Saturday, August 29, 2009

It IS Easy Being Green

When I first had Sonya, almost 5 years ago (really?), the question of cloth or disposable diapers came up.  Well, there wasn't really much of a question for me.  I was going disposable.  NOBODY I knew used cloth anymore and if you did you used a diaper service.  That would be just as, if not more, expensive than the disposable.  As far as environment, people who had done research on both told me it was really a toss up, because of the chemicals and water needed to clean the cloth ones.  Besides who wanted to deal with pins and rubber pants?  NO THANK YOU.  I will wrap up the poop up, throw it away, and never think of it again.  Except that after having three kids, I did start to think about it.  I started thinking about the contribution just MY girls were making to the landfills out there.  I know how many diapers we throw away in just one day, and I can imagine the Dadekian family has a mountain of crap out there not decomposing.  Just in diapers I mean.

I first started thinking about it over a year ago, before I had Georgia.  My sister, Beth, switched over to cloth for environment and cost reasons.  She was going to clean them herself, thereby saving money with no diaper service.  She sent me all the info on it and I took a half hearted look at it, but thought there was no way I was doing this.  I was still trying to figure out the logistics of taking care of three kids by myself all day long. Not to mention all the extra laundry I was going to accrue with the addition of the newest member.  The idea of washing diapers on top of that would have had me throwing myself into the next California wildfire.  I just needed to deal with having a newborn, a toddler, and a preschooler, and maybe I'd think about saving the environment another time.  Plus, again, the idea of folding diapers with pins and rubber pants, still wasn't appealing to me.  Huggies were so much simpler.  

Then my good friend BethAnnDoddKoehn came to visit.  And yes, I say her name as all one word like that.  Well, it used to just be BethAnnDodd, but then she had to go and get married, so I had to add the Koehn.  

ANYWAY-she told me a few months ago she switched to cloth for monetary reasons.  I found this surprising, because Beth, like me, is about ease of use.  This did not seem the case with cloth diapers, right?  Then I saw them.  The most fantastic cutest, bestest, awesomest thing to ever be put on a baby's butt.  They're diapers by a company called bum genius and they're FANTASTIC.  I'm so not kidding about this.  When she showed them to me I was sold immediately.  See, my sister didn't have these kind.  I didn't even know they MADE them like this.  They're fashioned just like the disposable diaper, except you can wash them.  They have inserts if you need extra absorbency for night and, get this, they have this liner you put in them to catch the poop that you can FLUSH DOWN THE TOILET!!!  So they're not even that gross to wash.  You do have to use a different kind of laundry detergent other than a regular one like, Tide.  One that is actually better for the environment and biodegradable, so we're switching over to that for all our clothes.  EVEN BETTER!!  So now all my washing is environmentally friendly, well except for all the water usage, but we do have a high efficiency washer, so that helps.  Look at us caring about the environment!!  

Yes, the diapers are on the expensive side, but I compared the costs and in the long run, we will be saving money.  We have Georgia in diapers for at least another year and a half, and who knows when Lana will potty train, so she's using them also.  They come in cute colors too, which is my favorite part, and Lana likes to pick out what color she wants to wear.  They are a little more bulky than the disposable kind, but that's okay it just looks like my "babies got back".  

Georgia doesn't really notice a difference and could care less.  Lana noticed a bit more and the first day she wanted me to change her into a disposable diaper so she could poop.  I guess the cloth felt more like underwear.  After I assured her that she could poop in them she looked t me like, "okay great, I'll let you know when I'm done with this one." Then she ran off to a corner by herself.  

 I've only got six right now, because I wanted to try them out first, but the rest should be coming next week.  They wash really well too.  I'm telling you they are fanfreakingtastic!  I think anyone out there who has a baby in diapers for a while, pregnant or planning to get pregnant should check it out.  Go to and you can find out all about cloth diapering, including ordering the bum genius kind which, if you're like me and all about the ease of use, I highly recommend.  

I'm sure I'll still use the disposable ones for longer trips or vacations, things like that, mostly because I won't be near a washer to clean up the dirty ones.  In the meantime, I feel good that at least I'm doing something to keep that mound of Dadekian diapers we have out there from toppling over into the next generation.  

PS-Thanks to Beth and Beth for converting me and doing all the research.  If I can get just one person to switch and that person gets one person and that person gets one person...If we could only get Angelina to use them and have it in US Magazine, I'm pretty sure the entire country would switch.  

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lana's Dictionary

Today I was in Target with the two younger girls, Sonya was in school.  We were walking by the girls clothing section and there were training bras on the end of one of the rows.  Lana pointed to the bras and yelled, 


"Zucchinis?"  I asked.

"Yeah, zucchinis," she repeated.  

Then it hit me.  

"Oohhhh..Ba-kinis," I said.


Oh, Lana!  

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Clean Up On Aisle Three

There is one place more than any that I despise taking the girls, and we have to go there every week.  That place is the grocery store.  I know, I know, I should find a time when I can go alone.  My sister sometimes goes when her husband gets home from work or on the weekend.  I just don't feel like giving up any of my very limited free time to go grocery shopping.  Especially since it's something I don't like to do to begin with.  So, I usually end up taking all three girls EVERY week.  Most of the grocery stores do a good job to try and cater to people with kids.  Ralph's has shopping carts with the kiddie cars attached to the front.  They also have little kid size carts for older kids to push around.  After a while, the novelty wears off and I'm still left with three screaming kids who have no desire to grocery shop, and no amount of goldfish or graham crackers will subdue them.  

