Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Raise Your Hand If You Don't Like Playing In Snow

Here's my question:  What is it about snow and kids?  They can't seem to resist its siren call, even when you're pretty sure going out to play in it is going to result in the loss of digits essential to needlepoint and balance.  

Case in point:  Our school district cancelled school today because of a combination of snow, high winds and the wind chill factor- in the other words, we're in the middle of a winter storm.  Great!  We get to sleep in (well, the kiddos and I get to sleep in- Derek still has to get up and shovel and do other man stuff), stay in our jammies as long as we want, etc, etc.  The kids have all morning to basically do whatever they want, provided what they want involves books and toys and a decided lack of blood due to sibling battle.

But all they really want is to get outside and play in the snow.

After much pleading, I finally caved, with the caveat that only Atticus and Adelaide could go out- Caedmon was just too little to be out in this weather.  This resulted in cheering from the A's and pathetic weeping from Cade.  I felt so bad for the little guy that I relented (after 30 whole seconds of stalwart deafness to his pleas), spent the next 20 minutes in a hurricane of snow pants, coats, boots, scarves, mittens, and hats to the point where they were sick of layering and just wanted to get outside already, and then...

I made them sit for another minute so I could take photos.

Caedmon was so grateful to be included he didn't care that he could only see out of one eye or that he couldn't really move his arms.  And for all his pleading, he only lasted about four minutes outside.

What was nice about this storm was that almost all our previous snow had melted in the few 40 degree days we had recently, so at least we're not having one of those winters where snowfall stacks upon snowfall stacks upon snowfall (so far).  

I always think it's funny how A and A ask me to come outside to play.  I always say, "No."  You'd think they'd learn.  I do usually try and come up with half-baked excuse as to why.  Today's excuse was hot cocoa.  

Whatever keeps me inside, man.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I Should Contact Parker Brothers With This Idea

I have a new favorite game, you guys.

Players required:  At least 2- one adult and one or more children.

Materials:  One kitchen and its contents, plus a book or other activity the adult can hold in her lap.

Instructions for play:  The adult sits quietly with the book (or item of your choosing) in front of you.  Be sure your back is to the kitchen.  The child will take this as an invitation to dismantle the kitchen (because you're not looking directly at them and therefore obviously have no idea what they're doing), but will do so as quietly as they can due to your proximity.  It is imperative that you muffle your snickers when you hear the child try to stealthily slide your 10-pound cast iron Dutch oven out of the kitchen cabinet, and do your best not to laugh aloud when the child accidently drops a whisk then freezes, silently waiting for you to turn around for the next 30 seconds before continuing to empty the silverware drawer.

This will buy you at least 15 minutes of uninterrupted time, but make sure you're paying attention to the sounds behind you, because you want them to think they're still getting away with something when we come to the ultimate step in the game:

Wait until they've unloaded at least one cabinet and maybe a couple drawers, listen to make sure they've put down any heavy objects (just wait for the muffled thud), then whirl around and bellow, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"

Make sure you do this with a smile on your face.  A smile results in the 2 year old jumping a mile, laughing shakily, then running to you for a hug, where you will feel their little heart beating a million miles an hour.  No smile on the face of the adult ends in terror, tears, and running and hiding from Mommy.

Sometimes I feel a little sorry for Caedmon.

Monday, January 28, 2013

How Dare You?

"Mom, could you please stop breathing so much?"

Honestly, I didn't think I'd have to deal with half of this stuff until Adelaide was a teenager.  Or, in Derek's mind, until she was in college; he's still holding out for a raging awkward phase that will last until she graduates high school.

Last week at the supper table she announced that she has two boyfriends, but hey, it's okay- one is in India and one is in Iowa.  I reflexively started to jump out of my chair, preparing to administer the heimlich on Derek, but there was no need- he wasn't choking; on the contrary, his face was set and stony.

This week, however, she's focused on me- specifically, on me breathing.  I put that word in italics because every time it comes out of her mouth it sounds italicized.

"Do you have to breathe like that?"

"Why are you breathing so much right now?"

"I can't sit next to you anymore if you're going to keep breathing."

My first reaction, of course, was a snarky comment on how I would be happy to stop respirating, and was there anything else I could do to accomodate the princess?

