Monday, November 29, 2004

Requisite Sappy Post

I love the smell of baby's breath. Not the little white flowers that come in those cliche' bouquets of roses. The breath of an actual baby. Okay, I can own that this may be a little weird to some of you, however I would wager that any mom who has nestled her cheek up against that of her sleeping baby would understand what I'm talking about.

I really wish I could describe it for those who don't know. It smells light, and sweet, and warm. To me it embodies that fundamental closeness that exists between a mother and her infant. Intimacy. Oneness.

The human infant has the most complex and intelligent mind of any other infant of any other species. It is also the most helpless. A baby is born from his mother's womb and clings to her. He knows her by the sounds of her voice, and by her smell. He needs her in every imaginable way.

A mother gives birth to her child and gives to him in every imaginable way. It is as if she is now holding her own heart in her arms. To see it hurting or wanting in any way would be to physically suffer.

I can't count the times I sat with my babies, nursing them in the peaceful glow of the nightlight, so desperate for sleep, but grateful for that moment. They would fall asleep, and I would cradle them up close to my face. I would whisper little lullabies to them, and gently rub noses with them. I would linger with them, even after their tummies were full. I would forget for a moment how tired I was, and that I could now tuck my baby in and go back to bed. I would stare at the way they would rest their perfect little lips apart just so as they slumbered, and I would lean into them and breath them in. I would drink in their sweet, brand-new breath.

Even now my Little Man still has that baby breath, and I find myself rubbing noses with him when he yawns, or kissing his cheeks while he's laughing trying to catch that sweet smell. As they get older they lose it. It disappears with the macaroni and cheese and chocolate milk and blue raspberry suckers. I will never forget that smell though, long after it has left my babies' lips. It is entangled in the memories I have of their infancy, and the intimacy we shared that is the basis of our relationships today. They may be walking and talking and growing taller, but when I hold them in my arms, it is still my heart I hold.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

I gave birth to a Care Bear

Gabriella is really into My Little Pony and Care Bears. She has a large collection of each. (Both of which, by the way, I played with as a child. If I had only known the hundreds of dollars I could have saved simply by storing away my toys for my daughter.) Her three-year-old world revolves so much around these toys, in fact, that every day she renames everyone in our family with either Pony names, or Care Bear names, based on what we are wearing. (This seems to be the basic criteria for the renaming, however no one completely understands the complexities of her system besides herself.)

She will rename everyone at her whim, and once the renaming has occurred, everyone must be called by their new names, or suffer constant correcting.

"Alexander, get down from there!"

"No, Mommy, that's Bedtime Bear!"

Today I was Sunny Daze. (I'm usually Wing Song, so I was very excited to be someone new today!) Spiral was Too La Roo La. Little Man was Rainbow Dash, and Gabriella, of course, was Pinkie Pie.

This is more than often highly annoying, although generally benign. I have found how to work it to my advantage. If, for instance, I make a request of her using her Pony or Care Bear name of the day, she is so pleased that I am playing along, she frequently obeys.

I also shamelessly use this tactic to get love from her. My daughter has apparenty gotten too old for cuddles and saying "I love you" to her mommy. (They grow up so fast these days, don't they?) As I tuck her into bed at night, I whisper to her "I love you, Wish Bear!" In return, and without fail, I receive a huge smile, and "I love you, too, Grumpy Bear!"

That's right. I'm Grumpy Bear.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Super Mom

Tonight as Spiral and I put the clean sheets on our bed, we had a small tragedy when our pillows got mixed up. I, being the anal retentive, borderline obsessive person that I am, am always careful to keep his pillows and my pillows separate. Luckily he averted certain disaster by pointing out that his pillows are the ones with drool marks on them. "If I were a super hero," he joked, "that would be my name. Drool Man!"

That got me thinking, what kind of a super hero would I be? Well that's a no-brainer, seeing as I have lost track of everything about myself that doesn't have to do with raising children. I would be

Super Mom!!

Able to instantly heal any boo boo with a single kiss. Able to please the most discriminating palate with a box of mac n' cheese. Able to shuffle coupons, bills, immunization schedules, and grocery lists with only minor paper cuts. Able to balance the tightest of budgets and still have room for a Happy Meal on occasion. Able to mend torn teddies and hurt feelings all at once. Able to read any Dr. Suess book without getting tongue-tied. Able to memorize all the lyrics to over 200 children songs and still remember my own name. Able to...

Sweetie, please. Mommy is busy right now. You're fine. No, it's not that much blood. Just go get a tissue. Run along now, and be quiet!

Now where was I? Oh yes, able to put everyone's needs above my own. I'm
Super Mom!!

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Thanksgiving Day Challenge

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you out there in the US. I thought of doing the obvious post where I list for you all of the things I am thankful for, but let's face it - you don't really care, and my list is long. So let's just not and say I did.

