Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Results...After this Break

Well, we went to the doc yesterday for our ultrasound. We were in the waiting room 15 minutes when they came out and said the doc had to suddenly run to the hospital and they'd have to reschedule. We were totally crushed. It was a bummer day. Luckily, they had an opening for today, because other than that, it would have been next week, and Sam had already expressed concern about being out of links on our "baby" paper chain countdown.
Now I know how those people on reality shows feel when the hosts say they'll have the results...after the break. If the break was over 24 hours long, and they got little kicks to the bladder every few hours. (Not that the results changes the kicking, I'm just adding a little color to the picture). Daniel had taken the day off for it, we had lined up a sitter for Peyton weeks in advance, and now we had a last minute change of plans. Oh well, nothing you can do about it. Seeing as I was a baby born in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve, I don't really feel too confident throwing a tantrum about babies who arrive at inconvenient times. It's not like I planned it, but still, I managed to mess up just about everybody with my arrival. Oddly, now I'm not the kind of person who likes to "make an entrance." Maybe I just know there's no way to top the first one I ever made, so why try?

So, we went back today, and had to take Peyton with us in the middle of his nap time. Daniel had to run over on his lunch break. I was stressed to the max about how this would go, and a little trigger shy (as if the odds were high of getting rescheduled again two days in a row, when it's only happened three times in as many pregnancies, but still, I was nervous).

Everything went well though, didn't have to wait too long, Peyton was actually really good considering his age, the time of day, and the fact that he couldn't touch anything.  Plus, the very first thing the doctor saw was the gender, so Sam could stop dancing around nervously after about 12 seconds.

It's a girl!

Instead of yelling with joy, or an exclamation of excitement, Sam blurted out loudly "I was RIGHT!!!!" She kept saying "I knew it was a girl. You didn't know, and Daddy didn't know, but I did." Finally, even the doctor commented on the fact that she seemed very happy to be right, maybe even more than she was happy it was a girl.
Hey, what can I say? She's totally my daughter.  The ladies in this family like to be right, and now we're getting one more. We will see how she will be, but I'd be surprised to no end if she doesn't like to right too. (Who likes to be wrong? No one.)

So, Sam is very happy, and while I would have honestly been happy either way, I'm very excited for both the baby and Sam. Daniel is happy too, because he was cool with either, but it's hard not to get super excited when one of your kids is so incredibly jazzed about something. I love my boy and wouldn't trade him for the world, or mind another one, but I love frilly dresses and shopping for baby girls is just so fun!  Plus, my family, and my only cousins on my dad's side too, oddly enough, were both girl, boy, girl, so it just seems familiar to me! We are over the moon for our baby girl!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Gender Identity Crisis

By now, our ultrasound to find out the gender of baby #3 is only a little ways away. Like 24 hours. Yea! I promised Sam she could go with us for the event, but I had a little inkling she might not be the politest of children if she doesn't get her "way" on the gender. She's been so very adamant about what she wants, and our attempts to tell her that either way will be fine have been met with eye rolls, and sometimes, insincere agreement so we'll let her go about her business. I was worried about her having some sort of bratty meltdown at the office. In fact, several months ago, when I told her the doctor might very well say "It's a boy," she looked at me like I was crazy and said "Well, I guess he might, but that's kind of a weird thing to say to a girl." So, yeah, she's fully entrenched in camp "pink" and has been for a while.
So, yesterday, I came up with the idea to "practice" what to do at the doctor office. We were getting ready for church, and I said "Okay Sam, what will you say if the doctor says, 'Let's see here...yep, it's a boy!"
Sam: "I'd say...Noooooooooooooooo!" Seriously, she couldn't have said it better if she was taking a bullet for someone in a movie. So dramatic.
Me: "Okay, well, that's why we're practicing. Don't say that. That would be super rude."
Sam: "Yeah, okay. But admit it mom, two little boys...would be a lot. It would just be a lot." Then she heaved a gigantic sigh.

Oh, yeah, right Sam. Two boys would be "a lot," as if raising you is some sort of cakewalk.
We'll get the verdict soon, but either way, I predict a lot of tiredness in my future. Because I've already got both genders, and both are totally crazy in their own way. I predict a third version of crazy this family has yet to see.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

This is how it's gonna be?

My life, not unlike a caterpillar, has a clear cycle. It's a daily thing, and it goes something like this:

Put Peyton in high chair for breakfast. Peyton drinks his milk, then throws remaining unwanted solid food over the side of the tray.

I get frustrated and swear I won't bother cleaning it up this time.

Get Peyton down, wash his hands and face, and send him to play.

Sam manages to "accidentally" step on whatever dry food is on floor, I catch Peyton snacking on the intact remains.

I get utterly disgusted, give in, grab the broom and sweep (or vacuum) the floor anywhere near the table and high chair.

By now it's time for lunch! Back in the high chair!

Again, Peyton drinks his milk, eats a few bites of solid food, and drops remaining food overboard. He does this even if I let him pick his food, or it's something he really loves. I swear, this kid is living on nothing but milk. It's like a newborn all over again.

The floor is once again disgusting, but I will not sweep it again! I will not! It's a waste of time, he's just going to eat again in a few hours.

During naptime/quiet time, I end up stepping on a corn chip or froot loop. This is very gross, yes, but I will not give in yet. However, the floor continues to bug me. I can't make my own lunch with it grossing me out like that. What if someone comes over and sees I live this way? So, once more, I give in and sweep the floor. I don't know why I bother, since an hour or so later...

Afternoon snack time! Back in the high chair, and you guessed it, food on the floor. It's like he has a quota, a certain amount must be on the floor. If I give him half the food, he will just have to eat less, because the sacrifices to the tile gods must be made in full!

Since I learned my lesson during morning playtime, I just go straight for the broom to avoid watching him round up some smushed up string cheese and eat it in an hour. The kids play, the floor is clean, life is good.

Then, dinner time for Peyton while Daniel heads home and I put together dinner for the grown ups and Sam (or sit down feeling crappy and try not to lose it with the kids, depending on how the day is going). Once again, he bails food over the side for the peasant ants who depend on him for their livelihood and revere him as a cult figure who rains manna from the heavens four times a day, but also will vengefully step on them with no provocation.  (This is a joke, we don't really have ants. But it's a miracle we don't) I tell him for the 1000th time, not to do that. By this point, food issues aside, I'm usually pretty much at the end of my rope with the kiddos in general. More often than not, it's been a long day. As soon as Peyton finishes "eating," Daniel walks in the door, says hello to everyone, looks at the floor under our son and says "Wow, how does this floor get so disgusting? We really should sweep it more often." We. Yes, seriously, he says "we." In his defense, he also honestly believes he means "we," because if he were home while Peyton makes the messes, and he would have every intention of sweeping, therefore, "we."  I, however, realize this "we" actually means "me," and get irrationally irritated to a level only a pregnant woman really can.

Fantasy me punches him in the face.

