The Bryan Kids 2014

The Bryan Kids 2014

Saturday, March 31, 2012

My brain is fried from the fever...recipe to follow

   Since I have had kids, I have frequently asked myself, "Is it worse when they are sick, or when I am sick?"  As a mother, it kills me to see my sweet babies sick.  Fevers, vomiting, asthma, you name it, we are pros with all of it around here.  Molly is my clone, in so many ways.  She has asthma, horrible allergies, and pukes at the drop of a hat.  Colin hardly ever gets sick, but when he does, he is pitiful.  This week, it was the flu. With something like this, you get ready and armed for it to go through the whole house.  First victim, Mike. He was hit early in the week with fever, body aches, chills, and a cough that just will not go away.  The kids and I tried to keep our distance, but of course Colin developed a fever on Tuesday night.  I had to keep Colin home from school on Wed, and this caused him to miss his egg hunt and Easter party.  I spent the beginning of the week nursing my boys back to health, and waiting for the other shoe to drop.  By Thursday, I was surprised that Molly and I had escaped the clutches of this evil virus.  As if to prove me wrong, I awoke with horrible chills and a fever on Thursday night.  Mommy down.  I think being sick is one of the most difficult things you have to deal with as a mother.  All you really want to do is crawl into your bed, and cry for your mommy, and for some reason, those tiny people still need goldfish and juice...not to mention love and attention.  Mike called in on Friday, so that he could stay home and help out with the kids.  I guess he picked up on the fact that I was going to have some difficulty watching the children while laying in bed moaning, covered in my own sweat.  Sadly, if the kids know I am home, they want Me.  Not Daddy.  In fact, They will come tell me "daddy isn't doing it right."  At this point, Mike is a pro, he is doing just fine with whatever they need, but for some reason, they still want me to do what ever needs to be done.  Mike finally put a baby gate up in the hallway, so that the children couldn't get to our bedroom door.  I stayed in bed for almost 24 hrs, drinking Nyquil q 6hrs.  I had a friend and care provider call in some Tamiflu.  Normally, I wouldn't even bother, but we had known exposure to influenza A, and I thought I would give it a shot.  After 36 hrs of bed rest, lots of medication, and some chicken soup and popsicles, I am starting to feel like a human again.  I am still very weak, and incredibly grateful to be called off at the hospital for the evening, but our family appears to be on the mend....Well, at least until Molly gets sick.  I hope it magically skips her, but somehow I just don't see that happening.  Until then, I have learned the hard way that letting your daughter stand in the shower to keep her happy while you are trying to rest and recover could very possibly result in an entire bottle of shampoo being used to make "snow balls."  I guess I will add shampoo to the grocery list...

Thursday, March 29, 2012 I need a clone I need a clone.  Well, actually most days, I could use a clone of myself.  No matter what I recommend as an activity, I can't seem to get both kids on board.  I got them outside earlier.  For a few minutes, things were going well.  Colin was riding his bike on the front porch, and Molly was thrilled with her sidewalk chalk.  The debate began when Molly wanted to go to the bottom of the driveway to draw, and Colin wanted to ride his bike on the porch.  I tried to talk Molly into drawing on the sidewalk in the front yard, but she was set on going downstairs to draw.  So then I tried to talk Colin into riding his bike down at the foot of the driveway.  No way.  He had set up camp upstairs.  Something had to give, so eventually Colin agreed to come down to where Molly wanted to play.  Then they fought over the sidewalk chalk...Ok, new activity.  Molly wants to go down in the back yard by the creek, but mommy is just not up for that.  I talk them both into going inside, and playing with our super cool bounce house.  All is fine, until Molly needs to go pee.  She strips from the waist down, and pee pees in the big girl potty downstairs:)  Yay for Molly!!  Now, she refuses to put pants back on.  What ever, I could care less.  We are inside our own house, not in a public jump place.  I send her into the jump house with Colin, sans pants.  It doesn't take long in their disagreeable state, for it to turn into Baby Thunder Dome 2012.  They are out for blood.  Both kids are crying, and I have no idea who started what.  Time out for both kids, and I hit the button on the blower for the jump house.  Now they are both crying because they want to jump more. Could have fooled me.  Alright, now to find a new activity.  We head upstairs, and I bring out the crayons.  Colin is not interested today, so he goes to play with some toys in the living room.  I sit down to check out Facebook, and my new blog.  Earlier in the day, I had posted pics of the rash around Molly's mouth, and asked for advice.  In the brief amount of time I was online, Molly has covered her face in glue and markers.  This might give some insight into our rash...perhaps she has done this with something else this week.  No telling what, but I conclude the rash could be self inflicted as I try wash her face and hands.  I have some dino nuggets in the oven for Molly right now.  When she is finished with those, we are taking a walk.  It is a beautiful day, and at least they will both be in 5 point restraints.  I am sure there will be some hitting on the way to the playground, but hopefully a little free play on a playground will help our situation.  I have a feeling, that no matter what playground I pick, it will be the wrong one.  Oh well, time to strap on my super mommy cape, and finish another day.  Is it bath time yet??

strange text conversation...

A little back ground info...Mike has been sick with the flu since Monday. Text conversation from earlier today.

Mike "Ready to start feeling better now..."
Me  "Sorry Babe"
Mike "Why the h$%# are my arm pits so sore??"
Me "Odd..."
Me "I did stab you with tiny needles in your armpits while you slept for the last two nights, maybe that's it??"
Mike "You B&*%$!"

I have no idea why his armpits are actually sore.  But it sure was fun to make him wonder :)  Glad my husband understands my strange sense of humor.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Preschool Art Auction...

  Our church preschool holds an annual art auction as a fundraiser.  Various things are donated from the community, and all of the children make art projects that are auctioned off to the highest bidder.  I didn't attend last year, but this year, Sandra and I decided we should make an appearance.  Sandra is a friend and co worker, and also my partner in crime as co room moms for Molly and Jack's class.  Sandra talked me into it with promises of a fun evening out and double date, if nothing else.  I had heard it was a good time in the past, so I thought, why not?  First, I had to convince my husband that we needed to buy tickets for this event.  I finally sold him with the "grown up night out" scenario.  I even mentioned the "cocktail hour" before the actual auction.  Of course, he asks "Is this a Protestant cocktail hour, or a Catholic cocktail hour?"  I respond "I am sure if it is a cocktail hour, there will be cocktails.  We Methodists only skip out on the wine at communion."  Mike "I guess I am in then."  Done...I guess all it takes is beer, and adult conversation to tempt my husband.  I thought the charity aspect would have been enough.  Oh well.  We meet Sandra and her husband at their place, drop off our kids with her sitter, and hope for a massive play date while we are gone.  This is the first time I have had both heels and a strapless bra on since the last wedding I attended.  The bra is killing me, and I am only 30 minutes into the evening.  Oh well, fashion before comfort...who am I kidding?? I am all about comfort.
    Now for cocktails.  We enter a beautiful home, just down the street from the church, and mingle with some of the other parents and teachers.  This may have been where I went wrong.  It was a true cocktail "hour" and I managed to have three glasses of wine.  At least it made for a fun evening as we tried to figure out how the silent auction was done.  We purchased tickets at the door, made some plates of food, and started to walk around to check out the items up for bid.  I fell in love with the shelf that my son's class had decorated.  It was decorated with monkeys made from hand prints from all of the students.  Each monkey was labeled with a kid's name.  Adorable.  Only one other bid...yes!  So I put down a bid, slightly higher than the last, and hoped for the best.  I checked on the list early in the evening, a couple of times, but no one had outbid me yet.  I guess the wine haze settled over me, and I forgot to go back and check at the last minute.  I lost my monkey shelf...sad puppy face :(  In the end, I think Sandra had the right idea.  She bought a bunch of raffle tickets, and won two things.  One of which is pizza for a year at a local place.  I realized as she collected her items, she was being given stuff, and even if I won my prize, I had to pay them.  I am going with her method next year.  Until then, pizza on Sandra for the next year :)  It turned into a lovely evening out of fun, conversation, cocktails, and a chance to get know each other better as couples.  Not to mention, it all went to a great cause, to help our incredible preschool and church.  Next year, fewer cocktails, and perhaps I might even win the item I would like :) And more comfortable underwear...that bra was to be burned in effigy by the end of the evening.

