Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy 3rd Birthday Goober!

Happy 3rd Birthday to the sweetest little Goober, Jackson! He can be a handful... but what a love this kid is. Here are a few fave pics throughout the past 3 years. I really limited myself... or else I'd have thousands! :) We are taking a family trip to the American Museum of Natural History in the big city... even taking the train. He is so excited to see dinosaur bones and to ride the train. I wanted to take some birthday portraits today but the rain foiled my plans. They will have to be a day or so late.

Happy Earth Day

 We planted some herbs and flowers and veggies and strawberries  and a climbing ivy plant for Earth Day and spent most of the beautiful day outside cleaning up the yard and party prepping. Its almost the Goob's birthday and party!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Rock Painting, Bug Hunts & Toy Washes!

The kiddos have this new hobby of finding and collecting rocks. We had these piles of rocks accumulating outside and I brainstormed what we could do with them all. I vaguely remembered being at the Y summer camp and painting rocks with bright paint... I made a butterfly rock. This seemed like a great idea and it was! It kept the kids occupied for well over an hour and I was so inspired by the bright colors, I couldn't stop taking pictures! and a bonus note : NO Jackson fits today. We were outside almost all day minus maybe 2 hours before dinner and bath time.

I LOVE her watermelon rock! it had a rind and everything. She is getting so creative! I loove it. and Goober smiled the whole time.

Then we hunted some bugs... they have these new bug magnifiers I got at Target on Easter Clearance for .30 and we were itching to use them. They catch the bug and also have a magnifier on the bottom! So cool.

dirty feet ready for the bathtub - or hose!

Since I was spending all day outside, I felt the need to be doing something myself... so while they got into the sandbox, I started dragging everyhting out of the shed in hopes of weeding out the outgrown toys and wiping down the black dirt filth from the good ones. Then it dawned on me... its hot out... they are FILTHY... why not give them a bucket of soapy water and some sponges and let them go to town? let me tell you... it was great! all of their toys are clean and it helped rinse them down a bit too :) Maris sang the entire time like a maniac :)

