Friday, June 3, 2016

May Memories

** I will add photos and videos from Ben's phone ASAP **

Week #1

We started the month strong, with a no screen week. Since I was finally feeling better I knew I needed to break the kids (and let's face it, myself) of our TV and tablet habit. It was also the first week I started watching our neighbor kids again, so that helped cut down on the kid's requests for TV (and my desire to just nap all day). I've been meaning to write a post about why I like watching kids part-time, and one day I may get around to it. I do think it makes me a better mom.

As a reward for going an entire week without TV or games (and they really did a great job of not even asking) I gave each (big) kid a $10 toy I'd bought during the post-Christmas sales. Nell earned a Mulan barbie sized doll and Reid earned a little Lego City construction set. I ended up giving them to them Friday morning because I knew we were going to spend the afternoon outside (it was the warmest day we've had all year!) and they were heading to Grandma and Grandpa's that evening.

Without the distraction of TV we found ourselves falling back in love with many of our favorite things. I think we read My Father's Dragon in just two sittings. I still remember snuggling up in my bed one morning (while Lou napped) and finishing the entire second half. I could really tell both Reid and Nell just loved that moment  -- huddled under my covers, engrossed in our favorite chapter book.

I had to snap a photo of the above irony. We've made this great play room in our basement and what do the kids do? They take all toys out of the nice big open space and shove them in the hallway and play back there. Kids are so hard to understand sometimes.

And frustrating, kids are so frustrating sometimes.

(An aside on that: about mid month we had a big long yell lecture (one-way) discussion about the playroom. I let them know if they couldn't: 1) play down there by themselves, 2) play without fighting, and 3) keep it clean; I would sale all the toys. This good scream heart to heart seems to have helped quite a bit.)

One day Reid tried to build the tallest tower in the world and I told him to wait for Daddy (because he can reach higher than I can) to get home. The moment dinner was finished the two of them got to work. Reid was very proud of his Duplo tower that touched the ceiling. 

On Thursday we enjoyed our dinner picnic style. Ben's been trying out a new diet where he only eats dinner a few days each week. I actually love this as it takes pressure off me and I'm less stressed about just making pancakes once a week. My kids seem to love breakfast dinners as much as I do. Ben still hasn't converted.

(add Lou's swinging video)

The moment Reid got home from school on Friday I buzzed his head. It hit 84 degrees that day and he had sweat dripping off his long locks while I was shaving. We were in the shade and he wasn't even moving -- that's how sweaty that kid is! A summer buzz is a must. 

He doesn't look too happy at the end, and that's because he looses his patience while I triple check everything. He was eager to just start playing in the water! Also, I had to include the above photo because this is how I'll always remember Nell, just standing around slapping her own belly. That girl is such a hoot!

The first time Nell went down the slip N' slide she was running full speed and fell right on her behind at the end, so in this video she is being extra cautious. I wish I'd caught the first go, it was hilarious!

I already wrote up a post about Mother's Day weekend, here

Week #2

Unlike week 1, I took almost no pictures of week 2, so I have little memory of anything that happened. I tried to stay in the habit of limited screen time, so we took a trip to the library on Monday (something we hadn't done in months) and the YMCA on Wednesday. It rained several days and wasn't nearly as warm, so that was a let down. We still spent lots of time snuggling on the couch while reading. 

I watched the neighbor kids for the last time before (their parents') summer break. We had the missionaries over one night, and I attended a Relief Society activity the next. Reid and I spent most of Thursday and Friday making several of his Lego sets. He always asks me to play Legos with him, but it is the play activity I loathe the most. However, I do love organizing and sorting Legos, so helping him build all his sets was a great way for us to play together. By Sunday afternoon we had them all completed!

We cleaned the Church as a family on Saturday and then made a trip up to Costco. It actually snowed just a tiny bit on our drive home. I had to chuckle, 84 degrees one weekend and snow the next!

Lou continued to make cute little messes while self feeding.

I wrote up a post about our lovely Sunday, here

Week #3

In the spirit of rediscovering our favorite activities I let the kids make a huge mess some play doh creations. We mixed it up by adding some food elements. The kids really wanted to make videos of their creations to show Grandma (they've been doing this a lot lately since she left). I'm a bad mom, but Reid's angry blooper video ended up being my favorite!

I also took a video of Nell telling us all about her play doh family (everything imaginative with Nell lately has been "family"). But I think I enjoy watching her eat her little family in Reid's video even more than listening to her talk about it. Warning: this video is really super boring, but I just want to catch a few every day living moments of my kid's childhood. So here it is:

Friday night we went to a birthday celebration for an 84-year-old Church member. Some old friends were in town (his daughter and her family) and we all had a great time with our little ward family. Age is no barrier in our sweet little ward. One of Reid and Nell's favorite play buddies is an 11-year-old I teach each Sunday and every other Wednesday. 

