Thursday, March 31, 2011

I Did It

At the beginning of March I set myself a task.  I didn't really tell anyone I was taking on this task.  I didn't make a formal announcement and I didn't promote it.

I decided that I was finally going to buckle down and attempt to blog every single day for an entire month.

If you look to the left and notice the number of posts for March you'll see that they total 31 - one for each day of the month.  Some were short, others were lengthy, all of them had some kind of story to tell.  They weren't all polished gems and that's OK with me.  The point was to sit down and do it - find the discipline to write every day.  After all, as they say, if you want to write you have to write every day.

The exercise taught me something about writing and making writing interesting every day.  It also taught me to look for those moments in my day to day life that I would consider blog-worthy.  I learned a few things about taking simple subjects and wrapping them up in words to make them interesting - if only to me (because, really, there can't be more than 6 of you reading this).  I looked for more subject matter than just the kids.  I often had potential blog posts knocking around in my brain as I went about my day.

I don't know how successful an exercise it was for those of you that read all of this but from an internal point of view it revitalized blogging for me in some ways.  Before, if I put blogging off for one day, I could put blogging off for 5 days unless I was really in the mood to say something.  I held a gold medal in procrastination.  During March, instead of saying "oh, I'll get to it later" or "I can't think of anything right now, another time," I actively made it a priority to find and write about something interesting to me.  I hesitate to say "Blogging is fun again!" but certainly blogging is much less of a chore.

So here ends March and I have no idea whether I'll keep up all this copious blogging.  At the very least, I hope to take the lesson of looking for the blog-worthy moment with me as I go forward.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring Is Coming

It may be 41 degrees with snow falling out of the sky but spring is coming anyway.  The first buds are beginning to show up on the trees and my forsythia just doesn't care that it's cold.  It's going to bloom anyway.

Nature is beginning to peek out from under the covers of its long winter nap.  Wake up, Spring!  Wake up!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Camera Practice

On Saturday night, Scot and I went to the opening of the Spring Flower Show at Phipps.  With the weather refusing to be at all like spring, I was really looking forward to wandering around in warm temps and surrounded by pretty flowers.

I was also hoping to get some practice in with my camera.  I wanted to play with the macro settings on the camera and see what they could do for me.  I know I'm going to have to jump into full manual mode if I want to have super awesome shots but I'm not there yet.  For now, I'm still getting used to the camera and all it can do it.  I haven't even managed to plow through the whole manual yet (I'm about halfway there.)

But, despite my shortcomings as a photographer, I got a few shots that I liked.

I've always loved grape hyacinths. 

I had never seen hyacinths this color before.

 I can't remember the name of this one but I love it.

The 1/4 of me that is Dutch adores all the pretty red tulips.

That last one isn't a macro shot, of course,  but I liked it so much it's now my desktop.  When I wake up in the morning and it's 17 degrees outside and it struggles all day just to hit 40 degrees, that picture filled with bright spring color makes me happy.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Diet: Week One

A complete and resounding success.  I lost three pounds.  THREE!

I love the way that Weight Watchers has revamped the Points program.  Letting me eat fruits and vegetables for free makes my life SO. MUCH. EASIER.  On the old program, it was really hard for me to get in all my daily servings of fruits and vegetables.  I almost never did - especially given that I had such a low number of points per day to start with.

Now, I find that I'm getting all 5 servings almost every day and it's easy to do.  Want a low points meal?  Have a serving a protein (whatever your choice) and then load up on fruits.  On more than one occasion this week I had an egg and cheese wrap with sides of apple and strawberries.  Huge amount of food and reasonable points.

I'm also drinking TONS more water than I did in the past - even when I was trying to drink more water.  I stopped drinking soda and it was so easy it was like turning off a light switch.  Why couldn't I have done that before?  Now I drink water and one cup of coffee in the morning.  That's it.

The biggest shock, aside from the number on the scale this morning, is how easy it has been.  I tried and tried for two years and had no success.  I was so frustrated and so angry at myself that I couldn't just buckle down and do it, already.  It's not like I don't know what I'm supposed to do or how.  I will never, ever understand why signing up for Weight Watchers and following their program works when doing it on my own didn't.  The changes I made weren't that hard or really that much different than what I was doing before.  Yet this week I lost.

