Finally!

Finally!  10 birth kits, shipped to Bloggers for Birth Kits.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, click here.

Good deed for the week.  Done!

Advertisements

Curiosity

Actual conversation by the town center fountains/playground:

Nude little boy: Hello

Me: hi!

Zoe:    ::silence because the darn child still isn’t talking::

Nude little boy busies himself towelling off

Zoe: ohh ohh ohh!!    :points to boy’s bellybutton::

Me: oh yes, that’s his belly button

Zoe: ohh ohh ohh!!    ::points to his penis::

Nude little boy: hey!   ::turns away::

Me: oh sorry, she’s just curious because she’s a girl and she doesn’t have those parts

Nude little boy:    ::thinks::

Me: you know, because girls and boys have different parts

Nude little boy: hey!  Yeah! Girls have a black triangle thing right here!!     ::points to his privates::

Me:   ::die laughing::

The end.  

 

School’s out, Act 1

School has been out for two weeks now and, so far, things have been going well.  We went to Santa Fe to visit grandma and grandpa for a few days, so that was a nice little distraction.  Max received a gift of two more Lego ninjas, cementing his obsession with all things ninja even further.  Yesterday at Walgreens he was really good helping me shop so I agreed to guy him something from the dollar aisle before we left and we found this….

Seriously?  Does this toy need to be THIS small?  Notice he is not much bigger than Max’s eye in the background.  He is approximately the size of my thumb nail.  Between this, Polly Pocket, and ridiculously small Lego pieces, my vacuum cleaner is going to be jam-packed by the end of the week.  No wonder my house is a friggin mess.  I cannot keep up with these things.  I decided to really check out the toys my kids have and do a little inventory.

I give you a random sampling of one of the drawers in the children’s toy cabinet.  I reached in, grabbed a handful and came up with this:

A. One fourth of an orange crayon;   B. A yellow golf ball;  C. An old dehydrated apple chip (personally made by me….do you see the respect I get?….just tossed into the toy drawer instead of eaten???;  D. A random Lego piece, which belongs to who knows which set, small and sharp enough to slice my foot right open;  E. A small traffic cone;  F. A teeny tiny pretty pony;  G. Pretend Cream of Chicken soup….mmmmm;  H. A pipe cleaner shaped spider that I have never seen before in my whole life, but the thing is sharper than a steak knife;  I. A plastic shaped ball, which opens and is apparently supposed to hold something;  J. A pretend lemon;  K. A Lego head, which is super cool because, as you can see, he’s totally rocking sunglasses;  L. Random tiny Lego pieces the size of Zoe’s smallest toenail;  M. A Ninjago catalog to convince children that they need more Ninjago stuff;  N. An angry bird pig;  O. An Angry Bird band-aid, unwrapped, but, mysteriously,  unused.

I can’t cope.  No wonder we can never find anything…..none of this stuff even matches anything else in the same drawer.  It’s all just random and driving me insane!  Time for a serious toy reorganization.  I’ll just fit that in between my 6234 loads of laundry, 12,000 dishes and 24 trips per week to the grocery store.  Oh and in a brilliant maneuver, I told Max we would make homemade granola bars tomorrow and we bought crapload of oats, nuts, honey and coconut today.  Because that won’t take any time at all.

Mother’s Day

So it’s been a few weeks since Mother’s Day, but I just wanted to post my favorite part of it.  This is what Max did in school that day.

Um, cereal?  No, not my favorite food.  Um, the dentist?  He’s gone twice in his life and I doubt he even remembers the first visit.  Allowance?  This is my son’s favorite thing about me?

And why is my belly button so enormous?

 

Hold your kiddos tight

So this happened in Qatar, the country we moved from 10 months ago…..

Villaggio Fire

We lived in Qatar for 3 years.  We had a wonderful time.  Do we know any of these victims?  No, not personally.  A recognition of someone’s name, a similarity from somewhere–perhaps we saw them at the grocery store once or saw them at a children’s birthday party?  But whether we know them or not, it’s still hard to comprehend.  I took Max to this Gympanzee center a few times to play.  It never occurred to me to check for fire exits.  I noticed, of course, that it was down a long winding hallway, but I never once thought we would be trapped there, unable to get out, while a fire raged nearby.

Hold your kiddos tight tonight guys.

Max-isms

The wisdom that is my son….

–“Everybody who loves Ninjas, raise your hand!!!”

–*straps an eyemask around his chest like a bandeau top*  *sigh* “Mommy, I just want to be a girl right now….”

