Friday, August 19, 2011

What Grandma Has Been Waiting For

Okay, okay already! Here's the first day of school picture:

This is not, by the way, the outfit I picked out for Daniel's first day of school. He decided that he really needed the Batman shirt instead. Eva's eyes look a little sleepy still in the photo, but she perked right up soon after this.

Both kids had good days. Daniel told us that he, "had fun all day" in kindergarten. His teacher this year is my friend Teresa. She is very experienced and someone I'm already in contact with often, so this is great for both Daniel and me. I am very glad there are people in this world who are willing to spend their entire day in a room with 20 kindergarteners.

Eva was excited that she got to pour her own milk during breakfast on the first day of preschool. May the Lord bless those preschool cafeteria workers and their nerves of steel.

And You Can Tell Everybody That This is Your Song

This morning Eva was using the bathroom (with the door open, as usual), and she was singing a song she'd made up. It went like this:

"I love my mom-meee!
Yes I do, I love her very much!"

At this point, I was thinking how sweet she is.

"I also love poop and pee,
but right now I am only going pee!
Actually I love everything in this whole world!
Except monsters."

At least the part about me was first.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


The other day I was running on the treadmill while Eva was in tumbling class at the Y. I was thinking about how it was a pretty passable alternative on days when it's too hot or cold to jog outside. Then I had to laugh at myself, remembering a day this past winter when I ran in the very same spot, cursing the oppressiveness of running indoors facing a cinderblock wall. As I ran I began counting other issues I frequently go back and forth on in my head, and could barely keep track of things from the past week alone. I had to conclude that my internal monologue could be accused of being a worse flip-flopper than anyone who ever ran for political office.

To make things worse, there is the matter of what I like to think of as my "passionate verbal style." Others might call this being "dramatic" or "prone to exaggeration," but no matter how you characterize it the end result is that I not only seem to change my mind frequently, but to really strongly do so. For the most part I think I keep this to myself, but surely those who know me well have caught on.

For instance, this week I alternately had the following thoughts:
-I love my body. I am healthy and strong. I can easily run 4 miles, and I do a decent Cuban Salsa. Not bad for 33!
-Wow, I should not exercise where there are mirrors, as it highlights the fact that my thighs are both large and pale. I need to shape up immediately or else stop leaving the house in shorts. I look (gasp!) middle aged!

-I can't wait to have more free time this fall when the kids go to school. I can have some time to myself to grade and clean the house. Then I can focus all my attention on the family when they get home, which is really what I love.
-I hope I can pick up some more hours at work this fall. There is no reason to sit around when I could be using those school hours to work back toward a professional career. We'll find time to clean the house on the weekends, and I'll feel so satisfied to be doing what I love.

-We are so blessed. We live in luxury compared to most of the world. How lucky we are to have plenty of delicious food and a beautiful, comfortable home. It's noble to be teachers, and good that I can be at home with the kids. We have plenty of money, and God has always provided for us. We should buy generous gifts for each other and all our friends and family.
-Money is so tight. It's shameful what we pay teachers in this country; we should have been doctors or lawyers. We really need to be saving more, but it's hard enough trying to keep us on budget all the time. We need to STOP spending so much money; I should identify some kind of homemade item to give out as gifts to our friends and family.

-Seriously, what is with all these women who do their hair and makeup to work out or to go to the pool? I have WAY more important things to worry about than how I look during the summer; I'm so glad I can feel free to get dirty at the park or get my hair wet at the pool. When I work out I'm there to exercise, not impress people.
-Wow, those moms in the wading pool look so together with their designer sunglasses and perfectly-styled hair buns. And look at how that substitute Zumba instructor's lip gloss matches her little workout outfit. How cute is she? I look like a disaster; hair flying everywhere and mascara smeared around my eyes... I need to look like I have a little more self-respect.

-Sunscreen for the whole family! No way am I gonna fall for that "tan is healthy" myth of my parents' generation. I'm just gonna pack that SPF 100 in my purse so we can reapply all day, 'cause nobody's getting skin cancer on my watch!
-Vitamin D deficiency is a serious problem in this country. The people of my generation are just suncreening ourselves to death! Outside in the sun, Family, 'cause nobody's getting Alzheimer's/autism/diabetes/depression/rickets/Parkinson's/cancer on my watch!

-I love having a garden. It's so important to me that the kids know where their food comes from, and I love that we're eating chemical-free food right from our backyard. I think I learn something new every year.
-I stink at gardening. I hate watering it, I don't know when or how to harvest anything... I never make time to look up the answers to problems with pests or plant diseases. I think I kill a new variety of vegetable every year.

So, I'm wondering, do other people do this? Is this constant internal struggle normal? Or is it a manifestation of some kind of rampant insecurity? I don't know; I just keep going back and forth.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Why I Love Coffee

Recently, our daughter Eva (3) has figured out that she can get herself out of bed in the morning instead of waiting for us to come get her. She has also figured out that if she stands on the side rail of our bed, she can get her face right over my ear as I sleep on my side.

