Monday, August 29, 2011

Angels Watching Over Me

I grew up in small town America on the boarder of Texas and Oklahoma. It's about 3 (4 when traveling with children) hours from where we live now. I try to go and see my parents every few months. My parents still live in the same house they lived in when they picked me up when I was 2 (that's another story I'm working up to one of these days). It's a big, old house. Growing up it was surrounded by 2 giant oak trees and dozens of pecan trees. The trees have always been my very favorite part of this house (I love the oak trees so much that Mr. Mayer and I planted one in our front yard). The huge front porch is my second favorite thing. Now, I know it's silly to say that you are attached to a house. But, if I am being honest I am attached to this house. My entire growing up years were spent with this house. The years have passed and the trees have not weathered well. My parents have lost quiet a few of the pecan trees. Several years ago the big oak tree in the back yard died and had to be cut down. I remember when it happened and I felt like a part of my childhood was being cut down as well. I always felt reassured that the big oak tree in front was still standing.
Now, those of you (probably most of you) that are friends with Mr. Mayer and I on Facebook know what is coming next and have seen the picture.
I hadn't been to see my family in a few months so Mr. Mayer and I loaded up and went to see the family this weekend. Diva loves playing out in the front yard at my parents. This trip was no different. She went outside in the blazing heat to pick acorns. She was bringing me in her acorns to show off and ask if she could take them home. I kept telling her to find bigger ones to bring and show me. She was eager to comply. This carried on for about 30-45 minutes. She eventually got bored and came inside for good. She wanders down the hallway with my mom. Mr. Mayer and I are sitting in front of a big picture window over looking the front yard. We were playing with Shrek and Donkey and talking to my dad. All of a sudden there was a horrible cracking noise and then a crashing sound and the living room shook. 
A gigantic branch off of the oak tree I love so much had just broken off and fell. It fell where Diva had been playing 5 minutes beforehand. 
My.heart.stopped.
You always hear about those moments in life where everything stops or you see if flashing in front of you. It was clearly one of those moments. 


Even know thinking about what could have been scares me to death. Diva is none the worse for wear. She doesn't have a clue. All she knows is that the front yard was too messy for her to go outside any more that day. 
I believe there was definitely some divine intervention working. Why Diva chose that moment to come inside~ I don't know. I am very thankful she did. It took an hour for me to stop shaking and Diva telling me to stop hugging her. Even know thinking back on it brings tears to my eyes. 
My Brother-in-Law/Uncle Fred came over that evening with a Bobcat and chainsaw. Mr. Mayer, Fred, Dad and I got it all clean up and loaded into a trailer. The next morning Diva and her cousin were back outside playing. 
You can be sure I look at the tree differently now and the kids were not let outside without a few warnings and watchful eyes. 





Monday, August 22, 2011

Pre-K

Well, the day has arrived. It's been 4 years in the making. This girl started school today. No, this isn't what she wore today. She went to a birthday party yesterday and there was a pirate and a parrot. She got to wear the parrot. It was very exciting.
I know this is going to shock everyone, but she wore this today.

I know. Please contain yourselves. She had a "glittery sweater" she was going to wear over it. The sweater never left the house.
We had a photo shoot before we left this morning. The kid is an i-Carly freak. She had to have the i-Carly back pack.



