To keep Ethan from forgetting everything he learned in 1st grade we're doing "home school" most week nights. One thing he has to do is write three sentences in his journal NEATLY. Tonight he wrote:
I love my mom and dad beyond the world. Hi I'm Ethan and I'm on your side. I love Arianna so much.
Tony told me: "That first sentence is sure a lot better than last week when he hated me so much that God was his only father. He had no father on this earth." Ethan shared that sentiment after a baseball game when Tony got mad at him for not paying attention.
Ethan loves to sing and he has a good voice, at least I think he does. He frequently makes up his own tunes and lyrics. Last weekend I had a notepad next to me so I hurriedly wrote down the lyrics to the song he was making up. He often makes up songs about life, God, love, wisdom, mercy, etc.
Life is not bigger than love
You can not blow it away
Love is your father (or maybe "far thing" i couldn't tell)
If you know what it means
Life is bigger than your brain
Life is bigger than your heart
God is important
Life is important
Just need someone to live with
Love is better than anything in the world
Life is what you need
Life is what is in your soul
Life is what you need to breathe
Life is what you need to live
And the tune he made up with this was so catchy -- pretty hard rock, his favorite -- but catchy nonetheless.
Ethan came home from school last Friday and said "Mom? Have you ever seen a show about a dad who is kind of mean and blows a whistle at his kids but there's a nice lady who comes to live with them and sing. And at the beginning she's in a church and they sing a super sad song?"
My heart went pitter pat -- he has been watching THE SOUND OF MUSIC in music class 3 days a week. Last night he made me sing "do re mi" and "my favorite things" over and over. And right now we're WATCHING it for a bed time treat. He could not believe that I actually own it.
I was just getting back in the habit of posting on here and then I got distracted by Facebook. But now I'm trying to be back.
Ethan, my precious little geek, will wear these goggles every second we're at the pool. Even when he's not in the water. He did this last summer and he did it all day today. He will end up with huge racoon eyes because of it. Like our neighbor Katie said though, geeks are the best guys. And I know this is true, because Tony is the biggest geek of all and the best guy I know.
For the last month Ethan has been telling me the first thing he was going to do was jump off the board and wink at the lifeguard while saying "hello hot lady." He's all talk. Thank goodness. He didn't even seem to notice the life guards. He didn't even seem to notice the little girls his age who called out his name when we arrived. He was so focused on getting in the water and playing with his new water guns that he could have cared less who else was even at the pool.
I was on my way to OHare this afternoon and my car stalled out on me. I had to have it towed and missed my flight. Talked to the vendor I was supposed to visit and they said they'd just reschedule me to the next session. Ethan is elated. The car doesn't seem to be too bad -- the dealer thinks we got some bad gas.
Here's something I've been meaning to post but haven't had time to get to. It's a precious creative writing project Ethan did at school for Mother's Day. I'll translate his writing below.
Isn't that just so precious. My favorite is T - Together we love each other. Yes, we certainly do.
I have to go to San Jose for three days for work. I leave this afternoon and come back Wednesday night. It isn't long at all but I really don't want to go. I told Ethan yesterday morning that I was going to California on a plane and would be gone for 2 nights. He said "well we have to snuggle really big tonight".
And we did. We all 3 watched Marley & Me in our bed -- except the end which would have been WAY WAY too sad for Ethan.
This morning he came into our bed around 6 a.m. and we snuggled some more. I got to drive him to school this morning which was a big treat for him because Tony usually does it. He made sure to remind me to wake him up when I get home on Wednesday and that he'd be in bed with Dad waiting for me. Such a little planner.
I got home from a meeting last night just in time to watch the last 30 minutes of the Grey's Anatomy finale. Ethan likes to watch Grey's Anatomy with me. I feel a little guilty letting him watch it because of all the blood and gore but as long as I'm there to explain it to him I think its okay...at least that's how I justify it to myself. Anyway, in one scene last night Dr. Grey and Derrick kissed.