That out of the way, I'd like to issue a challenge to all of you. I have noticed that there are many blogs that I visit regularly (and they aren't all on my blogroll - I really need to update that!), but I don't always comment on them. In fact I would bet that there are a few that I read that I have never commented on. (Shame, shame!) I would bet that you have some of those as well. Today make a point of stopping by those blogs and let that person know that you enjoy their site. Just drop a comment in the most recent entry, or fire off a quick e-mail. Let them know you're out there, even if you are just quietly lurking. Make someone's day a tiny bit brighter. (If you're so inclined, you can start here! ;)

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

My Genuine Bucks!

Genuine has been kind enough to give me $10 million (hypothetical) dollars, and wants to know what I'm going to do with it. Well now, let's see....

I would buy a small country, name it after my dog, and live a life of overindulgence until I die fat and happy. No no....

I would selflessly give all the money to children's charities, and spend my life campaigning for world peace. You're right, that doesn't sounds like me, either.

Truth is, somewhere in between sounds about right. Spiral was laid off almost a year ago, and we weren't in the best financial situation before then. We took a large pay cut to move back to Wyoming to be close to family, and we are struggling. It would be nice to pay off all the debt and not have to scrape up enough quarters to buy milk every week. (I'll wait now while you go get a tissue to wipe those tears away.)

So truthfully, and I know this is going to sound boring, I would pay off our debt. I would take a long vacation. I would set up large funds for my children. I would buy one of those gorgeous brick homes in the "big tree district". I'd donate some to my favorite charities. I'd spoil my family, and I'd stash the rest away to live off of.

Now that I've bored you to tears, go get another tissue and then head on over to see Geniune - he may have some of this money left to give to you!

Gabriella's quip du jour

"Stop kissing me! I'm all out of kisses!"


Gmail Invites

Thanks to Amy over at Prochein Amy, I have my very own gmail address. (Yes, I know I'm behind.) I now have 6 invites to hand out myself. If anyone is interested, drop me a comment with your name and email address here. (And don't forget your URL - I like to visit my readers' sites!)

Update (11-26-04) - I have one invite left.


I just got around to completing my "100 things" list. If you are interested, it can be accessed in the side bar, or right here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Oodles of Noodles

Oodles of noodles,
that's all that we will eat,
Oodles of noodles,
for breakfast or a treat.

We wake up in the morning
chanting "We want noodles!"
We eat them shaped like flowers, stars,
or giant orange poodles.

Don't try to sauce them up at all.
We only eat them dry.
Don't you dare add peas to them.
Don't you even try!

You think you're being sneaky
hiding tuna under there.
But we will pick out all that meat
and rub it in our hair!

Oh go ahead and add some cheese,
we'll eat it that way, too.
But afterwards we'll need a bath,
if that's what you want to do.

We will not eat those nuggets
or the stew you made last night.
Don't try to make us noodle soup.
You do not make it right.

We won't eat grilled cheese sandwiches
but go ahead and dream.
If you won't give us our noodles
then we'll just take some ice cream.

We're hungry, Mom, we need to eat,
but we are very picky.
If you make "pb and j" for us
we'll make the kitchen sticky!

If it makes you feel better, Mom
call it pasta if you'd like.
But you'd better make us noodles
if you don't want a big fight!

Gabriella's quip du jour

(When told that if she didn't eat at least some of her dinner, she wouldn't be allowed to go downstairs and play the piano.)

"No, that's my job and I'm doing it!"


Monday, November 22, 2004

Is there such a thing as good pus?

If you are easily nauseated or disgusted you may want to scan down a bit and read one of my other posts. You've been warned.

I recently went to the doctor for my annual visit (always fun) and pointed out to her this thing on my leg. It was just a little bump - it's been there for years, and I've always meant to point it out to one of my various doctors over the years but this was the time I did it. She said that even though she didn't think it was anything to worry about she would like to remove it and have a biopsy done just to be on the safe side.

So that is what I did, and now I have this lovely... hole in my skin on my upper thigh. It is really disgusting. It looks like a crater. Gabriella saw it and then told Spiral "Mommy has a rip on her leg!" I'm to keep it covered and not get it wet until it scabs over and looks more... normal, I guess. I'm going through a lot of Band-Aids. It doesn't really hurt, although my pants irritate it, so I have a great excuse to wear my flannel pajama pants all day long.

I neglected to ask how long it would take for it to become normal. Right now it's full of pus. It doesn't look or feel infected. Spiral says this is "good pus", whatever that means.

I am now taking donations for my artificial leg, just incase. If you are interested in contributing, e-mail me.

Gabriella's quip du jour

"I'm not poopy. I'm just farting a little."


Sunday, November 21, 2004

Sunday in the Mommy Matters household

The sound of Sunday. I don't know what that phrase may mean to others, but here it is yelling and cheering at an inanimate object. (You know they can't hear you, don't you?)

"Get that guy!"



(That is of course, unless they fumble.)

He has dragged my children into this ritual. Little Man wears his jersey on Sundays, and yells at the TV along with Daddy. Gabriella has a cheerleader outfit, and she hollers "Go Broncos!!" while going about her 3-year-old duties.

Where does this leave me? All alone, on the computer. Not such a bad deal, is it?

