Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Changing His Mind

We recently went to Target, otherwise known as That Store That I Can Never Leave Without Spending At Least $100.  They have an enormous spring display right now - outdoor furniture, grills, and gardening equipment.  It's almost enough to make me believe that it's actually going to be warm out soon.  Until I wake up in the morning and it's 60 degrees in the house because the furnace stopped working overnight and it's 25 degrees outside.  But I digress.
Sammy ran over and climbed on the furniture.  I told him to get down.  He didn't listen.  I started counting, "One....two...." and Sammy jumped down, shouting, "I'm coming!  I'm coming!  I changed my mind!"
I don't think I've ever made it to the count of 3.  For some reason, he is sore afraid of the countdown and I have no regrets about exploiting that fear for the time being.

Monday, March 30, 2009

This Is Why I Don't Get Enough Exercise Anymore

I recently was inspired to begin a Couch to 5K program.  Awhile back I did this and it was amazing, but then life interfered and I ended up back on the couch.  The past few months, I've been determined to get in better shape and have been doing my best to work out every day that I can.  Sometimes I do workout DVDs (30-Day Shred is my current favorite) but three nights a week, I run on my treadmill.
Ron had to work yesterday but I really, really wanted to do a 20-minute run.  The kids and I headed downstairs, where I set up lots and lots of toys and turned on a movie for them while I hopped on the treadmill.
Minute 1...so far, so good. 
Minute 2...this is almost too good to be true, still no interruptions.
Minute 3....Sam: "I have to go poop!  I have to go poop!"  He went upstairs and I followed a minute later to render butt-wiping services.
Back downstairs.  My heartrate is back to normal, so I figure I should start over at the beginning again (keep in mind, the first 5 minutes is a warm-up of quick walking - I hadn't even started running yet before this first interruption).
Minute 1 through 5...all is well
Minute 6...FINALLY, I'm actually running. 
Minute 6 1/2: Evidently someone forgot to close the door, because I hear Natalie heading up the stairs.  I'm determined to run at least one minute uninterrupted and figure I have 30 seconds before I need to go get her.  After all, she goes up and down the stairs all the time and has never fallen before.
Minute 6 3/4:  thunk thunk thunkthunkthunkTHUNK
I had the presence of mind to hit the "stop" button on the treadmill before charging up the stairs, since I know Sammy was likely to try to get on the treadmill the minute I step off.  After all, it would be a bit embarrassing to bring BOTH kids to the emergency room for treatment in the same night.  I charged up the stairs at full speed and found Natalie on the landing, still lying just as she had landed.  From the sound of it, she had fallen down the entire first flight of stairs, about 8 of them.  She was shirtless - pretty typical, since both my kids seem to be budding exhibitionists - and when she sat up, I could see a red spot on her shoulder where she had evidently taken the biggest hit from the fall but quick once-over revealed no broken bones.  For once it was only 4:00 in the afternoon when a potential head injury occurred.  Usually, all major falls at our house happen right at bedtime and I am then compelled to wake up the fall-ee hour upon hour for the first part of the night.  Luckily, all was well and nothing seemed to be injured but her ego.  And my will to exercise.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Potty and Potty Talk

Having the kids back in daycare is both good and bad. 

    Good: Sammy has become remotivated by peer pressure to start using the potty again.  He'd been relapsing the past few weeks but is back in underwear full-time, after only 3 days back in daycare. 
    Bad: He's now napping again (how they get him to nap, I have no clue but they should really sell their method) which means he's up until 9 or 10 at night. 
    Good: Sammy's excited to see his friends again, and it's fun hearing his tales about daycare and his friends.
    Bad:  Said friends seem to be teaching him some naughty things.  Case in point:  Last night, he pointed to his rear and said, "This is my frickin' butt".  Okay, here I have to admit my bad mom moment: I burst out laughing before I caught myself.  Then I found my composure and told him that wasn't a very nice thing to say.  That apparently didn't make much of an impression (or was cancelled out by my earlier laughter), because a few hours later the kids were playing in their room and Natalie came out crying.  Sammy was following behind her and I demanded to know what had happened.  "She pushed me," Sammy tattled.  "Why is she crying?" I insisted, expecting to hear that he'd pushed her in retaliation.  But, no.  "Because I called her a frickin' butt," he said with a grin on his face.  


