Sunday, February 28, 2010

Snow Days

Holy Snow, Batman! Talk about a storm. School was let out two hours early on Tuesday and then there was no school at all on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. It was so nice of the school district to call at 5 a.m. on Friday to let us know there was no school too! I mean, I think I could have figured it out when I looked at the window and saw more than a foot of the white stuff on my car. Yes, we got about two feet of snow. And we were without power from Thursday night to Sunday evening. It was wonderful (not at all). I tried to make the best of it. My oldest was going through television withdrawal. She didn't know what to do with herself. It was then that I explained to her that kids a hundred years ago didn't have television. We talked about people who lived without electricity and indoor plumbing (yikes!) I don't think she really got the message. I don't think kids believe their parents when they tell stories about "the old days". I don't even need six degree of separation to find someone who once used an outhouse or slept in a cold-water flat or shared a bed with their brothers. So, a day or two without TV wouldn't kill her, right? Right. It wouldn't kill her - it would kill me! Thankfully, the iPod had a very strong battery and that helped a little bit. And let me tell you how happy I was to get the phone call tonight that tomorrow is a regular full day of school!

Monday, February 22, 2010


My oldest daughter turns 8 in a couple of weeks and as an early birthday gift she got her ears pierced yesterday. It was a milestone for her (and me!) and I probably looked like a dork taking pictures as she got it done. But, then the little one had to be just like her big sister and she got hers done too. Lavender hearts. Caty wanted skulls, but I finally convinced her to get diamonds. They are so excited. They are calling relatives and friends and couldn't wait to go to school today and show them off. I can totally remember getting my ears pierced twice at Caldor (yes, I'm showing my age!) and having them get infected both times. Finally, my dad took me and my older sister to a jeweler and had them done. That time, they took. I was 12 or 13 and was so jazzed. I can also remember being buzzed when my boyfriend's mom gave me a second hole and sitting on my toilet when my friend Krissy gave me a third hole. And, I didn't stop there - I got up to four and then did the top of my ear. Man, now that I think about it, if I were a teen now, I'd be one of those people with the cartilage piercings and I'd probably have an eyebrow or nose ring too. My dad always told me I would never be a lawyer with all those earrings in my ear and he was right - I never did become a lawyer!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Let me do it

One of the hardest things for me as a mom is letting my kids be independent. It must have something to do with me being a control freak. Yesterday, the oldest was doing her science fair project and you don't know how badly I wanted to grab that glue and stick the feathers on the board in the proper pattern rather than all willy nilly with glue showing through! See, control freak! I can remember a project I did in first grade where we had to write facts about ourselves on a large poster. Mine said something like My name is Elizabeth. I have brown eyes. I have brown hair. I am five years old. I love my sister. I was so proud of that thing. It was so neat and all the writing was correct. I get flashbacks to that whenever I watch my girls write. They have to work harder because they're left-handed, but neatness is not really a concern of theirs. And I wish it wasn't a concern of mine! Why am I so bothered? Why does it drive me nuts that every other little girl is wearing a dress to the dance and my daughter is wearing a skirt with non-matching shirt and knee-high boots? Or that the little one pairs pink and red and purple with silver open-toed shoes? I've at least gotten to the point where I allow them to pick out their own clothes, but I still wish they'd wear something "normal." Of course, if I did it, it would get done faster. If I did it, it would get done the way I want it. But what's so wrong with the way they want it? Why can't I just let them be who they want to be and not what I want them to be? My mom used to always tell me that children grow through you. You raise kids, but you can't make them. I guess that's why my mom didn't freak when I shaved my head or when I got a tattoo or when I dressed like a punk or whenever I did the silly things I did. She let me be me. I'm trying. I promise to keep working on letting go more each day. But, seriously, if my kids turn into those goth chicks, I might just lose it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Use your imagination

Yesterday was a snow day (yes, how wonderful to have an unexpected four-day weekend) and after the 20-minute task of stuffing them into snow clothes, I took the girls outside to play in the snow. It was fun for a while. The little one is really good at just going with the flow and doing her own thing, so she took a shovel and started making a road through the yard. The big one? She wanted a snow house. Okay, fine, good idea. You'd think that would keep her occupied. You'd think an almost-8-year-old would busy herself with gathering snow and building the house. But what you might not know is that this particular almost-8-year-old is not a worker bee. She wanted to be the architect. She had a vision of the building - the walls, the door, the windows, the roof (yes, I said roof). And that vision was to be executed by me. I loved the way she went about it too. She made her sister feel like she was a part of the whole process, but really she was just a grunt, piling snow on top of snow, trying to construct a wall. My mom tried to explain to her oldest grandchild that she had no sense of reality - that it was nearly impossible to construct this edifice with our primitive tools (our hands). The architect poo-pooed the silly old bird and pushed her crew on. Of course, I gave in. On my hands and knees, I was pushing and packing snow and trying (in vain) to make a snow wall. Now, if that happened when I was a kid, no parents would have been around to help and we would have made a fort or whatever we could and been happy with it. At this point in my life, I have no imagination. I don't see things in the grand way that children do. Maybe I never did. But, my mom saved the day. Well, her imagination did. The walls were supposed to be about three feet high. But, once they got about a foot tall, my mom suggested using branches on top of the walls to make a fence. The architect liked it! We were in the clear.... but what about the roof? Um, the roof, right. I looked pleadingly at my mom - the lady who takes a box and makes it into a fancy dollhouse, the woman who turns yarn into the best toy a kid could ask for, the one who intrigues my girls with buttons and fabric and paint. I'm thinking I could find a sheet or a tarp in the garage and throw it on top. But, I'm just a dumb worker bee. Gammy just found some longer branches and positioned them across the top to make a roof. She pleased the architect and cleaned up the yard of fallen branches all at once. The girls were thrilled with their creation. Their grandmother then suggested that when the snow melts in the spring that they re-use the fallen branches to weave a fence. God help me - I'm staying inside from now on!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Two hands

