Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ring out the grief that saps the mind, For those that here we see no more

I could do without the last line, but I like Alfred Tennyson's take on the new year.

This time last year, I wanted desperately to cling to 2007. That was the last year my cousin lived to see. I felt as though when we left 2007, we were leaving him behind. We were moving away from everything he ever knew. It just felt wrong.

This year, I feel differently and it's a welcome change. I'm full of hope for the coming year. It will bring a baby and a move closer to family. There are so many wonderful changes in store for us and for our country. Dh has no impending deployments in our future. I'm far more optimistic this year. This bubbly happy feeling is nice. I could get used to this.

Anyone care to join me in a rousing round of Happy Happy Joy Joy? Happy New Year, everyone. Hope yours is a great 2009.

Where has this blog been all my life?

Dollar Store Crafts.

Oh, I'm in heaven. I could live at that blog.

This tea light menorah is adorable. The clothespins are so sweet. The kid-friendly menorah is very cute too. You could alter it a bit to make a kid-friendly birthday cake. I've often wondered what to do with the collection of random CDs. This is a cute idea. Oh, that ninja necklace is adorable. I LOVE these bulletin board squares and this is a cute project with them. Don't know how useful it is, but the cassette tape coin purse is right up my alley. A Waldorf-style doll from the Dollar Tree? Bestill my heart!

Okay, I must stop posting. I won't, however, stop searching through those projects. This site rocks!

ETA: I know, I know, I know. I said I was done, but I have now waded through the entire website and I have one more craft I really want to share. This chipmunk from a glove is SO cute.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

This will remind me to be a better mother.

Wow. Ouch. This is painful.

Favorite Posts of 2008- Better Be Nice To Your Children

I found that over at Maman et Bebe (Go have a look around. It's a fascinating read) and wow...just wow.

Boredom: Ur Doing Eet 2 Muzik

Do you want proof that I am currently bored? Well, I can provide that in musical form. I have just rewritten an Xmas favorite for one of the fuzzy members of the family. It's not at all fabulous. It's not even one of my better rewrites. Still, it exists and it gives me something with which to fill up the blog. So, here ya go.

(to the tune of Here Comes Santa Claus)
Here Comes Funnel Face

Here comes Funnel Face.
Here comes Funnel Face.
Right down Chubby Cat Lane.
She doesn't care if you're rich or poor
'Cause you'll feed her just the same.
Funnel Face knows opposable thumbs are standard on all G-d's human children
And that makes everything right.
So grab the cat dish and fill it high
'Cause Funnel Face wants to eat tonight.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Killing time.

For those of us who don't celebrate, Xmas is boring. Since pretty much everything shuts up shop on December 25, we're forced to find things to do to entertain ourselves

This is one of those things.

96 words

Typing Test

"Happy Holidays" is not an insult.

Great post over here at ZenMom. I have yet to hear a single, "Happy Holidays." It's always, "Merry Christmas" in my part of the world. I haven't been up to responding with, "Happy Holidays," because I know it will set someone off.

My kids get it, why can't adults? Last year, when some random person wished us, "Merry Christmas," I just smiled and nodded and said, "Same to you." The big kids then hissed at me, "But we don't celebrate Christmas. Why did he assume we did? He shouldn't say that if he doesn't know. We don't go around saying, 'Happy Chanukah,' to people if we don't know if they're Jewish." I had no answer for them because they were absolutely right.

Saying, "Happy Holidays," is NOT an attack on any one's holiday. It's an attempt to show respect for all people and all holidays.

And now I'm ranting. Forgive me. I don't want to raise my blood pressure. I just want to share the link.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

And I only have 3

Aside from the Catholic comment and the twin one (and mine ARE actually twins), we've heard pretty much all of these.

And I only have 3. I can only imagine what I'll hear when baby #4 makes an appearance.

Not my holiday and not quite my family size, but I like it and had to share.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Gift-giving in its most adorable form

Congratulate me. I'm going to be a grandmother. Pitty me, my grandchild is being carried by my 3-year-old son and will be named Elephant Stripey Hotdog.

Oh the gift-giving joy!

