Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Conversations with my children

Luna informed me, "Princesses do not wear diapers."

Tulip said, "Mama, I'm not just a fashion lady.  Didn't you know that whenever there is trouble I'll be there on the double because I'm also...Rainbow Girl!"

As these two girls got crazy in the bathtub, I told them they were being awfully loud.  Wolfie said to me, "Thank you for using the word 'loud'."

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Q-tip Effect

I have to invent a name for this particular phenomenon that happens to moms.  But wait!  First I have to invent this word:

Okay, so the phemamanon goes like this: a mama has an overriding need to care for her children, particularly in the hygienic way, that supersedes most other activities.  However, the scatterbrained, overwhelmed mama often fails to keep up on these acts of hygiene (i.e. teaching the kids to properly floss and monitoring nightly that they are doing it, clipping fingernails, clipping toenails, cleaning behind the ears, etc.)  But then the opportunity to clean or clip or scrape something off her child presents itself and WHAM!  The phemamanon happens.

It happened to me today.  I was playing hide-and-seek with all three kids.  I was hiding in the bathroom (and totally winning, by the way) and I looked over at the cabinet and saw the glass jar of Q-tips and it hit me - I should clean my kids' ears right now!

"We give up!  Where are you Mama?"

I jump out of my hiding place wielding three Q-tips.

See, it was that phemamanon.  What's it called?

(okay, maybe instead it was just a really crummy way to ruin hide-and-seek)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

before I forget

I need to record this story, now, while I'm thinking about it again so I don't ever forget.

Wolfie's Valentine party in his classroom was last week.  He told me, prior to his party at school, that he wanted to give Elle* a special card.  He is very fond of her; not in a crush way, I don't think, he just thinks that she is super special.  And she is.

So Wolfie's Papa took him to Target to buy classroom Valentines.  He picked out a box of 32 Cars 2 themed cards and a box of 32 Princess themed cards.  Then he went to the actual greeting card section and picked out a card just for Elle.  I wish I had taken a picture of it now (story of my blogging-life).  The card was pretty benign, which just goes to show you how sweet and innocent the whole act was.  It was a picture of a blue monkey, holding a lollipop, and it simply said something along the lines of "Hope your Valentine's Day is super special!"

We tore all those Cars and Princess cards on their perforated lines, and stuffed them into all those little envelopes and put them all into a plastic baggie.  But Elle's card was just a bit bigger (and the envelope was much much redder) than the rest so the baggie didn't zip.  That's special.

*Elle's name has been changed ;)  I used a different pseudonym for Elle in a previous blog post and that kind of backfired on me but I think I'm going to be able to stick with Elle.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sometimes I try to pick up other moms...and fail

I once read somewhere that becoming a mother is an alienating experience.  The article went on to offer tips on how to "pick up" other moms at the park, at the pediatrician's office, at Target, etc.  It was satirical.  And spot on.

I was in a situation recently where my son began a new class and so the other moms and I were waiting for class to end.  This was a first for all of us and I thought I would try to make new friends just like our kids were doing in the classroom.  I joined a conversation two moms were having about their daughters and where they bought their daughter's coats.  I piped in a bit here and there about coat buying in general but sooner or later found myself just listening dumbly as they talked about how frustrating it is when their daughter's hat doesn't match her coat or, worse yet, neither do her mittens.  One mom lamented that her mother-in-law bought her daughter Little Miss Matched socks.  I've never heard of these before but the mom explained that it is a set of three socks which don't match.  Just as I was thinking, "That's terrific" the other mom beat me to it with a, "Oh my gosh, that would drive me insane."  I closed my mouth.  When the first mom said that it drives her nuts when little girls dress themselves, I discreetly got up and left under the pretense that I needed to use the restroom.

Exhibit A:

I snapped this picture of my children the night of Wolfie's school singing concert.  He was supposed to get "dressed up".  I realized that he owns two pairs of jeans.  That's it.  So we went to Once Upon a Child and bought corduroy pants and a button up shirt (his first) and just for fun I asked him to try on a clip on tie.  He loves that tie.  He thinks he looks like a principal.  Or the mayor.

Tulip and Luna caught the dress up vibe and picked out their outfits.  Gasp!  Yes, we let them pick out their clothes.  Luna is wearing her stripey dress; one of three she wears in constant rotation.  And by constant rotation I mean she wears either her stripey dress, her flower dress or her red dress during the day or to bed.  Yes, we let her wear dresses to bed.  It was a bit of a battle at first because we had gotten her two adorable fleece footed zip up pajamas.  I'm sorry, toddlers look adorable in those jammies!  But then she started protesting and only wanted to wear her dressies.  I figured it out after a few days.  Tulip had gotten a Tinkerbell nightgown and Luna's dressies are her most similar looking garments.  So dressie it is, 24/7.

Then there is Tulip.  Only a pair of those Little Miss Matched socks could have completed this look better.  She loves color.  And as I listened to the moms, I began thinking about Tulip's wardrobe and realized that I rarely buy her an "outfit".  I will find a pair of funky leggings, or a skirt, and buy them separately.  She will find them in her drawer together and, well, put them together.  She gets some hand-me-downs from a daughter of a co-worker who met Tulip once and for some reason has decided that she should get all her hand-me-downs.  So we get to pick through quarterly deliveries of socks, shirts, pants, special occasion dresses, etc.  For a while her favorite frock to wear to pre-school was a black velvet and gold tulle number clearly meant as a holiday special occasion dress.  Well, going to school is a special occasion, is it not.

