Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Bad Place For Charlotte's Web

Hi.  Phew!  Does anyone else feel like they are sinking in the quicksand of Christmas?  I don't know if it's the fact that we only have three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas or that I am just busy ALL THE TIME ANYWAY!  But seriously.  These last few weeks have been killing me.  I will be happy when Christmas is here and I can relax for minute and have leftovers, while playing with my new toys for few days.  Because I've been so busy, I haven't had time to sit down and write, but I managed to find 20 free minutes today.  Even though my body really wanted me to take a nap, I denied it just so I could entertain you all with a new story.  Aren't I so nice?  Let's call it my Christmas present to you!  Because I really can't do any more shopping or bake any more cookies.  I might hurt someone. Plus this is a quick one, so I can maybe write this and STILL get a 10 minute nap in.  If there are spelling mistakes in here, forgive me.  My body took over and put me to sleep.  

A couple of weeks ago, the girls went back to my room to take a shower after dinner, as they do most nights.  Andy was home that day and he went to monitor them, while I cleaned up the kitchen.  I was busy trying to tame the kitchen mess, when I heard Georgia start to cry.  I ignored it partially because this was not an unusual occurrence.  Chances were that one of her sisters did something that upset her, and her cries are mostly fake.  I also ignored it because Andy was there and I decided let him deal with it for once.  Then I heard her running down the hall and I realized her crying wasn't the typical "waaa! she hit me!" kind of crying.  This was a panicked, sobbing, couldn't catch her breath cry.  That's when I intervened.

"Georgia what's wrong?"  I asked.

Between her sobs she tried as best she could to tell me.  "Sssttthhhpppiiidddeeerrr!"

"What?" I asked, not sure what she was telling me.

"Sthpider (sob) in (sob) da toilet (sob sob sob)!!" She said.

I walked back to our bedroom where Andy was standing at our toilet trying to flush down a Daddy Long Leg spider.  The floor in front of the toilet was wet with urine.  

After calming Georgia down and piecing it together with the others what I found out was this.  Georgia got on the toilet in our bathroom to pee before taking a shower.  She looked down in the bowl and there was a Daddy Long Leg trying to make his way out of the bowl.  So, mid-pee, she hopped off crying and ran down the hall naked.   Now, I'm personally not afraid of spiders, but even I would have freaked the hell out had I seen that while trying to go.  Not to mention that at five years old, that Daddy Long Leg probably looked gigantic to her.  

If felt so bad for her and consoled her until she calmed down.  Then she her sisters took a shower. Problem solved!  Right?  Issue over! Right?  Now you all now better than that!

For five days afterward the child held her pee.  I would see her dancing around and when I asked her if she had to go she would deny it.  Eventually she would have to give in, but before she would go in ANY toilet, I had to thoroughly check for spiders.  Then I had to stand there until she was done.  As the weeks have gone on she's gotten better about going, but she is still making me check the toilet and I can't go very far until she is finished going.  You know, because I have nothing else going right now but to wait in the bathroom while my child poops.  It's more fun than you know.

She still refuses to go in the toilet in our bathroom though.  No matter how much checking I do in that one, she doesn't trust it.  I really can't say I blame her.  I got up in the middle of the night to pee a few nights ago, and her incident popped in my head.  I didn't want to turn on the light so I just peed like I do in a public toilet, hovering above the seat.  I couldn't be positive that Daddy Long Leg hadn't creeped from back out of the bowl and I wasn't looking to find out.  Guess we will all be checking the toilet for a while.  

Thursday, December 5, 2013

20 (or more) Questions About Star Wars

Lately, we've been trying to have a family movie night at least a couple times a month.  We will do it on a Saturday night when the girls can stay up a bit later, but not every Saturday night is open.  If it is, we usually pick a movie,  Andy makes some popcorn and we all settle in to watch.  Yes, even I will put aside the messy kitchen or the laundry to spend a couple hours just chilling and enjoying a movie. We've watched some older Disney movies like the Shaggy DA and The Apple Dumpling Gang as well as some of the more recent ones like The Incredibles.  One night we even watched Smoky and the Bandit.  That led to some fun questions.  Then about a month ago I mentioned to Andy that we should watch The Star Wars Trilogy.  You know, the only ones that matter.  Episodes 4-6.  We try to forget about the "other ones".  He agreed.  

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you might remember that we watched this movie a couple years ago when the girls were younger.  We decided that they might have been too young at the time to appreciate it.  Especially the little ones.  Sonya had enjoyed it, but still we thought it would be better to wait before moving on with the others. 

Now that they all enjoy movies, and Lana doesn't stand in between rooms looking for an escape route in case it gets to scary, we figured they would actually enjoy this trilogy.  I was younger than Sonya when I saw "The Empire Strikes Back".  So earlier in November one Saturday night, we all settled in to watch one of my favorite movies, Star Wars Episode 1 A New Hope.

The girls watched the whole thing without getting scared and enjoyed it so much they even talked about it the next day.  They were, of course, infatuated with Princess Leia.  She was the only character name Lana and Georgia could recall.  Oh well, except for "Dark Vader" as Lana called him.   They were excited to watch the next two.  Georgia even said 

"We will watch Empire Strikes Back with the guy, the guy, Princess Leia, and the fuzzy carpet!"

Then they would continually ask, "When would we watch the next one?  Today?  How about next weekend?" Finally, I told them the next free Saturday we had.  That ended up being this past Thanksgiving weekend.  

Now like most Star Wars fans out there, Empire is my favorite.  However, it's been so many years since I've seen it my memory was hazy on exactly what happened and when.  It's so much fun watching it again and especially with your kids.  The only problem with watching movies with some kids, especially movies like these, is that they get confused and have questions.  Sometimes they like to ask you those questions during the movie.  Sonya and Georgia are not those kids.  Lana however….

Lana likes to sit next to me no matter what movie we watch.  I think it's part of her still being a bit scared about what might happen during the movie, and if she will be afraid.  I have always been her comfort.  So when we watched the first movie she sat right next to me and would ask me questions here and there, but it didn't get to bothersome.  Then we watched Empire.  I don't know if it was just a more confusing movie for her-which I guess it kinda is-or what, but that child did not stop asking me questions almost the entire two hours.  

