Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Words uttered in our house this evening...

When we get home in the evenings, it is typically like a whirlwind. Crazy times of cooking food, cleaning bodies, and attempting to find something to do to retain some sort of sanity. For Tyler, it's watching "Imagination Movers" or "Stuart Little". For Connor, it's pushing trucks around. For Kyle and I - it's time on the computer.

Tonight wasn't unlike most others, but I just started paying attention to the words coming out of my mouth. I never thought I would utter the words I did, but seriously, these words or phrases came out of my mouth after 5:30 this evening...

  1. "CONNOR GET OFF THE TABLE!" "Kyle, get me a towel to get the ketchup off his knee".
  2. "Tyler, you can have a sticker if you sit at the table. But you have to use silverware."
  3. "Tyler, get out of the clothes basket!"
  4. "Connor - QUIT HITTING YOUR BROTHER!" (Repeat this 100 times).
  5. "Tyler - STOP SITTING ON CONNOR!" (only repeated 3 times)
  6. "No golfing in the kitchen!"
  7. "Tyler, get the squeeze cheese out of your mouth!"
  8. "Get me another drink"

Oh, wait, the last one was uttered by me. I had one of those days at work. Nothing seriously bad happened, but nothing good either, which makes it kind-of a frustrating day. I like to feel some sort of success when I leave in the evenings, or else, evenings like this at home are just THAT much more frustrating.

Looking back at tonight, I laugh at some of the things that happened. I didn't laugh then - but I'm laughing already. Now we're trying to put Connor to bed for the first time without a pacifier, period. Not even with the clipped off ends. I'm having a good time.

(Keep telling myself that!)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Snipers in my Living Room

The new obsession in our house is.....Nerf Guns.

Tyler found one at our friend's house a while ago, and become obsessed with it. So much, that we could actually use it as a constant bribe to get good behavior.

"Tyler, eat your supper and we'll get that gun... Tyler, sit down and we'll get that gun".

So, SuperNanny would probably cringe at the fact that I'm using a gun as a bribe to get my child to exhibit acceptable behavior, but I don't care. There are two little things I'm aiming for, survival and sanity. To have both would be Heaven!

Connor has recently got in on the action. Honestly, he's got a pretty good shot.

Next time anyone comes over, make sure you can duck, and quick. You never know what is being aimed at your head!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

My work here is done.

I've spent a total of 79.5 weeks of my life pregnant. Watching everything I ate and drank so as not to hurt the baby. I then spent a total of 24 weeks on Maternity Leave, a total of 12 months breastfeeding, and by now, approximately 15 nights total out of the last 4.5 years, that I didn't have to get out of bed to take care of someone.

I've changed 8 million poopy diapers (I doubt this is an exaggeration), and cleaned up puke, drool, urine and any other bodily fluid you can think of out of the carpet, my clothes, and the car.

Now, Tyler wants nothing to do with me. When it comes to bedtime, he wants daddy. If daddy, God forbid, leaves the house, Tyler will FREAK OUT. He was very clear when he told me this weekend I wasn't supposed to kiss him, ever again.

"You're Yucky!", he says, "I told you not to kiss me!"

Both of the boy's worlds use to revolve around me. I was their lifeline to this earth, providing clothing, shelter, hugs and kisses, and everything else that would make them happy. Daddy was, at that time, just someone to play with and be a pinch-hitter, when Mommy wasn't around.

Now, they want the pinch-hitter all the time. Daddy makes better food, plays golf better, tells better stories, etc. You get the picture.

Don't get me wrong, the free time I'm finally experiencing for the first time since 2004 is amazing, but at the same time, it was nice to be needed. Connor still wants to cuddle when he's tired (or not feeling well), but that's about it. And unless I want to start introducing horrible sleeping habits again, I'm not going to start rocking him to sleep again, although I want to so bad.

I guess it all comes down to what you heart wants and needs. The feeling you get in your heart when your little boy runs to you when he gets hurt, or asks for you when he goes to bed.