Downward Spiral

It didn't take much convincing. My hubby, henceforth known as Spiral, has entered the blogging world. He is working on a very special project here in our humble little town, and he will be writing about all the humor, angst, and stupidity encountered behind the scenes. (I'm sure if you ask nicely he will tell you stories of his fabulous wife - only the good ones, of course.)

Please head on over to Eventual Restaurant and welcome him - tell him Christine sent you!

Gabriella's quip du jour...

"Those Broncos fumble too much. They need to score!"

(She spends too much time with my mom and her Daddy!)


Where's the love?

Has anyone else noticed the decrease in mystery credits on Blog Explosion? That "100 credit" winners list used to have maye 2 dozen names on it for a 24 hour period. What happened BE? Don't you love us anymore?

Friday, November 19, 2004

The Mean, Ugly Mommy-beast vs. the Drama Queen

The tiny Little Man spies the open door. Ahhh - a mysterious room he is not allowed to venture into alone. His eyes are wide as he toddles cautiously to the doorway. No parents in sight. It appears they forgot to shut this particular door during their morning routine. Oh they are so mean, never nurturing Little Man's curiosity by letting him explore this room. He looks down the hall to be sure they are still safely on the other side of the baby gate, and then darts in.

Where shall he explore first? There are always fun things on the table on the far side of the bed, so he heads that direction first, but gets distracted by a pair of shiny black shoes that didn't get put away. He stops to awkwardly slide his small foot into the giant-sized shoe. He smiles to himself and takes two steps before the enormous shoe falls off. Unaffected, he continues his journey.

When he arrives at the table he first sees a small green contraption with wires coming out of it. Fascinating indeed, but just as he gets his little fingers around it he spies a pair of eyeglasses. The green thing is tossed aside, and the glasses immediately go on - upside down.

That is when he hears it. The thunderous STOMP STOMP STOMP of the parent-beasts. They are coming to punish him with banishment! He will be tortured all day long with face-washing and diaper-changing and naps! Oh they are horrible! As the steps get closer he knows he has been discovered. The glasses are catapulted onto the bed, and he puts on his best smile in preparation for battle.

There is the Mommy-beast in the doorway, smiling that fake, knowing smile of hers. "Little Man, what have you been doing in here?" How quick she is to place the blame on him, oblivious of the fact that it was she who left the door open. She walks toward him, arms outstretched to seize the boy and begin the torture. He is trapped! What will he do?

It's too late to escape. His last chance is to endear himself to the beast and hope for sympathy. In a last-ditch effort, he flings himself upon the floor and wails his most pathetic-sounding wail. He curls up face down, his legs tucked under him and his little bottom in the air. His arms lay spread out on the floor, his head buried in the carpet. He is working it for all it's worth. Certainly she can be no match for such a sad little boy. She will be forced by his cuteness to take pity on him.

The evil monster is unmoved. In fact, she giggles at his performance as she scoops him up and lays his head on her shoulder. How could this be? That was oscar-worthy stuff, and not only does she laugh in his face, but then picks him up and pretends to love and care for him! Is there no end to her devilish ways?

She removes the tiny boy from the room and shuts the door. She then sets him down on the floor, and with a patronizing "No no, Little Man", goes back to relay the story to the Daddy-beast. Little Man is left alone in the hallway, his feelings hurt that he was once again unable to win at battle. He cries, and this time real tears stream down his soft baby cheeks. He toddles to the gate and reaches up to the Mommy-beast. She picks him up, wipes the tears away, and kisses him. He smiles and wraps his tiny arms around her neck. The battle was lost, and now also forgotten.

Gabriella's quip du jour...

Me - "Gabriella, I want you to appologize to your Daddy for being sassy."

Gabriella - "Daddy, sorry I sauced you!"


Thursday, November 18, 2004

Ta Da!!

My journey to self-discovery and self-improvement begins with my humble little blog.

As you can see, the new and improved "Mommy Matters" is up and running. I can't believe what a great job Mia did! I am so happy with how it turned out! I'm ecstatic to have an original, (and fabulous looking!) site! Yippy!!

Please, before you leave here go over to Ciao! My Bella and tell them how fabulous they are! Maybe you'd like to give your own site a facelift?

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Personal note

We interrupt this blog for an important personal note to one of my 3 fans. (And you know how I love my fans!)

Cory, of Mommy Dearest - Thank you so much for your comment. I am so flattered! (You like me, you really like me!) I wanted to respond to you, but I have no way to reply. Drop me a line at kabiel at gmail dot com.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming...

Proof of my success...

Last Friday I opened up to you about my worst failure as a mother. Now I would like to show you the flip side of that, so that you don't think too badly of me. But first let me tell you a little about my greatest mothering success (so far, although I don't know if it gets much better than this), as I may define this differently than some of you.

I first knew I was a successful mother after my son was born. The change from one child to two was much more difficult for me than I had expected. It took me quite a while to adjust. (Truth be known, I'm still adjusting.) But there was a moment - one glorious moment when I knew I could do it. I stood in the hallway of my home, a soft glowing light shining down upon me as a sign from heaven, and I knew. As proof of my success, I witnessed two sleeping children. Children sleeping at the same time.

