Thursday, December 2, 2010

Worst Shopping Trip Ever

I'm trying not to stew about this, although writing about it seems like a healthy outlet.  If you do not want to hear me venting you may as well not even bother reading this post as it will probably be a long one. 

First you should know a few things:
1)  When I go grocery shopping I take the kids with me.  I have no choice.  For this reason I shop at Wal-Mart, which I am really starting to hate.  I endure this madness for 2 reasons:  1)They have the cheapest diapers and 2)They have the big fancy buggies with the 2 bucket seats and the regular one for Riley.  This makes it very convenient for me to have all 3 kids confined to one spot.

2)  The fancy buggy comes with rules.  Rule #1 They (Ella and Aiden) do not have to be buckled in.  They have to ride as long as I am moving, but once I am in the isle they are free to roam.   Rule #2  If they require a time out they will get buckled in as punishment.  YES I do discipline my kids in public.  The rules are very simple, and Aiden is the only one who has ever required a time out.

3)  If there is anything else I hate more than "You've got your hands full."  It's people thinking that it's OK to discipline my kids for me.

And on with the Worst Shopping Trip Ever...

What started off as a very normal Wal-Mart trip ended up in a not-so-normal check out experience.  Since I let the kids help with throwing stuff in the buggy they managed to throw in a couple of extra stuff that I was not willing to pay for.  After calling the manager to void things off (which admittedly was my fault for not paying attention) they lady behind me was obviously getting flustered.  I know what she was thinking.  "I picked the wrong line."  Yes she did.  As 15 minutes pass the kids are getting more and more restless.  We had already been shopping for an hour anyway and enough is enough.  Riley starts to get fussy and Aiden starts to get crazy.  By crazy I mean by climbing into the ice box.  A passerby customer feels the need to tell him he doesn't need to be playing in there...yes, I know that.  I'm sorry he escaped me while I was tending to my crying baby.  This freeze out of his resulted in him being buckled in time out.  This did not bode well with him and he started screaming.  Ella put her hands over her ears.  The impatient woman behind me decides to talk to her sister in Spanish.  Little does she know my husband, who is fluent in Spanish, has taught me a thing or two.  Rude comments, no matter what language, are none the less NOT necessary.  Meanwhile we are still waiting on a manager.  Another passerby customer decides that she will come and talk to Aiden about Santa, he is still crying.  She thinks she is helping, but it only makes things worse.  He cries even more.  And I am starting to fume.  Lady, he's in time out.  Deal with it and keep on walkin'.  Now I can finally put my groceries in the buggy.  I typically give Riley the milk so she can shake the bag.  It makes her happy.  The cashier BEHIND me in the other isle tells me she doesn't need to be playing with that...she could suffocate.  'She's fine.'  I told her.  She's just shaking on the handle, she's not gonna die.  Geez...can I have the bad parent award please?  If I thought she was in danger, I would not have given it to her.  Not to mention, I'm right here.  I am getting ready to pay now and the woman behind me exclaims "So does this mean I get free groceries?  I've been standing here for an hour!"  So sorry to inconvenience you.  All she's been doing is standing, I'm the one dealing with kids here.  I wanted to turn to her and say 'Ma'm, you could have left at any time and gone to a different isle.'  There was no one behind her the entire time!  I did not respond to her snide comment.  I probably would have except it was obvious that her sister is going through cancer.  I did not feel it necessary to be rude to someone who was going through a rough time.  If only she had shown the same courtesy to me.  Why is it that you tend to be nicer to people less fortunate than yourself?  Shouldn't we just hold our tongue EVERY time?  I mean how did that lady behind me help the situation?  Not at all.  As I was leaving the woman who had checked me out said "I bet you haven't had a worse shopping experience have you?"  I wanted to tell her that it wasn't the worst, but I just smiled instead.  Putting the kids in the car also spouted a crying fit.  Riley started crying and Aiden too.  He was mad because I picked him up and put him in.  He wanted to do it himself.  An OLD woman  (at least 70...sorry but that's old to me) poked her head in the van and asked if she could help me by loading my groceries for me.  'I'm OK'  I told her.  As good as her intentions were my thoughts went to "I'm not the victim here, stop trying to help out!  The kids are having a fit...big deal.  I don't care if they cry, but apparently I am ruining the lives of many."  People of ChapinWal-Mart guy.  Relief.  He's just doing his job.  That kind of help is welcome.  'Thanks'  I told him.  Whether he was doing it because of the crying that was booming from my van or if he was collecting anyway I don't care.  He didn't address my kids and I was glad.  I don't need anyone else pointing out to me that my kids are crying.  It annoys me because I'm not out of control.  Aiden was in time out.  Riley was tired.  Period.  This was not about having melt downs for no reason.  I am not a bad parent so people please leave me alone.  I know what I'm doing. 

I'm done now.  This was helpful.  Now I don't feel so mad.  Too bad I'll have to go shopping again in a week.  YAY...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

When It Rains, It Pours

Well we had a successful move.  The positives:  MORE SPACE!!  The kids each have their own room, they actually have a play room, there's plenty of hallway to run around in, big sliding glass doors that lead out to a screened porch and oh, yeah...the completely fenced in back yard equipped with play set and a little thing I like to call GRASS.  We have only ever known weeds and something that wants to be grass.  The kids love it.  While the unpacking isn't going as quickly as I would like it to, we're happy.

Since November has taken a turn on the warm side lately the kids have been able to go out and play on a regular basis.  So this morning wasn't anything out of the ordinary.  They ate breakfast, I bathed Riley, cleaned the kitchen and sent Ella and Aiden out to play.  They had been out for about ten minutes and I was getting ready to get Riley down for her nap.  I went to tell them I would be feeding Riley and they were already running towards the door.  Uh oh.  I know that look.  I've seen this look before.  Sheer panic is written all over Ella's face.  Ants

I immediately stripped her down (and Aiden too) and sent them upstairs to the shower.  I quickly scooped up Riley, plopped her down in Aiden's room with a toy, closed the gate at the top of the stairs and started the water for the kids.  Just as soon as I had turned the shower on I heard Riley crying (her pain cry).  She crawled into the bathroom and I saw blood on her hand.  I rinsed it in the sink thinking she had cut it on something and then (as it usually goes) I saw that it wasn't her hand...it was her mouth.  Oh, these are the worst.  I rinsed her mouth and the blood just kept coming.  I gave her a rag to chew on.  'Where is this coming from?'  Did she bite her tounge?  No.  Her lip?  No.  I turned her upside down and saw that it was that skin above the two front teeth that connects to the lip...you know the frenulum labii superioris.  My husband will be so proud!  Nah, who am I kidding...I Googled it.

In the midst of my 'every child a victim' moment, these were my thoughts:  Am I really alone right now?  Is it possible that Brian will magically appear and help me?  I don't know what to do!

In the mean time, Ella was crying because of her bites, Aiden was crying because Ella had the tiger and he wanted it and thankfully Riley was sitting quite contently drinking the sippy of water I had given her.  Can I just mention too that I was able to remove her dress without getting blood on it?  That's always a plus. 