My short term goal is to lose 10 lbs. before I go to Texas in mid-May.  I have a long term goal as well.  But for the moment, that's what I want to do.  I have six weeks to do it.  If I can keep this up, I should make it.

Week Two, here I come!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Letter To Spring

Dear Spring,

I miss you.  I miss your sunny days, your warming temperatures, your soft breezes, and the delightful way you smell.

You came to visit for a few days.  It lasted almost a week.  Then, you left us and now it's cold again.  Oh, the sun may be out but don't let that fool you.  Step outside and you'll freeze something off.

Spring, you loveliest of seasons, it is now the last week of March.  You have taunted and teased us with hints of your arrival long enough.  Please come to stay.  My children want to play outside, ride bikes, play with sidewalk chalk, and chase the dog.

I want to throw open the windows of my house to let in those wonderful breezes.  I want children who aren't crazy and cranky from being cooped up inside.  I want to clean my garage and try to tame the leaves left over from last fall.

Come back to us, Spring, and when you do, please whack that stupid groundhog upside the head as hard as you can.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Can you hear the squeals of joy and delight?

It's when he's quiet that you have to worry.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Suddenly, I Have A Social Life

I'm sure those of you that read this blog know that I don't get out much.  I have reasons for this - mostly in the category of "too much effort" in terms of figuring out who can watch the kids.  Also, as sad as it is to admit it, I didn't really want to go out in public looking overweight and gross.  It was much more comfortable to sit at home in jammy pants and watch ridiculous reality TV.

This week I suddenly have a social calendar to worry about.  Who knew?  Not me, that's for sure.

Yesterday, my father-in-law called me to see if I wanted to go see a production of Les Miserables with him. One of the local high schools is doing it and he had a couple of tickets.  Did I want one?  Yes.  So, tonight, he's picking me up and we're going off to see it.  I've seen professional productions of the show twice but it's been years so this should be fun.  I'll help Scot get Jamie's bed time mostly taken care of and then I'm off for an evening with Frenchman in revolt.

Tomorrow night Scot and I have a date.  Yay date!  Phipps Conservatory is holding a Members night to see the new Spring Flower Show.  We signed up to go and the grandparents are watching our spawn. They're even taking the kids early enough so that we can go out to dinner first.  We've done this once in the past and had silly good fun so I'm really looking forward to it.  Plus, it will give me a chance to play around with my new camera some more.

The next stop on our social agenda is getting together with good friends who recently came home with their new daughter, adopted from China.  We're ridiculously excited for them and can't wait to meet their sweet daughter who is a few months older than Jamie.  I have a feeling the two of them will get along famously as they both appear to love getting into anything and everything.  We're still working on setting up a get together but I'm excited!

And, of course, I'm still planning to flit off to Texas sometime in the next couple of months to go visit my bestie.  Again, we're still working out all the details on this one.  But, you know what?  We could meet up on the moon and I wouldn't care just as long as we got to hang out, laugh, drink wine, and catch up.

I kind of knew that once I finally got off square one with the dieting that I would feel differently about a lot of things.  But it's still a bit shocking to me that I'm less than I week into this thing and I feel so much better about myself that I'm Little Miss Social Butterfly all of the sudden.  Sometimes the smallest changes make the biggest difference.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

His Love Affair Continues Apace

Jamie's love of the vacuum cleaner is unabashed and unabated.  We were at the mall recently, in a housewares department, and he gravitated towards the vacuum section like it was the singing Sirens out of mythology.

This one is just like yours, Mommy!

And then he discovered an Electrolux canister vac with orange accents on it and he was IN. LOVE.

He threw an unholy fit when I wrestled him back into the stroller and insisted on leaving the store.  A bit later in the trip, I was wandering around with the kids outside the Apple store while Scot had his suddenly dead laptop looked at.  Jamie took me by the hand and did his very best to lead me straight back to the vacuum section.

He was sure he was going the right way.  As we approached the entrance to a department store he looked more closely at what was in the store and got upset because it wasn't the right store OR the right department.  There are supposed to be vacuums here, Mom!  Not clothes!  He really, really wanted to find that Electrolux again.  And possibly convince me that it was the greatest toy in the world and bring it home for him.

