Thursday, December 20, 2007

Clues to Isaac's Future

My retired-kindergarten-teacher MIL likes to tell the story of how, when he was a little boy, my Hubby would take care of the classroom doll when she brought it home for the summer. Which really alarmed my FIL. But, she always adds, it worked out just fine because look at what a wonderful father Hubby has grown up to be. And she's right; he really is an amazing Dad.
Still, we've never given Isaac any dolls. He has definitely NOT been interested. But Gracie got a doll as an early Christmas present and we were playing and I pretended that the doll had gotten hurt. And Isaac decided to hug and comfort her. I started to get warm fuzzies. Until he took her by the hand and swung her around SMASHING her into his block tower while simultaneously hollering, "Don't do that!". Then he did it again. And again.
Sigh... I'm still hoping to be a Grandmother someday. Hopefully not one of those Grandmothers who has full custody because her child is an unfit parent.
On the bright side, he's a smartie. We were eating at the Grandparents house on Christmas Eve. Isaac was drinking some water when, out of the blue he said, "Water starts with W."! What timing! The Grandparents were, of course, quite impressed. And I'm dreaming that my son might be a writer someday. If not Father of the Year.
It's not looking like it's in the cards for him to be a doctor either. Hubby was drying him off after his bath the other night when Isaac suddenly made a wild grab at his own private parts, yelling proudly,
Clearly anatomy is not his best subject so far.
If all else fails, I guess there will always be a place for him on the back of the trash truck. ;)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


The following is an excerpt from an actual conversation between Isaac and Little Thomas (we have Thomas toys in 3 sizes) who was being played by Isaac.

"Thomas, you're coming?"
"No. I'm not."
"Why not?"
"Because... I'm not."

Once again, a master of logic, that Isaac. Er... I guess that was Thomas, but still. Lately Little Thomas has been Isaac's constant companion. He even takes him to bed at night and at naptime. Which makes for interesting conversations about how Thomas can't settle down and go to sleep because he has work to do.
Then, during the day, it's all
'"Bust my buffers," Thomas cried' and '"Oh no!" Thomas gasped.'
That's right, our 2 year old narrates his playtime with verbs like "cried" and "gasped". Strange, I know. And he sounds exactly like a Thomas story. Or movie. We probably just read to him too much though. I mean, we only watch "Thomas and the Magic Railroad" (Thomas' first full length feature film, FYI) once or twice a day. No biggie right?
At least he's still using his imagination. Since Thomas is the only engine he has, his matchbox cars have been filling in for the other engines. Which gets a little confusing for me. It's hard to remember who the mixer truck is supposed to be and who the station wagon is. So I have to keep asking and Isaac lists them over and over for me.
"This one is Edward, this is Mavis, Henry, James, and James, and oh yeah this one is James."
In case you hadn't guessed, James is his favorite after Thomas right now. We're getting him James for Christmas. Not because he needs it, but because my poor tired brain is not what it used to be.
At least the "Thomas" stories are teaching him all kinds of good values, like how important it is to be "responsible", "reliable", "really useful", and "right on time"! But the question is, do I really want my child to become one of those punctual people? I mean, I'm not sure that being on time really is a virtue. At the very least, it's overrated. I mean, what's up with those people that are naturally on time EVERYWHERE they go? Without even the blood, sweat, and tears that it takes to get us NORMAL people out the door less than 20 minutes late! I mean, isn't it soo much worse when people show up too early than when they show up late? Isn't it???
By the way, if you're one of those FREAKISHLY PUNCTUAL people, you're still welcome to comment (because I'm really open-minded like that) but please be careful what you say. My self-esteem is even more fragile than my memory these days. ;)
Merry Christmas if I don't post again before then!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Never a dull moment

The other night at the dinner table we were discussing Isaac's lips. This was only partly because we're soo interesting and partly because when they're dry he picks them until they bleed. So we were saying how awful they looked and I mentioned that I'd put Vaseline on them that day. The very mention of Vaseline must have panicked Isaac (who HATES having anything on his lips) and he started complaining, "No! Don't want that! That goes on my bum!"
It's hard to argue with logic like that.
Especially when you're laughing to hard to explain that that's a different tube.
We went to story-time again yesterday. Very exciting you know. We made a paper-cup turkey and everything. Then a little boy sneezed all over Grace and me. I woke up this morning with a sore throat. Ugh! I do get sore throats when I'm tired though and Gracie was up about twenty-kazillion times last night so there is still hope that the kids won't get sick. I guess. I probably just sealed my fate by even typing that.
So it's just the same old stuff going on around here. Nothing new or interesting. Woops... I take that back. Isaac is dipping his cars in his applesauce and then driving them on the carpet! That's definitely new. I gotta go...

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Sick Days... again

SNOT. It's the only thing I can think to blog about. Actually it's the only thing I can think of at all because I'm up to my eyeballs in it. Yup, the kids have colds. Here we go again! We went to church 2 whole times, got all excited because finally, MAGICALLY after 2 and a half years of being attached to me at the hip, Isaac is perfectly comfortable staying in the nursery by himself. And Grace is okay...I think. Well, to be honest I don't know how she feels about the whole thing but I'm too tired to worry about her soo... I got to sit through a sermon... with my Husband... and NO CHILDREN!!! But I forgot why we had actually stopped going to church last winter. It was because sending your children to a church nursery is about as safe as taking them to the Peditrician and letting them LICK the toys in the waiting room! So my fantasy of becoming a church-going family again may be short-lived. Likewise my ideas about regular story-time attendance at the library (which we did yesterday). Sigh... and I was SO loving the idea of leaving the house a few times this winter. Well, I guess it's a good thing we bought a new remote so we can watch DVDs again. Especially since I'm bound to catch everything they do, what with my full 15 minutes or so of sleep every night.
So my question really is, do my kids have abnormally weak immune systems or what? I mean, I don't think so because Isaac had only had 1 (mild) cold up until last March or so when he was about 21 months old. Then he started catching something literally EVERY SINGLE time we went to church. And poor Gracie gets everything her brother gets even though she's nursing. What do people do that need to send their kids to daycare? I'm pretty sure I'd spend the entire winter working 2 days and then being home for a week with a sick baby and then sending them back to daycare for a day or 2 (just long enough to pick up a monster virus) then being home for a month with a really sick baby. And do other stay-at-home-moms really take care of the kids all by themselves while they have the flu (the mom not the kids) because I just can't do it! A cold is bad enough but to take care of kids while you're feverish and barfing? No thank you! So what am I missing? If you know any secrets, please share them!
I know you'd all love for me to just keep going with this feel-good post but Grace is waking up from her awesome super-long (yeah I'm feeling a little sarcastic :) nap so I better go get her.
Oh! Did I mention that she started pulling up tp stand, cut her first tooth (very painfully), and said her first word (Isaac) all in the same week!? It was a very. very. very. BAD week for sleep. On the bright side, she is totally amazing! Congratulations Princess Grace!

ps. Listen to this song, especially if you need to be lifted up a little! It's my absolute favorite right now and I'm listening to it about 12 times a day!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Confession of the Day

