Tuesday, August 31, 2004

I'm not tired. I don't need a nap . . . .

The Slumber Party. Sally and Ellie slept together on our loveseat. Are they just so cute?!

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Teeny Eye Big Eye

Sally has a disease she calls "Teeny Eye Big Eye", or sometimes "Big Eye Little Eye". It always flares up around bedtime, which delays her actually going to bed because she needs some of Daddy's eyedrops. Of course, a good night's sleep always clears up the problem, but it seems to be a reoccuring illness. Perhaps it's a five year old thing.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Self Portrait.

Real Accomplishments

I read this in Dear Abby on Thursday - a man was giving advice about obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. "I have depression, and during my worst times have voraciously collected metal washers. I found it soothing to have something to concentrate on besides my problems. My collection was a substitute for real accomplishment." This really got me to thinking. What is real accomplishement, and what is just a substitute? It reminds me of another quote. I forget the man's name, but he was a contestent in the Scrabble competition - the national one that is very competitive. He said something like this: "It's fun, but I haven't made a big contribution to the world." Hmmm.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Samuel with his new tool box - Thanks, Uncle Cliff and Auntie Marilyn! (I posed him with the home depot hat on - it's on the floor on the left. He threw off the hat and started walking towards me. This turned out well, considering!)

Princess Sally.

The gang at Krispy Kreme, aka Kreepy Kremes (because Sherry took a dozen home, and the ants found them in their motor home. So sad, but they were able to brush off the ants and eat them anyways. Come on, they're Krispy Kremes! I mean Kreepy Kremes!)

Samuel, Esther, Ellie, Sally, and Tano.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

"You Missed Me!"

Having Sherry and her family here this week has been such fun. We have shared all our favorite old stories, been to Krispy Kreme, and watched our kids play together. Probably the most fun is seeing each other in our kids. It's so cool. AND now I have cute stories to tell about other people's children . . . So the other night, I'm BBQing some dinner and Sally and Tano (Sherry's son) are playing in the pool. Esther (Sherry's nanny - wonderful girl) and I are taking turns watching them and getting everything ready for dinner. I walk out to check on them and hear Tano singing the last chorus of "You missed me, you missed me, now you've gotta kiss me!" I couldn't resist. I round the corner, very stern, and yell, "You two aren't kissing out here, are you?" I've never seen a young boy react so quickly. He stood straight up, and very seriously says, "No. No, we aren't." He almost said "No Maam", I could tell. I was so very amused. Sally, true to form, had no reaction at all. She couldn't figure out if it was a good thing that they weren't kissing, or if it was something she should have tried and totally missed her chance.

Quote for the Day

Feelings are everywhere- be gentle.
J. Masai
from thisdaysthought.org

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Top Five

The Top Five Products that all Mommies (and Daddies) Can't Live Without:

(5) Cheerios & Goldfish Crackers
(4) Sippy Cups
(3) Baby Wipes
(2) Ziplock Bags
(1) Q-tips

But I Want To Sleep With You Guys!

