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>Lady, From the Moment I Saw You…

21 Aug

>So the kids and I went to Sam’s Club to get milk and cheese today and the Inner Blogging Voice was just screaming at me the whole time! I’m very pleased to announce that our Sam’s Club is being remodeled and now, sometimes I actually think I’m at Costco. In fact, the other day, Sam asked if we should get gas at Costco (he meant Sam’s Club) or Safeway (Kroger). There’s not a Costco or a Safeway here in Louisiana. I’m not sure if this was a good or bad indicator of his current state of mind… 🙂

Anyway, we were checking out and our cashier was a lovely woman named Ms. Cherelle. How did I know this? Because “Ms. Cherelle” was tattooed across her chest. I really, really would have loved to have taken a picture, but there’s just no good way to ask the sassy black lady if I can take a picture of her ample bosoms.

After we checked out, Meredith announced she had to go potty, so we went and waited in line for the family bathroom which has a cute little Meredith-sized toilet. We waited and waited. The person in there flushed and flushed. There was a Sam’s Club employee waiting in line ahead of us and Clark was charming her (as he always does) and she said, “Oh, you’re cute!” He paused for a second and then said, “I AM cute, huh?”

After waiting for a long time, we just opted for the regular bathroom. Meredith sat on the potty for about 2 seconds and then said, “I’m done!” I was not super happy about that. She then requested to have another look at the “Sleepy Doodie” dress-up kit.

My unhappiness at Meredith’s unsuccessful potty trip was mitigated by seeing a man in a red long-sleeved Henley (bear in mind that this is one of the muggiest days I’ve EVER experienced in Louisiana!), suspenders, wire-rimmed glasses, and the CRAZIEST white hair and long, bushy beard I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Both Clark and Meredith were freaking out–they really thought Santa was at Sam’s Club.

Now…for all you Scrubs fans. Remember Janitor and his girlfriend Lady?

Well, it’s a popular thing here for the schools to provide parents with window decals that have the school, symbol, and student’s name on them. These decals are placed in the rear windows of the parents’ vehicles.
Well, I got to my car and this car was parked next to mine:

Yes. You’re seeing that right. Someone named their baby girl “Lady” and now she goes to the hardest, most competitive public elementary school in the area. Go get ’em, Lady.

And finally…the pièce de résistance. This isn’t my picture–I actually stole it from the Facebook page of one of our former missionaries. But it’s too good not to share.

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>Jealous Much?

15 Aug

>Meredith: I wuv you, Daddy!

Sam: I love YOU, Meredith!

Clark: Dad, you should love me and not Meredith.

>Flying is for the birds…

25 May

>So we’re in Seattle! After a long, long, long day yesterday, we’re here (and after 5 hours of sleep, I’m awake; gosh, it gets light early here!)

Anyway, one major downside of living in Louisiana is that I’ve decided I hate to fly. It used to be fun–exhausting, sure, but fun. But…and I don’t know if it’s the kids or if it’s the planes/airlines/whatever, but the last couple of times I’ve flown, I’ve just felt like I’m being held prisoner for a couple of hours.

So yesterday before we left, I had to go to church and lead the music in Sacrament meeting and then make sure the flyers for our next Enrichment activity were going to go around to everyone. When I went to pick up the flyers from Office Depot on Saturday night, the background printed so dark that you could hardly read them, but I couldn’t have them re-printed. Strike one.

Got to church. Realized I had the wrong date on the flyer. Strike two.

Got into Sacrament meeting. The guy who puts the hymn numbers up informed me that no one sang the last time we sang the Sacrament hymn I chose, so he switched the numbers to the other melody (it was one of those that has more than one version). The only thing is that I ALREADY don’t feel comfortable leading the music and the reason why I picked the one I did is because I know I can lead it. I know I can’t lead the other one and I feel like an idiot up there. This did not convince him. I looked like an idiot up there. I had a splitting headache and my day hadn’t even begun.

Got home from church, got the car loaded up, we were running late, but we finally got out the door. We were JUST leaving the south border of Alexandria (for New Orleans) when Sam asked if I got his garment bag (which had pretty much all of his stuff in it). I thought he’d grabbed it. He had not. We turned around and went back home to get the garment bag. Any buffer zone time was completely shot.

Took the wrong exit in Lafayette. Awesome!

Made it to the airport. Got checked in, but as soon as we got to our gate, they were boarding our plane. Literally, the only things I’d eaten so far were Honey Smacks, Diet Coke, and some crispy Chips Ahoy. Not good.

