Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pinewood Derby

Colin had his Boyscouts Pinewood Derby race yesterday. Although it was not really a life changing moment for us, it was a lot of fun. Colin specifically designed his car to win "Best of Show". He didn't win, but he did get 2nd Place in the race. I was surprised since Steve kept telling me that he was not going to put too much energy into helping Colin make his car fast, just good looking.

I think his car turned our great. In the end, Steve admitted that he did research the proper placement of the weights to make the car go faster.

Did I mention that through this whole process Steve broke his thumb? Yep. A few weeks ago he was helping Colin cut the wood to shape. I can't exactly explain what happened, but the wood shot out from under the chop saw, hit Steve's thumb and broke his knuckle. Do you think he went to the Dr.? Nope. Three weeks later he still can't bend his thumb. I'm glad it hit Steve and not Colin but still, a husband that can't open a jar of spaghetti sauce?

Camden took first place in the "Open Class" division. He was very proud of himself. He smiled every time his name was called. I really think he was more excited than Colin.

As you can tell, some of these kids had an immense amount of help. The rules state that the kids are supposed to do the majority of the work. Steve didn't help Colin or Cam with any of the painting. Although he did draw the melting snowman for Camden. Here you can see Cam's car compare with some others. The blue car on the right was clearly made by a dad and not a kid.

From the picture below, I'm pretty sure that a 6 year old did not paint the camouflage on the second car from the right. I like the cheese car and it looks mainly "kid made".

After the Pinewood Derby, Steve took the boys over to the park. It was a gorgeous day. After today, the temperature is going to drop to the single digits and we will be in a deep freeze for a few days. Camden enjoyed the park, but spent the rest of the day half asleep, half awake on the couch. His temperature is gone but he was just worn out.

We'll take it easy today. I think Cam will be ready to go back to school tomorrow (a whole 2 and a half hours) but I am sure he will be tired when he gets home. It's so unlike him to settle onto the couch for a few hours at a time but his body needs rest and I enjoy the extra time to snuggle with him.

Yesterday at the health food store, I picked up some extra vitamins for both kids. I got a "super greens" chewable. I know that the boys do not eat many (if any) green vegetables. They'll eat green bean and peas but that is the extent of their palate. I am figuring that a little boost can't hurt.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Trust Your Instincts

Yesterday was not a good day at the Silva house. Things are looking up today but yesterday, man o man. Not a good day.

Cam woke up with a 101 fever. No big deal. Popped some Motrin in him and let him rest. I made an appointment (first available) for 4:20pm.

I don't know why I felt compelled to check Cam's temp every 30 minutes. I just did. He was on the couch looking very sick. It kept hovering around 101. Check 30 minutes later. 101. Check 30 minutes later. 101. Check 30 minutes later. 104. We had an appointment scheduled for 4:20pm. First instinct, we can't wait until 4:20pm. He did not look good. He was shaking hard from shivering. He couldn't open his eyes because he said they hurt too badly. He was so hot his face looked sunburned.

Long story short, it took about 2 hours for his fever to come down at Children's urgent care. He had strep. Fluid in his ear (not an ear infection yet). He needed a dose of antibiotics at urgent care and another before the day was over. The Dr. said if we hit him hard with oral antibiotics we could avoid needing an iv. We spent 3 hours at urgent care that trip. His fever had finally come down to a respectable 102 and they felt comfortable sending us home.

Fast forward...we're home. Steve got Colin from school. I had to step out to pick up Cam's prescription. When I came back an hour later, I found Steve in the bathroom with Cam. Cam could not stop vomiting. I know that as a parent, watching your child vomit is never pleasant. But this just seemed different. This wasn't the "Mommy I feel like I'm about to toss my cookies and my face just turned three shades of green". This was "Gut wrenching, my stomach hurts, my head hurts, I can't open my eyes, and can't swallow, my fever is going up again" vomit.

When I called the nurse line to see if this could be a reaction from his meds, I did not get a good feeling. She urged that Cam had a stomach bug on top of strep. She told me to wait 3 hours and call back. Also, no Motrin, Tylenol or antibiotics. Her solution was to cool him with a washcloth, wrap him when he was shivering, give him chilled Gatorade (but not for 3 hours) and if I felt like he needed it,get suppositories to bring his fever down. I could not give him antibiotics until the morning and only after he had eaten.

