Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pony Tattoos

Do you remember My Little Pony from the 80's? Plastic ponies with long tails and manes you could brush. Like Care Bears (another wonderful toy from the 80's) they each have names and are emblazoned with a picture that characterizes their name. The bears have their personality on their bellies, the ponies have theirs on their hind quarters.

Well, both toys are still around (or have made comebacks). Katherine received a couple My Little Ponies for her birthday. They are cute and some of them even come with plastic clothes and shoes! Katherine was playing with her ponies this afternoon (her horse obsession is another post) when she came up to me saying "Look Mommy, she has a tattoo!" She was pointing to the picture on the pony's hind quarters.

So funny! Hmmm...I wonder if her knowledge of tattoos comes from the temporary tattoos she has gotten at fairs, etc. or mommy's real tattoo!

Friday, October 24, 2008

You have got to check these out!

If you know me at all you know I am an avid babywearer. As such, I have a small collection of baby carriers. I have ring slings, a pouch sling, mei tais, soft structured carrier (Ergo Baby Carrier)...more than my husband thinks I need.

One carrier that I really want to try is the BECO Butterfly. It is a soft structured carrier made with the most amazing fabrics! Right now you can Win a Beco Butterfly from babySNAZZ!

I would love to try one!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Let me start off by saying that I am truly blessed. No matter what our economy looks like right now I am still one of the middle class in one of the wealthiest nations on earth. I have never really wondered where my next meal would come from. I have a wonderful (strange, but wonderful) family who love me very much. I am in a very loving, committed marriage with a man whose faith I admire. I really don't have much to complain about.

That being said, I really just want to go back to bed and start today over...surely this is a bad dream. I woke up with the tentacles of a migraine beginning to creep around my brain. I thought I was doing well to get both kids in the car in plenty of time to drop Katherine off at preschool having remembered the fruit I had to take since it is my week for snack, and her lunch since she had lunch-and-learn after school today. Then my wonderful husband (not being sarcastic there) came out to tell us goodbye since he was leaving before Katherine got home and won't be back until tomorrow. Somehow when going over schedules for the next couple of days as we buckled the kids in we had a disagreement and ended up leaving with hurt feelings when I won't see him for at least 36 hours.

Back home with Jack for the morning, he slept for a mere 25 minutes during his morning nap time...grrr. He finally fell asleep for another hour or so, but only in my lap and I had to wake him up to go pick Katherine up. Since he was in my lap asleep I didn't get lunch (not good for the migraine). I actually remembered the DVD I had to return to Blockbuster and the school picture order form I had to turn in today (and my checkbook so I could write a check for said school pictures). We dropped off the DVD and went through the drive-thru at Wendy's so I could finally get lunch (not very healthy, but close and convenient). Katherine asks to finish her sandwich in the car on the way back.

We pull into the driveway and I go open the door to find that the dog has upturned the kitchen garbage, strewn everything all over the kitchen, and eaten half a loaf of bread. Wonderful. So, into his crate he goes.

I go back to get the kids and realize Katherine has thrown the crusts from her sandwich on the floor of the van and dropped her big girl water bottle (no valve like sippy cups so leaks when on its side on the floor) onto the floor as well. Excellent.

I sent Katherine directly upstairs to bed since it was naptime anyway. She starts what eventually turns into an hour-long fit. She is in her room crying/screaming and I have to set Jack down so that I can clean up the kitchen so he is crying. So, I am on my hands and knees cleaning up garbage as both kids cry in different rooms and the dog stares forlornly from his crate. Sweet. This is so much fun!

Eventually Katherine went to sleep (after an hour of screaming, arguing, and bargaining) and even Jack slept for about an hour (by himself in bed!). I got to replay the hilarity of the day with my husband and blog my frustration out!

The rest of the day will be cake, right?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pink Princess Party

The definition of insanity should include a short video clip of a birthday party with four three-year-old girls throwing elbows, pushing, taking toys, and crying for no ascertainable reason. Overall it was great to hang out with our friends. Three couples that we are close to also have 3-year-old daughters. So, we decided to start with the theory that you should allow your child to invite one friend per year of existence. Since Katherine was turning three we invited three friends.

