The Bryan Kids 2014

The Bryan Kids 2014

Thursday, June 28, 2012

New Jersey, The Big Apple, and a tummy bug...

  After two days on the road with two little ones, our friend's home was a very welcome sight.  As we pulled into Chris and Emily's driveway, I breathed a sigh of relief.  Home away from home, at least for four to five days.  We had a lovely evening briefly catching up, and making plans for the next day.  We decided to take it easy, hit a few local sights, and save the big city for Friday and Saturday.  The Bryan family retired to the upstairs of the home, and all attempted to get a little sleep before our big vacation really got started.

   The next day was spent outside at Van Saun Park.  Sandra had already informed me that it was a great family friendly sight in NJ, and luckily, it was only 15 minutes from where we were staying.  Chris had graciously taken a few days off from work to be our tour guide and was ready to head out first thing.  I was still in shock, looking for a coffee pot.  Molly and Colin do not make great sleeping buddies to say the least.  If I get out with only a few bruises and a concussion after sharing a bed with them, I count myself lucky.  Of course, for some  reason, we traveled 900 miles north, but the Georgia heat followed us.  The temp outside was expected to reach triple digits while we were in town.  Awesome, perfect sight seeing weather.  We load into the car, and I pry myself between the two car seats in the back.  I am unable to get to the seat belt, but sadly, I think I will be fine.  If we are in an accident, there is no way that I will be thrown from the vehicle.  My shoulder and right breast are wedged behind Molly's car seat so tightly, I am wondering if I will be able to get back out.  Our first stop was an awesome playground.  Of course, due to the temp, the kids only played for a few minutes before complaining that the slides and bars were "too hot."  We decide to head into the Bergen County Zoo.  The kids had a blast checking out the animals, playing in the sprinklers, and simply chasing each other around.
   That evening, we visited a local restaurant famous for their giant pancakes.  The food was indeed giant and yummy.  That was actually the child sized pancake that Colin was attempting to eat in the above photograph.
  By the end of the day, Molly was starting to get kind of fussy, but I didn't think too much about it.  By that night, she had a fever of 103. I gave her Motrin, and hoped that our day in the city would not be ruined by a sick child.  In the morning, Molly still was not herself, but I thought we could give NYC a shot.  With a drugged Molly, 95+degree temps, and our fabulous tour guides in tow, we hit the city.  We drove about 20 minutes to a train station, caught a train into the city, and then used the subway and our feet to get around the rest of the day.  We grabbed some New York Pizza on the run, made our way to Times Square, ventured into a giant Toys R Us, and we were marveled by all of the sights and sounds around us.  The kids looked overwhelmed to say the least.  Neither one of them made a single attempt to get out of the stroller. We all know that is highly unusual at the age of 3 and 4 y/o.  For once, Molly seemed to have an appropriate fear of her surroundings...or maybe it was just the lingering fever and the illness still to come.  We took the subway over to The Museum of Natural History and Central Park, but a huge thunderstorm came out of no where.  The storm passed relatively quickly, but Molly had hit her breaking point.  She was snuggly, and getting warmer by the minute.  I decided we needed to call it a day.  We had plans to return to Central Park the next day to meet friends that live in the city, so I consoled myself with the fact that we would be back soon enough.
   That night, the vomiting started.  Molly was sick as a dog, and Colin had a very mild temp as well.  I spent the entire night huddled in a "sick bed" with my pitiful daughter.  When I asked her if anything hurt, she said "yes Mommy, everything...just be with me please."  My heart broke for sweet little girl.  Tummy bugs are the worst. I attempted to keep our sick, contaminated children away from Chris and Emily's two small babies.  They have twins.  Quinn and Avery, who are 11 month old girls.  It was bad enough my daughter was throwing up all over their towels, the last thing they needed was for me to share the viral love with their little ones.  Luckily, Molly was more than happy to stay upstairs, hug pink wankie, and watch TV.  Colin's fever seemed to pass without much fanfare at all.  I was incredibly grateful that the vomiting was limited to one child.  We had to cancel our second day in NYC, but by the evening, Molly perked up enough to have few bites of dinner, and then she went back upstairs to "rest" some more.  It was her quickest recovery from a stomach bug ever.  Only 24 hours of vomiting...not bad for my professional puker.  And, she only managed to yarf on their carpet one time. new favorite word for vomiting.  Combination of barf and yak.  I think I made it up myself, but I am sure someone else has used it before.  Colin and the babies spent time playing in the water outside while Molly hung back and took it easy.  Something tells me the girls would like for Colin to get out of their pool :)  Not sure there was nearly enough room for him to join in the water play time.
  After a brief side trip to Nyack to see some extended family, it was time to think about heading home.  We seriously considered heading into the city to see some more sights, but due to a massive parade for PRIDE weekend, we decided it was just better to leave NYC for the next trip.  I just couldn't imagine attempting to navigate the city in those kinds of crowds.  Not to mention the inappropriate costumes and floats that I might have to explain to the kids...Sadly, it was nearing time to go back to Atlanta.  Of course, now that the temp had dropped back into the 70's and 80's.  I am still confused by some of the strange laws in NJ...For instance, it is against the law to pump your own gas.  When I asked Emily, a NJ native, "Why can't you pump your own gas?"  Her response "Well, because it is against the law." Again I ask "No, I get that it is against the law, but why is it against the law?"  Emily "Well, I don't know, it just is. It has been that way forever."  Strange...I asked Sandra when I got back to Georgia about it as well.  I got the exact same I was the one that said something odd.  Oh well.  I am just going with that this southern girl just doesn't get it...I suppose I should be glad to let someone else pump my gas, but it just seemed odd.  Other than that, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by people in the city.  I have lived in the South the majority of my life.  I have always been told to expect people to be rude, and unwilling to help, that Southern hospitality should not be expected up North, especially in NYC.  Not only did I find that people were willing to hold the doors on the train for my family, they offered helping hands to my kids, and frequently helped us lug our stroller onto the subway or train we were attempting to board.  More than once, some one put out a protective arm to keep my child or our stroller from crossing the street when it was unsafe.  This kind of stuff was not at all what I was expecting.  Just goes to show you that not everything you hear is true.
   We left Monday morning planning to drive the 900 miles straight through.  Needless to say, we stopped overnight in Blacksburg to see our friends Dave and Paul again.  It was just too much togetherness for this family.  We needed a break, and the boys had adopted a new puppy while we were in New Jersey.  After some puppy snuggles, a six pack of beer for the men, some chocolate for me, yet another "poop labor session" with Colin, and a slap happy Molly, we were able to get a little rest, and hit the road first thing in the morning.  The second  half of the trip was slightly better than the first half of the return trip.  At least we managed to avoid any "Code Browns" on the way home.  As I walked through my front door, I enjoyed the sights and smells of a fabulously clean home.  I had Anne come and clean while we were gone.  Best...Treat...Ever.  Sadly, it only lasted for a few hours with my crew around.  Today, I have already cooked two meals and messed up the kitchen, loaded the dishwasher and washed dishes twice, and the washer and dryer have been running since we came home.  The carpet is covered in toys and dog fur all over again.  But for a few brief was clean.  Now, it is time to head back into work for the weekend :( Actually, a shift at the hospital with an angry, laboring woman sounds much easier than 900 miles in the car with my kids...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Two toddlers, a dog, and 900 miles...

