Friday, January 30, 2009

Bad Mama?

For close to a week now, I have been having knots in my stomach. I think I am internalizing everything right now. I could blame it on the womanly issue that one should not discuss in polite company (i.e. my dad will at some time read this post and might blush that his daughter has such issues...), or the winter blues - both, maybe.

This particular knotted stomach problem involved my oldest, Eli. I think I am quite honest and know not only my weak points but also my children's. I will be the first to admit that Eli is not perfect, I'll share a couple examples: *long pause* *crickets chirping* Oh! I have it, he is not an expert at wiping his bum, but this is mostly my fault and might be due to the fact that he does not have long arms? Who knows. In all honesty, Eli is a sensitive kid, he does his fair share of whining and complaining but he also a great little kid with lots of love for his family and friends.

We have long been an acquaintance of a particular family that has a boy Eli's age. We have different dynamics, like birth order, that might make it difficult for the two boys to click well. And all the rest may be my opinion (or fact, as I like to see it). Since the moment they have played, there has been a sort of competition and I am being honest when I say that it is one-sided. Eli doesn't get it, his mind does not work that way yet, if ever. And he comes home a standing a little less tall (and frankly, we can't spare inches people). Yes, he wants to win but it is more about the game than his own personal glory. I have seen countless times where this boy has purposely left Eli out, belittled him, been condescending to him and downright mean. Needless to say, we do not have many play dates. For the last few years, I have kind of steered Eli toward other friends, different extra-curricular activities and such but once again we find each other in the same proximity. Without getting too specific, this boy was so blatantly rude to Eli that I could not even stand it. Am I too vague?

Let me give a totally hypothetical situation. Say the two boys were on the same basketball team and I can honestly say, Eli is pretty good. He has good ball control, he passes a lot, he is getting the game. He does not however have flare. He does not watch the pro-ballers and copy their fancy moves, facial expressions and all that. This other boy is good, no doubt, really good. He WILL NOT pass to Eli. At all. The last straw, hypothetically, was when the boy was throwing it in after the other team scored and Eli was right there waiting for it while another little boy was heading back up the court. Eli was the only one the boy could have thrown it in to but he wouldn't. For 20, maybe 30 hypothetical seconds, he ignored Eli, kept calling to another kid and finally got his attention and passed it to him. It was so blatant. I just looked at his mom and her little smirk and then the knots started.

I don't think Eli should control the ball all the time, I do think however that this is quite indicative of how our relationship has been with this boy. And I wish I could say we don't have to deal with this situation often, but for many reasons, we do. Frankly, I don't have many options that I haven't already put into use. Then Eli came home one day, totally dejected. It had to do with this boy. I have had it. I am at a loss for what to do. I am trying hard to not try and control the situation and let Eli work things out on his own but, wow, it is getting to me.

So friends, what do you do when you see your kids being mistreated? Do you fight the 7 year old bully? What do you say to your child? Why is parently so freaking hard? What if my reaction to this situation totally changes the course of history? What if we get kicked off our street? To be serious, I need some mad coping skills, because this particular situation is not going to change, so give it to me straight people. I promise, I will not mope out here in blogland again, but I need the skills.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Perspective and Inspiration

I have tears in my eyes all morning since I called him mom and asked what kind of sandwich she likes. Then I came home to read this and I think I'll have the tears in my eyes and warmth in my heart for a while. Charlie's life this past year and his family's life/strength gives me some much needed perspective and inspiration. Please go and read about this little man, I promise it is worth it. If you want to start at the beginning go here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I have it right now because I have let Caroline loose with paint, stickers and paper. Joey is sleeping (for about 4 minutes and 54 seconds longer) and I haven't done the dishes from lunch. I was checking out some blogs (because I had 11 minutes and 14 seconds until the baby calls) and ran across this article that stephmodo brought to my attention. Thanks stephmodo, or whatever your name is, too funny.

What do you think of the article? Genius-y.

