A Technology Upgrade…and Tugger Swimming

It seems like we’ve spent a lot of time in the house the last few days, but we’ve also been out and about a lot too.  It’s been so hot here that Jack and Casey have spent most of the time playing inside.  Jack’s sleep schedule has been a little off and he has a been a little cranky…also known as really whiny.  As Dr. Seuss might put it…

All the girls and boys
Would wake bright and early.  They’d rush for their toys!
And then!  Oh, the whining.  Oh, the Whining! Whining!  Whining!  Whining!
That’s one thing Mommy hated!  The WHINING!  WHINING! WHINING!  WHINING!
On Saturday, Pat dropped me off at the mall and then took Tugger, Jack and Casey to a check out the Bea Arthur Dog Park.  It is on the river and turned out to be a great place to take Tugger swimming.  Here is a video Pat took:

Watching Tugger try to swim makes me laugh every time I see it.  
Pat and I got the new iPhones last week and that video was taken with his phone.  This was a big jump for me in the phone arena.  My former phone barely had texting capabilities.  I kind of feel like this iPhone is less of a phone, and more of a tiny little computer that I can carry around with me.  It’s already come in quite handy…as I lounge in bed and watch tv shows.  Pat mentioned that he thought one of the new designers competing on Design Star on HGTV was from Virginia Beach.  Quickly, I was able to consult with the iPhone and find out that it wasn’t true.
I was also able to research Spongebob Squarepants cakes while I lounged in bed last night.  Jack has requested this cake for his birthday despite the fact that he’s never seen the show.  I’m just the cake maker, so I will oblige with this special order.  At the grocery store today, I asked what kind of cake mix Jack wanted me to get.  He responded, “Ummm…Ummm…you can just get whatever you think Mommy.  I like all the cakes.”
After I figured out how I was going to make the Spongebob cake (while still lying in bed), the power went out…again.  It’s gone out 4 times in the last week and it hasn’t been during storms.  Anyway, I turned on my handy iPhone and had myself a makeshift flashlight.  And entertainment too.
Needless to say, my iPhone was a pretty nice birthday present last week.  I should also mention that Pat batted 100% with the gifts he gave me.  He’s very proud that I like everything and that it all fits.  He likes to feel he’s made me more trendy.  Also, my early birthday present from my parents (a new sewing machine) has been working hard the last couple of weeks too and I’ll have more about that in the future.  And, the ice cream maker from my sister churned out a delicious batch of vanilla ice cream, with more to come!
When I sat down to write this post, I didn’t really have any direction in mind, and now you can see that it has rambled all over the place.  But I am done now!

Going to the Movies

A couple weeks ago, I got an email with a schedule of FREE summer movies that are showing at our movie theater.  The first one was this week and it was Curious George, so I decided to take the kids to see it.  There aren’t a lot of other movies on the list that I think the kids would enjoy, so I was glad that I could make it to this one.

We arrived half an hour early and the line was around the building…buses, vans, vacation bible schools, and a lot of other moms with their kids were all waiting to go in.  Once we got in, I was so worried about getting a seat (because it seemed like such a mob) that we went straight into the theater, bypassing popcorn for the time being.

Jack picked out seats for us and we sat there for a few minutes.  I tried to figure out how I was supposed to go out and get popcorn and still keep our seats.  Hmmm.  Couldn’t leave the kids there by themselves.  Didn’t have any articles of clothing to put in the seats.  Should have come with a friend.  Should have picked up two of those booster seats I saw on the way in.  At the other end of our row, I saw that another mom had draped a shirt across her 3 seats.  When she came back, I asked if I could borrow her shirt to save our seats and we headed out to get popcorn.

I got the kids popcorn tray for Jack and Casey and a soda for myself.  The medium cup is so deceiving when it’s sitting on a shelf behind the counter.  It didn’t look that big until movie theater girl plunked Monster Cup down in front of me.  I don’t even think I could put my whole hand around it.  I only ordered the medium because it seemed that I was getting so much more soda for only 50 more cents than the small size.   I know, I know…that’s what they want you to think…and it worked.

