Saturday, November 24, 2012

Bless Her Heart

When Big Girl was not so big, she would turn in circles in her crib. She was old enough that we had taken the bumbers out like the pediatrician recommended, so we she ended up all twisted around.

For at least a week she ended up like this.

Every morning. Bless her heart.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Brush. Wash. Smile.

I'm on a quest to finish decorating our home without breaking the bank.

Its not easy - and several projects have failed had to be reworked a few times to end up the way I want them.

A few weeks ago, I felt pretty successful creating some art for the kids recently painted bathroom. (Before and after pics are on Instragram.) It went like this.

1. Paint an old board (with Big Girl).
Some yellow, some orange, some mustard colored paint. Squirt it all on the board and use a foam brush. Funk and bright. Perfect.

2. Draw the letters to the words on clear contact paper.
This was more difficult than I expected. Only because she changed her mind a few times on what she wanted it to say. If you aren't into drawing your own letters, try printing the words on your computer and then tracing through the clear contact paper with a Sharpie.

3. Stick the letters on the board.
Warning/lesson from my own experience: If you don't measure the board you coudl end up with letters that don't fit and have to draw them again.

4. Brush with a thin coat of darker colored paint.
More help from my crafty seven year-old.

5. After it dries all of the way remove the letters.
Let me repeat. After it dries all of the way.

6. Put a frame holder on the back of the board and hang on the wall to enjoy.

Cheap. Fairly early. Takes up blank wall space. Love.

The next one is going to be Joshua 24. (as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD) If I can figure out how to make the words into the shape of a house. If not, I may buy it on Etsy!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Indoor Play

Its starting to get cooler outside, but that means nothing to toddlers. Nothing. They still want to run and play. So, we are learning about indoor play spaces.

Just as Big Girl is outgrowing them, Little Man is starting to enjoy them.

Do you know what that mean?

I'm the one that ends up crawling through the tubes made for people a quarter of my size. If its not me its hubby or the sitter (we have a new one lined up!!).

Since I don't make it to the top of the Chick-Fil-A play structure very often and the lighting is super unique, I had to take a picture.

Check out the little curls!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Grocery Store

Every child has embarrassed their parents that the parents wanted to melt into a pool of water and disappear like a snowman on the fourth of July.

My kids have done it to me.

I know that I did it to my mom.

Its something that we share. All of us adults who enter the parenting club. There is no way around it. It is just part of the deal.

I've been debating whether or not to share my latest such embarrassment, but decided, "Hey. Why not."

It was just another Sunday in the neighborhood when Little Man and I pulled up to the grocery store jammin' to Wheels on the Bus when all of a sudden...Little Mister Assertive showed up.

You know. The kid that screams and kicks and hits until he gets what he wants.

He showed up. At the grocery store.

The moment I opened the car door he started screaming. He didn't want to sit in the cart. He didn't want to be buckled. He wanted to sit in his car seat and go "home."

Just screamed. Loudly. Without stopping. All the way through the produce. I looked around and the whole section of the store was empty. People were walking in and detouring the apples and watermelons and green beans - instead heading for the floral department.

I couldn't take him out to the car to quiet him down, because that was exactly what he wanted. Instead, I distracted him. With grapes.

The crying stopped. Things went smoothly for a bit.

Then we got to the cereal aisle. He insisted on holding a box of Special K.

Fine. Its cereal. Even if he opens the box - whatever.

I walked around to the back of the cart while he was shaking the box and rearranged. Put a few items in. Then. Then I looked at my son.

In the moment I had turned away. While he was strapped in. He had opened the box. And the bag of cereal and was eating.

And. You know what. I just let him eat. He was quiet. He was happy. It was going well.

... That was until we were leaving, and a teen bag-boy put a package of ground beef within his reach. He made a dive, got the meat, and tossed it at a woman.

Not just any woman as it turns out. A nice lady who I've met a few times that works in the same building as I do.

She looked up. Saw me. Recognized me. And said a little too sweetly, "here's you're meat."


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sitter Searching Part 2

You would think that in six weeks time we would have found a new sitter.

Its the same thing over and over. Ask friends, family, co-workers, search online (try to pick the least scary person off a web page). Talk to a half dozen on the phone. Eliminate three crazies. Meet two or three in person. Say, "Heck yeah! This is going to work!" Then. Nothing. The wheels fall off.

Either they don't call back when I call to call to get references, they don't respond to emails, or in the case of one really nice girl - she got an offer from her neighbor.

Seriously. This is getting old.

On the flip side...  the more crazies I talk or email with the more hilarious content I have for you all.

Here is part of the online posting:

We are looking for someone to take care of our two cute kids (almost 2 and 7) from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 to 6 p.m. Duties include:
- car pool
- making snacks and lunches
- learning games
- light homework help
- assisting with potty training
- playing outside
- going to story time at the library

- visiting museums
- having fun!

We are open to a care provider with a child of their own, but would prefer not to have a large group setting. We are looking for a long-term person that would be with us a few years. Recommendations needed, background check will be run.

Expect to pay X per week including mileage.

Here are a few of the emails I've gotten. The first two are the very initial emails from people. Neither with a, "Hi. I'm so-and-so and I would love to watch your kids..."

