April 30, 2009

Little Kids Listen to You

This morning, as I was driving us to school, we came upon a backed up line of traffic and we were at a standstill for a minute or two. All of a sudden, Ross pipes up from the back of the van:

"Oh my gosh, lady! Come on!"

Clearly, he's heard me exclaim something similar when we've been stuck behind a slow-moving vehicle or a driver who did something stupid. He wasn't talking directly to me; he was exasperated that we weren't going anywhere and just repeated his version of what he'd heard me say.

PS--this afternoon, he did it again, this time including men in his mini rant:

"Oh my gosh, men. and lady. Go!"

I'd better watch myself when he's around.

April 26, 2009

Back to the Blog

Gosh, it's been so long since I blogged, I hardly know where to begin. Let' recap:

1. Most of you know by now we bought a beautiful, loving, well behaved pug from a college student who knows Melissa T. Her name is Lola, she's a year old, is excellent with children, spayed, and house trained. YAY!!! Lola is so lovable and affectionate; she slept in our bed her first night with us and actually burrowed under the covers. Second night: on the full size bed between Ross and Grant. Guess where Miss Lola sleeps now every single night? You got it, with the boys. While I'm glad for them, I am more than a little disappointed too, because I was really looking forward to having Lola bunk with me while Kris is gone.

2. That's right, my sweetie Kris, an officer in the ND Air Guard, is attending mandatory Officers' Training School at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi. He left on Friday morning, got there today, and begins school tomorrow. It's a 10 week program, so he will be back around July 9. We will miss him terribly, but I am very cognizant of the fact that A) 10 weeks is not a 12-18 month Tour of Duty; and B) Biloxi is not Afghanistan or Iraq. He is stateside and safe. Tomorrow morning is the first work/school day without daddy, so that will be a true test of my patience and ability to function under pressure.

3. We moved Ross to his very own twin bed last week (thanks G & G Gillett!). He loves it, Grant doesn't have Ross lying across him anymore, and now Lola just sleeps with Grant.

4. The kids are great--Hope is as sweet as ever, and boy is she talking! A lot of it is babbling, but it's so much fun to listen to! I took her to WalMart today and she literally said, "Hi," to every person who passed us. She also says "ball, Lola, Mama, Dada," and "cheese." Grant is excited for summer events to start--baseball, writing enrichment, and basketball camp. Ross is three--what can I say? I remember how difficult Grant was during the first six months of age 3, and Ross is certainly mirroring that pattern. He is so argumentative and aggressive with Grant, yet he will cry at the slightest affront. It's tiring. The good news is that I just taught the topic of guiding young children's behavior in my Preschool/Kindergarten Curriculum class. Reviewing that content always helps me parent more effectively. Acknowledge his feelings (instead of saying, "It's okay, Ross" which actually devalues how ticked off/hurt/upset he is, I say, "That must have hurt when you bumped your head" or "You are really mad at me right now for not letting you watch a movie."). Offer two choices. Be consistent. Guide and redirect instead of punish. That doesn't mean I don't totally fail sometimes ("Ross!!! Do as you're told! You're driving me NUTS!"), but hey, I'm human.

I really should be in bed now, but I'm not at all tired. I'm sure it's the coffee I had at 8:00 combined with the cardio workout from 8:30-9pm. Don't be too impressed; I ate WAY more calories this weekend than I burned off. Nighty night to my blogger friends!

April 4, 2009

Back to normal....

The flood of 2009 is over--for the moment. The past three weeks have been times of great stress and deep thankfulness. Kris was activated as a National Guard member, and worked 16 hour days sandbagging, evacuating a senior living center, and monitoring dikes and levees. I am so proud of him. The kids and I stayed home and got on each other's nerves like never before (just like at Bonnie's house). I actually told them to "shut up!!!!" once or twice. Not proud of that, but what can I say?

At Kris's insistence, we left late Thursday night, March 26, for Sioux Falls to stay with his brother and sister in law. He wasn't sure the city would be able to stave off the river, and he didn't want to have to worry about us if anything happened. Deanna and her three kids went, too, so we drove together. Deanna's van was fuller (is that right?) than mine--she had grandma Alice, age 90, and two of their three dogs in the van along with her three girls. Kelly and Mike were wonderful hosts--very generous in sharing their home with 9 extra people! The kids thought we were on a vacation with all 9 cousins around to play with. The only bad part was that Ross got sick Friday, I got sick Saturday, and Grant got sick Saturday night. We came back on Sunday night to beat the blizzard that rolled in Monday afternoon.

Schools are finally back in session on Monday. I'm sure it will be an interesting and perhaps difficult adjustment for area children and teachers. I haven't seen my MSUM students (and Ross hasn't had preschool there) since Friday, March 13. March 16-20 was spring break, and then the flood hit and we lost 11 days of classes.

We are tremendously thankful to have our family together again in our home, and to have our home safe and dry.