Thursday, September 29, 2011

You Might Be Looking For A Recipe-Ish

You might be disappointed.

You can be pissed at Stella.  You'd be a total asshole for being angry at an innocent baby, who happens to be the cutest baby EVER, but that is where your anger should rest. 

Or with God.  Your call. 

She's seriously so cute.

Cute baby or God. 

She is seriously cute.  Choose wisely.

Remember in yesterday's post how I mentioned God kept wanting me to post my recipe-ish later in the week because he cares about blog post scheduling?  Well, apparently this week it is simply not happening.  Maybe a weekend recipe-ish?  Maybe God wants weekend recipes?

All of my children are usually up by 7:30.  Cole usually springs from his room around 6:30, fully dressed and ready to go.  So at 9:00, when Stella still wasn't awake today I felt a strange mixture of fear and joy. 

I mean, it was sort of strange so that always sets off all sorts of maternal alarms.  Is she breathing?  Is she gone? Is my monitor broken?  Did I forget about a kid?

But at the same time, I just had Cole and it was sort of fun to just hang out with him and enjoy the quiet house together.  He quickly became enchanted with all the remnants from Craft Night so I engaged him in making flowers and loading the glue gun while I worked on my letter wreath. 

It was fun.

Cole's a blast to hang out with solo.

Around 9:30 I felt a little panicked though and decided to check on Stella.

She was there.  She was breathing.  Sweet.

Cole and I continued to craft, Cole's interest faded ever so slightly and I might have become a little psychotic about finishing my letter wreath.  Maybe.  I possibly gave Cole all sorts of sharp objects, my phone, access to the computer and printer, and free reign on snacks while I glue guned jute twine to a cardboard letter.  Possibly.

But I finished it!

About 11:30 I was done and started thinking, this is really weird that Stella is STILL NOT OUT OF BED.

It's almost noon and my daughter has been asleep since 7 the night before.  Did she sneak out last night and go drinking?  What is going on?

I checked on her again. Breathing, in a different position than before, and peacefully snoozing.

At 12:30 I couldn't let her sleep any longer.  I unfortunately had to take she and Cole to my annual OB/GYN appointment for all sorts of unimportant and boring reasons.  I put her in the car, gave her a sandwich and some water and started the 35 minute drive.

She ate. She drank.  She fell asleep again within 15 minutes.

What the hell?

When we got to my doctor's she woke up easily and we all headed in for the fun.  I had flash backs to Aiden sitting next to my OB during one of my exams, eating Rasinettes, and asking my doctor what he was putting in me and felt overwhelming dread that I had to bring Cole.  Oh well, I hadn't brought Rasinettes.

I put Stella on a wicker love seat in the exam room, put on my pink paper outfit, and immediately began sweating from fear of what Stella and Cole were going to force me to do while I was naked and partially wrapped in bring pink paper.

Stella ate a few crackers.  Cole took out the markers and coloring book and laid on the floor.  Stella hit a few buttons on the Dora phone and then leaned her head back on the bag and my jeans sitting next to her on the love seat.

This is so boring.
By the time my doctor came in to the room she was asleep.

Seriously.  She slept through the whole exam.

She woke up to go to the car and then fell asleep in the car. I started to feel a little nervous.  I mean, I LOVE sleeping children, but this seemed beyond the norm. 

She vomited once on Monday, diarrhea once on Tuesday, diarrhea once on Wednesday and fussy.  Surely those didn't lead to a complete state of exhaustion?  Or yes? 

This never happened to the boys, but is it different with girls?  They are weaker and less intelligent.


After a call to the pediatrician to put my mind at ease they immediately wanted to see her. I was almost home though so you all know what I did. 

Sue already had Aiden from the bus stop so I dropped off Cole with her, she promised to feed them dinner and take them to Cole's soccer practice...moment of extreme gratitude for Sue this week...Amen. 

Soon I was driving to the pediatrician...with a sleeping Stella and a huge knot in my stomach.

Basically they couldn't find anything wrong with her.  Even her blood work looked basically normal. The conclusion is that she must just be fighting something and she's a sleeper when she's sick.  I thankfully haven't had much experience at all with her being sick so I simply don't know. 

We were told to watch her and be sure she's still easily woken up, she'll eat and drink, and she seems able to be engaged.  We're basically checking on her every few hours, because of course she's asleep again.  She pointed to her crib the moment I walked in to her room.

I feel like it's a pretty sweet deal if she really is "fine" and just sleeps when sick, but a small part of me just wants my baby back awake....not between the hours of 7 pm and 6 am though.

So, it's Stella's fault that there is no recipe-ish right now about Leann Rimes's skinny booty eating my sausage and egg casserole. It will come, someday. 

I promise.

Thanks for your patience!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Craft Night

Usually I'm putting the finishing touches on a recipe-ish right now. 

Well, I use "usually" in a really loose way since the last few weeks my recipe-ish has been pushed to the end of the week.  This week is no different.

I like to think that God is trying to tell me that the recipe-ish should post late Thursday night so most people can read it on Friday.  I also like to think that God probably has more important things to worry about than my blog schedule, but His concern just shows you how great He is.

Here's this week's excuse.  I had Craft Night here.  It was serious.  There was no time for blogging.

I figured since you all weren't invited to Craft Night, since as far as I know you don't live in my neighborhood and weren't involved in a discussion I had with friends here which created Craft Night, I would share the messages regarding Craft Night.


I'm just going to paste some emails inviting my friends over to my house?

Yes.   It's 10:30, I'm still recovering from malaria, or whatever it was, and I amused the hell out of myself writing these so why not share? 

EMAIL ONE:  Last Week

Dear Neighbor,

It's Craft Night Bitches.

This is serious.

OK, I just wanted to start out like that. This is pretty un-serious, at least until Jenn turns it in to a race.


We are going to craft the hell out of the upcoming holidays, and possibly some decorating that will BLOW YOUR MIND.

Watch out Hobby Lobby, beware JoAnn's...Forest Oak is going to make some shit.

We're starting next Wednesday night, 9/28 at my house. Probably 7 or 7:30 - 2 am so we can really finish everything properly, but we might release around 9 if we are really crafting our asses off...which is likely.

Bring a bottle of wine, or don't because I'll have plenty, and all your focus for the craft.

Here is what we are deciding among:

Door letter hanger thing.

Branch with leaves.

mummy lights

What? Those don't sound good?

You don't want to make a branch? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?

You can't be high maintenance at Craft Night. You will be removed from Craft Night.

Here are some photos, but you better bring your imaginations to Craft Night.

Fine, so it was only one photo.  This is what we're making. I found this on Serenity Now's Weekend Bloggy Reading Link Up Party when the blog two twenty one posted this instructional.

Also, I'll be on Pinterest hunting out other craft options, because that's what I do with my life now. I'll email you tonight if I find anything else more exciting. I'm confident I will, but also confident that my heart is committed to this jute wrapped door letter thing.

If you aren't on Pinterest by Craft Night then be prepared to be ridiculed the ENTIRE time. Everyone cool is doing it and everyone at Craft Night HAS to be cool.

Feel free to invite other Forest Oakers...if you think they can handle it.

It's Craft Night Bitches.

(See how I basically turned this email into a poem by starting and ending with the same powerful phrase? That's the sort of genius thinking we need at Craft Night. BRING IT!)
BFF, Leslie
So basically everyone wanted to come.  Well, except for my friend Melissa that I didn't hear from, I'm sure she was just too excited to respond. 
Oh, and my friend in San Diego on a fun trip with her husband.  She doesn't know what she missed.
Here's the follow up communication, because again, I can do whatever I want to do here. 
EMAIL TWO: Last Night
OK ladies. It's still on tomorrow night. I might have been puking yesterday, but nothing can stop my crafting.

Also I feel better. I have cleaned my house inside and out, well not out, that's just a lie. But! I have sanitized, scrubbed, vacuumed, mopped, and cleaned anything standing still at my house and I think we are a safe zone now.

I'm going to get the crafting supplies tomorrow. I think everything will be less than $10 so if you have some cash I will give you a total tomorrow. If you don't have cash, you will be thrown out, with one of my children to raise as your own. 

Just kidding.

Seriously, bring some cash.

