Apr 6, 2010

Yes, I know. It's been a while.

So I had a holy hell of a toddler experience yesterday. Zoe is on spring break this week, yay for no taxi-driver duties! We pretty much read stories and watched videos until about three in the afternoon, at which point I decided that if I was going to cook ham for dinner, we'd better get moving. I put the ham in the oven, then loaded everyone up to find some dinner rolls at Wal-Mart. (Have you ever tried their Texas ranch rolls? So yummy! I hate Wal-Mart for so many reasons, but they do have this one saving grace.)

Before I go on, you should know that Zoe has a new fascination with charts and checklists, which I decided to capitalize upon by giving her a couple of chores. She earns a dollar a week for each chore that gets checked off the list every day. (I know, I'm totally generous, right?) Yesterday was her first payday. Two whole dollars! Plus, the one she already had, that Uncle Adam or someone gave her. Anyway, long story short, Liam is NOT into charts and checklists. Or chores. AT ALL. He strongly opposes anything that means picking anything up. His one chore is to clear the kitchen table before dinner, so we can eat, and after dinner so we can do the dishes. Or at the very least, stack them near the sink. Anyway, all week Zoe was rubbing it in that she would buy a prize with her allowance and he wouldn't have any. Which was true, even though I tried to get her to leave him alone about it and quit bragging already!!

So I'm in Wal-Mart with all three kids and a cart full of crap I didn't come in for, trying to convince Zoe that if she wants to buy anything she should SAVE her allowance for next week, so she'll have five dollars instead of only three. She would not be convinced. Which is fine- because I refuse to be the mom that tells her how to spend her money; but maddening- because she wasn't pleased with anything she could afford. She wandered aimlessly, (and S-L-O-W-L-Y) refusing to believe that the only things in the toys section for less than three dollars were matchbox cars, or bubbles. In the meantime, Liam found a dinosaur book he wanted, and I cant really justify buying him a book just to shut him up, when I made her earn her money and refused to cover the difference between her three dollars and a five dollar littlest pet-shop creature. He walked backward from the back wall, all the way to the register, "hiding" the book behind his back. I figured I would yoink it from him right after we checked out, saving the bulk of the imminent tantrum for after we were in the car, safely out of the public eye. Well, that didn't work.

I forgot to take it from him until just before we were out the door. I think he must have thought he was home-free, because he was shocked when I told him I didn't pay for that, and he would have to put it back until next time. He started crying, saying he was "just" taking it home. So, I enlisted the door greeter to help me, thinking that if it didn't come from mommy, he would put up less of a fight. Wrong again. The stupid old man wouldn't take it! I told Liam he couldn't steal, and needed to give it back to the worker. Just as Liam was about to hand it to him, the old man looks at me, and says "You don't want him to have it?" What!?!? The fact that I'm on my way OUT THE DOOR, with my stuff in bags, and a three year old throwing a fit, wasn't a clue enough for you that I'm trying to get the kid to leave the frickin book here? Sheesh! I pried the book out of Liams hands (no exaggeration), practically chucked it at the stupidest old man I've ever met, and start heading out the door. But no, Liam wants to "stay HERE!" badly enough to stand right in the entryway and stomp and scream at the top of his lungs.

I picked him up and carried him to the car, suffering kicks to my thighs and screaming in my ears all the way. I had to set him down to fish my keys out of my purse, and he ran to the other side of the car parked next to ours, screaming and stomping all the way. He seemed to be sticking close, and I learned a few years ago that you should never chase a running toddler, so I just kept and eye on him while unloaded everything from the cart to the car and got the other two kids buckled in. No less than three people asked him if he was lost, and all three gave me that disgusted look of horror, when I popped around the other vehicle to explain that he was not lost, but just letting off some steam.

Finally, there was nothing left to do, so I walked around to get him and take him back to the car. Yeah, the chasing a toddler rule still holds true. The second he saw that I was ready to pick him up, he turned and RAN, full speed, down the parking lot. I ran after him. Just as I started to run, I hear "Is that you, Rachelle?" -UGG...Of course not! Rachelle is totally together, and calm, and never has to chase her perfect children through the Wal-Mart parking lot just so she can take them home. I turned around and there was Cory, a co-worker from Arbys, who I haven't seen in about 6 years. She has her husband and two-year old with her, and looks fantastic (of course! and not at all frazzled, I might add). Cory gushes "How are you!?" -haha! Obviously I'm wonderful!!- As I ran past her, I tried to joke that I'm usually better than this, and gestured wildly to the tow-head quickly disappearing between the rows of cars. He nearly got hit by a car before I caught him by the straps of his overalls and threw him over my shoulder sack-of-potatoes style.

