Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Perfect Day: Was It A Sign?

Let me start by saying nobody is perfect and perfect days are hard to come by. They're a dime a dozen and though most days are good, I usually have at least a few moments with my kids that aren't so good. Maybe it's a temper tantrum about leaving the park, or the struggle of trying to get them to eat a decent meal. Most often it's breaking up an argument over a toy, or what seems like several arguments these days. This stuff happens, and I expect it to with a three and almost two year old.
The Perfect Day: Was it a Sign? ~

This perfect day started out no different than any other day . . . well maybe a little different. I woke up feeling a tad bit out of sorts. Actually, I held it together, but I was feeling sad. I've found myself thinking about my grandmother a lot lately. Truthfully, I think about her everyday, but I don't typically get emotional over it. This week marks two years since she's passed away. I miss her. I'm well aware that I'm going to contradict myself by saying this, but if I could describe her in one word, it would be this - Perfect. This woman raised six kids of her own. Yeah, six!  Anyone who can raise six kids of their own and still be sane is a hero in my book. She had a boatload of grandkids too, and spent a lot of her free time knitting us things. She knit sweaters, hats, mittens and blankets. When she was bored, she'd knit our favorite stuffed animals things. She had a few great grandkids too, my oldest being one of them. Lanie was lucky to get some of the hand knit Nana goods, and Charlotte was just as lucky to have them handed down to her. Though both my kids have outgrown these baby sweaters, I continue to hold on to them for safe keeping. They never seem to make my "give-away" pile.

Tinker Bell and Glitter ~
The funny thing about this specific morning was that my kids asked to play with their cards. (Over the years I have saved every card they've received from birthdays, holidays, or whatever the occasion might be.) I remember as a child my mom had done the same for me. I'd sit for hours looking through those cards and my kids do the same with theirs. Most of the time they'll sit on the floor digging through the massive pile looking for the ones coated with the most glitter. They like to pick it off and pretend it's "fairy dust". I don't really care, and it keeps them busy. Plus, there are so many cards that fighting over any specific one is rarely an issue. As I made their breakfast my oldest approached me with one particular card, "Can you read this? This one is my very favorite." It wasn't her usual go to card. The norm would have been any card that resembled Tinker Bell  vomiting "fairy dust" all over it, or one smothered in so much glitter that it would require you to dig out your dust pan and broom after it was touched. This card was simple. The front read "A Star Is Born". I opened it up, and there was her perfect, and very distinct  penmanship. It was a card given to Me/Lanie from my grandmother the day Lanie was born. Out of at least 150 cards sprawled all over our family room floor, she picked the simple one with the small, yellow star on the front. This was her favorite that day. It contained a small note, and was signed "Love from, Nana". The timing seemed perfect.

A Star is Born ~
The day continued to flow in a direction that I'm not really used to. Well, I am used to it,  just not all at once. There is always that one, or some times more than one thing that will cause some minor, or sometimes major turmoil. The day was filled with good manners, role model behaviors and lots of hugs, giggles and smiles from my kids. Put it this way, I gave my kids a bath and there was no flooded bathroom. I cut their nails and there wasn't the usual wrestling match that ALWAYS comes along with doing so. I ran two errands and nobody tried to throw unnecessary items in the shopping cart, and no one tried to run away. BOTH of my kids took a nap. That NEVER happens!  I seriously considered buying a scratch ticket that afternoon because I was feeling pretty lucky. Instead, my husband and I took the girls out to dinner where they sat happily eating their THIRD meal of the day!  (Sitting and actually eating three meals in one day is unheard of in this house.) We had ice cream for desert, and then hit the park where my kids DID NOT throw temper tantrums when it was time to leave. (Again, that hardly ever happens.) 

It was one of those days that just seemed too easy. (Not that I'm complaining.) Was it a coincidence, or some sort of sign?  I'll probably never know, but I do know this . . . it was perfect.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fact or Fiction? . . . With Kids, Hard to Tell!

FACT: My oldest started preschool last week. So far she loves it, and has shown no signs of separation anxiety. No tears! (From me or her.)

Fact or Fiction, Quirky Kid's First Day of Preschool ~
FACT: I'm not surprised by her ability to jump right in and have no issues during drop off. (Although, I'm very aware that this could change at any time.) I am surprised that I didn't lose my cool on her first day and cry her entire class a river to play in. I purposely wore no eye makeup that morning because I was 99.9% sure this would happen. I must have looked like real crap considering I was up at 4:30 AM just thinking about leaving her. FACT: I had far more anxiety than she did.

