Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Ramblings

There are times when you have a LOT to do, but then your toddler finally gives in to the call of sleep and you find yourself sitting on the couch with 20 odd  lbs of toddler sleeping on top of you because she won't take a nap in her bed. And this my friends is my predicament right now.
I need to write a Christmas letter (and yes I could write that right now instead of this post about how I need to write it, but I'm not inspired at this moment).
I need to upload all my contacts so I can get labels made so I don't have to hand write all the address’ for all the Christmas letters because I send out WAY too many. (Last night I did finally get the picture portion of our Christmas greetings done and who knows that might be he only part I get gone!)
I also need to get new sheets on the guest bed so when my MIL comes to visit she will have nice clean sheets. Come to think of it I need to change sheets on all the beds.
I need to cook mushrooms for the munchkin (who's the one sleeping on top of me).
I need to do another load of laundry, and fold the clean clothes.
I need to vacuum the stairs (Oh! I didn't tell you – Rusty bought me a cordless vacuum for Christmas!! I know I'm once again excited about a vacuum – but seriously, if you haven't tried a cordless vacuum you SHOULD!! It's like being a ghostbuster and sucking up ghosts!! Owen loves it and wants to vacuum all the time too, maybe I should have him do the stairs! Oh and even if you don't have carpet you should get one – the stairs are the only carpeted thing in this house, but the vacuum works so well on tile, hardwood, and sucking up spiderwebs too…seriously you'll love it too – no cord!!) I need to make some sort of dessert (not for any occasion I just feel the need for chocolate or an apple crumble, so it's not a need per say, but it might be in a couple more hours).
I need to go shopping for stuff for a charity so I'll have it all together to drop it off tomorrow, but I now won't get it done till tomorrow morning.
I also need to get a Christmas gift for my mom, nephews, and niece so I can get them all in the mail and not worry about it (we've gone the route of drawing names for Christmas in my family, but the kids still get gifts from everyone).
I need to go through the toys and papers in the toy room – not every piece of paper with 1 little marking “is very important” requiring we save it…but I need to do this while a certain someone is at school.
I need to clean toilets – seriously I swear I JUST cleaned them, apparently that was a couple weeks ago.
I need to dust mop the whole house – or vacuum…but definitely need to do it.
I need to make calendars for the grandparents for Christmas - I've narrowed down the thousands of possible pics to hundreds so that's something.
I need to print off some pics so our picture frames aren't containing pics mostly of the monkey, I mean the munchkin is almost 15mo old, she should have more than 2 pics in frames! And these are just the things I am thinking about that I need to do, there are so many more that I'm not currently thinking about.

But it's now time to go get the monkey for school, which means I'll be waking a sleeping toddler. Have you ever had to do that?! It's bad, you really don't WANT to do that, trust me. Wish me luck!!

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Munchkin's 1st Birthday!!

 Someone turned 1!! She celebrated big by practicing her walking skills (she's now a pro)...
She also stole one of my water bottles and claimed it as hers - she drank from it (spitting about 1/2 out because she'd get too much water at once), she showed me how to carry it as well...and she did carry it around with her for most of the day.
But the time did come to celebrate her birthday so we made her a cake and had some delicious frosting
And then it was time to make fire and put the fire out! Of course being only 1 she was a little more excited with the prospect of seeing the fire up close and wanting to touch it, and so we kept it at a slight distance as we sang...
"All I want to do it touch that beautiful light!!"
And we let the Monkey blow the candle out for her - he LOVES helping!
And then she was given the whole cake to do with what she wanted!
And what she wanted to do was dig for a little bit and then rub it all over her...chocolate and avocados are good for your complexion don't ya know?! She liked the first few nibbles of cake and frosting but then decided she didn't really like it...and that's okay because the cake didn't come out perfectly. I have the recipe nailed for cupcakes, but the full cake takes a lot longer than the recipe states it does and so it wasn't fully cooked in the middle...no biggie since there's nothing in the cake that needs to be cooked, but just the wrong consistency...oh well. (My cupcake tin is too big for our oven, but I didn't realize that until the day of her birthday when the batter was in the cupcake tins, oops.)
No matter - she had fun tearing the cake apart and really that's the important thing. But just like her big brother before her - she got tired of the cake and wanted something different, something not so sweet...
Cucumbers!! Seriously this is now an add for cucumber farmers around the country...okay, it's not, but it should be!
This girl loves her cucumbers! That's right cucumbers over a cake and chocolate frosting!
She also was able to Skype and FaceTime with the grandparents - so they got to see her tear her cake apart! And in all honesty it worked out that the cake wasn't the greatest because we were leaving on a trip to Scotland for a long weekend the very next day...and while we could've traveled with the cake it's not really a recommended road trip food with little kids. So it all worked out. And we now have a 1 yr old!!! Okay, really now that I'm posting this she's 13 1/2 months - and she is definitely getting around everywhere! She loves walking, has shoes that she is a pro walking in, is going up and down stairs like a pro (crawling not walking up and down on her own yet), is opening cabinets, wearing bracelets, and trying to unroll the toilet paper rolls. But don't worry she is still addicted to shoes - chewing on them that is.

