Sleep is For The Weak

We’ve all seen those cutesy t-shirts, right?  As if by becoming mothers we no longer need sleep, nor are we entitled to sleep, so to make ourselves feel better we tell ourselves only weak mothers get “enough” sleep.  I know it’s all meant to be a joke, but I’m not in a joking mood these days.

I’m pissed off beyond words.

I don’t think I’ve had a full night’s sleep in 6 years. I don’t think I’ve had a night of just me (and Ches, of course) in my bed in 2 years.  I don’t know how much longer I can do this.

Oh, and if I hear any “advice” like “you’re the parent.  Just put them in their bed” then you may just have an “unexplained” murder on your hands.  Because I do put them back in their beds.  Again and again and again.  If I want any kind of sleep, it’s just easier to let the kid stay in my bed so he’ll stay asleep rather than wake up every 30 to 40 minutes, getting me out of bed again and again.  I don’t want to be told to let them cry it out.  You wouldn’t try it either if, after the first several times of CIO the kid cried for an hour or more.  Take into consideration that the kids share a room.  They wake each other up with their crying, and then I have to deal with not one but two non-sleepers.  And then three.  And my husband has to be up before the crack of dawn to get to work and deal with a bunch of surly teenagers at 630 in the morning, so having kids keep him up in the middle of the night, night after night, is not an option, either.

Super nanny, you are welcome to try.  You are welcome to fix my house hold and get me some sleep.  But when I try these various methods, it doesn’t work.

I’m exhausted and cranky.  I am not particularly fond of my children right now.  And I’m sure there are a million I told you so‘s out there, but I dont’ want to hear it.  You really want to help?  Come pick up my kids and let me have a 4 hour nap.  And if I offend someone because I’m so on edge, I’m sorry.  I really am.  I’m tired and seriously can’t control my attitude right now.

Birthday Boy

Parker is TWO today!!  Happy birthday Parker!!

Here’s the post I wrote after he was born.  I went back and read it myself a few days ago.  I realized that I have actually forgotten most of what actually happened!!  For example, I remembered Parker was born on a Friday, so all this time I was thinking we went into the hospital Friday evening and had him that night.  Nope.  We went in Thursday night and had him Friday morning.  It’s just little things, but I don’t remember much of anything.  Good thing I wrote it in here.  I remember a lot more about Aiden and Dallin’s births, but maybe I’ll have to share those stories sometime just so I can have a record of it (nope, I don’t write in a journal anymore.  I use this.  My bad.)

Anyway…

Parker is two.  He is really into Cars, Star Wars, Toy Story, swimming with his floaties on, having light sabre fights with his brothers, Bear in the Big Blue House, the Wiggles, and playing at the playground.  He loves to sing and dance, and to run really, really fast.  He loves dogs and cats, and his favorite stuffed animal is his grey cat from Ikea named Maow.  His favorite foods include breadsticks, chicken nuggets, goldfish crackers, and cookies.  He loves to drink from a real cup and water bottles, and his favorite drink is chocolate milk.  Parker shares a room with Dallin, although he still comes into our bed to sleep everynight around midnight.  He looks forward to his dad coming home everyday, and cheers for Daddy.  He cheers for anything he likes:  “Yay!  Milk!!!  Yay!!”  Parker is just really sweet.. he’ll grin up at you with a full set of teeth at these random times and it just makes you laugh.  He’s great at giving hugs and kisses, and he’s very generous with them, too.  We’re so happy to have him in our family!! 🙂

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Once upon a time there was a little boy named Aiden.  Aiden was a very sweet boy, a very happy boy, and a very obedient boy.  His mother and father took great delight in all that Aiden did, and even strangers would often comment on Aiden’s extreme good behavior.  Aiden’s parents could take him to see Harry Potter when he was not quite 2, and other theatre-goers had no idea such a young child was there.  Aiden’s parents could take him on a walk, and Aiden rarely ran too far ahead.  If he got too far, Aiden’s father would yell, “Stop!” and Aiden would immediately stop and wait for his parents to catch up.  Aiden always asked for things politely, saying both please and thank you.

One day, Aiden started Kindergarten.  Almost two months later, Aiden turned 5.  Suddenly, Aiden whined whenever he wanted something.  He started throwing fits when he was unhappy.  He would use such hated phrases as “No fair!!”, “Whatever!”, “Fine!”, and “This is so stupid!”  Aiden started crying at the drop of a hat.

Aiden’s parents wondered what could have happened to their wonderful son.  Why was he acting like a teenage girl?  Why did he cry if you looked at him the wrong way?  Why wouldn’t he follow direction?  Why did he treat his brothers so mean??

The only conclusion… Aiden has been possessed with a mean demon.  We must find a way to perform an exorcism.  This is not the end of the story.  It is To Be Continued (although when a conclusion will come, I don’t know.  Perhaps when he moves out of the house??).

