The Kids

The Kids

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thoughts On Day Three Of The '09 Blizzard

The first day my husband has a snow day at school is a blessing. By the third day, it is almost an annoyance.

My kids have reached a level of boredom that causes them to lay on the living room floor, stare at the ceiling, and tell me what shapes they see in the whiteness above them.

There are two kinds of drivers in Cincinnati. The ones who grew up in Ohio and have a pretty good idea of how to drive in snow. And the ones who crossed the river from the south and have a real love of hitting the brakes on icy roads.

If someone is going to honk their horn behind me while I wait to turn left onto an icy road, you better believe they are going to wait another full minute before I turn.

If my husband does not move from my "break while the kids are napping" chair soon, he should fear his life.

Instead of joining the gym this week, I was snowed in, made cookies out of boredom, and ate them. I blame the weather for my weight gain.

Age four is the magical age where kids actually enjoy the snow. Abby could stay out for hours, while Caleb hid in the garage with the bikes.

Miracles do happen. Our part of the city is usually the first to lose power and so far, we are okay. Always a good thing on a LOST night.

The joys of owning a home become abundantly clear when it snows...shoveling the driveway, salting the sidewalk, digging out the mail box, leaving the trash cans out for numerous days until the garbage truck shows up...which leads me to wonder-do they recycle stuff after it has been left in inches of snow and ice for two days?

The cost of living on a nice, quiet cul-de-sac? The snow plow completely ignores you.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Adventures in Pregnancy Tests

Before I begin this post, please note-I am not pregnant. There may be times in this story where one might think I am, but do not be fooled (like I was).

It began last week, when I thought I might be pregnant. I took a test and was disappointed to find it negative. I followed the intructions by waiting a few more days, then took another one. This particular test did not work.

This is where it gets fun.

Being the money saver that I am, I called Kroger and explained I had bought an inefffective test from their store and wondered if they let buyers receive another one for free. Thankfully, they do. I found it odd that they wanted me to return the old one (really-it's my pee on a stick), but I packaged it up with the receipt and went about returning it. They assured me I could return it to any Kroger, so I went to the one two minutes from my house.

I went to the customer service desk, quietly trying to explain my situation (and you know a line starts to form behind me at that exact moment), while the lady looks at me like I am completely insane. She then calls over to another worker to get their opinion on it. I believe I said out loud, "Please, let's involve more people in this." These two women had not a clue what to do (even though the answer was simple-give me another test) so they asked a man.

My face was beet red by this point.

Well, the man did not know what to do and while the three of them stood around discussing the problem of the day, another worker three aisles away decided to yell, "Hey, what's going on?"

I had to bite my tongue to keep from yelling at the nosy twit.

They finally asked a manager (novel idea) who told them I had to return it to the original store.

Fun times.

So, I packed up the kids, headed to the store twelve minutes away (Cincinnati has Krogers about every two miles in every part of the city), walked up to the customer service desk and was just thrilled to find that a man was working the desk.

Thankfully this young man was embarrassed enough to not ask further details, directed me to the tests and let me walk away with whatever one I choose-no further money involved.

This test turned out to be positive, which we were thrilled about. We have been talking about whether to try for a third child or not so I guess our true feelings were discovered through this process. I called my doctor to check with them first (I trust the tests, but like to have a doctor actually tell me for sure) and the nurse said the tests are accurate and to set up my eight week appointment.

So, I made plans to pack up the kids and surprise my parents for the weekend (especially since it was my mom's birthday on the 24th), but just in case, took a test the day I was leaving. It was negative. I called my doctor again and they finally decided I was worth seeing that day. They treated me like a pregnant patient, gave me all the paperwork on what to eat and what to do, and then told me in the room I was not pregnant.

The disappointment I felt leaving that office made me have a greater sympathy for women who miscarry. I sobbed over something I never had and it made me mourn for those who have real loss.

The moral of the story-do not trust the tests. Sure, 99% of the time they are right, but that 1% does exist. Trust me. And if you run into an emotional rollercoaster of a week like I did-find the humor in it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Yes We Can

Tuesday was an exciting day. Our country made history with our new president. The kids watched some of the events of the day with me, but really did not understand the significance of the moment. Caleb kept interrupting, asking to watch Cars. Abby was a little better, but in all honesty, her attention span only went as far as two things: The new first daughters and Aretha Franklin's hat.

Everytime she saw the little girls, she kept saying, "They are just like me!" And when Aretha began singing, she said, "Wow, Mommy-I really like her voice! And look at that hat-I love it!"

In the midst of all the excitement the world was experiencing the moment Obama was sworn in, our home became the place of another first time event. I was upstairs, putting laundry away and listening to the speech of our new president, when I heard these words from Abby: "Mommy, Caleb peed on the floor!"