I was able to get everybody bathed, dressed and Riley down for her nap all  in a matter of 30 minutes, although it felt like forever.  It doesn't matter how many times these types of things happen I still feel like I have no clue as to what I am doing.  These moments feel chaotic and I don't know who to help first.  It's funny how your brain can quickly access the situation and put your body into action.  I feel like I'm just here watching my body work and when it's over I feel surprised that I was able to pull it off, ALONE.  It's amazing these kids are still alive.  What's also amazing is that neither of them have had any sustainable injuries or ER visits.  Who knows though.  It's only 11 and they are running in circles around me now.  A fall or crash or head on collision is bound to happen here soon.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hap-pee Halloween

So far I have found no perks to traveling alone.  Alone meaning without Brian.  We still have a few more days until we can officially move into our new house.  Unfortunately, this move can not happen soon enough.  Brian spent last week commuting two hours.  Now this may not seem like a big deal to some, but when he is gone from 6:30am-8:00pm it's a big deal to us.  Side note: the kids' bedtime is 7:30, so this puts a kink in our schedule.  Anyway, so instead of us sitting around in a boxed up house the whole time, I decided to take the kids to my mother's house in Georgia for a couple of days.  This saved us from getting cabin fever and saved Brian a lot of driving.

There have been four incidents now where we have gotten in the car, driven about 20 minutes and Ella announces that she has to go potty.  Thankfully, I have not been alone and we are able to stop at a gas station and one of us takes her in.  Well, about 45 minutes into our drive home from Georgia I hear those ill-timed words, "Mommy, I need to go potty."  I groaned.

With still over an hour more to drive, I knew that I could not hold her off until we got home.  I pulled into the nearest gas station.  I considered my options:

Option 1)  Leave Aiden and Riley in the van and lock the doors.  It'll take less than 5 minutes.  They'll be fine.  Well I ruled that out pretty quickly.  This is the kind of thing mothers get arrested for.

Option 2)  Unload all of the kids, put their shoes on and attempt to take Ella potty while holding Riley and keeping Aiden from crawling on the floor under the stalls.  Public restrooms are so disgusting.  I have a germ-a-phobia too, this cannot end well.  Next...

Option 3)  Scope out junk in the van and create a porta-potty.  I think I'll go with this one. 

An empty water bottle.  Nah, hole is too small.  Wipe box.  I could take all of the wipes out and she can pee in that.  Hey, it even has it's own lid!  Hmm, I'll consider that as Plan B.  A Halloween bucket.  BINGO!  Thank you Jack-in-the-Box for putting your Kid's Meals in a Halloween bucket!  I preceded to put my plan into action.  She squatted into the bucket (which she thought was funny and yet disturbing at the same time).  Luckily I had a gallon of water on hand as well.  I rinsed the bucket out a few times and dumped it into the grass.  Mission accomplished.  I didn't have to unload the kids and I didn't run the risk of getting arrested.  I pat myself on the back for thinking so quickly.  Like I said before, there are no perks to traveling alone.

Needless to say, that bucket's not going anywhere.  She may be squatting in it again soon.  Hap-pee Halloween! 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cheetos

I'm feeling a little high strung today and my kids are driving me crazy!  I know it's me, not them, but this is what I observed today at lunch: 
Neither Ella or Aiden wanted to eat their sandwich.  Brian had allowed them to eat Cheetos earlier and after that it was all they could think about.  Cheetos are gross.  I'm not a fan of the orange crusty fingers either.  He thought he was being nice by giving them something special.  I don't think we've ever bought Cheetos before, but he caved when Aiden asked while they were at the store earlier today.  In fact, they only eat them at their Gramama's house.  I don't usually allow them to have that kind of stuff here.  Now that I think about it, I think it was the Cheetos that got me all riled up.  This is beginning to take on a relationship much like the monkey shirt. 

Anyway, so after getting hyped up on puffed cheese and not eating much else, Ella spilled her milk.  It never fails.  She then decided to lap it up off of the table meowing in between licks.  I cringed.  Aiden in the mean time was weaving in and out of the legs of the table and crawling around on the floor.  Dancing to music that only he hears, he whacked his head under the table.  His incredibly loud crying pierces my ear drums every time.  I closed my eyes.  When I opened them I looked at Riley.  She was chewing on a lid to her Puffs and smacking the table at the same time.  I glared at Brian and he grinned back at me.  "Is it just me, or are they acting crazy?"  I asked him.  "Actually, I thought they were being really good"  Seriously??  I'm gonna need a nap.
They look sweet and innocent don't they?  Don't be fooled.  

I take back what I said before, it's not me, it's them.  They are the crazy ones.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Move

Well you may have noticed a gap in my posts.  It's tragic really.  My computer died and Brian takes his to work.  I usually blog during the kids' nap time, but when Brian's home I don't want to spend our few hours alone at night ignoring him by blogging.  And there's that other thing too.  We're moving!  It's kind of a time consumer.  Riley woke up at 3:15 and while feeding her I heard Ella go into our bedroom.  Well there's no way I'm going back in there.  When I go back to bed (if I go back to bed) Ella's tree house has my name on it.  I know she's sleeping on Brian's side, but I can't sleep knowing she's there.  It's 4 am now and I find myself wide awake and practically starving.  While eating my bowl of cereal I looked around at the mayhem that now surrounds me.  Boxes, yard sale junk, toys, unfolded laundry.  Is it possible that I could just close my eyes and when I open them that this will all just go away?  No such luck.  But it got me to thinking.

It's funny how moving makes you throw away things you once thought you could not live without.  For instance:  I threw away practically everything from our wedding.  It was in a box under the house and everything inside smelled like stale moldy cardboard.  Going through our wedding stuff went about like this, "(pictures)Oh, wow, look how skinny we were!" *toss in trash box* "Hey, this is the pattern to my dress!" *toss in trash box, take it back out, and reluctantly toss back* A folder with all of our flowers, cake and colors that we had ripped out of magazines *set aside to keep, only to toss it 5 minutes later*  Although I may regret this decision later, it's gone now.  I've moved on.  This time it's a box with keepsakes that my parents so prudently kept for me.  Old baby clothes, pictures that I colored and school reports.  I have to admit, all of my children have their own keepsake boxes too.  Yes, I chunked the baby clothes and some pictures.  But I'm not ready to throw away my entire childhood.  I actually managed to salvage some old toys for the kids to play with.  Ella has hit the Barbie jackpot.  I don't even think they make furniture like that anymore.  I mean I have a kitchen sink with a dishwasher that squirts water!  The Polly Pockets (the real ones that are about 1/2 in tall) may have to wait.  That kind of poses a choking hazard for Riley. 

The kids are getting more and more excited about the move.  At first Ella wasn't sure she wanted to move.  She was under the impression that her toys were not coming with her.  After clearing things up she's been OK. They have enjoyed being involved in the packing.  I'm not sure they are getting the concept of 'keep' or 'toss' when it comes to their toys though.  They are tossing things that I'm pretty sure they don't want to get rid of.  I'm planning on building them a huge fort as all the boxes stack up.  Maybe this will distract from the fact that most of their toys are packed and I've left them with only a few things to play with.  They've proven to not need the toys though.  They are thoroughly enjoying the empty boxes that I had so valiantly hunt for.  Note to anyone looking for boxes:  Shoe Carnival.  There's a dumpster in the back.  All you have to do is get a Wal-Mart buggy, turn it on it's side and hoist yourself in.  If someone happens to be taking their smoke break and happens to see you, just pretend you don't see them.  You're not doing anything wrong!  The boxes are yours for the taking, they were dumping them anyway and hey, it's recycling!  P.S.  They get their shipments on Monday, so Tuesday is your day to dive.  This is all just hypothetically speaking of course.  I definitely did not do this on Tuesday.  OK, maybe I did. 





Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Chicken Heaven?

I had an interesting conversation with Ella on the way home from the park today.  But first, a quick (ok let's get real here, I'm pretty long-winded) background: 

The last 2 weeks of April we had a wild turkey that lived in our yard.  I've never been a pet person, nor have I ever intended to be one.  But for whatever reason the kids (and myself) got really attached to this turkey...'Chitty' is what we called him.  Every time we looked out the window he was just out there doing his thing.  He even started coming up on the porch, which the kids got a kick out of.  Then one day just as shrewdly as he had come, Chitty was gone.  After 4 days of not seeing Chitty, I knew that he would not be coming back. 

"I miss the turkey."  I had told Brian.  "I'll just buy you one"  was his response.  It was from this conversation that we decided to get chickens...they were to be my Mother's Day present.  'Yeah, right' was the feeling that I had going to bed that night.  But much to my surprise, Brian, in his 'obsessive researcher' state, was dead set on getting me those chickens.  He carefully selected each breed...which ones laid brown eggs, which laid white.  Which ones were more 'kid friendly'.  Who are chicken predators?  When he wants to know about something, he practically throws himself into it full force.  It's endearing really.

So anyway, he decided on 6 chickens.  He ordered our chickens from mypetchicken.com.  One breed in particular he liked the best, but she wasn't due to hatch until a week after the others, you see they ship them at 1 day old all together...so I had to wait for my chickens.  Mother's Day for me was May 18.  That's the day my chickens arrived.  It was funny really.  We got a call from the Post Office that our 'chickies were here' and 'do we want to pick them up or have them delivered?'  Well needless to say, I got a knock at my front door about 15 minutes later and our chickens were delivered to us by a mail carrier.  They were in a little white box with holes in it and all you could hear was non-stop chirping.  "That was probably really annoying"  I told the mail lady.  "Not really" she said.  "They stopped chirping a few times and I had to thump the box to make sure they were still alive." 
The kids were SO EXCITED.  We had been talking about the chicks for 2 weeks now.  We immediately named all of them...Henrietta, Tuesday, Turkey (in honor of Chitty, who started this whole deal), Georgia, Olivia and Peggy (whom we waited on).  They then lived in our kitchen for the next month...all except Georgia. 

April 4 to June 7 was probably the most stressful time in my (and I'll speak for Brian) our life.  Brian was working on getting his Chiropractic office up and running.  We completely renovated the entire space (with an extremely huge amount of help from family) Laying floor, tile, knocking out walls, hanging dry wall, sanding, painting, re-painting, rock veneering a wall, building a front desk with rock veneer, did I mention painting?  I'll advertise for a second here and say if you are interested in how it turned out, or if you are local to our area, his Facebook page button is in the left hand column! 

By the time the chicks arrived the grunge work was done, and it was mainly decorating and touch-ups.  We were still spending practically all of our days at the office, so the third day we decided to bring the chicks with us.  The kids liked this, especially since they had spent the previous day away from them.  Instead of bringing them home that night (knowing that we would be back early in the morning), we left them up there.  It's a 30 minute drive, so we were trying to spare them all of the back and forth.  Keep in mind too, they were just in a box with a heat lamp, what's the difference where they are?  Well when we got in that morning, everything was fine, all chicks accounted for.  Ella noticed something was off.  "Look Mommy, Georgia has poop."  "Oh, Ella don't touch!  Let's go wash your hands!"  Then we all piled back in the van to go to Lowes.  Well, I never went back to check on Georgia.

When we got back from Lowes an hour later, we discovered that Georgia was dead.  In our pre-chick studies, we learned that in a chick's first week they sometimes have poop that will (for lack of a better term) 'paste them up' causing them to become constipated and ultimately kill them.  I had been watching them close, and even had to wash one once before.  This must have happened to Georgia in the middle of the night.  Ella noticed and I forgot to go back and check.  It's such a guilty feeling.  I knew I wasn't cut out for this whole pet thing.

Lucky for me though, Georgia has not been forgotten.  About every couple of weeks, Ella randomly announces, "Georgia died."  Like so random- during dinner, driving in the car, at bedtime...to which we respond "Yes, Georgia did die."  I'm just glad she doesn't continue to say "You killed her and I'll never forgive you!" 

Our chickens are 4 months old now, and Brian built them a lovely Luxury Suite Coop.  We've been letting them out during the day and the kids like to play with them.  It's funny how they have their same personalities as they did when they were chicks.  By personalities I mean they will let you hold them, or they will try to run.  None of them peck or are aggressive though.  Turns out the 'kid friendly' one is actually the kid friendly one! (Henrietta- Ella's favorite) Peggy did turn out to be our favorite, she's very plush.  We aren't going to eat them or anything- these are our pets, I use that term loosely.  They're more like patrons, I am expecting eggs soon.


So back to this afternoon's conversation with Ella.  I'll put her in pink to avoid conversational confusion. 

We pulled up next to a mail truck at a stop light.  "Look Mommy, the mail car!" They love it when the mail comes.  "Yeah, cool..."  "Georgia died."  "Yes, Georgia did die."  "Tuesday and Georgia came in a mail box."  "They sure did, you're really smart to remember that, Ella."  "Is the mail car gonna bring Georgia back?"  "No, Georgia lives with Jesus now."  Here we go.  The kids know the word die(d), but we never went much further with it.  "Is Jesus gonna give Georgia a blessing and give her back to us?"  Intrigued by her thought process I smiled to myself.  "No, Georgia is going to stay with Jesus and live with him in Heaven."  'Oh this is just getting bad' I thought to myself.  What's next?  Chicken Heaven?  "Does Jesus have chickens just like me?"  "Oh yeah, (I had to stop myself from laughing) Jesus has a whole bunch of chickens!"  She was content with this synopsis, although I don't think the "Georgia died" statements will stop anytime soon.  Brian and I have often wondered what the kids think when we tell them we are having chicken for dinner.  Do they associate our near and dear pet chickens with their dinner?  Oh, the innocence of a child...wouldn't it be nice if we all were that simplistic?             

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tough Love

Well, it's that time again.  I do not enjoy this.  Since Riley is officially a 'crawler' now, it's time for her to start taking on some responsibility.  I mean 7 months is more than enough time to be living the cushy life, don't ya think? 

The way I run things with my babies my cause controversy, but here goes.  I have never, I repeat NEVER let the kids sleep with us at night.  Since birth they go straight to the bassinet at night and that's where they stay.  None of that 'I'm too tired, I'll nurse them in the bed' business either.  I did this for 2 reasons:  (1) I need to sleep, which won't happen if they are in the bed.  Brian is lucky I let him sleep with me!  I have a 'don't touch me, you're in my aura' issue.  Can't believe I actually got him to marry me!  (2) I knew that doing this early would save me (and them) a lot of heartache later.  Now, I'm a compassionate person, so I've evened things out for them.  They can take a nap with me.
  
