Thursday, July 31, 2008

What do you do at....


Yes. It's 2:39 to be exact in the freaking morning as I begin this post. And here I am at my computer. Fun times, no? I have been up for an hour. An hour you say? Yes. An hour. Why? Hmmm....

Because an hour ago I woke up suddenly out of the depths of a dream to a THUD. A thud from upstairs. With my heart racing, I listened. For a cry? For some shuffling of feet running downstairs to me. Something. Anything. But there was nothing.

Instead, I quietly tip-toed upstairs. To the Bear's room and peered inside. He was in the middle of his bed readjusting himself.

Me: What happened buddy?
Bear: I rolled off the bed.
Me: You did?
Bear: Yes. Up there. [pointing to the top of the bed]
Me: okay?
Bear: Yeah. I'm okay.
Me: [tucking him back in] Go back to sleep. I'll see you in a couple more hours. Ni-night.
Bear: Night Mom.

So the kid is asleep. And me? Here I sit. Awake.

But did you catch the good news? The Bear is asleep in his own room! For those of you not up on the story, this is the first time the Bear has slept in his room since he was 3 years old. My son is now 5 1/2.

When we first moved into this house, he was still in a crib. He was 2. And he slept in a crib. He wasn't a climber so he slept in his crib. No choice. Then we moved him into a toddler bed. He slept in there fine. For a couple months. Then the protesting began. He didn't cry. He'd just wake up sometime in the middle of the night and fall asleep on the couch in the family room. The family room is right next to the master bedroom. My half-asleep son was walking downstairs in the dark and crashing on the couch. Not safe, right? So we ended up letting him sleep on a crib mattress at the end of our bed. We were NOT about to invite him INTO our bed. No way! So he happily slept at the foot of our bed.

Time passed as it always does. It was over a year maybe until we convinced him that sleeping upstairs was fun. How about a sleepover in his sister's room? Yes. We first checked with the Princess on this arrangement and she was okay with it. When the summer started we mentioned to him that once school starts he would have to sleep in his own room. In his big comfy bed. He seemed fine with it. So once he came home from his weekend at my ILs, I mentioned to him that he start sleeping in his bedroom. You see, at my ILs he was sleeping in the one guestroom. Alone. So I thought I'd take advantage of it and continue the trend.

The Hubs tucked the Bear in on Sunday night. People. You should have heard crying that got louder and louder. And then a SCREAM. Then there was silence. Huh? The crying didn't last long but silence right after a scream? Yeah. Pretty suspicious. The Hubs and I hid out worked in the den for a bit. I had the Hubs go up after about 20 minutes to check on the Bear.

Hubs: Go upstairs and check your son.
Me: Why?
Hubs: Just go up and look in on him.

So I tip-toed upstairs and looked through the 1/2 inch opening at the door. There was the Bear. Flat out on his back. Asleep. With his little globe light on. With a baseball cap on his head.

The kid must have touched his globe light when he screamed and realized that he'd just keep it on. He must have rummaged around his room and found one of his ASU baseball caps and felt that was a comfort. But he fell asleep. By himself. In his room. And he looked TOO cute.

--------------------------------- older sister and her family are in Detroit tonight. My nephew will be participating in the Junior Olympics. He's doing the shot-put and the javelin. He did qualify to compete in the long jump but that meant another day in Detroit. And with prices are the way they are my sister couldn't swing it. Especially with a family of 5. But that's where they're at. So you all in Detroit? Show those Junior Olympians some love!


It's now 3:32am...I'm finally heading back to bed. My eyes feel like they've got grit in them. Sandpaper anyone? Just take a look in my eyes and you'll find some. [sigh] Tomorrow In a couple hours I am going to need some heavy-duty coffee. yawn...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

You want to meet me at...

It was meet and greet time again. Yes. It's time for students to MEET your Teacher!

Yesterday, we went to the school so that the Princess could hook up with her 3rd grade teacher, Ms.M. We already know Ms.M because she was the Princess' kindergarten teacher. Ms.M moved up to teaching 3rd grade this year. Woohoo! She's a fabulous lady with a calm, patient manner. The kids love her. Now that she's getting older, the 3rd grade should be a better fit for her. The kids have been in a classroom setting for several years and can easily adapt to the rules. With kindergarten there's a lot of "teaching the rules".

Today we went to the school so the Bear could meet his kindergarten teacher and the aide. Yes. We had to go BACK to the school. Yesterday was reserved for the older kids -- 3rd thru 8th grade. Um...yeah. So we met Ms.D and Ms.J and meandered around the 2 classrooms for kindergarten. The kindergarten class is split up into two groups and they spend half the day in one classroom and the other half of the day in the other classroom. One classroom has about letters and numbers, while the other classroom has the science and art projects.

We were able to drop off half the supplies that I purchased for the kids' classes. I'm going to bring the other stuff by the end of next week. I just don't want to show up the first day of school with bags of supplies. This is what a lot of parents end up doing. They've got nervous kids and their hands are full of stuff. It's not a pretty picture sometimes. So to alleviate the issue, I dropped things off today. One less thing to do on Monday!