  In case you were wondering, I have been MIA due to a week long road trip with my family.  The family and I hit the road last Tuesday.  Destination, Fair Lawn, New Jersey.  We were off to spend time with some friends, and check out the Big Apple.  I have never been to NYC, well, outside of a quick airport stop.  I certainly have never seen the sights, per se.  We planned on stopping in Blacksburg, Virginia for a quick overnight to break up the trip, and also to see some other dear friends of ours.  I have to say, I really don't enjoy road trips.  I have fun once we get there, but nothing about sitting in a cramped car for hours, not being able to stretch out the way I would like, and sitting still for that long actually appeals to me in any shape or form.  And then we added the challenge of kids.  Kids add a whole new layer of torture to the equation.  Not only am I bored and completely ready to be where ever we are headed, I am in charge of convincing two little people that this is fun and keeping them entertained for hours on end.  Almost impossible.  especially when you take into account that the hubby and I have completely different attitudes about the kids and road trips.  No surprise there...Mike thinks the kids should watch the DVD player as little as possible.  In fact, the tablet and DVD player should only be used as a last resort.  The children should be eating healthy fruits and vegetables, and they should be completely content listening to his audio version of "The Economist," thank you very much...His argument, we never had movies in the car, we survived.  They should be able to entertain themselves.  Let's face it...if our parents had had the chance, they would have played movies for us in the car.  They only came up with license plate Bingo and stupid car songs out of desperation, and possibly because they were drinking heavily at the rest stops.  When I took the kids to Maryland to see my brother by myself, we watched movies whenever the kids wanted, ate their favorite snacks, and my head hurt so much less.  Not only does "The Economist" give me a headache, the whining that is caused by the children's extreme boredom does as well.  Car seats are the equivalent of baby jail.  It is actually torture for a 3 y/o and 4 y/o to sit still for 900+ miles.  They deserve some Dora the Explorer and Thomas the Train as escapism, in my humble opinion.  So, we try and meet in the middle.  There were times when the children were completely quiet and happy (while the DVD player was on), and times they whined until I thought my eardrums would explode (during Mike's forced Economist periods.)  No matter what, 900 miles is a long time to be in the car...all together...unable to escape from each other.

