07 March 2017

Dr Seuss Week

The last week of February is when we bust out the silly and entertaining Dr Seuss books. Everett and I read every book we own during the quiet time we have after I pick him up from school. His favorite is Green Eggs and Ham. Last week the schools had spirit week, it was cut short since the kids ended up with two extra days off from school since the girl basketball team went to state this year. The kids got to wear PJs on Monday, Hats on Tuesday, and Nebraska colors on Wednesday. The best days were chopped off: dress like Dr Seuss Characters and Crazy Clothes Day.

Monday is our hurry up day of the week. Once the kids get home from school all homework, piano practicing, snack eating, and getting energy out needs to get done in just an hour. Phillip and I were in rare form last Monday. He had his snack, played a bit, then sat down to get his homework completed. Except he sat at the table and moaned, and whined, and flopped about like a dying fish. I was hurriedly working on the dishes before we left. In hindsight I should have stopped the dishes and sat down with him. I was focused on getting the work done since we would not have time to work on homework while we waited during Mia's piano lesson. I needed to pick up some photos for a school project Everett had. Imagine a load of shouting, prompting, and even a root knocker. I got so frustrated I ripped up his homework. Blush. Yep. Quite childish. Phillip cried blubbering about how he wanted to get his homework done. I was not believing him since he wasted 30 minutes of his own crying. We came to an impasse, I taped up his work, he finished the page in less than 5 minutes. We rushed to drop off Amelia to piano, I raced through Walmart. The photo center had a line of 8 parents also there to pick up photos for the same project. That made me laugh. Justin met me on my way out of the store, he kindly volunteered to take Everett and Evelyn along with him. We made it home, I busted out dinner thanks to Walmart rotisserie chicken. A grand, pulsing migraine started up making me sick to my tummy. Phillip taught a lesson for FHE on baptism, he is very excited to be baptized this year. The kids played pokemon store. I scored a lot of poke balls and over 50 characters last Saturday, since then the kids are obsessed making Pokemon stores after school. Why not for FHE activity? Evelyn rounded out the day, she peed in a pink bowl, then gave it to Justin. She was quite insistent about peeing in a pretty pink bowl. Little animal. I was feeling sorry for myself after the kids went to bed. I posted our stressful day on FB, then tagged his teacher, mostly to let her know about the ripped up homework. She immediately messaged me and put me in my place. Good woman. I removed the post and cried.

I finished painting Phillip and Evelyn's room on Monday. I moved the furniture back and rearranged the furniture while the kids were at school. Just mere moments after the kids were home Phillip made himself at home. The room went from pristine to cluttered in less than 10 minutes. I busted out the drill and screwed the ladder and bed gate back on, I had to switch the locations. Amelia also came home with another pink slip, she was missing 4-5 grammar/vocab packets and a book report. We worked on the packets all weekend to get them done by Monday. As you can imagine there was quite a bit of moaning and complaining on her part, too bad she created the problem. Accountability can stink when you forget to maintain it.

Evelyn wants an Elsa car. You might imagine a cute little hot wheels version. She is imagining a large set of power wheels, jeep style. She cries and throws a fit each time we pass the toy section at Walmart. Each morning for the past week I print out a photo of an Elsa car, cut it out, color it Elsa blue, and give it to the toddler. She stares at the car and wishes for a real one. Now she thinks one is coming for her birthday, that is tomorrow. I'm not sure her wish will come true. Talk about obnoxious. I enjoy finding ways to entertain her as I work. Evelyn loves to help me with dishes. She usually ends up naked in the sink covered with bubbles. Her newest breakfast food is chicken pot pie, every morning.

Tuesday the girls and I went to Safeway for a potted plant and a lunchable. We dropped off the plant to Phillip's teacher as an apology. It was good, we had time to talk about Phillip and homework. She pretty much told me that homework was never designed to be torture. I agree. We were able to come to consensus about ways to help him getting the work done, and even permission to not do homework on those days he is extra resistant.

Wednesday we had a singular miracle happen. The entire house was clean at the same time for more than an hour. I cleaned the living room, kitchen, and dining room that day. After dinner the YW came over to serve us by cleaning. Within an hour all the kid's rooms were clean, the bathrooms sparkling, the basement clutter free, and even the gross garbage cans spotless. It felt amazing for the 18 hours it stayed relatively clean. By Thursday afternoon the house looked like it's cluttered norm. Still, I can preserve the image of an entirely clean house in my mind's eye. This girl was pretty happy.

