Tuesday, August 31, 2010

You know you're sick when...

I cannot complain in the sickness department. After Strep-Throat-a-Palooza-2010, any illness that strikes our house and leaves less than a month later is seen as just a glitch on our radar screen.

And somehow, even though we went through 15 rounds of strep a mere 8 months ago, it’s still not easy to put the “sick” label on a kid. You have to wonder, are they tired? Maybe they ate too much junk the night before? Maybe when they were playing in a friend’s fountain and drank directly out of it on Friday night they could have ingested something nasty? The possibilities really are endless.

Saturday morning, Sam woke up and seemed fine. Then, she asked to go outside and when I had the audacity to suggest she put on pants, she turned into a sobbing mess.

I chalked that up to her being two and wanting to explore her independence.

Then, we went to the store to get tap and ballet shoes for Addi, and she cried over and over again, “Momma I go HO-O-OME!”

I chalked that up to her not getting new shoes for herself. ‘Cause you know Sam loves her some shoes.

Then, she barfed all over me at Dunkin’ Donuts and Addi proclaimed her as sick. An hour later, she looked like this and had a fever of 102. Poor thing. But I still wasn’t ready to say she was sick. Kids get fevers… And barf… Right?

By Saturday night she had perked up a bit and since I was just a smidge short of going completely bat-shit-crazy from being inside with two kids all day, so we loaded up the car and headed to WalMart. And even sitting next to her awesome new Dora bike, Sam couldn’t muster up the energy to even say “Swiper no swiping!” She just sat there and stared off into space. That’s when Jay pronounced her sick. I still was not convinced.

After we got home Jay and Addi went fishing and Sam and I stayed home. She wanted to swing so we headed outside and she started singing her ABC’s. By round three she had not only lost her gusto but also appeared to be slightly drunk. “A-B-CCCCC…..Now me know my AB… Wait! A-B-C-D-erghzzz…” By the time she got to G on round 4, her head was nodding.

By round five, she was totally out.

And that was when I finally proclaimed her as sick.

Sick, but still just as cute as ever.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Caution: Drama Ahead

Several times a week, I look at my kids and my house and if I squint, I can imagine my living room as a frat party.

Just a few examples:
  • 75% of the stains on my carpet are from spilled drinks.
  • The other 25%… pee.
  • I find cups half full all over and rarely think twice about taking a swig from one.
  • The toilet paper roll is empty a LOT.
  • There is hysterical laughter anytime someone toots.
  • It seems that we don’t know how to flush a toilet, shut a door, or turn off a light.
  • The kids rarely walk in a straight line and spontaneously fall down out of nowhere.
  • I see a lot of butts.

My house resembles a sorority too. Because at least once a day, you find a girl sobbing uncontrollably and you have no idea what happened. They can’t articulate what the issue really is and by the time you calm them down, they can’t remember anyway. And when they get stressed, the drama level escalates faster than my cholesterol after pizza.
Last night was one of those times. Addison freaked out over a cookie, then preceded to cry and scream in her room for 45 minutes. When she finally calmed down I went in her room and saw how a dramatic four year old deals with stress. 

Her stickers, moved into groups by colors.
Maybe I can figure out a way for her to deal with stress by cleaning bathrooms or folding laundry.


Thursday, August 19, 2010


The past week, we've had a harder time than usual with Addison. By now we know she's extremely strong-willed.. But this last week we've had it a bit rough. Two nights ago I laid in bed and prayed that I could just accept her for who she is... Essentially my mini-me. She's exactly like me in 100s of ways, from the shape of her eyebrows to her need to scream to let tension out.

For those who don't know what it's like to have a strong-willed child, take this advice from me... Don't judge people who do. Until we had Sam we were convinced it was 100% our parenting that caused an unruly child. Now that we've parented two, we are 100% convinced it's not all us.

In an act of just getting away mentally I started reading some of my favorite blogs.  And found this.  Hope it helps someone else try to accept their kid too.

My heart goes to kindergarten

Do you like cream in your coffee?

Addi loves my dad. He’s her “Pop-Pop” and at least once a day there’s a conversation revolving around him, or his horses, or his dog, or his room (our guest room). Don’t get me wrong, she loves her other grandparents too and talks about them quite a bit. But there’s something special about her Grandpa.

Sunday morning, Addi stumbled out of my bed. Then she said, “Today, I’m Pop-Pop!” OK, no cause for concern or even a response… on any given day she’s a dog, or a baby, or a boy, or a rabbit. Then she asked, “Does Pop-Pop wear sweaters?” Seconds later she had on a sweatshirt and downstairs we went.

