Archive for February, 2006

Feb 10 2006

spawn.

Published by under daily,kids

We’ve been having issues with Ethan lately. And not just us, he’s been causing trouble at his school as well. He has been kicking, hitting (punching, really) and spitting on his friends and teachers. Obviously, not acceptable. Unfortunately, Ethan has always been a bit of a problem child at school, and we have a “Good Choices Chart” where he gets a sticker when he makes good choices and has a good day at school, but it hasn’t really been working that well recently.

At first, I thought all this was because he had been sick, and got used to being pampered and getting what he wanted. James and I were feeling pretty dejected about the entire situation. Then we finally realized what had caused all this havoc — we let Ethan watch The Incredibles while he was sick.. Now he keeps punching everyone.. Gee, what do you think? It makes us feel a bit relieved that there is actually a REASON he’s suddenly decide to go kung fu on everyone’s ass, and it isn’t just random. It also makes us feel like dopes, because we KNOW that those sort of movies can have this effect and it didn’t even register with us. Doh.

So we had a meeting at his school this morning with his teacher and the administrator and it was all good, and we’re all now united in our efforts to turn this behavior around. I think he has already started to “get it” that this sort of behavior isn’t going to be tolerated. His Geotrax train (his prized possession) went into time-out the first day I brought him home after spending the afternoon in the office. He freaked out, I went and plopped him in his room where he screamed, “I’m mad at you mommy!” for the next 40 minutes. He got his train back after the next day, when he made good choices and there was no visits to the office. However, the NEXT day, another visit to the office, the train went back into timeout. This was yesterday. Hopefully he will have a good day today, and he’ll get his train out of timeout tonight.

Jocelyn has also just been little Miss Trouble lately. She will throw a tantrum at the drop of the hat, and if you displease her, she will just shout, “NO!” at the top of her lungs, even if she really doesn’t mean it. She freaks out because you move her drink, but then if you ask her if she wants it, she will shout, “NO!” and then freak out again if you don’t hand it to her. It can be trying.

Ahhhh… kids. Think hard before you have them :) It’s times like these I’m glad we’re done breeding.

“We’re done breeding?” you say.. Yes. We’re done breeding. James and I decided last year that 2 kids seemed like a good number. We pondered it for a good long while. I came from a large family (6 kids) and a part of me would like to have more, just because that’s how I grew up and I have great childhood memories. I always thought that 4 would really be the right number for me, but I really took my time to think about it, and was even a little surprised to realized that it felt like our family is complete. I didn’t feel as if there should be a baby on the floor while the other two run around, I didn’t feel like someone/ something was missing. It feels like this is right. Plus, the logical side of me is quick to point out that with 2, we’ve got a man on man defense. When we go to amusement parks, there will always be an even number of people for the rides. And plus, with 3, you have that whole middle child issue, but then 4 seems like WAY way too many. Also, I like the idea that we’ve created 2 people to “go on after us,” so to speak, and when we’re gone, there is only 2 to replace us. We’re not contributing to overpopulation! I have no idea of the population statistics, I’m not saying it’s really a huge issue that we feel strongly about, it just seemed like another reason for 2 to be It. So, we thought about it over several months, and we decided together that two kids was right for us. We’re done. Of course, if by some accident another one came along, we would be fine with that, but by our choice, we’re done. We’ll probably take steps at some point in the future to make that a permanent decision. (cough snip snip cough)

I feel like I haven’t been writing here nearly as often. (Is that true? I don’t even know..) Life has been busy. Work has been busy. February is turning out to be a CRAZY busy month, what with weddings, and home improvements and school events and birthday parties.. March is shaping up to be pretty busy as well, and relatives will be visiting in April. This year is going to whiz by. Yikes! I love to write though. It’s almost therapeutic for me. So I shall endeavor to do so more often.

– amy demands clearly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!

