Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Thanks, I Needed That... and Still Do

My darling husband brought these to me last evening. Wasn't that sweet? I was having a bit of a day. W's re-circumcision continues to be a pain (mostly figuratively now). C and I still haven't had time to sit down and place our Amazon book order (partly b/c I had a terrible headache yesterday). I get so frustrated that my to-do list never gets done... whine, whine, whine. Get some cheese why don't ya? Today was going pretty well, and then I read the letters from H's preschool: chicken pox and foot and mouth have been spotted. This is enough to strike terror into the heart of any parent, but for germophobes, it's like a punch to the gut. So I needed these flowers.

In other news, I've been trying to stay a little more abreast of current news (you'll see my link to Politics4Moms). I'm waiting to see when they start blaming it all on the auditors... it usually happens. I need to go catch the end of Sid the Science Kid with H. So much to type, so little time :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A New Kid in Five Days - Part One

I haven't finished Have a New Kid By Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman, but I wanted to blog a little about it. First, let me say that I don't like the title, because I don't want a new kid. I love my H, but I would like him to listen and respond more easily, without threats and punishments and endless repeating of requests. Please don't think he's a "bad kid," he just has his moments and issues. IMO, a lot of the book's points make sense. I for one didn't want to hear this, but the author explains that a lot of the reason for a child's bad behavior is you, the parent. Does your child yell at you? You probably yell at him. Does he not behave well when you are out? Are you expecting him to behave well, or do you constantly remind him that he must behave before walking in a restaurant? Yikes! One of Dr. Leman's instructions is to "say it once and walk away." Believe it or not, I am finding that this actually works, not every single time but way more than expected. Another of his tenets is "do not get angry." This one is a hard one for me. I have a bit of a temper (and guess what? so do my children!) However, I am really trying hard on this one. I take a deep breath, do some inside-my-mind counting, and then respond not react (another of his tenets). Another of his points is to encourage children and not praise them, and honestly, I am not completely sure I get this one. He says not to tell them they are the greatest, but to say "Oh you did so and so. I know you've been working hard for that. I am proud of you. We need to tell Dad." I may just be a bit dense, but it doesn't completely make sense to me. It just seems a bit like splitting hairs. I understand emphasizing that they worked to do something and praising the effort and all. He also stresses to not make threats because they are often empty. Aha, finally I do something right as a parent; I generally follow through on my threats (which are usually taking a favorite toy away- not sure that works so well when you appear to be living in a Toys R Us thanks to the grandparents). I am not sure if I'll go full out with all of his teachings, but I do believe that to change my children, I am going to have to make some changes in myself. If you're feeling alone in your parenting struggles, have a piece of cake. I promise it made me feel better after a pre-bedtime cluster.

I Love a Deal

Today I went to a local consignment sale. The folks who put this one on also have one in the spring. I am always there for the clothes for the most part. One year I worked, so I could get a few items, and they had me moving pack and plays (those things are heavy)! Still, if you really want to get the good stuff that goes fast, working at or putting items in the sale is the way to go. I got H three button up shirts (one that I plan to use for the boys' Christmas picture), three pairs of jeans, khaki cords, navy blue cords, and some other pants! I spent around $50, not too bad! I know you all might be surprised I like to get things from consignment sales given my germ issues, but rest assured, the clothes are immediately washed and the clothes hangers are Lysoled! The button up is a great blue (although the picture light quality doesn't show it) and Nautica to boot (I could care less about name brands, but C thinks Nautica is good). Hooray for pictures! I love my iphone. Now, I don't have to know how to upload pictures from my camera, just use the iphone and email 'em to myself! I can tell I am getting to a certain age and time of my life as I ran into a couple of moms I know at the consignment sale (in the past I never recognized a soul).
C wants a book that is coming out soon and proposed an Amazon book order, so I am working on a list of books I want (should be able to get all of them used). I get so excited about ordering things. I am just like a child when I get something in the mail (that is not a bill or junk). You should see how excited I get about a magazine or thank you note! If you did, you'd know that a package is reason for real anticipation for me, and, if it's books, well, that's even better!
I am still on the hunt for some jeans and khakis. My friend SAW (who is a fashionista, the same age as me, but somehow seems much younger - no children or husband) has suggested Anthropology for khakis. Although, she is now a homeowner and also mentioned Target. I never can find time to try things on at Target. I am always rushing back home to relieve grandmother from baby-sitting. Also, I am an odd size. Meaning, the sizes at ON are even, and one size is too tight and the other I can pull off without unbuttoning! Craziness! I seriously must find jeans soon, can only wear the same pair so many times! So where do you buy jeans and/or khakis?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Review: The Ten Year Nap, It's Aptly Named

