Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wishing Three Was The New Two

Yesterday, the baby of the family turned three years old.  Now to some of you this seems so young, and to those of you with babies, it feels so much older.  For me it feels like a little of both, since I have two that are older.  It is also a year that will be bitter sweet.  You see, I love and hate this age.  

Having been through it twice already I know what a three year old can bring.  At some point someone coined the phrase "the terrible two's".  Whoever said that, just didn't have a three year old yet.  I have found that three is WAY worse than two.  For most of the year they are two, they are still so compliant and wanting to please you.  They still do what they're told, to the best of their ability.  Perhaps part of this is because they are still learning so much.  A good portion of what we learn in life is learned by three. Talking, walking, eating, learning to use the bathroom, communicating, being social, all learned before three.  They also feel like they are an extension of their parents.  They don't realize they are their own person.  It isn't until the END of being two, when they approach three, that they figure this out and the terribleness starts to happen.  

This is when they start to get defiant and whiny.  When they realize they are separate from you, and they can tell you no.  With my older two, age three was a year of time outs.  They are trying to figure out their boundaries and how much they can get away with.  It can be quite maddening some days and having JUST gone through it with Lana, my patience is a little worn down for Georgia.  The good thing is she isn't quite as difficult, and she is the last one, so yes, I tend to be a bit more lenient.  

On the sweet side of this year, they are still very innocent.  They question everything and still say things that are so cute and not yet annoying.  Even though they want to assert their independence, they want to be with you and make you happy, most of the time anyway.  Some three year olds, especially mine, are still small enough to carry around, although they do get heavy pretty quickly.  This way  I can pretend they are still little on some level.  The  baby voice sticks around for most of three as well as saying words incorrectly, which has always been one of my favorite things.  I'm pretty sure I will cry the day Georgia says the word "orange" instead of "orangin".  

So, once again I say, what the hell?  Why is it that time seems to speed by faster as they get older?  Or maybe it's as I got older.  I don't really want to stop time, because let's face it, I would like them to leave home at some point.  However, why can't it just slow the hell down??  I know, It doesn't and it won't.  From what I'm told it just speeds up faster.  So here I am, the day after my youngest daughter's third birthday, realizing that the baby/toddler stage of my motherhood is over forever.  Hoping that I have done a good enough job teaching them in those first three years, when they learn so much.  I now have three full fledged kids.  A fact that makes me and my uterus sad some days.  I don't think I will ever get over not having a baby around.  Even if I was as crazy as that Dugger woman and on baby number 21.  I'm sure that is why she still keeps having them.  Because as much work as they are when they are babies and toddlers, they are so adorable and fun.  I know I will find new things that will be fun about having kids, but I will always miss how much they grow in those first three years. 

I will hang on to the cute things that will  inevitably come up this year.  Things that she still doesn't quite get.  The other day we were dropping my mom off at the Burbank Airport.  Just Georgia was with us, because the other two were in camp.  She knows Nona lives in Florida, and that she was leaving that day.  So in her three year old mind she understood some of that, but not exactly. That is why when we pulled up to the curb at the airport she said aloud to us,

"Is dis Florida?"

Those are the moments I am going to enjoy and savor for the next year.  I'm going to do my best to forget about all the times she will defy me and sit in timeout for three minutes.  

Happy Birthday to my baby girl!  Today the tricycle, tomorrow the world!  

Monday, June 27, 2011

Taking Charge

Hello everyone!  I know you probably wondered where I ran off to last week.  Or maybe you don't check this blog that often and you didn't know I wasn't writing.  In which case, "whatever with you" as my Noni  used to say.  I took a little break last week from writing about being a mommy, because MY mommy was in town.  She and my father took a trip to Australia and they stopped here on their way back.  My dad could only stay a day because he had to get back to work, but my mom is a teacher so she is  off for the summer.  She got to stay and play for a week.  We had a great time doing fun things like going to the farm and the beach.  She helped me cook, clean and take care of the girls.  Oh and there was all that wine we consumed at night as well.  So, I didn't really have much time for writing since we were out most of the days and making jam or baking Spider Man cakes most nights.  Yes, we are crazy like that.  But the bottom line is, we had a great time and I got a break here and there (including a hotel night away with Andy!)  So while I know you were all sad to not get any stories last week, I was storing the funny moments in my memory bank to be sure and bring back to you this week.  Unfortunately, my memory isn't what it used to be and I probably should have written them down. I do have at least one for you now though!  Mom, if you remember a story you want me to relay, feel free to comment!

