Monday, October 31, 2011

The month of October

I feel like a broken record when I say that I cannot believe how packed our months have become, from now until the new year.  I know it isn't going to slow down at all until then, and at that point, I wish it would speed up to get through the dead of winter. 

October was filled with so many things, and even things that aren't a usual annual event for us.  We had two weddings, three birthdays, plus non family birthday parties and Gwen's own friend birthday party and just as it slowed down we had to get ready for Halloween.  To say I did not do a very good job being a mom this Halloween would be an understatement.  I had to make some priority changes and we had a deck project thrown in there to keep up with as well.  So instead of going to a pumpkin patch or even carve our pumpkins this year, we made sure to get vaccinated, put new tires on the car and head over to some fall/Halloween or birthday parties depending on the child. 

But let me start with the first part of the month.  We went to two extended family weddings, one out of town and one in town.  The kids had a blast at both and got to dance the night away.  In between the two weddings was Gwen's birthday with the family.  She was given princess and fairy toys, games, and clothes which she loved.  She is at the point where she does not believe it is her birthday until she blows out her candle after everyone has sung to her.  Of course when she had her party with her friends a week later, she then expected to be turning 5, I mean she already was 4 right???? 

**completely side note, I don't remember if I recorded one of her favorite explanations of rooms in our house.  she is quite literal when I ask her to go to the bathroom:  if I ask her to go to the bathroom before going somewhere, she tries to go upstairs because those are the two rooms that have baths in them.  I have to say that she needs to go to the potty room because the bathroom on the main level only has a toilet and sink (or half bath for those of you knowledgeable enough in looking at houses).  The bathroom cannot be called a bathroom unless it has a bath in it. 

So she had her party with her friends and we tried to play some games, but she was not happy with the choice of musical chairs.  I don't know if she assumed she should win because it was her birthday or had to win for a different reason but I had her doing something else pretty quick. The hit of the party was making their own crowns.  Whoever was the buyer at Target that came up with that one got a huge bonus I hope!

The other two weekends of October involved deck work.  There will be another post and pictures to follow on that when the final inspection occurs on Wednesday.  So instead, the kids did not go to a pumpkin patch, or get to carve pumpkins this year.  We were able to partake in a family Halloween party last night, which I think was better than any other cold walk through a corn maze.  Although I am a little sensitive to the cold, so it is probably just me talking.  The kids got to see a bunch of their friends in their Halloween costumes and hang around with them for a few hours. 

So today, being the last day of October, and Halloween I thought I would close up the month with a post.  This week is the start of the next month, Trevor's birthday month, Christmas shopping planning, and oh yeah, Thanksgiving.  Already planning my black Friday strategy.....

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The vacation from school

Well, this week was a week that Trevor only had school on Monday and Tuesday due to the MEA teacher break.  Gwen had school on Wednesday, but not Friday.  So the kids had some extra time to harass play with each other.  Towards the end of the summer, I knew it was getting to the point where they are disagreeing more than agreeing to play with each other and so when this break came up, I was going to have to plan for some activities to keep them off of the other one.  Wednesday Trevor went in for his flu mist, Thursday we did a kid swap at a friends house, Friday we visited the new Disney Store at the MOA, and Saturday my mom took the kids overnight. 

Through the past week, it is clear to see that both kids really have such an incredible appetite for playing around:  Gwen with her dolls, singing songs, dancing, crafts like painting, coloring, gluing and has now discovered how to pump herself on the swings at school.  She has been asking me a lot when we are going to Disney World.  Because we are keeping it a secret from the kids, I cannot tell her that we are going, but I also don't want to discourage her from thinking we aren't going to go - because whenever she had asked throughout the past year, I had said that we will go back when she is 4.  Now that she is 4 she expects to know.  And she wants it to be today. 

Gwen is really getting into the tween shows on Disney Channel.  Anything having to do with A.N.T. Farm or the songs that the lead actress sings, she has memorized.  She also has been wanting to watch Shake it Up....that show deals more with dancing though.  So I guess she has a show for singing and one for dancing. 

Trevor has been very interested in his Chess learnings and wanting to try to learn how to beat anyone and everyone.  He has his next meeting tomorrow and I know he is hoping to move off of pawns and rooks so he can start putting more of the pieces on the board and play an entire game.  But I'm not worried.  He will keep coming back if he feels like he can learn more...and from what I hear there is a lot to learn.  Another thing he recently discovered is a website called Brain Pop.  It was a link given through the school but it requires a subscription.  I didn't look at it in great detail, but they gave a free 5 day trial membership so I signed him up for it.  He spent most of his time learning about the various revolutions and wars up until World War II.  Which then lead him to ask about playing Risk.  The trial membership expired today, and I think I'm going to have to see how much it costs to pay for the membership.  I can see and hear everything that he does on the computer and I was impressed at how it kept his interest yet explained about things like the American Revolution and Spanish-American War. 

