Sunday, March 25, 2007


Why in the *bleep* are we Moms so judgemental of each other??

Take this woman I am friendly with in my Moms Group. She is wild and crazy and hilarious. She is kind and friendly. But I sometimes just want to tell her to SHUT. UP.

On more than one occasion several of us moms have been discussing potty training. Although Abby and Ethan are now pretty much done with potty training, it took a loooooong time to get there. And it was the most frustrating parenting task I have had to complete. So these discussions with other moms (who share their own potty training woes) usually make me feel better about my own situation. I am definitely not alone.

And then my spunky friend (let's call her Sonya) always jumps in.

"Potty training after age 2???" she always asks, shocked by such a concept. "My kids were all done by their second birthday. And the longest it took me was two weeks to potty train."

At times like that, I want to tell her to JUST.SHUT.UP. Unfortunately, there are other instances when Sonya opens her mouth when it should remain closed.

The other day, my friend was sharing with the group how she was locking her son into his room at night because he had gotten up a few times in the middle of the night and gotten into dangerous things before his parents discovered him. Her pediatrician recommended locking him in for his own safety. (Boy, can I relate!)

Sonya pipes up with, "My kids wouldn't dare do that. When I tell them no, they listen!"

Again, I want to tell her to JUST.SHUT.UP.

I don't think Sonya intends to insult us. And really, it doesn't make me feel badly about my parenting abilities when she says these things. But I recognize that as Moms, we are all vulnerable at certain points in our parenting. Sometimes comments like these can push us over the edge. They can make us question our decisions. And make us feel like we're doing a rotten job. Not exactly the pick-me-up that we so often need.

So whenever I hear a "Sonya" spouting off about how their kids would never do "X" or about how easy it is to get your kids to do "Y", I silently think JUST.SHUT.UP.

And then I get an evil smirk on my face as I hatch a plan to send Abby to her house for just one week. I bet she'd change her tune. ;)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Friday, March 23, 2007

Our First Adoption Question

We have always been open with Abby and Ethan about their adoptions. We "discuss" it with them (more like a monologue, actually). We have pictures of their birthfamilies on the fridge and talk about them. I've even used other women's pregnancies to bring up the subject of how babies grown in tummies, and Abby and Ethan grew in M's and S's tummies. I've often wondered how much has been getting through.

Wednesday, when we arrived at preschool, we spotted another mom with her child entering the building. Something about her must have looked familiar to Ethan. He then asked me, "is that my birthmom?" I explained that no, it wasn't his birthmom, S.

Now that the door is opening, I'm curious to see what other questions are going to come out.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Future of Fashion

Oh, how my children are learning new things. And boy, can I underestimate how developed their logical brains are.

Today, I brought out the summer clothes for the kids (I know, it's really early, but it was easy to do and I enjoy it, so there). After I washed the clothes, I let Abby have a fashion show to try on her summer outfits [I will have you know that nothing from last year fits anymore - that girl has grown like a weed again]. She tried on a few dresses that she liked. And then I tried to convince her to model a shorts set. A shorts set is a hard sell to a girl who would wear tights and skirts or dresses every day of her 3-year-old life, if I let her.

"Oh, Abby, this is so cute!" I exclaimed in an over-the-top voice.

"Yeah, so cute!" she agreed.

"Do you think you should try it on?" I asked non-commitally. "Just to see if it fits?"


And so she peeled off the 3 layers of dresses she already had on. Pulled on the shirt. Pulled on the shorts.

"Abby, you look great!"

Abby's face was annoyed. She started to tug on her shorts.

"I like your shorts, Abby, perfect for summertime!"

Abby frowned and wandered away. I helped Ethan with his hand-me-down Buzz Lightyear summer pajamas, happy that at least he was pleased. After a few minutes, I called to Abby. No response. The kids know that when I call their names, they should answer. I called again, this time louder. No response.

I got up and headed down to the basement. At the bottom of the stairs, I looked into the office. Abby was sitting on my desk chair wearing a guilty look and holding a pair of scissors. I freaked out. Abby started to cry. I felt bad and scooped Abby up after putting the scissors away, explaining the dangers of using scissors unsupervised.

On the way back up the stairs, a lightbulb went off. I realized what Abby was doing. And I verified it by examining her shorts.

She was cutting her shorts apart at the crotch seam to make a skirt.

By Jove, I think she's got it!

I am *fairly certain* that we have reached nirvana. We are [dare I say it?] currently diaper free. We put diapers on the kids at bedtime, but they are usually dry in the morning. For the past week or so, there hasn't been a day-time accident (other than the oops-I-didn't-quite-make-it-to-the-potty-in-time dribbles that can happen occasionally). And that includes the infamous #2! Abby has been doing so well in that regard that she earned herself a pair of ballerina slippers that I have been tempting her with for a month now. After lots of encouragement, she finally filled up her marble jar for going poop on the potty, and she got her prize [which I bought at the Target Dollar Spot - man, that spot sucks me in every time]. Now, Abby acts as if the potty is no biggie. It happened just like everyone said it would - she potty-trained precisely when she decided to, no earlier and no later.

