Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lessons of Lent

During the church season of Lent, lots of people choose something to give up. The traditional purpose of Lent is to prepare - through prayer, repentance, self-denial, etc. for Holy Week and Easter.

This year we (okay - I on behalf of the kids K) decided to give more as we are giving somehting up. Instead of putting all the change that they collect (again pretty much just K) into their banks (this time both kids because she shares), we have been putting the extra change in "the little box."



Our church does this each year during Lent and Christmas and we frequently participate. However, this year, I'm really trying to teach K about why we are giving money. Hummm. Easier said then done.

Here is how the conversation went.

Me: Do you know what holiday is coming up?

K: St. Patricks Day

Me: No. We just had St. Patricks Day. The one you keep talking about and asking when you are going to get candy?

K: Easter

Me: Do you remember why we celebrate Easter?

K: Jesus died on the cross then he flew up to heaven where he hangs out with Papa and Gran.

Me: (slightly puzzled and having never thought of heaven as a place to "hang out") Yes.

K: So does that little box need to be filled up with money to help kids that have Mommies and Daddies that need help taking care of them for me to get candy? (I starts fusing)

Me: I guess you were reading the note that came with the box. But honey, this isn't about getting candy.

K: So can I have some now then?

Me: No candy. (fusing getting louder) The money is to help kids that live far away get good water to drink and we are going to help them.

K: I will give them my money mommy. No problem. Do they speak English and can I PLEASE watch TV now?

Me: They probably don't speak English. Yes, you can go watch TV. Don't forget the little box.

Me to the empty room: We are going to talk about this more later.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mean Girls in Kindergarten

Yes. Believe it or not, there are mean girls in kindergarten. We are talking smaller versions of the ones from the bad Lindsey Lohan movie a few years back. In my daughter’s class there just seems to be one at the moment, but I’m sure she’ll have a whole heard of look-a-like trash talking friends soon enough.

So, you are probably starting off thinking “good grief what happened?” Well, believe it or not, this isn’t a post about a terrible day at school (although I seriously want to chew out the other mother) – its more about my daughter’s morals and how proud I am of her.

It all started back around the beginning of the year, but more and more things are coming up all the time. Here is one from back in the fall... 

One morning I was helping K get ready for school and brought a whole handful of hair clips into her bathroom from the bottom of her back pack. I asked why her clips have been in her bag every day for about a week when she came home and she said that this one girl had told her that only the coolest girl in the class could wear sparkle clips, pony clips, Halloween clips, etc each day. All I could do is say, “REALLY?!?”

Then K proceeds to tell me that after the other girl said sparkly clips the first day, she decided to wear pony clips the next day, and so the girl said the same thing about pony tails, and so on for "lots of days." Then – here it comes – she said that she decided "this is really silly," so she told the other girl that, “the funnest girls wear what they want in their hair.”

I will save you the rest of the story at this point, but will tell you I’m proud of my daughter. We talked about how real friends don’t tell you what you should or should not wear, and that good manners make good friends. K informed me that she told the other girl that “good manners make good friends,” but the brat other child didn’t know what that meant and before she could explain it the teacher told them to stop talking.

Good job K! Its hard to believe you’re so big already and making such good decisions. I’m so very proud of you. Now if only the other mom could learn - Good Manners Make Good Friends.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Lesson From Uncle D

We recently visited Uncle D's farm (you may recall the packing insanity the day before our minivaca) and K spent a good deal of time playing with her cousins and we all enjoyed the fresh air.

Part of the adventure was helping move cows from one pasture to the other. We've all been around the cows before and fortunately K is cautious, but not scared of animals. (People in animal costumes used to be an issue, but not any more.) So, she quite enjoyed going out and helping/watching. This may have been fun for our city girl, but the most exciting part of the visit for her was feeding the baby calves. There were two, so she and her cousin each fed one.

Before they got started, they had to make the bottles. Uncle D had heard about my recent frustrations with the librarian who stomped on my lesson about responsibility and decided to offer up one of his own (Thank you!). This one was on reading instructions.

Uncle D (with cow formula and hot water in front of him):  So this is what we need to make milk for the baby cows.

K: water?

Uncle D: We are also going to use the powdered milk. See, right over there. Can you get me a big scoop?

