Navigating the sticky, jam-covered road of life.  

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Because I'm the Guest, That's Why.

We stepped out of the play date rotation for a while during Ladybug's bout with bronchitis.  It was hard on Sunshine.  I could tell she missed having those afternoons with her friends.  But now that Ladybug is better and we've stopped traveling, it was time to bite the bullet and step back in.

Something keeps bothering me though.  Every time we have someone here, I'm constantly hearing But I'm the guest, I get to choose, or We have to do what I want from our little guest.  Please tell me my kid doesn't do this at someone else's house.   I mean, I totally get what our guest's parents are trying to do.  They want their child to understand that when a guest comes to your house, you treat them hospitably.  I agree with it, but I also think it's a little extreme.  

I would be mortified if Sunshine went to someone's house and demanded to do what she wanted, because she was the guest.   Around here I've been trying to encourage the girls to come up with games that they both want to play.  I don't want my little girl to dislike having play dates at our house because she feels like she doesn't have a choice in what activities to participate in.  And honestly, I don't like having to mediate the arguments that occur every time I hear But I'm the guest.  

I know these parents, and these kids.  And don't get me wrong.  These are great kids.  I just think that deference towards the guest is way too overemphasized.  That's just not the way things are in the real world, right?  

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Housekeeping = Fail

If you haven't heard from me in several days, send help.  You'll find me buried beneath layers of crayons, colored pencils, clothing for the consignment sale, barbie shoes, and books, and raisins.  How did we ever manage to acquire so many books?

I'm selling some of the girls' clothes at a consignment sale in several weeks.  Going through bin after bin of infant clothes has been such a lovely trip through the infancy of my girls.  There are so many pieces I'm having trouble parting with:  the camel-colored corduroy pants that Sunshine looked so cute in, the little red outfit that set off Ladybug's hair.  There are certain pieces I won't part with, like the things they came home from the hospital in.  Still, it feels good to clean house a little.  Of course, at the moment, everything is strewn throughout not only my living room but my dining room as well.  

But that's OK, because the mess in the living room and dining room can't even compare to the chaos that has enveloped my playroom.   A curse should be put upon all those toy manufacturers that make toys with dozens of tiny parts.  I almost lost it with Sunshine the other day.  She'd been coloring with markers, crayons, and colored pencils.  Most of them found their way to the floor.  I'd asked her several different times to pick them up before I finally threatened to throw them all away.  She didn't believe me.  So we have a few less coloring implements now.  Can't say I'm really sorry.  I just wish that the next time she takes me a little more seriously.  

I'm not one of those women who really loves to clean.  Sure, I like to see my house spotless and shining.  But realistically, it stays that way for all of five minutes.  And that's if one of my children is sleeping.  Alas, my dirty floor is calling.  Can't remember the last time I washed it.  That's not good, is it?  Housekeeper = Fail.  

Sunday, February 22, 2009

What Did She Say The Problem Was?

"Mommy sat on the bed, and THAT was the problem."  This came out of my darling Sunshine's mouth this evening.  Let me just clarify, for the record, that Mommy was not the problem.  The hooks on the side rail of Sunshine's antique bed frame were the problem.  She just knows that, every now and again, the bed breaks when Mommy (yes, mostly me) and sometimes Daddy sits on her bed.  

Still, it hurt to hear that coming out of her mouth.  I'm not quite where I'd like to be with swimsuit season lurking just around the corner.  So in the spirit of getting to where I'd like to be, I'm offering a Giveaway!  Working out by yourself is never fun.  And our gym money is being sent directly to savings these days.  So I need something fast ('cause you never have much time with little ones around) and fun.  Kristen Chase of Motherhood Uncensored told me about Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred a couple of weeks ago, and it looks like it fits the bill.  I'm offering up a copy of it to one lucky random winner.  All you have to do is leave a comment.  Tell me your favorite strategies for staying healthy.  You can enter once a day.  Multiple entries require that you tell me something different each time.  The contest ends on Saturday, February 28th at 11:59 pm.  

Happy commenting!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Can't Touch This

So I think we've doomed our little girl.  But at least she's having fun, right?  

(You'll have to forgive the novice attempt at publishing a movie.  I'm a little slow on the uptake.)

And thanks to Uncle Billy for picking out the card for Todd's birthday.  The girls played with it INCESSANTLY.  When it started repeating Can't Touch This over and over and over, I finally had to put it out of its misery.  Sad, but supremely necessary.  

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The San Francisco Treat

So this past weekend my amazing husband took me to San Francisco to celebrate my birthday.  Good Lord, I love this man.  He totally gets me.  We both have this insatiable need to try every different type of food imaginable.  This essentially meant eating.  All. Day. Long.  Thank goodness for the hills (we actually call them mountains in Georgia.) or I would have gained about 50 pounds.  We walked everywhere.  And I still have the bruises on the bottom of my feet to prove it.

