Tuesday, October 8, 2013

TSW?T: So Close, Yet So Far

They Said What? Tuesday:  Volume 23

My 3-year-old daughter...

"Is Grandma going to Skittle-ly next?"
...Her question after I told her Grandma had landed safely in France.  We talked about the different places Grandma was going on her trip to Europe when the kids made her a poster before she left.  To my daughter's credit, Skittle-ly sounds even better than Italy!  

My 5-year-old son...

"Can we have those donuts from Bob Evans?"
...I have no idea if Bob Evans even has donuts.  Maybe they do.  If they do, we've never, ever had them there.  What he meant by 'Bob Evans' was 'Robinette's,' which may actually make the best donuts on the face of the planet.

No matter what they say, You Are a Good Mom.

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Sunday, October 6, 2013

"Parent"dox: When Your Baby Sister is All Grown Up


Sunday Night "Parent"dox #26:  When Your Baby Sister is All Grown Up

Tomorrow is my baby sister's birthday, which makes tonight her "Birthday Eve."  

Tonight, we celebrated her birthday at her house eating pizza, cupcakes and decorating pumpkins.

While we were driving home, it hit me in very strange way...my baby sister is all grown up.  

We were at her house, with her and her husband, with a yummy dinner and fun activities for my kids to do while we there, and her adorable, sweet daughter smiling and being cuddled through all of it.

She is all grown up.  I don't know exactly when it happened, but it happened.  She is all grown up.  And even though my 13-year-old self would never, ever believe I'd ever be saying this, she turned out pretty awesome.  

For her birthday, I'm sharing the speech I gave at her wedding reception just under 3 years ago.  

Happy Birthday, Baby Sis!  I love you!! ****************************************************************************************
What an amazing day for two amazing people!  The reception looks amazing, and the ceremony was beautiful.  Now you know, Katie, Brian has had to listen to you and agree with you a lot during this whole wedding planning process.  So don't worry if Brian doesn't listen to you or agree with you after today...you do realize that you are allowed to have 15 more husbands. I even heard Father Andy say so at the ceremony today. Remember? FOUR better, FOUR worse, FOUR richer, and FOUR poorer!!  (Although I do think he is THE BEST and only ONE you will ever need!


It’s hard to believe my “little sister’s” wedding day is here!  Growing up, I think we disagreed just that one time...or maybe more than once...I don't exactly remember, but I do remember both Mom and Dad telling us "You only have one sister.  You better work it out.  Someday, she will be your best friend!"  I remember rolling my eyes and mumbling lots of things under my breath more than once about that mantra as it was drilled into our heads.  I also remember thinking "I only have one sister....THANK GOD!" on more than one occasion.  

And it started early!  Like when you were born, and came home from the hospital and I asked if you could spend the night at our house…then asked the very next day if Mom and Dad could PLEASE take you back now.  And I thought THANK GOD I only have one sister when we were playing catch in the basement, and instead of catching the ball, you decided to duck, and the softball shattered the window.  And I thought THANK GOD I only have one sister when we attacked each other with markers, covering each other from head to toe, in the battle that came to be know in our house simply as “Marker Wars.” 

And I hate to say it, but this has to be music to Mom and Dad's ears:  You were right.....YES, MOM AND DAD, YOU…WERE…RIGHT, My little sister has indeed become my best friend.  A lot has changed in the 28 years we've spent together, but my thought is still the same...THANK GOD I have one sister.  I THANK GOD for giving me the gift of a sister and best friend.  

Someone who is smart, hilarious, beautiful, both inside and out, who will laugh with me, cry with me, listen to me, tell me the truth, not just what I want to hear, and be there for me for always.  THANK GOD I have a sister who is the one person who has truly gone through life with me, the ups and the downs, and understands things about who I am and why I am a little bit crazy, in a way no one else can.  THANK GOD I have a sister who knows what I am thinking without exchanging words, just exchanging a glance.  THANK GOD I have a sister to call, or who can call me, when no one else understands what's going on.  THANK GOD I have a sister who let me (well, I guess "let me" is a relative term...) boss her around teaching her dances and making her do "shows", a sister who will help wrap a Christmas gift at 2am by throwing it in a box with a blanket and brick, a sister who will create masterpieces out of Triscuits and Easy Cheese.  And now seeing my children begin to play with each other, interact with each other, and love each other, I THANK GOD even more I had a sister and I realize a relationship with a sibling is not one to be taken for granted.

Today, I THANK GOD again, but this time for the amazing man He has chosen as my "little sister's" husband.  Brian, welcome to our crazy family, and good luck. From the time you and Katie started dating...again...I think we have ALL been hoping and praying this day would come! (And it actually arrived a week sooner than we originally thought...even better.)