Colin...and bears

Tonight, Molly can't get to sleep. Now that she is finally talking, I decided to ask her what is wrong. Her response "I scared of the dark." Me "are you afraid of anything else?" Molly "yes...Colin...and bears, I hide now." She ducked under the covers at this point :) So stinkin cute

Toddlers vs PMS

My sweet babies on picture day
Pretty adorable, despite the attitude
   I have to say, that a strong willed toddler is worse than a woman with PMS any day.  Molly has developed quite the attitude, especially about getting dressed.  Colin is sick today, and he kept me up most of the night with his fever, and his "back mouth" hurting.  Daddy was sick at the beginning of the week, and now the children.  Fabulous.  I am sure it will hit me when it is time to clock into the hospital this weekend.  So, needless to say, my patience was worn thin before I even started to get Molly ready for school.  It was picture day for her...again.  I had to dress her up for pictures on Monday as well.  She and Colin had a brief sibling shoot with the photographer before school, so this is the second day she had to wear a dress into school this week.  And the second day that she refused the dress, and wanted to wear her Rapunzel.  I don't even know if she meant her Rapunzel T-shirt, or her Rapunzel princess dress from Halloween.  Either way, Rapunzel is a "no go" on picture day, so it is a moot point.  After negotiating, bargaining, and finally just wrestling, I got Molly into her Easter dress.  Next came the shoes.  The shoes I bought to match the dress are a little too big.  I discovered this on Monday, so I tried to convince her to wear different shoes today.  She was not having it.  In fact, she refused shoes at all.  I carried her out to her car seat on my hip, and I brought 3 pairs of shoes with me.  I tried again to put shoes on her feet before we left the house, but she would only wear the yellow ones that were too big, and falling off her feet.  I stuffed the other two pairs in her book bag, and apologized to the teacher in the car pool line.  I warned poor Miss Joann about the troublesome shoes and explained about the other pairs in her bag. She was wearing pink sandals at pick up, so I guess Miss Joann's skills of negotiation are better than mine.
      Molly also spent the entire car ride to school completely distressed because her brother was not in the car.  I left Colin at home with daddy, because of his fever and sore throat.  Molly was convinced I had forgotten him, and that I needed to go back and get him.  She even refused her chocolate milk this morning because I bought the Mayfield milk, and that jug is yellow.  It couldn't possibly be milk.  I showed her that it was indeed milk in her sippy cup, but she continued to refuse.  I finally offered a juice box in the car out of desperation.  She changed her mind twice about the flavor she would accept.  All I can say, is that this child is going to be a hot mess when her hormones kick in.  I may need to take about a 5 year vacation in about 11 or 12 years.  She knows how to push my buttons.  She doesn't do it as much with her father, and they don't feed off each other, and escalate the way we do.  My little clone...although, I would like to think I am a little less disagreeable in general :)    The strong will and determination will come in handy later in life.  I can speak from experience on this one.  In the mean time, I hope we can both survive this toddler "no!! my way!!" phase, so that I can see what the joys of puberty will bring for both of us...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

alms for the poor...or actually, just some change to shut up the screaming toddler

   Last night, I attempted to enjoy a meal out with friends.  Mike had a fever, and was not feeling well at all, so off I go to the mexican restaurant with both children in tow.  It had been ages since I had seen my friends, and it got the children away from Mike's contagious disease.  The bonus, he got a break away from the kids, and I got cheese dip and a minute to catch up with some friends.  Both children were in pretty good moods, so I left with my usual arsenal of snacks, juice boxes, and the big gun, my Kindle Fire.  Molly is usually pretty good if there is food involved.  Colin can get very whiny, but has gotten much better with age.  I have never been the person that avoids restaurants after children.  My children should be pros by now.  I do frequently let the server know that we are on a clock.  We have about 45 minutes on a normal day, and just over an hour on a good one.  The clock starts when we sit down.  I usually let the server know in advance that I will need the check with the food if possible.  I think we can all agree, that it is best if we have our escape planned ahead of time.  Children are unpredictable at times, and last night was one of those times.
    Molly...well, she didn't want to sit at the table.  This is where the trouble started. We even picked the table right next to the fountain.  The restaurant has a wishing fountain right in the middle.  Molly couldn't be distracted with chips, salsa, or cheese dip.  Even sips of Mommy's sweet tea didn't seem to help(don't judge, we all know we try anything to calm them down in a restaurant. Outside of a margarita, which I briefly considered...for myself, of course :)  She worked herself into a frenzy, several times over.  Nothing was making her happy, but I had already ordered my food, and I was going to do my best to tough it out through this meal.  I figured something was bound to turn her mood around.  Just as I was making the decision to ask for my meal to go, Molly turns around, sniffs, and asks for "money" while pointing to the coins at the bottom of the fountain.  Great, I have like two pennies in the bottom of my backpack.  My friends and I pool our money, and we come up with about 10 cents in pennies.  Molly is now ecstatic.  She is giggling, and throwing coins into the fountain.  I am already worried about what will happen when the pennies run out.  Within a couple of minutes of that thought, Molly turns and asks for "more please."  We tell her we don't have any more money, and the tears start again, just as the food arrives.  My friend Kim runs to the register with a dollar bill, and the server came back with a salsa cup of pennies.  We all breathe a sigh of relief as the restaurant is filled with the sound of her giggles all over again.  I thank Kim for her fast thinking.  Of course, I hadn't seen my friends in forever, so the pennies didn't last for the whole conversation and meal.  I was ready to go from table to table with our chip basket asking for donations.  "Help stop the screaming toddler, and let mommy enjoy her meal."  I am sure anyone within earshot would have been happy to donate to the cause.  Our server stopped by with a refill, and a handful of pennies.  I could have hugged her.  With a huge smile, Molly says "oh wow, thank you."  Then she proceeds to throw all of the remaining coins in at once.  This is my cue to exit, stage right.
    Some days, even the simple things become difficult, like trying to have a meal or a conversation.  God forbid both happen simultaneously.  Sometimes, even the best bag of tricks is not enough to keep kids entertained and occupied.  I am forever grateful for my friends that are still willing to meet me out for meals with the kids.  The times that it is successful, it can be a fun experience, and what keeps me sane.  Time out with friends is priceless, and worth every penny we could collect...Next time though, I am getting a margarita...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

the old neighborhood...

