Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What I Love About Having Young Kids....

I went to visit a friend of mine a few years ago.  I didn't have any kids and she had a, gosh,  I think 2 year old at the time.  I was exhausted after a day of her life.  It seemed so constant.  I asked her how life had changed and she said in a lot of ways everything is slower.  I was baffled by this.  Now I understand what she was saying.  I love that my life is indeed slower.  With two young kids I find myself saying no a lot more to different events, people, things in my life.  We are always home by at 8:00 or earlier.  Life shuts down from 1:00 - 3:00 each day as we all nap or at least the kids do.  Yeah it might take 15 minutes to get out the door but you can spend 2 hours at the museum just running around and playing.  Life is slower and sweeter and, yes, more tiring at times but I find I only do what is really necessary.  Children make you prioritize in ways that nothing else does and it is always surprising to me how little you really need to have, do or acquire.  I love my kids for teaching me what is important in life.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Awesome Christmas Present

So I had to brag about my mother-in-law for a moment.  She got the kids the best Christmas gift this year!  Every time we go to a museum or play area that has a grocery store the kids love it, especially Fia.  Heck, the last time we went to Aldi's she told the cashier that this was her favorite store.  So for Christmas Sharon got them an extra grocery cart for Nico (we already have one), a cash register with a scanner and all kinds of "groceries".  She had saved empty boxes, jugs, containers and can for a few months.  She washed them out, put this special rubber type tape on the edges of the cans and covered the boxes with a transparent wrap.  Now Fia and Nico have their own grocery store in the basement.  I cleared out our "art cart" since Nico was wreaking havoc on it anyway and now it is the grocery store.  They LOVE it!  So while they got a lot of cool things this was definitely the best!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Go to stories

Ok so you have already probably have had some stressful times in the past few days and I am sure that in the next few days you will have some more stressful moments.  I offer you no false promises of total serenity or peace filled days but what I offer you are go to stories.  I "go to" these stories in my head when there is turmoil all about me and I need to get away in my mind.  They always give me a little giggle and then I feel better able to cope.  Here are two of my favs.  I am sure that most of you have already heard these but there always good for a laugh.

The Yeast Infection
When I was pregnant with Nico I would get yeast infections all the time.  Yuck.  I hate medicine and would always kind of forget about the intense pain during the day but then at night when I especially didn't want to go out to the drugstore it would be unbearable.  So one night it was truly just absolutely  horrible.  I had irritated the area further trying to rid myself of the itchiness so I remembered reading on the internet (such a reliable source, huh?) that vinegar helps.  I got an old washcloth and soaked it with about a cup of vinegar (because more is always better right?) and placed it on the irritated area.  Burning?  Hmmmm........that burning sensation must mean that it's working right?  OH MY GOSH......BURNING!  BURNING!  BURNING!  I quickly remove the washcloth and now there is no more itching, just pain.  I look up the next day wondering who the psycho is that recommended this...........ummmm, it was a teaspoon of vinegar in a warm bath.  I guess the whole cup needed to be diluted a bit more.

A Walk Through the Neighborhood
I love taking early morning walks with the kiddies when it is warm.  We get out there bright and early.  One morning after my bowl of cereal and cup of coffee I gather Nico and Sofia up and load them in the double stroller.   We are about halfway home when it starts......oh my gosh, I feel as if I am going to have to go to the bathroom, I mean really go.  I am pushing about 65 pounds worth of kid and stroller and I have to go to the bathroom.  It is warm, I am sweating and I have to go to the bathroom.  I pause for a moment and think I am just going to bend down for a second and try to hold it together.  This makes it worse.  I am almost running down the hill to my street - then I stop - it is never a good idea to run when you have to go to the bathroom.  I have ten houses to go.....I can make it.....I can make it.....I did not make it.  I actually pooped my pants.  I am now walking through my neighborhood with poop in my pants.  I pray that my aunt is not going to stop me.  I pray that the neighbor lady with her dog will not stop me.  I pray that no one sees I have pooped my pants.  I am no longer going to drink my coffee BEFORE my morning walks or have any dairy products.

So when things get a bit stressful or tiresome you can always think at least my (I have no idea what word would be the least offensive to everyone so I leave this blank) _______  is not on fire and I have never had to walk through my neighborhood with an underwear full of poop.  Merry Christmas!!!!!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008


This morning started out rough.......really rough - Nico cried for an hour - the little man was sleepy and well, so was I.  I tried feeding him again, playing all his favorite games with him, giving him a drink, holding him - no go.  It was so frustrating.  Fia was fine but antsy.  And that's when it happened........I cringe thinking about it but feel I have to be honest and forthcoming in order for you all to know the truth...........I put in an HOUR AND A HALF movie and let the whole thing play at 8:00.  Now you know.................I have just turned my year old's brain to mush.........well, he actually watched about 30 minutes and conked out but Fia and I watched the whole thing cuddled on the couch.  Best part of the day so far!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Confessions of a Bad Mommy #5

1.  I don't eat lunch with my kids - I clean the kitchen, do dishes, etc.  Part of the reason we now have a hot breakfast with the whole family every day is so I don't feel as guilty not sitting down with them at lunch.

