Thursday, January 29, 2009

The solution to all your parenting problems...Talk like Yoda.

In addition to Jack's teacher being pregnant, his Aunt Lori is also expecting a baby this summer. Megan is well aware, and excited about, the impending new family arrival (scheduled for delivery this summer) but Jack isn't quite aware of it, yet. I was kind of taking the route where I would wait until he started commenting on how fat Aunt Lori was getting and then I would explain that it was...well, because she was growing a human being inside her tummy. This is where Jay and I differ in our parenting techniques. I willingly address and acknowledge subjects like body parts, puberty and having babies. I figure if the kids ask, you should answer their questions. Jay on the other hand...well, let me put it like this- I think if it was socially acceptable to do so, Jay would opt for explaining a baby's arrival using phrases like "The stork dropped it off" and/or "A UFO with aliens deliver it from outer space".

I've been on a business trip this week for work and due to some scheduling complications, Aunt Lori graciously agreed to come by and baby-sit. Now, Lori reads my blog and she had a couple questions after reading this post Here is the email exchange:

Lori: Billy is probably coming with me tomorrow. I think we are coming out as soon as we both get home and changed. We are both excited to see the kids. Does Jack know we are having a baby? I am nervous for him to ask questions based on Jen's blog!!!!!!

Jay: I don’t think Jack really knows. I don’t know why you and Jen feel like you have to answer his questions. If he asks a question you are uncomfortable with, just do what I do… Talk like Yoda and say something like, “Many questions you ask young Jedi. Tired I am of talking. Prepare to battle!!!!” He’ll forget all about it.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Keep your raisins away from Jack

Jack has a new obsession with babies. His teacher at pre-school recently announced she is having a baby and the topic of babies is a common one at pre-school, and at home. The fixation on babies has taken shape around our household in a number of ways.

The other day, Jack was sitting at the counter eating his lunch which included raisins. He picked up one of the raisins and showed it to me. "Mommy, Is this how small babies are to start?" I turned around briefly to see what he was showing me. "Yup," I responded and went back to balancing the checkbook. A few moments later, he said, "Look Mom, I just ate your baby!" I thought for a minute about mentioning that humans don't usually eat their babies, but then I thought, what would be the point of that discussion so I just left it alone.

A couple days later, we were waiting at the bus stop for Megan's bus to come. Jack had quite an insight. As the bus pulled up and we watched Megan get on, Jack said, "Mommy, God made us all look different so when like, kids are on a school bus, the parents won't pick up the wrong kid." I thought about that for a moment. And you know, he does have an interesting point there so I told him, "You know Jack, you are right. I suppose that is one reason why." Jack just continued to nod and added, "Uh huh, because if we all looked the same, everyone would be exactly the same."

And then a few days later, after the kids were done getting dressed for school, Jack was laying on my bed moaning. Megan and I walked by and looked at him curiously to see what the deal was. I was sure he was going to tell me he had a stomach ache but when Megan asked him what was wrong, he grabbed his stomach and said, "I think I'm having a baby. I can feel something moving." Megan shook her head at him and said, "Jack, boys don't have babies." He looked a bit disappointed at that fact and then told us, "Well, maybe it's a tapeworm."

The following day, Jack was back at it. I was checking him in for pre-school and he just couldn't stop talking about babies and how babies grow inside you. A couple other parents walked by and heard our conversation and snickered in that thank-goodness-it-is-you-having-that-conversation-and-not-me kind of way. "You know," he said, "the babies just grow inside you and then when they are ready to come out, you go to the hospital and then you just buy the kid at the hospital. That's how it works."

I just kind of nodded in agreement and said, "Well, that's sort of how it works." To be honest, I'm not so much worried about the discussions about how the babies get *out*... but more about how the babies get *in*. But I can tell it's heading that direction and it's just a matter of time before I have to have "the talk". Ugh.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I gave in and let her get holes in her ears

There are milestones in a girl's life- First dates, first days of school, the first time she is allowed to have a sleep-over, or wear make-up, or a bra. Today Megan had one of her firsts. Megan got her ears pierced.