    Our first house was perfect...for us.  Once the children started to arrive, the quarters became more than a little cramped.  When we bought the house, school districts were the last thing on our minds.  So, as space became a premium, and two small toddlers started to get older, we started to look for a new place to live.  The sad part, we loved our old neighborhood.  We lived right behind the Smyrna village.  We were walking distance from several restaurants, the community center(free gym and cheap yoga and aerobics classes), and the city library.  It was very family friendly, and yet, some how the schools were not ranked well for the area.  We grew to love the city, and developed friendships that became more like family.  It was the house we brought both of our children home to for the first time.  We have very fond memories of our house and neighborhood, despite its small size and school districts.  After more than six months of searching with our incredibly patient realtor, we decided on the East Cobb area.  We found the perfect house, with plenty of space, room to grow, and in an awesome school district.  Even better, we could actually afford the house.  Poor Brandi had shown us homes all over the metro area as we searched for some where that felt like home.  We had a couple of years before the kids had to be in school, so we figured we had plenty of time.  I am sure she had no idea what she was in for with us.  She watched Molly start to walk, and listened as Colin became quite the talkative little guy. She became more than our agent, she became a friend.
      We love our new house.  We have so much space, that I frequently lose things, simply because there are so many places to hide things away.  Our neighbors are friendly and excited to see little ones out on the front porch.  Most of their kids are in high school or college.  There are restaurants within walking distance, all three schools are within a mile of our house.  The library is right around the corner as well.  But for some reason, it just isn't the same.  Not because of anything in particular, probably just because Smyrna was our first "home" together.  I love our new neighborhood, I love my new house, but I still miss our old home.  Yesterday, we went to have our taxes done at the local place in Smyrna that has been doing them for the last 8 years.  We played at our old playground, Mike entertained the kids at the library and let them play in the fountains in the city park. All while I sat in the tax office where three generations of the same family work together every year to do taxes for the people of Smyrna.  The kids had a blast, we drove around some of our old stomping grounds, and we are getting a tax refund.  It was great day all around.  Including the moment that Colin announced to the whole tax office that "Molly Stinks!"  And Molly chimes in with "Yeah Mommy, I pooped."  Ahhh, motherhood.  Of course, in this little office, the nice lady at the front desk just loved our kids, laughed at Molly's announcement, and told me all about her trip to the Aquarium with her great grandchildren.  I am pretty sure that wouldn't happen over here in East Cobb.  I could be wrong, but it just had more of a "small town" feel to it in Smyrna.
     Change...its never easy, but it is something we must all deal with on a daily basis.  Marietta is starting to feel like home.  We have met some very nice families over here.  We are branching out, and exploring our "new neighborhood."  After a year on this side of Cobb, there are things we still miss about Smyrna, but we are finding the things to love about our new home.  I will be forever grateful for Brandi's patience, as we searched for the perfect house, and now, it is our job to make this the perfect home for our children.

PS  I am incredibly grateful for our totally awesome friends and renters.  Thank you Connie and Laura for loving our house as much as we did.  It is so nice to know that "she" is with such incredible tenants.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

naked dinner time...

 Tonight, it occurred to me, that I may have started Molly's love for being naked.  With the first child, I carefully placed  a bib on at every meal time.  By the time the second came around, I just took off her shirt if the meal was going to get messy.  Lets face it, skin is the ultimate bib.  A quick wipe down, or a complete bath will fix almost any meal mess, if there are no clothes involved.   I save a ton on laundry time and stain remover.  It's a win/win situation.  Not to mention, Molly loves being naked, and she loves food.  Maybe that is why she loves to strip? Food=Happy, Food=Naked, therefore, Naked=Happy??? Maybe I caused this by allowing her to eat so many meals topless?  Today, because of potty training, she got to eat her spaghettios completely in the buff.  Perhaps I should stop this as she is getting older...What if she starts to strip for every meal?  The school will be calling me "Mrs. Bryan, Molly took off her clothes at the lunch table again.  She told us her mother doesn't let her eat pizza with her shirt on..."  I can hear the phone calls now.  I guess I can just explain to her that this only happens when she is at home.  And one day, when she is on a first date in front of a plate of messy pasta, I can only hope she remembers to keep her shirt on :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Basic Parenting 101....

   Today, I thought I would share a little reminder of a basic parenting tip that I seemingly forgot.  DO NOT feed a baby/child, and then spin them around...This is not my first rodeo, so I should know better. But for some reason, I just finished bathing myself, Molly, her car seat, and a full load of laundry.  Molly is prone to car sickness, so this is even more of a faux pas for me as a parent.  Our car has paid dearly for her motion sickness in the past.  In fact, thanks to a Christmas air freshener, and an unfortunate vomiting incident, the SUV literally smelled like Christmas had thrown up inside our car for a few weeks.  Mommy took the easy way out today, and we had a frozen pizza for lunch.  Then we hit the road to find a play ground.  Colin requested East Cobb Park.  It's not one of my favorites, but I figured, why not?  One of the things I dislike about this park is the merry go round.  To me, this thing is a head injury waiting to happen, but my kids love it.  Colin and Molly set up camp on the merry go round for several minutes.  They seemed to be having a blast.  Awesome, the kids are entertained, it is a beautiful day. There is even a breeze to blow the mass quantities of pollen around the air.  I am always a little nervous when they are on this thing, ready for someone to fall off, and break a limb, but things were under control.  They were both sitting on their bottoms, and nobody was pushing, etc, so I let the fun continue.  Finally I noticed Molly kind of laid her head down.  I stopped the ride, and asked her if she was ok.  Molly says "I scary, I scary..."  I think she means scared, so I pick her up and carry her to a bench.  Apparently that actually means "I am about to projectile vomit my pizza all over you."  Lesson learned.  Molly and I are now covered in vomit, and a few mothers come over to help me.  They help me get out some wipes, and I attempt some disaster containment.  I tell Colin we have to leave, and of course he is completely devastated.  I leave the park with one sobbing toddler, and one toddler covered in her own vomit.  We get in the car, with promises of a possible return(just so I can get Colin in the car).  On our way home, I hear Molly say "I scary, I scary" again.  Oh no, here it comes...the rest of her lunch.  Fabulous, Colin is laughing, Molly is puking, and I have at least 15 minutes of driving to get home.  After her final session of vomiting, I look back to discover her sound asleep, taking the nap that I had been trying for two hours prior to convince her she needed.  When we pull into the driveway, I run in for a towel, pick up my sleeping, puke covered child, and place her directly in my shower.  What a way to wake up, but what else could I do??  I hopped in the shower with her, and now we are both vomit free :)  Now, I am taking the time for this little friendly reminder. Because I would hate for anyone else to be reminded the hard way...I think I will go open the car windows and let it air out for the rest of the afternoon.  Right now the car freshener is beach scented, so I predict my car will now smell like college spring break gone bad. Ugghhhhh...the joys of parenting

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

bathroom tea party...

   This morning, Molly was in rare form.  It took me almost two hours to get the kids ready and out the door.  One of the biggest hurdles was finding her elbow deep in the potty, playing with a tea cup.  She had it filled with water, and just a couple of inches from her lips when I spotted her.  I ran up, grabbed her hand, and she dropped the tea cup in the potty...just after she had hit the flush knob...Well crap, it can't possibly go down, it is just too big, I think to myself.  Well, until my totally awesome toilet in our master bathroom proves me wrong.  Have you ever seen that commercial where the man sees the hot female plumber, and then he tries to flush things down the toilet, so that he will need her services, but it flushes everything...yeah that is our toilet.  At this point, Molly is crying about her teacup, and I want to cry because I know this will require a plumber.  After a little surface digging, I don't feel anything, I decide to just go ahead and leave, and meet my friend for lunch as planned.  I call our plumber, and he says he can come in the morning.  Now back to getting ready to leave.  Molly proceeds to fall off the step stool while brushing her teeth, and she cut her knee open.  For some reason, this tiny cut is bleeding everywhere. After several minutes of pressure, I put on a Dora bandaid, and we are finally ready to go.  Molly is still so upset, pink blankie has to come with us.
    Lunch was as uneventful as it can be with two toddlers in a restaurant, and we returned home after a quick trip through Costco.  While unloading the groceries, I decide I need to give this potty problem one more shot on my own. In the end, I am a bit of a red neck girl at heart.  I don't mind giving some home repairs a shot, and I also don't mind getting a little dirty. I turn on Nick Jr, so the kids are hypnotized, and hopefully will stay out of trouble, and I dig out my elbow length rubber gloves from under the kitchen sink.  I proceed to put my hand down as far as it will go into the toilet, and I can feel the edge of the teacup at my fingertips.  After some stealthy and patient maneuvering,  I manage to pull out the teacup.  I call Mike to report my triumph, and he asks me how I did it.  I simply said, "Well after 12 years as an L&D nurse, I am pretty good with a pair of gloves, and tight spaces."  Mike laughed and said, "I love that I married a red neck girl sometimes."  Crisis averted, and one less plumbing bill for our family :)

PS...I am down 6 lbs :)  It isn't much, but it's a start.  And any hint of baby fever was cured when I realized this morning that those babies grow up, and flush teacups down your toilet....

