Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Customer uh Service?

I just got off the phone, trying to book haircuts for Mitchell and Noah.

We've been going to Cool Cuts 4 Kids since Mitchell's first haircut, and I think they're great for kiddos. Mitchell really could use a trim, and it's time for Noah's first haircut.

I called to make the appointment, and I asked for them to have their hair cut at the same time. I was told this wasn't possible since they only have two stylists working tomorrow and they need to keep one free in case of a walk-in.

Uh, last time I checked, walk-ins had to wait until someone was available. Am I wrong? I mean, the whole point of calling ahead and making an appointment is to ensure you're seen at a certain time, and if you just walk in, you wait until someone can see you.

I asked her this, and she started offering me appointments 20 minutes apart, not even listening to what I was saying.

Then she tells me - yes, tells me - that I need to bring them in at 11 and 11:20. I told her I couldn't do it at that time because my older one is in school and doesn't get out until 2. Then she tells me to bring them at 2 and 2:20. I asked how I was supposed to be at his school picking him up and at the haircut place at the same time.

Ready for this - she said I need to bring one at 11 and bring the other back at 2:20!

I asked what she has available on Monday and she starts rattling off the Friday appointments available. I interrupted her and explained that I cannot bring them on Friday and she got all huffy with me and asked exactly what did I want her to do.

I felt like telling her, "Transfer me to someone who can help, that's what I want you to do."

So, I've got them scheduled for Monday, 20 minutes apart.

Am I wrong to be so annoyed by all of this?

Mystery Revealed

This is the Mystery Car that Mitchell opened this morning, the reward for a week of toothbrushing.
Hot Wheels has come up with an awesome concept: 24 Mystery Cars. They're packaged in black plastic so you don't know what you're getting.
I will not be showing Mitchell the Hot Wheels website - way too much stuff for me to have to read him day after day after day ...

When All Else Fails, Bribe 'em

I've whined quite a bit about Mitchell not wanting to brush his teeth.

Thank you all for your suggestions, BTW.

So I decided to create a sticker chart with a reward at the end: a new Hot Wheels car.

Had things worked out like planned, we would have gone to Target yesterday and Mitchell would have picked out his new Hot Wheels car and I'd open it as I strapped him into his carseat for the ride home.

But, we all know ... things never go as planned!

I think it was Saturday at Mitchell refused to brush so Paul had to do it for him. Not pleasant.

And, I wasn't going to change my plans ... I wanted to go to Target yesterday so I could go to the grocery store today. (The grocery store seems picked over from the weekend on Mondays, but on Tuesdays - they have all new stuff.)

Before leaving for Target, I explained that while there, Mitchell would get to pick out a Hot Wheels but that he wouldn't be able to open it or play with it until tomorrow when he brushed his teeth and got the last star on his chart.

Did you know Hot Wheels are just 97 cents each at Target? Me either! Thank goodness they're cheap - I have a feeling there will be lots more bribery rewards for toothbrushing to come.

Mitchell studied his choices for quite a while. (Noah was about to roar.) Then I pointed out the Mystery Cars. Hot Wheels marketing geniuses have put some cars in a black package and labeled them a mystery. So, he picked one.

We came home and put it in the bathroom, right in front of his chart. When his friend Abbey came over to play yesterday, he even led her to the bathroom to show her.

This morning, he comes downstairs and announces, "I need to brush my teeth right now, Mom." Wow!

Then, he coughed a little and asked for something to drink, "Juice, please." As I'm walking to the kitchen ...

"No, wait! Not juice. Juice has too much sugar and I don't need those extra sugar bugs. Can I have water?"

What the ...

So I gave him a drink and he ran into the bathroom and brushed his teeth then asked me to do touch-up. Then, he grabbed the Hot Wheels Mystery car and ran into the living room.

He's now sitting on the sofa holding it while watching "Captain Planet."

(And, he's already asked if he can pick out another Hot Wheels next week! I think I'll stick with the pick it Monday, open it Tuesday - seems like great motivation at least one day a week!)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Literally, I'm Lame

So I keep reading this post about 100 Books. I saw it this morning on Us and Them and this afternoon on Blissfully Caffeinated.

I looked over the list, and I'm quite lame in the literary world. Apparently that was the goal of this list - to point out great books I probably should have read in high school and college. And, it's estimated that most adults have only read 6, so I guess I'm only slightly less lame than most adults.

I can't believe I said "yes"

Warning: This may be the most political post I've written on here. I will probably offend several of you, and I apologize now.

Several years ago, if you'll recall, the Boy Scouts of America took away a young man's Eagle Scout honors because he is gay.

It was then that I decided that I would no longer support the Boy Scouts and that our future children would not be involved.

Please note: This is something I truly believe in, and I know it makes several of my friends mad, as their husbands are very proudly Eagle Scouts. To them, I say "Well done" for sticking with it through the years and achieving something so prestigious. It's not Eagle Scouts I have a problem with - it's the Boy Scouts of America as an organization.