I am posting this picture taken by Paige, again, because a) he is waking, b) it makes me feel warm and c) because I think she needs to come take more.

Wall of Love?

So the wall is going well, the kids really love it and I was having a pity party because Dave was getting lots of love, the kids were loving each other and Dave and me? Should I take the hint and get on some sort of hormonal treatment? I mentioned to Dave the other day that he better start digging deep and finding a reason that he loves me, much less likes me and this is what was on the wall last night.

It might be a lonely Valentine's day for him.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Shopping with song

Desperately out of milk, I had to run to the store today with barely a menu in mind. I was in the produce section and was hearing some song like "Crazy for You" playing and I understand that they have to have benign music that would please a large artist, but some of the songs just kill me slowly. They kind of make me want to get out of the store even more quickly - not their intended use, I know. But then, halfway down the cereal/peanut butter aisle, this song came on and all was well with the world. This song or "You're So Vain" by Carly Simon always play at some point whenever I shop at the grocery store. I wonder if the world is trying to tell me something. What is your shopping anthem?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Pea Soup

I don't get the phrase "thicker than pea soup" in reference to fog. I can understand clam chowder, but more creamy potato, but not pea soup. Can anyone explain?
the pic above was taken 20 minutes ago on our way home. We have been in fog, or frog, as Caroline calls it, all day. You could not see two cars ahead.

And, today Caroline was saying butt head. I told her we don't say that word, she said, "Ok" and then replaced butt head with butt lips? WHERE does she hear these things? Eli never did this.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wall of Love

I spoke yesterday about a new Valentine-y thing I am starting. I'm sure it is a totally unoriginal thought and frankly, way out of my emotionally sharing league, but here it is. I went to the scrapbook store with Caroline yesterday. She chose all sorts of red and pink cardstock and we used several die cuts in shapes of hearts, large enough for us to write on.

When we go home, Caroline and I talked about why she loves Daddy, Eli and Joey and I wrote it down for her on several hearts. I did some from Joey and I too. Eli loved to read them when he got home and at dinner we talked about how there will be a spot where they can get a blank heart and write down why they love each other, or something special about a family member, or friend. Then we will tape it to the wall (using a paint/low tack tape, so it won't pull of my butter cream paint). Hopefully we can fill up the whole wall by Valentine's day.

Here is Caroline's first love letter to William. William and Caroline are two days apart in birth, same hospital, same doctor and they are buddies. Caroline often has us write letters to her friends or grand-parents, which are too funny for words. But I walked up this morning and saw this heart for William (Dave was the scribe), who she is playing with today. I would not be upset if she married Will, or any of his brothers. And if she is willing to be a monster for him, love is sacrifice, isn't it?

I am going to add to Wall of Love how much I love Joey going through my box of Raisin Bran and eating all the raisins.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Things I am eyeing this week...

I liked my find the other day on Paper Source (look about 2 posts down) and knew I could find some printables on Etsy, so here are a few I found. I am going to try like crazy to have my kids do something more homemade this year - Transformers just don't speak the language of love to me. We started tonight with what I like to call our Heart Attack Wall, I'll show you pics tomorrow - Dave is tearing apart the computer that houses my photos. Each of the following cards can be printed out at home after you purchase them, letting you make as many as you would like.

I love the fresh approach found in Three Wheels Design and Paper. This card is the perfect mix for a boy for Valentine's Day. Eli would still feel super manly handing out this pirate. They have other designs, have a look.

If you are searching for vintage Valentine cards that remind you of your childhood, have a look at Printable. They have a ton to choose from and it will make you smile.

I absolutely love the sense of humor in the cards at The Rasilisk. I really love that they have a selection that is appropriate for kids and a selection that is appropriate for adults. And if you are just looking for a way to say "thanks", look here.

Shabby Chic Crafts has a ton of printables, and I love this L-O-V-E e-card set. It would be perfect for a card or to hang on ribbon on your wall. The conversation hearts set is very cute, too. ***Veronica of Shabby Chic Crafts just emailed me the link to her great blog, Please go look, you will find great ideas for homemade Valentine fare and some free downloads of love coupons!

