Monday, April 25, 2011

The best part of Easter???

If you ask Sabrina, the answer is "CANDY FOR BREAKFAST!!!"  Yes, I let them eat the candy for breakfast on Easter morning (along with a hard boiled egg or two), and yes, I recognize her thinking this is the best part of Easter is a sign that I really need to bring them back to Church on a regular basis.  They had a blast yesterday and the weather cooperated for the wearing of Easter dresses and Pop-Pop's egg hunt.  It was a good day.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

How many pairs of socks should a 2 year old have?

Mine has almost 40.  That's too much, isn't it?  LOL.  Today is a miserable, rainy, can't go anywhere type of day so we figured we would pull down the summer clothes from the attic, take out what the girls have outgrown and put those away; basically get organized for when spring and summer finally appear.  We have enough clothes for these children to open up a pretty nice consignment shop.  Ay yi yi.  With three girls in the house, I'm not really complaining.  I'm grateful that I have enough that the younger ones have full wardrobes until they are at least 6 years old thanks to what their older sister has accumulated.  And my niece gets in on the deal too since she can wear what the 2 year old won't be ready for until next year.  So everybody is definitely getting their money's worth out of these clothes.  With that said, it is a lot of work to keep up on cycling these clothes through the right seasons and sizes.  If anybody has any tips that would make this easier, I'm all ears!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lent is OVER!

At least in my house it is anyway.  I was doing so well, and was really kind of proud of myself...until yesterday.  I had all of the girls upstairs with me so that I could clean my bathroom.  All I wanted to do yesterday was clean my bathroom.  They usually play wonderfully upstairs.  As a matter of fact, before the Lent cancelling event, Sabrina had told me how she and Corrine were playing "Neighbors" where their bedroom was Sabrina's house, and Reese's room was Corrine's house.  It was so cute because my sister and I used to play the same game when we were their ages.  The gate is locked so nobody can fall down the stairs, I put the gate up across the doorway into my room so nobody could sneak into the bathroom and drink the Scrubbing Bubbles when I wasn't should have been a non-eventful day.  Then, they asked for a snack.  I told them to wait until I was done, but as I continued scrubbing the shower I was thinking to myself, "If you don't get them some crackers or something now, they are only going to keep asking and it will drive you insane.  Just get the snack now, and they will let you finish in peace."  I took off the gloves and headed downstairs to get the snacks.  As I was gathering up the bowls of crackers not even 2 minutes later I hear Sabrina yell down, "Corrine said Reese just ate a penny!"  WHAT?????  I run upstairs to find Corrine and Reese in front of the toy box playing with that little pink Fisher Price piggy bank, but instead of using the big plastic coins that come with it, they have a pile of real coins sprawled out in front of them.  Well, where did they get the coins from, MOM???  I knew you were going to ask.  My darling 5 year old stashed them there after she was specifically told NOT to put them there with this very scenario explained to her.  She had asked days before this if she could play with the coins in this bank and she was specifically told no, and to put the money in her piggy bank, and not leave it where her sisters can get it.  The memory of this conversation must have suddenly popped into her head because when I turned to look at her she had the appropriate, "Oh, shit" look on her face.  And I yelled.  As I took the piggy banks out of her room and stashed them where she can't get them and told her she could have them back when she is an actual mother instead of a 5 year old who just thinks she's in charge I kept thinking, "You almost made it to Easter...almost." 

All turned out fine.  Reese did NOT swallow any coins.  I took Sabrina with me and Reese to the ER though.  I figured it would be a good way to teach her some of the consequences that go along with not listening to what we tell her.  Plus, I was mad at her, and if I had to sit in the ER all afternoon on a beautiful day for this, damnit so was she!  Everytime she complained about sitting there not doing anything I would remind her that we would not be sitting there if she had not disobeyed on purpose.  And she wasn't allowed to watch the TV that was in our room either because that privilege was removed for the previously mentioned television incident.  Then, somebody came around with a complimentary beverage/snack cart which I declined.  I saw a flicker of comprehension of consequences when she asked why she couldn't have a cookie and I said, "Reese's doctor said she can't have anything to eat or drink until they find out if she swallowed the coin.  If Reese can't eat anything because of the coin, neither can you."  By the lack of protest, I sensed she was getting the point.  She was still trying to pin it on Corrine though when we got home, so who knows.