Monday, March 19, 2012


   Raising toddlers is all about repetition.  You find yourself saying the same things over and over again all day.  In fact, there are times when I feel like I should just record myself saying "get your finger out of your nose, " "stop hitting your brother/sister," "and for the love of God, where are your pants?"  That way, I could just hit a button on my smart phone instead of repeating myself 5,000 times a day.  I am sure they have an app for that. It should be called  the "exhausted mommy" app.  Maybe I should invent that, except, I am sure it is already out there.  Maybe you can even program Siri to boss your children around. But I have a droid, not an i phone, so it wouldn't help me anyway...I frequently wonder, how many times will I have to say this before it actually sticks?I know I am not alone, but some days it is enough to push you over the edge.  The repetition is also two fold, I have to repeat myself all day long, but Colin has also reached an age where he will repeat the same phrase over and over again until you acknowledge him in some way.  Colin "Mommy, Molly wants milk...Mommy, Molly wants milk...Mommy, Molly wants milk."  There is no break between these statements, but I will jump in after about the third time and say "OK Colin, Molly wants milk."  I admit, for some reason, it just grates on my nerves. I remember talking to my brother on the phone when his son was Colin's age.  Jack just kept interrupting with the same question over and over again. "Daddy, what time is it? Daddy, what time is it?  Daddy, what time is it?"  My brother finally responds with "It's 3:32 Jack, do have a pressing appointment with your lawyer or something?"  I thought it was funny then, now, after kids, I really understand my brother's frustration.  I text more than I call my friends.  It is just easier.  As soon as you get on the phone, you become a target for the toddler verbal diarrhea phenomenon.  This is characterized by one of them standing at your feet, tugging on your pants, and asking you something completely unimportant just to get you attention away from the telephone conversation.  They will persist, until you take the phone away from your ear, with apologies to who ever you have on the phone, and finally acknowledge their question with a "yes Colin, what can I do for you?"  Colin "oh, I don't remember, can I have some juice?"  For some reason, this repetition wears me out more than a hard day on the playground.  I try to answer with patience, but I fear I will raise two very smart aleck  children, just like myself.  In the end, questions are how children learn, and I never want to squelch that behavior.  So instead, I will continue to answer the endless questions, and continue repeating myself 5,000 times a day, because that is what mommies do...and occasionally they have a glass of wine to take the edge off the repetition.

Baby Fever??

   I knew this was coming.  I spent all day Friday with my best friend Amy, and her sweet four month old daughter Shelby.  Then our friends Chris and Emily came into to town with their adorable twin girls Quinn and Avery.  They are 7.5 months old.  This is a danger age for Mike and myself, which is why our children are 17 months apart.  It was around 6-9 months old with Colin, that we started to think, we've got this.  He was adorable, fat, mostly immobile, and slept through the night.  We have a known weakness for the age, and I admit, that my uterus skipped a little beat while surrounded by baby snuggliness.  I, however, took a deep breath, thought about it, and remembered that I am finally feeling like I might have my feet back under me.  Molly is getting potty trained, Colin is potty trained.  They can both tell me what they want for food, when something is wrong, and occasionally they can follow directions.  Life is a little bit easier in many ways.  Every age brings new challenges, but much of the actual baby phase is behind us.  Mike, well, let's just say that he fell hook line and sinker for the sweet babies, and watching our big babies interact with them.  We always wanted three.  In fact, we kind of planned on three, which is another reason Colin and Molly are so close together in age.  We were just going to knock them out.  I wanted to get it all over with at once.  I didn't want to take a long break, and then start over.  Most days, I am more than ok with two kids.  In fact, I have one of each kind they make.  What more could I ask for?  Admittedly, I have moments when I feel that want/need for another baby.  I have never sold their clothes.  I have kept most everything.  I have loaned out all of our baby swings, bouncy seats, exer saucers, etc...but I made sure it was a loan.  The answer would be simpler if I had handled pregnancy and delivery well, but suffice it to say, I didn't.  My doctor even offered to tie my tubes during Molly's delivery.  I didn't hold it against her at all, considering what I do for a living.  I know I was a bit of a train wreck, but it doesn't make that longing for another sweet baby go away completely.  The one thing I am grateful for is that during these foggy moments of longing, I am frequently jolted back to reality by the two year old and four year old in my life.  I am busy...well, that is an understatement.  I can't imagine what my life would be like right now if I had another small baby around.  I am sure I would figure it out, but most days I am just fine with my two sweet kids.  The world is made for a family of four. We have a boy, a girl, a dog, a cat, and five fish.  I think I may just have the perfect life, even though my little "baby" girl is almost three years old.  I miss that "baby phase," but I think the reality of the chaos of two toddlers keeps me from moving forward with another.  That, and the reality of the health risks for myself.
     Baby fever...easily caught, but I must say, I enjoyed snuggling sweet babies, and giving them back to their mommies at the end of the weekend.  And I think Mike will feel the same way as well with some time. And maybe some more time alone with the kids we have. If not, perhaps he should take on a second wife.  I mean, as long as she is willing to cook and  clean, and help with the kids, I could be on board :)

Stripper Bear Strikes the playground

   Despite my daughter's love for being naked, I have been able to keep her dressed in public, until now...She has tried to take her clothes off in public before, but I have managed to stop her her before she even really got started.  But this weekend, while I was at work, Molly pulled a fast one on her father.  We had friends from out of town visiting with us, and they have 7 month old twin girls.  Needless to say, we had a very busy household this weekend.  Mike, Chris, and Emily all decided to hit a playground, obviously for Colin and Molly, not the babies.  Molly has been wearing dresses frequently, due to the potty training.  I have warned Mike to put some leggings or something over the pull up, because it is just too tempting for her to pull it off at any moment.  Well, let's just say he did not listen to my advice.  Chris reported to me the next morning over breakfast, that Molly had gotten naked on the playground...oh dear.

Me "How naked??"
Chris "Oh, she just took off her pull up at some point.  Mike realized it when some 6 or 7 year old girls at the bottom of the slide said they could see her "Va-jay-jay"
Me "Fabulous, how long was she running around like that??
Chris "Well, Mike has no idea when she took it off, so we aren't sure"
Me "Well I am glad she didn't fall into the mulch, and get anything lodged in some unfortunate places.  That would have made for an interesting ER visit..."
     Between Colin's adventures with lingerie wearing and Molly's al fresco slide situation, this weekend has been interesting.  And who teaches their 7 year old to say Va-jay-jay??  To each their own I suppose. Who am I to decide what word you should use for your children :)  Now, to convince the child she needs clothes on before we run errands this afternoon.  Maybe she will be better with shorts and tank tops this summer?  Perhaps she will feel less confined.

P.S.  My husband is a little more than horrified that I posted the picture of Colin wearing my bra.  I thought it was hilarious, and I think he will one day as well...when he gets older...and has his own kids.  Until then, I am holding it for ammunition for the teen years.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

hee hee :)

  This one is just because it will make my husband's head hurt :)  Kids are hilarious.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Time of death...

