Monday, March 31, 2008

Dinner served T style

Wow! I did not realize that it had been so long since I blogged. I was doing really well there for a while too.

S0! Tonight I fixed a pot of soup for dinner. Sometimes the kids will eat it, sometimes not. But it's a healthy and quick way to get a lot of veggies and low calories involved in a meal - always a bonus. T, who'd lost his train privileges for a couple days due to poor attitude and a refusal to clean up his toys, had gotten his trains and tracks back and was enraptured by them. So much so that when I asked him if he wanted a sandwich or soup for dinner, he said, "no - T play with choo choo tracks!" and I clarified, "you are going to play with your tracks and trains instead of eating?" "Yeeesssss!" came the emphatic reply.

Okay by me. So S and I start to eat dinner, I get her to eat a sandwich and about half a bowl of soup, which is pretty good for her and soup. We are almost finished with dinner and T runs into the kitchen and sees the bread he picked out at the grocery store yesterday. "OOOH! T want bread on sandwich!" he shouts and decides to get it out by himself. There was also peanut butter and jelly out on the counter. Usually when he does this, he puts ketchup on one piece of bread, mustard on a another and eats that as his sandwich. So, I was expecting to hear the refrigerator door open and see the ketchup and mustard being plopped down on the table. After about a minute, I realize it's quiet - no refrigerator door being opened, no plopping. I look up and T is making himself a pb&j. Oh, lordy. I open my mouth to tell him to stop and then I actually "see" him and he's doing just fine. Well, fine if you don't mind big blops of pb and j on your bread instead having them spread out evenly. Even the counter didn't sustain too much damage. And he did all this without standing on a chair. Wow! So he smushes the two pieces of bread together and devours the sandwich. AND - he put the lids back on the jars. He's doing better than me!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

What do you know? I am brave at heart

Life is short. There was no school on Friday, so I decided that would be the perfect day to attempt to color Easter eggs with the kids. Plus, now you have the option of not using vinegar. Why I am so vinegar averse, I have no idea. I love NC style barbeque, which has a vinegar based sauce, so it even mystifies me. I'm just weird that way. I'm also a southerner that doesn't like greens, grits, or mayo. And I prefer Coke to Pepsi but Diet Pepsi to Diet Coke. And I like unsweetened tea as much as I like sweetened tea. But I'm getting off subject.
Back to the eggs. I pre-boiled them on Thursday and Friday morning after we were all up and fed, I layered the table with newspaper (per instructions on the box) and attempted to explain what we were going to do. I lost T's attention as soon as he saw the markers. The markers, by the way, had a big tip and fine tip so each end had a cap. T had to have both caps off, so he got as much marker on him as on the eggs. Interestingly enough, the marker would wash right off the egg, but not so much off T. Huh. S, who was also very anxious to get her hands on the markers, was very frustrated since I could not find anywhere on the box where the markers were labeled non-toxic and our S is a very smart cookie that puts everything in her mouth. Or in her hair. The egg dying didn't impress her much, what with me not letting her near the markers or the dye. Which is also why she is still baby colored instead of looking like a Jackson Pollock canvas. I did however, give her an egg. She touched it, licked it, rolled it around, and then threw it onto the floor where it died a noble (and blessed) death. Humpty Dumpty was a good egg...

Anyway, we started out with seven eggs, three went in the dye, three were decorated with markers, and Humpty went to S, who abused him horribly but not on purpose. One year olds and boiled eggs are not the best idea in the world. I helped T out with the markers and realized with finality that my art skills never advanced past fourth grade. Oh well. We had a good time, nothing got permanently dyed a different color, but T's hands looked like a jacket I had in the 80's for a while. heh. Happy Easter everyone!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Snowy days and Wednesdays...

Today was pajama day at T's preschool. Since he only has two pair of 'winter' pajamas that fit that he'll wear, we chose the thicker of the two pair, which were his Thomas PJ's. I have to say that having pajama day made it so much easier to get him ready and out the door. In my mad rush to get everyone ready and everything together, I dashed by the window and thought I was seeing things...was that...snow!?! Indeed it was! So I pull a chair up to the window and show T that it's snowing. And, since I had the camera sitting nearby, I got a pretty decent picture.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St Patrick's Day!

So, this morning I woke up thinking - I don't know that S has any green to wear. Everything we've found for her has been pretty much shades of pink and purple. Then I remembered that we bought her an outfit size 18 months for the jacket. But it has pants with them and they are green! Looking for the pants in her closet, I came across the summer dress I got her from Old Navy (on sale for 7.50 YAY!) and realized it was green, too. While I am extremely conservative in the way that I dress, I figure I can have a little fun with the kids. The greens totally don't match, but I gotta say, S rocks the look. And really, I'm not sure why I was even concerned about it because I don't think Germans celebrate St. Patricks Day.

