Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Grateful for tomorrows

Oh lordy, the day I had last week! It reminded me of how grateful I am that tomorrow is always a chance to get a do over.

"that day" started with yelling that resulted in  my four year old being scared and sad and overwhelmed. I felt the exact same way. It wasnt the sunny happy morning I was hoping for.

I dont handle the morning routine well and thats where the trouble started. Combine that with an impromptu game of hide and seek that I wasnt privvy too that went on for 40 minutes before I realized what was happening and you can see the recipe for disaster brewing.

Once I found the stark naked child and chastised him for hiding and taking nearly an hour to get dressed we moved on to the homework craziness.

The youngest said it was too hard and began crying. His homework was to draw 4 pictures so I got more than a little frustrated at the tears. He's only allowed to cry when its calculus, didn't he get the memo? The oldest did his completely wrong and illegible and when I cajoled him to maybe try again he went into hysterics about how I hate him and think he's does everything wrong and then I stopped listening.

While I realize it's mostly my fault because
a. we shouldn't be doing homework in the morning
b. I should have an organized morning routine
c. I'm 29 and should be able to hold my hysterics in and not unleash them on unsuspecting children

I also don't acknowledge that it's my fault because
a. it was their aunties last day on the island and we had to choose between family and homework. Family won.
b. No matter how I organize the morning routine someone in my family unorganizes it. New plan is to threaten cafeteria food for lunch if they don't tow the line in the morning. They've been eating a lot of school lunch.
c. It's my party and I'll cry if I want to.

But, like I said, I am sooooooooooooooooo grateful for tomorrows. For this particular tomorrow I tried harder, took deeper breathes and we all had a magical day.

Then the next day I lost it again...but remembering my lesson... I got us back on track much quicker and we salvaged the day and the weekend.

Aren't you grateful for tomorrow? It could be better than today.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My heart is overflowing

Oh happy day!!! (picture me singing that, like the kids did in Sister Act 2, cause that's practically what's happening)

Today we had 2 things to make my heart nearly burst.

1. My boys found a new "easy" friend. I know that leads you to thoughts of loose women but you should wash your filthy mind because that's not what I meant.

What I mean is that friend that occupies my children so that I become superfluous. The friend that plays so nicely and shares so well and has such good manners that I can accomplish monumental tasks like laundry unhindered by my children. The easy friend also gives tactical advantage to those of us mommy manipulators. It means I can make them do any chore without whining because it means the friend can come over. It means that when the friend leaves they will be so happy that i allowed the play date to happen they will meekly acquiesce to any demand that I make. Aaaaaaahhhhhh, the easy friend. It's a rare find and we have only a few but boy do these kids make my heart full.

2. After easy friend left, like I noted, my children become putty in my hands. I issued the edict of "go do your homework" and was met with compliance. I almost fainted from shock! Once I had recovered I went to check on the progress. As I made the rounds I thought my heart might burst with pride.

1st born child: "mom look at the six! it's so good it looks like I typed it."
I congratulated him on his handwriting (we've been struggling in this area) and as I was leaving he said, "wait! I forgot to show you the 7. The 7 is extra beautiful" and indeed it was, it was beautiful.

youngest child: "mommy look I started on my own and didn't even need directions! See! This is the directions and this is the picture and I don't need you til the end to help write a sentence." and indeed he had done his homework properly and slowly but surely his handwriting is getting stronger and his pictures are gaining more details.

middle child - well he was hiding under the bed.

But still, those moments make all the screaming crying arguing homework moments worth it.

So ummm yeah. My heart is overflowing.

Did any moments overflow your heart today?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


McDonalds is such a hot button topic in the parenting world that I feel slightly scandalous even bringing it up. Oh yeah, and judged, I guarantee I have been judged, and I haven't even told you the story yet.

First the facts:

1. My family eats at McDonalds (more than we should)

2. McDonalds is affordable (like 5 people for under $20 and then some affordable!)

3. McDonalds is unhealthy (even the "healthy" options)

4. We own a lot of happy meal toys (we don't buy happy meals, but I am obsessed with collections so...)

Those are the facts. Take them or leave them. This is the story.

Last night I was exhausted and I didn't want to make dinner (and yes I understand that I feel this way every night so it's really no excuse). My son asked for McDonalds and I was riding this adrenaline high from managing to run 3 errands in under 1 hour with a 4 year old in tow, so I agreed.

We picked up the younger twin from Aikido, drove towards home on accident, circled back and found a McDonalds that we don't usually go through.

I ordered a cajillion plain cheeseburgers and some fries and we drove up towards the window where you pay. As we got close an attractive young asian man stuck his head out the window and waved both hands at us enthusiastically saying, "Come! Hello! Welcome to McDonalds!"

I was thoroughly impressed with the service with a smile that I was receiving. After handing him my money, he counted my change. As he was handing it back, he grasped my hand in his and said wholeheartedly, "Thanks from China for coming to this McDonalds." I am from China and China thanks you!"

I drove off grinning from ear to ear at his enthusiasm and at the conversation that had begun in the back seat of my van.

"I'm from McDonalds thanks for coming."

