Thursday, October 29, 2009

In the news!

Check out Evan at 45 seconds in!! And then again around the 1:30 mark with Mom and Emmett in the background!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkins, pigs, and slides oh my!

Eric and I went to the pumpkin farm with his preschool last week. He really was a Sugar Pie Honey Bunch :-)

Three months! Right on time!

I have no idea how long I will keep this up, but since I happen to have some blogging time on Emmett's 3 month birthday...here we go.
  • Weight: about 18 pounds, so he seems to be slowing down a little bit. Finally. The kid is wearing 9-12 month clothes and has started rice cereal, so I was getting a little worried about how long this gorwth spurt was going to last.
  • Sleeping: about 9 hours at night, and not so great with the naps during the day. I am starting to see a little bit of a pattern though, so we'll work on it.
  • Personality: he's such a little dude :-) If I prop him up on my lap, he sings and coos and makes all sorts of cute noises and gives these huge grins. His eyes are a gorgeous shade of blue with the longest eyelashes I've ever seen--combine those with a drooly, bubble-blowing smile, and I'm a sucker for whatever he's selling.
  • Unexpected things worth mentioning: He LOVES the jumper/exersaucer/whatever you want to call it. I stick a pillow behind his head just to help keep his head straight, but the kid will sit in there kicking and dancing, and just as happy as can be. He is a strong little guy, and I can tell I'm going to be in trouble in another couple of months!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

You can be my wingman anytime.

As Evan and I were driving home from school the other day, he was telling me about a new friend he made in the cafeteria. It seems a boy named Cyrus was making faces at a girl named Regan, and Regan kept putting her lunch box in front of her face so Cyrus wouldn't look at her. And Evan kept pushing her lunch box down so Cyrus could look at her.

It won't be long until they break out into song on the playground...sometimes it's good to be a mother of all boys!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Intergalactic


Priorities

The bedtime battles have returned. We are back to the nights of running up and down the steps every 10 minutes, bribing, threatening...one night I actually left the kids with nothing but the fitted sheet on their beds. No pillows, blankets, or stuffed animals. After some discussion, Evan and I identified two key rules, wrote them on a piece of paper, and hung them in their room:
  1. Be quiet
  2. Stay in bed
Every night, I remind Evan of the rules, usually by asking "what are the rules?" Tonight when I asked him, he started to go into a long rambling spiel about how it's hard to remember and maybe if I moved the nightlight closer to the sign he would remember them. I asked him who the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles was and--without taking a breath--he rattled off all THREE quarterbacks (McNabb, Garcia, and Vick).

When you have knowledge like that, how can you possibly have room in your brain to remember how to go to sleep at night?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Maybe I'm not to blame

A few days ago I told Evan he could keep a blanket in his kid-sized armchair if he took all the toys out of it. There's a pocket on the back of the chair that I'm sure is intended to hold a couple of books, but apparently it has the same quality as Mary Poppins' carpet bag because here's everything that came out of it:
  • Mr. Potato Head
  • $1 bill
  • McDonalds Happy Meal puppies Fluffy and Otis and Teddy
  • Puppy "Sarah"
  • Usborne addition thingamabopper
  • Usborne subtraction thingamajig
  • Potty book
  • Empty photo album
  • Jack & Annie book
  • card from Grandma
  • Picture from friend Sophie
  • Transformer
  • 11 Hot Wheels cars
  • Frog noisemaker
I felt a little guilty after seeing all this, because as crazy neat and organized as I like to be, I also tend to be a little tiny bit of a packrat. It runs in the family though, so that's my excuse, and I figured poor Evan was just another victim of the gene.

And then I looked in Ethan's swim bag because I suspected that Evan's "lost" sunglasses might be in there. Despite the fact that we have not been to the pool in well over a month, here are the contents:
  • 3 kids t-shirts (1 for Evan, 2 for Eric)
  • 2 pairs of Ethan's goggles
  • 2 pairs of Evan's goggles
  • 2 pairs of kids sunglasses
  • 1 pair of Ethan's glasses (no idea how he has been seeing for the past month)
  • 1 pair of Ethan's sunglasses
  • 1 pretzel stick
  • 1 diving stick
  • 1 badly smushed bag of goldfish (thankfully there were no bags of fruit!)
So I guess Ethan and I get to share the blame on this one :-)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Two months! Still a little late!

Since the one month update was so much fun, why not do it again?

Emmett:
  • Weight: 16 pounds, 11 ounces. The pediatrician believes I am producing Haagen Dazs.
  • Sleeping: 8 hours at night pretty consistently (woo hoo!). Still not really getting into a daytime nap schedule, but seeing as how he sleeps 8 hours at night, and then goes back to sleep for 2-3 more hours? I don't really care!!
  • Personality: Not quite as squeaky and grunty, but still a noisy little dude. Loves to be held, but also enjoys hanging out in his swing/chair. He is also handing out the smiles like candy, except when I have the camera out. The he just looks at me with this crooked frown.
  • Unexpected things worth mentioning: He has amazing neck strength and head control...the doctor made a point to mention that because babies with big heads tend to not be very good at picking up their heads, and Emmett does it like a rock star. You go boy!
Jessica:
  • Weight: minus 35 pounds. But before you start calling me mean names, I do have the pouch and I'm going to need to do more than laundry to get rid of it. I liked it better after Evan was born when the pouch went away by itself...
  • Sleeping: Slightly less than what Emmett sleeps at night, which is my own fault. I really need to learn to go to sleep when he goes to sleep!!
  • Personality: Apparently I'm pretty calm and laid back. A friend called this morning to tell me her son has what they are 95% sure is the swine flu and she said the reason she wasn't totally freaked out about it is because I was so relaxed about the topic when we had lunch a few weeks ago. Silly, but that made me feel pretty good!
  • Unexpected things worth mentioning: I produce Haagan Dazs. No, I do not give out free samples.

