Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Welcome to the family

For months, the girls have been asking for another dog. Considering our cat hates everyone but me, I don’t blame them. I loved my pets growing up and treasured them as members of the family, and I want our girls to have that same experience.

That said, we do NOT want another dog right now. With hectic work schedules, dance class, potty training, and just trying to keep up with laundry, we definitely do not have time for something else that needs fed on a regular basis. Even our plants require essentially no maintenance – they have to be watered twice a year. Literally, twice a year.

Really, my theory is, if you can’t learn to screen my calls for telemarketers, then what good are you to me?

Well, the girls and I had a fun day shopping on Saturday and because they were behaving we took a trip to the pet store to pet the cats they had there from the no-kill shelter. 20 minutes later we left with this guy.

Addi wanted a girl fish but I convinced her that Jay needed some camaraderie in the house. So she agreed, then said, “Let’s name him ‘Handsome’, after daddy.”

So stinkin’ sweet.

A few hours later I walked into the kitchen and there stood Addi, completely soaked, with water spilled all over the kitchen. The guilty look and the fish tank on the table gave away what had just happened – Addi decided she wanted to move the tank closer so she could watch Handsome swim. I checked on the fish and it appeared as if he was having a seizure.  I swear you could hear him saying, “Please lady, take me back… I’d rather have kids tap on my glass all day than experience this hell.” Either that or he wanted fed. I really don’t speak beta fish.

So, welcome to the family, Handsome. And good luck. Something tells me you’re gonna need it.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Just a little help

Just like everyone else, there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done. Dishes sit in the sink, laundry always needs to be folded, and my TiVo really, really misses me. My windows are dirty, my car smells like feet, and I can tell you without even looking that there is probably something sticky all over the kitchen table right this very minute.

After we had Samantha, Jay and I were both in agreement that we couldn’t do it alone, so we hired help. Enter our sanity, wrapped up in the form of a cleaning lady. Every other week I know my floor will be mopped, my showers will be cleaned, and all I have to do is pay for it. Worth every penny.

So, every other Wednesday we pick up the house, putting toys where they go and shoes in the closet so Mary can just come in and clean. I write a note with instructions, leave out some cash, and when I come home from work on Thursday the house is gorgeous.

This past Thursday I got a call from Mary at work. She wondered where the vacuum was (in the basement, oops) and if I had put her money somewhere new? I assured her it was on the counter and she assured me I was wrong. I called Jay to see if he picked it up – nope. I checked my wallet to see if I picked it up – nope. Then I made a quick dash to my car and found all the money tucked nicely into Addison’s wallet.  I was shocked.

I talked to Addi about it when she got home and she assured me she didn’t know she did anything wrong – she just thought if it was out then it was up for grabs. But that day I added three more things to my “I’m grateful for…” list.

1. That Mary was understanding and willing to let me pay her next time.  2. That Addi really DID think she did nothing wrong and I most likely don’t have a klepto on my hands.  And 3. That Addi forgot her purse in my car. I’m pretty sure she’d be handing out $20s on the playground.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Marching, Marching

A few weeks ago my new friend Beth asked if Addi and I would like to help support the Center for Prevention of Abuse by marching in the Morton Pumpkin Festival Parade with them and throwing out candy.  I knew Addi had absolutely loved hanging with Quacky the Duck at the Duck Race so I told her we'd love to. 

Then I asked Addi if she wanted to help, she asked if she could hold Quacky's hand and eat all the candy.  Probably not.

When Saturday finally rolled around, Addi started to get nervous.  I don't think she really knew what to expect so she said her tummy hurt and she didn't want to get Quacky sick.  Since Quacky's head was riding in the back of the car, I decided that was the time to explain to her that characters aren't real, just a costume with people inside. 

After inspecting said Head from the inside out, she was ready to march.  Apparently her tummy ache disappeared as fast as the Laffy Taffy she found under Quacky's head.

She and Syd-did-di-ney looked adorable and took their jobs VERY seriously.  A breakfast made entirely of candy helped the cause. 
So did hanging out with Dora.
Once the parade started I seriously could NOT have been more proud.  While I wasn't sure what to expect, Addi surpassed all my expectations.  She smiled, waved, threw candy, stayed with the group, and required absolutely NO reminders to behave.  Even when it started to sprinkle, she kept marching and tossing the candy.

And when it started lightening and we took cover in a random garage, she passed out candy to those people as well, never once complaining about being wet or cold.  
Pretty amazing day.

Dirty Jobs

Every now and then, I get to do cool things at work.  Following Mike Rowe from "Dirty Jobs" around for an hour was one of those "things."

