Max hate socks, even in the middle of winter I have a hard time getting him to wear them. So when warm weather shows up he is thrilled that he can wear his flip flops. This summer he decided that not only should he wear flip flops everyday, but they should always be different colors.
A week or into preschool Max brought home a bag or gummy bears, telling me excitedly "Mom you take them home and they sword fight!" I didn't quite understand and Max said again, "You sword 'em mom, they sword fight." I still didn't understand until I also saw this paper that went with the gummy bears.
Max was a little sad when he learned that his gummy bears were not to be "sworded," but rather sorted, but then I told him that he still got to eat them and all was forgiven.
A few day after that I found all of the kids playing around the large electrical box in my yard. They seemed to be having a great time so I went to check out their game. They seemed to alternately afraid of and trying to conquer the box, and I asked for further explanation from Max, who pointed at the this sign and said in all seriousness, "Scary monster in the box."
Who knew we were housing scary monsters right in our own front yard.
This year Mason is in first grade. He was excited for school this year, especially the chance to ride the bus home and have lunch at school.
His first few weeks of school were a little more stressful than I had anticipated. I was surprised when Mason came home each day very discouraged and unhappy. Mason loved school last year and I was sad that he wasn't loving things this year. Thursday on the first full week of school he got on the wrong bus to come home. Mason was quickly located, but there were a nervous few minutes where I wondered anxiously why no one had been looking out for my child. Friday I visited the school at the end of the day and felt further discouraged about Mason's classroom. On Monday after spending some time observing his classroom and praying for some direction on the matter I felt strongly that I needed to ask the principal for a class change. It was a fairly drawn out and stressful process, but eventually the change was made and Mason has enjoyed his new class so much. All of this drama happened while Shane was in Poland. I had to be the primary parent dealing with this problem. It was challenging and it made me really appreciate and miss having Shane for support.
Max's first day was about two weeks later. He is going to this wonderful little preschool in the neighborhood, and Miss Karla is his teacher. He was excited and a little bit nervous on the first day, but so far is absolutely loving preschool.
This last picture has nothing to do with school but I took it while Shane was still out of town. I told the kids that we could go out to dinner twice while Shane was gone. One time Mason could choose the destination, and one time it would be Max's choice. Mason had first choice, but this night it was Max's choice. I snapped this picture because I thought the boys were being so sweet to each other, but upon further inspection I discovered that Mason was trying to talk Max into choosing the restaurant that he wanted that night.
Labor day weekend we celebrated by taking a quick trip out of town. Shane had flown in from two and a half weeks in Poland on Friday night, and Saturday we celebrated Max's birthday, so Sunday we headed to Logan. The weather was beautiful and we had a great time taking our kids to some of our old haunts. Shane wanted to show the kids the place where he and I got engaged. It was fun to visit although the kids were not as interested. The temple grounds were very beautiful. On Monday we drove through the beautiful Logan canyon to Bear Lake. Shane had promised the kids that he would take them to a cave, so we visited Minnetonka cave. The kids thought the fact that they could go deep inside a real live cave was amazing. They were truly in awe, it was so fun to be on such an adventure with them. On the way home we had the most unusual thing happen. Driving down the road we heard a loud crack and Max started screaming, I looked back to see Max's window completely shattered and falling in on him. Max's was incredibly upset and there were a few confused seconds where we tried to figure out what had happened. We found that something (we never discovered what) had hit the window and the safety glass instantly shattered. Max was seriously upset and kept crying, "My window came apart!" but thankfully only had a few minor scrapes. He was so upset after we finally got him cleaned up and calmed down a bit, Mason the sweet boy that he is, suggested that we say a prayer. Shane said the sweetest prayed thanking the Lord that Max wasn't injured. We drove home from the Bear Lake area a way we had never been before, so not only did we have a broken window most of the way, we also got fairly lost once, when Shane chose not to trust his navigator (me). I teased him quite a bit when the empty road that we were on turned to dirt without any civilization in sight and we had to turn back. The entire trip was quite an adventure.
Please forgive me I'm going to be playing some catch up with my blog. I wanted to write about Max's birthday in September. I just can't believe that he is getting so big. Max was sick during the week and Shane was out of town, so we just planned a simple family party. We were lucky to have my mom and dad come up for a quick visit, on his birthday, but we waited until the day after to have a little party since Shane was not flying back in (from Poland) until late that night. So Saturday with Shane finally home we had Shane's family over for cupcakes. It was a fairly simple affair but everyone had a good time.
