Archives for June 2008

The Truth is Hard to Find

A new issue has recently cropped up with Sloan, which isn’t really fair because we haven’t fully broken him of his other issues. One behavioral problem at a time please! But he’s recently discovered the art of lying. For instance, the other day, when I asked who brought the baseball bat in the house, he told me the wind blew it in. Nice try, but not true.

So last night, after Russian school, he came out with a very sour look on his face. When I asked him what was wrong, he said his teacher, Miss Katya, was “bad” to him. Apparently, she had to get on to him for some reason, but he would not tell me why. Sloan does not handle other grown ups telling him no very well. He gets very offended, which is good in the sense that it usually shapes him up pretty quickly. But bad in the sense that he makes such a big deal about it that whoever told him no feels terrible about it. This is what our coversation went like in the car on the way home:

Me: Sloan, what happened?
S: Miss Katya got mad at me.
Me: Why? What did you do?
S: I didn’t do anything!
Me: Honey, Miss Katya would not get mad at you for nothing. What happened?
S: Nothing!
Me: Were you not paying attention.
S: I was paying attention. I was listening and everything.
Me: Were you not trying to speak in russian?
S: Yes! I said all my russian words and even sang the songs.
Me: Sloan, something must have happened. I need you to tell me.
S: Nothing happened. She was just bad to me.
Me: Sloan, either you tell me what happened or I’m calling Miss Katya to ask her.
S: Well, you might get mad.
Me: I’m not going to get mad. I just need the truth.
S: Well, I didn’t do anything. I didn’t push anybody.
Me: Ohhh. Who did you push?
S: No one. Not Bolya.
Me: Why did you push Bolya?
S: I didn’t!
Me: Are you telling the truth?
S: No. I pushed Bolya. But it was an accident! I was just playing.

Anyway, it went on and on like the the whole way home. I finally got the story out that he was being a little too wild and pushed Bolya and made him fall down and Miss Katya got on to him to calm down. We went through the same song and dance when we got home too as he explained it to Lee. Lee and I finally told him that we were not mad at him, just disappointed that he was not paying attention in class and we wanted to know if he learned a lesson. His answer: “Yeah – don’t push so hard.” Hmmm…close. How about don’t push at all. Anyway, we also told him that he needs to be truthful with us and have trust in us. So we’re now working on learning to tell the truth. One more life lesson for the little man!

My first Fling

Yesterday we went to the zoo with my friend Nicole and her boys. It was a blast and it wore us all out. Fun times. Today it’s off to the pool with Suzanne and tomorrow we’ll hang out with our lovely neighbors, Carol and Julie and their kiddos. Summertime and the livin’ in busy! But oh so fun. Because I don’t have too much interesting to share regarding kids, I’ll follow in Nicole’s footsteps and list a few things I’m not so crazy about and a few that I am. Dana from Mamalogues calls it a fling. So here goes:

Thing’s I’d like to fling:
– Landon spitting up on me right as I walk into the gym. And not just any old spit up. He yacked his prunes all down my white shirt – prunes he’d eaten two hours earlier. Nice. Luckily I had a tank top on underneath – a female wife beater. I was lovely.

– Sloan’s “quiet” rest time, which he’s supposed to be having right now. Everytime he drops one of his cars on the hard wood floor, it sounds like a gunshot through the house and sends waves of frustration up my spine. His idea of quiet and mine are very different. We’re working on a comprimise.

– The hole in our roof that’s been there since the ice storm of January 2007! Birds have nested in it and had babies now. But we just don’t want to shell out the money to get it fixed.

– People who pick their noses while driving their cars. Uhhh, I can still see you!

– The stench in our basement that I keep trying to ignore because whatever is causing it will probably cost money to fix.

Stuff I’d like to keep around:
– Landon’s wet, sloppy kisses and the way he thinks it’s funny to suck on my chin. Only when there aren’t regurgitated prunes in his mouth, that is.

– The way Tia is saying new words every day and it’s about the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard. My favorite is the way that she says Sloan’s name. “Hol.” When she says it she sounds like a little bird cooing. The other day Sloan spit at her and she placed a prissy hand on her hip and said, “Hol, don piss.” (translation: Sloan, don’t spit) Awesome!

– The pride on Sloan’s face when he manages to get himself going on his bike all by himself. Priceless.

Ingrid Michaelson. I just love her coffee shop feel and her breezy voice. It makes me smile and bob my head like a fool.

– This tea. I drink it almost every night and a lot of mornings. It’s the best tea I’ve had in a long time and it makes me feel all girly and sophisticated, even if I’m sitting in my pajamas with psychotic bed head. It needs no additives. Simply add hot water and enjoy!

