Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Wow, you want to talk about behind? It is the day before Christmas and I still have gifts to wrap, and a present to finish making. Then, there are the hundreds of blog posts in my head from the last week! But, I did promise Jonny's Mommy a link. See, a while back she wrote this post, about Christmas newsletters. She said that if she were to write one this year, that it would just say, "We did the same boring, mundane stuff we did last year". That was when the light bulb popped out above my head, and out came my Christmas card for this year. After all, we like our Christmas cards to be... original. (Click on it to make it bigger - the background is blue - don't know what's up with that).

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Dylan has been cracking me up this week. He has so much to say, and a lot of the time, I have no idea what the string of words he has just spouted out with enthusiasm means. Usually I understand the last word or two, and I piece the rest together. Sometimes, though, what he says is perfectly clear. Like yesterday, when I asked him, "Would you like to go to the library?"
He said in the funniest little voice, "Oh! THAT would be nice!" (with his voice going higher at the end of "nice")

Oh, and when I asked him what he wants for Christmas, he didn't even need to think about it.
"Milk, and a do-ey!" Oh crap, I thought. I have to field the requests for a dog already? We already have a cat I don't want.
"Dylan, you want milk, and a doggy?"
"No, milk and a do-ey!"
I was actually relieved when I discovered he was saying "donkey". He wants milk and a donkey for Christmas?!

We Need More Money

As you know, I've been a bit obsessed with our finances lately. Being the person in charge of our finances, I get to live in a slightly panicked, slightly depressed state, while Jim gets to go about in blissful ignorance for the most part.

I decided that it was time to turn the focus outward, and start thinking of others for a change. Many, many people have it far worse than we do. I decided to use this can that we have, covered with a design that Jim made.

I thought it would be fun to have Dylan put all our spare change into the can, which is also a bank, for the month of December. Then, at the end of the month, Dylan and I will go to Giant Eagle and buy groceries with the money we accumulate, and give them to a local food drive. I explained this to Dylan, as simply as I could. Then, I got out some spare change, and let him put it in the bank. When we were finished, he immediately said, "More, Mommy!" I explained, "That is all I have. We'll see if Daddy has some when he gets home".

That was the beginning of last week. One day, when Jim got home from work, Dylan greeted him at the door with, "Where the money?" He then proceeded to frisk him. He stuck his hands in Jim's pockets, exclaiming, "We Need More Money!" I've created a monster. Yea, this plan to forget about our lack of finances is not exactly going well with my kid greeting everyone who comes to our door with, "We Need More Money"!! Yesterday, I was talking to Jim on the phone, and Dylan grabbed the phone, to shout at his dad, "We Need More Money"!! That should get Jim's mind off our finances, also. Great plan, Jen.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Guilt Can Be Good

I just read a post by one of my favorite bloggers, JCK, over at Motherscribe. You know a post is good when you keep thinking about it, long after reading it. This was one of those posts. In it, she talks about a conversation she had with a mother, who was beating herself up about losing her patience, and yelling at her daughter on her birthday. JCK felt that she was being way too hard on herself. In the post, she reminds all of us that we are human, and therefore not perfect. She tells us not to strive for the unattainable goal of perfection.

At first, after I read the post, I found myself nodding, and getting ready to leave a comment. Something along the lines of, "So true! You are so right!" But, the more I thought about it, the more I had to say. I needed to say something a little longer than a comment.

I know I am not perfect. No, I am not a perfect mom, but you know what? I'm a damn good one. That's right, I said it. There are many things I'm terrible at, and many things I'm not so good at, but I know I am good at that. That is something that bothers me about most women I know - the constant need to put ourselves down. We shouldn't boast, or come across as too high and mighty, but what about giving credit where credit is due? Being a mother is a hard job - the hardest job I know of. But, that's just it.

I think that it is the moms who get the enormity of this job, that feel the guilt. We feel the guilt because we realize that we are in charge of a human life. We must nurture their bodies, their minds, and their spirits. We must keep them safe in a scary world. We are their foundation. What an amazing responsibility! It is the most important thing we will ever do, and we want to do it to the best of our ability.

