Tuesday, April 24, 2012

You Know Its A Good Day

At the end of the day sometimes you take a moment and sit back and say, "hey, it was a good day." For sure you do it on vacation, on holiday's and for us on many Saturday's. But how often do you sit back and declare it a "good day," in the middle of the week? Around our house its not very often.
However, last night was different. It was a good day. Here are just three of the reasons.
1. A package we had been waiting on finally arrived.
2. The kids eat all their dinner without fussing.
3. Desert cost more than dinner.

Wow. Yesterday the stars must have been aligned!

First, the replacement bulb for our TV came in the mail. We have two TV's, so its not like we were without TV. But now we can grab the ice cream and catch up on all the trash that we secretly watch after the kids are in bed (Sister Wives or Gold Rush anyone?)

Then - dinner. Its always a treat for us when the kids are happy about the meal they are getting. And a special bonus if it can be outside with nice weather. It doesn't have to be a good meal, and in fact to get them totally quiet during a meal it usually has to be kids food. So, getting the rare combination of kids food and outide dining makes it a good day. (Could have been near perfect except the hot dog place doesn't have wine!)

Did I mention it was also less than $20 for three adults and two kids to eat? Fantastic. Thanks grandma and Snoopy's. We love $1 Tuesdays.

Finally desert. Nothing makes it a good day like a good desert and Goodberry's is right next to Snoopy's. Whoever planned this knows a thing or two about family dining.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Truth

Most kids have trouble telling the truth at times. Whether its about sneaking candy before dinner, riding your bike on the big road or driving the car too fast, all kids lie Its part of being a kid.

The art of trying to uncover a lie - that is a feat of parenting genius.

Take this weekend for example. Okay, before I go any further, I should say that uncovering this lie didn't really take much detective work, but for the fact that we are practicing for when our kids are teenagers and there will undoubtedly be more detective work to uncovering lies - please play along.

It was a rainy Sunday and Big Girl was setting up for a game of Candy Land on the kitchen table. We used to play on the floor, but you really can't do that with a 16-month-old brother.

Alas, the board was set up. The plastic men were standing at attention and my beautiful, brilliant daughter was taking her slow time to shuffle the cards.

Husband wasn't too concerned about the long card shuffling, because, well, lets be honest, how many parents get excited about a game of Candy Land? I mean, you love hanging out with your kids, you may even like the mind work of Scrabble, but Candy Land isn't exactly a favorite most adults. :: Go ahead and send the hate mail if its your favorite. I can take it!

It was finally time to start. The cards are in a nice pile and husband says, "Who is going first?"

A little too excited our daughter says, "Me. Me!"

She takes the top card and says, "Oh look its the ice cream princess." Also known as the character that fast forwards you to almost the end of the game.

"Dang," I think to myself on the other side of the kitchen, my turn is going to be soon. (Remember I love my kid, but not Candy Land!).

But my husband, his mind was already going. He was suspicious. This kid really likes to win and the  ice cream princess is near the end of the rainbow road. Where you know, you have to get to to win.

Then he takes a card. Its the lollipop. Another candy card right in a row? Really? He strarts to open his mouth and she says, "I put it there for you."

Hummmm.

All I hear is "Did you put the ice cream princess on top for yourself?"

Followed by a small little voice saying, "no."

Then the little voice saying, "I'm going to take my turn."

I honestly couldn't even look. If I had turned to look I would have either laughed or regressed to the playground and pointed my finger and said, "cheater!"

So I just stood at the stove with my back to the table and listened.

Did she just seriously cheat like that and then try to lie about it?

She did.

He asked again and she said no agin. I'd had it. I turned around.

She looked like she was trying to hide in her chair. Hoping it would swollow her up. It didn't.

I really can't remember who said what next. It was one of those sureal moments as she fessed up and started to ball her eyes out.

Then she had to clean up the game. No more Candy Land for the day.

She cried for a good 30 minutes, then pouted for a few hours. She's so hard on herself.

Hopefully, lesson learned, don't be sneaky and try to cheat. Mom and Dad will find out. However, I have a feeling it was also lesson learned on how to do it better next time. Isn't that just how kids are.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Going Away

I’m on the plane waiting to start my weekend away without the kids. I’m going to pretty much the middle of nowhere, but that is okay, because when I get there one of my very best friends will be there to greet me.

