Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Kids are weird. And noisy. And silly.

Last night we're just hanging around the house after dinner, eating our mini ice cream bars (100 calories and pretty good if on the very small side). 

Katie got her own and finished half of it before she decided to put it away for later.  (Who's kid is this again? Oh yeah, she was supposed to clean toys up after our dessert... she's pretty smart.  If she doesn't finish dessert, it's not time to clean up, right?)  I shared with Jake.  Which meant that I mostly tried to keep him from taking bites that would choke a large animal.  We were down to the last two smallish bites and I had my hand situated so he wouldn't push the whole bite into his mouth.  Well, he pushed and he pulled and I stayed firm.  There was no way I was letting him eat that whole piece especially since I wanted one more little taste! because it was too big.

Then he drooled.  On my pants leg.  And I let go of the ice cream bar.  Because cold, chocolaty drool is gross.

Before I could reach for a wipey to clean off my pants (gross), the bite was down and gone.  And Jake was smiling. 

Tricky kid.

Oh, and Katie has a thing for chapstick.  She neeeeeeeds it because her lip hurts (it's chapped under her bottom lip) and when she applies chapstick, she usually applies just a bit too much.  Last night was one of those times.  I had just gotten over being out-drooled by the boy when I looked over and saw that the lower part of Katie's face, nose down to chin, was very shiny.  Very shiny.  Like, glowing shiny when the light hit her face just right.  I figured out it was the chapstick and I laughed so hard I was tearing up and holding my sides.  And since chapstick is so long lasting, I kept laughing for the next hour or so before it wore off.

We blamed the laughter on Jake being so funny earlier (the ice cream incident) because we didn't want her to 1) do it again, and again, and again because it made us laugh the first time or 2) feel bad because we were laughing at her.

Good times.

Oh, and Katie told lots of jokes last night.  There was a reoccuring theme... "You know what's funny mommy?  Glasses (and after glasses, just substitute whatever else you might see laying around the house)... in WATER!"  then lots of laughter from her, and from me because she was so cute (even if her jokes could use a little work).  She listed a lot of funny things... in WATER.  Strange?  Um, yes.  But she cracked up so much over it that I couldn't help but laugh.

Our night.  In a nutshell.

And I've spared you the story of Katie's excessive crying because she left Mr. Bear at the lake this weekend and was so saaaaaaad that he wasn't here.  And her crying because I made her stay in her room after bedtime.  Oh, and I won't mention the 9:30 p.m. request for more pizza because she was staaaaaarving.  Or the 10 minutes we spent downstairs after she found the bin of toys and decided she neeeeeeded all of the soft toys to cuddle and could choose one, which resulted in... yes, you guessed it, more tears when she could only choose one soft toy.  And finally, some more crying about Mr. Bear before she finally fell asleep... with all of the soft toys (the 10 she already had in her room) set around her in bed.

And finally silence.  (Finally!)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Katie made crumbs last night.

Grandpa gave Katie a cookie last night.  It's one of those red, white, and green ones from the panaderia.  John came over and asked what it was and Katie told him it was "pan dulce" and yes, she pronounced it correctly!  It was cute so we had to ask her to say it a few times.

She sat at the kitchen table to eat her cookie and then told me she was making pieces for my party (I'm doing one of those food parties on Wed night*).  I "um hm'd" her because I was busy mixing and making the official party food and wasn't paying a ton of attention other than to think "awww, how cute!"

* If you are a member of my family who lives nearby, I meant to invite you, I just didn't do it early enough and then by the time I remembered to do it, I felt like it was too late.  So I didn't send an invite.  An invite I wish I had sent. 

Well, about 10 minutes later, she had progressed to making crumbs.  (I should have figured that where there are cookie pieces, there will be cookie crumbs.)  And was she ever successful.  That one cookie produced way too many green, red, and white crumbs and left a coating all over her shirt, skirt, table, chair, floor... everywhere.  They were kind of pretty at first glance.  Less so when I remembered that someone would need to clean them up.  And even less so when Katie announced, "Mom, you were right. I have to go potty."  (This is in response to my inquiry before the whole crumb party began.) 

At this point in the mess, I couldn't just tell her to go like I usually do.  This required a plan and speed.  A plan because by now, Katie was covered in crumbs and I did not want to spread them around the whole house.  And speed because by the time she acknowledges she's gotta go, she's really gotta go.  So we worked it out pretty well.  I didn't see any crumbs on my newly cleaned bathroom floor and I think we contained the mess to the kitchen.  Whew.

