Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The New Innies and Outies

Well, there is a very good chance that we have FINALLY gotten over the hump with Rhino's potty training. It has been a long and tearfilled journey but he has finally taken mercy on me and decided that the potty is not the black hole of death.

In celebration of this fact we are now moving on to encouraging very "boy" behaviors such as standing and aiming. For the sake of my bathroom floor, we started this project outside. Yes, I have been encouraging my son to pee on trees in the back yard. And before you all freak out and call me looney because after all suburbia isn't country, we have a very high privacy fence and lots of trees and bushes. No one is "peeping" on my son. And he is keenly aware that this is only BACK yard behavior.

Last night we moved training inside. Unfortunately the timing could have been better. Orangutan was jumping in for her shower when suddenly a completely naked (fresh out of the tub) Rhino came sprinting into the bathroom screaming, "Gotta pee! Gotta pee!" Nothing like an entrance. He was all too excited to show his sister his new "trick."

I knew a conversation was about to happen but with Orangutan you never really know which way it's going to go.

"Hey Mom! Do ALL boys have those sticky outie things?"

(oh crap!) "Yes honey they do." (Dear Lord let it end now. Please! I beg you! Let it end now!)

"But girls have innie things."

"That's right." (Ok, this could still be saved as long as she doesn't ask why. And even then I can go with the God's plan line.)

"Well, that's just too bad for boys then." Said as if the conversation was done. On that note? Now I have questions!

"Why do you say it's too bad?"

"Well, if boys aren't paying attention then they'll miss the potty and make a mess. Then the Mommys will get mad and probably spank them for being messy."

"Is that what you would do if you were a mommy for a boy?"

"Oh Mom! I'm only having little girls. Boys are just a mess."

If only you knew O. If only you knew! And on top of that she still has no interest in boys which delights my little soul that much more. I thought we were having issues because there is a little boy in her class who adores the very air she breathes.

I did however forget to remind her that that was a Mommy-Orangutan conversation before she left for school today so I could be in for an interesting e-mail from Mrs. F if things go poorly.

Try not to think too much about this the next time you shower. Are you an innie or an outie?


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Well, I have No More Children!

Orangutan gave me some interesting news Saturday night.

"Mom, some day you aren't going to have any kids anymore."

"Really O? Why is that?"

"Because we'll all grow up and move away."

I let a little smirk show up. "You think you might know when that will be? 'Cause I'd like to mark the date on my calendar." I was halfway out the door when she piped up.

"I'm not quite sure but I think it might be April 23rd."

She gave herself, Rhino and Marmoset five days to grow up. I'll be forwarding their mail as soon as I get their new address.

The best part to me was that today is her first field trip with school. Apparently when you're old enough for a field trip you MUST be grown up. Have to love Kid Logic!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Proof that We're Doing Okay!

Sometimes even moms need a little encouragement to know that they are doing okay. We don't get regular performance evaluations like other careers, you know! Unless you count the dinnertime feedback we get about green veggies.

This morning Lion was getting ready for the hunt and I was tidying up the Den. Through the sliding glass door I watched Rhino slip into the screen porch and scoop up a riding toy. When he did, he bumped a loose panel on the side of the hot tub base and it fell over. Poor little guy froze in his tracks.

He peeked out onto the porch, and then looked back at the panel on the floor. Back out on the porch and back at the panel. Then he slipped back out the door and very carefully and quietly closed the door. I, of course, was laughing hysterically at the whole thing because he had no idea I had seen him. And it goes without saying that I recounted the whole incident for Lion.

"Did you say anything to him yet?"
No. Are you going to get him or am I?
"I'll get him!"

And just as Lion was about to pull the big "Gotcha!" (because he's the one who didn't put the panel on right in the first place) Rhino came around the corner. He looked like he was about to cry but was trying to be brave.

"Ummm, Mom? I have to tell you something. I think I might have broken something."
Where buddy? (This is me laughing in my poor son's face!)
"Out there." I really thought he was going to cry!

Lion and I scooped him up and reassured him that he hadn't broken it at all.

But it just goes to show you. You have no idea if the lessons are getting all the way through those little heads and suddenly they bring it back to you.

Of course in about 10 more years he's going to start lying through his teeth . But until then I'll just revel in the fact that I did ok so far!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tuesday Tribute: Lessons of Childhood

I know you are used to my Tributes being a little lighter in nature but this week I have a genuine Tribute to pass out. Here's to my children and their lessons.

This whole blog is really dedicated to all the little lessons I learn from them and silly things they do. But here is a lesson we can all take from my children. Take joy.