Yesterday was my shopping day.  The unfortunate part, now that Sonya is in school, is there is no good time to go.  I would love to go while she's in school, but Georgia takes her nap then.  Since it's only half day, after school, Lana takes a nap until about 3pm.  That means I don't get to the store until late afternoon when it starts to get busy.  Dealing with all the people in the store and the three girls toward the end of their day is just not a fun time.  But it had to be done,  so off we went.  

Lately, Sonya wants to sit in the little car with Lana, but that's always a nightmare, because they end up fighting for most of the trip.  Thankfully,  she decided that she wanted her own cart yesterday.  Lana got in the little car and Georgia sat in the front of the cart.  Georgia is usually pleasant while shopping, as long as her goldfish supply doesn't run out.  If it does she will  turn around and see what's in the cart and grab for anything she can reach.  Usually it's the plastic bags with the produce in it.  You know, a fun safe thing for a baby to play with-a plastic bag.  What?  That's okay, right? 

The girls started off okay, as they usually do, but after we left the deli things with Lana started to take a turn.  First she kept asking for a cookie.  That was the bribe of the day I was offering, IF they were good in the store.  Lana wasn't quite getting that she had to wait until the END of the trip to get the cookie.  So she just kept chanting,

"I wan coooookkkieeee!!  I waaaaannnnn cooookkkieee!!!"  

"That's not going to get you a cookie, Lana, " I told her.

"PLEASE!" She responded.

"Not until we're all done, sorry," I explained.

Then she whined for a minute and when this got no reaction she decided she wanted out of the car and wanted to walk.  I try to avoid this at all costs, because she does not stay with the pack.  No, she likes to wander and lag behind.  Sonya I can always count on to stay right next to me, wherever we are.  In fact, she freaks out  if I take a step in front of her, but I could disappear and Lana would probably shrug her shoulders and think, "whatever, at least I got my blankie".  

So, she kept repeating louder and louder that she wanted to get out and walk.  Then she started to climb out of the little car while I was pushing it.  The bigger problem, however, was she had taken off her shoes.  She takes off her shoes randomly while we're out, for some reason.   

"You can't get out until you put on your shoes," I said.  

This was met with more whining and grumbling protests.  Then she did something that was a bit on the manipulative side and a tad bit funny, I admit.  I was in the bread aisle, trying to figure out which English Muffins were on sale.  Lana pointed to the floor and told me she had to get out to get her shoes. She had taken her shoes and thrown them across the aisle.  Now not only did she HAVE to get out of the car to retrieve her shoes, but she had to do it barefoot.  I was not about to let her win this one.

"Oooh No!" I said and picked them up and handed them to her.  She hadn't anticipated that and proceeded to get mad.  I told her to put them on.  Finally she relented, and I helped put them on her, then she got out. She decided to help Sonya push her little cart.  Great.  THIS should be fun.  

They were  doing well for a while and sharing the cart nicely, which was most surprising.   Then they started to get a little crazy, and a little fast, and almost ran over a few people, including the old lady with the cane.   I finally stopped them in the frozen food section and told them in my sternest, most serious mom voice and face, that this was their last warning and to knock it off.  If I had to talk to them again there would be NO cookies this trip.  They both nodded their understanding and looked a bit worried.  Huh.  I guess the stern mom face does work sometimes.  They were mostly good the rest of the trip.  Both of them helped put fruits and veggies in bags when we got to the produce section.  Georgia later inspected them up close when the Goldfish ran out.  What surprised me most was how they shared the pushing of the little cart.  I thought that's where all the problems would be, in fighting over that, but no, they were good about it.  We were walking down one aisle, in search of Pirate's Booty, and this woman laughed and commented how we looked like a parade.  I guess we kinda did with the girls in front of me pushing their little cart, and me pushing the big cart with the car attached and G sitting in the front seat.  

After over an hour of shopping, I announced to them that I thought we were finished.  

"NOW cookie?" Lana asked hopefully.

"Yes, Lana, now cookie," I replied.  

They all squealed their delight.  Sonya and Lana because of the excitement of cookies and Georgia, because her sisters seemed excited, so she must be too.  Lana even voluntarily climbed back into the car to make it faster to get to the cookies.  They got their cookies, which kept them quiet upon checkout and out we went.  Another shopping trip done until next week! 

I'd hope to have a repeat of them sharing the little cart, but I know better.  Next time the novelty of sharing it will have worn off and they'll be fighting over who has more handle bar space.  I'll just have to perfect my stern mom face this week.  Then I might call Ralph's to see if they can add clowns and face painting in their efforts to help out bribing moms.  Actually, that's not a bad idea...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Can You Hear Me Now?

Since I spend the majority of my day at home, and my sisters  both stay at home with their kids, we spend some time on the phone together, throughout the week.  I also talk to my mom quite often.  Since we live nowhere near each other, the phone is our main source of keeping up to date with each other, as well as our outlet to bitch about our kids, husbands and our day.  It's just the way it is.  However, there is something about a mom talking on the phone that signifies to kids, "Hey-it's time to run around, scream and eat lollipops with M&M's!  Mom is on the phone!!  It's get away with murder time!!!"  While this is partially true, I do NOT let them eat lollipops with their M&M's.  It's one or the other!  