Um, no thank you. I was looking at my kid. He had snot coming out of his nose, vomit coming out of his mouth and a 103 fever (and climbing). He was shivering so badly he couldn't hold the puke bucket. He was crying because he felt like his throat was closing, he wouldn't open his eyes. Wait 3 hours? No. Thank. You.

So, my instinct told me to take him in again. Let me tell you, when you go to urgent care twice in a day, they are very very nice to you. Long story short, the vomiting was due to his belly being swollen. His belly swelling was due to the lymph glands that are in your belly which had been attacked by the strep. Between his high fever and strep swelling his lymph glands, he was nauseous. They gave him anti-nausea meds. We waited 30 minutes. Then a sip of Gatorade. We waited 15 minutes. Then more Gatorade. Wait. Tylenol. Wait. Popsicle. Wait. Antibiotic. Wait. Motrin to top it all off. Between all of this he had rounds of shivering and teeth chattering. It was interesting to me how he could go from shaking to burning up in a matter of minutes. Three hours later, he was like a new kid. He actually walked out of the office on his own.

I am so thankful that they took the time with us to take small steps. The Dr. could have just admitted us and hooked him up to all kinds of iv's. She really felt that if we could get the nausea under control, we could get his meds in him to get everything else under control. I am so thankful for that doctor. To make things even more interesting, I sort of know her from a friend. After we made the connection, she was extremely attentive to us and was so sweet with Cam.

To sum all of this up, I am so glad that I took him into urgent care. Twice. We have been to urgent care enough to know the ropes. However, these two particular visits were worth whatever price they charge us for the 2 tsp of Motrin. I promise I will not complain when those bills come our way. My boy is doing better. I am so thankful for all of the prayers and concern from my friends and family. I am certain that the prayers allowed Camden to sleep through the night and wake up this morning feeling better. Although he still looks like this,I know he is feeling better because he wanted to know if he earned a toy yesterday since he had to go to the hospital and he did not complain. That has been our bribe the last few times he has needed stitches.

He still woke up with a 101 fever. He is still complaining that his eyes and his head hurt. But he is not throwing up, he has kept down some food and he is not shivering. What a difference a day makes. Moms, trust your instincts. It's better than trying to reason with the phone nurse that you think your child is really sick. It's better than watching your child shake and vomit at the same time. It's better than being up all night worrying. Trust and prayer. It worked for us.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Light Bulb!

I had a lightbulb idea last night. It's such an easy idea. I don't know why I didn't think of it before.

After Colin's school conference last night, I was very pleased with his academic progress but a bit concerned about his shyness and lack of social skills. I'm not even sure I would label it as a lack of social skills. Colin just has a pretty profound sense of right and wrong. He does not like to be made fun of, laughed at, teased, etc... While I realize that there is not a kid in the world that likes those things, they rock Colin to his core. Even if a child is not meaning to laugh "at" him so much as "with" him, he still gets upset. He is sensitive and righteous.

Colin has some athletic ability. He can ride a BMX bike. Although he might not take first place, or even third place, he tries and he holds his own. He's a pretty decent swimmer. He can throw a baseball and run a race. He just does not have a competitive spirit. He does not like the feeling of losing (again, no kid does) but he does not have the desire to put the effort in to practice enough to win. He's just not competitive in that sense.

So, at recess when most of the other boys are doing races, competing in tether ball and making up games that include winner and losers, Colin does not participate. Therefor, he does not play with the other boys. Therefor, he does not have friends. You see where I am going with this....

He has other interests. Legos is a very strong interest for him. If recess consisted of playing with legos for 20 minutes, he would eat it up. Insert Light Bulb moment here!

I am going to start a Lego club at Colin's school. I've already emailed his teacher and recruited at least one other parent (thanks Cindi!) to help. It will just be for 1st grade boys for now. I'm not sure how much interest we will have but I think we'll fill the club pretty quickly. We will meet for 1 hour 1 day a week after school. We'll limit the number of kids involved so it is a manageable group. We'll challenge the kids to build certain projects each week. In order to foster cooperation, friendship and creativity, we will group the kids with different partners or cooperative groups each week. There will be no "cliques". It won't be the cool kids versus everyone else.

