Thursday, December 31, 2009

Speaking of Melina...

She doesn't get much face time around here, especially by herself.

This one is for the aunts, great-aunts, and grandparents! Hope you enjoy it.

It is fuzzy because Tara took it with her phone. Her cuteness still shines through, though!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Conversations With Melina

Melina had ideas of what she wanted to do after nap today.


Melina: Shoe?
Me: Okay, you want your shoes on? Please go get them.
[Melina ran off to get her shoes, came back to me, and sat down.]
Melina: Side?
Me: You want to go outside? Well, okay.
[Melina ran off to get her coat, came back to me, and looked for help with the coat.]
Melina: Wee?
Me: You want to swing? No, not today. Let's go out in the front instead.


Amazing how three words: shoe, side, and wee, can constitute a conversation, but they did. I told the story to Tim and he knew exactly what she was saying. The progression of language fascinates me with every child we have. Melina was disappointed not to be able to swing today, but thankfully, the girls put her on the sled, and she was able to go "Weeeeeeee!"

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Aaron-isms

I need to start keeping a list of things that Aaron says. Today's bit of wisdom from Aaron was:

Boys are dimmer; girls are lighter.

What?!? I just had to share that with someone, and since Tim is coming home late tonight, I picked you. Aren't you lucky?

P.S. We had a nice Christmas in Michigan. We also had a nice Christmas back here, since Santa dumped a ton of stuff at our house, too. All that and the boy with the red hair still wonders why he didn't get a red robot.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Are They All Yours? (Revisited)

I've written before about the different comments people have made when I have been out with the kids. The one I heard today made me laugh out loud.

We were exiting the doors of a local restaurant in front of a couple that looked to be in their late sixties/early seventies.

Woman: Are they all yours?
Me: Yes
Woman: You have a wonderful family. [How does she know? She only thinks I do because they are cute. Of course, I am biased when I say they are cute, but it is allowed, right?]
Me: Thank you!
Man: We had five. Quit while you are ahead!

I didn't see a slap on the arm from the woman, but that is what I'd have done to Tim if he'd said the same thing. No biggie -- gave me a good laugh.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

5 Year Old Boys

I am beginning to wonder from which planet 5 year old boys come.

My sweet 4 year old boy (not completely innocent) morphed into this alien of a 5 year old. I'd really like to know how that can happen so quickly.

I am not going to bore you with the details of our issues as of late, but check back frequently if you'd like a good laugh, or, if you just want to feel better about your own family situation.

Perhaps it has to do with his red hair?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Revelations

There are several things that I have discovered over the last two weeks.

1. As per my earlier post, single parenting is tough work. I think I do not appreciate Tim as much as I should. Nor do I tell him that, I am sure.

2. The house is neater with one less person around.

3. I have much less laundry with one less person. I could not figure that one out until I realized that a pair of socks, a pair of underwear, and one T-shirt a day (along with towels, work shirts and pants) can really make a difference.

4. I do not like cleaning the cat litter, but do not mind taking out the garbage on Thursday night. The dog doo -- I didn't even get to that one.

Tim is supposed to return home tomorrow. I can't wait to see how the kids react when they see him get home.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town!

We had an early visit from Santa this year. Or else his little elf came on by. According to the girls, it must have been his elf that left a note from Santa on their beds. The note essentially said the following:

Dear Zoe and Talia:
Have you been good this year? I want you to be honest. A little elf has told me that things at home have been a little loud. Please try to listen to your mommy a little better. She listens to you and tries to help you be good children. She also loves you very, very, much. I want to bring you good things, so please do your best. See you soon.
Love,
Santa

The girls were amazed at the fancy writing (thanks to wonderful computer fonts). They figured out that Santa (or his elf) must have stopped by when the girls were at school and the rest of us were at Meijer. Will it help? I hope so. I think they did a little better yesterday. Aaron realizes that he might be getting his own note if things don't shape up around here.

