Thanks to my big bro, Ben, for the new header! And thanks to my hubby for fixing the final details.
How do you like the new look?
Liam spent his brothers' swim lesson catching bugs every day. He adores bugs, even sleeps with them if I don't notice the bug catcher tucked in with him. Yuck!
Yesterday, he caught two that were mating. He said, "Look, Mommy! Those bugs are stuck together. Are they fighting?"
Yep, uh huh, they're fighting. We'll save that lesson for another day.
What is summer without swim lessons? The boys have spent the last two weeks in lessons with Ms. Jody at her house. She's an amazing teacher and can take a no-I'm-not-swimming screamer to a look-at-me-I'm-swimming swimmer.
This was Liam's second year with Ms. Jody. He's never been afraid of the water. His problem is quite the opposite, as he is overly confident. He thinks he can swim the length of the pool in one breath. Jody has to stay in front of him to remind him to come up for air, but he makes it to the opposite end with a huge smile on his face. He's so proud of himself for swimming the length of the pool and for using his arms to pull himself.
While he waits his turn, this is how he can be found:
Shivering due to the lack of insulation, yet cheering on his classmates.
Jack and Garrett are in a later class. Jody swears that Jack is Liam's clone, because he also exhibits more confidence than ability. Garrett, oh Garrett. As he told Jody goodbye today, she said, "Garrett, you sure made me earn every penny, but I love you." That would be because he was the screaming, whaling child you could hear across the United States up until two days ago.
But today, look at that smile!
My "twins" practice splashing their kickers:
Here's Jack swimming independently. He, too, comes up all grins.
We heart Ms. Jody!
On Friday night, we took the boys to Fort Worth for Concert in the Garden's Classical Mystery Tour. Are you wondering what the heck I'm talking about? Okay, so every summer, the Fort Worth Botanic Garden hosts concerts with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. (Are you wondering how many times I can type Forth Worth?) Each night is a different theme with different musicians being accompanied by the orchestra. We chose this past Friday because they were featuring the Classical Mystery Tour, meaning the band plays The Beatles. The Beatles, people!
When Rick and I went on our first date in 1998, he mentioned that he likes The Beatles, and I knew in that instant that he was the man for me! Once we became parents, we immediately introduced each one of our boys to John, Paul, George and Ringo. Well, not in person, but you know what I mean.
Anyway, now that our boys are 5 and 3, they request The Beatles by song title every time we get in the car. Liam always wants "Hey Jude" or "Hello Goodbye". Garrett usually wants "Honey Pie" or "Hard Day's Night". Jack doesn't have a particular favorite, but he typically marches to the beat of his own drum. He can, however, sing most of the words right along with Liam and Garrett.
So, when we found out the garden concerts were featuring "our Beatles", we knew we had to take the boys. By the way, are you wondering how The Beatles and the symphony go hand in hand? Well, I checked with Paul, and he was fine with it, really. Yoko wasn't available for comment, but I think that's better for everyone involved. (If you aren't familiar with all of these names I'm throwing around, you clearly stumbled across the wrong blog. Hi, my name is Ami, and I heart the Beatles, and I'm raising my boy to carry "their Beatles" in their hearts right along with Jesus.)
We arrived about an hour early, long before the sun was ready to quit for the day. We ate a picnic dinner, and then we broke out the bubbles to entertain the boys. Liam hearts bubbles, probably as much as The Beatles, but we'll keep working on him.
The instant the music started, Garrett, our musician at heart, had his eyes glued to the stage. He didn't want us singing along with the band, nor did he want me taking his picture.
Now, Jack on the other hand... I must tell you what he did. Shortly after the music began, he was sitting in a lawn chair. Perhaps I've never mentioned this, but Jack is a klutz. There's no better way to explain it. If there's something to trip over, Jack will do the honors. If there isn't anything to trip over, there is always his own foot. Anyway, Jack's in a chair, and I warned him that he needed to sit still. Yea, right. Twenty seconds later, I hear a bunch of commotion next to me. When I glanced to my left, Jack's chair was turned on its back, and Jack was on his back laughing hysterically. Thankfully, he has a great sense of humor and loved the attention of all the people gasping and then laughing right along with him. I fought the urge to grab my camera, but it was certainly a Kodak moment. I was just afraid what CPS might think when one of the audience members reported me for neglect in the name of bloggable photography.
Anyway, he had to sit in my lap from thence forward.
After intermission, we took the boys to a more open area so that could get down, I mean dance.
Jack and his windmills. Actually, I think he was playing drums with his glow sticks.
Garrett stepping in tune:
Liam is truly blessed with those black dance genes. I'm glad somebody is.
