Friday, February 18, 2011

Be Humbly Grateful or Grumbly Hateful

I read that on a church sign today on my way to Michael's craft store. You know how sometimes there are those signs outside that say when the service will be, but then there's also a clever little saying, like one of my all time faves...

Anyhow, speaking of being grateful, I was VERY grateful for a VERY sunny, but VERY cold day today. It meant the boys and I could join Erica, Jack, and Rya for a trip up to Eagle Mountain playground. It was windy and biting cold, but they didn't mind. Well, the boys didn't mind. Rya, felt much like Erica and I did. Too cold!

We moved our playdate indoors for a nice little lunch for the kids at Erica's and a little chat for us moms. When it was time to get Dexter home for nap, AJ stayed a little longer for some special playtime with Jack.

Dexter and Rya had a great time playing Hungry Hungry Hippos. That game may be loud, but it is a game that the little kids can play all by themselves. They had a blast. It was really great to see Dex playing with Rya instead of following the big boys around or chasing them and screaming. I'm grateful that Dexter is at an age where he plays with his little friends, not just beside them if you know what I mean. I think it's time to start inviting friends over for Dex now when AJ has a friend over. I'll have to try this out soon.

Thanks for that nice playdate, Auntie Erica.

Speaking of Dexter, I think he's trying to cut back his nap more. I know he's not ready to get rid of it, but this week he seems unable to get to sleep for his nap at 1pm. Even 1:30pm has been difficult for him. On the plus side, he's been sleeping later in the morning until 7:30am. That's been a treat.

It's been about two or three weeks that he's had this cold. For about the first two weeks of the cold, I found him waking more and between that and AJ coming in my room to ask if he can sleep with us (he's scared of shadows in his room), I was getting up out of bed like 5-6 times a night. It was ridiculous and it's not something I'm used to. I was going to have to solve this problem. For AJ I reinstated the 'special' ticket from his chore chart. It's pretty simple.... stay in your bed all night (except for emergencies or going pee) = special ticket in the morning that can be traded in for special activities just like his chore tickets. Did that for two nights and the problem was solved. Now, it was time to solve Dexter's problem. Interestingly enough, it was my mom who gave me the idea that was initially mine in the first place.

When she took the boys overnight on Friday night (thanks for that, Mom!), she told me the next day that Dexter's sleep went really well that night. She said that he did wake once and call out, but that she 'followed' my advice from previous sleepovers, waited 45 seconds, and sure enough, he'd gone back to sleep.

The question was, 'why had I forgotten my own rule'. Why had I been leaping out of bed lately at the smallest of sounds? I remembered. There was a time about 2 months ago or more that Dexter had been getting out of his bed in the middle of the night or early morning and coming into my room. To nip that in the bud, I started leaping out of my bed as soon as he'd make a sound, so I could prevent him from waking enough to leave his room.

So, that night, I started my new (actually old) plan of attack ===== Wait 45 seconds to see if he goes back to sleep.

Obviously, problem solved. I haven't had to get out of bed in the middle of the night for this whole week. It makes for a much happier mommy. You throw in a couple of mornings of getting to sleep in past 7:00am courtesy of Daddy, and I'm VERY grateful!

The rest of the day went very nicely. After Dexter woke from his very late nap, I picked up AJ from Erica's house, and we headed to Michael's so I could use my very rare 50% off coupon to pick up the piping tips I'll need for the cupcakes for AJ's upcoming birthday party. I'm pretty excited about that.

I'm thinking about making and icing a cake for my mom's birthday too. I've got a pretty fun idea for a cake, and it would give me a chance to practice with my new tips too.

I picked up the piping tips, and then took the boys to McDonalds so they could play in the giant playplace that they absolutely love, eat some fries (Dexter's favourite) whilst I enjoyed reading a book while sipping on some very delicious hot chocolate.

I'm very grateful for hot chocolate. It surely doesn't fit into any healthy lifestyle of which I should be participating, but man did it make my book-reading even more enjoyable than normal.

Having a very late afternoon snack of small fries meant the boys' dinner could be pushed a little later than normal, so we didn't leave McDonald's until about 5:30pm. I let Richard know that if he was feeling well enough, he could start cooking the ground beef for the tacos (or rather, reheating it and adding the seasoning).

We got home, the boys enjoyed some watered down juice while I got the rest of the dinner ready and the table set and we ate tacos for dinner. Richard was feeling too ill to get up off the couch at that point (more on Richard near the end of this). He joined us near the end of dinner. AJ ate THREE tacos! He out-ate Richard! Richard ate one, if that. Poor guy.

Jammies. Milk. Bedtime stories. Earned 'extra minutes' before bed playing Leapster. Then, it was time for bed and somehow, those darned boys talked me into letting them have a few extra minutes with their Leapsters up in Dexter's bed followed by a sleepover.

I'm a little bummed that it meant no "Secret World of Og" tonight. AJ has been absolutely LOVING that book (I do too. It's probably about my 8th time reading it in my life). We read about two to three pages a night. The kids have just gone down the stairway into the secret world and are presently wading their way down the river and up onto the riverbank. Peter has found his old sailboat that he thought had been lost and 'someone' has broken it. Very exciting.