I've been wanting so badly to blog lately and just haven't been able to come up with anything. I think it's because I want my blog to be lighthearted and lately my heart is just a little bit heavy. All the laundry and dishes and unpacking (yes, we're still unpacking) and naps and meals and baths and everyday life are just kicking my butt right now.
I think that every Mom has a story to explain "what I didn't understand about being a parent before I became one". I think for a lot of people, it's just that it's SO hard. And it is. That's not my story though. Even if I didn't know exactly what it would be like, I expected hard. I even expected it to be really really hard. But I was ready. I'm a very hard worker and I'm very devoted to my kiddos and to the idea of being a good Mom. I figured I could handle it. Here's what I didn't expect.
All of me is not enough. All of the energy and all of the patience and all of the creativity and all of the hard work and devotion that I can muster WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH! Which, if you're a parent, you probably knew already.
Here's my dirty little secret. I have guilt. Not the average guilt that every parent probably has but terrible, crushing guilt. I just can't let go of the idea that I should be able to give my kids a perfect childhood. And yet, I know it's wrong. I'm quite sure that God designed the parenthood experience to be this way. I think it's so that we would be forced to give control of our greatest earthly treasures to him.
So now I feel guilty about not trusting the way I should. Figures.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Unhealthy Attachments

Wow, am I a slow learner! Why oh why did I tell the whole world that Grace is an amateur fit-thrower? Now (of course) she's morphing into an 8-month-old drama queen! She's learning that thrashing around and kicking her feet makes for a bigger better tantrum. This, combined with her new-found mobility (she's crawling... and she's good at it!) and a brother who doesn't want her to touch his stuff, is making for some interesting days here!
Meanwhile Isaac is developing some weird attachments. On Monday we had to have our truck towed. When the tow-truck arrived at our house, I immediately called Isaac to the window to see. I was expecting extreme excitement since, as you know, the arrival of the trash truck is a weekly cause for celebration. And the tow truck wouldn't just stop in front of our house but it would actually be IN OUR DRIVEWAY! And just as I expected, Isaac was very excited... for a minute. Then he realized that they were going to be taking OUR truck away with them and the whole event became devastating. We assured him that we would be getting the truck back but he wouldn't be consoled.
"Ok," I thought, "this is strange, but we did see an episode of 'Arthur' where Arthur is miserable at the thought that the family car is about to be junked and eventually saves the day by discovering that a baby rattle in in the tail-pipe is the only thing wrong with it (yes, we watch too much TV... so sue me). I guess emotional attachment to cars is just something that happens to little boys as well as grown-up ones."
Then Tuesday (our new trash day) rolled around and the trash truck came and we rushed to the window just like always. And, just like always, it was exciting. Until they started loading our trash into the truck.
"Want our trash back," Isaac said sadly. HUH???
So now I'm living in fear. You've probably heard of the recalls on "Thomas" toys lately. Of the 3 that we own, 2 have been recalled now. And twice I've been able to get away with pretending that I just can't find them for weeks on end while I wait for the new toy to arrive in the mail. But those 2 were just "Red Caboose" and "Toad". I'm terrified that Thomas himself will be recalled because I don't think Isaac could go a day without him and if he gets that upset about the trash being taken, a recall on beloved Thomas could make for a really rough 6 weeks or so! Oh yeah and the lead paint thing is scary too.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Blessings in Disguise

What am I, CRAZY?! Did I actually put it in writing that the discipline issues were just a phase? I'll put it this way; last week I learned for sure that God has a sense of humor!
The one thing that does make it all a little bit easier is that as Isaac's gotten older and more verbal, it's gotten easier to distinguish between real anguish and the times that it's purely for my benefit punishment. Mostly because he tells me. For instance, he spent one of his (many, many) timeouts last week fake crying and saying, "Help me calm down Mama. Help me calm down!" I didn't mean to actually help him calm down but my laughter may have done the trick!
Another time last week, we were in the car and tired, hungry Grace started crying. Not to be outdone, Isaac began the really REALLY fake crying (not to be confused with plain old "fake crying") and when we ignored it he called to us, "We're crying back here!"
I'm afraid that Grace has inherited a very unsympathetic Mama. I find myself daily saying to my sweet 8 month old, "Oh stop fussing. You're fine." I NEVER would have said that to 8 month old Isaac! I guess I can chalk some of that up to experience but honestly, I think that mostly it's because Grace is such an amateur compared to her big brother. Thank the Lord.
Anyway, I do want to just state for the record that even though I know you're not supposed to compare your children, I do it anyway because I really am just so wildly proud of both of them. I love each of their personalities and having them be so very different just makes me feel like I've been given a little bit of everything. They compliment each other perfectly and I wouldn't change a thing!
And in case my very positive attitude this morning is making you wonder...yes, I've just had my coffee! :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Heeheehee! I was going over animal sounds with Isaac this morning and when I asked him, "What does the bunny say?" he said, "Rabbit Rabbit"! Too funny!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Just Another Update

Soo... the kids are napping for the moment (yes BOTH of them, miracle of miracles!) and I have a thousand other things to do but the old blog is calling my name! It's been too long!
Anyway, here is what is going on with us (and why I've been MIA). We have a new (old) house, a new computer, and a new job for Hubby starting on Monday. He also started taking an online class this past weekend. Isaac is still nowhere near potty training but that's ok because I've switched Grace to cloth diapers and am in the process of switching him too. It's less expensive than disposables and less of a headache than cleaning the carpets all day long! Grace's sleep has taken a turn for the worse this past week (and you didn't think it could get any worse, did ya?) but she's currently sleeping in her playpen when she's not in our bed because we haven't put her crib together yet. I'm hoping that when she has her crib back she'll sleep better again... yes, I do know better but I'm still hoping.
Other than the new house, computer, job, and oh yeah, we're thinking about shopping for a new church sometime soon, things are basically the same around here. Well, except for the fact that the kiddos are constantly changing. Which is kinda too bad since I think they're at the absolute most perfect ages right now.
Gracie is quite possibly the most gorgeous baby in all of history and getting more beautiful by the minute. She still has that sweet disposition but is experimenting with adding a little bit of drama into the mix every now and then in the form of a shrieking tantrum. Too bad for her that next to what her big brother used to dish out, her objections sound like an angry little mouse. Ok, they're a little bit louder than that but unlike Isaac, she doesn't make me wonder if she's actually being TORTURED by an unseen force. I just laugh and tell her that "save the drama for your Mama" is just an expression and I don't want to hear it.
Speaking of my little whirlwind, all the angst I had over Isaac's discipline seems to have been for naught. It seems that he was going through the terrible two's a bit early or something. We still do occasional time-outs of course but overall he's mellowed out a lot... at least for now. In fact, I think he may actually be the most polite (or is is politest?) 2 year old in the world. He's been saying "please" and "thank you" and "excuse me" and "sorry" for quite a while (not that anybody else knows it since he still doesn't really speak to anyone outside of the house). Just this past week though, he took it to a new level. I asked him if he wanted dinner and he said, "No. Me no want dinner. Thank you though." THANK YOU THOUGH?! He really just sounds like such a little grown-up sometimes. He's also started telling us, with very careful enunciation, "I'm okay," after he hurts himself so I know that his referring to himself exclusively as "me" instead of "I" will soon be going the way of "bapple" (apple) and "chitchen" (kitchen). SIGH!!! Oh, he also asks us "How your day?" (How was your day) even when we're right in the middle of it and tells us "Don't worry 'bout me." AND he finally said "I luf (love) you" to me! Just once though and it's been "I luf ya" ever since. I guess I should savor the "ya"s though before they're gone. It's been hard not to cringe at them since I realized that he was mimicking me.
Anyway, I can't really say that nothing has changed but I guess I could say that I really haven't. Same old, same old going on in my tired brain. It's nice to put it out on the internet again though. Hopefully my next post will happen a bit sooner!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Just a little update