Now there are certain things that I have no patience for with the girls and I have to defer to Andy.  Then there are things he has no patience for that I have to take over.  Let's just say that it's a good thing she was sitting next to me asking the questions.  She would ask me question after question and I could just see him shaking his head.  Then he would sigh and start to say, "Lana…."

"It's fine," I would tell him. "I got this one."  Then I would continue to answer her.  

About halfway through the movie it started to get comical though and I had to write down some of her questions.  Sonya was starting to become annoyed with her by the end too, but I told them all to back off.  The biggest reason-I have vivid memories of my father taking me to these movies as a child and DOING THE EXACT SAME THING.  He was always very patient with me and answered everything I asked.  Then I understood better what was going on.  I believe that is why science fiction is probably my favorite genre of movies to this day.  Thanks Dad!  Still-the questions she asked had me giggling from time to time:

"Is he dead?"
"Is that the other Dark Vader?"
"Is he dying?"
"Is that Boba Fett?" (oh yeah, she and Georgia were obsessed with seeing Boba Fett for some reason.  I have no idea why.)
"What is he doing?"
"Are they going to die?" (very worried about people dying)
"Is that were Dark Vader goes?"
"Is he a bad guy?"
"Where are they?"
"Is he going to die?"
"Did he come with him?"
"Where are they going?"
"Where does that kind of animal live?" (Yeah, explaining that most of those animals in the movie are not real animals and are from another planet is fun.)
"Is she going to die?"
"Does he not have a hand now?"
And my absolute favorite question came toward the end of the movie just before Han Solo goes into the freezing chamber.  I said something about Han Solo and Lana, after now watching almost 2 of these movies asks,
"Who is Han Solo?"

Yup. Are we not watching the same movie Lana??

I honestly didn't care though.  In fact I found it kind of cute.  I answered every one as best I could, sometimes with a "Let's watch and see what happens."  This was one of those things that didn't push my patience button surprisingly enough, because I would have thought it would.  I guess I just love these movies so much and want my girls to like them that I'm willing to answer whatever they might ask.  It showed that she was at least interested, and to me that made it all worth it.  

Now I'm looking forward to the upcoming Christmas break in a few weeks and sitting down for a little Return of the Jedi.  I'm sure that will be their favorite for a while, as it is with most kids because of the silly Ewoks.  It's okay though, over the years they will re-watch them and come to the conclusion that the movie where Luke discovers that Dark Vader is his father is undoubtedly the best.  As for those other ones they made a few years back, Andy says they are never allowed to watch them in this house. Okay that might be going a little to far, but I will wait until these original three are embedded in their heads before we go down the road of Jar Jar Binks.  I'm only hoping that JJ Abrams does as kick ass a job with these next ones coming out as he did with the new Star Trek.  Taking my girls to the movies to   see a Star Wars series, like my Dad did with me, would be something I would love to experience with them and that they would hopefully remember forever.    

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Happiest Place To Get A Migraine (And It's Not Who You Think)

Last Wednesday we took our yearly holiday trip to Disneyland.  I know, I know.  It’s not quite the holidays yet.  Or at least it wasn’t then.  Usually we go the week after Thanksgiving, but this year Melinda needed us to go the week before because she is going home early for Christmas.  Since she is our free way in the park (Thanks Mel!) we decided to go when she wanted to.  It really didn’t matter to us, as long as we got to go.  Although we prefer to go when it wasn’t going to be wall to wall people. Hence the week before.  

As it turned out, the week before Thanksgiving might be even better than the week after.  We didn’t wait more than ten minutes for any ride.  It might have helped that it was a cloudy day and there was a threat of rain, but it was perfect for us. 

I realized during this trip that every time we go to Disney it is always a completely different experience.  It used to be that when we went we only rode a couple of the more tame rides like Small World, Dumbo or the carousal.  Then we spent the better part of the day tracking down and taking pictures with Mickey and the gang.  As the girls get older and taller, however, things are starting to turn in a new direction. 

From the moment we entered the park, maybe even the tram, all Sonya could talk about was wanting to ride Indiana Jones.  She was tall enough and had heard from a couple of her friends how much fun it was, so she was all for it.  It is farther into the park so I kept telling her we would get there eventually, but let’s ride Star Tours and Space Mountain and a few things in Fantasy Land before we head over in that direction.  She would settle down about it for a bit, but after riding another ride or two she would start asking about Indiana Jones again.  Finally around 2:30 in the afternoon we decided to head toward the ride she was so anxious to get on.  Indiana Jones is right next to the Jungle Cruise and we though we should all ride that one first since it was for everyone.  After we got off Andy took the little girls to walk around while Melinda and I took Sonya next door to Indiana Jones.  The wait wasn’t more than fifteen minutes, but Sonya was nervous the whole time.  I’m not sure what she was expecting.  

If you’ve never been on Indiana Jones the best way I can describe it is that it’s a wild off roading ride.  You are in an big jeep kind of car and it twists and turns and is a bit fast.  If you are the type to  get carsick, this would probably put you over the edge.  I love it though.  Of course it has all the elements of the Indiana Jones movies with fake snakes and a big boulder that comes oh so close to crushing your car.  It's all very Disney, but possibly scary to little kids.  Especially if they are my kids.  

We got on the ride, got buckled and I turned to Sonya who was now close to a panic. The ride she was so excited for was now making her extremely anxious.  I kept telling her "it’s a ride, it’s all pretend and it’ll be fun."  That didn’t stop her from clinging to me with her head down and her eyes closed almost the entire time.  That’s where the problem started. About  20 seconds into the ride she yelled,

“I’m gonna be sick!”

“No you’re not!” I said.  “Pick your head up and look around.”  

She did for about five seconds, but got scared again so she squeezed her eyes shut and put her head back down.  I was petrified of being puked on for the next 45 seconds.  When we finally got to the end of the ride she looked shell shocked.  We started walking out the exit and she said to me, 

“Mom, my eyes feel small and weird.”


“You’re okay, just keep walking.” I told her.

But as soon as we walked all the way out and back into the park she started freaking out,

“I don’t feel good!!! I feel like I’m going to be sick!!!”