We started in Chinatown, and I was so hungry that I would have paid mad money to pick something off a menu that I couldn't read.  But it was delicious, and it kept me from turning insanely grumpy as I am apt to do when I'm not fed regularly.  The fabulous Chinese was followed by more Chinese, Spanish bocadillos, Italian lamb, Japanese sushi, the BEST Vietnamese I've ever had, Indian coffee, and crab.  You can't not have crab in San Francisco.  

The weather was dreadful, rained the entire time.  Both of us went through 2 umbrellas each.  We didn't really notice it much though, unless we happened to be hanging on to the outside of a cable car.  The sun peaked out for about a minute on Saturday as we were walking around Alcatraz.  Meant that my socks were actually dry for about an hour.  Never underestimate the value of dry socks.  

We only had one tense moment on the cable cars.  We had just boarded the car in front of our hotel and were staring at the massive hill ahead of us, when we heard the operator yell to everyone that there was a problem with the brakes.  He wasn't stopping until he reached the top, or the car would slide down backwards.  Sweet.  But we stayed on the car, and made it off alive.  

We missed the girls tremendously.  I've got to say though, it was so nice to be able to walk into a hotel room and NOT need to baby proof it.  We've decided that we need to return, with the girls in tow.  And a babysitter.  Definitely a babysitter.  

But one of the biggest highlights of our trip was the flight home.  And yes, I'm being totally sarcastic.  We were lucky enough to sit across the aisle from a lovely lady who was drunk as a skunk.   The poor man seated next to her should be nominated for sainthood.  She curled herself around him, vomited in HIS smoothie, played with his hair, and tried to take his bag.  But it gets worse, ladies and gentlemen.  Oh does it get worse.  She peed.  All over herself.  In the seat.  At the BEGINNING of the flight.  Seriously people.  I couldn't make this stuff up.  

All in all, it was a fantastic trip.  We ate.  We walked, and walked, and walked.  We desperately needed the time to ourselves.  Just to reconnect.  I know it will be a while before we get another opportunity like this one.  So I'm glad that we made the best of this trip.  And if anyone wants restaurant recommendations....

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Scene in a Grocery Store: Aisle 8

We're shopping at Walmart this evening.  The girls are a little hungry, and we make it to the dried fruit aisle.  All the sudden Sunshine drops to her knees and hugs a container to her chest.  

Prunes, Mommy. Prunes.  Can we PLEEEEAAASSSEEE buy some prunes.  I want to eat some prunes.  I haven't had prunes in so long.  

I get down on my knees and calmly explain to my somewhat quirky daughter that we have an entire container of prunes in our refrigerator.  She's welcome to have some of those when we get home.

But Mommy, we need more prunes.  We need to buy some MORE.  We can't run out of prunes.  And I can eat them in the car.  Please, please, please.  (Still hugging container of prunes to her chest.)

All I can say is THANK GOD she's out of diapers!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Kangaroo? Really?

She's done this several times before, and I didn't really think too much about it.  It wasn't until this weekend, when she wanted to play the game with her cousins, that I really paid attention to what she was saying.  

The new Horton movie is a popular one in our house these days.   Someone please tell me why, when my imaginative Sunshine wants to act out the Horton movie, the only character she wants to be is the control-crazy Kangaroo?  Yes, she is bossy.  Or for the politically correct out there, she's assertive, with a take charge mentality.  Gosh, I wonder where she gets that from...

I fervently hope that we haven't created a monster.  We're trying to help her understand that her way is not the only way to do things.  That other people have perfectly wonderful ideas.  Her Montessori school is really helping.  So how do you teach a kid to be a good leader, and a good follower?  By example, I know.  But it's not always that easy.  

And because transitions are not my strong suite, I'm totally psyched about this weekend.  It's a long weekend for us, and Todd is taking me (yes, just me) to San Francisco.  Imagine, four days of not having to chop up veggies into tiny pieces.  Four mornings of sleeping in.  I'm in heaven, and we desperately need some time together.  

It's taken a lot of planning to prepare for this trip.  There's the usual laundry to be done, meals to plan, directions for the kids (both furry and fur-less)  to type up.  But there's also the unusual:  updating the will.  It's hard to do, but so very, very important.  So that is next on my list of things to do.  Wish me luck.  

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Playground Moms

It is gorgeous outside today.  Seventy degrees, just a tad overcast.  Perfect day for a surprise picnic at this super cool toddler playground in Decatur.  So I surprised the kids.  Picked up Chick-Fil-A, and stopped at the playground for a treat.  The kids were ecstatic.  We stop at the playground fairly often, but it's rare that we bring nuggets with us.  

I was feeling great until I hustled my kids up to the picnic table.  With the weather so pretty today, the tables were packed with moms, nannies, and their charges; all enjoying a glorious lunch outside.  The other moms were watching me as I laid out the chicken nuggets and milk for the kids.  I heard on mom say, "Wow, frenchfries," to another.  It was then that I noticed the other food spread out on the table.  The FDA would be proud.  Not a morsel of processed food could be found.  Organic yogurt, veggies, hummus, soy milk.  I'm not knocking any of this stuff, as it can often be found on my table.  

