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You’re Not Coming To My Birthday

8 Feb

The latest threat in our house originates from three and a half year old Little Man.  If he gets mad at you or doesn’t like what you’re doing, he says, “well you’re not coming to my birthday.”

I just love it when he gives me that threat.  The exchanges usually go like this.

Little Man:  I want dessert.

Mean Momma:  No dessert unless you finish your vegetables.

Little Man:  Fine, well you’re not coming to my birthday.

Mean Momma:  You realize that means you’re not having a birthday party if I don’t come, right?

I don’t think the kid realizes that I am the one that plans the birthday party.  I am the one that shops for the presents.  I am the one that bakes the cake.  If I didn’t come to his birthday, I really don’t think he would have a party.

But he doesn’t get that.  We hear the threat of not coming to his birthday numerous times a day.  I often want to say to him, “I MADE you, child.  The only reason you have a birthday is because I grew you and gave birth to you.  Don’t even threaten me with taking away your birthday.”

But of course, that is all lost on a three year old. 

 

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He is Thankful

21 Nov

Glad to know my boy is learning the meaning of Thanksgiving… He is thankful for monster trucks!

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If She Were President

16 Nov

My daughter was so exited about the election, and there were numerous school activities feeding the frenzy.  Looking at schoolwork that was sent home last week, I discovered a gem of a writing example.

It said:

“If I were president I would go swimming every Friday.  I would have children and make them go to school.  I would roast marshmallows over the stove.  I would give money to the food bank.  That is what I will do if I am president.”

So in other words, if she were president, she would be JUST LIKE ME.  So cute!  We had a little talk on how she could definitely do all of that, but she didn’t need to be president to do so.

You’re probably wondering about roasting marshmallows over the stove…  I got this idea after a camping trip when I was single.  I was craving roasted marshmallows, and started roasting them over the stove rather regularly.  Anyway, I recently introduced the kids to this idea, and we save the marshmallows for a special occasion — when she gets 100% on a spelling test we celebrate by making s’mores.

Her latest pursuit is making cards like the nuns, and she wants to sell them to make money.  Thanks to that kid note, I’ve encouraged her to give a portion of her proceeds to the food bank.  Of course so far, I seem to be the only buyer of these cards!

 

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Long Term Career Objectives

8 Nov

About a month ago, I was fishing out something from under my bed, and came across the Sound of Music box set my mother had given me a few years ago, with a note saying, “save this until your daughter is ready.”

Oh, she’s ready!  I thought.  Over the course of the next weekend, whenever we got a chance when the boys in our house weren’t around, we watched it.  I sang along.  It was such a special memory.  I remembered watching that movie each year with my own mother, and I was thrilled that my daughter seemed to like it and understand the story.

Next thing I know, the child is waking up early and popping in the DVD in the morning.  I have woken up numerous mornings to the sound of her singing along to the movie.  “I am sixteen, going on seventeen…”

It is adorable.  But it is getting to the point of her being obsessed.

She quickly decided she wanted to be a nun for Halloween, despite the fact that I told her most of her classmates wouldn’t even know what a nun was.  She then started talking about wanting to be a nun when she grew up.  She has watched the movie so much that she can recite all of the dialogue and songs by heart.

So last week, when I saw a mention in the newspaper about the nuns at a local monastery having an open house , I just knew we had to go.

We showed up on Saturday, and a nun greeted us at the door.  “There was a misprint in the paper,” she said.  “The open house isn’t really until tomorrow.”

Once I told her that I had a six year old entranced with nuns that just wanted to meet some real live nuns, the doors were thrown wide open and we were offered a personal tour of the entire facility.

You know what?!  Those nuns have a pretty sweet set up.  They live in a modern building on a huge plot of land with large, colorful trees and sweeping views of the valley.  They wear street clothes, by the way.  (They said they just decided the habits weren’t conductive to their work, and it didn’t make much sense to change in and out of it for worship.)

You should see the kitchen these nuns have.  Holy cow, it is huge, with modern appliances, granite countertops, and I can just imagine the amazing meals that get created in their kitchen.  They have a dining room with a big, beautiful table, where all 19 nuns eat together with a huge picture window backdrop.  I really wanted to join them for a meal.

As for the nuns, we met a lot of them, and they were so nice, open and receptive.  It literally felt like 19 girlfriends living together, which as I contemplate that, actually sounds like a pretty sweet life.  I wonder if they drink wine, though.  I described to my husband as a sorority house for older women (without the men and alcohol).

Anyway, we spent a lot of time touring the grounds, and Little Miss even asked to see their bedrooms, so we were ushered up to the living quarters to see their bedrooms and meet their dog that they keep onsite.  I then learned that the nun giving the tour was an avid skier.

