Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Green Eggs and Spider-Man

Georgia is still very much into Spider-Man.   So much so that it was a very Spider-Man Christmas in our house.   A Spider-Man mask, glove and action figure were among the gifts she received this year.  This was something I expected she would have outgrown by now, but nope.  Still loves him.  And I still have NO idea where it came from.  No matter though, because it is damn cute to see a little girl running around in a Spider-Man shirt and sneakers with a sparkly silver skirt, all while wearing boys Spider-Man underoos.  Yup, she got those for Christmas too.

Even though she loves everything Spider-Man, she really has no idea about him, because she's never seen the movies or even a cartoon.   Andy had tried to help her out.  She has a place mat with Spiderman and the villains on it.  Andy told her the names of each of the villains on the place mat, but you know, four year olds can't remember EVERYTHING.  

Last week I asked her to set the table for me, and she got out her Spiderman place mat.  She then held up the place mat and proceeded to tell me who the villains were. 

"Mom, thisht isth da Gween Goblin, and thisth isth Rhino and that one isth Dr. Seuss!"

I looked at her questioningly at that point and she immediately realized her mistake.

"Oh!  No!  I mean....Dr...."

"Dr. Octopus?" I offered, helping her out.  Yes,  I do have some knowledge about Spidey.  Plus I was positive Dr. Seuss was never a villain.  Although, after reading Fox in Sox a couple times in a row, my mouth and tongue  feel like they are being killed.  There could be an argument there.  

"YESTH!  Dr. Octupusth!" She said excitedly.  "Dosth are all da bad guysth."

When she finally gets to watch a Spider-Man movie one day, I think it might be the best day of her life.  

Friday, January 25, 2013

Fun Daddy

Earlier this week I solidified plans to have a Mom's weekend away in Napa at the beginning of March. I'm going with my sister, Beth and one of my great friends from college, Trista.  I was calling it Mom's weekend away.  Trista however, has decided to go with, "Mom's on the loose!"  Either way it's going to be an awesome weekend filled with lots of wine, good food,  massages and the hotel spa, and best of all, no kids around to distract us from our peaceful time.  It's something the three of us need desperately.  I can't wait!  Especially because I almost never get to see my sister, and Trista lives in CO so she doesn't hang out here every other weekend either.  

On Monday night at dinner we started doing our daily, "most favorite, least favorite, most thankful and sorry for" part of the day.  When it came to my turn I said how my most favorite part of the day was booking my tickets to go away with my sister and Trista in March.  

"What?" Sonya asked.  "You're going away?"  

This was news to them, even though I had been working on it for about a week.  They don't pay attention.  

"Yup!"  I told them.  "I love you girls, but sometimes Mommy needs a break.  Plus I don't get to see Auntie Beth or Trista ever, so I wanted to do something with them."

"But who's gonna sthay with usth?" GG wanted to know.  

"Daddy, of course!!" Sonya answered her.  

"Ohhhh Yeaaahhh!" Georgia said.  Sometimes they forget that Daddy can be around when needed.  

Lana immediately became excited.  "YAY!!  Daddy is FUN!!"

"Oh yeah!!" Georgia agreed.  "Daddy IS fun!!  He takes us to Subway, and Rocket Fizz, and IHOP..."

"Yeah!!" Sonya and Lana agreed. 

Awesome.  It's nice to know that they get excited for me to go away because Daddy is more fun.  Something every mother wants to hear.  Although, if fun Daddy was around all the time, it seems they would each weigh about 150 pounds, and probably taking snacks of hot dog buns with chocolate sprinkles to school.   At this point, however,  he can feed them potato chips and devil dogs all weekend.  I get to go to NAPA!!

Only 44 days to go.  

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Not To Be Outdone by Her Older Sister

You always hear about and witness younger siblings doing whatever they can to keep up with the older ones.   God knows, my youngest sister Megan did everything to keep up with Beth and I,  even though she was seven years younger than me and five from Beth.  It is a little different with Georgia, because she is so close in age to Lana.  I have a feeling they might start hitting some milestones around the same time. This is not one I expected though.  

Andy took the girls on Monday up the street to the empty school parking lot to help Lana practice her new bike riding skill, without the hindrance of getting out of the way of cars.   He also wanted to see how far he could get with teaching Georgia.  After all, she has been practicing on the balance bike quite a bit herself.  I thought, however, she was at least another month from pedaling and riding by herself.  Man was I wrong!

