Monday, October 22, 2007

my sweet boo

He got an award for being such a good citizen today at school.

It seems one of his little friends ran into a bar on the playground and he ran over to see if she was alright. Then, another one got hit by a swing and he again ran to make sure she was okay. He has always been like that. If someone falls, he is the first to ask "are you okay?" If someone is sad he will ask "why are you sad?"

Such a caring little man. He is going to make a great husband and daddy some day.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

from the backseat

Heading to an afternoon birthday party for one of our favorite newly-turned-4-year-olds ~

me: I had better stop and grab a coffee on our way out. I am still pretty tired and a little crabby, I think.

the muss: You should make it a large.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

so proud

The Muss is a fantastic student.

We had parent/teacher conferences today for our favorite 1st grader and it went swimmingly. Her teacher was beaming as she told us how the Muss is doing in each of her subjects, went over her (very subjective) report card and told us about the "extra" things she has her doing.

I guess the Muss and one other student are so far ahead in some areas (read: reading) that the teacher has them do other worksheets/projects when she is working with the rest of the class. I already knew she was doing very well with her reading, heck, she was using inflection as a 5-year-old. A lot of adults I know don't even use inflection when they read. I was fairly advanced in this area when I was younger as well. From my writing you can clearly see that it ended there and I didn't advance much past AP English in high school. I make do.

Her teacher spoke of how the Muss is always volunteering to help her and other students. How she is always smiling and always willing (and excited!) to do whatever is asked of her. She is a joy to have in the classroom.

I wish that was the same kid I picked up from school. I tease. We have our difficulties, what parent doesn't? I do know that it is hard to "keep it together" all day and so a little falling apart is necessary once she gets home. I have the same problem.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

on the way home from tennis lessons

Note: I am not perfect and my kids do get drive-thru from time to time.
Not often, though. I swear.

Tennis gets over at 6:20 PM and I just cannot muster the energy to rush home and cook dinner. Since we usually eat at 6P, this would make it at least an hour late, so we usually pick something up on Tuesdays.

Heading to Taco Johns~

Me: I haven't had an Super Potato Oles in for-evah, can't wait.

the Muss: Hmmm, do they wear a cape?

Boo: Super Potato Oles to the rescue!

Monday, October 1, 2007

happy birthday to me

I'm 29 years old and I'm sticking to that.

No, really, today I turned 38. Speeding toward 40 at a rapid rate. I'm not one who is really hung up on ages, except when you mention mine. I don't feel 38 and (personally) I don't think I look 38. Whatever 38 looks like, I guess. I did that test thing at and I was only 21 yrs 8 mos old. Now, I really would not want to be 21 again, but hey, that thing is scientifically accurate, right?

I started the day by taking the Muss to school. Then headed out for a day of shopping with my mom. I have been feeling some tension in our relationship so it was really nice to spend the day with her just relaxing. I think I may have repaired some things in my head. Mothers and daughters seem to have such complicated relationships. I am a little apprehensive about the future since I have 2 of them and they both seem to have too much of me in them. I am going to surmise the teenage years will prove to be difficult.

The kids made me some very cute cards today while I was out. Boo's drew a picture of the two of us in his. The Muss wrote a long message wishing a "happy birthday to my 38-year-old mom." Thanks, I appreciated that.

My dad dropped off some flowers and a card. The cash included was very helpful in covering some of my shopping expenses from the day. J.'s mom came over, brought balloons and made dinner.

All in all a lovely day.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

happy 2nd birthday kiki

Oh, my baby love, where to start.

You are an amazing creature, kind of a cross between a sprite and a toddler. You have this magical way of making each person in the room feel like they are the most important person to you at that time and place. I just don't know how you do it, but it is a skill, a very enviable skill. You have so many words too. Not only are you magical and cute, but smart as well. We can onlly hope that you use those gifts for good and not evil.

