Archives for March 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.

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.

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 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.

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 mightname 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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.