Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Surrender

I think when you're handed your kid for the first time, you inadvertently sign a contract that waives your rights to certain privileges for all occasions in the  foreseeable future.

1.  Personal Space - From the beginning, small children thrive when invading your personal space.  Your baby wants to be held?  He or she has NO qualms squealing until you pick them up and snuggle them.  This is why babies are cute.  So we don't mind the invasion so much.  Then they get bigger and gain this weird need to try to climb back into your body.  Or at least that's what you assume they're doing as they jockey for space on your head.

2.  Your Right to be Alone in the Bathroom - You will rarely, if ever, go to the bathroom without a little person "keeping you compa-dee" or at the very least, pounding on the door and little fingers sticking things under the cracks.  Efforts to instill a barrier with the lock will result in at least one of your children becoming a stellar locksmith.

3.  Regular Showers - Remember the days when you showered every morning or every evening?  Remember when you didn't feel the need to lean your face down for a covert sniff to see if you're passable for public interaction?  Yeah, me neither.  Also, if you manage to get a shower, don't expect to complete it without a little face snatching back the curtain, peering in, and saying, "Mama?  Whatcho doing?"

4.  Eating Your Whole Plate of Food, By YOURSELF - You can serve the exact same dinner on two plates, giving one to your child and keeping one for yourself and every single time, you'll find your child eying your plate up and saying, "Mommy?  I want a bite of YOUR food!"  It's even worse when you try to eat something different than what they have.  Never mind that they have formerly professed their undying hatred of broccoli. If it's on your plate, it's suddenly as appetizing as a candy bar.  But obviously, forget using this to get your kids to eat vegetables.  They'll see through your plan in a hot second.

5.  White Clothing Items/Dressy Clothes- I think this is a no-brainer.  You can only fend off sticky fingers for so long.  And if you manage to get dressed to go out, you'll lean down to give your kid a hug and they'll do one of the following:  a) Throw-up on you.  b) Wipe boogers on you.  c) Have a marker in hand when they hug you.  Etc.

"But I wanna HUG, Mama!"

It's a darn good thing they're so cute.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Parent Style

I'm sure this has been done many times over, but it was too fun to think up, so I'm continuing the trend...  And hereeeeee weeeee gooooooo!  Sing along!

On the first day of Christmas, my children gave to me...  a lego embedded in my knee...

On the second day of Christmas, my children gave to me...  2 naked kidlets and a lego embedded in my knee...

On the third day of Christmas, my children gave to me... 3 slobbery kisses, 2 naked kidlets and a lego embedded in my knee...

On the fourth day of Christmas, my children gave to me... 4 missing cookies, 3 slobbery kisses, 2 naked kidlets and a lego embedded in my knee...

On the fifth day of Christmas, my children gave to me... 5! Mismatched Socks! (Ba Dum Dum Dum)  4 missing cookies, 3 slobbery kisses, 2 naked kidlets and a lego embedded in my knee...

On the sixth day of Christmas, my children gave to me...  6 temper tantrums, 5! Mismatched Socks! (Ba Dum Dum Dum)  4 missing cookies, 3 slobbery kisses, 2 naked kidlets and a lego embedded in my knee...

On the seventh day of Christmas, my children gave to me... 7 brand new wall marks, 6 temper tantrums, 5! Mismatched Socks! (Ba Dum Dum Dum)  4 missing cookies, 3 slobbery kisses, 2 naked kidlets and a lego embedded in my knee...

On the eighth day of Christmas, my children gave to me... 8 scorned veggies, 7 brand new wall marks, 6 temper tantrums, 5! Mismatched Socks! (Ba Dum Dum Dum)  4 missing cookies, 3 slobbery kisses, 2 naked kidlets and a lego embedded in my knee...

On the ninth day of Christmas, my children gave to me... 9 calls for "DORA!" 8 scorned veggies, 7 brand new wall marks, 6 temper tantrums, 5! Mismatched Socks! (Ba Dum Dum Dum)  4 missing cookies, 3 slobbery kisses, 2 naked kidlets and a lego embedded in my knee...

On the tenth day of Christmas, my children gave to me... 10 snow day layers, 9 calls for "DORA!" 8 scorned veggies, 7 brand new wall marks, 6 temper tantrums, 5! Mismatched Socks! (Ba Dum Dum Dum)  4 missing cookies, 3 slobbery kisses, 2 naked kidlets and a lego embedded in my knee...

On the 11th day of Christmas, my children gave to me...  11 rolling giggles, 10 snow day layers, 9 calls for "DORA!" 8 scorned veggies, 7 brand new wall marks, 6 temper tantrums, 5! Mismatched Socks! (Ba Dum Dum Dum)  4 missing cookies, 3 slobbery kisses, 2 naked kidlets and a lego embedded in my knee...

On the 12th day of Christmas, my children gave to me...  12 funny stories, 11 rolling giggles, 10 snow day layers, 9 calls for "DORA!" 8 scorned veggies, 7 brand new wall marks, 6 temper tantrums, 5! Mismatched Socks! (Ba Dum Dum Dum)  4 missing cookies, 3 slobbery kisses, 2 naked kidlets and a... lego embedded in my kneeeeeeee...

Merry, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

(This year's money shot.  Way worth it :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

That Dreaded Day

It came.  The day I was dreading.

The day that the two year old started to drop her naps.

To be fair, she still naps most days, but oy, she makes a big, fat, hairy deal about it.  Or she makes a big, fat, hairy deal about bedtime later.  So I'm left treading the precarious balance between getting her to take a nap, but not a long nap, and then, making sure that she runs enough energy off to snuggle down easily for bedtime later.

It doesn't help that she is FULLY her mother's daughter in the lack of sleep = complete crankiness department. So skipping naps, while easier in the short term, is most certainly not easy at 6pm.   (Her sister has my genes in the lack of food = complete crankiness department...  what can I say?  I like to sleep.  And eat).

Sometime around 4 am, she's also been having bad dreams.  So she sounds hysterical, one of us runs to get her, and generally, she snuggles in between us and crashes again.  (I really don't mind... she's VERY warm and VERY still, unlike her spider monkey sister who ends up with her toes in my ears on the rare occasions she ends up in our room).

So yes, the child is a sleeping mystery lately.

Two nights ago, I was trying rather unsuccessfully to convince her that she was NOT coming into my bed at bedtime like she demanded to do and that she was going to lie down under her blankets, snuggle her night-nights, and go. to. sleep.

She wasn't buying it.  There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Shaun and I alternated to see what we could do to get the kid to calm down, (and conversely, quiet down enough to let her sister fall asleep), and finally I started asking questions.  The first one I asked proved to start a rather interesting conversation,

"Caly, honey...  what's the matter?"

"I had a bad dream, Mama...  a bad dream!"   Nevermind that she hadn't actually fallen asleep yet... I was on to her but I figured I'd let her finish...

"Alright kiddo... well, tell me about it.  What was the dream about?"

She sniffled, looked up, and flatly said, "You."

Um, excuse me?!  I know I can get scary when I don't have my dinner, but geez, I'm not THAT scary!

"Um, Caly?  Me?"

"Yup."