Or you can drop it off later this week...with interest.

I'm hilarious.

Anyway, I'm assuming I'm getting a W, K, and Sue...did you say you already had a letter? That's weird, but cool with me.

Melissa, are you snubbing Craft Night? Is this because I think your name should be Michelle? Because that's not my fault . You know I have renamed Jenny/Jennifer  as Madge, we are all making sacrifices around here. Sometimes I just don't feel comfortable with the names people were given and changes must occur.

Let me know if you want to come and I'll buy you a B, or any other letter you want. That would sort of be fun if you put a Q on your door, I would be extra intrigued by you then.  Who wouldn't want that?

Any requests for ribbon color or felt rosette color? The demo had black ribbon, which I sort of like because it's going to get dirty out there in the hot, sweaty, nasty world we live in....but I can pick up anything else or feel free to bring your own.

I'll pick up some felt squares in a few colors that I like, because that's what is most important, but if you have a color you want to accent on your door let me know and I'll grab that too. I think the felt is like $.30 so go crazy.

Don't forget to bring a glue gun if you have one. If you don't you might want to think about getting one so you have some craft cred, which is very similar to street cred, just more important.

I have a box of red wine (because I am classy,) but only a little white left so if you are going to get crazy on the white, bring a bottle.

I also have sweet tea, oreos, and if I get energetic I'll make some brownies. Oh and I'll probably soon have diabetes.  What the hell am I eating here?

We'll be knee high in hot glue and jute twine though ladies so you'll probably only be able to drink. I'll supply straws.

Oh!  Or we could MAKE straws!  CRAFT NIGHT!

Let me know about the colors and if there is any change in your RSVP.

I will cut you if you don't show up.

Just kidding. I'll just jute twine the letters that say "Loser Lives Here" and attach it to your door with neon green felt rosettes. That would teach you to jack with Craft Night bitch!

OK, I've clearly been ill and am going a little off course.

Email me. Text me. Just come to Craft Night because it's apparently so important to me that I'm spending thirty minutes rambling to you about this.

Is this the longest email you have ever gotten about a neighborhood gathering of four to use a glue gun?

I am lame, or so cool because Craft Night can transform people, lives, a generation. 

Remember I was ill.

See you tomorrow!

Seriously Melissa...what up? You can bring your baby if he has a glue gun. Or a bottle of white wine.
Jute Twine, Leslie
So now you are wondering how my jute wrapped letter wreath thing turned out?  Good question.
I didn't finish.  It apparently takes a really freakin' long time to wrap those letters when you are really anal about it.  My friend Jenn and Madge finished up lickity split because I think they did coke before they came. 
I'm not trying to start any rumors, but it's really the only conclusion.
Sue and I are holding steady on our letters and are not finished in the least.  I'll post a photo when I'm done around Thanksgiving, because I know this is going to be on your mind through the next few months.
It was a blast to work on something and to just hang out with some girlfriends.  We are going to get crazy with the Halloween crafting so if you live near me and want to craft let me know. 
Craft Night is ON!
Oh, and Melissa apparently was indeed not snubbing Craft Night and is sick.  This is good news because if she jacked with Craft Night, wow.  Feel better Melissa!  We have a glue gun waiting for you.
That's actually not true at all.  Bring your own gun.
And your own glue.  This isn't a charity Craft Night.
Recipe-Ish tomorrow....though no clue what it will be. 
Suggestions?  Celebrities you want me to send a recipe too?

Linking up to Amanda's Weekend Bloggy Reading Link Up Party.  Check it out!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sick Mommy, The Most Painful Kind Of Sick

Reason number 5,392 of why I can't understand how these little people own my heart: they have totally jacked my immune system.  Cole passed his nasty vomiting on to me and sort-of Stella.

I have been cleaning my house like a mad woman. 

A weak, still sort of sick, mad woman, but mad all the same.

I've been sick and there is nothing worse than Mommy being sick.  The world does not stop.  The mess piles up. The kids apparently still think it's important that they eat, that I find their missing legos, that I pick them up when they fall down, that they tell me about when one has taken a longer turn with the Wii, that I clean off their poop....why, oh why am I in charge of all the poop?

These kids are without perspective. 

My headache from Sunday carried over to Monday and turned into a massive stomach problem. 

It really sucked.

First Stella barfed all over her car seat on the way home from dropping Cole at school. While trying to clean it up, I decided my headache and nausea were not going to go away and had to make a mad dash for the toilet. 

Oh boy.

I texted Alex for help.

I spent the next few hours lying on the floor and watching Stella play.  She would periodically bring me a squeezable applesauce or a bag of cheddar bunnies which I would open and hand off to her.  She could have brought me a bottle of Jack Daniels and I probably would have poured it in to a sippy cup for her...  I was wrecked.

I would lie down in different parts of the house and try to contort my body so that my head and my stomach could find a moment of peace.  Unfortunately these different positions only exposed me to all the dirt and nastiness hiding in different parts of my house. Apparently there is good reason why stomach bugs are wrecking my family. 

I found two cups of rotting milk, a banana mashed into a toy train, and a pile of dust that flew off different arms of the fan whenever it turned.

We are a disgusting family. Now I felt terribly ill, and horribly inadequate as a housekeeper. 

I texted Alex for help.  No answer.

At one point I was lying on the floor watching Stella roam around the backyard by herself.  Despite puking, she was totally unphased by being sick. She just continued about her day.  What a bitch.  Why wasn't I that strong?

I looked at the clock around 11 and decided it would be fine to throw her in her crib. I usually read her a story or two, cuddle, and sing her a song before putting her down to bed or her nap. That was not happening though.  I basically mustered enough energy to trap her and lift her into her crib, threw in a few books and shut the door.

She didn't make a peep.  Totally redeemed herself.

I text Alex for help.  No answer.

I called Alex for help.  No answer.

Around 12:30 I realized I probably wouldn't be able to drive to get Cole since I couldn't walk for more than 10 minutes without throwing up.  He had to be picked up by 2 and I was probably going to die before that.

I tired to take some pain medication for my head and was promptly punished for the intake of two sips of water by having to rush to the toilet, again.

I called Alex for help. No answer.

I honestly didn't know what I was going to do. I didn't want to bring anyone else into this horror of vomit and pain, but I felt desperate.  Since I couldn't get in touch with my husband, I called my neighbor Sue.

Oh Sue.  She came through.  Did she ever come through.  Sue should be sainted.

She picked up Cole.  When she brought him home, she cleaned Stella's puked on car seat and washed her vomit clothes piled in the garage.  She cleaned my kitchen which was a disaster from me trying to survive the morning.  She took out our over flowing trash.  She watched Stella and Cole and then went to get Aiden from the bus stop.  Then she stayed!

She's nuts. But I love her and I probably would have died if she hadn't helped me out.  I wonder if Alex would have come to my funeral?  He wouldn't answer any of my calls and texts. Maybe he'd cut me out?

I texted and called to check the status of my marriage.


Sue continued to take care of all of us as I contemplated what it would be like to just merge my family with Sue's.  Would it be weird?  Would she continue to do all the work if I just pretended to be sick after I got well?  Would I ever get well?  What if Alex decided to leave me because I was so weak that I was getting sick for the second time this year?  Why is everything so fuzzy?

I finally got a hold of Alex and told him he had to be home by 5, or we were through, or I was through, or something like that. 

I'm very calm and rationale on my death bed.

He conceded.  He arrived home 15 minutes after Sue left and immediately took charge

(Turns out he likes being married to me and had just been caught in meetings.) 

He removed Stella from her comfy post next to me on the bed.  When Sue left she had been devastated to be left with this blob of a mother and was only pacified by an iphone playing Ke$ha and Kanye West, dog kisses, and her 50th applesauce of the day.  I was totally out of it.

He took the kids to chick-fil-a and I promptly slept for the next two hours.  I woke up feeling slightly more myself, like there was hope to regain my family, my marriage, and possibly my health.  I even felt a little thirsty.  I was feeling so bold that I went ahead and drank and entire glass of water, then waited to barf.  Nothing happened though.  I could drink again!

