Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I found a plaque today that simply said:

"If you think my hands are should see my heart"

I thought it was the most absolutely, perfect saying I had ever heard.

Sometimes I get so caught up in how busy I am, how crazy the kids are, how messy the house is, etc., and forget to take time to be thankful for what I am blessed with.

I am the luckiest person alive...

Monday, September 28, 2009

You want a what???

Tonight I picked up a VERY excited Tyler from Daycare. He was so proud to show me the "prize" he won today at the School Store. They have special "store" at the daycare that they stash with goodies and prizes, and when kids are really, really good, they get to go to the store and pick out whatever they want.

Tyler was so excited to show me his magic wand.

First, I thought this was hilarious! I, myself, had bought myself a magic wand last year, just to keep at work to make sure everything was done, and done perfectly. (HA! I haven't got it to work, quiet yet!)

Then, I thought this was very cute. A little boy picked out a sparkly magic princess wand that has a star on the top. He likes to take it and put it on your head and say "ding!", just like they do in cartoons or movies.

While we were on our way home, I asked him what he was going to do with his magic wand. He didn't understand what I meant, so I tried to explain it to him...

"Well, a magic wand grants wishes..." I told him. "Like if someone wants a lot of money, they wish for that, then you say 'ding' and they get the money they want."

"Or, what else?", he asked.

"Or, if someone wants to be very happy for the rest of their lives, they make that wish, and then you say 'ding' and it comes true for them! That would be a very special wish!" I thought he would catch on to this one, and think that was a very special wish.

"Oh, I get it!", he said.

"So, what are you going to wish for, for yourself?", I asked him.

"I want a monkey." He said.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Parent out of Love

I have a friend that is going through a very difficult time with his two year old right now. She is challenging them with every ounce of her being, and from the way it sounds, she is quite a determined child.

I've seen him on days where he hasn't slept, because she's not slept. I've seen him so frustrated and down on himself, that I've actually worried about him. And I've also listened to him as he's vented and tried to figure out what to do to fix the situation, and actually even questioned himself as a parent. He's wrong. He's a wonderful parent that is going through what we all go through...

As my friend has gone through his trials, it brought me back to when Tyler was two. It almost felt like I was sucked through a tunnel back in time to that year, 2006.

I remember the frustration. I remember the despair. I remember actually crying on the way home from work on Friday night because I knew I had the whole weekend ahead of me where I had to figure out "what to do" with this crazy two-year-old that wouldn't listen to anything I said, and would push every button I have. It was not a good time for me. Kyle and I fought constantly, and I actually thought that if this is what parenting is all about, then there is something wrong me me, because I hated it. Then I hated myself, because I hated being a parent.

It hit me one night as I was watching a SuperNanny show that I had DVR'd. Yes, of all people, the SuperNanny. She was in a house with three or four kids, if I remember right, that were driving their parents literally insane. The whole house was filled with screaming, mostly from the parents, and punishment after punishment after punishment. She sat back and watched as chaos ensued in this house, which had no love what-so-ever. By the time the parents put the kids to bed, they could've literally tied them down, because they were so spent, and frustrated, and beyond words. That was me.

Now - I knew this was a total extreme. My brain had just made a connection with something that I couldn't even relate to - but in his two year old brain, could he? I spent more time yelling and getting frustrated, putting him in time out and taking him to his room, than I spent actually trying to love him. When I finally figured out that he needed almost constant direction and attention (with help from the SuperNanny), it made sense. When I tried to ignore him, and go about my business, he would get in trouble - or I found that he just wanted to be with me. Get my attention in any way he could - either positive or negative. At that age, usually negative.

I got frustrated when he woke up at night, instead of trying to figure out why. I let him cry, and scream at times (when he was still in his crib), until I figured out that he was having nightmares. Then my heart almost broke. His vivid imagination had followed him into his bedroom, and when I picked him up one night and he literally clung to me in terror, we both cried. I rocked him back to sleep, and sometimes still have to do that to this day. Not really for a 5 year old (sometimes with Connor), but sometimes at night, he just needs a little bit more attention than I want to give him. I stop myself now, and realize what is really going on.

I need to remind myself every day, sometimes every hour, and sometimes on the weekends, every minute, that this child (and now Connor) is not trying to totally piss me off like he is, but just wants my attention, my direction, and most of all, my love.

Have patience. These times shall also pass. Keep in mind the big picture, the light at the end of the tunnel, and what you are really trying to accomplish. That slows me down almost every time...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Happy 5th Birthday Tyler!!!

You are such a big guy now. You're dad and I were just talking, and we don't even describe you as a boy anymore... You're such a little man. Instead of playing with kid toys and watching kid shows, you would rather do anything that the adults are doing.

You are so awesome, Tyler, and you've come such a long way. You're an awesome older brother, and such a fun kid to be around. If you're not making someone laugh, you're asking such inquisitive questions. Happy 5th birthday, Buster!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Since I'm posting a lot of videos now, this one HAD to be posted.

After being in the Marching Band in 1992-1995, this video brings me back to those moments. The memories that I will have for a lifetime as one of the happiest, most carefree times of my life. Although the video is from just a couple weeks ago, it brought me back to 1995 in an instant. Goosebumps and all....

Go Hawks - and I love you Chuck Ford!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

For Tyler...

Your dad wanted me to post this because he does this to you when you're out golfing with him.... =)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My biggest mistake as a parent, so far...

"Mommycanwegotonightandgetmyblackspidermansuitpleasepleasepleasepleaseplease!", is what I was met with when I picked Tyler up from daycare on Friday night.

