Monday, May 10, 2010

Next up, Shrinky Dinks!

Aaron's brother JJ and our lovely sister-in-law EJ visited this weekend for Leah's birthday celebration (I swear photos will be posted soon!). The other night at dinner, JJ was telling us about how he was doing some painting for hire. We were teasing him a bit, because Aaron & JJ's dad owned a painting contracting business, which all the kids worked for at some point - and JJ almost took over.

JJ said that a friend had offered to help paint, but he "charges $50 an hour and doesn't know how to hold a brush!" We laughed, and I said that in THAT case, I could help, too...and Aaron said, "For that matter, LEAH could help..."
Leah: "Help with what?"
Aaron: "Help paint a house!"
Leah: "PURPLE?!"

What killed us is that there was NO hesitation. And I don't know where she got purple from anyway, since we'd been talking about yellow, orange & pink all day. But if anyone is painting their house purple, I know someone who can "help".


My SIL EJ brought me a stack of Martha Stewart's Kids magazines, and it was like I'd been given an extra Christmas present. I love those magazines, and Leah is just getting to be able to do some of the projects.

I had a page open to examples of clay buttons and beads that you make yourself when Ben came over to check things out. He pointed right at it, and said, "Can we do that?"
Me: Sure, we can do that sometime.
Ben: We better have Grandma help.
Me: Why? You don't think I can do a craft without Grandma?
Ben: Nope. can sew. (His tone here was not very convincing, as if he wasn't quite sure about that one, either)

So no offense, Mom, I love (and, lets face it, need) your assistance, but I think I need to start doing some stuff on my own with the kids, or they are going to think I'm completely useless.

The big kids have been taking swimming lessons once a week at a local university, and let me tell you, it's worked out to be pretty cheap private lessons. Leah only has one other kid in her class, but usually she's by herself. Ben is the only one in his class. I was a bit worried about Ben's cooperation, but he got in the first day and has loved it ever since, so it's actually been kind of pleasant. Their classes are at the same time, and I get to chat with a friend for part of that time, so it all works out well.

Today I almost forgot about lesson altogether except that I was folding towels and came across their swim towels. Lucky that was an hour before we had to leave!

On the way to the pool, we drive by a uniquely shaped dormitory commonly known as the Beer Can. Of course the kids commented on it the first day, but I didn't tell them THAT name, of course. I just said it was round, so the rooms were shaped like pie pieces.

Today Ben pointed out, "Mommy, there's that building that looks like a jar of peanut butter!"

So that's what it is for us now. The Peanut Butter Jar.

And a potty-training update for those of you wondering: Ben had a relapse of #2 on Saturday (WHY would you run RIGHT BY the bathroom when you desperately have to go potty, and instead choose to lean against the freezer? I do not understand what is going on in his head sometimes.) but this evening went in the potty like it was no big deal. He agrees that it is much easier to go in the potty (especially since it doesn't require 20 minutes of theatrics while he takes off the soiled undies and dumps the poo in the potty - THEN I'll help him.) There are only 2 toys left up on the shelf from when we resorted to negative reinforcement, so hopefully soon I won't feel the need to update you all on this rather gross topic.

Leah's birthday party was very fun, and thanks to my many mommy friends who helped out, I retained my sanity throughout the entire day. Every time someone asked what Leah wanted for her birthday (to which SHE would reply, "I don't care! Stuff girls like!") I'd tell them that she loves art. And it's a good thing I was correct, because almost all of her gifts are art/craft kits. She is in heaven, and I know she (and her mother) won't be bored for a long time.

I'll update you on the status of those kits. I'm trying to let go of "saving" them until she can make a "really nice" project, and just let her have fun. Of course, I'm going to encourage her to think about her designs before jumping in with the paint....Not only will that make the creative process last longer, but it will hopefully contribute to her valuing them more, as well.


Ruth said...

please let those kids (who have probably forgotten my name by now) know that i used to live in the peanut butter jar.

Stacie said...

Hope she liked her butterfly bank (and didn't get 2 of them!) Kenzie had SO much fun at Leah's party that I found her sleeping that night with her magnifying glass in her hand :)

JJ and EJ said...

I was going to blog about the "Purple!" conversation and had forgotten about it! Thanks for reminding me! So cute! : )