Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Caroling

So I thought that before the holidays were over, I should share with you my daughters' takes on Christmas songs.  All kids sing the wrong words to most songs, and damn if it isn't the funniest thing ever.  Here are a few of the songs that have been sung in my house over the past few weeks.  

Lana LOVES to sing, "All I want for Christmas is my two bon deet, my two bon deet oh my two bon deet!"  Don't ask me what bon deets are but perhaps, "sister soozie sitting on a missile" would know.  

Sonya has been the biggest butcher of words this year, mostly because she's the one who sings the most and the loudest for all to hear.  I have NO idea where that comes from.  For the past two years she's sung songs like "We wish you WERE Merry Christmas".  I wish people could be Merry Christmas too now that I think of it.  Then there's Jingle Bells.  Let's be honest-who hasn't thought it was a "one horse soap and sleigh"?  I'm pretty sure I thought those were the words until at least 19.  I'm not kidding.  Sonya sings it this way, of course, but my favorite part about that song is when she sings, "Bells on cocktail ring".  Guess I need to put down the martini glass after the holidays. 

I think my ultimate favorite mix up she's sung this year is to "Deck the Halls".  Instead of "Donning her gay apparel", she sings, "now we know our day apparel!"  Which if she understood the word apparel would kinda make sense, but I'm pretty sure she has no idea what apparel is.  

Georgia is too little to mess up the words, since she's still working on just saying the words.  However, one of the cutest things she does is dance around and sing her best to the song "Misfit" from the Rudolph special.  We have this little toy with Hermie the elf, and when you push the button he sings, "I am not just a misfit...".  Georgia loves to walk over there, push the button and sing the song as best she can.  "I no mi-fi!  See bum bum!"  Not sure about the last words, but she's proud of herself, and she's so happy when she gets to sing it.  (Oh and as a side note, yes I did say she was walking.  FINALLY!  She made it before the 18 month mark, which was Monday.  Let the games begin!)

After New Year's we will work on putting away all the Christmas decorations and CDs.  This always makes me a bit sad, even though I'm ready to do it by then.  At least I can I look forward to next year to see which songs Sonya will finally figure out, and which ones Lana and Georgia will pick to butcher.  

Happy New Year everyone!  Hope it's a happy and safe one.

Monday, December 28, 2009

If Only They Had Been Two For the Price of One

Hello everyone!  I hope you all had as lovely a Christmas as we did here at the Dadekian household.  I have a few stories for you, but I thought I'd start out with the one where Lana cried first thing, upon seeing the presents Christmas morning, and it was totally my fault.  Well, Andy's too.  Actually, I blame him more.  Here's why.  

For a month and a half now all Sonya had been asking for was a princess scooter.  It's the ONLY thing she wanted for Christmas.  Every time we saw Santa at the mall or when he called on the phone, that was it.  A princess scooter.  So what did Lana want?  Of course the same thing.  Only Lana really hasn't ridden a scooter much, and I'm not sure if she knew what she was asking for.  Still, we should have known better.  

Andy and I went shopping for the girls one night a couple weeks ago to the only toy store ever invented, Toys R Us.  Why is that the only toy store around, by the way?  They really have a monopoly on the toy business, and it's a bit annoying because some of the employees there are not the nicest people in the world.  Since it is the only place to go for the biggest selection of toys, off we went.  It was a Saturday night and it was a madhouse.  Fun times!  We couldn't even find a cart when we first got there.  More fun times!  Good thing we were going to a party and drinking after that.  We had no idea what to get anyone, other than the scooter, so we went there first.  There were no princess ones, but there was a purple and pink one which I was pretty sure Sonya would be okay with.  It came with a helmet and pads as well.  We put one in the cart and I went to get another one, when Andy stopped me.  

"We don't need two," he said.

"But Lana said this is what she wanted too," I protested.

"They can share it," was the response I got.  

Oh sure that's fine for the guy at work all day not dealing with two sisters fighting over who gets to ride the scooter next.  I thought about arguing more, but dropped it, because the fact is Lana is 2 1/2 and I wasn't even sure this was something that would hold her interest past Christmas morning.  She was only asking for it, because her sister was, and I knew that since we were on a budget this year, if we got two then there would be nothing else we could get them.  Still, I had a baaaad feeling.

The next few days I heard more from Sonya about the princess scooter, and whenever Lana was around she would add in her, "me too", about wanting a scooter.  I tried my best to hint at the fact that maybe Santa would bring one for them to share, but I don't think either of them heard me.  

On Christmas Eve Andy put the scooter together and I made sure it came with a tag that said to Sonya AND Lana from Santa.  Christmas morning the girls were up around 7am, which was pretty normal wake up time for them, so that was good.  They were naturally over excited to run to the living room and see what Santa had left for them.   Sonya and Lana sat in our bed and waited patiently for Andy to go to the living room and "check" to see if Santa had come.  Once he let us know it was okay to come out, they ran screaming from our room in complete craziness.  I followed behind with Georgia who had no idea why I had woken her up from her sound sleep.  

Then we got to the living room.   (Insert record scratch here.)  Sonya squealed when she saw the scooter and jumped on, and Lana stopped and looked around searching for hers.  Meanwhile I'm yelling,

"Read the tag Sonya! It's for both of you! Read the tag!"

Sonya read it out loud but it was too late.  Lana burst into tears and wailed,

"I wanted a scooooterrrr!"

I tried to tell her that one was for them to share and Sonya tried as well, but she only cried harder and said,

"I wanted my own!"  Then she walked back to our bedroom crying the whole time, and my heart broke into about a thousand pieces.  I felt terrible and was sure I had ruined Christmas for my middle child forever.  She didn't get the one thing she asked for.  Well, she did, but it wasn't her own.  

I followed her back to the bedroom and tried calming her down.  I explained to her that Santa thought it would be best if she and Sonya shared the scooter so they could get other presents too.  That didn't matter to her.  Then I told her if she came back out to the living room, she could have her turn on the scooter too.  Hearing this, she stopped crying and followed me back out to the living room.  She perked up and took her turn riding the scooter around the island in the kitchen.  When she was done she said,

"Here, sis, your turn!"

Well, were at least helping them with sharing.  She was fine the rest of the day.  We opened the rest of the presents and she didn't seem to be upset about the scooter anymore.  She and Sonya even shared the scooter very nicely.  Well for now.  I'm smart enough to know that won't last forever.  That is why I took my friend, Stacy's, Cars scooter off her hands.  This way when the fighting really starts, I can pull that out as at least another one to use.  Although I'm sure the new purple and pink one will still be the more coveted.  

My hope is that she's young enough that she won't remember.  However, it will be stuck in MY memory for the rest of my life.  Not to mention that we have it all on video.   The Christmas I made my daughter cry.   I can tell you that I won't be doing that again.  Next time they both ask for the same thing, they're both getting it or nobody's getting it.  I mean I know in the grand scheme of things, this won't matter to her, but if someday she's in therapy and the, "Christmas she didn't get a scooter", gets brought up, I can place most of the blame on Andy for this on.  After all, I am the one who tried to get for her  in the first place.

Monday, December 21, 2009

On the First Day of Christmas

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and by a lot I mean all.  This time of year it's worse, since I'm baking cookies, making party food, and homemade ravioli in addition to the regular day to day of feeding and cleaning up after everyone in the house.  It was made clear to me just how much time I was spending when I heard Sonya making up her own words to, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" one day last week.  In place of "a partridge in a pear tree", she sang,

"And one mommy cleaning up the kitchen!!"

Yeah.  So. I guess when Christmas is over I should step out of the kitchen for a bit.  Trust me, I'll be more than happy to do it!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

All I Want For Christmas

This is a little song that popped into my head this morning as I was changing Georgia's diaper, completely exhausted.  For some reason she decided it would be fun to be up for three hours in the middle of the night last night.  Of course I had gone to bed late, because I was working on Christmas cards, so I got almost zero sleep.  This has been an on going theme in my life lately, really always, but it's been worse the past month.   I thought I'd share the song with you all.  (To the tune of All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.)

All I want for Christmas is a full night's sleep
a full night's sleep
OH a full  night's sleep!
All I want for Christmas is a full night's sleep,
so I can remember myyy Christmas!

It's been so long since I have felt 
rested and full rejuvenation!
Gosh oh gee how happy I'd be,
if I could take a vacation.

All I want for Christmas is a full night's sleep
a full night's sleep,
OH a full  night's sleep!
All I want for Christmas is a full night's sleep,
so I can remember myyy Christmas!

SO, anyone who needs any last minute ideas for me, now you know what I really need.  Not sure how you can wrap that and put it under the tree though.  

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Last week, this is what Sonya said to me about all the holidays over the past few months;

"I love this time of the year!" she told me.

"You do, why?" I asked.

"Because you know, Halloween is fun and all because you get lots of candy, but your mother doesn't let you eat it all.  Then there's Thanksgiving, but all there is on that day is FOOD!" At this point she's exasperated and totally rolling her eyes with a "who cares" look on her face.  "Then it's Christmas! And that's the best because you get LOTS of presents to open and toys and if you're good your mother might even let you PLAY with one!!"