Yesterday I was on the phone with my mom.  I hadn't talked to her since Sonya's first day of school, and I wanted to catch her up on how she was doing.  The entire conversation with my mom was half of me talking to her and half yelling at the girls, for one reason or another.  My mom and my sisters are the only ones I'll continue a conversation like this, because they understand.  Anyone else I would get off the phone with after about 5 minutes, mostly because I'd like to keep my friends.

I was starting to get to the point of getting off the phone with my mom, because the girls kept interrupting me.  Understanding or not, it gets annoying to anyone after a while, including me.  The three of them were playing outside and Sonya came in asking to paint.  The problem was she didn't want to use her washable watercolor paints, she wanted to use the canvas paints we used a few months ago.  The bigger problem is they don't wash out of ANYTHING, including our patio.  Trust me on that.  I told my mom to hold on and told Sonya no.  Then she did one of the things that makes me want to sell her at our next garage sale.


Oh sure, NOW I'll let you use the paint, since you said please three times in the loudest, most annoying way possible.  Including the drawn out "please", which is every mother's favorite!

"No, Sonya," I said through clenched teeth.  

Then she did it again jumping up and down this time, which I love even more.  When she got the same answer, she marched over to the closet, we keep the paints in, and proceeded to take them out herself.  I took them from her and explained that they were not washable and therefore not paints I was willing to let them use anytime.  If she didn't knock it off I was going to try and get more money for her on craigslist.   I took out some finger paints, that were supposed to be washable, although I really don't trust anything except Crayola.  Still, this was a better alternative.  I told her she could paint on some paper with those.  She didn't want to at first, but when I said that it was this or nothing, she decided to take the paints and go outside to find Lana.  What I didn't realize was, she didn't have any paper.  

I continued the conversation with my mom for a couple more minutes, and Sonya walked in to wash her hands, which looked like gloves of paint.  Then I peeked outside to see Lana elbow deep in paint and putting it all over the patio.  There was no paper in sight.  I quickly said good-bye to my mom and told them painting time was over.  

"BUT WHHHYYYY!?"  They wanted to know.

"Because you were supposed to paint on paper, not on the ground," I said.  "I need to hose off the patio to make sure the paint doesn't stay there."

I was pretty sure we wouldn't be able to sell the house someday with a ginormous original Dadekian painting on the patio.  Luckily, it wasn't anywhere near dry so it came off pretty easily with the hose.  Both girls had it all over themselves and their clothes, so I turned the hose on them to screams and squeals.  They both took off running then decided to take off everything they were wearing.  Before I knew it they were running around the backyard buck naked.  We do have an entirely walled in back yard, so any of you worried about child predators, need not to.  There they were, completely naked, covered in paint running around screaming.  Georgia was getting wet so I undressed her, but left her diaper on.  Then they decided it would be fun to ride their bikes... naked.  That's when I let my state of being annoyed go and just sat there laughing.  Sonya and Lana riding around on their bikes like Lady Godivas and Georgia in a nothing but a diaper, giggling and clapping at them.  As mad as I had been that they had made such a mess for me to clean up, I was just as amused at how they just continued to have fun.  Besides, it was my fault for being on the phone and not paying attention to WHAT they were painting.  

I would like to say that from now on I won't be on the phone when they're running around playing, but come on, I like being honest with my readers.  So instead, I'll just make sure I have more lollipops and M&M's to quiet them, and put the paint where they can't reach it.  

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Food Fight

Most families have at least one kid who is not a great eater.  When I was younger, it was my baby sister Megan.  She would go through phases of what she would eat.  For a while, it was nothing but cereal, which wasn't too bad.  Then she would only eat cottage cheese or mayonnaise sandwiches.  Ew.  I know.  The fact that my parents gave in to this type of eating, tells you that she was the youngest.  They were over trying to get us kids to eat what we were supposed to by the time she came along.  I guess my mom figured mayo on bread was better than nothing.  On a good note, she is MUCH better about her choice of food now at 28 years old.  She'll actually put cold cuts on her mayonnaise sandwiches now.  I've got a bit of a picky eater among my girls too.  You'll never guess who!

Lana has never been a great eater, but it's gotten worse over the past few months.  I can usually get her to eat peanut butter and jelly, when all else fails.  She also likes scrambled eggs, but beyond that it's a crap shoot.  One day she'll eat something and love it, and the next day you try and feed it to her and she's sticking her tongue out and telling you "ick".  She's not even big into mac and cheese or pizza.  What kind of kid IS this?  I try to do my best to get her to at least try everything, and I'm not above bribing her with sweets some days.  She'll eat just about anything for a chocolate chip cookie.  This past weekend, however, she would not break.