Not too long after that I start hearing mutters about how their kids have never had fast food, or their child will only drink vanilla soy milk.   Then began the discussion about the dangers of cow's milk and how chock full of hormones it is.  I wanted to pack up my kids and leave, but I didn't want a bunch of Nazi playground moms to ruin a beautiful day with my kids, so we stayed.  I smiled and asked the age of one little boy sitting across from us.  The answer was short and terse.  

I hate being judged.  These women don't know me.  They don't know that Sunshine will eat just about anything.  They don't know that chicken nuggets are a super special treat.  So why do they get to judge me?  But then I realized that I was judging them.  As they were sneering at my children eating, I was mentally calculating the dosage of valium/xanax/zoloft that allows them to make it through the day.  (By the way, I'm not knocking any of those.  I know they allow some people to function.)  While they were talking about the evils of cow's milk, I was wondering where they hide their secret twinkie stash.  

I'm trying to let it go, but it's not in my nature.  Deep down, I know I do what is right for my kids.  I think most people do.  And I'm just as guilty as the next when it comes to judging others.  But wouldn't it be so much easier if we didn't.  I'd like to think that even though my parenting values are different from others, it doesn't mean that they are any better, or worse.  Just different.  

The bottom line is that you do what is right for your family, for your kids.  I was quiet this time, embarrassed even.  But the next time someone actually says something about the way I parent my kids, I might not be so quiet.  I might feel inclined to remind them that we're all trying to do what is right.  Because this parenting gig is hard enough without feeling like you've got to justify your every move.  


Friday, February 6, 2009

The Random Minutiae of Our Week

My little Ladybug is finally on the mend.  (Mentally crossing fingers, toes, and just about anything I can cross.)  I haven't seen the pediatrician this week, for the first time in 6.  Gosh, I wonder if she'll miss us.  I've actually packed the nebulizer away.  Hopefully we won't need to drag it out until this time next year.  

Yesterday it took me 90 minutes to take two girls the 6 miles to school.  I just love traffic in Atlanta.  Have I mentioned that before?  I heard the traffic report about the accident on our road, decided to use the interstate, and missed the traffic report about the 6-car with injury accident on I-20.  Lucky me.  I think I need to get some "angry maracas" to keep in the car for such occasions.  Might help my desire to yell obscenities at drivers who refuse to let me merge into traffic, and vigorously shaking something might actually make me feel better.

Sunshine is on Cloud 9.  We have several refugees here this weekend; family members who have been without power and water since the ice storms in Kentucky two weeks ago.  People, never underestimate the value of a warm toilet seat.  But for now, The Sunshine Show is on without pause.  She's loving having an audience here.  

I'm completely psyched about tomorrow.  Kristen Chase and I have been trying to get together for weeks, and we've got a date scheduled at Baby Loves Disco.  Should be a blast. 

Sunday marks the anniversary of my wonderful husband's birth.  I think we might spend the day at Stone Mountain enjoying this marvelous peek at Spring.  Have I mentioned how perfect Spring is here in Atlanta?  Should be 75 and sunny here on Sunday.  

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Learning Curve

Ladybug is under the mistaken impression that if she throws her sippy cup down enough times, I will fill it with chocolate milk instead of water.  Snicker.  Oh how much she has to learn.  It is amusing to see her following me around the house, tossing the cup every few feet though.  

Monday, February 2, 2009

Our Lovely Life

Today has been one of those days that, as a mother, I long for.  With Sunshine safely ensconced at one of her favorite places on Earth (read:  school) and looking forward to a play date this afternoon with her friend; Ladybug and I were psyched for an entire day to ourselves.  This is such a rarity.  I took it for granted with Sunshine, not realizing that subsequent children would not have this gift of Mommy entirely to themselves, and vice versa.  

I was hard at work this morning.  The remnants of last night's impromptu Super Bowl party had been dealt with.  Breakfast dishes had been cleaned and put away.  The laundry was churning away in the machine.  I sat down, anticipating reading the latest updates from my favorite bloggers, when Ladybug climbed into my lap.  She pointed to the computer and said, "Down, Mommy."  How could I resist?  I put the laptop down, and she laid her head directly over my heart.  For an hour she stayed there; only moving to give me a nose kiss or to rub my cheek.  

All we did was cuddle, and it was pure magic.  You could practically smell the babyness of her.  That baby powder-sweet scent that fades away as each child grows up and becomes more independent.  It came flying back to me this morning, and I hadn't realized how much I had missed it.  For an entire hour, my always on-the-go, new-activity-every-5 minutes, toddler was so still, just listening to my heart beat.  I was so still, just in awe of this amazing gift she was giving me.  I feel recharged.  

It's all worth it.  Every single second.  That's why we do this.  For just one hour like that.