Anyway, I found myself with two trays of popcorn that included two children’s drinks and a big Diet Coke to carry into the theater.  I didn’t have much faith that Jack or Casey could handle their trays without trailing popcorn all the way into the theater, or worse.  With my soda squeezed between my upper arm and my body and a tray in each hand, we headed back to our seats.  Jack helped by carrying the straws.  And then I thought we should grab a couple of those booster seats because there were only 5 left.  Casey carried hers, but I ended up carrying one for Jack.  And somehow I got it all back to our seats.  As I was trying to gently set everything down, I squeezed the big Diet Coke a little too much and dribbled a little down my shirt, but it just so happens we were in a dark theater and no one was the wiser.

The kids climbed into their booster seats (which I didn’t even know they had at movie theaters) and got their food all settled.  6 minutes later, Curious George started.

It couldn’t have been a better movie for us all.  It was Casey’s first movie and only Jack’s second.  Jack was riveted the whole time and there weren’t any super scary parts to bother him.  He didn’t even eat his popcorn.  Casey ate popcorn and watched for about 45 minutes and then she climbed into my lap for the rest of it.  It got a little too loud for her in places and she was trying to burrow into me to hide, but it was also really snuggly and I liked that.  There were a couple spots where Casey spontaneously laughed at something and it was so cute to watch her.

I don’t know why I feel so proud of this adventure…it was just fun to take them to see something new and it was obvious that they really enjoyed it.  Besides carrying food around, it was pretty stress free for me and I got to enjoy the movie…Curious George is pretty darn cute.  It also answered a lot of questions about how George met the Man with the Yellow Hat, how his name became George and even where the Yellow Hat came from.  

A Trip to the Post Office

I just got back from a trip to the post office.  I had a DVD that I wanted to mail.  It was just going to be a quick trip.

Step 1.  Drive to post office.

Try to answer the following questions –
Mommy, how do they make juice boxes?  (They make them in a factory where machines help make the boxes.)
Yeah, but how do they get the juice in there?  (Hmmm…stumped.)
Listen to son’s explanation of how he thinks it works and tell him that’s a good hypothesis.  (They put the straw in the little hole and put the juice in through that and then they put a tiny cover on the hole and put the straw back on the side of the box.)  Try to explain what a hypothesis is, even though you were only using that word because you know he’s heard about it on Dinosaur Train.

Step 2. Pick out an envelope for the DVD.

Be unable to find the size that you want, that doesn’t require any tape and that isn’t green with white polka-dots.  In the meantime, look at your daughter and realize that she has her pants around her ankles.  Laugh, because it’s a little funny and pull her pants up.  Now son thinks it’s funny too and wants to pull his pants down, daughter pulls hers down again.  Don’t laugh anymore.  Tell them very sternly not to pull their pants down.  Lose the note you were going to send with the package.  Realize that you left it in one of the boxes you were “trying on” and that another man just took that box.  Recover the note from the man.  Finally find the right size package.

Step 3.  Write the address on the envelope.

Dig through your purse, past the wipes, the diaper, the packages of crackers, the chapstick, the wallet and some gum.  Find a loose piece of gum that has come out of the package and pop it in your mouth.  Continue looking through the purse that honestly, isn’t usually this junky.  Look around the post office for a pen.  Surely there must be a pen at the post office.  Go out to the other area of the post office and thankfully see a pen.  Determine that there is no tip to the pen.  Look around again.  Wonder if you should just ask a person for a pen.  Realize that the car is only a few steps away and there is a pen in there.  Worry about just leaving the envelope on the table that you haven’t paid for yet.  Drag two kids back to the car.  Search through the car for a pen – glove box, upper console, lower console, dashboard.  Wonder if you really don’t have a pen in the car.  Pull everything out of the glove box and throw it on the seat.  Find pen at bottom!  Go back inside where the envelope is just as you left it.  Write address.

Step 4.  Stand in line and wait to mail the package.

Comment that there was no line until it took you took 15 minutes to find and address an envelope.  Tell Casey to get up off the floor.  Tell Casey to put her shoes back on.  Physically make Casey put her shoes back on.  Tell Casey not to hit Jack.  Tell Casey not to hit Jack.  Stand between Jack and Casey.  Tell Casey not to put her hands on the floor.  Watch Jack and Casey think they’re being clever by crouching down low as an alternative to sitting on the floor.  Tell Casey to watch where she’s going as she wanders in front of people.  Finally get to counter and mail package.  Depart post office.  Remind yourself that no trip to a post office is ever a quick little trip.