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Feb 08 2006

the things that kids do…

Published by under kids,overheard

Jocelyn’s visit to the doctor went well, by the way. No antibiotics needed (thank god, she’s bee on so freakin’ many), although it may be needed in the future. Basically she said she had a cold, and that it may develop into a sinus infection, but it may go the other way and get better. Last night she slept soundly, no coughing, no crying, so I think she’ll be on the mend. I got a great night’s sleep too, and feel like a NEW WOMAN! Can someone tell me where the old one went? I’d at least like to send her a postcard.

So last night, I was running a bath and getting everyone ready to get in, when Ethan pulled his pants down and gave me this sly little grin. “I don’t have underwear on Mommy.” he said.

!!!!!!

I couldn’t help laughing, as I asked him why, and the reason he gave was that I didn’t set any out for him the night before. Then I really laughed, and pointed out that I didn’t put out any socks for him either, but he managed to get those himself just fine. He giggled and said something to the effect of yeah, he’ll have to get it himself sometimes.

So. My kid went commando at school yesterday.

It reminds me of an early episode in my life when one Sunday I got ready by myself, and while I was sitting in church, with everything quite and still, I leaned over to my mother and whispered loudly, “I’m not wearing any panties!” I don’t know WHY I wasn’t wearing underwear, but I remember the shocked look my mother gave me as I informed her. In the still, quiet church.

So I was looking over some of my stats and a lot of the visitors/origins of visitors I kind of recognized. But there were some that I thought, “hmmm.. who could that be?”

Do people I don’t know read this regularly? I realize there’s the occasional hit from a google search that people click on, read a sentence or two, and then leave me forever,* but it makes me wonder how many people really are reading this, other than the… dozen maybe? folks that I’ve actually given the address to. I missed delurking week last month, so maybe I can just claim this post as the Delurking Post and if you’d like to delurk and say hi, that’d be supremely cool.

* Searches apparently people have found me from:

mokes
pictures of mokes
decorative dishwashing gloves
crazy froo
grown up haircuts (oh how I can relate)

Anyway, this is a short post. Life is good. Life is busy. We’re going to see the baby panda Tai Shan on Saturday. I’ll make sure we all have underwear on.

– amy

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Feb 07 2006

i wish for HEALTH!

Published by under daily,kids

Last night, Jocelyn kept coughing and coughing and coughing and then crying and there was little we could do for her. I got up with her 3 times, and james once, and I think she finally slept after 1am. James delivered her to daycare this morning (probably pretty dumb of us, but there’s no fever and it’s just cough and the nose from hell, so we thought it’d be ok), and then got a call asking for one of us to pick her up little under an hour later.

This is getting so frustrating. Why can’t we all just be healthy? One week Jocelyn was sick with pneumonia, the next, Ethan was out with nasty cold fever sickness, and now Jocelyn’s down again. WHY GOD WHY! Errrrgh. I still don’t actually have any vacation time, and James won’t have any either once he starts his new job. I try to work up some comp hours, but they get used up as quickly as I can work them.
Jocelyn’s daycare lady suggested it might be allergies, and mentioned how her daughter was tested and once she was taking Claritin once a day she did much better. Jocelyn did see an allergist last year, but was only tested for dairy. She has an appointment at 3pm today, so I think I’ll ask her pediatrician about it.

So tired. So tired of sick kids. Probably not as much as they’re sick of it.

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Feb 06 2006

Cute? Kid Stories: Episode Umpteenth

Published by under amy's head,daily,kids

Sunday was a better day than Saturday. Thanks guys for the nice comments. I know everyone has these sorts of days, kids or no kids, and venting about it here is therapeutic, especially when y’all step in with such nice thoughts. Sleep does wonders to restore patience, and I remembered the basic rule that going to work every weekday seems to have erased in my mind – Get down on the floor and play! When things starting just way too whiny and tantrumy and too much to handle, go sit down and play! Whining usually means kids need attention, and one can never play with their kids too much.