Friday afternoon I was folding laundry and watching my little Marmoset play with the dog. She had a ribbon off of the front door wreath and she was trying her hardest to catch the dog so that she could "tangle" him and take him for a walk. She tried to tie the ribbon on his tail, his back foot, his ear and his nose. She was nothing if not persistent. Anyone else would have gotten frustrated and given up.

"So why is the lesson 'Take Joy' instead of 'Be persistent' Sarah?"

Because everytime she failed she would fall on the floor giggling hysterically. And not just giggling. That bubbly giggle laughter that made me giggle and laugh until tears came to my eyes. She was truly joyful to be chasing the dog. It didn't matter that she never won. She was happy with just her ribbon and her dog.

I folded the laundry and pondered what I had just seen. I try very hard to turn things back to my own life as I watch my children play them out so the question that confronted me was this. Am I content to take joy in what I have?

In the current state of affairs in our nation there is plenty to be down and out about. There is plenty of finger pointing and blaming and lamenting for everyone. But is there enough joy? Is anyone actually looking at what they have and saying, "Well, ok"?

I have three incredible children and a loving hubby. I have a roof over my head and food in my pantry. I have sunshine and bubbles. I can take joy. I can allow myself to be happy. I don't need for anything. So "ok."

And here's to my Marmoset and the gift of her joy.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

How About a Third Helping?

Well, I'm adding to my bloggy family. No. This is not a preggers announcement. Could someone please pick my sister up off the floor? Baxter? Thanks bud.

No, I'm just adding to my writing projects so on top of my two blogs and the other book that keeps rolling around in my head, I am going to contribute to Kadi's project Making a Mommy. If you haven't been there yet you really should visit. It's a gathering place for mothers to share the wisdom that they have found in their own parenting journey. So if you are a mom to be, a mom who has been, or a mom in middle of the process there is something there for you. Kadi should know! She has seven.

She is also welcoming other writers so get your tookus over there and throw you hat in the ring. In the meantime, feel free to pop over and visit me there from time to time too. I always welcome the company.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Every Child is Unique in their Own Unique Way!

All together now. Well, duh!! But I don't think you fully grasp what I'm saying.

Yes, all children have their own personalities and likes and dislikes. They all look a little different unless they are identical twins and even then something differentiates the two. But there are some...we'll call them "quirks" to some children that make them a little more unique than average.

Example - The Rhino has taken to singing everything. (His father is so proud of his impending Broadway career.) He came up from the playroom while Lion, Silverback and I were playing Texas Hold Em Saturday evening panting like a dog. "Are you a dog now son?" I asked thinking he was just pretending that the climb up the stairs had taken it out of him.

"No Mom! I'm a boy! But I have to (threw his arms open as wide as he could) PEEEEEEEEE!!!"
He sang that last little bit like he was Pavarotti center stage at the Kennedy Center. My head immediately hit the table and the next thing I knew I was laughing so hard I couldn't decide if I should hyperventilate or cry.

As if that wasn't enough, I handed out some leftover jelly beans for dessert last night. Marmie decided that she didn't really want hers so suddenly they were gone. When I asked what happened to the beans, Rhino piped up with (to the tune of There's a Hole in the Bucket)

"I put them in my mouth and I chomped them.
I chomped them. I chomped them.
Put them in my mouth and I chomped them.
I chomped them right down."

He's special.

Then you have Marmie. She took her uniqueness to a whole new level today. Tell me. How do your children react to Tylenol? Legally induced coma? Nothing? How about Crackhead? Do any of you get that? Because that's what I got!

She woke up spitting mad at the world and complaining that everything was owie from her nose to her knees and even her "hairsh" were "bad." She felt a little warm so like the loving and concerned mother I am I studied the Tylenol label and gave her the dosage recommended for her size and age. BBBRRRNNNTT! Wrong answer!

Yes, her mood improved dramatically. She started running in circles singing, talking and babbling to herself like a lab rat on speed. At one point (and the video of this would have been AWESOME!) she did that lay on your side and run in a circle thing. Then she rolled from one side of the room to the other. I kid you not when I say this child lost it in such a grand fashion I didn't know if I should call 911 or laugh my pushers off. As I told my sister, she went around the bend with both arms above her head screaming "Wheeeeeeeeee!"

And then she was fine. The spaz out lasted about 30 minutes and then she was mellow and sweet - my normal kid. I knew when her 4 hours were up though because she started all the whiny, achy, cranky nonsense all over again. Of course by then it was time for nap and this momma ain't no fool! I was not about to pump it into her a second time!

I even went so far as to wait until nap and carpool were over and I dropped her dose to a half. Maybe the whole dose was just too much for her. This time she ran circles around her friend yelling "R look at me! I runnin'! I runnin'!" Then she ran to the other side of the room and fell on her face. No lie! Like she was doing a belly flop into a pool - WHAM! Into the floor. She flipped over, said, "Hey Momma! I fall down! Wanna see 'gain?" And she lathered, rinsed and repeated! This time it was only about 15 minutes of insanity but insanity just the same.