Always my favorite thing to hear.

However, it was not as bad as it seemed. He actually was sitting on his potty and did not quite grasp the concept of aiming for inside the seat. He did manage to get a little bit in the bucket so that was cause for celebration! I expressed my congratulations and pride for him and he got so excited, he yelled, "I did it!"

(And once he saw he got some M&Ms for his accomplishment, the party really began.)

So, while our country was chanting, "Yes we can," my two-year old was saying the same thing.

Monday, January 19, 2009

We Were Once That Age

So many times this blog is about the hilarious things my children do or say. Tonight, as I was getting them out of the bath and ready for bed, I had a flashback of my own childhood. It is not actually my own flashback, but since I have heard the story so many times, I feel like it is my own memory.

I must have been around two or three years old and was supposed to be taking a nap. Unfortunately for my mom, she had left a jar of vasoline in my room. When she found me, I was finishing off the entire jar and running it through my hair.

My explanation? I said to my horror-stricken mother, "I'm petty, Mommy! I'm petty!"
(Translation-"I'm pretty")

I believe it took weeks for the vasoline to wash out of my hair (the length of time gets longer each time the story is told) and I had a permanent pony-tail for awhile. (Perhaps this explains my high-maintenance hair that I have today.)

It is good to remember the ridiculous things we did as children. That way, when our children do things to make our jaws drop in complete helplessness, we can remember we were once that age and it will make a great story someday.

Friday, January 16, 2009

What's Inside

While eating lunch today, Abby and Caleb were discussing many thought provoking things. Like who their favorite Car character is, what they were eating for lunch, what Abby did at school today-the usual.

Then, Abby randomly says to her little brother, "Caleb, did you know if you took off your skin, you would see the inside of your body?"

While I choked on my lunch, she continued, "You can see all the stuff inside, like your heart and your bones and Jesus...hey Caleb, did you know that Jesus and God are in here (pointing to her chest)?"

Caleb immediately looked down at his chest and peered into his shirt. He kept trying to look inside himself and said, "I want to see Him! Where is He?"

Abby said, "No, no, Caleb-you don't see Jesus until you go to Heaven!" in a tone that suggested she was all wise and knowing, while her brother was clueless. I even caught a glimpse of her rolling her eyes while she explained it to him.

Well, I am glad my four-year old understands such a mystery. I guess that is why we are supposed to have child-like faith.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Battle Of The Big Boy Bed

The time finally arrived where I gave in and put Caleb in a big boy bed. With Abby, she was in one before she was two years old, since her brother was on his way. But, with Caleb, I put off this process as long as possible. It is completely selfish, but I have enjoyed keeping him trapped in his crib so that he naps and I get a break.

However, when I continually found him pretending to sleep in his sister's bed, I took the hint and found some great deals on craigslist (love that site) on a frame, then continued to the store for mattresses and the Cars bed set. I swore I would never give into the commercialized stuff for bedrooms, but the kid is obsessed with that movie and any kind of car in general.

So, last week I picked a day to put it together, lugged the second hand Pottery Barn headboard up the stairs (I think I broke my big left toe in the process), stored the crib in the garage (I am so longing for a basement) and put away every possible play item I could think of in his room.

I forgot about the books.

For the past four days, this little man has found every possible way of making his books the most exciting event to happen in the afternoon. After the first two days, I got smart and put them in the hallway so he was left with nothing to find. The result? He kept knocking on his door, asking for "another book, Mommy!"

Now, I once considered myself slightly experienced when it came to these milestones in my children's lives. When Abby first slept in her bed, we had a two day battle of discipline for every time she got out of her bed, and she eventually figured out who was in charge.

With Caleb, not so much.

I have heard every excuse in the book on why he will not nap:
"Mommy, I'm not tired!"
"Mommy, I don't like this blanket!"
"Mommy, I need a car!"
"Mommy, I want to get out!"
"Mommy, I pooped!"

Which leads me to the convenient change in his bowel movements-he suddenly is filling his diaper in the middle of nap time. I have to admit, that is talent.

Finally, after days of practically falling asleep at the dinner table in exhaustion (that would be me and Caleb), he gave in.

True, he fell asleep pretty much the time when his sister started waking up, but I'll take what I can get.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Latest From Abby

Just a couple of recent one liners from my daughter...

"Mom, I'm getting to be a grown up because my legs are getting long, you know that?"

"My heart feels big 'cause I'm so happy."

My heart is big, too, Abby.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Discussing Theology Over Breakfast

While eating breakfast with Abby this morning, she randomly asked me when she could go to Heaven. This obviously is not the first time she has asked this, since I have written about such conversations in the past. This particular conversation cracked me up, though.