This will give Colin (and I suspect a lot of other boys) a chance to be with like-minded kids and share their skills. I am so excited to give some kids the opportunity to feel like they are part of a "group". There won't be competitions or a show of bronze. Just fun and creativity with a bunch of silly boys.

And, as an added bonus, maybe my house won't look like this everyday. Yes, I know, it probably will. But a girl can dream.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

Not much going on this week but I'll try my best to be witty and funny.

1. Camden received a good report on his K- readiness conference yesterday. I was not too surprised that he "passed" things like, "can count to 20, identifies most A,B,C's, socializes with peers...". The only part he failed, skipping. Huh, my 5 year old boy can't skip. A little strange but then I though about it. In what instance have I ever asked him (or taught him) to skip? Nope, we went straight from walking to riding a skate board and BMX biking. I guess it's okay that he can not skip.

2. I am almost done filing my paperwork for my substitute teaching license in Colorado. It only took 4 hours last week and some dissection of the directions, but I am almost finished. Right now I am perplexed on how to fit a 5 digit number in a 6 digit spot. I think I will call the CDE on that one but I have a feeling I won't get much insight.

3. I don't splurge very often on myself. This summer I bought a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses. They cost way more than my usual Target purchases. But I have found that I just can not wear sunglasses. They give me an extreme headache if I wear them for more than 10 minutes. Maui Jim's are frame less, bendable and lightweight. I love love love them. Then they broke. I reached in my sunglasses case in my purse and pulled them out in two pieces. Ugh. I have no idea why I did not keep my receipt. I have the case, the warranty info, the cleaning cloth, the instructions...Why in the world did I throw away the receipt? Well, they say that regardless they *might* repair them under warranty. I guess we'll see.

4. Colin seems to have made a turn around this week. He's not fretting too much about school. I am really trying to pinpoint his anxiety issues but they are not consistent. All I can determine is that he gets anxious at transitions. I know that's a pretty normal thing for younger kids. But at age 6 (almost 7) it seems that he should have outgrown this.

5. I am at gymnastics with Cam. At the moment I am surrounded by all these moms that have babies. They are crowding my space. There are 4 tables set up and bleachers. Every single mom with a baby has asked me to move over so that they can put their baby carrier in the table where I am working. I don't mind sharing, but you are not entitled just because you have a baby. All the other tables are exactly the same as the table that I am at. I am at the middle table. I'm not even at the most convenient table for "holding babies". What gives? All you pretty, well dressed, perfectly manicured moms with new babies, get another table.

6. Cam woke up yesterday with a "poppy crackly ear". I took a look in his ears and sure enough, his ear was red. Not on fire, but red. I couldn't fathom putting him on another antibiotic (he's been on two in the last month). So I headed over to Vitamin Cottage and got some garlic ear drops for kids. They contain a lot of other natural ingredients but garlic is the largest component. Man, did it smell like garlic! Cam was so stuffy that he could not even smell it. I'm glad because if he had, he would have refused. Miracle of miracles, he woke up this morning and said his ears felt normal. Yeah yeah yeah for natural remedies!

7. I took a shower and got dressed today all by myself! I know that sounds silly but it's actually something to celebrate.

8. Camism: Mom, every time I draw I try to be more creative and use my imagination. Some day I will be a famous artist like Grandma Silva. :-)

9. Our living room looks like the the Lego store exploded. There are literally Legos covering every square inch of the floor. It drives me crazy (and Steve crazier) but I have to leave them out. Colin plays with them every day after school. He has gotten Camden engaged so Cam will now sit on the floor (while Colin is at school) and build for hours. If I put them away, it will all be over. I keep thinking that I could rearrange to playroom so they could spread them out there. But, in just a few years the kids will not want anything to do with us. (Or so I've been told by parents of older kids.) Do I really want to move them into another room? At least I get to interact with them while I am in the kitchen cooking or cleaning. I go back to that "don't let you kid have a computer in their room" rule. I know that applies specifically to when they are older, but why would I isolate them now?

10. I think I've rambled enough. Have a great day!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I have made a lot of discoveries this weekend. This post will take on a "Ten on Tuesday" feel but will be posted on Sunday. I guess it could be "Six on Sunday." I'll see if I can keep it to just six.

