Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Kids Intuition and Thankful

You've heard of mother's intuition right? Well, I believe that kids have intuition as well. It seems that they can find some of the most inappropriate things to say at the most opportune time. I'm not just talking about pointing out the obvious (as Mason loudly commented about the lady in front of us with a "big butt"). (she did have a big butt...) anyway...

I'm talking about something totally out of the blue.

Recently, we've started getting involved with a non-profit organization called Foundation for the Homeless. It's a program that takes homeless families and allows them to live in homes (as a large group) while they get their feet under themselves. They are required to have jobs and attend school, etc., and they need people to bring them dinner and socialize with them. We were attracted to this service because we could volunteer as a family. So, Monday night, we brought dinner to these families and spent time with them.

Mason had a blast! He was able to play with all these kids and he made a few friends. But then....
While eating dinner, Jes overheard Mason ask his new friend, "where's your house?". Now, this isn't uncommon for Mason to ask his friends this, so Jes quickly said, "this is their house, now eat your dinner.". The subject was dropped. was time to leave and Mason was enthusiastically running around saying goodbye to everyone. But instead of his usual, "Goodbye". For SOME UNKNOWN REASON, he had to add, "Goodbye, I'm going to my house now". And he said it over and over and over....

I doubt anyone noticed other than us, but why would he say that?!?!?!? Kid's intuition.

Given it's the week of Thanksgiving, having had this opportunity really reminded us that we have A LOT to be thankful for. Traffic, broken Christmas lights, burned dinner, etc. just don't seem that bad when you realize all the stuff that's GOOD about your life compared to others who are less fortunate.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Circus Weekend!

We went to the circus this weekend! Mason was excited for days! He wouldn't stop talking about it...and then we arrived. I guess it could have been worse, but it definitly doesn't rank in the top 10 of our family events. In fact, for weekend family events, our trip to Costco may have been more exciting (they were giving away Cheesecake samples!!).
Anyway, since Mason probably had the most fun, we'll tell the story from his point of view.

"Wow. What a BIG building", I say. Where are we? I heard Mama saying something about East Austin and us getting shot. She's funny..."silly mama", I giggle. Wow, Daddy found great seats, close to the floor! How come they are all looking the other way?!? Oh well, I just want to see the Elephants! Oh, I think it's starting! WOW!! I love the lights zooming all over! Daddy's trying to tell me to look at the tigers, but man, these lights are cool. Maybe Daddy will setup something like this in my room? Oh, there ARE tigers doing tricks. Man those tigers are...HEY, SNOWCONES! Daddy, can I have a snowcone?!?!?!? PLEASE?!? Sweet, he's motioning to the guy. DANG, he didn't see him. Were did the Tigers go? What are those weird dressed up people doing? Hmm...Daddy told Mama that a clown had the name "Mr. Sleezy" on his vest. Not sure what that means... "HEY, it's ELEPHANTS! (makes elephant noise)", I yell. Wow, that elephant is neat...I sure like ele...SNOWCONE GUY!!! Daddy got me one. YEAH! Opps...I dumped half on daddy. He looks a little mad. Oh well. "Sorry Daddy". Wow, check out this cool straw/spoon. Opps. I dumped half of it on me. Daddy is looking very frustrated. He's pointing at things on the stage, but I must focus...this snowcone is tricky. WHOA! What did my chair just do?!? It tried to eat me like a Venus Fly Trap!!! And I dumped half my snow cone again! "Stupid chair...", I say.
(20 minutes pass)...
This snowcone is good. Mama left with baby Tori when she was crying and Daddy seems mad that I'm not watching the Circus.
Half time. Done with my snowcone. Playing with chairs. Second half starting. Wow, more elephants. I'm tired now. Maybe I'll just snuggle up with Daddy (who smells like cherry) and watch the rest. BOOM!!! WOW! "They just shot a man out of that cannon!", I yell. "I want to do that!!!!", I tell Daddy.
What?!? It's time to go already? I didn't even get to see any of it. Mama seems mad, something about sick baby and she has a headache. Hmm...well, that was fun! "Can we go to the Circus again tomorrow?"

