Monday, March 29, 2010


I'm having one of those days. On what will most likely prove to be my busiest day of the week, my middle daughter, has decided to act out in a myriad of ways.  Forget the pre-dawn bed invasion...I'm used to that.  It started out like any other ordinary Monday.  Off to school for Jordan. It's "No TV Monday" in the house-- our family Lenten Promise. So Olivia and Ava played together this morning while I hurried to finish the grocery list and get us off to the store before Jordan finished up her half day Kindergarten.

At 10:15am, I knew we had to hustle but we could realistically make it to the grocery store and the 11:30 pick up.  I told Ava that she would have to join us instead of heading over to the Eagle's Nest (the place I throw the two older kids on a normal shopping excursion).  They have those double shopping carts at the store so I buckled Livi in and told Ava that she didn't have to be buckled if she could sit in her seat the whole time.   Things were going fine until Ava decided to stand up in the cart at every stop and was getting into Livi's Face.  I told her 3 seperate times to sit down (first mistake, I should have given her one warning and then buckled her.)  Finally I did strap her in and she had a complete FIT!  I am really lucky, usually my kids are very well behaved in the store. Not today. Ava was literally screaming from the frozen food section (halfway point) to the register.  Shouting, growling, mean little fit she had.  I tried a combination of ignoring and speaking through clenched teeth. My blood was boiling though.  (2nd mistake, I should have given her NO attention whatsoever.) 

When we got to the register an over friendly bagger that usually oohs and aahs over my kids tried to soothe Ava...Even though I told her that she was misbehaving and that she shouldn't be talked too.  (Please Bagger, mind your own business, do your job, and let me be the mom.) Ava just sobbed through their whole conversation and was getting more wound up from the attention.  FINALLY we were out of there.  And as Ava's audience began to shrink to the few customers that were entering the store as we exited her tears dried up and she was quiet!  Should have ignored her from the start.

We were 10 minutes late to pick up Jordan. 

At home, I made lunch and then we had to make ANOTHER trip out to the store. This time K-mart. That trip was pleasant an uneventful...I guarantee it was because I was buying things for the girls.

Back at home, I began to straighten the house, put a load of laundry in, tidy the livingroom and load the dishwasher so I could begin to work on treats for Ava's preschool Easter Party tomorrow. I'm in charge of the snack. I opted for egg shaped Rice Crispy Treats dipped in chocolate and festively sprinkled. But not before I had to referee a fight between the girls!  Ava pulled Jordan's hair (Jordan tattled---annoying), and then she refused to come downstairs when I asked her to come and talk to me about it so I had to go up and drag her out of the playroom. I gave a her a time out and stern talking too.  I may have swatted her on the butt too, but to no avail. 

A mere hour and half later she is back at it...she knocked Livi down in the Kitchen. Made her cry and then ran away when I asked her to help Livi up and apologize. MY BLOOD IS BOILING.

I have had it! AND  I just don't get it because, of course, every technique that worked with Jordan fails miserably with Ava.  Time out, Reasoning, taking things away, threats, shouting, spanking. It doesn't matter. She knows exactly how to get a rise out of me.  She can be the sweetest and the most horrible kid within a matter of minutes.  I am at the end of a fraying rope with her.  

We have dance class tonight and I have book club after that.  My husband is working late and she picks today to turn into a little monster. 

I need some tips for her.  She is strong willed, temperamental, stubborn, and feisty and I am running out of patience.  She doesn't seem phased by any disciplinary technique we have tried. Oh, she will work up some tears, but I just don't think it ever sinks in.  I don't see genuine remorse from her and I can't stand it. She lives life on her own terms and that's just how it is. Or is it??

I hate feeling this way too...A few deep breaths...and nope, not better. 

Here comes one of them "What are we having for dinner?" Sheesh.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Goodbye, Pepto Pink!

Would you buy a house with a room that is painted in this fashion?

Yeah...we didn't think so either. But we did try to sell it like this almost three years ago, because it is just so darn cute!  Well, really because we had other paint projects to work on at the time and this room took my husband many painstaking hours to complete before our darling first born arrived.

Maybe it was the pregnancy hormones that prompted me to say, "Hey, let's go all out and paint the room Pepto Pink, with a darker stripe of Pepto Pink bordered by a stripe of Lemon Yellow around the middle of it.  We can't leave these baseboards and doors white can we?  Let's paint them too! But let's be smart about this, border it with the Dark Pepto, Inset with regular Pepto and bevels around the edges--uh Yellow?"  The room was transformed into a cause CURE for stomach upset.  No really, it went really well with the crib sheets and bumper pads we registered for.  Now when my oldest says that her favorite color is pink, maybe you could guess why. The hours spent watching the walls as an infant have impressed upon her the warmth, comfort, and security of the color pink.  We did this to her.

