Friday, October 30, 2009

Good Listening skills

Tonight, in order to celebrate Little Monster's birthday, we went to our favorite Chinese restaurant.

Little Monster was in rare form, arguing and demanding things.

I tried to remind him to turn on his listening ears. In the car, after some arguing about whether or not he was good enough to get his fortune cookie, I gave it to him.

"Mommy! MOOOOOOOM! HERE!" as he is shoving the paper into my hands.

It read "Your good listening skills will open many doors."

After spending a good forty minutes of:

"Little Monster, sit on your bottom. What do you say? What do you say? Use your manners. Turn around and sit down right. Please use your spoon. Use your spoon. Little Monster, remember your manners. Little MONSTER! EAT YOUR RICE. NO! Slow down. Don't slurp your lemonade like that!"

I couldn't help but laugh loudly and uncontrollably. Nearly to the point of tears.

When I showed the fortune to Not the Momma, his response was "MY BUTT!!"

and then we heard:

"Yeah, and my butt too!" come from the back seat.

Later that eventing at Target, we were discussing how he would be rewarded for his "good listening skills." I explained that he needed to turn on his listening ears. His response (which nearly toppled the old woman in front of us she laughed so hard) was:

"Mommy, mine wiss-ning ears bwokeen. Me need buy new ones!"

Maybe his new ones have the listening skills his fortune cookie spoke of?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Recipe for a good party?

Little Monster turns three this week. It seems like time is passing faster than it should. It isn't fair. Between he and his sister, I'm going insane trying to keep up. Butterball can sit up, and she's rolling over and around and over to get to thing she wants, mere seconds from crawling.

We had his birthday party early because the kids and I are planning a trip home for November. I was stressing it a bit. I invited what I thought were a few too many people (the E-vite said 32 people were coming). The house was trashed, its normal state these days, no matter how much I don't want to admit it. I was exhausted from being up all night most nights nursing a hungry little girl. I didn't exactly know when I was going to find the time to get everything done for the party.

Not the Momma's plan was to set the party up in the garage. Mine was for the front yard. I let Not the Momma have his way. It was a good decision. (I refuse to admit he was right. ;) -- I just won't.) After I thought about it, if it was going to be foggy, then it was going to be better if we had a place to warm up, and if it was sunny our horde of babies was going to need a shady place to hang out. I had spent quite a few days thinking about what to serve for food and cake.

I ended up doing everything very simple. We hung some streamers, NTM grilled some hot dogs, and bought some pre-made salads.

For days before the party, Little Monster knew something was going on. We had invited the Fire Truck to come out, but hadn't told him about it, but he knew that his friends were going to come over, there was going to be a bouncy house, and he was going to get a fire truck cake and sprite. What else could he want, right? The night before the poor kid didn't sleep more than an hour at a time. The morning of the party, I brought him with me to pick up the cake. Despite his exhaustion from lack of sleep, he still buzzed around the grocery store like a free electron. He buzzed from the front of the grocery cart, to my leg, to the shelves. The wait at the bakery nearly killed the poor kid.

When the bouncy house showed up, his energy went through the roof. I half expected him to vibrate through the walls of the house, anticipating the fun he was going to have.

And then it began. His friends showed up. They bounced and bounced and bounced. And I kicked everyone out and made them eat some lunch.

As they were finishing up eating, the fire truck arrived. The look on Little Monster's face was priceless. He was a little big confused. And when they began to back the truck into our driveway, we had to restrain him from running into the truck barefoot.

He was so excited to 'drive' the truck and push buttons! All in all the party was a success. I think it was mostly because I didn't try to plan much. We made the kids stop jumping to eat, and let them do whatever the rest of the time. They even had a 'fire' in the playhouse while the truck was here!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Day for Praise!

Some days we are tested more than others. Will we praise the Lord when things aren't going as planned? I had one of those days last week. The plan was to go to the pumpkin patch with a friend. Apparently, someone else had other plans.

When we left late, I wasn't worried about it. For once in my life, I wasn't anxious about being late. Praise the Lord!

We picked up my friend, got everything in the car, and headed to a local coffee joint to get caffeinated before dragging three children under three to the pumpkin patch, a mere two days after one of the biggest rain storms we've had in decades! Praise the Lord! The fire season is over.

I had forgotten the address and directions that had been posted for us by our group, but I had the iPhone, and the GPS (never need a map again!). I had been to the town the farm is in a billion times (more like three or four). We were running late, but it wasn't like it was a ten minute activity.

I typed in the farms' name in my GPS and it found an address! the first time! That rarely happens! Praise the Lord the thing finally did what we bought it to do!

So off we went, heading to the farm. We turned onto the road that was supposed to head into the farm. We turned left onto the last road! After thirty minutes of whining from the back seat about when we were going to get to the "punkin patch!" from the three year old, we were within a mile of the farm.

