The Kids

The Kids

Friday, September 30, 2011

Run On Sentence Kind Of Day

It is amazing how one little decison can set off the entire day.

At 5:30 this morning, Nick tapped me on the shoulder and whispered, "I really need to go to school early to get some grading done-would you mind taking them to school?"

Such sweet pillow talk.

That decision basically flip-flopped my entire day around.  My morning was like a run-on sentence...

Stay awake since 5:30, pack lunches, empty and load the dishwasher, get everyone ready, pick up preschool carpool friend (at least I made her mom's day!), take the kids to school, load the huge box of a blow-up bouncing castle that a friend is letting me borrow for the party into my van, go to the bank, go to the store for birthday party supplies, stop at my mother-in-law's work i.e. my old workplace to get a Mary Kay order, stop at the bank again, drive around for a few minutes so that Noah can fall asleep (which he did not), go back to the school to listen to Abby's classmates tell me their memory verses, pick up Caleb and our preschool carpool friend, take her home, load their camera case into the van since mine is getting repaired, race to my hair salon to get my hair fixed (my haircut last week was not good enough for my high maintenance hair) while driving through the drive-thru at Chick-Fil-A since I forgot to pack Caleb's lunch, sit in the salon with Noah in the stroller who is watching me as I throw food at him, while my pregnant stylist quietly judges me (she will not judge me in two months when she has her own child), piled everyone into the van, finished feeding Noah his yogurt, got into my seat only to see that the Chick-Fil-A water had spilled everywhere, filling to the brim of two cup holders while I hear Caleb in the back saying, "I thought I heard a spilling sound," raced home behind moronic drivers, while I barely could see out of my side window because of the huge bouncy castle box, got home, changed Noah and put him to bed (while he sighed with relief), helped Caleb open yet another birthday package that was left on the porch, put him in his room for some quiet time, unloaded the van full of groceries, pinatas, the camera bag, the empty Chick-Fil-a cup, the diaper bag and my purse, cleaned up the spilled water, put the groceries away, then sat down.

It was 1:00.

I then made the mistake of opening the living room blinds, only to see that the wind had blown our gazebo over.  I could see the tear in the canvas cover and the metal bars were bent.  So, I did the only thing I could do at that point. 

I closed the blinds.

Add on making dinner, cleaning the floors, the bathrooms, helping with homework, and playing Wii with the kids, and that about sums up my day.

So, when Nick comes home tonight after broadcasting the school's football game online and wonders why I am passed out on the couch, drooling, perhaps he will read this and know why.

At least it is the weekend-every mom's break, right?  Oh wait...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Thirty-Something

I turned 34 yesterday.  Yep.

Birthdays used to be fun.  Getting another year older was greeted with excitement and everyone gathered around to celebrate the milestone.  I looked forward to receiving gifts and being treated great all day.

Now, my only request for a gift was that each child would not complain, not cry and clean their rooms.

Not one of them listened.

Caleb fell apart during his soccer game (again), Noah whined a bunch (still in the screeching phase, too), and Abby ended the day by crying because she was not allowed to have a sleepover at her grandma's house.

Thanks kids.

Oh well.  Such is the life of a mother.  I would rather have my kids and all their faults then not having them at all.  They did get me some very pretty, scented candles :)

For some reason, I am really feeling my age this time around.  I just keep seeing 40 growing closer and closer.  It sounds old, but now that I have many friends who are 40 and over, it does not seem that old at all.  I still feel like I am in college and I am pretty sure they feel the same way.

Makes me wonder if my grandparents feel that age, too.

Anyway, it was a nice day, in the midst of typical children.  I got to sleep in until 8:30 (that really was a big deal for me), followed by breakfast in bed.  I went grocery shopping-alone.  We went out to eat after the soccer games were over and I received a free dessert complete with the restaurant staff singing to me.  Very loudly.

We also had cake and ice cream at the house.  Candles were forgotten, so after searching my cupboards, the only candles I could find were old number candles from the kids' past birthday parties.  However, the only numbers I could find were "3" and "1."  So, I blew out candles that said I was "31."