   Our first stop was very welcome.  Not only did we get to spend some time with our awesome friends Dave and Paul, but we were all able to escape the confines of our SUV for a several hours.  Paul took us out to the river where he works.  The area is beautiful, and the kids, both furry and not, were able to run around and burn off a little energy.  Abby, our family dog, discovered she is a water dog.  She had a blast wading through the water.  Sadly, I didn't quite plan for our side trip, and we spent the rest of the trip to NJ smelling the fabulous aroma of wet dog.  I couldn't complain.  Abby was by far the best behaved child the entire trip.
   Some where just outside of Hershey, Pennsylvania, it became obvious that it was time for yet another potty break.  Colin's legs started to twitch, and then he would kind of make this little whiny sound.  He never said he had to go, but we figured out that it usually stopped after we took him to the bathroom.  I took him inside the rest stop, and he began to freak out about the bathroom.  The poor kid has a horrible fear of public restrooms and the automatic flushing toilets.  After I finally convinced him that the potty "wasn't scary," and that I would wait to flush until he was out of the stall, I realized he had a skid mark in his underwear.  Fabulous...the kid needs to poop.  For any other kid, this would be no big deal, but for Colin, pooping is a huge production that must be performed in exactly the right setting.  He gets horribly constipated and it actually hurts him a great deal, so he puts it off as long as possible, which only aggravates the problem.  I wind up sitting in front of him, coaching him like a labor patient, counting, and begging him to push harder.  It actually borders on ridiculous at some points, but a mommy has to do, what a mommy has to do to get the job done.  He of course refuses to sit on the potty at the rest stop, no big surprise, but he agrees to give the "car potty" a chance.  I proceed to stand at the back of the SUV begging and bribing my son to poop, while Mike releases Molly and the dog for a few minutes of outside play time.  I have no idea exactly what happened, but as Molly rolled down the hill at the rest stop, Mike realized she was pushing poop out of her pull up from every direction.  Houston, we have a serious Code Brown situation, just outside of Hershey, Pennsylvania.  The irony was impossible to miss.  Mike snatches the diaper back pack out of the car, and takes Molly up the hill to a picnic table.  I am still on poop watch at the SUV.  All I can see in the distance is Mike stripping Molly completely, and using what appears to be every wipe in the bag to clean her up.  I venture over to take a peak at her car seat, only to discover poop all over her seat belt.  All I am wondering at this point was how he missed the giant pile of poop seeping out of our daughter.  We have now scared a family of 5 away from their play time on the hill, as well as horrified an older man in his car.  The older man continues to stare at me as if I have four heads as I continue to cheer my son on to a successful poop and my husband strips our daughter outside on a picnic table. After all of the pooping is completed and cleaned up, We all get back in the car, and finish the last couple of hours to NJ.
    We finally reach our destination, and we crawl into bed.  We make loose plans for hitting some NJ sites the next day, and NYC for the two days after that.  Until then, I may or may not have slipped my children some Benadryl and poured myself a glass of wine.  The rest of the story will be continued in the next blog post...Suffice it to say that more drama and adventures continued to unfold.

He can be taught...

Conversation on my way home from work the other night...
Me: "So, how did things go tonight?  Did the kids behave?"
Mike: "You know, the usual.  They laughed, they played, they destroyed.  The house is a wreck.  I am just now starting to clean up."
Me: "Wow, did they just fall asleep?"
Mike: "Not too long ago.  I just got out of the shower.  Let me go so I can get dressed."
Me: "Or, you could just stay that way until I get home..."
Mike: "Really?  Nah...I like my chances better if I actually finish the dishes, and I need to get dressed to do that."

