Friday, August 11, 2017

Not how I wake up

This is NOT a picture of a mom waking up - just in case you were wondering... Or at least this is definitely NOT how I wake up in the morning, and I'm not talking about a bed with stuffed animals or a cat stretching - although I don't have those in my bed currently - I'm talking about the fact that this person woke up AFTER the sun rose and so is in a great mood - ready for an adventurous day!

Pre-parenthood I was able to sleep that long - I could sleep for hours! My husband, the early morning riser that he is usually considered me to "sleep the day away" on the weekends that I slept in till 10am. I never really understood what he was talking about because I was night owl, but now - having early morning risers for kids - I completely understand what he was talking about - 10 am is LATE!! Especially when you realize they wake up so early that 11am is their lunch time, and 12pm is nap time (sometimes things get pushed back 30-60 min, but sometimes you pay for pushing things back).

And the whole "ready for adventure" part, well I usually wake up ready for a fun-filled day, however kids are like the weather - you can have a forecast of what to expect and how you think the day is going to go - but like a meteorologist you're usually only correct 1/2 the time at best, because 1 little thing can cause your "sunny fun-filled day" to suddenly become a hurricane! And you think "where did this come from?!" And usually it's the moon, or is the issue of waking up on the wrong side of the bed, or just waking up - don't they know they SHOULD sleep later?!

No, a real mom (at least me) is either pushed awake (so they can get up and get a shower before daddy leaves for work - because the kids are already up) or a child screams "Momma! Momma!! Momma!!!" repeatedly as they sit on your head... And this is while daddy attempts to let Mommy sleep in, but since daddy is outnumbered the kids divide and conquer!

This makes me think I should come up with a "Truth: Parents Edition" tear-of calendar so that all parents know they aren't the only ones who wake up because a child has crawled on top of their head. It could be a calendar you get friends who are thinking of starting their own family - so they too can look forward to these "special" moments. Or you could give it to friends who aren't sure if they're ready for kids - after 10 days of this tear-off calendar they'd know! This would be perfect for friends who don't want kids - not only could you show them all the fun they'll miss out on, but it could reinforce their stance. It would be perfect for the grandparents - so they can remember WHY your children really do behave better when kept to their schedule, or not fed so much junk food, etc. You could also give it to teenagers as a form of birth control - if you don't protect yourself this could be you! And I could be a millionaire - if I ever get a chance to make it!

But until then I will be counting some of the days, attempting to make the all days count, while time flies by - because that is Parenthood...

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Summer Break, Day 6: Before 8:30am

Yesterday we were in the 7th level of hell, but amazingly they both got all their evil out and this morning it's been amazing, like seriously AMAZING! Who knew that kids who couldn't stop whining, screaming, yelling, arguing, showing absolute contempt for everyone around them one day could go to sleep and wake up as angels the next?!
She drove him around
Yesterday I was ready to put both these kids out in front of the house with a sign around their necks that said "free"
He drove her around
But look at them today!! They're playing with each other! And not just that, they're riding around on the same plasma car!! I can't get rid of these kids now!
They worked together to make this picture
Ok, I wasn't really going to get rid of them, because these types of days happen occasionally - but we always have at least 1 transition day between the bad days and good days...they must've secretly known that Mommy needed a good day instead of a transitionally decent day...or at least that was the case before I decided to take my life in my hands and agree to give them a bath together... That's when the day started on a downward spiral. What was I thinking?!
The Monkey was very proud of his beach picture
Now I'm going to chance it again - once the screaming/arguing bath time ends - we're going to the grocery store!! Wish me luck, wish me luck.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Summer Break, Day 5: The leg

This leg. Now it might look like a normal fully functioning leg to you, but it is the cause of SO many problems today. We think he is either sore from riding his bike yesterday or he pulled a muscle in his thigh, but we're not sure, all that is known for sure is: he CANNOT walk. Like he's pretty sure he broke it - which is his "go-to problem" when something hurts. He's now crawling around the house because he is unable to walk...unfortunately his aliment is starting to affect his sister - who has started to crawl around the house too. YAY SUMMER BREAK! 