Wow! It's been forever since I posted! That is because, in case you hadn't heard, we got the house!!! Yippee!!! So now it's all about painting and cleaning and packing...
Also, my computer is not working so I only have a computer in the evening when Hubby is home and by then I'm pretty tired.
In other news, the no-cry sleep solution has gone nowhere! Well, we've gone nowhere with it. There's just too much going on for me to be able to focus on it. Soo... Grace's sleep is worse than ever. Also, the work we were doing on discipling Isaac has gone right out the window.
I just can't wait until we're all settled into the new house! I crave structure and routine and organization... and coffee! Not that I can't have that here; I just can't have it now because it's 3 o'clock in the afternoon... but that's besides the point.
I really don't have anything entertaining to share today. I just wanted to let you know where I've been... if anyone is even checking this anymore! :) I'm hoping to get back to regular posting again soon. Don't hold your breath though!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

More nutritious lunch choices

So the good news is that we're not eating as much mac 'n cheese these days. The bad news is that now Isaac is basically subsisting on Peanut Butter and Fluff sandwiches. Peanut butter and FLUFF! I'm embarrassed to even type it.
I'm not exactly sure how it happened except that I remember walking through the grocery store one day (I think while I was still pregnant) and seeing the fluff and remembering it from my days in daycare (where the only other things that I remember ingesting were oreos and kool-aid... in case you wondered why I don't send my kids to daycare!) and I wanted some. But I didn't buy any that day. In fact I didn't buy any for weeks even though it's right next to the peanut butter (which we buy every week) and the craving wouldn't go away. Finally I caved in and bought some for a treat, resolving not to let Isaac have any. Which lasted for exactly 2 seconds after he asked for a bite. So now he's eating "P-Fuff" for breakfast and lunch most days and would probably want it for dinner, you know, if he would actually eat dinner. One day he even finished his sandwich and then, while I was busy with Grace, he ate most of mine! Isaac! Ate almost 2 whole sandwiches! What do they put in that stuff anyway? Marshmallows and CRACK?! Maybe I should start slipping some broccoli in there between the fluff and the bread. Hmmm.....
Anyway, we will close on the house on Monday IF everything goes right between now and then. So stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

My groggy thoughts

You wanna know what is the worst part about having little ones who are not good sleepers? It's not the lack of "me time" or even the sleep deprivation, although that is horrendous (there's a reason why they use it to torture people). Nope, it's probably not what you'd guess.
Without a doubt, the very worst thing about having 2 little insomniacs is the suspense! If I put her down now will she wake up? If she doesn't, will she sleep for 5 minutes or 2 hours? Do I have time to a.) blog b.) use the bathroom or c.) clean the house (just theoretical- you know I'd never pick c!)
When people have asked me what I think is the hardest part of having 2 kids, I've automatically said that for me it's naptime even though when I think about it, naptime usually goes ok. Disaster is always lurking though. Grace could decide to stay awake until it's too late to put Isaac down. Or she could wake up crying just as he's drifting off (which would mean the end of the world- trust me!) And just to make sure that I don't get too comfortable, Grace usually wakes up just as I'm leaving Isaac's room. It doesn't matter if it has taken me 5 minutes to get him down or a half an hour.
What really drives me crazy is how people don't understand this and urge me to nap when the kids do. "Even if it's only 10 minutes, you should try. Maybe you'll get a good nap." Ha! Shows how much you know! First of all, if I lay down, it's not going to be the day that they nap well. Secondly, I can only stand that feeling of being wrenched out of dreamland and into reality so many times in a 24 hour period and the 17 times (give or take) a night is about filling my quota.
Earlier this week I actually did get so desperate that I tried it. I was soo tired and feeling yucky and I thought that if I laid down with Grace that she would sleep for a while. Isaac only had 45 minutes or so left until his normal wakeup time but he'd had Benadryl right before he went down and the last time he had Benadryl he had slept for 3 hours! 10 minutes later he was awake. And I mean WIDE awake, not even groggy like he usually is after his nap!
Soo... to get to the point...we're starting the old no-cry sleep solution today. You may have noticed that I haven't been blogging much and it's not because I don't want to. I've just hit that can't-even-function-anymore level of tired and have been finding it possible to be interesting. So anyway, I could use your prayers! The no-cry sleep solution did fabulous things for Isaac's sleep but it does take patience and actually involves more staying awake before things get better.
In other news, the house buying is still moving forward. If the radon test comes back ok and the house appraises right (we'll know about both within the next couple of days) and if the current owners will agree to replace the oil tank (eek!) then we'll be in business! Again, any prayers are appreciated!
More later...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Just another day in Paradise

The forecast for today said it would be in the 90s! So I decided that if we were going to get out to play it would have to be in the morning before it could get quite that hot. My plan was good. When Gracie woke up from her morning nap, I'd get the kids ready really quickly and we'd have time to play before lunch. Except that I forgot that it takes a half an hour just to get us all sunscreened and bug-sprayed. And then I had to bring up the laundry from the basement and find the clothespins and everybody's hats and Isaac didn't want to put his shoes on until after he put his COAT on which he doesn't know how to do. Finally I convinced him that I'd help him with his coat once we got outside if he would just put his shoes on NOW! Of course he forgot about the coat as soon as we stepped out the door...PRAISE THE LORD! By then it actually was about lunchtime so I brought out crackers and cheese and turkey and peanut butter and we had a little picnic. Once the clothes were hung, the mail retrieved, the neighbors's cat chased away and his departure mourned ("Where kitty go be?"), I put away the stroller, 2 bikes, all the sandbox toys, and the lunch fixings and dragged us inside. Then came the removal of the sunscreen, bugspray, and sweat. Two baths, a shower, and a completely trashed upstairs later, the kids went down for their naps RIGHT ON TIME! GO ME!
Speaking of Supermama, I also took both kids grocery shopping BY MYSELF yesterday! I know, I know, I am completely crazy! But I got one of the carts with the car on the front and Isaac got a free cookie from the bakery, a free slice of cheese from the deli, and a new "Thomas" book (not free but worth the $4) and he stayed right in the cart and there were NO tantrums the WHOLE time! Well, there was one in the parking lot on the way out when he dropped part of his cheese and was so so sad that I wouldn't let him pick it back up (Him: My cheese!/ Me: I'll get you more when we get home/ Him: Me want that cheese!), but since that was outside of the store, I'm not countin' it!
So I guess it pays to be a little crazy once in a while. Like my cheesy but sweet husband always says when I tell him he's crazy, "Yup! I'm crazy about you!" And I am crazy about those kids! Which is a good thing since they're the ones that made me crazy in the first place...
Before I sign off (which I probably should do before I hurt my brain- I'm a little scattered today, huh?) I just wanted to give my Hubby some credit, you know since I've shared his shortcomings with the whole world (or at least all 5 of my readers). My birthday is this Thursday and I've already received a present from him! A wonderful, thoughtful present that I absolutely love but that I did not hint about, did not order myself, did not make the arrangements for him to order! I had nothing to do with it and it's an awesome present and it's here on time...EARLY even! Oh yeah, and it's a pair of PINK CROCS!!! Ok so they're the wrong size but that's only because he remembered my old size and didn't realize that 2 pregnancies had made my feet bigger. And he's doing all the work to exchange them for me! New shoes delivered to my door...what more could a girl ask for? I LOVE YOU HONEY!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Can I get an AMEN!?

