Tuesday, February 23, 2010

If It Had SAID Cooperation...

I've gone to the gym two days in a row now. I'm pretty proud of that. I've gotten lazy in my old age. J has been working out every day since around the first of the year. I have visions of a Vin Deisel married to a Roseanne Barr and that gets me motivated. Sometimes. Roseanne's probably not overweight anymore. But in my day, back when I knew who was who, she was!

Today I went to the locker room and a sign I've seen a dozen times, caught my eye. It's a particularly meaningful sign to me because I disregarded it one day and almost got into a brawl. That story is only mildly entertaining, but I'll share it if you want. But the picture I took of the sign, it's WAY more entertaining.


A little presumptuous, don't you think? I haven't been coordinated a day in my life.

So, the story. It was a Saturday afternoon. Saturday afternoons at the Y are slow. There's a handful of die hards at the weights and maybe a van from the Boys and Girls club. Danyo was crazy about going swimming that day, and I fell for his charm and agreed to take him. Only, I didn't have much time. An hour, start to finish. So I grabbed our stuff and bolted for the Y. I took him in through the forbidden door. I know for a fact that that sign is for people who think it's okay to bring their 6 year old boys into a locker room full of naked ladies. They really get naked in there too, nothing like my other locker room experiences, in high school.

And I also know that kids from the high school next door were using it and weren't supposed to. Thus, the sign.

Well, I walked in with my 2 year old. Because I am ALL about breaking the rules. There were two other women in there. One was wrapping her scarf around her neck, about to leave, and then the next row was a woman putting on her tennis shoes. I went to the third row and started shoving my stuff into a locker and sat to take off our shoes. I hear the first lady, Scarf Lady, mutter, "He's 18 huh?!" I rolled my eyes. I hate stupid people. People who don't know the difference between a two year old and an 18 year old are stupid.

I should have just rolled my eyes. But for some reason, the lack of eye contact, the annoying way she said it, and my sweet little cherub face--unfazed by large bosomed women---baby looking back at me, made me respond.

This is how the conversation went. Best I can remember.

"Clearly he's not."
"Well then he shouldn't be in here."

I ignored that.

She said, "Did you see the sign on the door clearly stating no one under 18 should be here?"
"I saw it. He's two, you really need to just get over it."
"You need to follow the rules!"
"How about you take care of your business, I'll take care of mine."
"This IS my business, I work here."
"Uhhh, no you don't."
"I do too, and when someone is breaking the rules, it's my business."
"I work here and I happen to know you don't."
"Well if you are a Y employee then ALL the more reason you should follow the rules!"

She said that from the door and she somehow managed to slam a door that is rigged to close slowly and quietly.

I was feeling a little badly about engaging in a childish argument with a stranger, and a little guilt about breaking a clearly posted rule, but mostly annoyed by this woman's approach. I had resolved to move my stuff over to the family locker, just in case the presence of a two year old was offensive to anyone else. About 30 seconds later, as we were heading out to the pool, a YMCA employee walked in. She kind of looked around, then looked down at Danyo and her eyes got big. My first thought was "Crap, now I'm really gonna get it" and she pointed at Danyo and said, "This is what she was all worked up about?"

I immediately felt bad that the lady had gone out and caused a scene. I asked what happened and the employee laughed and said, "She came out yelling and hollering about someone under the age of 18 being in here and how we better handle it, etc, etc." Then she laughed and said, "Wow, what a waste of energy."

I apologized and she said it was no big deal.

Afterward, I walked over to the family locker because I thought showering would be easier in one of them. They were closed---the other door was locked. Heh. Wish I'd known that before.

I wonder if I would recognize that lady if I saw her again. I'd recognize her voice.

The best part about ALL of it was that after she left and we were ready to go to the pool, Danyo walked out to the main area and pointed his finger menacingly and started giving his two cents. No one was there, but he was sure doing a good job defending his mama.