After the second or third comment, however, I was reminded of my childhood best friend and how she frequently talked about how much she wanted to smother me with a pillow the morning after sleep-overs.  Apparently I'm one of those creepy mouth breathers.

I then remembered a visit to my allergist in elementary school and hearing him talk about how my nasal passages are chronically swollen, which obstructs air flow, and how there's pretty much nothing I could do about it.  I'm taking that diagnosis with a grain of salt, though- this is the same man who, after making a lovely grid of pinpricks that quickly morphed into hundreds of hives (you know, because I'm apparently allergic to nearly everything) had the nerve to lie and tell me that the cream the nurse was slathering on my back would soothe the flaming, maddening itch that was threatening to take over my sanity.  All I wanted was a couple sets of well-filed fingernails raked down my back, but no- I got a tube of glorified Jergens lotion.


So yes, perhaps I do breathe a bit more deeply or loudly or whatever than the average bystander.

Then I saw something about misophonia, and decided instead that our daughter is suffering from a neurological disorder.

Because the problem can't be me.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Not So Much

And here's the second half of the list:  My Not-So-Favorite Things (January Edition):

  • It's cold.  I've heard all kinds of people complaining about how much they want winter to be over already, but up 'til now, I was doing okay.  On Monday around noon, however, as the boys and I were driving home after running some errands, I looked up at the bank clock and saw that it read +2.  When you have to put the positive sign up there because it could very well be below zero, it's too cold.  And don't even get me started on the windchill.  While entering the library the other day, I saw a young mom dropping some items off at the book drop, her toddler standing next to her, wind blowing in his little face, crying and crying.  Now, I know what you're saying:  he could have been crying over any number things.  Trust me on this one:  his face and the screams coming out of his mouth reflected exactly the way I've felt this whole week when I dare set foot outside our front door.  Good news, though!  The weather guy on the radio said we've got a warm front moving through today, and the high is supposed to get all the way up into the lower 20's!

  • Supper.  I've been in a cooking rut lately; I feel like I'm making the same old things over and over again, so I'm going to all the effort of cooking a meal but then don't even feel like eating it.  (Unless it's soup.  I always feel like soup when it's cold out, but Derek doesn't really like it when I cook potato soup Monday night, chicken noodle soup Tuesday, potato Wednesday, chicken noodle Thursday, etc, etc.)  There is a light at the end of the tunnel, though:  I made a new recipe, Crock Pot Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas, last night, and gracious, were they good- and fast, and easy, and did I mention delicious?  If you're in a food funk, you should definitely consider making these.  Tonight.

  • We're stuck inside.  A direct result of bullet point #1, but I felt this one deserved its own paragraph.  Because Atticus and Caedmon and I?  We're about to kill each other most days.  I definitely can't be as lazy of a mom in the winter as I am in the summer; I keep having to come up with activities and things to do to keep them busy.  No shoving them out the back door and throwing a frisbee and some golf clubs at their backs when it's well below freezing outside.  Unfortunately.  

And that's it.  The fact that my list is all of three points long (and two are directly related) shows me I don't have much to complain about (OTHER THAN THE FACT THAT IT'S COLD).  I should probably take advantage of this (BRUTALLY) cold weather and make this or this or this with the kiddos.  Better than killing each other in a fit of rage-inducing cabin fever, right?

*Watch, now is when someone from Alaska will find this blog and leave me a comment about how I have no idea what cold really is.  And they would be right.*

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Currently Loving Vs Not So Much

We haven't had a list on here in at least a week or five days or something, right?  Let's correct that.

My Current Favorite Things:

  • Kale.  There's a local restaurant that has a salad on its menu right now that consists of kale, feta cheese, apple slivers, dried cranberries, candied pecan bits, and grilled chicken, and it is so. freaking. good.  I've managed to re-create it at home, but because I'm lazy and don't want to spend time doing things like actually cooking chicken or candying nuts or slicing granny smith apples into matchsticks I've discovered that if you just get a little bit of kale, a little feta cheese, and a cranberry on each forkful you have the perfect combination of sweet, salty, and fresh.  I'm not always so great at eating my veggies, so this is a good thing for me.  Anyone know anything about growing kale?  I'd like to put it in our garden this year if at all possible.  