My work here is done

Evan has mastered the art of buying lunch at school, but like most activities in his life, he has to find a way to be anal about it. I can call him anal, because he's my kid, not to mention the fact that he probably gets this 'bad habit' from me. I don't think it's a bad habit, but I'm sure it drives his father nuts ;-)

He also rambles a lot, but that could just as easily be blamed on Ethan's genetics.

Anyway!

Evan came home the other day and told me he got a cookie with his lunch, which is an 'extra.' No big deal, I know he eats pretty well, so if he wants to get a cookie with lunch, have at it. He then tells me that, since he got a cookie, he did not get chocolate milk because "that would just be too much chocolate."

Thankfully, Ethan restrained himself from telling Evan there's no such thing as too much chocolate.

Monday, August 31, 2009

One month! (three days late)

Emmett is a month old! I didn't miss the milestone, I just have not had a chance to blog since then :-) So, a month later, here's how things are going...

Emmett:
  • Weight: approximately 14 pounds (holy crap, what is this kid eating??)
  • Sleeping: 6 hours one blessed night. Average is a singe 4-hour stretch, and 2 hours the rest of the time. But we are making progress on a lengthy (2 hour) afternoon nap!
  • Personality: Wants to be held constantly, and loves to look at the ceiling (??). Still extremely squeaky and grunty, to the point that I occasionally call him Wilbur.
  • Unexpected things worth mentioning: He outgrew the newborn diapers when he was 6 days old. And then the size 1 diapers & 3 month outfits at 3 weeks. Moved out of the bassinet (due to excessive squeaking/grunting) at just under a month.
Jessica:
  • Weight: minus 27 pounds. And constantly hungry/thirsty.
  • Sleeping: Slightly less than what Emmett sleeps, and no more naps during the day. I'm just not a good daytime sleeper :-(
  • Personality: Delightful as always (just ask my husband)!! Except when Emmett goes on his three hour feeding frenzy from 8-11 PM...
  • Unexpected things worth mentioning: hmmm...nothing too exciting. I've gotten used to the 'routine' a little more than I expected and am making a slight dent in my random "to do" list...I am giving my closet a makeover, packed up a few bags of maternity/baby clothes to give away, nothing too exciting ;-)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

It's not easy being green

I have something to confess. Don't judge me.

We are not a very 'green' family. We don't recycle (at all) and do plenty of other wasteful things. I'm trying to get better about it though.

We have cut WAY down on our paper towel usage since switching to microfiber cloths. I think we used to go through a roll of paper towels in about two weeks...we're on our third roll since buying these things in February. That's a saving of ELEVEN rolls!! Now if only I could get my husband to quit using tissues and napkins to wipe up spills...

I got a recycling bin from our trash company. I'll give you a second to pick yourself up off the floor, for those of you that have come over and put your empties on the counter next to our trash can, only to have me come behind you and throw it into the trash can. Yes folks, I am going to attempt to remember to fill that bin and put it out by the curb once a week and do a little good!!

I have started taking batteries and dead electronics to Best Buy for recycling. The guy at the front door gave me a hard time about it, but the nice customer service lady took my dead hair dryer and worn out electric razor and promised they would in fact be recycled, so at least I know I tried.

I'd like to make the switch to cloth napkins as well, but am having trouble finding napkins that 1) are not the size of a kid's blanket and 2) do not cost a small fortune. Fabkins are really cute, but $20 for a set of 4? It ALMOST inspires me to make them myself! Almost.

So why write a boring blog post on how un-green I am? Because now, when I look at my blog, maybe I will remember to be a little more green. And take the recycling out on Sunday night because the truck comes at like 5 AM on Monday :-)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Twenty things I am tired of saying at the dinner table

To be honest, I didn't have 'twenty' as part of the title when I started this post, but when I realized I could actually come up with 20 things we say at the dinner table on a regular basis, I had to add it. So here it is:
  1. Sit up
  2. Put your cup where it belongs
  3. Use your napkin
  4. Use your fork/spoon
  5. Do not wipe your hands on your shirt
  6. Do not wipe your face on your shirt
  7. Get your hands off of your feet
  8. Get your legs out of your shirt
  9. Stop kicking the table
  10. Head above the table
  11. Fingers out of your mouth
  12. Elbows off the table
  13. Pay attention to what you're doing
  14. Take smaller bites
  15. Stop picking at the bread and take a bite
  16. Chew with your lips closed
  17. Don't talk with food in your mouth
  18. Put your arms down
  19. No
  20. Eat!
I'm wondering if I can turn this into some kind of game to get the kids to break some of these habits? Do other people have these issues? Honestly, we're thinking of leaving them at 'Parents Night Out' at daycare this weekend to be able to eat a meal with OUT saying any of these things!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summer days driftin' away...