What I haven't told you, which is vital information, is that this incapacity to walk is affecting all other aspects of his personality - he's basically got the "toddler man cold" - which means he's unable to do anything by himself, which includes treating people with respect and kindness... Because of this, by 9am he was in his room enjoying some quality time with himself, because honestly no one else volunteered to spend time with him (and by "no one else" I mean the Munchkin and/or I).

Also he did tell me we couldn't do anything fun today since he can't walk... I thought maybe we could watch a movie, but with the attitude and behavior he's pulling, I just can't seem to "reward" his behavior - even though I know he's not feeling great. But hitting people and screaming in their faces because you don't feel good is not acceptable behavior. So for now, he's in his room playing and the Munchkin and I are downstairs playing... But hey, on the "bright side", at least it's supposed to rain today so it's not like we're wasting a day inside when we should be out... Thanks to the Monkey we can now be miserable together inside, because did I tell you the Munchkin is teething so is super whiney as well. So again I say "YAY!! SUMMEE BREAK!" 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Tantrums: seen through the eyes of a mom

Every child will tell you that throwing tantrums are necessary - that they're the only ways to showcase their frustrations, air their grievances, make their points, fight "the man" (their parents), and that tantrums correct the undesirable outcome that had been given. Now your child might not say it so eloquently - they might not even know the exact reason they are throwing a tantrum at the time, but in time it will come out and you'll suddenly understand why your child (whether they're a toddler or a 5+ yr old) is acting like a crazed lunatic.

Parents, on the other hand, usually have no clue WHY their child is suddenly throwing themselves around on the floor while screaming like they are being skinned alive. We usually find out after the fact, sometimes it's just because they don't have all the words yet and so we have to piece things together, but sometimes they just get so worked up they can't talk without releasing.

This morning my son decided to throw a 30 min tantrum - it started at 6:47 am, which is MUCH to early for a tantrum to be thrown, let alone a 30 minute tantrum!
My impersonation of throwing a tantrum
It started because he had his class picture that he was waving around in his sister's face. (I mean seriously, if you had a class picture you would totally be doing that as well!) His class picture came in a cardboard "frame" of sorts that had 2 small pieces that popped out to make a stand (you see where I'm going right?!). He decided to hold onto those little thin strips of cardboard and wave the picture around. I did warn him they would tear if that was the only part he held, so I'll let you guess what happened. If you guessed that the thin strips tore you'd be correct! He was very upset and I told him I would fix it after everyone got breakfast, but then he demanded I fix it
 "RIGHT NOW!!" and fixing it at a later time was NOT acceptable.
Yeah, that was my look when he gave his demand... Because everyone knows when you demand something from me that's pretty much the one way to guarantee I won't do something. But if you demand something during a tantrum it's like a nail in the coffin, that whatever you're demanding will never get done. (Yes I'm a tad stubborn/hardheaded and it is something I'm working on - not being so stubborn/hardheaded...) But today 5 minutes into the tantrum he DEMANDED - I was in the middle of getting breakfast together and lunch made (I'll let you guess as to how that went)...
Yeah, I just let him continue with his tantrumming, because he wasn't listening and he didn't want to hear my answer - I did try to talk, but was screamed over, so I did what ANY good parent would do - I banned him from the kitchen. He didn't want to talk, he didn't want to listen - no problem, but we didn't want to listen to screaming.
The tantrum, screaming, and demands had now been going on for 10 min - he had moved into the livingoom - I have to say I was impressed with his dedication to making his point.
15 min in and the Munchkin was busy eating sauces and playing, lunch was packed, I enjoyed a bowl of cereal, and breakfast was sitting out for the Monkey...
20 min and I was wondering why I hadn't made coffee, because this morning I could've actually sat and enjoyed a cup before school drop-off! I usually wait till I come home because before school is kinda crazy and I don't really drink the coffee for the caffeine, it's more for the taste.
25 min and I was done. I mean it's one thing when your toddler or other aged child who doesn't have the words and who is unable to express themselves throws a tantrum over nothing, it's another thing when it's a child who CAN express themselves, but chooses not to. Thankfully it was only another 5 minutes before he calmed down and walked back in the kitchen - like nothing happened!! Oh and in case you're wondering, yes, his class picture was fixed during that tantrum, but he never once mentioned it once he walked into the kitchen! That wasn't the only tantrum today, but it is the only one you have to hear about... today.
Don't worry, I did get my coffee after I dropped him off at school... It tasted great!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Buyer's remorse