It will be nice to sit back and spend some time with an old friend. To catch up on all that is going on in both of our busy lives. I’m looking forward to seeing her. I really truly am, but at the same time it is so hard to leave my kids.

I wonder if its because I’m a working mom. If I was a stay at home mom would it be easier? Would it be simpler to say, “see you in a few days,” if I spent all day every day with them. Would I have less guilt?

I think I would.

I’m not one of those Moms who wonders if her kids will eat their veggies and get enough sleep if she is gone. I don’t have to. My husband is one of the most competent dads I’ve ever met. He drives carpools, he makes dinner, supervises bathes, sometimes he will even start a load of laundry. (My own father ranks ranked right up there with him.)

So why do I feel bad about leaving them?

I have two theories. 1 – It’s a social/cultural thing that is embedded in us. 2 – its hardwired.

Okay, so now that I am writing it out both of these sound a little bit alike, but they aren’t.

Social/Cultural
Our society tells us that mothers should take care of their kids. If you have a job outside the home, or if your job is at home, society seems to say that it is the job of a mom – above anyone else – to take care of children. So, when you leave, even for a few days you aren’t doing your job as a mother.

I think. Its one of those subliminal message and passed on from your mother type of things. You know like collards at New Years and not wearing white after Labor Day.

Then there is theory number two.

Hardwired
Something internally, be it chemical, whatever says that you shouldn’t leave your baby(ies). When they are little and nursing, and you don’t see them for a while, it’s a physical pain, “find that baby. He needs you. And P.S. – get the milk outta these boobs lady.”

Only since the milk truck stage is over there isn’t the physical pain. At least not in the same way.

Instead it’s more of an aching in my heart. (There is also a constant need to pee. But maybe that is the water, soda and margarita that I had waiting through all the delays not nerves.) I know I need a break from my kids. I really truly want one, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

Enough.

I must stop beating myself up. Get into vacation mode and relax.

Margarita here I come.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Time I...

Have you seen the TTI (for The Time I...) on the Disney Channel? They are cute. And educational.  And show real kids sharing their stories about important milestones they reached in their lives. And kids like them. Okay, my kid that is old enough to watch TV likes them and so does our sitter's son and the kids she plays with. So.... kids like them.

One of our favorites was TTI Flew an Airplane.


There are also fun stories about going scuba diving and a really nice one about realizing that a brother is different and its because he has autism.


More good stuff.

This afternoon (I took the day off!) I was sitting on the couch with BG and LM was napping. We were catching up on Good Luck Charlie and she started telling me about her TTI plan.

I'm not going to show you a video. I may be crafty, but I'm not a video wiz.

So, instead we wrote it down.

Its about swimming. Here goes.

 - When I was little I didn't know how to swim, so my Mommy taught me.
- I started to get good so I joined a swim team. It was a lot of fun.
- When the summer was over so was my first swim team. But I wanted to keep swimming.
- So, I joined my year-round swim team.
- At first it was really hard to jump off the blocks because they were so high and the pool looked so big.
- But my coach helped me practice a lot and my Mom and Dad and brother cheered for me.
- Then I learned how to do it, even though I was tough.
- I got to be a really good swimmer and now I can win races.

Okay, so there isn't a video, but here is a picture of her jumping off the block. 


She won that race.

Cute idea!

Actually really cute. Now she wants to send it to the Disney people.

Wish me luck with that!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dropped on the Head

As a writer, there are things that you want to write about but know you probably shouldn't. Or, if you do you shouldn't share it with many people - you know like on a blog.

Its not the same but it is similar to the filter that (should) automatically gets turned on when you're around extended family. Or when you're wearing a microphone and the red light is on meaning that the camera is "hot" and everyone in your high school will hear what you have to say. Wait was that me saying the Katie was terrible in the school play? Wait. U-turn back to my point.

There are things that probably shouldn't be blogged about out - like dropping a baby on his head, or falling off a bike, or intimate details of your relationship with your husband, or dropping a baby on his head. Even if your experiences can help others learn something.

Wait.

You want to hear about dropping a baby on his head? You want to hear all about it so you can be in on the jokes for years to come? You'll stop reading my blog if I don't tell you? You think that I learned an important lessons and you want to learn too?

Then I have to.

The story goes something like this....

Big Girl and Little Man were at the park with the sitter. LM was toddling around doing his thing when the mother hen in BG decided tht he was somewhere he didn't need to be. Now mind you there was plenty of adult supervision and he was really perfectly fine.

