Friday, January 30, 2009


There's something you should understand about Macey. She looks like a cute, blue-eyed blond adorable girl. But she has a temper. And when she starts crying she cannot calm down until she is in her bed and has a few minutes away from everything.

And she is still addicted to her pacifier, lovingly know as her "pie".

So we've taken this addiction and tried to use it as an incentive in her potty training. Everytime she has an accident, we take away her "pie" and she has an opportunity to earn it back later.

Today she lost it. Because she had a big accident involving IT.

But tonight she got so upset at the thought of going to sleep without her pie. I knew I was heading for a full-blown meltdown.

So I tried one lie. I told her that her father had taken away her pie and I did not know where he put it.

It didn't work. The crying and screaming got louder.

So I tried another lie. I told her that I would look for her "emergency pie" (a tiny pacifier that they give to newborns at the hospital) if she would lay down. I was hoping that while I was "looking" she would fall asleep.

Then I got caught. Emma came downstairs, looking for her nightly drink of water, and caught me on the computer.

"Mom, are you looking for Macey's pie?" she asked.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Showing Off My Parenting Skills

Yesterday Miss Molly turned two months old. Two months! So today she was off to the doctor for her two-month-well-visit. (Crazy punctual -- are you proud of me, Stephanie?)

To get ready for her visit, Molly had a luxurious bath this morning. She was soaped up and lotioned -- every crevice was checked to make sure that she'd be ready for her inspection at the doctor's office. After Macey's breathing condition that I did not take care of and Molly's surprise yeast infection at her last visit, I had to repair my reputation in this doctor's office. I was a good Mom this morning.

We took the girls to school and then went to see the doctor. I stripped Molly down to her diaper and smelled it. IT. Big time IT. I had just a few minutes before the doctor came in. She still had a chance to be beautiful and clean and there was a chance that I would still look like a good Mom.

Until I opened my purse/baby bag.

I had one wipe.

One wipe would not take care of IT.

I got desperate, begged Molly for forgiveness, and wetted some paper towels that were in the exam room. Okay. She got pretty clean. And the doctor was still not there. Pfew.

I wrapped her up in a blanket.

And then I heard PPPFFFFffffffttttttttt.

So much for showing off my parenting skills.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Not Everyone Loves The Snow

Not everyone loves the snow.

Quincy thinks that it's only okay to "do his business" on the grass. If you look outside, there's no grass. He's in a panic. It's like being stuck on I-95 after drinking a 24 oz. Dr. Pepper and the next rest area is 60 miles away.

In other words, it's not good. Not good at all.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snow Incidents

It's now 10:06 a.m. I am calmly waiting for Child Protective Services to show up at my door. Should be any minute now.

The day started off calmly enough. Got dressed, got cereal, had our little morning devotional. So far, so good.

The girls could not wait another minute to play in the snow and got bundled up and headed out for the backyard. Macey only lasted a few minutes as she is not a fan of the snow.

Then it all started falling apart.

Macey was crying because she was wet and cold. Molly was crying because she had a yucky diaper and wanted to sleep. Emma was happily playing so I left her outside and got Macey in the bath and Molly changed.

Then I heard it. The ever so faint sound of my daughter screaming for help.

Apparently instead of taking off her mittens and opening the back door, Emma chose to stand outside and scream for help. Causing great concern for surrounding neighbors.


Monday, January 26, 2009


Macey continues to pray that Emma will do a good job going potty. Emma continues to be mortified over such a prayer, after all, she is a big girl and does not need help. And I continue to think it is all very funny.

So Emma got a little revenge.

She prayed in her nightly prayer last night that I would do a good job going potty.

Not as funny, but point taken.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Parenting In Public

In the November 3rd edition of Newsweek there is a story about how parents, well, parent differently in public versus private. The article relates the story of Heidi Lewis who has two sons -- one is six and one is ten. At dinner time her youngest son was refusing to eat his vegetables. He was even refusing to take just one bite. She writes: "All of the sudden, I heard the words come out of my mouth, screaming: I don't care which orifice you put the broccoli in, just shove it in." As she was calming down, her 10 year old son pointed out how nutritionally useless some of the options might be. "If my husband had been there," she said "he would have been mortified."

Recently I have had my own experience with public v. private. You see, Macey is stubborn. She is STUBBORN. So to get her to be serious about potty training, we ignored the "experts" and went extreme. When she had an accident she lost her lovey blanket and she was spanked.

