Monday, August 31, 2009

Preschool: Forced Independence

I have been missing from the blog world. Really, I have been somewhat missing from the real world. I have been lost in myself for about a week, trying to give myself some resting time and attempting to gain some order in our home. I have been sick with major allergy issues, the children have been the same and I have been just plain exhausted. The smoke from the California wildfires has settled in the Las Vegas valley for our children, Rick, me and everyone else to breathe in. The air here is already very dusty and dirty, now it is also smoky. My throat is sore, my nose is running one minute and clogged or snotty the next. HELP! Where are my darn tissues?

Nick started preschool last week. As with any change, Nick has taken a little bit to get used to things. He seemed excited about the school's activities, new friends, and going to a "big boy" school; but, each day at drop-off time the drama was overwhelming.

Picture this: Me holding Lyla in one arm, gripping Jacob's hand with the other as he struggles to break free and plow through the toys neatly organized on the classroom shelves. Then, there's Nick...crying, sobbing, gripping my leg as if to be grasping for the only life preserver in a bright blue sea of huge waves. He continues to cry, "Mommy! Mommy! No! I'm scared!" I try to reason with him and calm his fears while still struggling to keep a tight hold on Jacob and Lyla.

By this time, Lyla is starting to join Jacob in his fight for freedom. Nick is really putting on the dramatics. He clings to my bum and won't move. He is hiding from the teacher who is trying to coerce him to play with the other children. I turn, he moves behind me. I turn again, he follows. Finally, I make the decision to walk out. I just have to leave. He will be fine once I am gone. Plan A: FAIL. Nope. Nicholas continued to grip my leg and would not budge. The teacher and I make a plan B: I walk away with Jacob and Lyla, Nick gets pried from my leg by the teacher. I warned her. I was sure it would be rough. He can get very angry when made to do something. I worried for her....and for Nick. The teacher reassured me, told me that she had four children of her own (FOUR?!) and was so kind and gentle with Nick. Plan B: PASS.

I can't stand this; I detest making Nick do something that he is afraid of. I want to shelter him and calm his fears. But, at some point, this is necessary. The children eventually need to learn how to be independent of me. They need to learn to stand on their own--attending school is just the first step. In a way, it is a little sad. It is just one little inch closer to Nick growing up. Then one day, I will stand looking at him all grown and wondering where that scared little boy has gone. I suppose parenting is all the same here as it is anywhere else. Our goal should be that our children one day function and contribute to society independently. (And not be deranged lunatics, I suppose).

Today's school experience was an entirely different story. At home, Nick told me he was happy to go back to school and continued to rant and rave about school all weekend. I was overjoyed when he didn't totally freak out when we walked in. He still seemed a little nervous, but flashed me his smile as I waved goodbye. No crying....a little whimper, but not bad. Shew!

For Nick, change is hard. I guess with him, one of my goals will be to help him to realize that sometimes change is good and give him the self esteem and self confidence to weather whatever crosses his path. Starting school is stressful, yes...but there is no doubt that he is able to handle this small little change, just the start of all the ups and downs of life.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

10 Signs That A Boy Just Got A New Big-Boy Bike

10 Signs That A Boy Just Got A New Big-Boy Bike
(BIG with NO training wheels)

1. Boo boo Right Knee

2. Boo boo Left Knee

3. Boo boo Right Elbow
4. Boo boo Left Elbow

5. Mommy of boy covering her eyes

6. Mommy running over to kiss the boo boos

7. Five boxes of Band Aids (assortments of super heroes and Cars themes) ready for use

8. Sore boy-parts from landing on the boys-bike-bar (because someone will not use his brakes)

9. Grouchy, evil, snotty boy walking away from his bike with arms crossed

This is NOT Nick but bears a striking resemblance.

10. Mommy telling snotty boy that he is an excellent bike rider and agreeing to a few days break from riding the new big-boy bike

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Baby Girl Is One!

This past Friday was Lyla's first birthday. Even though we did not have a big party, she still had a blast. It was a great time; and, she loved the cupcakes.

I have to admit that there were times in the few days prior to Lyla's birthday that I was a little emotional thinking of her and her first birthday. As many of you probably know, Lyla was very ill when she was three months old. Her physicians did not expect that she would live. I was even told to expect her death before her first birthday. She now sleeps happily in her bedroom as a true-life testament that miracles can happen. Admittedly, I am quite the exaggerator at times, but this is really no stretch of the truth. You can read more about Lyla's story here and here.