And finally, marialunate is so freakin' adorable, I can't stand it. The shop is full of beautiful printables including a couple for Valentines, like this one. But I also think it would be fun to print some of the Little Reds and give them out from your child's girl friends, because what little girl doesn't love paper dolls?

And now I am off to Red Mango, by myself. I need to show myself a little love right now, so I can show it to the family. Know what I mean? Would you choose any of these cards?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


It is an historic day. And the day is about a man that ran on the idea of "change". Inauguration days really bring about a sense of anticipation, hope, excitement and change. Here are some of my thoughts.

Whether you liked the man or not, agreed with his politics or not, I think we can agree that Former President George W. Bush quite possibly had the most difficult job on the planet. This man was the leader of the free world. This man made decisions, popular or not, he felt were in the best interest of the nation. The man was lambasted numerous times throughout the last 8 years, justified or not. Watching him today, with the grace in which he passed the proverbial baton, made me admire him as a person. I was impressed with the dignity, warmth and poise both he and Laura Bush showed to the incoming First Family and others.

I am also impressed with President Obama. This is the beginning of a new presidency. He has brought hope to many people in this nation. He has the opportunity to bridge divides. He, no doubt, has the nation's best interest in mind. He wants America to be great. But it isn't just him that makes America great, it is each American.

These things were running through my mind:

I hope that we can each criticize less and support more.
I hope that we can point fingers less and hold hands more.
I hope the we can see each other as Children of God, not just Americans, and not just Mormons, Muslims, Catholics, Black, White, of Japanese descent, of Mexican descent, male, female, Repulican, Democrat and everything in between.
I hope we can do less tearing down of one another and more service to one another.
I hope we can show more respect for each other's opinions.
I hope we can be proud but not boastful.
I hope we can show kindness to someone everyday.
I hope we can teach each other positively each day.
I hope we can do random acts of kindness, not only for strangers but for those in our homes.
I hope we can be more tolerant of each other.
I hope we can be more open-minded and yet not be wishy-washy.
I hope we can have less violence and more peace.
I hope we can be less of the problem and more of the solution.
I hope we can teach our children all of these things and give them sense of self so that they can be the future strength of this nation.
I hope we can be dignified.

And really, instead of "I hope we can..." I should be writing "I hope I can..." because the change that everyone is looking for should really start with me, as an individual. Do I think as a nation of millions of people, of all different races, all socio-economic levels, of millions of different personalities, that we can make a change for the better? To use a commonly spoken phrase, Yes we can.

What? Free makeup?

Apparently, the big department stores were having us little people pay a little more than we should have for makeup - or so we allege and they deny. But to make us feel better, companies like Lancome, Clinique, Estee Lauder, Clarins and quite a few others are offering one free item to each customer. You can partake of this "giveaway" at large department stores like Nordstrom, Macy's, Dillards, and all those others that frankly aren't available in my market. It is supposed to last until January 26th, but will be over when supplies run out. I visited Nordstrom this morning and the line was reasonable and the gals were so helpful. There were serums, lotions, perfume and mascara. Since I am still trying to find a good mascara, I chose a Lancome mascara - we'll see. Have you already been? What did you get?
*** In the stores that I walked by, the free makeup was a designated area near the makeup counters. You will be able to tell, there will be a line. Hopefully, not a long one. Here is a complete list of stores that are participating:
Bergdorf Goodman
Boston Store
Carson Pirie Scott
Neiman Marcus
Saks Fifth Avenue

Friday, January 16, 2009

"Homemade Valentine"

