Thursday, April 16, 2015

Easter Recap!

Yeah, yeah, yeah...it's 2 weeks later.  I know.  But we did have a nice Easter!  I saw this image on pinterest and it made me giggle:

image courtesy of tatertotsandjello.com

Liam's school was doing their Easter lunch the Wednesday before, so being Liam, he picked out some fancy clothes for himself:



The hat.  The bow tie.  The hands in the pocket.  I love it all!!

Easter weekend, we went to my parents house and the boys got outside for a bit to practice baseball with Brian and Pappy:

 
 
 

Nana and PopPop had sent some gifts for the boys, and Liam was excited to do some painting....please note Gracie, the art connoisseur, overlooking his work:

"The use of your blended colors is just exquisite" ~Gracie

The next morning, the kids were thrilled to discover that the Easter bunny had made an appearance overnight to hide some eggs and baskets.

 
 
 
 
 

The rest of the day was spent passing the time until DINNER!  The boys played with their new stuff, Liam built puzzles, and Jake built some Legos.  Unfortunately, I took zero pictures of dinner or anything after, but it was delicious! 

 
 
 

We hope you had a great Easter, too!!


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Brothers, bickering, and my sanity (or lackthereof)

Pop Quiz!!  Your kids are bickering, picking on each other, and fighting....again. They're 7 and almost 4.  Do you:

A. Ignore them and let them work it out.
B. Force them into separate areas to think about their actions, then apologize to each other.
C. Dish out some consequences, such as lost video games or TV shows.
D. Yell.
E.  All of the above.
F. Other (please explain below)

No, really....I'm asking you, what do you do??  Any of those?  All of them? 

I've tried all of those at one point or another, but I have no idea how effective I've been.

The boys have had their little tiffs for quite some time now, but they were just that....tiffs.  "I want the spiderman!  NO I want the spiderman!"  That kind of thing that ends quickly. But now, we've moved beyond just tiffs to the next level....I would categorize some of them as actual battles.  To be honest, the physical stuff is slightly less annoying to me than the verbal...the physical stuff tends to end quickly.  But the verbal?  Sheesh, those two can GO AT IT.  The bickering, the name calling, the whining about each other.  He's touching me.  I don't like the way he's looking at me.  He's cheating at this game. I don't want him to sit beside me.  I want that cup that he has.  No, that's not how you do it, you have to do it my way! You got to pick the game last time, it's MY turn!

image courtesy of amazing-creature.blogspot.com


And boy, do they both know how to play it up.  Jake calls Liam a name, Liam kicks him...they both come running with their sob stories of who did what. So, tattling and crying, which is also super annoying to me.  They know exactly how to push each others' buttons and they aren't hesitant to do it at every chance they get.

I think part of what has changed is Liam's sense of self and independence.  Before, he was perfectly content to do whatever Jake wanted him to do, and he was more than happy to be bossed around, just as long as he was included in Jake's plans.  But in the past few months, I've noticed that he doesn't always want to go along with Jake....and man does that get under Jake's skin! 

My strategy lately is to try and ignore them as best I can.  I have yet to determine if this is making things better or worse. 


And yet, the funny/ironic thing about all of this is that if given the choice, they will always choose to play with each other.  It's mind-boggling to me.  Cute and touching yes, but also confusing!  If they're bickering away, I will often suggest that they go to different areas to cool off and that maybe they just need some time to themselves.  You would think that kids who were just at each others' throats would jump at the opportunity to have a break...but no!  Instead, I'm met with "Mom, no!  That's unfair!  We want to play with each other!"  I'm sorry, what?  What am I missing here?  You just told your brother to get away from you! 

The flip side to this is that when they are getting along, they are truly best friends.  They can set up these amazing scenes with their superheroes or ninja turtles, and just have a blast with each other for a long time. I know that they really do love each other, and consider the other one of their best friends....and I try to keep that in mind during the other times, when I'm pulling them off of each other and someone is yelling about wanting the other one to go away. 