When I woke up this morning I still felt fearful and distrusting of my body.  I waited for it to betray me all morning as I weakly started the process of cleaning my foul home.  I started with laundry, then the toilets, then dusting, sweating heavily and having to sit down every 15 minutes or so.  It was pathetic. 

I did it though.  I cleaned all day long and no longer am I living in filth.

When Aiden got off the bus, Sue took he and Cole to her house so I could finish vacuuming and mopping. 

Seriously, she's saintly.

My house no longer is a giant petri dish for all that is toxic.  I have lysoled, cloroxed, and scrubbed every visible surface that I could reach.  I was not messing around.

I can not be sick again.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I'm A Good Mom 99.9% Of The Time

I thought I posted this last week.  I did not.  So when I sat down tonight to write and realized it hadn't ever gone up....well, it seemed like a pretty good idea to just post it.

I mean, I could tell you about how I've had a headache all day, because that was pretty exciting. 

Or, I could tell you about hanging out in Waco yesterday on the river with Alex's family, which was pretty fun, but there's not really a story there.  I was really sweaty.

Oh, and I almost forgot!  Our coffee maker broke.  Maybe I should just write a post about that? 

I could make a bunch of stuff up, but just seems like more work than my head will allow right now.

So...this happened last week.  I'm sure something will happen this week and I'll be forced to really write tomorrow.

I like to think of myself as a pretty good Mother. 

I also like to think I'm really good at maybe my judgement isn't always spot on about everything.

I might not always be joyful or giddy about being with my children all day all the time, but for the most part I feel involved, aware, and connected to them.

I know the important stuff about their personality, how they like their sandwhich to be cut (do not cut into two rectangles or they will freak,) and whether or not they can handle the feeling of a mock turtleneck, that's a no for Aiden. 

I can tell you the exact color of their eyes, well except for Aiden because they are this amazing combination of hazel, grey, blue that doesn't have a color name. So, that's not really my fault.

I know the location where their hair will cowlick. I know the exact cause of their tantrum, their tummy ache or the fight with their sibling. I'm involved.  I'm around. 

Unfortuantely, all this information still does not allow me to predict the things they will carry to and from school for over a week without my knowledge.

One day I simply find myself carrying a backpack full of empty shotgun shells and I wonder how this is possible, why I know what these are, and why do I live in this state? 

After I brought Aiden's backpack inside from the bustop the other day, I hear something clanging around inside the bag.  I find this when I open the bag.

For those of you that are not familiar because you aren't surrounded by this sort of thing very often, because you are normal, those are shotgun shells.  Empty shotgun shells, but all the same they feel inappropriate for school.

I remember him coming inside from a visit to his Aunt and Uncle's house with an arm full of these that he had found around their driveway.  Stuff like that happens here in Texas.
So, this is just my friendly reminder to all of you to take a gander inside your kid's backpack daily, just in case they are packing a ridiculous amount of ammunition. 

Oh, and tip number two...once you take them out of your kid's backpack you should probably put these away or you'll find your other children playing with them all over the house and you'll have to yell things like, "Cole!  Pick up these shotgun shells so I can vacuum!" OR   "Cole, the letter you made out of shutgun shells is still on the kitchen table!"

I don't want to be saying those things. 

I now have a thorough backpack check every morning when putting in his lunch box.

You never know what he might be picking up in the hood.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Recipe-Ish, Sort-of

It's happening people. I'm becoming famous. My recipe-ish is taking me places.  Far away, fabulous places.

I will soon be featured in the US Weekly section, "Stars, They're Just Like Us" exiting a Starbucks without my kids because I would be able to afford to leave them with someone else. I'll probably be laughing with Reece.

It's going to be amazing. You should order your subscription today so you don't miss it.

I am the featured blogger on Shell's fabulous Things I Can't Say blog. You should go read it. Here.

Read it NOW!

Things I Can't Say

Seriously, I'm not trying to yell at you, but this is important.
I'm teaching Ke$ha how to make Mac & Cheese and asking for some help from her in return.  It's probably going to be taught in schools someday, both culinary and literary. 

It will change your life.
Or it won't, but it might mildly amuse you for about 5 minutes, and who doesn't need that? 
Thanks for having me Shell!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sometimes Just Getting Out of The House is A Joy, But I Mostly Miss Target

Yesterday Cole had the stomach bug, hence my lack of writing.  Every time I sat down to write I was beckoned to his side to rub his head, get him water, clean his puke. 

Kids are so demanding.

He woke up at 11 the night before and was up off and on all night.  I was annoyed.

I do not enjoy getting up every hour or so to talk to my kids about how their fingertips feel weird or how they think they saw something move in their closet.  Not cool.

Around 5 though he walked into our room again and I instructed him to grab a blanket and lay on the floor with the throw pillows, no one was talking to him until at least 6:30. Harsh, but necessary to a healthy kid.

Five minutes later he puked all over the throw pillows. He totally schooled me.

Ohhhhhhh, so you aren't just trying to annoy me?

I always feel so badly when Cole throws up because it terrifies him.

I also feel badly because it's really gross and I have to find effective, non-gagging methods to clean it up while Stella raids my jewelry box and scatters crackers through the house.
This went on until 5:00 when he finally crashed on the couch like this.

Poor kid.

He's all better now though and life is moving forward. 

See how cute he is climbing trees with his sister?

In fact, I decided we could leave the house today.  We hadn't gone anywhere for a few days and it was time.

We went to the gym where a woman in front of me was in full makeup and using a mat with pictures of leopards growling all over it.  I love her. 

Those are the things I miss while I am trapped in the house with a sick kid.

After the gym I started to drive to Target for a birthday gift when I remembered...I am two weeks off the Target.

I banned myself from going. It's been such a part of my life for so long though that I immediately go there when I need something, Target's in my bones.

I am challenging myself to financial reform though because I think I might be happier if I stop spending $150 a week on the things Target convinces me I need.

I also think that it might help since we totally can not afford $150 a week at Target.

It also would be really fun to just have $150 extra every month to support my habit. Should I get a job so I can shop at Target? It sounds totally reasonable when I put it like that, but I probably should just stick to my Target ban.

It's difficult though. I miss Target.

I miss the Starbucks that greets me when I walk in the door. I miss the simple entertainment of walking through the aisles.  I miss the sturdy, never jacked up carts, and I miss that drug they pump through the vents telling me to buy stuff and be happy. I'm having Target withdrawal.

My lack of Target trips is creating a lull in our entertainment because I also am trying to avoid going anywhere other than the gym, grocery and home...with a periodic playground attempt if the temperature is below 90.

See how happy they are to be there?

This is why we don't go to the playground often, it always ends in someone feeling sad.  Sometimes it's the kids, often it's me.

I feel overwhelmed with purchasing wants when I run errands so I'm just not running them.  I have so much self control! 

What online shopping?  Etsy does not count as purchasing anything.  That's charity for the poor artists that are making things so they can feed their starving children.  I'm just being a good citizen of the world with that.

Online Target?  I don't know what you are talking about...I'm ignoring this.

I think Stella is a little bored. This is what I found her doing while I was cleaning the shower.

If you come over to my house and I try to serve you iced tea you should probably decline since there is a good chance the tea bag was rubbed all over my dirty kitchen floor, which may or may not have had throw up on it recently.

And we know I'm not going to Target to get any new tea.

At least Cole is healthy and we are back to functioning in the real world! 

Who am I kidding?  I miss Target.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Challenge

I am over it.  I'm done.  Finished.

Actually I am over and done and finished with two things.

Let's take it one thing at a time.  That's how you're supposed to approach things, correct?

1.  Cole Peeing His FREAKIN' PANTS

As much as I love all the traffic I get from people googling the phrase "pee in pants,"  I'm sick of writing about this topic in my life.  I want it out of my life.

For the past year Cole has been periodically just peeing his pants.  It's rather annoying.

I can not believe this is still happening. 

Everyone keeps telling me to relax, it won't be happening when he's in high school, he'll get over it. I find little comfort in the promise that my future year old probably won't be urinating during his calculus final.  I prefer to think there is a solution closer to now.

He usually pees a little in his underwear and then eventually makes it to the bathroom before things get all over. He probably changes his shorts three or four times a day.  If you look at my laundry it might appear that I have four year old triplets.

I don't have triplets.  I do not want to do laundry for triplets.  This pisses me off.

