Saturday, April 23, 2011

What nobody told me about raising boys

Thus far in my mothering career, I have been blessed to have only boys. This has been rather a shock to me since I never saw myself as a boy mom. I dreamed for years about a daughter and felt sure that while I would have one boy at some point, girls would dominate my world. When I found out my first child was going to be a boy I went into a bit of a panic because I had no idea how to be a mom to boys. My mothering fantasies had always involved girls and so I was entering unknown territory and it terrified me. Mark told me I would learn as I went (and he was right), but I felt sure I would fail at being a mom to boys since I had no clue what to do with a boy baby. Although I still have dreams of having a daughter one day, I LOVE being a mom to two little boys. Along the way of mothering these two precious souls, I have learned a few things that I wish I had known about mothering boys. So in no particular order, the things nobody told me about raising boys.

1. There are only three basic styles of shirts for boys - t-shirts, button front, and polos.

2. Even if a boy has never seen a gun or heard of a gun, they will fashion anything into a weapon to point at others.

3. With boys, you will have more Lego's than you ever thought possible.

4. Said Lego's will frequently be scattered throughout the entire house, which you will step on and then curse.

5. Boys love to collect rocks and sticks. Random sticks and rocks will be found regularly in the laundry, bedrooms, and other obscure places in the house.

6. As a result of #5, you will regularly carry a small forest and/or rock garden out in your garbage.

7. Bugs are fascinating! So are snakes, lizards, frogs, and other creepy crawly creatures.

8. Wrestling is a daily occurrence and as a parent of boys, you must master various wrestling moves, throws, and holds to protect yourself.

9. Laying on your stomach is always an invitation for boys to jump on your back.

10. Your young sons legs will always be covered in a mass of scrapes, bruises, and scars.

11. The fascination with the male anatomy starts very young and never ends.

12. There is no such thing as too dirty.

13. Boys will be on the go from the moment they wake up until the moment they collapse in bed. Their energy is boundless!

14. The ability to pee anywhere at any time is incredibly entertaining. You do not know how many times you will tell your sons, "We don't pee there!"

15. Farts and burps are always funny.

16. They can never have too many balls or cars.

17. Boys can wear through a pair of shoes/socks/pants faster than you can buy them.

18. Why walk when you can run? Why walk down the stairs when you can slide on your butt?

19. Water is always meant to be splashed in, especially if it is muddy.

20. Boys love to create and build. Anything can turn into an object to build with.

21. Everything is a contest to win.

22. There is no such thing as too loud.

23. You will be the queen of the castle! Hugs, kisses, and compliments abound with two little boys who think their mother rules the world.

24. The responsibility of raising strong, faithful, hard working, and loving boys will weight daily on your shoulders. You will always wonder if you are doing all you can to raise the kind of men you want in the world.

25. You will love your boys more than you ever thought possible. You will thank God every day that those precious souls were sent to you.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Camden's 6th birthday party

Although Camden's real birthday is not for a few more days, we celebrated early. Camden wanted a Mario themed party (because he loves the games so much), so Mario it was! We had a good turn out of friends and family. We sure enjoyed the kids. They were all so polite, friendly, and helpful. I am grateful Camden has been blessed with such good friends. Here is a smattering of pictures from our Mario fest.

This is Camden's cake. I made all of it, except the figurines. My friend Sarah helped me freehand some of the fondant work. Camden loved his cake!
When the kids arrived, they colored Mario themed pictures until all the kids got there.
The kids were all given a Mario mustache to wear if they wanted. It was so much fun to see these little kids with these huge dark mustaches.
We played a matching game first of various Mario characters. The kids earned a coin for each match they made. After that, we played Smash Boo. We blew up white balloons and drew Boo's face on each of them. The kids were each given a Boo to sit on to squish. When their Boo pooped, they got another coin. It was hilarious watching the kids sit on these balloons.
While we were smashing Boo, it decided to rain outside, which meant the kids got a little wet during the next game, Yoshi egg hunt. We hid eggs stuffed with candy and coins around our condo and once the rain let up, we sent the kids out to find them. They got to keep all the eggs they found.
Then we did a Goomba Stomp. This was the favorite game of all the kids. We drew Goomba faces on balloons (blue because we could not find brown ones in our town). Then we dumped them on the ground and let the kids have at it. They stomped and stomped until all were popped. They got a coin for each Goomba they squished.
Look at the ground just littered with popped balloons (and all the kids pitched in to pick up the scraps without being asked - these kids were awesome!). After this, the kids got to change in their coins for their reward bags. The bags included bubbles, punching balloons, candy coins and regular coins, Mario fruit snacks, Cosmic brownies, and assorted other candy.Because it was still wet and slightly muddy outside, we came back inside for our last game, Mario, Mario, Luigi (like duck, duck, goose). Our space was a little too small for this game, so the kids were hopping over each other and all over the place. It was pretty funny to watch them and they were pretty creative!
After all the games, we opened presents. Camden got royally spoiled. He loved everything he got.
Finally, after presents, we ate pizza (Mario is Italian after all) and had cake and ice cream. Then the kids just played until their parents picked them up. It was a great time! Everything went smoothly and other than a little rain, it was a perfect day! Here is Camden, thrilled with his party and his day (notice the 2nd missing tooth?). I love that tomato sauce smeared face!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Another great sale!

For all you couponers out there, right now Smith's is having a great deal on GM cereal. Combine it with the coupons in almost any Sunday paper and you have fabulous deal! I am a cereal-a-holic. I could eat cereal for every meal of the day (and have before), so this kind of sale makes me happy. I walked out with 20 boxes of cereal, eight bags of chocolate chips (also a coupon) and a $5 gift certificate for my next purchase. Not bad for $40!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bowling with the family

Nights that Mark has off are infrequent and so when they happen, family becomes top priority and we try to do something fun as a family. On one of Mark's very rare Friday nights off, we decided to go bowling. I had to capture the joy and excitement on my boy's faces. I'm no photographer, but man, I love my kids and the faces they make!

Here is Camden letting one of his balls go.He watches eagerly to see what will happen.I love that tongue poking out! It's a sign of concentration for him.So much anticipation!Yes! He knocked some down!
Then of course we have Easton. I love those tiny little hands on such a big ball.
Easton is not as expressive as brother. Like personalities, he is more shy and reserved, so we see his semi smile here. That's a good thing!
Here is real excitement!
Pensive (or just picking at his lips, but we'll go with pensive)
And back to his normal, subtle, shy smile. (Ignore the dirt on the corner of his mouth - not sure what that is). I love that face!