Today was a marked day for you in the word department. It is like someone whispered in your ear when you woke up that today you are no longer a baby and you are officially a toddler, grow up! Today is the day you stopped saying "da" for "yes" (like a good little German baby) and started saying "yes." We had not been correcting the "da" when we heard it, but actually encouraging it. We encouraged that just like we encouraged the Muss to continue to say "fagel" for "squirrel" and for Boo to continue to say "planet urf" for "planet earth." We love the little interpretations of English that you all come up with and we let you use them as long as we can. Or until someone with better sense tells you the correct way to say things.

You are just a wee thing still, only 24lbs, but you eat like a champ so I can't complain. Well, I could complain that you would rather eat chips and french fries for every meal instead of something nutritious, but you do give in and eat green things and other good for you stuff when forced. You often pound on your table demanding green beans and "noonles." Then we give them to you.

Watching you grow over the past year has been one of the highlights of my life. And I'm not just saying that. The age of 1 has been one of my favorites for all 3 of you, but knowing this was my last 1 to be 1 made me savor it. I held you in my arms until you fell asleep when you needed me to. I carried you around while doing everything when you wanted me to. I answered the same questions hundreds of times because you asked me to. I kissed and hugged you a gazillion times because I needed to.

My favorite thing you do (and I promise it was hard to pick just one) is when you climb on my lap and take my face in your little hands with the sweet dimples where one day knuckles will be and you look me straight in the eyes and say "momma" in this little voice that is so full of love I can feel it in my soul.

You are full of love, hugs, kisses, touches and light.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

difficult start to 1st grade

I'm not quite sure if it started as more my problem that the muss', but 1st grade is getting off to a rough start.

The day the class lists were posted on the school doors I zoomed by on my way home from work to check them out. I figured I could take the muss up later and she would be none the wiser that the momma already knew. Well, it was grim. All but one of her best buddies from last year were in the other class. Even worse, all the moms I had become friends with were in the other class. I was beside myself. I think I may even have had a panic attack right there at the door to the school. It is all a blur, I don't quite remember.

I went home and put on a happy face and decided I wasn't even going to bring up the class list issue. If she was not dying to know, I was not going to tell her, or take her, or even mention that school was starting soon.

She didn't ask about it until Friday of that week. Then I broke the news to her. She took it better than I had taken it. She was fine. Seems she has the same put-on-a-happy-face skill that I have mastered.

Fast forward to tonight, the 3rd day of school. The Muss has been C...R...A...B...B...Y all week. Very crabby. She, however, maintains that nothing is wrong, which I know is not true. So, after tucking her in and going back downstairs, I hear her sobbing. The dam finally broke and maybe I can drag from her the problem. It was what I thought. She hates 1st grade (never been a fan of change, that one), she hates the classroom, they don't get to do anything fun, all her friends are in the other class, no one likes her in her new class, the list goes on and on. At least she is talking to me finally.

So, we spend the next hour, past bedtime, going through every issue and talking it over. I think I may even have made myself feel better in the process. Woohoo, momma, heal thyself.

We will have to see how the next few days and weeks go, but I think we will make it. If she can make new friends, so can I.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

the hits just keep on comin'

It has been a trying summer.

I thought the biggest issue would be the Muss without enough constructive activity. She really took to the whole school thing. No, it is not her, it is Boo. He is most certainly a 4-year-old boy testing every limitation and boundary that could possibly be placed around him. He has become obstinate, sassy and, well, just a plain little shit. Damn good thing he is cute otherwise he may not still be living.

Today he completely reverted to 2 years of age.

J. made the questionable decision to schedule Trooper a vet appointment while I was at work. Normally, we never do these type of things because taking all 3 kids to a vet's office for an hour turns into an eternity and also increases the urge to strangle children. But, no, J. has been super-stay-at-home-dad all summer and he can handle it.

Pardon me while I pick myself up off the floor where I have fallen from hysterical laughter. I have taken all 3 to the office of our family physician on occassion (when left no other choice) and it is not pretty. Not pretty AT ALL.

