It's no breaking story that we're into the beginning of the Christmas Season. Elijah is now at the age where he's into Christmas shows (he loves the Charlie Brown one, but for some reason I can only find the case, not the tape...one of the secret vortexes ate it I guess). So I went looking for my favorite old show. The little un-known Bass/Rankin movie, The First Christmas or The Story of the First Christmas Snow. I love this show. And we had it. My Dad make a tape of all the old Christmas Specials when I was a kid and that was one of them. Do you think any of us could find that tape now? Not a chance. First I went looking on You Tube, because that's where I found Rudolph, but it wasn't there. So I went looking on Amazon. 2 sellers had it on VHS (yes, that's right this one hasn't made it to DVD yet) prices began at $40 CDN. Seriously. I guess I'm going to have to be nostalgic another way and hope this one makes it onto a Christmas Classics DVD sometime while my children are still young enough to enjoy it with me.
In the spirit of being both economic and retro-homemaker, I've decided that I would like to make my boys their Christmas present this year. (Aside from the books I've already bought through Scholastic and their stockings that is). I've been slightly jealous, but mostly inspired by the cool things that my friend Jill makes for her boys and others (I especially love her toy robots). I've also been in love with the Ugly Dolls for years, but seriously could not justify actually buying one of them for the price. So I've decided that I really should take another more serious stab at sewing. This time I'm without the benefit of my mother's side by side lessons (and her sewing machine) as both are on the other side of the country. So I called upon my crafty friend to tutor me. Now if my life were perfect, I would have my teleporter handy to whisk me away to Jill's home for a few cozy evenings of sewing and tea while the boys played imaginative build and destroy games together. And although life has Jill and I living geographically closer than my mom and I, we are still 4 provinces and 2 timezones away from one another. Jill, being Jill and 2008 being 2008 makes for an online tutorial. Part one was posted today and you can follow it here . I will update you on my own progress as soon as I buy myself a nice pair of sewing scissors.
We've decided to put Elijah on an allowance to teach him about money. The allowance is only for extra jobs he does around the house (not ones he has to do anyways). We started this last night with the idea that he would be able to go to the dollar store at the end to buy something for himself (last night's wage being a dollar plus tax). He did his job and off we went. Have you ever been to the dollar store with a 4 year old? Oh my goodness, we must have been there for 45 minutes by the time he made his final decision. We had to be sure that he bought what he really wanted because quite frankly I wasn't coming back to exchange anything. He ended up with a metal airplane kit that we (being me) put together. I thought this was really a cool toy (esp. for the dollar store). What they don't tell you is the instructions are inadequate tiny pictures and that it's a fiddly little thing to put together(I know, I bought it at the dollar store not the science shop, so I shouldn't complain). But it's together now and he's happy now and looking forward saving more money to buy more things another time.
I had a sense of deja vu on Friday. The original people involved were my mom and my brother, this time it was me and Elijah. On Thursday I bought myself a couple of CDs. One of these is definately 'mom-music' as my brother would say. It was Josh Grobin's Awake CD. I listened to one track on the way home from the mall. I was looking forward to hearing more of the CD when I went out running errands on Friday. Friday came and Elijah requested Elvis. No sorry, we're going to listen to this. Deep sigh from the backseat. But we always listen to this was the response. No, Mommy just bought this CD last night, I'd like to listen to it. More deep sighs. See we listened to it yesterday and now today and then it will be forever. Well, sorry about that son, but we're keeping it on. Even more sighing and a more adamant arguement, but mom, this music is giving me a headache and I can't listen to it. Okay then, I'll put it all up front and that's that. More sighing, but he knows when to quit (for now)
We've just returned home from the Remembrance Day service at Harbour Station. I was very pleased to see many students and their families there. In fact, the announcer said that this was the largest crowd they've had since moving the service indoors for the comfort of the veterans. After the service the crowd was invited down on the parade floor to greet the veteran's if they wished. Elijah wanted to go, so we went. I was very proud of him as he said hi to a veteran that is about 90 years old. He shook his hand and said "thank you" to him. The gentleman was very kind and complimented Elijah on wearing his poppy to remember. Another veteran came up to me looking at Jeremy sleeping in his stoller, he told me that looked like a good idea, he was about ready for a nap himself. Whether or not you agree with current missions, or the notion of war itself, I believe that it is important to take the time to remember those who have offered themselves for the freedom that we currently enjoy. Those that are currently serving overseas in Afghanisan are there by request of the government of Afghanistan. Their presence has also enabled children to go to school, been able to deliver and administer vaccinations, and are letting the Afghanistan government to rule. It's an odd paradox. We go to war in hopes of peace. It's a difficult concept to comprehend, but one that touches all of our lives.