I don't really understand what he finds so fascinating about a vacuum but I kind of hope that he never loses that fascination.  A few more years and I'll have a live-in maid with this one in the house.  At least as far as having clean carpets goes.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


1.  We had an appointment for Liam with the ophthalmologist today to check his vision.  He was looked at about 2 years ago and he didn't need glasses then but we were told he would likely need them sooner rather than later.  A week or two ago he told me that sometimes his vision gets blurry so I called the eye doc and set up an appointment.

Good news!  No change in his eyesight and no glasses.  Unless he complains earlier, we don't need to have him checked again until late 3rd grade.

2.  For my birthday, my parents have chosen to gift me with a plane ticket to go spend a weekend with best friend.  I am so excited about this I could plotz.  The weekend I've been dreaming about (a weekend away from the fam) is becoming a reality and I get to see Trista to boot!  Good friends!  Tasty food!  Sleeping in!

Cannot.  Wait.

3.  Jamie starts speech therapy tomorrow.  It's only the first appointment so it will be mostly paperwork and assessment.  The real work doesn't start until our next appointment but I am eager to get the process moving.  Anything to make the kid stop slapping himself in the head when he's frustrated and mad.

However, in the last couple of days he said "bubbles," "button," and "hello!"  None of these words help us in day to day life (you couldn't learn to say "milk," kid?!) but a start is a start.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Diving In

Today I put my money where my whining is.

Today I signed up for Weight Watchers.

I've known it for 2 years now; I'm overweight.  Yes, I had a baby.  Two years ago.  While I managed to lose most of the weight I gained during my pregnancy shortly after birth, I also managed to gain about two-thirds of that weight back in the time I was nursing.

And here I sit.  I haven't nursed in over a year and I still weigh what I've weighed for what is clearly too long.

I've tried to find the discipline required to lose the weight over the last two years.  BELIEVE ME, I have tried.  But I just can't seem to make it work.  For whatever reason, I get easily derailed, easily sidetracked, and then just start nom nom nom-ing what the closest thing that is bad for me.

In between the kids I was on Weight Watchers for a several months and I lost 25 pounds.  When I did it then I went to meetings.  I liked my leader and I liked the group.  For whatever reason, weight loss in that setting seemed so much less daunting and I was so much more successful when it came to reaching my goals.  But meetings mean time in my schedule that is increasingly hard to find.  It's also more expensive to do it that way.

This time around I'm using the online program and hoping that it will prove as successful for me as the meetings did.  Weight Watchers has a nifty little app that I can use on my iPhone that makes tracking points simple and quick.

I've made it through Day One and I feel upbeat and optimistic.  Most of the time I get to the end of the day and feel fat, out of shape, and the very opposite of upbeat and optimistic.  I know it won't be easy every single day and I know that every time I go to the cupboard or the refrigerator I have to make a better choice than I made before.

So here they are - the before shots:

Yes, I know the first word that comes to mind is "frumpy."  That's what I'm trying to change, right?

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Back at the start of the year I said that if I had one resolution for 2011 it was to have more perfect days.  I knew they wouldn't just materialize out of thin air and today we finally made a start on that promise.  Today might not have set the bar for how well things can go but it was still a good day.

In the morning, Scot took the boys out to Dunkin' Donuts for a breakfast treat, leaving me at home in sweet silence for about 40 minutes.  And that was my morning treat right there.  Once they came home we spent the rest of the morning hanging out here at home until it was lunch time and then nap time for Jamie.

While Jamie was napping, Scot and Liam watched Return of the Jedi and I got a shower.  Ahhh!  Showering without short people demanding things of me!  Heaven!  After I got myself cleaned up and put together, I ran out to take care of a quick errand and by the time I came home Jamie was stirring.

Once he was up and awake and dressed and ready, we all headed out to the park.  It's a lovely sunny day here with temps in the upper 50's.  It was perfect weather for letting the kids run out their beans on the play equipment.

Did someone say park?  Let's GO!

Run? Don't mind if I do!

Look at how much fun the big slide is!

Dude.  Swing.  'Nuff said.

