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Apps are the new 1-900 numbers!

We gave Max an old iPhone to play games on. He loves it and so do I:) However, he somehow figured out how to download games from the App Store. Here are just a few of the $25 worth of games he downloaded: The Moron Test, Cartoon Wars, Call of Duty, Frogger, Zombieville and iBeer.

iBeer is my personal favorite! I had no idea some apps cost $9.99! Which leads me to believe that we live in a new generation of 1-900 numbers. Needless to say, we have removed the offending apps with the exception of Frogger because, well….that’s just an awesome one isn’t it?

What’s on your nightstand?

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a bit of a furniture snob. So much so, that I haven’t even bought a formal dining table because, at this point, the one that I want is somewhere in the double digits, and, therefore, currently out of my grasp. That’s how much of a snob I am; I won’t buy just a “nice” dining table because it’s not good enough, so I’ll just wait until I can get what I want. Well, my nightstands were the same situation. I got them from Drexel a few years back and, let me just say, they are BEAUTIFUL. Quality wood, beautiful inlay, gorgeous detailing….just really nice pieces.

Before I had kids, my nightstand had ordinary and typical usage. It held various books, glasses, hairbands etc. Post kids is a very different story. I was cleaning up last night and noticed my nightstand(which I haven’t given much thought to in, oh say….4 years!). I looked at this beautiful piece of artistic craftsmanship and was suddenly appalled at my lack of respect for such beauty. Laying on the top was a very stinky, VERY dirty diaper from Miss Kate.

That got me thinking about how very different my life has become since having kids. My priorities have shifted so much, that I could not even remember the last time my nightstand had anything other than ‘mom’ crap. So I thought it would be funny to list the items my nightstand has either housed or held since having kids:

-Diapers, both unused and (cough) used.
-Wipes
-Breast pump
-Breast milk(yes….yuck)
-Breast shields
-Breast milk storage bags(unused and used….yuck again)
-Bottles
-Countless books about HOW to get your baby to SLEEP!
-Baby Blanket
-A sole children’s sock or shoe
-Sippy cups
-Various onsies and baby pants
-Pacifires
-Countless books about HOW to get your toddler to OBEY!
-Fruit snacks and/or other individually wrapped snack foods.
-Boudreauxs Butt Cream

My nightstand and I have been through a lot….and I appreciate everything it’s done for me.

Oh NO She Didn’t!

I think I was harder on Max than I am on Kate. He was so obviously strong-willed and defiant, that I had to be on my game. We had a clear set of rules and a warning system in place by the time he was 22 months. First I would give him a warning and if he didn’t stop the behavior, then I counted to three. If I got to three, then he went to timeout. Kate’s discipline strategy has been somewhat different in that there hasn’t really been any strategy involved at all.

Miss Thang is currently terrible two-ing all over the place. In Target, Walgreens, Starbucks parking lots, home, other people’s homes etc….she is an equal opportunity terrorist. She’s screaming, throwing things, kicking, well, you get the general idea. The bizarre thing about it is that I am just kinda taking it. I have started to feel like I have PTSD with my toddler. Every time I hear that scream, I instinctively duck because I know she’s about to launch a foreign object in my general direction. Sheesh!

I would never have let Max act the way Kate’s been acting. Case in point, I tried to go to the gym this morning and she threw a whopper of a tantrum on the way in. I mean that diva plopped her size 24 month butt down in the parking lot, took off her shoe and threw it at an innocent passer by! Since that didn’t make as drastic of a statement as she desired(I believe she mistook my stunned immobility as a sign of apathy), she then sprawled out and smacked her head on the sidewalk to emphasize her point.

Well, after today’s incident I’ve decided enough is enough. Neither my time nor my workout schedule will be hijacked by a demanding diva toddler. I’m taking a stand and going back to the system that worked with Max. I’ll fill you in on the progress, but my mommy instinct tells me that Miss Thang is not going to take too kindly to imposing rules and regulations. I will either swim or sink…maybe she’ll be so kind as to throw a floatation device at my head if it’s the latter.

Hits you right in the gut

About a week ago Max was in one of his “moods.” He was stomping around and pouting about what four year olds usually pout about: television. He wanted to watch more and I said that he’d seen enough, so I turned it off. A pretty heated argument ensued, because that what we do now…argue. He ran off yelling at me from over his shoulder(you’ll note he’s already learned how to get the last word!), and I continued about my business. An hour later, Max reappeared and said to me, “I’m sorry I’m a bad boy.” Damnit.