This week will be all about finding ways to use their costumes.  Gwen can wear hers to dance class tomorrow.  Trevor's school costume party was cancelled for this year, but he has been invited to go to another location for a different kind of costume party.  Gwen can also wear her costume at Sunday school next week too.  I wish it was going to be as nice next Monday as it is going to be tomorrow.  Unfortunately, the costumes are not exactly warm for the kids. 

So we are plodding on.  Today is 9 weeks until Christmas.  Are we all ready for that???  So much to do, so little time!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

So much to do, so little time

Through the past few weeks, there has been so much going on, and so much to record but never enough time or motivation to get it all done.  I know this feeling is only going to get more and more the continual feeling for the years to come, but looking at it, I often wonder why.  I have a child in school M-F from 9 to 3 and another in school from 9-12 M, W, F.  This is 50% more "time to myself" than last year.  Last year I was even in school, taking 2-3 classes and getting everything done.  So where is my new found alone time?  Gone.  I now clean the house, prepare the meals, do the laundry, run errands, and make sure the kids are ready and available for all their activities.  Thankfully, I am not a single parent, so I do have help, but we all have additional commitments outside of our immediate family. 

For the first part of October, we have had two weddings and three birthdays.  Our family has had wonderful memories as a result:  Gwen getting to dance her heart out, Trevor getting some yummy food.  Trevor has had some sadness in knowing that his birthday is not in the immediate future, but at least he has been planning his own special day. 

We also had some new activities:  Trevor started chess club and Gwen started her dance lessons.  I know both had a wonderful time, and I think Trevor (aw heck...who am I kidding...I was surprised how much he enjoyed it) had a different philosophy about chess club.  He said he won 4 games and lost 2, which I was happy about.  I knew he wasn't exactly a beginner but I wouldn't move him  up to intermediate.  Their lesson last Monday was on pawns and rooks.  They had to play games with all pawns and see how many games they could win and then they can start adding rooks in.  It sounds like a great program and we'll see how often he wants to do it. 

We already had Trevor's first conferences.  We were given a lot to consider, but told that he was a great fit for the type of classroom that we chose for him, which was a good thing.  I had my first big event for the school and seemed to go off without a hitch.  We had another monthly meeting where a decision had been made to cancel the school costume party.  They will be replaced with an all-school service project that some people are very excited about.  But of course there are some that are disappointed too.  But the school has to do what is best seeing as how it is less than two weeks out. 

I always remind myself that pretty much from the start of school to the new year is crazy busy, but that doesn't mean that our responsibilities lessen any!  So until then, I'll just try to do my best and getting what needs to be done, done.  In the mean time, we will make sure to do the most important things:  making the wonderful memories that the kids will remember for a lifetime!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A conversation worth recording

So today was the first day of Sunday School for Gwen.  That meant Trevor came to church and left for the Children's Liturgy during mass.  We were talking about going up for communion, and although we had already discussed it previously he asked to stay behind.  I had asked him to come up with me because they will do a blessing for those not old enough to receive the communion.  Facts are this:  once we hit January, we will start preparing for his First Communion.  I believe it is a once-a-week meeting for a few hours and then middle to end of May is when the event happens.  So although he has been asking for a few years now when he gets to receive communion, I have always said when he is 8.  That is how old he will be.  So today, he asked me why his friend, who is already 8 hasn't had First Communion.  I explained that unless he has gone through the preparation, he would not be allowed.  Trevor also tried to explain that he has tried the bread before (I think he either did it as part of his Sunday School or perhaps in Vacation Bible school.)  Without getting into too much detail I explained that there was a difference between the blessed bread at mass and the bread that he had tried.  I knew he wasn't exactly happy with my answer because I know he is trying to find out if there is any way he can have communion, but he moved on.  Next he asked me how old you have to be to have the wine at communion.  I explained that when you receive you first communion, it is the whole thing, you can have both the bread and the wine.  He was a bit surprised at that.  But the next comment made me use every ounce of patience not to break out in laughter:  "So, does that mean I get to have wine parties?"  Meaning: because he was old enough to drink the wine at church, that should mean that he should be old enough to drink wine everywhere....right?  Oh Trevor, I love your mind.  I think he did know the answer to that one but I think the fact that he will get to try it on his first communion satisfied him for the time being.

Monday, October 3, 2011

My Sweet Gwendolyn Caroline

Well, the mom made it through the big day.  It was a tricky one to navigate through, what with a wedding on the weekend that was out of town and a house to get organized for another 15 people.  Yes, we probably went overboard with the presents, and Trevor had a hard time dealing with the fact that it is Gwen's special day.  But I did my duty and talked with him about it, and had my alone time with him on the walk back from school.  He did become very proud when I let him "buy" his own gift for her, and she was genuinely so happy that he got her the only doll that she didn't have yet - Pocahontas.

