Friday, April 30, 2010

There's no place like...bed!

This entire blog is an homage to my bed. My big, fat, fluffy, warm, cozy, wonderful bed. I LOVE MY BED!

Here's a brief history: About 6 years ago, my in-laws were downsizing to a smaller place, so they wanted to give us the king size bed frame they had in storage. My response to this offer? "Sweetie, we don't NEED a king size bed. It's too much bed for us. It'll be expensive to buy a mattress set, and a king size bed is HUGE! We really, really don't need it. Tell your parents we don't want the bed frame. Seriously, John. Tell them. I don't want a king size bed." Flash forward a few weeks, and I am at the mattress store with hubby, picking out a king size mattress set (Ka-ching!) and grumbling about it the entire time. "Grumble, grumble, don't need a bed this big, whine, whine, complain, can't afford it, grumble, grumble, stupid giant bed, mumble, mumble..."

Flash forward to the present. My king size bed is now my absolute favorite place in my house. Why? I'll tell you why...

It's huge! Huge enough for me, hubby, and both of my boys to climb in all together for a family tickle fight or a marathon of weekend morning cartoons, or family story time. And, nobody is hanging off the sides complaining 'cuz his leg is sticking out of the bed or he's about to fall off. We all fit. All four of us. Beautifully, and with room to spare.

I can sleep spread out like a starfish, if I want to. And, I want to. Oh, yes. I want to. Aaaaaahhhh...

Now, I was worried that hubby and I wouldn't snuggle anymore, with such a huge bed. Not a problem. It's just that I can have the snuggly part first and move to sleeping spread out like a starfish later. It's perfect!

If you're fighting with your bed partner, a gigantic bed comes in handy too. You know the old saying, "Never go to bed mad."? Well, now that I have a king size bed, I'm pretty sure that saying was made up by somebody who had a much smaller bed. Somebody who knew she was going to have to come into physical contact with her partner, even if she didn't want to. So, along comes that old saying. What it really means, I'm now convinced, is this: "Never go to bed mad, because you know at some point your foot is going to touch your partner's foot, and you don't want to end up kicking the crap out of him for being the idiot that he has been today." And, the second part of it should be: "Unless you have a king size bed. If you have a king size bed, feel free to go to bed furious with your partner, because you have enough room in your bed that you won't have to come into contact at all. And, frankly, sometimes it feels really good to go to bed mad, doesn' it? So, go for it, all you king size bed owners!"

The size of this masterpiece also means that when a little boy crawls into bed at 3am after having a nightmare, I have plenty of room to maneuver, so that I can snuggle him without the risk of getting kicked in the shins or knocked in the solar plexus as he wiggles around in his sleep. No more middle-of-the-night elbows to the chin for me. Woo hoo!

Ah, my bed.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Still pooping? Still? Really? STILL pooping?

I am the Mom you see lurking outside her child's potty stall in the public bathrooms, pacing back and forth and, every minute or so, asking, "Foster? Honey, aren't you done yet? Do you need some help or something?" And, why, you may ask, do I do this? Because my 4 1/2 year old son takes longer to poop than anyone I've ever met!!! (Even longer than my husband, and, let me tell you, hubby dearest can disappear into the bathroom with a book and not be seen again for what seems like hours...)

I don't know what it is with this little kiddo of mine, but he insists that he has to go "RIGHT NOW, MOMMY! I have to poop RIGHT NOW! I CAN'T HOLD IT!!!!" This prompts a mad dash to the nearest restroom. Then, what happens once he's perched up there on the seat? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. For a very long time. All the while, my little guy is insisting that he is, in fact, pooping. He seems to be happy as a clam, just sitting up there, singing a little song or whistling a little tune, waiting (endlessly) for the poop to arrive. Meanwhile, I'm apologizing to all the ladies who are waiting to use the stall... "Sorry, my little guy is in there." "Yeah, he takes a long time." "I'm so sorry. You can't rush these things, you know." "He's only four."