WHAT THE HECK DO I SAY TO THAT, PEOPLE!?

I chose complete avoidance.

"Oooook.  So, um, let's talk about some good things to dream about...  What do you think?"

She thought for a second, and then... "I think...  I think that I could maybe dream about... froggies.  And you, and Daddy and Lexi and Sayer."

So there you have it...  I can be scary enough for a fake bad dream...  but I come in as a very close second behind froggies as the top good dream, too.  I'll take it.  I think.

(And it's worth noting?  Right after that, she rolled over and went to sleep without a peep).

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Quite a Sniffer

My 2 year old daughter has a remarkable sense of smell.  There are days when she's the first to notice her brother's um... odor, "Moooooooooooommmy!  I smell poopy!  Sayer has a stinky bottom!"  And alas, she's right, every time. 

I chalked it up to her head being closer to the source of said smell. 

Then she started commenting on other smells.  While she played with her sister in their room, I heated up the oven and made a quick pizza.  Ten minutes into baking, she wandered in, "Mommy?  I smell pizza."  I assumed she had seen my prep or heard me talking about it. 

But she kept it up, often at times that I was 100% certain she couldn't have known about the source ahead of time... like this morning, when I hid in the kitchen and stuffed a chocolate cookie in my mouth.  I finished, washed it down with some milk and rejoined the kids in the living room.  Caly walked by my seat on the sofa, paused, turned back, sniffed and said, "Mommy.  I smell chocolate.  Where's my chocolate? Can I have some chocolate?"

She's like a bloodhound.  Who calls me out when I sneak off for a treat. 

But then there are times when she gets kind of bizzare...  two days ago we were in the car, quietly listening to Christmas music when she pipes up from the back, "Moooooomy...  I smell...  I smell...  I smell elephants."

Even a bloodhound misses the trail sometimes. 

But I'm still totally going to hide a bottle of mouthwash next to my cookie stash. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

TweetThanks! And The TweetThanks Challenge

A simple tweet suggesting people join me in starting the day with thanks has snowballed into something worth being thankful for.  One by one, my friends started posting things ranging from the mundane to the magnificent.  The tone of my twitter stream started to change...  complaints decreased and people were taking time to count their blessings. 

This caught the eye of a friend who took the idea and ran with it.  http://www.tweetthanks.com/ was born.  Now, TweetThanks is no longer a random collection of thankful thoughts, it's the beginning of a movement. 

If you go to the site, you can post your own thankful thought, regardless of whether you're generally on twitter, facebook, neither... whatever.  Because really... starting the day with a thankful thought, or even just focusing on the good things in your day, makes a difference in the day as a whole.  And if you're feeling uninspired, I totally invite you to stop by and read the thoughts of others.  It'll brighten your day, I promise. 

And now?  We're starting another initiative.  Instead of simply collecting thanks we are trying to give others something to be thankful for.  Here's the deal:



For the next 7 days, TweetThanks, through the generosity of a donor, will give $.50 to http://www.feedamerica.com/ for every person who either:

1.  Newly follows @TweetThanks on twitter and posts a #tweetthanks or @tweetthanks tweet. 
or
2.  Joins the http://www.tweetthanks.com/ and creates a post with a sentence of thanks.

(Maximum total donation for this portion: $250).  Best part?  This doesn't cost you a dime, just a moment or two of your time, (and a thankful thought of course). 

And, if you're feeling particularly giving, consider making your own donation to http://www.feedamerica.com/.  Every donation will be matched by TweetThanks through a donor. Please forward your donation confirmation email to t@tweetthanks.com so we can keep track of donation totals for matching purposes. (Maximum total donation match for this portion: $250). 

So conceiveably, the people of TweetThanks could donate a total of $750 to http://www.feedamerica.com/.  How cool is that?  Almost as cool as this:  Every donation made to Feed America is currently being matched through a grant.  So our $750 could become $1500.  According to their site, $25 feeds a family for a week.  $1500 could feed that family for over a year.  That's pretty awesome. 

Kindly post a comment on this blog letting me know which you did so we can tally up at the end of the 7 days. 

So here we go, people...  let's take our gratitude and use it to help others.  Spread the word!

Giveaway Winners!

The winner for the Yoplait Smoothies and blender is Grace!  Yay Grace!

 The winner for the FiberOne Bars is Emilie!  Woot Emilie!


Just a reminder, please leave a way to contact you when you comment.  Due to the time sensitive nature of these giveaways, I can't post a winner's name and hope they'll contact me at some point.  Next giveaway, I'll post a reminder!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Mornings By the Numbers

Right now, only two out of my three kids are dressed for the day.  One is in bright pink footie PJ's and considering that I'm not dressed in real clothes either, I'm counting it a win that no one is naked. 

The two littlest kids are putting a puzzle together.  Together.  Zero kids are fighting.  That's worth noting.

Well... The no fighting streak lasted 17.9 seconds. 

One kid is stationed under the kitchen table.  Why?  I don't know.  But she's quiet and entertained.  I learned never to bother a happy kid. 

They watched 1 hour of TV this morning. 

I got 10 minutes of cleaning done.  The other 50 minutes were spent procratinating.  I'm very, very good at that.  I've had 28 years of practice. 

I'm not going to mention how many stinky bottoms I've wiped. 

I've had at least 30 minutes of toasty snuggles.

The thermostat is set on 65.  We snuggle to stay warm.

There are 86 puzzle pieces on the floor.  Combine that with 105 acorns and you've got a veritable minefield. 

(Don't ask about the acorns).

We own about 15 baby dolls.  All of the kids love them.  However, they usually all love the same baby doll at the same time.  One coveted baby doll + 3 kids = 1 smile, 2 crankypants. 

Three kids make a ridiculous amount of noise.  But right now, it's happy noise. 

We've been through a pound of cheerios, 3 bananas, 2 apples, 1 giant mug of tea, 4 chocolate chip cookies (for me), 4 cups of milk and/or almond milk, some animal crackers, and 198 raisins.  It's 10:35am. 

Two kids are jumping off of the couch.  One kid is bound to get hurt.  He doesn't actually know how to jump... it's controlled falling. 

I'm praying for 5 inches of snow. 

I will run the dishwasher twice today. 

There are at least 5 silly bands floating around that look vaguely obscene.  My daughter assures me that they're princesses.  Right.

At the end of the day, I'll have:  12 books read, 11 presents bought, 10 socks matched, 9 snuggles given, 8 emails replied to, 7 thoughts blogged, 6 meals made, 5 coats hung, 4 shoes found, 3 kids hugged, 2  dogs run, 1 house cleaned and a partridge in a pear tree!  (If I'm lucky!)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Yoplait Frozen Smoothie Review and Giveaway!

I'm on a roll lately, people.  Here's another review and giveaway for you.  Consider it an early Christmas present. 

This time up, Yoplait's new frozen smoothies.  These are bags with different varieties of frozen fruit and frozen yogurt chips.  Pop them in the blender with some milk, almond milk, or whatever your preference, and you have a snack that's far better than that candy you were looking at.  (What, that's just me?) 