Valentine's Day Weekend

The Thursday before the weekend, was Valentine's Day in AJ and Dexter's preschool class. Dexter is just LOVING preschool and the boys are doing a good job of not hanging out together too much in class. I really encouraged AJ to let Dexter be Dexter instead of "AJ's little brother" and he seems to get that.

It was followed, yet again, by a playdate for AJ. He and his friend, Josh, seem inseparable these days. He and Josh either play at Josh's house or our house twice a week on average.

So, as I said, last Friday, my mom took AJ and Dexter overnight. A big thanks to Kim and Jared who came to my place to pick the boys up and take them back out to mom's. The boys haven't had a sleepover at Gram's house in a really long time, like well over a month or month and a half, so they were over-the-moon-excited about heading over there. Thanks so much, Mom!

The idea was that Richard and I were supposed to use that night for Valentine's Day (which we don't really, truly 'celebrate' per se, but still, not going to complain, right?) We were going to head out for dinner and a movie (No Strings Attached), but Richard has REALLY been feeling horribly and it still trying to shake that cold. He was willing to try dinner and movie, but you could tell it was going to be really hard for him, not to mention his messed up taste buds would make the dinner out unenjoyable.

Instead, we picked up a rotisserie chicken and a baguette from the grocery store and some Ms.Vicky's chips and had a 'night in'. As soon as I got in my comfy jammies, I knew we'd made the right decision. We've been finishing up watching the last episodes of "An Idiot Abroad" and were now moving onto "The Ricky Gervais Show" podcast that has had us in stitches lately. We listened to/watched more of those. We may have watched a missed episode of SNL too. I can't remember. It was nice. I'm very grateful for that delicious and relaxing evening with the promise of really sleeping in! (We slept in until 9:30am!!! Whoa!) Actually, we laid in bed until then. I think we'd been awake for some time. Habit, you know.

Saturday, Mom, Ken, Kim, and Jared headed out here with boys for around 6pm or so for Butter Chicken (a joint effort of both Richard and I, but I would mostly say him). Delicious, as always. This was followed by a hilarious night of Rockband on the Wii. You've probably already seen the video on Facebook of my mom "Dropping it Like it's Hot" rapping to some great Snoop-Dogg.

If you missed the video, I'm so sorry. I can't seem to figure out how to get my videos to work on Blogger. But here's a picture.

Unfortunately, from the picture, you cannot see the tears that are streaming down my face (and probably Kim's too). I spent the first 45 seconds or so of the song laughing so hard I couldn't play. It was awesome. I'm VERY grateful for Rockband. I just love the drums. So fun.

Tuesday Nights

I haven't talked much, if at all about swimming lessons that have been going on these past few Tuesday nights. Dexter is in Sea Turtle with Emerson and Jaxon. Jen was going to put Makenna in privates and you can add another kid to the private lesson (for only $3.10/lesson) as long as the kids aren't more than 3 levels apart. This made it very affordable, as Jen and I just split the cost! So, Makenna and AJ are doing privates together.

It's been going REALLY well. We got the really great teacher who doesn't feel sorry for AJ and basically just tells him to 'suck it up' but without being mean. He still enjoys going to swimming lessons, but she's tough. She works magic.

Three VERY exciting things happened over the past two lessons:
1. Dexter can touch the bottom of the shallow end of the big pool now, so he doesn't need to stand on the little dock anymore.
2. AJ stopped being afraid to put his full head in the water!
3. AJ started swimming. Actually swimming. Front swim/glide, whatever you want to call it.
(Makenna's already been doing this for a long time and is a real fish in the water. AJ's more like I was.... very apprehensive). That teacher has AJ swimming about 3-5 seconds at a time, then coming up to breathe. I sure hope that Richard's feeling well enough next week to come watch the lessons. He's come to one or two, but he hasn't seen AJ doing real swimming!

This Past Thursday Night

AJ drew a beautiful picture on his ice-skating evening. That's a rocket up in the top right that's blasting off. Speaking of rockets, I discovered today on the way to Eagle Mountain that AJ can count backwards from 20 to 1. He was counting down a pretend rocket ship from 5. I asked him to try it from 10, and he did. Then 20 and he did! That was exciting.. for me, anyhow, being his mom and all. It'll probably be exciting for the Grandma's reading this too.

Skating lessons were VERY exciting this past week too.
After a very stern talk before lessons this week wherein I informed Dexter that he is to stop 'screwing around' when the teacher tries to help him stand up, he decided he would take my advice! Normally, when he falls, there is one teacher who helps him get up and doesn't let him be a goof. She gets serious and tells him, "Dexter, you need to stand up." The other teacher is all nicey-nicey with a high pitched voice and Dexter pretends that his legs are made of jell-o and that he can't stand. Eventually, the teacher gives up and leaves him laying and smiling on the ground. ARG.