The Bear had his last swim class this morning. There's two more weeks of classes, but with school starting on Mondya there is NO way we could attend. But both kids will start the next session of lessons on August 18th when they'll be going after school. I mean, it stays warm until OCTOBER and the pool is heated to 90 degrees. So why miss out on the sunny afternoons?

I was able to finish the morning outing with pre-school haircuts. The Princess just got a slight trim. She swam a bit this summer, so I wanted to be sure to have any dry ends cut away. The Bear didn't get his hair shaved off like I accidentally had them do the last time where they did a #1 blade all around his head. The gal barely touched the top this time and just buzzed the sides to blend them in. So he's back to looking clean-cut -- a babe magnet!

Hopefully the kids' backpacks and lunchboxes will be arriving today. I am thinking of ordering some containers though. Some sandwich boxes so I don't have to use plastic bags anymore. You know how sandwiches get smushed? I want to prevent that, for sure. Then the Princess sometimes likes little bits of things. Some crackers. Some raisins. Some cheese. Some chips. Some fruit. So I'm going to look into those Benzo (sp?) boxes or those Lock-n-Lock boxes or whatever I can find online (as I detest going to the mall or store and having to search). Any suggestions?

But the big day is MONDAY! I'm excited!


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

There's the issue of listening again...

Oh my husband! How I DO love you with all my heart.

But WHY do you make me want to bang my head against the wall sometimes?

Last night when we were trying to sleep, you heard something. A sound from our backyard. Something that bothered you enough to get up and turn on the back porch light.

Hubs: What's that sound?
Me: I don't know... [dazed and confused as I was on the verge of falling asleep]

You finally got up and went into the backyard. I heard you move something. Then you came inside and we both fell asleep. This morning I had to ask...

Me: So what was that sound last night?
Hubs: It was one of the lawnchairs.

Okay people. The lawnchairs? Last week, we had a BIG storm. It was one of those really sudden and torrential downpours that only last a little while. When the storm blew threw our neighborhood, our backyard lawnchairs were moved from our back porch to the side of our house. THREE chairs moved over. So I had a discussion with the Hubs last week.

Me: What happened to the lawnchairs?
Hubs: They blew across the porch and are now on the side of the house. The side next to our bedroom.
Me: Oh? Are you going to move them back?
Hubs: Naw....
Me: You're not moving them? But what if another storm comes through? That's the side with the AC units.
Hubs: It'll be fine. They won't move.

Yeah. I asked him to move those lawnchairs last week. So since he didn't? He had to move them last night. Because those lawnchairs that he said "won't move" were rubbing up against the side of the house. Yeah...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ya think you know your body and then...

You hit another change in life.

When you're a kid, you worry about nothing in the world. Just playing and having fun.

Then you hit puberty. Your body goes through a ton of change. We get breasts. We get our monthly visitor. We get pimples. I actually only had to deal with simple pimples on my back. Not many on my face. But I did continue to have oily skin.

Time went on and my back pimples went away. But the pimples came back in my mid-20's. And these came back with a vengeance. On the T-zone of my face. And it wasn't the tiny little ones that were the size of a pencil-mark. Mine were the cystic-type of acne that's deep in the skin. The acne was painful to touch when new and took a much lot longer to heal because the inflammation went deep into the skin. It was horrible but I finally found a cleansing system that finally worked for me. It worked for years. Through my wedding (and we all know how stressful that period of time is). Through my pregnancy with the Princess. Through my pregnancy with the Bear. It was some good stuff.

But in April this year, I started to get acne once again. I'm in a new decade, so that might be the trigger. I was using the same facial cleanser so I couldn't believe that I was seeing the acne. I thought it might be the new lip gloss I was using, so I threw that out. I thought it was the new bottle of foundation I got, so I threw that out. As I filtered stuff out of my regime, I continued to have the acne.

As time went on, my self-esteem began to suffer. I didn't want the Hubs or the kids to see me without make-up. My confidence was waivering. I just remembered a couple weeks ago that my older sister and my BIL "Shorty" use another system. So I ordered a sample kit of the products. I've been using it since Wednesday and it seems to be working. SEEMS is the operative word. But it looks promising. I'm crossing my fingers and toes that it'll be what I need.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

They're home now...what'd they do...

As I mentioned before, the kids spent the weekend up at my ILs.

My SIL had a meeting in town and scheduled to come by around 10:30am to get the kids to drive them up to my ILs. Of course, she came late -- around 11am. She didn't bother to call to tell me about the delay either. [irritation #1]

When they got into town, the 3-some went to lunch and then went to my MILs office. She was still at work. And the kids hung out at my MILs office for about an hour. My MIL was supposed to take a half day, but ended up working until about 1pm. [irritation #2]

They headed to my ILs house where they hooked up with my FIL. They went to the theater and watched Wall-E and then went out to dinner. They got back to my ILs and watched the first half of E.T.

Saturday was greeted with a pancake breakfast. Then the pool. I guess they were in the pool for about 5 hours. And I found out that my MIL did not put any sunscreen on them. NONE. [irritation #3] Then they went back to my ILs and watched the second half of E.T.

This morning, the kids just played. Apparently, they didn't go into the pool at all. [irritation #4] I mean, the main reason they went up this weekend was to spend time with the ILs and relish in the pool that they didn't get to use their first visit. This was something that my MIL mentioned when she asked to have the kids this weekend. So they just spend one day out of THREE days in the pool. Only one!