We spent some time prepping our garden Saturday morning. The kids were both really eager to help. I spread the manure (alone) and then they helped Dad add the compost. Next, Ben tilled it, and I immediately fell in love with our beautiful soil. We have never had good garden soil, so I have high hopes for this year's yield. 

Reid was invited to his first friend play date! He's had plenty of parties and stay overs with friends before now, but they've always been with people who are his friends because I'm friends with their mom. This was the first time it was one of his very own friends inviting him over.

I'd sent a note home to this particular boy's parents before spring break, giving them my contact info in case they wanted to meet up at the park or something. I'd only ever seen his parents from afar, so I figured this was the best approach. We never heard anything from them (which was good, because that was my week of death). But when Reid and Ben went to the baseball game last month the mom introduced herself to Ben and asked if I had sent a note home. Anyway, she texted me mid-week asking for the play date. Reid was over the moon excited and asked almost non-stop when it was time to go to Ben's house.

Nell of course, was heartbroken so I had to promise her special girl time. It turns out Ben's mom was the nurse who helped bring Nell into the world, and that bit of news seemed to cheer her up right away. It was kind of nerve racking dropping Reid off with someone we don't really know. I trusted the whole situation, as (my) Ben had chatted with them a bit at the ball game. I think what made me the most nervous was how Reid might behave. When I picked him up I was given a wonderful report, which I mostly expected. Honestly, the worst thing that might happen with Reid is he'd play off the other kid's energy and get too wild (but he rarely does that on his own) or he'd beg for a ton of food, ha!

Nell and I bought a few summer clothes for my always growing kids and then enjoyed some custard and onion rings. Ben and Coraline slept almost the entire time! It was a great Saturday afternoon. 

Later that evening Reid finally took off on the new bike we'd bought him a couple weeks earlier. It is a size too big and the training wheels (we manually added) have almost no effect, but we are too cheap to buy new bikes in just the right size every summer, so he was going to have to figure it out! Ben ran along side him for about a 1/3 of our street and then let go, and Reid has never needed help since. Keep in mind, this was after several practice runs in the previous weeks. So he'd spent a couple weeks falling and getting really frustrated, only to hear us remind him that he'd only catch on after lots of practice. So it was very rewarding for all of us when that practice finally paid off. Reid was most proud, pumping his fists in the air and running down the street after he made it safely home. 

Sometime around this point of the month Reid lost his second tooth. He sure is a growing boy!

On Sunday we took a family trip up to Heckrodt Wetlands. Nell had been asking to go there for over two months, so our visit was long overdue. We saw wild turkeys, deer, carp and lots of birds and bugs. We always love time spent at Heckrodt. 

(Ben's pictures)

Week #4

For lunch on Monday I took the girls to a nice little cafe downtown to meet up with a friend. We spent a good hour and a half enjoying each other's company, and the kids loved playing with the few toys made available to them (it's a cafe/toy store/cookie shop). 

We hopped in the car and headed off to complete an errand and were half way there when I decided to check my phone. I was not prepared for the several messages I had! I noticed the missed call first (no one ever calls me) and then spotted an e-mail from Reid's school secretary with the subject line "Threatening Phone Call".  I quickly opened it up and read (way easier than listening to the robo-call voicemail).

Oakwood  Parents/Guardians,

Due to the threatening phone call, PM 4K and KG thru 5th grade students and staff have been evacuated to the YMCA on 20th Ave.  Please come and pick your child up at the YMCA on 20th Ave.  You will need identification when you do this. 

Kirby Schultz

Obviously, my heart kind of skipped a beat. I was relieved to realize I hadn't gotten this message right at noon, when I stopped checking my phone, but rather had just gotten it at 1:37 when I had gotten into the car. I wasn't panicked at all. I knew the threatening phone call was a prank (statistics). But I also decided I'd better skip my errand and go get Reid first. But, when I came to the intersection where I needed to reroute I totally spaced it and headed to the errand anyway, ha! That's how concerned I was. 

I decided to just go ahead and do my quick errand and then go get Reid. By the time I arrived the pick up line was way backed up. Nell and Coraline both passed out while we waited and waited to get to the back gym. I told the officer at the door I had two sleeping toddlers and she gave me permission to just leave them in my car. What a great deal! I went in and picked up a smiling and happy boy. He has no idea that anything was askew. 

As Ben tucked him in that night he said "I'm glad you didn't get blown up by a bomb today buddy." And Reid's response was "Like, executed?" Of course he asked this clarifying question without any concern in his voice. I'm sure he was just thinking "Cool, my dad's got Star Wars on the brain too!" 