  Time of death, approximately 8:15 AM.  RIP Dorothy the goldfish.  You have been sent on to your watery grave.  It's official, the death toll from yesterday's pet disaster is up to one fish.  Dogfish has made it through the night, and is still swimming now, so my hopes are high for survival.  I called time of death while getting the children ready for school.  When I realized I had a "floater"  I called Mike in for backup.  I asked him to get the kids ready and dressed in the living room, while I tended to the unfortunate situation.  I did decide to attempt to resuscitate.  A friend at work had told me previously about how her grandmother had brought several fish back from the other side by simply sprinkling salt on their tummies.  After already losing a dog and a cat this year, I was willing to try anything to avoid yet another heartbreaking conversation with my son.  I ran into the kitchen and grabbed the salt shaker.  Mike looked at me like I was insane and said "sushi?? or do you have a bottle of tequila somewhere that you are hiding from me?"  I simply said I would explain later.  I admit, I felt ridiculous, but who can blame a girl for trying?  I sprinkled salt on the fish, and nothing...Ok, now to get the net and flush the fish without the kids seeing me.  It would be my luck, Molly would see that, and flush all of the fish for fun.  Alright, fish flushed.  Now, do I explain what happened, or do I just get another fish?  I am going with another fish, I already know that answer.  But Colin is no dummy.  He has 14 Thomas trains, but he knows exactly which one he wants.  They all look the same to me, but to him, there is a world of difference in each train.  I am almost positive this mission is going to fail, but it is the best option I have.  I ask Mike to drain the aquarium completely, and I plan a covert trip to Petsmart while the kids are at school.
   As I arrive at Petsmart, I know I am in trouble.  All of their goldfish are tiny, and ours had gotten huge.  They were well fed, and had a ten gallon tank to themselves.  It's all I've got, so I pick out a fish that looks like Dorothy(significantly smaller), one that looks like Dogfish(just in case).  I also pick up two catfish to be bottom feeders like I had been meaning to do for months.  Next I whipped down the tank decorations aisle.  I picked out a cool background(pirate themed, sure to be a big hit) and some pretty new blue rocks for the bottom of the tank.  OK, distractions to redirect away from the fact that his fish will be missing.  I get home, dig through the disgusting tank goop, clean it up, put in the new rocks, and add the fish.  Dogfish looks like a giant.  Uggghhhh, so never going to believe this...OK, off to pick up the kids.  I bring them home, and Colin runs in to check out his new aquarium stuff I had talked about on the way home.  "Hey, mommy, where is Dorothy?  I see Dogfish.  I see a little Dorothy, but that isn't her..."  This kid doesn't miss anything.  My friend who is over for the afternoon jumps in with "Dorothy is a girl fish.  She has to be smaller than Dogfish. You know, like Mommy is smaller than Daddy.  Dogfish is the Daddy, Dorothy is the mommy fish, and now they have baby fish"  Colin "ohhhh..."  Amy is now brilliant. Not that I didn't think that about her before. Colin seems to have accepted this answer.  I am not sure that he actually thinks that Dorothy has shrunk, but he has stopped asking about the "old Dorothy," and now I can consider it a small mommy triumph.  He likes his "fish family," and he seems happy enough.  I am sure there will be more questions later, but maybe I can get Amy on speed dial for those as well :)
   Things I have learned from this disaster...One, nothing is EVER out of Molly's reach.  Number two, salt does not resuscitate a fish, at least not one that has been dead all night...number three, with enough new fish, and some fast talking, a toddler can be redirected to ignore the disappearance of his previous goldfish.  Lesson learned, children appeased.  Now to find some tequila to go with that salt...Mommy deserves it after a day like this :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Minor pet disaster...

   Tonight, the kids were playing nicely together in Colin's room.  They were playing with trains, taking turns, and seemed perfectly happy.  It was a beautiful Spring day, and I decided to walk out onto the front porch, and let our dog Abby walk around the yard for a potty break.  It was so pretty, I sat down in one of the rockers, enjoyed the weather, and listened to my children playing through the open windows.  Abby was wandering around, looking for the perfect spot, when I heard the sounds of trouble brewing.  It started with a simple "No, No Molly."  And quickly advanced to "Mommmmyyyy!!! Molly is feeding the fish."  This can't be good...I trotted into Colin's room to discover that Molly has emptied, yes I said emptied, the entire container of fish food into the ten gallon tank.  She looks at me with her glowing smile and says "Mommy, I feed the fish." Oh my, I launch into disaster containment.  I start scooping out the fish food manually with the net, and realize quickly, I have no idea what I actually need to do with this situation.  I grab the tank vacuum, and siphon out about half of the water.  It was about this time that I realized that in my panic, I had left the dog outside.  Just as I suspected, the dog was no where to be seen, at least not in the immediate area.  Luckily, we have the best dog in the world, she always comes back.  Even though she does occasionally bolt when she senses an opportunity.  I move into "find the dog" mode, and after a few minutes of standing on the porch and calling for her, Abby appears, with her tail tucked between her legs.  Back inside to deal with fish disaster.  I treat some more water with water softener stuff, and pour in fresh water.  I can tell now, that the problem is much worse than I thought.  I apologize to the fish, say a little prayer that they make it through this disaster, and wonder to myself how difficult it will be to find replacements for Dorothy and Dogfish while the kids are in school tomorrow.  I really have no idea how to get out all of the food residual in the tank.  Any tips are appreciated.  This is our first fish tank in the house.  I am guessing a complete water change is in order, but they always recommend against that.  If they make it through the night, without eating themselves to death, what is my next move??  Fish tank advice, anyone??


A conversation with my son...
Colin "Mommy, there is a sled in the laundry room"
Me  "I doubt that bud.  Why don't you show me what you are talking about."
Colin "OK, I'll show you." Pulls out the ironing board...
Me "Nope bud, that is something that mommy needs to use a little more often, but it is not a sled."

However, mommy would probably never notice if it became a sled :)  He also tells me that the vacuum cleaner is Ms. Anne's (my friend that cleans for us every two weeks)  Domestic Diva, I am not.  Oh well, the clothes are always clean, if not ironed, and vacuuming everyday is futile in this joint.  I have better things to waste my time on, like hitting the playground in a few, and posting on my new blog :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mommy, I pooped!!!

   "Mommy, I pooped!!!"  A phrase you would think I would love to hear.  Of course, it strikes just a little bit of fear in your heart until you find out where said child pooped.  If they pooped in the potty, fabulous. If they pooped in their pull up, at least it is contained.  But of course as Molly runs up to me at the computer, and proudly states "Mommy, I pooped."  I know nothing good is going to come from this statement.  She has been running around without pants on since we got home from our errands, so my chances are decreasing greatly that the poop is in the potty, or even the bathroom, as she takes me by the hand to show me her prize.  She leads me past both bathrooms, to my room, where her freshly laid pile of poop it waiting for me. As I look down at my very excited daughter, I hate to burst her bubble, and explain, yet again, that poop goes in the potty, not on the floor by mommy's bed, and down your leg, and on your dress.  She seems so proud.  I think she thought she did something good by not going in her pull up.  How do you explain to a toddler that potty time is a lot like real estate, location, location, location. Pee pee and poop are wonderful...when they are in the potty. Molly is in the shower for a hose down while I write this, and then we are all headed out to a park for some play time, in the 80 degree heat...Mental note.  IHOP is bad for the diet, and for getting me back into my shorts from last year.  I refuse to buy bigger shorts, so I better back away from the table, and maybe hit the gym tonight.

perhaps we should work on table manners???

   Today, I met my friend for lunch at IHOP, with both children.  Both kids love IHOP, but Molly decided to really get into her food today.  She is always excited about food, but this caught everyone at the table off guard.  Even Colin asked "Is Molly a Pancake Monster?"  Molly's response "No I am a doggie,"  and she proceeded to dive back into her food, face first.  She was so over zealous, that she started to actually inhale the food up her nose.  She stopped, in a coughing fit, and managed to sneeze out a piece of hashbrown.  My daughter, ladies and gentleman...I suppose I should have stopped the behavior, but I was too busy taking pictures, and watching the sweet little waitress stare in horror.  And, its not like she eats like this all of the time, she was just pretending to be a puppy dog, right?