I had absolutely no problem with that.

Now life is moving on, I am another day older, and I am too busy planning the kids' birthday bash to even really remember that I just had my birthday.

Such is life.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Walking Man

Well, it is official.  Noah is now a walking man.

That is, if you count taking four or five steps and then tumbling over as walking.  Which I do.

He has randomly taken a step here or there, but then immediately fallen to his kness, because, let's face it-crawling is faster for an eleven-month old.  However, yesterday, while playing with his toys in the living room, he stopped to walk to me.  Then he did it again.  And again.  True, he fell pretty quickly, but I blame it on the shouts of excitment that came from Caleb and me as we celebrated this huge accomplishment. 

I think he could have kept going, but the doorbell rang, ending our moment.  I answered it, thinking it was one of the neighbors coming to play.  Nope.  Mormons.

Now, any other time I would have loved to have chatted with them, firmly, but lovingly, defending my faith.  However, Noah's shining moment had then become a screaming fit because I dared to walk more than two feet away from him.  Sorry, Mormon guys-my screaming baby was not going to help me show the patience that my faith teaches me to have.

Regardless of the interruption, Noah continued to perform and entertain the whole family.  He thinks he is quite the stuff. 

I would have to agree.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Outcome

Since when did being a parent become so hard?

Nick planned on taking Abby and Caleb to the Reds game tonight.  It was the last chance to take them to a game for this season that was not on a school night.  The only thing the kids had to do was not cry if they lost their soccer games and pick up their stuff around the house.

Simple, right?

Well, Caleb was doing okay.  He was playing soccer really well and was keeping a good attitude.  All of a sudden, the other team had the nerve to stop him from running the ball down and scoring again, and he just stopped in the middle of the field.  We assumed it was because he was tired since he had been in the entire game at that point.  He took a break and we thought he was going to go back in.

Nope.  For no logical reason, Caleb decided to not play the rest of the game.  No matter what we said or what his coach said, he refused.

And he refused with loud crying.

While we all watched his team lose the lead and get destroyed (I am clearly not bragging since I am admitting his terrible attitude, but he is the best player on the team so far), our confusion grew.  Who was this kid?  Certainly not ours-we are better parents than that, right? 

After shutting down his arguments and excuses, Caleb finally admitted he was wrong and apologized.  He knows he is going to apologize to his coach and if he ever does that again, soccer is over.  It is not about winning or losing the game-it is about quitting.  He needs to know that he cannot quit the game just because he is mad at how it is going. 

He is almost five-years old.  Shouldn't he know all of these life lessons, yet?

Anyway, as much as Nick wanted to take him to the Reds game tonight, he knew he had to say no. 

It really sucks when their punishment messes up our plans.

Since Abby was a dream today (played a great game with only one sub, she got a cramp and stopped for a few minutes, got over it, ran back in and scored a goal, helping to win the game) and helped out at home without complaining, I took her to the movies.

Caleb stayed home and cleaned his room.

I really want my kids to be happy and do fun things.  Yet, I do not want them to get whatever they want after not earning it and to be spoiled brats.

Again, when did this parenting thing become so hard?

Consistency. 

It is just so exhausting.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

11 Months

Noah turned 11 months old the other day.  Yep, he is getting old.

He knows how to walk, but just does not want to.  He likes to take a step toward me and then fall into my arms.  He stands around a lot so I know he knows how to walk, but life seems much easier for him when he crawls.  His speed is ridiculous.  Within seconds, he crawls to exactly where I do not want him to crawl.

This little guy has also mastered the stairs.  He never practiced on them, but the other day, I found him halfway up the stairs.  After I recovered from my stroke, I carefully walked down toward him, so as not to scare him into falling.

(If you are new to this blog and never read about Caleb's fall, go back to beginning and check out why I have such a fear of kids and stairs.)

