Friday, February 29, 2008

Cookie Monster

It's that time of year again, Girl Scout cookie time. We picked up our stash of 101 boxes Wednesday afternoon. After lugging in the boxes of cookies we quickly sorted so we could deliver them to our neighbors who have anxiously been awaiting their treats. One neighbor said, "So-and-so's cousin's friend already got their cookies, when are our cookies coming?" She said that her daughter really, really wanted the cookies. I've blamed the kids before, I know it was really her!

The whole family set out with a wagon full of cookies at just after 4 pm. That is not a good time to deliver cookies we discovered. No one was home from work yet. After not much luck we went back home with a wagon still full of cookies. It was a beautiful day out. Kids and dad stayed outside to play, I went inside to cook dinner. After a while, I heard DH outside yelling, "No, B. Get out of the cookies!" He had been playing soccer with A&J and hadn't been watching B closely. He had torn open several boxes of cookies. He got the cardboard open, but when he got stuck at the plastic wrap, he moved onto the next box. He got through 4 before he was discovered.

I had to call the cookie mom that night to get replacement boxes. Her first question was, "Did I mess up?" I quickly assured her that her sorting & counting was fine, but my 2 year old is a cookie monster.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

One of those mornings

Yesterday morning the stomach bug hit yet again. J was up multiple times in the night, half crying because he felt bad, the other half in the bathroom getting sick. B woke up several hours later calling for me. I should have known and gone right in, but I was still dealing with J and trying to get A up for school, so I left him for a while. When DH went in, it was a disaster zone. The stomach bug hit B too. Warning this is way TMI: He had stuff coming out both end and it was everywhere and it stank. We had to open the windows of the room most of the morning to air out the room. Multiple loads of laundry. The nasty horrible stomach bug. Ugh.

So that was yesterday. I thought for sure that things couldn't be worse. But they were. Yesterday day we took everything in stride, cleaned and germ-x-ed and lysol and tucked the sick ones on the couch to wait out the bug.

This morning it was yelling, yelling, yelling. No one wanted to cooperate and everyone wanted to yell. When A still had not brushed her teeth after five minutes warning, when she hadn't even opened the toothpaste, I started yelling too. She turned to me and told me I was the worst mother in the world.

And my oh-so-mature, perfect mother response was:

"I am not the worst mother in the world. I could beat you, then I would be the worst mother in the world."

Yes, it was one of those mornings. Let's hope tomorrow improves.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

We have made progress!

Tonight, for the first time ever, my youngest child put a vegetable in his mouth and attempted to chew and swallow it.

I held a kernel of corn in one hand and a chocolate chip cookie in the other. I threatened to eat the cookie myself unless he ate the corn. After a few minutes of screaming "COOOOKIE" repeatedly, he realized that I would eat the cookie and he succumbed to my bribe.

He bravely put the kernel in his mouth and chew, chew, chewed it. When I asked if it was all gone, he opened his mouth to show the mashed up kernel. We cheered him on and he chew, chew, chewed some more. After about 5 minutes of chewing and showing, he finally spit the kernel out.

I gave him the cookie anyway. I figured that despite it being just a little progress, it was progress none the less. He put the corn in his mouth. It didn't involve me grabbing cheeks and shoving a vegetable in*. He actually did chew the corn. That was way more than I ever thought he would do. Maybe next time he will swallow the corn. I can only dream.

*That only happened once, I swear. I was really frustrated. And anyone who knows me and my vegetable eating habits as a child should be shocked and dismayed at my treatment of my child. I realize that. It is totally contradicts everything I ever said before the age of eighteen when I finally hated dining hall food enough to start eating vegetables. I swore I would never make my child eat something he/she didn't like. At least he hasn't thrown up at the table from being forced to eat green beans or peas (I'm sorry, Mom & Mr. Ryan.) If it ever comes to that I will give up my campaign of trying to get him to eat his vegetables. I didn't want my kids to go through what I went through because of my picky eating habits. I didn't like spending the night out and I never went to camp all because I was afraid of not being able to eat the food. It was a constant worry for me when I was a kid. So far, I've been able to instill decent eating habits with the first two but I failed miserably with this last one. Oh well. I guess I grew up and started to eat real food, he will too.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Note wars

It all started with A crying, "He won't stop copying me!", which was quickly followed by J aping, "He won't stop copying me!"