Today, after SEVENTEEN MINUTES in the stall at the playground, Foster finally came out. I was totally flustered by that time, because several Moms had already come and gone with their little ones, and I was starting to imagine glares directed at the back of my head, as more and more people were forced to rotate through the one remaining free stall..."Fos," I asked. "Why does it take you so long to poop?"

His answer:
"Because you keep interrupting me to ask me if I'm done yet."



Sunday, April 25, 2010

I want to be like George!

Do you ever actually sit down and watch Curious George with your kids? I do. Almost every single time it's on. I can't resist. Seriously. Usually, if the 'toons are going on, it's because I have to make dinner or do seventeen loads of laundry or, I'll admit it, just lie down on my bed for a brief sanity break, without my boys attempting to dismember one another. That's when I use "T.V. Nanny" to occupy their time and ensure a respite from the usual chaos. (By the way, now that I actually have two little rugrats of my own, I think the people that write those books saying, sanctimoniously, "Never use the television as a babysitter!" have either never had children, or have live-in human nannies to watch over their children while they go about the business of keeping a household running.) Anyway, when Curious George comes on, I'm literally helpless to resist. I hear that catchy tune, and I'm right there on the couch with my boys, eagerly awaiting George's next adventure. I'm pretty sure I like it even more than the boys do...

Why am I so mesmerized by Curious George? I'll tell you why in two words:  Optimism and enthusiasm. Not mine. His. Have you ever seen another T.V. character who has more optimism and enthusiasm than George? Betcha haven't. This little guy approaches every single thing in his life with the attitude that it's all going to be OK. Not just OK, actually, but also a lot of fun. And, if it turns out not to be much fun, afterall, he somehow finds a way to be happy about it, anyway. And, George is enthusiastic about absolutely everything. The tiniest little discovery or the smallest reward sends him into a frenzy of hand-clapping and "ooh-ooh, aah-aah's" and jumping up and down. He's awesome. Yes, I know he's only a cartoon, but he's still awesome.

I want to be like George.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

It might seem silly, but it's STILL a milestone for us.

I am writing this on Easter. Not being religious folks, Easter, for our little family, is all about coloring eggs, the bunny, the egg hunt, and yet another excuse to eat as much sugar as we want. All. Day. Long. And, since John currently has Sundays off from work, we actually got to spend the holiday together as a family. Woo hoo!

Our Easter began at 5:45am., when the giggling, loud whispering, and pitter-patter footsteps of excited little boys began. Followed immediately by parental groaning, whining, and exclamations along the lines of: "Pleeaaaasseeeee....Make them go back to sleep!" "It's too early to start Easter!" "It's your turn to make the coffee." "No, it's not." "Yes, it is. I made it last time." "But, I let the dogs out." "It's still your turn." "Ugh!"

So, it began...We ate our first jellybeans and malted milk balls around 6:30am. (They go surprisingly well with coffee, as a matter of fact.) It's now 7:30pm, and it's been pretty much constant candy consumption all day. Well, breakfast was officially pancakes, smothered in syrup. Healthy! Oh, and there was McDonalds for lunch. And, milkshakes at Sonic Burger. And, we stopped off for Mexican food on the way home. I can, literally, feel my arteries hardening right now. And, we probably stunted our children's growth or something, too...I promise, this is not the way we usually eat. But, it's Easter!

I digress, as usual. (This time, I'll blame it on the enormous quantities of high-fructose corn syrup I ingested today.) The whole point of this is that, today, we did something with our boys that we have never, ever, ever done before, and it was, in the immortal words of Dash, from 'The Incredibles'...Totally wicked!!!" We took the boys to their very first movie in an actual movie theater. Yep. A real movie theater. This was a very big deal for us. And, not only was it their first time in a movie theater, it was a 3-D movie! Could it be any more exciting??? We took them to see, "How to Train Your Dragon", and it was, seriously, one of the best times I've ever had at a movie in my life. I was so excited for them, I could hardly stand it. I was definitely more excited than they were, but, then again, I have always loved going to the movies, especially back when hubby and I actually went on dates. Six years ago. Right before Spencer was born. Followed almost exactly one year later by Foster. Sigh.