This isn't how the room is usually set up, by the way...Just wanted to clarify, we know better than to shove all the beds to the center of the room and we do provide mattresses for our kids to sleep on!  I just didn't get to take a picture of the room before my husband started to patch up the holes from the HUMONGOUS "Barbie and the Magic of the Pegasus" poster that the girls insisted on hanging in the room...among other things.

So we are toning this room down a bit for our preparations to ready the house for the market. We have to paint the room a feminine color, I mean...three little girls DO still live there.  But we are opting for a nice light, breezy shade of lavender. The pain in the butt trim needs to be painted again...a neutral white.  Poor Hubby.  I'll post pics when he's finished.

So where are the kids sleeping now?

The playroom has been tranformed into wall to wall beds. The girls are loving their new "sleepover room."  But what a mess.

Can't wait until everything is put back together again.  And I'd like to officially apologize to my hardworking husband, because in my present condition I can't help with any of it!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Premonitions and Friday Follow!

Hubs got into a little car accident on the way home from work yesterday.  Funny thing is he had a premonition it would happen (wacky huh?) and he is kicking himself for not pulling over before it happened.  He watched an erratic driver in his rearview mirror following him for a couple of miles. He scooted through a changing light, hoping that she would be caught at the red...but she went through it too, then when he was sitting at a standstill on the bridge he heard her screeching tires and she slammed into the back of him, causing him to hit the driver in front of him. So he's dented on both ends.  Instead of pulling off the bridge he and the driver he hit decided to sit and wait for the cops because my husband had a feeling that this lady was planning to run.  Well, when the cops came and moved them from the bridge crazy girl DID try to run. They got her and arrested her for driving with a suspended liscense...also she seemed to be under the influence of something, what we don't know.  She probably doesn't have insurance.  This happened about 1 mile from home. Nothing to do until Wednesday, the arresting officer is off for the next few days and won't be able to have the police report done until then. What a great town we live in!!

So I am without a vehicle today and thanks to mom and dad Jordan could still get to school. I think our car is drivable, but Jim didn't want to be stranded at work. Understandable!

Have you ever had a premonition about something happening and then it came true???

Happy Friday Follow!

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

I.D. Is Officially Scared of The Toothfairy.

He asked that she not come to the house tonight.

That is a text message I received from my sister regarding my nephew (who must have lost his first tooth). I haven't gotten the whole story yet, she is supposed to call me today with the details. After I made a mental note and plopped the toothfairy down next to Michael Jackson ala Thriller Video in the pile that makes up my nephew's fears I got to thinking about childhood fears...

I had a few of my own that I can remember clearly. One still hangs on today. I wouldn't say that I am fearful of it anymore, but it still "gives me the creeps" as my daughter Jordan would say.

Fear #1 Fear of being physically harmed by a "body snatcher." Meaning, a body snatcher comes, takes over the body of a loved one, unbeknownst to me, and then loved one begins prodding me with a stick or otherwise abusing me. This is terrifying. I know that abuse happens in our world. Thankfully I've not been abused by a loved one. What a terrifying experience though right?

Fear #2 This one is very hard to describe. It's fear of a particular facial expression. It's an expression rarely seen in real life. It is a look of bugged out happiness. Artificial happiness, if you will. All I see is a close up of a face (usually Male); the face is expressionless and then all of a sudden will begin to grin a crazy, toothy, over exaggerated smile while widening its eyes to the point of bugging out. I don't know where this fear came from. This is the one that stays with me and still creeps me out. A few years ago there was a cereal commercial (although I might have completely blocked out the actual product) like this: It's shot in Black and White. Close up on a sleepy, droopy faced man in his late 40's early 50's. He takes a bite of cereal (or something) and instantly his expression changes to the one I described above. I can't stand it. I'm getting goosebumps just typing about it!

Fear #3.  A completely irrational one that entered around middle school age and followed me through high school. It is a fear of being shot in the buttocks (that body part specifically) with an arrow or bullet that has been trained to hit me from my bedroom window as I lay helplessly in my bed sleeping on my stomach, or about to fall asleep in this same position. Now I know a shot to the buttocks is rarely, if ever, fatal...but this fear caused me to always have to cover my ass with something while sleeping. Usually on a hot night a sheet would suffice. Again, I know that a sheet would not stop the penetrating effects of an arrow or bullet, but this is irrational fearful logic we are talking about. Thankfully this doesn't bother me anymore...but I think it's because I sleep on the second floor and an intruder is less likely to scale my house with a bow and arrow, or a gun and shoot me from the window!

Despite these irrational fears, I've grown up to be a fairly well adjusted adult. But sometimes, and I hope I'm not alone, I look at my little girls' fears and just this normal??