Monday, April 18, 2011

If this is year 5, I can't even imagine year 13

I would normally put something like this up on FB as a note, but I figured I should put them here to try and get the blog rolling along.  So, here is where these little nuggets will be found from now on.

My kids are allowed to watch TV.  Sabrina is 5, so I taught her how to use the remote control so she can put on her shows when it is ok for them to watch a show.  She knows 3 channels and the "last" button so she can always get back to one of her channels if she punches in a number wrong.  A couple of nights ago, one of the kid shows was on an OK'd channel, but I don't really like her to watch this particular show, so I told her she is not allowed to watch it.  I also explained that if I catch her watching it after she has been told she's not allowed she will not be allowed to watch ANY TV for a yet to be determined amount of days.  Tonight, all of us, except Sabrina, went upstairs so I could cut my husband's hair.  She was throwing a major snit fit because she was told she would not be allowed to watch the new Harry Potter DVD, and missed out on the opportunity to pick another movie because of the level of the fit she threw.  She was told she could come upstairs to join the rest of us when she was done with her tantrum, or she could stay downstairs and watch one of her shows on regular TV.  I went upstairs, got all of the hair cutting stuff set up, and my husband was putting on a show for Corrine to watch.  He joked and said that Sabrina was probably downstairs watching the banned show.  I said, "Oh, she better not be."  He said, "Relax, I don't even know if it's really on.  I was just kidding."  Then he checked and said, "It's on."  I left to sneak downstairs to see what the little angel was doing.  I quietly walked into the kitchen from where you can see clearly into our family room to view the television.  I was rooting for her; hoping she had done the right thing and changed the channel.  No such luck.  Sure enough, the banned show was on.  So, I stood there for a her a chance to change the channel as it was just starting...maybe she was in the bathroom and didn't have a chance to change the channel.  The bathroom door never opened and the channel did not get changed.  So, now I moved into the doorway of the family room, and just stood there, waiting for her to see me.  She doesn't.  Then, I give the little, "Eh-hem" cough.  SHE TURNS HER HEAD TO SEE ME AND ROLLS HER EYES!!!  ROLLS HER EYES!!!  She did not have an expression of "Oh, darn I'm snagged, let me say I'm sorry so she doesn't get upset and punish me!"  Her face said, "Un-f'n-believable.  Now, I'll have to listen to her shit for the rest of the night."  I figured since a flip-out is probably what she expected, and since we are still in Lent, I calmly told her to shut the television off and come upstairs to put on her pajamas.  I just kept shaking my head and saying to myself, "She's 5 years old...5... and already pulling this stuff."  Lord, give me strength!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

This year for Lent

I gave up yelling at the kids.  Yelling, hollering, raising my voice, whatever you want to call it; I gave it up.  I hope God has a sense of humor and can appreciate a little sarcasm when I say, "You better appreciate this Big Guy!"  Giving up potato chips, as I have usually done in past years, is sooooo much easier.  This is really hard!  I'm not proud of myself that it is this hard NOT to yell at my children.  I knew that it was going to be hard though, and I think that's why I chose this for my Lenten sacrifice.  It is a habit that needed to be broken.  I grew up being yelled at.  Sometimes it was deserved (like when I almost set our apartment on fire playing with matches), but a lot of times it wasn't.  I hated it.  And I wasn't the type of kid who needed to be yelled at.  I was quickly repentant for any wrong-doing with a well placed glare.  Like every other kid who has gotten yelled at I swore to myself when I was younger, "When I have kids, I am not going to yell at them for every little thing."  Then, lo and behold, I became a mother.  I yell a lot.  I see the sadness in my kids' eyes when they are getting yelled at and it really hurts me, because I know they are probably feeling the same way I did when I got yelled at, and I hate that.  I'd wake up every morning and say to myself, "I'm going to do it better today.  I'm not going to lose my patience so quickly, and I'm not going to yell when speaking calmly will do."  And I would fail before breakfast was over.  Sabrina and I were fighting more, I'm yelling at them to stop yelling at each was just getting ridiculous.  So, for Lent I decided this is what I was going to do.  I guess I need some of that Catholic guilt to make me stick to it.  Imagining God giving me "the look" for breaking my Lenten promise is not something I want to deal with.