Since that day I have made it my goal to see this evidence of my success every day. Two angelic faces peaceful and slumbering at the same time. I'm proud to report to you that I continue to be a successful mother - almost every day.

Remember - sometimes it's the little things.

Gabriella's quip du jour

(Said to my mother, who has trouble sleeping.)

"Grandma, are you nocturnal?"

(Yes, my three-year-old knows the word nocturnal. Next week she will be teaching a course in biophysics at the college. And she still poops in her pants. I'm sure I don't have to tell you how proud we are!)


An observation...

I've noticed in my writing, and especially in email, I am one of those horribly annoying people who use too many exclamation points! I use them all the time! Perhaps I'm trying to compensate for my calm outward appearance? Anyway, I am aware of the problem, and I am working on it. I will be joining a 12-step program shortly to help me cut down on my exclamation point use.

I'm not aware of a worldwide exclamation point limit, but if there is one, I'm using yours up. Sorry about that!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Gabriella's quip du jour...

(Said as her Daddy walked into her room to find she had undressed herself, and smeared poop all over her bed while trying to wrangle into her pajamas)

"You might want to wash my panties."


Blog It Forward

I'm sure you all read Three Kid Circus, but just incase you don't, you really need to head on over there and read this.

Misery Blogging loves company

So I let hubby in on my blog, only after I convinced him not to make fun of me for it. (He loves to do that!) Then it occurred to me that he should blog, too! He could talk about all the antics he puts up with at work, he could show off his photography, brag about his fabulous wife... and he's much funnier than I am. (Those of you who are thinking "but she isn't funny!" can just keep that to yourselves, thank you.) Plus it would be in the great tradition of Dooce and Blurbomat, Java Diva and Nef, Mrs. G and Genuine.

I can tell he's thinking about it, but isn't convinced yet. I'll keep nudging him along. After all, if he starts his own blog, that will be one more blog for me to read. (And one more blog that would link to mine!)

Monday, November 15, 2004

I've been dreading this

I knew it was inevitable. I knew it would come. I've been terrified since the day she learned to talk of this day coming, and now unfortunately I have the sad, sad duty to report to you that it has arrived...


I suppose because little children are curious about everything, and they are looking for information.


Because they want to know all about the world around them. There is so much to know.


The world is a big place and...


Well, I'm not sure exactly. It just is. It's filled with so many different things: animals, plants, people,...


I don't know! It just is! Now hush and let Mommy finish blogging!

She has hit the "why phase". I really hate this phase. I babysat for a little girl once (and I do mean once) who all night long kept repeating this one word to me, wanting more and more information from my then 18 year old brain, until my ears started to bleed. Now I live with one of these.

Can any of you more experienced parents out there tell me how long this phase lasts? We're on about day three, and I'm already poised with the icepick ready to shove it into my ears at the sound of that little voice uttering that word to me.

As a side effect, it has also marked the beginning of my new phase: the "Because I said so!" phase.

A bad scary sign

I have two children. (A boy and a girl. Who could ask for more?) I also have postpartum depression. My hormones are still out of whack. I have confidence that they will come back in whack over the next year now that I’m not breastfeeding my son any longer.

I found that when I was really wanting a baby and when I was pregnant, I loved watching those baby shows. You know the ones – “A Baby Story”, “Maternity Ward”, “Special Delivery” and the like. These programs show you (nearly) every detail of giving birth. I couldn’t get enough of these shows, and would watch them every chance I got. I don’t know if I thought I was educating myself on child birth, or if I was excitedly anticipating my own little arrival, or if it’s like a car accident and you just can’t look away.

After giving birth to my children I wasn’t so interested in these shows anymore. I guess after pushing a human out of your vagina you aren’t too anxious to watch it over and over again.

Tonight while settling in to surf some blogs and watch TV, I found myself stopping on one of these shows. Not only that, but I watched it for the entire hour! I began to feel that little flutter in my heart (or perhaps that was my uterus – it’s so hard to tell.) I’ve made no secret of the fact that I do want another baby someday. (My hubby has also made no secret of the fact that he does not want another baby. Stay tuned to see how this one plays out.) I really didn’t think I’d start feeling that baby urge quite so soon. I’m a little worried about my sanity….

Gabriella's quip du jour...

"I'm having a hard life!"


Sunday, November 14, 2004

Make-over time!

I've been surfing with Blog Explosion for some time now, and so have been reading quite a few blogs. (I have found more blogs than I care to think about that I am now reading regularly, btw.) I think that a blog should be judged on its content and not the way it looks, and I try to do that, but I do have to admit that the way the blog looks plays a great part in whether I come back or not.

With that in mind, and the fact that so far I've been forced to use a blogger template, which even though is just fine, is the same as scores of others, I am getting my blog redesigned by the talented Mia at Ciao! My Bella. I am so excited about getting a new look! Look for my shiny new blog in the near future, and while you're waiting, scoot on over to Ciao! My Bella and check them out!