Not only did she learn to ride by herself, she learned to turn, start and stop in the short hour they were at the parking lot.  When Andy texted me and told me she was riding by herself, I had no idea how well until he showed me the video the next day.  Not only did she catch up with her sister and learn to ride a bike at basically the same time as her, but she is kinda doing it better.  Although, Lana was improving more as well.  

So as excited as I am to have Georgia pick this up so quickly, it has made me a little worried about what the future will bring as far as outdoing Lana is concerned.  Just the other day I was having Lana read a book to me and as she would sound a word out, Georgia would sometimes jump in and say it.    So far, Lana doesn't seem to care, but who knows how long that will last.  My only hope is that Georgia doesn't go through puberty and get boobs before Lana.  Or even worse, get her period first.  

Friday, January 18, 2013

For My Little Sister

This particular blog post is dedicated to my sister, Megan, and her family.  A couple of days ago they had to put their beloved, almost ten year old dog to sleep.  It was very unexpected.  One day he was fine, the next he wasn't.  They had him at the vet where they discovered his kidneys were failing and within two days he was gone.  Having gone through putting Jazzy to sleep last year, I know how hard this is for everyone in their family.  Megan has two little girls who I've mentioned on here before when they came to visit last Thanksgiving.  Lucy is five days older than Georgia and Vivian is two and a half.  For the most part Vivian doesn't really get it.  They don't understand at that age.  Lucy, however, was beside herself about losing little Frankie.

I was on the phone with Megan on Tuesday.  I kept checking in with her to see how he was doing, because the vet was trying to flush out his kidneys to see if they could get him better.  Unfortunately, he was to far gone and things were looking bleak. They made plans to take him in on Wednesday morning to help him get to doggie heaven.  While I was on the phone with Megan, I heard Lucy in the background sobbing.  Now, keep in mind, hearing each others kids crying on the phone is a daily normal occurrence.  It's one of the only reasons I can really only talk to my sisters during the day.  There have been times where we are on the phone not talking to each other, but disciplining our kids at the same time.  It's actually kind of funny, and makes me thankful for my sisters and the fact that we can share our parenting experiences.

After hearing the crying in the background, I asked my sister what she was crying about.  Because, believe me, most of the time it's trivial, with any of our kids.  This time was different.   Megan informed me she had been upset on and off all day about Frankie dying.  For a moment Megan started to try and console Lucy as I listen on the phone near tears myself.  Lucy doesn't understand why Frankie has to die and Megan tries to explain to her that he's a dog and dogs don't live as long as humans do.

"But why?" Lucy wants to know.

"Because that's just how it is," Megan tells her.  "Humans live a lot longer than dogs.  We were hoping Frankie had more time with us, but he doesn't.  I know it's sad."

Lucy starts to cry again, but after about a minute she stops long enough to ask my sister a question,

"Is Vivian a human?"

Awwwwww!!!  She was worried about losing her little sister!  Or maybe she was hoping for it.  I can't be sure of which, but when Megan assured her that her sister was indeed human she seemed to be relieved.

It's so hard for our little ones to process losing something they love so much.  We had a difficult time with Sonya and then Lana last year after Jazz died.  The good thing about kids though, is they bounce back from it quicker than we do and in no time are asking for a new pet.

For Megan and her family that might take a while.  I should mention that losing their dog was just icing on a stress filled cake for them.  Megan's husband got a job transfer and even though it's only a couple hours from where they are now, they still have to sell their house, pack up and move within the next couple months.  This is something they were aware would happen, but Matt is already at his new job two hours away leaving my sister to play the role of single mother.  She also has to  ready the house to put on the market.  So losing the dog right now was the suckiest timing possible.  Life likes to do that though.  Make bad situations worse.  Kick us when we're down.   I only wish I lived near her so I could help her out with the kids, or the house or whatever.  I guess that was the point of this post.  She always reads my blog which I appreciate so much.  This is just my way to empathize with her and let her know, I am always her for her, even in shitty times.

I might not be able to be with you physically to help, but a good bitch session via phone with  a glass of wine will always do wonders! I love you little sissy.  Chin up!  Things will always get better.   

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Teach Them Now, Or They Will Pay Later

On the way home from school on Monday Georgia was telling me about her day.  When she got to the snack time part of her day at school she told me about a certain boy in her class.

"Mom!  Zach (not his real name) in my clasth, he has a bump right here on histh eye, well he had for sthnack today a hot dog bun, but no hot dog in it.  Justht a bun with sthprinkleth!"  She said, completely amazed.  