Not the Nanny 26: What ages are your children? Will you be willing to pay higher than $X/hr? Do you pay for mileage?
Me: See posting. No. No.

Not the Nanny 27: I have a child in the 4th grade in Cary. I can't do carpool at your school because its too far away. I'm still interested in the position.
Me: Thank you for considering us. However, I don't think that you are the best match for our family.

Not the Nanny 28: I would love this job. I'm dependable and trustworthy.... I don't have a background check and I don't have phone numbers for any references because my phone broke. I would still love to visit with you and meet your family.

Not the Nanny 29: I am great with children... I took a CPR class, but do not have a certificate to be able to show you. I hope this will be okay... I was terrible at school, so I don't feel comfortable helping with homework.


Four more "no way" candidates off the list.

We have another interview tonight. I have a good feeling about this one, so wish us luck!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Halloween Recap

To say this Halloween was a success would be an understatement. Amid the chilly fall air and the bags of candy we had some pretty freakin' awesome moments.

1. Wardrobe Choices
When its cold and you tell a girl to change her outfit to stay warm it can be dramatic. I know, because it is for me. (Go away pesky weather man with bad news!) So when its a special outfit for a special occasion - as Halloween is for most seven year-old's - brace yourself. As it turns out, loading up on candy and starting quickly was waaaaay more important than displaying the full Princess Jasmine mid-drift. So, on went the tights and turtleneck without so much as a second thought. Score!

For younger ones, the idea of a costume. Can be a little much. They don't know what it means. They don't know why they need different pants to run around and roar one day than they did the day before. Truth be told they don't. Its the old siblings and parents that need the outfit. For his part, I switched out LM's pants during a diaper change. No big deal. Downplayed the costume by calling the dinosaur hoodie a jacket. Then, put on your hood so you stay warm while we go on a walk. "Go out? Otay."

2. Candy
Some parents go with the, "wait till you get home to eat candy, we have to check it for scary things," approach. I say, "give me your Kit Kats and Reese's Cups."

Needless to say by the ripe old age of seven, there is no sneaking candy out of Big Girls' candy basket without her noticing. So, she snacks too. Mother-Daughter bonding.

LM has not been much of a candy or sweets fan. At his first birthday he refused cake, frosting and ice cream. He sees sweets coming and buttons his lips. The exception has been for teething cookies when he was smaller, and the Oreo's in the yellow package at the beach. There was also the day that he ate a mincemeat cookie with Grandpa. But on Halloween I pushed ahead and we made a break trough.

He was getting fussy. Wanted to be held. Didn't want to go in the stroller. I was getting tired of carrying him. (He didn't want Hubby to take him.) So I started offering candy. Theory being a little sugar and he would be off and running and my back would get a break. Tried a few things, and then we got to Nerds. Straight up sugar. I just stuck one in his mouth. Probably more like three because I was expecting they to come back out. He loved them. "More momma more." Sure. I'm cutting you off at six.

He was off and running again. He keeps asking for more. "Nurd momma nurd." Um. Not for breakfast.

3. Family Time
We all enjoyed ourselves. We were giggling and running around together. All four of us. Very little fussing. Major score!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sitter Searching

The last few weeks we've been searching for a new sitter/nanny. After more than five years, ours is moving. We've met several nice women, but still haven't found "the one." As we continue our search, here are some of the entertaining highlights so far.

Me: So, on the phone we talked about the pay rate being around ### per week. Are you still good with that?
Not the Nanny: Oh. I thought that was per kid. I need that per kid.
Me: Um, okay. We aren't going to be able to do that. Thanks for chatting with us.

Not the Nanny: So my rate is no less than ## per hour. You need me to be available 50 hours a week, so even if you aren't using all those hours, I will need to get paid for them since I can't do anything else. Traditionally a nanny will also get a car or an expense card for gas and the kids meals and what not. My last family did a car plus a credit card. I really find that to be the easiest way to go.
Me: Oh okay. (Whotheheckdoyouthinkyouare?)
Not the Nanny: So you think that would work out for you all?
Me: I think we could do that.... (Yeahright.Youcangetoutofmyhousecrazylady.)

Me: We've really enjoyed meeting you. I think that we will be able to work with you. Do you mind if we do a reference check and then be in touch about a start date.
Not The Nanny: That sounds great. This is such a blessing. I am so excited.
Me: We are excited too.
Then the references didn't call back and she didn't respond to two phone calls or any of the texts. Dropped off the face of the earth.

Me: So, our daily routine is.....
LM: Cock. Cock.
Not the Nanny: Oh shirt. He says cock.
Me: He likes clocks.
Not the Nanny: Darn. I just said that and the kids are here.
BG: Mommy says that is a bad word too.

Me: So our son is interested in going potty, but we aren't exactly potty training yet.
Not the Nanny: So how are you teaching him to pee.
Me: Well we are sitting him down.
Not the Nanny: Oh no. That is all wrong. You teach boys to pee standing up or you just have to teach them again.
Me: Well he isn't exactly tall enough.
Not the Nanny: You just focus on your work and I'll focus on the kids and tell you how we are doing things. It'll be a lot smoother that way.

We're going to keep searching for the right sitter. More stories to come. For sure.