Mommy Fail

Everyone knows that being a Mommy is quite possibly one of the hardest jobs.  The rules change, there is no manual, unexpected things happen. We all try our hardest, but sometimes come up short.

One area which I have come up terribly short this year is Little Guy’s Birthday. It’s in the middle of February.  Every year I feel like Little Guy is gipped in some way.  It’s too close after Christmas, I have 3 January Birthdays to deal with first,  the ho-hum cold dreary days of February aren’t very motivating, and then I”m usually focused on planning a short little ski get-away for February break.  Very low on my priority list is Little Guys’ Birthday.  And this year, because of M-Man’s broken arm…..we don’t even have a present for Little Guy!  (but he is SO hard to buy for as he only plays with what his brothers have or sports….and we really don’t need any more balls in this house!)

HOW TERRIBLE OF ME!!!  He is such a ray of sunshine, such a happy guy, and his Bday takes a back seat!!

Luckily for me, he is also very low key. He has *never* asked for a huge party at an (expensive) venue with his whole class.  He’s very content and pleased-as-punch to just invite 3 or 4 of his closest mates for a little get-together.  This year’s fete was a sleep-over, where I invited his friends 2 days before. And can I tell you? They had the BEST time building Lego, playing video games, and playing football in the front yard.

And…..the Birthday cake….I was inspired by fellow blogger who tried to make a LEGO cake for her son’s Birthday.  I’m not a great baker.  (if you have a good memory, you’ll remember I really don’t like to bake.) But because I strive to be a good mommy, and I know good mommy’s make beautiful cakes for their children’s Birthday, I have on occassion tried to create for my own kids.

For T&M’s 7th Birthday, we were living in England, and the boys wanted a Knight-themed party, so I built a castle.

And for Little Guy’s 3rd Birthday, when he was going NUTS over tractors, I ordered a Tractor cake pan from the US and  spent HOURS decorating the Famous Tractor Cake:

This year’s attempt at the LEGO brick cake…..well…..take a look and feel free to comment (NOT)

But the beauty of it is, the kids don’t care. Little Guy loved it…..and he had a great 7th Birthday!!  His smile takes away this Mommy Fail.

And on a side note, I’ve already got NEXT year’s party all planned….and I will call the Baker!  Cheers, all!

A conversation with Little Guy

Recently, Hubby and I had some alone time with Little Guy. And the conversations just put a big smile on my face. We were talking about all sorts of stuff–LEGO Wii games, Basketball, skiing, and other popular little boy topics. Little Guy asked if we could do something special on Monday since there wasn’t any school due to a holiday.  Hubby responded that he would be leaving for a business trip on Monday.

Little Guy: Oh, I didn’t know you were taking a trip, Daddy.  Where are you going?

Daddy: England

Little Guy: Can I go with you, Daddy?

Daddy:  Why do you want to go with me?

Little Guy: I want to go back to England so I can practice my football (soccer).  When are you coming back?

Daddy: I’ll be back on Thursday night.

Little Guy: That’s great. I won’t miss any basketball.  (Obviously, school wasn’t an issue)

Daddy: (chuckling)  I think that’s great that you want to go to England to practice your football.  But I’m not going to that part of England where we have friends (where we used to live). I’ll be in London this trip.

Little Guy:  (in a very soft voice) If we have no plans to go to England any time, how can I become a great football player?

Daddy: But I’ll be going to England again soon, and this time I’ll be staying where we have friends.

Little Guy:  Can I go with you on that trip??

The Mature Puker

Yeah…..you just never know what topic the VP is going to throw at you,huh?

Fortunately, at Casa de Thomas, we have been blessed by having very few….very very few…..incidents of any type of stomach ailments….by any of our kids.  As a matter of fact, up until a week ago, Little Guy had never thrown up. Can you believe that? Six years and not a single puke.  Not even as a baby…no baby spit up.  Nothing. What went down, stayed down.  (Last week’s incident was situational rather than “sick”…..He had 2 tacos for dinner, ran around a  soccer field for an hour, drank an entire bottle of very tart lemonade…..ran around for another hour playing soccer…and then up it all came. Just a bad combination all around).

This morning at 4:15am, Little Guy came into our room and asked for Daddy.  “My tummy hurts. I feel like I need to puke.  Where is it better to do it? In the sink, in a barrel, or the toilet?”

You have to admit……at 4:15 in the morning that is a very lucid, mature, intelligent question to ask.  At any age. But very much so for a 6 year old.