She's special. And she is now limited to Motrin.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesday Tribute: Heaven Bless the Bean People!

What? You expected some normal touching Tribute? Well then, you definitely have missed my last few tributes. Here's to the Bean People!

#5. Ageless, Always Home for Christmas, Big Brother Dude.

(This isn't him! But he DOES look familiar to me for some reason...)

You know him! The stud who always manages to come home for Christmas in the Folgers commercials. Now I don't drink Folgers coffee so his placement on this list is very special. He gets to be one of my Bean People because he never ages! This guy has been coming home for Christmas since the 80's and he has yet to go flabby, gray or bring home a woman. He's awesome and any woman out there who denies that she gets a little secret smile every year when he shows his devilishly handsome face is a big fat liar!

#4. The Ultimate Mountain Man and his Trusty Steed.

You know who I'm talking about - Juan Valdez! Who can't love an authentic Brazilian with a handsome burro? And the burro was always cooperative. Did you ever notice that? He never brayed or balked or just turned stubborn. You have to give this duo their kudos. I think they are the only Bean People I've ever seen do a cameo on the big screen. Know the movie? Bruce Almighty! Watch it again. They're there.

#3.Freaky Mer Woman with the Crazy Arms - or is that her tail?

Now this one makes the list because of the coffee - not because of the chick. She freaks me out. Are those her arms? And is she trying to tell me to think something special? Is she putting her caffiene juju on me? Nice hair by the way. Strategically placed wouldn't you say? But we have to give her some credit. Nothing starts your day off like a double shot venti caramel machiatto with extra cream and sprinkles. Or I could just shoot adrenaline straight into my heart.

#2. The Criers on the Roof!

I love these guys! It's the Dunkin commercial where the lady takes a sip of coffee and she's suddenly touting Dunkin's praises from her rooftop. There are two people in particular who get me every time though. The first is the lady who is too afraid to stand up so she ends up straddling her roof and hanging on for dear life. Watch for her next time. She makes me smile. But then you have the lady who makes me laugh. She stands up there in her bathrobe I think and screams "THIS IS MY SIXTH CUP!" No, really? No wonder you're on your roof! I'd be on the moon! Bless her heart.

And my #1 Bean Person is none other than Fred himself.

I am the worlds biggest Dunkin fan. From the blueberry cake doughnuts (Sorry Fer) to the Bavarian cream filled to the simple glazed. And don't get me started on the Munchkins - those puppies pop a little too easy. But the doughnuts aren't all that make them the #1 Bean Person. Now that I can get their coffee in just about every grocery store and buyer's club, I am in heaven. Have you had their coffee? It's a delightfully smooth and mild coffee that brews perfectly every time. Every morning this loving nectar flows into my coffee cup with just the right touch of cream and sugar and nurses me through my morning routine. It's all I can manage not to brew a second pot after Lion heads to the hunt.

Here's to the Bean People and all of us who support them like our life depends on it. Next week a tribute to the pharmaceautical companies who provide pain relief when we don't get enough of our Bean People.
Now if you were looking for the REAL Tributes head over to Jay and Deb's and find out who is truly worthy. Thanks again guys for letting me spout off and ruin the mood.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Suck it Up You Whiners!

I'm pretty sure I'm going to upset some people with this post but quite honestly I really am not too terribly concerned.

Apparently I missed the announce ment that this is "Poor Mom" media week. It started with Oprah and her show on Monday. I didn't see it but a friend was texting me all the nitty gritty. Apparently it was the secret life of moms and the challenges mom's face. Then the Today show got on the bandwagon with ways mom's can take care of themselves and the relationship with husbands and wives.

Here's my stance. Unless you are the mother of special needs children, your job isn't really any harder than any other job on the planet. You just have issues with work ethic and prioritizing.

Did I just hear a collective rising of blood pressures? Wow! That was cool! I guess I should explain myself.

We don't have it any harder than any other mothers in history. They had to work farms, handwash clothing, bake their own bread and other food stuffs, store their own food and love, bathe and feed children. In other words they had full time jobs and were mothers. They didn't have the luxury of tossing a load in the washer, starting the dishwasher and and then posting a blog while clothes and dishes were getting clean.

They didn't have the luxury of starting a movie in another room so that they could run the vacuum without children pulling the plug out of the wall. Oh wait! They didn't have power much less a vacuum.

No, they didn't have soccer practice and gymnastics and playdates and doctor's appointments and mothers morning out. They lived a pretty solitary life unless you count the trip to church every Sunday.

