Monday, August 27, 2007

I Just Want To Watch The News

Last night, after I got ready for bed, I plopped down and turned on the TV for the 11:00 news, to check the weather for today. The screen says to me, "Temporarily Unavailable, try again later" so I hit the button to go to another channel. Same message. Try again to the news station that's just a step above being filmed in a basement by teenagers and still no go. I'm in panic mode. How will I know what the weather will be tomorrow? I try the weather channel. NOTHING. I switch to Fox News, and it works. CNN, that works too. I'm sure there is a conspiracy of some sort by the cable networks to make sure I can't find out the weather for tomorrow.

At this point, Big Daddy hears my groans over the sound of his tooth brushing and comes in to see what the problem is. I tell him my issue and he can't figure it out either. We decide to turn off the TV and sleep and just take our chances on the weather.

This morning, Big Daddy goes downstairs to let the dog out and it takes him a longer than usual time to come back.

Me: "What took so long?"
Him: "I had to let the dog out and yell at him."
Me: "WHAT? Why would you do that?"
Him: "Because he's the reason you couldn't watch the news last night. He chewed through the cable line that connects to our room. Don't worry, he only got through half of it so you'll still be able to watch all channels above 25 but no local stations."

Dang dog. That's ok. I did watch the weather tonight. For Alaska. Tomorrow I'm planning to wear a turtleneck and boots. I'll just have to improvise with my weather planning.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Slacker Mom, Part Deux

My original point (that I never got to) in the previous post was that I am admittedly a slacker mom by the standard set forth in the book. I'm ok with that. I do want my kids to be kids. I want them to run and play and just have no worries at their tender ages of 2 and 4. The preschool we selected for Sister last year focused on social skills and things like that first and then teaching them a little of the basics that a three year old should know afterwards. At the end of the year, one of the Moms wanted to put together a gift for the Teacher from the kids. She asked the rest of us to have our kids write their names and draw a picture to be included in the gift (it was a scrapbook). I was a little puzzled. Even at the end of the year, Sister was a couple of months shy of turning four. She couldn't write her name.

I asked the teacher at our end of year conference if it was something we should work on this summer so that she wasn't behind next year (that would be now) when school started. She assured me that there was no need to stress out and that most of the kids couldn't write their name yet in her class. I was a little reassured by that and thought little of it all summer. Sure, we've sat down with Sister a couple of times and let her try to copy my writing of her name on paper. She is a perfectionist and if it doesn't start out just right for her, she just throws in the towel and moves on to something else. I have no idea where she got that from. But, other than that, we've done no "work" over the summer. We've had play dates, we've gone to museums and the beach, we've done countless other fun activities but no practicing on the school work. I was hanging on to the reassurance I got from her teacher. Until last week.

We received a thank you note from a friend of Sister's for a birthday gift. Inside, she had not only signed her own name, she had written Sister's name across the top. She's the same age as Sister and I've always thought of her Mom as a fellow Slacker. I'm not sure why I let this bother me but I did. I thought about it and tried to rationalize that maybe I've been a little too slack in the academic skills department with my kids. After all, these are the kids they will be competing with in a few (ok, many) years for college scholarships. I'm not saying that my friend has been doing academic drills with her daughter. Quite the opposite, I think it's just something that her daughter has shown interest in and loves to do. Whereas, Sister would rather play games like "See how far your Brother can slide across the hardwood floor when you 'accidentally' put some water in his path" rather than learning to write her name and the names of her friends.

That whole thought process lasted for about thirty seconds and I realized that in the end it all evens out. By the time Sister is competing for college scholarships, writing her name will be an issue of the past. She's bright, funny, witty and smart. Why did I let those thoughts of doubt creep in and make me doubt what I've known all along is best for my kids? Because of all the hype, that's why. Well, no longer. I'm a Slacker Mom and I'm sticking to it. I'm making a shirt to wear as I take the kids to their first days of school. I'm going to set up a table at the PTA and recruit new members. I'm bringing back the notion of kids should just be kids. On the back of my shirt it will say "It All Evens Out in the End". I'm sure people will mistake that saying on the back of a Slacker Mom t-shirt to have something to do with the size of my rear, but I'll take one for the team and wear it anyway.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Slacker Mom

