Friday, December 28, 2012

Adventures in Allen World

So we've been super busy lately. Doug & Heidi are visiting, which means major excitement for Allen (and awesome presents ... yay for Legos. And for Star Wars. And for Star Wars Legos). We've been day tripping and movie watching and staying up late. And I had two parts on the meeting last night that I had been trying to prepare for in the midst of all the fun. By yesterday it was crunch time, and I only had the morning to work on them because Allen was having a play date. Here's how my morning went:

I came downstairs and explained to Allen -- who was happily playing in the living room -- that I needed to go into my office for a little bit to work on my talk. Allen followed me and then handcuffed himself to my chair. Now, this was not handcuffing to be with me. This was handcuffing like I was holding him prisoner and he was a spy. Talked and talked and talked in his spy character until bad mommy threatened to take the handcuffs and the sword (because every spy needs a sword) away. Eventually he left me in peace long enough to finish my talk.

The rest of the day passed without too much excitement (other than Allen's and his friend's over being able to have a play date together. They held hands in the car. It was precious.). When Nana got home, she and I rehearsed the part that we had together. Allen came in and declared that he wanted to come on stage with us. When I asked him if he wanted to read a scripture, he agreed! Now, those of you who know my son know that he rarely behaves when he comes up with me during a part. So the prospect of him joining us on stage ratcheted up my nervousness level about a million notches.

We get to the meeting. As we're saying the opening prayer, Allen informs me he has to go to the bathroom. So for the next 20 minutes, I waited outside of the stall while he went Number Two. Finally comes out, and as I go to push up his sleeves, I realize that he's gotten poop on one of them. Not a lot, but still. So we try to clean it up, and I end up just turning up the cuff of his sleeve so we can't see it.

Next we go to the second school for my talk. As we're walking aback, Allen tells me he wants to come up with me. Last time Allen came up with me during a talk (also in the back), he picked his nose and burped in my ear. It was not a good experience. So there was no way I was going to take him with me this time. His solution? To wrap his arms around my arm to try to keep me from going up without him. Then freaking out (seriously) and wrestling with Daddy to try to join me. Good times.

Last part. The three of us get on stage. Nana and I have the stand microphones, and a brother has provided me with a roving microphone in case Allen actually wants to read the scripture. It is placed on a chair and (wisely) not given to Allen. As Papa is introducing our demonstration, Allen decides that he's going to act like he's scared (his words) and hide behind me. He continues to move around during the presentation, but when I ask him if he wants to read the scripture, he says YES! As I'm grabbing the hand-held microphone, Allen is standing on his toes, stretching himself out to try to reach the stand microphone. Very cute. Read the scripture beautifully. He's redeemed himself.

Until after the meeting when he decides to balance on the step of the stage and jump off of it. And then talk non-stop in the car on the way home. Some of what he said to us?

  • In response to my asking if he wanted to be on the Theocratic Ministry School and give a talk: When I'm 18. We eventually negotiated him down to 7.
  • (Immediately after the above conversation ended)Mommy! I made a square with my hands!
  • When I grow up, I'm going to work where Daddy works and be the boss.
  • Can I have ice cream when we get home? I shouldn't have asked you that because I already had a Butterfinger for dessert. Me: Do you want the ice cream? Yes, but I shouldn't have said it.
Maybe all the stress and excitement is why I didn't go to bed until 1:30 this morning. Which I am way too old to do. Better rest up tonight because tomorrow we're taking Allen and his friend to see Monsters Inc. 3D!


Friday, December 21, 2012

On our way

Headed o the circuit assembly this weekend. Got a late start, so we're still driving.

Allen had to dress in his mask and cape and bring his sword. A few moments ago "Sword Man" had a bathroom emergency. Imagine, if you can, a kid with a cape and Zorro mask on with his pants around his ankles peeing on the side of the highway.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Lesson from a tragedy

When I heard the news of the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, I was sick to my stomach. Then, as I began reading the then sketchy (and inaccurate) details, I cried. It was so hard for me to continue at the shop, smiling at customers, helping them with their purchases, when I knew that sweet children -- children Allen's age -- and the people who cared for them so much were brutally murdered. And each time I thought of the families of those little victims, I felt nauseous as tears welled up.

I listened to CNN on my satellite radio on the way home from work, Friday, and cried. Cried as I heard little voices of survivors describe what they saw. Cried to think how these children would have to live with this traumatic event for the rest of their lives. And I cried again for those parents whose children did not run to them.