Accompanied by the kicking and screaming I wrestled him into his seat-belt by holding his hips down with one hand and buckling with the other, with flashes of the Dr Phil show on abusive parents going through my head. After pausing a moment to close the back door, and check myself for bruises, I started to drive out of the parking lot. I had a silent debate going in my head over whether the headline would read "Mother abuses boy in Wal-Mart parking lot" or, "Search for child-killer ensues" as Liam climbed out of his (still buckled) seat-belt, and tried to open the door. Yes, while the car was moving. When he couldn't get the door to open he figured beating the back of my arms and head with his fists would suffice, and upped the screaming volume a notch for good measure.

About a block away from Wal-Mart, I pulled off on the side of the road, pulled him out of the car, stood him on the sidewalk and asked him if he wanted to walk home. First he got louder, screaming that he didn't want to go home. I walked back toward the car, telling him that if he wanted to walk back to Wal-Mart instead, he should feel free to do so. Zoe was bawling, and screaming "Mom, he's too little to walk home! He'll get lost!!" (Oh, to be so lucky...) Of course the second I got the drivers door open again, he wanted to come with us. So, we reviewed his options again. He could SHUT THE HELL UP, buckle his seat-belt, and ride home with us. OR, he could WALK HOME ALONE. (I realize I'm a bully, and this tactic goes against every parenting experts advise, but holy freaking crap people, have the "experts" ever even seen a kid? Or less, taken one to Wal-Mart?) Whatever...

Anyway, he made it all the way home without freaking out again. The second I pulled in, I carried him to his bed and told him to stay there. He didn't cry, or even try to come out. When dinner was ready an hour later, he was sound asleep. We woke him up, but he wakes up grumpy (even on his good days, which this obviously wasn't) so we left him to drift in and out until he was ready to come eat. From the dinner table we heard him call out in his sleep "I want to WALK HOME!!" Ha ha, too late kid.

When Liam finally did come out of his room, he was contrite and sweet, apologizing on his own before being lectured by his dad, and again after. It still amazes me how I can go totally mommy-monster on them, but less than an hour later one little "I'm sorry momma" with a big hug, will still melt me completely. Brian grounded him from watching any shows, or going to any stores for a week. (Haha I guess he didn't think getting the crap beat out of me by my own three year old was enough of a punishment for taking the kids to Wal-Mart, and I needed a week of finding things for them to do, on top of it.) The joke was on him though, at least for that night, because soon after dinner, Zoe and I left for our "girls night".

Girls night is a little thing we came up with so that Zoe and I could go out without the boys. Haha - obviously. Usually she wants to go to a movie, which is more complicated than it should be, because there is almost never a movie out that we both want to see and, she almost never sits through a whole movie. For this GN, I convinced her that the bookstore and ice-cream would be way more fun. We hung out at Barnes and Noble for a couple of hours, read a bunch of books and each picked one to buy. Then we went to the Red Mango, for some ridiculously overpriced, but oh-so-yummy pomegranate frozen yogurt. She picked a Princess diary at B&N, so we completed some of the fill-in the blanks about me pages together while we ate our yogurt. Then, we headed to the dollar store (she still had three dollars to spend).

She was so funny, as it got later, she was getting overtired and giddy hyper-active. She kept saying "This is the best night of my life!" I kept thinking how the best night of my life was probably the night of her birthday. Laying there in a hospital bed, watching her every move with total fascination. I couldn't even believe it was true, that she was really there, and I was a mother! Finally! Our girls night out felt like a pretty close second best night of my life though, after the ordeal with Liam earlier, to be able to go out and spend time with my child, in public, and be reminded that they do in fact, know how to behave appropriately. So about two and a half more years, and I'll be able to take Liam in public without total humiliation...? I hope.

Jul 16, 2009


Zoe had a sleepover with her best-est cousin Kaylissa the other night. They had lots of fun fighting over who would sleep where, and who was being meaner to whom until the wee wee hours, but the next morning all was well. Sleepy, but otherwise happy to play together.