Of course I feel aweful and I have no idea where he got that term. I always use the phrase, “You’re being naughty right now,” or, “Max, that is very naughty behavior.” I really don’t use “bad boy,” because it just sounds kinda harsh to me. Anyway, I sat him down and told him that he was not a bad boy, he just did naughty things sometimes. Cue blank stare, blank stare, eyes wandering….okay, obviously that concept was over his head so I switched gears. I said, “Max you’re not a bad boy. You’re a good boy.” Well, that made him smile and it seemed like the conversation was over. He bounded off pacified and content while I patted myself on the back for being a totally awesome mediator.

I thought the conversation had been quashed, but that night he lay in bed and asked me to “sweep” with him. So I laid next to him and he then proceeded to ask me, “Mommy, can you pweese talk to me about being a good boy.” Well that hit me right in the gut and it occurred to me that he spends most days listening to how he’s messing up. Either I’m correcting him on manners, hitting his sister, arguing etc. But I don’t really spend the same amount of time praising him. So, I’ve made it a mission to try and point out the good things he does every day. Some days it’s harder to find equal amounts of good vs bad, but I’ll even use, “Good job playing the Wii son!” if it means keeping it equal.

I can tell you that every night, after the teeth have been brushed, songs have been sung and books have been read, I lay with him and we discuss all the ‘”good” things he did that day. Before I leave, instead of just saying “Good night,” I now say, “Good night…good boy.” The little smile that spreads on his face is enough to get me up the next morning and do it all over again…even if I have to really dig to find something nice to say.

Max’s Top 10 Hits

So, I’ve stated in previous posts that I don’t listen to children’s music…I just can’t do it. Lord knows I’ve tried, but I love music too much to listen to a chorus of not-my-children singing “Old MacDonald” over and over and over and over and over again. Instead, I’ve made it a point to crank the radio during a particularly awesome song, while I point out why said song is so awesome. After making a mixed CD of some of Max’s favorites, I am beginning to rethink my strategy. Here is a list of his top 10 Favorites:

1)Boom Boom Pow by the Black Eyed Peas. A fun dance song that he refers to as ‘his’ song.

2)Right Round by Flo Rida. Another fun song, but I have a sinking suspicion it’s not about dancing at all…

3)I Know You Want Me(Calle Ocho) by Pitbull. At least that’s mostly in Spanish, so neither me nor Max know the vulgar, Spanish things coming out of his mouth.

4)Dead and Gone by T.I. featuring JT. At least Max doesn’t understand what T.I. is talking about when he raps about driveby shooting retaliation, but neither do the millions of other white dudes who’ve propelled this song to the top of the charts, yet THEY still love it too.

5)Poker Face by Lady GaGa. Ummm, I think he might be gay…

6)My Life Would Suck Without You by Kelly Clarkson. It’s probably not a good idea to condone a four year old shouting “SUCK” at the top of his lungs.

7)Don’t Trust Me by 3OH!3. The only part he likes is, “Shush girl, shut yo lips. DOOO the Helen Keller, and talk with your hips.” Oh come on, that doesn’t even make sense!

8)Halo by Beyonce. Oh thank God something normal. Except he loves the high-noted runs the best…again, back to the gay question mark(Not that there’s anything WRONG with that).

9)Clumsy by Fergie. There is entirely too much Fergie on this list. Unacceptable Max…un-ac-ceptable.

10)Blame It by Jamie Foxx. Oh crap, I’m a terrible mother.

The Walgreens Lady

We were in Walgreens yesterday to pick up a few things. Max loves Walgreens. Everytime we go, he loves wandering the isles and directing me as to which isle we should head down next. Yesterday, he was particularly “excited” to be there-demonstrated by the bouncing, chattering skipping and fondling of various items. You know, typical boy stuff. We proceeded to the check-out where an older, pink haired lady awaited with a look of pure dread…almost like I was rolling a dead, mangled body in my shopping cart. The following conversation ensued:

Max-LookMommy!MOOMMMEEEYYYlookatthecandycanIhavesomecandy? OooohhhhhlookMommywhat’sthatcanIhaveoneofthosetooMOOMMMEEEYYY!(Notice these should probably be sentences, but they come out as one, long word when Max gets in the zone).