I recently finished the book, Confessions of a Slacker Mom by Muffy Mead-Ferro. A friend read it and passed it along to me with the promise that it's an easy read and I'd be able to identify. Don't worry, I wasn't offended. I have confessed my own Slacker Mom tendencies here before. For the most part, I really enjoyed this book. I, like the author, subscribe to the theory that some parents just need to chill out and let their kids be kids. Let them explore, let them play with pots, pans and paper towel tubes rather than the latest greatest battery eating toys. Don't get me wrong, we have our fair share of the battery eaters around here but I've stopped buying toys lately for my kids. They get so much from friends and family at holidays and birthdays that they haven't even noticed my slacking. I admit that my house looks like Toys R Us threw up in here most days. We're working on it.

The author also suggests that the whole age of having your kid compete to go to the best preschool that will prepare them for Ivy League before they are out of the womb is nothing short of ridiculous. And, that kids need to learn that there are natural consequences in life to our decisions. She's not suggesting that we not protect our kids from real danger but that they should learn at some point that there are consequences to stealing your Brother's favorite Lightening McQueen. In our house, that consequence is getting clobbered to the floor by Brother and having him refuse to let you up until you repent. I don't even need to intervene. Lesson learned on both parts.

The only thing I didn't like about the book (and it's a minor thing) is that the author repeatedly says that she wants her kids to be proud of the fact that she works outside of the home and she hopes that will empower her daughter to be a stronger woman. She also comments repeatedly that her nephew is very proud of his mother, who is an attorney, for what she does and she hopes that will effect the way he sees women. That's all fine and good but what about the other side of the coin? I stay home with my kids and I think that they will be equally as proud of their mom and the areas in which I excel. They will never doubt that I am a strong woman. As a matter of fact, with Big Daddy's job and the natural single parenting that gets passed along to me because of it, I believe that they will never be able to deny my strength or be proud of how hard I work to raise them. I think that the author didn't do enough to encourage the Mothers that don't "work" outside of the home. It just peeved me a little to read a book that I really liked but felt like in the end, it wasn't really giving me the props I deserve.

I think that the whole working moms/stay at home moms debate is ludicrous. I think we are all moms who desperately love our kids and would do anything for them. We want what is best for them and do our best to make sure that happens. Period. Why can't we all just agree that being a Mom in any form is hard but also the most rewarding thing we could possibly experience this side of Heaven.

At any rate, this is a good book and I recommend it but don't say you haven't been warned if you don't work outside of the home. By the way, I never did get to the whole point of the post so that will have to wait until tomorrow's post. I've rambled on too long now and if I keep going on and on, my Slacker Mom card will be revoked.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Trip in Numbers

15: Total number of hours in the car with my children

13: Number of hours in the car that those children were awake and fighting yelling playing rather than napping.

7,496: Number of times over the past several days I pleaded with my son to PLEASE walk faster than a snail's pace.

7,477: Times he couldn't hear me pleading because he was so far immersed into his own world of looking at leaves, rocks, dirt to bother with me.

5: Number of hours we spent walking around the zoo at a snail's pace, still not seeing all of the animals.

100: Degrees. At the zoo. For five hours. Enough said.

7: Trips to Starbucks.

4: Fantastic days spent with incredible friends, laughing until my face hurt.

2: 1 very happy dog + 1 very happy Sister to be reunited.

1: Happy Mommy to be home, about to sleep in her own bed.

24: Hours until Big Daddy gets home to sleep in that bed next to me.

I'm tempted to sleep until he gets here to make the time pass quicker. Wait a second. Back to reality. I'll be up with the sun because the kids will be so! happy! to be home with all of their toys and their dog again.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Friends, Food & Fun

Whew! It's been quiet around my corner of blog land for a little bit, huh? I'm currently in NC (again!) visiting some friends and doing lots of fun things! Big Daddy is out of town for work this week so I loaded up the kidlets and headed out of town. We've been having the best time here and it's been the perfect distraction to missing Big Daddy!

