Monday, November 30, 2009

I am thankful for...

Everyday for the month (starting on 11/9), my FB status reflected what I am thankful for.

Today I am thankful husband. He is truly wonderful.

Today I am thankful for Einey - the child who made me a mother. She paved the way for who I am today. She is smart and beautiful and a wonderful child.

Today I am thankful for all of the men and women who have served our country. Thank you for all the freedom you have given us.
(in honor of Veteran's Day).

Today I am thankful for Meenie. Through her eyes, I have seen a whole new world. Her smile and laughter brings happiness to me always.

Today I am thankful for Moe. To see the excitement through her eyes every morning. My little imp, she's kept me on my toes and always moving from one spot to another. Yet she's the first to slow down and offer a kiss, a hug and a snuggle. My not so little baby.

Today I am thankful for my family. As crazy as they can be (and honestly, who's can't be???), they are my family and I still love them.

Today I am NOT thankful for the person who shared the vomit monster with us.

Today I am thankful for my friends. I appreciate every little thing you do and count myself lucky to know that I have friends like you I can count on!

Today I am thankful for my husband having a great job. I never expected to be able to stay home with my kids, these last eight years have been great. Thanks so much!

Today I am thankful for good health.

Today I am thankful for neighbors who will let you borrow ketchup when you realize your out :)

Today I am thankful for days off with Husband. Sometimes, we just need a little bit of quiet time. For once, we can actually finish a sentence. Oh and before I forget, because I didn't post this the other day - HALLILUJA! His hell schedule is over! Back to actually being able to see him! (which may or may not be good, he's already super stressed out and we have 19 months to go...)

Today I
am thankful for waking each morning.

Today I am thankful for the pen that did not explode despite going through the washer and dryer.

Today I am thankful for my children's education.

Today I am thankful for being able to love someone and to be loved back.

And as you can see, I didn't make it through the month.

Monday, November 23, 2009

On mice and little girls

Friday afternoon, the girls auditioned for their first ever play at our local community center - Cinderella. They were very excited and nervous. We've never done anything like this. We arrived for the audition, filled out their paperwork stating who they were and what they were auditioning for and they took each child in one at a time and asked them to sing their favorite songs. My husband went in with them. Einey choose to sing "America the Beautiful". She wanted to sing "Teardrops on my Guitar", but stumbled over some of the words. Meenie and Moe both sang "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star". According to my Husband, they rocked their auditions. Even Meenie who tends to want to do something and then gets cold feet. Usually she'll start of strong and quickly start mumbling while looking at the floor. They all wanted to be royal guests.

Knowing that 100 kids auditions, we told the girls they make not make it in. That one, two or all may make it or not. We explained that it's okay if they didn't make it and that they could try again next time if they wanted to. But above all, we were very, very proud of them for trying.

Sunday afternoon, we got the call. All three girls made it in. Einey and Meenie were cast as Royal Guests/Townspeople. Moe was cast as a mouse. I thanked the director and told the girls. The older two jumped up and down. Moe burst into tears.

"But I don't want to be a mouse". We talked a bit. I told her that mice have very important roles. They help Cinderella get ready for the ball. Her sisters informed her the the mouse was the best part. And she may even get turned into a horse. This induced another round of tears. "I don't want to turn into a horse". We talked some more and she went off to grab a doughnut. I could hear the girls talking in the kitchen. Einey and Meenie were trying to pump her up, saying how the mouse is the best part, and they wished they were the mouse and how she probably didn't want to be a royal guest anyway. I was so proud of how they were trying so hard to cheer her up.

In the end, she decided she'll be a mouse after all.


New England Mama's is back in action. The blog is a compilation of stories written by mothers who write about life as they live it in New England. Revamped with a new look and new writers, they are happy to announce that starting today, you can expect new stories every day. My first story will be up sometime this morning. I wrote about ..... well, you'll just have to click over to see :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

20 Questions

Husband taught the girls how to play 20 questions. So now when we're in the car, they deviate from their normal ABC game and Simon Says to play 20 questions.

Taking a 15 minute ride down the road today illicited this game.

