Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Toddlers' Nightmare

Studies show that babies actually dream. (I don't know if that is really a true statement...I think I have heard something about that but am too lazy to google it at this time).

Reese has told me a few dreams that she has had. But for the most part, I'll ask the girls what they dreamt about after they wake up and they can't really remember. Actually Drue always answers this question the same way, "I dreamed about going to the beach". After the third straight day of answering that way, I figured out that this probably wasn't the case, she just needed to have an answer handy.

So I've always wondered what dreams really do go through their peaceful little heads at night.

Drue apparently had her first real nightmare early this morning. A little before 7am I heard someone cry out. It was a short enough cry that I couldn't determine right off if it was Drue or Tate. I cocked my head to get a better listen and heard a distinct cry which I was able to deduce was Drue.

I went into her room and to find her sitting up in bed, distraught. I went over and put my arm around her and asked what was the matter. She looked up at me with furrowed little eyebrows and tearfully asked, "Mommy...did you pink cereal...back to the grocery store?".

(Remember the pink cereal which brought her more excitement than the God of the Universe who knit her together in my womb?).

I stifled a giggle and assured her I had not, nor would I ever, return her beloved pink cereal to the grocery store.

She wrapped her arms around my neck and all was right with her little world once again.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

More Sunday Snickers

While David went to pick Reese up from Sunday School this morning, I waited in the hallway with Drue. She excitedly showed me all her projects from her class, including a little story pamphlet she colored and put stickers on.

"What was your story about today?" I asked.

"Easter", was her response.

This caught me off guard a bit, being that it was the end of August. Just as I refocused that train of thought and decided that anytime of the year is a good time to remember Christ's sacrifice for us and celebrate the joy of His resurrection, out walked Reese in a little paper crown saying, "Look Mommy...I'm Queen Esther!".

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Fabulous Faces

We headed out to the KC area KidsFest this morning. I wasn't sure what to expect but I had heard on ad on the radio about "Kids", "Fun Stuff", "Saturday" and I was hooked. We are always looking for different things to do to get out of the house. Basically it was a bunch of vendors from the KC area who offered neat things/services for kids. We received a ton of coupons, fliers, and signed up to win some free stuff.

It was crowded, however, and Tate didn't appreciate not having free reign to wreak havoc on the booths, so we tried to hurry through as best we could. I had hyped it up to be a really fun place on the way over, so I wanted the girls to at least get something out of it. We quickly ducked into the line for face painting. I'm thinking a dainty flower, perhaps a small heart on their smooth little cheek and we'll be on our way...with two happy girls in tow.

A Clown was doing the face painting, which was an added bonus. I plopped Drue in the chair and she told the lady she wanted a "kitty" on her face. This is what she looked like afterwards...


I was speechless! This is the most awesome display of face painting I have ever seen in all my born days. And she was only in the chair for about 2 minutes! I don't know who'll be more sad when we have to wash it off tonight....Drue or Mommy!

Reese is so shy and whispered, with my prompting, that she would like a flower. Hers turned out really cool also. And she visited the booth where a gal was doing little girl's hair in mini updos. I tried to watch how she did it, because I am sure Reese will want her hair like this for church tomorrow! When we got home, she immediately went up to her room and got a pretty dress to put on so she felt more like a princess.

Tate got his face decorated too....only it was with the bagful of cheddar chex mix we gave him to keep him occupied. So he has a nice orange tint to his face. I suppose I could have put a dot of black paint on his nose and called him a tiger...
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Race for the Cure


Two Sundays ago my mom and I participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, an annual fundraiser which supports breast cancer research. My mom is a 4 year survivor and I am so grateful to be able to walk in honor of her. Many people doing the walk have a sign pinned to their backs that say the name of someone they are walking "in memory of".

This is actually our third year we've done this. Our first year she had only been a survivor for 2 months! Then we skipped a year because I was 8 months pregnant. Went the next year, then skipped last year because Tate was just a wee babe.