Sam and Clark were sitting in front of Meredith and me (who is a lap child by the skin of her teeth), so we got to sit next to a stranger. Who was very friendly, but also very large. When I got up to go to the bathroom, he had put up the armrest, which meant he was encroaching into about 1/4 of my already too-small seat space. This naturally made me uncomfortable, so I sat with my butt clenched the whole 2 1/2 hours to Minneapolis because that seemed to get me as far from him as possible. But not only did he put the armrest up while I was in the bathroom, but he also closed the window shade (Meredith’s diversion), took off his shoes, and was watching a movie on his laptop that I would NOT be okay showing my kids.

We had a layover in Minneapolis, so we finally got to eat something other than peanuts. Got settled on the plane from Minneapolis to Seattle–all of us got to sit together, so that was good. Until Clark and Meredith started tormenting one another. We put a movie on the portable DVD player. Meredith decided to test her limits in literal button-pushing–she was trying to push every single button on the stupid thing. Beverage service. The flight attendant gave Meredith her own can AND a cup of apple juice. Meredith was thrilled and not at ALL okay with me transferring her drink into a cup with, say, a lid. Not willing to fight it out, I let her keep it. She didn’t want to drink it, but rather, she wanted to stir it with the little straw. Can you see where this is going? Yeah, spilled apple juice everywhere. Got the kids changed into pajamas. Tranquilized Meredith with some Benadryl and she slept for the rest of the flight. Thank frakking goodness.

Seriously, if it didn’t suck 2 days (at least) each way out of Sam’s vacation time to drive to Utah, and probably another day each way to drive to Seattle, we would so be there. Anything has to be better than flying with little kids!

Edited to add the one thing that made the whole day worth it: I saw a big bus that said, “Hotard” along the side. Apparently it’s a tour bus line. Okay, REALLY? Who came up with that one? Were they sitting in a board meeting and thought, “Hey, let’s combine two offensive slang terms into one word and make them our brand name!” I got a good giggle out of that one…

>Sleep

21 Apr

>So right after Christmas, my body decided it didn’t want to sleep anymore. I could fall asleep just fine, but then I started waking up too early. First it was 6, which was managable, then it was 5:30. Then 5:00. Then 4:30. Then 4:00. Sometimes it was even earlier. I would just wake up in a cold-sweat panic and wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep.

It’s really been an awful few months for me, I won’t lie–I think I’ve aged about 5 years in the last 3 months. As I got less and less sleep, I became more and more depressed and anxious, which made it harder to sleep, which made me more depressed and anxious. I’ve tried exercising which has helped my mood, but hasn’t helped with the sleep, so then I’m even MORE tired, not sleeping, depressed, anxious, whatever.

I’ve self-medicated with Unisom and Nyquil. I went to the doctor who gave me some Ambien and started talking anti-depressants to see if that would help. I opted to wait it out, just a little longer, to see if things would remedy themselves.

Miracle of miracles, three nights ago, I fell asleep without anything and woke up at a normal time! It happened again the night after that and then again this morning! I’m so happy. So relieved. And yet, there’s one thing holding me back.

Meredith.

This is nice Meredith:
This is naughty Meredith:
“Tell me, mother, how can I make your life more difficult?”
Clark has been, for the most part, a good sleeper from Day 1. Even now, he’ll just up and ask if he can go to bed. We had the newborn sleeplessness and a little roadbump when he was around Meredith’s age, but it was pretty easily remedied.

Meredith, on the other hand, is not a good sleeper. More specifically, I think she feels that if she could be sleeping alone or sleeping next to me, next to me is always the better option. When she was 2 days old and we were still in the hospital, I was sending her to the nursery at night and having them bring her to me to nurse. The nurse had brought her to me, but no one was coming back to get her, so I put her in her little bassinet and tried to go back to sleep. She fussed and whined and grunted, so I picked her back up (bear in mind I had had a c-section and this whole situation was probably not the best idea) and brought her back to bed with me. She curled right up in my side and went to sleep.

I know, I know, all those co-sleepers out there are telling me just to have her sleep with us. But I can’t. She’s co-slept with us a lot, particularly when I was still nursing her, but she’s actually done well sleeping in her own bed, for the most part, until lately. I need a little downtime from my kids, especially toddlers and preschoolers, and “toddler in the bed” does not qualify as downtime. She doesn’t sleep as well in our bed. We do not sleep as well with her in our bed. Often, in the middle of the night, she thinks it’s playtime when she’s in our bed.

These days, she does not want to go to sleep at night. Once we get her to sleep, she usually wakes up around midnight and then it’s a screamfest from there, whether she’s in our bed or hers. Sometimes I’ll get her to go back to her bed and then, a couple of hours later, I hear, “Mo-oooom! I done!” She’s not done. It’s 2:30 in the freaking morning.

It’s not entirely fault–in the last 2 months, she’s gotten a set of molars and had influenza, a double ear infection, and two exteremely high fevers without any other symptoms (my childrens’ pervasive and neverending illnesses since we moved to Louisiana are a completely different post…), so I know her routine has been messed up. But I don’t know how to fix it.

