Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Jude's Birthday Party, Really!

Yesterday was Will's buddy (BFF) Jude's Third birthday party. Let me begin by saying that this is the first time Will has been invited to a friend birthday party. If you all recall we spent time last week kpicking out a suitable gift for Jude and talked a bit about birthdays. I tried not to mention the upcoming party too much last week so as not to be bombarded with the inevitable, " Is it today, Mommy?" etc... I managed not to really bring it up until Monday night.

Will awakened on Monday morning with his usual thundering steps downstairs, ran into the kitchen and announced, "We goin' to Jude's party now. I ready!" I had to explain that Jude's party did not begin until the evening (5 pm). Since being three does not include understanding the concept of time this pretty much set the tone for the rest of the day. Periodically Will would tell me he was ready to go and I would respond, " not yet, Will, a little later." When I did tell him it was time to put on a clean shirt and get the wagon out of the garage you would have thought that he was on fast forward. I have never seen him get dressed that quickly! It was pretty funny!

We loaded up the wagon with Will, a blanket and Jude's gift. On the way we discussed and reminded Will that today was Jude's birthday and the cake and presents will be for him. I had deep concerns that he would just dive into opening the presents as if they were his.... this is a personal pet peeve of mine. I also have developed a "cake biting" phobia that was fueled by my best girlfriend's story years ago about a childs birthday party where one of the other little girls (not the birthday girl) actually leaned forward and took a bite out of the cake prior to singing "Happy Birthday!". Honestly, if Will did that I think I would .... well I don't know what I would do!

When we arrived at the party Jude's grandpa had brought a lawn tractor with a hay wagon attached for birthday Hayrides! It was awesome. Jude was so excited! He greated Will with his usual "Yea! Will Emmick is here!" followed by a big hug and kiss! At three the hug and kiss is really cute and he ALWAYS calls him "Will Emmick" never just "Will"! This was our kind of kid party, no ponies, bounce houses, major theme, outside entertainment etc... it was kids enjoying playing together on a beautiful fall evening having burgers, dogs and party cupcakes along with their parents. It was lots of fun.

Apparently my continual reminders about whose birthday it was made an impression and Will was outstanding. He sang nicely to Jude! More than once! and when presents were opened he did not even try to get to them. He did come over to me and say, "Mommy, those toys for Jude, right? I bein' good boy! " Yes, he was a good boy and he did well at his first birthday party. No cake biting, no gift grabbing, all in all a very nice experience. I hope this is the general trend!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Grocery Store

Having just come away from a Homecoming weekend spent mainly socializing with friends that we see far too infrequently and comparing notes on our children (note taking not always necessary as the live action version is often more memorable) I feel that I have narrowed the field of most detested tasks of mothers of three year olds... to one.... that would be.... GROCERY SHOPPING!

I had extremely high hopes for Will's first foray into the world of education, Preschool. I would drop him off, race home, take a shower, do the breakfast dishes, run load of laundry, vacuum the house, put things back in order, grocery shop for the week, etc... the list goes on but alas there are only three hours of preschool on Tuesday and Thursday. I have yet to make it to the store alone. The house is in order and the clothes are clean but I still have an assistant at the store... UGH! Someday....

I have devised a system that I do not recommend for the faint of heart. Will found, on one of our trips to Goodwill, a toy grocery cart. The Step2 kind. One day in weak moment I told Will he could bring the cart to the store and "help"me shop. Do I really need to elaborate and say that now the cart goes to EVERY shopping trip. Much to my amazement it does help somewhat because he can put groceries in the cart and he is not confined to the seat. I must make frequest remeinders not to run over other people in the aisle for example, but as long as I have a list and can go rather quickly through the store he stays close to me and happily pushes the cart around the entire grocery store. Just a warning to anyone who decides to try this... it does attract attention and strangers will talk to you. I'm just sayin'.... depending on where you live this can either be a blessing or a curse.

Friday, September 25, 2009

More Space

I have a constant quest to make more space for Will to play, in the family room, the library, his bedroom. It would sound as though there is LOTS of room, but really not so much. We are currently at a stage where ALL of his toys seem to be large and the rooms in our 100+ year old house are very small, plentiful but small. It appears no one had the foresight to expect train tables and vats of legos in the future... alas.