First of all, I love the way she referred to me as "your mother".  She did it in such a way, so it seemed like she wasn't talking about me, necessarily, but all mothers.  Let's be honest, it's me.  No I did not let her eat all of her Halloween candy, and yes I talked up Thanksgiving to them and there was only FOOD.  But for the record, I will most certainly let them play with at least one of their presents on Christmas.  I'm not totally heartless.

Secondly, if you had any doubt what holiday was every child's favorite, I think we've answered it here.  What she hasn't realized yet, is that Christmas combines all of those three.  Presents, candy, and FOOD!   Once she figures that out there will certainly be no question.  

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Yes I am indeed alive.  Barely.  I wasn't sure I was going to be awake this week considering I had about a total of 10 hours sleep all last week.  See Andy and I decided to have a Christmas party on Saturday night.   The amount of time and energy that goes into preparing a party like that is one thing.  We did it before we had kids.   Add taking care of 3 kids while doing it, and you put yourself on a different playing field.  One that means you're up making Christmas cookies until 12:30 every night.  This is our second year doing it. So yeah, not much time to update on here.  So sorry about that, but the party was a success even if we are a little crazy to do it with three kids.  Let's just say, all the Christmas DVD specials have been watched at least once at this point.  (Some twice.)  

Some of you may be wondering, "where did the girls go on Saturday night?"  This was probably the part that caused me the most anxiety.  Trying to get them to sleep BEFORE the party started.  I'd love to say we just dropped them off at my parents or in-laws, kissed them goodnight and told them we'd see them early afternoon the next day, giving us enough time to sleep off whatever hangovers we were bound to wake up with.  Unfortunately, both sets of our parents live in Florida, therefore we were stuck trying to prepare for the party and get them to bed, mostly on our own.  So, they got to have a slumber party in mine and Andy's room.  We moved Lana's mattress to our room, Sonya has a little inflatable bed, and Georgia got the pack and play.  

Georgia was actually pretty easy to put to bed, since she had one nap that lasted only an hour and a half.  She protested for about 30 seconds, then passed out.  One down!  The other two proved to be more of a challenge.  I expected this. 

 First we let them stay in their beds in our room and put TV on to watch, which was a big treat.  Then I went to turn off the TV around 7:45,  to try and get them to sleep.  At that point they wanted to know who was at the party.  Thankfully, nobody had arrived yet since the party wasn't even starting officially for another 15 minutes.  Not to mention it was raining.  Lots and lot of rain like we never get in Los Angeles, so people would be arriving late or not at all.  Rain here is like snow anywhere else.  People FREAK out.  However, I knew some people would be arriving soon and then it would be all over, so I had to get them to sleep fast.  

I promised them both some sort of prize the next day if they would just be good and go right to sleep.  Who was I kidding?  Right before I left the room Lana said to me, 

"Mom, can I come to your party?"

It broke my heart, just a little bit.  She asked so genuinely, like she really wanted to come and party with us.   There was a part of me that wanted to tell her sure she could come, but then the rational I- still-have-shit-to-do side of me took over, and turned her down. 

"Not this time, Lana.  This is a party for mommies and daddies.  Next time okay?"  I promised her.

"Ooookkaaayyy," she said a little sadly, then laid down.  

 I closed the door, went to finish my party prep, and they went to sleep like little angels. The End.  I wish.  If you actually believed that you haven't been reading this blog very long.  Or at all.  So no, I was back in there at least 6 or 7 more times.  Each time I gave them a new threat or a new bribe.  I finally ended with promising them a cookie in the morning, if they would just go to sleep.  This is what seemed to finally work.  A cookie.  For breakfast.  Yup, I was desperate.   I think they fell asleep somewhere around 8:30-8:45 and luckily, there weren't a lot of people at our house yet.   

The good thing is they did sleep throughout the party.  I think the murmur of a party going on is actually very comforting.  I know it was when I was a kid and my parents would have parties.  I would get excited about the party too, and for some reason felt comforted when I woke up to hear it going on.  Lana did wake up toward the end of it, but that is her usual wake up in the middle of the night time.  Andy brought her out so she could see what was going on and then she went right back to sleep.  She did get to come to the party after all!  

The next morning they were up WAY to early.  I made Lana lay down in bed with us for a while, then put a show on for them to watch in the living room.  Luckily, Georgia was still sleeping.  Sonya took it upon herself to get the cookie I had promised them.  I guess a promise is a promise, so I wasn't upset about it.  Even if they did leave cookie crumbs all over the floor. Oh well at least  I didn't have to get out of bed to give it to her, so that was a plus!  

Overall putting together a party like that with three kids in tow is quite a task, and perhaps a little crazy, but we managed to get it done.  Truth be told we had a great time and I do like throwing parties, so it's totally worth it to me.  Not to mention the fact that even though we don't have family here to help us, we have a ton of friends who pitched in.  My friend Julian, some of Andy's friends from work, and especially our neighbors across the street, Kelly and John, who helped by playing with the girls on Saturday and CLEAN UP on Sunday.  You guys rock!  Because really isn't that what the holidays are all about?  Helping each other out so we can ALL get drunk, eat lots of food, and have a great time.  

Monday, December 7, 2009

Self Esteem

Sonya  started reading before she went to kindergarten, but her writing didn't really start until after.  She had written a few letters here and there, but it wasn't until she started school that the words started to appear.  She likes to write words all the time now, and is always asking for paper to draw and write on.  Yesterday, she found one of my notepads that I make all my lists on, because yes, I'm a lists type of person.   After I got out of the shower yesterday, she brought back a piece of the paper, gave it to me folded and inside she had written:

"I Love Mom."

 Awwwwww...I know that's what I thought.  She had drawn me a little picture as well.  I thought I was special.  Then about an hour later I found 8 more of those pieces of paper on the kitchen counter, each with an "I love____" on them.  There was one for Daddy, GG, Lana, and her friends Lourdes, Gwen and Elias.  Turns out I wasn't so special after all.  Then I found the one that made me laugh out loud.  It read:

"I Love Myself." 

I guess that's good parenting though, right?  I mean we've taught her to love her family and friends, but also to love herself as well.  Don't we always hear that you have to love yourself first, before loving anyone else?  I guess she's got that covered. 


Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Happiest Place on Earth

Yesterday was our yearly family trip to Disneyland.  We started this tradition after Sonya's 2nd birthday a few years back. Oh- and after my friend Melinda got a job working for Disney so she could get us all in for free.  We like to go the week after Thanksgiving, because they have all the Christmas decorations up and it seems to be a time with less people in the park, which is always a plus.  I was especially excited to go this year for a couple reasons.  One-I'm not pregnant, Two-I'm not breastfeeding.  Trust me when I tell you, it's not so much fun nursing a baby in an amusement park.  Trying to find a nursing location a few times during the day is, well, it's a pain in the ass.  So for the first time in three years, I was neither of those things and all the girls were old enough to really enjoy everything.   I'll give you a couple of the highlights.  

Last year the Small World ride was closed.  This was both good and bad since it's one of the rides we can all go on, but it can get extremely annoying by the end.  Just about anyone can identify with that song stuck in your head for the rest of the day.. or week.  Yesterday, it was open, once again, and we decided to all go on it.  Sonya was apprehensive, for some reason.  I guess she thought it would be scary somewhere along the ride, but I convinced her it was far from scary.  Andy and Melinda were sitting with Lana behind Sonya, Georgia and me.  The boat started it's journey and the children's voices started to belt out the Small World ear worm.  Sonya had been griping my arm preparing herself for a dark scary place, I'm assuming, but once she saw how bright, cheery and sunshiny it was in there, she let go and started singing along.  After about a minute into the ride, I heard Lana say out loud, 

"I want to get off."  I turned around and looked at her and then at Andy and she said again, "I want to get off the ride now."  Well, I got news for you kid, there is not getting off.  Enjoy the next ten minutes!  I was preparing for a meltdown from her, but the sensory overload of the ride kept her quiet, so all was fine.  

I think one of the best parts for me yesterday was taking Sonya on her first roller coaster.  I've always loved roller coasters. I can't remember a time I was ever afraid.  In recent years I've started getting queasy after riding them, but I choose to ignore that feeling because I love the thrill of them so much.  For the past few years I haven't really been able to ride them, once again-pregnancy.  Sonya hasn't been big enough until this year to ride, but to be honest I never thought she would even think about riding.  She's a bit on the cautious side when it comes to things like that.  I've tried to get her to ride kiddie coasters before without success.  Yesterday when we saw the line for Big Thunder Mountain was only ten minutes, I was ready to go.  Melinda and I decided to ride leaving Andy with the girls.  Sonya asked where we were going and I told her to the roller coaster.  

"Do you want to come with us?"  I was fully expecting her to say no and that be the end of it, but to all of our surprise she nodded her head yes.  

"Okay come on!"  I grabbed her before she could change her mind.  She walked up to the "you must be this tall" sign, and she indeed was that tall,so they waved us through.  Melinda and I talked up the ride during the ten minute wait.  When we go to the front they told us we could all ride in the same car, so Sonya sat in the middle.  She was a little nervous but seemed excited.  We told her to scream as loud as she wanted and she did just that.  I forgot that there are a few dark tunnels in that ride and that's what she fears the most is the dark.  I just talked to her during those parts telling her it was all pretend.  By the end of the ride she was smiling and laughing.  

