Julie and Julia

Yesterday=busy=no time for blogging:) I raced around running errands with Z while waiting for S to be done with school, came home and cleaned and started dinner preparations, had dinner for/with a friend who is moving away on Saturday morning, blew many goodnight kisses to my sweet boys and then went to another friend’s house for Girl’s Night! I highly recommend having Girl’s Nights. Especially when you rarely get to see girls. Because you have kids. And they are boys. Ahem.

I was so looking forward to the Girl’s Night all week (a chance to escape for awhile? And watch a girly movie? Count me in!!) We watched Julie & Julia, which I had never seen but have heard great things about. I really liked it!

One thing I absolutely love about movies “based on true stories” (even though you know Hollywood mostly butchers them) is that there is a real story out there to learn about! I almost always become interested enough to do a little internet research and find out what the real people were like or what the true story was. I only briefly looked up Julie and Julia and already found a link to the original blog that started the whole thing. (I was going to post it but…)She’s….different than the movie. I would not recommend reading the blog before watching the movie! As a matter of fact, just don’t read the blog at all…

And not only did we watch a girly movie and snack on yummy food (well, I looked at the food and wished I was hungry, anyway….) but we all pulled out various crafty projects we are working on! I decided to bring one of 437 of my current projects, one that I hope to finish soon: a sweater for my newest nephew:)

Now if only I can finish before he turns 5……..

Goooood Morning…

Around 5:45 this morning, I was woken up by a strange moaning, half-crying sound. I rushed into the boys’ room to find Samuel sleeping peacefully and Zakkai thrashing around on his bed. He was not fully awake but started telling me his tummy hurt. He sounded congested and felt like he had a low-grade fever.

I got him some water and some tylenol, thinking he had woken up with the same cold that I did. I went back to bed after tucking him in and just as I tried to drift off to sleep, I heard him moaning and talking again. I let it go for a little while but then he started crying and I decided to take him out to the living room to rest with me since we were both feeling miserable.

I had just carried him out and gotten a nice couch bed set up for us when he sank to the ground crying and then started coughing. Fearing and knowing he was about to throw-up, I raced madly into the kitchen for a bowl! I was too late… Poor buddy was so pale but started talking immediately after finishing getting sick. And didn’t stop for the rest of the day.

Even though he started out the morning so roughly, he actually did really well today, just a runny nose. I, on the other hand, have a classic case of the cold: runny nose, slightly sneezy, aching head and face. So fun. Z and I spent a low key day at home today trying to nurse ourselves back to health:) Boy those 2 naps were nice!

Since there were no great photo ops today, I thought I’d post a pic of my chunky monkey just over 3 years ago. Hard to believe he’s so big now and has such blond hair!!

Samuel tried to claim sickness to stay home from school today (a new ploy) because he was nervous about today’s Pajama Day! He has been so excited for a week now and has been deciding on a different pair of pj’s everyday…until today! He completely refused to wear any pajamas and dressed himself in regular clothes. But, being the all-knowing mummy that I am, I figured that he might change his mind when he saw all of his friends (esp Michael:) wearing jammies! Sure enough, he came home in his snuggly dinosaur pajamas:) They all brought their favorite blankets in and built forts, read books under them and ate popcorn.

Almost makes me wish I was in preschool again! Oh wait…I never went…..

Field Trip

This morning Samuel and I took off super early for school for a field trip! Samuel always looks forward to the field trips that I tag along on:) We went here! We have never been to this museum before. It was a pretty long bus ride which made me thankful that I don’t have to ride buses anymore!

I was in charge of 4 rambunctious preschoolers, including my eldest. One of the boys in my group, Michael, is Samuel’s beloved friend whom he talks about all the time! (i.e. He wants us to name the baby “Michael” if it’s a boy!) He is a very ornery busy boy but very cute. It’s “But Michael said this” and “Michael brought this” and “Michael did this” all the time. He even wanted me to call Michael’s mommy a few weeks ago just to find out if Michael was bringing a certain toy car to school. Peer pressure begins. But I digress.

The museum was a lot of fun and definitely one that I would recommend for those living in/around Chicago! There was a Dominick’s grocery store for the kids to shop in, a pet vet, water works, even a Potbelly! They have pics of all of these on their website. Too cute.