It's aptly named, because it could put one to sleep. I decided to check this book out because it received a good review in Parenting magazine (and I had to get on the wait list at the library). It's a close look at some mothers who have decided to be stay-at-home moms and how it has affected their self-worth, relationships, their life in general. There is an interesting premise with the main character becoming strangely involved in a fellow mom's life. However, that storyline sort of fizzles out. Some characters are under-developed while others are way over-developed. By the time I realized it really wasn't so interesting, I felt like I was too far into the book to stop, but I would not recommend it. IMO, it was slow, and one would really have to be interested in some minutiae of the thoughts of mothers in NYC to enjoy it. Our next book club pick is The Wife by the same author (Meg Wolitzer), so I am hoping that one will be better.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

C-Words and Mops

So, it's been awhile, but I've been busy with some things that start with C. First, circumcision. My poor little W had to be re-circumcised. (I know everyone doesn't believe in circumcision, but we did it, okay. Please don't fuss at me about it). He's a tough cookie, though, and seems to be trucking right along except for a reaction to another C word: codeine. I do not tolerate codeine well, but W seemed to be doing okay with it. Of course, he was dopey, but no rash or anything like that. Then, yesterday, on the way home from taking both boys to the doctor to be sure all they have are colds (yet another C), W throws up all over himself and his car seat. I promise you we were less than two minutes from home. If only I had driven a little faster. We are pretty sure it was a combination of the codeine laced Tylenol and riding in the car. So I now can say I know how to take a Car seat almost completely apart. Thankfully, my mom was with me and able to help get everyone and everything cleaned up. So, no more codeine for W. Let's hope the childen's Motrin can keep him happy. One of the reasons I decided to be sure they have just been dealing with colds is that a friend's son was hospitalized for two nights due to croup/bronchialitis. He is fine now, but I didn't want to risk the boys' colds developing into something more serious. I had believed H to be almost completely well on Monday, but that very night, he woke up coughing several times (coughs- another C-word).

A good C-word this week is cell phone. Due to my husband being a complete phone snob, he decided he must have the newest/latest/greatest iphone. So guess who got his old iphone? That's right, little old, technologically-challenged me! Checking blogs and email from your phone is awesome, addictive, and dangerous (when you really should be paying more attention to other things like driving).

In other news, I've joined a local MOPS group that is just starting its inaugural year. I went to the very first meeting this morning and really enjoyed myself. I think I am going to like it! Thanks to my friend S, who let me know about it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I'll Back You Up

This past weekend was book club. We discussed The Thirteenth Tale. It was a hit with everyone! Whilst there, I asked two of our members (both of who happen to be nurse practitioners and mothers) about the Meet the Teacher debacle. They totally backed me up! I was a bit surprised. I completely expected them to tell me that I am way over-protective, and H is too high-strung, but instead these ladies said I would have completely been correct in taking him with me to the director's brief meeting. They even thought the preschool should have forewarned the parents of the plan to have the children stay in the classrooms. These two women are not the type to pull their punches, so I feel so much better about it all. Not that it was that big of a deal, but I guess I like to feel like other intelligent women back me up. So, I want to say to H and W, I'll back you up, guys. That's my job as Mommy. I won't always be right, but I will always be trying to do what is right.

Two and Three

The number of days at preschool it takes for H to catch a cold? Two
The number of days it takes for W to catch H's cold? Three.
Seriously, two days. I'm taking medicine and drinking juice and Airborne. W is just pitiful. Poor little guy. The good news is that by day three, H seemed to feel pretty good just sniffly.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The First Day

Yesterday was H's first day at his new preschool, but before I get in to that, I'd like to take you all back to Friday, Meet the Teachers day at the new preschool. H and I walked in with a friend and her son who is only a few months older than H and is in his class. A little later, C arrived to meet the teachers, too. There are twelve children in the class, and the room seemed a bit cramped, particularly with all the parent and siblings in there too! H quickly spots a fire truck to play with and is happily pushing it around while Ms.K is telling us a bit about the activities they will do, how their day flows, what to put in their backpacks, etc. Then she mentions that while the parents go to meet with the director of the preschool, they want to try to keep the children in the classroom. Warning bells go off in my head before H even knows what she's proposing. Sure enough, when I tell him we're going to leave for just fifteen minutes or so, he's crying. Most of the children (who have never been in a preschool environment, remember H has been going to a Moms' Morning Out for a year and a half, although he's been out for the month of August), they're fine, a few, "no, mommy, don't goes," but they settle down. When I go back to get him, truly about fifteen minutes later, he's still doing the "I've been crying" sniffle-breath. Oh no! When I ask him in the car why he's so upset, he says, "he wanted to be with me." When I say, "But you knew Mommy was coming back and was only going to listen to someone talk for a little while." He responds, "But I didn't want you to go listen to someone talk."