"Did you like it?" I asked.

"YES!" She exclaimed.

"Do want to go again?"  I figured Andy could take her since it was only a ten minute wait.  

"Nope!" She answered.  Baby steps.  

Andy did convince her to go on Splash Mountain with him a couple hours later and she seemed to like that one as well.  I was excited that we finally have one old enough to go on the fun rides with us.  Next time, Space Mountain!  Okay, maybe not that one, but at least the Matterhorn perhaps.  

All in all we had a fun day.  Georgia loved seeing Mickey and "Mimi" up close.  She also loved the carousal and was NOT happy when it stopped and I took her off.  We watched the Christmas parade, had a great BBQ dinner and ate ice cream while watching fireworks.  There weren't really any breakdowns from any of the kids... or adults.  They were really good all day, despite being exhausted by the end.  Most of all we got to have fun  spending time as a family.  That alone makes it the Happiest Place on Earth for me.    

footnote-Just a special thank you once again to Melinda for being such a great friend and taking us.  We couldn't do it without you and I mean that literally.  For $72/person-we couldn't afford to go without you.  THANK YOU!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Weekend of Milestones

This past weekend was a busy one for our family.  After Thanksgiving Day we ran errands and cleaned out rooms in the house.  Looked for a new car and put up Christmas decorations.  We got a lot of things done, including getting a new toddler bed for Lana, and getting Georgia to start walking...sort of.  

Georgia has been taking steps for a couple weeks now, but this past weekend she really started to do more.  She would get up on her own and take steps across a room.  She still is mostly crawling, but the walking has begun.  Except for today.  Today I keep trying to get her to walk and she looks at me with no clue.  Then when I try to stand her up to make her walk, she takes a few steps and falls back on her butt.  She gives me a look as if to say,

"Yeah-I know I did that walking thing for a bit, but I'm all done with that now.  This crawling is WAAAAYYY faster."

Then she hurries away from me on her hands and knees before I can pick her up to make her try and walk again.  Oh well.  I guess I'll save money on shoes for her, but it's going to hell on the knee area of her clothes when she's crawling around at preschool.  

Then there's Lana with her new "big girl bed".  I've been meaning to put her in a toddler bed for a while, but we just weren't sure what we were going to do with the girls room. We thought about bunk beds for a while,  but in the end we decided Lana needed a toddler bed first.  To be completely honest, I've been putting it off for a while, because Lana has never been an easy sleeper, as I may have mentioned before.  So, I was worried about how many sleepless nights it would take before she would stay in her bed.  I finally decided to just go ahead and get it over with.  Really, most of my nights are sleepless anyway, so what difference does it really make?

Yesterday we all went to Babies R Us and purchased her a toddler bed.  She was very excited about the whole thing and we made a big deal about it.  After she woke up from her nap, I took apart her crib and put together the new bed.  (Andy was on the roof putting up Christmas lights so I did this all on my own.  Yes, I'm THAT good.)  She was happy when it was all put together, but seemed a bit apprehensive.  Still, she went over and laid down on it seemingly excited.  The true test came at 7:30 that night.  l

At first she cried, got out of the bed, and crawled around on the floor, but didn't come out of the room.  We would tell her to go back to her bed and she would on her own.  We were very forgiving and loving with her.  I knew it had to be hard to go from the crib, which probably felt safer, to the bed.  I thought it would take forever, especially because this is Lana we're talking about, but nope.  Half hour and she was out.  30 minutes!  That was it!  We couldn't believe it.  She only woke up once in the middle of the night, which is normal for her anyway.  I was amazed!  This morning she called me from her bed.  

"Mooooommmmmyyyy!!  I wanna get up!!" 

"Go ahead Lana," I told her. "You can get up on your own."

I don't think she realized she could do this.  She came out of her room and the best part was she was HAPPY.  I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but Lana does not wake up happy, um, ever.  She's usually pretty cranky for the first 15 minutes.  But there she was awake and happy.  Looks like the bed agreed with her.  

Now don't think I'm getting ahead of myself, because I know it was only the first night and we still have a nap to deal with.  As I'm writing this, the nap part isn't going particularly well.  I expected this.  When Sonya first switched to a bed she would play during her nap and I would find her asleep in the middle of her room, twenty minutes before she was supposed to get up.  It lasted about a week, and I assume Lana will be similar.  Right now I can hear her in the room playing.  Every time I walk over to the door I hear her little feet run over to her bed.  I open the door to find her with the covers over her heard and her legs dangling over the guard rail of the bed, giggling hysterically.  The current bribe for her taking a nap today is a lollipop.   

The good thing is, if she doesn't take a nap it's not that big of a deal.  I'll just put her to bed very early.  Hmmmm, that might be a better idea anyway.  

update: She's been in there an hour now and we've moved on to crying for the lollipop. Okay, perhaps the bribe wasn't the best idea, but she's sure to wear herself out soon, right??

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Forever Thankful

This morning I was in the kitchen getting the girls breakfast and I had the TV on NBC in preparation for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, one of my most favorite things to watch all year.  The Today Show was on, and they were doing a story about kids who they've featured over the past few years who were diagnosed with horrible cancers.  They were reporting how they all were today.  It was  sort of a shout out for St Jude's Children's Hospital.   All of the kids they had done stories on were alive and thriving, except one.  I don't know what it is about the holidays or stories like this, maybe a combo of both, but all of a sudden there I was sobbing into my bowl of Mini Wheats.  I felt so badly for those poor kids to have to go through something so terrible so young, and for those families who suffered along beside them.  As much as I bitch about my girls on this blog, I am ever so thankful, especially today, to have three healthy, happy, beautiful girls.  I consider myself very lucky and blessed.  I hope all of you have something you feel just as thankful for and I wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Sidekick

It appears Sonya may soon be taking over my duties as mom.  Or at least helping out with some of them.  Yesterday, she and Lana were playing in their room.  As far as I could tell, they were pretending she was the mom and Lana was the kid.  She kept telling Lana what to do, and lo and behold, Lana was listening and obeying to everything she said.  Not sure how she accomplished that, but somehow she did.  It was so cute listening to the two of them play like this and the best part- no fighting!  Then I heard something that I thought was just play, but ended up being real, and I was forced to intervene.  

At one point during their play, Lana said she had to poop.  Then about ten minutes later I hear Sonya saying something to the effect of, 

"Hey, I can change Lana's diapers now!"

I was in the kitchen cleaning, and at first thought I didn't hear right, so I asked her to repeat it and she said the same thing.  I thought for sure they were just playing pretend still, right?  Then I thought, what if they weren't.  All of a sudden I remembered Lana talking about pooping.  OH NO!

I ran into their room and sure enough, there was Lana laying on Sonya's bed in full diaper changing mode.  Sonya was wiping her with the wipee, and doing a pretty good job.  Luckily, Lana had a very small poop and I got there soon enough to avoid any grossness.  I told Sonya how good she was doing, then said I would finish and Lana yelled, 

"NOOOOO, I want sissy do it!"

Then Sonya pointed out, "Look I even got the rash cream!" And indeed she had.  She had gotten the wipees, the rash cream and a new diaper, and by all appearances had it under control.  Huh.  Does this mean I can go take a nap and she could feed them dinner and give them their bath too?  

I did help a little with putting the diaper on, because that can be tricky, but other than that, Sonya did most of the work.  Yup, I have my own little apprentice.  Next on the list, teaching her to clean the bathroom sinks and toilets!  See THIS is why I had more than one kid, so they can eventually take over ALL my chores! 

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Good, The Bad and The Even Worse

Okay, I'm not sure what's going on in our house the past few days, but I'm soooo over it.  For some reason Sonya, and especially Lana, have been CA-RAZY.  Perhaps Venus is in retrograde or Aquarius is in it's wheel house or something.  Who the hell knows?  All I know is I'm ready to sell a 5 year old and a 2 1/2 year old, or perhaps give them away. Any takers?  7:30pm can not come fast enough the past few days. Here, I'll give you a taste of what I'm talking about.

Sonya, for the most part, just doesn't want to listen and do what we ask.  Usually, she's pretty good, but not the past few days.  She ignores us  when we ask her to do something.  Even worse, she's been talking back.  Oh, that's my favorite!  Now, let me be clear here.  I have no doubt that in about 9 years I will have a mouthy teenager on my hands, much to my mother's satisfaction.  I was one myself and I fully expect to get it back, in spades.  HOWEVER, I do NOT need it now.  I was good when I was five.  It wasn't until the hormones took over that I became a force to be reckoned with.   She's only five!  Nowhere near ready for excused teenage bitchiness.   So when I ask her to do something and I get, 

"No, Mommy!  I do NOT have to do that right now." 

 It takes every ounce of me to not drive her out to the desert and leave her there.  Instead she gets time outs and less magnets on her "responsibility chart".  Friday night she had to go to bed early and with no stories.  You would have thought a fate worse than death, and you would have thought it would make her better on Saturday, but no.   Still bad.   I think between her and Lana there were 11 timeouts this weekend.  Although, Lana did have a bigger chunk of them.  