I tried to calm her down while I frantically searched for Andy.  We found him and the little girls across from Pirates of the Caribbean.  I quickly told him the situation then left with Sonya in search of a bathroom.  She continued to yell out that she was going to be sick.  God only know what kind of looks I was getting from other park goers.  I had no time to worry about that.  I needed a bathroom before she puked in front of Big Thunder Mountain.  

We finally found a bathroom.  She did get sick a bit, but it wasn’t enough to make her feel better, so we found an empty bench where she laid down with her head on my lap.  I texted Andy where we were (how did people find each other in parks before cell phones?) and they came to find us.  

I thought for sure she would get better shortly.  Usually when people get motion sickness they feel better after the motion stops and/or they get sick.  She napped on the bench next to Andy for about 20 minutes while I took the little girls to pick out a prize.  When I came back out she used one of the plastic bags we had just gotten with Georgia’s prize, for a barf bag.  She looked better after that episode, so I thought we were in the clear.  Phew!  It was time for our dinner reservation at the Big Thunder BBQ-best place to eat in Disney.  Glad that was over!  Yeeeaaahhhhexcept for the part that it wasn’t.

I spent all of dinner running back and forth with her to the bathroom to get sick.  She didn’t really have anything left to throw up after a while, but every twenty minutes or so she would feel the need to puke.  

After dinner we walked around a bit, which seemed to be better for her than sitting because she wanted to pass out when she sat, which then led to more puking.  We kept thinking she was going to get better.  I mean how could motion sickness last this long?  It seemed weird that she kept feeling sick every 20 minutes or so.  The funny thing was she was acting just like Georgia does when she gets her migraines...yup.  That’s when it hit me.

“Sonya-when you said earlier that your eyes were small and weird, what did you mean?” I asked.

“Everything just kept getting bigger and smaller in front of me,” she said.  

Then I remembered something Georgia’s neurologist had told me about migraines.  Some kids will see things very big or very small right before an impending migraine.  That was when I came to the conclusion that what she had wasn’t motion sickness but a migraine which was most likely triggered by the motion sickness.  Fan-freaking-tastic.

It was at that point that I thought perhaps she needed to leave.  Yeah look at me being mother of the year and forcing my daughter to walk around Disneyland for two hours with a migraine.  You know you’re kid isn’t doing well when you ask if they want to leave Disney and they tell you yes.  

Unfortunately, the fireworks were less than an hour away, but she had no interest.  I didn’t want to ruin the little girls’ time, so I decided to take Sonya back to the car and they could stay and watch the fireworks.  This way at least she could rest in the car and we wouln’t be there more than an hour before they came.  So she and I walked back to the car while she puked every few hundred feet.  Good thing it gets dark early!  And that Disney has lots of shrubbery.  And that she wasn’t really throwing up more than just foam.  Sorry.  Gross, I know.   She could have cared less that she missed out on getting ice cream or that we left before fireworks.  All she wanted was to lay down.  I felt so badly for her.  

The good news was, where our car was parked was right near a set of stairs and we could see the fireworks perfectly, between her puking.  No we didn’t get the holiday ambiance like the music and “snow” that happens in the park, but it was better than nothing.  

Once she was in the car with her PJs on and teeth brushed, she started feeling much better.  Thankfully, there was no more vomiting.  We weren’t back at the car for very long before the others got there and we were on our way home.  

So it appears that Georgia is not the only one who suffers from migraines in our family.  What wonderful news right?  Well at least we can pinpoint the cause of Sonya’s.  Suffice it to say she will not be riding on Indiana Jones anytime soon...or ever.  We can just add it to the list next to the tea cups. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I Am A Peace Builder

I recorded Georgia last week when she started reciting the "peace builder" mantra one night at dinner.  They have this whole "peace builder" thing at school.  I'm assuming it's a way to keep the bullying to a minimum.  My kids have all learned this and recited it since kindergarten, but Georgia remembers it flawlessly.  That child has an incredible memory.  After going to parent teacher conferences this week, I am even more proud of how great my girls are.  Their teachers had nothing but amazing things to say about them both academically and personality wise.  They are the type of kids who are peace builders at school and are helpful, kind, and friendly to everyone.  This however begs the question, what the HELL happens when they get  home??  All that peace builder crap goes right out the window when one of them takes the other one's American Girl doll,  and then I hear- she's breathing my air, and she touched my arm then tried to pinch me, while sticking her tongue out at me, and she said I was stupid!!  I think I'm going to start making them recite this every day at home too.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Birds and the Bees and Turning Three TImes Three (which means nine for those mathematically challenged)

Yesterday was Sonya's ninth birthday.  NINE.  Why?  How?  When did we get here?  But yes, that is what she is, nine.  She is no longer a chubby faced little girl, but a very lean and, amazing, long legged big girl.  One who is starting to get quite the attitude with me from time to time.  I hate to say it, but I think the hormones are brewing.  She has always been sassy with me sometimes, but this is different.  This is teenish.  This is scary.

Since she was headed in this direction, Andy and I decided a few months ago that we needed to have "the talk" with her.  You know the one, or maybe you don't since some from our parents' generation didn't have "the talk" with our generation.  Mine did though.  Oh yes, I distinctly remember being nine years old and my parents sitting my sister, Beth, and I down and  telling us all about getting our period and sex.  Ah memories!  How uncomfortable are thee?  Still I believe them sitting us down and talking to us about it, put us on the right track as far as being responsible about sex, who it was with and what protection we used.  None of us got pregnant before we wanted to, and we are all pretty damn fertile so I would say that is a win for my parents.  

Andy and I thought we should talk to Sonya about what would be happening with her own body soon, and why not just go ahead and tell her how babies are made while we're at it.  You know two birds, two bees and one stone.  It was something I had discussed with her before when she was younger, but never gave her the full explanation   Finally, after talking about wanting to talk to her about it for so long, about two weeks ago we finally found the opportunity.

