Thursday, January 31, 2013

What Happened to Barbie?

When did the way girls play with BarbieTM dolls change? I got my first Barbie around 1st or 2nd grade. The fun then was changing their outfits and playing with their hair. I was probably in 5th or 6th grade by the time I stopped. Now, girls get BarbieTM dolls when they are 3-years-old and have stopped playing with them by 2nd grade. The play is less about outfits and hair and more about pretend play--but, not the kind where Barbie and Ken kiss. When did this shift happen? I remember rows and rows of different outfits for BarbieTM in the stores. Now, it’s difficult to find any. I think it’s cute how my 4-year-old plays with hers, but it’s a little sad to think she will not find the same enjoyment out of them as I did. And, if Mattel is no longer offering clothing changes, you would think they could at least dress them in clothes that are a little less hoochie.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Report Cards for the Rest of Their Lives

I’m really upset over my kids’ report cards … I’m almost in tears. Both of them got a “W” (Working On) for “Accepts Disappointment.”  I told my husband, and he almost threw his dinner plate through the window. We just don’t get it! ;-)

In all seriousness, how freakin’ cute are pre-school report cards? We went through each item with them and asked them if they thought they got an “S” Satisfactory or a “W.” They were dead on for every single one. I love that at 4-years-old, they already know their weaknesses. And, I fear these will be on every report card and job performance review the rest of their lives. My husband and I would just look at each other, raise our eyebrows, grin a little, and nod. Nature or nurture—either way, these kids are screwed!

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Dinner Table Standoff

How long is too long for a dinner table standoff with a 4-year-old? We’re approaching two hours and it’s a pretty basic meal that he “should” like, or at least be able to swallow without gagging. I don’t always make them eat their food, but we’re going on at least two weeks of dinners now where they say, “I don’t like this,” and “How many bites do I have to eat?” I am so irritated. So, tonight, the answers were “I don’t care,” and “All of it!” And, continued with, “I don’t care if you sit here all night while the rest of us are in bed,” and “I don’t care if you don’t go to school tomorrow. You are not leaving until your bowl is empty.” Unfortunately for this kid, I rarely make empty threats. He may or may not be at school tomorrow.

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Sippy Cup Training Gone Awry

Soooo, this is how sippy cup training is going. And, before you tell me about the amazing spill-proof sippy cups, let me tell you there is no such thing where this kid is concerned. I challenged my 4-year-olds to get the awesome Thermos Foogo cups to spill, and they had no luck. "Future" has no problem.

And, he refuses to drink milk out of a sippy cup. Water he will drink (and also suck it into his mouth then let it run out down the front of him). Milk, he refuses. All he will do is what you see in this picture. I've tried warming it. I've tried snuggling him and feeding him like it was a bottle. I've tried every different spout in the sippy cup world. What am I missing? And, why do doctors make you feel like a loser if your kid isn't drinking from a sippy cup at 12 months and 1 day old?
So, for now, I will lay him back in my arms, let my hair fall down so he can stroke it while I bottle feed him his perfectly warmed milk. Ohhhh, now I get it. Tee hee!

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Apology to Future Me

How do I know my third child will be less well-behaved than my first two? I find myself telling him constantly, “Even when you do naughty things, I still want to eat you up.”

What is it about the babies of the family that makes parents “baby” them? Is it because the parents are more laid back? Are they just too damn tired to discipline? Is it because they’ve seen the result of their first-born children and wonder what the point was of getting on their case for every naughty behavior … didn’t seem to do any good? Is it parents’ last chance to raise a child who will like them when they are teenagers? Is it simply grasping desperately to those baby moments because we know they are the last baby moments we will have? In my opinion, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to his future teachers, babysitters, classmates, wife … and, of course to the future me.
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Saturday, January 26, 2013

I Had a Threesome

So, I had to see what all the fuss was about. I joined my hubby in a threesome with his affair today. We went to the box and I had a PB in KB and BJ, but I was DFL. I admit I enjoyed it, but fear what tomorrow's WOD will bring. He's talking about thrusts? EESH! Please share with anyone who is a CF widow. Maybe they will find inspiration. :-)

Read about the affair

Friday, January 25, 2013

Picking out Clothes

Picking out "matching" clothes to my 4-year-old daughter means picking a shirt she really likes and pants she really likes and putting them together. The kid has her own style. I love it!

