Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Do you see the iPad? Next to you will see a cup. This cup is probably the biggest cup we own. It's HUGE. It has to hold at least 44 ounces of liquid. For some reason Hubby thought he would drink this entire cup of water during the night so he left it on the nightstand. This weekend he was changing his clothes and he heard Little Buddy crying behind him. He turned around and Little Buddy was holding this cup with all 44 ounces of water and directly underneath Little Buddy was Daddy's $900 iPad. To his credit, the reason Little Buddy was crying is that he had already spilled just a teensy bit of the water on the iPad and he doesn't like a mess. He wanted someone to wipe up his mess. His little lip was quivering and it would have been very cute, but as his body started to shake with his tears, the water from the cup started sloshing around. Daddy lunged at Little Buddy just in time to save his iPad from getting a very wet bath.
Still, I'm encouraged that he didn't dump the whole thing and laugh. Right??
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
1. Making Hubby's favorite meal (chicken and spinach lasagna from scratch)
2. Making cupcakes to use for singing Happy Birthday so that the kids could help blow out the candles
3. Making fossil handprint ornaments as a gift for Daddy
Although the lasagna is a bit labor-intensive, I thought this sounded totally a totally reasonable plan. I will admit that I'm not the best cook ever. In fact, I take no offense when Hubby makes fun of my cooking because I'm bad. Very bad. However, he does love my chicken lasagna. I planned to have Munchkin Girl help me with the baking. I started everything at 3:30.
By about 5:30 (two hours after I started) this is how my kitchen looked and I was beginning to think I had taken on too much:
Dishes littered the counters. Food was everywhere. Munchking Girl lost interest about thirty minutes in, so the the kids were tackling each other and crying in the other room. I still didn't have a complete meal, cupcake, or ornament. I was beginning to worry that it would be 8:00 before we were ready for our birthday celebration.
This got me to wonder, how on EARTH did my Grandma do this every day??? Back in the 50s, I know they made meals from scratch every single day and usually dessert as well. I've wondered this before, but seriously. I'm super glad this is a Sunday activity that I don't do often.
I persevered and pretty soon everything came together. Munchkin Girl started working on the ornaments:
The cupcakes and lasagna were finally done and the birthday cupcake was ready:
The fossils even turned out pretty well and I made a few extras for Christmas presents. All in all, it turned out well, but yet again, I'm soooo happy to be a Modern Mommy with a microwave and plenty of pre-made meals options.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
I don't normally feel this kind of stress. I have come to terms with the fact that I do have to work because right now Hubby doesn't make nearly enough as a resident for us to cover all of our bills. It doesn't bother me at all that I have to work because I do actually like working and I enjoy never having to fight about money. Mostly, I enjoy it because I had everything worked out and it was going well. The nanny was happy with her schedule, the kids were in a routine, and I was making everything work. Now I'm going to have a new boss, I'm going to be gone more, and I'll probably make less money. How is it that I can be working hard, selling plenty of equipment, and suddenly BAM!! Everything has to change and I don't get a choice.
All that being said, I am currently enjoying a four day weekend from work. We spent the morning decorating the house for Christmas and at one point during the decorating, I looked around my house. I was suddenly filled with the feeling of pure happiness. The house looked so warm with all the lights and stockings, the kids were dancing to Christmas Carols, and I suddenly thought, "You don't own me! You don't control my happiness!! I control my happiness!"
I admit this probably sounds a tad melodramatic, but once that hit me, I felt free. Now the kids are napping and I'm enjoying the quiet house while I drink some hot tea. I know I'll be able to get through whatever comes because I do have choices in life and I choose to be happy with what I have. See? How could this NOT make me happy??
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
At first when Little Buddy was young I didn't think he was going to be that wild. He was very calm at first and I thought he was going to be very easy and laid-back. I was wrong. Very wrong.
As it's been getting colder outside, I've been scouring the blogs for things to keep kids busy. We found several great ideas and at first, things were going well. Munchkin Girl was enjoying our monster project. I put construction paper on the outside of a paper coffee cup and the plan was to glue on eyeballs, nose, etc to make a monster.
