It’s Just How It Is With Boys

There will be nudity….or at least partial nudity. It’s just how it is with boys. Usually by bed time there is at least one child in my house without a shirt. Sometimes without pants. Often enough they are in just a diaper or just underwear, and I’m not surprised if there is a little one running around in his birthday suit.

I don’t know how long it will last…but I’ve embraced it as life as a mother of boys. Tonight this is how we ended up after dinner. Elias had spilled water on his knee and decided he’d rather not wear pants. Simon ate both yogurt and cornbread and destroyed his shirt. I told them to smile, and Elias started dancing…hence the funny expression and body position.

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He Battled The Stairs…And Lost

P1210207On Sunday, I was happily watching my sister-in-law open gifts at her baby shower when my phone rang. I briefly considered getting up to answer it (it was in the other room) but decided against it. A minute or so later, my mom’s phone rang, and as she sheepishly looked around at the other guests, I advised her to answer it since that was two in a row. As I watched her face, my heart sank. I knew something was wrong. She put me on the phone with my dad, and he informed me that Nathan had fallen down the stairs while carrying Simon.

Simon was ok except for a banged up cheek. But Nathan had dislocated his shoulder among other minor injuries. My brother was driving Nathan to the ER while my dad watched the boys.

Now I have to admit that while I was still concerned for Nathan, all I could really feel was relief. So much more could have happened, and I was just so thankful that they were ok. I packed up my stuff and, knowing that my boys were in good hands, I headed to OHSU to be with my husband.

Poor Nathan was in a lot of pain, and was still in the waiting room when I got there. He had to go through quite an ordeal at the hospital to get his shoulder back in. The nurses couldn’t get an IV in because he was in shock. Three different nurses had to try six times before they finally were successful. The first thing they tried was giving him a muscle relaxant. This had worked the first time his shoulder was dislocated about ten years ago. Despite four nurses and doctors all pulling and heaving, the shoulder would not go back in place.

We had to wait some more, and Nathan would have to be sedated. The sedation worked and only about fifteen minutes after I had left the room, they came out to get me and tell me it had worked. When I walked in, Nathan was peacefully sleeping, but as he came out of his drug induced state, he said many amazingly funny things.

Nathan has been home from work since then, and declares himself pitiful. I wouldn’t say that he is pitiful, but the whole thing has been pretty tiring for me. I won’t complain, though, because I am just so thankful that things turned out as they did instead of so much worse. Nathan is recovering slowly but surely.

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Family Night #2

P1210195Last week we had our second family night. We’ve decided to try two a month because that is a realistic goal and it is often enough that it will feel like a memorable tradition for the boys. During dinner, I asked Elias what he wanted to do for family night. At first, he said that we do the jenga dominoes for family night. (That is what we did the first time). I thought it was funny that he thought we had to do jenga every time, but didn’t argue. A few minutes later, though, Elias declared that he wanted to do an Easter egg hunt. After recovering from a bit of a surprise (we haven’t gotten out Easter eggs for months) I told him it sounded like a fun idea.

We got down the basket of Easter eggs, we hid them, we found them, and we opened them all up, using our imaginations to tell each other what was inside. The boys had a blast…so we did it all over again…and again.

I would have never guessed that our family night would be spent doing an Easter egg hunt. And if you had told me that is what we would do I probably would not have looked forward to it to be honest. But in the midst of it, it was fun because we were together, and that is what matters.

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Costume Day

Yesterday as I was putting some clothes away in my closet, Elias came to join me. He noticed Daddy’s ties all hanging neatly, and asked if he could wear one. I tried to convince him to wait because he could wear one to church today. He wasn’t satisfied with that, though, and I ended up getting him a tie to wear.

When we had the tie on, he stated that he would like to wear it with his astronaut costume. I thought it was a pretty interesting idea so I helped him get on his astronaut costume. Of course by this time, Simon wanted in on the fun. He tried on about six different hats before settling on one.

They paraded downstairs to show Daddy their costumes. What fun!

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Marble Tracks!

Elias has a marble track set that he received as a gift a little over a year ago. Ever since he got it, he has loved sending the marbles down the tracks. However, either Nathan or I had to build it for him. Elias would try to assemble his own tracks, but did not understand how to connect the pieces so that the marble would have one continuous track. I watched many of his friends have the same problem when they played together.

