Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner - On the Way Up

A lot to be thankful for today. I’m thankful:
- That Calvin got his eight upchucks out of his system earlier this week and not in the middle of everyone else’s and that three of them were at the babysitter’s.
- That Max only ralphed once, but is still feeling enough under the weather that he’s sleeping more than normal today.
- That the bug didn’t bite the rest of us until after we got to enjoy the Layton Thanksgiving Dinner, which tasted so fabulous on the way down – (though sure wasn’t great on its return route!)
- That Reed’s booster seat has a washable cover.
- That Ryan is an expert puller-over, since my car seat doesn’t have a washable cover.
- That Reed’s sheets, jammies, and stuffed animals are all freshly washed.
- That Ryan is a little faster than Reed so our sheets and jammies didn’t have to be.
- That Max waited a little while to have his diaper explosion.
- That Max’s changing table and clothes are also now freshly washed.
- That the TV really does make a great babysitter.
- That this whole ordeal happened on a long weekend instead of during a busy week.
- That, judging by Calvin’s behavior today, we’re all going to be feeling great (and spinning circles on the tile in our Wolverine costumes) in a few days.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Where the Heck Does My Time Go?!

Where the heck does my time go?! I feel like I’m constantly on the hamster wheel, working nonstop, but never getting anything done. In an effort to assess where my time goes, I decided to write out a typical day in my life:

5:30 a.m.
Wake up to Max’s cries. Nurse. Put Max back in bed. Get in shower.
Get ready. Tag team breakfast with Ryan. Try to remember to move wet laundry to dryer. Put supper meat in fridge to thaw.
Drop off kids. Work.
Try to get caught up in classroom. Feel guilty about not picking up kids earlier.
OR Pick up kids. Feel stressed about work left in classroom (or being drug home in teacher bag).
Cook supper and feel guilty about not playing outside with kids
OR Play outside with kids and feel guilty about not cooking a “real meal.”
Feed Max. Try to keep food warm while we wait for Daddy. Eat. Start to
clean up supper mess. Get interrupted by Max wanting to nurse. Nurse. Put Max down.
Choreograph the seven-ring circus that is bedtime: shower, teeth, toys,
jammies, story, song. Try to put in a load of laundry and finish cleaning up kitchen in there somewhere.
On a good night: iron tomorrow’s clothes and load coffee maker for the
On most nights: finish bed-time routine.
Finish kitchen clean-up. Finish morning prep. Fold laundry. Straighten house. Pay bills. Grade papers. Feel guilty about not spending time with Ryan
OR Watch TV with Ryan and fall asleep within 20 mn, feeling stressed by the messy house and pile of papers
OR if Ryan falls asleep on couch, facebook and/or blog stalk until 1 a.m., with homework assignments and red pen on lap to ease the guilt of wasting an entire evening (and to pass the time between slow page loads)
11 (or whenever Ryan or I wake up off the couch)
go to bed


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Potty Police

I’ve created monsters. And my family has given them teeth. It started innocently enough—a mommy just trying to teach etiquette, tact, and what not to say in front of anyone who might judge her parenting skills. So, when the big boys were probably two and four, after a giggle fest started by the word “butt” I introduced them to the term “potty humor” and pointed out examples of it and explained how they were inappropriate. It was fun at first, but I should’ve known they boys would take it a little too far. In the year or so since my little teachable moment, I’ve been reprimanded for the following:
- Asking if someone did a good job wiping their butt (we prefer “booty”)
- Telling the big boys that I’m busy changing Max’s poopy diaper
- Reading Little Toot
- Giving explicit instructions on what to move where so I could do a thorough, yet hands-free tick check
- Cheering for one of Ryan’s cross country runners to get a P.R. (personal record, or apparently, urine)

The potty police took a donut break for a few months until our last road trip. Daddy had to stay home for a meet, so my sister and her fiancĂ© rode along. Aunt Tavia, for all her wonderful ways with children and expertise in the latest early childhood philosophies, still doesn’t understand this about my boys: If it’s funny the first time, it’s even funnier the 10,000th time! She decided to give the potty patrol weapons to aid their enforcement – the head slap. For eleven hours, we had to endure not only constant potty-monitoring, but also bow to head slaps after each offending comment. Thank goodness for seatbelts and car seats. And once we reached our destination, what Tavia started and the boys multiplied, my brother took to exponential levels, in true Uncle Trey style. The boys got a taste of their own medicine, getting baited, and then whacked for saying “but I…” or for finishing the alphabet song (L, M, N, O, what?)
In the month since this road trip, I got tired of the random slaps out of nowhere, so we added the self-discipline clause. If you slap your own head first, no one can potty whack you. Not sure that was a good plan. Last night, Reed said of his brother, “Calvin smells like a (pause for anticipatory giggle and whack to his own head) poopy butt turd.” Looks I’m the only one who learned a lesson here.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Thank the Lord for Children's Church