Here's a list of their fears (to my knowledge):

Olivia, my youngest, at over 2 1/2, has a fear of Tigers (really I think it's Lions, but she confuses the two). She will often come over to me and will whisper, "There's a Tiger in our house." Her eyes will get big and her lips will pucker into the tiniest "O" as she searches my face for the proper response. There aren't any tigers in our house, I will say. Usually I whisper back. Sometimes she will let out a scream and run around the house. Sometimes she will tell me that "Kingston is a Tiger". Kingston is our dog. He isn't a tiger. I will say.
This is our dog. He doesn't even look like a Tiger, or a Lion, and Olivia is not in the least bit afraid of him for that matter. So I'm not sure what's going on here.  Really I think she just likes to see the reaction she gets. If you could see the face she makes...really it's too cute for words.

Ava, my spunky 4 year old, isn't afraid of too much.  She says she's afraid of the dark, but I don't buy it. I think she just says that she is afraid of the dark because she thinks she is supposed to be afraid of something and she thinks it will get her out of doing things.  Ava, please go throw this tissue into the garbage can in the kitchen.  Ava, But it is DARK in there.  And she will ball her fists and press them up to her chin with the "look" of fear on her face. Ava, It's been a while since you made a trip to the potty...get upstairs and go. Same reaction from Ava. Ava isn't scared, I assure you.  If there's one thing I've learned it is that Ava isn't scared. She is a little lazy. She is very good at making excuses and manipulating others into doing things for her that she herself doesn't want to do.   One truly fearful reaction that I witnessed from Ava was when she freaked out because Jordan told her that there was a spider crawling on her. I didn't see the spider, but I did see the overblown, fearful panic and tantrum that resulted.  There was no calming her, no rationalizing with her. Ava was officially scared. 

Jordan, My sensitive 6 year old, has one fear in particular that I just can't figure out.  Jordan has never been an animal lover.  We've had a dog all of her life--Reagan, a fluffy white American Eskimo, and after Reagan passed we got Kingston, a boxer.  We've also had a myriad of fish.  She merely tolerates these pets. She was fearful of Kingston when he was a pup...the puppy energy and jumping up, she wasn't a fan. Now that he is a big baby (see above picture) at 2 yrs old (people years), she will gingerly pet him. But basically she goes about her day without paying too much attention to him.  She is very skittish around animals of any kind but the bain of her existance? Birds. Avoids them at the pet store. Covers her ears to the sound of squawking or clucking. Cowers in fear at the faintest ruffling of feathers...and if the bird flutters...she can't handle it.  

When she was 2 we went for lunch at MickyD's one day and decided to sit outside in the play area to eat. Mistake number one. Mistake number two was not noticing the errant french fry hit the floor. Immediately, a flock of happy little chickadees made their entrance and Jordan was very afraid as they fluttered at our feet fighting over the fry. And her fear was born, and grew...

When she was 4, we went on a trip to the outer banks and decided to eat at Sonic one day. HUGE mistake.  Seagulls love to hang out at Sonic and they are not shy about making there presence known. A large white/gray bird about four feet from our table let out a gullish cry and Jordan let out a cry of her own. This was straight out of Halloween or something. The most high pitched blood curdling scream I have heard in real life. 

At this point, she will tolerate robins or chickadees or grackles in the yard. Usually, this is when she loves our dog, she will sic Kingston on them. He will bound playfully into the yard and the birds will flap away creating a safe and happy haven.  Her fear seems to be focussing itself in on Pigeons--Rock Pigeons--the gray ones that look more like doves than their green irradescent-headed cousins.  The problem with the pigeons is their herky jerky motions, and also their sound.  Jordan always covers her ears in the presence of birds AND WHENEVER she is afraid. She doesn't clutch her heart, she doesn't cover her mouth (what I feel are normal reactions to fear)...she covers her ears.  It's because of the sound.  When a Rock Pigeon flies away it makes a squeaky sound that corresponds with its wings beating...It kind of sounds like the wings need oiled.  I guess that's the best way to describe it.  She hates that sound.

Birds in cages, or glass cases, no better. I've told her a million times that they can't get out, they are more afraid of her than she is of them...but the best she will do is stand three feet away, hiding behind my back.  I try to expose her to birds. She is not going to get away from them!! I don't force her, but I do want to expose her to them so she doesn't act like a freak about them in public. Things have gotten better.  Although the other day there was a Rock Pigeon in the front yard when we pulled up in the van and she wouldn't get out until I got out and shooed it away.  I didn't even see the damn thing, but I knew it would fly when I got close.

The irony in the situation is that when you ask her what her favorite animal is she will say "a Flamingo."  But not because it's a bird, because it is PINK. And my girl loves her pink. 

