Thursday, July 31, 2008

What do you say?!!??

Today was Calvin's "mommy day." The plan had been to go swimming, but we awoke to very gray skies and rain started falling before we got his brothers off to camp.

So, instead, we hit breakfast at Good Day Cafe to start things off. Midway through the meal, Calvin dutifully informed me he needed to go to the bathroom. Off we went to the restroom, a small, 3-stall affair that is very quiet. As any of you who have 3 year-olds out there (or remember having them), this can take quite a bit of time, especially in a new and exciting environment. We were in the stall for a bit, and many others came through the others in the time we were in ours.

Well, just as Calvin is really getting ready to get things done, the only other person in the bathroom sits down and .... well, how to put this... lets out a HUGE, prolonged fart.

Calvin gets a look of absolute wonder on his face and says "WHAT WAS *THAT*?" What do you say??? The room is completely silent. So Calvin says again, "Momma! What was THAT?!?" By this time I am trying not to laugh loud enough for this other person to hear me.

I finally was able to mumble something about someone else 'going potty,' and then continued the ensuing 12 minutes it takes to get this boy done with his business, wash the hands, dry the hands, and leave.

The lady just stayed in her stall.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It official...

...I am tired. Yes, it could have something to do with working till 3am last night and mentally preparing for working overnight tonight. But, let's be honest, I've worked that schedule many many times before. This pregnancy thing is officially getting to me.

At 34 weeks (and one day, but who's counting), and with the temp outside hitting 93 degrees by my car thermometer, I am tuckered. Everyone always talks about how pregnancy in July and August is 'hot.' I can't say I really feel that hot. I just feel like someone drained my gas tank. If I sit at the park with the kids, the most challenging part of the trip is slogging my big bellied self back up our sloped driveway. Only the great sloth could achieve it more slowly.

After spending today away from they kids (sleeping much of it), I have now plopped them down in front of a movie. There is some mom guilt involved here, but I just don't have it in me to do anything else.

Of course, they have all started rolling on top of each other, insisting the other is bothering them (while firmly, intentionally, irritating the other), Spencer has just lost his blanket until he can control his kicking, and is now screaming in a heap on the floor. Meanwhile, Calvin is trying to sit on Max's head... I can't imagine why I am tired...

Friday, July 25, 2008


I don't remember who I got this idea from, long ago before I felt my kids capable of such an activity. It is an activity my kids have started requesting now at the end of the day. It's a recap of their highlight for the day, and their lowlight.

Today's recap went something like this:

Max: My highlight was getting to spend so much time with mommy today (we had a mom/max afternoon at the zoo. Spencer's was yesterday, Cal's next week). My lowlight was having to wait in the morning for it.

Calvin: My highlight was playing with my friends, and my lowlight was when Luca hit me.

Spencer: My highlight was snack, and I didn't have a lowlight
Me: Uhm... I think maybe your lowlight could be pooping in your pants.
Spencer: Oh yea... that was a lowlight.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The big big world

This morning, Max and I were a little early for his drop-off at Camp Olami. I could either walk him inside to the pre-camp care, or wait outside for everyone to come to us. Max requested we hang in the car and wait. We happened to pick a few new library books from the JCC library when we dropped off Cal and Spence at daycare immediately before this.

One of the books was about bees. It was all about nectar, honey, beehives, beekeepers, and the queen... you know, all that stuff you would assume a book about bees would cover. But it struck me, as we read each page with Max being slightly amazed by each revelation, HE DOESN'T KNOW ANY OF THIS STUFF. And why should he. He's never been taught anything about it.

He thought it was really incredible, and it got me to thinking... how much other stuff - stuff that at my age is just assumed as common knowledge - does he not know? 50%? 80%? More? Less? And what makes me think I know the 100%?? Lord knows that isn't true. I have come to realize he is officially in sponge mode.... and now it is my task to provide copious info for his little mind to soak up. Kindergarten, here he comes! I gotta get to the library....

