Friday, June 29, 2007

I knew it!

I knew I had a #5!! Sometimes it just takes my brain a little while to remember, process and then complete the thought. So here goes:

5. Saying a toddler thrives on repetition is an understatement. I know Mason is my husband and I's child because he loves predictability and consistency. I can deal with that and even take the blame. But sometimes the repetition just about brings me to the point of insanity!! I mentioned in #4 above that he chooses the same toys all the time, which in itself can make you question his thought process, but then there's the Elmo toy. After blogging yesterday, I decided to get out in the living room and rearrange some things. I kept his Potatoheads and farm animals out still, but I just put them in different places. I took some toys out and replaced them with others from his closet. And that's when the Elmo toy came out of hiding. Daddy and I don't like this Elmo toy too much. It was a Christmas present from my parents (and you'll know why, in just a sec), and he loves it. It plays all these different kids songs ("Wheels on the Bus", "If you're happy and you know it", etc.), but just the first 4 or so lines. And he has discovered he can press the buttons and switch up the songs (or make the same song repeat over and over and over and over!) faster than a speeding bullet. Oh, that's fun. Don't get me wrong, I usually bask in his happiness, but this toy can grate on your nerves.

Then there's this "Maaawwwwmmeeeee!!" thing. I've wracked my brain and I still can't figure out how to get him to stop yelling for me when he wakes up. HE CAN JUST ROLL OUT OF BED NOW! He doesn't need me to come get him. I would so rather hear him playing with a toy in the living room (maybe not the Elmo toy though), than listen to him holler for me like he's trying to go for some World Record. I'm serious, if I ignore him (which I've tried, trust me), the yelling gets louder, and "Mommy" turns into
and man, that can bring the hair on the back of my neck to attention. I love my Mason Monkey Mover, but my patience is more than tested with this shouting out thing.

I know he's a child that's world revolves around habits and routine, but this habit would be great to break. Any ideas out there??

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Some Things I've Learned About Toddlerhood

Lately, with being at home with Mason all the time and things changing for him, I've learned a few things. Here are the ones I can remember:

1. Taking the side off of a convertible crib to make it a "big boy bed" doesn't have to be that big of a deal. A few days ago, we took the side of Mason's crib off, and just put up a safety rail. We gave him a real pillow and made a big deal about him being a big boy now, but still in the back of my mind I was sure he'd have a rough time--whether it was crying, confusion, somehow falling out, or thinking he could get out of bed whenever he wants and not staying in.. He's been pretty good with it, actually. The first night we had a little trouble. Five minutes after laying him down and we went off to the bedroom to put away laundry, he came right out onto the couch and just sat there, with a bewildered look on his face. That was kinda funny. So I calmly walked him back into his room and told him it was bedtime. No other real problems, except that he forgets he doesn't need to call to me to get out of bed. He's still waking me up by yelling "Maaawmmmeeeee!" from his bed, instead of just coming out. We'll work on that.

2. It's true what they say: potty training isn't always easy and boys often take longer. Yeah, I get that now. In the past, I've worked for like 5 different daycares and worked with a lot of toddlers. I've helped them learn to talk, walk, eat and potty train. It doesn't seem that big of a deal when you're only their caregiver for the day. Having a two year old 24 hours a day is a whole different story. At first, my hubby and I were so excited because Mason was so enthused about the whole potty thing. He would run at full speed for the bathroom and say, "Yay, potty!" We thought, wow, this is easier than we thought. He would sit happily on his potty seat for as long as a half an hour, reading books and singing. This is a piece of cake, we thought. Then the cake was snatched from our prideful hands and all we were left with was smeared icing and hunger pains. Apparently the potty is not that exciting afterall. He started saying "no" and refusing to go. What is a parent to do? I don't want to be that parent that drags their child by the arm to the potty, all the while their toddler is kicking and screaming and crying. What does that teach them about the potty? So, we tried the M & M thing. Also great for a little while. He would receive an M & M for just sitting there and another one for peeing (and a handful for pooping!). He would sit gleefully on the potty with his sticker-laden jar of candy and I was positive this was the thing that would get him in underwear. Nope. He doesn't care about it anymore, no matter the inflection in our voice or our body language. So now we have a jar of M & M's in the bathroom, and he is pretty indifferent about them. Any suggestions out there? A sticker chart was suggested, like the M & M's and you could have a goal of so many stickers for a toy or something. I don't know. I guess it's worth a try. I don't want to be buying my 10 year old adult diapers someday, because we just couldn't find anything that motivated him.