For the first time in a long time, I realized summer is coming to an end. I guess it's because, since college, there really hasn't been any milestone that separates summer 'vacation' from the rest of the year. Even last year, when we moved Evan to a new school, it just kind of floated along (or I blocked out the trauma of taking my oldest to his first day of kindergarten).

This summer was pretty easy, as far as they go. Evan and Eric were co-located, so we didn't have to drop-off and pick-up multiple kids in multiple places. Evan's camp offered swim lessons, so no running around in the evenings/weekends. We didn't really take any vacations, because who wants to spend more time than they have to cooped up in a car with a pregnant lady who constantly needs to go to the bathroom?? So it was a lazy summer, spent by the local pool and in the backyard playing 'ghost ball' (variation of baseball that only requires 2 people).

But the school year is creeping closer...3 weeks from today, in fact. Evan will be a first grader at a new school, both kids will start Sunday school at our church (although Evan goes on Saturdays--how weird is that?), soccer starts, and we're going to attempt to keep the swim lessons going as well, although it will only be once a week during soccer season. Luckily, I don't go back to work quite yet, and when I do it will only be a part-time gig until January.

So enjoy these last few weeks of summer until the chaos begins!

Monday, August 17, 2009

The day (before) you were born

Evan & Eric,

Not to leave you guys out, but you were both born on the day you were 'supposed' to be. Probably the only time Eric has done something on someone else's schedule ;-). I went to the hospital the night before, the next morning my water was broken, drugs/epidural were given...yada yada yada...you were born. So simple, no additional stress, no frantic phone calls. Bags were packed, cameras/phones were charged, cars were where they were supposed to be. It was nice.

Love, Mom



Emmett,

You were determined to do things a little different, and you succeeded. After the doctor's office messed up your original induce date, you decided the newly scheduled date wasn't going to work for you either. July 29th was NOT going to be your birthday, dammit! I went to the doctor the morning of the 27th for the usual weigh-in and belly measurement, and over the 2 hours spent listening to women talk about their high-risk pregnancies, 44-hour labors, epidurals not working properly, hospitals not having private rooms, I'm guessing you decided "enough of this crap, I'm getting out of here!" and so labor began. The nurse in the doctor's office said it was the first time she saw someone start labor in the office, which I find pretty impressive. So away we went to the hospital, where I did NOT tell your dad that the contractions were still coming, because there's a chance he would have run that last red light and your delivery would have been a six o'clock news story.

Once we got to the hospital and the superstar anasthesiologist made all my pain stop? You decided to take a rest as well, and make us think today was NOT going to be the day you were going to be born. So then the doctor came, water was broken, drugs were given, he said it would be a done deal by 9 PM. And 9 PM came and went (if they had done a sonogram, I bet it would have shown a particular finger pointed in the air). At 11 PM, your dad actually went home to get some clean clothes and the cell phone chargers--again, since you decided to do this on your own schedule, we were not as well-prepared as we could have been. Bags were packed, but sitting at home...and my car with all the carseats was conveniently located at the doctor's office.

Finally, a few minutes into July 28th, you decided you were ready. You're certainly handsome enough to be a Monday's Child, but we'll have to wait a little bit to find out why you insisted on being born on a Tuesday instead. The nurse had us do a 'practice push' while the doctor was getting ready, and then yelled at me to stop pushing because apparently you were REALLY ready to come out. Yada yada yada, push push push, and out you came. All EIGHT POUNDS AND FOURTEEN OUNCES of you. Seriously kid, I have my work cut out for me, don't I?

Good thing you're cute.


Love, Mom

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Another reason my hubby and I are a perfect match...

Conversation after dinner last night...

E: What did you do today?

J: I didn't do anything you told me not to!

E: For the love of...what did you do?!?!?

After a few minutes of running around the house and finding I had re-arranged the closets in the basement...

E: Woman, are you crazy? Why did you re-arrange closets/move a 30 lb case of poker chips/do things a 9 month pregnant woman should not be doing?

J: Why do we have an ice luge kit hiding above the washer and dryer?

E: Sunova!

Five minutes later...

E: So, do you want to set it up?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Let the festivities begin!

Evan graduates from kindergarten this week...factor in some pregnancy hormones and I'm thinking my husband is not going to want to stand anywhere near me during their little ceremony.

The past couple of weeks have been a chaotic mess of spirit days, field day, field trips, and all of the above events being re-arranged because of the weather. And we still need to get through the picnic and graduation.

Today was the spring musical. I was unable to attend, but my hubby did his thing and spent most of the morning at school, and hand-delivered the video camera minutes after it was all over, making him the BEST HUSBAND EVER (until I came home and saw what he did to the laundry, but that's a story for another day). And if you remember the Christmas show, Evan continued his role as the star performer (and I'm really not even exaggerating, see for yourself):

video

Enjoy!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

How do they do that?

I swear my kids can have a growth spurt overnight, or even while they spend the day away from me. Eric was looking much taller the other day when I picked him up, and his shorts seemed a lot looser (more loose?), so I swear he grew a couple of inches at daycare.