A sampling of whispered phrases that have abruptly started my day this week:
"Mom... Can you get me some Raisin Bran and juice?"
"Mom... I have pee in my pants."
"Mom... Daniel is up already and he won't share the green crayon."

Of course, this is preferable to her previous strategy, which was to lie in bed, yelling into the monitor, "Mommy and Daddy, I want to get UP now... Mommy and Daddy, I want to get UUUP now..." over and over until one of us lost the game of Parent Chicken and went to go get her.

Of course, when it's 6:11 in the morning, there really isn't a GOOD way to wake up, is there?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Funny Things Are Everywhere (Summer Edition)

Kirksville Signage
There is a baseball card store in town that, for years, has had a sign in front of their store, right near the road advertising a "Really Big Sale!" Kyle and I like to joke that this is the longest-running sale in the history of baseball cards. Well, last week, they replaced the sign with one that says, "Really Really Big Sale!"
It's like they were lying all those other weeks.
This is almost as good as Kyle's favorite Kirksville sign ever.

Also, the electronic sign in front of our Walgreens scrolls through a number of messages that change every week or two. The other day I noticed this advertisement:
"We now sell hair feathers!!!! Only $4!"
Good thing they put four exclamation points after that, because I don't think three would have accurately captured my excitement over this joyous news.

The Significant Lack of Napping in This House
Daniel is very talented at coming up with excuses to get out of his room during rest time. One day, about 5 minutes after his last trip to the bathroom, he asked if he could get up now. When I pointed out that he'd done more getting up than resting so far, he said he'd been asleep just then, and had just woken up.
"So you mean to tell me that in the last 5 minutes you fell asleep, napped enough to be rested, and just woke up?"
"Daniel, do you think I'm dumb?"
(looking at me like he's not quite sure what to say) "Yes?"

When Eva can't fall asleep, what she usually does is attempt to sneak out of her room, which has the noisiest door ever, and sit on the stairs. When we ask her why she's up, she says, "I just want to sleep a little bit." When we tell her, "Good. Our goals are the same, then. Go get in your bed and sleep a little bit." she gets really upset and cries that she's just not tired. I don't think that phrase means what she thinks it means...

Musical Comedy
Early in the summer, at one of Daniel's t-ball games, Eva stood up from her chair on the sidelines, threw her hands out jazz-style and broke out with, "I love to SING!!" Indeed she does. The private speech she uses to talk to herself is often sung, as well as a good portion of her communication with us. Some notable ditties include:
-(as I sweep the kitchen) "Wow, these floors are DIRTY!... There's lots more dirt over heeere!"
- (in the car one day) "I've got sunglasses and a pony tail... Sunglasses and a pony tail... Sunglasses in the front. Pony tail in the back..."
- (calling from the bathroom) "MOM! I just went POOP! Pooo-oo-ooop! Poo-oop in the POTTY!!... Can you wipe me, please?"

Speaking of Poop
On another poop-wiping occasion, I commented on the enormous dropping that had come out of my tiny daughter, and Eva said, "I know! Holy Smokes, right?!"

Dental Drama
Last week Kyle was brushing Daniel's teeth, and Daniel was crying loudly over Kyle bumping a mouth sore on the inside of one of his cheeks. Kyle asked him how long he'd had that sore spot there, and he exclaimed dramatically, "90 YEARS!"

There is a lot of debate in our house over whether the phrase is, "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit." or "You get what you get and you don't make a fuss."
One night I was trying to convince Eva to let me have the first turn brushing her teeth (instead of letting her go first), so that I could move on to Daniel.
"You get what you get, and you don't make a rude, Mommy."
Alrighty then.

Heat-Related Humor
Like most of the Midwest, we've been in the middle of a massive heat wave. Our strategy for this has been twofold:
-First, we've abandoned the 30-minute per weekday TV limit, and have been sitting in the dark cave of our house, with the thermal curtains shutting out the cruel sun, watching TV and videos and enjoying the Wii.
-Second, we've been to the pool nearly every day. Twice, oftentimes, when you account for morning swim lessons. Our deck is always full of towels and swimsuits, hung out to dry.
Yesterday, we tried to change it up a bit by washing the cars in the driveway and letting the kids play with the hose. It didn't take long for things to go downhill, and pretty soon Daniel was screaming, "Eva! Eva! Spray my BUTT!" He also followed me around, trying to spray MY butt.
Eva kept coming up to me, spraying me point-blank in the face, then saying, "You better watch out, Mommy!"
Daniel kept begging Kyle to spray him full-on in the face. It's kind of hard to want to spray water right up your kid's nose like that (when they're being good, that is), even when he's asking for it. We were trying to imagine what a neighbor driving by might say...
"Geez, that crazy hermit family turned off their TV and came out of there... Wow, the boy seems to be obsessed with butts... I see they torture their kids, too. Do they own anything other than swimwear?"

I hope everyone else is having a funny summer!