Over the years, I've done my best to say "No" when asked to buy Boy Scouts popcorn. I was even verbally assaulted by one BS Mom when I said "No." She actually got in my face and wanted to know why. I told her it was a personal choice, and she got between my car and me and wouldn't drop it. When I told her why, she turned white and walked away. I almost think she knew nothing about this!

I've said no to kids outside the grocery store, outside Quizno's (which is where the altercation took place), even at church and on my own doorstep.

But, this afternoon, my neighbors walked down to ask if I'd purchase Boy Scout popcorn. Young Mr. N looked so cute in his uniform with his freckles and missing teeth. Something inside me warned me to not say "no."

Luckily, this year, they have the option to donate your purchase to military personnel serving overseas. So, I gladly made my donation and checked that option. At least I won't have to have it staring at me in the pantry, mocking me for backing down from my own resolve.

On a somewhat related note: I was asked to take a leadership position with an organization with which I've just become involved. The "recruiter" buttered me up with flattery about my outgoing personality and warm whatever. Then, I was told I'd need to take an "orientation class" to ensure I believed the same doctrine as the church who founded the organization (which, obviously, is not my own church). While we were on the phone, I pulled up the church's website and read over its published doctrine - nothing too out there but something a little too conservative in the undertones. I asked the recruiter about the church's stance on homosexuality, telling her it was something that I feel strongly about (but not telling her my feelings). For the next half-hour, I listened as she told me that the church believes that being gay is a sin and that gay people are sinners and if they would come to that church, they'd be welcomed because we're all sinners but that they'd be taught how to break out of that sinful lifestyle. She must have heard the disdain in my voice - later that afternoon I received an email informing me that they've found someone else to fill the role.

My Poor Noodle

Poor Noah hasn't felt well the past few days.

Wednesday evening, he started getting fussy ... fussier than usual for the evening, I should say.

Thursday morning, he woke up with a little fever. Other than that, though, he seemed like his usual, jolly self. Pastor Bonnie (from our church) spent a lot of the day over here entertaining the troops so I could work on some collateral for an event the Synod is hosting in January.

The boys had a blast! They ran all over the house, screamed, laughed and laughed some more. At one point, I went upstairs, and Mitchell was wearing his Batman cape and throwing a foam ball at Bonnie. There was some back story about a monster, but I'm not sure who was which.

By that evening, though Noah took a turn for the worse. He went down for a late afternoon nap and then woke up with a 104.2 fever. YIKES!

Being the crazy mom I am, I called the nurse line and was assured that the fever wasn't too high to take him to the urgent care clinic. Noah was supposed to get his flu shot Friday morning, but I used the appointment to get him checked out instead. He has a red, swollen throat and a mild ear infection in one ear.

Poor guy.

Yesterday, he was Velcro - which is very against his personality. He spent most of the day resting on me as I sat pinned on the sofa. (At least I got to watch "Grey's Anatomy!")

Then, came the Jekyll and Hyde. He'd be super snuggly and cuddly then he'd pop up and scream like a maniac for a few minutes and then he'd laugh and play with my hair.

Today has been much of the same but with a lot more crying.

Oh yeah, did I mention that he's cutting molars on top and bottom on both sides?!

What a day!

To give mom a boost of something, I whipped up a batch of margaritas for some late afternoon sipping. (Please don't comment that I'm a bad mom!)

Friday, September 26, 2008

We're So Proud

So Mitchell just went into backyard, and Paul was a few steps behind him. I hear Paul (still in the house) exclaim, "Oh my gosh!"

I look out the window to see Mitchell standing at the edge of the patio with his pants around his ankles watering the grass. And a few toys.

It's moments like this that make me so proud to be the mother of boys. (Right!)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tweets from my Sweets

Mitchell has said some great things lately, and I've been so bad about writing them down. Here's a few I've remembered:

I will take my new Spider Man stickers up to Heaven when I die so I can put one on Tigger.

~ ~ ~

Emma (a girl from his class) has an ouwie on her tooth ... She licked a frozen flagpole.

~ ~ ~

My friends were being mean to me so I climbed up the light pole and yelled at them that I'm Spider Man. They didn't know who I was.

~ ~ ~

I used to go there (as we passed his old daycare) but now I like my new school.

~ ~ ~

A song for Baby Audrey (our friends' adorable little girl):

I love Baby Audrey
She is so cute
She has really cute cheeks
And she has the cutest little feet

I love Baby Audrey
Oh I love you Baby Audrey
And I love your cute hat
And I love your cute feet
And I love your cute cheeks
And I love your cute toes

Oh I love you Baby Audrey

(I'm sure there was lots more because he was singing for quite a while, but since he was in the room I didn't catch it all! And, do please note that this was today and Baby Audrey was no where in sight! He hasn't seen her for several days.)