We saw about 3 other people coming through the locker room when we were leaving. I was all braced for another confrontation and all of them talked to Danyo, said how cute he was, etc. He responded by pointing at them and yelling, "STOP!" and some other unintelligible but clearly mean things. Because we never saw the lady, aside from briefly passing by her, he had no idea who was being so mean. It kind of surprised me that he understood it was confrontational. Guess our tones weren't very friendly. I mean---mine was, but I'm sure hers wasn't. :)

That's my story. I'm so going to get a scolding email from my mom when she reads this.

Friday, February 19, 2010

I Love Fridays!

Avee learned about teeth this week. Holy moly! She is on fire about keeping her teeth clean and eating healthy. She's always been an excellent brusher, but now she's going after those "little bugs that hide" armed with floss and a mission.

Bo brought home bags of popcorn that the older kids at school sold for Haiti. Avee held her bag up and asked, "Is popcorn hellfee? Oh yeah, it is. There's nothing on it. If there's stuff on it, then it's not as hellfee."

From the bathroom Bo replies, "Well, that's true. But everything tastes better when you put unhealthy stuff on it."

Dang that's funny.

I had Avee's parent-teacher conference at preschool. I love those conferences. There was one drawback though. I hadn't eaten all morning because I went straight to the grocery store and from there to get Aves and after feeding her lunch, took her to her afternoon preschool, then rushed Bo's forgotten lunch to him just as he was walking into the cafeteria, then zipped over to Avee's conference. I did grab an apple though. Well, Me+Empty Stomach+Running Around+Fibrous Fruit = Not Pretty.

Halfway through the conference I started praying for all parties involved. It made for a less than enjoyable experience for me, but I can say that we all made it out alive. So, that's good.

TMI? Yes, I think so.

Anyway. I made the comment, "Aside from the very poor practice of comparing your children, I am pretty sure this conference is going to go differently than Bo's, two years ago."

Avee's teacher looked at me kind of funny and said, "I don't remember a lot, but I do remember Bo being quite smart and doing very well on the evaluations."

That's when I kind of looked at her funny.

Of course I think Avee's smart. But she does what she wants, when she wants. And that has left 13 and 14 interchangeable, the letter J left out of the alphabet and "shiny" rhyming with "cloud".

Her feedback form was almost identical to Bo's. Probably a few more notes of "and then some!" or "and backwards!" even. When the teacher pointed to the part about rhyming and how Avee scored perfectly and also made up her own rhyming words, I asked her to repeat it. It wasn't even 2 months ago that I had a crazy an unproductive conversation about rhyming words. And now she's setting the curve? Seriously.

It's me. I make my kids think, "You're on my toe" is just one of those things people say, and that counting in order is optional. It has to be me.

In other news...
I have no other news, but I feel compelled to write more.

Recently I moved to a cash only system for budgeting purposes. It's done a few things. It's made me very aware of how much I nickel and dime with a debit card. It's removed all motivation to go to the store to "grab a couple of things", and I usually end up spending $70. I realize that I have to get the money out of the envelope, I have to be sure it's enough, I have to make sure it won't leave me high and dry for the rest of the week....it's been very good. So far. I started yesterday. Just kidding.

I also wanted to grab a hamburger at McD's for Avee, her friend, and Daniel so that I could have time to put away the groceries and change my clothes before I had to run them to their other school. I really had to stop and weigh the pros and cons because I had to think of what envelope it would come from and if it was worth the $4.78 in cash I'd be paying.

It's just insane to me that I would have swiped the card for $13.78 without batting an eye, but making it tangible cash has made a difference.

It was totally worth the $4.78 by the way. And it came from my "Incidentals" envelope. If you were wondering.

I'm so glad I didn't stop writing earlier....

Monday, February 15, 2010

This Is Starting To Become A Habit

So anyway.