"Wait, what?" I asked.  I had been listening to her, but thought for sure I hadn't heard her right.  A hot dog bun with sprinkles??  Plus why did she tell me about the bump on his eye?  Was that part of the story in some way?  

"He had a hot dog bun, with sthprinklth for sthnack!"  She repeated.  

I went over this again with her, "So he had just a hot dog bun and it had sprinkles inside it?"

"Yesth!" She told me.

"What kind of sprinkles? Like ice cream sprinkles?" I was trying to clarify what this kid could have been eating.  Surely a parent did not send their child to school with  a sprinkle sandwich for snack.  

"Chocolate sthprinkleth," she said.

Well if they were chocolate...I mean as long as it was dark chocolate it's healthy right?  

Yeah, so this is what a parent decided would be good for their child to snack on mid morning.  Chocolate and processed white bread.  Now I know some of you may think Georgia could have made this up, which is what I originally thought.  However, she told the exact same story to her sisters later that night and her father the next morning.  Not a bit of the story changed, she even talked about the bump on his eye to everyone, so I believe it.  I still don't know why that mattered, but for some reason she felt the need to tell us about his eye.  

Part of the reason I believe it, is because I've seen first hand what some of these kids bring for snack.  Just last week, I was in Lana's kindergarten class helping out. At snack time one of the little girls came up to me with a grocery bag.  It held all of her snacks.  Yes, I said all.  She wanted to show me that she had some kind of mango hard candy for her snack.  But that wasn't all!  She had a bag of about five Oreos, a package of those oh so healthy fruit snacks-which might as well be gummy bears, and another bag of about 3 cookies.  When I asked if she had anything healthy in there, she help up a Ziploc bag full of Lays potato chips.  And not the baked kind.  Then she informed me that she was at her dad's house the night before and he had packed her snack.  Come on Dads!  You know better than that.  I mean sure, my friend Melissa's dad used to feed her chocolate cake for breakfast when she was a kid and he would have her overnight, but don't you all know better than that now?  Is there any question why there is a problem with childhood obesity in this country?

Don't misjudge me.  It's not like my kids eat apple slices and carrot sticks all day long.  Even though those foods are usually a part of their daily diet.  They get treats sometimes.  However, they don't get treats during a time when they need to be focused and trying to learn, like at school.  They don't get treats when their little bodies haven't had anything good for them first.  Snacks for my kids are anywhere from cheese and crackers to fruit to granola bars.  If and when I do give treats it's always at the end of a meal, after they've eaten everything that's healthy for them, including broccoli.  Do they always like it?  No.  Do they complain and just want the treat?  If you know anything about Lana's eating habits you know this is an almost daily occurrence.   It sucks but I don't give in, because I want them to be healthy now and more importantly, know how to make healthy choices as adults.  This way they will live long lives, not plagued by weight problems, which can also bring on diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol and any other number of health issues caused by not eating well. 

I know, I'm being preachy.  But seriously!  Sometimes I can't believe what parents give their kids.  On any given day Sonya will come home from school, with a piece of candy or other type of dessert  from a friend who had to much and shared with her.  Even if you do give your kid a dessert, they don't NEED FOUR COOKIES!!!  Sorry. 

So this is my public service announcement to you all.  Take a look at what you are feeding your kids.  No child is going to voluntarily eat all vegetables, but they should still eat some.  Does it suck to fight them on this sometimes.  Hell yes, but in the end it will be what is best for them. Isn't that all any of us wants for our kids?  The best.  So take a look at the snacks and lunch you are sending them to school with.  If it's a hot dog bun filled with chocolate sprinkles, then you get a huge fail.  Not to mention the crazy mommybloggers will write about you.  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Bicycle Races Are Coming Her Way

At the end of Christmas break last week, Andy decided we needed to get the girls out on their bikes.  Sonya has been able to ride a two wheeler for a couple of years now,  but is sometimes hesitant to do so.  We think it's because she doesn't do it enough and she gets nervous.  He's been trying to teach Lana to ride sans training wheels on and off for a few months now.  He had yet to be successful.  I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but Lana tends to be a bit stubborn.  No, really she is! (Did the sarcasm come across?) If Lana doesn't want to do something, it's best to let her be.  Well, unless you like tearing your hair out and beating your head against the wall.  If that's the case, then by all means try to get her to do something she doesn't want to.  I will tell you though, that you would probably have an easier time getting Lindsay Lohan to attend church every week.  Or one of her court dates.  So yeah, stubborn.