"I'm from China, thank YOU for coming."

" My McDonalds thanks you."

"My Chinese thanks you."

and so on and so forth. all the way home.

I realize that when you just read the text it looks like my sons were mocking the kind man. In reality they were emulating him. My heart was bursting with pride as I listened to them try to get the enthusiasm and genuine thanks that we had heard in his voice just right. They were taking this impressive example of someone being positive about the work they do and trying their hardest to replicate it. They were succeeding and to hear the kindness, energy and wholeheartedness coming from my sons made my night just a little more outstanding.

this blog has been brought to you by another satisfied McDonalds customer.

Monster/alien kids desk chairs

I upholstered these with scotch tape!!

Monster/alien folding kids desk chairs

Did I mention they fold away when we're not using them?

The conundrum of the sick child

I'm sure many of you have had sick children before, and most of us were sick children at one point (or many points) in our lives. So why is it that I end up in a tizzy every time one of my darlings falls ill?

It all starts with the mental battle of

“How sick are they?”

It's like a Choose Your Own Adventure book (google this if you don’t get the reference) in your head of how many ways could each possible scenario work out.

Realistically you are often asking,

"Do I really have to change my life to accommodate theirs?"

The answer is inevitably yes, yes you do. Because even if you send them to school, let them go on the sleepover, attend the birthday party or push them to go to practice, you will spend the entire time wondering if you did the right thing and crushing yourself with guilt that you went to work, took a break, said yes even though you didn't want to etc...

And if you aren't crushed with guilt then I am sad for you, I really am.

So, now you've altered your plans, thrown life askew so that you could tend to their every need. Now is when you are hoping and praying that they didn't pull one over on you (because you know they will at some point and then sick day turns into grounding/angry mom day.)

This is when things get dicey.

Do you lavish them with attention, cook anything their little heart desires and let them watch unlimited television? I know you're tempted, but it's often our nurturing attitude that gets us taken advantage of during future sick days.

Do you go totalitarian on their adorable little selves and issue edict after edict making sure it's seen as a sick prison that they will be dying to get out of?

I aim for the middle ground. Somewhere along the lines of, give them whatever they want and enforce a mandatory nap time. That works right?

As these things are whirring around your brain you also have to endlessly ask yourself the questions like:

"Should I call the Dr.?"

"How high is too high for his temp?"

"If he vomits will I vomit or will I be able to help him?"

"What does the BRAT diet stand for again?"

"When was the last time he was medicated?"

"Should I call the Dr.?"

"Is he breathing?"

"I wonder if I should check if he's breathing?"

"Do we even own a mirror? That's how you do the breath test right?"

"Crap, what if I wake him up?"

"How long do I let this go before I call the Dr.?"

These thoughts get louder and take on a more stressed tone the longer the illness lasts. Only it's all happening in your head so no one understands why you're on the verge of tears and missing large chunks of hair.

Then there lies the problem of siblings.

Of course there is the panic of,

“What did they share recently?”

"Do they have symptoms?"

But there's also the problem of what to do with them. At this point they are extraneous and need to be eradicated from the moral equation. Oddly enough this is usually not an option. So then it becomes,

“How do I transport the sick child so I can drop off the well children.”

“How will I pick them up?”

“How much drama will it cause to let just 2 out of the 3 go to the party?”

“Will my husband attend the party without me?”

“What bribed will it take for him to attend mommy group so that the other 2 siblings don’t miss out on the fun?”

“Can I leave a 7 year old home alone if they're really tired?”

and of course the,

“Do I trust the neighbor I barely know and will she even answer the door if I go and beg for help so that I can somehow manage this sibling jumble that I've gotten myself into?”

Finally, as your day is winding down and you find yourself staring at your child sleeping peacefully (it's not staring to see if they're breathing...I promise...or maybe ummmm, shut up. I'm not paranoid) the thoughts go to,

“Will they be okay tomorrow?”

“Should I have called the Dr.?”

and inevitably whatever decisions you make will turn out to be the wrong ones in the morning and you will look like a crazy person because either:

1. They are fine and no one will believe they were sick.

2. They've gotten worse and you should have taken them to the doctor you negligent parent you!

3. They are still exactly the same and you didn't plan for that so now it's everything that happened above all over again.

I mean it's not just me right? (If it is, don't tell me. I'm happier this way) You all have these thoughts when your child gets sick?

p.s. The above story aside, I actually kind of like my children’s sick days. We spend quality time (even if it's gross), we snuggle (I have all boys so I gots to take what I can gets) and while they sleep I have endless time to do those projects that I never seem to get to. However my heart also hurts the entire time because to see one that you love struggle (with anything, not just sickness) makes me feel like I am struggling along with them. I would do anything to fix their hurt and discomfort, anything!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

You need to be specific

That's what I was reminded of today, in a rather wet, unpleasant way.

Here's the best of what I can remember about what went down.

Son? (we're avoiding labels because he would be pissed if he knew I was sharing this, plus everyone who reads my blog can guess which son I'm talking about so who needs labels) needed to get ready for bed.