Monday, July 21, 2008

A lovely weekend away

The lovely and talented JJ and Cristina. Thanks for making it such a fun weekend!

You'd think he wouldn't need to mooch beer from others...

Such boys...

Should I buy Spencer's motorcycle helmet now or later?

Calvin takes the plunge

Friday, July 18, 2008

Gotta try something new...

Well, I have proven something to myself. Proven it many times over. Repeating yourself endlessly and getting mad at a 3 year old accomplishes nothing... except maybe enlarging the ulcer I think I am developing.

As we walked to school as a big happy family this morning, (cue the birds singing, teeth glistening in the sunlight) I became just short of enraged as I instructed Calvin and Spencer to stop stepping in puddles and mud patches. And, in the grand scheme of things, I actually don't care THAT much if they get their feet wet or muddy... it's there grimy little toes that have to deal with it all day, not mine. But, the point is, I told them not to. I would pull one out of the puddle and get down low, in their face to re-explain that they needed to listen when I asked them to not do something, only to turn around to see the other doing the exact same thing. Repeat ~2345873 times. Each time, my voice becoming edgier and edgier, the pulls becomes harsher and harsher. I felt like a terrible mom by the time we got to school, and they still hit every damn puddle between the two doors.

So, feel free to use that little 'comment' link to give advice on how to deal with 3 year olds who are relishing pushing every one of mom's buttons in the quest of "you can't tell me what to do." I am going to try the following... I am going to Target. I am going to buy a big piece of posterboard (my solution to many a child raising challenge, please refer to the "going to bed list"), make 3 columns (Max, of course, wouldn't want to be left out of the solution, though he isn't part of the problem), and start the Listening Chart. For each good job listening, you earn a sticker. For each time you aren't listening, otherwise known as fiercly defying, I take a sticker off. Once you reach a goal number (i.e. see how many times Max has been rewarded?), you get something... haven't figured out the something yet. A toy? A book? A treat? It has to be something I can give 12 of in a day because I know Max is going to be diggin the new system.

And I don't know what to do if someone hits negative numbers.... I'll keep you all posted.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

... and now it's better

So, having just finished my marathon of 7 out of 8 days working, almost exclusively evenings and nights, I can exhale. I now only work 1 day shift in the next 6 days.... ahhhhhhh...

Tomorrow, I plan on sitting by the edge of the JCC pool watching my little guys take their swim lessons and then goofing off with them. I have already cleaned up this house of doom a little bit so the real scrubbing can take place tomorrow when our cleaning folks come. Just had an OB check that looks like the kid is head down (at least he/she was 2 hours ago) and not feeling like a complete bohemouth (the baby isn't... I, in fact, do feel like a bohemouth). Tonight there will be a neighborhood puppet show at our park, so I will get to hang out with cool people and their kids, which I have been sorely missing.

So very nice....

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Alone again

Warning: Whining alert, whining alert. The following message is full of belly-aching and self pity. Proceed at your own risk.

Well, they are all gone. Dorit took the kids to the cabin last night, Omar and Naseem just hit the road to follow... I work 3-11 today, then again 12-12 tomorrow. Won't even see my gang tomorrow after they get home. Then work 7pm-3am Monday. Won't really see Omar again until Tuesday night. This is coming off of working 4 of the last 5 days, with my "day off" yesterday being after an overnight shift - i.e. sleeping.

This schedule of mine can sure suck rocks. Yeah, I can go and have a quiet brunch with a book today (which I love, don't get me wrong), but I would rather be at the cabin. I want to be with my family. And that just isn't gonna happen... doesn't happen EVERY OTHER weekend. I guess this is what happens when you choose your career path when single and childless. I "knew" what my schedule would be, but not really. Not in the grand scheme of things. Oh well... there is always next weekend.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

4th of July at the cabin

Max watching his first fireworks

Three boys fresh out of the lake

Preparing to make smores

Max's smores and smiles

My husband succeeding in driving me crazy

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The latest personalities

One of the motivations of keeping a blog is purely selfish... I am actually creating a record of things that I would otherwise forget. Keeping track of all the little things the kids are doing along the way helps me feel like I'm not going to let it all disappear into a blur. So, today I want to just record a little snippit of "who they are today" for my kids.