The Results Are In…

We received the letter from the school about Aiden’s testing for the gifted program.  He is officially “gifted”!  He scored in the 99th percentile for cognitive, the 95th percentile for spatial, and the 35th percentile for verbal.

That’s right.  35th.  Doesn’t that seem wierd to you?  It sure does to me.  So I’m going to definitely be asking about that part.  I will have him retested for that if I have too.  Believe me when I say there is NO WAY this child is only in the 35th percentile for verbal.  Although when I was talking to the Primary President at church yesterday, she said, “Well, of course.  Because if he doesn’t want to do something, he won’t.  That’s Aiden.”  That made perfect sense to me, as I was afraid of all the testing because I knew he will just refuse to do something if he doesn’t like it or if he finds it too dull.

Anyway, with this “diagnosis” comes extra attention at school.  Yay!  He’s supposed to get something like 2-3 hours a week of extra something.  I don’t know what, but something.  I think Aiden will like it.  He’s really thriving in his reading group (he was moved to the top reading group in a first grade class), and he asks to attend Clubs after school.  Apparantly Clubs is actually extra instruction for the kids who are having difficulties and are behind.  Aiden just wants to do something fun, and I guess a lot of kids he knows have to go to Clubs. When I told him it was for kids who needed extra help, he said, “But I’m having difficulties, too!”  I was worried he’d purposely fall behind just to get to hang out with other kids, but he didn’t.

We got his progress report this weekend, and he’s doing well in all his subjects and is really improving in his listening skills.  He’s following directions better, and is working on not interrupting Miss B. when she is talking.

In other news… Aiden has asked to play hockey.  Well, not only can we not afford it, but he has never been ice skating.  However, I found out about free skating/hockey lessons through the Phoenix Coyotes.  It’s a program called Tanner’s Kids.  He goes for three 45 minute sessions, gets a jersey, and gets to use skates and hockey equipment there.  The only requirements are the child must be between ages 4 and 9, and the child can’t be registered for any other skating or hockey program.  Aiden fits, so I signed him up.  His first lesson is March 10th, and he couldn’t be more excited.  I’m not looking forward to driving up to Scottsdale at the beginning of rush hour, but oh well.  He really wants to do this.  I hope he has fun (but not too much fun, because we still can’t afford to sign him up for hockey once the lessons are over!).

All in all, I think it’s a good time to be Aiden. 😀

Puffed With Pride

Monday was Aiden’s first day back to school after the holiday break.  Aiden did great getting up and dressed and eating and everything for school.  He was in a good mood and I knew he’d have a good day.  Aiden brought home some papers in his folder for me to sign.  His teacher (and another teacher, too) have referred him to be tested for the Gifted and Talented program.  He will be tested next week (or so).  Even if he isn’t found to be “Gifted”, just to be referred must be a good thing, right?  So yeah, I’m really proud of him. 🙂

This morning, I was dropping Aiden off to school and the teacher helping him out of his van asked me if Miss B. (Aiden’s teacher) talked to me yesterday.  I didn’t think so, so this teacher continued.  Aiden is such a good reader, she said, and they just don’t know what to do with him.  So they want to put him in with the first graders for the second half of their reading block.  AND he will be in the highest reading group in the first grade.  Again, she reiterated that he is such a good reader, they just don’t know what to do with him.

That’s my boy!  I’m so proud!!

And yes, Karen, you did tell me so. 😀

2007: A Year in Review in Pictures

Here it is, just like I promised! 🙂  I wanted to do a collage of 12 pictures, one representing each month of 2007, but I have no idea how you guys do those cool things, so I’m just going through our photos and picking out stuff.  Let me tell you, it was really hard to pick just ONE per month!!  However, I did it.  And now… (drumroll please)… The 12 Pictures of 2007!!!! 

January — We were given a piano!!
Our Piano

February — The boys early one morning.
Tired Boys

March — At the park, after feeding ducks.
Spring Break

April — After our family Easter Egg hunt.
Easter Eggs

May — “C” is for Ches.
C is For Ches

June — Playing in our backyard.
In the Pool

July — My summer of Harry Potter.
The Book

August — Aiden’s first day of Kindergarten.
In Line

September — Parker’s 1st birthday.
New Toys

October — On a trip to the Phoenix Zoo.
Boys

November — Even Rebel Troopers must sleep sometime.
Nighttime

December — Our first family photo in a year.
Our Family 2007

Okay, friends. I want to see your photographic year in review!! 😀

It’s A New Year!!

Yes, folks, I’m still alive. Somehow. I made it through a stressful holiday season, although my house is still a total mess (except for the kitchen… thank you Ches!!) and I have a few more days before I send Ches and Aiden back to school and I can get into a routine again. The wierd part is just how tired I am this week. I spent the first day of 2008 sleeping. Seriously. I didn’t wake up until 11:30 am, and I took several naps thoughout the day. I hope this doesn’t set a tone for how all of 2008 goes.