The smoothies come in the following varieties: Blueberry Pomegranate, Triple Triple Berry, Strawberry Banana, and Mango Pineapple.  We did the Strawberry Banana, (my favorite flavor in any smoothie), and Triple Triple Berry, (which still cracks me up... shouldn't it be Triple Triple Triple Berry?)

I popped the strawberry banana flavor into the blender as soon as Shaun brought it in and divvyed it up between the three kids with a taste for Shaun and I.  Everyone was a fan, of course.  It's fruit and yogurt... what not to love?  I think the biggest fan was Caly, actually, which was fun since she's the pickiest. 

So as with the last, here's my list of pros and cons:

Pros:  Love the ease of being able to toss the ingredients into the blender with minimal prep.  Also, I loved the probiotics added.  I have yogurt on hand most days, but for some reason, when we get a hankerin' for a smoothie, I'm often out.  I like that it can blend with most any liquid.  I suspect using orange juice would be fantastic. 

Cons:  They use sucralose, (i.e. Splenda).  I didn't notice this til I had made and handed out the second bag.  Huge deal in this household.  For one, I think the fruit and yogurt would be sweet enough to stand on their own.  Second, I just don't use artificial sweeteners, especially for my kids.  I wish they would have used sugar, (well, I wish for nothing at all, but I do understand making it sweet).  So for us, it's probably not ideal, but if you're not sucralose opposed or if you're looking for a way to add more fruit and probiotics in your diet without too many added calories, I think this would be a great solution. 

Anyway, I love the concept and hope that there's an unsweetened version on the horizon soon!

For you lovely readers of mine:  Comment on this blog post with your favorite fruit in a smoothie.  One commenter will win a VIP coupon to try the smoothies for free and a pretty dang awesome KitchenAid smoothie blender to whip it up!  (The blender is awesome, dude).  Giveaway will close on Saturday, December 11th at 10am!  Good luck!

*For purpose of this review and giveaway, I was provided with coupons to try the Yoplait frozen smoothies by Yoplait through MyBlogSpark and a new KitchenAid blender courtesy of KitchenAid through MyBlogSpark

Monday, December 6, 2010

Fiber One Review and Giveaway

Recently, we got an opportunity from MyBlogSpark to check out Fiber One's cereals or granola bars.  Since one of my kids, (not mentioning names), would benefit from more fiber in his or her diet, I thought this one would be perfect to try. 

Shaun actually got to do the picking and came home from the store with the oats and apple streusel variety of granola bars and the raisin bran variety of the cereal.  (The first shouldn't surprise me, as my huband and children are apple obsessed). 

Verdict?  Everyone loved the cereal.  I liked the fact that my kids THOUGHT they were eating carbs, but were instead ingesting MORE FIBER!  Muahahahaha.  The granola bars were an equal hit with everyone except for me, (I thought they were too sweet), and Lex, (she hates all granola bars equally). 

So:  What I liked - They tasted good and were an easy fix to the sometimes difficult problem of getting more fiber into my kid.  What I didn't like - Not a fan of the high fructose corn syrup.  I really wish more companies would get on board with phasing that out. 

Anyway, if you're interested in trying some FOR FREE, (you know you are, admit it), comment on this blog post telling me your favorite snack to stuff in a purse or diaper bag for a chance to win a coupon for both a free box of FiberOne cereal and a free box of the granola bars AND, (best part), a $25 gift card to Safeway, (or an affiliate grocery store in your area).  Woot, right?

Giveaway closes Thursday morning at 10am. 

**Through MyBlogSpark, FiberOne provided me with the VIP coupons, Safeway giftcard and identical prize pack to giveaway.  I was not otherwise compensated for this review.  All views are my own honest assesment of the product provided. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Card Outtakes - Episode 2

What do you get if you take three kids to the mall to possibly hope for a few good shots against the Christmas decorated backdrop?

Chaos. 

I think we were a trifle optimistic to think that these highly distractable kids were going to sit pretty and smile at the same time when LOOK!  There's something SHINY!

Combine that with crap lighting and bad camera settings and hey, at least you get some outtakes!

(I will send out a Christmas card if it kills me.  I will). 



Hey C!  Put your head on Sissy's shoulder and then smile!  Hey um, Lex?  You LIKE your sister.  I promise.  You might want to pretend at least.  Or not. 


Smile with your WHOLE face!  Not just your lips!  Those, yes THOSE, they're cheeks!


Smile Caly! Or um, do that. Right. OK, nevermind. 

Round 3 to resume post nap.  Send flurries and hot chocolate. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Essence of 2

Caly got some new-to-her underoos from the hand-me-downs and they happened to have a favorite cartoon character on them.  Excited, I showed her the first pair and asked, "Hey!  Who's here on this pair?" 

She grinned and shouted, "ME!"

It was a picture of Curious George.
_________________________________________________

Later, I pulled her into my lap to do the regular nail trimmings that can cause much wailing and gnashing of teeth.  She's usually pretty good about it, thankfully.  I told her I was about to begin and she pulled her hands away from me, "Wait, Mama!"  a pause... "You can cut this one, and this one, and this one, and this one... but not dis one."  She tapped the index finger on her right hand and gave me a serious look.  "Nope Mommy, not dis one."

"Why?"

"Because I eated it."

(Ew)

"Um, what?"

"I eated dat fingernail.  It's in my belly. 

Ok then.
____________________________________________________

Sometimes she calls upon her junior medical degree to survey an injured person or one in need of medical attention.  I'm thankful that junior medical degree is most certainly not real.  (Though when she offers to give me kisses to  make my kidneys feel better, that's pretty dang sweet). 

She sat on my lap the other day and pat my belly and said, "Mama? Does the baby need to come out?"

"No babe, not for awhile." 
"I take it out?  I take the baby out, Mama?"

"Um, no?"

"I take it out Mama.  I need a spoon."

Oh my word, NO.
_____________________________________________

She's 2.  And at times, pretty much impossible.  But she's hilarious.  And that pretty much keeps my sanity intact.


At the halloween festival we attended, they had face painting.  Lex got a butterfly.  When asked what she wanted, Caly requested a purple chicken beak.  I think she stumped the artist. 

That's my girl

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Card Rejects - Episode 1

Ah, tis the season, yet again.  And of course, we have our Christmas card rejects piling up like unwanted but hilarious mountains of snow. 

Last year's struggle was so bad that I actually didn't send cards at all.  The year before, I had adorable cards ordered and purchased but never got my act together to get them out to everyone.  This year?  This year I'll send a card, come hell, high water, or a booger hanging out a kid's nose.  Yes.  It will happen. 

Here's some samplings of the Christmas cards that weren't meant to be...

 Caly looks bored... Sayer's alright... Lex looks completely disgruntled.  I'm almost tempted to send this to give a taste of what these kids can be like.  But Caly's not smacking anyone, so it's not quite true enough.


Sayer's the only one who looks normal in this picture.  Aside from the fact that he's holding a tiny, naked baby doll with an obscenely large head.  Oh, and then there's Shaun's reflection in the doorway... maybe's that's the way we'll make it into this year's shot?


And there it is... the money shot.  That is, if I were 9 feet tall and shooting from above. 

