Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sing a Little Song

Someone in our house made up the following little tune:

The Itsy Bitsy Spider climbed up Sister's back
Sniffed her on the neck
Then bit her on the crack

(She decided to add this last line)

Then he got smashed and never came back!

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Teacher Becomes the Student

The light turned from red to green. The car in front of me, the first in line, kept sitting still. She was busy eating and talking on her phone. She has no time for silly things like obeying traffic laws. Or not ticking me off. So, I say to her, "Lady! Go already! The light is green now get out of my way!"

Of course, she can't hear me. So, that makes it ok, right? Right?

It would except I have four small ears in the back seat.

Brother says, "Mom. You weren't very nice. You should say, 'Can you please move out of my way?' and that would be nice."

It took me a second for what he, in his almost three year old wisdom, had just said. When it caught on, my face flushed.

"You are right, Brother. I shouldn't have been mean. I'll be nicer next time, ok?"

So. He has been paying attention to my endless ramblings about manners recently! I'm not sure if that makes me feel better since he hasn't exactly been practicing it. But, he caught me and I had to own up to it. Just another step closer to my kids being smarter than me.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Conversations I'd Like to Avoid, Part 1

Sister: Mommy, the turkey that we will eat on Thanksgiving, will it have eyes?

Me: (looking for something shiny to distract her with) No way!

Sister: Good. What about a head?

Me: (still looking for that shiny object) No, honey. It won't have a head.

Sister: Well, what happened to it? Where does it go before we eat it?

Me: (Cursing the lack of shiny objects in our car) Well, the farmers that take care of the turkeys take it off after they um. Um. Hey, look! A bulldozer!!

Sister: Mommy, how do they kill the turkeys and take off their heads and eyes?

Me: (Thinking that we will forever after be vegetarians and crying a little on the inside because I used to really like turkey) Well, honey. I, um. I'm not really sure. But, are you excited about going school today? Do you think you'll be the line leader?

Seriously? I'm a little nervous about Thanksgiving now. I'm also a little grossed out.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Now She's Running From the Little People

We spent the day cleaning out Sister's room. I explained that if she wants new stuff for Christmas, she has to donate some of the old stuff to charity to make room for the new. She was resistant at first so I did what any Mom would do. I lied. I told her that it was perfectly fine if she didn't want to give away the old stuff, I'm sure that Santa wouldn't mind giving her new stuff to kids who don't have a lot. She took the bait and we worked our fingers to the bone today. Whatever that means.

Bless her heart, she was so eager in the beginning. We started with the toy bins that housed Little People (not the ones I gave birth to) and other toys she has long outgrown. She did awesome. We packed them away at lightening speed.

Then came the hard part. Sister is so attached to stuffed animals. Always has been. She loves every single one with all of her heart....and that's a lot of animals and a lot of heart. She tried to get rid of some but she couldn't. Until. She spied a stack in the corner that she's been longing to get rid of since the day they entered our house. She gladly grabbed them and tossed them into the basket to give away. My heart sank. I asked if she was sure and she gleefully said she was.

Actually, her words were, "Yes, I don't like them. I think they look really weird."

My heart sank a little more. Not the beloved Cabbage Patch Kids.

When the CPK made their comeback a couple of years back, I was thrilled. I was in love with the ones I had growing up and I couldn't wait to introduce Sister to her little Miranda Jean Jennifer Sue. Last year, I picked one that I thought looked the most like Sister and waited in excitement until she opened it. The excitement was all mine. She gave it a look and tossed it aside. Every time we have had a room clean up since, she has volunteered that doll (and the three others that well meaning friends from my generation gave to her) to head to Goodwill. I have talked her out of it every time.

I knew it would come today before we even started our cleaning up. I knew she'd try to toss those babies to the curb. I told myself that it is her room, her toys and she could make the choice. She made the choice and I let her do it. I'm sorry Miranda Jean Jennifer Sue. I'm sorry Xavier Roberts. I tried to carry on the legacy but you just look too weird.

**As I was looking up the link for Xavier Roberts on Wikipedia, I read that he actually called the CPK dolls, "Little People" when he first created them. Coincidence? I think not. So, I changed the title to reflect that Sister is in fact following in my footsteps in some ways.

Friday, November 9, 2007

There are good days and then there's.....