She was really having fun until Little Buddy came over to inspect. I gave him a monster too, and to his credit he did glue on a nose. His interest in the project lasted approximately 10 seconds. Then he tore off the construction paper and started using the coffee cup as a microphone. He let Munhckin Girl have a turn too and they were yelling, "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!"
Shortly after that, the craft became fun inside his truck
Moving on. Next we tried some sensory learning. At first, everything was very peaceful and I was patting myself on the back. I put noodles, fluff balls, etc. in the cardboard box and they got to pour and play with things.
Little Buddy started getting a little wild so I moved the project to the floor. Still, things went very well for a few minutes
I went to the pantry to get out some things to start dinner. When I turned around, I was greeted with this
The whole box emptied out on the floor. They had started on the next box too but I was able to prevent that at least.
The good news is that I'm always entertained. Life is never boring with Little Bull-dozer. I mean Little Buddy. And we did have a few successful projects too
Monday, November 21, 2011
When my kids had the stomach flu earlier this year, my doctor advised us to use something with Zinc and Butt Paste does have plenty of Zinc! I have found that truly this works best for diaper rash and since I do believe in this so strongly, I wrote away to the nice folks who make Butt Paste, and they kindly offered a nice giveaway to my readers! Here is what you'll get:
1- Boudreaux's Butt Paste
1- All Natural Boudreaux's Butt Paste
1- ALL NEW Maximum Strength Boudreaux's Butt Paste
1- Boudreaux's Baby Kisses Lip Balm
1- Boudreaux's Body Wash & Shampoo
You must be from the US or Canda to participate. They will send the prize directly to you. In order to enter, you must be a follower of this blog via GFC (Google Friend Connect) AND leave a comment on this post so that I can notify the winner via email. The winner will be announced one week from today, on Monday, November 28th. The winner will be selected using Random.org and the entries will be numbered in order of the comments placed on this post.
They also sent me all of these products to try and I really like the Body Wash, especially when a diaper rash starts, this seems to nip it right in the bud. Also, I'm glad they have a new extra strength for the next time my kiddos get the stomach flu.
Lastly, they have a blog and Facebook page, so be sure to check those out too if you have time...Good Luck!!
Sunday, November 20, 2011
I lived in France in college but after two kids, two dogs, Medical School and Residency, sometimes it feels so long ago that I can barely remember it. However, my three year old found my old journal from France in a box in the basement and has been carrying it around ever since.
I opened it up and was amazed at how much I'd forgotten and how easy life was back then. You would think it would've been hard. I lived with a family that didn't speak a word of English, my bathroom at my host parents house was OUTSIDE so I had to trudge through gravel in the middle of the night if I wanted to pee, and I didn't know a soul when I moved there. Yet, it was so fun and so incredibly easy. For example, look at my financial worries.
This particuluar weekend in February of 2001, I did nothing on Saturday except spent a large amount of monthly budget (Francs back then) at the Irish Pub, then I didn't spend a single penny on Sunday...I'm pretty sure that was the day I stayed in bed all day reading Thornbirds.
This is another one of my favorite pages:
In case you can't read this, my host parents served fish one night then left it in the fridge. I found it the next morning and it's spiky teeth really freaked me out! It's fun to look back on the days when I had zero responsibility. I floated through life looking for fun things to do and interesting people to meet. Now, I'm responsible for this:
On the other hand, I guess life was pretty bland without kids, a husband, and a house to take care of. The days I spent in France laying in bed reading a book while it rained seem pretty boring compared to my rainy days now:
Wrestling is a fun way to pass our rainy days now. Munchkin Girl won that round, but Little Buddy is starting to be able to figure out how to beat his Big Sister. And that's when the fun will really begin.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Of course I wasn't proud of my behavior and I tried to hide it. I wanted to be one of those laid-back mothers whose husband's brag about how easy-going their wives are. In an attempt to hide my crazy, when strangers would hold the baby's hand, I would wait until they walked away before I cursed them and slathered my newborn's hand in Purrell. Why do strangers think it's okay to touch a baby's fingers anyway? Of course those fingers are going straight into a newborn's mouth, don't they get that??