Again, I've been pushing for their independence their whole life, and now I'm getting it, and am not prepared for it myself.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Damn the saki bombs!

What do you get when you combine 4 Saki Bombs, 1 Strawberry Martini, and countless amounts of Bud and Miller Light? You get this....

Yep! Kyle and I were STARS on Saturday night! We sang "Neon Moon", and we were GOOOOOOOOOD..... if I do say so myself. I think Paula Abdul might be calling us soon for an audition to American Idol.
Actually, I think I saw people cringe while we sang. And if it couldn't get any better, Vicki, Brenda and I busted out an excellent version of "Sweet Child O' Mine" after this. And you didn't think it could get any better???

I love you Kyle! Hope you had a happy birthday!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Kyle!

Happy Birthday Kyle! Honestly, I don't give you enough credit sometimes for doing what you do, but I do want you to know that it does not go unnoticed. Sometimes I wish you did more, but there are times when I can't imagine what more would be...

  • I think I have taken the kids to daycare 4 times this year. You have taken them all the other times.

  • I have picked up the kids about 2 days a week. You have picked them up all the other times.

  • You are strict with the boys, although I agree with everything you do with them (most of the time!)

  • Although you don't do laundry, you do insist on having the house clean - constantly. Sometimes it drives me crazy that you try to pick up toys, while the boys are playing, but the other extreme would be worse.

  • You have taken the boys to the doctor when they are sick, taken them for follow up appointments, and picked up their perscriptions.
    You have stayed home with them on sick days and snow days, when I had things I had to do at work.

  • You deal with my crazy work schedule which means I have to be out of the house before 7am every day, and am never home before 5pm, ever.

  • You know when I am crabby, and although get frustrated when it's 8pm and I don't want to talk to anyone, but you just leave me alone.

Sometimes I look at the boys, and I see all you. All. You. There is so little of my genes in them, it's crazy. I almost forget sometimes when I'm talking to Tyler that it's not you.

Most of all, I love you and cannot imagine any life other than what we have right now!

Happy Birthday, Kyle!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I don't like girls

Tonight, Kyle and I were both sitting on the couch while Tyler watched Stewart Little 2, his new favorite movie. Tyler jumped up from his seat on the floor and jumped into Kyle's lap. "Hold me!", he said.

I asked Tyler, "Do you want to sit in my lap?", because I was desperately needing a cuddle at that time.

"No!", Tyler replied. "I don't like girls!" he said.

Great. He doesn't like "girls", of which I fit into that category, I guess. He spent the next half hour before bedtime cuddled up to Kyle on the couch.

I miss my cuddly Tyler. I have a cuddly Connor (who is in bed), that has replaced that boy, but how long until Connor tells me that he doesn't like girls???

I think we need to get a dog. A dog will always love me.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The nights outside

I am convinced that nights spent outside with the boys are so much longer than nights spent inside with the boys. Maybe it's because we have (ha ha, have!) to play, throw balls, run, chase them, and just have a good time - and when we're inside, we're forced to clean up messes, do dishes, do laundry, etc. boring stuff.

We spent all evening outside tonight until we drug them inside for bathtime, tears and all. According to daycare, the boys spent almost every waking moment outside at daycare too. They are exhausted!

I love the nights spent outside. They run, play, laugh and just spend the whole time outside, smiling.

I do too.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Although it's not Thanksgiving, I feel like I have a lot to be thankful about tonight.

I am thankful for my inlaws. My mother and father-in-law watched the boys today while Kyle golfed his first round for the year, and I went shopping at the Outlet Mall (insert Hallelujah chorus here)! Larry and Norma - you are the best! The boys had fruit snacks, and Doritos, and every other food that they absolutely love - and hey, that's what grandparents are for, right?