Ladies...they can be taught.  Like Pavlov's dogs.  Do the dishes and clean up and you will be rewarded :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Texts before the gym...

Monday morning, I roll over to check my phone for a text that has just come through...It's from Sandra

Sandra  "Quick, send help!"
(I assume the kids are giving her a rough time)
Me  "Oh my...I think I may give mine a sedative and hog tie them so they can't hit and kick each other.  They have been at it all morning"
Sandra  "Lol!!  Mine are fine, but I am a zombie.  Gonna get my blood pumping though...Still on for the gym at 10:15?"
Me  "Sure, I am a serious case of zombie land as well..."
Sandra  "Maybe we can drop them off at the kids place and then go for naps in the locker room??"
Me  "Do you think they would notice if I brought a pillow and a blanket??"
Sandra  "Lmao!!"
   Instead, we got a great workout, and then went for Mexican food : )  No judgement please...we even got a yummy grilled chicken and steak salad...And it is still better than not working out and going for Mexican, right??

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

How do you forget to eat?? Because I need to learn

  While Sandra and I were working our butts off on the elliptical, we began conversing about our day.  She had a play date earlier in the day with a friend with a little baby.  He is right at a year old.  They hit the pool together with all of the kids in tow.  We chatted briefly about how it went, and then Sandra says...

Sandra : "You know, she was in a bikini, and she looked fabulous.  Her son just turned a year old..."
Me:  (huffing and puffing on elliptical) "That bitch...I mean, good for her. What is her secret??"
Sandra:  "She says she has been working hard, but that she still has more to go.  I looked at her shocked.             She told me that she forgets to eat and that she doesn't have time to eat."
Me:  "Ahhh, one of those.  I NEVER forget to eat.  If I forget anything about eating, it is that I have already eaten, and then I do it again.  This morning was a perfect example.  I had a Nutra Grain bar, got the kids ready, poured my coffee, and made myself a bowl of cereal.  I didn't remember until halfway through the bowl that I had already eaten."
Sandra: "No matter how busy I am, I can always find time to eat."
Me: "In fact, that is when I make the worst choices.  I inhale food in a hurry, and then I eat something else, before I even realize I am full."
Sandra : "yep, same here."
Cue incredibly fit girl with massive, fake breasts in tiny gym clothes.  She struts by as we sit on the ab machines covered in sweat...
Me: "I think she forgot some of her clothes..."
Sandra: "I would have to agree..."
Me: "I bet she forgets to eat too..."
Sandra: "agreed..."

  I wish I dealt with stress by forgetting to eat...until then, back to LA Fitness.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Herding cats...I mean kids

   Getting my two children out the door is frequently akin to herding cats, or at least, what I imagine herding cats would be like.  Speaking as someone who was a cat owner first and a parent second, sometimes I can see the similarities.  I have flashes of attempting to put my cats in a carrier at times while strapping my kids into their car seats.  Molly even gets vicious at times, and uses her claws, just like a cat...A toddler on a leash also resembles a cat on a leash.  Not only do they look offended, but they will frequently refuse to move, and may even lay down on the ground.  My cat Oscar wanted to be an outside cat.  He wanted to go outside in the worst way, so I bought him a leash.  I tried multiple times, and it resulted in what could only be called a very large, angry, dust mop.  Molly, same thing...So as I am volunteering at Vacation Bible School this week, I am getting practice at herding other people's cats...I mean kids.  I have a group of four and five year olds that were assigned to me.  I am actually having tons of fun, and I am really enjoying myself.  I am just a "Camp Counselor."  I don't have to plan activities, or teach any lessons.  I am just there to herd them from activity to activity, provide encouragement and comfort, and keep an accurate head count.  It is quite the challenge at times.  My partner in crime, or co-counselor is in 7th grade. She is awesome and great with the kids.  I plan on getting her number if she babysits at all on the side.  But she is really tiny.  I have had to physically rescue her from the attacks, all be it loving, but attacks still the same from our campers.  I think a few of the five year olds might be able to take her.  Molly has a doctor's appointment tomorrow, so I have to skip a day.  I am little worried for my tiny friend.
   My little friend and I agree on one thing for sure...the snack mommies are not the counselors.  The snacks are adorable.  They are cute. They go along with a short bible story, and the kids get to help prepare them.  Of course, for two days now, one of the main snack ingredients has been frosting.  Yep...frosting.  The first day, the kids created "Noah's ark" out of a rice crispie treat, smothered it in frosting (because marshmallow goo isn't sweet enough), and then topped it with animal crackers.  Today, we made an "ocean" with a graham cracker, covered it in blue icing, and sprinkled gummy fish on top.  Now lets just get something straight.  I NEVER complain about snacks.  I am laid back when it comes to food and my kids.  In fact, my husband thinks I am way too laid back. I consider chocolate milk and fruit loops a perfectly acceptable breakfast.  But even I am beginning to question the forethought put into this snack.  Yummy... fun... lesson appropriate, and yet, seemingly a graham cracker smeared with "kiddie crack" and topped with a side of sugary goodness.  Suffice it to say, within an hour, herding the cats becomes much more chaotic.  Not to mention the severe lack of a coffee station for the adult volunteers so that I can have some "adult crack" to keep up with them.   And then by the end of the day, the kids have bottomed out, and are tired and starving.  So, like I said, the snack planners...well, they don't have to lead the kids around the church while they are on their sugar high.  Oh well, no permanent damage done from yummy snacks.  I think I am just packing some cheese sticks and protein snacks for my little guys tomorrow.  Maybe I can balance out the sugar rush??
   So, I am blaming VBS for what happened earlier today.  I am really trying to take this training for the half marathon seriously.  I knocked out some decent times on the elliptical in the last few days, and I have started trying to jog outside.  And of course, after having a very reasonable turkey sandwich for lunch, the container of leftover frosting was calling my name.  It taunted knew that I had already been tempted by frosting goodness earlier in the day.  I caved..I had two tablespoons of I am blaming the church :) That's my story, and I am sticking to it.  Now, off to play Wii Sports Resort with my babies, and figure out how to repair a styrofoam jellyfish that Molly both made and destroyed in the same day.  In other words, just another day being Super Mom.