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Halloween Time and Empty Threats

Never-ending Halloween
Do you remember when Halloween was one day of fun? You’d dress up ALL day, but it was only ONE day. Man have things changed…
This year, the Halloween season started early in October. With small events such as pumpkin carving, costume design, and some minor house decorating, we were getting in the spirit early! A 3 year-old definitely reminds you of the excitement of the seasons.
Event #1: Molly had a costume party the Saturday prior to Halloween. Our spirits high (some more than others), excitement in the air, we dressed up as a Cowboy (Mason) and Indians! It was a fun party, with lots of good food, scary excitement, and of course, candy!!! Yumm.
Event #2: Still feeling buzzed by our first candy overdose of the season, it was Truck or Treating time at the church. Excitedly, we dressed up again! The event was fun and provided for more candy! Now, we were selective. Re-distributing the unwanted candy, we had a pile of the “best” candy to last us the next 24 hours. Somehow Jes’s wig started to fall apart, Tori was no longer a Baby Indian, but now a pumpkin, and Mason ditched the gun and holster. Were we starting to break?
Event #3/4 Still whirling from Truck or Treat, the next day Mason’s school allowed the children to dress up as animals or Mr./Mrs. Noah (it’s a Baptist school). There was games, rides, prizes, and of course…candy. Mason went as a turtle (his costume from last year that barely fit). Later that night it was “Boo”da fest in our little town. All the local businesses and government officials hand out candy on Main Street. Our Halloween spirit quickly falling apart, we parents didn’t dress up. Tori was now a princess (?). Mason was a gunless cowboy with a badge (half Sheriff/half Cowboy?) More candy… Oh…and coupons and advertisements.
Event #5 – Halloween Night. By Friday, candy for breakfast seemed almost normal. The pumpkins on our front porch looked like a pile of orange oatmeal. Mason was drunk on sugar and Tori had a multiple costume disorder. Off we went to Trick or Treat. Thankfully, it got boring after about 30 minutes, so we headed to the YMCA event, which we ALL had a blast. Pony rides, train rides, bouncy things, a petting zoo, games and prizes are all great substitutes for candy!
Event # 6. Just when I think it’s over, Walmart has everything Halloween 50% off the following day. $50.00 worth of stuff and one large bag of M&M’s, we cleared all Halloween items from our house, scraped up the pumpkin mush on the front porch, and started adding more healthy foods into our diet. It was a fun week, but nothing like I remember growing up. Mason enjoyed it so much, he asked if we could do “Halloween again tomorrow?”

Empty Threats
By Halloween, Mason was pretty wired with all the events and candy. Halloween day, by the time Jes got home from work, Mason had already had multiple time-out’s and was even spanked once. The threat of “we won’t go trick or treating” was now being used. Finally, on the third naughty instance, Jes quickly put Mason in time-out, de-costumed him, and said, “That’s it, we’re not going”. Ashlee was stunned. “We’re not going...”, she asked? She had just got everyone ready! After a quick discussion, we realized how much we are both hated empty threats…so… we weren’t going.
Time-out over, Jes explained to Mason that he had lost his privilege and we weren’t going out tonight. We watched as Mason’s lower lip started to quiver, his eyes filled with water, and he squeaked, “o..k..”. He then started to sob. Not a fit cry, not a injured cry, but a cry both his parents recognized as, “I screwed up and now I’m really regretful”. We had never heard this cry before and it brought tears to our eyes. He only cried for a few minutes, then accepted his fate. He had pushed us too far. After about 15 minutes, we asked if he wanted to earn back his privilege. Now Mason could see the light again and excitedly agreed to do whatever it took! Eagerly, for the next 15 minutes, Mason picked up shoes, helped clean the kitty litter box, threw away garbage, organized his room, and whatever odd chore we could come up with. Then, with family hugs, we put his costume back on, and headed out!
The rest of the night was a success. We all had fun, and Mason was the best little boy we could ask for!'s hard being a parent.