May 25, 2011

the Princess and her Prince

So, about 8 months ago, we borrowed a friend's Princess Tea Party dvd for Davy to watch. And watch it, she did. Maybe one million times. She memorized every song, every outfit, every princess' name and the type of sweet they prefer with their tea. This was the start of a life of royalty in our family. Davy is as much a princess as The Duchess of Cambridge around here and she has the unique trendsetting wardrobe choices to prove it. But that will be another post at another time. Davy lately will only sleep in princess dresses, wear pink princess shoes, and repeat lines from the movie "Cinderella" to me all day long. "YOU ARE THE EVIL STEP MOTHER!" is a common reaction to asking Davy to change out of her dress if it has, oh I don't know, pee or something on it.

She plays princess all day long with anything and everything. Broom? No it's a princess. Broken necklace bead? No, its a tiny princess. Rainboots? Princesses. Cups? Princesses. She walks around our house and with her princess touch, turns everything into a princess in her fantasy land.

"Davy put those cups away right now please." "I can't mom! They are princess and they are goin' to the ball!!!" alrighty then.

Then there are the intense questions. "And what is the Cinderella's daddy's name?" Davy repeatedly asks me the princess' dads names. It took a few weeks before I realized why. And I usually make up ridiculous names. Little did I know. Then I heard her playing by herself and realized that, in her world, the dads were the princes.

Last week the whole fam damily was playing on the driveway and after a while it was time to go in and clean up for dinner. Davy was definitely not thrilled with the idea. She complained. She resisted. She laid on the driveway on her back and closed her eyes. And she was quiet. Not exactly the reaction we expected or understood.

"Davy, what are you doing?"

"Waiting for my prince to come."

We kind of died with cuteness overload at that point. When we finally came back to life. Christopher walked over to her tiny self lying on the driveway with her closed eyes and kissed her back to life. Just like Sleeping Beauty. Just like Snow White. Just like Dramatic Davy. This princess propaganda we are I am feeding our children is just sick. Sickly sweet. At least Daddy is the prince.

Then today as I took her out of her car seat after we arrived home for dinnertime, she asked me if Daddy was coming home soon. She explained, "He is my prince and I am the princess. Daddy is not the king mom. He's my prince. And you are the queen." "Who is Gianna then, Davy?" "Gianna is the king." Then she burst into hysterical giggles.  But then, my heart broke immediately. Her prince wasn't coming home until after she was in bed. And even though she repeatedly asked me, I couldn't flat out tell her. So I let her stay up with me until he did.

So, two hours after her bedtime when we heard the door open she jumped into her Prince Charming's arms and they danced around the kitchen until we put her down for bed.

We'll see if that little real life fairytale was worth it tomorrow when she is melting down from exhaustion before lunch...I say it was.

May 23, 2011

Should Married Couples Multiply? And What Can Happen When They Do.

For most people marriage is filled with some heights and depths. I have experienced both in marriage and adding children to the mix can seem like an insane idea.

Although I only have a three and one year old it's amazing how much they hold you accountable. 'Guilting' you into your best behavior. Especially after you watch them imitate some of your less than laudable qualities. That may be where the mom-guilt starts.

But no worries, there are also wonderful parts. When you really love your spouse, there is nothing better than having a tiny person with them, made up of you+spousie=love baby. Now there is a real living breathing person that is the actualization and materialization of your love. A-mazing.

Hypothetically if there were things that drove me crazy about my husband, seeing a tiny person that exhibits small inklings of those particular behaviors or quirks would put them in a whole new and more endearing light. A genuine child version of most things could really make some behavior seem ions less irritating. Luckily, my husband is nothing less than a stellar human being.

So I really feel like overall I have fallen so much more in love with my husband as we've had kids. It's very cute seeing him in a new role. And even more awesome watching our love multiply. literally. Marriage and babies are filled with a lot of craziness, but as crazy as they are you might as well add a baby carriage :). As long as you're not too crazy.

May 19, 2011

How to Travel with Small Persons on Planes, Trains and Automobiles

I really love to travel.

But not with kids.

That is not all I have to say about it.

There are, in my opinion, ideal times in a child's life for traveling.
Ones that are still in the womb. Teeny tiny babies-just bring their milky drink in whatever form they prefer and give it to them during take off and landing for plane rides.

Worst people to travel with....
 And the winner is....1-2 year olds! These cuties just learning that the world is their playground are the worst. They want to run and play all. the. time. And they are difficult to bargain with or speak to in a reasonable manner. That being said. Remember, the same recipe that works for a perfect wedding day, also works for a perfect travel day.

