Archives for April 2008

He loves me

This morning, Sloan came up to me radomly and threw his arms around my neck.

“I love you, mommy,” he said. “You’re my favorite mommy.” Then he kissed my cheek and took off to play, leaving me in a puddle on the floor.

Isn’t it interesting how quickly “mommy guilt” can take over us? From the second our children are born, we mother’s are plagued with fears that we aren’t doing things right. We should have fed them an hour sooner, we should have let them sleep longer, we should have kept them in bed with us, etc… I don’t know a single mother who hasn’t felt guilty or bad about something they’ve done. Yet, ultimately, we all do the best that we know how and we all have to learn along the way. There are times that I feel like an utter failure as a mom. But then, just when I feel like I can’t go on anymore, Sloan throws his arms around me, or Tia cuddles up on my lap and I realize that my kids are awesome, they’re healthy (relatively), they’re sweet (mostly), they’re smart (brilliant) and they love me. Maybe I’m not that bad after all.

My son the wanderer

Sloan is in such a bad habit lately of walking away from home and going to to our neighbor’s house to “talk.” Really what the little mooch wants is some kind of treat, which she usually doles out readily because she’s very sweet and is a grandma so her pantry is stocked. It’s rather infuriating though because I don’t want my kid to be that pesky neighborhood kid that everyone dreads. Today he went over to our other neighbor’s house and asked if he could come in and play. I couldn’t find him and was walking all over the place calling his name. It freaked me out and infuriated me. There are people building a house behind us so I started fearing that someone may have snatched him away. When he finally came traipsing out their back door, I was livid. I made him come inside, then when he protested further discipline was much needed. I’m having a hard time getting him to understand that it’s annoying for him to just walk into other people’s yards. I’m also trying to get him to understand that he doesn’t need to just go up to any stranger and befriend them. It’s hard to teach a kid like Sloan that because part of what makes him Sloan is his extreme friendliness and outgoing nature. I love that about him so I don’t want to break that spirit. I do, however, want him to be more careful. I am fully confident that if someone came up to Sloan and told him they had candy or a puppy somewhere that he would follow them. That scares me to death. I’m not sure how to teach that caution. Any suggestions?