And while he and Daddy were in the bathroom, waiting for Round 2 to make its appearance, I could hear Little Guy going over everything he ate on Sunday.  Again, very impressive at 4:30am.  And then he asked Daddy, “Were any of those a bad combination?”

Luckily, we were able to get him back to sleep shortly after 5am. And he’s still sleeping at 7:45am. No school for him today.

Living with a couple of Kiwis

Not this….

And not this…..

And not this….

There’s an odd sound in my house.  It goes something like “Ki…Wi”….”Ki….Wi”…..”Ki….Wi”  It has the tendency to repeat itself over and over again, very fast, in a very excited tone.

For example:

Ca….we……go to Toys R Us? Ca…we?   Ca…we?   Ki…wi?  Ki…wi?  Ki…wi???

Ca..we…have some ice cream? Ca we? Ca we?  Ki..wi?  Ki…wi? Ki…wi???????

Ca..we…get our DS’s back? Ca we? Ca we? Ki…wi? Ki..wi?  Ki…wi?????????????

At first it was just M-Man who sounded like a little Kiwi….but then all 3 boys start doing.  I can’t help but laugh.

You all right, Mate? Doing Great, thanks!

Keeping busy….keeping busy.

A little over a week ago, the boys and I tagged along with Hubby to England. It was the boys’ first trip back since we moved home in 2008.  I was really surprised how little T&M remembered. During the short ride from Manchester Airport to our town, T&M would say over and over “I never saw this!”  I turned around and said “BUT YOU HAVE!! Instead, please say, ‘I don’t remember’.”

It was a short trip–about 5 days. During those days, Hubby was working, so the boys and I were “on our own.” We stayed with a lovely family who we didn’t know very well. But that has now changed. During our short stay, our host family has become one of our closest friends.  T’s best friend’s mom (or should I say “mum”?) was kind enough to host a party with our closest friends. EVERYBODY showed up–all my friends, their husbands, and all the children. I think there were about 40 people total.  It was an amazing, amazing party.  I bought 8 bottles of champagne to celebrate our friendships.

On Monday, T&M attended class in their former school. I was overcome by the warm welcome we received.  Although at the start T&M didn’t remember some of their classmates, they had a fabulous time.  We have a few more addresses, and will be sending more letters!

When we arrived in the UK, I sent a FB message “Hellooooooo UK Friends!!”  One responded “Welcome Home!”  It really amazed me how much like “home” it felt, and how seamless our transition back was.  It was hard to believe it had been 3 years. When seeing all those wonderful people again, it felt like it was 3 weeks.

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I am now the proud mum (yes, the Britishness hasn’t left) of a pair of 5th graders and a 1st grader.  The boys are done with school, and I am so proud of how well they did this past year!

The other morning, I watched from my bed as Little Guy was brushing his teeth, and had already dressed himself. All without me asking or reminding him. 

“Little Guy—come here and give your mommy a hug!” 

“Why, mommy?”

“Because I’m so proud of you for getting dressed and brushing your teeth all by yourself today!”

“MOMMMMMMM……I’m a FIRST GRADER now. Of course you don’t have to tell me.  But those 5th graders, you still have to tell them!”

I love that Little Guy!

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I’m baby-sitting 4 goldfish this week.  I haven’t done the best job remembering to feed them. Their feeding schedule is slightly off–both in time and quantity. One day I fed them WAY TOO MUCH. The next feeding, barely anything. I’m also not sure how much time I should be spending with them.  Do they prefer human companionship? Should I sing to them? Toss a ball into the tank? DO they care?

A Day with the Kids

Since I woke up this morning, I have been surrounded by kids.  Ok, you’re wondering “isn’t this normal for you?”.  Well, yes, as a matter of fact it is. However, today I was surrounded by more than just my own 3 kids.  And up until the last 5 minutes, it’s been a pretty fun day.

I was parent-helper in Little Guy’s Kindergarten class today.  It was the last time for the year.  Normally, K-teacher doesn’t have volunteers on Monday, but she forgot to X-out today on the volunteer calendar, and I filled in the spot, so there I was.  It was really fun because I got a chance to talk to the teachers a bit more than usual, as on Mondays the kids go to art and gym in the morning. I got to listen on K-teachers explanation of sea animals–the fish, the whales, sharks, rays, etc.  And I got to help 2 kids finish last week’s and today’s paperwork.

