Monday, December 28, 2009

The SEWING machine!

All Cora wanted for Christmas was a little sewing machine that came in a pink box so she could sew stuff herself just like Mommy.  She got it.  Instead of squeals of absolute excitement and insistancies of immediate use, her reaction was one of solid confirmation.  "Oh, He remembered."  she said, in reference to the scary man with the white beard.

Seriously, my four year old daughter is afraid of Santa.  She won't go near him.  She showed timidity in writing to him, and on Christmas Eve, she stated she HATED Santa.  I give it a year or two before his roll as the procurer of candy and cool toys fully sets in.  The Sewing machine was a big step.

This is not a highly built nor well made toy.  However, it does make a simple, large chain stitch, which is enough for one girl to work on many projects.  She is in love with it.  She sews seams into material, and then tears them out.  She quietly played with her own sewing machine for almost an hour yesterday, after helping Mom install batteries and RED thread. We started to make a pillow.  If she never plays with it again, the look on her face as she sewed her own seam for the first time made it worthwhile.    

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Note to self...

I found time to post!  Either that or my elder two girls have colds and woke up at six this morning.  It is officially eight thirty, and for the second time this month we ate breakfast already and are quietly enjoying our morning.  The last time we were up and breakfasted before eight thirty Nyobi gave me back her breakfast.  Regurgitated scrambled eggs and strawberry milk smells nasty.  Note to self; Nyobi gets car sick.

Cora is doing scratch ornaments.  I love scratch paper, but the idea of intended use is lost on Cora.  She does not scratch off cool designs in the paper, she scratches off all the black covering because she wants to show all the colors underneath.  They are beautiful.  She also painted some Christmas ornament sun catchers this week.  Most of them are black.  I cannot wait until she explains these odd penchants for self expression.

Nyobi is trying to figure out how to make the TV play.  She is my stealth child.  Whilst cooking last week, I lost my new pink handled chefs knife.  As I turned in frustration to my husband who was sitting at the table saying "I just set my knife down, where did I put it?"  I saw it attempting to slice a milk carton dog house in the living room.  I retrieved the blade sans incident.  Then I retrieved it the next day, and ironically two days after that as well.  Note to self; Nyobi can move chairs, likes pink.

To be fair, moving a chair around the kitchen was not my shock of the week.  That was courtesy of my biggest girl.  She came into the living room while I was nursing Anya with a handful of Tootsie Rolls.  As this candy contains milk products (and therefor Nyobi is not supposed to have it) we store it atop the refrigerator.  Even at 40+ inches, Cora is not able to reach it.  "No problem,"  I thought, "They probably fell off during morning milk/ coffee retrieval." 

When Anya finally decided she was full, I put her in her swing.  Strolling into the kitchen to pick up the bag of candy I met a sculpture to ingenuity.  On a kitchen chair, its rockers thrust through the bars to provide stability was our childrens rocking chair.  Small and compact, it created a nice step ladder effect that added the last few inches Cora needed to explore the top of the fridge.  As she stood beside me watching my reaction, the problem solver reached out and shook the chairs handle.  "It won't slip."  She assured me, referring to my earlier concerns over child created height enhancements. 

Note to self; New house rule is no stacking furniture.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The beginning of wrapping season.

I did it!  I am sucessfully most of the way done with my Christmas shopping and it is before Thanksgiving.  In a rhapsody of happiness, I even managed to wrap up the presents for my brothers family on the west coast and re-wrap that unsent baby present, and start them on their journey.  This is a miracle. 

My girls helped me wrap presents.  This was not a miracle, it wasn't even saintly.  I re-taped places where Nyobi, once wrapping accomplished decided that unwrapping was necessary.  I said "too much tape"  at least eight times a minute.  Grabbed scissors from Nyobi, and put the lid back on the wrapping paper box a couple dozen times.  After shoving all the presents back where they went and throwing out the left over ends of paper and the ribbon that got hopelessly tangled around the chair and the cat, I sat down and breathed deeply. 

Nursing Anya, I heard the sound of wrapping paper.  "I must be imagining it."  I informed myself.  "Too much wrapping on the brain.  I can SEE the presents from where I sit." 

After putting down a now full baby, I walked down the hallway to see what my two elder helpers were doing.  They had rescued three wrapping paper tubes from the center of Christmas wrap and were sword fighting with them.  The paper lay discarded in my room, unwrinkled and usable, if I could roll it up without the help of the cats. 

Ah yes.  It is wrapping paper season, when the children wait with baited breath for you to finish THAT roll, so they have another cardboard weapon to shred. 

I should have bough bigger presents. 

Perspective

My dear eldest daughter informed me that she did not want to eat.  "Why?"  I asked. 

"Because I will get big."  She told me matter of factly.  "And I don't want to get big." 

"How will you get big?"  I asked, wondering how, in the midst of a household that was supposed to be healthy centric, this little grain of anorexia was already implanted. 

"I will get big like Mommy and Daddy and Nani and Chelsea."  Cora answered.  "If I don't eat, I won't get big." 

I laughed.  I could not help myself.  This was a big that was entirely unrelated to eating disorders.  It was a childs attempt not to grow up.  "Thats called "growing up" not "getting big"."  I informed my daughter, "And you will do that regardless of whether you eat or not.  Besides, the trick is to eat good healthy foods, like apples and tomatos and yogurts.  That way you grow up and big the RIGHT way, not the wrong way." 

"Oh."  Cora answered. Her mind was turning though, attempting to figure out how big and growing up are different, or inventing another stalling tactic for sitting down at the dinner table. 

I guess I am doing something right.  Cora understands that life will change her.  Now if only I can make sure I show her the change is fun and exciting, so she will quit trying to stop it. 

Either that, or I need to cook something for dinner she likes.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Words!

It is always so amazing to hear children begin to communicate.  Nyobi speaks more words every day.  She loves being able to say things, though sometimes her statements don't add up to communication at all, unless you understand BeeBee isms.  She spent a good five minutes staring at her reflection in the mirror last night, saying "pretty BeeBee", "nosey"  and "Hi Woo!".  When I pulled her away she clung to me for one last glance and said "Kissy"  and blew herself a kiss. 

She talks to people other than herself as well.  "No ears!"  was her mantra this morning.  "no ears" evidently means, I'm not listening to you mom because you cannot get to me before I get away. 

Last night, it was a standing at the door where Dad and Cora went and saying "Me too Me too!"  until she knew that she wasn't going to go. Then she started knocking and saying "Come in!  Come in!" 

For the most part, it sounds like the teacher in Peanuts cartoons, garbled sounds instead of sentences.  This however, is Nyobi.  If you can't understand the words, the body language will say it all, and for the most part, it says I love life! 

...especially when life includes driving her parents crazy.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Family Crafts

Today, Cora, Nyobi and I ate the experimental low lactose pumpkin pie and began our useful thanksgiving project.  I drew out designs on poster board for turkey napkin and place card holders.  Once the girls finished their pie, I cut out the templates on one sheet for cora to paint.  The other sheet I left assembled.  One and a half year olds eat little pieces of paper, they do not paint them. 

Getting out the water colors, Cora immediately started covering one turkey in purple.  I dipped Nyobis brush and began helping her paint yellow on the paper.  Anya began to cry.  "No problem."  I thought.  "I only need one hand to help Nyobi paint." 

Retrieving the crabbing infant, I returned to find Nyobi munching on the paint brush.  "Yum"  she said.  We dipped again, in the orange paint and began brushing.  Both girls glowed with excitement, and Anya scrunched and squeaked in her usual awake gestures.  She seemed to be having fun too. 

Once again thwarting Nyobis attempt to eat the watercolors rather than paint with them, I leaned over to dip the brush in red.  As I straightened up, Anya made a squirting noise that could only mean one thing; diaper change time.  Then she made another.  To my horror I watched bright yellow brown poop slide out the side of her diaper and plop down on my shirt and the poster board. 

I laughed, as Cora scrunched up her nose and said "gross!"  Carefully cradling the baby as to not squish out any more "yellow gold"  I went to the nursery to change Anya.  I guess she just wanted to contribute to our craft project morning.  By the time I returned to the kitchen, I discovered she had also contributed to Nyobis color palate and diet.  The toddler was smearing around then poop stain, and munching on the paint brush. 

We did accomplish something.  We made one dark purple turkey placecard and napkin holder.  We could use the other ten, but family who attend Thanksgiving read this blog.  Good thing I have one sheet of posterboard left.

Monday, November 2, 2009

When IS Christmas

Cora loves the idea of Christmas.  This year, she understands Who or What Santa Claus is.  She already knows what she is going to put on her list.  She wants her own little pink sewing machine, like Mommies!  I'm pretty sure it is lurking in the closet at Nahni's waiting for Santa to pick it up.  After hearing about my own mothers last minute drives to fetch roller skates and a two wheel bikey, I decided to play it safe.  I can always return it, if she hasn't been good, or she changes her mind.

Besides that, she loves the idea of a Christmas Tree in the house!  She likes it so much, she suggested we go get the one we had last year from the wood pile and put it back up.  "It's not green!"  I protested.

"I will paint it!  That will be a good deal!"  she said.

Then she saw the Christmas lights.  My Mom picked up two strands of new Christmas lights, as our old ones were missing too many bulbs, or dead.  She wanted to open them up immediately, and the need for the tree became urgent.  "Its not Christmas yet!"  I informed her as I put the lights downstairs.

"Yes it IS Christmas!"  She retorted.

An hour later, grumpy that I would not let her drink my soda pop she wandered downstairs.  I caught her with one pack of lights hacked open with her notorious child approved scissors.  Fortunately she did not cut the wires.  I told her to go sit on her bed.  Then I put the lights out of her reach in the room she is forbidden to enter. 

I went upstairs to explain to her that it is NOT christmas yet, and that I am upset with her.  I find her and Nyobi sitting on Coras bed,  drinking my soda pop. 

