Thursday, December 31, 2009

It's Gone!

Today we embarked on a huge and momentous occasion in my oldest son's life. He's five. What isn't exciting at that age?
Nick was happily scarfing down his chicken at dinner, I glanced in his direction and noticed something bizarre- a huge gap....a huge nothingness in his mouth.

"Nick, look up at me baby", I asked.

Happily he looked up and smiled. It was gone- his first tooth.

I asked him where his tooth went. Of course he had no idea. Dumbfounded, Nick looked at me like I was from Mars. Just then, Rick blurted out that the tooth would inevitably be in Nick's poop. I wondered if Nick would actually be excited about that. No. He crinkled up his nose and mumbled, "Eeew".

Glancing toward one another, Rick and I communicated without words. No one was going to be searching for the tooth. It wasn't going to be me. And, I guess Rick wasn't crazy about the poopy tooth-searching either. Hmph. That's the least he could do! He IS the father. Why do I always have to do the dirty work? Motherhood is for the birds! I figure that job is surely found on the Duties For Fathers list, like taking out the trash and hanging Christmas lights.

We all finally agreed that the tooth is lost....forever.

I told Nick that after dinner I would have to call the Tooth Fairy, explain the circumstances, and surely she would still visit him tonight. He smiled and I made the call. Turns out, the Tooth Fairy was much obliged. I figure it was probably no sweat off of her is not her money going under his pillow anyway. What is the going rate for teeth now-a-days? I was thinking about $1 but I read on another blog that $10 is more like it. Seriously?! Darned inflation! I don't think so. Nick will be getting $1. We're not stinkin' millionaires here! At five, he really doesn't need it anyway.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I Am IN Again! Celebrity Mom 2 big welcome back to the blogging world. Hello....hello all. Thank you....thank you....glad I could return. Glad you love me.....yada yada, etc., etc...

Whoa! Caught in a dream there. I almost thought I was the Martha Stewart of the blogging world--minus the liberal side. Oh no...not much left if you take the liberal out of Martha is there? A lot of nice decorations and cakes, I guess. OK. I'll go for that.

For a minute I felt like the famous person that I have always thought I was supposed to be. Hmmm. Seems I did not choose that path-not that I am not talented enough mind you. I am. I just CHOSE to be a mom. I CHOSE not to dedicate my every waking moment to a career in showbiz and chose love. Have you ever seen the movie, "The Family Man" starring Nicholas Cage? Great movie. One moment can change your whole life. There are probably a bunch of those moments that I am talking about in every one's life. But, in that moment, I CHOSE this life. I CHOSE not to be the lonely but VERY successful corporate exec. I have no doubt that I could have been that. But, I did not. I CHOSE my life. I CHOSE a family. And, now...I am really famous, rich and successful--just in my own mommy way.

I can carry a tune in the form of just about any Mother Goose nursery rhyme. The sound will bring shivers to any one's back. I have a glamorous hair style that resembles that just-out-of-bed look that is so sought after by the sexiest of stars. (Speaking of, there are actually hair products that are supposed to give you that messy "beach" look.) Uh...hello folks! Just get your head wet before bed and sleep on it. Fast, effortless and FREE! Geesh! I should get at least a small percentage of the millions...or billions of dollars that go to get that look from products.

Now, back to my sexiness and top star qualities...

I have the latest in "vintage apparel". It's really only because I haven' t bought myself any clothes since the "skinny jeans" were in style back in the eighties. I seriously never thought that my stretch pants look would be such a hit! Now....viola! I am the fashion goddess! Lucky me!

White, straight teeth are also in. Apparently they were not the "in" thing during the filming of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Talk about creepy teeth! And, it was not just the extras with the uh natural teeth, it was the big stars. Glad that has changed and VERY glad that I do have this God-given trait. Now, mine are not SUPER white like just out of a bleach bottle, but they are nice and natural white. Fluorescent white teeth sometimes do not look right. If someone has a tan, the glow can be blinding- very movie star. Truthfully, I have thought about teeth whitening many many times. But, until I can afford it, I will make up bad things to say about them and make myself feel a little better that I do not have them.

I have also noticed that women try to get a "natural look" to their makeup. Uh....once again...HELLO?! It is not natural to be flawless. It's a dream! It's a freakin' fantasy people! People have pores! OK?! Get over it folks. I have accepted the "natural" look happily and continue on with my Mommy Routine For The Stars and do not wear any makeup. What the heck? Why draw more attention to myself and attract even more paparazzi? I already have three children and a husband screaming my name 24 hours a day! How could I ever desire more? MOMMY?! MOMMY WHO?!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas Laughs

Well, hello all! I have had a lots of drama in the past few months that has kept me from yapping. It has been just a little much to deal with on many levels. Does "family issues" give you any hint? And why do these family issues have to arise when the holiday season is upon us? Uh! Gag! I hate this. Hopefully, as time goes on, these issues will resolve. If not, well....maybe it's for the best? Don't worry folks...the issue is NOT with Rick and I. I seriously thank God daily for that.

As for the laughs...