At the Kid Zone at the gym today Cole refused to come down from the playscape. He simply peered at me from the end of the highest tunnel and said, "I can't go"...which actually turned out to be an even bigger lie than I thought.

Yes, he peed in the playscape.  Apparently it was while he was playing Star Wars with "Josh" and he didn't want to leave the spaceship.  This is the usual reason for not making it to the bathroom.  Not wanting to stop playing, not "Josh."  I don't even know who that kid is, but I bet wasn't peeing in the tunnel.

This was embarrassing.  It made me want to exchange Cole for Josh. 

So after the gym I challenged Cole to not pee his pants for seven days.  If he succeeds I promised to buy him any Star Wars toy he wants. I even agree to the light saber he keeps requesting and I keep turning him down, even for his birthday, because he already has THREE and I hate them with every fiber of my being. 

But, not as much as I hate him peeing in his pants.

He accepted the challenge and it starts tomorrow.   It's ON!

2.  Aiden Not Listening, Whining, Complaining, and Being An All Around Self Absorbed Punk

I realize he's only a month shy of six, and I should probably lower my expectations a bit, but I'm over it.

The child complains and is brought to tears at the slightest perceived injustice. 

FYI, he perceives anything outside of his wishes and desires to be a huge injustice. 

Every time I tell him it's time to stop playing the Wii, his brother has the color of marker he wants, he can't have a second squeezable applesauce, whatever, I have to dig deep, very, very deep for the mature, educated mother that I know I need to be in this situation. 

Because the surface me really wants to shout, "stop crying like a little bitch over pureed fruit purchased for your two-teeth-having baby sister, put on your big boy pants, dry your tears on your blankie and get your shit together." 

I realize this would be wrong though. I have a feeling it might not be effective and it might just cost me thousands of dollars in therapy down the road.  So I, at least to date, take the mature route, which is infinitely less gratifying in the moment.

Tonight though, I decided to offer him a challenge also.  One week of obeying without question and I'll buy him any Star Wars toy he wants.  

He was elated.

He accepted the challenge and his starts in the morning also....which is a good thing because after I hung his brand new curtains in his room, he drew a large person in ink on one panel.  I felt a little annoyed.

I do realize this doesn't violate the "obey first" rule of the challenge, but when I tried to talk to him about it he instantly became defiant and rude. 

Then, when I asked him to read books with his sister while I put Cole to bed, he moaned and teared up at how mean I was.  Violation baby.

It's ON!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Do Not Tell Aiden You Have Eight Toes, It Will Not Go Well

It's official, traveling to gymnastics is cursed.

Remember our journey to gymnastics last week?  If not, check it out here.

This morning I jacked up Stella's nap, because sometimes it has to be done and there is nothing you can do to change that.  The jacking of the nap, though at times essential, will never go unpunished.  This was no exception.

By the time Stella and I got home from picking up Cole from preschool, she was a full blown wreck.  She was snotty (literally, as well as in disposition,) and so very tired. She needed a shot of Benedryll and a nap as soon as possible.

So I put her down around 2:30 and by 3:30 she was up screaming. This was the type of freak out that I hadn't seen since Aiden was a baby.  The rolling on the floor, don't touch me, don't try to help me melt down.  It was super.

After many attempts at pacifying her with juice, walks outside, favorite toys, food, etc. to no avail, it was time to go to gymnastics.  I put screaming Stella in the car and instructed Aiden and Cole to get their shoes on immediately. 

Cole was elated, Aiden looked like he had been punched in the stomach.  Aiden loathes gymnastics time, primarily because it has nothing to do with him.  He feels tortured at having to sit and watch his brother jump on a trampoline while he mopes.  It's a very difficult life.

Once everyone was in the car I felt like, despite being 5 minutes late, things were looking up.  Stella stopped crying as hard and accepted a squeezable applesauce.  Aiden had dulled his complaining to a quiet moan.  Cole was humming some tune about God's arms, or legs, or some other body part.

This lasted all of 3 minutes.

Aiden began shouting, "ow, ow, ow!!!!"  Then he began crying, really crying.

All I said was, "what Aiden?"  and Stella began to scream again.

Granted I might have had some negative intonation in my voice.  I may, or may not, have been totally annoyed at Aiden's spontaneous complaining and whining after listening to Stella scream for an hour, is there anything more unnerving? 

I quickly told Aiden that he needed to work it out or he could start using his allowance to pay for a babysitter during gymnastics because I couldn't handle taking him if this was going to be his behavior. 

If there is one thing Aiden likes, it's his allowance. He loves his money accumulation.  The idea of having to pay for a babysitter brought him back to his quiet moans and some slight tears. 

Unfortunately, Stella didn't care.  She continued to cry until Cole started singing This Little Light of Mine.  He's a real charmer.

Well, he's a charmer until he decided to count his toes.  He began counting and decided he had eight toes.  He immediately announced this discovery, even shooting a quick glance back at Aiden to catch his reaction. 

Aiden's reaction?  Immediate rage, of course.  Eight toes is ridiculous, and Aidne does not do ridiculous.

A firey exchange started over whether or not Cole in fact had eight toes or ten.  I thought Aiden's head might explode and I was fairly confident that once Stella started crying again it might make mine explode as well.

They went back and forth until both were in tears.  Once we pulled in to the gymnastics facility though there was an odd calm that came over both of them.  Cole quickly explained that he just had his hands inside his car seat, so maybe he did have ten toes.  Aiden felt 100% vindicated.  Joy all around, even Stella for some odd reason.  I was totally confused and pissed at all the crazy I have to tote around town.

Thankfully, Cole once again enjoyed his class.  He was the only one there today so he had 40 minutes of private time bounding around the room.  Aiden was pacified to play my phone, because Angry Birds never argues with him about the appropriate number of digits. Stella was just happy to walk around and say hello to people and make them give her high five, her latest joy in life.

Unfortunately for me, there was a two year old that decided that I was her Mother, and her Mother was totally cool with that.  I basically was managing another child asking for food, taking Stella's blanket, trying to look at my phone, and hugging Stella to the point of knockdown. 

Why do people let their kids do this?  Doesn't my cranky expression upon arrival tell everyone that I have all the kids I can handle? 

Or not handle? 

I am determined that next week's trip to gymnastic will be a success. 

Or the next week.

Or the next.

It could happen, right?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Oh Pinterest! Don't Stop, or Do. I'm Not Sure Yet.

I spend most of my "free" time writing, reading other blogs, and reading books.  Until this weekend. 

I have a serious problem.  I have probably spent six hours this weekend on Pinterest.  I don't even have six hours of free time.  I think I've cloned myself and gotten really confused.

What, does that even make sense?

See, I don't know what I'm saying.

Either way, that's beside the point. I have dedicated my life to pinning.

What the hell is going on?

I have become infatuated with the freedom of sorting through thousands of images of beautiful, creative, interesting things, and then putting them in my own spot so I can look at them later...or never, it's yet to be determined.   I keep telling myself, as another hour passes by, that I'm going to be so much more organized with my decorating! My style!  My hair!  My recipes! My crafts! 

(Full disclosure, I did not have any thoughts to organize for my hair, my crafts, or my style prior to the Pinterest obsession.  I thought I was worried about my closet. It does feel good to know that the organizing for such random things is taken care of now though.  It could have been a source of a LOT of stress for me if it ever did happen to pop into my mind somewhere in the future.  Thank you Pinterest.)

Pinterest is like having a huge stack of my favorite magazines, without those pesky words.  I can find pictures and how-to's on every fun aspect of my life, some that I never even knew I cared about, like my mantle or Stella's bedroom ten years from now. 

Even the pins about my kids are for fun things like delicious snacks (that I could eat too) or making Halloween decor so they don't cry to me again this year that we never decorate and we're the only ones that don't care about Halloween and that Mommy is a joy-sucker. 

(They don't really say that.) 

(To my face.) 

(I do say that about them though.) 

(Not often to their face.)

I really don't care about Halloween though.  It isn't a moral issue, I'm simply not that fun.  Dressing up takes way more thought than I care to give to such meaningless things.

What was I talking about?  Oh yeah, spending hours on the computer clicking on pictures....

