Archives for April 2009

Easter Blunder

I loved Easter as a kid.  My parents made it a big deal in our house.  There were new dresses and bonnets (for me, not for my brother ’cause that would’ve been weird); baskets filled with goodies magically appeared on the fireplace on Easter morning, and, of course, we headed to church where there was always a feeling of excitement and joy in the air as we celebrated our risen Lord.

I try to create an equal amount of excitment and joy for my kids and it seems to be working.  They had a wonderful Easter weekend filled with family, food and laughter.  We are thrilled to have my brother in town for a little while.  Sloan has been wanting to have a Star Wars party with his Uncle Brett for a long time now, ever since he found out that Brett liked Star Wars when he was a little boy too.  So Friday night we made a cake, got some decorations and watched Star Wars together.  The kids had a blast – and so did the grown-ups!  We even played pin the voice box on Darth Vader.  It’s a slightly odd way to celebrate Easter weekend, I’ll admit.

On Easter Sunday, I got up at the crack of dawn to make sure I had everything ready for everyone because I had to be at church by 7:45 to prepare for morning worship.  By 7:15, everyone was dressed and the obligatory photos were taken.  The Easter Bunny left a note the night before telling the kids that he took their baskets to Boss and Bushka’s house (my parents) so thankfully we didn’t have to deal with that. 

Here are our sweet Easter photos:

Dress #1

Dress #1

Tia in her Easter bonnet, which she didn't want to wear because she was a fraid it would mess up her hair.

Tia in her Easter bonnet, which she didn't want to wear because she was afraid it would mess up her hair.

The Brothers Stuart: Aren't they handsome?
The Brothers Stuart: Aren’t they handsome?

My babies

Dress #2
Dress #2

What’s with Dress # 1 & 2, you ask?  Well, therein lies the blunder.  After I left for church, with my brood dressed and ready to go, I got to church anticipating their arrival at the 9:00 am service.  But, my dear readers, my husband made a classic male mistake. 

Because they were ready so early, he decided to swing through Starbucks on the way to church.  And, because he was feeling so joyous and relaxed, he decided to bless his children by getting them hot cocoa. 

Oh yes he did!

Somehow he forgot that our daughter is the. messiest. child on planet Earth.  Thus, when they pulled into the church parking lot and he glanced back, he noticed she had spilled hot cocoa all down her dress.

So he took her home where he frantically tried to get the stain out of the Easter dress that I had so lovingly picked out – much to no avail.  Thus dress #2.  We are still working on the stain on the other dress.  *sigh* Boys.  Oh well – after I got over the initial annoyance, I actually found the situation quite amusing because only a daddy would think that giving a child hot cocoa in the car in her Easter dress was a good idea.  Lee was sheepishly apologetic and we’ve been laughing about it since.

Hope you all had wonderful Easters filled with joy and laughter, and minus irreparable stains.

*sorry about the photos not all  being in order. I get the distinct impression that WordPress might hate me.  I’m still learning.

It’s a New Day

We are back in the land of the living, though Landon is still a sick little boy. He did sleep last night and his fever finally broke, but he’s so congested and he’s just wiped out as evidenced by the fact that it’s 8:15 and he’s already taking a nap.

Because yesterday was such a rough day, I wasn’t able to post my feelings on the conscience protection plan for physicians.  In 2008, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services passed a measure that protected physicians who choose to not perform abortions.  In March of this year, the new administration announced plans to rescind this protection.  Midnight of last night was the deadline to sign an online petition stating your opposition of this measure and I’m sorry I did not get that link posted earlier.

But, it’s not too late to let the President, the HHS and your congressman know that you vehemently opposed such legislation.

It is baffling to me how two sided people can be on this issue.  Pro-Choice advocats clearly only support freedom of choice when it serves the purpose that they want it to serve.  But what about a doctor’s freedom to choose whether or not he wants to participate in something that he may find unethical or, at best, detrimental to the health of his patient?  Rescinding the protection for these doctors is the very antithesis of the freedom of choice.

Shame on those who support this and are pushing for it’s acceptance.

If you have a few moments today, please visit the Freedom2Care site to find out how you can support physicians rights to not practice abortion.  There are several links within the site that will explain what you can do to show your support for our physicians and their right to practice medicine without persecution.  And, if you have a blog, take a moment to post about this topic and pass on the above mentioned site.

