Sunday, October 14, 2007

To be or not to be...

Yes, I know it has been 10 days since my last post, but things have been a little crazy here in Burwellville. Halloween is fast approaching, and in an effort to avoid the October 30th, 10pm "can't find a costume" episode, I have strongly suggested the girls make a decision on a costume early and that they have to stick with it. Hopefully this will avoid the 3 costumes each that we seem to end up with every year, but I can't make any promises.

Lili has already changed her mind several times, but I think she has finally settled on a mermaid. Originally she wanted to be "Dorothy" from 'Wizard of Oz', I thought it was such a great idea(we already have a dress her Grandma made for Emma several years ago) I told her I would be the Scarecrow for her. Yep, I get to dress up for preschool. Two days is a row. Anyhow, even though she has now abondoned the whole "Dorothy" thing, I am stuck being a Scarecrow.

Chloe, of course, made up her mind early and decided to be 'Cleopatra'. I, being the overconfident Mom that I am, told her I could easily "MAKE" that for her. Yes I said "make". Now in case you don't know, my sewing skills are EXTREMLY limited. I know how to sew nightgowns, without collars or buttons, and elastic waisted p.j pants. I managed to put pockets in one pair of p.j. pants, but for the life of me couldn't figure out how I did it for the next several pairs. Needless to say, neither one of those patterns will really work for 'Cleopatra'. Not too worry, I found a plain white Angel costume and think I can manage to sew enough gold junk on to it for it to pass. So I am feeling pretty good. It's two weeks before Halloween and I have 2 out of 3 costumes done. I move on to Emma. (If I could play music on my blog, this is where you would hear the "Duh, Duh, DUUUHHH.")

Emma reminds me so much of me as a little girl, sometimes it's scary. I remember worrying for WEEKS about what I would be for Halloween. Trying to find just the right balance between fun and still looking cute is not easy. When you also throw in the fact that I won't let them be anything scary or too grown up,(aka: miniature stripper) it really puts a kink in Emma's sense of style. But I am totally committed to helping Emma find the perfect costume, so off we go, to every store in Twin Falls. I swear there is not a costume in this town that I haven't looked at. After several hours and a considerable amount of yelling, we head home, empty handed. But not too worry, thank godness for the internet. Emma scoured every website we could find, and after many more hours and some serous negotiations on her part, we found her a genie costume.

So I am pretty sure we will have Cleopatra, a mermaid, a genie and a REALLY BIG scarecrow trick or treating at our house this year. But since it is only October 19th, and I still have to put Chloe's costume together, I can't make any guarentees. There is a pretty good chance that we will all be going as ghosts, I think I have enough sheets. Check back on November 1.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Good Karma is So Over-rated

I had an urge to go through my email tonight and clean it up. For some reason I can't stand to have old email sitting there. This is usually a good thing, it's nice to be organized, right? The only time my need to clean gets me in trouble is when I start deleting stuff I really need. But not too worry, I have finally learned how to move stuff into folders, (thanks Dick) so I can keep all of my junk organized.

Ok, off subject...I wish I could type this in what I call "Mom real-time". Since typing the previous paragraph, I have swept and mopped the floor, switched the laundry, although the load that needs to be folded is currently eyeing me from across the room, cleaned up the basement, put the girls to bed, solved Chloe's necklace crisis, listened to Emma tell me how Lili never helps with anything, loaded the dishwasher and gave Tom several dirty looks for his ability to sit and watch all of this happen without feeling the need to help. That all took about 20 minutes.

So back to the email thing, in the clean out, I came across an email from one of my dear friends, Larisa. It is one of those fix your karma things. In theory this is great. The only problem is that I think I got this from her like a week ago, and I haven't had anytime to actually read it until tonight, seems fine right? It probably would be except the the first thing the email says is that it has to leave my inbox within 96 hours of arriving there. Great, I'm screwed right out of the box. Let's hope the rest of the email is SO GOOD that it will counter-act the fact that I am way past the 96 hour mark.

As I read on it tells me the usual stuff, be a good person, live honorably, blah, blah, blah. The thing that gets me is the "spend some time alone each day". I honestly can't think of ANY time during the day I am really alone. Bed doesn't count, because if Tom's not there, there is a really good chance one of the girls is. I can't remember a time in the past 10 years that I have been in the bathroom by myself. Even when I am driving somewhere supposedly alone, the spirit of my little angels is always with me in the form of a petrified french fry, leaking sippy cup, or electronic toy with no off button. Not that I am complaining, I mean , this is what I signed up for when I became a Mom. Laundry and old food. That was in the fine print at the bottom of the contract the hospital so cleverly disguised as a bill.