And if given the choice, they would want to have a sleepover every.single.night. 




So seriously, if you have any suggestions....leave them in the comments!!  Until I find that magical solution, I shall....



The Great Outdoors

Ahhh....spring....the period of time when I actually can't get enough of being outside due to going stir crazy in the house for so long in the winter.  Soon enough, I'll be whining about the heat and humidity and my allergies, but for now, I'm enjoying our time outside!  It was a long winter, with most likely too many movies and too much time spent playing the Wii or building whatever is built in Minecraft....so it's nice to have the boys tripping over each other to go play outside every chance they get!


They both got skates/rollerblades from Santa and have been chomping at the bit to test them out.  




They were excited to get out the hockey equipment, too:


Last Sunday ended up being a perfect day, around 70 degrees and SUNNY.  We almost didn't know what to do with ourselves.  Brian was trying to gather up the leaves that somehow seem to have materialized on our patio over the winter (how does that happen??) and the boys wanted to "go exploring" in the woods behind our house.  Off we went.  No one got their eyes poked out with a branch OR came home with a tick.  WIN!

 
 

 Fallen tree balance beam:

 
 
 
 

Jake had been going back and forth about wanting his training wheels off of his bike.  We probably should have taken them off last summer, and in fact, we did a few times, but he always wanted them put back on and we caved.  He clearly didn't need them, but I'm sure the security of having them on there was what drew him back to them.  This year, we ripped off the bandaid.  Brian took them off, handed him his bike and informed him that they wouldn't be going back on.  As you can see in this video, he definitely doesn't need them anymore:


My daredevil, Liam, asked to take his off, too.  Gotta keep up with the big brother!  We told him he had to wait just a little bit longer :)

 

Hope you've been enjoying spring, too!! 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Jake's 7 year check up

This is so overdue it's not even funny (considering he turned 7 in JANUARY) but for the sake of hoping to keep all of this type of information in one place, I'm just going to go ahead and add it in here.

Weight: 46 lbs (21st percentile)
Height: 47 inches (29th percentile)

I was surprised to see where he fell in terms of height, because he always looks tall to me, even though compared to his peers he's about average or even a bit shorter than some.  He definitely has some long legs like his daddy, so maybe that's why he always seems tall to me.  And the fact that I swear, he outgrows pants every few months! 

Everything else at the visit was great, he was right on track developmentally.  Poor kid has been plagued with a number of stomach bugs this winter (3? 4?  I'm not sure, I've lost count along the way) so I'm hoping that the newly arrived spring weather will bring some better health for him! 

One thing I don't have to worry about (at least not right now) is whether this kid is active enough.  Sure, over the winter, we hibernated a lot and relied a whole lot more on the Wii and movie nights than we normally would...but now that spring weather has rolled in, Jake begs to play outside after school everyday.  And this week, we will move into him being more active with the start of baseball season.  Let the games (and intense rushing around after work/school) begin!! :)

 


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Ice Skating Date

Jake loved when he and I went ice skating last year, and I had promised him we could go again this year.  Well, days turned into weeks and weeks into months, and winter temperatures into arctic temperatures and here we were mid-March with no ice skating to show for ourselves all season.  I realized last weekend that it was the very last weekend our outdoor rink would be open (and it also happened to be a kinda-sorta warm 40 degrees and sunny) so we headed out!

 

He was cracking me up before we even made it into the rink; we got there just before they opened up the afternoon session and had a few minutes to kill.  I told him I wanted to stand in the sun to stay warm and he said "Oh, no problem mommy...I'm going to hold my helmet like they do on Star Wars and pretend that the shadows are Storm Troopers".  Well, ok then!





We hit the ice once the session was open, and other than a few short breaks here and there, didn't stop for about 2 hours.  My legs were screaming the next day, but somehow Jake seemed completely unaffected!  He had a great time, and did really well for having not been for a year.  Video:







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