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Curse of the Mommy Nap

What happens when Mommy takes a 1-hour-nap the day before? Mommy pays for it the next day by unloading the clean dishes from the dishwasher, and having enough dirty dishes to completely fill it again ... and then some. I don't understand how just one hour can set me so far behind. Does this happen to anyone else?

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Too Much Unwanted Advice

Here's some Crap No One Tells You about being pregnant when you already have two or three kids of the same gender. This is from a friend of a friend who has 3 boys and is currently pregnant. Totally appreciate where she is coming from here. Good luck, girl!

"Hormonal pregnant rant:

Don't approach me and tell me for my sake that you hope this baby is a girl. Would it be fun to have? Sure it would...
. But, A: if you ever met my first 3 you would know that I would be a very lucky woman to have another. B: I know it's sounds cliche, the only thing that has been on my mind is that it's healthy. And C: if I have another boy do you honestly think I'll be disappointed?

Shut up. Just shut up. It's getting old. And I'm way to edgy to continue to be polite about it."
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A Snitch ... To Be or Not To Be

This came from a friend. Any advice?

"okay, so I just caught three kids from next door peeing on the backdoor of the house on the other side of us...three middle school boys, the lady in that house passed away and her husband already moved out, they are trying to sell the house and have been having a really hard time selling it because it needs some updating inside...I'm guessing smelling pee on the backdoor isn't going to here's the question - Do you tell the parents of the boys? I let a lot of their antics go because kids are kids but this one seems like more of a correctable behavior situation...for the record I already ratted them out (to the nicer and saner of the two parental units involved, but still ratted them out)...right or wrong call?"

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Where's My Hazmat Suit?

I’ve disinfected every doorknob, light switch, toilet handle, and sink faucet; washed all towels and sheets; steam mopped the floors; and sprayed disinfectant throughout the house. Aside from dunking each of the kids in a bucket of Lysol and quarantining them to their rooms, I’ve done about all I can to keep the third kid from getting pink eye. Maybe I can tether each of them to a section of the house so they can see each other, but not touch. And, what did I do with my hazmat suit? Oh Crap!

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

How Did She Know My Daughter is a Princess?

We went to a restaurant where the waitress addressed my 4-year-old daughter as "Princess." When we left, she asked me with the utmost seriousness,"How did she know I was a princess?" What have we done???

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hubby is not Perfect, Neiter is BFF

So, I’m on the treadmill this morning, watching Kathie Lee and Hoda, and had an “Oh Crap! Realization of the Day.” Kathie Lee—maybe because she was wine-free today—made a most excellent point about living with your spouse. The topic was how women rely on their girlfriends, and the fact that sometimes the BFF is the first person a woman calls when something happens. The conversation then led to my Oh Crap! moment when Kathie Lee said that as much as we know about our BFFs and love them, we would still have complaints about them if we lived with them. Isn’t that the truth? We complain about our husbands and their bad habits around the house. But let’s face it, no matter who we live with, our roommates will not be perfect. That is useful perspective. Maybe I’ve been a little hard on my hubby. But Babe, don’t think this gets you out of picking up your socks or putting the toilet lid down.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Kids Are Positive

Kids are so positive, and I just finally realized that. Besides, “I don’t like okra” and “I don’t want to go to bed,” they really have no negative thoughts. My son said to me today, “You know Tick-Tock-Croc bit off Captain Hook’s hand?” I said, yes. Then, he said, “But, that is mean. Maybe Captain Hook’s hand is just hidden in his sleeve and he wears the hook over it.”

When do we become cynical and negative? Do we just get burned enough times or see enough horrible reality to make us realize the world isn’t gumdrops and lollipops, and it’s all downhill from there?

The Crap No One Tells You is how much of a schmuck you feel like the day you realize that everything out of your child’s mouth is positive and that you could take a lesson from that.

