Friday, March 26, 2010

Thanks for Clarifying

There's nothing like some upbeat music to lift my spirits when I'm feeling overwhelmed. Like yesterday, when I looked around at my house in shambles yet didn't have the energy to pick up one single solitary thing.

So I played some crazy tune on my computer and became instantly energized. I have to be careful about what I play around tiny ears. Because they're listening. Always listening. Not that I listen to hard core ghetto rap or anything. Heck, I don't even know what the lyrics are half the time. But if the beat helps me get up and go, then so be it.

After my peppy song was over, I pulled up the playlist on my blog.

Tate had been standing next to me listening to the music as well. Ever since he started watching American Idol this season, he feels he has the credentials to critique any and all songs he hears. Even on the radio. "That guy is not good Mom. He is not going to Hollywood", he'll declare.

As soon as the familiar hymn "My Jesus I Love Thee" began playing from my playlist he said, "I don't like that song".

"But Tate..." I said in mock disbelief, "This song is about Jesus!".

"Well, I like Jesus" he decided, "But I don't like how that lady is singing the song!".

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bottom Left Hand Corner


I finally made it into a picture!!
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Move Over Al Gore

Movie times.

Restaurant menus.

Hilarious You Tube videos of baby pandas sneezing.

The kids know we use the computer to look up just about everything.

Even secrets to video games. Yes, I am a nerd.

And when I need to figure out secrets to New Super Mario Bros for the Wii, I look it up online. I have already beat the game once. (See above quote about being a nerd).

Now I am having to play through a second time to collect all the star coins to unlock more levels. Ugh.

Anyway, I played for a few minutes tonight while the kids were watching and I got stuck. I couldn't figure out where the last blasted star coin was in the level.

"Well, you could always look on the computer," Drue suggested. "The computer knows everything!".

"How do you know that?" I asked.

"Because God made it!".

Sunday, March 21, 2010

As if They Needed Anymore Material to Share with their Future Therapists

We headed down to Bolivar on Friday. Before we got there we planned to take the kids to Fantastic Caverns. But the weather turned out to be so nice we didn't want to spend our afternoon stuck in a dark, damp cave so we chose to take the kids to Wildlife Safari in Springfield.

I was half convinced it would be a rip off and we wouldn't see any animals. The opposite was true. So many animals came up to the van I couldn't even drive through them at times. Which is just what David kept trying to persuade me to do. "Just drive. They'll move. They're used to this."

I got braver towards the end. But I just couldn't bring myself to press the gas pedal as a young deer or alpaca had their head inside our van. Even when we rolled the windows up, they would come right up to us and press their noses up against it and I just knew I was going to roll over a toe, or a hoof, or whatever might be at the end of their leg.

The above video was taken right as we pulled into the park. Which was probably part of the problem. It was our very first animal encounter. What you don't see (because I quickly stopped the video 2 seconds before the camel's head came completely through my window)is me screaming, the girls screaming, and Tate's eyes getting big as he scrambled out of his seat and ran to the back of the van. Of course, David got a kick out of the whole encounter and kept trying to entice the camel to eat his little chunk of food. We quickly rolled up our windows and in came his long neck through our sun roof! More screaming ensued.

We finally pulled away but not before Drue had become completely traumatized with big crocodile tears falling to her cheeks. It took quite a bit of coaxing before she would even look out the window at the other animals. But David finally lured her up in his lap and she perked up towards the end of the drive. She declared, "If I had a "Scariest List"...a camel would be at the top!".

Drue and Tate both had to pee pretty bad right in the middle of the trail. Which posed a tricky predicament since you're not allowed to exit your vehicle. David grabbed an empty Wendy's cup and held it carefully for Tate to relieve himself in. Anytime a new potty place is introduced to him, he thinks it's ok to go there whenever he likes. He doesn't even blink when we're outside and he has to pee in the grass. And now, I fear, he will drop trou in the middle of McDonalds and pee in his cup.

It was a little more tricky for Drue to go in the cup but we managed. Odd doesn't begin to describe how it felt to be stopped in the middle of the trail, surrounded by wildlife peering in at us watching our children pee in a cup.

Tate's animal food kept bouncing off his closed window because he kept forgetting to roll it down. At one point when his window was rolled down, he tossed out his little plastic glow bug toy. After the peeing incident he looked back and said, "My bug went out the window". We all looked back and saw about 8 deer surrounding this shiny plastic bug on their trail. So I reversed slowly back towards them and David had to open his door to quickly scoop it up.

We didn't even try to feed the Ostriches or Emus. David was having flashbacks to when he was a little boy trying to feed the Ostriches and being scared to death as they pecked hard into the little bag of food he was holding.

We finished that little adventure off with a walk through the petting zoo portion. A little more our speed. Drue said more than a few times that she never wanted to go back there ever again. Ever.

Here's one more little video of the trip.

More Spring Break Fun

Completely missed a few posts about the rest of our Spring Break. Thursday was roller skating, Frisbee golf, and the longest game of Monopoly I have ever been involved in. Which ended with Reese and I totally getting skunked by Drue. Who happened to be playing for the first time. But she stuck to Mom's advice and bought every property she landed on and didn't make deals with other players without serious consideration.

Drue also went roller skating for the first time. Reese and Tate have both been once before. It was an exhausting 2 hours of holding up one to two children at a time between David and myself and I even ended up falling flat on my hind area at one point which I think completely embarrassed Reese. But by the end of our session they had all improved tremendously.

We flew through Frisbee golf. The weather was great. Tate and Reese both got conked in the heads by frisbees. David got hit in the back of the knee by Tate's. Tate said, "Dad, why didn't you scrunch down?". "Because if I had scrunched down, it would have hit me right smack in the head!", he explained.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spring Break Vacation: Day 1

Sorry, not too catchy of a title. But I am pooped from our day!