3. A parent of a toddler usually has a harder time with transitions than the toddler does. Case in point. My hubby and I had been discussing moving Mason up to the older toddlers classroom at church for awhile now, but we thought we'd wait until after Family Camp. Well, Family Camp was last week. Last night, we signed Mason in at his regular class, but since there was still a half an hour before service started, Daddy took him for a walk around church. Next door (the bigger kids room) there's a fishtank. Mason loves the fishtank. So in they went to admire the fishies. I was still in Mason's regular class, chatting with the lead teacher. I came out and couldn't find my husband and son, so I walked across the way to the coffee shop and got a Frappucino. A little later, my hubby walked up to me and told me that Mason was in the big class. I was taken by surprise. We hadn't said we'd do it right then!! I began to get upset with him over it. I guess two of the main teachers in the older class had told my hubby that Mason was totally ready, so he left our son there. He was ready. And he knows and loves quite a few of the people in there. So why did it bug me so much? I don't know! But I eventually began to tear up and feel a string of emotions--sadness, confusion, happiness, frustration, among others. After talking it over with my husband, I realized my emotions were mostly driven by the fact that Mason is growing up faster than I would like. I've told you before being a mom can make you crazy (you just wait, PBAF!!)!!! Ms. Cindy told me that it was totally normal to feel this way, especially with your first (which she immediately added that we needed to have more kids, and then we'd be celebrating when they move up!). That made me feel better, and probably made my hubby feel better, since he wasn't quite sure what to say or do to make me feel at ease. I am now happy he moved up. He loved it in there. I peeked in on him before picking him up and saw him sitting in a little chair at a table, smiling and enjoying himself. And they got to take real Goldfish home. They had a little pool and let the kids catch their own fish. Mason caught two (which one has already died) so we brought two home. And I'm fine with him being a big boy. Or at least I'm fine with this event.

4. No matter how many toys a kid has, he will pretty much pick the same ones all the time. Mason has an array of toys and activities to choose from on a daily basis: 7 or 8 board puzzles, big bins of books, a bucket of cars and planes, a sit-down play piano thing, a bucket of blocks, a bin of shape sorter things, play phones and other musical toys and lots of stuffed animals. But you know what he spends most of his day playing with? Mainly potatoheads at this point, but sometime he'll switch it up and play with his farm animals and farm. That's pretty much it. I can rearrange the toys, bring out toys he hasn't seen or played with in months, be he still gravitates towards the potatoheads and farm animals. Why is that? The comfort of predictability? He doesn't like his other toys? Who knows? But I could pack away or throw away everything else, and I'm not sure he'd notice or care.

5. I'm sure I have a #5. I just can't think of it now. So, I guess you're left with only 4. And as I'm glancing back up at this, I think that's plenty. Sorry for the extensive length. Guess I was in a chatty mood this morning.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Summer, Summer, Summertime

...time to sit back and unwind...(name that tune)

Today has been a good day. This morning Mason and I went to the post office to mail a package and then to Fry's for some things. (I'm making an ice cream sandwich/oreo/chcolate pudding/whipped cream pie thing for a party we're going to on Saturday. Yum!) After we got home, we took a Rubbermaid bin and some toys outside and played in the water. Mason really liked that. He's a big fan of filling up a pourable container with water and pouring it into something else. He splashed and poured and spilled and laughed and drenched himself. It was too cute. I was going to take pictures, but I think Daddy took the camera to work with him. Oh well. It won't be the last time. Afterwards, I made lunch (fish sticks, popcorn shrimp and those smiley potato things) and we watched Veggietales "Minnesota Cuke". Mason is now resting peacefully in his bed (without the side on--just a little safety rail that we bought. He seems to be handling it well and seems almost more excited to go to bed now!) for his nap. I need a shower so I am off for now. Happy Tuesday and Happy Summer!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Am I making you crazy yet?