You are a man of character and integrity, and you get my sister (yup, after today she's all yours....)  No, really, you GET my sister, and it warms my heart to know she is marrying a man who sees her and loves her for who she really is.  She is so happy, and is completely and totally herself, when she is with you.  She has a twinkle in her eye, a bounce in her step, and genuine happiness in her laugh since you came into her life.   I also THANK GOD for the incredible family Katie is joining today.  They are an amazing family, who are caring, hilarious and will keep a good eye on her.  They have been nothing but welcoming to her and our entire family.  It truly feels like today is a union of not just two people, but two families. 

Katie, I haven't told you nearly enough, but I have always looked up to you.  I know I'm the big sister, and I was the one who was supposed to be "teaching you things" but I feel like I have learned far more from you than I ever taught you.  I have always been amazed by your ability to make the best of any situation, your ability to put other people at ease, your ability to go with the flow, and your incredible talent to make people laugh.  You speak your mind and say the things that need to be said, and you do it with humor and grace.  You are so very outgoing, and you have the kind of magnetic personality that people are drawn to.  You never cease to amaze me.  You make me laugh whenever we are together.  

You have been so many things to so many people: daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, cousin, aunt, sister-in-law, friend, fiancée, manager; and today you take on new roles....bride, wife, daughter-in-law.  You have handled these roles with kindness, commitment and love, and I know as you will continue to do so now as you begin this new chapter of life.  It is an honor to be standing next to you today, and it is an honor to see you marry your best friend in the same dress that I married my best friend in 6 1/2 years ago. 

Katie and Brian, it is simply awesome to around the two of you together.  You demonstrate that "once in a lifetime" kind of love and friendship that is rare and beautiful.  You bring out the best in one another, and support and encourage one another. It is so exciting to think about what your future together holds (hopefully lots of cousins for my kids....I'm just sayin'....) and the many lives you will both continue to touch and uplift.  

There will be tough times, and it won't always be easy, but take a minute and look around this room.  Look at all of the family and friends that are here in this room, and think of those family and friends that are here with you in spirit today, including angel Grandmas and Grandpas.  We are all here for you, in both good times and in bad times, to support you along your journey, and encourage you when times do get tough.  First and foremost, you have God, you have one another, but always remember, you have all of us.  You are never, NEVER alone.  You are both so very, very loved, today and always. 

So if you'll raise your glasses, I think it is fitting to close with this Irish Wedding Blessing:  May God be with you and bless you.  May you see your children's children.  May you be poor in misfortunes and rich in blessings.  May you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.

Slainte!

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To my baby sister, You Are a Good Mom.  You Are an Amazing Mom.  You Are an Incredible Mom.  I still THANK GOD that you are my sister, my children's aunt, and my niece's mom.  

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

TSW?T: Twigs, Shavers and Other Assorted Ridiculousness

They Said What? Tuesday:  Volume 22

My 3-year-old daughter...

All of these are courtesy of my sister this week.  After she spent the afternoon with my daughter, she texted me these gems.  

"I should wear my hair twigs to school after Halloween, right?"
...And by twigs, she obviously means, wig.  

M:  "I'm so thirsty."
My Sister:  "I'll get you some water and then you need to have rest time."
M:  "I can only rest with apple juice water."
...That's my daughter...workin' the system already.  The best part is this is something my sister totally would have pulled at age 3.  They are the perfect match for each other!

If you haven't met my kids, I'm sure you think I'm making this stuff up.  If you've met my kids, you (sadly) know I'm not...

"My mom has the same boob you do.  I will have that boob when I'm big enough to use shavers."
...There is no explanation.  I have no idea where she comes up with this stuff.  That is just some of the craziness that pops out of my daughter's mouth, and the reason I live between constant states of fear and absolute hilarity.

My 5-year-old son...

"Mom, can you pause the book, please?"
...His way of telling me 'Mom, don't start reading the book until I find my toy bat and can crawl back up next to you in my bed.'  In all honesty, I guess his way was much faster...and funnier...win for him.  Trust me, he needs all the wins he can get after his 'b word' episode from last week.

No matter what they say, You Are a Good Mom.

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

"Parent"dox: When You're Hungry, They're Hungry

Sunday Night "Parent"dox #25:  When You're  Hungry, They're Hungry

This "parent"dox involves traveling back in time for me a few years, but I remember it all so very clearly.

I distinctly remember meal times at our house when both of my children were newborns.  I think the biggest learning curve was with my son, as he was our firstborn, but this "parent"dox rang true with our daughter as well.