My son actually said "man boobies"

   Yes, yes you read that four year old son said "man boobies" today.  His obsession with all things boobie continues.  He was sitting in my lap, snuggling.  Nothing unusual there.  Then, as his new obsession continues, he complimented my boobies.
Colin "Mommy, I like your boobies(he says as he pats them)"
Me "Well, thanks bud. But remember, you can hug mommy, and use them as pillows, but touching them in public is just a little odd.  And grabbing them is just rude..."
Colin "OK Mommy, your boobies are squishy."
Me "Yes they are little dude.  Now, lets talk about something else."
Colin "alright Mommy, what are these?? (lifts his shirt, points to his belly)"
Me "that's your tummy..."
Colin "no mommy, what are these? (points a little higher, but still on his tummy)"
Me  "that is just your belly little man, why?"
Colin "nope, those are my man boobies..."
   I just shake my head...what do you say to that?  And where did he learn that term?  I suppose there are much worse things he could call them, but seriously, man boobies??  I suppose he at least used it correctly...I mean, if they are going to curse or say something bad, it should at least be conjugated correctly and used in the appropriate context.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Molly...where are your pants??

   This weekend, the grandparents were in town visiting.  The children have been turning on the charm, and using the best tools in their arsenal of toddler cuteness.  This morning, the cuteness continued.  As all of the adults are sitting around the table enjoying our morning coffee and a chat, Molly makes her grand entrance into the breakfast area.  I look down, and ask the all too familiar question in our home.
Me "Molly, where are your pants?"
Molly "right dare, Mommy(pointing down to her ankles where her pants are pooled on the floor)"
Her pull up is obviously missing in action...
Me "Did you go pee pee Molly?  Where are your underwear?"
Molly "Ummmm, oh! They are in the trash."
Me "OK, well lets take your pants the rest of the way off."
Molly "OK, (slips pants off her feet, takes off her shirt as well)"
This doesn't surprise me...
Me "OK Molly, let's get dressed for the day."
Molly (running off to the living room, returns with her rain boots, smiling, still completely naked) "OK mommy, I need my rain coat.  I want to play in the rain"
Me "Well...that sounds just fine Molly, but I think we are going to need to put on more than your rain coat and a smile. Let's go find some clothes as well."
Molly "(big sigh) OK..."
  I am pretty sure she wanted to play in the rain completely in the buff.  It must be so awesome to be a toddler. So free, no body image issues, completely comfortable with streaking outside in the rain. Just because it is fun.  Don't worry, I sent them both out completely dressed.  Such a simple thing, playing in the rain, but it kept them entertained for at least 30 minutes this morning.  And something like that. Simple, unplanned playtime...that is some of the best time.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Things I learned yesterday...