  • Adelaide's eyes.  She's had sporadic headaches recently and has been complaining of some blurry vision; I was all set to ignore her anyway until she pointedly asked me to make her an appointment with the eye doctor.  We went this morning, and her vision is fine (Hallelujah!).  I asked the doc if, given Derek's astigmatism and having to get glasses in kindergarten and my extreme myopia and having to get glasses in third grade, we should really be on the lookout for vision problems in the near future, and he said that you just never really know- some kids have parents with perfect sight but have terrible vision themselves, and vice versa.  Here's hoping for some super-strong recessive genes from our kids' glasses-free grandparents and a mini-miracle (I'm looking at you, God)!

  • I get to see my sisters and their families in three weeks.  This is a good thing.

  • I found a cache of winter clothing that I bought for Adelaide at a garage sale over the summer hiding in the back of the closet.  They still have their $1 and $.50 stickers on them- I don't know who was more excited, Adelaide or me.  She randomly has a whole new wardrobe.  I'm still waiting for this to happen to me.  

  • Our boys.  Specifically, our boys and food.  Yesterday I opened a drawer to get a pen and piece of paper and instead found a three-day-old, half-eaten slice of pizza resting atop the paper clips.  I took it out and was getting ready to throw it away when an indignant Caedmon spotted me and cried, "HEY!  Dat's my snack!  Don't frow away my snack!"  This morning, the boys and I were upstairs playing (because it's much warmer upstairs than down), when Atticus disappeared for five minutes.  When he came back up, he was chewing something.  We don't really snack much and I like to monitor what the boys eat between meals, so I was a little surprised and asked him what he was eating and why.  His response:  "I just had to go downstairs and get a spoon and eat some peanut butter because my stomach was so hungry it was about to eat the rest of my body." 

  • You guys.  Adelaide had been begging to write a blog post for a couple weeks, and when I finally caved, she did nearly all of it herself:  She took the photos, I uploaded them and showed her how to put them on the blog, then showed her where to type and which buttons to click to publish, then held myself back from correcting every little thing.  Then you guys came along and commented and commented on her post, and she was absolutely thrilled.  You all are the nicest people ever.  Ever.  

  • Books.  Because, well, they're books, but also because it's so unbearably cold outside, and is there anything better than curling up with a book and rejoicing in the fact that we live in the age of central heating?  

Tomorrow:  My Not-So-Favorite Things Right Now.  Good luck getting to sleep tonight with that on your mind.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

My first horses.

This is not Mommy's  blogging.I GLAZED MY FIRST HORSES!They are beauties.I just love them.If you   see them you will have to admit that they are beautiful.I'm honest.You'll love them.One represents wildlife.It has different wild animal patterns.Here are the three.Cheetahs tigers and zebras.Oh well.Here they are.

Isn't it beautiful?  

                                          The end. Adelaide.

Friday, January 18, 2013

About the Books Page

As you may or may not have noticed, there's a little tab right up there at the top of the page entitled, "Books."

You further may or may not have noticed that I haven't been updating that page over the past few months.

It's not that I haven't been reading.  Trust me, me not reading is never the answer to any question.  I have, however, been a little short on time recently, and updating the Books page falls to the very bottom of my priority list when I'm busy.  Actually the blog is toward the bottom of the list, anyway, so the Books page is at the bottom of the bottom.  It's far more time consuming than my normal posts, and while I'm always happy when I've done it, carving out that time is sometimes difficult.

Still, I don't like leaving things undone, so when New Year's rolled around, at one point a tiny piece of my tiny brain tentatively put forth the idea of a resolution to update the Books page weekly.

The rest of my brain violently recoiled and threatened that tiny piece with bodily (er, brainily) harm.

This is because I do not do New Year's resolutions.  I have problems with the entire concept of New Year's Day itself.  It has always seemed to me like a very arbitrary holiday, one where someone somewhere closed their eyes, stuck a pin in a calendar, and declared, "There!  That will be the first day of a new year!"

Now, I get that you could say the same thing about most, if not all, holidays.  I realize that Jesus was most likely not born on December 25th, Valentine's Day has become the day that keeps Hallmark in the black, and as for Easter Sunday- even the Church admits they have no idea exactly when Jesus died; Easter Sunday is different every year!  For me, though, those other holidays are about celebrating an event or idea, and I'm okay with that.  New Year's Day- what exactly are we celebrating? I just don't get it.