More love for the big slides

Since everyone was hungry, we grabbed a quick dinner at Burger King on our way home.  Not the best dinner for anyone but I will admit that it's nice to have a meal in which I don't fight with Liam about what he will and will not eat.

Now, Liam is outside playing and Jamie is watching his beloved WALL-E while playing in the family room.

It wasn't all perfect.  We still dealt with 2 year old meltdowns over issues that made sense only to him and there was the incident with Liam over the Burger King toys.  Inevitably there will be attitude during bedtime routine.  Today I'm choosing to focus on all the good things that happened and all the stuff we did as a family.  It might not have been everything I would have wished for but it was a damn good start.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Black and White

I got a new camera and I'm in love.  It's an early birthday present and I took the plunge into the world of DSLR cameras.  I just could. not. deal with the limitations of my point and shoot anymore  - particularly the delay it has when taking a picture.  That makes for lots of crappy pics of the kids.  I have a lot to learn about this new way of taking pictures but I'm actually reading the manual and it's been really helpful.

I know the blog has been a little picture heavy lately.  I'm sorry about that but, you guys, guess what I discovered today?  My camera will shoot in black and white!  (Ok, technically it's "monochrome" but for this non-purist, same difference.)

Lookie Lookie!

Hey, Liam!  Make a funny face!

Engrossed in Star Wars

These were just a few test shots while we were hanging out and I was playing around with the camera.  In his entire two years, these are the first black and white shots of Jamie.  His red hair is so much a part of who he is that I never wanted to lose that by going monochrome.  But I love these pictures.

I know I have a lot to learn about light and how to use it to my advantage, about composing a shot, and about all the various modes and functions available to me now.  I'm still giddy about what I'm able to do even now while I'm trying to learn.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Not Quite The Idea, Son

Jamie likes to ride his tricycle but he hasn't quite gotten the point of how it works yet.  He walks it around while straddling the seat.

Please excuse the ugly pants.  There was a wardrobe malfunction at daycare.

I keep trying to get him to put his feet on the pedals and teach him how to push the bike that way but he just waves me off (with a grunt and a scream) and does it his own way.  When he gets to the top of the driveway he turns around and sends himself down the driveway, holding his feet up so he can coast the whole way.

This kid is fearless.  It took Liam forever to find that sort of thing fun.

I am going to have to watch this kid with eagle eyes much longer than I ever did with Liam because Jamie just doesn't have any sense of caution whatsoever.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

White Boys Can Jump

Jamie has a new favorite trick and he busts it out whenever he can.

The boy can jump - both feet off the ground.

Excuse the blurriness, please.

And Liam?  Well, his special new talent is the ability to grow more hair than Chewbacca.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Ides of March

See those spots on the side of Jamie's face?  That's not the remnants of dinner.  It's not the chicken pox.  It's the result of this little stamp:

Smash his head down on a piece of paper and you get this:

Apparently Jamie decided that his cheek would work just as well as anything else.  The good news is he didn't move on to decorating the walls.

Ever since Caesar (or maybe since Shakespeare - I'm not sure of the genesis of the phrase) we've been warned to beware the Ides of March.  I guess it could have been a lot worse!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Today Was A Good Day

It's no secret that I'm a crappy housekeeper.

I know that the people who live on my street are less than impressed with my skills.  They probably wonder how we manage to live the way that we do.

But today was a good day.

I started out with a house in shambles.  The kitchen hadn't been touched in days.  The family room was not much better.  I'd tried to tidy it up over the weekend but Jamie was undoing my work before I even completed it so I gave it up as a bad job.  I had laundry that needed to be done and the powder room needed attention.

And in the middle of the night last night Jamie peed all over his new bed.  I think he drank his entire bathtub of water because that kid SOAKED his diaper.  And then soaked it again by the time he got up - but at least it didn't leak on the second go round.  His sheets were wet, his blankets were wet, his pajamas were dripping.  So, I had to change him from head to toe and then put him to bed in the crib for the rest of the night because I didn't have any clean linens for that bed (not because I didn't do the laundry but because I only have 3 sets of twin sheets and they're all in use).  In order for him to be able to take a nap, I had to get those dirty linens in the wash first thing this morning.