–“Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, Ninjas, blah, blah, blah, blah, Nascar, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, Dale Earnhart Jr., blah, blah, blah, blah, Ninjas, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, Ninjas, blah, blah, blah, blah, candy, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, NINJAS!!”

–“Mom!  You shouldn’t be drinking white wine with this!  This is meat, you should have red.”

–“Tell you what Daddy.  You give me money”

Me: Max where are you?

  Max: I’m not doing anything!!

*upon finding max laying strips of toilet paper over a pile of poop in the bathroom*

Me: “What the HECK are you doing?????”

Max: “I leaned over to pull my pants down and the poop flew out of my butt. “

Max: “Mommy I just pooped my pants.”

    Me: “WHAT????!!!”

    Max: “Not for real.  I’m just pretending”

*stuffing shirt with socks*  “Mommy, look I have boobs!”

–“Mommy if you get into a fight with someone, all you have you have to do is work it out”

Max: “Mommy, I feel really sick.”

   Me: “So should we skip your play date?”

   Max: “No thanks”

–“I like tails on fish, but not on people”

–“Mommy today I saw a butterfly sucking on a flower with it’s probiscis”

Spirited Children

This weekend, I attended my first meeting with the “Spirited Children” group here in Denver.  What is a spirited child?  In the past, I have always though “spirited” was just a nice term to describe spoiled brats, with mothers who clearly had no control over their behavior.  Then I became a mother to Max.  Then I became a mother to Zoe.  THEN I read this article.  I completed changed my mind and decided to join the group.

Spirited children are generally just more difficult.  They are more emotional.  They are high energy.  They are stubborn as hell.  They are generally just more child.  This is my life.  Max is sent to his room at least once before he even goes to school.  Every morning is a battle.  No amount of consequences or rewards (for good behavior) has changed that.  If he decides he is going to refuse to do things or be in a bad mood, that’s the way it is.  There is no breaking this child.  I always thought I had it bad.  Until I joined this group.

Obviously the meeting involved large amounts of alcohol, in the form of margaritas.  Then the stories of people’s struggles started and *cue singing angels and violins*, I have found my people.

Max has always been very stubborn and strong-willed.  And it’s becoming more and more obvious that he cannot seem to control his emotions.  The slightest disappointment–a rained out soccer game, a canceled playdate due to illness, the realization that we have run out of peanut butter…..all of these result in complete meltdowns.  He freaked out and stomped around crying two days ago because he spilled a total of three drops of water on his pants.  No amount of talking to him can calm him down.  And the will he has is impossible to match.  The “tie-shoes incident”, as I like to call it, from a month ago is still happening.  Every day I pick him up from school, and I mean every day, he asks me can he have a pair of shoes that tie and when I say no, because he doesn’t know how to tie yet, it results in a screaming fit on the way home.  This is every day for the past month.

But my stories paled in comparison to some of the other ladies of the group.  One lady said that her child screams until she’s faint and turns almost blue.  She has left countless full shopping carts in the store because her daughter has freaked out over the fact that mom didn’t get plain Cheerios.  She has to leave virtually every playgroup and music class that they go to because something sets her off and she simply cannot recover.  She and her husband are not planning to have another child because they can’t face the thought of getting another one like this.

Another lady said she has two highly spirited children and they spend roughly 1/3 of the day screaming at the top of their lungs.  Recently, they drove by a train and her son announced that he wanted to “hug the train.”  When told that this was not possible to do, he screamed for two hours.  They are so difficult, in fact, that her mother, their grandmother,  refuses to babysit or spend any time with them (which I think is beyond evil, but whatev).  Said grandmother spends a lot of time with all her other grandchildren.  That’s how difficult they are.

Where am I going with this?  I guess just to explain how nice it is to find people who understand and don’t judge.  If you ever see a woman in the grocery store with what appears to be a wild spider monkey in her cart, don’t judge.  That woman has probably done everything possible to gain some control, but absolutely has to get some food for her family.  If it looks like she’s not doing anything, it’s probably because she is just flat-out exhausted from dealing with said spider monkey.

Bloggers for birth kits

This morning was a typical morning in my household……Max refused to get dressed, took forever to make his bed, kicked me, had to be sent to his room and took ages to find his shoes, resulting in us being late for school AGAIN.  I was absolutely seething with anger by the time we got to school.  Before we walked in, I got down to his level, looked him in the eyes and told him we need to find a solution for these constant battles in the morning because I absolutely couldn’t deal with another morning like this.  I’ve only been back from a lovely girl’s weekend for two days and I already want to jump off a bridge.