"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it." 1 Timothy 6:6-7 (NIV)

I was talking to a friend last night (in order to protect the innocent from association with my blog we'll just call her Friend A) about another friend (Friend B of course) and how Friend A thinks that Friend B looks up to me or maybe even is a little bit jealous of me. This sounded very improbable to me since in addition to having a family (which is about the only Earthly thing I have) Friend B has a new car, a college degree, her own home, lots of things that I know are very important to her that I don't have. I listened patiently (as patiently as I know how; I once even let 10 seconds worth of silence go by without breaking in) as Friend A and Hubby (who totally understood where she was coming from) tried to explain to me that it is because I am happy and have what I want in life even if it's not the same as what Friend B's has. While I think that Friend A and Hubby were on the right track, after thinking it through this morning, I think that they weren't quite putting the whole puzzle together for me. I mean, I don't care if a person is the absolute happiest person in the whole world! If they don't have a family there is no way that I'm going to envy them even if they have everything else a person could have (and I am seriously prone to jealousy!) because a family is what is important to me. I don't think that Friend B could envy me for the things I have when I don't even have the things that are important to her.
I think perhaps that what I have that she wants (even though she doesn't realize it) is true contentment. And I'm no expert but I think that true contentment is can only come from God. I KNOW that in my case, it is from Him alone! Here's an example. A few years ago I was going through a time of wanting my own home SO badly. I was definitely coveting but I don't think that adequately describes how I felt. I wanted it so bad I could TASTE it, so to speak. I had been working toward it for a long time and out of the blue a friend of mine called me to tell me that she'd bought a house (and she had not been working towards it the way I had). When I heard the news, it made me physically sick. The bitterness I felt was like poison. So I avoided her. And avoided and avoided until I couldn't avoid anymore. The time came when I had to go see the house. I didn't know how on Earth I was going to be able to walk into that house and be happy for her when the very thought still made my stomach sink. Well, the day came and as I was driving to her house I was hoping so hard that the road would take me into a city, would take me to a house that was nice but not at all what I would want, so that maybe I could somehow be happy for her. I was also praying. The entire drive I never stopped. It's a good thing too because the road was taking me out into the breathtakingly gorgeous countryside. I was praying over and over for God to take my envy away but as I pulled up to my dream house, it was still sitting like a lump in my stomach. I walked into my friends amazing new house and the envy suddenly disappeared. She gave me a tour and I was able to sincerely compliment her home without even the threat of tears. If I have ever witnessed a miracle, that was it!
All this is not to say that I'm perfect or that I never get jealous anymore. Like I said, it is something that has always been a big struggle for me. In fact, right now we are in the process of trying to buy a house and I have been praying all morning because I'm having a really hard time not obsessing (please pray for me!). I guess what I'm saying though is that it makes all the difference in the world to know that I can be happy with what I have no matter how little it is, if I will just give it to God. True contentment is GOD-GIVEN and I am SO BLESSED to have a God who will give it to me when I ask!
Anyway, I hope you were blessed by my little foray into theology today.
Even if you weren't I know I really needed the reminder!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, June 18, 2007

For my Daddy on Father's Day (or a day late- sorry!)

Thank you for always loving me unconditionally. Thank you for always taking the time to talk to me and to teach me about big things and small ones. For teaching me about God and life and how to open a checking account and how to drive (which took no small amount of courage I'm sure). Thank you for teaching me that it's not important to have a lot but it is important to be generous even when you don't. Thank you for teaching me that honesty matters. Thank you for making me feel safe and taken care of and at the same time encouraging my independence. For being proud of me even when I make different choices than you would. Thank you for being understanding when I make mistakes and for always being willing to admit your own mistakes. Thank you for teaching me how to forgive and how to stand up for myself. Thank you for always treating me like a person that matters. Because that taught me not to surround myself with people who don't think that I matter. Thank you for reading to me when I was a little girl and for brushing my hair. Thank you for putting notes in my lunch and for making sure that there were many hugs and "I love you"s every day.
I could go on but the keyboard is getting blurry. Thank you for being my Daddy. I love you!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

So much for one-on-one time but at least I get to blog today!

I had vowed to myself today to spend more one-on-one time with Isaac. I was a little sad that I was going to have to give up some of my usual coffee and computer break during Grace's (too short) morning nap but Isaac has been acting a little bit more jealous of her and I think maybe he just needs some more attention from me. But then Elmo came on. And of course if it's a choice between listening to me jabber on or listening to Elmo's words of wisdom, well we know what Isaac's gonna pick! But I'm ok with that. Good morning sweet sweet coffee!
So this may not really be a very cohesive post but here are a few of the things that are on my mind.
Ya know how Isaac is saying new words all the time now? Well, a few minutes ago he was looking out of the glass door and got very excited about something that he could see outside. He came running over to tell me about it but I couldn't understand what he was saying. "Big ones" maybe? So I went to the door to see for myself and sure enough, there were 2 BIG crows hanging around the garbage cans (it's trash day!). "Oh yeah," I said, "those are some big birds aren't they?" But, as I turned away to go back to what I was doing, he said the word again. And this time I understood. Did you just say "PENGUINS"!? I almost didn't have the heart to tell him that he hadn't seen actual penguins but mere crows (albeit big ones!) My boy, you are too cute for words!
As for my girl, she is laughing all the time now! And it's a jolly little laugh, which is fitting for someone who looks so uncannily like a dwarf baby (storybook dwarf I mean, not to offend a real person with dwarfism) with those oh-so-round cheeks and the tufts of hair gracing her ears! Often she sounds a lot like a goat bleating but lately she's been doing whole peals of laughter too. They come out of nowhere, surprising us and of course absolutely melting our hearts. And guess who has turned out to be the funniest family member of all? Drumroll please... it's Isaac! Now, I have 2 theories about this. The first, which is the one that I like to believe, is that she just absolutely adores him and that they will grow up to be the very best of friends. The second, which is probably the more realistic of the two, is that she likes physical comedy. And Isaac provides plenty of physical comedy! Either way, he got to delay bathtime last night and jump on the bed for a little while longer because we just can't resist watching Grace laugh at her big brother!
I guess that's all I have for today. Isaac really wants me to play with him and I did promise myself...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

and a partridge in a pear tree

Isaac slept terribly last night. It's not that unusual. We think it's because of teething, blah, blah, blah. The real question is why did I forget that so quickly? I was feeling pretty sorry for myself this morning wondering what did I do wrong with this kid? Is this really just the terrible twos? Is Isaac trying to torture me? Only after several small tantrums over none of the computer games being the one that he wanted to play, and him not wanting to let me close enough to the computer to try to help, did I catch on. Duh! He's really really tired. It didn't help that I hadn't had coffee yet.
Luckily Grace went down for her morning nap unexpectedly early. "There," I thought, "Now I can get dinner in the crockpot and give Isaac some attention and maybe that'll help." Do I need to say it? WRONG! SO SO WRONG!
Isaac started saying this word that he's been saying lately that I've not been able to translate before. At this moment I can't even remember how he pronounces it and to be honest, I don't think I could do it justice anyway. All I can say is that it always makes me think he's saying "Hepzibah". Today being my lucky day though (or so I thought) I finally figured it out. "OH! Popsicle?!" So, I got him a strawberry (fruit juice, no sugar added) popsicle, seated him at the table, stripped off his white t-shirt, and you should have seen that sunshiney face! I breathed a sigh of relief and basked in the glow of his beautiful smile. For 30 seconds. What happened next can, I think, best be described as several popsicle-related tantrums culminating (when it finally fell off the stick) in THE MOTHER OF ALL TANTRUMS!
Now, when tantrums occur, we have a way that we sometimes deal with them that involves removing the offender to his or her bedroom (ok, ok, I admit that we only use this for Isaac. My tantrums take place wherever I choose; this is not a democracy!) to work through it on his own. The method is pretty simple but it requires great discernment to decide when to use it. If the tantrum is just for attention or to get his way then it works beautifully. If he is really and truly upset then it will backfire because he will never, ever get himself under control on his own. It can be tricky to figure out which situation you're in at the time. This morning it wasn't; he clearly just needed a hug.
Too bad I felt more like paddling him. Nevertheless, I gathered his sticky little self up (meanwhile transfering the stickiness to Yours Truly) and put him in the bathtub. I cleaned him off, wrapped him in a towel, and held him tightly. Eventually the hysterics subsided and we went downstairs to watch "Thomas" and get back to work on dinner. But Grace was awake and the dvd player wouldn't eject....
The morning went on but I won't. I'll summarize.
This is my ten o'clock inventory: Unsatisfactory computer game experience addressed with multiple small tantrums, computer-game tantrums ignored, 2 keys removed from computer keyboard, timeout administered for removal of computer keys, keys replaced. 3 popsicles (or partial popsicles) consumed, transfer of sticky popsicle residue from popsicles to Boy to Mama completed, Boy cleaned, Mama still sticky, one MOTHER OF ALL TANTRUMS soothed, one Baby-nap finished. 2 partially thawed pork roasts, 2 dirty stove burner guards and a dirty frying pan needing to be cleaned before pork roasts can be further prepared. One cold cup of coffee, a microwave too raw-pork-germ covered to heat said cup of coffee in, a Mama who has not yet had a break nor a single sip of coffee, a broken dvd player, and a partridge in a pear tree.
Well, except the partridge in a pear tree. But with 7 and a half hours left of the day, who knows what could happen!
Have a great day everyone!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Blessed Beyond Measure