Wow.  Anyway.

While I did not make a resolution to do so, I will be making more of an attempt to update the Books page on a more regular basis.  This does not affect most of you; I know most of you don't check it- most people don't love to read as much as I do, and that's okay!  I don't know what's wrong with you, but it's okay!  I love you anyway.

So.  I hereby do not resolve but do half-promise to update the Books page somewhat more often than I have in the immediate past.

That's as good as it gets around here, folks.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Bouncy, Trouncy, Flouncy, Pouncy, Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun

It still amazes me how different all our children are- particularly the boys.

I'm not sure why, but I kind of expected them to be very, very similar.  Probably just because they're boys, and according to my previous way of thinking, aren't all boys pretty much the same?

I know this may come as a shock to you, but they're not.  I was wrong.  Again.

Yesterday, Atticus, Caedmon, and I went to one of those bouncy-inflatable-fun places.  It was shaping up to be one of those mornings where I knew getting out of the house would be essential to preserving a healthy relationship with my sons-

Hang on.  Do you ever say something seemingly normal and it completely blows your mind?  Like "sons."  I know I have boys, but... that means I have a son.  And not just one of them- TWO.  I HAVE TWO SONS.  I'm not really sure how this has escaped my notice up until now.  I guess I just never thought of it that way.  That, and I'm brilliant.

-and I knew that the bouncy-inflatable-fun place was running a special that day, so off we went.

I wasn't exactly sure what their reactions would be to this place.  Atticus had been once when he was about 18 months old- thus having no memory of it- and Caedmon had never been.  I was pretty sure they would like it, but I also knew it could be a bit overwhelming, what with the giant-sized playground equipment and the mandatory pack of under-supervised, half-feral children that I swear can always be found at just about any establishment that caters to young families.

We walked in, paid, hung up our coats and put away the boys' shoes.

Then we rounded the corner, and Atticus's eyes absolutely lit up.  You should have seen his face.  I would have taken a picture, but it never occurs to me to actually use my camera at moments like that.  That would be crazy.

For the next hour, Atticus could be found doing this:

Or this:

While Caedmon did this:

Then Atticus did this:

And this:

While Caedmon did this:

That's what they do.  Atticus goes nuts with wild, frantic energy in public, while Caedmon stands still, observing but not participating, his face a mask.  It makes me a little sad sometimes- people don't often get to see how fun Atticus is or how well he plays with other kids when he's going crazy, and they don't get to see what a sweet, engaging boy Caedmon is because he's retreated so far into himself.

I was reminded this morning that our boys do have their safe zones, however, public settings that we frequent so often that the boys act more like themselves.  The small public library in our town is one of those; when we arrived there this morning, Atticus walked sedately in, deposited the past week's books in the return bin, and continued on to the children's department to greet his friends.  Caedmon rushed in as fast as he could in his over-sized snow boots that nearly reach his knees, stood in front of the two ladies who work at the front desk, babbled about his Vikings shirt while taking his coat, hat, and mittens off just as fast as he could before pulling his sweater up with a flourish to reveal the Vikings shirt underneath.  Those two wonderful ladies ooooh'ed and aaaaah'ed the appropriate amount, and Caedmon talked up a storm about the Vikings and his favorite sweater that is blue and soft and his Daddy who is at work.  

So I suppose if I bothered to take them to the inflatables place every week like I do the library, they would be more comfortable, and probably have more fun.  That's not going to happen, because 1) the bouncy place is not free, 2) our library friends are not there, 3) we can't walk there, and 4) there are no books there.  But still.  It's nice to know our children are capable of behaving semi-normally around other human beings.  

Even if it's only at the library.

P.S.  Anyone get the reference in the title of this post?  I'm always wondering if people get those, because more often than not, there is one there.  I should also note that Caedmon did eventually begin to have fun, chasing balls around and climbing a giant artificial tree, although he refused to bounce on anything.  

Monday, January 14, 2013

A List. For You. On Monday.

I'm tired.  I bet I know what will make me feel better:   A list!  (Obviously.)