This was easy in the beginning.  When it was just Ella I just wanted to take a nap with her, she could probably care less.  But you know how that first kid goes...you're the one with separation anxiety.  And then when she was about 6 months, I kicked her out and made her start going to bed by herself.  She had a pacifier, so I didn't feel very bad about it...until it started taking an hour for her to go to sleep.  How is it that babies can just cry for an hour straight?  After what felt like forever, she was fine.  I could put her to bed and she would be asleep 10 minutes later. 

Then came Aiden.  This was a tricky one.  Ella and Aiden shared a room, and since I napped them at the same time I didn't want one messing with the other.  Keep in mind, they are 12 months apart!  So I opted to let him sleep with me.  This is a privilege in my book.  It was still easy though, because we always woke up before Ella. I never had to leave him alone in the bed.  So he stayed napping with me until he was 9 months!  Oh, the shame!   But then, he too got kicked out.  This time to a pack-n-play in our bedroom.  That lasted about a month until I finally decided to suck it up and room them together for naps.  Oh, that was such a pain!  Instead of crying for an hour, I spent the same amount of time busting in on their little parties.  I wanted so badly to hang a sheet from the ceiling in between their cribs so they couldn't even look at each other.  It was worse when they both were in toddler beds.  Now they could actually get into each other's beds and steal toys.  One of the best days of my life was when we separated them.  That was only just 2 weeks before Riley was born!  My 'nesting' set in and I completely switched all the rooms around. 

Now Riley and Ella share a room.  Ella has graduated to a bunk bed (which she calls her Tree house) and Riley has snagged her old crib.  Yet, I am still faced with the same problem.  They all nap at the same time and I don't want Riley keeping Ella up.  As far as napping goes, it hasn't been as easy this time around.  I don't get to nap in bed with Riley.  I just put her there because that is the only unoccupied room.  Now I have to sleep on the couch so I am available for the first one up, usually it's Aiden.  So this routine has been working out fine for us, until just recently.  Like I said, Riley can crawl now, so this changes things.  She's one of those that doesn't cry when she wakes up, and being in the back of the house, it's hard to hear her.  I just have always gone in there around 3:00 and she's awake.  I don't know for how long...but that's not the point.  Now, I can't just leave her alone and trust that the surrounding pillows will keep her from rolling off the bed.  She can just crawl over them and hit the floor before I even know she's awake!  So naturally, she's getting kicked out, like Aiden, to the pack-n-play in our bedroom. 

I don't know what it is about being in our bed.  Usually Riley is asleep in 5 minutes.  She's never taken a pacifier, but she sucks on her pointer finger and that has always done the trick.  I've never been one to rock my babies to sleep either.  I've taken more of a 'figure it out for yourself' approach.  So anyway, since exiling Riley to the pack-n-play the hour crying fits have started.  And now, once she finally gives up she only sleeps for 30 minutes!  What happened to the nice quiet 1-3 afternoons I had only less than a week ago?  This is no fun.  Riley is not going to have a good month.  Tough love.  I will say one thing, I can successfully put Aiden and Ella to bed without having to assist them in falling asleep, which is the whole goal here.  I'd just like to have a fast forward button right about now though.  I want to mention too that Riley rarely cries...I think she's the best baby ever.  And now that she is crying, it's because of me.  Mean Mommy!  Can I just skip this phase please?  I mean is this the kind of face that you want to see crying?      

Sunday, September 5, 2010

You've Got Your Hands Full

You’ve got your hands full. It’s these five words that will haunt me for the rest of my life. Thank you, complete stranger, for pointing that out to me, now I know! And all this time I thought it was easy…

Now this probably happens to most mothers when they take their kids out in public. Someone (usually older than you) politely comments on what a load you have. “Wow, you sure have your hands full don’t ya?” Which roughly translates to mean, “You do know about birth control, right?” OK can I just get one thing straight? I wanted to have my kids close together, this was no accident.

It’s hard to remember what my life was like before I had kids, or even just 2 kids, or 1 for that matter! I’m pretty sure there was a time when it was just me and Brian. But that is just kind of a blur. I remember wondering how my life would change when I first got pregnant. I guess I never would have expected this 4 years later. I’m not even a ‘seasoned’ parent yet and I feel that I have already had to deal with more than my fair share of bodily fluids, sleepless nights and just plain exhaustion. I’d like to think that the older they get, the less of these types of things I will have to deal with. Realistically, that’s probably not the case. I do have to say one thing, though. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The good and fun parts definitely outweigh the bad.

I love that Ella is 3 now.  She's at that dress-up/grown-up stage and says the funniest things. Where does she come up with this stuff? Just this morning she wanted to put her puzzles away, but the drawer was too heavy for her. “It’s no use!” she said. She's so dramatic sometimes.  On the way home from church she was telling me about nursery. Then she said to herself gazing out the window, “I love church.”

Aiden is really starting to develop his sense of humor. I have to say, he is funny. He’s recently taken up refrigerating his toys.  Last week I found a dragonfly in the cheese drawer. Blowing it off as a ‘well that was weird’ moment, I didn’t address it. Yesterday I found a beach ball where the milk should be. This was no accident. When I asked him about it (I knew it was him, Ella would never!) his response was “Ha-Ha, coldy ball!”
I guess I could see why he would think this is funny. Toys are not supposed to be cold, and now it is…heh heh. I don’t know if he’s old enough to scheme against me and think to himself, ‘Just wait till Mom sees this, I can’t wait to see her face.’ I don’t know, maybe this was his intention. If that’s the case I guess I should plan on being pranked by him from now on. Great…

Riley is finally starting to crawl, except she’s just so lazy about it. She gets on her hands and knees and rocks for a bit, then takes a few crawls, and  collapses. It’s like her arms and legs just give out, too weak to support her own weight. Next, she kind of wobbles her body back and forth, wallowing around like a seal (which only gets her a few inches). Then she will stretch her arms out in front of her as far as she can reach (which doesn’t help). Once she figures out that this is getting her no where she gets back on her knees again. And then the process starts over. If she would just crawl the whole time, we could really avoid all this back and forth. It’s very entertaining to watch though! I love how non judgemental babies are.  All I have to do is walk into the room and she just grins so big. She’s got those little twinkle kind of eyes too. It’s nice to know that somebody loves you that much. It goes much deeper than just being her main source of food. Oh, baby smiles…they give you such a satisfying feeling, whether you are their parent or not. When a baby smiles at you, in that moment…bliss.

I will admit though, I am not one to savor the baby stage for long. I want it over and done with and for them to be as independent as possible. The whole ‘they grow up too fast’ doesn’t apply to me. They’re not growing up fast enough! I like them being little people that I can converse with. There are times that I think that having triplets wouldn’t be that bad…it’s the age gaps that make things difficult. Most days I treat Ella and Aiden as if they were twins. I may stay busy but no, I do not have my hands full. I have my hands exactly where I want them. I stay home with my kids, I teach them, I play with them and most importantly I love them.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Where Did I Go Wrong?

