Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Stairmaster

I’m very happy to share my exercise regimen for the very first time!  A few people have asked, so I have decided to make it available here for FREE!  The only equipment needed for this guaranteed butt-blasting exercise is a set of stairs (available with many monthly mortgage plans) and a two-year old trapped in a crib.

Step One:  Say prayers, read lots of books, sing many songs and make sure two-year old is comfy and cozy and dry in his bed.  Say goodnight.

Step Two:  Walk DOWN the stairs and wait a few minutes.  This step requires no more than two minutes worth of patience TOPS.

Step Three:  Two-year old will ask for milk.  Obligingly, fill a bottle, cup or whatever with milk and go UP the stairs.  For added butt-blasting benefits, walk DOWN the stairs while two-year old drinks the milk.  If adding this extra up/down part, proceed to step four.  If not, you’re a wimp.  Skip to step five.

Step Four:  Two-year old will announce he is done with his milk.  Go UP the stairs and retrieve the bottle, cup or whatever.

Step Five:  Go DOWN the stairs.  Two-year old will cry that his toe hurts and now wants a band-aid, even though he did not want one BEFORE bedtime.  They reserve the right to change their minds, too.

Step Six:  Find band-aids.  Go UP the stairs.  Apply band-aid with a kiss and smile.  Two-year old will pout and stare at band-aid and say he doesn’t want it.  Try to remain calm as you take back off the band-aid and leave the room.

Step Seven: Go DOWN the stairs.

Step Eight:  Two-year old will cry that you did not put back on his blanket when you left him last.  Go UP the stairs.  Put the blanket on the two-year old.  Try to remain sweet and calm and say goodnight again.

Step Nine: Go DOWN the stairs.

Step Ten:  Stretch.

*  You can intensify this workout by running up and down the stairs through these steps.

** For serious butt-blasting benefits, put on ankle weights before bedtime.


Unwanted Echoes

Sometimes the things we say as parents come back to haunt us through the mouths of our children.  Okay, I take that back… OFTEN times, the things we say as parents come back to haunt us through the mouths of our children.  There.  That’s more honest.

My children do have chores that are assigned on a weekly basis (I know, I’m soooooo mean).  However, they are also expected to do certain things around the house that I do no consider to be chores.  Let’s see… for starters, flush the toilet.  And if you use a whole roll of toilet paper and have tried to flush it too many times, for God’s sake, COME TELL ME!   I hate discovering these little things on my own.  At night, put away your clothes, dirty or clean, in their appropriate places, as well as put away all toys.  If I serve you food as you wait impatiently for it at the table, the least thing you can do is take your plate over when you’re done complaining, I mean eating it.  Rinsing it and putting it in the dishwasher would be nice, too, but I won’t push it.  When you step on the same piece of trash in the kitchen five times in a few minutes, seriously??  You can’t pick it up?!

So… when I have to remind my kids of little things like these, I have been known to use the phrase, “I am NOT your maid… come take over your plate!”  And by the way, we do not have a housekeeper, and even if we did, they would still not be permitted to be slobs.

Last night we were going through the bedtime ritual.  The two and four-year old were bathed with their teeth brushed.  Next step, pick up the toys.  Believe me, critics of my evil parenting ways, this is more of a chore for me then it is for the kids.  They whine about it EVERY NIGHT and it takes forever to get done.  It would be much easier if I just put their toys away for them in the 5 seconds it would take me, then to teach them to do it and sit there as they complain through it for 15 minutes.  But as I have said before, I must be a masochist.

The two-year old finished up first (his is always an epic disaster because he dumps out EVERYTHING).  On to the four-year old’s room.  Now, she maybe had two teddy bears and a bunny on the floor so we’re talking a HUGE clean up job, right?  So I asked her to put them away.  She let out a very loud sigh, managed to flip her hair back in a manner fit for a teenage cheerleader, and said,

“Ugh!  I’m not the maid, okay?!”

I was not amused.  I was too busy grinding my teeth.


Kings and… Babies

“Babies are like the masters or the kings.  They whine, you feed them.  They whine you hold them.  They whine, you give them a pacifier.  They get everything they want!” – the 7 year old


Keeping up with the Jones’

Taking walks in my neighborhood has become a painful thing for me. Don’t get me wrong, I actually enjoy walking, and I’m not horribly out of shape, either. But when I walk, I admire all the beautiful, manicured lawns with their perfect flower beds and perfectly mowed and edged grass. Seriously, they all look like they have been painted in Photoshop. Then I see my lawn. It is not beautifully manicured with perfect flower beds and a perfect mow and trim job. In fact, I have bright yellow wildflowers growing! Kids love them, HOA does not.

It is usually about this time that I realize, hey! Time to mow the lawn. Oh joy. What fun. I always try to tell myself as I start immediately working up a sweat that I will be happy when I am done… That I will admire my hard work and feel a sense of pride, as I’m sure my neighbors do when they come home from work and the lawn fairies have come and done a beautiful job for them. We do not have lawn fairies at our house, as I’m sure you have already guessed. I found out they cost money.