Things to bring. (Most of these I have forgotten at one time or another, which is why I think they are important.) Hope you have a big diaper duffle bag friend.

1) Something old. Like maybe the blankie your one year old can't sleep without, that you will forget idiotically. Or your sippy cups minus the water if you are flying so you can get through security without even more invasion. Or a portable DVD player that is either battery operated or do REMEMBER to bring the cord. Oh and you should bring some extra clothes and diapers on a plane. Don't forget! Kids do still have accidents on planes. Even more so, when confined to your arms and the 6in x 17.2 inches below your seat to run and play. Less room=more mess on kid. If your child nurses, your attached goods can count for this too. And as always, you need things in which to strap them. Leashes, strollers, cool carseats on wheels, baby carriers. They all work.  They key is free hands for mom and dad.

2) Something new. (Like a stuffed animal Ponyo for your Japanese anime loving almost 3 year old that the Easter bunny delivered a few days early at 3AM.) But mostly good old fashion candy and sugar. or your kids favorite fruit leather. FYI, an obscene amount of fruit leather is in no way a substitute for easter candy or peeps. Your kids will know. Stickers. Coloring supplies. Gourmet and nutritious vending machine food. And don't forget about how new and exciting traveling itself is. Planes, trains, and automobiles. Try to get excited about all the exciting traveling. Talk loudly to your spouse or traveling partner or strangers about how amazing metro rides are or how much fun it is to see the tiny cars whilst flying in an airplane. The giddiness will be contagious.

3) Something borrowed. You might forget something or a lot of somethings. This is wear the rest of the world's humanity comes in. Will they play nice? You better hope so. Maybe a nice flight attendant on a bus will look in his 50 year old cosmetic bag for something safe to help your hysterically screaming potty trained almost 3 year old who really really has to tinkle and ride on a bumpy bus for more than 40 minutes. What a poor tiny bladder. Luckily or unluckily for you, things aren't always so pretty. If only other cranky people would look into their hearts and cosmetic bags during such times, instead of shooting nasty and irritated looks to poor undeserving parents, the world would be a better place. And quieter too.

4) Something for the achoo's or the whines or the tantrums. Since tranquilizers are generally frowned upon for young children en route. You could try.... benedryl or tylenol. Plus I think you should bring some anyway, in case your kid gets sicky sick. Or some homeopathic something or other from Hylands. That being said. I've only used the Hylands stuff....unless they seem to be coming down with whine-itis. Oh and lots of baby wipes and tissues for all the grossness.

But seriously, try to pack light. My husband recently made our family of 4 pack for a three day trip in one backpack. It was a little scary, but the one bag made it easier to navigate with 2 tiny bumpkins in a big city without losing them for too long.

Speaking of weddings...this is hilarious.

wedding vows get wet

you are welcome.

May 18, 2011

Salsa Made at Home

It's really not that hard.

One day I came home from the grocery store after my husband gave me strict instructions for our weekly meals...He wanted every day to be pizza or mexican. He thought it would help me with my shopping (?) anyway. It did a little, except that I forgot the one main ingredient neccessary for all things mexican in my book and that is SALSA. mmmmm I love it. chips are merely crunchy vehicles to dump massive amounts of it into my system.

Anyway. I forgot it at the store. And I was sad. But then I thought maybe I could make some?

So I tried. And it was a success. And over time, I have mastered it a bit.

And keep in mind that measurements and I, are kind of on rocky terms.

One big can of diced tomatoes...or like 3 cups of fresh tomatoes. I would drain them if you use a can.
One large fresh pepper or two or half pound of frozen bag
One large onion
2-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. or maybe white would be fine too.
cilantro... I use these dorat things from trader joes and I used like 3-4 + some fresh cilantro. I would put in a bunch and then add a bunch more and taste at the end.
Salt. At least a half teaspoon. maybe more.
Cumin. mmm. mmmm. 1 teaspoon. or more.
hot sauce/ jalepenos/ hot peppers - add to your liking.
Garlic-sometimes I add it and sometimes I don't. 

Cut it up and/or then throw it all in a blender/food processor. And then start eating it immediately. You won't be sorry.

Salsa is kind of a personal thing. If you aren't crazy about the apple cider vinegar. You could surely add lime juice or lemon juice instead. I think that this tastes similar to, but better than, Jack's salsa. mmmm.

And it really makes a lot of salsa. Probably like 4 times the amount in a regular jar. It is definitely more cost effective and much mas delicioso.

Then you can make muchos meals with this salsa as your base for the week. 

