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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Growing up, Toddler Style

Guess what my 2-year-old learned to do this week, all by himself?  He was so proud.

If I can just get him to use the potty, all by himself, I'll count this month a success!

Though, he may need extra help finding his zipper.

Grateful Mom Attitude of the Day: It's all good.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Rock Climbing and Bed Leaping

My daughter's dance competition (mentioned yesterday) was a 4 hour drive to St. George, Utah.  My husband could not believe that I agreed to drive so far for my 7-year-old, but he, thankfully, consented to watch my younger boys so I could take the dancer and her 5-year-old sister, Evie, on the trip.

The dance competition was exciting for Dani, but I thought Evie might actually collapse of boredom.  She kept flopping on my lap like a caught fish.  This was my first trip away from any of my kids, so I was just elated to  take an intermission from my beloved, but demanding, baby and toddler.
My flopper.
After the competition, I wanted to take my daughters to a unique park I had read about.  Dani was exceptionally unenthusiastic.  She wanted to play with a friend at the hotel and could not fathom that a park would be more fun.  She was wrong.  Both my girls loved climbing the rocks and said Pioneer Park was more fun than Disneyland!

They were sad to go, but settled for the next best thing, bed leaping.

The most fantastic part about this trip?  My husband cleaned the house and bonded with the baby!  Yesterday, the little guy ran to my husband (instead of me!) when he was upset. Priceless!

Grateful Mom Goal of the Week:  I'm giving lots of appreciation to my helpful husband.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Dance Competition Hair Debacle

Some moms are cut out for the big leagues.  I am not.

I took my daughter (now 7) out of gymnastics and put her in dance this year.  It seemed like a great choice.  The studio was in my neighborhood and the price was not too pricey.

She had her first of two yearly competitions this weekend.  Much to my detail incompetent dismay, the directions for hair styling were quite specific, but, apparently, not specific enough.  Here is a small portion:

Please put bangs in a front small poof, with crossed bobby pins to secure it.  My daughter does not have bangs, so I just thought I would put all her hair back in the required pony tail and skip the poof. We attempted the poofless style at dress rehearsal.  I was then sent a charming email informing me, "it is not a matter of short or long bangs, all girls need to have 100% matching hairstyles." Whoops.
My daughter's hair (post-poof)
Then, the directions precisely stated, rhinestone ponytail holder is required to be worn over hair elastic, at all performances.  How was I to know I needed to pre-order the ponytail holder.  I just assumed it came with the costume.

When my daughter mentioned that everyone got a holder, except her, I inquired about it.  I was then told I should have noticed the rhinestone holder in the order form they sent home (that I threw away) and now needed to look for one myself.  It's possible I was just a bit unhelpfully snappy back.

After calling and searching online for close to an hour, I finally found an exact match.  The price was $16 for 1 holder, but only $4, per holder, if I bought 12.  That's right.  I   I bought 12.  Guess what all of my daughter's friends will be getting for their birthdays?  A cheap purse with a lovely rhinestone ponytail holder.

Finally, as if to foil me again, an additional detail was added.  My daughter brought home a sparkly hair flower the week before the competition.  We were also given a checkoff list, specifically reminding us to remember all hair accessories.  I was focused.  I had the hairspray, gel, bobby pins, elastics, and I brought 3 rhinestone ponytail holders, just in case.  But, sadly, when it was time to preform, the flower was still at my house. I will not go into the aftermath of this mistake, as it would be too traumatic to recount.

Maybe I should put my daughter in something that is easier for me, knitting perhaps.

Grumpy Mom Goal of the Day:  I will try to have a better attitude about the details of dance.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Bedroom Demolition, A Tour

My 7, 5, and 2-year-old  have shared a bedroom this past year.  The kids have done well together, fighting only every other night, but their bedroom has not been so lucky.

And now, a tour:

On your right, you'll notice the exact spot where my daughter stuck a gingerbread man picture on the wall with some rubbery glue.  As you can see, it did not end well for the gingerbread man or the wall.

Now, turn around and  you'll  observe one of numerous innovative murals.  This one has withstood many minutes of magic eraser and, magically, just keeps reappearing.

Then, to your left, we have a mysteriously missing doorstop.