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dinner Conversations

Yesterday at the supper table, I had my first s-e-x talk with Sammy.  After a discussion about belly buttons and umbilical cords, he brought up one of Grandma's ponies, the one who's expecting a baby this spring.  "How will that baby come out?" he wondered aloud.  I explained in rudimentary terms, but I could see the gears turning in his head so I knew that wasn't the end of it.  I was expecting the "How did that baby get in there?" question, but he threw me a softball question: "Do I have a baby in my tummy?"  And then a few minutes later, "What are nipples for?"

This seems to be the topic of the week, because we went to the zoo on Saturday and were treated to an X-rated show by the lions.   Surprisingly, even though Sammy watched intently, there were no questions asked.  This time, anyway.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Everything But the Kitchen Sink

I had just returned to my desk after a meeting today when a coworker (who I see in the halls occasionally, but have no idea what her name is) came up to me and said, "You were the person nominated to be most likely to have a safety pin".  I couldn't imagine why someone would have thought of me, but I gamely opened my desk drawer and rummaged through its contents.  Hmm...hand sanitizer, Tums, eyedrops, deodorant, toothpaste, various kinds of tea and hot chocolate, a shaker of salt...aha.  There was my sewing kit.
The coworker laughed at the contents of my desk drawer.  "You know what that tells me?" she said.  "You're either a madman or someone's mom." 
Yes, and double yes.  Guilty on both counts.  Maybe someday I'll post the contents of my purse so you can all have a good laugh at my expense. 

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Weekend Update

Today was the kids' first day back at daycare, after a two-month hiatus.  I knew Sammy would be  ecstatic to be back.  The entire time he was home with Dad, he would randomly mention how much he missed his daycare friends, and ever since we've told him he was going back he's been chattering about all the things he needed to tell his teacher about, including: Johnny the hamster, potty-training, Chuck E. Cheese visits, and various Lego masterpieces.  Natalie, on the other hand - I wasn't sure what to expect from her.  She had just moved into the toddler room a week or two before their daycare break, so it was still pretty new to her.  She also inherited my introverted personality and is happy to hang out at home.  So I was surprised when 1) Ron told me she didn't even look back at him when he dropped her off, and 2) her teacher told me that she had a great day and seemed really happy to be back.  

In other news, with the recent warm weather we dug our bikes out of storage last week but we haven't yet dusted off the bike trailer.  Ron's bike has a child seat on the back, but that means we can only take one child riding at a time.  Sammy likes bike rides, but Natalie looooves anything to do with the outdoors, and bike riding now is #1 on her list of favorite pasttimes.  All weekend long she drug her bike helmet around, pleading for just one more bike ride.  On Saturday, Ron rode his bike to the gas station for a Sunday paper, and Natalie got to ride with.  It's about 2 miles (one way) to the nearest gas station, but Ron reported that she just happily sat in her seat, enjoying the breeze on her face, and didn't make a peep.  He was so proud of how good she was that he bought her a lollipop at the gas station.  When they came home, Natalie came waltzing in the door, looking blissed out and still sucking on her lollipop.  Sammy's gaze instantly focused on the lollipop and he made a beeline for her.  "What do you have, Natalie?  Can I see?"  When she didn't answer, he persisted, "Do you have a lollipop?  Can I have a taste?" and he crouched down to get a better look.  I finally took pity on him and got him a lollipop of his own from my secret stash.

Ron's first day at his new job was yesterday, so the kids and I spent the day by ourselves.  I had a huge amount of projects to do this weekend, both indoor and out, and I was amazed at how well the kids played and let me get my work done.  Of course, it helped that all the outdoor toys are now new and exciting again.  We got the plastic off the windows (which involves touching up the paint on the trim, since the peel & seel adhesive always manages to peel off some of the paint as well), cleaned out the basement, rearranged some furniture, ran some errands, and cleaned out my potting shed.  By the end of the day, the garbage can was full to overflowing and my back was aching.  But there's nothing quite like the satisfaction you get from a hard day's work and a lot to show for it.

