End of Year Program

We just got back from Jack’s end of year program.  I’ve been listening to him sing some of the songs for a month or so and I was looking forward to seeing it in concert.  We were all very excited about going to the show.  Jack started getting ready at 12:30 this afternoon.  I had to keep making him take his white shirt off when he was eating.  Casey put a dress on around this time too but she must have changed her clothes 5 times before we got back to the dress.  At 4:45 this afternoon she decided to put on pajamas.  Then she got them wet so she put on a different pair.  She also had a dance outfit, a Cinderella dress, and blue polka-dot pants on at various points in the day.

You’d think we’d be quite prepared to get to the show by the time it finally got here, but I got a little distracted by a big storm that blew some crazy winds at us when it rolled into town.  I had just gotten out of the shower and noticed that Tugger was acting a little funny and the sky was getting darker.  I ran to the front window to see what was going on and trees were bent over and it looked like a big dust cloud out there.  I decided I need to throw some clothes on and go close the garage door.  Then I started making sure there were no big funnels heading towards us and trying to check the weather.  Jack told me, “I don’t think there is any hope left for us.”  Maybe he’s watching too many dramatic Star Wars episodes.  Thankfully he was wrong and the winds only lasted for about 15 minutes and then a little rain and thunder rumbled through.  But it threw off my schedule.  I forgot to grab shoes for Pat and forgot the camera.  And the kids were being crazy up to the moment we left the house.  Luckily Pat had time to get home and grab the camera.

I spent most of Jack’s concert trying to figure out the best manual setting to take pictures because I knew from the last time he was one stage that the automatic settings didn’t give me great pictures.  I eventually figured it out, but long after Jack was on stage.  I got some decent pictures of the 2 year olds.  Too bad I don’t know any of them.

I spent the other time trying not to cry.  They had videos with sentimental music and cute little kindergardeners in caps and gowns and I think it was just designed to make mothers cry.  I didn’t even have someone “graduating.”  Up on stage one of the kindergardeners was crying and she was even prepared with tissues.  It was adorable and made me want to cry.  But I didn’t let any tears escape and now I’m prepared for next year.  So I can try harder not to cry…or bring tissues.

Casey spent the entire show pretending the center aisle was a hopscotch game.  She hopped up and then ran back to Pat.  Repeat a dozen times.  After Jack was done singing though, she was my only photography subject.

It was a great program with a nice little smorgasbord of snacks after the show.  I am so proud of Jack for standing up there and singing his heart out.  A year ago at the rec center preschool he wasn’t sure of himself enough to sing with the group.  He has grown so much this year.  And next year, both Jack and Casey will be on the stage!

Busy Weekend

Pat has been really busy with work and had to work on Saturday but I managed to keep us pretty busy.  We went to the Stockley Art Festival in Norfolk in the morning.  It was a nice time with the kids.  We wandered through the art displays.  I tried to stop at a couple and Jack said, “I hate going in these things.”  We had a little talk about using the word hate.  I think he was just trying it out but I did not appreciate it and I hope he doesn’t continue to use it.  We found a craft for the kids and that made Jack happy…until it was over and he immediately wanted to do another craft.  (When Jack hears “art and craft fair” I think he imagines table after table of fun craft projects.  Anyone know of a fair like this?)  

We wandered a little more and ended up at the face painting clown.  Jack wanted to be a lion and Casey wanted to be a cat and when the clown was done I thought they were the cutest things ever!

We also happened to come across Cinderella on our travels.  Jack was the first one to spot her and when I looked up and saw how amazed Casey was to see Cinderella, I teared up a little.  It was such a nice but unexpected surprise and I was so happy for Casey.  Although Casey was a bit shy; we said hello, got a card and continued walking.  Maybe the addition of whiskers made her braver.  After she transformed into a kitty cat, we walked by Cinderella again and Casey wanted a picture with her.  I love it!

