Saturday, January 31, 2009


If my children had their way our calendar would be filled....filled with holidays.
We have a magnetic calendar. It is from the years 2005 to 2006 because someone left it in the teacher workroom for free pick-up back when I was still in a classroom. At the time Andy and Doug were young and I thought that eventually we might use it.
Jim (and sometimes our baby-sitter Ben) usually put the numbers up and move them along to follow the time. They are good about finding the appropriate magnet with the holidays for the month. I sometimes add in the magnets about going to the library or having a picnic if I know that I am already planning to do something like that with the kids.
Doug and Andy, and now Josie, sometimes move the dates around...but mostly they add holidays. In their world Halloween and Christmas are every month. You can make something happen sooner just by putting the appropriate magnet on a date that is higher up. And, every day must have something. Nothing is allowed to be left blank.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Silly Hat Day....and other things...

Today was silly hat day at preschool....
Andy takes these things very literally and wanted to wear a basket on his head. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you look at these things) I do not currently own a basket that was of the appropriate size to wear (all were either too big to keep on the head or too small to fit). So he first selected a large straw hat and then when he choose his fireman shirt to wear he went and got the fireman hat to go with it. Doug wore the cowboy hat...worn real far back on his head like he had nothing to hide.

I took a leap of faith and sent both boys in underware today (with extra extra pants hidden in their backpacks and I informed the teacher). Both boys came out to the car rider line wearing their original pants. WOOT!
However, Doug peed on the way home (we live all of about 5 minutes away) and Andy almost as soon as we got in the door. So tomorrow I will make sure to walk in and make them use the potty before we leave preschool. But this does give me hope.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I'm happy

I think I like this podcast thing. I knew about them before but hadn't really subscribed to any before the iPod. Now I listen to things I love on NPR but miss all the time...things like "The Sunday Puzzler", "This I Believe" and "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me."
These are things that make me smile.

"Haf to"

This is Josie's new favorite phrase.
This is "I have to do it myself" or "You have to get up and get me a snack" or "You have to let me go potty even though you are just changing my poopy diaper" or "It's vital to my existence that you feed me chocolate."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I think my perspective on life (and events in life) recently has been seriously influenced by a number of things, to include but not limited to: stress, exhaustion, moderate resources, and hormones.
Sometimes things such as your husband laying out the papers (literally in this case) to demonstrate that your students do not all hate you or your three year old saying, after hearing that you are tired, "Mommy you can sleep" just sort of help you reset your perspective. I'm going to bed.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Why parenting is its own sort of gamble.

After the Saturday morning of we take Doug to the doctor or not...I was really thinking about how I don't need to go to a casino because I get enough of a gambler's high just with having children. Here is the start to my list...feel free to add to it:
Why having children is like gambling:
  • Betting the odds whether it is worth a copay for piece of mind
  • You must have a poker face for those times you want to smile and you can't (I suppose it could be also for the times you should smile and you don't want to)
  • The odds are against you having a child who is shy and compliant so that you will most likely get a child who is exactly like you and therefore you butt heads most of the time

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I had what felt like a bit of not really a weekend.
It was very busy.
I had class on Saturday. One of the people in the class I taught with my first year when I was at a terrible school and was teaching in a 4th grade classroom prior to me starting teaching gifted students. It was a bit weird to see her again. She ended up spending 6 years at that school and said it wasn't any better after the horrible principal we had left.

We have worked some on potty training but Doug's fever continued into Saturday and we had some yucky poop on all of the kids so that makes it less desirable to put them in under ware. However, Doug took a nice long nap on Saturday and apparently his fever broke and he woke up a much different child so that I felt like I had my silly, goofy, boy back.

That is the approximate number of ounces it took for Andy to drink before he had to let the pee out. You gotta have something there if you are going to learn how to go potty. Oh, and apparently Andy has the divine word from God that you are not allowed to drink water while sitting on the potty.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The other side of psychology development

The other side of the story about knowing a little bit of developmental psychology is that you also get that "uh oh, we just hit a new stage" feeling every so often.

