Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Don't do it.

I speak from experience.

NEVER try to cut your own hair. I tried. I thought bangs would be 'fun.' They weren't. It just looked bad bad bad.

Why? I blame boredom. Chet was out studying late and so the most obvious thing to do with my time was to cut my hair. I chopped a layer at chin level. And the rest of it was still long. If you're thinking mullet, well, that's about right. After 5 days of ponytails I was ready. So I went to get a real haircut at a real salon. And came home with this.

The stylist did a pretty good job, considering what he had to work with.

And it was great to be out without the kids and relax. (Thanks, Mom!)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

So. Deedo is crawling.

When I say crawling, I really mean army crawling. But he is fast. He knows what he wants and he goes for it.

And what he wants is trashcans and electric cords.

Not my first choice out of all the toys in the house, but to each his own.

I do not remember this crawling thing being such a sudden change with Sharks. With Deedo, it's been a shock.

One day, he was just sitting on the floor, playing with his toys, and the next I can't put him down without him getting into something.

He is still so little, I can't believe he is moving at all.

Some thoughts and ramblings on parenting

I have been realizing this week that there are two main points of change when you add a new child to the family. The first is when you bring him home from the hospital, and your old life is disrupted by the arrival of a little person! who is your complete responsibility. The task of caring for the physical needs of a baby is daunting enough; but we also have been given the responsibility of caring for their spiritual needs too. I think that during those early days, the physicality of the baby is at the forefront of the mind, because his helplessness is evident and he is fully reliant on you for everything. It is an overwhelming time, those first few weeks when you realize that this is life now, this is life with a family.

The second main point of change is when that child starts moving. No longer do you have a tiny baby, but now a little child who can move about freely with his own will. Though we have been praying for him since before he was born, this is when I begin to understand the enormity of what is before me in terms of raising him in the Lord.

Our God is good and richly blesses us through the gift of our children. I am so thankful that his Spirit dwells within me! I do not even want to imagine the struggles of parenting without that!

I have been reading Ephesians lately and I love the verse that talks about how we are sealed with the Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance. I think that is in chapter 1. A verse full of great comfort to me recently.

Conversations with Sharks, Part V

So Buddy, what should I write about today?

"ABCD AIG HIJA WM next time won't you sing with me?"

AIG? Maybe he really has been paying attention to the news.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The DMV must have bladders of steel

Let me start with this: it has been an ordeal to get our cars licensed here. Mostly my fault, but also our cars are old. Anyway, finally, on Saturday I went to the DMV with the kids to register our cars.

The whole way there Sharks was saying, "Potty! Potty!" which didn't bode well.

Thankfully there was a parking space right out front.

So, I lugged Deedo inside in his car seat (stupid idea, really - 17lbs of baby + a whole lotta car seat + my weak arms= pain and ridiculousness), and held Sharks hand as we raced to the front desk to ask where the bathroom was.

The lady told me that there was no bathroom.

I asked again, adding that Sharks was only 2 years old and just potty trained, and oh please tell me there's a bathroom?

Again, nope.

You realize that this means she must hold it all day long, right? I mean, if there really is no bathroom. (Maybe that is why the people at the DMV are always in such bad moods.)

So I lugged and lurched myself and the kids back outside. I figured he'd just have to pee-pee on our car tire.

Of course, I looked around to make sure no one was watching us. And thankfully the doors to the DMV had that mirror glass which you can't see through.

I plopped Deeds in his carseat on the hood of the car. Of course Sharks is too little to just whip out his little boy part to pee-pee discreetly, so I had to completely drop his drawers. And since the whole point of this rigamarole was to avoid him peeing on himself, I had to grab his arms and dig my knee into his back so that he could make it over his clothes and onto the tire. (Think Titanic, when they are standing on the ship with arms spread.)

But we did it.

Once we made it back inside, though, the other people waiting started grinning and laughing. But I was sure they hadn't seen anything because of the mirror glass.

And that is when I looked back at the door and realized that mirror glass only prevents you from seeing in, not out.

