Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Monday night, we had a treat. We hardly ever get Chinese food at our house, but we all like it and it was sounding pretty good since I had office hours that evening and didn't want to cook. Our favorite place, Master Wok, has moved and is too far away for carryout anymore, so we went with Connor's choice for Chinese food--Hy-Vee.
It's actually a pretty good deal and we can just barely feed our family on their "dinner for two" so we save some money.

I think one of the kids' favorite things about getting Chinese is, of course, the chopsticks! Grant was very into holding them at the grocery store, and mispronouncing the word...I kept thinking he was saying "hospital."
He did, indeed know what chopsticks were and what they are for, as he ate his dinner by poking pieces of chicken with his stick.
Except he had stopped calling them chopsticks. Instead, he called them "muscles."

"My muscles fall down! I pick it up!"
"Look at my muscles!"
"I eat with my muscles!"

You get the idea.

Jeff reminded him they were called "Chop-Sticks!"

Grant's reply?

"Muscle chop sticks!"

Next time you eat chinese, try to use your muscles.

Math Man

Connor has been really into his addition and subtraction lately. He has a couple of activity books that he has been working through, spending time almost every night! In fact, Friday night it was time to go to bed, but he begged to do a math page.

Well sure. Isn't that what most kids want to do with their Friday night?

I had gone to the store and gotten a few things over the weekend, including Fig Newtons. I NEVER buy packaged cookies. Hello? I love to bake! I guess I was having some pregnancy craving or something. Anyway, I gave the boys a couple of cookies each to have before bed. Connor was eating cookies and working on his subtraction page. He had a couple of problems that he was having trouble with in particular...18-7 and 18-8. We started talking about the concept of subtraction and "taking away."
He had worked with a number line and he got 18-7, but this one problem, 18-8 was really tripping him up.
We tried relating it to 18-7...which led to Jeff asking Connor:

"Let's say you have 18 Fig Newtons. If I were going to take some cookies away from you, would you rather me take away 7 or 8?"

My sweet boy answered:

"I'd want you to take away 8!"

Jeff: "Why? Then you wouldn't have as many cookies!"

Connor: "But then I'd know the answer to 18-8 was!"


Friday, September 12, 2008

He's getting better

Connor is having a better time with Kindergarten.

I am sure it has nothing to do with our bribe for him this week.

If he went to school every day, without crying and complaint, then he could invite a new friend from school out for pizza and video games Friday night.

Hmmm....what could I be bribed with?

Well, I have to say, that he did a FANTASTIC job this week! We've had a lot of changes at our house, with the going to school, starting the after-school program, having to buy his lunch. All rather traumatic to our eldest. But he is a champ.

Many of you have expressed concern over him, but be aware, he is better. You may certainly continue to pray for him (and all of us!) as this year is a trying one. But thank you for your words of encouragement and offers of help.
He is growing into a brave Kindergartner!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Weekend and chili dinner

So this weekend was Jeff's annual trip to the lake. The guys all get together and take time out and their time together? Well, from what I can deduce it involves quite a bit of drinking, horseshoe playing, and eating of spicy food. That is just what I can deduce. Unfortunately, this year they didn't spend much time out on the boat or the lake because of the cool temperatures. I was told, though, that it was still a great time and nice to get away.

While daddy was off playing, the boys and I had our own fun. Actually, Friday night started with them over at Grandma Gayle's. My friend Marjie's 30th birthday prom party was Friday night, so I went stag with some girlfriends. Fortunately, Grandma Gayle was kind enough to watch the boys 3 NIGHTS IN A ROW so that our week could go off as planned. Thanks:)

Anyway, Friday night was fun, but also humorous. It was a 90's prom, and several people did come dressed in their 90's gear. I am not that brave, so I stuck with a borrowed dress from my sister that did manage to fit over my belly pooch. There were oh...10 women there who were pregnant...I told Marjie she should have called it a "white trash" prom b/c of all of the pregnant girls. Just kidding, Marje:) It really was fun and I am very impressed that your husband pulled that off for you. Kudos to Nate.

Saturday I awoke with a killer headache (I could make some reference here to my high school proms, but won't.) and couldn't figure out why. I figured I'd forgotten to drink enough water and took some Tylenol. I took the boys to the zoo and made a grave mistake. Grant told me he wanted to walk at the zoo. I said "ok, that is fine, but I am not going to carry you."

Two year olds don't have much in the ability to reason and think through consequences. Clearly, I don't either.

So I took the boys to the zoo--WITHOUT the stroller, but WITH a gigantic headache. We saw a few animals, but mostly we just threatened to leave Grant at the zoo if he didn't walk with us. He would stop, squat, then pretend that he just wasn't going to walk any further. At which point I would tell Connor to "keep walking, but slow down" so that he THOUGHT we were leaving him. It worked probably 30 of the 40 times we had to do it.
At one point, my wise little almost-six-year-old reminded me, "Daddy would have spanked him by now."
Connor was right, and the point was taken.
We only made it through Africa, God bless me, I have no idea how, and then we headed on home where we EACH proceeded to take a three hour nap. It was blissful. Except when I had to wake up...and I STILL had the headache!

Aside from the headache, the time with the boys was good. We made a crock-pot of chili, which I talked up and tried to get the boys excited about . We even went to the store to buy fritos and cheese for the top. They weren't unhappy, never mind that my boys are a little bit picky, and I don't cook chili often (jeff won't eat beans). So, I gave Grant the CHOICE (I am learning a bit about parenting toddlers) and asked if he wanted to his fritos on top of his chili or under his chili. He wisely chose "on top." The chips and cheese provide a nice disguise from what otherwise might be suspect food to a 2-year-old.

Connor decided that he wanted his chips and cheese in a little bowl on the side.

The verdict? Grant ate quite a bit. I am not sure how much chili got into his mouth, but thankfully we had brownies and ice cream to fill up the empty spaces in his belly afterwards.

Connor didn't like it. "Eww. I don't like it" I offered him several options including eating the meat only or having no brownies. I also offered up the suggestion of putting his chips and cheese on top for some "crunch." I then left it alone and devoured my bowl, because honestly? It was good chili.

A couple of minutes later, I hear this from Connor:

"I gotta tell ya mom. This is pretty good with the fritos and cheese on it."

How old is this kid? He cracks me up. I am just glad he (mostly) ate his chili.

And then filled up on dessert. I don't know where they get that.