Sorry for the lengthy blog...I do have the tendancy to do that don't I?  When I pick a topic I usually have a lot to say...All this, to get to my question for you:  What are your fears? Do your kids have any strange fears? How do you deal with fear, your own, or your kid's?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I Did It!

Wow! Despite my clutzy computer skills I managed to tweak a banner from The Cutest Blog On The Block. I feel proud! My blog is finally starting to look more like my style. I'm not saying it's the best, or even that it's finished, but I am so much happier with it and it only took me two days and 6 hours of work! Hahaha.

Just wanted to share my happy triumph!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I Found Some Sunshine On A Rainy Day

After I picked up the girls from school today, in the rain, and before I began to work on lunch,out of the rain, I decided to take a peek at how my little peat pellets were doing. I never expected to see this:

What a surprise! The Dahlias have decided to make an early entrance! I looked on the back of the seed pack and saw that germination is 5 to 10 days and these little seedlings have sprouted in four. My heart is doing a happy dance as I imagine these little buds nestled into my garden in a couple short months or less.

The girls were super excited to. If you haven't grown something from seed, you should give it a try. It is so rewarding...even in this earliest of stages!

I invite you to share your garden stories with me!

Happy Spring!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Under Construction!!

Happy Monday! This weekend had the hubs painting like a mad man. For some reason I've only painted two rooms in our home (and now, every room has been painted room has been painted twice!) Funny, how all of our paint projects have coordinated with pregnancies! I like to paint. I don't mind doing that painstaking trim work, but I can't really help now. The most I did was sit on the sill of the open window for a few minutes breathing in the fresh air and keeping my dear husband company.

We painted the playroom a sunny yellow color (It was an ugly army green color from the previous owners) and I bought some new accessories for the room. It is so bright and cheerful now! I still have some work to do -- hanging said accessories, but it is coming together.

I am itching to get this house on the market. I wanted to get it on sooner rather than later so we could take advantage of the tax credit, but it looks like we won't be ready to go until May. What will be, will be.

In other news, I decided to try my hand at growing some flowers from seed. If it works, instead of spending $100+ on flats of flowers at the end of this spring, it will have only cost me $20.50! I'm excited about that. I hope I get some beautiful blooms to plant. It's only been two days but I keep peeking at my little brown peat pellets expecting to see little green shoots poking feels like Christmas Morning...only warmer!

Finally, my blog is under construction. I found a cute background...but it still needs some tweaking, time and lack of html knowledge (and other computer thing a ma jiggies) are forcing me to leave it as is for now. Which, in my humble opinion, is better than it was. Everything is a process.

I didn't mind the rain this morning. On the way to take Jordan to school, everything smelled so fresh. And the birds are still singing. So I'm happy.

We are out of toilet paper, that means a trip to the grocery store is inevitable what am I doing blogging!?! :) Off to make a list. Have a wonderful week every one!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Follow!

Decided to Friday Follow this week. Welcome if you are new to my blog and joining from Friday Follow. It's wonderful isn't it? Hope you enjoy my posts and please comment...I LOVE COMMENTS! Happy Friday Follow!

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This has been such a glorious week. The weather has been absolutely perfect. I was tempted to trot the girls off to the zoo yesterday...but then I thought of all the energy it would sap. Taking three kids to the zoo by myself at 7 months pregnant maybe wouldn't be a great idea. I envision Olivia running around like a nut in the monkey house and me falling over myself to grab her! Little devil.

We have hardly watched any TV this week which I LOVE. The kids have spent all their free time in the back yard! I am 4 days behind on my soap (I watch Day of Our Lives religiously) but I don't even care. I'm bored with it right now and we need some new stories. The DVR is waiting for me the next time it rains.

Even in the evening, after grubby feet and hands have been washed, noses kissed, and kids to bed I've been avoiding the boob tube. Instead, I've made a teeny bit of progress on the family scrap book. It's been slow going, but it is really relaxing work. I have an extra table set up in the dining room so that I can leave everything out (sort of). So far I just have the front and back of ONE page done, but I'm happy with that. It's more than I had last week!

The only thing I watched this week was a couple minutes of the Today Show in the morning and an episode of Modern Family--that show makes me laugh out loud. I'm a fan, although I didn't start watching it until recently. Let's just say every episode is a new one for me, but I am hooked. It makes me happy!

Nothing truly deep to ponder this morning, except to say that I am thankful. Thankful especially for my beautiful daughters. Without distractions, I've been able to enjoy them so much this week!

Keep bringing on that Sunshine!

Oilseed Rape Increases In Popularity As Fuel Source

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patty's!

Yesterday Ava had to wear green to preschool in celebration of St. Patrick's day. When we picked her up she came out wearing a construction paper wait, "it's a HEADBAND, Mom"...with a shamrock on it. In her back pack was a red-bearded leprechaun decoration.