When Moms Run

I wouldn't really call myself a runner per se, but I do enjoy flapping my limbs in the wind frequently to burn off the ever increasing anxiety of domestic life and motherhood.

Unfortunately the last few days have been void of any such recreation.

Except for running in the house. All moms do it. And I don't mean on a treadmill. I'm talking about full on sprints.

I did a few sprints myself today.

Here were 2 reasons I sprinted today...

1) I overheard a three year old in the bathroom talking to herself.

"I don't think that's poop on the ground. I think it's a chocolate bar."

Mama sprinted in just. in. time.

2) Then I was in the loo myself a bit later and purposefully yelled out into the house.
"Davy! Is Gianna ok?"
"Yes Mom..."
[I breathed deeply and enjoyed my last second of privacy.]
"She is eating cereal...."
[another long pause]
"On the table."
that's how she gets up there...from her stupid high chair. it's like a ladder for baby climbers.

And as I beat my personal record sprint time from bathroom to kitchen, I was met with Gianna eating two handed from Davy's cereal bowl while squatting on top of the table. And then I saved her life by returning her to the floor.

Based on some recent events, Davy is probably not currently in a position to deduce whether or not Gianna is in imminent danger. So, if you were walking or driving by my house today and you noticed a small person standing on a table, please do not call CPS. I won't do it again. Go to the bathroom alone, that is.

Any other good reasons for mom-running at your house, ladies?

May 9, 2011

Tea and Dough: A Morning Glimpse.

5:00something- alarms are going off in my bedroom. When I finally came to I realized that my husband is MIA, ok maybe he's in the shower.

I move to the couch because, well, I hate sleeping alone in my bed.

Then I hear noises. The kind that tell me that my blissful slumber will not last long.

"Momma! Momma! Mommmmmmmmm! Ma. Ma. Ma. Momma. Momma!!"

Good Morning to you too one year old. PS. It is still night time.

Daddy got out of the shower and released them into the world before the clock struck 6AM.  I actually heard the universe scream. MOTHER'S DAY IS OVER LADY!

As I made tea and cut up the bagels for breakfast I had some double hug/screaming action going on around both of my legs. Cute, irritating and loud at the same time.

The girls and I ate bagels and drank tea for the better part of an hour. I don't know how. Ok maybe we ate like a half dozen bagels. We were all dragging from the early wake up and the bagel gluttony.

Then in a creative moment, we decided to make a new tea set from homemade play dough. The flour, salt and water kind. And it's cooking in the oven.

Phew. Now Gianna is down for a nap. I am in and out of an intense playdough princess game with Davy and I am now being summoned to make the princess' daddy out of playdough.


Ok back. Maybe I will post some pictures of our home made tea cups. I threw away our other tea set because Davy used most of the pieces to play with a substance similar in texture to to playdough. Only it was home made in a different way via the human body. So I threw it in the garbage because I was sick of cleaning up excrement. Sorry Grandma and Grandpa C. We loved it, but rules are rules.

If you play with poop. I will throw away your toys. Those are the rules.

As I type this Davy is giving me a "shot" with the home phone. She says she's a doctor. It actually kind of hurts. She is really putting her back in to it. Now she is using part of an un eaten bagel and making it walk on my legs, which are the mountain, she just informed me. Now she is in the silverware. Now the fridge. Now she wants more bagels. Are you kidding child? Your body is too tiny to hold that many bagels. She is now galloping back and forth from the kitchen to the living room. She is holding pickled ginger she commandeered from the fridge and shaking it around. Hmm.

On that note. Peace in the east. And everywhere else too.

May 8, 2011

Being Mom

It's weird when you wake up one day and realize that you are, indeed, a mom. I remember the first time I realized I was. I heard my new name, Mom, so many times that I was ready to scream if I heard it again. I felt like I was being pulled in multiple directions at one time. It's the hardest, best job in the world, but when you're any other profession, no one screams your title at you all day. Could you imagine? "Lawyer! Lawyer!" Everyone would go insane. It's weird, but it's kind of what makes mom a big deal. (Ok maybe people do it for Doctors too. But probably not at their own home...)

And I'm sorry, but no one cares. 

I remember being pregnant, having a baby. Having another one. And it's a lot of work with all that expanding and shrinking, and stretching and pushing. But it's the most amazing experience in the world I tell ya.

Yeah really, no one cares.

Doing the dishes. The laundry. Changing diapers. Making dinners. Scrubbing pans. Cleaning toilets. Mopping floors. Grocery shopping.

I'm not kidding, no one cares.

Then there's the kid stuff. Singing songs. Playing tickle monster. Reading children's books. Waking up in the night. Again. And again. And Again. On repeat.