I continue reading the email, and the last thing I am to achieve in order to reach my spiritual plateau is to "once a year go someplace I have never been". I wonder if I can combine that with the whole alone thing and pick the bathroom.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

One of life's little lessons...

First of all I want to send well wishes to my Mom and my niece, Sophia. We love you both and know you will both feel better soon!

I just got home after a long, tiring but always funny day of teaching pre-school. I really do have the best job ever. Besides getting to shape the minds of 60 young people (scary thought, I know) I am constantly reassured that no matter how crazy I think my kids are, there is always some kid just a tiny bit crazier. Those are the little gems of parenting enlightenment I live for. Plus, the kids at pre-school think I am really fun and smart. Traits that are often overlooked with my own kids.

Take this evening for example, I get home and my kids are watching a very educational episode of "Ned's Declassified" which is explaining to them the pros and cons of dissecting animals for scientific use. This of course, opens up the topic for discussion in our house. Emma is totally against it, "that's so GROSS", and for once, Chloe is in complete agreement. Although her reasons definitely lean more towards animal rights. Emma then asks her dad, "Dad, did you have to dissect a frog in High School?", Yes, of course he did. I wait patiently, knowing I am going to get the same question any minute....still waiting...yep, still waiting. Apparently I am going to have to offer up this info without being prompted. So I say, "Emma, why didn't you ask me if I had to dissect a frog?" Her response, "Well Dad went to college and you didn't." What?! And just to make it clear, I DID go to college. I lasted a whole semester, so there! But, because I'm the adult, I respond, "you asked Dad if he had to dissect the frog in High School, I went to high school too you know!" so Emma begrudgingly, I guess she can sense my desperation to share some of my high school memories, asks "Mom, did you have to dissect a frog?" I proudly reply, "Well I was SUPPOSED to, but I felt it was morally and ethically wrong(plus it was really gross) so I refused to do it!" At this point I am waiting for my daughters to look up at me in awe. Surely they are proud to have such an activist for a Mom. Nope, they of course take every possible negative thing out of what I did to use against me at a later date. After I told Emma that I had refused to dissect the frog, I explained that instead I had to write and essay explaining how I would have done it. Apparently this was the worst punishment that Biology teacher could come up with. Little did he know I LOVE to write! But leave it to Emma to come up with an evil genius plan of her own. She states in her most proud and 8 year old know-it-all voice "well I would just write MY report in my worst handwriting, and if he made me do it again, I would get worse and worse until he couldn't read it at all." So, basically what Emma has decided is that she is not only NOT going to dissect the frog, but she is going to purposely fail the alternate assignment. The whole point of my telling them this story was so that they could see me as their cool, activist Mom, not to encourage them to fail biology. This could really come back to haunt me in a few years, I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Say Cheese!

So Tuesday was picture day at Chloe and Emma's school. Now growing up, I remember totally looking forward to picture day. I would spend days picking out my outfit, my favorite 'Holly Hobbie' skirt, just the right peter pan collard blouse, and my Mom always helping me fix my Dorothy Hamill haircut just right. Those days are over, at least at our house.

In anticipation of the big day, I had the girls pick out their clothes the night before, so I could iron them, or at least make sure the stains wouldn't show. Because the girls are so very different, I swear it was like I was going through two totally different events. Chloe went downstairs and came back with a tee shirt with horses on it (big surprise) and jeans. At least she picked jeans without holes in the knees. Clearly Chloe was NOT excited about picture day. In the spirit of free-thinking and avoiding an argument, I let it go. I mean, they really only shoot the photos from the chest up, right? Her tee shirt was red, she looks nice in red, I'm sure the picture will turn out great. Chloe's set, on to Emma.

Emma, oh Emma. What can I say? The girl loves clothes, likes to dress up, this should be a piece of cake right? WRONG! I can't even say for sure how many alternate outfit ideas were presented. It's all a big blur of dresses, shorts, capris, tank tops, shirts and shoes. Yes, even shoes. Apparently Emma doesn't realize the photo is mostly of her face. So after several hours (okay it was probably only a few minutes, but it sure seemed longer) we narrowed it down to a cute brown button up sweater with a tank top under it and jeans, I think. All I can say for sure is that by the time we had an outfit picked out I had said more than my fair share of words no parent should ever say to their child. I guess I ran out of the whole free-thinking, no argument thing about 7 outfits in.

