Thursday, June 30, 2011

I'm not spending any more money starting now...

The roof is done, and I think it is money well spent (even though I really, really, really hate to spend money, especially a sizable chunk all at once).

It looks fantastic!

The last bit of work was completed yesterday, and we are already using that exit of the house constantly so the kids can go to the backyard to play.

D is going to power-wash it this weekend, and then I will begin staining/sealing it all.

Our deck BEFORE

Our deck AFTER

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The laundry room....redone

While I was searching my blog posts to link to the one about musical cribs/toddler beds, I realized that I never showed pics of what my laundry room looked like once I stripped all the wallpaper and repainted it a nice taupe color.

Everyone who reads my drivel has been waiting with bated breath, I am certain.

And so I present........the NEW AND IMPROVED laundry room with all winter items removed and summer junk in its proper places.

It's a little dull now but I was so, so glad to be rid of the busyness of that wallpaper.

The kids' swimsuits on their hooks.

Towels and bags ready to go to the pool which we never do because I have 3 kids to manage.

Musical beds (yet again)

G is the size of my niece, who is almost 6.  Sure, she may be a little on the short side, but G is a little on the tall side.

So we decided that we needed to move him out of his crib-converted-to-a-toddler-bed and into a twin.
And so the saga of musical beds in our household continues.

The twin frame was purchased.  The twin mattress from the basement brought upstairs.  Lightning McQueen and Transformers sheets purchased and washed.

Nana's handmade quilt for G taken out of the closet.  The toddler bed taken down again.

And voila!

The latest look of N and G's shared bedroom.

The next time we do this maneuvering it is my great hope that it will be the last time with N taking up residence in her full bed in the smaller bedroom and the boys in twin beds in the larger bedroom.
But I doubt it.  

The pesky one

This morning I decided that it is simply not worth the hassle to try to keep G from partaking of N's ice cream, jello, pudding, push-up popsicles and other soft food treats as she recovers from tonsillectomy.  Based on how annoying G is most of the time, I figure additional sugar probably won't make too much of a difference in how often I want to throttle him during the day.

With G I vacillate every 20 minutes between feeling this close to enrolling him in daycare just so I don't have to be the one to contend with his behavior and adoring the sweet and often cute things he does.  Even though N had her fits and starts at age 3, she was never, ever as annoying as G.  (I have to remind myself that for much of N's third year I only had 1 child, and for the latter part of her third year, I only had 2 children.  Having 3 kids ramps it up considerably.)

All day yesterday he was a royal pain in the arse.  He started throwing a fit when D and I left a little before 7:00 a.m. to take N to the surgery center.  He refused to take a nap.  Every time I gave N some jello or slush he ranted endlessly to give him some too.  It was all I could do not to completely lose it with him.

Before I read to him at bedtime, he opened up this book and sang the song to me twice in his wobbly 3-year-old voice.  And no matter how frustrated I am with the little booger, hearing him sing, "The cheese stands alone," and being so proud that he can turn the pages and "read" the book to his momma makes everything feel right again.

G loves me fiercely and is very much a momma's boy, which I often don't understand since I feel like I spend 90% of my life hollering at him to quit pestering or stop hitting someone.  I often worry that one day he will look back on his childhood and only remember a mom that nagged and screeched and was generally grouchy and disagreeable.  My mom says G reminds her of my brother, who was also very, very stubborn and a right royal pest.  (Evidently, G's issues are genetic.)

I hope one day my blog may redeem me to my children, just as it often redeems my children to me when I have had enough of the unpleasant parts of their childishness and forget the lovely parts of it.

Like how G and N play a game in the basement that they call "Centimonipedes," which involves laying pillows down in rows to look like gigantic centipedes and then jumping off the couch onto them.

Or how G asked me in the car one day as we were driving home:
G:  "Are we on earf?"
Me: "Yes."
Pause of a couple minutes.
G: "What is earf?"
Me:  "It's a planet."
Another long pause.
G:  "I want to go into space."

When G said this to me my thoughts illustrated just how complex my feelings are for my boy.  On the one hand, I thought his "going into space" sentiment was so cute, but I couldn't help also saying to myself that I often feel like kicking him to the moon Honeymooners' style.

Monday, June 27, 2011

See ya later, adenoids. After while, tonsils.

N had her adenoids and tonsils removed this morning.  What set her into a bit of a crying spell as the nurse prepped her and us?  Having to take her earrings out prior to surgery.  Fortunately, rather than watching N lose her mind in pre-op, they decided to take them out once she was unconscious in the OR.    Smart move.  Who knew a benefit of tonsillectomy would be getting out the earrings that N refused to allow anyone to remove since she was so scared it would hurt?