Broaching a no-no topic

So, I read on my dear friend Tiffany’s blog not long ago that there are three topics one should avoid – sex, religion and politics. Well, I’m diving in folks. Let’s talk about politics for a moment shall we? I am admittedly fairly uninterested in politics. That’s not to say that I don’t take seriously my right to vote for those who I think are going to best meet the needs of my family and our country. But when I start trying to understand the political world, I must say I get pretty overwhelmed, and also pretty annoyed. I especially get tired of it all during presidential election years. Is it just me or are most politicians a bunch of overgrown toddlers all kicking and screaming every time they don’t get their way? This whole back and forth stuff between Obama and Clinton (which, unfortunately, McCain has now joined) is ridiculous. Hillary Clinton is one prissy hip pop and eyeroll away from “I told you so,” and Obama is treading perilously close to “I know you are but what am I.” And now McCain is getting into the back and forth game throwing out his own barbs. Is there no one out there who is above all this? These people, one of whom will be our future leader, are not all that different from Sloan and Tia. They just have a vocabulary that’s further expanded than “uh-huh,” and “uh-uh.” Seriously, let’s grow up and be adults here. Politics seems to have become more of what the other guy did wrong, and less of how we can move forward as a country. For the last eight years, the democrats in Washington have been practically on their stomachs, kicking and screaming, looking for every way possible to say “That’s not fair!” Don’t get me wrong, either. The Republicans have not exactly stepped up to the plate as the bigger “Person” either. When the Dems took the House, the Republicans walked around with their lower lips sticking out and chin’s trembling. And I fully expect them to take on the role of pouter if a Democrat takes office. I guess I’m just tired of it. It’s sad that the very people we are supposed to be entrusting our well being as a country to are the very people that we tend to distrust the most.
Now I don’t think that politicians do everything wrong. I think they do a lot of things right…and a lot of things wrong. Obviously we need leaders to step up and get things done. And most politicians do a fair job of that. Mostly I’m just tired of the immaturity in Washington. I put up with my kids bickering all day long, so forgive me if the last thing I want to do is sit and watch a candidate give one more “tattle tale” speech. How about telling us what you’re going to do and stop telling us what the other guy’s not going to do? And while you’re at it, don’t make promises you can’t keep.
When I was in eigth grade, I attended Crestview Jr. High, which at that time was a three year Jr. High. In the girl’s bathrooms at Crestview, the toilet paper holders were really annoying (I’m going somewhere with this, I promise). They were just a long peice of metal that the janitors shoved a roll of toilet paper on (and I use the word paper in an almost completely literal sense – that was rough stuff!) So you couldn’t just pull down on the roll to get toilet paper off, you had to unravel it from around the bar, and the stuff was so thin that you needed a lot of it, so it was a real hassle to go to the bathroom! Anyway, the ninth grader elected school president that year, Tracy whatsherface, told us all in her campaign speech that she would make sure, if we elected her president, that all of those toilet paper holders would be replaced. Well of course every girl in the school voted for her and she won. And I never really saw or heard from her again. And I feel quite certain that were I to walk into Crestview Middle School today, those awful toilet paper holders would still be there. Sometimes that’s how I feel about politicians. They are promising us better holders, and perhaps even a little 2 ply, yet we’re still wiping with the same course hard paper that we have to unroll square by square. Do I sound bitter? I’m not bitter. I know many politicians do a lot of wonderful things. And, while I haven’t agreed with everything President Bush has done, I have respected him for sticking to his guns and doing what he felt needed to be done. Perhaps he could have been a little more teachable in some areas, but you have to give the guy credit for doing what he said he’d do. Okay, you don’t have to give him credit. Whew. I’m probably really stepping in it now huh? The point of this is that I am mostly just tired of the fighting. I don’t even know what half of them are talking about anymore because all they’re doing is trying to smear the next guy. I find it difficult to make an informed decision on who would be best for our country when I can’t see past the name calling and finger pointing. So there we have it. You don’t have to agree with me. I won’t be offended and I hope I didn’t offend. This is my personal opinion that’s been brewing because every time I go to the gym, CNN or FOX News is on and I am stuck watching this stuff while I work out. And now you can all breath a sigh of relief because I am finished with this little rant. From now on, I’ll try to stay in the safe zone and stick to stories about the kids. But I won’t make any promises.

Good weekend, bad night

Well, we had a lovely weekend, although it was ridiculously cold up here! Lee went to Branson for the weekend with his dad and brothers and his mom came to St. Louis to stay with me and the kids – and I am so glad she was here! It’s just so nice to have an extra set of hands, you know? Especially when those hands are so gifted at the laundry :)! I am very grateful that she was here. It gave the kids and I a chance to have more fun. Sloan, Tia and I went to Monkey Joe’s on Friday, which, if you’ve never been, you should go. Super fun! Then I took them to this kids health expo on Sat. morning, which was slightly disappointing but oh well. But all in all, it was a great weekend. I even got to go on a date with my dad Friday night, which was so fun! We never get to go out just the two of us, so it was nice to just be with him and be able to talk. We went to Brandt’s down on the Loop – another great place. They had live music, an old jazz group, that was fabulous! So, yay for fun weekends. Oh, and I found one toy that I do believe may be worse than the aforementioned talking bird from Hades… a kazoo! The kids both got one at the Expo this weekend and they’re awful. I may accidentally step on them today…
The bad night in the title refers to last night. Landon seems to have regressed in his sleeping. Not so fun. He got a cold and was sleeping awesome in his car seat, and now won’t go back to the crib. He was up twice last night and the second time we attempted the cry it out trick, which did not work so well. So, I’ve been up since 4:30 and I’m feeling it right now! Luckily naps are coming soon!!!