Her only real request was a pink birthday. James had an out-of-town speaking engagement that night so we decided to do breakfast. Thus, the Pink Princess Pancake Party was born. Of course we are NOT morning people so the official start time was 10am. We had pink pancakes, pink/red fruit (watermelon, raspberries, strawberries with bananas and apples thrown in for good measure), princess goodies for each girl to take home, and four very cute princesses.

I don't know if it was a full moon, if it was just the wrong time of day, or if we didn't feed them enough, but it was like watching mini cage fighters in dresses (just kidding). Really though, they were whining, crying, pushing, hitting, wrenching toys away from one was such chaos you just had to laugh.

In the end we were all well-fed, the parents got to socialize, the girls had fun overall, and the little brothers got some socialization in too. Not bad for a 3-year-old party!

Shenandoah Costume GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

Amazing costume. So decadent, and perfect for Katherine's dress phase!

Shenandoah Costume GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Kindness of Friends

Wow...what can I say. I sit here with both kids asleep on the last night of a week with James out of town. I finally have five minutes peace. I could not have made it through this week without such great friends, a wonderful mom, and an attentive husband.

The week started horribly with Katherine getting sick on Sunday. That caused me to forgo attending and serving at church and to keep her home from school on Monday, even though she was fine by then (not to mention stir crazy). Tuesday our friends Jae and Trish invited Katherine over for dinner with their daughter Elizabeth. I got a couple hours of relative quiet with just Jack when I was able to make and eat dinner, make rice krispie treats (pink of course) to take to Katherine's class for her birthday, and sort of watch a movie in the background. When I got Katherine she had eaten dinner, done a craft, taken a bath, put on pajamas, and eaten her before-bed yogurt. We were able to come straight home and get to bed.

Wednesday was her birthday so I was finally able to take her to school and actually leave the premises! It was liberating. I used my new-found freedom to drive up to Chick-Fil-A to grab breakfast. Jack fell asleep during the drive so I had some quiet time. I stopped by the mall so I could go to the Apple store and get a case for my new iPod - with a 3 year old around I don't want to take any chances with scratching it up! It was nice to have only one child to tote into the mall (a place I really dislike to go). Jack and I then attended the first half of his music and learning class. Katherine was supposed to go directly from school to an after-school lunch and learn program. Apparently she was having a rough time so the school called and I picked her up early. Hopefully next week she'll make it all the way through!

Wednesday night our friends Mike and Lisa were nice enough to invite us over for dinner and cake for Katherine's birthday. Luckily I had used Katherine's nap that day to make cupcakes which she and I decorated and took with us to dinner. Their daughter Mara is one of Katherine's best friends (her designation) so they had a great time (when they weren't fighting like sisters). They have a son Aaron about six months older than Jack so we have a lot in common and really enjoy hanging out together. We also have very similar parenting styles so it is very comfortable to be around them with the kids.

Today we went to church so I could do my weekly volunteer duties, came home for lunch, and went to the doctor for Katherine's 3yr check-up and Jack's 5 month shots (we are spacing them out a bit so have to go more often to avoid so many at one time). The doctor said Katherine looks very healthy. She has grown about 2 inches in the last year and gained about 5 pounds. I swear most of that growth must have occurred this summer. All of a sudden her 2T pants are too short and all of her shoes are too small (except her Crocs, the only shoes she has really worn all summer).

Jack is such a trooper with his shots, he doesn't even really cry for more than 10 seconds - long enough for a big tear to drip from each eye. I really think it helps that he only gets 2 shots at a time rather than 4. I am so thankful that our pediatrician was open to letting us do an alternate vaccine schedule. Jack will get all of the vaccines that are recommended by the AAP, but will get them in a different order and at different times.

We ordered dinner in tonight (gotta love pizza delivery) which helped me a bit. After a week with no help the house is a wreck and I'm just overwhelmed. I'm in survival mode, avoiding too much extra stuff and relying on close friends for support. This is not the first time I've been the solo parent for an extended period of time and it will not be the last. It is getting a little easier, I think. I am still not the mother I would like to be, nor the one I believe God calls me to be. When I am tired, overwhelmed, and stretched thin I lose the grip on my emotions. With His help I haven't been as angry this week - at least not compared to two weeks ago when James was gone almost the whole work-week. It is amazing how someone so small, so young and so innocent as my little girl can push my buttons faster than anyone else and to such an extent that I have to leave the room or bite my tongue to avoid saying something I don't mean.