Last spring we had a family night lesson where we talked about what a testimony is and faith. We talked about how both can start very small like a seed, but when properly fed and cared for can grow into something wonderful. That night we planted seeds in paper cups, and then a few weeks later we transferred those seedlings to the back yard. We also planted a few extra seeds just for fun. I was later so glad that we planted those extra seeds, because our first set of seedlings didn't make it, which could have been quite a blow to the effectiveness of the object lesson, but after a few days we saw a tiny green plant poking up through the dirt. It was a new seedling! Hooray! Mason carefully watered and regularly checked on his plant, and at the end of the summer was rewarded with this.
A few days ago I asked the kids what their favorite memories were.
Mason said it was the day that we brought Sasha home. For those of you that have not met the newest addition to the family let me introduce you to Miss Sasha. (Holding still isn't really her thing so getting a good picture has been tricky.)
The day we went to get her the kids and I had driven all the way to Salt Lake to see some puppies that I had found online. When we got there I knew that there was little chance that we would leave without a puppy. Mason was in love, and held Sasha all the way to Grammy's house. It was about a twenty minute drive and every few minutes little Sasha would stick her head up and whine a little bit. Mason would sing her a little song and she would lay her head back down. It was super sweet. We've now had Sasha about three months, and I have to say that Mason is her special boy. Every night after the kids are in bed and I am running around the house trying to straighten up and make a game plan for tomorrow, I'll notice that Sasha is missing, and without fail every time I find her sleeping in Mason's room. I feel happy that both my kids get to have the rewarding experience of having a dog.
Max said that his favorite memory was when we rode in the boat. He was referring to a quick trip we took this August up to Island park and Yellowstone. The first night we rented a boat and floated down the river near Mack's Inn where we were staying. We had such a great time the weather was pleasant and the boat ride was slow and peaceful. The water was fairly shallow most of the way so the kids had a great time getting in and out of the boat and splashing in the water. Unfortunately I was worried about getting my camera wet so I left it behind, but it was a great day that I hope the kids always remember.
Tonight we had a camp out in the backyard. I have been promising the kids all summer that we would so it was time to finally follow through. The kids were having such a great time out in the yard playing in the tent and running around like wild animals. Until it started to get dark and mom went inside for a few minutes. Suddenly I had two frightened boys telling me that there was a ghost AND a wolf somewhere outside. So I went outside with them and we all climbed into our sleeping bags and started telling stories as we watched the stars come out. We had a great time, but I could see that there would be little sleeping on this adventure, until Max announced that he was ready to go get in his bed and both boys happily packed up their pillows, trekked inside, and climbed in their beds. It was the perfect night I was the cool mom, and I still get to sleep in my bed.
What you are looking at is a months worth of freezer meals. I did this at the start of summer two years ago and it was so nice. Thirty meals lasted through much of the summer (since we didn't use them every night) and it really took the pressure off me to be in cooking dinner while my kids wanted to be outside playing. I highly recommend it, but be warned this is what my kitchen looked like after I was done... In other news when I was finally cleaning up this atrocious mess I asked Mason to run some things downstairs for me. He told me very sweetly that in his scriptures he had read about how Jesus loved the little children and so he was very sorry, he would not be able to run my errand because he had to stay upstairs and play with Max because Max is a little child and he wanted to show love for him by playing transformers with him. Oh my goodness that kid is something else.
The other day Mason was singing that extra little verse that sometimes goes with Happy Birthday... You know the one I mean, he sang, "Happy birthday to you, you live in a zoo, you look like a monkey, and you smell like one too!" Then he stopped and looked at me intently and said, "Does one two even have a smell... they're numbers?"
Last fall we took the kids out and did this. Like I said before I've never really understood the point of corn mazes. The particular one that we went to had twelve checkpoints that we were supposed to find, we found one and declared our outing a success and headed toward the entrance. Afterward Shane and I were lamenting that there wasn't a iphone map tool that was of better use to us in the corn maze, and an idea was born.
Shane invented TrackMap an app for the iphone that records your steps and allows for adding points of interest and photos. Its a fun little tool, you can save your tracks and share them with friends. It also has an option that will let you sell your tracks if you want, and the best part is the TrackMap app is completely free in the app store.
The kids and I have been enjoying helping with the testing phase. A few days ago we mapped out a disc golf course in town. Mason had a ton of fun using Shane's iphone to map the course. For a kid who loves being outside almost as much as he loves electronics it was right up his alley.
Maybe next year at the corn maze we'll be able to find all of the check points.