Nick and Jacob are happy playing Army men in the Christmas tree, trying their best to knock it over. Our pre-lit tree went up yesterday. An eight-hour ordeal was encroaching on what is supposed to be a fun and exciting family event. Our Christmas tree (also about 8 years old) had so many lights out that the entire top section was out and the entire bottom section was out. So, one by one Rick has gone through the bulbs, tossing the vast majority. We figure about 75 bulbs were burnt out. This is kind of strange since the tree was just fine, shining brightly last year. Then, of course, after searching two other stores with no luck, I went to the super-sized discount store that has everything (you know, the one that has 80% of the non-food items imported from China) to shop the holiday aisle for replacement lights. Finally after practically having to fist-fight my way through the Christmas light section, the clouds parted and the sunshine formed a bright ray of sunlight onto the replacement bulbs. Woohoo! Oh wait...there were umpteen different kinds. LED, LCD (no...that's TVs), colored, blue, white, square, round, rectangular, 2.5, 7, and 12 amp. What the heck?! How difficult can this freakin' trip get? I call Rick, frustrated he snaps that he will "do it {him}self ". Ooooh no. Not happening! I am NOT going to be incapable of such a simple task as purchasing replacement bulbs. So, I tell him OK, hang up, and continue my adventure. Rick thinks I am on the way home...I am not.

To make a long story short, I bought a string full of lights and am hoping for the best when we decide to resume the Christmas tree lighting fiasco. To be continued...

The photo above is not our tree. Wish it was. The photo above is not our house. Wish it was.

The home pictured above is much too nice,....neat,....and beautiful. This is perhaps symbolic of what our house was BC (Before Children).

The photo below is symbolic of our home (especially during Christmas) AC (After Children).

Oh, and to the topic I most wanted to write about this morning...

Nicholas and Jacob have relearned the "Frosty The Snowman" song again this year. And, it has a twist. Innocently sung by Nicholas loudly through the stores on Black Friday:

"Humpity Hump Hump Humpity Hump Hump. Look at Frosty Go!"

Gives you a wonderful visual doesn't it? Gotta love it.
P.S. Even more appropriate is that Nick is the one that actually thinks he is singing it correctly. Please lovingly refer back to my post Nick- The Humper.

Love you guys!


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Missing In Action

I have been seriously missing in action for a while. A lot has been going on here. Some things have been same ole thing...other things, not so much.
In the last few weeks we have experienced a death in our family, my father-in-law.
It has been quite difficult for my family; so, I have been using all of my waking hours and excess energy dealing with, and mainly, helping my family deal with this loss.
Saturday will be a big day- the memorial service.
Once all of this stuff settles a bit, I will be back- sharing my life with everyone again with a vengeance. You know, getting in trouble again for blah blah blahing about everybody who doesn't like me blah blah blahing about them. Ahhhh....'tis what happens sometimes--even if I don't mean to.
Anyway, I have not forgotten about my very sweet bloggy friends and cannot wait to get back to writing (and reading) again. The time for my return is near.
Love to you all, my friends...

Monday, August 31, 2009

Preschool: Forced Independence

I have been missing from the blog world. Really, I have been somewhat missing from the real world. I have been lost in myself for about a week, trying to give myself some resting time and attempting to gain some order in our home. I have been sick with major allergy issues, the children have been the same and I have been just plain exhausted. The smoke from the California wildfires has settled in the Las Vegas valley for our children, Rick, me and everyone else to breathe in. The air here is already very dusty and dirty, now it is also smoky. My throat is sore, my nose is running one minute and clogged or snotty the next. HELP! Where are my darn tissues?

Nick started preschool last week. As with any change, Nick has taken a little bit to get used to things. He seemed excited about the school's activities, new friends, and going to a "big boy" school; but, each day at drop-off time the drama was overwhelming.

Picture this: Me holding Lyla in one arm, gripping Jacob's hand with the other as he struggles to break free and plow through the toys neatly organized on the classroom shelves. Then, there's Nick...crying, sobbing, gripping my leg as if to be grasping for the only life preserver in a bright blue sea of huge waves. He continues to cry, "Mommy! Mommy! No! I'm scared!" I try to reason with him and calm his fears while still struggling to keep a tight hold on Jacob and Lyla.

By this time, Lyla is starting to join Jacob in his fight for freedom. Nick is really putting on the dramatics. He clings to my bum and won't move. He is hiding from the teacher who is trying to coerce him to play with the other children. I turn, he moves behind me. I turn again, he follows. Finally, I make the decision to walk out. I just have to leave. He will be fine once I am gone. Plan A: FAIL. Nope. Nicholas continued to grip my leg and would not budge. The teacher and I make a plan B: I walk away with Jacob and Lyla, Nick gets pried from my leg by the teacher. I warned her. I was sure it would be rough. He can get very angry when made to do something. I worried for her....and for Nick. The teacher reassured me, told me that she had four children of her own (FOUR?!) and was so kind and gentle with Nick. Plan B: PASS.

