Wednesday, April 28, 2010

One of Those Days

Today was one of those days. The kind of day that explains why you're finding more gray hairs than you'd like. The kind of day when you think there isn't enough white wine in the world to make you feel better. The kind of day when you wonder what the age cut-off is for being able to drop your kids off at a fire station under the Safe Haven Law. Yes, definitely one of those days.

Nothing particularly bad happened. No one got hurt. No one failed a test, had a poop accident or threw up. I must have, however, missed the announcement that today was declared "An Official Day of Whining" because I spent the day listening to all three kids whine about every. single. thing. all. day. long.

Sydney whined about the contents of her lunch kit. She whined about having to correct the mistakes on last week's math worksheets. She cried and whined for twenty minutes when we couldn't find her bike helmet. I finally had to make her go inside by herself because I just couldn't take it anymore. (And then I found the bike helmet which temporarily made me a hero.)

Evan threw a fit about not being able to hold my hand while walking into church (kinda tough to do when you're struggling to carry a twenty pound box of church-wide garage sale donations). He whined when we had to leave the park because Liam needed a bathroom pronto. He whined when I took away a toy that he and Liam were fighting over.

Liam whined about having to eat goldfish crackers for snack (he wanted pretzels instead). He whined about having to eat oranges instead of pears at lunch. He whined about Evan getting to play with a toy he wanted. He whined about having to clean up the living room before he was allowed to watch TV.

By 6 pm, I'd had it. With Ryan still at work, I told Liam that if he didn't help clean up the living room, he'd be going to bed right after his bath. He all-out refused to help the other two clean up. So even though Ryan arrived home while I gave Liam a bath, I brushed his teeth and he was put in bed. It was only 6:20. But you know what? I didn't care. I'd made a threat and I knew I had to follow through.

He threw a major tantrum, especially when he realized that Evan was still up and watching a little TV with Sydney before bed. But since we have a door knob cover on the inside of his door to prevent him from breaking-out, he was stuck. He cried for help, he cried for Ryan and eventually he cried for Evan. Evan toddled back to Liam's room and opened his door since there's no knob cover on the outside of his door. Evan rejoined us and declared, "I nice. Bud not nice." At least we got a little chuckle out of that. (Side note: Liam's nickname is Bud.)

By then, it was 7 pm so it was time for all three kids to hit the sack. Liam calmed down when he realized the other two were on their way to Sleepytown and we haven't heard a peep from any of them since.

I sure hope tomorrow goes better than today because I'm about to go open our last bottle of white wine.

Then again, if things don't improve, I might just have to learn to like red wine.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Dear American Idol,

Please stop running over your allotted time. I don't care about seeing the last five minutes of your show and I certainly don't like missing the last five minutes of Glee because my DVR doesn't know that you are a time hog. You are past your prime, anyway, and now it's time for another show to shine.

A Thirty-Something Gleek

Dear Guy With a Train Whistle as Your Car Horn,

What made you think that getting an actual train whistle installed in your truck was a good idea? And what exactly is funny about blowing it behind innocent and unsuspecting joggers and cyclists? I have a feeling that one day soon you're going to regret blowing that horn. After all, this is Texas and lots of people carry concealed weapons. I think even you can do the math on that one.

I'm Just Sayin',
A Neighbor Who Believes in Karma

Dear Boys,

Please stop tearing up and breaking all of our toys; pretty soon you won't have any left. On a similar note, please stop peeling the wallpaper off the walls and ripping out the individual slats in the window blinds. The two of you and your antics are making me lose what's left of my mind.


Dear School Board Jerks,

Thanks a lot for firing all of the nurses and librarians in the school district and replacing them with minimum-wage aides. You've really shown where your priorities lie. And I'll be letting you know where mine lie when I vote in the school board elections next month.

A Very Ticked-off Parent

Dear My Favorite Grocery Store,

Thank you for running your "buy this one thing, get these five things free" specials. You really do help me feed my family for less. However, I'd appreciate it if your deals included more fresh foods and fewer processed foods. Not everyone wants to buy two packages of bratwurst and then get hot dogs, a block of Velveeta, a bag of chips, a two liter soda and a box of cookies for free. Some of us actually want to feed our families real food.

A Semi-Happy Shopper

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

Here's a blast from the not-so-distant past:


Our annual bluebonnet photo from 2007.

It's one of my all-time favorites, not just because it's cute, but because it's proof that at some point in time, Sydney and Liam actually kind of liked each other!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spring Has Sprung

Thank you to everyone for your words of encouragement regarding Liam's speech. It was a rough day and I know the road will be long and winding, but we'll get there. And the ten bucks goes to Fran - Liam said, "Mommy, there's a big bug in the school bus!" after he found a giant roach in his toy bus. (Please don't judge my housekeeping skills. This is Texas and there are roaches - really big roaches, which proves the old "everything in Texas is bigger" hypothesis.)


As promised, a cheerier post - with pictures!!

It's tradition in Texas to take pictures of your kids in bluebonnets, the state flower, during the Spring. It's a tradition I love and I really hope we can continue it until the kids are grown. Or until they threaten to disown me for forcing them to do it yet again.