Abby: "When can I go to Heaven?"
Me: "Hopefully when you are older."
Abby: "Like when I'm 15?"
Me (slightly panicked): "I hope you're a little older than that. Heaven is where we go when we die."
Abby: "When we die?"
Me (regretting the honesty and hitting the pause button on the Today show so I could try and concentrate): "We live here on earth for awhile, telling people about Jesus, and then we will eventually die and go to Heaven, which is a good thing. But, we don't need to go there until God wants us to."

(Okay, it was the first conversation of the day and I was really tired.)

Abby: "When was Jesus born?"
Me: "Over 2000 years ago."
Abby: "2000 years ago?! Like before people were born?"
Me: "No, people were alive. Remember that Mary and Joseph were His parents?"
Abby: "Oh yeah."
Me: "You see, Abby, God has always been around. He made the earth and the first people. Then those people had babies, who grew up and had babies and that's how all the rest of the people have been made. Then, after a long time of people being born and making all sorts of mistakes, Jesus was born to save all of us from our sins. That way, when you fight with your brother or talk back to me or when I lose my temper or say mean things, that's forgiven because of what Jesus did for us."
Abby: "Oh. Mommy, you can turn your news back on now."

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What Used To Be

I used to be able to get up early and have quiet time without interruption. Now, with the slightest light that shines into my daughter's room, she wakes up and wants to join me.

I used to run errands whenever I wanted. Now, I have to stop and think, "Is it worth it?" before piling the kids in the car and taking off.

I used to be able to work out in the living room with some privacy. Now, my sit-ups have become extra hard with a two-year old sitting on my stomach and my leg exercises have turned into pretend tunnels for his cars.

I used to go out with my husband whenever we felt like it. Now, we have to think of sitters and not getting home too late.

I used to make porterhouse steaks for dinner. Now, I longingly pass that aisle in the store and buy hamburger meat and chicken.

I used to have alone time in the bathroom. Now, I am watched by two children who do not understand the word "privacy."

I used to sit and read books for enjoyment. Now, I always have someone on my lap and the story usually consists of Thomas, Dora or Cars.

I used to appreciate our satellite for all the channels I could enjoy. Now, I enjoy it for Noggin, Nick Jr. and PBS Kids.

I used to finish conversations on the phone. Now, I am consistently interrupted by tugs on my shirt, crying, arguing and "Can I talk?"

I used to buy what I wanted at the grocery store. Now, my snacks are replaced with Dora yogurt, fruit snacks and juice boxes.

I used to spend my Christmas gift cards on myself. Now, I spend them on new kid's bedding and toy boxes to hold their Christmas gifts.

I used to say whatever I wanted when upset. Now, I realize I have an audience that follows my example.

I used to buy new clothes every season. Now, I spend money on deals for my ever-growing daughter.

I used to think I would never do what my parents do. Now, I find myself fortunate to have such great examples.

I used to feel like myself. Now, I feel like a mom.

And I would never go back.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Seven Years

Today is our seven year anniversary. I will be celebrating by taking Abby to school, shopping for a mattress for Caleb's new bed, cooking dinner and basically doing all of my daily activities.

Nick will be celebrating by continuing his chaperone duties in Miami, FL. Which includes enjoying the warm weather, the beach, hanging out at Paul O'Neill's club, golfing, and sometimes watching the high school boy's basketball team practice.

Someone has some major making up to do when he gets home.

In all seriousness, though, I am very blessed to be married to such a wonderful man. These past seven years have been wonderful and I look forward to what God has in store for us in the future.

Nick, I couldn't love you any more than I do right now.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Be Careful Of Threats

Our family tradition is to attend the Christmas Eve service at church, head over and celebrate with all the Rosenfeldts, and then spend time with Nick's immediate family, opening presents together. This usually gets us home by 11:30 p.m./12:00 a.m. Then we wake up for Christmas morning at home, give the kids time to play with new toys while we take the tree down and pack up the van for PA to spend time with my family.

Needless to say, every part of this plan depends on the kids getting plenty of rest so that they can fully function. So, on Christmas Eve day, Nick made the threat to Abby that if she did not take a nap that day, Santa might not come that night.

Well, she took her chances and stayed up all afternoon. Obviously, Santa came that night and our little girl actually had the nerve to say to her daddy on Christmas morning, "See! I didn't take a nap and Santa still came-told you!"

Which led Nick's threat of no Santa to become a lesson on grace. Abby heard a nice little talk from us about how Santa showed grace to her, giving her presents when she did not really earn them.

I would like to say that she was profoundly inspired by this lesson, but frankly, I have a feeling she just thinks she knows better.