If you don't know me that well, than you may not know how stir crazy I get and how much I like things to change (but only on my terms and on my timeline!). So, I yet again changed this around. Not much, but I got tired of the black. Thought this seemed more summery. Hope it's easier on the eyes and it didn't make you want to grind your teeth in aggravation that I changed things up again. :)

You asked for it...

Okay, no one actually asked for it, but here it is anyway: My Post Family Camp Photo Extravaganza!! Be ready to be amazed!!

Here's Mason in the shirts we had made. Mommy, Daddy, Mason, Grandma and Grandpa (My hubby's parents came along too!) all had shirts with Mason's picture on it, and it said, "Mason's Mom" etc. Turned out cute.

During camp, there was a Lego building contest, and here was our entry. (I'm sure those who know us know which parts my hubby did and which parts I did--my favorite addition was the bear in the spaceship!)

The winning Lego creation was this giant dog, doghouse and dogbowl. We only had 1 hour to build, and this is what they came up with!! Amazing, huh? Each team had 2 pounds of Legos, and I think the winning team used 95% of theirs!

Mason's Grandpa brought along his telescope and my hubby managed to take a picture with our digital camera through the eye of the telescope and this is what he saw. Nice, huh?

During our week at camp, there was a Free Day--where you could sit around and do nothing or go off and find something different to do. One family went all the way to San Diego (more than 2 hours away!), but most stuck around and just lounged. We decided to drive about 5 minutes around the mountain to Lake Arrowhead. It's this pretty little town around the lake that is definitely built for tourists. You can rent boats, feed the ducks and do lots of shopping. We found a playground and saw TONS of squirrels. Mason spotted the toy store and looked longingly into the window. We picked up some things from the Harry and David store and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (my mom loves Divinity!) and just enjoyed the fresh air, oceans of green trees and serene water.

Later, Mason woke up from his nap in the room and still seemed groggy. He stumbled over to the arm chair and cuddled with his beach towel. And fell asleep. Thus the picture.

As we expected, the trip was more than enjoyable. It was great that the grandparents could come too and I know they enjoyed themselves immensely. There were tons of activities that were new this year: a race quite similar to Amazing Race (called AmazinGrace), a game show with just the grown-ups, a pygmie skit (oh, that was something else!), a treasure hunt, a cannonball contest (which my hubby won!), Rock,Paper, Scissors competition, Fear Factor for the teens and tons of other stuff. Along with swimming, playing in the sand, enjoying fellowship, lots of laughter, praying, a baptism in the pool, more laughter, eating loads of junk in the game room (including but not limited to: Corn Nuts, popcorn, trying a different Frappucino or smoothie every night, Oreos, Twinkies and more!) some intense games of Yahtzee Turbo, learning to play Mexican Train dominoes and even more laughter, it was bittersweet for camp to end. You walk away with new friendships, a renewed sense of faith and so many fantastic memories, you really don't want it to end. But it did. It's nice to be back in our own beds and get Mason back on his routine. (P.S. We took the side off of Mason's bed yesterday, because he managed to climb out of the Pack N Play at camp, put on his socks and shoes and greet me at the door as I came to get him up from his nap!)

We are so thankful God gave us this opportunity to share with friends, make new ones and create memories that will last a lifetime.

I know this seemed lengthy and perhaps too much information, but at least I didn't give you a day-by-day replay of all the events. :)

Thanks for reading through all of this and hope you enjoyed the pictures!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Have no fear, Princess Lionhead is here!!!