I admit, there are times that I chase that unattainable goal of perfection. I want my house to be perfect when those other mothers bring their children over for a play date. I want my child to be looking adorable when we go to that birthday party. I want to look cool, calm, and collected, when many times I am feeling anything but. I think that is where we, as mothers, go wrong. We are so busy trying to look perfect to those around us, that we are exhausting ourselves. Not to mention that it's ridiculous. We are all in this club of motherhood together. We should be able to say, "You know what? I'm tired. I'm stressed. My house is a wreck, my laundry is piling up, and I can't remember the last time I shaved my legs". That's real.

As JCK said, we are only human, and we will make mistakes - many of them. But the mothers who lose their patience and don't feel a bit guilty after yelling at their kids (when they didn't deserve it), are probably not the good ones. Guilt is not always a bad thing. Striving for perfection is fruitless, but striving to be the best mom we can be is admirable. Our children will thank us for it.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Two Year Doctor Visit

We took Dylan for his 2 year old doctor appointment. He used to HATE going there. He would start crying the minute we walked in the door, and not stop until we walked out. But, after I rented "Elmo Goes To The Doctor", and my parents came up with the brilliant plan to get him yogurt after the appointments, (so he'll associate the doctor with something good), he now LOVES going there. (He'll weigh 200lbs, but he won't mind going to the doctor).

As soon as the doctor walked in, Dylan started showing off...if showing off involves an absurd display of hyper activity. He started blabbing away in a crazy string of words, some understandable, some not. When the doctor started discussing his eating habits with us, he loudly stated, "I EAT YOGURT!! One bite! Two bites! Three bites!!" When the doctor started going over the checklist of things he should be doing at age 2, it went like this...

Doc: "Running, Jumping, Hopping...Yes, he's doing all those right now...Says at least 50 words...I think he has said more than that just since I came in the room..." All this while Dylan was doing his crazy half skip/half hop around and around in a circle, all while blabbing loudly about who knows what.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year?

(Singing) "Christmas time is here! The most wonderful time of the year..." Oh forget it. As usual, I'm just not feeling it. "Jingle bells, Jingle bells, Jingle all the way, we had to cancel Christmas cuz we can't afford to pay, HEY!"

It seems to happen to me every year. I am never ready. It always sneaks up on me - tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe, WHAM! Hey, Christmas, back off a bit, you're in my space. But, Jen, you must decorate the house, put up the tree, hang some lights, buy some gifts, send some cards, bake some cookies, make some Christmas crafts, take the picture for the card, and make it all fun for Dylan! Hey, Christmas, BITE ME, you might want to start being celebrated in, say, February? We don't need that other holiday that month anyway.

As of today, we have a very modest amount of lights outside (done by Jim), one tree with just lights on it (also done by Jim, with some "help" from Dylan), a few decorations on the mantle and piano (done by me, today), and a snowman card holder hung by the door (done by me, today). I had a professional photo shoot scheduled right after Dylan's birthday, but the day before, he woke up with a really red face. It has been that way for the past 3 weeks! (Eczema is no fun).

*I wrote the above portion this morning. I was really hum buggin', but Dylan and I got out of the house. Driving down the road, this song came on...

Singing "SAN-TA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN...BA DUM BA DUM...SAN-TA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN...BA DUM BA DUM..." at the top of your lungs in a really goofy voice until your kid erupts in a giggle fit, helps relieve stress. Go ahead, try it.
(I'm guessing wearing one of those hats would also help).

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What's Wrong With My Head?

Sleep has been elusive these days. No, not because of my toddler, which would make sense. I haven't been sleeping because of my other kid - the adult sized one. Something strange happens to the adult sized kid at night. The man who can sometimes be found in a t-shirt, next to his lovely wife who might be wearing three layers, and some gloves, switches bodies with me at night. Not in a kinky way - get your mind out of the gutter. What I mean is, while sleeping, my body temperature suddenly goes sky high, and he is suddenly freezing. It is very weird.