It was SO exhausting keeping up with all of the kiddos. Counting 4 heads at each station, making sure they were listening, potty breaks, lunchtime…..At least 7 of the preschoolers fell asleep on the way back and I almost joined them:) Thankfully they all had seatbelts because one poor little slumbering boy almost fell off his seat!!

Even Samuel, who doesn’t nap anymore, almost fell asleep as I drove back to our house. And I may or may not have snuck in a nap while letting the boys watch “Curious George.” But I’m not admitting to anything!

Meanwhile, Daddy and Zakkai went on some “missions” today. Ben was trying to get Z to be excited about staying home with him and missing out on the field trip so he told him they had some “missions.” Before he could even explain, Zakkai said, “Bbbbbut but daddy, your missions hurt my ears!” What a character!

They got to do laundry (woohoo!) and take a busride down to campus for Ben to pick up a few things. They had some very interesting conversations about dinosaurs, puppies and fires, of which I may have to share soon. We have a child with a giant imagination!

Off to get some rest after a busy day!

Big Decisions

Remember that discouraging day I briefly mentioned on Friday? Well, I am ready to talk about it:) We have been wrestling with and praying about making some very big changes in our household for this next year. There are so many factors going into these decisions but the biggest one is school.

We applied to several schools near us, hoping that we could not have to drive so far next year, especially considering Z would be in school, too, and on a different schedule AND poor Thomas baby #3 would never get a good nap at home! We really love Samuel’s school so much. It has been a huge blessing to us and we know that he automatically has a spot in kindergarten next year and Z got into preschool there.

We just heard back from the last of the neighborhood schools today and Samuel is so high on the waiting lists, he didn’t even stand a chance:( There was one school where he was #15 on the list but we didn’t know anything about it. When Ben talked to the vice principal this morning, they told us we had to decide today if we wanted the spot! We immediately started researching the school and weighing our options and finally decided to turn down the spot, based on a few factors.

Soooo…what does that mean? We are going to be moving out of HP. It has been tough for us to make this decision after having lived here for almost 5 years but we feel this is what is best. (And we have done a whole lot of praying and talking about this!) It’s not like we are moving super far away…only 25 min but it will be a big change!

A lot of things in our life will be changing in the fall and it’s scary and exciting all at the same time. Change is never easy! We are trusting and hoping that God will be taking care of us and provide just what we need! We have been apartment hunting, just to see what was out there, and so far have seen very disgusting apartments (with dirty underwear on the floors and stained paint), very small apartments (as in, should Ben and I be sleeping on bunk beds?!) and have had a very bad experience with an irresponsible, rude real estate agent (that would be our discouraging day on Friday!). But we know there is something out there for us!

Next on the list after finding an apartment…..a car that can fit many Thomases. Hmmm….

Patience is a Virtue

These cute little urchins….

But particularly this one…

are driving me batty! I love them to smithereens and wouldn’t trade one second with them for anything in the world (even a Honda Odyssey 2010; haha!) but….there have been plenty of days lately that they have tested my limits! Especially that adorable 3 year old of ours.

I am pretty sure he skipped the terrible 2’s and went straight for the trying 3’s. He loves to test his limits and assert his independence and a whole lot of other things! He tells us “NO!” regularly and throws in a few other words, too.

For example: (and some of you have already heard this!)

I asked Z to do something the other day and he immediately yelled, “NO!” So, I told him he would be getting a time out for talking to me like that….to which he responded, “Poo!”

I stuck him in the room with Ben so I could get things done while he was serving his time. Ben reported that he looked around the room as he was thinking of the worst possible thing he could say to show us how mad he was. He came up with something brilliant.

“Dirtiness!” he declared with defiance! Right.

And his words aren’t the only thing he has been doing. Resisting finalizing his potty training, instead preferring to continue playing and peeing on the floor, starting to lie and blame many things on Samuel, taking toys….he has also developed genuine fears of ghosts, monsters and the dark and refuses to go into his room unless the light is on. Refusing to walk with anyone but me outside and throwing spectacular tantrums about it…

I love this child of mine. I adore him. I cherish him. But I really am about to send him to boot camp!