Do not let this matter go unannounced.  We need to band together to protect our freedoms, which are slowly being pulled away from us.  Let’s vocally support our rights as citizens to choose doctors that meet our ethical standards and let’s support our physicians who are fighting to do what’s right even in the face of opposition.

No posting from me today…

I have a sick, sick little boy who just needs lots of snuggles right now.  Landon is fighting a nasty virus that is causing high fever, running nose and a red, raw throat.  He tested negative for strep, which kind of bummed me out because we could have at least gotten medicine for that… 

But, I will not be absent long, dear internets.  I have a time sensitive topic that I want to post about sometime tonight or early tomorrow morning, so come back soon!  Okay, my baby is crying in his crib so I’m off for some more fevery snuggles.

Go check it out…

And leave your thoughts.  I just posted over at the blogger’s guild my thoughts/questions regarding the AP’s recent decision to seek out copyright violators.  What do you guys think?

American Idol and other stuff

So I’m kind of enjoying talking about American Idol on Wednesdays.  It’s an easy topic idea that requires little thought – and I’m all over that which requires me to use minimal brain power.

So here it goes, and this is going to be brief because I’m tired today: I did not love Danny, especially the beginning.  I did like Kris and actually really enjoyed the big band feel to the song.  

I don’t understand the judges sometimes – make it your own, and then a contestent does and they yammer, you made it too much your own, blah, blah, blah. 

Li’l appears to have run her course on the show.  Scott is a doll but I think even he knows he’s on borrowed time.  Anoop did well last night but he still rubs me the wrong way so I didn’t love him.  Allison was good, but really?  What does a sixteen year old know about making someone love her?  That was a little weird.  Matt rocked it out.  He was crazy good.  And Adam, well I don’t know because the show went over and my DVR cut off.  It would appear from Simon’s reaction, though, that he did very well. 

In all, a pretty good show.  And I’m sorry my recounting of it is so dry.  I was up almost the entire night with Landon who is indeed sick.  Remember the awesome hugs and snuggles I told you about yetserday?  Yeah, it was a fever.  So I’m tired and feeling lazy today.  Don’t these kids know that mama needs her sleep?

For  a more entertaining version of events, visit Boo Mama’s site.

The Mathematical Probability of Interruption

I have a theory I’d like to posit.  And no, I’m not sure if I spelled or used the word “posit” correctly – moving on.

Without fail, when I make the concerted effort to get up early in the morning so I can have a quiet time or do some writing, my kids also wake up extra early.

Undoubtably, if I sit down for a moment midday to rest, read a book, read blogs, write, someone will fall down and skin their knee, need a drink, have to use the bathroom, or, as is the case right now with Landon, just suddenly need a few extra snuggles (which I am gladly doling out so this post may take forever to finish).

Okay, I’m back and let me just say that I just got some of the sweetest kisses and hugs from that precious baby.  Wow…I hope he’s not getting sick. 

Anyway, I posted a status update on my Facebook page the other day regarding this particular phenomenon and received a fascinating response from one of my friends that got me thinking.  Her idea was that children can sense a change in air pressure, so if we move early in the morning, it stirs them.  While I find this to be a fascinating theory, I’d like to take it a step further.

Thus, I have now established The Probability of Interruption, which I feel certain should eventually be adopted as a true Theory.  Or not. I don’t know much about that sort of thing, actually.  I’ve always been a literature kind of gal. Me and math are not friends.

The Probability of Interruption states that as the heartrate of the mother, the bpm (beats per minute), rises and falls, so will the bpm of the child also rise in fall in opposite and similar effect.

Got it? No?

An example – this morning, I took my resting heart rate when I woke up.  I had a resting bpm of 56.  Once I rose and moved around enough to use the bathroom, get dressed, come out to the computer and sit down, my bpm had risen to about 62.

And Tia woke up.  Even though it was quite early and she went to bed late last night, she still woke up.  Why is this? Why, it’s because of The Probability of Interruption.  As my heart rate rose, do did hers.  Though I made little to no noise, she was stirred from her slumber.  In this instance, her heart rate rose in similar effect to mine.

Now, after rushing to get everyone ready for the day and Sloan out the door, my bpm was at roughly 68.  I sat down at the computer and after 5 minutes of sitting, it had fallen back down to 63.  It was at this precise moment that Tia hit her brother and he came to me crying.  Moments after dealing with that, both children were in need of a drink.  Why is this?  Because…you got it! The Probability of Interruption.  As my heart rate dropped, the kids’ bpm’s rose in opposite effect thereby causing inappropriate behavior and the metabolic need for sustenance.