1. Sleep makes all things better. After two days of resting, napping and generally not doing much, I am starting to feel better. I did scrub all four bathrooms today but that was a necessity. I might go up and take a nap in a little while in hopes that I feel human again by tomorrow.

2. I might be able to do Cam's speech therapy on my own. Right now we are paying an independent SLP a good chunk of change each month for 30 minute weekly sessions.She is wonderful, but her techniques are simple and not completely out of my realm. Add to that it takes and hour in the car round trip to get to her office. While Cam would qualify for district services, that would mean I would have to pull him out of his current pre-k and put him in a district school for the rest of the school year. The district already told me that the paperwork would not be completed until April. That means pulling him out of his current pre-k for 2 months. I don't think that would go over very well with Cam. After doing some research, I think I can tutor him on my own with resources that I have found on-line.

3. I am not going to be able to teach even a part-time K position this fall. I have seriously contemplated applying for a part-time teaching position but with the teacher training, teacher in service days and work I would need to do at home, I justify my desire over what is practical. If I took a teaching job, I would need day-care for the kids for two weeks before school starts, day-care for every in service day and would probably bring work home most nights or weekends. It's just not the right time yet.

4. When Colin was going through anxiety issues at the beginning of the year his psychologist asked me about testing him for a gifted program. I told her I did not think he was gifted, just driven. I think maybe I was wrong. Colin seems to have the weight of the world on his shoulders. He thinks about the "big picture" in most issues. He craves routine, builds legos, models and whatever else he can get his hands on for hours. Case in point, on Thursday he walked in the door from school at 4pm. He went straight to his Lego Mindstorm, took it all apart and started building a new robot based on the instructions I pulled up for him on my computer. He took a 20 minute break for dinner. At 8pm, we finally forced him to go to bed. He only had one section left and finished that the next morning. He put the entire thing together by himself, based on a computer manual and it worked! I'm going to re-explore this gifted thing. He is an emotional wreck but it seems to only be based on guilt (i.e., I have more than others, I should not want more than I already have) and based on his need/desire to stay home and build things or to go out and have fun.

5. I don't like cold weather unless it's accompanied by snow. I don't like water unless it's accompanied by a beach.

6. A clean house is a happy house.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Just Joking

Well, it turns out that the cold sore was not a farewell to my cold. It was just joking with me. I woke up yesterday not feeling great. I woke up today feeling pretty horrible. Steve graciously came home from work early. I have been in bed most of the afternoon.

The doctor finally called me back and had this to say: "The augmentin is a pretty hefty drug. Keep taking it along with the following; 6 advil cold and sinus a day, 2 prilosec (to offset the terrible stomach pains that will be created from the augmentin and the advil) and a nasal wash. Call us on Monday to let us know how you are feeling." Okay, I'll call you if I have not died of a drug overdose.

Camden is now back on nasonex, astepro, mucinex and zyrtec. We're like a regular pharmacy around here.

Colin has been moping the last 30 minutes. He is is bed. He was tucked in about 30 minutes ago. I went in to check on him and he had this sad look on his face. I asked him what was wrong and he told me he was sad. When I asked him why, his response was, "I'm not sure yet but when I figure it out, I'll let you know." Oh.My.Goodness. Talk about a kid needing attention. I'm not sure what to do with that one.

It's 8:20pm and I am going to bed now. Good night.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Feeling Old

How come the more I try to stay young, the older I feel? Yesterday while I was running I inhaled very deeply and I felt the muscles in my back pull completely from one side to the other. Yes, breathing. This morning I feel like someone clubbed me in the back with a baseball bat.

Normally it's my lower back that hurts. This time it is everything except my lower back. I'll try to ice it today since I can't afford the time to get in to the chiropractor today. The kids just saw me try to get out of a chair. As I grimaced and tears welled up in my eyes, Colin said, "Are you okay mom?" My reply, "Yes Colin, I'm okay. It's just a backache. You can't die from a backache." Um, I really hope that true because this one HURTS!

Camism today: "Mom, are any of my Webkinz celebrating a special occasion today? I need to complete my gold coin collection so I can buy a dragster from the Wish Shop."
That's a lot of big words little man.

