1.22.2011

Dirty Little Secrets

I have a deep, dark secret that I have not shared with pretty much anyone.  I can’t believe I’m admitting to this, but here goes—I have twelve children and I’m only 29 years old.  I know, TWELVE.  Not just the two I have claimed here on my blog. Crazy, right?

What, you don’t believe me?  Well, here’s the proof.

Laundry

Laundry in photo may appear smaller than in real life. 

See! That has to be the laundry of AT LEAST twelve kids because it would be absolutely ridiculous (and completely un-domestic) to have that much laundry lying around with only two children under the roof.

Oh, alright.  I only have two kids and I guess the real deep, dark secret is that I haven’t done laundry in over a month (Or two.  Let’s just say, I’m rounding down. Maybe by a lot). You see, laundry is the enemy.  I’m sure we all have that chore that we detest and slide to the end of the list, right? Mine is definitely laundry.  (I would say dishes falls into the same category, but since I’ve given that task to my husband with threat of never cooking again if he gives me lip about it, I no longer have dishes on my to-do list.)

Laundry is the least rewarding for me.  A dirty bathroom can be cleaned in less than an hour leaving me with a happy giddy feeling every time I walk past.  A nice swept floor brings joy every time I walk across it and my socks don’t get stuck to goldfish and blobs of play dough. But laundry?  It takes FOREVER to wash AND dry one single load.  And then I still have to fold, hang, iron, press, mend, darn and put away (or something like that).  And that’s only one load.  And by the time I get all the loads finished, there is more dirty laundry finding it’s way into the house. Not rewarding.  Not motivating.

So I put it off until the situation becomes severe.  Until the laundry begins climbing the walls (as can be seen in the previous photo) in a desperate attempt to find a loving home where wash and dry aren’t curse words. Until I put my son in a pair of pink leggings with butterflies and tell people he’s my long lost niece Brutus-ella, because it is the last pair of pants in the house. Until I start telling everyone my daughter dresses herself because I can’t find a shirt and skirt that even remotely look like they go together.

So what’s your dirty little secret?  Toys stashed under the couch rather than put away? Giving your kids only finger foods because there aren’t any clean spoons and you refuse to do the dishes? An inch layer of dirt on the bookshelves you just don’t want to dust?*

*These are all hypotheticals to get your mind going, certainly not other confessions I’m making.

9.20.2010

Think Positive

I always find myself falling into the trap of only seeing the negative in life. It’s hard not to when your days are spent refereeing sibling fights, cleaning yogurt off the curtains, and washing that never ending pile of stinky, dirty kid’s clothes.

So, today, I’m making a change. I’m going to look for the positive, in everything. And I do mean EVERYTHING.

Example 1: My children help me stick to my monthly budget.

There is this completely awesome antique/collectibles store in town with windows filled with gorgeous things. Every time I drive my daughter to preschool, I almost pull in and blow my children’s college savings on “things.” But then they help me do the math.

(1) antiques store filled to the brim with breakables, plus (1) touchy preschooler, plus (1) toddler with a throwing habit, minus the amount it takes to buy what you break, equals--a really bad idea. And so, each day passes and I am blessed with a bit of pocket change to put into savings! See, POSITIVE.

Example 2: My children give me free personal training.

They’ve set up a system in which I rotate between lifting a 25 pound weight (I shall call it Brutus) and a 35 pound weight (I shall call it Boo). And when they think I’m pumped for a massive workout, I get to lift 60 pounds at once! The best part is that my “weights” increase in size occasionally, so it’s like an always progressive strength training exercise. Just think, by the time I’m carrying around 200 pounds of teenager-sized weights (not to mention however many more “weights” I add to the family), I will have arms of steel.

Example 3: My children have taught me swift reflexes and the moves of a ninja.

Ninja Exit

Just imagine, you’re sitting at dinner having a polite conversation with your husband about gas prices when out of the corner of your eye you see a shadowy shape darting side to side. Ah, yes. You’re old Sensei has returned to catch you unaware and see if you’re training has paid off.

In one swift move, you snatch 18 lethal peas out of the air before they smoosh into your hair. In the next instant you twist into a crouch and catch 3 falling glass bowls on the tip of your foot before they shatter against the tile (without dropping a single pea). Now your old master thinks he has you trapped, and he goes for the kill. The sippy sayonara! But you’ve seen this before, you’re to well trained to fall for such a mess.To onlookers it appears as if your balancing in midair when your left leg snaps out and slams that sippy into the sink (from 20 feet away, I might add).

Before your husband has even looked up from his spaghetti and meatballs to comment that he remembers gas below 2 dollars, you have single handedly shown your 2 year old Sensei who the master is now.

Just think, I might come out of this whole motherhood thing a richer, stronger, and quicker grandmother than I ever imagined I could be.

(That is If they don’t kill me before I ever get to enjoy that stage.)

7.09.2010

And the Award Goes To . . .

Since, I’m obviously slacking a bit.  Let’s not waste words!

Our winner of the giftcard to CSNStores is DEBBIE! (Who has a really funny blog!)