So, now that my super fast boy thinks the stairs are fun, we have officially moved the ottoman to the bottom of the staircase to block him from going up.  Yes, I have heard of gates, but the ottoman does not ruin my walls like the gate did.  I do let Noah climb all the way up when I am following him and once he reaches the top, he raises his hands in celebration and then claps.

He is pretty proud of himself.

Something I could live without-screeching.  He can communicate words like, "Mommy, Daddy, Uh-Oh, Thank you," and other sweet sounding words.  So I am confused on why he thinks he needs to screech at a high pitched sound to get my attention.  My head is literally aching every night.

I guess it is one of those things that we parents like to forget about.  Kind of like how a mother forgets the pain of childbirth (kind of) enough to want to go through it again.  We must forget irritating stages (like screeching) and remember all of the sweet moments.  Otherwise, all families would consist of one child.

Noah loves food.  All kinds of food.  He tolerates me feeding him yogurt, but other than that, he wants to be feeding himself.  He eats food like his brother does-he shovels it.  Sometimes I see the look on Abby's face when she is sitting between her brothers at dinnertime-it is a look combined of disgust and "How did I get here?"

video
He is a lot of fun to play with now.  Caleb crawls around and Noah chases him.  The kids also love to push him in the dumptruck as you can see on this video. 

He is such the third kid.

Noah continues to be really attached to me, which is sometimes frustrating, but usually very sweet.  Before I know it, he will be too busy for me.  I want to enjoy this cuddling baby as long as I can.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Name Association

Caleb has a teammate on his soccer team named Nick.  Very easy to remember, for obvious reasons.

Over breakfast today, Caleb randomly said, "If Daddy dies, I will always remember him because of Nick on my team."

Okay.  So that is the one reason he will remember his dad?  Interesting.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Years Ago...

Many people on facebook are talking about where they were ten years ago.  9/11 is now one of those days that is similar to the JFK assasination...everyone seems to know exactly where they were when the event occurred.

10 years ago today I woke up, never turned on the television or checked the internet, and went to work.  It was my second job, waitressing at a local restaurant, so that I could earn extra money for our upcoming wedding.

I arrived at work, walked into the kitchen, and was confused as to where everyone was.  I walked out into the dinning room and saw my co-workers glued to the television.  I joined them and watched in horror at what I was seeing unfold in front of me.

As reports came in of other crashes, I began to wonder who was next?  A plane crashed in rural Pennsylvania and my immediate thoughts were going out to anyone that I knew who lived near there. 

By the time the restaurant opened for lunch, we were slammed with customers who just wanted a place to watch television during their lunch hour.  No one really cared what they ordered-they just numbly sat there, staring at the news reports.  Business men sat with construction workers.  No one complained about their food or the wait on their order (since I was the only waitress on a normally slow Tuesday).  They just sat there and stared.

Nick was student teaching and called me at work.  My mom was at a church meeting and also called me.  I called my best friend who lived not too far from the Pennsylvania crash.  We all just wanted to hear each other's voices in the midst of the chaos. 

Things changed that day.  In some ways, it feels like it just happened.  In other ways, I have a tough time remembering life before the event. 

After awhile, life continued to go on.  We got married a few months later and celebrated without a care in the world.  We got on a plane and flew to our honeymoon destination, only pausing to complain about the length of time it took to go through security. 

But, I think about those people who lost someone that day.  They do not need it to be the actual day to remember all of the heartache and loss.  They remember it every second of every day.  My prayers go out to them.  I cannot imagine losing someone in such a vicious way and having to be reminded of the details of it with every news report.

To the victims of 9/11, may we never forget.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Beetle

Sometimes I forget how different boys are. 

Then Caleb makes friends with a beetle and I am suddenly reminded that I have no idea what goes on in their heads.

As we were getting ready to leave my parent's house yesterday, he found a beetle.  He carefully put it in a box for the trip home and when I asked him the beetle's name and he looked at me like I was stupid and said, "Joey Votto."