Update on Snicks - she is one crazy cat. I was sitting at the table on Tuesday filling out some paperwork. The cat did a stealth jump onto the table and attacked my hand; repeatedly. I'd push her off and she would jump back up. It was quite a fun game for her. I get, like, 10.9 seconds to myself a day. I really needed to get this paperwork completed for Camden's speech therapy. Kitty foiled my plans.

After the boys were snug in there beds last night Steve and I heard giggling from upstairs. I went up to see what was going on. Colin was dangling his hands and feet over the edge of his bed and the cat was attacking him. I am so glad that Snicks made it through her surgery. Colin would have been heartbroken for many months to come. He loves that little fireball with all of his heart.

Please continue t pray for Joanne (a friend of a friend). She is being taken off of the meds that induced the coma (so the swelling in her brain could recede). They do not know how long it will take for her to wake up or the extent of the damage. You can follow her progress here:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. The continuation of the shower I was showering today Colin came in the room crying. He said he needed to snuggle with someone because he was sad that he had to go to school today. I'm thinking to myself, yes, I get it kid. I understand that you are sad but really...I am in the shower. And you had to walk right past your dad to come up here and talk to me. Really?

2. Camism: "Mom, they made this DS game very complicated. I can't get my guy to go at the right angle to cross the threshold." Okay.

3. Steve continues to work ridiculous hours. He went in last night at 9pm (after a full day of work). I don't know what time he got home. It was between midnight and 5am. I am leaning closer to the 5am slot since when I came home from the gym at 7am he was still asleep and the kids were downstairs watching tv. The kids told me that he got up and turned on the tv for them and went back to bed. That's not really like him so it must have been a very late/early morning for him.

4. I am trying to decide it I want to apply for a substitutes license or go the harder route and take the PRAXIS test and then apply for my Colorado teaching certificate. I have not held a license since living in KS. That was quite some time ago.

5. We are getting a little taste of spring time weather here but I know it is short lived. We played outside yesterday but by this weekend it is supposed to be frigid again.

6. Colin had a hard time going to school today (see Item 1). It's interesting that he recognizes that when he has an extra day off, it is harder for him to go to school.

7. Camden was so tired last night. I woke him up at 10pm to take him to the bathroom and there was a puddle of drool on his bed and down his neck. Yuck. But that probably explains why he has been getting up at 5:30am the past few mornings. He sleeps hard for 8-9 hours and is ready to tackle another day.

8. I am finally on the other side of well. My cold decided to give me a farewell gesture and leave a nice big cold sore on my lip. Thanks.

9. Wondering when we can get the kids back up on the mountain to go skiing. However, it kind of freaks me out a little bit with how much trouble ski slopes have been having with their lifts lately. Skiing is a very dangerous sport.

10. Not much on the agenda for this week. The evening should be pretty calm at the Silva house. I have been trying out some new (easy) recipes. Some have been a hit and some have been a big fail.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Please Pray

As I sit here in my cozy house with my kids and husband watching a Lego show before bedtime, my mind keeps wandering to the current life of a friend of a friend.

I have placed a link in this post to a website. This website describes what this family has been through since Friday. Their world was turned upside down in a matter in seconds when the mom had a stroke. This family could be any one of us. My heart just breaks every time I read an update from this family. I do not know them but I have read her blog many times. She seems like such a wonderful person with so much to give.

You will need to scroll back through her blog to get to the beginning of the situation.As you hold your kids a little closer tonight, please for this family.

The Simple Wife

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Self Fulfilling Prophecy

I know I jinxed myself last night. After a "not so stellar" day with Cam, I figured that today might be even harder. He's been tired, cranky and overall not listening very well the last few days. I mentioned to Steve last night that I thought today was going to be a rough day with him. Before Cam went to bed last night he was already complaining that the did not want to go to gymnastics or to volunteer at Colin's school today.

Guess what? He's been sent to his room twice this morning. I have been uber patient with him so I don't think it's me being too hard on him. He got sent to time out by his by his gymnastics instructor. He cried all the way home because he asked to eat lunch on the couch and I told him no. Eating lunch on the couch is not common practice in our house. They get to eat on the couch on Fridays for "Family Fun Night". That's it. Why he thought he would be allowed today, it's beyond me. But he had it in his head that he wanted to eat on the couch. Oh the despair when I told him no.