We are in that in between phase with T - where he sometimes takes a nap and sometimes doesn't. No nap means he's a grouchy little thing in the evening, but he goes to bed more easily and sleeps through the night. This morning, he comes in my room around 7 am in a really good mood. I love these mornings, where he's happy and rested and ready to start the day. As I got up and took a shower and started to get S ready, T comes back into the living room and says, "T changed 'per!!!" ('Per is T slang for diaper). I look and sure enough - he changed his own diaper. Now, THAT'S a great way to start the day. Now if we can just gear him in baby steps to start going potty in the potty. I realize - all things in due time and he'll do it when he's ready. And I have to admit, I don't mind the diapers. With diapers you don't have to worry about finding a potty, although in Germany it's totally accepted for guys to sidle up to any bush, tree, or heck - blade of grass and let it fly. I don't want to get T used to this because when we go back to the states, that would be a hard lesson to un-learn.

So, now he's putting on his own shoes and socks, changing his own 'per, washing his hands without a battle, getting undressed by himself and mostly getting dressed by himself. I am so proud! And, since the kids are in bed, the dishes are done and the floor has been swept today, I'm going to bed too!

Friday, March 14, 2008

The pictures that should have been...

I tried to include these with my last blog entry, but alas, technical issues and user ignorance prevented it :)

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It's time to "Bee" real

After dropping T off at preschool this morning, I was determined to come home and get some "stuff" done. I've been doing "stuff" all my life and my house still isn't the way I want it and I still have a junk drawer and even though I spend what seems like and extraordinary amount of time sweeping, mopping, straightening, and cleaning I still have a cluttered and sometimes messy life.

By no means am I a neat freak. I'm already borderline neurotic about certain things (my Tupperware cabinet, the way the pantry is organized... I could go on forever) and to actually expect perfection anywhere in my household would send me right on the express train to OCD-ville. There's always dust on the bookshelf, and it seems like there are fingerprints (big and little) everywhere. Not to mention all the spots of apple juice, milk or who knows what that I apparently can't see until the dust bunnies stick to them like mice on those glue sheets. But hey, that's a two for one, and unless S licks the floor - which hasn't happened yet, but is still a distinct possibility - I'm okay with that.

I realized on the way home that I needed pull ups for T (who is now making peepee in the potty IF he's already in the bathroom and needs to go) and a couple other things. The problem is that it's 9 am and neither the BX or the Commissary opens until 10. We all got up early this morning, and S is almost ready to nap. So, since the Shopette is open at 9, I'll just run in there and see how much more expensive the pull ups are there. But, of course, they didn't have pull ups. So I'm wandering around the aisles which are filled with Easter candy and it hits me that Easter is in two weeks and I haven't even thought about Easter baskets or dyeing eggs or any of that stuff. SIGH. So, I'll put that on my to do list with other "stuff". I don't think the one of me is ready to deal with the two of them and egg dye. No, I KNOW I'm not ready. Fortunately, they don't know the difference yet, so we'll try next year. But I did see the wax and sticker decorating kit. I'm all about that, I just have to remember where I saw it. And hope there's still one left.
Then I see the "Bee Movie" on the rental shelf and I think - hmmmm, that would be a fun thing to incorporate - Movie night. No time like the present, so I rent it. When S and I pick up T from school, Mrs J looks much less frazzled than she did on Wednesday. I'm glad. Five boys and one girl do not make for great listeners at the age of 3. She says that he did much better today. Yay!!! So, when we come home and get settled in after S eats, we turn on the movie. I'm shooting for early bedtime tonight since the NAF sale is tomorrow really early. The NAF sale is when all the used furniture is sold to the military public. I've heard you can get some good deals, and we need a couple of items - a dresser for us and for S and possibly some chairs for our kitchen table. I really hope I can find something that works for us. How I'm going to get it up the stairs is another matter entirely, but I'll worry about that tomorrow.

So! I turn on the movie and it's really cute. I'm not a huge Seinfeld fan, but I really liked the movie. And it hit me as we were watching the movie and T and I were trying to build a Lego bridge for his trucks and S kept collapsing it and laughing hysterically that right now, in this moment, none of the "stuff" that seemed so important to do this morning really matters. Well, except sweeping the floor, which just stays nasty. And showering regularly.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

No more words, just the pictures:)

Moms - the original stalkerazzi (he'd just gotten his hair cut and was NOT in the mood for any more of my crap)
I taught T to play "Old Maid" on the computer card game I have - he's addicted.