I can't stand this; I detest making Nick do something that he is afraid of. I want to shelter him and calm his fears. But, at some point, this is necessary. The children eventually need to learn how to be independent of me. They need to learn to stand on their own--attending school is just the first step. In a way, it is a little sad. It is just one little inch closer to Nick growing up. Then one day, I will stand looking at him all grown and wondering where that scared little boy has gone. I suppose parenting is all the same here as it is anywhere else. Our goal should be that our children one day function and contribute to society independently. (And not be deranged lunatics, I suppose).

Today's school experience was an entirely different story. At home, Nick told me he was happy to go back to school and continued to rant and rave about school all weekend. I was overjoyed when he didn't totally freak out when we walked in. He still seemed a little nervous, but flashed me his smile as I waved goodbye. No crying....a little whimper, but not bad. Shew!

For Nick, change is hard. I guess with him, one of my goals will be to help him to realize that sometimes change is good and give him the self esteem and self confidence to weather whatever crosses his path. Starting school is stressful, yes...but there is no doubt that he is able to handle this small little change, just the start of all the ups and downs of life.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

10 Signs That A Boy Just Got A New Big-Boy Bike

10 Signs That A Boy Just Got A New Big-Boy Bike
(BIG with NO training wheels)

1. Boo boo Right Knee

2. Boo boo Left Knee

3. Boo boo Right Elbow
4. Boo boo Left Elbow

5. Mommy of boy covering her eyes

6. Mommy running over to kiss the boo boos

7. Five boxes of Band Aids (assortments of super heroes and Cars themes) ready for use

8. Sore boy-parts from landing on the boys-bike-bar (because someone will not use his brakes)

9. Grouchy, evil, snotty boy walking away from his bike with arms crossed

This is NOT Nick but bears a striking resemblance.

10. Mommy telling snotty boy that he is an excellent bike rider and agreeing to a few days break from riding the new big-boy bike

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Baby Girl Is One!

This past Friday was Lyla's first birthday. Even though we did not have a big party, she still had a blast. It was a great time; and, she loved the cupcakes.

I have to admit that there were times in the few days prior to Lyla's birthday that I was a little emotional thinking of her and her first birthday. As many of you probably know, Lyla was very ill when she was three months old. Her physicians did not expect that she would live. I was even told to expect her death before her first birthday. She now sleeps happily in her bedroom as a true-life testament that miracles can happen. Admittedly, I am quite the exaggerator at times, but this is really no stretch of the truth. You can read more about Lyla's story here and here.

In our day-to-day lives, Rick, I and the children can get so wrapped up in this or that. I know thoughts of just how close we came to losing Lyla will continue to fade-- until one day, those thoughts will only very rarely enter our minds. But, really, although thinking about that horrible experience can be unpleasant, isn't it a good thing to sometimes be reminded that tomorrow is never guaranteed? Isn't it a wonderful thing to be reminded what an awesome family God has given me and just how lucky and blessed that I am?

I think so.

Rick says that we should not think that much about what happened with Lyla-it happened, it's over; but, I completely and whole-heartedly disagree. I guess it's a good thing that Rick and I can agree to disagree on this topic.

Monday, August 17, 2009

White Boys Can't Dance

I have been missing from the blog world for a few days. We have had some kind of virus in our home and have all been under the weather. I have been extremely exhausted trying to fight off the illness myself and also take care of three cranky, ill children. Finally, we are all coming out of this. I am thinking the culprit may be allergies; but with no confirmation, your guess is as good as mine.
We dance in our home for entertainment, exercise and most of all, fun. Mainly, the entertainment part is that which I get from watching my boys "breakdance". I am hoping they will get a little better with time or some dance lessons will definitely be on the horizon. I cannot allow this blatant lack of rhythm to go on for very long. And, their moves.....well, you decide.

And, this one...

And... (I only kept taking pictures because Nick demanded it. Then, after each picture was taken, both Nick and Jacob bombarded me, giggling wildly, to look at the picture on my camera.)

Above, Jacob is playing his "guitar" (while dancing).

Can you tell these boys love dancing-- just about as much as I. thought...maybe it is really ME that has no rhythm. Oh no!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Buy Condoms Here

As you may or may not have noticed (not if you read this via Facebook), I have a couple of advertisements posted on my blog by Blogger. I guess Blogger chooses advertisements that match what the blog post is about.

OK....well.....uh....I am sort of in the state of shock...

I just looked at my site and saw the advertisement below my last post, Boys Say The Darndest Things, is for Trojan Ecstasy Condoms!

OK, seriously...What the heck?!!!

I guess because I had the picture that my husband chose of that really tall kinda scantily-clad girl? See what happens when I let my husband add just a little tiny tidbit to this blog? Now all of the sudden, my "mommy blog" is an avenue for the purchase of prophylactics?! Thanks, Blogger!

Oh well....can't beat 'em--join 'em.
Single people: use condoms. They save lives and prevent disease. Thank you very much!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Boys Say The Darndest Things

Nick, Jacob and Lyla currently take baths nightly together. I just cannot tackle the task of multiple baths yet. I know the time is coming; but until then, it's like a tub full of wild animals every night. Splishing, splashing, giggling, slippery little naked bodies packed all in one tub. Granted, the tub in our bathroom is a bit larger than that in one of our other bathrooms. We moved them into our garden tub a while back. They were just too rowdy for that small tub in the other room.