Kyle with his mom on Christmas

I am thankful for feeling healthy. At about 7am on Thursday morning, I thought I was going to die. I can't even begin to explain how my entire body felt, and Friday wasn't much better. I went to the doctor Friday and got my answer - bronchitis, sinus infection and the start of an ear infection. Nothing Augmentin, Predinose and an Inhaler couldn't fix!

I am thankful for our neighbors, Mike and Vicki. We grilled at their house tonight for dinner, again, which is beginning to be a Sunday night ritual. They are awesome, and treat us, and our boys, like family.

Mike and Vicki during the Superbowl (yes, we told Mike he looks like a Dork AND the Falcons weren't playing!)

I am thankful that the boys are feeling better (knock on wood, knock on wood!). When they went to bed tonight everyone was fairly healthy (except for Connor's cruddy nose), and they were both asleep by 7:20 on a Sunday evening (insert another Hallelujah chorus!)

I am thankful that the boys slept until daylight for 2 DAYS IN A ROW! WAAAHHOOOO! They both slept until 7:15am yesterday and today! I cannot even begin to describe how much I needed this sleep (and they did too!), and how nice it was to be in my bed past 6am on the weekend!

I am thankful for my parents, who listen to my rambling phone calls every time I call. Hardly ever does a phone call from me go unanswered, and they listen to my venting, my crying, my joy, and just my blonde rambling at times. They are awesome, and I owe them everything for who I have become today.

I am thankful that today's weather gave me the taste of summer. MMMMmmmm.....summer..... I can't wait!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Why you should not let a blonde start a bar-b-que

Imagine a beautiful stainless steel grill.

The grill is lit because my husband asked me too. (I am a nice wife, that way)

We're in the house. We check outside, and there are flames billowing out of the grill.

Kyle runs outside, throws the lid open, and flames are going at least 8 feet into the air. He runs in the house for water.

Water is thrown on the grill to get the fire out.

He comes inside for tongs.

He uses said tongs to remove the remaining melted plastic from the scraper/brush that I left in the grill, when I started it. This took him about 15 minutes, plus a good hose down for the grill.

We're just happy I didn't burn the house down.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Worried about THAT?

This picture was taken before 8am last summer. Notice the direction of the sun from the shadow!

While waiting on hold for the doctor today (in order to attempt to get rid of this complete crud I've been fighting) the voice on the phone was talking about different activities that they suggest for families to get their children outside, and to prevent childhood obesity. Seriously, some people have a hard time getting their kids outside?

This triggered something in my mind. We're soon entering - "SUMMER!".

Although summer is definitely my favorite time of the year, my boys love it too. So much that when they are up at 6am on Saturday, they are already asking to go outside. Our Saturday mornings go something like this:

6:15am: Tyler asks to go outside. I tell him no, it's barely light out. Connor will stand at the window, "Side... side... side... side... side?"

6:20am: Tyler asks to go outside. He'll be good he promises! I tell him no, we haven't even eaten yet.
6:30am: Tyler asks for a Popsicle. I tell him no, we have to eat real food first. "Please can I have a Popsicle, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, MOOOMMMMMMMMYYYYY!!!"

6:32am: Tyler opens front door and goes outside, in his pajamas. I chase him outside, also in my pajamas. Neighbors probably laugh their asses off.

Continue this type of crap until I lose my mind, or the kids win. Usually by 8am we're outside, if it's sunny out. Or not sunny. Or rainy, or windy, or cloudy, or cold. I take up my station on the driveway, where I sit and read the paper, while the boys push toys back and forth and back and forth on the sidewalk. (With an occasional "go get Connor" from down the street, in there). Luckily, with their new obsession with golf, I can see Kyle being highly involved in this weekend morning ritual.

Never have we had a problem with the boys wanting to play outside. Actually, we have to try to prevent the tantrums from when they have to come in. We've resigned to eating outside, and actually at a very weak moment, I let them bathe outside in their pool. We were going to be emptying it anyway, so why not save water? We grabbed the soap and went to town.

