Jul 30, 2007

A Moment In Time

7/30/2007 — cori
This is the most precious of times to me
the ages of 8 and 5 and 3.

Time will not stop and let me treasure it more
so I will write down my feelings like never before.

I want my children to remember what fun we had,
what an honor it is to be their mom and dad.

Life is so simple and pure and sweet,
like when Chloe decides to rub my weary feet.

Or when Bennett so timely lets me know:
"Have I told you how pretty you look today, Mommy?
I don't think so."

I love it when Gavin comes up behind me and hugs me so tight
to show me he loves me with all of his might.

He always offers to pump my gas,
I never even have to ask.

Bennett loves to write words upon my back
and giggles aloud as he spells the word "rat".

Chloe is awed with pictures of me
back when I was a bride at 23.

They don't know how adorable they look
saving the world from evil crooks,
dressed in only their underwear and a cape.
Their imaginations are soaring as I watch them make
weapons and umbrellas out of tinker toys,
special necessities for girls and boys.

I love how the boys play so well together.
I pray their relationship will last forever.

Bennett's heart is so sensitive, he loves everyone.
He feels bad for people who are not not having fun.

He also loves girls and likes telling them so.
Gavin's desire to learn more and to know
all the answers to life's questions blow my mind.
I love teaching and guiding him and watching him find
his passion for things that he wants to know more,
like science and history and computers galore.

Chloe's attention to detail at three
never ceases to amaze me.

Each day she says this more and more,
"Mommy, what can I help you for?"

Our times at the dinner table each and every night
remind me of laughter and thankfuls and eyes filled with light.

God, thank you for showing your love to me
by giving me each child, one, two and three.

Jul 29, 2007

Beware!

7/29/2007 — cori
My children have recently taken to posting signs on all sorts of things. Take this one for instance. Bennett painstakingly wrote out this warning all by himself, added a little flair with the sticker and then used an entire roll of tape, adhering it securely to his bunk bed. He didn't ask me how to spell a thing. So, let me translate for you: "No bude (body) git (get) on to mi (my) bed". From an educational standpoint, I'm super proud of this. He wrote it all in a nice, neat line with similar size letters. He used a wonderfully bright, eye-catching color that would indeed get noticed. And I've got to say, as a designer, I love the decorative touch of adding such a cool car sticker. That would definitely make me think twice before illegally "gitting" on his bed.

Evidently, I missed the memo that said we were to all make warning signs and attach them to our beds. Either that, or Chloe was not going to let Bennett do something fun without her. So, she decided she could do just as good a job and let it be known, in no uncertain terms, that Belle lives on her bed and you better not sit on her. I asked her what it said and she was sure to tell me. But it changed each time I asked. At least it looks pretty, matches her room and she wrote in large letters so as to catch the attention of anyone passing by. I'm inclined to think that Bennett taught her how to tape.

And last but not least is Gavin's special secret message. He has gone so far as to write his own secret alphabet known only to the inhabitants of Gavin World. He's the only inhabitant I know of. He carries his 'decoder' around with him in his pocket, just incase he can't remember which letter is which. This is securely fastened to the door of his room. All I know is that others beware, but Mommy is allowed in.

I don't have a sign taped to my bed yet, but when I do, you'll be the first to see it here!

Jul 20, 2007

No Cuddles For You!

7/20/2007 — cori
The other day I had to discipline Gavin while we were at the pool. I made him sit out from the pool for the rest of our time there. As you can imagine, this did not go over very well. After he had plenty of time to brood, I decided to go over and talk to him. To say he was mad would be an understatement. It also told me that the discipline was working.

Gavin is not one to talk about his feelings openly. He's not usually able to explain what he's feeling and why. But he obviously had plenty of time to give his feelings a once over and was ready and willing to tell me how he was feeling. This is what he said, "Mom, I'm so mad right now that I feel like I don't want to cuddle you for the next 3 days!"

I told him that I could understand why he felt that way and told him he was taking his discipline like a man, even though he didn't like it. By the walk home from the pool, he had seemingly forgotten how mad he was at me as we walked hand in hand talking about what we were going to make for dinner. He even asked if he could help.

And yes...I ended up getting my cuddles the next morning.

