Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Well, school for Cash started off pretty much as I expected:

resistance and tears.  I literally had to drag him into his classroom the first day since he wouldn't even stand on his feet.  So my attempts at taking pictures were really lame. As you can see, we had tears before we even left the house that morning.

Then of course he wasn't at all happy to be there, to have to wear a uniform, to not be able to wear his beloved crocs....  And after I left him in tears, I got back into the car only to have to listen to the twins wail for 20 minutes about "Cashy" being gone.  It was really sweet that they were so sad to be without him. (Until day three of this when it still happens every time we drop him off and the charm is wearing off a little. :)

And being the lame first-time mother that I am, I should have thought to take a camera to school but I didn't. And it was so darn cute when he saw me through the gate that first day waiting outside for him while they were having play time - it was like he was so overcome with tears of joy to see me that the tears started all over again, but sort of in an I-can't-believe-you're-really-here! sort of overjoyed way that it was too funny for everyone watching as he walked toward me with open arms. It was quite priceless.  At least by the time we got home I could get a little smile out of him.

Day two he woke up and the first thing out of his mouth was, "I don't want to go to school."  Day three seemed a little better and he walked in and gave his teacher a hug and there were no tears, so we'll see how it goes. 

I have thought a little that even though I don't consider Cash the difficult one of the three, it is nice to just have the twins sometimes. They seem to have a little less conflict without the older brother around, and well, at least I can fit a few groceries in a shopping cart without trying to stuff three kids in a cart plus groceries.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Out of commission

There is only one word to describe the last three weeks around our house:  SICK.  Everything from colds, coughs, wheezing, nebulizer treatments, fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, body aches to joint swelling and 2-day migraines. It's been really bizarre. Poor Cash has had fevers on 3 separate occasions during that time. And my neglected children have been seen rummaging through cupboards trying to fend for themselves while both parents lie useless and immovable on the couch. I'm not sure how on earth to figure out what this is or how to get rid of it but everyone has had at least a round or two of everything. I'm really hoping we're coming out of this since school starts Monday.  So sorry, we have nothing interesting to post since we haven't seen much of anything but the couch lately.

Which actually has given me some excuse to look through our Ireland guidebook. Did I mention that? In less than two weeks Ryan and I will be in Ireland for a destination wedding. A friend of his from work has a family castle in Ireland, and as soon as I heard castle wedding in Ireland I knew we had to go. So Ryan's sister is flying out to watch the kids and hopefully we'll have a blissful week of pubs, shamrocks, leprechauns, cool weather and matrimonial joy.  Sounds like a welcome change from our sweltering cesspool of germs here.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease

I just read this book. I'm so surprised I haven't heard of it earlier! It was great. (I mean great as in content, of course it's non-fiction and not a page-turner like some suspense novel.) If you're looking to become converted and passionate about reading to your kids and reading in general you need to check it out. I just happened to see a friend list her review on the Goodreads website and I was intrigued that she said she'd read the Stuart Little chapter book with her son who is Cash's age after getting the idea from this book and he loved it. So I checked out the book and the arguments and evidence of what an effect it can have on kids - so much more than all the other programs government is trying to enforce - are so compelling, yet simple, it makes you wonder why we don't realize it.  This may become one of my new first-time parent baby gifts - love your child, give them a good home, and here is one of the other best gifts you can give them!  It would be a great book for educators to read as well and makes me really want to get my kids into a school that really encourages reading, especially just for the love of reading, not just for fear of being tested.

I'm sure I should thank my mom for all the reading she did to me as a child (I think sometimes 30+ books a day, she recorded in her journal); and un-thank college for scaring me away for reading for a good 7 years after all that forced reading totally turned me off from it.  I'm only finally recovering.  It also made me feel less guilty for reading around my kids. I usually feel like I'm being lazy and ignoring them so I can read, so I usually just do it on my own time when they're in bed, but this emphasizes how important it is for your kids to see you doing it for pleasure. Just like how readily they imitate you talking on the cell phone. I even had my own witness of this the other day when I pulled out a cookbook and was reading through trying to figure out dinner when Cash went over and picked out his favorite cookbook with the best food pictures in it and I looked over to see him with the twins sitting on either side of him on the couch "reading" the book to them. So cute. 

It's been fun to see that my kids have a better attention span for reading than I thought. As soon as I open a book and start reading, all three come join me and we read for a good half hour before I'm the one that gets tired of being squished by three kids and needs a break! And I've realized it's so much better for me to do this at any time of day - I'm so sick of the kids after the frenzy of the bedtime routine and always in a rush that I realized those few minutes can't count as my only quality reading time.

I also love that the book only singled out one library in the U.S. as a shining example of what modern libraries should be like - the Salt Lake City Public Library.  Way to go!  Too bad I haven't really been there as it was finished around the time I got married and moved away. But it has made me think I want another room in our future house - a wonderfully inviting library/office/study room.  (In addition to a really cool playroom. And a place to do hair. And to exercise so I don't have to have exercise equipment in my bedroom and living room anymore!! And a guest room. And possibly a guest house out back..... I better stop reading books and getting hobbies, I guess before this list gets any longer.)

Anyway, go read it if you haven't! And who knows, maybe most of you already have and I'm like the last person on the planet to ever hear of it - in which case I can't believe you didn't suggest it to me!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My poor innocent little boy

Since school will start soon for Cash and I realize it's the first time he's really going to be out of my control and dealing with lots of new people, school pick-ups, etc., I decided we had better do a family home evening lesson on stranger danger. I had thought about it for a while and how I really hated to do it.  Cash doesn't yet really know there are bad people in the world.  It was breaking my heart just thinking about telling him. Plus he's finally gotten out of his shell enough to say hi to people as we pass - frequently as, "Hi, man!" and then promptly turns to proudly yell to me that he just said hi to that man. I love it. But he doesn't have a lot of fears yet - probably because he's the oldest child and lives a fairly sheltered life. So I was really torn that I didn't want to put ideas in his head to worry him, but I knew it would be important because he just doesn't know. I can't even get him to pretend something that's not true to his brothers - like when they're going to take a nap and he's saying how he's going to stay awake and I try to get him to not say that to them and act like it's naptime - he's totally bewildered because he doesn't even understand lying.

So we had our stranger danger lesson. And the poor kid was in tears by the end.

We went over the idea of strangers after looking at pictures of family and friends and then random people - mostly celebrities from trash magazines since that's all I had (although, shoot, I'd probably get into a car if David Beckham was motioning to me....) Anyway, then we started talking about different scenarios. I mean, I know it was necessary because during the first few we would have a stranger asking him to come over to his car to help him with something he was like, "Sure!"  So then we did some scenarios where he and I would be walking into a store and Ryan, playing a stranger, would motion to him and then try to lead him away by the hand. It was upsetting to him. But I wanted to get one more point across that if someone took him away he should yell as loud as he could, so we did it again and Ryan tried to carry him off and Cash was just bawling and bawling about how he didn't want people to take him away from us and he didn't want to lose mommy, and on and on.  It was so sad!  I know it was good that he got the point, but man, why does the world have to be the way it is??  Why can't my poor little boy just go on being innocent?  I think we were all a little traumatized by it.

Anyhow, in other news, today was the first of a long 5 days without Ryan while he is at a conference in Dallas. It involved me trying to do more outings than normal with the kids, a bevy of meltdowns by everyone, including me, and having to take all my kids late at night to the church with me that resulted in both a pee accident and a diarrhea accident that I had to clean up at the church. Man is it going to be a long week or what.