Without fail, my sweet, precious, angelic baby would be sleeping away.  They were so adorable, I could lay there and watch them sleep.  Sweet little nose, sweet little fluttering eyelids, sweet little chest rising up and down ever so slightly.  Oh, this is love, without a doubt.

Whether we were preparing a meal at home (read as: heating up something in the microwave or pouring a bowl of cereal.  Come on...these were NEWBORN days, remember?!) or actually eating out as a restaurant, as soon as a plate of food was set in front of me, my baby, without fail, would start stirring.  I would plead Please, please, PLEASE stay asleep!! even thought I knew it was a lost cause.  There was absolute, 100% certainty that baby would be awake by the time I shoveled my 3rd bite of food into my mouth.  By the 5th bite, they would be in an all-out screaming bout, ready to eat.

That sweet, angelic, precious baby was now standing between me and my food.  

Not a good place to be, mind you, not a good place to be.

Words like "sweet," "precious," and "angelic" were no longer coming to mind.

It was like they had super sonic smelling and hearing, and when they so much as smelled a hot meal and heard it hit the table in front of me, it triggered them to wake up.  It didn't matter if they had been asleep for 5 minutes or 2 hours, they were definitely going to wake up at that moment.

I'm pretty sure their baby line of thinking in that moment went something like this:

What?  What's that?  Mom is hungry and ready to eat?  I don't want to miss out on this action.  Surely, surely, that must mean I need to eat now, too.

RIGHT NOW.

Not after the meal is over.  Not in 5 minutes.

NOW.

People say that when you nurse, it also helps you to lose weight.  I'm pretty sure this is only because you never actually have a chance to eat real, hot food.  By the time you're done feeding your tyrannical baby, your once lovely, delicious meal is now cold and doesn't taste nearly as good as you had hoped.  You choke down a few bites, and that's all you can muster.

That, my friends, is really where the weight loss comes in to play.

Although I will say the first time in my life I ever ate cold pizza was after my son was born.  I had never, ever been a fan of cold pizza, even in high school or college.  I just couldn't bring myself to eat it.  But enter New Mom mode, and I was just happy to have food around.  Period.  I didn't even bother sticking it in the microwave...just bit the bullet (or cold pizza, in this case) and went for it.



And knowing how very, very healthy cold pizza is, maybe there is actually something to that whole "nursing helps you lose weight" thing...

Hang in there, Moms of Newborns and Infants!!  There will come a day when you will eat foods -- hot if they're supposed to be hot and cold if they're supposed to be cold -- once again.  

When somehow, miraculously, everyone in your family actually gets fed, You Are a Good Mom.

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

It Was Only a Matter of Time

In all honesty, I knew this day was coming.  

I simply didn't realize it would happen so soon.

Or so loudly.

Or so publicly.

My children have said a lot of crazy things in their short little lives.  Some funny, some sweet, some embarrassing, some downright hilarious.  Up until this point, they have been said, for the most part, in the presence of family or friends.

Not any more.  My son is now in school for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week. 

That gives him 35 hours to let one of his gems slip out of his sweet little mouth.  And slip out it did...

The 'B' Word

Last week, his class was working on the letter 'b' at school.  They were brainstorming words that start with the letter 'b' in class.  He eagerly raised his hand, and waited for the teacher to call on him.  As she pointed his way, a smile crept across his face.  Very loud and very proud, he said for all the class and his teacher to hear...

[enter your thought here on what it might be]

"BEER!"

Yes, beer does indeed start with the letter 'b.'  I can see he's got that initial sound thing down.  That is good.

Yes, I know there is another 'b' word that could have been much worse that could have popped out of his little mouth.  (That is actually what I was fearing when this story was relayed to me the first time, although I'm fairly certain he's never even heard that word before...)  That is also good

But seriously?  BEER?

That's the first word that pops into my kid's mind?  That's his 'b' word?  

Let me take 5.3 seconds to think of, oh, I don't know, a MILLION other kindergarten appropriate words he could have said.

Bat.
Ball.
Book.
Blue.
Bear.
Bike.
Bed.
Banana.
Beach.
Boat.
Bus.
Birthday.
Binoculars.

Oh no, not my son.  My son comes up with beer.  Proud day for this Momma, let me tell you what.

Then there was the picture he drew at home on Sunday for his Grandma.




"What does that say?" you're wondering.  Apparently, this drawing really needed a picture of a beer fridge.  Yes, a BEER FRIDGE.   No, she doesn't have one.  No, we don't even have one!  

From these two lovely little tales, you'd think we're raging alcoholics in this house.  I assure you, this is not the case.  Far from it.  I'm just hoping we can convince his teacher of this.