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Picky Eaters

At breakfast, "Ew, Mom, what smells like eggs? A-sgusting!" If you have picky eaters, how do you handle it? I follow the practice of I make what I make and they have to try it. Then, if they don't eat, they don't eat. I won't make them a different meal even when it's something I know they probably won't eat. Sometimes they surprise me, like with the chicken sausage and shrimp jambalaya last night. They loved it!

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

To One Condescending Career Mom

Let me preface by saying this is directed at one particular person (or anyone who thinks like her) who happens to work with my husband and belittled the fact that I do not have a career outside of taking care of my children. This in absolutely no way represents how I feel about children whose mothers have a career. Most of my closest friends are successful working women and their kids are amazing.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Twas the Night Before Break's End

Twas the night before break’s end, when all through our pad
not a preschooler was stirring … it was 8:05 … not bad!
The school bags were hung by the back door with care
in hopes that mom won’t forget snacks to prepare.

The children were half hanging off of their beds
While visions of the playground danced in their heads
And daddy with his beer, and I with my nightcap
had just settled down after a
long day of crap.

When from the second floor their arose such a clatter,
I said, “What the hell? What IS the matter?”
Up the flight of stairs I flew like a flash,
tore open the bathroom door and … crash.

The moon from my son with his pants pulled down low
stared at me when I caught him having to go.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But my daughter with her lovie covered in tears.

Seeing my daughter was about to get sick,
I said, “Daddy, you better get up here and quick.”
More rapid than eagles her dinner it came,
and she hurled and coughed and I cried, “Who’s to blame?”

This holiday break has broken me bad
Why couldn’t this have happened last week like her dad?
To top it all off, it’s all over the wall,
all over the floor, all over the hall.

We’ve spent every second of every day
Three weeks together and we liked it that way.
But as school is ready to start once again
I counted on our schedule resuming as planned.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard by my side
my husband with towels and spray and Tide.
As I wiped off her face and was turning around,
up comes my son’s dinner with a horrible sound.

He was covered in puke, from his head to his feet,
and his clothes were stained from food we forced him to eat.
A moment at dinner we wish we could have back,
Why didn’t we, for once, just cut him some slack?

His eyes – filled with tears, how sickly, how wary,
Her cheeks were like roses, her fever was scary!
His poor little hands were shaking below,
Her knees were too weak; she was moving so slow.

We leaned them over the sink to brush their teeth
And the stench encircled our heads like a wreath;
We looked at the floor, we looked at their bellies
Then we thought, “We shouldn’t have given them jelly.”

They were naked in the tub, those two kids of mine
And I laughed when I realized they were going to be fine.
The fight in their eyes and the cooling of their heads,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

I spoke not a word, but went straight to my work,
And cleaned up the kids; then turned with a jerk.
And pinching his fingers aside of his nose,
My husband scrubbed and deodorized with rose.

We sprang to our beds, this time with pails on the floor
Who had a crappy day? Well, we’re not keeping score.
But I sure know one thing as I turn out the lights
This break ain’t close to over … not after this night!
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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Gift Repercussion

26 = The number of batteries required to run the Christmas gifts for 3 children. I’m sure it won’t surprise you to know that 85% of these toys were given by people who don’t live in this house. I’m sure it also won’t surprise you that 100% of these toys are noisy.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Crap No One Tells You … Sometimes Your Family is Like the Griswolds

Oh, the holidays. I’m so happy they are over, but miss them oh so much already.

For some reason, my husband let me convince him to drive to my parents’ house in Nebraska for Christmas. We live in Virginia. Did you hear me? We live in Virginia and we drove with 4-year-old twins and a 12-month-old baby to … Nebraska … Western Nebraska … 1600 miles one way minus the many mile detours just to find a Starbucks or a gas station with a bathroom clean enough for my OCD daughter to go #2.

