Moms, be afraid. Be very afraid….
By Heather O.
By Heather O.
It’s not me who is on bed rest, everybody. I just wanted to say that up front, lest y’all think some kind of miracle has happened. It’s my friend who is confined to her cushy prison. She is expecting twins in November, and her doctor has ordered very strict bedrest–flat on her back, basically. She can be up in a semi-reclined position for short periods of time. She can get up to pee, and, presumably, to shower. She can go to the doctor. That’s it. This is a woman who used to work in a high power DC law firm. In a word, she’s going bonkers.
Also, she needs some help. I’m going to help her out for a few days, and I was hoping to come armed with an arsenal of activities. But, sadly, I’m not all that creative. Help, please. If you were flat on your back (or if you have been flat on your back), what would you like to do? And if you had a friend around (who does have to bring her 4 year old, by the way), what would you want to do with her?
Any and all ideas are welcome.
I have been reading with delight, the Wiz’s posts on Toddler-man’s adventures in Pottyland and the carnage of Spiderman and Sponge Bob he is leaving behind. Of course, I read these posts with the smug assumption that I had crawled out of the rabbit hole and was no longer in Pottyland. Oh how wrong I was.
Not only am I still in Pottyland, but I have discovered that boys and girls really are different in Pottyland. I’m not referring to the stand-up vs. sit down kind of different, I mean announcing your intentions kind of different. All kids announce their need to “go” when in training, but apparently girls continue to announce long after the training is over.
Princess O, my 3 almost 4 y.o. is well out of the training phase, yet she continues to feel the need to announce her needs no matter when or where. I could understand this if we were traveling in the car or at the store, but she does it at home, at pre-school, at play and of course, at church. Since she has not yet mastered the art of the quiet voice, these announcements of “Mom, I’ve gotta poop” are most often made during the passing of the sacrament or during a prayer. I’m always so proud she feels the need to share with the congregation.
But Princess O took the announcement to a new height last night when at O-dark-thirty she tip-toed into my room. You know that feeling you have when you’re asleep but can feel someone staring at you? Yeah, I had that. I cracked my one eye open just to check for monsters, only to find a face inches from me, which of course, scared the beans out of me and made me scream and say bad words.
“What do you want?” I croaked after recoverning myself. “I need to go potty” was the reply. “Then go” I said still in a stuppor. She then left, went back down the hall to the bathroom (which she had passed on her way to my room), did her business and went back to bed. Ughhh.
I informed my blissfully unaware DH of the escapade the next morning (since he had slept through the whole thing) and asked him why she would feel the need to do that. He just looked at me with that “I-can’t believe-your-so-stupid” look on his face and said “She learned it from you”.
Do I really announce? Am I teaching my daughter a learned behavior? Holy Cow he’s right! I DO announce. Although I have mastered the quiet voice, I am in the habit of announcing my intentions before I leave the room.
This of course brings me to my question for all of you. Is the need for announcement a genetic girl thing , is it a social girl thing or am I just a freak that is passing on her weird habits?
At least we girls have the good sense to come inside to do our business.
By The Wiz
Ok, so when I met these twins, and asked their names, and was told Warner and Maddox, I was really surprised that I had to ask which one was which. I figured (ignorantly, I guess) that once I knew their names, I would know which one is the boy and which one is the girl.
Warner is the girl, and Maddox is the boy. Most of you were right. I would have guessed the other way around, but I wasn’t thinking about Angelina Jolie’s kid!!
By The Wiz
Ok, I recently met a set of boy/girl twins who were named Warner and Maddox. Go on, guess which one is the boy and which one is the girl!
By Heather O.
We had some friends come visit us this week. I’ve known them for a long, long time, and it was fun to have them in our new house, etc. But I was surprised to discover an area of life where we seem to have little in common: food.
Now, I am not a food Nazi. But having PKD means that I have to watch some of the things I eat, mainly sodium and hydrogenated oil. I also can’t have caffeine, or huge amounts of chocolate.
What this translates into is that I prepare most of our food fresh, and our pantry is pretty bare when it comes to snack food. I also give J soy milk on occasion, just because I like the extra protein on things like oatmeal, or as a mixed beverage, half chocolate Silk, half cow’s milk at breakfast or lunch. There are lots of local farms that we like to go to and pick our own stuff, like blueberries and corn and peaches. We like to frequent farmer’s markets, and I love cooking from our herb garden. And, of course, we have our beautiful garden that provides us with fresh vegetables every day.