Step 5.  Wonder if you should get more sleep so that you’re not such a manic mommy lately.

Recall yesterday’s trip to the zoo…where you left your wallet outside in the stroller, only realizing this as you get to the counter after waiting in line for 10 minutes for food and also where you completely ran over a small child with your stroller while trying to watch your children walk through the butterfly garden.

Tough Questions

Jack asked me some tough questions today.  To which I provided some fairly inadequate answers.  He thinks he can figure it all out himself anyway.

Who made God Mommy? // God made all the people.
Yeah, but who made God?  Did he make himself?  // Yup, he made himself.  Good answer.
But how do we get up to God?  //  When we die we go up to heaven to be with God.
Can I still move when I die?  Will my leg still work?  // No.
Then how am I going to get to God?  // Pause.  Mumble, mumble, spirit goes to God, mumble, mumble.
Does God just make us over and over again?  // What do you mean by that?
Probably when I die, they hook an airplane to my leg and fly me up to God.

See, he’s got it all figured out.

He also found a couple of good times in other conversations to use the word ‘wonderful’.

Mommy, those trees over there would be a wonderful place for a hike.
Oh no, this broke.  How are we going to fix it?  Oh, but this would make a wonderful frisbee instead.

Preschool Graduation

Jack’s preschool held a graduation ceremony today and it was very cute.  I heard that some other moms were getting their boys all dressed up, so I pulled out Jack’s tuxedo for the occasion.  He wore it for his Uncle Matt’s wedding back in September and his legs have definitely gotten a little longer since then.  It wasn’t like he was expecting a 100-year flood…maybe just a small spring flood.

The process of getting him ready wasn’t the most pleasant one.  He wasn’t really happy with his pants or his shoes or his shirt being tucked in and the jacket was too hot.  He really wanted to wear some plaid shorts and a Phillies T-shirt.  I looked for something in between wedding outfit and baseball game outfit, but didn’t find much.  Finally he went with the tux but with his shirt untucked and no jacket.  I got to school early to get some pictures, but apparently I should have used that time to get front row seats because it was hard to see the kids if you weren’t in front.  Especially Jack, who was sitting on the floor.

Checking out an ant!

Miss Lena gave the students all caps and they came marching in from the hallway and took their seats.  They had a little show prepared for us, singing songs about the days of the week, months, numbers, colors – in English and Spanish! and a few other things.  Jack just sat and smiled the whole time.  I know that he knows all those things, but he’s not much for performing in front of a crowd. (Unless it’s sports because I’m remembering that he was in his glory when he was the youngest kid playing baseball at a Memorial Day barbeque.)  When it comes to learning and performing things like at graduation, he likes to be completely comfortable with it and then he’ll let you know everything he knows.  Miss Lena said that if we had a graduation every week, eventually he’d be comfortable and probably be the loudest one singing.  He was pretty darn cute just smiling at me for most of the show.

This was a great first classroom for Jack.  He learned so many things and he really adored his teacher.  He likes to play school now, and he stands at his little blackboard and tells me, “This is the road to reading!” which is exactly how Miss Lena taught him.  I’m very proud of him and everything he learned this year.

Round Two of Circle Conversations

It doesn’t seem that long ago that Jack was driving me nuts by asking me “Why?” over and over again.  Actually, it wasn’t.  And he still asks it a lot, but he’s getting old enough to understand my answers better and he stops asking why at an appropriate time.  At one point, he would just say “Why?” as an automatic response to anything that was said to him.

Now, it’s Casey turn to join in the fun.  She seems to be talking all day now and asking questions.  And I don’t mind the questions.  It’s the fact that she repeats them over and over.

Every single day when we drive by our friends’ house I hear, “Where’s Warner?  Where’s Wes?  Where’s their Mommy?  Where’s their Daddy?”  I answer her and usually she asks the same question again.  Maybe she thinks I’ll have a better answer the second time.

Other times she asks about our names.  The list of questions goes something like this:
Are you Tweesa, Mommy?
Is Daddy Tweesa?
Is Daddy Pat?
Is Daddy Pat?
Are you Tweesa?
What’s Jack’s name?
What’s Daddy’s name?
Is Daddy Pat?
Are you Tweesa?
Is I Tweesa?