"The most important office in the world", or "My business partner is a self-absorbed bastard"

Imagine if you will that you run an office. Not just any office, but a very important one. One that will cease to function at all if it's left alone for more time than it takes to go to the bathroom. (And not one of those cozy, read a book bathroom breaks some of you are fond of. I'm talking just a quick in and out, take care of business bathroom break.) It is so important that someone is in the office, in fact, that if it is left alone the law will come along and throw you in jail if you leave it unattended.

Now lets pretend that you are in charge of this office all by your little self from 8:00 am to about 5:30 pm. Now before you get your hopes up, you don't get to leave at 5:30 - oh no. At 5:30 you get someone to come in and help you with the office. This relieves some of your stress and responsibility, but by no means all of it. You continue to share the burden of this office until about 8:00 pm, when it can finally be shut down for the night. Also keep in mind that the office can decide that it needs to keep running past that 8:00 time slot, and/or it can decide it needs to be running at a later time - say 12:30 am or 4:00 am - it's in charge, not you. When 8:00 am rolls around again, your partner runs off and you are on your own again.

You would think that such a high-stress job would offer weekends and holidays off, but sadly you thought wrong. Weekends and holidays you do get to have your partner there with you, but you cannot leave that office. Maybe you can pack up all of the important things you need to run your office and take it with you, so that you can run your office while taking care of other things, but the office is always your first priority. Once and a while you can hire someone to care for you office for you for short amounts of time, but they will never do as good a job as you, and your office will protest.

Now before we go further with this story you must also keep in mind that you chose this job freely and willingly, and YOU DO NOT GET PAID! Not at all - no monetary compensation of any kind.

Back to this partner of yours. Yes, they are a huge help to you. You live for the times when this person shows up and helps you run the office, because while it was agreed to by the both of you that you would be solely responsible for the office to that they could find a way to earn money for your business, you are both equally attached to this office. Partners 50/50.

Let us remember here, because I cannot stress this point enough: This office belongs to the both of you equally!

So tell me please, is it fair for this partner of yours to assume that just because you care for this office single-handedly the majority of the time, that it is okay that they make plans in their free time and not give you equal opportunity to do so as well? No it is not!! But you see, they don't understand that running that damn office is all you do. That though you care about the office immensely, and running an office just like this is your life's dream, you can't be expected to do it 24/7 all the freakin' time with no break. They wonder why your patience is running thin and your temper is short, but they don't understand why. Is your partner blind? No, not at all. Is your partner stupid? No, far from it. Then why in the world do they not see that anyone who does any one thing without a break is going to go mad?

This is not a hypothetical question - if anyone can answer this one I'm open to ideas. It is beyond me. I mean, after all, this partner of yours likes to get away from their day job and have fun. You would think they would understand.

Gabriella's quip du jour...

"Don't drink too much of that beer, Daddy!"


I've got an eye for Queer Eye

I just have to digress for a moment to talk about Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. I love this show. Yes, I enjoy the whole make-over aspect, but really I keep comin' back because of the lovable Fab Five. They are so put-together, and they also all have (to varying degrees) a sense of humor, which I find mandatory in any man. My favorite Fab Fiver is Jai. He's so cute - I just want to put him in my pocket. (Jai - I'm not lovin' the facial hair look. I can't see that baby face of yours!) I wish I had me a group of gay men friends. Sadly, I don't think I would be cool enough to hang out with them.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

The gmail craze

I admit I'm out of whatever loop you have to be a part of to know all about gmail. I've heard it mentioned here and there, but really didn't pay much attention. It seems to be everywhere now, and my curiosity has peaked. So tell me, internet friends, what do you think of gmail? Are all these wonderful features going to remain free? I'd love to hear your opinion. (Also, if anyone out there has an extra invite they'd be willing to donate to my curiosity, I'd love to check it out firsthand. Send to kabiel at lycos dot com.)

Friday, November 12, 2004

Not for the squeamish

I'm going to admit to you my worst failure (so far) as a mother. This is the biggest frustration in my life. My daughter and I stand on opposing sides - it has become a full-out battle. I dug my heals in. I really tried to keep it from coming to this, but she insisted, and she dragged me with her. We are on opposite sides of the doorway, and neither of us will budge one more inch.

It is the bathroom door of which I'm speaking, of course. Potty training. (Or potty "teaching", if that term sits better with you.) I really don't know where I went wrong. I am excellent at the potty thing, if I do say so myself, so you'd think I could pass on my well-honed skills to my offspring. It should be simple, right? No, sadly, it is not simple.

Maybe I started too late with her. Let's face it. I'm lazy - I can admit that. I was perfectly happy changing her diapers, because there is less FWIF involved with changing a diaper than having my toddler sitting on public toilets - I shuddered at the thought.

She is a whiz (pun intended) at tinkling, as it is known in our house. (Yes, tinkle. What would you call it? It's cute and child-like. I like it.) She got this concept right away, and has had only a handful of accidents in this regard.

