Saturday, November 29, 2008

Moving right along

What do you do with all those leftover boxes? If you're a 9-year old boy this is what you do...

Maicol has been saving boxes since the summer so that he and Juan Pablo could pretend to be robots and fight. Not sure where he came up with the idea, but they had a great time and they still have enough to repeat the activity again.

Guess it's not really fair to complain about other people not updating their blog if you don't update your own. :) I'm full of excuses, but none of them really very good, so here goes.

Juan Pablo is now 7 years old. We went to the fabulous Chuck E Cheese's to celebrate. We unfortunately chose a cold Saturday, so it was packed. We let them use their tokens, trade their tickets in for fabulous prizes and went to Burger King for kids meals and to open presents. The cake had to wait until the next day. As was the tradition in my family every child gets a chance to blow out the candles after the birthday child has done it. Makes for alot of relighting of candles, but then everyone gets to have a little fun even if it's not their special day. We did a very low-key small celebration and it seemed to work out pretty well. Certainly better than last year. Minimal misbehavior!

We have been seeing an improvement in Maicol and his behavior, particularly toward me. Not perfect, but certainly better - fewer highs and lows, less outbursts of anger, less complaining about what I do or don't do, etc. Juan still likes to tell me "no" about whatever it is I have asked him to do. I think he has developed a habit of immediately saying it and now I'm trying to get him to think before he speaks. Not an easy task! He threw a fit outside tonight that I know anyone within a mile could hear! When he thought I was talking to Dan on the phone he immediatly got quiet, so I know that he can stop it if he wants to. After he calmed down I told him what the consequence would be for doing that again. So, we'll see if he wants to test me or not (it's not really a matter of if, but when). He made it about 2 hours before he went to bed without getting into trouble, but I don't imagine it will take him long tomorrow to try me.

I have finally converted Andrew and Juan into pancake and waffle lovers. When we first got home we tried pancakes and they all disliked them. I tried waffles with the same results. Finally about a week ago I really wanted pancakes so I decided to make them whether anyone else wanted them or not. Imagine my surprise when both Juan and Andrew declared how much they love panckes. They have been asking for them almost everyday. Maicol is still holding out.

Life just continues to move along. School is going ok. There is the usual complaining about having to do it, but it still must be done and so while the complaining doesn't result in less work assigned (quite the opposite sometimes), they still continue to do it. I have started requiring it to be done within a certain time if they want playtime with Mom and that has helped some.

We're off to Ohio to celebrate Thanksgiving next weekend. I had to work this weekend and since my family celebrates Christmas together in January, in a way it makes sense to celebrate Thanksgiving in December. :) Really looking forward to getting away and seeing everyone.

Here are a few pictures for you to enjoy!


Juan Pablo


Riding the horse at Chuck E Cheese's.

Playing a firefighter game together at Chuck E Cheese's

(with Jonathan watching in the background).

Lots of tickets to trade for fabulous prizes

Checking out the birthday loot.

Blowing out the birthdday candles together.

Juan Pablo - the birthday boy.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Nearly Perfect Day

What a great day! The weather was fantastic, school was done before noon, no major tantrums or complaining and I had dinner made by 6:30pm. So today - Maicol finished painting the cat house, we jumped on the trampoline, wrestled on the trampoline, built a fire to burn up an old wooden garage door, played hide and seek, went to the lake to throw rocks and sticks, Andrew and Juan played in the bathtub, Dan read bedtime books, I rocked everyone and I think they are all asleep! Why can't they all be like this? I guess we wouldn't appreciate the good days if we didn't have some not so good ones.

The anticipation for Halloween night was almost more than any of us could stand! Next year I am going to have to lie to them or something and say it's later because the days and hours leading up to going trick or treating were just crazy. They could hardly stand to wait and I could hardly stand them! They were so excited. Jonathan and Kristen came and took them out and evidently it went very well. I guess Andrew's system was to stand at the door and wait until he got at least 2 pieces of candy before he would say thank you and move on. That explains why he seemed to have more candy than the other two. Maicol was so excited he was running from house to house. Juan Pablo wants to sleep in his costume.

We have been trying to get outside as much as possible since I know this great weather can't last. I really dread those days when they can't get out and jump on the trampoline, run and ride bikes to wear themselves out. We've also been working on projects outside - insulating under the house, raking leaves, planting grass, and building the cat house. We're still having hot dogs roasted over the fire at least once a week. Unfortunately, winter will put a halt to that.

Maicol still has his difficult days, but most days it seems his unhappiness with me is less. He so obviously desperately wants, loves and needs me, but is so afraid to just relax and let me be his mom and take care of him. We go through days were everything is fine and then the next day nothing I do is right according to him. I think it's the up and down of one day to the next that makes me crazy. Juan doesn't like doing schoolwork (and asks me every night if there will be school the next day), but really does well once he gets going. He's trying to learn the "2-vowel rule" in reading. It's going pretty well - he can identify the two vowels in a word and knows that the first one says it's name and the second is silent. Those short vowel sounds are so ingrained in his brain it's hard for him to remember to not use them when he shouldn't. Andrew has evidently learned to count to 8 by listening to Juan Pablo. He's not sure about associating numbers and objects, but he can count. He also has started teasing his brothers by calling them "baby" and "stinky underwears". He is so much fun and so much work! He's always up to something and most of the time, it's not something good.

That's it for now. Hope you enjoy the update.


Juan Pablo - his face describes our day - good all the way around!
Juan Pablo - the Power Ranger

Maicol - Batman

Andrew - the white Power Ranger - looking cute and getting lots of candy!

Andrew, Juan Pablo, Maicol

Maicol, Juan Pablo, Andrew

Painting the cat house. They wanted to help paint the house, but we thought that wasn't a good idea. :) I guess we decided the cats don't need quite the level of workmanship that the rest of the house deserves, so we let them paint it. They think they're master painters now.

And last but not least, a picture to make the Grandma's nervous!