I love Tulip's style.  What's more, I love that at such an early age she expresses herself freely and loves the way she looks.  (She wore her silver sequence boots to the concert - okay, I admit, that was at my suggestion.)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sledding makes your children bigger

We went sledding Sunday.  We went to a sledding park - for the first time!  Normally we sled in our front yard; we live on the corner of a cul-de-sac and thanks to village street plowing, our front yard or the circle in front of our front yard usually has a huge mound of snow.  Since my children are still pretty little, a slight decline makes for a fine sled run.

You know the book Snowmen at Night?  The part that says, "Then it's time for sledding!  It's a wild ride down the hill!  'Wahooooooooooooooo!' they yell.  This is, by far, the snowmen's biggest thrill!"

We hopped out of the van, each child had their own differently designed sled, and one by one they hopped on and sailed down the deepest hill on which they've ever sledded.

Wolfie went first and Tulip was close behind. 

Then Luna sat on her little circle sled, held the handles, and said she was ready.  I pushed her gently.  I don't know why.  There's a thing called momentum.

The further away from me she got, the bigger she seemed.  Gabe turned to me and said, "That's the farthest she's ever been from us."

It's true.  I nudged her and she just sailed away.  Far, far, away.  We watched her reach the bottom of the hill, get off her sled, and we wondered, "What will she do now?"

She picked up her sled and dragged it back up the hill just like her big sister and bigger brother, of course.

Momentum and perspective.  Funny things.  So little, so fast, and yet so big.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Jimmy Fallon and My Day Out

I have terrific friends.

In case you haven't heard, my friend Stephanie and I spent the day (as in day I mean about 23 hours) in Indianapolis on Sunday.

Yes, it was Super Bowl Sunday and yes, Indianapolis was the location of said Super Bowl.

"Who's going to the Super Bowl?"...............crickets.

We went to see Jimmy Fallon.  Stephanie scored two tickets to the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Live Super Bowl Special.  How did this happen?  Amazing things happen to amazing people.  How did I get to go with her?  Not the same sentiment.  Basically, I was a pest.

But, our husbands are amazing and they made this happen for us.  The ultimate mom's night out.  Only, it took us about 16 hours to get ready for our night out.  We left at 4:30 a.m. and while we were heading east out of Valparaiso, this huge moon was lingering in the premature dawn sky.  It was the most beautiful omen.  It was if that moon winked at us and said, "The next time I see you ladies, you'll be over the moon."  I don't know about Steph, but I have a huge crush on Jimmy Fallon and it's no secret in my house.

To sum up our day - we parked at Stephanie's friend Emily's house and she dropped us off practically in front of the theater at 8:30.  Tickets were being distributed on a first come first serve basis between the hours of 10:00 and 5:30 and the fine print on Stephanie's email confirmation warned that this show was overbooked.  Read: get in line a few hours before the doors open.  We were actually a little worried that there would be a camping out scene and we wouldn't even get our tickets.

But we did ;)  And then we were instructed that doors would open at 10:15 and close for good at 11:15.  So, we had some time to kill.

We spent our afternoon doing mom's day out kind of stuff.  A quick stroll through Super Bowl village - okay, saw that.  Let's get sushi for lunch!  Then a movie (The Descendants), some goof around time in the mall, a stroll through downtown Indianapolis, then we went to a Super Bowl party at Sarah's house, another friend of Stephanie's.  After Madonna's half time show, Steph and I freshened up our lipstick and headed out for the big event - the Jimmy Fallon Live Super Bowl Show.

I think I'll have to write a separate blog about what it was like to be in the audience at that show, because boy is that a fun story.

But here I just want to say that I had a ton of fun.  Thank you to that big beautiful moon and thanks to Stephanie.  You are a great friend.

Oh, and my husband is, without a doubt, better than Jimmy Fallon.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

it's not working for me

I put Tulip's hair into a ponytail with a ponytail elastic.  Her hair was too thick for me to wrap the elastic around a third time but it wasn't as secure as I would like it at only two wraps.  This is where we are at with her hair.  It's a parenting issue.  Silly, right?  To fret about, to complain about something like that?  No.  It's my mama thing today.

I read some mama advice on a blog about what to do with all that art work, all those drawings, all those crafts.  Again and again modern tech-savvy moms suggested taking digital images of every drawing your little sweeties make for you.  Then you can throw out the paper, but create a digital album of all their drawings.  Some mamas even write the date on the drawing with marker before they take a picture of it.  Write on your child's artwork?!?!  I simply can't do it.  Something about that being a art teacher sin registered with me when I was in college and if resonates even more with me now that I am a mother.

Of course, some mamas suggested just purging.  Yes!  That sounds like something that I would like.

I can't do it.

Tonight the PEZ fairy visits the kids so when I placed them on the girls' dresser, I noticed one of Tulip's creations that has been shuffling around in her room for months.  This piece of art is a sheet of computer paper with googly eyes and pom-poms glued onto it.

I picked it up.  I intended to just crumple it up and throw it away once and for all instead of just continuing to shuffle it here and there for another 5 months.

I couldn't do it.  It's so Tulip.  She went through this phase where she glued googly eyes to paper all the time.  Usually foam paper.  Googly eyes and little black buttons glued to foam paper.  I could pick off the eyes and buttons and she would reuse them.

I thought about taking a digital picture of her artwork but then I thought the digital image will just not capture the texture.  You can't caress a pom-pom on a computer screen.  You can't jiggle the paper to see the googly eyes wiggle.

I put it in a box.

Her other craft is hanging on a wire in her room.  I knocked something off the dresser and when I picked it up off the floor, I saw some dried up leaves.

I left them there.  Just for a few more days.