Our problem is poop. I hate poop. Everywhere I turn I'm cleaning it up. My house smells of it. My little girl smells of it. One night I kissed her little angel face good night and I swear I smelled poop on her breath. It's that bad.

My poor dear little darling is anal retentive - literally. She has troubles with regularity, so that takes this very difficult task to a whole other level for her. I really feel for her. I've been there, too, and I "feel her pain". Also knowing what I went through as a kid frightens the hell out of me - I'm afraid of what's to come for the two of us on this magical journey.

We've done the whole "this is what big kids do" bit. Lots of positive reinforcement. We stuck with that for a long time, because this was the beginning for us, when our patience was high - right up there with our hopes and expectations. We said a lot of things like "Aaahhh Sweetie, it's okay that you had an accident. You'll do better next time!" We finally decided this wasn't going to work when she would come to us and say "I need to be cleaned up. It's okay I had an accident!"

I resisted but finally turned to rewards. Tootsie rolls were our reward of choice, and looking back on it now, aptly so. (Come on, you can't see the humor in offering tootsie rolls as a reward for pooping?) This really didn't work. There were a few times when cleaning her up we'd set her on the potty and the "product" that she had "produced" in her pants had stuck to her cute little bottom and then fallen off in the toilet. She was ecstatic! "I went poopy on the potty!!!" she would scream, and what is a parent to do? We couldn't burst her bubble. We were consistent with the rewards, and trudged along. More positive reinforcement.... more trudging.

We then decided that we were pushing too hard, so backed off a little bit. "Here Baby, if you need to poopy and don't want to go on the potty, you may use a Pull-up." We thought she would do it on her own when she was ready. This didn't work either. She apparently inherited her mother's laziness, because she just decided that since she could tinkle in the pull-up and not make a mess, this was far better than interrupting her playtime for potty time. Scratch that.

I'll spare you the rest of the details. Sadly, we are now at full-blown bribery. I have little toys - toys that I know she covets - locked behind glass at her eye level. "Look what you can have if you go big poopy on the potty!" (We now have to specify "big" to avoid the problem I mentioned earlier) She was very excited about this prospect, and immediately spent an hour sitting on the potty with no luck. She has earned herself a little Care Bear, but doesn't seem in a hurry for the other toys. I have even heard myself say "Ella-bear, don't you think that other Care Bear is lonely in there? I bet he would love to come out and play with you!" Someone please just slap me!

I'd love to tell you some kind of end to this torturous story, but THERE ISN'T ONE! I have nearly given up. I'm doomed to clean up poop. My son will be potty trained before she is. If she is never potty trained she will never go to school! What am I going to do? (The irony here is that when she was a baby I toyed with the idea of home schooling, which hubby is adamantly against. Now here we face the possibility of being forced into it, because what 5th grade teacher can stop her class because my daughter needs to be cleaned up?)

All I can say is that Little Man better be easy after all of this! Excuse me now while I go Febreze my entire home.

Gabriella's quip du jour...

"If it's okay with me, then it's okay with me!"


These floors are so clean, you could eat off of them

We've all heard the cliche', but seriously, would you ever want to eat your food right of of the floor? Could you ever trust that they were clean enough? I bring this up because yesterday while watching TV I saw a commercial for some sort of floor cleaner. The commercial takes place in a resteraunt where everyone eats right off of the floor! Here's this lovely couple sitting picnic-style on the hardwood floor, and their waiter places their food right on the floor in front of them - no plates.

Please tell me this isn't an actual resteraunt! I couldn't do it. I just could never believe that the floor was ever clean enough for me to eat my pasta and meatballs right off of. I don't care what kind of wonderous contraption they used to clean it.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

A blast from the past

I was sitting on the couch, holding Little Man on my lap. His tiny hand traveled up my arm and then stopped and rested up under my sleeve. There I was holding my son watching (insert the name of your favorite inane children's show here - they're all the same) and that little hand on that particular spot on my arm triggered a memory, and I was zapped back in time.

I was 16 years old, sitting next to hubby (then my boyfriend - yes, we were high school sweethearts) in the auditorium of our high school. He was on my right, and a friend of mine was on my left. I don't remember why we were in the auditorium - I'm sure to hear some "important" announcements or watch an amateur talent show. Anyway, as we sat there hubby's hand rested on my upper arm, right under my sleeve. I remember this because later my friend made a comment to me about it, to the effect that he had "gone up" my shirt.


I guess her definition of "going up" one's shirt was different than mine. (Besides, we hardly ever did that at school!)


The smell of a poopy diaper can always bring you back to reality...

I don't think I've thought about that day since. The human mind is a funny thing.

Veteran's Day

Thank you hubby, for the 6+ years you served our country. I am so proud of you for that. (Thank you also, for deciding to make a life for us outside the Navy. It's no fun seeing you go and knowing I won't see or talk to you for months on end!)

Thank you Daddy, Uncle Bobby, Uncle Ken and Papa.

Thank you to all those who serve, or have served our country.

Thank a veteran today. It's a huge sacrifice, and they volunteer to do it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Say Cheese!