Just above, you'll notice a rather artistic looking hole the doorknob punched into the wall, shortly after the doorstop mysteriously disappeared.

And now, a highlight of the room, we have Lou's name permanently glued on the wall, in a lovely faded pink. We have lived in this house over five years and don't have a Lou in our family, but it won't come off and I am not too crafty and it is rather lovely, so there it is, still.

Time for a small detour.  In the baby's room you'll notice Alexander's name on the wall.  That would have been easy to paint over, but I kept thinking I might name one of my boys Alexander-how perfect would it be to have his name already painted on the wall!  Still no Alexanders.

On to our newest addition.  My husband and I just got a new used bed!  Good news, except he decided to move our old mattress into the kids room for them to jump on.  Then, he ended up leaning the king sized mattress against the bedroom wall.  It seemed harmless, until it fell, breaking the closet door off the frame.

You'll notice the door was also damaged in the great mattress fall.

We need to start repairing the damage, but maybe it would be easier to move.  Does anyone with a Lou or Alexander want to buy a fixer-upper?

 Grateful Mom Goal of  Day:  I will magic erase the latest mural.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Biting Baby Blunder

I knew better.  I made a treacherous parenting error last week and I'm now paying for my unfortunate choice.

My 13-month-old, Dax, has become a jovial little dude.  He loves being playful.  Sometimes, he gets a bit too playful and bites.  I usually give him a stern look and say, "No bite."

Last week, I messed up.  I was wrestling him on the floor and he harmlessly bit my shirt.  Then, he just hung on to my shirt with his teeth and a big smile.  I knew I shouldn't laugh, but it just struck my funny bone and I couldn't help myself.  Oh, that I could turn back time.

I now have a full blown happy biter.  He's not an intentional chomper.  (I've had one of those too).  My guy only bites for the amusement of himself and others.  Dax aims for the clothing, but is not always so successful with his good intentions.  Ouch!

No hug is safe.  Every cuddle is now a risk.  He is a danger, mostly to me. 

At church, this Sunday, there was a well-meaning family, sitting in the row behind us.   I was holding Dax while the daughter and mom were playing peek-a-boo with him--his ultimate favorite!

He was so excited, he couldn't control himself.  He kept chuckling and biting my sweater and ME!  I stayed quiet--it was church after all.  I don't think his playmates had any idea he was actually injuring me.

Finally, the break I'd been waiting for!  My 2-year-old started acting up, loudly making demands for water during a prayer--I've never been so grateful for my unruly child!  I quickly and quietly asked my husband to take my toddler out in the hall and "Um honey, can you take the baby too?"  Phew.

I've been stepping up my sternness this week, but Dax only laughs at me.  I think my harshness is entertaining to him.  I know this phase will pass, hopefully soon, but, by that time, I may be scarred for life.

Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  I'm staying-ON GUARD-while still appreciating all dangerous snuggles.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Mommy Weekend Rejuvination

I'm finding that my life, as a mom, is not so glamorous, but I did get away this weekend.

Saturday, I giddily got dressed, kissed my family goodbye, and headed to my peace-filled, budget conscious, morning adventure---the Walmart Supercenter.   Yes, this was the highlight of my week and I am not ashamed.

I glide through the streets in my asthmatic minivan and crank up the music.   I arrive and take a parking space much farther than usual; this could be the only real exercise I get all day.

I grab a shopping cart and get a little risky; I don't even wipe it down with a sanitary wipe!  Cruising through the isles, I fondly remember just how lucky I am.  Visions of my children are everywhere.

I recall Dani, a few years back, throwing an amazing tantrum in the produce section.  Oh, and Evie picking up the one apple that started a fruit avalanche.   Ah Mase, it was just last month that he was temporarily misplaced while playing hide and seek in the clothing department.   Finally, the baby: I honestly didn't notice he had eaten the entire box top of toothpaste until I checked out.

Loving thoughts of my family continue to fill my heart.  How easy it is to appreciate my dear ones when they are 5 miles away. 

Then!  The emergency husband call rings in.  It's only been a half hour!  I am not answering.  More ringing.  OK!  I answer the phone.  My husband, as usual, has our crying baby on the line.  He then comes on, "Hurry home. You're needed!  They're conspiring against me."
Oh, so sweet!  He's thinking of me too.