Suuuuure, she LOOKS like she's offering you a cheerio, but go to take it and she'll shriek and pop it in her mouth really fast.

Aren't they just the cutest things ever when they are asleep?!?!?!!?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The week in review

The time really slipped away from me this week. It's already late Sunday night and I'm scratching my head wondering what happened to this week. On one hand I'm happy that time is going by so fast because the faster time goes by, the sooner R will be back. On the other hand, where did the last entire year go? SHEESH!

So many people warned me over the years that the older I got the faster time would go. In high school, the time from 3:00 until 6:00 pm seemed like all the time in the world. My friend Caitlin and I would often go catch a movie after school or go out for an early dinner. I think those might be pretty much my only fond memories of high school, which is ironic that they actually have nothing to DO with high school. But I digress....

So here I am, thirty-something with two kids and a husband which is not how I saw myself when I tried to imagine my 30's as a teenager. I was going to live in a big city where museums and fun things to do were all within walking distance. I was going to have a great job that I loved in an office with a fabulous view and I was, most importantly, going to be happy. Marriage and kids never factored into that fantasy, so it's poetic justice in many ways that I am so happy with a job that I love (although a few days off sure wouldn't hurt right about now; neither would getting paid!) and living in a place with a great view (isn't it all in how you look at it anyway?!?!?) Funny how your dreams can come true but you are so caught up in the day to day running of your life that you don't realize it until you sit and think about it.

This week was interesting to say the least. I fell getting out of the shower on Tuesday and really hurt my foot and wrist - badly enough that I actually voluntarily went to the doctor (even if it was on Thursday) and got a really snazzy brace and some sage advice to be more careful. Uh, ya think? Tuesday was T's evaluation, we did a million and seven errands this week, and I saw a movie (Waitress) that I wasn't expecting to be great that was, and a movie (The Year of the Dog) that I thought would be hilarious and was instead very, very sad. Friday night was Give Parents a Break night and I got to drop the kids off at the base child care center from 6:30 until 11:30, even though I didn't wait that long to go get them.

For this GPAB, I actually had the house straightened up, even if it's not actually clean. Spotless is out of reach until..well, it will be a while at which point I'm not sure I'll care. I'm making headway sorting through stuff while R is gone, I have tons of stuff that I need to get rid of and I'm planning a huge yard sale in the spring. Recharged by a few hours really, truly all to myself, the kids and I had a great weekend and geared up for another week to begin. Next weekend is the middle of March and I swear that it seems like we JUST hit February.

Tonight I gave the kids a bath and had the shock of my life when T went pee into the potty chair. The secret is to leave him alone in the bathroom, which I kind of suspected. I made a huge deal out of it and it he was so proud - as I was and as R was. All these little steps he's taking will lead him away from me so soon and it's bittersweet. T and I, we've been through a lot together, him putting up with me as I learned parenting skills as we went along (I still have a long way to go) and my total cluelessness about all things boy. I don't think I've made the mistake yet of considering myself his friend instead of his parent. I don't think so, but I've been wrong about plenty this week alone, so only time will tell.

Now, as I write this, I know it's going to come back and haunt me, but here goes anyway. Not too long ago, my brother sent out a mass email letting people know that he and his wife are pregnant and due in September. I knew they wanted to have kids, and in that respect I'm happy for them. Yet, I just can't shake the very vivid memory of how they seemed to shun T last year when we were in NC. Granted T hit his terrible two's right around that time, but my brother, who had at least SEEMED interested in us and how we were doing prior to our visit, just sort of faded away. During the five months we were there while having S and waiting on her passport, I think we saw them a total of seven times. I know that I can be oversensitive to certain things, and so can my brother. This is something I have been trying really hard to work on. So I find myself wondering as I got an invite to an online photo album that shows they've finished the nursery what they'll do if they end up with a kid who has horrible temper tantrums or a speech delay or some other issue. And, in doing the math, for someone who's had a lot of trouble getting and staying pregnant, it just seems like Russian roulette advertising a pregnancy and completing a nursery this soon. Or maybe I'm just odd and totally out of touch. But if I'm being honest, my feelings are really hurt by the way they treated me and T on and since our visit. Of course I need to address this with my brother, but from the way our last conversation went, I'm persona non grata in his life which is too bad. I also realize that life is too short to have regrets about things you can not change. So, it is what it is and I'm moving on.