So it’s official. I finally hit that stage in my parenting. I’m talking about the stage where you start asking yourself “Where did I go wrong?” I thought I wouldn’t have to deal with this until the kids were teenagers! I was wrong. Yesterday afternoon was the first time that I have actually had to deal with all three kids crying at the same time. Amazing, right? I can’t believe I’ve been able to go that long!

Well, here’s the inside scoop to the situation I was in, I should have seen this bout of crying coming. Riley had a fever all day, so naturally she was crabby and clingy. Ella is crabby if she gets woken up from her precious sleep…where as, when Aiden wakes up he is happy and ready to play. On the other hand, Aiden is also 2. So he is constantly looking for opportunities to dominate and aggravate his sister. So, as the story goes, it had been one of those days for Ella. She had taken longer to go to sleep at nap time, so I knew I was going to have to wake her up later. I never let any of the kids sleep past 4, and it was getting to be about that time. Riley had woken up at 3:30 and Aiden just shortly after. The three of us went in to wake up Ella. She proceeded with the usual moans and groans. “You want us to leave you alone?” I asked her. She said she did. So we left. I guess she didn’t realize that we would actually leave, so she started up with the fake whimpering cry…which I can’t stand by the way. I’ve taken the route of ignoring this behavior, which she should know by now. So I continued to the living room with Riley in hand and Aiden trailing behind me. He wanted to watch Finding Nemo, which slowly lured Ella into the living room. So at this point everyone was good, so to speak. No crying.

So I took this opportunity to go to the bathroom…we have an open door policy at our house, through no choice of my own. I mean my options are either lock the door and have them beat it down or just leave the door open and let them wander in and out. They seem threatened when I’m behind a closed door. Like now they’re all alone and I’ve vanished or something. So of course, when they realized where I was headed, they decided to come too. With Ella still cranky and on edge about being woken up and Aiden on his 2 year old power trip, this bathroom break didn’t end well. Aiden had come in the bathroom first, and when he saw Ella coming he quickly tried to shut the door and lock her out. Her being slightly stronger than him, fought to keep the door open. Unfortunately though, he fights back…which resulted in her getting whacked in the head with the door knob. So now she’s crying. Then Aiden starts to cry because Ella’s crying and because she won. She made it through the door. OK, I don’t mind having them in there with me, but is it too much to ask to be able to pee in peace? In the mean time Riley was crying too, just for the simple fact that I wasn’t holding her. Like I said, she’s clingy when she’s sick. So there you have it…3 squalling kids, 3 runny noses, 6 red watery eyes and 1 frazzled mother desperately wanting to eat chocolate.

You see, that’s how I deal with this kind of thing. Whenever the kids are fighting or I’m feeling overwhelmed I eat a Dove, or two. The cliche of women and chocolate didn’t just come out of nowhere! Unfortunately, in light of recent budget cuts in our home, we are fresh out of chocolate. Then I remembered this little key chain Brian bought me a few weeks ago. I’m not advertising or anything, but it’s $1.00 for a Wendy’s frosty key chain, and with it you can get a free JR Frosty with each visit. “Who wants to go get ice cream?” was my response to the kids and all of their crying. This seemed to do the trick. They sucked up their tears. Seems like a pretty good deal right? No crying=ice cream. I’m not gonna lie, the ice cream was more for me, not them. I need to have chocolate running through my veins in order to keep my sanity. Is this what addiction feels like?

And then it happened. Ella might as well have hit me with a brick. “Can I go outside and play?” ‘WHAT??? You mean you don’t want ice cream?’ “No, thanks. I just want to go outside.” ‘Wait a minute, let me get this straight. You want to go outside and NO ice cream?’ “Yes.” ‘Aiden, do you want to go outside and no ice cream?’ “Yes.” This is the part where I started to question my parenting. Where did I gone wrong? My kids are supposed to stuff their emotions with food, not exercise! I mean what kind of person doesn’t want to be an emotional eater? I didn’t raise them this way. I can’t believe I let this happen! Kids these days…

Well, needless to say, I didn’t get my ice cream or my chocolate. I set the pool up for the kids and pushed Riley in the swing. Aside from the mosquito bites and the heat, everybody was happy the rest of the day. This whole thing was actually important to Ella too.  In her prayers before bedtime she said "Thank you for playing outside and not eating ice cream."  It made me smile. 
As much as it pains me to say this, I was actually able to manage my emotions without the chocolate. Now if only there was a way to control these jitters I’ve been having.

Monday, August 23, 2010

FreeSkool-PreSkool

This isn't a great post for those who don't have toddlers at home, but I still wanted to share what I've been doing. I know I'm not the only one looking for other options right now!

So I can't help but be all into the hype of school starting.  My kids aren't even old enough to be in school but can I say that I'm a little jealous?  Not that I want them out of the house or anything but the 5 year old in me is saying "me too, me too!"  It's actually something Brian and I frequently talk about.  Ella is 3 now so she can go to preschool.  She needs the interaction with other kids her age and she is practically begging me to teach her.  She's already starting to read words and write her name.  I thought I had 2 more years of lolly gagging around until I had to start being a real parent!

Well as much as we want her to be in preschool, it won't change the fact that we can't afford it.  So last week I finally got tired of sitting around and bumming about it.  I'll do preschool myself!  I'm an educated individual with a little craftiness up my sleeve.  I mean how hard can this be, right?  A little ABC's here and some counting there...no sweat.  (OK I have to admit though, I did spend practically all of my 'working' years in schools and kindergarten classes.)

So my first order of business was to set up my curriculum.  I Googled it of course, and found a couple of websites to get me on the right track. These are the ones that I've bookmarked:

I had already decided to do a letter a week, and I found this: http://preschool.uen.org/curriculum/August_s/calendar.htm
not too shabby for what I had in mind.  I also had a song I really wanted for the kids, and with the few lyrics I could remember I managed to stumble across it on YouTube.  I don't know what it is, but something about this lady's voices seems to mesmerize little kids.  Unfortunately, though there isn't a free download of the song and I'm not paying $15 for the CD.  I'm on a budget here!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DK9VPtz3EHQ
I also found this website, and the kids love it for 'computer time'.  Let's get real here.  Our kids are growing up in a technology dependant world now, so it would be crippling of me not to expose and teach them how to use a computer.  I'll step down from my box now...
http://www.maybenow.com/External.aspx?url=http%3a%2f%2fwww.starfall.com
I've also decided to implement, days of the week, weather, colors, counting and a word for the day.  So our 'school' basically goes as follows:
8:30 Breakfast:  they watch the YouTube ABC video while they eat.  They also listen to a hand me down Kindermusik CD (which I've basically done their whole lives...breakfast has just always been music time, I don't know why) then they get bathed, and I put Riley down for her nap at 10...that's when school is officially in session.
I don't know if I can call it Preschool, because the way it's set up will not prepare them for what real school is like.  I've got limited space and no room for a school setting.  So I've used my refrigerator as my board and they sit in our kitchen floor on little foam puzzle pieces.  So for kicks, I'll call this Refrigerator School.  Or just plain ghetto.  Hey, it's better than nothing!
I start with them sitting on the floor on their mats in front of the fridge.  We do the days of the week song, then today is...yesterday was...tomorrow will be...   Then it's weather time.  They look outside to see what the weather is and we dress 'Weather Bear.'  We then move to colors and mixing colors, blue and yellow make green...  Next is counting 1-10.  Then the letter of the day and the word of the day (starting with the same letter).  I let them trace the letter and learn to draw connecting lines. They do a worksheet or two (printed from that preschool website) and we do a craft with the letter.  
Today we did 'A', ant, and they glued cheerios onto Aa.  After that is computer time.  Our whole school experience only lasts an hour.  Mainly because Riley wakes up at 11, and because they're only 2 and 3 years old.  I think an hour will suffice for now.  They really enjoy it.  I can't say that I'm surprised though.  I knew they would.  It just took me actually sucking it up and finally doing it. 

