Monday, September 24, 2012

Two Things.

1) I am a sneaky Mom. Lexi's immune system has been on the down low since she recovered from that crazy virus a few weeks ago. As soon as she was well again she came down with a bad cold. Snot everywhere. Because getting a two year old to eat raw greens (that are packed full of vitamins) is essentially impossible right now, I started making spinach smoothies. I know. You think it's gross. But let me tell you, these smoothies are AMAZING. Basically all it has in it is a banana, a handful of frozen strawberries, plain yogurt, juice from a freshly squeezed orange, a little whole milk, a teaspoon of honey, and about two cups worth of fresh baby spinach leaves. Green smoothie. The best part is, Lexi LOVES them (unlike when I used to puree spinach and put it in her oatmeal every morning, in the smoothie, you can't actually taste the spinach). We have been drinking them every morning for the last week for breakfast. I have actually noticed a marked improvement in my mood, my energy level, and the way I feel. I feel really really good (and I normally don't feel bad, but trust me, I feel a difference!). So I'm thinking we are going to be doing some more green smoothies around here.

2) Lexi fell in the toilet yesterday.
I had previously warned her that if she tried to use the toilet with the seat up she would fall in. But you know Lexi. She can't ever take my word for it. I knew what had happened as soon as I heard her yelling from the bathroom "MAMA!!!!! COME QUICK!!! IM STUUUUUUCK!!!!!! HEEEEEEEELP MEEEEEE!!!!"
Upon entering the bathroom, I find Lexi with her whole body in the toilet bowl, her arms and legs sticking straight up.
Being the wonderful caring Mom that I am, of course I started laughing and then told Lexi to "hold on a minute" (hahaha) while I went to get Eric so he could see and join in my amusement. He, incidentally, didn't find it all that funny, and quickly scooped her out and into the bathtub while I kept laughing. Seriously, I really must not be a nice Mom.

Lexi has been reminiscing all day and tells me about every half hour "Hey, Mama, you know what?  Remember when I fell in the toilet? And Daddy got me out? My clothes were really wet. Because I fell in the toilet. And I was stuck."

Yep. I remember.  (I might still be laughing...)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Trump Card

Lexi throws tantrums like any average two-year-old. But she does have one trump card that she plays when she is REALLY mad at me or the situation. And of course, she does it most often when she is out in public.

The other day we were at the park and I told her that we were going to be heading home in a few minutes. Lexi doesn't always deal well with transition, especially when we are at the park and leaving was my idea and not hers. So she screams, runs around in a tantrum like way (arms waving all crazy while screaming and stamping feet...) and, of course, because she's really REALLY mad, she plays the trump card.

Down go the pants.
Down go the panties.

Hello little white buns.

Hello world.

Then there I am running over to her and pulling up her pants before any more of those other moms at the park can shoot me those "Oh-my-gosh-look-at-what-that-kid-is-doing" looks. And Lexi is looking at me with a mix of shame and triumph on her face. But it's a lose-lose situation for both of us, because she succeeds in embarrassing me, but earns a time out on the bench in the process. And as soon as she can't see my face anymore, I am usually trying really hard not to laugh at the whole situation in general.

Your kid may throw toys when he/she is angry, but my kid. MY kid, pulls down her pants and bears it all to really prove her point.

I am sensing some really awesome teenage years in our future. They can wait. ;)

Friday, September 21, 2012

A place of my own

A wise friend once told me that she refuses to do any housework while her kids take their afternoon naps. Instead, she lays on the couch and eats candy while reading a book. Or goes into her sewing studio and creates. And believe me when I say this lady can SEW. In the 3-5 years she has been sewing, she has made more girls clothes and other adorable useful items than I can hope to make in two lifetimes. Also her fabric selection is out of this world. Hands down awesome.

Anyway, the point is that when she first told me this, I thought she was out of her mind. During Lexi's babyhood, her short little 30 minute snoozes were my time to get stuff DONE. Dishes, laundry, sweeping, mopping, bathrooms, cooking, you name it. The problem was, once she was awake, I was ready for a nap. And never had time to do anything that I loved that couldn't be done while holding a squirmy baby.

Once I became pregnant with Lyla, I couldn't survive the day without a nap. So I napped when Lexi did. Now that Lyla is born and is on a predictable sleeping schedule, and I am way out of survival mode, naps for me aren't as important as they used to be. Most days now I can survive without one (depending on how often I had to get up the night before with both kids of course....silly kids...).