I'm going to have to find some more clever ways to keep the boys inside, at least during nightime hours. Locks don't work - they can undo them. Childproof locks don't work either, because Tyler can just pound them off the door. I'm thinking we'll have to get some chain locks for the door, and put them up high so no one can reach them - except us, of course.

So, we're entering summer. Otherwise known as "tantrum season". Let the fun begin!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Being sick at 35 and at 4

I finally jinxed myself. I got a cold. Not just any cold, a knock-me-on-my-ass and make me feel like a baby, cold. Or flu. Or whatever. Whatever it is, I just want to be back to normal.

I was just bragging on Monday that I had been taken my Melaleuca vitamins since last June, and haven't been sick once. That is a record for me - because I usually have my fall cold, and my November case of bronchitis - at least. Usually, I have a sinus infection somewhere in December and a runny nose all through January. This year, I didn't experience any of those. I've had more energy, slept better, and overall been perfect. Until now.

This is killing me. My throat feels like I swallowed sandpaper. I cough so hard I pee my pants (thanks to four hours of pushing in labor with Tyler!), and feel so yucky all over, that it is honestly taking a lot of effort for me to type right now.

Tyler is sick too. He had a fever of 102.5 last night when he went to bed, and when he woke up this morning. He had one dose of ibuprofin at about 8am, and he is good as new. I mistakenly replaced the batteries in his chain saw, and Holy. Lord. My head feels like it's going to explode from the sound of that horrible toy.

Whatever crud this is we're all passing around, I hope it's gone soon. I hate feeling this wore down, weak, and overall helpless. Ick.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Only the cutest video I've ever seen!

She certainly has a lot to say! You HAVE to watch this - I guarantee it will make you smile!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What a blast!

My sister and her family came to our house this weekend. They arrived Saturday morning, and within minutes, the kids and dogs were running laps around the house. We packed everything we could into 24 hours or less, from a trip to the mall, to watching about three movies, and just chatting at the kitchen table.
We then spent the night doing our favorite thing - watching a movie, eating pizza, and drinking a beer. Absolutely, one of my most FAVORITE things to do - and when you include my sister in the mix, it doesn't get much better.

My sister has been my best friend since since was born, I would say. We've always been there for each other, helped each other through difficult times in our lives, and without a doubt, made each other laugh so hard at times we couldn't catch our breath!

After everyone was up this morning, they packed and had to leave (mostly because we lost a stupid hour due to Daylight Savings time!), and too quickly, drove back home to Chicago. Instantly, our house returned to quiet. No giggling girls running around, no Connor chasing puppies around, and no jabs back and forth to my brother-in-law, because I just LOVE to tease him.

Getting ready for bed tonight, I thought about how much I wish she lived closer. Although 200 miles isn't that far, with each of us having 2 kids now, weekends spent together are fewer and farther between.

I put the last glass in the dishwasher, turned out the light, and listened to the silence. Although sometimes I crave silence in our house, after a visit like that, the giggling, squealing and screaming noise of last night, was beautiful.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Memories of "home"

I had DVR'd an episode of John & Kate Plus 8 the other night, and decided to watch it tonight. Oddly enough, Tyler loves this show too (because of the 6 kids that are his age), so we watched it together. (Yes, the TV got batteries and came back on tonight!).

On this episode the family had gone back to their house to clean it out for the final time. They bought an enormous house in the woods which gave them about 10 times more room than they had, but I give them kudos for living in the 4 bedroom house that they had, with 8 kids, for almost 3 years.

At the end of the show, they showed them standing in the driving saying goodbye to their old house. None of them really seemed to mind, and the kids were just concerned that they were going to get a snack in the car. I could tell they were excited to move into their new house. It's gorgeous, in the middle of nowhere, and they actually have room to move around now. Even with cameramen in their face all day long.

