Monday, December 5, 2011

Mean Girls

I remember my Mom telling me when I was expecting the twins about some advice my Grandma Crimin gave her. She said, "You'll always love your children. But, you want to raise children that other people love." I thought that this was very good advice. Yes, I was will always love my kids no matter what they do. I want to have kids that others love because of the way my children treat them. I've been thinking about this a lot lately as my kids are starting to get out of the safety of my bubble. Am I raising children that are kind, respectful, thoughtful, helpful, and pleasant? What can I do to teach them the importance of these things? I've had a hard time with Ewan and his biting stage and sometimes general orneriness. Sometimes he says "No" a lot. He also says, "Go away" and "no way". I have talked to Paul many times through teary eyes about my concerns with him and "bullying". I know, I know...He's two. I just would never want my kid to be the one to hurt someone else, be it physically or emotionally. We have talks about not hitting, biting, kicking, or screaming. My kids know, "we aren't mean. We give hugs and...kisses" (they fill in the last part).
As I have watched some of the television shows and teen movies about popular kids, I always wonder why the media portrays "popular" kids as mean. Aren't "popular" kids supposed to be well-liked? Isn't that what makes you popular? How are these mean girls so very popular? They're malicious and unkind.Is it because they have money? wear expensive clothing? drive nice cars? How is that popularity?  I'm amazed that we as a society would designate such horribly behavior as acceptable because these kids are "popular". I just don't get it. And, where are their parents? Aren't their parents teaching them about being kind? Does it really make them feel good to have people afraid of them? Does it make them feel good when someone is mean to them? Would they want others to feel hurt, heartache and sorrow on their account?  I remember some girls from middle school that were "bullies". I don't remember them being in the "popular" group. They were a grade older than me, and frankly I don't remember them at all after my freshman year because they ended up going to the Adult High for failing out of most of their classes. Popular? I think not. They were just mean.
So, how would one raise "popular"-nice kids? ones who are respected and loved rather than resented and feared?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Uncle Paul

We went to Kansas/Oklahoma in August for Paul's family reunion. He is affectionately known as "Uncle Paul". It's not really funny to hear Grace or Spencer call him Uncle Paul. But it is funny to hear his own children refer to him as Uncle Paul the following weeks, if not months after our trip.Seriously, Olivia called him Uncle Paul for the longest time. She doesn't call him that very often anymore, but sometimes when he's teasing her I'll hear her little voice, "Uncle Paul..." It reminds me of when my nephew would call his dad "Bill"--his name is Adam. Anderson was about 2 and a half and everything was, "Bill's home", "Bill's truck", "Bill's pizza". The funny part was that Adam, a super nice, easy-going guy just went right along with it. He didn't seem to mind that his son call him Bill. Our kids sometimes call Paul by his first name..and I have to admit that it's pretty funny sometimes to hear Ewan calling for Paul while he's in the bathroom! Anyway, it got to the point where my sister was calling Adam "Bill". I don't think any of their other kids called him Bill...Olivia seems to be that child in our family. Maybe it's an oldest child thing, I'm not sure. She's always coming up with pretend games and calling everyone something new. Ewan has been calling the twins "Yaya" for a while. He's starting to say Aislee better. And he calls Elin, "Eerwin". Olivia likes being "yaya" some days. Other days she wants to be "Ia". Some days she tells people she's "Aislee". Those are the days when she should probably be in timeout a little more the normal. Aislee is pretty good at just going along with whatever Olivia is pretending. Her latest thing is saying, "I'm little" when asked to do something by herself like take her plate to the sink, pick up her toys, or go to the bathroom. But, when she wants to go outside, or jump of the little table, or have a cookie she's, "...big and strong like Daddy." Kids...! *sigh*

Friday, December 2, 2011

Funny Things

Paul says that we have the funniest children ever. I believe that he thinks this because he hears the happenings of my days, and doesn't actually experience them. I'm grateful for his outlook on life. It helps to lighten things when I call to tell him he needs to come home from work because I need to sit in the closet by myself for a few minutes. I then proceed to tell him what has happened that day and explain to him why he needs to come home. For example if I don't run in the morning I usually have to wait until Elin is down for her morning nap to get in the shower. We moved the computer into the playroom recently, but before that I would put the three older kids in the playroom and shut the gate so they wouldn't leave the house while I was showering. Now that the computer is in there, I put on a show (Backyardigans is 24 minutes long--enough for shower and dress), leave the bedroom door open so I can hear if there's a serious problem, and take a quick shower. I had been doing this for a few weeks and things seemed to workout pretty well. Our house is pretty much baby proof. Anyway, a few days ago I did my routine. I got out of the shower and peeked around the corner and saw light streaming in from the front door. I grabbed pants and Paul's sweatshirt and ran to the front door. There stood Aislee saying, "They're going outside Mommy. I told them no." Ewan had my running shoes on and was attempting to "run" down the drive way. Olivia was half-way around the block. I chased after her, grabbed her little body, and ran back into the house. Ewan had returned the house. I think he knew he wasn't getting anywhere very fast and Mom was not gonna be very happy with him if he continued on his current path. We discussed strangers, cars, Olivia Pancakes, giant bugs that eat the toes off of little blond girls who leave their house without their mommy or daddy, and owey bodies. So I called Paul a few minutes after my heartrate had returned to normal (it takes a little while...I have issues). He said, "you should blog about it." Yeah, not-so-sure how to deal with this one. I guess, I could stop showering. But, let's be honest. Nobody wants that. So, I asked Paul to buy a deadbolt we could put on the door that's much higher than their reach. That's what we're gonna do about it! We laughed at it after he got home...Olivia will not be attending any dances in high school. She will no longer get to date until she has completed her master's degree in chemistry. I'm pretty sure Santa is bringing her coal...There are a lot more things to come because yes, we have funny kids!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Yea, yea...I know! I'm way behind. Here's our November recap.