I hab a cold. Colds aren't that big of a deal, but I also managed to be scheduled to work all weekend. I hated it. I was sneezin' and blowin' and waterin' and runnin'... It weren't pretty. I also complained a lot. If you called me right now, I'd probably complain some more.

J's gonna be so bummed when he comes home and sees that not only has nothing been done to improve our living conditions, it's actually been worsened. I should really look into having live-in help. Do you think they'd mind sleeping in an unfinished basement on an air mattress? And get paid in chocolate chips. I always seem to have plenty of those.

On Friday J took the day off and we spent a lovely morning together getting a couples massage and going to lunch. It was really wonderful to have all that time together. I realized afterward that I didn't think about/miss the kids once. That's pretty remarkable. I'm a little bit obsessive. It also means I have really great friends who take care of my kids. That makes me happy.

When Bo was a few months old J and I went on a date to a movie. Actually, I have no memory of how old Bo was. He was young though, and it was our first date alone since having baby Bo. About 40 minutes into the movie I whispered to J, "I miss Bo so much! Do you?" J leaned back and asked, "Who?"

I've learned a lot about the difference between men and women since that day. Now I laugh at the girl who asked the man who was watching Matrix Reloaded if he missed his infant son right then.

Bo's actually at a movie right now. I can't wait until he gets back and I get to hear a six year old's recap of a 2 hour movie that was inevitably over his head. Actually, there are few things more painful for me right now, than listening to him recap a commercial or a SpongeBob episode he watched. I really really really want to tell him, "I don't care, please don't tell me about it." Sometimes I mutter it just to make myself feel better but I can't bring myself to say it to Bo. It feels like I should be able to say, "I have no interest in this" but it also feels like I will somehow damage his psyche or some other thing I can be blamed for later in his life. So I suffer in silence.

As if I've ever suffered in silence...

This morning Avee made us all wait for her while she ran back upstairs to get her cell phone. It's one of my old ones. She explained to all of us, "It might bring, so I need to have it with me." Later she confessed, "It's just a fake phone, it never brings." I love that she says bring. She also still says "wipe" for white. It's my very favorite. Only, she knows it's actually white, but that I love it when she says wipe. So she does. Somehow, her saying it purposely like that still makes me happy.

I really wish I could sleep right now.

The other day back we went to my friend's house again, the friend with the little play mouse that Avee stole. Avee saw a new green mouse and accused my friend, "You didn't TELL me you had green mouses!" I think Avee was annoyed she wasted her time stealing a plain gray one when there were more colorful ones to be stolen.

The upside is, Avee did NOT steal again. She did ask to borrow one, which is what Sherry had told her she should do, so that's progress. I can not IMAGINE having some of the nerve this girl has. If I had gotten busted stealing from someone, I would probably never show my face to that person again. Not only did Avee happily go there again, she griped about the previously limited thievery options, and had the nerve to ask to borrow a mouse. I think Sherry's child correction skills and toy mouse supply might be the solution to all my parenting quandaries.

Bo's home. Let it begin....
video

Monday, February 8, 2010

All About The Bo

You know, I can remember as Bo was getting older, approaching 5, he was starting to leave behind babyish ways and cute little baby words. I distinctly remember feeling very sad about this. I love how kids manage to make me laugh every single day with one thing or another. What I didn't realize at the time, is that Bo would continue to make me laugh with non-babyish things. Fairly regularly.

Yesterday as we were heading out the door to church I said to Bo, "Get your coat on." He balks at wearing a coat, often. It would be weird, except that I hate wearing coats also. He turned to me, and in all seriousness said, "I don't need a coat, I'm wearing a sweater....and I'm a man."

I have no idea what that meant to him, but I enjoyed the remark immensely.

On Friday I took the kids to the store to pick out their valentine's day cards. Danyo, who has no classmates to give his cards to, was the most excited. While we were shopping around, Bo asked me who I thought would win the Super Bowl.