Monday, March 12, 2012

True Friendship...

A conversation with my good friend who happens to be a midwife....
Me "Sure, I am up for lunch. I have to warn you. I am still wearing the t shirt I slept in, and my glasses. I can not be held responsible for my appearance."
Her "Hey, I am still wearing my scrubs from last night, and I delivered four babies."
Me "Nice...I think you won that one. So where should we eat?"

I'm sorry, she pooped where???

   Molly, Molly, Molly....Seriously??  How do you come up with this stuff?  Of course, while I was at work this weekend, because this is when the really good stuff happens, Molly gave us a wonderful little surprise.  Mike called me while I was running around at work, and for a moment, I was really hoping I hadn't heard him correctly.  Mike reported, while laughing, that Molly had pooped in the air conditioner vent.  We have floor vents, and they can be removed, and there is a vent right behind my son's train table.  Apparently, Molly either removed the floor vent, and tried to poop in the hole, or, she pooped on the floor, and attempted to hide the evidence.  I am not sure which I would rather it be, but I promise you, if I start to smell anything off in my house, I will know where to start looking.  I suppose it is a casualty of war that is to be expected during potty training, but never in my life would have imagined cleaning poop out of air vents.
    Recently, we have also had two "tub poop" incidents.  Somehow, Colin has only ever managed to poop in the bathtub one time in his four years.  Molly is making up for this.  The other night, both kids were in the tub,  and I heard sounds of trouble.  Lots of splashing, and Colin saying "ewwww, Mommy, help!!!"  Colin apparently didn't want to wait for me.  He quickly abandoned ship, and I found him streaking down the hall way, sadly, tracking brown footprints on the carpet.  I grabbed him, threw him in the shower, turned the water on, and went back to check on the poopy princess.  Not only had she pooped in the tub, she had scooped it out, thrown in on the bath mat, and happily pointed to her prize saying "poop."  I grabbed the other contaminated child, put her in the shower, and proceeded to clean the bath tub.  And the bath mats, and my carpet...My glamorous life.
   On a completely different note, she seems to be going pee pee in the potty pretty consistently, as long as she is in an "al fresco" situation. At least with little girls, you can just put them in dresses with no underwear on.  I watched Colin run around in just a t shirt for almost 6 months while he was really getting the potty thing under control.  It is a slightly more modest approach this time around, but honestly, the girl still prefers nothing at all.  And I hope she doesn't get used to the skirts with no underwear, because we all know that could lead to some poor assumptions of character in her later years.  I will say, she is very good about carrying her pee pee to the potty every time, and flushing.  Colin never showed any interest in cleaning up the frog potty after he used it, so this is a welcome change.
   Earlier I heard her doing her flash cards on my phone.  It shows a picture of an animal and makes an animal sound, and then tells you the name of the animal.  I heard chicken noises, and Molly proudly announces "chicken nugget!"  I shake my head, and tell her "no Molly, it is just a chicken, at least until Chick fil A gets a hold of it."  I also found her in my shower attempting to shave her legs and her face earlier this week.  I thought the razors were way out of reach, but she always seems to find the one thing she shouldn't have in any situation.  I also told her "No Molly, razors are for grown ups, you could get hurt.  But I hope you never have to shave your face.."
     Last weekend, while I was at work, I got a call from the husband before I had even made it to the hospital. Molly had found my steroid ointment, and squeezed it out all over our bedside table.  He was concerned medically, and I told him to just clean her up, and clean it off the table, and she would be fine.  Ten minutes later I get another phone call.  "While I was cleaning the ointment, they dumped out the bag of Splenda in the pantry."  Awesome,  "I am sorry babe, just clean it up, and keep going."  Five minutes later, another phone call. "Aaarrrghhhh, while I was cleaning the Splenda, they dumped out the bag of coffee."  Me "I am very sorry babe, I don't know what to tell you.  They are in rare form, but I have an active labor patient that needs her epidural, so have fun with that."  Truthfully, the only thing I really took away from that conversation was that I had nothing left to make coffee in the morning, and wondered how it was possible that they picked two of the most precious commodities in my pantry to dump on the floor.  Before I ended the conversation with Mike, who was ranting about what a horrible day he was having, I laughed, and simply said "I guess you haven't been reading my blog.  That isn't a bad day, that is just par for the course."

Thursday, March 8, 2012


   Today, I had a few crazy thoughts flit through my mind.  Thought number one...Should I just stop breaking up the fights, and watch evolution take place??  I can't even begin to tell you how many times I have said "get off your brother/sister" or "no biting" or my personal favorite "stop hitting your brother/sister in the head."  I remember a story from my own childhood.  My brother and I were fighting, and my mother was over it.  She handed us wiffle ball bats(the plastic ones) and told us to go out in the back yard.  She said "who ever wins, come back in and tell me."  Alan and I ran outside with our weapons at hand, but stopped before we ever started.   Our initial joy at being allowed to beat the crap out of each other, was quickly replaced by the horror that our mother was going to let us beat the crap out of each other.  Today, I totally understood why she did what she did.  Sadly, my babies are not old enough to understand that lesson yet, so I have many more battles to break up.  
    Thought number two...I wonder how that whipped cream flavored vodka would taste in my coffee??  No, I didn't follow through on that thought either.  Instead, we met some friends at a park for a play date, and I walked almost 4 miles round trip to Publix for milk and bananas, pushing both kids in the stroller.  And I swear, it was up hill both ways.  I had Special K cereal for breakfast, a salad for lunch, well...and sadly Yogli Mogli for dinner.  At least I exercised, and did well before dinner.  Another small triumph.  Colin announced on our way home that he had to pee, but he held it the entire ride home.  So proud.  Molly peed in the potty twice today, and she has even started taking her pull up or diaper off to do it herself, with no prompting.  I think we might be getting somewhere.  Another successful day coming to a close.  Now for Grey's Anatomy and The Big Bang Theory...and maybe that whipped cream vodka in a Diet Coke.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Bad body day

   Today, I am sick of my body.  I hate the way I look.  I hate the fact that I have gained all of the weight back that I lost on Weight Watchers, plus two pounds.  In fact, as I stood on the scale for the last two days, those two pounds are giving me the proverbial finger.  I am frustrated, discouraged, and yet, what do I do?  I want to eat.  I am an emotional eater.  I eat sometimes just to make myself feel better, but right now, that is an incredibly self defeating behavior.  This morning, I asked my sweet husband to go for a walk/run with me.  I planned on trying to run for part of the walk, and he was ready to be very patient with me.  As I attempted the first jog of this exercise, my calf muscle cramped up immediately.  I was angry at myself for being so out of shape.  I got mad about everything.  About my weight, well and anything else I could think of.  I took it out on Mike, and I feel bad.  I still want to cry.  I hate this self loathing I feel when I see myself, but for some reason, I can't seem to get it right.  I resent the fact that I have now entered a phase of life where weight is SO much easier to put on, than to take off.  In fact, I am pretty angry, depressed, and unhappy.  As I walked listening to my smart phone spout off my speed, distance, and the number of calories I had burned, I wanted to scream in frustration, because all I could hear was "you haven't even burned off the creamer from your morning coffee, let alone anything extra."  Weight loss...a daily struggle.  I am hoping tomorrow will be better.  I am hoping for some peace with where I am in my fitness struggle, and the strength to push past this horrible feeling of hopelessness, and on to better well being and health for myself and my family.  Prayers and support appreciated...