Boy, she was funny once she had a little Versed in her.  She was taking her lunch-lady hair net, pulling it over her face and then waving her hands all over to try and figure out how to get out of the "web."  At one point she asked me, "Is this the mall?"

Post-op she wept a little but was mostly sleepy and quiet.  No flailing of limbs.  No screaming or screeching.

Once she was home, she slept most of the morning and then took a late afternoon nap.  N is not a huge fan of sweets, so by the evening I think she was a little tired of jello and pudding and sherbet.  When I suggested scrambled eggs, she about jumped off the sick bed (the pull-out sofa) with excitement.  She is stoked at the possibility of eating overcooked egg noodles in butter for lunch tomorrow.

I will be giving her the pain meds during the night for a few days, every four hours. While I am not looking forward to waking up twice a night via alarm clock,  if it means she is in good spirits and mostly pain free during the day I am happy to do it.  

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The eternal quest to be healthy and fit

Today at the grocery, I noticed that the dad in front of me bought like 8 boxes of Capri-Sun juice cartons for his son, whom he had in tow in the checkout line.  Most of the time what I put on the conveyor belt is fairly healthy although it didn't really look like it today since  I did have 4 containers of ice cream/popsicle/sherbet in the mix in preparation for N's tonsillectomy tomorrow.

I certainly don't deny the kids goodies but I do have certain rules about what I will and won't purchase for our home and how often.

I don't buy sugary cereals like Cookie Crisp and Fruity Pebbles and Fruit Loops.
I don't buy Toaster Strudels or Pop-Tarts or anything that pretends to be a breakfast food but is really dessert.
I don't buy yogurt that comes out of a tube and is neon-colored.
I don't buy Oreos except once a year when we take a trip (be it a small overnighter or a week-long stint at Disney).
I occasionally buy juice boxes but they must be 100% juice.
I don't buy Kool-Aid type drinks except once a year when we take a trip.
(The once a year thing also generally applies to Doritos.)
I only buy organic skim milk.
I don't buy soft drinks.  
I never buy things like Little Debbie snack cakes or Twinkies or Ding-Dongs or anything like that.

My reasons for doing these things are not so that we will be thin, although this is a great side effect of not purchasing junk food.  It is because I think my kids have plenty of opportunities to each sugary treats and junk (when we are out or they are at their grandparents' homes) so I don't feel like I need to have it in my house.  D already has high triglycerides, so we don't need to make that situation any worse.  Plus, having dealt with gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with N, I would prefer that no one in my family have to deal with monitoring their blood sugar and all the headaches that go with it.

In recent months, I have stopped making sweetened tea.  I had eliminated sugar a long time ago, switching to Splenda, but I decided that I was going to forego all sweeteners in our tea (which we tend to drink a lot of).  I stopped putting sweetener in my coffee, although I cannot give up my peppermint mocha creamer.  Life is for living, after all.

I have also cut our consumption of red meat by about 95%.  I used to make a lot of meals using beef, but I have been seeking out more vegetarian fare or favoring recipes that use chicken or turkey.

Still, even with my attempts to buy relatively healthy-ish food, my body simply ain't what it used to be when I was younger and prior to having carried and delivered 3 babies.  I will be 38 in a couple months, and daggonit if I'm not already feeling my metabolism slow down.

My antidepressant also plays a role in how my body looks because prior to meds, when I worried (which was quite often), I wouldn't eat.  And not eating is a very good way to lose weight.  Since I don't worry excessively or even that often now, I find that I continue to eat normally (except for that week of the month before Aunt Flo when I must eat chocolate every 2 hours or I will cut off someone's head with a butter knife.)

In April 2010, I began taking a fitness class 1 day a week with a personal trainer and some friends, and I really enjoy it.  I can tell that I am way more fit than I used to be.  When I first began, I could barely do a plank for 30 seconds.  Now I can just hang out in that position, even having the boys climb on me and sit (or fall off as M often does).  My arms and legs are more shapely.  When I see a friend that I haven't seen in a while, I often hear, "You look great!  What are you doing?"

If only my abdominal pooch would disappear.  I'm afraid there is only so much that crunches can do for a thrice stretched out and twice c-sectioned abdomen.

I had said that by the time I turned 40, I wanted to have "six-pack abs," but I am uncertain whether this is 1. do-able and/or 2. worthy of doing.  I want to eat healthy and be fit but I don't want to deny myself and be miserable just to have a tighter mid-section.