Josie more than has the idea of object permanence (that things don't go away when they are hidden from view). She went with me to my dental appointment yesterday. They gave her a toothbrush which she proceeded to get out of the package when we got home. I took it away from her (carpet fibers in the toothbrush...just not my cup of tea) and she went to my bathroom, found my toiletry kit in a cupboard, took everything out until she found HER toothbrush holder (which she did get the right one) and got her travel brush out.

Andy displayed logic last night I hadn't really seen before. We were a bit late getting the kids to bed so Jim said that we could read exactly one book. Andy proceeded to pick up the children's Bible and I could hear him say something about it being "the biggest book".
Then today Andy went solo to preschool because Doug was running a fever. When we went through the car rider line to pick him up, his teacher came out before Andy was brought and told me that Andy had gotten in trouble for stomping on crackers during snack time. Then she brought Andy to the car. When he got in I asked him if he got in trouble for stomping on crackers. His teacher and I both laughed because the first thing out of his mouth was "Who told?"

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Using developmental psychology on your children

I do not feel guilty about using my slim (roughly one semester's worth plus another semester's worth of Ed Psych) knowledge of developmental psychology on my own children. After all, Jean Piaget, who described some of the stages of understanding children go through, developed his theories by watching his own children.

I am aware that three year olds have not yet developed the concept of conservation of mass (the idea that liquids don't change their amounts when poured between different shaped/sized containers or that say, play-doh doesn't change its mass if you change it's shape unless you remove some).
So when Doug was whining that I had poured too much milk for him and he couldn't possibly drink it, I merely poured the milk in a smaller glass and he was happy.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Reflections on the inauguration

I am very excited that Obama has now been officially installed as president. Mr. Bush and I just seemed to disagree at every turn and I'm glad not to have to listen to him anymore because I'll admit that I changed the radio station every time he came on because I couldn't stand the way he sounded. I'll be interested to see what things get tackled first.
I will take issue with much of the news casting this as an "historical" inauguration. I realize that there are further implications for this inauguration; however, every inauguration is historical. Every person in a position of power has the opportunity to wield the power in good or bad ways. Even the presidents you forget to name had issues of their day. I'm sure that even if the Civil War or WWI was not going on that there were other things that the citizenry was concerned about and embroiled over during those periods...things that seemed absolutely huge at the time.
I think the best phrase to describe the inauguration that I heard was "the historical sweep of this inauguration" (or it was something to this effect). The phrase acknowledges that there are additional implications to this inauguration, but perhaps suggests that we not downplay past inaugurations.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Being drug into the 21st century

As I mentioned earlier...I feel as if I am being firmly dragged into the 21st Century. It is not that I am a hold-out for an earlier time, but I'm busy and sometimes things pass me by.
  • My sister gave me her old iPod. I'm still figuring out how to use all of the features, how to manage podcasts, how to keep up with charging it and when listening to it works best for me, etc.
  • My (same) sister gave me a webcam for Christmas. I did get it loaded and working. The kids are fascinated by it and Josie keeps asking for Grandma when she sees it because we talked to Grandma on it once.
  • I think the VCR is dead. Most likely Josie stuffed too many DVDs into it over the course of several months. I haven't pulled it off the shelf to look at it in any detail, but I can hit the power button and it comes on for about ten seconds and then turns itself off. I am torn between buying a new one because we have an awful lot of video cassettes and some of the boys' favorite movies are on cassettes, and chucking it so that I can unload all of the videos we have and make my life a little simpler since kids won't be pulling them off the shelf anymore.

Monday, January 19, 2009

(Semi) Clean House!

We had some friends over this evening. Some friends who had not really been at the house before so it is mostly clean (at least the upstairs). I feel like we got a lot done this weekend.
  • Haircuts
  • I packed up most of the Christmas decorations (minus the ones that need some love because they got too much tough love)
  • Finally fixed a picture that had been needing it for awhile
  • Finally fixed a tray that had been needing it for awhile
  • Sorted about 4 loads of laundry
  • Got a bit further on my assignments for classes
  • Cleaned (vacuumed, picked up, took things back to their homes, Jim cleaned the bathroom, mopped the kitchen, etc.)
  • Got some shopping done
  • Planned for the classes I am teaching
  • Worked some more on potty training
  • loaded more CDs onto iTunes (I'm the new owner of a hand-me-down iPod...21st Century here I come....more on that latter)
  • Plus all the regular things such as dealing with dishes
Somewhere in all of that I did sleep some too.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Meet the Supers!