At the age of 5, the Monkey has learned all about buyer's remorse! He had some money, and like half the people in the world he was in desperate need to spend the money in his pocket! The simple idea of "saving" his money was as foreign to him as discovering the intricacies of how a computer functions (or leaning a foreign language, or any other thing that you can't comprehend in the slightest). We worked with him on saving his money, and I will say, he did save it for about a month (which is like 5yrs to a 5yr old) but then the itch came back and he couldn't concentrate on anything except spending his money. He even knew EXACTLY what he wanted to buy - a remote control motorcycle like he had bought for a classmate for his birthday. (Because we all know, when you but a gift for someone else it's usually something that you really want... At least when you're a kid.)

So daddy and he made a special trip to the store to see if they still had the remote control motorcycle, or something else just as desirable. And guess what?! They had it!! So home they came with one super excited and happy 5yr old!
They got it out of the box, put batteries in, and then it was time to test that bad boy out! He loved it! He drove it around before he had to go to bed, and the next morning he woke up and drove it some more - before it was time for school. He even taught all of us - including his little sister - how to drive it around and gave us all turns!

He got home from school and was eager to play with it some more, and again gave us turns. The evening rolled around and bedtime came and it was a ROUGH night for him so unfortunately he lost his "prized possession" for 24hrs.
This morning, when he got his toy back though, it wasn't excitement that he was feeling as he started driving it around the house - it was remorse at spending his money on this toy that wasn't really a true motorcycle - because those only have 2 wheels and this one has 4. He was EXTREMELY upset that 1- he couldn't just return it to the store and get what he really wanted, and 2- he couldn't take it back to the store and get his money back.

He was so upset he did what some people do - he blamed someone else (daddy) for his own poor choice, saying that daddy wouldn't let him get the one he really wanted... He in fact daddy basically forced him to get this one. (Different wording but that was his meaning after all his rambling.) But personal responsibility? Nope! It wasn't HIS fault at all, and just to prove it, daddy should buy him the motorcycle that he really wanted. (Do you know how hard it was to finish taking my shower without laughing - because yes! All of this happened this morning as I showered and he sat outside the shower talking, whining, and crying about this horrible crime that had been committed against him.)

But this was serious business... It's pretty much the equivalent of buying a car from a slimy used car salesman - you know going in for a nice little 2 seater sports car and instead leaving with a used minivan that you overpaid for... That is pretty much the situation he found himself in this morning...and since that was the situation he found himself in you can only imagine what the situation was like that we found ourselves in!

Thankfully we were somehow able to move beyond the fact that he was 1- stuck with this wannabe motorcycle and that he could actually have fun with it if he chose to, 2-he didn't have to be stuck with it and he could give it away to a child who would absolutely love this wannabe motorcycle... Either way it was his choice... But we were in fact able to move beyond that and listen to Christmas music and forget all or troubles, at least for a little while.

Being 5 is TOUGH, y'all don't even understand! ;)

Who knows, maybe next time he gets money we can remind him of this and he'll be able to learn from his own experience... Then again maybe we'll go through this exact same scenario a few more times before he learns. Either way, I hope next time it's not something I have to fix while showering, only time will tell. Ah, the life of a parent!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Pink Bike Brings Drama