Tonight, while in the tub, Nick was putting bubbles on Lyla. Then, he put bubbles on his chin and exclaimed, "Mommy, Look! I look like Santa Claus!"

I agreed just as Jacob chimed in. "Ho! Ho! Ho and a bottle of rum!" yelled Jacob.

Funny. Can you tell my children are big pirates fans?


When Rick and I get angry at Nicholas, we sometimes say,"NICHOLAS CHRISTIAN REDER!!!"

A while back, I heard Nicholas schooling Jacob about something he was doing. I knew Jacob was in trouble when Nick screamed, "JACOB CHRISTMAS REDER!!!"

Uh...Christmas?? Does Nick actually think that is what Rick and I are saying when we scream his name? By the way, Christian is NOT Jacob's middle name.


I buy Cool Whip for topping for pudding. The boys' grandmother buys Whip Cream. Little difference. No big deal. Who cares...etc. One day after dinner, Nick told me that he wanted some pudding with some "Pit cream" on it. PIT CREAM? Like, arm pit cream?-- Sorry, that's the only "pit" I thought of when he said that.


One day in Michael's Arts and Crafts store, Nick loudly said, "Mommy, look at that HUGE lady!"

I looked over and there was a very very tall woman looking over at us. I smiled and told Nick that the lady was just normal-sized, Mommy is short.

The woman smiled and walked off. Sheew! I got lucky with that one--Nick was right, she was very tall. But, for most woman, "tall" is entirely different than "huge".

This picture above is courtesy of my husband, who saw it and immediately thought this would be a hilarious representation of Nick's tall-lady friend. Who wouldn't say something about this lady if they saw her out in public? Tell me: are the heels all that necessary?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

True Love- Nicholas Style

Nick has told me several times in the past year that he is going to marry Lyla. I have talked to him, explaining that people typically do not marry their sisters/brothers. He got a little upset with me and snapped, "I said I am going to marry Lyla--and that's the end of it!" Wonder where he got that line? Well, a few days later, Nick changed his mind.

"Mommy, I am not going to marry Lyla, I am going to marry you". I smiled, hugged him and told him that I would love to marry him, but that I was already married to Daddy.

"Well, I am gonna marry you too."

"No, Honey, Mommies don't marry their little boys. Maybe when you get older, you will find a nice girl to marry like Nyki or Quincey" (two neighbor girls of Grandma's that are Nick's age).

I could see the wheels turning in his head. Initially he was interested and agreed.

Then Nick said, "Well, fine. I guess I'll just marry Lyla then!"

Since then, Nick has stuck to his guns. He continues to go between me and Lyla. I guess no other girls compare...yet. :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Going to Heaven

I am back, after having a couple of nights of good sleep. I had to take some Ambien-but hell, whatever it takes. I have been going without sleep for much much too long; so, it was time to have a couple of nights of restful slumber.

Things have been pretty stressful in our home lately due to the mounting illness of a close family member of Rick's. At this time, I will not disclose much about this family member (sometimes everything does not have to be shouted over the internet~so I hear); but, it will probably be mentioned in passing again in the future. I write about issues that impact my life and that of my family--his illness effects our family in a huge way. Unfortunately, we are all now bracing for the worse. Cancer is horrible. Miracles do happen, which of course is what I am praying for. But, as I know quite well, God's plan is not always how we would like things to go. Sometimes the "God, please make _____ better" changes to "God, please free ____ from his fight. Whatever your will. I will accept it". My prayers for this person have not yet made this change. Maybe I am too selfish and just do not want my family to go through this. I know that with time, the prayer will change. Unfortunately though, time is exactly what he does not have much of.

I am trying grab at some sort of positive in this family crisis; but, it is pretty difficult at this time. For now, I will just lend emotional support to Rick and the rest of the family and continue the prayers that the boys, Rick and I have said every night for the last seven months of this battle.

For the age of our children, we have had to talk quite a bit about death with them. Their fish died. And, another fish died. And, four more fish died. Then, I almost miscarried when I was pregnant with Lyla. And, lastly, when Lyla was ill when she was 3 months old, her physicians did not believe she would make it home. No one did. So, now again, we are faced with talking about the potential death of someone to whom they are very close. Why discuss this if it actually has not happened? Well...honesty. Our children are quite perceptive and always want to know where everyone is. Where's Daddy? Where's Mommy? We choose to tell them. I think Rick and I both feel that death is a part of life. As for me, I hope having discussed this with them, they better understand the natural course of life and God's role in it.

We have chosen to describe "death" as "going to Heaven"; even though when I say that I am not always sure that is actually where they are going. Really, where do fish go when they die? Fishy heaven? Or, do they just simply cease to exist? What about the "bad guys"? Do they go to Heaven? That's really between them and God; but, for simplicity, they are "going to Heaven" as far as the boys are concerned right now. They are a little bit too young to discuss the ins and outs of Hell versus Heaven. Come on! Thankfully, I have a couple more years before I have to explain that. But, as for the whole topic of death, there has been little way to get out of that discussion.

