Navigating the sticky, jam-covered road of life.  

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Smooth Flying and Lots of Mints, I hope.

Travel day is upon us.  I think we're totally packed.  Of course I'm probably forgetting some crucial item that when discovered missing, will illicit a massive fit from my drama queen daughter.  Girls are so emotional.  Of course I've let them pack the babies of their choice, but when bedtime comes it will naturally be the wrong baby.  Same with books.  I've had some of their favorites packed away for some time, just to help them become "new" again.  They will most certainly be the wrong books come storytime.  

It's become increasingly difficult to pack clothes for Sunshine.  She really likes to take charge of her ensembles, and I completely support that.  I'd like to think that I'm helping her develop some self-confidence.  As long as her clothes are clean, and she's warm, the "what to wear to school today battle" is not a hill I want to die on.  However, it might mean she goes to school on a lovely winter day in a sundress.  I do insist on leggings and a shirt underneath.  I usually also let her choose how she wants her hair, as long as it looks neat.  But when we travel, I would prefer my children not look like rag-a-muffins.   I'm a little afraid of the tantrum that will ensue when she realizes that the butterfly dress was not packed.   It will be enough to completely throw her day off.  Hopefully letting her choose from a group of neatly bagged (complete) outfits will be enough to satisfy her urge to control.  

Luckily Ladybug still doesn't care what she's wearing.  As long as it has easy diaper access, she's a happy camper.  I am worried about the "lap child" portion of today's traveling.  She's so not going to want to sit in our laps.  I'm afraid that the fact that we're flying out at naptime is also not going to help.  My kids are sleepers... in bed... in a dark room.  They've never slept with us, or in our arms.  So the potential for a cranky, tired kid who can't sleep and doesn't want to sit in our lap is high.  I can just see the glares on the faces of our fellow travelers today.  

It's absolutely exhausting flying with children.  Most people don't see the sheer energy that is required on the part of parents to ensure a good flight.  We constantly worry about the people in front of us, and is Sunshine kicking their seat?  The people around us, and are our kids too loud?  You have to be so on top of things, anticipating the wants and needs of the children well in advance of the children asking for something.  One little misstep, and you are automatically relegated to the status of lousy parent who let their kid scream "throughout the entire flight."  People are so intolerant and unforgiving.  

Here's hoping I have everything; books, a new notebook for drawing, raisins, apple bars, magna doodle, babies, and mints.  Lots of mints.  Sunshine knows what good Mint behavior is.  We're trying to relate that to good plane behavior.  Ladybug loves them too.  She just doesn't have a great grasp on the need for good behavior to get a mint.  Maybe I could convince our fellow travelers that they'll get a mint if they don't stare at me like I'm ruining their entire vacation simply by daring to bring my kids on a plane.  My kids can certainly show them what good Mint behavior looks like!    

Well, if I don't get the chance to post tomorrow... Have A Very Happy Thanksgiving!  

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Butterflies, continued.

So... any suggestions on what I should do with the butterflies that are now almost 3 weeks past their "expiration date?"  I'm so not hiring a pet sitter.  I think I just may have to release them if they're still here when we return from visiting family.  

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Things They Take to Bed

There were never any loveys or binkys in our house.  Sunshine never needed them.  The pacifier was thrown out of the crib at age 7 months, never to be seen again.  She never really adopted a special blanket or toy that she had to have to sleep.  Secretly, I was both disappointed and glad.  I'm a bit of a germ-a-phobe.  The thought of my kiddo physically attached to a potential germ magnet gives me the shivers.   But I still have my blanket from when I was little.  Actually I have both of them.  Yes, Grandma Hay.  My elephant blanket and my blue knit blanket are alive and well!  I still remember the smell of the elastic on the corners of my elephant blanket as it came out of the dryer.  It's the scent of my childhood, or at least I like to think it is.  I'm sure my parents would disagree.

I would love it if Sunshine attached herself to something that she could look back and hold as an adult.  Now, there is Jungley, that beautiful little elephant that Sunshine herself picked out a couple of years ago.  She doesn't have to have Jungley to sleep, but it's definitely her favorite animal.  

Now Ladybug's attachments are absolutely riotous.  There are several things that stay in her crib; her pillow, a baby, a barbie, several books, maybe a sippy cup of ice water, 2 soft blankets.   The books are a must have.  As soon as we start to say our nighttime prayers, Ladybug scurries around the room and tosses several new ones in.  Given her penchant for wearing dirty clothes on her head, her newest attachment should not surprise me.  She has taken to picking out a piece of clothing from the hamper and taking it to bed with her.   It's almost always something of Sunshine's that was worn that day.  I do try to hide the really messy things.  Last night it was a little different.  She was hell bent on taking a cold, wet washcloth, that I had used to clean her face, to bed with her.  I couldn't let her do that.   Even I have my boundaries.  I hid the washcloth as deep in her hamper as I could.  She was crushed, but as we finally finished saying her prayers, she grabbed a pair of Sunshine's jeans.  They were the only thing that could console her.  I could put the hamper up, but I'm sure my kiddo would find some piece of used clothing somewhere.  I actually think this behavior will eventually extinguish itself.  Probably when we move her out of her crib and she has the ability to curl up with her sister instead of just with her sister's clothes.  