It can be a really long conversation with only a few questions and only a few answers.  She just likes to hear herself talk I think.

And, just as Jack did, she is now asking me questions about cars on the road.  “Where is that car going Mommy?”  And she asks it a couple times.  I try to think of different ways to say the car is going a different way, to a different place, etc.  She still asks again.

By dinner time today, I was really tired of talking.  I’m enjoying the peace and quiet of bedtime and maybe tomorrow I’ll have some more satisfying answers!

Memorial Day 2010

On Memorial Day, Jack, Casey and I headed down to the Outer Banks to visit with our cousins who rented a house there for the week.  What a great day!  I even enjoyed the 2 hour drive down…so many interesting roadside stands and billboards to see.  We stopped at one stand and got some fresh strawberries, corn on the cob and potatoes.  Ever since we went strawberry picking last month, the store bought strawberries seem even more lackluster than normal.  Jack and Casey even notice it too.  We went to the Strawberry Festival on Sunday and they both kept asking where all the strawberries were.  (I guess they sold all the strawberries on Saturday.)

Anyway, back to the Outer Banks.  We arrived at a gorgeous, huge house right on the ocean with its own private pool, only steps from the beach.  We literally spent the whole day in the pool or on the beach.  Jack and Casey were anxious to go to the beach…until they saw the pool.  Jack put a lifejacket on and after about 30 minutes, he decided he didn’t need to have his feet on the ground anymore and that he could actually swim.  It’s still “swimming” as defined by Jack, but he really made progress in the water.

Later we went to the beach and Jack, Joey and Casey had a great time playing in the big hole that Mike was digging.  Casey sat in the hole for hours and Jack and Joey kept bringing buckets of water up for the hole.  At one point, Jack saw Mike had headed out in the ocean and he thought he should do the exact same thing and just started heading into the water.  Luckily I saw what he was doing and went after him.  I even offered to take him out there, which was no small offer.  I like my water to be bath temperature and while the ocean wasn’t bone-chilling cold, I would barely have put my feet in if it weren’t for Jack.  As we started heading into the water a big wave came at us and was going to break right on top of us.  I was still holding Jack’s hand but I was thinking more of how cold the water was going to be instead of the fact that Jack is only about 3 feet tall and the wave would be literally breaking on his head.  He was fine but after that he wasn’t as interested in heading out in the water any further.

After filling a couple buckets with shell treasures, we headed back up to the pool.  Luckily the pool was as warm as bath water and I spent a good hour in there playing with the kids.  Jack and Casey could barely be lured out of the pool with food.  Eventually Casey got tired and wanted to get out.  Jack said, “Mister Mike said I could stay in here as long as I wanted.”  Eventually we convinced him to get out and get ready for dinner.

We made a short trip to feed the turtles before dinner.  It was rather amazing how many turtles flocked to the scene.  And it made for some really weird dreams that I later had about turtles.

After a delicious dinner, I packed the two exhausted kids in the car and we headed home.  The kids had a great day with their cousins in the sun and sand, and I am very grateful for the extra help I had and for the yummy food that we ate, which just made the day even better.

(That’s not Jack’s margarita!)

Prom 2010

This morning we went to Jack’s first prom.  I’m not going to let him take his sister to future proms, but at the preschool prom, I think it is okay.  After all, she is his best friend.
It was a slow start to the prom for Jack.  There are a lot more girls in his class than boys and he’s not as social as all those girls.  The music started, but Jack said he was tired and didn’t want to dance.  

He sat in this chair and watched the other kids dance.  Some of those girls had some moves!  At least he wasn’t the only boy who didn’t dance.

Casey did a little dancing and tried to make Jack feel better.
Finally it was time to eat.  After sending me back for more food about 5 times, Jack finally got some of his energy back and was able to pose for pictures and head out on the dance floor.  Of course Casey was all danced out by that time so I had to hold her while trying to dance with Jack.

Jack tried to jump in some pictures with some other kids, but he was a little too shy to ask anyone to be in a picture with him.  After a couple of silly faces, he put his hands in his pockets and got serious about modeling.  We asked Miss Lena for a picture and Jack was grinning from ear to ear to take a picture with her.