When we got home, I grabbed the good camera (instead of my phone) and took some more pictures of my cats…

And that was just the first part of the day!  We went to the beach with some friends in the afternoon.  (Jack kept his mane all day, even at the beach!)  I took no pictures though.  The kids had a blast.  I forgot how much fun they can have in a little water and sand.  Nellie has a cute picture of Jack on her blog.  He decided he could make a snow angel in the sand…also known as a sand angel.  We finished our day with a burger and some fries from Five Guys and a really good shower to get rid of a little sand!  It’s feeling like summer around here.

Quotes of the Weekend

We had a busy weekend! I have some pictures of a cute cat and a ferocious lion to post tomorrow. But tonight I was thinking of a couple funny things Jack said and wanted to write them before I forget.

We went to a Norfolk Tides baseball game today but before we left we threw around the option of going to the pool instead. Pat asked Jack which one he would rather do and he wanted to go to the baseball game. Casey, of course, wanted to go to the pool. Jack said, “Daddy, how do you think we should handle this?”. To which Pat and I both tried not to burst out laughing. Luckily, Jack thinks he is pretty good at answering his own questions sometimes and he figured that since we talked about going to the baseball game first then that’s what we should do. Casey then said the exact same thing about the pool but the pool wasn’t the first idea so we convinced her that we could go to the pool a lot this summer. (Or maybe I said if she didn’t stop whining about the pool she was going to take a nap and not go anywhere.)

On the way home from the baseball game, Jack said, “Mommy, I think you put too much suntan lotion on my neck because it feels funny now.”. I don’t know what that was all about but it definitely wasn’t a sunburn and that was the goal with the extra dose of lotion I put on as our backs baked in the sun during the game.

Why, You Ask?

I know I’ve written a post about Jack asking “Why?” and how it gets difficult to continue explaining things after a certain number of whys.  But lately it’s just getting annoying.  I don’t mind explaining something to either Jack or Casey.  However, their use of “Why?” has nothing to do with trying to figure out how the world works anymore.  It is now something they say almost every single time I tell them something.  Jack is even starting to say it before I finish the sentence I’m speaking.  But the most annoying time is when I tell them something that includes the why.

Me:  We’re putting the dishes away because they’re all clean.
Casey:  Why?
Me:  I just told you why.
Casey:  Oh.  But why?
Me:  Are you listening to me?
Casey:  Yes.
Me:  What did I just say?
Casey:  I don’t know.
Me:  Why don’t you know?
Casey:  Because.

And you can see how this conversation goes nowhere.  I guess it’s even more frustrating when I decide to turn it around on Casey and ask her why she did something.  She shrugs her shoulders and says she doesn’t know 99% of the time.

I think we’re in a little bit of a language rut around here.  I feel like I keep saying the same things over and over again and never quite getting the response I’d like.  I keep asking the kids, “Did you hear what I just said?…Then why didn’t you do it?”  Half the time when I say something to Casey, she says, “Huh?” I repeat myself and she says, “Huh?”  About halfway through the third time I’m repeating myself,  I’ll stop and say, “Did you hear me?”  I know sometimes that I do not speak as loudly as I need to.  Part of it is that I’ve always been like that (mumbling as my mother would say) and the other half is that I feel like I’m answering the most pointless questions and I just don’t give it the energy that I should.  Other times I know that I’m speaking loudly and she has just developed this habit of saying, “Huh?”  Then I realized that I’ve done this myself.  When I was in high school and college and I worked at the family restaurant, my friend Elaine started calling me on it.  I would hear what she said to me but I guess in order to give myself a few more seconds to process it, I would say “Huh?” and she would repeat it.

I always thought that I spoke pretty well, but the kids seem to catch on to certain poorer parts of my speech and mannerisms and now I feel like I’m constantly trying to improve myself.  I try not to say “like” and I try not to say “Uhhh…” or “Well….” before every question I answer.  Sometimes I just need a few seconds to come up with a good answer for the 3 and 4 year old crowd and those words give me a little thinking time.  And of course I’m trying not to say, “Huh?” while also trying not to let Casey say it three times in a row.