I believe this happened Thursday evening, when we came back from In and Out.  We were getting the kids out of the car and for some reason, Lana was interested in checking out the change I keep in the front of the car.  She wanted a coin, but I told her she had to go inside and get ready for bed and then I would give her one.  Apparently, this was not good enough for her and she wanted a coin and she wanted it NOW!  I pulled her out of the van while she whined,


She did this over and over again for about fifteen minutes.  I was trying to ignore it at first, but that wasn't working.  Then I tried threatening, but that wasn't effective either.  I got her pajamas on and I needed her to go brush her teeth, but she was so obsessed with getting a damn coin.  I was just about to put her in time out when my mom came in the room to try and help redirect her.  Lana was just standing over by her toy box, whining, 


I was two seconds away from my whine for wine.  Just as I was about to put an end to it all and punish her, Sonya walked into the room with her little wallet in one hand and something I didn't see in her other.  My mom said, 

"Uh, Kristi..."

Then I realized what Sonya was doing and before I could stop her, she handed Lana a coin.  

"No, Sonya!" I called out, but it was to late.  Lana  promptly took the coin from Sonya's hand and placed immediately into her belly bank she was standing next to.  Then she looked over at me and smiled. Not a nice cute smile, but an evil, "ha ha I win" smile.    

I just put my head in my hands and sighed whil my mom stood next to me chuckling to herself.  

"I just wanted to make her happy!" Sonya told me

Frustrated,  I shuffled everyone off to the bathroom to brush their teeth, trying to let go of what just happened.  While we were in the bathroom, Sonya tried to explain herself.  She said she just wanted Lana to be happy so she would stop whining and then that would make me happy.  While her logic was dead on, her parenting skills were way off.  Everyone knows you don't give in to a whining child.  It will just make them whine even more next time.  

I told Sonya, while I appreciated what she tried to do, it was not the best thing and I was trying to teach Lana something.  She seemed to understand what I was telling her and promised not to interfere the next time.  

While they finished brushing their teeth, I let Lana and Georgia know there would be no milk before bedtime.  We had eaten quite a bit at dinner and they just needed to get to bed.  Lana did not like this new turn of events, so she started with this whine,

"Milk, Milk, MMMIIIILLKKK!"  

I am so not kidding.   

At this point, Sonya turned around and said to Lana,

"Lana, you better stop that!  I already gave you one wish tonight and I got in trouble for that, so I can't give you another wish today.  So, you better stop whining."

And then... she did.  

Is six years old to young to leave at home to babysit for a four and three year old?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Look Out! Here Comes the Spider-Man

This was the conversation on the way home from swimming lessons yesterday.

Me: "Georgia, what kind of cake do you want for your birthday?"

Sonya: "She wants Spider-Man!"

Me: "Sonya, let her answer. Georgia?"

Georgia: "Spidaw-Man"

Yes, my almost 3 year old girly girl wants a Spiderman cake.  This is something she has been saying since Lana's birthday.  I find it adorable and pretty kick ass, actually.  For whatever reason she likes Spiderman.  She's never seen a show, movie or book, but she likes him.  That is the sticker she always picks out at gymnastics, while her sisters are getting Ariel and Belle.  Georgia always asks for Spiderman.  Even though she's been talking about  a Spiderman birthday cake for months, I had to check again. One day last week, she said she wanted Minnie Mouse.  Then I found out why, as the talk in the car continued.

Lana: "GG, what kin of cake you want for your birthday? Minnie Mouse?"

Sonya: "Lana, she JUST said Spiderman!"

Lana: "SISSY! SHHH!  GG-what kind? Minnie right?"

Georgia: "I wan Spidaw-Man, Lana!"

Lana: Frustrated now, "Aaahhh! Dat's all she been saying she want is Spider-Man, Spider-Man, SPIDER-MAN!"

Me: "Well, it's her choice Lana."

Georgia: "I yike Spidawman."

Lana: "I don't! Because he's a boy and I don't like boys!"

Georgia: "I do, I like boys."

Lana: "I don't!  I only like girls!"

Georgia: "I like boys and girls."

Sonya: "Well, Lana it's her birthday and her choice."

Lana: "Fine!"

End Scene

I love these car ride exchanges.  It gives me so much insight to what is going on with them.  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Splish Splash

My friend, BethAnnDoddKoehn, has a season's pass to Legoland.  A couple weeks ago she generously offered to take the girls and me for free, because she had some free guest passes that came with her season pass.  Since this is summer and I have the girls ALL DAY, EVERY DAY right now AND it was free, I said "Hell's yeah!" So yesterday we went.