Recently, though, Elias is really making a big jump in this area. He plays with his marble track almost every day during quiet time. He builds a track, sends the marbles down a couple of times, and then disassembles it to build a new one. Maybe practice makes perfect or perhaps he’s just made a developmental leap. Elias is getting really good at creating marble tracks.

Check this one out from this afternoon:

P1210183It’s complex and creative, and it works – 100%! He was very proud and wanted to show me how it worked. Here he is putting some marbles down the track. I think he is looking at me like: “Mom! Are you still taking pictures?”

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Family Night

P1210152Nathan and I have decided to implement a twice-monthly family night with just the four of us. We had always had aspirations of starting something like that, but the boys were young, and our schedule always filled up. Starting this month, we put our family nights on the calendar first. I imagine they’ll grow as our family grows, and for now, we’ll just do what the boys can.

We had our first family game night last Friday. What did we end up playing? Dominoes! Earlier in the day, Baba had taught Elias how to play dominoes with some Jenga sticks. We have them at our house as well, so when we asked Elias what he wanted to do, that was his first choice. We had a lot of fun building domino runs as well as building towers. After thirty minutes or so, Nathan and Elias kept going, but Simon lost interest so I ended up reading him stories. It wasn’t exactly as I imagined. The boys didn’t know it was supposed to be a special night. But I hope they do remember that we had family game nights when they are older and cherish that we spent time together.

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The Juice

I’ve been wanting a smoothie maker, and for Christmas, my mom provided. I’ve been enjoying delicious smoothies made from real fruits a couple of times a week since then.

On a related note, (you’ll see how it relates soon, I promise!), Elias has really gotten into Curious George lately. He draws pictures of monkeys and distributes them to friends and family christened with special messages. He got a Curious George movie in his stocking, and has been enjoying a few episodes here and there. One of his favorites is an episode where George and the man with the yellow hat get a juicer. George proceeds to experiment with the juicer and tries to replicate a juice he had tasted at a farmers market.

Out of the blue yesterday, Elias asked me if we had a juicer. I replied….”sort of…yes,” thinking of my smoothie maker. It took me a few seconds to connect the fact that he probably wanted to do what George had done in the movie. Today he asked me if he could make some juice. I told him he could after Simon’s nap. As soon as we got in the door from preschool he went to the fridge and started unloading fruits. I still made him wait until after Simon’s nap, but he was very excited.

Elias picked out all of the fruits for his “juice.” He tried to put a whole apple in, but I told him we needed to peel and cut it up a bit. Then he chose strawberries, banana, blueberries and raspberries from our fridge.

P1210162Next he covered his ears as we mixed it all up. He kept saying he wanted to drink it. I was hopeful but never really expected him to go through with it. Elias is a very unadventurous eater, and refuses every beverage except water. It’s not such a bad thing because he doesn’t drink sugary juices or sodas or hot chocolate. But in this case, I would have liked him to try it.

In the end, Elias did not try the smoothie “juice.” It was very tasty though. I may have to let him make me smoothies more often! You can see in the picture that he is nervous. I think he thought I would force him to try it.

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Star Realms

P1210171If you’ve noticed that the rate of my blog post production has dropped (it’s ok if you didn’t notice), here is your explanation! For Christmas, I got Nathan a game he wanted called Star Realms. Normally I let him play those kinds of games with his friends and we stick to scrabble or other games like that. However, when I heard that my brother and sister-in-law play Star Realms together, I decided I would give it a whirl. It’s actually really fun!

So…these days instead of writing blog posts, after the kids are in bed and the bills are paid and other obligations are taken care of, we play star realms.

Today, we just got our second deck in the mail so if you want to come over and play with us, let me know!

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Writing Letters To Annibel

P1210142Elias has recently developed an interest in writing letters to our sponsored children. Annibel is one of the kids we sponsor. We’ve been talking about her more often because she is the newest. Elias asked me if I could write down his words. He drew her a picture, and then asked me to write her this message:

To Annibel From Elias. I am four. I want to meet you. Thank you for meeting me in the Lord.

I’m not exactly sure what he meant, but I am proud that he is developing an interest in children around the world.

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Usbourne For The Win!

P1210149Since yesterday was Epiphany, we had a mini celebration. We don’t do a lot for the twelve days of Christmas or epiphany in our house, but I want our boys to know and understand what they are and mean. We talked a lot about the wise men throughout the day, and about giving. I also presented the boys with a gift.

My friend is an Usbourne representative, and I had ordered a couple of things from her. I got Elias a North American Atlas puzzle book, and Simon a set of construction mini books. They were instant hits.

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