Thursday the kids all had a chance to invite friends over for play dates. Amelia had Katelyn over most of the day. Everett's friend Zach was busy or out of town Thursday and Friday so he chose to just play with Evelyn. Phillip finally got to invite over Cassandra. From what I garner, her home life is a bit chaotic with 6 siblings under age 9 and different fathers for most of the kids. Phillip was quite concerned that she have a good time, get some healthy snacks, and be safe here at our home. He made a cute list of what they could play while she was here. Phillip hid his Pokemon because Cassandra always asks him to give them to her, he said she can be a bossy kid sometimes. He sprayed some cologne on before we left for the park. I dropped the older kids off then went to pick up Cassandra, seats are a hot commodity in our mini van now. Phillip buckled her into the mifold carseat we have. It can be a bit tricky. Ms Buoy was out and about, we saw her while getting lunch. Everett ran up to her and gave her a hug. She was quite startled to find Everett clinging to her backside. We played at the park until Josie's afternoon nap time. Phillip and Cassandra mostly threw rocks into the pond! At home Phillip and Cassandra played dolls and house. Oh the conversations those two had...I was in my craft room near tears from all the laughing. The girls were boring, just holed up in Mia's room chatting and playing minecraft. We had a snack then headed to the library for the Dr Seuss party. I had to bribe Cassandra to let me take her picture(s) with Phillip. She was not a fan. The kids all disappeared soon after I made them do the photobooth together. I followed Evelyn around as she went fishing, got a snack bag, pinned the fish in the bowl, threw bean bags into a cornhole, made a truffula tree pencil, and glued green eggs and ham on a paper plate. She intently listened to the story read during story time, in fact all my kids listened quietly and observantly. Good job! We played some of the games a second and even third time until the event ended at 6 pm. I was so glad to get a photo of Amelia, Rachel, and Katelyn together this year. They all grew so much the past year. It was a good day. I was sure tired out, went to bed and asleep before 10 pm.

Friday Justin took the day off. We lazed about until after 9 am then rushed about to go have breakfast at Grandma Jo's, another rare event. Grandma Jo's is part of a rare line of dying restaurants run by mom and pop. Delicious food! The kids were very happy to eat waffles, eggs, french toast, eggs, sausages, or bacon. Breakfast food is always a good idea. The Elk's club of men gathered at the next table, a chattering group of men telling naughty stories and jokes. Thankfully, the kids were too little to really listen to their conversations. Everett ate so much he collapsed on the floor in a pretty good imitation of the lazy dog. We went back home so Jojo could nap. During the late afternoon we drove to Sterling for a visit to the pool. Amelia roped me into a game of Marco Polo. I enjoyed playing carousel with the kids and a noodle. Justin and I laughed when we noticed Amelia trying to swim through a tube Phillip was holding. Each time she tried to dive through Phillip's attention would wander and so would the tube. Jojo had purple lips and shivered as she clung to either Justin or I. Not sure swimming is her sport yet. We played in the kids court after dressing in regular clothes. We had dinner at Santiago's before heading home. The van's back tires still had a strange wear tread, the kids loved the bouncy/shaking ride to and from Sterling. The van got new back tires and an alignment early Monday morning. Hopefully, the van will ride much smoother. If only we could get the dang diver's side passenger door fixed. The kids bent the brackets just enough so the door will not close on it's own, the door is always sliding back open, we have to force it closed. Talk about a first world problem...I have to manually close my van door.

Saturday was another lazy day. The weather was spectacular! The older kids love to play pets together. I always laugh to myself when Everett stuffs himself into the tortoise costume he wore when he was 2. It's a snug, crotch riding fit now but he does not mind. Justin went on a long motorcycle ride. I took the kids, bikes, and snacks to the park for an afternoon in the sun. There was no shortage of folks to chat with since several other families had the same idea. Everett buried his hot wheel cars right off the bat...then forgot where he buried them. He was quite traumatized. The boys started a gang of boys racing monster trucks down the twisty slide. Amelia did not have anyone her age to play with so she mostly rode her bike and played with Josie. Everett and Phillip played with several older boys, maybe a game of tag? Days like Saturday give me hope that Spring is on it's way. Justin met us at the park after his ride. We all went home tired and dusty!

**Justin and I are working with Everett and his hugging/kissing/clinging issues. That kid often ends up touching the most appropriate parts of a person's body. He is so air-headed most of the time that he does not even register what parts he is touching. We might need to engineer a hula hoop jacket for him to wear out in public until he learns some boundaries.