the homepage of gregory and ann kline

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Chocolate the Bear

Marcus had a school project he participated in recently. Each student got (or will get) the opportunity to bring home the class bear, Chocolate, to take care of for a weekend. Chocolate has his own backpack filled with clothes, diapers, toys, a bottle, and even a toothbrush. Chocolate also comes with his very own journal to record his (real or imagined) adventures. The students can narrate what they did with Chocolate over the weekend and have an adult write it in the book. Come Monday morning, they get to tell class about all the fun they had with Chocolate. Marcus LOVED the responsibility of showing Chocolate a good time. He cried when it was time to take Chocolate back to school. There were a few arguments as we tried to explain to Will that Chocolate was Marcus's friend to take care of. Our dog also showed great interest in being Chocolate's friend and tried to cuddle with him every chance she could get. Along with some words describing the good time Marcus had with Chocolate, we also included some pictures. Here is Chocolate's adventure at our house, as told by Marcus (with a little help from me).

Friday - I brought Chocolate home from school today. I played with Chocolate. My brother Will and my dog Maya played with Chocolate too.

I went to the park to play with Sophia but Chocolate stayed at home. Chocolate had just brushed his teeth and put on pj's and didn't want to get dirty. When I got back I took a nap, and Chocolate napped by my bed. Chocolate played with toys after nap and ate pork and milk for dinner. I rode my bike with Chocolate. We wore helmets to be safe.

Saturday - Chocolate got a good night sleep last night. Chocolate almost had to go to timeout this morning. He was standing too close to the TV and wouldn't move when asked. I watched "Blues Clues" with Chocolate. I played outside with Chocolate. I went on the slide with him. I rode my bike with him. After lunch I did my chores. Chocolate didn't help me vacuum because he doesn't have thumbs but he still helped. I played with stickers but they were too sticky for Chocolate. I went shopping with Chocolate and we bought toys and planes and costumes and race cars and race car tracks. We were tired and took a nap. For dinner today Chocolate drank milk from a bottle. Before bed we played Hide & Seek. Chocolate hid in the footstool!

Sunday - I went to the park with Chocolate today.

Chocolate slid with me. I pushed him a swing really high.

I didn't brush Chocolate's teeth so I had to remember to brush after dinner. Chocolate watched a squirrel in a tree today. Chocolate watched the Steelers today. Tomorrow I'm taking Chocolate back to school. I'm going to miss Chocolate. He's my friend. I love him.



Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Stupid Questions

All through school, I had teachers tell the class over and over again, "There are no stupid questions." Apparently those teachers were never around preschoolers. Or at least my preschoolers since I don't want to point fingers at every kid. One question I get at least 73 times a day is, "What are you doing?" Sometimes, this is a very logical question - like once a day. The other 72 times, it can certainly be classified as a stupid question. As much as I hate to use the word stupid, really, it is a stupid question. Like when I am going to the bathroom or cooking dinner or letting the dog outside and I hear, "What are you doing?" and we all know that the kid asking the question knows very well what I am doing.

We have tried out several tactics to answer this question over the past year since this question became so prominent. Sometimes we just answer. Sometimes we ask back, "What do you think I am doing?" This of course gets an answer that confirms that the kid asking the question most certainly knows what we are doing. Our favorite answer is to just make up some random thing. What are you doing? Shoeing a horse. What are you doing? Dancing the mambo. What are you doing? Camping in South America.

This has been going on long enough, apparently Marcus is picking up on the game. This morning I was sitting at the table eating breakfast with my kids. I had a mouthful of cereal as the thing I was doing at that moment was eating cereal. Will asked, "Mommy, what are you doing?" Before I had a chance to swallow and answer him with some ludicrous statement, Marcus blurted out without missing a beat (and sounding rather frustrated that Will did not immediately realize what I was up to), "She's cleaning a lion, Will."


Monday, September 20, 2010

Twin Babies in Twin Bellies

Greg's mom snapped this amazing photo of what twins in a belly - or two - look like back on Labor Day.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

In the Words of Will, "We Working Guys!"


Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Babies

Greg and I headed off on a date the other night. A romantic night on the town? A movie? A concert? Nope. We went to Magee to have anatomy scans (ultrasounds) done on both these little babies. The two of us don't go out alone that often so it was about as close to a date as we get.

We sat and stared at a fuzzy black and white TV for a couple of hours. I had to take a few breaks since I was stuck laying on a table in one position all that time and it got rather old. Heart rates were measured. Bones were measured. Heads and placentas were measured. Various organs were inspected. Even the babies upper lips and noses were checked to see if there were any abnormalities. The end result was a clean bill of health for both these little babies.

And we just couldn't resist the pull of curiosity to find out just what gender these two little people are. We were both in shock when it became quite clear that Marcus and Will will be getting two new brothers! Neither Greg nor I were feeling strongly about the genders of these new kiddos but figured odds were there had to be at least one girl in there. Team blue all the way! Even Marcus was surprised and told us that he thought there would be one girl and one boy.

Greg and I headed off for a dinner out on the town since an ultrasound really wasn't a proper date. During dinner and the car ride, we came up with all kinds of reasons why being the parents of four boys is just perfect for our lifestyle.

1. With a three bedroom house, we can easily have two boys each in each of the two extra bedrooms. Since they are all boys, we can even put Marcus in a bedroom with one of the babies (when the babies get older) and Will in a room with the other.

2. We have A LOT of boy clothes already. Or at least some from 6-12 months and A LOT from 12 months up.

3. Both Greg and I are way more into dump trucks and sporting events than we are into princesses and tap dancing.

4. We never have to pay for a wedding!

5. With a girl, you have to worry about all the boys in the whole world. Now we only have to worry about four boys.

The shock of it all is slowly wearing off. I woke up the morning after the ultrasound and the first thought in my mind was, "Wow, two more boys." I've gotten all sorts of comments - anything from laughing at me to encouraging me. I have to say the best comment was from a mother in a playgroup that I attend who told me that with four boys, I'll be headed straight to heaven!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

From the Mouth of a 3-Year Old

I overheard Will making a phone call on his pretend cell phone last week. It was a short call to Bill (whoever that is) that sounded like this:

"Hello?...Oh, Bill...No! I said POLKA DOTS! Goodbye."


Saturday, September 11, 2010

August, In Summery

I didn't do so great at blogging about a few August events back in August. So here they are now.

August was a hot one. I spent a lot of time enjoying the a/c in our house since I just couldn't take the heat. My mom was over a lot playing with the boys. Often times my niece and nephew were here too. All the cousins had a great time together, particularly the day we got out the Slip & Slide!

Will wasn't so sure about getting his head wet at first. It was really quite amazing the length he would go to in order to achieve a dry head.

Pretty soon the heat was getting to him, as well as the peer pressure from the rest of the kids, and he was ready to dive in head first.

As usual, Marcus was a bit of an out of control wild man, having a great time!

Also last month, we finally got Will out of his crib. After lots of encouragement and Will demonstrating great bedtime behavior, he earned his way into the firetruck bed that has been hanging out in the attic.

He was pretty excited! However, by the end of August, he managed to earn his way back into a crib. Instead of sleeping, he was spending his time standing on the firetruck bed and launching himself in haphazard directions. He suffered a pretty nasty bruise on his face at one point but even that didn't persuade him back into proper nighttime behavior. In the end it was decided that it just wasn't safe for Will to be in the firetruck bed. The firetruck bed is back in the attic and Will is back in the crib and a plan B to get him out of that crib is very slowly in the works.

We attended the annual GPAFG picnic again this year. It was a great opportunity to visit with other families in the area who have adopted from Guatemala. The picnic was great, apart from the fact that it was probably the hottest, most humid day of the year that day. The families were all huddled together in the shady areas. Even the kids spent minimal time running and enjoying the playground and maximum time soaking up the shade. Along with meeting new families, we also got to see some of the kids we have gotten to know over the years like this little bunch:

Finally, on an August day when it was not quite as steaming hot, my mom took all her grandkids mini golfing. (I went along to sit in the shade and keep score.) Marcus and Will had only tried mini golf one other time two years ago, so it was pretty new to them. Everyone had a great time!