Literal Art and the worst toy ever created

So Sloan came home from school with this masterpiece the other day. He was very proud of it. I placed it in the window in our kitchen. When Lee came home he looked at it told Sloan how cool it was. “What is it? What does it represent?” he asked.

“It’s just bread and goldfish,” Sloan responded, looking up at Lee as if he had just sprouted a second head.

Riiiight. So, it’s clearly not abstract art.

In other Lee stories (I post these with his permission), the other night Sloan and Tia were running around the house after their bath. They like to run “in their nakeds” as Sloan says. Apparently Sloan tripped and twisted his foot. He cried pretty hard and it was his “I’m really hurt” cry as opposed to the “I’m just making noise” cry. So Lee spent some time putting pressure on the foot and turning it to make sure there wasn’t any real damage. Then, in what was an apparent attempt to be funny gone terribly awry, Lee told Sloan to stand on his feet, then reach down and touch his toes. When Sloan reached down, Lee pushed him. He was hoping to make Sloan laugh and forget about his pain. Instead, Sloan fell on his face and twisted his wrist underneath him. So now the concern was not whether he had broken his foot, but his wrist. Sheesh. Boys (eyeroll).

Then, yesterday Lee came home for work all bright eyed and excited.

“Where are the kids?” he asked. “I’ve got a surprise for them.”

I was in the nursery trying to clean out the closets and drawers of all the clothes that no longer fit. I heard Lee tell the kids to sit down on the couch and close their eyes.

“Now, this is something for you guys to share.”

At this point, my heart fell slightly because my kids and sharing do not mix well. Then, I heard a bag crinkling and Lee told the kids to open their eyes. This is what I hear.

“Oh boy! Thanks dad! It’s a talking parrot!”

At this point I almost cried and let me tell you why. When we go to my parents condo, there is a man that lives down there that is precious and he loves kids. Every time we come, he brings this fake, talking parrot that repeats everything you say to Sloan to play with. After about ten minutes of Sloan screaming at the parrot and it screaming back at him, I generally feel a migraine coming on. That bird always mysteriously ends up on the very highest shelf, where he stays until we leave and have to give it back to Mr. Neal. This is the exact bird toy that Lee bought for the kids. It’s like a cruel joke. When he came in the bedroom he was all smiles.

“They love it!” he said.

“Are you mad at me?” I asked. “Have I done something to offend you in any way?”

It was at this point that he realized what he had done. He started laughing, and God love me, I tried to laugh with him, I really did. Then he offered a mild apology. “It’s just so fun to shop at Cracker Barrell,” he said. So now, as I post this, Sloan and Tia are in the basement screaming at the top of their lungs at the parrot and laughing hysterically as it screams back at them. And I am secretly plotting revenge on my husband.

I hate thunder

I don’t think any of my kids are going to nap today because of the thunder. That does not make for a happy mama.

Tia Tales and other weekend highlights

Well, it’s been quite awhile since I have posted a tale of my crazy daughter. So here we go. Saturday was gorgeous here! The first day that I feel like I could truly call a perfect day. So, late that afternoon, we decided to take the kids to the park for the first time in months. Lee had to run through Fed Ex on the way, so I gave the kids some cereal to munch on in the car and off we went. At Fed Ex, the kids and I sat in the car and waited on Lee. They were happily chomping on their Gorilla Munch (think Kix, only organic) and I was reminiscing as I listened to Micael Jackson on my MP3 Player. Then I heard Tia.

“Mama, Mama.”

