Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Raising a Strong Girl

Grace is strong and Grace is mighty.  Few wonder what Grace is thinking because she dares to voice any and all opinions as boldly as she can.  

She regularly tells all people (strangers and friends), "You know I'm almost four, right?"  Well, this almost-four year old is putting together a busy spring filled with soccer and ballet.

When Grace was asked to be on a soccer team, I inquired about her interest.  She said, "Yes, I would like to be on the soccer team and football and basketball."

Apparently, she wasn't kidding...
First day of practice.  She did a lot of running around and was VERY excited.
Unfortunately, Grace's first game fell smack in the middle of nap-time.  She spent the hour crying and wanting to be held on the sideline.  The jury is out on if that will be a normal game performance or a nap performance.

Grace recently memorized the book of Madeline.  After "reading" to her preschool class for show and tell, Palmer bragged to his teacher that his three year old sister could read a book.  Grace was invited to "read" to the first grade class.  She was so proud of herself and the other kids couldn't believe that "a three year old could read".  Ms. Cortes and I chuckled.
Palmer is always such a loyal brother.  Grace is bossy and has opinions and Palmer mostly puts up with her outlandish requests.  He's proud of his sister and always quick to show her off.
Grace keeps up with quite a posse.  She loves her friends fiercely and is always happy to engage in a round of dress-up, baby dolls, or good ole ballet parties.

Grace, I hope you never lose your confidence or independence.  Your silly laugh makes us giggle and your ideas make us proud.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Working Hard for the (Book) Money

Palmer is one ambitious entrepreneur.  From the time he was a preschooler, he's been asking neighbors and friends for any jobs he can do to earn money.  His first big purchase was Spencer, a Thomas the train engine.

Last week was book fair week at Palmer's school and in his own words, he "just kinda freaked out!"  What do I mean by that?  Well, I gave him $20 to spend on Monday at the fair.  He visited during the day while I was doing a volunteer shift and I watched him pick two books from his wishlist and spend the remaining change on a few erasers and trinkets.

Insert Tuesday and I noticed Palmer was taking his wallet.  The $21 in the wallet was Palmer's to spend as he wished- it's a combination of tooth fairy money, Christmas money, and money earned by odd jobs.  Palmer told me, "I will not spend all this money and I especially won't spend this very special $2 bill that I've had for three years.  I will never spend that!"

You can guess what happened next... Palmer's wallet came home empty.  "Mom, when the book fair gets here, I just kinda freaked out!"  We had a good conversation that night about what's more important- buying the erasers and items for sale or saving some of the money and the special $2 bill.  We discussed the idea of sleeping on an item and waking up to decide if you still want it and we also talked about not spending money just because you have it to spend.

What happened the next day?  Palmer's entrepreneur spirit kicked in.  I'm not sure if he was hoping to replenish his wallet or get more dollars for the book fair, but Palmer starts knocking on neighbor doors.  His first idea was to sell an "invisible tattoo" created from a pen that can only be seen under a UV light.  When that idea wasn't a huge success, he started asking neighbors (and me!) for odd jobs.

Organizing Rick's shoes for $1:
I told Palmer he could only visit the neighbors who didn't have kids currently living at the house!  This yard job took two days to complete...
Five dollars later, he took the money back to school... and bought more items from the book fair.  He also had a conversation with the cashiers about trying to trade out 2 $1 bills for his $2 bill, but alas that bill was long gone.  (The librarian told me that she sees tons of $2 bills every year- the kids empty everything they have including tooth fairy money and grandparent money.)

Sadly, the book fair is over.  But, Palmer is already scheming up ways to raise money so he can shop at the summer camp store in June.
I like his hard work attitude and am now focusing on teaching him that jobs are not always available, so he needs to be gracious for the work opportunities and mindful of how the money is spent.  Rick and I are also brainstorming how we might want to deal with an allowance soon.


Thursday, February 15, 2018

February Love

We've spent a lot of time indoors lately.  I'm hoping these continued cold (for Texas) temps sure help with the mosquitos this summer because we Jordans are not used to being indoors and confined.

Sometimes, I just kick the kids out anyways.  Jumping around long enough will warm them up!
In the meanwhile, we spend a lot of time during the week on homework.  Palmer works hard (although his handwriting is about as stellar as mine) and is really loving to read chapter books these days.  On Mondays, he and I like to set up shop for homework somewhere where we can grab an afternoon treat while Grace is at Spanish lessons.
Chocolate croissants for the win...
Or how about some "rolled up" ice cream.  I'm fine with that, too.  Obvi.
Grace is quite the character.  I asked her if she wanted to read chapter books like Palmer one day.  She told me, "No, thank you.  I will just read kid books."