Tomorrow's St. Patrick's Day! She shouted.

She seemed awfully excited. I chalked it up to pent up 4 year old energy. We do have a speck of Irish in us on my mom's side. My husband does have a red beard which hints to some unknown Irish roots and wouldn't be one to turn down a green beer either...but she seemed REALLY excited. It was cute!

Later that afternoon I took them in to JoAnn Fabrics so that I could blow my Verizon phone rebate on Scrap booking supplies (I blogged about it HERE and NO I haven't given up on the idea of scrap booking yet!) My mom is a manager at JoAnn, so the girls were excited to see her as always. Again Ava bobbed up and down shouting out for the store to hear: Tomorrow's St. Patrick's Day! St. Patrick is coming TONIGHT!

WHOA! Put on the brakes. What, Ava?


My mouth dropped open. My mom giggled.

No, Ava, my mom said. We just wear green for St. Patrick's Day...that's about it!

No, Ava said (this girl is ALWAYS right.) ST. PATRICK is COMING to our HOUSE tonight!
Oh, Mom said. And what does St. Patrick bring?

Matter of factly, Ava replied: He brings a REAL pot o' gold!!!

Here's hoping kid...

May you find your POT O'GOLD today everyone! Happy St. Pat's!

Monday, March 15, 2010

I must have been glowing!

I had such a nice weekend. Two good hair days in a row and lots to do!

On Friday, Jim and I took the girls to see Disney's Finding Nemo on Ice. I should have taken a picture of how enthralled Olivia and Ava were because it was so darn cute. They were the perfect age for it. Jordan had fun too, but I don't think it would have mattered what costumed character was skating out there, she was just happy to wave at her friends and chit chat! What a social butterfly. We went with her Daisy troop, so there were plenty of friends to see. Of course we couldn't get out of there without dropping too much money on overpriced plush toys and snacks. Still a good time was had by all...and I was happy to be out of the house as a family.

Saturday, Jim worked during the day but then we got to out afterwards! My daughters' school had their big fund raiser that night. It was an excuse to dress up and spend more money. It was nice to get a chance to socialize with parents and teachers. They had tons of nice baskets and items for auction. Jim walked away the winner of an autographed Brooks Orpik add to our growing collection of Pens signed memorabilia.

The reason for my Blog title this week was that lots of people came up to me to say that I looked beautiful on Saturday night! Some people actually said nothing more to me than how wonderful I looked. These comments were completely unsolicited...but I'm telling you it is JUST what a 7 month pregnant woman needs to hear! I was so taken aback, it has me wondering if I'm really having a girl?? Have you heard that old wives tale about how girl babies suck the beauty from their moms? I can say that I NEVER got so many compliments during my first three pregnancies (all girls). Maybe the tech made a mistake during the ultrasound. Wouldn't that be something since for the past four months we've been calling this baby "Chloe" and gearing the girls up for a new baby sister.

Compliments continued during a Sunday afternoon birthday party. I don't know what was up this weekend. I must have looked pretty hot. I did wear a dress and heals for both occasions...and my legs look pretty damn good...not a varicose vein in sight (lucky me). Maybe that was it. And I was saying I had two good hair days in a row, so THAT could have been it...but maybe I'm having a boy! Or maybe not. I'm just not sure how else to explain it!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I couldn't be a single mom...

Nope. And I don't like weeks that test that theory either. I give props to anyone (man or woman) who can make it through a day at home with the kids, from morning until bedtime, without another adult in sight, and manages to keep sanity intact, patience from running dry, energy at a reasonable level, and household running like it's been sprayed with WD40.

I find it virtually impossible. This week has been busy so far and the weekend looks just as busy..but at least after tonight my hubby will be back with me! The reason for my unwanted foray into single parent mode is that we've just had one of those weeks. My husband plays Deck hockey (recreational) and Monday and Wednesday night were championship games...which his team won, by the way (Yay to 30 somethings recapturing the vigor of their youth!).

The girls and I had dance class to attend on Monday night (as we do every Monday night) and I got thrown for a loop this week when the recital schedule came out and I found that Jordan and Ava will be dancing on two separate days. My disappointment and disgust with dance class in general could be a blog topic of its own and I'm sure it will become one at some point. The girls do enjoy it, which is the only reason we are sticking it out. But it's been an eye opening experience for me. Let's just stop it there.

Tuesday and Thursday night and NEXT Tuesday and Thursday Jim will be finishing up an OSHA Safety training class for work. So it's a long day for him (and me) as he leaves for work before the sun comes up and doesn't arrive home until just before 9pm, well after the kiddies have been sent to bed.