It was horrible! She would try to cover her little bottom with her hands and ask that we not spank her and tears would run down her face as she handed over her lovey. Oh, it was heartbreaking!

But then, I started wondering what she would do if she had an accident at preschool! Would she cover her little bottom and beg her teacher not to spank her?? Then they would realize that I was spanking her for having accidents! And that is SO against everything the experts say to do. How horrifying to make my private parenting public!

Needless to say, now we only take away lovey.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Every daughter chooses a certain way to rebel against her mother. It's the nature of the relationship. Knowing that one day we will have our own home and our own kids, we vow to do things differently and take a path apart from our mothers.

Emma has already rebelled.

Want to know how?

She folds clothes.

It's the most amazing thing. I do not fold clothes before I put them in drawers. I just don't. They are just going to get mixed up anyway and so I save my chronic organization for the closet.

Not Emma. She folds. Everything. Blankets, towels, pants. And she's good at it! I see a great future career for her at The Gap when she's a teenager.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Emma and Macey are 16 months apart. It may surprise people, but I actually planned it that way. Being separated from my siblings by several years, I wanted my kids to be close together so that they could play with one another and be great friends. Sometimes it works! And sometimes it doesn't.

QUARTERS: Take for example the case of the disappearing quarter. Garry bribes Macey to use the potty with quarters. And being two, after she gets one, she promptly loses it. One day she lost her latest quarter. She looked everywhere. About an hour later we had dinner and Emma unclenched her fist so that she could eat. Suddenly Garry & I heard a "tink, tink, tink." What do you know, a quarter. But she swore it was not Macey's.

PRAYERS: In our nightly and meal prayers lately we have been praying that Macey could remember to use the potty. Two nights ago it was Macey's turn to pray and she prayed that EMMA could be good and use the potty. As soon as she said Amen there was a major protest from Emma. "I do not need her to pray that I can use the potty. I can use the potty!" And the protest continued. I understood that Emma saw this as a low blow, but I thought it was kind of funny.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's All About Timing

Recently Garry and I were having a very involved conversation regarding Macey's potty training. Things were not going well, and we were discussing all options.

During this discussion, Emma walked into the room with her Doodle Pro. She had obviously drawn a picture that she wanted to show me, but I was deep in the throws of potty-training hell.

Emma tried to show me the picture once, twice, and finally I said, "Emma! Just a minute!"

"But Mom," she answered, "I drew a picture of us with Jesus."

Oh, dear. Did I just yell at the Jesus artist?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mamma Mia!

Is it remaining hormones from the pregnancy or does everyone cry when they watch Mamma Mia!??

I'll tell you the moment that did me in. When Merrill Streep watches her daughter go up the mountain to get married and sings Slipping Through My Fingers.

"Schoolbag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile
I watch her go with a surge of that well-known sadness
And I have to sit down for a while.

The feeling that Im losing her forever
And without really entering her world
Im glad whenever I can share her laughter
That funny little girl

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see whats in her mind
Each time I think Im close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time

Sleep in our eyes, her and me at the breakfast table
Barely awake, I let precious time go by
Then when shes gone theres that odd melancholy feeling
And a sense of guilt I cant deny
What happened to the wonderful adventures
The places I had planned for us to go(slipping through my fingers all the time)
Well, some of that we did but most we didnt
And why I just dont know

I wish that I could freeze the picture
And save it from the funny tricks of time
Slipping through my fingers...Slipping through my fingers all the time
Schoolbag in hand she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile...

Aren't daughters just the best things in the world? I'll have to listen to that song every morning so that I remember what a blessing these years are. They're still home, still mine, and still think that I am cool.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Irony Of It All

This weekend we have tackled trying to potty train Macey. Today is Day Three. At the beginning of Day One things were going so well that I thought I might just have to write a book about my method. And then it all started falling apart. By 5:30 she was back in a diaper because she was out of clean underwear.

Day Two. Started off alright. It was the day of the piddles. She'd piddle just enough to need new undies but not enough to cause a big accident. She stopped using the potty entirely and instead waited until nap time and bedtime (when she got a pull-up) to let everything loose.

Day Three. I grew tired of the experts. They suggest making potty training a "happy" and "fun" experience, not getting mad, and never punishing for accidents. After a horrible morning of accidents, Macey got a time-out, spanked, and then, this is really horrible, after her third bad accident in an hour, I took away her lovey blanket.

Experts be darned. She has not had an accident since.

