As of 8:30 this morning, my girl has braces! Well, at least 4 braces. More importantly, she has an expander behind those teeth that I use a key to widen a notch every night. The next 6 weeks will be fun for both of us!
Sunday, January 18, 2015
Back in January, on Wesley’s birthday in fact, we were at the cabin to celebrate. We brought Parker and Cecily (ages almost 4.5 and 2.5, respectively) along since the cousins love spending time together. We spent hours at Castle Park on a fairly mild winter day, doing our best to wear the kids out.
Wesley and Parker amused me by putting a slide show. It took me an embarrassingly long time to stop thinking PowerPoint and start thinking PlayGround. Here are some of their favorite slides:
One of their favorite slides is the Skate Park. The concrete is smooth, but still concrete. Here’s a shot of Piper’s favorite pants after a rousing game of “Tiger Escape” on the skate ramps:
Well, we bought them used and Kyla had already gotten full wear out of them long before Piper got them to this state.
Cecily is no longer “Baby Cecily” as she keeps up well with all the shenanigans the other kids get into. She still needs help from Uncle Dwayne to escape the tiger cage.
Look, Piper is letting Kyla hold her hand! I consider Piper physically affectionate, but that’s mostly towards me. Usually, she is just physical.
Parker and Cecily fell asleep in Dwayne’s car before he even got to the ferry, slept through the transfer to Julie, the transfer to bed, and slept until morning. You’re welcome, Keith and Julie!
Wesley woke up as a 5 year old today and not quite immediately, asked for his presents. From us, he got a Wolverine costume with the razor hands (he seemed a little disappointed that they were plastic, dull, and non-retractable—sorry, kid, you’re not really Wolverine). He ran around wearing his new costume until it was time to go to church. I asked where Wesley had gone and Piper said he went upstairs to put on his birthday suit. Boy, did I wait in anticipation for this one!
All that nice stuff doesn’t slow this guy down.
Thanks, Gramma, for the nice sweater and good laugh!
Friday, January 16, 2015
After Pre-K today, Wesley had a party with the school friends who could make it. We had hairy dogs (hot dogs impaled with spaghetti noodles) and cake.
I begged people “no gifts, please!” The problem with a birthday less than a month after a [very generous Christmas haul] is that he—and I—just didn’t need 10 more toys. I encouraged guests to draw a picture and maybe attach $1, which, when you’re 4 is as exciting as opening a toy. At the end of the party, he had enough money to buy a Batman figure that he wanted with a little change to spare. Success.
After we cut the cake, I sent them all outside with their slice and a napkin. It didn’t take long for them to all find their way down to the playset, cake often left half-eaten.
After Piper’s party last year where, after hosting two V-Day class parties in the morning and then inviting the entire Kindergarten class (and younger siblings) to come over for lunch and cake—this was, well, a piece of yummy chocolate cake!
Thursday, January 15, 2015
As Wesley rockets towards his 5th birthday, it seems like a good time to tell more Wesley Tales. Really, why go through the suffering if I don’t get some good writing material out of it.
Wesley found a paper straw somewhere and decided to figure out spit wads. At the time, I had no clue what the inspiration for this was, though I later discovered I could lay the blame on 1) a book and 2) Daddy.
A few spit balls is mischievous but it quickly escalated when he started shooting NAILS. NAILS, friends. IN MY LIVING ROOM! Again, it was later when I found that it was Piper who found and passed along the nails, but I digress.
Here’s where Wesley picked up his new transgression. It’s the newest Betty Bunny book, where the heroine (quite possibly modeled on Piper) is a “handful”.
Read the text closely to find out how nails became involved.
* * * * *
Kyla should be Wesley’s mother. She is very encouraging and loving towards him at all times, even listening to him “read” his new book from school.
* * * * *
With Kyla’s penchant for wearing sweatpants with her fanciest dresses, I shouldn’t have been surprised when Wesley capitulated dressing up for Christmas Eve service in button down shirt, red tie, and blue sweats.
* * * * *
And here is the only shot I have of The Worst Day So Far of Being Wesley’s Mom:
I might as well record it here. Who knows, perhaps it will be funny with enough time.
It was 5 days after Christmas. The first four days, Dwayne had spent most of each day working on getting my Christmas present (a cell phone signal amplifier) installed at the cabin. I just need to set the scene that all my secret desires of fun family getaways and peace & quiet (obviously not simultaneously) were thwarted by Dwayne going to the cabin for long hours, leaving me to single-handedly care for all three kids all day long. Oh, add to this some pretty severe PMS, during which, if there is a wrong way to react, I will find it. The fifth day, Dwayne went to work. But before he went, he got to witness Wesley and I get into it over his breakfast. Wesley just refused to eat something new—one third of a small breakfast burrito. I told him it didn’t matter if he hated it—even if he hadn’t tasted it yet—he had to eat it before he got something else.