That is when BG decided to pick him up and take him back to the playground..... and even though I wasn't there I can visualize it. New sandals meet sidewalk. Sidewalk meet brother's head.

Yep. She dropped him. On concrete.

He of course cried. Our sitter of course jumped into action.

Within an hour we were getting checked out by our friendly pediatrician. Pretty good considering what it was 4 p.m. and that is about the time traffic starts to back up in Raleigh.

He says LM will most likely be fine. A bruise about the size of a baseball that will take awhile to heal, but no real trauma thank goodness.

But that was a rough hour. First the panic. Then the trying to keep a toddler awake when its nap time and you don't have either of the two things he likes for comfort - milk or a paci. Fussing. Crying. I think our first all out temper tantrum. But he did stay awake (so did everyone else in the doctor's office!). Rough.

But here is what we learned and why this isn't the worst post to write (plus being in on the jokes).

- If kids/toddlers fall or are dropped less than four feet there is a really small chance of serious injury. I think he said less than one percent.
- If there is swelling after a blow to the head its bad. (We didn't have much if any.)
- The whole keeping them awake thing that they do on sitcoms is for real.
- Throwing up is a sign that its bad. (See the movies and TV shows get some things right!)
- Kids shouldn't carry kids around. Duh. Not so easy to teach a momma hen big sister.
- If your kid takes a blow to the head it can be important to get them checked out. This is because you can't check all the neurological stuff at home. Like blood or fluid in the ears and eye stuff.

So, thank goodness he is okay. Hopefully BG will be too (her ego is a little bruised from learning). And hopefully you learned something. I did today.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Home Projects Update

Remember back in January when we were talking about getting lots of projects done around the house. I named a whole list of things and while I didn't say it thought I was probably pushing my luck to get them all done quickly.

I did well for awhile, checking off the doll closet and the art work for the guest room and even the rugs for the kids bathroom.

Then I forgot to keep you updated. Bad blogger!

Since I didn't, here is the catch-up post.

I really wish the title of this post could be "Home Projects Complete" but its on of those things...

Okay. Enough sob story. Here are the projects that I can call complete.

Little Man's Curtains


Oh how perfect! They are basic, but nice. I carefully took the stitching out of the crib bumber, then ironed and put seems all around the edges. Big Girl helped and I those parts. Measuring fabric when there is no second chance is not a job for a first grader. Ironed some more. Whipped out the staple gun (P.S. Pretty much every home project should have a staple gun. Love using it.) and it was up.

In reality it took me most of a weekend when you include taking the seems from the crib bumper out, but its was worth it. Cute. Free. Match the crib set and rest of the room. Perfect.

Guest Room Wall Art


This one was also simple, but took a while to gather all the elements.

I laid all the shapes out on the floor, wrapped them in the fabrics to make sure I liked how they looked. Stared at them. Changed them. Went to the fabric store and thrift store for more fabric. Stared and changed them again, said a little prayer for a long nap time. Then I finally stapple gunned them on the assorted boxes and frames, etc. and hung them on the wall.

If you are interested in boxes, etc I used - here goes.


1. Old Dollar Store 4x6 frame
2. Lid to a wine gift box (leftover from Christmas)
3. Old picture frame, removed the glass and art
4. Wooden Box from a Melissa and Doug wooden fruit set
5. Box from Levolor blinds
6. Shoe box lid
7. Ring from the diaper pail refill (The part that is left over after the bag is used up.)
8. Another old picture frame
I think it would almost be easier for a kids room, or another space where you could just use a color pallet that you wear a lot of instead of going out shopping for just the right fabric.

It was a super fun and easy project. Another inexpensive one. I think there was about $5 at thrift stores for some of the fabric and about $6 at the fabric store for the blue one in the middle.

More to come soon. The headboard is already in progress!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Gardenin'

Spring is here and we are back in the garden. Its so much fun to be outside and spending time together.

This weekend we devoted to putting in a new bed next to the deck and getting rid of any possible snake habitats. We do NOT need any more snakes!

With those things accomplished, here is a look at what we are growing this summer.

We've got blueberries, spinach, sugar snap peas, onions, tomatoes, peppers (two kinds), potatoes and broccoli so far. Plus cucumbers, green beans and more to come.

Then in the new space we have herbs - mint, oregano, dill, parsley and rosemary.

Plus this cute little guy is getting lessons on how to water the plans.

Not sure if its a good idea or a bad one. Whacha think?