Monday, September 29, 2008

Soccer Chicks

Steve finds it funny that I very commonly call girls "chicks." I'm pretty sure I picked up the term and usage from my dad. Be sure, coming from me, it is in no way derogatory. It's just a fun word. And I've got two little chicks who are tearing it up on the soccer field. All of you with little kiddos, this is when it starts really getting fun (my opinion). Take that with a grain of salt from one who is a huge fan of organized sports. They can understand the game and play it pretty darn well. Rylee has scored 6 goals in 3 games, and Gabby just scored her first last weekend. That is quite a feat for her, since she plays in the older and more competitive division. She really likes playing goalee because "then I don't have to run so much and I can just wait around." Rylee is actually "playing up" too, since her birthday is past the deadline, but she would have either been super bored or killed the younger kids. I'm very proud of her for last week's game when she had a sweet pass for an assist. She tends to be a little of a ball hog if left to her own devices, so I keep having to instill passing into her brain. Here's a few action shots - I need to find my good camera, because this one is too slow and I'm way behind the action. This was before this camera got soaked and now doesn't take pictures....DUH!

Number 1 Fan

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Shhh...Don't Tell My Grandmas

The littlest Bennecke has recently joined the middle child in devious behavior. Like her, he always does it with a grin on his face and a little giggle. His grandmothers might be less than proud at the pictures below. But mommy can't help but love his "boy-ness" and curiosity.

Last post I described the "jail break" where C.J. bolts for the stairs and climbs like crazy. Here he is mid-break, again with the silly grin.

This is a classic picture of what happens when mommy has to go to the bathroom. I left him unattended for like 3 minutes. I come out of the bathroom and things are just too quiet. At first I figured he'd done another jail break, but then I heard the giggle. I rounded the corner in the kitchen to find him sitting next to the bread drawer with a bag of bread open and dumped on the floor. He was mid-slice and giggling again. He had taken a good sized bite out of each piece!

Yesterday, I finally got out in the garden to start fall clean up, which may end up being a major digging job. My garden is a disaster. I never realized how invasive morning glories can be. I left things alone for a couple weeks and they are overtaking everything. So C.J. wanted to come help. Lets just say he likes dirt. Pica would be the technical term. I told you you'd be proud, grammy!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Whining, Wonderful Kids

This past weekend, it rained like over 10 inches thanks to Hurrican Ike. I was unaware that in Michigan we had hurricanes, but now I'm a believer. Thanks to this great weather, we spent way too much time indoors and in close proximity. My children nearly drove me out into the rain in search of solace.
Gabby has this newfound obsession with tornados. This began last week as a result of a tornado drill at school. Since that time, there has not been a night that she hasn't gone to bed either crying or very concerned about what we would do in the event of a tornado. She's even asked me several times to watch the news so she can check the weather. (This coming from a girl who barely knows there is anything on TV besides cartoons, Zack and Cody, and Hannah Montana). So I've tried to be the comforting, reassuring mom. I've shared with her about my fear of a house fire when I was her age. I've explained that tornados are extremely rare in our area, and there hasn't been a big one in Kalamazoo since before I was born. We've discussed our emergency plan in the very unlikely event of a tornado. I finally feel like we're making headway. Then Saturday evening Steve was watching football. All of a sudden, the meteorologist breaks into the game with those loud beeps and dramatic music of a weather update. You guessed it, we're under a tornado warning. Two twisters have touched down about 30 miles from us. Gabby is freaked! I hate it when the weather people are so darn dramatic. There was really nothing to worry about, the storm had already done the main damage by the time they even made the warning. So now it's back to like square one with Gabby and her fear. Tonight I probably did a bad thing, but I got really annoyed by all the whining and constant referrals to tonados. I told her I don't want to hear another word about it! I swear the next sentence out of her mouth went like this, "I'm not talking about you-know-what, but if one comes, will the roof come off of my room too?" Arrgh! Any other ideas from smart parents out there?
Then there's Rylee. Ah, my dear girl, you too may drive me to drink...a lot. I did not realize it was possible for a human child to talk back to every sentence or even sentence fragment that their parent or other adult speaks. She spends so much time retorting to things I say, that she never takes the time to actually listen and comprehend what it even is that I'm saying. It's fun that she's a hundred-mile-an-hour type of person, but ya gotta listen, too. I actually feel like I'm a very patient parent - Steve says too patient. I have a feeling her current stage may require some behavior modification. Time outs are not working real well at bringing about change. Privledge removal is more of a burden on me than her. Spanking I feel I want to "save" for larger misbehavior. So I'm thinking vinegar - a.k.a. sassy spray - that a friend told me about. I tried it tonight and it may just be brilliant. The only downfalls are consistency on my part and having said spray on hand all the time. I have a feeling this would be frowned upon in the grocery store and other public establishments. From most parenting things I've read, the consistency thing is the most important in breaking bad behavior, so the ball's in my court.
My final whining child is poor C.J. Actually, he's just bum out of luck as he has like 6 teeth coming in all at once. In the past 2 days, 3 have actually come through. That brings his total to 5. He's pretty much a trooper about it. I think he tries to communicate his discomfort by playing in my mouth and pulling on my teeth. Either that or he will be the family's next dentist. He's getting around like crazy now, too. His favorite (my least) is climbing the stairs. He does it every chance he gets. We call it jail break. He sees the opening, plans his course, and crawls at break-neck speed over to the stairs. Then he begins climbing one by one. He looks back at whoever it is he's escaped from at each step and laughs as if to say "Ha Ha, look at me. I'm climbing the stairs!" He also figured out how to climb out of his crib already. Yeah, 10 months and the other day I'm in the kitchen and hear the thud-"Whaahh!!" combination. What's that? The girls are in the basement, dogs outside, Steve napping, C.J. napping. Upon investigation, there was a very surprised baby on the floor next to his crib!! Great, this should be fun!