This is why I have such a difficult time getting anything done.  If I want to clean, someone will ultimately thwart that plan.  If I want to take a shower, you can be sure that someone will pull open the shower door with some sort of desperate need – all because as my heart rate slowed into a relaxed state, theirs rose into an agitated state, thus necessitating (?) the need to interrupt my reverie.

So, in effect, The Probability of Interruption pretty much guarantees that for the rest of my life, I will likely be interrupted any time I begin to get too comfortable.  My theory obviously proves that as fact.

And, while this theory can have some mild effect on fathers, it appears that mostly and mainly The Probability of Interruption applies to mothers alone.  Even if dad is the one to wake up early and mom’s bpm remains in the resting state, the children will most likely either sleep through dad’s movement, or they will wake up due to the noise that dad inevitably makes and come wake mom up rather than disturb dad. 

So there you have it, ladies.  You now have scientific evidence that your children are hard wired to make sure that you never fully accomplish anything to the full extent.  Oh, and incidentally, this theory works just as equally if mom is doing anything that raises her heart rate.  This means that you and your husband will most likely want to make judicious use of the lock on your bedroom door if you get my drift…and I think you do. (blush)

Now I’ve embarrassed myself and my bpm is surely rising because the kids are going wild.  Gotta go!

The one in which I laugh inappropriately

Here’s something that many of you already know about me: I am a crier. It doesn’t take much to get me going.  I know this isn’t a big deal , but it’s not something that I love about myself. 

You see, the problem is that I am a noisy crier.  I can’t cry softly.  If I try to cry softly, it usually just builds up until I explode into a slobbering, blubbery mess.  This can be quite humiliating when I’m, say, in a movie theater. 

I sobbed throughout much of my wedding ceremony.  The tape of the service is almost comical because I’m sniffling so uncontrollably.  But once I start crying, there’s no stopping that train until I get it all out. 

I have, over the years, developed a couple of defense mechanisms in an attempt to reign in my sobbiness.  The first is to fight with every fiber of my being against the tears, which can only work for so long.  At some point, though, when my throat is throbbing painfully, I have to sneak away to some place private where I explode like Krakatoa spewing tears and snot in every direction.  This is, obviously, not ideal but is sometimes necessary.  It’s served me well at the last couple of funerals I’ve attended where I’ve managed to keep it together relatively well until Lee and I get in the car, then I dissaolve and scare my poor husband near to death.  I don’t think he’s gotten used to this side of me yet.

My other defense mechanism tends to rear its ugly head at the most inappropriate of times.  I laugh.  It’s horrible and even more embarrassing than the crying itself.  What’s worse is the fact that I have little control over what happens in an emotional situation.  I never know if I’m going to be the loud crier, the suppressive exploder or the obnoxious laugher.  It just happens.

This was especially embarrassing a couple of months ago when I took Sloan to the doctor for his five year check up and he had to receive shots.  Oh, have I mentioned I hate needles?  And I hate watching my children go through pain?  This was a lethal combination for me that was sure to lead to some sort of humiliating reaction.

As the nurse shoved a needle into my son’s arm and he started to cry, I felt the all too familiar lump form in my throat.  Of course, I’m trying to be brave so I can’t cry in front of him.  The next thing I know, I’m laughing near hysterically and the nurse is looking at me like I’ve just grown a freakishly large second head.  I felt like a jerk.  But I didn’t cry.

On Friday night, we had a family night.  We set up the projector screen and shined the movie Marley and Me up on the wall.  It was sweet and fun, until Marley died.  My sweet, tender-hearted Sloan got so upset that he buried his face in Lee’s chest and sobbed.

Me? I laughed.  I laughed hard, all the while blinking back tears.  Tia, who was sitting on my lap, kept turning around and looking at me and saying, “What, Mom? What hunny?”  And that only made me laugh/cry harder until I’m laughing and racking in sobby breaths.


So, if any of us are ever together during an emotional time and I start laughing callously, please do forgive.  And take comfort in knowing that all it really means is that I’m a big fat baby who has no control over her emotions.  Don’t you all feel sorry for my poor husband now?  I do.

Oh, and incidentally – for those of you who have not shown Marley and Me to your young children, I’ll let you know that while it is very sweet and generally wholesome, there are at least two scenes that we had to fast forward and I had to clear my throat several times to cover up bad words.  It’s not a movie I would let my kids sit down and watch without Lee and I sitting with them to monitor.  But mostly I found it to be a great movie – just be prepared to comfort sad kiddos at the end.