But it’s hard to be mad long. In fact, sometimes he’s very funny when he’s defiant and it’s hard for B and I not to show him our smiles. And your heart melts in his softer moments where he hugs you, kisses you or just wants to be near you. But especially when I look at his deceptively angelic face when he is slumbering peacefully.

And I tell myself, tomorrow is a new day.

Samuel’s Artwork

After a very long and disappointing day (long story), we at least had a good ending. Samuel’s school put on and “Enchanting Evening of Art” show today. The preschool gallery had auctions for their works of art to raise money for more art supplies. If you wanted to “bid” on or buy a special work of art (namely..your child’s masterpiece!!), you put any amount of money (a quarter to a few dollars or whatever you had!) in plain envelopes and gave them to the teachers. In return, you received a post-it note with the words “Sold” and then your child’s name on it to put on the art.

Samuel was SO excited all day to go, asking from 11:00am on if it was time and it didn’t start til 3:30pm:) Here are Samuel’s masterpieces!

The class did a unit on Eric Carle these past couple of months and each child made one of the characters in his books.

Samuel chose the Tree Frog and cut it all out and painted the pieces;) He was very excited to show us this one!

We bought it:)

He told us this was his favorite painting of the 3 that he did. This is “Lightening McQueen” from the Cars movie~his very favorite movie!

This was Samuel’s painting of Kevin, who is a crane from Thomas and Friends. This one was my favorite! He wanted to take it home today:)

I was so happy to have remembered my camera today and finally got pics of Samuel with his teachers! This is Mrs Torres, one of the sweetest people ever! She is so gentle with the children. As you can see, Zakkai loves her, too:)

This is Mrs Darby. She is incredibly gifted as a teacher and won a big award last year! Samuel was being very shy and didn’t want to get a picture so she tricked him by telling him a secret to get him to come over. He still won’t tell me what she said….

I am so thankful that he has had such a great first year of school! We couldn’t have been more blessed with better teachers and a better fit for him. Thank you, Lord!

Samuel the Teacher

Today we went to Samuel’s student-parent conference at school. We were all really looking forward to it! (except for the meltdown situation we had 20 min before we left….) About 3 students and families came at a time, every 30 min. The first thing the teachers did was to tell Samuel to get his binder and his agenda:)

He had a sheet with all of the activities he was going to “teach” us circled. He started with a syllable game where you clap a persons name and sing a special song and tell how many syllables it has. Ex. Samuel (clapping twice)
Samuel (clapping twice)
How many sounds in Samuel’s name?

He started out really shy, barely above a whisper but gradually gained confidence as he went through the names of his classmates:) Then he took us to “patterns” where he taught us how to build little block towers in color patterns. He was very serious as he showed us what to do!

Probably everyone’s favorite activity was the ice melting. We each got a few ice cubes in a zipblock bag. We had to “measure” them with little blocks to see if they were big or small. Then we rubbed the bags to make our ice melt from solids to liquids. Zakkai had a great time!:)

Then Samuel had us make cards at the writing table. It was fun to watch him draw. He has started adding hair to his people. Boys’ hair sticks straight up in lines and my hair, according to him, is “curly” because it curls around my whole head:)

We ended with snack time in which he very seriously laid out a small paper towel for each of us. Gave us a scoop of goldfish and then filled up little paper cups with water! Seriously, it sounds kind of silly to someone else but it was SO cute! He is getting so big. One of his teachers told us she is so confident that he is ready for kindergarten and will do great!

There was a little video for us to watch in the hallway. They set up a laptop and you could click on “Morning Friends” or “Afternoon Friends” to see little videos they had taken. Samuel was in one called “Samuel’s Surveys.” He decided last week one day to take a survey and ask people if their puppy was sick. He was holding a piece of paper and a marker and he asked different classmates, with some guidance from his teacher, is their puppy was sick. The kids were so cute:) The final tally was 3 puppies were sick. Mrs Darby, his teacher, asked him, “So what are you going to do about that?” He shrugged, looking very shy, and said, “I don’t know.” You could tell she was smiling when she said, “Oh, okay, you just wanted to know if people had sick puppies?”

Samuel walked away proudly today, knowing that his mommy and daddy are SO proud of him and love to see how hard he works! I only wish I would’ve remembered to bring my camera…..