Thursday, May 28, 2009

More words to write than pictures to show!

I blame it on my lovable hubby. I don't have many pictures to show because he took my camera with him on a four day trip...or maybe it's that Devin has been taking so many pictures that not only does it fill my 1.0 GB memory card but he drains the two AA batteries...or maybe it's because I take it away from my curious two year old and forget where I hide it.... Or maybe it's just me being lazy and missing photo opportunities.

Right now, I should go take a snap of what Bryce is doing. He let himself out the sunroom/computer room door to the back yard. We've just had a thunderstorm that poured rain down on us so hard, the splatter of the drops reached as high as my knee as we looked out from the cover of our garage. Bryce is out there, going back and forth between the fresh, cool, fun wetness in his water table and on the top of the closed plastic outside toy bin. He doesn't know where to begin, but the end result will be a soaking wet, happy boy!

I'm hoping the clouds that bruised the sky have passed on to drop their much needed water in someone else's yard. I'm glad we've had two good down pours in two days because we haven't had a single drop in two weeks! My grass is dead in spots, a first for us at this house since we moved here in early 2003. But, rain, rain, go away because Devin has his first T-ball game today!

Technically, he's not old enough to play but we know one of the coaches and it's all for fun at this age anyway. He's been to a few practices in which he only actually played ball for the first fifteen minutes. The rest of the time he joined in the fun with the kids on the bleachers. Tim has a good attitude about it all, but I admit I'm being pushy! I want him to get in there and play already, but I understand the need to follow his, Devin's, lead. Hunter has never been into sports, although he loves to watch, so I'm eager to get the ball throwing for Devin. We've been working with both Hunter and Dev in catching and using a bat and a ball on a T. Devin is being stubborn when it comes to wearing the dark blue helmet with the the grid like mask over the face. This helmet is made to be adjusted to grow with him by a nifty dial on the back that clicks with each new size. Much better than the helmets I used during summer softball that shifted just about every time I swung the bat!


I just took a break for a couple hours and it's back to pouring down rain. During this time away from the computer, I took a great photo of what Bryce was doing at the moment and sent it to all who are in my email address book. If you want to be included in my mailings, please send your email to me at :) You'll get email notices when I update either of my blogs, too.

I spoke of Dev first, so I'll continue with him. It's great having conversations with him and seeing him talk along with other people. We were in the store just today when he approached two little girls in a shopping cart and told them about the blue light saber he was carrying. Then he turned and gestured to the blue and white backyard bouncing ball in the cart and explained solemnly that he had to get a new one because his dad popped the old. After small chat with the mom about how those big balls come and go, we said goodbye and Devin turned to me and announced he had made some new friends.

The other night Devin insisted on having his light left on for bedtime so he could play a certain game on his bed. I agreed to ten minutes and set the digital timer. I closed the door behind me so the light wouldn't sneak under Hunter's door across the hall and joined my hubby in the living room. A few minutes later, I heard Devin's door open. I assumed he was going to appear with some excuse or another, but instead of thinking I'd meet him in the hall, I found he was shutting his door again from the inside and there on the floor in front of the door is a teddy bear. I took the teddy bear out to Tim and told him what Dev had done. We were both very curious, so I went back to Devin's room and asked him why his teddy bear was outside alone in the dark hallway. He said, I just don't want to play with him anymore. I said, OK. That's fine. How about I put him here, on the floor by your bed, so that you'll find him when you need him next. Without looking at me, he replied with a frown, No, thanks. Take him away. I don't want to be his friend right now. I did what he asked with thoughts bouncing around in my head of what a teddy bear could do to a 3 1/2 year old to be banished.

This past weekend he discovered that the Jeep Santa had left for him under the tree has a faster speed then any of us had thought. No longer can we just causally walk along side him as he goes, but now we must pick up the pace or Dev will leave us behind. A couple weeks ago he was refusing to give Bryce a ride in the passenger seat. When I told him he was then done riding in his Jeep, he hopped out and said OK as he ran the other way! I don't know if that rule finally soaked into that cute head of his, but now he lets B ride with him every time and when his younger brother isn't interested, Dev stays close until B changes his mind (which is pretty quick usually).

Our lawn tractor is another thing that Dev has gotten good at driving. He knows where the key is, how to turn the throttle up and how to activate the blades. He insists on wearing the ear muffs that Hunter once needed to attend parades or hockey games and often prefers to stand at the wheel instead of sitting between mine or his dad's legs. If he's inside the house when the tractor starts, he comes running out with those ear muffs and if he hears another lawn mower running, he goes to every window wondering if his dad is home and doing the grass cutting without him. The steering wheel is twice the size of his Jeep and much tighter to maneuver. Dev gets his hands on there and really turns with his arms to get the machine to go where he wants. I told him he must eat more meat and veggies so he can grow bigger and weigh more, than he won't need his dad or I to sit on the seat with him. He says he's OK with that, but I don't know. He's eating habits aren't very good!

