The long Labor Day weekend was a great way to recover from Gavin's first week of school. Not really for him - but for me! I was exhausted in every way. To top it off, I had one of those killer Rheumatoid Arthritis flare ups - the kind that makes me feel like I have the flu - all day yesterday.
But we ended up getting a lot done over the weekend - and having some fun, too!
I mentioned in a previous post that Brian gets tokens in school for making good choices and when he gets a certain number of tokens, he gets to pick a prize from their prize box! So, I decided to do something similar at home. Brian has started to - ugh - whine a little bit lately. We will have none of that in this house - none, I say. So I set up a magnetic star chart that has five velcro stars.
He gets a star when he exhibits good behavior, for example: manners, playing nicely, sharing, wiping up the pee off his potty seat after he goes (that is a BIG rule in this house - I'm trying to train a future good husband), no whining, etc. And if he misbehaves, he gets a star taken OFF the chart. When he reaches five - he can choose from a variety of prizes (think Dollar store crap that kids LOVE).
Brian takes this very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that he will catch himself doing something wrong and fess up. There have been several conversations like this...
Brian: "Mama. I just took a toy that Gavin was playing with. I need to take a star off my chart."
Me: <trying not to laugh or even crack a smile> "That's very responsible, Brian. Thank you for being so accountable for your own behavior."
He's a trip, that one.
We had a lot of fun playing trains this weekend. I must say, for a woman who thought she would be a better Mommy to girls (before I had kids) - I sure can hang with these boy toys like trains and trucks! I draw the line at sports...to be clear.
Gavin and I had our own fun with bubbles and books and singing and dancing.... but he was definitely bored during the train hour, as you can see.
We also had a fun Saturday play date with our neighbors, Patti and Patrick - and the boys' friends, Seamus and Molly! Gavin and Brian spent a few hours in their "ultra-cool play palace" and had so much fun playing with toys they (and I!) had never seen before. Patti finds the coolest, most unique toys! We had a ball.
I can't wait to surprise Gavin's teacher this week. Patti gave me bags (I mean BAGS!) of toys that were Seamus and Molly's to donate to his classroom! I think the Occupational Therapists will be over the moon. I loaded up my van with toys from us and from Patti. Between the two of us, they will be set - and then some! I'm so grateful to have such generous neighbors.
I'm winding up my yearly "Craig's List home sale" and I have had so much fun. So far, I've made over $300, which will be funneled back into the boys. In my best sale last year I made enough to get Gavin his iPad! Selling ALL of our baby equipment - bouncy seats, jumperoo, swing, etc. - and the infant clothes, especially the remaining clothes I had of Darcy's has been so hard. But it has made it so much easier meeting the people who will use it. I have met the nicest people and am thrilled that the boys' things are going to such loving homes. One of my favorite customers had to be Xan (short for Alexandra). While her husband and their 7 1/2 month old baby, Emerson, waited in the driveway, Xan and I chatted for what seemed like an hour. We had so many things in common and she was just the sweetest woman. It was clear to me in five minutes that she was a wonderful, thoughtful Mommy to her sweet little boy.
I can't wait to get photos of Emerson in some of Gavin and Brian's little outfits. I always hear stories about terrible Craig's List experiences...or meeting strange people. I've been buying and selling on Craig's List for the past three years and have met such nice people. It's been a wonderful adventure.
I also have a ton of baby and toddler things set aside for Lauren's House in Coatesville, PA. Lauren's House is a special child care center that Gavin's former nurse is involved in. They offer skilled nursing for kids with complex medical needs in a 'non-hospital' type of setting.
From their website:
Medical Day Health Services are medically-safe, less restrictive and are rendered in a child friendly, age-appropriate, socially and developmentally stimulating environment.
It's a very special place for kids to go that need constant care and attention - but want to feel like regular kids. I'm so happy that so much of the boys things will help this wonderful organization.
I saved the best for last...
On Sunday, Gavin ate a Lollipop. This, my friends, is a huge deal.
He mostly left it in his mouth - but a few times he pulled it out and put it back in!! This really is a big deal. He finished it down to just the tiniest piece!!
This is just another reminder to all of us to not take anything for granted. Eating a Lollipop is a rite of passage for most kids. For Gavin, it's a monumental accomplishment.
Tonight - have a Lollipop to celebrate this big moment. And then take a moment to count your blessings.