Isaac had his 2-year-old checkup on Tuesday. I don't usually like to bring both kids to the Pediatrician by myself because Isaac gets very nervous there and needs to be held. So if Grace needs holding (which happens often since she's just a wee little baby) then I'm screwed. Her last appointment was a nightmare. They came in while I was in the middle of nursing her so I had to pull her off mid-feeding for her checkup and she screamed the ENTIRE time. The nice Dr. had to yell so that I could hear those very important questions and reminders of hers like "You know not to let her drive the car yet, right?" and "Don't give her steak knives to play with already." Is this standard at all Pediatrician's offices? I think it must be some sort of government regulation or something because the Dr. always seems embarrassed and kind of apologetic about having to assume that I'm mentally deficient. Anyway, that appointment seems to have made Isaac even more nervous about the Dr. than he used to be. Not surprising since they were obviously TORTURING his sister!
So, back to this Tuesday. It went ok. As soon as we pulled into the parking lot, Isaac got worried. As usual, he didn't say a word or crack a smile the entire time. Just gave that poor physician's assistant the icy blue stare. Hmmm...maybe that's why they ask me the idiot questions? Obviously I'm doing something wrong since my child apparently doesn't speak or show emotions at all? Oh well. Like I said, the visit was pretty successful. I only had to hold both of the kids for about half the time and Grace wasn't crying so that made all the difference. Still, I didn't want to press my luck so we brought Daddy with us when we went back today.
Yup, back to the Pediatrician's office three days later. We played outside most of the day yesterday and when we were heading up for bed last night I noticed that Isaac's hand was swollen to about twice it's normal size! I gave him Benadryl but this morning it didn't seem to be any better so we took him to the Dr. It turns out that it was just a strong reaction to a mosquito bite and probably nothing to worry about. Sigh... At this rate they'll never stop asking me the idiot questions!
By now I'm sure you're wondering if I have a point. And I actually do although it's probably not what you think! My point is this.
I know how blessed I am to have these 2 beautiful children who make my days so chaotic! I know how blessed I am that when we went to the Pediatrician's office today, it was because of a simple bugbite! I know how blessed I am that I didn't have to think twice about taking him in because we have good health insurance! I know how blessed I am that I don't have to miss the over 10,000 hours that I would spend away from them in just their first 5 years if I had a full time job.
I'm reminded of how blessed I am EVERY SINGLE TIME that we're in public. When we're in a store, I can't go 20 feet without someone telling me how beautiful my children are. And EVERY SINGLE TIME it happens, I think how blessed I am that I get to take them home with me! One day when we were on our way out of Panera, a woman saw Doug walk by with one of the children and then saw me coming with the other and she asked me if they were brother and sister. I said yes and she said, somewhat accusingly, as if I must not realize, that I was really lucky. I didn't really know what to say. I think I just thanked her and kept going. I should have told her though. I should have said, "No! I'm not lucky! There was no luck involved here! I AM BLESSED BEYOND MEASURE AND I KNOW IT!"
Oh yeah, I'm also really blessed that the last time I had to give Isaac Benadryl (another bugbite) when the pharmacist told me the wrong dosage, that it was way too small a dose instead of way too big! No wonder it didn't work!

ps. Never mind the video. I wanted the song and that was all I could find. LOL!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Fun with Food

Do you ever have those moments when you're trying not to notice what your kid is doing because it's keeping him quiet and if you don't stop him then you might actually get to sit and drink your coffee (or blog) for 5 minutes? Then you accidentally look straight at him so you have to go ahead and admit that you're letting your kid take all of the spoons out of the silverware drawer and put them in the sugar dish. No? Me neither. I was just checking.
Seriously though, these are some things that I've let Isaac do just for a few minutes to myself.

1. Play with cups and water in the kitchen sink (with clean cups, not dirty ones!)

2. Play with oats.

3. Play with flour.

4. Peel the wrappers off of all his crayons.

5. Open a new box of crayons to peel because the old ones don't have any wrappers left.

6. Watch too much TV.

7. Peel the skin off of a garlic bulb.

8. Play with uncooked macaroni.

Ok, I'm starting to notice a pattern here. I think I'm going to need to make a donation to the food pantry at our Church this weekend to alleviate some guilt. It's a good thing he got a sandbox for his birthday! He does so love to scoop and pour!
Anyway, now that I've confessed, I just want to make an excuse explain. I'm really not a lazy Mom... just tired. There was this whole month between taking up caffeine again and finding out that I was pregnant again where I was such a good Mom. We even walked to the park almost every day! Then, BAM! The morning sickness hit and it was back to laying on the couch all day trying not to fall asleep on the job. But I digress.
I guess I just needed to remind myself that this really uninspired style of mothering is just temporary and more a product of the timing of my children's arrivals than a reflection of me as a mother. And since it was an accident on my part God's timing, I guess it will all work out just fine. Anyway, confession is good for the soul, right?
Gotta go! Trash truck is here!

Friday, June 1, 2007

"Fairy-tale" and "Vintage" Living

Well, it seems that we can't decide whether we're going to rent a house or buy a house or what. One thing we do know is that we want to move. Mostly I just really want more of a yard for the kids but there is also the matter of a third bedroom. My very (very, very, very) practical Father-in-law pointed out that he shared a bedroom with his sister until he was 9. All well and good. No problem. EXCEPT that Gracie is not sharing a room with her brother; she is sharing a room with her PARENTS. And as much as I'm enjoying that right now, 8 years and 8 more months of it is just not going to cut it!
We looked at a house for rent earlier in the week and I loved it! The yard in particular was dreamy. The problem was mostly just that it reminded us a little too much of the 3 dwarves' house. Yup, I know there were 7 in the story...but they wouldn't all fit in this house! If you know me you're probably thinking, what's the problem Shorty? And yes, you're right. I would fit quite neatly into that teeny weeny house. The kids would too, at least for now. But my dear husband has a tendency to get very, very, VERY frustrated by spaces that are too small for him and alas, he is better suited for a part in "Jack and the Beanstalk" (remember the giant?) than "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves". Soooo....
Today we looked at a house for sale. We knew it was "vintage" (1820s) and yes, we knew that that's realtor-speak for OLD! But we knew it had a lot of history too and we looove history. Plus, we could tell by the pictures that it has a fantastic yard AND it's in our price range. That should have been our first clue. A 4 bedroom house with a large lot in our price range? Something doesn't add up there. But, we deluded ourselves into thinking that it was worth looking at and off we went.
And it was a great house! In 1820. Let me put it this way. Everything looked original. Also, it maybe hadn't been lived in or cleaned in 185 a few years. Ok, so I'm exaggerating a little. But STILL! It wasn't for us.
So the search continues. I don't think I even know what I want to do. The next door neighbors have an RV. Maybe we should borrow that and take this show on the road! Just kidding! Really! Please don't email me and tell me how we're not allowed to move farther away!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

WARNING! This post is really RANDOM!