And somehow this morning, the Bear had an accident. I guess he had a little #2 while he was eating breakfast. Gross, I know. But WHAT? The kid hasn't had an accident like that since he was learning how to use the toilet. But what I found in the kids' duffle bag was the Bear's wet jammies. I guess she only washed the jammies and didn't dry them and put them in a ziploc. HUH? [irritation #5] Like she didn't have time to throw them into the drier?

The Hubs left around 11am to drive up and pick up the kids. Yes. The Hubs drove UP to his parents house to get the kids. Like...WHY couldn't they drive the kids down themselves? Hmmm???? [irritation #6]

Did I mention to you that my BIL (the Hubs' younger brother who is the middle child) and his wife are expecting a baby in October? And next month, my MIL & SIL will be co-hosting a baby shower. A week ago, I found out from the Hubs that his Mom asked him to contribute to the shower. Fine. Right? But then I found out from my SIL that no guys are invited to the shower. Wait...what? First of all, the Hubs is not hosting the party. That would be my MIL and SIL. So aren't the hosts supposed to foot the bill? Second of all, there are no guys invited? That means the Hubs and the Bear aren't invited. So WHY THE HELL is my MIL asking my husband to contribute to the party? [irritation #7]

And you all wonder why I don't like my MIL. It's because she is who she is. And who she not someone I would normally choose to be around. She's the kind of person that I would want to beat up when I was in my violent stage of life. SERIOUSLY beat up. But as it is....I have to just deal with the nails on the chalkboard behavior.

I'm just shaking my head and what she can do in two days to get me aggrevated. ARGH!

The only thing that relieved the tenseness in my jaw was a conversation I had with the Princess at dinner. Last night they all (the kids, my MIL, FIL, and SIL) went out for Chinese. While they waited for their food, they looked at a Chinese calendar. It turns out that I'm a sheep along with the Bear. The Hubs is a goat. The Princess is a dragon. My FIL is a dog. But get SIL is a boar (you know...the thing that looks like a pig?) and my MIL is a rat. HA! Laughing I got the BIGGEST kick out of that. And that's the only reason why I'm still not steaming. A PIG and a RAT. HA!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Getting ready...

...for school!

Yes. School starts of August 4th. That's in a little over a week. ARGH!

I've got backpacks and lunchboxes ordered and on the way from LandsEnd. I also have about 1/2 of the kids' school supplies purchased.

Glue Sticks? Check.

#2 Pencils? Check.

Colored pencils? Check.

3 different colored folders? Check.

Pencil boxes? Check.

Scissors? Check.

Dry erase markers? Check.

Crayons? Check.

There are a bunch of other things I need to get. But I'll get those items sometime soon. No need to rush. You know? I've got the main items that they'll each need for the first week. [sigh]

I am anxious for them to start school. And sad. My little guy is going to kindergarten! But I am looking forward to one drop-off point. One pick-up point. And I'll be home alone. All day. So I can concentrate on my work. Without feeling guilty about ignoring the kids. My mornings will be crazy busy getting them ready to school by 8am. I'm planning on having them at school by 7:40am each day -- this way I miss all the late people who drive in recklessly into the parking lot. But I know it'll be great for the kids to get back into a regular routine. Soon. Not soon enough and yet at the same time too soon.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

How old?

4 year old! FOUR. YEARS. OLD.

Today is the 4th anniversary of my little piece on the internet. I seriously cannot believe that I've been writing on this very site ( for this many years. But I have. And it's been great. It's been so nice to "meet" others out in cyberspace who visit my site regularly. I've followed YOUR lives and you've followed mine.

A lot has changed in four years. When I started, we were in a small detached townhouse with a year-long lease. It was a temporary place because we wanted to have a house built. We'd just moved to this new city due to the Hubs job. It was just the four of us venturing into this new place. No family. No friends. The Hubs worked all day. I had two kids at home all day. But at least the townhouse was nice. It was a 1-story, 3 bedroom, 2 bath 1100 square feet structure with a small enclosed backyard. YES! A backyard! No. There was no grass. It was a gravel backyard. But at least the kids could run around and be safe. We were in the back end corner of the complex. Behind our fence was a church. So it was a quiet location. The only time there was any noise was when they had a couple holiday bazaars.

Like I said, I started this blog because I was alone. I didn't have anyone to talk to. But now? Things are different. I've got two part-time jobs. Both kids will be starting school in just over a week. We live in our "big" house. We live in a great neighborhood with lots of kids and parents who care about the other kids in the neighborhood. I have to say that I'm comfortable with any of my neighbors correcting my kids when they are out of line. If I see one of the neighborhood boys walking slowly home from the bus stop in the 100+ heat, I'll have him hop into my car for that short drive to his house. Not a problem. It's that feeling of "it takes a community" to raise our kids. Yes. THAT is the kind of neighborhood I live in. We're there for each other and it's a wonderful feeling.

My life has changed. It has. But I continue to write about whatever is in my gut. What makes me happy. What makes me sad. When I'm frustrated. When I'm in need of support. Just knowing there are people out there that read and care. It's a comfort.