I felt like covering my ears and yelling "BLAH, BLAH, BLAH! I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"

Instead I dispensed with some wise motherly advice in a quiet whisper to No. 1 son, "I would stop if I was you or she's going to do it back to you!"

I was either too loud or A had the same idea. The first time J said something, A immediately repeated it. This continue for a block or so which reduced J to tears. I immediately put a stop to the tears. I told J he could not cry for something he was doing minutes before. If he didn't like it that much then he shouldn't do it to his sister in the first place.

The spatting continued when we got home. This is where the notes came in.

A started with this one hanging on her door.

(I have since confiscated it for the illegal use of scotch tape on a painted door. Big no-no in this house.)

J wanted one for his room. We then spent the next 20 minutes with me spelling and him trying to fit the note on the small piece of paper. Lots of erasing was done.

I quickly got sick of spelling 'except' and when I pointed out that he forgot the word 'Allowed', he came close to tears again. I decided to make this process easier. I wrote it out for him to copy. J learned from A's mistake and got some ticky-tacky from his father. Last night when I put him to bed, I found the results of his efforts.

Smart boy, I guess. Why go through the effort to write all those words when you can just use a pair of scissors.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Back to bed

I put poor B down in his crib tonight.

He cried, "Big bed, big Bed!"
I said, "No, you're sleeping in the crib tonight."
He cried, "No, Daddy's room!"
I said, "Yes, the crib is in this room."

I put him down in the crib, got his cloth diapers, paci & a drink, turned on the night light and started to walk out.

He cried,"J, J!"

Then he cried,"Scary!"

I almost cried. I almost gave in and put him back in J's room. Instead I sucked up my tears and kissed him goodnight.

Luckily he was out like a light. After getting him down and getting A out of the shower, I went to read a book to J. He was already asleep. I guess I'm not the only one tired from their early wakings.

An experiment gone bad

We've given up and thrown in the towel. The crib got moved back to the office this morning. The boys just didn't do well sleeping together. And we're too tired to deal with them anymore.

The freedom of the big bed is too much for B. He's been getting up and down and up and down. DH went in there this weekend at 9:30 and he was out of his bed getting books.

J wakes up way too early for B and now he's getting up too early too. I think he probably has always woken up early and just rolled over and gone back to sleep. In the room with J, he knows someone else is there and he wants to get up and play. Before this room sharing experiment, he would stay in bed until 8:30 or 9:00 in the morning. Yesterday they were up at 5:45, this morning it was 5:30.

We'll try again another time. Right now, I'm tired. I need more sleep.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Knitting frustration

I started the Koolhaas hat for the Chicago BIL while I was in San Antonio. I finished up the ribbing and this afternoon I found some time to work on it. I got to row 6 and came to a complete stop.

I did some super duper sloppy chart reading. Honestly, I didn't really really look at it at all. I glanced at it and decided that I knew what I needed to do, put the chart away and started happily knitting along. I did notice that it wasn't remotely looking like the hat yet, but I just kept knitting thinking I would see the pattern later.

I realized at the end of row 5, I was off. In row 1, I did a lpc all the way around when I was suppose to alternate lpc/rpc. Of course I didn't realize this. Then in row 5 I thought I read the chart correctly. I did lpc then rpc around. But in row five you rpc/lpc. Again, I totally messed it up. I ripped back to the ripping and just picked up all the stitches again. What a pain that was.