Two pairs of guilty blue eyes and two sets of chipmunk cheeks stared back at me. 

When is christmas?  For Cora right now, its just a word.  The gift of seeing my daughters working together, of hearing Cora willing to WORK for her fun (I'll paint it MOM!)  The family around me.  That is the joy of christmas. 

Maybe when the actual "holiday" arrives, Santa will bring me a padlock for my child free room downstairs, and some more soda pop.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Spooky night schedule for halloween.

Come share a night. 

8PM;  Nyobi goes to bed.
8:10 PM;  Nyobi goes to bed again.
8:15 PM;  Cora gets a snack.
8:20 PM;  Baby starts to nurse.
8:30 PM;  Cora goes to bed. \
8:40 PM;  baby gets a diaper change.
8:45 PM;  baby starts to nurse again, makes hideous pooping noises.
9:PM;  Baby stops nursing, burps and falls asleep on my shoulder.  I set her down, set up coffee for the morning and change into pajamas.
9:10 PM:  baby wants to nurse again (why is she so hungery??)
9:20 PM;  baby is done nursing, falls asleep on me again.  I move.  she wakes up and
9:40 PM;  baby wants to nurse again.
10:PM;  sleeping baby given to dad, I go to bed.
11:30 PM;  Dad wakes me up.  Baby is hungery, but dad made the diaper clean.
Midnight:  baby is done nursing.  I try and burp her, nothing happens.  I wack her so much she wakes up.
12:10 PM;  baby finally lets out a gentle belch and closes her eyes.
12:12 AM:  put baby in crib, and use rest room.  hoping to crawl back in bed.
12:15 AM:  baby cries.  Pick up baby,  baby belches like she was drinking beer from a kegerator not milk from a boob. 
12:20 AM;  baby goes to sleep and remains sleeping when placed in crib  (ALEHLUIA!!!)
2:14 AM;  I awake to baby crying.
2:16 AM;  Change babies diaper.  sit down and nurse baby.
3:14 AM;  I awake to find baby snuggled against my chest, still sitting in the nursing chair,  I put baby in the crib.
3:16 AM;  Baby starts to cry.
3:20 AM;  baby falls asleep and I put her in crib again. she immediately wakes up and sucks on her knuckles.  Her eyes say "I'm hungery Mommy!" 
3:22 AM.  feed baby again.
3:40 AM  put sleeping baby in crib. crawl back in bed.
3:45 AM  get out of bed, feed baby.
4:05 AM  put sleeping baby in crib.  crawl back in bed.
4:10 AM  get out of bed, comfort hiccuping crabby baby.  Put baby in crib. 
4:11 AM Hear diaper filling noises, baby smiles.
4:12 AM  change diaper, watch baby suck knuckles.  sit down and nurse baby.
4:30 AM  put baby back in crib.  pretend baby is asleep.  Ignore little "but wait..." noises.  Crawl back in bed.  Smile when noises subside.  Fall asleep. 
4:35 AM  Cora had a nightmare.  Tell her cats eat monsters, tuck her back in, turn on her bed light to frighten monsters away. go back to bed.  fall asleep.
5:00 AM  Go give Nyobi her nukie, tuck her back into bed,  turn out Coras bed light so Nyobi can fall asleep.
6:00 AM  Baby wakes up.  Go change and feed baby.
6:28 AM  while rocking baby, stare at clock and try and decide if you want coffee or to pretend to sleep for another 30 minutes more.  Decide on the sleep.  Place baby in crib.
6:35 AM  crawl into bed, close eyes.
7:00 AM  Husbands alarm goes off.  Nyobi wakes up, starts to crab.
7:05 AM  Get out of bed,  get Nyobi up, talk to Cora who also gets up, pass babies room, only to hear the sounds of her crabbing as well.
7:15 AM  sit down with coffee and milks for the big girls.
7:30 AM  Husband gets up.
7:40 AM  Baby gets up.  The day has officially started (but only because I'm on my 3rd cup of coffee...)

Good Morning!  I expect my insomniacs acceptance papers and membership badge in the mail tomarrow.  My husbands auxiliary membership will come after I remove the snooze feature from the alarm.  Oh well.  The children are cute and we can always sleep next year.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Making Freinds

Nyobi is slowly learning the skills of making friends and sharing. Her targeted audience is NOT her big sister. No. Big sisters are for sitting on, biting, pulling hair, and giving really big hugs. Big sisters also torture little sisters though, so Mom does not interfere too much. Nyobis targeted freinds involve the cats.

First she learned to talk to them. She makes little realistic cat meows and noise to attract their attention. She coo's to them, and gently patts their sides. She snuggles her face into their bodies, she gives them kisses. They tolerate it until the arm snakes out around their body or grabs their paws or tails. Then they either bite or wack her hard and run away.

Now she is starting to recruit through other methods. She offers them her food, candy or sippy cup. She brings them toys. She even tried to put a necklace on Bombay. That attempt resulted in Neosporin and bandages. Mom and Dad keep telling her that kitties are your freinds if you pet them, but for her the treat of being able to body hug them like big sister is evidently the greatest goal.

At least I know she is determined. No matter how many wacks or nips she's taken, she still trys to recruit the two furry and ambivalent play mates.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Youthful Art of Room Cleaning

My mother always advocated a clean room.  She would stand and lecture us about pride of appearance, cleanliness and simply keeping things nice.  I didn't really get it.  Children have different ideas about clean than adults.  On top of that cleaning is a SKILL, not just a habit.  Where something goes is almost as important as putting it in its place.  Recently, we (my husband and I) have been working on teaching Cora to pick up her room and her own messes. 

Don't miss understand.  Niether Pete nor I are excessively cleanly people.  I'm sure his mother and hazmat still have nightmares about Petes high school room clutter.  My own Mother will occassionally mention the rope joke.  It has something to do with a walk in closet that usually resembled an overcluttered treasure trove of clothes toys and puzzles.  There might also be a story about finding molded paper mache projects tucked under my bed and encased in stuffed animal sized dust moosies. 

Today I discovered that our eldest has inherited her parents love for youthful clutter.  Her room, with barely space on the floor for walking was not offensive to her.  SHE could find stuff.  Pregnant Mom couldn't even make it her dresser.  Prior to pregnancy I would sit in her room and assist her in the task of dividing up the cleaning chores into little jobs ("first lets put away the puzzles")  and then supervising the overall effort.  It worked.  I was helping her sort and organize, and cleaning became a kind of game.

Her Dad has a different method.  Relying on old parenting tactics he gave good orders "clean your room!"  and then would check on it occassionaly, promising dire consequences for lack of continued effort, and praising the sight of the purple carpet.  It worked, and I was amazed at how little time it took Cora to accomplish clean with Dad directive.  "Supurb"  I thought to myself "No more babysitting, she understands the concepts of how to put stuff away." 

At least I thought she did until I noticed a cardboard brick sticking out from under her bed. 

Yep.  The catch all of my daughters cleaning efforts were simple.  Shove everything under the bed, and purple carpet appears faster, dad says you are done and you can play with the super interesting toy you lost and finally found under a layer of puzzle pieces to your sisters wood puzzles.  I laughed silently in self dirision, and then tried to drag some of the mess out of its hiding place.

I'm too pregnant to do this.  I realized.  I can't even lie down well, let alone move my arms efficiently. 

A super cleaning will have to wait, but at least I've learned a super lesson.  A three year old cleans the way all children eventually learn to do.  The FAST way, which involves finding a place your parents won't check and shoving all the clutter out of sight, and out of their minds. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

How to feel like a hero in five easy stitches

Today I finished a pair of impromptu and totally made up slippers for Cora.  They are slip-on crocheted wonders.  I use the word "wonders" only because the balls of brightly colored yarn look almost identical.  After the first one was finished Cora was so enamored with them she wanted to wear it around outside one footed.  I had to explain that I could not remember how to make number two without the first as a guide.

Molified she waited the hour or so it took me to finish the second slipper.  Once she tried them on and held her feet out to be admired, she began to exclaim.  "This is what I always wanted Mommy!  They are perfect!  They are absolutely beautiful.  You made me so happy Mommy!" 

The slippers are discarded on the floor by the chair.  They stayed on for less than five minutes.  The got put on only once after that.  I really do not care.  I made something for my eldest daughter, and she loved the gift and gesture.  If she never wears them again, I will see them and hear her little voice so filled with joy at her homemade footwear. 

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Small Hero

We have BIG concrete steps down to our patio.  Cora excells at big steps, because she has more legs than anything else.  Nyobi is not so lucky.  Nyobi is an inch taller at 15 months than Cora was at 17 months, but the length is spread evenly, not segregated to her lower extremities.  For Cora, the outside steps are a breeze.  For Nyobi, they are a place to stand, signal and yelp until her well trained and adoring older sister could assist her.

With a practiced face to face firemans lift/hug Cora would lower her sister one step, then step down, and do the final tier.  Nyobi knew just how to lean, just where to reach with her toes, and just when to let go.  You do not need speech for team work.  All you need is love, compassion and a closeness that I always hoped my children would share, and had no idea how to teach.

Of course, when you leave a willow built 32 lb girl to help a 26 lb girl down a flight of cement steps, as a parent you don't wander away.  No, you stay right there, and hover, and worry about little heals and balance, head injuries and broken limbs.  Today I watched the horror of my nightmares played out before my eyes.

I was outside as the pile of small limbs disentangled, and the gasping end to catastrophy burst into wails of anguish.  The wails of anguish sounded pretty awesome to me.  If my children can cry, they are probably not brain damaged so much as banged up a bit.  I blame the family cold for the poor balance, but I was amazed to find out how FEW injuries the girls sustained.

Given the hug hold, Cora fell backwards, and is big and strong enough she never hit her head, just her butt and elbows.  There are some nasty bruises and a small cut on one elbow, but those are her only injuries.  Nyobi, who seems to absorb catastrophes on the left side of her face, came up with a slightly scraped knee and some grubby hands.  Her head was cushioned by her sisters chest and stomach.

