The Kids

The Kids

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Caleb's View Of Us

Something that Caleb brought home from school recently...

What You Don't Know About Other Parents
(As told by their child)
How tall is your dad?
I don't know
How old is your dad?
How strong is your dad?
He can lift up a dog and he can lift me up, too
What color hair does your dad have?
Same color as Mom's (black?)
What is special about your dad?
I don't really know-he just works all day!
What does your mom look like?
She has black hair, blue eyes, I think, light skin
How old is your mom?
What does your mom do while you're at school?
Takes my brother to the park or cleans
What is your mom good at?
She's good at watching over us and Noah
What is special about your mom?
She just takes care of crazy Noah
Oh Caleb.
While I do appreciate that you made me a year younger, it is kind of sad that the only thing special about me is that I take care of "crazy Noah."
Maybe it is not sad.  He could have said, "She yells like crazy, gets frustrated with us and our messes and is a completely failure as a parent."
I suppose that since I am special enough to take care of "crazy Noah" and that I am good at watching over them then I should be grateful.  I am glad that Caleb sees me like that.
And that he thinks I am a year younger than I actually am.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


A few of you have mentioned how I am lacking in my posts, lately.  It is a rather simple explanation, really.

Everyone is home from school.

It is amazing how limited my quiet/thinking time is when everyone is home.  At least when it is just Noah and myself, I get nap time.  Nap time for him, sanity refreshing for me.

I love having everyone home, but with all of the constant noise and needs, you understand why I have not been writing as much.

I have lots of thoughts swirling around to share with you all, but let us just start today's post with a rant about packing for a trip.

How has is become the unspoken rule that the mom has to pack for the entire family?

Before leaving for PA this week, I washed six loads of laundry, packed a bag for Noah and a bag for Abby and Caleb combined, packed all of the toiletries, diapers and sippy cups, filled the cooler with drinks and a bag with snacks, emptied the fridge, packed the laptops and every flippin' charger that could possibly be needed for a week trip, took the garbage out, made the beds, packed my Thirty-One bags (lots of family wanted to see the new spring line), Christmas presents, the car bag for the kids, Christmas gifts...the list NEVER ENDS.

Nick packed his bag.

Which I repacked so that it could actually hold his toiletry bag and actually zip closed.

I love my husband.  I really do.  He has so many amazing qualities and talents.

Packing is just not one of them.

So after remembering a thousand and one things for our family of five, I knew I would forget at least one thing.

Turns out it was three things.

Forgot to leave fish food in the tank that feeds them for the week (love my neighbor who ran over and did it for me).  Forgot the baby wipes (I know exactly where they are sitting on my living room couch, though).  And I forgot some Thirty-One supplies in case anyone wants to order something.

My favorite reaction to every thing that I forget is, "How could you forget that?"

Really?  I mean, really?

Of course this husband of mine also just gave me a gift card to the spa, started driving at 5:00 this morning so that I could arrive in time to see my little brother before he left for work, and spends hours playing with our kids.

I suppose I could keep packing the bags with less bitterness.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Christmas List

I subscribe to a daily email called "Mikey's Funnies" (which has actually put some of my writings on its emails from time to time).  The other day, the following letter to Santa was on the email.  Since the author seemed to be my clone, I thought I would share it on here...

Dear Santa,

I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned, and cuddled my two children on demand, visited the doctor's office more than my doctor, sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground and figured out how to attach nine patches onto my daughter's girl scout sash with staples and a glue gun.

I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find anymore free time in the next 18 years.

Here are my Christmas wishes:

I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache after a day of chasing kids (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't flap in the breeze, but are strong enough to carry a screaming toddler out of the candy aisle in the grocery store.

I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.

If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like a car with fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays big-people music; a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals; and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.

On the practical side, I could use a talking daughter doll that says, "Yes, Mommy" to boost my parental confidence, along with one potty-trained toddler, two kids who don't fight, and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools. I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting, "Don't eat in the living room" and "Take your hands off your brother," because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.

And please don't forget the Play-doh Travel Pack, the hottest stocking stuffer this year for mothers of preschoolers. It comes in three fluorescent colors and is guaranteed to crumble on any carpet making the in-laws' house seem just like mine.

If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.

If you don't mind I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It would clear my conscience immensely. It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family; or if my toddler didn't look so cute sneaking downstairs in his pajamas to eat contraband ice cream at midnight.

Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is ringing and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the chimney and come in and dry off by the fire so you don't catch cold. Help yourself to cookies on the table, but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.

Your's Always,

P.S. One more thing: You can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young...

Friday, December 14, 2012


I had planned on writing tonight about my frustrating week.

This post was going to be full of rants about the misbehavior of my children (they did have a rather ridiculous fight yesterday that I promise to eventually come back to in a later post), the messy destruction of my house, and the general feeling of not being appreciated.

Then today happened.

Years later, when I look back on these old posts, remembering my children's youth, I will remember this day as seeing pure evil happen in our country.

Children, elementary children, were killed in their school today.  They were the ages of my children now.  Hearing that the gunman specifically targeted a kindergarten class brought me to my knees.  That's Caleb.  Hearing that the kids who survived were being escorted out of the building with their eyes covered to avoid seeing their friends lying there made me shudder.  Watching the President and all of the news anchors choke on their words brought a lump to my throat.

Why?  Why did this happen?