In our day-to-day lives, Rick, I and the children can get so wrapped up in this or that. I know thoughts of just how close we came to losing Lyla will continue to fade-- until one day, those thoughts will only very rarely enter our minds. But, really, although thinking about that horrible experience can be unpleasant, isn't it a good thing to sometimes be reminded that tomorrow is never guaranteed? Isn't it a wonderful thing to be reminded what an awesome family God has given me and just how lucky and blessed that I am?

I think so.

Rick says that we should not think that much about what happened with Lyla-it happened, it's over; but, I completely and whole-heartedly disagree. I guess it's a good thing that Rick and I can agree to disagree on this topic.

Monday, August 17, 2009

White Boys Can't Dance

I have been missing from the blog world for a few days. We have had some kind of virus in our home and have all been under the weather. I have been extremely exhausted trying to fight off the illness myself and also take care of three cranky, ill children. Finally, we are all coming out of this. I am thinking the culprit may be allergies; but with no confirmation, your guess is as good as mine.
We dance in our home for entertainment, exercise and most of all, fun. Mainly, the entertainment part is that which I get from watching my boys "breakdance". I am hoping they will get a little better with time or some dance lessons will definitely be on the horizon. I cannot allow this blatant lack of rhythm to go on for very long. And, their moves.....well, you decide.

And, this one...

And... (I only kept taking pictures because Nick demanded it. Then, after each picture was taken, both Nick and Jacob bombarded me, giggling wildly, to look at the picture on my camera.)

Above, Jacob is playing his "guitar" (while dancing).

Can you tell these boys love dancing-- just about as much as I. thought...maybe it is really ME that has no rhythm. Oh no!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Buy Condoms Here

As you may or may not have noticed (not if you read this via Facebook), I have a couple of advertisements posted on my blog by Blogger. I guess Blogger chooses advertisements that match what the blog post is about.

OK....well.....uh....I am sort of in the state of shock...

I just looked at my site and saw the advertisement below my last post, Boys Say The Darndest Things, is for Trojan Ecstasy Condoms!

OK, seriously...What the heck?!!!

I guess because I had the picture that my husband chose of that really tall kinda scantily-clad girl? See what happens when I let my husband add just a little tiny tidbit to this blog? Now all of the sudden, my "mommy blog" is an avenue for the purchase of prophylactics?! Thanks, Blogger!

Oh well....can't beat 'em--join 'em.
Single people: use condoms. They save lives and prevent disease. Thank you very much!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Boys Say The Darndest Things

Nick, Jacob and Lyla currently take baths nightly together. I just cannot tackle the task of multiple baths yet. I know the time is coming; but until then, it's like a tub full of wild animals every night. Splishing, splashing, giggling, slippery little naked bodies packed all in one tub. Granted, the tub in our bathroom is a bit larger than that in one of our other bathrooms. We moved them into our garden tub a while back. They were just too rowdy for that small tub in the other room.

Tonight, while in the tub, Nick was putting bubbles on Lyla. Then, he put bubbles on his chin and exclaimed, "Mommy, Look! I look like Santa Claus!"

I agreed just as Jacob chimed in. "Ho! Ho! Ho and a bottle of rum!" yelled Jacob.

Funny. Can you tell my children are big pirates fans?


When Rick and I get angry at Nicholas, we sometimes say,"NICHOLAS CHRISTIAN REDER!!!"

A while back, I heard Nicholas schooling Jacob about something he was doing. I knew Jacob was in trouble when Nick screamed, "JACOB CHRISTMAS REDER!!!"

Uh...Christmas?? Does Nick actually think that is what Rick and I are saying when we scream his name? By the way, Christian is NOT Jacob's middle name.


I buy Cool Whip for topping for pudding. The boys' grandmother buys Whip Cream. Little difference. No big deal. Who cares...etc. One day after dinner, Nick told me that he wanted some pudding with some "Pit cream" on it. PIT CREAM? Like, arm pit cream?-- Sorry, that's the only "pit" I thought of when he said that.


One day in Michael's Arts and Crafts store, Nick loudly said, "Mommy, look at that HUGE lady!"

I looked over and there was a very very tall woman looking over at us. I smiled and told Nick that the lady was just normal-sized, Mommy is short.

The woman smiled and walked off. Sheew! I got lucky with that one--Nick was right, she was very tall. But, for most woman, "tall" is entirely different than "huge".