  • Derek got back from his annual ESPN Golf Extravaganza Saturday night.  No, it's not something sponsored by ESPN; it's a little vacation he takes to Florida each January with a bunch of his former ESPN co-workers where he gets to golf his big heart out.  I didn't mention it last week because... well, because I'm not crazy.  I'm not sure if you had noticed, but this blog exists on a little something called the internet, which means just about anyone can read it, which means advertising the fact that my husband isn't home is on par (geddit?) with draping our house in neon and issuing an invitation to home invaders everywhere to come pillage to their crooked souls' content.  NO THANK YOU.  Anyway, the kids and I survived the week- it's actually getting a lot easier the older they get, shocker- and he made it back home safely.  Derek and I have also discussed that in return, I'll get to go see my sisters and their families some three-day-weekend soon (which I just remembered I haven't talked to them about yet- Surprise and You're Welcome, Kelli and Steph!).

  • Adelaide has a new love:  Checkers.  She's gotten to the point where she can beat the computer 10 times out of 12 on the Easy level, and I can only win against her by a increasingly-narrow margin.  This is partially due to the fact that she played a whole bunch with her Daddy over Christmas break, and he gave her helpful instructions like, "Strategize:  Always think at least two moves ahead."  Which she, of course, took to heart.  So when she plays me, who thinks about strategy for the first five moves but then gets bored with checkers and just wants it to be over as quickly as possible, I begin to seem like a less than worthy opponent.  I'm terrified Chess is next.

  • I looked down at both Adelaide and Caedmon when we got to church yesterday and realized that there was a two- to three- inch gap between their socks and the hems of their pants, and the sleeves of their shirts ended far above the wrist.  They appear to be going through a growth spurt.  AGAIN.  (Who could ever have seen this coming?)

  • Does anybody know what the story on Downton Abbey is?  I know it's a BBC show that I think airs on PBS around here, but what I want to know is:  What is with the obsession?  Is this something I should be watching?  Does anyone have any idea?

  • I've started getting seed catalogs in the mail, which makes me anxious for spring.  (Only 5 more months 'til my final frost date!  Holy cow, that's depressing.)  I cannot wait to get back in my flower beds.  They look so sad right now, all blanketed in white, a few spindly pieces of brown spearing up through the snow here and there.  I keep telling myself the snow is good protection for all those bulbs I planted in the fall, and that hopefully these low temps will help kill off more bugs for this summer- particularly the Japanese Beetles.  

  • I just started my Christmas Thank-You's today.  Does this make me a terrible person?  I'll just think of it as me doing my part to extend the holiday cheer well into the new year.  Yeah, that's it.  

Saturday, January 12, 2013

I Did Not See This Coming

This week's edition of what I didn't anticipate ever seeing in my children:


As I've stated many times before, I didn't have any brothers growing up, so when our first son came along, my expectations of what "little boy" meant may or may not have been largely based on what I'd read about in books and seen on television sitcoms.  I don't remember any of those (fictional) boys having a heavy interest in clothes, and yet Atticus insists on picking out his own clothes every day (except for church, I've put my foot down there), which means that most days you'll see him walking around in jeans (he doesn't care for wind pants: "I don't like making noise when I walk, Mom."  You're four years old- who cares?), his Vikings jersey (if it's clean), Spiderman socks, and a red necktie.  Except I don't know how to tie a necktie, so it's just slung around his neck.  I suppose I should just be happy his taste is leaning more toward sporty/dapper and away from sleepwear/drag queen.


Also preoccupied with clothes; our youngest, however, doesn't seem to care as much about cultivating his own sense of fashion as he does about looking as much like Daddy as possible.  A while back, Derek had gotten dressed, and Caedmon spent a few moments inspecting his dad's outfit, then announced that he, too, wanted to wear his blue sweater with a Vikings shirt underneath it.  On the 5-6 days a week he can't wear that particular outfit, he asks me ( where his blue sweater is, and where his purple vikings shirt is, and why he is not wearing them.  His tone is always vaguely accusatory, too, like I'm the only thing standing between him and complete oneness with Daddy.  


