Monday, June 30, 2008

Let me apologize to whoever gave this to us in the first place...

Someone gave us a very nice decorative throw pillow as a wedding gift that says "Willeford" in cursive on a white on white case. It is small and Jack likes to sleep with it. Today during his "rest time" which can mean anything from him napping to him trashing his room completely, I found this in his room. This is exactly why he isn't allowed to have markers or pens in his room during "rest time." I'm sure he thought that someone else had put a word on there, and he was just adding his own. Anyway, I wanted to kill him, and he knows better. The upside for me is after me being extremely unhappy about this, he went back into his room as a punishment and fell asleep. We'll see if I can Clorox the marker out or not.



Sam showing off his words

video

They are only ant bites I SWEAR





So, at the park the other day my kids got into a huge swarm of fire ants. Jack actually went over there first, and Sam of course followed him over. The key was that Sam put his hands on the tree stump they were swarming on to balance himself, thus he got them all over his hands, whereas Jack was standing at it took a little longer for them to climb up his legs. Jack screamed and Keith and I ran over there, both grabbed a child, stripped them, slapped off ants, killed ants, and generally did the best we could. Jack came out relatively unscathed, he has about six ant bites on his legs. Sam has like 17 on one hand, and about 10 on the other. The worse hand has one on every knuckle and between every finger. If you have ever seen fire ant bites, you know that after about a day they form these little pustules on the top of the red bite, which I read online that you are NOT SUPPOSED TO POP even if you want to (and I do).


So, today we went to the Sugar Land branch of the Houston Children's Museum that is set up only for the summer months. Now, I am not trying to sound snobby but most people in Sugar Land and this area seem pretty darn well off if you ask me. So, there are a lot of Polo-laden kids at this Museum and very well dressed moms in heels. I take Sam into the tots section, where he happily plays. SEVERAL times I saw people glance down at his hands. You know they were thinking, "My God, this kid has leprosy!" Or, at the very very least chicken pox. I felt bad. I really wanted to make a sign that said he just had ant bites to ease their troubled minds. I know if I was in their shoes I wouldn't have wanted some poor diseased child touching everything my kid was going to be playing with. Rest easy people, it's nothing you can catch.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thomas

Some of you will really not understand the full importance of this if you don't spend time with boys under the age of about five very often. We'll forgive you.

We were driving home from swimming lessons yesterday and Jack did pretty well there, but spent a lot of the time when he wasn't directly attended by the teacher goofing off with another little boy who is in his morning summer camp class at the YMCA. This required a lot of the teacher saying, "Boys, please stay on the first step!" and "Boys, please sit on your bottoms!" etc.

I asked him, "Jack, what was that little boy's name that you were playing with during your swimming lesson?"

He takes a long pause and I glance at him in the rear view mirror and can tell he is thinking about it.

Finally he says, "Well, his name is Thomas mommy. But I found out, he is not the train. He is just has that name." He looks very dejected.

I say, "Well, it sure looked like y'all were having fun playing!"

He says, "Yeah, we had fun, but he really ISN'T the train Thomas."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Look at him, sitting here smuggly not saying MaMa




Don't try to tell me this child is innocent. He knows he is cute and will use it to his advantage.

Still No Dice on the "MaMa"

So Sam has been speaking his very favorite word about 24/7 since his birthday, and that is "Hi!" He says it to passing trucks especially, as well as any human staring at him, as well as to the sound of the doorbell chime on our front door, as well as any time he darn well pleases. He also waves in an up and down "my hand is wet" type motion whenever he repeats this word.

So we've been saying for a WHILE now that he would start talking soon, and now it has been two months, and we were mostly stuck with "Hi! Hi! Hi!" all day long. We have been encouraging further development in this area, and I in particular have been pushing for one certain word "MaMa". I repeat it to him dozens of times a day, and he smiles at me or tells me "Hi!" very politely. He in no way says "MaMa" back or anything you could mistake for that word.

Last week, his verbal skills started improving almost daily. He will say Ball if he sees one (Baaaa), and after many dropped items off the side of his high chair tray, he'll say another favorite, Uh-Oh (uh-aaaaaaaa). He will also say "Thank You" (Da-uuuuu) and EVEN in correct context.

After this weekend of visiting grandparents in San Antonio, he has taken up another word, "PaPa". How much farther from PAPA is MAMA? So I have upped my attempts to repeating it about 100 times a day. Still, nothing.

Oh, I know they say that the "M" is one of the hardest sounds for them to make, but I'm just not really buying it. I think he can just tell I want him to say that, so he doesn't. Typical male, especially in my house.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tales of the Boys Gone Wild Club

After a pleasant night's sleep, you arise groggily to start the day. As you exit your bedroom you are met by an not-so-surprising sight......your four year old who often sleeps just outside your bedroom door if you do not cave and let him sleep with you. Since you are used to this sight, you simply step over the pile and move on...
...to another room that is obviously visible in this not-very-big apartment. It is that four year old child's room, the one who didn't sleep in there? He might not have slept, but he certainly did some other things in there nocturnally that you didn't know about...