By the time Little Buddy was born I had calmed down a lot. For example once, when he was tiny we were sitting on the back patio with just our little family. My husband yelled over to me that Little Buddy needed a pacifier. I threw it over to them and it landed on the cement before Little Buddy plucked it into his mouth. I didn't bat an eye.
My husband looked at me, raised his eyebrow and said, "Wow, you've changed. A lot."
I'm actually proud of how far I've come. I've basically been living by the 5 second rule. Every kid knows the 5 second rule. When you drop something, as long as it's not on the floor for longer than 5 seconds it's safe, right? I guess even when I write it, it sounds wrong, but we all want to believe it don't we? I've seen parents pick pacifiers up right off the floor of the grocery store and put it back into a baby's mouth. Clearly they believe in the 5 second rule. Unfortunately an Article on MSNBC came out last week that researched the theory and it turns out it's bogus. Germs jump to crackers and pacifiers right away. It doesn't take them 5 seconds to migrate. Bummer. I guess I'll have to go back to being crazy again. My husband will so sad.
Until now. An Article on MSNBC came out last week that discusses the 5 minute rule.
Friday, November 18, 2011
Little Buddy often finds a way to break the toys anyway. I can't tell you how much time they've spent with this toy. First they take it apart. Then they beg me to put it back together, then they play with it for awhile, then they break it again and the cycle starts over.
Every night all they want to do is wrestle and jump on the couch cushions.
They find ways to spend their time in unique ways. This rock collection took a long time to assemble.
They spent an hour one night trying to catch leaves falling from the trees. Again, a free activity and very heart-warming.
Okay, it's time for me to come clean. Of course I'm going to get them presents. Sheesh what kind of Mom do you think I am? They love getting presents and I have to admit that I do love seeing them figure out a new toy. The toy on the top photo has held up well over months and months of abuse from the kids and it does keep them very busy. We won't stop wrestling or catching leaves, but I think Little Buddy really does need a ball pit. Right??
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
- Fetch: What better game for a rowdy 18 month old boy than fetch? You sit in one room, get him all excited about playing with the ball, and then throw it in the other room and have him go find it. I find this provides lots of fun and lots of exercise.
- Wrestling: There is no better way to bond with your kids than to get on the floor and wrestle with them. They love to be picked up, thrown around, and most of all they love to climb all over you. It’s a wonderful way to burn some energy after dinner. • Sit: I find that my kids absolutely love Simon Says. I tell them to
- Sit. They do. I tell them to touch their noses. They do. I tell them to jump and down. They do! What a great way to help them with their attention span and get them off the couch.
I love my kids and I love my dogs and I love them even more when they’ve both had plenty of time to burn up all that excess energy!!
Monday, November 14, 2011
As most of you saw in my last post, I'm very challened in the craft department. However, I'm scrappy and determined that I'm going to figure this out. I have enlisted the help of Susan Case, who is a fellow blogger and has her Masters in Family and Child Development. She is the author of a wonderful book called Kindergarten: Tattle-tales, Tools, Tactics, Triumphs, and Tasty Treats for Teachers and Parents and taught Kindergarten for many years and I'm so thrilled to have her help! We did a quick interview:
“Susan, why are crafts so important? Do my kids really need to do crafts since I'm not creative and struggle to come up with ideas?”
"Research supports the fact that children develop their learning
capabilities in the first five years of life. The more neuron
connections formed, the better a child’s ability to learn new
information will be in the future. Making crafts together is part of
play and fosters many skills such as:
capabilities in the first five years of life. The more neuron
connections formed, the better a child’s ability to learn new
information will be in the future. Making crafts together is part of
play and fosters many skills such as:
- Creativity and imagination
- Sensory integration: Children love learning using the five senses
- Fine Motor by picking up objects, cutting, pasting
- Self-Esteem: Earning praise for accomplishments
- Self-Confidence—harder tasks in future will be tried and accomplished
- Thinking/Cognitive skills
- Language: Express what you are doing and encourage children to talk about the experience and their feelings
- Following directions in sequence develops math skills
- Reading skills: Read what is printed on craft containers as you run your finger under the words going left to right
- Writing: Let children see you write a list of supplies needed
- Reading/Writing Connection: Children can cross words off list when supplies are acquired
- Bonding: Spending quality time with your children instills trust that they are important to you and loved."