But the irony of it all -- I might end up with a bladder infection because I have not gone to the bathroom! I'm always in the bathroom with her! And since she's using it, I'm not. And when we're not in the bathroom, I either have Molly or am on "Macey Watch".

It's all very stressful.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My Baby Fashionista

Before Macey was born I bought a soft yellow outfit for her. It was a jumper outfit with a matching onesie. And I bought the matching blanket to go along with it. So beautiful and so soft.

It was with much joy that I brought that outfit back out to let Molly enjoy it.

But apparently, she really does not enjoy it. Nope, not one bit.

How do I know? Because each time I put it on her, she spits up. She SPEWS. She makes the outfit unwearable, and I have to change her into something else. She's done this not once, twice, or three times. More like four.

If she's this opinionated at a few weeks old, I hate to think what the toddler years will bring.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I got Garry "Guitar Hero: World Tour" for his birthday. It has gotten a lot of use as he tries to improve his playing. He's really good and regularly crushes any score that I put up.

He likes the fact that you can "earn" money, and the other night he came upstairs to announce that he had made $643 in playing a set that night.

"You know it's not real, right?" I asked. "You're not getting a check in the mail."

Garry laughed, and I thought he understood that it was fake money. Easy come, easy go. Fake.

But the very next day we were customizing my own personal rocker on Guitar Hero. We got to the clothing section, and I found a pair of boots that I liked. Unfortunately, we were logged in on Garry's account, and he would have to pay for the boots from his fake money account.

"I'm not spending $450 on a pair of boots," he said.

I was stunned. I knew that Garry was generally careful with money in real life, but to be cheap on Guitar Hero was just a whole new level of cheap.

Needless to say, I have some trampy heels. How I am supposed to rock out in heels is beyond me.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Parenting Philosophy

I'm reading a book called Scream Free Parenting. I would like to learn to do a better job with my kids, especially Macey. I LOVE Macey. But I do not love her tantrums.

In Chapter One the author talked about how many years ago kids were expected to be seen and not heard. The author alleges that we have gone to a new extreme where kids are our entire lives -- their homework, their soccer practices, etc., and we just become fancy drivers from activity to activity. He believes that we need to find something in the middle where we take care of our kids and ourselves.

So, where is the middle ground, and how do you find it? And avoid the guilt?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Open Letter To The Plastics Industry

In the immortal words of those who celebrate the grand holiday Festivus (the holiday for the rest of us) I have some grievances.

I am sure that you, the plastic industry, take great pride in the strength of your product. But in your driving need to make a superior product, you are hurting the American public.

My hands have just begun to heal from Christmas Day. For the love, why do you have to lock up Barbie like she is Fort Knox? I just do not see the rational in this. She only cost $9.99.

And videos and CDs. Wow. Is it your goal to make me look stupid in front of my children because I cannot open Kung Fu Panda because I cannot get the plastic off? If that's your goal, really, you are doing a great job.

May I suggest putting a nice tab on videos and CDs so that we can rip and go? And may I suggest that you ease up on guarding Barbie? I've seen the Mariposa movie (five times this week alone). She's tougher than she looks.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Taking One For The Team

I am overcome with laundry. Though Molly looks small, she is a producer in mass quantities of laundry. You see, she tends to spit up. And sometimes it's more than spitting up. Sometimes she gushes. Which means a new outfit, a new onesie, a new blanket. . . and more laundry.

Garry is really trying to help out. He puts a load in the washer in the morning before work so that when I wake up I can put it in the dryer and hopefully put it away, if all goes well.

He helps carry the laundry up and down the three flights of stairs (argh! townhouse!) and has been really good about putting his clothes away after I sort them out and put them on the bed.

Garry also irons all of his shirts every night to help get ready for work the next day. (I used to iron but then I caught him re-ironing what I had ironed, and that was the end of that).

But the biggest way he is helping out -- Garry has worn the same shirt four days in a row when he gets home from work. This thing is going to walk to the washer by the time he retires it, but hey, that's three fewer shirts that I have had to wash. Way to take one for the team!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Sometimes I feel pretty good about being a mother and how much the girls are learning. Today we had our "morning devotional" where we read an article in the Friend and today part of it actually stuck -- it was an article about all the things God created, and Emma actually talked about it a bit on our way to storytime at the library.

Those are the good days.

Then there are the not so good days.

We were in Sacrament Meeting and the speaker was talking about the Prophet, Joseph Smith. Emma perked up and exclaimed, "Joseph Smith! He's on Pocohontas!!"