My best friend's mother never yelled at her kids.  I asked my friend a couple of weeks prior to Lent, "Did your mom EVER yell at you guys?"  My friend said, "Nope."  I asserted that her mom definitely had to have a stash of something to keep her that patient because I couldn't, for the life of me, imagine how she dealt with a 15 year old girl in a 5 year old's body without yelling.  But, knowing there was somebody I knew who did this, and her children didn't grow up to be degenerate criminals or anything like that gave me a little boost in my confidence that I too could raise my kids without screaming like a banshee everyday.

Now, I'm not letting them get away with murder.  I'm still disciplining them, and I think I'm still pretty strict in that regard.  I'm just enforcing the rules without yelling, "HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO SAY..."  It's hard, but I'm sticking to it.  Last night was very difficult because Sabrina was yelling at me because she was mad that we weren't going to the mall for new shoes as a punishment for her talking back (which she was properly warned would happen if she continued to be a snot).  I wanted so bad to go into the old bag of tricks and pull out a, "WHO DO YOU THINK YOU'RE TALKING TO?!" but I didn't.  After she calmed down, and we talked about why we weren't going, and she apologized, I was proud of myself for not flying off of the handle.  And I realized, if I stop the yelling now, when they become teenagers and say something to me that I would have lost a tooth for if I said the same to my mother at that age the "WHO DO YOU THINK YOU'RE TALKING TO?!" will be something they're not expecting and will be more effective.  I hope. 

If any of you have an extra copy of the parenting handbook, I'd appreciate a copy. I seemed to have misplaced mine.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Potato Soup, Kindergarten Registration, and Billy Joel

It occurred to me today while I was preparing our ham and potato soup for dinner, I may have too much thinking time on my hands.  I think too much about the minutiae of my day.  I don't know if it's because of watching Oprah, or belonging to a mommy website, but I find that I am constantly making sure I am aware, as Billy Joel sang, "This is the time to remember, cause it will not last forever."  This is neither a complaint or a 'yay me' moment; merely an observation.  As I was making the soup I was thinking how lucky I am to be able to be home making a homemade dinner for them~that I'm am not afraid of my kitchen and know making a dinner from scratch isn't going to cause me to panic.  We were watching a show the other day, could have been an Oprah, probably was, about women who didn't cook.  One woman used her crock pot to store her hair scrunchies and her oven to store other various hair styling products.  I didn't judge, but said to my husband that I couldn't even fathom a world where I didn't use my stove everyday.  Beyond knowing how to use my kitchen, each day that I am in there I am so aware that my girls are watching me.  While I am making a conscious effort to absorb and appreciate this time I'm spending with them, I am also hoping that I am doing a good enough job that one day they will be sitting around with a boyfriend or whoever saying, "My mom was such a good cook" or "I used to help my mom in the kitchen all of the time."  I'm hoping they inherently know that what I make for them is one way for them to physically see my love for them.  Obviously, that is not something they realize now as my oldest whined to me this evening, "Moooommmmm, I want to go out to eeeeaaaatttt."  One day they'll get it...I hope.