Our Saving Grace

The one thing that might get us out of this whole mess is a comment he made at home about 3 weeks ago.  

I had my copy of Parents magazine sitting on the end of my bed.  My son walked by it, then did a double take and walked back and looked at it again.



"Mom, is that Mrs. K?"

Oh, sweet child of mine.  Why don't you say things like this at school and leave all the beer talk for home?

No, that is not your kindergarten teacher.  It is supermodel Heidi Klum.  

(I will say, there is definitely a resemblance, though.)

I did email this little tidbit of cuteness to his teacher before the whole beer fiasco took place, so I'm hoping those two things somehow cancel one another out as she's debating if she should be calling the authorities on us.

Would it be inappropriate to get his teacher beer as a Christmas gift and address the card to Heidi?  Hmm...

Even when they embarrass you and they're not even in your presence, fear not, You Are a Good Mom.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

TSW?T: Poison and Lose Winners

They Said What? Tuesday:  Volume 21

My 3-year-old daughter...

"Mom, I need to take my telescope off."
...Apparently 'telescope' is a synonym for 'stethoscope' in toddler talk



M:  "Can I have something to drink, please?"
Me:  "Absolutely.  What would you like?"
M:  "Umm...Poison.  I want some poison, please."
...This sounds like it should be cause for concern, does it not?  Relax, my good friends, and do not be alarmed.  The funniest thing about this quote is that I knew exactly what she meant.  She, of course, wanted apple cider.

Still confused?

My son had been talking about apples, and specifically, the poison apple from Snow White shortly before this little conversation happened.  So in my daughter's mind, she was thinking of a poison apple and naturally, then, 'poison' would be another word for 'apple cider.'  I pray they don't have apple cider for a snack at school any time in the near future.  Or ever, for that matter.

"Mom, you are the lose winner."
...Oh, how I love it when they just make up words or phrases to fit what they're trying to express when they don't have those words or phrases yet.  Perhaps what I love most of all, though, is that she doesn't know the word 'loser' yet.  I'm OK with keeping it that way for as long as possible.

My 5-year-old son...

...Oh, it's a doozie this week.  So much so that he's getting his own post all to himself on Thursday.  Stay tuned... 

No matter what they say, You Are a Good Mom.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

"Parent"dox: Because Someone Else Said So

Sunday Night "Parent"dox #24:  Because Someone Else Said So

Remember when you were a kid, and you'd ask your Mom or Dad "Why?" and they'd reply with "Because I said so!" and that was it.  The final, be-all, end-all, don't even think about asking another question or coming back with any other smart alec comment.

Period.

(Remember the first time you heard those words slip out of your own mouth as a parent?  Oh, I can't believe how many of my parents' phrases have slipped out of my own mouth when I least expected it.)

At our house, the statement that would be a better fit in response to that question would be "Because Someone Else said so!"

Let me explain this "parent"dox and what it looks like with our son.

My son is most definitely one of those kids that listens to authority.  His teacher, his doctor, his story time librarian.  If it comes from someone he sees as "authority," it is an indisputable truth and rule to be followed to the letter.

That is, of course, unless the authority is his dad or me.

That's not to say he doesn't listen to us...some of the time.  In general, he is our "rule follower" kid.  Most of the time he is a really good listener, but from time to time he ignores our requests for the mundane, everyday stuff, like getting his pajamas on or picking out a story for bedtime, and every once in a great while, he just flat out battles us on things like picking up his room.  

(Don't worry.  We are not off the hook.  Remember who this kid's little sister is?  We get plenty of battles to keep our skills sharp [read as: remind us parenting is 100% on-the-job training and we really have no idea what we're doing from one second to the next].)

(Apparently, there are going to be lots of sidebar comments in this post tonight.  My apologies.)

Case in Point:  Potty Training
You know how people say "Don't worry.  Kids don't go to kindergarten in diapers."  I was pretty sure my kid was going to be the exception to the rule on that one.  I felt like we were in potty training limbo forever.  

FOREVER.  

We had made attempts, pretty half-heartedly, when he was about 2 1/2-years-old a couple of different times, but didn't push it.  As we were wading through potty training no man's land, I'm pretty sure every single person I knew that had a 2 1/2- year-old, a 2-year-old, or even a 1 1/2-year-old (yes, 1 1/2-year-old...) found it necessary to share miraculous stories of how quickly their kid potty trained or how their kid pretty much potty trained themselves.  

Trained themselves?  Really?

Now, I know you're not supposed to compare your kid to other kids.  I get that.  But I was beyond ready to have my son be done with diapers, and all these jubilant celebrations were like salt in the wound.  