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Because you were all so patient...


The dinner party last night was a great success.  Amazing considering one of Todd's bosses decided that day that no one needed to take off for Thanksgiving.  Nothing says thankful like telling your employees that you don't care what their plans might be for the holidays.  The food was good, the conversation was plentiful, and no one cried.  A high standard of success for your average kid's birthday party or a dinner party with colleagues who don't socialize together.  

We were lucky enough to not get hit by the stomach flu that roared through Sunshine's classroom.  She was one of three kids who didn't get sick.  I can't tell you how thankful I am that we dodged that bullet.  Wow, I'd better find some wood, and fast.  That was practically an invitation for the Gods to smite me with an extra long incubation period.  

All in all, things are going well.  Sunshine is doing moveable alphabet work and wants to skate all the time.  Thanks, Aunt Ashley.  Ladybug has started trying to console her big sister when she's having one of her drama queen moments.  It's so sweet to watch her rub Sunshine's back when she's laying prostrate on the floor, crying.  Todd is still super busy at work... but because I am the BEST WIFE EVER, he is now at the Ga Tech-Miami game.   I even get bonus points because it was a very last minute invitation.  I am also doing well, especially after learning what wonderful things happen when you combine figs, olives, goat cheese and walnuts.  It's a sublime experience.  

Seriously though, now that this dinner party is over I get to start concentrating on Thanksgiving.  It literally takes days to plan for trips with my kids that last longer than just a few hours.  Packing when there is a flight involved is all the more complicated.  Why is it that it takes everything but the kitchen sink to care for my children in a place other than our home? Ladybug still requires a pack n' play to sleep.  That will be fun to take on a plane.  Add the car seats to that and we're just about at our luggage limit, without any clothing.  Thank goodness for gate check.  Do you think they would let me just gate check my kids?  Just kidding, kind of. Well, just a couple of days to go.  Let the packing commence!

Friday, November 14, 2008


Tonight we watched our little Ladybug share all of her ice cream with her big sister.  And she was excited about it.  Later they held hands and tried to run together down the sidewalk, laughing the whole way.  Can life always be like this?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Butterfly Trials

Todd and I have been toying around with the idea of getting a fish for Sunshine.  She always seems up for new responsibility.  Thankfully we tested our idea out with butterflies first.  We gave Sunshine a Live Butterfly Pavilion for her birthday.  It's actually an amazing gift.  We sent away for caterpillars, watched them grow stunningly large, form chrysalids, and hatch into butterflies.  Sunshine loved it.  We feed the butterflies sugar water and orange slices.  We watched them lay eggs.  Theoretically, you're supposed to release the butterflies after you've spent a few days observing them.  Unfortunately it's too cold here to do that.  These butterflies are supposed to have a three week life span.  We're going on four.  Sunshine stopped wanting to care for them after two.  We're so not ready for a fish.  We had these grand plans to hatch some of the eggs into new caterpillars and start the process all over.  Yeah, NO.  I really just want to get rid of the butterflies.  We'll send away for some more in the spring.  Hopefully then we can release them when Sunshine tires of them.  All in all, I highly recommend this if you think your kiddo  might be ready for a pet of their own.  Saved me from taking care of yet another little creature.  

The Flu Loves Us, The Flu Loves Us Not... Here's Hoping NOT!

Today was my day to drive the kids to school.  Pulling into the parking lot, we noticed that there were very few cars there.  After hauling ourselves up three flights of stairs, we noticed that no one was in line to great their teacher.  Normally there's a line at least five kids deep.  Turns out 22 of 30 kids had spent the night and morning vomiting.  Fabulous.  What's the likelihood we miss the stomach flu roulette?  I'm not hedging any bets.  We took a quick trip to Walmart today to pick up the stomach flu essentials, ginger ale, pedialyte, and crackers.  I think I've washed my hands 30 times.  I so don't have time for this.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Things Past, and Things Yet to Come

Busy few days lately.  Todd has been working so hard, and the girls seem really needy.  Ladybug's molars are coming in and she's clingy.  If she could velcro herself to my shin and ride around all day, I think she would gladly do it.  It helps that she's discovered how much fun hugs and kisses are.  She can't get enough of them, though she's picky about who she'll give them too.  Even Sunshine has been a little out of sorts lately.  The crying fit she threw yesterday (for no reason whatsoever) could have been an Oscar-winning performance.  She promptly passed out for two hours after it.  I'm going to blame it on the time change. 

