Friday, February 29, 2008

Sticking it to the kids

I'm sure I've mentioned my poor memory at some point here, I just can't recall.

I've tried lists, asking my children to remind me and my latest trick is a dry-erase board.

I've got a new idea now which may be worth every penny of tuition we've paid this year, if not more!  My son came home from school wearing one of those stick-on name tags but where you would normally see a name written, it said, "Mrs. R, You have a hair appointment at 3:30."

Apparently his teacher had forgotten her hair appointment the day before.  The school secretary printed out these labels and stuck one on each child in Mrs. R's class yesterday.  Genius!

I've often told my kids that I need to stick a "post-it" to my forehead but it's awfully hard to read it up there.  Now I know where to stick them!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Spring fever?

Is it time for spring cleaning, already?  

My house is never completely "up-to-snuff."  However, I try.  (Nevermind the fact that I'm blogging right now rather than folding laundry.)  The hubbie is much more of a neat-freak than I am so he does clean up around the house.  (We actually make a decent pair most of the time as I'm more worried about actual dirt and grime and he is more flustered by clutter.  My stack of 14 different pieces of paper, kid's spelling lists and a grocery list doesn't bother me.)

Over the last couple of weeks however, I've had one child home sick, then another, then we lathered, rinsed and repeated.  I do find that I stop to scrub a sink, Lysol the couch and throw day-old kitchen towels in the laundry much more often this week.  I've assumed it is just because I am TIRED of the infections running rampant through my home.

I have run across multiple blog posts this week from frustrated moms who feel that they can't keep up with their house this week, however.  Is this part of a larger trend? Is this a week for people across the nation to feel overpowered by housework?  Is it simply that the time for spring cleaning has arrived?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Marking time

I'm not a huge fan of exercise.  I know I have to do it ~ so I make it as entertaining as I can.  I've got quite a selection of music on the iPod now to inspire me to go a little further or a little faster.

Do you all work out to music?  

Am I the only former band-geek who finds that, whether I am walking or running, I must begin each new song on my left foot?  

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Current events

N's class was discussing the primary elections.  When the teacher asked if anyone knew the names of any of the people running for President, N was happy that she could raise her hand.

She was proud as she told me, "I knew both of the Democrats, Mommy."  (That's my girl!)

"Who are they?"

"Obama and Clinton," she replied, smiling.

"That's right.  Do you know who the Republicans are?"

"I don't know them."

(He he.  Not what the hubbie would want to hear!)

"But Mommy?  Don't you think Hillary is a funny name for a boy?"
(Hmmm...guess she hasn't been watching the news coverage.)

"Ummm, Honey, Hillary Clinton is a woman."

"WHAT!?!?  There is a woman running for President?"

"Yes! "

"Well, I hope she doesn't win."

"Why not?"

"Because I want to be the first woman president!"

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Mea culpa

I have been saying that I will finish "the book" for my daughter's entire life.  While she asks about it once in a while, she is not surprised any longer that it is not done.  I've justified it lately, saying that it was more important for me to focus on keeping track of everyone else's tasks, activities, etc.   I had not thought of the larger example I was setting.

Progress reports came home from school last week and while hers was not horrible, it was not indicative of the intelligent daughter we know we have.  On the way to school this morning, I suggested that she set a goal for each class and if she reached her goal by the time report cards come out, we could work out a reward.

She quickly announced that her goal was to get "straight A's!"  I told her I thought that was an excellent goal!  Then she thought about it for a minute.
"No, my goal is to get all As and Bs."

"I'm sure you can do that," I said, "but why not aim for all As?  If you do fall short, you ought to end up with As and Bs."

"Because if I don't meet my goal, I won't get my prize."

We've been frustrated lately by this general attitude.  We have been reminding her all week to finish reading her book as she has a book report due at the end of the month.  Last night, she announced that she will begin working on her report after school today.  She has not finished the book, however!

 Maybe if I make a more obvious attempt to finish my projects, it will at least give her a better example.  (Though growing up watching her father work hard for multiple degrees hasn't made much of an impression on her, apparently!)

She is a smart kid.  She knows she is a smart kid.  She spends her creative energies trying to find loopholes or ways out of work however, rather than just sitting her butt down to do it.  I can't imagine where she gets it!  (Says the woman who got excited about a new writing software program and spent a half an hour playing with it, when she could have just been writing!)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

That's what it's all about!

I put the blanket on,
you kick the blanket off!
I take the blanket out
and you kick your legs about!
You do the hokey-pokey
and you turn yourself around,
and Mom finds you upside down!

I have to leave the blanket out of the crib now that he turns himself 180 degrees during the night!  I find his feet where his head used to be!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Quite bright at the end of the tunnel!

The baby has slept for a few hours at night here and there...I had glimpses of the light at the end of the tunnel. 

It's been cold, so I've been making sure he is nice and cozy in bed.  I bought "blanket sleepers" so I could zip him up in those and not worry about a blanket.  But I'm always cold, and try to keep the baby warmer than myself, so I've also been putting the crib blanket on him.  (Tucking him in, then tucking the blanket on each side of the mattress tightly, so he can't pull it up over his head.)

