Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fun with the Keckley Family!

I am really enjoying staying at home with the boys. After spring break, going back to school was just too much for me to handle. I missed my kids so much. I love being able to devote all of my time and energy to them.

I want my children to be able to enjoy the company of other children their ages, so we decided to take a road trip to Keyser, WV to visit our good friends, the Keckleys. It's been a long time since our last get together, so we thought that we would take advantage of the beautiful weather and our children had a blast. Bonna and Chris have two little boys, Garren and Calvin, but Calvin is missing from all of the photos because he was taking a nap while we played outside.

So here is a summary, in photos, of the afternoon in Keyser:

First, we played with sidewalk chalk.
Then, Andrew went down the slide...
...followed by Joseph.

Garren thought about going down the slide, but decided he didn't want to get all muddy like Joseph and Andrew.
The highlight of the afternoon was throwing rocks in the creek.

Joseph and Andrew had never thrown rocks into water before (surprisingly), so Garren showed them how it's done!

Andrew put all of his energy into throwing those rocks into the creek.

And Joseph enjoyed jumping over the creek. He later fell in, and we had to make a trip to Walmart to buy some shoes and pants for him to wear home. I didn't mind so much...he'll only be four once. And he had the time of his life jumping over (and in) that water.
Garren informed us that Joseph and Andrew are his best friends (soooooo adorable). I guess that means we'll be making a trip to Keyser again sometime soon. Bonna, a million thanks for having us! We really had a great time!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Potty Humor

My three-year-old is obsessed with farting. Seriously. He cannot go for more than twenty minutes without talking about flatulence. He has gotten to the point where he forces himself to fart so he can talk and laugh about it. Here are some fart stories:

  • Last night, we went to Golden Corral for dinner and while we were waiting in line, Andrew began passing gas and telling everyone behind us that he had "stinky farts." When we sat down at our table, Andrew kept trying to talk to everyone at the tables around us about it too.
  • A few days ago, the boys and I were at Target and Andrew started letting stinkers. This is what he told everyone in Target, as loud as he possibly could: "Mommy, I just had stinky farts. Why do my farts smell like poop?"
  • When I am trying to change his diaper, he will put his hand under his butt so that he can feel the fart come out. No joke - the kid is crazy about his gas!

I'm pretty sure that he is amused by all bodily functions, and by private body parts as well. Yesterday I burped, and the kid seriously laughed about it for ten minutes, and tried to mimic the sound. And, tonight at dinner he started talking about his butt, which caused him to laugh hysterically. It's pretty disgusting that he was talking about his butt at the dinner table, but he was laughing so hard that everyone else was laughing too.

Obviously, it's inappropriate for him to talk to people in public about his bodily functions, and I have been trying to discuss this with him. I'm convinced that only a little boy could find farting this funny. I am hoping that this is just a phase that he'll grow out of. Right now it's still kind of funny, and there have been a few embarrassing incidents (like Target and Golden Corral), but most grown men are still amused by their own flatulence, so who knows? He may never grow out of it. Hopefully we can just control it in public situations. Oh boy.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Silly Boys...

I love the things that my kids say. Here are just a few examples of the things have said recently:

  • Andrew tells me as I am getting him a snack from the pantry, "Mommy, I don't want the fruit snacks in the red bag. I want the same kind of fruit snacks I had yestertime."

  • Joseph was watching Ni Hao Kai-Lan (aka Chinese Dora), and she asked the audience (my kids) if the had ever gotten to stay up late for anything. In my mind I was thinking, "No, but now they're going to want to, since you put the idea in their heads Kai-Lan." Two seconds later, Joseph looks at me and says, "Mommy, can I stay up late tonight?"

  • Daddy and Andrew went for a ride in Daddy's truck. As Daddy was buckling him in, Andrew said, "Make sure you buckle yourself safe daddy." He then asked, "Are we in the big truck, daddy?" Daddy said "Yes, and someday you'll be big enough to drive the truck too." Andrew's reply, "Will I have big hands, too?" He then told daddy, "One day I'll drive the big truck with my big hands, and I'll have a big red and black jacket, too."

  • Joseph was sitting at the computer playing, and all of sudden he runs into the room Brad and I are in and exclaims, "WALMART!" and runs away. What?!

And some more silliness...

When we went to Pittsburgh this weekend, we went to the most awesome thrift shop. Over Christmas, Great Grandma bought some toy cars for the boys and left them at my mom's (aka Grandma) house for them to play with when they came to visit. Andrew became enthralled with these cars, so when I saw big bags of Matchbox cars for $2.00 in the thrift store I had to buy him some to take home. He also picked out a talking Dora backpack that cost $1.50. For the past six days, Andrew has done nothing but play with these cars and the backpack. He loads all of the cars in the backpack and takes them wherever he goes. I thought that I would share a few pictures. It's pretty darned cute!

It's his backpack. Load it up, with things and kick-knacks too. Anything that you might need, he's got inside for you. Backpack, BACKPACK!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring Break

Look at these beautiful little faces and tell me that you could leave all of the most important moments of their childhood in the hands of someone else:

I miss these little guys so much. This week was spring break for Shepherd University, and we took a trip to Pittsburgh to visit family and friends. We visited with my friend Jenny from high school. She has three little girls, and it was load of fun. They have a bouncy house and a kiddie Escalade, and Joseph and Andrew were pretty excited!

Friday night, we spent the night at Grandma's house. We ordered pizza, met Grandma's friend Louise, and watched Noggin. Saturday was a super fun-filled day: We went to the children's museum, and it was great to see the boys having so much fun. On the way home from the museum, we stopped at a really neat thrift store and got a bunch of new books and toys.