I am quite unproductive on the Valentine front, but which I mean the kids just sign their names to their Hello Kitty or Pokemon Valentine. But I just saw this over at Kate's Paperie and thought it was cute and just easy enough to keep Caroline's attention. Even better, you just download the pdf from their site and print it up.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Finally, one of the best shows on television starts its season on NBC. Please watch!
Remember that time when it was 8:12am and I was busy getting my son off to school? Remember how Joey tried to sneak a plate of scrambled eggs with ketchup into the living room because he heard the Wonder Pets song? Remember how I heard "Uh oh, messy" and heard a small crash? Remember when I looked to see what had happened and saw fresh cat throw up, eggs and ketchup all over the floor? And on Joey? Remember how I took off his pants and went downstairs to put the throw up pants in the wash and then came back upstairs to find that Joey had pooped in his size 4 diapers that we found out yesterday do not stay up so well on his lack of a junk in the trunk bottom, so I was going to go to Target this morning for more number 3's? And remember how the said 4 diapers are so big that they don't offer any coverage? Poop, all over him. Got Eli off to school, cleaned Joey up, told Joey it was time for a bath. While I was testing the water, Joey says "Uh oh, messy" and I hear splattering as a fountain squirts from his cute body. Remember how when it all ended it was only 8:25am? That was awesome.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Things I am eyeing this week...

I really want a silhouette of each of my family members and keep thinking I will do it myself but am loving this shop, Petite Debutante. I love this little girl, I am sure the one they do of my Caroline and other children will be just as beautiful.

Oh the beauty, Papers' Edge. This is a different take on the silhouette, paper cut images, some custom others giclee. I'm in love. If the family portrait is a little more than your wallet can muster at the moment, have a look at the rest of what she offers.

We have a love of all things nesting dolls here at this house. My grandma has lots of them and that is what my kids head for first thing as we walk through the door. I am sooo super super tempted to just order these tonight, before I let my budget talk me out of it. How fantastic are these dolls from Home Crafts Catalog?

I love this silhouette (I feel like I am using that word a lot tonight, but the thesaurus would just be redundant, right?) Maybe Dave will read this and order it for me (it worked on Christmas). Le Papier Designs has some beautiful works.

What do you think? Do you like these picks? I need to hear from you, at least to feel the love.

Love this shop

My mom sent me this website - props Mom. I love the lines of the furniture, I love the simplicity of the designs. I think I am ADD when it comes to what design I want in my house but love this stuff. Want to order it all tomorrow and sit on this chair next to the this table bench. Check out bookhou.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Who are you pulling for?

I wasn't going to do it, I really wasn't. I mean, I liked Jason from the last series but I wasn't going to watch it. Then Ash called today and told me I had to watch it. So tonight I watched it online and am just finishing the second week. I can't stand it. I seriously don't know if I can continue to watch crazy Shannon - I can't stand her teeth for one thing. Yes, I am superficial, but this is The Bachelor. Oh, the antics. The bikini bodies (jealousy speaking, I won't lie), the amount of make-up. So, for now I am pulling for - based on this week and maybe because I saw more of them because I wasn't paying complete attention to all the story lines....


But there are quite a few other girls that I like. Melissa, Kari, Nikki, some others. Why am I wasting this time? Paige, can I nominate you for the next Bachelorette? I am being serious.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Finally, Christmas.

We had a great Christmas. We tried to keep it pretty low key, but it was still overwhelming for me - I don't know why. I did that gift thing, Want, Need, Wear and Read, I referenced it in a previous post somewhere. I think it worked rather well, I can definitely improve upon it next year or tweak it a bit. I also need to rethink my co-gift giving relationship with Santa - does he do all the gifts? I mean, it is his spiel. What do you do?

We set out cookies and milk for Santa the night before and we set out water for the reindeer, and luckily Rudolph had some because his nose always colors the water, which is extra fun for the kids.

It was nice to be in our own home doing our own family things for this Christmas, though we have fun when we are away. Oddly, I was the first one up. I heard a big bang around 6:30am and found out later it was our shed door that had been blown open, but thought it was some Christmas morning robbers. In any case, I couldn't go back to sleep. The kids didn't get up until just before 8 and we had to go and wrestle Dave out of bed - not our usual morning routine.