We have been to Legoland once before when my in-laws were here in March.  It's fun for the kids who are around the age of my girls.  Too young and they can't really do anything, and once they hit ten or eleven that place is going to be "soooo boooorring".  I can hear it already.  Right now though, it's perfect.  The rides are geared toward mostly 4-10 year olds.  They also have a splash area.  Beth told me beforehand to pack the girls bathing suits and towels, because her two love playing over there.

As soon as we got to Legoland Beth's son, Wyatt, started talking about the splash area.  He was getting Sonya psyched up for it and Georgia was in, but every time it was mentioned Lana would immediately say,

"I don wan to go to dat."

"Fine, Lana you don't have to," I told her.

Then someone would mention going over there again and Lana would make sure everyone definitely knew she was NOT doing that part of the park.  Not that she had ANY idea what it was.  I remember seeing it when we were there with my in-laws, but since it was our first time there and it was cool in March, we didn't pay much attention to it.  Even though, she had never been before, she knew she didn't want any part of it.  I wasn't going to argue.  The others could play and she could sit with us.  One less kid to get dressed in and out of a bathing suit.

This went on for the first two hours we were there.  We would ride something, Wyatt would mention the splash area, Lana would say she wasn't going.  We ate lunch, splash area, not going.  THEN we got to the splash area.  Lana took one look at it, turned around and yelled to me,


Then she proceeded to whip off her shirt and wait for me to help her get bathing suit on.   They played at least half an hour, longer than Beth's kids, who originally couldn't wait to get there.  Lana was in there longer than anyone and I had to drag her out.

It was by far the highlight of her day.

Thanks Miss BethAnnDoddKoehn for taking us.  We had a blast!

Monday, June 13, 2011

All Star Girl

This past weekend was Sonya's last T-ball game.  This is good and bad.  Good because I don't have to spend at least one evening a week packing all three kids in the van, complete with a peanut butter and jelly dinner, only to head home and chaotically try to put them all to bed by 8pm.  That was even more fun when the practices lasted until 8pm. On the other hand, it's bad because I love watching Sonya play baseball, and she likes to play.  I mentioned before that I thought she was pretty good and had some talent in this area.  For a girl or boy her age.  Her coaches must have felt the same way, because she was picked as one of four kids from her team, to participate in the T-ball all star game they had on Sunday morning.

Saturday, Sonya played the best game I've seen her play yet.  She made three outs and had a couple of really good catches.  Her hitting has gotten better as well.  I wasn't sure how well she was going to play on Sunday though, because Saturday  night she had a sleepover with all the Girl Scouts.  I knew they wouldn't get much sleep. I was right.  However, in true- suck it up I have to play anyway-athlete fashion, she did great.

First they played her out between first and second base, where in T-ball the ball almost never goes.  She didn't do too much those innings.  Then one of her coaches, helping with the all star game, must have mentioned that putting her in the pitcher position would be a good idea.  She proved herself  more than once, and even managed to make two outs in one inning from there.  For those of you who aren't familiar, the pitcher position in T-ball, just tries to keep the ball from getting past her, possibly catch it and make an out. (There is no actual pitching, since it is T-ball.) Sonya managed to do this a few times.  Luckily, we got one and a half of those times on video, thanks to Melinda and her iPhone.  I've posted it here on You Tube, so you can take a look.  It's a little faraway, but you can definitely see what's going on if you pay attention about 45 seconds in.  Check it out now.

The beginning of the video that you miss was Sonya stopping the ball, it bouncing up, and hitting her in the chin.  She didn't miss a beat though.  She immediately picked it up and threw right to first base.  After that you can probably hear in the background one of the mom's from Sonya's team ask, after seeing her get hit and shake it off,

"Does Sonya ever cry?"

Then of course there was my husband's humorous and oh so true response.  There is also an appearance by Lana and then the awesome play Sonya makes.  Every time I watch it, I get teary eyed.  Stupid, I know, but I can't help it.  When I was there in person yesterday, it was all I could do to keep from crying, I was so proud.  Although, I think my proudest moment came later on in the game.  I believe it was the second time she went to the "mound".  She got out there and the batter walked up to the tee. To my left I heard a man yell,

"Come on Sonya!  Let's go!"

I looked and realized the man cheering was someone I had never seen.   He was not a dad who had a kid on the team Sonya played with all season.  This was a dad of one of the other All Stars on the team she was playing for.  He just knew her name from what she had done so far that game, and cheered her on. 

After the game ended, we went out and got something to eat in celebration of how well Sonya had done that game and all season.  We talked about how great she was in the All Star game and Melinda showed her all the videos she had taken.  