– My husband, who is just awesome and so much help around the house. Last night he could tell I was exhausted so he made dinner, then cleaned it up and helped get the house in order and pretty much did everything. He rocks! And babe, just so you know, Brad Pitt’s got nothin’ on you (wink).
Okay, those are the things I’d like to fling and the things I’m crazy about. What about you? Do share!

Wedding Montage

The pictures in this post will definately make their wedding video’s one day. I made attempt number two at finger painting this afternoon. We used the paints up. I’ll not be buying more. As they happily painted away, I decided to run inside and quickly throw a load of laundry into the dryer. This is the sight I found when I returned. I was not all that surprised really. I mean, seriously, leave two kids alone with finger paints and what do you think will happen? Anyway, they had fun and I got good pictures. And I’m also throwing in a picture of Landon because he’s just so yummy.

This is Sloan’s Incredible Hulk shot.
Tia had paint down to her toes, in her hair and in other places…I have a picture of Sloan in this same outfit. I need to find it and compare the two. This picture just makes me smile.

Invest in Yourself…And Gain Interest

That was the phrase on a bracelet that I saw in Branson this weekend. What a fun weekend we had. Very relaxing with a bunch of fun thrown in. But visiting Branson is a trip. Right next to the bracelet mentioned in the title was another one that said Give Unto Others and Much Shall be Given To You. The dichotomy between those two phrases cracked me up.

Seriously, where else in the world would you be able to go to a movie theater and also shop for straw woven purses, tacky head scarves and other worthless and meaningless trinkets that likely litter a majority of the landfills in our state? Oh, and while there you can also hear a little history told by a creepy looking statue of an old man who speaks with a weird southern accent. And before you leave the theater, don’t forget to check your weight on a large scale which likely displays the number in letters bright enough for all to see – ummmm…I’ll pass thanks. And then, of course, you can sit on The Love Throne and measure your ability for affection. Good times.

We also attended a show which was very fun. But you know you’re slightly out of place when the MC starts asking if anyone’s celebrating a special occasion and the guy sitting at your table says he’s there to celebrate his 80th birthday. He was followed by two people celebrating their 50th birthdays, one celebrating 55, and two couples celebrating 50 years of marriage. Barbara looked over at Becke and I with her eyebrows raised, wondering if we wanted her to announce our birthdays. We both hastily, and perhaps a little too loudly, said that’s okay. We’re good. The show did turn out to be good, though. I was a little worried at first because the MC was a ball of cheese who was apparently vying (sp?) for a Ryan Seacrest actalike trophy. We kept waiting for him to say, “This…is Ammmmericann Idol.”

The best part of the weekend was, naturally, the shopping. So many stores! And while I could have spent pretty much every penny we have, I was good and restrained myself, but thank God for birthday money! Shopping’s a lot more fun when you can actually leave with a bag in hand, rather than wallowing through each store lusting over items you’ll never get to own. Me likes to shop and really likes to buy!

To top off the great weekend, I came home and Lee had done several loads of laundry, changed the sheets on all the beds, done the dishes and ordered pizza for dinner. What a guy! Did it matter that the kids were playing outside in nothing but their underwear? No. It did not. At least they weren’t naked. We have more class than that. Just slightly more apparently. Seeing what a great job he did made me realize that I can, and probably should, go out of town more often. What a great bonding time for him and the kids. I’m just sayin’.

Anyway, it was a really fun weekend, although a little too short. It was nice to get away and have some girl time and do fun girly things and not feel rushed or guilty. Thanks Barbara and Becke for such a fun time!

Russian American School

One night a week, Sloan attends the Russian American school here in St. Louis. This is his second year at the school and I am just so proud of how well he is doing. He is by no means fluent in the language, but obviously that’s because he doesn’t hear it every day. I try to speak to him when I can, but my language skills are just not what they used to be. For those who don’t know, I minored in russian in college and have spent a fairly significant amount of time in Russian and Ukraine, both studying and travelling. The semester I studied there I was about 90% fluent. I would now put my flency at about 70%. I’m kind of like a dog. I understand pretty much all that’s said but I can’t speak that well. Anyway, when I found out a school was opening here in St. Louis, I though I’d enroll Sloan. He is doing great. He understands a lot – probably 70-75% of what they say, he can read short three-four letter words (he actually reads better in russian than in English because I work on it with him) and he knows a lot of songs. Tonight was their summer concert called Hello Summer! It was conducted in typical russian form – shove as many people into as tiny of a room you can and for two hours have different kids come up and do their thing. Super cute, but it was hotter than Hades in there so we left a little early. Sloan had a blast – Landon and Tia, not so much. The kids did little skits, recited poems and sang songs. Even Sloan’s teacher said at the end that she was so proud of how well he did. He is the only child in the whole program that doesn’t have at least one russian parent, so he’s at a major disadvantage. Anyway, here’s a couple of pictures. I got some cute video and tried to download it but blogger was being weird. Next week I’ll put it on YouTube and then post it so you can see his awesomeness! I’m off tomorrow to Branson for a girl’s weekend with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. I’m looking forward to some R&R and retail therapy.

