November 28, 2009

What are you most thankful for?

I have worked so hard talking to my children about the spirit of "thanks" at Thanksgiving. We discussed all the things they are so very lucky to have (loving supportive family, food at every meal, a nice warm home, etc.) and my kids over and over again made me pictures showing me how thankful they are for all of those things. I was feeling pretty good about myself knowing I had done a fabulous job as mom and had gotten the true meaning of Thanksgiving through to them.

On Thanksgiving day we did the traditional cook all day long, spend time as a family, set a fancy table, etc. The meal was ready and we all sat down to eat. My 2 year old son yelled out "Happy Birthday Papa!" - okay clearly he did not pick up on the correct message.

BUT I still had my sweet thankful daughter who would make me proud. Halfway through the meal my daughter asked if we could go around and say what we are all thankful for. Wow! Great idea from a 5 year old - this was my shining moment! This was moment where everyone would see what an amazing mother I am and what a truly special child I was raising.

She had Papa start (whose bday by the way is not until January) and we went around the table taking turns sharing what we were the most thankful for. I smiled with a warm heart knowing E was going to make me proud by saying she was thankful for her family, friends, food, clothing, shelter, etc. All the things we had discussed for the past few weeks.

It was E's turn.

"I'm thankful for rainbows and unicorns!"

I'm not seeing much point in working on the meaning of Christmas.

November 22, 2009

I guess I can't say I wasn't warned.

Saturday we held my daughter's 5th birthday party at our house. I have spent weeks planning, purchasing and organizing for this event. She wanted a "flower"party. I had no idea what that meant but since that is what she wanted, that is what she was getting. I'm a believer that birthdays should be special for children and it is a great way for them to see what it is like to be selfless and do nice things for others in your family.

On Friday night my husband was nice enough to take the kids out of the house so I could flower myself out. I made flower shaped sandwiches, a flower cake, a pin the petal on the flower game and much more. I left the cleaning of the house and decorating for the next morning.

In the morning I asked my husband to please clean off our front porch. We have humongous trees in our front yard and they have been dropping their leaves with a vengeance the past few days. Our porch had a good 6 inch layer of leaves on it and actually posed a danger as it no longer looked like a porch and 6 steps.

Dutifully my husband went out to work on the porch. 3.5 hours later he still had not reappeared as he had trimmed the hedges, cleaned out the gutters, mowed the lawn and Lord knows what else. How do you get upset with someone who has worked so hard? I truly appreciate all he did, but I was wrangling, feeding, bathing 2 children all the while trying to get the party decorated and organizing the 4 craft stations I had planned for the 11 little girls that were coming to my house.

30 minutes before the party was to start I went out to ask the hubs if he could finish up his project and please come in and shower. I was greeted with this scene of a much dirtier and smellier porch than we started with!

Apparently the porch right in front of our front door was the landing pad for all the gutter gunk he had been knocking down - and we had people coming over any moment! Really??? Men!

I must say he did get it cleaned up with seconds to spare and with several nasty comments muttered under my breath.

Unfortunately I can't say I wasn't warned. I distinctly remember an incident from when I first started dating my husband. His parents were having a Greek Easter feast at their house and we were about 1 hour out from the party starting with 30 of their best friends showing up for a day of food/cooking/drinking in the beautiful backyard. As my mother-in-law was running around cleaning, cooking and arranging table settings, my father-in-law decided it was an opportune time to power wash the back of the house and roof, spilling black goo onto the back patio right where the party was to occur. Again, a great task that should be taken on at some point but just not moments before a party is to begin. My mother in law's head was to a point as was mine yesterday. Clearly this is hereditary.

November 19, 2009

Letter to Santa

I am pretty well done with my kids' Christmas shopping but I decided we had better write a letter to Santa to see if there were any surprises as far as requests go.

Here is the letter my 5 year old dictated for St. Nick:

Dear Santa Claus,

I like all the presents that you will give to me. You are so nice and I'm so happy that you came to my school. You are so sweet and you are so nice. I like you so much! You always let me sit on your lap when you go to my school. Dear Santa Claus you are so much fun. I like you, I love you Santa Claus. Thank you for all the nice presents you give me. I like the presents.

How does Rudolph's nose glow? I like you Santa Claus. Why don't other reindeer have shiny noses? I like you Santa Claus, you are so nice and I love you too. Oh Santa Claus I like you and you are so cute. Santa Claus, why is it not snowing today? I want you to be thankful. The End.

I counted and she complimented Santa in some form 9 times - think she is trying to butter him up? The funny thing is she didn't even ask for anything. Does that mean I can take all her presents back?

November 16, 2009

Potty Training Saga Part III

I am trying my best to get anyone other than myself to potty train my son but is isn't going all that well. My daughter still takes charge on it every once in awhile.