I'm sure there are plenty of kids her age out there who play just as well, if not better than Sonya.  Although, after watching different kids play this game for the past four months, I'd say she is up there with the best.  Of course I might be a wee bit biased, but there is no denying, she does have talent.

How soon until I can call a Red Sox scout?

In the dugout.

One of the All Stars
(I plan on keeping this picture, because any one of those three boys, or all of them, will end up in the Majors someday. ) 

Thanks again to Melinda, Melissa, Scott and baby Kennedy for coming and showing their support, and to Melinda for recording the awesome play.  

Friday, June 10, 2011

Here We Swim Again!

Well, it is that time of year.  Swim lessons time.  Last year didn't exactly go well and I was dreading the lessons this year. The girls didn't make much progress at all last year.  If you've been reading this blog for a while you might remember those adventures.  If not, you can read about them here, here and here.  Yeah, fun times. Part of the reason for that, I thought, was because our lessons were in the morning, which is not a good thing in June in L.A.  THIS year I thought I would be smart.  THIS year, I figured I would sign them up for afternoon swim lessons so the "June gloom" that we experience here in Los Angeles, would be gone for the day, and the sun would be shining in the afternoon.  Except I forgot that some days the gloom lasts ALL DAY LONG.  Luckily, they do heat the pool so the water hasn't been too bad.  Still, I was sure that we would just be starting from scratch, sun or no sun.  

This year, Georgia's lessons are first.  As it turns out, she LOVES to be in the water. She's still too young to be in a class on her own, so we have a  mommy and me class.   She's not so hip on getting put under the water, but she will kick and float, while I hold her on top like nobody's business. Well, this was progress as far as I was concerned with her.  One down, two to go.  

Sonya and Lana are in the same class again.  Despite taking these classes last year and even a handful of one on one lessons last year, by the end of the summer my girls were still terrified of the water.  Andy is convinced that they will never learn to swim, but I refuse to give up.  They WILL swim, dammit!  I was thinking that Sonya might be a bit better this year.  She was apprehensive about it, but she's starting to get to a point where she understands things better and has an easier time over coming her fears.  Lana, however, was the one I was most worried about.  How surprising, right? It took two lessons last year for her to even stay in the water for more than 5 minutes.  Then when she did she would only go in the water when an instructor held her, and the rest of the time sat on the ledge.  I was pretty sure we would be right there again.  My only hope was she wouldn't run out of the pool the first two days again.  

Then an amazing thing happened.  Something I hadn't anticipated.  Right before Georgia's class started on Monday, the heavens opened up and smiled down on me.  Into the pool walked Lana's best friend, Angelina, and her family.  As it turned out, Angelina was signed up for the same class as Lana and Sonya.  I was sure this would make it a bit easier.  Nothing like a little peer pressure to get your kid swimming!

Unfortunately, the first day of class the instructors separated the kids into two groups and Angelina and Lana got separated.  DAMN!  Lana did stay in the water, though, even if she did still sit up on the ledge again.  I noticed Angelina at the other end of the pool in the water, hopping around, going under, and actually swimming.  By herself.  I made a vow right then that Lana would sit by her the next day.  

Tuesday came and I made sure all the girls went to the same instructors on the same side.  Lana, once again, sat on the edge of the pool, but this time she was next to Angelina who was bouncing up and down in the water, holding on to the edge.  I heard one of the instructors try to encourage Lana off the wall, but no dice.  Then I left to take Georgia to the bathroom.  When I came back this is what I found:

I couldn't believe it!  Lana was actually in the water!  Holding on to the edge!  BY HERSELF!!  For the rest of the class she stayed there and bounced with her friend and her sister in the water.  At one point, I saw her hang on with one hand while putting both feet out of the water, almost floating on her back.  In the last couple days she has progressed even more. At one point she actually went UNDER the water.  WILLINGLY!!  

So, perhaps my girls are on the road to swimming for real this year.  Maybe, just maybe, I might actually get them to let go of the wall and swim to me at some point this summer.  It's certainly a thousand times better than last year already.  I also signed them up for another session later on this summer.  A session I   believe Angelina is in as well.  See, peer pressure and influence isn't always bad!  Sometimes it helps your kid learn to swim.  I'll worry about it making them want to smoke and drink in ten years from now.  For right now, I'm fine with Lana following her friend jumping off a bridge.  Especially if it's into water that she can learn how to swim out of.  

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

For the Duran Duran Fans

I totally forgot about telling you all this story.  Then when I was trying to think about what to write about today, it popped in my head.  So even if it's a month old, it's still a good one.