I'm posting this picture of Gabriella (age 2) in response to Goldberry at Silver Linings. You should go check her out - her daughter has almost as many of those damn Care Bears as mine does.

The beginning of the end of my marriage

I stepped out of character the other day and decided to do some housework. I was putting clean sheets on Gabriella's bed and found her room to be much too quiet. I got out her collection of CDs (at three years old she may have more CDs than her parents) and picked out the dreaded Evil Songs Which Get Stuck In My Brain. And there I was, singing away and making the bed.

I guess a grown woman listening to such evil attracts attention, because in popped hubby's head, obviously worried about the health of his wife, and questioned my sanity. "I can't help it", I said. "It's growing on me."

My dear husband of 11 years then looked at me sadly, paused and said, "I think we should see other people."

Gabriella's quip du jour...

(Said to her Daddy, who was getting ready for an important day at work)

"I don't know about that jacket, Daddy."


Monday, November 08, 2004

I've been disenfranchised!

I, like many of you, went out a week ago and voted. I believe strongly in exercising this right of mine. I also believe strongly that if you don't know what you are doing when you step into the voting booth, you have no business being there.

When I stepped into my voting booth last Tuesday (3 year old in tow, wanting desperately to know how you vote, and can she vote, blabber blabber blabber....) there were 2 of 4 amendments on my ballot that I didn't feel I knew enough about to vote either way on. I skipped over these 2.

Now I find out that here in Wyoming, a skipped vote is a "no" vote. In other words, by choosing not to vote either way for those amendents, I was actually voting no on them.

I'm just outraged about this! No where on the ballot was I warned of this. My brother said he did notice something mentioned of this on the sample ballot mailed out 2 weeks prior to the election, but it was not on the actual ballot. I think this is dirty! Seriously, why even bother having a option for voting no? Just have a yes column!

Is this common practice, does anyone know? Am I wrong to feel this is just plain wrong?

God help me

The Girl Scout cookies are here.

Dear Little Man,

I understand you are trying to play a game with me. You are doing a wonderful job making this part obvious. It happens every day - I'm in the kitchen, and you are in the living room. The baby gate seperates us. You bring your ball and toss it over the gate to me in your clumsy baby way, big grin on your face. You start chattering instructions to me. I desperately wish I could understand these instructions! Oh if I could just respond in the way you are looking for I would, dear son. I am not trying to cause you to be angry with me.

I have tried everything I can think of to continue your game. I've rolled the ball under the gate to you. I've brought it over and placed it back in your tiny hand. I've tossed it back in the same manner you did. I've even tried just leaving the ball where it is, thinking that perhaps this ball has offended you in some way and what I perceived as a game was merely you punishing the ball with exile. Every time I am met with your shrill voice ringing in my ears - your pre-English protests.

Little boy, I know you think great things of your Mommy, but I am only human, and I don't understand your toddler speak. I am trying, and you are getting better at speaking my language, but we are just not in sync yet verbally. You are going to have to help me out more with this one. Perhaps you could get your sister to translate for us, as she always claims to know your every thought.

Until then, I guess I will just continue with rolling the ball under the gate to you, as this is my preference, and if it can't be about you, it might as well be about me.


I know you're here....

I love you!

Gabriella's quip du jour

(Said to her Daddy in a very stern voice, finger pointing in emphasis, after he had spun her around like a centrifuge.)

"That's dizzy, Daddy!......Do it again!"


Sunday, November 07, 2004

I finally did it!

I finally hit the jackpot on Blog Explosion with the 100 mystery credits!! I've been clicking away for weeks just waiting. I knew if I was patient I would one day hit it, and today was the day! I'm so thrilled!

Now, I guess I will..... go back to clicking.

Why Me?

Hubby got back from his backpacking trip yesterday afternoon. He had fun, got some sun on his face, and no frostbite on any of his limbs - go figure. We went out to eat last night, because, as is always required after a backpacking trip, hubby needed meat, and lots of it. He then took over the bedtime rituals so that I could attend "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" at Casper College. (Yes, I totally support the arts when someone has a free ticket to give to me. Thanks Mom!)

We had a deal that in exchange for happily tolerating his trip this week, I would get to sleep in this morning. He would, without complaint, get up with the kids at whatever time they deemed, and care for them single-handedly until such time as I decided to leave the comfort of my bed and join the family. Well, that didn't happen.

Poor dear hubby is sick. Can't keep anything down, splitting headache sick. He is downstairs relaxing on the couch watching football, and I'm up here with the kids. Oh why can't I be sick?

At least I still have the laptop to keep me company.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Holy Laptop Batman! This is the life!

My hubby has this week off. Kind of a small break before the resteraunt opens and I never see him again. He is doing what any loving, family man would do, and is taking off into the back country with my dad for a three day backpacking trip. These men, though I love them muches, are nuts. Why would you go out into the mountains of Wyoming in November? There is snow out there people! Really, it's okay with me. They are their toes. They can freeze them off if they want to.