I didn't want this to happen again, but it has - our toddler likes to sleep in our bed. How did this happen? First, some background - I am personally against the family bed idea. Don't get me wrong - I'm not against people who like the family bed. I just know myself, I know my husband, and we like and need our sleep. Also, my husband is the son of a firefighter, and it only takes one story of a young couple smothering their infant to make you against the family bed idea. I am also a big believer that the parents should be in charge of the family, should make rules based on what goals you have for your children. We want our children to grow up and be independent. Thus, they should sleep in their own beds. OK, so now you know how we think, so let's move on to what has happened. When the babies are newborns, it's easy - there are major safety issues, and you are getting up to feed them anyway so you see them several times a night. Then, after a couple of months, you are exhausted. You need more sleep all the time. Then baby starts to sleep all night, and it is a very good thing. Then a bad, bad thing happens. They grow. They turn into toddlers. And suddenly, they don't sleep all night anymore. Either they are teething and wake up in pain, or they are going through a growth sprut and wake up hungry. Or maybe they have a cold and wake up because they can't breathe. Or it's time to transition from two naps a day to one, and they wake up because they just aren't tired anymore. Lots of reasons. Very cruel. They start not sleeping all night. At first, we were strong. Make them cry themselves back to sleep. Be strong! Let me tell you, this is not as easy as it sounds. When you put the toddler to bed and they cry, this is easy to deal with - you are still up, you have things to do, they have probably made you mad right before bed because they got into something or broke something or pulled their sister's hair or hit you in the face, so you really don't mind that they are crying. Really. But fast forward to 2:00 am, and they wake you up crying. "He's fine," you tell yourself. "Ten minutes, he'll be back asleep." 20 minutes later, you are still awake hearing him cry. See, now he's older, he's stronger, he can cry LONGER. "Be strong, Mom!" you tell yourself. Another 10 minutes go by, and now you are mad because everyone else sleeps but you and the still screaming toddler. 10 minutes later you develop an eye twitch. 5 minutes later, you beg for sleep. You need sleep. You'll do anything for sleep. Anything. So you go and get the little guy and bring him into bed with you, because then he will stop crying and you can get some sleep. At first, it seems acceptable - you need your sleep, after all. And, it is somewhat of a comfort to have your little family together while you sleep. (Big sister is now trained to bring in a sleeping bag and sleep on the floor if she has a bad dream, so she's a frequent guest in our room.) But then your son, your little 20 pound son, takes up the middle HALF of the bed, sleeping with his head next to your side and his feet on your husband. And this happends every night three nights in a row, and you ask yourself, "How did we get here? Weren't we against the family bed???" The funny thing is, this happens in almost all homes where there are young children. People just don't want to tell you they caved in to their toddler. But they do. Trust me, I've heard confessions from the strictest of parents. Sometimes, at 3:00 am, the toddler wins.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Quote for the Day

"We should be anticipating what we will be doing three hundred or a thousand or ten thousand years from now in this marvelous universe."
from The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard

I love this quote because my good friend Kristy and I were recently talking about surfing. We both are apprehensive about this sport (we have young kids), but decided we would surf in heaven. In about one hundred years, Kristy and I will go surfing together. Want to come?

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Here's the kiddos today.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Sally and Samuel. March 2004 (I think! Maybe April)

Hanging Out At Home

Hello folks. Not too much new to write about. Sherry and her family are here for the week, and although they are very busy at the home show, we've had some fun times and good conversations, and that is very cool. Mostly we've been hanging out at home lately. Sally has been playing with the neighbor kids - riding bikes and playing tag and "tennis". This is all done in the street. Now we live in a cul-de-sac, but I am still way nervous about her playing in the front, and in the street. I always stay out with her, doing "yard work" or playing with Samuel. (these are just my cover stories, you know) So, what age is ok to say, "be home at 6:00, love you, bye"??? Five feels way too young. Am I just paranoid mom? Cautious mom? Can I be good mom, or is that just kidding myself? Don't feel you need to answer these questions, I just enjoy throwing them out there in the wind. Samuel hit his head on the kitchen table today. I think this is the first time - he usually fits right underneath. He's growing taller. No doubt - he is eating, well, like a boy. I think I have a pic of him under the table. If I find it, I'll post it, and then tomorrow I'll take some more so you can see how he's grown. :) Take care out there, bloggers!

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Yes, it's green marker rubbed on his eye.Yes, it's chocolate cookie crumbs on his face. Yes, we are so proud.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004