She also has a hard time being convinced to wear pants.  Apparently, a preschool-aged Bethany had similar issues, but I digress.  

I try.
I've also been researching books and videos to try to teach about the concept of lying/honesty.  So far, we haven't quite mastered the topic.
Nearly a year ago, Aunt Samantha gave Palmer an amazing zip line for his birthday.  Because of the steep slope of our backyard, it was insanely unsafe.  Finally, we had a landing platform built for the zip line and we are back in business.
Even little miss got in on the action...
Palmer has been asking about his tree fort for months and months.  He was so excited when it finally got built.
Family dim sum fun.  I've been wanting to go for a long time.  The scene was chaotic and I'm pretty sure the kids ate less than 200 calories, but we got to check it out.
Grace was very excited for her Valentine's Day party at school this year.  She made sure to tell me that she didn't need a lunch that day, which was great because I totally missed that memo.
She also got the memo about Valentine's treats and is all about sneaking them out of her treat box when I am not looking.

And heaven forbid her Valentine's jammies not have a skirt.  Girlfriend improvised..
Rick was out of town for Valentine's Day, but passed over the reins for Palmer to be "man of the house".  Palmer asked me to wake him at 640am so he could go downstairs and set some things up before I came down.  Rick and the kids had planned some treats for me before Rick left for his business trip.  Thanks, everyone!
Rick, Rick who?  We are missing our guy.  He travels about three days a week and I have a personal goal of getting more photos of him for the next post.  Thanks for all you do, babe!


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Wednesday With Words

"Grace, you are such a good doctor!"
"I'm not a doctor.  I'm a princess."
(insert eye roll)


Friday, February 9, 2018

Guys/Girls Weekends

Super proud mom over here.  I've always been very proud of Palmer's independence, but he really showed his true self a week ago.  

Rick was in Denver for work and thought it would be fun for Palmer to join him at the tail-end so they could ski for the weekend before returning to Texas.  We bought a pass thru Southwest Airlines for Palmer to be an "unattended minor" and I was given a ticket to get thru security and walk Palmer to the gate.  In Denver, Rick had a pass to get thru security and pick up Palmer when he walked off of the plane.

Palmer was so proud of himself.  He got to hold onto Rick's second phone for the flight and we spent the previous night practicing making phone calls and texting.  I sent Palmer to school for a few hours in the morning and told him that he was NOT ALLOWED to take the phone out at school.  Well, don't you worry because he followed instructions BUT he definitely told all of his friends that he had a phone in his backpack and when they didn't believe him, he let them FEEL the front pocket to prove it.  Ha.  He cracks me up.

When we got to the airport, he filled up on pizza and "needed" a bag of Skittles (a true treat over here) so that he didn't get hungry later.  He had also packed three snacks for the two-hour flight.
At the time of boarding, he was eager to start walking down the jet bridge.  The flight attendant said, "Um, aren't you going to hug your mom good bye?"  He was like, "Oh, right.  Bye, mom."

It was such a weird feeling to just walk away from the gate and leave him there.  I felt like I wasn't allowed to just cut loose.  Well, don't worry because within two minutes, he called Rick to check in.  Then, he hung up with Rick and called me and said, "How did you feel when I walked away?"  I told him I was a little sad and he told me not to worry.  

Five minutes later, he called both of us again.  Those poor seat neighbors! ha

THEN, he discovered emojis and any further communication looked like this:
The guys had a great weekend- they skied hard, ate pizza for dinner and breakfast (do you see a theme here?) and came home with too many clean clothes in their suitcases.

Meanwhile, Grace and I had a girls weekend and went down to Austin to see Wylie and Charlie (oh, and my brother and sister-in-law).  The cousins had so much fun despite Grace regressing to a two-year-old state of mind and running off at every turn because "well, Charlie does it!"

We also stuffed our faces...
Cuddled this cutie...
And got our nails done...mostly selfishly for me, but also because I tried to paint Grace's nails for the first time and there is a REASON why I don't paint my own nails.  She's gonna need to suck up to her aunts on that one.
We all had great weekends.  And then, it was your typical Monday morning...