Ethan says to me: "I know how people kiss. They wrap their tongues around each other and then unwrap. Like this"... then he shows me his hands and tells me to pretend his thumbs are the two tongues and he wraps them together and then unwraps them.
Me: (quite shocked) Where did you learn that?
Ethan: I just figured it out.
Me: (trying to instill values appropriate for a seven year old) Well, I think some married people do probably kiss like that.
This comes on the heels of last Sunday when he was watching the cartoon movie Sinbad upstairs by himself. I came up to check on him and he told me there was a girl on the movie who was SO hot and she made him feel all google-y. He then asked me if I could leave so he could have some privacy! and he said it like that even... "so I can have some privacy". First I made him show me this hot girl. She was the villain in the movie. She had an hour glass figure, was a giant, had mean gold eyes, and huge long black hair.
I gave Ethan his privacy and went downstairs and told Tony. He flipped from a basketball game so he too could see the type of girl Ethan thinks is "hot". I told Tony that I hoped this didn't mean Ethan was going to marry someone mean and dominating. Tony, in all seriousness added "or a cartoon character."
Right. I guess I was over-analyzing.
I'm having a hard time getting back in the groove of blogging regularly. Lots of things have happened to write about but after working all day and spending some quality time with Ethan and Tony I'm not in the mood to stop and write here.
Let's see. Last weekend was Mother's Day and Ethan made me several adorable things at school including a cute little writing project where he gushed about how wonderful he thinks I am. I hope he still thinks so when he is 13! Tony is almost done with the semester. His last final, Arabic II, is due next Sunday and then he has a break until summer school starts. Ethan is playing baseball and is starting to get the hang of it. It's his first season of real (not t-ball) baseball. His first game was Monday night and he got a hit but ended up getting out on second base. He still felt good about it though.
Tony went to Kansas City last weekend for his 25th high school class reunion and Ethan and I went to Mahomet. We all had good times. Ethan especially had fun playing basketball with Luke and Matt in Grandma and Grandpa's driveway. He did a great job of guarding Matt and making baskets. Ethan missed Tony terribly last Thursday night. The two of us were still at home and Tony had just gotten to Kansas City. Ethan left him three tearful messages telling him to come home right.now. because he missed him sooo much and loved him sooo much. Thankfully Tony called back before Ethan fell asleep and they had a good talk.
He used the whole "I miss my Dad" thing to con Grandma Jean into buying him six new bakugan's over the weekend. That was probably his favorite part of the trip.
In first grade they have quizes sometimes to see if the kids can figure out the meaning of "robust" words from the context of the sentence its in. Ethan usually knows them and when he doesn't? He's thrilled to learn new ones. There are three robust words he's been using a lot the last few days. I don't know if he learned them at school or on Spongebob Squarepants. They are:
Ethan & I were laying in his bed talking/trying to get him to sleep. We had a little conversation I had a little lecture from Ethan about how he thinks I spend too much time with Tony rather than him. (i spend about 5 minutes a day MAX alone with Tony and the rest with Ethan or Ethan and Tony!). He was in a mood to argue so this conversation happened next...
Ethan: EEEWWWW, your breath smells (i was surprised he didn't find a way to use "stench").
Me: Okay. I'll turn the other way.
Ethan: No, you can turn by me.
Me: (laying on my back with my face up) Alright. How's this baby?"
Ethan: YOU can't talk like a hot girl. Only hot girls say that! (I still don't know what he was talking about...maybe calling him "baby")
Me: Are you saying I'm not hot?
Ethan: Oh that is JUST HIDEOUS. No you're not hot!
Me: (wanting to keep this going) Why can't I be hot.
Ethan: Fat people can't be hot.
Me: Are you saying I'm fat?
Ethan: (pauses) Well, no. You're medium but you're still NOT hot.
Me: Daddy thinks I'm hot.
Ethan: That is just hideous. He does not!
Me: I think he does. He thinks I'm a little bit hot.
Ethan: You are being hideous! You are not hot. You are just an ordinary wife.
Me: Daddy thinks I"m more than just an ordinary wife.
