Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Broccoli Piano

Every February, I attend the Texas Computer Educator's Association conference.  There are great sessions and lots of prize giveaways.  One year I won an iPad mini.  This year I won a Makey Makey and a book of Makey Makey projects.  A Makey Makey can be used to control a computer and utilized the static electric in objects to do it.

When I got back from TCEA, I wasn't feeling great.  I really wanted to go to bed and stay there.  That's what I did most of Saturday.  And the Makey Makey came in handy!  B asked me how to use it.  I told him to get on YouTube and he'd find out how to make it work.  When I got out of bed Saturday at 4:30 pm, he was so excited to have me come see what he'd done.




He'd found a website with a Makey Makey piano then used broccoli to power it.  B-man never ceases to amaze me! I can't wait to see what else he can come up with using the Makey Makey

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

R.I.P. Peppermint

Friday morning Ryan texted me "Peppermint is dead."  Peppermint, you will remember, is the gerbil B got for Christmas.

I texted back "Are you sure?"

Ryan immediately called me, "What do you mean 'are you sure?'?"

"Well, maybe he's asleep?"

"I've picked him up with tongs and put him in paper bag and he didn't move so I'm guessing he's not asleep."

Oh no! I was so worried about B.  He got on the phone to tell me.  He sounded upset but ok.  Ryan took him to school and I let his teachers, principal and behavior specialist.  I'll be honest, I wasn't sure how B's day would go.  One of his teachers just had a baby and is out, the other teacher answered my text that she wouldn't be at school that day and it was STEM career day.  I joked at work "When do we think I'll have to go get him?"  "Will B survive this day?" 

Thank God for small mercies - one of the subs for the day was B's teacher from last year who had retired.  He ended up having a good day. 

Peppermint a loyal, nice but nippy gerbil.  Amen
I had to run home (I ran out of coffee supplies at work and coffee = life at work so it was clearly a required trip).  B had written on Peppermint's bag.  I'd worried Ryan that Peppermint might wake up so he'd put the bag in the washing machine - if Peppermint woke up and ate his way through the bag, he'd be confined to the bag. 

Friday afternoon Peppermint was still in the bag so we were confident he had departed this world.  We made plans for a burial and funeral.  I put Peppermint in the freezer until the service. 

Sunday afternoon we had the funeral.  B searched Spotify for "funeral music" so we had some lovely instrumental music.  Ryan dug the grave with B's small garden shovel.  We decided to lay Peppermint to rest under B's window. Mostly the avoid the back yard and our digging dog. 

Below is the transcript of B's prayer.  I have to be honest, I had tears in my eyes after this prayer.  B comforted me "I know you loved him too, Momma." Yes, let's go with that...

Dear Jesus,
Bless Peppermint's soul with all your heart.  Forgive him of any sins he might have made. We loved him so much but now it's time to join him with Pa and Pops.  I will love him with all my heart for the rest of eternity. 
LOUD SCREAMING WAIL
Just drop him in already.

And that concluded Peppermint's service. 







Thursday, February 15, 2018

Hope

My B-man is getting older.  Kids are great noticers.  They remember stuff.  I've been concerned this year about kids starting to remember B's outbursts and meltdowns.  This year he's had a couple of rough ones.  Most of them start in his classroom, with other kids.  I don't want him to be ostracized because of his rough times. 

I'm not a mom who wants or needs her kids to be super popular.  I've always wanted them to have one good friend.  One person who got them and had their back.  One person they'd stand up for as well.  One person who picks them first and who they pick first.  Someone who gets them. 

My concern has been that B's behaviors would keep people from getting him. 

As I said yesterday, B had a Valentine.  He'd asked a cute little girl in his class to be his Valentine and she'd said yes.  He took her a Hersey's Chocolate bar and my Harry Potter owl for her to see since she likes Harry Potter.  At bedtime, he wondered what she would bring him.  I don't know the little girl or her parents so I didn't know how she'd respond to being B's Valentine.  I told him she might not bring anything but that was ok because it was nice to have a Valentine. He was cool with that and excited about the day.  In the morning he wanted to make sure to dress nice for his Valentine.  He also wanted to wear red. 