She has been very excited about this day. We've been talking about it forever. We went and met her teacher last week. She got to see her classroom and meet a few kids she would be in class with. We.were.ready.
I wasn't sure how I would do. I suspected I might cry. Mr. Mayer was pretty sure I would cry. We were up bright and early this morning. I had to force feed a banana to Diva to get her to eat anything. I'd love to say that was unusual, but alas, she hasn't been eating lately. Unless it's candy or cookies. I gave her the choice of taking her lunch or eating in the cafeteria. She picked taking her lunch. I made her lunch and packed it. I cut an apple for her afternoon snack at school. The boys were up early and we were all ready. We marched ourselves off to school. It's a really long 2 minute drive to the school. We barely buckled up and we were there. 
We unload and trek into the gym where all the kids meet. I'm very nervous for her. Not so much that she won't like school. I was worried about her making friends. I was worried sassy pants was going to be bossy and the other kids wouldn't like her. I want her to like school. I want her to have friends. I want her to be happy. I worry about her. 
We get to the gym:
Please ignore the crazy lady in the background who didn't know her picture was being taken!
The parents are able to wait in the gym with the kids~ today only. We were able to walk to the classroom with them and help them get settled. We get to the classroom and Diva picks her seat. Then, it happens. Her nerves get the best of her and she starts to get clingy and upset. She starts crying. I decide that Mr. Mayer and I are probably making the situation worse so we exit, quickly. 
All day I thought about her and wondered how she was doing. I was nervous for her all day. I could hardly wait until 2:30 came around so I could go and pick her up. 
I get there and she runs to me and shows me her hand where there is a green smiley face. She is so proud of herself. She is bouncing off the walls. She tells me that a green smiley face means she did good. I tell her how proud I am. She says she has a good day and made new friends. I ask her what her friends names were and she says "I don't remember what their names are." Maybe she'll figure it out tomorrow. I'm beyond relieved it went well today. And...I didn't shed a single tear all day. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Big Plans

I had big plans to be productive this evening. I was going to get some stuff done around the house, finish my wreath. I even thought about blogging about the chaos that has been happening around here. Diva covered herself in black and dark blue eyeshadow today. I mean head to toe painted herself. I had to put her in the shower and scrub her. Then we discovered it was all over the light colored carpet. I was going to mention how Shrek is cutting two top teeth. The devils have finally broken through. Both boys are walking. Diva starts school Monday and we met her teacher last week. Lots has been happening around her.
However...I'm taking parenthood very hard today. I think instead of being productive I am going to rent a movie and have a drink. Happy Saturday!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Recipes...

I made chimichurri sauce last night. It was fantastic! I have had some requests for the recipe. 

Chimichurri
-1 bunch parsley
-1 bunch cilantro (I'm not a big fan of cilantro, but it works in this recipe)
-3 Tbs red wine vinegar
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-3 Tbs water
-6 Tbs olive oil
-6 cloves of garlic (this is optional. We really like garlic so I load it up)
These are not hard core measurements. More or less of everything can be added. I like vinegar so I add extra. 
Put everything in a blender and blend until well blended. 
Goes very well with beef

Roasted Vegetables
This works for any vegetable. I do broccoli mostly. I have also done potatoes, cauliflower and asparagus. Recipe is based off of what I did yesterday.
-Parsnips
-Carrots
-Eggplant (slice eggplant and salt heavily. Place on paper towels or rack for 30 minutes minimum to extract water)
-Tomato

Preheat oven to 450
Chop veggies
Place on cookies sheet.
Toss with olive oil, coarse salt and pepper
Roast for 20-30 minutes until soft *stir midway through cooking*
I finely dice all veggies so that Owen and Carter can easily eat them. Any size is fine. 

I made sirloin steak with the chimichurri sauce. We had veggies and Quinoa (follow package directions) as well. All was delicious. 

Squeaky Clean

I have a confession...I have a housekeeper. I love her. She does a better job than I can pretend and can get this house squeaky clean in a few hours where it would take me a week to get it picked up. I have had Kari for a few years. Kari came to the family soon after we moved in. I was working full time and thought it would be nice to have. Then I got pregnant with twins and she became a lifesaver and necessity. I quit my job almost a year ago, but held onto Kari. I just can't part with her.
Not only does she do a fantastic job, but I'm pretty sure she is a saint. Diva loves her. She is always going around pretending she is Kari. I shared this with Kari a while back. She thought it was sweet. Anytime Diva is home Kari lets her help her. Of course this slows Kari's pace down, but it means the world to Diva. Kari always gives her a job in each room they are in. Today was no different. It was Kari day and Diva wanted to help. Diva was in rare form today and had ordered me out of the room so they could clean. When I left the room Diva was wearing a ridiculous satin robe and high heels to clean in. I walked through a little bit later and Diva was wearing an old swim suit. No joke. She felt the appropriate cleaning attire was a swim suit. I mean, doesn't everyone clean like that? I took a couple of pictures.