While the little girls were cleaning the disaster area that was their room one Sunday night, Andy and I sat our big girl down and explained a few things.  Or rather I did.  Well, he started to, but he quickly bowed out when he decided to search on his iPad for an app on the reproductive system he thought would explain things better.  So I decided to start the conversation on- "your a girl, you're gonna get your period, it's going to suck until you want to have a baby then it will come in useful".  Okay perhaps I was more technical than that, but you get the idea.  She had a few questions about if it would hurt, but nothing out of the ordinary.  Then, as Andy still searched for this elusive app, I moved the lesson into sex.  I told her it was the way to make babies and yes, exactly how it was done.  We also made it very clear that we were MUCH older when we had babies and they are a very big responsibility, which she already totally gets.  She has always been very aware of how much work having  kids 15 months apart is.  We made it clear that if you don't want to have that responsibility of taking care of a baby then just don't have sex.  The end.  I figured we can have the birth control talk when she's a little older.  Like 28.  Fine-23.

The talk went well.  She had some questions that we addressed very honestly.  We ended up covering artificial insemination and in vitro, due to a teacher at her school who had a baby a couple of years ago with no husband or boyfriend around.  How two mommies had babies was also covered.  Yeah, we did it all.  She seemed to handle it well.  I think Andy and I had a harder time with it.  I feel like we might have talked more than we needed to.  Especially when Andy said something that will live in my memory forever.  As much as I'd like to tell you dear Internet, it's a story that he would kill me if I put in writing.  It has made me laugh over and over again when I think if it though.  Sorry to tease you like this.  The next time I see you in person we can have a glass of wine and I will let you in on the joke.  My husband is a very funny man, I can tell you that much.  Even when he doesn't mean to be.  

She hasn't come to us with any more questions since then.  I did give her two books that she could look at whenever she wanted.  They were books my friend Melinda had given me a while back.  They are from the '70s with cartoon drawings of the mom and the dad doing it and the baby growing inside the mom.  Very amusing and informative.  She read through them that first night and we told her she could look at them anytime she wanted to.  Although, we asked she keep them away from her sisters for now.  No need to start this with them. Even if some experts believe you should tell your kids everything before preschool.  I don't think they know Lana and the big mouth that she has.  That's one phone call I don't need from the principal.  And I know it's different for everyone.  Perhaps some people feel it best to discuss this with their little kids, but for us almost nine was better.  Maybe it will be earlier for the other two.  Who knows?  We just keep playing this parenting gig all by ear.  Is there any other way?

So yes, my first born baby turned nine yesterday and now she knows all about how she and her sisters were made.  I kind of feel like Andy and I got over a hurdle with that one.  Now all that's left is boys, birth control, and STD's.  Like I said though-23 should be good for that.  Fine- I will do it earlier.  She just won't be allowed to leave the house.  

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Just Say No! (Unless It's Wine)

Last week was Red Ribbon Week at the girls' school.  For those of you who don't know what this is, it's the updated campaign on "just say no" to drugs.  For lack of a better explanation.  I'm not sure if Red Ribbon Week is something that happens at the same time all over the country or just here.  Basically what the schools do is tie big red ribbons on the trees outside the school grounds.  At some point during the week, the teachers have an age appropriate lesson on what is good and not good for your body, which points to "drugs are bad".  This year they also had a BMX group come and perform while letting the kids know they can only perform this way by keeping their minds clear and their bodies strong. I was actually volunteering that day, and it was quite an awesome performance.  These are all great things for the kids to learn and learn young.  I'm not saying their not.  The "just say no to drugs" thing totally worked on me when I was a kid.  Then I went to college, but we won't discuss that here.  However, the kids do get a little confused about the whole drugs good vs. bad thing.

There is no doubt that certain drugs are just plain bad.  Cocaine, Meth, Heroin, Crack.  These are terribly bad things that ruin lives completely.  Things that should never be done by anyone really.  Then there are the drugs like antibiotics and cold medicine that you might need to take from time to time.  This is where the kids get confused.  Because after Red Ribbon Week, they hear the word drug and just assume it's all bad.  Obviously, drugs like that are something we need from time to time.  Because of all these school discussions my girls were coming home telling me about how bad certain things were for you to do, then is spawned this conversation at dinner one of the nights I decided to have wine with dinner;

Lana-"Mom, isn't wine a drug?"


Lana-"Because we learned that wine is a drug at school."

Me-"Well, I guess technically it is, but.."

Lana-"So you are drinking DRUGS??"

Me-"No, Lana.  See the thing is, yes drugs can be bad, and while I guess wine can be considered a drug, there are different levels of how bad it is for you.  I'm having a glass of wine with my dinner.  Do I have a glass of wine EVERY night with dinner or four glasses of wine with dinner?" (although there are some nights I really want to.)

All three girls-"No."

Me-"Exactly.  So while things like alcohol and caffeine are considered drugs, as long as you don't use them to much and you are an adult, they aren't terrible for you like certain other drugs.  There are other drugs that you should never do though, okay?"


Then she went back to eating her dinner.  Glad I cleared that up!  The last thing I need is her going to school and telling her teacher that her mom drinks drugs sometimes with dinner.  Although, I guess technically I do have the sweet, sweet, drug of Pinot Noir a couple nights a week.  Still-drinking wine with dinner- totally fine.  Drinking drugs with dinner, however?  Not so much.  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Big Black Cats!

I know Halloween is still a few days away, but Georgia learned this song during music class at school last week.  She was so damn cute singing it that I had to record and share.  Yes, I know the child has a lisp, and at some point we might need to do something about it if she doesn't outgrow it on her own.  In the meantime is it wrong that I LOVE the lisp?  I kinda don't want her to outgrow it.  Although she might get made fun of when she turns sthixteen and still says her age that way.  Anyway-enjoy the sthong!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Andy and I celebrated our 12th Anniversary a week and a half ago.  Not sure where 12 years went, but here we are.  Having three kids will make time fly by.  At least after you get past those sleep deprived years.  Sonya wasn't around most of the day of our anniversary due to a Girl Scout scavenger hunt.  Usually she makes us these elaborate cards or drawings for our special day.  I think since she wasn't around and didn't have time she felt bad,  so a few days afterward she gave Andy and me these portraits of us.

