August 28, 2010

How long was I asleep?

I spent the morning at a 3 hour coaches meeting in a gymnasium that was under construction. And when I say "under construction" I literally mean, the workers were hammering, drilling, banging, clanging behind our heads....all while we tried to learn how to coach 5 year olds.

For the first two hours, I actually felt at peace. It felt like home. During the third hour, I thought I might put somebody in a time out.

When I came home, it actually seemed kind of quiet. Was it possible that I could squeeze in a nap?

Step One: Put Jack down for a nap.
Step Two: Tell Nathan to draw or read quietly.
Step Three: Close my eyes, and pretend I'm sleeping.

Usually the three simple steps work well.

After my 10-15 minute fake nap, this is what I woke too.

Do you think it's a death trap?

August 26, 2010

Home Visit

So I get this call the other night around 9PM.

"Hello, is this Lori Willbanks?"

"Yes, it is."

"This is Linda, Nathan's new teacher for next year!"

"Oh hi" (Kind of caught off guard, since it was 106 in the house, and the boys were trying to sleep in my bed.)

"I want to schedule my home visit for this week."

Did she just say home visit??? Before I could think what to say, my mind started racing. Who is this again? A home visit? Why would a teacher come and do a home visit? Is this Child Protective Services? Oh crap, I should probably get my carpets cleaned.

"Oh ok. Is that typically what happens, before school?"

"Yes, I like to come and meet each child in their environment, get to know them, ask them what their favorite things are, and stay for about 20 minutes."

After I realized she was legit, I was able to communicate a little more naturally.

"Great, I think Nathan will love that!" What a nice thing to do so that the kids feel comfortable on their first day."

She asked what day would work, so I chose Friday for two very specific reasons.
1. The cleaning guys come in the morning.- Just enough time to get the floors apple juice free.
2. I could have my carpets cleaned and maybe get the red gatorade stain off the stairs, and so the house will smell a little orangy from the best carpet cleaner ever!

When I told Doug the story, he said, "Oh are you putting on heirs for the teacher!"

My reply, "Absolutely! It's the first impression a teacher will see of Nate's environment, and I want it to be the best it can be. He might not know his ABC's, but at least his mom is cleaning their house. (Or in this case, outsourcing!)

So more to come on the home visit! Pray that there are no meltdowns, and that Jack doesn't throw a shoe at her head!

August 22, 2010

Code 5

Mommy come look! Those are words that can either make you proud, or horrify you. In today's example, it's the later.

At 7:45AM it's never positive to learn your 2 year old has decided it's time to change his own diapers.
I left Jack for what I thought was only 3 minutes. It's very possible it might have been closer to 5 or 7.

He was at the top of the stairs saying, "Look at this, look at this!" Upon closer inspection I realized it was a dirty wipe. Jack took it upon himself to take off his pants, as well as his diaper, find the wipes and clean himself.

I use the word clean, very loosely. He escorted me into the bathroom, to take me on a tour of this mystery. Stop one, the toilet.

He did have enough common sense though to dispose of the dirty wipes in the toilet. The big question outstanding.....where was THE diaper????

That was my question for Jack. "Show me where it is Jack!" My heart was starting to race as he guided me into his room. I felt like I was going to find a dead body on the other end. The suspense was killing me.

To my delight I found the diaper pretty much intact, only one tab had been loosened. The rest of the diaper was sitting in a perfect spot right next to his pajama pants. It was like he jumped out of both. I really couldn't have been luckier. I had visions of his pretty yellow walls, ....well let's just say, not so pretty anymore.

I won't gross you out with the rest of the details. All I will mention though was that it was a code five. Doug started a code system when Nate was born in order to describe the varying degrees of the diaper challenges.

Code 1 - Simple pee-pee diaper
Code 2 - Nothing major just a little poop - Rookies can handle this.
Code 3 - Poop is on their clothes - Need to change baby carefully.
Code 4 - Poop - Gets on your clothes - (Very bad if you're not home.)
Code 5 - Poop - Gets on your skin while changing baby.*

*By the way, Doug thinks Code 5 is the worst. I believe Code 4 should top the list. Just think about it, if there is the slightest possibility that you might not be at home and you have to walk around with poop on your clothes for any length of time, this is horrific.