Saturday night we spent the evening at Aunt Ginny's. She made us some delicious dinner and Joseph and Andrew loved playing with Uncle Scott and the big toy box. Aunt Ginny also had some decorations that the boys thought were "coconuts," and when I took my eyes off of them for two seconds, they had unraveled the "coconuts" (a.k.a. balls of yarn) from one end of the house to the other. I regret that I didn't get any photos of this...
Sunday morning, we went to church with Ginny and Scott. Afterwards, we went back to Grandma and Grandpa's to have some lunch before we traveled home. Grandpa happens to be an electrical genius, and he fixed one of Joseph's "new" toys that was broken. Then we headed back to wild and (sometimes) wonderful West Virginia.

Tomorrow I have to go back to school, which means that the boys go back to daycare. I cannot even begin to describe the way that my heart aches. Of course I always knew that I loved my children, but I honestly don't think that I realized how much until this week.

For several weeks prior to spring break, I had been throwing around the idea of quitting school after this semester. Being home and spending time with my children has just reinforced my feelings on the matter. I can't do it...I can't go back. My children need their mother. They need someone who can devote all of her time to them; to nourish them spiritually and intellectually; to give them guidance and direction; they need the mother that their Father in heaven intended for them.
I can't be a nurturer and a student and do both well. Right now, my children are getting half a mother and my professors are getting half a student. I hate that I have to choose, but I will always choose my family above all else. Heavenly Father has entrusted me to care for these sweet little boys, and this is the most important test I will be given in this life. David O. McKay said, "No other success can compensate for failure in the home." Now is not the time for me to succeed academically. A piece of paper that says that I made straight A's is not going to matter if I am doing a terrible job as a mother while I work to achieve those grades.
So, after this semester, I have officially decided that I am going to take a hiatus from academic life. Yes, call me a failure as a student. I've only had about a hundred different majors and still no diploma. But I refuse to be a failure as a mother - and that's what really matters.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Creative Genius?

My creative project of the week: renovating my kids' room. Why did I need to do this you may ask? Well, if you haven't looked at the pictures above yet, please do. My children literally colored every single spot on their walls that they could reach. It was beyond the point of cleaning. I checked them for crayons every single time they went into their room, and yet I still would find more drawings on the wall every day. Not that I don't encourage artistic activities. Really, I do - just not on the walls of the house that I am renting. So, I painted the walls of their room before my landlord could find out what mess they had made. And, I decided to get a little creative, and finally decorate their room. I feel like this is the first time since my children have been born that they actually have a room that looks nice. I'm sure that it will stay that way for a whole five minutes. But seriously, how hard is it to not color on EVERYTHING?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Children Never Fail to Surprise Me

There are so many amazing things that my children do. I am constantly being surprised by the new things that they can do. For instance, Joseph is always reading things. I can't believe how many words he knows how to read. Both of my children are fantastic artists, and I am always so proud of the drawings that they bring home from school. Andrew just has the sweetest, bubbliest little personality and I love to hear the funny things he says. My children bring so much happiness to my life.

Most of the time...

Then, there's an experience like last night, that surprised me in a very different sort of way. We were at Sam's Club, shopping for our lifetime supply of various food items (or so you would think, except that Joseph is a bottomless pit; what seems like a lifetime supply of cereal actually lasts a week). All was happy in our shopping cart, and then out comes a very loud scream from Andrew. We looked over at Joseph and he had a mouthful of hair - that's right! He bit a huge chunk out Andrew's hair! What the heck?!

I am also surprised by the fact that Andrew is over the age of three and refuses to go to the potty. I stole an idea from Megan O'Neill using marbles and a jar as an incentive for using the toilet, and Andrew seems excited about the idea of putting the marbles in the jar, but we still are unsuccessful at getting him to go in the toilet.

When we first started trying, he kept screaming that he was "too wittle" to use the potty, and insisted that he liked his diaper. So, we got a Lightning McQueen potty seat, which has encouraged him to sit on the potty. I take him frequently, but to no avail. He just sits there, and tells me "the pee-pee won't come down." Grrrr....

Isn't it supposed to be easier to potty train the second child? I have tried to take him to the bathroom and let him watch Joseph, but he is just not interested at all, and for some reason he LOVES wearing his diaper. Why, oh why? Joseph was really difficult to potty train as well, but I actually think that we are having a MORE difficult time with Andrew.

So anyway, surprises, surprises. What else can I say?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A New Way to Stimulate the Economy

I have the flu...it's been absolutely miserable. So, we decided to go through the Dairy Queen drive-thru to get some dinner. Yummy food + ice cream = happy family, right? Wrong.

The kids' meals from DQ come with toys. The problem with that is that none of the toys have anything to do with one another. So, Andrew got a really cool pair of sunglasses in his meal, and Joseph got some lame-o plastic fishy finger puppets. How fair is that?

So, Brad figured that this is part of the new economic stimulus package - when you go through the drive-thru with more than one child, make sure that only one of the children gets a cool toy. Hide the toys underneath of all the food so that the unsuspecting consumers don't realize until they get home. Go to Wal-mart to buy the equivalent of the toy that came in the kids' meal. See! Our economy is being stimulated - Not only did we go out to eat, we also went to Wal-mart to buy toys. Now if we can just get everyone to go to DQ and order two kids' meals, then they'll have to go to Wal-mart and spend money on toys! Hooray, the economy is fixed.

At any rate, Andrew looked really cute in the sunglasses from Dairy Queen, and daddy took Joseph to Wal-mart, where he got some stylish Transformers glasses, as seen below:

Andrew enjoying his corndog and his new sunglasses, courtesy of Dairy Queen.

Apparently the lame-o fish puppets aren't so lame-o, as long as you don't have to give up your sunglasses.
And, one trip to Wal-mart later...

...Joseph in his cool Transformers glasses.