Now you can buy all this stuff online, but I made ours and I have to say, I'm happy with the results.  I tend to brush it off, but I know I'm good at what I do.  OK, there I said it.  I'm awesome.  Can I just mention too that I haven't spent a dime...these are just scraps I've found around the house.  FreeSkool-PreSkool we're going to Refrigerator Skool!

All of these are just made out of scrapbook paper. No, I don't have a laminater...it's clear packing tape. There is magnet tape on the back of each piece.  Since Aiden and Ella take turns dressing Weather Bear I've made clothes for a boy or a girl...I might have gotten a little carried away with the wardrobe choices.  What can I say?  Every season coordinates!                  
                                    

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Scary Monster

You would like to think that your kids aren't scaredy-cats, that you've raised them to be tough.  You feel like somehow it reflects your parenting when they are scared of silly things.  For instance, Aiden.  He is a dare devil and will jump off pretty much anything, dive into anything with no fear.  But then a little tiny gnat flies in his direction and he completely freaks out.  I mean thunder and lightning are one thing, but a gnat?  Really?  I have come to grips with it I guess that yes, deep down my son is a marshmallow.

Ella's fear has always been other people.  Mostly her relatives.  More imparticular the men in her life.  So basically I can boil it down to her uncles and grandfathers.  Sorry guys.  You know who you are.  You are also well aware of the fact that you have made her cry on more than one occasion just by saying "Hi."  Now it's safe to say that after 3 years of therapy she's doing much better!  She's not nearly as freaked out just based on appearance alone.  We're still working on being approached though.  Her philosophy is 'if I ignore them, maybe they will go away.'

Yesterday I got a little insight to this whole fear of hers.  We were coloring and she drew this picture:


"What is it?" I asked. "A scary monster." Apparently her idea of a scary monster is a man with little to no hair and a goatee. Interesting. Now I'm not saying that anyone's a monster, but you know those male relatives I was talking about before? Well, here are their pictures:










In her defense, I think I'm a little scared. 

Well, I guess there's only one thing I can say about this.  Thanks guys for traumatizing my daughter for life.  If you want to be on good terms with Ella, let's rethink this whole facial hair thing.  It's scary.
 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Rescue

So it's been one of those weeks.  I was on the phone with Brian this morning and telling him how unmotivated I am to do anything.  This is so out of character for me...to a degree anyway.  I find my old self slipping away and I desperately want me back!  Something about this third baby has really done a number on me.  Nothing against Riley of course, but it's just the nature of things that it's harder to be as organized as I once was.  My old self is escaping me by the day it seems like.  It's like I've stepped out of my skin and I'm waving myself goodbye.  Blah, this is so depressing!  But, I typically spend a lot of my 'free' time working, as been pointed out to me by observers.  Clean after breakfast, give the kids a bath, Riley down for a nap, I shower, make lunch, clean after lunch, clean up all toys, all kids down for a nap, ME down for a nap.  But this week, nothing seemed to matter.  What's the point in cleaning up after breakfast when we are just gonna mess it up again at lunchtime?  What's the point in getting dressed if we are just staying home all day?  I spend most of my days in a night gown!  What's the point in showering if we are just going to be outside sweating in the heat or swimming in the pool?  This new me isn't sounding half bad, less work!  Oh, but I hate it when things are a wreck!  It makes me feel like I'm surrounded by chaos.  Everywhere you look just has a label that says 'Clean Me'.  And then I just start to feel claustrophobic in my own house as the piles of laundry and dirty dishes close in on me.  Get me outta here!!  It's not that hard to pick up after everything, it's neglecting it that becomes the problem.  What could have been 10 minutes worth of work becomes 30, then 45 then an hour.  Everybody just seems so much happier when things are in order.  Ugh, I've gotta bounce back from this!  

So just as I updated my 'status' on Facebook (which I rarely do) to say:  Someone save me from my rut!  Who comes to my rescue? 

WARNING:  THE FOLLOWING IMAGES YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE ARE GRAPHIC.  VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.  IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH POOP DO NOT CONTINUE.

This is the planner in me (which is not gone yet, thank goodness):  I set the kids up with Play-Doh in the kitchen while Riley was taking her nap so I could do some stuff, make a phone call, etc...  When Riley woke up from her nap I was finishing up my call to Netflix (of all people) so I just sort of plopped her in the floor, gave her a toy and went about my business.  Well next thing I know, she's on her stomach (which is what she always does now, she's really wanting to crawl) so I didn't think much about it.  But I did a double take at what she had in her hands.  It was poop!  Then my eyes scanned over to the trail that she had left behind her.  
*Heavy Sigh*  While taking her to the tub I decided to grab my camera.  My intention was to send the pics to Brian in an email with the subject line: Help!  I'm sure he will get a kick out of this considering the 'I don't want to clean' conversation we had earlier.  Then it occurred to me that people like taking pleasure in other's bad parenting and misfortune.  You know, as long as no one gets hurt.  So I hope you enjoy the course of events that followed. 

So Riley is is going in the bathtub, Ella and Aiden are in the kitchen with their Play-Doh.  Before the poop, they had made balls and were throwing them at each other...which was a red flag to me that they were getting bored and it was time to clean up.  So I threw a towel over the poopy carpet and told the kids to stay away from the poop.  I started washing up Riley and I noticed the poop on her face...oh, I hope she didn't eat any!  What do they put in this baby food that makes it so explosive? I mean all she had for breakfast were apples and bananas. How is it possible to do so much damage in such a short time?
I have to say though, there was something in her eye that told me she was enjoying this bath a little too much.  It's like she wanted to say "This one's for Aiden.  I'm getting you back for the noodle incident."  Meanwhile, Ella and Aiden went from throwing Play-Doh to chasing each other with it up and down the hall, and not in the ha-ha fun kind of way.  Ella was whining and crying, Aiden close on her heels and tackling her, and I was yelling at them to clean up and leave each other alone. 
I quickly got Riley dressed and exiled her to the Exersaucer.  What once was just a small mess before was a very big mess now.  Not only do I have to clean poop, but the blue and yellow Play-Doh smeared all over the kitchen and squished into the carpet down the hall.  Where to begin?  Well at this point, no where.  I'm a stickler for our schedule, and it was time to make lunch.  So I put a movie on for the kids and they ate their lunch on TV trays in the living room.  That's never happened before so I hope they don't hit me up for that tomorrow.  Then after lunch I cleaned the kitchen, the poop, the hall and vacuumed. 

