Tuesday, September 29, 2009

self confidence

StinkyMan climbed in the car after school today and was getting all strapped in when his teacher walked by and said "Goodbye, StinkyMan!" He looked mighty insulted and said "Why does Ms. Teacher always say goodbye to me?" in a really grumpy way.

I asked "Did you want her to say something else?"

"Yes" he said "She is supposed to say 'Thank you for coming to school today StinkyMan.' You hafta say thank you when somebody does somepin (something) nice for you."

So apparently StinkyMan thinks he is gracing the teachers at school with his oh-so-important presence 4 days a week out of the goodness of his heart. What other reason could those women possibly have to get out of bed in the morning?

And Peanut, when asked today if she looked pretty said "Of course I pretty!" and ran off, with a ponytail flip.

What is that business about the self esteem of middle children? I don't think we have that issue here.

Monday, September 28, 2009

No More Nursey

I nursed all my babies. In fact, for nearly the last 7 years solid I have been either pregnant or nursing or pregnant AND nursing.

BabyGirl has just stopped nursing. I'm a little bit sad to end "nursey" as we called it. It was so nice to have a reason to just sit down, one on one with her and do something with and for her that only I could do. Now, anyone can sit down with her and give her a bottle.

On the upside, NOW ANYONE CAN SIT DOWN WITH HER AND GIVE HER A BOTTLE! It's not just up to me! When she wakes up in the morning, she doesn't need me. Husband can get up with her. If I want to leave the house for hours, no worries. She can have a bottle and does so happily.

Don't get me wrong, I will miss it. But this is the first time in more than half a decade that my body is all mine.

I love you babies. I enjoyed all my nursey time, my pregnant time, and even my pregnant nursey time. But holy cow I cannot wait to go and get fitted to buy bras that don't have to open and shut, that actually push the girls up where they are supposed to be and are actually kind of cute. It's going to be nice to be able to buy and wear clothes that don't require forethought as to how I might access my chest while wearing them (I once had to almost strip naked in the backroom of a church to nurse Curly after not having given access in a dress much thought. Oops.) It's going to be great not to have to go out and scout locations to nurse or to just sit in public with some boob hanging out (I try to be discreet, but babies are squirmy and don't like to hide under blankets, ya know?) It's pretty awesome to not have a baby head butting your chest when she's hungry.

But I will miss it and I am kind of bummed. I was a good nurser and my kids LOVED it. But she showed signs of moving on and I let her take the lead. It's weird to know that part of my life is over. No more nursey. And although part of me is very excited, don't think I haven't shed a tear or two. Or two hundred. Or more. Because for me, nursing was a quintessential part of Mommyhood. And now it's over.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I have wanted to try canning for a while now, but every time people would say "It's so easy" and then start to verbally explain it to me, I would immediately think "No way. Sounds hard. Sounds complicated. Sounds overwhelming. Pass!"

But then, when people would talk about fresh, homemade jam or their stockpile of canned goodies I would think "Well, maybe......."

My sister-in-law rode to my canning rescue this year. She came out two weeks ago and showed me how to make homemade raspberry jam. It's so yummy and it wasn't as hard as I thought. Apparently I am totally a visual learner because once I saw it I knew I could do it.

Said sister-in-law procured an obscene amount of pears and some apples and came back out this past Friday to help me can pears and make applesauce to can as well. We did the pears together and I am now the proud owner of 10 quart sized jars of pears. Then she started the applesauce and left me on my own.

I'm proud to say that I did it. I made 6 pints of applesauce on Friday and then made another batch on Saturday all by myself that yielded 2 quarts. My kids LOVE it (we had a little left over to try) and I know we'll whip through those jars in no time.

Weird confession: Now that I have all these beautiful jars of food, I'm a little sad to bust them open. While it was fairly easy to do, it was labor intensive and I'm kind of bummed to open them. Yes, I know that's why we made them, and I know it's silly. But the whole point of canning is that you work towards hearing the lids go "POP" which means you have successfully canned something. To undo that seems almost counter productive.

I'm sure I'll feel differently when I stroll past the applesauce at the store and know that not only do I have some at home, I know exactly what is in them and how yummy they taste.

So if you want to try canning, go for it. Find someone who knows how to do it and watch. It's not hard at all. And totally worth it.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Curly had a rough day the other day. She said some boys made fun of her snack, then a teacher had a dog at school and she is afraid of dogs, so some kids called her a scaredy cat, then she lost her "Golden Ticket" at school, then some boy hit her "in the heart", then she stained her dress, then her brother punched her in the arm.

Let me say first that I believe that these things happened to my child. And I believe that she believes they happened the EXACT way she feels that they did. But I also know my daughter, and she has a flair for the dramatic. I was standing right there when her brother "punched" her. It was, at best, a tap and really, not even that. And the stained dress? That happened while she was hanging out with her Grammy, eating ice cream. Not exactly a Shakespearean tragedy.