My kids came home from school today and I would not let them go.  As they rambled on about their days with excitement, I kept thinking about the parents who would not be hearing their children's voices tonight.  Or tomorrow.  Or ever again.

My heart hurts.

I put aside my work, let the living room stay messy and just listened to them. 

And hugged them. 

And cried for the parents who are grieving tonight.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Abby And The Magic

Well, the secret is out.  The innocence is gone.  We no longer have to keep up the charade.

Abby knows the truth about Santa Claus.

It was only a matter of time.  She already figured out the Easter Bunny, which led her to question the Tooth Fairy.  I was actually surprised that she waited this long to really ask about Santa.  Something tells me that she was slightly fearful that if she stopped believing, the presents would stop.

Regardless, something made her ask Nick and I the truth.  She waited until the boys were not around (which was kind of her) and because it would be a flat out lie to keep on pretending, we were honest with her. 

I asked her how she felt now that she knew the truth.  Did it make her sad?  She responded, "At first I felt kind of funny, but now I feel okay."

This was said about one minute after finding out the truth.  I think she is over it.

Out of all the possible questions or comments to make after finding out such a revelation, she looked at us and said, "But how did you get my Felicity doll?"

Years later and she is wondering that?  Not the Barbie dreamhouse or the vanity, but the doll?  I suppose that is because she bought one of her American Girl Dolls by saving her money and she saw how long that took (excellent lesson for any young girl, by the way).

Does she really think that we are so poor that we could not afford her Christmas gift?  Nick and I better watch how we talk about money in front of her from now on.  The girl is a sponge and takes on every worry or concern from those around her.

Anyway, once I shared with some friends that Abby knew the truth, they admitted their daughters also knew so now they can all giggle about it together.  From the beginning of the creation of womankind, we ladies always enjoy knowing something that someone else does not know and giggling about it behind their backs.

Because of her life being threatened if she spills the beans, she has taken it upon herself to be the official keeper of the magic for her brothers.  Sometimes I need to stop her because she is almost going overboard in reminding Caleb about Santa.

Oh, and a family member from California (who we love very much) decided to send us an Elf on the Shelf.  I had never heard of this idea when Abby was younger, but in the last few years, Facebook has exploded with pictures of where this watchdog of Santa's likes to hide.  Apparently, he checks in on the kids and finds himself in hilarious positions.

Since I did not want to introduce yet another lie to the Christmas story, I just ignored the Elf game.  When we received the Elf, I figured it could be a play toy and they could do whatever they wanted with it.  I never dreamed that Abby would take on the role that she has...

She keeps hiding the Elf or putting him out in funny scenarios.  In the bathroom with a helicopter.  In the Christmas tree.  On the counter, eating marshmallows with Barbie (I think that was just so she could sneak a few marshmallows for herself).

What is hilarious to me is that Caleb is completely taking it all in.  For the first time in three years, I do not have to drag him out of bed in the morning.  He practically leaps up so he can go and discover what that crazy Elf is up to.

Hmm, perhaps the Elf will be hanging around all year...

So, even though the magic of Santa is gone for Abby, the role of "I know something that you don't know" has become even more fun.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Working Moms

Oh.  My.  Goodness.

Moms who work full time-I salute you.  Absolutely no idea how you do it.

Sure, I worked full time my entire adult life before Miss Abby entered the world.  But to do that while feeling the demands of home?  No idea how you survive.

As a Thirty-One Consultant, I set my own hours and can be as busy or as not busy as I please.  However, this is the busiest time of the year for most direct sales type people.  Everyone is Christmas shopping, everyone is looking for deals and there are craft fairs galore.

I warned Nick.  I told him about this past weekend and this coming weekend and all of the chaos that it brings months ago.  Seriously, I signed up for one of these events in August.  August.  That is a big enough heads up, right?

I still managed to get the deer in the headlights look from him when I reminded him of my schedule.

Anyway, two craft fairs down, one more to go and two more parties to go, all before my Christmas deadline of the 10th and I will be done.

For a couple of weeks, and then it is back to partying in January.

I know that standing around, talking about bags with women does not seem like hard work.  It really isn't.  But, I have found myself exhausted each night after these events.  I have been mentally tired.  And while I am at these events, my mind is constantly thinking about what is going on at home.  Are the kids driving Nick crazy?  Is he able to get his grading done with Noah running around?  What kind of mess am I going to come home to?

Again, women who go through this on a daily basis-good for you.  I do not have that strength.

It has taken me three days to kind of get caught up on housework.  I can now see my living room floor, so that is progress.  Caleb will no longer have to wear pants that are too big for him as I finally washed his clothes.  Abby's homework has finally made its way into her backpack, only a day late.

I am sure if I worked like this all of the time, I would have a better system.  I would have a nanny and someone to clean my house.  I would split some of these daily chores with Nick. 

But, the thing is, I like being the person who runs the show.

Call me a 1950s housewife, but I like taking care of things at home and doing it well.  I want my husband to come home to dinner on the table and things under control (okay, that is hilarious-it is never under control in this house).  I want to be home when the kids get home from school.  I want Noah to be with me for most of the day and not another provider. 

If I had to live every day like this past weekend looked like, it would make me so sad.  To come home just as exhausted as my husband and then be expected to still make dinner, wash clothes and take care of everyone's stuff?  Where does that energy come from?  How could I help Abby with her homework, listen to Caleb's many stories and game plans and sit and read with Noah if I was that tired?

Again, moms who work-no idea how you do it.  You must never sleep.