The only part that wasn't so great was this lame face he made.  As he came over to take a picture with me I said, "Hey, I just wanted to make sure you got your picture taken with one pretty girl today." Obviously, I meant ME.  Apparently Mike was not amused.

I think I'll forgive him.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Just Call her Grace

We finally signed Addi up for dance lessons a few weeks ago. It’s pretty cool for her – she has 20 minutes of ballet, 20 minutes of tap, and 20 minutes of tumbling so she can figure out what she likes and what she’s good at. And, her friend Jillian is with her, so she has a friend and I have someone to talk to while we wait.

And, it’s pretty fun to watch them dance. 15 little girls, all wearing tights and leotards, oblivious to how cute they are. And, sticking their bellies out. So funny.

I do admit, I was pretty worried about how Addi would act in class. So imagine my shock when she actually listened! And did what the teacher said! And, didn’t fall completely on her butt! I figured it was a first class scared thing, but during class two she also listened!

I pretty much expect her to run screaming from lesson three. But who cares… At least she’s got the cute outfit.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A quiet home

If only it were just this easy.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Do I call an exterminator?

Complete opposites. That’s what I’d call my kids on almost any given Sunday. I think it’s so cool to see the traits our kids have an try to decide if it’s hereditary or learned from us, and also cool to know that when SOME kids (ehem, Addi) are out of control, it’s not always because we suck as parents. Because Sam is being raised the same way and many times when Addi’s freakin’, Sam’s chillin’. Gives me just a little sigh of relief that I’m not complete screwing them both up.

One of the issues we’ve always had with Addi is that she doesn’t one specific thing she loves more than anything. So it’s pretty hard to find that one reward, that one threat, that one special thing to get her to go to bed or listen or behave or whatever. So you’d run out and buy her some Elmo stickers as the next best thing, and a day later Elmo was so last week. Frustrating.

Now Sam… That girl gets stuck on one thing and she’s golden. She loves cheese. She loves Elmo. She loves Mommy. She’s the easiest person to put to bed each night, assuming you have a pink blanket with her. So when it comes to gives, prizes, whatever, you are set. It makes gift giving hard and sanity harder.

A few months back we went to Disneyland and Sam nearly had a heart attack when she saw Goofy for the first time. We figured that’s how the rest of the day would go, but when Sam laid eyes on Minnie Mouse, her love affair began.

And now, we have a mouse invasion at our house.  I thought rabbits were the ones that multiplied but apparently, it's all animals.

It started off small... One mouse.
But before we knew it, there were two.  These ones came in the form of PJ's and are great for sneaking on the counter to steal packs of gum.

Then, the hardware appeared.  Sippie cups.  I found a matching plate in the cabinet.
On the first chilly day, a cute Minnie dress with leggings made their debut.  A quick glance in Sam's dresser and I found three additional dresses, all in different colors.
And when it came time to go potty, I found not one, not two, but three pairs of Minnie undies.
Who knows where the rest may be hiding.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Even though I would love to have a son, one of the perks of only having girls is not having to deal with the boy “parts.” So, when I got our potty seats out of storage recently (since apparently Sam goes potty at school all the time and is totally holding out on us at home?? What’s THAT about??), I went ahead and put the little “splash guard” in the bathroom cabinet. I didn’t want to throw it away, just in case we someday have a boy, but Sam obviously doesn’t need it.

I will now be throwing it away. Why, you ask?

Because I caught Addi using it as a drinking glass.

And I was completely lost in trying to explain to her exactly WHY she shouldn’t do that. It’s never been used so realistically, it’s probably pretty clean. But still. It’s gross. And really, I don't ever want to try to have to explain to her what it's for.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Weekend in Review - by Sam!

Hi everyone! It’s me, Sam! I just got back from a super fun weekend in In-yee-an-aaaaaa! My mom said I was a super good girl all weekend and she was so proud of me for playing nice with my friends. I played babies and ate cheese and sang my ABC’s on command about a million times. I was very good.

Well, except the times I wasn’t. I got super mad when my mommy tried to make me sleep in a pack n play at naptime – hello! I’m a big girl like Addi and naps are for babies! – so I tried to climb out. Then mommy yelled at me, so I tried to climb out of the other side since I figured that’s why she was mad, then she SMACKED MY HAND. Can you believe that? I just wanted to hang out more with her. I thought about smacking her hand back but I was crying too hard. So mean.

I finally threw her a bone and laid down and took a nap. She looked so sad so I figured I’d do her a solid. But I made sure to sign heavily right before I laid down, so she KNEW I wasn’t happy. That got me a few hugs later so I totally won that. Score one for Sam!