I leisurely check out and actually return my cart to the corral.  I then head home, renewed for my mommy week to come.

Grateful Mom Goal of the Day: Today I'm taking time to appreciate life's, 
quickly passing, precious moments.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

The Leprechauns Were Watching

My kids can be so sweet, but, WOW, they can have some very not so sweet days.

At Christmas time I warned them, "the elves are watching" but it was an empty threat.  I wouldn't actually take away their Christmas presents.

Yesterday, the leprechauns were watching, and my kids really outdid themselves.  Mostly, they just weren't kind to each other:  Bop. Squawk. Whine. Cry.  "JUST...BE...NICE."

At my house, the leprechaun usually leaves a yummy treat for all wonderful children.  With high hopes, my crew still managed to momentarily work together.  They made a trap to catch the leprechaun and his tasty treasure.

I told them I was doubtful any leprechaun would come if they weren't getting along.  Well, I was wrong.  In the end, the leprechaun couldn't help himself and decided to stop by.  

Unfortunately for my misbehaving children, Larry the Leprechaun escaped and ate all of his sugar-filled treasure on the way out, leaving only candy wrappers and a few cookie bits behind.  He also left a note telling my group to be nice to each other. 

After reading the note, my kids still decided to stay true to the theme of the day.  They started arguing over who got the biggest small bit of cookie.

Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:Today I'm giving loads of praise for any good behavior. 

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Crying It Out, Just Like My Husband

I think I'm taking on some of my husband's ways in my old age.

I am terrible at getting my babies to sleep on their own.  I know there are miraculous books on how to do this, but I'm much too lazy to read them. 

For all of my children I've resorted to the express method--crying it out.  I knew the outcome would be worth it, but it was always a dreaded time.

With my second baby I was particularly upset one night.  My little girl was crying her most pathetic cry and my husband was sound asleep.  His indifferent heavy breathing was grating on my every nerve.  So, I did what any frazzled mother would do.  I thumped him on the shoulder and woke him up.

"How can you sleep when our baby suffers."
"Just turn off the monitor and go to sleep." he mumbled.
"How can you say that?!  Doesn't it pain you to your utter core to know our baby is suffering?"
"What's wrong with you?  Why don't you get upset?  How can you sleep at a time like this!?!
Now I had his attention.
"You say that.  But would you want me to get upset?  Would you want me to stay up with you and cry and worry?  Do you really want your husband to be like that?"

Dang him!  I knew my husband had a lame point, but I was NOT going to give him the satisfaction of telling him he was right.  Instead, I kicked him and let him go back to sleep.   

Baby #4 (13 months now) has already cried it out long ago, but has been sick this past month.  I just couldn't let him cry when he was so sick.  So, I've been getting up with him at night.  But, he is better and I am done.

Last night he got to cry it out.  My heart ached as I went to my little man's room, told him to go back to sleep, then left.  As you would expect, he was not thrilled with my proclamation and cried, and cried.  Reluctantly, I turned off the monitor and went to sleep. 

Now, I'm still not admitting my husband was right, but my baby woke up giggling this morning and my extra sleep was blissful.

Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Definitely counting my blessings and giving lots of 
extra cuddles to my rejected little man today.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Who Is This Child??? A New Talent: Revealed!

Do you have a child that reminds you of yourself?  My 5-year-old, Evie, does not take after me, apparently.

On Monday, we took a family trip to a children's museum; three hours of germ-filled kid merriment!

I noticed Evie was spending a long time in the pretend kitchen.  I finally peeked in to see what she was up to.  She had organized the fridge!  THEN, she happily moved on to organizing the drawers!

Who is this child!?!

My 2-year-old, Mase, also has his strengths.  He found Evie in the kitchen and, in record time, overloaded that same fridge with extra junk.  Then, he almost completely emptied it. Yes, that one's all me!

Grateful Mom Goal of the Week:  Encourage Evie's new-found talent, 
after she recovers from her museum-induced stomach flu.

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Social Family Experiment: FAILED!

plain glazed Pictures, Images and Photos

This weekend, we lurked back into the social circuit, as a family.  We have no close family living near us and just haven't gotten out much since the birth of our fourth child--12 months ago!