This picture above is courtesy of my husband, who saw it and immediately thought this would be a hilarious representation of Nick's tall-lady friend. Who wouldn't say something about this lady if they saw her out in public? Tell me: are the heels all that necessary?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

True Love- Nicholas Style

Nick has told me several times in the past year that he is going to marry Lyla. I have talked to him, explaining that people typically do not marry their sisters/brothers. He got a little upset with me and snapped, "I said I am going to marry Lyla--and that's the end of it!" Wonder where he got that line? Well, a few days later, Nick changed his mind.

"Mommy, I am not going to marry Lyla, I am going to marry you". I smiled, hugged him and told him that I would love to marry him, but that I was already married to Daddy.

"Well, I am gonna marry you too."

"No, Honey, Mommies don't marry their little boys. Maybe when you get older, you will find a nice girl to marry like Nyki or Quincey" (two neighbor girls of Grandma's that are Nick's age).

I could see the wheels turning in his head. Initially he was interested and agreed.

Then Nick said, "Well, fine. I guess I'll just marry Lyla then!"

Since then, Nick has stuck to his guns. He continues to go between me and Lyla. I guess no other girls compare...yet. :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Going to Heaven

I am back, after having a couple of nights of good sleep. I had to take some Ambien-but hell, whatever it takes. I have been going without sleep for much much too long; so, it was time to have a couple of nights of restful slumber.

Things have been pretty stressful in our home lately due to the mounting illness of a close family member of Rick's. At this time, I will not disclose much about this family member (sometimes everything does not have to be shouted over the internet~so I hear); but, it will probably be mentioned in passing again in the future. I write about issues that impact my life and that of my family--his illness effects our family in a huge way. Unfortunately, we are all now bracing for the worse. Cancer is horrible. Miracles do happen, which of course is what I am praying for. But, as I know quite well, God's plan is not always how we would like things to go. Sometimes the "God, please make _____ better" changes to "God, please free ____ from his fight. Whatever your will. I will accept it". My prayers for this person have not yet made this change. Maybe I am too selfish and just do not want my family to go through this. I know that with time, the prayer will change. Unfortunately though, time is exactly what he does not have much of.

I am trying grab at some sort of positive in this family crisis; but, it is pretty difficult at this time. For now, I will just lend emotional support to Rick and the rest of the family and continue the prayers that the boys, Rick and I have said every night for the last seven months of this battle.

For the age of our children, we have had to talk quite a bit about death with them. Their fish died. And, another fish died. And, four more fish died. Then, I almost miscarried when I was pregnant with Lyla. And, lastly, when Lyla was ill when she was 3 months old, her physicians did not believe she would make it home. No one did. So, now again, we are faced with talking about the potential death of someone to whom they are very close. Why discuss this if it actually has not happened? Well...honesty. Our children are quite perceptive and always want to know where everyone is. Where's Daddy? Where's Mommy? We choose to tell them. I think Rick and I both feel that death is a part of life. As for me, I hope having discussed this with them, they better understand the natural course of life and God's role in it.

We have chosen to describe "death" as "going to Heaven"; even though when I say that I am not always sure that is actually where they are going. Really, where do fish go when they die? Fishy heaven? Or, do they just simply cease to exist? What about the "bad guys"? Do they go to Heaven? That's really between them and God; but, for simplicity, they are "going to Heaven" as far as the boys are concerned right now. They are a little bit too young to discuss the ins and outs of Hell versus Heaven. Come on! Thankfully, I have a couple more years before I have to explain that. But, as for the whole topic of death, there has been little way to get out of that discussion.

Tonight, while talking about our family member...

Me: _____ is very sick and in the hospital. Daddy is there now to see him. He is so sick, he may go to Heaven. Everyone is very sad.

Jacob: (smiling at his marvelous idea) ______ needs a sucker!

Nicholas: (kicking around and laughing hysterically) No, Silly! _____ doesn't need a sucker!

Me: Well, maybe a sucker would make him feel better. Good idea Jacob. (now thinking of how to get _____ a sucker in the hospital)

Nicholas: Hmm...well, I sure hope they have a sucker there for him at the hospital then.

Innocence--isn't it beautiful?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Too Dang Tired

Hello folks! Well, I am too dang tired to function. I have had some really busy days running errands (with all three children in tow), dealing with family issues, a doctor's appointment, and swimming lessons for both boys three days in a row. I can barely think straight (and that was already lacking prior to all of this).
So, I am going to cut this short and promise to resume after I catch up a little in the sleep department.
The swimming lessons have been interesting to say the least, so there will be updates on that for sure. A little hint: tears and snot everywhere...again--but lots of fun too!
OK, until later...
Sweet dreams and very little tears and snot for you all!

