#fridayswithsimon

A couple of years ago, Dave decided that his body wouldn’t allow him to handle the rough work of landscaping for the rest of his life. He knew he needed to come up with what his next career move should be, and decided to go back to school and get his MSW (Master’s of Social Work). After 2 years of hard work (and I mean hard work), he finished, graduated, and began a new job as a school social worker between two of the schools in our town.

Looking back on it now, it went really quickly. But it definitely didn’t feel that way at the time! When Dave started back to school, we had an idea that once he got back into a full-time, year-round paying job, I would finally be able to cut my hours back a bit and stay home with Simon before he goes off to kindergarten. Starting mid-January, we were able to do just that!

I stay home with Simon every Friday now. I love it! Even the days that I have a super grump on my hands (which is pretty rare). We get to do all kinds of fun things like meal planning, grocery shopping, cleaning the house… okay that stuff’s not quite as fun. We also hit up the children’s museum, the library, vet appointments for the lovable Gus, the playplace in town, and we usually have lunch and/or dessert with my grandpa every Friday. We both look forward to our Fridays all week long. And this summer, when Dave’s not working, we will have 3-day weekends all together – pumped!!

My goal is to take some of that time on my Fridays to get back into the blog thing. I miss having a journal of my life. Of the funny things the boys say and do. Pictures of these incredible people in my life. So here we go again!

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Cutest wookie ever!

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Napping with Pororo

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Lunch at school with Eze!

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Simon the drill guy

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Meat!

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UNO

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JJ lunch after Eze’s ortho appointment

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Relief

This weekend, the boys and I had quite an adventure. We were playing at a new friend’s house, and went down to check out their spring-fed pond. As the boys ran down the steep bank, I was close behind. I watched as they checked out the ice, when suddenly I saw Simon fall into a hole in the ice. Never have I run so fast in my life. Thankfully he caught himself by his armpits before going completely under the water, and our little friend held onto his hand as I slithered on my belly to pull him out of the water. My new friend and I worked together to scramble up the steep snowy bank, and get him changed into warm clothes. Just a few minutes later, swathed in warm clothes, Simon was happily playing with cars on the warm couch.

It wasn’t until I got home later yesterday afternoon that I was struck by how different the situation could have turned out. I found myself holding the boys a little tighter and longer than normal. Tonight, Simon fell asleep in 2.2 minutes. Totally unlike him, my little night owl. After a weekend like that, he was exhausted. I sat in his room, rocking in his chair, watching as he drifted off to sleep. So thankful and relieved that everything turned out well.

Love. Them.

Love. Them.

Family Sharing

Tonight, Ezekiel practiced and played football with his team, as he has done for the past 3 weeks. Tonight, he did great. He listened to his coaches, cheered on his teammates, and played hard for his team. He even scored a hilarious touchdown that my sister called the “taking-everyone-on-a-tour-of-the-field” play. He outran everyone as the running back to score his touchdown. Proud mama moments.

I got home from work tonight, and Dave told me that Simon shared a story in front of his whole daycare class today during his sharing time. It was this – “dis mohning, Ezekiel got in big twouboh (trouble) from Mommy. She got wully loud at him”. There are no secrets in the Ribar house. Not so proud mama moment. At least his teacher got a good laugh out of Simon’s choice of “sharing”.

This parenting business is not for the faint of heart.

Simon-isms

Simon is one funny little mister. He’s not the same kind of loud, physical comedian as his brother. He’s got his own kind of humor. Often, it’s his literal interpretation of something we’ve just said. He’s funny without even realizing it. One day, Dave said, “Simon, I’ve got a cup of milk with your name on it!” Simon took the cup from him, looked very closely at it, and said (with complete sincerity), “Daddy, I don’t see my name on dis cup!”

He is very deliberate with his speech. People are often astounded at the extent of his vocabulary. Every once in a while, he will have a funny way of saying words. I never correct him, because I love those little words. He calls pancakes “pampakes”. He calls porta-potties “toila-potties”. Adorbs.

Today, Dave took the boys on a hiking adventure by the river in our town. They saw a man hiking, and stopped to chat with him. When they finished chatting, Simon called back, “See you later! It was nice to meet you, Mr. Pat!” And today at church, there was a man talking with us and asked Simon when his birthday is. Simon finished answering and said, “And what about when your birthday is?!” He is so sweet, and interested in others. I love watching this boy live life.

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Firefighter Simon!

Every Day is an Adventure

Today was another crazy day in the Ribar house. I picked up the boys today, and soon after we were home, Simon came to me in the kitchen and said, “Mama? Der is a rock in my ear”.