Alas, we'll attempt again tomorrow. If these kids don't cooperate, I'm sending out the one where they all look goofy.  Hey, it's payback!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Knock-Knock! Who's There? Pregnant Dog! Er, What?

My kids have obviously inherited my sense of humor.  Random and completely unintentional with a penchant for the corny.  (I tried to deny the last part, but I married Shaun and he makes me laugh.  Enough said).  

Lex has learned the art of the knock-knock joke.  Sort of.  To me?  This is torture.  I hate knock-knock jokes with a fierce passion.  But I indulge her and give the required chuckle at each nonsensical (at worst) or cheesy (at best) punch line.

Unlike me, Shaun has welcomed the knock-knock phase with open arms.  Those of you who know him, know that his capacity for the cheesy knows no bounds.  He's been teaching her new ones whenever he gets a chance.  Some go right over her head, but she's wise enough to understand that even when not completely understood, a good joke will endear her to a crowd.  So she delivers the jokes with the proper pauses and basks in the giggles.

She decided to test out my parents the other night with a joke that she learned while spending the earlier portion of the day with Shaun.

"Knock-knock!"

My family answered readily, "Who's there?"

"PREGNANT DOG!"

"Pregnant do--"  They didn't get a chance to finish before she jumped in,

"WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF!"  Then she dissolved into giggles.

Silence.  Puzzled silence and then a few polite laughs.  I raised my eyebrows at Shaun who was lost in his own round of guffaws.  When he paused to breath, he choked out, "Interrupting cow, Lex, interrupting cow!"

She stopped and exclaimed, "Oh YEAH!  Knock-knock!"

"Who's there?"

"Interrupting cow!"

"Interrupting co--"

"MOOOOO MOOOOO MOOOOO MOOOOOOOOOO!"

By this point, we were all cracking up, though I suspect most were laughing over the interrupting pregnant dog instead of the 3rd oldest knock-knock joke in history.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pick Your Battles

Kids are quirky.  My oldest has been seen in public with one gigantic, dangly plastic earring in her ear.  My nephew used to wear one fingerless glove just about everywhere he went.  Caly has to have a babydoll in her hand and some various toy in the other every time we leave the house.

Sayer?  Well... he's showing an early propensity for the quirky.  I was settling him down for a nap today and having little success.  You see, he came into his room wearing a plush block on his head for a hat and carrying a light up magic wand from his sisters' dress-up box.  Try settling that down to sleep.

He most certainly thought he was funny stuff, evidenced by him putting his open mouth on my shoulder, gumming it, and pulling back while yelling, "BAP!"  And then he'd crack up.

Nap time wasn't exactly forthcoming.

But I needed him to go down at some point.  So I gently wrestled the wand from his grasp.  Tears.  He calmed down after a second and eyed me.  I eyed his hat.  He grinned and whispered, "bap!"


And then he put his head on my shoulder and patted me.

The hat stayed on his head.

Now sound asleep, that's where the hat remains.





A wise person once advised:  Choose your battles.  And so?  I let this one go.  (I also obviously let the battle of getting a good photo go as well...  after those bedtime antics, I wasn't about to risk waking the kid up).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

They Should Make Armor For This

Once upon a time, I used to be able to lay on the floor while the kids played with and around me and occasionally, they'd wander behind my back or I'd close my eyes while playing "Baby."  No worries.

I realized that changed when, under coercion from the girls, I stretched out on the floor. The girls wanted me to be the baby.  And part of being the baby involves me going to sleep.  This game is generally AWESOME... a warm blanket?  Pillow?  Little hands patting me on the head?  Sweet!  But as I lowered myself to the floor, I warily eyed my son.  Then as I closed my eyes, I curled my body into a fetal position and put my arms over my head and face as if I were bracing for an earthquake.

Why?   The answer came about 15 seconds later when all 26 pounds of my hilarious little son landed on my head.

He apparently thinks it's funny to dive bomb my face.  Over. And over. And over.

So, I've adapted.  I now brace for onslaughts of toddler affection.

No one warned me about this.  Or about being poked in the face with eating utensils.  Or about being used as a human jungle gym.  Or about having to catch your toddler as they dive-bomb out of your arms to reach something forbidden.  No one mentioned that playing pretend could sometimes be hazardous to your health. Or that most parental injuries are gifts from your children.

These kids and their exuberant affection are dangerous. 


I seriously think there's a market for a good protective suit for parents.  Heck, it could be made with built in footholds.  Because really, they're going to try to climb up your body anyway... might as well make it less painful. 



(taken right before he tried to dive down to you know, eat the goat or something).

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Well, Hello Tuesday

Apparently, when I go on vacation, I go on vacation from everything, blogging included.  Maybe because this last vacation was without the munchkins and well, let's be honest, they do provide the ample fodder that keeps this blog trucking along. 

Without kids, you say?  Why yes.  Shaun was his usual sweet self and schemed a way to get me on a little 4 day getaway BY. MYSELF.  And he kept the kidlets for most of the time, which kept me relaxed, (except when I called at 11pm and thought I heard them running around and yelling in the background... that was a bit of a moment).  It was awesome. 

And I came back and dove right into the motherhood/wifey/me that I had left.  And it was just as awesome.  (Shaun actually brought the kids into the airport to surprise me when I got off the plane.  Hearing them screech "MOOOOOMMMMY!" and run at me was just about the most awesome thing ever.  I had told Shaun that my only requirement for the trip was that when I came back, they had to greet me with as much enthusiasm as they greet him EVERY. DAY.  (I know, right?)  They delivered with great gusto.  I was pleased. 

Anyway, here we are, getting back into the swing of things just in time for us to get all out of the swing with the holidays.  Craziness.  But that's how we like it 'round here. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Who's on First?

I generally give the kids a rundown of what we're headed off to do for the day.  It usually gives them something to look forward to doing or at least helps them know what to expect.  However, sometimes that goes hilariously awry. 

"Alright everybody, let's get your shoes and sock on your feet so we can go to the doctor's office and then you can come with Mommy to vote."

Lex perked up and exclaimed, "Sissy!  We're going on a boat!"  I quickly tried to quell that rumor before I found myself dealing with missed expectations, (i.e. temper tantrums and limp limbs),

"No, no, not a boat... we're going to VOTE."

Caly piped in, "A boat!  Like da pirate boat?  They were scare-wee!"

"No, honey...  not a boat.  Vote!  Can you say V-V-V-VOTE?"

Too late.  The girls were off and running with their little boat dreams,

"Ohhh, maybe it'll be a big boat with LOTS of pirates!"

"I don't yike pirates!  But I yike boats!"

"Maybe it'll be a boat without pirates!  And we'll sail to Hawaii!"

"I want to go there!  Momma, where's da boat?  I want to get on da boat!" 

"Yeah, Momma!  Do we need our bathing suits?"

They peered at me expectantly. 

"Um...  girls?  We're not going on a BOAT.  We're going to VOTE! Voting is when you tell what you--"  One of the girls interrupted,

"Momma?  Do you vote on a BOAT?  I wanna go on a boat!"

Cue the two of them dancing around and chanting, "A boat!  Vote on a boat!"

