Wednesday, May 31, 2017

On TARGET for Shenannigans

Target is my boys' ABSOLUTE favorite store. They beg and beg to go there, and when we arrive, they treat it like a wonderland of retail. And usually one of the two of them, if not both, starts to act up. There is a lot of running ahead of the cart, spinning in circles in the aisles.... lots of movement.

After all these trips to Target, the last time we went there, I OFFICIALLY TIRED of the goofing around. And I believe a little something in me broke. I said to the boys, "THIS IS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO SHOP WITH YOU." And I threw my hands up in the air and started racing up and down the aisles, spinning in circles.

Yes there were a lot of stares, and a few knowing smiles from other parents.

The boys slowly started fading away from me into other aisles, so I started shouting, "HEY I AM [LITTLE HAM]'S MOM. AND HE'S RIGHT THERE (pointing at him) AND I LOOOOOOVE HIM!"

Never in their young lives have they been so mortified. Since then, they have been on their absolute best behavior in Target. All I need to say is, "ARE WE PLAYING THE CRAZY IN TARGET GAME AGAIN? I'M IN!!!"

I believe I have won. Just this once, score one for Mom.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

End of school year update

 My little boys are starting to grow up. In April, we had a "Come to Jesus" again with the school about Hamslice, where the teachers were frustrated with him again due to his lack of willingness to do any schoolwork. I was completely caught by surprise because *I* thought things were going well, using the adage "no news is good news."

I made a contract with Hamslice, where if he was able to do good work and not have any notes home from his teachers for the rest of the year, he could move his bedtime to 8pm from 7:30. If he didn't keep the contract terms, he owed me $100 payable in sticks @$.03 per stick. (That's over 3000 sticks, for the math challenged who are reading this)

And like a miracle, he fulfilled his contract. Furthermore, he decided that he liked the way he was treated by the teachers and administration when he actually tried a  little. It has been a turnaround that has lasted for 6 weeks now. I am so hopeful.

Meanwhile Little Ham has been making his way as a chorister, and is the creative department for the family. He just completed his King Tut costume for Living Museum day, and it was fabulous. Little Ham has been making huge strides integrating with the family. Yesterday, Hambone and I spent some time comparing this year to last year, and the growth has been really impressive. He is one of the family more often than he is trying to not be part of the family. We're at about 80/20 now, vs last year at 10/90.

The boys are also experimenting with driving go-carts and our golf cart. It's great vestibular stimulation and it provides a feeling of adulthood for the boys. They are so proud of their driving abilities, although Little Ham still corners a little fast in the golf cart, throwing himself out of the vehicle entirely. Hamslice is the self proclaimed expert of driving, and he is now a little critical of everyone's driving.

We also had the pleasure of nursing a baby bunny for a few days -- the boys saw a hawk drop the baby bunny out of its claws, so they took it home. The bunny was so young its eyes were not yet open. We fed it Kitten Milk Replacement and watched as its eyes opened and it became strong enough to hop. The boys liked learning that it takes three swallows for a bunny to drink one drop of milk, and they were sad but hopeful when it was time to say goodbye to it.

Friday, February 17, 2017

A Budding Rock Star

One of the very first things Little Ham told me about himself when he arrived here is this: "I am not going to college because I want to be a rock star when I am an adult."

And so I took that statement just as seriously as any parent would, primarily filing it away for later. But we've been watching Little Ham and have noticed that he knows how to (ahem) project his voice and really control tone.

Fast forward to January of this year, there was a poster for the Maryland State Boys Choir in the school lobby. I asked Little Ham if he wanted to participate, and received an emphatic "YES".

The audition was nerve wracking for him because he knows absolutely nothing about music, but they admired his lower voice (a full octave lower than the other kids, due to his.... ongoing vocal exercises at home...) and willingness to learn.

He had his first rehearsal on Saturday and said it was a "10 out of 10" positive experience. He even did his music theory homework yesterday without complaint.

He really does want to be a singer. It's amazing to watch. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

A Little Potty Humor

My little men have been having trouble lately with remembering to flush the toilet after using it. It's more than just a little annoyance because there are some toilets that only they use, and if neither flushes... well you get the picture.

In the spirit of creative problem solving, Hambone suggested that each boy make a sign to hang on the wall behind these kid toilets to remind them to flush.

The boys set to work immediately. Through the walls we heard Hamslice start mocking Little Ham about how he spelled "flush."

We walked in to find these two signs, one of them creatively spelled "Foosh" (where the Os became the eyes of the character in the drawing). That one was Little Ham's, and he hastily scrawled an "L" into Foosh to correct the spelling.

I then looked at Hamslice's spelling masterpiece, which simply said, "Flosh."

Thursday, December 29, 2016

So. Many. Questions

Since Little Ham has started to uncoil, he has been asking the pressing questions that nobody has been there to answer so far in his life. And there are a lot of things he wants to know. Thousands of questions, ranging in magnitude from word definitions to "Why does Ellen DeGeneres dress like a man?"

We have deeply enjoyed watching him learn and piece together his world into a more meaningful structure than the incongruous, fractured world of a lonely child. He is able to piece a few things together now on his own and his fear is less because life is starting to make sense.

We're rooting for him, and have lots of answers for his many questions.

Hang in there Little Ham!

Friday, December 16, 2016

There Goes Santa Claus *snif*

I suspect this is the last year of believing in Santa for the boys. They were so excited at the beginning of the holiday season about Santa and being really good and all of that great Santa stuff, however it seems to be wearing off.

Probably some of it is my fault -- Little Ham put out a list for Santa of over $2000 worth of stuff, so "Santa" wrote back and said something along the lines of "I'll bring you joy but not all this crap."

And I see that Santa is real when the boys want something, but when "Santa can see you [doing that naughty thing]" then Santa doesn't exist.

The Elf on the Shelf is getting it square in the teeth. I heard the boys yesterday, discussing how they are pretty sure that Dad moves the Elf every morning before work. "It's either Dad or Mom moving it, for sure."

When people look at your 3 year olds and say, "They grow up so fast," I never really understood that because the little teeny kid phase seems to last forever when you're in it. Now that it's fading, it seems like it was only a heartbeat.

Where does it all go.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Turkey Trot - a story of success and other things.

Thanksgiving morning this year brought Mom to the kitchen and Dad (and the boys) plus Neighbor T to the Baltimore City Turkey Trot 5K run.

There was a great deal of complaining from all three guys, but they dutifully headed out so I could cook Thanksgiving dinner. The race went smoothly (ish) depending on which of our sons you ask, but none the worse for wear.

As my weary racers approached the car to go home, Hamslice tripped over a chunk of concrete and went careering into a ditch. A major cement burn to the face, a black eye and two black knees later, Hamslice arrived home, still sniffling and needing a lot of TLC.

In all of the excitement about Hamslice, nobody really paid attention to the race standings (really with our un-athletic family, who would?) but we should have.

Little Ham had the fastest time in the entire Male 9 and under category for the race. Amazing!! He ran his first 5K with a final time of 29:20

We sent a note to Little Ham's running coach to let her know. We are so proud of him. AND he is proud of himself, which is also really, really good.