I look back on 2007, and I can’t say that I’ve really accomplished a lot. I feel like I’ve merely existed this past year and I need to do so much more than just take up a little space on this planet.

Resolutions seem so passe’, have you noticed? No one wants to admit to making a New Year’s Resolution because they are usually broken by 12:08 am on New Year’s Day. However, it’s a good time to look back, reflect, and decide on what and how to change things for the future. I didn’t make any resolutions last year, and maybe that was part of my problem. Several years ago (when Aiden was still a baby) I made resolutions. I wrote them down, and I gave myself a timeline for each resolution, too. I didn’t keep every single one of them, but I did accomplish a lot more that year. I’m thinking I’m going to do that again this year. Give me a few more days and I’ll write it out for you guys.

One resolutions I will give is this: I am going back to writing a lot. I want to keep up my blog more frequently (it is my journal, after all), and I’m going to keep up my novel that I started for NaNoWriMo. Hopefully I’ll have it done before next November’s NaNoWriMo!! Hee hee. I need these things for my own sanity. You all know how much I love comments and need affirmation, though. So leave lots and lots of comments, and I’ll do the same for you. Deal? Good.

I received “The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (Fourth Edition)” for Christmas this year, so watch out, all of you on Facebook who play Scrabbulus with me. I’m gonna just get better and better. Yay me!

Oh, and a funny story about Aiden before I end this completely wierd and random entry… the other night Ches sat down with a chocolate chip cookie and a glass of milk when suddenly three boys descended on him, begging for cookies of their own. It was a blur of faces and voices, and they got right in Ches’ face. So I said, “Hey, can you guys at least give Dad a chance to breathe??” The kids backed off, and Aiden walked into the kitchen. Aiden turned to Dallin and said with complete sincerity, “I’m going to stay right here and wait for Dad to get done breathing.”

Could you ask for a sweeter son? Or a more entertaining child? I didn’t think so.

Random Friday

Ches had his holiday concert last night.  Each group (jazz band, symphonic band, wind ensemble, and string orchestra) did an excellent job.  There were some problems in the jazz band, but overall it went well.  They played some fun stuff, and you could tell they were having a good time (especially with the “choreography” the trumpets put in for “Selections from Chicago“).

When the Wind Ensemble started with their very first note, I kind of gasped.  They.  Were.  Awesome.  Almost every part of every piece was played flawlessly.  Those kids are great musicians.  They weren’t just playing notes on a page, they were playing music.  Ches said the Wind Ensemble really put him in a good mood.  Yay!

The orchestra and wind ensemble combined for a final piece, which was, of course, Sleigh Ride.  It was a different version than Ches has ever conducted before (mainly because he’s only ever conducted bands with it in the past), but it was excellent.  It had such a nice, full sound.  The kids enjoyed playing together, and Ches wants them to do more pieces together in the future.  I’m really rooting for Pirates of the Carribean (it is the coolest piece!!), but Ches doesn’t really want to do it.  I don’t know why.

*****

Hey, remember when everybody had Indiglo watches?  They were the big thing about 10-15 years ago.  Does anyone get Indiglo anymore?  I remember the commercial of all the people at the rock concert that, instead of lighting and waving cigarette lighters, turned on their Indiglo watches.  It was pretty cool.  Anyway… for some reason last night I was just thinking about these watches. 

*****

Dallin is a monster.  He spilled water on our computer keyboard, so now the 8, 7 (on they keypad part), and DELETE keys don’t work.  A few days later, Dallin was messing around with the computer and slammed the mouse down one too many times or something, because now it doesn’t work.  It’s one of those nice laser ones.  So I pulled out our old one (the kind with the rolling ball in it), and I have to say that I miss my laser mouse.  This ball one just doesn’t work as well.  It gets stuck often (and there is NO dust in there.  I checked) and makes things more difficult.  Especially when I’m trying to do a puzzle in my Puzzlebee application of Facebook.  So if anyone is wondering why my times are all so slow… blame the mouse.  Seriously.

*****

Remember last year at our ward talent show that Aiden’s talent was to “jump up really, really high”?  Well, all year he’s been talking about how he’s going to improve his talent.  This year Aiden’s talent was to “jump, clap, and turn around… all at the same time”.  And that is what he did.  He bounced in a circle while clapping his hands.  Then he covered his ears at the thunderous applause.  The audience called for an encore, and he willingly obliged.  What a kid.

*****

When I was younger, I always knew how long I had until my birthday.  Within two or three months, I could tell you exactly how many days.  And in those last few weeks, I could tell you down to the hour, and possibly the minute (I don’t quite remember).  I was always so excited for my birthday.

