Monday, February 28, 2011

I'll Cut Her Some Slack... This Time

We have been talking a lot about the Tooth Fairy in our house lately. Ben's first loose tooth has been wiggling and wobbling for over a month now. I think the excitement of having a loose tooth is a lot more exciting and a lot less scary than the thought of actually loosing that tooth for him, so he has been in absolutely no rush at all to wiggle it out.

But a couple mornings ago, early in the morning, Ben came running down the stairs with his tooth in his hand! He said it just fell out when he woke up! (Yes, it was that loose at the end.) No pain, no blood, no trauma. He was most suprised by how tiny his tooth actually was!

Well, preparations for the arrival of the Tooth Fairy were taken up a notch as we prepared the tooth for its departure. We got it in a baggie and tucked safely away under his pillow, in just the right spot where no one would mess with it (the idea of someone messing with a dead tooth didn't seem like an unlikely situation to him at all.)

We did our part in the process, the rest was left up to this mysterious fairy who collects children's dead baby teeth. Now, I have never met this character, so I'm not sure, but my thoughts are that there might be one head Tooth Fairy, but many other fairies of various levels of experience working under her. We obviously got a newbie. I think this might have been her first time performing her job, in fact!

I'm just guessing here, but here is now I figure it went down: she forgot all about my son's first tooth (monumental of an event as it is) until the very last minute. Early in the morning, she woke in a panic, flew to her money stash, grabbed the money, then desperately tried not to wake an already stirring boy as she searched and searched under his pillow for his well-hidden tooth. I imagine her holding her breath as she does it so as to make as little noise as possible, already coming up with excuses and explanations in her head to explain to the little boy in case he does wake up. She probably cringed as she opened the crinkly bag, certain the noise was way too loud, then, ever so gently, replaced the tooth with money and slid the bag back under the pillow before she made her silent and hasty departure.

She accomplished her mission without detection, but just barely! This being her first time, I'll cut her some slack, but she better be a bit more professional and competent next time!

Friday, February 25, 2011

What Else Can Go Wrong Here?

My boys are all sick. Ben is definately on the mend, Mitchell is right in the middle of it, and Jack is just starting. Fun. How I am not sick is a mystery to me.

Ben was well enough to send to school today, but Mitchell was still coughing a pretty nasty sounding cough, so with a desire to keep his teacher on my good side, I decided to keep him home with me. Only about half an hour after school would normally have started for him though, he seemed good as new and I was wondering what in the world I would do with him for the next few hours that I normally don't have to plan things for him!

I suddenly remembered that our neighborhood McDonald's recently remodeled their play room and we hadn't checked it out yet, so I packed my sick(ish) little boys up and we headed off for some lunch and playtime.

The moment we stepped through the door, I knew I had made a mistake. The place was PACKED! The remodel had taken over half of the restaurant, devoting it to a play place for the little ones. Great news, right? Well, not so great if you have hungry boys and no where to sit! We ended up sitting on tall bar chairs, balancing while trying to eat. Half way through the meal, Mitchell needed the restroom in an emergent way and we had to get there NOW! Well, I had lunch items to pack up, boys to get down from bar stools, jackets to grab and carry, purse to find somewhere in the mess, giant 1-year-old to carry because he refuses to follow me if left to walk on his own... we got there in time - barely.

I gave up on eating anything after that, poured my undrunk (and gross) coffee down the drain, and headed to the playroom. It was a zoo. Here in the city, it is difficult to find free ways to entertain your children indoors, so the nannies were taking full advantage of this place! I think each nanny must have had 6 kids with her, or else someone was just dropping their kids off and coming back for them later. The kid to adult ratio just didn't add up...

Mitchell and Jack played for about 10 minutes before Mitchell started coughing. A normal cough at first, which is usually my sign to get out the cough medicine. As I did not have it with me, it quickly progressed to a more persistent and wet sounding cough. After only a few minutes, he was coughing so hard and so often that he had to come sit down and there were only a few seconds between coughs. Next comes the cough-induced gagging, which was my sign to grab coats, purse, 4 year old, and toddler and try to get shoes back on before the vomiting started. I could feel every woman's "evil eye" on me (rightfully so) as I desperately tried to get out of there before I further infected the other children and, more importantly, before he threw up!

Just as I was getting the first shoe on, the coughing intensified. Cue the gag reflex. Cue the vomit. I didn't realize he wasn't really chewing his food. The evidence of 4 whole orange wedges was enlightening to me. Thank goodness he didn't really have much of his lunch and we just had oranges and foul smelling water all over the floor (and one unfortunate woman's shoe... sorry...) Shoe #2 is now on and up comes the rest of the contents of his stomach. I was ready for it this time and I caught i (gross) and tossed it in the trash.

I didn't bother putting coats back on, but picked everything up, one kid under each arm (good thing I work out!) and ran out of there as fast as I could. I didn't even bother to wash my hands first. My first priority was to get away from the other children, then the people eating their lunches. Does it really matter if I wash my hands immediately if my shirt is covered in vomit anyways?