I don't know much about art, if anything at all, but for 9 years old I feel this is pretty damn good.  These were something she just sketched out in about ten minutes.  I am constantly amazed by her talent for art.  Probably because I can't get past making myself a stick figure, but still.  I have always found people who can draw well amazing.  I'm so proud that one of those people happens to be my daughter.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

My Exhausted Little Old Soul

A couple of weeks ago Sonya's Girl Scout troop went to the San Diego Wild Animal Park to stay overnight at an in the park camp sight they have.  Because her troop has done so well with their cookie and nut sales the past few years, they were able to have enough funds to cover this fun adventure for all the girls and leaders.  It's something they have been planning and talking about for a year and Sonya was beyond excited.  I was excited for her.  It sounded like a blast.  They were going to spend the day at the Park, then hang out with other troops around the campfire at night.  The animal experts would be bringing a couple of animals during their campfire time, to show the girls.  Then the next day they would walk the park a bit more before coming home.  

Now, I knew before sending her, that she would most likely not get a lot of sleep and be exhausted the next day.  If you know anything about little girls and sleepovers, it's that they bounce off the walls and chat until way past their usual bedtime.  Then for some reason they like to get up at an ungodly hour the next day.  This all makes for a disastrous Sonya.  You know how as your kids grow you see some of your traits they picked up from you?  Well, not being able to function on little sleep comes straight from her father.

Sidestory-Years ago, Andy worked a graveyard shift at a post production company.  Trying to sleep during the day and stay up at night will wreak havoc on anybody, but Andy had a very difficult time with it.  Especially on the weekends when he would try to get on my and his roommate's schedules to hang out.  He ended up being very ummm...we'll say cranky.  (love you, babe!)  Anyway-this is exactly how Sonya is when she's overtired.  Just so you don't think I'm throwing my husband under the bus, I will tell you about my weakness that I passed along to Miss Lana.  I am no good when I get hungry.  I mean any one of my family members can tell you stories about me yelling at hostesses in restaurants if I feel someone got a seat before us.  If I'm hungry you better back the hell off.  Or I may eat your arm.  I have discovered the same about Lana.  The nights she doesn't eat her dinner she turns into the Incredible Hulk when she wakes up.  She's torn up quite a few PJ's that way.  The good news is, as soon as she gets a bowl of cereal in her belly, she turns back into little sweet Lana.  The funny thing is I do just fine on little sleep and Andy can eat cereal in the morning and not look at food until 8pm and still be Mr. Sunshine.  I always say if we could combine those powers we would make one kick ass Survivor player.  

Sorry-I digress.

So Sonya.  Lack of sleep.  Right.  

When I picked her up on Sunday afternoon, I could see how tired she was.  It also didn't help that she had sprained her ankle 2 weeks before and it had started really bothering her on their trip.  It took a toll on her and they had to rent a wheelchair  for part of the time.  So there was that little gem in there too.  

She was excited to tell me about everything.  As she was talking, I managed to get my questions in there about her sleep. When did she go to bed?  

"About 10-but I woke up in the middle of the  night and it was so cool because you could hear the lions roaring and at one point I heard an elephant!!"

Okay that is pretty cool, but still, bed at 10 and then up for a while in the night?  Oh boy.

"Well, what time did you wake up this morning?" I asked.

"Well, the first wake up call sounded at 6:15," she informed me.  "So I was awake then."

I knew then we were in for it.  No biggie.  We would go home have dinner, showers and get her to bed early.  She still seemed to be doing well.

Except that when we got home, after her initial greetings and talking about her trip, the excitement started to wear off.  There was quite a bit of general crankiness, followed by multiple bursts of crying.  About what you ask?  Anything and everything.  I know one of the biggest culprits was that we had put up the Halloween decorations while she was away, something she likes to help out with.  I had informed her that this would probably happen, and she seemed fine with it when she left.  It's not like we could all sit around, not do anything fun and wait for Sonya to come home for two days.  She was off having her own incredible time.  Although I have to admit, when I was a kid I was terrible about this as well.  Whenever I had a sleepover or went somewhere fun on my own, I was worried about what kind of fun things my family was doing without me.  Eventually, I got over it but it's hard at first.  

Andy was trying to calm her down about the decorations as she broke down into what could have been her 20th crying spurt.  Then she started to tell him it wasn't about the decorations and putting them up necessarily.

"Well, then what it is about?" He asked.

"Well, it's just that when I see the Halloween decorations up already it just reminds me how fast time goes.  It's already Halloween and I'm just getting bigger!  It's just going so fast!"

I'm sorry-who let the 30 year old possess my child's brain?  

Sure I worry about how fast time goes NOW, but I NEVER gave it one bit of thought when I was 8!  In fact Halloween and Christmas seemed to take five years to get to.  I thought they would never come.   And I'm fairly certain Andy felt the same way.  Not our old soul daughter though.  Nope.  Time is going to fast for her.   Of course I shouldn't be that surprised.  This is the kid who at five years old would cry to me at bedtime about how she didn't want to get older and have to move out and leave us.  Who thinks like that at FIVE?!  

Andy did his best to calm her down and he agreed with her that time does seem to move fast.  That is why we have to do what we can to spend as much time doing fun things with the people that we love.  I also assured her that when the Christmas decorations come out she can help us put those up.  She eventually calmed down and we went on with our evening.  Yes, there were more tears, but for what I couldn't tell you.  The toothpaste wasn't coming out right, she ran out of shampoo in the shower.  Who knows?  She was exhausted and she is an 8 year old girl.  Not a good combo.  

She made it to bed and passed out right at 8pm, which is early for her since most night she reads until almost 9.  She could barely keep her eyes open by the end.  I'd like to say she was better by the next morning, because you think she would be with all the sleep.  She wasn't as bad, but it takes two nights of good sleep for her to get completely back to normal. 

I know there will be more times in the future when she doesn't get enough rest.  Good luck to her when she has a baby!  But next time I know not to put up decorations that will make her feel like time is moving too quickly.  I want her to be a kid for as long as she can.  I will worry about the time moving too quickly.  Because, damn.  It really does.  

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

An Itch I Shouldn't Scratch

I recently discovered I have a condition called Brachioradial Pruritus.  Don’t be alarmed it’s nothing serious.  In fact I thought I was completely crazy for a couple years.  Well, I still probably am, but I mean about this.  Here’s what happened. 

For the past 3 years at the end of every summer-somewhere around the middle to end of August-my arms would start to get incredibly itchy.  I mean REALLY itchy.  I had no visible rash and the only thing that would make them feel better was running them under cold water.  The itch would come and go, but it was worse at night.  Scratching does nothing but exacerbate it.  Think Chicken Pox without the pox. 