And then, after Katie was done with her hand washing and had found a suitable pair of shoes to wear (some cute purple boots in case you were curious), she was ready to sweep the floor.  Because part of making a mess is cleaning it up.  She swept, she wiped, she picked up.  By the time she was done, the crumbs were mostly gone.  I did a final sweep while she danced around the kitchen in her "slippery shoes" and then we were finished.

It took me about an hour and a half (it felt like FOREVER) to make 6 dips and two bread things, deal with the potty break, AND clean up the kitchen. 

The food is ready and it looks pretty good, when I'm able to forget that mayo is the base for many of the mixes (for some reason this grosses me out).

One of the breads (a cranberry oat mix) smelled so good I wanted to take a little, teeny, tiny piece of it right then and there.  But I didn't.  Because I have a feeling that by the time I got home from work the next day, the tiny square I took would have multiplied into half of the pan being gone.  Can't wait for tonight so I can try the stuff.

Katie is also excited.  She's got Cubbies (even though I'm debating keeping her home so she can tell me when Jake does something "dangerous" and so she can play with Donovan and Marshall while their mom hangs out) so I told her that when she's done she can help me hostess.  She's very excited to ask people what they want to drink.  She's in charge of the water and I have a feeling that a lot of people are going to be very thirsty for water once she gets home.

So, tonight should be fun. 

I wish this morning had been fun... or at least go as planned.  I wanted to get to work early today so I could leave early and get a jump start on last minute stuff I need to do (like vacuuming.  That could only be done a day in advance if the room was declared off limits and had an invisible barrier so no one could enter.  That's just not possible so vacuuming tonight is on the schedule).  Well, of course I hit snooze on my 6 a.m. wake up call (aka cell phone alarm) and of course my alarm didn't go off again.  So my eyes pop open and I have the too rested feeling that only comes from oversleeping.  My cell phone confirmed it.  It was 20 minutes later than I get up to be on time to work.  Ugh.  So anyway, I won't be leaving work early.

But maybe Katie can learn vacuuming 101 this evening.  She is 4 and a half now... and she loves Cinderella.  Oh!  I think she's even got a Cinderella dress up dress in her closet... By golly, I think I've got a plan!

Meanwhile, at work today we're having a potluck.  I've eaten my way through about 6 of those tiny wieners wrapped in bacon and lovingly surrounded by brown sugar, one brat (that word always looks weird when it's written out), one spring roll (homemade so I couldn't turn it down), a special K bar, two little cream puffs, bread and dip, slice of fruit pizza, chips and homemade salsa (and some cheese).  I think that's it.  And now I feel a bit sick.

I planned to do the 30 Day Shred this afternoon over lunch but that might make me actually be sick so I'm going to stick with the elliptical instead.

Maybe Katie will be a teacher?

I got home from work on Monday night feeling a little tired, as usual, but excited to be home, also as usual.

I sat down to see how the day went and learned (from Daddy... Katie is denying everything) that she had pushed her brother and talked to Daddy in a less than nice way.  I did the usual "it's nice to be nice/don't talk mean or people will be sad and DON'T HIT YOUR BROTHER!" talk for the 50th time this month and then Katie started to talk about how she wanted to run around the house but couldn't because Jake was asleep.  I don't know where this came from... I wonder if she was trying to deflect the heat.

Well, this went on and on and let me tell you, she knows how to work a room.

She complained (in her sad voice) about how she couldn't run and she needed to run because she needed to get excercise and that mommy gets to excercise and why can't she.  Add in a little whine just on the verge of angry and you'll probably get a good idea of how she sounded.  It went on for awhile.  So long that I *thought* she was done so I turned to ask John something.

Katie saw that and I guess she decided to use it as a "teaching moment" or whatever it is a 4 (and a half) year old would call it.

Katie looked at me and at her daddy and explained that she was not done telling us something.  Then she said, "When someone is talking, you shouldn't do what?"  Then she gave us a hint... "Ta... ta... ta..."

I jumped in with "Talk?" and got a figurative gold star when Katie turned to me and said, "Yes!  That's right.  When someone is talking, you shouldn't talk."

