hurt. I was watching from inside as Patrick gave him a big hug to console him and said, "Eli, you're a good brother. You're not the best brother ever, but you're a pretty good brother."  Eli wiped his eyes and nodded, like, "yep, that's true."

Patrick and I often get into little tiffs, li'l battles of the wills, and I try to enforce my position with intimidation and yelling. I might be 29 with 4 kids, but I'm still pretty immature. Invariably this hurts Patrick's feelings and I realize that I was immature and I need to apologize, which I do because it's important for him to know I'm human (and immature) and can make mistakes and even big (immature) adults need to apologize when they're in the wrong. So one night at bedtime after a battle-weary evening I was apologizing (again) for making mistakes (though reassuring him he's no peach sometimes, too), and he said, "Even when you make mistakes you're still a good mommy. My heart tells me 'don't give up on her!'" It was so hard to keep a straight face! I appreciate the sentiment, but I was dying laughing on the inside.

Quite a few months ago we had some big discussions, as parent and as a family, to try to understand the meaning behind our fights. Why are we so upset at our kids when they won't share the toy car? When they won't give their siblings a bite of their ice cream? When they won't help pick up the toys, even though I know they didn't help make the mess? Why am I driven insane when they talk back with perfectly good and reasonable arguments? Shouldn't I be proud that they have such reasoning skills? So we boiled it down to two main points, which are pretty much the two guiding rules in our house now: Love and Respect. Sharing toys, ice cream, etc, and helping out even when it wasn't their mess, is a service; service shows love for their siblings; by way of showing love for their siblings they are creating peace in our home and showing love for their parents; by creating peace for their parents and fostering love in the home they are showing love for Heavenly Father and Jesus. BOOM! Just by sharing that stupid toy car they were fighting over! LOVE is at the core of resolving that fight.  Now on to respect... When I say they need to make their beds they might argue that they'll only be getting back into bed later so it's a waste of time; I can see that's a decent argument, but if I counteracted it with logic like, "it'll make you room look nice," they'd just have another argument like "nobody sees out room anyway." Why did it drive me so crazy? On the one hand I was impressed they had thought-out reasons, not just "I don't want to!" but on the other hand, just do whatever the crap I tell you to do already!  So when I boiled it down I realized the real issue is RESPECT. My decision as the adult was that beds needed to be made, so their job as the kids was to respect that decision and follow through. Arguing with me was showing disrespect, which flies in the face of one of those 10 Commandments... and following the Commandments show LOVE for Heavenly Father and Jesus again! BOOM! I CAUGHT you! Of course we're far from perfect (see the paragraph prior) but I try to remember that those two principles are what everything boils down to, and reminding my kids to show love and respect to me and each other. Now... all this was leading somewhere funny. As Patrick walked out of the bathroom after pooping he announced "Mom, the reason we're here is for love." You're totally right, buddy! But that was incredibly awkward timing for that insight.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Busy-ness as Usual

I haven't posted for much longer than I intended because all my post topics have been languishing in my head! So instead of dedicating entire posts to each, I'll just lump 'em all together in one big lump. Some are more or less important, but they're all part of my day to day, so it's all busy-ness, as usual.

1. Working on the kitchen. Joe put in new countertops, our new sink (with new garbage disposal), and new faucet. I absolutely LOVE it all - the countertops make the painted cabinets look better!

The sink is SUPER deep and make the kitchen look better because the pots and pans disappear into it, and ALSO I am very motivated to keep it clean because it looks so dang awesome. I'm still a slacker at heart, but now I actually wash dishes every single day, which is ENORMOUS for me, who used to wash them about once a week. The funny thing about the sinks, though, is it's so deep you can't stand normally and do dishes - you either have to hunch over, which hurts my back, or spread your stance and stand like a giraffe getting a drink. Here's me doing dishes.

2. Putting in a sandbox.
 We had a fantastic sandbox at our house in Thornton and the kids played in it for hours each day. Although it caused trouble, too, like sand in the house and getting grit in the sliding door tracks so they couldn't slide, I deemed the hours spend worth the trouble. Joe agreed enough to allow us to reconstruct a Giant Sandbox in our backyard here. We picked an un-used little section where the grass was dead from lack of sunlight, so hopefully the shade will make it more fun in the summertime when sandboxes can become unbearably hot and boring.

3. Cooking cinnamon rolls in a waffle iron. We used Kroger brand (they don't rise like Pillsbury, which is a good thing in this case), just pop them on a hot iron and cook 5 minutes. We couldn't stop stuffing our faces!

4. Baking up pinterest-ed chocolate chip cream cheese cookies (secretly made by rolling up cream cheese, sugar, and chocolate chips in crescent roll dough - weird!), which turned out quite delicious.

4. Monitoring my heart.
This is unusual and was definitely going to get its own post, but the event is over so there's not actually much to write about until (and unless) there is more news. What happened was that I was having unusual and uncomfortable heart palpitations, happening anywhere from 5 to 25 times a day, every day, for about 3 weeks. Not a little fluttering in my chest, but like a "ker-THUNK," out of sync with my regular heartbeat. I initially ignored it since everything I've ever googled about heart arrhythmia said it's 99% likely to be benign, but one night my heart was going NUTS so I quick got myself a Doctor's appointment, and they quick got me an EKG (came out normal), some blood tests (haven't heard results yet), and fit me with a Holter monitor for 24 hours.  This visual is obviously not me, though I do have a somewhat mannishly flat chest.  Like I said, there's no news, so there's actually not much to write about, other than that it was an interesting experience and I was just happy to have somewhere to report when I had a palpitation, like, "see! I'm NOT insane!"

As soon as there is anything more exciting to post, or as soon as I quit slackin', I'll be sure to keep you updated. We'll see which comes first :)