Let’s back this up a couple of weeks. One Saturday morning in August, we were enjoying a relaxing morning at home. Suddenly Ezekiel comes upstairs from where he and Simon were playing to tattle on his little brother. He told me, “Mooo-ooom, Simon stuck a bead up his nose”. I came downstairs to a sheepish-looking Simon. I looked up his nose, and sure enough, there was a purple perler bead stuck up his nose. (Those beads you can melt to create cool shapes).

Dave and I tried everything we could think of to get the bead out of Simon’s nose – tweezers, blowing into a Kleenex. I even googled it, and found someone who had duct-taped the tube of a pen to the end of a vacuum hose. We gave it a try, but Simon wouldn’t stop moving and sobbing through that ordeal, plus with the hole in the bead, it wasn’t getting sucked out of there.

I took him into our local urgent care/ER, where the staff there were able to use a longer tweezers, positioned his head just right and pulled the bead out. The NP had a talk with him about not sticking objects in his nose or ears.

Rewind three more months. I got a call from daycare and had to leave work to pick up Simon. Why? He had stuck 4-5 tiny pebbles in his ear. During nap time. He brushed his hand along the floor, felt the pebbles and decided the best place for those rocks was in his ears. Thankfully, those came out on their own without having to go to the doctor.

Fast forward back to this afternoon. I sternly told him, “Simon Seul-gi, you better be kidding. There better not be a rock in your ear!” He started crying. I put my phone on flashlight mode, and sure enough, there was a tiny pebble stuck down in his ear.

I didn’t dare try to get it out with a tweezers or anything, for fear of pushing it in further. Thankfully, the handy dandy pen-tube-vacuum-hose contraption was still in the closet. I got it out and told Simon to stay still. After a nervous giggle and a stern reminder to stay still, I stuck the contraption over his ear hole. A minute later, I heard a clink, and the rock was out of his ear. Thank God. We did not need another bill for these kinds of shenanigans!

But wait. That wasn’t the end of our exciting day. Just a few minutes ago, I heard Ezekiel stumbling around downstairs. I went down to check on him and walked into his room. He wasn’t in his bed. I looked over and saw him with his shorts pulled down, peeing into one of his toy drawers. Fast asleep. I couldn’t stop laughing and groaning at the thought of having to clean the puddles out of that drawer.

Every day is an adventure.

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Goofball pretending to sleep at the Urgent Care

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The object sucker contraption. Duct taped on with Avengers duct tape. Boy house.

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Crazy Eze lost more teeth!

This Guy

Aaargh matey

Aaargh matey

Today was a big day for the awesome Dave. He submitted his first essay for his first grad class this morning. He laughed as he told me it didn’t feel real, because the last time he turned in a paper, it was on actual paper. Many years ago. And submitting a paper electronically just doesn’t feel real. I love that old guy.

The even bigger news of the day?? Dave found out that he received a grant that he applied for – the Child Welfare grant for students pursuing a Master’s in Social Work, with a goal of working in Public Child Welfare after graduation. AND he was offered a grad assistantship in the Social Work office of his university. He worked so hard to get all of the applications and essays in for these – and his hard work totally paid off. I am so proud of him!

This means that Dave won’t have to take out any additional student loans for his MSW. Woo hoo!! This guy rocks.

Si guy

I was scolded last week for not keeping up with the blog for Simon like I did for Ezekiel. I know one of these days I will look back and wish I’d done much more. So I’m forgoing the normal bedtime tonight to record some Simon-isms.

This kid is dang funny. Lately, when he has an idea, he will say, “I have an indee-ah!!” And 80% of the time he runs off to find a “tool” so he can help us do something.

This boy is still a Daddy guy through and through. When Dave is working on landscaping, or working out in the garage, Simon will come and ask where his “work gloves” are. And then we will find his red, white and blue mittens from Gran, and he will put them on and work hard with his daddy. The look on his face when Dave tells him he’s a hard worker and a good worker is adorable. He’s so proud.

He is only waking up in an utterly grumpy mood 80% of the time these days!! There was one day a few weekends ago that he slept until 9 am. It was pretty awesome. I know it won’t be as awesome come the teenage years. We have learned to completely ignore him in the mornings until he’s ready to acknowledge our presence. It goes much better that way.

I still love that we can give this kid a bag of snacks, and he is content to sit still, munch, and watch the world around him. Simon’s a watcher. Ezekiel is a doer, a mover, and a shaker. It’s nice to see their differences, and watch each of them become the great kids that they are.