Oh Lana!  She was being so good for a few weeks there.  She was sweet, happy and most of all compliant.  I don't know what happened last week.  It was like she went to sleep one way and woke up mean, cranky and combative.  I kept thinking she didn't get enough sleep or she was hungry.  However, I've come to the conclusion that she's just like this sometimes.  It's her personality.  Perhaps she's practicing for her future PMS, I don't know, but I hope it ends soon.  She's been impossible to get to bed for naps or at night.  She's always been a bit difficult getting to sleep, but this has been off the charts.  

Over the weekend, I put her down for a nap and she asked for her drink.  No problem.  I couldn't find hers from earlier, so I got a new one.  Only, the new one wasn't pink like her last one, and when I took it in she insisted on the pink one.  I wasn't in the mood to argue with her and just really wanted her to sleep, so I decided to find a pink one.  I did, and when I brought it in she looked at it and said, 

"No, I wan puwple one, now."  The color she had just vetoed five minutes before.  I saw the game she was playing now.   

"Ooooh No!" I said. "You're getting this one now," I tossed the cup in the crib and walked out shutting the door to the screams behind me.  I think she cried for about 10 minutes and tossed the cup back out of the crib.  I went in there to calm her down, and she was too tired to fight anymore.  She finally fell asleep well after her usual naptime.

There's also the fact that Lana has figured a way to legitimatly, get out of her booster chair and not eat.  It took me a few days to figure out what she was doing.   Lately, when she doesn't want to eat what's in front of her, she'll sit there for a few mintues, drink her milk, then claim she has to poop.  She knows I'll get her out of the chair for this, because she likes to find a hiding spot to do her business.  I believe the first time she did it, she really did have to go.  Then she did it again and pretended like she was going to go.  I found her playing her running through the house with no poop in the diaper.  So for the next few days she would do it when she didn't like her food.  She tried it one more time this afternoon, but I called her bluff and made her finish eating instead.  

These are just a couple of the things that we've been dealing with recently.  There's more, oh trust me, there's always more, but I could be here all day telling you.  Again-ELEVEN timeouts.  The good thing is Georgia has been a peach through all of this.  That seems to be the way  things work out most of the time.  Even if I've got two, who appear to have been taken over by demons, I still have one acting like an angel.  I assure you the dynamics change, and it's not always G.  Sometimes, Sonya is good, sometimes it's Lana.  It changes on daily, sometimes hourly basis.   I suppose it's the way they help me keep my sanity. It has to be that way, because every once in a while when they're all bad, I'm ready to take that desert trip.  On the flip side, when the heavens part and the sun shines to them all being fantastic, I briefly think how great kids are and wouldn't it be nice to have more.  Then I'm smacked back down to reality with one screaming about the wrong color cup, and another crying because she wants more TV.  Some days I'm happy to just make it to 7:30.  

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Great Mom Debate

There is an ongoing war involving moms everywhere.  It's a war that I know I won't settle here, but I feel I must address it.  A couple weeks ago my friend, BethAnnDoddKoehn, mentioned on her facebook page that her oldest was starting preschool, and how happy she was for him to go.   Well,  he was actually going BACK to preschool, because he was at daycare when she was working.  Then she quit work to stay at home and take care of her two kids as well as another little girl, to make some extra cash.  She needed her son to leave some days though.  Trust me, I understand this.  One of her facebook "friends" commented that she was dreading the day her kids would leave to go to school.  She said that's why she stayed home with them, because she couldn't stand being away from them.  She pretty much implied any mom who went to work went because she didn't want to be around her kids all the time.  To which I say-DUH?!  Who wants to be with their kids ALL the time.  Crazy people that's who!  Anyway-it sparked a debate about stay at home moms vs. working moms on Beth's facebook wall.  Oh boy.  So I thought I'd throw my thoughts out there since I do fall distinctly into one category, but know moms on all sides of this debate.

Before I had kids I knew that I wanted to do whatever it took to stay home and take care of them myself.  I knew that even if I had a career or job I loved, I still wanted to do that.  Thankfully, I didn't leave anything I loved.  In fact I was more than happy to tell the company I was working for at the time, thanks for holding my job, but see ya later.  Luckily, Andy has a job that allowed me to do this. 

 Now, that's not to say I don't EVER want to go back to work.  I do.  Not sure doing what, but something I like, preferably.  I'm hoping this writing thing might be a jumping off point, but that remains to be seen for now.  There are working moms out there, who for some reason, think those of us who stay at home don't WANT to work.  Are you kidding me??  Do you think I WANT my bosses to be 30 years younger than me and yell at me on a daily basis?  Do you think I like not contributing money to the family, especially with the economy so crappy right now?  Um, no.  I just don't want to work right now.  I  like being able to see my girls take their first steps and say their first words first, and not just have someone tell me when they did it, so it's a trade off.  

Now, for those moms out there who do work, please don't start cursing me yet.  I have total and complete respect for you.  I have to get 3 kids fed and dressed every morning, and most mornings we don't all have to be somewhere at a specific time.  If I had to get everyone out of the house to actually go somewhere every day,  I would lose the rest of my mind.  I spend all day feeding and cleaning up after them.  I can't imagine having to go to a job, in the middle of doing that, EVERY DAY.  

There are those of you out there who have to work, to continue to support your family.  Not because you want to drive a BMW or have a million dollar home, but because you need to put food on the table.  Maybe you would even prefer to stay home, but it's not an option for you.  I understand that and commend you.  You may not be there for the first step, but you're there to provide for your kids and that is essential. 

 There are also those of you who still work because you love your job and you need it.  That doesn't mean you love it more than your kids, but it makes you who you are.  I get that too, and somewhat envy you.  I wish I had a career before I had kids that I liked that much.  Unfortunately, I'm not sure what else I'm good at besides being a mom.  You still love your kids and you're showing them what a strong and independent woman can do, and that is also very important.  Some of you may fall in between these two categories.

Then there are the moms who work 13 hour days all the time, don't need to, and never see their kids, ever.  These are the kind of kids who prefer the nanny to mom.  Okay, I guess THESE moms I don't get.  Why have kids if you're not going to raise them at all?  Just my opinion, but I'm sure most of you would agree.  This is a small percentage of moms though...I hope. 

Oh and I mustn't leave out the stay at home Dads.  There are not many of you out there, but you're numbers are growing.  My brother-in-law does it, even though he does work from home as well.  I commend you too.  You are most out of your element, only because society makes it that way.  We always hear about women working in a man's world, but can you imagine what it must be like to be a guy dealing with us moms on a constant basis?  Talk about wanting to lose your mind.  You Dads rock.  

I think the best of all worlds would be to stay at home with your kids and work from home.  Although, part of my envy for those who work, is that they do get a break from their kids.  
Some days I would much prefer an adult boss and coworkers, than the five year old who insists that grilled cheese sandwiches are healthy, and she should have as many as she wants.   

I think we all need to take a step back and realize we are doing what we can to raise our children the best we know how.  We need to stop being so judgemental toward each other and know that just because a mom stays home, doesn't mean she hates work, or thinks of nothing but her kids.  Trust me, this is the hardest job I've ever had, and some days I'd like to have a day all alone.  On the other hand, just because a mom does work, it doesn't mean she loves her kids any less.  The bottom line is, we all have to make a decision that is right for our family.

Remember, the extremes aren't good either.  If you find that your kids don't recognize you come Saturday, perhaps you should cut back on your hours at work.  Stay at home moms, you need to get out too.  If leaving the room to shower causes your four year old separation anxiety, it may be time for pre-school, or at least a babysitter sometimes.  There is a happy medium to every situation.  We just need to know how to find it for ourselves, and be tolerant of someone else's.  After all there's no right way to raise kids.  If you're around all the time or never home, kids are still going to grow and learn.  It's what we teach them that's important.  So for the sake of kids everywhere moms, let this debate go.  You are doing what is right for YOU and so is your friend, sister, or cousin.  So whatever their choice, support them and hopefully they'll do the same for you in return.  

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Someone help me out with this one.  Sonya had three days in row off of school.  Saturday, Sunday and they were off on Monday for the conferences.  So for three days in a row she was up at 6:30 AM happy and ready to greet the day.  Yesterday, and today there I was dragging her out of bed at 7AM.  She was sleepy and cranky.  REALLY?!  Because I thought this having to pull them out of bed to go to school didn't start until they were teenagers?  She's only FIVE!  I am SO screwed.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Five Fast Years

Once again I've been MIA for a few days.  It was a crazy few days with Sonya's birthday, then my parents coming, then her party.  Oh plus I've been sick for almost 2 weeks now.  I'm thisclose to being over it though, unfortunately my sexy voice is almost gone.  We were tired yesterday, and I was in no mood for writing.  I really wanted to write something on her birthday, but just never got around to it, so here I am now.  

It's hard for me to believe that it's been five years since I was sent to the hospital to be induced.  I was eleven days away from my due date and Sonya was nowhere ready to be born.  Yet, the doctors said my "fluid was too low" and she had to come out, so there I was about to have my first baby. 

 After many hours of on again off again labor, I stopped progressing and they decided I needed a C-section.  Upon hearing this news I broke into tears.  I hadn't prepared myself for this possibility.  I'm not sure why, but it was not the way I ever pictured my delivery going.  None of it was living up to my expectations at that point.  Perhaps I should have known then this is what raising a kid would be like.  Expecting the unexpected.  