That managed to get the ball rolling and I kept cleaning.  It took me two loads of the dishwasher but I got the kitchen cleaned up.  Then I got the kids fed and Liam off to the school.  Jamie went down for a nap (got those linens done in time!) and I went to work on the family room.  By the time Jamie woke up the room was clean, the kids' laundry was started, and the powder room was clean.

I managed to end the day with a house that is in a lot better shape than when I started.  For some reason, this always leaves me with far more of a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day than anything else.  In the grand scheme of things, it's far better that the kids are dressed, fed, napped appropriately, gone to school, and made it to whatever activities they have.  Yet, when all I manage to do with my day are those things, I always feel like an unproductive wretch by day's end.  When I do all those things AND get the house in order?  I feel awesome.

Trust me, the irony of this situation is not lost on me nor am I ignorant of what a sad little commentary on my life this is.

But there you have it.  Today was a good day.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bed Adjustments

Suddenly Jamie isn't a baby anymore.

On Friday we tried out his new bed at nap time.  It was a little bit rough right at first and I had let him do some crying.  He didn't really want to lay down or let me tuck him in but I figured that he had to at least try to go to bed there.  If it didn't work out, I could always put him back in the crib.

He whined and moaned and groaned for bit and then fell asleep and took a two hour nap.

That night he pulled the same thing.  He wasn't really sure he was OK with this big old bed sitting on the floor.  I did my best to tuck him in but I still had to walk out and let him moan and groan and whine.  It didn't seem to last as long as it had at nap time.

Then he went to sleep and slept all night - the best night of sleep he's had in almost a month.

The angels sang Glorias in his honor.

Yesterday, I put him down for nap and he let me tuck him in under his blankets and make sure he had his blankie and George.  Then I kissed him and walked out.  He went to sleep without a single peep.  He  has repeated this performance at both bedtime last night and nap time today.  He seems to have made the adjustment.

Now, when he wakes up, he points imperiously at the crib as if to say "Why the hell is that still in my room, Mom?!"  I'll give him a week or so and if he's still happy where he is, I'll break down the crib and store it away.

He's a big boy now.

Saturday, March 12, 2011



I have no idea how she managed to do that.

Friday, March 11, 2011

It Might Be Pretty

But it's MARCH.

I've got a hankerin' for groundhog stew.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Nothin' But Big Boys

Today was The Day.  It was the The Day Liam has been bugging me about all week.  The Day he was so excited about he practically vibrated through a wall this morning.

Today was Bed Delivery Day.

Scot and I came to the conclusion that it was time to purchase a twin bed for Jamie.  I was kind of hoping to hold out a few more months but his sleep has been getting steadily worse and I had a sneaking suspicion that being in the crib was part of the problem.  The simple fact is the kid is huge and there is only so much room in the standard size crib.

Since I was tired of being awoken in the night by a cranky kid who just needed to be rocked for a minute or two, I carved out time in our schedule last weekend to hit the mall and buy a bed.  Last weekend?  Everyone and their entire extended family was at the mall.  Holy insane madhouse, Batman.  BUT, we got the bed.

Liam's bed, on the other hand, is part of a bunk bed set and we always said that when he was old enough (ie, not falling out of bed at night) we'd set up the upper bunk for him.  It only made sense to buy a mattress for the top bunk of his bed while we were getting one for Jamie.  So, that's what we did.

Around noon today, the delivery truck arrived (and left a GIANT rut in my lawn, grr!) to drop off our purchases.  The frame for the top bunk of Liam's bed was all set up and Jamie's room was rearranged to accomodate putting his mattress set on the floor.

It's so awesome, Mom!

Ready for Moose Man

Hey, why is my crib over there?!

Oh nothing.  Just chillin' in my new bed.

Liam was pretty excited to sleep up on his top bunk tonight.  I can't really blame him for that because that bottom bunk feels like a coffin to me.  But, I guess when you're a skinny little 6 year old - not so much.

Jamie seemed really excited about the whole thing.  He got up and down off the bed.  He flopped over on his pillows and cuddled with his stuffed monkey, George.  He was digging it.

Right up until it came time to tuck him into bed.  Then, it grew crocodile teeth that were surely going to swallow him whole.  He didn't even want to set a toe on that thing much less lay his head on a pillow.  He kept pointing at the crib.  So I put him in the crib. (Glad I left that up, by the way.)  He immediately stood up and got pissy.  So I took him out.