The kids had so much fun. Santa brought them what they wanted, Eli got his new Nintendo DS, Caroline loves her electronic keyboard the most (we love it most of the time), it has a microphone and she has made up some great songs. Joey was so much fun but would have been happy with only a couple of cars - he got those and a little more. I got him a Cabbage Patch newborn because he loves to push Caroline's dolls around in a stroller so I thought he could have his own. Cabbage Patch Kids are hard to choose. Why? Have you read their birth certificates? Who comes up with these names? I am not going to publish any of them here just in case you have always wanted to name your child ____, but really? My CPKs from when I was are named Roberta Marilyn and Theodora Candy - why I can remember their names I do not know, but still, doable names, memorable without being outrageous. I had to search to find one for Joey (I realize you can change their name, but I just can't). Finally I found Herschel Elliot, he was just right.

All in all, a great holiday. Oh, but I am just remembering the sick. Joey, still, almost three weeks later, throwing up at least once in the middle of the night, usually averaging 3 (SUCKS!!!), Dave and I both sick, but still having to function - so yuletide gratitude for functioning. Lots of time together, family, down time, fun.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I don't even know where to start

except to say that my favorite lines are "I'm not a monkey" and "better than mango". I struggled to wean Joey from breastfeeding, I breast him for far longer than my other two and if I was not me and just listening to me and how long I nursed Joey, I would make fun of myself. And though I think it was a good choice for me, my children and my food budget (formula is pricey!), I must say, but this is a whole different level of being a breast supporter.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Simple Finds Giveaway

I really want this machine. It would help me so much with my plaques, since the words on them are vinyl, but there is so much more I could do with this. Have a stop over at Simple Finds and check it out - it is a great blog.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Yesterday I was giving a friend sought after advice on how to alleviate teething pain for their baby. Of course my advice was sound, it worked and my friend was a little surprised. He said, "So far so good. I always thought you were just a fountain of teasing and sarcasm, you've really proved me wrong this time."

To which I sarcastically thought in my head, "Punk." but replied with, "I'm only part sarcasm and teasing, but since my wit capacity has significantly decreased in the past few years, I'm just a bit more effective as a fountain of insanely useful knowledge. And I say that with no sarcasm whatsoever."

That was not completely honest, I am mostly sarcasm and teasing, but it isn't as clever as it once was. Which brings me to my diminished wit capacity, which is a direct result of my diminishing "smarter than a whip" brain.

Yesterday I was also talking to a friend who was telling me how her son Mikey just shoved a goldfish down her five month old's throat. As she goes on describing in detail how she couldn't get the goldfish out, Livie was not breathing, I am picturing in my head the tail of a goldfish sticking out of her mouth, wiggling around as it is lodging further and further into the baby's throat. Then as I was about to ask how she was going to disinfect Livie's mouth and throat of gross fish water and possible excrement, then it dawned on me it could possible be the goldfish of the cracker genus and not of the slimy, live-for-a-day-for-$.30 genus. So I asked, "A real goldfish?" To which she incredulously replied, "No! A cracker! Why would you think of a fish?"

I don't know why. What kind of mother has at least one toddler and doesn't immediately think Peppridge Farm Goldfish when speaking of goldfish? Me, the diminished mom.

Then it reminded me of the time I was watching some investigative report on selling human organs on the black market. The next day I was driving to my parents and at the bottom of a street that leads to their house was a large sign that said "ORGANS FOR SALE, CALL 123-123-123". My first thought was, "How brazen!" and then about 4 minutes later I realized they meant the one that you use your fingers to tickle, not the one that you use your fingers to harvest.

Although I should be embarrassed to put such information out there on the www, I only feel relief, like admitting to the problem is helping me on the road to recovery. Plus, it is a gift from my children, I should care for it and love it and hope one day they pool together their resources and gift me with a bionic brain. And as it is a new year (Happy New Year to all my friends and family!), one of my non-resolutions is to laugh at it all a little more and quit being so hard on myself. We shall see.