Elijah is my highly sensitive, highly determined, highly intelligent little guy. (sorry big boy - he's 4). I've watched him transition from baby to toddler to preschooler and right now he tells me he just wants to skip ahead to be a grownup so he can be a paramedic and help people (as his main job, in his off-time he wants to be a firefighter and help more people.). Well unfortunately for him he has to go to school first and yes that's coming soon. We've started the transition to school year with all the pre-kindergarten meetings and activities. Yes, he still loves anything to do with firefighters and hockey. He's starting to get into the Rescue Heroes stuff too. Thank goodness for kijiji so that we can find out of date toys (he's getting a load of them for Christmas). What has struck me with Elijah lately is that he is transitioning from this pre-school oriented stuff to the next level of boy toys. More about action figures and rescuing and race cars and construction. He wants to know how things work and asks a lot of questions. He has this knack for remembering everything and figuring things out quickly. Be careful when you pray for a smart child, you may just get one. He's very clever. A couple of weekends ago he asked if we could go uptown and look around at the uptown mall. Sure. A little while later we found out his whole reason for wanting to go uptown was to go to the big library uptown to find the Rescue Heroes movie again. I was reading the developmental stages of a 4 year old last week and had a giggle at one that described having less temper tantrums. We get into a power-stuggles at times with Elijah. He has no problem with the 'I messages' that label his feelings, they are just often accompanied by a feeling action too. "Mommy, I'm so frustrated with you right now" *stomp, stomp, stomp,* goes his feet. He loves his friends and playing. And they are wonderful to watch play. Full out imaginations at work. I love it! He can be very helpful too. He's starting to work with us doing the housework. He has his own set of rubber gloves to clean in the bathroom, he puts away his own laundry and yesterday helped his dad mop the floors. This is not to say that he loves to clean up all the time. That would be entirely misleading. Putting his toys away without a fuss is one of the goals we're working on right now. I'm trying to get him to realise that the toy mess would be less overwhelming if he would put away what he is playing with first before getting out something new. (I know, Mom if you are reading this, what goes around comes around right?) Overall, he's a very intelligent, very loving little boy. He loves storytime at bed time and playing with his brother (so much more fun now that Jeremy is past the baby stage and will pretty much copy cat anything Elijah does). Alright, I can feel myself getting into gush mode now, so I'll stop.
We've noticed Jeremy itching and scratching his head and face off and on during the past few months. Every once in a while he would get these little bumps on his forehead and the back of his neck. We knew he was reacting to something, but what? So we'd give him a little bit of Benadryl and put on a little of the percription cream our doctor had given him. Well, then the reactions got a little worse. Nothing like seeing your 1 year old break out into big blotchy rashes to get your attention. Our doctor sent us to the allergist. I know, he's young for allergy testing, but because we were pretty sure it was a food allergy, they only did one series on him. (unlike Elijah's allergy testing last year, which was the full series). I had suspected tomatoes (because twice he broke out after eating spagetti), but I cut tomatoes out of his diet and he was still scratching. The culprit? Not tomatoes, but soy. Surprise surprise. Well, that got me thinking. We don't have a lot of soy in our diet do we? Ha ha ha! Do you know how many things have soy or soy oil in them? Chicken nuggets, french fries, na'an bread, Ritz Bits sandwiches and Alphagetti, just to name a few. This discovery also explains why Jeremy would get terrible immediate diaper rash all of sudden (he has a perscription diaper cream to deal with this). Of course he would get it after eating the whole wheat soy bread I would buy once in a while. (hindsight right?). So now we're reading labels, and reading labels and reading labels. We have a Info Pamphlet on Soy (one of food's 9 most common allergens) that tells us all the names for soy. And we're monitoring his reactions. Fortunately, he's only having skin reactions, it could be a lot worse! Thank goodness there's no soy in macaroni!