Today we went shoe shopping (I should pick a brand of shoes and buy stock in it the way Evan & Eric wear through sneakers), and I was having trouble finding a pair to fit Eric. His last pair was a 6.5, so I thought a 7-7.5 would be the next logical shoe size. I finally took him to the measuring thingy and his big toe was almost touching the 9. We ended up with an 8.5, but seriously--I bought him last pair of shoes three months ago!! Two sizes in three months!! Craziness!!

And yes, I prefer to think my child has feet that magically grew 2 sizes over the past week instead of obsessing about how long he has been running around in too small shoes and maybe that's why he's been such a grump. Also because he has eaten more food in the past 48 hours than the entire week before that ;-)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Proof that my kid can read

Evan is a reading machine...it's great and mind-numbing all at the same time. Great, because he can read signs and stories and even enjoys reading to his little brother. Mind-numbing because he reads the same things OVER and OVER. Like the sign on the door to his school that say "Olivia V., principal of the day, has declared June 1st to be Crazy Hair Day." Or the "Going out of business. 60% off" sign on the furniture store we pass every morning. I could go on, but I won't.

And if you're thinking "sure he can read, he's probably 'reading' the same picture books he's been looking at for 5 years now and just recognizing letters on the signs" then ha!

Last night Evan came up to me and simply said "best sex ever" before heading to the bathroom to take a bath. Somewhat horrified, I then realized this was printed on the cover of the Cosmopolitan magazine I happened to be reading.

I canceled my subscription a few months ago, but stuck the unread issues on a shelf in my closet, just to be safe.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Pregnancy humor (which may only be funny to me)

I feel like I could be my own series of 'Yo Mama' jokes with a pregnancy twist...how pregnant am I? I'm so pregnant...
  • I worry about mowing down a 3yo when I pick up Eric from daycare because I can't see the kids under my stomach
  • If I need to make a u-turn with a shopping cart in the store, I have to go all the way to the end of the aisle to turn around
  • Random strangers offer to load my groceries into my car, even though the heaviest thing I buy is a 12-pack of soda. I'm pretty sure they're going to start thinking I have a pillow stuffed under my clothes, since I'll be this way for another couple of months
  • I can no longer wear pants...unless they're overalls. Yes, I wear overalls. And dresses. But only because I'm pregnant.
  • By the time I finish washing my hands after using the bathroom, I could go again (and sometimes do)
  • I get excited when Evan is on the playground at pickup time, because then I don't have to put my shoes back on
Pregnancy events to look forward to...taking the elevator to my 2nd floor office and breaking out the laptop bag on wheels!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Oh Happy Day

I'm not even going into my lack of blogging. It is what it is.

I had a wonderful Mother's Day today though. Evan and I went to the Orioles/Yankees game in Baltimore and had an absolute blast. Ethan and Eric stayed home, because the little man just would not have had the patience to spend all day watching a baseball game, but he'll get there. So while I'm a little bummed I didn't get to spend Mother's Day with all of my boys, I'll get over it as I remember the awesomeness that was the baseball game.

This? Is the view of first base from our seats. FROM OUR SEATS PEOPLE!!! I didn't even have to stand up to take this picture, and it was from my little point-and-shoot camera that does NOT have a super-duper zoom lens on it.



Evan's favorite, #21, Nick Markakis
Did I mention we took these pictures
FROM OUR SEATS?!?!



An autograph from Dave Trembley...
we didn't even have to leave our seats



Evan and The Bird
(Momma Bird was also there, which was kind of funny)


Seriously, it was an awesome day, and I realize the non-baseball/Orioles fans will not appreciate it half as much as I did, but that's okay. We saw foul balls whiz past us, heard the clap of the ball when it hit the first baseman's glove, saw all the action that takes place in a run-down (too bad we got out because of it), and experienced baseball up close and personal. Hopefully I can live with going back to the 'cheap seats' after a day like today :-)

And, not to be left out, my goofball at home :-)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

2 steps forward, 2 steps back

Why must parenting be so hard??

Eric made some excellent strides in potty training today. No accidents, and he actually went to the bathroom as opposed to just holding it in all day and then going when he finally gets a diaper on at nap/bedtime. AND he went on the potty at home which is a flipping miracle. Life is good, right?

Sadly, we are going to have to go back to having the boys in separate rooms for a while. Despite the '21 days to form a habit' theory, no good habit is being formed and it's been waaaay more than 21 days. The only way to get Evan and Eric to go to sleep in the same room at a decent hour without injury is for Ethan or I to sit in the room until they both fall asleep. And we have better ways to spend ~10 hours a week. So unless someone has a brilliant plan, Eric will go back to the 'baby' room tomorrow night, which is sad and pitiful because we already put the toddler bed away and essentially he'll be sleeping on a tiny little crib mattress while there's a nice big-boy bed in the next room over. But the boys need their sleep and us parents need our sanity.

And can I express my disappointment in the internet and its lack of help in the room-sharing crisis? I know Eric is the 'spirited' child, but I can't be the first person to put a feisty 3 yo in a bedroom with his 5 yo brother, can I? But if you google things like "sharing room" all you get is people putting an infant and a toddler together, or people wondering if it's wrong to have a boy and a girl share a room. Internet, how can you let me down in my time of crisis??

