Monday, July 30, 2007

Cousins, Cousins, and More Cousins - And other random stuff

We had a wonderful time with Nathan last week, and we already miss him tons. Last Wednesday, I took both boys to the Discovery Science Place, our local kids (hands-on) museum and we had a blast. I had never taken Jonah there before, and now I can't wait to do it again! They had all sorts of fun. I had all these funny stories to tell you, but they've all seemed to slip my mind at the moment. So here are some fun pics:

My heroes:

I so thoroughly enjoyed spending time with these two. They were fun, funny, and all over the place. Seriously, it was crazy trying to keep up with them, but thankfully, Nathan was really helpful, never running off without asking permission to go to a new station. Amy and Blake, you're great parents! He was so well-behaved that I eventually realized that I could stop panicking the whole time we were there, trying to keep both of them in my eyesight at all times! I still had to be on my toes, but the whole outing was so nice and pleasant with no disasters whatsoever. My only experience with more than one child at a museum was during my nannying days when I took four of the wildest children on the planet to a museum, and I still to this day don't know how I made it back to their house with all four of them. Alive. It was INSANE. So, this one was a piece of cake. =) I had a blast with those two precious boys. Jonah looks up to his big cousin Nathan so much and thinks he's just as big. The next day, we were able to play with some friends at Jumpin Jacks, one of those places that has big inflatable bounce house/slide things. Mom was there and would sometimes watch Jonah so that I could race Nathan through the obstacle course ones. It made me excited for the day when Jonah is big enough I can actually play hard like that with him and compete with one another. Not that I'm wishing the time away! But man, Nathan is a very fast runner! It turned into one really fun workout. And I never think workouts are fun!

By the way, as Jonah talks more and more and sounds like an actual person using normal sentences, I've started to think that he's going to be one of those kids who can be really obnoxious but charming enough to get away with it! We'll have to be on guard about that. He will refuse to obey something I ask him to do, but he does it in the SWEETEST voice with the cutest expression ever. Don't get me wrong....his rebellion isn't always sweet. There are definitely some tantrums around here. But some of them are just too funny. And he's getting better at knowing how to do that. For instance, I was giving him dinner the other night and saying he could have what he was being served if he wanted anything to eat, and he very sweetly said..."Hmm...probably not." Probably not?!! It was so funny, I could have fallen to the floor. Didn't know he knew what "probably" meant. So he likes to use that phrase to tell me "no" now, and it sounds less ugly than an outright "No!" But it is still disobedience. So I'm going to have to work on getting my act together when he says stuff like that, not crack a smile or let him see me laugh, and react the same way I would when he disobeys more openly.

Speaking of consistency....which happens to be the theme of this season in parenting we're in.....there is one discipline strategy that we've used that has finally seemed to pay off the last couple of days. When we're at home and Jonah gets really whiny or is fighting me over something, I tell him very plainly that if he's going to act like that and whine and cry, he may do so in his room, but he's not allowed to do that in my face. He has to stay there and take a moment to get his attitude right and then he may come back and play or be in my presence or whatever. (Note: this may not be the best for every kid, but it's good for Jonah because he HATES having to be separated from us. He would much rather play, by himself even, if he knows I'm nearby and he can show me stuff or tell me things from time to time. So having him stay in his room for a few minutes really bothers him.) Well, we've been doing this for several weeks, and the first 8 to 10 times, you would have thought a war broke out in our home! He would scream and cry so hard and then set his foot right over the line at the doorway as if to say, "I'm in here, but my toes are not. You don't win, Mommy." And he'd stay right there in his room, so I wouldn't usually have to close the door. But it was not pretty. Having to stay in his room would make him more mad than anything else ever has. But, the point of this paragraph is...that consistency does pay off!!! Yesterday, he was being exceptionally whiny and I told him that he could whine in his room by himself until he was ready to be sweet, and he walked right in there. I didn't even have to take him. I heard him yell out, "I'm in my room" to let me know when he got there. And then he walked back into the room where I was and said, "I good boy now." WOW. He did the same today. Success! This may sound small to some, but it was a very big victory in our house! I think the key is staying calm, not getting angry, and consistently responding in the same way every time. At some point, it clicks with them. He actually understood the concept of having to keep his bad attitude away from the rest of the family. He's not forbidden to cry or be sad about something, but when he's doing it in defiance, he must do it elsewhere. YAY! I'm sure he'll test me on this more, but at least we have a few victories under our belt.

As for our weekend....Shelly and I hit some garage sales early Friday morning, but we had zero luck on finding any treasures. But it was fun to have someone to hang out with and make fun of people's ugly junk with! =) My sweet husband gave me the day off (from home) on Saturday so that I could spend most of the day working on a writing project. It was very productive time, and I'm so thankful that he offered. Yesterday, we made a day trip to Lufkin for my cousin Andy's son's birthday. Hunter, who has the sweetest heart of any seven year-old boy I know, had a swimming/Transformers party, and it was very exciting for Jonah. They have a barn with four horses, and they also have tractors out on their if you know Jonah, you know he was in heaven! Construction things and farm animals are at the top of his list of things he loves. Joel played hard in the pool - the only adult who actually got in - so all he did was throw kids in the air the whole time. He was tired last night! As I'm sure he would tell you, "It's hard being the cool one that all the kids want to play with." My husband was definitely the most popular/coolest kid there yesterday. It was obvious to everyone. Should I be proud of that? =)

Here is Jonah with his Lufkin cousins. Bless their hearts, about 20 people were taking their picture all at once, so none of them knew where to look!

Had to post a picture of sweet Reese in her crocs:

(Her mom said she wakes up in the morning and right away insists on having shoes on! That a girl!)

It's always fun hanging out with our family in Lufkin. This week, we are resting up and enjoying a slower pace. Mom and I will be working on plans for a coffee we're hosting in August for our Bible study teachers. I'll be making invitations the next couple of days and getting those details together. It has been fun organizing the women's Bible studies at church - I'm so glad the Lord brought this opportunity my way. Just in case you're a local gal reading this, check out the website for our fall offerings. There are lots of classes, but they do fill up remarkably quickly at this church. Registration is on!

As if this post isn't long enough, I'll leave you with one more Jonah story: The other day we were leaving the grocery store, and there were two elderly ladies waiting at the front of the store, sitting in their motorized carts, side by side. Jonah saw them and decided that they must have been about to race so he immediately proceeded to shout (loudly), "Ready, set, GO!" I nearly died.