Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Guess how cute my kids are...

Meatball: "Mom. My music teacher told me that America was in a fight, but we won. And, that's why the flag will fly for twenty hundred more years.... We're the American flag kingdom, you know."

Overheard at park last weekend, Peanut to some girl:
You know, I have two moms. They are really lucky ducks because we are just awesome kids.
And, my other mom - the one that isn't here - got electrocuted when she was little, and that's why her hair sticks up.
Can I play with that truck?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

10 things Tuesday

1. My current running shoes have almost 700 miles on them. That's about 300 more than they should, but I'm cheap and like to get every last nickel out of everything. Everything! Like, I wash out and reuse ziploc bags cheap. (Besides, that's just responsible. It takes a lot of resources to make a plastic bag. Our earth doesn't need my help in destroying it.) Anyway, there is no reason for me to be cheap about these shoes because I have a gift certificate for new shoes given to me by my absolutely awesome friend and running partner, Carol.

2. When I'm running, I try not to step on any sidewalk or street hole covers. The potential for falling through a loose cover is extremely minimal, but it IS there. Besides, if anyone is going to fall through one, it would be Bub, the clumsiest person I've ever met. (Another reason she needs health insurance!)

3. I've been a vegetarian for about 15 months, but I'm just not getting enough protein. Eating vegetarian can be a bit pricey at times, so I don't stock the fridge full of tofu or tempeh. I buy some, but not a lot. Besides, I'm the only vegetarian in the house, and I hate when things go to waste. I ate a small portion of chicken over the weekend, and it was really good. (By the way, I'm vegetarian for my cholesterol levels, not some moral imperative.)

4. I wear hose once per year at the company holiday party. Other than that, I'm bare legged, even in the winter. The holiday party has changed for this year, and I may be able to get away with a pants suit/outfit. Oh, happy day!

5. My friend from Kansas is coming home for a visit in September. I can't wait to see her. It's been five years! I wish she would just move back, already! I see a night of martinis and other assorted umbrella drinks in our future. (And by "night," I mean three drinks and in bed by 9!)

6. I am a very honest friend, and I don't see a huge need for pussy-footing around a subject. Therefore, it you don't want to know what I think, don't tell me the latest stupid thing that you have done. I will tell you, straight up, that you were a dope for cheating on your spouse, that you are a poor driver with the tickets to prove it, that you can be mean spirited and hurtful, etc. Not shockingly, some of this isn't always received with open arms or mind. However, in my own defense, I will also tell you that I admire your decision to care for your elderly parent, that I get all butterflies-in-the-tummy when I watch your interactions with your kids, and that you have awesome shoes. I am a nice person, really.

7. That reminds me, when I was 12 and my cousin was 10, we lived with my grandpa to care for him. I lived there on the weekdays, and she lived there on the weekends. It was entirely too much responsibility for people so young, but I will never regret that year of my life. (By the way, this cousin and I share the same birthday!)

8. The boys have been excellent about going to sleep in their own beds lately. You would think that this would mean that I'm turning in earlier and getting more sleep myself. Not the case. Now, I have more time to read, do dishes, and think up new jam combinations. Oh, and worry about bills.

9. I'm going to spend next summer teaching the boys how to ride a horse. I can't wait. I'm very sad that I don't have a horse of my own anymore. If I could just get all of those damn bills paid off!

10. I love breakfast food, and I think that there should be a law against eating non-breakfast items in the morning. Like pizza and Chinese take-out. It's just not right. Ok. Maybe not a law, but some very strong guidelines. Breakfast food, on the other hand, can and should be eaten any time of day. When I was younger and lived at home, we would have waffles at least one dinner per week. Always with strawberries and whipped cream. And if the strawberries weren't in season, we would get those frozen cans and whip them up with some "Danish Delight." (Hmmm. I don't even know exactly what Danidh Delight is! I haven't had it in so long!)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

First week of school

Well, the day finally arrived. We (Bub and I) dreaded it. While at the same time, we (all of us) looked forward to it. Bub and I assumed that the boys would be in the same class and in the morning. Turns out that they are in the afternoon and in different classes. This is no big deal – it’s just different than what we thought it would be.

First, we went to meet the teachers a few days before the first day. Meatball hugged his teacher as soon as he met her. Peanut told his teacher about Thomas the Tank Engine as soon as he met her. We got to check out the playground, the class rooms, and their desks. We also met Judy B. who, incidentally, also likes trains. That must be how we met her – just go to the playground and shout “who here likes trains” and then glom on to that person until the end of time. Moms learned a lot, and we like both of the teachers.