~ ~ ~

Meadow is my girlfriend now - don't tell Abbey. But, I still love Lainey and Baby Audrey even more.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Gym Boys

This weekend, I took the boys to a birthday party at Gymboree. (Happy Birthday, Drew! BTW: This was the first birthday party that NOAH was invited to - a friend from his Kindermusik class.) They had a blast!

Mitchell was more into the "independent play" than the group activities, and Noah (in true Tank form) was into crawling on, over and through everything.

Check out the photo of Mitchell by himself - if you look close, you'll see a bubble stuck to his hair. I'd love to have a home recipe for the bubbles they use - apparently they're made with sugar so it's OK for the kids to eat them. It makes them very, very strong as well!

What the ...

Sometimes you see things so strange that you can't help but pull over and take a photo!

Those would be topiaries. Lots of topiaries. In fact, there are two deer and a heart - and that's not all! The one you can't really see because it's against the dark car is A ROOSTER! I think I would have arranged them so the heart was between the two deer - you know, like they found love amid the cut-out stars or something. I took this photo in a friend's neighborhood the other day. I guess it's better than lots of weeds in the yard.

That would be a giant hand throwing the "Live long and prosper" sign. I think what made it the most entertaining to me was that this was on the back of a gold minivan! This photo was taken this morning while I waited in the drive-through at Starbucks.

As I always say, "You can't make this stuff up."

(For the record, I'm focusing on watching my "language" now that I spend my days with my children. I used to use the S-word when uttering that phrase. I also wanted to entitle this post "WTF," but I'm working on that too. All I need is for Mitchell to ask what that means.)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tooth Brushing - just finished!

Mitchell is in the bathroom, brushing his teeth. Can you believe it?!

I combined tactics. Yesterday, I told him he didn't have to brush but his friends wouldn't like his stinky breath (kinda mean, I know) and that his mouth would start to feel gross unless he brushed.

Today, I told him we couldn't leave the house until he brushed. We didn't go to the park this morning like we had planned yesterday because he didn't want to brush.

Then, I broke out construction paper and a Sharpie and crafted up a toothbrush chart. If he brushes everyday, then this time next week, we'll go pick out a new Hot Wheels car. (My new schamcy laptop doesn't play well with my vintage printer upstairs, so that was the best I could do. However, I did make a nice one on the computer and emailed it to Paul at work to print and bring home.)

It took some coaxing, even with the chart, but he finally brushed (and then I brushed) and then he picked a yellow sticker to put in the first square.

Now, we can go grocery shopping. Oh joyous afternoon.

Monday, September 22, 2008

flickr Meme

I found this meme at another "random" blog (my friend's SIL, so not so random, but you get it!).

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page of search results, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into mosaic maker.

The questions:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

My Answers: 1. Mary; 2. Shrimp; 3. Robert E. Lee; 4. Pink and green; 5. Lyle Lovett; 6. Cosmo; 7. Capri; 8. Creme Brulee; 9. Trophy Life; 10. Laughter; 11. Funny; 12. mary_anna

Need Advice, PLEASE!

Houston, we have a problem.

Mitchell refuses to brush his teeth.

Not getting dressed on Saturday - fine, as long as we're not going anywhere. Wearing your Batman cape to The Shops at La Cantera to buy new shoes - great, you're unique. Telling everyone you're 25 - fabulous, I look fantastic for being ... uh, older.

But, NOT BRUSHING YOUR TEETH?! That is just disgusting.

I've tried every tactic I can find on the Internet and concoct in my tiny little head.

I've let him pick out the toothbrush and the toothpaste. We have a timer and a song. Occasionally we even brush our teeth outside, spit into the toilet or spit into my bathtub. We have a special cup for rinsing and a special towel for wiping. We've played "Simon Says" and been attacked by the tooth brush monster. We've looked at photos of decaying teeth on the Internet and talked about how we need to keep our teeth healthy so we can eat hot dogs and chocolate.

Today, after sitting in the bathroom with him for 7 minutes, 38 seconds, I pulled a new one out of my you-know-what (actually, I read it online this morning): I told Mitchell it was his choice but he should know that none of his friends like stinky breath or slimy teeth.

His reply? "We'll follow your rules tomorrow, Mommy. I'll brush my teeth then."

Part of me wanted to deny him kisses today because of his stinky breath, but I don't want to create a complex. (And, his breath doesn't stink ... yet.)

So, ye wise bloggers and lurkers, please let me know what's worked for you, for I'm at my breaking point - and I don't want my poor son's beautiful smile to turn brown and fall out.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cuh-Razy Day!

Today is Thursday, usually reserved for laundry and stuff around the house.

But today is Crazy Thursday.

There are guys jack-hammering in my yard to install a fence. Oh, and they keep knocking on my door to tell me they've broken another sprinkler line. The sprinkler company has already been notified and will be here in the morning to fix the lines. Fun.