...and automatically at the beginning of the day you are none to pleased with this four year old child. So, you deal with this, but alas! You have forgotten, mind you, about the one year old child! While dealing with the misadventures of the big boy, you have forgotten to contain the small one...
...so you almost expect what you find...
...once you turn around and see...
...that this large and annoying mess certainly won't be the last of the day.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Who Gives Chocolate Ice Cream to a One Year Old?


Parents that don't feel like fighting the fight at the time. (Didn't you know eating it with your hands was the best way? Of course, so you can get REALLY MAD when your hands start to freeze.)

Why Sugar Land Now Thinks We Are Racist

Today on the way to Jack's day camp at the YMCA he started telling me this LONG made up story about the movie Wall-E that is coming out soon. We started talking about this in the first place because he is deathly afraid of movie theaters in general. I asked him why he was scared of them and he said, "because they are too dark and loud and the movies are too scary." After we talked about this for a while with no mention of any movie, he said, "Mommy, you know that rol-o-bot [robot for you all who don't speak preschooler] movie we saw on TV at Nana's house? That movie is already over at all the theaters anyway." Good try, kid, but I don't buy it.

That is why he then started telling me a story about this "Wall-E" rol-o-bot and why he was too scary. This story lasted about 15 minutes straight and involved a lot of chasing and getting and shooting and running. The problem here is that the other character that was running and chasing and fighting Wall-E in his version was called "the black man." Now, under no circumstance does Jack mean that to mean an African-American man. He means it like you would say a red bowl or a pink shoe. Just a color to him. This only becomes a problem because this story continues LOUDLY as we walk in the door to a very
busy and very multi-ethnic YMCA.

We walk in through a group of about 10 teenagers of all shades of color. Jack continues...

"Then the BLACK MAN ran up to him and sat him down in the grey chair. Then the rol-o-bot tries to get away and the BLACK man won't let him. He chases him down and down the street and they run faster and faster. The BLACK MAN grabs him and fights him..."

To which I respond, "OOOOOOOOKay Jack, that was a good story!!"

He looks at me quizzically for about one second, then continues totally unfazed just as we are about to pass a lone African-American 14 year old girl...

"and the Rol-o-bot cannot get away and he is very scared of that BLACK MAN. He knows he is dangerous! He falls down on the floor..."

You get the idea. As you can imagine, I am getting all kinds of looks from everyone we pass. Still, I could not for the life of me come up with any reason to tell him that we shouldn't say BLACK MAN so loudly outside. If I had told him it was a bad word, he wouldn't have known why, plus that isn't even true. If I had told him it was not socially acceptable, he would have just stared at me. So, I just took it, and the resulting stares.

Let's hope he's forgotten about it when I pick him up. I was really wanting to tell his teacher, "If he starts telling you about the black man, I promise he is not being racist, he just has no idea."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Family

Jack does A LOT of drawings in one day. This is the first real one of the family all together. It even has our names (aka random letters) written on them. Keith has a beard (or whiskers), and I have a huge nose. Also note, Keith has two fingers and toes on each hand, I have three, and Jack has four, yet poor old Sam has none.

He is a very cute little artist.

We went to the HOT zoo yesterday






In case no one knew, Houston is a hot place to live. And we have always lived in hot places, so I shouldn't be too surprised. In Okinawa (HUMID) we usually were bright enough not to go any hot outdoor places in the summer. Somehow, we figured yesterday maybe it wouldn't be too bad to go to the zoo. Well, dude, it was hot there. Luckily, they had like a little mini-water park where Jack could play. You will notice that we went to the zoo, yet there are no pictures of animals.

Cecelia said that after we were hanging out for a while at the little water park area, she heard some lady yell at her kids, "We are leaving NOW! I have been at the zoo for an hour and I haven't seen one animal!"

Anyhow, I guess the park was worth the price of admission, and Jack had a ball. There were lots of tan kids playing of all races, and Keith was calling Jack "White Lightning" due to his extreme paleness in comparison. We always put a swim shirt on him, so shirtless his skin almost hurts your eyes!

Like Moving?

Cause I hate it.
And we do it ALL THE TIME.
Most of these are actually unpacked now.
Just to move again in two months. UGGGGGGGGGGG.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Obsession with Google

Have we talked about this obsession Jack has with Google? I honestly can't tell you how it started. But however it did, one of his favorite activities is to sit at the computer and say "how do you spell _____, Mommy?" and then I have to spell the word as he types it. Then he clicks Google, goes up to the top, clicks "Images" and looks at all of the pictures of whatever it is he typed. The whole thing started out as animals and he would say "Oh look, how cute!" about every one he saw.

The problem is that in Houston, you are almost always in the same room as Jack and that room also has a computer. Thus, lots of requests for spellings.

I knew it is getting a little out of control when I walked into the door from the bank and Keith was giving Sam a bath and Jack was on the computer. As soon as I come into the living room, he says, "Mommy, how do you spell hang glider? I already have the H!!"

The other main problem is that he has figured out the print button so we might get 15 pictures of hang gliders and 8 of a baby alligator and her mommy. Don't be surprised if these things show up in your mailboxes.

Why we go through A LOT of printer paper

Sam
Daddy Poppy
Nana



Mommy
Jack
Don't you love how Sam is so tiny and everyone else is huge :-)