I made chicken parmesan and pasta for dinner on Sunday night.  A favorite for everyone in our house.  Most of the time Lana loves it too.  Sometimes she won't eat the chicken, but she'll usually eat the pasta or her cucumbers and tomatoes.  Not on Sunday night.  No, she didn't want any part of it.  What she wanted was the garlic bread I had made.  I was holding that hostage from both her and Sonya until they ate some of their dinner.  If I don't do that, they'll eat nothing BUT the garlic bread.  Sonya eventually got a piece and this sent Lana into a tizzy.  She whined and cried for bread and we told her when she ate her chicken she'd get some.  She refused, and continued to whine, so we put her in time out.  Sometimes, that will chill her out enough to calm down and eat.  This was not one of those times.  She whined and cried some more, but we stood our ground.  Then she decided she wanted down.  That is what she does when she doesn't get what she wants to eat, because she's not eating what she's supposed to. She'll decide she's done and wants down.  We wouldn't let her, so she became more upset.  Then I told her she wasn't getting down at all until she ate a few bites of her chicken.  

Eventually, the rest of us were done, and I had to get baths started for the girls.  I wanted to get them to bed at a decent hour, since Sonya was starting school the next day.  So, we left Lana in her chair and told her to eat something.  I mean she hadn't taken one bite.  Not ONE!  She sat in the kitchen screaming and crying by herself.  I washed GG  and got her ready for bed, while Andy played with Sonya in the bath.  Lana cried to get down.  Finally, I went in there and explained  she just needed to eat a little bit and we'd let her down.  I told her I would feed it to her if she wanted, but every time I'd get a bite of chicken or pasta near her mouth, she'd stick out her tongue and turn away.  I bribed her with M&M's, and even showed them to her to try and entice her.  Didn't work.  I did manage to get a couple tomatoes in her, but that was it.

 I left again for about 2 minutes, but it was getting late and after the crappy day we'd had with them, my patience was wearing.  I  tried one last time to get her to take at least one bite to the same result.  I finally gave up.  I just couldn't take it anymore.  Lana-232 Parents -12  Yeah I know, I probably should have let her sit there all night, but that's just not reality.  She won that battle, I admit it.  I don't like when they win, but sometimes they do. 

Later, after bath, she did ask for a banana.  I wouldn't let her have it.  I knew she wouldn't starve to death before breakfast, and if I let her eat something after she didn't eat her dinner I would be letting her take advantage.  I think she's starting to understand it more because I said to her,

"No, Lana you can't have the banana."

"Pweeeezzzzeee!" she begged.

"No.  Do you know why?" I asked her.

Without hesitating she scowled at me and said, "Becawse I dind eat mwy dinnoh."

"Yup, so maybe tomorrow you'll eat your dinner and you can have a banana, okay?" I told her.

"Okay," she replied and ran off to play.  

I'm sure even though peanut butter and jelly is her staple food right now, some day she'll eat better like Megan, so I'm not too worried.  As long as she doesn't ask for mayonnaise on the peanut butter and jelly, I'll be fine with it for now.  

Monday, August 17, 2009

School Days

I have a couple of stories from the weekend, but I felt like I should talk about what today is first.  Today marks a huge milestone in our house.  Sonya started Kindergarten this morning.  I was able to stop crying long enough to write this.  Well, crying with bouts of dancing mixed in.  I mean on the one hand I'm sad my baby is starting big kid school, but on the other hand, it's nice to have her out of the house, every morning, five days a week.  (I can't tell you how peaceful it was this morning, because there was nobody for Lana to fight with.)  I was worried about how she would act when we dropped her off, and even though it looked like she might cry, she didn't.  I on the other hand felt like it was MY first day of school.  I was even up at 5:45 this morning and couldn't go back to sleep, wondering if she was ready for this.    

Here was the dilemma, Sonya is only 4 and won't be 5 until November.  However, the age cutoff for kids to start school here in Burbank is December 1st, so she was eligible for Kindergarten this year.  Some people choose to hold their kids back when they're that close to the cutoff.  Andy and I debated about it for a few months, weighing the pros and cons.  She was either going to be one of the oldest in her class, if we waited, or one of the youngest if we didn't.  Sonya has always been very smart.  I know all parents say that about their kids, but she really is.  She was talking early and knew all her letters, colors, and numbers by the time she was 18 months old.  I know this is early, because Lana is almost 2 1/2 and is JUST getting her colors now.  Who knows when the letters and numbers will come for her. 

Sonya has started reading in the past year too, so academically we knew she would be fine in Kindergarten.  I wasn't so sure about socially or emotionally until after we talked to her preschool teachers.  They assured us she was ready.  We were hesitant at first, because last year she cried when we dropped her off at Pre-School, for two months, EVERY time.  Eventually, she got past it, and loved going to school.

 I wasn't sure how she would react going to a new, much bigger school.  I'll be honest, I expected major tears when we dropped her off this morning, but nope.  We took all kind of pictures of her going into the school and in her class.  When I hugged her and said goodbye to her, I had to blink back my own tears.  "Goodbye" sorta got caught in my throat as I tried not to cry.  I didn't want to do that in front of her, knowing that it would set her off.  I saved my crying for after we walked out of the school.  Andy, always less emotional (at least outwardly) about these things, tried to cheer me up by joking, of course.  He said by the time we get to Georgia, we'll just drop her off on the sidewalk and tell her to go around the corner and find her teacher.  I did laugh through my tears at that thought.  Don't worry all you youngest kids out there, I wouldn't do that!  