I never thought of Wesley as having a iron will, but the iron rose that day. He refused. Dwayne started to back me up, and maybe he was PMS-ing, too, because it wasn’t long before Dwayne had a sledge hammer and was threatening to smash Wesley's’ favorite toys. [Okay, I am finally laughing as I write this. Definitely therapeutic.]
Wesley didn’t seem to care, but I started crying, and Wesley had engaged Dwayne and I in a battle of wills that we couldn’t afford to lose. And Dwayne left for work.
The day actually managed to get worse. After Vision Therapy, Wesley had managed to eat handfuls of goldfish crackers under the kitchen table in the time it took me to get everything out of the car and upstairs. Then Wesley decided to just spend the day in his room, but once, when I went to start laundry, he sneaked into the kitchen and stole an entire box of chocolates and ate 3/4ths of it under his bedcovers before I caught him. By then, I couldn’t leave him unsupervised for a minute. He still hadn’t eaten that damn bite of burrito.
I found lots of chores to do right where I could look down the hallway and see his bedroom. He came out to sit at the table, actively not eating his burrito. I watched him. I stayed in the room. Then I turned my back to pick up paper off the floor to recycle, and looked back just in time to witness him throw his food in the garbage. I had wasted my whole day enforcing our “don’t waste food” dictate only to lose the cursed battle with a 4 year old monster.
It was 4:30 in the afternoon. A perfect time for Wesley to take a bath and go to bed.
I texted Dwayne so that he would know that I had just had the worst day ever, not so subtly indicating that it was all his fault—his and his demon-spawn, and no, there was nothing he could do about it now other than endure a very cold shoulder for a very long time.
None of us were really at our best that day.
But Dwayne came home, took one of the girls with him to the store, and eventually came back with flowers and samples of every food he thought I might like. And then proceeded to make me wait an hour past our usual dinner time until the special tapas dinner was prepared. He had the girls eat downstairs with him, and he gave the entire upstairs solely to me, punctuating the peace and quiet only with a little background Josh Groban. And eventually when I was ready to talk (ahem, instead of growl), he listened.
About 3am, Wesley threw up the goldfish crackers and stolen chocolate.
And somehow, we all lived happily ever after. Don’t ask me how. We just did.
Something’s been really weird with Piper since Christmas break. She started actively seeking out her siblings to play, allowing them to hug her, and even sleeping with them (Kyla and Wesley always seem to end up together by morning, but now that bed is getting pretty crowded). She’s been pretty nice to people and actually cried when she thought Wesley liked Kyla better. This was not the girl I wrote about in our Christmas letter.
But yesterday it got a little better. She came home from school and mumbled something about missing recess. She wanted to tell me about it, but didn’t really want to have to explain anything. I finally got out that she wasn’t being particularly cooperative during math and spent some quiet time in the office writing up a plan how she could do it better next time. Her teacher is definitely wise enough to not engage her in a power struggle or this could have ended far worse.
Me? As I told Dwayne, for the girl who spent part of her first day of kindergarten sitting in the office, I was thrilled that she made it almost half way through first grade year before a repeat!
Five years ago, I would have been mortified that a child of mine would need such a correction, but now I have to wait until Dwayne and I are alone before I let myself laugh. There’s really nothing like actually having children to give up on any parenting standards.
Sunday, January 4, 2015
Once upon a time, there were a group of newly-minted professionals fresh out of college who came upon each other at church, formed a fellowship group, and called it Poiema. To this day, no one seems to know what it means, but for the many of us who spent our twenties together, Poiema still means “Friend!”
So on a whim, I sent out an email on a Friday morning inviting Poeima over for a taco dinner on Saturday evening. The thing planned itself over a day of emails, and 30 people arrived at our doorstep at the appointed time.
It was evenly split between kids and adults, but while the adults all knew each other well, all the kids knew some of the kids but no one knew all the other kids. And it was crazy, chaotic, and beautiful.
One of my favorite moments was when Ann or Laurie noticed that the 4 boys all named after beloved Pastor Scott were there. We had to get a picture.
I’m hoping someone has a better shot than these of Kai Scott, Brendon Scott, Parker Scott, and Wesley Scott.
A mother oughtn’t brag, but I think I’ve got the biggest hellion.