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I have NO idea where he learned this one...

I was taking Evan to school this morning, which requires a u-turn on a relatively busy road. We had to wait a few minutes for the cars to break and let us through, which is always a pain because clearly it would kill people to wait the 8 seconds it takes for me to make a u-turn when the only thing they accomplish by NOT letting me go is to get to a red light faster, but I digress. Where was I? So the cars finally stopped, but only because there was no road left between the intersection and the red light, and we made our turn. As we go past, Evan says:

"THANK you cars for NOT stopping to let us go through." And then tells me "Mom, I'm not really thanking them, because they weren't being very nice to us. Like last night, when a car was beep-beep-beeping and I said 'THANK you car for making that NICE beeping noise.'"

I have no idea where he could have learned sarcasm at the ripe old age of 5 1/2. Because, CLEARLY I would never make comments like that ;-)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

All I wanted was some nasal spray...

After yet another night of not sleeping too well because of the clogged sewage system that is my sinuses, I called the doctor. I just wanted to know if there was something I could spray into my nose that will let me breathe so I can sleep. Really, that's all. Just something a little stronger than saltwater to help me breathe.

The nurse yelled at me to get my tail home and into bed and drink fluids until I could handle no more. Ok, maybe she didn't really yell and she did ask some questions first, but after hearing the answers (fever, kids were sick, I was at work), she very sternly told me to go home and asked where to send the doctor's note.

So I'm home, at least through tomorrow, when I will go to the doctor and let them confirm that my head is congested and maybe they should let me take something to clear it out. And I figured I better not do anything more strenuous than watch TV and play on the computer until then because the mean nurse might have some sort of spy cam on me to make sure I'm following her orders.

And I'm not really all that impressed by the movie 'Juno'

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ketchup...again

I'm so far behind, I'm not sure I can get away with just catching up, but you gotta start somewhere.

Our house survived a near disaster about a month ago when a pipe burst in our neighbor's basement and flooded into our basement. It was right before St. Patty's Day, so I figure we must have found a leprechaun somewhere and the fact that we have a hole in a storage closet, a beautifully cleaned carpet, and didn't pay a dime out of pocket must have been the pot of gold reward.

Baby #3 is healthy and well, and also a boy. Evan spent the next couple of days asking if maybe it will turn into a baby sister, but it's amazing how a couple of McDonalds happy meals can make him think that another little brother isn't such a bad thing.

Eric turned 3 a few weeks ago. I'm a horribly bad mother and have no pictures to mark the day, but technically his birthday party isn't until this weekend, so I'll make up for it then. We had high hopes that turning three would magically rid him of the terrible two's, but I think I would have had better luck wishing for Santa Clause to slide down our chimney with a sleigh full of presents. But he has been sick for most of his 3yo life (more on that later), so we're trying to cut him some slack.

We took a brief vacation to Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, which was a blast for kids and grown-ups alike. Eric went down the little water slide at least a hundred times, and based on the grin on his face and the light in his eyes, every time was like the first time. Evan was tall enough to enjoy most of the rides in the waterpark (with dad's help), and there were plenty of 'dry' activites to keep everyone happy. I'm not sure if Ethan's favorite part was the fact that you could drink beer while in the waterpark or the Starbucks/ice cream shop located in the hotel. It was a great trip.

And now I'm sick. Eric got sick right before we left Great Wolf, but seeing as how he could get sick in a bubble, I can't really blame it on the waterpark. Add spring allergies into the mix and most of the house is pretty miserable. So today I am relegated to my bed with crappy daytime TV and the hope that sleep and Tylenol will make all my troubles go away.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

And the 'Best Actor' award goes to...


Evan Sanderson!

For his dramatic performance in "I Have a Splinter in My Hand"!

Evan was outside yesterday afternoon while I was cooking dinner, playing tennis. And by playing tennis, I mean he was hitting every ball he could find over the fence and then complaining because I would not let him go get them. At some point, he started hitting the balls onto the deck, so he'd come up the stairs to get them and then head back down, sliding his hand along the wooden railing, which is where the splinter enters the picture.

There are no tears or panic until I tell him I need tweezers to dig the half-inch piece of wood out of his hand.

"Not the tweezers, they won't work!"

"OWWWW!!"

"Maybe you should try pulling on the other side of the splinter"

(my personal favorite) "Do you think I'll still be able to hold the racket in my left hand?"

And after he held still and stopped talking long enough for me to get the splinter out, the pain and tears started. But only after I asked him to finish setting the table. And he was magically cured with an ice pack and the promise that he could still go swimming last night.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Parenting Solutions

I took a class not to long ago and they said it takes 21 days to establish a habit. Clearly this rule does not apply to children under the age of 6 (maybe older, but I have no proof of that). Every day before nap/bed time, I remind Evan and Eric to STAY IN BED and BE QUIET and GO TO SLEEP. Seems easy enough, right? They always agree with me and sometimes even say the words before I do. I'm pretty sure they understand.

Yet, no sooner do I put my foot on the first step to go downstairs, I hear a squeal or the thump of someone's feet (I hope) hitting the floor. So four seconds after leaving the room, all 3 'rules' have been broken. Then Ethan and I have to trade off going in and reminding them that they are supposed to be in bed, quiet, and sleeping. It's not fun. There must be a better way.