Brother?: "Ummm, mommy? Actually I forgot to tell you something. This morning Son? peed on the floor in our room and covered it with a blanket. But it was a blanket we weren't using."

(I turn away stifling giggles and hiding smirks)

Son?: "Nuh-uh! Don't tell on me!"

Me: "What Happened Son?"

Son? "Well, I woke up and I really had to pee. I just knew I wasn't going to make it so I peed in my room and then I put a blanket on it. But it was an accident!!!"

Me: (hiding smiles at the ridiculousness of it all) "I'm really only mad at one part. Can you guess what part?"

Son? "The peeing on the floor part?"

Me: "Well, was peeing on the floor an accident or on purpose?"

Son? "It was kind of both. Because I decided not to try to make it to the bathroom but I peed on accident."

Me: "And what about the blanket?"

Son? "Are you mad because somebody might pick it up and step in it and be like, GROSS!"

Me: "I hadn't even thought of that. But was the blanket on accident or on purpose?"

Son? "On purpose?"

Me: "I'm mad that you hid it from me. You should have told me what happened. Now go downstairs and put the pee blanket in the laundry and then lysol and mop the floor."

Brother? "and he smelled like pee all day at school too!"

Me: "Did you wear the clothes to school?"

Son? "No. And I didn't smell like pee brother?!!!"

After he cleaned up downstairs:

Me: "Now you have to write an apology letter because that was not ok." (this is the punishment they are using in his classroom this year)

Son? "Well who do I have to write it to?"

Me: (I'll admit it I was stumped? Who had he really hurt?) " the floor. Yeah, write an apology letter to the floor."

This was his apology letter:

Der Flor,

Sorre for peeing on you. I pomis I will not be doing it.

I feel like they skipped this section in my parenting manual. Am I really the only one whose son pees himself because there is a chance he might not make it and then hides it from everyone? I mean come on!! This is common....right?

When I went downstairs to put the dog to bed I found a pile of laundry on the floor. I quickly scooped it up only to discover it was the pee clothes and that I was now covered in pee. Quickly realized my instructions were only to put the blanket in the laundry. Hauled out the sleeping child and made him mop the floor again. You need to be specific, never forget that, lest you suffer my soggy fate.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Family goals

Soooooo, my boys and I made a plan today.

The plan is something I stole from a blog. I would link but i'm swyping on my phone.

Crap. Thats a lie. I'm Trying to sound cooler than I am. Swype actually failed me long ago and I am reduced to hen pecking on the worlds touchiest tiniest keyboard.

Um, got a little off topic there. I said all that to say that i'm stealing from another blog and I cant link and give them credit right now because my phone won't let me.

Back to the plan. We are going to become a family who compliments. Nice things will be uttered from our lips on a daily basis.

My sons agreed that this was a good plan. I Havent clued hubby in yet, but he compliments me all the time so its sort of like he's winning already.

I checked in to see how it went today.

Twin2- "I told you that you were pretty so I'm done mommy. Youngest said you looked bad, so what did he say nice?"

Youngest- dazed look. No response. I hear crickets.
But he did hug a teacher so that goes in the win category.

Twin 1-" I told madison she was a good runner at recess. You should have seen her!!!!!"

So..... I think it went well.

Be on the lookout for a compliment coming your way from our family sometime soon.

P.s. In case you're wondering I complimented myself:) after going to the movies tonight I announced to my sister, "i might not look as good as mila kunis, but I saw my reflection in the window and I looked pretty good. Man, I love blue and yellow!!!"

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The winds of change, they are a blowin'

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness (when you read this line you have to say it like the orphan girl in ANNIE does. If you cant do that, you need to be a better person)

I have witnessed a miracle my friends. No longer will I be stuck in the mire and muck that has been my past experiences. I have seen the light and now I rise above, can you feel me people?!

Ok, so maybe I was not born to be a televangelist, but I really have witnessed a miracle.

You know all that back to school stress I was having? The stress that allowed me only 2 hrs of sleep before the big first day? It's gone, aaaaaaallllll gone.

My twins love school and they're not bugging anybody. The stress and anger that has been a part of my twins daily school routine is gone. 3 days in and each day they have been more excited and thrilled by 2nd grade than the day before.

Gone are the days of whiny grumbling over playground mishaps. We have said goodbye to the insecurities that plagued their poor souls.

I feel like I should clarify, their school is great. I have loved their teachers. But school has sucked. We just haven't been able to make it work in our family. There have been great moments over the last two years, but my boys have created way more bad moments.

I'm probably jinxing it, but I'm saying it anyway, the worst is over!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today my adorable sons decided to do their homework without being told, did quality work, and kindly accepted corrections. Life is so good right now that I can barely handle it.

Of course we've still had tears and scrapes and one yelling fit, but I have 3 boys, it's to be expected. Overall I am still calling it a miracle. The joy on my twins faces everyday is something that has been missing. The sight of the two of them hand in hand at recess or arms around each others shoulders as they walk the campus are priceless.

Sorry all it's not a funny post this time. It's a braggy, smarmy, touchy feely, in your face bit of me loving a moment in my life. Enjoy!