March 2013

Jack has been doing well with his sight words. He’s up to 43 today! Two days ago I showed him his first word which was ‘big’, but he didn’t want to do words. He looked at it and said ‘little’!!! Smart aleck! When Gran and Pawpaw were here last week Paw held his words up to Jack with the blank side forward (I think the first time it was an accident) and Jack read all his words like that! I think some words Paw even put upside down and Jack got them! I think he’s ready for school, and a full day won’t be bad for him either. His words are: Paw Paw, Gran, Mama, Daddy, Max, Jack, off, on, bed, cat, can, to, at, his, is, big, dog, yes, no, not, you, be, I, milk, with, eat, that, and, a/the (both said two ways), see, hot, all, go, now, for, of, it, or, we, up, try, was. For a while ‘was’ was his favorite word. He thinks the word ‘we’ is the ‘wii’ and often says ‘play wii’ when I hold that card up. Sweet kid. I think I may start adding in two words a day again, or at least sometimes.

Yesterday I told Jack his oatmeal was a little hot. I guess he was feeling ornery because he then said “big hot”.

When I was changing Jack’s diaper Max said his (J’s) bellybutton looked like a smile with one tooth in it.

When he pulled the homeschool cart out Max told me “I think when you tried to awesomize these wheels you destructimized them.”

Yesterday Max told me again (like he has several times) that he wants a little sister. I told him that we probably won’t be having any more babies in our family. I reminded him that Sara from the Bible said she couldn’t have any children because she was too old, and told him that not many women have babies after 40. He said ‘Aw, man! If only you’d had a baby last year!’ Then he said we could adopt a little sister. I told him he should pray about it, tell God what he wants, but not to forget to ask for God’s will. He said is that some sort of secret password? I want your will God!

We haven’t said anything to Max about Jack going to public school, and honestly I’ve been a little worried that when it happened he would be jealous. This morning out of the blue Max asked me point blank about Jack going to PS, and I told him he would go. Max said ‘Aw, man! I wish he could go to homeschool with us!’ I was so glad to hear that.

Need to go finish up the Beef and Broccoli I’m cooking.

One breakfast on the cruise Max saw one of those emergency boxes near us and asked why breaking that glass would help any emergency. Quicker than anything Tj said you break that glass and spread it on the ground and then you get to the lifeboats faster because it slows everyone else down! Our conversation quickly dissolved into how spreading broken glass on the ground would also help you get to the buffet/bacon faster, but no one seems to remember that but me. Whatever!

I really try not to do that, especially about Jack. Max doesn’t need me to fill his head with all the worries that flit through my head about Jack, anyway…

At lunch we were watching a video from a blog I read that features a grown woman, her grown sister with Down syndrome, her newborn and her toddler with DS whom she adopted. The grown DS girl was extremely hard to understand, so for the first time I explained to Max that Jack may be hard to understand when he’s grown, especially to people outside our family, but that we would work hard so everyone could understand him. Max matter-of-factly said “Well, I’ll be there with Jack to interpret what he says”. I couldn’t talk, I just started crying. Then I was laughing too, at the absurdity of the situation, and then crying again. I felt bad because Max hasn’t ever seen me like that and I didn’t want to scare him, but what a wonderful thing to say! I’m so glad Jack has such a great big brother!

Cruise stuff: One thing I forgot to mention about our trip to Tulum. All along I’d thought it would be super hot when we went to Tulum. I dread that, really. I hate having to put sunblock on both the boys and me, but it’s a necessary evil, and I had getting sunburned more. So I packed everything sun related and slathered it wherever I could reach during our bus ride; but because of the storm that day it was lovely and overcast the whole time! Not great for pictures, but it was nice to be able to enjoy our whole time walking around the ruins and not even break a sweat.

Parenting stuff: I’m finally getting better about waking the boys up with a kiss instead of immediately going into fussing mode when I see that Jack has torn another book or Max isn’t ready to come down with chores done by 7am. I got really convicted last year, but it’s taken some time to change that bad habit. It really makes thing easier and nicer when we can start out right.