Oh. my. goodness.

The door perfectly framed our car, which meant that everyone inside the DMV witnessed our little pee-pee escapade.

And after all that our car still isn't licensed.

Conversations with Sharks, Part IV

Sitting next to Sharks on the steps.

Sharks: Mommy stinky.

Me: What?

Sharks: Stinky.

Me: What's stinky?

Sharks: Mommy stinky.

Me: I'm stinky? What stinks?

Sharks: Feet.

And that is what I get for telling him he has stinky feet every night when I put on his pajamas. I should have known he was planning to use it against me.

Conversations with Sharks, Part III

In the kitchen making dinner. I pull out a cookbook.

Sharks: Recipe.

Me: Yup.

(He grabs a cookbook from the shelf too).

Me: You going to make something? What recipe are you making?

Sharks: Oven.

Me: You're making 'oven'?

Sharks: Yes, making dup-cakes.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

This is why I love him

I was chatting with Chet in the kitchen when I noticed he was eating tortilla chips dipped in baby food. Yes. Eating like it was a treat. Baby food squash and mashed bananas that Cedar wouldn't eat during dinner.

I knew that Chet was not the kind of person who would throw away good food. But apparently bad food is also salvageable.

(He did just read this over my shoulder and say, "It was good food. Cedar eats better than I do.")

Now what to make of that?

Just remember what Grandma always says, "Don't turn your stomach into a trashcan."

Friday, April 17, 2009

Conversations with Sharks, Part II

Out for a walk -

Me: Buddy, bugs are nice.

Sharks: No, buggies hurt you.

Conversations with Sharks, Part I

Yesterday when I turned on the news-

Sharks: Barack Obama, mommy.

Me: Um, 'scuse me, buddy?

Sharks: Barack Obama.

Me: You are 2. How do you even know that?

Sharks: Mommy! Barack Obama!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I don't usually look at labels, but...

I used to be one of those people who would eat salads without salad dressing. Why eat stuff that makes eating healthy foods unhealthy, right?

After Cedar was born, that all changed. Salads just didn’t taste good. So I stopped eating my leafy greens.

Then one day I realized that it might be better for me to get my veggies even with the addition of salad dressing. So I went to the store and got me some Caesar Salad Dressing. And, um, croutons. Which Chet pronounces, ‘Cro-tons.’ (Like, crotons and protons and neutrons and croutons.) And yes, I ALWAYS mock him for it.

So there I was scarfing my Caesar salads. And I was loving them. I was thrilled to be eating my greens again.

Until yesterday when I looked at the salad dressing label. Note to self: NEVER LOOK AT THE LABEL OF ANYTHING THAT IS MAYONNAISE BASED. I should have known better.

Yeah, that’s 170 calories per 2 tablespoons.


Sooo, I’ve decided to forgo the dressing in favor of this tasty treat. I’d much rather take in my calories this way:

Less calories than Caesar for a ½ cup of this.
Dig it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

How to calm fears

Like I mentioned earlier, Sharks is deathly afraid of the smoke detector. Which went off AGAIN yesterday while I was making dinner. The obvious solution to this problem is to become a better cook. Duh.

But, what I really want is to help him calm down and stop getting so frightened.

I mean, he has a meltdown every time this happens. He is inconsolable, poor little guy. He just clings to me and shakes and cries and cries and cries.

Any ideas? What have you done (or heard of someone doing) to calm the fears of your kids?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Hot Cross Buns

Let me tell you about my first experience making Hot Cross Buns.

Our smoke detector went off. In my defense, it is sensitive. Unfortunately, so is my firstborn. He went screaming off to bed (of his own accord) just to escape the "bad noise."

So...where was I? Oh yes. Well. I got hot and cross and the buns got burned.


Once I cut off the burned bottoms, they tasted wonderful. Yummy bread goodness with a touch of sweet.

Now I am off to clean up the disaster that is my kitchen.
(P.S. That picture is not of my buns. It's from the recipe site.)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

And they want her back? Really?

We pass this during our afternoon walk almost everyday.

