The Life and Times of Monkey, Buster, and Yessa

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Shoes and Yelling September 26, 2010

Filed under: Dragonfly — mommie2zs @ 2:47 pm

I am by nature a yeller.  I grew up in a family that yelled.  I learned to yell, even to relish yelling.

Then I married Buds.  Not a yeller.  Doesn’t have the genes, nor the constitution to be a yeller.  He grew up with Family Meetings.

My childhood “Family Meetings” were called “Dinner” and there was always yelling and things might get thrown…like a fork.

So, since Buddie’s comfort was much more important than my need to yell, I finally learned to work through my anger in a different way.  The way sometimes involved my slamming out of our house and walking around the block feeling irate and almost blind with rage.  Very difficult for Buds to understand.

I worked through it by the time we had children, but after the children were older, I realized that I still had the propensity to yell, though not the desire.  It generally came about when I was feeling ignored or tired or under pressure to rush.  I abhor being late, and that rushing feeling doesn’t bring out the best in me.

I realized that one of the main times I was yelling, feeling rushed, and ignored (The Perfect Storm), was when we were leaving the house.

Everyone’s shoes were tossed into the coat closet in a mad jumble.  Somehow the shoes we always wore would wiggle their way to the bottom of the closet every single time they were tossed in there after being worn.  Every single time.

I finally realized the problem wasn’t with the children, nor with me.  It was the  shoes.  The shoes were out to get us.  The shoes were out to destroy my peace of mind.  It was an institutional problem, not user error.

So, I changed the system.  I started by having a bin that was just the shoes we wore most frequently.  That helped, but it was still a massive jumble, and the bin was stuck in a corner, and frequently one of the children would bump against the corner of piano, and that hurt…Better, but not the best.

A week ago, we implemented a new system.  After rearranging the living room, we found extra space for a wooden shoe rack.  Now, each person has as many shoes out as can fit on the rack.  This means Zachy has 1 pair, Noa has 5.

And today, as soon as he had taken off his shoes, The Buster carried them right over to the rack.  That’s a victory.

Plus, I haven’t had anyone say “Mom, I can’t find my shoes,” for a week!  That was worth vacuuming under the couch for.


Lego Wonders September 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — mommie2zs @ 7:51 pm

The Buster had his second week of Lego Club, and he is still loving it.  Ms. Lisa led the boys in a rather circuitous route to deciding what they wanted their main focus to be for their Biomedical Engineering Project.  They decided on Health Assessment.  So, they will work together to create a lego creation on an 18″ square lego base that has at least 1 moving part, and has a connection to health assessment.

Lisa really did a masterful job in helping each boy express any ideas he had about what the team could work on, and then voting for their final preference, while making sure all the boys felt listened to and valued.  Ms. Jennifer, the other coach, and I were very, very impressed.

It will be exciting to see what the boys come up with, and, needless to say, Lego creating in our home has moved to the next level.  Mega Boys are more elaborate and larger than ever, and Legoville has seen some perilous times of late, but always manages to come through.

The girls love Lego Club because they get to hang out with the siblings of the Lego members.

The Brain Trust

Buster explaining his vision.


Soccer Stars

Filed under: Uncategorized — mommie2zs @ 2:28 pm

The big kids have been enjoying their weekly soccer outings with friends.  Buds and Sir Thy always make it fun for all the children, and they are the perfect combination as coaches.  Thy comes up with the plan, and thinks about the goals for the kids, as well as being fun and enjoying the time with the children.  Buds is there to have fun and be goofy and think up creative games on the spot.  It works really well.  And the moms and Sir Sean consider it a huge success because we get to hang out and visit and watch Rafferty and Noa be goofy.

Sitting on soccer balls and visiting seems to be the kids’ favorite part.

Notice Yessa’s self-tattooing in this picture.

Again with the ball sitting.

Zachy’s feelings got hurt because he couldn’t seem to score a goal, so some sister support was necessary.

Zoe’s seems to have acquired her father’s goalie genes.

The hottest day in a week, and Yessa decided to wear three layers of clothing.  If you look closely, you can see her yellowing black eye, acquired from being knocked into the wooden bench by Chip’s tail.

Good fun, good running, and good friends.


Nightly Conversations

Filed under: Uncategorized — mommie2zs @ 2:06 pm

Under the heading of “Things I Never Want To Forget,” comes the nightly conversations with The Buster and Yessa.

Every single night for the last many, many months, Yessa asks the following questions as I am laying in bed with her, rocking her sleep:

“Mommy, what if I am firsty or hungry or have to go poop or pee in the middle of the night?”


“Mommy, will you stay awake?”  (She wants me to stay awake as she is falling asleep.)

and, not all the time, but frequently, she also asks,

“Mom, are your toes still purple?”  (I have purple toe nails in honor of Yessa and her favorite color.)

and The Buster has the following hug litany:

“Mom, this hug is because I love you.”

“This hug is because God loves you.”

“And this hug is for a good night.”