Imagine their surprise when the voting happened in a high school gymnasium.  Yeah, talk about underwhelmed. 

(Thankfully, some skillfully produced lollipops assuaged any residual disappointments over the missed boat.  But now that I think about it...  maybe we should have a family vote about boating to Hawaii.  I think that's a cause I could get wholeheartedly behind). 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Weighty Stats

Took the two littlest kids in for very, very overdue well visits.  I was interested to see how the kids measured up against each other.  My suspicions?  I thought Sayer would at least weigh as much as Caly.

Um, he's got a half a pound on her.  I have two 26 pound children. 

With her 26 pounds and however many inches tall she is, Caly remains firmly snuggled in the 20th percentile.  She's her mother's daughter, through and through. 

Sayer and his 26 pounds obvious tip the 95th percentile for weight.  Daddy's sturdy little man.  But...  his height?  He's just over the 18th percentile.  Kid is a fire hydrant.

Before we had kids, I joked about how Shaun and I were destined to have short boys and tall girls.  Looks more like we're having short kids.  Sorry, honey...  gotta kiss those basketball dreams goodbye.  (Then again, there's always Muggsy Bogues).

Lex gets her checkup in a few months.  I'm not holding my breath that she'll be on the tall side of things. 

Hey, short kids find the best hiding places. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Punny! Uh, Sorta...

A few days ago, we were driving to visit family with two sleeping little people and the biggest of the little people quietly reading in the back seat.  Shaun and I were taking advantage of the quiet to actually have an uninterrupted conversation. Suddenly, Lex piped up from the back seat,

"Hey Daddy!  Do you know what Goofy likes to eat?"

He replied that he didn't know and she chirped, "Bologna sandwiches!"

A few minutes later, Shaun asked Lex,  "Hey Lex...  do you know what ghosts like to eat?"  She shook her head and he delivered the punchline, "BOO-logna sandwiches!"

Silence.  I glanced back and Lex was smiling a bit but didn't say anything.  I whispered to Shaun, "Does she get it?"  He peeked at her in the rearview mirror and shrugged.

We picked up our conversation after a few more moments of silence.

Several minutes later, she exclaimed, "HEY DAD!"

"Hey what?"

"Do you know what vampires like to eat?!"  I whispered to Shaun, "SHE GETS IT!"  I started grinning, proud that my kid actually got Shaun's joke well enough to make her own.  Then, he answered her,

"Nope, what do they like to eat?"   We waited, totally expecting to hear an appropriate punchline to finish our train of jokes.  And then... she spoke, completely deadpan,

"Blood.  They like blood.  And they sleep all day and stay up at night."

Yeah, not exactly what were expecting.  I CRACKED up, sputtering and wheezing.  There was something overwhelmingly funny about the complete miss of a joke that she delivered when were expecting something completely different.  Apparently, we have some work to do on the jokes.  Ah, 4 year olds. 



[I was laughing so hard at one point that Shaun started tossing out lines from the previous week's episode of Community to keep me going, (I'm apparently a spectacle when I'm cracking up), and when he got to this scene, I thought I was going to pee my pants.  It's completely unrelated, but I still can't watch this scene without breaking into guffaws of laughter]

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Boys



Shaun teases me and says I spoil that little one.  But Shaun can't resist him either.  While there's something unique about a Mom's relationship with her boy... there's something spectacular about watching a boy with his Dad. 

And in March, I get to see that start all over again with this next munchkin.  I think he's going to need bigger arms.


(Yes, that's Caly too...  and I know she's not a boy, but that picture was too sweet to resist.  So, my boys and my littlest girlie).

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Runs in the Family

Today we went in for the super fun 20 week sonogram.  I say super fun now because I've been given the "Everything looks perfect!" all clear that I stressed over for the last 20 weeks.  (I always get that way before the big sonogram).  Anyway, the sonographer spent a good amount of time measuring this part and that part, commenting periodically about cute movements the baby would do. 

(The other kids thought it was pretty cool.  Lex really could make out what parts of the baby were which...  Caly?  Well, she saw a lot of movement and decided to make friends with our sonographer and sit on her lap and ask questions instead.  Sayer was completely enthralled when we listened to the heartbeat, "WOOOOAH!")

At one point, the baby stuck his finger up their nose.  I knew at that point exactly what gender this kid would be. 

When you ask Sayer where his nose is, he knows right away.  And sticks his index finger so far up his nostril that you worry slightly that he's poking his brain.  Better yet?  He's never satisfied until he finds YOUR nose, too.  Using the same methods.  Ew, right?

Seems the little one is following in Big Brother's footsteps. 

It's a boy! 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Is Dat Funny? Momma? Is Dat Funny?

Caly is refining her sense of humor.  She'll say something and out of the blue, she'll ask, "Momma?  Is dat funny?" and giggle at me.  This evening, she and Lex were hiding from Shaun in their pile of stuffed animals under a big pink blanket.  They were silent for about 30 seconds when Caly chirped, "I TOOTED!" I started snickering under my breath.  Three seconds later, "Momma?  Is dat funny?"  And over Lex's indignant yelps, ("SHE TOOTED ON ME!"), we cracked up. 

But then... other times?  It drives. me. nuts. 

She's taken to waiting until she's completely tucked in before telling me or Shaun that she absolutely has to go erm, take care of some heavy business.  With her recent past of having difficulties in that realm, we're not comfortable refusing, so we march her into the potty and sit her up on the seat.  She takes so long, that we generally leave her in there to do her thing so that she doesn't get the satisfaction of chatting our ears off in the meantime.  (Yes, she's mostly stalling, but she ALWAYS produces, so...)   Anyway, after 15 minutes, I start getting exasperated and ask her, "Caly, are you finished yet?"  She always, always, ALWAYS says no.  And I always get frustrated and say, "You NEED to finish.  YOU NEED to go to sleep.  YOU NEED YOUR REST."  And lately, she'll look at me at that point and said, "Momma?  Is dat funny?" 

AHHH!  No, little punky one!

Tonight, she pulled a new one.  Either Shaun or I sing to the girls before bed and tonight was my night.  Caly kept interrupting, (which is the fastest way for me to quit singing), and when I reminded her to quit, she paused and said, "Momma?  IS DAT FUNNY?  DAT'S FUNNY!" and then she giggled while saying, "dat's funny!" under her breath.  I have to admit... I couldn't help chuckling.  And she heard. 

"Momma?  Are you laughing?  You laughing!  DAT'S FUNNY!"

She's driving me crazy...  but at least we're laughing on the way. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ferocious

Certain things that my kids do drive me nuts.  For instance, my oldest freaks out when I have to cut her toenails.  For the record, I've never once, not even when she was a baby, cut her or made her bleed.  (Now, the other kids... )

Anyway, she'll reluctantly give me her foot and then freak out and jerk it away right before I clip the toenail.  It's worse when she's tired.  (Which is when I always get the notion to cut her nails...  Apparently, I like a challenge). 

The other day, I called her into the bathroom, having noticed that her toes were beginning to resemble talons instead of sweet little girl feet.  She slunk into the room and gave me a look as she ever-so-slowly brought her foot up to my lap.  I held onto it, grabbed the clippers, and made a motion to go toward clipping her big toenail.  Just as the clipper touched her toe, she jerked her whole foot back and started whimpering.  "I don't WANNNNA have you cut my toooooenaaaaails!"  I gave her a look and told her to give me her foot.