To make a long story short. It was a code 5, but I luckily had wipes handy. So I cleaned up pretty quickly. 

We will NOW be potty training in a few weeks when we have four straight days at home. I'm sure I'll have more to write on the topic in September, but for now, I may have to invest in overalls...or more wipes.

If you have any tips on potty training your 2 year old, I'm all ears!

August 20, 2010

Interview with a 5 Year Old

I'm proud to bring you an exclusive interview with the new 5 year old in our house.

Nathan let's talk about some of your favorite things now that you are five.

What's your favorite food?

What's your favorite sport?

Because I can hit, and practice, and build strong muscles.

What is your favorite thing to do with Jack?
Climbing on him, and doing piggyback rides. He's so strong.

What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy?
Playing Star Wars and building legos

What is your favorite thing to do with Mommy?
I like playing games together.

What is your favorite place to visit?

Because of the Dolphins and Sharks.

Who is your best friend?
Aidan and Dylan

What do you like best about school?
Playing with my friends and eating lunch.

What do you like best about our family?
I like Jack because he's funny and we give each other kisses. I like playing with him.

What do you like best about being 5?
I like movie night with my family.

What do you want to be when you grow-up?
I want to be a policeman because they have guns and flashlights. I love flashlights!

What do you think Jack will be?
He'll be a little fireman, that will be cute. He will wear a costume, and drive a fire truck.

Well there you have it. You heard it here first. The entire truth straight from the 4ft source!

August 19, 2010

Bed Bugs

Entomologists are saying they haven't seen this many Bed Bugs since before World War II. The bugs have taken over a NYC movie theatre in Times Square, the NJ Goldman Sachs building, and most recently infested an upscale Apt. complex in Detroit.
After reading these alarming articles, I realized we might have our own bed bugs, so I did some research. This is what I found.

How can you tell if you have bed bugs?
Complaints of bites while sleeping - or waking up because you're uncomfortable...(hmmm no bites but definitely waking in the middle of the night around 4AM. I better read on.)

What should you do if you find beg bugs?
Be certain you have them. Compare pictures to confirm their identity.

What can you do to manage bed bugs?
Refer to the mgmt flow chart below.

Well, based on this chart, I've inspected our sleeping area. I did find two bugs. It tells me to compare them to the images of the traditional bug.

Traditional Bug

Bug One

Bug Two

They dont seem to match the traditional bug, so according to the chart it tells me not to treat. For now I'll follow the chart's flow for preventative measures, and reduce clutter and restrict access to our bed. Possibly a large rail or deer fence might work.

This will hopefully keep out Bug One and Bug Two from appearing in our bed each night. It's been a revolving door lately now that Bug One is no longer in his crib.

I am thankful that these bugs don't bite, and are pretty cute. (Well, they do occassionally bite each other.)

August 16, 2010

It Took a Village

We spent the past 3 days in Lake Tahoe for Doug's family reunion. It happens every five years in August. We missed the last one due to the delivery of our now 5 year old. Nate will forever be our calendar reminder!

I couldn't be more grateful for this past weekend. It was a relaxing, fun filled three days. I came home feeling refreshed, and even ready to tackle organizing our hall closet. (It must have been the fresh air.)

We stayed in a three bedroom condo in the Northstar Village ski resort. Both Doug and I fell in love with the Village and all the activities that we could do with the kids. We decided to make it an annual vacation every Summer, but extend our stay for the week. We still have a lot of activities to check off our "To-Do" list.

  1. Swim - Check
  2. Make Smore's at the Fire pit - Check
  3. Eat pizza while watching a Summer concert - Check
  4. Eat a churro (or 2-3) from the village vendor - Check
  5. Hike
  6. Mountain Bike (Maybe in 5-10 years)
  7. Take the Gondola to the Ritz for a spa treatment. (Well, that's on MY to-do list.)
  8. Roller skate in "Ice Rink" (On Nate's list)
  9. Watch a movie under the stars
  10. Rock Climb (Eternally on Jack's list.)