Chances are the boys who made fun of her snack said "Cheese? That's a funny snack!" Or maybe "That's a stupid snack." I don't know. I packed a kick butt snack the next day and that took care of that. The Golden Ticket I can't fix. That is what it is.

The dog. Well, she is terribly afraid of dogs. She had a very scary encounter with a very scary dog a few years back and refused to go out the front door for a while after that. So while we work towards acclimating her to dogs, I understand her fear. I told her it's fine to be afraid of dogs, far better than too friendly with dogs and that those kids don't know what happened and why she is nervous and if it had happened to them, they'd be afraid too. And I know that she did this overly dramatic thing that she does, where she tucks her hands up under her chin and fake shakes her legs and quivers her lips and whimpers.

See, her drama is their weapon. That is the conclusion I came to after thinking about it for a while. She is giving them their fuel.

So later, I said this:

"Baby, let's pretend for a minute that I am a bad guy and you are a good guy. I want to fight you, just because I am mean and nasty, but I don't have any swords. You are a good guy and you have two swords just laying around and you aren't guarding them. What happens if I manage to take your sword? Are we going to be friends or am I going to fight you?"

She thought for only a second and said "You are going to fight me."

"That's right. Because I'm a baddie and that's what I do. So when you do things like show on the outside you are very, very afraid of dogs, that's like leaving your sword laying around. People who feel mean see how you feel and use it to fight you, even though you haven't done anything to them. Your feelings are their sword. And it's fine to feel how you feel, but sometimes it is better to pretend something doesn't bother you until you are safely at home and then you can tell me all about it. Sometimes it is better not to give them any weapons. Do you understand?"

"Yes." She said. "I will just look like this" and she made a face to show me how stoic she can look. "And then on the inside I will think that I don't like dogs."

"Perfect!" I said. "No swords!"

"No swords." she said and we laughed together and I think she understood.

The next day was better and she proudly announced when she came home that she'd "had a great day and NO swords were out."

That's my girl!

As for the boy who hit her in the heart, well, for all I know it was a missed high five or a game of Red Rover. I told her if it happened again she is to say loudly and firmly "GET YOUR HANDS OFF OF ME!" and tell the nearest person in charge. She was worried that that would be considered tattling, but I told her it is not, as it involves her and it a BIG violation of school rules. But there hasn't been another incident and I really don't think there will be.

This is hard. Hard for her and for me. I don't want her to smush her feelings down inside, but I also want her to cut the drama. I want her to be confident in who she is without her inner actress shining through all the time. I guess only time will tell if I handled it okay. Only time will tell if the weapons I give her work to fight the baddies and the meanies that exist in all the schools, playgrounds and even workplaces in the world.

I hope so. I'm so thankful she feels she can talk to her mama and I hope she always knows that she can tell me everything. I will do my best to equip her to navigate her world.

Now, if someone could just equip me to navigate her world, I'd be really grateful.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I posted a new Recipe of the Week.

You can pick your jaw up off the floor now. You look quite silly and you are going to swallow a fly if you don't close your mouth.

That is all.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bloggers block

I can't think of a darn thing to say. I don't have any super cute stories to relate, I just told you how great my kids are and I haven't done a stock up run in a while because the sale and coupon match-ups have been average at best. I also just did a list of what clues you in that you are a mom and I did a random musings set not all that long ago as well.

I have lost my blogging mojo. Have you seen it?

Yeah. Me either. Hmmmmmm.

Watch this space. I'll be back. I have to go look for my mojo.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Former Deal of the Day Alert

Last week I linked you to a coupon for $10 off at Sears in the Juniors Dept. Well apparently the people at Sears have never heard of the Internet or something, because they are now claiming it was never their intention to have so many people use the coupon so they will no longer be honoring it. I cannot stand it when companies do this sort of thing, but that's the way the cookie crumbles, I guess. I hope I saved you a trip to Sears.

Friday, September 18, 2009


I hurt StinkyMan's feelings.

I was in the middle of pouring various bowls and cups of milk when I realized that I had forgotten to complete Curly's reading log. As I quickly finished filling it in and signing it, StinkyMan decided he would pour his own milk.

"NO!" I said, but it was too late. I took the cup from him and he said proudly "But look, Mommy, I didn't spill any!"

"I know. I see. But I thought that you would. Next time wait for me okay?" and I turned back to the errant homework assignment.

All of a sudden there is wailing behind me. StinkyMan is devastated.

And I realize my error.

Instead of praising him for a job well done and for trying to help, I chastised him for what COULD have happened, but didn't. His heart was hurt. I had crushed him.

I hugged him and told him I was sorry, that I didn't mean to make him sad. But he cried the cry of a broken hearted boy.