Who ever thought being a parent was so much fun and so challenging all wrapped up in a bunch of love!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Invisible Woman

If you have a couple minutes, check out the video clip below. (Thanks Jess for passing it on). There is a purpose in all the mundane stuff we do as moms. Packing yummy lunches, making their bed even after you've tried to tell them 30 times to make it themself, soccer, gymnastics, horse-back riding, vacation Bible school, reading stories, making breakfast lunch and dinner, laundry, bath time, playing Old Maid too many times, more laundry, teaching to ride a bike, going on class trips, picking berries, bedtime cuddles and prayers, taking walks, watching movies, helping with homework, the list could go on. We do it for a great reason, girls!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Growing Too Fast

Ahh, school has come again. I remember when I was a kid I was always so excited for the first day of school that I couldn't sleep the night before. I'd go over in my mind all the cool new stuff I had packed in my new Strawberry Shortcake backpack and and the great stuff mom would pack in my shiny new lunch box. I pretty much knew all the people in my class b/c our school was so small we only had one class, and maybe we'd get one or two new kids each year if we were lucky. I remember my first bus ride - or what was supposed to have been. My mom drove me to the bus stop (which was actually quite a ways away, but the school was pretty far away). There were quite a few of us waiting there for the bus. Some of them were "big kids" like in 7th and 8th grade, a few middle year kids and then I was the sole kindergardner. We're talking 1983, so you can imagine the hairsprayed bangs on the girls and longer greasy-haired guys. I vaguely remember some terrible bold plaid prints. This was even before pegged jeans, stirrup pants, and MC Hammer pants! We waited and waited, but no bus ever showed up! There were enough adults there that they had to carpool us to North Christian. I ended up being like 1/2 hour late for my first day of school!! It wouldn't be my last time being late for something. Maybe that's where I learned it.

So fast forward to 2008. I now have two children in elementary school! I really can't believe a) I'm this old b) my kids are this old. Gabby is in first grade which means she finally goes to school all day. Rylee's in kindergarden in the afternoon every day. I'm not like one of those traumatized mothers who weeps when her children get on the bus, but I did feel a few pangs of sadness in realizing that stages of their lives are gone forever and they are growing up so fast. Both of them were pretty excited about starting school again. It's a whole new world compared to my elementary years. There are 5 first grade classes and 4 kindergarden. They send out a teacher request form in the spring, and I filled out our top 3 choices, but apparently this is just a formality to make parents feel like they have a say. I am now aware that this is a ruse and I have very little say which is not a good feeling. We didn't get any of our 3 choices for Gabby, in fact, we once again got the new teacher. This may turn out to be just fine, but last year it took her teacher a couple months to get settled in, and this year, her teacher only found out last week that she was switching schools. I was annoyed, but another mother in the same boat called and got the scoop on the newby and found out she's supposed to be really good. Gabby was relieved to find out she's in the same class as her best friend, that's all she cared about. Rylee has the same teacher Gabby had last year and is very comfortable living in her sister's footsteps. For the first day Gabby wanted to be taken to school and Rylee wanted to ride the bus. So I accomodated for both. My girls are growing up. There are times I really wish I could stop this process. But it's also incredible to see them mature and gain independence. Rylee didn't even wave good-by to me as I left her classroom (yes, I did put her on the bus, and then drove separate so I could see her to her class too:)). I'm so proud of you, girls!!