So if you're out there....give me a shout out on my blog's anniversary!

Happy Birthday to my blog...Happy birthday to my blog...Happy birthday bloggy-blog...Happy birthday to you!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I uttered my vows with conviction...

I was watching Oprah today and there was a comment that there should be a line in wedding vows regarding "Respect". It was a part of a really horrible episode about violence. Violence on women. Violence upon women from people that they love. It was very disturbing.

But that episode got me to think.

When the Hubs and I met with the pastor, I made sure to put my foot down on the vows. The fact that I did not want to say " love, honor, and obey..." I have always thought and wanted to say " love, honor, and respect..."

It was funny how the Hubs initially reacted to my wish (my need) to include the word "respect" into that line. He was kind of surprised. He'd always heard the traditional vows that had "obey" in it. So it's only normal (I guess) that he'd be surprised by my wish.

Hubs: Respect? You'd rather say that?
Me: Yes. That's what I want to say.

Once he saw that I was serious, he let it go. He didn't think too much about it. He was just allowed the adjustment to be made by the pastor. No big deal. To him. But to me? It meant so much more. That he and I would respect each other. We'd be here for each other. That there would be give and take between us. And this episode of Oprah really solidified a more sinister reason for my wish to include "respect" into my vows.

Now what did you say in your vows? Do you remember? Did you make any changes or were you creative enough to make up your own vows?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Out and gone...and maybe a glimmer of hope?

This Friday, my SIL is going to stop by our house and pick up the kids. It'll be last weekend visit up with my ILs for Summer 2008.

You see, the kids start school on August 4. Yes. That's in two weeks. TWO. I'm excited for them. I've got to get some backpacks and lunchbags for them this week. It'll be hot here until October, so no need to rush out and get new school clothes. They'll just wear their summer gear while it's still hot. Seriously. This week it's in the 90's. Temps will fluctuate these next couple of months from the 100s down to the 80s. It'll stabilize and get cooler by the end of October. That's when it'll be in the 60's and 70's.

The kids will spend their time swimming in my ILs pool. When the kids were up there at the end of May, my ILs pool was too cold. Apparently, the kids went in for maybe 30 minutes and were shaking like leaves. Since the pool has warmed up over the 100+ temps, the kids will probably remain poolside all weekend.

Anyway, this coming weekend will be another weekend without kids. But the Hubs and I will not be taking advantage of it this time around. No movie night. No adult dinner. Why? Because I'm heading out again for an on-site interview on Friday. ARGH! It's actually a part-time gig at full-time per hour pay. So I have to consider it. Anything that'll get my foot into the workforce out there. Geez....I'm still amazed how difficult it is to get a job out there. I know the economy is kind of slow, but employers don't seem to want to give me a chance at all. It makes me feel unwanted. I've got the work ethic. I've got experience. Just TALK to my references! They'll give you the 411 on me. [sigh]

But this interview is a glimmer of hope. The possibility. The chance.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Whizzing like a pro

My son has been potty trained for a long time. We started working with him at home, but he perfected going #1 when he was in preschool. The only thing? He's been sitting to urinate.

A couple months ago when I took him to the movies, I had him try urinating standing up. But it was a mess. I didn't realize how much force went through his little penis. Seriously! Since then I had the Hubs work with him at bedtime. The Hubs showed the Bear how to hold himself. How to position his legs. All those little subtle things that a Mom wouldn't know about. Because DANG I didn't realize how much pressure would flow through his penis!

But now? The kid is now standing up each and every time. YEAH! It's so great. His sitting down while urinating was one of the last semblances of him being a little guy. [sigh] He is such a BIG boy! Now I feel like he's totally ready for kindergarten.

I can just imagine the Hubs and the Bear at football games. Whizzing like pro together at a urinal.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

If you do it daily, wouldn't you notice?

Today, the final repair people came to fix our house issues.

The stucco outside was finished curing over the past week. The drywall guy came Monday and Tuesday and fixed some wall problems. Now it was the painters turn.

Two guys showed up. One guy stayed outside to paint the stucco. The other guy came inside to do the wall near the front door and the LONG seam in the family room. That long seam? It's about 18 feet up in the air.'s a 2-story family room. Anyway, the drywall guy had a HUGE A-frame ladder that he used to reach the problem areas. There were only two actual areas where we had cracks showing between the drywall, but the drywall guy chose to do the entire seam so it was a seamless repair. KUDOs to him for doing that.

So the painters did their work. I left them alone. I noticed when it looked like they were cleaning and putting things away. When the guy who was inside when outside? I walked over to the family room to check things out. I looked at the ceiling from one angle. Then I went and looked at it from another.

I found problems. I saw where the guy painted and that where he painted did not cover the feathering job that the drywall guy did. It was blatantly clear to me. So when he came back inside to have me sign the paperwork? I had to point out to him about 3 sections that weren't painted properly. He only painted from below. He hadn't bothered looking at the seam at an angle. When he looked at the angle? He saw exactly what I noticed. But wouldn't you think he would have thought to do that? I mean, he paints every day. It's his profession.