But as we turned the last turn, we were greeted with a golf-course and a gated housing community. Somehow I doubted that this very public, farm could be found in the middle of a gated, very private community. So, no big deal. We turned around, parked and I looked up the address on my iPhone. Turns out, the address was wrong. Again, no big deal, I plugged the address into my GPS, and it took us to the other side of the town. We headed through, and ended up in the middle of a farming community. A vineyard on one side, an orchard on the other. Private homes everywhere. But no halloween-y pumpkin patch farm. We were forty minutes away from home, who knows where the pumpkin patch was, but it was almost 1:00. The kids needed to eat. So, we decided to fore go the pumpkin patch. We ended up at a McDonalds (not the one I had planned on going to after the pumpkin patch) where the boys could get out and run around the play castle for a while. J, who is 1, spent the entire time splashing in a rain puddle. and Little Monster pooped in his pants. We decided it was "mommy time" and headed to Panera to get some good lunch, that wasn't fried in oil and processed beyond recognition.

Praise the Lord. For good conversations, a lesson in humility for both me and my son, a lesson in my dependence upon technology and getting to spend some time in the sun. And for good food. even if we didn't make it to the pumpkin patch.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Don't be confused if...

... you happen to see us, and my child bounces around yelling "Piss off." he's not really saying piss off. He's saying "BLAST OFF." We don't let our kids watch British shows where people have potty mouths. Or if when he says he's going to get "funky", he forgets about the "n" in the word. At least don't be as confused as I was, and think maybe it was time to lay the smack down in the house about what we're watching on TV, and what we're saying. And don't be surprised when Not the Momma laughs uncontrollably when he realizes why I'm upset and staring at Little Monster as he's repeatedly "blasting off" all over the living room. drive through our neighborhood, which has completely lost power due to winds and rain, and you see my husband sitting on the couch enjoying television on his giant flat panel. Because, friends, that's what generators are for. And extension cords. see me with a giant size 3 diaper wearing baby instead of the teeny (giant) newborn I just brought home. Who knew that babies grew up? Who knew they grew up this fast?

...that tiny newborn actually sits strapped into the grocery cart. see Little Monster pedaling on his bicycle. It happens. call me and you hear lots of yelling. It happens a lot. Especially because the phone only rings when Little Monster has managed to smear poop all over the bathroom, Butterball is crying because she's hungry and wet, and I'm trying to get ready to leave.

...I forget something. Children (even non-nursing ones) have a way of sucking the brain cells right out of their mother's heads until they can barely walk, let alone remember anything. see me online a bit more. I got a new laptop and it is fancy! (That is the major reason for the lack of posting -- I had to get it all up and running!)

...I begin to whine about the cold again. I'm getting ready to go somewhere that is actually cold, instead of pretending to be cold like the area where we live now.

...the sun shines in Coastal Central California. It happens. It also rains here. And we get nasty winds. Once every "hundred years!" Even if it's happened three times in the two we've been here.

...This coming Saturday it rains, even though the weather is supposed to be nice. The only time the weather people are right around here is when they forecast a temperature range of 45 to 65, partly cloudy and a chance of fog, or if the storm of the century is coming.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

A typical day in my life.

Today is one of those days that I will look back on and laugh about. Eventually. Eventually, but probably not tonight. Maybe not tomorrow. But probably sometime pretty soon.

It started out a bit too early. Right about 3:00 AM. And again at 4:30 AM. And 5:15AM. 6:30AM.

Then, Butterball decided to exercise her lungs. And the capillaries in her face. For three hours. Without stopping. After I gained about sixty new grey hairs, and sympathized with every mother whose ever thought about doing horrible things to their four month old, I put on some crazy music, and she finally went to sleep. Ten minutes before we needed to leave for the afternoon play date. A play date that I definitely needed. Little Monster needed it too. In fact, I'm not sure who needed it more.

The last time we went over to this friend's house, Little Monster had a diaper explosion of catastrophic proportions. There was poop everywhere. Thinking of that, I packed an extra pair of socks, underwear and pants. I didn't want to have a problem. I also packed an extra outfit for Butterball.

We got to my friend's house and the kids began running around the backyard, playing and having a good time. It was hilarious to watch them all play together, using such big imaginations. And then it happened. One of the children came into the house and announced:

Little Monster's pants are down!!

What? His pants are down?

We looked outside to find Little Monster standing in the middle of the yard, jeans and underoo's around his ankles. There was a streak on his leg, and poop on his shoe. He must have had an accident and then tried to clean it up for himself.

I walked over to begin getting him cleaned up.

Did you have an accident?

Yes. Me doop in mine pants.

I see that. As I began pulling off his pants, careful not to disturb any remnants within his pants, I noticed that there were no remnants in his pants. Not even a skid mark was left in his underwear. WHERE WAS THE POOP?

Little Monster -- where is your poop?

In da back ward.