It started when our Doodle Pro (magnetic drawing toy) was sitting on the table, and the two of them started to tug of war with it. I had no idea who had it first, and sometimes, they just have to learn that if they can’t work it out between them, nobody gets it. So the Doodle pro went into “timeout” (on top of the fridge) for 3 minutes, and when it came out, instead of trying to decide who gets it first, we all went and sat down together and played with it. I started drawing shapes and asking them what they were (Jocelyn knew every one, except diamond, which she excitedly named, “Kite!” so not too bad!) Then we did some letters and I printed everyone’s name, even mommy and daddy’s. Then I drew (ha! drew is such a broad term. think stick figures, which Jocelyn at first declared were “Flowers!”) Ethan and Jocelyn, and then at their request, redrew the picture with Mommy and Daddy in it also, and then threw the dog in as well, which Jocelyn decided was a kitty.

So, more cute kid stories/achievements:

By Sunday night, Jocelyn had definitely gotten the idea that tantruming is not the way to go. It was pretty amusing: “UH UH UH!! …. PEEEEAAASE!!” But often we had no idea what exactly she wanted, because she would only say “pease!” and not the name of whatever it is she desired. Still. Progress.

Also, my little girl is growing up!! She is so big and capable! She can climb the stairs without holding her hand on the wall for balance. It is pretty scary actually, I kept watching her and thinking she was going to lose her footing and tumble down the stairs, but she has just started trudging up the steps without a care in the world. She still uses the wall on her way down. (thank god. I might have a heart attack when she starts going down sans wall.)

On Sunday afternoon after naptime, the CUTEST thing happened. Ethan said, “Come here, Jocelyn!” and then promptly plopped into Jocelyn’s doll stroller. Jocelyn got right behind it, pushed with all her might, and managed to roll Ethan across the floor. Then Ethan got up and they switched places. They kept it up for about 5 minutes, shrieking with laughter and taking turns the entire time. It was pretty sweet, especially how they played together. Also, On Saturday when I took them out to Lowes/Target, Ethan would ask Jocelyn to take his hand, and she would, and they’d walk together holding hands. I’d never really seen this before, but it was very dear.

The two of them still don’t often play with the same toys together. Jocelyn is a mite too young for that, and if she tries, Ethan often will get mad and order her to stop, and parental intervention is needed. However, when no toys are involved, they are often quite cute, and Jocelyn will copy whatever her big brother does. Unfortunately, this works in reverse as well. When one of them does something wrong, often while I’m hollering at them to stop, the other will pitch in with the same activity as well. For example, when we’re at the table eating a meal, one of them will invariably start banging on the table, either with their hand or a utensil. Then the other one will start. So the conversation usually goes like this:

Ethan: *bang bang bang*
me: Ethan, no banging.
Jocelyn: *bang bang bang*
Ethan: Jocelyn’s banging!
me: Jocelyn, no banging from you either.
Ethan and Jocelyn: *bang bang bang*
me: Ethan, that’s 1, Jocelyn, that’s 1 for you too!”

Then there’s lots of looks at each other and grins and looks over at me and eventually someone will bang again and then the other will and you get the idea. Sometimes they can resist enough and stop, but most of the time they can’t. Yesterday, I came up from painting the room in the basement around lunchtime, and they were both in time out because of the banging. Ethan on the couch, and Jocelyn sitting on a stair step. James told me that when they both first arrived in timeout, Ethan said, “Jocelyn is in timeout. I’m in timeout too.” and then Jocelyn replied, “Yeah. Time-out.” and they generally were tickled pink about being in timeout together. At dinner time, Ethan started to bang, and looked at me all surreptitiously to see how I was going to react, and before I could say a word, Jocelyn rebuked him with a loud, “No banging!” It was cute.

Ok. So Sunday was a better day, but I still felt (and feel) all dreary and mopey. Going to try to snap out of it, because it’s no fun for anyone, especially me.