The truth is that right now, with 3 young children, it is simply impossible for me to devote, in a consistent fashion, the time to exercise.  I think I am doing pretty well to make it to an exercise class once a week and lift weights/walk on the treadmill at home a couple other times a week.

On my deathbed, when my life flashes before my eyes on my way outta here, I doubt that a toned butt is going to be one of the things I am so, so glad I managed to have.  

Friday, June 24, 2011

Out of the mouths of babes

Sometimes it seems the kids go months without saying anything particularly funny or memorable, and then all of a sudden they are just spewing cute phrasings or coming up with great questions.

Maybe being out of routine helped stir my kids to say some cuter than normal things.

  • While on vacation, on the way back from outlet shopping where Mamaw bought her a friendship journal, N was talking about what she and her BFF would do with the journal when we returned home.  She said, "When we get back to our country....." 
Evidently, I need to consider some light geography review this summer.

  • After having breakfast at Chef Mickey's and reliving the fun of meeting Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto and Goofy, N said, "What is Goofy anyway?," which I thought was kinda funny because I think I've wondered the same thing myself.
G is normally a pretty funny kid, but he was particularly "on" last week.

  • D's mom went with us to Disney and helped us our tremendously with the kids.  At one point, G said to us, "Mamaw punked me in the eyeball," which we thought was likely incorrect.  She may have FELT like punking him the eyeball, but she didn't ever act on it.  

  • While listening to Mickey Mouse Club March, after they spell out "M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E," G said something like, "It's not Elmo See."  He knew it was all about Disney, not Sesame Street.  

  • At some point along our drive, G and N were being silly together in the back of the minivan, making a tremendous amount of noise but fortunately not shrill.  D was driving and had been doing all of it on Monday.  G asked, "Is Daddy awake?"

M can say a handful of words so nothing profound crossed his lips.  However, every time we left our condo and entered the hallway to the elevator, he would start running and barking like a dog.  He loved the echo.  

He won't remember any of this Disney stuff (M's experience)

D says we'll go back to Disney when N is 17 or something ridiculous like that, but in my mind I think we'll do our last run in 3 years when M is almost 5.  By that time, G will be almost 7 and N will be we won't have to pack diapers and swim pants and strollers and all the other early childhood paraphernalia that we've had to take the first two visits.

Plus, he'll still be young enough that it will seem magical.

Perhaps the highlight of Hollywood Studios for M was this sprayer.  

M was a really good toddler at Disney.  He napped in his stroller at the parks and in his pack 'n' play in the condo the other days.  The only negative is that he ended up in bed with me and D every night because 1. pack 'n' plays just ain't that comfortable (not that I know this from personal experience but they just don't look terribly comfy) and 2. momma forgot to pack the sound machines for the trip.

Chances are even if we had the sound machines and a full-size crib, M would have woken up alot and wanted me.  Being in an overwhelming and new environment is a lot for a 20-month-old to take in.

Napping at Hollywood Studios.

Napping at Magic Kingdom.

He showed no fear at meeting any of the characters, although he did give Sully the evil eye until Sully started playing peek-a-boo with him.  And he was grinning like a school boy with a crush when he met the princesses.  He enjoyed the rides as well.  Unfortunately, he ended up being asleep every.single.time we rode It's a Small World, which we think he would have loved.

In line to meet Woody & Buzz.  

On People Mover.  

M checking Pluto out. 

I really like this pic of M and Pa walking down Main Street. 

He also loved the condo playground and pool, especially the water spray area.  By the end of the week, however, that had ceased to be entertaining.  He then set his sights on the shower (to spray off in before entering the pool.  Does anyone do that, by the way?) and threw massive fits if I didn't pull the string 10 trillion times to spray his head.

It is a shame all of this fun won't end up on his memory radar.
Good thing we took a grand total of 412 photos of the trip.  

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Disney, Take Deux (N's experience)

I don't think N complained or whined about anything the entire trip.  She was just happy to be at Walt Disney World.

Her favorite ride was Splash Mountain, and although she wanted to meet Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, she decided it would be better to ride more rides than stand in the sun for 2 hours to get a picture and autograph.  She did get to meet Cinderella (whom she didn't meet in 2007) as well as Tiana and Prince Naveen.  And she was pretty stoked to meet Phineas and Ferb as well.

 She and her daddy rode Star Tours....which mommy happily passed up.  Apparently, N takes after D in her ability to handle rides that would turn my vestibular system upside down.

D told me that he kinda teared up when N met Tiana and Prince Naveen because she looked so happy, which made me realize, sadly, that I was so focused at times on how G was reacting to everything (since he was having his first WDW experience) that I sometimes forgot to pay attention to how much N was enjoying her second WDW experience.