We’ve done it two other times—when the twins were 10 months and again when they were 3 (and I was pregnant). Both times were in the summer, where stopping for diaper changes and potty breaks didn’t mean freezing your tushy off (quite literally, poor baby Grafton). It also didn’t mean rerouting to avoid snow storms and/or being caught in snow storms where a 3-day trip turned into a 5-day trip. In the winter, there is no stopping at a city park in West Virginia to run around, or hitting Churchill Downs in Kentucky to see the horses, or touring the free zoo in St. Louis, or catching a game at the College World Series in Omaha. There are only the walls of the minivan as they close in on you with coats, blankets, flying pacifiers, repeating movies, crushed Goldfish, mounds of artwork, beeps from dueling kid tablets, and bickering of two patience-drained adults.

I turned on auto-pilot, which included these programmed phrases:

“If you throw your paci one more time, I’m gonna …”

“I know, sweetie, you just want to get out of that chair. Just hang in there another few hours.”

“We were just in the bathroom 10 minutes ago. You seriously have to go AGAIN?”

“Stop touching your brother.”

“Stop touching your sister.”

“No, we are not even close to Grandma Pat’s. The next person who asks me that is giving their LeapPad to me for the rest of the day.”

“Sure, I’d be happy to relieve you of driving conveniently during the kids’ nap time.”

“Oh, the baby is awake? Oh, you are ready to drive again? Sure thing.”

You would think all would be better by the time we arrived at our destination. But, the next day, the rest of the family arrived. Now, with 20 people living under the roof of one modest farm house, the fun would begin … and so would the stomach bug. We shared our Virigina germs, as well as those obtained from bathrooms and hotels from the Mid-Atlantic to the Midwest. One brother and his family threw in California germs, and those picked up from their airline trip. Add in Colorado and Kansas, and we concocted an unstoppable virus that swept through every family in the house. Suddenly, mom’s home cooking and fresh-baked goodies didn’t sound so good … nor did they look as good the second time around all over the parents of the sick kids who couldn’t quite make it to the bathroom. My baby had it come out the other end, leading to the worst diaper rash I have ever seen. Even sitting on my lap was excruciating for him. Poor little guy.

At one point, my only reaction was to laugh hysterically. I don’t know why. But, I couldn’t stop. A few others joined me until all of our stomachs hurt from laughing so hard, while one of my sisters-in-law started crying and planning her immediate escape. About 5 minutes later we were in a full-on discussion regarding our future plans to celebrate Christmas in July.

You’d think we would have learned from two years ago, when everyone ended up with strep throat, but no one knew it until we were all back home with our airways nearly blocked from the swelling. We flew that year, which was a catalyst for driving this time. My daughter got sick while were at my parents’ house and was already about 2-3 days into it when we boarded our flight. My husband and I started feeling it that day. My son didn’t complain of any symptoms, but when we landed in Chicago O’Hare, we were just steps off the tarmac when he threw up all over the floor and himself. I swept him up and off to the bathroom, when—lucky me—he threw up again on me. There I was in the airport bathroom throwing a perfectly good size 2T outfit in the trash, leaning my hair under the faucet to wash out the vomit, and doing my best to wipe my clothes down as I only packed extras for the kids.

Then, because of bad weather, our flight was cancelled back to Newark, where we left our car after seeing my in-laws in New Jersey. We had them route us to Richmond (home), but when we got there at almost midnight, we had to rent a car and car seats, which took just long enough to then miss the after-hours clinic. Can you see now why we thought driving would be less hassle?

We tried to take precautions at the house, changing out bathroom towels on the hour, intermittently spraying Lysol, and sending everyone outside to run around (though when it’s 12 degrees for a high, those excursions were brief).

Though, as bad as all this sounds, we still look back on it and say it was a great time. The child-like male adults got in their game of snow football. A couple of the cousins enjoyed some sledding. All of the kids and adults participated in a roughhousing session at some point during the trip (most certainly contributing to the spread of germs, as well as being the culprit for a black eye and a couple goose eggs). The adults discovered new holiday cocktails and sat down to many competitive card games. The oldest nieces played Christmas carols on the piano for my 100-year-old Grandfather and the residents of his assisted living home, while the little ones sang under their breath, tucked under the arms of their moms. And, the kids played with their cousins as if they have played as best friends every day of their lives. And, that’s really what I want to remember about these trips. That’s why we continue to do it, knowing the consequences, too, will be memorable. I love my family and ALL that we share (almost all)!