Monday, June 29, 2009

First day of Camp

My babies went to camp today. For JJ, his first camp experience! He was very excited and hopped right on the bus, almost forgetting to even say good-bye.

Here is a picture with him with his backpack on. It's almost bigger than he is....

It's amazing the things they can do when they put their minds to it. Just this past weekend he could barely walk up the street without complaining that his feet hurt if he walks too much. Selective exertion, I guess.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Father's Day

For father's day we had a homemade Chinese food extravaganza, prepared mostly by my very own father, with a few additions from other family members. You know being father's day and all we didn't want him to have to do EVERYTHING. I know, you're thinking, "It's father's day. He shouldn't have been cooking his own dinner." But really he loves to cook, and eat, so really, it was the least we could do.

Below are the various dishes he prepared. I tried to get a photo of each dish before the vultures swept in, but they're quick, so as you will see, in some cases, I got a picture just in the nick of time.

We started with Scallion Pancakes (which was the only thing not homemade), and wings, prepared my by brother-in-law.

Next up....dumplings.

Followed by ground turkey and lettuce wraps...

Followed by spare ribs...and those suckers went fast!

And some beef chow fun,

And then, to finish us off, some shrimp fried rice and peanut butter noodles (prepared by my aunt).

I wish I could say we had no room left for dessert, but of course we did. I am embarrassed to admit it was not homemade - but it was tasty!

Bon Appetit!

Monday, June 22, 2009

An entry for "Kids Say the Darndest Things"

We were driving somewhere this weekend, all of us in the car and Sweet Pea said, "Will I go to X Middle School?"

"Probably," we replied, "Assuming we still live in X. Unless of course Daddy makes us move to Iowa or Nebraska before then," I added. Jonathan likes to joke he's going to get a job somewhere where the cost of living is a fraction of what it is here and make us all move. Not bloody likely.

"Maybe we'll move to Iowa and have a farm. Grow our own corn and live off the earth." He joked.

There was silence in the back seat and then Sweet Pea said, "You mean we wouldn't live on earth anymore?"

Precious, I know. And probably as close to living off the earth (under either interpretation) as we will ever get!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Freedom for the small people!

Finally some common sense! I love this article. It beats all the other ones that tell us how we are ruining our kids lives by letting them watch TV and eat candy. Now some evidence we can let them run free and it might even be GOOD for them.

And very timely. We have just been having this discussion about whether or not JJ should be allowed to go into a bathroom at a restaurant, etc. by himself. He no longer wants to go in to the women's room with me. So when its just the the two of us, it presents a bit of a dilemma. I've started to let him go alone, depending on where we are, and how well we know the place. I mean I wouldn't let him do it at the airport. But in a small local establishment, I think its good for him.

Just last week we were at the hospital Jonathan works at and JJ wanted to go into the bathroom by himself. I paused for a moment but ultimately decided to let him go alone. I wish I could say it was because in those few seconds I had weighed all the pros and cons and decided it was okay. In reality, I could not bear the idea of the tantrum that might ensue if I dragged him into the women's room. I waited outside while he went in. I do have to admit that after what I thought was a reasonable amount of time for him to do his business, I started to get a little nervous. Just then this man comes out. I asked him if my son was still in there. He said, "Yes. But you might not want to let him go in alone next time, he had trouble reaching the sink. But I helped him."

"Thanks, I appreciate it." I responsed. What I really wanted to say was, "Thanks for helping my son, and for your two cents, but you can leave the parenting to me." I know - a little defensive.

Then out comes JJ, happy (and proud)!

That same night we were in a restaurant with family. JJ had to go to the bathroom, and again, wanted to go alone. Again, I wish I could say we weighed the pros and cons and decided he could go alone but in this case it was pure laziness. We did not want to get up. Not to mention our table was right next to the bathroom so we could see the door and anyone coming in and going out. Off he went. Then someone at the table, (I will not say who), looked at Jonathan and I and said, "I would never do that." Really? So now, feeling like we might have made the wrong decision, Jonathan went into the bathroom after him. Apparently, JJ looked at Jonathan and said, "I want to be alone." They all (the men in the bathroom apparently) laughed and Jonathan made a quick exit. He was fine.

So reading this article was reassuring for me and very refreshing! So what if we'll need even more medication to ease all the anxiety this new found freedom might create.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

When you have children of both genders, there are those who say to you "Aren't girls so much easier!" And then there are those who say, "Aren't boys so much easier!" Generally, my opinion is that on the whole, neither gender is easier or harder, though certainly individual children tend to be more challenging than others. And we each know which of our children is that more challenging one for us. For some its a our daughter, for other's a son.

But last week I lived the inherent challenges in raising a daughter AND a son - but for very completely, different reasons.

Sweet Pea sent a blast e-mail telling half of the people in her address book (which is limited to a select few) that I hated her, yelled at her, shut the TV off, and did I mention, hated her. Had it gone just to perhaps just one or two people on her list I probably would have laughed it off as Sweet Pea once again expressing herself with all the drama we have come to expect from her. But there were some, one, on the list who I knew would not see this for what it on-line temper tantrum. And I was right. I spent the rest of the night explaining to Sweet Pea about on-line etiquette, as well the very important lesson of the permanency of typing something on-line, or e-mail for everyone to see (even if they think they are not sending it to everyone) and the possible consequences of that, especially when you have said something you know not to be true. And then I spent time explaining to others that my daughter is really not hostile or pathologically angry, just expressive and very dramatic. Could be worse, right?

I think to myself, "Thanks goodness for JJ. I'll never have to deal with this with him."

The following day, JJ went next door to ask his buddy if he wanted to play outside. Off they went riding bikes between our houses. About 15 minutes later he came back. As he was taking off his shoes I asked him what happened. It was clearly odd he just decided to come home without being summons after such a short time. He looked up at me and said, You're gonna be mad."

"What did you do?" I asked, already knowing this was not good.

"I don't want to tell you." He said.

"Well then I am just going to go next door and will find out so you might as well tell me."

"Buddy (not his really name of course) got hurt."

"What did you do?" I repeated.

"I didn't do anything." He said as he hung his head and slumped his shoulders.

"Tell me." I demanded.

"Well, buddy climbed on top of the car and so I climbed on top of the car. And then we jumped off and Buddy got hurt.

And this car, was an SUV - not low to ground like one might hope if they were to find out their kid was parachuting off a car, without a parachute that is.

I told JJ to get his shoes on. I wanted to go next door and make sure Buddy was okay. Turns out Buddy did a nose dive into the pavement. I know, painful to even think about. He was fine, but for a lump and scratch on his forehead. But the mere thought of the possibilities of what could have happened was truly beyond comprehension.

JJ and I had a discussion about how we don't need to do EVERYTHING our friends do and perhaps we need to give more though to our actions, before we act, taking our safety into account.

So there you have it, two truly trying events, each gender appropriate for the respective child, yet nevertheless equally as challenging for me to have to deal with. I guess at least I have variety!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009