And repeat. 

After 3 or 4 more times, I was completely exasperated.  I dropped my voice to a fierce whisper, looked at her and said, "LEXI. GIVE. ME. YOUR. FOOT. RIGHT. NOW!  If you keep jerking it away, I'm going to end up cutting your toe off!  NOW GIVE ME YOUR FOOT!"

We stared at each other for a split second before she dropped into a crouch, balled her hands into fists and hissed, "NEVER!" at me while punching a hand into the air.  She totally looked like William Wallace, "You can take my toenails, but you'll never TAKE MY FREEDOM!"

The whole effect was so ridiculous that I burst into peels of laughter. 

So did she. 

The nail cutting went slightly more smoothly after that.  Slightly.  At the very least, she found a way to diffuse my temper and get herself out of trouble.  Because I laugh every single time. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The One Where I Teach My Son the Art of the Gnaw (aka, don't read this if you're a particularly squeamish variety of vegetarian)

I'm not much of a meat eater anymore.  Never was.  Not a vegetarian though, as sometimes I feel a little... carnivorous. 

When I was a little girl, my dad would take me to the Renaissance Festival.  Food, face painting, knights, princesses, fairies, jousting, crafts, swords, and more.  What more could a kid love? 

But the highlight was always the turkey leg.  It's exactly what it sounds like.  A leg of a turkey, brined and roasted to perfection.  (Is it fried? Not sure, don't care.  It tastes awesome).  I rarely eat chicken on a bone, but I'll tear one of these up.  This year?  I taught the kids.  The only one who really took to it was Sayer.  At almost 15 months, I think he has the art of the gnaw down pat.  See for yourself:



He's giving it a once over.  Think you're going to mess with me, Turkey Leg?  THINK AGAIN!  He said that.  Really.  Ok, he didn't.  Because he doesn't quite speak with complex sentence structure.  But he THOUGHT it.  Totally. 


He looks fierce, (channeling his red-haired Viking roots?  Perhaps).  And rightfully so.  That's the only way to attack a turkey leg.  I think he did quite well for his first year.  Right Dad?

Plate Spinning

I don't know where I first heard the analogy, but it's a good one.  Walking through life is a lot like being a plate spinner. 



Each of those plates represent a different piece of your life that you have to pay a certain amount of attention.  Kids?  Plate.  Husband?  Plate.  Housework?  Plate.  Cooking?  Plate.  Friends?  Plates.  Exercise?  Plate.  Sleep?  Plate. 

If you start frantically spinning at one that might be slipping, it's not long before you find 5 other ones slipping. 

So you have to take a deep breath and give what you can to all the plates.  And if you have more plates than you can handle?  You have to let 'em go.  (Personally, I'm all for dropping the housework plate...)

Anyway, my plates were flying all over the place for awhile there and I was having a crazy time trying to scrape by with the bare minimum to keep them all from crashing down, (which would have resulted in me taking a very long nap... so... win for the sleep plate?)  And blogging?  Blogging became one of those little cup saucers and I shoved it into my back pocket.  Somehow, I thought that some things, like, you know, feeding these little people were more important.  (True.  They get very cranky when hungry).  But I got a day to myself and got some things in order that were otherwise neglected.  And now?  I feel sane(r).  Plates might get shaky, but they're up!

Anyway, I have a litany of blog posts in my head and I'm slowly starting to write them out.  So I'm working on it.  If you've stuck around?  Thanks.  I do appreciate your comments, both in real life and on here.  I don't know that I've mentioned that.  But yes, I'm a sucker for attention a fan of feedback, so thanks again :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Stealth Stealer

Man, I am a BAD blogger.  (My button loving son won't let me near a computer without obsessively whispering, "buuuuutton... BUTTTTTON" and pushing whatever ones he gets his hands on... so, yes). 

Anyway, I check on when I can.  And this story?  This one is too good not to share. 

The other day we had a friend over for a playdate and lunch.  She sat at the table while I puttered around the kitchen after lunch, putting dishes away and the like.  The kids ran around like monkeys, clamoring for attention and getting into everything.  Caly quietly stood next to Heather's seat at the table and after a few minutes, pointed to my not-so-hidden, reserved and coveted halloween themed reeses peanut butter cup and said, "I have that candy?"

I raised my eyebrows and told her no.  No, especially since she ate no lunch at all.  No. 

She stared me down and said, "Yes."

I said no. 

She said yes. 

I said no.  No, NO.  And she got quiet.  So Heather and I went back to chatting and I turned to finish the dishes.  About 10 minutes later, Caly walked back into the kitchen.  Chewing.  She had a mouthful of something and was making a peculiar face.  Concerned, I hurried towards her, thinking she was going to barf, (we have a history now), and got down to her level.  Then I smelled it.

Peanut butter. 

My eyes flew towards the table where my peanut butter cup used to rest.  Gone.  I jumped up and ran into the living room.  The slobbery, shredded, empty wrapper lay on the chair.  My head swiveled back to my daughter who was unconcernedly attempting the chew the rest of her forbidden treat.

"Caly."

"Wut, mama?"

"Is that my treat?"

"Yeds."

"What did mama say when you asked to have it?"

"Mama say no."  She paused to swallow.  "Mama said no treat."

"Ooook, so...  why did you take it and eat it?"

She gave me a look and said, "Because I wanted it." 

Oh.  Um.  Ok. 

"Caly, go sit in time-out until I figure out what to do with you." 

She stuck her lower lip out and trotted to the living room and planted herself in her rocking chair.  Thirty seconds later, she started calling me, "Mammmmma?  Mammma?  I sorry!  I say I sorry for eating your treat!"  I told her to sit there a bit longer.  When I got a straight face finished the dishes, I went into talk to her and she said, "Mommy, I sorry I ate your treat."  I told her that while I was sad it was gone, she was forgiven and she could get up. 

Then she leaned towards me and whispered, "It was lummy!"

Little stinker. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Kids and Caterpillars

After driving back from Lex's dance class today, the girls pleaded to stay outside and play.  The thought of having to go inside to referee fights, listen to whining and hungry kids, and prepare dinner was making me cranky so I thought about it.  Since the stupid heat was no longer burning my eyelids, I agreed.  When I was getting Sayer out of the car, some movement by my foot caught my eye.  It was the furriest, fastest caterpillar I've seen in our yard since we moved in.  Of course I called the girls over to investigate.


The two littles spent a good amount of time squealing and pointing while Lex tried to coax the caterpillar onto a leaf.  Sayer was particularly interested in where the bug went and followed his sister everywhere, trying to see. 


At one point, it fell into the garden and I truly thought he was going to go headfirst in after it.


After awhile, Lex got brave... sort of.  She'd let the caterpillar crawl on her hand or arm and then she'd start giggling uncontrollably.


And every time she giggled, the caterpillar would slip off onto the ground again, she'd squeal, and Sayer and Caly would crack up. 


They did it over and over and over, cracking up every. single. time. 