K: okay.

Uncle D: Do you know how I know how to make the milk for the cows and how much to give them?

K: Because you've done it before.

Uncle D: Yes. But before I did it the first time I didn't know, so I read the directions.

K just looking at him.

Uncle D: You mix it up like this (demonstrates). That's right. I read the directions before I started the first time. (Long pause to check on the actual milk making.) I read them two times to make sure I did it just right. I sat here and read them and your cousin read them. I also read them at the store before I bought the milk.

K is now more interested in the bottles and the very large nipples than Uncle D. Not sure he notices.



Uncle D: Then if I had questions I could have asked the people at the store before I brought it home.

K nods

Uncle D: Its very important to read things. Things like instructions and things that you are signing.

Ha. Take that library lady. Uncle D. He gets it.

Thanks for the lesson. You are awesome.

For the rest of you, here is the cute picture that followed.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Its been a WEEK and its only Wednesday

It has been one of those weeks when one thing after another seems to fall apart (include me). I've had several days where I've had to wear actual work clothes instead of just something that I can pass off as being put together. DRAMA.

This is also the second week that I'm supposed to be be working 40 hours. (Hope no one from work noticed the "supposed"...). Not an easy transition no matter how you try and make it work. YUCK.

So, instead of getting down to business and taking care of my page long to-do list for today, I'm here. Reminiscing about being at home and spending so much time with my kids that I didn't even remember the password to my blackberry.

Of all the things to miss about being at home, I miss holding the little man pretty much the most. There is nothing better than a baby that is happy and that you can hold all you want without thinking, "I should be..." Instead, you learn all the amazing things you can do with just one hand. Here are a few of my favorites.

- Make brownies. Two hands are required to get them from bowl to the pan.
- Fix K's hair for school. Headband or clips. No ponytails.
- Transfer laundry from the washer to the dryer. (EXTREMELY slow process.)
- Pick up small limbs from the yard.
- Supervise K planting seeds, watering, etc.
- Use the computer for fun things (shopping and e-mailing cute pictures anyone?)

The list goes on and on, but I should not. At least not for today.

More cuteness from our big girl and little man soon!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Get 'Er

The other night I was in the tub I and I were in the tub for his bath. He was sitting on my legs as he does (and loves) and was looking up at my wonderful husband.

After a moment, I started to laugh, then my husband smiled and said "Get 'Er." He repeated it a few times.

To which I said, "Seriously, he can't just pee when you tell him to."

Then, like a show K would watch cheesy family sitcom, the little man started to pee.

I swear. Couldn't make this one up if I tried.

Then, as he was peeing, they both laughed.

All I could so was sit there and look from one of them to the other and shake my head.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Respect Violation

While this blog is supposed to be about parenting, I really didn’t mean to just tell stories about K’s day at school, but we had another stellar one back in October that I am still thinkng about. A kid in her kindergarten class got a Respect Violation. If you aren’t up on the school lingo, this means they were expelled – IN KINDERGARTEN!          

Okay. Forgive the all caps, but come on it’s a charter school. The parents are all the super involved types. They have to be just to drive their kids to and from school every day and complete the required volunteer time. So, I was surprised to learn that a kid was expelled. I was equally surprised to learn K’s perception of the Respect Violation.

“It’s like when a police man writes a grown up a special note that says if you do something bad again I will take away your car, only it’s for kids.”

More words of wisdom from the mouths of babes. I couldn’t have put it better myself K.

Friday, March 18, 2011

On the Road

This weekend we are making a long (is three months long?) overdue trip to see my kids great-grandfather. He is just a few hours away and I hasn't met him yet. Or is it really he hasn't met I yet. Not quite sure.

At any rate, its really going to be a quick trip. But oh how quickly we seem to forget all that is required to take a baby anywhere other than the carpool line.

When I left for work this morning several bags were already packed:
- baby overnight bag
- big girl overnight bag
- mom overnight bag
(- dad overnight bag is being packed now)
- big girl toy bag
- snack bag
- diaper bag
- mom's work bag (probably won't be used, but should be.... maybe it should stay home to save space.)
- breast pump and accessories

Feel like I'm forgetting something?