The girls are both on Spring Break this week and David and I were able to take Wed/Thurs/Fri off with them. Last night we all piled on our bed and brainstormed fun ideas we could do together.

Some obvious ones were thrown out: Monkey Business, Pump it Up, Roller Skating. Some other ideas were brought up as well. Drue suggested Florida. Oh how I wish that one had been feasible. David wrote it down so as not to disrupt the flow of our brainstorm.

The decided upon activities for today consisted of: breakfast at a donut shop (which served green donuts---how cute is that?), Nelson-Atkins Museum, Indoor Batting Cages, Monkey Business, and purchasing Monopoly(which Reese has been asking for ever since we played with some homeless families down at the City Union Mission a few weeks ago).

I am kicking myself for not taking (1) a camera and (2) a small notebook to jot down the hilarity of our adventure to the Nelson.

We gave the kids the choice of going roller skating or going to a museum and they picked the museum. So we quickly drove to downtown K.C. before they had a chance to change their minds.

We only almost got kicked out twice. Once when Tate innocently reached out to touch what he (and all the rest of us) thought was pink carpet. It wasn't.

It was perfectly groomed sand surrounding the giant glass jar display. Which, I'm sure had a more artsy name that escapes me now. I kid you not, they may as well have had an alarm and flashing light go off as well as a net that fell from the ceiling to capture our little perpetrator.

When I saw that it was sand he touched I immediately scooped him up and headed for the door. Two unmistakable little finger trails in the sand. One worker reached out in horror. Another started sternly saying something and heading our way. Then they just kind of stared at us in shock and dismay. David said later, "I'm not sure what they were expecting. We saw what Tate did, you grabbed him, what more could we do? Pull a little rake out of my back pocket and regroom the sand display?".

As we were leaving the museum with tired and hungry kids David "wrecklessly" threw Tate up on top of his shoulders. Out of nowhere scurried another worker telling us that simply wasn't allowed. So he pulled Tate off and carried him out of the museum in his arms.

I am completely thrilled with the timing of the public school system in teaching Reese the appropriate terms for "girl parts" and "boy parts" a few weeks ago. Yes, that is what we were still calling them. That's fine if you have taught your children to use the proper terms from birth. I have not. But now Reese knows them and taught them to Drue. Which is fine.

Of course, every other room we ventured into had a nude statue which caused the girls to slap their hands over their mouths and giggle uncontrollably. "Mom! That statue has a penis."

"Why yes Reese it does. Good observation."

Something tells me Tate isn't going to be an art history major. His favorite exhibits of the whole trip? The EXIT signs. Because they were green. Like Luigi.

Our last stop of the day were the batting cages at the Great Mall and Monkey Business. The girls are playing Coach Pitch this year and Tate will play T Ball in the Summer. So we thought it would be fun to get a few practice swings in. The old man and I took our turns as well.

Not much to report about Monkey Business. Over priced time on oversized inflatables and the smell of sweaty kids running around like crazy.

Our break is off to a good start!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Manic Monday

While I try to be optimistic when the kids are upset or sad about something, I am, and always will be, a pessimist. Not a trait I'm proud of, but not one that I can just turn off like a switch and be overcome with a perpetual sunny outlook.

Although a beautiful weekend, it still went by a little too fast for my liking and my alarm this morning brought me face to face with the reality of a new week. I went through the motions of waking the girls, getting breakfast, checking the weather on line, getting outfits, throwing Reese in the shower, making Drue's lunch. Your basic run of the mill activities that a billion other Mothers across the world are doing as well.

We piled in the van and headed up the road to drop Reese off at school. I sighed and commented out loud, "Mondays are not fun days."

"Why?" Reese inquired.

"Just that they're the beginning of a new week, of getting everyone up and ready and all of that. I would just like to have one more day of the weekend," I explained.

Reese, sometimes wiser than her years remarked, "Then you wouldn't like Tuesdays!".

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Dressed for Success

Tate has been able to dress himself entirely for awhile now. Minus a few tricky snaps and buttons here and there.

So the newness of being independent in this area has worn off for him. It is slowly transforming into a chore. And of course, he picks the most inopportune times to spontaneously render himself completely helpless and will pitifully lie on the floor waiting for us to dress him.


This morning was heading in that direction. We were actually shaping up to be a little early to leave for Drue's preschool and the only hurdle standing in our way, was a 3 year old cutie pie in his fireman pjs.

"Tate, time to get your clothes on," I sing songed in my peppiest voice (which isn't all that peppy pre-coffee).

"I want to get dressed down here," he called from the living room.

"But your clothes are laid out up here, in my room," I sweetly informed him.

I headed into the girls room for a split second and then called to him again when I got back in the hallway.

"But I want to get dressed down here," he repeated.

"I understand, but your clothes are...." I trailed off as I stared at the empty floor of my room. That little stinker had somehow flown up the stairs and retrieved his outfit in the split second I'd had my back turned.

Oh fiddle faddle. It didn't really matter about his location, just the fact that he was getting his garments on. For some strange reason, he chose to plop himself down at the bottom of the stairs to the entryway and remove his pjs.

So I kept popping out in the hall to check his progress. He wasn't going as quickly as I would have liked for him to be going, so for a minor clarification I added, "I am going to be upset if I come down there and you don't have your clothes on," still in a halfway peppy tone.

"Ok," he acknowledged.

After a few more minutes had passed, I verbally checked his progress. "Tate? Are you dressed?".

"I got my unders on," he called back then added in the exact tone I used to check on him, "Are you ready to be mad at me?".

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