I won't have time to write a whole post today since having company (which is pretty brave of me considering the state of the apartment! I guess the blog has helped me to turn over a new leaf: total transparency and embarrassing openness!) but I thought I'd just jot down a couple of updates.
First of all, on the discipline front, you know that the timeouts didn't work and the spankings didn't work, but a combination of the two seems to be working pretty well. He gets a timeout and if he gets out of the chair then he gets a swat with "the spoon". I call it the "hello-Supernanny-meet-Dr.Dobson" method. I guess that getting out of the chair and making your Mama crawl under the table to get you 700 times isn't as much fun if you get a spanking every time!
Secondly, I bought myself a Mother's Day gift and it's good! It's a new crockpot and not only is it BIG, but it's the fanciest crockpot I've ever seen! And when I say that it's fancy, I don't mean that it's digital or has a timer or any of that useful silly stuff. Oh no! My crockpot is GORGEOUS and RED!
Ok, that was going to be all but something funny just happened. Isaac got a little toy Thomas with a track for his birthday (more on that later) and just now the track came apart and Isaac asked me to fix it. (Incidentally, he's recently gone from calling Thomas toot-toot to calling him Thomees to now actually saying Thomas. I love it!) So I go over to fix it and the whole time I'm putting it together I'm totally bragging about how I've been practicing and I know just how to do it and how fast I can do it and the next thing I know, instead of me saying "Go Mama" like I normally would, Isaac said it for me! Yup, he said "Go Mama!" Twice! I felt like such a rock star! (I know. It's sad, sad, sad but that's my life!)
Anyway, I'll wrap this up now but maybe next time I'll tell you all about Isaac's big birthday weekend! If you're good.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Wacky Wednesday

Wednesday is a very important day to Isaac. Personally, I'm a fan of Fridays (pizza night!) and Saturdays (Daddy's home...and I'm not outnumbered by kiddos) but for Isaac, I think that it's Wednesday that holds the most excitement! Why, you ask? What could possibly be exciting about the absolute MIDDLE of the work week? Well, I will tell you.
Wednesday is TRASH DAY!!!
Not following? Trash day means that a big big truck drives right by the front of our house. And it goes just the perfect (very slow) speed for optimal viewing. Sooo, like the cat that wakes out of a dead sleep and comes running from the other end of the house the very second you even THINK about tuna, the call of the trash truck lures Isaac to the living room window. And me. There's just something so irresistible about seeing your child get that excited. So, on Wednesdays, I'm ready. When I hear that trash truck chugging by, I know that I have about 30 seconds to find a safe place to put Gracie, get Isaac's attention, scoop him up, race to the living room window, clear the Fisher Price farm off of the top of the toy bin, settle Isaac on the toy bin, and pull up the blinds, all before the trash truck finishes with the last house on the street (the one next to us) and starts back this way. And I do it. If racing-to-the-window-to-watch-the-trash-truck was an olympic sport, I'd win. Not because I'm athletic (I'm really really not!) but because I love my boy. (I really really do...I even know the names and numbers of all the main characters on "Thomas" and have been to the website to learn their back stories and all about the extra characters...scary, I know!)
So anyway, we have this little ritual. Isaac watches the truck and talks about it and sometimes the Garbage Men (Sanitation Worker? Is that more PC?) even wave to him and sometimes I can even convince him to wave back to his heroes. Then in the oh-so-pathetic voice that he reserves for the most tragic of occasions he says, "Trash truck 'way" over and over as the truck drives away.
This week it got even better. Wednesday was his BIRTHDAY! Nana and Grandad were over and all 5 of us were OUTSIDE when the trash truck came! So Grandad picked Isaac up and carried him closer to the truck. Nana grabbed her (ever present) camera and tried to get a picture of them with the truck. Then, once he had put our stinking, rotting mountain of trash into his truck, he even SPOKE to us and said, "Have a nice day." Wow.
So,I think Isaac might want to be a Garbage Man when he grows up. And I think it's a great idea. After all, a job that involves adoring fans and papparazzi must be a pretty glamorous one, right?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Baby

My baby boy turned 2 yesterday! I don't want to burden you with more of my neuroses (or we could just call them eccentricities ok?) but I know from personal experience that if you lose your Mama when you're only 2, then you won't remember her. And since Isaac is almost my whole world and since we aren't guaranteed any amount of time here, I want to write him a birthday letter. Besides, even if I do live to be a Great Grandma, it never hurts to let your loved ones know how you feel about them, right? So here goes...

Dear Isaac,

You turned 2 yesterday. It's unbelievable how smart and grown-up you are! I'm not really sure what I want to say to you. I guess I just want to give you a little piece of "right now" since you're not going to remember it. I want to give you a glimpse into who I am at this moment and who you are and what we mean to each other. Maybe it will help you to understand me later when I'm driving you completely nuts!
It's so strange to me that you will grow up and not remember anything about the past two years! These 2 years which have been the best ones of my life so far! I'm sure you know why but I'll still say it. You have made them the best years I've had!
You are amazing! You are beautiful and smart, intense and funny, mischievous and charming. Sue likes to remind me that you have a good sense of humor already, and she's right. I can see it in those eyes and in that half smile that you do. I think, and I hope, that it might be similar to my sense of humor. We really "get" each other...
I've so enjoyed these first 2 years of your life. If I ever had any doubts that being a mommy is the best job in the world, you've wiped them out. Do you know that old song that goes "if I could save time in a bottle..."? No, I'm sure you don't. I know, I'm old, but if only I could save time in a bottle...I so would! I've heard that it's a good thing that our children grow up or we'd never be ready to let go of this Earth. It's so true. I really can't imagine how Heaven could get any better than this!
Anyway, I'm sure I'm embarrassing you with my gushing so I'll move on. I just want you to know that I treasure every single moment with you. You're a really good kid and I'm so proud of you. I'm so grateful to God for making me your Mama and to you for loving me and hanging in there with me! I've never done this before you know.
I know I've been taking my time getting to it but my bottom line, I guess, is this: I love you NO MATTER WHAT and I'm always on your side! You can count on me for as long as I'm living and when I no longer am... God will still be there. Always. That's my 2nd birthday message and that's my always-and-forever message. If there's one thing that I can teach you and if there's one thing that I want you to remember, that is it. I love you, love you, love you!

Happy Birthday Baby

Me And Jesus
Artist: Stellar Kart

When there's no where else to turn
All your bridges have been burned
Feels like you've hit rock bottom..
Don't give up it's not the end
Open up your heart again
When you feel like no one understands
Where you are...

Someone loves you
Even when you don't think so
Don't you know
You got me and Jesus
By your side
Through the fight
You will never be alone
On your own
You got me and Jesus

After all that we've been through
By now you know I've doubted to
But everytime my head was in my hands
You said to me...