So, back to the vet. The kids are running around like little possessed demons with sparks flying off of their heads. They are then confined to an 8X8 room to wait for the vet. After what seemed like, yes, an eternity , but was really about 20 minutes, the vet comes in. Our Dear Trooper has been having some issues lately and J. wants to address them with the vet. Troop is pushing 8 and is a large breed of dog so this means he is a little long in the tooth thus he is having the sort of issues one would think an older dog would have. So while J. is talking to the vet, Boo and Kiki are under the table in the room coloring on the base of it. Yes, the assistants at the office gave my children crayons and didn't cover every surface in the building with paper. What were they thinking anyway? J. nips that in the bud, picks up a writhing, squealing Kiki and continues his discussion. They chat, everything is fine, then J. is mid-sentence and the vet calls out, "no, hey, don't do that" and J. turns to see Boo frantically scribbling all over the WALL.


That is right, the wall. Of course he apologized up and down and offered to clean it up, but they said they would take care of it. Maybe they know about the Magic Eraser.

So later, Boo is so busy frantically playing outside he forgets that he may need to stop and address his normal bodily functions once in awhile. Since he has forgotten this, he ends up peeing his pants. Seriously? The boy is 4 1/2?

This is all in addition to the usual crazed, frantic (are you seeing a pattern?) behavior that drives us to drink. Some of our favorites are the Wrapping Up In A Blanket And Rolling On The Floor While Frantically Laughing, the Running Circles Through The Living/Dining/Kitchen Areas While Frantically Laughing and the Poking My Sisters With Anything In The House I Can Find While Frantically Laughing. All good ones for sure.

Now I'm thinking he seems frantic a lot. Is this 4 or is this a bigger issue? We don't give him any caffeine. He rarely has chocolate and we keep all artificially-sugared items to a minimum. What is causing this? Is this 4 or is this a bigger issue? Am I breaking him in some way?

Sound like something to ask our family physician about next time I take all 3 of them in.

Friday, July 20, 2007

who knew it was just genetics?

They are having an around-the-world series at our local children's museum celebrating our 5 sister cities. The first Thursday night was centered around a lovely city in Japan. That exhibit and all activities surrounding it ran like clockwork. It was interesting, it was new, everyone was smiling and helpful, beautiful dancing, the crafts were fun and each child got there name written in Japanese. All the snacks tasted like fish, but hey, can't be perfect. I could not wait for the rest of the series after that night.

The second Thursday night was centered around a town in Germany. Let's just say not as clockwork-like. Not many smiles, odd activities ~ something about kicking a small soccer ball through a field of asparagus. What? There was a puppet show that featured a crocidile popping balloons twisted to look like little animals. Disturbing? Then there were to be crafts. We meandered downstairs to the craft area. There were a few little old people folding and weaving colorful papers into some sort of intricate star thing. This should be fun, it looked even more challenging than the origami from Japan night. So we stood there. And we stood there. And just for good measure, stood there a bit longer. None of the little old people looked up to ask us if we would like to do a craft, they just continued chatting among themselves and folding their little paper star things. So I told the kids they must not be ready for Craft Time yet and suggested we check out Story Time. Where no one was. It seems no one was in gear doing either Craft Time or Story Time. Also, only a few other families had straggled down only to be disappointed as well. Nothing ever came to fruition in either department, so we called it a bust and went on our way to the other regular activities that we normally visit.

Now, I could have been the bitchy mother and complained, but I had to look inside. I am German, for the most part. I am so very disorganized and a complete procrastinator. I aspire to be Organized and Neat, but it just hasn't happened for me yet. So I am thinking, maybe, just maybe it is hard-wired. Maybe there is no hope for me. Maybe I will always live on the edge of chaos.

That's it, I'm going to skip sweeping the floor and picking up the toys tonight. It is a lost battle anyway and I would rather just have myself a chilled adult beverage. Cheers!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

time will tell

About 10:30pm last night the Muss comes downstairs sobbing.

