Thursday, August 27, 2009

How do I love to argue? Let me count the ways...

My mother insists Care Bear needs to become a judge.

Now that I'm done shuddering, I can continue. Care Bear came out arguing. Seriously. The nurse looked at her and said, "wooooooooooooweeeee, do you have a temper. Where did she get that?" Dada and I looked at each other and shrugged. Turns out, the nurse was right on. Our sweet, beautiful, funny girl has an amazing temper. Not only can she scream like a girl, and often does, she has a stubborn streak several miles wide. We are sure that as she grows older, she's going to be labeled "strong willed", "independent", "forceful", "determined" and other such ideas. Her teachers are going to mean "stubborn", "bull headed", "set in her ways", etc, but will be too professional to ever say such things. At least in writing.

I probably shouldn't be blogging in the heat of the moment, but since blogging is also my free therapy as well as what keeps you up to date, let me tell you about our day.

Today was the second day of school. Yes, things are already falling apart around here and it is only the second day of school. This morning when we got up... no, wait. It should start with last night. Last night was Dada's championship softball game. It was raining. Not too bad, but enough to be wet. The kids took their own plastic bats and wiffle balls and ran around batting, hitting, chasing balls, chasing each other, falling down, you get the idea. Then they ran the bases in the rain once the game was over (I believe the score was 15-1 in favor of Dada's team... officially, the game was called.) So we had wet, tired kids. By the time we got them home and dry and in bed, it was probably 9 PM. Care Bear had gotten up at 7:15 and had the usual unknowns and stresses that come with being a six-year-old getting ready for the first all day at school. She gets home a little bit before 4 PM. So we snacked and went to the game, had some pizza and Gatorade there (it being the last game and all), got rained on, got to bed late.

I got her up at about 7 this morning because if you've ever been here to see her eat, it takes awhile. She likes to look at things and talk about things and sing about things while she's eating. So after a late night for her, she gets up early, and right away starts arguing. We argued about whether or not she was going to eat her egg and then her toast. Then the crusts on her toast.

Who knew crusts could be such a big deal? Dada and I prefer that she eat her crusts. They are, after all, only the outsides of the bread. Carrie prefers to save the crusts for the birds. The people who started her on that tradition shall remain nameless. They are not the point. The point is, she wanted to fight about crusts. We compromised (before I'd even had coffee, thank you very much) on her eating three of the crusts and saving one for the birds.

Then she wanted to fight about raincoats. It was sprinkling here again. We have two raincoats. One is a humungous tent with Scooby Doo on it and the other is a smaller, plainer (but still blue) and lined version. She wanted Scooby Doo. I insisted on the other one for easier maneuvering. Tantrum number two, and it's not even 8:05 AM.

We (Liam and I, Dada is already gone for all of these fun & games) get her off to the bus stop, have our day together, and she gets home. She starts off with telling me "no" for any little thing I ask her to do. She neglects and neglects and neglects her dinner until I declare that we are not playing "Crocodile Rock" by Elton John any more times until her plate is clean. She eats.

She dances and runs around and burns off all the energy she couldn't get out on the playground seeing as they're only out there for half an hour or so and she's been outside all day most days this summer. I finally boot her and Liam and the dog outside so they can be crazy in the yard.

When it's bedtime, she fights about brushing her teeth. She really wants me to read to her. Still not brushing. She really, really wants me to read to her. Not brushing. She probably begged with "pleeeeeeeEEEEEEeeeeeEEEEEEEaaaaaaZZZZZZZZZZe" 23 times. That might be understating it. Also followed by the, "I'll liiiiiiiisten after you reeeeeead to me" and things of that nature.

The only thing that is keeping this child alive this evening is that I know how exhausted she is.

I tell her I'm not listening to it any more, because being the grown up I know she only wants the audience. I leave the bathroom after telling her at least 7 times to brush her teeth, I can hear her arguing with herself after I shut the door, and she locks it. I set the timer for 5 minutes, go back up, ask if she's rinsed yet and she says, "no. I haven't done any of it yet." Then she starts all over AGAIN and begs to brush her teeth. I bodily pick her up, carry her into the bedroom, set her on the bed, cover her up (all the while she is screaming like she's being murdered), kiss her forehead, tell her I love her, and that I'll check on her later.