Andy, trying to be supportive and comforting, but still being a man, said, 

"What?  Don't cry, you're still getting a baby."  And in the end he was right.  We got our baby.  Our perfect little girl.  I can still remember her little face and perfectly round head-thanks to the C-section-all swaddled up in those bear blankets Cedars gives out.  She was so tiny and so QUIET those first few days.  Something that would never be said about her again.  Andy made the mistake on our second day in the hospital of asking, 

"How come she doesn't really cry that much?"

She must have heard him, because about two weeks later she made up for it.  I feel like all she did was cry for four months straight.  The only things that would keep her quiet were feedings and the stove fan.  Consequently, I had very sore boobs and didn't cook much for those four months.  

After she got out of her infancy, she became a really good baby.  However, she didn't want to walk.  Talking was NOT a problem. My mom always said I was speaking in complete sentences by twenty months and I never believed her until I had Sonya.  Being mobile she didn't care about, but she could hold a conversation with a thirty year old.  I worried about her not crawling early enough, then not walking early enough, but eventually she did both of those things. Then I realized you can't worry about those milestones so much.  They'll do it when they're ready.  Bottom line.  Even if it is almost 18 months before they take their first steps.  

When she was two, she became a big sister. She learned to share us and her toys with Lana.  Then again, 15 months  later at three when Georgia surprised us all.  She took it all in stride and has always been a big help to me with her sisters.  She watches out for them as much as she fights with them.  Hits are almost always followed by hugs, so I don't get too mad.  She likes to mommy them as well as be their playmates.  It makes it easier for me to have some help, even if I do have to discipline the help from time to time.

When it came time to send her to Kindergarten, we wrestled with what to do even though she made the age cutoff.  We went ahead and sent her.  She seemed to be doing really well, and that was confirmed today.  Andy and I went to her parent/teacher conference this morning and all Mrs. Lombardo could do was talk about what a great girl she is.  She's so nice to everyone, listens well and exceeds academic expectations in many areas.  She complemented Andy and I on what a good job we've done so far, and assured us we made the right decision sending her when we did.  

I couldn't have been more proud of my daughter and of us. Hearing that made me more proud than any other compliment I've ever received.   We try so hard as parents to do everything, and do everything right, but you just don't know what the end result is going to be.  I know we've only scratched the surface on raising her, but it's nice to know that in the first five years, we've done something right.  I just hope we can continue to do as good a job with her and with her sisters.   

Some days I think about that day she was born, and I feel like it was years ago while sometimes it feels like only yesterday.  Recently, I was looking at a professional photograph we have of her from when she was about eleven months old, and I can't believe that she's even the same kid.  She's so big now, with her own thoughts, opinions and expressions.   She can jump and play, make her bed and almost tie her shoes.  She tells jokes and laughs, and still cries.  Sometimes a lot, but she is a girl, after all.  She can even read and write. The amount that she's grown in five years, absolutely amazes me.  She's helped Andy and I to grow just as much.  

I look forward to the next five years, and even though they'll be hard, the next five after that.  Before I know it, she'll be packing her bags and heading off to college. That picture of the eleven month old baby will seem like a lifetime ago, while the day she was born will seem like a dream.  So, for now, I'll enjoy her and all my girls as much as I can, and be proud of myself for finding something I'm really good at in life.  Being a mom.  Happy Birthday Sonya Lynne.  Thanks for making my dream of being a mom come true and for being such an amazing little girl.  I love you, forever.  

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Family Dinner

When I was a kid, my whole family would sit down and have dinner almost every night together.  I miss that I don't get to do that with my family every night.  Andy's job and the way the business and this city is run in general, does not allow for most people I know to come home before 7pm.  This includes my husband.  That is way to late for dinner in our house.  Especially since the girls are usually in bed by 7:30.  Since we don't get to have dinner together during the week we make an effort to at least do it on the weekend.  When we do have dinner together, I realize why it might be a good thing that we don't get to do it every night.  It's usually pretty crazy.  Lana doesn't want to eat this, Sonya doesn't like that and Georgia is throwing food everywhere.  I usually end up eating fast or only half my food.   It's hardly the Norman Rockwell painting I like to think of in my head.  Of course if I remember correctly, most family dinners when I was a kid ended with my baby sister storming up the stairs to her room and slamming the door shut, for one reason or another.  

Sunday night we were sitting having our usual weekend family dinner.  Lana was refusing to eat anything.  Sonya was bartering with us about how much milk she had to drink before she got a "treat".  Georgia was eating most of her food, and tossing what was not interesting to her on the ground.  Lana finished her milk and she dropped her empty sippy cup on the ground.  Sonya got down and retrieved it for her.  Then she threw it down again laughing.  Sonya again picked it up.  Then they both threw their cups on the ground laughing hysterically.  

Andy and I were less then happy and warned them.  Sonya got down and got both their cups again but hung on to hers, heeding the warning.  Lana, always pushing the envelope, tossed hers back on the ground.  I picked it up off the floor to put an end to her game.  Meanwhile Lana was screaming, 

"My miiiiiiilllllkkk!!!!"  as I took her cup away.  I halfway turn around in my chair toward the counter behind me and gently toss the cup on the counter.  Because it was a throwaway sippy cut and because it was empty,  it was very light.  So it bounced on the counter, then off the  counter and right on to the floor.  The girls watched it fall to the ground and immediately burst into laughter.  Then Andy started laughing.  Since I was only half annoyed but mostly amused at the events, I started laughing as well.    

There we all sat on a Sunday evening as a family, laughing and eating or not eating all together.  I don't even remember what it was we had, but it was one of the best meals of my life.  Even better than a Norman Rockwell painting.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A True Girly Girl

Having a kid with a birthday close to Christmas makes it hard to figure out what presents to get her for both.  She doesn't get presents all year, and then all of a sudden I have to find something for two holidays.  Lana and Georgia have birthdays a safe distance from Christmas, so that by the time their birthdays rolls around, they need some new things.  Sonya, however, has her birthday and Christmas within 6 weeks of each other.  This is better than having her birthday the day BEFORE Christmas, like my poor friend BethAnnDoddKoehn, but still makes it difficult to buy for her.  Then there's the added problem of her not really needing anything.  She has so many toys already, and since she doesn't really appreciate money  yet, I'm at a loss when people ask me what to get her for one or the other.  

Last week my sister, Beth, told me she gave Zach the Toys R Us catalogue and told him to circle what he wanted for Christmas.  I thought this was a great idea, so when the Target toy catalogue showed up, I did the same thing.  I handed it over to Sonya and told her to circle what she wanted.  I did make it VERY clear that this did not mean she was getting everything she circled.  I simply needed some ideas to give to the family for her birthday and to Santa for Christmas.  

She took the catalogue and the pen and disappeared for about half an hour.  Then she came back to me wanting to show me what she circled.  The beginning of the catalogue was mostly toys for boys or girls.  There was a circle here or there.  She would say to me,

"I like this because it's Little Einsteins," or "this game looks like fun."

Then there were a few pages of boys toys where nothing was circled.  THEN we got to the girl pages and oh my!  I think every pink or princess thing on the page had a huge circle around it.  

"I want this because it's so pretty," she said to me.  "Oh and of COURSE I want THIS! It even has the new Princess from the Princess and the Frog movie," she remarked as she pointed to a pack of SEVEN princess dolls, all Barbie size.  Great, just what THIS house needs, MORE dolls.  Especially seven at once!  Bring 'em on!

She continued to point things out to me and say how pretty this was or how much she REALLY wanted that.  Then she got to a toy that was a doll who came with makeup.  She pointed to it and said, 

"This I really want too."  Well of course, it's another doll!  Then she stopped, looked up at me, put her hands up in the air and said,  "Really, anything that's pretty or has makeup, I like."  

Who would have guessed?  So anyone shopping for Sonya for her birthday or Christmas, just keep that in mind.  If it's pretty or has makeup, you're guaranteed she'll like it!  

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Things That Go Bump In the Night

Yes, I've been out of touch for a bit now.  My computer was taken over by my father-in-law for the past week and I left the house ALONE every chance I got, so there wasn't much time to write.  I'm still here though!  I didn't get a chance to tell you all about Halloween, so I thought we'd start there.

I don't know if I've said it before, but Sonya is a the most scared, of all the scaredy-cat kids, in all the land.  This makes Halloween a very bitter sweet holiday for her.  She loves to get dressed up and get candy, but isn't too fond of all the creepy and scary decorations on people's houses.  We, in fact, have a decoration we get out every year she absolutely fears to death.  It's called Jabber Jaw.  It's a skeleton head that you talk to and it repeats what you say, while it's jaw moves, in a really creepy voice.  Every year when we get it out she wants us to put it as far away as possible.  This year before I got the decorations out she talked about Jabber Jaw and how she wasn't afraid of it.  She was going to talk to it and hold it.  She couldn't WAIT to get out Jabber Jaw!!   Then Jabber Jaw came out of the Halloween box and she froze like a deer in headlights and started to cry.  I'm not kidding.  Cried and begged me to put it away.  So once again Jabber Jaw got put up on a high shelf.  Although we did discovered, he serves a good purpose.  Anytime she started misbehaving we threatened to get Jabber Jaw.  NOT JABBER JAW!!!  Ahhh, antagonizing your children...sometimes it's so much fun to be a parent. 