Yes, I'm back from Family Camp. What a great week. We actually returned from camp yesterday, but we stopped in to see my parents last night before coming home. We are still unpacking, doing laundry, putting things away and just plain settling back in at home. We had a great time, as we expected and I plan to tell you all more tomorrow. For now, I'm off to bed. Nighty night.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

On Hiatus


Friday, June 15, 2007

Mission Completed

We're done with Family Camp stuff!! Well, my hubby still has some work to do this weekend on the Photoshop classes he's gonna teach at there, but the part I was helping with is done!!

Yesterday was another day spent mostly with Ms. Cindy and the visit was mainly Family Camp related. We went to Walmart and Target to take care of some loose ends. Today, I went with her to the church to copy off the newsletter that's going to go out everyday we're there and we went back to Walmart. Ms. Cindy and her family headed off to California tonight and we will be leaving early Monday morning. Can't believe it's actually time for camp. There's been so much build-up for it this year that it felt like there was so much to do and so little time to do it. (I know it's all I've talked about for my last couple of entries, but it seems to be the major theme and topic of discussion around here!)

Now, tomorrow will be spent with me going to get a pedicure (because I desperately need one before I wear summery shoes all week!), dropping our dog Max off at the boarder (it's cheaper to take him tomorrow than to drop him off on a Sunday), my hubby working on his Photoshop classes, maybe doing some laundry and packing some more.

I may or may not find the time and the effort to write again before we leave Monday. So, if this is the last blog entry for a week, don't be sad or lonely or worried. I will be back home next Sunday and I will do my best to have something posted by Monday at the latest. I promise! I know my dedicated readers (the ones I can count on one hand!) depend on a constant update of the mundane workings of my everyday life. I will try not to disappoint. Have no fear: a lengthy, picture-filled blog entry is just around the corner! Until then, I hope everyone out there in cyberspace (or at least my 3 or 4 dedicated readers) have a fabulous week and don't miss me too much. Hasta!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Folding, counting, packing, cutting

Yesterday was a long day. In fact, I'm almost sure that God lengthened the day, and it was in reality two days total. I spent pretty much all day at Ms. Cindy's house, preparing things for Family Camp. There are loads of neat things that all the campers are getting in their gift bags: a foam bookmark kit for the kids to make while the parents are unpacking, popcorn to pop and share with friends, lanyards to keep the room key on, friendship pin kits to create and give away to fellow campers, inflatable beach balls, rubber relgious bracelets and paper and instructons to make paper airplanes for a contest later in the week (my hubby's the judge), just to name a few. So, of course all of these things had to be sorted and assembled and organized and packed. Whew. It was fun to sit around her kitchen table to put it all together, but it was tedious and a bit tiring. I'm happy that I could help (and she did keep me fed!), so I'm glad I took part.

Most everything is done now, except a few odds and ends, which will be done in the next couple of days. Before this all began a few months ago, I really had no idea there was this much work involved in planning and establishing Family Camp! It'll be neat to see it all together when we arrive.

Today was Movie Day. We saw "Over the Hedge", which we've seen. Mason wasn't all that interested, which surprised me. He sat still for maybe the first 10 minutes or so, and then started squirming and whining and climbing in and out of his chair. I guess it's a toss of the dice with a two year old, but it's still a little frustrating.

But now we are home and Mason needs a nap. I will try to write again at least one more time before we leave Monday. Ta ta.

Monday, June 11, 2007

A week from today...