– amy

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Feb 04 2006

it has been a really crappy day

Published by under amy's head,daily,kids,project skinny

.. parenting wise. This will be one of those posts where the truth of parenting comes out, although I like to think I’m pretty truthful about it all the time, when I think about the kids/parenting type entries I’ve written on here, I don’t think I’ve written about the really hard days that come with being a parent. So just in case you think it is always golden sunshiney rainbows over here at the Panders residence, and parenting and children just come with the territory and birds sing and dress us in the morning, IT SO FUCKING ISN’T, AND THEY DON’T, AND SOMETIMES IT JUST PLAIN SUCKS. It would just go to show, that within a week of TWO people telling me, “You’re a good mom.” all casual and blase (and no lightning hit them!) that my children decide to turn into demons that wrack the whole patient motherhood thing that I had going on. Because in my opinion, it really is all about patience and not losing your cool. Not losing your cool when you have to tell Ethan 30 times at the auto show to stay right by mommy instead of doing what you WANT TO DO and lose it and blow up and holler and yell and then lasso him so that he won’t disappear from your side. And while we’re at it, muzzle or gag him in some way. Oh, and while we’re at it, I want a pony.

Today I lost it and hollered and yelled. And even spanked, which is something I Do Not Do. That’s not to say that if you spank your kids you are evil, I just personally don’t think that it is the best solution, and for me, when spanking is involved, it means that *I* have lost it, and the parent should never lose it when dealing with their kids. That way danger lies.

Ahh, so now that I’ve told you how bad a mother I am and how I’ve broken my holy covenant with myself on No Spanking Ever, I’ll tell you more about the day. Maybe it’s because it’s over and I’m no longer in it that it doesn’t seem as bad, but I know it was bad, while it was going on, because the frustration and irritation and HELPLESSNESS pressed down on me so hard today that tears came, at least twice that I can remember. It’s one of those days where you just wonder why having kids was a good idea, you know, EVER, FOR ANYONE and you’d much rather leave them on a doorstep somewhere and go fly to somewhere warm and filled with no responsibilities and drink frufru drinks with umbrellas. Ahhhhhhhh…

Sorry. I went to my Happy Place for a minute. I’m back now. By the way, go put Coupling (BBCA) on your Tivo, cause it’s good. I’ll wait.

So Ethan was sick earlier this week, with a fever that Would Not Go Away, and so he was pampered pretty thoroughly, as is any sick kid’s right to be pampered. The after effects however, well, they’re not fun. He’s adopted a pretty sassy attitude, and when usually it’s nipped in the bud with a firm warnings and follow-throughs (we tell him, “That’s 1,” and when he gets to 3, it’s time out.), he decided that he didn’t have to do what I told him, including going to time out.

Add on top of that, Jocelyn, my angel girl who when I think about how many tantrums Ethan had at her age, I marvel that she belongs to us.. could our genes have produced such a nonchalent, easy going little girl? The mind boggles.. Well, the other shoe dropped. All of a sudden, she will start whining and pitching a fit to get what she wants, which is a natural consequence of her getting what she wanted all the time by “UH UH UH UH”ing and pointing. It’s finally clicked in her mind that if she fusses, she’ll get what she wants, and the more the fuss, the faster what she wants will be obtained.

So, EVERY LITTLE THING. I swear, every two minutes, she’ll start hollering and whining, “UH UH UH UH UH!! NOOOOOOO!” and often throw herself on the floor in tears if whatever object she wants isn’t handed to her within 2 seconds. Breakfast was a prime example, I thought, what fun it would be to make waffles.. which used to be a staple around our house on the weekends, and was always lots of fun with kids helping and whatnot, but it was the breakfast from hell. Jocelyn demanding everything at the maximum volume possible, and Ethan trying to outdo her and get my attention. At one point, Jocelyn is screaming, and I’m trying to reason with her and get her to ask nicely, and Ethan is trying to show me something started random siren noises while holding something right in my face and I thought my head was going to explode.