Right now he is on the couch crying, watching Diego. I figured 30 minutes of mind vegging would do him (and me) some good. Tonight will be an early bed time for sure. If he wasn't already on antibiotics, I would say that he was going to wake up sick tomorrow.

Breath in. Breath out. These are the types of days where I dread that Steve comes home late. These are the types of days where I wonder if Cam can handle full day Kindergarten next year. These are the types of days when I question why God gave me a strong willed child.

These are also the days when I see that Cam can stand on his own two feet. These are the days when I know that he needs me the most. These are the days when I am thankful that we have set a foundation of rules and expectations for our kids. Two steps forward. One step back. But, still progress. Tomorrow will be a better day.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. I realized the other day after looking at Cam's birth certificate that my birth date is wrong on his certificate. I am a year younger on his birth certificate. Something tells me that I should probably get this changed and something else tells me that it is not going to be an easy process.

2. Camism for today....He had to take his medicine last night. He fusses and complains every time so I told him that he had to have it, no exceptions. He turned to me and said, "Come on mom, cut me some slack."

3. My throat still hurts. It's a different kind of hurt though. I don't feel sick. My head is not stuffy. My throat just hurts. It's better during the day but by late evening, it hurts all the way up to my ears and I have a headache. I would like to go back to the doctor but I am assuming that since I have no other symptoms, they will run blood work. That being said, I can't go to the Dr. with a kid in tow because I always pass out when they take blood. It's just something I have come to expect. I can't have Cam there with me while they are picking me up off the floor. Guess I'll just see if my throat gets better or worse over the next few days.

4. Colin was still his same old grumpy self after school yesterday It wears off around 6pm. That just makes for a long two hours.

5. I got to take a shower AND get dressed all by myself on Saturday. Everyone was gone so it was quite easy. I almost had time to shower and dress by myself the other days of the week too. If I would have just cut my shower/dress time by 15 minutes. I would have had complete privacy. Oh wait, it only takes me 15 minutes to shower and get dressed.

6. We did get some snow over the weekend. It's very dry and powdery snow. It's too cold for the kids to go outside so I'm not sure the snow was exactly what I asked for.

7. Steve and I went out to dinner on Sunday afternoon. We have not been out since, oh goodness, October, I think. That's when we went to Las Vegas and my mom watched the kids. I kind of miss my husband.

8. It's a really good feeling to be recycling more than we throw away. Our recycle bin is more full each week than our garbage bin. Yeah us.

9. I baked cookies today. Something about being cooped up when it is cold outside just makes me want to bake. I don't necessarily want to eat what I bake, so come on over and help me out.

10. Steve and I have decided to keep our summer vacation close to home. We want to plan a few long weekends to Colorado destinations. Any suggestions of fun places in the state to go with kids? We have considered Steamboat, Glenwood Springs, Royal Gorge and/or Silverton train.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

More "Cam"isms and an Ah Ha Moment

Camden is just a crack up. This things that come out of that 5 year old little brain. He sounds so wise and so funny at the same time.

He was eating a fudge pop for dessert the other day. He was sitting at the table and said, "Mom, this tastes like a slice of the moon. A little bit of chocolaty heaven goodness." He is so stinking cute.

More from Cam....

"I know who our first President was (notice the past tense). Obama. He rules the world." I tried to clarify with Camden that Obama is our current President but he just could not wrap his head around it.

"I want to go to Egypt. It's full of booby traps. I can see them from our house."

"Don't forget to pray for Brandon (our beloved dog) in heaven. I need to seem him again. I really really miss him." (Cam was a year old when we put Brandon down but he really really misses him.)

"I am allergic to dogs and cats and cottonwood. I wonder if I am allergic to mom. But I don't sneeze around any of them."

And the ah ha moment that I learned this week about Colin. I kept trying to figure out what magical piece of Christmas break allowed the boys to get along so well. It was a like a little fairy came down and sprinkled happy smiles and kindness in our house for two weeks. The boys played so well together. They shared, they plotted, they built was wonderful. I had so much fun doing all sorts of different activities with them because we were all so happy.

Yesterday after school Colin just ripped into Camden. He was yelling at him. He did not want to be around him. Colin was crying. Camden was crying. And I had an ah ha moment.