It was a surprise 40th birthday party for a co-worker of my husband, given by his thoughtful wife.  Very sweet for them, an adventurous endeavor for us.

We arrive.

They live in a beautiful smaller house, with stairs leading to their basement from the living room, and--no gate!  My little dude, Dax, just couldn't resist.  That became his goal for the night.  I could just hear his baby wheels churning, "Must get to stairs!"

Then, party central (their small living room/kitchen area) was CRAMMED with people.  The snacks were on a kitchen island, surrounded by chairs!  My 2-year-old, Mase, noted this immediately and took action, darting for the first available chair in his path.   He had stuffed himself with numerous chocolate cookies before I wove my way over and attempted to cut him off.  He then started a new pastime--handing cookies to everyone else.  Is it impolite to leave before the party starts???

Finally, the the guest of honor pulls into the driveway.  Everyone was quickly quieted-EVERYONE!  And do you think the birthday boy came straight into the house?  Of course not!  It took five minutes of complete attempted silence before that happened.  The baby couldn't take it anymore and started crying.  Before I started crying too, I stuffed a cookie into his mouth!

THEN, Mase couldn't fathom why I would give the baby a cookie and deprive him, so, amid the complete silence, I hear my demanding and loud toddler say, "Dax gaw cookie.  I wun cookie."

 "Not right now." I whisper.
"I wun cookie." he persists.
"Shhh..just a minute...whisper please." 
"Wun cookie mommy"
I feel people glaring.

I give him the cookie. He eats the cookie.  We're all still being muted, then, "Wun cookie, for Evie"  Ahhhh!
Five more handed-out cookies later, the birthday boy finally walks in the door.  No rush.  "Surprise!!!"  The theme of the party was old age/death and he looked like he wanted to die crawl under a rock.

For the next five minutes, my 5-year-old daughter, Evie, sat by the food, pleading for a HUGE Krispy Kreme doughnut.  I decided to be a nice mom, with limits, and finally gave her a whole doughnut, to share with her older sister.

Later, I spied the sisters, across the room, taking another huge Krispy Kreme--each!  But then, Mase! Really!?!  His Root Beer is now covering his chair and the floor.  And now, the baby!  Noooo! "Brett, grab him!" 

It was good to be social with the family, but we're going back under for another 12 months.

Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Detox my over-sugared children. 

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Counting My Grateful Grumpy Blessings

I wasn't going to write a post today, but felt I needed to.  My heart breaks for the people across the world who are suffering, but it also swells with gratitude for my piles of blessings.  This morning, here are my favorite three: 

First, I'm grateful for my 2-year-old, Mase, who woke up at 6 am demanding, "I wan bwekfuss!"  Then, he swiftly traded his hungry stomach for endless giggles as I commenced a game of  "I've got your nose."  He's now blowing bubbles in the kitchen to the great delight of my 1-year-old who can't stop laughing.

Second, I'm grateful we get to make a quick roadtrip and will be visiting my shy 5-year-old's first and only (not imaginary) friend, Brittany (who is also shy).  Evie is so excited! Brittany's Mom said her daughter has been pretending to call Evie every day and her face lit up when she heard my daughter might be visiting.  Oh, what a beautiful thing for my mommy heart.

 Finally,  yesterday was a victorious day for my team.  BYU won their amazing hard-fought basketball game!  BUT, at about 10:30 last night I was so ornery.  Seriously, just grumpy.  My husband kept trying to make me laugh and I was not in the mood.

"What's wrong?"  he finally said.
"I don't know and I don't want to talk about it. You would be wise to stay away."

So #3 is definitely more information than you would like to know, but I'm grateful I started my time of the month this morning.  I've never believed in PMS, but I told my husband of my morning development and his reply, "Oh, that's why you were such a pill last night."  I'll go with that.

I can tell it's time to wrap this up.  Mase has had enough bubbles and just brought me a box of cereal.

"Mom, me nee bwekfuss!"
"What do you say?"

I am very blessed.

Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Have a beautiful day, 
but keep those who are truly suffering in my heart.

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Friday, March 11, 2011

A Unique Smile meets Hanger Helpers

Sometimes I take my amazing body for granted.  My arm, for instance, is really quite unique.  It's not every day you see such a lovely white freckled arm, with a smiley face.