Here are my ideas so far--any takers?
  1. Some sort of watch/anklet that reminds them to "be quiet!" as soon as they start talking/squealing.
  2. An invisible fence that reminds them to "get back in bed!" as soon as they try to climb down.
  3. One of those posters/paintings of me with my 'evil Jessica' face (as Ethan calls it) that looks like it's always watching you.
And I realize #1 and #2 sound dangerously similar to what you would do to a dog, but nowhere in there did I suggest an electric shock. I'm just saying, in case you were thinking it ;-)

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Some assembly required

Ethan and I are no good when it comes to completing household projects as a couple. I think he will disagree with this, in which case I hope he comments his rationale for disagreeing so the readers can enjoy. When it comes to things like, oh say, assembling furniture or hanging pictures/blinds, it's generally not a pleasant experience. I believe it has something to do with the fact that one of us in a control freak and one of us is stubborn. And one of us is Ethan ;-)

We purchased the boys new 'captain' beds which have huge drawers underneath to help offset the fact we are cramming 2 people's things into what used to be 1 person's room. I'll spare you the lengthy details of every argument discussion that took place, but essentially there were problems because I:
  1. Read directions
  2. Do not buy the most expensive item that can be bought
  3. That about covers it
In the end, the beds are assembled, Ethan is still speaking to me, and the boys are very excited about the new furniture and quilts. So I'd say a few arguments discussions are worth it ;-)


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Maybe it would be okay.

In case you're some random stranger who has stumbled upon this blog, or lurks behind the scenes and knows nothing about me unless I post it, here's an update. I'm pregnant. Almost 4 months along now. Now the rest of this will make sense.

To be quite honest, the thought of having a girl freaks me out a little bit. Not in a way that will impact me in the slightest bit once she snuggles in my arms for the first time, but in theory? Freaks me out. I have 2 boys (3 if you count the hubster). I know what to do with boys, as much as you can know what to do with them. And, best of all, there are always things that I can say "you really need to go ask Daddy about that." With a girl, I don't think there are a lot of topics that Dad is going to have the infinite wisdom about. Besides, I am a girl (news flash!!), and I know what it's like to live with me and deal with my moods and episodes and good grief could I really live with another one of me? I spent many years living with my mother, who is probably as close to being me as a person will ever get and while my mother is a lovely woman who I will always love...it's probably a good thing that there are over 600 miles between us on an average day.

And what if I have a princess?? Or a screecher? Oh good grief, I need to get away from all the 'what ifs'

I had a revelation the other night that maybe a girl wouldn't be so bad. That there are the up sides to having a girl. Besides the kind of cute clothes (with minimal if any pink/lacy ruffles) and hair that doesn't need to be shorn like a sheep every couple of weeks. Are you ready?

The gas.

Evan and Eric are making great strides on sharing a room and oh dear God the smell in that room when I check on them at night is enough to bring back my morning sickness. Seriously, what are these kids eating??

And yes, I realize girls have gas and it doesn't smell like roses, but keep that to yourself and give me optimistic moment that I could survive having a girl and there might even be some perks ;-)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Classic

Eric and I went to a birthday party for one of his classmates yesterday. It was a better time than expected...I've become leery about parties at people's houses. But they had cleared out a room for the kids to play in, had a pirate/princess show that was a big hit, and pizza was on time with plenty for parents to enjoy. All in all, it was a successful party.

The birthday boy had a cold. As in, big ugly green goo hanging out of his nose that his parents did not seem to notice. Or maybe I'm the only one who noticed it because I am anal-retentive about things like that with my kids and cannot stand to see stuff hanging out of their nose even if they are sleeping peacefully. Some of you are rolling your eyes thinking "get over it woman" and others are saying "Amen, sister...I don't want to see that stuff either." Whatever, it bothers me. After pizza, his dad finally decided to clean his face and thankfully he looked normal again.

We move back to the table to sing happy birthday to the birthday BOY as a cake is brought out with PINK icing. But that's not the weird part. As we finish singing and wait for the kid to blow out the candles, he holds out his finger and cheerily announces "I have a big booger!"

I hope they submit that video and win some money. And buy the kid a lifetime supply of Kleenex and anti-bacterial hand wash.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Power of Chocolate

I've learned a valuable lesson in parenting today...the power of chocolate.

The boys have been sharing a room since Friday night, and it's going 'okay' at best. And by okay, I mean they have been falling asleep (at least) 2 hours later than normal and waking up at the same time every morning. They're exhausted. Ethan and I are exhausted from repeatedly going in the room to tell them to stop talking/playing.

At dinner tonight, I told Evan I was going to come into the room at 9:00 tonight and, if he was asleep, I would let him have a piece of chocolate at breakfast tomorrow. I'm desperate. Last night it took until 10 PM for them both to fall asleep and I was so exhausted that I fell asleep about 3 minutes after that.

It's not even 8 PM and Evan is already asleep. Eric is still awake, but in bed and quiet and--most important--not disturbing his sleeping brother.

Thank you chocolate. Thank you.

Update: As of 8:30 PM, BOTH kids are asleep. And then Evan fell out of bed, got a knot the size of a golf ball on the back of his head, had a night terror, but is sleeping again. Oy.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I'm Confused.