Oh yeah - the gear. We are talking stroller, portable swing (I doesn't sleep flat so this is REQUIRED), nursing cape, extra bottles and a partridge in a pear tree.

Seriously. All this. I remember when it was two overnight bags. I remember when we didn't have to drive an SUV to get everything in the car (and still have room for our feet).

I can't wait to unpack. Oh, but wait I can.

Now I'm thinking about our week long summer vacation - and I will be mobile by then and he will require toys. Real toys, not just a few little stuffed animals, two books and he will get a kick out of people watching. Man. Packing for that week is going to be so much fun I can hardly stand it.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Everyone is Doing It


Milk. It seems to be the topic of the day. Not just regular milk, but Momma milk. Really. Two moms that I like to read (Kira at Grits, Grins and Gripes and Amy at Somebody's Parents) both wrote about milk and feeding today.

We took the above picture for posterity a few weeks ago. For anyone that hasn't had a baby, or hasn't been around a Momma fed one in a while - each one of those bags has a feeding work of milk in it. We figured about 50. Maybe more. And since the picture two weekends ago, the stockpile has grown. As its grown, I've been trying to decide exactly what to say about it (both the picture and the stockpile). It may be the most thought I've put into any blog post. So, here are some thoughts....

Why in the heck do we need that much milk in our garage freezer? Clearly I'm not having any supply issues, even with going back to work full time. I've only been in the office full time for a week, but y'all - seriously - look at this stockpile. My little man isn't going to starve.

Can we just use this to mix up all the cereal? Can I go ahead and start cereal? About a week ago we spend three or four days back at the feeding every two to three hours stage. It was exhausting. My body ached from all the work I was doing and I was counting calories (for about the third time ever) to make sure I was getting enough to keep up with him. Finally, he slowed down and promptly grew. So, now the little man is in six-month clothes and starting to sit up on his own. He also pushes his arms straight to look around when on his belly. I'm told by some (okay. thebump.com and parents.com, but some real people write this stuff) that if your baby can do these things, you can start cereal and other solids. The lactation nurse at our pediatrician says to wait until four-months....

I deserve a night off. Not just a night when we go out for dinner and drinks and then pump and dump till the next morning, but a night when I get to SLEEP too. Am I asking too much? Is it possible? I'm kind of thinking no. Seriously there is plenty of milk to be gone a week and the little man would still eat. (I'm not saying I want to leave him. Just sayin' if I wanted to, I could.)

I rock. If this pic is a metaphor for motherly preparedness I give myself an A+.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Responsibility or What I Thought I was Teaching...

K is such a great reader. At Christmas we went in for a conference with her teacher and were told that she was a level two reader. About average for her class and the teacher encouraged us to push her just a little and that she would take off. She loves reading, so this was easy. She also loves library books. Not to be confused with going to the library, which is not so exciting. But, she loves books. So, guess what she got?


Her very own library card! I am way more excited than she is, but that is okay.

Now, here is the funny part about it. After the librarian verfied all of the contact information (i.e. where to e-mail us that we owe fines our books are late about exciting library programs), I asked K to read the card.

To me it was about to be two great lessons in one:
- read before you sign stuff
- something about responsibility

I didn't know exactly what the thing said, but I had a good idea that it would say something about not destroying books and bringing them back on time.

Then the librarian speaks up. Now, I'm sure she was a really great woman. Afterall, she works with kids. Blah, Blah, Blah. But, what made her think it would be a good idea to inturupt my little lesson and say, "I've never seen anyone read the back of the card before."

Really?!? as I'm explaining to my kid that you should read things before you sign them. She really said, "I've never seen anyone read the back of the card before." Its not like anyone else was waiting to be helped. There were even other librarians standing around talking.

So of course my brillant child just stops reading and says, "see mom, you don't have to read before you sign."

Thanks library lady. You are so not my friend right now.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Jesus' Blankey

Ash Wednesday was this week. I really wanted to go to Church. K is old enough to understand more of what is going on, and (hopefully) put the whole story in context. However, we didn't make it. We have been so stinkin' busy  and I was doing the single parent thing at the beginning of the week...

Alas, there is STILL the good news. Its Lent and Easter is still coming.

