...my child sold your honor student the answers to the test...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sorens Birthday Present.

When our first son had his first birthday I remember going all out on presents. When my second boy turned 1, we did a lot less for him, as he had his brothers toys to play with, but still we got him some cool expensive stuff to call his own.

When Soren turned 1, I did something totally different. 

One thing I have learned after having three kids is that no matter how many cool toys you buy them, what they really want is your stuff. Specifically:
  • Your wallet
  • your cell phone
  • your car keys
I have battled with every child to retain my stuff as my own and not their chew toy. I have tried buying each child their own toy keys, their own toy phone. And while the interest is there initially, their excitement wanes fast. And they go back to attempt to steal my stuff.

Over the past few months both J and I have waged war on Soren as he tries to take our wallets and hide our credit cards. I keep mine in my purse high up, but anytime I pull out my wallet at a store the battle begins as he tries valiantly to swipe my wallet. I'm sure it's quite the amusing scene to the cashier and people waiting, as he and I lock hands over my wallet and play tug-a-war.

My keys are another topic. Once in awhile I will hand them over to keep him quiet when we're out. And he chews on the lock pad. I have been waiting for the day when his slobber short circuits my lock and I cant get into my van. 

And my cell phone. I recently got a Droid and I'm sorry but I will fight to the death before I let him have it. However he's sneaky. I'll be sitting on the floor catching up on email when he comes in from behind, trying to snatch it out of my hands.

So instead of buying him a toy, seeing as we have enough toys for 30 kids already and he loves his older brothers toys more than his own, J and I made him a set of "real" things he adores.

J found him a mini bag, the same color and fabric as my purse/bag (olive green so it's not feminine). And J found him a real wallet. I filled the wallet with plastic cards and expired passes to the zoo and museums.

I found a bunch of keys to nowhere and a lock pad keychain to a car we no longer own. I found a couple more cool keychains and strung them together.

And then I dug up my old cell phone.

His birthday present cost a total of $15. But his happiness since he realized what was in it, and the fact we werent upset with him tossing plastic cards around or chewing on a real cell phone has been priceless.

I wish I thought of this earlier.

Pacifier Thief

We have a pacifier thief in the house. I know it's not my family members, so I'm trying to decide if it's some sort of supernatural being like the sock monster in our dryer. And don't tell me the sock monster isn't real. I know it is. How else can you explain the insane amount of lost socks every time I do laundry???? It never fails. One day I'll test my theory by placing 10 socks in the dryer, walking away while keeping close tabs on my family members. And when I come back and there are 7 socks in the dryer, I will have proved my theory and win the Nobel Award for proving the existence of the sock monster.

When I find some free time, of course.

But the pacifier thief. It's pissing me off to no end. One day I can have 10 pacifiers right in sight. And the next day, gone. All gone. And when your youngest sleeps very peacefully so long as he has a pacifier nearby, you will do anything to ensure you have one on hand.

Pacifiers aren't cheap either! Holy cow man, these things cost $4 a pop! That's $40 worth of baby bliss right there, gone missing!

When I find this thief, this supernatural being, I'm going to grab it by its neck and throw it in the dryer and turn it on to high heat. Hopefully the sock monster enjoys the taste of pacifier thiefs as much as it enjoys noshing on socks.

Unless the two team up....

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Firsts & Lasts

To my darling not-so-much-a-baby-anymore,

I can not believe you are no longer a "baby". It rocks my world you've now graced this planet for a full turn around the sun. How much you have grown, how much has changed, as I sit there, watching you throw hamburger bits on to the floor and laughing, look at me with pure mischievous delight.

I think back to how tiny you were, each perfect detail carved out of rosy down skin, as I scrub your hands for the fourth time this day, after catching you playing in the toilet your older brothers forgot to flush, in the bathroom where your older brothers forgot to shut the door... again.

I think of those tiny outfits you wore when you first arrived, how preciously small they were, and how they make great rags now to wipe your face from the peas and carrots you mashed into your nostrils and ears instead of your mouth.

I think back to our first few months together and while I really miss how you used to curl up on top of me like a kitten and sleep the day away, I thank BOB you have now learned the difference between day and night, and actually sleep pretty damn well.