Our church does not give young children communion (they get a blessing prayer at the communion rail). When on vacation Jonathan took Elijah to a church that did give kids communion. He explained to Elijah how the grape juice and cracker represented the body and blood of Christ. Later that day we were having a few Timbits. Elijah took a chocolate one and said, "Daddy, is that God's poo?"
We have a collection of fruit flies currently hanging out at our kitchen window. I took a tissue and started to squish as many as I could. Elijah looked at me in horror and said, "Don't do that Mommy, God gave us those bugs to enjoy". "Well, not really enjoy honey" I said. "Well did God make bugs Mommy?" "Yes" "See, I told you, and He wouldn't like it that you're killing what He made!" (I guess I have to my bug killing in secret now)
We were driving home today and it started to rain very hard. Elijah asked me, "Mom, is God spitting on us?"
I'm okay letting you see this picture right now because I know that this mess no longer exists (I spent most of Saturday doing some fall cleaning). But this is usually what the bottom of my stairs looks like. Jeremy has this fascination with gravity and being 1 anything and everything he can get his hands on gets thrown down the stairs. Usually shoes that sit by the kitchen doorway (the stairs go down from the kitchen), but anything will do really. Elijah also has a habit of bringing up downstairs toys (aka anything sports related), so when asked to put them back downstairs they often get tossed. I admit to adding to the mess as it's ever so convenient to toss down the used kitchen washcloths (the laundry room is right there). I thought this would be a good chronicle to proove (yet again) that the Springthorpe's are not perfect.
I don't sew. I don't think this is a big mystery to most people. I think this is one thing Jonathan would change about me if he could. I have domestic giftings , but sewing is not one of them. I do know how to do a basic stitch. But procrastinate about fixing anything so much that Jonathan has given up on me and taken his mending to Stitch It to do for him. My Mom can sew and makes beautiful quilts. She's made a few for the boys.
detailing on Elijah's crib quilt
The crib quilt Mom made for Elijah
The crib quilt Mom made for Jeremy
A quilt Mom made for Elijah's toddler bed, that is now Jeremy's
My friend Jill also sews and quilts very well. In fact, she made Jeremy a beautiful quilt and while she was at it sent Elijah a bean bag frog she made too. Elijah loves Gogee (the frog). In fact he loves him so much that he played with him all the time. Unfortunately, Gogee got thrown a little too hard one day and broke. You can imagine Elijah's reaction to seeing Gogee's lentil stuffing all over his room. Because he was so sad, I promised him Mommy would fix it and make Gogee better. That was about 6 months ago (remember, I don't sew, I have great intentions though). Well yesterday I was trying to get Elijah to do something for me, as I asked he looked up on my dresser to the container to where Gogee and the lentils still sat and said, "Mom, you promised you'd fix Gogee and you never have!". Oops. Yep, he's right. Where Jonathan has learned about my intentions, Elijah still takes me at my word when it comes to sewing and really, 4 is too young to have your image shattered about your mother's perfection. So I did it. I fixed Gogee. It's not the most beautiful repair job in the world. I couldn't figure out how to sew his foot back on and still allow the lentils freely flow into it, so his foot is sewn shut, but Elijah is happy. He's played (carefully) with him the last 24 hours and Gogee has resumed his place of honour on Elijah's bed. I feel safe writing this, knowing that Jill will probably read this story and be resolved that yes indeed, Gogee did get fixed and is not sitting torn in a tupperware container still.