 The biggest problem with her being so afraid of silly things, is that she's starting to influence Lana.  Who knows if Lana would have been as afraid of Jabber Jaw, if she was the firstborn.  She looks to Sonya to lead the way, so she was very afraid too.  Luckily, G is still too little to be led so she could have cared less about it.  

On Halloween night we went trick or treating with Sonya's friend Liza and her little sister.  (Sonya went as a witch, Lana as Minnie and Georgia as a duck and they were damn cute, I must say.)  Liza does not scare as easily, and was willing to ring any doorbell for candy no matter how dark or creepy the decorations looked.  She coaxed Sonya to go with her to most of the scary houses.  If not for her I think Sonya would have been eating the candy we handed out at home.  It didn't matter what kind of candy was promised at a house, if it looked scary she was out.  Fortunately, thanks to Liza, she managed to get a good haul.  NOT that we really NEEDED anymore junk in our cupboard, but still.  

After about 25 minutes we went home, because Liza and her family needed to leave, and Sonya and Lana were ready to be done with potential scariness.  After I put Georgia to bed, I convinced them to go back out to a couple more houses.  Andy and I took them, while my in-laws stayed and passed out candy.  We didn't end up going far because, once again, the houses that looked kind of scary, Sonya refused to go near. Now that Liza wasn't around to protect her, she REALLY wouldn't go.

We were almost back home when we stopped at one last, non-scary house.  The girls walked up to get their candy and I turned around to face two teenage boys in very creepy looking masks.  As soon as I saw them I knew the girls weren't going to like them.  I looked back to see how they were going to react.  They thanked the nice lady for their candy, then they both turned around and stared at the boys in front of them.  Their eyes got wide and they both looked nervous.  Then Lana, without taking her eyes off them said,


 Just like that.  Not loud or upset, just a very subdued, calm but scared "yikes".  Then she grabbed Andy and said, 

"Daddy pick up, peese."  

Andy and I laughed, and he picked her up.  I grabbed Sonya's hand to lead her away from the creepy looking masked boys.  We went back to our house where they were very content to pass out/eat lots of candy for the rest of the night.  Overall, they had fun despite being frightened, and we always have a great time watching them.

I'm sure as Sonya gets older she'll start to overcome some of her fears of Halloween decorations.  I can't say she doesn't come by it naturally.  I've always been a bit on the scared side myself.  I remember many a Halloween where I refused one particular house in the neighborhood.  They had black lights and spooky music coming from the front door.  That's all I needed to not go.  Even now I can't handle a lot of  scary movies, especially zombie ones.   I can't even imagine how tormented I would have been by MY father, if Jabber Jaw would have been in our family.  Maybe next year Sonya will successfully convince herself that she's not afraid of it.  Then she can take part in the fun of scaring her little sisters instead.  

Friday, October 30, 2009

Moving Out

While I'd really like to sit here and give you all a nice long story about the girls, I only have a bit of time right now.  You see, my in-laws are here.  That means sometimes they take the girls out, which they just did.  That also means I want to spend some of my time doing, oh I don't know, NOTHING.  Even though I love to write this blog,  I also love to relax and since I NEVER get to to the latter, I thought I'd just give you a quick little story from Sonya last week, then hit the couch.

The girls had been outside playing when I called them in for dinner one night.  Sonya protested for a while, but finally came in.  When she sat in her seat and she saw whatever it was I was serving that she decided was "gross", she started to complain.  I told her to knock it off and just eat her dinner.  Her response to me was this,

"I can't take this home anymore!" She started.  "I want to go live on my own and have my own babies and rules charge to me!!"  Then she looked over at Lana and Georgia who were in the middle of whining, motioned to them and said, "And I'm sick of the whining and crying!"  Oh that's right, she never whines and cries, so she has every right to make that statement.   

After I asked her to repeat to me what she said and it came out the exact same way, I told her to let me know when she found an apartment.  

Now I'm off to lounge on my couch.  I can not remember the last time I did that in the middle of the day.  It might have been the '80s.  

Monday, October 26, 2009

Treasure Chest

I don't believe I've mentioned Lana's "treasures" before.  If I have, it might have been in passing, but I haven't dedicated a whole post and trust me, it needs a whole post.  So here it is.

Lana has treasures, many of them, and different ones every week.  Anyone who has been to my house for a period of time has seen it.  By this I mean she chooses something to be obsessed with and carry around with her for a few days to a week.   Marbles, small magnets, costume jewelery, coins, rose petals, DEAD LEAVES are just a few things she has collected in the past.  Yes, she will collect just about anything.  Usually, she will chose one of the thousand purses the girls have, and put her weekly treasure in there.  After that it goes everywhere with her, the car, the crib for naps and bedtime,  and the couch to watch Mickey.  Heaven forbid she doesn't have it or can't find it.  Then we have a catastrophe,

"My mawbals!!  I can't find my mawbaaaaaalllllsss!!"

I have to spend ten minutes searching the house, for whatever purse she's using this week to put her "mawbals" in.  I assure you it's more fun than anyone can handle.  The good thing is after about a week, sometimes more sometimes less, she gets over it and abandons whatever she was into for that period of time.  That treasure can come back around later on.  The marbles have been in rotation for a while now, which is fantastic when you have a 16 month old baby crawling around, who puts EVERYTHING in her mouth.  

I think the grossest thing she ever deemed treasure worthy, were these gel window clings we had for Easter decorations last year.  They got so nasty, because they were gel and they clung to the window easily.  Take them off the window and carry them around and everything clings to them, including cat hair and cheerios.  Yeah, they were gross and full of disease for sure. Plus, because they were so sticky they stuck to each other and ended up in a big gooey, cat hair filled ball.  After a couple days I had to throw them away, and pray that she didn't ask for them again. When she did I gave her a lollipop to distract her.  

This past Sunday night I was cooking dinner outside on the grill and she and Georgia were out there playing.  We have a bunch of chalk  for Lana and Sonya to draw on the patio with, and for some reason Lana decided to dump it all out on the ground.  There are huge pieces and then the small regular size pieces.  She took all the smaller ones and put them in a little beach bucket.  When we all went inside for dinner, so did the bucket of chalk.  Lana put it on her place mat and climbed into her chair for dinner.  Andy took one look at the bucket and said, 

"Lana we do not put the bucket of chalk on the table during dinner.  You need to put it on the floor."

She looked at her bucket for a minute, protested slightly, but then took it off the table.  We all had a lovely dinner.  And I don't say that lightly, because dinner with the three of them is usually far from lovely.  After dinner we were getting them out of their seats to head to the bath and Lana picked up her bucket of chalk.  Andy and I looked at each other, trying to figure out who was going to tell her and he took the lead.

"Oooohhh No!" He started.  "This is NOT going to be the new thing you carry around.   Forget it!  Put it back outside right now."  

Lana looked at the bucket in her hands, then over at me for help or confirmation on what Daddy said.  

"Lana that bucket is too dirty to have inside, and the chalk is to play with outside.  You need to put it back." I had agreed with Daddy.  NOW what was she going to do.  

She thought about it for a minute, looked at the two of us looking at her, realized we weren't backing down from this one, and reluctantly said,

"Oooookkaaayyy."  Then she walked over to the back door opened it and promptly dumped the whole bucket of chalk out on the top step.  I suppose that was her way of protesting, while still doing what we told her to.  I couldn't help but laugh, but I did make her clean it up and leave it outside.  

I guess there's worse things she could be doing.  Besides, in a way it's kinda fun to see what the treasure of the week will be.  This week it's coins in her ladybug purse.  Anyone want to guess what the treasure will be next week?  


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sixty and Still Going Strong

Today is my Father's 60th birthday.  Sixty doesn't seem as old to me as it once did.  Perhaps because I'm 35 now and at one point in my life 35 just seemed to be completely ancient.  Turns out it really isn't.  I don't even feel like I'm 35 most of the time.  On the other hand not everyone makes it to 60.  My mom's dad, for example, died of a heart attack at 59. One of my good friends lost her father in his late 50's as well.  Therefore, I am so thankful to still have my father around to talk to and get to know my kids.  It's not easy making it that far in life.  You do have to take care of yourself and have the right attitude.  I know one of the things that has helped him get to this ripe old age was quitting smoking over 7 years ago.  

One of my earliest memories of my father was about his struggle to quit smoking.  When I was about three years old, I specifically remember sitting on top of the washing machine in our house. He told me that if I stopped sucking my thumb, he would stop smoking.  I agreed.  Neither of us held to our bargain.  Well that's not true.  I stopped sucking my thumb during the day and he stopped smoking cigarettes where I could see.  Instead, I would suck my thumb at nigh, and he would smoke a cigarette where ever he could that my sisters and I couldn't see.  Mostly at night when he walked our dog.  I'm assuming at work too.  Eventually, I did stop sucking my thumb at seven, but it took Dad a little longer to stop smoking.  He tried a bunch of times, but anyone who has been a serious smoker knows how hard it can be.  He kept it away from us for health reasons and also to not influence us to smoke.  Seven years ago he finally quit for good and I know we're all happy, because it means his health is better for it.  