These kids are still getting up an hour earlier than they should be.  Trust me, the patter of little feet at 5:30-6 am is zero fun.  According to Sunshine, the sun is up - so she should be too.  Silly sun, we say.  Didn't anyone tell him about the time change?  Unfortunately, in order to check how high the sun is, she opens up the blackout drapes that we have installed that are so crucial to Ladybug's good sleep habits.  I am all about convincing my children that it is pitch black outside in the middle of the afternoon.   So all this checking up on the sun's progress inevitably wakes up Ladybug.  Screaming for Daddy ensues.  Also not necessarily a pleasant way to wake up.  

All this waking up early leaves the kids minus an hour of sleep, and Mommy and Daddy a little cranky.  We're compensating though.  I'm way less creative, have WAY less patience, and I practically pass out on the couch by 9 pm.  But I am rather chipper in the morning.  I don't remember it being this bad last year.    But then again, I can barely remember what day of the week it is.  

The next week and a half are going to be insane.  So I apologize if posting is sparse.  We're hosting a dinner party for Todd's office next week.  It's going to be relatively formal.  Invitations were sent.  Beautiful invitations, I might add.  A menu has been painstakingly planned.  Good Lord, I'm nervous.  No one in this office socializes together.  I have the sinking feeling it's going to feel like Forced Family Fun Time.  But it's important, and hopefully the cocktail portion of the evening will relax everyone a bit.  Alas... the call of the To Do list is overwhelming, and it is already way past my bedtime.  Night, everyone.  

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Busy like bees this morning.

What a crazy, busy morning.  I managed to change all bed sheets, neaten and vacuum the upstairs, clean the girls room, clean the ginormous master shower, and get myself showered.  Ladybug had an industrious morning as well.  She managed to empty one full toilet paper roll and a nearly full box of tissues.  She also emptied a full laundry basket of her clothes in search of the perfect pair of underpants for her head and the bookshelf of all of its books.  Thinking that perhaps the upstairs had returned to its normal state of chaos, she decided to lay down for a little rest... in the dog's bed.  It's OK though, she brought Sunshine's newly cleaned pillow and blanket in there with her to make it a little more like home.  Now I remember why I miss morning naps!

Trick or Treat

I thought you all might want some Halloween pics of the girls.  Sunshine was beautiful.  She wanted her hair in a bun like Mommy, and it's been that way every day since.  She pranced around in those silly plastic heels, even running at one point to see some friends of ours.  Ladybug was adorable.  She said "thank you" for the first time, and insisted on saying it to everyone we saw.  Regardless of wether or not she got candy.  I love it.  A fabulous time was had by all.  

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Doing Our Civic Duty

So we got the kids up this morning at the ungodly hour of 6 am to vote.  Waking my kids up in the morning is generally not a good idea.  It's FAR better to let them wake up themselves.  This morning went smoothly though.  There were only a couple of threats to take away the lunchtime piece of Halloween candy if Sunshine didn't get dressed.  It worked.  My sugar-deprived kid thought that it was more important to keep that piece of candy, and we were dressed and in line to vote at 6:30 am.  

We actually had a nice time standing in line.  The girls were thrilled with the cereal in a bag and juice boxes.  Anything that changes an ordinary morning, right?  Two hours later we were done.  Sunshine proudly displayed her Georgia Voter sticker and told everyone within earshot that she voted.  She's a little young for a civics lesson, but she really enjoyed it.  What's really nice is that they're BOTH napping thanks to the early wake up call.  

Happy Election Day, everyone!  

Monday, November 3, 2008

Anyone with the right Lotto numbers?

I've got a bone to pick with law firms these days.  My husband works so very hard.  Most days he's gone by 6:30 in the morning.  Lately, we're lucky if we see him by the time the girls go to bed.  Mostly it's well past their bedtime.  The worst part is that no matter how much work he does, it's never enough.  Several years ago I came to the realization that he does not want to be at work.  He would much rather be home with us.  Work is something that he does to pay the bills.  Ahhh, if only we didn't have to worry about such silly things as food and housing.  Seriously though, it's a little sad.  I would love for him to enjoy his job as much as I do mine, but looking at it this way has helped me to tell him that it's OK.  I understand that he needs to be at the office.  I miss him, but I'll have dinner waiting when he gets home (sometimes).

You want to give 110% to your job.  You need to give 110% to your job because there are lots of other people out there who will if you won't.  Part of that is what makes it so hard.  You'll work 14 hours a day, but someone out there will work 15.  But how do you do the same for your family?   Something always seems to suffer.  I've got to hand it to Todd though.  When he's home, the girls and I are his top priority.  

I feel so terribly guilty that he's missing so much of the girls' formative years.  I know that he's doing this so I can stay home with them.  It would be so much easier to break this cycle if I were working.  He could start his own firm, or take a job that he really enjoys.  The thing is... I really love my job.  I couldn't imagine doing anything else.  Todd is completely supportive, which actually makes it a little harder.  I feel so guilty, and so selfish.  Here's hoping we win the Lotto, right?