We took some individual pictures:


Sydney and her toothless grin.


Liam, who looks so grown up!


Evan, with his sweet smile.


The group shot didn't turn out so great.


But the group shot in front of the river made up for the not-so-great bluebonnet picture.


And the ice cream at the nearby Blue Bell creamery made up for a day's worth of being forced to "Say cheese!"

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Gig Gugs

"Mommy, dare's a gig gug in de cool bus!"

I heard this from Liam the other day. Ten bucks goes to the first person who can tell me what he said. (I know what he said, I just want to see if anyone else can figure it out.)

He's been going to speech therapy twice a week for the past few months and while he's talking more than he used to, hardly anyone (save the four of us who live with him) can understand him.

Is there a word that describes a feeling beyond frustration? If so, that would describe how I'm feeling about his lack of progress.

The problem is that he mumbles and doesn't move his lips when he talks. This must be genetic because Ryan remembers his stepdad telling him to stop talking like he had marbles in his mouth. Obviously, Ryan figured it out because by the time I met him in elementary school, he was talking just fine. But I wonder if his mother ever had to work with him like this:

Me: Liam, say book.

Liam: Gook.

Me: Boo, boo, book.

Liam: Boo, boo, gook.

Me: Liam, say bike.

Liam: Gike.

Me: Bi, bi, bike.

Liam: Bi, bi, gike.

Me: Liam, say bubble.

Liam: Bubble.

Me: Liam, say baby.

Liam: Baby.

Do you see the pattern? There's some fancy schmancy term for it, but in short, he sometimes replaces the first consonant sound with the second one (or one like it - g and k are quite similar). If it's the same sound (bubble, baby), there's no problem. But if it's different (book, bike), he can't say it. However, he only does it when the second consonant sound is gutteral (in the back of the throat - g or k). If it's labial (uses the lips - b, m or p), or uses the tongue (s, l or n) it's not an issue. He also occasionally drops an s or th, but most of the time if I correct him immediately and make him repeat it correctly, he can say it.

Got all that?

The speech therapist promises me that with a lot of work, an hour a week from her and about a thousand hours a week from me, he'll get it.

I've been thinking about getting some kind of at-home part time job and I guess I've found it. Too bad I don't get paid for it.

Sorry for the whine; I just had to get that off my chest. I promise my next post will be happier and may even have pictures of three of the cutest kids on the planet.

Monday, April 12, 2010

I'm Reading Too Much

I can't believe it's been ten days since my last post. I'm such a slacker.

In my defense, we have been having fabulous weather the last couple of weeks and we have been outside enjoying every minute of it. Come mid-May, it will be so hot that we'll be spending most of our time indoors with the air conditioner set on full blast a practical, yet comfortable temperature.

(Insert your own segue here; I'm too lazy to think of one.)

So I had the weirdest thing happen the other day. I'm a reader. Not just any kind of reader. I'm a cheap reader. I love to read books, but I don't want to spend money on them when I know I'm not the kind of person who will reread them. I'm a huge fan of the library and as a member of two book clubs, I'm there a lot. Most of the time, I reserve the books I want online and then go pick them up when they're ready. But when I went to reserve one of my clubs' latest selections, I got the following message:

"This item may not be requested. You have exceeded the maximum number of items that may reserved at your current card level."

Huh? My "current card level"? What does that mean? I don't have clearance for certain books? How do I get to a higher level? I don't have to bite the head off of a chicken or anything, do I?

And a "maximum number of items"? Are they telling me that I read too much? I'm sure my family would answer that one in the affirmative ("Mommy, how can you read and cook at the same time?"), but I never thought the library would tell me such a thing.

So the boys and I made our weekly trip to the library today so that I could whine and plead ask the staff what the heck was going on. It turns out that they are updating their software and are denying all hold requests until early May until they get it all straightened out.

Whew! For a minute there, I thought I was going to have to actually go spend money on some books.

But now I have to figure out how to get my latest book club selection. I guess I'll actually have to look through the shelves and find it myself.

I hope I remember how to do that. :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Fooled Ya!

While eating dinner one evening this past week, Sydney asked me about April Fool's Day. I explained the concept and clarified a few details, like that joke has to make sense and that nobody should be physically harmed in the execution of the joke.

She decided that she wanted to try it out and since Ryan wasn't home for dinner, he became our target and we began to hatch our little plan.

For two days we practiced her lines. We went over several scenarios, worked on the finer points of how to keep a straight face while executing the joke and the importance of the "April Fool's" timing.

Here's how it went down:

Sydney (with a completely straight face): Daddy, I failed my math test. It was so hard and I just didn't understand it.

Ryan (very serious): What happened? I thought you knew all of the material.

Sydney (glancing at me while and waiting for my nod): April Fool's!! I did really good on my math test! It was SO easy!!

Ryan: What?!? (Looking at me) How could you do this to me?

It's been over twenty four hours and he's still pretty mad about it. He admitted that he's not mad about the content of the joke, but that he was fooled. By a six year old.


Did you pull any April Fool's jokes?