We danced this ridiculous little dance for several minutes until I figured out that we had to sit down and rock in the rocking chair again before he would consent to being put to bed.  In the crib.

This kid has GOT to learn to talk.  Yes, I'm aware I will one day curse myself for typing that last sentence.

So, we got all of his things transferred back to the crib, sat down and had a snuggle and a rock, and then I tucked him in.  BAM.  Out like a light.  I'm just super excited we spent all that money on bed that is going to eat him alive.

I'm hoping that it will get easier for him.  We'll try again at nap tomorrow.  He didn't sleep well at daycare today and he was way overtired at bedtime so I'm sure that played into what was going on.  As usual, my stubborn little clone is making life interesting.

And Liam?  He plopped into that bunk with nary a backward glance.  Maybe he'll sleep past 7 am for once.  

I'm not holding my breath.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Long Haired Hippie Freak

It's been more than a few weeks since Liam has had a haircut.  In the normal course of things, he needs to have his hair cut every 3 to 4 weeks or he starts looking like a shaggy dog.  His hair grows faster than the speed of light.

It's been closer to 8 weeks.

Recently he told us he doesn't want to have it cut.  He wants to let it grow.  It's his hair and if that's what he wants, that's fine with us.  In the course of discussion about what, exactly, he wants, he says he wants it longer on the top but still short on the sides and back.  He keeps trying to make it stick up instead of lay flat.

His hair is pin straight.  It's not going to do that without help.

We told him his desired hairstyle would require hair gel.  He seemed fine with that so tonight I went digging around in my hair stuff and pulled out some styling wax that I used to use when my hair was much, much shorter.  I asked him if he wanted to try it and he was game.

It's clear that he loves it.  I asked him if he wanted to wear it that way to school tomorrow.

"Oh, yeah, that would be awesome!  Tria and Ashley are gonna LOVE this!" he exclaimed. (Tria and Ashley are girls in his class at school.)

Oh, REALLY?!  

It begins.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Two-Year Check-Up

Today we had a visit with the pediatrician for Jamie's two year old check up.  In general, the kid is healthy as a horse and (I always say this) something of that approximate size.  Today he weighed in at 31 lbs, 10 oz. and was 32.25 inches tall.

The good news to come out of the appointment is that Jamie does not have an ear infection and so we're holding off on ear tubes for the time being.  I have nothing against him getting them if he needs them but it would be silly to do it just for funsies.

The less-than-good (but not really bad) news is that he's going to need speech therapy.  He babbles incessantly but that's all it really is.  He has a few intelligible words but we largely get by on pointing and grunting and yes/no questions.  He doesn't really pick up new words, the babble isn't becoming more intelligible, he doesn't string words together AT ALL.  It's getting tiresome and he needs to catch up to his peers.  In this particular area of parenting, I tend to be more "eh, wait it out, he'll talk when he's ready."  But.  Liam was speech delayed, too, because he had bad ears and needed tubes.  Once he got tubes, he caught up and was fine.  Jamie is the same age that Liam was when he got tubes and Jamie is further delayed than Liam.  Since he doesn't need tubes, it's time for professional help.  Also, I worry that if we don't intervene now, he will have trouble with language later when it comes time to do things like read.

Let me be clear:  We do not use baby talk in this house.  We never have and we never will.  I find it abhorrent.  The problem isn't that he doesn't understand language.  I can give him a set of directions four sentences long and he can go do it (if he feels like it, he is two, after all).  The problem lies in him being able to make the words in his head come out his mouth in some form that we can understand.

We've tried pushing him to use words by giving him two choices and asking him to tell us what he wants.  "Milk or water, Jamie?"  He won't do it.  We persist and his temper kicks in.  Then we get nowhere because he's too busy getting his mad on.

I'm grateful that these services exist and that we have health insurance that will cover them.  I just wish he didn't need it.  I know there is a really intelligent kid hiding under all that babble.  I want to bring that out because he must have things he wants to share with us.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

My days almost always contain all three things.  In general, that's the life of the stay-at-home parent.  Moments of awesome punctuated with extended periods of not so awesome.