I always thought that having two children was enough because I've only got two hands. Yesterday, I had my little one with me and I was caring for BFF-MG's two angels. Well, we're in the parking lot at the pizzeria and I realize that I can't hold all of their hands! What do I do? I can't leave one in the car and bring the others inside and run back. I can't carry one and still have a free hand for the other two. Sure, I could hold hands with the two girls and have the boy hold his sister's hand, right? But then I feel like I'm leaving him out. He might feel like a big, brave boy out there on the outside of our group, but I feel like a heel for leaving him there. Oh, what to do? Why don't I have an extra hand when I need one? I don't know what people do when they have triplets or when they have six kids. The stress of the situation would just drive me nuts! From now on, if I'm with more than two kids, we're not leaving the house!

Super Mom

Today, my daughter told me that I am her hero. I don't know if this four-year-old even knows what that word means, but I like that she said it and I'm keeping it!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow Day

After much prodding and cajoling, my children went outside and played in the snow - at different times. The older one did not want to go out at the same time the younger one did because she says the little one is always copying her. I try to tell her she should be flattered because her sister wants to be just like her. What she hears is blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So, the little one was out there like a champ - snow angels, snowballs. rolling down the hill, shoveling - whatever she could do, she did it. Later on, the older one came out and made a snow fort and then buried herself in the snow. I'm sure she was just trying to hide from her little sister. I wish I could have hidden. The entire day was just a love-hate relationship gone wrong. One minute, they're best buds and the next, they're punching and screaming. My goodness. My sister and I just ignored each other and I wish my kids would do the same sometimes! I swear, if it's still snowing outside I don't know what I will do. There will not be a snow day tomorrow. If there is, daddy will stay home from work and take care of his two little angels.

Monday, February 8, 2010

How much can you handle?

A situation came up lately that made me think about how much we moms handle every day. It's funny because I was just in the supermarket and the cover of a magazine had a photo of that couple who just had their 19th child. The headline read something "How many children is too many?" Um, 19 is definitely too many. But, that's just me. I had two friends growing up that both had 15 kids in their family. Only one was a blended family. I can't imagine sharing space with that many people, but they did it and they are very close and share bonds I can't ever know. So, how did their moms handle it? I thought my mom had it hard, being that my sister and I are only 10 months apart in age. It was like raising two babies at once since we were apparently inseparable as youngsters. She was a single mom, worked full time and had no family in this country. She did it. The mom with 19 kids manages because she just does. I guess that's the answer. You just do what you have to do. Sometimes are harder than other times. Sometimes, we have to do it alone because we are single or because our husbands are less than helpful. Sometimes, we have to do it when we're sick and feeling like crawling into bed instead of taking care of our family. Sometimes, we have to be strong when we want to just break down and cry. We just do it. Even if there is no one there to help. Even if it seems easier to give up and let it fall apart. Moms just get it done.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sassy Talk

It often happens that adults say things they shouldn't in front of children. And often, children will repeat certain things. Usually, it's funny and/or cute when your child repeats an off-color word or phrase, but when does it cross the line between funny and fresh? I used to not know whether to laugh or blush when Caty was 2 and tried to say the word "fork". Guess what it came out as? But, there are some words they say that just don't sound like they should be coming out of a child's mouth! Loser. Stupid. Idiot. Dummy. Sucker. Hot. A lot of times, it's innocent, I know. But then they start saying the words in public or to their teachers and it makes me seem like I have the worst manners and have taught my little ladies very little. I do take most of the blame. Seems my sharp tongue is getting me in more trouble than it should.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I was just talking to BFFMG about the differences in our children. When our oldest kids were infants, we went crazy childproofing everything. Outlets, stove, dressers, cabinets - anything and everything. And those firstborns never touched a thing. But, I guess it's better to be safe than sorry. The second-born kids are a completely different story! The minute my youngest could crawl, she went straight for an outlet. She tried to open the oven and the bathroom cabinet and into the tub. Anywhere she wasn't supposed to be (like the steps) was where you could always find her! So, now we're at today. It's been a little trying over the past couple days, what with her writing on the walls and the windowsill and her clothes and the furniture. But today was one of those days when the child did something all moms freak out about. There were scissors involved. Then I noticed a few too many strands of hair on her shirt. And the minute it registered and she saw the look of horror on my face, she immediately began sobbing and threw herself into my arms in a weepy apology. Thank the Lord she only cut off about 3 inches. It could have been worse. She could have cut it near the roots and there would be a big problem. As it is, she'll end up with a chin bob, which she seems excited about. I feel so bad because she told me her teacher said (I'm sure not in a harmful way) that her hair was getting too long and she should get it cut. Now, my precious girl wants me to cut her hair. No, I told her, when someone tells you to cut your hair, they don't mean for you to actually cut it. They mean go to a professional. Professional? Yeah, sure, not to a four-year-old. Actually, the more I look at it, the more I see that she did a pretty good job. Maybe I'll book an appointment with her.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Getting along

My goodness, I can't remember the last time I reported something so wonderful and I'm sure I'm jinxing myself by doing it but my daughters have not had a fight in two days!!!!! I just can't believe it. Today doesn't count that much because the older one didn't get home till about 7 p.m. But, that's more than enough time for her to start a ruckus. But, yesterday, they got along famously! After school, the girls played quietly together in the older one's room. They were laughing and having a good time. Then, we actually had a nice dinner and some pretty decent conversation. There was no name calling or anything! Maybe there's something in the water.