The other day we were with my son's good friend who is a few months older than him. The friend is awesome because he is potty trained. He had to use the bathroom and his mother and I thought this would be a wonderful teaching opportunity for the unbelievably uninterested in anything to do with a potty Z man.

We all trotted into the bathroom and Z's little friend pulled down his pants and did his thing standing up. Z watched in fascination and was very excited for his turn. He and I got his pants down, his diaper off and Z stood there over the potty waving his pointer finger over it. He kept shaking the finger and looking at it and shaking it again. Finally he pronounced "All done! It not working."

I think we are actually going backward on this whole deal. Last time I checked, pee pee does not come out of your finger. Clearly we have a long way to go on the potty training road.

November 11, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

Monday was my birthday and my husband was awesome. I went to the gym first thing in the morning and when I got home he had dressed, breakfast'd (yes, I use that as a word - and cereal'd too) the kids, and had emptied the dishwasher. How could the day get any better?

Several hours later, to my surprise, the doorbell rang and a man was holding a beautiful arrangement of flowers. I've told my husband repeatedly he does not need to send me expensive flowers (grocery store ones will do just fine) - and I really mean that. But WOW! He had really outdone himself on this most insignificant of birthdays.

I smiled at the delivery man knowingly and reached out my hands.

ME: "What a great birthday it is! My husband is the best!"

The poor delivery man looked very embarrassed.

DM: "Ma'am these flowers are for your across the street neighbor but she isn't home, I was wondering if you could hold them here and give them to her when she gets home?"


On the bright side, I did get to enjoy the smell of the flowers all day because she didn't get home until much later on - or maybe I didn't check if she was home until much later on, well whatever. And the poor girl really is the younger version of me. She even shares my birthday, she really has no chance.

November 5, 2009

We're Making Memories Here People

A favorite photo from my childhood shows me sitting on my parents retro space ship looking kitchen table wearing a brown/orange plaid dress with my long hair in two pig tails. My brothers are sitting next to me and we are all watching intently as our father carves a jack-o-lantern. Our young faces are bright with fascination and amazement at what my father is doing. I have always loved that photo because it captures such a great family activity and is exactly the kind of moment I hope my children will hold dear from their own childhoods.

Wanting to create that same memory for my children this past weekend, I gathered the biggest pumpkin we had off the front porch and brought it inside. All morning long I teased our children with a fun activity we were going to do later that day. Organizing the knives, black marker, paper trash bags and bowls for gathering the pumpkin guts/seeds for the yummy roasted seeds I would make later, I was ready.

I gathered my excited children around the kitchen table and got my husband ready for carving. He started drawing the face he would cut out and the kids were eager with anticipation - for about 3 minutes.

Here is a photo of my husband carving a pumpkin all by himself. I'm sparing you the picture of my children watching Max and Ruby on tv.

Either my mom just caught my brothers and me at the right time, or my kids are lame.

November 2, 2009

The Swine Flu is a JERK

I hate the Swine Flu, I mean really really hate it. Nope, no one in my house has it but I hold it directly responsible for the most miserable afternoon of my life.

It all actually started before today. For weeks that flu took countless hours of my time during which I obsessed over whether or not to vaccinate my children. I read no less than 1,254 articles that all told me something different about what to think and feel.

Then when I finally made the decision to vaccinate my children, I could not find a place within a 500 mile radius that actually had the vaccinations. Thousands of hours on the phone, visiting different doctor and pharmacy websites and hair loss from pulling my locks out, I was totally unsuccessful in my search.

So today I decided the least I could do was vaccinate myself from the regular old flu (my kids had their regular flu shots weeks ago). Low and behold the CVS Minute Clinic I walked into had H1N1 vaccinations - and the ones to spray in my kiddos noses to boot! No shots required. Score!

I picked my kids up from school and we scurried over to CVS to make them swine free.

2 1/2 hours, 4 bags of snacks, 2 new coloring books, a new box of crayons, 2 bottles of pink Vitamin water, 7 time outs, 2 requests for the handy vac from the guy behind the counter to clean up aforementioned snacks, 25 glares, 3 sympathetic grandmas trying to entertain my children, 11 screaming fits, 32 separate sets of tears, 17 promises to talk to Santa Claus about the My Little Pony they had in the toy aisle, 438 threats to take away everything my children own, 2 separate instances of blood, 16 laps around the entire store, 2 knocked over aisle displays, and no less than 8 fights over who got to sit in the KU Jayhawk chair, my kids are swine flu resistant - hopefully.

Good thing is that the vaccinations are free, bad thing is my bill came to about $376 - oh and we have to go back in 4 weeks for another dose. Not sure I wouldn't rather have just dealt with the damn flu.