That was just breakfast.

After breakfast, I took the kids to Lowe’s, to buy paint (we’re painting a room in the basement that was recently finished by our contractor) and to Target to get a birthday present. I knew I should have had the color all picked out before I went there, because mulling over paint colors with two tantruming, and COMPETING toddlers is just not fun. Not fun for me, not fun for other customers, just plain not fun. Jocelyn pulling her stunt at least once every five minute period which required me to say, calmly and collectedly, “Jocelyn, what is it you want? Use your words, say please.” about A ZILLION TIMES TODAY has just about driven me to the brink of insanity.

Thank god for vodka.

The spanking happened at lunchtime. Ethan is a very picky eater. He decides he does not like something, and then doesn’t eat it, even if he has never tasted it before. So we have a pretty good rule that he has to have a taste of it, and then he can have something else. Well, we had some chicken noodle soup for lunch, and he instantly would not say a word, and when I told him he had to have a taste of the noodles in order for me to get him seomthing else, he didn’t even say anything, he laid, tummy down, on his chair with his head hanging down toward the floor. Long story short, he started to cop his attitude with me which I wasn’t about to tolerate, and when I told him to go to timeout, he shouted, “NO I DONT HAVE TO!” and various related thoughts at me. The whole ugly scene finished with me hauling him up to his room and spanking him pretty thoroughly. Then I went downstairs and tried not to cry.

The rest of the day went a bit better. After (a non-sleeping) naptime, we went to our neighbor kid’s 2 year old birthday party at the Little Gym, which was exhausting, running around making sure no one broke their skulls, but in the good way when they’re running, playing and having the time of their lives. I was especially amused when the playtime was over, and the eating of pizza and cake took place. Jocelyn is our good eater, and Ethan is our picky picky eater, and the roles were definitely reversed. Ethan ate most of his pizza, and kept running over to the food table for vegetables, including cherry tomatoes, which he thought were grapes. The look on his face when he ate one was priceless, and he unceremoniously dumped the rest of them on my plate as he said, as if I had tricked him, “THESE ARE TOMATOES!!” Jocelyn loves tomatoes, and pizza, but had maybe 2 bites of everything, telling me, “No, mommy!” quite insistently whenever I offered her anything. She got over it when cake time rolled around.

There is one good thing about today (besides the vodka and the fact that the 2 kids are in bed), and that is I lost a little over 3 pounds this week. And when I was getting dressed this morning, I glanced at my skinny jeans, thought, why not? And they fit, not perfectly, but tolerably well – well enough to wear today. It sucked though, because I popped out of bed at an ungodly hour thinking, “I’ll go to the EARLY weight watcher’s meeting!” which I thought was at 7.30. Which is when I arrived. And is also when it actually ENDED. Bugger bugger bugger. It kind of pissed me off, and probably set the tone for the whole day. I think I’m going to stop going to WW meetings for a while. I hate getting up on saturday mornings, and I think I do the same whether I go or not, so we’ll see. I can always start going again if I want.

I should probably go downstairs and help paint. Yay. Paint fumes. I hope my nose doesn’t revolt.

– amy should have picked the blue pill.

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Feb 02 2006

i’m not dead. i’m just too busy to breathe.

Published by under daily,kids

Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated, although, work has recently tried to kill me with work. I got handed something on Friday afternoon and then was surprised on Sunday evening by someone assuming I had handed out assignments and worked on it all weekend, when I had partied, auto showed, and weight watch meeting-ed. So, I spent Sunday, and every evening since doing work related things while Gilmore Girls is playing on the telly, instead of doing fun blog (reading the massive bloglist, as well as writing) related things while watching Gilmore Girls on the telly.