Do you think I was being a dud for pointing out the lack of coverage to him? I seriously would have rather point out the lack of paint now versus having to call those guys out again. So this guy had to go outside and tell the other guy (who was already sitting in the truck) that more painting was needed. They got the paint and the roller out again. This time? The one guy (who was outside) stood on the side while the other guy (the inside guy) repainted the seam. This time they worked together to ensure that everything was painted properly.


Would you have checked a painter's work? Or would you have figured that they'd do a proper job and not checked?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Did you catch the similarity?

For those of you who ready yesterday's post, you might have noted the parallel that was seen in a repeat episode of Jon&Kate. It was the one where the couples give their advice on how they survive bringing up their kids.

The two discuss how kids will try to splits parents. [check]

The two talk about how they keep their kids on a routine. [check]

How consistency is a major key to maintain everyone's sanity. [check]

Did you know that there are actual websites dedicated to people writing about how much they dislike this couple. Seriously. There are websites dedicated to this topic. It's so sad. I mean, if you don't like this couple and how they are raising their family then don't watch them. Turn the channel. Simple, right? But it's not simple for them. They continue to watch and then criticize this couple. [sigh] I have to say that the websites I found over the weekend just busting on Jon&Kate brought me back to my teenage years.

Starting in junior high people talk smack about others that they don't know. They make judgments on others by heresay versus actually witnessing events in person. "They told me THIS happened" or "I heard that she said this" kind of thing. I was on the bad end of the stick on this kind of thing in junior high/high school. It was horrible. People hated me all because this one person was spreading lies about me. A girl I didn't even know was talking trashing about me to the [gulp] popular girls in school. Why? Because I had a crush on a boy that she liked. Can you believe it? Thankfully, she moved away at the end of freshman year. The popular girls got to know me and we all were at peace. But guess what? That girl ended up moving back to our neighborhood for her senior year. By senior year, we were not separated by the popular versus not-popular lines. We were all friends by then. All the seniors had melded into a pretty relaxed group. But not ONE of those old friends of that girl would speak to her. Who did speak to her? ME. She was in my history class and I spoke with her. I was the only one. I took the high road and was cordial with her. It was about forgiveness. It was about growing up. It was about realizing that rumors are for children.

So I try hard to not make judgments about other parents. I see other parents with their kids and sometimes what they do makes my eyebrows raise a few millimeters. But I don't say anything. They are doing their job. Raising their child. The only time I'll step in is if someone else's child is interfering with MY kids. Then I'll step in for sure. I'm the Mama Bear protecting my kids, so don't cross the line. But I see stuff all the time and I don't write about every single weird thing that's happened. And I don't know these parents' names either so it's not like they know I'm talking about them. You know?

I know. I know! I'm talking about other people right now. But those websites have some harsh words on them. And when I say harsh....I mean there are some down and dirty things being written. Just rude. It's hard for me to believe that stuff like that is out there. And they make it clear exactly who they're talking about. That's what is bad about the entire thing. Now are there websites dedicated to other families on tv? How about the Duggars? Michelle is expecting her 18th child in January 2009. Anyone writing hateful words about that family? How about Kimora Lee Simmons and her two little girls? Jet setting and running around 'living the life'. Any hateful words there?

I just think that since Jon&Kate are a young couple that shows everyone their REAL selves that people feel comfortable 'talking back' about their behavior. But PLEASE! We all have our moments. They've got 8 kids in the family. What are the odds that someone will be upset each day? How about each hour? How often are your own kids upset? Multiply that as many times as you need to so that you get somewhere near 8 kids. I mean, I only have two of them and they try my patience when they're tired.

Jon is a regular, laid-back, go-with-the-flow kind of guy. Kate has her dirt, control, and OCD issues. I think that's why I watch the show. Because they are real and they let it show. They don't make it like they're all a-okay all the time. They argue. They make up. The kids cry. The kids hit each other. There are time-outs. I'm not saying that I love these people. I really like them as a family. We ALL have faults. We do. Even if we don't think something about us is a fault, another person can view it as one. Some people smoke. Some people think it's okay to spit. Some people wear too much cologne or perfume. Some people don't wear deodorant. [shrug]

I mean, my older sister loves The Baby Borrowers. I watched one episode and realize that I don't like it, so I no longer tune in. Simple. But as I said before...I enjoy the Jon&Kate and their kids. If you don't? Turn it off. Then you don't have to see these two people raise their eight kids the way they want to. K?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Family rules

Every couple knows that when raising kids there's a constant battle. The kids find a way to put themselves in between you. They pit one parent against the other. It's true. It's inevitable. It happens.

It's up to us to figure this out and make sure that we stand united. That the kids don't divide us. That we're a wall. Strong together. Right? I think being consistent is the key when kids are learning rules -- especially when they're little. Consequences are key as well.

Some of our rules?
  • Perform the same bedtime and naptime routine each day
  • Keep the same naptime/snack/meal schedule
  • Eat what is served -- no special meals
  • No hitting or biting
  • Pacifiers only for sleeping (in bed or in the car)
Of course as the kids got to be mobile we had to expand our rules. Like what?