Doug's cousin Ginnie and her family stayed in the condo as well. Nate and Jack loved hanging out with Seve and baby Natalie. (Who by the way is a perfect baby.) Warning: Do not babysit her if you are thinking about having kids. She is not your typical baby. She NEVER once cried all weekend. You will feel lied to when your baby keeps you up at night with colic. You will spend time day dreaming about that baby you held who never made a peep. How do you order one of those???? Luckily for us, we already have two kids so we know the truth, and we know baby Natalie cannot trick us in to having a third! (In the words of Nathan....NICE TRY.)

One of the highlights of the weekend was the impromptu dance party in our living room. The boys were feeling the groove to the ever popular "Old McDonald Had a Farm". Then when the iPod broke, (or someone kicked it off the speaker) they held a think tank meeting to figure out the problem.

Some other notable events for the weekend:

  • Nate playing catch with Doug's Aunt Cookie. He thought it was hilarious to throw a fast ball in a casual game of catch. His laughter was contagious. Sorry Aunt Cookie. Maybe his training will pay off in the big leagues one day.

  •  A family BBQ at the beach, courtesy of Doug's Uncle Rick and his family. Nothing better than a traditional bbq on a beautiful beach!
  • A family photo of 50+ people, all in the same shirt! (Nate wore his two days in a row, because of the number 3 on his back.)
  •  Yummy dinners at the Galea's, and in the Village restaurant. My kids actually ate at both!
  • Putting the kids to bed and staying up with Ginnie and Saxon, and a bottle of wine!
 It took a Village to bring on calm, laughter, and well behaved children. Since all three were achieved you can see why we want to make this our annual Summer vacation home!

August 7, 2010

Rule #1 - Always wear a helmet

Yesterday, Nathan got a new scooter from Grandma and Grandpa Selikov for his 5th birthday day.
The first thing he wanted to do this morning was of course ride it. It was either do that, or play his new guitar.
Since our house has a no music ordinance before 7AM, the only option was to ride in the backyard.
Rule #1 in our home - you HAVE to wear a helmet when stepping on anything with wheels. Nate follows the rules pretty well, as we all know. Jack on the other hand is a different story.
When we gave Nate his new scooter, Jack got Nate's "old" one.
We tried to put a bike helmet on Jack, but the helmet was too small. I guess it's time to get the 14yrs and up size. (Pretty soon, he'll grow into that head.)
Since his helmet kept falling off, we needed a new solution...we improvised. 

The perfect solution for Jack - a baseball helmet.

If you're looking at the backyard thinking, my god it's messy. I would love to say it's not always like that, but it is. And actually Nate had just cleaned up the toys, so picture it with about 30 other pieces of plastic lying on the cement.

We are in desperate need of an acre!

August 5, 2010

Day 1....I think I want my 4 year old back

5 = Socially aware, with a new robust vocabulary! (Day 1....I think I want my 4 year old back.)
Nate and I played a round of 18 yesterday....miniature golf that is. I would post some pictures, but when I took the first photo, I got the miserable three memory card inserted.

I noticed the first change in my little boy in the parking lot of Golf-n-Stuff. I asked him to stand in front of the castle so I could take his picture. His reply, "Mom we can't stand in the middle of the street, people will think we are weirdos. Weirdos?  Since when did he get such a sense of his social surroundings? Let alone the word weirdo.

Lucky for him I didn't have the ability to pose him in front of each miniature golf prop. If he thinks standing in the parking lot would have been weird, he would have been humiliated in front of the mini Victorian mansion.

We had a great time playing golf, cheating (some more than others), eating junk food in the shady arcade snackshop, and watching a family of 5 hit some balls in the batting cages.

When we got home, the drama kicked in. His little 5 year old body couldn't handle a day's worth of celebration. I blame myself partly. I have been pumping up his birthday for a few days. I just feel like number 5 is so significant....a real milestone. I may have actually been a little more excited than him.

When Julie and the kids called to sing Happy Birthday he climbed into his bed, and pulled the covers over his head. When I prompted him to say thank you, his face turned bright red, and he let out a bloody murder scream. Hmmm...maybe we've hit our limit.