On the official first day, I took the day off so that I could be there when they went to school and when they were done. We took the obligatory first-day-of-school pictures. We waited for Papa to arrive so that he could take his pictures, too. Then, we delivered them to their rooms, and we walked away.

Ok – fine. We cried as we walked away. It was horrible. I can’t believe how grown up they are. I can’t believe how calm they were. I can’t believe that they didn’t cry like we did. Instead, they were excited. Little brats! How dare they be excited?!?!? We stopped at the store on our way home, so I had to pull myself together a bit. Then, we went home and watched a movie. A PG-13 movie! With guns! And cursing! It’s so infrequent that we watch PG, PG-13, or (gasp) R rated, we felt like we were being naughty!

We didn’t, of course, watch the WHOLE show. We couldn’t wait, so we went back to the school and stood around looking like dopes for the next 45 minutes. Not to fear. There were lots of other parents doing the exact same thing.

Imagine our dismay when Peanut came out crying! Oooohhhhh, so sad!

It turns out that the day was great, but the end of the day was more traumatic. First, there was something to do with a “magic paper.” Only one kid in the class could get it, and it wasn’t Peanut. So, that upset him. Then, he wanted to play with the foam blocks in Meatball’s classroom, but there wasn’t time. Oh, the grief! To a 5-year old, this is horrible. Finally, on the way home, we were talking about what they did and how it went and etc. etc. etc. I asked if they had a treat. Yes. They did. Peanut told us how his class got some rainbow colored fish crackers and gummy bears. Then, Meatball told us that his class got rainbow colored fish crackers and mini-marshmallows. OH, FOR THE TEARS!!! “Marshmallows? But, I WANTED MAAAARRRSSSSHHHHMMAAAALLLLLOOOOWWWWSSSSS!!!!”

The second day wasn’t much better.

Some naughty boy sitting next to Meatball just wouldn’t follow instructions. Well, Meatball is pretty structured, and when the teacher says to do things this way or that way, that’s what he does. (No, this doesn’t hold true at home, sadly.) So, when the naughty boy wouldn’t listen to the teacher, Meatball tried to tell him that he should put his head down and wait quietly. The boy disagreed which made Meatball more frustrated. So, basically, the two of them went back and forth a couple of times before the teacher intervened. Long story short: Meatball was moved from the front of the class (they were in alphabetical order) to the middle of the class. He took it HARD. The teacher’s reasoning is valid, and we talked about it later that night. The boy has some learning and behavioral challenges, and he needs to be at the front of the class. Plus, since the kids line up for everything that they do (go to recess, return from recess, go to lunch, wait for carpool, etc. etc. etc), it didn’t make a lot of sense to have the two boys next to each other all of the time. It was just an invitation for trouble.

However, that’s not how Meatball saw the situation. Even after the teacher spoke with him a couple of times about how it wasn’t his fault, he still saw it as a punishment. Worse, he equated being on the front row to being smart. Moving back two rows is the same as being stupid. UG! There was sobbing, and crying, and wailing. He was genuinely upset. He stood by the wall and cried during recess. Then, Bub showed up to volunteer in class. Not knowing what was going on, she chose this class to help in. As soon as he saw her, he lost it again. She spent time calming him down, and then the teacher recommended that she volunteer in the other class. He cried when she left. He sobbed again when it was time to go home and he saw her through the window. It was awful.

Both of us and the teacher have reassured him that it wasn’t his fault and that he is smart, but he was very upset for the rest of the night and most of the next day. THEN, he went swimming. Five stitches have a way of clearing your mind of other distractions.

The last two days of the week were uneventful. Thank goodness.

In the end, I didn’t really think this whole “having kids” thing through very well. I thought it was going to be fun to cuddle with them, and play games, and teach them how to walk and talk and ride a horse and bake cookies and hike and spin and dance and watch movies. I was right. All of that stuff is great. I also was looking forward to being proud of them as they learned to ride a bike, when they kicked that first goal, when they learned to read, when they graduate, when they learn to drive, when they choose the best behavior for the situation. What I did NOT think through thoroughly was the sadness I would feel when they sat happily in their desks while I cried in the hallway. I did NOT think about how they will someday be riding their bikes around the neighborhood without a need for me to be walking alongside them or even keeping an eye on them from the driveway. I did NOT think about what kind of mess I will be when they stand at the altar blissfully smiling at the person that they love. I did NOT consider how hard it will be to watch them drive away for college someday.