I decided to take the kids to the park (mostly I needed a HUGE diet coke from a major lack of sleep the night before) where they played happily for a solid couple of hours. I heard them pretending with each other as they played, and most of it was the usual five year old girlie princess stuff, accented by Liams insistence that he was a horse. So cute! Kaylissa is already a little boy crazy; every boy she saw, she would insist that the boy was their boyfriend. (not just hers, mind you, but theirs, both of them - I had to laugh)

Anyway, on the way home, we stopped by Brian's work to say hi for a minute, and as we were leaving there was a man sitting on the grass... Kaylissa got excited "That guy is our boyfriend." Zoe, in her most disgusted tone replied "No, he's gross." (he was.) I giggled, and interrupted with some of my usual sarcasm, "Well, aren't we selective!" Zoe looked right at Kaylissa and said "Yeah, Kaylissa, I'm- (insert sexy shoulder shimmy) selective." I nearly wrecked the car trying not to laugh out loud!

PS - Katie, if you are reading this - where the crap is Kaylissa getting this boyfriend stuff? It's hilarious!

May 13, 2009

Best Buds

So I was sitting at the computer, sorting spam out of my inbox. The boys were finally napping, and Zoe was behind me building a lego tower, patiently waiting for me to get her some lunch.

She picked up the tower and brought it around to show me how tall it was (all the way up to her earlobe!!). As she carried it away, the bottom half broke off, and she exclaimed "Way to go, Jesus!"

Needless to say, I was appalled. We do more than our fair share of cursing around here, but this isn't one she is likely to have heard, well, anywhere she has ever been. I gasped, then inquired as calmly as possible. "What did you say?"

She laughed! Then explained; "Well, we were trying to carry the tower without breaking it, and Jesus just broke the bottom right off!"

"Um... Oh."

Well, I'd have thought he'd be better at legos than that, but apparently not.

Apr 24, 2009

green teeth?

Scene: We are sitting around the table, just finishing up dinner.
Brian: "I'm so tired, I had a Green Tea Sobe and it gave me a major buzz, and now I'm totally drooping."
Zoe: "Did your teeth ever go back to white?"
Brian: "Uh... I guess they are kinda yellow, huh?"
Me: Laughing... "She thought you said you had green teeth!"
Zoe: Laughing...Rolling eyeballs... "Dad! You were trying to trick me! You don't have green teeth!"

Apr 15, 2009


Saturday we decided to go to the art museum and get take pictures of the kids,in honor of Finn being six months old now! (If you can believe it... I can't.) Getting my kids to all sit still at the same time is definitely better left to the professionals; but, we did get a few cute snapshots, and had some fun wandering around looking at all the paintings and sculptures.

Then we headed over to Brians' Parents house for the annual easter egg hunt.

Besides the hunt, Brians' mom always comes up with fun little games and activities for the kids. She is so creative!

This year they played easter bingo, had a bean bag toss (complete with prizes for the "winner(s)") then made puddle jumpers out of empty food storage cans! They LOVED it! Especially Zoe, she thinks walking on cans is the coolest thing in the world, and asked me why I never told her about it before!

The kids love to go to "grandma and grandpa oggies" to spend time with their cousins too. Grandpa barbecued some hot dogs and hamburgers for us too, so we ate a yummy lunch, and hung out way longer than we should have. Liam was long past the point of needing his nap by the time we got home!
Since Liam had such a late nap, and we didn't want to continue the trend at bedtime, we needed some serious playtime to wear him out. (Stupid rain!!) So, we headed for McDonalds. Lena and Allie and Lydia and Laurel and eventually Jessica, came over later and we played cards till the wee hours... Then, woke up to check out what the easter bunny brought the kids!
Zoe and Liam each got a little notebook in their easter baskets, and Zoe calls hers a diary. She came up to Brian Sunday afternoon and said "Dad, I cant find my diarrhea, have you seen it?" Funny kid.