That is my small Hero.  Cora took the brunt of the fall and never let go of her sister.  One band aid, and two parents worth of hugs later, we had the girls back in working order and safely down the steps again.  Now I can give up my nightmares of broken limbs, and move on to some other imagined horror of un-safety in my back yard.   

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Demonstrating Concepts.

Nyobi:

Clearly demonstrated today that she could solve a puzzle.  As the 100 piece puzzle sat on the table awaiting Coras return, the one year old picked up a puzzle piece, gave it a tentative bite, then threw it on the floor.  She then proceeded to try and find a tastier one by patting the edge of the table.  I pushed the puzzle out of her reach.

Nyobi grunted, in her usual thoughtful way.  Then she proceeded to demonstrate her ability to climb.  Standing on the chair she proceeded to grab and remove as many puzzle pieces from the table top as possible before I grabbed her.  By the time I managed to replace the majority of the little cardboard wonders in the box, she was running down the hall with a tasty one soaking up the spit.

Cora

Demonstrated an exceptional use of literalism, and due to her audience, I got a wonderful dose of seeing how silly I look when my children manage to outsmart me.  She got a hair trim today.  Ensconced in the barber chair, the lovely blond barber did what I suggested.  She turned to her small customer and addressed the question I just answered to Cora.

"How do you want your hair cut?"  She said, turning Cora to face the mirror.

Cora looked at her, looked at me quickly and then pointed to the table in front of the mirror.  "With your sharpie Scissors right there!"  She responded.

I did mention the barber was blond didn't I?  The poor young women did not realize the humor, nor understand the irony of the literal answer Cora gave her.  Bemused she stared at me with an expression so helpless I felt pity for her and managed not to laugh out loud. 

Mom

Actually, in all deference to my husband, Nyobi and my husbands family this probably has less to do with the hair color and more with the way some people view children.  They do not believe that youth have the ability to make choices (within reason) about their appearance, nor express themselves as adults.  My goal is to guide choices, not monopolizing the decision making process.  Sometimes this puts me in uncomfortable situations; like trying not to laugh at a barber while very pregnant or trying not to cry with your 3 1/2 year old as she discovers that Mom didn't lie about it hurting when they pierce your ears.

After all, it is the tools, not the choices which they will use their entire life.  Hair changes.  Life changes.  It is how we decide what to do each day, and how to live our lives that is truely a testament to our own parents efforts.  My Mom and my Mom-in-law should both feel very proud of the lessons they gave their children.  I hope I can do as good a job.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What a 3 year old says...

...to help you get through labor contractions.

Okay, first off, I am one of those strange women whose bodies will decide to labor for a day or two, then stop for no apparent reason.  It is like my particular genes dictate Olympic style practice sessions rather than the mild "false labor."  Today was a practice day, and courtesy of an inside infant who has wedged down into my pelvic cavity and refused to surface, a painful practice day. 

Nyobi is oblivious to most of this goings on.  For her, Mom is just extra crabby and needs more snuggles and pats on the cheek.  Of course, having a one year olds attention span, this means that five minutes later (if I'm lucky) and still ensconsed on Moms lap (if I'm not lucky)  it is time to squirm and move.  Having a 25 pound child dig into your contracting midsection in a moment of gleeful play is not very pleasant. 

Cora on the other hand was a very helpful child.  At lunch, as I leaned over the counter and wondered how women could go through child birth with back labor and no drugs, she looked over and asked me if I was having another "tack gun". 

"They are called contractions dear."  I said as this one passed, and I began to pull the french fries from the oven.  "And they make Mommy very uncomfortable, thats why she had to wait to get the fries out of the oven." 

"Mommy,"  the very wise child said.  "If they hurt you, then they will hurt Anya Lee (the inside babys potential name)."  There was a thoughtful pause.  "I know Mommy!  We will go to the Doctors, and then they will get Anya Lee out and then you will be okay, and we will have a baby!" 

There is another pause as she watches me take the non-vegitable half of lunch off of the cooking stone.  "After we eat our french fries."  She says. 

"Thats a great Idea"  I said.  "Unfortunately, Anya Lee gets to decide when she will come out or not, and not you nor Mommy nor the Doctor can really do much to change her mind.  It might not be that she wants to come out today.  We have to wait and see." 

"Oh."  The slightly deflated child stared at her plate, and began to dip stuff in ranch dressing.  "But I want to go to Nanis and play Barbies..." 

Nice to know that there are already ulterior motives in a 3 year olds mind.  On the other hand, at least she is concerned for mine and her soon to be new sisters comfort.  Either that or she just hates dealing with the crabby Mom of bad early labor days.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Slow Mind

In our morning sit down time, Nyobi decided she wanted to be naked.  She took off her pants, then got stuck in her shirt, requiring me to rescue her.  I let her run off with only her diaper on.  Some days she likes that. 

Today the diaper was too much.  She quickly stripped it off and plunked herself down, facing me under the TV.  As I slowly began putting my crochet stuff back in the bag and getting out of the comphy chair, I watched her reach down and touch the carpet between her legs. 

"Oh no you didn't!"  I said, it suddenly dawning on me why she decided that she HAD to be naked.  Sure enough, under where her butt was on the carpet is a little puddle.  The diaper I scooped up with the unclothed child was dry though. 

My slow mind should have realized that this wasn't your every day baby strip.  Well at least we can start potty training early if this behavior keeps up. 

PS:  I need to clean the carpet in the living room and install those fake wood floors.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Blue Jean Buy In.

Anyone who has witnessed the clothing consciousness of Cora can tell that she genuinely CARES about what she is wearing.  Actually she cares about what anyone is wearing or smells like, and will kindly and ungraciously inform perfect strangers about appearance flaws and odor issues.  Leave it to a child to make one feel like crawling under a table in embarrassment.

Aside from all her peculiarities, she does NOT, or rather did not like anything made of thick, un knit material.  Blue jeans, denim, and corduroys never stayed on her body for long periods of time.  She was more apt to wear only my bra and run around the house than the groovy purple owl pants.  She liked the owl pants.  She just wanted to look at them, though, not wear them.  After one winter of continuous refusal, I consigned these garments to the "next child" box, and chucked them down stairs to the storage room.

Well the "next child"  is currently trying to set growth records, which will be immediately broken by her new cousin.  Nyobi (almost 15 months) is currently in a size 2T.  Her diaper butt could almost use a 3T, but her stubby legs are still in an 18 months size.  The chest filled with blue jeans and purple owl pants resurfaced this weekend.  With the help of both children we dug through the chest and refilled Nyobis drawers with her new stylish wardrobe.

Amongst the discarded jeans, Cora discovered a pair of extra large jeans a girlfriend kindly gave me, whose boy fit the Nyobi growth pattern.  These particular pants were a 4T that was tight in the waist.  Cora pulled them out and asked, as she had with the last few pairs of knit pants "are these mine?"

"They could be yours if you like them."  I answered carefully, folding another pair of cute blue jeans for my other daughter.

"These are itchy though."  she says, staring at them.

"You don't know that unless you try them on."  I point out, trying hard to ignore my growing excitement.  Cora is an independent spirit.  She decides many things for herself, and I am best to point out logical choices and leave her to act. 

"Okay."  she says, then she proceeds to try them on immediately.  "Hey!  These are NOT itchy, and they have a zip just like Daddy!"  She says, sucking in her scrawny little gut to button them up.

Not only are they not itchy, but they are a lot tougher than knit leggings.  Its not time to run out and buy fifty two pairs of little girl jeans for Cora yet, but I think its safe to say she is over her aversion.  Two days running she has hung out in the new found wonders.  It helps that Daddy has jeans, though it did puzzle me why she associated zips with Daddy.  Then it occurred to me.  Cora's functioning memory of Mom includes two pregnancies and I have yet to try on maternity pants with a functioning zipper.

Oh and did I mention that Nyobi loves cordorois?  Cute purple owl pants here we come!

Friday, August 28, 2009

High Glass Entertainment

Today, Nyobi came wandering down the hallway with a new find.  A glass of water from my room clapsed between her hands, she took one or two steps then stopped.  She giggled, then shook the glass suddenly up and down.  It didn't slip out of her hands.  Instead the small ammount of water in the glass splashed up and fell back into the glass (mostly).  The sprinkles on her face made her crinkle up her eyes and nose,  the noise made her giggle again.

She managed to giggle shake wander into the living room before she noticed me.  She suddenly gets big eyes, looks at the glass and then at me.  In an attempt to take off, she gives the glass a giant shake, splashing all the water out, all over the library book, table, herself, carpet and my foot. She was having a ball with a simple device we take for granted.

Of course,  I did confiscate the High Ball Glass.  It was real glass, and not something an one year old should play with.  And I set the library book to dry.  No great harm was done, but perhaps I should not leave glasses within Nyobis reach anymore.  Coffee would be much tougher to clean up.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Right now...

Right now,  I feel like crying.  My body woke me up at 3:30, and by 4:30 all the usual relaxation techniques failed.  An hour later, I finally managed to start to feel sleepy.  By 6:15, I thought about crawling back into bed for an hour or so before the alarm went off.  Nyobi went off instead.  I can not blame her.  She was soaked through her pants on all sides.


After a typical display of the usual morning schenanigans, I got the joy of rescuing Nyobi from the futon.  Somehow she managed to wedge only one leg through the arm.  It had sunk all the way up to the hip.  As I wiggled and snoogled, and she screamed, I seriously thought I would end up calling the fire department.  I wonder how many people call with complaints of children stuck in futons a year?  

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sometimes life is reduced to lists.

For instance, this is a list of things I have taken out of the toilet since Nyobi learned to walk. 