Lex was pretty proud of herself for finally picking up the caterpillar and by the end of the day, she was letting it crawl all over her arm, still giggling, but not flailing anymore. 


I just loved watching my three play together without fighting, arguing, crying, whining, and best of all?   Watching their faces light up like this:


I'm a blessed Mama... no doubt. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

10 Things

1.  My fridge is full but I can't find anything I want to eat.  Rather, I don't want to cook.  So I ate pretzels and hummus for dinner and I'm about to dish out a gigantic bowl of homemade peanut butter chocolate ice cream.  This is the part of being pregnant that I looooove.

2.  In the course of 12 hours the other day, I was coughed on, peed on, snotted on, pooped on, and thrown up on.  And I don't even have a newborn anymore.  I consider that the day I truly became a Real Mother.  I think I could have raised my kids to adulthood without wanting to know what that was like. 

3.  Caly dumped two entire sample sized bottles of shampoo on her head tonight.  In my bed.  Then she rubbed her eyes.  That chaos was unmet in recent history.  But now?  She's fine, sleeping, and bonus?  She smells fantastic. 

4.  While I was trying to rinse the ridiculous amount of suds out of Caly's hair, Sayer got into the cabinet and into a box of cereal. Rather, he got the cereal out of the box and onto the floor.  He was very, very pleased with himself when he presented me with the box.  Upside-down.  And empty. 

5.  I *think* I'm starting to feel this baby move, which I'm splendidly excited about.  (That's another part of pregnancy I love so much).  Of course, those flutters may be the bean burrito I ate, too. 

6.  This might be the funniest blog post I've read in recent memory.  I had to read it out loud to Shaun, (which I rarely, rarely do), and he laughed out loud.  The end is the best part.

7.  I'm fully addicted to Wordfued, (an app on the Android market, similar to Scrabble).  My user name is monsterchew.  Go ahead, challenge me to a game... I dare you.  :)

8.  Tonight, Caly asked me for a pretzel after we had already brushed her teeth and gotten completely ready for bed.  I said no.  She looked and me and started walking away.  I asked her where she was going and she poked her head back in the room and said, "I go get a pretzel."  Um, no, kid.  NO.  So she said ok, walked out, and the next thing I know, she's walking back in the room with her mouth and both fists stuffed with cereal.  Apparently, I said no pretzels and neglected to tell her no snacks at all. Stinker.

9.  I would like a pet chinchilla.  But I want someone else to take care of it.  I just want to pet it and play with it and tell people that we have a chinchilla.  Because it's just fun to say.  

10.  Lex, my normally pacifistic 4 year old, had a stretch of violence today.  She told Caly in a perfectly teacher-like sing-song voice, "If you don't get off of my puzzle board, I'm going to flick you."  Caly, of course, refused to move, and Lexi followed through.  I sent her to the kitchen to sit in time-out while I comforted the indignant Caly, (who really got what was coming to her, considering the amount she tortures her sister on a regular basis). I asked her why she flicked Caly, (not having completely heard the exchange), and she said, "I told her that if she wouldn't get up, I would be mad and then if she would, I would hug her."  I looked straight at her and said, "No, that's not what you said.  That's a lie."  Her eyes got huge and she said, "How did you KNOW?"  And I restored myself as the master of knowledge in this household,

"Because I'm the Mommy, I know everything."

Unlike last time, today, she didn't question that at all.  Momma's back, Jack... Momma's back.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Taken Down a Notch

Lex and I were chatting this afternoon while the little ones slept.  She asked me a question, I answered, and she marveled, "How did you KNOW that!?"

Of course, I replied, "Because I'm the Mama... I know everything!"

Flatly, she retorted, "No you don't."

"I don't?"

"No, you don't know everything....  But Daddy does!"

Well, hmph.


(taken with my phone)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Next To High Maintenence In the Dictionary...

Shaun was putting Caly to bed a few nights ago and she held up her water cup, shook it slightly and said, "Daddy, can you freshen this up for me?"

She's 2.5.  I'm beginning to wonder if we should start stockpiling a substantial dowry for the man that's going to marry that girl. 

Love that kid.  Love 'em all.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sayer (i.e. The Poor Neglected Third Born)

So, in the course of my summer of sporadic blogging, my little guy turned one.  I just scanned back through his 11 month entry and man, the kid is different.  Amazing what a few months will do.  Because I'm snarfly and don't have the energy for a craftily worded post, I'm going to list out a few things that I want to remember about the little dude at this time in his life.  (Because honestly, people... if I wait until I have the energy to craftily post something, he's going to be 17 before it happens).  And?  Pictures!  (Keeps the family happy)

Thanks Amy for this shot!

The little dude is starting to communicate beyond shrieking like a maniac.  His current list of clear as day words are "ball," "up," "down," "go," "mama," "pa-pa," "dada," and "button."  He also says "a!" "eight," "silly," "more," "dog," "woof," and "night-night."  He'll repeat most things back in a somewhat clear fashion and says some garbled syllables consistently for certain objects so that I know what he means, but to the rest of the world?  Not so much yet.  He's definitely not the talker that his sisters were/are but he does most things on his own program, so... I'm not surprised.


 He loves shoes.  Any shoes.  All shoes.  I have to hide shoes.  Why?  Because the kid is walking.  And albeit more of a walk than a toddle at this point, he's still not that sturdy.  So when he's trying to walk while wearing one of Shaun's shoes?  Yeah, LOTS of tumbles.   You'd think I could solve that by putting him in his own shoes.  But he's never satisfied with one pair.  He wants as many on as he can fit on his fat little feet.  The funniest/sort of saddest part?  He cries like he has a broken heart when I take his shoes off.  Every. Time. 



One other word he's mastered is "OW!"   Not only is it clear as day, but he's figured out how to yell "OW! OW! OWWWW!" at the top of his lungs when one of the girls comes by and he doesn't want them near his coveted toy of the moment.  For awhile, poor C got the brunt of, "Stop trying to take your brother's things!" until I finally witnessed his little scheme.  (Though she does her share of tormenting).  I have Lex to thank for teaching him this through her daily yelling during her hair brushing. 



He still loves his sisters and regularly doses them with slobbery hugs and kisses.  But he and Caly fight.  A lot.  And with physical intensity.  And the mere half pound of weight difference between them is no longer enough to allow Caly to emerge the victor anymore.  (Translation?  She tends to get her behind kicked).  Poor girl...  it's just going to get worse from here. 



He eats most things, but balks at new foods...  if I can manage to get him to open his mouth for a bite, he'll generally try more in his own.  He loves fruit above all things and could eat strawberries and blueberries until he dropped.  He's the first kid I've had that can take carbs or leave them.  I don't know whose kid he is in those moments. 



He adores his Daddy and loves his Mommy.  He's huggable and sweet and snuggles easily.  He's got an epic temper but doesn't often haul off and scream.  He hates being told no and makes the most adorable pouty face I've ever seen.  (It's really hard not to  laugh at him because he works it for a minute or two before letting loose). 

 
14 months old (almost) and on the fast track to big brotherhood.  And...  his hair's getting long.  Shaun wants to cut it... I say no.  (The CURLS! The red! The sweet baby-ness!  The surfer look!)