This morning I decided to move a couple of things in the family room to see if a new arrangement of Will's things would net a few more feet of play space. All we had to do was switch a bookcase and Will's play kitchen... sounds simple, right? Note that nothing that you ever think is simple actually is and the difficulty increases exponentially when you factor in the age of house (sloping floors, small doorways etc... ) First I go to move the bookcase ( just slide it over) I pull it away from the wall and viola it nearly collapses as I push it over an uneven part of the floor. I shriek and begin to unload the bookcase (so much for the $25 " just for now" bookcase from WalMart) Just as I am taking off the final 67 golden books Will arrives in the kitchen having just awakened. And what does a three year old do when they see a stack of books as tall as they are on the floor of the kitchen? They knock it over!!! And run through it!!! UGH!

I push the bookcase a bit more, it leans a bit more, and I curse, under my breath a bit more! So I decide to go ahead and move parts of the play kitchen! A good plan is always to move on to step 2, if step 1 isn't going so well. Now I have a legitamit MESS on my hands. Enter Joe!

The room is a mess, the bookcase if falling over and the floor is covered in children's books and he asks, " What are doing? Did you HAVE to do this this morning and do you know that the bookcase is leaning?" REEAALLLYYY? I hadn't noticed? ( more under the breath) After ten minutes of unnecessary discussion he decides to help me move the decripit bookcase. Amazingly it is moved and in place in 2 minutes and and hour and a half later I have the whole room back in shape. I had mistakenly thought that this was a 20 minute project in total. I really ought to now better by now. I do these things all the time. But... Will likes his new play kitchen set up and the reat of the room does seem more open.... we'll see how long this lasts.... ho hum

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Shopping with Will

Let's just say to be diplomatic that this is not my idea of a fun afternoon... and usually it involves some type of bribe, which I am definitely not above. Today was one of those days. We had to go about half an hour away (topic for another post) to get to a store that is worth my time, in order to buy a birthday gift. Yes, Will has been invited to his first friend birthday party next week! Wheee! So... we go to buy the gift. We talked ALL THE WAY about picking out a nice gift for his friend Jude and NOT FOR HIM. We discussed birthdays and how he celebrated his at the beach with Zach and Evan. We arrive at the store. We get out of the car. Will announces , " I do the shoppin' today, Mommy! " Great, that means he thinks that whatever he puts in the cart will magically follow us home. I cut him off at the pass and suggest that if he "behaves in the store we will stop to get frosty's on the way home. (Enter the bribe)

We go to the toy section of Marshall's. Will begins to look (for Jude), coming up first with a saxophone from one of the Backyardigans ( we don't know that Jude even WATCHES the Backyardigans!) He pleads to take it home "just to try it", I (ogre mom) says " No we are focusing on Jude. think about behaving and getting to stop for icecream, okay." Now, realize that this same exchange happens about 37 more times nearly word for word. We finally settle on a gift. Thank you, Jesus!

Will put the gift items in the cart and turns to me and says, " I ready to go now. Let's pay for stuff and go home."
"Great!" I say.
Next, Will takes off as fast as he can around one of the displays in the store. He circles it four times before I catch him.
"What was that?" I ask
" I was running?" says Will(mastery of stating the obvious)
" Is that the way to act in the store if you want to get icecream? Are you behaving?"
" Yes, Mommy. I stop runnin' now"
"Good idea Will!"
"Mommy? I'm bein' have now, okay! I still get icecream."
" We'll see if you can make it out of the store."
"Mommy? "
"Yes, Will?"
" I get icecream. I bein' have everys weeks in the stores, okay?

So much for backing off the bribes... and you think they won't catch on because they're little..... RIIIGGGHHHTT!