I looked back and she was pointing at her nose (can you tell where I’m going with this?) Because she’s had a cold, I reached back and did the mom pinch (you know squeezing as much snot out of her nose as I can, then wiping it somewhere discreet, like her pants. Gross…I know.) But when I did that I noticed a knot in her nose. Yep. You guessed. She had shoved a piece of Gorilla Munch all the way up her nose. It was now lodged in the skinny part of her nasal passage. Lovely. So, I stuck my pinky up there and tried to get it out. All that happened was blood began pouring out of her nose. Literally, a steady stream of blood. Well, at this point Sloan is quite freaking out. He’s not so tough when it comes to blood. Neither am I. I also have nothing in my car to wipe it up with, so I jump out of the car and tear into Fed Ex, my hands covered in blood saying in as calm and cool a voice as I can muster up, “Do you guys have any Kleenex or paper towel?” Lee pretends not to know me. I see some paper towel on a little rack and grab a few and run back out to the car. Tia has now smeared blood all over her face and up to her elbow. Sloan is near comatose from his severe freaking out and I’m giggling because only Tia could do this. Praise God she just recently figured out how to blow her nose. After a couple of blows, the now soggy piece of Gorilla Munch dislodged itself and I was able to get the bleeding to stop. Then I had to do the spit and wipe all over her face to get her cleaned up. Meanwhile, she’s just looking around like “What’s the big deal?” We then spent a significant amount of time talking about why we do not put anything in our noses.

In other news, Lee completed the marathon relay yesterday. You’ll notice that I did not include myself in that, because I realized not long ago that there was absolutely no way that I was going to manage to pull that run off. And my friend Amy knew someone who wanted to take my place so I gladly reliquished my spot knowing that it was much less shameful to back out ahead of time than to have to stop and walk during the race. But I am proud of Lee. And a little annoyed at how good of an athlete he is. He hardly trained at all, but still managed to go out and run 6.4 miles in 54.5 minutes! That’s crazy. And he was hurting! But he made it and wants to do it again.

The kids and I did drive downtown to watch him, which, incidentally, I deserve a friggin’ medal for managing to get all three kids downtown, park, find Lee, watch the race, drive them by the Arch, and get home all without losing my patience or getting lost. It was actually fun! A quick Sloan story, as we were walking back to our car, we passed a man who had run in the race…in about as tight of lycra pants as one can find. They were a deep blue with large polka dots all over them and they left nothing to the imagination. As we’re passing, Sloan says – loudly – “Wow, mom. He has on funny pants. I could see his booty and everything!” Nice. The above picture is of all of us after Lee and his team finished. And finally, I’m posting a picture of Landon and all his chubbiness. He’s so cute and fun these days. Very smily and happy. He’s got another cold too, poor little guy, and it stinks because he was just getting good at sleeping in his bed and it’s back to the car seat. Oh well. Bye for now, blog world!

Another sign of spring…which leads me to:

My five most absurd fears.

1. I was just downstairs working on some laundry and I saw it… lurking in the corner, it’s beady eyes fixed on me, waiting to pounce and drive me to an early grave. That’s right, it was a cricket. Now before you think poorly of me that I would be so terribly frightened of a cricket, you must know that the cricket’s that lurk in our home are not your ordinary, run of the mill crickets. We get what are called Cave crickets and if you look at that picture you will understand how I nearly kill myself trying to get away from one of those suckers. Not only do they look like they could kill you, they also jump like ten feet in the air. Also, when I attended Baylor, every fall the crickets seemed to descend upon Waco, filling every crevice with their creey, crunchy bodies.

Literally, crickets would fall from the sky. It was like a plague.

2. I am terrified of airplane bathrooms.

Someone once told me that they heard an airplane bathroom fell out of a plane and plummeted to the ground. That story has always stuck with me so every time I go into the bathroom on a airplane, my heart starts racing, my hands shake, and I try to get out as fast as I can. I usually unlock the bathroom door and flush just as I’m leaving because I figure that if the bathroom’s going to disconnect itself from the plane, it will do so due to the sucking motion of the flush.

The absurdity of this fear should need no explanation. I’m guessing the story I heard isn’t even true – I mean, it’s not like the bathrooms are just stuck precariously on the side of airplanes. Still, I can’t help but think of how awful a death that would be. Plummeting to the ground with my pants around my ankles. Valid or not, I’m not taking chances.