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Boy Named Nick And His Bike

After my very rough Thursday, I was just plain exhausted. I really needed to relax, take it easy and remind myself that I need to allow fun in my life and not take things so seriously. One of these days my head is going to pop off of my neck!

For me, someone who always blows every ailment or would-be-injury out of proportion, I really have a difficult time just chilling out. So, I have decided that maybe I need to take up drinking. Just kidding. Kind of. Maybe a glass of wine at the end of some evenings would do me some good. That, combined with some old-fashioned sleep would probably do wonders. So, I am working on that. I think we have about ten bottles of wine gathering dust on the wine rack anyway. Woohoo!

What I did not expect is that my oldest little boy, Nicholas (now 4), would decide to take me up on my offer to teach him to ride his bike without training wheels. So, on Friday night, after a few attempts in previous weeks, he had built his courage once again. As we walked outside, I was psyched. I knew Nick was quite capable. He is a daredevil and a go-getter type. He is very physical and enjoys just about every sport. There was no doubt in my mind that NICK was the only thing holding him back from his success. After a few moments of calming some last-minute jitters, Nick decided that he would be better off wearing elbow and knee pads. Done. Nothing wrong with being safe.
I held him up, gave him some brief instruction on the how-to's of taking off and stopping...and off he went. No wobbles. No crashes. No...nothing. I was a little surprised that he didn't do the typical "crash and burn".

I have to confess that when Nick asked to wear the knee and elbow pads I happily agreed and would have ran inside to get them myself if I wasn't tending to Jacob at that moment. It seems silly to admit, but I wanted to cushion Nick's fall in any way possible. I wanted to protect him--but really, I couldn't. He HAD to do this on his own, without my maternal refuge. I know that bike riding is only the tip of this HUGE iceberg; there will be thousands of things that he will need to learn on his own-without me. I am so happy...and yet so sad that my little boy is growing up.

Part of Nick's motivation for learning to ride without training wheels was a promise that Rick and I made: a bigger big-boy bike. We stuck to our guns and did not purchase a bigger bike although both of us have been wanting to. Nick was beginning to look like a Shriner riding a tiny bike in a parade.
I will post a picture of the new bike soon enough. We are pricing out a really cool Tony Hawk bike. Probably $50 more just because it's Tony Hawk. Oh well. It's cool....and so is Nick! :)

Your Blog Is Fabulous Award

Despite all of my recent insanity, ranting, raving and feeling sorry for myself, I received an award! Woohoo! I guess I really needed the pick-me-up. Thank you so very much Ty (AKA Mama) over at Mama of 3 Munchkins. She really has a wonderful blog full of announcements, freebies, giveaways, and more. If you have not already checked out Ty's blog, it is a real MUST!

Thank you again Ty for your kindness.

Your Blog Is Fabulous Award: In accepting this award, list five current obsessions and pass the award on to five more fabulous blogs. Make sure to link back to the person who sent the award to you; and also, include the links of those blogs to which you are passing the award. Don't forget to let your winners know that they received the award from you by posting a comment on their blog.

My Current Obsessions:

(Really, these are things I am working on obsessing about)

1. Working Out--granted, not seeing huge results yet, but I am trying not to get discouraged. Exercise is good for my physical and mental health.

2. Making Unique Dinners--I have gotten in a rut of making the same ole, same ole things for dinner. Although it is easy, I have been exploring new dinners. So far, the children and Rick have been receptive and even excited.

3. Worrying about my diet as much as I worry about the children's-- I think many mothers forget do this. Remember: Mommy's health is important too.

4. Setting apart time for fun for me--getting pedicures and manicures, making spa day appt and actually GOING, making appt to get my eyeliner tattooed. (Given to me as a gift a while back) Finally shopping with my gift cards (without the children, so I can actually try on things and browse)

5. Remembering that fun needs to be a priority with the children. If too much work occupies my time, parenthood is much too overwhelming. The children need the fun and so do I!

So, swimming lessons started today for Nick and Jacob... Soccer registration for Nick is this week.

Rick (AKA Hubs), Lyla and I will also attend these fun activities.

Five Fabulous Blogs

  1. Loulou's Views

  2. Lady Mama

  3. So Much More Than A Mom

  4. The Silver Whining

Congratulations Ladies! You guys rock! I love your blogs and am thankful for your kindness and/or humor.