Straight from Kindergarten, I drove over to T&M’s school because I had volunteered to help out on Field Day.  I got there just as they were finishing up the morning portion, so I got to have “lunch” with T’s class and M’s class.  Fourth grade lunch is definitely an experience. One that, perhaps, I wouldn’t want to experience again.

After lunch, T’s class was scheduled to play Kickball. I was very excited when the class decided to play boys vs. girls. As the class was mostly boys, Miss L and I got to play on the girls’ team.  Miss L kicked first, and then the other girls took their turn, and I was the last one.  As I was waiting, I told Miss L how I hadn’t played kickball since 7th grade, and that I was always last one picked for team’s because I was a liability since my parents frowned upon girl’s athleticism.  I was SO excited when it was my turn.  I pictured myself bombing one into right field, having that feeling of vindication from being picked last all those years ago. 

The pitcher rolled the ball. It slowly approached home base. My adrenalin started pumping.  Here it comes, foot ready……kicked foul.  Well, OK.  First kickball kick in 25 years.  It’s ok if it went foul.  Here comes the 2nd ball.  Ready….ready…..kick….foul.

And I’m out.

What?!!

Clearly, I missed the parent-volunteer’s rules that 2 fouls constituted an out.  Shit.  There goes my glorious moment.

I stayed at field day for 2 more activities , “Cars” which was nothing more than a game of tag, and “Boulder Dam” where the “it” person has to avoid being hit by a giant boulder (bouncy ball) being pushed by all the other players in the direction of the “it” person.

I came home……exhausted.  Wiped out.  I wonder if I’ll be this tired when/if I get a “real” job?

And what has become the norm around here, all the neighborhood boys have convened at our house for after-school basketball, trampolining, rugby, soccer….whatever.  I’ve actually been enjoying the camaraderie that has developed amongst the kids. For the most part, there has been little or no trouble (pretty amazing, considering there are usually 6 boys here). Until today, when I heard my 6 year old shouting very improper language at one of the kids.  Because Little Guy didn’t know I was on the deck. I’m not a happy momma at the moment.  He knew they were bad words. He knew that when he said them. He just thought he could get away with it. And I knew this would be a problem with him hanging out (every day) with 10 and 11 year olds.  I just thought he knew better.

A New Chapter……Bouncing and Balls

This past weekend held a range of emotions–from super-excited to nostalgic and sad.  We’re entering a new chapter in our lives.

With the twins turning 10, and with the help of an overly generous grandmother, we purchased a trampoline for the boys.  To make room for it, we had to take down the swing set that we bought for their 2nd Birthday.  I remember how adorable the boys were when they played “Super Baby” swinging on the swing while on their stomach(you have to wait until I master photo-scanning to insert this pix!). The numerous picnics they had in the “tower.” Or using the tower as a battle station. Or the first time they were strong enough to attempt the monkey bars.  Or sliding down a snowy slide.

The swing-set was very well used over the last 8 years!

TIMBER!

But then, the trampoline was up. And the neighborhood kids started pouring in.  The mom’s said “Wow, I’ve always thought trampoline was a good idea, but we had no room (or whatever their excuse).”

Bounce, Bounce, Bounce, Bounce.

We couldn’t get the kids off of it!!!

Even the Big Guy had a go. He was pretty good. But then again, he’s good at just about everything. 

Then it was my turn.  Hmmm….I don’t think I have ever been on a trampoline before.  Definitely a new sensation. Sadly, it makes me feel somewhat light-headed. Maybe it’s my brain slamming into my skull. I definitely can’t do it for very long.  However, there was some soreness in the abs and butt this morning….perhaps this might be a good exercise tool for when the kiddies are at school?!?

The other task for the weekend was to clean out the garage. While Hubby swept and tidied up, I focused my energy on cleaning out the “Ball Bin.” Several years ago, we purchased a sports equipment organizer.

It has come in very handy in keeping all the boys’ STUFF in one corner of our garage. However, it was over-floweth.

I filled 2 trash bags full of “toddler items”–such as the plastic driveway bowling set, 3 sets of plastic “junior” golf sets, plastic wiffle ball and giant oversized baseball bats,  toddler size footballs and soccer balls (some chewed by the dog), some misc. Home Depot kiddie tools, broken frisbees, a pair of toddler roller blades. 

Once I was done, the bin was still full…but now it held only “real size” footballs, basketballs, and soccer balls.

My little boys are growing up. Time for the next chapter.