2 full rolls of toilet paper.
Nyobis lovey (at least 3 times in the last week alone)
3 Nukies (this is why you boil disinfect).
Plunger at least 5 times.
24 Toilet brushes (or rather one toilet brush 24 times)
4 shirts
2 paint brushes.
1 dress
1 pair of size 4 panties.
8 towels or wash cloths
1 tooth brush (trashed)
2 fish (plastic)
148 small hands (immediately washed, and all belonging to the same child)
1 match box car
1 diaper (hey, at least she is getting the idea)
1 cat (plastic)
1 cat (not plastic)

I am so glad that Nyobi has not learned how to flush. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Scissors

The children, forced rest and general bad mood have made writing difficult these last few weeks.  Who knew the hormones of pregnancy could make one view life so negatively that humor failed to surface about the every day gripe that constitutes human communication.  Wait, that last sentence is depressing, and this has nothing to do with the current trend. 

The Current Trend is Scissors.  It is important for two reasons.  First cutting things helps Cora learn fine motor skills, shapes, destruction and texture.  She has a new (identical to the broken pre-first haircut) pair of childrens safety scissors.  She loves them.  She cut all the coupons for me, after I was done cutting the ones I wanted.  She cut the frillies in the edge of her birthday sign for dad.  She cut the wrapping paper, a mask, and when I asked her, used her scissors to cut open the giant package of paper towels. 

Outside, she spent a good twenty minutes today trimming the lawn, with her little blue safety scissors. 

Safety Scissors.  Being a parent, I felt that term would constitute scissors which though dangerous for cutting, didn't have as finely honed blades nor points that they could seriously damage household items without the direct application of force.  What I expected them to cut was paper, maybe cardboard, thin plastic, and by accident fingers and hair. 

But NO!  No,  Cora managed to cut something today I thought it impossible for safety scissors in the hands of a 3 1/2 year old to penetrate.  She cut and or stabbed a can of pop.  As it hissed and sprayed out of the side of the can, she sat on the floor calling out to me.  "Mom!  What is the Pop Doing?" 

Her scissors cut aluminum.  How does that constitute any remote chance of safety for 3 1/2 year old? 

Hey, what is that Pop doing?  I think I have a science lesson fizzing all over my kitchen floor. 

Friday, July 24, 2009

Library Club Crazy

My children signed up for the library club this week. Reading a child two books earns them one sticker. Fourteen stickers gets you a coupon for a personal pan pizza. The club started the beginning of June, and ends the last day of July. The track sheets have enough space for eight rows of seven stickers each. Simply put, if someone read their child two books a day most of the days the club ran, they would fill out the sheet. At twenty eight, a book every other day would have sufficed.

In four days, we read well over twenty-eight books. I created a new rule that all books be different out of necessity. I had to. Cora found a book called "Bad Kitty" (by Nick Bruel) that she and I read a total of eight times, and she read it to herself at least twice every day since we checked it out. Nyobi spent one evening on my lap, and in a half an hour read "Moo, Baa, La-la-la" (by Sandra Boynton) twelve times. I actually read it with my eyes closed the last few renditions.

We now have seven days left in the program. If we make one more trip to the library we will finish that sheet. If we make one trip to a book store, I will be able to return "Bad Kitty" and Cora will not be a "crabby girl, because you made me give back the Bombay Bad Kitty book".

Wait... did I just whine about Cora loving books? I take that back. If I have to read about the cat that "Zeroed the Zinnias" two-hundred more times in my life, at least they are not staring at a TV screen watching Oxyclean commercials.

Now if only I could quit dreaming about singing pigs.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I am a good Mom.

This is a snippet of a conversation I overheard between Cora and another girl (about 5) at the library.  They are working on a wood puzzle of a kitty.  Cora started it and the other girl showed up in the middle. 

"I can help you!"  Other girl says.

"You have a pony tail!  I like ponys."  Says Cora ignoring the offer for help.

"I'm Anna.  Whats your name?"  says Anna.

"I am called Cora. Oh look here is the tail."  They work on the puzzle for a bit, and I emerge from the stacks with nyobi in the stroller.

"Thats my Mommy."  Cora says proudly, "and thats Nyobi."

"My Mommy told me not to talk to strangers, they might be bad people.  We shouldn't talk to strangers." Anna tells her, peering at me as I try desperately not to laugh and to continue searching for books as normal.

"My Mommy yells alot and drinks coffee.  She's a good mommy!"  Cora exclaims.

So, now I have the confirmation I never thought I would get.  I am a good Mommy.  Of course, there is this tingling sensation in the back of my mind that perhaps I do not want to be thought of as a good Mom for my vocal demonstrations or beverage choice.  Why do they chose those items instead of the cooks fabulous food, reads to me, hugs me, or takes me cool places?

Maybe when it is all totaled up, the yelling IS important.  Sometimes I think the worst thing a parent can do is NOT set reasonable boundaries for their children, or not enforce them.  Its physically dangerous, but it is also psycologically dangerous as well.  Whether we like it or not, our world comes with laws.  Laws are limits.  If, as a child we never learn that there are limits, we will be unprepared to face the adult world ahead of us. 

Excuse me.  I have to go drink coffee and kick two troublemakers out of the bathroom.  This time I am going to try and moderate my tone.  Maybe next introduction I will be "talks through her teeth and drinks coffee." 

Monday, July 20, 2009

Definately a Trouble Maker

Over the last few weeks, I have noticed the development of a certain streak in Nyobis personality.  I am not enthused.  This child, at just over one years, understands the word "No".  She also understands that a parents arms are only so long and she moves only so fast. 

"No"  Dad and I said to her as she banged her butt against the french windows.  She grinned, stood up, and proceeded to smash her diaper padded rear into the glass as hard as possible.  As I started rising from the chair to grab her, she took off as fast as her chubby little legs would go. 

"No"  Her Dad told her, watching her splash in the side of the kiddie pool.  She turned around and looked at him standing on the steps, and proceeded to put her whole face into the water.  Obviously she will not have too many issues with swimming.  It is also nice to know that her Dad runs pretty fast. 

Even gentle admonishments are met with dissent.  With help, she was ensconced in the small wood rocking chair.  The antique used to be my Dads, but has found a loving group of owners in my little girls.  Nyobi will sit there for her occasional evening TV time.  This TV did not hold her attention. No matter.  She dropped her Lovey on the ground, then proceeded to half stand, half kneel on the rocking chair, lean forward precariously and reach down and retrieve it. 

"Lets not do that again."  Mom suggested.  She glanced up.  There was a merry little light dancing in her eyes.  She threw the lovey off toward the front, meeting my gaze the entire time.  "Uh OH"  the little Imp said, and began to position herself for the dangerous retrieval again.

She also enjoys climbing up on said chair herself.  During that same movie segment (having been removed from the seat)  she was entertaining herself by attempting to climb back up.  When her inventive, over the arm method, resulted in her tumbling side ways her leg jammed in the rung, she appeared astonished but not too upset.  Her Dad removed the leg, and moved the wood chair out of her reach.  She stood up.  Looked at the chair then stared at her dad.

With slump of shoulders and a boo noise her whole stance summed up her feelings.  "Dad you took away all my fun!" 

I am blaming his genes for this sort of behavior.  From his own recount and his Moms, he was definately a trouble maker.  Somehow I have an odd feeling that the emergency room and Nyobi will see alot of each other.  As she gets bigger I am definately throwing my camera in my purse whenever we go out. 

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A new form of bribery...

The Television in our house can be tired easily.  After one hour a day, it spontaniously communicates to Mom that it is time to turn off.  However, today it took a different tactic. 

Given my doctors, Moms and Husbands instructions to laze around a bit, I ensconsed myself in my comfy chair with my communication devices and turned on a bugs bunny movie for the kids.  When it ended, I decided I wanted to watch M*A*S*H.  There are just two problems.   First, my children tolerate my obsession with this show, meaning that if given any choice, or moodiness M*A*S*H is not on the menu.  Second, the disk is way over there, and Nyobi is eyeing my computer.  What to do what to do?

"Okay,"  I tell Cora.  "The TV should turn off now, BUT if you put in one of Mommy's Colonel Potter disks it should do okay for another hour."

"Really?"  she says.

She turns off the TV, and I think to myself.  Well I guess I do not get to watch my show.  Instead she rifles through the DVD drawer and turns it on again in a few minutes as a khaki menu pops up on screen.

"I gave it a nap to help it last longer."  She tells me.  Then she sees the moshi in the box next to me.  "Is the pink one for me?  Will you lick off the powder?"   

It seems we both learned a new form of bribery. 

Saturday, July 11, 2009

AntePartum Panic

I am sitting in bed, ice blocks on my feet, trying to remember what I planned for next week when the realization suddenly sets in.  I am 28 weeks plus.  In less than three months I will have a baby; it hits me. 

Really, said baby does hit me.  The little allegedly female creature who has slowly been rearranging my insides for six whole months is already active enough to make my mid-section jiggle around.  The only problem is that babys do not seem obliged to rearrange your mental state until after they have deigned to arrive.  All the changes in my body just make it harder for my mind to cope with the task ahead of me. 

I know frequently I joke about the schenanigans of my two outside children.  Actually, I can not honestly think of a post where I did not.  Parenting is not an easy job.  From the moment a mother first finds herself vomiting with pleasant sounding morning sickness, the path of her life must be shared.  True, the every moment needs diminish in frequency, but not in intensity.  Actually if you could look at my moms phone bill, you would probably doubt the frequency statement as well. 

Being needed, being responsible for another human beings existance is a heart rendingly terrifying act of love.  At what age I will quit leaping across space and time to form a cushion for impending injuries, real or imagined I do not know.  My suspicions say never. 

That is why I am suffering from an acute case of AntePartum Panic. 