Then they started showing clips of the various empty rooms in the house, and then they would cut to previous video of what, at the time, seemed to be just "normal" daily activity that happened in that room. Eating dinner at the table in the kitchen, kids playing duck duck goose in the living room, and jumping on their beds in the bedroom. Then I started bawling. This hit me square in the face. Every moment, of every day, I am making memories for my kids. I can remember back to some things that happened when I was 4, so Tyler is remembering things NOW.

I started thinking back to my "home" on Brentwood Drive that I would consider "where I grew up". I remember the creek in the backyard that the center of my universe. Every chance we could get we played across it, in it, next to it, etc. I remember the light our babysitter broke once in the basement. I remember watching "The Wizard of Oz" on the pull out couch in the basement. I remember the beautiful sound of my mom playing the piano in the living room. I remember my dad building the fireplace with his own hands. I remember the theme song to "Hill Street Blues", because that meant it was time for bed. I remember listening to records in the basement. I don't know how my parents kept their sanity hearing the Annie Soundtrack 1 million times.

I remember all of these things that would seem senseless, although they are stuck in my head.

I never thought of this house as the place that would imprint the same memories in my child's brain. Every moment seems a little bit more special now.....

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The TV needs batteries

I walked in the house tonight to a wonderful surprise. Kyle had made lasagna, salad and breadsticks for dinner, and even opened a bottle of wine. I got the kids from daycare, so when we walked in, we literally went right to the table and started eating. This didn't give the kids the chance to get all hyper like they usually do, and to rummage through the pantry eating whatever they can get their hands on.

Before dinner, I walked into the living room and unplugged the TV. I just wanted quiet. It was a rule at our house growing up that as soon as you sat down for dinner, the TV had to go off. I liked that rule, and it really stuck with me. It drives me nuts whenever we go somewhere else and the TV is on while we're eating - it just seems disrespectful to the people you are eating with.

I mentioned to Kyle that I would like the TV to stay off for the night, and he thought that would be a great idea. Instead, we spent the night at the dinner table coloring with crayons and markers, eating watermelon (that Tyler talked me into getting at the store last weekend), and talking. It was wonderful.

Tyler tried a couple of times to turn the TV on, but decided that he thinks it just needs batteries - and went on to playing with his trucks.

What a nice night. My type of a "normal" family, has become us.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I'm sure this is harder on me

Notice in this picture Connor has a pacifier in his mouth, and one in his hand - just in case!

Kyle and I made a decision this weekend. It was a big one, and wasn't easy to make, but we did it.

We decided Connor is done with his pacifier. (insert long, drawn out sigh from me here). Tyler never took a pacifier, so this is totally new territory for us.

Connor will be 22 months old here shortly, and although the pacifier doesn't really bother me, I know he doesn't NEED it. He likes it, but doesn't need it. I know he doesn't use one all day long at daycare, except for naps sometimes (because they said he goes to sleep better with it), so he can do without it at home, too.

Many people gave us advice on how to do this, and I think 90% of them said to snip off the end of the pacifier. This makes it suck different, and they said just continue to snip the end of it off until there is not much left. Sometime along the way he will get tired of it, or just frustrated, and not want it anymore. I could see him tonight looking at it, with a look of "what the heck is wrong with this thing?", on his face. He's put it back in his mouth and a "squeak, squeak, squeak" sound would be made. He would take it out of his mouth, look at it again, and then put it back.

I did get him down to bed pretty easy (both kids are exhausted), and he didn't seem too bothered by it. Now I just have to get over myself.

I think I'm having a harder time with this than he is. I've always wanted to make sure my kids are comfortable and happy, and will make sure I'm doing whatever I can to accomplish this. I do know I don't want a 4 year old with a pacifier, but its just hard to finally come to grips with the fact that my baby isn't going to be my baby much longer.

The emotional realities of having your youngest baby grow up and move out of the "baby" phases is hard to handle. It's almost as if I'm losing a part of myself, because this little boy is growing up so fast, and doesn't need me as much as he used to. This will just continue as he gets older.

It seems I'm usually longing for them to be more independent, but I just can't let go of their dependence on me.