Of course.  What else would his name be?  Since one of our fish and most of Caleb's stuff animals are named after his favorite Reds player, of course the beetle's name would follow suit.

As we started our trip, it was suggested that Caleb let Votto go on the side of the road, since chances were slim that he would survive the five hour drive.  As Caleb thought about his choice, I saw his face begin to crumble.  He had to either let the bug go and save his life, or keep his new friend for a little longer, risking his end.

The sobs began and we finally agreed to let Votto continue on our journey a little longer.  Caleb let the beetle crawl all over him and talked very sweetly with him.  My favorite line of the trip was "I just kissed him!"

Great.  Remind me not to kiss you before your bath tonight.

True to family pet tradition, Caleb passed out into a blissful nap on the way home while Nick and I took turns checking on the bug.  We made sure he was still alive and not escaping.  Finally, about an hour from home, Caleb finally agreed that his "moving slower than before" friend needed to breathe the open air and leave us.

We pulled over, Caleb said his tearful (and I mean tearful) good-bye to Joey Votto, and I released him into the wild.  We talked about how he would find a wife and start a family and be happy.  As we pulled away, Caleb sobbed and stared out the back window.

Yes, I teared up, too.  What have these children done to me?

All of this over a beetle.

I love Caleb's tender heart.  And his imagination.  He truly believes in his heart that this beetle and his new family will find their way to our house someday. 

Both kids are now talking about wanting a dog and a cat.  Lord, help me.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Maggie

I came across an article today about this upcoming book.  The book is titled, "Maggie Goes on a Diet."

Wow.

I do not know which was worse to read-the summary of the book or the yahoo users opinions typed below the article.

Apparently, this book is geared toward kids ages 8 and up (Maggie is 14), but because of the written style, ages 4 and up will be targeted.

The cover alone makes me angry.  Let us take a young girl, full of emotions that are out of control, put her in front of a mirror and have her long for the skinny look.  Best part of the book is that she loses a ton of weight in a short time, becomes pretty and popular and has guys interested in her. 

I am all about kids being healthy and exercising and eating the right foods.  However, throw the word "diet" in front of little girls, and you are practically forcing the eating disorder to start early.  Abby is six-years old and is already starting to compare herself to others (which deeply saddens me).  The last thing these young girls need is to have a book geared toward their age, telling them that they need to look like this ideal.

My kids eat healthy because I give them their food.  They even get to have cookies and ice cream and candy-all within reason.  So far, they all seem to be "good enough" for the standard by which our society says is beautiful.  For kids who have more freedom to eat anything they want, then perhaps weight problems can arise, but is that their fault?  Even if the author is writing this for a 14-year-old, I highly doubt most 14-year-olds are cooking for themselves.  Write a book for parents.

Oh wait.  Those have been written.

Does this author honestly believe that by writing a book about a junior high girl dieting to be popular, he is going to convince young girls to eat healthy?  If anything, it will just force them to feel even more bad about their already fragile selves and take more drastic measures to achieve the ideal.

People who support the book are responding to "anti-little girls dieting" opinions by saying, "All you fatties do is complain and eat!  Oink, oink, oink."

That was actually one of the more mature responses that I read.

Well, I am not a fattie, I do not eat and complain all day.  Neither do my children.  But, as a mother of an impressionable little girl, I do object.

I do not live in a dream world.  I know that their are many obese children who need to understand healthy eating and exercise habits.  However, their parents are 99% part of that outcome.  If the parents do not care enough to feed their children properly, they certainly will not care enough to buy them a book about dieting.  The ones who read the book will most likely be the kids who have nothing to worry about.

But, then they will worry.

Weight problems, even with children, all stem from something else.  Ask anyone who has struggled with either over-eating or any kind of eating disorder...it never goes away.  This Maggie will still be the same person inside no matter what size she shrinks down to.   Her insecurities will remain the same.  And her beauty. 

Since I will be one of the ones avoiding this book in the library, I suppose I am one of those "fatties who eats and complains."  Because, there is no other logical explanation to object to this book, right?