My friend thinks I am a freak.
She keeps asking things like, “Well, why have you put J on this diet? Do you think you can keep him from getting PKD? So, this special diet you’re on. Can you have bread? Can you drink milk? Wow, what a commitment!”
Hmm, a low sodium, low packaged food diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables with an appropriate amount of protein. Not exactly a medically regimented diet.
She was also unimpressed with my garden, giving it a cursory glance and a shrug. Ok, I know I talk about this a lot, but my garden TOTALLY ROCKS! I mean, how can you just shrug your shoulders at sunflowers 12 feet high and tomatoes the size of softballs?
Her husband is with her on this, too. For breakfast, I offered homemade whole wheat blueberry pancakes made from scratch with blueberries we had picked, smeared with homemade raspberry jam (compliments of Tracy M, by the way. We are almost out–send more!) with a side of strawberries and bacon. He opted for Dora’s Cinnamon Stars cereal.
I’m surprised how strongly I feel about this. They don’t eat how we eat. They don’t share our passion for growing fresh vegetables. They have never even been in a Whole Foods store, and it’s not because they can’t afford it.
None of this makes them bad people. They are in fact very pleasant people. They’re just not food snobs. But we apparantly are. And it’s an issue. Not a big one, not one that I would bring up in a million years, but it’s there.
If you would have asked me, I would have never said that food can separate people. But now, I see that it can. And a couple of times during their visit I have felt like saying, “Drinking soy milk does not make me weird!”
I’m going to go have a tomato.
By The Wiz
Ok, so Jamisue posted before we could welcome her to the front lines! Welcome to Jamisue, our newest poster.
As a sort of intro, I will tell you that she is the mother of two astonishingly cute children, she works full time as a lawyer, (We now have a lawyer on our blog! Does that make us officially part of the Bloggernacle dark side?) and always adds extra M&M’s to her trail mix. We are looking forward to her added insights and war stories.
By Heather O.
Did you know those were the words in the song, “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile?” I just learned them this week as J has gotten into the whole “Annie” phenomenon. Yea for me. I now can sing along to the repetitive record in my head instead of just humming, “Hey, hmm hmm hmm, hey dodeedo, you both got your dumdedumdedum….”
Now, not knowing the lyrics to a show tune is not usually something to blog about, but, you see, I have actually performed that song. Several times. As a kid, I was in a production of Annie, and played a ragamuffin orphan and various other ragamuffin extra parts. I was pretty young, and seriously had no clue what those words meant, regardless of the fact that I sang them, over and over. I remember my sisters and I talking about what those words could possibly mean.
“Maybe they are just names of people.”
“Maybe a Hoboman is somebody who frowns a lot, and needs to smile.”
“What’s a dapper?”
I also didn’t know what “Hey, Senator, hey, janitor” meant, either, but I probably couldn’t even really pronounce those words, because I don’t remember even bothering to ask their definitions. So much for clear diction on stage.
But now I know! Woo-hoo! The mysteries of Annie have been unfolded to me. And this whole re-acquantiance with Annie has sparked all kinds of childhood memories. In examining the experience as an adult, I’ve come to this conclusion:
Most of the time, kids are basically clueless.
I mean that in the best sense, of course, but I think sometimes we as adults think kids get what is going on, and really, things are just way over their heads. Not a single director, choreographer, whatever bothered to wonder if the small kids singing about Main Street and Saville Row knew what the heck they were singing about (that one I did ask about, by the way), probably because a) they didn’t have time to explain every little detail to all the 8 year olds on stage, and b) they probably didn’t realize that those 8 year olds were, as I said before, clueless.
There is, of course, the smallest, tiniest, itsy-bitsiest possibility that it was only I who was clueless, but my extensive research on the subject, which includes vital information gathering by watching the movie on repeat with my 4 year old, and then pondering my childhood memories in my pick up on my way to Home Depot, would suggest otherwise.
These kinds of discoveries can be kind of fun, though. I’ve heard all kinds of stories about how people don’t realize until adulthood that, say, the words to “I am a Child of God” do not include “And so my knees are gray.”
So let’s remember to explain things a little better to our kids, and remember that even though they may pipe up with evidence of big ears, they are, for the most part, clueless.
And 10,000 dollars goes to the first person who can tell me what a dapper really is.