Every month or so Andy would take the girls out to practice riding.   He would go to an empty parking lot or the bike path half a mile from our house.  When he would return I would ask hopefully how it went and he would just shake his head in frustration.  Lana would be into trying it, but one false move and threat of falling and she was out.  She was, however, doing a pretty great job on the balance bike that my parents bought  GG for her birthday last June.  Not sure how many of you know about this type of bike, but if you have little kids who you want to eventually learn to ride a two wheeler, I HIGHLY recommend it.  This is the one we have, except in pink. Of course.  It's low to the ground and the kids use their feet to make it go.  When it gets going, they put their feet up on the platform and  balance on it while riding for a few seconds.  It really helps them to get the hang of riding a bike before having to add the peddling part.  As it turns out, adding that part in, after having a bit more confidence is easy.

So last weekend, instead of taking the kids to an empty parking lot, we decided to just move the cars out of the driveway and use it and our street.   We don't have sidewalks, but we don't have a busy street, except when school in in session.  There is a middle school down the street from us, so every morning and afternoon our street gets a little nutty with parents rushing their kids to or picking them up from school.  On the weekends the street is usually quiet.  We figured we would just keep an eye out for cars, because the girls were mostly in front of the house anyway.  Andy was determined to get Sonya more comfortable on her bike and hellbent on having Lana ride hers without training wheels.  Georgia could practice on her balance bike while most of the efforts were concentrated on Lana this round.

The girls were all on board with doing this.  Well, for the most part.

"I want Mommy to help me ride my bike!" Lana insisted when we discussed what we were going to do that afternoon.

Since Andy isn't home all the time, he likes being able to do some of these milestones with the girls when he can. Even though he won't admit it, I know his feelings were a little hurt when she said that.

"I taught Sonya to ride her bike, I can teach you too," he assured her.

"But I want Mommy to help," she said again.

Lana is my girl.  A mommy's girl.  Always has been since itty bitty babyhood.  I don't know why, but she just has always preferred me, whereas Sonya has always been Daddy's little girl.  Georgia falls somewhere in the middle, mixing it up all the time.  I don't take it personally that Sonya prefers her father to me.  I get it.  I think all kids favor one parent over the other and it can change.  I told Lana I would come outside and help.  This satisfied her and we were ready to go.

I helped her get going on her bike.  I held on to the handlebars and the seat, running alongside BENT OVER mind you, as she peddled up and down the street.  Damn my lower back was sore the next day!  All that running bent over is not so good at 38.  Perhaps this would have been easier at 28.  It was worth it though.  She was getting better, and gaining the confidence she needed.  I promised I wouldn't let go until she was ready and I didn't.  She was never  ready on Saturday for me to let go.  Sunday, however, was a different story.  Sunday, she did this:

I let go of the handle bars first for a couple runs.  Then I told her I was going to let go of the seat and she was ready.  She even asked Daddy to help her, she was so excited.


It happend so quickly.  Almost overnight it seemed.  Although Andy has been trying with her for a couple months.  She just wasn't ready to trust she could do it.  Plus she didn't want to do it without Mommy.  At least that's the way I figured it.  I do have to give credit to that balance bike though.  That thing is probably the real reason she picked this up more quickly than I thought.  Definitely worth the money, I promise.  Especially if you have more than one kid.

Andy had promised her a while back that when she learned to ride he would take her for a slurpee at 7-11.  Obviously this was during a warmer time of the year.  Even though we live in Los Angeles, it does get chilly.  As you can see from the video it was a bit cold and overcast that day, but dammit, she was promised a slurpee and she was getting her slurpee!  Those might have been the only ones our 7-11 sold that day.  

So yes, my stubborn little mama's girl learned to ride a two wheeler.  Today I had her out there again and she was riding all the way down the street, stopping on her own and even doing a turn.  Those are things it took her sister a while to learn after learning the riding part.  But see, that's the thing about Lana.  You have to leave her alone to do things in her own time.  She's waiting until she gets it right.  Because when she does, she will wow you.  