The important thing is, I took my friend's crazy wisdom and put it into practice. And I agree with her wholeheartedly on the situation! Kids nap time is MY time. Housework can be done while the kids are awake. Which trains Lexi in the process anyway. ME time is crucial. It is my time to do whatever I want (aka NOT the dishes). Be it create, paint, sew, quiet time, read, watch Netflix, sleep, eat chocolate, bake, sit on my porch, write, etc. In all the crazy of helping and serving and training and caring for everyone else, it is a spot in my day where I can just be me.

Sometimes (like today), I do have to use some of this precious time to make important phone calls like to the insurance company (HATE) or to make doctor appointments and such (so fun). But the real point is, I am not a slave to my house. doesn't have to be perfectly clean all the time. And the work can and will get done eventually. But for now, I will happily take this space and be myself in it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Happiness is a glass of Lemonade

Despite all my crazy posts about our chaos moments and really weird happenings, it is fact that we have a whole lot of fun over here. I'm pretty sure Lexi and I spend the majority of our days laughing, which is always my aim.
A few nights ago we had some really lovely light in our yard, so I grabbed the camera (and the opportunity) and had some fun with the girls outside while Eric rested inside (he was pretty sick at this point).
There was lots of giggling and tickling and chasing involved, and I just happened to capture some pretty cute pictures too. We need to work on Lyla, but it's not so easy trying to hold a baby and take a picture of her at the same time...if you know what I mean. For now, Lexi continues to steal the picture show. But with eyes like could she not?

Here are a few of my faves.

Big bright eyes.

I love her.

Cuties. Lyla is more than half her size. How did that happen?

First time Lexi actually smiled at the camera intentionally...and Lyla looks down. lol

Singing Happy Birthday at the top of her lungs


Side of our house. Doesn't our new roof look great? :-/

She's already taking self portraits. Watch out world.

Our sweet funny Lylee-poo (as Lexi has dubbed her)

Half of our big city yard


Monday, September 17, 2012

Rain, Muffins, and Store Phobia

Being a mom of two little kids, I am learning to choose my battles.
These battles have nothing to do with training or discipline involving the kids. My discipline methods are pretty cut and dry right now. I'm talking about the going out in public battles.

You know that Mom in the store who is pushing around a full cart with two kids in it and one of those kids is screaming and throwing her raisins and shoes everywhere?

And that Mom in the library who is trying to hide between the shelves while the baby in her carrier is fussing and her toddler is pulling all the books off the shelves faster than she can put them back on?

And that Mom at the restaurant who's kid just threw her cup and fork on the floor?

And the Mom at the park who's kid is yelling "SNACK! SNACK! SNACK! MAY I PLEASE HAVE A SSNNAAAAAAAACK????????" and the Mom forgot the snack at home and then the kid falls apart....?

Yep. I am that Mom.
I wish I wasn't. I wish two-year-olds could think and reason and control their emotions, but they can't. So I train constantly, pray a LOT, and hope that one day, maybe I will have the kid who's behavior people are impressed by. I mean, I can always dream, right?

With that being said, I pick and choose my public appearances carefully. This works for me, because I am an introvert anyway, and would rather be at home alone almost all of the time. And if I'm completely honest with myself, I have a slight phobia of stores. Really. But sometimes it is absolutely necessary to leave the nest. And gathering food is one of those necessary times and reasons.

Grocery shopping.

I don't really know why I put it off so much. Maybe it's because it feels like too much effort to get both kids in the car, then out of the car, then into the grocery cart (where I run through the store throwing things into my cart and feeding Lexi raisins to keep her calm and sitting down), through the isles where I politely fend off all of the rather strange people at Aldi who are in love with my blond and blue-eyed girls (they are a novelty in my hood), and then bag all the groceries myself and then get the kids out of the cart and back in the car and then out of the car again and into the house and then back and forth to the garage and up and down our really scary and dangerously steep staircase over and over until all the groceries are in the house. And then I try to unload the groceries and put them away as fast as I can while Lexi "helps" by opening up all the pasta boxes (you know how this ends) and Lyla is crying to be fed. Hmmm. No wonder I'm not jumping for joy to go shopping. And you wonder why so many Moms are in therapy.

So this past week, with Lexi and Eric both sick and unable to eat due to basically having something similar to chicken pox in their throats (seriously disgusting and very painful), there was no reason to shop. There were peanut butter M&Ms in the freezer, pita and fresh hummus in the fridge, and plenty of cheese. Unfortunately, some people think that we also need vegetables to survive, so I had planned to go to the store today (in all reality it was because the M&Ms were gone and I was kind of craving a big fresh salad). But of course, because I love shopping so much, it somehow never got worked into our schedule of doing nothing.

