Monday, September 29, 2008

The costumes that broke the bank

It's that time of year again. The leaves are falling. There's a chill in the air. And the seasonal section of department stores are lined with every Halloween costume known to man. Whatever your kid wants to be, they've got it. We're talking a real diverse collection of costumes here--Spiderman, Transformers, Elmo...
My husband even found a "Diva" costume today. I'm sorry but how in the heck do you dress up like a Diva? Gold chains and big hair? Who knows. One thing I do know is I guarantee some little girl is going to walk right into Target and pick out that very costume.

That is, only if she can afford to be a diva! I'm telling you what, I just about passed out in the aisle today when I saw how much these costumes were! Twenty, thirty, some even forty dollars! For a Halloween costume! It's crazy!

And what's really crazy is that I almost bought three! Luckily, my kids are still young, and can be easily swayed into changing their minds. Mommy has a way of making certain things sound better than others.

"I bet they have a ton of costumes on E-bay. Orrrr...mommy can make you a really awesome costume! Why don't we go home and search on the computer?"

So, to avoid my family's financial demise, and the need to be "bailed-out," I swayed my children and am now responsible for putting together three very "cool" costumes.

The irony of this whole predicament, is that we are not big fans of Halloween anyway, being that we are against pretty much everything it stands for.

What can I say?

We like candy.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Manners for manners

I've recently come across a problem, that I did not see coming. For the past six years I have been teaching my children to use their manners, to be polite, to say please and thank you, and excuse me when it's appropriate. And for the most part, they have done very well in this area, and have turned out to be very polite little people.

However, while I was able to teach them manners, I have failed in teaching them couth. Like if someone has a boogie in their nose, it's not polite to point it out. Or in this case, if someone passes gas on the sly, you don't always have to point them out and tell them to say excuse me.

This is what my two year old did this past week. While I also noticed the faux poi's, I of course didn't mention it. Unfortunately my little darling couldn't help but say something.

At the time, I must admit, I was kind of proud. I didn't know whether to say, "good manners, sweetie," or pretend I didn't hear him and walk away. I opted for choice B, and I walked away, completely oblivious to the mumblings of my two year old.

Oh well, guess it's just one more thing to add to my list of fears in public.

Friday, September 26, 2008

My week in a nutshell

Monday morning, my son decided to style his own hair and put half of the container of gel into his hair, while sitting on my couch. He looked like Frankenstein.

On Tuesday, I caught my two year old son eating a half a stick of butter. For some strange reason, he enjoyed the taste, and continued to grab chunks of it and shove them in his mouth, as I attempted to pry it from his hands.

On Wednesday, it was clear that the butter did not sit well with my son. He tried to run to the bathroom, but didn't make it in time and pooped on the floor in front of the toilet. Lesson learned.

On Wednesday night I went out to an evening writing class and came home to my three month old, who had not eaten in three and a half hours. For a breastfed baby, that mineswhile have been three and a half days. Apparently, all bottle attempts had failed. I went to bed with terrible mother guilt, and resolved to never leave my baby again.

Thursday seemed to be going by without a glitch, that is, until my hubby came home. We seem to have some sort of crazy fertile soil in the front of our house, as all of our perennial "shrubs" have grown to massive sizes. My husband volunteered to trim down our butterfly bush. Twenty minutes later the entire landscaping in our front yard had disappeared. Vanished. It looked like a tornado had come through our neighborhood, ripped up all the plants, and left the house. (Sorry honey, I know I told you I would never mention it again.) What once looked like an amazon jungle, now looks like a desert. I will now spend an unmentionable amount of money, replacing all plants that were lost.

Today is Friday. So far, the morning has been pretty uneventful, but I imagine it will not stay that way. I guess we'll have to wait and see...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A picture is worth a thousand words

Yeah, but is it worth a thousand dollars?

Definitely not if it was taken at one of the department store photo labs. I'm not going to name names though, I'm only going to warn you not to waste your PENNYS at any of those places.
Unfortunately, I am a tough learner, and realized this only after my 25Th time there.

If you're a mom, and you have more than one child, chances are, you can relate to this story. Pictures mean the world to me. I just love them. I love capturing memories, especially since I have four kids now and can barely remember all their names.

I want pictures of every moment of every day.

I want a picture of my baby's feet, because I know one day, I'll forget just how tiny they really were.

And I want a picture of my boys with their spiky hair, because I know that one day, they won't let me rub hair products in their hair, just to get it the way I like it.

One day they probably won't even let me touch their hair.

And even though I didn't love the thought of getting my kids all dolled up and driving forty minutes to get their picture taken, I decided, the picture would be worth it. The memory would be worth it.

So, my husband and I did just that.

Unfortunately, our picture perfect moments were not captured. In fact, the only moments that were captured, were these cartoon-like, wide-angled photos of children with enormous heads. Not my children, more like bubble children.

Now, I'm not a professional photographer by any means, but I'm pretty sure if you use a wide angle lens up close on a child's face, their face is going to look, er...wide.

Besides the terrible shots, the photographer's people skills were less than desirable. I mean, what kid is going to smile at someone who's shouting at them to move their feet?