Yesterday GG noticed that the Munchkin was enjoying "walking" the Monkey's bike around and that she didn't have one of her own. (I will say this "walking of the bike" is something she just started to do 3 days ago which is why she didn't have a balance bike yet)...so being a grandma and wanting to make a grandchild happy she bought the Munchkin her very own balance bike. (And we do thank you.)
The bike arrived on our doorstep today and I honestly don't think it could be any pinker, unless of course they come out with pink tires! But until that moment comes I'd like to announce that my child had the pinkest bike in the whole world!
The person who decided that this was the perfect color for a bike had to have been addicted to Pepto Bismol and decided that it would be the perfect color for a bike. I think he (this British man) also decided that it would be an excellent indoor wall paint color (the first house we lived at in England had a wall painted this exact.same.color. Why the home owner used that color I have NO idea, but they did.) (And yes I think it was a man that decided this was a good color because if a bike needs to be pink - you know, so people know from a distance if it's a female bike rider or male bike rider - make it the brightest and most annoying pink color ever... Because apparently it's a very important thing to know - whether the person riding the bike is male or female.)
But a pink Pepto Bismol bike the munchkin received (and we are appreciative of the bike even though it's pink. Lol), and she was a little bit unsure of it at first - not because of the color (although​ that would've been amazing) but because the bar is situated a little higher than her brother's bike so it was a little harder to "walk" this bike (remember she's only been walking bikes for part of 3 days so it's all still new to her).
The fearless Munchkin gave it a go and she seemed to maneuver it around without too much trouble... Give her some time and she'll be flying around on it.
However I knew that there was going to be a big hurdle because even though I abhor the color pink there is one person in our family who loves pink - the Monkey (you might recall he has a pink CD player and a pink tent for his bed). And the issue comes into play because he has a red bike (his bike did not come in an option for pink, not that we would've gotten pink for him still, because it's just not a color I will ever choose no matter the sex of a child)... But back to the story - I let him know, on the walk home from school, about how GG and Lee Lee bought the Munchkin a bike (which he was happy about), and how it was pink (which he was not happy about), and how he could help teach Parker to balance on her bike (he was happy to help), and how she could share this bike with him - that he wasn't too heavy for it (which he was pretty darn excited about - I mean it's PINK!!! for goodness sakes!)...
But hearing about a pink bike and actually seeing your favorite shade of pink (he loved our bedroom with the Pepto Bismol wall) on your sister's bike are 2 different things. And so he complained about how it wasn't fair that she got a pink bike when he only has a red bike! And how pink is his favorite color and how the Munchkin doesn't even like pink because yellow is probably her favorite color! So because she doesn't like pink they should be able to switch bikes - she could have his red bike and he could have her pink bike - so everyone was happy!

Thankfully the afternoon didn't stay there long. Thankfully the Munchkin got on the red plasma car and started driving around and she let the Monkey ride her pink bike... So in the end everyone was happy. Here's hoping we don't have to buy another pink bike - so they have matching bikes... I don't need that much Pepto Bismol in my life!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Becoming my mom

The older I get the more I become my mom. It's a fact. There's absolutely nothing I can do about it except fight the genes, but really that's a very tiring thing to do and there's still NO guarantee that it will halt the inevitable. Don't get me wrong - it's nothing bad, it's nothing serious, it's just in my genes to do or say things and then think "oh my Lord, that's my mom!!"
Now don't get me wrong, it's not something surprising or even unexpected...and it's not even something that's just recently happened, nope this occurrence has been happening probably since the day of my birth. But since having kids and getting older it's been happening more and more - I now say things and think "Oh hello Ellen!" Or "Yeah, that's definitely something mom would say!" 
What do I mean by this? Well, the other day when I bumped into a friend in the grocery store and said we were talking about dinner and food in general I said something to the effect of "I'm not sure what we're doing for dinner, but I got flowers and that's the most important thing right?!" which isn't something I've necessarily heard my mom say, but if you know her then you could totally hear her saying something like that at some point. There are more examples, but like my mother I can't remember them right now!
But back to my flowers and my mom, and really the whole reason for this post, tonight as I sat looking at my flowers (in different rooms) I thought "These flowers make me happy!"and then the very next thought - that had me laughing was - "and there's my mini Ellen!" 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wednesday...