I cancelled our dinner plans, and decided to eat in. He continued to push the limit all night using his new bad word..."lame". He really doesn't quite know how to use it, but he throws it into sentences because he's been told not too. He was definitely pushing my buttons with sentences like, "He's lame, that's lame" etc.
There were a lot of tears, and time spent in his room. It's clear today that he was overtired, overstimulated, and over his birthday. It wasn't as clear yesterday when he was using the word "lame".

Luckily today, he woke up smiling, and ready to start his day. I love a fresh start! Now his brother is another story today! (Will blog later)

August 3, 2010

General Grievous

I realized today that I didn't have a gift for Nathan's birthday tomorrow. I've been so busy planning how we'll spend our Wednesday, that I've never purchased any gifts yet.

Since free time doesn't exist, I decided to head out during lunch for a little shopping.
I've been storing an e-list in my brain for the past 6 months on all the toys Nate wants for his birthday.

I walked into Toys R Us much like a kid in a candy store. Since I didn't have the boys with me I was able to grab a cart, and shop peacefully. My typical trip is spent saying, "Put it on your list!" and "Put that back, we're in a hurry!"

I casually walked past the Legos, down the sporting goods aisle, and past the 50 aisles of oversized noisy diggers. The funny part though was my inability to pull up my e-list. Here was my shining moment. What does Nate want for his birthday? I couldn't think of anything that would have been significant enough for a 5 year old's birthday.

Here is what ended up in my cart.

A digital camera (Even though I know he would be happier with an i-Phone)
A guitar
A Richard Scarry board game - Something about finding the hidden pictures. (He's really good at that.)
A baseball pitching net - He can go crazy all afternoon pitching to himself, and easily retrieving the balls.

The obviously missing, much anticipated toy was an overpriced Star Wars lego fighter. If we did not fulfill his one wish, the birthday would not be as successful. My next stop...the Lego store in Hillsdale mall. I had to choose between Anakin's fighter jet, and General Grievous's jet. (Apologies to the Star Wars freaks, since I know I'm completely butchering the aircraft names.)

I tried Doug's cell, he wasn't available. So the next best judge was some 20 year old standing in front of the display case.
I asked him, "Which one is cooler?"
He looked at me and said matter of factly, "Well General Grievous has 4 arms and each one has it's own light saber!"
ME: "Oh right.... that seems obvious. Thanks!"
(I should have put 2 and 2 together when I saw this guy flipping a coin to make his own decision. I'm not kidding.)

I walked away thinking, "Wow, what a freaky dude!" The best part though was when I called Doug to tell him what I purchased. His response, "Oh great, Nate will love that,  General Grievous has 4 arms!"

So..there you have's clearly in the male manual to know all things related to Star Wars. (It's easier for me to believe that than the alternative...I'm married to my own freaky dude.)

August 1, 2010

7th inning stretch

Two churros, three hotdogs, 2 ice cream cones, 1 bag of M&M's, and 1 pretzel later we made it through Jack's 1st MLB game.
Giants vs. the Dodgers....and it didn't disappoint. We were able to make it to the 7th inning stretch, with no major meltdowns, and even witnessed the only two runs. The final score 2-0 Giants.
I was a little worried during inning 1 when Jack announced, "I wanna go home". Luckily the ice cream man walked by, and Jack's short term memory kicked in. 
The highlight was when Doug went to buy food, and no more than 2 minutes later Nathan announced he had to a voice for half of section 131 to hear!  It was clear he wan't able to hold it much longer, so I packed up our belongings and dragged both boys to the ladies room. Up three flights of stairs, past the hotdog line, through the mass crowd of people, to the end of a VERY long line.  The bathroom God's were looking down on us. Some nice lady let us cut in line after she saw Nate holding himself. I am wishing this lady good Karma for every bathroom line she ever has to wait in. "May your lines be forever short and quick!"
We stayed to sing "Take-me-Out-to-the-Ballgame", and then beelined it for the exit. I'm sure the girl in front of us didn't shed any tears when she saw us leave. Jack dripped half his ice cream cone down her chair. Luckily I had a few wipes handy. I hate to think of the Karma she put on us.

All in the all, the night was a success. The boys left with smiles on their faces, sang a few camp songs on the way home, and are safely in bed.