2.  I am unavailable from 8:30PM - 5:30AM.  Crying, screaming, whining, coughing is mostly attended by my husband doing these hours.  I have zero sympathy when I am awakened or kept from my evening activities.

3.  I forget to brush my teeth ALL the time.  All those new studies about heart disease or whatever it is you can get by not brushing.....yeah, I am looking at that in about 5-10 years.

4.  I will suck up anything in my horrible vacuum to avoid bending over to pick it up.  My husband shakes his head and rolls his eyes at me whenever he happens to be the one to clean out the bagless thing - Christmas ornaments, silverware, hair accessories, clothing items, etc. have all been found in there.

5.  I will pretend I don't here distress when vacuuming - I just need to get it done - I cannot hear crying arguing, whining, whatever.  It does not compute.

6.  I secretly think I need to have more children so I become less selfish - God is working on me.

7.  I wish smoking was good for you - I miss it.

By the book.......HA!

I was reading an article in a parenting magazine the other day and I started laughing out loud at the first sentence.  "Babies are naturally social creatures who love to interact with people."  I read this to Joe and he actually started laughing, ALOT.  Why did we both find this funny?  Have you met our daughter Sofia?  I was in the nursery at church a few months ago and they were reminiscing about Fia.  Some of the comments - "Do you remember how we couldn't even look at her?  She would start crying the moment you tried to sneak a peek at her.  It was straight to the swing and you had to leave her alone.  She was so cute I just wanted to hold her but she wouldn't let us."  I am glad that I read a few books before Fia was born so that I could have an idea of what I wanted to do and what my parenting style was but after that it's good to just throw them out.  I wasted a few months thinking I was a bad parent because my baby seemed to be in a bad mood quite frequently but you know what?  It really wasn't me.  Gosh, Fia is a GREAT toddler but man she can still turn it off and on.  Joe says I have to stop calling her Sybil but when the child cries and screams for 10 minutes in the car because her shoe fell off and you can't really attend to her and THEN she sees a dog out the window and in a completely normal tone of voice says oh look how cute the puppy is........well, she has earned the nickname!  I guess I have learned that each of my children have certain innate characteristics or personality traits.  For awhile I was mad that I had such an emotional little being in my life, I couldn't see why I ended up with the cranky baby (just striving for total honesty here)  But I learned that I can't change my kids or erase the traits that are inconvenient to me, instead I have to embrace them.  I can see Fia as a passionate young woman, ready to change the world with her intensity and willingness to take charge.  She is a mother to everyone and everything.  She is demanding but in return gives so freely of her love.  She thanks me, unprompted, for making her dinner, for taking her to the museum.  She cuddles rocks, sticks, the hairdryer, anything she can find.  I can see Nico bringing great happiness to so many people through his joyful nature and being able to make things happen with his great energy.    He will smile through anything, he clings to people when he hugs them, no half heartedness here!  He runs and runs and runs until he crashes.  You will be punishing him for getting into the trash, the oven, the stairs, the toilet, the anything and he will just laugh and laugh until you can't even be mad anymore.  My children are mine and I thank God every day for who they are.  

Monday, December 15, 2008

Stir Crazy..........

We stayed home all day today.  This is our usual for Mondays and it has been happening more frequently lately on other days too.  Sometimes these days are the best days and sometimes they are not.  Here are a few ideas of what to do when you are spending the day at home.

1.  First of all, stay in your jammies!  Why get dressed?  This makes the day seem special.
2.  Bake - I mean, really bake.  Make a HUGE mess, let the kids eat some of the dough and then let the kids eat some of the results too.  Don't worry about nutrition or getting it done right or getting it done neatly.  The best things to make are those snowball cookies that you roll in powdered sugar, cutout cookies or dirt pudding.  Kids can help with most of the steps and it is a process to get it done.
3.  Take a bath with your kiddies.  This is one of Fia's favorite things to do.  It's getting a little crowded with the three of us but for some reason it is a lot more fun when mommy is in the tub.  You can always wear a bathing suit and splash around!
4.  Laundry baskets - throw balls into them, cart toys around the house, have the kids ride in them, whatever.  I gave each kid one today and they had a good old time.
5.  Masking tape - both Nico and Fia were loving the tape today.  They were "fixing" the shopping cart.  It took intense concentration and a LOT of tape but it killed some time.
6.  The Box - get a big old box, paint it, put stickers on it, color it, tape streamers on it, whatever craft items you have.  I remember just a few months ago Fia and I spent 45 minutes painting this huge box during Nico's nap.  She had so much fun.
7.  Clean out a closet - ok, I know this doesn't seem like a good idea but it's fun if you forget about doing it in less than an hour, if you are ok about getting interrupted and you just enjoy it.  I like this one because I feel productive and the kids are occupied with discovering all the new stuff in the closet.  I would recommend a hall closet or something like that - not your closet, that is way too stressful!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's a Miracle.....