Do not look it up in your pregnancy manual.  They skirt around this issue, as much as they skirt around pregnancy guides for third time Mothers.  AntePartum Panic is the realization that there is a point in which you can stretch the Mom too thin to protect against most known dangers.  It is the fact that time, and the physical resource of Mom is limited.  Not the love.  No the love is never limited.  Just well, everything else about me. 

It takes me half an hour to tuck two small children into bed.  My 13 month old clings to me as I lower her towards the mattress telling her about how she'll get a cool new BIG bed soon.  My 3 1/2 year old asks for one more book or one last hug, or the un-sleepy-without-it spongebob happy meal toy she has not played with in three weeks.  My life and my arms are so full it seems impossible to make room for one more.  Where will I have the time?  The patience?  The hands?  How will I ever cope with sleepless nights when it takes so much energy to make it from 6:30AM (Nyobi's wake up time) to 8:30PM (The time Cora usually falls asleep)?

Once baby three is home, it will just happen.  My ankles will not be swollen.  My hormonal levels will not be so out of whack, and my two outside girls will be a few months and miles ahead of where they are right now.  Unfortunately, that does not stop the itching feeling of panic I have.  The next year stretches out dauntingly before me, a mountain of diapers, feedings and caffeinated delirium.  This is Ante Partum Panic.  It hits every woman who has ever had a child, but usually the ones working on number two or three harder.  The cure for it is birth, when the imagined horrors dissappear in the exhiliration and joy of parent hood again. 

For me, it is a syndrom with two silver linings.  The new life growing into a strong little baby, and enough new and crazy experiences to fulfill my blog posts.  That is, if I manage to make time to write them.   

Monday, July 6, 2009

House Keeping

The other side to being a stay at home parent is the fun of dealing with all the home maintenance and bills.  It seems completely reasonable that the parent at home has time to talk to the cable guy, deal with the energy people and hurl insults back and forth with the telephone and insurance brokers.  After all, adult contact is ideal....

Either that or it is a pain to make time when you can hold an un-interrupted adult conversation and keep track of different billing systems, rate changes and payment plans.  Most recently, I found time to delve into the problem of why I kept getting really low energy bills.  These energy bills successfully timed themselves with the installation of our new furnace, so in a way, my interest was not entirely piqued by the first couple low charges.  When replacing a thirty year old appliance with an energy star and non-soot clogged device, one expects to see changes. 

Somehow I do not think that my energy charges over the last three months totalled only eighteen dollars.  Correct!  Close examination of my online statements revealed that my meter reading was exactly the same for the last three months. In true Mommy fashion I took a break to start a movie for the children.  The one before that only showed 15 kwh of use.  Perhaps my husband installed solar panels without my knowing it. 

I doubt very much that I could miss enough solar panels to generate power for our household.  We do not make it over the 1000 kw use very often, but we come close.  The polite people at consumers energy informed me that they would send someone out immediately to deal with the problem.  While she answered what immediate meant, I covered the mouth piece to inform Cora I could not watch Mulan with her because I was dealing with boring stuff on the phone. 

Immediately means within twenty four hours.

Then, hoping to leave me with a happy impression, I was informed that I could expect to receive a bill for the estimated energy usages for the last four and a half months, based on what they could wring out of the now defunct meter, and a review of my account.  Mulan ends and Cora dances into the kitchen.  The only happy thing I could get out of this statement was a mental picture of a maintenance guy torturing the energy meter.  Great.  When I get the worlds largest energy bill in July, my monthly budget will jump up and down in celebration. 

Time to re-do the next six months budget with a catagory for the Energy Company Can Not Self Review Electronic Accounts.  I decide to do my own estimates.  Fortunately the Mulan disk has some marvelous music videos which buy me a total of 18 minutes minus walking time.  My estimates show a several hundred dollar discrepency.  I hate being honest. 

At least I will sleep better knowing that we pay our way in this world.  Perhaps I can help "wring" information out of the old meter.  Or just be given it as a loser prize to destroy with a sledge hammer. 

Mulan music ended and Cora trips through the kitchen on her way outside.  No.  Paying bills and dealing with services is not an easy task to do at the same time as watching small children.  It has its benefits though.  You get very quick service when there is a screaming child in the back ground, or at least sympathy. 

MMMM. Berries!

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Blackberry Bonus!

Our house came with a well planted back yard.  Some enterprising bird also delivered a bonus to the previous residents that they either did not recognize or did not enjoy.  There are blackberry bushes, wrapped around the base of the flowering cherry.  Its quite a bonus.  Cora went out every morning last month to check on their progress.  I thought this was an excellent bonus.  Nothing like a tasty treat to draw your children out into the sunshine.  Then, as they discover the berries are not quite ripe they wander away to the sand box, or pick flowers and play in their fort. 

This week the berries are ripe.  They are so ripe and plentiful the flavorful little wild black bunches produced filled an entire childrens bowl this morning.  As Cora and I circle the bushes and pick, I feel like there is no end.  As I get to where I started there are new ripe orbs glowing purple in the sun.  Nyobi happily brings me back to present by doing something painful, like banging a spade on my bare foot. 

This mornings breakfast consisted of black berries, milk or coffee, and cereal.  The girls ate the berries more so than the cereal but somehow I can not complain.  Fresh picked produce outweighs boxed processed grains in my health index. 

As I sip my coffee and feed Nyobi the last of her cereal, I have only one question remaining.  Why did the birds not drop off some stain remover to help me with all the purple pink laundry stains?  I mean really, it is not THAT heavy.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The doll War

I have three larger dolls.  Their names are Addy, Samantha and Felicity.  Cora discovered the dolls in my closet, and has been repeatedly asking to play with them.  They fascinate her.  Aside from being an only sometimes pleasure of her life, one of the dolls became her best friend yesterday.  This doll, named felicity seems to have more personality because there was a book in the case which included her story. 

Once Mom read the story to her, and Cora discovered it involved horses, shopping and something called britches which looked like her shorts, she decided that Felicity was her freind.  Now I have a War on my hands.  Felicity keeps on dissappearing from my room, and when Cora is allowed to play with her, she will wrap her in her arms at the end of the day and insist that Felicity is her bestest freind.  Amongst kisses and pathetic doggy eyes, ensues the verbal altrication in which I explain that Felicity is my doll, and that she must be returned to her place. 

"She can sleep with me."  Cora tries.  I find myself thinking that this is just a doll, and that I am a little big for dolls.  Then I remember the bargaining power of these play sessions, and the hours (literally) of peace they create for me.  So far I have won all the battles, but the war is not over. 

Maybe santa will offer a peace treaty in the form of a duplicate doll?  Who knows.  That little girl already has her own big doll, and is not the least bit interested in her.  The insides of a three year olds mind are a mystery.  Excuse me.  Another battle commences.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Learning important lessons about you new car.

After a disaster of a Monday morning, and owing to my eldests attempts to make ammends for her bad behavior and my pregnant need for onion rings, the girls and I decided to go out for lunch, and to the Rock Play Ground.  Actually, I said, "I want to go out to lunch."  and then added, "If you are good at lunch maybe I will take you to the Rock Play Ground afterwards." 

Cora heard  "Rock Play Ground." 

WE got out to our NEW Shiny car.  Cora watched Nyobi for me while I installed Nyobis car seat in said new car.  She is really good at watching Nyobi.  At 3ft 4inches, she serves as a little flag pole hovering over her sister, making it easy to spot both of them as they get into trouble.  Sometimes she even says things like "Mom, Nyobi just ate..." 

But I digress.  As I put in Coras seat, she explored the new car, moving my purse to the passenger seat, she ensconced herself as driver and inspected the new wild array of buttons, and tried out the horn.  I indicated to her that it was time to sit in her seat, and she dutifully returned to her chair.  She exclaimed happily over the middle spot, and helped me buckle her in.  Then I closed her door, walked around the car and pulled on the handle to the drivers seat.

It didn't open.

I tried again.

It didn't open. 

I tried every single door on the car.  They were ALL locked.  "My Keys!"  I thought.
 
Then I saw them sticking out of the purse, on the passanger seat.  Not only that, but the extra electronic lock fob was still swimming in the mess that exists at the bottom of said purse.

"Cora!"  I spoke loudly against the glass.  "Unbuckle yourself, please sweetheart and open a door for mommy!" 

Cora looks at me, then pops her thumb out of her mouth.  She gestures to the top buckle and my lip reading skills tell me she said she could undo it.  The bottom one when she points to it, she just shakes her head.

Great,  two days into owning a new shiny car, I manage to lock the kids and the keys in the vehicle at the same time.  How stupid can I get!  I silently berate myself as I stroll back into the house to call my husband owner of the only key not currently in the vehicle. 

I am brainless enough that I left my cell phone in the house, a fortunate mistake.  Unfortunately, the battery is dead.  Once I swallowed my pride and a uttered few choice words that my children should never hear, I  phoned my wonderfully understanding husband, who borrowed someones vehicle, having biked to work, and drove home to use the last key to let me into the car. 

Important lessons regarding new car.  Do not let your children play in the front seat where there is an auto lock button unless the keys are on your person.  Always keep some unlocking mechanism in the house.  Onion rings are not worth making faces at two puzzled children for ten minutes while waiting for someone to let you into your vehicle. 

Friday, June 26, 2009

Joy

Sometimes its the simple things that sooth the discomforts of life.  There is laughter in my living room as two small girls run back and forth across the yoga mat, and hide in a princess tent.  To them, the heat of the day has no effect.  There is only joy, laughter and exertion.  In effortless flow, the avoid catastrophic collision, and giggle as they tumble together into a pile of limbs. 

This truely is Joy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Five item grocery trip

We needed five items from the grocery store; mayo, ranch dressing, lunch meat and tortilla chips.  Do not think we have weird tastes in food.  The only ones of those to be combined are the mayo and lunch meat, and there will be bread involved.  I thought to myself.  This will take little time, I should go do this now. 

I wisked the kids out of the car and plopped them in the grocery cart.  As I set the baby down, I noticed that strange odor coming from her rear.  Oh Poop! 