Poor Mitchell. It must be terrifying to cough until you vomit. I obviously took on more than he was ready for today, despite his feigned "recovery" this moning. I should have been satisfied staying indoors in our jammies, coloring and watching The Land Before Time. Lesson learned... I hope...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Crooked Point of View

As I was dressing this morning, I actually took the time to look in the mirror. Most mornings, it is still dark when I dress and I am usually just throwing on some gym clothes, so no mirror necessary. This morning, however, I had already been to the gym and back and was dressing for the second time, so took a bit more time with it, including a glance into the mirror to make sure my shirt wasn't on backwards or something like that.

I just have to say, no matter how I decide I look in the mirror, I almost always have to smile at myself when I take the time to actually use one. I don't just stand there and look - I tilt my head to the side - every time! It is a habit I formed early on enough that I can't remember a time I did not do this. I remember my sister teasing me for it as kids and I can't tell you how often I think of her when I look in the mirror, not because we look alike in the slightest, but because her teasing words ring through my head as she laughs at my silly, lop-sided pose.

It really does help me look better! Perhaps I am not imagining this and it truly does help my appearance for me to be crooked in such a way and I should actually walk around in life with this pose!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Just Clearing Up A Few Things

Ben and I were discussing the differences between where and how daddy works and where and how I work. I think both my big boys are starting to notice that their mom is one of the only moms in their little world who doesn't leave the house to "work." All of his friends have nannies - we have a sitter who comes once a week at most.

So in an effort to explain to him our choices and sometimes sacrifices, I was listing all the "work" I actually do. I explained that daddy leaves the house, goes downtown, and works there. He makes money for us all and we take care of things at home. I started listing some of the things I do at home that really are "work" and not just fun, and when the list started getting too long (I just had to make myself look like a hard worker, even to a 5 year old!) he cut me off saying, "I think daddy has a really important job, that's why he only has one when you have so many!" He thought about it for a couple more seconds, then amended his statement: "Well, daddy has two jobs really - he works in his office and picks the boogies out of my nose!"

It's true. He is a booger-fighting machine!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Little Snacking

Today, Mitchell must not have gotten quite enough to eat for lunch. While the boys and I were playing together in the living room, Mitchell wandered in with a mischievous look on his face. Once he had my attention, he said, "Hey mom, guess what I have in my pocket?" Well, knowing Mitchell, this could be just about anything, so I didn't even venture a guess. He then proceeded to pull big chunks of shredded chicken out of his jeans pocket to show me his snack. And he ate them! He had found some left-over chicken from the night before that I had left on the counter to eat for lunch today and gone to work on it.

He went back a couple more times to refill his pocket with chicken and I will just have to make sure to remember to check out/empty his pockets before I throw those pants in the laundry tonight!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I Can't Believe He Sleeps With That

Jack's newest obsession is faucets. I have stools in front of my bathroom sinks for my bigger boys to use for washing their hands and brushing their teeth. I have recently discovered that Jack is also getting plenty of use out of the stools. He climbs right up them, reaches up, turns the water on full blast, and proceeds to soak his sleeves up to his armpits, plus whatever item he has brought with him to the sink, be it a toy, a cup, a diaper, and most lately, his little blankie.

I am trying to remember to pull all the stools away from the sinks, but even when I remember, the boys forget so Jack soaks his little blankie at least once a day. Since Jack refuses to go down for a nap easily without that smelly thing, I just can't keep it dry and he ends up choosing to sleep with it all soggy! I have tried keeping it when it is wet like that, but he calls and calls for it. When I give it to him, he smashes it to his face, lays right down, curls up, and heads off to dream land.

When he wakes up, there is a giant wet spot in his crib and his hair is sticking straight up on one side from sleeping on a wet blanket, but he doesn't seem to mind at all!

Just a few minutes ago, I heard Mitchell shout at Jack from upstairs, "Oh, Jack! Not again! What are we going to do with you!?" Yep. Blankie is in a soggy heap with hot water running on it, clogging the sink. Mitchell had the right question: what are we going to do with this boy?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Obnoxious Politeness

I don't know if Mitchell has just recently become gassy, or if his recent obsession with saying "Excuse me" has only pointed out what has always been there. Whatever the situation, it is getting on my nerves.

A month or so ago, Mitchell began saying "Excuse me!" every time he tooted or burped. I am sure I suggested he do so at some point, but I can't recall a specific time, so when he started being consistent with this, I was very pleased and a bit surprised. It's really not like him to be so disciplined with such a thing - especially completely on his own like this.

Fast forward to the present when his "Excuse me's" have become quite an annoyance and distraction to all we do! He is constantly tooting or burping and absolutely MUST say "Excuse me!" after each one, no matter when it happens. He will be mid-sentence, toot, and just add the phrase right into his sentence: "At school today, I was pretending excuse me to be a snowman!" "When is Ben excuse me getting home?" "This dinner excuse me is not my favorite but I like it!" You get the idea...