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Bed head!

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This can’t be comfortable. And the 80s-style wristband? Keeps our little puker from hurling all over the car.

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Someone hates having sad pictures taken. I think he’s cute. Even when he’s crying. Okay maybe a little crazy too.

 

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Kefir moustache!

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Nerds. I love these boys more than words.

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Working hard with Daddy on the raised garden bed!

Mama and her boys on Easter!!

Mama and her boys on Easter!!

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Work gloves!!

Long overdue

It’s been a while since I’ve updated the blog. A lot has happened in the past 6 months, and I’ll try to give a (probably not very brief) summary here. Simon turned 3 the last time that I posted. Like any other 3-year old, Simon likes to give his Mama and Daddy a run for our money. He is sassy and likely the most stubborn person I’ve ever met. But he makes up for it with the sweetest snuggles, and smiles that light up a room. Simon loves his big brother, and imitates pretty much everything he does.

Ezekiel is almost 7. Just one month to go!! He is in first grade, and doing awesome. His teacher is a great fit for him. He is learning math, his reading is getting smoother every day, and he spouts off random science facts every once in a while that take us by surprise. Ezekiel is still an incredible big brother. He has a lot of grace for Simon’s 3-year old antics. And for the most part, he’s a great role model and loves finding new games to play with Simon.

Dave has exciting news – he was recently accepted into the Master’s of Social Work program at a local university here! Dave’s Bachelor’s degree was in social work, as well. He’s been thinking more lately about what his future holds, and realized landscaping wasn’t going to be something his body would be able to do forever. His goal is to eventually become a school social worker (preferably in an elementary school), and still be able to garden and do some landscaping in the summer. He has been a substitute paraprofessional (teacher’s aide) again this winter in a kindergarten room, and has loved being with that age group again. He has some pretty hilarious stories every day.

My work has been going well. I’ve been traveling for some training on a new application that I’ll be working with. My first two trainings were in Atlanta, and as hard as it was to be away from my family, it was a good training and I got to see my very good friend Robin while I was down there. My next training is mid-March in Raleigh NC. It’s my last work trip for a while, and I’m looking forward to being home again. I’m lucky to work with some great people, and in a place where decisions I make and the work I do really make a difference.

This winter in Minnesota has been one of our crazier ones. We went out to my parents’ house yesterday. In all of my growing up years, I’ve never seen so much snow out at their house. The boys and I climbed the snow pile by their driveway, and the high point was at least 10 feet off the ground. Today, the temps were warm, and it felt great to be out chopping ice on the driveway, and near the downspouts to get water away from the house foundation. I think I’ll be feeling it in my muscles tomorrow!

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Happy 3rd Birthday, Simon!!!

Happy birthday, sweet boy!!!

Happy birthday, sweet boy!!!

Yesterday, my baby turned 3. He’s getting to be such a big boy! His vocabulary continues to grow, and, as hard as it is to believe, so does his stubbornness. He still is not much a fan of mornings. He adores his big brother. Loves chicken, soup, crackers, beans of all kinds, sweet treats, and is overall a fairly good eater. He is completely potty trained. He’s a great napper, but still sometimes struggles with sleeping well at night. He sometimes has crying fits around midnight or 5 am. Sometimes he yells, “Eze, NO!!!” in his sleep. That always makes me giggle a little, when I’m not completely exhausted from those middle of the night wake up calls.

He is in a phase where he is really asserting his will. For example, last night I was sitting with him eating supper at Bible study. My younger sister came over and asked, “Simon, can I sit by you?” He scowled at her and said, “No! I sit by my mommy. MY MOMMY”.  She laughed and said, “Well you keep sitting by your mommy. I’m still going to sit next to you on the other side”. He’s pretty sure he’s in charge most of the time, and really likes to try to boss the rest of us around.

My favorite words he says these days:

Hole-de-sac = we live in a cul-de-sac

Hice keem cone = ice cream cone

High pad = iPad

He’s very deliberate with his speech, and enunciates his words well. Its been so much fun watching him grow this past year. We think of his birthmom, and his foster mom who he calls HaMaeNah, knowing they are thinking of him. We hope they know how much we love him. We are very blessed!!

Goof ball brothers

Goof ball brothers

Simon's new trike

Simon’s new trike

Make a wish!

Make a wish!

The brothers and their wheels

The brothers and their wheels

Simon the Big Boy

Simon has mastered potty training, and in record time! We are proud of him, and he’s proud of himself. Here’s a gem I captured while we were hanging together in the early days of potty training.

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