My son turned 3-years-old about one week after the school year ended.  As a teacher, I figured that once summer arrived and I was able to be home all day, everyday with him, we'd be able to focus on potty training and get this thing figured out.  Just me, my kid (well, and his 1-year-old sister who was keeping me plenty busy in the diaper department on her own) and a potty.  I was ready.

We tried everything.  

(All that stuff I was certain I would never do with my own kid before I actually became a parent and had my own real, live kids?  Ha.  Double ha.  Totally happened, and then some.)

We tried the "no pants" method.  We tried a sticker chart.  We tried picking out a special toy as an incentive.  We tried getting "big boy" underpants.  We tried M&Ms.  We tried "target practice" in the potty.  If someone suggested it, we tried it.  

Summer came.  Summer went.  

Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  Zilch.

Not a single step closer to being potty trained on that first day I was back to work in August than on my last day of work back in June.

Forget kindergarten.  At this point, I was fairly certain my son would be packing a case of diapers with him when he went off to college.

Enter my daughter's well-child 18-month check up in December.  I was in the doctor's office with my daughter, and got all the 1 1/2-year-old info I needed.  My doctor mentioned that she was on the early end of potty training, but if she seemed interested, feel free to follow her lead and go for it.  My response...

"Um, yeah, thanks.  That sounds great.  So about that whole potty training thing...what about my 3 1/2-year-old who is still not potty trained?"

God bless him, our pediatrician didn't act at all like it was a big deal that my now closer to 4 than 3-year-old son wasn't using the potty yet.  (Just reason #427 why we love our pediatrician.)  He just reassured me my son would train when he was ready, but that is was OK to "push it" a little more now as he was getting older.

I was afraid consequences were going to be "taking away his driver's license" at the rate we were going.

I got home from our appointment, and told my son that the doctor (who he adores) said it was time for him to use the potty.

And that was it.

He was potty trained.

It was like magic.

I am not kidding.  That was all it took.  

When people ask me questions about potty training or what we did, I just tell them we used the "Hearing That His Doctor Said He Should Be Using the Potty" Method.

Seriously kid?  Why didn't I just tell you six months ago that your doctor said you should be using the potty?

Exhibit B:  Coloring
My son has never, ever been a colorer.  (I think I may have just invented a new word.)  He just hasn't.  It's not for lack of trying.  Our house is stocked with crayons and colored markers and colored pencils and pens and pencils and coloring books and...well, you get the picture.  It's just never really been his thing, and that's totally fine.  On the off chance he would decide to color, it would be one single color, and usually a few marks here or there and nothing really more than that.

My personal favorite was always picking him up from his Sunday School class, and he'd hand me the usually blank coloring page that went with whatever story they did that week.  He'd look up at me and say "Mom, I'm just gonna do this one at home."  

And then we'd take it home and add it to the stack of other completely blank coloring pages that were collecting dust on the coffee table.  

But lo and behold...we start kindergarten and BAM!!  This starts coming home in his backpack.



And this.



I would be willing to bet real cash money his teacher said something about using different colors, coloring in the entire picture and staying in the lines.

Done, done and done.

I'm pretty sure this is how I'm going to begin the next doctor's appointment and parent-teacher conference:

"(Doctor/Teacher), would you be willing to record these voice prompts for me?  Simply read these words out loud while I record your voice.

Brush your teeth.
Put your shoes on.
Pick up your toys.
It's time to go to bed.

I would so greatly appreciate it."

Oh, getting those words on tape, spoken by those individuals would be gold, PURE GOLD, I tell you!

In our house, it's not "Because I said so!"  It's "Because Someone Else said so!"
    
Even if your kids listen to someone else the first time after you've said the same thing a million times, You Are a Good Mom.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Tooth Fairy Favor

Have you ever been blessed with "lifetime" friends?  I'm talking about people who are dear, dear friends, and you just "do life" with them.  You know they're going to be around, throughout your life, no matter what.  Distance, time, whatever; it doesn't matter, because they'll be there.

We are very, very fortunate to have many special "lifetime" friends in our lives.

(If you're reading this and wondering if I'm talking about you, I most definitely am.)

One of our "lifetime" friends is my husband's college roommate and his wife, and their two children.  Without even planning it, each of our children was born within 4 months of each of their children.  

We are quite literally "doing life" with them.  

When we get together, our kids love to play together.  They are at just about the same stages and interested in the same things.  Ever since our kids have been babies, we've been able to talk and share with each other about the same questions and concerns and wonderings and milestones our kids were approaching or struggling with, and that is true to this day.  Luckily for us, their oldest child is 4 months older than our oldest child, so these "lifetime" friends field a lot of things just enough ahead of us to warn us what's coming down the road.