Max stuff: Some people might not see this as an advantage, but one of the reasons we wanted to homeschool was to keep our boys from growing up so fast. We’ve definitely already been looking ahead at our goals of independence for the boys, but it just seems like kids these days (how old do I sound when I say that?!) are introduced to so much at a younger age. I don’t want our boys to be childish when they’re not children, but I also don’t want them to be thinking about having girlfriends now, or about school shootings, or drugs/weapons at school, etc. I want to give them a little bit of an old-fashioned upbringing. All that aside, it really made me smile last year when we’d bring Jack to Wee Care and Max would try to fly using his umbrella, jumping off of all the curbs and anything else he could find. It’s fun seeing his imagination at work. He also cracks me up with all the questions. He asked me the other day if he put that toy rocket ship launch-balloon-thing under water could he use it to breathe under water.

Grandmom stuff: Gmom handmade us a Ducky MoMo!!! The boys love it, but I love it more :-) She’s so sweet to do that for us.

Jack stuff: Apparently Jack knows the 10 commandments! Three weeks ago as we left church on a Wednesday night he said 7-8 times while holding out his little fat hand with all 5 fingers outstretched “Obey your mom and dad!” I thought that was cute, but had no idea who taught him that. Then last Wednesday his Awana teacher Mrs. Terena told me he knows all the commandments and which number they are! He’s been talking more, but we haven’t necessarily been understanding him more (poor bug!), and I guess that’s what he’s been saying! Now that we’re looking for it I can hear him say something about the Sabbath day, too, but that’s about it. I’ve asked Mrs. Terena to please email me exactly what she says so we can recognize/reinforce this. He sings ‘Deep and Wide’ well, I think anyone can understand what he’s singing. He also sings ‘Yes, Lord’ with some hand motions, but I don’t think that song’s as well known as ‘Deep and Wide’.

He and Max still share a room, and aren’t allowed to come downstairs until 7am. But on vacations we often share a room so we’re subject to Jack’s usual waking time of anywhere between 5-6am. I make him get in the bed with me and he usually then will sleep until we’re all ready to get up. If only Max would be awake enough to put his arm over Jack every morning to keep him in the bed I really think he’d sleep a lot more. Max is just such a sound sleeper still that Jack usually gets up and plays and Max never wakes up.

It’s hard to talk about the cruise now that it’s been a week since we were on the ship. What a great time we had! I only have the last 2 days to write about, and I don’t want to forget completely what happened.

We had room service every day except the Tulum day. Tj had gotten an excellent breakfast burrito and taco one other day, so this day he went and picked us each up another burrito. Sadly these weren’t nearly as good as the first ones. After Max finally got up we took the boys to breakfast and I picked up some bacon croissants like we’d eaten in the Colosseum when we had our Mediterranean cruise years ago. We dropped the boys off at CC and went downstairs to board the tender. We shuffled along like cattle for a bit, and a little before they were needed one of the crew told us to pull out our ship ID cards. I stopped for a second to do that and then some old man pulled his wife in front of us; ugh! There were still about 5 couples between us and the checkpoint so I didn’t think stopping was such a big deal, but it really burned me up when he went ahead of us. I didn’t keep my big mouth shut and said loudly to everyone behind us “Yeah, if any of you already have your cards out just go ahead and cut in line”. I know I shouldn’t have but I did. Then the guy who cut said “You snooze, you lose”. Again I opened my big mouth and said something about what a shame it was they probably had kids they had raised to be just as rude as they were (they were about grandparents age), and they said something about heh, their kids were already grown, and then I said yeah, and acting just as rudely as y’all now, huh? Sometimes I amaze myself how ugly I can be! Throughout the rest of the cruise I feel like I kept my temper a lot when people were doing that sort of thing…rushing to get somewhere when we were all going to get there at about the same time, so why not be polite and not rush the door? I guess I was at my limit then. Maybe one day I’ll learn to stay quiet. But if I’m still acting this way at 40 is there really any hope?