Certainly this kind of self-improvement is something I never expected to be inspired by motherhood.  But 95% of the time I’m speaking to a 3 and 4 year old audience and they are really soaking up everything I say and how I say it so I think it’s important to try to say it right.

My Mom and I

“My Mom and I” is a book that Jack wrote at school for me.  He is also the illustrator.  I’ll put the parts that Jack added in quotations and a description of the picture in brackets.

My mother likes it when “I sleep with no light.”  [a picture of his bunk bed with him on the top]

My mom and I read “Tangled.” [a book with Rapunzel and her long hair on the cover]

My mother is good at “everything.”  [him with a circle around him]

My mother and I like to “go shopping.”  [Jack pushing a shopping cart with me behind him]

My mom and I go to “the bounce house.”  [Jack climbing up a tall slide]

My mother is great because “she gives me candy whenever I ask.”  [Jack holding his Easter basket]

It’s my favorite Mother’s Day gift so far!

But I have some comments/rebuttals to some things.

For a couple years, Jack has been sleeping with his lights on at night.  It really doesn’t bother me since it doesn’t seem to bother him but I am proud of him when he turns his lights off.

I think it’s funny that he chose Tangled as the book we read because I have been reading Star Wars books to him every day for months.  But I think the last time he was practicing his reading, we were using the Tangled book because it’s for beginning readers.

I didn’t know he likes to go shopping so much.  I guess the last few times he’s come along to the commissary, we’ve had a pretty good time.  It’s more of a novelty for him now that he doesn’t go every week.  And he gets a donut at the end.  That’s new since he started school.

The last statement probably surprised me the most because I spend so much time trying to come up with healthy, homemade food that he will eat.  But the statement is probably accurate lately because I do give him candy when he asks but that’s because we had to get rid of that basket of Easter candy somehow.  And he usually only asks when he knows I’ll let him, like after lunch or dinner.  And today I told him to just finish it!  The Easter candy is finally gone.

Mother’s Day Preview

I got a great preview of Mother’s Day today.  Pat has duty on Sunday and therefore will be at work all day so I asked Jack and Casey if they were going to make it special for me on Sunday.

Casey said that she is going to make me a big card.  She is also going to put my hair in ponytails for me and make pancakes.

Jack has quite a list and I think I shall be quite pampered.  He started off by saying that he is going to “do the sink” for me.  Then he’s going to do a lot of cleaning.  He’s also going to give me the most cards.  He will make dinner – he thought a salad would be nice and he would cut the tomatoes.  Then he is going to tuck me into bed and he’s not going to read me stories but he’s going to tell me stories.  If I get sick, Jack is going to get out his doctor’s kit and take care of me.  He will also give me lots of hugs and kisses all day long.

What more could I ask for?

Jack decided he would get a head start on the cleaning today.  He ran upstairs, I heard some banging around and down he came with the feather duster.  He went all around the downstairs remarking that, “We haven’t dusted in a while Mommy!”

He also got to work on his salad tonight.  I told him dinner was going to be whatever healthy snacks he wanted and he decided he would make a salad.  “What is that stuff you usually put in a salad Mommy?”  I told him it was lettuce, but it was up too high for him to reach in the fridge so he decided on a fruit salad instead.  He picked out all the fruit, I chopped it up and he put it in the bowl.  Then he talked for five minutes about how great his recipe was and wasn’t I glad that he had come up with it.  I didn’t realize how much fruit we had in the house until he started pulling things out of the crisper.  He topped it with some vanilla yogurt and that was dinner.

I’m really looking forward to what he comes up with on Sunday!

And here are some random dress up pictures from a few days ago…

 Butterfly with an eye patch in the middle of her forehead
That pink guitar is a gun in this situation.  I think that’s a storm trooper outfit.