Today was errand day. We were in the car almost all day. Starbucks stop (had a free one coming from my punch card :) ), then post office, doctor office (Sally's tb test was negative), lunch with a friend for her birthday (Sally's friend - we went to chuck e cheese) then we hit a couple of stores, went to my friend's house for some mom's group business, met daddy and some other friends for dinner, had to get a new air filter for the car (they were out - never have my kind!) - whew! Along the way I had an interesting conversation with Sally.
Sally: "Mom, I saw a police officer and he saw a guy speeding on a motorcycle and he took him to jail. For realist, I'm not kidding."
Me: "They don't take people to jail for speeding. They only give you a ticket."
S: "What's speeding?"
M: "It's when you drive too fast. See that sign? What are those numbers?"
S: "Three five"
M: "Thirty five. That's the speed limit."
(we read signs to each other for awhile, bike signs, speed limit signs, crossing signs, etc)
Me: "What's that red sign?"
Sally: "A stop sign."
M: "Good!"
S: "Hmm. Nothing on the back of it."
M: "No, they don't write on the back."
S: "Only on the ones that people hold. Those have writing on the back."
Me: (long pause. what is she talking about? people hold? aha! the crossing guards! there are no crossing guards here. we haven't seen any today. hmmm) "When did you see the ones that people hold, honey?"
Sally: "Oh, when I was four."
Me: "Is there no end to how smart you are?"
Sally: "No."

Monday, August 16, 2004

You know it's a tough day when you can't even make it through lunch.

Here is the birdhouse Sally and I made a few weeks ago. She picked the colors herself. (she's holding one of her birthday gifts)

Quote for the Day

"Interestingly, 'growing up' is largely a matter of learning to hide our spirit behind our face, eyes, and lanugage so that we can evade and manage others to achieve what we want and avoid what we fear. By contrast, the child's face is a constant epiphany because it doesn't yet know how to do this. It cannot manage its face. This is also true of adults in moments of great feeling - which is one reason why feeling is both greatly treasured and greatly feared."
from The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard
(I am currently reading this book, and it is making a big impact on my thinking, so you will see more quotes from this source.)

Saturday, August 14, 2004

13 Going On 30

We just watched a great movie, 13 Going On 30. SO CUTE! SO GREAT! I just loved it. LOVED it! Maybe because I'm a child of the 80s, and the Thriller scene looked like such fun. Maybe because I think I might have looked like that in the 80s. (I did have a great pair of red converse hightops.) Mostly because my sister and I used to play "teenagers" when we were young. This consisted of choosing a boyfriend (we fought over who got Shawn Cassidy), stocking your purse with Mom's cancelled credit cards and old checkbooks, and pretend to shop to stock your great apartment. Of course, we never had jobs or anything - we just talked about our boyfriends and shopped. Isn't that what being an adult is all about? :) The movie is about being yourself, and I have a great story about that: I told Sally we would get her a new pair of shoes for school, but we would wait to buy clothes until after school started. She asked me why. I told her that she may see some clothes at school that other kids are wearing and want some, so we should wait. She very patiently told me, "Mom, I already know what I want to wear. I like my clothes. I don't care what anyone else wears." YEAH!!! SHE IS SO GREAT!!!


Back to school time. Sally is starting kindergarten in September. She got a great birthday gift from Auntie Di and Uncle Clem yesterday - it's a little briefcase with all the school supplies she will need. She loves it! It got me thinking about teachers. I had some of the best teachers. I remember my first grade teacher - she didn't get mad at me when I threw up in class. I remember my fourth grade teacher - she was a little scary (very strict) but she taught me how to work at the blackboard and survive. My fifth grade teacher was so great - she read "Where the Red Fern Grows" to us in class. She had a schedule, but we got behind, so during May, she would read for an hour every day to catch us up. I can still hear her voice when I read that book. In seventh grade, I had a particularly great english teacher. Also a bit scary, but she was so passionate about the subject that you just had to love her. The thing is, I think about these great teachers in my past, and I have never once told them how big a part they played in my life. Now, most of them have moved to another school or to retirement, and they are lost to me for now. This doesn't make me sad, though. As a former teacher, it fills me with a sense of peace, knowing that there are people out there who are cherishing a school memory of me. As they pass by the huge displays of calculators and graph paper (my favorite), they may smile fondly and remember my class. Isn't that a lovely thought? All you teachers out there, you are so appreciated! You may never hear it, but there are great thoughts out there that involve you and the difference you have made in someone's life. My dad once told me he was proud of me, that I was a teacher, because I was making a contribution to the world. Thank you, Teachers! Your contribution to the world is worth more than silver or gold.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Quote for the Day

"It is we who are in danger: in danger of missing the fullness of life offered to us. Can we seriously believe that God would establish a plan for us that essentially by-passes the awesome needs of present human life and leaves human character untouched?"
from The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Sally models her birthday present - a ballet outfit with a matching outfit for her baby doll AND a matching outfit for the doll's teddy bear, which is about five inches tall :) Of course, they came with crowns and wands.