With that said, kindergarten registration is in 2 weeks!  KINDERGARTEN!!!  When did this happen???  She was just born yesterday, wasn't she?  I'm already getting a knot in my stomach and a little something or other happening in my throat when I think about this.  I'm not usually an overly emotional person.  Yes, I cry ridiculously at movies, tv commercials, country songs, etc., but when it comes to real life stuff, I'm more of a Sean Connery from The Untouchables kind of gal..."What are you prepared to do?"  But this...this kindergarten... it's starting to get to me.  I just want to hold onto her for a little while longer.  I know she has to go, and I know she's going to love it.  I'm just scared for her.  I want the kids to be nice to her.  I want them to like her.  I want her to feel smart, to make friends easily and not feel painfully shy.  I don't want her to be scared.  I don't want her to think for one instant, "I want my mom."  I don't say any of this to her-never.  I don't want to put my neuroticisms onto her.  My husband thinks I'm crazy.  Probably rightfully so, but I can't help it.  Maybe I should homeschool.  Kidding!  Well....nope I'm kidding.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Punctuality may just kill me

It is not a trait I am proud of, but I am usually late.  I really try hard not to be.  I'd like to blame it on having 3 kids, but I can't.  I did this before I had the girls.  It's not like I am sitting in my living room thinking, "Oh, they WILL wait for me" or "They should be happy I'm going at all".  I have never had any of those or similar thoughts when trying to get ready for any type of event.  I truly appreciate how rude it is to be late, and hate that people may think that I'm a rude person when I am late, because I really am running around like a chicken without her head trying to get out the door.  More times than not when I AM on time (usually for a wedding) I am still one of the last people there and am exasperated by the time I get there.  Basically, I HATE that I'm usually late. 

However, within the last month or so, we have been on time.  Let me tell stresses me out MORE to be on time than it does to be late!!  How ridiculous is that???  We've had some family holiday parties...on time.  Reese had a doctor's appointment...on time.  The culmination of this streak was the holiday party we went to today hosted by my best friend's mother.  Not only were we on time, but we were the first guests to arrive.  "Fantastic" you're thinking, right?  WRONG.  We pulled up to the house and saw there were no other cars there.  I called my friend and asked her husband, "What time is Mom's party?  3 or 3:30?"  He assured me it was 3.  I was calling at 2:55.  Then, my husband asked me if I had the right day.  Of course I had the right day.  But did I?  Today was the 2nd, right?  The card said it was the 2nd, right?  Now, I'm doubting myself and getting mad at myself because, a) having the date wrong is something that is well within the realm of possible for me, and b) if I did have the date wrong I would NEVER hear the end of it from my friends.  Ugh...I would be the butt of this joke for a looooonnnngggg time.  I called my friend back and asked, "Um, your mom's party is TODAY, right?"  She assured me it was.  I felt bad because she thought I was calling because SHE wasn't there yet (her daughter had just woken up from her nap) and I was teasing HER because she is usually punctual to a fault.

I really can't take the stress of being on time!!  All the family parties I was on time to this past month, I kept feeling like I was forgetting something.  Part of getting there on time was making a serious effort to get the prep work necessary to go out done ahead of time.  Not rushing to get things done really made me feel like there was something I was forgetting to do.  It stressed me out.  While we were driving to a Christmas show at a local theater (with plenty of time to find parking and be in our seats before the curtain rose) I was driving a little fast.  My husband said, "You don't have to drive like a nut.  We're on time.  You have plenty of time to get there."  It took me a second to realize, "Yeah, I can just drive and not worry about being late." 

My cousin is my anti-procrastinator.  For as much as I put things off until the last minute or beyond, she has things done way before they need to be done.  I told her that I don't know how she does it.  It really made me uncomfortable to be sitting there knowing I didn't have anything to do, but playing over and over in my head "Did I forget something?  What else do I have to do?  Is it time to go yet?"  When I'm running late, yes there is a certain level of stress in and of itself, but I don't have time to be second guessing myself.  I just have the "I should have gotten into the shower sooner, got the girls dressed faster, etc." conversation with myself as I'm driving to my destination.

I KNOW punctuality is the way to go, but as ridiculous as it sounds, it is really an adjustment to change this part of myself.  I do like that we aren't rushing out of the house screaming at each other because we are late, AGAIN, but it is taking a little getting used to.