You know what makes me feel good?  I have yet to see a pin relating to how to handle my child's tantrum, what medicines to always/never give to my kids, or anything about the horror of television to my kid's brain...which we all know isn't true anyway, because sometimes television is all that keeps my children from being permanently motherless. 

Thank you for there being no Mommy guilt included Pinterest!  That is a huge asset for anything I am trying to enjoy. 

(I guess you could count my ignoring my kids to search through Pinterest as something worthy of some guilt, but let's ignore that so I can keep feeling so positive!)

There have been some weird side affects to my Pinterest obsession though, some of them not so healthy.  Like, this new burning in my soul to redecorate my entire house.  I truly believe I am now armed with the visual information I need to transform my house in to the most beautiful oasis one could ever dream of having.  Oh!  And I found the PERFECT tree house for my husband to build in the backyard! 

I bet he never does this.  He's so lazy with home improvement projects.  Ridiculous.

Unfortunately, this burning did not come with any financial backing. No sponsorship.  No giveaway.  I just have to think about it and dream and wish.  Ugh. It's exhausting.

I also have a sudden desire to chop my hair off in to one of the hundreds of adorable short hairstyles I saw this weekend.  Pinterest has tricked me in to thinking that I would be more stylish and feel all sassy if I cut my hair off. 

(They are completely ignoring the fact that where I live it hasn't dipped below 90 during the waking hours in five months and I'm a constant sweaty mess which makes sassy short hair look like tiny strands of wet yuck sticking to my head.  My current ability to twist my hair into a bun for every one's protection is much safer visually.) 

But...this is hard to resist.

I actually have dark brown hair, but I'm confident brunettes could rock this too.

The cruelty of Pinterest though is that while I have discovered all these amazing short hair cuts that I love, I have been equally dazzled by all the informative how-to's about what to do with my long hair. Pinterest has tricked me in to wanting both long and sort hair simultaneously.  Mean! 

Even LC is in on it.

I would never actually have time to do this since I've given my life over to Pinterest now.
You can see the full link here.

I found some like the one below that makes me think I could actually braid my hair and have it look cuter than when Julie Nugent used to french braid my hair before school in the eighth grade.  She was really good.
You can check out the link to do this here.

I was not blessed with a hair-doing Mom.

I take that back, if I wanted a wash and set my Mom would have been on it.  The fancy new braiding methods and fancy foreign braids like the French, that's a little wild.  But now Pinterest is just handing over all the secrets to all things hair.  Girls these days can have it all.  They don't even need their Julie Nugents.

Aside from wasting precious hours that I should be using to do quality things like yelling at playing with my kids, or writing deep, introspective posts like this to make you all weep and laugh and feel that there is good in the world (I think I've accurately nailed down my role in your life, right?) I also am now sorting through tons of emails from Pinterest every time I get done pinning the hours away. 

Pinterest finds the need to tell me about every single person that repinned what I pinned.  Why is this information important to me?  Is this supposed to reaffirm to me that I have in fact made a good choice by liking something? 

Should it erradicate the embarrassement I feel at pinning things like this?

Young girls don't just have braiding instruction, now they have Ke$ha too.
Yes, it killed me to put the $ instead of the S.

Should I then be looking at everything those people pinned to see if I am missing out on something else that is uber fantastic? 

Because all that sort of makes sense because that is exactly how I feel and exactly what I am doing. Unfortunately it's just sucking away more of my precious time though.  I probably can turn this off, but it's much more my style to bitch about it for a few weeks first.

Have you checked out Pinterest?  Do you love it?  Are you following me because I am so interesting?

Is there medication to stop doing it?

I'm linking up to Amanda's Fabulous Weekend Bloggy Reading Link Up Party!  Check it out!

Especially since Amanda is one of the people that got me going with her Pinterest love she wrote about here and here

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I Might Make Really Good Greek Beans, It's A Recipe-Ish People

Have you heard that Kate Gosselin's TLC show will be no more?

I just finished reading the People magazine article on her and....well...she's in a bit of a financial pickle.

She has a strong desire to maintain her current lifestyle of a large home, private schools for her kids, and what she seemed to be stressed the most about in the article, lavish vacations. 

This is where you go get the Kleenex.  What if she can't take the kids around the world again?!?!  I bet the Jolie-Pitt family will totally snub them. 

I have only seen one or two of the early episodes, from back in the good old days when it was Jon and Kate together and Jon hadn't had time to discover nannies or Ed Hardy apparel, but I am fascinated by the swarm of discussion about this woman.  People either love her or hate her, but most I have found hate her.  Ouch.

Even while purchasing my People magazine, Shenalyn (horrible name) the HEB cashier that could not be a day over 18 commented on how Kate is, "the worst mom EVER."  Not that any one's opinion counts that can't even purchase a bottle of wine, but geez, those are strong words.  Aren't most teens supposed to reserve that kind of hatred for their own mothers? 

Side note:  I should probably go talk to her about her relationship with her mom, clearly her mom has tricked her into not hating her.  She could be a good resource for my future.

There are always discussions on how anal and controlling Kate is, including in this article.  I'm baffled about why people are surprised by this though.  I mean, she has EIGHT kids, of course she's going to be running life like a  drill sergeant and have irrational outbursts of rage.  She has EIGHT kids.  

I would be PISSED.

Give the lady a break.

No one with that many children can be sane, all the time.  That Duggar lady is clearly on drugs since she always seems chipper.  Not birth control, but some sort of mood altering drugs....just to be clear.

Anyone with more than four or five kids has my permission to be cranky all the live long day until the are all 18 and no longer running around their house.

Besides, can't we agree that there are a few worse moms out there....oh say, Kasey Anthony or any of the Moms that take their children to cult compounds and make them drink poisoned Kool-Aid or something?  I mean, cranky and putting your kids on camera seems pretty damn nice.

Anyway, this lady has been through it. I don't know how I feel about all her actions, but I figured that anyone with eight kids, a tool of an ex-husband, and some really horrible former hairstyles deserves a recipe to whip up for herself. 

Yes, this is for her, not the kids....primarily because my kids won't eat it, but she might scare her kids into eating it.  Go Kate!

Dear Kate,
I am sorry to hear that TLC cancelled your show, cutting off your reported $25k per episode income.  That's some good cash for someone filming your life.

Do you think you could tell TLC that I am always fascinating to watch?  I only have three kids and my husband isn't a total jackass, but I really want to buy Stella a pony.

I am a little embarrassed, (also a little proud,) to say that I really didn't see your show more than once or twice, back in the Jon days.  I watched the one where he took you to the Gap to buy new clothes and you guys got Starbucks while someone else watched the kids.  That looked nice.  It sort of made me think that I could handle eight kids like that.

I also saw you on Oprah, which again made me wish I had eight kids so I would have something to make Oprah want to talk to me.  I know you get a bad rep for being a bitch, but I liked you on that show.  Oprah seemed to like you too, which sort of made me think you can't be all bad. 

Not that Oprah is in charge of everything I like, but well...yes she is.  I miss her.

I figured with your new found unemployment and all your fears about how to support the kids, (I almost forgot, I saw your new Audi sports car you bought last week on E - LOVE  IT!) you probably would love an affordable, tasty meal you could make for just you.

This recipe is from my Mother-In-Law, she calls it Greek beans.  I have this amazing Greek cookbook though (that our temporary dog just peed on) and it doesn't even mention these, so she might have made it up, but either way it's delicious and cheap....I know you want to be able to buy gas for that new car, oh and the kids. 

It's important to think about the kids.

I can't help but ask though, can you actually transport eight kids in a sports car?  Do you take them places in shifts in an attempt to get quality time with each of them? That would be smart! 

And stupid, because you could probably just sit and talk with them individually in the yard or something for free.

On one of the episodes I saw you had a bus sort of van, which seemed more practical for your family, but I am NOT here to judge you for spending a lot of money on a car that you can't even drive your kids around in...I might judge you on other things though, I can't make any promises.

You keep that fancy car though, you'll just eat Greek beans every night and you'll be fine, and no more shopping at the Gap with Jon and drinking Starbucks.  Those drinks are $5 each Kate, it's time for a lifestyle change.  Old Navy and home brew for you.

