Category Archives: parenting

Eight.

Last weekend, Jack Henry turned eight, and we threw a huge party for him.

Ok. We didn’t exactly throw the party. We went to a party, and just worked a celebration for him into that party. However, it’s going to be hard to top next year, because this year, the party was a wedding reception.:)

My dad’s wife, Annmarie, has two children, and her daughter was married in a beautiful ceremony and reception in KC last Saturday. When we had a little bit of time, we had a party at our table for Jack Henry, complete with presents and a cookie cake we brought along.

he was waiting until 6pm (near his official birth time – i need to look that up) to really celebrate!

 

new catcher’s mitt. i’m getting pretty good at buying sports equipment:)

 

with papa!

 

we kinda like him.

 

bros. how am i the mom of kids this old?

 

jh and the beautiful bride gianna!

 

nieces and g on the dance floor.

 

my brothers and sister!

 

we make the brown-eyed in-laws sit togetherūüėČ

He loved his celebration!

So, to my boy: I could not possibly love you more. Your smile and laugh are infectious. The depth of your thoughts sometimes overwhelms me in the best possible way – you’re an old soul, and you’re not afraid to tell me what you’re feeling. You’re unlike your brothers in that way, and so sometimes, as your mom, I’m caught off-guard when you bring things up. Know that I always, always want to have those conversations with you.

Your dad and I are proud of the person you are becoming: so aware of other people and their feelings, still so sweet and kind and sensitive. And this age is one of our favorites: you’re still little, but also big enough to do fun stuff with your older brothers and dad, like ride roller coasters (I will never, ever join you on that adventure).

Can’t imagine life without you, buddy.

Love,
Mom

(Here’s seven, and one through six can be found here.)

Twice This Week…

…I’ve felt out of my league parenting the boys.

First, it was doing math homework with Luke. I knew the answer (!!!) but couldn’t explain it. Like at all. And “you just have to believe me” wasn’t cutting it for some reason.

>>>

(A little background: Jack Henry recently tested into the gifted program, called Mosaics. He goes to a different classroom for about 3 hours every Friday with a few other second graders.)

This morning I woke Jack Henry at 6:20 like I do every school day (most mornings I have just rolled out of bed myself). He generally wakes up happy, but this was new:
Me: “good Friday morning! Time to get up! It’s Mosaics day!”
Him, immediately: “yay! And we get extra strategic thinking time today because Mrs. S was out last week!”
Me: confused face, thinking I don’t even know what you just said, but if that gets you out of bed quickly to get ready, whatever. It’s so early I can’t even decode yet why that would be exciting.

>>>

Bennett: please do not feel left out because you aren’t included in this post. We can high-five each other over the fact that we bought you new shoes yesterday and neither of us lost our minds.

School. Day 2. 

#fightingoverthebathroom #punchesthrown #areyouserious
#morefightingoverbreakfast #noteven7am #whereismycoffee
#parentingissuchadelight #somedaythiswillbefunny #butreallyonthecoffee

He Scares Me a Little. 

I called all three boys into the kitchen to help me make supper tonight. I don’t know why, because that generally sounds like torture, but it seemed like a good idea.

I immediately assigned Luke to the sauté pan for fajita vegetables, and had Jack Henry and Bennett help me chop and mash ingredients for guacamole. For once, everyone was actually really helpful.

We finished making the guacamole, and Bennett asked if I was going to use the rest of the lime for anything. I said no, and turned around to the sink to find him doing this:

he juiced almost half a lime straight into his mouth

Um. I feel like he’s the kind of kid who’s going to have good party tricks in college. And I. Am. Terrified.

In related news, the University of Illinois was ranked the top party school in the nation last week, which means I’m no longer excited about the fact that all of the boys want to go there. We have seriously put so much effort into making these little Missouri residents Illini fans, and now this…

:)

Confessions.

Ok. Time to just be transparent about a couple of things:

1.  I absolutely will not get political here, but I feel like you all should know that if Trump manages to win the election somehow, you can find me on an island far away. I am so not joking.

2a. So I used to have this schedule for summer mornings, where the boys would do some reading or math work and some housework, too. Yeah. I let that go this summer, and we have been so. chill. around here. They have done some reading and they do chores as requested by me but it’s not like before. Boy, have we enjoyed our lazy downtime. They’re just at an age where the schedule isn’t needed anymore to keep me from going crazy. And I’m apparently at the age where I don’t care enough because…

2b. They have played an embarrassing number of hours of Mario Kart this week. They haven’t cared about Mario Kart for years, and somehow their interest resurfaced. Here’s why I’m cool with it: they’re all playing together and not fighting. SO PLEASE KEEP PLAYING THE MARIO KART.

School starts Wednesday and I’m celebrating with a massage on Thursday. 

Happy weekend!

Three Solutions

I’m going to try to ease myself back into writing here, hopefully regularly after the boys are back in school (which is in 9 days. I can’t even believe it.). I have two trips to recap, but here’s a little story from our last weekend trip that illustrates the boys’ different personalities.

We spent the weekend at Lake Delavan in Wisconsin with Matt’s entire family. The old lake cottage was lifted off its foundation last fall, a basement poured, and the house put back. It’s still under construction, but all 16 of us were able to stay there! The boys stayed in the basement in a bunk room, and there’s a bathroom down there now, too.

And since they’re old enough to just take care of themselves, I didn’t interfere with the showering process at all.

We all bring our own towels when we stay at the cottage, and it occurred to me on the drive back to STL yesterday that I had never given the boys their bath towels after we got there. (Of course, no one asked if there were any. Typical.)

I knew that they had all showered at least once, so I asked, “Uh, what did you do to dry off?”

Luke: “I just dripped dry.”

Bennett: “I used my beach towel. There was some sand, but I didn’t care.”

Jack Henry: “I just used the towel hanging closest to the shower.” (My apologies to whomever else was drying off with that towel.)

I won’t over-analyze this, but honestly, their solutions fit their personalities so perfectly it’s hilarious.

Desperation. 

My last post was all “tra-la-la, summer is amazing and wonderful and hot and we go to the pool every day! I love life!”

We’re on day, I don’t know, 7, maybe?, of rain. It feels like 87. And there’s no end in sight. 

The boys are coming up with new and more dangerous ways to pass the time. This is Bennett, Jack Henry and their friend Connor, aka my beloved fourth child, playing some game in the basement that resembles jumping in a leaf pile. 

  
Shirtless because their shirts are in the dryer, because I sent them out to play in the rain when my two children started to cannibalize. 

Send help. Or maybe just some good tequila.