It reminds me of one of my favorite K stories ever from Maundy Thursday in 2008. (Coming up on April 21 this year.) I'm pasting this over from my journal, so you'll get the original version. Its known in our family as, "Jesus' Blankey." Enjoy!

We were sitting in Church waiting for services to start, when Kayla stood up on the pew to look at the flowers. She saw that the cross had been draped and asked, “Who’s blankey is on the cross?” I told her, “It’s Jesus’ blankey.” She then told me, “he needs to come and get it. Doesn’t he know you’re supposed to put your toys away when you are done playing with them?” Trying not to laugh, I told her, “he will come pick it up real soon.”

Friday, March 11, 2011

Park Still Closed

For years we have been going to Pullen Park each summer. I took K there to celebrate her first birthday by "riding the horses" (a.k.a. the 100 year old carousel). Two years in a row we had K's birthday party at the park with carousel and train rides for everyone.

She loves it so much and we've been looking forward to taking the little man there too.

I went before the kids were born to get sun and relax. I went as a teenager to hang out with friends and eat cotton candy. We practiced for the powder puff football game, and interviewed people in the community for the school news paper (dorky. I know.) and our television programs (also dorky).

Now, for the second summer in a row it will be closed. It was supposed to be opening up soon, but as of yesterday, it looks like a huge freakin' mess.



This is where the carousel is supposed to be. Where my kids and all their friends will are supposed to be able to ride it again this summer. I'm not so sure. The paper says the project is taking longer than expected. Really?!? Can't they come up with a better estimate than "longer than expected." The City of Raleigh doesn't have any information on their website. Ugh!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Things I Have Learned This Week

The title feels like it should be homework for K. And the things on this list are just from Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday folks. But, here are the nuts and bolts. (P.S. - Imagine each bullet told with more flare and style and you'll have a glorious version of this post that would be possible if my job was less busy I had gotten more sleep.)

- One box of Spongebob Kraft mac-n-cheese and two carrots cut into sticks will feed a five-year-old girl and mom.

- If you are a mom and have mac-n-cheese for dinner, you will feel sick to your stomach and need fruit and veggies about two hours later.

- A three-month old boy laying in the tub (the big tub, not the baby one) can pee up to the edge of the tub, but (tankfully!) not over the side if he is laying on his back propped up.

- If you leave the house at the time school is over, you will be last in the carpool line.

- When you're last in the carpool line, the lady who calls the numbers kind of scrowls at you instead of smiling and waving.

- When you're last in the carpool line, its almost a guarentee that your kid will be grumpy because all their friends are gone and they haven't had anyone to play with for about two (really. just two.) minutes.

- Sitting in a bouncy seat it takes a baby about 90 seconds to sneeze, stick his fingers in the snot and insert the slime into his ear. In another two minutes the snot will be dry.

- The best way to get crusty crap out of the top part of a baby's ear is to use your finger, a wipe isn't strong enough and a warm washcloth doesn't work very well and gets everyone wet.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Skinny Pants

Not skinny jeans. Nope, not that trendy here. Plus I think my thighs are too big. I'm talking about skinny pants. Also known as pre-baby pants. I'm wearing some right now, and I'm proud to say that they fit pretty close to how they used to. Okay, they are just pajama pants. Plaid ones that I've had since college to be exact, but they are on me and they are comfortable.

The jeans and work pants will get there. My baby boy is only three months old, so I've got time. (Also have time before I need to wear a bathing suit, so that is extra good.)

To mark the occasion I think I will make brownies get Goodberries open the hidden box of girl scout cookies have one piece of chocolate.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Doin' It Up

That's K speak for Living Large. And she is convinced that is what we will do while Dad is away. Well. Maybe we are. After all, he's only gone for two nights.

Before little I was born, also "Mini Me" these days to my husband, a little time without Dad meant girl treats. Examples:

- Mani, Peti with glitter lipgloss and chocolate chip cookies.
- Chick-A-Le for dinner after making brownies and licking the bowl.
- Movies that go past bedtime on a school night.

Honey, if you're reading these are just hypotheticals - insert big smile!