There are some days where you wake up and you think "YES! We've turned a corner and we're going to have a GREAT day!" And then there are days that you wake up and think "Why in the world did I get out of bed for this?! And you seriously expect me to be a mom to these two today?!" Today amazingly enough, I thought the first thought! I thought that because the Monkey woke up and was in a good mood - not melting down about every.little.thing...he was listening and responding rather than reacting...he was playing with the Munchkin rather than tormenting her...and the Munchkin was in a happy mood as well.
A Mom, with high hopes for a good day!
Yes, I thought today was going to be so much better than the previous two days. But then we had school drop-off in the rain...which wasn't mood altering really, but to a toddler who wanted to sit in her stroller without the rain cover- yet being forced to have the rain cover over her - it was the straw that broke the camels back...even though there hadn't been any other straws affecting the camel or anyone else!
Not sure I should read this book to my kids anymore, I think it gives them ideas!
Suddenly the day that I thought was going to be a good day - albeit rainy day - turned into a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day! But really I know you're wanting to know how this came about and so I will tell you!
"What monster listens to music on the TV?!?!"
We got home and decided we wanted to listen to music (or so I thought because she was dancing around the living room) - so being the mom that I am - we turned on music (in the living room)...okay really, we turned on Pandora on the TV. Of course this little girl saw that the TV was getting switched on and she thought we were doing something else (most likely cutting nails since that's the only time she gets to watch TV usually)...and so she got quite upset when Pandora came on instead of the theme songs to her favorite TV shows (which she only likes the theme songs to the TV shows, she doesn't actually watch the show.)...so the tantrums started...
"Woman, why are you torturing me?!"
And it didn't matter what station I switched it to, because it wasn't what she thought she was going to get when I picked up the controllers. So we went through 6 different stations - with wide varieties of music - but none of them would placate her because she wasn't listening to Doc McStuffins, The Hive (BuzzBee), or Tayo (the little bus) (her 3 favorite TV show theme songs)...
In order for the chaos of this tantrum to stop (it was going on 10 minutes) - because Lord knows I tried to console her - I decided to turn on a show so she could see the intro and hear the song...and it was INSTANTANEOUSLY that the tantrum stopped and the tears dried up! She watched the intro 4 times (remember she doesn't actually like watching the show) and then I decided I needed my coffee - so got up to get some and guess who followed me?! Well since she followed me, and didn't head back into the living room after I poured a giant mug, I figured she was done and I returned to the living room to turn the TV off...  "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA" That's right that one little thing started the 2nd longest tantrum of the day (so far) - which ended up being a total of 15 minutes! Thankfully she finally settled down on her own - because nothing I attempted helped, although I didn't attempt too much because at this point in my morning I thought "Why do I have to be a mom right now - I just want to enjoy a mug of coffee!"...but she did calm down and started playing and I did what any sane parent (who eats bacon) would do - I cooked bacon (while drinking my morning coffee)!
Okay, so bacon may not make everything better, but it tastes good, it makes your house (and hair) smell good (if you like the smell of bacon), and if your kids have been around you in the kitchen then they have learned that the oven is HOT so if you stand close to the oven the entire time the bacon is cooking you are left alone a little bit more than if you are sitting on a chair, couch, floor, or doing something completely different (which your child deems "child friendly") because let me tell you after multiple tantrums (and those were just the biggest 2) you need a bit of space - and as all parents know - it's hard to find "space" from a toddler when you're the only one home with them! They are like Liam Neeson's character in Taken: "I will find you..." Thankfully they don't usually threaten to kill you, but they will do whatever they need to to annoy you! Because let's be honest - if you're looking for space from your toddler - whatever they do when they find you will be annoying to some degree...and if you don't find it annoying then you are definitely a more patient parent than I am!

I ended up putting the Munchkin down for her nap and as she screamed when I left her room - because she wouldn't calm down, because she didn't want to take a nap - I thought "Cry kid cry." Which isn't a loving, motherly thing to think at all, but after all the crying I'd heard so far, what's another 5 minutes? And after our "nap time ritual" power play she ended up calming down and falling asleep (for those who aren't fans of CIO - don't worry I did go back in her room)...and then there were 2 hours of peace in the house!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Toilets

Yes, I'm writing about toilets because when you live in a castle (big house), with a plethora of toilets (5 - which is WAY too many, especially when you have to clean them) all of which were EXTREMELY filthy when you moved in 9 months ago (seriously they were disgusting, think pubic toilet) and you finally get your son's toilet clean to where his bathroom doesn't smell like a urinal when you walk in - it's a pretty ENORMOUS accomplishment! And no it didn't get that way through normal little boy use - this toilet had been caked with crud when we moved in and after 20 cleanings I finally broke through all the buildup and I got to the sparkling white toilet bowl beneath. Sure I might've been able to get through the crud faster than 9 months, but it wasn't just one toilet that needed this cleaning attention, plus everything else in normal everyday life with 2 kids, and it's not like his toilet didn't get cleaned - it did every 2 weeks like all the other toilets... It's just the buildup didn't budge much until today.