Max - At 5 "and three quarters" he will be quick to tell you (Hey Max, do you know what a quarter is? Yes mom, it's a piece of money), Max is a very tolerant, kind kid. He wants to help his brothers out when he can, he is eager to share things with them that excite him, and he has reached the age of empathy. He couldn't finish a conversation the other day because we mentioned that the dog needed water. He had to take care of that before we could continue. He is a great helper, and really only gets in trouble when one of the little guys really get under his skin and he just can't fight the urge to throw something their general direction or shove them out of his face... kinda tough to come down on him for it sometimes... I was a little sister after all - we are excellent at annoying our big brothers just for fun.

Spencer - I was hoping turning three would magically take those terrible two's away, and though it is improving, I am still hoping for some serious gains before this 4th kiddo arrives! Spencer is the most loving kid... his hugs are frequent and 5-star. The trouble is frequently TOO MUCH love. He will throw himself into me (usually my head and neck) with such enthusiasm that I am near smothering. Then it appears he is trying to burrow into my body. He shares his blanket with me by rubbing it into my nose - very kind, since that is what HE loves to do with it.... a bit annoying at 36 years of age. He is rarely on time out, because he doesn't break rules so much as melt down in true tears by the prospect of them. I've never seen so many heartfelt tears from a kid... he is truly devastated by so many things in this cruel, cruel world (i.e. waiting for dinner to cook, putting on one's pants when asked, having to take turns in the prized grey car seat, losing a foot race with a boy 3 years older than you).

Calvin - Ah, a bit of the devil is in this one. So very good so much of the time, but then you see the glint in his eye, and you know you are up against your match. Once his feet are in the sand, it's 'go time.' And it is over the dumbest stuff... The most reliable time for trouble is when it's time to get dressed in the morning. I throw out that pesky Stalin-esque dictum "ok, guys, time to get dressed," and Cal will turn his head to the side, chin in the air, eyes closed, slight smile and then start to walk away saying "No, no, no." We start with kind words of encouragement, then threats, then some time to think about the request as we deal with Spencer (who is saturated with tears because one hole of his underwear is caught between the big toe and the 2nd toe), then ask again. Usually this ends in a wrestling match and screaming, or a time out and screaming (depends on which parent... I'll let you guess who does what). Repeat this ~23 times a day. Then on the 24th request for something, he'll look up and say "Sure!" and run off to do it.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy 4th to you all!

Being a slow news week (working lots of evenings, not really seeing much of my family), the blogging scene has been a bit low on material. I did turn 36 this week, so I guess that's worth mentioning... but otherwise it has been pretty low key.

I hope everyone has a fun and safe 4th of July weekend. You will find me and my whole crew at the cabin, soaking up the sun and taking it as easy as possible. I see pontooning, napping and watchin the boys fish in my future. May you all take the vacation time to actually vacation a bit.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Haven't I done this before?

Last time I checked, I had been pregnant in the past.

This isn't the first time this bod had gone through the growing, stretching, and tugging of making room for a little creature that will adoringly be called son or daughter in 2 months. I even packed the double punch last time around, delivering a combined 13lb 4oz of baby.

So why do my abdominal muscles feel like they are being pulled apart by the jaws of life?? The 2 inches above my belly button have to be manually pushed back together a few times a day in a moment of pure delight that worries everyone around me... ("uh, what is the pregnant woman doing, and should we call an ambulance?"). Unfortunately my hands must inevitably move on to other tasks, and the stretch goes on.

This kid can't possibly be bigger than, what, 4-5 lbs right now? I mean, I have 2 more months to go! The stretch marks are becoming just plain vicious and will soon reach my chin.... ah, the joy of motherhood...