Anyway, John and I sat together in the middle, with one little boy on each end, perched on a booster seat, oversized 3-D glasses balanced on their little noses. (So cute!) Of course, we had coached them at home, and in the car, and while waiting in line for tickets, about not talking, going pee right before the movie starts, not kicking the seat in front of you, etc., etc...Still, you're never really sure how things are going to go, until you're in the moment, right? I was worried the movie would be way too loud, or they'd freak out at the size of the screen, or somebody would have to take one of their momentously-long poops right in the middle or something...But, it was perfect. Absolutely perfect. They were riveted! And, the 3-D thing was really cool. (Man, the effects have come a long, long way since the last time I saw a 3-D movie. Amazing! And, that tells you how long it's been since we saw a movie in the theater...Avatar? Nope, haven't seen it. Heard it's really good. Sob.) Anyhoo, things got going, and Foster immediately took his glasses off, looked at the screen, then put the glasses back on and exclaimed, "Hey! There's things coming right out of the movie into the air!" Spencer's mouth just opened wide, his hands sort of floated up into the air, and he whispered, "Awesome!"

The whole experience was so much fun. Holding my sweetie's hand, snuggling Spencer on my lap (the booster seat didn't last long for him), and experiencing a really positive, joyful, exciting family movie, with all of my boys together, for the very first time. To quote my son...."Awesome!"

Of course, after sitting still and silent for that long, we had to spend the next 2 hours running around at a park burning off some of that stored-up little-boy energy. And, of course we needed some more sugar. And Mexican food. Seriously. Who wants to go home and cook after such a momentous day, right?

A great day. A great "first". I will remember it always.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Important questions about little boys (and some other stuff)...

So, the deal around here is that hubby never knows what his work shift is going to be until 6:30 the night before. AND, once he's been given a shift, it can change at a moment's notice. Fun, fun, fun!!! What this means for this Mommy is that I can't plan anything other than playdates, since I never know if hubby is going to be available to be the Parent-In-Charge. No plans. Ever. (And, as a control-freak planner, this has been seriously life-altering for me!)

"Hey, Beth. Wanna come out for girls' night next Saturday?" "I'll let you know at 6:30 the night before."

"Hey, Beth. We're going to try to get tickets for a concert next month. Do you want in on it?" "Um....I won't know if I can go until 6:30 the night before."

"We're all going to see a chickflick Friday night. Can you come?" "I'll let you know at 6:30 Thursday night."

You get the picture...Actually, most people who know me just don't even bother to ask anymore, which is a mixed bag. I don't have to say, "I"ll let you know at 6:30 the night before." for the millionth time, but it's also kind of isolating. On the flip side, my boys are seriously bonded with me, because we have so much time together. So, so, so much time...sigh.

But, even with such a psycho schedule, there are ways around it. Like, inviting girlfriends to come over to my place for wine after the kids go to bed. Hubby might show up, he might not. But, as long as it's at my house, I can have some semblance of a social life. (In the summertime, when my porch swing is up, I call this little event, "Swinging Saturdays", because we sit around on the porch swing sipping, laughing, noshing, and basically having a lovely time, while the boys snooze away inside.)

That was a long, long introduction that really has nothing much to do with the topic of this blog. But, I'm sleep-deprived, a teeny bit hungover, and feeling kinda rambly... So, deal with it. Here's the situation. Last night, one of my girlfriends came over for the aforementioned "wine night". (Not only that, she brought the wine and snacks with her. How great is that?  Thanks, girl!) Anyway, this particular friend is a stay-at-home mother of two boys, so, as usual, after we talked about husbands, neighbors, my work stuff, politics, the state of the world, blah, blah, blah, the subject turned to our little rays of sunshine. In particular, the fact that my little angels have been arguing nonstop about everything under the sun for the last three days, driving me slowly but surely toward a nervous breakdown, and I'm about ready to give them up for adoption!