Everyday when Colin gets home from school he is in an awful mood. It breaks my heart because I know his teacher gets the best of him at school and we get the worst of him at home. (He's still a good kid, I just hate seeing him so sad.) I realized that he is just totally worn out. He is mentally exhausted. I have to go back to the days when he was a toddler. We avoided noisy places and crowds with him because he would end up crying if he got too agitated.

Cue in school. Noise and chaos is a constant. His teacher is WONDERFUL (and that is with ALL CAPS!!!)! The classroom itself is organized and his day is structured. But, the class is full of kids, the lunchroom is crowded. The arrival and dismissal process is noisy and crowded. I imagine every day when he gets on the bus to come home, his heart skips a beat. I am sure that he is on edge wondering if I'll be there to pick him up. He still asks me to promise him everyday that I will be at the bus stop waiting for him. I have never given him any reason to indicate that I would not be there. And we have a plan set up with neighbors if for some emergency reason I am not there. The kid just worries. (Wonder where he gets that from?)

I bet he is stressed and on edge most of the day. When he comes home, he is just exhausted. We don't have much time between him getting home and bedtime. He gets home at 4pm. We try to have them upstairs by 6:30pm for a bath and bedtime between 7:30-7:45pm. If he has a boyscouts thing that gets pushed to 8pm which I do not like but we just have to deal with it.

I really want to get him involved in karate after school but he is just so tired. I wonder if he had an activity right after school if it would make things better or worse. Does anyone out there have an experience with this? I just keep thinking that if he had a way to release this anxiety, our nights might go better.

I don't get "happy Colin" after school. Sure, he bounces home and runs to greet the bus driver on the other side of the block. But the minute we walk in the door he is either pouting, yelling at Camden, whining about not having something, complaining about having to go to boyscouts, the grocery store, the moon. Seriously, it almost seems like his way of processing things is just to be in a sour mood for 2 hours.

Usually, by dinner, he has turned the corner and he is happy and smiling. But those two hours are brutal. I have to admit, I think a "schedule" after school would be a good idea. We have taken him out of all of his activities after school except Boyscouts. That keeps us plenty busy. But I almost feel like he needs a physical release. It's been hard to establish a routine after school because there are always so many different variables. I might need to run to the store with them. We might need to catch up on homework or a boyscout project. Lately we have made a lot of after school trips to Walgreens for meds for Cam. We go to the library some days. I like to take them with me when I return books so they have a chance to check out new books. It has just been really hard to get into a routine after school.

I'm not sure which way to go with this. Do I schedule something after school as a "release" for Colin or do I establish a routine at home where he has some time to himself? He's going to see that as a punishment but it might do him some good to not have to interact with Cam the moment he walks in the door. Cam is so excited to see Colin and tell him about his day. I'm just not sure how to turn after school time into that joyous occasion that I always felt after school. How do you all handle after school time? Routine, classes, activities, cookies and milk?

Just so I don't end this blog on a down note, here are some pictures of last weeks snow. It's all melted now but we are supposed to get more on Sunday night. The low on Sunday is -14. Now that's cold people.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ten on Thursday (Because I Did Not Get To It On Tues.)

My Ten on Tuesday posts did not last very long. I am a few days behind. So here goes....
1. Camden is still using words that are way to big for him. It cracks me up. Yesterday he was putting together a Lego. I noticed that he was not following the exact directions. When I asked him why he used a different piece he said, "Mom, I am improvising." Wow. Excuse me. I shouldn't question a 5 year old.

2. Colin has decided that he wants to have his 7 year birthday party at the Humane Society. When he found out that the payment for the party went directly back to the animals and their care, he chose the Humane Society over a party at the Lego Store. I love his heart.

3. Steve continues to work weird and long hours. He has worked so many night shifts along with his regular day shift that I do not know how he can function. I've been trying to take care of things at home so he can do what he needs to do at work but it's hard when there's no clear schedule. He should be getting a review within the month so hopefully all of his hard work will pay off.
4. Facebook is the coolest thing ever. When I was in middle school we hosted an exchange student from Iceland. She was a wonderful friend and I have tried to find her on facebook a few times but could not figure out the spelling of her last name. Yesterday she contacted me via facebook. So cool!