Sunday, August 14, 2011

Calling My Bluff

I hate it when that happens. Diva has her own upstairs wonderland (until I move her brother's up there). It was a black pit today. I think she had drug every toy she owned and then some into the floor today. You couldn't even see the carpet. I had been telling her all day to get it cleaned up. She generally does a really good job picking up. Generally. She has her days where I have to threaten to take a trash sack and clean up the mess myself. She never likes this idea so she gets everything cleaned up before I have to do that. Today was no different. I started telling her at 2pm today that she would have to have upstairs picked up before bedtime tonight or I would pick it up. Sounded reasonable to me. All afternoon Diva kept coming downstairs saying she needed a break. Fine. Whatever. Dinner came around and she hadn't picked it up. After dinner came and I sent her upstairs to clean up. About 45 minutes after I sent her upstairs Mr. Mayer went up to start her bath. She.had.not.picked.a.thing.up. Ugh! Great! So I proceeded to get my trash sack and go upstairs. I really hate this part. Diva sees me coming. She starts wailing. I explain that it was a consequence and she had been told what would happen. She gets in the tub and I clean up the upstairs. She thinks I threw everything out. Really Mr. Mayer and I quietly put her toys and barbies up and threw away all the trash she had strewn out. Diva likes to write and cut and draw. She had paper and markers and crayons strewn from one end to the other. Most of that got thrown away. Is that wrong of me? Needless to say I think I got my point across, at least for the next few days.

On a brighter note I made a yummy dinner tonight. I had Mr. Mayer grill some sirloin steak on the Hasty Bake tonight. I made a chimichurri sauce to go with it. I had never made that, only eaten it. Turned out fantastic. I highly recommend it! I'll be happy to share my recipe. Even Diva liked it. She never likes anything I make. I also roasted some eggplant, parsnips, carrots and tomatoes and made some Quinoa. Everyone loved it. Even the dudes liked it.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

I Think There Is A Conspiracy

I'm sure that what I have to say is nothing new to parents of boys. I'm 100% fully writing this out of frustration. But jeez oh pete' boys stuff is lame! Holy cow! I can find a zillion cute things for Diva, even at her very advanced age of 4 and one or two things for Shrek and Donkey.
Some examples of my frustration:
~I had some coupons and the fam was going stir crazy this afternoon so Mr. Mayer and I loaded our brood up and headed to the hell that is the mall to pick up a few things. The kids don't need much in the way of clothing. I had gotten some emails about some good sales and I had coupons on top of that I wanted to use. I was able to get the boys and the girl some colder weather duds. However, finding Diva cute, suitable clothing was no big deal. Especially with her helping me pick out EVERYTHING IN THE STORE. That kid can shop. She must be mine. *As a side note the poor kid is scrawny. Size 4's are too short and size 5's are way to big in the waist, hips and her non existent booty. *
I had to dig to find boys clothing that fit my high and unrealistic standards. I'm not a big fan of cartoon characters or cheesy sayings on my kids clothing. My options for boys today were stripes, stripes or solids. I bought some stripes.
~I have been gradually weaning Shrek and Donkey off of bottles and forcing trying to get the boys to drink from a sippy cup or regular cup. Anything but a bottle. I think I have tried every make and model of sippy cup available. The dudes have even been using some of their sisters pink and purple hand me downs. Mostly they use their cups for throwing at each other or drums. I have found a cup with a straw in it that the dudes seem to really like. I decided I would get a few more for them to drink from so I don't have to wash the cups every time they use it. I bee bop to the store and there were 101 pink and purple cups like I was looking for in the small and larger sizes. There were 4 small cups in green and blue in the same style. Really? Really people? 4 stinkin' cups?! I bought all 4.
~The dudes are starting to walk. I think it's probably time I start having them wear shoes. I got online to look for some shoes. I go to the appropriate section of the Flex-n-Grip for early walkers. There are 12 girls shoes and not a single shoe for a boy. Boys walk as well!
I mean, c'mon people! I don't think I am so narrow minded that boys have to have blue and girls have to have pink. But still I don't want to put my son in pink flowered mary jane shoes. They don't match the stripes I bought him today.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Poopaggedon Part Deuce