Momma said there'd be days like this...

Ok, so my mom might never have said these words to me, but we'll just go with the thought that she did. My dad on the other hand did say his greatest wish was that I'd have a child just like me - maybe not in those exact words - but it was implied and then as he's watched my kids grow up and when I call or email and we talk about the kids he LAUGHS. So yeah, that pretty much implies what one of his greatest wishes was! But back to the phrase I was going to start this out with, and it's this (it was the 22nd of August 2016 - if you happen to have a Mary Engelbreit tear-off calendar):
The harder the struggle, the more glorious the triumph.
-Anonymous
Since the 22nd of August I have told myself this almost every day (well for about 2 wks) as I deal with "The Fource" (4 1/2 yr old) and the Toddler (almost 1 but she is a toddling!). And I must also say - this Anonymous person is super smart! I'm almost sad I didn't think to name one of my kids Anonymous just so they could say: "That's right, I said that." whenever anonymous quotes come up...but no, no 3rd child as much as I'd love to have a kid named that.
But back to whatever I was trying to convey before...oh yes, the struggle - it's a real thing. Parenting is not for the week, sometimes I don't think it's for the strong either...it's not for the impatient, it's not always for the strong-willed, hardheaded individual either...and yet here I am (all 3 of those things) - a parent struggling every day to teach my kids lessons that will help them throughout their life...lessons - I might add - that they don't want to learn. And that my friends, is the struggle. Sure there are other struggles, but honestly it all comes back to that one basic thing - they don't want to learn what we're trying to teach them.
So we live our lives demonstrating to our kids how to behave and treat others along with a whole list of things - and we hope they pick some of it up by watching, through osmosis, from talks/discussions, from books, from playing, etc...but the things they pick up immediately are the things that we weren't really trying to teach them - because as kids (or sometimes how I refer to them "aliens from other planets" who wake up in our child's bed but then at bedtime they disappear to their native planet - where they forget everything they've previously learned and the process continues the next day) they like to show you they did listen and learn (don't we ask them that repeatedly - "are you even listening to me?!") unfortunately it's just not what you were hoping they listened to! 
And I'm just going to go ahead and post this because I have no clue what else I was going to say - and there must've been something since I didn't post it before! That and life happened and I haven't really had a chance to sit down and write anything until now. Ta-Da! Not writing anything new - just posting old posts. But it's something entertaining for you at least!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Mommy-Owen "Dates"