Once upon a time about a year ago Mason made friends with the boy who lives on the other side of the fence. For many days they played catch over the fence and talked through the slats. One day I asked Mason what his new friend's name was, he looked at me blankly... apparently asking his friend's name had never occurred to him. So the next time we were in the yard the boy came out too and Mason asked about his name, I'm pretty sure I heard him say Carlos. Mason however heard something else.
"Mom!" he yelled excitedly "his name is Car Wash!"
The next time we were outside, so was Carlos/Car Wash and all of his family. Mason climbed up to the top of the swing set that overlooked his yard and yelled, "Hey CAR WASH!" Over and over again, poor Carlos... I called Mason over to me and tried to explain that his name was actually not Car Wash. Mason looked so disappointed, not because he had been calling his new found friend by the wrong name for several days, but because he felt bad that his friend didn't get to have an awesome name like Car Wash.
Lately the children and I have undertaken a very large project. Since Mason's birthday there has been a sizable increase in the amount of legos, and the massive pile that we have is bordering on the unmanageable, so we have set out to sort them. Which really means that I spend hours each day sifting through the pieces, and while I do so the boys will sit at the table with me and play legos. I get to organize and they get to play so everyone is happy.
During one of our sorting sessions a few days ago Mason and Max were playing with the Lego police truck, and helicopter and accompanying guys. They both use this affected voice when role playing with their toys... sort of a dopey tough guy voice, its very cute. Anyway I quietly sorted away, as I heard the boys' "guys" have this conversation.
Mason's guy: Hey where's my dog? (Max's helicopter swoops in with the Lego dog perilously hanging on to the skids) Max's guy: I got him here he is. Mason's guy: Thanks for saving my dog! Max's guy: Oh you're welcome.
There were a few minutes in here where the dog did some police work and then Mason's guy called in the helicopter again...
Mason's guy: Can you take my dog home? Max's guy: Yeah I can take him home. Mason's guy: ok take him home and feed him... see you later Max's guy: Ok bye... I love you. Mason's guy: I love you too!
Now remember every word of this conversation was done with their tough guy voices, and I just couldn't help really enjoying listening to them talk so sweetly to each other, when they were both trying so hard to sound so serious and grown up.
Lately Max has started saying words with extra consonants at the beginning. A few days ago he came in the kitchen and asked me for a ganana, which is now the new name for bananas in our house, and just a few minutes ago I heard him talking about a ca-tato. Maybe its just related to produce...
He also has been bringing me ga-prises alot lately. Its pretty adorable, usually its a toy of his but he carefully wraps each one in whatever he has handy, a few days ago he brought me a lego with four dirty socks wrapped around it, and just yesterday I got a ga-prise that came wrapped in a used dryer sheet.
All parents hope that their children turn out smarter than they are right? I just didn't expect it for another 15 years. I'm beginning to realize though that my days are numbered and someday soon I'm not going to be able to win all the arguments.
I was trying to talk Mason into riding the bus to school, which he has done in the past without problem but lately has resisted, and he said to me, "Well mom the bus doesn't have any seat belts." To which I said, "It's ok because buses are safer because they are so big." (which I of course made up.) Mason didn't miss a beat, but looked at me with an irritated face that I'm sure I'll get to know well in the teenage years, and said, "then why does the bus driver have one?"
Uh... I was speechless, he's right why don't buses have seat belts?
So this afternoon Mason and I are working on his valentine's for school tomorrow. We're making some that look kind of like these. I am sitting exactly 18 inches away from Max making thumb prints with Mason when I look over to see that Max has (silently) taken possession of a few of the ink pads and shall we say gotten creative.
After I got over the initial shock of seeing my boy covered in red, I lifted him up to show him in the mirror, he was not happy with the sight of his face and very sadly insisted that we wash it, but then I asked if we should take a picture first and he brightened right up and with a smile said a big "Yes!"
That kid he is always thinking. A few days ago he let me in on a little problem he'd worked out at school. He told me, "Mom, I don't like it when my teacher says, 'give me five,' because we have to freeze and look at her." And then he looked at me and smiled in an impish sort of way and said in a hushed tone, "but I figured out that when I have my shoes on I can wiggle my toes in my shoes." And then he gave me a knowing look. Obviously when you are five having to literally freeze (even if only for a few seconds) is torture, but leave it to Mason to find a grand loop hole in the "give me five" system. That kid never fails to crack me up.
I always wanted to be a writer, don't laugh its true, but being mommy seems to have given me a permanent case of writer's block. So welcome to the happy little place where the dream and reality coexist. Join me for writings on the kids (Mason 7.5 yrs and Max 4 yrs) and the Hubby (Shane) and my own musings on life in general.