   As a courtesy to all of the other parents out there reading this blog, I always like to share my little nuggets of wisdom I procure throughout my adventures.  Yesterday, I encountered a few I would like to share.  I will start with this fabulous picture of my daughter, who apparently decided to channel the movie "Braveheart" for a few minutes.  I will say, at least she had the courtesy to color coordinate the markers with her outfit.

So here is my brief list of things that I learned during my adventures in parenting yesterday....
-Never trust a quiet evidenced by the above photo
-No matter how "washable" the markers claim to be, they are still a pain in the butt to get off your child's face
-when you accidentally wash a pull up in the washing machine, it makes a horrible mess
-If you take your kids to a pool, and they can see a play ground, they want to be on the playground...If you move to the playground, they want to be back in the pool...

    Lets just say, there was a lot of scrubbing and crying involved in getting Molly's art work off of her face.  She was quite pissed off by the time I was done.  As for the pull up, dear lord that made a mess.  I took everything out of the "pool bag" and threw it into the washer.  Totally forgot there was a pull up in the bag as well.  This caused me to wash the same load of clothes three times...because THAT is how I wanted to spend my afternoon...And finally, as if to prove the old saying "the grass is always greener," my children insisted on leaving the perfectly good pool at our friend's neighborhood, and trying out the very small, unimpressive playground.  No surprise here, they wanted to get back into the water after swinging a few times, and sliding down the hot slide once.  I refused to wrestle them back into their swim suits, and we left in tears.  How is it that they can make you feel like the worst mommy ever, even when you went out of your way to provide a fun morning for them?  Amazing...

  Finally, as if having to put my overweight self in a swimsuit multiple times already this summer wasn't enough to influence my poor self image, my hair decided to throw in an extra kick in the pants.  I have tons of gray...way more than any woman at (cough, cough) 35 y/o should have.  Well, at least in my humble opinion.  But up until recently, my gray has had the courtesy of being in the back of my hairline.  It seems to be centered at my crown. even when I need to get my roots done, I can usually hide it by pulling it back into a ponytail.  But two days ago, there it was...My unicorn horn.  I had a gray hair sprouting right out of the middle of my forehead.  Well in my hairline, of course, but there it was, wiry and proud.  Standing straight up at attention, taunting me in the rear view mirror.  Dear Lord, when did this start??  I started looking while at the red light, and he had friends...lots of friends.  But this one had personality.  It was as if my hair was giving me the proverbial finger.  I reached up, and plucked him out of my hair. There, take that stupid hair...Of course, what if the old wive's tale is true??  What if two grow back in its place?  Then it won't be a unicorn horn, it will be my own personal set of antlers or antennae.  Seriously, this getting old thing stinks.  Guess I need to find time to dye my hair...again.  I will pencil it in with stripping the sheets and washing them, making dinner, cleaning the house before the in laws arrive, and yet another fabulous grocery trip with two children in tow...mental note to buy wine...I will need wine by the end of the day.  And perhaps the pressure washer if Molly gets into the markers again...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Parenting differences...

  It is a well known fact in this house that my son is a bit of a video game addict already at the age of four.  I think he would play Birds or Wii Sports Resort all day long if I let him.  Mike is much more strict with their time playing video games or watching TV than I am.  I do control his time, but not nearly as strictly as Mike.  I stand by the fact that it is because I am home with them the vast majority of the time, and I require some time when they are occupied to complete the normal household duties of a SAHM. Yesterday morning, Colin asked to play Wii, and Molly eagerly decided to "help" with the other controller.  I set them up with the Wii, made a pot of coffee, checked Facebook, drank my coffee, and I was contemplating a shower.  The kids were thoroughly entertained, and I was enjoying the brief reprieve and mommy "quiet time."  Not that two toddlers playing a Wii is really all that quiet, but it does keep them off my lap and out of my hair for a few minutes.  Mike enters.
Mike "So what is your plan to get them to stop playing Wii?"
Me (I sip my coffee, scroll down my Facebook feed, and click over to my blog home page. I look up) "Well, if you must know, I plan on showering, getting dressed in peace, and perhaps having a bowl of cereal while they are entertained.  Once I am done with all of that, I will take them outside, and remove his death grip from the Wiimote.  Of course, you can feel free to interrupt them prior to that, as long as you keep them entertained."
Mike "Ahhh..."
  I got up, showered, and returned to the living room dressed with brushed teeth.  The kids were still playing Wii...