(Apparently "have" with a long "a" sound, is what you "be" when you get icecream!)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Thrift Stores

So... here is the deal with thrift stores like Goodwill and ALL the other ones. They are inherently wonderful as long as you go into it with the idea that it is sort of like a hunt. You may find what you are looking for or you may find something that you never thought you'd like or need BUT you have to have it. I love thrift stores and I am trying to make Will a fan as well. We average about twice a month at the local Goodwill. He loves going over to the children's books and toys. We find great books and videos. You can't beat the price of the videos at about $2 and books for $.50! I was able to stock our Disney movie collection for a whopping $5 and we are working on completing the "Little Critter" series a la Goodwill. I am not a big fan of the clothing selections, but the stuff is FAB! People who have visited our house over the years have asked where I find a lot of my seasonal decor... most of it is second hand!! The coolest stuff anyway! Joe thinks I am crazy but this year I had my moment... I subscribe to "Country Living" magazine. I receive the October issue and flip through the first pages to my favorite section "what's it worth?" There on the pages are not ONE but TWO of my favorite Halloween finds, a vintage trick-or-treat bag and a collection of noise makers. Joe is not a fan of either but Will LOVES the noise makers. The bag appraised at $65 and the noise makers $150!!! HA!!! As I always say he/she with the best eye wins!!! More thrift stores for me!

I've Got a cold in my Nose... ACHOO!

So Will has a VERY runny nose. Nothing too unusual about that, huh? But, it is the very first time that I remember him sounding like he has a stuffy. He must know that he sounds funny because this morning he got frustrated with the fact that I couldn't understand what he was saying. It took me five or six attempts to get " I want another pancake, please Mommy" out of " I bont nudder pickache, p mob!" It was pretty funny and he let out a BIG sigh when I finally repeated the phrase he was actually trying to say.

I have discovered that Will is a perfect name for him. He exhibits great strength of willpower when it comes to something he wants or perceives he wants/needs. I had the audacity to leave the room after telling him I was going upstairs to get a load of laundry. I had just asked if he wanted to watch something on tv and he was satisfied with the program that was on... 3 seconds later... he proceeded to meltdown because I had "left" and he wanted "Max and Ruby". It took him nearly half and hour to stop wailing about the situation. It ended when I told him I was going to sit on the floor and wail, too because I was upset about his continual meltdowns. I "wailed" for about 30 seconds when he came past the doorway, leaned his head in and said, "Mommy, I stopped cryin' already. Can we go downstairs now and have lunch." Meltdown over, move on... I hope that was all for today. Although I would never admit it to him the sitting on the floor and wailing thing does work out some frustration... hmmmmm...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

First Overnight with Grandma and Grandpa Emmick

... and not with Mommy and Daddy! Joe and I went to Chicago on Friday. We arrived at separate times since Joe had business at the lunch hour and after and the Grandparents came to pick up Mr. Will at 10 am. I headed off to the Big City around noon. I have to admit that driving without a car companion was odd to say the least. I had two hours without arguing or compromising on the music in the car or if we were "on the highway" as a method of requesting to put the window down. I cruised through and by 2:10pm I was happily walking down State Street to stop in P.O.S.H Chicago, and on to Oak Street to do a little shopping! It was a beautiful afternoon and I truly did enjoy moving at my own pace!

Will had been happy to go with Grandma and Grandpa, waving and shouting, "bye, bye... see you 'morrow, Mommy!" as they left. I managed to wait until just before Joe and I went out for dinner to call to check on him. I had to leave a message. Phone rang ten minutes later and a slightly tearful voice told me really he was fine and had been to McDonald's for dinner. By the time we hung up the phone he was hapily playing chase with Grandpa in the background.

Called again on Saturday morning to find Will finishing breakfast and providing a concert of song in the kitchen. They were going to leave for the "Bands and Barbeque Fest" and miniture horse show, both of which were HUGE hits! Joe and I went to the Wabash v. University of Chicago football game (WIN!!!) and then headed home with a stop for dinner in West Lafayette at Nine irish Brothers!

Will was waiting at the back door for us to arrive. Hugs and kisses all around. He had a great time tellling up about his weekend and showing us pictures Grandma had on her camera. We continue to hear snippets of activities. Apparently, riding in the front seat of Grandpa's "big, big, big truck!" was a favorite as well as a hayride around a "punkin" patch. It was a great weekend. he is still exhausted and I would guess that Grandma and Grandpa are too... time to relax... until tomorrow anyway.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Joke's on Me?

Lately Will has been becoming very interested in telling jokes and secrets! This is one of those stages that I remember from my sisters kids and it is a personal favorite. Will's jokes go something like this...
Will: Mommy, I have a joke for you.
Me: Okay, tell me the joke.
Will: Hmmmm... (putting finger on chin to show thinking) Purple monkeys!
Me: Purple Monkeys! That is so funny, Will!
This is the extent of the joke. He thinks he is a stand-up comedian. I will, of course laugh at anything he thinks is a joke, purple monkeys, red frogs, furry bananas (he atually said that yesterday during one of his joke telling sessions.) and anything else he comes up with...