I love my boys, but this is one of the biggest downsides to having two littles close in age....their neediness sometimes makes it all but impossible to focus one's attention on the more mature child who can occupy herself and not make a stink about everything.

At the condo, N swam and swam and swam.  I don't know how many times she dove for darts.  D and I took turns throwing them all over the pool.

She went outlet shopping one day with me, Mamaw and Nana, and I managed to find her some jeans for the fall at really good prices.  And her Mamaw bought her a Rapunzel wig at World of Disney store, so N is already preparing for her Nana to make her a Rapunzel costume for Halloween.  (Clearly, N is related to me in the "plan WAY ahead" department.

Posing with princess statues at Downtown Disney.

Riding It's a Small World.

After riding Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin.  

She had fun goofing off in pirate gear just like her younger brother.  

I like this pic of N with Sully because you can't even see her....except those skinny chicken legs.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hollywood Studios = EPIC FAIL (and more of G's Disney experience)

In my mind, this trip was G's adventure....geared for him and his interests.  N had her shot in 2007 when she was 3 years old, seeing every princess and princess-related show the four Disney World parks had to offer.  And G's interest for the past 2 years has been Cars so the main things to see on this trip were Lightning McQueen and Mater.

I packed G every single solitary Lightning McQueen/Cars t-shirt he owns, which is ALOT.

I bought him two of the newest Cars 2 cars....Finn McMissile and Francesco small gifts for our non-Disney days.

And since about, oh I don't know, January, I'd been doing research on anything Cars, specifically, and Pixar, generally, for G to see that I knew he would like at Walt Disney World.  On the site, mind you, which is supposed to have up-to-date info.

So I about levitated with ANGER and DISAPPOINTMENT when we learned that Luigi's Garage was gone and McQueen and Mater were being refurbished.  WTF Walt Disney World????  It is like a week and a half before the new Cars movie comes out and you are just NOW redoing things?
Are you fucking kidding me??????????

If I was this out of kink with the news, I knew G would be utterly unglued at not getting to see his two favorite Disney characters.

How did he respond when I told him McQueen and Mater were in the car hospital getting refurbished and repainted to prepare for their new movie?

He didn't cry.  Didn't shout.  Didn't turn this mutha out.
He just asked, "Can I see Mike and Sully?"  (I bought Monsters Inc for him to watch on the car ride to Orlando.)
And I breathed a big sigh of relief since he could, in fact, meet them at Hollywood Studios that day.

Which is not to say that he wasn't disappointed.  He has said numerous times since that day, "I wanted to see McQueen," which just kinda breaks my heart and makes me kinda hate Disney execs who made such a dumb-ass decision.

A character-building experience about life's disappointments and how to make the best of them, I guess, or at least this is the story I've been telling myself since last Monday.

The funny thing is that G totally didn't look excited in any of the pictures we took of him with Pixar characters, like Mike, Sully, Buzz and Woody.  

He had bigger smiles on his face when we visited one of the Disney gift shops and he tried on pirate garb.

What really got him excited was meeting Cinderella and Belle and Tiana.  He even kissed Tiana on the cheek!  My little heartbreaker boy.

He loved the rides except for Splash Mountain.  That got a definite thumbs down from him.  But It's a Small World and People Mover and Buzz's Space Ranger Spin and Peter Pan's Flight made his eyes light up in wonder.

(I love, love, love this pic!)

He enjoyed our off days when we swam at the condo's pool and did great in his life-vest.....being able to swim around the pool completely on his own without hanging onto an adult for help or security.  And we visited the condos' really cool playground.

Another big highlight for him was visiting T-Rex restaurant at Downtown Disney.  Way back in 2010, this was how he reacted to dinosaurs that moved and made roaring/growling sounds.  And now in June 2011, his reaction was much, much different.

G did have his unpleasant moments, to be sure, like when he threw a couple HUGE fits in the car and was just his normal pest of a brother to his big sis the rest of the time.

But last night after reading through N's Disney scrapbook from her trip in 2007, I realized from my journaling that she wasn't Little Miss Perfect Disney Adventurer as D and I remember her.  I jotted down a couple of her fits that she threw at the time, which made me feel better that G wasn't acting like an ungrateful shithead but rather like a typical 3-year-old kid.

He got lost in World of Disney store in Downtown Disney, a store the size of a city block, which scared the shit out of me and Mamaw but did get him to, for once in his life, sit quietly in his stroller for a good long time.  

Still, all in all, I think he will spend oodles of time looking through the Disney scrapbook I will make him this summer, reliving all the fun times he had.  

  Enjoying Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground in his own, G-like way.