Love this picture! Captions, anyone?

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Temporary Tattoos

This little craze of mine began innocently enough. Hello Kitty Valentines for Sally's preschool class, complete with little Hello Kitty tattoos. Fun times. I didn't even want one for myself, but Sally wanted to have matching tattoos, and my craze began. I love temporary tattoos!!! Now, I can barely walk by the gumball machines in our Albertsons grocery store without feeling in my pocket for a quarter and checking out if they have any new designs in the tattoo machine. (They usually don't, and it's a gamble - you may end up with a lame one.) I received some lovely glitter tattoos from a friend for my birthday, and we got a sheet of SpongeBob tattoos as a party favor. We all had a SpongeBob tattoo that week - me, Sally, and Samuel. We got some party favors for Sally's birthday, and did we get lollipops and smarties? NO! We got pencils, erasers, and tattoos :) Why am I writing about this? Here it is: some people think they are real. You can see it in their face. I had a very cool glowinthedark ankle tattoo on, and a friend says, "Wow Sheila, I didn't realize you had a tattoo." You could tell in the tone, his image of me shifted for a moment. I was racier, a little bit of a wild woman, more fun in a dark kind of way. "Aw, it's temporary," I replied. "And it glows in the dark!" SNAP! My image was back, and it felt plain, boring, normal. It happened again on Sunday. Sporting a "Girl Power" star tattoo on my bicep (ha! bicep AREA is more accurate), another friend admired my "ink". Again, I saw my image change in his eyes, in the tone of his voice. I wondered, does this really happen to people who get the real tattoos? Are they forever branded (sorry, couldn't resist) with a 'bad girl' image? (or 'bad boy', as the case may be) Hmm. As I was thinking about this, I saw another friend, who does have real tattoos, with a very cool tshirt that said something like "God loves me and all my tattoos." What could I say? "Cool shirt."

Monday, August 09, 2004

Samuel and I share some cake. Frosting = good.

Eric, Sally, Samuel, and Julia pose for me.

Julia and Sally blow out their candles.

The Birthday Party

Thank you, thank you, to all who came, and saw, and bounced, and ate. We had fun. For those who had to miss it, we had a big bash for Sally and her friend Julia. Both are turning five in the next two weeks, so instead of our families having two Saturdays dedicated to bounce houses and sugar highs, we decided to combine forces and throw one big party. It was fun. Mommies and Daddies were very tired. Everything was going well until, after almost everyone left, Sally attempted the monkey bars. Unfortunately, Daddy was in the house with Samuel and Mommy was in the front loading up the loot in the car. Sally fell on her bottom. When you ask how the party was, her reply: "Bad. I fell off the monkey bars and nobody caught me and I hurt my boo-ta-ta (how do you spell that one?) and my back and my head." Gone are the good memories of hours in the castle bounce house, the huge piece of Ariel chocolate birthday cake, the very cool gifts, the fun playing in the sandbox, the joy of wearing matching crowns with your best friend. I guess five is a rough age.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Sally and her friend Julia pose for a quick photo before their party begins. They are both turning five. Good times. Details to come. August, 2004.

Future employee? Samuel at Krispy Kreme Donuts, July, 2004.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Sally Survived!

Yesterday we went for Sally's five year checkup. This included three shots, which I was dreading so very much. She didn't ask about the shots until she was getting weighed, so there was only about fifteen-to-twenty minutes where she knew they were coming. Better than all day, I guess. She didn't cry until after the second one, and then she panicked a bit and said she didn't want the third, that she was done for the day. I held her arms and said comforting things, and the nurse, Kim, who is just great, quickly gave her the last one. After the bandaid was on, Sally smiled and told me that wasn't so bad. Thank you God! This doctor trip was prayed over, and the Lord was merciful to us.