Peanut asked "StinkyMan sad?"

"Yes" I said "I hurt his feelings."

"He has an owie?"

"Yes" I answered. "He has an owie."

"Oooooh." She understands the seriousness of an owie. "StinkyMan need a band aid." After all, bandaids heal everything.

"I think he just needs hugs" I said as her brother still whimpers in my lap.

"And a kiss!" and she leans in and gives him one.

"That was nice, Peanut" I say. "StinkyMan, I was going to have some cereal for breakfast" Which I was not, but I would fix this. "Will you pour my milk?"




And a slow nod. "Yes. I can do it."

"I know you can!" I said enthusiastically. "You are a good pourer."

And so we trooped back into the kitchen, poured a bowl of cereal and he poured my milk. And he did great.

Next time I will also try to do great the first time. It's a good thing that sometimes in life we do get a do-over.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


In StinkyMan's class is a little boy, whom I believe has special needs. I can't say for sure, of course, because the teachers aren't going to share that info and it isn't obvious at first glance. But apparently, the other day, the class had a little chat about differences amongst them. They talked about how everyone is a little different, but we should always be kind and friendly. Then the teacher asked if there was anyone on the rug who would be willing to go and "sit next to my friend who hums."

It was my little guy that jumped right up and said "I will!" and promptly sat down next to the child. And when he came out from class he said "MOMMY! Guess who was Monkey of the Day? It was 'Kiddo' and I am his friend because I sitted next to him!" He was genuinely happy for "Kiddo's" Monkey status and that he had a new friend.

I'm so proud of my StinkyMan and his big heart. The teacher (I think) looked a little teary when she told me and I certainly got teary. He's such a loving kid. It's one of the things that makes me know we're doing a good job.

Way to go, my Sweet Boy. Way to go.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Daughter the Car

From Peanut, after a rather loud burp:

Oh, 'scuse me! I beeped!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Climate Control

Curly: Mommy why is it so gray and blah outside today?

Mommy: I don't know. It's strange weather for us for September.

Curly: Maybe someone is feeling down today. Maybe lots of people are feeling down and so the weather is down too.

Mommy: Maybe. Who could be that down? You'd have to be pretty down to make the weather yucky I think.

Curly (looking down at her navy blue dress): I'm going to go put on a brighter dress. Maybe then, people will feel better. They will see the color of my dress, feel happy and the weather will change.

Mommy: I think that's a nice idea, Curly.

How great would it be, if all the "blah" in the world could be changed by putting on cheery colors? And wouldn't it be great, even if it was just for a minute, to be innocent enough again to believe that your dress holds the key to good weather and happy friends?

I wish it were that easy. Curly really thinks it is. Her dress du jour is now yellow.

And you know, I think I do feel happier.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thoughts on this day

Today is September 11th, 2009. Eight years ago we, as a nation, experienced a tragedy of indescribable proportions.

Today has been a day of reflection and remembrance, as it should be. All the news channel have talked about it. Facebook statuses give thanks and updates of "I remember where I was when..." Online articles, magazines and blogs like my own have tried to find the words to accurately describe the horror of September 11, 2001, the pain of attempting to move past it and the difficulties that these anniversaries bring for so many.

Eight years later I sit here and can only draw the same conclusion I drew then:

There just are no words to describe it.

Not any of it.

Not the acts of terrorism, not the unification of our country in the aftermath, not the horror, not the anger, not the grief, not the heroism...none of it will ever, EVER accurately be described by words. They only way to know truly what it was was to have lived through it and even then there are different versions and experiences that will never properly be relayed because the words that will be used will never be enough.

No history books will ever do it justice, though they will try. Teachers will try. Professors will try. Historians and museum curators and even Hollywood will try.

But the words will be lacking and the grief will linger and the generations that come afterwards will not ever fully understand it, even when they try. Because nothing, NOTHING can accurately describe that day and the days afterwards.

And so, like so many others, I'm left with only being able to say "thank you" to those who were heroic that day, "I'm sorry" to those who lost loved ones and "God Bless America" to the rest of us.

May we never need to search for such horrific words again.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Impressive Kids, this bunch

StinkyMan can READ!

OK, don't whip out Moby Dick quite yet, but he's been pointing out random words here and there for a week or two now. This morning I decided to see what he could do and brought out Curly's spelling/reading flashcards.

Now granted, the spelling words are really review words from Kindergarten, but he just started pre-K 3 weeks ago, so I think I have the right to brag and say he whipped through her cards like no big deal at all. He got tripped up a time or two, but he could sound them out and read them for sure!

I'm so impressed with my boy. He's getting so big and is quickly graduating from little boy to, as he would say, a big boy. He's the sweetest kid, full of love for his family and friends and I think he has a few teachers semi wrapped around his little finger, too.