This folks is my life. I'm writing about getting toilets cleaned, because that is the highlight of my day! Oh the glamorous life I lead as a mom - toilet bowl cleaner! I also cleaned the bathrooms and I'm now ready for our guests to arrive on Saturday.

My next "glamorous" task is to clean the kitchen sink, and put Easter stuff away (we'll see if they get done today or tomorrow though)... I'm going to have my 5yr old wipe down the kitchen cabinets - because sitting on the kitchen floor playing, I realized my children have spilled things ALL over the cabinets and it's pretty gross and it's the perfect chore for him to do! (Especially since he helped dirty them.) Yes, my life in England is very glamorous and exotic! (And no, I'm not including pics of the clean toilets, although I probably should. Lol)

Yesterday the Monkey yelled to me from the bathroom "Mommy!! Mommy, I didn't realize you put flowers in the bathroom! I didn't realize it at all!" Because yes, I made flower arrangements yesterday and had an extra one and into the WC it went. I can only put flowers in certain areas because the Munchkin loves flowers - feeling them, squishing them, pulling on them, etc. I have some arrangements on her height that if they get destroyed it's ok, but others that I'd like to actually enjoy I put higher...and the WC won out against all the other rooms in the house to get the extra arrangement...and now it's also sparkling clean.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

"Worst" Mommy in the World

According to my toddler, this morning I was pretty much the worst mommy in the world - or at least that's what her tantrum let me believe. We had a relatively smooth morning - daddy stayed home later than usual - so the kids were in great moods until he left...and then it seemed that whatever they could scream and cry about they did! Getting to school was a bit rough, but we got there and I don't think I've ever been more thankful that today was a school day - besides of course yesterday which was the 1st day back after a 2 wk break...but today after I dropped the Monkey off I was going to get my walk in! A much needed walk - it's not something I get when schools not in session...because this walk is just for me. Sure the Munchkin is with me being pushed in the stroller, but she's usually eating the entire time, sleeping, or just looking at dogs and birds and making the appropriate sounds for the animals she sees. But my walks are when I can just think or pray or day dream - really I can do whatever I want as long as I keep the food going for the Munchkin (or if a friend comes along I can have adult conversations!). So I was really excited to go on my walk...

But then it happened! We passed by a school and the playground of the school was right there in our line of sight and the Munchkin let out a "OOOOOOOOhh" and then made her excited noises (saying in her language "Mommy! A playground!! We have to stop and play right now! Wait, why aren't you stopping?!?!" and you can guess what happened next right? Yeah, Oh the humanity! I just committed one of the BIGGEST sins known to toddlers the world around! I didn't stop at the playground that was off limits but right in front of us. No amount of explanation would calm her! She didn't want explanations - because to a 1 1/2 yr old those are just excuses of why you're not doing what THEY want you to do! What was I suppose to do? Jump the fence with my toddler and let her play on the "off limits" playground?! Well, YES, YES I WAS. But the real question is: Did I? And the answer to that is: No, no I did not. And THAT was the problem.

So we continued on our walk through the quiet (HAHAHAHA) neighborhood (if you heard a screaming child outside your house this morning, that was us) and to a different playground...because we live near quite a few playgrounds. I continued on my walk talking to her and telling her what playground we were going to and how much fun we'd have there (just like we do every time we go) and how when we got close she could get out and run across the grass if she wanted (she wanted too)....so we finally got to the grassy section where she could just run (with the dogs) to the playground, and she excitedly got out of her stroller, took 5 steps, stopped and turned and immediately started whining to be carried. Nope, not gonna happen. I didn't quit my walk early to carry you and push an empty stroller across the grass to the playground, nope, not gonna happen! So she went back into the stroller where she screamed and cried the entire way to the playground. (Video is the tail end of the tantrums, I wasn't going to torture you making you listening to a screaming child...okay, I totally would've if I'd gotten it together and started recording sooner!)
video
As you can tell she did calm down enough to play on the playground for a bit
She had some fun on the seesaw, on the "merry-go-round" thing (can't remember what it's called), on the swings, climbing for a bit before this happened.
video
I still have NO clue what this tantrum was about. She just decided it had been about 30 minutes since she'd had a meltdown and she needed to demonstrate how well she can tantrum at a playground - that was really the wrong playground - it wasn't the one she really wanted to play at - and so she was done.
Because if that wasn't it I don't know what it was. It wasn't that she was exhausted and within 10 min of leaving the park she had fallen asleep with a smirk on her face, because she's only 1 1/2, why would she be smirking?! (Seriously - she fell asleep with a smirk on her face but I didn't stop to take a pic because it didn't stay on her face by the time I got my phone in front of her...but it was there.)