Ethan: (getting even more frustrated now). HE DOES NOT. That is just hideous to say. You are an ordinary wife who who takes really good care of me and does jobs. That's all.
Me: Well I think ordinary is hideous.
Ethan: THAT's IT! Now you're marking my words! (he meant mocking).
Me: No I'm not.
Ethan: Can we just go to sleep now?
All the arguing wore him out. He fell right to sleep.
Starting about a week ago we started Home Schooling. I'm not sure how Ethan even knows about home schooling, but he does. He has told me that when he has children he is going to home school them. After our parent teacher conference I decided we'd "play school" a little each night. He has decided to call this Home School and, so far, he really likes it. We do the homework he brings home (usually one math worksheet and 2 stories to read), then we write three sentences about something and then we take a spelling test. After that we play Simon Says and then he stands at attention for 30 seconds without moving, getting the giggles, or talking. He's getting so good at "attention" that tonight he asked to do 40 seconds.
He came home today just beaming because Mrs. Turner (asst teacher) patted him on the back and told him what a great day he had.
Anyway, he wanted to have Family Dance Night. We do this once in awhile. One of my all time favorite things is to watch Ethan dance...because he is REALLY good at it. Tony and I just barely dance because we're so busy wathcing Ethan just boogy-ing away. We just can't help but smile to see how full of happiness he is while he's dancing. He especially likes to dance with Tony. He uses Tony as a prop and basically does circus-like acrobat tricks on him to the beat of the music.
I hope he always remembers his Family Dance Nights. And I hope Tony and I remember them too.
Ethan made his own bluetooth today out of legos. He thinks he is way cool. Neither Tony or I have one but he certainly knows exactly what it should look like.
See that serious expression on his face? He was demonstrating listening to his friend Nick on the other end of the pretend line. He calls this his Taxer because he can use to "tax" (aka text) his friends. He can also use it to talk to them or just listen to music. It's quite a complex invention.
I took the day off yesterday and spent it with Ethan while Tony finished a draft of his masters thesis to be turned in. E and I rean a couple of errands and then went to my office for about an hour. While I worked he drew pictures of the characters from Monsters vs. Aliens. He had only seen the commercials but he knew every character and their name. One was called Dr. Cockroach PhD. Here he is:
When he showed me the drawing of Dr. Cockroach, PhD I said "Hey! What a coincidence. Daddy is working on getting a PhD someday."
Ethan: What is a phD?
Me: It's something really smart people get when they go to college for lots of years.
Ethan: Well I'm a PhD 'cause I'm really smart.
(We went to see Monsters vs. Aliens after we left my office. I thought it was "ok" as far a kids movies go but Ethan LOVED it. The 3D effects were very good.)
This comes after a conversation we had a couple of nights ago:
Ethan: Nick and Bryce are my best friends. I'm the smart one. Bryce is the funny one. And Nick is the cool one. Kind of like on the Chipmunks. Nick is Alvin. I'm Simon. And Bryce is Theodore.
This cracks me up. Ethan is smart but not since he doesn't really pay attention in class he really can't be classified as "gifted" or anything. Yet, he obviously things of himself as very intelligent - and I'm glad. He often reminds me that he is going to be a scientist because he is so smart.
Some Sundays Nick comes over bright and early because his Mom works and his Dad has a tennis match. Today was one of those days. Once it warmed up outside I suggested they go explore in the woods behind our house. It really isn't "woods" per se, especially right now when there are no leaves on the trees. I've never let Ethan go in the woods before because of poison ivy but this time of year its safe.
They had big fun. At first Ethan found it to be "too pokey" and stayed on the edge while Nick forged ahead. Once Nick found the first treasure though (a golf ball) Ethan hiked in as well. Here they are towards the top of the hill.
They found about three golf balls, one softball, a tennis ball, and five baseballs. Big fun!
Here's the entire "woods" from our back yard.
Tony bought a net for Ethan to practice pitching into last Friday so those baseballs will certainly come in handy this week.