I also got so mad when my mom tried to put me in ballerina jammies. HELLO. Has she NOT figured out that I am a total fashionista? I’m bringing Minnie Mouse back, one shirt at a time. I kept pointing to my bag and she kept trying to put that ugly pink shirt on me so finally I had to yell, “You know I look cute, so why you trippin’ mom? Give me what I want! Minnie Mouse rocks!” At least that’s what I tried to say but I haven’t mastered some sounds yet, so it sounded more like “Min-mouse shirt fun.” Mommy smiled when I said that and got my Minnie jammies out. Whew. I totally rocked those and everyone kept saying I looked cute. Duh. My Minnie jammies are currently in hardcore rotation. I even dug them out of the dirty clothes – what’s it to you?

The other time I got in trouble for taking a doll away from Ella after I was told to share. I swear I didn’t hear her say that the first time. I got a time out, and no one would even look in my direction. I cried louder and NOTHING. When my time was up I had to say sorry and give Mommy a hug. It’s like I’m gonna hug you lady? You’re the one that made me cry! I don’t even really know how to say sorry so I figured if I leaned my head against her shoulder that will be sorry enough. It worked. For the record, I’m not sorry!

Playing at Mitch and Mindy’s was pretty fun though. They had babies all over too! Every time I looked I’d see a new one and yell BABY! But I’m a little worried about my mom – every time a new baby came in the room and I got excited about it, she’d say, “Sam, that’s Ella. See? She’s wearing the same shirt.” I might have to talk to daddy about her – doesn’t she know that all babies wear the same thing? I want a house like that someday, full of new babies. 

Other than that, it was just a regular weekend. I mastered a song called Apple Annie and have been rocking that all weekend. You should see me in action. I’m like a prodigy. I chased Sheffield the cat a LOT. I stole Ella’s baby a few more times when mommy wasn’t looking. I made cookies with Mindy and threw sprinkles on the floor. I followed Addi around relentlessly.  My grandma showed up TWICE and I freaked out both times.  Man I love her.  She gives the best hugs.  I know she loves me best, too.

Oh, and Mitch and Mindy’s house is MAGIC. I went to sleep both nights with mommy in her bed, and when I woke up I was in the dreaded pack n play. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN!?! I get a little freaked out by the voodoo witchcraft so I made sure to yell really loud to scare off any evil spirits. Luckily I had my sweet new Pillow Pet to throw and Mommy to cuddle with. When daddy found out about the magic he headed downstairs and slept in the basement. He’s the smartest.  Plus, he has really bad breath at night so I was pretty happy he left me and mommy alone in the bed.

That was my trip in a nutshell.

OH OH OH. I also figured out how to really make Addi mad. Take her super cool water bottle from her and drink it all. She gets MAD and cries and yells and throws huge fits. TOTALLY takes the watching eyes off of me. She threw an apple at mommy’s head today and I sat there and ate all her chips while Mommy was glaring at Addi. I’m gonna have to put that in my bag of tricks.

I have some really cute pictures I made Mommy take of me, but I can’t reach the kitchen counter so I’ll have to have her put them on here. But for now I better go pretend to sleep – Mom is heading to bed soon and I think I’m going to try out the “I’m scared of my room” trick tonight. It’s been working for Addi for a long time now so I’m going to have to up my game and maybe throw in some dry heaving. Addi, you think you are the only dramatic one in this family? Think again. BRING IT.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Rubber Ducky... You're the One (of 20,000)!

One of the perks of our kids being in daycare is the friendships that are being made. It is great to see our kids bond with their classmates and know that there’s a good chance some of these kids will their friends for years to come. Jay and I both have people we still keep in touch with from grade school, so it’s pretty neat to see those lifelong friendships forming.

But I’m not talking about THOSE perks.

I’m talking about the upgrade to Jay and I’s social calendars.

It’s not rocket science. But when we want some interaction with people who do not share our DNA, we schedule a play date. The kids get to run around, the moms get to talk, the dads get to drink beer… It’s really win-win for everyone.

This weekend Addi and I had a mommy/daughter day with her best daycare friend, Sydney. Although when Addi says it, it sounds more like “Syd-did-d-ney.” Too cute.

Addi, Syd-did-d-ney, Beth and I hit the Peoria riverfront for the 22nd Annual Duck Race to Stop Abuse. You buy some rubber ducks, the money goes to an amazing cause, and your kids get to run around like crazed loons. A perfect Sunday if you ask me.

After face painting, a few meltdowns including Addi screaming “You are still my best friend but I’m really really mad at you Syd-did-d-ney!”, and ice cream, we watched the 20,000 ducks get pushed down float unassisted down the river. Our ducks did not win, but we had a great time regardless and the kids hopefully learned a little bit more about giving back. I know Beth and I learned more about mediation and tricking your kids into not arguing over balloons, stickers, and beach balls.

Here’s hoping our next play date includes beer.

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