Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dangerous Distractions

Today I thought I would put on my responsible adult hat and settle in at the kitchen table to pay some bills, make some phone calls and tie up loose ends on various things. Why I didn't think to give the girls tranquilizers before I did so... I will never know.

Just kidding about the tranquilizers... but still.

So anyway, here I am writing checks, talking on the phone and cleaning out my wallet of a years worth of junk when an overwhelming feeling of doom takes hold of me.

The girls are quiet. Like, really quiet.

I say a prayer and walk out into the living room to see if they are (hopefully) engrossed in The Backyardigans. With a sigh of relief I see that they are. Ten minutes later I go back to check on them. The little angels that they are, they are now snuggled up next to each other on the couch. Eating. Wait... eating? I didn't give them any snacks.

A shot of adrenaline and fear shoots through me as I envision all the things they might be trying to chomp on and digest. I envision old moldy carrots that they hid under their bed - and yes! - would absolutely try to re-eat a week later.

CRUNCH. CRUNCH. Something crunches under my new walking shoes. "What ever could it be??" you might be dying to know. Well, after following a trail of crunchiness over to a side table next to the girls I finally found out:

That, my friends, is a rather large bowl of Lucky Charms cereal minus the "charms". Bad mommy that I was, I forgot to put away the box this morning after breakfast. A medium sized step stool and two sneaky girls: cereal disaster.

I just hope they enjoy their massive sugar high because I will thoroughly enjoy the crash and burn when they pass out on the floor. Maybe then I can finish the damn bills!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Mud and dirt and all things holy.

I pride myself on the fact that I encourage my kids to get dirty. Like, really dirty. None of this "Oh, why yes, I even let my son play in the sand this afternoon at the park!" crap. Big froopin' deal. That's what you DO at the park.

I'm more of the type that if it's raining I give the kids boots and umbrellas and send them into the backyard with shovels. Most of the time the boots and umbrellas are tossed aside and they end up with toes squished in mud and soaking wet heads. Isn't that dirty enough? You might ask...

Apparently not for my children. And honestly, who wouldn't want to be this care-free with mud?

Example 1:

Example 2:

Example 3:

And the BEST example of them all:

And so the ol' saying goes... "God made dirt, and dirt don't hurt!"

Little but FIERCE

Natalie Kate.

Or as her big sis likes to call her: Natalie CAKE. A loud emphasis on the "cake" because Olivia is quite literally always yelling her name like she's big momma around these parts and bossing her from here to Sunday. Much to big sis' dismay, however, Natalie Cake has learned the art of ignoring her.

What can I say about Natalie these days? How about this...

One minute our dear Natalie is a sweet pony-tailed lady:

And a minute later she has the personality of a NINJA:

I always thought I knew what temper tantrums were. Now all I want to say is HOLY JESUS, why didn't someone warn me? Need to pee before you turn on Strawberry Shortcake? Sorry. Let it run down your leg. This 2 year old isn't taking "Just a second" for an answer. Thinking you need to cough because there is a tickle in your throat? Be sure to ask the two year old which direction to cough in first. If you cough left and she says right... let's just say there is hell to pay. Hell that involves slamming her head into the ground, violent thrashing of her tiny 25 pound body with arms flailing wildly and a horrific shriek to boot. Oh, and don't you even DARE to try and console her. Nuh-uh. It just gets worse and then she tries to claw your eyes out as you pick her up.

Despite all that, I can't get enough of this girl. Literally. I scoop her up anytime she'll let me and breathe her in as deeply as possible. And for this I know I am in trouble. Earlier this week she was mad at me because I couldn't get her backpack on her as fast as she would like. In response to my apparent slowness, Nats ripped the backpack from my hands and proceeded to slam me over the head with it. This might sound strange but it was so cute that I literally had to stifle and hide my laughter. Thank goodness my husband was doing the same. Otherwise I think they might have admitted me to the looney bin.

Not saying they shouldn't... I will absolutely pay for my lack of disciplining her in times like these. I FEAR teenage-hood with this one.

Point. Shoot. Click.

Bet ya didn't know I have a real live model living in my house.

Yeah, I didn't really know either. Until last week.

First, yes, that is my daughter dressed in a princess dress. Specifically, that is my daughter dressed in short sleeves in the middle of December at a school function where the rest of us wore our winter coats to protect ourselves from the chill.

I have finally smartened up and conceded to letting my 3 year old wear princess dresses EVERYWHERE. Running out for milk at 7-11? Oh, hang on mom. I have to get my $40 Disney Princess dress on and deck it out with a crown, pearls and "click-clack" shoes as we like to call em'. Going down to the end of the driveway to retrieve the recycling bin? HOLD THE PHONE mom. I need to grab my ballerina tutu and my Sleeping Beauty ruffled shirt along with my pink rubber sparkly boots so I can walk 30 feet into public and PRAY that a neighbor notices me.

Honestly, I adore the dressing up. What frightens me is the ease with which she poses once she's fully dressed and realizes there is a camera within a one-mile radius. You'll note that not only has she mastered the hands on hips stance but she also now poses her leg and twists the foot ever so slightly. I've only seen that move one other time on America's Next Top Model. Tyra Banks would be oh so proud.