And then to top it all off, Ethan turned up feverish on Monday night, and his internal temperature continued to rise back up every time the ibuprofen or Tylenol wore off for the next 2 days, sometimes with drastic results (heat rash, poor poor boy). Tuesday I stayed home with him while trying to continue to work on aforementioned project. I also took him to the doctor and learned how to feel for swollen glands. For some reason I always thought that it was just puffy swollenness, but it isn’t. It is like feel a little pea under the skin, just under the jaw. Very weird. I had no idea those glands were so small. Antibiotics were prescribed, Target was visited, medicine procured. The doctor did warn me that it could take a few days for his fever to go down, since the infection was in the throat and sinuses. Apparently, it’s tougher in there? Or something?

Anyway, Ethan has had a rough couple of days. On Tuesday when I went up at the end of his naptime, he was burning up. BURNING UP. I was really frightened. I took him out of bed and into my bathroom and got him into the tub. It’s supposed to be one of the things that can bring a fever down, get into water around 99 degrees and sit in it for a while. I also gave him Tylenol, of course, and soon he was doing much better. I didn’t even realize how bad it must have been until later, when I noticed a reddish coloring on his forehead which was a heat rash from the fever. Yikes. It’s gone now though. He needed some drugs halfway through the night on Tuesday (last night), but morning came and no medicine was required! Progress! James stayed home with him today, and except for a little rise in temperature around mid-day, Ethan is much improved. If tonight goes with no fever, he can go to school tomorrow. Which will be good, because neither James or I can really take much work off. I don’t have any vacation time, and James is in the last few days of his current job, when he is trying to impart all his knowledge to others. It’s been a rough winter for sickness in this house. I hope we can all get healthy and stay healthy for a while.

This weekend was pretty busy also. Busy, but fun.

I can’t remember if we did anything Friday. Saturday I went to my weight watcher’s meeting (down 2 lbs! I’ll remake my project skinny page soon, i swear) and then went home so that James could go pee in a cup for the reassurance of his soon-to-be employer. Saturday night our trusty babysitter came, Jocelyn took one look at her and wailed, we left, and according to the babysitter, she stopped crying before we had even got out of the driveway. Much partying and playing of Ms. Pac-man was had at Tamara’s birthday party (I need Ms. Pac-man. In my home. Today.)

Oh, and then there was the biggie. Not like, of importance (Tamara, you’re not being out-importanced!) Biggie as in, biggie stressful, biggie expenditure of effort, BIGGIE BIGGIE! We went to the DC auto show. WITH OUR CHILDREN!!! It’s at the DC convention center, on two massive levels, and there are approximately, then quadrizillion people there. After about an hour, I turned to Chris and James and said, “I just want to go on the record, when we lose Ethan before the end of the day, I knew it was going to happen.” It was exhausting. And not just for the parents, for the kiddos too. As was displayed to us, and to all quadrizillion people who walked by and witnessed Ethan prostrate on the ground in the midst of a full on tantrum. Didn’t want to walk, refused to get in the stroller, wouldn’t get on Daddy’s shoulders. Just had a little break down in the midst of the convention. First I left him alone (sat down near him) and let him get some of his frustration out, and then I wrestled him into the stroller and went walking. Took him down to the first level, where all the race cars were. That was kind of funny, because he would STARE at them, and then sort of remember that he was in tantrum mode, and cry some more, and then forget and STARE at all the race cars. THEN, I found a little RC race track where they were selling spots at the controls for $4 bucks a pop and he completely forgot as we watched the cars go around and around.

We tried to hurry and see the last few cars we wanted to see and then skedaddled out of there for the over an hour trip back to our burb-land. It was EXHAUSTING. We agreed that maybe we’d try again when they’re 42, and 40. The rest of Sunday we drank heavily to try to dull the pain.

So, there you go, a very rambling entry, but at least now that I’ve gotten all the wheres whys and howtofores out of my system, next entry I can tell you all about my musings on my bladder, and how I believe I’ve lost the ability to tell when it’s full. (quick hint: pregnancy.) I bet you can’t wait.

– amy

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