All of that brings such a smile, and a reminder that children love traditions and consistency as much as adults.


The Joy of Fall September 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — mommie2zs @ 6:41 pm

With the fearless cousins in tow, we headed out to a nearly organic orchard about 45 minutes away.  It was a perfect day to be out, climbing trees, slipping over rolling apples, crunching a freshly picked apple that you had just plucked off a tree.

The Monkey loved the chance to shinny up trees like the climber that she is.  The Buster and Cousin O had a great time running from row to row, randomly picking apples that looked red and ready.  Yessa and Cousin M hung out with Uncle Z and me, randomly picking apples, eating apples, and looking around in that way unique to young ones.

Yessa has been sporting the pajama look lately.

Uncle Z helps Yessa find the perfect apple.

And he tries to help Monkey reach apples just a lllliiiiittttlllleee higher up.

We ended with a picnic in the open air.  You can’t quite see it in the picture, but Uncle Z removed the table’s centerpiece for our meal.  An animal skull of some unknown species had been the table decoration when we sat down.  Mmmmm.  Yummy.

After sharing yogurt, watermelon, pears, and cat cookies, we headed home, full of sun, and dreams of applesauce. A morning well spent.


An Opportunity

Filed under: Uncategorized — mommie2zs @ 12:22 pm

It used to be that a broken toy was seen as a tragedy.  There would be crying, accusations, anger, and sorrow.  That is still sometimes the case, but, just as frequently now–at least if the toy or item is electronic, it’s an opportunity!

All three children received free pedometers in the mail from Subway yesterday, and The Buster’s had soon been squished by someone accidentally.  He brought the 4 little orange and metal pieces up to show me, and we realized the front of the pedometer was still working.  It still showed numbers on the front.  Then we were so intrigued to try and figure out how it worked.  We spent 20 0r 30 minutes testing out all sorts of different theories and looking in the back of the other pedometers to try and see how they count steps.  It was fascinating.

And the look on Buster’s face when he realized we had figured out how to make a “broken” pedometer count…that was priceless.


A Perfect Morning… September 9, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — mommie2zs @ 7:38 pm

We’ve decided to make one day a week our Museum Day, and we started today.  We drove into downtown Herndon and parked at the Municipal Lot where we could be close to everything we wanted.

Our first stop was the Herndon Depot Museum, and it was much bigger and even more interesting than I had hoped.  We stomped around in there for 45 minutes or so, reading displays, talking about what we found interesting, looking at a paper mache statue of the Captain Herndon that Herndon is named for.  (He went down with the ship.)  The very nice woman working there had a treasure basket for the children to troll through so I could peruse the brochures on hand to have options for other Museum Days.

Then the kids voted to have scooter time next, so we unloaded Bike, Scooter, and Plasma, from the “5” and headed off down the W and OD Trail.  It was a perfect temperature, lots of sun, and the kids just zoomed along.  It wasn’t too busy, which was great for my piece of mind.  When Yessa reached her limit and I ended up carrying the plasma, we turned around.  Dropped the scooters off at the “5,” and headed for the library after a walk through the Herndon Farmers Market.  It isn’t nearly as large as the Lake Anne FM on Saturdays, but much less busy.  It was fun for me to watch Zoe interact with a gentleman from a bread company while I watched the two little ones climb around on the caboose that is parked in downtown Herndon.  She looked so adult-like as she visited with him.  She came back over to us to tell us how delicious the pumpkin bread sample was that he gave her, and we headed over to purchase a loaf of pumpkin bread.  Then a purchase of choco-chip cookies from another baker, and then to The Closet.

A very nice woman, whom I suspect is homeless, based upon her shopping cart, told us we were headed the right way for the library, but on Thursday mornings The Closet is open, but the library doesn’t open until 1.  We’ve never visited The Closet before so we headed over there.  The Closet is a thrift store sponsored by local churches.  Pretty much a Goodwill Store.  It was quite busy on this Thursday morning.  The children found lots of toys that they bought with their allowance, and it led to a great conversation about buying things at The Closet rather than Target or Amazon and how much money they saved.

I had an interesting interaction when we walked in the front door, which the children didn’t notice.  The woman who held the door for us as we walked in said, “Why aren’t you kids in school?!”  I’m sure she meant it in a fun way, but it came across rather assertively, so I just ignored her.  She followed up with, “Too young?”  which I took to be a further attempt at polite conversation so I replied, “We’re homeschoolers.  This is school.”  She replied, “Well, this is a good place to get an education.”  That was said in a very friendly, positive way, so I nodded and went on my way.  It was just a reminder to me that even though it feels normal and comfortable to go everywhere with  my posse, to other people who aren’t used to seeing older children out and about, it probably will invite comments.  Interesting…

After we purchased out two sack fulls of toys for $13.69 at The Closet, it was time to head home for lunch and play and rest before the big kids’ first soccer practice tonight.  It’s Buddie’s debut as a soccer coach helper with Sir Thy, so we’ll see how that goes.