Gogee's now gimpy foot (notice my terrible stitching in navy, I don't even own black thread)
A little more on the essence of who Jeremy is at this point in time. Everything is his (according to him anyway). The phone, the remote, Daddy's socks, the grocery list, Elijah's toys...pretty much anything and everything gets a 'mine' label. Sometimes it's easy to get back, sometimes not so much. A big 'no' and trying to hide whatever it is he has. Unfortunately for him, he's the smallest and we can get most things back anyway, we just have to put up with the grumpy face or crying accompanied by 'mine, mine, mine' afterwards.
I thought it had been a while since I've written about my boys (or a while since I'd blogged at all really). So this feature is on my Jeremy aka Silly Monkey. I don't think he can help being a silly monkey right now, he's 20 months old and I seem to remember Elijah being somewhat like this at this age. Examples of his silliness: 1. Last night at supper, he finished his yogurt and decalred, "Daa" (done) and in his exuberance threw open his hands, one of which had a yogurt covered spoon in it which very nicely splattered all over my pants (just before I was to leave to the pre-kindergarten meeting at Elijah's school). I said, "Jeremy, look at Mommy's pants", he said "funny" and laughed. Yep, you have to be quick when he finishing a meal. Otherwise, he's decided he's done therefore any food left on his tray gets swept by his arms right onto the floor. 2. He loves to throw things, particularily if he is sitting in his booster seat. So his spoon will 'accidentally' drop on the floor and he'll say, "uh-oh!" in mock innocence. 3. He also think it's hillarious to run out of the room when you're changing his diaper. I've caught onto this and usually remember to close his bedroom door, otherwise, he'll run down the hallway squeeling with laughter, until he's caught.
He's talking a lot more these days. I'm always amazed at the 18 months to 2 years language growth. His favorite words these days are 'funny', 'why?', 'no' and 'I don't know' (which kinda comes out as 'idano')...the I don't know is pretty cute as he has the whole arms up in the air with a shrug of his shoulders while he says it.
He absolutely loves his big brother. Pretty much anything Elijah does or is doing, Jeremy will follow and try. Most of the time this works out well. They've grown into that play-friend stage. It does not work as well when Elijah is building with blocks and Jeremy knocks them down (because of course that's what boys at his age do with blocks). Last we got a good system going where Elijah was building with half of the blocks and Jeremy was happily amused putting the other half of the blocks away using the shape sorter. This is progress. They do get pretty funny together, running up and down the hallway (I don't know why this is amusing, but it is). They also love to play with the empty laundry baskets, filling them up and dragging them all over the house.
Jeremy is a real, rough and tumble boy. He's the kinda kid that will fall down, bump his head on something and you'll wait for a reaction, but all he'll say is 'ow' and rub his head and move on. Sometimes, he'll come over for a kiss better, but that's about it.
He's really getting into playing with boy toys (as opposed to the generic baby toys). My favorite time watching him play is with a toy airplane that he'll fly around and make an accompaning airplane noise. He also loves cars and trucks and trains. Right now, we only have one firetruck (this has become an issue) so I'm pretty sure Jeremy's going to get his own for Christmas.
He's a very affectionate, cuddly kid too. One of my favorite time's of day is just at bedtime when he and I cuddle in the rocking chair in his rooom. I know some people are opposed to the rock your child to sleep theory, but I'm an attachment parent and they only stay little for a little while, enjoy all the cuddles you can! My first was cuddled to sleep when he was younger and he goes to sleep just fine on his own now thank you very much.
I'm just enjoying Jeremy be Jeremy right now. I think you have to do that, enjoy the age they are at, because it goes by faster than you think :o)