Ug! Why do we have to love them so much?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I was up late one Friday night a couple of weeks ago watching TV by myself (which doesn’t happen very often!). I heard a noise on the front porch. It sounded like the cat dish being pushed around. I thought to myself “I’m sure that I fed that cat!” but I went to check. I would hate for his fat ass to get hungry. So, expecting to see a cat scratching the screen, I was certainly surprised to see FOUR raccoons eating the cat food! As quietly as I could, I pulled my phone out of my pocket and snapped a couple of pictures. Of course, by this time, they had eaten all of the food and were headed on their way. They are fast little suckers!

I decided to go to bed, so I puttered around turning off lights and fans. As I went to hang up my phone, there was another raccoon standing on his hind legs and looking into our house through the screen. I wasn’t fast enough with the phone to catch him!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Onion “harvest”

It’s time to harvest your onions when the tops get a bit papery where they meet the ground and fall over. I dug these up a couple of weeks ago. None of them are bigger than a half fist. But, they are tasty. I’m happy with them. Next year, I need to get them in the ground sooner, and do a better job of weeding early on.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

First ever "grown-up" haircut

I swear that I’ll get back to other topics someday, but for right now, it’s a lot of photos of cute boys growing up.

For five years, Bub has been trimming the boys’ hair. What’s the point of paying for someone to trim it when we don’t go to a million different places where they need to be all spiffed up? We go to dinner sometimes, but that’s about it. Otherwise, it’s playing, reading, swimming, bike riding, playing, and playing.

But, like going to school, the first REAL haircut is a rite of passage, and we wanted them to have that “grown-up” experience to help them prepare for school.

I may have mentioned it, like, 8000 times, but we are on a very tight budget, so we weren’t looking for a stylist. Besides, they are boys with about a quarter inch to half inch of hair. Yes, I know. When they are eight or ten or fifteen, we will be spending more on their hair than on mine. But, they are five. So, we went to the cheapest place we could find: $5 Haircuts in SLC.

This is the epitome of “no frills.” This place has old barbershop chairs, lots of clippers, out-dated magazines, and people who don’t waste their time because there is always a line. Think armed-forces personnel, old men, poor college students, and little boys with cheap parents. That’s the kind of haircuts we’re talking about. You know what? Fine.

We didn’t have to wait long before there was room for one of the boys. Meatball went first. He climbed up and sat dutifully in the chair and was promptly covered with a pink butterfly drape.

It was as if he had died and gone to Dora the Expl0rer heaven. He loves that show. He loves butterflies. He’s adorable, right? He was so good during the cut. He sat still, he answered when she spoke to him, he giggled when she used the razor to clean him up.

He had a good time and was proud of himself for being such a good boy. We were proud of him, too.

Not to say that we weren’t a bit sad. This was a big day for them and for us. It’s awesome to see them growing up right before our eyes. Who would have thought that such tiny little people would turn into (generally) well-behaved boys? Polite, nice. Sigh. We are proud, but we are also sad to see their childhoods going by so fast. Here’s proof:

When it was Peanut’s turn, he hopped into the chair and waited until his leopard print drape was secured around his neck.

Then, he started talking about Thomas and didn’t stop the entire time. See?:

His barber was Sarah, and she made the mistake of telling him that her son likes trains, too. Even more reason to keep talking and talking and talking and talking and talking and talking. By the time she was done, she was visibly tired. She even sighed at one point as if to say “holy sh!t…”

But, I think that when he hugged her and shouted “This is the best haircut, EVER!” she forgave him.

And, even though we are broke, we still went out for dinner to celebrate this new first in their lives.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sleepover with friends

I’ve talked about our sleeping arrangements before, but here’s a recap:

I allowed the boys to fall asleep on my lap in the rocking chair when they were babies.

We let them sleep in our beds almost anytime they want.

I have slept on their floor when them in their beds and even with them next to me on the floor.

The three of us have fallen asleep together after story time in a single bed.

We have our sleeping bags together when we camp in the backyard, in the basement, in the living room, and in the TV room.

I know, I know. AND, I don’t care.

Recently (starting a couple of weeks ago, before school started), I started weaning them (and me) off of our sleeping arrangements. When I’ve done this in the past, Meatball was always the one to get really upset. Now, it’s Peanut. So, I make an excuse (that they see right through) like needing to feed the dogs, or needing to do the dishes, and kiss them goodnight. I promise that I will come back and check on them.

BUT, before I go, Peanut now needs to be surrounded by his friends. He will hold on to seven or eight stuffed animals all night long.

Meatball is satisfied with one or two. As long as Baby (his blue and white dog) is there, then he is happy.