My neighbor across the street, Kelly, has helped me out with the girls A LOT over the past couple years.  She was out of work, unfortunately for her, but it meant I had a daytime babysitter  from time to time.  Great for me!  Just recently she got a job, which she was very happy about, no so great for me.  I guess I forgot to tell her that it's all about me my needs.  I mean does she really NEED to work?  Who needs food and shelter EVERY day.  So overrated.  Seriously, I'm very happy for her, but it does kinda suck that I don't have a go to person to watch the girls last minute, if needed.  Oh well.  Sonya's old enough to babysit, right?  Anyway-since Kelly would watch Lana and Georgia sometimes during the day, Sonya was feeling left out.  She loves Kelly and wanted to spend time with her, but with school and everything else she had going on, there wasn't much time.  Kelly decided she wanted to take Sonya out to lunch and a movie one weekend, so they could hang out together. This, of course thrilled Sonya to no end.  So, one Saturday last month, Kelly took her to see the movie Rio.

The morning of their day out, the five of us were all at the breakfast table talking about our upcoming events for the day.  Sonya started saying how she was so excited to go out to lunch and see the movie, but then she wasn't sure what this movie was about?  My girls don't watch too many, if any, TV commercials.  Therefore, they don't really see what movies are coming out, except when we drive by a poster now and then.

"But mom what is the movie about?  I think I saw a bird or something on the picture," she told us.

Andy told her, "I think it's about a bird that can't fly."

So thinking I'm funny, because of course I am, I said, "Really?  I thought it was about a bird that dances on the sand."

Now those of you who are Duran Duran fans out there just got that.  Those of you who are not, like my husband, have no idea why I thought that was funny.  Andy gave me a weird look, so I sang,

"You know 'her name is Rio and she dances on the saaaannndd!'"

THEN he got it.  But since I had to explain it, it turned out not to be so funny for him.  Sonya was clueless about what we were talking about.  I hate when my jokes go to waste.

Fast forward to the next day.  I had come back from my night away with my friend BethAnnDoddKoehn, and I was talking to the girls about how their day was on Saturday.  I said to Sonya,

"How was your time out with Kelly? Oh and how was the movie?!"

She told me, "Great! But mom, dad was right and you were wrong."

Huh?  "About what?" I asked.

"The movie," she replied.  "It WAS about a bird who couldn't fly, not one who dances on the sand."

Too bad Glee hasn't done a Duran Duran episode yet, then I wouldn't have had to explain myself.     

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Name That Tune Part 2

The girls and I were in the car yesterday listening to the most recent Glee CD that  Melinda made for us. (Thanks Mel!) The song Blackbird, originally sung by one of the greatest bands of all time, The Beatles, is on this particular CD.  It is a song Kurt's character sings in one of the episodes from this past season.  The girls know this song from it's original Beatles version, because hell yeah I'm making them listen to The Beatles.  So when it came on yesterday in the Glee version they already knew the words to sing along.  Well I THOUGHT they knew the words.  

I love that kids sing the wrong words to songs.  It's one of my favorite things they do, because what they think are the right words are usually humorous in the context of the song.  I've talked about this before last year when we went to San Francisco with my in-laws.  Back then it was Sonya who didn't get the words quite right.   While this time all of them were singing something different, I think Georgia's was my favorite interpretation.  

We listened to the song a number of times yesterday, because when they find a song they like they make me play it over and over again.  One of the many reasons I try to listen mostly to music that I want to listen to.  The three of them were singing along to it every time, but I couldn't really tell WHAT they were singing until we got home.  They were all walking in the door still singing the song that was now stuck in their heads.  Then Sonya started laughing because of the words Lana was using for the song.  

"Hahaha!  Lana what are you singing?" she asked.

"Blackbir singing in da desert niiigghht," Lana sang.

"Oh Lana that's so funny!" Sonya told her.  

"What do you think it is Sonya?" I asked.

"Blackbird singing in the dead eye niiiii!" she belted.  I'm not sure what she thought that last word was, but it definitely wasn't night.  

I giggled to myself and told her that wasn't quite it either.  Then we heard Georgia singing to herself.  We asked her to sing her version for all of us.  She smiled shyly for a minute and wouldn't say anything so I had to coax it out of her.  Finally she sang:

"Blackbir sittin on a butta knife!"

This threw all of us into a fit of giggles.  Georgia was so proud of making us all laugh that she continued to belt out her tune for the rest of the night. 

The unfortunate part about this is now, for the rest of my life, every time I hear that beautiful, yet somewhat melancholy song, all I'm going to picture is a bird sitting on a butter knife.