So, here's the thing, I am sort of blaming myself. I had told him we were going to meet the teachers, that I would be WITH HIM, not that he would be staying in the class with the other children for a bit. When he started to get upset, I thought of saying, "I told him I would be with him, so I am just going to take him with me," but I was peer-pressured out of it by the other parents leaving their sons and daughters and by those same sons and daughters who were happily staying. I don't know if I did the right thing or not. I think if I had it to do over again, I would just take him with me. So, Labor Day weekend was spent reminding H about the first day of school, and how he's gone to school before, and he's my big, brave boy.

Cut to the night before the first day, I have trouble sleeping. Cut to the morning of, my stomach is in knots. I give him the option of the drop-off line or W and myself walking him in, he opts for the drop-off line (good, b/c it is a to-do to get W out of his car seat, plus when it gets cold outside, I really would rather do the drop-off line). He acts hesitant to get out of the car for the director for about fifteen seconds. Then, he gets out, and goes in to have a great first day! I am praying the next school day goes as well.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Chik-Fil-A aka The Twilight Zone

On Labor Day, we went to Chik-Fil-A for some of the free chicken strips (if you were wearing a football team shirt). Hilariously, I had to wear a sweatshirt (we have no adult football t-shirts in this house), and the baby wore a team t-shirt. Anyway, the strips were not good, but H's nuggets tasted a little off, too. C says the seasoning was not the usual. So, we sit down to eat, and from behind me, I hear this woman's voice that sounds like Minnie Mouse. C referred to her as helium-girl. Then, an elderly man comes out of the restroom, and I notice he is walking sort of carefully. I sort of have a shot of sympathy run through me, as my dad became unsteady when he was sick. Then, as we are packing up our tray for C to take to the trash can, I hear a noise like a snore. C glances up and is trying not to laugh. It's the older man. He has set down at a table, propped his head on his hand, and is, apparently, asleep! I manage to keep H inside the booth with me until C comes back from the trash can. C is trying his best not to laugh, and I am okay until I see his face, struggling not to laugh. We manage to hold it together, despite H's getting a little too close to the older man's personal space and looking at him with interest. When we get out to the car, C explains that the man almost slid off his chair at one point. I am still a little concerned about the man, but when we drive past the windows as we're leaving, we can see he has switched chairs at his table and now has a drink, hopefully, something caffeinated. It was definitely like we'd left the normal realm, but, still, I would have felt a lot better if that older man had moved to a booth.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Art of Remembering

Isn’t it wonderful when someone remembers something about you? something small but specific? I have a friend whose mom gives her serseys (which, for her, are little gifts that she needs or wants like Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream (which is great stuff) or cute stationary). I always felt like the serseys she received were such a symbol of how well her mom knew her daughter, how closely she watched, listened, and remembered.

My brother has a fabulous memory (as did my father). My brother wrote my father a letter after we found out that my dad was sick. The letter detailed all the things my brother wanted to thank Daddy for doing for him over the years, even the smallest things like eating the raisins out of my brother's Little Debbie snacks. It was amazing all the little things he remembered our dad doing for him.

This week Mel and her hubby came over for pizza with me and the boys (C was in class, although he did get to eat some left over pizza). They brought me some mustard-flavored pretzels that are favorites of mine (Gardetto brand, if you are interested), and I cannot seem to find them at any of my local grocers. My friend has a talent for remembering, and I so appreciate it… but I am not as gifted in memory. For my bridesmaids, I added a small package of each one’s favorite candy to her gifts. I felt good about individualizing their gifts with something I remembered about each of them. Sometimes, I might see a little something that immediately calls to mind someone dear to me and think of getting it, but too many times I think “oh, they don’t need that” or “when will I even see them next to give them this?” Not so anymore! After the sense of delight those pretzels have given me, not just because they are tasty but because they are a gift of memory, I am going to try to become better at the art of remembering.