Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Captain Underpants

If you save the bottoms of your green onions and put them in water, they regenerate! Is that the niftiest and thriftiest thing you've heard all day or what? This also is the most thriving garden I've ever planted.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The repercussions of Vacation Bible School:

Cora, yelling furiously at Anna during an argument: I am trying to be like Jesus here!

Anna: You need to do to others what you want done to you!

Cora, as she purposely runs her bike into Anna's legs: I am!


At our fostering parenting classes Mike and I are learning it's not good to beat your children. This is needed as you know if you read my entry about banging my kid's heads together.

That was a joke.


So the exciting news this week (other than Cora teaching me that if I push the 30 second button on the microwave twice, it will perform for a minute! How much time will I save? It's nuts just thinking about it) is that Gianni decided he was potty trained. I don't remember having this conversation with him, other than the one I already told you about in the last post, but we figured we certainly weren't going to argue with him. Give up diapers? Heck, yeah. So the first day was amazing; the kid went on the potty like, seven times and cheered for himself each time. There was one incident where he pooped on the kitchen floor, but we choose not to dwell on that in the interest of keeping things upbeat. That was Saturday. Yesterday he had next to no interest and pretty much held it all day. When prompted by us, 'Need to go potty?' he would reply in annoyance, 'Uhuh!' Today is more of the same. He held it all morning and when he did go, it was on the floor. Now he walks by the spot (not the literal spot, of course I mopped it up, people!) and points and says, 'uh oh!' and shakes his head sadly. So I hope he got the point. Anyway, as I don't know if his sudden lack of interest is due to just that, a sudden lack of interest, or that he just basically gets the basic idea and doesn't need the constant prodding and reminding. A few days will tell. I am off this morning to check out a book that was recommended to me, 'Early Start Potty Training,' and also to buy some kind of tiny, dairy free, peanut free candies for bribery. Parenting by bribery, that's right. Just another example of things I said I would never do. In the meantime, you should get a load of his IronMan briefs. He prefers wearing them atop his head instead of on his bottom, but wherever you find them, they are freaking cute. Check back in a day or two for a photo, as he is napping now. Y'all know the first rule of Baby Club: never wake a sleeping baby. The second rule of Baby Club: never wake a sleeping baby.

My little Cora is going to be nine years old soon and that is strange. She will be as tall as me soon (yeah, yeah, not that big of an accomplishment, hardy har har) and one and a half more shoe sizes and we can borrow each others footwear. Her hair has been bleached by the chlorine and is quite blond these days. Her best friend, Sammy, moved to Texas this weekend so I am including a photo of them. Her other best friend, Hannah, is here two days a week as I am babysitting her through the summer months. Then we have Anna's best friend, Lilianne, who lives right across the street and she is the girl on the left in the photo of the three weirdos here. Moose isn't the only one who enjoys skivvies on his noggin.

By the way, I have to give props to my husband; Saturdays toilet training success was all him. I wasn't even home. I told him he should consider opening a potty training school. Seriously, a little week long intensive camp for toddlers? Don't you think that would go over well? I know. Genius. Both the idea and my sweet hubby. Unfortunately, he can't be here all the time and since I've taken over, it hasn't been as successful. Gianni looks at me like I just don't understand the intricacies and delights of peeing like a man. It's like a club I can never be a member of. When we come home next month Papa Dave is thrilled at being able to teach the first grandson in several years of only granddaughters, how to do things like pee off the deck and write his name in the snow. Men. They're such boys.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

* when my eldest was the age of my youngest *

The Middler has had a big month! Lotsa firsts going on here for Miss Anna. She learned to ride a bike without training wheels, finally graduated to chapter books and reads more ferociously now than her big sister, she cut off her long flowing locks of hair, and she is pretty much able to swim. I told her she can just take the next year off from learning things; she's good.

