Thursday, November 29, 2007

Christmas traditions

Sue over at Navel gazing at its finest is having a contest for the best Christmas traditions.
Here goes.

Every year, my husband's family gets together to make gingerbread houses. All we need to do is show up with multiple bags of candy, small cookies, cereal, pretzels, and other things that will work well for decorating the houses.
When we get there, everyone gets a gingerbread house "kit" which consists of all of the parts of the house, ready to ba assembled, and a square of cardboard covered with foil to sit the house on. There are also bowls and pastry bags filled with royal icing to use to glue those puppies together.
You need to wait for the frosting to set on the walls of the house before adding the roof or the whole structure will collapse. We always get to learn who is not vary parient at this point, There are usually at least two serious cave-ins each year. After you add the roof, and it sets, you get to decorate the house with all of the candy that everyone has brought. (We usually eat more than we put on the houses)
Everyone gets to make their own house, from the little kids to the grandparents. The really little kids get a gingerbread man to decorate.
We all leave on an incredible sugar high.
NOTE:In order for this to be a great experience for you, you need to find a kind, grandmotherly type who is willing to mix up, cut out and bake all of the gingerbread, seperate the pieces into individual ziplock bags, cut out a large number of cardboard squares, cover them with foil, make gallons of royal icing, set up church tables, and be willing to let everyone come over to her home and grind frosting into the carpet. Otherwise, this is just too darn much work!

Every year, we like to invite my cousin and her kids over to make sugar cookies. We let the kids do most of the work, and they have a blast! I get to spend an afternoon with my totally cool cousin. The kids make an incredible mess, and are once again on a huge sugar high.

One more.
This was actually my kids idea, and we will be doing it this year. They want to do the 12 days of Christmas for someone. They are having so much fun coming up with ideas for gifts that go along with the lyrics of the song. They are SO creative! ("hey, for the 5th day, lets give them 5 glazed doughnuts!")
They wanted to do it for friends of ours, but I suggested doing it for a neighbor that we don't know very well. They loved the idea! They are all so excited to be the one who rings the doorbell and runs away. It's so much fun to see them this excited about GIVING.
This does require some advance planning. The kids will come up with all the ideas, I will get the items and help them put it all together. We just need to decide who will count backwards from the 25th to figure out which day we should start.

Hey Sue, You are looking FABULOUS today! Did you do something with your hair? New outfit? I know, you've lost weight! You are so amazing! A true inspiration. You are like the coolest and most adorable person I know! And what's more, I will never call you on the phone!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Dear mom,
Why did you cut your hair? Don't you know it's the only thing that makes me feel better when I am sad? I can no longer twist it around my hand and wipe my runny nose with it. I can no longer wrap it across your eyes and play peek a boo with it. You have ruined my life.
Your adorable 2 year old,

Dear Max,
I am so sorry that I ruined your life, but really dude, I haven't had my hair cut for nearly a year, it was way past time. I mean, it looked really bad, especially with all the dried snot. I hope someday that you will understand. Maybe you can start playing with your older brother's hair. He does not want to get it cut.
Your loving mother,

I finally did it, I cut my hair. It took a while for Max to notice, and when he did, it was brutal. He just kept swiping at it, and then started acting very panicy. He kept saying no!.... No!..... NO! Then he said "Fix it! Fix it, hair!"
"Honey, I did get it fixed."
"No! Fix it! Hair broken"
At this point, I'm starting to feel pretty bad about the whole thing. He was VERY close to tears. The bottom lip was quivering and everything.
He finally figured out that he could still run his little fingers through my hair, he just needs to hug me really close, and that's O.K. with me:)
(It was so much easier with my other kids who had actual objects for their comfort objects, however one time my daughter cried herself to sleep in front of the washing machine because I had the nerve to wash her blankie.)
I like my new haircut. It makes me look less frumpy.

Follow up from my last post. No we did not go to the early morning day after Thanksgiving sale. I started to set my alarm, and then decided that I needed my sleep more than I needed anything at the store. I woke up at 8:30 and my three older kids were up. Aaron(7) had actually set his alarm, and had been up since 4:00.
This week, they have still not been able to get out of bed for school any earlier than 8:00 a.m. What's wrong with these people?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

No whining, Pleeeaaaaaase!