It's a 5K course which you can choose to either walk or run. It was a tough decision for us, but after much debate, and after weighing the pros and cons...we decided to walk. Basically we couldn't think of any pros to running and the fact that I would probably be the first to faint from a heart attack during the run was a big con. My mom walks over 2 miles--6 days a week! (I walk around the block when I need a break from our crazy house occasionally.)

Keep in mind dear people, that this picture was taken after the 5K walk (half of which we were walking directly into the sun). The race started about 7:45am but it was already mighty toasty out. I am certainly not complaining by any means, because it is for a great cause, and I am thankful we are both healthy enough to do it in the first place. But I couldn't help but wonder why they had to schedule one of the August dates in the Midwest of all places? Couldn't they reserve these dates for oh, I don't know, Alaska?

We talked about including Reese next year. There is a one mile fun run/walk that kids her age can participate in. (Jogging strollers are welcome.)

I really enjoyed our time. It was fun getting to spend the morning with my mom. I'm already looking forward to next year's walk.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sunday Snickers

No, not like the candy bar. Snickers doesn't satisfy at my leaves my kids bouncing off the furniture and laughing hysterically at anything and everything.

Snickers as in laughter. At their funny little conversations/situations.

Reese's Sunday School class routinely eats their snacks right when parents are coming to pick up the kids. I can't very well toss her little cup of treats into the trash in front of everyone so we let her bring it with her in the car.

There is potential for that to cause a big Drue gazes longingly at Reese's edible treasures. But Reese has been very good about sharing some with her. She does need some encouragement at times, "Don't you want to share your fruit loops with your sister?" or "I bet Drue would like one of those."

Today, however, she shared of her own free will. Drue was so excited, she shouted to me across the church lobby filled with people, "Mommy! Reesie shared with me!". Which, of course, meant I had to wade my through the crowd to commend her. "Mmmmmmm, these pretzels are good," Drue commented.

All the way back to the van I praised Reese for sharing her snack with Drue. I was feeling pretty good about her selfless personality when David looked in the rear view mirror and discovered that Reese was first licking off all the salt before she so sweetly passed them to Drue!

We had to make a quick stop at Target to get a few things. One of which was not a new sugary cereal for the girls to try. Somehow, Drue got her hands on some Strawberry Frosted Mini Wheats and wanted to take them home simply because they were pink. (Take one guess whose cart she was in...because one of us would have stood firm and said, "Absolutely not! That is sugary junk. We didn't come here for cereal." The other of us is a big ol' softie and I'm surprised didn't let her dump the whole shelf in her cart).

As we headed home, I didn't catch the first part of their conversation, but I heard Reese say, "Drue--are you excited about God?".


"Drue! You're not excited about God?!?".

"No. I'm excited about my pink cereal."

Friday, August 17, 2007


Tate's 15 month development sheet that was sent home with him today after his checkup listed many things he can do great...and a few he needs a little work on.

His "Right on Target" subjects include: walking well, stooping, and recovering, and scribbling (albeit he chooses to practice this skill on the walls).

His "Needs Improvement" subjects include: removing clothing (I'm sorta glad he hasn't figured that one out yet), 3 additional words (additional?? we are still working on the first 3), and points to body parts.

Then I spied "spoon usage better" indicating at this age his usage should be improving. So I took a few shots at dinner tonight to gauge his progress....




Hmmmmm....well, the sheet didn't actually say better than what? So I could fill in my own blank there and say with confidence "His spoon usage is better than that of a trained monkey".
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Queen of Charts

The age old question/debate...what exactly is the best way to mold your child's behavior into something socially acceptable...or at least into something that doesn't leave you banging your head against the wall after a long day of battling a toddlers' will?

At our house, I've become "all about the CHARTS"!

We resurrected the idea of the "Potty Chart" that seemed to work well with Reese and have been using it for Drue. She just flat out hated using the potty. I knew she was ready, but would act as though you were leading her to a guillotine rather than simply to our porcelain friend. She really was quite fascinated with the handmade chart I whipped up for her one day. And truly draws enjoyment from meticulously placing a sticker on it with her chubby little fingers.