Getting ready to spin in the Honeypots
As the Munchkin has gotten older and is now not nursing every 1-2 hrs (because she really likes food that's been grown in the ground or from a tree) we've all realized (probably something our neighbors have all known) that the Monkey and I need to have time just for us. During the day we have the Munchkin with us and she rarely sleeps during the day - and usually when she does we're either in the car driving somewhere, or she wants me to hold her, OR it's during the Monkey's nap time...so during the day it's rare that he and I get any time just the two of us, and it's starting to take a toll.
Driving me to South Korea, because that's where his house is.
I know that he's 4 1/2 and part of that is not listening to us, and part of that is being absolutely loving one minute and the biggest bully (who wants to hurt us) the next minute...I know this. I know he was created to push all of my buttons at the exact moment that I just can't handle having another button pushed. But even knowing all of this, and even treating him like an alien who just landed in our house and so therefore has no clue about any of our rules (until someone comes over or the Munchkin does something that he's not allowed to do and you realize that over the past 4 1/2 yrs he has learned the "rules of the house") there are times when I don't act like the adult I'm suppose to be - where I lower myself to the 4 1/2 yr olds level and I just yell back at him and think all the evil/naughty thoughts and wonder when I get to spank him because "that'll show/teach him"...yeah. In the minute I don't really realize I'm lowering to my kids level, but when I look back I do and I think "CRAP! That's not what I want to teach him. I don't want him to respond to trying situations like that!" and then I realize (and everyone else does too) that the two of us just need to go have some fun together! So we have!
We live right next to an amusement park/playground park with a miniature golf course(!) - and we bought season passes for the rides - so we take advantage of it and we go!
On the Carosol
It might not be for long - but we try to go for at least 1-2 hrs, but the important thing is - it's time away from everyone else and we can do whatever we want! Many times our trips there consist of at least 3 toilet stops (sometimes he reminds me of me...when I was pregnant!) - but toilet stops don't stop the fun and laughter and random stories from happening! Besides that I know that some of his "bullying" ways are simply because he wants more time individually so we can actually focus and play things he wants to and not just what we can when the Munchkin is around.
And so we will continue to have "dates" out together because not only are we creating some special times and memories together that will hopefully help us communicate in the long run, I want him to know 100% how important he is and that just because the Munchkin is around doesn't mean I don't love hanging out with him. I'm hoping that as these continue to be part of our week, he'll know that when he gets upset he doesn't have to overreact, but that is yet to be seen...only time will tell, but I'm being optimistic in believing they will! Until then we're having fun together and Daddy and the Munchkin get to have fun times together as well. What I do know is 4 1/2 is tough - no wonder they call the 4's "the F'ing 4's" and that does not mean "Fantastic"...

Friday, August 26, 2016

Long Days

(This is from yesterday) At 3:30 this morning I knew today was going to be a long day, I just didn't know how long. Thanks kids for letting me know just how long a morning can be, because every once in awhile I do forget - you know on those days when we have fun things planned or when we just have fun. So yes, there are times I need to be reminded what it was like to be a child when the hours you had to wait to see a friend seemed like years...only you two forgot about the good thing at the end of the long wait. Oh well. There's always tomorrow. But back to today...since 7 am (because the one that woke up at 3:30 did eventually give in and fell back to sleep at 5 am, and they were both sleeping till around 7 am. Me? Yeah, I snoozed about 30 min before I had to get up for the day - hey no one said "Parenting is glamorous" and if someone did say it they have never had a child.
So from 7 am till 9 am this was pretty much our morning:
Sheets changed: 1 crib
Breakfast: 1 hr
Tantrums: 30 min
Reading books: 30 min
Laundry: 2 loads washed, and almost dried (don't ask about folding and putting away - those are probably both for another day.)
Drinks spilled all over clothes: 1 (which was actually hilarious in the sense that I told him 4 times not to tip his sipper-saurus back like he does with his water bottles - but he did and the consequence was diluted apple juice all over his clothes. You know what happened then right? That's right! A meltdown because he had to change his clothes because he was soaking wet - he didn't want to change his clothes, but he also did not want to be wet.)
Hurting his sister (because she was "distracting" his from eating his cereal by standing next to his chair and smiling at him): 3 times
Spitting on the floor (because apparently sometimes you get so mad you just NEED to spit?): 1 time
Playing with only 1 child (because the other was so upset that when he finally went up to his room to change his clothes he forgot about us downstairs and started playing happily by himself with his trains): 20 GLORIOUS minutes.
The rest of the day wasn't as bad - there were some moments where we had fun and played and the minutes went by faster than in the morning...
and when Rusty asked me in the afternoon how our day was going I responded with "We're all alive" because some days that's a win, and you have to be content or at least able to deal with that.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Thunderstorms