Congrats!

6.18.2010

Giveaway . . . Again!

So, I know this is a parenting blog, and if you’re tired of the opportunity to win awesome things, just let me know and we’ll never do a giveaway again (Sure, I’ll wonder about your sanity, but I’ll do as you say.)

CSN Stores has asked me to do another giveaway! You remember them, right? The place with 200+ stores where you can buy anything from a bathroom vanity, to baby accessories, to SHOES! (Did I mention shoes, shoes, and shoes? Oh, sorry.  Just bookmarking those for later.)

Last time we gave away an eco-friendly toy, and this time it gets better.  You get to pick.  Yep!  Up for grabs is a $40 gift certificate that can be used for anything, ANYTHING in their 200 stores.

Uh, good luck narrowing down your options.  I’m rather relieved that I’m not eligible.  I’d never be able to pick what to spend it on!

To be entered just leave a comment on this post.  For more entries, follow me over there on the right side of the page, tweet, facebook or blog about my giveaway (then let me know you did) and I’ll give you another entry for each thing you’ve done. 10,000 entries if you mention my blog when your on the Oprah show.

Contest ends June 25 at 11:59 PM MST.

And since this is a parenting blog.  Here are some children that need some parenting.  Any takers?

Toga Party

5.20.2010

The “D” Word

You know the one!  The one that sends hands racing to cover sensitive ears and leaves mouths hanging open in shock that a person could use foul language in such a cavalier manner.  It seems that I’m hearing it everywhere nowadays.  Sometimes I fear leaving the house because someone, somewhere—a parent at the playground, the cashier at the grocery store, my pediatrician—will say it as if it’s an appropriate thing to do in polite company.

WAIT! What? You thought I meant “that” swear word?  No, no no.  I’m talking far more sinister than some silly four-letter word used when you slam your toe with a sledgehammer.

I’m talking about the nine-letter “D” word that sends shivers down the spines of toddler mothers everywhere!

DIVERSION.

Oh, it seems innocent enough.  Actually to many it might sound exciting.  A diversion from the boring work day. A diversion from the humdrum household chores. But mention it to the mother of a tiny tike and your bound to see head shaking and hand wringing and moaning.

It seems simple enough.  When a child is too young for reward and punishment like his older sister (No DS to take away, no lollipops to bribe reward with) you simply attempt to divert his attention to something else.  Seems so easy and ingenious!

But here in reality, its hardly a walk in the park.  Case in point: My son decided grandma’s end table picture frame was too irresistible to leave alone.  I moved them and proceeded to stack blocks like a crazy women as his bottom lip quivered.  Seeing the 4 foot high tower swept him into my diversion and the tantrum was prevented. Right?Crying Eyes

Sure.  Until he started using the blocks as projectiles to throw at his sister’s head.  And let me tell you, my boy has got a good arm! So I dove into Diversion 2.1, which involved oohing and aahing as I scribbled in a coloring book.  He was once again easily hooked and spent exactly 2.9 seconds coloring in the book before attempting to Van Gogh the fireplace, the wall, and once again his poor sister.  I wasn’t about to lose to an opponent who weighs less than my left foot, so I searched deep into the cobwebs of my mind for the perfect solution.

“Where are your shoes?”  I said (or more accurately shrieked like an injured cat.) “Shoes, Brutus! Lets find them!”  I was bordering on lunacy, but I had to divert his attention.  It’s what EVERYONE says to do.

Luckily, Brutus is a child after my own heart and his shoe-love reaches far and wide. Unluckily, his shoes were easy to locate and we had to go outside and play.  He played and I diverted.  Stay away from that pile of dog droppings, don’t eat the rosebushes, stop clawing at your sister’s eyes.

I’d finally had enough diversion for a day.  There was only one solution. I carried him inside, plopped him on the floor, handed him the irresistible picture frame, told Grandma I’d buy her a new one, then fainted into the couch from exhaustion.

I should have stuck with the original plan.  Pretend you don’t see, make amends later, and enjoy the hour (that you could have wasted chasing your child away from anything in his grasp) by watching TV and eating a giant bag of chocolate covered pretzels.

You know, sometimes expert advice and reality just don’t mesh.

4.29.2010

5 Things I’ve Learned From Motherhood

And no, I’m not talking about surefire ways to end a newborn’s cries in 2 minutes or less (though that does come in handy), or five ways to manipulate your toddler to pee on the toilet (Or even that one’s heart can grow an infinite amount of love for wrinkly, crying infants and tantrumming toddlers.)

I’m talking about answers to questions you never fathomed you’d be asking.

Here are my top 5 in order from kinda cool to “Wow, that’s awesome!

1. Is brushing one’s teeth with Oxi-Clean water a good idea? Unsurprisingly, no.  It’s a bad idea! (Thanks Boo for my first ever Poison Control call . . . FYI : 1-800-222-1222, never know when you might need it.)