Anyway, there you have it.  Sayer's 14 month self in a little ole blog entry.  Merry merry :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hey Dr. Sears! I've Got a Question For You!

The littlest one has been having a bit of a rough time as of late.  If you peer into his mouth, (which would involve you having to either make him scream, laugh, or cry as he won't willingly open it for anything), you'd notice the halves of three molars poking through, a swollen red lump of a fourth and the tiny white dots that mark the beginning of four eye teeth. 

Eight teeth, dude.  EIGHT. 

I can usually distract him during the day with munchies and noise and general chaos.  Nights are a tad bit of a different story. 

I can time his wakings with the wearing off of his Motrin doses.  When he wakes, he sticks both hands in his mouth, screams, and says "nananannanananan" over and over, (this loosely translates to "PICK ME UP NOW, WOMAN AND COMFORT ME!  But do NOT think of sitting down, rocking me, or otherwise doing anything that I might deem undesirable at that exact moment and time.  Those things are subject to change without notice.  NOW ON WITH THE COMFORTING!"

Ahem.  Yes.  Anyway, some days I can get him back to sleep fairly easily.  Others, it's a long wait until the next dose of ibuprophen kicks in.  I hate seeing the kid so miserable. 

But we're plowing along and trying to keep him comfortable as possibly while also trying to catch snatches of sleep.  It's quite the dance.

It's funny...  with Sayer especially, we've been a lot more attachment parenting minded.  It's what works with us, and more importantly, it's what worked for Sayer, (a definitively more high needs baby than the girls).  A friend lent me Dr. Sears' The Attachment Parenting Book and as I was reading through it, one line stuck out to me:

    "If you resent it, change it!"  

I resent it all right.  I resent the heck out teething.  Hear that?  I RESENT YOU, TEETHING!

So, Dr. Sears...  if you manage to come up with a solution to help me change that, I'm all ears.

In the meantime, I'm off to buy stock in teething tablets, motrin and frozen bagels. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sick Days - A Comparative View

Sick Days When You're a Sick Kid - Cartoons for you for as long as you can stay awake
Sick Days When You're a Sick Parent - Cartoons for the kids as long as they'll stay still.

Sick Days When You're a Sick Kid - Naps under your favorite blanket while Mom or Dad brings you cool drinks for when you wake up. 
Sick Days When You're a Sick Adult -Flopping on the couch trying to close your eyes while little people pester you to get them a drink.


Sick Days When You're a Sick Kid - A possible trip to the doctor to be sure it's nothing serious.
Sick Days When You're a Sick Parent - You gauge whether you're urge to keel over and die is greater than the hassle of finding a babysitter so you can go to the doctor's.

Sick Days When You're a Sick Kid - Sympathy, comfort, and some doctoring from Mom and Dad.
Sick Days When You're a Sick Parent -Being "doctored" by your concerned kids.  Generally involves being poked in the eyes, ears and mouth, being stepped on, crawled over, and smooshed.

I think the greatest thing Obamacare should have included was a sick day plan for parents. 

Here and There and Everywhere

I'm here!  And there.  Two places where I've shown up recently that you might want to check out:

Learning a Latte - I guest posted here yesterday about how we incorporate Montessori concepts in our daily play/homeschooling.  It was fun to write!  She has had guest posts all week with a different style highlighted each day, so be sure to head over if you're interested in homeschooling at all.  Fun reads. 

Just Make it a Double - We're baaaaaack! Remember how Amy and I posted a picture a day and then we fell off of the planet during the summer and you had to look at the same picture every day since June 22nd?  *and inhaaaaale!*  Well, we're back!  And we'll be posting every day barring loss of limb or internet service ;)

And of course, I'm back here on a sporadic basis.  Check out the giveaway from Tuesday and enter already.  Otherwise, gear up for a fall full of fun. (Check out that alliteration!  uh huh!)  'Cause fun is my middle name.  Or not.  But my kids are funny, so I'll write about that. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sparklehearts Girls' Natural Beauty Products Review and Giveaway!

Ecomom generously provided me another product to review and the means for a great giveaway on their site!  This time around, we received Sparklehearts Sweet Hearts Sparkly Body Lotion.  Do you even need to read further than the product name to know it was a hit with my uber-girly 4 year old?  Nope.  But I'll elaborate anyway!

As soon as I opened the package, Lex spotted the lotion and made a grab for it.  Seems the packaging did exactly what it intended to do and grabbed our girl's eye immediately.  I read her the label and she asked if she could use it right away.  Why not?

So I spread some on her arms and was delighted by the faint shimmer and the fruity smell.  (What little girl doesn't like glimmer?)  I was delighted in knowing that the product was natural and didn't have a bunch of questionable ingredients like many other products on the market.  No artificial anything, no parabens, sulfates, or phlatelets.  And made here in the USA! 

The scent is a little cloying for me to use it personally, but it's a great, kid-friendly scent and my daughters both say it smells like candy.  I love how the scent doesn't remain strong on the skin after it's applied, much like the faint shimmer.  I don't exactly want my daughter going out to play every day looking like she's headed to a Lady Gaga show, so this was a perfect, subtle amount. 

I loved the lotion so much that I purchased the Sparklehearts Soft Conditioner and my expectations have been easily met.  I'm totally in love with the packaging and what's inside doesn't disappoint.  My oldest has long, thick hair and this softens and conditions it enough that I can comb out tangles without  tears.  Like their other products, it's packaged in a pump bottle, which makes doling out the right amount easy for me and my daughter alike. 

We're obviously Sparkleheart fans and look forward to trying their whole gamut of products.  And since we've had such great experiences, we'll definitely be purchasing through the EcoMom site.  Specializing in Eco-Friendly Baby Products, EcoMom offers products that run from food, toys, baby care products, clothing and more.  The site is certainly more than just a retail site.

Ecomom is still running their EcoPass program.  For $99, you can purchase an annual membership which gives you 15% off of every order and free shipping with no minimum order requirement.  If you're going to purchase frequently, I can imagine this would pay for itself quickly.

And now, the part you've been waiting for... the giveaway!  EcoMom has graciously offered to give away $20 towards any product in the Ecomom store!

To enter, comment on this post by September 12, 2010 at 10pm EST.

For additional entries, you can do the following.  Please comment separately for each additional thing you do. 

  • Like EcoMom on Facebook
  • Follow EcoMom on Twitter
  • Subscribe to their Newsletter.
  • Visit the EcoMom page and pick out one non-food product that you'd be interested in buying.
  • Visit my page on Twitter and retweet this giveaway.  (Post link of your retweet).
Good luck everyone!  This was totally a review and giveaway that I loved doing.  Thanks for the opportunity, EcoMom!

**The Nitty Gritty:  The owner(s) of this blog is not compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owners. If we claim or appear to be experts on a certain topic or product or service area, we will only endorse products or services that we believe, based on our expertise, are worthy of such endorsement. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.  The sample of the Sparklehearts Lotion mentioned above was provided by EcoMom. The Sparklehearts Conditioner was purchased by me, soley because the product is so darn awesome. 
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