Now it is breakfast time. Mini pancakes... AGAIN! Then off to preschool... I wonder if his pals at school laugh at his jokes?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Monsters for Breakfast

Our mornings here at home are pretty low key. Will likes to get up, hang out in the bathroom and the closet with Daddy while he gets ready for work and then come downstairs to see me. Hopefully, if all has gone according to plan, I have had breakfast, completed a workout and finished at least one load of laundry BEFORE they arrive in the kitchen! I try very hard to make this happen, but it does involve my getting up when the alarm goes off at 5:30am!

Will's current video obsession is Pixar's Monster's Inc. He LOVES to have his breakfast on a tray table in our library room and watch the movie. I do believe I could recite from memory most of the dialogue. I am pleased that at least he has chosen a movie with a reasonably creative script and NOT something vile like The Wiggles to view over and over again.

I know that I am probably instilling bad habits in my son by allowing him to watch tv while eating breakfast and not sitting at the table for every meal... but I guess in the grand scheme of things this is what my sister, Lisa, would deem a 25 cent issue! So for the time being Will may eat and watch.

We head off to Indianapolis for the day today. I am continually bringing clothes to resale in Broadripple and Will can hang with my parents while I do the drop off and go to a really good grocery store. When we were there last week Grandma and Grandpa took Will to the ArtsPark at the Broadripple Art Center. There is a crooked house sculpture there that he really likes ecause you can go inside and walk around. He insists on playing ring around the rosie inside.... unique but very Will. On the way home we were talking in the car about the ArtsPark and I asked if he liked it. He replied, "Yes, but I don't want to go next time." I asked, "Why not?" He said, " I want to go to the one park with slides and swings and music. I go there next time, okay Mommy!" I had to think for a moment about what he was referring to and then I remembered that he had stayed with Grandma and Grandpa Nowak while Joe and I went out for our anniversary back in July and they had taken Will to Mcdonald's to get dinner and then ate at a picnic table in Broadripple Park during a "Jazz in the Park" event. He was able to eat, play and listen to music- a perfect Will evening and apparently even more of a hit than any of us had thought. I hope his interest in music translates into a desire to play an instrument at some point... that remains to be seen.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Our Weekly cookie bake!

So I have been baking ever since I cna remember! My mother is a champion baker and my sister and I carry on the line. I have vivid memories of my mother's kitchen, and lets face it a kitchen really does belong to the mother in the family even if they are not the cook, chances are they are the ones who chose the decor! I have been baking with Will long before he would remember the projects and today was our weekly baking project. It consisted of something basic: chocolate chip cookies. I have tried hundreds of recipies over the years and have finally settled on one that seems a good base with a few minor tweeks. Joe loves them and so does Will.
Will "helps" by dragging in his chair from the dining room and planting himself as close to "on the counter" as possible. I let him put in the butter and the chips when the time comes. He likes to watch me turn the mixer on high speed when I put the flour mixture in so that it creates a cloud of dust that takes a while to clean up post baking. I used to like the same thing as a child so I do it and he laughs- a lot! I have found that Will's main contribution to the baking process at his age (3) is the quality control (tasting the dough). He has probably eaten more than enough of it in the past few months. I have found that much to my chagrin that the favored Nestle chips have not been tasting nearly as good as I remember so having switched to Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips has been key. We are now waiting for the cookies to bake and will taste the warm cookies with a glass of milk. How very Martha, or very Beaver of us....

First Days of Preschool

So I have decided in my attempt to remember things clearly from Will's childhood, that creating a blog mght just be the thing to do. I am no good at the normal "Mommy" ways of remembering childhood events like scrapbooking and writing in a journal. So let's see how this goes.

Will began preschool on the first day of September!!!! He looked like such a big boy walking off to the car with his Cars backpack and his constant companion "Mr. Bear". He cried when I left and consequently so did I, but we both survived and suddenly it is now his third week and I find myself looking forward to a few quiet hours at home with Lulu, the 12 year old dog. She is VERY calm these days.

I will try in future entries to provide more stories and details for the sake of my memory as well as Will's.