Muss: I can't sleep, momma.

Me: Why can't you sleep, honey, what's wrong?

Muss: *sobs loudly* I want to go back to school.

Me: after it crosses my mind that my daughter loathes me so much that she would rather spend her day someplace other than here Well, school starts in 3 weeks, you will be there soon.

Muss: *sobs loudly again* But I really want to go back now.

Me: Well, you can't because it hasn't started yet, honey, and you know what? When you are 15-years-old and it is 6:30 in the morning and I am trying to drag your butt out of bed for school and you are yelling at me about how you don't want to get up and you hate school and never want to go back, I am totally going to remind you of this day.

Muss: That will never happen
*turns and walks back up the stairs to bed*

Anyone want to place bets on that?

Monday, June 25, 2007

false advertising

A little background in case you have never seen me. I am of Danish/German decent, very blonde, and about the whitest girl you have seen.

So, I bought this spray-on self-tanner. The commercial shows a blonde, seemingly like me, spraying this bronze-contents-under-pressure freely all over her body with an end result being a glorious, freakishly-even tan. Being just as much of a consumer as the next sucker, I fall prey to the deception.

flash forward to the next morning

ACK! I have streaks and blotches and, despite all the advance of modern chemistry, a subtle orangish-glow over my once porcelain legs. The can says this is not even possible!

I guess I will have to accept that I will always be pasty. I will be the one wearing pants in the 90 degree heat until my orange glowing streaks disappear.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

no, she is not always this happy

There's nothing like coming home from work to find your very sick baby in need of a trip to the ER.

Let me preface this by saying that we, as a family, do whatever we can to avoid medical intervention entirely. Don't get me wrong, I'm not some radical who thinks modern medicine is a sham or anything. We just try to avoid doctors, hospitals, etc. because they usually mean someone is sick and we don't like to be sick so we Avoid Being Sick.

Well, all of us except for Kiki. She had a bout of RSV as a wee thing and it has been kicking her tushy ever since. The Muss or Boo get the sniffles, Kiki gets a full-blown respiratory infection that requires antibiotics, steroids and breathing treatments. The Muss or Boo get a "head-cold" and Kiki, the lucky girl, gets pneumonia. It is excrutiating to watch your sweet babe be that ill, but any parent knows this.

So, back to coming home from work yesterday and the status of Kiki. Upon arrival at home , J. informs me that Kiki has gone downhill throughout the day and is having some serious difficulty in the breathing department. Obviously, not breathing well is an issue, especially for a 21-month old tot. I frantically uncover our doctor's cell phone number. Yes, we actually have a doctor who trusts us enough to give us his personal cell number, probably because he knows we are among the least likely of his patients to actually use it. He tells me what I knew he would, a trip to the ER is in order.

Not much of interest from the actual hospital visit, it is a lovely Children's Hospital just down the street from our home. Very convenient, shiny, sparkley and completely renovated. Another x-ray of her teeny lungs (which always makes me shudder), another mega-dose of steroids and another super-charged breathing treatment and we were on our way. No pneumonia this time, at least.

Complete oversight. I totally forgot to mention that SHE WAILED AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS FOR THE FIRST 45 MINUTES WE WERE THERE. No shots nor any pokey devices of any type even came near her unblemished baby skin. You would have thought that they were trying to physically remove her lungs from her body to examine them instead of gently touching her back with a thoughtfully-warmed stethoscope. I was finally able to soothe her by the 37th round of singing of her favorite song. Thank goodness there wasn't just a curtain between us and the rest of the ER because I don't know which was worse, her crying or my singing. Ok, I know my singing was way worse.

I know, I know, she is a baby and does not understand what is going on, but you should see this hospital. It is the most kid-friendly-non-threatening hospital one can imagine. If she were a "fussy" baby or had been "colicky" or was maybe "high strung" or "tense" in anyway normally, then, then I would not have been surprised at her reaction. But, no, she has been the easiest (yet, craftiest) baby of the bunch. I cannot even recall how many times I have been asked "is she always this happy?" and "does she ever cry?"