Of course, I don't think the purpose has entirely set in for her yet. The other day after she awakened in a wet bed after being put down for nap sans pullup...she excitedly stated, "Mommy, I get to put a sticker on my potty chart!". To which I had to burst her little bubble and inform her we only use stickers when we tee tee in the appropriate receptacle.

The aspect of child rearing that is most exhausting and frustrating to me right now is the blasted bedtime routine. Tate is a little dreamboat and drifts off into sweet slumber without so much as a whimper after we read our story. God bless you little one.

And God bless the other two little dears also, who honestly make me choose to chew on shards of glass rather than put them down for bed some nights. I always imagined it being such a special time to be cherished. Me cuddling with my girls, tickling their arms and around their ears like my mom used to do, and whispering about our hopes and our dreams together until their little eyes fluttered closed and I would give them one last peck on the forehead as I pulled their covers up to their chins.

Not them falling to absolute pieces with just the mere mention of bed (and yes, I do warn them it's coming..."2 more stories til bedtime girls"). Thus begins the tiresome task of actually getting them up the stairs, since both sets of their legs are rendered useless past 8pm. Getting them to potty, brush their teeth, and lay down in their beds without the use of restraints (which we've never used mind you just in case you were starting to worry). What is getting me right now is the whining and crying. I'm not real patient with that at anytime of day but especially at the end of the day when all my reserves are spent and I ache to crawl into my bed and pretend to read a magazine before my own eyes slowly close.

I decided to do something about it this week. Reese is about to start preschool and they absolutely MUST have a bedtime routine that leaves us all happily content and not ready to pull every last hair out of our heads. I just hate for the last thing that comes out of our mouths to them at night is the threat of corporal punishment if they don't settle down and go-to-SLEEP!

So I made a "Good Girl Night Night Chart". Reese picked out Little Mermaid stickers to adorn her chart. My pessimistic attitude sort of felt sorry for her as she picked them out because I figured it would be a long time before she ever got to put one on her chart. I set down the ground rules. She had to go to bed willingly, without tears, and without a negative attitude. She felt up for the challenge. It was even her idea to put an "X" in the box if she didn't go to bed acceptably. I feel that may be a tad harsh yet.

Last night we implemented the new system and it worked! Like. A. Charm. She cheerfully chose a beautiful sticker of Ariel and Eric embracing and went to sleep without a peep.

The ironic part of all of this is when they fill up a chart with stickers they get...nothing. Nothing at all. I never explained to them that part of the chart. The big incentive at the end that works so well for some. They simply get enjoyment out of putting the stickers on and when a chart fills up, I make a new one. Elementary, my dear.

Of course, tonight, our second night of implementation went straight down the tubes. David put them to bed (ahem, I'll hold my tongue there) and I could hear Reese squalling about something all the way downstairs. I marched up, grabbed her chart from her room, went bounding across the hall, and demanded to know how a sticker got put on for this evening because it was coming right back off! Hmmmpppfffff.

I've decided to test a theory of mine about my dear husband and I will be putting them to bed tomorrow night. Should my theory prove correct, I believe I will use my knowledge to my advantage and negotiate a new outfit or two out of the deal.

Yesterday I had a very successful trip to the grocery store with all three of them. (Yes, to the same grocery store that was the scene of what I'll refer to as "the spectacle" last week...I was tempted to go to an altogether different store to save face, but I only feel at ease in my grocery store, where I know where everything is, and can stealthily slip in and out with my desired purchases in no time flat, with, or without a screaming toddler under my arm). After I raved to the children about how excellently they behaved, Reese suggested, "Hey Mommy, you should make a chart for us for going to the grocery store! ".

Back to the drawing board...literally.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Sunday, August 12, 2007

"Clean Up, Clean Up, Everybody Everywhere..."

I went in to vacuum the girls' room today and I saw a few toys spilling out from under their beds. By the time I army crawled underneath and drug out all the junk that was under each bed, I couldn't believe my eyes! So that's how they have been able to clean up their room in record time lately...