While the boys were dancing, I had shed a tear or two. That's how deeply I feel about those Beatles. Actually, I did shed a tear or two, but it's because of this.... Eight years ago, Rick and I went to hear 1964 The Tribute, a phenomenal Beatles band that you must go see if ever they come to your town. As we were watching this band perform in 2000, I saw a daddy and his little girl dancing to "Yellow Submarine". I remember this moment very clearly. He held her on his shoulders, and they both grooved and sang every word. And I remember thinking, "Ahh, I really want kids! And I really want to teach them good music!" Rick and I were in the thick of our infertility, so my heart ached at that moment. Fast forward to 2008, there I was with my husband and three boys, and we were all singing and dancing to The Beatles. I am blessed indeed!
The concert ended with fireworks and "Hey Jude". The crowd sang "Na na na nanana, nanana, hey Jude". My heart swelled!
The next morning, the boys got up talking about the concert. They talked excitedly about their favorite parts. Liam loved "Hey Jude". Garrett loved "Hard Day's Night" but was disappointed that "Honey Pie" was not played. When I asked Jack what he enjoyed, he said, "No not the music. The fireworks!" Yes, those fireworks were pretty cool.
The symphony, fireworks, and The Beatles...I think John, Paul, George and Ringo would be pleased.
The boys' Sunday school teachers were running late this past week, so we waited in the hallway and greeted passersby. One lady stopped to ask the boys' names and ages. I let the boys answer for themselves. After they each answered, Liam pointed to me and said, "She's 28." I laughed and said, "No, I'm not, but thank you, baby." Garrett quickly corrected Liam with, "No, she's THREE!"
I'm getting younger by the minute!
During the summer here in Texas, if we don't get outside early in the morning, we might as well stay indoors until 8pm. Because, the heat, the HEAT scorches the skin.
On a typical summer day, I send the boys outside after breakfast, while I clean up the kitchen. I secretly read a few blogs, too, but the boys don't know that yet. Admit it, you read blogs under the same demise. Don't judge me.
As I was sitting down with Mac the other day, I heard the boys calling me. When I walked outside, this is what I saw...all three boys swinging and singing together.
It was a Kodak moment, because catching them all three in the same activity without fighting.... Well, it doesn't happen very often.
But after a few minutes, that became boring, so I had to quickly come up with a new activity to keep the peace. I grabbed three pails and clean paint brushes. After filling the pails with water, I told the boys that I needed them to "wash" the fence.
Apparently, that was the best idea ever, because they all set out to work immediately and KEPT working for nearly an hour! An hour of play without fighting, screaming, pushing! Amazing.
After a bit, Jack became bored with the manual labor and sat down to study the process of the paint brush soaking up the water. "How does that water get all the way up there, Mommy?" Well, it just does. He's my engineer, always trying to figure out how everything works. More concerned about the tiny details than the overall picture.
Garrett took this job quite seriously. He did not want to miss a square inch, bless his little perfectionist heart. I don't know where he learned this trait. Ahem.
If Garrett took this project seriously, Liam thought an entire week's worth of meals depended upon his task. I think he would have spent all day with his paint brush, except that I wouldn't let him stay in the sun that long.
If you need a long-lasting activity for your kids this summer, give them buckets of water and paint brushes. I would suggest swimsuits and sunscreen for making it last that much longer.
Well, hello there! Did you miss me as much I missed you? It's been a busier-than-usual week with swim lessons, which has eaten into my blogging time. As I was reading over my to-do list a few moments ago, I saw the most important item, which simply said, "BLOG!" Since I wrote it in all caps, it must be of utmost importance to BLOG today.
One morning last week, the boys and I were bored. The 2 million toys were no longer appealing to them, and I was tired of playing every game that we own. Turning on the tv was certainly tempting, but then we might have gotten stuck in a time warp and forgotten all necessities in life, such as picking up my mom from the airport. I don't think she would have appreciated being forgotten too much. Picky, that woman.
Instead, I pulled out the camera and told the boys that we were going to have a photo shoot. And all three of them looked at me with blank stares. "Okay, so you strike a pose, and I take pictures." More blank stares. I'm certain that if they were all girls, they would have immediately struck a sassy pose, but not my boys. Males...they need step-by-step instructions.
"Okay, do this." And I struck a pose and waited for them to follow suit.
This is Jack's interpretation of my first pose:
Work it, baby. Can I see some of your face?
Yep, that's a cute chin. Thanks.
How 'bout you, Liam?
Okay, sportin' a 'tude. Can you stand up and make a move?
Groovy. (He and Garrett have been quite inseparable lately.) G, show me what else you got.
Okay, can all three of you get together?
The back of your heads are cute, too.
(Don't let that arms wrapped around each other fool you, readers. They fight ALL THE TIME.)
Boys, why don't you strike a pose on the floor for me?
I really like the smashed face, Jack.
So, there you have it. Our first photo shoot. We'll practice some more, so they can be on the cover of the next GQ.