There is something about my boys and poop. Click here for a refresher on our last experience with poo. Ugh...
As stated from my previous post TODAY I am having a rough week. My kids are not helping this.
Tonight was the normal chaotic routine that it always is. I had Shrek and Donkey in their high chairs eating their dinner while I made dinner for Diva, Mr. Mayer and I. Shrek and Donkey were through and getting cranky so I asked Mr. Mayer to get them out and start getting them dressed for bed. I had stripped them down to their diapers for dinner because Shrek someone doesn't like to wear his bib. It's easier to strip him than fight him.
Mr. Mayer had wiped the boys down and sat them in the floor. I had my back to the chaos trying to finish up dinner so we could eat as soon as we laid the boys down. All of a sudden I heard Mr. Mayer make a 4 letter exclamation. I turn around as Mr. Mayer is picking Donkey up out of the floor. I walk over and see this~
Yup, that's poop. Donkey had taken his diaper off and spread poo everywhere and was playing in it. Gross. 
I grab Shrek so that he does not try to play in the poo himself. We all know his history. We walk back to the bathroom where Mr. Mayer has started a bath for Donkey. Donkey is not happy about this. 
Don't you feel sorry for him. 
I put Shrek in his crib and grab some carpet cleaner so I can go and clean up the carnage. As I walk back into the living room this is what I see~
Looks a little different. Weird. I could have sworn there was poo in the floor not 2 minutes before this. These two little darlings were sitting in the floor smacking their lips.
Ugh, I think I threw up a little. I will not be kissing these faces anytime soon! They did a good job cleaning the floor. 
We feed Shrek and Donkey and whisk them away to bed. I finish dinner, we eat and start cleaning up the kitchen. We Santa gave Diva an Ipod for Christmas. She liked to play games on our phones and Ipads and thought she would enjoy it. She does, mostly, when she isn't losing the thing. Anywho...I'm getting off track. I share this next part because it was a good lesson for me and not something that will ever be repeated. 
Diva has her "phone" and has something pulled up on it she wants to show her Daddy. She tells him to watch the "people kissing each other." Mr. Mayer takes it and starts to watch and then brings it over to me to see. OMG! My 4 year old was watching porn on You Tube! It was two girls making out and taking each other's clothes off. Seriously. Is this really happening?! Mr. Mayer promptly turns off the video and sets a password so that Diva cannot get on You Tube. We had already taken off the Internet and put a bazillion blocks on the "phone" so that Diva could not look at anything inappropriate. Neither one of us though You Tube would be an issue. I didn't even know they could put that on You Tube.  Go ahead, make fun of me, but I didn't. Needless to say Diva was not happy that we took her funny video away. But, I feel better knowing my 4 year old is not watching porn. 

