Sunday, June 24, 2007

happy burfday to me

I'm officially holding up the beautiful side of 40.

My boys gave me the greatest gifts a mother could ask for today. K made me a delightful 1 liter bottle of perfume in a garden spray bottle.

I was a little afraid of spraying it on my skin, but upon further questioning I gathered it was made from water and some sort of liquid lavender soap.

Q made me a true treasure. It is a 2-qt rubbermaid container filled with water and bits of grasses and herbs from the garden.

They were besides themselves with joy to celebrate my birthday with me. Again, another 'bits of joy' experience.
Today I took them to one of those ceramic painting places so they could make some tiles for me. We painted for over three hours.
When we got into the van with all of our artistic elements spent, Q said, "Mama, I forgot it was your birthday while we were in there! My brain was so full of other stuff."

Friday, June 22, 2007

someone to herd em

the dog is great. really.

he does some things however i wonder about.

we suspect he is a Labrador retriever mixed with a border collie.

he has a sweet gentle disposition like a lab, but is really smart.

he does this thing though that is a mystery to me. it appears he tries to herd us, particularly the kids. sometimes he'll just knock his head into them and nudge them one way or the other.

sometimes if the kids are running, or flailing about he'll nip at their heals. OK by "kids" i mean Mr. Q the 4 year old.

With the baby, I've seen them standing next to each other then suddenly move him straight sideways with the trunk of his body.

if I were smarter, i'd learn how to use this herding thing to my advantage....

"Leo....get the boys! Make them go potty! put on their shoes and get into the van before I have to raise my volume"

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

lost diapers

"How was your day?" my friend asked me today knowing that there was a story to be had in there somewhere.

As she asked this, one brother hit the other with a guitar sending shock waves through the dry wall. And then the baby walked into the room with nothing but a smile on.

I neglected to reinforce his diaper as I've had to do lately. I use industrial strength tape to keep the diaper on the baby. It really is a necessity.

Of course the first child would never think to take off his diaper all the time, since I was on that kid's every move.

The second child had this same issue with diaper removal. I used the blue painter's tape on him too.

I start the roll at the back of the diaper and wrap it around his waist to keep him from pulling the tabs open.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The summer of survival

I want to post video on my blog, but that would require a new skill. I don't have time for new skills right now. I focus on the survival. It is summer afterall.

Tonight as I tucked the oldest into bed I said, "Good night, my sweet boy. My first-born child."
To which he replied, "Yeah, I had it good back then didn't I? I had three years all to myself, before my bossy little brother came along."
Oh yes, I'm thinking of a cliche, wait....oh yes something about the pot calling the kettle black.

This month marks the first full year of the sibling fighting. I remember it well....last summer was clearly the first time the two oldest brothers started to fight.... and they really haven't stopped since.

I wrote this little note.....

JUNE 2006
This is the summer it begins, I suppose. It was bound to happen, but how was I to know it would be so soon?
This morning my two oldest boys woke at their summer sleep-in time of 8am and came downstairs to the excitement of another morning. This week they are going to vacation bible school, which they just love, better than school with more crafts, songs and yummier snacks.
There comes a point of time that every mother with two children dreads. Mine came this morning. I call it the yogurt splitter reckoning. They make six packs of kids' yogurt with three flavors on one side, three different ones on the other. My boys need to have most things they same or better than they other guy. So in the case of yogurt, each kid can eat the same flavor twice, but then there comes the dreadful day when one will have to get a different kind than his brother. You think, no big deal, yogurt is yogurt. Ah yes but that would mean you do not have a child under the age of say, seven. Because one you see has an alligator guy with sunglasses and the other may have a polar bear playing an electric guitar, which if you are three-years-old makes all the difference in the world.
I can usually head off problems by saying, “you get what you get and don't have a fit.”
This morning I thought that perhaps the ebullient mood would distract the junior occupants from yogurt flavor. Oh how wrong I was.
As I'm doing some banal job in the kitchen K, the 6-year-old, says in that poke you in the eye, sing song voice, “I have strawberry banana, and you don't.” Oh no, here we go. Did the president of the United States walk into this room with THE briefcase nicknamed “the football” and push that big red nuclear bomb button by mistake? There is no turning back. The order of what happens next is a blur of tears, finger pointing and banishment to the garage to work things out, and then I had to deal with the kids. You know, I am the grown-up, and as I sit here drinking my Diet Coke in the air conditioning while they are in bible school singing “Love is patient. Love is kind.” I can tell you there are better ways to handle things. I ended it all with an empty threat to never buy yogurt again.
Who would have thought that real sibling rivalry would have begun so soon? They are after all only 6 and 3. We were in Target last week and I spotted the t-shirts that said it all, “Sister for Sale.” “It's my brother's fault.” I could have thought of that. Why not capitalize off of your struggles? My t-shirt would say, “How many times do I have to tell you?” “Please don't touch the cat's butt,” or “Please take the salami off your brother's head.” All words that have actually come out of my mouth.
My husband and I happened to come across some video clips we had saved on our computer last year. The boys were in the midst of preparing for one of their many musical shows in the family room. The shows are complete with instruments, vocals, live microphones, canned background music and are almost always performed in underwear. As two-year-old Q knelt readying his microphone, the older brother rushes up behind him, grabs his arm, peels the mike from his fingers and heads to the fireplace hearth to become the star of the show. Without complaint, Q finds another microphone; it is a broken headset microphone with no headpiece. He shoves it in his mouth and holds it between his teeth to gurgle the backup lyrics to a made-up song by his older brother, while strumming a blue electric guitar.
This year however, we are entering a new era. Three-year-old Q has developed a very vocal mind of his own and very keen sense of injustice. Though he stills spends most of the day following his older sibling around being the student to his brother's teacher, the doggy to his man, the passenger to his' bus driver/engineer, you name it. The minute Q tries, does or suggests something different is when it all begins.
At first, K does try to explain the reasons why he must be the boss and the leader calmly at first, but lately it usually just goes into the full-blown argument. It usually escalates until Q shouts, “I'm gonna trade you for a sister.”
Sadly though he doesn't know that would probably be just the beginning of his problems. Being one and having a sister of my own, I remember the rough spots with both my brother and sister. I am the youngest by about a decade. Despite the age span we still found ways to fight without a problem.
Remember this one in the days before the remote control? “Hey, go change it to channel five,” my teenage brother would order from the white pleather chair. “Why do I have to always be the one to change the channel, ” I would lip back.
“Because you are closer,” he would say. Upon which I would get up and move across the room to the distance the furthest from the TV and say in true bratty little sister form, “No I'm not. Now you are closer.” The inventor of the TV remote clearly must have been the youngest sibling.
Somehow I can talk myself into the fact that the arguing is good for them. These are the battlegrounds for later in life. Siblings are the safe zone where we learn how to get along or not get along with others and pick up the skills for conflict resolution and problem solving.
In the meantime, I wait until my boys leave the kitchen and alone at last, eat all the cotton candy and kiwi banana flavored yogurts by myself.
Anything in the name of peace.


Friday, June 15, 2007

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


I've played a little with the look of the blog, just for fun.
The new picture is taken at the Georgia Aquarium last week.

I discovered today that they make Baked Cheetos and Baked Doritoes.

Have I mentioned the baby is in to everything? My house looks like Goodwill threw up in here.

I've figured out a new name for Starbucks...."A three dollar vacation"