This birthday was one of the only times where either Trevor or Gwen had a birthday during the week that conflicted with people who worked and this time Trevor going to school.  Last year Gwen's was on a Sunday, before that a Saturday, and really, she didn't remember her Friday birthday, I would bet.  Trevor's has always gotten into the Thanksgiving break during the birthdays that he would remember.  I think it was good for Gwen to be able to celebrate her birthday at school and then come home and have her time to celebrate it with her family....then later on with some friends. 

She is very easy to read when it comes to gifts....I guess we are all lucky in that respect.  She loves all things princess and you can often find the same gift that comes in variation to each of the princesses.  The look on her face when she opened all bazillion presents she got was so happy and grateful (at least that is what I'm hoping).  And now mean she has so many new toys to play with that she will enjoy them for the weeks to come before she will get more princess stuff.

She is excited to start dance next week, and then she will be in her prime.  I cannot wait to see her in her new little outfit and remembering the dances she practices.  Little Miss Gwen, you keep me on my toes and can always surprise me with all the little details you put into your playing.  She quietly recites the lines from all the princess movies, or songs that she sings (current favorite is "SWEET CAROLINE....BUM BUM BUM....good times never seem so good...SO GOOD SO GOOD SO GOOD" - she's getting ready for wedding number 5 this weekend!!!) and loves to play with all sizes of dolls.  From the new squinky sized to the big "sister" dolls she has.  She even dresses up as the princess herself and plays out the movies. 

Our whole family is so blessed to have a kind, caring, generous and close-proximity family.  I don't even want to imagine what it would be like to not have all of you around us.  Thank you to Bubba, Papa, Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle Tinkerbell, Aunt Kelsey, Cousin Ethan, Uncle 'Bacca, Uncle Derek, Aunt Kyrsten, Aunt Tracy, and Aunt Amy.  You all did make this the best birthday a 4 year old princess could have.  We love you all!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Needs to be recorded

I am behind, yet again, and I know I'm going to have to take a fast forward, before I can catch up again.  Tonight is the eve of Gwen's birthday and I still have to decorate her door, an idea I got from a parent friend.  Thanks Shena!  Anyway, I have been thinking about the fact that I wanted to record a little quirk about Trevor that he seems to have inherited from me, but a little from Russ as well, as Russ does do some talking in his sleep.

I do know that I do, or have in the past, moved around a lot in my sleep.  I do remember that my mom has said that I have walked downstairs and not remembered the event the next morning.  Trevor has always had difficulty sleeping well at night.  It gets bad directly before (like 1-2 days) before he gets hit with a cold.  The way that it gets bad is through nightmares.  If he is in the middle of a bad cold where he coughs through the night or has trouble breathing through his nose, he often wakes up uncomfortable throughout the night.  So I'm often in his room trying to comfort him, giving him ibuprofin and such.

So he has woken up crying out on a few occasions, but like I said, it is usually attributed to a cold.  Sometimes when he has these nightmares, he will get out of bed and come looking for me.  And then not remember any of it in the morning.  When he is upset, and it seems to be probably something he was dreaming about, he may or may not try to talk to me about it, and if he does - whatever he says is gibberish.  I've come to understand that unless he doesn't go to sleep, whenever I see him after I say goodnight, he is sleepwalking and cannot hold a conversation, or will not remember it the next morning.  I've tried to ask him to repeat what he said, but he can't even hear that.  The only thing I try to do is guide him back to bed and make him as comfortable and calm as possible so he can continue to sleep without being bothered by nightmares.

One night last week I woke up shortly after I went to bed and found Trevor sleeping in Russ's spot.  He had pulled his pillow pet and blanket with him but was still sleeping on Russ's pillow.  I didn't have the energy to move him and figured when Russ came to bed he would move him himself.  Well, an hour or so later, Gwen woke me up because she had to go to the bathroom.  I quickly scooted her out so she didn't see Trevor and want to join in the family bed.  Russ heard her get up and came upstairs to try to help.  I told him he might as well stay in Gwen's room because Trevor was in his spot.  So we both went to bed.  I woke up before 7 to take a shower and Trevor was still in the same spot as earlier in the night.  But when I came out of the bathroom he was gone.

Later on, Russ asked me if I knew why he was in our bed.  I told him I thought it could have been a nightmare.  But he hadn't been talking to me at all.  I asked Trevor if he remembered having a nightmare last night and he said no, why?  I asked him if he remembered why he came into my bed last night and he didn't believe me that he did.  That one surprised me.  I figured that he woke up from the shower and just went back to his room to change for the day.  But I don't think he was fully awake when that happened either.  We spent most of the next few minutes with him arguing that he never was in my bed and me promising that he was.

So that will be something to watch for the future.  Hopefully he wouldn't just walk outside to sleep on the lawn or something like that.  That would be pretty crazy.  But I guess I will continue to check in that guy for the years to come anyway.