Someone else around here is getting big too. BabyGirl had her one year check and in the words of Mary Poppins "is practically perfect in every way." She is 20 pounds and 29 inches and is 33 percentile for her weight and 43 percentile for her height. She's in the 46 percentile for her head...I suspect it's all pure brain mass. My other kids are all brilliant, why wouldn't she be, right? Plus she's cute as a button (what does that even mean? Still, she's a doll.)

Curly is loving first grade and seems to have a small "thing" for a boy from her class. This morning she said "I wonder if 'Boy' will be at school today" and when I asked if he'd been absent she said "No. I was just wondering." Hmmmm. And yesterday she told me she thinks "Boy" is funny. I've been hearing a lot about "Boy" this week, actually. She's only 6...I'm not looking forward to 16! She's such a sweet girl, though, I can't imagine any real trouble from her.

And Peanut has shot up a bit. Though still tiny, many of her 18 to 24 month dresses are suddenly on the short side. That's OK, since she is now 30 months! She can't wear pants because they fall down her nonexistent tush, so I have to cross my fingers and hope that what she has will last until Fall. Mind you she's not any heavier, just taller. She outweighs BabyGirl by a mere 4 pounds! And she talks and talks and talks and talks and has the cutest little "smokers" raspy voice and the quirkiest sense of humor. She makes me smile all the time.

My kids are the best. You can think your kids are. I'll let you. But I know you're wrong. And you can think I'm wrong, as I'm sure you do. The most important work I could ever do is raising these little people. I'm so lucky to do it....and to see the results of my work in smart, sweet, kind, fun and cute kids.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Not quite the same thing

Curly: Mommy, we watched Star Wars at Friend's house!

Mommy: Oh yeah?

Curly: Yeah! Star Wars: Clown Wars.

Mommy: You mean Star Wars: Clone Wars?

Curly: Oh, yeah, I get those words confused. That's probably why it wasn't like I thought it would be.

Mommy (envisioning light sabre wielding Bozos): Maybe, Sweet Girl. Maybe.

You know you are a Mommy when:

You are at home and announce you have to go potty and someone says "I'm going with you."

You call it "Going potty" and you announce that you are going, rather than just going.

Someone tries to pour water in your pocket "for later"

You can remember all the words to "Don't Lie" by Wow Wow Wubbzy, but not what the appointment reminder lady said about the pediatrician's appointment.

You know the pediatrician's phone number by heart.

The receptionist at the pediatrician's office knows exactly who you and all your kids are the moment you identify yourself on the phone.

You get up at 2am and fix a sandwich because you realize you forgot to pack lunch and you KNOW you won't feel like it in the morning.

You have more kid food than adult food in the house. Nuggets, anyone?

You know what a Funtainer is and the importance of having one.

You have the Fresh Beat Band song stuck in your head.

Your car's cassette player has a packet of Trident gum in it because your kids don't really know what a cassette tape is and couldn't fathom what that might be for except to hold gum.

Your "good" shirt is the one with only one small stain in a hard to see place.

There is more toothpaste on the counter, in the sink and on the shower curtain than in the tube.

Your wake-up call in the morning is "I'VE GOT POOP!"

The concert you really want to see is Laurie Berkner.

The last things you watched on You Tube are "How to make a no sew tutu" and "How to French Braid"

You can change a diaper while the kid is standing up.

You are alone and still consider watching Phineas and Ferb. After all, there isn't really anything else on.

You think the entire list above is actually pretty darn great.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Smarty Boy

StinkyMan: Mommy, what is that called at the top of the calendar?

Mommy: At the top of the candle?

StinkyMan: Calendar.

Mommy: Oh, calendar. The month?

StinkyMan: Yeah. What's it called? The one with 3 E's in it?

Mommy: 3 E's...September?

StinkyMan: Does that have three E's?

Mommy: Yes. S-E-P-T-E-M-B-E-R. September.

StinkyMan: That's it. That's at the top of the calendar now. It has 3 E's.

Mommy: Yes it is at the top with 3 E's, Smarty Boy. Goodnight.

StinkyMan: Goodnight Mommy.

I'm trying to decide if I should be impressed or slightly frightened that after one day of September calendar at preschool the thing he remembered about our new month was that is has 3 E's in it. It's a way of thinking I'm not used to. Very engineery and mathematical...the side of my brain that works at a sub-par level. I'm all about English and flowery language and the symbolism of the written word. He's all about breaking down the parts and tinkering with the pieces and figuring out the little bits that accomplish the whole. As far as I can tell, he's the only one of my kids who thinks this way, even though BabyGirl is too little to decipher yet.

Ah, my boy. Part of you will always be a little puzzle for me I suspect. You are an amazing kid with brain power that will help you do outstanding things.

For the record, this post has 80 E's in it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009