So driving home, I was still seething, feeling sorry for myself and wallowing in self-pity…..WHY did I have to get such a difficult kid?  Why is nothing working?  From time-outs, to toy jail, to canceling play dates to spanking.  None of it has made an impression on him and I’m seriously considering getting a part-time job to save my sanity.

Then I got home and read this.  And I stopped feeling sorry for myself.  No matter how, difficult Max is, we are still incredibly blessed with our two children and I wouldn’t change anything for the world.  I plan to make a few birth kits this week and send them off.

We now continue with our regularly scheduled sarcastic mommy-needs-a-drink-blog…..

The past two weeks

I haven’t written in the past two and a half weeks because my children’s behavior was so bad,  I simply couldn’t find the humor in it.  So bad.  Like I wanted to return to April of 2006 and start all over, with a little, “wait honey, we can’t, we don’t have protection.”  I can only imagine what life would be like…..frozen margaritas on the beach in the Maldives, movies watched in the theater and lazy Saturday morning bloody marys.

*moment of staring at my wine, yearning*

Anyway, we went on Spring Break.  Whoever decided that “break” should be in that  sentence is laughing their ass off somewhere because there was no break whatsoever.  It was me, two kids, no husband, my sister, her three-month old, no sister husband and my parents.  Do you see where I am going here?

Did we have a good time?  Absolutely.  We drank large amounts of wine.  We dared to take the children to breakfast, lunch (there was beer) and dinner (there were margaritas).  My sister’s superwoman baby rolled over from back to front at 2 months and three weeks.  She will therefore be referred to as Superbaby.  My father, in a unprecedented moment, actually heated the pool for a week.  We swam, we sunned, we caught up and it was the first time the whole family had been together since the craziness of my sister’s wedding (which was 1 year and 5 weeks ago for those that are wondering about Superbaby–hello Argentinian honeymoon!)

I never really realized how much Max depends on structure to his days until this trip.  And Zoe too.  By day five of no school, random wake-up times, no structured plan for the day and no daddy, he was a friggin mess.   An absolute hot mess.  He was utterly rude and disrespectful.  Throwing tantrums of unbelievable proportions over the fact that I wouldn’t be in the pool at his beck and call for 4 solid hours.

And then there was Zoe…

Holy Crap

At the end of the week, my parents were exhausted.  Superbaby didn’t sleep a damn wink.  My sister was a zombie.  She informed her husband that she was never going on any sort of vacation without him again.  And in the usual superb Olson fashion, I got into a giant argument with my parents three seconds before I left for the airport.  The end.

Little did I know that the best was yet to come.  Getting ready to take off.  Plane is booked.  Utter silence.  I innocently ask Max to stop kicking the seat of the man in front of him.  Armageddon.  He proceeds to punch me in the arm.  What?  Um, this hasn’t happened since he was about three.  I try the strategy of ignore and don’t bring attention to it.  More punches.  WTF????  He literally loses his shit.  Screaming that I’m a bad mommy and this is the worst vacation ever.  Hitting, scratching, kicking, yelling, and glaring at me like a wild jungle cat.  I was mortified.  I finally got him calmed down, completely aghast.  Two seconds later, he’s asking me to play Uno with him as if I hadn’t just been competely abused by him.  I informed him that boys that behave that way do not get Uno games with mommy.  Gee, guess what happened next?  he said, “okay mommy, I understand, I’ll just play with my cars.”

Just kidding.

More out of control, hopped up on steroid like shrieking.  Insane punching and hitting.  The people around me looked absolutely horrified and I wanted to stand up and say “I swear he’s usually not violent!!”  It was awful.

I thought it was perhaps a one time thing, but this behavior went on for another week.  Rages like I have never seen.  Taking things away doesn’t make a difference.  Sending him to his room doesn’t make a difference.  Canceling a playdate/soccer game doesn’t work, etc, etc, etc.  We thought it was because he hadn’t been in school and dad hadn’t been around but now he’s been back in school for a week and dad has been here.  Things were slowly starting to improve and then we went on a playdate today and he literally got on top of his friend and started punching him!  Seriously???  He has NEVER done something like that to a friend.  Yelling obnoxious things?  Absolutely.  But physically hurting them?  Never.