...the last few days. I've been trying to get my Christmas shopping done early this year and I've been moderately successful in this endeavor. All has been smooth sailing until earlier this week. I picked up some things from Sister's list while she was at school. When I got to the car to load the items, I started thinking about how happy they would make her on Christmas morning and it hit me. A feeling that I've grown so familiar with in the last few days. My heart speeds up. I get hot and sweaty. I feel a little dizzy. I can't control the sobs that escape my throat. It happens when I least expect it and I hate it. I hate it so much. I miss my husband. I can't bear the thought of spending Thanksgiving and Christmas without him. All alone. The kids and I will eat turkey for Thanksgiving alone. We will read the Christmas story and open their gifts alone. I can't think about it without dying a little on the inside. I think back to last Christmas when we went shopping for our tree (another feat that seems impossible without Big Daddy here) and once we got it loaded, I realized that one year from that moment, I would be without him. Trying to make it work with half of my team. I was so sad that day and I thought that surely nothing could top that feeling and that maybe if I got it all out then, it would somehow be easier when the actual time arose for him to be away. I was so, so wrong.

I am fine most days but I haven't had one of those days this week. Every single day has been hard at some point and I have ended the only two conversations I've had with him in tears. I am kicking myself for that because it's already hard enough for him without me sobbing like a child every short phone call we get. I want to throw a tantrum. I really do. It won't do me any good but it just might make me feel better. It may get out all of the tears and sadness so I can go on with this holiday season and this blog that is usually a fun outlet but suddenly has turned all sappy. For now, I'll settle for a little time to cry while the kids nap. Please don't misunderstand me. I don't want pity. I know I can do this and I will. But I need to just say it sometimes to someone who won't get in trouble for repeating it: This sucks.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday: Backwards Day

Alright, gracious readers, I need you. My kids have become obsessed with drawing/writing lately. Sister can go through a stack of papers in no time and each one will have beautiful drawings that are so special to her little four year old self. Each one of them means so much to her that if I suggest after the 768th one that maybe we give some to friends or throw them away after several days, she is distraught. Add this to the million art projects they bring home from preschool and church and we have ourselves a regular art studio.
My question for you is: What do you do with these masterpieces? I mean, really, they are all so cute and I'm not ungrateful that they love to draw but I'm afraid we will lose Brother under a mound of paper soon. How do you decide what to keep and what to toss? How do you store those you decide to keep? Do you display any in your home and how? My refrigerator has no more space to display any. I promise to name my next kid after you beautiful people who help me. Ok, probably not that but I'll be thankful! How's that?

(Also, if anyone can tell me what to do with Brother and his current lack of sleeping, I'd sing you a song. He's staying up until 11, talking to himself and then up by 6:30 and trying to skip nap. He's two. He's grouchy without sleep. I'm tired.)

Be sure to visit Shannon for more tips!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Oh Halloween, You Betrayed Me

Last year at Halloween, I bought a metric ton of candy because I knew there were so many kids in our neighborhood. All of those kids must have stopped by our house during the first 45 minutes of trick or treating, while we were out with our kids. We had every single piece, minus four, left over at the end of the night. Add that to the loot my kids brought home and we were eating Kit Kats and mini Twix bars until this past June.

I had a plan this year. We live on base now and usually, base housing gets inundated with fun little people in search of treats. But, I'm smart and realized that we live on the end of the last street on base before you get to office buildings so I didn't over do it. I bought two big bags of candy and tried to get ones that weren't full of stuff I loved. We sat out with our neighbors and I think when kids came by, they only took from either my bowl or theirs, but not both. We had a lot of candy left over. A LOT. Again, add this to what my kids brought home and we are left with way more candy than we started with. Not only that but now I suddenly like Butterfinger bars and have a deeper love for Kit Kats than I do for our pet fish. People. This is not good for my behind. I need to get rid of this candy. I can't very well throw it out. My conscious will get the best of me and all the thoughts of starving kids in Timbuktu will keep me up at night. I love nothing more than sleep (except maybe dark chocolate Twix...clearly, I need help) so I need another option. What in the world am I to do? I'll tell you this. Next year, I'm not buying candy to hand out. I'm taking my kids out in the very beginning of the night and then we're coming home and handing out what they've been given. Win, win.

My favorite part of the whole Halloween experience? At the first house we went to, we encountered some older kids and one of them had a scary costume on. My little Mickey Mouse (aka Brother) said, "Mama, he's not for real, right? He's just pretending?" I assured him that it was a kid dressed up like someone scary, not an actual monster with blood running down his face (as an aside: What gives? Why do 8 year olds need to look like they have been chopped to bits? Don't kids that age still like Power Rangers?) As they passed us again, Brother ran ahead a bit to catch up with them screaming, "Hey! Hey, kid! You don't scare me! You're just pretending!"