The Bathtub Test
During a visit to the mental asylum, a visitor asked the Director how do you determine whether or not a patient should be institutionalized.
'Well,' said the Director, 'we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the patient and ask him or her to empty the bathtub.'
'Oh, I understand,' said the visitor. 'A normal person would use the bucket because it's bigger than the spoon or the teacup.'
'No.' said the Director, 'A normal person would pull the plug. Do you want a bed near the window?
Liam(5) is growing up. It became quite obvious this past week when a boy around the corner discovered how to ring our door bell and ask for Liam to play. On Sunday afternoon, Cage rang our door three times in 2 hours. The 2 hours that we spent eating lunch and resting. (Liam doesn't nap most days, but he does have room time while his little brothers nap.) Rick finally told Cage on the third try that we would all be outside when it was time to play. Poor kid. I'm sure he was quite depressed.
We had Cage's dad come over one afternoon last week to meet him. We thought it might be nice to put names and faces together, since our kids are wanting to play every afternoon. He was nice enough to converse with us and even play ball with the boys for an hour, but I think he would prefer to stay in his house while his 6 year old wanders the neighborhood freely.
Me...I prefer to know exactly where my kids are. Perhaps I'll be an overly protective mom, but I think keeping a close eye on my boys at the ages of 5 and 3 is a good idea. Because we don't know Cage's family very well, and because I'm concerned what types of influences are in my boys' lives, I prefer for Cage to play at our house.
So far, Cage has been happy to play here. Happy enough that he comes to our house every afternoon after school. But summer begins tomorrow, and I am envisioning Cage becoming our 4th child this summer.
This rambling post has a point, and it is to ask more experienced moms for suggestions.
- What should I always have on hand here to make my home more inviting, more fun? Now, I know kids want to eat and watch tv, so don't just tell me to turn on the tv and open a can of soda. Please give me some specific suggestions on how to be that "cool mom" down the street.
- When Cage tires of our place, he is going to ask the boys to his house. What do I say besides, "Because I have no idea what happens at your house, you'll need to play here." A 6 year old won't quite understand that statement, and I don't want to turn him away. I believe that God has sent Cage for us to be a witness to him and possibly his family. So I need suggestions on how to lovingly encourage the boys to play here.
Jessica has tagged me to answer some random questions about myself. So here goes....
- Favorite food? Anything sweet. And Tex Mex. Mmm!
- How would the person who loves you most describe you in ten words or less? quirky, introverted, loyal, protective of those she loves
- Any regrets in life? Yelling at my kids would be my biggest regret thus far. I'd love to tell you that I've only done it once. But that would be lying.
- Favorite Charity/ Cause? Adoption of African American and/or biracial children
- Favorite Blog recently? Big Mama
- Something you can’t get enough of? Um, blogging.
- Worst job you’ve ever had? My last year of teaching was hands-down the worst job ever. I did not have a classroom, so I had to push my classroom possessions on a cart between each class. I'd like to say I lost 10 pounds from that daily workout, but that would be lying. I could go on and on with complaints on that job, but to sum it up...it was my LAST teaching job.
- If you could be a fly on the wall, where? My boys' bedrooms just as they're drifting off to sleep.
- Favorite Bible verse right now? Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
- Guilty Pleasure? Dr. Pepper and Skittles
- Got any confessions? No thanks.
- If you HAD to spend $1,000 on YOURSELF, how would you spend it? Oh man! On myself...not the boys?! Yippee! I'd like to say I'd save it and put great thought into spending every penny. But I'd probably blow it on clothes at Lucy or Ann Taylor Loft.
- Favorite thing about your house? I have to name 2 things. The mudroom and the playroom. Most houses in TX don't have mudrooms, but it is wonderful to give everyone in the family a specific place to leave shoes and jackets. The playroom is a gem because it's upstairs and out of sight.
- Worst thing about your house? The fact that we don't have 10 acres to roam on.
- If you could change something about your circumstances, what? The financial worries associated with one income.
- Who would you like to meet someday? I can't think of anyone. This is probably because I'm such an introvert that meeting people makes me want to run and hide.
- What makes you feel sexy? Um, I'll leave this one blank, thanks.
- Who is your real life hero? A man that I won't name, but he mentored Rick and I both at separate times in our lives. He ultimately helped both of us in making the biggest decisions of our lives...marrying each other.
- What is the hardest part of your job? The fact that my job never feels complete.
- When are you most relaxed? On vacation.
- What stresses you out? A long to-do list.
- What can you not live without? My family.
- Do you agree or disagree with the recent article that reported that blogs are authored by narcissists? Sure, why not? This is why I rarely read news articles. Because they tell us what they want us to believe, and I'd rather not take the time to weigh the truth vs. fiction.
- Why do you blog? To journal this life of mine that goes way too fast.