I thought this milestone would come a few years from now. My rule was that she had to be in 4th grade. I was in 4th grade when I got my ears pierced so it seemed like a good guideline. But, like most other things now-a-days, kids are doing things sooner. And so it began... "So-and-so has their ears pierced" and "Guess who got their ears pierced?" I was taking those arguments in stride and handling them one at a time. It was manageable. Until...the 5-day no school extravaganza courtesy of Mother Nature and her "gift" of sub-zero temperatures. Stupid winter- but whatever. So five days locked in a house with Megan pleading her case for earrings day after day after day after day. I admit it. I was weak. I (gulp) caved and told her that she could get her ears pierced under the following conditions:

1) I am allowed to take a before picture.
2) I am allowed to take an after picture.
3) No matter how bad the first ear hurts while being pierced, she was going to get the second ear done- no matter what.
4) If she does not follow the rules with taking care of the earrings, we would take them out and let the holes close.

She agreed to it all. So today I took her to the mall to get her ears pierced but before we left the house, I attempted to cash in on my request for the before picture.

Attempt #1- FAIL

Attempt #2- FAIL

Once we got to the mall, I had her cornered. Megan picked her earrings although she said she wasn't "happy with the selection they had available" and sat down in the chair. This was my opportunity for the before picture and she was much more agreeable.

And then she started to get a bit nervous.

But not as nervous as I was. My heart was beating fast. I'm not sure why I was so nervous but then Megan wanted me to hold her hand so I calmed down quickly with her hand in mine. She was a trooper. She didn't even flinch and it was over just as fast as it started- milestone complete.

Just like that my baby had earrings...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Pledge

I DVR Oprah. It's one of my guilty pleasures. On Monday's Oprah, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher were on the show talking about their Presidential Pledge effort. I went online and watched the video and I must say, I did feel inspired to make a pledge to do something myself.

MySpace Celebrity and Katalyst present The Presidential Pledge

So, in the spirit of the Presidential Pledge here are my pledges:

1) I pledge to recycle more and make greener choices.
2) I pledge to stop using plastic at the grocery store.
3) I pledge to donate blood on a consistent basis.
4) I pledge to donate my time to a cause I'm passionate about (American Cancer Society).

Monday, January 19, 2009

The curious case of Jack W.

Early this morning I heard the familiar creak of Jack's bedroom door opening. Then...pitter patter of little feet coming down the hallway and stopping at my bedroom door. "Anyone home???" called Jack into my dark bedroom.

"Me." I responded with as much enthusiasm as I could muster for 5:55 AM.

"Momma, can I sleep with you?"

"Sure Jack, climb on in." I said without moving.

Jack took a moment to climb into my bed with all his stuff (blanket and stuffed animals) and laid down next to me. I felt his cold little feet on my leg and we stayed that way silently for a few moments. Then the conversation began...

Jack: Momma?
Me: Yes.
Jack: Can you turn around so I can see your face?
Jack: Momma- turn around so we can face each udder.
Me (rolling over): Okay.
Jack (hugging me): I love you Mommy.
Me: I love you too much.
Jack: You love me so much.
Me: Yes I do.
Jack: I'll always be your baby.
Me: Uh huh.
Jack: Even when I'm all grown up I'll still be your baby, right?
Me: Yes. You will always be my baby.
Jack: Momma, what if you were born big and then got smaller and smaller?
Me: You mean if you were born like an old man and grew into a baby?
Jack: Uh huh. And then if you were a baby and you stayed like that forever and ever.
Me: That would be weird.
Jack: Could that happen?
Me: No that's not the way it works.
Jack: Momma, can we go downstairs now?
Me: Sure.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I learned it from watching you

A snow day, or school cancellation for sub-zero temperatures, in our house equals a day a day of slothery. I'm not even sure if slothery is a word, or slothiness for that matter, but suffice to say it means we are super lazy.

Yesterday, Megan came downstairs fully dressed for school and upon hearing there was no school, she immediately sighed and asked, "Oh man... Can you get me some jammy pants to put on?" Of course, I obliged and the slothiness began.

Today, Jack spent most of the day in his underpants and pajama top until he decided mid-afternoon to change into his bathing suit.

Yes, it is -14 degrees and my son is wearing a bathing suit! Prior to the bathing suit change, Jack sat at the kitchen counter eating his lunch in his pajama top and underpants. I was in the other room working on my laptop and overheard Jay say to Jack, "Hey what are you doing over there? You need some help with something?"