A skiing nun!  How cool is that?!

We definitely bonded over skiing, and she told me that she skis almost every day in the winter.  (Once again, wow, not a bad life, eh?!)  It makes sense, though.  Living in this community, skiing would be a great way to do outreach, as you can talk to people on each chairlift ride.

They have a few nuns on site that are resident artists.  We stopped in to view the nun’s art and buy some greeting cards that the nuns had made, and as we were leaving, I asked my daughter if she still wanted to be a nun, and she enthusiastically said yes.

“But then you couldn’t have children,” I reminded her.

“That’s OK, I’ll be a nun at an orphanage.”

Looks like she has her long term career objectives all planned out.  She’ll be a nun that works at an orphanage, and does art, gymnastics, skiing and ballet in her spare time.

Looks like a perfect future nun, right?!

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I Want To Cuddle

22 Oct

My three year old son has pretty bad allergies, and I believe that is why my normally good sleeper is waking up in the middle of the night or extra early some days.  Yesterday morning, he came into my room one hour before I needed to get up.  I wake up to him saying, “Momma, I want to cuddle.”

Part of me knows I shouldn’t allow this, but another part of me loves to cuddle, and doesn’t want to wake myself completely up to take him back to his room.  So, to my husband’s protest, I let him get in the bed, we snuggled up and went to sleep together.  Although my arm went numb, it was bliss.  I’m just not sure how long my little boy will want cuddles from his Mom.

This morning, he made his appearance at 4am.  I know this is becoming a bad habit.  My husband is completely opposed to kids in our bed, and I don’t want to set precedence that it is OK for him to wake me up in the middle of the night if there isn’t something wrong, but he is just so darn hard to resist right now.  So, instead of allowing him in for a second time, I marched him upstairs and told him that it isn’t Okay to wake me up just for cuddles.  We only cuddle when we’re awake, I told him.

Sometimes when I am laying next to a sleeping child of mine, holding them and feeling their heart beat and their breathing, I smell the top of their head and think this is what heaven must be like.  I already dread the day they get to be too big for cuddling with their Mom.

 

 

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The Monday Morning that tried to KILL Me

20 Aug

Oh, wow, what a horrible start to the week I had this morning.

It started at 2:30am, when my husband woke me up to say, ”your daughter is yelling for you.”

Of course.  My daughter.  No way he could get up.

So, I race up the stairs, and and my mind is racing through the possibilities with dread.  I’m repeating in my head please don’t let it be puke.

I get up to her room, and say, “what is it?!”

“My brother wants you.”

Oh.  I go into his room.  “What’s wrong?”

“I need pants.”

We had returned from Lake Tahoe late last night, and I had put him in a pull up, but neglected to put pants on the boy, which evidently was a big problem at 2:30am.  As I’m putting pants on him, he says, “you forgot to cuddle with me.”

“I don’t cuddle with anyone in the middle of the night,” I tell him.  Tears ensue.  I’m now cuddling at 2:35 am, waiting for my adrenaline to go back down.

So, back to bed, and then the real morning started.  My daughter was supposed to go to daycamp at her school, and according to the calendar I had, it was bike day.  So, on top of everything I had to do on a Monday morning, I was digging out a bike rack, getting out her bike and helmet, and making sure she was wearing shorts under the long skirt she insisted on wearing.

I drove her to school, glancing often at the clock, as I was cutting it very close for my first meeting.  I walk into the school, and there are janitors cleaning the floor of the room where the daycamp usually is.  I ask them where the daycamp is, and they give me blank looks.

Lovely.  So, I call the daycamp number, and the owner says, “oh, we never have camp the week before school starts.  They have to clean the school.”

Of course they do.  Not sure how I missed this detail when I made her childcare plans this summer.

I decided to just take her to work and then figure out what I was doing, going through a laundry list of possibilities in my head.  Then, a little voice from the backseat said, “can’t I just go to my old school?”

My child is brilliant.  She had gone to her old private kindergarten for a month this summer, and they have all of her shot records and all the forms filled out, and they love her there.  Perfect!  I called them up, and they said to bring her on over.  Except for that pesky meeting.

So, she sat at my desk doing a First Grade workbook while I talked for 1.5 hours to a guy in London.  She was an angel.  Thank God.

After the meeting, I packed her up to take her to school.  The first light I hit unexpectedly turned yellow, and I started to gun it, but then noticed the police car stopped at the intersection.  Hence, I slammed on the brakes and came to a screaching stop (key to later in the story).

Heart racing, I finished the drop off at school, and returned to my car, and my phone is nowhere in sight.

*sigh*  I’ll just use the find my phone app when I get back to my computer.