The awful thought of her not needing naps anymore has crossed my mind, but in my soul of souls, I don’t feel that she’s ready to kick naps; whether she has a nap or not, she still won’t go to bed at night and when she doesn’t get a nap, she’ll often fall asleep in the middle of something–playing, eating, sitting on the potty.

So all my sleeping-on-my-own victories are currently being vanquished by Little Miss I Hate Sleep.

So. Tired.

>One of THOSE Moms

7 Mar

>Yes, it’s officially happened. You know how before you have kids, you see things people are doing with their kids and you tsk-tsked and thought, “I will never do that.”

Yeah, I ate my words yesterday.

I’ve determined that the DMV is the great equalizer; everyone has to go, so you always seem to have a very interesting mix of people there. I would dare say that being in Louisiana makes that mix even more interesting.

Recently, we had a massive pollen dump over our lovely area–like literally, our cars are yellow. My kids, especially Meredith, have not tolerated it well and there is a never-ending flow of nasal secretions at our house. So one would think, “SURELY Kate would have enough foresight to carry a box of tissues with her at all times.” Those of you who think that greatly misunderstand my ability to plan ahead for emergency trips to the DMV.

Anyway, yesterday morning was a gorgeous (albeit pollen-y) day. Sam was going to go to his morning meeting and then head to the DMV to register our Nissan in Louisiana, I was going to take a leisurely trip to Target after I dropped off Clark from school. As I was pulling into the Target parking lot, Sam called and told me he couln’t register the car until he had a Louisiana driver’s license and he couldn’t do that without his birth certificate. So his first round of waiting was all for naught and he was heading home for his certificate. I found new Sunday shoes for Meredith and the cutest little white sundress in the world (for her…not me…) for $11.99 and am heading home when Sam called again, telling me that because I’m the title holder on the Nissan, I have to be there, too. However, I also needed my birth certificate so I could get a Louisiana license so I could register the Nissan. This presented something of a problem because we determined last Friday, when Clark had to go get his 4-year immunizations, we couldn’t find the immunization records or birth certificates of myself and the children. We knew they were together, we just didn’t know where.

So Sam and I spent a LOVELY 45 minutes together ripping apart the office, trying to figure out where the birth certificates could be. It was a little tense and most likely my fault. Then he remembered that he had a box of stuff on his computer and it might be in there. DING DING DING! There they were. Out the door and back to the DMV, only to arrive JUST in time to leave again and pick up Clark from preschool. Sam took Meredith and I waited. While I waited, I listened to the following conversation:

Man 1: I hate the DMV.

Man 2: Yeah, me, too. I just got out of prison, so I have to renew all this stuff before it expires.

Man 1: Oh, yeah? I got out in 2005.

Man 2: Yeah, I just got out last month. What were you in for?

Man 1: Assault and battery. You?

Man 2: Attempted murder.

They then shared some very nice prison stories. I hope I never go there.

Sam returned with Clark and Meredith. Clark was not pleased and asked every 5 seconds if we could go home. Literally. “Can we go home? Can we go home? Can we go home?” Meredith, who was wearing one too-small black patent leather Sunday shoe (which I had brought as a size comparison on our shoe-shopping trip) and one white sandal that was a little too big, wanted to go through the door where they actually help you at the DMV. She was not pleased that this was not an option. We decided in order to placate the children, we would buy a bottle of Sprite from the pop machine and have them share it. Things I’d never do? 1) Let my kids wear 2 different shoes. 2) Let my kids drink soda. 3) Let my kids share drinks.

Meredith’s nose was now leaking an unbelievable amount of snot. I realized I had no tissues and that this was becoming a rather disgusting situation with the pop-sharing, so what did I do? I wiped her nose on her dress. I can’t even believe I just wrote that. Other things I would never do? 4) Let my kids have runny noses. 5) Let snot be wiped onto clothing.

Our number was finally called, I got my new license. The picture is just lovely; my eyes are half-closed, which gives my picture a nice Earl Hickey effect. Turns out we didn’t actually have the title, my dad, who originally bought the car, is currently in Alabama visiting my sister but not visiting me (and I doubt he has it or knows where it is, anyway), and so we still were not able to register the frakking car. We have to request a copy of the title from the State of Utah, and all we have to do is fill out a little form, but the little form is quite confusing and, naturally, the phone menu at the Utah DMV is completely automated with NO option of asking an actual human being a question. So we sent off the duplicate title request with a check for $6 and are hoping they can figure it out. Because there also wasn’t a place for your phone number where they could call you if, say, you filled out the form wrong.

As I was telling this tale to a member of our Bishopbric last night (who is also not from here), I was laughing that everyone else in the DMV must’ve been horrified by my mothering skills and he said, “Oh, no, I’m betting that you just fit right in!” Which is probably right…

>Early to Bed, Early to Rise, Something Like That…

17 Dec

>Hi, I’m Kate and I intentionally don’t get enough sleep. [Hi, Kate.]