A couple days ago, we were listening to music after supper when Atticus asked to have a song repeated.  I did so, then he asked to listen to it again, in part because he loves the song, but also because "Mom, this is the song the other Atticus sings!"  I decided that it was okay, but that this was the last time.  Adelaide groaned and said, "Mom, now he's never going to stop singing that song, and you don't have to share a room with him and hear it all night long!"  I assured her he would probably forget all about it.  She didn't believe me.  About thirty minutes after bedtime, I went up to check on them.  As I walked up the stairs, I could hear Atticus singing, "I will wait, I will wait, for you!  *ten second pause* I will wait, I will wait, for you!  *ten second pause* I will wait, I will wait, for you!"  I peeked around their bedroom door, and was greeted with the sight of Atticus building a block tower, singing happily, and his loving big sister, wedged in the corner, hands clapped over her ears, glaring at her brother, a look of deep loathing on her face.  

I don't really know why I didn't expect that.  I remember plotting ways to kill my sister in the longest and most torturous fashion possible every time she uttered the word, "Jubilaka."  (Oh, what does that word mean, you ask?  NOTHING.  It means NOTHING.  Or, in childhood Kelli's case, it meant everything.  "I just feel so Jubilaka."  "Oh, Jubilaka, I dropped my spaghetti again!"  "Jubilaka, no school today!")

Adelaide also has a game she plays at school with a friend of hers.  It's called "Cheetahs."  In this game, they pretend to be cheetahs.  (Revolutionary, I know.)  These cheetahs have special powers, but mostly they're just cheetahs.  This is fine.  She can play that game aaaalll she wants at school.  But when she comes home and refuses to speak to me in anything but yowls and snarls because "Cheetahs don't speak human," and she slinks around the house on all fours, hissing at her brothers, it's not going to take long for this mother to wish she had a rifle and permit to hunt cheetahs.  

Kids are weird.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

This Is Not a Potty Training Post

Hey there, Mama.

I'm talking to you, all of you, mothers of little children.  I can call you something as familiar as "Mama" because I'm currently a mother of littles, too.  We're brethren... sistren... why isn't there a fancy word for sisters?

Anyway, sistren, we need to have a talk.  Yes, one of those.  It's time for some tough love.

Before I begin, let me just say that I get it.  I really, really do.  When you have small children, your world often shrinks, because you're so busy changingdiaperscleaningupvomitdoingmountainsoflaundrynotshowering that you don't have much time for things like painting your toenails and keeping up on world news.  It's so easy to immerse yourself in this focused (and dirty) little kingdom that you start to do things you would never normally do.  Things that, if you were halfway sane (and any parent will tell you that parenthood leads to madness.  It just does.  And if they can't admit that, they'll say things like, "Parenthood doesn't make you crazy!  Oh, and watch out for the mutant chicken- she tends to come around this time of day, trying to eat people.  I think she's mad I'm not a vegetarian anymore and keep eating her children for breakfast HAHAHAHAHA!"), you wouldn't dream of doing- in fact, Sane You would be appalled at what Insane You is currently doing.

One day, you're chasing your kids around, still at least partially in your right mind, and the next, you're praising Junior for his amazing toilet prowess, letting your poor, exhausted brain takes its final turn 'round the bend, and telling the entire world, in graphic detail, exactly what your son just deposited in his potty chair.

I am talking, of course, about posting about potty training on Facebook.  Or any other social media outlet, for that matter (unless it's a parenting forum dedicated to potty training- then go ahead, over-share your little heart out).

Now, just untwist those panties of yours and listen for a second.  I know what you're going through, okay?  I know how frustrating potty training can be, and how elated a parent can feel at a potty training breakthrough. (No more diapers!  One less bodily fluid to touch on a daily basis!  Holy crap here comes that chicken again, she's seriously pissed today!)  I know what it is to be thrilled at the sight of a little bit of disgusting-ness in the toilet, okay?   I do.

That thrill and elation has a place, though, and it is not with your 471 "friends", mmkay?  Would you walk up to that girl you haven't seen since high school, or your old college professor, or your boss's wife, and trill, "JUNIOR JUST POOPED IN THE POTTY AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT IT SOUNDED LIKE WHEN IT LANDED AND THIS IS EXACTLY THE SOUND HE MADE WHEN HE WAS SITTING THERE!  ISN'T THAT JUST SO GREAT?!"

No.  You would not.  (Please, Heavenly Father, tell me you would not.)

But you know what?  Broadcasting that kind of information on Facebook (or Twitter, or whatever) is just that:  Broadcasting.  You are letting every single person- and often people you don't even know, depending on your security settings- know about something that will humiliate both your child and you when your sanity returns (please, Heavenly Father, tell me it will).  Not only do 99% of the people you have just invited into the bathroom with you and your preschooler not care, they are now grossed out and seriously questioning any future involvement with you.