Do you ever lay in bed at night and sort of wish you had stalked Jon until he decided to come back home?  I mean, he is clearly a total wanker, but with eight kids it sort of doesn't matter, right?  He's an extra set of hands, ears, eyes, legs, which I would think would be pretty handy with that many children. 

I often tell my husband that I would hunt him down and make him come back to me if he ever left, or at least leave with the kids. I am not doing this alone.  It's a really romantic conversation.

Back to the Beans Bitch!

(Sorry, I don't know where that came from, it just sounded fun with all the B's.  I don't leave my house much.)

Here is what you need.

A huge bag of fresh green beans.  I have no idea how much, it always makes less than I think it's going to so fill up one of those plastic produce bags at the grocery store.

Some spaghetti half a jar?

Olive Oil
Water, flat, just to be clear.  You're making $25k an episode, maybe you need these types of distinctions.

Feta cheese to crumble on top.  (Or have someone crumble it for you.)

Also, you could eat them by themselves, but I personally think you would be nuts to eat them without a loaf of fresh, crunchy french bread.  You have eight kids though, maybe you are nuts?

I intentionally chose this recipe for you because of your reputation for being so exact and controlling.  I thought having a recipe like this would be liberating for you, good practice for the unknown nature of the future. 

Surprise!  I am your new life coach!  Next we will be doing trust falls and some exercise on boards in the woods.  Hooray!

Fine, basically, I have no specific instructions for you and I was just trying to make it sound purposeful.

Do not roll your eyes at me, talk to my Mother-in-law, she made it up.  She's a wing it sort of gal and this is a wing it sort of recipe.  It's good though, really good, when you figure it out.

Here's what you need to do, more or less of course.

First, snap the ends off the green beans.  This is a great job to make one of your children do.  If you put the bag of beans in front of all eight of your children it would probably take less than five minutes to get this finished. 

You're like someone from the olden days where you have a bunch of kids to help you work the land. You are just like that, with hair extensions.  And that sports car. And $25k for every 30 minute episode someone makes of you just living your life and going on vacations. 

Yes, exactly like someone from Little House on the Prairie.  Laura's braids were totally fake.

While your kids are snapping off the ends of beans, try to not think they look like a severe violation of child labor laws in Indonesia or something.  They are American and they should probably work at something since the first thing one of your kids did when hearing about the ending of the show was, "no more fun trips?"  That kid needs a chore or something.

You need to brainstorm some classic "middle class" children's vacations.  I know Australia and Alaska might have been "fun," but really, what's wrong with hopping in your bus/van and driving with eight kids to the different Civil War battlefields and eating picnic lunches at rest stops and distributing hand sanitizer frequently? 

Wait, that does sound sort of shitty.  I hear Alaska is amazing and I lived and traveled around Australia, you've totally screwed your kids' perception of a good time.   You're supposed to take the crappy trips first Kate.  Crappy first, then build up to fantastic.  

Let me know if you have any other parenting questions, I'm doing it all right here.

You are going to need a new high paying gig or your kids are going to live with your slimy ex and start wearing clothing that looks airbrushed and filled with skulls.  Your daughters wearing Ed Hardy would be tragic. Oprah would surely intervene.

Geez. Maybe we should just get back to the recipe, I see nothing happy in this vein of conversation.

After you wash the snapped green beans, take a large skillet and heat some olive oil and garlic.

Now add the green beans and stir them around for....a while.  3 minutes?  8?  I have no idea. Don't let them get wilted or anything, not that I even know that they could, but it's probably best to just flash fry them.

(Full disclosure, I have no idea what the term flash fry means but I liked the way it sounded for these instructions so you better figure it out.)

Now remove them from the heat and put them in a large stock pot. 

Now put the stock pot over medium high heat, pour in some spaghetti sauce and a little water to thin it out...but just a little.  Turn up the heat a little more so that the sauce can thicken and some of the water can burn off a little. 

I think that's what's going to happen at least, I can't be certain. 

Recipe-ish Kate. Recipe-ISH.

You need to let this sit and simmer for a while, periodically stirring, and possibly adding a little more sauce and/or water until the beans are soft but not mushy.  This is going to take a while, like an hour or so.

I hear you might go back to nursing if you have to, but you would really like to have a talk show.  Can I just say, and I think I speak for actually EVERYONE, just don't.  I liked (very loose use of the word here) hearing you talk about how you manage with eight kids, but I really don't want to hear anything else you have to say.  I was a nervous wreck every time you walked out to dance on Dancing with The Stars, even when you just had to talk. 

I don't know whether I like you or not, I definitely don't hate you, but I know for sure that you make me nervous in the most mundane of TV an interview with Guiliana Rancic.  Come on, she's so nice on TV.  She does have a lot of hair though, and that can be scary.

While you think about what you can do other than TV I think you should check the beans.  Maybe add a little more sauce?  A little more water?  You are in charge of the beans Kate.

I think you are going to be fine though Kate.  Your kids are surprisingly adorable, so I'm sure they will help you persevere.  I did hear that two of the cuties were asked to leave their fancy private school due to behavior issues, oops!  Was one of them the brat that was pissed he can't go on any more fancy trips?  Seirously, he should be the only one that has to snap beans. 

Well, the two hoodlums probably won't help you push through this tough spot, but they might be good for extra media attention when no one is putting you on the cover of People magazine anymore. 

Send them to school with a baggie of coke (do not let them do it, that would be bad,) or instruct them to try to spray paint things or try to divorce you.  You'll figure it out.  Those troubled ones might just be your ace in the hole.

Does that expression work here?  I really want to use it.

Oh yea, and you have that cool Audi to help you through the dark days of no luxury vacations.

You will also eventually figure out these beans Kate. Once they are nice and soft, scoop them in to a bowl with some of the sauce and sprinkle with feta, rip off a chunk of bread, pour a hefty glass of wine (I see you as a blush gal), and enjoy some peace.

Do you ever have peace?  Remember how you have eight kids? 

Good luck Kate.

Linking up to Amanda's Weekend Bloggy Reading Link Up Party, check it out!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Post For A Mother I Do Not Know

I usually am working on a recipe-ish right now.

I really have been working on the recipe-ish, I swear.  Kate Gosselin and Greek green beans.  It will probably be here tomorrow.

But today I came across something that had me in tears and I can't ignore it.  It felt too real and too important to ignore. 

I was reading one of my regular blogs, Is There Any Mommy Out There?, and I read about another blogger, Anna, that lost her twelve year old son last Thursday in a flash flood.

I clicked over to Anna's site, An Inch of Gray, and was immediately in a trance staring at a picture of this beautiful 12 year old boy who's life had been taken so suddenly.  I instantly felt tears running down my face. I curled further into a ball on my couch and scrolled through the adorable pictures of this little boy and his sister on their first day of school, the day before he passed away.

I do not know this woman, I have never seen her blog before today, I don't know anything about her son, but when I saw those pictures my heart broke.  I felt like I could have been looking at photos of my neighbor's child, my best friend's little boy, my own son. 

I can not fathom a deeper loss than the loss of your child.  The pain and heartache of this tragedy is simply too much.   Regardless of knowing this woman or not, I am shedding tears for her and her family.  I feel so very saddened by the shocking shift in their home and the long journey through their grief that they have ahead of them. 

I want to help, I want to change something for them, but that is not within my power.  So I am writing this brief, so very insignificant post to honor her son and lend my support for what it is worth.

When I went back tonight to link to her site I was surprised to see a new post by Anna.  It was sad, but it was also a beautiful and honest collection of words that Anna had read at the funeral of her son.  It was amazing.

Anna, we do not know one another, but I want you to know that my prayers and thoughts are with you.  I am so very sorry that you are faced with the unthinkable challenge of adjusting to life without your child.  The words on your blog today were heartbreaking, but I admire and respect your honesty so very much.

Your little boy sounds like a very wonderful, faithful, and amazing child. A "normal" little boy, phenomenal in every way to his friends and family for the way he was with them.  

I will pray for your peace, and your continued support.  I pray you are lifted up by the words of so many who know you, and by those that are just meeting you in the face of this tragedy.

