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.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Derby Time!!

Tonight was the annual pinewood derby for our small church sponsored cub scout pack.  It may be small with only 5 boys, but they are a great group and have a really good time. It was a special night especially because this was Kenny's last Derby before entering Boy Scouts and Jacob's first!

Here are the contestant cars:

The cars from left to right belong to Jacob, Aubrey, Kenny, Caleb and Andrew.

Jacob chose how he wanted his cut and then chose to paint it orange.  As he was doing this, Aaron commented "It looks like the General Lee"- of course, Jacob had no idea what that meant so I Googled it so he could see it.  He loved it and decided he wanted to continue to design his car that way. 

Kenny knew right away he wanted a school bus and wanted to paint it red.  I don't think I got a good shot of the sides where it is easy to tell, but you can still tell.  The white squares on the top are the emergency exits.  I loved how he thought it out!

Here is Kenny's getting ready to race:

And Jacob's:


Kenny won two races- putting him in 3rd place!

Jacob's car didn't do so well, and he was so disappointed, but he did win one race.  Since there were 5 boys, we awarded 1st, 2nd, 3rd. Jacob tied for 4th with Caleb so we gave them awards for "Most Creative" (Jacob) and most original (Caleb). 

I think the best part of the evening was the super cute treats that all the kids got to make:  Twinkie Cars!!


 
The cars turned out so cute and was a fun ending to the night!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Top O' The Morning To Ya!

Saint Patrick's day is a big day for some, not so much for others.  I have always thought it to be fun, but have never done much for it.  I think last year I made a green breakfast, but that was about it for our festivities.  This year was almost the same.  But, when I heard about someone planning to go the parade today, I remember from past years how fun the parade sounded.  With perfect weather for it (sunny and 70's!), we made a last minute decision and off we went!  Poor Aaron was stuck at home though- he already had a job scheduled in the garage.  The kids and I had a blast though!  Just going (and walking around) downtown was a treat for them- something we rarely do. They were just fascinated by the large buildings and all the movement.

It was so fun to see the seas of green from everyone dressed up and in the spirit.  We weren't really "dressed" for the festivities- partly a consequence of this being a last minute decision- but so fun all the same!

I was a little worried about finding parking with the parade being downtown and with finding a good spot to watch for fear of tons of people, but both parking and finding a spot to watch proved simple!  I forgot until Aaron reminded me that, since Aaron works at AEP, we could park in the downtown garage for free with his ID badge, even though he doesn't work at the downtown office!   And we found a great spot to sit not far from the parking garage along the parade route. It wasn't overcrowded and we had a great view!(Finding a bathroom when the kids inevitably had to go a few minutes before the parade began was another story, but we managed and made it back just in time....)

 Here are my 4 crazies excitedly waiting!

When a lady passed by selling cotton candy and frilly head bands, I couldn't resist.  The kids were complaining of wanting a snack so they shared some cotton candy.  The head bands helped us (er- the girls anyway...) to look a little more in the spirit of the day!

 
 
The parade itself was fun!
 
There were, of course, several bagpipe bands, with bagpipes, drums, kilts and all!
 
Check this out..... see the feet under the balloons?! There was a person wearing these balloons!!

I think the kids would even argue that they found a pot of gold....... as in candy that was thrown!  All 5 of us were all smiles the whole time. I think we found a new tradition! Hopefully next year, since it won't be so last minute, Aaron can join us too.

Afterward, the kids got treated to McDonald's for lunch (they were hungry because I had not thought/ planned far enough ahead for food and it was past lunch time!) and in honor of the holiday, I even let them share Shamrock Shakes! It was the first time they had ever had them- but they for sure had to share! Too big and expensive to eat themselves!

And, since we didn't have time for a green breakfast since we were hurrying to get to the parade, we had a green breakfast for dinner! (forget the traditional corned beef and cabbage.... yuck!)
 
It is always funny- every time I do something like this and change the color of the food, the boys are always excited and the girls are grossed out- not wanting to eat it.  However, they soon realized it tasted just as good despite the awful looking color!