Silly Boy- with his amazing ability to get silly about anything. He seems to feel that a funny face and acting goofy will either: a) make anyone cheer up, or b) get you out of any trouble you might be in.
The Noodle Kid- He is all about anything with noodles (Mac & Cheese, Ra men, Spaghetti, Lasagna, etc.) If it has anything to do with noodles he wants it. Sometimes he goes by the name "buffet boy" in that you may find food missing off your plate because he "wants a little bit of everything." He will kill the bad guys either by spraying them with broth/sauce as he slurps his noodles, or by grossing them out as he uses his hands to aid his silverware in stuffing noodles in his mouth.
The "Self"- Her main power is the phrase "self, self, own, own" in a desperate plea to do everything by herself and for herself. If she doesn't get to do it herself she will scorch you with her temper tantrum (though it is quickly over). Her weakness is that she hates (loathes even) getting in trouble and managed to be upset by two parents mimicking her pouting lower lip.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I wish I could say that we are *almost* potty trained but I am not sure that is the case.
Josie- yep...working on her too because she likes sitting on the potty, asks for it every time we change her diaper (plus she's a social sitter...if I am on the potty she wants to go too), and she is all about the stickers. She can put pee in but hasn't figured out when to go (or forgets about it...I'm not sure which).
Andy- making a bit of progress. If he is completely naked he sort of knows when to go. Put a pair of pull-ups or even cloth training pants on him and suddenly that's gone. He can sometimes get pee out but most of the time if you tell him to go potty his butt hits the seat for about two seconds and he says there's nothing there.
Doug- he can stay dry if he is completely naked, but like Andy if you put anything on him he has accidents. He can pee if you go tell him to go potty but half the time you have to coerce him into getting on the potty because he is not much interested. He is very proud of himself when he does pee and if you ask him whether he flushed the toilet most of the time the answer you get is "almost" and he will run go flush the toilet.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Hard to tell

It's hard to tell if I am losing a battle to win the war or what. If I make progress in one part of the house I lose it in another part. I might clean upstairs while the kids mess up downstairs, or vice versa. I used to clean somewhat regularly (I've never been terribly good about it and I have always made a distinction about being picked-up and being cleaned-up). I had the issue before that I would always start in the same place and would always poop-out on the last room. Unfortunately now there is more to clean and I poop out sooner. Just some reflections...every time I reach a weekend I realize that I have a multitude of choices about what to do with it, how to balance it between need to's, have to's, and want to's and always realizing that somewhere at some point there may be a sneak attack from rebel forces.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fast Food Conversations

We went out to a fast food place before church last night. We met Daddy there and so the kids and I had the usual conversation as we drove to the place.
Mommy: So Doug I assume you want chicken nuggets
Doug: Chicken
Josie: Ketchup
Mommy: Yes Josie, you'll have some ketchup. Andy do you want a hamburger or chicken?
Josie: Ketchup
Andy: I want french fries
Mommy: You'll get french fries you want a hamburger or chicken?
Josie: Ketchup
Andy: Chicken
Josie: Ketchup
Mommy: Josie will get some ketchup. Andy, do you want a chicken sandwich or chicken nuggets?
Andy: Chicken nuggets
Josie: Ketchup
Mommy: Would you like some fries with your ketchup Josie?
Josie: Ketchup

It's too bad that ketchup is not really a vegetable (tomatoes are technically a fruit) because we would so have the vegetable thing covered if it were.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cooking Party

My niece turned three just after the new year and had a cooking themed party. The kids had a great time making little pizzas and then decorating cup cakes. We also came back from the party with aprons and chef hats that we can now play with at home. It was fun!