Little Mommy Molly

   My daughter has been an incredibly late talker.  She knows what is going on, all of her pistons are definitely firing, but she just saw no reason to do this talking thing.  She knew words, and several of them, but she would only use them occasionally, and maybe one or two at a time.  Recently, the verbal explosion has started.  Her sweet teacher told me the other day that I may need to enter her on the debate team.  Now that she has finally started, she is really getting the hang of it quickly.  Yes, the majority of people would hear her, and not be sure of what she was saying, but I can tell most of the time now.  Huge improvement around here.  Communication is happening instead of an advanced game of charades.  Her favorite thing is to tell on her brother.  She is constantly coming to me to tell me "that Cowin took her toy" or "Cowin hit her"  She also loves to copy whatever Mommy says...
   The other night, Molly was sitting in her booster seat, having a snack, while Colin was in the bath tub.  The interaction went some thing like this

Colin "Mommy, I am all done in the bath tub"
Molly (before I could even speak up) "OK Cowin, I be right there"
Colin (louder this time) "Mommy, I am all done in the bath tub"
Molly (louder as well, slightly exasperated) "OK, I be right there"

   This interaction continued for several times back and forth, until I rescued Colin from the bath tub. This quickly reminded me that they are listening to everything I say.  Colin even knows that facial expressions and tone of voice are very important as well.  He asked me the other day "are you mad at me?"  And he followed it with "wait, are your eyebrows up or down?"  I guess I scrunch my eyebrows down when I get "mad."
     Molly is totally going to jump from not talking at all, to bossing her older brother around. She frequently repeats things I say to Colin, as if they are her commands to give.  It is kind of adorable right now, but I can see how she could become quite the little bossy pants if I am not careful.  As if she wasn't running this joint before she could talk...

Naked Pirate...

   I think it can be safely said, that in dealing with my daughter, I should never be surprised.  The other night, Molly was running around partially naked.  This is nothing new, especially with potty training going on every day around here.  She seems to do pretty well with "going on the potty" if she is wearing nothing from the waist down.  Colin was running around without any pants for at least 6 months, I swear.  It just makes it easier.  Nothing to take on or off, and for some reason, they seem to hold it with out anything on.  I have grown used to the appearance of my children half dressed.  But a few nights ago, Molly decided to give me a fabulous surprise.  She ran up to me wearing nothing but a pair of socks, a pirate hat, and a smile :)  She was running around with a stuffed parrot under one arm, and saying "Aaarrrgghhh!!!" like a good pirate wench.  I can only hope this partially naked costume play does not carry over into adult hood.

An Ode to my coffee pot...

   Ok, so not really an ode, but more like, goodbye old friend.  No, I am not quitting my habit.  In fact, it is quite the opposite.  Mike and I were given a small four cup coffee maker (what I registered for at the time) for a wedding or shower gift.  Prior to children, neither of us drank coffee at home.  The coffee pot was purely for company when they came to stay with us.  After one child, I started to experiment with Starbucks frequently.  Of course, they are very expensive, so I decided to move on to making coffee at home with flavored creamers.  Along came Molly, and my addiction grew, and became a daily ritual.  The four cup maker was the perfect size for me.  It filled a travel mug once, and then I had a little left to top off my mug on the way out the door.  Enter Mike, stage left.  At some point, he started drinking coffee as well.  It started with an occasional sleepy "Is there any coffee left?"  And quickly became "have you made coffee yet this morning??"  For this reason, I have been contemplating leaving my old friend for a new coffee maker.  She has been my faithful companion through many sleepless nights and days.  I know the perfect amount of coffee grounds to put in her to make the coffee just the way I like it, but we have simply outgrown her small size.  The love affair is coming to an end.  The sensible part of me thinks, well, she is functional.  But the other side of me wants something new and shiny.
       Several friends have Keurigs, and I am fascinated with their shiny parts, and yummy results.  I love the idea of a fast, fresh cup of coffee any time of the day, but seriously, it could prove to be very pricey, and our problem has now become that there isn't enough coffee in the mornings.  How would making it one cup at a time really help, outside of the novelty.  In the end, a traditional 12 cup maker would be the most sensible way to go.  So last night, we ran out of coffee filters for my faithful 4 cup companion, and I ventured to Target to see which direction I would go with my decision.  As I stood in the aisle, overwhelmed with choices for such a simple appliance, I almost decided to grab a new pack of $1.50 coffee filters for our current coffee pot.  Sure, she leaks every time I pour, and we have to make 2 pots everyday just to keep up with our addiction, but she works.  After drooling over the plethora of one cup coffee makers, I finally turned to the traditional 12 cup side of the aisle.  I find it difficult to commit, feeling that I am betraying my old friend, but I finally pick a mid range 12 cup maker.  She has shiny stainless steel accents, and I can program her to have my coffee ready in the AM.  As I took her out of the box, I realized  we have come to the end of an era .  A new era has begun.  One where large amounts of coffee are needed on a daily basis, and I have become practical enough to settle on something sensible, instead of the novelty of something "really cool."  Of course, Mike would say that I still spent money on something we didn't "really" need.
    This morning, an entire pot of coffee was waiting on me when I woke up.  It was tasty, hot, and there was plenty to go around .  Of course, next to my shiny new toy, sat my old friend....I can't bring myself to box her up just yet.  My faithful companion, perhaps even my first "dealer" per se.  My introduction to my adult addiction...Goodbye old friend : )  

Aquarium adventure

   Yesterday, like every Tuesday, the kids had no school.  So on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I try to play super mom, and find us cool things to do.  My favorite thing is to do these things as a play date, but yesterday, we were on our own.  Occasionally I am lulled into a false sense of confidence with my children.  Colin is potty trained, completely verbal, and usually follows directions.  Molly, well, lets just say I can put more effort towards her now that Colin requires less maintenance.  If I am feeling brave, I frequently even leave the diaper backpack at home, or at least in the car.  When asked what they wanted to do yesterday, Colin expressed a desire to "see the dolphins."  I was surprised by this request.  We have season passes to the aquarium, and with those passes, we can see the dolphin show for free.  On a playdate a few months ago, my friend and I decided to take the kids to the show.  Colin was scared to death.  The show involves a Sea World like dolphin show, a cheesy guy singing about a pirate ship, and a water and light show.  The loud noise and darkness scared him, as well as the "giant fish" jumping out of the water, and he wet his pants.  Not sure if it was from fear, or all of the running water.  Molly thought it was awesome.  Our next two trips to the aquarium, he specifically requested no dolphins.  So, imagine my surprise when he requested this specific thing.  I decided it sounded like a fun day, loaded up the backpack with food and beverage, packed the double jogger, got the kids out the door an hour later than I would have liked, but we were on our way.  Colin talked about the dolphins the entire way down town.
    We entered the aquarium without any trouble at all, with both children strapped into the stroller.  You see, if I am by myself, 5 point restraints just make life easier.  We were told to hurry, the next dolphin show was in 8 minutes.  Nothing good ever comes from rushing my children or myself.  As we near the dolphin show entrance, we are told to park the stroller, and my internal mommy alarm started to go off.  Both children, free roaming, and trying to get somewhere in a timely manner, but Colin had his mind made up.  We were seeing the dolphins.  There are double escalators headed up to the auditorium.  Molly senses we are in a hurry, and immediately turns into noodle baby, limp on the floor.  No time for a time out or discipline, just a quick exasperated "Molly, get off of the floor!" and I grab her up into a hip hold.  This is no longer as easy as it used to be.  The kid is easily 35 lbs of squirming toddler.  Colin is holding my hand, but doesn't understand escalators.  Next thing I know, we are moving up the escalator, as Colin loses his balance, and is laying head headed down the up escalator.  In a panic, I pull him to an up right position, while other parents stare at me in horror.  Ok, maybe not horror, but possibly with pity.  We make it to the next floor, and go in to find seats for the show.  We find three seats together, at the end of a row. Jackpot.  Deep breath, we made it alive.  The show starts, and miraculously, both kids are in awe of the dolphins.  Mommy success.  Now, the water works and the light show start.  Colin leans over and says "Oh no, Mommy, I pee peed in my pants."  Fabulous.  There is nothing to be done until after the show, and he doesn't seem as stressed as he would normally be about the accident.  We make our way to the bathroom, still with out our stroller.  As all mommies of multiple children know, the stroller can be your saving grace in a public bathroom. The ability to lock one child in with a seat belt is priceless. Now, to change an embarrassed toddler, and keep the other one from touching all of the disgusting things in a bathroom.  Soiled pants removed, Colin peeing in potty, me praying there is no automatic flush(sends him over the edge), and Molly...Where is Molly??  Seriously, she is in the next stall over, and she has locked the door.  Awesome...Colin is now changed, and I am debating whether or not my overweight behind is going to fit under the stall door while trying to negotiate with Molly to unlock the door as she giggles at her success.  I truly believe it is her goal to make me look like a jack@#$ in public.  I now convince Colin to climb under the stall "to save" his sister.  OK, both children back with me.  Hand sanitizer all around, and back downstairs to my life line, the stroller.  I tell Colin that mommy is scared of escalators, and that we have to take the normal stairs.  He seems to accept this explanation, and honestly, now I am a little afraid of him falling, so it isn't a lie.  Back in the stroller, and off to see the penguins.  Molly wants to see the penguins,  but of course, the penguin exhibit is under construction.  Now I have a very angry, hungry toddler who didn't get to see the penguins.  I pull out the snacks, and both children relax for a few moments.  The whole place is packed with tourists, and I am experiencing overload myself.  After a quick look around, I ask the kids if they would like to go home and play there.  They both seem to think this is a great idea, so we head out the door through a gauntlet of school kids on a field trip.  After everyone gets locked in to their car seats, I take a deep breath, and realize, it may be a while before I try that on my own again...