Now I'm back on track. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

So I'm back to real life

Of course, I came back smack dab in the middle of momhood. I have laundry to do and A woke up with a stomach bug this morning, which means more laundry. I have to find a new doctor for J because the one I went to doesn't use pediatric anesthesiologists which I want. Especially since one of our friends is one and is offering to do the surgery for us. I tried to make sure she was on our insurance list, she said she probably is but we don't need to worry about that. I'm not sure what that means, but I'll take a break on cost since it won't be cheap. I have an appt with an ent she works with for next thursday. I was hoping to do it sooner, so I have a call into another office too.

No one has come up with an idea for the DK art auction project yet. I'm still dwelling on it. I want to come up with a cool project but I also don't want to be in charge. I'm going to try a project out with the kids and if it goes well, I'll suggest it. Otherwise, I'm waiting until someone else comes up with an idea.

Now everyone wants to know what's for dinner. Okay, everyone but A who is still feeling pukey. I put some chickens in the crockpot (I bought smaller ones and this time two fit at once!) but they won't be done in time for dinner. I'll use them for tomorrow night. Since there aren't any leftovers since I was gone for 2 nights and DH did no cooking, we might be eating peanut butter for dinner tonight.

Isn't it fun to come home after vacation.

In knitting news, I started working on a hat for the Chicago BIL. I got the ribbing done and I have started the first row of the pattern. I'm not sure how it is going, hopefully it will turn out nice. If not, he'll just have to wear an ugly hat long enough to send me a picture and then he can give it away if he wants.

So I need a cold shower

I got home yesterday afternoon from a weekend in San Antonio with my friend from Austin.

We had a great weekend of doing a lot of nothing. Saturday we went shopping, walked around, more shopping, mass, dinner and then home to bed. Sunday we exercised, went to Greune (more shopping), napped, dinner, movie (Juno - it was terrific) and back to bed. Monday we walked on the river walk, more shopping and then back to the airport and home. We slept in as long as we could both mornings, which wasn't very late, but it was lovely to wake up on my own rather than by the two footed alarm clocks that generally wake me up.

Sunday night we ate at Mi Tierra which is a old mexican restaurant by the market downtown. Afterwards we went through the market. They had those machines where you put in a quarter and put your hand on it and it measures how well you kiss/how passionate you are/how hot you are. S did the kissing one and she was passionate which was 3rd out of 6. I did the how passionate are you and I was off the chart take a cold shower. S thought that was hilarious. She almost called DH right then and there. Luckily I checked the time and stopped her. He was at the cathedral downtown for an RCIA Right of Sending (or something like that) with the guy he's sponsoring. That would have been bad to call him to tell him that his wife is way passionate in the middle of the RCIA ceremony.

I enjoyed myself a lot. We did do a lot of shopping which normally isn't my thing, but this was a nice I didn't have to buy anything, window shopping at my own pace without a husband or child bugging me about when we were leaving/how long was it going to take/why won't you buy me something that normally I associate with shopping. It was a pleasure just to wander and browse. I did buy a little gift for each of the kids. I also bought some shampoo for me, which I had to sent home to Austin since I wasn't checking my luggage. I forgot about that 3 oz rule. I'll get it the next time S is up in Dallas.

I think we'll do it again next year. I look forward to it.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The perils of room sharing

My boys have never been good sleepers. J didn't sleep through the night until he was well over a year old. For B, it was after 18 months. It was a long hard year and half and I'm still not sure how I survived the exhaustion. Since then he's been a great sleeper. He has his occasional nights but he generally sleeps from 7:30-7:30. Some mornings he'll lie in the crib until after 9:00. But not anymore.

J has always been an early riser. He's up before 6:15 most mornings. There are those glorious mornings where he sleeps past 7:00. But those are few, very few.

This morning J came into our room at 5:45. He wanted breakfast and to watch tv. I was about to send him back to bed when I heard a little pitter pat coming down the hall. Then I heard B calling out "Daddy." I scooped up B and took them both back to bed, which didn't go so well. J was crying that he wanted to get up. B was crying because he didn't want back in the big bed or in the crib. I took him out to sit in a chair which made J mad. He didn't want to go back to bed if B wasn't going back to bed. Eventually I got them both back down and I went to pretend to sleep for at least another 20 minutes. Which is exactly how long it took J to get back up and come begging for breakfast and tv again. At least B was in the crib and he couldn't get out.

