Thursday, September 25, 2008

Be still my heart.

Last night Sean asked Alex if she'd like to go get ice cream after dinner. (Well, duh!)

She screamed with delight, ran in circles and asked me, "Mommy, I'm going to get ice-cream. Can you hold my list?"

What she handed me was a piece of paper off of one of my many trillion list pads, with neat little scribbles in list format. And a pencil.

This one is right up there with 'don't step in my pile' in the scary traits she seems to have acquired from me.

In other news, as if we don't have enough words we have to refrain from using when our kids learn to talk or learn to 'understand' talk, Alex has a list of (understandably so) words that *I* am not doing a good job of eliminating from my vocabulary. They include Stupid & Hate to name a few of the 'not nice' but 'not swear' words. These words are most often used in the car (in a bit of a road rage situation), or while watching any number of programs regarding the presidential election. To avoid getting reamed by the language police, I have taken to spelling them out instead. For example, last night Sean mentioned it was raining. I replied, "I hhhaaaaa, ahem. I H-A-T this weather already". He looked at me perplexed and I realized that if we are going to start spelling words, we best get them right. I'm going to start brushing up on my (fast and on the fly, naughty word) spelling. And that's a P-R-O-M-I-S.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Farewell Felissa, Farewell

We are gathered here today, to remember Felissa. An ugly, boring, & neglected beta fish. She came to us a few months ago as a 'pawned off' birthday party party favor from the kids teacher. We figured, 'Hey, we can handle a fish'. Not quite ready for the responsibility of a dog, and knowing we will never be ready for Alex's true desire of a cat (Ack!) we thought , why not?

Felissa was popular at first. Alex would feed her, talk to her, & as much as you can 'play', she would play with Felissa. She'd poke at her fish bowl, and whisper sweet nothings through the glass. Sooner than later, Felissa became only another item in the toy room, ignored and left to collect dust.

We've gone days and days...and days without feeding her. We've gone weeks and weeks without so much as cleaning her water. A few weeks ago, my beta fish and cat loving friend MELISSA (strangely Alex named Felissa all on her own) gave me the sternest talking to I've had since high school. Horrified by my lack of attention towards Felissa's needs she ordered me to clean up my act...and the fish bowl.

Sunday, Alex and I made this our project. I do believe the clean water, PH drops and cute little house that Alex and I made for her down right shocked her system and led her to her passing. She was once a vibrant purple, with long flowing fins and red highlights. After weeks of dirty & murky water, her poor little body now gray and oxygen starved finally called it quits. Monday I found her swimming upside down and Tuesday, she was not swimming at all.

After two days of harassment, Sean confessed last night that he had finally given Felissa her proper burial. I (unable to dispose of her remains) hoped with great anticipation that Alex would not randomly check in on her old pal before Sean was able to do this. When I asked what he did with her his response, 'I dumped her in the toilet, right on top of Alex's un-flushed Poo, and then I pee'd on her' . Fitting. A burial much like her life...down right crappy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Woe is me

I'm home sick today. Sick sick sick. My head feels like an over-extended balloon, every time I swallow it's like a firing squad between my ears, and my nose-like a faucet without an 'off' switch. Grossed out? Well, so am I.

After spending my Monday, sick as a dog and running after three kids I decided to stay home today, alone. My only company my still un-watched Harry Potter, my stack of photos and photo albums, some toe nail polish, and this here box of tissue.

I looked outside this morning to see what to dress the kids in, and witnessed something very tragic. Five fallen maple leaves scattered on my deck. It's here, it's coming-Fall. I don't necessarily dislike Fall, it's what follows that scares me. A long, gray, rainy, winter. I'm a summer girl, a sun girl, a no need to fight with Sean over the thermostat girl. Woe. Is. Me. Tomorrow, when I'm hopefully done popping Sudafed, and Thera-Flu I will begin a winter vitamin regime of Vitamin D so that the people around me, will continue to want to be around me.

Not all is lost. All our beloved shows will soon be starting, we'll read more books, play more games with the kids and according to Costco whose shelves are already stocked with Christmas cards, ribbons, & gifts...we can start decorating.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Negotiations & "How Abouts"

One of the things I'm both loving and hating about the 3's, are the negotiation skills these kids acquire. During a normal dinner or bedtime routine, we will find ourselves practically talking Alex off the wall. I find myself stumped at times, wondering. "What now". Luckily, Sean trumps me in this category and where sometimes I'd give the whining, sad faced little girl whatever she asks for, he sees right through her ploys and firmly takes over my pathetic attempt at solving the problem.

Most days our negotiations are around dinner. I never ask that Alex 'clean her plate' I do however ask that she try everything and eat a little bit of everything in order to get a dessert. They usually go something like this:

Mom: "Alex, eat 3 more bites"
Alex: "How bout, 2"
Mom: "How bout, 3"
Alex: "How bout 5"
Mom: "OK"

As long as it ends on her number, we're good.

Today we've had the following encounters.