Brian greeted me at the car. And he said, "We have to stop. Allen can't see the news. He can't hear about this right now." So I wiped my tears away, went inside, and immediately scooped Allen up into my arms (at 51 lbs, and 4 feet tall, this was no easy feat for me). I held him tightly as long as I could ... until he was bored and started to pull away. We turned off the news, and we got on with our evening as best we could.

At bedtime, after I read Allen's story to him, we said prayers, and we told each other our "verbal" stories (or makeup stories as my Daddy used to call them), we snuggled down for a few minutes before he went to sleep. Allen, blissfully unaware of the tragic events of the day, laced his fingers through mine, and held my hand. Immediately I leaned close, closed my eyes, and prayed for those parents.

Once upstairs, Brian and I discussed it and I thought I was OK. We moved onto to watching other things on television (Brian refused to let me watch the news constantly) and checking Facebook. And then it hit me. The anguish those parents, siblings, spouses, relatives must be going through. And I started sobbing ... thinking that these parents will not be able to hold their children until our Heavenly Father makes everything right. Thinking about the wave of mixed emotions the spouses and relatives of those educators must feel -- knowing they died protecting those children; knowing they died through one man's random act of violence.

The next morning, I decided I needed to be close to Allen for the day.  Enjoy him. Take him in. Play. And that's what we did. We took him out to breakfast and let him get the huge chocolate chip pancake (even though he never finishes it). We spent entirely too much money at the arcade. We bought him foam swords and a pirate hat. And we let him eat frozen yogurt topped with gummy bears and gummy worms. And we had fun because we were focused on him, not on all the other things that typically fill our minds and schedules.

We chose to discuss with Allen a very stripped down version of the events of December 15, 2012. Just that a bad man killed a lot of kids and some grown ups. We didn't mention that it was at a school. We just told him that he was safe and that we want to make sure to pray for the families of those who died ... pray that God will comfort them.

I decided that I have to stop watching all the media coverage. It isn't that I am not concerned. I am. Probably too much. I am most definitely concerned about sending Allen to school (I am not ashamed to be relieved that Allen has Strep Throat and can't be at school for the next couple days). But I am so blessed to know what the Bible says about the conditions of the world, and I know that God will bring an end to the suffering soon.

In the meantime, instead of  being distracted by the endless media coverage of the tragedy or the debate over gun control or the cry for increased care for those who are mentally ill (though I strongly believe that there is not enough done, and that society places such a negative stigma on it that it's no surprise that people don't get the treatment they need), I am going to try not to take my little boy or my wonderful little family for granted. But appreciate all the wonderful little things that take place in our every day, mundane lives.

The people of Newtown, Connecticut will continue to be in my prayers. And I will take what I've reflected on this weekend to heart. This lesson from a tragedy.

This lesson to enjoy my child. To look at him -- and listen -- when he speaks. To play with him. To be present.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

You can blog about me

The other night, when I was trying to blog and Allen was getting irritated that I was not playing a game on my computer, I explained what a blog was and why I blogged about him. I honestly didn't think he was listening ...

Fast forward to yesterday morning. After Friday's tragedy in Connecticut, I really felt like the three of us needed a family day. I just wanted to be focused on Allen and on spending quality time with him. Brian and I had already discussed what we wanted to do with him, but we wanted to see what he was in the mood for ...

Me: Allen, we're going to have a family day today. What would you like to do?
Allen: we could go to breakfast, and then come back here, and you can blog about me ...

Evidently, he likes the idea that I write about him and you all read it :)

Sadly, Allen is sick (so I guess he was fighting something Thursday night). So we are sitting in bed now, watching SpongeBob ( I loathe this show, but he's sick ....). I think he may have Strep, as his only complaint is a sore throat. Yuck ... I hope I don't get it.

That's all for now ...


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Growing Into His Paws

I really do want to be blogging again. I promise. It's just harder than it used to be. Allen's not a toddler anymore. Everything he says and does is not hilarious (sometimes, it's downright infuriating!). He's in school from 8:00 to after 3:00 everyday, and on days I work, I don't see him until almost 6:00 in the evening.

So it's hard ... he's not providing me with witty one-liners or hilarious stories or funny dances on a daily basis anymore. He's still hilarious -- don't get me wrong -- but he's so much more independent now, that we just don't see it as often.