Consequences of the early morning rising. B is a cranky little devil this morning. Nothing is making him happy at all, everything is making him mad. I'm a cranky big devil this morning. Hopefully we'll both get a good nap this afternoon.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

a long one

I'm sure this will be way too long.

It's Valentine's Day. An arbitrary commercially induced holiday that I just can't skip. Growing up my mother always got up early and made grandmother's buttermilk coffee cake in a heart shaped pan. I've tried carrying on the tradition but my children don't like pecans. Pecans are an integral part of the coffee cake IMO and I won't leave them out. Rather then make it and have me eat the whole thing myself, I decided to make something different. I wanted to make these but I didn't have the time so I made these instead. I didn't go buy a bunch of candy or junky toys this year either. Everyone got a dollar scratch ticket instead. A scratch ticket is cheaper and healthier and has the potential to win $10,000. We weren't that lucky, only B won and he only got $1.00.

It is Valentine's Day which means I'm on room mom duty. I've been organizing the party for a week or so now. We're doing two crafts, folded heart envelope valentines & paper plate heart baskets (but with ribbon handles) and a game. My go-to moms who normally come to the parties are not coming today. It may just be me and the teachers. I'm not sure how this will go.

I found out 2 days ago that the mom who was bringing cupcakes isn't bringing cupcakes anymore. The mom is the mom of the dessert stealing girl. It seems that M has been permanently moved to the other class. I didn't know it. No one actually told the parents that they made this move. I'm not happy with the preschool organization, but that's a vent for another day.

Last night after addressing valentines, going to soccer practice, feeding children from the Wendy's dollar menu and attending a useless meeting on the bibical history of the Eucharist, I came home to make a treat for the party. J requested heart shaped choc chip cookies. I stayed up late enough to bake the sheet of pan cookies and cool enough so I could cover them and got to bed.

This morning I cut the cookies into hearts. I needed 13 and only got 10. My heart shaped cookie cutter is too big. I had to bake more but I was out of chips. I tried to steal some from my sister's house but she wasn't home and I couldn't find any in her pantry. I had to go to the store.

I came home to grab my purse only to have DH tell me that he has to get 5 jobs done in the next 2 days before I go out of town. (I'm going to San Antonio with my friend from Austin on Saturday.) Five jobs is a good thing, more money. It also means he won't be here at 1:30 for me to attend A's Valentine's Day party. I promised, promised, promised A that I would go to her party. I've attended all the parties for J this year and then I became room mom and I've been doing everything for his class. She's jealous and I promised. I'm still not sure how I'm going to pull that one off because B is not allowed to come to her party.

I couldn't worry about that because I had to bake more cookies. I ran to the store and bought the choc chips. When I got home B was watching tv and DH was "reading the paper." DH came out and asked, "What is this mess?" There were candy wrappers everywhere. While I was gone, B had gotten one of the goody bags and eaten (or tried to eat) most of the candy. All of the hershey kisses were eaten with bits of foil dropped from the dining room into the play room. He bit through the paper of the Reese's and used his finger to dig it out of the package. He abandoned it on the floor, I guess that was too much work. Great! I just enough bags for the kids and now I was 1 bag short. Luckily I had left over christmas candy in silver and red packaging. I mixed it in with what B didn't eat. I don't think anyone will notice.

So now, another sheet of pan cookies is cooling waiting to be cut into heart shapes. I have to go finish organizing stuff for party crafts so I don't forget anything. I still have to find something to do with B for the party at 1:30. I'll be very happy when this day is over.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Outed on my blog again

Another one of my sisters figured out that I have a blog.

I never told anyone in the family that I was doing this. (Just so you're not offended by being left out of the loop, Chicago B!)

DH spilled the beans to my sister M. Dallas B heard me talking to M about it. Then my mom heard Dallas B & me talking about it. I found out today by her comments that somebody told Chicago B. I don't know if the last sister (S) has been told about it yet. I guess someone will tell her eventually. I know it won't be me.