Friday, September 10, 2010

From the Mouth of a 4-Year Old

I just love the random things that come out of my kids' mouths. Such as this little tidbit from Marcus on the way to preschool this morning:

"Mommy. I have to tell you two things. First, I love God. Second, I'm not saying 'shopping cart' anymore. I'm saying 'buggy'."


Saturday, September 04, 2010

My Boy Jenny

It all started a few weeks ago when the phone rang during dinner. I glanced over at the caller ID and determined that it wasn't a call worth answering. Marcus asked if I was going to answer it and I said, "Why, is it for you?" He said, "No."

Then from across the table Will said, "It's for me. It's Jenny."

Jenny? We don't know anyone named Jenny. "Who's Jenny?"

"It's Jenny. He's my boy."

And just like that, Jenny became an important part of our lives. Will tells us about his boy Jenny all the time. Jenny has been through a lot. Jenny even had to go to the hospital at one point to get a black band-aid after a girl pushed him down while playing soccer. There are other days when Will has nothing to report on Jenny, telling us only that he didn't see Jenny because he lives "way far away".

When we were gearing up for that first day of school, Will changed his mind often whether school was something he wanted to do or something to be dreaded. Then we told Will that we heard that Jenny was going to be at school. He couldn't wait. After that first day I asked him if he played with his boy Jenny. "I see Jenny. He my boy. Jenny is really cool!"

The best news is that even though no one else around here has ever met Jenny or knows what he looks like or where he lives, we can get a hold of Jenny any time we need to. Just call 867-5309!


Thursday, September 02, 2010

Will's First Day of School

It was a BIG day for my little guy today. Will started preschool! Technically it was just orientation day where he got to check out the classroom, meet the teachers, meet some classmates, and enjoy the experience of being left in the classroom without a parent for a short time. Official first day isn't until next Tuesday but don't tell Will that!

Will is familiar with the school, classroom, and teachers since he went along to drop off and pick up Marcus last year. We talked all summer long about how he was going to go to school but Will kept telling us, "It's not my school yet. It's Marcus's school." The poor kid was in denial. As today approached, Will went from telling us how excited he was to get to go to school one minute to telling us that he didn't want to go the next. Needless to say, I had no idea how today would go.

Getting out of the house was rough, but that really was no surprise. Getting Will motivated to get out of the house in a timely manner is always a bit rough. We did manage to squeeze in the official first day of school photo. Will loved being the center of attention and Marcus was being an awesome big brother, lined up with Grammy and me with his own camera taking pictures of Will.

Once we got out of the garage, it was smooth rolling. Marcus had other plans for the day so Will could have no distractions from a sibling for his special first day of school. The school was set up so cute and Will couldn't wait to check it all out.

As soon as we entered the classroom, the head teacher said hello to Will and took him off to find where to hang up his backpack. Will was happy to go along and it was quickly clear that Will was more than ready to start school and a life independent of his family life. We had talked about the different toys that Will would get to play with at school. Will had been saying he wanted to play with the tools so when I finally located Will, we located the tools.

And that is where Will stayed for the next 30 minutes. I wondered off to talk to some other parents and listened to the teacher talk a little about what Will would be doing in the classroom this year. Then I told Will I was going to leave for a little bit and would see him soon. He let out a bit of a whiny, "Why??" A hug and a kiss and I was gone. Will of course, was completely fine. Oddly, I was too. Didn't even feel a tear coming on. Things are so different the second time around.

I went to a little meeting with the school director for about 20 minutes and headed back to the classroom. I found Will happily playing with some blocks and announcing to whoever would listen, "I building!" As soon as he saw me he said, "I having so much fun, Mommy!" Here's to hoping to all goes so well and no one cries (particularly me) on his first full day next week!

Marcus had his first day/orientation yesterday. He did the preschool thing last year so he was a pro at the school thing. He was so excited that he had his backpack and was ready to head out the door two hours before we needed to be there. This year Marcus gets to take a lunch box on Fridays with his snack packed inside. He picked out his snack tonight and helped me pack it up. Then danced around the house chanting, "I'm going to school tomorrow! I'm going to school tomorrow!"