Grandma Stacey and Grandpa Jeff came to visit. We got some much needed projects started. We started the paint in the kitchen. Paul and Grandpa built some shelving for the utility room. We will be able to move our food storage from the master closet! We also went to the zoo and to the park. Paul and I went on a date, and went running together every morning. I really like running with him! We were sad to see them go, and can't wait for their next visit!

I had my first post-baby race. It wasn't a half-marathon this time. It's really hard to find races not on a Sunday down here, and to coordinate weekends with people to watch kids, and work. It was just an 8.5 mile course in the pecan groves down here. It was a great day for a race! I'm hoping to get a few more races in before Elin turns one. I have one for December 10th near Scottsdale with my good friend, Jenni.

Ewan turned 2! Yea! He's a big kid now. We didn't get to do as much as we would have liked. It was a busy couple of weeks. We did have some friends over for a movie and cake the night before. The missionaries were at our house for a visit after dinner on Sunday. They got to sing and have cupcakes with us. After finding Ewan driving his pacifier along the rails of his crib and saying "vroom, vroom" one morning, I decided the poor kid needed some cars. He got quite a few matchbox cars. We spent most of Sunday morning playing cars on the tile, and down the slide.

We painted the great room. In anticipation for visitors, we decided to take a weekend and paint the great room. It was a big project with all the prep work and stuff! The kids spent most of the days in the play room with the gate. We moved the computer in there for movies. They were really patient with us. Paul did a really good job with all the edges! It looks great! We'll post pictures when we figure out curtains, pillows, and where to mount the tv we just ordered!

Elin crawls. She's been crawling for about a month. She's pretty fast and gets in to just about everything. She loves being mobile, and able to play more with the kids. I love that she can crawl 'cause I don't have to carry her everywhere!Elin's also starting to cruise. She pulls herself up onto everything and tries to walk along. She's pretty good on the Little Tikes table. She's had a few tumbles, but she doesn't seemed bothered by them. She just rolls over and does it again.

The twins are getting ready for Sunbeams! I can't believe how big they are getting. They left nursery last week to spend singing time in Primary. It was weird not to have them in class with me for a few minutes! Do I really have kids old enough to no longer be in Nursery?!? Where has the time gone?

Paul was called as ward organist. He's still in the Elder's Quorum, but he now gets to practice his musical talents by playing the organ in Sacrament meeting. I have to admit that I've had a few nightmares on Saturdays of him playing the organ, Ailsee escaping to sit with him, Ewan crying for him, Olivia waving frantically at him while climbing over benches while I'm holding Elin...Okay, it hasn't been that bad. And, I know lots of people who do Sunday as a single parent while their spouse is doing their calling. But, not many have two three year olds, a two year, and an infant. I probably rely on Paul too much, but he's so great!  He still comes into the Nursery to help me when he's not needed in Elder's Quorum and takes Elin so she doesn't get "loved" too much by all the other kids.

We had John and Emily (Paul's brother and sister-in-law) come from Lake Jackson, Texas for Thanksgiving. It was so much fun to have visitors! We love spending time with John and Emily. We went to the zoo, to the park, hiking, and trampoline jumping. Emily and I got to go to Wal-Mart together! We made Thanksgiving dinner together. It was great! We also had Paul's cousin, Patrick and his family for Thanksgiving. It was sad to see everyone go. We can't wait to have more visitors!
Photo of Grandma Stacey taken by Aislee...She steals the camera every chance she can get.

Elin is a good eater.

At least he's wheeling around the shopping cart and not the stroller, right?

Pre-race water.


Happy Birthday Ewan NcGrewen!

The missionaries liked the cupcakes. They were the only ones who didn't just lick the frosting off...

That was his second helping of frosting.

There are too many kids in the tub. Too many elbows to scrub! I just washed a behind I don't think was mine. There are too many kids in the tub!

She's a happy kid.

This one was taken by Ewan.Olivia and Aislee.

She's so big!

Don't feed the animals. Okay, maybe if you feed them, they won't fuss at you!

Now there are WAY too many kids in that tub!

Elin and Caleb hanging out in the stroller. They were happy for moments.

We're so excited for our new Elephant Exhibit coming soon!

Paul and Ewan. John and Sam.

The strollers changed occupants and drivers many times.

Leaving the zoo. Ewan made it home with us.

Hiking Madera Canyon.

Happy to be out of the house!

Snack time!


It's not child abuse if they're laughing, right?

Elin loves her Ewan!

This lasted a few minutes, until he ran her into the wall and she fell out. Paul was there to catch her!
Well, there's our November. We're looking forward to a busy December! I'm going to try a 31 day challenge, and blog everyday this month. I'm hoping it will get me in the habit...!