Friday, June 20, 2008

Honesty Doesn't Come Cheap

This afternoon, I splurged a little and hired a sitter to stay home with my little girls while I took my big kids to the movies. I had read them Prince Caspian and we just haven't ever seemed to have the time to take them to see it. Teensy didn't pay attention that well while we read it, so I felt justified in leaving her behind.

Let me now confess that I had always been one to take food to the movies. I'd run to Target and buy cheap candy, stuff my purse with fruit snacks, or even make PB & J sandwiches to eat if the movie was around lunch time. BUT, I am married to the King of Honesty and Ethics and it has been pointed out to me on more than one occasion that such practices are, in fact, dishonest and unethical. Recently, I've decided to repent.

Now, I'm not a person who believes that every trip to the theater mandates a treat (going to the movies is a treat in and of itself), but today's outing was supposed to be a special time for my older children and I to spend together. That calls for a treat. I bought each of them a "Kids Pack" (mini popcorn, sip 'o soda, package of fruit snacks) and a bag of M&M's and bottle of water for myself. Grand total: $19. Can you believe that?

I started to freak out in my own mind, thinking thoughts of "highway robbery" and whatnot. Then, I decided to look at things a new way: if I can teach my children to be honest like their father, for under $20, that's a great bargain, indeed!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Too Close For Comfort

Saturday morning we went to the pool. We stayed a little less than two hours and then came home to put the little girls down for their naps. When I opened the front door upon our arrival home, I was hit by a strange smell. In truth, the smell itself wasn't as strange as the fact that we were smelling it in our home. It smelled like sweet meat on the grill, like mesquite barbecue chicken or something. Michael initially agreed that the smell was like some food on the grill, but then he proclaimed, "It's wood. Something's burning!"

I didn't know if I should run upstairs or down. I quickly raced thought through my actions of the morning; I hadn't used an iron or curing iron--or even hair dryer (I was headed for the pool, for Pete's sakes). Then I thought of Mason's toad's heat lamp and ran upstairs to his room.

There it was. The heat lamp was sitting on top of Mason's dresser, not above Fireball's cage. It was smoking! I picked it up and saw the damage:

Apparently, before we went to the pool, Mason had Fireball out for his sisters to take turns holding her. They made sure to tell us that they had all washed their hands thoroughly after holding the toad. Fabulous! Too bad no one remembered to put the heat lamp back above the cage and not on the wood dresser! We could have lost our house, but at least our kids had clean hands...

Needless to say, since Fireball doesn't even seem to like going under the heat lamp (we've never seen her hang out on that side of her habitat) we took away the blasted thing.

I'm just glad we didn't stay at the pool any longer! I don't even like to think about losing things like baby mementos and photographs and whatnot. That would soooo not have been good.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Ahoy, it's Father's Day!

Tonight we had our monthly dinner with my Michael's family. It was a splendid affair where I got to meet my nephew, Logan, and dazzle my niece, Savannah, by surprising her with a birthday gift that was not three months late. Other highlights included another delicious salad made by Josiah, Slip-n-slide fun provided by Chris and Meredith, and vomit in the lawn spewed by Nina (after drinking too much ginger ale/rainbow sherbet punch). Never a dull moment with this crowd, let me tell you!

My Michael, our kids, and his dad getting ready to go on the boat.

After the dinner, we took Michael's dad home to Baltimore where he lives on a boat. It's kind of funny. I've overheard my kids having conversations with their friends about their grandpa living on a boat and the friends never believe it. I guess to a kid, it seems too good to be true.

All hands on deck! (Sorry, I couldn't resist!)

Anyway, Skip lives on the Lady Maryland and currently she's docked in the Inner Harbor. We drove right to it and got to climb aboard for a little tour. My father-in-law is the cook on the boat, so we saw the little galley where he prepares the meals. The most amazing part was seeing his bunk. He shares the "room" with five other people. Let me tell you, I thought Maia and Marlee's room was small until I saw this space. Talk about tight quarters!

Me and the kiddies outside Grandpa Skip's "bedroom door"--see his head popping out? He was getting ready to come back up to join us!

The children all loved seeing "Grandpa's boat" and you could tell he was happy to show them where and how he lives. I must confess I was a little nervous with my kids being so curious and looking over the sides every two seconds. That water is pretty murky and I didn't relish the thought of jumping in after one of them! All that fretting was in vain because we all climbed safely back ashore without so much as a drop of water on us.

My Teensy was happy to pose like she was steering the boat. Maia and Mason were too worried that they'd actually be steering and make us crash! Mackenna was too busy making us chase her all over the deck to make sure she didn't trip on some rope or something and then go careening over the edge!

And don't worry, Michael's had a good Father's Day, complete with breakfast in bed and some new games for the Wii (for some reason, Mario Party 8 just wasn't satiating his video game hunger).

Thursday, June 12, 2008

So Call Me a Terrible Mother


I let my children eat 2-3 cupcakes in a sitting without a second thought.

I routinely feed my children raw eggs in the form of cookie dough.

I read my children's journals.

I pop my children's balloons after they go to bed at night (on the very day they get said balloons).

There you have it. I unapologetically announce to the world that I don't do it all perfectly. Although some might think that these things (and/or other practices in my mothering style) make me a bad mom, I wholeheartedly disagree. These little quirks are the very things that keep me sane and happy, and, by extension, a more pleasant mommy. And isn't a pleasant mommy better than a grouchy one? I think so.

And if you don't let your kids eat three cupcakes in a row ten minutes before dinner, that's okay. I don't judge you :) My strengths are not your strengths and yours are not mine. You might not have a strict policy of buying only skim milk and whole wheat bread like I do, but we can still be friends.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

How you know it's hotter than @$*# in your own home

Just in case the fact that your AC is out on a weekend where the heat index is reported to reach 110 degrees doesn't clue you in, and you didn't get a clue from the thermometer in your house that reads 90 degrees, if your smoke alarms start screeching from no other causes than the heat and humidity of the air in your house THAT'S how you know that's it's hotter than *@&$ in your own home.

Why are we not headed to a hotel? I have no idea. I'm minutes away from abandoning ship, let me tell you...

Monday, June 2, 2008

My Funny Fourth-Grader

Today, in technology class, Maia had to make a comic strip of her favorite fourth grade memories. (I won't even go into how I have no idea how one would begin to go about such a task, but my nine year-old is obviously capable.) Anyway, I thought it was pretty cute. My favorite is the bottom left one.

Quotation of the Month

There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.

-Jill Churchill