Please visit Kate's site, The Big Piece of Cake, for a link up of posts for Anna and information about a donation in the name of Anna's son.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Apparently Aiden Is A Better Person Than I Am

Since the start of school, Aiden has come home with story after story of his encounters with a neighbor boy, we'll just call him Frank...because I like the idea of a five year old boy being named Frank when really it conjures up images of an older, run-down Italian man that perhaps works the meat counter at our local HEB or drives a cab.

Most of our discussions are factual accounts of what happened, lacking much emotion from Aiden either way as he describes his project being taken apart or stones being thrown down his shirt. 

I had to find out about him being hit in the face on the bus through a neighbor.

The stories go on and on.  Most of these incidents come out during conversations about other things entirely or when another mother calls me to ask if I knew Aiden was shoved down on the bus.  Ugh.

The thing is, Aiden is pretty ambivalent about most of it.  He doesn't seem crushed most of the time. He has had a few things bother him but it sounds to me that he's doing a great job of handling it.  He's developed a strategy for moving seats on the bus, telling the boy he won't play with him anymore, and walking away. 

All solid approaches to avoiding trouble. 

Or, Aiden told me last last night he has resorted to taking the boy's glasses off.

"I figured he wouldn't be able to get me if he couldn't see."

Also a solid approach.  Maybe not the kindest, but possibly effective.

I am happy he's figuring it out, and I'm happy he isn't coming to me complaining about these things constantly, but what the heck?  Is this how things are going to go?

When I ask Aiden why he keeps playing with this boy he says because the boy wants to play with him.  I appreciate and respect that Aiden keeps giving this boy a chance to be his friend.  I like that Aiden isn't letting some one's behavior one day (or let's say several days,) turn in to a reason to write a person off for good.  Life is lighter with the ability to forgive.

I don't really think this kid is trying to be mean. I think he's actually a sweet boy, that happens to be impulsive and maybe not that great at realizing how he should play with others. So, I think that actually makes Aiden's patience with him all that much more wonderful.

BUT...I really would rather my kid not be the brunt of another child's inability to realize boundaries, how to not hit another person, or be respectful in general.  I would like Aiden to make friends with the boys playing nicely, as much as that happens with five year old boys.  Or he could maybe hang out with the girls? 

Though tonight he told me he learned the names of more people in his class, but they were just girls so it didn't matter.  Fantastic, Aiden might be nice to Frank, but now I have a boy that thinks women don't even count.  Oprah would be so pissed at me.

I know this boy's Mom and I thought for a moment about calling her and just explaining the situation, asking her to talk to her son.  I would appreciate another Mom calling to tell me about it if Aiden were acting like that....and it isn't like the kid is beating Aiden so I'm not looking to attack her kid...but I can't be positive that she won't stab me at the mention of this situation so I'm not contacting her. 

I understand that most people are not fantastic at hearing about or even discussing any perceived negative aspect to their child.  Reality is no fun some times.

I posted my thoughts on Facebook and was told by several people to contact the teacher or the school in general.  I also was told by several people that Aiden needed to work it out on his own. 

I sort of agree with both.

I think that Aiden has been doing a good job at handling things so far.  He doesn't seem tortured or even bothered by some of the things that I feel he should be, so why would I go stirring up trouble when Aiden is fine?

I also thought that I might shoot his teacher an email to simply ask if she could let me know if she sees anything, or has any opinion on Aiden's interactions with friends at school.  But....I don't want to alarm anyone, or give that boy a bad reputation if Aiden is OK.

Current method of handling the situation?  Wait and see. 

I'm definitely going to be checking in with him more specifically with questions like, "Did you play with Frank today?"  "How was the bus?"  "What was your favorite/least favorite moment at school today?" 

I start to get a little panicked when the discussion of the school day starts so I have to restrain myself from saying things like, "Did that asshole Frank touch you today?"  or "Did you rip Frank's glasses off his face today?"

Because those would be wrong.  Mildly amusing for me, but wrong all the same.

They would more appropriately mirror my emotions about the situation, but not sure they would help Aiden or Frank in the long run, and I suppose that is more important than me expressing myself and my frustration to my five year old son. 

I'll have to remember to take down the printout of Frank's face on our punching bag before Aiden gets home from school every day. 

Totally joking.  I don't even have a picture of Frank that I could blow up for a punching bag, or dart board, or to draw on....nothing.

After a discussion with Alex tonight, I think what is comes down to is that Frank is kind-of annoying.  Fine, really annoying, but if our kid wants to have patience and try to be his friend then we've apparently been doing a better job than we thought so we should support him. 

I am feeling mentally bored lately though, which is a serious recipe for trouble when it comes to situtaions like this.  I am so bored that I almost shaped our meatloaf tonight into the shape of boobs or a penis, but I couldn't decide which so I went with the standard. 

When I feel mentally bored I need to remind myself to stay away from my kid's issues (and moldable food) unless there is a genuine need for my presence.  I am raising him to not need me eventually, better start now while it's stones down a shirt and taking apart toothpick art projects. 

I'm sure soon we'll be dealing with crack and guns in the school. 

OK, we probably won't be dealing with that, but like I said, I'm bored and this is what is entertaining me. 

Have some patience with me.

Be more like Aiden with Frank.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I Blame This, And Every Other Bad Thing That Happens Until October On The Heat

Last week I thought it would be a good idea to take Cole to a gymnastics class to see if he liked it.  I felt like the individual attention, development in his body control, and the positive outlet in an activity without a winner/loser situation would be ideal for his current place in life. 

I am such a good Mom.

He was over the moon during and after his class. He immediately ran out to tell me that he learned to "fly" and "flip through the air."

I immediately signed him up for a weekly 45 minute session of joy, and apparently to develop and broaden his ability to lie.  Hooray!

Since the trail class we attended conflicted with my body sculpting class, which is currently the only regular physical exercise I am getting and I am not willing to give it up, I decided to put him in the 4:30 pm Monday class. Sounds reasonable enough, right?  Not too late in the afternoon, not interrupting nap schedules or school pick ups, etc. 

Again, I am such a good Mom.

Cole had been asking all day today about his class.  He actually asked to skip school and go straight to gymnastics...which doesn't really make sense and actually makes me feel like we should discuss the concept of time more often, but fantastic that he's so excited about his new class. 

Our afternoon was going well and then we all went outside to meet Aiden at the bus stop and sweat in the triple digit heat that is NEVER GOING TO LEAVE AND FILLS ME WITH RAGE.  Once Aiden got off the bus there was a scuttle of playful activity with the neighborhood kids and somehow Cole's bike escaped from our garage, according to him the lawn mower pushed it out.  Of course.

(Seriously, the lying methods they taught in that trial gymnastics class are really effective.)

I calmly informed Cole that he needed to bring his bike up to the garage and come inside with his siblings and myself. I also might have told him that I was not going to be able to help him because I was melting, but I would asisst later, like once the sun went away forever. 

He freaked.  Full blown freaked.

He staggered inside, a sweaty ball of cries and shouts of hatred toward me. 

Who's ready for gymnastics?!?!?!

I sent him to his room and after about 15 minutes of tears I heard nothing.


I knew immediately that he had fallen asleep....a mere 30 minutes prior to when we needed to leave for the glorious gymnastics class.

I spend a good portion of my life trying to get Cole to rest.  I have conjured up elaborate strategies, searched for perfect lullabies, orchestrated lighting schemes, thrown away perfectly good pajamas that I feel are tainted, and yes, even drugged  him to induce sleep.  He hasn't napped since he was 2. 

His sleep is a thorn in my side.

Waking him up goes against everything I have worked for the last two years. Waking him up is difficult.  He is cranky, he cries, he is incapable of speaking, he often pees his pants. I really dislike this process.

So why the hell does he fall asleep as soon as I am going to have to get him and his siblings in a car to go to a class?

Because I'm such a good Mom?

I just wanted to run with that theme because it works for me and my fragile self esteem.

My strategy, (which let me say that any time I have to have a formal strategy to get my kids in the is probably not going to go well,) was to get Aiden and Stella in the car first.  This part of the plan did actually work.

Unfortunately I didn't think about how long it would take to wake Cole up.  He was a sweaty mess, still.  I threw him on the potty and ripped his shirt off.  Not. A. Good. Move.

