Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dear Parents Magazine,

Every night we either read with the boys and send them to bed or snuggle up and watch a cartoon together in my bed. Sometimes I leave them in my bed with a cartoon on because if I lay down with them I will fall asleep. Well, the other night I was pooped so I read with them on the couch and sent them up to their beds. They share a room so sometimes they have a hard time calming down for the night. A few hours later when Edward and I went up to bed, I heard a noise coming from the boys' room. It sounded like a TV only they don't have a TV in their room. I walked in and Nolen was playing his DSi in his bed while Max watched. WHAT?!?! Are you kidding me? He looked up at me and slowly closed his DSi, clearly hoping I  hadn't seen it. I'm no dummy! 

"Are you kidding me? No video games tomorrow." I took the DSi from him and walked out. I couldn't believe it. They continued to talk and once when I went in to check on them, Nolen was crying. He said he was sad because I yelled at him. I told him that I love him but he knows better. A few minutes later, Max came in my room and asked if he could play video games tomorrow since he wasn't playing the DSi, he was just watching. "Are you kidding me? Next time, you need to tell Nolen to stop, get in your bed and fall asleep or come tell Dad and me. But you were sitting there watching him. In my book that is guilty."

Now, I am not a mean momma. I hate punishing my kids. Mostly because I hate sticking to it when they are so cute and sweet. Its much easier to stick to your guns when you're dealing with a mouthy, whining, irritating kid. But I was strong.

The next morning it was the same story. Nolen was whimpering. "What's wrong Nolen?"

"I'm crying because you yelled at me."
"Well, do you think its ok to play video games in bed?"
"Are you going to do it again?"
"I love you but the only way to learn that you can't do something is to take the consequences. You knew it was wrong to play video games in bed."

I was afraid that I would have two whiny little monsters on my hands all morning. But I didn't. Instead I had two ANGELS! First, Nolen made breakfast for himself and for his brother. They both got dressed and ready for school the FIRST time I asked them and when it was time to leave I started looking around for Nolen, but he was already in the van ready to go! Usually I have to tell them five times to put their shoes on because they can't stop playing with each other long enough to find their shoes! 

I must say I was feeling pretty proud of myself that day. I stuck to my guns and I think my kids respected me for it. Now if only I could get them to eat their vegetables!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fighting Wild Fires

This Park Ranger was packing up his stuff but he stopped what he was doing to give the boys a demo. It was so nice of him. First he showed them how firefighters use these backpacks filled with water to fight forest fires. It works kind of like a super soaker and the boys had fun knocking down the pretend fire.

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Leonardtown Wharf

Sunday we walked down to the square for the Earth Day Celebration. We had some errands earlier in the day, so it was winding down by the time we got there. It was still a nice walk. We took some kettle corn down to the wharf and the boys fed the crumbs to the seagulls.

You'd never know that Max has a cracked molar and 6 stitches in his chin. He ran and ran and ran. He even wiped out while he was racing Nolen on the boardwalk. I panicked for a second as I imagined us back in the ER but it wasn't that bad. He did get a little cut under his nose but he was ok. This kid is starting to make me nervous!
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Friday, April 16, 2010

Battle Scar

Max had his first trip to the ER last night. Honestly, from what Edward tells me about his childhood, I consider myself lucky that we went this long without one. The boys were swimming after their lesson at the pool last night and Max attempted a backwards cannon ball. Clearly this was not a good idea. I've told him before that he is too close to the edge and he needs to jump OUT not just up. I guess he had to learn the hard way. Luckily it didn't bleed very much considering, but it was gaping open. He cried hard for about 5 minutes, then he told me he wanted candy out of the vending machine at the pool. The kid is smart even when he's hurt. He knew I would have given him anything at that point. We drove home, had the ER nurse nextdoor look at it (I love living nextdoor to nurses!), left Nolen with her and headed to the ER. We got there around 7:30. Edward got home from work and took over ER duties at 8:30. And he and Max were back home around 10:30. Ed said Max did great. He cried when they gave him the shot of novacaine but other than that he was fine...and flirting with all the nurses!
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Elms Beach Field Trip

I think Nolen was excited to be going on his field trip! I also think that school buses haven't changed in 25 years. I found myself worrying about the kids that were leaning out into the aisle while the bus was moving. School buses look way more dangerous as a parent than they did as a kid!
I was pretty impressed with the program at Elms Beach. It was divided into two sections. In the morning the kids read a book about animals, then talked about classifying animals into Classes (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects...). After she passed around some critters, including the gecko that is crawling on Nolen, the kids went outside to dig up whatever they could find. We didn't find much...bugs, worms and the like. At the end of our walk, one of the boys found a big (7inches across) turtle in a tide pool just a few yards from the beach! The beach, by the way, is the Chesapeake Bay. 
After lunch they talked about the life cycle of a frog. Did you know that some frogs take 18 months to go from egg to frog? We observed some frogs, tadpoles and frog eggs, then we talked about temperature. We used thermometers to record the temperatures of 3 containers of water, and the air temperature at several points around the area. Pretty cool for first grade.