Every once in a while, Ryan and I justify a church skip day by claiming the “God commanded a day of rest” excuse and invoking the home-church substitution. The last time we did this we faced disastrous results (a.k.a. justice?) Our day of extra rest turned into a day of extra yelling at the boys to be quiet so we could “watch church”—a DVD about the Bible. So this time, we were smarter. We decided to have a kid-friendly service, followed by the adult sermon and play-in-your-room Sunday school. Ryan carefully selected a DVD complete with “magic” tricks to help illustrate salvation messages. The boys were really into it. We even paused the show and recreated one particular trick—a cute story to accompany strategic scissor snips that resulted in a folded up cross and the letters “HELL” to contrast two different choices. The boys were even more impressed with our real-life version than they were with the one on the screen. We should’ve quit while we were ahead. Instead, we turned the movie back on to learn some more object lessons.

Let me pause to explain the differing learning styles of our two oldest. Reed, the visual learner, will zone out to the TV as long as it’s on. As soon as we turned the show back on, he was back into it. Calvin, on the other hand, is very kinesthetic. He likes to DO stuff. So, now with something in his hands (a cross and a few choice letters), Calvin began to play. Apparently, he was role-playing, bouncing the cross up and down and declaring repeatedly his character’s name. Ryan warned and warned, but the line that ended it for us all (mainly because we couldn’t hide our slightly sacrilegious laughter) was this, “Calvin, you’re not Jesus. Now do you want a time-out or not?!”
We’ll be in the pews next Sunday.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Peeing in the Shower

I’m starting to regret telling the boys that it’s ok to pee in the shower. And all just to keep from getting a little water dripped on the floor. I peeked in at just the right (or wrong) moment to check on my little water rats and caught Reed in the act of peeing on his brother. He’d been acting up lately, so I decided for the swift-justice method of discipline. I asked him to get out of the shower and wait for Calvin to finish before he got back in to wash himself. In the minutes that followed, Reed tried to bargain for ways to get back in the shower to play. Among his offers:
- Do ALL the chores
- Clean up the dishes and put them in the dishwasher
- Make LUNCH!
- Organize everything (he knows his audience)
- Pee on himself
- Stay home BY HIMSELF without a babysitter so I could go to Gospelfest without any kids.

What?! Gospelfest is the annual concert put on by the family of Mrs. Pam, our sitter. The last time I’d talked about going to that was weeks earlier! However, I’m sure he knew from other recent and frequent conversations that if I was going to go there, I would prefer to go there WITHOUT ANY KIDS.

Pretty tempting deal, but I had to stand on principle—and stubbornness.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Happy Brother's Day!

Max was napping and Ryan and I left the boys in the house to listen for him so we could harvest the garden without having to run in and out of the house every two minutes. I'll admit, this is usually a recipe for disaster, but the stars must have been lined up just right this day. Reed poked his head out of the door only once, and just to ask us what letter made the "yuh" sound. A few minutes later he emerged with a card he'd made for Calvin and wanted to show me. "It's Brother's Day!" he announced, declaring a holiday I had once suggested when he asked why Mommy and Daddy got a special day, but kids didn't. The picture he held up had a message written in scribbles, and a painstakingly-scribed "i luv y yuu" above a picture of Calvin in his Lone Ranger costume. Never mind that Reed's rendition of Calvin resembled a racoon with a lasso, this was the sweetest thing EVER. Being the emotional Mommy that I am, I got a little choked up. Reed, the tender-hearted one in the family, gave me a sweet hug and said, with a sheepish grin on his face, "You can take a picture of us." This is the shot we got of the Lone Ranger and Randy.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Lone Ranger and His Faithful Sidekick, Randy

My summer naptime bribery is that if either big boy actually falls asleep (and the other boy doesn't make a peep) they can watch a short movie after naptime (Oh, how I pray they will comply, since it means double Mommy time!). Since we currently have ZERO television stations and have grown a little tired of our Scooby Doo DVD, we checked out some old-school entertainment from the library: The Lone Ranger. After watching their first episode, they were hooked. They donned cowboy hats and boots and convinced me to make masks out of old stretchy headbands. Eventually, they recruited Papa to draw a pistol on cardboard so they'd be armed and dangerous. But in the early days of playing Lone Ranger, one of them decided that they couldn't both play the Ranger (he is lone, after all). So, being the little brother, Calvin got demoted to sidekick status. That was OK by him once he found a headband and a few feathers. He dubbed himself Randy, insistent that he heard on the show that was the name of the Lone Ranger's friend. No amount of arguing would convince Randy that maybe he has misheard his name. So, I let him go find his friend and get back to outwitting bad guys, galloping around the house.

Several episodes later, two things happened. First, I downloaded the William Tell Overture onto my iPod so I could illicit galloping on a whim. Second, Randy magically changed his name to Tonto, insistent that I had misheard him - he was never Randy. Whatever.