Reese can be a great "picker-upper" when she wants to be. She loves to surprise us by picking up a certain room of the house, then leading us to it with our eyes closed and listen to us exclaim over and over what a great job she did.

Other times, when it's not a surprise, and we've actually sent her to pick up a specific room, she'll still come and lead us to her accomplishment and giggle when we say, "I don't know why you're taking us there now. There's no way you could have picked up so fast."

Then we have the times where she's in a mood. When it gets to the point that I just can't stand the sight of one more naked doll on the living room floor, I'll usually say lightheartedly, "Reese, can you start picking up...." to which I'll plan to finish with, "...and I'll be in to help you in a few minutes." But I never get to make it that far. "But I didn't make all this mess by myself!" she'll protest. True. She had two little pint sized helpers. But perhaps, if she had let me finish my sentence, she would realize I didn't intend for the weight of the world to be solely plopped on her little shoulders.

Of course, at this time, its' usually the end of the day, or we are getting ready to go somewhere, or some other point where my stress level is up to my chin. So, I'll snidely reply, "Well, I don't make most of the messes in this house by myself but I'm always cleaning them up! I don't dirty all the laundry, I don't eat off all the dishes, and I certainly don't smear my fingerprints on every last mirror in the house!! But you don't hear me whining and complaining when I have to clean all that up." (Ok, so that last sentence is a big fat lie, but I go ahead and throw it in as a token phrase of mommy-martyrdom.)

I did find some helpful items under their beds today...a long lost library book that I was just sure we would have to pay for...and the knob to their curtain rod, so perhaps now, the whole thing won't collapse everytime we open or close the curtains.

I also realized that I have absolutely and verifiably been telling the girls the truth when I assure them there are no monsters under their beds....there is no way they could have fit!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Busy Summer

As of the girls and the fun stuff they did this summer. Our vacation pictures (and saga) will be coming soon.

Reese took swimming lessons again in July. Contrary to this picture, the lessons were at an outdoor swimming pool this time (their very last lesson had to be indoor due to the rain...and of course I hadn't been prepared with my camera during the other lessons). She took them with a little boy of a friend of ours. Which was nice, because I got to chat with his mom during lessons.


Our "Girls Night Out" to the Wizard of Oz. Funny how my "Girls Nights Out" used to consist of me leaving the house solo and getting together with other women who are capable of carrying on a complete conversation without mentioning the names of any cartoon characters. (I do still get out at least twice a month to play Bunco).


The girls enjoyed the play. I wasn't aware it was almost 3 hours long, however, so by 11:15pm they were trying to fold themselves up in the metal outdoor theatre seats we were in and go to sleep. Drue was sitting on my lap at the time and kept saying, "I want to go home. I want to go home." Which played in well to her role as Dorothy. We went to this with one of Reese's little friends from church (whose mom whipped up a Munchkin outfit that very afternoon after the little girl changed her mind about wanting to be Dorothy. That is true talent people. I have already told the girls they will be Dorothy and Glinda for discussion). The mom and I get along great and I always look forward to our playdates. She is also the mother of 3 and is so down to earth about everything. I can just lay it all out on the line with her without fear of her turning up her nose at the confession of me finding a week old milk cup in the van...via its' scent.

Reese had a weeklong soccer camp. Again, with the same little boy whom she took swimming lessons with. So me and his mom gabbed it up during camp. Her coaches said she was a great little soccer player for her age and encouraged us to keep her in the game. And no, I am choosing not to believe they wrote that on everyone's sheet. My daughter is gifted. (Please tell me you sensed my sarcasm there.)

No cool action shots. I was lucky to get this one (of Reese not looking my direction...surprise, surprise).


And lastly Reese had a one night Cinderella Ball camp. She got to dress up in her little tutu and perform for us. Way at the top of the list as one of the cutest things I've seen. Every little girls' mother looks forward to that. Reese loves to dance but is still very shy when she gets up there. She had a great time and loved getting to wear make-up and jewelry. Afterwards I took her shopping for a backpack...tutu and all. A-d-o-r-a-b-l-e.