 And, another random picture.  This is what happened, on Monday, when I asked my daughters to find me a couple extra hangers.

 I'm now hiring them to find my missing socks.

Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Give my kiddos lots of extra loves.

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Sweet Old Lady Husband and His Nagging Wife

photo credit possibility
I'm trying to be a better wife, really, but sometimes it's just so hard.

My sweet husband and I are not, at all, in any way, driving compatible.  Let me first say, my husband has not been in an accident since he was 14!  But, he is an old lady.  You know, the type that is always driving below the speed limit.  How does that happen?  I try not to say anything, but if there is another car behind us, how can I not?  Someone might retaliate in a fit of road rage.

When he leaves on a turn signal I can usually keep quiet for a bit.  My record is five minutes, then it bursts out of me like a calm explosion "Hey honey, your turn signal may still be on." I smoothly say.

I also feel it my noble duty to rescue all pedestrians in his path.  These observations are especially unappreciated.  I'm not sure why.  Surely, it's possible, I've saved numerous lives.

And finally, my biggest woe, merging.  I am a, do it as soon as you can woman .  My husband is a, wait till the last second man.  I am doing better with my reactions.  I've stopped saying anything.  Now I just put my head between my legs so I don't have to watch.  Ahhhh...relief.

My husband's usual response to it all, "Do you want to drive?"  Surprisingly, I prefer to assist. 

I'm quite aware I need to cease my abhorrent behavior, quickly. I definitely don't want to pass off my nagging car ways to my children.   So, I'm trying a new method--keeping my eyes closed--the whole trip! 

Grumpy Wife Goal of the Day: I will look into buying myself a muzzle. 

(My husband just read this and wants me to note that he still loves me very much, but all driving accusations are based off the skewed perceptions of his beautiful nagging wife.)

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Rocky Answer to my Prayers

My 5-year-old daughter, Evie, is painfully shy.  Even as a baby she would glare at anyone who dared to give her a smile.  At home she is a silly, giggling, occasionally dramatic child, but outside of our family she still has trouble even saying hi or making eye contact with anyone.

And now, her first and only friend has moved over an hour away!  I have been praying for my little girl, hoping she will make a new friend.  This past weekend, I unexpectedly got the wish I had been praying for.  Meet Princess Davis:

My daughter spotted her lovely rock out the window and rescued her from our dangerous yard.  Now she and the princess are best friends.  They go everywhere together.  The princess even eats breakfast with us and brushed her teeth this morning.

According to my daughter, they are both 5-years-old, shy, and only talk to each other.  Evie is her stylist and insisted that Princess Davis wear a necklace for her photo shoot today. 

Later this week we will work on befriending real people, but for today, I am grateful my daughter has found her princess.

Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  I will be more specific in my prayers. 

And for an update on Princess Davis, you must read:  A Rockin' Baby Announcement

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Faster than a Speeding Bullet! It's Toilet Baby!

Is there anyone else dealing with this?  My 12-month-old has one ultimate daily mission.  He must reach the object of his affection.  If he hears the slightest squeak from our bathroom door, he is off, like a guided splash-seeking missile, straight to the toilet.

To make matters worse, my children are rarely allowed to flush our defective toilet.  I know!  Crazy, right?  Oh, but after you cleaned up your fifth overflown toilet, you would understand.

Back to the baby--I really think he has issues.  Did I mention he's fast?  Here's some of the craftiness I'm up against:
  • If someone's trying to shut the bathroom door, he fearlessly puts his hand up like a miniature superman and slams the door back open.  All the while, he keeps determinedly gliding straight towards his fun-filled goal. 
  • He is no respecter of people sitting on the potty.  He'll just reach his little mitts around any object trying to block his way. 
  • My guy doesn't care if there is anything in the bowl--he prefers floating objects.  
  • He has a new favorite game--dropping all things into the toilet.  He attempted a cell phone drop just yesterday, but my husband rescued it, without a second to spare.
  • Then, he will cry out in outrage if you dare to take him away from his rightful throne. 
Now I'm just impatiently waiting for this toilet fascination to pass so he can move on to a more interesting pastime, like whipping his messy diaper off to check out his latest deposit.  My (soon-to-be-potty-trained) 2-year-old is currently passing through that stage.  I'm sure he would appreciate an accomplice.