I picked her up later in the morning, because Kindergarten is only half day here.  She was excited to see me, but not clingy.  I asked if she cried after we left and she said she didn't.   Then on our walk home she told me how much she loved it and couldn't wait to go back.  I told her that was a good thing because she'll be going back tomorrow, and the next day, and the one after that for many, many years. 

I can't believe it's been almost 5 years since I had her.  Since I became a mom.  I remember so clearly and how tiny she was and how screamy.  Oh my God, the screaming.  THAT is one thing I do NOT miss.  I think I've mentioned before how she was not the easiest infant.  Even though I really wanted to have kids, I had NO idea what to expect and did not get what I expected.  But, here we are, sending her off to Kindergarten.  She's made it this far, so I guess we're doing an okay job.  Sometimes I look at Georgia and can't believe Sonya was ever that little.   I suppose this is where I should break into a rendition of, "Cats in the Cradle", or perhaps "Sunrise, Sunset", but I won't do that to you.  I will just continue to do my best to raise my girls and grab as much quality time and funny from stories from them as I can.  Before I know it I'll be sitting in a high school auditorium listening to "Pomp and Circumstance".  

As we finished our walk home from her school this morning, I told Sonya how proud I was that she didn't cry at all.  Then I said to her,

"Can I tell you a secret?"

"What?" She asked.  

"Mommy cried after we dropped you off,"  I told her.

"You did?"  She asked surprised.  "Why?"

"Because I'm a little sad that you're such a big girl in Kindergarten and not a baby anymore." I explained to her.

Then she said, very mater of fact, "but I'm still 4, I'm not even 5 yet."

I guess she's right.  I guess I can wait until she turns 5 to be really sad.  

Friday, August 14, 2009

She Wore an Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny...

This weekend we are planning a family trip to the beach, as we do most weekends during the summer.  The difference this time is, some of the people Andy works with have decided to join us.  I have no idea what made them want to take on our beach craziness, but they are.  Sonya has a huge crush on one of the guys Andy works with.  His name is Matt, and every time we go to visit Andy at work she asks where he is and then gets shy when she sees him.  It's very cute.  He is one of the brave going to the beach with us tomorrow.  

A few days ago I was in the shower with the girls, and I told Sonya that some of the people from Daddy's work were coming to the beach with us this weekend.  She asked who, and I told her a couple names then I said, Matt. 

"Matt!!"  She said,  "he's my favorite!"

"I know," I told her, "aren't you excited?"

She admitted that she was.  Then I asked her a question that I just had to know the answer to. I was curious to see how old we are, as girls, before we start trying to attract the boys.  I mean at her age, it's not on purpose, but maybe it's just inherit in us as girls.  So I asked her which bathing suit she thought she'd like to wear.  Now, she has 3 bathing suits this summer.  Two one pieces, with Cinderella on one and Dora on the other, and a cute bikini.  Not a Victoria Secret bikini, just a little girly kind with a skirt bottom I got at Target, but a bikini, nonetheless.   When I posed the question to her she thought for about half a second and then announced, 

"I think I'll wear my bikini!"  And there it is, my friends.  We instinctively know at a very young age what to do.  You boys never even have a chance.  The best part is when I told Andy this story his reaction was, 

"What the ----?!?!"  You can fill in the last word. His fears about having girls are starting to come true already.  I have a feeling that as the girls get older he may try to decrease our trips to the beach.  Well, either that or insist that the girls go fully clothed...and in winter coats.  

P.S.  As I was writing this Sonya was sitting next to me drawing some pictures. She set one aside saying she was saving it to give to Matt this weekend.  I'm not making this up people.  

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Corny Story

Ask any mom, particularly us stay at home kind, and she'll tell you the one thing that takes up the majority of her day is feeding the kids.  You've got three meals to feed them, well that's if you want them to grow.  Then there's the clean up afterward EVERY TIME.  Perhaps not all moms clean up after every meal, but I try to.  I'd be afraid of what my kitchen would look like at 8pm if I didn't.  Actually, I know what it looks like, because there have been days here and there where I couldn't get to it.  I can tell you, it ain't pretty.  Not to mention how many times I have to swiffer the floor.  The kitchen floor is the bain of my existence.  I wish we had a dog for the sole purpose of eating the food off the floor.  What is boils down to is feeding three kids, three meals a day is tiresome.  So when I can take a short cut here or there without sacrificing nutrition, I do.  

Most of the time breakfast is simple, cereal, oatmeal that kind of thing.  Lunch will be some kind of sandwich or possibly leftovers from dinner the night before.  Since Andy isn't home for dinner during the week, I make them something separate from us.  I try to make healthy meals, that they'll eat, and I always give them a fruit with breakfast and vegetable with lunch and dinner.   For a while they were eating corn on the cob, a lot.  Well there was a reason for that.  A little side story:

Andy plants a little garden every spring, usually tomatoes, peppers, and herbs.  This year he decided to try corn.  He and Sonya planted a few in an open area in our backyard.  There were quite a few leftover seeds and Sonya wanted them to plant around the yard.  Andy and I let her, assuming they wouldn't grow, because she didn't know what she was doing.  Turns out she  knew what she was doing better than we did.  Her corn grew EVERYWHERE in our yard. I do mean everywhere.  We must have had about 20 stalks around the parameter of our yard.  We thought there was no way it would actually yield any corn, but oh yes it did.