The first stop was a swing by the deli and fruit section.  "Bananas!"  Cora exclaimed.  I thought about Nyobi and her recent issues with lactose, and grabbed a big bundle.  There are no milk products in Bananas and they make excellent ice cream substitutes.  As I set them in the cart, the Nuky came out and was discarded into the watermelon bin.  As Nyobi began to whine because I refused to give her bananas immediately, I dug down through the giant green orbs trying to follow the sounds of pacifier plinko with my arm. 

Luck was with me.  I retrieved the Nuky, cleaned it, and tried to give it to the whiny smelly girl.  She wanted nothing to do with plastic though.  She wanted a banana, a diaper change and probably a nap, in that particular order.  This is not a problem I told myself, soothing her with hands and soft voice.  I only needed a couple things. 

Twenty minutes later I emerged.  Nyobi cried the entire time we shopped.  I had three extra items and a giant pack of bananas.  I went through check out twice because in my efforts to sooth the crabby stinky one, I forgot to purchase the Mayo.  The only person who seemed satisfied was Cora, who was happily snacking on fish crackers, and loved being instructed that she did not have to share. 

Next time I have a five item grocery trip, I think I will go in the evening, without children.  Oh wait.  I forgot to buy the Ice.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Rite of Passage; Cora is officially Autonomous.


What I mean is, Cora demonstrated to me today that she acknowledges her power to make personal changes. Today she wanted short hair. She cut it. I should be grateful she did not decide to trim her sisters pitiful locks. I think I can still make a handy pony tail. She is thrilled with the results.

Actually she did a pretty good job of cutting it too. As the photo illustrates, she never got around to her left side, but the stuff she did is fairly even, considering the body contortion of the last snip I walked in on. The scissors are gone though. Mom might have broken them in a fit of pique at her discovery. Why couldn't she hack up that awful fluffy pink skirt that she was wearing at the time?

I asked her why she decided to cut her hair. She told me she wanted short hair "like Mommies." Flattery tends to soften ones anger, that and the realization that a crying cringing three year old will NOT cooperate as you finish the task they started. As I also had the added assistance of the one year old trying to climb on my lap or eat the hair clippings, I took a deep breath before I began to cut (with my scissors, not hers).

Why am I secretly more upset over her new hairdo than anyone else? I guess I loved the long hair princess look more than my independent girl. We'll go to the barber and have someone else finish the damage control tomorrow.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Criticism.

Nyobi is my foodie. She likes to taste a variety of foods, and she finds ones she likes. For instance, she will eat multi-grain cheerios, but not the ones made out of bran. My floor will be littered with the dark brown cheerios at the end of a feeding session. Only one or two of them will be damp with evidence of tasting.

She also likes brownies. Actually, I don't know anyone who doesn't like brownies. Last morning I sat down to play some wake up board games online with a chunk of brownie. I sat Nyobi on the floor with her typical morning sippy cup of formula. She took a few happy sips and I took a bite of brownie.

She saw me.

She pulled the sippy cup out of her mouth. She stared at me as I took another bite, then looked down at her sippy cup with a look of perplexed disgust and then up at me again. Her eyes said it all. "How can you give me this crap and eat brownies in front of me Mom? Don't I deserve chocolate for breakfast?"

I can not stand criticism based on my inability to share fairly. After she ate half my brownie, she finished her now acceptable formula. I need to learn to eat in secret.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Purple Dress, Purple Shoes

I would assume Coras favorite color is purple. How fortuitous that her bedroom came, pre-home purchase equip with carpet and walls to match. I suspected such a happy coincidence when her daycare lady showed me picture after picture colored with only purple crayons. There must be a "favorite color purple" gene attached to her Dads DNA, straight from Gramma.

Having recieved her birthday money from Great Grandma and Grandpa late (due entirely to MOM's fault), we stopped by the mall to acquire a present. Actually, we stopped to get a present, a new pair of summer sandels for her, and pants for the pregnant lady(my husband says the pregnant thing is entirely MOM's fault too.) She was only mildly interested in toys, she passed by the build a bear work shop with indifference, and she didn't appear interested in the hair fru fru store. Instead, she wanted to get cloths.

I can't blame her. Due to a bit of luck, her sister just got a brand new wardrobe for the summer and fall from a pre-yard sale. Its smashing cute outfits. Cora helped me fold them, and kept asking if it was hers or Nyobis. I could see the dissappointment when we ended the load with huge Nyobi stacks and not much Cora. Lets face it, having nice things can be very pleasant.

Thats where the purple dress comes in. It had cool india esque designs that she admired on the big girl cloths we passed. She literally began to strip to try it on the second she saw it. Amusing yes, but a little embarressing to yell at a child for trying to Nakify themselves in the middle of a clothing store.

She now has worn the dress for the better part of three days. She took it off to sleep at night only at my insistance, or threat of destruction. All her other new cloths lie forgotten in her drawers.

The best part for her, is that it matches the purple sandels. It also matches her purple room, purple carpet, and purple bed spread. She also might have purple toe nails.

Today we will go to the bike shop and variety store and see what else she wants to get with birthday money. I doubt even tassels for her bike or new sand toys will top the purple dress though. She glows with joy while wearing it.

I also need to wash it tonight, after I once again explain that dresses aren't for sleeping in. Then break down and explain that if she insists in sleeping in it I will have to get rid of it. One of these days she's going to call my bluff, and I'll be forced to eat my threat.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My peach!

I recently purchased some peaches at the grocery store. Peaches taste almost as good as brownies right now. Both taste comparably worse than coffee, but my OB frowns on coffee while pregnant, something about increasing chances of miscarriage. I have to admit that is a dirty tactic when it comes to banning foodstuffs from pregnant ladies. For some reason I can break all the rules that lead to MY personal discomfort, but not the ones that hurt that little life on the inside.

Now peaches are one of those foods best purchased in stages. You pick some that are soft for now and some hard for later. I didn't have kids at the grocery store so I used time to weed through and pick peaches that would pretty much be the right soft at a rate of about one a day. This afternoon I went in to grab the one nice soft peach for dessert. Nani, Cora and Nyobi already scarfed down cookies, so I figured my peach was safe.

Wrong assumption. Cora appeared like a little bird demanding part of my "apple". Once she called it a peach, I realized I was required under the good Mom rule to share. After all, I assured myself. Cora doesn't like peaches, they have fuzz on the outside.

A few bites later, her little hands divested my fingers of the peach. In two minutes she returned to me the pit, said "Thank You, Mom. I'm full."

Well, at least she used her manners the little peach thief.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Fans.

We have an oscillating stand fan that we use in front of the living room windows to help create air flow, and lower the chances of turning on the air conditioner. Its nice, portable and works well. When we brought it upstairs, we noticed Cora eyeing it in the way children eye a new toy they are not sure how to play with.

My instructions to place it somewhere where she could not stand behind it with her long hair puzzled my husband at first. Then when he realized the tragedy I was attempting to avoid, he quickly pushed it back against the window casement. If you have never had long hair, you just don't think about it getting pulled into the fans motor.

Second, in an attempt to demonstrate the danger of fans my husband took a crayon and with Cora in attendance shoved it through the protective grate. In true fan esque fashion, it chopped up one end in a wappity wappity fury. Coras eyes lit up in amazement, and something else.

He went on to explain in a grave voice that fingers could be chopped up in similar abandon. "Do not stick things through the bars!" He finished. She traipsed off to get ready for bed. My husband turned to me, and saw my barely controlled laughter. It broke him down and began to giggle regretfully. "I don't think that lesson went exactly as planned." He finished.

Today I got out of the shower to a wappity wappity noise. Cora came bounding down the hallway a short while later, a stick in hand. "I put this in the fan Mom, did you hear it?" She said excitedly.

"You're not supposed to put things in the fan, Cora. You could break things! Like yourself!" I admonished her, trying to crush the exuberance with a quelling look.

There was a pause, as she turned her eyes away in troubled thought, and then reverted to her usual state of excitement. "I didn't break my stick! So its okay Mommy! Besides, Daddy showed me how to do it safe."

Ah, Daddy, if you only knew HOW poorly that lesson went.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Watering, and revenge of the amateur gardener.

I rushed out after dinner on Monday to plant my seedbeds in the garden. The sky grayed menacingly above as Cora, Nyobi and I feverishly drew lines, read instructions and popped seeds into the ground. When it was done I stared up hopefully, for the gray stormy picture to begin to rain.

It didn't.

I got out the sprinkler and began to water the seed beds. A light drop or two hit me, so I didn't "over water". God, I figured could take care of the rest. I went inside.

The next morning the same cloudy visage presented itself. The soil was damp, but with rain or just dew I didn't know. I waited. It didn't rain. I finally went out and began to water. It began to sprinkle, but I persisted to at least a lovely five minute soak. I came in damp, and hopeful for God to finish the rest of the watering.

It stopped sprinkling. The sun came out.

That evening, the same cloudy gray visage presented itself. The soil was damp still, but I was no longer hopeful for rain, given the fickle weathers past behavior. I went outside, watered for a few minutes. It began to sprinkle. I set the man made sprinkler for the back lot, and went inside.

It stopped its pitiful attempts at rain.

The next morning I woke at six AM. I lay down in bed and thought to myself. The sky is gray and overcast. It will probably rain. Then I thought. It hasn't the last three or four times I've operated under that delusion. I'm awake, I don't have children awake. I should go out and water.

No sooner than I thought this last thought, than the sky opened up in a blanket like down pour.

PS: The amateur gardener was correct. One should put a severed Tomato plant top in the earth, and provide good nutrients. They will take root when they are that small and tender. Silly Mom took it out and threw it away.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What a great Mommy!