Real me just stomps upstairs in a huff. Sometimes, on the way up, I shout "I swept THREE TIMES TODAY!" Other times, I assume he knows the drill by now and just go. He stays downstairs wondering why I'm always in such a bad mood when he gets home from work (because apparently, he doesn't actually know the drill by now, Mars and Venus, amirite?). I resurface after a few minutes alone, and we manage to have a decent dinner and evening. Someone does the dishes, but I refuse to sweep the floor on principle, waiting for that "we" to kick in and take care of it. Somehow "we" never surfaces. "We" is busy doing evening stuff, sort of like "me" is busy doing daytime stuff.

The next morning, I wake up to a nasty floor, and clip Peyton into his seat for breakfast.

In the background, I swear I hear "The Circle of Life." I can almost picture Rafiki holding up a dustpan reverently.

It may not be a cycle I'm particularly fond of, but it is what it is. I will be so happy when Peyton stops throwing his food overboard.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Pearls of Wisdom

Yesterday, in honor of Thanksgiving, Sam had a few pearls of wisdom to share with me, that I'm going to share with all of you. It's either that, or work out, or do laundry, and I'm still in a bit of Thanksgiving fog, so the longer I can put working out, the happier I'll be.

First, when she came to wake me up, Sam yanked my covers off (a technique I really dislike, by the way) and pointed out that my stomach now sometimes sticks out from under my shirt (only at night, when I'm still trying to make do with clothes I already have, it's not like I strut around like that during the day). Judging by the laughter, this was quite possibly the funniest thing she has ever witnessed. After she followed me to the the bathroom and amid a few gasps of laughter punctuated by choked out phrases, "Your belly....gasp gasp...sticks out...giggle giggle...of your shirt!!!" I finally got irritated and said, "Hey, Sam, give me a break, my belly is getting big, ok?"
Upon realizing she might have hurt my feelings, she immediately sobered up, and looked at me thoughtfully. Then she said "Hey, mom, it's true that your belly is getting bigger. Like its getting really really really a lot big. But, you've got a baby in there! Either that, or a giant hot dog. And you know what, Mom? Either way, it's totally ok. It's ok."
Awww, thanks, Sweetie. You managed to simultaneously exacerbate and help my body image issues. What can I say, she's a talented kid.

But Sam woke up feisty on Thanksgiving morning, and she wasn't yet finished sharing her theories on life. We scooped up Peyton, and headed downstairs to eat breakfast and start cooking our additions to the extended family Thanksgiving. I turned on the TV to hopefully keep them out of my hair while I wrestled with an orange roll recipe that I only have about a 20% success rate making (although it worked yesterday! Boom!). Unfortunately, the TV was showing one of those abused dog Sarah Maclachlan commercials. I hate those anyway, but when I'm pregnant, forget it. Niagra falls. To make matters worse, I realized Sam was starting intently at the commercial, and I could tell there was a question brewing. Sam has not asked a single question in over two years. Everything has at least 37 follow ups. After only about 5 seconds, not enough time for me to change the channel, here it came. "Mom, why are those animals so sad looking?"
Super, I was going to kick off my holiday trying to teach my kid about animal abuse. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! (In case you're wondering why I don't just make something up to end the conversation, lying to Sam isn't just a moral conundrum for me, it's a physical impossibility. I'm a horrible liar to start with, and she's so smart, and there's so many follow-up questions, it's just too much to keep track of a web of deception on the fly. The few times I've tried, it's unraveled on me so fast, that I realized there was just no point even trying. So, she gets an age-appropriate honest approach, and I get migraines. That's where we stand.)
So, I sucked it up and said "Those animals are sad because the people they lived with, didn't treat them nicely." Then I waited for follow up question #1.
Instead, Sam looked thoughtful for a moment, and slowly added "Nope. I don't think that's it."
"What do you mean, that's not it?"
Sam shook her head and said "That's not why they're sad. Those animals are sad because those guys (meaning the rescuers) has them stuck in those little cages. I bet if they let them out, they'd look much happier! Geez!" She was disgusted.
This was an interesting approach, I admit I'd never thought about. The more I thought about it, the more Sam seemed to be onto something there. After all, these animals had already been rescued from abuse, and now had reason to be happy, but sure enough, they were all in cages. What animal looks happy behind bars? All of a sudden, I was laughing. Here they were, trying to be all heavy handed and induce guilt and my four-year-old is sitting there thinking the rescue operation was the reason the dogs were still sad. Maybe the problem was you, Sarah? Ever think about that? Sam wasn't buying the manipulation they were selling. I was sitting there trying not to cry at the sad animals, and my logical 4-year-old daughter was getting all cynical on me. Consider my mind blown at the total role-reversal.
Sometimes, I just love that kid so much, it hurts my guts. She is just so much her own independent person. She's got the softest heart I know, but try and manipulate her, and she sees right through it, and she will not have that crap! Will not have it!

Something tells me my little Sam will be okay in this messed up world.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sibling Rivalry

Lately, Sam has been obsessed with when she'll be able to feel the baby kick. She asks all the time if she can feel it yet, and I explained that I would probably feel it long before she could, but I couldn't even feel it yet. She was very upset at this and grumbled something under her breath about "everything with babies takes sooooo long." Yesterday in the middle of church, she slammed her head into my stomach (which of course felt absolutely fabulous, and wasn't a huge uncomfortable jab that made me instantly have to pee--and that's a huge lie), and then informed me she could may not be able to feel the baby kick, but she could hear the baby crying in there. If that were in any way true, it would be supremely creepy.  Horror movie creepy. Sometimes kids come up with the creepiest things, and don't even realize how terrifying that would actually be in reality.

Naturally, I thought she'd be excited when last night in the car, I turned around and said "Sam, I'm pretty sure I did just feel the baby kick!"
Instead, she looked back at me, sighed and said "Yes. Well. I also just farted." She seemed irritated that no one was celebrating that as much as the baby kicking. As if her passing gas is even close to rare, or in any way cute.
Face palm.

I suppose we have reached that stage when things that she thinks are going to be exciting actually turn out to be a little irritating or cause jealousy. That's a natural and understandable emotion, but that doesn't mean its gotta be indulged. She's just barely getting old enough to understand "suck it up and act happy no matter how you feel, because you aren't diminished by other people's good fortune," but that's a lesson a lot of adults need to learn still. Sam isn't less special to me because a new baby is coming (and neither is Peyton). I am not less awesome if a friend gets a great high paying job, or a new house with a kitchen I would love, or is lucky enough to have a pregnancy that doesn't come with severe nausea, high-school flashback acne, and stretch marks. It's not like my stretch marks would disappear if another woman got them. If this life has taught me anything, it's that there are plenty of stretch marks to go around, metaphorically speaking. There are also plenty of great things, like love, happiness, and opportunity to go around too. 

Life is not a zero sum game, where one person finding happiness means another can't. It's a lesson I have to find a way to teach to my four-year-old, but it's a lesson we could all stand to brush up on sometimes. I think the world we live in would be a much better place if we all understood, not just knew, but understood, that envy is a pretty destructive emotion.  It only takes and diminishes the person that possesses it. What it does not do is add to the envious, detract from the envied, or make the world "more fair." Of course, as Sam so aptly demonstrated to me last night, envy is a natural and powerful emotion, so this is much easier said than done.

