Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My Happy Birthday

1. Slept in till 9:13.

2. Awoke to Darlings serenading me and bringing breakfast in bed (Pillsbury cinnamon rolls). Ryan brought in the little table and we all ate in the room. When clearing out, Ashton said, "You welcome we sing Happy Birthday to you!"

3. Got to shower with the door locked while Darlings went present shopping.

4. Took children to pre-arranged child-care and had lunch with best friend Lesley. What interesting adult conversation we had!!!

5. Got unsatisfying chair massages with Lesley. But then went to get satisfying slushes at Sonic!

6. Came home to the smell of husband baking my childhood birthday cake--Chocolate, Chocolate Chip.

7. Went to favorite restaurant, Flying Star, and had their wonderful macaroni and cheese.

8. Arrived home too full for cake, so we opened presents first: New white sweater (desperate need), cute red coat, new Sharpies of all sizes and colors!!! My Darling knows me so well!

9. Indulged in wonderful cake.

10. Can't remember the rest, possible result of a sugar high. But it was good!

Thanks for the kind words and emails!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Thanks for the Advice

So I do thank all of your for your input on the problem. I have taken all you have said to heart and have even used a few of the tips. And I know it's good, but his behavior on the whole has been WAY better. Maybe last weekend was just what we had to navigate to get to this good part. (Last weekend was the first weekend since February that Ryan has been all ours because he was done with his paper.)

My plan of action:

1. Clearly (over)define when to make these noises and when to not make these noises. I fear the latter will be a very short list and may depend a lot on my mood.

2. Duck the neighbors for a while and ignore the sounds when outside. Again I feel like too much of this will depend on my mood.

3. Clap to get his attention rather than yell his name.

4. Try to more often catch him using an appropriate volume and tone.

5. Take him to some loud sporting events.

6. Get the hearing tested at the five-year check up.

7. Buy some earplugs, and perhaps buy stock in the company.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Seeking Advice

Okay! This is an interactive blog. If your read it I expect you to comment at the end. I have a problem and I am seeking advice. I mean it, people!!!!! This is serious.

Here is the Problem: MY SON IS SOOOOO LOUD!

I knew going into parenting that girls talk and boys make noise. I was okay with that. And I have a very verbal son. When he hears a new word, he assimilates it into his vocabulary within the day.

But the Noises! They seriously drive me to the point of insanity sometimes. And I can't just send him outside because we have neighbors six feet on either side of us. I don't even know how to best describe the noises in words. There are screams, high-pitched whoops, and growls. Make all those sounds to yourself for the next five minutes and see if you annoy yourself.

And then when we get to the words, most of these are said in range that communicates to the very hard of hearing. I SAID THE VERY HARD OF HEARING. Do you get the picture? He seems to have no ability to speak in an appropriate volume.

My real concern is for Reed as he grows and gets new friends. Will he drive them away? Already I feel like some of his friends notice his volume and comment on it. He's almost five! Will he grow out of it, or do I need to start addressing it for his own benefit? And, if so, HOW? Most of the times I make it an issue, I have to yell just to get his attention! That seems a little counter productive.

So now it's your turn. Weigh in as a mother of boy, former boy, neighbor of boy, observer of boy, empathetic ear, wise counselor, etc. Please!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

That's Not What I Had in Mind

What I said: "Go play quietly in your room."
What she heard: "Go take everything off of your shelves and dump it on the floor."

What I said: "Somebody let the dog in."
What they heard: "Run to the back door screaming about who gets to let the dog in."

What I said: "No, you may not have a third story before bed."
What he heard: "I am going to sell you to a pack of gypsies."

What I said: "Go wash your hands in the bathroom."
What they heard: "Go fill the sink in the bathroom, add some soap suds, and give yourself a cool hair do."

What I said: "Put this stack of laundry in your drawer."
What he heard: "Take this stack of laundry, unfold it, stuff it in the right drawer, but please under any circumstances, do not close the drawer again."

What I said: "Work together to clean up this mess."
What he heard: "Boss your sister into doing whatever you want her to do, and if she doesn't, threaten to spank her."
What she heard: "Lay on the floor and tell me how tired you are. Also, please run to me screaming if Reed threatens to spank you."

What I said: "Be careful to not get ketchup from your corndog on your shirt."
What she heard: "Use the corndog as a brush, the shirt as a canvas, a this ketchup as your medium, my precious little budding artist!"

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Much Rejoicing

There is much rejoicing in the Nelson household today. Ryan has sent off his paper for final review by his professor. He really looks like a different person today. I'm trying to decide if it's just because he doesn't have computer attached to his hands, or if it's the natural light coming from sources other than the computer screen, or if he truly looks more relaxed. We are hoping the comments that come back this time will mean only minor revisions.