So that's about it. It was a busy summer. Actually, it was a busy July. All of the above events occurred in that one month! And it is looking like we'll have a busy Fall as well. Preschool, AWANA, and children's choir at church. Dang...does that mean I'm going to have to become one of those organized Moms who always keep a colored coded activity schedule handy?

Now where did I put the fridge so I can hang my nifty schedule on the door.....?
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Why did I Risk it?

"Risk what?" you're supposed to be asking yourselves right now.

Risk climbing Mt. Everest blindfolded with one hand tied behind my back? Nope.

Risk dog paddling across the English Channel with 30lb weights secured to my ankles? Nope.

My feat was much riskier than those two scenarios combined. I risked squeezing in one more errand with the kiddos that precariously entered the 15 minute window prior to nap.

And I am blaming it on the media. I am considering taking them to small claims court to see if I can possibly win some reparations for my mental anguish.

I was feeling rather good about my day. I was able to blow off the fact that David fixed some drinks for the girls this morning before he left for work that were filled to the brim with KOOL-AID.

And I didn't blink an eye when Drue crawled up right next to me with 2 year old morning breath and whispered, "Mommy, what do my teeth smell like?".

We went to the dry cleaners and the grocery store without incident. Reese was my little helper and Drue and Tate both sat contentedly 85% of the trip in the cart. (Tate got a little bored and amused himself by turning around and pulling Drue's hair with all his might.)

Got home. Fixed lunch. Set out all my ingredients for supper in a neat little arrangement on the counter. And got to work preparing the dessert for tonight. Stawberry pie.

The recipe calls for frozen strawberries so I set the container in the sink to thaw. When I opened the lid to check their progress, the plastic seal underneath the lid was flapping open on one side.

You have got to me kidding me. A few years ago I would have thought nothing of the opened seal. I would have ripped the rest off and cheerfully dumped the strawberries in my bowl. But as I looked in disbelief at the opened seal, all the food recalls that are reported on the news every other blessed day ran through my head, along with thoughts of botulism, e coli, and every other imaginable calamity that could befall my youngsters if they ate the theoretically tainted berries.

I really wanted to go ahead with the dessert if for no other reason than to hear David rave about what a fantastic little homemaker I am. I made up my mind to take them back to the store for an exchange. I looked at the clock...12:05. I looked at the kids...eyes starting to glaze over yet still had enough energy to be running through the living room.

"We can do this!" I shouted and off we went.

I went straight to the customer service desk and waited for a minute until our turn came. I explained our unfortunate situation and the lady directed me to go grab another container. "Do I need to bring it back up here?" I asked.

She looked uncertain. She looked over at the Exit door and I could tell in her mind she was thinking, "That container won't set off the alarm but I can't tell that to this lady or she may make a habit of shoplifting frozen strawberries from us."

"Ummm...just go ahead and bring it back up here so I can get you a sack," she stammered.

Whatever. Our errand was almost complete, my dessert would be made on time, I was flying high.

We got our new container, opened the lid to make sure it was botulism safe, and headed back up to the counter. Of course, there were other people waiting by this time. Reese flung the berries up on the end of the counter where no one was standing and I explained to her that we had to wait our turn again. "But we were just up here," she said. I explained that we left and came back and needed to wait for the other people to be helped.

Waiting skills is not something God chose to bestow upon children, however. First they tried to hang off the counter like it was monkey bars. Then they started walking around and around in circles around me. This actually worked well, because it kept Tate entertained. He was laughing hysterically and people were getting a kick out of listening to him. I was starting to get a little nervous at this time, however, because at first, his laugh sounds like a cry. So I know people were starting to stare because they thought he was crying initially.

Which he eventually did start doing. He wanted to join in the fun and walk around in circles himself so he tried to dive out of my arms onto the tile floor. My Mommy-Grip-of-Death held him upright for a few moments longer. And that is when the errand completely and utterly fell apart and will forever be filed under "Errands from Hades" in my psyche.