What the hell is going on???  He’s argumentative about everything, yells constantly, kicks, hits, screams and absolutely won’t listen to reason.  I am at my wits end and literally can’t even stand my own child.  At one point last week, he screamed he wanted me to die.

Any advice or ideas would be much appreciated!

How to expertly handle tantrums

Today was epic.   On the plus side, I got to try out some new parenting techniques that K and I learned at our $180 parenting class!  Yay.

I’m two glasses in, so excuse any spelling errors.  Meaning two glasses of wine.  Yep, I’m that mom.  The bottle was opened at 4:59.  The first sip at 5:00 and from then on it didn’t matter that Zoe threw her plate across the room or that Max somehow ended up with his pants off again.  I really need to learn to buy the Target wine box (or the “T-box”, as they call it), discussed often at Rants From Mommyland.  But I digress.  

Anyway, the day began with a diaper situation that almost had me calling the Center for Disease control because that simply can’t be normal for a 24 lb child.  Then I got her back to sleep for a few minutes and Max came in, acting like a character from Night of the Living Dead….”I’m hungry…hungry…brains, brains!!”  When the day begins with shit and screaming, it’s not good.  I am not a morning gal.

It was Wacky Wednesday in Max’s class and we decided he was going to wear a t-shirt, a tie, swimming goggles and two different shoes.  He was totally into it.  Until we were three feet from his classroom.  Suddenly he didn’t want to dress wacky.  He wanted matching shoes.  He was shy.  He was embarrassed.  He didn’t like Wacky Wednesday.  He wanted to drive home and get his matching shoes.  Um, no.  Thank God for Mr. Jason, one of the teachers, for wearing a rainbow colored afro-like wig.  Because if it hadn’t been for him, Max would have been coming home with me and then the wine might have been cracked open at noon.

Crisis averted, I walked downstairs to the lobby of the preschool and calmly walked out…..yep I’ve got this under control.  I am a competent, calm, mother of two.  Zoe and I walked across the street, holding hands, where upon she decided, in the middle of the street with a truck approaching, that she didn’t want to hold hands.  I took her hand back and calmly told her that street = hand hold.  Nope.  A collapse to the concrete, truck be damned and commence shrieking.

A fellow room mom was in front of me and she laughed and said “How old is Zoe again?”  I told her two and one month and was met with “Oh yeah, the terrible twos!”  This comment, two days after a person that works at the school remarked “Haha!  Terrible twos huh?” when Zoe was throwing a tantrum in the actual school.  Laugh it up people.  Laugh it up.

After a harrowing ride home, whereupon Zoe shrieked and pointed at various things, trying to communicate God knows what, the next couple hours progressed relatively painlessly.  In fact, she even went down for a nap after only 20 minutes of back rubbing and singing, rather than the usual 40 minutes of incessant cuddling, back rubbing, singing and various other tricks to force a 2 year old to calm herself.  She woke up after only 45 minutes, per usual, but the point is it only took 20 minutes to get her to go to sleep.

Wednesday is a busy day for us because both kids have swimming right after pre-school ends and then Max has soccer practice so I (usually) wake Zoe from her nap, race to the preschool with Zoe still in jammies, get Max, race home to change Zoe and grab the swim bag, race to swimming, race home and get the kids an early dinner and then troop off to soccer practice.  Max apparently had other plans for the day.  Every time I have picked him up from school for the last two weeks, he has greeted me with telling me the latest thing that he “wants”.  Today it was sneakers with laces.  Forget the fact that he doesn’t know how to tie laces, he wanted these right now, today.  I, of course, said hells no because guess who will be the one tying them every three seconds?

What followed can only be described as a category 5 tantrum.  And of course it happened in the middle of the lobby of the preschool.  These people must think my children are insane.  All the way to the car, he’s screaming that I’m a bad mommy.  After 5 minutes of it, I whipped out a “consequence with empathy” (Thank you Love and Logic parenting class!)  “Oh dude, this is so sad but since you’re screaming at me, you’re going to lose the TV and the iPad for the rest of the day.”  More shrieking ensues about the thought of no cartoons.  No lesson learned whatsoever.  Hysteria for ten more minutes.  “Oh, Max I’m so sorry, but you’re going to have to skip soccer practice today now also”.  Nope, nothing but screams.  Straight to his room when we got home, which resulted in kicking the door, throwing books and pillows, etc, etc.  He finally calmed down about 45 minutes after the whole thing started and his face was blotchy for the rest of the day.  All this over shoes with laces.  Seriously?  I think I’m doing something wrong.