I will be very close to Lake Arrowhead, California. We are going there for Family Camp with our church. We are leaving Monday morning and are planning on arriving around 4 in the afternoon. We are really involved in the planning and details this year, so it's been crazy, busy, a little stressful and fun. Today I spent most of the morning with Ms. Cindy and Mr. Super Organized Camp Leader making copies and organizing stuff for next week. It was fun, but time consuming. And tomorrow, I will be back at her house to fold and staple and organize papers, giftbags, packets, etc for our pre-camp meeting tomorrow night. I told her that my labor is at her disposal, as long as she keeps me fed. :) My hubby is doing most of the work that we're responsible for, since he's the computer guru. I think he enjoys the responsibility and the sense of accomplishment immensely, but he can also get carried away with getting the details just right that he lets the perfectionism take over. I know we'll both be glad once we arrive at camp. We just need to remember the overwhelming sense of peace and relief we felt when we drove up to the camp last year. It is so beautiful there, among the trees and mountains. And it's so lovely to be surrounded by friends and just fellow churchgoers that are outright good at heart and love the Lord. It's more than a vacation for us--it's a spiritual experience that uplifted us and created new pathways and friendships that changed us forever. (see blog entry Monday, June 26, 2006)

There are a few odds and ends that need to be taken care of before next Monday, but we are well on our way!! I am excited and anxious to see how camp will different from last year. Trust me, you can expect a similar blog entry after we return home, as I posted Monday, June 26, 2006. You can look forward to hearing about that, as it will be a much more eventful and uplifting week compared to my summer so far.

Until then, I have some things to do, not to mention just daily routine stuff. When there's time again later in the week, I will write.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Ten Thrilling Things About Me

Just for the fun of it:
Here are Ten Thrilling Things About Me (not in any particular order)

Number 1) I am a very big fan of food. Huge. And I'm not particular or have high standards on its quality.

Number 2) I love reality television, especially American Idol, Hell's Kitchen and So You Think You Can Dance. I know a lot of people cringe at reality tv. But I'm not afraid to admit I'm a junkie. The first step is admitting I have a problem, right?

Number 3) I am a very, very, very big wuss when it comes to scary movies, and yet on occasion I attempt to watch one, telling myself that it's just a movie. And then I have a week of nightmares. "Saw" was the last scary movie I watched. It scared the bejeesus out of me. I have vowed never to watch another one. I don't have to prove anything!

Number 4) I'm still not sure if I'm in the right profession. I plan on staying at the same school, doing the same thing for awhile, and then I'll re-evaluate.

Number 5) I love to make my son laugh. The deep belly laughs are my favorite. It warms my heart.

Number 6) I'd like to lose weight (like 20 pounds), but I like food too much (see Number 1)

Number 7) I find that my life is much more fulfilling and joyful and blessed, now that I am committed to walking with the Lord.

Number 8) I get really silly when I'm sleepy. Everything makes me laugh. My hubby says he knows I'm really tired when his jokes are hilarious to me. :)

Number 9) I have secretly been buying baby girl clothes for a few months now. Nope, not even pregnant yet, but it's a level of insanity that I'm okay with.

and Number 10...
Sometimes I stay in the shower longer than I need to, just to have some "me time".


Decided it was time for a change. It's not much, but it's different pretty colors. I'm not sure about the black background, but at least the other colors and summery! :)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

My fellow royalty is expecting!!

(if anyone says, "expecting what?" I'll give them a wedgie, then a swirly, then a purple nurple!!)

Yep, that's right!! My very good friend Princess Baby Ass Feet (if you don't know why she's called that, don't ask. you had to be there, many years ago in a different time in college) is having a baby!! Yeah!! I'm so excited for her!! She called me at 6 o'clock this morning, and as soon as I saw that it was her, I knew what she was calling for. She caught me a little offguard at first, but I soon became ecstatic for her and her hubby! They just found out, and even their parents don't know yet!! (and since you're all in cyberworld and don't know her parents, this doesn't count as people that know before their parents, right?)

They've been trying for a little while and there were doubts that they'd even have a baby. There was even talk of them attempting fertility treatments soon. But guess what? (if you say "what?", I will spank you like the bad bad donkey that you are!!) God had other plans. Yippee!!

Now it's her turn to get fat. And whine. And cry for no reason. And eat for two...oh wait...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A quick fill-you-in

Okay, the last time I blogged was Saturday. Let me think of what has happened since then. Hmmm...I tell ya, although I'm greatly enjoying being home, the days are starting to blend together.