Well, we chatted a bit more which really means that Katie talked and we listened (and chuckled a little over her comments... behind our hands of course so she wouldn't see us laughing).

We laughed harder when we noticed that Jake had walked over to stand next to her.  And he started to say, "Shhhhh.  Shhhhh.  SSssshhhhhhhh." over and over.  Katie would move away and Jake would follow.  She moved three times before he was distracted (I think he wanted to play with his truck).  He only "shushed" us that one time but it was fu-nny!  Back to laughing behind our hands.

Then I talked to John again and Katie said, "I was talking!  When someone is talking, you should what? Llll lll llll..."

Daddy jumped in with "Listen?" and he got the gold this time.

Katie beamed at us and said, "That's right!  When someone is talking, you should listen."

Here's what I think is funny; when KATIE is talking, everyone should listen.  And if anyone else is talking, well, Katie is going to say something more inportant and more interesting anyway so everyone else should just "SSShhhhh".  We're working on this.  Mostly I'm telling her that I'm talking and she needs to wait her turn.  And then reminding her that it's not her turn yet.... and that it's still not her turn.

We'll probably be working on this for a long time.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hair Stylist? Mommy? Which one will she choose?!

So in my travels through the land of Google reader, I came across a post by Parenting by Dummies where I could enter to win a cute kids top just for answering one simple question.  So I started to think about how I would answer this one simple question and I realized that it was harder than it seemed.

The question? 

What super smart profession do I dream of my kid becoming one day.

It was hard to think of Katie (I thought of her first just because she's oldest) being old enough to work because that would mean she was old enough to drive and old enough to pierce her ears and old enough to vote and old enough to go out on a DATE!  And old enough to move out and have her own apartment! Her.own.APARTMENT!

(Insert heavy breathing and crazy eyes HERE.)


This was tough. 

But now I was determined to think, and think hard, of a suitable profession for my baby girl . 

Now, this wasn't hard because Katie isn't super smart and able to do whatever she puts her mind to, because she is super smart and there are so many possibilities... it was hard because I want her to have a job that is so totally awesome she loves going to work every day.  (Making oodles of money and never being too busy to come hang with mommy would just be added bonuses.  Unfortunately, I don't know if a job like this even exists.)

I finally came up with the (kind of serious) answer along the lines of Katie working where I work (because I would love to see her every day and then we can carpool every day and have lunch together and meet for our breaks and send emails with smiley faces all. day. long.) but she's got her own ideas.  She either wants to be a mommy or a hair stylist.

I think right now hair stylist is winning, but only because I'm pointing out all of the things mommies have to do (and hoping it stops her from wanting children until she's 30 because taking care of kids is hard... and they pull hair and pinch... and I'm talking about you *Jacob*). 

Things like
- never finishing your own meal because someone spills or throws food or falls out of their booster seat... or squirts vinegar water in their eye (but eating off of the kids half full plates while doing dishes),
- having to forget about a peaceful shower (unless you get up before the kids to take it),
- making dinner while kids play underfoot (when they haven't had any interest in the kitchen ALL evening),
- hiding markers and pens so the really smart kids with long arm reach can't get to them (then forgetting where you hid the only sharpie),
- scanning the room before leaving for anything the kids can get into (this is tough... things you don't consider dangerous can be very dangerous when there's a 2 year old around... lamps, picture frames on high shelves, TV remotes are some examples),
- making sure the box of granola bars are not left on the floor in the pantry (because some kids like to smoosh them, and then they're just granola.  With little tiny chocolate chips.),
- collecting cooking utensils from wherever the kids were playing with them and having to wash them before using them to make dinner (the spatula and spoons being among the favorites and I still don't know where my flat spoon is)...

And oh, there's more, but I'll stop here.

So what I'm saying is that having kids is hard.

There are also some pretty great moments mixed in with the vomit, spills, icky diapers, and mutinous glares (Katie, that one was all you). 

Great moments like getting surprise hugs, two shadows following me around just to see what I'm doing (usually not exciting since I'm usually putting something away or picking something up), seeing their exitement when they see something they think is really cool... and of course, hearing "Mommy, I'm glad you're home today and not at work" or "Mommy, I love you" is pretty great too.

They show me* pretty rocks, a bird flying above our house, a funny cloud in the sky, a picture they think is neat... an endless list of things that it seems I've lost the ability to see on my own.

And oh, there's more, but I'll stop here.