He had a great time at the class party.  Ryan went because I was teaching.  Ryan said B introduced himself to his Valentine's mom in addition to working the crowd telling parents about his new pet sitting business (Lord, help me).  A friend of mine sent me a picture of B and his Valentine.  He's right, she is a cute little girl.

B's Valentine wrote him a letter.  A letter that made me cry.  A letter more valuable than any gift.  In the letter she tells B why she likes him.  "My favorit thing about you is that your sweet, kind and generoos. Your allways kind to people even if they're rude or unkind to you.  Your creative and silly." (typed exactly from a letter from a 3rd grader)

This sweet letter gave me hope. Hope that he does have and will have one good friend.  Hope that people will continue to see his positive, wonderful traits.  Hope that B's behavior wouldn't keep people from knowing the real him. The him that I love. The him that so many of you love. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

V-Day B's Way

Happy Valentine's Day, peeps!  V-Day is not a big deal around here.  We're pretty lovey dovey all year long. 

What Valentine's does mean is a Valentine's Day party at school.  And that means a Valentine's box.  I honestly wouldn't mind making B a Valentine's box.  But he wants to make his box.  His mind is brilliant and creative.  His hands don't always see the vision.  Nevertheless, he wants to be in control of his box. 

I learned years ago to let go of my Pinterest mom dreams of crafts with my B-man.  He wants things done the way he wants them done and I wouldn't fight him.  Please see my post The True Story of Robo-Turkey That post cracks me up because I was so anti-home project.  I'm softened a little, probably because the older boys don't get them anymore and I'm overwhelmed with everyone's home projects.  Look at me, growing and stuff. 

Anywho...remember yesterday I said we went to Joann's and got stuff for B's box?  He wanted to make his box look like a four armed alien from Ben 10.  I had a fabulous plan for that box and a ton of red pipe cleaners to make it work.  Alas, I spent the better part of Saturday in bed and B's creative juices couldn't not be stopped. 

I should pause here to tell you that is currently obsessed with old cereal commercials and cereal in general.  It started with old Fruity Pebbles commercials on YouTube kids and has blossomed from there.  I'm actually glad we've moved on from Fruity Pebbles because I'd been called up one more than once to tell him everything I knew about the Flintstones. 

Here's the box B-man made, all on his own. 


Those little pom poms were supposed to be alien eyes.  But, glued into bottle tops, they look like Trix cereal.  And my sweet boy is ready for the big day. 

He also has a Valentine.  "I asked and she said yes" He made sure to ask her favorite candy is taking her a Hersey's Chocolate bar. 

My sweet boy...

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Cartoon Spider

Joann's fabric store can be a dangerous place.  There are so many cool projects and crafts!  Especially with B, you have to have a plan of attack before you go in.  And I thought we did.  We planned out his Valentine's Day box.  He was going to make it look like an alien from Ben 10.  We went in, got the supplies and he was happy.  Then I needed to pick up some fabric for Sam to make a stuff mole for Chemistry.  While searching for mole fabric, B got another idea.

He wanted to make a spider plushie (stuffed animal) for his teacher's new baby.  He was going to sew it.  I didn't figure he would actually sew it but I thought I'd give him a chance.  Plus, I didn't feel well enough to argue with him. I wanted to get home and get back in bed.  So, half a yard of purple fabric was his!  We already had to get stuffing for Sam's project, so he was good there.

I stayed in bed much of the rest of the day Saturday.  B used his time making his Valentine's Day box (not the alien from Ben 10 we'd planned on), playing with a new Makey Makey I won at my conference (more on this tomorrow) and starting on his spider.  He'd said at Joann's that it needed to be a cartoon-ish spider because his teacher was actually afraid of spiders.  By the time I got out of bed around 4:30 he'd already cut out the body and was attempting to sew it. 