O.K. this is my first post. I have been lurking in other blogs for a while now, all the time thinking, "Wow, I have a lot that I could blog about", and now faced with the blank screen, I don't know where to start.
We have 4 children, ages 12, 9, 7 and 2. We are currently dealing with issues from potty training to puberty.
I named my blog "Thou shalt not whine because I have a large plaque hanging in my kitchen with that very saying on it. I have a friend with a similar sign, she told me "It works really well, when someone starts to whine, I just point to the sign, and they stop" I thought that sounded like a great idea, so I got the sign. Guess what, it doesn't work. The whining just gets worse.
I hate whining. So much so, that I have taught my 2 year old that when he wants something, not only does he need to say please, he also needs to say it in a low voice. It's so funny to hear this little kid say in a really low voice "More cookie please".
With today being Thanksgiving, tomorrow is the biggest shopping day of the year. I jokingly asked my three oldest kids if they wanted to get up at 4:00 a.m. to go shopping in the morning. To my surprise they all said yes. DH told them that they would need to clean their rooms if they wanted any chance of going shopping with me in the morning. They cleaned their rooms.
Am I now obligated to get to WalMart at 5:00 a.m. with the rest of the immediate world? Do I really need to give up one of my precious and few sleep in days? I can only hope that the kids change their minds when the alarm goes off. I mean they can't seem to drag themselves out of bed at 7:30 to go to school every day, certainly they don't really want to get up that early to get trampled under the feet of hundreds of half crazed bargain hunters.
Come to think of it, my oldest son has a brown belt in Karate. Maybe he could go ahead of me and punch his way through the crowd.
Then there's Wal Mart. I used to enjoy a good trip to Wal mart, especially when they built the SUPER Wal Mart. I could get everything I needed at one place. To me that meant I only needed to wrestle the current toddler into the car seat one time.
Lately I have noticed that when I have been there about 20 minutes, I start feeling weird. Is it the flourescent lights, subliminal messages in the muzak, or a combination of both. I just have to get out of there! Then of course, I am faced with the lengthy check out line. No matter which line I get into, there is some reason why it comes to a dead stop. Then if I have any children with me, I get to deal with them standing right next to all of the candy and trinkets so conveniently placed at the check out line at children's eye level.
"No we don't need any nail clippers."
"No I am not buying you a candy bar"
"No gum either, you know you can't chew it, you have crowns"
"No I am not buying you a candy bar"
'No chips either"
"No I am not buying you a candy bar"
'No, we already have batteries"
"No I am not buying you a candy bar"
"No, you have a perfectly good toothbrush at home, you should try using it sometime"
"No I am not buying you a candy bar"
I don't know why they always ask me for that stuff, I never buy it. It's almost like it's a challenge for them.
This year I am refusing to go to the mall to shop. We may make one small trip for my little one to see Santa, but that will be the extent of it.
Me & DH went to the mall a while ago. We were just wandering around, killing time waiting for the line to die down at a nearby restaurant. We were looking at calendars at one of those booths that they set up in the middle of the mall. The girl working the booth came over and asked if she could help us.
ME: "No thanks, just looking."
HER: "Wow, when is your baby due?"
ME: "What?"
HER: "When is your baby due?"
ME: (sarcastically)"Um, two years ago."
HER: "Huh?"
HER: "Oh,......well, I just way your"
(I was wearing a big winter coat, but in no way did I look pregnant!)
As we walked away from "Rude girl" I got thinking, what if whenever those annoying salespeople come up to bother me, before they get a chance to say anything to me, I can just get in their face and yell "I'M NOT PREGNANT!" They will think I am crazy and hopefully leave me alone.
Just think of the possibilities, I think it might even work on door to door salespeople and on telemarketers.
O.K. before I forget it, I need to tell one potty training story.
First of all, I need to explain that my toddler LOVES my hair. It is his comfort object. He twists in through his fingers, and rubs it on his face. This always makes him feel "Aw bettah"
A few days ago, out of the blue, he says "Sit on potty!" Wow, you can't let that pass by. I got out his potty chair, took off his diaper and sat him on the potty chair. I left the room for a few minutes, and heard him say "pee pee in potty" so I go and look, and there's nothing inside, however, his hand and the whole side of his leg is wet. I congratulated him thinking that he aimed things wrong, put a diaper on him, and told him to wash his hands. A few minutes later, I was holding him and he was running his fingers through my hair. He says "Put hand in potty" What? "Put hand in potty", So I ask "DId you put your hand in your potty or Mom's potty?" He replies "Put hand in mom's potty" EEWWWWWW.
O.K. I lied, one more potty training story.
We were at the store last week, and I took him over to look at the "big boy underwear" and what do you know, they had his most favorite LIGHTNING MCQUEEN underwear. He picked up hugged it, stared at it , hugged it again, stared at it........... This is a great moment, I say, "Honey, if you want the big boy Lightning McQueen underwear, you will need to go pee pee in the potty" He looks thoughtfully at the underwear, I ask "What do you think, should we buy them or put them back?" He looks at them again for a moment longer, then hands them to me and says "Put them back".
I guess he isn't ready. That's O.K. I know from experience that if you wait a bit longer to make sure they are ready, they have fewer accidents.
Wow, for not having anything to say, I sure filled up a page. You should see me when I know what I want to say:)
Fortunately my kids provide endless material for me to write about, like when my oldest son sneezes, he sounds just like he is coughing up a hairball. Apparently all you need to do is open your mouth really wide when you sneeze.
Endless material.
If you have been brave enough to endure to the end of this post, please leave a comment. I feel so alone in Cyberspace.