Last Wednesday late afternoon, Devin traveled with his dad to an away baseball game his dad played in and then the two of them went from there to a hotel in Pennsylvania to stay the night before continuing on to my brother in law's second college graduation in Maryland. The only pictures they brought back with them was a whole lot of audience shots, some blurred some not, some crooked, some I couldn't tell. Dev was the proud cameraman of the day. By cell phone picture updates Tim showed me Dev eating a big waffle with an even bigger amount of whip cream on it and Dev posing happily on a smooth and sandy beach off the boardwalk in Ocean City, MD. Phone conversations told me of delicious BBQ's and fun birthday parties (Jamie's son turned one year old while they were there). It sounded like it was a good time all around and I am sorry that Hunter, Bryce and I didn't come along.

I seriously considered all of us attending, but there were a few factors I had to consider. One was, where we would all stay? There are five of us and two dogs. We would have had to rent a hotel room and leave the dogs at Jamie's? No, so we'd have to either bring them with us, put them in a kennel or pay someone to tend to them at the house while we were gone. But the biggest decision maker was the fact that Hunter is still in school. Sure, most kids would celebrate being able to miss three days of forced attendance, and believe me, Hunter would be first in line for his very own noisemaker...or three...but these are the last few weeks of school. There is no more homework and more fun days than work. They had a pizza party once with a small carnival after one day, they went and listened to the older kids play band instruments another, and they went to a wax museum. I know there's more I'm not remembering, but Hunter was actually looking forward to going to school and I didn't want to take him away from it. So, that's why we stayed behind and I terribly missed the two loudest people in my house!

Hunter did bring home a small piece of homework the other day. For many assignments he's allowed to type out his words instead of writing them. He brought home part of his work and had to finish typing out the rest. The assignment was to write directions on something and he chose the task of teaching someone how to clean their bedroom. Here is what he had to share on the subject:

Here is how to clean your room: First, you pick up your toys and put them back in your toy box. Next, you pick up your books and put them away. Then, you get your vacuum and vacuum the floor. Next, you watch out for ants. If you find an ant, kill it. If it is dead, get rid of it. If it's alive, kill it some more. Finally, you flush it down the toilet. Make sure the ant doesn't bite you and then you show your parents your clean room and they might give you $5.00.

It was only one ant! Tim read through it and had a good laugh and said Hunter made it sound as if we're infested! I was actually on the phone with Tim downstairs when I heard this pounding over and over again from above my head. I went upstairs to investigate and found Hunter beating at the floor with what I don't recall, but I did see the ant he pointed out, two black dots separated from each other. I haven't felt the house shake with anymore hits to the floor, so I think it was one unlucky scout ant who's disappearance was a signal to his fellow ants to keep away!

I'm going to end it here for now so I can give the boys an early dinner before leaving for the T-ball game. I haven't heard anything yet, but I have my doubts about it being played in this weather.


No T-ball game. The rain continues and the boys play the Wii with a holler from me now and then to knock off whatever they're doing that allows me to hear them all the way upstairs.

My youngest rug rat still isn't talking, but he's doing his best to sing along to Blue's Clues. I need to get a video of it, but every time I try his only interest becomes being the one WITH the camera, not the SUBJECT of the camera. That's the only time he seems to forgot his favorite cartoon! Tim can't help but joke about Bryce's big ears, and now the joke is if those ears really work! B only listens when he wants to listen. When he's focused on something, he's like Knight is when he sees even the smallest of his master's pick up his ball. Nothing else exists to him except for that ball. In Bryce's case it's Blue Clue's, the dog water bowl, the dog food, a pen, the toilet, the buttons on all electronics.... No matter how many times you say no or how many high octaves your voice can reach, Bryce has a set goal to create whatever trouble he can with whatever object he can. The closer you are to him, the faster he will do his job.

Let's not forget the Two Year Old's Temper. I think it deserves to be capitalized so I can express how much a big deal it is! I feel pretty confident other mothers who have been there and done that will agree. Neither of my older boys ever really had a tantrum or a screaming fit. Devin would throw himself to the floor, but that was it. No sound really came out of his mouth except for his cries that were made even softer by the muffling of the carpet. If I was able to catch Bryce in the act of doing something, or before he could attempt to make trouble for himself or me, he would simply stand there, feet rooted to the ground and his hands would go down to his sides. Where his body is still and normal though, his head is tilted up to the ceiling like he's asking, Why me? and then his mouth opens wide, it's in an expression that could have been the model for that Edvard Munch's painting called The Scream. Then, he really does scream. He screams so loud your hands flinch toward your ears and it's so long you wonder if the neighbors can hear through the open window and are considering calling the authorities. It doesn't happen very often, but when it does you might think, Glad that's not my kid!

He has silent fits as well. The other day I needed to get the lawn mowed so when Hunter got home, I closed all the bedroom doors (bathroom is always closed after the flushing of a washcloth and the bathing in that ceramic basin) and latched the stairway gate closed. I told Hunter I needed his help for about twenty minutes to mow the lawn. It takes much longer to do our lawn, even when I divide it into sections and do it over two days time. Though Hunter is quickly approaching 12, I can't trust him to care for Bryce. So I turn on Blue for B, suggest Hunter read a book in the recliner and I head out to the back lawn to check on them all in twenty minutes. If somethings up, Hunter will come out to the back porch and wave his arms. I was outside maybe three minutes, picking up the toys so they don't turn into plastic chewed on chunks, when I hear a crash through the open sunroom windows.