I am adult...I am a grown up...

   Sweet, sweet little Colin Bear.  My snuggly little man.  He is getting too smart for his own good.  He is such a little boy now, not a baby.  Most days, I can hardly believe the whole little person he has become.  Full of hugs and snuggles, and frequently words of wisdom if you listen carefully.  Outside of the inevitable "what's that, why?" phase, Colin has developed a come back for a common parental response.  It's the one we all used to hate to hear as a child.  "No honey, that's for grown-ups, or only adults can do..."  Fill in the blank with what ever seems fitting.  His latest response "I am adult, I am a grown up, see?"  He stands up really tall, and smiles his winning smile, and he waits.  He waits to see if he has sold his mother on this idea.  I of course smile and shake my head, and say "no bud, not quite."  Of course, a few days ago, I decided to mix it up a little bit.  It went something like this...
Colin "Mommy, what's that?"
Me "That's mommy's coffee."
Colin "Can I have a sip?"
Me "No buddy, coffee is for grown ups, so that means you can't have any."
Colin "I am adult...I am a grown up, see."  He is standing tall, smiling at me, and holding out his hands to steal my coffee
Me "Well son, if that is the case, then you need to get a job.  Grown ups have jobs"
Colin "OK??"
  Poor little dude, I am already trying to put him to work...But maybe it will make him enjoy being a kid for a little longer.  So ironic that we spend our entire young life trying to get older, and our whole adult life trying to be young again...This is his school picture from this year.  Such a great picture of my "big boy," or "adult" boy in his little mind. go to corner Mommy!!!

  When people warned me about little girls being "different", I think even they underestimated my sweet Molly...This one is going to be a handful once the hormones hit.  Well, hell, she is a handful now.  Her latest stunt is to try and send ME to the corner.  I know, I know, I think I am the last mommy around that sends her kids to the corner.  Most people use "Time Out" these days.  I guess I am old fashioned.  When it came time to discipline my sweet babies, it is just what came out of my mouth naturally.  I can only assume that I was sent to "the corner" when I was small.  They know what "time out" means because of preschool, but at home, it is the dreaded corner.  Lately, when Miss Priss doesn't get her way, whatever that might be, she says "No mommy, you go to corner."  Then she proceeds to push me in that direction.  Most of the time, I can simply say "Molly..." and give her a very stern "mommy look," and she pouts and walks away.  A few times, this sweet little girl has taken a swing at me when I didn't listen to her.  I guess I earn a spanking when I don't do as she says.  She has yet to make contact, but of course she has earned herself some extra time in the corner, and an occasional pop to her bottom as well from this behavior.  I struggle with situations like this.  She is simply modeling my behavior, so how can I correct it if I do the same thing in return.  Can you correct hitting and physical misbehavior such as pushing and biting by doing the same behavior in return?  What are we teaching the kids in reality?  Don't get me wrong...I am a little old school when it comes to this kind of stuff.  I was brought up in a house with spanking, and I think I turned out OK.  In fact, when the principals had to start calling parents to ask for permission to spank their children, my mother responded with "Not only do you have my permission to spank them, make sure you call me so that I can finish the job when they get home."  My mom meant business.  I try not to ever let emotion make the decision for me.  Inside my head, I have decided on a progressive disciplinary scale.  I am not sure I could even write it down on paper, but suffice it to say that the majority of the time, time in the corner is the first rung after a verbal warning.  They can earn more time in the corner or escalate to other forms of discipline.  With Colin, he is old enough to take away toys and privileges when he misbehaves.  We can do the same with Molly, but it doesn't seem quite as effective just yet. Not to mention the fact that she does things, says things, and gets into things that Colin has never even thought about trying.  When they said "each child is different," they were not exaggerating at all.  Molly has even started to run into her bedroom, slam the door in my face, and scream "No" when she doesn't get her way.  The first time this happened, I shook my head at Mike and said "I thought we had at least 10 years before this crap started."  She is only three years old, but she is a tiny little teenager already.  Between her nude paparazzi photo shoots of her mother, her sassy mouth, and her incredible ability to open anything that is "child proof," there is never a dull moment around this house.  I love her sass and determination, secretly.  These are the kind of qualities that will come in handy as an adult.  Until then, it is my job to tone her down to an appropriate level of submissiveness, and turn her into a strong willed, but well behaved child.  This mommy gig is more than a little difficult at times :)
     On a completely different sweet little baby birds have left the nest :(  I discovered we had a nest of little baby birds in our hanging fern while I was watering the plants the other day.  As I wet the fern down with the mist from the hose, a tiny little barely feathered head peeked out at me. I stopped and took a photo with my phone.  Three little wet birds, thanks to me, were staring back at me over the edge of the pot.  They looked slightly offended.  I called for Mike to come out to look at them, and then we showed the kids.  We have been watching them everyday.  I grew concerned because I hadn't seen the mommy bird in a while, but she returned, and we watched her feed them a few days ago. I am glad she came back.  I was beginning to contemplate how I would make a bird seed smoothie, and how would I feed it to the little guys. Yesterday, I walked out on the front porch, and one of the babies was sitting on the edge of the pot, looking around.  It was still missing a few feathers on its head, but the rest of them had come in nicely.  I watched as the sweet bird looked nervous, looking around all over the place.  I stepped a little closer to check out the situation, and he stayed in the exact same place.  Maybe this was it?? Was this the first time he was trying to leave the nest?  I watched quietly as he continued to contemplate his first flight.  And then it happened...Molly came barreling out the front door making tons of noise with a water gun in hand, her brother not far behind her.  The tiny bird took flight...who could blame him? After living on our front porch his whole life, he already knew trouble when he saw it coming.  The other two birds had already left the nest.  They haven't returned :(  I will miss my little friends, even though they were at little noisy in the mornings.  I guess I am glad that we were able to help him take his "leap of faith."  I will make sure to have hanging ferns again next spring, and maybe they will return to have their babies on our porch.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