We'll be back home in a couple of days and I'm sure I'll have stories to tell!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

I'm All For Bonding But This Is Ridiculous

Recently, Brother and Sister have been asking to share a room. It's only really come up at bed time when they are both splitting up for the day to their own rooms. We tried that once before and because of their opposite sleep habits (Brother is a really light sleeper!) it just didn't work. He would keep her up playing and then wake her up really early and by the second day, she ordered him back to his own room. Either she's very forgiving or her memory has failed her of this past experience.

With Big Daddy leaving soon for parts unknown, I had heard that sleeping in the same room could possibly help them cope with missing him. Then, there was an article in Parents magazine that made sharing a room sound like a wonderful bonding experience for siblings. I fell for it and presented the case to Big Daddy for the little people. He's pretty much up for anything so we gave it a try. Perfect timing too, since we picked up Brother's new mattress and bed this week. Could it be a sign that everything is fitting into place and they will co-habitate happily this time?

Not a chance. Bonding is one thing. Keeping each other up until way past Mommy's bed time by singing, dancing and laughing is another. Every single time I go in there to warn them of their impending separation, everything from Brother's bed is on the floor and he's dancing a jig in the middle of the bed. Sister, of course, is laying on her bed acting like she has no idea what is going on and she just woke up when I busted up in their crib. She's a good actress, that one. After three days of numerous warnings, second chances and every time ending with Brother back in his own room in the crib, I'm at the end of my rope. I'm not sure if this whole sharing a room thing is going to work for us and it makes me a little sad because I want them to bond. Not that they aren't bonding with all the hoopla going on until near midnight every night. As a matter of fact, I'm not sure sibling bonding gets any deeper than what I heard coming over the monitor tonight. Sister started a song and Brother joined in loudly. Their song of choice for this warm summer night? "Don't You Wish Your Boyfriend Was Short Like Me?" Bonding at it's finest.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

And the Winner is.....

Kat from JustaBeachKat ! Congrats girl! Email me your address and I'll get your gift card in the mail tomorrow!

runningfromthelittlepeople at gmail dot com

That was fun, we'll do it again some time :)

Monday, August 6, 2007

Go Heather, It's Your Birthday!

Oh yes, it's that time. I'm another year older today. BUT, that's not the best part. I'm another decade older. I'm the big three-o. I'm officially out of my twenties and back into the same age bracket on annoying forms as my husband. I remember when my mom and each of her sisters hit their thirty year, it was rough. They lamented about how they couldn't bid goodbye to their twenties. They were going to get wrinkles (GASP!) They bought all of the emergency equipment needed for the occasion: wrinkle cream, hair dye, chocolate. I thought they were an odd bunch. But not just for that reason. Then, last year, I re-connected with an friend from high school and she's a year older than me. She warned me that I was likely to fall apart when I hit my next birthday. She said she went into her fourth decade kicking and screaming and slathering on the Oil Of Olay. Well readers, let me tell you something. Not me. I'm embracing thirty. I love it. I feel like an official adult. I love that I've learned so much since I was twenty. So, thirty, here I am. Let's party together. We're stuck together for the next ten or so years so I hope you like me, chocolate and coffee. It's gonna be fun!

And, you don't even have to bring me a gift. As a matter of fact, I'm giving you a gift. Leave a comment here between now and tomorrow morning (8/7/07) at 9:00 eastern time and I'll do a random drawing. Winner gets a $20 gift card to my favorite place to treat myself: STARBUCKS! Just make sure if you leave a comment that I have a way to get in touch with you. I'll announce a winner tomorrow! Go, tell your friends and if you want cake, could you bring me a big slice also?

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Sleepy Time

I love a good nap. There's nothing like putting your pajamas back on in the middle of the day and climbing into bed, between sheets that are ice cold from the air conditioner blowing directly on them. It takes a serious napper to be willing to get back into jammies for a short respite from an otherwise hectic day. I'm willing to do it. Napping is my spiritual gift.

Every day, once the kids are down for their nap, I'm left with the huge decision: to nap or not to nap. On the one hand, I could get a lot done around the house while they sleep. On the other hand, a nap. In my bed. With my jammies on. Doesn't take a genius to figure out which hand wins on a fairly regular basis.