Me: I'm thinking of something...
Husband: Is it Alive?
Me: Yes
Meenie: Is it an animal?
Me: No
Einey: Is it a plant.
Me: No.
Husband interjecting - how can that be?
Me: It's a person.
Husband: A person is an animal.
Me: Whatever.
Husband: Mom's cheating already.
Moe: Is it a poop factory?
Everyone - laugh, no it's not a poop factory.
Husband: Do we see this person every day?
Me: No
Meenie: Is it a dentist?
Me: No.
Einey: Is it a doctor?
Me: No
Moe: Oh, oh, I know! Is it a poop factory worker?
Me: No.
Meenie: IS it a building?
Me: um, no, we already established that it was a person.
Husband: Is it real?
Me: Yes
Einey: Is it a nuclear power plant worker?
Me: No.

The answer was in fact, Santa Claus.

Yet, then, 20 minutes later, he started to argue when I tried to guess Einey's person when I asked if it was an elf when she said it was a real person. Elves aren't real. I shot back with "well you didn't argue with Santa being real". He shut up then. Einey's answer was, a nuclear power plant worker.

No one guessed poop factory when it was husband's turn and that was the actual answer.

Also, I may or may not have shot coffee out of my nose when Moe answered something later. She did however, win that game with a correct guess of coffee.

And for the record, 20 questions is more like 40 questions, because inevitably one of them will start guessing a type of plant or man-made object while after the fact of it being an animal is established. And I totally screwed everyone up with the whole a person isn't an animal thing when in fact yes, they are. And I repeatedly got scolded on that.

The moral of this story is, if you teach a kid a new game, you'll never hear the end of it. Also, make sure mom knows the rules as not to un-teach the kids how to play.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

In my world

In my world,

Time has no value. Standing in my dining room at 1:20 pm, if you look around, it's either 11:20 or 4:15. Always 4:15. The clocks work. They tick. They tock. But it's always 4:15. Just ask our friends.

Girls can play soccer in skirts.

Dinosaurs wear dresses and fairy wings.

Skirts get worn layered with jeans and pink cowboy boots. Worn with a tee shirt and accented by a blue spider man umbrella. In the sunshine.

Cakes can be for breakfast. And pancakes for dinner.

We wake when we want, never with an alarm.

Kids listen to rock.

We watch Christmas movies in August.

Kids camp out in bedrooms, sleeping on floors.

There are messes and clutter. But also laughter and giggles.

Welcome to my world, it's a great place to live.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Christmas Conundrum

This year, Meenie happily announced that she would like and American Girl Doll for Christmas. And since she asked for it last year and Santa didn't bring it, that he HAS to bring it this year. She is happy in her belief that she is, in fact getting this overpriced doll. Moe decided that Meenie's getting a American Girl, then she wants one too. Today, Einey , who has never played with dools, announced the she want a Kit doll. It probably has something to do with the fact that despite steering very clear of their store, they still flood my mailbox with catalogs. And the girls get the mail. Meenie and Moe tend to take turns sleeping with the catalog when they come in.

Today I said, well Santa might not bring them, they are very, very expensive. Einey replied "but I thought Santa MADE all the toys. It shouldn't cost anything". Shit.

Then I tried to remind them that they don't even LIKE to play with dolls. The in turn, proceeded to pick out accessories.

So, do I tell them Santa doesn't exist and thus they're not getting an American Girl Doll? Break their hearts by not having Santa bring them a doll? Or shell out the $100 per doll for three? And if we do get them the darn dolls, how do we explain that Santa brought the dolls, but not much else?

We don't want to break their disbelief just yet. So, what would you do?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Spoke to soon

Alas, the puppy we so wanted, that I fell in love with at first sight, that my daughter's dreamed of holding and sleeping by and dressing up and loving, is not to be ours. A puppy we all fell in love with over a picture on the screen. Never meeting her, yet still, she occupied a space in our hearts.

It's a long and complicated story, one that I'm not quite sure I understand. There seemed to be an issue between the rescue organization and the foster mom, a disagreement on what age she should be spayed. And thus, the rescue organization dropped her from their available puppy list.

And so we wait. There will be a puppy out there for us. We're still approved. We've already been offered a 3 1/2 month old male puppy and a 7 month old female puppy, but just not quite what we're looking for.

So what are we looking for? A female, mutt (although we are selective in what breeds) mostly large dog. We know when we see her, that she'll be the puppy for us. She's out there somewhere, and we are willing to wait for her.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Waiting Game

We're getting a PUPPY! Or at least, I am 99% certain we're getting her. Friday I found the cutest little puppy on pet finder. Tuesday I sent my application in. Yesterday, after some back and forth follow up emails, I received this one:

Hi Whirlwind! I have approved your application and forwarded it to foster mom (puppy's rescuer) Let me know if you don't hear anything back from her within 24 hours. She has been out of town for the last few days and should be getting back into town today, but she does have her laptop with her. If you would like to contact her directly, her email is xxx :) Congratulations!