"Who's playing again?" I ask.
"The Saints and the Colts," says he.
"Oh, I guess the Colts then. I think they've won the Super Bowl before."
"Well, that's not any kind of a guarantee you know. I think the Saints are going to win."

Something rose up in me, right then and there. Something primitive, something untamed. I literally had to cover my mouth to keep from saying, "So, you wanna make a bet?"

Because I was talking to Bo. Because Bo would want to know what that meant, what it entailed, what the odds were, the origins of betting, who was the world's best better, how much could he bet, what other things he could bet on, etc, etc, etc.

But let there be no mistake, I genuinely fought the urge to teach my 6 year old about betting, by way of the Super Bowl.

Bo was pretty happy this morning to learn that the Saints won. I thought he'd be really excited to have been right, but he was more like, "Well, that's what I said, isn't it?"

And finally: Last week Bo brought this "Family Wheel" thingy home from school. Lest I feel vain and proud that I dominated the last family art thingy....I didn't even make it into the top 9!

I love who did make it in though. A little glimpse into his heart. I'll just tell myself I'm too big to be confined in one of those circles. As evidenced in the last picture.

Oh yeah, and gratuitous pictures of my preshies:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

You Say Boring Like It's A Bad Thing

I'm baby hungry for the first time ever in my married life. I have to qualify that statement with "in my married life" because when I was 16 I was sure I wanted a baby. After all, my Flour Sack Baby, Gabriel, was the best cared for baby in my Family Development class in high school.

Looking at pictures of my friend's little baby girl pert'near done me in yesterday. Second to wanting a little baby girl, I want to be in her hand-me-down line.

I feel like I could do it right this time. You know, having a girl and all. My memories of Avee's infancy and even toddler years are so hazy. I think never knowing which end is up will do that to a person.

Today my little angel boy came home with a gold seal on his shirt. Some other kids were making fun of a classmate and he stood up for the boy and told the other kids to stop. I got tears in my eyes when he told me this. There are so many things we want for our kids to do and be in life. For me, being kind and helping the underdog is probably one of the most important things I want for my kids.

This is especially tear-envoking for me because Bo tends to be very...eh, shall we say, matter-of-fact when it comes to emotions and feelings. You know, like a boy. If someone's annoying him he tells them to be quiet. If someone's boring, he tells them they are boring. If someone says they only time they've been out of the country was when they went to Colorado, he buries his face in his hands and sighs loudly. He isn't exactly....considerate.

He also, in the past has been somewhat timid when around a lot of other kids, and definitely more of a follower. I think his teacher this year has done a lot for his confidence and really teaching, encouraging kids to be nicer, more thoughtful. This all makes me very happy.

But even if this did make me cry, I'm still not the biggest baby in our family.

Last night J cried while reading to the kids, "I'll Love You Forever". I was at work. All three kids were sitting on his lap, snuggled up as he read to them.

When he told me about this, I laughed heartily. He said all three of the kids kept looking at him and Avee said he sounded like a grandma. I was SO eager to hear Avee's version of the story this morning. She did not disappoint. She's kind of a heartless little 4 year old, the way she was kind of laughing about it. I don't know where she gets it....

Now I have to call J and make sure he's okay with me outing him on my blog like this.

He says it's okay. He also said this post was boring. Tomorrow I'm going to blog about how much he cried when I punched him in the face for calling me boring.

I think that's pretty much all I have to say. Dang. I hate it when J's right.

Monday, February 1, 2010

FebROOairy

Well hello there internets!

It's been too long. I can't let February start out without a post from Nobody. I told my friends yesterday that Groundhog Day was my favorite holiday. I was only half lying. I think they probably went home and prayed for me. How can you not love a holiday based on a rodent and superstition? I mean, if that isn't awesome, I don't know what is.

Mostly I want to write about my kids. SURPRISE! I thoroughly enjoy them right now. They're manageable and delightful and funny. I am none of those things right now. True story.