Thunderstorms can be scary…but if you're a certain almost 4 ½ yr old the thought of a thunderstorm is VERY different than the reality of a thunderstorm.
I picked the monkey up from school in my car, I had been out and by the time I got home it was time to pick him up and the clouds in the sky were dark. Since we didn't walk we didn't stop at the park on the way home – I told him if it wasn't raining we might be able to go after I fed the munchkin…so home we went.


On a typical day the monkey has a great day at school, then he comes home and loses his mind!! That day was a typical day. After informing me he was going to keep his shoes on since we were going right back out, then standing in the doorway talking loudly about keeping his shoes on about how he wanted to go to the park right now because “I think my friends are there” (and naming off all his friends from school who we never see at the park, not his friends who we do see at the park!!), I finally told him to go play outside and we could go when I was done. So out the door he went slamming the door behind him.

Within 3 minutes I heard thunder. Within 8 min I saw one of my neighbors walking past our living room window. In another minute I heard loud banging on the kitchen door so I got up to check it out. Guess who was at the kitchen door, nope not our neighbor, it was the monkey - eyes wide in his head and saying "Mommy, I need someone with me...the thunder is scaring me." Curious, I had to find out the whole story so I asked "Why was Mr. Ken over at our house? Was he coming over to ask us something or did you catch him when he was outside?" (If there is ever a neighbor outside the Monkey always ambushes them!) And here's what my little boy said. He got scared when he heard the thunder but he knew he wasn't suppose to disturb the Munchkin while she was eating (which was why I sent him outside) and so instead of ringing the doorbell or knocking on the door to come in - he went to our neighbors house to tell them he was scared and locked out of the house (remember, he slammed the door on his way out...and our door is one that automatcially locks when shut). So our neighbor came over to help him get back in, the only thing is the Monkey told him he couldn't ring the doorbell or knock on the door either! So that greatly limited Mr. Ken's ability to help, but he did make sure the monkey got to the back of the house - when I suppose he had told him he could go in that way. Hence the loud pounding on the kitchen door! (I was internally laughing as I tried to keep a straight face because he was doing his best to not disturb the Munchkin...and he really did think that pounding loudly - to be heard - on the kitchen door wouldn't disturb her like knocking on or ringing the bell on the front door.)

I then explained, as I gave him a huge hug, that if he is ever locked out, and especially if he's scared he is ALWAYS suppose to knock or ring the doorbell.

I haven't seen our neighbor in a few days - so I haven't heard his side of the story - but I'm sure he was thinking "Those crazy Americans!" I hope he was laughing at the whole situation though, because we sure were...well not the Monkey, but you know.

How big is a 9 Month old supposed to be?!

Grandma at the playground with her 2 grandkids: "How old is your youngest?"
Me: "She's 9 1/2 months."
Grandma: "WOW!! She's really big for 9 1/2 months!"
Me: "...thanks?..."
My internal dialogue was something like this "Really?! She's in 9 mo clothing so I thought she was typical in size." And then "If you think she's big you should've seen her older brother! She's only in the 50th percentile and he was in the 90th percentile..." Followed by "How big is a 9 month old supposed to be? And really why are you even saying that? It doesn't further our conversation, it just ends it...and actually makes it kinda weird now, I mean there's nothing I can possibly say after that, and honestly, I really don't care if you consider her big for a 9 month old. All I care about is that she's happy, healthy, and growing. To me she seems little for 9 months, but really that's probably only because she's not as big as her brother was at 9 months."
The next part of the conversation was about how the 2nd child always does stuff faster than the first...I listened and nodded along because I couldn't really agree since the Munchkin is a lot slower to do stuff than the Monkey was (she's more on a "typical baby" schedule) - he was in a rush, while she's just enjoying life as it comes her way! I'm hoping that as she gets older the laid back personality will stay...she's not completely laid back - but just much more than the monkey ever was...