I've always referred to my kids by their initials. That is a nod to DH who would prefer the whole family not be out there on the internet. Of course, I've posted things with their names occasionally, but I keep it to a minimum. But now this initial thing for the whole family gets confusing. I should come up with nicknames for them. I'll work on that.

Scary faces and more!

A didn't want her picture taken. Here's her scary go away and leave me alone face.

J had to make one too.

And of course B couldn't be left out. He's so sweet that he doesn't make a very good scary face. Give him a couple of years.

Here's a nice pic of J in his new glasses. It has been a couple of weeks and I finally got him to take a picture.

Sunday was a beautiful day in Texas. We spent the afternoon at the ILs house for a fish fry. Yum! The onion rings were wonderful and MIL shared her recipe with us. I'm going to have to try and duplicate them someday.

After we got home, the evening was still so nice, we headed outside. The boys played, Anna read a book & I played with the camera. B found DH's old football helmet, so there was no question what he was playing. FOOTBALL! I tried to get a picture of him yelling touchdown with the ball but he realized I was taking pictures and posed instead.

I love days like these

Moving house

I've been meaning to post here, but I haven't gotten around to it. Life keeps interfering.

We spent part of the weekend moving house. Not actually moving houses, but switching things around in the house. We moved B's crib from his room to J's room. We moved J's dresser to B's former room (now known as "DH's Office".) We moved J's beds from one wall to the perpendicular one. A couldn't be left out of the excitement. We moved her bed to another wall and took down some storage crates in her room. I need to help her clean out her closet but that will have to wait.

B is now sleeping in J's room. The first night he went to sleep in the big bed with very little trouble. The next night he was up and down and up and down and talking and playing. He was moved to the crib. Soon he realized he could reach the light switch in the closet and he started playing. The crib was moved away from the wall and he cried himself to sleep. Last night, he went down with only one warning to be quiet and stay in bed. But he woke up this morning around 7:30 asking to move to the crib. He laid there for about 45 minutes before getting up.

J has been doing great. He gets annoyed when B talks to him at bedtime so we've had a lot of tattling. In the morning he's been tiptoeing out of the room and not waking him up. That's good.

J's big news. He's probably going to get his tonsils & adenoids removed. I noticed before Christmas that he was having a lot of trouble swallowing fibrous foods (meat, oranges, apple peels, etc.) He would chew and chew and chew and he said he couldn't swallow it. He ended up spitting the food out, gross! I decided to take him to the doctor. The ped didn't see anything at first but then had him lie down to do a strep swab. That was when she saw that his lower tonsils were huge. We went to the ENT yesterday. He checked them out and said they are so large they are almost touching. He recommended taking them out. We're waiting on insurance and a second opinion from a doctor friend of mine. I think if we do it, it will be mid march around spring break time.

J is taking it okay. He cried when he first realized what I was talking about. But promises of blue jello, chocolate pudding and strawberry shakes brought him around.

Monday, February 11, 2008

A child of the 00's

This morning I heard a discussion between DH & A. Here's my paraphrasing.

A: "Daddy, why can't you fast forward and rewind on regular tv?"
DH: "Because you can't do that without tivo."
A: "Why don't all tvs have tivo?"
DH: "Because you have to have tivo." (doesn't he sound parental?)
A: "How does tivo let you fast forward and rewind?"
DH: "Well, tivo records the tv show while it is airing and then when you watch it later you can fast forward and rewind."
A: "I think all tv shows should be able to do it all the time. It's much better that way."

Obviously this child doesn't remember that she once lived in a house without a tivo/dvr. I should start telling her stories of way back in the early days of my childhood when we only had one small black and white television with rabbit ears. You had to get up and physically change the channels then wiggle the ears and turn the plastic disks behind the knobs to get rid of all the snow/static. That would probably freak her out!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

So DH is the new Macgyver

I tried to get ice from the ice maker. I normally don't use the ice. Since I've given up diet coke, I made some lemonade. I like lemonade with ice. This morning no ice came out. I opened up the door and saw there was a big hunk of ice sticking up, so I knocked it down and waiting for the machine to make more ice. After dropping the kids off at school, I came home expecting there to be ice. But alas, there was none.