In this season of Thanksgiving, I hope I can take the time to really count my blessings, without buying into the temptation to count my blessings only as they compare to others.  What comes easily to me, may come hard to others, and what I consider impossible (like running), others do with ease (I've heard some people even enjoy it. Mystifying). That may not be "fair" on the face of that one facet of life, but when you look at the overall package, I believe in a loving Heavenly Father who is supremely fair in the end. I believe that our vision is more limited than we even realize, so we would all be better off if we just stopped squinting so hard to read the fine print on other people's lives, and instead, focused on our own story. I also believe that if we could see all the fine print, we probably wouldn't trade lives with someone else we thought was so blessed, if it actually meant taking on their struggles as well. So, that's my goal this week, to count my blessings and not grade them on a curve.

The biggest blessings in my life are my children and my husband. All three (soon to be four) of these amazing people in my life are infinitely special to me. All of them have their own special talents and abilities, that thankfully go well beyond bodily functions (although Sam and Peyton are very talented with tooting and belching, respectively). I'm thankful for my husband, who is a great man and a hands on partner in life--the kind you want with you in the trenches, but also for the long haul. He's also a fabulous dad.  I'm lucky to have the opportunity to work with him every day to raise these great and funny children, and I wouldn't trade my crazy kiddos for anyone else in the world. Not even for a kid who never farted or burped, or one that came potty trained. And that's saying something when you hate diapers as much as I do.

 Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

**Disclaimer: If this third kid actually did show up potty trained, I wouldn't exactly complain. I would be thrilled. Just in case anyone up there with any control over these things reads my blog.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Veritable Verbal Explosion

Now that Peyton is 20-months old, his language skills have just exploded over the last couple of months. Sam talked early and talked a lot, so it's been a different experience having Peyton take a different path and suddenly after being a pretty quiet guy, he now is a chatterbox. I don't know who, but someone dropped a quarter in this kid and got him started!

One of my favorite Peytonisms is about his blanket. He has a blue crocheted blanket that we got as a gift that he just loves and sleeps with every night and nap. We always called it "Blue Blankie" but a few months ago, Peyton started trying to say it, and his attempts finally evolved and settled into the word "Blee" (a mix of "blue" and "blankie"). So, he wanders around the house asking "Where my blee?" and announcing "Oh! Here my blee!" or "It's my blee!" as if it just returned from war! My personal favorite is when he heard the washing machine running, followed me in to the laundry room, held up his blanket and said "Wash my blee?" (It really did stink that day.) I love that it's his own term and he uses adult phrases combined with toddler speak so sincerely. He also understands when you tell him to do stuff with his "blee." If you tell him, "leave your blee on your bed and come for breakfast," he will drop it in his bed and say "Bye, Blee!" as he heads downstairs. What can I say? The man loves his blee.

But my other favorite skill that has come with Peyton's new found language is that he talks to himself (not unlike his mother). I love overhearing an unexpected pep talk given to himself by a toddler. Just this morning, I was putting on my make up, when I heard the pitter patter of Peyton feet, followed by the thud of a Peyton faceplant into the carpet. Before I could even turn around, he was back on his feet and I heard him say to himself: "Whoa. I fell. Okay, okay..." and then he shook it off and finished coming in the room. There are few things more hilarious than hearing a situation explained in the most basic terms known to man. You can almost see him thinking about it--hmm, something unexpected just happened, lets figure out what it was...all right, I got it, carry on.

And really, isn't that what all of us are doing on some level or another? Trying to piece together what is happening in our own little world based on our own current level of perception? I guess watching Peyton try to master skills I thought I had has taught me that we're all really just going through the same processes. Some of us are past the "blee" stage, but its not really by much in the grand scheme of things.  I'm grateful I have these wonderful little kids around to teach me these lessons, it's much nicer to learn them in the school of peek-a-boo than the school of hard knocks.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Booger Pants, Secret Shame and an Announcment

A couple of weeks ago, on the way to school, Sam shouted "Mom, help! I have a booger and these are new pants!"
I was intrigued by this combination of announcements, so I asked "What does having a booger have to do with your pants?"
"Well, if they were old pants, I'd just wipe the booger on them, but these are new pants and they're nice! I need a tissue!!!"
Isn't that lovely? The truly embarrassing part of the whole thing is, that of course, I really don't actually want my kid wiping her boogers on her pants--that's super disgusting. On the other hand, what I didn't know wasn't exactly hurting me, and the last thing I wanted to do was fumble around the diaper bag while driving to try and find a tissue.  Cleanliness or safety? So, the reality of the situation was I just would have preferred never to have found out what she did with her boogers. Plausible deniability--every parent's best friend.

In other news, I saw a study that said 53% of moms lie to make themselves and their kids look better to other parents. I would just like to point out that in case it wasn't obvious based on what I've told you above (and hey, the rest of this blog), I don't actually fit into this category. If I was lying to make myself better and this was the best I could come up with, someone would have held an intervention for me by now.  Let's all just admit that we're human moms, not super moms, or perfect moms, and laugh a little at our foibles.  Even if our kids pants are covered in boogers, if they're happy, fed, insanely loved, and regularly hosed off (and the booger pants run through the wash), we're doing ok.

And finally, while I may be fine with being an imperfect parent, I'm sorry to say lately I've been a downright unfit blogger. At least I have a good reason for that. Baby #3 is joining our family in early May!!! While I am beyond thrilled, I have also been beyond nauseated and it's been effecting my blogging (and parenting, and cooking, and cleaning). Now that I'm feeling a little better, (hopefully continuing to improve as I hit the 2nd trimester), I will try to be better about least until this kid shows up and I again face the endless pit of newborn needs. :)

Happy November!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Product Placement

This morning for breakfast, I made Sam and me a smoothie.
Peyton doesn't get any, because I like to put almond milk in them, and there's a slight chance he's allergic to almonds. So, tough beans kiddo, eat your banana.

Anyway, as we were drinking the smoothie, Sam looked over at the carton of almond milk. Suddenly, she said, "Mom, is this almond milk Silk?"
"Yes." It did just happen to be that particular brand of almond milk. I got excited thinking she might have sounded out the word and read it herself.
Before I could ask her if she read it, Sam piped up again and said, "Wow! It's no wonder I'm so good at soccer now! Silk is so good for your bodies and bones!! I hope I'm playing today, 'cause I'd be great after drinking this."

That was quite the pitch (and so humble about her soccer skills, too). As I've mentioned a time or two on this blog, our family is very susceptible to advertising.

Now, apparently, we've progressed to product placement in our daily lives. She would fit right in to an awkward sudden conversation about Yoplait light or Extra dessert flavored sugar-free gum on The Biggest Loser.

The sad part is, no one is paying us. She just talks like this because she thinks it's normal to talk about products using their key advertising points.

I blame our consumer-driven society, and the vast amount of advertising she encounters everywhere, even on the endcaps of store aisles. I most certainly am not going to blame myself. This is America, and personal responsibility is sooooo last century.
Now, I'll drown my parenting worries in a nice bowl of Blue Bell ice cream. Made with only the best ingredients, Blue Bell tastes just like the good old days, and is still a full half gallon!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cleaning with Kids

Cleaning and chores with kids, once they're old enough, is a funny thing.
It's something they've just got to learn how to do to be functional members of society, yet teaching them is a way bigger pain than just doing it yourself. This is why a lot of people today don't know how to do jack--their parents just did not have the energy to do the same thing they would do anyway but nine times slower, half the quality, and with random bouts of crying.
But Daniel and I will not have that in our house. We WILL NOT have it!

