Tuesday, May 31, 2011


What do these three things have in common?

Water Boarding, Pulling out fingernails one by one, swimsuit shopping

If you said they're all forms of torture, then you win the prize!  (Not an actual prize, but one of those self congratulatory pats on the back kind of prizes.)

For an hour this past weekend I was tortured.  No, I didn't suddenly find myself in the hands of some North Korean prison guards.  I found myself in two department stores trying on swimsuits.  Ugh.

I've needed a couple of new swimsuits for about a year now.  We go swimming a lot and mine are worn out, as in the little elastic bra thing in the top of my tankini top is no longer elasticky.  I thought I'd take advantage of the Memorial Day sales and get a couple of new suits.  Ha!  Little did I know that no one makes a decent looking suit for a petite mom of three who can't seem to get rid of her pooch of a belly.

Because he truly has a good eye for what looks good on me, I brought Ryan along.  He sat in the "husband chairs" (you know, the chairs right outside the ladies' dressing room), held my purse and shared his opinions on the dozen or so suits I tried on.  To his credit, he didn't once comment on the jiggliness (hey, if Sarah Palin can make up words then so can I) of my thighs.  He did raise an eyebrow to a couple of the more revealing suits.

I discovered a while back that I look best in v-neck clothing so those are the suits that I gravitate toward.  For some reason, swimsuit designers seem to think that women who like to wear v-necks also like to show their wares to every Tom, Dick and Harry.  You know what?  Not all of us want to show that much boobage....some of us just like v-necks!  

So, anyway, the only suit that really fit me was a blue plaid tankini with, I am not kidding, ruffles on it.  Yes, ruffles on a grown woman's swimsuit.  Really?  I felt like Elly May Clampett and vetoed it immediately.  Who in the world wants ruffles around her hips?  Doesn't that just scream, "Look how wide my hips are!!"?

I don't know what I'm going to do.  I really don't want to wear my old suits anymore.  I know kids are often embarrassed at how their moms look in their swimsuits; mine are so bad, I'm embarrassed for myself.  I also don't want to torture myself any further by trying on any more of them.  

How hard can it be to design a decent, dignified yet cute, swimsuit?

If I'm going to wear something that amounts to, let's face it, underwear that is worn in public, I've got to have some standards. 

And apparently current swimwear designers have no standards whatsoever.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


My life seems to revolve around 'O' words these days.

There's the end of the Oprah show.  I started watching her show when I was ten years old.  I grew up with her.  While I missed several years when she was in her weird spirituality phase, I started watching again when Sydney was a baby.  I certainly skipped a lot of shows (I can't stand make-over shows), but I did wind up watching most of this last season.  Most people say they'll just start watching her new network, but since we don't have cable or satellite, this truly is the end of an era for me.

And then there's my outstanding kids who surprise me everyday with their achievements and capacity to care for others.  Sydney has finished 2nd grade with all A's and over 200 reading points (that's a lot for a 2nd grader).  She proceeded to spend half of her reading points at the little library store on gifts for her brothers.  Liam insisted on saving a cookie for Ryan (who missed dinner one evening) and giving his brother a turn at being first at something.  And Evan has taken to sharing his snack with Liam.  He won't share his drinks - that boys loves his liquids - but he has no problem giving his food to others.

And, finally, there's my feeling of being completely overwhelmed by the whole Disney vacation thing.  I've read, researched, made notes, talked to dozens of experienced Disney travelers and I'm still overwhelmed.  There is simply too much to do there and we're not even bothering with the character meals or extras like the dining plans.  I'm going to let the kids watch YouTube videos on various attractions and make a list of things we just can't miss and then we'll fill in the rest of days with any other things we can fit in.  I told Ryan that my biggest obstacle will be being able to throw my Type A personality out the window so that the kids can enjoy the experience without feeling like their mom is a drill sergeant.  I know we won't get to ride everything or see everything, especially since all three kids are too short to ride a lot of things, and I just have to get it through my thick skull that the kids will enjoy whatever it is we get to do there.  I guess we'll just have to plan to go back in a few years so that we can catch all the things we missed this time.  :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Every. Single. Time.