  • Hold hands in parking lots / whenever we exit the car somewhere other than at home
  • Stay on the sidewalk
  • When we're out playing, make sure that you can see Mommy/Daddy and we can see you
  • When we say "Too far" means to come closer to us
Even now, my kids (5 and almost 8) hold my hand when we're exiting our car. They get out of the car on my side (whichever side I'm sitting) and stand near the side of the car. I just hold both hands near my sides after I close my door and they grab a hand. It's a loose hand holding. It's not a tight grip. They know that it's safer to walk next to me because I'm taller than them (YES! 5'3" is taller than my kids!). And the sidewalk rule? It's still in effect when we're in front of our house. The only time that rule is bent is when they're playing in the cul-de-sac.

But it's just as inevitable that each of us parents finds their own style. Our own way of dealing with things. It's this way in our house. I recognize this. The Hubs has one way of getting things done. I have another way of getting things done. By now there are some things that the Hubs does with the kids. There are some things I do with the kids. There is a definite split between us on certain thing now that the kids are older.

I let the kids get pretty loud when it's just the three of us in the house. I let the kids run around upstairs. I let the kids run around downstairs in the back part of the house -- when I'm working in the den in the front part of the house. I figure that they need to burn some energy and play, so why not? Of course, I do check up on them. Make sure they're not getting too aggressive with each other. When they hear the garage door open that signals the Hubs arriving home? They know they need to turn the decibels down a few notches.

When the kids inevitably fight, I seriously don't want to referee. I basically just get the one who is hurt to make sure it's a minor injury. I don't ask who started it. It really doesn't matter to me. I just want to find out if one of them has a boo-boo that needs attention. I quiet the situation and wipe away the tears. I remind them both about being rough with each other and it's all done. They normally get back to playing with each other within 5 minutes. Now the Hubs? When crying starts, he'll yell upstairs and do the "who did what?" and "why did you?" Then he'll send them to their rooms. Both kids end up crying in their rooms. Things don't get back to normal for a while. A LONG while. Because now he is angry that they fought. And they're upset that they got yelled at. [sigh]

I am not saying that what the Hubs does is wrong. I'm recognizing that he has his way of parenting and I have my own. But when the kids were smaller? When the kids couldn't really communicate with words and were still learning about behavior? We were a united front. And it worked in teaching our kids how we do things. Once we figured out what rules we wanted to enforce and how we would handle each situation, it was pretty easy.

This is how we do things in our family.

This is the answer I gave Princes when she asked about why we do things a certain way and other people did things another way. She sees other kids her age running around parking lots. She sees other kids being sassy to their parents. She sees other people eating certain things (candy / cookies / cakes) when we don't eat daily. I let her know that parents make the rules for their family. And when she gets to be a parent, she and her husband will figure out the rules their kids will need to follow.

Even though it is sometimes hard to follow our family rules, the kids know that we parents have a responsibility. One that I make sure they remember.

It's Mommy and Daddy's job to help them make good decisions.

But what's great? Is that we're a family. And we allow each other the flexibility to be how we are. Sometimes the way the Hubs behaves frustrates me to goodness knows what, but that's the way he is. And I have to accept it. I have my flaws a plenty and he's a good man to put up with some things. The kids know that we want the best for them. And they're kids. So discipline will be something that we're going to have to continue with as they grow. We can only build upon the rules we've already established. I feel that we've got some solid rules and hopefully we'll raise some kids that WILL make good decisions.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Making Mommy Laugh

Here's something I overheard yesterday:

Prin: You'd better stop it!
Bear: Why Sissy?
Prin: Because I said so.
Bear: You're NOT being NICE!
Prin: Well, you better stop.
Bear: You're not being nice. YOU dont' get to watch BARBIE!

Barbie? What? There's no Barbie DVDs or videos that we have. What's he talking about? Oh....BARNEY! He's talking about the Barney DVD that we rented.

Barbie...Barney...he didn't care that he said the wrong thing. He was getting his point across to his sister. Bad behavior gets no tv time. I'd say he got that right.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

More security for the girls

The Princess attended a birthday party this morning. It was a Birthday Tea Party. Very ladylike. The girls were in fancy sundresses and all wore hats.

The place had a limited number of tables, so I just dropped the Princess off. It was fine because she was able to act silly with her girlfriends without having me listening in. I wanted her to have fun without being encumbered by my presence. I went to the mall that was a mile away from the tea house. The Mall! ME! Yes! The place that I dread. The place that I avoid at all costs. Most of the time.

But today? I went there voluntary. Why? Because I need some new bras. Yes. Bra shopping. It's something you can't just do quickly. You can't just grab items off a rack and go. You need to TRY things on. I found this out once again by grabbing things off the rack at Kohl's last week. I got things that I thought were my size. When I got home and tried on the bras? NOTHING fit. NADA. NADA! Horrific state of affairs. I need new bras for when I start working again!

Today I splurged. I went to Vic's Secret. Yes. I went there. Since it was early, the place wasn't busy. I was able to get an associate to help me out. Estimate my size. Get me all the "try-on bras". She told me that I should try single bra on in my size. She said that each bra is different so it was important to try on each one. To see how it fit on my body. To see how the bras fit my breasts. AH!!!

What did I find out? That the bras that I have? The bras that I hate? They are in the wrong size. Uh-duh! I am NOT a 36C. When I first married the Hubs, I was a 36B...a FULL B. So after the kids I thought I'd moved up to a B-cup. Uh...wrong. WRONG! I am actually....[wait for it]....a 36D. Yes. I am now a D-cup.