Sonya was so excited about her corn, that's all she wanted to eat for a while.  So I let her have it.  After all, she put in the effort to plant it, and it is a vegetable so it's good for her.  However, there was a bit of a problem with it, it had a bit of a mushiness to it.  The first bite would be crunchy, but then as you chewed it was kind of mushy.  Still she loved it.  I tried it without cooking it first, thinking that maybe the mushiness meant I overcooked it, but no, it was crunchy on the first bite, then mushy.  Although, it did seem to be a bit better if you didn't cook it.  So I decided that I wouldn't cook it when they wanted to eat it.  You can eat corn raw and I didn't really want to put butter on it anyway, so I saw no problem with it.  Plus you know if you've eaten corn on the cob before, that you have to wait 5 weeks for it to cool off, if you don't want burnt taste buds.  Kids aren't so patient with waiting for things to cool off.  Therefore, you spend half their meal telling them not to eat, and they keep asking to eat it, so you finally tell them, "fine just eat it!"  and when they do it's still to hot and they end up crying and whining because they burned off their taste buds.  All the better NOT to heat it up I figured.  I save myself time, whining, and the corn is more crunchy.  Plus they're kids, what do they care? Turns out, they do.

(Andy told me this part of the story over the weekend when our friends were here.)  A couple weeks ago we were all having dinner on a Saturday night, and the kids were eating the last of the corn crop.  Andy had questioned why I didn't cook the corn and I told him my reasoning.  He just looked at me with that, "whatever woman" look.  I get that a lot, but when it comes to the kids, he trusts I know what I'm doing.  Usually, I do.  The two younger girls were done eating, so I took them to start their baths.  When I left, Andy looked at Sonya eating her corn and said, 

"How's the corn?  Is it good?"

"Yeah," she said half hearted, "but to tell you the truth, I like it better cooked."

He laughed and replied, "yeah so do I."  

Here I had been giving her corn for a couple weeks uncooked, and she was disappointed every time.  Yet, she never said anything to me.  It's not that it's hard to cook.  I mean one minute in the micro is all it would have taken to make the kid happy, but no, I didn't do it.  Great, mommy sucks.

From now on all corn on the cob will be cooked in our house, even if it means extra clean up time and more whining to listen to.  I love my girls, and damnit, if they want cooked corn, then that's what they'll get!  Besides, in a few years they'll be cleaning up the kitchen after meals themselves.  That will give me even more time to cook their corn.  Perhaps to even boil or grill it!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Warning: Breakdowns May Occur in High Traffic Areas

Did you all miss me?  All five of my loyal readers.  Sorry I've been light in the writing.  One of my longtime best friends, Kelly, and her husband, Penn, came to visit us this weekend.  They live in Nashville and we haven't seen them in a while, so it was a whirlwind, good times weekend.  Plus we had to drive down near San Diego on Saturday for a birthday party.  That trip was a nightmare.  In fact, let's start there.  

One of my other longtime good friends, Beth, was in town to have her daughter's first birthday party.  She and her family moved to Austin, Texas about a year a half ago.  They used to live in Oceanside near where we went to High School together.  Her mom still lives in Oceanside. After Beth had Molly last year, she decided she wanted to come home for Molly's first birthday party.  I haven't seen Beth and her family since they moved and she really wanted to see me and my family too, so I agreed to come to the birthday party.  Then I found out it was the same weekend Kelly and Penn were visiting.  Why does everything happen at the same time?  No matter though, because Penn's brother lives in L.A. and they wanted to spend time with him.  Saturday gave them perfect opportunity, while we took a horrible ride to Oceanside.  

 Let me start by telling those of you who don't live in Southern CA, you have NO IDEA what shitty traffic is.  Trust me on this one.  You may hit a backup here or there on the highway, but until it takes you almost four hours to get somewhere that should take you an hour and a half, you have NO IDEA.  Yes, that's how long it took us to get there. We knew that we would encounter some traffic, which is why we left in what we thought was plenty of time.  Apparently not.  Maybe if we would have left when the girls woke up at 7am that morning, THAT would have been plenty of time, but not at noon. 

 We were doing well for a while and so were the girls.  Georgia and Lana even fell asleep for a bit.  Then the nightmare began. We started hitting some really slow traffic about thirty five miles from where we were going.  Everyone was awake at that point.  The baby breakdowns didn't start immediately.  First it was just a whimper or whine from Georgia and, for a while, goldfish, and banana muffins were doing well to keep that to a minimum.  Unfortunately, the longer we sat and didn't move, the more she started to lose it.  I eventually moved to the back of the van to try and entertain her with whatever I could find in my backpack.  Some things wound up thrown on the ground right away, others kept her occupied for about two minutes.  Then Lana decided she'd had enough.  

"I want get down."  She said as just a polite request at first.  Then  "I WANT GET DOWN!!"

I tried explaining to her that she couldn't while the van was still moving, but it was a pretty bad point to make since we weren't moving at all.  At this point we were three hours into the trip.  It was pointless to get off and take a break, because we'd never get back on again.  Not to mention we were already an hour late for the party.  We just stuck it out and Andy kept driving.  I could almost see the fire coming out of his eyes, but he didn't say anything.  I could feel fire building in me too, but I kept my mouth shut.  When you're in these situations it's best to push your anger aside and just focus on the task at hand and the kids.  If you even start to get mad you'll totally lose it and so will they.  