As much as I don't want to admit it, there's something a little humbling about me being on my hands and knees scrubbing poop out of the carpet all the while having Riley sitting across from me grinning from ear to ear.  So thank you Riley for coming to my rescue.  Funny how things can come around full circle like that.  Thanks to her the house is clean, order is restored and we can all be happier for the rest of the day.  And as for me and my nightgown?  Well, you are going to have to pry it out of my cold dead fingers.         



Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Dumb thing #10,421

You know those times when you say to yourself,  'Now why did I do that?  That was dumb.'  It seems like that has been happening to me more and more lately.  Dumb thing #10,421:  Last Thursday.  Thursdays are our library days.  We go to the Rockin' Babies story time, then I take the kids upstairs to let them pick out some movies.  Now, usually this works out fine for me.  I have most of the influence as to what they choose.  It's easy for me to sway them one way or another (bad Mommy!).  I've seen enough Disney movies to be able to say whether or not they will like it. Unfortunately they're on to me because I will say, "Hey what about this one?"  And they will say "No, that one's dumb."  Well, Ella picked out Princess Sing-Along, Enchanted Princess Tales, Barbie Swan Lake and The Land Before Time.  I'm fine with these choices, and I don't mind her getting several so I'm not watching the same movie over and over again.  Aiden on the other hand was having a hard time just picking out one movie.  Like I've said before, he's a typical boy so he mostly comes home with a Train movie or Firetrucks or something.  I have to admit, those definitely rank in the 'dumb' category for me, but they don't bother me enough to boycott. 
So after turning down all of my suggestions I found one that we haven't checked out before in the return bin.  Lots and Lots of Monster Trucks.  Well he accepted this offer and paraded up to the checkout with his monster truck movie in hand.  See, they have their own library cards, so checking out their own stuff is a big deal.  So as soon as we get in the car he wants to watch his movie (yes, we are bad parents, he have a car DVD player).  So I put his movie in and needless to say, it's not the type of thing you want blaring in the back of your head.  All I can hear on my end is some hard core electric guitar music playing accompanied by the sound of crushing metal.  DUMB DUMB DUMB...THIS WAS A BAD IDEA.  Good thing it's only a 7 minute drive.  Now the problem is  he's learned to not only make deeper more guttural car noises, but to add steam rolling Ella to his 'car play'.  Why couldn't I have just kept him sheltered from the world of Monster Trucks?

Dumb thing #10,422:  Today, cutting Aiden's hair.  Now this is something Brian and I have talked about for a while now.  He's been wanting to cut it, and I've been wanting to grow it out.  But Aiden's hair is his thing!  I can't go anywhere without somebody commenting on those curls.  I mean, people pay good money to get hair like his, there's no way I'm going to go chop it off!  I'm not gonna lie, I like when people compliment my kids, even though I do brush it off like it's no big deal, but still...I don't want that taken away.  Once the curls are gone, what are people gonna say?  "Nice little bow legs he's got there..."  I don't think so.  Cutting those curls would be breakin my heart (as you can tell, this is about me, Aiden could care less what his hair looked like).  So this has been my argument thus far, and judging by the length of his hair, I've been getting my way. 

Now, I don't know if it's this morning's bed head that did it for me or the fact that secretly, deep down, I know that he's been looking a bit mangy and unkept.  Another thing is that Ella and I are getting haircuts on Friday and she's a bit nervous about it.  So I decided at breakfast this morning that I was going to cut Aiden's hair (and hopefully Ella would warm up to the idea in the process).  I have to say, once that first curl hit the floor I wasn't as emotional as I would have expected.  After the 2nd swipe through with the clippers I immediately started thinking, "I shouldn't have done this..."  Well, this was a bad idea from the get go.  You see, I don't have the greatest track record for cutting hair, and the only haircut I've been able to successfully pull off is Brian's and that's only sometimes.  So Aiden got Brian's style cut, which was dumb for 2 reasons: (1) Aiden's hair is nothing like Brian's so it doesn't look the same and (2) Aiden is a toddler.  This is a hair style that is meant to be styled...with gel.  His hair gets messed up 2 minutes after I fix it.  DUMB DUMB DUMB.  I won't say that I did a horrible job on his hair, but it does not look good just dry and kinda wavy.  I miss the mangy curls! 

The only comforting thing I keep telling myself is that it'll grow back.  And next time I won't cut it!  Brian says that the way to tell a good haircut from a bad one is 2 weeks.  If it still looks bad by 2 weeks, it's an all around bad haircut.  If it's looking good by then, you're alright.  We'll just see about that.  Now that I think about it, I guess everyone gets victimized by their parents at some point in their life. Right? I mean who hasn't been humiliated by their hair because 'My mom cut it...' Might as well get it out of the way now while he's too young to remember.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Cushions

Last night I rotated the couch cushions...you know so they don't all get warped into one position.  It's been way overdue, at least 6 months.  I found the following things:  a bat, a snake, a dragonfly, a frog, half a horse, a dinosaur, a praying mantis, a green bead, a frog's hand, a key, a granola bar wrapper and a penny.  Well this has got Aiden written all over it.  Ella never loses her stuff, so it doesn't really come as a surprise that all of these toys belong to Aiden.  Funny how we go searching for stuff, yet I never thought to look in the couch.  He gives up pretty fast, so our expeditions don't last long.  I have to say though, I've been wondering were that penny went!
So it got me to thinking...what you find under your couch cushions actually reveal a lot about your life.  Let's start with Ella.  She likes little things, tiny little choking hazard type toys.  Anything that she is attached to that day goes into either her purse or her Tinker Bell box.  She totes it around, regardless of whether or not she actually plays with it, she just likes to know it's there.  She's the responsible one in the family, always has been, hoping she always will.  Then there's Aiden.  Sweet and loud and crazy.  He likes little things too.  Typical boy stuff.  He's constantly flitting from one thing to the next.  He's the spontaneous one.  Careless and free.  I'm pretty sure he'll be a stunt man when he grow up. 
Then there's me.  I have to say, I'm glad there wasn't a lot of trash under there, but then again like I said, it's a story of our life.  I'm not really a messy person, and the kids are really good about throwing their stuff away.  I'm also pretty anal about everything being in it's place.  I have to admit though, the granola bar wrapper was mine.  Ever have those times when you are actually scared of your kids?  For example, it's 2am.  You've already been at this for an hour.  Up and down with a crying child, soothing them, putting them back in bed...only to be at it again 10 minutes later.  You finally cave and sit in the room with them until they fall asleep.  Then, as though the clouds part and angels begin to sing, they're asleep.  Finally!  But then you find yourself sitting there in their room, in the dark, AFRAID to move.  Don't want to wake them up so what do you do next?  Crawl out of the room of course!  Or another scenario.  To the nursing mothers:  You are lying in bed to feed your baby.  She falls asleep in the middle of eating.  Unfortunately, you can't stay and sleep...gotta get up and tend to other things.  Same problem, don't want to wake the baby.  So you do a ninja roll out of bed to make it a smooth transaction.  You stay crouched on the floor for a few seconds to make sure it worked.  But then as you are walking out, she wakes back up.  So immediately you drop to the floor, hoping she didn't see you.  It worked.  She drifted back off to sleep.  So naturally, you crawl out of the room.  I don't care how scary movies can be, there's nothing like the feeling of being afraid of your kids.  So back to the granola bar.  I'll admit it.  I was scared.  I mean is it too much for me to ask to be able to eat a stinkin' granola bar without somebody coming along wanting to eat off of it too?  So when I heard them coming I shoved what was left of the granola bar in my mouth and hid the evidence.  Then of course they say "What you eating mommy?"  Nothing...I don't know what you're talking about!  Come on, who hasn't snuck food from their kids?  And then there's Brian.  He's the one bringing home the bacon, so I'm pretty sure the penny is his.  You know how it is.  The husbands come home and empty out their pockets.  Brian will give Aiden his loose change.  He likes to put it in his bear bank and see it fall through the bottom.  I like that he's teaching them the value of money at such a young age.  Riley's not exactly old enough to be losing anything yet, but she definitely contributes to the couch.  I clean up spit up and poop frequently off of my cushions and pillows.  So there you have it.  Our life as we know it as told by our couch.  Looking forward to what I find next time I rotate the cushions.  So I encourage you to look under your couch cushions and see what's happening in your life.  You might be surprised.  Phew, so glad the walls can't talk...they'd have a lot more to say! 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sleeping on the Job