Thursday, like I said, I gave him 'the talk' and I told him that when the teacher says to stand up, he needs to stand up right away without being goofy or sassy.

Well guess what? He didn't just do that... he decided that that would be the day he actually figured out how to get up off the ice by himself. It was a great day!

I'm grateful for Dexter finding his 'big muscles' and getting up off the ice all on his own. I'm seriously in disbelief about how far he's come in these 5 or so skating lessons. He's by no means some prodigy out there on the ice. There are kids in his class that are the same age (I think) that can skate way better than him. But, what's been so exciting is that he only skated one time (on double blades) before starting his lessons this winter (and then had to switch to single blades for his lessons) and he can now get up off the ice himself, and skate. He can even turn (taking steps). They got to play with the hockey sticks this week! He was VERY excited about that.

In the picture above, he is skating (more like walking) backwards!

Oh, my crappy phone pictures. The top left is AJ skating backwards for his lessons. He's doing great. Not much to report. He loves skating. He's having lots of fun. AND.. one of his preschool friends, Armaan, is in his class.
I'm hoping that Richard will be feeling well enough this coming Thursday to be able to come watch the boys skate. He's never been to one of their lessons. If he can come, I'll be sure to bring the real camera so he can take some better picture.

Some Time Last Week, I Think

Not much to say. Took the boys out with their bikes on the path. We hadn't ridden bikes in this cold weather for some time. It seems as though all the bikes need air in their tires. I'm hoping Dexter's legs are long enough to try out the balance bike this week. I think he'll really like that.

And finally, we had some dry enough weather to go to the skatepark. The boys have been begging and begging. YAY!
I was silly, and tried to read. I don't know what I was thinking. You can't read when your sons are yelling, "Mom, watch this! Mom, watch this trick! Mom, get a picture of this!"


It's been tough these past two weeks to answer people when they say, "How's Richard doing?". It's especially hard when you can tell by the twinkly in their eye that they assume that because more time has passed, he must be better. (I'm in NO WAY saying that people should not ask me how he's doing! I'm always happy to talk about Richard and let people know how he is).

What I want to say is, "Oh, he's horrible." And, I'd be telling the truth. But, that scares people. They don't realize that Richard feeling horrible is completely normal right now. Tack a cold onto that, and you've got one tired, groggy, bummed, sick, worn out, Richard.

There's good news mixed in there though...
He had his meeting with the oncologist after a VERY long and drawn out day on Monday, I think it was. Maybe Tuesday, actually.

The oncologist said that most of the horribleness that Richard's feeling seems to be side effects of the drugs. Remember how I said the Prednisone (the immuno-suppressant that makes his face puffy), makes his leg muscles really weak and deteriorate for lack of a better word? Well, each week, as his Prednisone dosage gets cut back, he will continue to feel worse. He won't start to feel better until the Prednisone is cut out completely.

That day is this coming Monday! Richard's already down to half a pill each time right now. 2.5 mg or something like that. Oh wait, no... Richard decided to be his own doctor and stop taking his Prednisone this morning. lol (not funny, but it is, especially if you know Richard well).

In his words, "Everything hurts today." He has spent the greater part of today (and most days these past two weeks) laying, napping, and sleeping.

He does his darndest to be useful in any and all ways that he can. Like, he can't do a full grocery shopping trip, but he pushes himself to pick up some bits here and there whenever he's feeling up to it.

Yesterday morning, he fixed the clogged drain in the bathroom. I was just going to put some Draino in the sink, but he wanted to take the pipe apart. "Go to town, Babe".

He's got lots of hair growing in. He has eyelashes, eyebrows, and a goatee. His head hair doesn't seem so patchy now. I'm hoping he's going to try growing it to regular length now. We'll see.

Am I Humbly Grateful or Grumbly Hateful?

I'm feeling Humbly Grateful today. Good husband. Good kids. Good friends. Good family. It's all good. I have a house. I have a yard for the kids to play. I have a job. Richard's alive. It's all good.

I've been thinking about painting a sign for my front entrance with this quote:

Our house is clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy. ~Author Unknown

It really sums up how I feel about housework and family.

***as usual, I'm am not going to read this over to edit it, sorry.


Last but not least, a big congrats to my little brother, Paul, my little Pollywog for getting "B Honours" on his report card. He graduates this year!

Isn't he so cute? And, he's like over 6' tall now. Little Baby-Paul. How can this be? How can you be old enough to be graduating?

You know what the scary thing is? That means that next in line to graduate is AJ!!!



ErIca said...

Thanks for all the updates (eventhough I know most of them). I like th enew blog look, too!
That WAS a beautiful picture AJ drew- I want a print!!
Last year at this time we took the kids to White Rock beach- remember? I think we should do that again.

AJ and Dexter's Mom said...


The beach would be awesome. I keep telling the boys I want to take them to dig and look for shells, but I keep forgetting!

Anonymous said...

Great to hear from you. Grannie wants a print of A.J.'s super drawing as well.I miss you all. Thx again for being YOU!!!!Love to everyone at your home. Grannie