Last night I also had a volunteer meeting to attend so it meant bugging my parents to watch the kids...which they never seem to mind thankkfully. But, we missed the usual bedtime routine and I've been promising to put overnight curlers in Jordan's hair and have had to renege two nights in a row. TONIGHT her hair will be curled. Poor thing has handled the disappointment fairly well, and it seems like such a small thing, but I feel really bad that I've been saying I would do it and before you know it time is up and it hasn't gotten done!

I complain (mainly in my own head) that my husband really doesn't do much when he's home. For the most part, I don't mind because he works so hard outside of the home and after a week like this one I don't mind even more. Just having him in the house in the afternoon is helpful to me. He brings me my sanity. He's pretty vigilant with the a better enforcer of "the rules" and is just the right person to hug me when I need it. I do get and give hugs and kisses all day from my little ones...but they usually involve a request attached. Love ya, mom, can you get me a drink? What's for dinner? Can I play on the computer? These hugs while sweet are also draining at the same time. Imagine: Leech. Well, that might be too strong a visual...BUT hugs from DH fill up the tank...they don't drain from you can see how they are missed after a long day with the kids.

The day always starts out fine...but when the energy is waning I turn into a bug eyed lunatic. I don't care what we have for dinner (we did fast food once this week and one night I made spaghetti without the homemade meatballs(easy)). And I end up screaming my kids into bed, instead of tucking them. It's horrible. I can't seem to stop reminds me of the old nursery rhyme:

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.

She had so many children she didn't know what to.

She gave them some broth, without any bread,

And whipped them all soundly and sent them to bed.

There's the truth. I love my kids, but I need the support of my husband to really be the shiny happy mommy I want to be. The minute my husband comes through the door I breath a sigh of relief...put down the chocolate that I've been secretly stress eating... and give him a great big hug!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Spring will bring...

The past few days (weather wise) have been blissful. I have the blinds open this morning to blue skies and, before the girls began blaring a Taylor Swift song on their CD player, I could hear what seemed like a thousand different birds chirping outside the window. If I strain, I can still hear a few tweets make their way through and if I close my eyes I can wish away those ugly brown speckled snow mounds....they are slowly disappearing and that makes me very happy!

It means that spring is on the way and we've got a lot planned for this spring. First things first, and that's getting our house ready for the market. I'm not a spring cleaner, I'm a company's coming cleaner...but I kind of want to spring clean. It could be the nesting instinct kicking in. We have some big projects to tackle before we are ready to go. We need to finish our hardwood project that we started before the holidays--we need a nice solid weekend of mild weather and nothing else to do, to get it done (I mean that's what my husband needs...I'll be packing up the kids and dog and heading somewhere else for a couple of days!)

We also need to fix our front steps...scratch that, tear OUT the front steps and replace them. We've been "fixing them" for the last 3 years and the fix never lasts through the winter. We also need to paint the girls' room and the playroom a pleasing, buyer friendly neutral. Clean up the basement a little. I also need to organize...get rid of junk drawers and go through closets etc.

It's going to be a lot of work but hopefully this time the timing is right and we can move on from this home that was supposed to be our starter. We had a five year plan when we moved in's going on 7. I'm fine with that. I like my house, but there's a few things that I will look for in the next house that we don't have now.

The end of spring will also bring our new baby. I feel like she is already here...of course I'm still getting a full night's sleep so I know that isn't the truth. Her movements are so much stronger now. I'm beginning to actually distinguish hands and feet wiggling around in there. I'm better able to predict periods of restfulness and awake time. The girls are constantly feeling my belly, "giving the baby kisses" and we all refer to her by her name, pray for her before bed and at meal times and just talk about her an awful lot...I guess that's why it seems like she is here! I'm getting into my uncomfortable 3rd trimester, more doctor's appointments and more preparations for her arrival. It's exciting! We are all placing bets on what she will look like! My guess is she will look like my oldest daughter and husband. I'm hoping for it actually...

The younger two have more of my facial features and they are cute as buttons if I do say so...but they both were born with cleft palates (I had one too!) and it makes the new born stage very worrisome. Now it is no big deal, but at birth Ava had some troubles and had to be in the NICU for the first 2 1/2 months. She had a bunch of procedures and it was very tiresome and awful to be away from her as much as we were. Livi's cleft palate issues weren't as severe, we could bring her home right away, but with both girls I couldn't nurse (I pumped like crazy) and it took Olivia a long while to plump up the way a baby should. They both were on monitors at night--Ava had a feeding tube, and I remember at times feeling less like a mom and more like a doctor or nurse fiddling with gadgets. Plus there was the corrective surgery for both of them around 1-1 1/2 years that was not fun AT ALL! We made it through though.

Selfishly, I'm hoping that this baby won't have a cleft. The sonograms look promising (but they all did, so that doesn't mean anything). I just want to be able to nurse my baby and not worry if she is getting enough to eat, or going to choke, or wrap herself up in monitor wires at night. I don't want her to have to have surgery. It would be absolutely wonderful to just have a normal mommy/newborn experience this last time around.

