Monday, March 11, 2013

No TV At Dinner

A few weeks ago I decided to make it a rule that we would not watch TV at dinner. I hated that we watched TV, but what brought me over the edge was that AJ just didn't eat. He was so involved in the show that he took an hour to eat. And I kept threatening to turn off the TV, and never did. Finally, one day I had enough. I was done. I think it was one of the best decisions I've made in a while!

The first few days he wasn't thrilled by it. He'd ask if we could watch TV and I said no. He didn't freak out, but still asked. However, lately, he doesn't even ask. Nor does he care. He gets to watch a short show (25 mins or so) while I make dinner after we get home. I am ok with this because I assume he's been on the go all day long with other kids and needs to wind down. And let's face it, I need some time to get unpacked from the day, put in a load of laundry, get out of work clothes and get dinner started.

Then, I get dinner on the table and shut off the TV. There is no discussion about this, it just happens. We sit together and we just talk. About all kinds of things. Usually it starts with his day. Today, being a Monday, I asked if he has a job at school. These get assigned on Mondays and he doesn't always have one. But today he did. He is the "book reader". That means he sits on a chair in the middle of his classroom in front of his friends and holds the book while they listen to it being read to them on tape. I loved it! I never knew they had this job. Sometimes he is the line leader, the snack helper (for some reason this is his favorite), the bell ringer or the door holder. I started asking him who had the other jobs and he forgot. No big deal. Then he asks me if I found the picture he drew today in this folder. I remember getting it, but had no idea what it was. He said it was a volcano. I brought it to the table and had him tell me about it. I asked him which one was it? Was it Mount St. Helen's or Mt. Vesuvius, I said. He told me with great certainty, that it was Mount St. Helen's. I told him how cool it was and did he remember that it is in the state of Washington? He said he did remember and reminded me that Washington is where Grandma's friends live. It too me a second to remember who he was talking about and then it occurred to me that Grandmas friends are actually Grandma's Aunts, Connie and Skip! How did he remember this, I asked?! He said, "I don't know, I just did".

This lead us to a discussion about our family and how we all fit together. He then brought up our cousin Michael - who happens to be in jail, which AJ is very interested in hearing about. He wants to go visit him ("I've never been to a jail mom!")  Then he asked about our cousin John who died in a motorcycle accident. He wanted to know all the details of that accident. I don't think he got the seriousness of this until I explained to him that Johns daughter Emily didn't have a daddy anymore. I explained to him about Pop's sisters. Sharon who had died in her late 70's ("That's the oldest number ever!") and our crazy Aunt Joan who he has met. I made him promise never to tell her we call her that, but he can tell Matt, Pop and Grandma! (haha! I don't think she reads this blog). We talked about Sharon's other kids, Richard and Tom and how Tom works at Walmart (which he thinks is so cool!) and how Richard and Matt used to play guitar together (also very cool).

We looked at pictures of every family member we could find on Facebook (Tom, Kathleen, Nicole, Megan, Christina, Frances, Michael, Sharon, Joan, Emily) and I kept telling him who belongs to who. Then, after dinner I'm not sure how this conversation started but we talked about when he gets married and has babies and what he would name his babies. He couldn't think of a boy name, but his daughter will be called Sarah. He giggled big time when I said I would have been named Steven as a boy and that he was going to be Julia had he been a girl :) He wants to know more, but I think we have to ask Grandma some questions when we see her in a few weeks.  It was such a neat 30 minute conversation. I am thrilled that he is so interested and remembers so much. He is the one who started this whole conversation...All because we weren't watching TV :)

Much more of this conversation to be had. Lots more family to talk about!

Another Amazing Ski Day!

AJ and I had an AMAZING ski day yesterday! I know I say this every time, but he just keeps getting better each time we go! This time we decided to bypass the small mountain and head to the big one. The lines are too long over on the smaller side (it's more of a beginner mountain) and he gets down the mountain so fast, we end up waiting in long lines most the day. The ONLY problem with this is now we park in the bigger parking lot which means I get to carry 2 pairs of skis and boots, 2 bags and also make sure that AJ gets through the parking lot safely.

I'm so happy to say that AJ officially does not need his Racer Chaser (harness) anymore! He can ski ALL BY HIMSELF! The only thing I use it for is to help him off the lift safely and also to pick him up when he falls. Otherwise, he's skiing! We had such a great time yesterday. He fell a lot more, but that's to be expected since we were on much bigger runs.

We stayed on Chair 2 a bunch, then cut over to Chair 6 which took us up REALLY high to this beautiful area that was so quiet and full of fresh powder. It was amazing!

Us on the lift.. SUCH a beautiful day!

Here are a few videos of him skiing :)

This one is awesome. Before this, he and I both went off this little whoop de do. And he landed it perfectly and loved it! Of course, I didn't have my camera out... But I found another and he wanted to try it. This is what happened...