I went to the dermatologist last year about it and she told me it was probably just dry skin and to put on Cetaphil cream.  I did this, but it didn’t make the itch go away.  The only thing that did was time.  By the end of October beginning of November, when the weather would cool and my arms were no longer tanned, the itch would stop.  Then I would forget about it, until the next August when the intense itch would come back.  

It is not fun and completely annoying.  Especially because I have no visible rash so people, like my husband, think I’m completely crazy or have made  this thing up in my head.  I have scratched my arms to the point of looking like a Meth addict because I  make wounds and spots that scab over on my arms.  It’s so pretty.  So this year when it started happening again, I became extremely frustrated.  There was no reason for this to be happening.  I mean sure I had spent all summer in the sun, but I had used sunblock, so what the hell?  My arms weren't THAT dry.  They were tan, but not itchy skin dry.  

Then I remembered that the Internet knows all.  I have gotten myself in trouble for self diagnosing before, but I tried the going to the Doctor route about this and they were less than helpful.  Plus it costs money to go there to have them tell me again, “your arms are dry, here is some cream”.  So instead I used Dr. Google and looky what I found!

I matched EVERY symptom on this list.  It was crazy, and the good news is, I wasn’t!  I actually have a real thing.  I will spare you from going and reading everything about it if you don’t want to.  It boils down to this; I have an impingement somewhere on my spine.  Nothing serious, could be as simple as “a slight bulge of a disk, calcium spurs coming of the vertebrae, or other spinal changes that accompany aging.”  Lovely-aging.  Anyway-the impingement sends a message to my brain that my arms are itchy, but there really is no reason for them to be itchy, like when you have a rash, poison ivy etc.  Sun damage brings on the itchiness.  Hence the reason it starts at the end of August for me after I’ve spent all summer by the pool and at the beach.  Granted I wear sunblock, but apparently I need zinc sunblock to completely protect myself.  Or long sleeves.  Not really a fun idea living  in Southern California in July.  Once the weather cools down and I’m not in the sun and I DO wear long sleeves, it gets better and eventually goes away.  

No, there is no real cure, only treatments. Those consist of trying to repair the sun damage with creams, putting ice packs on my arms when they get really itchy, and using anti itch creams with menthol.  These all work for a time, but don’t make it go away and for whatever reason I usually wake up at 3 in the morning scratching the skin off my arms again.  It sucks.  

Because of this, the girls now know I shouldn't be scratching my arms, so they have been scolding me when they see it happening.  It actually kinda helps me be more aware of it and try to go for one of the treatments instead of scratching.  

Then the other day in the car Georgia kicked it up a notch.  We were on our way back from Costco and it had been a particularly hot and dry day.  (Yay fall in Los Angeles.)  My arm was in the sun and it was starting to get the prickly itchy feeling, because being hot and in the sun brings it on more now.  I started to scratch and she said,


"I know, Georgia," I said.  "But my arm is just SO itchy!"

"Den justh go like disth," she told me.  Then she rubbed the palm of her hand over her arm.  Something I have done from time to time to not use my nails and actually scratch.  It helps a bit. 

"I will try!" I promised her. 

Then she really threatened me, "If you don't sthop sthcratching, you are going to get a punishment."

"Oh really?" I asked.  "What kind of punishment."

"Ummm..." She thought for a minute then all of a sudden came up with a good one.  "You can not have wine for TEN months!"

Damn ten months! Well, that would be quite the punishment.  But I'm not sure if I should be more concerned with the fact that my 5 year old is reprimanding me or that she's using my drinking wine to do it.  It did get me to stop scratching for the moment though. 

So when next summer rolls around, don't mind me.  I will be the girl wearing her winter parka with bikini bottoms.  

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pretty Little Liar

Lately, I’ve been having a problem with Georgia I’m not sure how to address.  It’s not a huge deal right now, but I’m afraid if I don’t do something about it now it’s going to be so much worse in about ten years.  She’s been lying.  

Here’s the thing though, she lies about things that don’t even matter.  She makes up things about other kids at school or her teacher.  Two weeks ago she told me that she played the game Clue at school and she was on her teacher’s team.  I thought that seemed odd, playing Clue in Kindergarten.  She eventually told me she had made it up.  Then there are the times she lies because she knows she’s going to get in trouble.  

“Georgia, who drew on the rug?”

“I don’t know,” she said and shrugged her shoulders.  

I knew it had to have been her, partially because she has been writing on other things she's not supposed to and partially because she was the only one home besides me.  However,  it took me almost ten minutes to get her to admit it.  By the end she was upset and in tears fearful of what punishment was to come.

I think the biggest problem is that she lies seamlessly.  She doesn’t bat an eye and completely believes the lie she is telling.  I know there are kids who go through this, but I haven’t had one yet.  Sonya wouldn’t be able to lie if her life depended on it and Lana sees no point.  She will just tell you the truth whether you like it or not, no matter if she gets in trouble.  She will tell you flat out that she punched her sister in the stomach. Georgia, however,  hates getting in trouble and has learned a way to make everyone believe her lie, including herself.  

You can see why this kind of behavior will worry me in years to come.  So I ask you out there in Internet land-have any of you had to deal with this with your kids?  What do you do?  I feel like punishing her when she eventually does tell me the truth will just push her into never telling me the truth again.  Why should she when she knows at the end she will  be punished?  Then again, I don’t want her to think it’s okay to lie to me to begin with.  Yup-I’m at a loss.  Anyone out there with any ideas, feel free to throw them this way.  

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Mexican Lucky

I'm sure many of you, if not all, have had the good fortune to hear and get the Daft Punk song, "Get Lucky" stuck in your head.  I feel like everywhere I go I hear it.  The girls have heard it too.  Now, upon first hearing it, you realize-hmmmm THAT'S not really an appropriate song for children to hear and repeat.  But see then again, we forget as adults a couple of things.  First of all kids have no idea what it means to "get lucky".  We only think they shouldn't be hearing this song because WE know what it means.  I'm sure if you ask any five year old what "get lucky" means they would assume it would have something to do with a finding a big bag of candy.  Or perhaps a week stay at Disneyland.  They certainly would have no idea that it has anything to do with sex, especially because they don't even know what sex is.  Well, at least MOST young kids don't know this.  Mine for sure do not.