Except when I logged onto my computer, I find out that my phone stopped synching its location with my computer a month ago.  I then retrace my steps in the office, to the bathroom, and tear apart my car…  It is gone.  I am ready to hit hard alcohol by this point in my morning.

I did one last search of the car, and found the phone, wedged under the floor mat, as it had been a projectile during my brake screaching moment.

Phew.  So, things are a bit back to normal.  My daughter’s bike is stashed under a stairwell at my office, and I’m ready to get her back in school with BUS service.  Oh, how I miss bus service.

But I’m also thankful that she proved to have better problem solving skills than her frazzeled mother this morning.

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And She’s BACK!

17 Aug

Woo0ps.  There went a month in blog-land.  Sorry about that.  I’ve had numerous posts composed in my head, and never managed to write them…  So, here is a random smattering of thoughts for you…

Olympics.  Oh, wow.  That is one way to turn my family of rather active people into a bunch of couch potatoes, ironically.  My daughter was learning about the Olympics in school, and was very excited to watch them.  I was very excited to watch swimming, and hoping that seeing the Olympic swimmers would inspire her.  I made sure to show her the interviews with Missy Franklin, who is tall, strong, and with such a lovely personality.  I think my daughter will be somewhere near the height of Missy Franklin, so I wanted her to see how good height could be for a girl.

But what did my daughter latch onto?  Women’s gymnastics.  Now, I don’t have anything against this sport, but those girls are TINY.  The women in our family are not tiny.  I even searched online for the “tallest Olympic gymnast woman”, and the answer was 5’5″.  We estimate that she’ll be about 6’1″.

So we had conversations about how she will be tall, and she should try sports where height will be an asset.  “Want to watch volleyball?”  “Hey, look, Missy Franklin won another gold medal!”

But she is still set on gymnastics.  So, next week, she is doing a trial class of gymnastics.  My mother giggled at this whole story, as I had a similar fascination when I was little, and as my mom said, I need to let her figure out if it is the right sport for her.  I’m betting it’s not, but I’ll just keep my mouth shut and let her figure it out for herself.

But, I made a deal with her – that if I was going to pay for gymnastics this school year that she’d agree to do swim team next summer.  She agreed, so I guess we have a compromise.  (How I’m going to get her to 2x/week swim practices at 5pm when I’m supposed to work until 5pm is something I have to figure out before then.)

Plus, the gymnastics school has a class for my son’s age group at the same time, so instead of trying to keep him occupied in a tiny waiting room, I’ll scoot him right into class, too.  That should be good for some entertainment!

And on a side note of the Olympics, I just love watching swimming.  I love watching the new techniques, the new suits, the new technology in caps/goggles, etc, and reminiscing on my days as a swimmer.  I’m so happy to see the sport get elevated status, and I totally idolize many of the swimmers on the men’s and women’s team.

Oh, and will someone please make a US men’s swim team calendar so that I can put that on my Christmas list?

Here is a picture of the next generation’s Missy Franklin and Michael Phelps.

On Biking…

Our son has had a strider bike since Christmas, and he is a real pro at it.  He does stunts, hops curbs, and can totally keep up with his sister on that thing.  We bought him a bike with pedals a few months ago, and promptly took off the training wheels, as he knows how to balance.  Well, he had some mental block about pedals, and avoided that bike for what seemed like the longest time.

Then, one day a few weeks ago, I look out in the backyard, and he had just hopped on his pedal bike (known in our house as the Rocket bike, as it says Rocket on the frame), and he is biking around using pedals like it was no big deal.  This happened the week after his third birthday.

We upgraded our daughter’s bike in the early summer as well.  We got her a mountain bike with gears and hand brakes, that is a bit big for her, but at the rate she’s growing, we decided that was the best choice.  Anyway, many nights you’ll find our family biking at the church parking lot in our neighborhood, racing eachother and coming up with different obstacle courses.  It is so fun.  I looked at my son the other day as we were biking next to eachother, and couldn’t believe that just three years ago he was a helpless newborn, and now he is a little boy that can ride bikes with me and share the funniest thoughts.

On Growing Up…

I put my daughter on a plane this week by herself.  She flew to the Bay Area to spend the week with her grandparents and aunt.  My six year old was excited and not at all afraid to march onto that plane without me.  It was the strangest feeling to watch the plane pull back from the gate.  I couldn’t help thinking about how recent it seemed that traveling with her was a big ordeal, and now I can just plop her on a plane.  They say that time moves fast when you’re a parent, and I would have to agree.

Those are my thoughts for the day…  Please don’t give up on me and my little blog! A few more random pics from our summer below.