Tonight we had the spring semester Parent Teacher conference at Ethan's school. He is very bright and tests very well. However, he doesn't pay attention in class. His teacher said he is very well behaved, he doesn't act out or talk to other kids, he just spaces out. When she is giving a lesson or giving instructions for an assignment it's like he's miles away. I saw this for the first time at baseball evaluations last weekend. When the coach would be talking and showing them how to do something E would just space out into his own world for awhile.
So...after the Parent Teacher conference Tony and I started working with Ethan at home to "play school". We told him to look out in the yard and write a story with at least two sentences about what he saw. At first he didn't see anything so we pointed out robins in the yard. He played along and was the perfect student telling us just what we wanted to hear. Our goal is to work on his ability to focus and pay attention even when the speaker isn't as stimulating as say Star Wars. Here is what he wrote:
Isn't that bird cute? I'm going to try to sew it. He drew me a larger one to help with that:
Last night before his shower Ethan was in our bathroom sitting on the toilet. Prior to that he'd heard me telling Tony about my Mom's cousin's husband who died (at age 93 -- which was a big deal to Ethan). I was laying on the bed reading and Tony was on the computer.
Ethan: Mo-om! (yelling)
Me: What Ethan?
Ethan: When I die you know what I want you to do?
Ethan: Just drag my body out behind Troy's shed. (Troy lives behind us).
Tony: (trying not to laugh)
Me: I would not drag your body behind Troy's shed.
Ethan: Well then you can carry my bones but that would be gross.
Me: I would never do that either. I would take care of you>
Ethan: Oh Yeah. Nevermind. You're going to die before me anyway.
And to think just days ago he was still traumatized by the thought of us dying. Not sure what brought this crazy attitude on.
Me: So what do you want for dinner tonight?
Ethan: My favorite, sushi.
Me: Sushi? I don't even know how to make sushi. You might have to help me.
Ethan: You know! That chicken on top of some rice. (that would be microwavable chicken tenders on rice).
Me: Oh yeah. Sushi it is.
I had an early meeting this morning and had to leave the house at 6:30 a.m. I told Ethan that last night and he said "but I'll miss you." He always says that and only half means it.
Tonight when we were driving home from Kids Stop I asked him if he missed me this morning and he said "No. I always remember you."
Last weekend when I was doing all my sewing and Tony was writing we watched The Game Plan, at least twice. It's a really sweet family movie. The main character is a famous football player played by Dwayne Johnson (the Rock). He's biracial like Ethan so I casually told Ethan that he looks like Dwayne Johnson. He said "I do not!" because as always he took me literally. I told him I meant that when he grew up he might look like him, that his mom was white and his Dad was black like me and Tony so he'd be a color like him.
Well, he sort of heard what he wanted to hear because now he's convinced that he will look like Dwayne Johnson, literally and at least once a day shows me how he's already getting big muscles. This is Dwayne Johnson:
Ethan has been kind of distraught because his children will have no uncles (or aunts but uncles seems to be the issue). Tony told him he would be his childrens' uncle and he told him that does not EVEN make any SENSE! i have to agree with him.
So Ethan told me he has a terrible life because he is the only kid in our family and his children will not have an uncle so he is going to live at his friends Nick's house so he can be Nick's brother and Nick will be his childrens' uncle.
Me: Okay. But I'm just not sure Mr. and Mrs. Slutsky know all about you enough to take good care of you.
Ethan: I will tell them. (counting on his fingers) I like Star Wars, I like to play with Legos, my favorite food is tacos,...
Me: You take a Signulair every night.
Ethan: Check. (putting up another finger)
Me: What about going to sleep?
Ethan: I'll tell them I go to bed at 8:30 (still counting...that's number 5).
Me: What about falling asleep? You like to fall asleep on my arm. I wonder if Nick's Mom has a good arm for falling asleep on.
Ethan: Rrrrrr (noise like "wrong answer" buzzer on a game show). I guess I'll stay here. I love you Mom.
Me: I think Jake, Luke, Matt and Anthany can be your childrens' uncles.
Ethan: Now that's what I call a rock n roll family.