Since I tried on all the different bra styles, the associate actually wrote down the bras that I liked the best. I now have a card with the bras that fit my body/breasts the best. And now? I can shop online to see when THOSE styles are on sale/special. YEAH! I did end up purchasing two bras today. I couldn't pass them up. I got a convertible bra -- so I can change to T-back or strapless. I also got an enhancement bra. It just gives me a little push inwards so I've got cleavage. The look of 'younger' breasts! Lifted! Perky! Robust! Ha!

I no longer the breast bumps peaking out of the top of my bra. My breasts are now securely contained within the cups. Safe and secure. Bras that fit? It's a wonderful thing!

Friday, July 11, 2008

More progress made

This week both of the kiddos were in swim lessons. BOTH OF THEM!

THIS week, the swim school had a "power" week. It was a week in between their regular 4 week sessions. So they took that opportunity to have a 5 day class. Yes. I was at the swim school every single day this week.

The classes weren't at the regular time that I have the Bear signed up for. Since I only signed up 2 weeks ago, I had to take what was left. The Bear at 11:30am. The Princess at 12pm. [sigh] Everything else earlier was filled. And I couldn't get them in at the same half hour time-frame. Couldn't. I had to settle for a hot time. Not only was it hot this week? It was humid. We've had cloud cover ALL week. And for those of you who know the desert, the cloud cover doesn't really provide any relief. It just brings on that sauna feeling. Would you rather feel like you're in an oven? Or a sauna? I would prefer an oven myself. I know that if I stay in the shade that I'm as cool as I can be. I'm not sweating. I do hate sweating when I'm just sitting in the shade. HATE IT!

The kids enjoyed themselves.

The Bear had an instructor that he'd never had. It was a guy that has a deep loud voice. And he is one who always challenges his kids. And he really did challenge the Bear to his limits. Made him swim on his own more than any other teacher has before. What happens with the Bear is that when he takes a breath he doesn't keep a steady strong kick with his legs. And because of this? His little bottom sinks. And then he can't get it back up. He then sinks like a rock. OY!

The Princess had one of her favorite instructors. Someone that challenges her but in a more soft approach than the Bear's instructor. She hadn't been in a class for a few weeks, so she struggled a little on the first day. But guess what? I found out today that her instructor is recommending she go up another level! Yes! Here is her progression -- Flounder -- Pollywog -- Goldfish -- Blue Gill -- now onto Dolphin! She has gone through 4 levels since February. She's never had to repeat a level. I think she's a natural swimmer. Fascinating, since my girl has NEVER enjoyed getting water in her eyes. I think it'll be good for her since it's more of an individual sport versus a team sport. It's something that she can challenge herself with rather than having other people rely on her to do stuff. I mean, she enjoys people. She loves her friends, but she doesn't do well with team sports. She just doesn't. She feels too much pressure. I mean, my girl used to cry when we sang "Happy Birthday" to her before we cut her cake at parties. Seriously. She would CRY. She didn't like all our eyes on her.

Anyway, it's been a sweaty week for me as I sit in the shade next to the pool -- for an hour. I send the kids into the cool play room inside while I watch each of them. What kind of Mom would I be if I didn't watch my kids at their lesson?


I don't want to be the parent who sits as far away from the pool as possible facing away from it while talking on the phone for 30 minutes. I don't want to be the parent who sits reading a magazine and never looking up once. I don't want to be the parent who sits at a table reading and highlighting paperwork.

Yes. There have been parents like that this week. But to each their own, right? I just couldn't NOT watch my kids. Because every now and then? They'll look up towards the shady area and seek me out. And I don't want to miss them. Their smiling face. I want them to see me smiling right back at them. I want them to know I'm proud of their effort and progress. That I'm there. Watching them succeed.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Out and about in the sun - Part 2

On Saturday we headed out to....the Del Mar Faire!

When I was young, my folks (read that as my Dad) didn't like crowds. We were lucky to actually go to Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm. And the Del Mar Faire? It's crowded. It's noisy. Just the kind of place that I never got to go to when I was little. So I wanted to be sure the KIDS were able to go.

We arrived at the Faire when it opened at 10am. There weren't any lines. We got to the ticket counter straight away. We then proceeded to the entrance in another minute. Into the place in no time flat. Woohoo!

Thankfully, it was an overcast morning. The kids had sunscreen of course. But having the cloud cover made for a more enjoyable time. The only issue was that it felt muggy (again!). But there was an intermittent breeze that felt WONDERFUL.

We headed out to the kids area right away. They had all the kiddo sized rides in the center of the racetrack. Yes. In the interior area of the Del Mar Racetrack. The rides. The games. The snacks. Everything was for the kids. It was great. I thought the Bear would be ALL about the rides. But guess what? It was the Princess was the daredevil. She wanted to go on EVERYTHING. In hindsight, I think the Bear was just tired. TOO TIRED for words. But he did ride a few things. The smaller things.

We ended up with about 8 prizes. We would have come home with a couple fish, but we didn't want to take a chance at those little things dying in the bag. The kids threw balls into bowls that were rotating in a water. The kids threw darts (sharp ones!) into balloons. The kids sprayed water at a target. It was fun for the kids to play the games as it was easy to win prizes. They had a good time doing each game.