Lexi was hungry at dinner time (this always seems to happen). With not a fresh veggie in sight, but lots of overripe peaches and bananas, we decided to make muffins. I browsed the internet a bit and came across this gem of a recipe that I feel I have to share in case you also have lots and lots of peaches and bananas and no vegetables and a hungry toddler. Believe me, it can happen. So while we listened to the rain pattering on our windows this evening, we ate these incredibly delicious whole wheat banana and peach muffins with cheese sticks on the side and some vanilla yogurt for dessert. (This is by no means a food blog, but if you know me, you know that I love to eat healthy real foods and this recipe is a winner. For those interested, I cut the oil in half and used an egg since I'm not vegan. I should actually rephrase that and say that I love to eat healthy real foods when I have food in my house.... Which will be tomorrow. I promise.)

I didn't make it to the store, but I did have fun making muffins with Lexi and singing "Do you know the Muffin Man" over and over and over and over while we made them. Plus, every once in a while I think it's kind of fun to let her think we just ate cake for dinner.

Monday, September 10, 2012


Let's just say it's a really good thing that I never did become a nurse. My parents knew the entire time that it was a crazy idea anyway. After all, growing up I used to run and hide the minute anyone in my household even looked the tiniest bit sick. And during a flu episode in our house (which happened all the time), I would lay awake all night anxiously hoping and praying and begging God to please please PLEASE let me not get sick. 

And then I decided I wanted to be a nurse?

Yeah. That wasn't gonna happen. 

After a year of biology classes at the University, I switched to Art with a K-12 teaching certification. Never looked back. 

And then I found out I was pregnant. And my phobia of vomiting was revisited. Morning after disgusting, gut wrenching morning... until after a few weeks I felt like perhaps my phobia had been resolved and I could move on with life during illness. After all, it only lasted month or two. 

But then the universe had other intentions. As payback (probably) for always being mean to my sick siblings and running away and covering my ears whenever I thought someone even looked like they had a stomach ache, I had the worst second pregnancy of my life. It was like I was bulimic. For NINE MONTHS. Unintentionally. Of course, people look at me now and can't believe I had a baby five months ago, but listen people - I would rather have gained weight than throw up every single thing I put into my mouth for nine months! [ok, obviously I am exaggerating a little...once I started my meds I was able to keep down about half of what I put in. But even so, half isn't a whole lot]. So now I am used to throwing up. Fine. It's not so scary as it used to be. Disgusting. Revolting (and yes, I will still run if you say you feel sick). And horrible. But not scary. 

And now I am a mom to Lexi. She throws up often. Weird times. For no apparent reason. And yes, I have had to clean it up. And no, I didn't run. Unfortunately, if I run it will still be there when I get back...

Lexi has been sick for the past five days. Funny enough, I would almost rather she had the flu this time than what she ended up getting. No throwing up, but some things can be worse. For a kid who rarely even gets a common cold, high fevers are really really scary. And when she won't eat for days and days and screams about pain that you can't see and she can't articulate, well...that's way worse. 
Fortunately, we know what it is now (we think), but it's a virus, so it has to run its course. And thankfully, after four days of eating nothing and screaming hysterically every time we forced her to take a sip of water, she finally was able to eat some oatmeal today. And by some I mean five bowls. I guess she was really hungry. 

Five days is a long time to have a sick two-year-old. I'm exhausted. Ready for her to be healthy. And of course, now Eric says he is coming down with it. I am hoping it's more mental than physical, but you can't really fake a fever, I guess...

We did learn a little something during this whole fiasco though. Never ever EVER take a weekend car trip with a sick toddler. Because no matter how much I wanted to be at that wedding, it wasn't quite worth what we went through during the nine hours drive there, the 30 hours with the family (most of which was spent consoling Lexi through the night and then taking her to an urgent care clinic in the morning and then pouring meds down her throat and trying to keep her from crying out in pain during the wedding), and then the nine hours of driving to get home. To recover from that supreme stupidity on my part, Lexi and Lyla and I spent the day in bed watching Curious George and Pixar movies. 

And now my cat just laid down on top of Lyla's head and in return Lyla is now chewing on her tail. 
What a crazy life. Time to go to bed so I can be awake to nurse my sick family back to health tomorrow. That's love right there.

[I would so much rather be painting.]