That was at 11:35 am yesterday. SO needless to say, we're all waiting. The girls woke up this morning and the first thing they asked is "Did we get her? Is the puppy ours?" When I told them I thought so and I'm just waiting to hear back from the foster mom, Einey said "We probably didn't get her." She's such a pessimist.

We've talked about a puppy for the last few years. But it never felt right. Not really looking last week, I just did a quick search of local and she popped up. it was love at first sight. I almost sent in an application without talking to the Husband. She's 6 week old mixed bread like our current dog. She's a rescue and while it popped up on our local pet finder, she's actually two states away (not sure how that works, we got our current dog from the local pound).

We're excited. And nervous - puppy's are alot of work. But I'm home almost every day with nothing else to do. And we're ready. The girls are ready. The timing is perfect. We warned the girls that they will have to make sure they pick up after themselves (they kind of slack in that department). That the puppy will eat toys. Moe was concerned at that. I think having a puppy may teach my girls how to be a bit neater and clean up after themselves, even if a few small toys are harmed in the process.

And so we wait. It's currently 9:43 am and the only word I have heard from the foster mom was a forwarded email with a picture that says "we also have this 7-8 month old puppy you might be interested in". The waiting is the hard part.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Special request

Any requests while I'm at the grocery store today?

Moe: Some whipped cream.

Einey: Or some cream and a whip... if they don't have any whipped cream. We can make our own that way.

Thank God she wasn't a bit older making that first request, I might have to wonder...

Sunday, November 08, 2009 decide

Ahh, autumn in New England. Beautiful hues of orange, yellow and red. Millions of people flock to the mountains during peak season to ooh and aww over the ever changing leaves, a patchwork of beauty across the countryside. Once the beauty is gone though, homeowners of New England are stuck behind, raking the sea of crunchy brown foliage that blankets their yards.

It's so much fun to rake and bag, rake and bag. Getting splinters from wooden rakes, blisters on your hands scratches on your arms and a lower back ache. If I could pick a nice day, I'd prefer it during the week, I'm sure I could get much more done without needing to stop ever 2.5 seconds to help someone out, yell at them to get away from the road or shoo them out of the house (today I was smart and locked all the doors behind us). At least it would be quieter. But beggars can't be choosers and I had to take the nice day when I could get it.

Today was a balmy 67 degree here so I figured it would be a great day to go out and rake and bag leaves. I fed the girls lunch and we headed out. I told them I didn't care what they did as long as they stayed in the yard and didn't fight. They said they wanted to help. So we dragged three rakes and a bag of plastic trash bags to the front of the house and proceeded to start raking. Not 60 seconds later, Moe declared she was done. Not content to play on the swings, because ours apparently aren't good enough, or climb the jungle gym, the decided to gather acorns and smash them with rocks until they accidentally smashed their thumbs.

While I was trying to get as much done as I could, it was quite apparent that they couldn't occupy themselves. I got requests to go watch TV, for candy and to go play with the girls next door (which I allowed until she left). There were pleas of hunger. I told them they could grab an apple or banana. Did you say candy they asked? NO! I finally got them occupied in the back and working along when I had to call them to bring me a shovel. I was about to grab a huge handful of leaves when I saw it. A dead mouse next to the pile. Seriously, I don't own cats, why do I keep finding dead rodents in my yard? At least this one still had it's head. This brought their curiosity where they had to watch me scoop it up and toss it into the road. Is it still dead they asked? Yup.

Then I was told "we're bored". Go play I said. "No, there's nothing to do they replied. Can we paint?" No. So while I went back to work, they proceeded to hit a tree with the rake. Then they hula hooped. Then they pretended to be witches riding the rakes around the yard and pulling leaves back into the area I already raked AND dragging the neighbors leaves into our yard. Because of course I didn't have enough leaves of our own to rake.

"Can we go to the park" they asked. "Why do you have to do this today?" they whined. (Um because I'd rather do this today while it's warm then when it's cold or wet). "Can we have candy?" they pleaded. "Are you almost done?" they asked.

And finally, I stopped, I finished all of the side area and half of the front. I can work on more tomorrow. Girls grab a rake and help me put them away. "Awww, do we have to go inside?" they asked.

So you decide, did I torture them by making them spend a beautiful day outside?