Little Man being tossed in the air by his dad:

 

My daughter doing the bungee trampoline at Mammoth ski resort last month:

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My Big Boy

26 Jun

It has been a big week for my little boy.  We returned from a visit to New Mexico, and left his sister at Grandma and Grandpa’s house for another week.  In other words, he has had his Dad and I all to himself.  The first trick he decided to master while sister was out of town was potty training himself.  Remember how I feared he wouldn’t be potty trained until he was 7?!  He just wasn’t interested, and then one day, he had it mastered.  It was literally like flipping a switch.

The only thing we’re struggling with in the potty training arena is getting him to stop pooping in the backyard, which he claims he did to be like our dog.

Now that he’s potty trained, we decided we would mark the occasion by getting him a big boy bed.  Why yes, my almost three year old was still in a crib until last night.  I found with my daughter that waiting until “almost three” meant for a smooth transition (read: no midnight visitors or fighting to keep them in bed).

We went shopping this weekend to get him a bed, and it was delivered yesterday.  Over the weekend, I cleared out all of the baby stuff and nursery decorations, and started replacing it with the new theme for his room — Cars, Trucks, Planes and Trains.  It is beautifully bright with primary colors of red, green and blue, and he just loves it.  It looks like this:

Last night, we lectured him that if he got out of bed to do anything but use the potty that he’d have to go back to the crib.  I checked on him a few times, to find him sleeping peacefully.  Then, this morning, I thought he was sleeping late, and went in to peak at him.  He was in his bed, lieing on his back, looking up at the ceiling.  When he saw me, he said, “Mom, the sun is up.”  I guess he interpreted the “don’t get out of bed rule” to apply in the morning.  I’m sure that won’t last long.

Anyway, I can’t believe the transformation this kid has had in the past week.  Just a little over seven days ago, he was a crib sleeping diaper wearing boy, and now, he is a big boy with a big boy room and big boy underwear to go with it.

It feels very final giving away all of our baby stuff.  The crib will be the last to go, once we determine he doesn’t need the visual reminder of the rules of the big boy bed.  Even though I’m a bit sad I won’t have another baby ever again, these kids are getting more and more fun every day.

 

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Portrait of a Kindergarten Graduate

6 Jun

Today is the last day of school for my daughter. As of this afternoon, she will have completed Kindergarten. Everyone says that time flies when you’re raising children, and that is so true. This feels like a landmark moment, so I thought I’d spend a few minutes writing about my daughter, the Kindergarten graduate, at age six.

Her world is one of beauty and magic. Her fertile imagination has her believing in fairies, mermaids, leprechauns and angels. She is a budding artist, and all of her drawings consist of rainbows, flowers and happy, smiling mermaids or fairies (or a combination of the two into a mermaid fairy) that are smiling and look just like her.

Her teacher sent home a binder with her school work and art work from throughout the year, and it was so fun to look at.  The first page said, “What is special about me is my Mom and My Dad”.  Every single person she drew is happy, and she doesn’t like her own artwork until it leaves the satisfactory level of beauty in her eyes.

Last week, she did a project at home she titled  ”Map of My Heart”.  On it, she glued a picture of her parents, one of her as a toddler, and then she wrote all the things she loves, including, “dogs, dolls, bike, swim, girl scouts”.  She also wrote that she wants to dance and be a nurse when she grows up.

My daughter is the essence of the innocence of childhood right now.  I want to put her in a bubble to maintain this beautiful, happy impression of the world that she currently has.  One day something will happen to put a damper on her world of magic and smiles, but I will do my best to make sure that day isn’t for a long time.

For now, I will relish the moments where she thinks the light reflections on the wall are fairies watching down on her, and when we sing loudly and off key together as we drive around Reno.

Each night as I put her to bed, I tell her that she is my dream come true.  I can’t imagine what my life would have been like without her.

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A Boy After My Heart

31 May

This past weekend, my husband was out of town, and Little Man woke me up with his screams of “Momma! The sun is up!”

I did something I normally wouldn’t when the hubby is in the bed — I pulled him into bed with me for cuddles.

He is so very cuddly first thing in the morning. He was laying with his head on the pillow beside me, and looked over with the biggest smile, squeezed my shoulder and said, “I love you!”

Totally unprompted.

Then, last night, twice he looked at me and said, “I’m so glad you’re here.”

I’m filing those memories away for when he is a moody teenager. These truly are the fruits of my labor!

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Public Service Announcement: How To Teach Your Kids To Swim

29 May

Anyone that knows me knows that I love swimming. I started on swim team at six years old, started teaching swim lessons at 14, and was a swim coach for three years. I was also a lifeguard for five years. So, yes, I’ve spent a lot of time at pools.

I believe that swimming was a tremendous gift that my parents gave me. It is my form of meditation, and a form of exercise I can carry with me into adulthood,

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