I have several friends who claim they just can't nap. Something about sleeping in the middle of the day doesn't appeal to them. I'm afraid I just don't get that. I love sleep like I love chocolate and most of you have been around long enough to know how deep that affection runs. I'm a person that can't survive without much sleep. I get irritable, cranky, ugly and I'm pretty sure I develop nervous ticks and a limp. Give me a good night's sleep and all is well in the morning. If there's a huge stress issue for me, I know that if I go to bed, it will seem less stressful when I wake up. Sleep cures all things for this girl. There's nothing in this world like getting to that drool on your pillow stage of euphoria where you are about to slip into dreamland. Seriously, if I realize that I have already started the drooling, I'm ecstatic because it means I'm so close to sleep that it's sure to happen. Don't even try to wake me up unless it is really important. I'll spare you the details of what happens when my drool stage is disturbed. Oh stop it, don't act like you don't drool. You know you do. Maybe not as much as me but surely everyone does it, right?

So, are you a napper? Or have you been reading this thinking I've lost my mind and may want to check in with a doctor to be treated for narcolepsy?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

What a Weekend!

Wow! Last we talked, I was all excited for Big Daddy's promotion and boy was it exciting! We had so much fun with it and it was a moving ceremony, to say the least. I'm still glowing with pride over all that he's accomplished and the many people who love him.
I've always said that I hate surprises. Always. Throughout childhood, my parents thought it was hilarious to take advantage of that and throw surprise parties for me just to watch me get angry and throw a temper tantrum. Big Daddy has never successfully surprised me because he's not a planner and I'm all into every detail imaginable so it's tough to get one over on me. But he did it. I've been whining for weeks that we weren't doing anything fun for my upcoming birthday and wah, wah, wah, he didn't seem to be planning anything. The day after his promotion (Saturday) he wanted to head over to the community center on base to play pool and ping pong with all of the guys since our good friends and family were here for the promotion. The plan was, boys would do that, girls would go shopping. Things were moving slower than usual in the house that morning so the kids and I weren't ready when he was but no big deal, the boys would head on out, girls would drop off Brother later when we were on our way to the mall.
As we were nearing time to leave, all of my girls here (read: Mom, BFF, Sisters) were dragging around. I hate to be late. Really. Sister #1 had to potty 12 times. BFF was text messaging her husband while laying on my bed lamenting about how tired she was (all while in conversation with me). Finally, I told her how rude it was that she was trying to text message her husband while carrying on a conversation with me. She blamed him. We finally get out the door (after every.single.one. of them had to go potty one more time).
Head over to the community center and all the guys were in playing pool. I dropped Brother's stuff, went to kiss Big Daddy goodbye and he said, "They have a great ballroom here! I was thinking that we could use it sometime for something fun." Great, great, great. There's shopping to be done, now bye and have fun.
"Can you come and look at it real quick?"
Rolling my eyes, I followed him. Open the door and there's stuff on the tables inside. I'm nothing if not bright so I observed, "There's something going on in here, we shouldn't go in." Not until I hear laughter do I realize that all of my friends and family were inside. It was a surprise birthday party for me. Early. I knew nothing of it. I still have no idea how he did it but it was the most fun I've had in a while and I didn't even mind that I didn't know about it in advance. He even made a video to be shown with pictures of me and other fun stuff. He even included the Job Description I posted here a long time ago. That man thought of everything. And, he's been planning it for months. And, some of you knew about it and didn't breathe a word. Turns out I was being stalled back at the house until everything was all set up. Turns out Big Daddy thinks this is the hardest thing he's ever done and he almost caved and told me more than once. Turns out I'm so blessed to have great friends and family and they all make turning 30 next week seem like one big party.
The bigger surprise came later that day when Big Daddy told me that he'd arranged for my Mom to stay a few extra days so that we could head down to the Outer Banks, just the two of us. We've had so much fun I'm still reeling from all of it! Mom just left today and I'm not ready to stop this party. I'm looking forward to my birthday!