Grumpy Mom Goal of the Day:  Today I'll just be grateful for my, often smelly, but sweet, 
toilet-obsessed boy.

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Monday, March 7, 2011

Cookie Lovers Anonymous

It's before 8am, and I've already eaten 3 Samoa Girl Scout cookies.  It was an accident.  A cookie jumped in front of me!  Luckily, the kids and I, (mostly I) had consumed our reserves over the weekend or I could easily down another 20 more of those addictive little gems. 
Why is it, with all of the technology in the world, they can't come up with a gigantic Samoa cookie, that could satisfy my insatiable cookie craving, for under a hundred calories?

A girl has to dream.

Grumpy Mom Goal of the Day:  Salad for lunch.

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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Supreme Comfort Food! Two Tasty Favorites!

Are you in need of some food love?  This is my ultimate favorite comfort food dinner.  The Cream Cheese Chicken Roll recipe originated straight from my Grandma's kitchen.  These rolls aren't fancy, but they are oh so tasty.  Then, there's Strawberry Spinach Salad.   This recipe has been around the block, but could always use some new followers.  It's more like a desert than a salad, and I am utterly hooked!

Cream Cheese Chicken Rolls
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened (I used only 1/4 cup butter today.)

Combine cream cheese and butter, then mix in the next 7 ingredients:

2 1/2 cups cooked chicken or turkey, cut into small chunks
2 medium minced green onions
1/4 cup red or green bell pepper 
2 stalks diced celery
4 ounce can mushrooms, drained
1/2 teaspoon sage
salt and pepper to taste

2 packages crescent rolls
1/2 cup butter 
(I dipped half of my rolls in Light Smart Balance instead of butter and couldn't tell the difference.)

 Roll each square (two triangles) of dough to flatten.  Place 1/4 cup mixture in each square.  Roll and fold ends under.  Melt butter.  Dip each roll in melted butter, then roll in corn flakes.  Bake with rolled side down in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.  Enjoy! (Rolls also freeze well.)

Serve with the following gravey:

3 cups broth
1/4 cup butter
1 can evaporated milk
1/4 cup flour
 Heat broth and butter.  Combine evaporated milk and butter well, the stir in hot broth mixture.  Heat and stir until thickened.

Lazy Mom's Gravy
(my preferred method) is as follows:
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can evaporated milk
Combine; heat to desired temperature. 

Strawberry Spinach Salad
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
(I like Balsamic.)
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
(Try toasting them in the microwave.)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced onion
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 10 ounce bag spinach
1 lb. strawberries, sliced

Mix the first 8 ingredients in the blender.  Toss with strawberries and spinach.  You may have a little leftover dressing.  Top with chopped toffee almonds or pecans.

Spinach never tasted so good!

 Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Give thanks for great food!

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Friday, March 4, 2011

Wrongly Accused---The Broken Flower Injustice!

Having my oldest daughter turn 7 got me thinking about my own fun-filled 7-year-old days in small-town Iowa.  But, there was one unjust event that marred my 7th year.  That was the year of the wooden flowers:

One day, while I was certainly minding my own business, I heard of a garden tragedy.  Someone had broken my mother's wooden decorative flowers.  Who would do such a thing???  Apparently, me.

"Janae, we know you broke the flowers?" I hear my mother say.
"I didn't break the flowers."
"Tell us the truth.  Now."
"I didn't break the flowers!"

I was sent to my room, crying.  Later, my parents came up to chat.

"Janae, we love you, but you need to tell us the truth, or you're not getting dinner tonight."
"OK, I broke the flowers.  But not really!  If I tell you that, will I still get my dinner?"

That night, I did get my dinner.  I asked my mom, "Will you believe me when I'm 8?" 

Years later, I found out that my adult neighbor had told my mother she had actually seen, ME, break the flowers.

I'm guessing it might have been payback for always telling on her boys, who hung out with my older brother.

I am 35 now and I did NOT break those flowers.  I hope my parents believe me now.
little me:)
Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  I will be grateful I am not still 7.  

(All conversations are based on my childhood memory, which I'm certain is 100 percent accurate.)