You can call me a bad parent; I call it desperate for help!

***
Speaking of Santa, we did get to see him this past weekend. I have to upload the picture of the kids on his lap. Melina would have nothing to do with him, but she didn't cry.

***
The countdown is on...2 and 1/2 more days by myself, unless Tim has to stay longer. I am prepping myself for the call that says he needs to stay put for a bit more, but I am hoping it doesn't happen.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Things Tim Would Find Funny

The kids like chicken baked with bread crumbs on the outside. I was making that dish for them yesterday afternoon.

Aaron: What is that?
Me: Chicken.
Aaron: It doesn't look like chicken.
Me: Well, it has to bake first.
Aaron: What part of the chicken is it?
Me: The breast. They are called chicken breasts.
[I continue to cut the chicken breasts into smaller pieces, trimming them of the parts I don't want on them. I trimmed off a rather pink section as Aaron watched.]
Aaron: I bet that pink part was the nipple, mom.

He had me speechless. We went on to discuss the chicken and the egg conundrum. It was quite the afternoon.

***
Melina has been asking to sit on the potty. She says "bobby" and pats her bum. Cutest thing ever. She is already with the program, though, as once she is on the potty, she wants a book. I can't imagine where she would have gotten the idea to read while sitting on the potty [smile].

***
The breakfast table was rife with discussion this morning. Well, the table wasn't, but the kids surrounding it were. According to Aaron, it is the 8th of December today; the girls say it is the 9th. I thought I cleared up the issue when I confirmed that it is, indeed, the 9th of December. However, Aaron won't believe it. He even went to the calendar, circled the 8 and crossed out the 9, as if doing that makes it the 8th. Five year old logic cracks me up.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fading Fast

We've been through the ringer over here, or at least I have.

Recently, I read an article regarding twins and the relationship between them. I can remember neither the name nor the author of the article, but she is a twin herself. She described having a twin as "an instant party." I think of that description often. Especially at bedtime.

This past week, Zoe and Talia have not put their listening skills to good use.

Me: Please go to sleep right away. No talking.
Them: Okay.

Then I hear giggling, singing, and whispering and realize the "instant party" has begun. Last night, it lasted until 9:30 pm, and it would have gone on longer, if I hadn't morphed into Mean Mommy. I don't like doing that, but let me tell you, it worked.

We have tried separating them at bedtime, and that does work: they each fall asleep quicker on their own. I started out that way last night, but when tears ensued (partly due to weird shadows on the walls and partly due to missing daddy), I went ahead and put them back together. Let me say that they didn't ask to be put back together, so last night's party time was somewhat my own doing. Tonight, separation galore.

***
All around, listening has not been one of our strong suits this week. I need to remember that Aaron is just five. I have been trying to get down on his level and speak quietly and slowly. I fear that Aaron's poor listening and the girls' poor listening will rub off on Melina, who at this point, doesn't quite understand what listening is.

***
I am not sure if I expect too much, or what, but this whole week has me fading fast. I am, in a word, exhausted. Tim better prepare to take next Monday off. I'll probably head out the door the minute he walks in on Sunday, and I can't say for certain whether or not I'll be back before Tuesday!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Kudos to Single Parents

All I can say is this: being a single parent, even for a couple of weeks, is just plain hard. Kudos to those single parents out there that do it every day. I could never manage.

On that note, thanks to you, Mom, for coming down for a bit. I appreciate that I didn't even have to ask. I hope we didn't drive you too crazy.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hotdog!

Zoe, Talia, and Melina tried hotdogs today, and liked them. Aaron (clearly the only one with some sense) wouldn't touch them. In the girls' defense, they were made of chicken and pork, two meats that they like best.

Why did this vegetarian household have hotdogs at dinner? We were babysitting a toddler that liked them. We wanted to make sure we served him something he would eat. In the end, he liked the grapes and pretzel goldfish (after dinner) the best, but did a pretty good job with the hotdog.