This very thing happened just two days ago.

My friend posted that her daughter lost her first tooth.

My first thought:  How exciting!! Losing that first tooth is such a big deal and a rite of passage!  How fun!

My second thought:  Oh my goodness.  That means this is probably coming around the bend soon for my son.  

My third thought:  Holy.  Crap.  I am completely unprepared for this huge life experience for my own kid!  (Keep in mind, I am a natural born worrier...) 

Honestly, my son doesn't even have so much as a wiggle to any of his little teeth, so I know I've got some time, but losing teeth wasn't even on my Mom Radar yet.  (This is another benefit to "doing life" with lifetime friends...it's like a build in safety net.  I get reminded of and warned about all the millions of things I would otherwise forget.)

What got me thinking, though, was what is protocol going to be in our house when a tooth is lost?  (These are the parenting decisions you have to make that no one warns you about.)  I saw that adorable picture of their sweet, toothless daughter, and realized the Tooth Fairy would be making her inaugural visit that night at her house, and I realized I had absolutely no idea what that will look like here.
So I'm throwing it out to you guys...  What is Tooth Fairy protocol at your house?  (Or what do imagine it will look like?)  What does she (I'm guessing it's a she...maybe at your house it's a he?) bring?  If it's money, how much?  If it's not money, what is it?  Any special Tooth Fairy traditions?  Where does the lost tooth wait for the Tooth Fairy's arrival?  (under the pillow seems so very complicated...)

And perhaps most importantly for this Mom...  How does the Tooth Fairy NOT wake the loser of the tooth up?  How does the Tooth Fairy STAY AWAKE to remember to do so?  

Thanks in advance for your help.  Feel free to pass this post on to any other Moms you know who can weigh in on this subject, or might benefit from getting ideas from others, too.  Open to any and all suggestions!!

I'm fairly certain that now that I've posed these questions, my son won't lose a tooth until the 3rd grade.  Had I not asked, he would have come home from school with a missing tooth tonight.

When you can help out other Moms with their "firsts", You Are a Good Mom.

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

TSW?T: The "Other" Ranch

They Said What? Tuesday:  Volume 20

My 3-year-old daughter...

"I'm not upset! I'm just crying!!"
...what she yelled at me while having a temper tantrum after I said "It looks like you're feeling upset."  Clearly, clearly, my child, you are most definitely not upset, and that statement you just screamed at me totally supported your case.  Or perhaps not.

My 5-year-old son...

P:  "Can I please have some ranch?"
(I had just poured some ranch on his plate for his carrots and cucumbers at lunch)
Me:  "You have a lot, buddy.  If you eat all that, I'll get you some more."
P:  "No, Mom, I want some ranch, please!"
Me:  (looking at him blankly and completely confused)  "You have ranch right there on your plate."
P:  "Mom, not this ranch.  The OTHER ranch!"
Me:  (thinking to myself that my son has lost his mind.)

(LONG PAUSE)













Me:  "Oh!  You mean Italian dressing?"
P:  (he can't believe it's taken me this long to catch up)  "Yeah, Mom, that ranch I like for my cucumbers!"
...our lunch discussion the other day.  Any condiment that comes out of a bottle is known as 'ranch' to this boy...with the exception of ketchup.  Ketchup has always been and will forever be, ketchup.

"My dog is hurt.  It's because his veins go to his head, and not his heart.  I need to check him out and help him get better."
...fear not, he is talking about a stuffed animal dog.  But yeah, kid, I would say veins to your head instead of your heart would pose a problem.  This is also probably a sign he has seen too many episodes of Doc McStuffins.

No matter what they say, You Are a Good Mom.

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

"Parent"dox: When a Gum Commercial Makes You Cry

Sunday Night "Parent"dox #23:  When a Gum Commercial Makes You Cry

Nothing too earth shaking or ground breaking tonight.  Just this video clip of an Extra Gum commercial.

It does come with a warning, however.

It made me cry.

Yup.  You read that correctly.  A gum commercial.  Made me cry.

Gum is minty and bubbly and happy and in no way a tear-provoking product.  Yet I cried.

"Parent"dox.

So, with that said, enjoy this lovely little video "parent"dox tonight.  

(Spoiler alert...watch the video before you read the rest of the post below if you don't want to have any part of the video, well, spoiled...)




Maybe it's just me.  

Maybe I'm a little over emotional in general (insert husband silently nodding here...).  

Maybe it's because I just sent my own kids to kindergarten and preschool last week and it seems like they're growing up at the speed of light.  

Maybe it's because my own Dad was the one who sent me this video.