Anyone with kids knows that asking your kids to use the bathroom before you go somewhere is a complete waste of time.  Oh, they might actually "go" before you leave, but you'll still wind up taking them to the bathroom wherever you go.

Every Wednesday, I make all three kids go to the bathroom before we leave for swim lessons.  Both Sydney and Evan can last the entire hour we're there without having to visit the nasty swim lessons bathroom.  However, halfway through his lesson, Liam comes and finds me for our weekly trip to the chlorine-smelling pair of toilets.  I'm usually reading a book with Evan when the side door opens to reveal my four and half year old drowned rat with a look of urgency on his face and both hands holding his bottom.  Every.  Single.  Lesson.   And he's not alone.  There are two other little boys around the same age who do the exact same thing.  Their mothers and I joke that the swim lesson people must put some kind of laxative in the water.

And let's not forget the park.  Five minutes into a trip to the park, at least one of the kids comes up to me doing the potty dance.  Every.  Single.  Time.   And then, of course, we have to leave the park to high tail it home because very few parks have bathrooms.  It's always fun racing home with one desperate child and their two angry siblings.

Oh, and the grocery store!  That's always a fun one.  Just as I reach the meat department in the back left corner of the giant store, at least one of the boys says in his outside voice, "I need to go poo poo right now, Mommy."  Every.  Single.  Time.  Naturally, the restroom at our giant grocery store is near the front right corner of the store so I have to weave my way across the entire store at an inhuman pace in order to walk the nearly quarter of a mile (I am not kidding) to the restroom before the offending child has done something to destroy a shopping cart and get me banned from the store for life.

No parenting books (that I've read anyway) ever mention that your child will need to visit the bathroom of every place you visit.  I've found that they also never mention that having to use the bathroom is contagious among the under five crowd.

Maybe these are just the things they want you to find out for yourself.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


So here it is, 4:30 am, and I'm up for the day.  Not by choice, of course.

My "I fall asleep just fine but heaven help me if I wake up in the middle of the night" insomnia has struck again and here I am wide awake at this horrible hour.

And since there is absolutely nothing on TV at 4:30 in the morning (especially since we only have antenna TV now), what else is there to do but get on the computer?

Ironically, one of the news stories currently on my homepage is titled something like "10 Things That Mess Up Your Sleep" so of course I had to read it.  Most of what they had to say falls under the "well, duh" category - limit caffeine, don't exercise right before bed, don't work right before bed, don't eat a heavy meal right before bed, don't take a late afternoon nap.  Is there anyone who doesn't already know these things?

They should list some real life reasons for sleeplessness like:
-children who wake up crying (and come into your room) at 12:30 am and then again at 3:30 am.
-workaholic husbands who can't go back to sleep, either, and get ready for work and leave at 3:30.
-clogged sinuses that are painful and make it hard to breathe.
-a to-do list about a mile long.
-feeling guilty that you let your kids watch too much TV the previous day because of the clogged sinuses and mile long to-do list
-worrying about things that are uncontrollable.
-trying to come up with daily plans for a really-expensive-so-we-are-not-wasting-any-time Disney vacation.
-a meeting with a school principal to request that your high achieving, yet not officially GT kid, be put in the GT class so that she can be challenged more.
-having only two more days of freedom since Mother's Day Out ends this week.
-being mad that you bought your kid a nice camera for her birthday just to find out that she can't take either of the photography classes you'd planned for this summer.
-feeling guilty that you were happy that a book club member you can't stand didn't make it to the previous night's meeting.
-trying to figure out how to tell another book club member that, despite her continued insistence that it's wonderful, you are not interested in attending a really intensive Bible study four towns over.  (Apparently my reasoning that it's too far away is not good enough.)

