Monday, February 10, 2014

Born This Way

At dinner, we have a jar with questions we like to answer for good conversation.  Our second question of the night was "If you could look like anyone, who would it be?  Why?"

Xander responded, "I would want to look like Joey (our 3rd grade neighbor).  Because I like his hair and face and clothes.  He has the coolest clothes."  This is classic Xander.  He is very aware of cool and can tell you what and who is cool at any moment.

Soren responded, "I would want my head to have a huge bump on it to make me look really smart.
Quinae, "So you want a giant head to house your giant brain?"
Soren, "Yes!  And I would want to wear a button up shirt that was buttoned all the way up."

This is also very Soren.  He has been known to tightly tuck his fully buttoned up shirt and hike up his pants and slime his hair flat and straight down.  Once he parted it in the middle and had it glued down on his head like Alfalfa in "The Little Rascals".  I think it is kind of funny, but do worry about his social future - but I feel like who am I to try to change a person?  I grew up with nerds for brothers and they all got married in a timely fashion.  Ryan however is usually horrified and tries convincing him to look a little more trendy.

I am just blown away sometimes at how very different my boys are from birth.  Xander talks about popularity and looks, and Soren openly is attracted to nerd styles.  He tells me all the time he wants to be a nerd.  Man!  I like diversity, but the down side is unless you are very mature, it is hard to get along when you are so opposites with a person……which may explain all the fighting in our home.  Makes for good stories though.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Hammy the Hamster

Xander wanted more animals then we currently have, which at the moment is one fish….his fish.  So I told him about hamsters.  We had all sorts of pet rodents growing up which I remember with fondness, even if they did eat each other.  I was okay with a hamster, but didn't know if Ryan would be and I wanted Xander to learn responsibility and the value of working hard for a long time for something.  So, our hamster journey started.  We got library books about hamsters and read several of them.  Then Xander made a poster all about hamsters and how to take care of them.  Then we went to the pet store and priced out all he needed for a hamster - which if purchased new is sort of expensive.  So off to craigslist we searched.  While still searching for the right priced cage, Xander gave his Dad a presentation with his poster of the Hamster and how he was going to take care of it.  After Ryan gave his blessing the search continued and Xander started working extra chores for more money to finance his goal.  Eventually he earned enough money and we got the cutes little hamster and all the stuff.  This hamster is perfect.  She is a golden syrian hamster and never has bitten anyone or been aggressive at all.  We love her.  The end.

That is a great story huh?  Xander sounds impressive, I sound like a good Mom and it is all around a good story.  All of it is true too.  However there is a lot missing in this story.  Like, How Xander was obsessed with doing all the things I required of him as fast as possible so he could get his hamster.  It was exhausting!  He pestered me read the books all day, then make the poster all day.  Then he wanted to go to the pet store several times. I had to say no frequently.  He was so driven to make money that he wanted to work all day long.  He was so focused that he didn't want to eat lunch and just kept working. I should have forced him to because by 2 pm he was falling apart and was a total mess.  He would argue with me how much I should pay him per chore and then throw a fit. I ended up firing him and sending him to his room where he cried himself to sleep while I made him a sandwich I planned to force feed him.  It was nuts!  I ended up hating craigslist because Xander would beg me to check my email and craigslist every hour to see if anyone responded or posted something new.  With any free time he had he wanted to peruse craigslist to see what was out there.  And the questions were non stop! It was driving me CRAZY!  It took all my determination to not just buy the cage to make this horrible experience end.  But I really wanted him to learn hard work over a period of time while you work to make a goal happen.  I learned that learning these skills for Xander is very painful for all involved. I am so glad it is over.   In the end it took about 1.5 weeks - and I was putting the breaks on often. We really do love the hamster though.  She is very cute and a great family pet.  We don't know how old she is because she was a rescue hamster, so hopefully she will live for awhile. They usually only live 2 years.

Uncle James

You may not know that the boys have an Uncle James.  That is because he is not uncle by blood.  James Hicks is Ryan's BFF.  James is incredibly handy.  He know a small amount to a large amount about almost everything.  James has helped us with a lot of things from lots of electrical work on our house to souping up power wheels.  Ryan pays off his debt by mowing James lawn for the last 2-3 years.  Ryan drives the lawn tractor a mile on the road down to James house many times a summer.  James has never owned a lawn mower.  Anyway, James is beloved not only by Ryan but by every male in our family.  Soren and Xander jump him whenever he walks into our house.  They know his car and start running if they ever see it in our drive way.  One reason why he is so beloved is because of these wrestling events.  Ah, the joy of boys speaking boy language.

Mindy, a friend of mine with only boys once told me, "I tell my boys, - we only wrestle with Daddy!"  This was such a new concept for me. I didn't know I could do that.  Once I started to implement that, my life changed dramatically. I use to be scared to kneel on the floor, knowing if I got to low, I would be body slammed by one or both of the boys.  Now I just say, "remember, we only wrestle with Daddy" and then I like to add, "Mommy is fragile! We don't want to break Mommy."  I have always wanted to try out being fragile.  My cover gets blown sometimes when they jump me one too many times and I forget what I am suppose to say and in frustration instead throw them off me and half way across the room, which they usually find all too fun.   

Xander's singing debut

I was making dinner on a Sunday night when Xander started singing a song he made up for Levi.  He is super embarrassed about this song, so don't bring it up to him, but I think it is adorable.  Because I was trying to get Xander's song on film, I let Levi be spun more then I normally would.  By the time the spinning stopped, Levi was so dizzy, that although his body stopped his eyes kept moving.   He took it well though.  Thanks Levi for sacrificing for posterity's sake.


