Wednesday, June 24, 2009

One last thing

Oh, and I forgot to mention that we had a living room picnic dinner, complete with cute striped sheet to sit upon. I was in rare form, but I'll have to give God the credit on this one. I'm usually so not this fun when it comes to potential messes my kids could make. Interestingly enough, no messes were made throughout the course of the entire evening.


I obviously have no control over my control panel.

I was sublimely unaware that most of my last post stayed in the bigger font size. I'm evidently unfit to touch those fascinating tabs at the top of my text box...

I think I can safely call that "experiencing technical difficulties."

Uber cool

So remember when I talked about how uber cool I like to pretend to be, since I'm a mom of preschoolers who takes them on "field trips"? Of course you remember. You were probably so struck by my using the word "uber" that it hasn't left the front part of your brain yet. Well tonight I have actually proven how truly uber cool I am.

My dear sweet, manly husband has been working extra hours the last few days and he feels bad for our kids, who are obviously getting the short end of the stick by not getting their daddy time. He therefore, requested that tonight I do something "fun" with them. Now Monday I took them to Scoops to get ice cream, last night I invited some of their favorite friends over, this morning I let them have M&Ms and popcorn from Target, and get this...they have continued to behave so badly that I can't stand it. No appreciation.

(This is obviously a bunny trail from my uber cool story.) I talked to the Drink Depot lady this morning about my problem with the children. I happen to know--because I see her several times a week--that she has lots of kids, several of them nearly out of the house. And she homeschooled. So I can ask her the following question without her thinking she needs to call Child Protection Services. As she filled my styrofoam cup with ice, I asked her "What do you do when your kids are so bad you want to run away from home?" She looked at me and said, deadpan, "It's called the 3-Day Reign of Terror. You will be the one who institutes this Reign of Terror."

She began to describe how we, as mothers, sometimes, possibly, start to let bad behavior slide. You know, maybe just a tad. Before too much time has passed, our kids are pushing, pushing, pushing...and they need a reminder of who is really in charge: not them. The time for threats has passed. Now is the call for action. For three straight days, no bad behavior gets to slide. (By the way, perhaps I should've mentioned this earlier, but for those of you who would rather cut off your dominant hand thumb than lovingly spank your child, this may not be a good post for you. We'll have to agree to disagree.) The idea is, just as we fear God's discpline, it is our job as parents to make sure our children fear our discipline. They must learn to want to please us, because the majority of our children do not naturally yearn to obey. If we let our kids get away with stuff for too long, there often comes a point where we must reassert our God-given authority. Thus the 3-Day Reign of Terror. (I'm pretty sure we're not supposed to tell our kids that's what it's called. Also, remember that this is for spank-age kids. Not babies. And obviously if you have a really big kid, this won't work for you...or will it??)

Anyway, I implemented it immediately after leaving the Depot. And so far, it's worked wonders. After I proved that I was willing to spank in the middle of Target, at church in front of Grandma, and right before nap time, they caught on. Now it's true that these aren't the most "I-mean-business" of spankings. Some of them were even kinda wimpy. But it was a good start, since somewhere along the line, (probably on vacation a couple of weeks ago) I quit the oh-so-important task of always following through and they knew it.

So anyway, while the kids were getting ready for naps, my wonderful husband called. As we were saying our goodbyes, he said "have fun this evening. no, really. do something fun. pick something the kids would really love and then try to be a kid and enjoy it with them." Uh huh. I pointed out that this is very hard to do whilst toting around a 10 mo old baby, but said I would do my best. Chandler called him on it, though. When I asked him what would be really fun for him, he said "Can we get a dog??!" I told him with a straight face that he'd have to ask his dad. His dad was forced to say no, not today, but we could still have plenty of fun without getting a dog. Unfortunately, everything kinda pales in comparison when you think for a brief, shining moment that you're gonna get a dog.

I've always thought of myself as a kid-person. I babysat some, and was always talking to cute little kids in stores. But since having so many of my own, and having to keep a house running at the same time, I've discovered I'm not quite as kid-friendly as I used to be. I tried really, really hard to think of something that they would enjoy and could only think of stuff they would like to eat. It didn't help that it was mid-nineties outside and I just can't let a baby stay outside in that kind of heat for very long(plus I don't like to sweat much). So I came up with two ideas, neither of them original, (or even very fun-sounding in my opinion): 1- Go get frozen custard 2- Go to Walmart to buy tulle to make Nadia a mini-canopy for her bed. I told God "You know I have good intentions. But dadgum, it is hot out there, and you know I don't like to sweat and the baby really doesn't need heatstroke today. Please let this turn out okay."

Then things went better than I could've thought possible. They LOVED the frozen custard, much more than regular ice cream. They actually ate it all-- in. the. van. without dripping any on themselves. Even the 2 yr old. At Walmart, the tulle I wanted was only $1.17/yd (cha-ching!). The Walmart people were evidently getting ready for a massive floor cleaning or display change or something, because there was TONS of open space. And not many people. (Most of them were at T Ball, unlucky souls) So I let them(the children, not the Walmart people) run. And I chased them with the cart. And let Kellar hang onto the side, laughing gloriously at his baby brothers(yes, safely belted in), while I jumped up and rode the cart. Whoa. That's crazy stuff. Maybe even a little dangerous. Totally not my mom-style. I proceeded to let them run most of the way to the flower department, where we found the sprinklers to be on. It turns out the old-fashioned "chk-chk-chk-chk-wirrrrrr" sprinklers were mounted above the hanging flowers in order to keep them from parching. I let my children run through them for almost ten minutes. The baby and I even got sprayed a couple of times.