After a few hours of rides and games, we got some lunch. Krispy Kreme sandwich? Deep-fried Oreo? Deep-fried Twinky? Yes. There were the weird foods out there. But we stuck to stuff we knew. Hot Dog on a Stick. Lemonade. Frozen yogurt. We didn't want any tummy issues. No sirree! We left after we ate. We were all tired.

And it was a GOOD TIRED.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Out and about in the sun

My interview wasn't until 2pm on Thursday, so that morning we headed out to the park.

Oh Lordy-bee! It was muggy and sunny. Thankfully, there was a cool breeze that came up intermittently.

The kids had a blast running around on the equipment. There was no tarp over the area, which they commented upon. I had to convince them that the equipment was still okay to play on. That it wasn't super burning hot. So off they went. Running. Sliding. Climbing. There were only about 3 other kids in the area. And two of them were about a year old. So my kids had a run on the place. It was all good.

The Bear loved pretending to ride a motorcycle and going down the half a dozen slides.

The Princess had such a fun time on the caterpillar ladder and on the traverse swing. She went on those over and over again.

We headed back so I could get ready for my interview. And it was a good interview. It FELT good. I was able to answer their questions. I felt comfortable. I was able to bring up my skills and how I used them in the past and how it applied to their current needs. But the thing is? It's Tuesday and I haven't heard from them. I'm bummed. I sent 'thank you' emails to each of the people I spoke with too. [sigh]

It would have been an ideal place to work. The offices were in a square building with an open middle courtyard with benches and LOADS of plants. Those who have desks facing the interior see the courtyard. Those who have desks facing the exterior of the building see the trees surrounding the building. The location was great too. It was only about 5 miles south from the community we want to live. FIVE MILES!

What's interesting is that the office location is just around the corner from the place where I first worked after college. JUST. AROUND. THE. CORNER. So, of course, I felt compelled to drive by my old office building. It looked the same from the outside. Just driving by it brought back some good memories.

Hopefully I'll be able to create some new wonderful memories. Soon we'll be making those memories near my family....

Monday, July 7, 2008

We're home

We're back safe and sound.

We actually arrived home yesterday evening.

The Hubs went to work like normal today. The kids had swim class. I had to catch up on work. BUSY day. We're all still tired. I konked out on the couch after dinner for about 20 minutes. I didn't realize it but the Bear konked out on the other side of the couch pillow that I was on.

We did a lot for us. We spent time at the park the morning before I had my interview. We spent the 4th at my sister's house. BIG family gathering -- our side and my BILs side of the family. We had about 24 people there. LOTS of food. The next day we went to the Del Mar Faire. Then we drove home. Those are the highlights -- more to come in the next day or so. It's already 11pm and I need to head off to sleep.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Sitting waiting patiently

It's 3pm. What am I doing?

Waiting patiently. OR...trying to wait patiently for my husband.

We have a LONG drive (6+ hours) ahead of us.

The natives (aka the kidlings) are getting restless.

They know we're heading out. And they are anxious to start our drive.


Nervously waiting

Today we'll be driving out to my folks' house.

Tomorrow? I'll be seeing someone that I mentioned last month.

You all know that I really dislike talking about myself and what I can do. It's not a natural thing for me. I know there are people out there who aren't embarrassed to discuss their opinion or stuff like that. I am not one of those people. So it's a struggle for me to convey to others about my skills. What I can bring to the table. All that jazz. HATE IT!

But I must tell you that the companies/people who have hired me have always been pleased with my work. My ability to learn things quickly. How I can take a project and run with it. The fact that I only need a minimal amount of guidance. My knack for picking up new software systems I've never seen or heard of before. My ability to feel comfortable interacting with all kinds of staff (accounting, engineering, customer service, etc.) or management. In fact, two of my previous managers that I've worked for have hired me on for other jobs.

Crazily enough...I tend to forget all these things. My mind can go completely blank sometimes. But you's only during interviews that I freeze up. I'm fine once I'm on the job. I actually did work for temp firms a few times (when I got out of college and when we moved to a new city). and each time the company I temp'd for hired me. [sigh]

Anyway.... tomorrow afternoon I have a face-to-face interview. Yes. From that job I had the phone screen for. I'm nervous. I can already feel that my tummy is full of acid. The anticipation of it (and any interview) gets to me BIG time. I'm a bundle of nerves. I'm sure I'll get through it but I need to get my mind set on what types of things they'll ask me and have something prepared in my mind. So I DON'T. GO. BLANK.

Are YOU comfortable when you're interviewing for a new job? How do you prepare yourself? What do you do when you're nervous?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

It's the 2nd half of the year?

It's July 1st.

It's the start of the 2nd half of the year. We've already finished HALF of 2008! Oh my!

And tomorrow afternoon? We leave for our long drive out to visit my family. TOMORROW. And I haven't done one thing to get ready.

What clothes to pack?

What additional items to bring?

What food/snacks/drinks to set aside?

Nothing. Nada.


What does this mean? Tomorrow is going to be a mighty busy morning. BUSY.


I'm tired just thinking about it.