Seriously, no one cares.

And I use the term no one loosely. Like that person you met at a dinner party. Or maybe your doctor. Or the guy who does your taxes. What do you do? What's your job? If it ends in being a mom, beware. Beware of conversations awkwardly halting to stop when you mention the m word. Being a mom is bo-ring. Lame-o. What is there to say? Anyone. Anyone could do it. It doesn't take schooling. It doesn't take a special seminar. Not really money. And besides the biology or legal part it doesn't really say much in and of itself.

Except. Well that's not entirely true. There is only one me and you Bucko. And if you are a mom or maybe know someone who is a mom, remember how big the job really is and how only one person can do it. It's not like you can just put an ad in the paper to find someone else to fill in and take over the job every once in a while. A mom is a mom. That's it. There is only one really. One person can be Davy and Gianna's Momma. 

One to kiss the scraped knees of my little girl.

One to hold her when she's sad.

One to trace her face and sing her to sleep.

One to talk to her in the bathroom while she tries to go.

One to hold her hand in parking lots and in the street.

One to tickle her until she can't breathe.

One to buy her a treat in the grocery store.

One to cradle in her in my arms and whisper I love you in her tiny ear.

One to put her hair in pigtails so it stays out of her face.

One to dance with in the kitchen.

One to make cupcakes with, but mostly eat icing.

One to run outside in the rain with just for fun.

One to pour water on her head just right in the bath to keep the soap out of her eyes.

One to hug. Again. And again. And again.

It's hard to put into words the depth and meaning of being a mom, because, well it sounds so much like what is normal about life.
 And it is.
Or it should be. Moms are holding the normal part of this world together. Keeping families together and raising kids that will do great things in this world. The world is full of amazing mothers. Celebrate your mom today. I'm sure she did at least one nice thing for you ;)

(And in case you are looking into renegotiating your contract this year. Here is something helpful to help you ballpark some salary expectations. Today is a perfect day to have a performance evaluation. Talk to your supervisor.)

May 4, 2011

Arsenic Hour

Arsenic hour. Witching hour. It's 5:00 somewhere hour. The actual time of day may vary depending on your circumstances.

What is it? A time of day, before dinner, when parents and children start to go insane. Tired. Hungry. Beat. After a day in battle or play. 

If your children wake up at may find your arsenic hour hits about 1 hour after they wake up from afternoon naps, after a solid 10 hour day of being a human playground, feeding trough, and wireless vacuum cleaner.

Or if they don't take after noon naps, maybe after 8 hours or less if you've been stuck in a home alone with short people chasing you into the bathroom sometimes on all fours and sometimes in a full on mini sprint. And if these same small persons have been intercepting your best bites of breakfast and lunch before they even reach your mouth this may cause it to hit even quicker.

No matter how or when it hits at your home it will probably most resemble a mini psychiatric ward minus the straight jackets. (Btw...still looking for an angel investor to jump start my toddler straight jacket invention.)

It happens with infants.

It happens with toddlers.

And it happens with grown ups.

No matter the exact time. Or the place. When I know and sense that husband relief or dinner followed by a chaotic bedtime routine and then peace is so close...I. start. to. lose. it. Especially when dinner is still under construction.

Some days I squeak by unscathed from this heinous hour by strategic planning, including, but not limited to:

Dinner from a box, can, freezer, or crockpot/slowcooker or fast food of any kind,

in combination with
  • strapped down babes in a stroller as we forge down the street in our double-wide.
  • letting the hooligans loose in the yard. 
  • or invading an unsuspecting friend's home with little or no warning. 
  • or taking them somewhere. other. than. our. home.
The low point- It is sometimes in these hours that the temptation to go back to work solely for the luxury of a lunch/coffee break each day hits hard.

But then again, like clockwork, every night when they are asleep, I find myself missing them. (Some days less than others.) Missing their tiny hugs and kisses, fake laughing followed by belly laughs into hysterics, their little feet running laps around the living room and chasing me into the bathroom and spilling water, food and bodily fluids on the floor. And I can't wait to do it all over it again the next day...that is until the clock strikes crazy again.

May 3, 2011

How to Get your Kid to Stop Picking their Nose

If you know me and you've spent more than 5 minutes with my two year old, you may think that I am completely unqualified to write such a post. You. Are. Correct.

However, here are some ideas that I have tried. You have been forewarned. I am not above lying, bribing, and threatening children when it comes to nose picking. IT is serious. You don't want your kid to be that kid in school.

Just scratching, right?