I bought a groupon for a photo shoot at Yen Lui in the summer, with the dream of getting an adorable pictures of my 3 boys.  I wanted the best chance of Levi smiling so I booked it 2 days before the groupon expired which made Levi about 3 months old.  So the day arrived and we headed to the studio.  Our last photo shoot was with my friend as the photographer and in my back yard and the boys were AMAZING.  They were so cooperative and it was so quick.  So, I foolishly, had hoped a new picture taking leaf had been turned and it would go well……..not so much.  It was as awful as it historically always has been.  The photographer tried her best, but it takes some serious skills and a huge amount of luck to get my 3 boys being cooperative all at the same time.  It was a bust.  It was so bad that the studio said we could do it again for no extra charge. I took them up on it.  So the next week we headed back, but stupidly I booked Levi's immunizations for the morning of the same day. I didn't think anything of it until he woke up from his nape in a bad mood.  And then I realized I just set myself up for failure.  But we tried anyway.  Luckily me pleading with my older boys, "all I want from Christmas from you guys is a cute picture" paid off and the boys look adorable……..however I didn't realize how scared Levi looks until we blew up the picture.  Ha ha, it is still cute.
 These are some quick family snap shots before the first attempt of the photo shoot.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Levi is 3 months

Levi is 3 months old and becoming so fun!  He is smiling more and more and needing less bouncing.  He is like a regular baby now and I love it.  He even has started giggling here and there.  It melts all of our hearts.  After logging in 3 months of continual service and love, Levi is becoming very partial to me.  It seems like he is too young for this, but whenever I give him to his brothers, he often cries right away and then when I take him back he is fine and happy.  Wha?  You little manipulator!  I really thought that if the boys hold, play and work with Levi from birth, Levi would just think it is normal to be held by your brothers, even if it is a bit rough and such, and eventually be one of this cute young babies who reach out for their older siblings because they love them so much.   Well,  I have learned starting young is not the key to accomplish that.  Levi is a wee bit traumatized by them.  If Xander gets too close to his face Levi will cry - even without Xander touching him.  He even cries when Soren holds him, and Soren is pretty gentle and good with him.  Levi knows when a sketchy kid is near.  I don't know if it is the smaller frame, or the way he is held or if it is his 6th sense, but Levi doesn't like kids as his care takers.

What Levi does like is being held vertically, his back pounded (patted with some gusto), getting bounced up and down, being held by someone who is jumping, being swaddled, going on walks, music (he grins so big when you sing to him and he calms down if crying), his bouncer seat, sleeping in the swing on the highest setting, sleeping at night (he is a champ only walking up once in a 10 hr period) getting his diaper changed, a bath, being outside (those last 3 things will make a fussy Levi, chill).

What Levi really doesn't like is 100 kisses right in a row, his car seat, not moving, getting dressed, taking naps longer then 30 minutes, pacifiers, and bottles.

He is so fun to have and we love every day with him!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Rush 5K

The boys and I ran in Kent's Christmas rush. I am a fan of small city 5K's.  They are so fun because even if you are not that amazing of a runner, if you do actually run, you might place in the top 5 of your age group.  Love that. Makes you feel like a super star.  Although I have actually not placed dispute running in this thing for 3 years, I have been the 6th person in my age group, so maybe one day.  Then I can feel like a superstar!  This year however, instead of trying to make all my running races dream come true, I chose to be a trainer for my two boys.  Yup!  Our first family race!!  I had many a lofty dream of training with the boys and teaching them endurance and joy for moving our bodies, while getting fit and faster for the 5K.  The reality was we ran twice.  Soren complained a fair amount and Xander wanted to run on ahead, until a weird leg pain would come on, and then they both start complaining and it is me trying to convince them how fun it is to get fit, even though I hate running just to get fit.  Oh well. You win some you loose some.  So we only did it twice and neither time did we hit the 3 mile mark.  So, you can imagine I had no idea what to expect on race day.

Race day was FREEZING!  It was about 22 degrees and so we dressed to stay warm - not really running apparel.  But I assumed little boys wouldn't run if they were too cold so I opted for hats, gloves, 2 pants, coats - the works.  I really wanted Ryan to come out and support us racing, but couldn't justify bringing a 2 month old out in this weather.  So here we are before we begin. I try to force my boys to look chummy.  Soren is always game for a quality hugging picture, but Xander is too cool for that.

So the horn sounded and we were off.  Soren is not very aggressive, but I knew Xander would get caught up in his competitive spirit.  After the first 2 minutes, Xander wanted to run up ahead.  I didn't want Soren left, knowing he would need the extra moral and physical push, so told Xander to stay with the crown of runners and once over the finish line to wait for us next to the line so he wouldn't miss us. Although a small race compared to Seattle, there are still 1,500 people running, plus all their families, so I was a teensy bit worried we could potentially loose Xander.  But he ran ahead and I hoped for the best.  Overall Soren did really well.  I held his hand for a lot of it and he sort of trailed me.  After the halfway point, we did a bit of walking then running episodes.  In the last mile he saw a friend, Trevor Hales - a 5 year old running the race with his dad.  Soren would get bursts of competitive spirit and catch up with Trevor and then fall behind.  We eventually over took him and I could be more proud!  That is right Soren!  Crush the 5 year olds!!  We finished the race in 38 plus minutes.  Luckily there at the finish line was Xander looking relieved we meet up.  Xander beat out time by 8 minutes.  He ran 10 plus minute miles.  He was the fastest 6 year old and boy was he proud of that!  It was fun to ran with my boys and I hope to do it again in the future.