Any minute now, my girlfriend will be dropping off her adorable daughter for a few days' stay at Casa de Chaos while she and her hubby travel (separately) for work. Oh yeah - her daughter's 6 months old. So, I still need to move Mitchell's carseat to the very back seat so Baby Girl can go in his spot for the next few days. To add to it, I just learned that a. my far back seat doesn't have LATCH and b. I can't find the installation instructions for the seat. Hopefully Google will bless me with information!

And, after lunch, we're going to run over to a friend's house to pick up her double stroller so I can venture out into the world (or at least to MOPS tomorrow, anyway) with all these kids.

I have said it before and I'm sure I will say it again and again in the next few days: I DON'T WANT ANY MORE CHILDREN! But, Baby Girl is super sweet and mega adorable and has the cutest feet ever - according to Mitchell, and he's quite the expert.

Mitchell is busily building "gates" to help protect Baby Girl from venturing off into places she shouldn't. For the record, Baby Girl can sit. That's about it for now, but he doesn't seem to care - he's working for the greater good here. He keeps questioning me about how old she is, how big she is, how cute she is, can she take a bath with him tonight, where is she going to sleep, can she sleep in his Spider-Man sleeping bag in his bedroom ...

So, I keep repeating the same answers - 6 months, smaller than you, yes she's very cute, no she can't take a bath with you, in the guest room, no she needs to sleep in the Pack-n-Play ...

I'm glad to report, though, that I dusted, wiped down my windows and woodwork around the living room, unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, vacuumed, started laundry, swept and mopped. And, that was all before noon!

(Oh, I just saw something move out of the corner of my eye and looked up to see the Chem Lawn guy walking through the yard, busily spraying the treatment. I had to deactivate my sprinkler, which usually runs tomorrow, so they can fix the 2 and counting busted pipes.)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mitchell Hearts Max

Max really is the best cat ever! She is so patient and loving - and Mitchell thinks she's cat's meow! (Sorry, couldn't pass it up.)
This is about as close as Max comes to posing for a photo. She let Mitchell cuddle her!) for quite a while before she stood up, stretched and moved to the other end of the sofa. (I think Mitchell was cuddling her so she'd move - he's now trying to stand on his head on that end of the sofa. I love what kids do when they think we're not looking!)

Super Friends

My step-sister Stefani and her son Hunter escaped Hurricane Ike by vising her aunt in Canyon Lake. Being just 20 minutes from my house, they drove down for the afternoon on Friday and even stayed for dinner.

Mitchell absolutely adores his cousin Hunter (who humors Mitchell very well!). Mitchell wanted them to wear his super hero capes.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Bad Mommy Confessional

I have a confession to make, and I'm afraid it probably makes me a bad mother.


Frankly, I pretty much hate to bake any cookies.

See those lumpy cow patties there? No, those are actually the chocolate chip cookies I just baked. Sad, I know.

I think it comes from my need for perfection in the kitchen. I just can't seem to make a perfect cookie.

When a sauce is too thin or too thick, I know how to fix it. When something is too salty or too sweet, I know how to fix it. But, with cookies, you get one shot - once they're in the oven, all you have is prayer that they'll turn out nice.

Don't get me wrong - they taste great. I even added a little nutmeg, which is what my Granny did and it made the best chocolate chip cookies. But, why eat a homemade cow turd when I can pick up some picture perfect treats at the bakery?

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Mitchell and I just completed his first homework project. His teacher sent home this house made from construction paper with a note that said, "This is 'All About Me.' Please don't put anything that sticks up as we'll be laminating it." Wow, that was helpful!

So, Mitchell and I sat down today and talked about what he wanted on his "All About Me" poster. He decided he wanted his full name, his birthday, that he likes to read "Goosebumps" with Daddy, that he likes to play with Noah, that he has a cat named Max and that he loves his mommy. So sweet! Earlier in the week, I let him pick out some stickers for it at Target. When I finished with the details, I let him pick which stickers would go on it and where they would go.

I think it came out pretty well, considering I had a hovering assistant!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Their Favorite Things

I totally copied this from my friend Jen’s blog. It’s a cute way to see the kids’ personalities shining through. (For the record, Mitchell answered each of these on his own with no coercion!)

Favorite Book
Mitchell: "Goosebumps"
Noah: Any book he can chew on!

Favorite Song
Mitchell: “Star Wars” theme
Noah: “Itsy Bitsy Spider”

Favorite TV Show
Mitchell: “Johnny Quest”
Noah: What’s TV?

Favorite Food
Mitchell: Hot dogs
Noah: Anything still long enough for me to eat it!