My parents took the sisters still living at home, and took off to Arizona for the weekend, so instead of the usual Sunday dinner at moms, we had a "big kids" dinner at my house. It was fun to have all my siblings over (well, most- the adult ones anyway), but my house is way squishy with that many bodies in it! My house was built in 1943, and for that time, it was an average sized house. Now, though, its definitely considered teeny tiny. Makes me think about my Dad's parents house; it is even smaller than mine, and they raised 8 kids in it! I am for sure not having eight kids crammed into this house - my limit is four- and even then, I dont know how people did it! We had fun though, we like each-other, so squishy was okay for a few hours. I was sad when everyone left, that meant the weekend was officially over!

Mar 11, 2009

This is how it works...

...you peer inside yourself
you take the things you like
then try to love the things you took
And then you take that love you made
and stick into into some-
someone else's heart pumping someone else's blood
And walking arm in arm you hope it wont get hard
but even if it does, you'll just do it all again...

We love this song at my house. Its been stuck in my head for days. The kids love how it says "uh-oh" Haha... I'm loving all of Regina Spektor lately. She's been our cleaning music. If I turn it up, the kids will "help" clean up the house. Liam wanders from room to room singing "uh-oh!" because that's his job. Oh! Speaking of cleaning- I have to put in some pictures of the little worlds I find when I'm cleaning... always crack me up. Last time around I took a couple shots before I undid the mess and sent it back down to the toy room.
Pony S&M??

And rush hour in toddler town.

I started a part time job a couple weeks ago, so this blog has been neglected a little lately. It sucks to have to leave my kiddies behind, but its only a couple days a week, and I'm hoping the extra money will ease the stress a little. I'm trading one stress for another I guess. Zoe will start Kindergarten this fall, so the plan is to quit the job before that happens so I wont have to have anyone take her to school. Thank goodness for my friends being willing to watch my kids on the weekdays when I have to work. Most of the time I work on Saturdays and Sundays though, and Brian "watches" them. They love being home with dad for a change. He does a great job with them, and it makes for some great bonding time. That doesn't stop me from being bitter about leaving them all day though. I'm glad to be able to work during the day instead of nights, even if it is every weekend.

Baby Finn has started eating rice cereal. He LOVES it! He eats it better than Liam ever did. Of course, Liam wanted people food almost from the second he popped out, so that's not much of a comparison. He's also getting teeth (still). They seem to be going up and down without breaking through his gums. So they just cause him all kinds of pain! Poor baby Finny-din-din.

Zoe came home from pre-school yesterday and told me that dinosoars are cold blooded, and extinct. And they are lizards, and have a back-bone. She was so funny! I was holding in giggles the whole time she was reciting her dinosoar facts! She held up one hand and checked off a finger for each dinosoar fact, and was very serious about the whole thing. This is why I am glad I sent her to pre-school after all - they are teaching her all the things that I would never consider. Not that its all that important for a five year old to know useless trivia about dinosoars, but it's fun that she feels smart because she knows useless trivia about dinosoars. Oh, and a darling song about them too! I love it!

Liam is finally talking. YAY! It's still kind of garbled a lot of the time, but at least he's trying, which is major for him. He's so funny, he says "No WAY! Mama!" when I tease him. And he tells me when he's hungry, and what he wants to eat, instead of screaming his brains out while pulling me toward the kitchen. He's pretending a lot more too, not just cars and horses anymore; now he gets Zoe's purses, and fills them with random things, and comes in to kiss me bye-bye before "leaving" on a little trip. When I ask him where he's going he says "uhh-no-no..." (I don't know) and gets shy and ducks his head. His pretend games are more private than Zoes. He doesn't share his imaginary world too much, which is nice for me because he doesn't need me to be the prince or evil step-mother. But, it would be fun to know what he's playing without spying on him!

Mar 5, 2009

Oh my Zoe!

She makes me laugh so much. We were at my mom's last night, and my mom pulled out a roll of frozen sugar cookie dough, and was letting the kids help her cut slices and put them on the cookie sheet.
Zoe said "Can I eat some of this, or does it have raw eggs in it?" My mom told her it has frozen eggs in it, and it was safe to eat. I said "WHAT?!!? How do you figure?!" Zoe looked at my mom and said "I'm not gonna eat it, because my Mom and Dad taught me better than that."
My poor Mom. I was proud of Zoe though. That was pretty brave of her to say.
I told Brian later, if Zoe ever decides to do something she knows she shouldn't we can pretty much rule out peer pressure as an excuse. Also, my mom is probably going to get salmonella one of these days. Frozen eggs are ok to eat? She must be delusional!