For whatever reason, he had in his mind that he was going to get a Black Spiderman Costume that he wanted to wear for Halloween. He then proceeded to melt onto the floor into a pile of tears and basically a big blubbering mess. I literally had to pick him up off the floor and agree to whatever he asked for at that time, in order to prevent the most massive tantrum I had ever seen, which I knew was right around the corner.

The whole way home Tyler asked for his "Black Spiderman Suit", and insisted we go get it right then. I dodged that as long as I could, and we arrived at home, where the whiny tantrum continued. Tyler obviously hadn't taken a nap that day, and has been not taking naps more often than he does taken them now. Tyler without a nap is okay, until about 5pm. You have a 1.5 hour window between 4:30 and 6pm that you pay for every minute that he didn't nap.

I looked at Kyle and said "What do we do?"

This is when we had the decision of our lives to make. Do we cave and go get the costume? Make a special trip into town on a Friday night, or do we tell him no, and make him deal with it. Does he get a reward for being an awesome kid at daycare all week - a reward that he chose himself. Although, this really isn't a reward - it's he just wants something... (You get the picture of the conflict in my head...)

After about 5 more minutes of whining, I caved. We got in the car and drove to Target to get him his Halloween costume. Right at that moment, because he wanted to.

I'm certain that this was only the first of many times we have to make that decision. Do we cave in and get our kids what they ask for, on a whim, or do we hold our ground and tell them no, they have to be reasonable to wait.

We set a precedent that night that I'm sure Tyler will remember - and that is that if he whines enough, he will get what he wants. A precedent that I said I would NEVER set with my kids. They were NOT going to be spoiled, and I would NOT give them everything they asked for. There's nothing wrong with "wanting" something - it's when you get "everything" that it becomes a problem. (or so I believe)

Oh - and did I mention this stupid costume scares the living HELL out of Connor. Seriously, Connor was basically attached to me all weekend, scared to death because he was afraid. "Tyler is going to get me!", he would say. And then he would ask to "Put the mask away!" I do have to admit. When Tyler has the full costume on, it is scary!!!

So, I've completely failed as a parent by getting Tyler what he had a tantrum for, and in the meantime, scared my younger son so much that he will probably be in therapy for the rest of his life. The poor guy even woke up crying - not a cry, cry, but a scared, cry...

Currently, my savior of a neighbor Vicki has the costume hidden at her house. Tyler thinks it's at the "Fixers" because it had a hole in it. I think the "Fixer" will have it until Halloween.

I can't wait to see how I'll screw them up next.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Saturday Trivia - you never knew...

In the days before cameras, one's image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted, since limbs are more difficult to paint. Hence the expression, 'Okay, but it'll cost you an arm and a leg'.

As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year (May and October) Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their heads (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men could afford good wigs made from wool. They couldn't wash the wigs, so to clean them they would carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term 'big wig.' Today we often use the term 'here comes the Big Wig' because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy.

In the late 1700's, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down from the wall, and was used for dining. The 'head of the household' always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor. Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge. They called the one sitting in the chair the 'chair man.' Today in business, we use the expression or title 'Chairman' or 'Chairman of the Board.'

Ladies wore corsets, which would lace up in the front. A proper and dignified woman, as in 'straight laced'. . Wore a tightly tied lace.

Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the 'Ace of Spades.' To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead. Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren't 'playing with a full deck.'

At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from pint and quart-sized containers. A bar maid's job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in 'pints' and who was drinking in 'quarts,' hence the term 'minding your'P's and Q's'

One more and betting you didn't know this!

In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. However, how to prevent them from rolling about the deck? The best storage method devised was a square-based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling from under the others.

The solution was a metal plate called a 'Monkey' with 16 round indentations.However, if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make 'Brass Monkeys.' Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled.Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs would come right off the monkey. Thus, it was quite literally, 'Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.' (All this time, you thought that was an improper expression, didn't you.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tyler & the Gum Factory

I haven't had much to say lately... Probably because I'm busy enough that I just don't have time for a whole lot of much, and because I've been busy helping Tyler find a job.

Yes, Tyler informed me on Sunday night that he wasn't interested in going back to daycare anymore, and would like to get a job.

"Do they have any jobs where you work, Mommy?", he asked me.

I almost jumped on this idea, thinking that I'm sure I could find some farm or carnival somewhere that would love a strong 4, almost 5 year old boy to help them... but then (what's left of) my better judgement kicked in, and unless I wanted him to be the "winner" that was running the run-down motorcycle ride at the Johnson County Fair, it would be best for him to stay in school.

And maybe it's also a good idea because he thinks we just make gum at the place where I work.

Sometimes I'll stop at the vending machine on the way out and spend 40 cents on a pack of gum for the boys. This brings them ultimate joy when I pick them up, and always makes for a wonderful ride home. Because Tyler knows I get this gum at work, he thinks we also make it there.

As we continued our conversation, I encouraged Tyler to stay in Preschool, because we a) don't get recess at work, b) they don't give us enough time to color (unless you're in a really boring meeting), and c) we don't get field trips, unless they are to visit extremely difficult suppliers.

He was okay with that response, and actually went to daycare without tears this week - especially when he found that some of his favorite teachers from Lit'l Russellers were going to be at his new daycare. I almost cried when I saw Amber and Roly myself. They have been awesome with our kids - and now get to continue!

So, unfortunately I will not be breaking any child labor laws anytime soon. Although, if the craziness in the evenings (since it is getting darker earlier) is any indication of what we will be getting this winter with the boys, I will GIVE them both to the carnival!