Favorite Color
Mitchell: Black
Noah: Blue (see his artwork and face painting)

Favorite Part of the Day
Mitchell: Sunday. (Mommy clarifies question.) When I get to read “Goosebumps.”
Noah: Mealtime

Favorite Pet
Mitchell: Maxine and Tigger (he’ll never forget his sweet Tigger!)
Noah: Max, but she always runs away

Favorite Toy
Mitchell: My Legos
Noah: Whatever Mitchell has

Favorite Place to Go
Mitchell: the zoo
Noah: Anywhere, as long as there’s snacks

Favorite Number
Mitchell: 25
Noah: 1 (says Mitchell)

Favorite Game
Mitchell: Candy Land
Noah: Peek-a-boo and follow the leader (really, just chasing the cat and tormenting his brother – and climbing on stuff)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Why, I'd never ...

Over at my Foodie Mommy blog, I've weighed in on the "Omnivore's 100" list.

There are 23 items I've not tried (to my knowledge!) and 2 that would require a lot of convincing!

Take a peek then leave me your list!


It's way too hot to play outside these days, so I've got to be creative to keep these crazy boys entertained.

Today, I introduced the laundry basket of fun.

Noah liked sitting on all the sides - until it dumped him out.

Both boys climbed inside, and I took them for rollercoaster rides around the living room.

Mitchell pretended he was a wild animal at the zoo, and Noah was the brave zookeeper who kept the craziness contained - for a few minutes anyway.

The fun ended when Noah tried to stand up on the basket and almost tumbled off!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Little Shop of Horrors

Today I had one of the most unpleasantest of all experiences in all of my life as a mother. Today, I took the boys to the dentist.

At the last visit, everyone talked about how great Mitchell was. He opened wide, he let the dentist use all the different tools, he let her apply the fluoride treatment.

We've been talking for almost a month about going to the dentist, and Mitchell's been relatively excited. She gives him cool toys and she lets him watch his choice of movies.

Today started out just fine. He played in the waiting room while "Alvin and the Chipmunks" provided background noise. He stepped up to the scale and was weighed in like a boxer before the match.

Then, all hell broke loose.

We went into the X-Ray room ... it went about like this. Screaming. Tears. Passing Noah to nurse. Sitting on my lap. More screaming. More tears. X-Rays of top teeth only. (They attempted four different areas of the mouth.)

Then, it was time for his cleaning. Mitchell started snarling and throwing his elbows at the dental assistant. There was kicking. There were punches thrown. There was writhing on the exam table like a child in pain. Oh yes. Then he started with the screaming. My God, the screaming! You'd think she was holding him down and ripping off his toe nails, one by one. All she was doing was counting his teeth with her gloved finger. I have never heard him scream like this before, and I hope to never hear it again!

By the time she wanted to polish his teeth, I had handed Noah off to another nurse so I could restrain Mitchell. It was lovely. She did half of the top of his teeth and then stopped. He may have bit her for all I know. She stopped rather abruptly and went to get the dentist.

Once the dentist came in, he relaxed a little. She was able to brush his teeth while telling him about playing dentist and telling him to brush my teeth. Then, she had me hold him down again while she applied the fluoride treatment.

Noah was a breeze - she scrubbed his teeth, counted them, talked to me about the importance of brushing his gums ... all the usual.

I was completely frazzled by the time we left. As soon as we hit the reception area for me to pay, Mitchell had turned back into his usual self, charming the check-out receptionist.

As we're walking out, he has the nerve to ask, "Are we going to Target so I can pick out a prize now?"

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The happiest moment of my week

Tonight, Mitchell was doing his usual bedtime stall, "I'm hungry," uttered in the most pathetic of voices while writhing around on the floor like a child who hasn't eaten in days.

He asks for grapes and milk - two of the three options I offered.

He's standing at the coffee table munching on the grapes when he brings one to me and says, "We always have to say a prayer before our afternoon snacks." Then, he takes a grape to Paul. He goes back to the table and proceeds to lead us in "God is great, God is good ..."

Tears welled up in my eyes! This is the first time he's initiated prayer! Then, he had to give me kiss after kiss after kiss after kiss before going upstairs for storytime and bedtime. (I love that stall tactic!)

BTW: They're starting another "Goosebumps" book tonight.

Maybe the Lutheran preschool (one day, anyway) and Sunday School (which started this morning) are finally making it all sink in.

After church, we were asking him what he liked about Sunday School. "Nothing." We asked if he sang any songs. "I don't know." We asked if he did anything fun. "I'm too tired to talk about it."

On the way home from the grocery store later this afternoon, he pipes up that he sang "Father Abraham" at Sunday School with Miss Jodi. Then, he asked if I know "Father Abraham." I knew one song like that and luckily it was the one! I asked him he he waved his arms and he said no but his friends did.

It's amazing to me when that something inside just clicks and he gets it!

Friday, September 5, 2008

First Friday

Today was First Friday ... the first day of preschool and of MOPS.

Mitchell was so excited that he acted like a crazy monkey while we waited to go inside. (Note: Since we've moved, I'm either early or late to everything. It took no time to get to preschool this morning, so we sat in the car, snacked on pancakes - thank goodness I threw one in my purse, just in case - and made silly monkey noises.)

