Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hello? Is this thing on?

What I say: No
What they hear: Ask me again in 20 seconds

What I say: Don't slam the door!
What they hear: Slam the door as hard as you can, please!

What I say: Time for bed!
What they hear: Time to pull out 137 toys!

What I say: Please put your napkin in the trash and your plate in the sink.
What they hear: Please leave everything right where it is so I can get it later.

What I say: Don't touch each other again.
What they hear: How fast can you hit each other when I turn back around?

What I say: Eat your dinner.
What they hear: Feed your dinner to the dog.

What I say: Listen to me.
What they hear: Ignore me.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Out of the mouths of punks

I don't have normal conversations with my kids. Maybe some people do, but not me. I offer you two examples that occured within the last 36 hours:

Yesterday morning:

Ethan: Mommy, look at my boo boo! Shows me an old scrape on his elbow.

Me: Wow Ethan, that looks good!

Ethan: No, it doesn't look good! It looks crappy!

Crappy? Really?

Today, on the way to the swimming pool:

Abby: I hope I get to dive today.

Me: Sorry honey, but you won't be able to. You still can't swim quite good enough.

Abby: I can't believe you won't let me follow my dream.

Me: WHAT?!

Abby: You won't let me follow my dream to dive!

Me: Abby, when we talk about following our dreams, it's about big stuff, like what we want to be when we grow up or places we want to see.

Abby: Well, I want to be a professional diver when I grow up, and I want to travel around the world diving. See?

Me: You-it's-you're not- GRRRRR.

Abby: Smirk.

Clever little punks.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

So glad

I am so glad. I am glad that in a culture of men who make babies but don't raise them, men who practice "do as I say, not as I do", men who think parenting=mothering, men who put work first and family second, I have Matt.

Matt, who wants to teach his son to be a man and his daughter to be a lady. Who will plant flowers with the kids in the front yard, then come in and paint his daughter's toenails. Who bristles when someone says he's "babysitting" if he's spending time with his own kids. Who is not embarrassed to tear up at the sight of the beautiful children we have created. Who is also not afraid to discipline those children when they need it. Who didn't run from changing diapers or cleaning up spit up. Who teaches his children how to live by example. Who loves his Lord and teaches his kids what a gift that is every day. Who will read 12 bedtime books if his kids ask sweetly enough. Who comes home from a day at work and reaches for his kids, not the remote control. Who has become an expert PB&J maker. Who does, honestly, more than his equal share of parenting--not because he has to, not because he's supposed to, but because it makes him happy to be a father.

I am so glad.

Happy Father's Day, Matt.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Seems logical to me

I've been trying to expand the kids' musical horizons by downloading some fun music to my iPod and playing it for them in the car. The results have been quite hysterical. They quickly develop very strong opinions about songs, and demand their favorites over and over. Right now, they can't get enough of "500 Miles" and, believe it or not, "Dancing Queen." Cracks me up every time to hear them hollering the words.

Ethan, of course, just sings along, having no clue what he's saying or what he means. Abby is old enough to listen and process, though, and she's logic-minded enough to not just accept things at face value. This is at once endearing and pulling-out-my-hair frustrating. An example:

In case you don't know it, the chorus to "500 Miles" is

I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be that man who walked a thousand miles
To fall down at your door.

I saw the narrowed eyes and thoughtful frown, and I knew what was coming.

Abby: Why does he want to walk? Why doesn't he just drive a car?
Me: Well, because he wants to show that he loves the girl so much that he'd do all that walking for her.
Abby: Does he trip?
Me: Huh?
Abby: Well, he says he falls down.
Me: Ah. No, he falls down because he's so tired from walking that far by the time he gets to her house.
Abby: Well, duh, he should have taken the car.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The best of both worlds?

Yesterday Matt and I went to a Naturals game, courtesy of our friends and neighbors Matt and Cori. We had a great time. If you know me, you know I love sports. Football is my favorite by a landslide, but I enjoy basketball and baseball too. However, baseball games are an entirely different animal that any other sporting event. As we sat there yesterday and I pondered this thought, a blog idea seed was planted in my mind and grew the entire game. I got a pencil and paper and jotted notes as they came to me, while Matt sat next to me and muttered "You are such a weirdo." Back at ya, babe.

So, after much internal processing and self-discussion, I would like to present my list of:


1. Every time the Kentucky team came to play basketball, it would be "KFC" night. Col. Sanders would be handing out coupons to the fans, and the nets would be retooled to look like giant chicken buckets.

2. Before each football play, a different pop song would play over the loudspeaker. I'm thinking "Take a Chance On Me" for third downs and "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" for field goals. For offsides penalties, perhaps a little Eagles' "Learn to be Still."

3. Instead of the referee tossing the basketball to begin the game, a local celebrity would do it.

4. If there are 4 third down conversions using pass plays in the second quarter, the entire audience gets a hot dog for 25 cents at all local Valeros, TOMORROW ONLY.

5. When a basketball player throws an airball, the sound effect of whistling wind, a la Western movies, is played over the loudspeakers.

6. During time outs, fans are pulled on to the field/court to have super-fast contests of such a dignified nature as riding a tricycle across the court, line dancing on the 30 yard line or seeing who can hold a handstand for the longest. The mascot may or may not be a contestant.