Tonight, while talking about our family member...

Me: _____ is very sick and in the hospital. Daddy is there now to see him. He is so sick, he may go to Heaven. Everyone is very sad.

Jacob: (smiling at his marvelous idea) ______ needs a sucker!

Nicholas: (kicking around and laughing hysterically) No, Silly! _____ doesn't need a sucker!

Me: Well, maybe a sucker would make him feel better. Good idea Jacob. (now thinking of how to get _____ a sucker in the hospital)

Nicholas: Hmm...well, I sure hope they have a sucker there for him at the hospital then.

Innocence--isn't it beautiful?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Too Dang Tired

Hello folks! Well, I am too dang tired to function. I have had some really busy days running errands (with all three children in tow), dealing with family issues, a doctor's appointment, and swimming lessons for both boys three days in a row. I can barely think straight (and that was already lacking prior to all of this).
So, I am going to cut this short and promise to resume after I catch up a little in the sleep department.
The swimming lessons have been interesting to say the least, so there will be updates on that for sure. A little hint: tears and snot everywhere...again--but lots of fun too!
OK, until later...
Sweet dreams and very little tears and snot for you all!

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Boy Named Nick And His Bike

After my very rough Thursday, I was just plain exhausted. I really needed to relax, take it easy and remind myself that I need to allow fun in my life and not take things so seriously. One of these days my head is going to pop off of my neck!

For me, someone who always blows every ailment or would-be-injury out of proportion, I really have a difficult time just chilling out. So, I have decided that maybe I need to take up drinking. Just kidding. Kind of. Maybe a glass of wine at the end of some evenings would do me some good. That, combined with some old-fashioned sleep would probably do wonders. So, I am working on that. I think we have about ten bottles of wine gathering dust on the wine rack anyway. Woohoo!

What I did not expect is that my oldest little boy, Nicholas (now 4), would decide to take me up on my offer to teach him to ride his bike without training wheels. So, on Friday night, after a few attempts in previous weeks, he had built his courage once again. As we walked outside, I was psyched. I knew Nick was quite capable. He is a daredevil and a go-getter type. He is very physical and enjoys just about every sport. There was no doubt in my mind that NICK was the only thing holding him back from his success. After a few moments of calming some last-minute jitters, Nick decided that he would be better off wearing elbow and knee pads. Done. Nothing wrong with being safe.
I held him up, gave him some brief instruction on the how-to's of taking off and stopping...and off he went. No wobbles. No crashes. No...nothing. I was a little surprised that he didn't do the typical "crash and burn".

I have to confess that when Nick asked to wear the knee and elbow pads I happily agreed and would have ran inside to get them myself if I wasn't tending to Jacob at that moment. It seems silly to admit, but I wanted to cushion Nick's fall in any way possible. I wanted to protect him--but really, I couldn't. He HAD to do this on his own, without my maternal refuge. I know that bike riding is only the tip of this HUGE iceberg; there will be thousands of things that he will need to learn on his own-without me. I am so happy...and yet so sad that my little boy is growing up.

Part of Nick's motivation for learning to ride without training wheels was a promise that Rick and I made: a bigger big-boy bike. We stuck to our guns and did not purchase a bigger bike although both of us have been wanting to. Nick was beginning to look like a Shriner riding a tiny bike in a parade.
I will post a picture of the new bike soon enough. We are pricing out a really cool Tony Hawk bike. Probably $50 more just because it's Tony Hawk. Oh well. It's cool....and so is Nick! :)

Your Blog Is Fabulous Award

Despite all of my recent insanity, ranting, raving and feeling sorry for myself, I received an award! Woohoo! I guess I really needed the pick-me-up. Thank you so very much Ty (AKA Mama) over at Mama of 3 Munchkins. She really has a wonderful blog full of announcements, freebies, giveaways, and more. If you have not already checked out Ty's blog, it is a real MUST!

Thank you again Ty for your kindness.

Your Blog Is Fabulous Award: In accepting this award, list five current obsessions and pass the award on to five more fabulous blogs. Make sure to link back to the person who sent the award to you; and also, include the links of those blogs to which you are passing the award. Don't forget to let your winners know that they received the award from you by posting a comment on their blog.

My Current Obsessions:

(Really, these are things I am working on obsessing about)

1. Working Out--granted, not seeing huge results yet, but I am trying not to get discouraged. Exercise is good for my physical and mental health.

2. Making Unique Dinners--I have gotten in a rut of making the same ole, same ole things for dinner. Although it is easy, I have been exploring new dinners. So far, the children and Rick have been receptive and even excited.

3. Worrying about my diet as much as I worry about the children's-- I think many mothers forget do this. Remember: Mommy's health is important too.

4. Setting apart time for fun for me--getting pedicures and manicures, making spa day appt and actually GOING, making appt to get my eyeliner tattooed. (Given to me as a gift a while back) Finally shopping with my gift cards (without the children, so I can actually try on things and browse)

5. Remembering that fun needs to be a priority with the children. If too much work occupies my time, parenthood is much too overwhelming. The children need the fun and so do I!