So instead, we have this:

Me: "Sam, your room is very messy. You need to go clean it up. Please go and put all your toys away--where they go, not just anywhere-- then make your bed, pick up your books and blankets, and make sure that you don't shove stuff in the corners or stack everything on your dresser."

Sam: "Sure, mom!" Runs to her room, where I hear the Dora clean up song being belted at double speed. Amazingly, approximately 1.6 seconds later, Sam runs back in where ever I am. "DONE!"

Me: "Wow. Really? Your room is clean? If I go in there, will I be happy or sad?"

Sam: "Happy! It's clean."

Me: "That's great. So, you made your bed, and---"

Sam cuts me off: "Oh. Wait, hold on!" Runs back to her room, starts the Dora song again, and manages to reappear even faster than the first time. "My bed is made now!"

Me: "You are super speedy! So, the pillows are on?"

Sam: "Yep yep!" (This is her latest affirmative answer to anything--a super fast "yep yep." It's adorable, we love it.)

Me: "Great! And your comforter is pulled up and smoothed out?"

Sam: "oops. Hold on." Again, she runs off and sings Dora. I start to wish there was another clean up song known to preschooler-kind. This time lasts maybe 5 seconds, so she probably found a toy to play with and got distracted. "Okay," she runs in, breathing hard from all the dashing, "the comforter is up, the room is all clean. You'll be happy."

Me: "Yeah! I'm so glad you cleaned it up! I will come to inspect it soon. I can't wait to see the nice clean dresser--you remembered not to pile everything from the floor on the dresser right?"

Sam: "ummmm, hold on." You guessed it, we repeat the cycle again. As this time, she takes piles off the dresser. When she runs back, we repeat this cycle again with piles in the corners, dirty clothes piled in front of the hamper, clean clothes spilling out of drawers, and books stacked pretty much everywhere but the book bin. Maybe a few more times if she's been playing princesses or blocks, since apparently "clean up the blocks/figurines" translates to "clean up one block/figurine, then announce your are finished. Repeat for every single one on floor." After she has completed a metric mile running back and forth between her room and mine, I decide it's time to inspect her room.

What I find is a comforter pulled up awkwardly over an entire menagerie of stuffed animals, making it look like a small mountain range, decorative pillows stacked on top of each other upside down and sideways, a mountain of books in the book bin that will start cascading to the floor any second, at least one dirty shirt in front of the hamper blocking the closet door, and an entire line of toys peeking out from under the bed that obviously didn't qualify as "out" since they are 1 mm inside the bedframe and are therefore invisible to the naked eye.

Oh, and one four year old completely bursting with pride. "Isn't it great!? Are you so happy!?" She asks jumping and clasping her hands in rapture.

And I am so happy. Because even if it was like pulling teeth and herding cats--simultaneously--she did it herself. Her floors and surfaces, formerly completely covered from view, are clean, and she made the effort. I know this is the best she could do, and I am proud and happy.

But no way am I stupid enough to look inside that closet. I'm going to ride the good emotions while they last.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Infomal Education

A couple weeks ago I was taking the kids to spend the day at what we call "the dinosaur museum," because for all it's other merits on geology, the history of earth, and Arizona's history and natural beauty, all we really care about are the dinosaurs. Especially the robot T-rex that opens and closes its mouth.
I'd never taken Sam before, and I'd been promising for weeks. Since I'm too cheap to pay another $10 bucks so Daniel could go with us (seriously, seems a little steep for people who I wasn't expecting to give a flying fig about 99% of the exhibits, but I digress), it was just me and the kiddos.
It was also a bit of a drive to a different town. On the way there, Sam said, "Hey, mom, maybe on the way back from the museum, we could swing by the aquarium and check that out." (FYI, the aquarium is in yet another city the other direction, but that's not the point).
I said that one major activity was enough for the day, and pointed out that it would be too expensive to go both places, because they both cost a bit of money. I can honestly say that fact that I find fish and sea life totally disgusting did not factor into the decision at all.
Sam sighed and said "Does the 'quarium cost 18 monies?"
Surprised, I answered, "Yes, I think that's exactly what it costs. How did you know that?"
Sam replied, "I know SOME stuff, mom. I know some stuff."

I guess she does, but I'm still mystified as to how.

A few days later in the grocery store Sam pointed at some of the sugary cereals we are trying to quit buying and wean off of.
"Hey mom, can we get this cereal? It is a good source of fiber AND whole grains!!!"
Again, with the crazy "knowlege" out of nowhere? I had an idea where she heard this slightly misleading info, however, but I asked how she knew that anyway.
Sam looked up at me and said "Well, I watch a lot of commercials."

That's just fabulous. Way to make me feel like super mom, Sam. Thanks. I really wish it didn't cost extra for the kids cable channels without commercials. Because, lets face it, I'm not going to take away all the TV, that's just crazy talk! I'd never shower alone again (even with the TV, odds are about 70% I'll get a visitor staring at the glass door asking for a snack or something). If I ask for privacy, but Sam considers it "really important" she's come barging in with her crochet blanket over her head, so I can have my privacy. When I ask her how she runs in like that without bumping into things, she says she can see through it. When I ask how I'm getting privacy if she can in fact see through it, she asks why I would want her to bump into things and looks as me like I'm the crazy person here. Then I sigh and vow to wake up at 5am before Daniel leaves to get a solo shower. The next day, I will not get up at five. It's a fun little game we play.

Anyway, it may not be what I think she's absorbing, and it may not be what I want her to be picking up, but yes, Sam is always learning. The only problem is, after she busts out random trivia knowledge like how much the local aquarium costs, it becomes even harder not to lose it when she says she "forgot" she was supposed to put her toys away after seventeen reminders. Or when she says she forgot that we discussed her bursting in with a blanket on her head is not actually "respecting mom's privacy" after all.

I know what her little brain is capable of, and so does she--making mom's brain explode.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Yesterday, Sam was waxing nostalgic about her summer in Utah during lunch.
"Hey, Mom. Do you remember when we were in Utah, and I ate that red snowcone and lots of junk food at the party, and then I came down in the night and threw up all over you in your bed?"

Uhhh, vividly. And some stops on Memory Lane needn't be revisited, Sam. Thanks, though.

Of course, during the same lunch she asked me why food turns into poop and then wanted to know how that process works, so unbelievably enough, I actually began wishing to go to back to talking about her Tiger's Blood snow cone vomit.
Sometimes, I have to either bust out laughing or let out a deep sigh from my toes when I look at my life. I usually choose the laughter, which is probably why Sam seems to have more rather than less of these moments as time goes on. She's working her audience.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Turnabout is Fair Play

Sam loves to get her brother's attention by screaming "PEYTON!!!" at the top of her lungs. It gets him to look or come over about 50% of the time, not that Sam is going to try to find a more efficient method any time soon.
Peyton has decided he's a little tired of it.
Last week, when Sam bellowed "PEYTON!!!" he bellowed right back:

It was the first time I've ever heard him say his own name. Now, if he'd yelled back at me like that, it would probably irritate me to no end, but in this case, I just couldn't stop laughing. Sam looked so confused.