7. Durng halftime, the audience is led in a sing-along by the announcer.

Can you imagine it? Somehow it just doesn't seem right. What did I miss? Can you envision any more adjustments?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


It finally happened. Actually, I'm surprised it took this long. After over 6 years of being parents, Matt and I had our first trip to the ER with a wounded child.

Most everyone knows by now that Abby was in a bike wreck on Tuesday night. She's fine, but very banged up, including a lot of scraping and swelling on her face. She will be as good as new in a few days, thank goodness.

When we decided to go to the hospital, the child got positively terrified. She had visions of saw-wielding doctors chasing after her. I finally convinced her to go in of her own free will. She was mortified that people were staring at her. Understandable that they were, since her face was covered in blood and her upper lip was swollen to the size of her forearm. Strangely, the ER folks let her sit in the waiting room looking like that. People kept coming in and looking at her, then looking at me and Matt as though we had beaten her with a bat and then brought her in for urgent care. Nice.

The entire time we were there, Abby flipped back and forth from being upset to flippant and sassy. It got quite amusing. At one point, we were in the exam room. Abby was curled up in my lap, whimpering from pain. She said through tears, "I wish I could just escape!" Clever, hip mom that I am, I started singing a little Gwen Stefani "Sweet Escape." I was 2 lines in when Abby turned around, looked at me with narrowed eyes, and said "Yeah, not helping, Mom." BOOM! Injured 6-year old to smarty pants 15-year old in 2 seconds.

Abby also informed us that one piece of machinery in the room was a "Brain Sucker," used to suck out sickness of the brain. She told the doctor that her uncle Jake is a nurse (he's a surgeon) and replied with "I don't understand what you're trying to ask me" in a majorly disdainful tone when they asked her to rate her pain from 1 to 10. That kid.

I've been asked several times if Abby was wearing a helmet. She was not. The injuries were such that they would have been exactly the same if she had been wearing one, but still. This issue is a tough one for me. I am not reckless with my children's safety, but at the same time I am opposed to over-protecting children to the point that they can't move. I read an excellent commentary on this just the other day here--take a look and let me know what you think. I think that we will have her wear her helmet for long bike rides from now on, but I'm still not going to make her wear it for riding up and down the street. Does this make me a bad mom? If you think so, keep it to yourself. However, if you think I'm right on, feel free to let me know.

Luckily, our new neighbors and angelic friends Matt and Cori took Ethan and got him to sleep at their house, so at least we didn't have to deal with him at the hospital. Can you imagine? He would pour alcohol on the wheelchairs and use the x-ray machine as a jungle gym. Sigh. I'm sure his time is coming.

Monday, June 8, 2009

If it felt good, it wouldn't be exercise. Or something.


Boot camp started today. OUCH.

I can't believe I am doing this. I really couldn't believe it when my alarm went off at 4:45 this morning. Matt assured me last night that my adrenaline would kick in and I'd be wide awake. Ha. I stumbled through the house and out to the car (thankfully I did remember to get dressed first) and off to Boot Camp I went. I was still rubbing my eyes when I threw down my mat on the ground surrounded by other bleary eyed women with mats and one very awake, very cheery guy (our instructor). We got started right at 5:30. I wince just writing that.

Boot camp lasted an hour, and we went the WHOLE hour. We were lucky if we got 10 seconds between activities. I was dying the entire time, but I just kept telling myself it was for my own good. I made it through, and other than the fact that I can't move any of my muscles (seriously, it even hurts to type) I'm glad I did it. The problem is that I have to do it again--and again and again and again. It's only 20 hours until I have to be back there ready for the next round of punishment. I had better be one tough broad after this is all over.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The end of an era

Whoah, whoah, whoah. Just hold on a minute. I know that time flies when you have kids, but this is ridiculous. I JUST sent my daughter to her first day of Kindergarten. How can it be over? I demand a recount.

Yesterday I helped herd her class around on Field Day so her teacher could work the water slide (!). I have known that this day was approaching, but the nature of the sentimentality was somewhat unexpected. I sat in the room where I helped the kids decorate gingerbread houses, put on fake Santa beards, parade around in their Halloween costumes and hand out Valentines. I looked around at their little faces that I have come to know so well. Devon, who stole my heart on the first day of school and still has it firmly in his sweet little hand. Vivi, whose entire body could fit in my pocket but who has sass enough for the entire class. Kevin, who has a precious face that tricks you into trusting him while he gets away with a shocking amount of mischief. Sam, who is lucky to be alive after Matt found out that he and Abby kissed in PE. Lily, whose single mom came back from Iraq just before Christmas and taught me a huge lesson in being joyful just to get to be with my children. I could keep going. I love every single kid in that class. I realized that they've all become mine in a small way, and I'm really going to miss that! Of course, some of them will be in Abby's first grade (!!!) class, but still. It's the end of an era.

Now, though, it's time for a new era: summer. An era of sleeping in, swimming lessons, sunscreen and popsicles. A whole new group to love. I'm ready. I think.

PS. For your reading pleasure, a limerick I wrote for a contest my brother Sam had on Facebook (don't ask):

When I was young, and much dumber
I always looked forward to summer.
But now I'm home-bound,
Chasing kiddos around
And summer's turned into a bummer.