Secondly, we also forget that kids do not hear the right words for any song.  This has been well documented on this blog.  However, all this did not keep me from becoming a little nervous when I heard Sonya singing this song the other day.  That is until I heard what she was singing.

"We're up to Mexican song, we're up to Mexican song, we're up to Mexican lucky!"

Yup.  Apparently, her version is about Mexicans, and Mexico.  And because she is the oldest her little sisters have followed suit which is why Lana and Georgia were walking around singing it like this yesterday:  


They are so going to laugh at themselves someday when they find out that song is about sex.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Teacher's Lounge

Last Thursday night was the girls' school PTA meeting.  I tried to attend these meetings every month to help out with what is going on around the school.  To be honest, if it weren't for the PTA and Booster Club at our school, there would be no extra anything at the school.  It would be teach the kids, go home.  There would be no family picnic, or Halloween parade.  No music teacher for the Kinders and first graders.  The parents really do the fundraising to get what we need for the school.  Including extra teachers.   I like to attend the meetings to know what's going on and what needs to be done.  It's great that I can be more involved now than I have been in the past since all three girls are at the same school.  That does not mean I want to be president of the PTA, however, so don't get any ideas.  I just want to help out.  It  is also how I got roped into being in charge of hospitality for the meetings.  You know, because I felt like I had five minutes in my life that weren't quite filled up yet.  Done!

Actually, the hospitality job isn't that difficult.  I just have to set up tables and paper goods before the meetings once a month.  I also have to buy drinks and make sure people who come to the meetings bring a food item to share pot luck style.  Easy enough. 

Last week was my first time doing it.  Lana had gymnastics for an hour, so after I dropped her off I took Sonya and Georgia with me to the school.  I figured I'd put them to work with helping set up.  It is nice having older kids who can actually help you with such things now.  It's not like they are just another obstacle in a stroller I have to contend with anymore.  (Although, yes, I sometimes still miss those obstacles.)  

They helped to carry the drinks and the ice in.  They helped me set up the tables and put out paper goods.  Since the meeting wasn't going to be for a few hours, I had to put the sodas and ice in the teacher's lounge refrigerator.  I told the girls to follow me, that we were going to the teacher's lounge.  This was met with an excited Sonya who said,

"Oh wow!  I've never gotten to go in the teacher's lounge before!"  

She acted like I was taking her to Disneyland.  I didn't get it, but whatever.  I opened the door to the room and since I have been in there many times before I knew it looked like any break room in any workplace.  Tables to eat at, fridge, sink, coffee pot.  That's pretty much it.  Nothing too exciting.  This, however, was not at all what Sonya was expecting.  

As soon as she walked into the room, the giant smile she had on her face fell.  Then she said, 

"This is IT??!!"

"Yeah, why?" I asked.

"I really thought there would be a jacuzzi in here," she said.

Yes, I burst into laughter.  How could I NOT?

"What?  Why would you think there was a jacuzzi in here?" I asked her.  As far as I knew teachers weren't ever roaming the halls of the school in wet bathing suits with towels wrapped around them.

"I don't know," she shrugged.  "I just did."

As I continued to chuckle, she checked out the rest of the room.  

"Ok, there's coffee, I thought that would be here.  But there's no bottles of wine," she said more to herself.

"Wait, wait-you thought there would be bottles of wine AND a jacuzzi in here?" I asked.  Honestly her teacher's lounge sounded pretty kick ass, if you ask me.  

She nodded yes.  Then I asked her,

"Sonya, what else did you think would be in here?"

She looked at me, hesitated and said, "Ummm...Nooottthhiingg..."

Which I knew meant she had something else in mind, but didn't want to say.  Well, since I had laughed out loud at her other thoughts, I guess I couldn't blame her.  

"No really," I encouraged her. "Tell me what else."

"Well," she began.  " I thought there was a big closet full of fancy dresses that the teachers put on and walked around here in, before they quick changed to go back to class."

My daughter has quite the imagination.  

"Nope," I told her.  "It's just a place for the teachers to come and eat their lunch while you guys are having your lunch.  Not really to exciting huh?"

"No," she admitted.  

I think she was pretty disappointed. She was really expecting some kind of Shangri-La.  It's funny how build things up in our mind that we know nothing about.  Especially kids.  Then again, this should make future talks about things like Santa Clause and the Tooth fairy a little easier.  All I will have to say is "remember that time when you thought the teacher's lounge had a jacuzzi? Well..."

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Little Girls

On a daily, sometimes hourly, basis my youngest two drive me crazy.  They are constantly egging each other on and getting the other one wound up.  Getting them out of the house for school in the morning takes a full two hours, when it really should take all of 25 minutes.  There are times I'm ready to separate the two of them and not let them play together for days.  It really just gets infuriating sometimes to try and penetrate their little world long enough to get them to brush their teeth.  Then I drop them off to school in the morning and watch them walk in together like this. 

I am incredibly lucky to be the mom of these two incredible, loving, sweet, albeit sometimes crazy little girls.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

From Grey to Bald In One Picture

Last week when my in-laws were here, Lana came home with pictures she drew for everyone at school. She had drawn herself and whoever the other person was she was planning on giving that picture to.  Everyone had the right color hair and eyes, because she is observant like that.  My father-in-law has some hair still, but what he has is all white.  As Lana was handing out the pictures she gave my father-in-law his and said,

"Medz Papa, white crayon doesn't show up on the paper, so I just didn't give you any hair."

My mother-in-law and I were in hysterics laughing.  My father-in-law was not as amused.

"Huh.  Well, I don't like that very much," he told her.

To which Lana just shrugged her shoulders. 

Oh well! What could she do?  He would just have to be drawn as bald until they make a white crayon that will show up on white paper.  

Friday, September 6, 2013

I Can Just Call My Van The Mystery Machine

A couple of nights ago I was having dinner with the girls and we were chatting about their recent ear piercing.  Lana came up with a question I didn't really have an answer to.  

"Where does the skin go from your ear?"

"What do you mean?" I asked, not quite sure what she was talking about.