Mom: "Alex, how about you help me clean up the toy room"
Alex: "How about you make me a snack"

Mom (to Alex & Caden): How about we go take a nice quiet time in our beds"
Caden: "How about we have a nice quiet time on the couch and watch a movie"

We win some, we lose some right?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Calgon...please please take me far far away.

Sometimes I'm in awe. Complete awe, of what I may encounter in a 24 hour period of time. Had you told me 3 years ago that I would blot at a human pee spot on my carpeting with paper towel and call it good, I would have laughed. Hysterically. Later, I'd run to Target and stock up on Resolve and various other carpet stain removers. Then I would have hopped over to Safeway and rented a 24 hour steam cleaning machine and cleaned my carpets. Just because I like things to be THAT clean. But times have changed and for self preservation, my standards have had to come down. WAY down.

Sean left yesterday for an over-night work trip to LaGrande, OR. He called me at 10am to say he was on the road and btw, our cleaning lady has skipped town, changed her phone number and we are lost for hopes of getting our last check back for a house not cleaned.

Oye. It's a sign. A sign that we really don't have money floating around to afford this luxury and I best be getting back to doing it myself. But, not before changing our locks.

He texted me at 3. "I'm here, what a hellish drive and I love the Civic Hybrids'. He went off to speak and present in front of important people about important things and I went back to whatever I do. It's too boring to type. I sat here in my desk chair wishing that I was in LaGrande, having a comp'd dinner and a restful night in a hotel where I could read my book and have all the big fluffy pillows all to myself. Later that night, I'd be sharing them with Alex. Her body sprawled across my bed in the perfect 'starfish form' her swim teacher requests from her each Friday.

Instead...I was heading home to pick up the kids from daycare, feed them dinner, give them baths, have quality time with them while at the same time watching the two neighbor kids for a few hours. I got everything accomplished except the baths, and the quality time. So really, they ate and I kept all 4 kids alive. Go me. All the excitement in the house had Alex apparently on a sugar high that could only be matched by an entire box of hostess Twinkies, followed by a package of M&M's. 10:30 pm, I'm still struggling to get the girl in bed. I finally gave up at 10:45 and pulled her into bed with me. Sorry don't even have to tell me how stinky that can of worms I just opened is. I do drastic and naughty things when fatigued and slightly scared of the dark. Oh, and weary of giant grasshoppers (found in my room the previous night).

This morning was no easy feat. Getting the kids up and out the door by 7 while getting myself ready is one thing. Doing this all with a cloud of guilty conscious that I'll be over 2 hours late to work is another. So imagine my reaction when Alex, who clearly woke up on the very very wrong side of the bed threw a ROYAL tantrum, flipping and flopping herself down the stairs, flinging her head back while Alligator tears dripped from her face then proceeded to pee on the carpet in protest of getting dressed. My reaction to this wasn't a good reaction. Not one of my better reactions. Not one of my calm, cool, & collected reactions. Not by a long shot. In fact, I felt my face contort into every angry face I ever saw from my mom as a youngin..all at the same time. Followed by a coupla swear words (under my breath of course) and on the way to the kitchen for some paper towels. Imagine also my disgust when I found pee 'splatters' on my couch and the only pair of Capri's I can fit on my giant self. Last 89 degree day for many months I suppose and I'm wearing JEANS.

So. This post-a day in the life of me. Not one of the better days in the life of me, but all the well. In a couple of moments when I'm sure Sean is back on the road home, cruising in his plush rented Civic Hybrid, and refreshed from his quiet night, comp'd dinner and drinks with big people, I'll be sending him a very important text. "Don't forget to pick up the kids today, I have a hair appointment. Be home late". Aaaaaaah. I don't know if they make Calgon anymore and frankly, I don't have a bathtub in my house that's not filled with a giant frog tub toy carrier, a floating ship and 26 foam letters. But for now, a hair salon, a leather covered chair and a good scalp massage will suit me just fine.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tweedle Chins & Tweedle Cheeks

SOMETIMES, I'm forced to pull out the 'Nanna' Card. Power struggles with Alex are getting better as she moves from 3 to 4 but sometimes, sometimes I do threaten to tell Nanna on her. "Nanna would be so disappointed", or "Ok, I'm going to call Nanna and talked to her about your behavior". I don't use it often but in dire straits, it works, it works well.

Yesterday, after Alex got out of bed for the 3rd time I was forced to pull out the big guns. Sean was travelling and I was tired and done with the bedtime routine. I told her, "Alex, cousin Ava would be disappointed to hear that you aren't going to bed like a big girl". Her face drooped. "Oh." She replied. I didn't see her again that evening. I would prefer she alter her behavior to 'not disappoint' Mom & Dad, however, at 9:30 at night...I'm willing to negotiate. It was wonderful. Thank You Ava.