So, swimming lessons started today for Nick and Jacob... Soccer registration for Nick is this week.

Rick (AKA Hubs), Lyla and I will also attend these fun activities.

Five Fabulous Blogs

  1. Loulou's Views

  2. Lady Mama

  3. So Much More Than A Mom

  4. The Silver Whining

Congratulations Ladies! You guys rock! I love your blogs and am thankful for your kindness and/or humor.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Just Shoot Me!

Today was a total nightmare! Even as I say that, I know it could have been worse- it always can. But, as for this moment, I reflect on my day as being shitty. Can I say that on a blog rated G? Probably not.

I should have known from the moment that I got my Special K Berry flavored waffles out of the toaster and they were soggy that I should have just gone back to bed. If only I could have; I am sure I would have. But, that's not this mommy's life--nor will it be for many years to come or has it been now for many years. Sleeping in... I don't even remember how to do it.

But, truthfully, not sleeping in is not the real problem I have with today's events. It was the rest of the day that makes my stomach turn.

After our normal breakfast routine, I had a big plan for the day. I had several errands that needed to be accomplished. With our few stops ahead of us, we all headed out to the car, loaded up in our seats and were off--the three children and I. So I thought.

I turned the click click....(nothing).

Damn it. Dead battery. Well, since my freakin' new minivan with a whopping 6000 miles had a dead battery now for the second time since buying the thing, my patience was running thin. Luckily, we have one of those car jumper things that can jump your car. Since I had to do this same thing only a few months ago, I was getting pretty good at it. Flip on the car jumper, plug it in, attach the jumper cables. Easy.

Problem: silence. The battery was so dead that it was no longer chargeable with the jumper. I cussed, thought about how I would now have to inconvenience Rick to help his incapable wife on his birthday. Oh well. He married me. He knows.

So, I called, restated that we loved him, said Happy Birthday again, then broke the news. He came home, followed all of my previous steps, then decided to jump the van with his truck.

Great. But, frankly, now I didn't want to turn off the car or go anywhere that was too far. I didn't want to be stranded on the other side of Las Vegas with three young children and no ride. Or worse yet, get broken down on the side of the road- not in this town.

So, I ditched all of the errands and drove to the car dealership. They charged me $50--unfair, but not worth an additional fight. Because, by the time I was talking to the woman about the charges, I had had enough argument. Have you ever had to control three children (aged 4, 2 and almost 1) in a car dealership?

Maybe I could have walked them around the parking the 115 freakin' degree temperatures! Or maybe I could have allowed them to have all of the sodas, candy and chips that they were banging on the vending machine window for? Or, maybe I could have begged one of the several happy senior citizens also waiting for their cars to help? I could tell by the looks on their faces that they were jealous. I know they wanted to be me. With my messy hair pulled back in a glamour-do and my ratty falling apart flip flops from three years ago with my dried out skin and my chipped toenail polish. Maybe they just wanted to be me because I was so obviously enjoying myself as I tried to wrangle the children without publicly grabbing them forcefully by the arm and threatening their very existence while in front of others. Then again, I must have been the maternity-turned-post-child-no-longer-can-afford-to-give-a-shit wardrobe that adorned my fat ass and thighs. Pheew! For a while I was wondering if anyone would be jealous of me again.

Then, a glimpse of God...a ray of sunlight shone through the clouds (that I almost missed as Jacob was hitting and kicking me while screaming at the top of his lungs): my phone rang. It was Rick's step-mother who offered to come to the dealership and bring lunch for the children. Awesome! She brought their favorite: McDonald's. I could not have cared less what the hell she brought. As long as someone else was there-- someone that could rescue me even for a little shred of a second from my personal mommy hell.

Did I mention that the reason Jacob was screaming was because he was trying to squeeze Lyla's head like a grape while attempting to give her a smoosh-my-face-into-your-face-so-hard-you-can't-breathe kiss. Lyla responded appropriately with a terrified look on her face, followed by wailing. Great. Then, trying to control my anger, I told Jacob to sit in the chair beside me for a time out. He screamed too, then hit me, tried to claw me, flung himself to his favorite resting spot (the floor), rolled around for a while until he was yanked up and placed in the chair. He continued to kick, even smiled when he managed to actually hit me, or the stroller. RRRGGHH!

All of this drama continued for two hours. I did find some solace in a glass room that the dealership had blocked off. The room had a couple of very dirty children's books and a small rolling cart with a few dirty blocks. Ah hah! The kid's room! Great! Now my children will catch the Hiney virus (Also Known As H1N1) by playing with these filthy toys. Hey, at least they will not be attracting so many fans. I was sure the paparazzi would bust in any moment for some quick shots of us.

The one thing about this room was that although it had no door, it blocked much of the area that my children were able to freely run from my grasp. It also had two blown up balloons with attached strings that were resting at the ceiling. Great. Occupied. For...oh....15 minutes? That's great! I wasn't complaining.

Finally after ravaging our Happy Meals, the van was ready. I have never been so damn happy to get out of a place.