10 Reasons Why Mom Bloggers Will Soon Rule the World

1.) We can simultaneously prepare a meal, discipline a child, clean a house, talk on the phone, write a post and dole out unending hugs and kisses.  That kind of multi-tasking is not matched by any politician – I don’t care where he got his degree.

2.) We deal with crap on a daily basis.

3.) The whining of politicians very nearly matches the whining we deal with every day from our children.  We got it covered. 

4.) We know how to find humor in situations that may seem humorless.

5.) We can get an entire household up and out the door on any given day and everyone usually looks put together – well, everyone except us, which leads me to my next point…

6.) We’re self-sacrificing. We put the needs of others above ourselves. Usually.  I mean, my son is crying right now because he’s hungry, but I want to finish this post…okay, this point isn’t exactly working is it?

7.) Most of us drive minivans and you already know how I feel about that.

8.) We’re used to interpreting the jumbled ramblings of toddlers.

9.) We’re not afraid of a little hard work and can clean up any mess, no matter how big it may be.  And we can do it while still maintaining control over our charges.

10.) We serve as teachers, nurses, personal assisstants, drivers, home maintenance, chefs, executors, and caregivers and we do it all for free.  Oh yeah, and we take the time to keep a written record of it all for future reference.

In short, mom bloggers keep the world goin’ round.

Morning Madness

A glimpse into a typical morning in the Stuart household:

6:00 am – Lee rises to go to an early breakfast.  I should get up with him as it would make the morning routine much smoother, but I don’t.  I roll over and go back to sleep.
6:50 – I am awoken by two, rather heavy, children bounding onto my chest. I take a few minutes to catch my breath and shoo them out, assuring them I’m planning on getting up right away.
7:01 – I drag myself out of bed. And go into the kitchen where my kids are attempting to make pancakes. I put the kibosh on pancakes and tell them I planned on oatmeal instead. A brief tantrum commences from the three year old. It resolves quickly when I threaten to send her back to bed.

Wondering why they can't have pancakes for the fourth time this week.

7:10 – I lay out clothes for the older kids while I go and retrieve this little bundle of sweetness:

spring-09-0387:14 – Everyone is dressed, but I must redress Tia who has put her pants and her underwear on backwards and is complaining of a “yedgie.”
7:16 – Start breakfast. Give Landon a cup of milk to get him to stop doing this:spring-09-042

7:18 – While the milk is heating on the stove, I help the kids transform their beds from this:

Sloan and Tia's lovely trundle bed

to this:spring-09-039
7:20 – Landon spills a mug of tea that Lee did not finish last night. I grab my handy-dandy ShamWow and test old Vince’s theory on its power to lift liquid out of the carpet. FYI-Vince lied.spring-09-040
7:22 – Sloan’s panicked voice calls me back to the stove where the milk is about to boil over. He’s stirring desperately.
7:26 – The mess is cleaned up and the oatmeal is ready. Everyone sits down to enjoy.spring-09-043
7:38 – We’re finished eating and the kids run off to brush their teeth while I clean up.
7:45 – Teeth are brushed, hair is fixed and shoes are on. Play time can commence. I continue to clean the kitchen, which apparently threw up over night whilst I slept.

Laight Saber battles occure daily. Landon is becoming increasingly violent with his.

Light Saber battles occure daily. Landon is becoming increasingly violent with his.

8:01 – Head to my own bedroom. Must make it go from this:spring-09-035 to this:spring-09-044
8:05 – Banish fighting kids to the basement so I can sneak in a quick shower.
8:15 – finally get in the shower and while there realize that we are out of soap so I have to use Lee’s Old Spice Body Wash. I smell like a dude. Also take note of just how nasty the shower is and make note to clean it…sometime…
8:30 – take break from getting ready to change Landon as the smell of death has slowly permeated the back of the house. Banish still fighting children to the backyard.
8:40 – I’m finally finished getting ready. I started out looking like this.



The finished product is this:

Like my new sweater? I got it yesterday for 5 bucks.  Whoop!

Like my new sweater? I got it yesterday for 5 bucks. Whoop!

8:43 – Sloan falls off his bike and needs a kiss and some sympathy.
8:49 – Get diaper bag ready for the day. Notice we’re out of diapers and toilet paper and, well, food. Try and figure out when I’ll get to the store.
8:55 – Sit out front to wait for our neighbor to come pick Sloan up for school.  spring-09-048

Take a few moments to stop and smell the roses bushes.