Alex & Ava (on left) were born six weeks apart. Destined to be friends, they live on opposite sides of the country yet every time they get to see each other they just love each other more and more. I ran into this picture a couple of days ago and I honestly can't stop laughing. What a pair..even at just 4 months old.
There are just 5 years between My Aunt Kayelyn and I which has given me the privilege of knowing what it would be like to have a big sis. She was the one who always took the best barbie clothes & furniture. She took the Barbie Corvette, and left me the camper. She also passed down all her hand-me-downs including a leather peach colored jacket & mini skirt combo that I cherished for years yet was never allowed to wear out in public. She let me ride around in the back of her T-Top Camaro (embellished with the bumper sticker 'HOT') when she was in high school. I love her dearly, and feel so lucky to be raising children at the same time. I heart you Auntie!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Monkey Boy Speaks

Ian has been saying words! He talks a ton, mostly babble but to him it is very important. When he really wants you to understand he furrows his brow and points at you like 'Come on, get it mom'. Some words we actually have been able to decipher:

Dee Doo-'Thank You'
Moe- 'More'
Da- 'Dad'
Bobba- 'Bottle'
Bah- 'Ball'

Speaking of furrowing his brow. This kid has a glare and he's not a afraid to use it. He knows just when to drop it on you too. You take his binky away? GLARE. You tell him No? GLARE. You skimp him on dinner? GLARE. Here's me saying 'No more cake'. You get the picture.

I can't believe how fast he's growing. Well, he's always been a bit of a 'grower'. Kid can eat. But he's developing quite nicely. He's walking really well now. I miss his Frankenstein wobble dearly but I'm not nearly as nervous about him bashing his head at any moment. He's cutting his molars right now which is proving to be 'not sweet'. Alex was never a bad teether so this is new to me and he's quite miserable. Thank god for Infant Tylenol, teething tablets & frozen washcloths.

As for Alex. I promise you, I will soon catch one of her giggle fits by video and post it here. It's like nothing you've ever heard before...unless you've heard it before and maybe it's really not that funny. But her laugh is contagious. It's been compared to Webster, if that is of any help.

She started swim lessons today which was so much fun. She was so brave and I'm so proud. The last class she took she wouldn't even sit on the edge of the pool. Granted the punk instructor made no efforts to help her so I don't blame her. But with a new and communicative teacher she did or tried everything and despite the fact that her body acted as though it were stuffed with barbells, she never quit. According to Pop-Pop, this trait may have been inherited as he's struggled to keep his body afloat his whole life. I think that brought her great comfort as now her and Pop Pop are 'sink buddies'.

Last night we attended my cousins wedding. It was our first family of four wedding experience and we had a great time! Sean made Alex's night by requesting Leona Lewis's song 'Bleeding Love' which is her FAVORITE song on the radio right now. Anytime we get in the car she begs for it to be played. Lucky for her it's on the radio every 3 1/2 minutes so she usually gets her wish in any given car ride. She can rarely be found without my old pink razr cell phone. She has very deep important conversations with people. Today it was Pop Pop.

"Hello Pop Pop,'s me Alex. You know me"
"I was just seeing what you were doing, uh huh. Uh huh. Uh huh." (wonder where she gets this)
"So, what are you doing anyway? Uh huh. Yeah. Oh yeah. Nanna told you to clean the floors?"
"That's nice. Well, I gotta go. We are at Costco now to buy fish crackers."
"K, bye. See a later."

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

so sad.

It's been a long hard week. I lost my grandfather. A man I loved, admired and looked up to. A man who is responsible for many of my beloved childhood memories. A man who was patient, kind, and genuine. So much so, Sean and I asked him to marry us. He was and is the epitome of what a husband & father should be and what an example he's set for us all. I'm so thankful that although for only a short time, my kids were fortunate enough to know him. My grandfather will always be a presence in mine and their lives. Whether it be memories, pictures, stories, the traits that we've all acquired from him or the standard he's set that we will always strive to reach.

Alex has been asking where 'great pop-pop' is, and why is everyone so 'sad'. I'm not sure I've figured out how to make sense of all this myself but I'm sure that when I do, she'll be the first one I explain it to. Until then, I'll tell her he's in our hearts, our minds, our memories & our prayers and we were all so lucky to have known him.

Life sure is unpredictable. It's sad that it takes an event such as this to snap you back in to reality. It's easy to get so caught up in the speed of life, struggling to complete the 'must dos' that we rarely take time to enjoy this life we've been gifted with, enjoy the people we are fortunate to share it with and really live each day as if it's our last. A friend once told me 'Do not wear your blessings as burdens'. I needed to hear that then. Every day I try to be thankful that I have a job to go to, a house to clean, and kids to take care of. I continually try to 'balance' life with the things that have to be done while at the same time making time for great experiences and enriching my kids lives with the kind of fun and fond memories I was given from people like my grandfather.

Sean reminded me of a story yesterday. A few weeks back we were all at my grandparents. The three kids were running loud and rampid amidst our constant requests they settle down. At one point, my grandfather leaned over and said to Sean, "Why? They are kids...let em' run. That's what they do." For a father of four boys, that means something. You take things from people, you learn from them and when you feel like your life should be taped and broadcast as the next reality show about a mom on the brink of remember comments like that. And you breath. And you get through. Even though he is gone, his lessons, his witty remarks, his love of life, adventure and those he loved will always be with me. God, I will miss him.