1. "Princesses/ Jedi knights do not pick their noses."
2. "Big girls/boys use tissues. Aren't tissues great? They work so well."
3. "It is not polite to pick your nose."
4. "Eating your boogers will make worms grow in your tummy." (Thanks mom for instilling that little morsel in your children. And for successfully raising 4 children who don't eat boogers.)
I am a princess. Princess do Not pick their noses.
5. "If you keep doing that we are going to put spicy stuff on your fingers." (Fear not. We don't and won't.) But just thinking about spicy things has been known to make small children cry at the thought. Is it a lie? Is it a threat? yes and yes.  
6. "Gianna [Insert sibling/bff that doesn't pick nose here] doesn't pick her nose."
7. Look at your child with a look of absolute horror and disgust.
8. "Ewwwww that's icky!"
9. "Tell your hands to stop picking!" Soon your child will be yelling at their own hands in public places. "No pickin' hands! And no eatin' boogies mouth!"
10. Tell them if they keep inserting fingers into nose something might happen to their fingers. Act sinister. They might cry, but it's ok.
11. Give child good old fashion hanky to store personal mucus in.
12. Gently physically remove  hands from nostrils. 
13. "Godzilla [or other favorite monster] doesn't pick her nose."
14. "If you keep doing that you can't have a gummy vitamin." Or "If you stop I will give you a gummy vitamin."
15. "You know they have a sign on the door at Preschool that says, 'No picking your nose.' You can't go if you do."
16. "If you don't stop we are taking away your brown baby [insert child's favorite toy]."
17. Look at them and shake head furiously in a disapproving fashion. Use finger wagging for extra effect.
18. Smack 'em. I kid. I kid. 
19. Make a sign in your home with a picture of a small person's head and a finger in their nose with a giant slash through it.
20. "Please stop or your nose will start bleeding. Again."

You may be wondering if I have been at all successful in my anti-nose-picking interventions.

Here is an update: now she hides, sneaks, and lies in addition to picking her nose. Oh well, you win some and you lose some.

Just the other day...

"Davy, get your fingers out of your nose."

Mo-m my fingers are sleepin in my nose."

"They are awake now. Tell them to get out now."

"I can't, they're takin a nap."

Currently saving money to pay children to be friends with my future elementary school attending daughter, the booger eater.

May 2, 2011

I'm baa-aack

Insert creepy music here. After a long 2+ week break from the blogosphere..I. am. back. And I am going to try to quit being a slacker.

Anddd if you know me, you also know that I come with excuses. So here they come. We have been traveling. A little. And it takes me at least 10 days to recover emotionally, physically, and domestically.

I also had some, not serious, but highly annoying issues with my insides. I will spare you the tmi details. But a tiny camera was involved, Magic School Bus style, and it took a tour of my innards. (Too bad my doctor wasn't Ms. Frizzle. She knows everything about science, from what I remember from the show.)

Gianna and Davy also got virus' and ear infections. Complete with pink medicines, all night coughing fests, and whining. And Davy asking me for "rain drops" for her throat.  (Cough drops for the small-brained.)

Andddd the icing on the excuse cake. Technical difficulties of various kinds. Including, but not limited to, 4 broken computer laptop cords in the last 6 months, sucky McSuck suck internet at our house- 3 days of no internet or home phone (you suck time warner), and I lost my cellphone 2 weeks ago.

But now I have new computer cords, functioning internet and no more excuses.

"An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded." As Bl. JPII would say. I think the lie is....that I'm not lazy.

 And for some happy things...I saw TWO double rainbows on my birthday! It was amazing. God gives the best birthday presents. Mr. Christopher you came in at a close second with the Anthropologie goods.  And I had a nice morning run, friend/sister coffee date, family brunch at JK Chili's the best hole in the wall in Madiera, a fun time at the zoo with my girls and daddio. Then we saw some amazing double rainbowing once over our house and once as I was ingesting healthy amounts of the best sushi on the planet earth at Kyoto.

Pretend I don't look so super sized and awkward. And that you can see the other part of the double rainbow.

And we successfully went on two family trips without losing either child. Parents of the year.

Davy and Gianna or "my favorite girls" as Davy would say are adorable and so much fun to hang with day and night.  Minus the night. I will include some recent pictures with future posts.  My Mr. Mister is my bff and a fab daddy.  My friends are the bomb diggity. Living the good life.

Anywho. I know maybe it's not nice to be happy when someone is dead...but since Osama Bin Laden hated Americans so much and wanted to kill us infidels...I do feel some relief. Thank you Navy Seals and all the rest of our Military.
Annnnd that's all folks.

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