The other reason I believe my father hit this milestone, is because he is just a good natured, easy going guy.  He's always great in a crisis too.  One of my favorite stories from when I was a kid was when my sister, Beth, got her head stuck between the iron bars that separated our kitchen from our living room.  She was about two or three and had managed to push her head through the bars, but then couldn't get it back out. She started to scream and cry uncontrollably.  My mom couldn't get her out and started to panic as well.  It was in the morning and my father had gone running.  He came back into the house, just as my mom was picking up the phone to call the fire department.  He walked over to my sister talked to her and calmed her down.  She stopped crying long enough for him to pop her on the forehead with his hand, sending her head back through the bars into freedom.  Perhaps this wasn't a huge crisis for a guy who is a retired Lt Col in the Marine Corps. A guy who was stationed in Saudi Arabia for nine months in the early 90's, but it was a crisis for our family, and he handled it with ease as he always has.  

So even though 60 isn't THAT old anymore, it is still quite a milestone and I'm so thankful to have my Daddy reach it.  With his good nature and new found health, I'm hopeful he'll be around to see a few more milestone birthdays.  Perhaps to even watch my girls reach some of their own.  Happy Birthday Daddy!  Here's to 60 more years!  Well, at least 30.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Car Cautious

I think I have made my girls overly cautious in parking lots.   Anytime we're in a parking lot, Sonya starts to freak out if she isn't holding on to me.  Even if we're standing RIGHT BESIDE the car.  Today I realized how bad it is with Lana too.

We were outside Sports Authority and parked right in the front.  I was putting Georgia in her car seat and Lana was standing next to me.  I told her to hop in the car, but she was taking her sweet time.  There was a Fed-Ex truck parked behind us and the guy came out of the store, got in his truck and started it up.  I'm sure you've all heard those trucks before and  know how loud they can be, especially if they're right behind you.  It was all Lana needed.  As soon as that truck started, she dove head first into the van and scrambled into her car seat yelling,

"Car gonna get me!"

After I assured her that the car was NOT going to get her, she calmed down and I buckled her into her seat.  

So, yeah, they're a little paranoid about cars in the parking lot, although I guess that's a good thing.  At least I don't have to worry about them trying to run across a parking lot, like my  nephew Zach has been known to attempt a few times.  I just hope they outgrow some of the paranoia.  A 20 year old parking right in front of a store solely to avoid a car "getting" her, is just not as cute.  

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Home Alone

I know I've been out of touch for a few days, but there's a good reason for that.  I became a single parent on Thursday afternoon.  Not to worry-it's only temporary.  Andy went home to RI for a few days.  He went to go see the Red Sox play in the American League Championship Series.  But unfortunately, they didn't make it that far this year, so he just went to visit people he hasn't seen in a long time instead like his family and high school friends.  So, I was left here to do what I do every day, only with no help anywhere in sight for FIVE AND A HALF DAYS.  I'm okay, really.  The twitch in my eye is bound to go away when he gets back right?  He has been gone before, but not for this long.  I honestly don't know how other moms do it when their husbands have long business trips.  My mom was left alone with us quite often when my father was in the military.  He would go away for a week here or there.  Then there was the time she was left alone with us for NINE MONTHS when he went to Saudi Arabia, but at least two of us were in high school then.  No, being left alone for almost six days with 3 kids under five, is a bit exhausting, to say the least.  We've all been handling it well, though.  I don't have anything major that has happened, but I  do have a little story from each girl I thought you might enjoy, so here goes.

Saturday we went to a little fall festival.  It was geared towards kids five and under so it was perfect.  Well aside from the fact that it was supposed to be a fall festival and it was 93 DEGREES that day, but whatever, I've gotten past it.  We were having a good time and despite the fact that my legs were sweating in the jeans I stupidly wore, I was killing a couple hours without the aide of the television.  The girls decided to play a couple of the carnival type games they had there.  They were all geared toward little kids and even if they didn't win they still got a "consolation" prize.  There was that one game you see at every fair with the rubber ducks in a pool.  You have to pick the duck with the dot on the bottom to win a prize.  Sonya and Lana both played this and neither won, but they did get to choose a little prize.  Sonya picked her prize and walked over to show me, and out of the corner of my eye I saw Lana choose a little notepad shaped like a fish.  She pulled it out of the prize bag, looked at it, looked down at the little pool the ducks were floating in and promptly threw it down into the water.  The lady running the game quickly pulled it out of the water and apologized.  I laughed and assured her it was fine.  I mean it was a fish, so where else was it supposed to go? Oh Lana!

All weekend I've been telling Sonya she has to be my big helper because she's the oldest.  Ah, the pressure we put on our oldest kids.  I don't feel that bad though, because I AM the oldest so I've been there.  Plus there are some perks to being the oldest too, so it evens out.  Anyway, Saturday night I was trying to get the girls fed and bathed in a bit of a rush, because I was actually getting out for the night.  (You didn't think I was going to be here for almost six days with NO relief did you?  HELL to the NO!)  Sonya had been walking around pushing the vacuum cleaner.  I don't know why.  Sometimes it's better to not ask questions.  I had seen her directing Lana to hold the cord and walk behind her while she pushed it in front.  Again-I don't know.  Dinner was ready and I called for them to no avail.  Finally, I heard them arguing in the hallway and then Lana appeared in the kitchen.  Sonya was in the hallway yelling and screaming about something.  When she finally showed up in the kitchen with the vacuum I asked her what all the craziness was about. She picked up an attachment that had fallen off the vacuum threw it on the ground, and informed me, 

"This fell off and Lana wouldn't pick it up!!"  Then she turned to Lana and said or more screamed, "Lana you have to listen to me!! You were supposed to pick this up, next time you're getting a time out!" 

I think I may have gone to far with encouraging her to help me out this weekend.  After I told her that she wasn't in charge of things like that and I was indeed still the mom, she relaxed a bit, hopped up in her chair for dinner, and went back to chatting nicely with her sister.

G surprised us this weekend with a milestone.  No, not walking, but close!  Saturday evening I was getting dinner ready and she was in the kitchen frustrated about something.  She started getting mad and going into her downward dog position.  Then she put her feet apart, much like a squat position, and the more frustrated she got the closer she got to standing.  Then she was standing in the middle of the kitchen, all on her own with  no furniture to hold on to.  When she first did it, she surprised herself as much as the rest of us.  The older girls and I clapped and cheered wildly for her and she loved the attention, so she proceeded to try standing again for the next twenty minutes.  Every time she made it upright she'd clap and cheer for herself.  It was the cutest damn thing.  It's now become her favorite thing to do.  She still won't take a step forward, but at least she can stand in the middle of the room all on her own, so her legs DO actually work!

Andy's scheduled to come home tomorrow evening.  I can't wait!  No really, I can't wait. This was just to long without him, and I know he had fun in RI, but he feels the same.  Kids don't get the concept of time and to them he might as well have been gone for three months.  They ask me every day when he's coming back.  Sonya understands it a bit more, but still, I remember at her age Christmas seemed to take 5 years to get to.  I'm sure she feels Daddy has been gone for a looong time.  I feel I must commend all the single moms and dads out there as well as those who have a husband or wife away for long periods of time, for whatever reason.  You are the unsung heroes, because even though I do a lot of this by myself most days, having Andy here on a regular basis makes a huge difference in the "much easier" category.  Doing this completely alone, well, it sucks ass.  Plain and simple.   

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


On Monday night, Andy got home just in time to rile the girls up before they went to sleep.  Yay. I guess it's okay since he's going away for a few days.  After they finally settled down and tried to go to sleep, WAY past their bedtime, Lana kept calling me in her room to give her "cuddies".  This means covers.  She throws off her covers and then wants me to come in and cover her back up.  It's a game she likes to play when she doesn't want to go to sleep yet.  Sometimes she'll call me in there ten times in a night.  I don't always go, because I do know it's a ploy, but then she'll start to yell and Sonya can't sleep, so most of the time I appease her.  She's actually gotten better about it lately, and doesn't ask for it as much.  

Monday night, however, since she was still excited from Daddy being home, I was getting the call a few times.  After about the third time I hear her yell for me, I  ignore her.  

"Mom?!" she called.  I didn't answer.  I'd already been in there twice and I didn't want to continue the game.  

"MOM?!"  She yelled again.  Nothing.

"MMMOOOOMMM!!"  She yelled, sounding more worried this time.  So I finally answered her.

"What, Lana?"  I gave in, expecting to hear the usual, "I need cuddies."  But instead she said,

"Oh.  Just checking."  I looked at Andy sitting on the couch, and the two of us quietly laughed together.  We didn't hear from her for the rest of the night.  

I'm not sure what she thought.  Perhaps she thought I ran away or  went to the neighborhood bar for a drink?  Actually,  some days that wouldn't be out of the realm of possibilities, so I suppose it's a good thing she's checking up on me.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Eight Years and Counting

Most of the time I regale you with colorful stories about my girls.  Today, however is my 8th anniversary and I do believe I mentioned somewhere on this blog, that at some point I'd give you the fateful story of how Andy and I met.  I thought today would be a good day to do it.  Even though it's not technically about my girls, without us meeting, there would be no girls.  Consider this the origin of Pooping in Peace, if you will.  For those of you who have heard the story before, you might learn something new, so sit back and listen to it (or read it) again!