Most of the time, in projects like this, I try to guide B, give him directions and help a little.  But I'm here to tell you, I had no intentions of sewing a spider plushie.  I figured one of two things would happen: 1. he'd get frustrated and we'd use fabric glue.  2. he'd get frustrated and give up.  Honestly, I was good either way.  I never expected choice number 3.

Ryan was watching the Olympics when B asked him to help.  Ryan's mom does a lot of sewing and B had decided "since you're from the sewing grandmother" he could help.  And he did!  Ryan sat on the couch, watching the Olympics and sewed the spider's round body.  I went back to bed in the meantime but I understand there was some discussion of making a head and a compromised reached of just making a body. 

Sunday afternoon, Sam was working on sewing his Chemistry mole and Ryan was still working on the spider.  Earlier in the day (again while I was still in bed with a nasty sinus infection) Ryan and B had discussed the spider's legs.  They settled on a very cartoonish 4 legs.  And Ryan was toiling away on those.  Sam had used the sewing machine (thank you Rae Harvill and her design theatre class for teaching him the sewing machine) for his mole. I offered to sew up the last two spider legs on the machine. Lickety split they were done.  Ryan was less than thrilled that he'd been toiling away sewing this blasted thing by hand. 

To feel like I had done my part, I offered to sew on the spider legs in a most cartoon-y fashion.  After receiving my instruction and oversight from B, I completed my work.  B used fabric glue to adhere the very cartoonish eyes and the spider was done!

B took the plushie to his teacher yesterday. She declared that it was cartoon-y enough to not scare her and that she loved it!  I loved the whole process.  I love that B swept Ryan up into his project.  The whole thing was really very sweet!



Thursday, February 8, 2018

White Lies

A new addition to B-man's vocabulary is 'white lie'.  He says it's a lie that doesn't hurt anyone. 

B is a truth teller. Don't ask him a question you don't want an honest answer to.  Don't ask him what he thinks of your new hair cut or your new outfit if you aren't prepared.   A couple of years ago, he spent the night with his aunt.  While they were making breakfast, he said "OK, I'll tell you! I ate the rest of the cookies before you got up!"

So, these white lies are very out of character for him.  But, here's the thing...he can't hold them.  He'll tell you everything is fine but by bed time he'll spill his guts about everything that happened. 

I always ask him if he has homework on our way home from school.  The other day, he told me he did not have any homework.  Then, later in evening he told me that his homework answer had been a white lie but that it was ok because he could do it later.  No way, dude, you've got to do it now.

Last week he told me he had disobeyed me three weeks ago.  I think he kept it in this long because I didn't suspect he'd done anything wrong and hadn't asked him about it.  It led to a good conversation about guilt and truth and trust. I told him that guilt is that feeling in his tummy that reminds him that what he did was wrong.  Ryan's told him that when you don't tell the truth, we can't trust him because we don't know what to believe.  We'll be guessing if what he is saying is true. 

I think this really hit home with him.  We'll see...he is still a 9 year old boy. 


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Lions

I love lions.  It's starting to border on obsession.  I really, really want little lion statues to go at the front door.  Ryan has consistently vetoed this idea.  Bummer...

I went to college at East Texas State (now Texas A&M - Commerce) and we are the lions so I got my fill of lions in college.  I have 2 favorite lion statues on campus.  One year Panhellenic took pictures to show potential new members how to dress for recruitment.  I was super pumped to take a picture on my favorite lion. Enjoy this blast from the past...



In the fall I was able to go on a field trip with some 8th graders to Commerce.  I was so excited to see 'my lion'. But it was gone, the Victory Bell is in it's place. You can see where it used to be.  Seriously, if you know where the Class of 29 lion is, let me know.

I also love TAMUC's football field - it has a gigantic lion on it.

https://goo.gl/ZaESVn

At the You Are conference, the lion took on a new meaning for me.  I began to really see God as a lion.  A lion who protects my family.  A lion who is fighting for me.  He is making a way for me!  It is so comforting.  At You Are, I was struggling with trusting God with my boys.  I was feeling like I had to do everything for them.  I had forgotten that God loves them even more that I do.  He is protecting my boys and making a way for them.  What a relief!