It looks like this kid is hot-blooded like his dad and sister, though.  Last night he managed to get that blanket loose and kicked it completely off.  And slept.  All night.

Bye-bye, blanket!

Monday, February 11, 2008

From the mouths of babes

C is watching me apply make-up.
"What's this?"
"Blush.  It puts a little color on my face--makes me look like I'm 'blushing'."
"You have another one?"
"That's eyeshadow."
"What's that for?"
"A little color above your eyes."
He watches me apply eyeliner.  "And that is to make you look more tired?"

Friday, February 08, 2008

Not quite gospel truth

As you can likely guess from the title, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, is not the most scholarly account of the life of Jesus that you will ever read but it might be the most fun!

The angel, Raziel, has resurrected Levi, who is called Biff, to write his version of the Messiah's life.  The angel keeps Biff in a hotel room until he is finished and the duo have a few entertaining discussions along the way, including how much God sounds like James Earl Jones.  
In this novel, Jesus travels to the East and spends time with each of the three wise men who visited him at his birth.  He tries coffee and declares it is OK to eat bacon.  He learns yoga and a form of kung-fu, known here as "Jew-do."  Reading this book, you will finally see how bunnies became associated with Easter!

Moore has intertwined a few thought-provoking ideas with witty humor to make  this an entertaining read.  One of my favorite lessons/hints comes from a scene when Jesus and Biff are studying meditation.  The young Messiah makes the comment that prayer is important but prayer is talking to God, whereas meditation is listening.

Check it out.  It won't change your religion but it will make you smile.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

In his defense

Recently, I posted a few remarks from my son.  Lest you think that he spends his entire life making my blood pressure rise, I thought I'd share this one that just made my heart swell!  (It is a couple of weeks old but I keep this one posted on the refrigerator!)

In case you can't make out the first-grade handwriting in my small photo,  it says: you are the gratest mom in the hall wrld.
In case you can't read the first-grade spelling/handwriting, that translates to: you are the greatest mom in the whole world! 

I am more often in contention for the WMITW (Worst Mom In The World) Award, so I make sure to save things like this!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Teachable moment

(If you look very closely, you may be able to see the slight smudge on Joshua's forehead.  If not, just enjoy the photo of our happy baby!)

I attended Mass today and received ashes on my forehead.  Every year on Ash Wednesday, we hear the gospel reading telling us not to advertise when we fast, pray, etc. but rather to keep those activities private.  So it has seemed hypocritical to me to hear this lesson on the day that we are advertising to the world that we have been to church this Wednesday, as we walk around with black crosses or smudges on our foreheads.

Today I decided to look up some answers and after a little research online, learned that the crosses on our heads are not meant to advertise that we went to Mass because we are any holier than anyone else but rather as an evangelizing tool.  Some of the answers that I found suggest that at the very least, someone who sees the cross on my head today will realize that I went to Mass and might think, for a moment, about going to church.  Whether it brings a smile to some or makes others cringe, for a split second, some stranger will associate the mark on my face with church or with God.

Others will just wonder how I left the house without noticing that I have something on my face.  I learned this well during the last few years in Kansas.  I attended Ash Wednesday Mass and then went to the grocery store.  Each time, at least two well-meaning people tried to discreetly tell me that I had something on my face.  I should have used this as a "teachable moment" and explained that it was Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, a good time to think about God.  Instead, I usually just nodded.

Today, I went to Target with the kids after school.  Most people we passed just smiled.  I don't know if they were embarrassed for me or if they recognized the black cross on my head.  (Perhaps walking through the store with two kids in Catholic school uniforms, also wearing ashes on their heads, gave them a hint).  I had even almost forgotten that I looked odd today until after checking out when the woman walking by us elbowed her mother in the ribs, then pointed at my head, at which point both women stopped and stared.  Rather than pretending to not see them while I shooed my children out the door, I should have used this as a moment to teach them.   

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Good one

My son and I have a standing argument every Saturday morning.  (I tell him to put his shorts on for basketball practice and to put sweats over them so he won't freeze outside.  Every week, he wants to wear jeans.)

As we went through it again this week, I made the comment that "this argument is getting really old."
His reply:  "So are you!"

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The English major and the minor

My son would not stop rolling the baby's new ball (a plastic toy with bells inside) over the furniture.  My repeated requests for him to stop went unheeded.

Finally, through clenched teeth, I roared: If you roll that ball ONE more time...

But then I stopped.  What consequence was I going to come up with this time?  It had to be something new at this point to get his attention.  I mulled it over just a little too long.

He stopped rolling the ball long enough to roll his eyes and reply,  "If you roll that ball one more time" is NOT a complete sentence.

Thank you

Thank you for your prayers for my father-in-law.
He has been extubated finally and so he's able to talk now, too.
(He says he wants to go home!)

He is still in the ICU but is improving.  So keep those prayers coming--they're working!