After dropping her off I had a brief orientation, then a full hour to myself. My mother in law was watching my youngest and I was at a complete loss . . . I was kid free?! What should I do? . . . I ran a quick errand and got coffee. It was the best coffee I've had in a long time. It was hot, unlike the coffee that sits on my counter every morning waiting for me to chug down in between making breakfast, cleaning up and getting my kids dressed. I enjoyed it, but at the same time I watched my car clock like a hawk. I was counting down the minutes until it was time to head back to school and hear all about Lanie's day. I arrived early, and was welcomed back by the center director. She told me the kids were outside and encouraged me to take a peek out the window. I watched her play. FACT: This brought a huge smile to my face.

She was happy to see me waiting when she walked in, and was excited to tell me about all the fun stuff she did on the car ride home.

This is where fact and fiction get hard to decipher. She told me she played with boys called twins. This is a fact. I met them when I dropped her off, and she was quick to head over and play blocks with them. She told me she loved using scissors. (Something I have not done with her.) She showed me the motions of using a scissors, and said she needed some of her own for at home. "I need my own scissors, golden ones. I need to cut Charlotte's hair." This is a FACT: she did not learn how to use scissors from me. It's also a fact that we'll stick to using scissors at school, at least for now. We don't need her younger sister getting any unwanted haircuts. She told me that her whole class went to Marshall's to buy new shoes. I'm 100% sure that this is FICTION, but it gave me a good laugh.

Fact or Fiction, Quirky Kid's Sad Face ~ thequirkyconfessions.comOn her second day she was not as quick to offer up info about her morning. That's when I drilled her for it. (Bad idea.) "Did you have fun?" "What did you do?" "What are your new friends names?" This is what I got: "YES, I HAD FUN." "I got green marker on my shirt and it made me angry." "My new best friend is Polka Dot, okay?!" I'm pretty sure the had fun part was a FACT, and that she was just angry that I was asking her so many questions all at once. The green marker on her shirt was a FACT, and she was beyond pissed about it. I explained to her that its okay to get dirty, dirty means fun! Plus your mom is a master with a stain stick . . . relax! (She's a little prissy when it comes to getting dirty sometimes . . . we're working on that.) As far as "Polka Dot" goes, I'm pretty sure that's FICTION. Although, I should ask her teachers for a class list. You never know with all the   unique names people come up with these days. My sincere apologies if your reading this and have a "Polka Dot" of your very own.

All and all preschool has been a big hit for all of us . . . except for my youngest who is upset that she isn't old enough to go to preschool yet! (Nothing that some munchkins from Dunkin Donuts can't take care of.)

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Kids: You Better Not Pout, You Better Not Cry

Okay, so it's September and perhaps it's a little too early to be tossing out the whole Santa is watching you card . . .
Forget it, it's NEVER too early. If the stores can throw Christmas out there before Thanksgiving, or in some cases before Halloween, so can I. Honestly, my kids gave me the idea.

You Better Not Pout, You Better Not Cry ~
For the past two weeks my three year old has been fixated on Santa. (I find this amusing since this is our Santa picture from last year). For the record: I DID NOT want to be included in this picture, it was the only way I could get my girls within a ten foot radius of the big guy. Trust me, despite my efforts of trying to run away, the photographer convinced me that it would be great for me to just "join in, take the picture with them!" Ugh. To this day I consider it a miracle that I was able to pry them from my legs, and cough up the $25 bucks for this gem of a pic. However, I was firm when declining the $50 jumbo pack "deal". Anyway, my oldest has been talking about presents, Christmas trees and is even making up her own little jingles about Santa and Elves. My youngest is quick to follow her big sister's lead, so it's been just like living in the North Pole around here, although I'm starting to wonder if Hell is around the corner.

Please excuse my bitterness . . . I've been living on caffeine and DayQuil for two days straight. I haven't been sick in a long time, and these are the only things that are keeping me going. On a side note, there should be some sort of rule that states - IF YOU'RE A MOM, YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO GET SICK.  BAH-HUMBUG. 

So, I feel like I got hit by a bus, and with my kids constantly bickering about who Santa's favorite little helper is, the days have seemed pretty tiring. Things took a turn for the worse this morning when my husband left for work and I no longer had my weekend long, tag team partner to help out. Sick mom against the sassy Santa loving sisters who are going through a what's mine is mine phase.

It's funny, people always said to me when I had my girls close together that they would be the "bestest of friends . . . just wait and see." I'm still waiting. Good things come in time I guess, and like any siblings, there's rivalry.