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tomato Discoveries of a Disturbing Nature

I was fixing dinner the other night and noticed my 7-year-old daughter quietly playing with a large can of tomato sauce and small can of tomato paste I had on my kitchen counter.  I could tell she was pretending the two cans were playing and talking together.  I've always known my daughter is very imaginative and was amused at her latest idea.

Then I listened closer.

Paste says, "Oh what has happened here.  My mother has died.  Oh no!"
"Ah and now I've cut off my arm." says Sauce.
"It's bleeding!  Oh no, the blood is everywhere!"  says Paste.

My daughter is no longer allowed to play with tomato-based products.

Grumpy Mom Goal of the Day:  Start saving for mother/daughter therapy.

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Spectacular Slippery Spectacle

I had a fantastic incident at my house yesterday!  I was in the bathroom, racing to put my daughter's hair up before her ride for dance class arrived.  Now, usually I throw on Sesame Street or some other kid video when I'm helping my older girls, (to keep my younger boys out of trouble) but this time was different.  I was going to be a good mom.  I was going to keep the TV off and let them play.

"I should really keep the TV off more often." I was thinking, when it happened.  A large clang reached my ears, followed by a thud and crying.  I ran out to my main room and saw quite the site.

The kitchen pantry door had been left open and my 1 and 2-year-old boys (Dax and Mase) had taken advantage of the situation.  Unfortunate for them, their stealth plan had gone awry.  Somehow, they had knocked down a full container of oatmeal and an almost full bottle of canola oil! 

I just couldn't get to them fast enough.  They both started slipping and sliding back and forth, like a couple of stooges, and then:  Thud!  Thwump!  As if on cue, their feet slide out from under them and they both fell backwards like dominoes.

I raced over to my two crying jesters.  The baby was now a large slick red potato.  I grabbed him first and gave him all of the love and comfort I could muster, at arms length.  Then I ran to the bathroom, stripped him down, then unloaded my slippery little man in the waterless tub.  I went back and grabbed my second stooge, though not before he had tracked oil through my kitchen and living room!

With both boys plopped in the tub, I filled it with a 1/2 inch of water and called my 7-year-old daughter to watch them for two minutes while I helped get Evie out the door. I then got the boys out of the tub, and guess what I did?  That's right, I threw on Sesame Street while I cleaned up the mess. (sigh)

Grumpy Mom Goal of the Day:  Move all oil to a higher shelf. 
The outfit of my slippery potato
This seemingly small mess took me 45 minutes clean up!

My wild bunch

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Two Sides of My Toddler, Yikes!

My 2-year-old, Mase, has always been such a joyful child and very physical.  He loves to wrestle and takes great delight in a good headbutt. 

He has recently taken a step in a dismal direction and has started swiping random things from his siblings, then bopping them if they try to take it back.  We've been working on that one, but yesterday he stepped up his game:

Mase asked me if he could have his second juice of the day.

"No, you already had one juice today.  Please put the juice back."

Moments later, my spidey senses detected something amiss.  I looked around and, sure enough, Mase was downing his desired juice.

I promptly confiscated the juice and, in my tough mommy voice, I told him he needed to go to his room for two minutes.

Shockingly, he had no interest in my declaration and stood his ground.  As I started to tote him to his room, we had such a precious moment when he says in his sweet little boy voice,  "I sawy Mom."

I melt, then say, "Thanks Mase, but you still need to go to your room for two minutes."

Suddenly, the sweetness is gone, "I say sawy Mom!" he barked at me.  Then, he clawed my arm using his full 2-year-old finger strength!  So much for my precious moment! After my sternest mommy reprimand, I left my growlilng scratching boy in his room, with the door shut, for about 15 minutes.

When I let him out, I showed him the red marks on my arm.

He says, "Oooh! Mom gaw owie!"

"Mase,"  I say, "you gave me that owie when you scratched me.  You do not steal drinks and you do not scratch Mommy."

"Oh, sawy Mom," he says earnestly.  "I go ge bandai."

Oh, so sweet again.  All was followed by hugs, love yous, and band-aids.

I'm so hoping the scratching was a one time freak occurrence, but today I'm hiding all the juices and clipping his fingernails, just in case.

Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Remember to find reasons to praise my children, 
even the especially naughty ones.

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