I wouldn't change anything--I bet Ava wouldn't be the spitfire that she is if she didn't go through that, and Olivia's easy going take it as it comes attitude would be different too. That new born experience helped to shape them into the sweet little things they are now...but this time around...well there's no telling what spring will bring, but we can hope!

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Birthday Party

I am not Friday Following today because I definitely don't have the time, but I did want to post something today to let you all know I'm out here! I love hearing your feedback on my thoughts and stories so if something resonates with you...let me know!

I had Jordan's (My Oldest) 6th birthday party yesterday. We were torn about what to do about a birthday party this year. Maybe you can relate to the feeling that comes when birthday time rolls around. I love my kids. I think that celebrating their birthdays and making a special day for them is good for them. I always feel great when the party is over...but it's all the planning, and deciding, and shopping, and deciding, and the budget, and the deciding that I don't like.

This year we kept it simple. She got lots of calls from the family on her actual birthday (Monday) and she got to be "queen for the day": She didn't have to clean up and she got to pick her birthday dinner (She chose steak, baked potato, and tossed salad. A girl after daddy's heart!) and then yesterday I had a small party for her girl friends from school.

We had it at our house during lunch time, right after school. I had the girls make their own pizza's and we had those for lunch. The rest of the time the girls played like crazy up stairs while the mom's chatted in the living room. Cake, Present opening, and giving out the favors rounded out the afternoon. Everyone had left by 3pm. Very simple, very enjoyable, and very cost effective!

Jordan had a ton of fun!

So, what do you do for your children's birthdays?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Magic of the Seashell: One Mom's Triumph.

Okay...a little background first: I don't like to cook anymore. I used to--before I had kids. I am NOT the mom who doubles as a short order cook, meaning I don't cook something for my husband and me and something else for the kids. The most I will do is change up what we are having in degrees if I know that one or another doesn't like it. For example, when I am making soft tacos I will take a few of the soft taco shells and whip up some quesadillas for the girls because they turn their nose up at tacos.

They turn their nose up to a lot of things. I hear a lot of Ew gross! or I don't like this or Do I HAVE to eat this? And nightly the dinner table becomes a boardroom bargaining table:

Just take three bites, Me or Jim.
How about two? The kids.

If I drink all of my milk do I have to finish dinner? The kids.
If you don't eat, there will be no snack tonight! Us.

Sometimes for some reason when suggesting bites, my middle daughter, Ava will come back with a higher number than we originally posed:
Two bites, Ave.
How about FIVE? She asks
OKAY!? At 4 years old the concept of numbers is just beginning to develop for her and we do take advantage of that.

Gone are the days when my husband would wolf down a meal and ask for seconds. Good dinner, Hon! He'd say between bites. Now, all I have to do is look around the table to see how successful my meal is. My husband, wonderful man that he is, will always finish his plate...even choke down a few veggies so that he can be a good example. But if I fish for a compliment, like say aloud Yum....I think that was a good dinner. He'll give me a look, and then I watch his eyes rest for a second on each of my girls half finished plates. It was good, Babe. He'll reassure me. Yeah, right! Sigh. This is why I hate to cook anymore.

The only thing that keeps me going is knowing that someday my kids will be like me: trying new things and actually liking to eat. But for now, their fairly new taste buds can't take much more flavor than the tang of ketchup, the creaminess of ranch dressing, the puckering of dill pickly-ness, and the smooth velvety-ness of cheese. Yes, it seems my kids will only eat condiments.

Until now....

I think we've found a little trick to getting them to eat:

Yesterday, while on the couch watching the news, the clock sped along coldly to the dinner hour. The daily dreaded question arrived. Ava perched herself at the top of the steps with her little head over the rail and asked. What's for dinner? I don't know why they ask this question every day, they are NEVER happy with the answer...and my misery begins before dinner even hits the table.

Tonight I had a feeling that my answer might be well received:

Well, We are having Seashells. Me
Seashells? Her
Yes, seashells. Me
Real seashells? Her
Yes, real seashells...stuffed with scallops and shrimp. Me

I mumbled the last part. It didn't matter. Ava raced upstairs.
Little running footsteps upstairs.
Jordan appears.
Are we having seashells for dinner? She asks
Yes. Me
Real seashells?
Oh, I thought maybe the noodle kind?
Nope, real seashells. Come and look.

Wide eyed, my three little dolls stood with faces pressed to the oven door. I can't see them...
I opened the door and there they were! Immediately the girls jumped up and down and round and round.

We're having SEASHELLS for dinner! Real Seashells!!!!!