I am blessed to be able to stay at home with our kids, but that brings with it a host of its own issues. But, there are pros and cons to every situation. The most important thing right now is that one of us is there every day raising our children. Everything else (good and bad) is secondary.

Anyway, enough pouring out of my soul for the night. I get to see my wonderful husband in less than 12 hours - woohoo! And, it only took me two hours to write this post between getting up to put Katherine back in bed, getting Jack back to sleep after Katherine woke him up, using my stern voice with Katherine when she just wouldn't give up, nursing Jack back to sleep after I woke him up using my stern voice with get the picture.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Happy Birthday My Sweet Girl

I can't believe that Katherine is 3. Where has the time gone? When did she become this tornado of laughter, pigtails, dresses, my chagrin...whining? She is talkative, expressive, impressionable, and absolutely beautiful!

She is in preschool three days a week and has started to assert her independence at every opportunity. She can clear her plate from the table after a meal (take it to the kitchen, dump the remaining food in the garbage can, and put the plate/cup/utensils in the sink). She can feed the dog and cat. She knows how to access the basic functions on our video iPod, her clock radio/cd player, and her portable DVD player.

She can undress and dress herself (but we are unfortunately embroiled in a battle of the wills over potty training). Lately she has inexplicably decided that she must wear a dress EVERY DAY. She whines something about not being a princess or not going to the ball if she isn't in a dress - drat those Disney princesses! I was somewhat of a tomboy, I am mystified by the NEED to wear a dress every day - I still avoid them unless absolutely necessary.

She loves taking care of her baby brother Jack - unless he spits up, she actually gagged the other day when he spit up on her. She always wants to be at the front of the pack, becoming very frustrated that our dog Hunter doesn't let her "leave the way."

She has several "best friends" and goes into hysterics that any pre-teen worth her salt would be proud of if we can't visit them the absolute INSTANT she deems it necessary. She greets her friends with the most excited scream/hug/kiss combo you will ever see and introduces complete strangers as her friends (or even her sisters). Luckily these strangers are usually pint-sized and followed around by a mom of their own so the stranger lecture isn't necessary in this particular context.

Her capacity to feel emotion (good and bad) is exhausting. The sheer joy she finds in some things (often exhibited by sounds only dogs can hear) is infectious (unless I have a migraine). The sadness she feels in the face of even the most trivial slight by a friend is amazing. The mischief in her eye when she is pushing the limits (or more often, barreling through them) can be lovable and infuriating.

Her soft hair curls at the ends when put into pigtails. Her eyes are a complex patchwork of color. She is petite, yet strong. Essentially, she is just amazing. All of this and she's only 3. Sweet Girl, you have made me more aware of who I am - my positive attributes and my shortcomings. You are a force of nature. I pray that God helps your Daddy and I be the parents that you need to grow strong, confident, and self-assured yet humble, faithful, and sympathetic.

I love you. Happy Birthday.
- Mama

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Alone again and the kids are sick...ugh

Well, James is off again for work. His company has a conference each fall and in recent years they have invited fewer of their associates to actually attend the conference since they would likely have to fly them in and put them up in a hotel for the duration. So, it was great that he was recognized and asked to attend, but it also means being away from home for seven days.

I know it is rough on him so I need to remember not to ignore his feelings when considering my own because, let's face SUCKS to have him gone so long. That by itself would be bad enough. But, this morning Katherine woke up suffering from some sort of stomach bug. I mean...gross!

I am a bit of a contradiction where this is concerned. I have a degree in biology so you would think that I would have more of a stomach for ick, but it is conditional. I can dissect things any day - blood doesn't bother me. It is the other bodily fluids that I just can't handle. Spit, snot, vomit, excrement of an abnormal makes me a little crazy. So a stomach bug with no help is not going to be fun.

Oh well, I guess that is motherhood!