BrushingBrushing 2 

2. What’s that up our toddler’s nose? Answer: Small baby hair clip.  Apparently not just a choking hazard.

3. Can you eat an entire pan of brownies and not gain five pounds? No.  But you’re child can.

4. Will eating a silica gel packet poison my poor child?  Nope, it’s apparently just a choking hazard.  Who would of though?

5. My child’s screaming and holding their arm, what could be wrong? Apparently un-dislocating a dislocated elbow is not all that difficult, and certainly not worth the price of a doctors visit EVERYTIME it happens, even if the creepy feeling “pop” sends my stomach reeling. This skill makes me feel way cool and gets applause from those around.  I highly recommend it.

What have you learned lately?

4.02.2010

The Suspense is Killing Me—Winner!

Wait, what do you mean where have I been?  Oh, yeah.  I sort of disappeared and left you all in suspense.  I hope you were able to eat and sleep as you waited in anticipation for this moment.

See, we’ve been dancing the Viral Waltz and as in any good dance, we’ve been changing partners over and over and never quite getting to the end of the song.  I was afraid to get to close to the computer for fear that I might send our illness over the Internet and infect your computers . . . that’s what they mean about computer virus, right?

Alright.  Nevermind.

Hey! We have a winner. After using a high tech process of typing everyone’s name onto strips of paper and dumping them in a bucket, our Master Of Ceremonies took over.

Picking

Paper When he refused to spill the beans as to who had won, his Vanna took over.  And after a record breaking 6.4 second down and out brawl, we finally found our winner!

Got ItWithout further ado, because I’m not one to be long winded . . .

WinnerOur winner is geri! Contact me at freestylemotherhood@gmail.com and we’ll get you your prize.

Thanks everyone for entering.  After being approached about this giveaway, I had nightmares about no one entering.  But, I’d say it was a success. We’ll have to do this again!

3.09.2010

First GIVEAWAY!

Nope, it’s not some strange milestone I’ve created to mark an important moment in my child’s life. No, this is about you and your kids and adorable KIDS BEDDING. This is my first Giveaway! Which thanks to CSNStores you have the chance to win!

They are graciously offering one reader (and I probably only have one . . .) a chance to win this cool eco-friendly play fruit and veggie set.

Fruit And VeggiesThey had me at eco-friendly.

My daughter has a similar one and she loves slicing and dicing with her own safe knife. I figured it was a better idea than letting her loose in my kitchen.

All you’ve got to do to win, is leave a comment here telling me what your favorite bedding item is from the above site! So you could pick this out of the world quilt:

Astronaut Bedding Or this floral beauty:

Geisha Floral

Or, I could step down as President of this blog and enter myself into the contest. Blog for sale! Any takers?

It was worth a try. See, I just washed and dried my daughter’s dry-clean only bedspread, so new bedding is right up my alley.

So, go on, leave me a comment telling what you crave, and you’re entered! Become a follower over there on the right hand side (or tell me you already are a follower) and you’ll be entered again. Twitter it, and entered again. Blog it, and entered again. Facebook it and entered again. Just let me know in the comments the links where you posted it. Aren’t I a sweetheart?

The winner will be selected randomly by a cute 16 month old who can’t read (just don’t tell him!) and therefore can’t play favorites.Reading 2Reading

Contest ends 11:59 PM March 22 MST, so get clicking. Good luck and happy bedding hunting.

3.02.2010

It’s Not Them, It’s Me

I’m not sure the correct term I should use for this post.  “Difficult” sounds rude, “High-Needs” sounds prissy.  “Grumpy, Clingy, screaming, Attention-mongers” doesn’t fit on a business card.

Grumpy

I’m sure if you’ve hung around these parts much, you’ve deduced that I feel my kids fit in the aforementioned categories.  I love them to pieces, but they are not the easy-going tots that pregnant women hope for. 

At least, I think they aren’t.  But then again, there’s always the possibility that it’s me, and not them.

What if my life is a self-fulfilling prophecy?  What if I, in my cranky sarcastic manner, have pushed my children into being clingy, whiny, wretched sleepers? That is currently what is keeping me up at night.

And I’m not sure how to figure out the true roots of this situation.  I guess I’ll just have to wait until Kid 3 makes an appearance in the family (which may take 10 years in order for me to retain a small portion of sanity).  If Numero 3, falls into the descriptions above then I think that will be my proof . . . and a sign that I need to close the fertility gates and try to salvage what I’ve done to the ones I’ve got.

2.26.2010

They Grow Up So Fast

It seems like my kids just won’t stop growing up.  Brutus is walking finally. Boo is [sort-of, almost, will it ever really happen?] potty trained.  He is finessing his fine motor skills by throwing applesauce at the chandelier.  She has perfected the indignant eye-roll of a fifteen year old.

It seems like only yesterday, she was a pony-tailed 3 year old playing with dolls and now . . .

Four Eyes

Now she appears to be a scholarly college student heading off to take a final.

She looks so grown-up in her new glasses (she’s apparently the unlucky recipient of her dad’s bad vision genes.)  Luckily, not many people can pull off bright pink frames with rhinestones, but she looks adorable!

Hopefully no one calls her four-eyes.

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