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Christmas Lists

The girls wrote their Christmas Lists last night. So grandma, no worries, here's what they want. Of course, you need mad deciphering skillz to figure it out, but you can't ask for everything :)

Here's Moe's list:
Meenie's list:
She also added SolpesesGog to the bottom.

Einey's list:
Also added: Donute faktery

Good luck!

Friday, November 06, 2009

How to skip making dinners

Step 1. Give each kid a slab of pizza dough.

Step 2. Roll it out.

Step 3. Put a spoonful of sauce on each and tell them to spread it.

See the puppy face?

Step 4. Hand over the cheese.

Step 5. Allow them to have any toppings they want with the instructions that they need to eat it later.

Step 6. Put it into the oven for 15- 20 minutes at 425 degrees.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Swine Flu and You (or Me in this case)

So far, we've managed to escape all things flu-ish in these parts. Knock on wood, throw a pinch of salt over our shoulders, PA-TOOUEY, spin in a circle three times while clapping our hands on one foot and run through the full moon.

The flu, on Influenza-like illness (ILI - as it's now being called since they are no longer really testing for the flu) has been waiting outside our door for the last few weeks. October 26th, we got our first (since the beginning of school) memo home, stating that there is cases of ILI in our school. That the absenteeism is up. In a small school of 215 (preK3-8th grade) that could mean that only a hand full of kids were out. In my girl's three classes, they reported that a total of 8 kids were home sick that day. Instead of panicking and flooding FaceBook with "OMG there's SWINE FLU in my kids school, I'm keeping them home FOREVER", I just talked to my kids. Made them understand that they need to wash their hands. All. The.Time. Before and after using the bathroom, before eating, after sneezing or coughing, before they touch their faces. Seems like simple things we should all be doing on a daily basis, but lets face it, we don't. And I have a fingernail biter who also has eczema and spends a great deal of time touching her face or with her hands in her mouth. I also brought all my kids bottles of hand sanitizer to keep in their bags. Two days later, we got a memo home "To the parents of Kindergartners, please do not send alcohol based hand sanitizers to school with your kindergartners. The teachers will make sure they wash their hands and sanitize them properly". My kid swears she wasn't misusing hers... Each kid also has a bottle near their booster seat and no to do one squirt when they get in the car after school, after soccer, after whatever. You know, just in case.

I'm not calling for school to close. I know it's there and we are aware. In fact, we got a third memo home showing how the school is also working their way at combating the spread of illness (other then the obvious of keeping your sick kids home). "Please be advised that your children need to bring their own water bottles to school. Teachers will no longer be allowing them to use the bubbler's during school". No biggie, my kids (as have most) have been bringing their own water to school since day 1.

On the subject of vaccination, we have chosen not to vaccinate our children or ourselves for either the seasonal or the H1N1 flu. We know the risks associated with the shots and the risks of what could happen without the shots. We know, inevitably, we will face the flu. And with five of us, it could get ugly. We know we're bound to get sick.

To say we're not worried is an understatement. It scares the be-jeasus out of me that something could happen. It scares me to think that we may or may not have made the right choice. Our oldest is old enough to know what's going on. She knows who and who hasn't been vaccinated. And we've talked. She knows she's not getting vaccinated and she's okay with that.

Whether we choose on our own to vaccinate or not, in reality, it's a moot point. Because, there aren't enough vaccines to go around. And if you can find that one shot now, the is no guarantee you can find the follow up shot (since we've never vaccinated for the flu before) in a month) Our children are healthy. And over the age of 4. We have no babies in the house and nor am I pregnant. I am the only asthmatic in the house, yet I suffer far fewer respiratory illnesses then my husband. I was diagnosed when I was a little older the Einey, so hopefully we won't find out the hard way that they follow in my footsteps.

Another great blogger wrote this piece the other day. And I can't stop thinking about it as I sit here and write. In this case, it's so true. With blogger's being the new "media" it's hard to separate fact from fiction. If you took every email, every post, every Tweet at face value, your head would spin. But people do and people are, and it's feeding our panic filled hearts.