So while they brave freezing temperatures I am at home with the LAPTOP! The laptop is hubby's, and he uses it for work, so it's rare that it's here in our home. I get to use it some evenings to surf or play SIMS, but that's it. I have always dreamed of a laptop of my very own. One I can keep on the kitchen counter during the day so I can use the internet and not have to haul my kids down to the basement, where they are sure to get into trouble, even with me sitting feet from them. With hubby off in the wilderness, the laptop is here with me!

I am currently sitting at the kitchen table, enjoying a bagle and tea, while my kids are playing My Little Ponies. This is wonderful! I have technology right here at my fingertips while I unload the dishwasher. I can get some housework done and still "check my stuff" (which is how I refer to anything I might want to do on the internet, so as to make it sound a bit more important than it actually is).

I've been down in the dumps lately because I'm having a hard time keeping the house clean while dealing with my blog explosion addiction, and I've promised myself that I am not going to let the computer distract me from my responsibilities anymore, but this is seriously going to put a damper on that. Excuse me while I make another cup of tea...

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Laurie has a pig on her head

Those of you with little ones may or may not watch NOGGIN from time to time. If you do, then you have probably seen Laurie Berkner singing and dancing between the shows. Now my kids love music, and they love singing and dancing, so when Laurie pops up on our screen they are both on their feet twirling circles and singing. (The older one sings - the little man just twirls circles and smiles). Far be it from me to interrupt anything that holds my kids' attention away from trouble, but the true evil of these songs are the way they get embedded into my brain. Just a few lines of one of these songs and I'm singing it for the rest of the day. Like I have nothing better to do with my brain cells than to memorize annoying children's songs.

Oh why did I ever allow such a thing into my house? Then again, I have allowed The Wiggles in, so my standards are pretty low.

Public Service Announcement

I am in no way perfect - far from it, so I hope this doesn't come off the wrong way. (I also don't make a habit of peaking into other people's cars, but I'm a mom, so I am prone to notice other moms and their kids from time to time.) I am just amazed as I tote my kiddos around town how many car seats I see installed incorrectly. Last year as I unloaded the kids to go into the mall I noticed the car next to us had an infant car seat base with the seat belt wrapped around the thing twice, and not tighted up at all. This poor baby must have been tossed from side to side as his/her parents drove about town. I pray they were never in an accident!

Today, I noticed a mother and father pulling out of the parking space in front of mine with a baby much smaller and younger than my little man, and they had him facing forward.

Like I said, I don't claim to be perfect. I try to do my very best with my kids' carseats, because their safety is so, SO important. I've gone to the carseat clinics and have made mistakes. I know there are lots of parents out there in internet-land, so I just wanted to give you all a friendly reminder. Please check your kids' carseats. Go to a carseat check, or call your local fire department and find out about one. Read over those manuals. There is nothing more important. Please.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Election Day

You won't find me discussing politics much here, despite my very strong views. Please remember to vote today. (And please, if you haven't educated yourself on the issues and the candidates, don't vote.)

Monday, November 01, 2004

She took the words right out of my head

I know I complain about my kids a lot. (Oh they make it so easy, though!) Really that is a big part of what my blog is about for me. I need to vent somewhere, and you, my helpless little blog explosion-ites, are doomed to 30 seconds of my venting. (Sorry about that.)

I was reading Three Kid Circus the other day, and I was moved to tears (nearly) reading this. Every once and a while you read something that someone else wrote, and feel like they took your own feelings and put them into words. Thanks Jenny, for the great reminder!

The "secret" family recipe

To kick off the Christmas Thanksgiving season, I sat my kiddos around the table and made a big batch of hot cocoa mix. We usually do this once a year, and it lasts us all winter long. I'm going to share the recipe with you now, but please don't tell hubby I'm doing this. He thinks this is some secret recipe to be guarded at all costs, even though I have pointed it out on several websites. Now I know that the internet is a large place, but I know you can all keep a secret, right? It's quiet yummy - give it a try!

All you need is one large container of chocolate Quick, a 16 ounce jar of coffee creamer, enough dry milk to make 8 quarts, and 1 cup powdered sugar. Just mix all that up in a large bowl. (A whisk works good for this) and store it in an air-tight container. To enjoy, mix about 1/3 cup cocoa mix with about 8 ounces of hot water. Also great with marshmellows, or we like to stir with a candy cane at Christmas time.


Halloween turned out okay. Hubby and I even attended an adult Halloween party, costumes and all. The kids went trick-or-treating. They had a blast, and got lots of candy for me them to eat.

Halloween is nice. As a kid, of course, I loved it, because who doesn't love free candy? (Okay, even now I can't pass up a little free candy). I have to say it's very fwiffy though. Especially when you get 5 inches of snow. I'm glad it's over.

Now, on to Christmas, I mean Thanksgiving.
Name: Christine
Location: Wyoming, United States
I'm the Mom of two. They drive me crazy. I love them dearly. I want one more. I'm not insane, yet. My hubby says I'm a snob with an inferiority complex. There is more to me than being a mother. I just don't remember any of it.

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