So here's my deal. If I have an issue with how "hard" my job is, maybe I need to sit back and look at what I'm really doing. For example, right now I'm supposed to be upstairs shampooing my livingroom carpets. I'm on the computer. Is that my job or am I allowing my priorities to twist in the wind of selfish endeavors?

I just took 15 minutes and actively coached/helped my children clean the playroom. I hate the playroom but if I expect my children to learn to clean on their own shouldn't I model it for them? Instead of pointing and saying "do it" and then whining about them not working, maybe I should take an active supervisory role.

We fuss and whine that we just have too much to do all the time. Ever think about committing to a little less? We complain that we have to work and clean and cook and still have time for parenting. Have we turned off the TV? Have we given our children chores of their own? Have we asked for help?

I think sometimes we over commit and let things slide so that we can blame our children and husbands for not helping. We want to be martyrs. We want to lament our position because we don't want to resolve it and tough up. And don't get me started on asking for help. We don't ask for help because we have set the standard so high that no one else can do it "right." Just one more way to make ourselves martyrs.

Motherhood is no harder than any other job. You have expectations imposed on you. The difference in motherhood is we are self employed. That means we are setting our own expectations.

Here is what I want to achieve in my position as a mother and wife.

I want my children to learn how to be responsible for themselves, their actions and their future.
I want my house to be clean.
I want to make sure that my marriage lasts and is full of love and fun.
I want my children to learn that love, friendship and the intangibles are more important than any "stuff" they can ever accumulate.

How hard is that? It looks like I have great job security and a lot of opportunity to have a huge impact. I just have to prioritize.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Tuesday Tribute: Mother's Little Helper

Jay and Deb are going to kick me out of Tribute if I keep picking such abstract and really quite bizzarre tributes. But I can't pass this up.

It's spring break week here and like all mothers I am losing my sanity bit by screechy little bit. I love my children. I do. They make me rely on "helpers" sometimes though and in an effort to be "real" I am opening the blinds into my helper life. I'll post these according to insanity levels.

Minor insanity is controlled by One Eyed Monster and his pal Don Vito Douglas Player. They kick into action when certain maintenance activities need to be completed to keep the house from caving in on itself. Quietly they entertain the masses by broadcasting favorite cartoons movies and other diversions. Admit it - they're your little helper too.

Growing insanity calls for Player Do. And while I fully understand that PD can contribute to the insanity by being crumbled into microscropic bits and ground into the used to be beige carpet or tracked onto the newly mopped floor, he still manages to occupy and distract long enough for basic hygiene maintenance.

Escalating insanity can usually be staved off by Transport and an off location recreation zone. Sometimes however the rec zone can be insanity in and of itself which is a risk a truly escalating situation requires (as well as a smack down on a four year old or two).

Out of Control insanity. This is one ugly fellow and I have found that he only speaks two languages. White Flag and Tom Collins. When the hair pulling has turned into kicking, scratching, screeching, naked toy throwing, tantrum having, pants pooping, tears flowing and the children can't handle me any more, they throw up their white flags and mix me a Collins.

What can I say? Spring Break brings out the best in all of us!
Now for those of you who were looking for a real Tribute, please head over to Jay's Place and snag a few links of heart warming treasures. There are people out there who really are sane and delightful. You should hang out with them.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Orangutan Says...

My spare exhibit is here today and he doesn't have the clearest speech I've ever heard. O was talking to him this morning and I followed it up with a question about whether she thought he might want to eat breakfast with her.

"I don't know Mom. I don't speak his language."

Get used to it baby. None of us speak "guy."


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Could a Mother Be Prouder?

Or more jealous?

Orangutan came home from school today with this.

My daughter has been published. In a hardback no less! I can't even get a stinkin' magazine or newspaper article. Maybe I should start writing the kind of page turner material that my beloved Orangutan has been writing. Reproduced with permission by the way.

"Once upon a time in a kingdom far away from New York, on the other side of the world, where Santa Claus lives, and there's lots of snow lived a King named "Old King Cole.

One day, he found a unicorn lost in the snow with a little pony. They were trying to find their way out of the snow.

So the King decided to help them to go to a place out of the snow, where there's lots of fun called Georgia.

The king made really nice friends with the pony and the unicorn. The King, the unicorn and the pony went to get a drink of water.

The King told them a joke. He told them 'Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall, but Humpty Dumpty didn't fall.'

They all laughed and laughed at the King's joke, and they all lived happily ever after.

The End."

I'm sorry. The book tour hasn't been finalized yet but I'll post it as soon as we finish up with the Caldecott interview.


Wordless Wednesday: Take That Tyra!

You can't make THIS a Supermodel!

She already rocks the Runway!