Please bear with me, and don't give up. I may not be able to blog every single day, but I will continue to blog. So keep checking, and if you haven't heard from me in awhile, nudge me with a comment.

Now, onto some cute/sweet/funny things from the last week.
  • Last week, he saw a commercial for the new Ice Age Movie coming out on Blue Ray & DVD on Tuesday, December 11th. Don't you know that he remembered! He said multiple times over the last several days, "On the 11th we have to get new movie!" (he kind of sang it and did a little dance each time). You can imagine his excitement Tuesday morning!
  • Sunday we had some friends over (hospitality after the meeting). He was so excited for everyone to be there and sat at a table with friends who were all probably over 60 years old. But he loved it. He has such an affection for the friends at the Kingdom Hall, especially the older ones. In fact, he made one man ride up the elevator with him so Allen could show T his room (T is in his 60s). 
  • He decided on Sunday that he wanted to start picking his chores again each day (we use the fisherkids system) and did really well earlier this week. The past couple days he's slacked off though :/
  • This morning, because we all had an early meeting to attend, Nana, Papa, and I all took Allen to school. As he got ready to get out of the car, he gave us all kisses. The staff member helping the kids in, said, "Oh, you've got a lot of love this morning." To which Allen replied, "I've got three loving givers today!"
  • Tonight, we're home from our meeting because he's running a fever. However, he's not acting sick ... he's been waving his light saber around, putting puzzles together, playing games on my computer and iPad, and now he's whining that I'm NOT playing a game on my computer. So, he has the fever, but I'm the one who's feeling dizzy and sick.
    • Since I wrote this, Allen's fever has suddenly disappeared. He has been super hyper, and as he was taking pillows off my bed (and hearing me warn him over and over again to watch my wine glass), knocked a pillow into my glass -- at full speed -- and spilled wine EVERYWHERE. Seriously it was like a wine massacre in our room. Splatter all over the place. Good times for Mama.
  • Lest I forget the title of this post ... Monday he had a tennis lesson. It was just he and another little girl this time, so he was able to get more personal attention. And it was Coach Warren. Coach Warren (not my dad) tends to be a little harder on the kids. He's not mean at all. He just really makes them focus. So during a water break, he came over to talk to me. We discussed Allen's progress and what Coach has been helping him with, and then Coach said the greatest thing: "Kids all grow into their paws at different times." He went on to tell me that his 14 year old just grew into his paws. It made me feel so much better. Because Allen is SMART (he scored in the 95 percentile in Math and 99th in Reading in standardized testing)! But, he doesn't want to ride a bike ... or take risks ... and he can't consistently catch a ball. So to hear Coach reassure me that Allen is OK ... that Coach has seen kids like Allen before (maybe even his own child) ... made me breathe a HUGE sigh of relief. My child is not destined to be an athletic loser like me. Whew!
I guess that's all for tonight. Sorry for the lack of pictures. Still trying to remember to include them/take them in the first place.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dancing in the Kitchen and the Red M&M

Apparently, when I announce that it's bath time, it means that Allen should strip in the middle of the kitchen and dance around ...

Evidently, he was still in the dancing mood, because we got this little show after his bath. Do you think maybe he watches too much TV?

Let Me 'Splain

As I was deciding -- rather suddenly -- to begin blogging again, I began composing my first post in my head. I kept hearing Inego Montoya from The Princess Bride saying, "Let me 'splain ... no that will take too long ... let me sum up."

Obviously, it would take far too long to catch up on the last year-and-a-half, plus. So, I will sum up:

  • Allen is 6 (can you believe it? Neither can I.)
  • He goes to Kindergarten at Beaufort Elementary and loves it.
  • He's reading -- a lot!
  • He's still into Cars and Dragons (we're reading the How to Train Your Dragon series), and he's added  Dinosaurs and Star Wars to the mix (thanks, Uncle Josh!).
  • We live with Nana, Papa, and Gigi.
  • We still have Mia and Murphy, and have since added to the brood a mutt named Ginger, a Bearded Dragon named Buck, and an assortment of fish. Plus Nana and Papa have three dogs. Yes, we are crazy.
  • He takes tennis lessons.
I'm sure there are other things I will realize after I start blogging more frequently, but these are the highlights for now.

Thanks for coming back and reading. I'll get to the good stuff now.