I watch you as the months go by and note your progress to keep up with your brothers: how first you watched them as they played. Then started rolling and squirming for that ball they held *just out of reach*. How you learned to army crawl towards any mini lego accidentally left on the floor with ferocious intent. How you sat up, and learned to throw a ball, then to throw a ball at your brother. Next we will work on teaching you how to throw to your brothers, not at their heads. And how now, you can crawl faster than your brothers can walk, and you can finally beat them many times to the toys they are heading towards, and piss them off as you chew on it with delight. Soon, you'll be walking, and I can only imagine the new adventures you will be on, and I have a good idea that I will be granted quite a few new gray hairs in the upcoming months.

You've done a lot of growing, a lot of changing, and you still have quite a ways to go, dear Soren. But I'll be watching every minute of it, and while it's bittersweet to watch my youngest, my last take those final toddling steps out of babydom and into toddlerhood, I hope you know your Mommy is *VERY* proud of you.

I love you Love bug. Happy First Birthday.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Multi-Child Syndrome

***NOTE: I started this blog 10 days ago. I am just now finding the time to finish it****

This week, J and I were given an amazing opportunity and we jumped on it like kids in a ball house. My mom offered to take the two older boys for a week. To her house. While we stayed home. With just one child.

We drove the 2 hours down, went to the beach as an entire family, then patted our boys on the head, admonished them to listen very well from Grammy, hugged and kissed them, and drove home with only Soren in the car. And I thought, This is going to be AWESOME! This is the first time that both boys have been away for an entire week. And for both of them to be away at the same time? Bonus!

Yes yes I miss them like crazy. It's definitely too quiet at times here in the house. Like night time. I'm unused to the peace and quiet from 7:30-9pm. It just completely surreal. But we call them every evening after dinner, and J and I take turns talking to each child, and they are both having the time of their lives. And so far, 5 days into their trip, they still don't want to come home. And that's cool with me.

But I definitely miscalculated one on thing, and in hindsight I realize I was a total dork for doing so. I was under the idiotic mathematical assumption that 3(kids)-2(kids) =1(kid) = easier to handle.

With 2 boys gone, Soren realized he was out of playmates. And despite my excessive attempts to get down on the floor and let him know I was available for play time, he ultimately decided I suck as a playmate. Because no matter what I tried, no matter how often I dropped to the ground and tried to gauge exactly what it was he was looking for, he would not stop whining.

Or crying.

Or crawling around whining and crying.

...searching for his brothers.

And this went on ALL. WEEK. LONG.

I had a lot planned for this week, since I figured I would have extra time. HAHAHA, it's so funny now, as I write ten days later to think of how utterly naive I was.  And truly thats what it was. I was completely naive thinking hey! one kid is going to be sooo much easier to deal with than 3! Because I forgot a few important things that never really hit me until now:

1. Having 3 kids, while chaotic = insta friends for one another. And while they may try to beat the crap out of each other here and there, they really never (purposely) go for blood.

2. While there are times when all 3 flip out at the same time, as if by some signal wired to their brain instantly, for the most part when I am dealing with one child freaking out, the other 2 can assure each other that thank goodness this time Mom wasn't yelling at them. 

3. When Mommy is trying to work or go to the bathroom by herself in piece, I can ask the older one to please entertain the baby by building a block tower and letting him destroy it a la Godzilla, for just a few minutes. Yes, I make my kids work for me sometimes.=)

4.Soren has never, EVER, been without his brothers for more than 3 hours at a time. Ever.

So after a week of dealing with the nonstop whining, confusion, sadness and tears from Soren, Xavier and Ashe finally returned home to a very welcome homecoming. My mom asked why Soren didnt enjoy the fact he was an only child. And the truth is, he has never been one so why would that make him happy? I get that now.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What Stress?

*I* have been slacking on my blogs. Yes, I admit it. I have been caught up in a ton of stuff, both as a mom and as me, and I just not have had the time or energy to write. So many things have been thrown my way lately that it's hard for me to find the time to just sit down and type for *me*.
So to recap everything thats been going on:

1. Xavier finished second grade (WHEEEEE!) and at the culimination he recieved an award for best art student of the quarter. We got to go to a cool award ceremony the last day of school and steal him an hour early.

