Always Crazy, Always Fun, Always Love

Ray Romano once compared life with twins to living in a frat house. As he put it, "no one sleeps, there is a lot of noise and a lot of throwing up." I find this very true with 4 young children, including twins. However, though things are always crazy, we always try to have fun and, most certainly, always love each other.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Derby Time!

Last Thursday, Kenny got to participate in his first ever Pinewood Derby. He worked hard getting ready for it and had a great time! He and Aaron worked together to come up with the design and then they both cut it out together. Kenny did almost of all of the sanding and painting by himself! He had very definite ideas of how he wanted it done. When I would give an idea, he would say "no! I want it like this!" So, okay, it was his car he got to do it how he wanted! We were all really proud of the finished product.

Here is is sanding the car:

I never did get any pictures of him painting the car, but here is the finished product- he was ready to go!
When we got there, we had to add some weight to it to make it closer to 5 oz. It was way light. But, all the other cars had to either add or remove weight too, so it was no big deal. In the end, it was fair because all cars weighed right at about 5 oz. Here is the line up of all the cars that participated (Kenny's is the last on the left.)
Yes- the one in the middle really is designed as a number 2 pencil. I thought that was the most unique idea I had ever seen for a derby car!

Kenny's car did great! Each car got to race 4 times and Kenny won 3 out of the 4 races he was in! That awarded him 3rd Place!!!!! Go Kenny! Here is one of his winning races caught on video for your viewing pleasure. (sorry, the first 20 seconds is waiting for the race to start while trying to keep the girls away from the track....)

video

Here is Kenny receiving his award from his cub master, and then a picture with his favorite mom.

We were so proud of him getting third place in his first pinewood derby ever! We may have to work on sportsmanship a little bit since was a little upset he lost one of the races-we were just excited that he won any at all and getting third place was just a bonus! Congratulations, Kenny!!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

He was doomed....

It was simply inevitable. We knew it was. Aaron got his first pair of glasses when he was 13, I got my first pair when I was 9. So, we knew from the get go that, most likely, every one of our children would need glasses at some point. This is a little sooner than expected, but we knew it would happen.

Who am I speaking of? Jacob- my six year old in first grade. A few weeks ago at church, he asked me what hymn was next because he likes to get the next song ready. He has always read the board himself and so I was surprised this time when he said he couldn't read it. I asked if the numbers were blurry, and he said yes. So, I knew it was time.

Off we went last week to the eye doctor. Sure enough, he is near sighted. Not horribly so- his prescription is only 20/60- but enough that they doctor said he should be wearing glasses at least at school. We picked them up yesterday. Doesn't he look handsome? (not the best picture- I accidentally deleted the one with him smiling- I may redo the picture later if time allows- he still looks great though!) I think he looks smart and mature.
Jacob was NOT a happy camper about needing glasses. I think his biggest fear is that the kids at school will laugh at him. We were discussing last night how to handle that situation and I wasn't coming up with anything great to say, but Aaron did. He said if kids make fun of him, just say "SO??" and the kids would eventually get bored and leave him alone (which is true). I am hoping school is going well for him today.

He kept saying that his glasses make everything look "smaller"- I explained that they don't look smaller, just clearer! He also said he hopes he doesn't have to wear them the rest of his life. I hated to break it to him that once you need glasses, your sight usually gets gradually worse for many years.

On a positive note, We received a letter in the mail last week that Jacob was accepted into the gifted and talented program at school next year! We are so excited for him and so proud. He is truly an amazing kid. So, now he has smart brains and a smart new look!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Good Enough Mother

This was posted on the Mothers of Twins blog that I follow and I think it was something I really needed to hear as well as probably most of us do. So, I am stealing it from there and posting here as well. Enjoy!

The Good Enough Mother

By Elaine Heffner, CSW, Ed.D., pubished on pbs.org

Amy, the mother of a four-year-old boy, was upset. She had just had the final conference of the year with her son's nursery school teacher. She heard some really good things about her son; she heard that he is very bright, makes friends easily and is very well liked. But the teacher also told her that sometimes he gets silly and babyish. Sometimes when she works individually with the children, he refuses to work with her. So Amy worried about whether there was something wrong with her son and wondered what she might have done to create these "problems."
Why do mothers tend to think that everything is their fault?

As mothers, we want everything to be perfect for our children. More than that, we imagine we can make it so. Sometimes there are things we don't like about ourselves or our lives and blame our upbringing. We want to fix what we think went wrong with us and do it right for our children. If only we could be perfect mothers, we could create the perfect life for our children and they in turn would be perfect. But since children are not perfect, we think there must be something wrong with us – that we must be at fault.

Besides, everyone acts as if a mother is responsible for everything her child does. People glare at you in the supermarket if your child acts up – as if you don't know how to manage him. They make comments on the bus if your child is unruly. If your daughter protests loudly when you leave to go out in the evening the babysitter or your mother might think, "She never does that with me."