So today I got out the lawn mower and set out to tackle that jungle that I hoped would soon be a lawn again. The people who live behind us were lounging by the pool listening to music and enjoying cool drinks. Bastards. A few couples passed me on the sidewalk as they enjoyed a late morning walk. I smiled and they politely smiled back. But I know what they were thinking: “Hey, you missed a few spots! Haven’t you ever heard of weed killer? What finally made you get out and mow?!” Judgmental jerks.

About the time that I have finished mowing the entire front lawn, I am ready to die. This Texas heat is no joke! I return to the cool interior of my air-conditioned house for a much-needed water break. Inside, the kids are nestled on the couch together watching a movie. Two of four turn to me and say, “Mommy, your cheeks are so red!  You must be really HOT!!”  Observant little brats.


The Origins of Toilet Paper

In my house, the little three wake me up first.  They have a knack for doing this just before my alarm is going to go off.  I will admit, I’m not usually in the most talkative and delightful mood when this happens.  I wish I was, but that’s become wasted energy.

So one bright morning, I dragged myself up the stairs to where the 2 year old maniac was and got him out of bed.  He had one of those disastrous poops that required lots of cleaning, a bath, and more work then I wanted for a first-thing-in-the-morning-job.  As I finished bathing him, in came the 7 year old.

There was no good morning.  He had something on his mind and got straight to the point.

“Mommy, when there were castles, did people have toilet paper?”

WHAT?  Did he dream about this question all night?

“Um, no.  I don’t think so.”

“Well,” he continued with the next logical question, “what did they wipe with?”

“I don’t know… maybe they didn’t wipe.  People weren’t that sanitary…”

“Why didn’t they use their bath towels to wipe?”  Oh my gosh… I hope he has never done this when he ran out of toilet paper!!

“I don’t think they had bath towels just lying around.  They didn’t take baths as much as we do now.”

“Well, they had to use something!  Did they use their hands?  Yeah, that’s probably what they did.  They used their hands.  Gross.”

I’m glad he could answer his own question.  I try to teach problem solving and I’m happy to know it’s working.


TGIF?

What the heck is that?! For me, all the letters run together. It’s more like TGI10 (thank God it’s 10pm, for those who didn’t catch it), because hopefully that’s when the kids are in bed ASLEEP. That last word is very important, because until that happens, they are still upstairs thinking of things they need and reasons to not sleep. And there ain’t no TGI anything until that has ceased for the day!

But today is Friday, and most everyone, kids included, are celebrating. For a lot of kiddos, today is also the last day of school, so that is a major TGIF in their worlds! However, for my home schooled kids, it’s just another Friday (Yes, I home school year round for their torture and my own. We are masochists around here.).

Every once in awhile, the hubby is not required to work until midnight and will come home before I am in bed. He usually finds me staring at the computer screen, brain fried, just trying to do something, ANYTHING to prove to myself that I can function outside the realm of “MOM.”  I can’t.  It’s hopeless.

Tonight was one of those nights. Yay!

Shortly after coming home, he realized he needed to make a cigarette run and asked if I wanted something.  He can only do this when five kids are sleeping, otherwise four of them will decide they want something, and then no one gets anything.

I said bananas and diapers (what else?!).  But he told me he was only going to the gas station.  In that case, a Snickers bar, please!!  I LOVE Snickers bars!  I refuse to buy anything like that for myself, however.  It’s how I trick myself into thinking I have self control.

So I waited… I swear I could taste it in my mouth.  I had just bought raw milk and I thought about how yummy each bite, washed down with fresh, creamy milk would taste.  He returned.  YAY!  He was coming to the bedroom which meant he bought one.  YAY YAY YAY!  He handed it to me and I perked right up, not wasting a single moment to tear into that chocolately bar of happiness… I went to open it and… It was already opened?  What?  Did he open it?  No!  He said he hadn’t!!  We both looked at it and wondered, who would do such an evil thing?!?!

We walked into the kitchen to examine the packaging.  Yes, it really was already opened!  He was sad.  I was more sad.  He offered to go back to the store and buy me another one.  Sweet man… he does have his moments.  But of course, I couldn’t let him do that.  So I tried to tell myself that my still pregnancy-recovering behind didn’t need it anyway.

He walked to the computer room.  I slumped back to the bedroom…

TGIBT. Thank God it’s bed time.


Tooth Fairy, Episode 3

For all my tooth-losing children, I am still the tooth fairy (the 2 year old maniac who has lost a tooth already as the result of a floor-face collision, doesn’t really count yet).  My identity, for now, remains hidden behind their beautiful innocence and trust.  The 10 year old has questioned my, I mean her, existence a few times, but believes me when I reassure him that she is, in fact, very real.  The 7 year old is still a happy believer, and even claims to have seen her flying quickly out of his room before (you should hear the description on that one – PRICELESS!).