Here's what to do instead:  Pick up the phone.  Call your spouse.  Call your mom.  Call your mother-in-law.  Call your sister.  Call your close friend.  To be perfectly honest, there's an even chance they won't care, either, but I'm betting they will love you enough to pretend otherwise and be thrilled for you.  (Oh, but NO PICTURE TEXTS.  I have to say it because there are people out there who do that kind of thing.)

I do feel like I should add that every once in a while I come across a potty training post done right.  It's either incredibly brief, incredibly funny (but not graphic), or a detail within a larger story.  They're few and far between, but they do exist.  Examples:  "Kid #8 is finally potty trained- 15 years later, we're finally done with diapers THANK YOU JESUS."  "My son just fell in the toilet and is now hysterically crying but I'm laughing so hard I can't fish him out so I decided to come post it on FB and leave him there to pickle in his own juices (2.5 years later but I'm finally exacting my revenge for 52 hours of labor, Mr. My Shoulders Are As Big As My Head At Birth)."

This has been a Public Service Announcement.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Cheese E. Rodent

Somehow I managed to go thirty years without ever having set foot inside a Chuck E. Cheese.  It was a nice, mouse themed pizza restaurant- free streak that was broken last Friday night.

I have to admit, my expectations of what the inside of a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant looked like were less than stellar.  I pictured a dark, dirty place teeming with bratty children and snarling parents that served barely edible pizza and games designed to steal your money and give you E. Coli just by looking at them.

Did I say my expectations were less than stellar?  What I meant was dead low.

Still, when Derek's father was in town last Friday and offered to take the family out for an evening of pizza and games, I readily agreed.  I figured the kids would have fun, and I could handle a few hours of epilepsy-inducing strobe lights.

(By the by, has anyone seen that VeggieTales episode- I think it's Asparagus of la Mancha- where they poke fun at popular American eating establishments?  Two of my favorites are "Joppa Java- Why pay a little for coffee when you can pay a lot?" and, of course, "Cheese E. Rodent- Our prices are so low you'll think we're CRAZY!")

So we pull up to Chuck E. Cheese.  I've already described my expectations.  I'm steeling myself and my gut for hours of protecting my children and my taste buds.

And what to my wondering eyes did appear but a clean and brightly lit eating establishment with, yes, oodles of children, but they were well-controlled children, having perhaps been given an extra dose of Ritalin before leaving the house that night.  (Oh, I'M KIDDING.  Kind of.)

Sure, there was a terrifying animatronic display of human-sized mice and ducks and what I can only describe as a two-eyed, no-horned, non-flying purple people eater playing fake musical instruments.  Caedmon and I seemed to be the only people in the place that were scared, so I'll give them a pass on that one.

The food was decent, the people were nice, the games were fun, no one got E. Coli, and the kids had an absolute ball, begging to go back from the moment we got back in the van to return home.  At this point they've managed to extract half a promise from us to return sometime in the next year (which may not sound like much, but we're a homebody kind of family, and besides, there is no way we would go back with anything less than a 1:1 kid to adult ratio.  To do otherwise would be madness, believe me).

Whose idea was it to center a pizza-and-game restaurant around a mouse, anyway?  Was it designed as a Disney- copycat moneymaking venture, or what?  I've always been confused by this.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Another Belated Birthday Post

Hey guys.

Sorry I haven't been posting.  We've been busy- I'm sure you can relate.

Here's a post I meant to write for Derek's birthday.  Which was a week ago.  Whoops.


In honor of Derek's birthday, I'm going to jot down a little conversation I had with Adelaide a few weeks ago:

"Hey, Mom?  You shouldn't worry about Daddy being the boys' favorite parent.  It's really just because they get to see you all the time, like all day, and they only get to see Daddy in the evenings and on the days he doesn't work.  Well, and it's also probably because he chases them around and plays golf and running soccer ball with them, and because he jumps out and scares them.  And because he builds stuff with them.  And because he lets them watch football on tv.  And he makes really good omelets... but you really shouldn't feel bad."

"Thanks Adelaide.  You're such a comfort to me."

Happy (Belated) Birthday to my husband and the favorite parent!