She's screaming about not wanting to get cavities.

"No, there is too much, let me sum up" is a quote from the Princess Bride. We use it often around here. You don't need to tell me I am a terrible mother because I put my kid to bed without brushing her teeth. You don't need to tell me I could have negotiated better at any of those "no's" or "I won't's" or anything. You also don't need to tell me that I should have insisted we drive separately last night to get the kids home early. You don't even need to tell me I should pick my battles. I know all that, and more.

What I DO want to hear is this: how do you channel your child's determination/ strong will/ whatever into positives? I especially want to hear from parents of older children. Even ones with grown children. Please leave comments. Don't email me or call me, just leave a comment. That way the crew who reads this will benefit too. Teachers, parents, social workers (I just know someone's gonna call Children & Youth on me one of these days after one of these posts), whoever you are, please share some wisdom. What worked or works for you and yours?

PS Mommee, I still say she's a born lawyer. She'd argue with the Devil himself!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Still more to do...

Today is Dee's first day of school, and what's more is that it is her first day of being in school all day. Did you hear the glee in my voice? Seriously, we are excited that she's a first grader now. She doesn't eat lunch until 12:40, so she's going to be one hungry Care Bear. If you could all stress the importance of a good breakfast, we'd appreciate it ;)

Blogging is one of the things I hope to be more regular with, seeing as I won't have any excuses about chasing two kids all day. Now I have to catch up on all the things I've been procrastinating about, like making my yearly doctor's visit (I know, I know, shame on me), calling the cable company to ask why our Guide channel isn't working, actually doing the dishes that need washed by hand, you get the idea. So if you sense I'm slacking, tell me to get on the stick!

I still have more pictures to put up here, and more stories, but I don't want to overwhelm you all at once. There's a lot of pictures up from this posting alone. Enjoy, and remind me to tell you all about Dada's parents' 40th anniversary weekend!

photos from Christmas in July 2009

It was so fun to have the Christmas Extravaganza in the summer, because we got to spill out of the house into the yard and driveway. We had people all over the place and way too much food. Even the birds wanted to join the party! These are some Clips from Christmas:

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Happy holidays

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fun at Christmas in July 09

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more clips from Christmas in July 09

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Softball game

Thanks to our beautiful friend Heidi for taking all these pictures of Dada's softball game. It was nice to get some footage of what goes on outside the field ;)

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Playground with Dada

I don't even remember what day this was, but Dada got to join us for a playground trip. I think he took an afternoon off and played with us. We had a great time showing off our skills. I've been really impressed how much they've grown not only physically, but in their learning and risk taking. Both can balance across the anchored but moving island pieces at this playground. And Liam scurried right up the climbing wall, using a different route each time. Yay for playdates!

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First day of first grade

And here she is- the big first grader. She has gym class today, her favorite.

She's at the bus stop with her backpack and her lunchbox (it's in her backpack) and she's got her nametag on. She's all set!

And Mama and Liam are wondering what in the world they will do all day without their Dee! Have a great day, everyone! =)

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Instead of breaking into song...

Care Bear has been inventing poems on the spot. We went to Maumee Bay on Friday for the last beach trip before school started, and she announced from the back seat:

I love the Mama.
I love the trees.
I love the train tracks.
And I love the cheese!

So now, of course, at random times Dada and I blurt out, "I love cheese!" =)

Today they're still in their jammies eating their blueberry flavored frosted Mini Wheats and doing their usual morning arguments about anything and everything. They slept for 12 hours! I couldn't believe it. And Care Bear is getting another molar on her top right side. I didn't realize there were 6 year molars...

