Sunday, February 24, 2013

"Do everything without grumbling or complaining"

Growing up, I never had set chores that were mine to do.  We were expected to just pitch in and do what was asked for us.  Brant grew up a bit like that, but also had some set chores that were his, or that he always did, so they became his. Neither of us really had an allowance, but we had money if we needed it for things.

We've always struggled with a "chore chart" for our family.  We've tried the Melissa and Doug magnet version, but there were too many things to choose from, and keep track of.  We had lots of good intentions, but all of a sudden it would be bed time!

I think we've finally stumbled on it!  It's actually two parts, but Brant (and one day Henry) handles one part, and we handle the other.

I can explain it better in photos.  These are the chores that we chose. Yes, get dressed is easy.  But we wanted him to get his chores done daily, and added an easy one.  It's also one that Brant fusses about in the mornings, because he's like his Mommy.  We would be in P.J.s until noon everyday if we could!

After he does a chore, he velcros the tab up.  At night, when he's gone to bed, we can see what he's done.

The second part is Mommy and Daddy's part.  Each week Brant starts with $5 in his chore jar, in quarters.  If all the chores are done, and no fussing, and he's done whatever extra (unloading the silverware caddy is his job too), all the quarters stay in the jar.  But if there are complaints, or he has to be asked to do it, then he loses a quarter.  At the end of the week, what's in the jar is his.  He's also able to earn back the quarters, by doing extra chores.  

Our goal with this is for these things to become habits, that Brant doesn't think about having to do.  Then the chores will change.  

Yes, I realize I added an extra L in Philipians.    But didn't realize it until it was finished! It will get corrected one day!
There are so many opinions out there about chores and allowances.  About as many as about spanking.  But this works for our family, for our boys.  We want Brant to become mindful of his surroundings and learn that we must work together as a family.  He's already seen that when we all help out, then we have time to do fun things together. 

Maybe I'll look back at this post in a year or two, and see that it was a success.  And maybe not.  Parenting is so much trial and error, we'll just wait and see!  As for now, it's a success.  Three weeks so far!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day sort of snuck up on us this year.  Actually, we knew full well it was coming, we just couldn't seem to get to any of the necessary arts and crafts in time.  Also, Brant never found an idea he wanted to make for his cards.  So, for the first year (and I must admit, he's getting to that age), Brant didn't have handmade cards.  He picked out Lego Star Wars cards and proudly wrote his name and friends names on them all.  

We had the cards, and all the teacher gift supplies, for at least two weeks. But it still came down to the night before!

Henry drew Daddy a card.  And I bought him a My first St. Patrick's Day shirt, brain farting that it is in fact his SECOND! He was 8 days old for his first!

Working hard on his cards

Getting artistic

I did have the forethought to get our decorations!

We used Mom's gift of tulips as the centerpiece

Nothing like Star Wars M and M and a box of Snoopy candy!

Henry got a new book!

Brant made this pretty decoration at Scouts on Monday.  They are suncatchers, and look so pretty with the morning sun shining through.
 We normally have a Valentine breakfast, sometime around Valentine's.  Why? Because Daddy works in a restaurant.  We went out on Tuesday for Mexican to celebrate, and because it was a half day at school, we also had a Valentine brunch, with pancakes and sausage.

Brant scarfed his as fast as he could, and ummm, declined, to be photographed.  Oh well, every holiday is different, and wonderful.  Happy first Valentine's Day Henry!

Scrub a dub! I love the tub!

Henry has never been one to dislike his bath, as a matter of fact, last night he sat under the faucet and let the water run over his head!  I took a few minutes to snap some cute photos, since brother wasn't in this bath!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Happy 11 Months Henry!

Can you believe it Doodle?  We can't.  When I look back to what we were doing a year ago this time, we were in a mad rush to finish out bathroom renovation, get things set up for your arrival and brother was playing soccer.  

And this year. Wow!  What did we ever do before you were part of our family?  You bring such joy.  You love your brother so much.  If he's near, you want to touch him.  You crawl after him and love to be in his room.  And big brother is so good with you!  He doesn't like you to pull up on a chair in the kitchen, because of the tile floor.  He watches you like a hawk, already protecting his little brother. 

The past month has been a ton of firsts.  You pretty much eat whatever we eat.  And want to eat everything. You point at what you want, saying, "Dat."  And in the last day or two, you've been saying, what we swear, sounds like, "Need dat."  You've started giving kisses, complete with the "mwah" sound!  And walking!  well, cruising, and running when we hold your hands.  

You are a fun, silly, loving, loud, sweet, cuddly, independent little boy.  And you are ours!  Happy 11 month birthday little Henry Doodle!! 

Henry climbed into his toy basket, to get the Wii steering wheel and remote.  Henry makes engine sounds when he runs cars, and was making it in the basket!

Sweet boy!  

Spirit Week 2013

Oh yeah!  The craziest week at BDS was last week.  We weren't so good about taking photos this year, the rush out the door just got the better of us. But here are a few "funnies" from the week!

Hat day!  The teachers went gansta a bit, to do a dance off with the students.

"Go Bruins!"

Wacky tacky day.  Brant had on baseball pants and mis matched socks.  I was an eyesore, complete with camo hat with a big blue flower!

And the team day!  All Phillied out, including Henry (who is, yes, still wearing Christmas jammies.  They still fit so he's still wearing them!)
PJ day escaped us, but it's always a great way to wrap up the week!  As did blue and white day.  But it was fun, with Henry's first Bruins basketball game thrown in the mix.

Brant's first space derby

When we started scouting, the boys all talked about the Space Derby.  Not quite knowing what it was, we went into it, fueled by YouTube videos and web searches.  Brant and Daddy worked hard on their rockets, Daddy made one too!  

The day of the Space Derby we had some winter weather, so it was postponed to the following Monday night.  We blasted off in Cub Scout style, and all appreciated the dry run for the upcoming Pinewood Derby. 

Daddy and Brant, before the race

Daddy was in charge of loading the rockets onto the line

Unloading his rocket after the first heat

We downloaded a program that helps keep the racers straight, and score them.  It was confusing.  And loud.  and confusing.  

But the boys had a blast (admidst various finger boo boos from propellers).
While Brantley didn't place in the top three, he did come fourth.  Not bad for our first year!