Christmas has come early this year!  Baby Jesus made his arrival today!  Fia and Joe finally got a chance to build the manger today (very cool project with tomato stakes and dowel rods - I was very impressed with my hubby!).  When they brought it up to show us Fia ran to her room screaming I need to get baby Jesus, I need to get baby Jesus!  Well......did she get any of the baby dolls that she has?  Any of the cute little bald baby dolls?  No.......out comes GONZO!  So she has carted around Gonzo all day, showing him the Christmas tree she put up for him, reading him books, putting him down for a nap and getting quite upset when anyone refers to him as Gonzo.  It is baby Jesus she will say very sternly.  I guess we won't be putting him in the manger on Christmas day  now.  Oh, and we also practiced singing happy birthday to him.  She is definitely not giving up having cake and ice cream on his birthday!   

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dos and Don'ts of "Fat Days"

So today I was having a "fat day" - a bloated, tight pant, when am I ever going to feel normal again day.  Yeah, I know by tomorrow I should feel ok but what to do in that moment of fatness?  I decided to compile a list of my dos and don'ts.  If you are one of my micro-mini friends (I have too many - God's way of humbling me) I would like you to eat a couple of dishes of ice cream while you are reading this in celebration of your skinniness.

DO look in the mirror naked - it is never as bad as you are picturing it, seriously.  If you have doubts adopt a back swan dive pose (arms stretched overhead, back arched and hips turned a bit - this is a fabulous look that stretches, uplifts and tightens everything!)
DON'T go shopping thinking that new clothes will cheer you up - they won't it will depress you further.  
DO try on your go-to outfit - the outfit that you save for dates with your hubby, weddings, etc.  Everyone has a go to sexy outfit.
DON'T try on your wedding dress - yeah, I have done this - stupid, stupid, stupid.
DO exercise.  Yeah, I hate exercising but it really does make you feel better and at least you can burn off half of that feel good food that you ate while mourning how big you look, speaking of such things........
DON'T go to your parents house and eat all manner of junk food thinking that if you look like one you might as well go whole hog.  You just want to throw up (which I never do because becoming bulimic is never the answer......) and go back in time about 2 hours.
DO call your friend and laugh together - this ALWAYS works.  I feel so good after talking to another woman because they get it and can also say just the right thing.
DON'T ask your husband if you look fat - this annoys them and they will never say the right thing - even if it's the right thing.

That's all for now.  Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to post ways to celebrate your gorgeous self because I will back to my normal overconfident self.  

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Moments of Perfection.......

Lately I have been hearing such saddening news from so many friends - illness, money troubles, deaths.  It's hard living in such an imperfect world, knowing that these things will happen to all of us.  It's sometimes hard to remember that God is good, that He is perfect and that in the end it will truly be ok because we live in the here and now and it's not so good sometimes.  However, each day I find that there are moments of perfection, glimpses of heaven.  On Monday I was out playing with the kids in the snow.  Fia was eating the snow and making snow angels.  Nico was toddling around, trying to get in the garden and stumbling every once in awhile.  I was taking it all in, the scenery, the kids and I thought.......this, this is it.  This is my moment of perfection for the day, my own personal glimpse of the beauty of heaven.  I almost cried, I was so happy in that moment.  I find that those moments happen each day as long as I take the time to catch them - a quiet moment when the kids are playing together, the loud noisy times when we are all running around chasing each other, the times when Joe and I catch each other's eye and we just know that we are thinking how lucky we are, driving in the car and talking to God, listening to worship music, etc, etc.  Those moments are all around us even in the midst of so much sadness.  I hope that today you have found your moment of perfection. 