Whatever it was, I watched it and it made me happy and sad and all sorts of other crazy emotions all at the same time.  

And it made me cry.

Bottom line, though, it made me so very thankful to be a parent.  Thankful for all of it...for the little moments, the big moments, the fun moments, the hard moments, and everything in between. 

I'm thankful that I get to be there for it with my kids.  

It was a good reminder for me to focus on really being there in the day to day, even if it's with something as seemingly small as a gum wrapper.

[Just as a sidenote, the box falling over and opening at the end totally got me.  I maybe should have put an extra warning about the whole possibility of tears thing for Dads of daughters, and an extra EXTRA warning for anyone who sent their child off to college in the last few weeks.  Sorry about that.]

What were your thoughts on this gum commercial?  Do you have any other commercials that make you cry?  Do you get more emotional about commercials or movies or TV shows since you've become a parent?
    
Even if a gum commercial can make you cry, You Are a Good Mom.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Parenting in September is Not for Sissies

To all the Veteran Parents of School Age Kids out there...

Why didn't you warn me?!

I mean, this whole first week of school bit.  Which has now turned into the first two weeks of school bit.  Which I'm fairly certain is just going to turn into the entire first month of school bit.

Why didn't you warn me?

Ok, to be fair to all the Veteran Parents of School Age Kids I know, you did warn me.  You warned me quite well, actually.  I, apparently, just listened like a toddler when you were telling me.

You did indeed tell me my kindergartner would be tired and cranky and whiny and all of those things.  I just had no real context for exactly what you meant by 'tired' and 'cranky' and 'whiny.'  I thought I knew what those words meant.  I thought I had already lived those words as a parent.  I thought I was prepared to handle it.  

Oh no...come to find out, I only knew the tip of the iceberg on what those words actually meant.  We are living 'tired,' 'cranky,' and 'whiny' times infinity in this house right now.

A little disclaimer:  In the big picture of things, these first two weeks have been a definite check in the "plus" column.  

I am so thankful that my son is loving school and being at kindergarten.  He loves his teacher, and he is listening and learning and loving the whole school gig.  If given a choice, I would totally pick having him keep it together at school and fall apart at home, as opposed to vice versa.  

Another little disclaimer:  I love my kids.  Truly.  Beyond words, over the moon, head over heels love love love them.  

They are just sucking every ounce of energy and patience out of me right now. Like every second I am with them.  (Which is not nearly as many seconds as you would think.)  My son is now at school for 8 hours a day everyday, and it is so weird not having him around.  I miss his laugh and his goofy jokes and his commentary and questions about everything we see and do all day.  

So in a nutshell, I basically spend all day missing him, have 3 seconds of pure joy when he gets off the bus and he runs up to give me a hug, and then spend the next 5 hours taking deep breaths and counting to 10...or 100...or 1,000,000.  

Here is a short list of just some of things that have led to tears at our house the last few days:

  • Opening string cheese "the wrong way"
  • Putting on a bike helmet before going on a bike ride requested by the now crying child
  • Getting out of bed in the morning because they are "too tired"
  • Going to bed at night because they are "not tired" (oh, the irony!!)
  • Having yogurt served in a blue bowl for breakfast
  • Having yogurt served in a green bowl (requested after the blue bowl) for breakfast
  • Getting into the bathtub because baths are "not fun"
  • Getting out of the bathtub because they still want to play
  • Arguing over the spot they each lay down when I read them bedtime stories (which, mind you, has been the same for 3 years now...)

It's like walking through a land mine, as once normal, ordinary occurrences that are part of our everyday routine have now transformed into ticking time bombs, just waiting to set either of my kids off.

(To be fair, there have also been some pretty funny bouts of belly laughs...like that over-tired, I-don't-know-why-I'm-laughing-and-I-can't-stop-but-I'm-completely-cracking-myself-up-right-now, laughter.  And that has been a saving grace, let me tell you.)

The kicker is I know both of my kids are adjusting to all kinds of newness in every part of their lives right now, and on top of that, they are absolutely exhausted.  They are so tired that there is no reasoning or problem solving or working through anything.  It is simply weathering the storm until they can pull themselves together, and inevitably fall apart again when my son sees his backpack is on the bench instead of the floor or my daughter realizes there are more green Legos than blue Legos left in the bucket.  

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right?  I may just have a meltdown right along side them the next time the opportunity presents itself.  Which, let's be honest, will be in a mere matter of minutes.

Parenting in September is not for sissies, that I now know.  There should be combat pay or bonus points or a triple punch card or a support group or something.  

I just keep hoping and praying and wishing and pleading that we will survive the beast that is a Kindergartner in September, and survive to see October.  It gets better, right?  Please tell me it gets better.  Please...