Then, Mitchell started squealing like a crazy child. At first, Noah just covered his ears ... then he joined in. My little banshees had a great First Friday.

Mitchell waltzed in like he owned the place, as usual. He deposited his snack and water bottles in their respective baskets, gave me a quick hug and kiss and was off to wash his hands and join the fun. There was no clinging or fussing when I tried to leave. It was really nice!

He didn't eat as much of his lunch as I would have liked, but he ate enough. He ate all of the crackers and half the cheese stick I sent for snack, and he's had a lot of water today. His take-home sheet said his favorite thing about today was playing with pull-back toys, so I learned all about them on the way home.

Mitchell has triplets in his class, and he's very confused by the fact that they all have the same birthday and that they're all brothers and that they all look alike. He's also told me that he's the tallest boy and that Meadow is the tallest girl. I don't know if that's true, but he's very matter-of-fact!

About MOPS

Chaos was no match for the CBC MOPS ladies! When I arrived, they had people stationed all over the place to direct the flow of traffic. The Kids Club was all prepared with fancy diaper bag tags plus a sticker for the child and one for mommy. I dropped Noah off in his room and went to find my table.

I'm a "Ferris Wheel Friend" this year - that's the name of my small group. In the group are three gals I already know: my good friend Erin and two of her friends, whom I've met at various things over the years. None of them made it today! I knew a lady at another table, and then I recognized a mom from the preschool.

It was nice to know that there would be some familiar faces right from the get-go. I'm a very outgoing person, so I don't really have a hard time making friends - if the other ladies are receptive.

It was a nice change of pace from my other mommy encounters this week.

Glad to report that right now Noah is down for a nap, Mitchell is driving me batty while rolling around on the floor (he's worn out, as they don't take a nap at preschool!), and I'm at peace knowing that supper is planned, the dishwasher is full of clean dishes and I don't have anywhere else to be today but home with my boys.

Little Picasso

I just realized I forgot to add these photos for all the adoring world to see! We were drawing pictures the other day, and I thought it might be fun to let Noah draw his own. I gave him a washable marker and let him go to town. I'm very impressed by his circles!

Please note the blue mustache - in true Noah fashion, he tried to eat the open end of the marker ... more than once!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

And I like 'em too!

I'm so thankful for Dan Zanes and Friends and The Laurie Berkner Band!

Since he was about a year old, Mitchell has been a huge fan of both, and I'll admit that I like them as well. Dan totally rocks, and Laurie is just plain silly.

If you don't know Dan, you're truly missing out. Apparently, he had a rock band called the Del Fuegos. Now he sings great folk songs and original lyrics with great musical accompaniment. In one song, he'll play a banjo and in another, the harmonica. He has a rapper named Father Goose who appears in some songs, and I totally love the vocals contributed by Barbara and Cynthia. (Is it sad that I know the names of the band members? I also love Yoshi and Colin!) We have Dan's DVD "All Around the Kitchen." It has a recording of a concert and then videos for a bunch of his songs. Mitchell and I dance like crazy when we watch.

Laurie, I love, because Mitchell finds her very soothing - and silly. Right now, he's resting on the sofa while she sings about being a dinosaur. In the car, he gets really worked up when this song comes on. Our favorite part is to roar at the end.

When Mitchell was younger, I used to joke that he thought that Dan and Laurie were his other parents. He'd ask for them all the time. I thought they had faded to a distant memory, but this morning he asked if he could watch them both. I can see in his little eyes that he's tired (he woke up around 5 this morning but, luckily, went back to sleep), so I gave in. This is the first time this week that we've turned on the TV before 4 p.m., when I let him choose a show to watch (with limited choices like "Miss Spider" or "Jack's Big Music Show").

So, I'm off to start a load of laundry, work on my grocery list for this afternoon and maybe even attempt mop the kitchen floor, as Noah is taking a nap and Mitchell is mellowed out with music.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008



Why do I get so bent out of shape when I feel like someone doesn't like me?

Why do I get so bent out of shape when someone "suggests" something to me?

Why do I get so bent out of shape when someone invites a friend but not me?

I guess in the words of the great (?) Rodney King, "Why can't we all just get along?"

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

SAHM Day 1: We all survived (and there was dinner, too!)

Day 1 as a SAHM is slowly winding to an end. Noah is fast asleep (and was when I came home from the orientation from Hell), and Mitchell is upstairs with Paul, enjoying tonight's "Goosebumps."

I've had lots of encouraging emails from you today, from friends I see regularly to those who've stumbled upon my corner of the web by clicking through some smart-a$$ remark I left on someone else's page.