“Okay, but I don't even know where to begin. If a mom is intimidated like I am, what are some standard items they need to get from the craft store?”
"Basic Craft Supplies:
- Glue gun —only to be used by an adult. Remember to unplug it when not using and to glue over newspaper. Glue is hot but can be peeled off surface when dry.
- Glue—liquid and sticks of glue
- Paints –washable
- Brushes—inexpensive and various sizes
- Markers –washable
- Crayons– inexpensive is fine because children like to break them
- String or yarn
- Colored and Manila paper—can be purchased at the best prices right before school starts
- Fiskar scissors are a good brand —fit children’s hands and are not sharp but will cut paper
- Adult scissors
- Craft sticks—“tongue depressors” come in different sizes and colors or buy plain and let children paint or an adult can spray paint
- Fuzzy sticks (used to be called “pipe cleaners”)
- Cheap plastic tablecloth to protect table or use old newspapers
"Okay, Susan, give me something easy to try first. Do you have anything related to Thanksgiving that we could do to start?"
A Thanksgiving Tradition: The Thankful Turkey
Let your children help you decorate a container to put notes
or drawings in of Thankful Things:
This jar is a plastic nut container. You can use paper or
cardboard for the lid if you don’t want to cut a hole into a plastic
lid. The children can glue eyes, beak, and feathers on the jar to
make a look like a turkey. You can cut feathers out of colored
paper if you don’t have real feathers.
Help your children write or draw pictures of things they are
thankful for then help them read the notes on Thanksgiving Day.
Encourage the whole family to participate.
Linking Learning to Crafts:
· Promoting the reading/writing connection
· Expressing gratitude
· Creating a family tradition
My Thanksgiving Challenge—Be Thankful for Books
My challenge to moms is to read a book a month for yourself. We
are fortunate to live in a world of technology and it is tempting to
spend hours blogging, tweeting, texting, and surfing. I love
meeting friends and learning by connecting to people all over the
world with similar interests. But children follow your example. Do
they see you reading books? Or do they see you reading the
printed word on Kindles and Nooks? Do you read books to your
children every night?
I guarantee that reading to your child is one of the most
important developmental advantages you can give children.
Snuggling while reading provides security, consistency in bedtime
routine, bonding, and learning about our fascinating world. Your
children will grow up quickly. What do you want them to remember
about the time they spent with you? What feelings do you want
them to have about reading?
Yes, continue with crafts! Creativity will be lost if we don’t pull
children away from technological gadgets, but please remember to
be thankful for books.
Thanks Susan!!! Okay, back to me. First things first. Of course we had to play with the feathers right after we got them out of the bag:
"Hold still Little Buddy...tickle tickle," Munchkin Girl instructed.
Then we got down to business. Yes, the kids are in their pajamas and Munchkin Girl is wearing a stocking hat. It's her latest obsession. She wears it everywhere, including her bed.
Susan advised me to use a clear jar, but I didn't have one so I looked around my house for something else to use. I selected an empty coffee jar from Trader Joes. I covered it in brown construction paper, using tape.
Most people would probably do this project at the table. Not us! We chose the floor because Little Buddy likes to plop down in my lap and I think it's fun to have him there. See his little feet? I'm sitting cross-legged and he's in my lap. Anyway, I laid out a strip of blue contstruction paper with glue and let them glue on the feathers.
Then we glued on the eyes and beak. Munchkin Girl held the eyes on until the glue dried:
We did two strips with feathers and voila!! We had a finished turkey!!
It ain't pretty but we had a lot of fun! And like Susan said, I truly am thankful for books. Real books that make me think and get me out of Mom and work mode for a short period. I read every night before bed, so in the spirit of being a good role model with real books, I will start posting what I'm currently reading. I'm in a Book Club so we read a lot.
Thanks so much to Susan for her help and encouragement on this project. I'm looking forward to more fun things.
PS...Don't forget, Susan's book about Kindergarten Basics might make a great Christmas present to Moms or even better, for grade-school teachers!