You pooped IN THE BACK YARD?

I began cleaning up Little Monster's shoe while he went inside the house. Without pants or underwear. My friends began searching the backyard for the poop. And that's when my friend's husband came home. To a bottom-less Little Monster. What a nice surprise for him, huh?

After hosing down the backyard, his shoes, and getting him dressed in his 'backup' clothing my friend offered me a cup of coffee. I took it, and considered asking for something to "Irish" it up.

Luckily, things settled down. Butterball enjoyed playing with other mommies, the kids threw a wedding in the backyard, complete with veil and flower girl. And there were no temper tantrums when we had to leave. I felt refreshed, glad for the time with good friends who wouldn't judge me for having a three year old who would poop in someone else's backyard.

So, I began making dinner. As I got elbow deep in chopping veggies, Butterball started whining and crying in her chair. And Little Monster, sitting on the toilet was whining for a butt wipe. Just in time for Not the Momma to come home and find out what my life is like every day.

Every. Day.

blatant, obnoxious begging

Click and vote. Or I will hurt you.

Just kidding about the whole hurting you thing. Sort of.

Monday, October 05, 2009

4 months

Our little Butterball turned 4 months old last week.


I go back and forth between "Has it already been four months?" and "How has it only been four months?" It feels like she's been part of our family forever.

Obviously, Little Monster likes her, so we plan on keeping her. And Not the Momma -- he's pretty smitten, so smitten, it's kind of gross. But don't tell him I told you. It would damage his macho pride.
She's only been here four months, but you wouldn't know it to look at her, she can hardly believe it herself!

She's trying to sit up. She is this --> <-- close to doing it all by herself for more than a few seconds.She's already stealing my soda.
Look at the cupie Hair-do. Or is it a mohawk? She certainly can't be making rebellious statements already can she?

I guess she can. She was done having her picture taken. Poor kid.

She's doomed to a life of cameras in her face and photos on the internet. Just more fodder for her therapist later.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Sometimes it takes a while...

... for the electricity to connect to that little light bulb that goes off. You know, the one that goes on when you finally come to a realization? Mine came on today.

Little Monster is pretty good, and in order to keep it that way, often I'll bribe reward him for his behavior. A common conversation in our house is something like this:

Mommy, I get tookie?

Yes, Little Monster, if you're good.

I AM good!

He is. Every child is good. Some children are just naughty. I don't like using the word "bad" because it is a personality description rather than a behavior description. So, I changed the way I phrase my bribesrewards to include the word behave. Then, we started having the following conversation:

Mommy, I get tookie?

Yes, Little Monster, if you behave.

Me AM have! See, it in mine pocket! (Then he pulls something pretend out of his pocket and shows me, waving whatever it is around like a card or a piece of paper.)

(Isn't that hilarious! His HAVE, pronounced with a long A, like CAVE is in his pocket!) It only took me two weeks, to realize he thought I was saying "be Have" not behave.

So then I got to wondering how else can I phrase my bribereward statements? I started asking him to "listen and follow directions." But that doesn't work well either. When he forgets, he reminds me that he wants to listen. So he wants to, but he forgets, or can't. What do you do with a kid like this? I mean, besides smother him with kisses and hugs and pretend to be "ZURG" when he insists that he is NOT, in fact, Little Monster but Buzz Lightyear instead.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Adventures in Milk

Not the Momma is a wonderful Daddy. He helped me get everything into the car for our trip to the potty train. He even remembered to pack the double stroller, knowing I have a friend with a little one who is not quite walking yet. Because he is such a wonderful father, I didn't think anything of it when Little Monster was sitting in Schmitty, with his seat moved to the back, with a sippy cup of milk.

NTM, thank you for giving Little Monster some milk. That was a huge help.

I didn't give him any milk, Mary. I thought you did.

I didn't give him the milk. I thought you gave him the milk.

We simultaneously shuddered and I yelled for Little Monster to put the cup down. The cup that Little Monster had been drinking out of for at least ten minutes.

How OLD is this milk NTM?

I don't know. I. Don't. Know.

(I tilted the cup to check for its consistency) Well, at least it's all still liquid. No chunks.

Needless to say that Little Monster got some fresh milk after that. He did not suffer any intestinal distress so the milk must have been fairly fresh. Please tell me that we're not the only family that often finds sippy cups in odd places (and prayerfully not being ingested) that sometimes contain a substance that is more cheese than milk?

Friday, October 02, 2009

The Potty Train

The trip was postponed, but it did happen. Little Monster got to ride the POTTY TRAIN!!! Really, it was a train up in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It was pretty.

I think he was so overwhelmed he didn't know how to react.

He is ready to give his ticket to the "maaaaan."

I have no idea what this is all about, other than I told him to smile. This is what I got.

Then the train whistle blew. It was a bit loud, and he was surprised by it.

In the end, I think he had a good time.