Today, we continued in our tradition and picked gifts at the Dollar Tree for dh and TheBoy. This year, TheBoy made his debut with our gift-giving group and tagged along. As usual, the gifts (and the reasoning behind them) were adorable.

Girl1 got her father an air freshener. Because things should always smell nice. It's shaped like a heart because she loves him and that way, when he sees it, he will remember she loves him.

Girl2 got him pens. That's perhaps, the most useful gift of all. He uses them all the time. Her thought was that when he uses them, he will think of her.

TheBoy got him one of those things that hooks on the end of the toothpaste and rolls up. That was my doing. Dh said just the other day that he wanted, so when I saw them, I opted to just pick the gift out for him. This is after a long list of items which TheBoy insisted would be perfect for Daddy. When I pointed out, "But Daddy doesn't need that or want that," TheBoy shot back with, "I do." So I let him pick the color of the toothpaste tchotchke. The options were blue, green or pink. TheBoy opted for pink. He said, "Daddy likes pink." I pointed out, "No he doesn't." To which TheBoy replied, "But I do."

The big kids also got a pack of planet wall stickers for their brother who repaid the favor by getting two packs of butterfly wall stickers for them.

Oh and when we hit the dollar aisle at Target yesterday, Girl1 found one remaining Hello Kitty multi-color pen. My kids LOVE those different color pens, but they go through them like crazy and they're not always available in the dollar sections. So Girl1 used her tooth fairy money (she lost tooth #8 last week) to buy it for her sister.

TheBoy got a Chanukah shirt for his stuffed Elephant. What did he opt to name this stuffed elephant? Why, of course the Chanukah Elephant is now named Pass Gas courtesy of the 3-year-old. Oy vey! TheBoy told Pass Gass, "Me is preg-ant. My baby kicking. Look." TheBoy then sucked his stomach in and puffed it out while he held his elephant's hand to his stomach. When I asked what the baby's name would be, TheBoy said, "Elephant Stripey Hotdog."

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Maykeeng Censs--Ur Doing It Rong.

The Winter Fun! Fun Kit comes with many things. Some of them are cute like the glitter stickers and the snow man you can decorate. One thing makes no sense at all. They have a coloring page. That page features only snowflakes.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Check me out. I'm the blog of the day.

How cool is this?

Blog of the Day


Forget his own, my son is too smart for OUR good.

Yesterday, we had places we needed to be on time. The kids were all dressed and ready to go. TheBoy WAS dressed, but decided he didn't like his shoes. Yet, when asked which pair he preferred, he said, "None." Well, a good rule is do not go barefoot into that good night. So, since he gave us no other option, we opted to keep him in those shoes.

As we're headed out the door, we find him sitting on his bed wearing only one shoe. We then take 10 minutes to search his entire room--all 4 of us. We all ask him in various (sometimes sneaky ways) where his other shoe is. We get no answer. We strip his bed. We search all his dresser drawers. We scour the closet. We even picked him up and moved him to make sure he wasn't sitting on it. Still, no shoe.

Now, we're late and we have no other options that he can wear. We're screwed. At that point, I reminded the child, "We're going out for dinner. If we can't find your shoe, we can't go and you won't eat." Where's your shoe? He then jumped down, reached UNDER his dresser and pulled out the missing shoe.


Kids (who are not mine) say...

A friend relayed this story and I had to share. He went to his daughters' classrooms yesterday to talk to the kids about Chanukah. Yes, when you're the lone Jew in any area, you tend to become the token Jew in the classroom. Luckily, this guy is great with kids--not the most observant Jew by any stretch of the imagination (his older daughter was the one who was baffled by kashering), but informed and wonderful with kids.

So he briefly explained the story of the Macabees and at the end, he asked his youngest daughter's first grade class if there were any questions.

One boy raised his hand and asked, "Did dinosaurs and cavemen live at the same time?"

The best question, though, was from the very first boy who raised his hand. He asked, "How expensive was your watch?"

After I cracked up, my friend then added, "Next time, I'm going to be a little more specific when I ask if anyone has any questions."

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Kids say...

Actual conversation I just had with my son.