I guess I’m a grown up now that I’m 30.  Or closer to being a grown up.  I know my birthday is coming up, but I have to think and look at a calender and think some more to know exactly when my birthday is.  It’s just not that big of a deal anymore.  Like there’s anything special about turning 31, anyway.

*****

I was really missing my grandmother the other night.  I don’t know why, exactly.  I just started thinking about her and wishing I could have her here for Christmas this year and so my boys could get to know her.  Grandma was such a wonderful woman.  I miss her a lot.  I always miss her.  I just had that horrible ache in my heart the other night.

*****

Good news:  We will have visitors for Christmas!!  Aunt Marisa and Peter want to get away, so they are coming here.  Yay!  I know they will still be mourning and it will be hard this Christmas without Maci (their beloved dog who passed away just last Saturday), but I think they will really enjoy watching my monsters– uh, my sons– opening gifts and such.  Christmas with little kids is just so fun.  After Aiden comes home from school today we are gonig to start making cookies.  I’m planning on making lots of yummy treats for us all to get fat from.  I have to fix my wood Santa, and I’ll finish getting all my decorations up.  I’m going to have a festive Christmas, even if we won’t have much under the tree!!

*****

One more week until school is out for Christmas break.  Hoo-ray!!

*****

I am currently reading Summon the Keeper by Tanya Huff.  It’s a fun book about a woman, Claire, who is a “Keeper”, which is a member of the select group whih keeps the universe in one piece.  Claire has a cat, Austin, who speaks.  Claire has been Summoned to a B&B and found herself running the B&B as she tries to close a hole to Hell in the basement.  It’s not a hard read, but it’s not dumbed down for anyone, either.  I’m about halfway through and I’m really enjoying it so far.  It’d be a good one for those of you who’d like something to read over the holiday that isn’t too heavy but still gets you involved in the story.

*****

I heard a “new” band on the radio last night.  The station was playing all ska and punk, and this band is called Foxboro Hot Tubs.  Apparantly they are Green Day in disguise or something.  Of course, Green Day hasn’t said anything and/or is denying everything.  The DJ last night said that about 99% of the world is convinced it’s Green Day.  The coolest thing about the Hot Tubs?  You can download ALL of their music for free on their website!!  I’m so there.  We all know I love Green Day, and this song I heard last night was freakin’ awesome.  Here’s an article about the whole Hot Tubs/ Green Day thing.

It Takes All Kinds

Well, we did it.  We finally cut the cable.  We’ve only been saying we’re going to do this for about a year now!  Okay, maybe not that long, but it’s been quite a while.  We are now down to the rabbit ears and whatever comes through that.  My kids have rediscovered PBS.  Yay for Sesame Street!!

We were watching Sesame Street yesterday, and I realized something major was happening on the show.  Gina was getting ready for a trip and several of the muppets didn’t know where she was going, so she sat down to explain she was going to Guatamala to adopt a baby.

As we’re watching the explanation, Aiden started firing questions at me.  He didn’t understand how she could have a baby when she is not married yet, so I got to talk about how there are all kinds of families.  Some with a mom and a dad.  Some with just a mom.  Some with just a dad.  (I didn’t go into some with two moms and some with two dads because I just didn’t want to deal with THAT subject with him.  Seriously, he asks SO many questions on why and how things work and he’s only FIVE!  Now, if he had a friend or a classmate with two moms or two dads at home, I would gladly talk about it.  But there’s no need right now, right?).  Some kids in families come from their mom’s tummies.  Some kids in families come from someone else’s tummy.  We talked about how it doesn’t matter who’s tummy a baby comes from, their mom and dad loves them no matter what. 

It was kind of a fun discussion because Aiden is really starting to realize how different the world is.  He loves diversity!  He realizes now that just because our family has a mom and a dad and three boys that doesn’t mean every family is the same.  He has a friend that has a mom and a dad who aren’t married anymore, and the little boy lives with his dad and his stepmom most of the time and visits his mom sometimes.  He has a friend who is black and was adopted by two white parents.  He has a friend with two brothers, one sister, a white mother, and a black father.  He has a friend who lives with his two brothers, one sister, his mom, and his grandma and grandpa.  He has friends at school who’s parents don’t speak English.  He has a friend who recently moved here from India.    He has a friend with no brothers or sisters.  It’s a big variety of families, huh?  I like that he gets to learn about all these differences as a young child.  He doesn’t live in a cookie cutter house in a cookie cutter neighborhood with cookie cutter families.  We love variety!!

Parker Walking

Okay, so it’s a little long, but Parker is just so dang cute!! Oh, and it’s really dark.  My hallway is, apparantly, too dark for shooting videos.  So I will get another one put up tomorrow and replace it.  You can still see and hear the important parts for now.  He says “Aiden” and “bye bye” in there, so listen closely!

My baby is walking!! AAHHH!!! 🙂 Enjoy.