This is a vernal pool. It is where salamanders and frogs might lay their eggs in these clumps of jelly egg sacs. Gross! If the vernal pools dry up the eggs will die.

T-Ball Opening Day

The boys had their first T-Ball game tonight! They are the Blue Crabs and tonight they played the Yankees. The boys were so cute in their jerseys and hats!

Of course, Max had to spend some time in the outfield playing in the dirt!

Goooooo Blue Crabs!!!
All the pictures I had of Nolen were blurry, but I promise he was there too!

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Science and Technology Night

The boys' school hosted a Science and Technology Night. It was originally scheduled for February but was canceled during the snowstorms and rescheduled for March. It was a gorgeous day and a lot of spring activities have started up so they didn't have quite the turnout they were hoping for. I took the kids on a whim thinking that we would just walk through and say hi to some friends and leave but we were there for at least an hour. There wasn't too much to see but what WAS there was very engaging. Mad Science was there and the boys each made a "polymer" which is just fancy talk for a super bouncy ball.

After that they dug for shark's teeth and identified which shark they came from. By the way, the little girl in the red shirt is Rachel. That is Max's girlfriend from last year. They aren't in the same class this year so he has other girlfriends now. Max is a charmer!

The boys also got to play "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader". All of the questions were about the Chesapeake Bay. It was really cute and Nolen was excited because he said he got every question right. I'm not sure if that's true but he still had fun!

On May 3rd the school is hosting a Family Fun and Fitness Night at school. The focus is to stress the importance of making time for fitness and reading which doesn't seem to be related except that the Maryland Blue Crab Minor Leauge Baseball Team is running a "Pinch Into Reading " program. I'll be there that night doing a Junior Jazzercise demo! Woohoo!
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School Easter Party

Max's class had quite an Easter party on the day before spring break. First they had an egg hunt, but since it was raining and cold and windy (I swear I saw sleet that day), they had it inside.

After lunch they had a special was a very cute bunny made from a cupcake and marshmallows, coconut, jelly beans, pretzels, m&ms, small marshmallows...a lot of sugar! Notice the icing by Max's eye. He is such a mess!

And no Easter party is complete without dying eggs!

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Dying Eggs

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Leonardtown Egg Hunt

The day before Easter was the Egg Hunt in Leonardtown. It was fun. The boys each got about 15 eggs and each egg had a little trinket in it. By the way, trinket is code for, "Toy that will be thrown in the trash while you are at school on Monday." Ha!
It was a beautiful day but we had some incidents. I found a tic on Max's head soon after we got there. Luckily my neighbor had a strong stomach and a pair of tweezers in his car and he pulled it out for me. Tics totally gross me out and that was a big fat one that had dug in pretty good.
Our other issue was that Max got a little too excited about the hunt and when I told him to follow me because they had called 5-year-old boys to line up, he also heard the announcer say, "ok boys, ready, set, go" and he ran out with the 4-year-old boys. DOH! I was MAD! I laid into him when he got back and told me he couldn't go with the 5 year olds now. He felt pretty bad. The only things that made me feel better about my cheating child were that, he is small for his age so maybe it wasn't as noticeable and the other fours had a head start since they were lined up and Max was back behind the ropes. He didn't get nearly as many eggs as he would have if he had gone with his group.
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Happy Easter!

Easter Morning! The boys had fun checking out their Easter Baskets. Nolen especially liked his wind up chicken  that lays gumballs as it walks. And Max got a Viking helmet, sword and ax from How to Train Your Dragon...which was a GREAT movie! 

Ready for the egg hunt.

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Happy Easter!

And they're off!

I love these pictures of the kids looking for eggs and you can clearly see exactly where the eggs are. HA!!

We kept telling the boys, "I can see a blue egg from right here. Its not on the ground....", it took them forever to find it. Its so funny that every Easter eggs are hid in the same the hose, in the wheels of the car, in the mailbox, in the bottom of the rain gutters...I always think I'm making it too easy but they still have a hard time finding some of them! Love it!

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Zoo Outing

I had all kinds of plans for us over Spring Break but we didn't get to do as much as I had hoped thanks to the strep throat the boys had. However, on Easter Monday we made it to the zoo in DC. I won't bore you with the details, but lets just say this trip had its challenges...

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