Wet Raspberries

We are so proud of Samuel. (I am half sarcastic in this statement - read on.) He has learned how to blow wet raspberries (here's the definition, if you aren't familiar with this term: "[short for raspberry tart, rhyming slang for fart] : a sound of contempt made by protruding the tongue between the lips and expelling air forcibly to produce a vibration" (thanks, m-w.com)). Here's the story: we watched the Scooby Doo movies with Sally. She loved them. The second one is better, but both are worth watching, if just to see Matthew Lillard as Shaggy. He's so great! Anyways, there is one scene where Scooby and Shaggy have a belching contest, and it becomes, um, well, ok I'll just say it, a farting contest. Very funny stuff if you are four. Being the movie-quoting people that we are, if someone in our family burps a little louder than is polite, we sometimes say, "Are you challenging me?" and then have a little contest. Good times. This very thing happened last night in the car on the way home from Stuart's softball game (good game, too). While we were laughing at each other and pretending to burp, and Samuel starts blowing raspberries from the back seat. He's good, too, producing a fairly loud noise - much to the delight of his older sister. He did this the entire car ride home, which included a long wait for a slow train. He just turned one, and already he's acting just like a real boy.


Last night I dreamed I could fly. I went from rooftop to rooftop, whooping loudly with joy. Today, the world feels like it's missing something.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Kiddo Update

I thought it was time for another update. Sally is excited about her birthday next week. I don't know if she remembers that she'll have to go in for a checkup and shots. I hope she's forgotten, but I'm pretty sure she knows. She's been watching Schoolhouse Rock episodes - thanks to Auntie Tami and Uncle Luke for the CD! We've all been enjoying them. It takes Stuart and I right back to our childhood Saturdays. We all remember "Conjunction Junction, what's your function?", but do you remember the one about counting by 5's? "Five, ten, fifteen, twenty, . . one hundred, ready or not, here I come!" Or how about the nouns? "Any person you can know, any place that you can go, any thing that you can show, you know they're nouns? You know they're nouns!" We've also been rotting our brains with the PS2 spongebob game. We are 80% through the game!!! Woohoo! We built a birdhouse together last week, and Sally painted it herself. Very proud. I hope some birds come by to snack. Samuel is now walking great. He's everywhere and into everything. He really likes anything electronic - the tv, the phones, plugs, cords, the remote, the ps2 controls. He's eating everything - he even eats cucumbers and other veggies! He's trying to say more words, but they all sound like "dis" which usually means "this". He is lavish with kisses for Sally, and still pretty stingy with Mommy. When Stuart comes home, Samuel pats him and says, "Da da". It's cute. So that's what's going on with the kiddos. They both slept last night; either they slept, or I was so exhausted from five nights of interuppted sleep that I didn't hear them crying. Anyway, I got a full seven hours, and they are both napping right now, so yippee! Life is good.

I don't like her.

If you know me at all, you know that I do not like Jessica Simpson. She bugs me to no end. I couldn't eat Pizza Hut for awhile, because her commercials made me fume. I couldn't really articulate why I don't like her - except I will say she just butchered the song "Take My Breath Away" when she sang it on her show (I watched it with my husband so I could mock her); she didn't know the words! When you have a song that is "our song" and decide to sing it on TV, please learn all the words - don't slur them together! Anyways, I digress. I couldn't REALLY articulate why I don't like her until I read this great article in the paper Monday. Actually, it wasn't great because the author ended up liking Ms. Simpson (because "she's pretty" ) but he had a great line: "And I loathe what the leggy starlet represents: the further dilution of youthful intellectual pursuit through brainier pop, to say nothing of her contribution to the tarting-up of today's female role models." That's it. I don't want my kids, or anyone's kids, for that matter, to think that it is ok to be seriously lacking in intelligence just because you are "pretty" or can sing. (I use pretty in quotes there because I do not think she is pretty. Maybe pretty annoying, but not pretty.) Ironically, on the next page of the paper, there was an article about Gretchen Wilson, the country artist who sings "Redneck Woman". I like her. Listen to her advice: "Don't worry about what people want to label you, as long as you're happy with yourself." And this lyric is great: "I keep my Christmas lights up on my front porch all year long." We recently met some neighborhood kids, and the little boy (six years old) was clearly upset that we had Christmas lights strung up in our backyard. They are white, festive, and I like them. They'll stay up all year. He did not approve. "Those kind of lights are only for Christmas, you know," he told me. I know. I don't care. So the rest of the world can like Jessica Simpson. Can buy lots of pizza hut pizza and listen to her songs and think she's "so pretty". I'll just sit in the back and mutter "Whatever".