Of course, Sam isn't the only victim of Peyton's mimicry.  I was standing at the bottom of the stairs trying to get Daniel to drop down some laundry for me, so I yelled "Daniel!"
Suddenly, Peyton appears next to me at the bottom of the stairs and yells "Dan-o!"
It looks like we have to be careful what we shout at our house, and maybe when I yell up the stairs, I should stick with "Daddy" instead of "Daniel" unless I'm okay with my husband and son being on a first name basis.

He is growing up so fast!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Early Intervention Therapy

While Sam is pretty good about cleaning up after herself, she prefers to do so accompanied by whining, and several attempts to quit long before the job is done. She ascribes to the kid philosophy that if there are 13 Barbies on the floor, and she picks up 2 of them, her room is magically "clean."  She also has so many "treasures" that have to be visible in her room at all times, that we finally had a long talk and purged the number of stuffed animals she can actually sleep with down to 10. Before the purge, she was pushing 40, and I was afraid she'd fall out of bed in a bid to make room for yet another stuffed Easter duck. For the record, I have absolutely no memory of 90% of these ducks entering our home. Where did they all come from? I blame the grandparents.
In other words, Sam, like virtually every other four-year-old in America, behaves like a hoarder.
I'm not at all concerned about this being lifetime behavior at this point (as a former collector of vast treasures, and messy room keeper myself), but at the same time, I figure it's never too early to explaining the hows and whys of keeping things clean to kids. Plus, my husband (possibly the only kid in history to travel through the preschool period without hoarding and messy tendencies) always appreciates a good word--cough, cough, sermon, cough--on the benefits of tidiness. I figure Sam is better off hearing it from me instead of her father, who gets all glassy eyed with religious fervor when he speaks about Windex and Clorox, and lets not forget Armor-All, the patron saint of proper car care.
It was with all these things in mind that I didn't turn the channel immediately when Sam wandered downstairs during an episode of one of those "Hoarders" shows. Full disclosure: I'm not sure which one it was, "Hoarders" or the other one exactly like it but not called that on TLC, so we'll just call it "Hoarders." I figured I'd wait to see if she noticed it or had any questions.  After a few minutes, I caught her watching and she started asking me about it.
So, we had a really good talk. We talked about why it's important to clean up our things, and how we don't want our house to be more comfy for bugs than people (because unfortunately it was a very infested episode). We talked about how we have to try to make sure not to love our things more than people in our homes, and that is really hard for some people. We talked about how Daddy and I want her to learn to clean up her own things, because someday she'll be big and grown up and we want her to know how to take care of her stuff long before she has her own house. We discussed what it would feel like to come home to a house full of bugs and stuff vs. coming home to a house that is clean and peaceful and full of people that love you. It was a good talk, and she had lots of questions.
She also hopped right to and has been cleaning things much better and without complaining lately! What a difference 15 minutes of a reality show can make! I was even thinking that I might be able to persuade her to prune her collection of egg cartons--each filled with exactly 12 "special rocks" from the yard--down to a more reasonable amount of space taken up in her closet. Like, maybe only 10 cartons. The possibilities were endless!
Then, today on the way to preschool as we wound through our old neighborhood, Sam looked out the window and asked thoughtfully,
"Mom, what do you think? How many of these people's houses are super nasty? Like if they moved, would there be tons of bugs?"
So for all the good we got out of the episode, Sam really is just looking around wondering how many people are secretly disgusting. Which, I've got to admit, is pretty much what I get out of "Hoarders" and those types of reality shows too--how many people in this world are more messed up than me?
All our new found love of a clean home comes with a side of smugness I guess.
Not that any of that is going to stop me from pulling out an episode of "Toddlers and Tiaras" if Sam ever accuses me of being a bad mom. Every time I do NOT spray tan my children or make them wear false teeth, I'm earning that smugness, darn it!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My son, the comedian

Today while changing Peyton's diaper, I got hosed down. It's probably only the fourth time in his life I've been sprayed (as opposed to Sam who managed to pee on me hundreds of times in her first few months of life alone), but oddly enough, it's the second time in the past two months.
As we get closer to potty training age, I get more convinced he's doing it on purpose, but I digress.
Anyway, things were going perfectly smoothly when he decided to turn on the hose.
I said, "Oh man, Peyton! It is not funny to pee on Mommy!"
Judging from his absolutely riotous laughter immediately after I finished speaking, he strongly disagreed with my assessment.

Apparently, peeing on mommy is the penultimate funniest thing he could possibly do, second only to opening the toilet lid and sneaking toys in there, so the next person that lifts the lid finds a bunch of surprises waiting for them. Thankfully, he usually laughs at himself so loud that I'm able to figure out pretty quickly from the echo that not only is he in the bathroom, but there's toys in the toilet.

Next on the shopping list, childproof locks for the door handles. If only we had knobs, instead of levers. He can't turn a knob to save his life. We could have bought a couple more weeks at least without Peyton-induced mayhem.

On a related note, I think the next Allstate mayhem commercial should be a 17-month-old boy. I don't know where I get inspiration like this, sometimes, the muse is just with me.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

In A Nutshell

Things have gotten a little crazy over here, but I did have an experience this morning, that I feel perfectly encapsulates my parenting experience in a nutshell.

In the car, from the backseat, I hear a little noise, and then I hear Sam.
"Oh, excuse me, please!"
Me: "Okay, Sam, you're excused." In my head, I'm thinking how polite that was, and maybe the things I'm teaching are finally sinking in. These thoughts were interrupted by Sam again,
"Yeah, I said excuse me, because I did a wicked big fart, and it smelled really bad like poop over here."
There we go. Well, that was a little less polite. Thanks for the information, Sam. I also didn't know she could use the word "wicked" like a Bostonian. So much education in one small sentence, and all of it aimed at me.

Yep, that about sums it up.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Carly vs. the Smoke Detectors pt. 1

According to my handy new blogger interface, this will be my 200th post on this blog! Also, according to my new interface I am a slacker. No, it didn't say that exactly, but the fact that I had no idea blogger had totally changed it's look made that perfectly clear to me.
Sorry about that. I've been doing more Facebook updates with the crazy stuff Sam (and now Peyton!) say, which is easy, because it forces me to keep it short. Not something I'm good at.

Anyway, since this blog is called "It's My First Day!" and I'm still pulling stupid rookie stunts 200 posts later, it seems only appropriate to start sharing my most embarrassing "rookie" mistake to date, and of course, it starts on a major holiday.