The whole ordeal was wonderfully executed and all the parents have been nothing but grateful to both the school and the local sheriff's office. The PTO catered lunch to the teachers the next day as a thank you. That evening I sent his teacher this note:

Mrs Bohnert,

I just wanted to say thank you for being such an excellent teacher. When I first saw the e-mail about the events that happened at school today I did not feel any panic or worry. As I drove to the Y I knew that Reid was safe and, most importantly, that he felt safe. I recognize that I had this confidence because you are such an amazing teacher. 

I'm sure today was a stressful and chaotic experience that had your heart racing at moments. Even without being there, I know you handled it well. It is so comforting to know Reid is in good hands, even in the worst of moments. 

I'm sending up extra prayers of gratitude for you tonight. 

Thank You, 

A bomb squad from Green Bay had to come down and sniff out the school. There were three other schools in the 50 mile region with the same threatening call. It sounds like it was a world wide hack. It's crazy to think about the kind of world my kids' will grow up in, but I believe there is more good than bad and I know the good has more strength than the bad, so I do my best to keep fear out of my momma heart. 

Waiting to pick up Reid-o
The weather that day was gorgeous, so as soon as we got home I filled up our little kiddie pool and watched my kids splash around without a care in the world. 

On Wednesday Nell helped me make a delicious cake for the activity day girls. Reid came home in time to help with the decorations. Ninety-percent of the time I spend baking goodies with my kids fills my heart with such immeasurable joy. If I kept my kitchen really clean that statistic might bump up to 100. 

On Thursday we filled the pool back up and invited one of the little girls from Reid's class over to play with us. She lives just around the corner from our street and he has been begging to have her over all year. He's told me numerous times that he wants to marry her. When asked how he'd feel about moving to another state he responded "I'd be sad because then I wouldn't see Liviana everyday and I couldn't marry her." Ha! 

I enjoyed the hour or so I had to chat with her mom, who I'd just met a few times before. Once the kids were all tired out of the pool Liviana's mom went home but she stayed over for another hour to play downstairs with Reid and Nell. Per Nell's request, they played family and I noticed Reid's name quickly changed into "honey" so it was great practice for their future. In fact, at one point I heard Reid tell her "First we have to hug and then we dance. I know because I've been to a marriage before." So apparently they were rehearsing for their wedding. 

Friday morning I snapped some photos of our sidewalk chalk play. Nell's little butt was cracking me up. It was even more colorful than the picture shows. 

Reid drew himself as a giant and then made a little square house above Nell's Dragon's Edge creation. She was such a good sport. She wanted to draw the sun and our family, but when Lou messed up her sun she decided to make the best of it and she just added tons of colors and imagined it was all part of the Dragon's Edge "Connection" (not sure what the "connection" was all about). 

Memorial Day

We spent most the weekend prepping for a big BBQ at our house. We decided to invite all the families we home or visit teach, and all but one said yes. We counted over 30 people (15 adults and 17 kids). Our ward actually held a pot luck after Church on Sunday, so the whole weekend sounded like nothing but fun to our kids. They were stoked. 

But at 1:30 am on Monday Reid stood at my bedroom door and told me his tummy hurt. He had been up for a while and had something to drink but it didn't help. I laid on the couch with him for 2 hours and finally got tired of him. He tried to throw up a few times but it was apparent that he was trying to force it. I thought he was just overheated and dry mouthed from their bedroom fan. I finally went to bed and the next time he cried out for me I woke up Ben and made him deal with it. Ben gave him some tylenol and Reid immediately threw it (and dinner) up. He finally fell fast asleep after that. But, once we all awoke for the day Ben and I began sending out messages that our BBQ was cancelled. The kids were so heartbroken. Such is life. 

We planted our garden instead. 

Reid seemed fully recovered by mid-afternoon but he came home from school on Tuesday complaining about his tummy again. He had a pretty high fever, 102.9, and seemed to repeat the exact same thing he had Monday morning. He threw up once but after a good sleep seemed totally fine. No one else got it, so it must not have been contagious. I don't know, strange little bout with some food or some (small) infection. We promised the kids we'd reschedule the BBQ for later this summer. 

In other bad news, on Tuesday I realized our little town parade and BBQ has been cancelled this year. I'd put it on the calendar and told the kids all about it (they remember it from past years). So in just a few short hours all our exciting beginning of summer activities vanished. I think I might be more disappointed about the parade and BBQ than the kids. It was one of my favorite things about our little Town of Algoma. Hopefully they decide to hold it again next year, but I won't put it on the calendar until I know for sure! No sense dashing little kids' hopes. 


Pa said...

Pictures and videos are worth a thousand words! Thanks for sharing...

Claudia said...

Lots of fun happenings going on chev vous!!!

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