Thursday, August 21, 2008

"Sorry Mom"........and other Lauren stuff

Lauren will be 2 at the end of next month. She's a spunky little girl with a blossoming personality. Here are a few cute things she's been doing and saying lately that I don't ever want to forget.

The latest thing Lauren has started doing is apologizing for things. Usually she apologizes anytime she thinks she's made a mistake or done something wrong. This could be as simple as loosing her footing when she climbs up into her chair and then falls down. She'll say in this soft and serious voice, "sorry mom." Or if she makes a mess, shuts a cupboard door too hard or splashes water on the bathroom mirror when brushing her hair. It is so funny it makes me smile every time.

Another thing she started doing about six months ago was giving me little random hugs. The first time she did this I was in the kitchen doing dishes and she came up behind me and just "hugged" my legs with this tight little squeeze. Since then she does this on a pretty regular basis. I also love it when I'm sitting on the floor or ground and she'll come up from behind me and put both arms around my neck and give me a little hug. I can just feel her little love.

Here's a picture Aaron took a couple months ago when I was out in the yard cutting up strawberries......she just came up from behind me and gave me her sweet little Lauren hug. This is something that the boys never did and I love it so much!

Other things that I've noticed about Lauren lately is that she is developing a very assertive personality. Her brothers absolutely adore her and treat her very well but she is growing to be quite a little spit fire when she doesn't like something they're doing and boy does she let them know it! Usually these eruptions in assertion happen when they are smothering her with their brotherly affection (giving hugs, snuggling, kissing her, etc.-they seriously love her) but sometimes she just wants to be left alone and boy will she let them know it! Her scream is the most high pitched squeal we have ever experienced, far exceeding any decibels that the boys ever reached -even in their worst tantrums. The offender will immediately surrender by letting go to cover their ears and get the heck out of there.

Love you Lauren.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Push Ups for Punishment

I've been meaning to blog about this for weeks now but this summer has been so busy I haven't been posting much......

Anyway, last month we drove up to the temple with a couple from our ward who also has sons. During the drive we were visiting and it came up that they make their boys (who are teenagers) do push-ups for punishment anytime they do something wrong. They said that they started this when their boys were about Jacob's age because it helped them get conditioned for wrestling. Aaron and I both looked at each other and instantly knew that this was something we wanted to do. As they shared with us their experiences with it I kept thinking what a great idea it was.

So the next day we explained our new punishment policy to the boys and they were actually thrilled. No more time outs or swats on the toosh I feel so liberated! Now when they act up, disobey, hit each other or are unkind they have to do the number of push ups that is appropriate for the offense. I can't tell you how wonderful this is for me as a mother! Now I don't get nearly as emotional when punishing the kids because it's a punishment that I am able to completely detach myself from. I simply and calmly tell them how many push ups they just earned. This morning Jacob had to do 20 push ups because he was harassing his brother to the point that Joseph was crying in frustration with the situation. So he did them (this picture was taken today) and then as usual he had to apologize to his brother and give him a hug.

Also, the rules for this punishment are that you have to do it wherever we are and if you protest or whine you get 5 more push ups added onto your punishment for each whine or comment. I was at Walmart the other day and one of the boys had to do push ups right in the parking lot outside the car. I've also made them drop while in the grocery store right in the middle of the aisle. (The added humiliation of doing it in public makes the punishment even worse). Ben had to do them in the pew during sacrament meeting a couple weeks ago because he was throwing a fit about something ridiculous.

A fun side note that I wanted to remember is that Benjamin ( who just turned 4) has the best form of all the boys. Initially Aaron and I were worried that he might not be able to do a push up because he's so young, but we were certainly wrong. He is such a muscly little boy, so solid and tough. Sometimes they are all down at the same time doing push ups and Ben will finish first because he does all of his so perfectly while his brothers sometime have to do repeats for "poor form."