I managed to keep Lana from a complete breakdown with the promise of cake at the party.  Sonya was keeping herself occupied with coloring.  Thank goodness I have one old enough to busy herself.  She would just occasionally ask if we were at San Diego yet, and what kind of cake would there be?  Georgia on the other hand, decided she'd had enough.  The promise of cake was lost on her.  I was done trying to keep her from erupting, and knowing that we were almost off the highway, I just let her go.  She cried and whined for a while, until we finally got on another road that actually moved.  Then she only cried and whined when we stopped at a light.  Lana would start with the whining and I'd just say, 

 "It's okay Lana we're almost at the cake."  She'd briefly calm down.  

We finally did arrive at the party, and I've never been so glad to get the hell out of a car in my entire life.  The girls were instantly better the moment those doors opened and we unbuckled them.  Andy and I breathed a sigh of relief that we were out of the scream filled car.  I got Lana out of her seat and told her, "we're here", then put her down on the sidewalk.  She looked up at me and said, "NOW cake?"  

"Yes, Lana.  Now cake,"  I said, hoping that our tardiness would mean if the cake wasn't already cut, it would be soon.  Luckily it was brought out within the first 10 minutes of our arrival. 

 The good thing is the girls had a great time in the bounce house and wore themselves out for the drive home, which was much better all around.  You're lucky I like you, Miss Bethann.  Although, next time I may just buy my girls a cake that says, "Happy Birthday, Molly".  Then I'll send you the gift in the mail.  It will probably get there before we do.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sleep Interrupted

Everyone knows that having a baby means sleep deprivation for the first few months.  All you have to do is look at a new parent with bags under their eyes, hair that hasn't been brushed for a week, not to mention their constant question of what day it is, to know they are only getting 2 hour chunks of sleep at a time.  It's no wonder sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture.  It sucks.  But eventually, babies sleep through the night and the parents get to as well, right?  Well, that's what everyone wants you to think.  I'm here to tell you that once you have kids, you're sleep filled nights are long over.  

I'm pretty sure I can count on one hand the nights I haven't been woken up by one screaming child or another, in the past 4 years.  When it does happen that I sleep a full 8 hours, without interruption, I always awake with panic that someone has snuck into my house and grabbed my kids in the middle of the night.  Then I hear one of them yell for me and I lay back down wishing to hit their snooze button.  Too bad they don't make one for kids.  Yelling "HOLD ON, MOMMY WILL BE RIGHT THERE!" doesn't always work.  Most of the time it just makes them yell louder.   For the most part, they all do sleep through the night in the sense that nobody wakes up to eat anymore.  Although, sometimes Lana will ask for turkey on rye at two in the morning, which is weird since she doesn't even like rye bread.  They do, however, wake up for other reasons.  

When they're sick forget it, you go back to being that parent of a newborn.  Sonya woke up a few nights a week when she was potty training and would sometimes pee the bed.  We tried getting her to wear a pull-up at night, but she insisted on her big girl underwear.  So inevitably, for about 3 months, I'd get a call from her in the middle of the night that she peed the bed.  Other than that, Sonya has always been a great sleeper.  For the most part we've had no problems with G either, unless sick or teething.  Guess who's been difficult?  Poor Lana.  She really is my challenging one.  I will say she's gotten MUCH better.  Once she was sleeping through the night, to not wake up to eat that is, she was still waking up for who knows what reason.  She would wake up four or five times a night, just screaming.  Most of the time I'd calm her down and she'd go right back to sleep, but there were some nights when it went on for a good hour.  Those were not fun times.  At least when they wake up as babies to eat, that's what they do.  They eat and go back to sleep.  This was harder, because I didn't know what to do with her, or why she was even waking up.  Eventually, she outgrew it.  She will still wake up about once a night, but it's only for maybe 30 seconds.  I go in her room and let her know I'm there and she's right back out again.  I don't know if she has bad dreams or what the deal is, but when she has a bad night it's bad for everyone.  And yes, most of the time it is me getting up.  Not that Andy wouldn't or hasn't, but half the time he doesn't even hear it.  I can be up and down out of bed 5 times in a night, and mention it the next morning as I'm sipping my coffee in an effort to keep my eyes open. He'll say to me, 

"Really?  I didn't hear anything."

YOU DON'T SAY?!  Perhaps next time I'll just put the screaming child on your side of the bed and let's see if you hear it then!  I shouldn't be too harsh with him, though.  There's just something that we mothers have in us to hear our kids at night.  An eighteen wheeler could drive through my bedroom in the middle of the night and I wouldn't even turn over, but one of my kids whispers my name from 50 feet away, and I'm upright and down the hall in five seconds.  Weird.  