Just yesterday, it got even worse though! He began to shout "Excuse me!" instead of just mumbling it. He also, for some reason, added an extra "me" to the end. Now, every toot or burp is followed by an "EXCUSE ME...ME!"

I have tried to get him to relax on his strictness on this rule by saying he only needs to say it when he is at the dinner table or around non-family members. For goodness sakes, if we can't hear it or smell it, let's just let is slide, man! So far, he has not taken to this new edition of the rule though. He has made it a habit and it will be tough to break it!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Neighborhood Looks Like A Garage Sale

The boys and I are enjoying an unusual sight since the storm last week. There are pieces of furniture all over the streets! As I drive down my block, I see all sorts of pieces set up along side the street: chairs, dressers, small tables, large children's toys, even an ironing board!

I guess when it takes you over an hour to dig out your car from the snow bank suddenly burrying it, you want everyone to know that is your spot! As I have a garage and don't have to worry about which piece of my furniture to expose to the elements, I don't know how respected this "dibs" idea is. Does putting a Little Tykes Cozy Coupe in your parking spot after you leave for work really hold it for you all day? Do other drivers respect this rule? What about an ironing board? If you needed a spot to park and the only thing between you and the only spot you could find was an ironing board, would you move it?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Operation Scare Mom

Mitchell can be a sneaky little boy. He likes to sneak up on me (and, I assume, others as well.) When I am in Jack's room feeding him a bottle before bed, Mitchell will slither in on his belly and pop up next to my chair. At night, he tip toes out of his room and peaks around the corner and down the stairs, trying to go unnoticed. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I will awaken for some reason and find him standing next to my bed, looking at me. (That one REALLY startles me!) When he plays hide-and-seek, he doesn't stay in one place, but sneaks around from place to place, staying one step ahead of or behind me. He likes to pretend to be invisible. He sometimes wears his invisible clothes to school and gets a kick out of the fact that no one even knew he was there! (I'd really like to witness that day at school...)

Yesterday, his sneakiness took a new form in that the goal was not to go unnoticed, but to make me jump. I was busy drying my hair in my bathroom, thinking I had made my "stay in your room for a bit" command understood. At one point, I turned my hair dryer off, flipped my hair back up, and there was Mitchell, harmonica at the ready. The moment my hair dryer was off, he blew that harmonica as loud as he could. I literally jumped. He thought it was hilarious and ran off to tell Ben every detail of his successful mission.

I sometimes don't understand Mitchell and am often puzzled by what he likes and what gets him excited, so when he does really crack up about something, it makes me laugh too, even if I am the victim of his pranks.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Boombox, Blizzard, and Beer

I woke up late this morning to a winter wonderland of snow.  Although later than I usually wake up, there was not a soul stirring outside and there was not one track in the deep snow on the street.  School was closed and my neighborhood was very quiet.  

As I sipped my coffee and enjoyed the falling snow, thankful I didn't have to go out in it, a faint noise from outside captured my attention.  It sounded like music and it was getting slowly louder as I listened.  The site that greeted me as I looked out my window made me laugh out loud.  

There was a man walking (or marching in snow up to his thighs) down the middle of the street, carrying a boom box on his shoulder with the classic rock station blaring.  In his other hand, he held a 24oz can of beer.  He was the only moving thing outside and he was clearly enjoying his morning.   I wish I had taken a picture...

Thanks, beer drinking boom box man for beginning my day with a laugh!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Well, That Settles That!

I normally try to avoid places like Target.  I always end up buying something there that I did not intend to.  I find there are not many things I get at Target that I can't pick up somewhere else, so I simply avoid going and have saved myself quite a bit of money actually.  

But today, Mitchell, Jack, and I needed something to do and I had something to return that had been sitting on my counter for weeks, so we packed up and headed off to the land of overspending.  

Mitchell is a good sport about shopping and running errands.  He puts up with just about anything, even if he isn't particularly enjoying himself.  Today though, he discovered a whole new section of Target that he had previously overlooked - kitchen tools and appliances!  My strange, kitchen tool fixated middle child was just in heaven!  He was carrying around a little stool he found nearby so that he could reach up on the shelves and "try out" just about everything!  He was messing with waffle makers and deep fryers; microwaves and espresso machines; coffee grinders and juicers.  

After the "machines," we wandered over to the "tools" section and found just about everything he could possibly want!  He had his arms full of measuring cups, hand mixers, can openers, chip clips, egg slicers, timers... He was just so excited by it all.  I think this was even more exciting for him than Christmas time in the craft store!

As we had baby Jack with us and also needed to get home to pick up Ben from school, I regretfully had to tear him away from his paradise.  He was sad to put everything back in its place, but was a good sport.  As we were checking out, (and yes, I did more than return something.  I ended up with a new vacuum!  See why I don't go?!) Mitchell turned to me with a huge grin and said, "Hey mom!  I know what I want for my birthday now!  I want all those tools and the popcorn maker!"

Well, that settles that then!  I actually do need a popcorn maker...


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