Mommyhood #Fail

I've been MIA for a while. Where have I been? Vacation. I intended my first post to be about my vacation and how much fun we had. This week has changed my mind.
Let me preface this next part by saying my kids were rock stars on vacation. They endured 12+ hours one way in the car like champs and tolerated schedule disruptions and time changes like nothing was happening. We get home and it all falls apart.
Diva is officially done with daycare. She will start "big girl school" in a few weeks. In the meantime she's home with me. Normally when she's home with me it's no big deal she does pretty well and there isn't much drama. Normally. The first couple of days I chalked up the behavior to just coming back from vacation. But, really. I mean c'mon. Diva has been living up to her name lately. As many know we have had some potty training issues. Really, we've had problems with Diva not feeling the need to go to the potty, she just pees in her pants. She went almost a year without many accidents and then last summer it all went downhill. She will go a few weeks accident free and then we will start all over again. She hasn't had an accident in about a month. She traveled cross country without any accidents. Though~she did wear two pairs of panties on the way home. When I asked her why she said it was in case she had an accident she would have another pair. I love her logic.
Okay, back to point. We get home and Monday she has stopped going to the potty. She just pees in her pants. It is the most frustrating thing in the entire world because I know she can go accident free. I can't help but question myself and if it's something I'm doing.
In addition to the pee situation we have had attitude that is out of this world. I mean, worse than ever. For example~She had been asking for macaroni and cheese so I made them some yesterday for lunch. I had some leftover meatballs I heated up with it. She decided she didn't want meatballs she wanted me to make her chicken nuggets. When I said no it turned into a door slamming, screaming, kicking, throwing fit. She didn't get nuggets. The dogs ate the meatballs. I should have spanked her, put her in time out, something. I yelled at her and told her she was not going to keep treating me that way and made her sit at the table and eat her lunch. She's been throwing fits like that several times a day all week. The boys just stared at her. The day continued to go downhill. Fast forward to this morning. We are back to wearing a pull up at night. I told her to take her pull up off and put panties on. Another screaming, stomping, slamming fit because she didn't want to. I spanked her. Then made her sit in time out. Then told her that she was not going to act that way anymore. She's been pretty good the rest of the morning. We will see how the rest of the day progresses.
Then there are boys....
I'll start with Donkey.
He's mild mannered, doesn't get his feathers ruffled about anything, pretty even keeled and ridiculously happy. Both boys are busy and into EVERYTHING. It's exhausting. Sunday I had the oven on. It's one of those ovens that is cool to the touch when it's on. It has a vent though on the bottom. I didn't realize it go so hot in the vent. Donkey was coasting around and I saw him going to the oven. I get up and start heading his way. Before I can get to him he sticks his hand in the vent and starts screaming. Great. I yank him up and look at his hand and see....Nothing.Nada.Not a thing. His hand was a little red, but nothing alarming. I calmed him down and he went about his business the rest of the day like nothing had ever happened. KiKi is with us again this week (which means the week should be pretty easy with an extra set of hands). She was changing Donkey's diaper that afternoon and noticed blisters on his hand. WHUCK?! Yup, I'm top notch. I had not even noticed that two of his finger tips had blisters on them. One finger looked a little red and angry. I didn't know what to do so I called the doctor. I worked child abuse long enough to know how serious burns can be. I'll admit I was freaking a little. Mostly about not noticing that the little bean had blisters. I'm feeling pretty low at this point. I talked to the nurse. She said as long as he was behaving normally and using his hand not to do anything. Okay, I can handle that.
Nothing else can happen this week, right?
I have a 3rd child. My trouble making, into everything, dramatic little boy. Oh, that's right. There is still Shrek. He's extremely busy. More so than his brother. And, he's very dramatic. Similar to Diva. He's crawling around this morning doing his thing. I'm sitting at the kitchen table and he's crawling under the table. Diva comes over. Now...I'm not exactly sure how the next chain of events happens. We've had a problem with convincing Diva to not pick her brother's up because she always drops them. I'm not sure if she picked Shrek up, bumped him, or he fell on his own. They were both down at my feet and I saw out of the corner of my eye Shrek fall into the chair. There was screaming. Diva was saying "I didn't do it!" I calmly (still thinking it's no big deal) pick Shrek up. He is beyond hysterical. I then notice the blood. Everywhere. Gushing out of mouth. His lip is swelling fast. I get a rag and try to start cleaning him up and calm him down. He won't let me look in his mouth. I can't tell how bad it is. I decide to call the doctor. I leave a message for the nurse (I'm fairly convinced they are going to report me). I tell Mr. Mayer and he texts me and says "welcome to parenthood of boys." Thanks Hon, that really helps me right now. In the meantime I try to ice his lip and get a better look. From what I can tell the inside of his lip is cut and the outside is purple. The bleeding stopped. The nurse calls back and we talk about it. I tell her that I can see a little cut but the bleeding has stopped. I told her I'm giving him a frozen teether. She said to keep doing that or a Popsicle to help with the swelling. Neither picture does him justice. He wouldn't sit still and pose so I could get a decent one. I mean, the nerve!




















I am feeling pretty unsuccessful at this mommy hood thing today. The week has gone so badly that the teenager is telling me to take a shower and disappear for a few hours and she will watch the kids. I think I may take her up on her offer. I need a time out.