This year on Christmas morning, we were having my mother-in-law over for breakfast and then rushing off to church. As a sidenote, I'm pretty sure Mormons are one of the only religions that celebrate Christmas, yet don't go to church on it--and in the event that Christmas falls on a Sunday, as it did this past year, we shorten our services. It's kind of funny if you think about it, but we are big on family, and spending as much time with them as possible on holidays. I like it that way, but I can see why other religions think it's weird.
But this post isn't about church on Christmas. This is about my crazy Christmas morning. First of all, since I was cooking a souffle my aunt has made ever year that I can remember and it seems morally repugnant NOT to have it, I had to get up extra early to put it in the oven. You have to put it together the night before and the next morning it cooks for 90 minutes. So I was up well before the kids on Christmas morning. If it wasn't for church, it would have been a brunch and I would have been make-up free and in PJs all morning, but instead, I got up super early, put in breakfast and was showered and ready before the kids even surfaced. Soon Sam bounced up, and while Peyton would have rather slept in, Sam was about to explode so we woke him up and the kids got to go see what wonderful things Santa had left behind.
As expected, getting Sam's presents out of the box was a colossal pain in the butt (why, oh why, oh WHY, do they have to sew doll's hair into the cardboard, and on a related whine, why does Rapunzel have to have so much hair!?) Anyway, the morning was going as expected. Daniel and I were using knives, scissors and various weapons trying to free the new toys from their packaging without swearing, and when we finally got things out, Peyton would rather play with the boxes we just worked so hard to dismantle. You know, pretty basic Christmas morning stuff. We let the kids goof off, we opened gifts, I got dressed in my church clothes. It was a good morning.
Finally, it was time to get the souffle out and put the cinnamon rolls in the oven. Which I did, although I noticed one drop of the souffle bubbled over and hit the bottom of the oven.
Generally, that is not really that big a deal. The one drop burns and it smells a little gross, but then it's all burned up and you and your appliances go about your life and eventually you buy some easy-off to clean the black spot on the bottom of the oven that you vaguely remember was dinner three weeks ago. Right?
Not on this Christmas morning.
The smoke detector went off.  I went to do what I had seen my visiting grandfather do every single time my grandmother cooked at our house growing up, and used a dishrag to wave the smoke away from the detector so it would calm down.
Not gonna happen. Apparently in new houses, all the smoke detectors are wired together, and within seconds all the detectors in the house were wailing like crazy. Sam kept freaking out about a fire, and Peyton didn't care for all the noise. I couldn't get the "smoke"--which we couldn't see or smell any of--away from the kitchen detector, and they would not stop. Plus, it was still really early, and I was really afraid of waking up any of our neighbors for whom sleeping in was their Christmas gift.
Finally, Daniel decided to try turning off the breaker to see if once they were quiet, they would stay off.
Which would have worked, in theory. Except that smoke detectors have back up batteries.
So not only did Daniel have to turn off the power to the house, he had to get a ladder, and one by one take the batteries out of the detectors. At this point, they would let out a sad little shriek and finally die. Turns out, we have a lot of smoke detectors.
It also turns out that when you turn off the power to the house a couple of things happen--1) It goes dark, 2) all the electric clocks die, and 3) the oven (containing your Christmas cinnamon rolls, remember?) dies too.
It was obvious we couldn't turn off the power and keep it that way. Hoping that stopping the noise, and not being able to see or smell any smoke would be enough to keep the smoke alarms from starting up again, we turned the breaker back on.
We made it about 5 more minutes--just enough time to reset all my clocks FYI--before the horrific chorus started up again.  We figured that even though it was a minuscule drop that had burned, and there was no evidence at all of there being smoke in the house, our detectors must be really sensitive. I had opened the oven to check on the very confused cinnamon rolls to see if they were salvageable right before they started up again, so there must still be smoke somewhere!
We did what anyone needing to air out their house in a hurry would do. We turned off the breaker again to get rid of the noise, and then we opened our windows.
Soon, we were all freezing. We tried to turn the breaker back on three more times, only to have the chorus of alarms start up again. Our house was so cold, not only was the heat off because of the lack of electricity, but all the windows were wide open.  The whole family was bundled up, but that couldn't last. My mother in law gets cold easily, and in general I don't really consider it good Christmas hospitality to not only freeze your guests out, but serve them mostly raw cinnamon rolls while they listen to loud sirens wailing throughout their meal. Call me old-fashioned.
I was totally panicked. I had reached the point where I could no longer do a single thing to get ready for breakfast without electricity. I'd even had to go into our food storage to get water bottles because, guess what? The ice maker and water dispenser in the fridge requires electricity.
At this point, a random thought entered my head that I would not enjoy being Amish. Then again, I wouldn't have had the smoke detector issue in the first place since technically, it was technology that had caused this whole mess. I spent the next few minutes internally debating whether being Amish would have made this whole event worse or better. I didn't come up with an answer, but I think my thoughtful staring freaked Daniel out a little.

We couldn't think of who to call for help, it being Christmas morning and all. There wasn't an actual fire, obviously, so it seemed like a jerk move to all the fire department on Christmas morning. Calling any of our friends away from their families seemed equally bad. Google was little help in the few minutes we could try using it between breaker shutdowns. We were stuck. We were worried that even if we could stop them, we would leave for church and they would start up again, making our neighbors angry. It was hard not to laugh, the whole thing was so ridiculous.

Finally, minutes before Daniel's mom was supposed to arrive, we tried one more time to turn on the breaker and heard blessed silence. We cautiously went about our preparations, turned up the heat and found some slippers and jackets to offer our guest. No more alarms sounded.

We got through breakfast okay (despite cinnamon rolls that were burned on the bottom and slightly raw on top), and while I was tensely waiting for the sirens to start again, they didn't.
Daniel stayed home with a runny-nosed Peyton to stand guard over the house, and Sam and I went to church, but they remained quiet.

Finally, we figured that we must never so much as overcook toast again, but at least the Smoke Detector Saga of Christmas 2011 seemed to be over.

I had no way of knowing it was just beginning.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sam and Sir. Elton

Today, I dropped something off at a friend's house and Sam and her brother waited for me in the car. I left the radio on and when I came back, Sam announced "Mom! My favorite song from Gnomeo and Juliet came on while you were gone!"
I told her I was happy for her and asked what song it was. She didn't know what it was called, but "It's totally my favorite song!"
Okay, well, all the songs from Gnomeo and Juliet are Elton John songs, so I started fishing around a little--she just told me a few days ago that she also loves "Bennie and the Jets" so this kid is clearly a fan of Sir Elton. I am too, so I think that's kind of adorable.
"Sam, does it go 'Don't Go Breaking My Heart?'" I sang?
"Yes." Well then problem solved. "Oh, wait, Mom. No. No it doesn't."
Hmmmm....was it the new one "Hello, Hello?" I sang a little more. Not well. I'm no singer.
I pretty much gave up on trying to sleuth the song she was talking about until she mentioned it again a few hours later. Plus, I'm really stubborn and it was going to bug me.
I asked her to sing it for me, and she told me she couldn't. She was trying to think of a way to help me though. "But's about 'if I was a scorcher.'"
Carefully, I repeated "If I was a scorcher?"
"A scorcher? What's a scorcher?"
Sam looked at me and said "I have no idea."
I thought about that for a few minutes while Sam and Peyton had a snack and then suddenly I yelled excitedly "If I was a SCULPTOR!!?? Sam? Could it be sculptor?"
Sam smiled and said "YES!"
I tried a few more of the lyrics to see if they rang a bell and Sam was saying "Yes, yes!! That's my favorite song! The one from Gnomeo and Juliet!"
Oh. "Your Song." It's one of my all time favorite songs too.
Carry on with your day, citizens. That's exactly what we did.