By The Wiz
My daughter has learned an invaluable lesson. She has learned that she can fake her way through a piano lesson without having to practice, based on smarts, luck, and the fact that she’s still a beginner and the lessons are still fairly easy.
I don’t want her to think she can go through life sailing by unprepared. I also don’t want her to think she’s stupid and needs to spend hours at the piano each day to master “Mary Had A Little Lamb.”
She loves the piano, she loves her teacher, she loves recitals, she hates to practice. History repeating itsef, I guess. I always hated to practice as a kid, too. How to get her to practice? Points worked for a while, but the novelty wore off, even though she can earn a toy after earning so many. I remember nothing that my mother tried that was successful in getting me to practice long term. And she tried many things. Maybe I was just supremely stubborn as a child. Advice would be greatly appreciated.
By Heather O.
DH once asked his sister, while I was standing right next to him,”So, what do you think of my wife?”
My SIL, generous soul that she is, said, “I think she’s a with it, happenin’, cool kinda gal.”
Really, what is she supposed to say to my face? “Actually, brother, I think your wife is a total dolt, and I’m feeling rather sorry for you that you are saddled to such a bonehead for eternity.”
Nevertheless, her response did make me sigh, just a bit. Oh, if only I was a With It Gal.
A With It Gal wouldn’t spend a half an hour cleaning out her car the night before she has to drive a carpool because if she didn’t, only the driver and a small child in a car seat would be able to find a seat around the junk. With It people have clean cars all the time.
A With It Gal wouldn’t pull out a mildly wrinkled dress to wear to church from a partially unpacked suitcase that sat unpacked from a 2 week vacation for almost a week. With It People unpack immediately. And they don’t miss the sacrament because they are 15 minutes late for church.
A With It Gal doesn’t lose her son in an unmade bed.
I know there are With It People out there, even With It moms. I’ve met them. I’ve seen their clean cars, their sparkling kitchens, their tastefully decorated bedrooms. I’ve borrowed clothes from their immaculately organized closets, helped them cook in their well stocked kitchens, and admired their perfectly manicured lawns. And only a small part of them are actually crazy. The rest of them are really quite pleasant.
So, With It People of the world, share your secrets. I’d love to know them. I’m dying to know them, because I’m clearly at a loss here. I sometimes feel the opposite of With It. What would that be, anyway? Without It? Losing it? One Without With?
I’m sure a With It Person could tell me.
By The Wiz
Today was the first day my son voluntarily got up from what he was doing, went into the bathroom, and made magic happen. Yee-Haaa! He has yet to tell me when he needs to go, so I’m a little wary about venturing into public without him being swathed in large amounts of plastic, and as I am typing this, excited about potty training success, he just pooped into his new underwear. Crap.
One step forward, two steps back, I guess.
By Heather O.
By Heather O.
I’m so not a fashion queen. Trust me. One thing I like about the temple is that fashion is not a part of it. At all. Everybody wears white–how can you go wrong with that? Well, apparantly, you can.
I went to the temple yesterday, and at the end of the ceremony, when I handed my little pink slip of a name to the temple worker, I was stunned at what I saw. No joke, this lady was sporting 3 inch long fingernails painted with what looked like gold glitter. There were sparkles on her temple dress, and white lace on her high heeled shoes. Ok, I was a temple worker for over a year, and I’m tellin’ ya, working a 5 hour shift in those babies just looked painful. I couldn’t even imagine how she could walk in those things, as the heels must have sunk down at least 4 inches into the soft carpet every step she took. She was also doing her best Tammy Faye Baker imitation. I tried not to stand too close for fear of getting smeared.
The whole effect among the rest of the plainly clothed white haired gnarled knuckled gentle grandmotherly temple matrons was completely jarring. And standing there, at the end of the endowment, which is really supposed to be the spiritual culmination of the whole thing, all I could think was, “Wow. Where are the fashion police when you need them, anyway?”
I’m so going to hell.
By The Wiz
My oldest is giving a talk in Primary tomorrow. Here is what she’s saying - spelling errors and all:
Today I am going to talk about the stoy Lehi Left Jerusalem. When God told Lehi that Jerusallem was going to be dushoed and that he will have to take his family out of Jerusalem and thats what did and he did it without comeplanening. That shoses us that God tells us to do something we shood do it without complaneing. I say theses things in the name of Jesus Christ amen.