Recently Cora discovered her baby doll in her stack of toys. Actually I think we dragged it out from under her bed when we rearranged her room. We did the room thing Saturday. Its Tuesday evening and I can no longer walk in there. I have a strange feeling Nani and Gramma will have no sympathy with the latter.

The baby doll re-emerged, and came with a cute display of motherly adoration. The shopping cart became a pram, lined with a silk scarf, or Coras own special magic blanket. There was feeding, there was snuggling, and there was great neck support! For a while, Coras baby slept lightly in an impromptu crib made out of the foot stool.

Then Mommy and the girls went outside for a bit. Baby came too! She was cradled so nicely on her hip, just like Nyobi was on Mommy. Baby slid, baby sat next to the sand box. Baby got admonished for getting too close to the pool.

Then we went inside.

Half an hour later I glance out the door. There, lieing on the cement on the chalk "bed" Cora drew, in direct HOT sunlight was Baby.

What a great Mommy you are Cora!

She is a great little care giver. She is also only three. I couldn't ask for a better little helper to tell me important things like "Mommy, Nyobi found the splash!" and "I hear a Boo!" If she didn't leave her fake baby in the sun, or push her sister, or not listen I would be worried I did something terribly wrong.

On the other hand, perhaps the messy room is all the confirmation I need.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Motivation and Mosquitos

Scenario One: The Mosquitoes of DEATH!

Driving back from Grand Rapids on Thursday, Cora, Nyobi and I let a cloud of mosquitoes into the car. As I sat in the drive way, smacking the little suckers, Cora demanded an explanation of my predatory behavior. "These aren't spiders or ants," I began. So far Cora's bug vocabulary includes these two small black ones and butterflies. "These are mosquitoes. They aren't bad, but they bite you and suck your blood."

Cora began pointing them out to me. I didn't think anything was odd about this behavior. After killing at least twenty buzzing terrors, I threw the car into reverse and began backing out of the drive way. A hideous scream of terror erupted in the back seat. It was the sort of terror that made me throw the car into park, ignore the grind of gears and unfastening my seat belt.

What met my eyes was not grievous injury. It was a tearful, frozen Cora staring at her foot. "Its eating my blood!" She said in horror. There on her foot was a mosquito.

Evidently you should not tell a three year old that something will eat its blood. She is now more terrified of mosquitoes than she is of any other insect. Hey! At least I didn't pass on my unreasonable fear of spiders!

Scenario #2: Motivation.

There are two people in this household who can be motivated by a can of beer. My husband and my one year old. They like different parts of the can of beer package. My husband likes the innards and Nyobi likes the shiny outer. Yesterday both parties were sitting on the floor. The innards beer lover was enjoying a can, and avoiding giving some of it to Nyobi.

Frustrated and highly motivated by one of her favorite and least received toys, Nyobi stood up on her pudgy little feet and proceeded to take not one, but four dangerous steps toward the lofted treasure. She did not get the open can, but she did get lots of cheers and hugs. Wait until she gets big enough to understand that her motivation toward her first few steps was a can of cheep American beer. Her uncles have much of work ahead of them.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Thinking Skills and Humane Empathy.

Today during the pre-school learning part of the day Cora and I did a thinking skills sheet. It had rows of four objects, and requested that the child circle the "different" one.

Cora did excellently. She got the hat without stripes and the sock without flowers. The third set, with fish provided a problem. She circled EVERY single fish. When I asked her about it, and pointed out that one of the fish didn't have a pink fin she looked at me like I was crazy. "All different Mommy."

"Why?" I asked.

"Names." She said.

"What are their names?" I asked.

"Bob." she said pointing to the first fish. "Fish" was the second, and "Fish Bob, and Bob Fish" the third and fourth.

Here is an interesting thought. A preschooler pointed out that fish cannot be the same, because like people, they have their own identity. They are living, where as the other objects are not.

Perhaps I am making a big deal out of something very simple, like Cora covering her butt over a wrong answer. However it is a heartening thought to think that at three years old a child has no stereotypes when it comes to living things, even fish, and values them all enough to provide them with unique (Albeit similar) names.

Changing Room

Yesterday I swallowed my pride and privacy and headed to the mall to buy maternity cloths with my daily entourage. Nyobi's new umbrella stroller worked wonderfully, and at a total of ten pounds did not make my hip ache pulling it in and out of the car. Cora loves this particular mall. What three year old wouldn't enjoy a mall that contains a carousel, a tree house slide fort, a dairy queen, a Disney store, a build a bear work shop and enough "do not touch" stuff to get bribed with each of the previous.

Speaking of little things, showing up with two children, and on a serious mission for maternity cloths does have its perks. The sales ladies hung my stuff in a dressing room for me to allow my hands freedom. Of course, it might have been in their interest. I grabbed Cora about the same number of times as I did items to try on.

Once ensconced in the curtained changing room I only had a few more issues to overcome. First, my three year old wanted to SEE the store, so she kept on trying to open the curtain while I changed. Once I managed to convince her that it was a bad idea, and she would not get to ride the carousel if she kept it up, she desisted.

Instead, in a loud voice she began to give a running commentary of my clothing options, and body. "Mommy, your BIG baby sits here." she said, poking at my belly button through the belly panel on one pair of shorts.

"That shirt is BLECK! I think Not a good deal!" she said as I looked critically in the mirror. I was still on the fence, but knew the second she said those words that I wouldn't buy it.

"I think those pants are a good deal!" she said about another pair. "Your baby belly is showing." Then as if she needed to repeat the first utterance. "Its BIG!"

A fascinating interruption occurred, as the sales lady offered me an elegant outfit of tangerine top and stark white pants. Did this women have children? White? With a three year old and a one year old?

However, this did require me to remind Cora NOT to play with the curtain.

Her important feed back on clothing finished, and curtain attempt two thwarted, she decided to see what was under the wall to our left. Squatting down she peaked under the partition, and then began to drop down onto her knees, potentially to put her whole head under the wall. There was a pause in changing while I explained to her that this was not polite. I happened to know that the woman next to me was working on her first child, and those women tend to not understand the indecencies of motherhood.

Once Cora sat on the bench and began taking off her shoes just like Mom, Nyobi decided she didn't want to hang out in the stroller and started to scream.

In the end, some brilliant and possibly foolish woman put a bag of M&M's in my purse, which satisfied the attention of both children toward the very end of the dressing session. Actually, I think that mall is my favorite, it allows me all sorts of little leverages, like the carousel, and the treehouse slides (changing room trip two) and the disney store (changing room trip three). Then there is that treat at the end, for sucessfully not killing my children out of embarressment, the Dairy Queen.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Wedding Issues

First off, Cora was a flower girl in her Aunts wedding this last weekend. Second, she was excellent. She participated in the petal sprinkling, and walked like she was supposed to. She enjoyed herself too. There are very few pictures of her standing still and smiling, but rather hugging arms, winking at the camera and making faces.

They are lucky she managed to make it down the aisle at her age. The other flower girl (and the older more responsible person) had to convince her that it was Okay that all the petals were not used. She was "finishing up" by throwing them AT the brides maids. Bored, she sat down in the chair set aside for the Bride, and was finally delivered to our pew.

Silence is not something children remember. With Nyobi, she usually doesn't talk much if the Nuky is placed in her mouth. However, she chose that particular morning to try and start conversations with the people behind me, and explain to me in a LOUD whining tone why she didn't want to be there. Cora was much better. She helped the father with his homely, and preteneded to read from the missal. How she manages to time her outbursts right at the points when the rest of the congregation falls silent I will never know.

I've decided I'm lucky though. I never MADE her go to the bathroom before the cerimony, a fact I realized about five minutes and one bouncy flower girl into the wedding. Do you have any idea how relieved I am NOT to have to deal with a loud "I need to go Potty!" request?

All in all, their Aunts wedding was beautiful and dream like. Coras finger missed the front of the cake frosting by a few millimeters. Nyobi didn't scream bloody murder, and the wee ones left the reception by 8 PM. Actually so did I. Partying and Mommyhood don't combine well, especially the in-vitro mommyhood type.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

And the Award for Junior Gardener goes to...

The girls and I bought three pepper plants at the farm market. There is this really nice lady there who grows them naturally, and sells them for about two dollars each. Neglecting the chocolate bells, Cora asked for the Purple Beauties, to couple with my Carolina Red Bells and some Fish Hot Peppers.

We let the peppers sit in their cups during lunch, then tackled the cake after a short break. Once Nani left, Cora appeared at the back door. In her hands were two spades. "Lets do our peppers now Mommy. That's a Good Deal?"

"I will be out in a moment to plant the peppers." I responded. "I have to wait for the cake to come out of the oven."

Three minutes and one cake later, I stepped outside. There, gently patting the earth around the base sat Cora. She looked up at me with a serious expression. "It didn't all come out of the cup Mom." she said.

Actually, she got the root knot out of the cup. The plant itself never penetrated that deeply into the soil. Her gardening care was excellent. The leaves were undamaged and the plant the correct distance into the earth. The soil was repacked with the perfect firmness. Cora did not get her green thumb from me. Mine is slightly lethal.

I immediately dug up the perfectly planted pepper. It was in the best interest of the plant to be moved. It appears that I have one skill as a gardener that Ms. Junior Gardener does not. I manage to keep my produce confined to the garden bed instead of placing it in the center of the lawn.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Concept of Time

Children comprehend the world they live in much differently from adults. One Concept that is evidently difficult for them to wrap their minds around is measurement; time, and weight especially. For someone who has lived only a few years, a minute represents much more of their existence than it does for someone who lived five or ten times as many years. Yet adults express time constantly. With children, the idea of these expressions transfer from concrete to abstract in ways that amaze and confuse adults. Cora has enhanced my life fabulously with her unique takes on time.

"I will eat this pancake after dinner I think Mom." She told me when confronted with some unwanted breakfast.

"Lets do that after later, is that a good deal?" Was her response to my request she clean her room. It was not a good deal, and when informed that she should do it NOW, she huffed and began.