We went home, the children napped for about an hour and a half, then we had to race off to get Rick a birthday card. We no longer had time to get him a gift, make him a cake, do anything special. His gift was now that we were alive. That's it. We went to the store, had more of the average fun at the grocery store, and managed to make a five minute trip into a 30 minute drama session by simply being in Jacob's presence. As I was checking out, Rick calls wondering where we are. I bit his head off. I couldn't help it. I was sure that in the background he could hear why I was so happy.

Once again, Jacob was trying to hurt Lyla and kick Nick, Nick was fighting back, Lyla was screaming, then Jacob started screaming because Nick was hitting him back. Fun times. So, needless to say, Rick was totally pissed at me.

I tried to apologize, but that attitude was really short lived. He followed my apology with, "Why didn't you get milk and paper plates when you went to the store?" and "Why did you get me another cake? I had one at work." That was it. I was on a roll again. Now I was mad at Rick...and the kids....and myself for forgetting those things, and having three children that are lunatics, and leaving my happy life and career to do the impossible job of being a stay-at-home mother, and being chosen by God to be a parent....and being chosen by Rick to be his wife....etc etc. I could have gone on and on. I must have been on a roll.

And, tomorrow, I wake up and do it all over and grovel for Rick's forgiveness for ruining his birthday.

Do you see why us mothers often go completely insane? It's not's everyone else DRIVING us insane! Can you also see why sometimes motherhood (and stay-at-home motherhood) is so difficult? Just in case you don't know--just in case you are one of those old people who were so jealous of me at the car dealership.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Off to Preschool

Tomorrow I am off to put down a deposit for Nicholas to go to preschool starting in August. Initially, I was a little annoyed that it will be another year before he can start public Kindergarten. His birthday is Nov. 1st, so he missed the cutoff date. However, after I thought about it for a while, I think Nick can use the extra time and will one day enjoy being the oldest in class versus the youngest.

The preschool seems very nice, has a computer room with about ten computers, and teaches sign language and Spanish as part of their preschool program. I am excited for Nick to have the exposure to other children and the ability to make friends. He was in daycare until we moved here about two years ago. In his old school, the teachers would always tell me wonderful things about Nick. I hope he eases back into the old swing of things and really enjoys himself. We are only going to have him in school for three days a week. I figure that should be good enough for him to get the benefits of preschool with some reinforcement at home the other days.

I have attempted to teach Nick a few things at home, constantly going over number and letter recognition, practicing his writing in those Pre-K workbooks and we read quite a bit with the children. But, Nick just has better things to do than to spend the day concentrating on what letter makes what sound or what a Y looks like. I think Nick figures there are action figures to set up in a war-like scenario, baseballs to be hit and tossed, a little brother to torment and a perfectly good pool to swim in. Who the heck cares about the number 23? Let's go have some fun! Woohoo!

Now, Jacob is a different story. He loves numbers and letters. He has not quite mastered actually counting objects. He counts a few, then starts recounting the same objects again. But, Jacob knows his alphabet (recognition included), counts to twenty, can recognize most of the numbers to 10 and also knows the sounds produced by all but five letters. I am very proud of him; but, in reality, I have worked much less with Jacob than I have with Nicholas. Jacob just likes letters and numbers so he picks it up quickly and easily. I hope he continues to have his exuberance for learning for years and years to come.

One thing that has been in our favor is that Nick does not like that Jacob knows all of this stuff when he does not. Peer pressure- I love it. Whatever works.

Also, for a few days a week I will be able to concentrate more on my youngest two: Jacob and Lyla. Trust me, this will not be any kind of break. As previously stated, Jacob is a HUGE handful right now and Lyla is getting around and getting into trouble of her own. Heck, now that I think about it, it may be HARDER without Nick to help me. Oh no!

One Million Acts of Green

One Million Acts of Green

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Terrible TwoVille

Oh where, oh where has my little dog gone?
Oh where, oh where can he be?
With his ears cut short and his tail cut long.
Oh where, oh where can he be?

This is how I feel about Jacob.

Oh where, oh where has my sweet boy gone?
Oh where, oh where can he beeeeeeee?
With his round little buns and his hair cut short.
Oh where, oh where can he be?

I am sure I know the answer. He is gone-- only to reappear for a flash here and there in between bouts of anger, throwing toys, crying, pouting, kicking, hitting, and imitations of a limp noodle in protest. My little sweet angel boy Jacob is now hidden, somewhere deep down behind those big beautiful hazel eyes that will capture your heart in a second.

Jacob is two. Does that explain it? Terrible TwoVille.

In his place though, I happily welcome back my other sweet boy Nicholas. He has been hiding out in Terrible TwoVille now for a couple of years. In the last few weeks, Nick has finally returned. He is four and a half and it has been a long road. Don't get me wrong: Nick is the quintessential drama king. I am quite positive that will never change. However, his kind, selfless, helpful, understanding, gentle, and sympathetic side is finally back. Ahhhhh. It is really a wonderful thing to have my oldest little boy back to his sweet self. I was wondering for a while if Nick would ever make it out of that phase. He seemed to be having a blast. Here's keeping my fingers crossed that we all survive Jacob's trip to this God forsaken place, Terrible TwoVille.