One of the first times I shared a bed with Jim, I had a bad dream. I rolled over, thinking snuggling would possibly help me get back to sleep, and came face to face with a masked man! The man in bed with me had a black knit cap pulled down over his eyes and part of his nose! I almost screamed and grabbed a lamp to smash on his head, but then I recognized the nose and mouth. When I asked Jim the next morning if he was trying to kill me, and explained that he almost got a kick in his privates while sleeping, he laughed! He explained that his head gets really cold at night, since it's not under the covers. I believe I said, "O...kay weirdo".

Another night, early in our relationship, I woke up around 3am, and rolled over to tell Jim he would have to take me to the emergency room. "Jim, there is something wrong with me! My head feels like it is on fire!" Again, he laughed! (Cruel man)
He had a space heater just inches from our heads, turned on full blast.

Somehow, over time, I have become accustomed to the bizarre nightly body switch. But, in the spirit of keeping our marriage interesting, he has added a new trick to the mix. He is now making a very odd noise in the middle of the night. It is a high pitched wheezing/sighing/whining noise that sounds like it couldn't possibly be coming from my husband. Usually when the noise wakes me up, I look over to find his face in the pillow. I lay there cursing silently, and when it doesn't stop, I poke him ever so softly (snort), and tell him to roll over. He does, and then immediately falls back asleep. I do not.

I told him to try one of those strips you put across your nose. That didn't work, of course, because he isn't snoring. Is there a strip for wheezing/sighing/whining I don't know about? Because if not, I'm thinking of making the adult kid sleep in the crib from now on.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Remember That Time, With The Blueberries?

Dylan loves blueberries. I mean, he LOVES blueberries. Like, if we filled our pool up with blueberries, he would cannonball himself into the pool, (screaming "Bomb's Away!!!"), and eat his way out. That kind of love. That's great, because blueberries are good for you. That's not so great, because blueberries are expensive! A teeny, tiny container, that Dylan could consume in one sitting, costs $2.99. Considering the fact that he would like to eat them with every meal, that adds up to SON OF A PURPLE HIPPOPOTAMUS WHY IS OUR GROCERY BILL SO HIGH???

It was time for other options. So, I bought a bag of the frozen kind a few weeks ago. If you've bought the frozen variety, you know that they are smaller, and come in a boat load of juice - blueberry juice, of course.

One day, the human garbage can was banging his tray, shouting, "BOOBERRIES!!", so I put some in a bowl, and put them in the microwave to thaw. When I was getting the bowl out, the side of the bowl hit into the microwave door. That is when the blueberry explosion occurred. Blueberries roll, you know. Oh, and did I mention, that our kitchen cabinets, and appliances are white? Did I mention that the floor is a light wood? Yea. Blueberries, and blueberry juice were all over the kitchen.

I somehow managed to scream, "AWW, MAN!!!", instead of the many choice four letter words racing through my brain, and that is what set Dylan off. He laughed. He giggled. He guffawed. He yucked it up for about 20 minutes. Seriously, because I'm pretty sure that is how long it took me to clean it all up. (If you don't have a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, run, don't walk to the store and get one).

Just when I thought he was going to pass out, or throw up from laughing so hard, he finally stopped, and asked, "D-D eat blueberries, now?" So, I successfully thawed a second bowl, but I decided to feed them to him, because I couldn't deal with the thought of more blueberries on the floor. Every couple spoonfuls, he would say, "Mommy made a mess!", and crack up. For a couple days, all he had to do was see a blueberry, and he would start laughing.

Last week, I checked out "The Cat In The Hat" DVD from the library. Yes, I know, he should have seen it before he was The Cat in the Hat for Halloween, but whatever. He loved the part where Thing 1 and Thing 2 run around the house making messes. When we were done watching it, he ran over to his toy shelf, and overturned all the bins, dumping the contents on the floor, laughing, "D-D made a mess!"

One day, after watching it, Jim, Dylan, and I went in the playroom. Jim remarked, "This room is a mess!" At first, Dylan tried to pin it on Jim, saying "Daddy did it"! Jim said, "No, who makes messes around here?" Dylan very seriously answered, "D-D does...and Mommy with the blueberries!" Yep, he's still laughing about that. No one else really gets why it is so funny, except the two of us. For some reason, I find the fact that my two year old and I have an inside joke extremely cool.