The plan is to get groceries, hit the library, and hopefully Dada will make it home for an afternoon at the zoo before we have preview night tonight. Care Bear (my head calls her "Dee", because that's what Liam's always called her) meets her teacher & takes in all of her school supplies & sees her room this evening. Fun times! School starts Wednesday. She'll be a big first grader, riding the bus to and from school on Mr. Mike's bus and staying allllll day. Yippie!

Tons more to tell y'all, but I have an immense load of laundry to hang & have gotta get this crew moving or we'll never be ready. Have a wonderful week! =)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Really, people.

I can't believe nobody reminded me to post about how the Christmas party went. I forgot all about it since I'd written on Facebook already. Sorry. Seriously, people, you need to remind me to post on here. I can't complete a coherent thought with these two and their shenanigans, so you gotta help me out from time to time!

The Friday the Christmas party started Dada and I were setting up tents in the yard. Care Bear comes rushing to the sliding screen door yelling, "Mama! MAMA! Liam has your purple makeup!" While pulling the top of the tent over the supports, I'm thinking, "lavendar mascara. That can't be too bad. Ooh, liquid eyeliner. That would be worse." I head in and find him upstairs with a unibrow. Yes, like Bert from Sesame Street. And a tattoo on his right knee. And purple nail polish all over our sheets!

My brain is thinking, "Carrie, nail polish does NOT count as makeup." And lots of pirate thoughts (you know, the incoherent skulls, lightning bolts, big black clouds, etc.) about how easy it is for 3 year olds to yield to temptation. And where in the heck can I keep nail polish that this kid won't find it. And more pirate thoughts about how we forgot to put the baby gate up to keep the kids out of our not-childproofed bedroom and bathroom.

So I clean him up, Dada makes him pay out of his piggy bank for the damage to the sheets, and you'd think he'd learn to leave nail polish alone...

We go back to party prep, had 56 people in and out of here throughout the weekend, and had way too much food. About 5 people came Friday night but only Muggin and Marmie (that would be my little brother's wife and her mom, for those of you who are trying to keep up with nicknames) camped out here. Most of the crowd came Saturday. We had a pouring rain very early Saturday morning but only the tents got wet and they dried out just fine. We had homemade snickerdoodles, sugar cookies, chocolate brownie cookies, gingersnaps, and chocolate chip cookies with pecans. A friend brought pasta salad and brownies. Another friend lent us huge roaster pans so we had pierogies, meatballs, and macaroni and cheese in those. Another friend smoked a turkey for us and his girlfriend made us cupcakes and a gorgeous, fruit-covered cheesecake. Yet another friend brought us hamburgers and buns, plus we had brats, hot dogs, chicken, and tons more buns, so we grilled, too. There were chips, beer, and pop everywhere. Dada even thought to get cashews!

We had a few couples trickle through on Sunday, but definitely the majority came on Sunday. Slowly, people are realizing that we really do mean we party all weekend. We've decided it was a hit and that we'll do it again in July next year. No set date yet ;)

The kids had a great time pestering the guests, Triskal got lots of belly rubs, and we were blessed to have some first-timers come along with lots of repeat customers. Thanks to everyone who traveled to come bless our home with another good time!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Weekend with family

We have family here this weekend who are all headed to a wedding. Carrie's been walking around with Dada's uncle Leon, who is dressed and ready to go to the wedding. He's in his dress pants and dress shirt and dripped some diet Pepsi on his nice, clean shirt. He made a comment about spilling on his shirt and needing to look nice for the wedding. She asked him, "why do you even need to look nice for the wedding?" He told her, "my wife said I needed to." Then she said, "well, why do you have to listen to your wife?!" He came in and reported it to his wife and the rest of us, and the general consensus was that I had to get it on the blog right away. =)

She also has been on his case about smoking and found a cigarette butt that she declared was a "smoking mint", to the general merriment here.

She yelled at Leon because he was holding a cigarette. He said, "well, this one is for Doug." And she said, "well, put it out. He shouldn't be smoking either!"

She and Doug were building with blocks and he made some kind of suggestion. She informed him, "I know what I'm doing- I've been building for years."

I can't tell you how often this crew has been busting up in laughter over her this weekend!