Thankfully, God knows me. He knows that I need to see at least a small glimpse of my sweet boys every-once-in-a-while to reassure me of their eventual return from their two year old maturation camp. Often, at night, when the wild little boys finally slow down and rest their screaming little legs (and mouths) for the evening, they look up at me, give me big hugs and kisses and tell me how much they love me. Then, as with every evening, we all say prayers together. They thank God for everyone who they have laid their eyes upon in a long, sometimes rambling list. Mommy is always first on their list. Thank you God for that,... and for my two wonderfully exhausting sweet boys.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Little Crystall Confessions

One of my favorite children's books, Where The Wild Things Are, begins:

The night Max wore his wolf suit and got into mischief of one kind, and another...

I was thinking earlier today about mischief. Specifically, little-Crystall mischief. When I think back, I think I was a pretty good child. I don't think I had much attitude. Little girls can be a little bratty--not me. I guess I was a little curious, isn't everyone? But for the most part, I don't remember getting into much trouble.

Now, fast forward thirty (yes, thirty) years and I now wonder what kind of mischief my boys (and Lyla) have in store for me. As far as I am concerned, I deserve to have the most angelic children (because I was such an angel-of course). But, Rick (my husband)...he was all-boy. He was a wild child, a rebel and a very big handful in his teenage years. So, if he is due payback, I guess I'll be getting it too. How is that fair?

Little Crystall Mischief

1. When I was about six, I threw every sandwich my mom made me for school into my closet. Over months they piled high and stinky. I did not like sandwiches.

This is described in more detail in a previous post: Snot Rags

2. When I was five, I folded a blanket and placed it over a light bulb for a homemade night light. It caught on fire. I stomped it out, buried it in (guess where?) the closet. My mother came in my room saying that she smelled something burning. I lied. She found it when we moved.

3. Around the same time, I ironed (yes, IRONed) a paper towel on the carpet in our living room. I got a bright idea that I would attempt to iron-out the little quilts on a paper towel. I turned on the iron (full blast-super super hot), placed the paper towel on our brand new carpet in the middle of the living room, then proceeded to iron it. The carpet fibers melted onto the paper towel "gluing" it to the floor- a perfect square. It was unable to be removed. There was a paper towel on our floor until we moved.

4. I was once called over by a man in his car on my walk home from school. I approached his passenger side cautiously. He had his pants down and was playing with himself. I was five. He asked me some directions to get out of the neighborhood. I quickly tried to tell him, then left-walking briskly. He followed me. I went around a corner, hid behind a bush and ran the other way. As I was running, I heard his car behind me. I dashed into an alley behind some houses and started banging on people's doors. I turned back and saw the man down the alley looking at me as he sat in his car. I continued to knock; I was sure he was getting out of his car to get me. Finally, someone answered and called my mom to come get me. I did not tell my mom that the man had his pants down until just a few years ago. Why? I have no idea. I guess I was embarrassed.

5. When I had my period when I was twelve, I didn't tell my mom about it for quite a while. Once again, I was very embarrassed. No reason to be- but I was. I used washcloths as feminine pads. I cannot believe I did this. I know most of you would never confess about this if you did it. Well...I don't mind too much. It's OK to be imperfect and do things that you would now do differently (or not at all). It's also funny to think of these things now.

6. I found a joint that was apparently "misplaced" in a bag of my hair curlers that I accidentally left in our dining room. I decided to let my friend smoke it. I was not interested. I was in my early teens.

7. I was secretly happy when one of my mom's boyfriends (I was five) kicked the refrigerator and had to get stitches. He had previously hung me from my underwear on a closet door knob (great guy) as I was screaming in pain; and, he also pretended to be dying by letting Ketchup run out of his mouth and falling onto the floor to scare me. What a jerk!

8. I left my room a constant disaster. I stepped on my little records and broke them. I left the plastic "cake pusher" stuck in my Easy Bake Oven (when it was on) and it melted.

9. When I was about three, I remember getting a towel and pooping on the towel in my room. Why? Don't know. What happened to it? Don't know. Does my mom know I did this? Hmm....don't know. I also got out a little mirror and looked at my tweeny. I have no idea what I was doing.

10. I found pictures of my mom's boyfriend naked. This was the same mean boyfriend listed above. I showed my friends. Oops. Sorry Mom. I know you did NOT know this until now. He wasn't very nice. He deserved this.

11. My aunt, Teresa (she is very close to my age) and I made a whole pot of coffee one day when we were home alone on a school holiday. I think we were ten or twelve. We drank the entire pot as we played "office". I got crazy paranoid and was a spazz for the rest of the day, worried my parents would be mad at me.

12. When I was about four, the little boy that lived in the apartment below ours tried to get me to touch his wiener. He was the same age as I was. I was not interested and thought it looked strange.

That's all I can think of for now. And really, I think that's all of the memories I ( and my mom) can probably handle. Sorry again, Mom.

By the way, I would be very upset if it were my children doing these things. Now that I have all of this listed out, "Little Crystall" doesn't sound very well-behaved. Maybe I do deserve some payback. God, help me please!