I think, maybe, my most favorite part of all is not the strangers "ooh-ing and ahh-ing" over her requests to "take one more picture of me mommy!" as she curtsies and sticks her rear end out a little more than needed... but rather, this adorable little princess who walks around like royalty exclaiming to everyone within earshot "I farted!" as she lets one loose for the hundredth time and then belly laughs hysterically.

Yep, that's my girl.

No teeth and a mohawk

There is so much to catch up on. First, let me start by saying that everything is going to be completely out of order for a bit. I'm literally remembering the year through pictures on my phone. Don't judge. You know you do it too.

As if I have to explain, this pic says it all:

So now I am that mom. The mom who sends her kid to school each day with a mohawk. I like to think of myself as "edgy". (Stifling laughter right now) I certainly feel that way when we are around those of the older crowd. They look at my son with his adorable strip of hair going down the middle of his head and I swear I can hear them whispering "Tsk Tsk". It's HAIR people. It grows. And it's not hurting anyone. So who the heck cares?

As if this wasn't adorable enough, he is also sporting nothing but gums where two very large front teeth used to be. Every time he smiles at me all I can think in my head is "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth... my two front teeth... my two front teeth. All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth - So I can wish you "Mwerry Chwistmas!" Now, try and get THAT out of your head.

Aside from physical changes, Riley won first place in the Science Fair at school. It was all about worms. Go figure. And I'm pretty positive that I was the only mom at the awards ceremony that inappropriately jumped up and yelled "WOOHOO!" with tears running down my face as they announced it. Hey, meds don't work THAT well guys. I still have my moments.

I'd never been so proud of both my son and those precious disgusting worms in all my life.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sibling Love

I can vividly remember the moment I found out that I was pregnant with my third kiddo. My then 9 month old baby girl was scooting around on our bathroom floor at my feet and attempting to unravel an entire roll of toilet paper. Me? I was desperately trying not to hyperventilate while I peed on a test stick. I immediately watched the plus sign grow darker and darker. Wait 2 minutes, my ass. Try 2 seconds! It was then that I realized I had to stay conscious, if for nothing else, but the baby who was quickly approaching the cleaning products under the sink. If it hadn't been for that, I would have most definitely passed out on the toilet. Growing one baby while chasing another just wasn't in my life plan.

Oh how things can sometimes work out for the best though...

Fast forward to present day. As I sit here intermittently typing and folding laundry, I am listening to my girls play with their dollhouse and giggle. I once feared the extremely small age gap between them. Two in diapers. Two crying and getting up through the night. Two getting into everything and constantly seeking out ways to unknowingly kill themselves. I was one big ball of nerves and stress. Today, however, I realized that despite a somewhat rough and tiresome beginning, my girls are now perfect playmates. My heart melts everytime I see them follow each other through the house and on to the next adventure. Oh sure, they still have their moments - but sometimes siblings can make the very best friends.

Now, if I could only feel this way when they are teenagers. I'm not holding my breath on that one.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Birthdays kicked down a notch

Perhaps it is the influx of parties during what I like to call the "Birthday Season" that has prompted a revelation. Or, as some skeptics would say "an excuse" to downgrade my children's birthday parties from an all-out bash to an intimate affair that costs less. Perhaps it is my ever present (but happily welcomed) sheer exhaustion that pushed forward this whole change. Who can really know.

Either way, I've decided that because we are lucky enough to be a part of so many awesome birthday celebrations where we can spend time with friends and family- we are going to keep it simple in this house.

At first I felt guilty. Questions swam through my head. What were my kids missing out on? Would they be traumatized as adults from the lack of goodie bags and candy-filled pinatas in their childhood? But as each birthday came and went, it became easier.

Recently I had a discussion with a good friend of mine about birthdays. We both were appalled at the lack of quality time, as moms, we were able to spend with our child on his or her party day. The entire fling was spent running around filling food bowls, topping off party-goers cups and coordinating pizza time, cake time, present opening time, and whatever other activities we had so carefully planned... and then completely missed because we were cleaning up empty bowls, plates and cups while the crowd partied on.

I'm not complaining. For some, this is what parties are all about - and to be honest, I thrived on this for the longest time. I still love throwing a good bash. I adore hosting those close to me in my home and showing them a good time. But in hindsight, I really do miss seeing the look on my babies faces while we sing "Happy Birthday" from the first verse to the last. I crave sharing in the delight of each opened present from the first rip of wrapping paper to the final gleaming smile as the contents are discovered. I miss focusing the day on talking to my precious birthday boy or girl about the day they were born and how excited we were to meet them. Maybe it's selfish but I like the fact that they now delight in a few balloons and a well decorated (but small) cake that, as a special treat, they eat at breakfast time while their brothers and sisters serenade them.

My final hope is that these kiddos will grow to appreciate the meaning in things, like the day of their birth or the idea of giving instead of receiving at Christmas time. I don't want them to always seek instant gratification or adopt "the bigger, the better" syndrome. And so far, it's been a success. The sheer look of happiness on my 3 year old's face yesterday as we quietly celebrated her special day and topped it off with a princess bike (complete with a baby seat for her doll) was enough to tell me that maybe this won't be so hard after all. Oh, and I can finally remember each and every moment of it.