DH got on the internet and googled his heart out. He found that the infrared ice detector eye is out. It thinks the ice bucket holder thing is full when it is not. He then googled the part and found a place in town that had it in stock.

Now he's in the kitchen taking things apart with a butter knife. That's why he's the new Macgyver. He's fixing it with a butter knife. Okay, he used a screwdriver too.

Since I've had no diet coke today, I'm cranky. I want to drink something other than plain water. I want to drink lemonade. Hopefully this will work because otherwise we're out $80.00 and I still have no ice for my lemonade.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

So I'm giving up what?

Today is Ash Wednesday. The beginning of lent and time to start giving something up until Easter.

The question of what to give up has been the topic of dinner conversation in our family for a few days. I campaigned for no television but the whole family revolted on that one. DH is giving up sweets. He's on a weight loss mission. A is still debating. She wanted to give up unhealthy drinks like her cousin. I had to remind her that she doesn't drink sodas & juice boxes and stuff. She drinks water, milk and sometimes apple juice. That doesn't count.

I've been debating on what to do. I need to give up sweets. Working out of the house, I find I get the munchies way too often and I tend to look for sweet things. I need to give up diet coke. I've been drinking way too much lately. 3-4 or more a day. Not good. I should probably give up beer. I don't drink that much but it is something that I like and it would be a sacrifice.

I went to mass this morning. The homily was about how Lent is a time to make sacrifices. We say no to things that are not sinful, but indulgent. By saying no to these things, we gain the strength to say no to that which is sinful and wrong for us. In going back to the reading, the priest said that we should not boast or wail about our sacrifice. We shouldn't gripe and groan and let the world now how hard a sacrifice we are making. If making the sacrifice makes us miserable person to live with, then we need to rethink our sacrifice.

That was the wrong thing to say to me. I had basically decided that I would give up sweets and diet coke. But I wonder if I will be a miserable person without diet coke. Maybe instead of giving it up totally, I should just limit myself to 1 a day? Or am I just using the sermon as an excuse to not give up diet code?

I guess I'll take it one day at a time and try. It will be good for me and give me strength.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Tuesday morning adventures

I just got done with an exhausting morning.

J woke us up after 7. He normally gets up around 6 and I get out of bed around 6:40. So we were 20 minutes late at the start. I then realized that it is Tuesday and that means mass day. The DK classes go to mass now and they asked that parents attend with the kids. DH had a job in Plano at 8:30 this morning. I had to get breakfast, make lunches, take a shower, get A & J & B & me dressed & fed in 35 minutes. Luckily DH stepped up without me asking and got B dressed and fed.

I got out of the shower and DH says that A doesn't feel well. I check on her and she looks pathetic. There's been a stomach virus floating around, so I sent her to bed and broke the news to J that I can't go to mass. He promptly started crying. I had to walk away, it was too much for me at that point and had to make lunch. Next thing I know, A was in the kitchen talking and joking with J. I told her if she was well enough to do that, then she was well enough for school. We did make it out of the house by 7:45 which is about as late as we can leave to get to school on time. All of that with hardly a raised voice on my part. I felt victorious.

The next big task to tackle that morning: mass with J & B. B doesn't do well in mass and most Sundays we take him to the nursery. It was quite an accomplishment to keep him in the pew and relatively quiet the whole time. There was only one small rubber frog throwing incident that make the preschoolers laugh. But other than that, he did well. He pitched a big fit when we left J in the classroom. He was ready to take out the buckets of legos and start playing when I drug him out of there screaming. Another feat accomplished without me yelling. I'm having a decent morning.

We're home now. B is watching "Clues Clues" and I'm relaxing. I need the break before I tackle work.