When you can survive September, You Are a Good Mom.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

TSW?T: Speedy School Buses

They Said What? Tuesday:  Volume 19

My 3-year-old daughter...

"Is the Easter Bunny a girl or a boy?"
...ground breaking, earth shaking questions being pondered around here, folks.

"I'm whipped!"
...after walking in from our bike ride.  She said it with such conviction, too!  Being 3 is hard work, people.

My 5-year-old son...

"My school bus is the fastest vehicle I ever rode on!  It is even faster than a motorcycle!!"
...the first words out of his mouth when he hopped off the bus on his first day of school.  School buses are a lot of things.  "Fast" isn't one that comes to mind.  

"I got sick last night.  It was like crocodiles were using their sharp claws to scratch my belly."
...letting his sister know he had gotten sick in the night, and just how it had felt.  I have no idea where he comes up with this stuff.  Little did he know, she had had 'crocodiles scratching her belly' in the middle of the night, too.

"The food train!"  (laughs hysterically)  "Remember, Mom?  From The Lion King?"
...also known as the food chain to Bill Nye and other scientists the world over.

No matter what they say, You Are a Good Mom.

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

"Parent"dox: The Marker, The Lobby & The Book

Sunday Night "Parent"dox #22:  The Marker, The Lobby & The Book

This may be one of the most classic "parent"doxes we've had around here in a while.

And it happened in public, so that makes it so much better.

And by better, I mean worse.

The week before school started, I was at the library with my 5-year-old son and my 3-year-old daughter, enjoying the last storytime of the summer.  We sang.  We danced.  We listened to a couple stories.  Life was good.

Once the official storytime was over, we headed over to the children's section of the library to play with the toys, check out some books, and maybe color a picture or two.

This is where things went horribly awry.

My kids were both coloring pictures, when all of the sudden, my daughter realized she absolutely, most definitely, positively needed the yellow marker that was in her brother's hand.  She needed yellow, she needed the one her brother had, and she needed it now.  Nevermind you that there was a tub of 16 yellow markers that were EXACTLY THE SAME as the one in his hot little hand.  No no...she needed that one.

So what's a 3-year-old to do?

Well, reach over and pry it out of her brother's hand while he is using it to color in his picture, obviously.  

Let me tell you how well this went over with my perfectionist, borderline OCD son, when his picture got goofed up at the hand of his little sister.

Lead balloon, people.  Lead.  Balloon.

Amazingly, he pulled himself together and got right back to his coloring pretty quickly.  That miracle falls in the category of "God never gives you more than you can handle" as you can see by what transpired next.

My daughter lost her mind.  Completely lost her mind.  Temper tantrum, fit, meltdown...whatever you want to call it, she was having one, then and there.  You know how sometimes you can tell if a thunderstorm is there to stay or is just going to blow over?  In the same way, sometimes I can tell if my daughter is totally committed to the meltdown or if she can be talked down.  Let me tell you, there was no bringing her back from this one.  The National Weather Service was calling for an emergency evacuation this time.

So evacuate, we did.

I ended up having to pick her up, and carry her out to the lobby of the library, after telling my son to just keep working on his picture and reassuring him that I'd be back soon.  Once away from the toys and the marker and the audience, I thought she would start to calm down.  

For the 4,582,319th time in my parenting career, I guessed wrong.   

While sitting on the bench with her, two -- count 'em -- TWO different librarians very sweetly came over and asked if there was anything they could do to help.  That is basically librarian code for "Please get your kid to SHUT UP.  Quickly.  Please and thank you."

Something else happened while I sat there, holding my daughter, letting her know that when she could calm down and be in control of herself, we'd go back into the library.  Enter my latest "parent"dox moment.  My phone vibrated in my pocket, and taking it as happy distraction from the screaming toddler I was trying to restrain on my lap, I eagerly checked my new message.

It was a text message.  

From the library.

That the book I had put on hold about how to parent a strong-willed child was now on the shelf and ready to be picked up.

I'm not kidding.  I can't make this stuff up.

I'm fairly certain the librarians went back and ran my plates or library card or whatever and looked me up in their system and decided we need to get this woman some help -- now -- and went and got that book for me right then and there.

Oh, "parent"dox, how you keep me on my toes and make me laugh and just in general remind me I will never, ever have this parenting thing totally figured out.

You can rest at ease.  My daughter did calm down, we did go back in the library, my son was still sitting at the table coloring and away, and my daughter very sweetly apologized to him.  

She also had no further interest in the yellow marker.

Needless to say, I have a lot of reading in my near future...

When timing is everything, You Are a Good Mom.

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