Monday, August 02, 2004

Some food actually got into his mouth! :)

Samuel starting using a spoon! July, 2004.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Samuel likes little carrots, and he likes to dip them in ranch dressing. Notice he has a carrot in each hand, and he is double dipping. (Also notice the cool SpongeBob tattoo on his arm - heehee) July, 2004.

FLY chick

I decided to do it - I'm a FLY chick. I am not official, though; to be official, I'd be a FLY baby, and I'd sign up on the FLYlady website and get tons of emails everyday telling me to put on my shoes and shine my sink. I'm a bit more disciplined by myself. For those of you who've wondered what this FLY stuff is, it stands for Finally Loving Yourself, and it is basically about having some pride in keeping your home neat and mostly cleaned up. It's also about professionalizing the whole Stay At Home Mom job. The FLY lady has some rules - you must get up and get dressed and put on shoes and make your bed. That is first. Then you have to go clean out your kitchen sink, clean it, and dry it. The idea is that if your kitchen sink is clean, it will set a tone for the rest of your house. It works too - I just look at my pretty clean sink, and I don't want any dirty dishes in it or next to it. So they go into the dishwasher, and I dry up the sink again. After awhile, you feel so great about that clean sink, you start to clean other stuff. And you WANT to do it. And you feel great about it. She also preaches baby steps, have a morning routine and an evening routine, and break up your home into sections and focus on a different one each week. It's nice too because my house is staying cleaner, but I am not spending much time "cleaning". She has some great ideas about setting a timer, throwing out your clutter, etc. Anyways, it is going well. I noticed today that while I was drinking my coffee, Sally comes walking out of her room, completely dressed, with her shoes on. Now, normally we don't put on shoes until we leave. In fact, when I put on shoes, Sally says "Where are we going?" But since last week, I've been wearing my shoes all the time. She noticed and copied me without me saying one thing. Wouldn't the FLYlady be so proud of me?!

The Sleep Conspiracy

The kids are ganging up against me again. What is up with not letting your mommy get some sleep??? It begins right away, soon after you become pregnant - you get up to pee seven times a night. Then the baby comes out, and you are getting up to feed him. Finally, he sleeps all night, only then your daughter discovers Scooby-Doo and decides she has "ghost-es" in her closet, and can't possibly be expected to sleep in her room alone. She finally gets over this scariness, and then her brother starts waking up at midnight, screaming, because he's teething and in pain. Or he's going through a growing spurt and he's STARVING. You get a few weeks of mostly uninterrupted sleep, and then, WHAM! She's having night terrors - the kind where she wakes up sobbing, crying, dry-heaving, and walking around the house, all while asleep. He's waking up from midnight to 2:00 am, wide awake, for no reason, but if left alone in his dark room, he screams a blood-curdling wail that makes it impossible to sleep. So you can lay awake in your bed, exhausted but angry that you are awake, or go get the little guy. I admit defeat. They have won this battle. But hey, now it's morning. I'm grumpy. I feel like I have a hangover. I need lots of coffee. I want half a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts. Will they ever learn that "fun mom" doesn't come to play when she doesn't get enough sleep? "Mean mom" is the only one who survives the sleep deprivation.