  Running...this is something that I have never done least not voluntarily.  I have run laps as punishment in both school gym class and in marching band.  But never have I chosen to run.  It isn't fun...It only takes a few minutes before I start to feel like I might die, and that I need to stop.  I can power walk with the best of them, but running, not so much.  In fact, I have said many times before, "If you see me running, you might want to pick up the pace as well. Chances are, there are men with guns or large ferocious dogs chasing me." I admire the people that can run every day, and that they seem to love it.  Exercise has never been something that I enjoy.  Occasionally I feel better after I have hit the gym, but that is more about "doing the right thing" and less about any kind of "high" I get from the activity.  I wish  got a high.  Instead, my evil nemesis, food, gives me a high.  Not a good combo for trying to get healthier.  Not only do I love food and eating, but I kind of hate exercise.  But I refuse to fail.  I am not a quitter.  So my workout buddy and I have set a goal of running the Disney Princess Half marathon this year.  It is more than a bit overwhelming when I think about it some days, but I believe I can do this.  I have a goal.  Of course, I can't even run 5K right now, so I am pretty sure it is a lofty goal to say the least.  My workout buddy, she rocks...she believes.  When she sets her mind to something, she gets it done.  She has lost 27+ lbs since we started this whole process.  I am trying to let her be my inspiration.  I looked to a running friend at work who is also an incredible role model for advice. She has had gastric bypass, lost tons of weight, and is now running marathons.  So I thought I would ask her how she started running.  Leigh's advice, just run...simple, but some how brilliant.  She said "well, I just decided I was going to do it, and I did. It may not be fun, it may be incredibly hard, but chances are, it won't kill you.  You may feel like you want to die, but it will pass, and then you have the feeling of achievement of completing your mission."  After some careful consideration, I decided that my friend may just be on to something...Even though I want to stop after a few minutes, and even though I may NEED to stop and walk after a few minutes, I can keep going, and keep trying.  So I gave it a shot.  I had to run a lap, and then walk a lap, but I completed my first mile.  I even walked a 1.5 miles to get to the track, then I ran/walked my mile, and then I walked 1.5 miles to get home.  The good news, I am still alive to tell you about this :)  I am ashamed of my time, but at this point, I am focusing on running, not on my speed.  Even stranger, I am looking forward to my next chance to try again.  She was right, you just keep running.  I do need to find a better sports bra...but that is another problem altogether...My kids were so confused as I ran around the track.  Colin asked me "why are you running Mommy? Is something wrong?"  My response "Nope bud, Mommy is hot, sweaty, and tired, but nothing is wrong."  Maybe someday soon, seeing mommy run will be more "normal."  Until then, in the immortal words of Yoda "Try or do not, there is no try..."  I am choosing to do...perhaps I have failed in the past because I have simply tried to run, instead of simply running.