So here's a quick recap of the day:

  • Meltdowns: 3 - all Mitchell (wanted cookie for breakfast, didn't want to brush teeth, all the usual stuff)
  • Requests for Treats: lost count around 6!
  • Naps: 1 - just Noah (but man, was it a power nap! He went down at 11 and woke up at 2:30!)
  • Trips out of the house: 1 - we did a test run to Mitchell's new school to get an idea of how long it's going to take in the mornings. We also went to the post office - big fun!
  • Graham crackers consumed by Mitchell - Way too many to count! (In my defense, these are tiny little things shaped like the characters from "Cars.")
  • Alcoholic beverages consumed by Mom - NONE! Obviously, I didn't make it for those margaritas at Alamo Cafe (read previous post). But, there is a glass of wine with my name on it, calling to me ...

Confronting a fear worse that sweatpants

Tonight, I was confronted by my greatest fear of being a stay-at-home mom, a fear worse than sweatpants or feeling like I really can skip a shower today.

Tonight, I was confronted by the MOMMY CLIQUES.

I was at the parent orientation for Mitchell's preschool, trying my hardest to mingle in a room full of moms who already know each other. I'm making small talk with Blonde Mom when Brunette Mom walks up and says to her (and only to her, as indicated by the shoulder she wedged between us), "A group of us are going to Alamo Cafe for margaritas when we leave here. Do you want to go?" Blonde Mom says yes then kinda does a little nod, indicating, "Should we ask this new chick?" Brunette Mom made this weird "whatever" face and did a half shrug. Then, both moms just walked off.

For years, I was the victim of the mommy clique because I was one of the "those moms" (you know, those ones who work while a daycare raises her children - seriously, I overheard this once!). I've been shrugged off at birthday parties, church events, Southern Living at Home parties ... pretty much anywhere there's more than one mom.

Well, I figured that at preschool orientation, we'd all be on pretty level playing field. We all stay home. Our kids will be playing together for ten hours each week. But, I guess because I wasn't carrying my Coach purse, I wasn't quite one of them. Hello - I was sporting a gorgeous Michael Kors! Or, I didn't have a super-thin flip phone. Say hello to my little iPhone.

I was chuckling at a group of moms earlier in the evening because they've discovered Facebook. They were lamenting that they're just not quite technical enough to be on Facebook yet and that they've only connected to a few people. One mom said something along the lines of, "You know, there are those moms who have those 'web blogs' or, 'blogs,' I think they're called ..."

Yep, that's me - the uberTechie, non-tan, ponytail-sporting mom in a sea of Cole Haan flip flop- wearing, Coach-sporting, Lexus-driving SAHMs.

Tomorrow, we'll all gather again for our children's orientation. Guessing there won't be any invites to Bigz after that (even if I do spray tan tonight and carry my Coach purse!).

Monday, September 1, 2008

Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life

A Spanish proverb says "Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the year." I read this off the spine of Real Simple magazine once and chuckled, but it's so true.

For me, tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life. For real!

Tomorrow, I start my new life as as Stay-at-Home Mom.

I guess, technically, I started at 5:30 p.m. Friday when I left the office. But, since I was normally home on weekends and today was a holiday, I feel like tomorrow is really Day 1.

As with anything new, I look forward to the next chapter of my life with excitement, anticipation and apprehension.

This weekend, we experienced the Jekyll and Hyde of Mitchell, as he went from super loving and great kiddo to crazy child who did everything but what you wanted to weepy kid who was Mr. Sensitive - and every range of emotion in between. (Noah, on the other hand, was just Noah - Mr. Happy Go Lucky, expect when time for nap.) Let's hope for more days with that super loving and great kiddo!

We're trying a new set of expectations (my new word, instead of rules - and very SAHM, I think), in which we picked out our clothes for tomorrow, put away our toys from today and even had some quiet time in the afternoon. Mitchell even helped me around the house several times today, including help with laundry, making "doubled eggs" (deviled eggs everywhere else) and putting away toys this morning. (This evening was another story - and I've not been in the playroom yet to see what progress he made. Then again, I guess that's why I paid for doors!)

As for my own new expectations, today I started subscribing to the ideas of FlyLady.net. Today's mission was to sweep the front porch and wipe down the front door. I set out with my broom and a bottle of Windex, and I don't think it's looked this good the entire time we've lived here! (Confession: I also don't think I've swept the front porch the entire time we've lived here. Hey - we come and go through the garage!) I've done some laundry, shined my sink and even started planning my bedtime routine. So far, I'm flying pretty well.

Then again, there's always tomorrow.

Labor Day Meme: Totally NOT for the faint of heart!

In honor of Labor Day, there is a Labor Day Meme going around about, what else, labor. No, not the blue-collar-worker variety - the rhythmic breathing, begging for drugs variety. (Thanks, Anna, for the inspiration!)

If you're squeamish, do not read any further!

Because my labor with Mitchell was - like the rest of my pregnancy - boringly by the book, I'll share my story of the blessed event with Noah.

Oh, and I won't be sharing the story of thinking I had really bad heart burn after eating way too much at Little Italy, only to be urged by my OB to meet her in labor and delivery, stat - AT 28 WEEKS. No, I'll relate the events of the actual begging-for-drugs event.