I know, not the biggest news flash, but seriously. Here is a situation where I am trying to do the right thing and be a good customer, and, well...that's where I get confused.

After much persuasion, Ethan agreed we could replace the annual 'adventure' of picking out a fresh Christmas tree, stringing it with lights, cussing at the tree stand that doesn't fit right, worrying about kids eating needles, and all that other drama with an artificial tree. So after Christmas, we ordered one from a reputable merchant who shall currently remain nameless. Tree shows up in 2 heavy heavy heavy boxes, we assemble it and find two problems:

1. It's too tall
2. It's ugly as hell

Ethan returns the tree to the local store and refund is processed, no problem. All is happy in the world, right? Wrong.

About a week later, a heavy heavy heavy box shows up on our doorstep, looking suspiciously like one of the boxes the first tree arrived in, from the same reputable merchant. We have yet to open the box (or receive a second box), but I'd lay some good money down that it's half a Christmas tree sitting in our dining room and the store just messed up the shipping label when they tried to send it back to the warehouse.

I finally get around to calling the store today, to find out what I should do with this box. Ideally, I'd like them to give me a label so we can send it back to them without having to haul it halfway across town, but if we need to take it to the store, then so be it.

The lady told me to give it to Goodwill or throw it away or just do whatever I want with it. That she was very sorry for the inconvenience, but since I had my refund, that was the most important thing. And she made it sound like sending me a shipping label would be way too inconvenient FOR THEM. Because clearly, having half of a tree sitting in their warehouse is doing them a lot of good. And I'm sure Goodwill would love for me to drop a 100 lb box on their doorstep with half a tree in it.

Strange world that we live in...guess the economy and environment are doing a little better in some people's eyes!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Find wall. Bang head into it.

We are trying to make the move away from using paper towels and towards microfiber cloths. Hubby bought into the idea, we bought a set of cloths in different colors (so you have a pretty good idea that they're getting changed on a regular basis), and I moved the paper towels under the sink so they are out of sight/mind, but still there if absolutely necessary.

The second day of our conversion, my husband spills some egg on the counter. He gets a wet paper towel to wipe up the egg, and then a second paper towel to DRY THE COUNTER. Sigh. After an exchange on salmonella vs. throwing the cloth into the laundry pile, we move on. Things seem to be going well, the paper towel roll seems to be as full as it was a week ago, microfiber towels are being used to clean things up and disposed into the laundry basket at the end of the day.

This morning I turn around to see my husband wiping something off the table with a tissue, and then throwing it in the trash.

Sigh.

There are still some kind people in the world

We're in the progress of upgrading the electronics in our basement/rec room. Amazon.com has proven to have the best deals, but unfortunately that means everything has to be delivered and the deliveries require signatures and the delivery guys come for those signatures when we're at work. Boo. We came home Thursday night to a notice on the door that one of our items would be redelivered, or we could pick it up at the shipping center late at night in some scary industrial park miles and miles from our house. Boo.

After dinner, the delivery guy returned to our house with our beautiful new speaker system. Because he was "in the neighborhood and thought you guys might be home by now."

It's good to know there are still some kind people in the world, even if it's only our FedEx delivery guy :-)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Baby steps may not take you far, but they take you somewhere!

Last week I took a class based on the book 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.' It was a good class, and almost a week after completing it I have not opened the book to start my commitment of learning these 7 habits. Isn't it always the way? But there was a good portion of the class about time management which I'm sure Ethan would say if I became any more time managed I would start scheduling my own bathroom breaks. Truth is, I'm great at figuring out what needs to be done and not that great at getting it done in a timely manner. Take the steam cleaner that is still sitting in our basement, unused for almost 3 years...really, take it. I've been meaning to get rid of it for about 2 years, and have even put it in a place where I will literally trip over it on a daily basis, but it eventually found it's way back into a closet in the basement.

Too bad they don't have a class on how not to ramble aimlessly.

So, part of the class was telling you make a weekly plan and a daily plan. And today I made a daily plan. It was short, and relatively simple tasks, but I almost finished it!! Yay!! I will probably not go out into the cold rain to deposit some checks at the bank, but they are all ready for deposit tomorrow, so I can either stop on the way to work or take a break at lunch.

Maybe tomorrow's list should be to schedule a Purple Heart pickup so I can get rid of the damn steam cleaner :-)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lost & Found

Lost

Blue-eyed blonde with angelic smile and cheeks that you just want to eat. Loves to do things himself and give long-lasting hugs and snuggles. Master at doing puzzles and singing 'Happy Birthday' to anyone within earshot.




Found

Red-faced little devil with what seem to be permanent tear streaks down his unhappy face and a curled up lip. Refuses to wear pajamas (and a diaper) at bedtime and does not like blankets/pillowcases on his bed. Breaks through closet locks and scales furniture when he should be sleeping.


Please let me know if you have what I lost and want what I found!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Man Plan - Dismantled

I swear I had nothing to do with this. At no point during my summary of 'The Man Plan' did I suggest my husband should NOT take Evan skiing with his co-workers. I was simply laying out all of the likely scenarios so if he came home and whined about being tired or Evan whining or having to miss a key play in the Eagles game, I could shut down the whining with a simple point to the blog. I was not objecting to having almost 2 days to myself with Eric who, when in the situation of an 'only child' is quite delightful to have around.