I started to make breakfast and a scratchy, moderately deep voice said, “Pop-Pop drinks coffee. I want coffee.” So, I filled a coffee cup up with juice and Addi happily took it from me. When she headed out the back door I asked where she was going. “Pop-Pop drinks his coffee outside.” She’s right – he does.

I was looking around for my camera to take a picture when Addi came back inside. I assumed she was tired of being Pop-Pop. Nope. She was looking for her cigarettes. Because Pop-Pop smokes with his coffee.

The kid leaves me speechless daily.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Special Skills

Back in the days when I was desperately looking for a job, I did a lot of interviewing. Good jobs, bad jobs… I didn’t really care as long as they would pay me. Considering my first job at 16 included my car getting stolen and a knife being pulled on me, I think it’s obvious that I am not too picky.

One of the random questions I got asked was “If you could be an animal, which one would you be?” I’m guessing the answer they are looking for is something like an eagle (so I can soar to new heights, be respected, etc.) but all I really wanted to say was “I’d like to be a cat. A big fat cat. Because they lay around, like people to brush their hair and know they are better than everyone else. OH, and best of all they sleep like 18 hours a day. That’s my dream.”

It’s shocking that my first post-college job was a waitress, right?

Well, 10+ years later and I am older, wiser, and gainfully employed at a company that doesn’t require me to wear a shirt adorned with a fish or pack a gun. But if some stranger asked me the animal question today, I’d still answer it the same. Because being able to nap on command is pretty much my biggest talent. Well, being able to nap AND completely ignore my surroundings. I’m a pro.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Almost a goddess

Being a two-parent working family isn’t easy.  There’s always something that didn’t get done, someone who didn’t get to do what the really wanted, and both Jay and I now rely heavily on coffee to get us going in the morning. That said, it’s how we have chosen to live and I’m definitely not complaining. I really would love to stay home… but I don’t want to be a stay at home mom. The kids can still go to daycare – I just don’t want to work.

When I figure out how to do THAT, I’ll let you know.

One of the ways we have managed our tight schedule is by dividing up regular tasks. Jay does the cooking and grocery shopping, and I take care of baths, clothes, house and kids. And we manage our work schedules as best we can – sometimes my work has to be the priority, sometimes his does. It’s messy, but we get the job done.

Lately, Jay has been working really long hours, including weekends. So I’ve had to step WAY out of my comfort zone into a land I never thought I’d set foot in…. cooking. The first few nights were admittedly pretty rough, but a trip to the grocery store and making a list of meals took a lot of the pressure off. I know HOW to cook… It’s just hard to come home with two screaming kids and wing a meal. Some planning up front has definitely helped. My meals are not gourmet in any way, shape, or form, but they also aren’t PB & J or hotdogs.

Sunday, I was feeling extremely domesticated after scrubbing my kitchen top to bottom (thanks to some friendly ants that appeared under the oven) so I decided to make a batch of these muffins I love. And yes, it’s actually baking with raw ingredients, not adding water to powder. Just ask my poor fingers that met their demise with the veggie shredder.

My muffins are a work in progress. I’ve been experimenting with them, trying to come up with ways to make them healthier but still taste oh-so-good. I keep all the ingredients at home so when I saw a break in kid policing, I started mixing away. I even used Splenda instead of sugar this time, as well as applesause instead of oil and Eggbeaters instead of eggs. Everything was going just fine until I went to add in this ingredient.

Looks normal, right? But when I opened it up, instead of raisins, I found this:
Addi laughed hysterically when I pointed it out to her, then couldn’t remember where she put the raisins. A quick search of the playroom gave me no clues and I slumped back to the kitchen, defeated.

Then, my inner domestic goddess took over and I had a brilliant idea. I have lots of healthy trail mix at home, with nuts, raisins, cranberries and cherries. I could use that! I picked out the nuts and the muffins marched on. Thirty minutes later, I had a new addition to my recipe. Cranberries just made them better.

I have to admit, I feel kind of bad ass now. I baked, improvised with ingredients, cleaned house, AND my kids didn’t break anything, all in one day. I think I need a tiara now.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

First love

Last week we took a mini vacation to southern Indiana. We went to Holiday World (the cleanest amusement park in America with free drinks to boot!), spent time with family, and Jay and I even snuck away for a night to spend our anniversary child free. All in all, it was a pretty rockin’ way to spend 5 days.