Jul 13, 2007

It Finally Happened

7/13/2007 — cori
One of my biggest paranoia's is being afraid that I've walked into the wrong public bathroom. For me, that would mean unknowingly finding myself in a stall in the men's room. I guess I don't need to be paranoid anymore. It finally happened and I've lived to tell about it.

It's not like I just saw the sign and ignored it and charged in full steam ahead to confront my fears. Oh no, that would be too simple and easy for me. I prefer the hard way. In college, in the main student center, whenever I would use the public restroom, I would always try to memorize the color on the walls, just in case I 'accidentally' (see the paranoia had already begun it's stronghold on me back then) found myself walking into the wrong one, I would instantly know by the color on the wall. Duh!! That and the fact that I would most likely find myself surrounded by the opposite gender.

But the wall color was a big issue for me, for whatever stupid reason. Actually, I know the reason, but to divulge that would be to give the reader too much insight into the crazy world known as my brain. You see, I forget things very quickly. It is quite possible that I would look directly at a sign, read it and have no clue what I just read within 5 seconds. THAT is called short term memory, my friends. So, in my mind, I had to have a trigger to let me know, after the fact, if I was indeed in the right place or not. So when that panic hits me and I'm already locked in the stall, I must be assured somehow that I'm where I'm supposed to be - thus the reasoning behind memorizing bathroom wall colors. Simple logic, right?

So here I am today in a public building I've only been in a handful of times. I was unaware of proper wall colors. Actually, the doors to each restroom were, in my opinion, way too close together. They were only separated by 4 water fountains. And, another factor that played into my identity confusion...the cleaning ladies were standing in the open doorway of this restroom. Therefore, my brain reasoned, they must be standing in the ladies' restroom. I don't know that I even bothered to look at the sign. I just walked in, with Chloe in tow. It only took half a second to register once I saw a wall of urinals and a man standing there...oops!!!

Even retelling the story, I'm horribly embarrassed. So, instead of sneaking out of there with stealthy precision, I open my big mouth and alert Chloe, "Uh oh, honey, looks like we're in the wrong place!" To which she quickly and loudly answers "WHY??" This caused the poor guy at the urinal to notice us. At least I was in the proper frame of mind to know that I shouldn't make eye contact. I did an about face and darted out of there as fast as I could drag Chloe and didn't stop until I read the sign on the next door marking it as the correct one for my gender. I then appropriately hid behind the door.

Once I was safe within the confines of the female restroom I began to think about how that could have happened. I passed no less that 3 people as I was on my way to that door, and none of them saw it in their hearts to show me the error of my ways or my profound mistake in judgement? Were the cleaning ladies trying to play a practical joke on me? Why was there no written warning that both the men's and women's restrooms were the same generic color with no distinguishing features other than the urinals? In my opinion, that's just bad design. Obviously, I was ready to place the blame elsewhere.

After exiting the proper restroom, I once again meet up with the boys who were patiently waiting right outside. I asked them, "Did you see me go into the wrong bathroom?" And in unison they said, "Yes." Like this is a common occurrence for them. Then Gavin says, "We were out here making jokes about it and wondering why you did it?" Join the club!

Jul 12, 2007

Handy Tip

7/12/2007 — cori
Gavin has been giving this whole marriage business some serious thought ever since the wedding we recently attended. Case in point: today at lunch he comes out with, "Mom, the bad thing about getting married is, you can't just marry what ever girl you pick - she has to want to marry you too." Excellent marriage tip, Gavin. Did he think picking out a girl was like picking out a lollipop?

Jul 11, 2007

Whose Kid Is This?

7/11/2007 — cori
I asked Bennett to get all his cowboy stuff together so I could take a picture of him. I DID NOT ask him to pose as Tim Conway or Don Knots. I laughed for 5 minutes straight. And my camera is super slow at taking pictures, so he had to hold this pose for a good minute before my camera decided to actually capture this memory. He said he was 'being serious'. This is indeed, my son's interpretation of what a cowboy looks like using only items found in his room: a minutemen hat, an unbuttoned plaid shirt, a tinker toy six-shooter and the all important bandanna scarf.