Thursday, June 2, 2016

York Adventure Day 2: The City

The only way to start your adventure days are with a bowl of cereal followed by ice cream! Let me explain...I was a tad hungry when I woke up. Everyone else ate a very filling meal at the burger joint but since I'm limited in what I can have I had the burger patty and a vinegar slaw - both were delicious - but I could've probably eaten 3 plates of them because I was just a tad hungry after not eating any lunch. So when we went shopping I bought ice cream - it was a non-dairy almond ice cream that if you ever come across you should buy and devour!
Seriously people - it's ah-maze-ing. I was going to eat some of it that night when we got back to our apt, but because the Munchkin was exhausted and starving I instead took care of her and when she went to bed, so did I...okay the reason being that she wouldn't go to bed unless I held her - little stinker! So I had this ice cream and I had to eat it by Sunday when we left - and it was Friday...so the Monkey and I ate some for breakfast! He was just a tad excited he got ice cream for breakfast!! But I've now decided it's definitely a great way to start the day if you're starving and you need a little pick-me-up!
Our adventure started soon after - we decided we'd walk the old city walls. The Monkey warned us to be careful, and after daddy pretended to fall the Monkey decided to try too - only this was as close as he'd get to the edge!
On the other side of the wall was - the train station!!
Photo shoot time! We were all together!!
We found a playground and stopped to play before continuing on our walk. The wall did come to an end so we went exploring off the wall - and we came across Clifford's Tower...so we went to check it out!
The geese wanted to check it out too! (There were Geese and Ducks with their babies all over the city!)
We walked all the way up, but when asked if he wanted to climb more steps he looked at us like we were crazy and said "No, let's go down and see something else." And so that's the story of Clifford's Tower! (Great story huh...LOL)
We walked through The Shambles and continued on to York Minster - stopping to grab lunch on our walk.
It's enormous and absolutely beautiful from the outside!
We didn't go inside - we thought we'd save it for the next morning - it was getting to be nap time and that's not the time to take Owen into a church!
So instead we walked/ran around the outside and played statues...
We looked around the rest of the square outside the church...York, after all was once part of the Roman Empire!
This place is just a tad old!
And then we captured a child before he went too crazy!! It was back to the apartment for a nap...
And after the nap we ventured out and went on a Riverboat cruise! Where else would your cruise start but here:
It's not always easy getting a picture where everyone looks at the camera, but it seems to be easy to get one where no one looks at the camera! 
This one's a little better!
Of course 15 min into the boat ride one of those cute kids said "When is this over?! I'm ready to get off now." and that was the same kid who had asked/begged to go on a boat ride! But hey, at least he didn't throw a fit the entire ride and he did pretty good staying entertained looking at  and for things on the riverbank.
WHAT?! 2 family pictures on the same day?! I know - we live life on the edge!!
After the boat ride we decided to do an early dinner at a place we had found earlier in the day - Drakes Fisheries where they had gluten free (and everything else free) fish and chips!! It was Owen's 1st fried fish and boy was it the right place to try it from - it was SO GOOD! Seriously, if you're ever in York you have to stop by - so good! The fish was fresh and super crunchy, and no skin on it either (which 1/2 the time over here fried fish is served with the skin on). He liked it, but he wasn't super hungry so he didn't eat much - he didn't even eat that many chips, which means he definitely wasn't hungry!
We walked around town some more after eating...went back by York Minster, but it had just closed, so we ran around and played some more and met an American family who currently lives in Cambridge but was up visiting friends - small world!
 
Day 2 was a successful day - meaning we all had fun exploring, very few tantrums/meltdowns, ate some good food, and even though it was overcast the majority of the day - it didn't rain!! Oh and we walked 7 miles - good thing I take Owen on a 5 mi walk at least twice a week - it sure helps on the long walking adventure days!