Sunday, January 6, 2013

When Only the Real Thing Will Do

A couple weeks ago I read a story to the girls one night about the "Legendary" Santa.  It's a story about Santa Clause in the 1930s out one night before Christmas.  He gets caught in a storm and seeks shelter at a department store in Richmond, Virginia called Miller and Rhoads. The story goes on to talk about what Santa finds at the store and how he decides to come back there every year to talk to kids who line up to see him.  The book was based on the fact that Miller and Rhoads had Santa visit their store, much like Santa in the mall, every Christmas season.  However, this was a bigger production.  This was the REAL Santa.  He came down a chimney and knew the name of every child who came to visit him.  I know this because when I as a kid we went to go see him.  Actually, I was a teenager, but  my little sister still believed in Santa and my mom wanted us all to go.  Even though I didn't believe in Santa anymore, the production they put on at that store might have made me question my beliefs a bit.  I mean he knew my name!!  

But back to reading to the girls.  At the end of the book, they give facts about Santa visiting the store. Santa was at Miller and Rhoads from the 1930s until 1989 when it closed down.  From there "Legendary Santa" went to another department store in Richmond, which also closed down a couple years later.  I'm assuming this was around the time Macy's started to take over the world.  So with nowhere else to go, the Children's Museum in Richmond offered a home to Santa during the Christmas season.  Anyone in the Richmond, VA area can still go to visit the REAL Santa Clause.  I believe on the weekends they even have a lunch or brunch with him.  Who doesn't want to dine with Santa?

Upon finishing the story and reading the facts about where Santa was now, Lana said to me,

"Can we go see him?"

"Legendary Santa?  I'm sure we will go someday" I told her.  After all, my sister does live right outside of Richmond, so we could make it there around Christmas at some time in the future. That wasn't good enough for Lana.

"No, I want to go now!" She told me.

"Lana," I tried to reason with her.   "We can't go now.  It's all the way on the other side of the country near where Auntie Beth lives."  But reasoning with a five year old is like herding cats.  Impossible. 

"Ooohhhhh!!!  But I want to go see the REAL SANTA!!!" Lana wailed.


"Seriously, Lana?" I said.  "Honey there is no way we can go now.  Maybe next year we can try to go." I said this purely as a calming tactic.  I mean what are the chances she's going to remember this next year.  Ok, I might have to hide the book, but other than that.  

"Ohhhh!!  NEXT YEAR!!?  That's to far away!!"  She said starting to cry.  "I want to go talk to the real Santa now!"  

I tried to tell her the way she was behaving would not make Santa happy.  She didn't care, the whining continued.  I tried to explain that we were 3,000 miles and that we couldn't just get on a plane and go there tomorrow.  Well, why not?  That sounds perfectly easy and doable in the mind of a five year old.  I mean we  have an airport IN Burbank!  How hard could it be to hop on a plane?  I even tried to tell her that we would see the real Santa on the Santa train ride we would take in a few weeks.  

"Really?" She asked, hopeful that this was true.

"Sure!" I told her, thankful that I found something to help appease her.  "He comes on the train and sees us, then goes back to Virginia."

That calmed her down long enough for me to get her to bed.  Then, as she was laying down, something triggered her sadness over not seeing Santa. Only this time, the sobbing started.  The heartbreaking, she just lost her best friend sobbing she does from time to time.  The kind that makes me want to cradle her like a baby and rock her until she calms down.  It is the exact same way she cried last year after Christmas when I broke her heart and wouldn't call  Rudolph for her so he could come to our house and play.  I laid down next to her in her bed as she cried and wailed "Saaannntttaaa....I want to go see Saaannntttaaa!!" This in between her heart wrenching sobs.  

Eventually, she calmed down and fell asleep.  By the morning she was mostly over it.  I did get questioned a few more times before Christmas about when we were going to get to visit the real Santa in Virgina.  At that point she made peace with the fact that it wouldn't be this year.  God I hope her memory is bad and she doesn't remember this next year.  Otherwise I might have to book us some plane tickets for sometime in December and tell my sister to get the guest rooms ready!  

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Who can name this movie?

Santa, Mrs. Clause, and elf.............Sonya Dadekian
Head elf.........................................Lana Dadekian
Hermie......................................Georgia Dadekian

They memorized this completely on their own.  I've been hearing them recite this or other parts of Rudolph for over a month now.  It would be amazing that they could memorize this so well if it wasn't for the fact that they have watched Rudolph at least, oh I don't know, fifteen times this season.  Repeating that much of anything will stick in you head.  The two little girls were reciting the special on the way back from Costco this afternoon, so I decided to take advantage of what they knew and record it to show everyone.  It is damn cute and they really get into their parts.  These are the things about Christmas that I will miss for the next eleven months.  Hearing Rudolph being played for the sixteenth time, however, I will not.