He was equally proud of his horse. Although he has his beloved Bruce (a hobby horse he made and is very protective of), he opted for a more creative version of a horse. That would be the chair. Notice the tae-kwon-do belt so deftly tied to each side as to appear like a harness. Notice who's being harnessed. The other tae-kwon-do belt would be the lasso that is an ever present accessory of all cowboys. His six-shooter is now secure in it's holster tucked into his pants while he is now holding onto his rifle. He needed each hand free to hold all his gear, thus the reasoning behind tucking himself in securely behind the reins.

Since this child of mine has left me speechless yet again, I will end with one of my favorite quotes:

Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Knowledge is limited.
Imagination encircles the world. - Albert Einstein

Jul 10, 2007

Narration Play

7/10/2007 — cori
This is new to me. As a girl, I don't believe I ever played by narrating out every single thing I was doing. Yes, my Barbie's carried on civil conversations, my babies maybe needed a bottle now and then and my Holly Hobby oven worked great, but I never explained what I was cooking as I was cooking it. My frame of reference might be a little skewed because I do not belong to this gender.

But this seems like a perfectly normal thing to do to my boys. They have been narrating their play ever since Bennett could talk. I would be open to a hosting a psychological study of this phenomenon. I keep telling myself that I need to sit down within ear shot one day and just write down every single thing they say as they're playing. Too bad I don't know short hand. They talk so fast and the story changes pace so quickly I can barely keep up. But today, I persevered and was able to record a 2 minute exchange of fast paced, random ideas as they bounced back and forth between each boy - neither of them missing a beat. This might not make sense to us, but in their little imagination world, it all flows together perfectly.

Bennett: "Your muscles are breaking and cracking....you have a beard..."

Gavin: (laughing hysterically) "no, snakes don't have beards..."

Gavin: "....and then you open the door..."

Interspersed between each comment are 'boy sounds' (for lack of a better descriptive word). You know....arghhh....awwwww.....kbush....bam.....pow.....splat....and other random sounds of rolling on the floor, wrestling, jumping, falling, attacking.....just your run of the mill 'boy sounds'.

Bennett: "...then the ceiling broke down...and you got in the rain..."

Gavin: "...I'm an agile snake..."

Bennett: "...then why did you trip?"

Gavin: "....because I wasn't suspecting you...then a hole opened up in the ground, just as my tail go in it shut and no bomb could come in...."

Bennett: "...now we're in the jungle, my tail wrapped onto a vine..."

Gavin: "...then suddenly, all my friends appeared from the trees..."

Bennett: "...then suddenly, I had a million heads, a million tails, a million bodies..."

......insert loud groan here.....

Bennett: "...then I grab onto all the snakes in the universe..."

Gavin: "...suddenly the trees began to move but they weren't trees at all, just bushes on 13 rattle snakes coiled up..."

Bennett: "...and then right as one almost touched me..."

Gavin: "...then suddenly I sucked up all my snakes and they all appeared, copperhead, rattlesnake, watersnake....Watersnake flooded the place and then it turned into the ocean...."

Bennett: "how you doin friend?"

Then as abruptly as it began, it ends. Suddenly it's quiet and still. I begin to contemplate if I should be worried...that is until I hear Gavin reading, "Pirate Mom" to Bennett. Then it segways into Legos. Then just as abruptly, that activity stops and they are suddenly cowboys needing me to tie on their bandanas and Bennett is affectionately riding Bruce with his tinker toy gun stuck into his pants.

If all this play in some way helps them role play for the men they will become...I am REALLY curious as to the line of work they will be choosing.

Jul 8, 2007

Death & Lightning

7/08/2007 — cori
It's storming again. And with storms come thunder and lightning. This always prompts one of our children to ask a question about lightning. It always makes me wish I majored in nuclear physics, or something more practical like that, so that I would have better answers for all of the questions.

Today's question came from Chloe. She said, "I'm scared when I sleep and it lightnens." I replied, "You can't be scared when you're sleeping honey." But Gavin, ever the vigilanty, always on the look out for false information being doled out to unsuspecting little kids, corrects me by saying, "Actually, you can be scared when you're sleeping if you have a bad dream, like about a monster or something." Correction noted.

But this did not thwart Chloe off her path, she came back with question in hand, "Can lightnen make you dead?" I know she is just testing Chuck. I have heard with my own ears, Bennett educating Chloe in all the things that could kill you. Lightning was one of them. I caution Chuck to tread lightly here, she's going to be taking this one to the bank.