Someone loves you
Even when you don't think so
Don't you know
You got me and Jesus
By your side
Through the fight
You will never be alone
On your own
You got me and Jesus

Hold on to what we got
This is worth any cost
So make the most of life that's borrowed
Love like there's no tomorrow

Someone loves you
Even when you don't think so
Don't you know
You got me and Jesus
By your side
Through the fight
You will never be alone
On your own
You got me and Jesus

Even when you don't think so
Don't you know
You got me and Jesus
By your side
Through the fight
You will never be alone
On your own
You got me and Jesus

You will never be alone...
You got me and Jesus

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Adventures in Wildlife Viewing

Soooo.....I've been so busy using this blog as my own personal therapy session (which thrills my readers, I'm sure) that I forgot to write about our much anticipated trip to the Wildlife Park. Before I do though, if you're local to me can you please explain why people call it the Animal Farm? I was calling it that because my bff Sara, who was the first one to bring me there, does. Then I saw on the website that it's actually the Wildlife Park. But when I called it that, the person I was talking to had no idea what I meant. Anyhow....
We had a fabulous time at the Wildlife Park last weekend! The kiddos slept most of the way there (I thought that day would never come!) and us grown-ups (I was gonna say we grown-ups to be grammatically correct but it just didn't sound right) got to enjoy Dunkin Donuts and each other's company for a whole hour or so! Woohoo! That was definitely a highlight of the trip for me!
We arrived. We parked the car. Changed diapers. Loaded ourselves up with the approximate ton of stuff that babies require for any trip longer than 5 minutes, and a year or so later, into the park we went. First we went to look at the bobcat, lynx, and mountain lion which I love to see but which didn't seem to impress Isaac very much. Either because it was hard for him to see through the fencewire or because, Duh, we have kitties at home, I'm not sure. The porcupines also didn't really excite him. Neither did the turtles. He wanted to get closer to the bears (Darn! I wish they'd have let us...NOT!). The moose actually were mildly interesting to him but by the birds he was just plain bored.
Finally came the highlight of the trip for Isaac! We went into the little snack shop and got ice cream which we ate in the picnic area right before he got to race around the picnic area! Isaac heaven! Us grown-ups didn't really mind that part too much either since, you know, we kinda like ice cream too. LOL! The running around wasn't so much our cup of tea but Isaac was smiling so of course we were happy.
Oh yeah, Grace was also there. She didn't like it very much because it was a bit too windy for her. She spent half the time fussing and the other half sleeping in the Baby Bjorn.
Another thing.... we didn't get to see the deer. I'm not sure where they were but I was a little bit disappointed because I love to see deer and since we're living in town now, I don't ever get to see any.
Last random comment, I promise. How come they don't have any snakes? I wouldn't like that so much because eeeewwwww!, but the boys probably would.
Anyway, that's the story of our big trip to see the "amuls" (animals). Stay tuned to hear about our 2nd birthday adventures and our trip to the big city for a ride on a steam train!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Crappy Mother's Day to me!

Ever have those times when you just freak out and you're not sure why? Like, the normal everyday stuff just seems like too much? The mess that was annoying yesterday suddenly makes you feel like the walls are closing in on you? And that whining child that you can normally deal with sympathetically, or at least with humor, just makes you want to reach in and remove your own eardrums? And the worst part is, that when you're feeling this way, it seems like you always will? And like you need a big dramatic solution to fix it? But there never is a big dramatic solution because it's just life? Yup, you guessed it. I'm talking about me. My weekend was pretty much like this, and you know, Monday and Tuesday. LOL! What a freakin' basket case I am sometimes!
I think that what may have triggered it was actually Mother's Day. Mother's Day is a pretty big deal to me these days. Growing up I hated it. I always felt that it wasn't fair that I was obligated to buy cards and things for all these various "mother figures" in my life when there was no actual Mother to celebrate. (Disclaimer: If you're reading this and are one of the "mother figures" please understand that this doesn't have anything to do with how I feel about you. I love you very very much but I just think that maybe you need your own holiday. Like a How-awesome-are-you-for-loving-me-even-though-you-don't-have-to Day!). So anyway, to be a part of the mother/child relationship is that much more precious to me now. And I want to make a huge deal out of it. But it doesn't work that way. You need someone else to do the tokens of appreciation because it really doesn't mean a whole lot when you show yourself how much you appreciate yourself. And my sweet wonderful Husband doesn't actually do "huge deals". I mean, I don't want to complain because he really is so great about telling me how much he appreciates me (which is a lot because he is awesome!) and he wants nothing more than to make a big deal out of my special days, but he has never really been able to pull it off. That's just who he is, and I love him so much and that's why I am usually ok with it. Plus, one of those aforementioned "mother figures" taught me that those big gestures aren't what's really important (bless her heart!). So usually I just tell him exactly what to get me and carve out a chunk of time for him to go get it. This time though, I couldn't decide what I wanted. I mean, if it's a surprise, it doesn't matter at all what it is because it's the thought that counts. If the thought is your own though, then the gift has to actually be good, right? And that's pretty tricky on our budget!
So to make a short story long, I ended up with no card, no gift, and a last minute, disastrous, brunch trip (picture a major blowout and nowhere to change her except the scary bathroom floor, among other disasters! Yikes!). And the worst part is that since there was nobody to blame but myself, I was that much slower in figuring out what was bugging me.
Something good may have come out of this though. I think I may have come up with a way to prevent this from happening again. I'm just going to make a list for Hubby of things to get me when I don't specify, and include instructions to always get SOMETHING (a steak sub doesn't count- yup, that's actually all I got one Valentines Day)! Then I'm going to email it to him because he always seems to do better when I communicate via email. LOL!
So, it's no big, dramatic solution, I guess, but I'm crossing my fingers and it just might work!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Ups and downses

"Motherhood brings as much joy as ever, but it still brings boredom, exhaustion, and sorrow too. Nothing else ever will make you as happy or as sad, as proud or as tired, for nothing is quite as hard as helping a person develop his own individuality especially while you struggle to keep your own."
Marguerite Kelly and Elia Parsons

I spanked Isaac with a wooden spoon today. I know, I know, some of you are going to think I'm a monster. Some of you probably think I'm a wimp for not doing it sooner. Nothing else was working. Nothing. And he was doing something dangerous. Repeatedly. The spoons were right there next to me and I've thought about it before and it seemed appropriate. I hated it. I really really did. But I believe that discipline is important. I believe that it's necessary for a child's sense of security. It's necessary in order to help him become a responsible adult. It's also necessary if he's going to make it to adulthood in one piece. I still hated it. And it didn't actually work. In the end, I resorted to another timeout and I don't know if that did any good. It was a very frustrating morning.
Then, a bit later Isaac said, "Drace try." Huh? I know try means cry... Drace cry? Oh! GRACE is crying! He said his baby sister's name for the first time! He says new words everyday now but for some reason this one just melted my heart. Truly, nothing could make me more proud or more tired!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Decisions, decisions...