Sunday was church. Typical day to begin with. Church. Come home and Mason naps. Go back out and meet Ms. Cindy's family for Del Taco. Then I headed off to do some bra shopping (well overdue) at the mall by myself. It was nice to be out alone, but looking for bras wouldn't have been my leisurely activity of choice. At least I came home productive in my shopping excursion, so that's good.

Monday. I'm drawing a blank. Oh, that's right. After a tearful morning of attempting to potty train Mason and then a meaningful conversation with Ms. Cindy, Mason and I headed off to Target to get him M&M's and a special jar to get him motivated to go potty. The problem is, when he first started sitting on the potty months ago, he loved it and would dart to the bathroom in a dead-heat run. Then, the thrill wore off and he started dragging his feet. You'd ask him if he wanted to go potty, he'd say, "I did go potty!" even though he didn't. Very frustrating. We decided to take a different approach. He needed to get excited again about sitting on the potty. So, he decorated his "special jar" of M&M's with stickers and holds it when he sits on the potty. He gets 1 M&m for just sitting on the potty and another one for peeing (and perhaps a handful if he poops!!). So far, it's been okay. He wants to sit there and get candy, but not really peeing consistently. Then again, this was only 2 days ago. We'll keep trying.

Yesterday Mason and I met a friend from my school and her daughter at the mall. We walked around and just enjoyed adult female conversation. We were even able to shop in Bath and Body Works (which I never go in anymore, just because I have a handsy 2 year old with little patience for just staying in one place looking at stuff), because the two toddlers entertained each other from their adjacent strollers. It was nice.

Today is Movie Day. We'll be heading out here soon to meet Ms. Cindy and her crew to go see "Charlotte's Web". I'm curious to see how Mason will sit for a live action, full length movie. I think because "Curious George" was cartoon and it was his first time in a movie theater, he was in awe. We'll see if he's as interested this time. At least I'm only out like 75 cents if he doesn't sit through the whole thing.

Well, I should go get dressed or something, since I want to be out the door in 17 minutes. Ta ta and Happy Summer!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Say what??

I had the opportunity to sit in on two interviews yesterday, for the opening at our school for assistant principal (ours is leaving and opening her own spa). That was interesting. I've never sat in anyone's interview before. There were 12 of us!! I'm glad I've never had to do that! Anyways, the first was a Resource teacher from our school. That's good and bad. Good, because she's familiar with the school and its philosophies. Bad, because she's had a few run-ins with some teachers and I think they had preconceived notions of her, before she even answered the first interview question. I was impressed with her professionalism and quick answers, but I don't think she has a chance, unfortunately. The other candidate was a guy, and we all seemed to like him. He has a lot of experience, even in really tough schools. We all agreed that it would be nice to have male administrator for obvious reasons--they tend to get more respect from the male students, and some of these kids need some male guidance. There are other applicants, but my vote's for that guy!!

I also received an interesting tidbit of information before the interviews began. Mrs. Principal showed me the TENTATIVE schedule for next year. It looks like I'm teaching all 8th grade, no 7th. And although I'm fine with that, as I would only have to plan for one class, I cannot be a 7th grade team leader, which I was planning on. Don't know how that's gonna play out. Of course no schedule is set in stone until the first day of school, but still. And actually, I kind of liked teaching a block of 7th graders. It broke up the monotony a little, and I got to work with some great kids. I guess I'll be seeing at least some of them again next year! I suppose teaching all 8th grade will make the end of the year activities much easier to coordinate, as I would not have any 7th graders to find a place for, during the 8th grade festivities.

It's just funny, because just a few short years ago, I would have told you that I would NEVER teach higher than 7th. And before that, I thought 6th grade was as high as I would go!! And in college, I wanted to teach Elementary school!! Ha! Funny how things work out, isn't it? Now, I couldn't imagine even teaching 6th graders!! They seem like such little guys!

I guess you never what God has planned. For any of us.