Andy and I went to college together.  Well, we went to the same college in Boston, Emerson, but we didn't really know each other at all.  We were acquaintances, and that was about it.  He was in the same fraternity as my jerky college boyfriend, so I knew who he was and vise versa, but we never really hung out.  At one point, when said jerky college boyfriend broke up with me briefly, he considered asking me out, but never did.  Just as well, the timing would have been off.  

During our last semester of our Senior year at Emerson, a good number of the seniors move out to Los Angeles to do internships, and try to get their foot in the door somewhere in Hollywood.  It's a pretty good program for the most part.  My friends and I decided to drive across country during our three week winter break to get to L.A.  This way I would have my parents mini-van to drive for four months, not to mention it was an easier way to get all my junk to L.A. 

We didn't have set places to stay the night every day, we would just drive until we felt like stopping, while seeing some sights along the way.  When we decided we wanted to sleep we would stop at different hotels to find who had the best rate.  My friend Melissa or Trista would run in and request a price for the night.  We would eventually pick whatever was the cheapest, without being the grossest.  I'm all about saving a buck, but not at the expense of sharing my bed with a cockroach.  Belch!

It was toward the end of our trip and we had finally gotten out of Texas.  (Do you have ANY idea how long and boring a state Texas is to drive through?)  We were in Las Cruses, New Mexico, and we were tired of driving.  We stopped at a couple hotels, but were still in the looking stage.  Our 3rd stop was a Days Inn.  Melissa ran inside to check out the price, but she was taking a much longer time than usual.  When she finally did emerge she had two guys walking behind her.  Trista and I wondered aloud if she had picked up some men, which wouldn't be out of the realm of Melissa's character.  She was always the one who would talk to any guy at a bar.  That didn't mean she was going home with him, but she was always nice and chatty with everyone, especially after a beer or two.  As they got closer, however, we realized that we KNEW these guys.  They went to Emerson with us.  HOW WEIRD!!  

Andy and his best friend Norb were the guys with Melissa.  She had been in classes with them, as had Trista, so they knew them a bit better then I did.  We decided we had to stay there that night, because it was just so odd meeting people we knew randomly in the middle of the country.  We went and checked into a room got ourselves settled and went to hang out with the guys.  They had ordered pizza and we all drank most of the night.  I liked Andy right away.  He was a really funny guy and kinda cute, but I still had jerky boyfriend, who every family member and friend will tell you I shouldn't have still been with at that point.  The last thing I was thinking of was dating this guy.  We just had a fun time together, and it started a friendship among all of us.  

The next morning I got up to go swimming in the indoor pool the hotel had.  I had two gold bracelets I always wore.  One was given to me by my high school boyfriend, and one had been given to me by my then current jerky boyfriend.  I had forgotten to take them off in the room, so I took them off and put them with my towel by the pool.  Somewhere between swimming and going back to the room they were lost.  I looked everywhere for them with no luck and was devastated at the time.  Looking back on it now, I suppose I could see it as a sign pointing me in a different direction.  

When we got to L.A., we kept in touch with Andy and Norb and hung out in their apartment.  After graduation and upon moving to Los Angeles permanently,  I continued to go over to their place with other girlfriends of mine.  We would all watch movies or have dinner together.  It was always a group of us.  I was living with jerky boyfriend at this point, but more out of necessity than want.  I know-it was not a proud time in my life.  The more I hung out with Andy the more I realized I had feelings for him other than just friends.  I had an idea he felt the same.  Eventually, we confided in each other, and there was a kiss in there that was very telling.  I knew what I had to do.  It was a very rocky three months, where I finally ended my relationship with jerky boyfriend, he moved out, a friend moved in and Andy and I began dating.  

In February of 2000 we got engaged.  We were supposed to be married on September 15th 2001, but the tragic events of September 11th forced us to postpone for a month, winding up with our anniversary on this day, October 12th.  We've been married for eight years and together for thirteen.  I'd love to say it's been all sunshine and roses, but I think you all would know I was lying.  Every relationship is some work.  Nobody has a perfect one, and we have had our share of ups and downs over the years.  However,  I can say with certainty, that the ups far outweigh the downs.  There is nobody else I would want to work on a relationship with. There is nobody else I would want to raise these three girls with.  I love him as much today as the day I married him, probably more.  And he makes me laugh just as hard as the day we "met" at the Days Inn in Las Cruses, New Mexico... probably more.  I love you, baby!  Happy 8th Anniversary.  

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hairdresser in Training

At some point in time I think every kid gets a little too curious about the scissors.  More specifically what the scissors can do to their hair,  or somebody else's.  I know I was guilty of this.  My parents like to tell the story of how I cut my hair when I was about five, I guess.  I can actually remember doing it too, clear as day.  I was standing on the stool in front of my dresser. I cut a big chunk out of my bangs and watched as it fell into the trashcan beside me.  My mom caught me and when asked why I did it, I said I wanted my hair to be "fethahd".  Farrah Fawcett's hairdo even had an impact on us 5 year olds.  Last year Sonya had a new pair of kid friendly scissors and within a day of having them she took a chunk out of her own bangs.  Two days before picture day at school.  It was barely noticeable, to be honest.  She was punished by having the scissors taken away for a bit, but I suppose it wasn't lesson enough, or she just forgot about it.  Either way, today she decided it was time to try her hand at cutting hair, yet again.

All three of the girls were in the backyard playing this afternoon and I was inside cleaning up the kitchen.  (You can assume that at any point in the day I'm cleaning up in the kitchen.)  I checked outside to see what they were up to and noticed Sonya walking around with her kid friendly scissors.  When I asked what she was doing, she brought a mushroom that had grown in the grass and informed me that she cut it out of the lawn.  She said she knew it was poisonous and didn't want Georgia eating it.  I was impressed by her forethought, thanked her and threw the mushroom away.  I didn't even think twice about the fact that she still had the scissors in her hand.  What could my daughter, who is obviously mature beyond her years, do bad with scissors?  

About five minutes later I went outside to push Georgia in her swing when I noticed Sonya still walking around with the scissors.  They seemed to have become more of toy at this point, so I told her to go put them away and she did, I think.  

Fast forward to dinner time.   Sonya was talking to me about something I was half paying attention to.  All of a sudden  I looked at her and noticed something was off.  Then I looked at her bangs and knew.  

"Sonya, what did you do to your bangs?" I asked.  She was caught completely off guard and tried to take the, "I have no idea what you're talking about" approach.  

"What?" She said.  

"You cut your bangs?!" I slightly yelled.

"No," she tried.  Then seeing the expression on my face changed her answer reluctantly to, "yes".  

I asked her the only question on my mind, "why?"

"Because I don't want my hair long," she stated.

I asked if she wanted to go and get it cut short, and she told me no.  

"I wanted my bangs to be like yours," she said pointing to my hair.  I don't have bangs.  Well, not like hers.  They're long and layered with the rest of my hair. 

"Well cutting them isn't going to make them longer, Sonya!!" I told her.  

About this time, Andy called from work and I told him what had happened.  He laughed and told me not to be mad at her, and I had started to soften, realizing how funny she looked.  I took a picture to send to him.  She was upset for a minute because she thought I was mad.  I assured her I wasn't, but she still shouldn't cut her hair and there would be no scissors for a week.  She calmed down and brightened up when she realized I wasn't angry.  But wait, there's more!!

Once she felt like she was off the hook, she told me how she cut a little piece of her pigtail too.  I found myself getting a bit upset again, but calmed down and looked at it.  I couldn't even tell where she did it, thank goodness.  Then it dawned on me.

"Did you cut your sister's hair?"  I asked looking to see if Lana had any chunks missing.  

"Yeah!" She proudly replied, and Lana nodded her head in excitement.  She got a haircut too!!

"WHERE?!" I demanded to know.

Lana pointed to the side of her head and said, "White heya."

"I cut off one of her curls," Sonya offered.  Luckily, Lana has that kind of unruly, curly kid hair and I couldn't notice at all.  Then I looked at Georgia who, poor thing, is still trying to grow her hair.  

"What about G?" I asked.

"Yup," she said, "right there," and pointed to the right side of Georgia's hair.  There was a small patch missing, but also barely noticeable.  Sonya was the only one who's new do was apparent.  Still, this required more punishment, so the scissors are off limits now for two weeks.  Then I asked where the hair was and she told me by the swing set.  I went and retrieved what I could find.  (See pictures below)  When I told her about her punishment she told me, 

"That's okay."  

"It is?" I asked.

"Yeah, I can still watch TV and stuff right?" she inquired.  This made me stop and think for a minute that maybe this WOULDN'T teach her a lesson and perhaps I should take away the TV.  However, I already gave out the punishment so I couldn't go back on it now.  Plus seeing her bangs and how she would have to go to school for the next few weeks would be punishment enough, I was pretty sure.  But just for good measure I added, 

"Yes you can still watch TV, but if you ever do this again you will not get TV for a week, do you understand?"  She nodded her head.  

I really don't think SHE will do this again, but I do have two more girls yet to wield scissors.  I'll just have to make sure they always have the hair styles they want so they don't try and make it happen themselves.  Otherwise I might end up with this again, or perhaps worse.

Sonya's lovely new cut.

The "chunks" of hair found in the backyard.
Sonya's is on the Left, Lana on the right.