And to round out the entire unpleasant experience, when I refused to buy any of the photos, they explained to me that I would need to pay the $40.00 sitting fee. Can you imagine?

Unfortunately, I don't remember the end of this story, as I blacked out shortly after that.

I do, however, know that when I came to, all of my money was still in my wallet, and...I didn't have handcuffs on.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Why two year olds shouldn't make homemade pizza

Because they may or may not grab the garlic salt and run around the house dumping it all over the carpet.

And the couch.

And their sister's head.

Surely, we will not make that mistake again.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Politics? What are politics?

I've noticed that a bunch of bloggers have been writing about politics and the upcoming election. Until about a week ago, I would have nothing to say on the topic. Mainly, because I know nothing. Politics just doesn't interest me. Not one bit. Heck, I've never even watched a debate before.

But, when I heard a mother of five kids could possibly be Vice President, I just had to find out about her. So, I watched her speech...and she blew me away.

She inspired me as a woman and as a mother.

She made me proud.

Proud of a fellow mother. Proud of a fellow American.
Proud of a fellow Christian.

As I watched this woman speak on possibly becoming the second most powerful position in this country, and then walk over to her family proudly embracing her five children, I was brought to tears. One of these children, being a baby which some Americans wouldn't have even valued as worthy to be born, only months ago, and another, a teen who will probably be looked down upon, and deemed foolish by some, because she sinned.

But her children, nonetheless.

From the few moments I heard this woman speak, I knew. I knew that we shared the same values. I knew that she believed in the same God as I. I knew that she valued human life. And I knew that she believed in forgiveness.

Her family isn't perfect. She isn't perfect.
But as Palin walked over to her children and kissed each of their heads, she painted a picture for me, of the kind of country I want my children to grow up in.

A people that believes in God.
A people that values human life, even when others don't.
A people that needs and gives forgiveness.

Come election day, I know where my vote is going.

That is, as long as I can figure out those poll machines. (Just pull the lever, right?)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Death by laundry

I'm pretty sure if you laid out all of my laundry, end to end, the pile would go around the world 13 times. Maybe more.

The strange thing is, noone in my family ever has any clothes to wear.

So the obvious question would be, whose clothes am I washing?

Monday, September 08, 2008

When two year olds begin to reason

Somehow my son managed to drag his bubble lawnmower into my living room, and up onto my couch.

As soon as that caught my eye, I told him to put it back outside on the porch.

He responded with, "but then my lawnmower can't see me!"

Who can argue with that? The kid is smart. Makes his mama proud.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Change of plans

As I dropped my big girl off at her first grade classroom this week, I couldn't help but feel as though I was losing her for good. Sure, I know, it's only first grade, I mean she's only six, for crying out loud. But...I wasn't prepared for this.

I wasn't prepared to rush out in the middle of the night searching for dress shoes and navy blue knee highs. Or prepared to be cutting off the crusts of her peanut butter and jelly sandwich at ten o'clock at night. I wasn't prepared to drop her off and leave her for six whole hours. Every day. For the next 180 days. I wasn't prepared for it, because it wasn't my plan.

My plan was to homeschool my daughter. My plan was to see her every day, all day. My plan was to teach her how to add and subtract, take her on field trips, explore and dissect things together. All the while providing her with all the foundation in God, and the academic education she would need. I could do it. I knew I could.

People looked at me like I was crazy. Homeschool with three kids and a newborn? "That sounds really difficult," they'd say. Or at least they'd think it. But I was determined, I knew what was best. Or so I thought.

As I sat down at the kitchen table with my eldest daughter and began to recite the instructions for the lesson, something didn't feel right. It wasn't that it was too hard to follow, for me or for her. Sure, I was somewhat distracted by my two year old attempting to bite my four year old in the butt, but I remained as composed as possible. And my daughter, she whizzed through page after page. She stayed focused and neat, the picture of a perfect student. But again, something didn't feel right.

Still, I pressed on with the lesson. As we closed up our books, I began to feel this gnawing feeling. Maybe, just maybe, homeschooling wasn't the right thing for my girl. Maybe, this wasn't enough.

The huge grin that once adorned her face as she ran out of her classroom, just wasn't there, as we sat down to work together. And the beaming smile that she had, as she performed "Grand Old Flag" on stage with her peers, wouldn't be there either.

Sure, I had big plans. Plans for groups of other children, and science and music lessons, but for my girl, it just didn't seem to be enough. She needed more. She needs more. And though it was hard to admit, for the first time, I couldn't give her what she needed.

My plans of homeschooling my girl, and knowing and being a part of every single thing she learned, turned out, not to be the best thing for her. I struggled with this decision. I wrestled with it, going back and forth in my brain. I even resorted to telling myself that if other people did it, why couldn't I? She'd be fine, I thought. But in the end, I decided, fine isn't enough. Not for my girl.

I want her to thrive. I want her to be happy. I want her to fulfill the plan God has for her. Not the plan I have for her. So, I let go. I let go of my plans, and began to take hold of God's.(Not without a good fight, of course.)

So now, my girl will go off to a good Christian school for six hours every day for the next 180 days, and I can't be with her. I can't watch her learn how to multiply, or make sure she's being polite to her teachers, or even eat lunch with her.

I'm just thankful He can.

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