Thankfully she took about a 45 min nap and was in a much better mood when she woke up - although she did insist on driving my car.
Checking to make sure the vents were open
Turning without blinkers?


She's like a little old lady looking through the steering wheel!

Showing me what a dog does when in a car (she needed to stick her tongue out for it to be realistic though.

Speed racer!
We'll see how the rest of the day goes - I'm hoping we stay on this upward swing of fun though...but in about an hour we pick big brother up from school - we'll see if he's in a good mood or if it's a continuation from this morning and I suddenly find myself with 2 exhausted kids...fingers crossed. Of course if all else fails we'll just stay outside and have a water gun fight again today, after all the sun is shining! (We had one yesterday after school, and I'll just say I dominated. LOL)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Gardening Hell

So I hate gardening, and when I say hate I mean HATE it with a passion. I would choose to do pretty much anything besides going out to a yard/planter box and getting my hands in the dirt pulling up weeds (although some might think it weird because I do have an absolute love of earthworms). Gardening's not my thing. It's never been my thing and everyone in my family of garden lovers knows it.

I blame my utter disgust of gardening on my parents. You see when I was young they decided to plant a garden! "Oh how wonderful!" you say, but you weren't there having to weed and de-rock the new garden space. You don't know the tons of rocks that we pulled out and loaded into garbage barrels for $0.10 a barrel - child labor people! I also got the same pay for weeds (and when the pinecones fell it was the same price for a barrel of pinecones!) - there wasn't a union and I couldn't rebel against the "harsh" working conditions and low pay and so I was forced to suffer silently. (Okay maybe not silently, I'm pretty sure I let my feelings be known since I'm not really silent OR afraid to speak my mind.)

And then there was the issue of the tasks themselves - taking rocks and weeds out of the ground. Do you understand how mind-numbingly boring that is?! You can weed and de-rock a yard for 2hrs, stand up and walk away, look back at the spot you were working on, and guess what?! You can barely see the progress of what you did! Now if you were planting flowers - sure you can see what you did! Planting seeds? Yep after a little bit of time you can see the results. But taking rocks out of the ground? Not noticable! Pulling weeds? Only if there are a lot of weeds can you see a difference... So yeah not much excitement in the gardening I did growing up.

Now you might wonder why my 3 brothers liked gardening - simple, everything they did outside they got paid a decent amount for the work they did - mowed the grass, cut hedges, planted hedges, raked leaves, etc... Notice how they got the exciting/noticable work?! My outlook on gardening might have been different if I wasn't stuck with weeding. But it is what it is. 
Fast forward to now and I told the Monkey I'd plant some seeds with him so we could have a garden like we did last year at our old house (above and below pics are from our garden last year)...Yes, please laugh now.
This year I decided to get lots of seeds and a shovel so I wouldn't have to use a spoon like last year...And yes, I went a tad overboard on seeds, but better to have too many than not enough, right?!
Today the Monkey asked if we could plant the seeds and so like a good Mommy I said "Sure! But first we have to see where we can plant them and possibly pull some weeds to make space." Little did I know what I was actually talking about! So I got some gloves for him to wear, because this kid still doesn't like to get his hands dirty...
And no I don't have gardening gloves because that would mean I actually garden! But at least I had these on hand, otherwise he would've been wearing his winter mittens!!