Thankfully, Chuck is quick on his feet and comes back with, "Well, I suppose it could kill you if you were outside, running around barefoot with a large metal pole in your hands." To which she replied, "It will kill you dead forever?" He had to be honest, so he said, "Yes." but was able to temper all this death and destruction questioning with, "But as long as you're inside the house it can't hurt you. You're safe."

Then Bennett decides to contribute his two cents, "Well...actually, lightning could strike the house and kill us all dead and make a fire." Thank you, Bennett. Now, I'm sure she'll sleep much more calmly knowing all the facts.

Chloe's Prayer

7/08/2007 — cori
"Dear Jesus,

Have a good day. Bennett is my fwend now. Amen."

Jul 6, 2007

Novel Idea

7/06/2007 — cori
Chloe and Bennett have both been enlightened on the exact same day. Their epiphanies came only seconds apart. They both felt the need to share their new found ideas with me. As we are walking through the grocery store, Bennett, in the loudest voice he can muster (because that's the only volume he talks at) informs me, "Mom, I like Chloe today!" Then he turns to the new object of his affection and proclaims in front of witnesses, "Chloe, I like you. Let's be friends."

Whew...what a relief. He has finally found a need for his sister in his life and the best part is, he has come to this conclusion all on his own.

Chloe is excited beyond words at his declaration of love and must also make her feelings known. She gets my attention by cranking up the volume of her already high pitched voice and exclaims, "Mommy, I yike Bennett. He my fwend. We're fwends, wight, Bennett? Let's hold hands." That seems to close the deal.

My heart can now rest easy that my two youngest have agreed to be friends...at least for today.

Jul 2, 2007

Welcome To My World

7/02/2007 — cori
Just pretend, for a second, that you are a fly on the wall in my house right now (in reality, I have at least 4, so nobody would really even notice you were here). Mind you, all these things are occurring simultaneously! This is what you would be witness to:

1. The Rocket Washer - Ever since we moved back to Texas, our washer and dryer have not been the same (maybe that's because they were abused by the movers - just a hunch). Now, whenever I do my weekly 7 loads of laundry, I get to hear the sound of a rocket taking off into outer space when it comes time for the rinse and spin cycle. This is great for my blood pressure. My heart starts to beat at least twice a fast. The noise is deafening. But, hey, at least we have clean clothes. The alternative is worse - lugging all my stuff to a laundry mat?! I'll take the rocket washer any day.

2. As if the noise elicited from the washing machine isn't enough, I thought I'd also turn on the vent hood over the pot of chicken I'm boiling in order to prepare the dinner for guests that just happened to be in town tonight and would like to stop by around dinnertime.

3. The third set of noises would be those coming from Chloe and Bennett as they clean up their superhero hideout off the stairway. And yes, the entire hideout of 3 bean bags, a teddy, a tinker toy sword and back-up masks and capes all fit on one step. The best way to describe the noise they are contributing would be to call it: nonsensical talk at the top of their lungs. Sometimes it parlays into a made up song, sometimes an interesting pattern of rhyming words in a non-stop shrill sound. But at least they're cleaning it up on their own!

4. Gavin is in the kitchen making banana bread - without my help. Unless he can't find something or doesn't know where something is, or wants me to watch him to make sure he's doing it all right, or hold the bowl for him. But hey, I love to encourage independence! Be sure to add the mixer to the list of noises being generated.

5. The dog's non-stop barking out doors - we've yet to understand each other's language and are having a bit of a communication crisis.

6. Oh ya, I'm also in the middle of folding the dry laundry, making lunches, being asked if I can sew Bruce's hair back on (Bruce is Bennett's hobby horse he made and his mane is falling off) and getting a chemistry experiment together because that's Gavin's latest kick right now. All the while trying to talk in a manner that can still be heard over the stupid rocket washing machine. Gavin asks if making banana bread counts as a chemistry experiment and I'm all over that one - YES, yes it does my son!

7. I have had to leave my blogging post no less than 4 times to attend to asundry matters deemed of utmost importance by my dependents.

8. And then there's my beloved work-at-home husband sitting at his 'work station', a safe distance away from all chaos with his precious headphones securely attached to his head - oblivious to all of this.

And I'm wondering why I have a headache right now?!

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