I turned around to find Jack standing on his chair, with his hand down the back of his underpants. "No, I'm just scratching my butt." Jack replied with his hand still firmly wedged into his underpants.

"I like to do it. It feels good." he continued, "Mommy said she does it, too."

HOLD.THE.PHONE! Whaaa? What is he talking about? I thought to myself and looked at Jay with my best I-have-no-idea-what-he-is-talking-about look.

"What do you mean I do it, too?" I asked Jack.

Jack finally took his hand out of his pants, walked toward me and said, "Well, you told me once. You did. You told me you do it too." ***

My sweet, sweet boy is turning on me!

***Now, let me just say that I DO NOT recall a conversation with my son where we discussed butt scratching, or how relaxing butt scratching can be from time to time.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Megan's favorite winter things

This is from Megan's school project. They made the artwork on the computer and Megan is the voice over talking about her favorite winter things...enjoy.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

School is school.

Me: Megan, how was school?
Megan: School.
Me: What do you mean school? I asked you how was school.
Megan: No, you said "What is school?" and I said, "school".
Me: No, I said, "How was school?".
Megan: Um, yeah. I'm gonna go with you saying "What is school" and so I'm just gonna say, "School".
Me: So, you aren't going to tell me how school was today?
Megan: Yeah, no. I'm just going to say school and go with that.

Gah! I can only imagine what my conversations with her will be like when she's 16. I'm going to go start drinking now. Goodnight.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A mother's work is never done

I heard Jack grunting from the bathroom. Then came his sighs and then a small voice squeaked, "oooouuuch!".

I peeked my head around to corner to see what was going on and found him with his pants still around his ankles.

Me: You alright in there?
Jack: Yeah, (sniff) I was just going potty.
Me (peeking my head in the toilet): Whoa! That is a big poop, Jack.
Jack: Yeah, it was pretty hard to push it out.
Me: Really?
Jack: It was hard but I just used my super-pusher to push it out.
Me: Oh, okay.
Jack (turning around and bending over): Now can you wipe my bottom?
Me: Uh...sure.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Words of wisdom for my daughter (and these words also apply to my pregnant sister-in-law)

***Note: Parts of this post might be considered an "over-share". Please proceed with caution.

Dearest Megan (and you too Lori),

Although I would never claim that I've ever had a bladder of steel (those who knew me way-back-when can attest to the fact that making me laugh too hard had dire consequences), childbirth-more specifically vaginal child birth- has left me with a livable, but irritating "issue". Now, I stress the vaginal child birth because I've tried to commiserate with those "C-section ladies" and they look at me like they don't know what I'm talking about...bitches (I kid! Sort of).

Since I came down with a raging case of the Flu, I've had plenty of time on my hands to ponder a few things. As my illness evolved over the days from fever to chills, sweats to nausea, headache to migrane headache, and finally to settle in the chest with a hacking cough, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to give you some advice that may save you in the future. Listen to me carefully (you too Lori). What I am about to tell you will save you thousands of loads of laundry, not to mention the time saved on unnecessary clothing changes.

Megan, I say this without the least bit of resentment or judgement but... you and your brother ruined my bladder. Since those 9 months where you sat/swam around on my bladder, kicking at it, poking at it, I've never been the same. Running, jumping jacks, sneezing, coughing and the unintentional scare can all cause an unintended release from the bladder, an incontinence, if-you-will. But I'm here to give you hope. This tragedy was avoidable; I didn't follow directions when I was warned that pregnancy can weaken your bladder control. I laughed in the face of those who tried to tell me that the path to true enlightenment and bladder freedom was through a teeny, tiny exercise called a Kegel. Oh noooooooo. I didn't listen to them and for that, I am forever regretful.

The way I see it, you have 3 choices in your future to save your bladder control should you choose to birth a child:

1) Do the Kegels as advised.
2) Formally request a C-Section.
3) Invest heavily in Depends.

Good luck.
Hugs and kisses,

Monday, January 5, 2009

I think I might need to call and complain about the meal plan at daycare.

Tonight when I was finally able to rouse myself from my bed (I've been ringing in the New Year with a major bout of the flu), I attempted to make small talk with Jack and ask him about his day.

Me: So Jack, what did you have for lunch at school today?
Jack: Uh, well, we had brain soup, eyeball noodles, and whale guts.
Me: Really? That sounds pretty tasty.

***And that is about all I can muster for now.