Let me tell you, folks, yes, yes she does. If you would ever like to hear what she sounds like at full-tilt, just take her to your local Children's Hospital.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

on the way to buy new shoes

A little conversation between myself and Boo:

after being in the car for all of 2 blocks

Boo: How much longer until we get there?

Me: Just a couple of blocks.

Boo: Are you taking a short-cut?

Me: No, honey, no short-cut.

Boo: *sighing impatiently* Must be the long-cut then.

Mind you, the store we were going to was only a total of 7 blocks from our house. I'm sure the 500 mile road-trip we are taking at the end of the month will just fly by.

Friday, May 25, 2007

path of destruction

Seems that is what Kiki was on tonight. I'm not quite sure how it happened, but I do know when. I (selfishly) took, oh, about 1/2 hour to myself to peruse the latest issue of The Week that arrived today. The Muss was reading in her room and Boo and Kiki were playing in Boo's room. It appears Kiki has gotten much more destructive that I had initially though possible. She somehow managed to remove every game and puzzle from Boo's shelves and empty them onto the floor. There are (were) a lot of games and puzzles on his shelves. I'm pretty sure that Boo was giving her step-by-step instruction thoughout, but it was actually Kiki who made the mess.

His room
was clean.

Now he argues that I must help him return it to its former glory since it was not he who turned it into what it has become. He makes a valid point. If I could only cajole Kiki into doing it instead. I can usually get her to do anything for a sucker.

What? Bribing your 20-month-old is wrong?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

sweet dreams

My family lets bananas overripen just so I will make banana bread. They love my banana bread. Although my mother-in-law thinks hers is better, we all know the truth. I require 4 brownish bananas to create my masterpiece so whenever I buy a bunch, they always stop eating them with 4 left, in their minds the bananas are gone.

So I had 4 brownish bananas hanging on my banana hanger and this was my queue. I whipped up a loaf simultaneously while making dinner (don't ask me how I do it) and it baked while we were eating dinner. I pulled it out of the oven to a chorus of "oooooh's" and "aaaaaahh's!" They know they will have fresh banana bread for breakfast.

The Muss steps in closer, takes a big whiff and states in her most longing tone, "Mmmmmm, I'm going to dream about that tonight."

he has had better days

Boo, that is.

I was not actually present during this event as I was at work at the time so this is told by J. He is pretty accurate in his accounts most of the time so I deem it reliable.

I came home from work today to hear a sobbing Boo up in his room and find Kiki corraled in her crib joyfully watching "boots" (Dora, the Explorer to you and me). Hmm, something is amiss is the first thing that pops into my head. I turn to the bathroom and J. on the floor with every towel we own in a sopping heap in the corner. Definitely something amiss.

Me: Ummmm, how are things, honey?
I ask this knowing full well that things are not going the best, but maybe that will ease him into the events of the morning. I can still see the steam rising from his pores so I know this is a recent occurance.

Seems J. was downstairs folding laundry when he heard what sounded like running water. He was by the washing machine so kind of checked around that area and all was well. He then went up the first flight of stairs where there is a little sink in the hallway outside the less-than-half-bathroom. There is water, for some odd reason, pouring out of a gaping hole in the ceiling (gaping hole was already there, hard to explain, but there is normally not water pouring from it). He flies up the next 2 flights of stairs to the upstairs bathroom (directly above the gaping hole with water pouring from it) to find the sink plugged, water running at full-blast and flowing out of it like a sinkhole at high tide. From what I have been told there were several inches of water all over the floor around the commode and sink. Luckily our bathroom isn't level or it would have escaped into the hallway as well.

Secretly I was hoping it had ruined the lovely peel-and-stick-shades-of-beige tile we have in there, but, sadly, it looks like they will last a while longer.