This is Sloan waving at us, which he did about 500 times that night. So cute.

The kid beside Sloan was annoyed because Sloan was clapping and apparently it wasn’t a clapping song. He lept shushing Sloan, but Sloan was like whatever man, I feel the rhythm!This is Katya trying hard to entertain herself.

At the end was a puppet show and Sloan was the main character. That’s the video I tried to post. It’s a long story, but they all had a little part to sing and Sloan got to destroy the house at the end. Right up his alley!

I’m Thirty Today…

And I don’t feel at all different than I did yesterday. My kids are still fighting, my house is still a mess, my hair still needs to be cut and colored, the laundry still needs to be put away…

Huh. I guess I am getting old. Ten years ago I believe I was thinking “WOOOHOOO! Just one more year till I can officially drink,” and “I wonder if Lee will propose to me this year,” and “How many papers do I have to write this week?” Oh, and “Daddy, can I have a little more money?” Hmmmm…Time’s a-changin’.

*ammendment: Ten years ago I had just met Lee and was quite smitten with him. He did not propose until the next year however. Sorry. Apparently when you get old your memory fades…

Joyful Landon

My sweet Landon is by far the most joyful baby I’ve had. He giggles and grins all the time and has been doing that for months. While Sloan and Tia weren’t unhappy babies, I do not remember them being this smiley or giggly. I just adore Landon’s little laugh. Before I put him to bed we have a little game where he buries his face in my neck and I kiss his cheek over and over and he just laughs and squeals. It’s seriously the greatest thing EVER! So here is a little video I took of Tia making him laugh yesterday. Don’t you just want to eat him up?

Milestone weekend

On Friday, we went to the park to play with some friends. Two of the little boys there, twins Zach and Kohl, were riding their bikes without training wheels. Sloan was totally in awe and came home determined to take the training wheels off his bike. The second Lee got home, Sloan was all over him and within 10 minutes, the training wheels were off and Lee was running back and forth next to Sloan. I’m so proud of how quickly he got the hang of it. I got some really cute video of him learning, but I can’t figure out how to rotate it so I took another video this morning. It’s short, but you can see what a pro he already is! He only needs help getting started. Once he’s going, he does really well. What a fun milestone to hit, not only for him, but for us as parents. It kind of makes me get a little pang of mommy sadness because it’s just evidence that my baby is growing up! But on the other hand, it’s so fun to see him so determined to do something and stick to it until he get it. Here’s a picture of Sloan first learning, followed by a video clip I took this morning.

Last night, we celebrated my own little milestone…turning the big 3-0. Actually, my birthday isn’t until Wednesday, but Lee had a party for me last night. It was so much fun. What a blessing to be able to celebrate with people who mean so much to me. The weather was perfect and the kids did awesome. That’s another thing…a 30th birthday, when you have kids, is almost like a 5th birthday. There were toys everywhere, a coloring and play-doh table – I even debated getting a pinata for them, but decided that I didn’t want to clean up that kind of mess after my own birthday party. My mom got tons and tons of food and it was all so awesome and delicious – just FYI, Dierbergs makes a killer birthday cake! Thanks mom for all the work you put into it!

Turning 30 is not that big of a deal to me. My dad always says that the older to get, the younger old looks. Boy is that true. When I was in high school, and even college, I thought 30 seemed soooooooooo old. Like, ancient. But I don’t feel old. Of course, I do still have two days to go. Maybe I’ll feel old on Wednesday. I’ll let you know. But when you have three kids, turning 30 is just not that big of a deal. It’s actually kind of nice because now I won’t get those looks of pity when people ask how old I am and see me with a baby on my hip and two more hanging on my legs. I had my first at 25 – that’s not exactly colonial. So, in two days, I will officially be able to say I’m a grown up. I’ll finish this post with a picture from last night. It shows the extreme fun the kids were having. I think I counted 34 for of them! That’s a lot of kids. But they all did awesome! Thanks to those of you who came. It was ver special for me to have that time with all of you. I am blessed indeed. Oh, and Happy Birthday to my sister-in-law, Becke, who turns 31 today! Thanks for paving the way for me! Love you. Sorry this post has been so scattered. Tia is running around like a little hellion getting into everything. I need to get off the computer now before the house is destroyed.