Now, doctrinally, there are some issues here - I actually remember quite a bit of “complaneing” on the part of Lehi’s family, and Lehi even did a bit while in the wilderness. But, mostly, I am just going to listen and smile at her and tell her she did a great job, because I know she will do a fabulous job.
By Heather O.
This post does have a happy ending. It could have had a bad ending, and it came awfully close to being likethis story, but, thankfully, everything was ok. I just want to say that at the outset, because the last time I told somebody a suspenseful story about my son, she yelled at me for stopping her heart in her youth.
Ok, so lately, I’ve been REALLY tired. A friend and I have formed a running group, and we have been running every day and lifting weights. I actually am now a fan of working out with somebody, because nothing gets you out of bed to abuse your body like somebody else’s good opinion of you. But one of the women in our group has to work out early, and when I say early, I mean before dawn. Yeah, I didn’t really know that 5:30 comes twice a day. Now I know.
So I parked my kid in front of a video yesterday afternoon so I could collapse for a few minutes (um, or hours, however you care to look at it). He sort of bounced around my bed, made noises, you know, doing the soundtrack of a mother’s life. Somehow as a mom you can actually sleep through all of this. I was doing just fine, and fell asleep for I’m not really sure how long. It was the silence rather than the noise that woke me up.
I groggily poked my head over the edge of the bed to see if I could see J, and I called his name. No answer. I threw the covers off of me, and starting looking for him in earnest, still calling his name. Again, no answer. I searched the house, searched the backyard, and even knocked on the neighbor’s door to see if he had wandered over there. Again, nothing. Now, I should mention that J is not a wanderer. I used to keep a childlock thingie on all my doors, and he USED to try to get out when he was younger, but he has been conditioned to stay in the house since then. You know, like the elephant who gets chained by a strong chain and then can be kept in by a little chain because he doesn’t try the chain again. And that’s just yet another example of how circus life resembles motherhood.
Anyway, at this point, it has been a nearly 15 minute search, and still, nothing. I pick up the phone to call DH, just to try and think through everything, and my heart stopped.
The phone was dead.
Ok, maybe I was still a little groggy from my nap, but suddenly all kinds of wacky scenarios are running through my head, and when I heard the ice-cream man outside, I knew I had the solution: The ice-cream man had snuck into my house while I was asleep, cut my phone lines, and had STOLEN my baby! I was just trying to figure out how I could get a police detective to believe me as I got in my car to start to try and comb the neighborhood.
One of my neighbors was out on the street, and I told her that I couldn’t find J. She deployed her pre-teens on bikes to check all the ditches in the neighborhood, and they took to their Mission Impossible like Tom Cruise himself. She said she would station herself at the entrance to our development, just in case she saw J leave or come back. I was ready to enlist the help of other neighbors, but thought I should check the house just one more time. Maybe he was just playing a REALLY good game of hide and seek. Time from startled awakening to silence: 25 minutes. Mommy panic was seriously setting in.
I carefully looked in every closet, and under every piece of furniture, thinking maybe he was stuck, or had suffocated somewhere. I even checked an old trunk where he HAS gotten stuck before, and then went to check under my bed. I pulled the covers off the bed to look under it, and breathed a HUGE sigh of relief.
There, on TOP of my bed, was my child. Asleep. Breathing peacefully, perfectly in tact, snuggled up with a toy, his head close to the pillow I had been using, looking like the angel that he is. His body had been hidden by the covers that I had thrown off of my own body when I had gotten out of bed a half an hour before, and he was clearly so deeply asleep he had not been disturbed by my shouting his name. I offered a quick prayer of gratitude, tucked him in a little better, and went to tell my neighbor to call off the search. And I have to say, her little re-con team actually looked slightly disappointed. Looking for a kid who could be dead in a ditch was WAY more exciting than selling lemonade.
I have to admit, I did tell a little white lie. I told her he had been hiding in the house, in my room. I just did not have to heart to tell her that the whole time he had been asleep. In my bed. Next to me. What a lame mom.
Good thing I didn’t call 911. I’m sure they would have been largely unimpressed by my story, my mothering skills, and, of course, my housekeeping skills. Maybe it was a good thing that a construction crew had accidentally cut our neighborhood phone lines. And it looks like the ice-cream man was not, after all, a crazed child molester who likes to kidnap little boys. He’s clearly just a guy trying to make a buck off of our children’s sugar addictions. Go figure.