We finally make it to picture day, or "the morning from HELL" as I prefer to think of it. Chloe was up at about 6am, which irritates me just on principle. The child can function on way too little sleep. It's really not fair. Anyhow, back to picture day, so Chloe is up and seems to be in a pretty good mood, she has made herself breakfast and is watching T.V. I get myself ready, because even though it is such a special occasion like picture day, I still have to go to work. Now here is where the whole thing goes horribly, horribly wrong. Emma had decided the night before that she wanted to take a shower in the morning, seems safe enough right? The problem with this is that Emma likes to lounge in the shower, so by the time I realize she is still in there, a good 20 minutes has passed and we are quickly running out of time. Add to this that Lili is now up and let me tell you, she's not really a morning person.

I am now in freak out mode, which basically translates into a lot of yelling on my part and a lot of crying on the girls part. I am the first to admit that this is neither pleasant nor very effective, but that was where we were. As the minutes tick by, I realize that Chloe is dressed and ready to go, all I have to do is fix her hair. No, wait, she has done that herself. What the heck is in her hair? Of course, she has taken some hair product that is only to be used on wet hair and greased her hair down with it. Fabulous. So now I get to not only blow dry Emma's dripping wet hair and curl it, get Lili ready for school, finish getting myself ready, but I get to try and reverse the greaser look Chloe is currently sporting. Have I said how much I love picture day?

We now have about five minutes to accomplish all of the above listed tasks, and I am really close to having a nervous breakdown. We make it through Emma's hair without too many tears, Lili is semi-ready to go, and let's face it, I'll take her in P.J's if I have to, it's not picture day at her school. I move on to Chloe's hair. I feel like I should call someone at Exxon to get de-greasing tips. This is bad. For those of you who don't know, Chloe has very thin hair. Thin hair and greasy hair product don't mix well. So I do the best I can, a few curls, a pony tail, she's good to go. Until Emma makes the fatal mistake of complimenting Chloe on her 'do. Why wouldn't she take a compliment from her super girly little sister in the spirit with which it is intended? We have all the time in the world right? Like 30 seconds to get everyone done and out the door. Sure, we can re-do her hair. Some more curling, take out the ponytail, there, NOW she's done.
A few blanket threats that no one is to touch their hair, a sweet reminder to smile pretty, and a quick kiss on the cheek as I shove them out the door. Luckily, we will have photos to remember this day forever. You just have to love picture day!

Monday, September 17, 2007

I have good news and bad news...

I have good news and bad news, which do you want first? As much as I dread hearing that sentence from my girls, it really seemed so appropriate for my blog tonight. I apoligize for the length of time between my last blog, I was down with the stomach flu and in no mood to find anything even remotely amusing about my family. Three kids jumping on the bed when I already feel like I am on a cheap fair ride gone horribly wrong, just isn't my idea of a good time.
So that is why I haven't been online, I have spent the last few days getting over my bug, and trying to like my family again. Which brings us to the good news/bad news portion of this evening.

The good news is that I have been able to spend a lot of "quality" time with Lili in the last few days, and she has pretty much stopped using the word 'He**' to emphasize every statement. YEAH! As much as I would like to take credit for this remarkable change in her behavior, I am sure my laughing everytime she said it didn't do too much to discourage her. My guess is she has replaced that behavior with a new one. Something designed to get a positive response from her friends and family. Something not nearly as offensive. That would be where I was wrong. Bringing us to the "bad news"...

She has now decided it is much more effective to "moon" whoever is irritating her. I am not joking. Do you really think I could make this up? The child went from swearing at anyone and everyone to pulling down her pants and slapping her bottom at them. Great. I guess I should be glad I am her pre-school teacher because my boss won't have to waste time sending home notes over this disturbing behavior. I get to witness it in all it's glory. Sometimes I am so proud I could cry. Oh, wait, those aren't tears of joy, they are the "Oh, my Gosh! Is she REALLY doing that?" kind of tears. The worst part is that I really have NO idea where she got the idea for this unique form of expression. It isn't like I exhibit this behavior when I am frustrated, nor do Chloe or Emma. I can't account for all of the hours in Tom's day, but I hope and pray with all my might she didn't learn it from him. Unfortunately, the odds aren't in Tom's favor.

So here I am with my cute, tutu wearing, swearing, bottom slapping 4 year old. I am so NEVER getting 'Mother of the Year'.