9:15 – After Carol picks Sloan up, I give the little kids a snack, then head out the door to go to a friends house for the morning. Decide to run through Starbucks on the way because I’m already exhausted and I forgot to eat breakfast.

And right now? I’m really, really tired. My Starbucks wore off about an hour ago so I’m headed to my nice, fluffy couch for a nap.spring-09

American Idol: Thoughts

I know you’re all dying to hear my thoughts on this season’s American Idol.  Well wait no more!  Here is exactly what I think.

Anoop: I’m sorry, but I have no mad love for Anoop.  He just kind of gets on my nerves and has from the beginning.  I think it’s unfortunate that he lasted longer than Alexis.  Last night was no exception.  I mean really – Usher?  I do feel for the guy because I think he’s trying just a little too hard, but honestly – nobody should try and do Usher unless they can back up the vocals with the entertainment.  Usher is an amazing performer – Anoop is not, therefore his performance came across as really bad karaoke. 

Megan: Oh how I want to like this girl.  She’s adorable, she’s got a great attitude and she has such a unique voice.  But she’s just not keeping up.  These last two weeks she’s sounded like an old lady in a seedy bar.  Megan needs to stick to coffee shop type song choices – Ingrid Michaelson, Adele, even Sara Bareilles.  And, for once I understood, and agreed with, Paula – Megan needs to sit on a stool because blessherheart, I’ve never seen someone more awkward in their movement.  Yeesh.

Danny: I do have mad love for Danny.  He looks like a man, he sings like a man and he has a great attitude.  But I did not love his song last night.  It could have something to do with the fact that I am apparently the only person in the world who doesn’t like Rascal Flatts.  So sorry to offend, but the lead singer’s voice is like fingernails on a black board for me.  So that was one hit against Danny.  And I thought he was so pitchy through much of the performance.  But the judges love him and I’m sure he’s just fine.

Allison: Before last week, Allison really irritated me.  Then she slayed Papa was a Rolling Stone and suddenly I kind of liked her.  But last night reminded me again that I’m not crazy about her.  No doubt about it, the girl can sang.  But I could not listen to an entire CD of her sanging screaming.  She’s cute and definately precocious, but not my favorite.  She is, however, the only girl who seems to have some longevity.

Scott: Oh sweet, sweet Scott.  I think he’s reached his peak on the show.  He’s a doll, but honestly, I would rather just sit and listen to him play piano rather than sing.  He has little control over his voice and I’m always a little nervous for him when he heads up into the upper part of his register.  And the hair?  Oh no – nononono. 

Matt: I do have me some mad love for Matt.  But he needs to develop more of a personality.  I think that’s why he keeps ending up in the bottom two.  He’s just not very interesting.  He’s a wicked performer, but he’s a little flat when he’s not singing and playing.  But I have hope that he’ll pull through because his version of Let’s Get It On from last week had me all swoony and stuff – so you know…C’Mon Matt!

Li’l: What is the matter, Li’l?!?  You can flippin’ sing, but why in the world would you think Celine Dion was a good idea?  People have been comparing her to Mary J. Blige for weeks, but she hasn’t done anything Mary J-ish since the early rounds and that’s going to hurt her.  She needs to step up her game or she’s gonna be out of there fast.  I did, however, want to pick up her daughter and give her a little squeeze because oh the sweetness!

Adam: I do like Adam, I really do.  That guy is a freak of nature.  I mean, seriously, he sings higher than I do!  I didn’t love last night’s performance as much as last week’s, but he still killed it.  Unfortunately I do not think I could listen to an entire album of him screeching like that so I’m not overly thrilled with the prospect of him winning.  But he’s still crazy good.

Kris: I love Kris. He’s adorable, first of all, and his wife is adorable.  He’s genuine and he’s really, really good.  Last night was, by far, his very best performance.  It was the first time that I thought he not only had the chops as a singer, but also as a performer and a personality.  I really hope he makes it to the top three along with Adam and Danny, because that would be a real competition wouldn’t it?

Alrighty then.  So there are my thoughts.  My hopeful prediction is that it will come down to Matt, Kris, Adam and Danny with either Danny or Kris ultimately taking the whole thing, though I do think Adam may be the one to beat. 

Aren’t you glad you stopped by today?  So tell me – what are your thoughts?