That's enough excitement out of this house for one night.

P.S. Tim, I didn't get a picture, but there are witnesses.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Who's Who

I received an email at my work account today, telling me I'd been nominated. For what? Mother of the year? Not by a long shot. It was for Who's Who in America.
Since 1899, Who's Who in America® has chronicled the lives and careers of America's most noteworthy people. Today, Marquis Who's Who has grown to include the biographies of millions of leaders and achievers from around the world and from every significant field of endeavor. Executives, journalists, educators, students, libraries, and researchers of all kinds consult our online biographical database and specialized directories for in-depth, accurate information they can use with confidence. From the Who's Who website.
Who, may I ask, would want to use my biographical data for anything? They must be reaching pretty far here, contacting adjunct faculty at local community colleges. My one book that has been published, while nice, is not a best seller, nor do I do cutting edge research. I got a good chuckle out of the email at least.

***
I am missing Tim right now. Partly because things are somewhat haywire, but not too badly, but partly because he is my sounding board for when things at my school go wrong. I got a phone call today from work about a student who didn't like her grade. Let's say I did everything right, so there should not be any repercussions, but I am willing to go to the dean with proof that this student should not have passed. I shudder to think that she may someday be a nurse. On the other hand, a few great eggs just passed Biology 143! Good luck to them and their future endeavors.

***
Aaron was at school today, so it has been pretty quiet around here. Melina and I ran some errands, including a quick trip to the grocery store. She pretty much sat in the cart and wanted to have smooches from me the entire time. Melina also wanted the pasta in Aisle 4, but I explained that we would have to 1. buy it first, and 2. cook it.

More to come, more to come!



Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ba-na-nas!

As in, driving me.

How many times can a 5-year-old boy NOT listen to his mother? Infinite.
How many times can two almost 8-year-old girls NOT listen to their mother? Infinite.
How many times can I hang my head, hoping that Jo the Supernanny will walk in the door? (There is a pattern here, if you haven't noticed.) Infinite.

***
We don't own too many valuable items in this house, except for the kids. Why is that? Because of said kids. Case in point: We had (emphasis on the had) two very inexpensive floor lamps in the living room. Aaron likes to stand on the base of the lamps. For what purpose, I don't know. Two days ago, I told him (again) to get off of the lamp. One day ago I told him (again) to get off of the lamp. (Bananas, I say!) This morning, the lamp looked like it was leaning. I tried to right it, but couldn't. By this afternoon, I thought I'd look into the problem. As I came upon the lamp, I noticed some dust on the floor. I picked the lamp up to find that Aaron had caused the compound under the cheap, black casing of the base to crumble. The base was no longer intact, and the lamp is now in pieces in our garage.

And I know you are missing all of this, Timmy, right?

Early Beginnings

5:41 am, Tuesday, December 1, 2009.

I wake up to the sound of 3 kids cackling in the girls' room. I look down at Melina, who is sleeping lengthwise across my abdomen at a very odd angle (yes, we believe in the family bed), and decide to try to get a few more winks in before waking her up. At least the kids are making happy sounds, right?

Aaron had gone to bed (in the girls' room) the previous night and was asleep by 6:20 pm. He promised me before falling asleep that he would NOT wake the girls up in the morning. After finishing up their snacks and books, the girls joined Aaron in their room for the slumber party. Clearly, Aaron did not hold up his end of the bargain. I am not sure what I will do this evening come bedtime.

***
We went to the library today to make a copy of something I need to send out. Aaron and Melina were enthralled by the copy machine. Aaron was pointing and jumping and saying, "Look, look!" as if I'd never seen one in action before. Melina was looking at a very large button-like structure and saying, "Ball!" If we get stumped for what to do while Tim is away, I think we'll head back for round two!

***
After posting last night, I headed up to work on folding the pile of laundry. I got through some of it, and we worked on putting some of it away this morning before school. Maybe if I get them up early every morning, we'll get everything done that we need to do.