Aren't those much better reasons than the ones the article mentioned?

So.....what keeps you up at night?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Birthday Bash

May is a busy month for us with Sydney and Evan having their birthdays just two days apart.  Add in all of the end of school hoopla, and we're ready for summer when it finally arrives.

Sydney's birthday was Friday and since she loves the movie "Mamma Mia!", we decided to take her and a friend to see the Broadway production of it in The Big City.  We ate at our favorite pizza joint and then headed to the theater for the musical.  Neither of the girls had ever been to a production of that magnitude and had a great time, even if they did keep exclaiming that it was different from the movie.  And yes, I was a little disappointed that Colin Firth (who was in the movie) did not make an appearance on the stage Friday evening.  Sigh....such is life.

Evan woke up on Sunday to his traditional birthday breakfast of cinnamon rolls and told us how old he was:

(He's holding up three fingers, but the third one's a bit hard to see.)

He promptly reminded everyone we saw at church of his birthday, too: "Today's my birthday!  I'm three today!  I'm having a dinosaur cake!"

He'd been eyeing a certain dinosaur cake on the bakery counter of our favorite grocery store for ages, so there was no way we could disappoint him and not have that cake (gaudy as it was) at our family party on Sunday afternoon:


Both kids had a great time opening their presents (this is just a very small sampling):

(A stuffed dog for Evan)

(He loves dragons as much as dinosaurs)

(A bubble mower for the yard!)

And Sydney's birthday wouldn't be complete without some Harry Potter stuff:

(Harry Potter Clue Game)

(The 7th Harry Potter movie which she just had to watch last night)

She also got the Lego Harry Potter Wii game, but somehow I can't get that picture to load.

And then the kids had fun playing in their new sprinkler and rolling around in their new play tunnel:


(This Evan saying, "Ta da!" after each crawl through the tunnel.)

They both had great birthdays.  And now I can rest a few months until Liam's birthday this fall.  Whew!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Would You Rather....

My parents have a board game at their house that Sydney and my nieces like to play when we're all visiting.  It's called "Would You Rather....".  Basically, you have to choose the lesser of two evils when given a pair of either really silly or really gross scenarios.  For example:

1.  "Would you rather.....have your mom give you a huge sloppy kiss in front of all of your friends when dropping you off at school or have your friends witness your parents kiss for a full ten seconds?"

2.  "Would you rather....drink the juice the gathers at the bottom of a garbage bag or lick the bottom of your brother's shoe?"

We all have a good time watching the girls play it, especially when they get to giggling over the scenarios.

However, I wasn't laughing a whole lot this week when our lives turned into a game of "Would You Rather....".  Just this week we faced the following dilemmas:

1. Would you rather hold down your daughter while she gets a shot for strep or see your son's knocked out teeth in your husband's hand?

2. Would you rather watch your daughter gag on the strep test q-tips shoved down her throat or watch your son get a set of x-rays on his bloody and mangled mouth?

3. Would you rather get up two nights in a row to deal with a vomiting child or get only four hours of sleep one night because you're so worried about two sick/hurt kids?

4. Would you rather have to change a set of vomit-crusted sheets at 4:30 in the morning or smear antibiotic liquid on  the gaping holes in your son's mouth where he used to have two teeth?

Except this game of "Would You Rather...." didn't let us choose between the scenarios.  We had to do them all.

Yep, it was one of those weeks.  Sydney was home most of the week with strep throat (which, for her, means a sore throat and nausea/vomiting) and Liam slipped after his swim lesson and knocked out his top two front teeth.  While Sydney will get better, Liam will have a gaping hole in his mouth until his permanent teeth come in when he's seven or eight years old.  And, in addition to his normal speech difficulties, now has a lisp.

The only upside is that they're both on the same diet: soft foods, popsicles and ice cream.

And Evan?  He's perfectly healthy and perfectly content to take advantage of all the extra frozen treats in the house.

I guess one healthy kid out of three isn't bad.