I have never seen my girls this excited to get to the table. All three of them. I looked at my husband. We'll see, I said. He peeked in the oven, We'll see, He said... He didn't seem convinced.

So earlier that day at the grocery store, I found a sale in the frozen food section in the fish department. As I pulled the BOGO stuffed scallops out of the market freezer, my hand felt a magical tingle. What IS this? I thought. It looked like a lump, much like a crab cake, sitting on top of a perfect half shell--A beautiful scallop shell to be exact. 9 shells in a package, and I could get two for a very cheap price. I'll take them! I thought. Pop'em in the oven for 30 minutes and voila! Dinner. Easy. Maybe not delicious--they looked OKAY...I knew I MIGHT get points for the shell and so I decided to use that to my advantage.

This product exceeded my expectations. As I brought the piping hot shells to the table, a girly chorus of OOOOH! AAAAAH! rose up. We barely got through the prayer without them picking from the shells like the little birds they are.

The talk of dinner that night was all about the seashells and each child picked their shell clean of the meat (or whatever it actually was) nestled inside the shell. To me, it tasted like a not so yummy version of a crab cake...but whatever! I noticed them also eating the side dishes. What is going on here??

I could not stop laughing. I could barely eat my own dinner because I was laughing and laughing and laughing. Now this is that silent, I don't want anyone to see me laughing kind of laugh that if you ever experienced it, you know is very difficult to stop. Tears began to well from my eyes. I covered my face in a dish towel, my body shaking. Every comment from my children raving about these "seashells" brought on a new wave of body wracking laughter. I could not believe it! The stuff did not taste great, but the magic of the seashells was working! I laughed straight through the dinner hour. I laughed in disbelief. I laughed in happiness. I laughed at the true absurdity of it all.

My husband looked at me knowingly. We need to serve ALL of our dinners on seashells! Can you imagine it?

What's for dinner?
Spaghetti, on a seashell.

What's for dinner?
Steak, on a seashell.

What's for dinner?
Chicken, on a seashell.

I think I could even serve tacos to them...if they were on a seashell.

Anyway, I wanted to share my first triumphant dinner experience in months with all of you!

My husband DID painstakingly hand wash the shells and give them to the girls for "a collection." They are now tucked safely into a decorative box that holds Jordan's treasures. I might sneak them out the next time I'm serving something that I know they hate.

Maybe there's some magic left in them!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Thank you's and other "to do's" from the weekend

First of all, I must say I'm quite impressed with the Friday blog hop. Not only did I get the chance to peruse some lovely blogs, I gained the readership of 33 (and counting) new bloggy friends! I think that is totally awesome and inspiring and overwhelming. I agree with a friend who said something to the effect of "now I feel pressure to be some awesome blogger." I feel it too. I know the pressure comes from within and I know there isn't anyone standing over my shoulder saying "c'mon you need to work on your layout today" or "don't you think you should add a few pictures here?"...but it does kind of feel that way. All in good time, my friends. Hopefully my musings, adventures, and mis-adventures will be enough to bring people back. And those of you who are reading now will (hopefully) get to see my blog blossom into something that I can really be proud of!

That being said...what a weekend we had! I wanted, since Friday night, to get back on and blog but never found the time. I will be devoting a second blog this morning to the Friday night topic I had on my brain.

Saturday was spend puttering around the house--laundry, straightening, making dinner (that everyone except DH complained about) and my house is in COMPLETE disarray today. That always happens on the weekend no matter what I try to do to stop it. There are a few less dirty laundry piles in the basement...but there is a strange smell in the kitchen. (Two steps forward, one step back). Please no one drop by unexpectedly today! :)

Sunday was tiring...Up early for church (we headed to 8:30 mass when we are usually regulars at 10:30). My husband Jim is in the process of becoming Catholic (joining me and the kids) and he had something special today at the 8:30 mass. Then it was off to the store to get a snack for Jordan (my oldest daughter) and her classmates for Monday (her BIRTHDAY!) and then headed away for a 45 minute drive to another church for a ceremony with the Bishop (another step in the process for my husband) then back home to the Olive Garden near my house to celebrate my Mom's birthday with the family. We didn't get back through the door until 9:45pm--GASP! on a school night!...Seriously, bed time's at 8pm for the kids and 10pm usually for the grown ups since Jim has to get up for work at 5am.

I was exhausted when we finally got home...probably because I look like this right now:

Ignore my unmade bed please and poor picture quality (it's a copy of a copy)...that's me a couple of weeks ago with baby bump approximately at the end of week 26...

I still managed to hand dip some strawberries in chocolate for Jordan's birthday snack at school. She is 6 today...which blows my she is, my pretty little girl:

It's going to be a busy week. She is having a little party with her school friends this week and as I mentioned before: My house is a MESS. The party is at the house. Wish me luck!


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