The kids were so crazy-happy by the time we checked out and left, bedraggled and damp, that they were telling me how much they loved me and how cool the sprinklers were and how cool it was for me to chase them with the grocery cart.

Who'da thought--Walmart??

Now my itallics won't turn off. Hmm...oh well. The important thing is, now you know why I'm so cool. Because my kids say so.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My Little Koala

He is a koala, of course, because he clings.

He's not as big of a clinger as he used to be. When Dawson was born, Kellar really stepped into the role of big brother and changed, literally, overnight. He's still really shy around new people, but he's loosening up. These pictures represent the Kellar that I know(well, and a few other privileged individuals), because he's a complete ham/drama king at home. Veeerrry expressive.

The last couple of days, he's been telling me that I'm his best friend: "Best friend, Mom." How. cute. is. that.

(I know, I's a shameful excuse of a post. But remember, I warned you yesterday about the pictures. Just bear with me. I'm sure it'll be out of my system in a few days. Or weeks. The good news is, I still haven't figured out how to take the pictures off my camera and stick them on the computer. So eventually I'll run out of good ones, at least until Matt takes pity on me and teaches me how to do it.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pig Farm (And Fire Station) Pictures

Yes, I realize it's several months too late, but it goes with the preceding story, and besides, my wonderful husband just showed me how to add pictures to my blog. I realize that may sound laughably simple to all of you technological people out there, but let's face facts: in the world of technology, I've got no game. Therefore, my blog may become obnoxiously inundated with pictures--most of them probably a little outdated--for the next several posts while I proudly brandish my new skill.
(And yes, I realize the one of Chandler is deplorably fuzzy, but in my defense, it was very dim in the mama pig building and c'mon--doesn't his smile just capture the thrill of the whole experience? by the way, it was really stinky. I didn't love it as much as the kids did. And yes, the smell did stick to us and we had to strip upon entering the house and bathe post haste. just so you know in case you'd like to copy our pig farm field trip idea.)

Playing Pig Farmer

So I've been I've been meaning to blog about this for...checking the calendar...weeks and weeks? But I wanted to write about it now before I forget, because I thought it might make your day.

Let me preface my little story.

Way back in the warm/chilly month of April (I think it was April) the kids and I visited a pig farm for a "field trip". I often call our outings field trips because it makes me feel uber cool that I'm the kind of mom that takes my preschool/kindergarten kids on field trips. You should try it. "Hey kids, today we're going on a field trip to the grocery store. We're going to learn about fruits, vegetables, which bathroom at Meijers is cleanest, and that it's never okay to run away from Mommy while she's pushing the stroller and holding your brother's hand."

No seriously, I've actually been trying to convince my oldest (almost kindergarten) child that it will be plenty cool to stay at home for school. He's probably 80-90% convinced. My biggest problem is that his 10-year old uncle goes to "Big School" so he wants to, too. I've retaliated by proving that we can go on way more field trips than Big School kids can. Hence the pig farm experience. Now it makes it easier if you have a friend whose husband works at one, but there are probably cool-job people you know, too. We also visited a fire department and plan to go to a police department. Anyway, back to the original story...

Ever since we went and visited Kreg at the farm, the kids have been playing "pig farm." And guess who they are when they play? Yup, Kreg. Although, they still insist that the name is actually "Greg" even though I've tried my hardest to convince them otherwise. Chandler and Kellar(and sometimes Nadia) stuff their toy pigs under chairs and whatnot and walk around with a book that they say is supposed to be a clipboard. They come to me and tell me "I'm Greg" (or in Kellar's case, all he says is "Greg" and I'm supposed to say "You're Greg?" To which he replies "Yup, Greg. Me.") then they suddenly stoop over and whip out a toy pig that I'm supposed to pretend is squealing (which is why I'm not allowed to pick it up). Kellar usually looks at me very seriously at this point and says "'Quealing. Can't touch it. Me. Greg. Me touch it." And then he allows me a short pat on the head, which the stuffed pig usually doesn't like very much.

It's hilarious.

Kellar has told me more times than I can count that there are two "Gregs"--him and the real "Greg" which I normally reply "Two Kregs? You and the real Kreg?" To which he replies "Yes. Two Gregs." I think it's a stalemate. Maybe if he sees him again sometime and hears him called Kreg, it'll cement the correct pronunciation, but it's hard telling. You know how 2yr olds can be.

On a similar note (similar in that it is kid-related) we went to the library last night. While we were there, I suddenly remembered a book that I wanted to read again. Strike that. "Remembered" is not the correct word, as I couldn't think of what the title was. The children's department lady tried very diligently to help me find it based on the somewhat vague and fuzzy recollection I had of the plot. The basic problem is that I was very pregnant last summer when I read it, and we all know what the very part of pregnancy does to brain cells.

I went home and was able to figure out what the book was with the help of my online library record and Amazon. Ironically, the book is called The Library. I like it so much that I think I'll be asking for it for Christmas. For myself. If you love reading and books in particular, you should borrow it from your library. Even if you don't have small children at home. It has excellent illustrations and a wonderful cadence to the words, which just begs to be read aloud. So if you must, find a token child to read it to so you can feel validated, but do it soon, because you'll be glad you did. Here are a couple of my favorite parts:

"She always took a book to bed,
With a flashlight under the sheet.
She'd make a tent of covers
And read herself to sleep.


Books were piled on top of chairs
And spread across the floor.
Her shelves began to fall apart,
As she read more and more and more.

Big books made very solid stacks
On which teacups could rest.
Small books became the building blocks
For busy little guests."

The Library by Sarah Stewart

Go treat yourself to a little Children's Literature whimsy.