"I know, I know," said my friend. And then, she asked the question that prompted this blog:
"What is it with little boys? How come they can't wash their hands in the sink together without fighting, but they will happily pee into the same toilet at the same time?"  Bwaaa haaa haaaa... SO TRUE!

This question got me thinking. So, to fill up last night's particular bout of insomnia, I found myself asking a lot of important questions about my boys. I thought I'd jot a few of them down, so I can laugh about them later, when my little darlings are past this stage (they are going to get past this stage, right?).

How come my little boys can wake up at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning and start out their day playing with Legos or their stuffed animals or something, giggling and getting along famously, but the very second I rally myself to get up and truly start the day (Translation: make a huge pot of incredibly strong coffee), they start throwing blocks, fighting over their toys, and saying things like, "MOOOOOMMMMYYYYY...Spence took my toy, and I wasn't done with it!" or "MOOOMMMMMMYYYYYYY....Fos pulled the arm off my robot!!!" or "MOOOMMMMMYYYYYY...Foster said there are no such things as aliens. He's lying!" "No, I'm not!" "Yes, you are!" "No, I'm not!" "Yes, you are!" "NO, I'M NOT!" "MOOOOMMMMYYYYYYYY!!!!" ?
Why is it that it takes half-an-hour of scrubbing in the tub to get two wiggly little boys clean, but it takes less than 2 minutes for them to completely cover themselves with:  a) dirt,  b) ink/paint/glue, c) food, d) anything remotely sticky? (And, since we colored Easter eggs last night, I can add a new category: e) egg dye.)
How is it possible that both of my boys can't seem to hear me when I stand in front of them and ask them to pick up their toys, or put their dirty clothes in the hamper, or let out the dogs, but they always, always, always hear me when I mutter a bad word under my breath in the next room?
Why can the boys spend 3 hours at our favorite playground, playing pirates and aliens and Star Wars like the best buddies in the entire world, sharing their snacks, laughing as they run away from all the little girls, and having a fantastic time together, but as soon as we get in the car to drive home, they start poking eachother, making faces at eachother, calling each other names, and tattling to me about it the entire time?
How come my boys can spend the day breaking every rule in the house, picking at eachother, talking back to me, and generally driving me up the wall, and then be perfectly behaved little angels when they go to a playdate at someone else's house?...

"Oh, we just love having Spencer over to our house. He's SO good about sharing toys!"
"Ummmm, are you sure you're talking about the right kid?" (The one who just threw a major temper tantrum in our living room, because he didn't want to share the monster blocks with his brother?"

"Foster is so sweet and helpful. He is just a joy to have around."
"MY Foster?" (The one who just yelled "NO!" at me, when I asked him to put away his markers?)
Why is it my boys can start whining for food an hour before dinner time, then hang around my legs saying things like, "Mommy, pleeeeaase make some food. I'm sooooo hungry!" "Mommy, you're starving me!" Or, my particular favorite from the other day, "Mommy, I'm famished. That means I'm really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really hungry!" "When's dinner?" "Is it dinner time yet?" "Is dinner ready?


The minute I call out, "Dinner's ready. Go wash your hands!", they're nowhere to be found. Then, after all the whining, complaining, begging, etc., I have to holler out "Dinner's ready!" seventeen more times before they come to the table? (By the way, this appears to be something that afflicts adult males as well. But, questions about why adult men do the things they do, is a topic for a whole different blog. Or, maybe an entire book...)
Finally, why is it, at the end of a long, hard, day -- no matter how irritated, angry, frustrated, exhausted, or fed-up I am feeling, my boys can snuggle up to me as I tuck them in, throw their little arms around my neck,  kiss me sloppily, and say, "Mommy, I love you more than you love me!" or (in Spencer's case) "I love you just as much as you love me, Mommy!", and all is forgiven?

At least until we start another day...