Are other kids like this? I wake up to a beautiful day and think, "we should get out and get some fresh air and excersize." Go to all the trouble to get everybody fed and dressed and get some makeup on my face so that I don't scare any other small children that might be outside. Then when we finally get out there, Isaac wants to play in the car!? Because forget fresh air and excersize! Let's get out and spend some time in the one space more confined than our apartment? And it's not because he has a fascination with cars (he does). He's not pretending to drive or anything. Just climbing around the car, seeing what old food and forgotten toys he can find. Seems strange to me.
Of course I have to admit that I probably wouldn't be complaining if it was just the two of us. Sitting down?! In an enclosed space?! Instead of following Isaac all over creation trying to keep him from getting hit by a car or picking up dog poop or something?! And I'm off the hook as far as getting him out of the house?! Yeehaw! Sign me up! The only problem is that Grace doesn't agree. Once I stop walking, she starts wailing! So there I am sitting, holding her in a seat meant for one, trying to bounce her and cram that pacifier into her mouth while she screams and arches her back nearly catapulting herself out of my grip and onto the floor of the car, and I'm trying to decide which is worse, this or the tantrum that Isaac is going to throw if I drag him inside already. Inside I'll have more room to get away from the screaming but first I'll have to wrestle him out of the car. Tough choice!
Then I have a "lightbulb" moment! We'll nurse! Like we always do when I want to sit down (or sleep) and Grace doesn't. Of course, this is only going to contribute to the habit that she's developing, of nursing all the time whether she's hungry or not. The same one that helped Isaac learn not to ever sleep through the night until after he was a whole year old and weaned (he then started a habit of getting up for a drink from a cup in the middle of every night so once again he isn't sleeping through!). But I don't think this all through before I get her latched on (and really who can think while holding a screaming infant?).
So the decision is made. And it's relatively quiet for the moment. I guess for today, I'll just take it one moment at a time.

Monday, April 30, 2007

20 things

10 things I love about Isaac

1. He's always needed me a lot. You know, because he's scared of almost everyone else.

2. He's cute.

3. He's such a boy! He loves trains, trucks, buses, heavy machinery....

4. He's sooo busy! He never voluntarily sits down. It totally wears me out but it's fascinating to watch.

5. He loves his baby sister.

6. He's gentle with animals.

7. He loves to be read to and he loves the alphabet. If you know me then you know that this suits me just fine!

8. He can be pretty high maintenance...but for some reason I totally get that. ;)

9. He looks just like me. This is not just vanity (although there's probably a healthy dose of that in there too). He's my first biological relative (that I'm acquainted with) so it's really cool to have someone look like me.

10. He's my baby!

10 things I love about Grace

1. She doesn't need me as much. It's such a relief that I can leave her with other people when I have to!

2. She's cute.

3. She's a girly girl. I can tell already that she's going to like shopping! And she looks so good in pink!

4. Those cheeks!!!

5. She loves her big brother.

6. When she smiles at me, I fall in love every time.

7. She's a Daddy's girl...and I know he loves it.

8. She's a little lower maintenance than her brother. I'm so crazy about him but what would I do with two of them?

9. She's got spunk! Even though she's my more relaxed child, she's no blob!

10. She's my baby!

I'm not actually TRYING to screw up my kid, I promise!

Around here, we use the word "fart" a lot. Yes, this is partly because certain male members of the family happen to do it often (they do) but that's not really my point. I know there are plenty of other, less crude words that we could use. Here's why I say "fart"... BECAUSE I CAN! You see, when I was growing up I was not allowed to use the word... even as a teenager. And I thought it was a stupid rule. So now I say it as much as I want. FART FART FART FART FART! Ok, I'm done. Back to being a grown-up. Sorry.
Amazing isn't it? The lengths that I will go to for the sake of rebellion? Not that I'm proud of that...I've just come to terms with it. LOL! Here's where it comes back to haunt me. My sweet son, Isaac is A LOT like me, except with all that extra "boy energy" (if you have a little boy then you know what I mean!). So that is what I'm up against! Discipline so far has been...interesting.
Last week he was standing on the upside down bouncy seat. This ,of course, could break the seat so I told him to get off of it. He didn't. So I put him in time out. So far, so good. Then, a minute and a half into his two minutes, he started to sing. For some reason, I decided that he wasn't suffering enough and that he really needed to be sorry. So, I came up with a really really good idea (note the sarcasm). "Isaac," I said, "you can get down as soon as you tell me you're sorry. Say sorry to Mama."
This may seem reasonable to you if you don't know Isaac well. It seemed reasonable to me at the time. After all, Supernanny does it, right? Here's why it absolutely wasn't reasonable,

1. Isaac is a perfectionist (told ya he's like his Mama...poor kid!). He has only ever said the word "sorry" once in his life. And when he isn't sure about his ability to say a certain word, he doesn't try. He sometimes says a word and then waits weeks until he's ready to try again.

2. I don't really want him to tell me that he's sorry for doing something when he's really just sorry about being punished for it. I know I'm no Supernanny but after thinking about that a bit, it just doesn't sit right with me.

3. He's at least as stubborn as I am. And if you were to tell me that I MUST apologize or sit in the corner until I do, right or wrong, I would stay in that chair for a WEEK!

I had a lot of time to think about these things over the almost three hours that Isaac was in that chair. That's right, THREE HOURS (told ya we're stubborn)! And I'm sure I don't have to tell you how long that is for a not-even-two year old! Once I finally realized that it wasn't going to work (again, DUH), I still had a dilemma. See, Dr. Dobson says (I think Dr. Phil does too. LOL) that you must win decisively in these situations. So now I had to figure out how to get us out of this without admitting defeat (the same problem that would have kept me in that chair for a week as a child).
So, to be terribly anti-climactic, I gave in. I couldn't figure out how to end the whole thing gracefully so I risked possibly never being in control of the child and just ended it. The parenting experts would be very disappointed, I'm sure. You know what though? I think that giving up may have actually been my best decision of the day. My Dad always felt free to change his mind when he went overboard with a punishment. And I really appreciated it. And you know, I really respected him too.
So, I don't know if Isaac ever learned anything that day (maybe just that his Mama doesn't know what she's doing?) but I sure did!
I learned that from now on, I think I'll stick with spanking! It's a lot less traumatic for both of us!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Toddler Cuisine- part 2

You know how sometimes kids start to turn orange from eating too many carrots or sweet potatoes? Because that is a real thing! Really it is!
I think Isaac may turn orange one of these days but if he does, it's not gonna be from carrots, that's for sure! If he turns orange, it will definitely be from too much macaroni and cheese. He calls it "nocheese" (which we find completely endearing) and it's his very favorite food. I'm ashamed to admit that we eat it, on average, about 3 times a week. Eek!
Here's the thing. I never intended to let my toddler eat macaroni and cheese! I like to pride myself on being a little bit of a health food nut (ok so that's more in theory than in practice) and thought that I would only feed my children very nutritious whole foods. But then life happened. And a very very picky toddler happened. You know how they say that it's ok to lay down the law about food because a child will NEVER starve himself? NOT TRUE! My little S.W.C. (strong-willed child) starved himself right down to the 3rd weight percentile for his age. When his pediatrician started to act concerned, I decided to lighten up. At least that's my, reason.
Anyway, I guess for now I'll just have to comfort myself with the fact that despite our country's obesity epidemic and related heart disease, we still have a pretty darn good life expectancy! Right? RIGHT???
Can you tell that I have some guilt?

Friday, April 27, 2007

Toddler Cuisine

Today when Isaac asked me for another sunchip after he finished the one he was eating, I had to say no. Why did I HAVE to say no? Because we don't have any left. The one he had was from a bag that we bought at Subway LAST WEEKEND! He found it somewhere in our living room. Why is it that the same children who never eat what you put on their plate will eat ANYTHING they find on the floor? I know it's not just my kid. I just read somewhere about parents that actually put vegetables on the floor on purpose so their kids will eat them. I CAN'T BELIEVE I DIDN'T THINK OF THAT!
Anyway, today I'm just counting my blessings that the worst thing Isaac's ever eaten was a couple of dead ladybugs and not a cat turd like the kid at the park almost ate! Also, he actually enjoys two, count 'em TWO different vegetables........ even when they are on a plate!