"Like when they punch the earring through. Where is that skin?  You know like when we punch holes in the paper and a little piece of paper comes out.  What happened to that skin?"

I understood then what she was saying.  She was thinking the ear piercing gun was like a hole punch.  It makes sense actually, and I don't know why I hadn't thought of that before.  Where DID that piece of skin go that got punched out.  I had no idea.  I told her as much.

"That's a good question, Lana," I told her.  "I'm not really sure where the skin goes." I wasn't sure that there was skin that came out at all.  

That's when Georgia looked at me, eyes wide, hands next to her face and fingers waving, much like "Creepy Sandwich", and said in her creepiest voice,

"Itsh a myyyssstthhhttteeewwyyy!" (mystery)

Did I mention their new favorite show lately is Scooby Doo?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Little Hurt For A Whole Lot Of Pretty

A couple of years ago Sonya got her ears pierced.  This is one of those things that we never had a specific age in mind of doing.  My sisters both had their girls' ears done done when they were babies, but I didn't really feel like dealing with it then.  Some people make it a rite of passage into teen hood and do it when kids are 13 or older.  Andy and I didn't really care.  We figured we'd let the girls do it whenever they wanted to do it.  Sonya did it a month after she turned six.  As Lana approached her birthday last March, I kept trying to convince her to have them pierced.

"Will it hurt?" She would ask.

"Yes, but only for a minute, then you have pretty earrings!" I tried to tell her enthusiastically.

"Then I don't want to," she said.

"But it's only a little hurt for a whole lot of pretty!" I tried again, borrowing a phrase BethAnnDoddKoehn had used on her daughter.

"Nope!" She decided, so I let it go.

Georgia was always back and forth on if she wanted to do it or not, but I kind of wanted them to do it at the same time.   I knew if I got Lana on board, Georgia would follow suit.  Part of the good and bad with that kid.  She's easy going, but she goes along too easily with what Lana is doing.  Basically this means I have to hide the alcohol in the next 10 years, because if Lana does it I have no doubt Georgia will follow and the vodka bottles will be empty.

Every time my in-laws or my parents have visited in the past year, I would ask Lana again if she wanted to get her ears pierced.  I was trying to use the- your grandparents are here and they would love to see you do this! technique.  Sonya had hers done when my parents were here for Christmas a couple of years ago.

"Maybe next time," she'd tell me.

So when Robert and Julia were on their way here last week, we mentioned it again..

"Do you girls want to get your ears pierced this weekend with Medz Mama and Meda Papa?"

Our answer was finally met with an excited "YES!!" from both of them.  

So we went with it, before they could chicken out.  We decided to do it on Monday morning after going out to breakfast.  Andy and I  kept asking them all weekend about it, and they both continued to show excitement.  There was talk of what kind of earrings they would get and Sonya even showed them her collection of earrings they could borrow later.  (Let's see if THAT actually happens).  Andy was convinced we were going to walk out of the mall on Monday with one ear pierced and three not.  I wasn't so sure though.  They were both looking forward to it, and Georgia had always been more on board with this than Lana.  In order to keep it that way, I made Lana go first.

We got to Clarie's in the mall and I filled out all the necessary paperwork.  The girls picked out their earrings they would have for the next 6-8 weeks and then it was time.  Here is where I learned a big difference in their personalities.  It's nothing I didn't already know, to be  honest, but it became so clear during this process the way they both approach and handle certain situations.

Lana sat in the chair looking nervous. The woman marked her ears for where the earring would go. Right after she made the mark on Lana's ears, before she pulled out the piercing gun, Lana started to freak out.  She whimpered a little and tears welled in her eyes.  She grabbed my hand tight and started to cry more.  I kept reassuring her that it was going to be okay and they were going to look beautiful.  The woman pierced the first earring in Lana's lobe and she cried a bit harder from the pain, but just for a second.  By the time she went for the second ear, Lana had stopped crying.  She realized it wasn't as bad as she anticipated and when she was shown her reflection in the mirror she grinned from lobe to lobe.  She took her lollipop and jumped down from the chair, happy with her new look.  She had been afraid all this time for nothing.  She will always build something up in  her head and make it worse than it ever actually is.  Wish I could say she doesn't come by that naturally, but....

So Georgia's turn!!  The woman had actually recommended that GG not watch Lana get hers done, but she really wanted to.  In fact she said,

"I want to watch you Lana and you tell me how bad it hurts!"

I knew Lana's pain would not deter Georgia from doing it.  Again, this is why I made Lana go first, because if it would have been reversed, Georgia's tears would have sent Lana running for the escalators.  Georgia is the kid who at  three years old, watched both her sisters get flu shots and cry loudly.  Then when it was her turn to go she hopped up on the table and yelled, "MY TURN!"  True story.  Georgia does not anticipate or worry like the other two do.  At least not for things like this. Things she has no idea about.

She sat in the chair with a big smile on her face as the woman marked her ear.  She smiled when she took out the piercing gun and put it to her lobe.  I held Georgia's hand, but she did not crush it the way Lana had tried to.  Then the woman pulled the trigger.  You could almost seen the pain receptors receive the information in Georgia's head.  She went from excited and smiling and within fifteen seconds she dissolved to a puddle of tears.  I had to hold her still from her sobs so the woman could get the other ear pierced.  She cried longer than Lana and had to be comforted a bit more, but upon seeing the new bling in her ears, she calmed down, and even managed a little smile.  She picked out her lollipop and our mission was complete.

My in-laws very generously paid for the girls new ears. (Thank you Robert and Julia!)  I was happy my mother-in-law could be there to see it.  She never had any girls of her own and she is probably one of the girliest ladies I know, so this was a treat for her.  My mom got to be there for Sonya's piercing, so I was happy to share the fun of doing this with the little two.  

The two of them were so excited to head to school this morning to show off their new earrings to everyone.  I had to make sure their hair was away from their ears so the ears could be prominently displayed.  I'm sure they will be a big hit.  Well, with the girls anyway.

Now comes the fun part.  Let's clean and twist them every day!  I remember this from Sonya.  They want to do it at first, but once the novelty for the new ears wears off I will be chasing then with a cotton ball around the house.  And I get to do it with two of them.  Yay.  Yes, I like to make more work for myself.  Oh well.  At least it's only for 8 weeks.