He even woke Reed up last night and told him he was done. This morning after waking me up with the gentle back-rub (he is a very smart boy), Reed's second question (after how long till I can come out of my room?) was, "Did Daddy tell you he was done with his paper?" Reed is glad he is done so he can "just be a Daddy again." We are all glad for that.

One good thing that came out of the last minute rush to finish: Ryan was able to use a line on a telemarketer that you don't get to use very often--"My master's thesis paper is due today, so I really can't take this call." They hung up with no argument!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Pictures of Petroglyphs (And Our Family)

So I'm trying to expand my blogging abilities. I'm sorry if you're in my family and have already seen these pics through email. It's still all I have on my computer.

This was a trek that we made on the west side of ABQ when Beth (my sister) & Joe were here. Ryan was working on his paper and could not join us. This is the Petroglyph National Monument.

Reed hiked both up and down without complaining. Ashton made it 3/4's of the way up and then was done. Reed liked seeing all the Pet-ro-cliffs. We had fun hiking with Aunt Beth and Uncle Joe and were glad they were there with extra hands (and also the camera).

The picture to side is us at the top. It was really a short hill, but very rocky and a bit of a challenge to navigate at times.

Friday, April 4, 2008

My Funny Kids

Ashton has been sharing the same Knock-knock joke with us for at least a month and we still think it's pretty funny.

Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Candy fall down.
Candy fall down who?
Monster eat you!!

Reed does not really understand why we think that one's funny when we don't fall down laughing at the ones he makes up. But he has more of a natural ability to crack us up on a regular basis.

Earlier today Ashton had hurt herself and was crying quite a bit. She was clearly in need of Kleenex so I asked Reed to go get one for her. When he looked up and saw her giant need, he said, "Woah! That's as green as a bean!" It was.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Anti-Schedule Schedule

I am not a scheduled person. I don't like feeling like I don't have time for the things that come up because I can't fit them in my schedule. I want my kids to hove lots of free-play-explore-time and be ready to do something new at the drop of a hat (or all the toys in hand at the moment). But realizing that I need a more proactive plan than Scarlett O'Hara's tomorrow-is-another-day plan, I have implemented a new flexible weekly plan of household tasks.

What I like about this is that things get done fairly regularly and I don't have to feel guilty for what is not getting done on that day, because another day is assigned to that task. Now I still do a load a towels or sweep the floor on other days as needed, but if my kitchen floor needs mopping on Monday, I spot clean and do not feel guilty for waiting till Wednesday. And, of course, I still have my daily tasks each day.

Also as a part of this, we have started the kids on Money chores. They have one Money chore per weekday which will earn them a quarter if completed well. (They get a raise at age 5 to 1 dollar!) They have other things they do just because they are a part of the family. These are more the weekly tasks.

Here is the breakdown.

SUNDAY--Do nothing--I mean unless you count getting the kids ready for and to church all by myself, napping/watching NASCAR or football in season, and sponsoring the preschool part of the Children's Choir. Otherwise it is a day of rest.

MONDAY--Straighten/Vacuum (In response to Sunday's non-work)

Kids--Clean bedrooms and vacuum them as needed. (Yes, they pick up their rooms throughout the week, but this is the day we put everything in place.)

TUESDAY--Blog or do some other writing, like in my kids forgotten journals.

Kids--Backyard cleanup--Reed--dootie duty--Ash--Toys
(Reed just did this one for the first time yesterday and was utterly disgusted.)

WEDNESDAY--Clean Kitchen/Mop floor as needed--This is a good day for this because we eat at church on Wed. night and my kitchen can stay fairly clean for a few hours at least. My goals on this day are things like wiping down cabinets or chairs (yuck!), cleaning out the fridge, clearing the clutter from counters, hiding old Sunday School papers in the trash, etc.

Work on a Project from "the list" (i.e.--storing outgrown/out-of-season clothes, cleaning out cabinets, make curtains for Ashton's room, etc.)

Kids--Reed clean his fish tank--Ash--Dust (They haven't tried these yet, we'll see.)

THURSDAY--Laundry--Alternate kids' one week, adult's the next. Way less overwhelming for me.

Grocery shop--This is the beginning of our money week, so it's good to stock up before we blow all the money in our food budget eating out.

Kids--Put away their own laundry. (There is always some of theirs in ours.)

FRIDAY--Clean a bathroom--Since we only really use two this works out well. I have also done things like scrub all the toilets and do nothing else.

Kids--Reed--Take out trash from bathrooms and his room--Ash--Clean Mirror (closet doors in my room) or backyard door windows.

SATURDAY--Blog/Writing again

So that's the current plan! I have been doing it for a month or so and it has helped.