Me-No Max, you don’t need any candy. No you can’t have that. Please come over here, I can’t see you.

Kate-EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKK!

Me-Good grief Katie, I…

Max-MOOMMMEEEYYYlookatmeI’mcrawlinglikeasnakeooohhhI’mafrognow…

Lady-My. Um. He sure is busy isn’t he?

Me-Yes, they’re BOTH busy. Heh, heh.

Lady-You’ve certainly got your hands full.

Me-(Courteous laugh) I sure do.

Katie-EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK

Lady-(Pausing for the ringing in her ears to stop) I don’t think I could do it.

Me-(Courteous, strained laugh)

Lady-I mean, they would drive me crazy.

Me-(Waiting for the “But they sure are cute” qualifier)

Lady-They’re just SO loud….Ya know?

Me-Not as loud as your 57 cats you old spinster windbag….

Well, that last bit was only in my head, but it’s what I ALMOST said had Max not run out the front doors pushing a shopping cart and screaming, “Lookit’sarollercoster!” Oy.

Hey Florida! Are you ready for The Roberts?

We’re leaving this Thursday for 8 days of fun in the sun! It will be Max’s second or third trip to the beach and Kate’s first. Seeing as how she doesn’t like to be hot, cold, wet, dirty or generally inconvenienced in any way…this should be interesting. It’s a birthday celebration for my FIL…I won’t go into his age(you’re welcome Pop Pop), but I’ll just say it’s a “milestone birthday.” Needless to say, those “milestones” usually go down with a bang!

My only reservation is the plane ride. Max has always been good on planes, you just give him a few movies, snacks, and books and he’s ready to roll. Miss Thang, on the other hand, has proved a bit more challenging. Lately she has been absolutely un-entertainable. Is that a word? Well it should be because that’s EXACTLY what she is, un-entertainable. I can’t keep her attention longer than 10 minutes with any one thing, so I’ve been collecting an entire bag of new toys to hopefully make it through the hour and a half flight. I don’t know if you all read the previous post about our disaster plane ride to and from California…but I’m not looking forward to reliving it!

I am so determined to not have a repeat of the last disaster that I am procuring not one, but TWO portable DVD players. I don’t care what Ryan says, I need to do everything I can to entertain them as much as possible to maintain the peace..if not for myself then for the other passengers! I know, I know, your next question is, “But why can’t they just watch the same movie?” That WOULD be nice wouldn’t it? Too bad my kids didn’t get the memo entitled, “Let’s just give mom a break and be reasonable about the whole thing.” Nope. My kids like completely different shows. Max is a Caillou, Wow Wow Wubzy man, and Kate is a Yo Gabba Gabba and Dora enthusiast…and so it begins.

We were suppose to go to Hawaii, but the thought of 10 hours on a plane with my children disturbed me so deeply, that I ended up in the fetal position sucking my thumb and singing “Hush Little Baby.” I think everyone took pity on me and humored me with a much shorter trip to Florida. I am grateful, cause just the thought of a 10 hour plane ride…just…Uh-oh, I’m feeling a strong urge to find a cool, dark corner.

I’m no expert

Shocking, I know. However, the reality is that whether you have one child or ten children, we never really become the expert parents that we so desire to be. As a matter of fact, as soon as you start to actually say to yourself, “Oh, I know JUST what to do here. No problem, seen it a hundred times,” life throws another curve ball and your stuck chanting the mantra of newbie parents everywhere, “WhatdoIdowhatdoIdoCrapCrapWhatdoIdo?!?!!”

I was chanting just that mantra this morning when I went into Kate’s room to discover the most rancid, aweful smell emanating from her pants. She’s been really picky about eating for the past few days…so much so, that she’s only wanted green beans and strawberries. She’s also had a very, very mild off-and-on fever, but I thought it was just a teething thing because, you know, I AM the expert…right?

Wrong! As soon as I picked her up and took her to the changing table, I knew I was in over my head. Imagine the nastiest diaper possible…now multiply by 100 and THAT’S what was waiting for me at 8:00 AM from the sweetest, cherubic face imaginable. I’ve never seen anything like it and that includes having had a boy first. I was shocked, appalled and completely freaked out.

WhatdoIdowhatdoIdoCrapCrapWhatdoIdo?!?!