Luigi tried to potty train himself this week. Weird. I am not prepared. The kid doesn't even talk yet and he wants to pee like a man. He does say a few things now, 'uh0oh!' 'yeah!' and 'uh-uh!' Those three phrases actually cover just about anything so I'm not sure when he'll feel a need to add on to his verbal aresenal. But back to the potty training. Lately he's been telling me when his diaper is a little ripe by waving his pudgy little hand in front of his wrinkled up nose and saying, 'phew!' Oh wait, there's another word. So a couple days ago when he did this I was pretty sure it was before he soiled all over his Huggies, and not after. So I said, 'hey, kid, poop goes in the potty!' He looked at me and then proceeded to walk to the bathroom, lift up the rim of the toilet, and then attempt to pull his clothing off. Mike was yelling excitedly, 'go with it, Lyss! Go with it!' which was less than helpful since I didn't know what the hey I was supposed to do; plop him on the toilet just to see him fall in? Let him stand and aim? Have I mentioned I'm not ready for this particular milestone yet? He is a very clean, bordering on OCD child (when he isn't chewing on dirt) so maybe the fear of potty training a boy won't be the nightmare I've been invisioning it to be. He picks up everyones shoes and puts them away, he throws any and all garbage away in the proper receptacle, he organizes his bedroom instead of napping... last week he took off running at the park as fast as his sumo wrestling legs could carry him and when I gave chase thinking he was just doing a typical "I'm-almost-two-catch-me-if-you-can" escape and caught up to him, he was actually just heading for a trash can with which to toss his fruit snack wrapper in. Anyway, all you who have toilet trained a small, fastidious man, please leave a helpful comment for yours truly below.

Cora is swimming mightily these summer days. She has meets every Friday, and this past one was at and against the country club swim team. Yeah. They wiped the floor with us, but not in her two races! That's right! The only two the Orcas won were the two she swam! When I think country club I just think Dirty Dancing. They are a posh team. It probably helps that their coach is over the age of 13, but I'll try not to whine.

Life these days has been too, too busy. We did have a bit of a respite with the arrival of some company, our friends, the Weavers from Boise. Jennifer is my friend that causes my other religious friends to pray for my soul. This all stems from a certain birthday party where she and I drank a LOT of red wine. The next morning my loving and evil husband did everything short of banging pots and pans together and singing loudly in my ear. All the way to church he was telling the girls the meaning of a hangover and laughing at me. After a sermon through which I managed to sit through without my hands over my ears and chugging coffee in the back room, we asked our offspring how sunday school was. 'Good!' Anna cheerfully replied, 'We did prayer requests in my class!' 'Oh that's nice. What'd you pray for?' we asked. 'I prayed that Mommy wouldn't get any more hangovers and would stop drinking alcohol,' she answered gravely.

Ahhh, children, they do keep you humble.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

cora's swim meet (she's the one in front)

Just getting her ready for the 2016 olympics! We've heard Chicago has put in their bid, along with Madrid, Rio, Tokyo, but we're hoping for home turf.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

When good Waltons go bad

Look up the word idealistic in the dictionary and you'll find my beaming face. Well, not beaming exactly, most snapshots of moi look like I'm a deer in the headlights (you should get a load of my new driver's license but unless you work at the liquor store, you won't be). This new one on my profile of me and Moose was taken this weekend and it's the best shot I've me I've seen in ages. Maybe since babyhood or so, when it was ok to have a double chin and funny looking hair. But anyway, I was saying that I am idealistic. Are you? Do you have a running movie in your head that looks like a love child between Little House on the Prairie and The Waltons? I know I do. Only my movie family/life has a bit more money and better hair, at least on the men. Now that my dear hubby has a little something you've all been experiencing for years that we like to call weekends, I have pressed my idealistic images to the max. There will be picnics. There will be camping. There will be movie nights and pizza and sleeping in and bike rides. Oh yes. Even if it kills me these things will happen. It may in fact, kill me. Here's a recap of the last two weekends:

Me, talking to Mike: Let's pack a picnic and spend the day at the park! The kids can splash in the water and play in the playground and we can stroll romantically on rose petaled paths!

Mike, looking well, a bit deer in the headlights himself actually, says something unintelligible which I take to mean he's totally down with the plan.