So there we were, he in his gloves and a shovel, and me with my bare hands - ready to garden! We first checked the planters to see what we needed to clean out...
And after cleaning 6 of them (well planters and hanging baskets in the front yard) I realized we only had a couple we could actually plant in! So I said "Hey buddy, let's go check out that section, because I bet we can plant more over there!" Now "that section" would be a section of our front gravel drive where it's a rectangular garden/plot of dirt with some plants. (Here in England "yards" are called gardens, but the front of our house is not a garden in any sense of the word, but there is a small section that is a garden.) Little did I know that "that section" would become my new "hell", but one that for my child - who I promised he'd be able to plant seeds - I would conquer!

Now you might wonder why this small section (because it is small) would be hell, and I will tell you (because I was so dirty and I didn't have phone so no pics were taken) it's because of the ALIEN WEEDS!

I admit that it's been awhile since I've weeded anything, but I know that not all weeds are like the ALIEN WEEDS I encountered today. And yes, these suckers are coming to take over our world, today I attempted to thwart their plan, but after weeding for 1 hr and 50 min (that's right almost 2 hrs!!) I took a step back and it was hard to tell what I had accomplished!

So why do I think they're ALIEN WEEDS?! Because they're cute little fuzzy plants that look a little like a strawberry plant but instead have roots that are in the millions and one of their roots doesn't go into the ground, it travels above ground and then replants itself and creates a new ALIEN WEED - it's like an umbilical cord for the weed!! And then that new ALIEN WEED does the same exact thing. I think I pulled up at least 20 those suckers, along with other weeds, leaves, pruning (not sure I pruned the plants correctly, guess we'll find out!) and I still have about 50 ALIEN WEEDS to obliterate!

It's horrible! They are SO hard to get out - too difficult for Owen to get, and I think half the roots are still in the ground so I know those little suckers will be replanting themselves - probably overnight - and multiplying themselves - also probably overnight. I'm just hoping I can get the rest of those suckers out in the next couple days so I can let the Monkey plant some seeds sooner than later.

The good news? We found TONS of earthworms - some were huge and others were babies (small), so at least we have good soil! And we won't talk about how many rocks were in the dirt, because if you hadn't guessed - the rocks are staying, because you can't expect me to relive all my childhood gardening nightmares.

Stay tuned, I'm sure I'll let you know how weeding is going and I'll definitely post pics of the garden once the seeds have been planted and start blooming. I do love flowers, so I know I'll enjoy the end results - it's just the whole "weeding" thing that I could really do without.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Pictures with an 18 mo old

You know how you see beautiful pictures of families or kids or even just a parent with a child and you think "oh man, that's a great photo!"?! Yeah, well sometimes those pictures just happen with very little effort and you think "MAN! How did that happen?! We're looking at the camera and smiling!? This is a miracle!" and then there are the other times - which is about 90-95% of the time - where it's a struggle to just get one picture. But you never see other people's struggles to get that one picture, because they don't post the "oops" pictures, they only post the "perfect" ones. And thankfully we live in an age of digital pictures so we're not having to develop 10 "oops" pictures!
Well today I'm going to show you what it was like, you know to get a picture with the Munchkin...now, there are some pretty cute pictures - but I was really trying to capture her enormous laughing smile - not just her looking at the camera
I didn't take into account that she would find the most hilarious thing to be scratching and pinching me...
which as you can see are when she gave me her biggest smiles! If only I had cooperated we could've gotten a good picture right then!
But yeah, when mommy wasn't in pain, it just wasn't as much fun...
Seriously folks, the struggle is real! When she wants to cuddle there is no getting out of it, but when I want her to sit still for just a few seconds longer, yeah, she's not having it!
And then of course she wouldn't stop moving once she did decide she wanted to sit with me - so her smile kept getting covered up...
Oh we're almost there, we've got a smirk...but that was all...then she was done!
Well...okay, if she could play with her bellybutton she might pose again.
And then she wanted back up and we were almost there....
But it was time to play peek-a-boo!!
And that's how we ended our "photo session"...so we got close but never quite got the "perfect" picture...
Of course we did have a photo session a few days ago and we got some good ones then! You can't get winning pictures all the time, but it is fun to try. And on top of that my kids will never look back and think "we don't have any pictures with mom" - I make sure I get pictures with both of them all the time (in case you weren't aware of that. My grandma would be so proud of me)!