Once J. got the water stopped and surrounded by towels, he rushed back down to show the culprit the consequences of his actions. Boo, being only 4, had not realized the whole cause-and-effect thing of leaving the water on with the sink plugged. Maybe he thought that it would magically stop at the rim of the sink or something, but obviously that was not the case.

Thus, the sobbing when I got home. He had been reprimanded. And confined to his room until he cleans it up. Or learns physics.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

sweet nothings at bedtime

I really enjoy bedtime for the kids. Not just because it means mommy gets some much needed quiet time, but because they say the sweetest things.

The Muss always reads a blessing from one of her books. We always talk about what is up for school the next day and say our I-love-you's and I tell her how special she is and how proud I am of her. Lately she has also been practicing her lines for the Kindergarten musical. She is going to be spectacular.

Boo always says the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep prayer and we play a little "I love you game." His latest:

M: I love you, Boo

B: I love you, momma

M: I love you more

B: I love you to the end of numbers

I thought that was very clever for a Boo of 4.

Kiki, the sweet little magical pixie that she is, lays her head on my shoulder as I carry her to bed. She giggles and smiles as I put her head on her pillow and cover her with her blankie. Then she whispers "ni, ni" in her sweet baby voice. She normally goes down without a fight, which is rare for a child I have birthed. There is always a glitch, though, isn't there? She tends to wake up around midnight with a wail. Luckily, daddy is home from work by then to take care of that.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

did I mention we have pets?

Until recently, they outnumbered the 2-legged creatures in our home. We had 3 cats, 2 goldfish and 1 dog. About 2 weeks ago, we lost the youngest of our 3 cats and 1 of our 2-year-old goldfish. The 2 deaths were completely unrelated. I think that is an extraordinarily long time for a goldfish to live. I maintain it was Claire the goldfish who died, but the Muss (they were hers) says it was Constantine the goldfish. I have always liked Constantine better, but the Muss prefers Claire. She was near insistant that we name our youngest Claire, but J. nixed that. We both watched The Breakfast Club too many times when we were young and he could not get past that "Claire is a fat girl's name" line. So when she got a fish tank for her 4th birthday, she was sure to name one of them Claire.

The dog, Trooper, is molting. Ok, I know he is not a bird, but he is leaving huge chunks of fur all over the place. He is 3/4 Newfoundland and 1/4 Black Lab and just chock full o' fur. We normally get him shaved in the spring and summer, but our groomer's husband had open-heart surgery and for some reason taking care of her husband takes precedence over bathing and shaving my dog. Oh, and trimming his nails. Selfish woman.

So my point here is really the fur. Pets shed. Not the fish, but the other 3 do. I love my pets, but I hate their fur. I am not a neat-freak. I am barely able to get my house presentable for guests most days. What I wouldn't give for a bit of OCD when it comes to cleaning *sigh*

Monday, April 23, 2007

everyone else is doing it

So even though I am no longer a teen, can I still use that line?

Everyone seems to have a blog now. I have some photo blogs on which I share pictures of my 3 baby loves, but not a written blog. I've never been one to journal, but now, as I more rapidly age, I think I need this if only to remember things. Remember things so I can look fondly back on the wonderful utterings of the 3, the family vacations, times with my other half, J., mishaps, humorous stories, you know, stuff in general.
Remember things so that when my children have children of their own, I can remind them how payback works *evil grin*

So most of the focus of this blog will probably be on my 3 little ones, the Muss (age 6), Boo (age 4) and Kiki (19 months). Now you are wondering how the 3 ended up being so close in age. Well, let me tell you, I am no spring chicken. We didn't start the whole procreation thing until we were 30. Now, they say that women over the age of 30 have a more difficult time getting pregnant. Not this woman. I defy all odds and can get pregnant if J. even looks at me sideways. I make him avert his eyes at all times while around me now. Kidding. I find the best things in life are unplanned and I work much better using the fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants approach. So, we have 3.

I am figuring this will go largely unread. I tend to keep my musings to myself most of the time. Plus, who would honestly be interested in my life besides me?