So I lovingly make a cooler full of sandwiches. Individualized sandwiches. Honey mustard and lettuce for Cora. Pickles for Anna. Cheese and yellow mustard for me. Spicy mustard for Mike. Plain for Moose. There are apples and ice water. Sunscreen. A camera to capture our outing of family bliss. I can tell Mike is forfeiting his own personal weekend dreams of endless world domination playing Civilization, but the man is not dumb and a decade of marriage has not been wasted on him.

Enter the girls. You know the ones. They're supposed to look like Mary and Laura? These ones look more like Itchy and Scratchy, or maybe Pinky and The Brain. I don't really remember Mary and Laura fighting this much and we can't seem to get out the door without yelling, whining, pushing, shoving, and other very un-Walton like shennanigans. I'm getting a little annoyed that the movie in my head is becoming more and more like an episode of Supernanny (the beginning half hour, not the last). So I decide calmly to do something I've been threatening to do for over 8 years now: I walk over to them and take their round little noggins in my hands and then I smack their heads together. It sounded like banging two watermelons together, which is ironic and fitting, because lately they've had the IQs of fruit salad. The eldest stands in shock with her mouth hanging open like a codfish, and the middler runs away sobbing. But not surprisingly, they are angels all the way to the park. Point 1 for child abuse.

The park is cold. The water is cold. There was no need really for sunscreen as that particular orb in the sky has not appeared. There was need for a change of clothes for Gianni, who fell in the lake almost before the van had come to a complete stop, but I didn't pack one. There is a pack of preteens who curse like drunken sailors or worse, ballerinas, and it's tiring trying to talk over them so that your own children don't pick up on the words they're saying. Or worse, say, 'Mommy, isn't that what you said right before you smacked our heads together?'

The romantic stroll along the lake pathway doesn't happen because I am no longer talking to my husband because he made fun of me for making six different kinds of sandwiches and said his own mom used to do that and it drove everyone crazy than, too. I told him his mother should have drowned her ungrateful offspring at birth, and then I stalked off righteously.

Gianni falls in lake again and also eats what I think may have been a cigarette butt.

Weekend II:

This time it's Mike's idea to get in the car and have some family time. This is because we are seriously as broke as a joke due to supporting two houses and paying for Moose's little hospital adventure and the fact that, oh yeah, I am not a brain surgeon. But driving is free. So we go to a different park, this one a few miles outside of town, and the girls fight the whole way. I am short and thusly (thusly?) cannot quite reach them in the backseat otherwise Ma Ingalls would have konked them out cold with some nun chucks. We get to the park. It's beautiful. It's freakin' cold. The wind chill is close to -45. No, not really, but it's cold. However, Ma and Pa refuse to admit it this to their whiney offspring and are determined to have a good time no matter what. Cora won't get out of the car. Gianni almost blows away. His sandwich (made with all the same ingredients by the way) does blow away. Ma and Pa force a smile and hide our goosebumps under the cheery checked tablecloth. The one that blows away. After oh, about 4 minutes of this fun, we all load back up in the Adventuremobile. By now the girls have whined and fought so much that a little come to Jesus talk is in order and they end up being grounded for all of eternity.

The rest of the day turned out nice though. We went a little further and in the mountains where some of the wind can be blocked, it's not nearly so frigid. We climbed boulders and frolicked through meadows and it was actually as good as the movie in my head.

Also in the movie in my head, the baby doesn't stuff so much stuff (I say stuff because the actual substance is unknown) down the toilet that it majorly overflows and floods the bathroom. He also doesn't learn to climb into the kitchen sink and turn on the water. Or sit in the bathtub fully clothed, and turn on that water all over himself. Did I say he was going to be an electrican? I meant plumber. Also in my movie, the heroine doesn't get lost every time she gets on the freeway and end up halfway to Timbuktu before she turn around and it takes 40 minutes to get home instead of 10 and the baby fell asleep which is really really bad, because now he won't nap at home, and there goes the last couple hours of hope for Ma. But Ma is strong and invincible! Ma needs a nap. Ma decides instead in her idealistic little brain, or what's left of it, to make a big family dinner. Ma breaks favorite casserole dish. Ma went to bed at 9:00 last night.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Why is this the type of sight that greets me when I walk into a room?

The only peanuts Gianni can eat: the packing variety.