"Next year, Tuesday." Is how she understood my refrain of "We are going to Nani's on Tuesday next week." I suppose years and weeks are difficult, they are both LONG.

Some things she gets right though. She knows that the farm market is Thursdays, and will ask about it when there are feet of snow in the back yard. Of course she did tell me that it was going to snow this week. However, as we live in Michigan, its still a possibility. I witnessed snow in July once.

As for weight. This is confused with time. Yesterday whilst I was working on a sewing project, Cora came up to me with a ruler, held it up and looked at me and said, "Yep. You are sixty pounds tall."

"How much are you?" I asked.

"I weigh thirty inches." She answered.

Actually she does weigh thirty pounds...hopefully a little more. As for me and sixty. I wish that were in Kilos and right. Oh well... baby girl three will delay me fixing that number the way I like it, as long as I don't start saying "after later" to the diet plan.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Time; the one resource you cannot purchase.

Finally I have two seconds to rub together some words for a blog post. Between the chemistry demands of constructing child number three, the life demands of child one and two, the work, the extra work, and the private goals, I ran out of time. When you are a Mom and time tick-tocks away, the laundry piles up, the dishes refuse to do themselves, and the elves forget to vacuum while you are out.

No problem! The solution is simple. You start cutting back on those things you don't really need. No more fancy shmancy cooking. Simple meals appear on the plates, and sometimes (forgive me evil pollution monster) the plates are paper. If it comes in a can/ box or prepared and frozen, its all good to me. The other way of cutting cooking time is take out, and though tasty, its also hard on the wallet.

Next you can cut back on your private recreation. My crochet hooks and knitting needles feel very neglected. My craft stuff just now became useful. It had to. Cora was running out of pants, and my sewing machine makes them just her size.

And the blog. That gets neglected also, because it takes TIME to write, and that is time I spend. My apologies to you whom read it, but in reality you have three months of good posts before the chemical reaction and the body changes associated will zap me of the time it takes to post again.

Perhaps I'll give up sleep instead. After all, who needs that?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hopefully NOT Clairvoyent.

This last few weeks my energy level sunk to an all time low, and my mood, especially in the afternoons sunk from occasionally crabby to grumpy as all get out. The person who bears the brunt of the badness is not my husband. It is my eldest daughter Cora. She makes my heart glad, by showing a compassion and caring, not only for me, but for her sister and father. I do not think you can teach children this sort of compassion and caring. It is either there on not.

For instance, seeing me dragging one day, she broke into the medicine cabinet and got me some medication "for you mommy." she says, handing me three small pills. The pills worked and I didn't even have to swallow them. I no longer felt tired. I had enough adrenalin running through my system that I could probably have finished the Ironman without problems. "Did you eat any of these?" I asked with forced calm.

She picked up the unsettled undervibe in my voice and her eyes grew wide with fear. What had she done wrong? her wheels started spinning. "No" she answered.

I called poison control anyways. West Michigans number is 1-800-222-1222. That makes four calls for Cora, so far. She was crying before I got off the phone, from nothing other than nerviousness over my change in demeanor. Is she clairvoyent? Does she know what I'm thinking? Can she see things others can not? My great grandmother was excellent at that sort of stuff.

Being as sensitive as Cora is, I do wonder if she is clairvoyent. Not that I put much stock in such extra sight, but it would be strange to have a daugther who could see the unseen. Whilste I was contemplating this fact, my daughter leaned over and touched my stomach. "We are going to have two babies." she said.

"yes," I replied absently. "Nyobi and the new baby."

"No" she corrected me. "Mommy and Daddy, and Cora, and Nyobi and TWO NEW BABIES!"

She just cares about her mom. She is NOT clairvoyent. How helpful of her to supply me with a little extra adrenalin in the afternoon though...

"And they are inside daddy." she finishes.

Right. Why am I worried? Back to anatomy 101. "No honey, daddys can't get pregnant...Only mommies get pregnant."

Monday, February 23, 2009

Why Instant pudding is better than Jello.

Cora likes jello better than instant pudding.

However, Jello making requires boiling water, and at least four hours to set the dang stuff. Instant pudding requires cold milk, and five minutes. When you are three, waiting four plus hours for a dessert is a very difficult accomplishment.

Last night we made jello. We put it in the fridge at 5:30 PM. At 5:35 PM I chased Cora out of the fridge the first time, admonishing her that checking the jello constantly would slow the setting process. Undeterred, I pulled her out of the fridge at 5:40 as well. This time I gave her a direct order, no Jello until after dinner.

She was sitting at the table before I even announced that the meal was finished.

In the hubbub of after dinner cleaning, cora went to check on her jello. In doing so, she spilled the extra cup all over my vegetables, the floor and her feet. After we deblued her body, she forgot the jello, or so I thought.

As I emerged from the shower, I found her curled up in her usual spot in front of the TV, a cup of blue and a white spoon in her hands. She looks up at me with a calm happy smile. "Jello is done." she says.

And sure enough, being a thoughtful child, she had placed jello cups at her parents seats at the table as well.

Next time i'll just make instant pudding.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mom at work.

Whilst in the middle of chatting with a girlfriend, and making breakfast, my telephone rang. From the number it was a client and friend whose problems were of an urgent nature. Interrupting both my activities with a polite "I'm sorry I have to take this." I answered the phone. This is the problem with the Other Job. Its not a set schedule of hours. It just pops up in the middle of the rest of life and expects to be dealt with NOW.

There was this one associate I worked with who ONLY called when I was up to my arm pits in a project. Once, he interupted himself to ask, "did I catch you in the middle of anything?"

"Yes," I responded. "I was making bread." At least he understood when I showed up at his office with flour in my hair.

Another associate only seemed to phone when I was in the middle of changing diapers. After almost dropping my phone into the poopy side of a big mess, I gave up answering, and just started returning his calls thirty seconds later. It is actually a good strategy for keeping the Other Job seperate. I love caller ID for the same reason. If there are screaming children in the background, I'm not about to answer a work call. Family will understand.

Of course, small children and phones have an ongoing competition. If all is quiet and you answer the phone, you only have five minutes to complete your business before someone screams, hurts themselves or demands loudly that you get them more to drink. Seriously. Ask any stay at home mom, even those who don't have another job on the side. It could be 2 AM, and the wee ones asleep for hours, and they will still pop up while you are talking on the phone.

At least my girlfriend runs her own business as well. She just laughed and said, "I'm glad to see I'm not the only one."

Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentines Dinner

It was a romantic candle light dinner. A fine wine accompanied an elegantly prepared shrimp and pasta dish, and they were served under the delicate glow of candle light. As I stared across the table into my husbands eyes, the far off sounds of splashing water served as an auditory back ground. It lasted all of fifteen minutes.

You see, the table was our own, the dinner served during one of those rare down times when both children were occupied. The splashing was our eldest, sequestered to a bubble bath for the duration of the meal, and occasionally you would hear her happy little voice commenting on another bubble creation. Nyobi mussed once, but settled quickly.

The wine was sparkling juice, courtesy of baby #3 who can not have booze yet. One candle burnt out in the middle of the meal, and it ended before dessert course with the call of "Mom? Daddy? Mommy? I ready to get out!" from the bathroom.

Romance is where you find it. If you have small children, sometimes you have to slip it in quick, and smile at the absurdity of it all. At least the shrimp dish WAS indeed elegant. Pete cooked it.

Monday, February 9, 2009

5 AM, or thoughts about change.

Spring and fall send me odd messages. The changes in barometric pressure, and the shift in noise all disturb my light sleep. Change is one thing I enjoy, loss of sleep is not. However, this late night did give me time to reflect on some oddities of life.

For those of you who do not already know (and between myself, my husband and my mom, that list should be mighty short), we are expecting again. I put "another baby" on my christmas list to my Mom-in-Law. I keep on forgetting that given the way Cora turned out (high energy, low sleep, stubborn), God answers her prayers.

Like Cora, though the love is there, the timing on this baby is not perfect. Having concieved Cora in 2005, I have now been pregnant parts of five years running. Nyobi and in-vitro one will be, at most, 16 months apart. I would prefer they be closer to 15 months. Over due babys are very uncomfortable.

Cora is taking the whole thing rather well. She wants another baby, however, never having had a baby brother, and thinking highly of her baby sister, she informed me that the baby had to be female, "or a puppy, or a kitty!" Her eyes twinkled with excitement and amusement. I am not going to take her seriously enough to explain the impossibility of interspecies gestation.

My husband, having decided that Gods hand played a serious role in this conception, is certain this baby will be male. It looks like he and Cora do not see eye to eye on this event. He is dealing well with the idea of new baby, though the crazy hormonal, sleep deprived wife is giving him problems.

Nyobi has no idea what is going on. She is just happy with life, as long as I hold her, and she can vomit up at the worst possible times. For her, Mommys pregnancy won't mean much until the baby appears. Perhaps then, it will simply be an opportunity to get bunk beds and share a room with her big sister. I'm not sure I will be able to stand the late night giggles that arrangment will produce.

Me, my life is consumed with worry, partially due to hormones. I worry about my husbands stress level, being the 90% provider for another two years. I worry about Cora feeling invaded by having to share her room and toys with her sister. I worry about Nyobi getting cheated out of toddler years. I worry about my "business" and whether I will have time to properly pursue that now, or ever. I worry about the idea of having three children in high school at the same time, and at least two in college for five years straight. And in the middle of the night, when I can not sleep a very evil little thought creaps in the back of my mind. What happens if my body is just playing a cruel joke on me? What if I am not pregnant.

And the thought that seems to keep me up longer than the one above follows closely on its heels. What if its twins?

For now, I will pick out a girls name and go back to bed. After all, divine intervention only goes so far right? Besides, I don't remember praying for any two for one deals recently. Hopefully my Mom-in-Law didn't either. She seems to have a direct line to The Big Guy.