My life at the moment in two words....


Monday, January 12, 2009


I recently had to look up what a "meme" was because I had seen it on some blogs and as much as I like to think that I am sort of "with it" as far as technology I know that I am really a bit behind. So it rhymes with "theme" and it is like a small unit of culture that gets passed around (this is a really loose definition). So...when you get one of those things that you take a test or answer survey questions and send it on to someone else that is a meme.

So I nominate anyone who is looking for something to post to do this meme that I am creating. If you do not have a blog and still want to answer the question you can post your thoughts in the comments section. This is actually something I have been thinking about for awhile.

I had two summers where I worked with a woman who was very busy and sort of ADHD before so many people started being diagnosed with it. She kept talking about plate twirlers. You know the person in the circus who has sticks with twirling plates and the point is to keep up as many plates as possible? Well, for her she would compare everything she had to do to plate twirling and trying to keep it together, but occasionally a plate would fall and break.

My question is:
What metaphor or simile fits your life ?
For me, at this point in my life, it is like someone trying to move an extremely large boulder. I push and shove and I might be making progress but it is really hard to tell that progress is being made. Some days I wish for a hammer so that I could break the boulder into a pile of rubble and move it in smaller pieces, but frankly I don't have a hammer. I do have faith that at some point I'll get the boulder rolling and actually be able see the progress being made...but today is not that day so I just keep pushing.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Food Facts

I think it is a fact that kids will eat better when there is a gimmick (see my sister's post about cute food). We got the kids little segmented trays for Christmas and they like to have each spot filled with something.
They ate great the day that I cut their sandwiches with little cookie cutters.
Yesterday we used one of my Christmas presents for the first time. We tried out the Pancake Puff pan. We bought ours at Target, but for probably at least six months I went through both boys asking for this every time the commercial came on. I was intrigued and curious so when we saw it we got it. Saturday we tried it out. It was a hit with Doug and Josie. Andy was skeptical...until Jim dumped powdered sugar on top. Suddenly, with addition of the sugar garnish, Andy decided that they were "his favorite."

Friday, January 9, 2009

Whip Cream!

My sister got me one of those fancy whip cream things where you dump in the cream, charge it with gas, and make real whip cream. I have now mastered it much to the joy of my children.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Pre-Christmas program pictures

These are some pictures from our Christmas programs that were at the boy's preschool and at our church. They were good programs and fun. However, no one seems to think about the parent with more than one child up there because at none of these programs were all my kids standing all together.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Incredible Hulk Mommy

There are days I feel like I turn into the Incredible Hulk and today was one of them. I don't know if it has something to do with stress, lack of sleep, hormones, or the fact that when the kids were supposed to be having quiet time they were jumping off the end of Doug's bed and "sliding" down the curtain so that it bent the brackets for the curtain rod.
Anyway, within five minutes of discovering them I moved around the boys' room and the dresser is now next to the curtain. If they start jumping off that I'm not quite sure what I will do. Stapling their feet to the ground comes to mind.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Sugar Trail

The kids went with me today to run some errands on campus before the semester starts. I think every desk we passed had candy on it and of course my kids are not shy in the least.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


We were gone a week. Now, in addition to children seeking me out for physical connection...I have two cats attached to me and it makes it awfully hard to get anything done at all.

Belated Christmas Pictures (in no particular order)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Chasin' a song

I have spent most of the day messing with the iPod I was handed down from one of my sisters. Jim gave me a gift card to iTunes so I could add some songs. I have had a hard time coming up with songs to add because I own CD's for most of the songs I know and like and haven't paid good attention to the radio for awhile....or so I thought. I realized that there was a song I liked and it would be good to put on there. I couldn't remember the name or who sang it. I couldn't remember any of the specific lyrics so that I could look it up online. All I could remember was a little about the melody and the "feel" of the lyrics. Well... I actually found it.

There's Something Wrong...

There's something wrong about gmail's auto link thing that finds stuff related to key words in your email listing a "Savory Spam Crescents" link to a recipe when you are looking at your Spam Mailbox....