Apparently he had carefully selected his red shorts and red corvette shirt to wear to the beloved gymnastics class.  Once it was off though there was no turning back.  I had a plan. 

I quickly put a Superman t-shirt on him, forced him into some clean shorts and carried him, while he still screamed, to the car.  I had brilliantly thought of grabbing a pack of Smarties for him to eat in the car to wake him up a bit and get him distracted enough to stop crying.  It seemed brilliant.

I could only find one pack though so I immediately told Aiden that he should not worry about the candy Cole had, I would make it right with him once we were at the gymnastics class.

Aiden and Stella had already been sitting in a hot car for 10 minutes, (doors open Mom, in the shade,) so they were non to pleased about anything at this point.  Both of them were actually pretty peeved at the entire idea of Cole's gymnastics class forcing them to leave the house, especially wihtout their own bribe.

Aiden immediately started crying, because he's really good at patience, having faith that things will work out, and dealing with candy consumption in a healthy manner.   Score!

Cole had calmed down and was quietly eating one smartie at a time, touching each one to the tip of his tongue before sliding it into his mouth.  This type of weird eating style would have been fine, though slightly gross and disturbing, except that Cole sits next to Stella, and with her facing backwards she had full view of the sugar seduction.  It was brutal.

Stella likes sugar...despite the fact that she hasn't ever tried most of the candy presented in front of her, she ALWAYS knows what she would like to have. She has sugar smelling talents, perhaps this is a skill I could profit from later?

Stella's screaming begins. 

Right about this time, Cole isn't able to untwist the smarties roll anymore.  Somehow the twisted plastic wrapped around the small roll of candy is simply beyond is fine motor skills, which I am afraid they won't work on at all in this freakin' gymnastics class, and he FREAKS. 

I have a firm rule that my children of speaking age must ask, using words, if they need help rather than crying.  I knew immediately what was wrong with Cole and could have ended the entire ordeal for him by reaching back and untwisting the smarties pack...but then what kind of a good Mother would I be? 

Cole's screams ignite new fire in Stella's disappointment over her lack of candy and Aiden takes his whining to a whole new level by covering his ears and screaming, "you never should have given Cole candy Mommy!!!!  Why did you give Cole candy?!?!? That was a bad decision!!!"

Which really helped me reflect on my pareting choices.

Aiden's face when he freaks out like this is actually hilarious. Cole and Stella aren't very fun when they are throwing fits, but Aiden is just so serious and he always has some sort of crazy phrase that he keeps repeating which makes him sound more nuts than sad.  He's good times.

So I started laughing.

Also something that makes Aiden freak out?  Laughing at his very real pain.

I do realize that laughing at your five year old for crying is sort of mean, but come on, if there was a video of him, Ellen would probably play it on her show. 

By the time we pulled into the parking lot 5 minutes later my children were beside themselves with the pain of the smarties.  I removed everyone from the car, took the candy from Cole's tormented, clenched fist and threw it in the trash, and informed everyone that I had just paid 130 freakin' dollars for this class and if anyone made it anything less than wonderful for Cole or he crapped out in the corner, crying about candy instead of learning to flip and lie, I would punch them all in the stomach and never, ever let them see candy again. 

(I would also repeatedly write sentences that abuse the function of the comma from now until the end of time.  They were terrified.)

And that is how Cole learned how to flip around on the parallel bar and Stella and Aiden smiled while eating dried bananas and drinking water.

Solid parenting.

I'm such a good Mom.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I Don't Need A Chihuahua, But Aiden Has Some Value

I can only assume that most of you have spent the weekend fretting over my decision as to whether or not to add "Boots" the chihuahua to my life, unless you follow me on Twitter and you read my tweet about it.

For those of you that aren't tracking my every move, or tracking the moves I remember to tweet about because I honestly forget about it most of the time, we gave Boots the boot. 

(I have been waiting all weekend to type that because I am that lame.)

The final decision was a result of Boots peeing on my favorite, and most expensive, Greek cookbook, puking all over my shag rug, (yes I have a shag rug, don't judge me,) after Cole fed him his entire breakfast of raisin bread and eggs, and the straw that broke the camel's back...Boots spent hours on Thursday and Friday night trying to sleep in a ball next to my head.  This dog was determined to not only be on the bed, but curled next to my hair. 

(I do have crazy nice hair.) 

(That's a lie.  My hair is very normal.)

So, he's gone back to the wonderful woman that rescues and finds homes for dogs and we are back to normal life.  What's nice about having something around that requires that much cleaning up after, and maintenance in general, is that now I feel like I'm on easy street (not my actual street) with just three kids and one dog to feed, bathe, protect, and deal with their poop and pee. 

No problem.

Other exciting highlights of the weekend? 

I watched a Miley Cyrus movie on my computer while Alex watched football.  I'm so pathetic. It is simply a testament to how much I loathe football. I just don't care.  I wish I did, it looks like a lot of fun, but it's really boring to me and I'm fairly confident my comments insulting "important" players' names and jokes about the commentators aren't going to help save my marriage.

Did you all just get nervous that perhaps my marriage needs to be saved?

It does not.  I just didn't like any other expressions that fit in there and it made me feel more exciting, like someone that has WAY more important things to do on a Saturday night than watch Miley Cyrus pretend to be in a movie and then Google her after to see who she's dating, and if it was the guy from the movie, and what else he's been in....not that I did any of that. 

That, and the construction of that sentence, would be excruciatingly embarassing.

Fine, I did do it.  I pretended I was going to write a recipe-ish to her and I was doing research...but really I was just curious.  Quite similar to how I was curious about what Selena Gomez is actually famous for other than for dating that adorable Justin Bieber. 

Not that I watched an entire two hour special on his rise to fame on Friday, but he's just wonderful.

Also on our wild and crazy weekend itinerary? We grilled hot dogs.

This sounds sort of lame and unhealthy until you remember that we are in a serious burn ban situation here. Any spark could basically ignite our neighborhood.  This on top of the fact that the main water line in front of our house broke, and so we have had to turn off our water for most of the weekend so we wouldn't have been able to turn on our hose to put out a fire, means that we were actually partaking in an extremely dangerous and rebellious activity. 

Oh and we were drinking beer too.

And the hot dogs were actually organic, uncured turkey dogs.  That's sort of how we roll. 


We did go to IKEA today to buy Aiden a new desk for his room.  Parent's magazine told me to, so I had no choice. That sentence would totally make sense if you were inside my head right now.

We only had Stella and Cole because Aiden was at a neighbor's house taking a test of some sort.  My neighbor tests tests for her job and periodically asks my kids to be her subjects and in return they get gift cards to Target or checks for $20. 

I think she just asks them lots of questions, at least when I've seen her do it that's what happens, but she could be testing different shock treatments or a child's response to small doses of whiskey, I don't know.  They seem to want to keep doing it though and we tell them that's how they can earn money for toys now so whatever it is I'm cool with it.  Besides, she took Aiden for two hours!

IKEA with just two children and TWO ADULTS, was even more crazy wonderful than my new found joy of just two kids and me tooling around town during kindergarten hours.  We giggled and looked at options and thought about what we were buying.  Insanity.

It's similar to the Boots versus no-Boots situation. Once you walk around with three kids and try to tame that chaos, taking out the oldest chaos leader feels like a walk in the park.  I thought about getting rid of Aiden permanently, but then I probably wouldn't have this feeling of ease and joy when I had the opportunity to do something without him.  He's invaluable perspective. 

Oh, and I love him.

I wrote this post in a loopy state of random while waiting until 9:00 for my ridiculously easy dinner of Greek green beans and bread to be finished. I had a glass of wine, my husband was busy working and wouldn't talk to me, and I was bored....always a recipe for random from me.  I should hire someone to talk to me during these times because I get ridiculous.  You know, you read the post if you are already reading down here and that was already edited. 

(I used edited in the loosest sense of the word.)

But then I finished that dinner and watched an hour of 9/11 remembrance footage, and stories about loved ones lost, and children that will never know their father, and it basically broke my heart.

I am no longer loopy so I couldn't hit the "publish post" button without at least saying something about the very profound, very meaningful anniversary of today. My prayers are flowing for all those affected, even in the smallest way by this huge tragedy.