How did you know you were in labor?

Well, it all started with the passing of the plug and the stand-in OB saying that I'd probably have the baby in the next 12-24 hours. Frantic call to in-laws and hubby (in-laws = built-in babysitter who need 4-hour delivery time of their own, as they're driving in from Houston) then my mother. Let the record reflect that Mom and Larry were on vacation, so I knew they couldn't drop everything to be here.

Throughout the day, I had been experiencing contractions off and on, but nothing too regular. So, I had the Tex-Mex Express Delivery Special - a plate of enchiladas at Alamo Cafe.

(Note: Since the blessed event was to take place any moment, the doctor encouraged me to kick the couch goodbye and walk as much as possible to speed things along. So, naturally, I dialed up a girlfriend and met up for lunch then went grocery shopping.)

Well, evening turned to night - and no baby. So, I went to bed. Then, I woke up with the urgency of she who's preparing for a colonoscopy (been there, done that, so I know what I'm talking about). After about a half-hour on the toilet - and nothing to show for it - I realized that this wasn't a grand poo that wanted out!

I woke up Paul with that exorcist "we have to go the hospital NOW." He woke up his parents and we were off. Oh, it was like 1:30 in the morning. We got to the hospital, and by 2 I was hooked up to that mandatory-before-we-even-call-the-god-with-drugs IV to ensure my hydration. And, I was at 8.

Side note: With Mitchell, I had what they refer to as "precipitous labor and delivery," which means, "when she says 'NOW,' it means 'NOW!" Every doctor in my OB's practice was instructed of this, multiple times.

So, the god with drugs finally shows up. The first try, she hit a nerve and my foot went numb. Second try, my hip went numb. Third time, the catheter broke. Finally, she gave up on the epidural and gave me a spinal block.

Dr. arrives, breaks water, contractions STOP. Great! He asks me to give a practice push, just to see if we can do this without contractions. Midway through practice push, he tells me to stop, as baby is half-way out and the cord is around his neck.

I stop, baby slithers out and is handed to one of the six cheerleaders-posing-as-NICU nurses standing in the wings. All in all, it was about 4 minutes from doctor breaking my water to baby plopping onto scale. (That was a personal record - Mitchell arrived in 10 minutes. And, I will NOT attempt to break my own record.)

How long were you in labor?

From first urge to poop to blessed moment, about two-and-a-half hours. From water breaking to delivery, 4 minutes, tops.

Where did you deliver?

North Central Baptist in San Antonio.


Absolutely! Why women try it alone is beyond me!


Thank goodness, no. When I stopped having contractions, I told the doctor I wasn't having a C-section. That's when he invited me to try a practice push.

Who delivered?

Dr. Mark Thompson of Northeast Ob/Gyn, with Paul and my then-neighbor Vanessa (a labor and delivery nurse), another nurse and a ton of NICU nurses by my side. Ironically, Dr. Thompson wasn't my normal doctor - and yet he delivered both boys. And, Vanessa was my L&D nurse during my delivery with Mitchell, and her shift had just ended when I called the hospital to let them know we were on our way. So, she stuck around to be there. Thanks, V!

I'm very quick to recommend Northeast Ob/Gyn. I've seen every doctor at the Stone Oak office and can't applaud them enough. Especially Dr. Tammy Murdock, the best Ob/Gyn a girl could find!

Seek and Ye Shall Find?

Here are the terms that people Googled last week and somehow stumbled onto my little slice of the world wide pie:

  • Kill me later - what?!
  • Fiddlin' Frogs San Antonio - a friend of mine helped with their rebranding, so I guess this makes sense.
  • Help my new rowenta iron is leaking water- glad I could help!
  • Nuk sippy cups - hopefully they'll love them too
  • Rowenta actisteam iron - yeah, they'll buy one after reading my post!
  • She takes it like a champ - Uh, takes what?
  • Weirdos - my personal favorite. Just who Googles "weirdos?"

Retro Cool

Yesterday during a run to Target, we found this awesome "Star Wars" shirt, complete with a pic of Yoda. Target! Usually I have to visit Nordstrom to pick up these random retro shirts.

This morning, Paul came downstairs with this Pac-Man baseball cap that he found who knows where. He recounted the tale of when he got the hat while on vacay in Florida as a kid ... and how he lost it so Grandpa had to go find another one.

So, how cool is my retro kid?! (Unfortunately, this shirt was so cool that "Star Wars" has been playing all day. I don't think anyone's watched more than 10 minutes at a time.)

Left Behind

As with all long weekends, Paul has been smoking a pork shoulder all day. And, at one point, he had Mitchell go out to help put on the mop. Guess who didn't get to go out?!

Back at last!

No, we didn't venture to Baytown for my mom's birthday as planned, thanks to Gustav. Our computer has been acting buggy, and today, Paul got it fixed.