You can also visit Susan at her blog at Kindergarten for Teachers and Parents.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Anyway, I've been trying not to dwell on this because I really feel like maybe I'm not qualified to be a "Mom blogger" if I can't do crafts. There are so many amazing sites out there with all these super creative activities and I'm very challenged in this department. Let me this illustrate for you. Last Christmas one of my friends invited us over to do Gingerbread houses. I was so excited until I discovered that she baked the pieces herself and we had to assemble them. She provided a bowl with frosting and the Moms put the houses together while the kids waited.
Munchkin Girl started decorating and as she was pushing the first piece of candy on the roof, the roof fell down. She screamed and I scurried over to get the roof back in place, which was tough since I was now out of frosting. To her credit, she had fun anyway and I let her do all the work. Just like her Mommy, her self-confidence and/or delusion carried her through and she didn't notice that ours was lopsided, falling down, and missing pieces.
Despite the fact that I'm art-challened, I've recently been convinced of the importance of creativity. Through blogging I've made a good friend, named Susan Case, who used to teach kindergarten and also writes a great blog. She's been very supportive and I've asked her to write a blog for me on the importance of crafts. She's also going to come up with an idea for us to try for Thanksgiving. I'm excited to give this all another try.
PS...If any of you fabulous Mommy bloggers have a good post about an easy craft, send it to me! I clearly need help!! :-) Otherwise, stay tuned for Susan's post on crafts...I'm going to get to Hobby Lobby this week for my glue gun!!
Saturday, November 12, 2011
However, as most of you also know about me, I prefer to look on the bright side. I'm reading a book by John Steinbeck right now and you know how sometimes you read something that really hits you and makes you so happy? Read this passage from Travels With Charley:
"I've lived in good climates and it bores the hell out of me. I like weather rather than climate...in the humid ever-summmer how can a mind not to go back to the shout of color, to the clean rasp of frosty air, to the smell of pine wood burining and the caressing warmth of kitchens. For how can one know color in perpetual green, and what good is warmth without cold to give it sweetness?"
I love these words and they really hit home to me the other day when we built a leaf pile and kids came running from everywhere to join in the fun. Pretty soon the leaves will be gone from all the trees and everything will look bleak and I will dream of visiting my friends and family in the South, but for now I will bask in the beauty of the bright reds and oranges of our trees.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
She was so excited and asked me to read it to her. I got her all snuggled on my lap and started using my fun reading voice but burtst out laughing and had to stop half-way through the first sentance. This was odd...should I go on?
"Mommy, what's wrong?" my daughter asked.
"Nothing," I say. "Let's try the next page."
Hmm...I don't really want to explain what disembowel means. Or intenstines for that matter. Moving on...
Killing spree. Perfect material for our cozy fireside chat. By now my daughter is starting to catch on that these kitties aren't cute. Or nice.
"I'm scared of that kitty," she says. I do give it a valiant effort, but in the end, they're all either scary or inappropriate. Funny, yes. Good reading for my three year old, not so much.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Mommies and Daddies are different. Daddy is always the first choice for wrestling. Mommy gives the best hugs.
Daddy sees this room as a mess. Mommy sees this as proof that the toys we bought are being put to good use.
Daddy was in charge of getting Munchkin Girl dressed the other day. This is what she ended up in. Notice tangled hair, the pants that are too short, and the green shirt with pink pants. I asked (in a nice voice) if that's what she was wearing. He replied, "What's wrong with it? It matches."
My personal favorite. Do you see the scissors in the bottom of the trash can? Keep in mind these aren't your standard issue scissors. These are sharp surgical scissors (Daddy is an orthopedic surgeon). Daddy sees this as a perfectly reasonable place to get rid of these. In a trash can without a lid in the bathroom where the kids constantly play. Mommy sees this as a perfectly resonable way for the kids to cut off each other's fingers.
At the end of a long day, Daddy popped open this beer for me and handed to me in a moment of pure chaos. Just when I think he can't get any dumber...he does something and totally redeems himself!!! (Anyone know what movie this is from??)
The truth is that we agree on this point. Beer is always welcome after a long day of fights, wrestling, crying, laughing, and hugs.