TheBoy (in a sad voice): Daddy yelled at me. Don't wanna go to bed.
Me: Well, if you're a big kid, then you'll go to bed. It's bedtime and the big kids are all in bed. Are your sisters in bed?
TheBoy (mournfully): Yes.
Me: They're big kids. They're in bed. If you want to be treated like a big kid, you need to go to bed. It's your choice. You can go to bed or you can yell and scream.
TheBoy: Going to yell and scream.

Babies & Gratitude

Today, dh and I ran into the big kids' Sunday school teacher from pre-school. She hadn't seen them in years and they all stopped to chat. I marveled at how long it had been since she saw them last. Dh then asked if she had ever seen TheBoy. I realized she had because I remember sitting in their class seder with TheBoy in the sling when dh was deployed.

Pardon me while I sigh. I miss slinging babes. I'm so glad there's another one on the way. Yes, the fact that this one is not part of a matched set is particularly exciting. I love my girls, but I often insist babies are not meant to come in pairs. Part of me did secretly hope for one last set, but that would give us five children. Four is a nice even number with which I can deal. Five is kind of frightening to me. I have friends with 5 and 6 kids who love it and do amazingly well. I'm not one of them.

In my usual fashion, I'm off track. Forgive me. I'm just very thrilled with the prospect of a new little baby. We didn't know if we would ever be blessed with another child. We didn't know if it was physically possible. So I'm particularly thrilled with visions of another baby in the sling.

Native American names

I'm a little late to the party, but I just read this great post: What is your child's Native American name?

For years, I've sworn that Girl1 would be, "Walks Into Walls." She pays absolutely no attention to what's in front of her. My mom swears my oldest sister was the same way. Too caught up in something else to even notice the wall which is quickly approaching. At camp, about two years ago, I picked her up to find a large bump on her forehead. Her poor counselor was so apologetic and obviously felt awful. She explained how the child wasn't paying attention and walked into the door. As the counselor is explaining this, the child DOES IT AGAIN right in front of me. The counselor looked startled, pointed to the child and said, "Kind of like that."

Girl2 is my constantly vocal child. I get very little pity from others since I've always been exactly the same way. My mother used to say, "You said your first word and you haven't stopped since." Girl2's name would probably be something like, "Lacks Mute Button." Yes, I admit that I have pointed the remote control at her and tried, but it never works.

I'm undecided with TheBoy. Dh has no helpful suggestions. In my comment on that post, I suggested, "Smiles Gets Way," because all that child has to do is flash a smile and people around him bend over backwards to do his bidding. He is a very charming child, but also a bit ornery. That does not the best combination make. My other suggestion for his name would be, "Yes No Go Away." He is very much at that age where he can't decide what he wants. It's one thing until that happens and suddenly, it's the oposite. I greatly dislike Gerber (now a Nestle subsidiary and we boycott Nestle), but their advertising department was brilliant with a new ad for their Graduates. The commercial features a mom with a toddler asking, "Up, up." Then the mother picks him up and a second later, he demands, "Down," only to chant, "Up," upon being put down. TheBoy is now at an age where he can accurately articulate what he wants. Problem is, he doesn't always know what that is.

So, what about the rest of you? Anyone else have ideas for their kids/husbands/pets?

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Jewish Zodiac

This cracked me up and I must share. So, what sign are you on the Jewish Zodiac?

Special thanks to the National Jewish Outreach Program for bringing that to my attention (and making me smile).

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Confessions of a scared mommy

I hate to admit this, but I'm a bit worried about the impending birth. Last time around, I tried to convince myself that I could handle anything other than being cut open months too soon, but in reality, it never even crossed my mind that the baby would possibly be born in a hospital much less by a repeat c-section. When that happened, I was crushed.

This time, though, I have a better grasp of the situation. I have made as much peace as possible with the previous births. I still very much want a safe natural birth at home, but I now know that physical issues may make that impossible. I'm doing what I can and I'm making plans to see others who can help in ways that I can't.

Early on in the pregnancy, when I bought a birth pool, I had my reservations. I don't think I'm being pessimistic. I don't think I'm setting us up to fail. I'm just trying to go into this realistically. Before I bought the pool, I called my midwives to ask if the positioning in a pool would be okay for me (given my issues with my pelvis, there are certain preferred positions). They assured me it would. So now we have a birthing pool. When I walk past the box, I wonder.