Santa says, You Better Not Pout, You Better Not Cry ~ TheQuirkyConfessions.comToday my kids fought about whose mini muffins were bigger. They fought over who was going to wear a blue winter hat and who was going to wear a red winter hat. (I'm well aware that it's not winter hat weather, but my kids dug them out and apparently wearing the red hat means you're Santa.) The final draw was when they got into a full fledged, royal rumble over who was going to be the singer and who was going to be the drummer while singing a song they made up called "Santa, Santa All The Way". Drum sticks were flying and winter hats were being stomped on while I'm sitting there wishing I was stuck in an office cubicle with a box of tissues. (I hardly ever wish my stay at home mom days away for a job in an office, but feeling under the weather has clearly gotten the best of me.) So, out it came, 
"You know what? I'll bet if you guys keep acting like this Santa will skip our house. No presents, no stockings, just reindeer poop! He watches EVERYTHING, and only visits kids that behave!" 
Their mouths dropped to the floor and from that point on the fighting stopped. "I don't like reindeer poop!" What's the over under on me being able to put an Elf on the Shelf to watch over them while I curl up on the couch for a nap this afternoon? I'll probably have to settle for another cup of coffee and some cold meds. On the plus side, I've totally got Santa on my side.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Limit Testing Button Pushers a.k.a. KIDS

I said it before and I'll say it again, when it comes to your kids it's always best to pick your battles wisely. I had far more battles than I'd like to fight this week starting with a trip to the mall for new fall clothes.
Limit Testing Button Pushers a.k.a. KIDS ~
The car ride over consisted of my oldest not liking any song that came on the radio. "Who sings this song?" Well, since she's not a fan of your typical kids jams and Barney sing-alongs, or whatever the kids listen to these days, it was Katy Perry's new hit playing about about some eye of the tiger roaring or something. "This is NOT Katy Perry, and I DO NOT like this song." Ok fine, it is Katy Perry, but let's find something else. Three radio stations later and now my youngest chiming in that she doesn't like any of the songs, the radio was turned off. Now they are both yelling and screaming for songs. (I am the sucker that gave them one more chance, because frankly I could not handle the screaming in my ears while I was driving.) Dumb move, should have stuck to my guns . . . no radio.
BATTLE 1: MY Car, MY radio . . . I would sacrifice my song preferences if you actually liked the damn Wiggles, but you don't. So, therefore, no songs.
We got to our destination and it was a fresh start. They were both excited to get out of the car and start our adventure. This adventure consisted of my oldest having a meltdown about me not buying her a black sequined, woman's size 10 ball gown for her first day of school outfit. Oh, and my youngest stole a pair of purple glitter pants off a clothing rack and stuffed them in her stroller. She made it all the way to the car with them before me noticing. Prying those horrid glitter pants from her grip and returning them to the store was definitely not a puppies and rainbows kind of moment.
BATTLE 2: I am not spending $95 dollars on a Michael Kors ballgown for your first day of preschool outfit. (Even if it was on the clearance rack.) Also, I don't condone stealing. (Even if you're too young to know better.)

Later in the week my mother came over for a visit and we decided to take another venture out shopping to get my oldest new school clothes since my last trip was pretty unsuccessful. This was great, two sets of eyes are always better than one especially when taking my youngest, "Sticky Fingers", out for a trip to the mall. This trip was not much better. As my mother and I were searching the racks for a specific size,  my three year old decided to pull on a rack of jackets causing the whole display to come crashing down. Luckily, she was not hurt and it was just a big mess to clean up. She helped me pick up the coats, and attempted to assist me in putting the rack back in place. When I asked her to please step back with Nana and let me do it, she purposely pulled another jacket off the rack . . . and down they came, again. Is this fun? Do I look like I'm having fun? No, time to go.

We pushed our luck with one more stop on the way home. A children's clothing store in a nearby plaza. I would not have stopped, but she really needed clothes and there was a huge sign outside that read "Labor Day Sale". Those four letters, S A L E are a stay at home mom's dream. Desperate for some new clothes, we ventured in. A perfect, kid friendly atmosphere with a large Lego table and puzzles set up in the middle of the store. As my kids played, my mother and I found a few good buys. Our trip was successful, and it was time to go home. Pulling my kids away from the Lego table that they were so happily playing at was (insert sarcasm here) *just peachy*. I asked my mother to grab a hold of my youngest and I'd take the 40 pounder. Charlotte went to my mother fairly easy, while Lanie was beyond furious to leave. She started in with a little fuss about not wanting to leave, when a kind sales associate came over and offered her a Mickey Mouse sticker. The woman left to get the sticker, and I said to Lanie "As soon as she comes back, it's time to go." The fuss turned to a full fledged temper tantrum, and I scooped her up kicking and screaming. She was yelling as we left the store. "I don't like it when you scoop me, I'm not ice cream."
BATTLE 3: If the sticker attempt actually worked, I would have been thrilled. Props to the sales associate for trying, but I kind of had a hunch that this would be the outcome . . . you throw a fit like that, you don't get a sticker.
PS. Thanks for the scooping ice cream idea. That's just what I had for dinner after you kids went to bed.

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