So, let’s be grateful for safe children, and, um, make your beds, ladies. Otherwise you could lose a person in there.
By The Wiz
I just have to say that my friend called me today saying “I’m in your neighborhood and I’m getting some lunch. Can I bring you something?” And she brought me lunch! Holy Cow! What are the odds?
By The Wiz
Ah, yes. Another post on potty-training. Just what you wanted to read. But you see, it’s not my toddler who is willing to poop for candy. It’s my five year old.
She has figured out that Toddler-Man (soon to be named Preschool-Man) has a vast array of sugared sweets available to him should he make magic happen in the potty, thus saving both SpongeBob and Spiderman from more disgusting fates. (He is currently addicted to sugar, but he may well be kept out of kindergarten due to lack of potty skills, so I’m up for motivating him any way I can.)
But my little 5 and half year old! She knows that she can control her bodily functions. And in a house of justice, if her brother gets sugar for poopin’, well then, so does she. And so she is constantly telling me “I went potty! Can I have a candy?” Dude! You’ve been going potty successfully for 3 years! Aren’t we past the candy? But Toddler-Man is right there, watching everything with his bright brown eyes. And when she’s eating the candy and he’s not - I just know he’s thinking ‘hey! I want that!’ Mostly I know that because he’s actually saying “HEY! I want that!” And off he runs to the potty to earn his share of tooth decaying goodness.
So I’m hoping she’s a motivator in all this. She seems to be, so far. And she’s available for rental, she’ll poop for candy anywhere, anytime.
By The Wiz
What are the odds that the first day we put “big boy pants” on my son, he has an attack of diarrhea? (apparently fairly high, but I will spare you the details. Let’s just say ‘Spiderman got soiled.’)
What are the odds that requesting afternoon kindergarden means you actually get afternoon kindergarten? (apparently very low, and now I will have a school year with morning kindergarten for one and afternoon preschool for another. There are worse fates, I guess.)
And what are the odds that someone will show up and just randomly bring me some lunch(even though it’s 2:00)? Because my son climbed in bed with me crying this morning with a mild fever,(the diarrhea should have warned me) and he hasn’t left the bed all day, and every fiber of my being wants to just climb in there with him and sleep the day away. (I believe I am fighting a bug myself - just minor - but a day of sleep would be most welcome).
I have two other children who are very well behaved, and healthy, and wonderful in every way, but they still need some lunch and I just don’t have the energy right now.
Logically, I know I need some fuel and then I will feel better, but at the moment, I can dream of someone randomly showing up with food, right? The odds for that have to be at least as good as…..oh, all right. I’ll quit whining and go make some sandwiches.
By Heather O.
I did not anticipate coming home to this, after a 2 week garden hiatus:
The Wiz says she can’t even tell they are sunflowers, that they just look like big weird green things. My point exactly. I might also point out that even though the shovel doesn’t give the greatest perspective, these big green weird things that are supposed to be beautiful sunflowers also happen to be about 12 feet tall. I guess caterpillars don’t like sunflowers.
By Heather O.
Here’s some jokes I’ll bet The Wiz’s 6 Million Dollars you’ve never heard before:
(sigh) Who’s there?
And that last one sent my son into spasmodic giggles for at least a minute. I mean, chicken CHICKEN, right after he said Chicken LITTLE? It doesn’t get any better than that!
Oh please, all ye older and wiser and more experienced mommies, please tell me it DOES get better than that, because if I have to spend another hour in the car listening to jokes like the above, I may just have to shoot myself.
We have officially entered the “endless bad and meaningless jokes” stage of life, and I’m pleading for help. How do you teach your child that “chicken CHICKEN!” is not actually a joke? It’s not that I’m a humor Nazi, not really. Ok, so I do think that fart jokes aren’t actually all that amusing, but beyond that, usually I’m good. But hours of knock knock jokes while we were schlepping our son all over the country these past few weeks gets a little wearing. I suppose I could look at it as 4 year old revenge, some sort of toddler payback for forced time spent on an airplane with no liquids (yeah, that’s a post in and of itself, but we just won’t go there). If so, my kid could teach the government a lot about torture. In fact, I’m surprised that the CIA doesn’t take more notes from parenting classes about how to inflict maximum pain.
So, how do you teach humor? Are there books I should get? Shows I should watch? A spear I can impale myself on when the never-ending onslaught of “Mom, say “Knock Knock!” starts? Lemme know.
Mommy in a straight jacket