I am so glad I figured it out though. I also think it's funny that Sam is an Elton John fan. I mean, she's three, and first "Bennie and the Jets" and now "Your Song" added to her "favorites" list in less than a week.  Still, it's way less weird than that intense little obsession she had with Neil Diamond when she was two. In all seriousness, she loved him and only wanted to listen to "Sweet Caroline" for a month or two. At least I also like Elton John. Makes this phase much easier to handle should it continue.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Rock-afire Implosion

So, Netflix suggested I watch a documentary called "The Rockafire Explosion." (Netflix also thinks I'm really weird, but that's a whole different post.) It popped up because I watched and loved "Being Elmo" so I figured they must be pretty similar.
Anyway, my first thought upon seeing it listed was "No way! The Rockafire Explosion, there's some way back memories. Sweet." I do remember the Rockafire Explosion, and Showbiz pizza. I even had my 3rd or 4th birthday party there. Here comes a good little dose of 80's nostalgia, right? Wrong.
The whole documentary is about people who really love the Rockafire Explosion. Really really love it. Like this was more a prolonged episode of TLCs "My Strange Addiction" than a documentary about an audiomatronic 80's band for kids. There were creepy tattoos. There were a lot of people who basically felt that nothing good had happened in their lives since the 80's and they just wanted their Showbiz pizza back. The main story was about a guy who saved up his money from his job as a roller skating rink DJ  (yes, they still have those, and talk about living in the past!) to buy and put an entire re-created show of the original robots in his basement. This was in 2008. Yep. He saved up thousands of dollars to buy a set of robots that hadn't been opened since 1983 and dedicate a home to them. He programs them to sing more current songs, which is kind of awesome on YouTube until you realize that he's not some bored millionaire with money and time to burn--he's put his whole life into this.
I was watching in amazement, unable to look away, when Sam came down and asked what the animals were. I explained that they were what we had as a kid, before Chuck E. Cheese came along and replaced them (I didn't get far enough into the show to see how the people felt about Chuck E. Cheese, but I get the distinct impression they're out for his blood, or motor oil, or whatever.)

After a few minutes of watching the performances with me, Sam says "So, uh, was it supposed to be scary when you were a kid?"
Me: "No, it was supposed to be fun, like Chuck E. Cheese is for you." Apparently the 80's technology doesn't translate, and a friendly mouse is a lot less scary than a full size gorilla, wolf with a creepy puppet, or giant bear.
Sam: "Are you sure? Because this is kind of scary." Seriously--this from a kid who watches the old 1990's Disneyland sing-along-song with the Country Bears without so much as flinching. Her favorite song is "Grim Grinning Ghosts" with the Witch from Snow White, and the Rockafire Explosion was creeping her out.
Me: "I know, Sam. I know." And it was scary, on many levels.  Not the least of which is that I found it in the Netflix category "Popular with people like you" so I spent the whole hour I watched thinking "Holy Crap! These are my people? What does that mean? What do you mean by THAT, NETFLIX?" Not a good feeling.
I've learned that some memories are most definitely better left in the past.  Way in the past, looking through that beautiful haze of nostalgia.
Also, if Sam ever got a tattoo of Yo Gabba Gabba in 20 years, it would kill me. I might keep this documentary in my back pocket as a cautionary tale for the teen years.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Girl Scout Bond

As we headed into Wal-mart today, the girl scouts were lying in wait.

It was going to be a tough one.  I had the kids solo today so Daniel could work a full shift. I had to wake them up to take Sam to soccer, which was a lot more like water polo in a swamp than soccer. Sam managed to soak not only her cleats, but her socks and toes (in the 50 degree weather), and get her butt wet, since it was picture day and she ended up sitting in the soaking grass in the first row. Then Peyton decided to chime in on the fun by throwing up on himself. He still does that just a little bit after almost every meal, even though he is now officially one. He eats real food and drinks real milk, so I refuse to call this spit up, and am on the verge of slapping people who correct me when he does it in front of them. If I call it barf, they say "No, it's just a little spit up--he's a baby!" Augh!!! He's not a baby, he's one, and he has the diet of a toddler--and why don't you come over here and take a sniff or clean it up if it's just a little spit up?! One day I'm going to say that, and my guess is, there will be no volunteers. Which is a shame, because the smell of barf makes me gag, and I'd really rather not be the one handling it all the time.
Back on topic, since Peyton's clothes and our car now smelled to high heaven, and Sam had no back up shoes to replace her cleats (my bad!), even though we needed to go to the Wal-mart right next to the soccer field, I had to take them home to get changed first and then go back. I had promised Sam I would get the traditional after-soccer Jamba Juice once she was changed, which I did manage to do, considering it was now almost 11 and I hadn't had breakfast anyway. Carrying the Jamba Juice with Peyton, the diaper bag, and Sam alongside screaming that if she couldn't hold my hand she would get hit by a car and die, proved harder than I had thought it would be. It also made me re-evaluate my very rigid and possibly borderline crazy teaching of Sam to hold hands in parking lots. It's possible I inadvertently exaggerated the consequences. Still, I wasn't going to leave my Jamba in the car to melt while I went to Wal-mart!
This was my third (count 'em, three!) attempt to pick up a prescription that had been not ready twice already through the week for various flimsy reasons, so I was already cranky that I had to come back to this same location AGAIN, when it's not the closest to my house (it is closest to preschool, and silly me, I thought it would be done on preschool day, or the second preschool day of the week)!
 I was halfway across the parking lot when a car nowhere near us started to back up and Sam freaked out that they would hit her because she wasn't holding hands. I shifted the hand the Jamba juice was in to get her attention and calm her down really quickly, and that was all it took. I was trying to watch both kids and failing when Peyton grabbed the straw out of the smoothie and promptly flung it and it's contents all over both of us, the parking lot, and possibly the car we were next to (I was too scared to look). You can lick smoothie off your hands, but that doesn't help with the stickiness.  The wipes were no where reachable with my lack of hands, and Sam was sure she was dodging death every second and kept telling me to "get out of the road!"
I think the girl scouts saw us coming, sticky, stressed, and overloaded, and thought I was the easiest target they'd have all day. Normally, they'd be right, but today, I was feeling strong. Also weak. I could not, under any circumstances, let those cookies into the house today. I've been working so hard on not eating emotionally. I said "No thanks!" and wrestled Peyton into a cart. (Adding to the theme of the day, it would prove to be the ridiculous loudly squeaking cart).
As we walked into the store, Sam said "Did they say 'cookies?'"
Me: "Yes, Sam."
Sam: "But...we're not buying any."
Me: "That's right."
Sam: "Are they gross cookies?"
Me: "No. (sigh) They're fabulous."
Sam: "Why aren't we buying any?"
Me: "Because Mommy can't handle cookies in the house right now."
Sam: "I can. I can handle it!"
Me: "Sam, no you can't. You think you can, but then...well, you get a bite of thin mints and...well, it just changes you and the whole sleeve is gone. Trust me."
Sam: "Oh."

I thought that "oh" meant she got me. I thought we made a connection. I thought we were bonding over our shared helplessness around sugar.