To end this post with one more bit of randomness, right now I am remembering the one good thing about winter: no thunderstorms.  Right now, we are enduring the first thunderstorm of the season and, as usual, it scares the you-know-what out of me.  At least there's one fewer tree to fall on the house now, should a bolt of lightning strike.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Happy Days Are Here Again

The first sign of spring at our house is when the swings go back up.
The smile on my face is just as big.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Another Manifestation of Spring Fever

While I was trying to upload this picture, Natalie came into the office and demanded "Up".  Her bottom seemed awfully warm & squishy, but I didn't smell anything.  I stuck my finger in the back of her waistband and pulled it out to check the contents, a maneuver well-known to all parents, and was surprised by sticking my finger into a pile of goo that had worked its way all the way up to the top of her diaper.

I slung her over my other arm and kept my icky finger well away from the rest of my body.  As I rushed through the door of the kids' room, I managed to bang Natalie's head on the doorframe.  I had no choice but to let her wail as I apologized over and over again, trying to clean my finger and keep the contents of her diaper from getting all over the bed.

So then.  Now that I've grossed you all out, would you like a frog cupcake to celebrate spring (which I'm told is right around the corner, although the temperature barely cracked zero degrees today)?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Tales From the Hamster Cage

Ah, March in Minnesota.  The time of year when you realize that God has a sense of humor.  The snow melts - only to be replaced by a fresh two feet of snow hours later.  The beginning of Daylight Savings Time means more daylight at the end of the day - but also totally messes up the kids' sleep schedules.
Last week, I had spring fever and tried to assuage it by heading off to the local Home Depot to buy seeds.  I'm bound and determined that this year I'm going to have a proper garden again, something I haven't been able to do since 1) the children sucked up all of my free time, and 2) the perfectly-sized, perfectly-soiled garden plot was turned into a humongous septic mound and I had to start over with a new patch of soil, which is still much too heavy to properly grow root vegetables.
I potted the seeds while the kids helped dug their fingers into the dirt and sprinkled seeds all over the kitchen table.  Now we're anxiously waiting for the first sprout to appear.  Seed Sprout Watch 2009 is the biggest thing to happen in our house since we got a hamster.
Speaking of that.  I'm starting to wonder if getting a hamster was such a good idea, after all.  A few days ago, we let the hamster out to play and decided to forego the exercise ball.  You know that little grate thing that's on the front bottom part of refrigerators?  I kind of forgot that when we bought this new fridge, that grate never fit right and would pop off every time we opened the door, so we ended up throwing it out, thinking it wasn't totally necessary anyway.  Turns out it's very useful in keeping small rodents from going underneath the fridge.  So under the fridge Johnny went.  I got the flashlight out and shone it underneath, and could see a couple of black beady eyes shining at me from amidst of the piles of dust.  Hoping that it was Johnny and not some creature from the bowels of hell, I tried to lure it out with tidbits of lettuce and yogurt snacks.  No dice.
I ended up taking the back panel off the refrigerator and extracting him that way.  The upside is, it was a good opportunity to vacuum up the dust colonies, and the fridge runs much quieter now.  Who knew?  I thought that recommendation to vacuum the coils once a year was just a scam run by the vacuum cleaner bag companies.
A couple of days ago, we again took Johnny out to play.  This time I'd learned my lesson and put him in his exercise ball and warned the kids that there was to be no kicking, throwing, or rolling the ball under any circumstances.  I guess I forgot to mention that the ball was not to be opened without my supervision.  I had my back turned to the kids while I folded laundry, keeping tabs on the situation by hearing alone.  I misidentified the "click" that turned out to be the sound of Sam opening the ball, and only realized what happened when he proudly said, "I let Johnny out!" 
I turned just in time to see the hamster high-tailing it for the baseboard heater.  By the time I pried the front off of the heater, he was nowhere to be seen, and the most likely assumption was that he'd disappeared down the hamster-sized hole which contained the water pipe leading to the furnace.  With a sick feeling in my stomach, I started picturing my future - which included a telltale stink each time the furnace would run.  I turned and explained to Sam that Johnny was gone.  Understandably, he got very upset and started to cry.  I felt terrible, but there was nothing I could do short of knocking out the floor and a good part of the wall, and demolition was not on my to-do list that day.
Maybe fifteen minutes later, we found Johnny cowering behind a box on the other side of the laundry room.  We all heaved a sigh of relief, and I think it's safe to say Sam won't be letting Johnny out to play anymore.