5. I am having a hard time not putting my name in the running for full time positions opening up at the Charter School. I know there is no way that I can work full time and juggle the kids' school and activities like I do now. Steve works so many hours that I just can not commit to a full time job. I want to work but I don't want to leave my kids with someone else. I want to work but Cam is just starting Kindergarten next year. I want to work and a job at the school would be perfect. But not right now. I have to wait for God's timing and not try to fit it into my own timing.

6. Cam is going back on antibiotics. His sinus infection is not quite gone. He still has a gooey nose so it's back to a 10 day dose of antibiotics for him. I hate putting him on meds but I just can't seem to get him well.

7. My sis is moving from Charleston, SC in March. This is kind of a bummer because I thought we would be able to go out to Charleston one last time this summer. They were supposed to be moving to Rhode Island in July. Things changed and now they have orders to move to St. Louis. Bummer.

8. Colin lost his 3rd front tooth last week. It was loose already but it was knocked out by Cam when they were wrestling. I have given up on the "No Wrestling" rule. It's a constant battle so I just told them that if they got hurt, it was not my fault. Karma baby. Karma.

9. Colin had a "Go See Em' with Boyscouts last night. Steve took both Colin and Cam to the Police Station for a tour because we thought Cam might enjoy it too. Turns out the police officer did not know much about how to handle a group of 6 year olds. The kids got lectures on sexual predators, murders, bodies being dumped in fields, drunk drivers.... not the kind of information that I expected for a tour with 6 year olds. Nice. Really nice.

10. I am ready for more snow or spring. Not sure which.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Those Were the Days

Remember the days when you used to be able to to a long hot shower every morning? All by yourself? Without being interrupted by dire emergency? And by emergency I mean someone can't get a Lego apart. Someone needs their milk refilled. Someone can't find their favorite shirt in the closet (because they never actually put it in the dirty clothes basket to begin with). Someone can't get the toothpaste out of the container.

It seems that every morning is the same. I just get in the shower or just get out of the shower and am greeted by a small person needing something. I tell them I am going upstairs to take a shower. Two minutes later, they decided that it is the EXACT moment that they desperately need something. Huh, sorry about your luck kiddos. Can't help you right now.

It is a rare occasion that I can shower AND get dressed without a small person walking in on me. I close my bedroom door. I have not gone as far as to lock it. Our master bathroom is "open concept" and does not have a door. The best I can do is shower fast and have my clothes ready for me when I get out. Now, some of you are wondering why I wouldn't just take my time and let me kids deal with their issues. It's because my kids have this weird habit of hanging out wherever I am. It's unnerving.

We have four bedrooms, a playroom, a family room, a formal room and a finished basement. Nope, all that space just won't do. Often times the boys can be seen sitting at my feet playing legos while I am working. By work, I actually mean work. I have a part-time job (usually from home) and I can work some while the kids are playing. But they can't seem to be in a different room for very long. Last night I even moved upstairs to our bedroom to work. Nope, here come two kids with their new models.

Yesterday, I was trying to make dinner. Guess it was a good time to play with bouncy balls on the kitchen floor. And, if I am showering that is a wonderful opportunity for the boys to pretend they are taking a bath in the soaker tub and get out all of their bath toys. Funny thing is, most nights they complain about having to take a bath.

So, there I stand, in the shower with two boys waiting desperately for me to get out and get on with my day.

This brings me to my first option for a New Year's Resolution. Shower as little as possible in 2011. What do you think?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

From 2000 and Beyond

2000 - Got married to my Best Friend. No really, I've known him since 7th grade.

2001- Moved to Chicago and started a new job as Principal.

2002 - Worked at said job from dawn until dusk.

2003 - Moved back to KS.

2004 - Had Baby # 1 (Colin). Lived in CA for 6 months.

2005 - Had Baby # 2 (Camden)

2006 - Moved to Colorado Springs without ever seeing our new house. Steve and my dad bought it without me.

2007 - Moved to Erie, Colorado in a blizzard after spending 2 weeks in a hotel. Thanks for your help Grandma and Grandpa.

2008 - Tried to not have a nervous breakdown with two young kids at home.

2009 - Remained status quo and did not move.

2010 - Ended the year with the worst cold I have had in many, many years.

2011 - Not planning on moving, or having more kids, or starting a new job. Huh. Not sure what to do with myself.