Addi not only got to swim, play with her cousins and ride a roller coaster, but she got to fall in love as well. A few hours into our day at the park, Addi started staring at her cousin, Bryce. Then, she started walking close to him. Minutes later they were holding hands and she confessed that “Bryce makes me feel shy.” When I asked her what kind of ice cream she wanted and she responded with, “I want whatever Bryce is getting,” I knew her first crush was in full swing.

Bryce, "shy" Addi, and Megan
After the park we headed to Denny’s where the kids devoured plate after plate of food and were surprisingly well behaved, all things considered. When they started to get restless I pulled up some videos of Addi dancing on my cell phone and let the distraction begin. When it was Bryce’s turn to hold the phone, Addi looked shyly at him, and every time he laughed at her antics, she blushed. She told me on the way home that she planned on marrying Bryce someday and I just smiled. She’s only four, so really I don’t think I need to be concerned yet. But if she starts talking about moving to Kentucky, I might get worried.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hot Summer Days

I have a love/hate relationship with summer. I absolutely love when it starts… the possibilities of how to fill it are endless. Then, the pressure starts to build to spend every weekend outside doing something awesome. This causes stress, which I dislike immensely . By August you realize it’s rapidly coming to an end and try to squeeze in the things you haven’t gotten to yet, but now the heat is on and you just want to stay inside. And I don’t want to complain about the 100+ degree temps because in a few short months, I will be longing for spring, so then I feel guilty for such horrible thoughts. Such a vicious cycle.

This week it’s been ridiculously warm. The Midwest is synonymous with humidity… Even if the temperature is only 90 the heat index is pushing 105, easy. You walk outside and it’s like swimming… thick air, fuzzy hair… And because it’s so warm, it’s hard to get pumped to take the kids out to play.

Today I was armed with sun block and water, ready to tackle the great outdoors. And of course, it rained. Luckily my girls never get tired of playing daycare.

Someone remind Jay to buy paper plates next time he goes to the store. There’s rain in the forecast for tomorrow, too.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Angel in waiting

Little White Lies

One of the skills Jay and I have mastered since becoming parents is the art of the “white lie.” It started small… telling a cute baby old Addi that certain foods were totally yummy when they looked like poo. Before we knew it, we were making up stories about assorted fairies and Addi was standing at the end of the driveway, yelling because her bike was repossessed by the Paci Fairy. Our lying skills are apparently better than our stick-to-it skills as I think everyone knows from our experiences with the paci.

Side note…. We are OFFICIALLY 100% paci free in this house! Woot to the Woot Woot! I have to take the kids to get their ears pierced now but hey, still cheaper than braces.

Sadly I do believe my days of stretching the truth are coming to an end. Sunday night I was on the computer and not really wanting to fight with Addi to go to bed. It’s a huge long drawn out fight most nights and I wasn’t up for it, so being the good mom I turned on Spongebob and let her go to bed with me at 10. Only 1.5 hours past her bedtime, I figured one time wouldn’t hurt.

Monday morning I (shockingly) couldn’t wake Addison up. She was super tired and I finally got fed up and said, "Addi, YOU wanted to stay up late.  You knew you'd be tired.  You have to get up for school."

She looked at me and said, "No Mommy, you decided to not take me to bed.  You made that choice, not me."


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Snacktime for dummies

My kids are both remarkably very good eaters.  Shrimp, salmon, sushi, turkey, steak... They will eat it all.  They surprise people when they ask for seconds of asparagus and zucchini and eat handfuls of tomatoes almost every day. 

Sam definitely has her favorite... CHEESE.  She eats cheese for breakfast, then some when she gets home from school, then usually more before bed.  And she eats a lot of it, so when I stayed home with her one day a few weeks ago when she was sick, I didn't think twice about her asking for seconds of cheese.

It turns out, Sam not only excels at eating cheese, but also in sharing it.

Three strikes and you're out

Not surprisingly, our first bowling episode as a family ended up pretty much like every other experience.

Sam was cute and participated in everything.
The kids started off the night taking turns and enjoying the experience.
Both kids needed help getting the ball down the lane.
Sam continued to be well behaved and cute.
Addi threw a huge temper tantrum, hid behind a vending machine, then got hurt and required ice.
And Sam continued being cute and followed Addi around with said ice, making sure she was OK.
Who's up for bowling with the Ralphs??

Monday, August 2, 2010

Our evening at the winery

My first go at a video... Be sure to turn the volume on, you don't want to miss the song.

I hope you like it...

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