Tate started crying and protesting and wouldn't stop. Drue continued to walk in circles around me and I believe Reese started singing something, it all started to blur. I could sense the bystanders all around me turning to look and wonder why I couldn't keep my kids under control. And that made me furious to think about.
Correction: Everyone except the lady behind the counter turned to look. She had no clue we were standing there JUST WAITING FOR A BAG!

I cannot stand being the center of attention and especially when it is the direct result of one of my temper tantrum throwing children in public. I was tempted to just toss him into the next cart that passed by and hope the customer didn't notice right away.

My frustration started in my toes and when it had worked its' way quickly upwards until I was sure my head would explode, I grabbed the strawberries and said to the kids, "Come on. We are leaving and I don't care if we set off the alarm or not!".

Reese followed obediently, Tate was now under my arm like an oversized sack of flour still crying and kicking his little legs, and for some reason, still unbeknownst to us, Drue burst out into tears also. Folks, she is a L-O-U-D crier. More people turned to look. My face was burning.

We were 5 feet from freedom. And then it happened. One of Drue's flip flops fell off and she tumbled to the ground. You would have thought she had broken both legs in the process. But she didn't elicit her "hurt" cry, I could tell it was still just her "who knows what set her off" cry. Only progressively louder than it had been a minute before.

One of the cashiers turned around and just stared at our spectacle. It can take up to 10 solid minutes for Drue to calm herself down enough to stick her foot back into her flip flop correctly and I couldn't let go of Tate to help speed the process along. I made a split second decision and quickly reached down and snatched the flip flop off the ground, grabbed Drue's hand and bolted toward the door, bracing myself for the fit to escalate. Which it did. At least my kids are predictable.

She cried all the way to the van and I could tell people in the parking lot were debating on calling the police to report a kidnapping. Reese lectured me all the way home about my actions. And rightly so. But I can't wait to pull out these stories one day and present them to her after she's had a particularly frustrating encounter with her little ones someday.

And for the record...everyone in our household will eat a piece of pie tonight and they will like it and they will take turns telling me it's the best piece of pie they've ever had!

Forgotten Funny

When I don't have a pen and paper handy and something "blogworthy" happens, I sometimes text message it to myself on my phone. I was scrolling through messages yesterday and found a reminder from April that I had forgotten to post about:

Sunday mornings are a mad scramble at our house. It usually ends up that I get all the kids and myself ready while David takes care of....himself. At this stage in our lives, I can't fathom how "Sunday mornings" and "relaxing" are synonomous. Boggles my mind.

After I coax the kids into eating their breakfast in a timely fashion rather than inspecting each and every cheerio in their bowl, get them dressed, do their hair, pack bags for the little ones, I have just about reached my limit. As we shuffle them all out to the van with at least one of them crying about who knows what I am usually screaming something along the lines of...."STOP WHINING AND FIGHTING...LET'S GO WORSHIP THE LORD!!!".

David gets his kicks out of aggravating us at times. I don't know why. That's just the way it is. He balances me out that way I guess. So on one particular harried Spring Sunday morning, he was being his usual jokester self while I was being my usual frantic self and he kept bugging me while we were trying to get everyone into the van and buckled. He had picked that particular moment to try and plant a kiss on my cheek. And I was trying unsuccessfully to squirm away and complete my task.

Finally Reese asked, "Mommy, why did you marry that man?".

This tickled me and I simply replied, "Because he asked me," thinking that answer would suffice.

She thought for a second then piped up, "You should have said no."

Friday, August 03, 2007

It's a bird...It's a plane...

It's the cutest little Superman this side of Krypton...



These are the cutest little jammies I have ever seen!

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Reese had a sassy mouth while my mom was here watching the kids today. Apparently, every time my mom would ask her to do something, Reese would simply say, "No".


I tried to talk to Reese about her behavior this evening when I got home. She did show some remorse and looked sorry, but I was still trying to get her to explain her disrespectful actions to me.

I finally just said, "Let's talk about why you behaved that way today."

"I don't know," she said. "Tell me".

Site Meter