As if that isn't enough, there are so many theories about how children should be raised in order for them to become emotionally well-adjusted, smart, successful and happy. And mothers are the ones on the hot seat. Now that so much has been learned about brain development, mothers feel responsible for that too! Child development research from its beginnings has, too often, assigned mom the role of primary influence, responsibility – and blame!

The message mothers take from all of this is that there is a right way to do things, and if you do it the wrong way you will damage your child. Any problem must mean you are doing something wrong, and so it is your fault. To be a good mother, it seems as though you have to be perfect and never make any mistakes.

The trouble with this idea is that even if you were a perfect mother (if there ever were such a person), that's not what would be best for your child. Your child has to grow up to live in the real world, and the real world isn't perfect. A child can't expect always to have people around her who understand her or cater to her every wish. Children have to learn to share, take turns, wait for what they want and realize that other people have needs and moods, too. Having to learn this can be frustrating, so children act up in various ways to show their displeasure. They show their feelings by behaving in ways that adults don't always like, and sometimes lead mothers to believe that they have done something wrong to cause that behavior.

But what about Amy and the teacher's report? Was Amy responsible for her son's behavior? Well, only if you think it was her fault for having a second child (which, by the way, she did feel guilty about). Actually, her son's babyish behavior was his way of saying that he wanted some baby treatment — like being carried or drinking from a baby bottle – and didn't want to be considered a "big boy." When Amy realized that his behavior was saying something about him, rather than about her, she was able to find many ways to help him appreciate being four instead of still being a baby.

So being a good mother does not mean being a perfect mother. A good enough mother is good enough.

A good enough mother:

  • loves her child but not all of his behavior.
  • isn't always available to her child whenever he wants her.
  • can't possibly prevent all her child's frustrations and moods.
  • has needs of her own which may conflict with those of her child.
  • loses it sometimes.
  • is human and makes mistakes.
  • learns from her mistakes.
  • uses her own best judgment.

There are no perfect mothers and no perfect children. If we accept our own limitations, we are better able to accept those of our children and of life itself. In that way we become good enough mothers. And good enough mothers are the real mothers.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

Jacob came home one day last week with an interesting project to do. In science, they have been talking about recycling and the effects of not recycling and so forth. They were given the project to take an item that many throw away and find a way to reuse it into something new. She suggested things like boxes, egg cartons, milk cartons, bottles, etc.

As I was reading over the assignment, I was trying to come with some ideas, figuring he may need help with an idea. Once I had a few in mind, I reminded him of his project, and he immediately knew what he wanted to do- needing no help from me! His idea was to cut up an egg carton to make toy footballs. I thought it was a great idea!



He cut out all 12 egg spaces and then taped them together with black electrical tape (the only kind we had strong enough to really hold them together) and then painted them with orange paint (the closest we had to brown...). I thought the end product turned out really good!



When I was in the school for Kenny's demonstration, there was a display of the projects the first graders had brought in. Many of the kids did a great job! I saw a (functioning!) kaleidoscope made from a paper towel roll. I also saw an egg carton used as a planter (which was one of my original ideas...) There were many unique ideas. Most of the kids did a great job- lots of creativity!

Also, as a side note....
This is my 200th post!!!! Yay!!!! (now...if only I can get that blog book done!!!)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Wax Museum

For Black History Month, Kenny's class has been studying black inventors. Earlier in the month, they were given a list of black inventors and had to choose one and make a time line on that person. Then, later in the month, they worked on a "wax museum" where they would dress as that person and do a report on them (kind of like a was figure in a museum that would give a short bio on themselves). Kenny chose Valerie Thomas. She worked for NASA and invented an "illusion transmitter." Basically, it involved creating a 3-d image and transmitting it to another receiver. NASA still uses her technology and it may someday make 3-d TV possible.

Doing the time line was simple enough, but transforming a white boy into a black female scientist was a little more difficult. I procrastinated putting his costume together and was unable to locate a black wig, but someone suggested maybe making one from construction paper, so that is what I did. It looks a little silly, but Kenny loved it and so did his classmates! Put that with a lab coat, goggles and test tubes- and there you have it. Here he is at home and then at school next to the poster he made for his desk.

And here is the video of Kenny giving his report as a wax figure. It is a little noisy, because everyone was doing theirs too. The way it worked is (as you can see above) there was a paper that said "push" with a button on his desk. Parents and students from other classes walked around and pushed the buttons and the kids would speak. There were some really cool inventors- like a refrigerant (for refrigerators) and potato chips and peanut butter! Did you know those were invented by black inventors?

Anyway, he did a great job. We had to remind him to slow down because he kept reading his notes really fast; but otherwise he did great! Sorry it is sideways, I can NOT figure out how to rotate a video.
video