*There are still some things the kids don't show me... like where our kitchen remote is hidden.  That's been missing for about 4 months now.  I think it's gone for good.  We've gotten used to getting up to change the channel... because there aren't any remotes we can program for the tv we have in the kitchen.  And we've tried, oh we've tried to find one. 

Just the other day, Jake came to sit next to me on the couch.  He didn't throw a book at me to read, he just wanted to sit next to me and snuggle up close.  Katie came over too and sat on the other side of me.  And snuggled up close.  This totally makes up for the marker on our back door, the 500th cup of spilled milk, the pinching, the missing remote ... well, all of the other stuff that's not so fun (see above for the almost comprehensive list... here's a hint: it starts with "vomit").

So I guess it's okay that Katie has this on her list of jobs... the pay isn't too great and the benefits are way more than I could have imagined.  Hugs and smiles and kids who think I'm the best. mommy. ever.

But I'm going to keep pointing out all of the things mommies do... I wonder if cleaning the bathroom would be too much for a 4 year old...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Two weekends ago we got to go to the lake.

So, mostly I write my posts with an actual reader in mind so I try to break up paragraphs, include some pictures, spruce things up a bit.  You know, so heads don't explode from the boredom. 

Aaaand sometimes I post stuff so I don't forget. 

This is one of those "not forgetting" posts. 

Which just means that if you're looking for something super funny and witty, you may not find it here today.  (But check back because the kids have been in fine form and have so kindly given me tons to share.)

Sooo, I apologize in advance but will tell you that it's still not going to be a long as my Texas post from February.  (I'm not linking back to this because you'll never get through the whole thing and also, I'm already tired from writing this all out.  And yes, it's about a week late in the posting.)

Here's my recap of our weekend at the lake:
1. Played outside (well, the kids did this mostly with Grandma and Grandpa.  I'm not known as an "outdoor" person.  Just like we're not "pet people" yet whenever Katie brings up the topic.)

2. Ate rueben sandwiches cooked in the fire and decided they were surprisingly tasty.  Gooey and hot and really greasy.  And doesn't that always equal GOOD?

3. Made homemade (from a box) pizza with hot dogs and peperoni as toppings.  (I remember mom making these when I was a kid, usually on Sunday nights.  Mom and Dad would set up the table in the living room and we would sit and eat and watch the Disney movie.  I loved that.)

4. Went for a walk into town and looked in a couple of the shops (didn't spend any money, even though I wanted to).  The kids got to ride in the wagon.  Me and Mom took turns pulling the wagon.  It was hard.

5. Made Ghiardelli brownies with red hots (I love red hots... or Cinnamon Imperials for you fancy pants people) .

6. Saw "The Switch".

7. Listened to the kids play together.

8. Listened to the kids fight over toys.

9. Listened to Katie cry and carry on because her princess blanket wasn't spread out properly. (It had WRINKLES, people!  This is a travesty for Katie.)

10. Went to Walmart (3 times).

11. Got my hair cut (at Walmart, which I swore I would NEVER do again after the great hair debacle of early 2010, also noted in my Texas post, but decided to give it one last shot and ended up with a great cut!).

12. Laughed a lot.

13. Got a horrible headache and didn't feel great.

14. Took a nap.  Katie came in to see what I was doing.  I had her precious Pprincess blanket over me and somehow I could sense that she was about to demand the return of the blanket.  I told her mommy didn't feel good so I'm resting.  Right away she morphed from demanding 4 year old into super sweet "mommy".  She felt my forehead and said "Oh, you're a little warm" and then started to tuck the blanket around my arms and my feet.  Then she said that I needed to take a nap and she would see how I felt later.  She was about to walk out of the room but stopped and came back to give me a kiss on the cheek.  I fell back to sleep marvelling at how Jekyll and Hyde her attitude can be... and glad that she took pity on mommy and was feeling more Jekyll than Hyde.

15. Ate almond crusted stuffed chicken breast with rice for dinner on Sunday.  The recipe exceeds my 4 ingredient limit (by about 15 ingredients) and it probably took at hour just for the preparation (this didn't even include COOKING TIME!) but it was really good and I would definitely eat it again.  But only as long as I don't have to make it.  (See #3 above.  That was my contribution.)

Ahhh, vacations.

Oh, then I was sick on Monday.  The outside time spent walking in town and cooking my reuben over the fire probably did me in.