Hubby and Evan decided not to go skiing. Ethan blamed it on me to avoid commentary from his co-workers. I hope they read this blog ;-)

Co-workers decided not to go after finding out the cost of this simple overnight adventure was going to be a tiny bit more than they expected. Apparently the ski lesson for the kids did not include the lift ticket, which seems a little unfair, but oh well. Probably hasn't been the greatest ski season so far, and everyone needs to make a living.

So we'll ALL be home this weekend. Guess I better get going on the laundry to make sure all the Eagles gear is clean ;-)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Man Plan

My husband and 2 of his co-workers have decided it would be fun to take all the kids skiing...guys and kids only. Three men and four children, ages 5-7 (I think). Three of the children are girls.

They want to take them to a ski resort four hours away, so the brilliant plan was to leave the night before, spend the night, throw the kids in a half-day lesson while the men get some time on the slopes, pile everyone back in the car, and come home. One of the guys has an SUV big enough to hold everyone + gear, so seems simple enough, right?

Heh.

They decided this weekend would be the good weekend to go...leave Sunday and come back Monday. The day before Inauguration Day, when 4 million other people are going to be swooping down on the DC metro area.

Also? Since football playoffs are on Sunday, they have also decided it would make the most sense to leave earlier on Sunday, get everyone settled in before football, and essentially lock the kids in one room with movies while the guys watch football in the other room.

Here's my summary:

"So you're going to drive 4 hours with 4 kids to cram 7 of you into a 2 bedroom house, and then expect those kids to behave somewhat reasonably while you guys watch football all afternoon on a television that probably does NOT have Tivo. And while you guys stay up until midnight, you're going to want the kids to go to bed at a reasonable hour so they will not be tired and cranky when you dump them off on the ski slopes with a total stranger for 4 hours the next morning while you attempt to snowboard for the first time in at least 8 years. Then you're going to have to instantly provide food (and I mean INSTANTLY) for these starving tired children before shoving them all back into the car and driving another 4 hours back home, assuming you don't get stuck in traffic as you get closer to our house."

Apparently the other wives are just happy to be getting rid of their husbands and some kids for 2 days, and have not brought up any of these points. Maybe I should just do the same?

What amuses me more is that we are thinking of taking the kids to Great Wolf Lodge for a couple of days over (Evan's) spring break and Ethan looked at me as though I was a crazy woman when I suggested we rent one of the rooms that just has a separate sleeping area for the kids as opposed to one of the 2 bedroom suites.

Monday, January 12, 2009

We don't need no stinkin' beds!

Apparently Eric has decided he no longer likes his race car bed...the other day I had to wait for him to wake up from his nap because he was sleeping in front of his door.

Tonight, I just went to check on him and was unable to open the door because '**something** was blocking it. After gently shoving it open and squeezing myself through the opening, here's what I found:



I'm wondering if I should just give up on the bed or if he's trying to tell me he's ready for a 'real' bed?

If I blog it, it will come

I keep thinking of things to blog, but then when I get to a blog-friendly computer, my mind goes blank. So maybe if I post something and hit 'publish', I will suddenly remember what I wanted to blog and it won't be the middle of the night.

Otherwise, the best I have is that Evan and I went to the dentist today and I had no cavities, but he had one. Apparently 'craisins' have the same evil quality as fruit snacks. Oops. And my five year old boy? Already has his six-year-old molars. And another loose tooth.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Eric...the good, the bad, and the ugly


Eric is quite a kid...I'm not sure if there's a single word that can capture his personality, probably because over the course of a day it seems like he has more than one personality. This past week or so has been particularly rough, and I blame the irregular routine of daycare being closed, staying up late, and spending more time than usual lounging in pajamas and watching Disney channel on TV. We went through consecutive nights of being sent to bed without stories because of hitting (he was doing the hitting, just to be clear), followed by more nights of him refusing to keep his pajamas and diaper on. I think Ethan was a little worried about taking Evan swimming last night, because many of the previous nights I have not been able to handle Eric by myself and had to send him in for a couple of rounds.

But, strangely enough, when it was just the two of us, my blue-eyed angel re-appeared and all was well in the world. We read stories, I only had to put his pajamas on him one time--I did have to put him back in bed several times, but there was no fighting. The storm has passed!

Tonight, I picked Eric up and he was getting a diaper change, which led to a conversation about if he wanted to go to preschool, he was going to have to start using the potty. He spent the entire car ride home saying "I go to pee-school and go on the potty" which I thought was pretty funny. I'll have to tell his teachers the new requirement is that he needs to wear big boy underwear before he can go to 'pee-school.'

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Manipulation

My children are beyond exhausted from staying up way way way to late last night, and are resisting going to sleep tonight. On the umpteenth trip into Evan's room, I told him his dad and I were planning to take him to breakfast tomorrow morning as a special treat, but if he didn't go to sleep we weren't going to go (Eric has daycare, so just the three of us).

Evan told me he forgot to give me something. The 'something' was a giant hug, with both arms wrapped tightly around my neck while he whispered "I love you Mommy" in my ear.

He owns me.