Anyway, that was really the only blot on the day. The tender ride was super rocky. We started out sitting on the outside portion of the boat but then we were told that we likely would be soaked by the time we got to land so we moved to a covered portion. The bus ride was very nice; I’d had pretty low expectations but both the tender and bus seemed pretty new, well airconditioned and clean. We had a bathroom stop at a big souvenir place and we bought our first souvenirs of the trip there: an obsidian pyramid and two chocolate bars. Our last few minutes on the bus the tour guide showed us her handmade obsidian necklace with her husband’s name spelled out in silver charms on it. I had noticed it and liked it. We decided I should get one with Tj’s name on it. :-) We filled out the form and gave it to her and we picked up my finished necklace when we were finished walking around Tulum.

Once out of the bus there was a 10 minute walk and then we were in the ruins. Obviously it was so cool to see such an old place. It’s always amazing to hear how people from that long ago lived/believed/etc. We ate our sandwichs, took a few pictures and walked all over that place till it was time to leave. On our way back to the bus we took our pictures with two decorated Mayan guys. I saw a Mayan calendar I wanted so I bargained for it. The guy told me it was $12. I really only wanted to pay half of that, so I told him I’d give him $4. He blah blah’d a bit and then countered with $7, I said $5, he said no and then I said $6 and he said yes. HA! Our bus ride back was pretty quiet. We each got a bottle of water, bag of chips and a small moon pie. Somehow we got back to the ship after it was supposed to leave, I don’t know how we (our whole bus) were late. This is why we chose to do this tour with the ship…with our boys on board we didn’t want to chance being late and being left behind!

The last day at sea was uneventful but fun. We started out in shorts, went out to breakfast, and quickly went back to the room to change! It had been storming during the night and it was cold! We dropped the boys off for their last day at CC and stepped outside only to see the wind almost tossing the big plastic toys from an outdoor play area overboard! I caught a Little Tykes push car that kids ride in and brought it inside and we went to tell the CC people what was happening. They were already calling someone to come secure them. Later one of the women there said that this was the worst weather she’d ever seen on board! We tooled around the ship a bit looking at the photos and in the shops. We bought the boys each a pirate shirt, and a bracelet for me; then we sat a bit and did sudoku and word puzzles the ship provides daily. After dinner we went to the family friendly comedy show while the boys were at CC, and then we packed our bags before we picked the boys back up. I kept being surprised at how quickly I packed everything up.

Sunday morning we got everything ready and then I realized we must’ve left Jacks sweater at CC the night before, then I looked for and couldn’t find my ships ID card! We hadn’t lost a thing the whole trip and now Tj was telling me I had to have that card to get off the ship! I was really flustered and frustrated. I knew Tj was annoyed…we’d planned all along to be one of the first ones off the ship (since they kick you out of your room by 8am and I didn’t want to be trying to corral the boys until they let us off) and here I was ruining it! I really considered leaving Jack’s sweater, but I was really wondering about that stupid card! We started down and in the elevator I finally remembered I’d put my card in the suitcase when I’d put in Max’s name tag from CC the night before. Fortunately I knew right where they were, and they were easily accessible  Then, when we went to the Monet dining room to wait to be called to leave I ran over to the guest relations desk, waited in line just a couple of minutes and then asked about J’s jacket. The lady was doubtful they had it, but in a second she was back with it! Whew! We got right off the ship then.

Everything else was a breeze, although Tj thought there was a problem. He passed by a stern looking guard at the foot of the escalator and then called Max to hurry up. Jack was next, right in front of me. I saw the guard step up to help Jack, but instead of holding his hand he just picked Jack up and carried him off the escalator and several feet farther. I was thanking him, but Tj couldn’t see exactly what had happened so he thought we were being escorted to a checkpoint. It was all good, though.

We got in our truck and then went right to the beignet place. Yum! What a great way to end our vacation! I drove most of the way home because Tj caught a cold the last day on the ship. Driving is always a breeze when I have a good book on tape and this leg of the trip we listened to our last Harry Potter all the way! We just watched the last movie tonight. What fun!