Saturday, March 3, 2012

playground pick up??

  I had to work tonight, like almost every Saturday night.  My sweet, wonderful husband always calls me with updates on what our children have done while I am away.  Tonight, he was telling me about taking the kids to the play ground.  Our conversation went something like this...
Mike "So I met this cute, sweet fitness instructor at the playground today.  She is an instructor at the LA Fitness you just joined."
Me "really..."
Mike "Yeah, she has kids Molly and Colin's age, and she teaches kickboxing, yoga, zumba, and one other class"
Me "wow, you never remember that much of what I say.  She must have been really cute. Did you get her name and number??" (dripping sarcasm)
Mike "huh...(starting to realize he may have said the wrong thing) oh, I did tell her my Wife just joined LA Fitness."
Me "so you remembered me at some point in this conversation.."
Mike "of course I did, geez, anyway, you should try her class at the gym..."
Me "Ok, so now I need to work out more???"
Mike "uuggghhhhh...."

PS, why is it always international nanny day when I take the kids to the playground??  Why can't it be Hot Dad day just once??  Just sayin...I guess I was just a little sensitive tonight after a coworker told me she liked it when I wore my hair curly because it was flattering to my full, round face.   Perhaps I should hit the gym before work tomorrow morning.  Maybe I should find out that instructors name after all...

Coyote Traps???

   So, I grew up in rural, southern Georgia.  Wildlife just outside your door was not uncommon at all in my home town.  It wasn't unusual for me to open the front door to discover a large poisonous snake on my doorstep. I knew which snakes were poisonous, where I needed to watch for them, and what to do if we were bitten.  We had plenty of other wild life that wandered around at night, but for some reason, I can't seem to wrap my head around the coyote problem we have here in East Cobb.  Apparently they are very common around here.  Last time I checked, I live in the suburbs of Atlanta. A very large, developed suburb at that.  But, since moving here, Mike and I have been warned multiple times about the coyote problem.  Our back yard is wooded, with a creek running through it, but we are surrounded by major roads as well.  While playing at the playground the other day, the coyote problem was brought up yet again.
   We were at the elementary school play ground where our children will eventually attend.  There were a few families out playing as well, and like parents do, we started making small talk.  One of the dads spoke up as he saw our dog run over to Colin.

Man "I don't know if I would let my dog run around out here...there are tons of coyote traps, and it would        be really hard to get her free."
Mike "are the coyotes that bad?"
Man "yeah, they are pretty bad.  I live right over there, and there are traps set up all over our back yard"
Mike "wow.."

  Later, after we have some time to digest this info, Mike wonders out loud "I am surprised the guy was worried about our dog.  I mean, shouldn't we be worried about letting our kids play where the coyotes are that bad?"

Me "Nah...I mean it's not like we roll them in butter, wrap them in lunch meat, and send them out to play on the play ground at night..."
Mike stares at me like I have just said the craziest thing ever, but then he nods in agreement
Mike "Yeah, I guess you are right..."

   Please don't be worried, I am actually concerned about my children playing near coyotes waiting to pounce, but it was fun to watch my husband's confusion...and seriously, coyotes are nocturnal, right?? I think I liked the snakes a little more...

Base Camp Bryan...

    Yesterday, I had a great day with my babies.  We played all morning at an indoor play space, came home to nap/rest, went back out to run errands, had date night at IHOP, and finally hit another playground.  The sky looked a little dark, but I didn't think much about it.  I guess I should have turned the TV to the news at some point during the day.  We arrived home from our busy day only to discover we were in the midst of tornado warnings all over Cobb county.  After a quick look at the map, they appeared to be headed straight for us.  After a minute, I actually start to hear the sirens.  Colin is attempting to poop, and Molly is shopping for food in the pantry.  I take a deep breath, and I start to herd the children to the basement.  Of course, neither child wants to cooperate, and Colin is quite preoccupied with his attempted poop.  Even Abby, our dog, is starting to get stressed and whimper.  She is giving me the "can you please get your puppies under control?" look I have seen so many times.  She is circling around the children, and I simply grab a baby in each arm, and head to our basement.  The dog looked relieved, as if to say, "thanks, I had no idea how I was going to do that if you continued to be incompetent."  I put both children in the basement, turn on the TV, and start to wait while coming up with a plan.  My mind is racing as the weather guy says that I have about 8-10 minutes before it should be upon us.  My husband has gone out for a well deserved, but sadly, ill timed night out with our friends.  As they continue to describe golf ball sized hail, I decide to move the SUV into the garage, and quickly grab some rations.  I bolt into the front yard, move the SUV, grab the kids blankies and stuffed animals, a few diapers, a giant box of goldfish I had just purchased, and an 8 pack of juice boxes.  The good news, our basement is finished, so we had a bathroom, a fridge, couches, and a giant TV.  Poor Colin is still attempting to poop on the potty downstairs, and I am debating whether or not Molly and I should just sit in the windowless interior bathroom with him, but poor Molly has now passed out on the couch.  I make the decision to wait to hear more sirens before locking ourselves in the bathroom.  My family was lucky last night, as we have been so many times.  Storms actually terrify me.  The devastation that can be caused by storms like this is humbling.  It is a reminder that while I feel pretty silly for running to my basement with rations of goldfish and diapers, the whole situation could have ended poorly.  My prayers go out to the families that lost loved ones, or even simply suffered property damage.  I have learned that we need to go through practice drills here in our house so that the children understand what those sounds mean, and listen to mommy when she is trying to get them to safety.  Poor Colin has learned that tornadoes don't wait for you to finish pooping...poor guy eventually completed the task while a worried mommy sat by his side trying to explain what was happening, and our sweet dog stood guard over her "puppies" sleeping on the couch.  Mike arrived home safely, and we carried both kids upstairs to their rooms around 11 pm.  I doubt either child really understands what could have happened last night, but I am glad it turned out to be a brief slumber party, and a silly picture of "base camp Bryan" posted on Facebook.