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Expert mommies

I love being part of the mommy world - it's a giant club that is much more forgiving and accepting than most.  And I love that we are all experts at something - there is some part of motherhood that we all excel at.  Amy is an expert cake baker (among many other things) - this is something I could try and do but it's not my thing and I know that my Elmo cakes would never look as good as hers do.  Tisha wrote a FABULOUS article in the Rep - I could never write like that and I was so proud that I knew her!  I couldn't wait to show my mom.  Tisha, Megs, Bekah, Alisha - well really most everyone I know, all have this decorating sense that baffles me.  I go into their houses and wonder how they picked the drapes and how did they know that would go there and so on.  My house is covered in construction paper and whatever I threw on the walls when I moved in.  Heather can tell you the most minute detail about each of her children's lives because of her scrapbooking skills.  It's truly amazing.  I did about two months for Sofia, knew I was never going to be able to keep up and scrapped the whole idea.  The thing is is that we all have our skills, we all are experts at something and we should rejoice in these things rather than thinks oh we are such bad mommies because we don't make homemade bread or we don't sew or we don't have a spotless house.  It's ok.  If we tried to be like everyone else than we wouldn't be the unique person that God created us to be.  That's why I love to share ideas and encourage one another as moms.  I want to know what you all are doing so I can get some help in areas where I need it.  Yet I always remember that God placed them in my care for a reason, for a purpose and I know that I am the mommy that they are to have.  He knows my strengths and my weaknesses and loves me for exactly who I am - a mom with a dusty house who makes homemade bread, teaches her babies, orders her scrapbooks from snapfish and loves on her children each and every day.   

Friday, December 5, 2008

Confessions of a Bad Mommy #3

1.  When watching "Follow That Bird" (for the 100th time) I find myself becoming attracted to Gordon when he's singing something about there ain't no road too long. (If the feeling starts to get out of control I simply think of him talking about going numero uno and numero dos in Elmo's Potty Time and any feelings of attraction immediately evaporate.)

2.  I didn't let my son eat eggs until he was 10-11 months old but he had his first taste of raw cookie dough when he was about 6 months - no cooked eggs but raw!

3.  I looked online to see if my beautiful baby boy was "obese"  - so many chubby baby comments that I started getting paranoid.  (No worries - until they are 2 you aren't even suppose to think about it unless their height and weight are drastically different - really different).

4.  I worry about getting pregnant for a third time because if my bladder gets any weaker we will have to buy diapers for 3 people in the household.  Speaking of diapers................

5.  My daughter will probably be the first kindergartner to wear diapers.  I find it to be very taxing to even think about potty training.  I only  change her diaper 3 times a day.  She poops every third day.  I don't worry about ever changing her sheets or clothes.  I mean that seems A LOT more convenient to me than all this going to the potty all the time.  I suppose my husband will make me try again soon.

6.  I HATE my vacuum cleaner - I mean I have a deep and abiding loathing for it.  I actually threw the attachments against the wall the other day (No children or husband home).  It will not sweep hard floors - hmmmm, where do I spend a lot of my time? - the kitchen - doing what? making a mess!  Very frustrating.......

7.  I call my brother-in-law when he is at work because I can't reach Joe during the day.  I have called about directions places, about dinners, about repairing household items - what item you may ask? why my horrid vacuum cleaner of course!  He has yet to complain about it..........

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Requirements for Coming Near My Daughter

1.  If I see your underwear.......you do not see my daughter.
2.  If I cannot see inside your car windows because you feel it necessary at the age of 16 to have TINTED windows (and are not a public figure's son) you do not see my daughter.
3.  If your pants are so tight that you leave nothing to the imagination or cannot sit down without your head turning purple because you have cut off all circulation to your extremities you cannot see my daughter.
4.  If the diamond in your ear is bigger than the diamonds on my fingers you cannot see my daughter.
5.  If you smirk you will see the door.

These are random things that come to mind when I encounter these weird beings called teenagers.  I am in constant awe of these strange creatures when I go to the high school library.  Frankly I am terrified.  If you have any other suggestions.....I am open.  And, yes, Amanda I hear you laughing at me thinking that my daughter will find this list and set out to find a boy that will meet each and every requirement.........

Random Thought of the Day

Ok...so I was at the library with the kiddies today (always fun - no, Nico, we don't throw the mulch from the planter in the register....no, Nico, we don't stand on chairs and knock them over....no, Nico, we don't pull all the books off the shelf....no, Nico, we don't climb the windows and try to break major bones) and I noticed a fun new cookbook.  I am always looking for new recipes that look kid-friendly and it focused on kid's lunches.  I am bad at lunches...always grapes and carrots (Fia's poop has been severely orange a few times.....) served with mostly pesto pasta, quesadillas, mac and cheese or random bits from the fridge when Nico is screaming his head off to be fed.  Well, I found someone who is way worse at lunches than I am.....whoever wrote this horrible book!  One of the suggestions..........get a snack size bag of chips, crunch them up, open the bag, put in sour cream, tomatoes, cheese and lettuce, close the bag and shake.  It's a taco on the move.  OH MY GOSH!  Are you serious?  Chips, cheese, sour cream and then just eat it while you move around or why not do a 12 hour marathon on the TV and serve a bag of smashed up Oreos with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles thrown in there!  Ok, a bit strong on the sarcasm there but I just thought it was funny when every other book you read out there is focusing on the food groups and making meals healthy that this one says just smash up some potato chips and throw in a bunch of fattening food and serve it to the kid on the go.