I think today goes down as the  best St Patrick's day yet!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

YELLOW!!

A few months ago, we signed the boys up for karate at a nearby rec center.  The program came highly recommended and, while much cheaper than a karate center, still offered pretty much everything a karate center does.  I thought it would be really good for Kenny for the focus and discipline it provides.  So many parents with kids who have ADHD as well as Kenny's doctor highly recommends programs like Karate.  Not to mention, with some of the bullies he has dealt with, I figure he could stand to learn a little self defense.    Jacob was interested too so we enrolled them both!

The program has been very good.  However, Kenny has not been thrilled with it and wants to quit.  Jacob loves it! Figures....  We have encouraged Kenny to stay in it for a little while- at least until he can qualify for a belt color.  That happened last Saturday!

The test was very intimidating-  where normally they are in a small class with 10 or fewer kids, there was probably about 50 kids grouped together in front of about 15 judges!

(Kenny is on the left, and Jacob you can just make out on the right of the picture)

They first showed their forms as a large group, but then were paired with same-size black belts to demonstrate their defensive moves.  Then, they had to break a board by kicking it!  They were really nervous about this!  But, being that this is the first step to move up, they got to try as long as they needed.  I captured it on video on my camera but the file seems to big for uploading. If I figure it out, I will it later.

Kenny broke the board in just under a minute!  Jacob broke it as well, in about 3 minutes.  One of the judges gave him a few ideas after he had tried for a couple of minutes and then he did it!

After they were done, they still had to stand in front of a judge- 1 on 1 to answer questions and demonstrate any moves they might not have gotten quite right before.  The whole process took about 2 hours!

Here they are showing off the boards they broke:

 
Tuesday night at their normal practice, they were awarded their belts!

Their teacher and the assistant called them up one at a time for a brief ceremony.

Kenny:
 
 
Jacob:
 
 
I am really so proud of them for accomplishing this huge first step.  I feel it has been good for them and am going to try to encourage Kenny to give it a try for a little longer. He really is very good with good focus and good form.  Maybe this accomplishment will inspire him to keep going!



Thursday, March 1, 2012

This and That- Interesting Kid Updates!!


As usual- things have been busy around here!  Enjoy a glimpse into our world:

Ellen and Meghan:

Since they turned 5 last month, it was time for the dreaded 5 year check up.  I always look forward to check ups to see their growth and chat with the doctor but I was dreading this one for one reason- shots.  My boys left me good cause for anxiety- they both had to be held down to get their shots!  I was more nervous with two girls that would have to do this at the same time. It felt bigger than I could handle on my own so I talked Aaron into taking the afternoon off to come along and help. 

They did so good!  The nurse used something called a "shot blocker" that helps take the sting off- it is a sort of small rubber disk with little rubber points all over it- kind of like a soft rubber brush.  She holds it up to their skin and there is a hole in the middle for the shot.  The little points all over it make it difficult for the brain to determine where the shot actually goes making it not hurt quite so bad.   They got two shots- the DTap and the Polio (they will need to go back for the MMR and Varicella. The doctor suggested we only do 2 at a time but we were going to do them all and get it over with. But, they were short a shot so we decided to wait for the other two.  We ended up being thankful- keep reading to see why).  Ellie sat right up there and just said a sad "Owwww" with each shot but never even cried.  Meghan got right up there and she cried a little, but very mild.  I was so proud of them!!  I guess I didn't need Aaron after all!  And of course, we got ice cream after!

And of course, they are growing like weeds!!  Ellen is 57.6 lbs (98%) and 47.6 in tall (99%).  Ya- I knew she was tall!  Height and weight are very proportionate so she is perfectly healthy!  Meghan is 48.8 lbs (89%) and 46 in. tall (96%)- so also very tall and verrry skinny!