Then in the car on the way home, Sam said,
"So, WHY can't we buy those girls' cookies?"

Me: "Because I said no!"

We'll bond later.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Obedience and Apologies

We're working on the obedience thing at our house. Always.
Last week, Sam had a particularly bad day and had pretty much moved into time out on a permanent basis. I was thinking of having a toilet installed next to the naughty step.
The next morning, Sam was being goofy and silly, and even weirder than usual--and starting all over again with the disobeying and poking of her little brother. I wouldn't mind so much if he was in a position to escape, but she waits until he's in his highchair and buckled in place to turn evil. As she was shaking her head with a open mouth full of breakfast and trying to tickle his feet while he squealed his discontent, I sighed and said "Sam, don't you remember what we learned yesterday about disobeying?"

She swallowed, smiled, put on her ridiculous "funny voice," and sang as loud as she could. "Yeeeeaaaah! It doesn't work out foooooor ME!!!!!!"

So. Um. Yeah. It doesn't. So, you know, knock it off. How can the parenting books expect me to keep a straight face and give a serious answer in the face of that response? She nailed it, in the most obnoxious and bizarre way possible. Story of Sam's life. I can't help but laugh sometimes.

A few days later, Sam decided to get a little creative. Lately, we've been keeping the TV off pretty much all the time and I've been expecting her to play on her own more often and she's been coming up with adorable new ways to play with her toys. I usually love it. This time, however, I wasn't a fan of her new game. She called it "Bowling for Buddy." From what I saw, "Bowling for buddy" consists of wheedling her newly minted walker of a brother to stand up and come towards her. She does this by saying "Come walk to me, buddy, stand up, you can do it!" and other things exactly like Daniel and I say when trying to get Peyton to walk instead of crawl. When he proudly did stand up and start his precarious toddle, Sam would take a can of Playdough and roll it, aiming at his feet and hoping to take Peyton out. Thus, "Bowling for Buddy." On the tile.

I wasn't a fan and put an immediate stop to the the game. Then I sent Sam to time out because she's been warned several times about intentionally knocking her brother over, especially on the tile floor. (Another favorite of hers is "tickle time" when she comes up behind him and yanks him down on the floor on top of her for tickling purposes. Peyton dislikes occasionally hitting his head on the floor. Oh, and he also very much dislikes her version of tickling.)
After Sam had been in time out a while I let her out with the direction to apologize to her little brother.
She walked up to him and said "I'm sorry Peyton. I didn't mean to frighten you prematurely. Muah ha ha!"

Sometimes, in motherhood, you can only hope for the letter of the law, because the spirit gets totally lost. In other news, Sam was thrilled to have found a practical application for a line she picked up watching You tube videos of The Haunted Mansion, so it was win-win for her at least.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Good Guys and Bad Guys

Today, Sam wanted to go out on the trampoline, so it was only a matter of time before she wanted her brother out there with her. He loves to bounce up and down when she jumps on the other side ("only little jumps with little bro!" as she yells to me), but mostly, he crawls after her while she runs away from him and they both crack up and get static-y stinky hair. Sam's curly mullet looks koo-koo-ca-choo after a while on the tramp!
So, I put him on there today, and she immediately started running from him, but she also started yelling:
"Oh no!!! It's the Squirm! Everyone, everyone, run and hide from THE SQUIRM! The Squirm will get you and eat you!"

Hilarious. As villain names go, "The Squirm" may not be the best name ever, but it's far from the worst, and is certainly appropriate for Peyton. Later, I noticed he had morphed into a run of the mill scorpion. I asked Sam what had happened to "The Squirm."
She just looked up at me, Einstein hair explosion swaying in the breeze, and said "Eh. Now he's a scorpion. That's the game."

I guess that means "The Squirm" was just a guest star in Sam's playtime. Too bad.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Nutrition and You

I recently saw a commercial for Lucky Charms that touted that now, whole grains are the first ingredient (in these as well as other pretty much otherwise unhealthy kids cereals), meaning they have more whole grain than anything other ingredient in them!
That's super, but it doesn't really give me the information I need to make an informed decision as a mom. What I want to know is, how much whole grain is a kid eating if she eats pretty much only the marshmallows (and occasional accidental "other piece") and then oh so magnanimously slips those oat parts to her baby brother when she thinks her mom isn't looking, so that both the marshmallow and non-marshmallows get evenly depleted and she doesn't lose her privilege to buy Lucky Charms next time? My guess is, not much.
But, you know, it's just a hypothetical, of course. I wouldn't know too much about that in execution.**
I only feed my kids very expensive local, organic, unwashed on the farm but extra washed at home produce, and local, free range, massaged by an equally organic geisha meat-producing animals, that have only been fed corn (or not been fed any corn, I forget which answer is the right one, but whichever is right, that's what I'm doing). Yep, that's me, the queen of the healthy food movement.
Or I will be, when Hostess tries to save itself from bankruptcy and somehow fulfills their promise to make ding dongs "a healthier option." Yesiree bob, that will be a happy day at our house. I'm thinking of slapping some yellow dye #5 into a mix of butter, sugar, and shortening, and slapping it on a boxed mix cupcake in celebration. Woohoo for health!

**No, lightning didn't zap me. Why it didn't, however, I am unsure--probably because even the big guy knows how I drip with sarcasm nearly constantly.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sour Patch Kids

Not unlike the candied kind, first my kids are sour, and then they're sweet.
The other night was going to be a busy one, and Daniel agreed to bathe Peyton before he left for meetings and basketball, if I would put him to bed when he was all jammied up.
I agreed, so I went downstairs, made Peyton a bottle to give him before bed, left it in his room where Daniel was dressing him, and then was in my room going about my business. Soon, I realized Daniel was in and out of our room too, having never come to get me to take over putting Peyton to bed.
So, I asked Daniel if he had decided to just finish the job and put Peyton to bed instead? He said he hadn't, but he thought I was just going to head in there and since I hadn't shown up (why he didn't say anything when he first saw me in our room is kind of beyond me, but it must be a man/woman communication thing), so he had just handed him a bottle in his bed and left.
For some reason, the thought of my little guy getting totally ignored and drinking his bottle in bed all alone at night upset me, so I went running in there to cuddle him while he finished, even though we don't rock him to sleep anymore and haven't for months.
Apparently, the thought of Peyton left alone for his bedtime meal was upsetting to someone else too, since I ran in to find him happily lying in bed, drinking away, while Sam sat on the floor next to his crib, reading him a story.
She looked up at me and said "You guys forgot to cuddle him and put him to bed! I didn't want him to be lonely, so I'm reading him a story." I thought I was going to cry, it was the sweetest thing I'd ever seen. I was also proud of Sam for showing him some empathy, since empathy is not exactly an emotion three year olds are usually all that great at feeling.
Of course, in typical three year old fashion, she read him a story about "Sammy the awesome turtle" followed by a book about "Sam's very favorite cars and trucks" even though none of the books were actually about her--so its good to see she's still perfectly self-absorbed in some ways.
I have to admit to totally loving my sour patch kids! Now, I just have to remember moments like these when they're being sour. Peyton, and your 3-6am chorus of talking/crying, I'm looking at you!