Here are some things I've read in recent weeks:

  • Putting an onion in your room while you sleep will pull the toxins from the air and clear your lungs.
  • Take extra vitamin D.
  • The Swine Flu virus lives on surfaces for only 2 hours, therefore schools don't need to be cleaned thoroughly every night.
  • You should use a neti-pot to clean your nasal cavity each night and you won't get sick.
  • Gargling with salt water 3x a day will prevent you from getting sick.
  • The Swine Flu virus lives on surfaces for up to 48 hours.
  • Drinking hot liquids will keep you from getting sick. It's the reason more kids are getting sick then adult because kids don't tend to drink hot liquids on a daily basis. Apparently the virus cannot proliferate in a warm environment.
  • Kids are dying from the flu.
  • Kids are dying or becoming paralyzed from the flu shot.
  • Doctor's are being penalized if they give a school aged child the flu shot because the schools are doing mass vaccinations (a child who goes to school in on state whose schools are not mass vaccinating, but whose pediatrician is in a neighboring state and refused to vaccinate said child).
  • The flu is a giant government conspiracy. That Obama has his pharmaceutical croonies just like Bush had his oil croonies.
  • The FDA violate it's own rules by not documenting it's testing and giving ample time to prove the vaccine is safe.
  • Some doctor's are stating that just one shot - the H1N1 will protect against both the seasonal and swine flu so you only need one shot.

Obviously some of it may help. Some of it may be true. But others are just so out there. It's easy to see how mass hysteria starts. How people are given false information and believe it's truth. There are so many, many theories and thoughts and facts and fiction, it's hard to sort them out. It's part of why I don't know if we're doing the right thing.

No matter what your thoughts are, take the time, do some research. Look further then the front page for your information. Research your local Health Department and the CDC's websites. Read the New England Journal of Medicine. Stay up-to-date on how the flu is spreading through your community. be proactive rather then reactive. Take precautions. Wash your hands. Cover your cough. Talk to your doctor.

Here's to hoping we all stay as healthy as we can!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

November 1st

It's 8 am and I've already had one child stomp upstairs in an angry huff.

The morning arrived early - I was up at 5 before the sun rose for the day. I woke on my own accord, to switch vehicles with my Husband. We arrived in later than him last night due from our frightfully fun festivities. And neither of us had the desire to switch them last night. This morning, unlike most, I had no desire to go back to sleep. This morning I snuggled up on the couch with some warm blankets and just enjoyed the peace and quiet. I could hear the dog stirring upstairs, the wind rustling the bushes outside the window. Meenie tossing and turning a bit, Moe coughing (a deep, croupy sounding cough) and Einey's soft breaths. I could hear the heat cycling on upstairs and the cars rolling along the road. I could get used to the this I thought, having time to wake up before others. To let my body rouse itself from deep slumbers it harbors. To have time to adjust to being conscious, before needing to act.

By 6 am, Moe woke and joined me on the couch. Sweet five year old Moe, no longer a baby. But still. Still she is able to curl up on my lap. To snuggle in the pre-dawn hours. Her little body pressed close to mine. She moved only to cover her cough. Once her little body awoke, she moved to the other couch, to watch some Sunday morning cartoons. Old school - Tom and Jerry. Back before cartoons were deemed to violent. Meenie soon joined her sister, snuggling close. I watched them watching their cartoons. By 7 am, they were both awake. Hungry, wanting breakfast. Cheerios for one, yogurt for the other. We ate in silence and then move back to the living room.

Not content to watch TV anymore, they broke out some crafts they received last night. With little help, they punched out their crafts and began assembling them. They worked together and in the end, a ghost and witch were born.

By quarter of eight, Einey joined us in the land of the living. I wouldn't expect otherwise. Einey is my night owl. Content to stay up late playing games, watching TV or reading in her room. She's a bear if roused earlier than the sun.

And then, peace was momentarily shattered. Eieny was playing her DS. Moe grabbed Meenie's DS. Meenie said NO. Moe stomped upstairs. Moe loves the DS. Moe doesn't have her own yet. She's saved for 1/2 of it right now. We told her Christmas is coming, maybe she'll get the rest of what she's saving then. Maybe not. It took her sister's a long time to save for theirs. She stomped upstairs to cool off. A few moments later, she returned. May I please play Webkinz Wuy-orld? And in that time, balance was achieved, peace restored.

While I relish the peaceful moments while everyone else slumbers, I don't look forward to losing daylight mid-afternoon. I know it will be all too soon before I pick them up from school, narrowly beating the fleeting hour of daylight we have left. To have the long hours of darkness to which we need to supplement artificial light for natural light (which coincidentally, I need to replace some light bulbs soon. Like yesterday before the time played it's game on me).

It's now 8:20. Peace is restored and we have a long day ahead. I can't wait to see what's in store today and the rest of the year.