Ah well, I've had my time.

So the other night I came home from the store after the kids had all gone to bed. I wonder if J's noticed my consistent ability to disappear just before bedtime routine starts, and come home long after the last straggler has given up and fallen asleep. Shhh, don't tell him.

Anyway, Avee and Danyo heard me and came downstairs to see me. Danyo looked like a little drunk Opie in his mistmatched, too small pajamas and crumpled hair. His eyelids were heavy, but he had to be where the action was. When I turned around and saw him I said, "Hey little boy, what are you doing out of bed?" He immediately started searching his hands and fingers for an owie to show me. The only problem is, he didn't have one. But it made me laugh. That thar's my boy. In contrast, there was Avee, a couple of steps behind him. Her staying-up-past-bedtime skills are more refined. She batted her eyes, tipped her chin, sidled up to me and whispered, "I heard your voice and I just wanted to give you a kiss."

Works every time.

Yesterday even before church I had decided that Bo needed a nap. So, after church, I broke the news to him. It was met with shouts of joy and exuberance.
"You always say crying means tired, but it DOESN'T!" he accused me.

I said, "I only cry when I'm tired so I'm pretty sure I'm right. And you know, you would be more convincing that you don't need a nap if, instead of crying, you tried a different approach. Don't you think it would be more believable if you came up to me nicely and put your hand on my shoulder or something like that and said, 'Mom, I know you think I need a nap, but I really don't think I'm that tired, could we talk about this more?' Pretty sure that would convince me, more than whining and crying."

A lot of what I say appears to fall on deaf ears, so I assumed this was the same. Only, a few minutes later, I turned and there was Bo, standing in front of me, with his hair all wet down and combed to the side. He awkwardly placed a hand on my shoulder and repeated my above statement, verbatim. I told my best friend about it, as it was her birthday and we had called to sing to her. She told me it would be cruel and unusual punishment if I made him take a nap after that. He combed his hair for me and everything! I did make him lay down for a little bit but he and Avee got the giggles and it was a futile attempt after that.
See this face?
I cannot get enough of it. Turns out, he can't get enough of me either, so we make a pretty good team. Unless I need some space and quiet. Then he pretty much drives me insane. He's my third child, but he's my first child to be a clinger. I'm not really cut out to be the mother of a clinger, so it's difficult for me at times. I have to remind myself that tomorrow he will be 6 and a half and not want me to come have lunch with him at school because he's shy and doesn't like the extra attention. So for now, I let him literally run into my butt when I stop walking, I'll trip over him getting the laundry, I'll make myself carry him up the stairs in the laundry basket full of clothes, I'll let him do it LET HIM DO IT all day long, because it really doesn't last.

Avee stole again. She stole a little toy mouse from my friend's house. I found it in her back pocket later that night. She got in pretty big trouble with us and then she had to call my friend and apologize. My friend is an expert talking to little 4 year old cleptos. I was impressed. I kept watching Avee try to be cute and funny about it and it was falling flat. Reminiscent of most of my dating experiences, actually. Sherry didn't let her get away with it and hopefully her talk had more effect than what we've done. J told her that grownups that steal go to jail. Later, Avee brought this up with me and said, "So, how long do you have to actually stay in the jail." She was weighing the pros and cons of having a small toy mouse and 30 days in county!!!

And lastly, I think my just-barely-started-talking two and a half year old has potty trained himself. Bo was a month shy of three and Avee a month after three. I believe in waiting and taking all the pain out of training. But I keep catching Danyo in his little Gollum squat (he came up with that on his own, he's never seen anyone in our house do this).

Today's the first day he's worn underwear though. I'm hoping his love for Thomas will keep him from peeing on him. And I mean, the train---not my nephew.

Well, that's pretty much the extent of the excitement in my life. My hair-combing smooth talker, sweet faced clepto, and gollum squattin' pee-er. I ask you, what more could a girl want in life!?