Thursday, July 05, 2007

Independence Day

One of Michael's biggest pet peeves is that most Americans refer to Independence Day as the Fourth of July! He thinks we are all too PC and will next be referring to Christmas as the Twenty-Fifth of December. Anyway that is all beside the point, but at our house it is Independence Day.

We had a big day planned. And had done lots of prep work for it. We had bought decorations for the bikes and stroller. I had made special hats for the big kids to wear. I was sure after so much planning ahead and work the festivities would all be canceled.

Luckily the rain held off for at least part of it. We went to Grandma and Grandpa's neighborhood for a parade. After the parade there was snow cones, face painting, moonwalk, cakewalk and popcorn! Oh and I forgot to mention the all important Bike Decorating Contest! Rehm has been obsessed with it for weeks!

Rehm made it around the whole block on his bike with no help. Grandma pushed the twins in their stroller and Michael and I helped Charlotte on her big girl bike. The rain started about 15 minutes after the parade was done. There were a few downpours but mostly sprinkles. After about an hour we called it quits and headed for Grandma and Grandpa's. Rehm rode his bike the whole way - about 1/2 mile. He was so proud of himself.

Later in the day our dear friends came over with their two kids. We had a great time visiting and I enjoyed getting to hold a teeny baby - Liam is 8 weeks old.

The fireworks were unfortunately canceled but the good news is they were resceduled for Labor Day. So we will get to see them then.

I hope everyone else enjoyed their Independence Day as much as our family did.

PS All of our Independence Day pictures can be seen here.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Bike Riding

Rehm has been practicing his bike riding for the last month or so. This weekend the training wheels came off for good. We officially have a big kid.

Charlotte of course could not be left behind and has upgraded from her little kid trike to a big kid bike with training wheels.

Now they will both be ready to ride in the Independence Day parade, assuming it isn't rained out. Unfortunately there is a 90% chance of rain. Of course we spent the afternoon decorating the kids bikes and stroller for the parade. And this is the first year we have actually been prepared for the parade and not been scrambling in the craft drawer at 10 pm the night before trying to find anything that can be used for a bike decoration. We even made special hats for tomorrow. Cross your fingers we get to use them.


Monday, July 02, 2007


Well I did something today I never thought I would do. I gave Rehm sentences to write! Yep, I resorted to the dreaded punishment of sentences! How can it be?

Well, it all started on the way home from the gym this morning. I informed Rehm that there was a good chance it would rain on Independence Day and we might not get to participate in the little neighborhood parade or watch fireworks. He lost it! He was furious and somehow he decided that it was all Charlotte's fault! He kept saying "It's all your fault Charlotte!" in a really disdainful voice. (He uses this tone with her frequently these days and we are trying our best to stop it but have yet to figure out how.)

Apparently in his mind because Charlotte has been praying that the rain stop God is going to have to make it rain on Independence Day. So it is all Charlotte's fault and she is making it rain on Independence Day. After several minutes of this I told him if I heard it was Charlotte's fault anymore he would get 10 minutes of Room Time each time he said it. After earning an hour of room time I resorted to sentences.

I sent him to room time with a notebook and pencil and this sentence. "Charlotte has done nothing wrong." He had to write it ten times before he could have any tv, computer, game, bike riding, etc privileges. At the end of his hour of room time he had written nothing. So we had lunch. Then he wrote five of his sentences and had a break where he entertained himself with various drawing and made up games.

Then Charlotte and I went outside to ride bikes and "Oh, Bummer" Rehm couldn't come out until he finished those dreaded sentences. We were outside for an hour. He spent the hour standing at the windows by the front door crying. "He understands, we don't like him he is just the worker man. He only gets to work." "Mom, you told me you would never leave me in the house alone!" "Mom, you and Charlotte don't like me!" He finished 3 more. We came in because the babies woke up from their naps. Now he is screaming "You don't appreciate me! I'm under appreciated!" "Charlotte and Mommy hate me!" Charlotte is watching TV. Rehm had to leave the room because "Oh, Bummer" he doesn't have TV privileges until he gets his sentences done.

I have explained to him multiple times that it is his choice to not be riding his bike, watching TV, etc. He has had plenty of time to complete the task but he keeps choosing to complain instead of actually doing it. Oh, bummer! Hopefully it will sink in soon.

I'm not sure that I've accomplished my original goal of having him talk nicer to Charlotte. But I think I've at least made him understand there are consequences to what he says and how he says it.

Charlotte has done nothing wrong!