The Ups and Downs With Goob

On Friday the 13th, I took the kids to Toys R Us so that Jackson could use his birthday club certificate and get his crown and balloon... I did this early since we are planning on being in the city for his actual birthday and we had some time to kill that day. What I thought would be a fun time turned out to be what is becoming a normal day with Goob... You'd think going into a toy store and getting to pick something out would be a good thing... aside from the pictures above and a few short times here and there, he fought me and cried and screamed... wouldn't leave aisles, would pick up random things he didnt even want or need and scream that he was going to buy them... just little irritating things that kept escalating. I calmly stated that we would leave with nothing if he didn't cut it out. I tried taking him back up front to get some bubbles or something (he had a 3 dollar certificate and I didn't want to go much over that since it wasn't his real bday present, just a coupon to spend) and he just started screeching. No idea over what.... not consolable.... my hands were full and he wouldn't let me pick him up... I knelt down and got face to face with him and tried talking him out of it. At this point I am getting glares and one of the employees came over to say hi (I have actually known her for quite sometime, she works with my sister and has seen the kids grow up and always comes and says hi to me) and she got him to stop screaming but he was still being defiant. At least the screaming stopped. She and I had the discussion of 2 yr old boys being that way sometimes and she went back to work. I didn't get upset this time since this is sadly becoming a normal occurrence and I am getting used to the glares of other people - people who have no idea how hard I have it with him sometimes. No idea how I try EVERYTHING from bargaining to screaming back, to time outs, to giving him what he wants to pacify it until we arent disturbing people... to talking him down calmly...  abruptly leaving and not doing what we were trying to do... nothing seems to help and EVERYTHING seems to set him off.
I have been trying to work on a way to encounter this topic being that I have it on my mind a lot lately... I know the "terrible twos" are what everyone blames it on... which is fine. He is in them full swing. Do Not get me wrong... he is the sweetest little guy who listens and cares and loves.... he picks things up quickly and always asks questions... he wants to experience everything and he is cuddly and fun. The thing that is frustrating is that he can go from being that cuddly goofy little Goob to a screaming flailing maniac that throws a 15 min tantrum over the way in which you turn his stroller or the way that you hand him something or if anything isnt exactly how he wants it. To try and put it simply... he cannot function/will not function if things are not to his liking. One example of his behavior that is frequent is getting in and out of the car/entering or leaving a building... he has to be the one to open and shut the door or he wont function. I mean WONT FUNCTION. He will freeze in place and you have to start the whole process over again or he will lose it. If Maris opens the door, we have to let it close so that he can reopen it and then close it. It is a minor thing, but once in a while it can get sticky. I re-shut the car door recently since it didnt close completely and it resulted in us sitting on the sidewalk outside the bank for almost 20 mins while he screamed about it. Every kids throws tantrums, I know this. My worry is that his aren't over anything really. It isnt that he wants a toy or is being deprived of anything... we find ourselves walking on eggshells with him as to not provoke another meltdown. Poor Maris has been adapting to the tantrums as well. Here is another example :
Yesterday Maris was finally back to school after spring break and was really excited. We got there a few minutes early and were hanging out in the car as usual. I undo their seat belts and they love being "free" in the car while we sit and listen to music and whatever. It was time to go inside and he started in with the little murmer noise that is my warning sign that he will lose it soon. I said it is time to go into school lets go... started getting out of the car and he starts. The screeching... "its not time" he screams and fights me. Maris is eager to join her friends in the parking lot, and does so while I try to coax Jackson through the parking lot, still screaming and barely walking himself. I am hoping by the time we get to the door he will stop since I cant take him in that way. It is a quiet environment and its not right to drag a screaming child into there in my opinion... so my friend said Maris is in good hands and she will see her into the school for me. I call her back to give me a hug and kiss and she loses it and starts crying... she wants me to take her into school. This made me crack. I actually cried. I try hard not to lose it in front of them... I really do... but being pulled in 2 directions over NOTHING really just made me snap. I hugged her and explained that I couldn't take Jackson inside but I would say bye to her there... she was sobbing but hugged me really hard and went with her friends. Seeing Maris go into the school without us made him stop IMMEDIATELY, He calmed down so fast I really just wanted to smack him.... judge me if you will... but REALLY?! He stopped and snapped right back into sweet Goob mode and said he wanted to go in and say bye to Sissy... so he calmly and quietly went in and all the kids were lined up outside the door laughing and talking. My sweet Maris was sitting on the floor hugging her knees and still crying. She was happy we made it in to see her off. He even gave her a big kiss before she went in. I couldn't even make eye contact with the other parents... or the teacher that accepted Jackson into the program this coming fall... I fear they will be afraid to have him if he loses his mind constantly and they SEE it when I drag him in there screaming... (its happened quite a few times) I feel bad about all the things Maris misses and how this is affecting her too. She has to leave all the places I said we'd go and go without things I said we'd get bc I cant handle Goob... I try to make it up to her, but I can see how it gets to her sometimes... She can also be a fantastic help though. She humors him with patience beyond her years sometimes.

At first... I started fearing something was wrong... internally, mentally... possibly something beyond his control. I think that was me being desperate to pin it on something so I can handle it better... I think he is more like me than I expected. I have so many things going on in my head and I get lost in there sometimes and come off in different ways than I think I am portraying myself... it is hard to explain... I think waaay too much and BOUT EVERYTHING CONSTANTLY... I think he might be the same way... only with a 2 year old brain that lacks the vocabulary and communication skills to convey his problems/thoughts. It may not be the door or getting out of the car exactly that sets him off, but it is a way to release his frustrations... I don;t know... I am at a loss... even as a newborn, his swaddle had to be perfect or he wouldnt sleep right, his food has to be just right and if you hover too much, he refuses to eat... he has always been very particular - which is me aall the way. I cant function with things out of sync with what I like... so its scary to see how much he really is like me. I just need to find a way to help him cope and make his life easier.

My sister informed me that the day of the Toys R Us incident, a man went to the front to complain about me/Jackson. He basically stated that I should remove the child from the store bc enough is enough, made reference to Jackson being retarded/autistic and made fun of the illness and said its no reason to get away with disturbing everyone else... I WISH I KNEW THIS HAPPENED WHEN I WAS THERE... LET ME TELL YOU. Yes, Jackson was disturbing the peace... he was a kid.throwing a tantrum. in a TOY STORE. really?? shocker... I have been near wits end with these constant fits and then hearing this really just pushed me over the edge... I knew it was a problem, but apparently epople are judging me as a parent and that breaks my heart bc I pride myself on being a good mom. I try and make my kids independent and smart and well adjusted. I am NOT going to give in every time just to pacify his fits so everyone around me can feel better about themselves. That hurts Jacks in the long run. He will never learn to deal with his feelings if I just give in constantly. He will expect everything handed to him and will never do anything for himself. I don't expect some ignorant asshole to get that... he apparently doesn't have kids and if he does, he obviously hasnt taken a toddler out in public. Ever.
The silver lining of the Toys R Us incident is that all the employees and manager of the store stood up for me and made the man leave after making fun of autism and publicly yelling about a small child crying. He made an ass of himself and the good people at TRU stood up for me and my son. I will forever shop there.