This is the best thing ever! And on top of everything else they're getting so buff (if that's even possible for this age) (:

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Blue Angels and Boyhood Dreams

My boys have never been much into action figures or superheroes but one thing they do love is the Blue Angels. Every year in August (on SeaFair weekend) we take the kids to watch the Blue Angels. It has become a family tradition that even I get excited about.

This year we weren't sure we were going to make it because Aaron had jaw surgery on Monday and was pretty swollen and sore all week. Even by Friday he wasn't sure if he was going to be up for it the next day so I intentionally didn't mention ANYTHING about the Blue Angels in case we weren't able to go on Saturday. During the week the boys were playing outside and heard jet sounds overhead ( I think it was the blue angels practicing over Seattle) and they got so excited. Then there was a DJ on the radio talking about them and I had to switch the channel really quickly before they heard. And then Friday night I was reading a story to Ben and pointing out a picture of a little boy who later in the book grew up into a man to which he immediately informed me: "Mommy when I grow up I'm going to be a Blue Angels pilot!" Oh man, I totally wanted to tell him we were going to see them the next day! But I still wasn't sure if we'd be able to and didn't want to get his hopes up.

Anyway, we did end up going to see them on Saturday. As always Ben needed ear plugs (because he is super sensitive to the loud sounds that they make) . The boys kept leaping to their feet and yelling in excitement every time they'd do an unexpected flyby over our heads or some cool formation.

Jacob's favorite was when two Blue Angels played chicken and at the last minute pulled out and barely missed eachother......

Jacob: "Did you see that Mom!"

Every time we go to see the Blue Angels at least one of my boys recommits to wanting to be a blue angels pilot. It always makes me reflect upon what they will grow up to be one day. When I was a sophomore in High School I actually wanted to be an F-16 pilot but when I went to the Air Force recruiter I was told I had to be an officer first which meant 4 years of college and acceptance into flight school which you couldn't do unless you had 20 x 20 vision. (Not to mention my concern for how this would disrupt my desire to be a mother). So with that dream dashed I changed my plans and settled for enlisting in Air Force where I served for 5 years before getting married and starting a family.

One of the things that I love about raising sons is seeing what their natural interests and ambitions are. I love that if encouraged and guided those dreams and passions can one day be turned into lifelong careers. My greatest hope for my sons, (no matter what profession they choose), would be that they find a job they love to do and that they feel passionate about their work. That is one thing that I love and respect about Aaron so much is that he is so good at what he does professionally. I can tell that he loves it and really gets excited about the projects he's working on. He enjoys the energy of working in a high stress environment and I can tell he really thrives on the challenge of figuring things out and making things work. I also like that he wants to be an expert at what he does. It's that type of drive and ambition that leads to success and I hope so much that my boys will follow in their father's footsteps and do something they love and that they're good at. Whether it be a blue angels pilot or a computer geek (like their Dad) I hope they'll be doing something that they love. A favorite quote I have (one that I want to paint around my boys bedroom) is:

"You never know what a boy is worth,
You’ll have to wait and see;
For every man in a noble place,
A boy once used to be."

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I just wanted to record something cute that the kids have been doing lately.....

When I have to go somewhere during the day I'll usually tell the kids to get their shoes on and head out to the car about 5 minutes before I know we need to leave. Lauren can now put her shoes on and lately she has been following her brothers out the door too. She can even climb up into the suburban all by herself and will put herself in her car seat. So by the time I finish up in the house, grab my stuff and head out the door they've already been out in the car for a few minutes, (depending on how obedient they are that day). Sometimes I'll find JoJo making "clay balls" in the dirt or Lauren playing with the kitty on the porch.

Lately the kids have been being so good and the past few times I've gone out to the car and opened the side door (to buckle in Lauren) they will all yell at the same time with happy little faces, "Surprise!!!."

Their surprise is that they are all in their seats, and everyone is buckled......even Lauren. It makes me so happy when they do this and I feel so proud of them when they know we're running late and they do their best to help mommy get out the door faster and get to where we're going without having to buckle up car seat belts and run down little ones who should already be in the car.

Thank you boys, you are so sweet and wonderful.