Needless to say I pulled myself together and managed to clean it up, but the whole thing got me thinking that maybe, just maybe I’m not the totally-awesome-has-it-together expert mother that I had tricked myself into believing. As a matter of fact, what do I ACTUALLY know about parenting? So I had to wrack my brain and think of a few things that I know, without a doubt, about parenting. Otherwise, I might as well hand in my Mother Card and call it a day. Please do enjoy:

1)Getting peed on is WAY preferrable to the alternative.
3)It is acceptable to allow another kid shove or yell at your child, but kicking and punching is when you intervene.
4)Sometimes ear infections present as crankiness and low grade fevers instead of the traditional symptoms.
5)Television is not a bad way to distract for 30 minutes…or so.
6)Swaddle, swaddle, swaddle
7)Every fall, bump, scrape and booboo can magically be fixed with a kiss.
8)Never feel stupid for taking your kid to see the doctor and don’t let anyone else make you feel stupid or hysterical…listen to your instincts.
9)Tell your kid about the playdate ON THE DAY OF, not before…just in case you can’t deliver.
10)No two kids are alike, even if they are siblings.
11)Discipline is just another arm of love.
12)Cleaning up poop in the bathtub is not as hard, or disgusting, as you would think.
13)No matter how much you clean your child, he/she will ALWAYS manage to find the dirt and sit and/or roll in it.
14)Infants can’t focus on more than two things at a time, so bouncing, swaying and singing all at the same time will quiet ANY colicky baby.
15)Sometimes you just gotta go with your gut instead of what the books, mom’s and friends are telling you.

I take it back…

I’m going to do something on this blog that I rarely ever do(mostly because I never really have to). I’m going to take it back and say I was….wait for it….wrong. Yes, I’m taking back every praise I ever uttered about that damn Wii. In a previous post, I suggested that it was a good thing for our family. I even went so far as to claim that it was fun. Well folks, we are four months into having that demonic device and I can safely say the only things that have come out of the Wii are 1)shouting, 2)temper tantrums 3)crying and 4)power struggles.

It’s gotten so bad I had to develop a “Behavior Chart” to reward my 4 year old for things he should ALREADY be doing! Pre-Wii, things were actually going pretty smooth. He was listening to me; we were agreeing on most things; the temper tantrums had waned…it was like a freakin 80s sitcom around here! Post-Wii has been a completely different story as he has reverted back to the tantrums and screaming about playing Mario Kart all day. If I tell him to turn it of, it’s a knock down, drag out battle of the vocal cords.

So, what is a behavior chart? It is much like a potty chart that rewards stickers for good behavior. We call ours the “No Fits” chart. At the top I drew pictures of everything we fight about and down the side I listed the days of the week. Once he fills his chart with stickers, he can go pick out a toy. As I was drawing the pictures for the top I realized that, “Damn. We fight about everything. It’s an all day event!” I’ve got pictures of: eating breakfast, getting dressed, going to school, sitting on the potty, playing the Wii, getting in the bath, going to bed, running errands and listening to me. Yup, that basically sums up our entire day.

No Fits!!
No Fits!!

However, I am happy to report that the chart has been very helpful this week. I noticed that Max and I are a little nicer to each other, a little slower to snap, and all around pleasant again. Of course, he has off days and so do I, but I think it’s been a HUGE benefit in the long run. If he starts to throw a fit about something, I just threaten to take away a sticker or, worse yet, not even GIVE him a sticker and he straightens up….usually. So we’ll see how this plays out. Could be the best thing we’ve done or it could turn into yet ANOTHER chapter in our book called, “Max and Mommy: Living with laughter, intensity and power struggles.”

Max’s quotes of the week

On discussing where we should eat that day and what toy he would receive: I wanna go to Kings Burger and get the pink glasses!

Upon the realization that no other kids were at the Burger King playcenter: Where are my best friends? I NEED my best friend!

On going number two in the potty after eating too many Sweet Tarts: Mommy! Mommy! Can you help me? My poo-poo is hurting and I have pee-pee on my foot. Can you get it off?

On having to apologize to Baby Kate because he jumped on her head: I didn’t hurt her Mommy. I was just showing her how to jump off the couch.

After playing with our dog: Mommy, Zoe is my best friend.

After being told it’s time to get out of the bathtub: That was AWEFUL!

When asked if he knew what “aweful” meant: Yes. It means sad. It was a sad bath.

And finally, after losing at one of the Wii Carnival games: Oh. My. God! THIS is Ri-Dic-U-Lous!

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