Here's today as an example.

The Good:

Being at home with the kids all the time means that if I decide I want to bake chocolate chip muffins as a mid-morning snack, I can do that.

If those muffins are in the shape of dinosaurs, so much the better, right?  It's little things like this that make it fun to be home with the kids.  I'd never have time on a random Monday to do that kind of thing otherwise.

The Bad:

Jamie has another (or perhaps the same) cold.  He's not sleeping well, he's cranky, he's got green snot pouring out his nose, and I'd bet a large sum of money that he has another ear infection, too.  I'm doing my best to keep him happy but there really isn't a lot I can do for him aside from try to keep him as comfortable as possible.  His check-up is tomorrow so we're holding out until then to see the doctor.  None of this is something I've never dealt with before but I am positively weary of dealing with it this winter.  I feel like I'm suffocating under a load of snotty tissues, snotty attitudes, and snotty/chapped cheeks.

The Ugly:

We've been fighting an on-going battle with Liam over his attitude.  I feel like I'm living with a three year old in a 6 year old's body.  He's nasty, he's rude, he defiant, he throws tantrums.  He's driven both and Scot and me to the very edge multiple times.  We're trying very hard to help him work through this and survive him in the meantime but I'm really exasperated with my kid right now.  Every single request, however minor, is met with resistance.  So, today, when I asked him to leave the room so I could get dressed, he turned on the attitude with me because I didn't kick his brother out, too.  I kind of lost it with him.  It was a minor thing but, coming on top of what the last several weeks have been like, I yelled at him.

(An aside:  I asked Liam to leave because I'm beginning to find it uncomfortable having my 6 year old boy around when I'm naked.  Call me a prude, but there is an age where it becomes inappropriate and I'd rather listen to what my instincts are telling me than have him be 11 and walking in on me in the shower.  Also, frankly, Mommy just needs some personal space every now and then and I can trust Liam not to destroy everything in sight in the 5 minutes it takes me to get dressed.  The same cannot be said for his brother.)

I'm looking forward to reaching a point in time where there are more Good moments than Bad or Ugly moments in my day.  Those of you with older children, don't shatter my illusions about the idea that those days will exist in the future.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Really, Pixar?

Scot and I went shopping for mattresses for the kids at Sears over the weekend and while standing at the counter waiting for them to do the approximately 29239048834902 steps to check us out, we were poking around at the display of Cars action toys.

Am I the only one giggling like a 12 year old at this?

Just me?  Ok, then.  I'll just slink back off to the rock under which I live.  ;)

Friday, March 4, 2011

In Celebration of Two

Two is upon us.

It's not really any different that it was yesterday since he's been acting Two for months, but it is now official.  We celebrated with as much style as we could manage with a two year old.  I spent the day trying desperately to keep the evil from spilling out all over the place so the house would still be clean when it came time for the party.  Evil can leave a nasty stain, you know.

Evil leaked out anyway.

I planned a dinner with Scot's parents and made roast chicken, roasted potatoes, broccoli, salad, and stuffing.  Certainly more of a feast than we're used to.  I also make Unspeakably Good Chocolate Cake for dessert.

Don't laugh at me, I know it looks like it belongs on Cake Wrecks.

When it came time for presents it took a bit of coaxing to get Jamie interested. Eventually we got him to open one of his gifts from Scot and me - a ride-on firetruck.

We very nearly didn't get him off of it again.

It was a big hit.  He loved the darn thing and we won't speak of the tantrum he threw when it was bath time and he found out that he couldn't take it upstairs with him.  He was also less than pleased to learn that, after submitting to his bath, he would not be allowed to return to his beloved firetruck.  Bedtime was interesting. Ahem.

He also got books, clothes, toys, more toys, and money to put toward his new big boy bed.  We had to unwrap most of his gifts for him because guess where he was? Yup, tooling around on the firetruck.

An Incrediblock?!  You shouldn't have!

Then it was time for singing and cake.  This year, he seemed totally into the cake thing - actually eating it, that is, not just smashing it.

Please note that his entire hunk of cake is hanging off that fork.


Happy Birthday, Jamie!  You are the Captain Kirk to your brother's Captain Picard. We love you very much and we're so glad you're here.