Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ballet, etc.

I signed Olivia up today for a ballet class in the Spring semester. Then of course we went right out and bought her a ballet skirt to wear with her leotard and white ballet slippers. She can't wait to be a "bawaweena!"
Jackson asked "What is ballet?"
I answered that it's a class where mostly girls learn to dance.
J: "Well, I wanna go to ballet. How will I learn to dance?"
Me: "You already do karate. Plus, it's dancing mostly for girls."
Sam jumped in at this point to say, using his hands as he talked for emphasis "Yeah, cause Jack, boys do stuff that is cool or maybe scary. And girls do stuff that is sweet."
At the age of three. Where does he come up with this stuff?!

Tonight at bathtime Jackson told me he doesn't want to grow up like Daddy. When I asked him why, he said "Because I want to stay little forever and make things for you."
So, so painfully sweet.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Advent activities

The tree is up, it's December 3rd, and we are well on our way to the holiday festivities. We have already made and decorated with paint and glue some clay ornaments that the kids proudly display on the trees in their rooms, and have read Christmas stories for a week. We have had hot chocolate and candy canes, watched the Polar Express, and oohed and aahed over the smatterings of Christmas lights we've passed in the dark. We've taken the pics and ordered our Christmas cards, and I am ALMOST done with my shopping. On Saturday we will have breakfast with Santa, and our holiday will be officially underway. Hurray!

The magical marble jars

We have had a few behavior problems here lately in the house, particularly with Sam, our pronounced MIDDLE child. I am hoping that when he shares that role with Olivia in about 3 months, he'll get over it, but I won't hold my breath!
I discussed the situation with our pediatrician who recommended a jar with marbles, where the kids earn marbles for good behavior, and lose them for bad. It is very visual and they can redeem them for rewards. We've done it for two days, and it is AWESOME! It managed to take care of two problems at once. The boys got a Wii from their Grandpa for Christmas, but since he was in for Thanksgiving (from Alaska) and won't be back for Christmas, they received it last week. They could basically forgo food and sleep and play Mario Kart All.Day.Long. if we let them. Asking them to take a break results in an eruption of whining and crying, and gnashing of teeth. Plus, I'm a weenie and it IS kinda nice to be uninterrupted in the afternoons while they zone out.
We actually convinced Sam the other day when he had a nosebleed that his brain had turned to mush from playing too many video games, and was leaking out of his head. We told him he needed to take a break before it ALL leaked out and he couldn't think anymore, and that if he didn't play for a while, it would have time to harden back up. I asked him what day it was and when he didn't know (which he never does if it's not a Tuesday or Thursday when they talk about it at school!) I gave him the old "OH NO! That part must be the part that already leaked out!" - Yeah, we're totally prepared to pay for therapy, let's just hope not playing too many video games makes up for it with a scholarship ;-)
ANYHOO, I digress. The marble jar. The kids earn marbles by playing well together, staying their seat at mealtimes, sharing, using good manners, being good at school, etc. etc.
When they accrue 10, they can redeem them for ONE hour of Mario kart, during which time they cannot earn marbles, but can still lose them for bad behavior. They can earn one if they are good when it is time to turn OFF the game.
We love the marble jar, oh sweet peacemaker among siblings. You, marble jar, are my new best friend. We'll see how long this friendship lasts.

Sam continues to mess with Jack...

On Tuesday when I picked the boys up from school, we were on our way home when Olivia said "Mama, you have a spider on your hair." I of course, began freaking out and trying to swat the supposed spider from my head, frantically asking the boys if THEY could see anything.
They assured me nothing was there and Jack said, "Mom, a spider couldn't be on your head anyway, right?"
I corrected him to say that yes, a spider could be on your head. It could fall from a tree, or climb up, or sometimes even jump from one surface to another.
Out of nowhere Jack said "Mom, what's a tick?"
"Um, it's a bug...why do you ask?"
J- "Because I had one on my HEAD one time, REMEMBER?!" (Obviously I'm a moron!)
S- "Yeah, ticks can jump on your head like this....boing, boing."
J- "How do YOU know, Sam?"
S- "Because we talked about Ticks today at school. We read a story about them, and learned facts about them, and I even drew a PICTURE of a tick jumping onto a person's head. I call it 'A tick on a cloud.' "
Jack, obviously impressed, proceeded to ask Sam questions about his newfound knowledge of ticks, and Sam repeatedly answered without missing a beat.
Throughout the day, Sam continued to rattle off random bits of "tick trivia" to Jack, who soaked it all up like a sponge. At dinner, Jack asked Sam a question about ticks and said "Did you learn about that today too?"
Sam, grinning like a cheshire cat said "Nah, we didn't actually learn about ticks today. I was just kiddin' ya."
Jack was very upset, yelling "MOOOOM, Sam LIED about school today."
After he composed himself he said "Well, I made a Christmas tree at school today."
Sam barely glanced up from his plate and said "No you didn't. You're just saying that to trick me because I tricked you."

Yup, he's still THREE. We are so screwed. ;-)

Jack and Olivia's Thanksgiving Feasts

The week before Thanksgiving Olivia had her first official class business at the preschool, with a luncheon to meet her classmates. She LOVED it and I can't wait for her to start!

Jackson's "feast" was also an adorable program, where they wore custom shirts and sang some super cute songs. Pics to come!