Score one for free will, score zero for parental control. ;)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Phunny Photos

At the carnival for our local elementary school (where Daddy took the kids on Mommy's scrapbooking night): Abby is a cat (of course) and Ethan insisted upon being a reindeer. The face-painting girl didn't know exactly what to do for a reindeer, but improvised with a red nose and freckles.
Ethan's Forever Family Day party (6 weeks late!) Everyone has blue tongues because Mark bought ice cream cake with cotton candy ice cream (which was really bright blue!)
Abby is always our little Fashionista! And where did we go in such a get-up? To the playground!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Come Along for a Tour

As I mentioned before, we are in the process of decorating & organizing our home. We have spent countless hours on these tasks over the last month or so, and we now have one room completely done - our master bedroom. Check it out in this video!

Photo Sharing - Upload Video - Video Sharing - Share Photos

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Snow Slide

We're popular! ;) Or at least, our house seem to be the target for every snowplow that goes down our street. Over the last month, a 6 foot mound of snow has accumulated on the right side of the driveway. What to do with such a monstrosity? Mark thinks, "build a slide!"

It's difficult to see (since the snow is all white), but there is a set of steps on the right, with the slide to the left. It's super fast in a sled, but the ride ends by crashing into a pile of snow a couple feet from the bottom of the slide. Not a favorite for the kids yet.
Abby would have stayed out for hours today, as usual. That girl loves snow!

Cute Kids Videos

For all of you with kids out there - the Pocoyo series is so darn cute! Abby and Ethan love them.

Kids are funny

Ethan: Look, Dad. I'm doing Criss-Cross-Appleseed!*

*he means, Criss-Cross-Applesauce, of course!


Abby, singing: Tinkerbell, Tinkerbell, Tinker all the way. Oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh - hey!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Mika Grace Kelly

I LOVE this song and video. It makes me turn up the volume super loud and sing my lungs out.

And Ethan tells me, "I can be blue, Mom!"

[Artist: Mika. Song: Grace Kelly]


Everything in life involves sacrifices. If you want something to be done quickly and inexpensively, you sacrifice quality. If you choose to eat that double-decker cheeseburger, you sacrifice a little bit of your health. If you want to take an expensive vacation, you sacrifice some of the luxury items you would normally buy in order to save for it (Starbucks!)

I have been wondering lately what Mark and I would be willing to sacrifice if we were in a worse financial situation than we are, or if Mark was in a different type of job. We are so blessed to be in the position we are in, where I can comfortably stay home with the kids. Of course, a lot of hard work is behind that blessing, the work of a brilliant engineer who is my husband. But if Mark had a position that paid less, we would be faced with choosing which sacrifices to make.

My friend recently reminded me that she grew up in a home where her dad worked 2nd (or 3rd?) shift. The job was a conscious choice by her parents so that her mom could afford to be a stay-at-home mom. But the sacrifice was that she and her sister grew up being primarily raised by their mother, and her father was less involved in the day-to-day child rearing. She remembers taking family vacations without her dad, because his work wouldn't allow for him to go.

I was also talking to my sister about a family she knows where the mom and kids live here, and the dad lives in another state. He is living there for business, but flies back "home" on the weekends when he can. These kids don't see their dad on a day-to-day basis, either.

I don't know how those wives do it. I need Mark every day. Some days, I can barely make it to 4:25, when he arrives home. He is my rock, and my soft place. I rely on him for so much.

And I don't know how those kids do it, living in an environment absent of their dads for a vast majority of their time. Do they grow up to resent them? Are they as close to them as they would be in other circumstances?

And I really don't know how the dads do it, missing the tiny details of the kids growing up. Mark is sad if he is gone for a weekend, he feels like he's missed so much. What would it be like if that was your every-day reality?

I realize that it is easy for me to decide how I would react if our financial situation went south, because I'm not in that situation. But I really feel that I would rather live in an apartment and have Mark working a regular amount of hours, on a regular schedule, than to live in a mansion away from my husband. I would also rather live a less lavish lifestyle in order to allow Mark to be the hands-on dad that he is (by him choosing jobs that might pay less but would provide more freedom). And as far as staying home with the kids goes, I would sacrifice my stay-at-home status before I would sacrifice Mark's time with the kids. As Jenny and Jennifer have proven, being a working mom can be a perfectly good choice for everyone in the family.

So - what sacrifices would you make (or have you made) for the financial strength of your family? Were they good choices?

Tinkle Tinkle Little Star

Abby is our little star. Like her brother, she has been wearing underwear all day for the past couple of weeks, with very few [peeing] accidents. Pooping is still a challenge for the potty, but we are using our marble-jar reward system to help with that. Thank goodness for Abby's progress, because I was ready to rip out my hair in frustration!

Now, to work on remembering to use toilet paper...

Weight Watchers, here I come

[I'm walking up the stairs, with Ethan right behind]

Ethan: Mom!
Me: Yes, Eth?
Ethan: Me and Abby are little. And you are humongous.

Happy 32nd, Marky Doodle

Mark turned 32 last weekend! Hard to believe, but true.
I love you with every part of me, Babe. 32 looks good on you!

Long time, no post

I have been neglecting this blog lately, it is sad to say. I've also been neglecting e-mail and telephone calls. I've been in a frantic mode of DECORATING my stark white house. It's finally time to make this house a home by actually decorating (like, for starters, putting a nail into any wall and hanging something on it). I have grand visions for all of the rooms on the main level as well as our master suite. I will be posting pictures as soon as the rooms are completed.

To make up for my lack of posts, I will try to post several little snippit posts over the next few days.