Now, to be completely honest, I have no idea why they believe in the tooth fairy and why they even like her.  In my house, she sucks.  She has never remembered a tooth left for her until the poor kid in question came to her (me) in the morning and sadly pointed out that the tooth fairy had forgotten him.  What a jerk, that tooth fairy.  However, still having some wit left in me, I can usually come up with something fairly clever such as, “Maybe she is on Hawaii time,” or “Maybe lots of little kids lost teeth yesterday, and she is just a little backed up right now… check after breakfast.”  Sweet kids.  Fall for it every time.

The latest incident happened at Grandpa and Grandma’s house over Mother’s Day weekend.  7 year old lost a tooth.  I told him to put it in his pocket.  That was the last that I remember about the tooth.  Two days later, 7 year old asks if I accidentally washed his tooth that was in his pants when we came home and I did laundry.  STILL drawing a blank.  Hubby had to remind me.  It was still a little vague (man I hate to think of my memory ten years from now).  Finally, I was able to pull a fuzzy memory from the back of my worn out brain… I recall him putting it in his pocket.  But where it went after that, what I did with it, and all of the other important details, gone.  No clue.

So back to him asking me if it was washed… searching my brain… nothing good comes back so I offer this to him:  “Why don’t you write the tooth fairy a letter telling her that you lost your tooth while out of town, and then you lost it again.”

I thought it was a great suggestion.  Get some creative writing time in, AND solve the mommy-disguised-as-tooth-fairy-but-really-sucks-at-it thing.

“Nah, I don’t want to ask her for money… she might thing I’m being rude or greedy.”  Awww… a moment that made me proud.

“Okay… well you don’t have to ask for money.  Just tell her you lost it and that’s it.”

“Nah… that’s okay.”

A) I’m losing credibility.

B) He read my mind about the whole writing assignment thing…


Black Widows

Kids can be VERY helpful sometimes.  Take yesterday, for example.  The 10 year old came in very calmly from playing outside in what is supposed to be a garden (it’s really just some raised weed beds with some exotic things like onions and garlic pushing through).  “Remember I told you about that orange spider that I thought was an orb weaver?”  I nodded.  I lied… I didn’t really remember.  He has the most amazing capacity for the names and habits of all creatures under the sun, and I have the most amazing capacity for not remembering any of the names and habits of all creatures under the sun.  It’s a perfect relationship.  I’m impressed constantly.

“Well,” he continued, “I was wrong.”  I was shocked.  This never happens.  Really.  I’m not being sarcastic right now.  “It’s actually a black widow.  AND she has an egg sack.”

I hate all spiders.  A black widow is a spider so I hate it.  It’s also creepy looking and very poisonous (OMG, I guess I DO remember some things!!), so I really hate it.  I immediately followed my son to our beautiful gardens, in which ANY spider would want to stake his/her claim to a piece of its paradise.

I did not see the spider, but my boy got his head real close to where one bed raises into the next, and a mess of webs and leaves was.  He said he could see it, but I still couldn’t, and commanded that he get his head out of there, lest the little lady waiting decided to give him a good bite.  This kid is fearless (he poked at a rattler one time, but that’s a story for another day).  I decided the best thing to do was poke at the webbing, naturally, and get the spider to show its flashy red butt.  So I went inside to find something.  I could have used a skewer or pencil, or many other things, but I grabbed my youngest son’s baptismal candle and some matches and went back outside.  This was a brilliant idea… in my head.  I would BURN it!!!!  It sounded so much fun, one might mistake me for a fifth grade boy!  The 10 year old was not amused, and also did not think it was a good idea.  Fortunately, the wind decided for us, and so I was left with just the candle and my original idea to poke around until it crawled out.  I did this for a few minutes, pulling webbing out and poking around.  Finally, out she came.  And she was huge.  I’m not saying she is huge because I hate spiders and want to make them seem more evil than they are, but she really was a well-fed, Texas sized black widow.  She must have feasted on 20 husbands by now.  Oh, and by the way, this is the SECOND giant, well-fed, death deserving black widow this boy has found!!

Back to the story.  She sat there, not moving at all.  Not at all upset that I had ripped up her web mess and now exposed her.  Next step – I told the boy to watch the spider and make sure she didn’t go anywhere (not sure what I wanted him to do if she actually DID attempt a getaway).  I ran inside for the bottle of Raid.  Back to my lush gardens I came and began spraying that thing.   It was fun.  It wiggled and writhed, so I kept spraying.  Eventually the bottle was empty, and her movements had slowed.  I was beginning to feel satisfied.  We left her alone to have some pre-death moments to herself, and then came back after a bit to check on our corpse.  I then instructed my boy to collect her relics in a specimen viewing jar, carefully, and with gloves, just in case she had one last bite in her.

She is now proudly on display outside for all to see.