My sweet little Goob turns 3 in 5 days... Hopefully he is just trying to squeeze some terrible twos in before he hits the big THREE. I hope so, bc he really is the greatest. He is a super sensitive kid with a huge heart. I will be addressing the fits at his 3 yr checkup to see if maybe there IS an underlying problem... my fear is chalking it up to terrible twos and having it be a cry for help bc something is wrong health-wise. Lets hope its a passing phase that passes SOON. Love that guy <3

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

More Photo Challenge! II

Day 24 - Animal

Day 25 - Something Pink

Day 26 - Close Up

Monday, April 9, 2012

Photo Challenge Catch Up - again!

Day 23 - Sunflare
Day 22 - Hands

Day 21 - Faceless Self Portrait

Day 20 - BOKEH
Day 19 - Something Orange

Day 18 - My Shoes

Day 17 - Technology

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Nostaglia Queen of the Mix Tape :p

Spring cleaning and weeding out the old has been in full effect here recently and I have cleaned a LOT and unearthed a few forgotten/misplaced items. I am somewhat of a hoarder - not garbage and all like the television show - but I do tend to hold on to a lot... I have letters from grade school from friends, my old sketchbooks and class notebooks that have doodles in the margins ***so I'd hate to throw them out***, old mix tapes... you name it.
This is a bit random for my "mommy-Blog"... but it is a subject close to my heart... in a way :) Does anyone remember the ART of the mix tape?? It was a process that required thought of song order and progression, balance of artists, fast and slow songs, set a mood... having to find that song that was JUST the right length to fill the end of the tape - you don't want a long silence or cut off song at the end! ...then there is the hunting down the songs you want... whether it be waiting all afternoon to record it off the radio (and ALWAYS having the dj talk over part of it or cut off the song!) or having the task of queuing up another tape *if you were fortunate enough to have a double tape deck* next to it and having the timing of pressing play and record at just the right time - and having to RE-queue if you missed it... it was a labor of love. Don't even get me started on vinyl to tape! :) Timing the needle to the record button is an art that I have perfected over the years :)
All of my mix tapes were labeled with special names to tell me the mood I was in. The others were labeled by number. One of the tapes I came across today in a box was mix # 14. I, of course, am playing it right now on my stereo and the pops and hisses of tapes and records are SO SATISFYING compared to crisp digital music... It sounds weird, but I am happy about it :) So far we have a radio dj interrupting my Beastie Boys song followed by what sounded like the next song on the radio. I loved when 2 in a row would play on the radio that you wanted while recording :) but back to the point :
Now the mix tape has evolved (or de-evolved in my opinion) to the mp3 disc... or just an ipod with little thought process or work involved... the fate of your music is left to a shuffle button. I am not a fan... "back in the day" if you recieved a mix tape from someone, you knew it was a thought-out & personally selected group of songs tailored to your tastes with you in mind... everything down to the order the songs are presented. When a tape was from ME, I KNOW this is true. A mix tape was almost a narrative of how I felt through music... whether it be a gift for someone telling me how I felt through lyrics or just a tape to pop in my boombox or later on in life, in my car, reflecting my mood. Pictured is an actual tape I came across today that is labeled with the secret code language my 2 best friends and I made up in middle school and that I can STILL read fluently... haha we made a language so no one else could read our notes or diaries. Someone looking through my notebooks after I die might wonder what the hell the books filled with symbols really mean... hehe Telling you what this says would be giving a KEY clue to our code, so no can do! I love nostalgia :) oh, and I forgot to mention our life changing discovery of taping over the holes in the top of a cassette tape would make you able to record over an actual released tape instead of purchasing new blank ones! After this discovery, most if not all of my tapes were made from unwanted cassette tapes found at yard sales :) UNLESS they were a gift, then I went all out and bought a new tape :)Again with the tangents! Back to my point.
Nowadays, if someone hands you a cd, it is usually an alphabetical chunk of music copied from the computer or other cd. Not to say that a person cannot go through their easily downloaded,uploaded, ripped or purchased on itunes or whatever music and select particular tunes to make a cd... all I am saying is that its not the same. VIVA LA CASSETTE TAPE! haha Call me a mix tape snob... meh I guess I am :)