We are past the halfway point of R's absence and he recently found out that he's the Information Assurance Program manager of the YEAR (Go R!!!!) for USAFE (US Forces in Europe). Between the pee and the award, I'm not sure who to have the party for!!!!!! Can't wait to put that in our Christmas letter...hahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

One Evaluation Down...

Last week I got a call from the physical therapist (I think that's her title). She wanted to evaluate T on his gross motor skills. (I wanted to tell her he could burp and fart just like a car. I managed to restrain myself and actually act like an adult.)

She was quite nice as we chatted a bit over the phone and we set up his appointment for today at 9 am. When I woke up this morning, I looked out the window and to my utter surprise it was snowing. SNOW!!!!!! It will be easy to get Mr. T out of the house today, but it may not be so easy to get him in the car. Fortunately the evaluation was at the elementary school just across the street from where we live, so walking would work out just fine.

When we got outside, T ran around and jumped in the snow, shuffled through the snow, stomped in the snow, kicked the snow, tried to throw the snow at me but he didn't remember to make it into a ball and the wind blew it all back into his face. That was the temporary end of T's love for all things snow. "Cooooooooooold!!!!" he shouted and ran up to me and buried his face in my shirt. So, we drove to the school, bad American over-consumers and global warmers that we are. Plus we had a package to pick up at the post office on the other base. And the stroller was buried in the back of the car under a pile of junk.

When we got to the school, we headed to the same room where the showdown happened a month or so ago. When T saw we were headed to THAT room, he stopped dead in his tracks and looked at me like he'd been betrayed.

"Come on," I urged him, "it's not what you are thinking. It's not with the same lady. Really!"

T looked skeptical. So we went in and Laurel, the physical therapist was there. Aaaannnnnd so was the Major. "Crap!" I thought. Fortunately, the Major was working with another little boy and Laurel came right up to us. I introduced myself and the kids to her. She showed me more forms I needed to fill out and told me that she'd be evaluating T on some things he should be able to do and some he should not be able to do, and not to worry if he couldn't do some of them. T was hanging back warily eyeing the Major, who was aware of us but wasn't speaking either. Within a few minutes, the Major left.

T relaxed a bit once the Major was gone, but it still took him some time to warm up to Laurel. Once she played with him, though, he was really cooperative until it hit him he was being evaluated (and how he knew that or what that meant, I have NO idea) and then he'd balk for a minute or two, then calm down and do what she asked. All things considered, it went well and she has no concerns about his motor skills (at least none that she admitted to me). S had a blast as well, with all that room to move and all the 'big girl' toys to get into. I even managed to get the paperwork filled out there, instead of bringing it home to do - which is a first.

And, (imagine a smug look on my face here), the Major walked back into the room when T was refusing to walk backwards and getting upset about being asked to do it. She was still there a minute later when he (dare I say it) self soothed and did it anyway. HA!!!!!!

Onto the next step...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Ahoy matey!

I can not not not believe I did this.

Today was the squadron kids party - a combination of Fashing, Easter, and spring parties that will be the last kids event held under the current commander, who leaves in June. Christine, the commander's wife, worked really hard to put it together. No big surprise, but getting any squadron members or spouses to help plan or work events is like pulling teeth. Just for this party, I think I got no fewer than 10 emails about it in the last two weeks - and Christine knew we were coming from the time she announced the date.

Anyway, the theme of this party was Escape from Treasure Island, which in its own way was a very clever way to include all the elements of a Fashing and Easter party without it actually BEING a Fashing or Easter party. Heaven forbid we offend someone by throwing a kids party that mentions....gasp.. Easter. I volunteered to design the treasure hunt, and the kids and I spent some decent time down by the gym trying to figure out a good but safe way to have a treasure hunt and I think I did pretty well.

This morning we get up and get all our errands done before noon. We come home and have lunch and since the party started at 3:30, S took a nap and T and I had some quiet time. I've been having some trouble keeping him in his bed, so I let him skip a nap thinking that he would get nice and tired by bedtime - especially running around with other kids for two hours. I was very proud of myself when we rolled into the parking lot at 3:33, kids in costumes, camera in hand.

I walked into the gym and Christine comes up to me, "Did you just get here?"
"Well, yes!" I replied, looking around and seeing a gym in massive disarray. "Wow- do you need help setting up?"
"Ummm, no. The party ended at 3:30."

OH.MY.GOODNESS. I guess it was a good thing I wasn't in charge of anything, huh?!?!?!!? From what I hear, the treasure hunt went well. This is what happens when I don't write things down.