3. Getting eaten by a shark. This is actually not that absurd considering how often we spend time in the ocean, but the likelihood of it actually happening is quite low. Still, I get very nervous, particularly when I’m in an ocean where I can’t see through the water.

4. Getting pregnant again and it being more than one baby. Need I say more?

5. Losing my hair. That’s a silly thing to fear, but I have a really big head and I also have a couple of moles on my head. I would look weird without hair.  Although I do think it would be fun to have a closet full of wigs. I’d wear a different color and style every single day.

As I said, these are my most absurd fears. Some fears are reasonable, like something happening to the kids or Lee, spiders, etc…But these are the things that when I sit back and think about it, I have to laugh at how ridiculous it is to be scared of such nonsense. Nonetheless, I am scared – no, scratch that…I am petrified of these five things.

I’m also not going back downstairs until Lee gets home and tracks down that cricket.

It’s the cricket or me and if push comes to shove, he can have the basement.

Potties and Revolving Doors

You would think that since I have successfuly potty trained one human being, I would have a little confidence in my ability to potty train a second. Wrong! I feel like I’m walking around with two left feet, stumbling over myself to figure out what on earth to do with poor Tia. To train or not to train…that really is the question. On the one hand, I think that she’s fairly ready, though I think she may still be a little young. And the youth factor is what’s getting me. Well, that and the fact that I am gulumping around the house like a moose trying to take her to the bathroom but not timing it right at all. I think this is just poor timing for me, not necessarily her. With Sloan still in school and it still be kind of cold out, a lot more is required of me. She gets cold without pants on, or she wants to go outside and play so I have to bundle her up, which makes accidents even more of a hassle. Plus, my mom is out of town for two weeks which means I have no help. I really need a couple of days alone with Tia. We need Potty Boot Camp! So, my thought was that I would just put her in pull ups but really talk them up like they’re underwear and still take her to the bathroom but not have to deal with the mess if our timing’s off. I guess that’s fine for now, but it’s not very effective training. Oh well. My one solice is that it will not be like this forever right? Right?
I have come to the conclusion, however, that I will likely never get a good night’s sleep again. Apparently, our bedroom has a revolving door and it appears our children like to come through it at all hours of the night (or cry out for us to come to them). A typical night for us usually includes Landon getting up once to eat, Sloan getting up once for any plethora of reasons (from being scared to needing more light to his toe hurting…that’s right his toe hurting. This is actually one of his more frequent middle of the night complaints.), and Tia generally waking up at the crack of dawn and waking up at least one of her brothers in the process. Last night we even got the joy off a tumble out of bed. We heard this crash about 10:00 and it scared us both. We went running into the nursery and found Tia standing in a daze next to her bed. Now she has a toddler bed so I’m not sure how she managed to fall such a short distance and make such a loud noise. Luckily she’s like super sleeper and went right back to bed. And Landon didn’t wake up, which was a huge praise. So if you see me and I look tired…it’s because I am. But, on a happier note, it’s beginning to look a lot like spring! The trees are budding, the grass is green and my eyes are running! Woohoo! I can’t wait for warmer weather!!!

Potty Training, Day 1

I decided to try and start potty training Tia today. I’m seriously questioning that decision now, though. The problem is not that she is not ready, but that I’m not. It’s much more difficult to do when I’m dealing with two others. Sloan was so easy but I was able to focus on that and nothing else for as long as it took to get it done. He was also significantly older than she is right now. But, she seems pretty ready. And she’s so dang independent that I’m tired of fighting her to put her diaper on. At least with underwear she can dress herself. Tia was a baby when I potty trained Sloan and she slept all the time. So I could focus on him and stay home and really be alert and ready all the time. I don’t have that luxury with Tia. I think she’s only peed in the toilet once today. Every other time it’s been on the floor. This is overwhelming. I’ll give it a few more days, then we may have to go back to pull ups for a little while longer. Blah.