Why, you ask, would someone intentionally not get enough sleep?

Let me tell you. Yesterday was slightly hellish. Both kids have been sick going on a week and-a-half, Meredith’s tranquilizing cough syrup is not nearly as tranquilizing as I would like and she took no naps yesterday. Clark, on the other hand, fell asleep in the car (doesn’t happen a lot, but it does occasionally) and then slept for another 2 1/2 hours in my bed (unheard of. Never ever ever). Which you’d think would be awesome, right? Not right. He woke up even grumpier than before.

I swear my kids exist solely to torture one another. I think my favorite moment yesterday was when they were in the tub, Clark took Meredith’s Superman, Meredith started screaming, so Clark started screaming, and then they tried to see who could out-scream the other one. Which descended into who could cry the loudest. Intermixed with screaming. Meredith clung to me the entire day, which largely explains the massive pile of laundry growing in my hallway and the fact that I had leftovers, Sam had a ham sandwich, and the kids had finger food for dinner last night. And that I have no treats to give Clark’s preschool friends today at school because I couldn’t make them during the day and I was just beat at night.

So it would make sense for me to hit the sheets as soon as Vile Vicky lost The Biggest Loser last night, right? Yeah, you’d think, especially since I was slightly catatonic on the couch. But I knew…I knew as soon as I went to bed that today would be here and my few precious, peaceful hours of childlessness would soon be over. So I stayed awake way too late playing Super Mario Brothers 2 on my Gameboy. Yes, I’m a twelve-year-old boy.

And now here I am, at 6:50 am, and I’ve been awake for an hour. Doing nothing. I originally got up to start the dishwasher and take a shower, but I’ve been messing with the food blog, reading the “paper,” yada yada yada. Because it’s more time that I can be awake without my children.

I know how bad that sounds. So bad. And I love them so much and last night Clark and I had a little talk where he broke down and told me he was being so naughty because he didn’t want to grow up and which point I broke down because I don’t want him to grow up, either. But those few, precious hours where I can reclaim some semblance of myself? Yeah…those I give up sleep for.

>Just So You Know…

24 Nov

>If you don’t have kids or if your grandchildren are long-grown, you’re more than welcome to keep your dirty looks and your feelings on how I’m raising my kids to yourself. That way, I won’t wish demon spawn upon your single, childless souls when the time comes that you do take a wife (or a husband). And give me dirty looks in Relief Society again? I’ll send her your way, armed with a sippy cup of 3-hour-old soy milk and a bag of Cheez-Its crumbs.

Bottom line? There is no one at church or in an airplane with a loud baby more stressed out than that baby’s mother. So chill, peeps.

>Calling all Veteran Parents!

13 Oct

>I need help! I’m so dang tired! For a week now, my perfect, wonderful sleeper Meredith refuses to sleep in her crib. The poor girl screams and screams the second we go into her room. She’s so tired that she falls asleep the second we get in the car, but she WILL NOT sleep in her bed! She will also not sleep in our bed–she’ll either cry or poke us and giggle.

I am at a loss. I have tried all my best tricks. Clark did something similar around this age, but everything that worked with him will not work with her. Any advice?

>Worst. Mom. Ever.

24 Sep

>So occasionally when Clark comes home from school, he has treats from his teacher in his school bag. I didn’t get a chance to look through his school bag today until both kids were down for a nap. As I was going through all his little art projects, I discovered a small Airhead (I don’t think I’ve liked Airheads since I was, like, 12) and a bag of animal crackers–and not even the good animal crackers, they were those cardboard animal crackers that come in giant bags. What did I do? I ate them. Gross treats that rightfully belong to my 3-year-old. To make me feel even MORE guilty, he just came looking for his school bag to see if there were any treats in there. Good thing I distracted him and slipped a Twinkie in there.

>Sniffle Sniff

6 May

>So today, I signed Clark up for preschool in fall. I can’t believe it. I actually wasn’t planning on sending him because here, every preschool I found was all day every day, and I just wasn’t prepared to send a kid that little to school all day. But I found one at a Baptist church across the river that has a bunch of attendance options, so he’ll be going three mornings a week. I am excited, for both him and for myself. I think, especially now that he no longer naps, that us having that break from each other will be a good thing. And there just aren’t many other little kids around for him to play with and he craves that, so that will also be a good thing. And every morning, he says, “I’m going to school, now, Mom! Don’t be sad! I’ll see you in a little while!” So I know this is something he wants to do. But it seems like he was just barely a butterball baby in my arms and now he’s a full-fledged little boy. And if he grows up this fast, what’s to say the rest of my butterballs won’t grow up faster?