2. Since we moved I have been dealing with HELL in trying to transition Xavier from his old school to his new. Why, you ask? Because the county we live in has a weird system unlike any other known to humankind and they love to play with your mind. The gist of it is that each town has different districts. Each district has 2 different types of school calendars: traditions (the normal kind) or year round (where you go to school all year and have 9 weeks in 3 weeks off). BECAUSE of Xaviers ADHD he really does hella better at a year round school and thats the type of calendar he has been in since we moved here, when he was in kindergarten. But we moved out of district of the school he is in and our base (default) school was a traditional calendar.

So the short story is I applied for YR for next year at our new districts YR school for next year (which starts July 9 mind you). I got a letter the week he finished school saying out application was denied, but instead of being put in his base (default) traditional calendar school like we expected, they kept him at the YR school (out of our district).

At first I thought it was a clerical error, seeing how I was told UP AND DOWN by 3 different schools (His old one, the new base and our supposed new YR) that there was NO. WAY. IN. HELL. he could stay at the school he was in for second grade. So I was floored and frankly pissed off, that some schmuck fucked up our application and I would have to do it all over again, and do it fast before school started.

So I called and emailed our counties school headquarters and asked them (politely) WTF was going on. And I got a voicemail back. Which said that because he was already in a YR calendar, and the YR school he should go to was overcrowded (.....) that they decided to keep him at his old school so long as I provide transportation. If I wished to put him in our new districts traditional calendar I would have to reapply again.

So we had a lot of thinking to do. Xaviers old school is not that far away. In fact, its a few minutes closer than where we used to live, even though it's in a different district. Even so, carpooling twice a day for roughly 30-40 minutes each time, is a lot to ask of the two younger ones. on the other side, Xavier thrives at this school, he has a lot of friends there, and we all adore this school. So we had to weigh the pros and cons of each side. And after a lot of contemplation, we decided that it was worth it. So, Xavier starts school on July 9 at his old school and I have resigned myself to carpooling twice a day for at least a year if not longer.

With 2 little kids in the backseat.

In reality Im not the one sacrificing. Ashe and Soren are. Im ok with driving to carpool and waiting, but it's a lot to ask two young kids to do that every day. J and I talked it over and we're going to try and make sure that J can watch them a few times a week so I can grab Xavier. I realize how much I am asking of them and Xavier appreciates it greatly ( I made sure he realized how much they were offering so he could be happy, Nothing like a little family guilt!)

So that's where we are. And I called his old school to make sure he was still on record to go there and all is looking good. So good, in fact, that I was told if we decide to, we are in that school until Xavier starts 6th grade without any reapplication crap (which suuuuuucks!!!!!!!). ANNND when Ashe starts school we can apply for that school to keep them together, and it's 99.999999% a definite he will get in because his brother goes there. ANNNNNNNND when Xavier starts middle school we can apply for YR and most likely get it because Ashe will then be in YR school.

So if we play our cards right and things work out we are set until Xavier starts high school. And frankly, thats not something I want to think about right now. Thats just too....Twighlight Zoney for me.

3. 2/3 of the boys are at Grammys house this week. Which is AWESOME!! Except for the fact that Soren, normally entertained by the antics of his brothers, is making sure I know loud and clear he is there and I damn well better play with him!!!!! He does it in a cute way though and I'm enjoying the one on one time with my youngest.

I feel slightly guilty but I am really enjoying the quiet of the household while Xavier and Ashe are gone. It came at a good time because I have a lot on my plate this week of things that need to get done, so I can do them at my own pace and not worry. We call each night and the boys are so happy and having so much fun they are in no way ready to come home. And I'm ok with that. I recognize that while this is the longest they have been away from home, they're old enough to do it,they are with someone who adores the ground they walk on, and that they will come home. Kicking and screaming, but they will come home.

4. Aside from being a Mom, I've been working my tail off as Promotions Manager to Triangle Mommies, a local support group for moms in my area. I took the role a few months ago and after learning the ropes (and allowing my rope burns to heal) I finally feel good about where I'm going with it. And I'm busy as hell.