She probably has a great personality.


So, the after-nap potty trip went something like this...

I walked downstairs to see Sharks standing on the step stool (yes, from that far away), pants at ankles, facing the toilet, "like Pops."

Yeah. 'Bout that.

Definitely can't shoot it that far.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Get up, sleepyhead!

One of my favorite times of day is getting the boys up from their naps.

Deedo just grins a huge grin and drools, which of course, I take to mean that he is thrilled to see me.

Sharks always says, "Good morning! Wake up!" Even if it is 4:30 in the afternoon.

It is usually followed by, "Potty!" which is not so much about the joy of seeing his mama, but more about the joy of relieving himself.

Which is fine by me.

Monday, April 6, 2009

I'm hoping for a discount

My day was great. (Organized all the kids clothes, hung out with my mom, played with the kids, read a new book. All fun and dandy). My evening, not so great.

What? You want a play-by-play? Well, certainly.

Went to the library.

Got in car after leaving library.

Tried to turn on the car. Nothing.

Tried again. Nothing.

Started to get anxious. Also got me nothing.

Sat there for five minutes panicking that I was stranded. At the library. (Though it is kinda like a second home, I'm there so often.)

Finally realized I was using the wrong key. Doofus.

Spent almost an hour at the grocery store loading my cart full of food so that I could create delicious meals for my family.

Cash register not working. Did you catch that? CASH REGISTER NOT WORKING!!

Had to leave all my food there, the cashier having already rung it all up. That's right, I didn't realize the machine wasn't working until AFTER all my food had gone down the conveyor belt part. I had even put some of it in bags! So so close, and yet...

Arrived home empty handed.

So now I have to REPEAT the whole saga tomorrow, with the kids, which I was trying to avoid by going to the store in the evening.

I am so writing an angry letter to that grocery store. Or maybe I can call and ask to 'speak with a manager.' (I have never done that so I will feel very grown up.)

Could they not have announced it over the intercom, or put a note on the door that said something like, "If you are planning on paying with debit or EBT, turn back now! Don't waste your time here when you could be doing something productive at home like reading or getting a bubble bath or eating a whole chocolate cake by yourself!"


And if my mean letter doesn't work, I will just tell them that my husband is a lawyer. What? You never know what will get results.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Seven Tasks and Thomas

I have been trying to do these seven tasks every day. My goal was to do them for two weeks, evaluate how well it was working for our family, and then adjust as needed. So far, it's been one week and I feel like a new woman. Who knew maintaining a clean house could be so theraputic? Chet has given it two thumbs up as well. (Probably most normal stay-at-home moms already do these things - but since I need all the help I can get, having a set list of simple, quick, do-able tasks has been sweet.)

One of the tasks is to do a 10-minute pick up before bed. That's when I put stuff that's gotten out of place during the day back where it belongs (stray toys, piles of paper to be filed, mugs of coffee that I've forgotten to finish, etc). It is wonderful to wake up to a tidy home, so I love straightening up at the end of each day. (Did you ever think you'd hear that come out of my mouth?)

Today during naptime I was reading on the couch when I looked up at the mantel and saw this:

Do you see what I see? (candle.train.candle.train.candle.) Oops. Something missed the tidy-radar.

Those trains are so perfectly placed it's like I decorate with Thomas the Tank Engine.

(I put them out of Sharks' reach since he always gets them stuck under the couch and I promptly forgot about them.)

So I'm not perfect, but my house sure looks a lot better, even with a couple of trains here and there.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I love this book and since I never read non-fiction, you know it must be good

I have been thinking recently about all of the things we must hold in tension in our lives as Christians, and when reading The Life You Save May Be Your Own, I was struck by these quotes from the saints, paraphrased by Dorothy Day.

“When things get tough, I like to recall St. Teresa’s ‘Life is a night spent in an uncomfortable inn.’ And from the way she wrote about her adventures, she agreed also with St. Catherine of Siena, who said: ‘All the way to heaven is heaven, for He said, I am the Way.’”