Meghan-

The night after their shots,  Meghan didn't seem to feel very well which is to be expected so I gave her some Ibuprofen and sent her to bed.  She woke up at 2:30am vomiting and continued to do so every half hour all night long.  I had gotten a total of 3 hours sleep. She threw up once more during the day and gradually got better and was able to keep food down by dinner time.  I assumed it was a standard stomach bug.  But then, no one else ever got it.  I started to research online about vaccine reactions.  The nurse had said that since this was the 5th DTaP dose in their life, the chance of a reaction was bigger.  I did learn that, after the 4th or 5th shot, 1 in 50 kids will have vomiting 1-3 days after the DTaP vaccine!  So, I am thinking it was a vaccine reaction! Poor thing!  But, she is all better now so all is well!

Jacob-

In his 3rd grade class, he has been working on a "wax museum" project for black history month. He had to choose a famous black Ohioan and research them and then dress as them to give a brief presentation (as if they were a wax statue in a museum).  Jacob chose to do Jerry Revish who is a news anchor here.  He did a great job!


Here is his desk set up!  The poster board tells about him and on his desk is an old football trophy that he has disguised as an Emmy award and then also a piece of paper that he might read the news from. There was a paper "button" that visitors could push to hear him give his speech as if he was Jerry Revish.
 
 And here is a closer shot of him in his suit.  Jerry Revish always wears a suit coat and tie.  The only dilemma was we didn't have a suit coat for Jacob. I was lucky to score this one from the thrift store for $4!  And it fits well and is nice so he can wear it to church!

Jacob- In other news.....

Jacob is in the gifted program at school.  I received a letter in the mail that he is eligible for a special gifted level 4th grade class for next year.  It sounds really great- only 20 kids in a class with all other kids just like him and a teacher specialized in gifted teaching with a special curriculum.  The only problem is it is not offered at their current school.  Jacob would have to change elementary schools.  I am honestly not sure what is best- to put him in the other curriculum at a different school (the nearest one is not far from where he attends now) or to keep him with his siblings- where he could still work part time with a gifted teacher. (The other kids changing schools to be with him is not an option for a few reasons).  Ugh. I don't know. There is a meeting about the program coming up which I will attend and also visit one of these classrooms so I can make an educated choice.

Kenny-

After a rough start, Kenny is doing very well in 5th grade.  It was a huge adjustment for him with a lot more expected of him.  Add that to some troubles with rotten kids and he has had a rough way to go.  Over the last few months, things have stabilized.   As we all adjusted to what was expected, we settled into a routine and his grades has been good.  He has to work for it but he is very smart and does work very hard and does well. All in all, I think this is good- he will be very successful in life knowing how to work hard.  His ADHD does create problems for him though that make things extra challenging.  Based on his doctor's advice, we did meet with the school and set up a 504 plan to help address some of those challenges.  It includes things like extra time on tests when needed and his teachers help to ensure he has his homework in his back pack before going home- and other things as well. I am thankful to have this in place so he can get the extra help he needs to succeed while moving toward independence (hence one day no longer needing the plan).

**Irony-  I couldn't help but chuckle a little when we received Kenny's 504 plan copy and the letter about the gifted class for Jacob in the mail ON THE SAME DAY!

Kenny and Ellen-

For anyone still hanging on, I will close with a funny story.  Something else about Kenny is he is truly one of the most compassionate, thoughtful and kind kids I know.  Back in January he told the girls he was working on some art projects that would be their birthday presents. A few weeks later, he comes home with this yarn woven project that he gave to Meghan and told Ellie that hers was coming but he had to finish it.  Ever since then she has been asking everyday if her present is done yet and he kept assuring her it was almost done. I couldn't help but think I hope he really does have a present because she was NOT going to let him forget!  Finally, yesterday he came home with a small clay pot he had made.  He hadn't been able to paint it so he decorated it with marker, put it in a large box and lovingly wrapped it.
 


Ellen was so excited and opened it with much anticipation.  She took the pot out of the box and held it in her hand and said, "What?! What am I supposed to do with this?!"  Wanting to please everyone and spare Kenny's feelings, I said, "Wow, Ellie! Isn't it beautiful!  And you can put all kinds of things in there, like some of your money or beads or it can hold whatever you want!"  She smiled and was instantly thrilled with it. She found some change to put in there and has been carrying it with her wherever she goes in the house.


I love these guys!!  They certainly keep me from getting bored!