Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Tonight is Halloween, and no matter what your associated religious beliefs, you have to admit it's great being a kid at Halloween.

As we do each year, the DH and I attend several organized events with the kids, but it was our neighborhood door-to-door hunting that was most special for me. I was absolutely amazed at the difference one year makes in the life of a child.

Last year, my daughter made it to three houses before she was ready to call it quits. This year, now two, she hurriedly bagged her goodies and raced to the next house before I could even turn on my heel. Also, her enunciation of "Trick Or Treat" has improved exponentially; no doubt motivated by candy I'm sure.

My three and a half year-old son who was afraid to continue after dark last year (since we normally go around 6pm), raced forward uninhibited, ringing doorbells and yelling "Trick Or Teat" with gusto. Makes a Mom proud. Also this season, when given the choice, he painstakingly searched for Nerds in the pink box because they are "my Dad's favorite candy". Couldn't make his Dad more proud.

Times flies, and I'm definately wondering where this year has gone. I hope my children remember tender moments like these and I pray I can make many more memories with them for decades to come.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Three Strikes

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it's just going to be a difficult morning. Today was one of those mornings. The following takes place between 9:30am-11:45am.

1. At my toddlers' gymnastics class this morning, I felt myself getting 'the eye' while my son was sulking on one side of the room while I was attending to my daughter on the other side. Admittedly it's a little more challenging for me since I'm the only mom with two kids in class. If I only had one, I could be connected to the hip the whole time, but obviously that's not going to work. Besides, my son is the King of Sulking when he doesn't get his own way, and I am not prepared to indulge him in this. Since a spank would incite the wrath of southern Moms everywhere, leaving him for a minute to process his actions is my current mode of operandi.

2. After class, we stopped at a local restaurant to preview their private dining room for a reception we're planning. On the sidewalk, a grandma-ish looking woman stops us to ask, "are you taking them on a field trip?". WTH? Not sure what she meant (but pretty sure I had an idea...yes ma'am they're mine), I politely answered, "No, we're just stopping in here.". That seemed to satisfy her curiosity allowing us to escape into the restaurant.

3. Our third trip was to Walmart to pick up a few necessities. After the shopping was done, the kids who were on their best behavior, were loaded up into the cart, along with a few bags. As I always do, I squeeze the cart full of people and produce between my car and the one next to me, take one kiddo out and strap him/her in, then go to the other side and repeat steps two and three. Then, I put the groceries in the trunk. Well, as I was strapping my son in, two women walked by and one grumbled (loud enough for me to hear) something to the effect of, "I can't believe she left this child in the cart.". Again, WTH! I do not believe they were aware that at that very moment that I was strapping in another child. I suppose they thought I was loading groceries in the back seat. Still, if they were that interested in the child's safety, why not stop me and suggest I do it the other way around instead of being rude? So frustrating.

Thankfully the rest of the day was much more pleasant. The kids and I played, worked in the yard and I didn't have to fight with my son to get him to eat dinner. Score!

So let this be a lesson to's not how you start your day, it's how you finish.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Zoo Pals

Advertisement is truly a science. When my kids were younger, we stuck with commercial-free Sesame Street DVDs. Now that the kids are older, they get to watch toddler programs on PBS, Disney and Nickelodeon. The learning shows are great in conjunction with at home lessons. Plus, I get tons of ideas to spice up activities at home. One thing I didn't anticipare, that the psychological effect of...the commericals.

I should mention that PBS is not that bad. Their commercials during the toddler programs are for Chuck E. Cheese's, Earth Best organic baby food, etc. But watch out for the other two. The toy commericals alone (especially this time of year) is a natural high for my kids and places an enormous amount of pressure on an otherwise sensible me to buy this crap.

The commerical that has taken our home by storm is Zoo Pals. They are disposable plates (with built-in dipping sections), bowls and cups in animal images by Hefty. By themselves, they're attractive paper products for kids, but with the jingle, they're a must have!

We hear the song almost every morning on tv, my kids and I sing in during the day, and while he won't admit it, the DH is really digging the cool jingle himself.

For months I've resisted the urge to buy these, trying to convince myself that fancy plates will not make kids eat more. It's all a ruse by some Marketing MBA to get a bigger bonus. Right? Yet, every Walmart trip, I seek Zoo Pals out. It's like a magnetic draw. Well this week I fought the draw, and the draw won.

Now I'm obligated to conduct a semi-scientic study at dinner tonight to see if they were worth it. Will let you know how that goes.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

One Person's Nasty...

At lunch today, the four of us are sitting with meals as varied as our personalities. I decided to have leftover breakfast of grits and ham and spiced it up with a ton of hot sauce. My two-year old daughter leans over, starts to say her usual "want some', but quickly changes to "That's nasty!". Honey, you have no idea what you're missing out on.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Letter to Santa

Over the weekend, the four of us were watching tv when a Thomas and Friends Trackmaster commerical came on. Immediately my three-year old son jumped up and said "Mommy, I want that! You have to write that in my letter to Santa!". Smart kid.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

She Did What?!?

Today I discovered my baby girl can climb out of her crib. Time to finally move her to her big girl bed. Oh-boy!

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Big Bad Wolf

The other night, the DH, kids and I made an evening trip to Lowe's to pick up a few supplies. Since the kids were on their best behavior, we decided to reward them with a leisurely stroll through the Halloween displays. Dracula, ghosts, ghouls, and motion-activated witches and skeletons brought squeals and a little trepidation.

That done, we headed back home to find the freakiest display yet. In the middle of the kitchen floor, the largest and ugliest spider we've ever seen scampered across. After a few girly screams and a request for his shoe, my husband successfully smashed the beast...only to find millions of its little minions pop out.

The next girly scream was mine. My son, who was curious about all the hullabaloo, thought the baby spiders crawling all over the kitchen floor and cabinet was the best sight of the night. Somewhere in there, I tossed the DH the bug spray and the little babies were laid to rest.

After putting the kids to bed, I hit the Net to figure out just what got in to my kitchen. Turns out it was a Wolf Spider. The mothers carry their babies on their backs, so when the DH smashed the spider, the babies didn't pop out. Rather, they jumped off. Still, very unnerving, even more so since we'd spent the previous half hour wondering spooky Halloween displays. Gross.