This time its going to be a little tougher, but I'm resolute that we will do something special each day - just for us. I guess this is just another part of being a mom of two instead a mom of one... Now to figure out how to work a baby into the game plan. And oh yeah, I have to nurse him.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Laid Back

Hooray for laid back Saturdays. What could be better than a bounce house on a Saturday? A free bounce house outside on a spring Saturday. Followed by a lunch of fresh apples and hotdogs. Wait. follow with a trip to the park.

Add that it was all about two miles from the house and I giggling at the swing and it was true family bliss. And, it was our weekend.

Oh yea. Did I add a trip to the super fun and super big nursery? Strawberries (now in a big pot), blueberries (awaiting a big pot) and lots of seeds for veggies in the garden.

We love Raleigh in the spring.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Justin Bieber

Is married. Yep. To a girl in K's class.

That is what I'm told. And, we all know that playground talk is always true.

Plus - get this - they kiss. Yes. They are married and he kissed her on the cheek at his concert.

TMZ and Extra get in line.

Now for what I know is true... K has been walking around singing.

Baby, baby, baby ohhh
Like baby, baby, baby noo
Like baby, baby, baby ohh


Yep. Not even the full chorus (in case you some how missed the song here's a link), just part of it. Cuteness.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dear God, Help Us

I was reading a post by law-momma this morning and it made me think. In a good way. I really kinda loved it. Seriously. Here is an excerpt:

I think it boils down to this… marriage is only easy if you don’t love your spouse. 

Don’t laugh at me, I’m serious.

If you don’t love your spouse, you don’t care what they do.  You don’t care if they pay you any attention or if they cheat or lie or do any number of crazy things. You just don’t care.  And because you don’t care, life is quite simple.  You both live completely oblivious to the other one without a care in the world when it comes to how you are treated in the relationship.

But if you love each other? Dear God help you.  Marriage is going to be one struggle after another. 

It made me think back to our pre-marriage counseling session when the pastor said something along the lines of, "if you really love each other this isn't going to be easy."

Don't read between the lines. Everything is great at our house. Wait. Not great like the people that don't care enough, but truly great amidst the choas that is life with a kindergartner and a three-month-old it is fabulous.

Its just a thought. Oh, and dear God, help us.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pregnancy Memories: Sibling Connection

We just had the 28 week ultrasound to check in on little I. The technician was really great. My husband and I arrived on time, and our sitter was picking K up from school and bringing her to the doctor’s office to meet us. The whole getting out of school and making it to the office was taking longer than expected, but the technician was glad to let us sit in her office – with the goo on my belly – and wait for K to arrive so she could see him too.

As the wait wore on, she decided to go ahead and do the measuring and other medically necessary things before K arrived. She said we’d look at his face in 3D with K. Then after a while of waiting, she said lets go ahead and see if we can see his face. We agreed, but there was no getting a clear shot. Baby I was awake, but didn’t want his picture taken.

Then it happened. The door swung open, the receptionist brought K in and she was chattering away. “Hi Mommy. Hi Daddy. I’m ready to see my brother.” And there it was. He turned his little face to his sister’s voice and it was captured on camera. As she walked across the room the sit on Dad’s lap, quieted down and I buried his face back in my hip.

Just to make sure, we asked Kayla to go to hop off Dad’s lap and talk to Isaac from a point where the tech would be able to get a good picture of his face and it worked again.

Amazing.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Raincoats

or should I say jackets that don't absorb water? Do you have one? Or are you more of the umbrella type?

I used to be an umbrella person. That is until K was born. It was just too crazy to lug the baby carrier, diaper bag and an umbrella. Something almost always got wet. Frequently it was the baby.

So, for a few years, I just zipped up my jacket, made sure the hood was secure (include hair tucked in), grabbed the diaper bag and the baby and made a dash for it.

After she reached about age two and I didn't carry a diaper bag, I tried again. But try as I may, there really didn't seem to be a good way to carry both a wiggly toddler and an umbrella without the afore mentioned soaking.

Finally, when K was about three we started to each carry an umbrella. She loved it. At three she was "grown up" to carry an umbrella and walk holding my hand. For my part I quite enjoyed not having to deal with a drippy jacket when we arrived at our destination.

Fast forward to yesterday's rain. We are now an after school trio of of one umbrella - K's. And - I am again wearing a jacket that gets drippy wet while the baby has the cute carrier cover.