I rush up the back steps and through the closed sunroom door and find Hunter climbing back up the stairs. In his hands was the ceramic bowl I had put a snack in for Bryce earlier, broken into three pieces. Hunter was quick to say he didn't do it, that Bryce suddenly threw it over the stair rails to the landing below. I believed him, I knew Bryce did it and realized he was probably very upset with my denying him access to the stairs, his other brother and other potential trouble below.

Tim wasn't sure if I should share this next piece with you. I see nothing wrong with it, but there are many different attitudes out there, as we all have experienced or seen I'm sure. I may not have mentioned it here before but I know I've shared it in phone calls with many of you. Bryce gets his knee and thighs stuck in the space between his crib slats. The brat did this every night! If it didn't happen between the time we put him down and he fell asleep, it happened at three or four AM when he realizes he's stuck and lets out a painful cry that sends me running to his bedroom. A couple times I got myself a bit worked up too because I couldn't get his knee out by just turning his body with the leg or gently working it up and down. Something had to be done.

Crib pads were not going to work. We've watched what he does. He starts by lifting his leg above him to flex like a dancer stretching, toes down, then he lowers his leg inbetween two slats, back or front of the crib, where ever he happens to be, and it falls in perfectly between the smooth wood. Suddenly he's wedged in there above the knee like a piece of building material lowered into a pre-cut fitting. He can't lift his leg up nor can he move from side to side. He's stuck, scared and crying out in pain as he struggles to get his leg out. We come a runnin' and help him get free, hush the cries and soothe the tears while whispering complaints to each other about how the heck we are gonna solve this.

Since he first started doing it, many months ago, we began attaching a blanket to the front of his crib and securing it with the top part that flips up and down to make it easier to reach a bigger baby on the lowest mattress setting. Sure, that worked to prevent his leg from getting stuck on the front side but the back and even the sides sometimes, the threat was still there, ready to grab and hold him tight. We had some left over tongue and groove pine paneling left over, so we pieced it together and secured it to the crib slats on the back and sides. It doesn't sound all that great and most definitely doesn't look all that great, but now he can't get jammed between the slats and the blanket is still working for the front. Now and then his leg sneaks under the blanket and we rush upstairs and repeat steps one, two and three, but overall it's working and there are no more bruises on his legs, from the crib anyway!

I am finally finishing the flower beds I started when I found out I was pregnant with Devin. Thanks to those of you who gave me home improvement gifts cards for Christmas. Because of your generosity I was able to purchase red retaining wall bricks to match the red in my roof and the shutters by the windows. My plan was to transport the out of control purple ground cover that I can't remember the name of. My once bright green thumb has faded to a pale shadow of its former self . When I first put in the original bed when I moved here, I was good at it, loved doing it and it looked great! Then I got big and pregnant and didn't tend to it, then didn't make it out with a newborn, when I finally could again, I was repeating that cycle. Now I've done a lot of spring cleaning and work on the house all around. It's not finished so I won't be sharing a photo until it's done.

What I started to say was I transported that ground cover to the second bed I never finished because it was now ready to be finished so I could redo the original bed, still with me?...but something went wrong. Two days after I replanted them, they were dried up and dead. They were hard to move around because they were overgrown and the roots were spread out, but I was confident I had tucked the root balls into the ground and topped it off with some steaming mushroom mulch with an aroma that I'm sure drifted off to attract Peppy la Pew. After another day it was clear the petite flowers weren't just out of bloom, they were dead. I pulled them out and evenly spread the black mass inside my small wall and am still contemplating getting new flowers this season or waiting until next year. ??

While outside with and without my boys, Kit made her canine breed proud. I wrote on my Face Book page about the bunny nest she found in our abandoned dog kennel. Unlike last spring where she just dropped the dying baby at my feet, this year she practically tossed it ten feet to land in front of Devin and I. Then the darn dog killed a chipmunk two days after I took a picture of one while it sat on its back legs on my front step. I had seen the cute critter there five mornings in a row, like he was waiting for me to make a memory out of him. Kit brought me its punctured body. While mowing the lawn I almost chopped up another carcass but turned away in time to just squish it under a wheel. You can use your own imagination of what it looked like after that. The last one she caught in front of all five of us as we walked into our garage through the big door. The poor thing had no escape route as the back door of the garage was closed. It turned one way, then the other before accepting its fate. I was mad at her for a long time when she first killed the baby bunny and then kept killing chipmunks because she kills just to kill. I didn't yell or smack at her because that's what she's supposed to do. I think though, after that first kill, she could tell by my tone that I didn't really like it because she kept following me and putting her front paws up on me while outside. Inside, she would watch me from where she lay and then want to snuggle down in my lap. She's a good dog and a great addition to our family, even though she drives me as crazy as my boys do!

That's it! You can carry on with your day. I'm sure I haven't taken up too much of your time! :P

Be safe!