The truth is that this is my last pregnancy. This is our last chance. Another c-section puts the baby and me in danger--particularly me since it will be my third. I desperately want to avoid that. I want to provide a safe birth for this baby. I want to believe that I will have a homebirth. I take great comfort in the stories of other mothers who have successfully VBACed in various situations. I stay on top of the research. I pray that my body will work as it should.

I stay positive. I am also realistic. I do what I can and pray it's enough. And we wait. I try to stay balanced and positive.

Until then, I truly appreciate any prayers or good thoughts anyone wants to send our way. I really do find a great deal of comfort knowing that others are sending positive vibes.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Fun with misspellings.

We arranged to have some items picked up today for a local charity. Those items included one futon, one microwave cart, one computer monitor, one vase, and one random tchotchke.

The receipt listed, among other things, a "Photon."

How in the world did we manage to donate one single photon? How am I supposed to deduct THAT when it comes time for taxes?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The true meaning of Chanukah:
aka no gifts for you.

Dh and I have never been able to understand these kids. Our two eldest tend to destroy things left and right. Whereas dh and I still have toys from our childhood that fared quite well, our children tend to destroy things within months or even days. It's very frustrating and occasionally, infuriating.

Now, we are NOT the types of parents who throw toys at our kids left and right. We don't believe in buying love. Hell, we don't even believe in replacing broken toys. If you broke it, you need to learn to live with that disappointment. I don't want 14 year-olds down the road, who, never having dealt with disappointment, turn to drugs and alcohol to dull that strange new sensation. I'm not going to create disapointment, but when it comes, we weather it. If that means you tore the foot off your brand new Language Littles and you never see it again, well then, so be it.

Months ago, dh and I bought a cute hanging sorting case for the big kids. It was on clearance and was far too cute. Storage is a premium in their room, so it was necessary. We weren't able to put it up at the time, so we folded it up and stashed it way back under their bed. When we pulled it out this past weekend, we found the kids had destroyed it. butterflies had torn wings. Antenae were not only torn off, but then shoved through the wings of other butterflies leaving huge holes. I'm all for investigating how things work, but this was destructive for the sake of being destructive.

Later, we found that the girls had also rummaged under their bed (where they're not supposed to be), found a lamp that has been theirs since they were babies, tore it apart and ripped all the wires out of it. What wires are left have been stripped. Luckily, it wasn't plugged in at the time.

Yesterday was the final straw. In an effort to spruce up their rooms, I got some vinyl robot wall decals for TheBoy's room. They were very cute and he loved them. Yesterday, the girls told me this huge story about how one of the robots spoke English and how they were going to get married. They spent about an hour in there, all three of them, playing. It wasn't until much later that I realized that of the 8 robots, 6 were pulled off the wall and torn. They wouldn't go back up. They were completely useless.

Dh and I feel awful. We put in all the time and effort to do things for the kids. We work with them. We make things for them. And yes, we do occasionally buy things for them. What do they do? They destroy it all.

Yesterday was the final straw. Dh and I have discussed it and we agreed that the kids will not be getting Chanukah gifts this year. I know the grandparents plan on sending clothes and I'm sure at least one toy. Those, they will get, but we can't do it ourselves. We can't waste the money buying something only to have it destroyed. I can't waste the effort making something only to have it cut apart. We just can't take it.

We already bought them tickets to a dinosaur show. They'll get those on Chanukah, but that's it.

We know that Chanukah's not Xmas. We never try to make it such. It's always a small event just within our family. While yes, there are some gifts, the focus has always been on the symbolism and meaning behind the eight days. Still, I actually like making things for them. I had a blast last year making their gifts. We only bought maybe one or two things and I handmade everything else. I didn't get many gifts myself, but damn it, I LOVED making things. Making things for the kids was more fun than receiving gifts. I think this year, I'll focus my gift making on my nieces and nephews. It's a shame, though, because I really do like making for my kids.

I just cannot understand what in the world must be going through their heads. I just don't get it.