This is what happened two night ago.  Not only was I dead asleep, but I had a couple glasses of wine so I was a bit "wined" to sleep.  I had gone out to dinner with some of the girls I used to work with. Not at this job, but a job that was way easier and actually payed me.  It was late when I got home and Andy and I went to bed.  He told me the girls went to bed a bit later than usual. That was fine because they had late naps, including Sonya, something she never does anymore.  They had Sunday movie night and he let them watch "Lady and the Tramp".  A harmless enough Disney movie, or so I thought.  Around 2:30 in the morning I'm woken by a quiet, 

"Daddy?  Daddy?"  It was Sonya, and Andy didn't even move.  I instinctively got up and walked down the hall to see what she needed.  When I got to her room she said she wanted a hug and kiss.  I gave her both, and made my way back to my room only to get up again when she called for me five minutes later.  This time she needed more water.  So again, I obliged.  As far as I can remember I was in there 3 or 4 times for one reason or another.  It was between 2:30-3ish.  Finally, on the last call into the room I asked her what the problem really was.  She informed me that she was afraid there was "something" under her dresser and nightstand.  I assured her there was nothing there and to go back to sleep.  I don't know if me telling her that helped or she was to tired at that point, but I managed to go back to sleep and not hear from her again.  I didn't really question her about it much in the morning.  It wasn't until I was putting her to bed the next night that it came up.  She asked me again about something being under her nightstand and dresser.  

"What do you think is under there,  Sonya?" I asked.  

Without hesitation she answered, "A rat."

Then I realized what it was that kept her up the night before.  Lady and the Tramp.  For those of you who have never seen it or don't know, there is a scene in the movie where Tramp saves a baby from a rat trying to sneak into his bassinet.  THAT is what kept my daughter awake at 3am.  A scene from an animated Disney movie. A RATED G DISNEY MOVIE!  THAT is the reason I didn't get to sleep through the night.  

So yeah, when I say parents never get to sleep through the night again, we don't.  And when I say Sonya is a bit scared of movies, I'm serious about that too.  So, no Dad I won't be showing her Star Wars anytime soon.  On second thought, next time you come to visit I will let her watch it.  Then YOU can get up with her at 3am when she's afraid that the Storm Troopers are going to come out of her closet.  

Saturday, August 1, 2009

No Tilt-A-Whirl Rides for THIS Family

When I was younger I loved amusement park rides.  Roller Coasters, spinny rides, all of them.  The faster and crazier, the better.  Then something happened to me in my early 20's.  I started feeling dizzy after the rides that spun around.  It got worse over the years.  Then I noticed, after I had Sonya, roller coasters started to make me dizzy.  This greatly depressed me, because since I was tall enough, I've ridden every roller coaster I could find.  Now I'm at the point where I twirl in a couple circles, and I worry about my spinning head and impending nausea.  It sucks. After last weekend's adventure, it would appear Georgia may follow in my footsteps.  Lana seems fine.  However, Sonya may have the weakest stomach of us all.

Last time we went to Disneyland she, Andy and Melinda rode the Teacups.  Something I definitely can not ride.  I think she would have been fine, had they not ridden it that second time.  Immediately after the first time.  Sonya was fine for a bit, but then she started complaining of a headache.  She fell asleep, but when she woke up still wasn't feeling well, so we left.  About 30 minutes later she threw up.  In the car.  In her car seat.  Yuck.  Melinda was sitting next to her and was a champ about it.  I'll spare you the gross details, but let's just say she helped keep the throw up contained.  I doubt Sonya will ever ride the Teacups again.

Wednesday night Andy came home very early, for him anyway.  He walked in the door at 7pm and the girls and I couldn't have been happier.  They were ready for stories and a bit of fun with Daddy, and I was able to start making dinner without being interrupted, or so I thought.  As I've said mentioned before, when Andy comes home the girls like for him to do "spinny" with them.  Sonya has never had a problem before when he spins her around.  She will sometimes yell that she's dizzy and he'll stop, but then after about 5 minutes she's ready to go again.  He usually rotates between spinning her and Lana.  Wednesday night he decided to hold them both at the same time and spin them.  They loved this and made him do it over and over.  I'm not sure how many times he spun them, but there wasn't as much downtime between the spins, at least for Sonya.  After a few times, he decided they were done and it was time to read stories.  Sonya sat next to him on the couch and after a couple minutes closed her eyes and put her head in her hands.  Andy asked what was wrong and she said her head hurt.  Uh-oh.  Andy asked if she wanted to go to bed and she said yes.  Big uh-oh.  Just in case you weren't sure, no kid ever answers "yes" to the question "do you want to go to bed".  We put her to bed with a bucket next to her, just in case.  I've been through this before and it's always better to have the bucket there, trust me.  

About half hour later I had dinner ready, and it was time for Lana to go to bed.  When we went in the bedroom we found Sonya awake and whining.  She kept saying how her head hurt and she didn't feel well.  We asked if she was going to throw up but she kept telling us no, right up until the point where she was actually throwing up.  Good thing I had that bucket there.  She started to feel better after that.  I cleaned up her sheets and surrounding areas, since some of it didn't make it into the bucket.  Andy helped her change and brush her teeth.  About 20 minutes later, she and Lana were both in bed and our dinner was cold.  Just when I thought I was going to be ahead of the game for the evening, instead I wasted half an hour cleaning up puke.  

I don't think Sonya will be asking for "spinny" anytime soon.  In fact as we put her in bed after she was cleaned up, Andy sarcastically asked her if she wanted him to do "spinny" with her again.  She just looked at him like he was crazy and answered,

 "No, thanks."  

At least she was polite about it.