I am the one who does all advertising off site to get more members, plus head up our blog, promote big events on site, and try to get our butts into cool places like fairs for free to get the word out. And this weekend I am going to promote us at our first Baby Fair since I took over. And it's been a long road, but TOTALLY worth it!

So the past few weeks I have been wheeling and dealing with potential sponsors for free samples to give away, opening my door to UPS/Fed EX to get huge boxes of samples, individually labeling all samples with our logo labels, writing up blogs and ads and FB stuff to spread the word, dealing with our contacts who are hosting the fair, creating and burning a video DVD promoting our site, writing up, printing and cutting out hundreds and hundreds of logos, labels, questionnaires to hand out, and so much flipping more!!!!..... not to mention the daily stuff that comes with being a manager.

Dont get me wrong I love it! I realized I adore labeling things. Weird, huh? But it allows me time to zone out and just be. And this Saturday we go and promote and have fun at a Baby Fair.

And then I get to do it allll over again. I've already gotten us a deal to go to a 2 day Baby fair which is expecting 10,000 families. And I'm already planning that out.

5. Last thing I will touch upon. I finally got myself to the Drs to help me with my ADHD. I've noticed over the past several months that a lot of what I do are mirror images to Xaviers symptoms of ADHD. And I realized I just cant do it anymore o my own. So I went to the Drs and he gave me Adderall RX which is supposed to last all day. And I tried it for the first time today. And it didnt work. If anything, I felt worse. Now, I have tried the fast acting Adderall before and it works WONDERS. So I know it can work. And I'll give it a week. But a part of me was disappointed today, hoping for some relief, and I got nothing but wanting to go out on the porch and smoke more often.

I'll give it time. But I'm not a patient person.

So that and about 35 other things is why I havent had time to blog. I'll try and do better in the future. Just give me until Sunday ok?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Out of The Mouth of Babes

The other day I had to make a trip to the book store to get myself a book. Unfortunately I had gotten myself wrapped into a series in which the final book was not in Kindle format. Seriously folks, if you are going to put a trilogy into kindle format for the love of Bob, PLEASE make sure ALL THREE books are accessible to Kindle!!!! It is completely unfair and just inhumane to make one stop at 2 am when they are ready to start the last book, only to search amazon frantically with no kindle book available!!!

So, in order to save my sanity and find out what happened to the characters and their lives, I prepped Soren and Ashe, promising that if they behave while Mommy desperately searches for the book she needs, they can play at the train table in the book store after for a long time (while Mommy checks her email in her Droid.)

As with any outing, Ashe and I went over the rules. Mommys rules when we go out to stores are:

1. Stay With Mommy and
2. Fowwow Drections (follow directions for those of you who can't speak 3 yr old)

When we go to the library or bookstore we have one extra rule:

3. Use our quiet (shhhh) voice

So as I get the kids shoes on and keep Soren away from the plant dirt I ask Ashe to go over the rules with me.

"Yup! And..."
"KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT!" He grins happily
"Umm... what?"

I stared in utter horror at what Ashe just said. I didn't even know what to say back. For the record, I never have told my kids to shut their mouths. I tell them to be quiet, to stop,or to knock it off. So I had no clue at all where this statement came from. And it sounded awful coming from a 3 yr old grinning at me.

"No honey!!! You don't say that! You just need to use your indoor voice, ok?"
"Ashe, we dont say that."
"Cause it's not a good thing to say."
"No. We dont say that. We say quiet, or hush, or indoor voice, or quiet voice."

So of course the entire way to the store and back again I'm frantically trying to think where he would have heard that statement. Did J say it in hearing? Did Xavier say it? My precious 3 yr old is running around saying Shut My Mouth and people are going to think I talk like this to him all the time and wow, that looks bad! But I don't say that!!! SO Where did he learn it????

Come to find out he learned it from his 3 yr old friend, who learned it from his 5 yr old sister, who learned it from...well we lost track at this point. But I had brought this story up the other night with some friends in bafflement over beers, and my friend piped up "Oh he must have heard that from my son. I heard him say it the other day and I was like "WHAAAAA???" I must admit I felt so much better knowing Ashe learned it from a 3 yr old than hearing it from an adult. But still, if he's picking up phrases like this from peers at 3, I need to start preparing myself from what he will pick up in middle school.