Now I'm sure this has happened to every parent at some point over the course of the years, probably more than once, probably more than twice.  I'm just willing to admit that I allow this to happen.  Now I just want to say that my mornings start anywhere between 5:15-5:45.  I am fueled by roughly 4 1/2 hours of sleep on a nightly basis.  I say nightly because I catch a nap when the kids sleep, and any spare minutes here and there during the day.  I mean honestly Ella and Aiden are watching a movie, Riley is taking a nap... how can you resist letting those heavy eyelids to close?  Even for 5 minutes?  I'm here to say, I can't!  Isn't it a guilty feeling when you wake up from nodding off and you don't know what time it is or even what day?  Now that was some pretty heavy nodding.  But the relief is that the kids haven't moved and you realize it's only been 2 minutes.

This morning Brian called from work to see how things were going.  Now if you call me, 9 times out of 10 Aiden will be the one to answer.  For some reason he wants to be the one to do it, talk for a few minutes then he's cool.  If he doesn't answer he is usually having a meltdown in the background during my whole conversation.  This is why I like having ring tones for people.  There's only one ring tone (which is unknown callers) that I don't let him answer so it's worked out pretty well.  Call it enabling or whatever, but I've chosen not to fight this battle.  Anyway, back to Brian.  Phone rings, so I gave the phone to Aiden.  "Talk to Daddy" I said.  So Aiden happily takes the phone and starts pacing around the room.  I guess somewhere between me handing him the phone and him pacing I fell asleep.  Upon waking up in that delusional state I saw Ella sitting in the floor stringing beads, remembered that Riley was sleeping, and Aiden...where's Aiden?  "Aiden!" I yelled.  I heard him in his room.  OK.  Every one's accounted for...my eyes began to slowly close again.  Then I abruptly sat up.  Oh, yeah...Brian!  I had Aiden bring me the phone.  "Brian?  You still there?"  "Yeah, I'm here."  "Umm, hey...how long have you been on the phone with Aiden?" (you know trying to sound all innocent like)  "Four minutes."   *sigh of relief* Well I have to say it didn't really come as surprise when I told him what had happened.  His response was, "Who can we call to come over and watch the kids so you can sleep?"  Oh, what a sweet husband.  Now don't everyone volunteer at once!  I would never allow anyone to come watch my children so I could sleep.  Just seems wrong.  But if anyone else wants to come forward and admit that they too sleep on the job please, say "I".   

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ducks in a Row

I was telling Brian about my morning and he thought I should blog about it, so I hope you find this as entertaining as I did. This is a lot of dialouge and I'll be moving fast so try and keep up.  Ella will be in pink, Aiden will be in blue and anything I say will stay in black.  Got it?  Good.
This morning was like any other.  The usual, nothing out of the ordinary.  The kids played, ate breakfast, swam in the pool (well more like jumped off the top of the slide into the pool), took a shower...I bathed Riley twice, changed her clothes twice (the baby food poop is brutal).  Got the kids dressed...Ella in her Monkey Shirt, of course, and Aiden picked out his Lightning McQueen shirt.  He's also getting into this whole 'picking out my clothes' deal.  So upon his decision they decided to watch Cars.  Now the reason I'm telling you all this is because their morning had nothing to do with ducks whatsoever.  Infact, they've been playing with bugs and butterflies.  
So lunchtime rolls around and I decided to give this whole cookie cutter sandwich thing another whirl.  Aiden picked a tree and Ella chose an elephant.  Still no ducks.  They sat down to eat and Aiden took one bite and said he didn't like it.  *Sigh* "Do you just want some bread then?"  He nodded.  He took his bread and started breaking it into small pieces.  Then he wanted me to feed him.  "Quack, quack."   OK.  I can play this game, if it
gets him to eat some lunch.  Then Ella starts disassembling her sandwich that I had so carefully put together, takes it off of her plate and onto the table.  Then she starts eating it off the table, nudging it around with her nose.  *Sigh* 
"I'm done, quack."  "Do you want some pretzels?"  "Quack, quack (nodding)"  Aiden is on his second piece of bread now...not the greatest lunch ever, but it's whole grain!  Ella is eating her pretzels off the table.  Riley is eating Little Puffs.  For the next 10 minutes there are random "Quack, quack.   Quack Quack Quack, quack.....quack."  "I'm done, quack."  She runs off.  "Quack Quack Quack."  "You're done too?"  "Quack (nodding)"  I wipe his hands and mouth and he runs off quacking and flapping his arms.  Ella runs back in "Quack."  "Whatdaya want?"  "Quack Quack quack Quack"  "What?"  "Quack Quack quack Quack! (rubbing her hands together)"  "Go wash your quack quacks in the bathroom."  Although it's cute that the kids are pretending to be ducks, it's hard to communicate with them when all I'm getting are different variations of 'quack'.  In runs Aiden.  "Quack, quack."  "What do YOU want?"  "Quack, quack! (pointing to the microwave which by the way, is our bread box as well)"  "You want more bread?"  "Quack (nodding)"  I went back to cleaning up.  Then the kids went from running and flapping to JUMPING and flapping.  As in jumping off the couch, flapping their wings and landing on their tail feathers.  Now the first time wasn't all it was 'quacked' up to be.  OK, I couldn't resist.  Aiden jumped off and landed on the floor, and sat there for about 4 seconds to decide if he didn't need to cry.  He's a pretty tough kid.  "Why don't you use the pillows?"  So they stacked up all of our couch pillows and used those as a landing pad instead.  That worked a lot better.  Except for the couple of times when they missed the pillows... 
Well this whole duck thing went on up until nap time.  They were still quacking during their story and I closed their doors saying "Night, night quack."  Kids are so weird.  And cute.  I wonder if I could apply this same type of communication out in the 'real world.'  "Was I speeding?  I'm sorry officer, Quack Quack quack Quack quack!"