Oh, dear. No, Emma, that would be Captain John Smith. But close.

Here's hoping your good days outnumber your bad.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Put Your Best FACE Forward

In the last week, Garry and I have discovered a little thing called "Facebook". Okay, we are only a few years behind everyone else. But that has given our friends an opportunity to join first, and we've had a lot of fun finding our schoolmates and friends in the mass catalogue of Facebook.

As a female, joining Facebook has been a stressful process. You want to find just the right picture. Something that makes you look fabulous so that boy that was mean to you in High School feels the sharp pang of regret.

So I picked a picture that we had taken at Portrait Innovations with me, Emma & Macey. The picture is okay. In my convuluted, delusional mind, I actually think that I am cuter than displayed, but it's what I had on hand.

The problem is my effort to look cute and successful was horribly sabotaged by my husband.

Alright Facebook fans, check out his profile picture, and you will see what I mean.

Horrible, right?

Everyone is going to look at his picture and think that I married some fanatic, gun toting, terrorist hating, West Virginian. And, okay, I did. But they won't realize that Garry is really smart and dresses quite well (especially if he will ever wear that nice black sweater I got him for his birthday -- hint, hint) and has a good job and is the perfect father.

Is there anything in the wedding vows that prevents Facebook Sabotage?

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Have you seen the commercial where the lady opens her oven and sees a few spots, exclaims in concern and grabs her oven cleaner?

Oh my gosh, that lady would faint dead away if she saw my oven, especially after today's ham debacle. Garry is still trying to convince the kids that the house is not on fire.

So my oven is a weak spot, as well as my kitchen floors. I remember Nina mentioning once that she mops about twice a week. Um, I don't. But I did mop yesterday! Hurray for me.

So those are two of my weak spots. Help me feel better. What are yours?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Charlie Brown and the Football

Every year before my birthday and Christmas I become terribly moody as I stress that Garry will not get me what I want or perhaps anything at all. He's not a gift person and, let's just face it, gifts are my love language, and so it can be a nasty combination at times.

But once a year, it's his turn to stress a little.

His birthday is tomorrow, January 10th, and there is nothing that Garry hates more than a silly, cheap gift. Okay, there are things that he hates more. But this ranks right up there.

I use this information to have a little fun. The last two years I have called Garry and harmlessly asked, "Hey, is $12.99 a good price for an Old Spice Value Pack cologne with body wash?" Now, I never hint that this is his gift, but it's naturally what he assumes, and each year he has yelled into the phone:


It works every year. I try to mix it up a bit. This year it was Old Spice. I think last year it was Aqua Fresh. But the reaction is always the same. I love it.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Hardest Day

Emma has been in preschool for about a year and a half now. During that time, Macey has been my little buddy while Emma was in school. We would run errands or go to the gym. We had great adventures together.

Today, Macey started preschool. She is part of the First Flight program with Emma. Everytime I thought of losing my little buddy, I teared up. But, the day finally came when it was time to send my little buddy off to school.

Garry took the day off and we dropped off our girls together. Macey was so excited. She jumped out of the van and yelled, "Bye Mom!" I'm sure that deep, deep down she was sad to see our time together end.

Did You Hear?

Did you hear about the six year old boy in Virginia that missed the bus and so he took the keys to his paents car and started driving to school? He drove six miles, made two ninety degree turns and even passed "slower" cars before finally crashing. After the crash, he got out and started walking because he did not want to miss breakfast and PE.

He told the cops that he learned to drive from Grand Theft Auto. The news report said that he probably would have made it but he got greedy and was passing cars that were too slow, which caused him to lose control.

Both of his parents were arrested for child endangerment.

Hey Tara, keep Eddie away from Mario Kart!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Was That MY Kid?

Wednesdays are supposed to be quiet days -- no preschool, no mad dashes to the Honda (with its accompanying seat warmers -- glorious.) But today was busy as I had to take Macey to the doctor. She's had a cold for five days and it's starting to affect her sleep. So off we went to the doctor's, to the Moore's to borrow their nebulizer (thank you, Stephanie!) to McDonalds, to the gas station and finally to Target to drop off Macey's prescriptions. Not exactly a quiet day.

Before we left Target, the girls asked if they could go see the toys. I said, "Sure" since they had been so good during everything. On the way to the toys, Macey was dancing around the aisle and not really being careful. Emma, always the big sister, YELLED:

"Macey, watch where you're going! You almost hit that old lady!"

Well, the lady was probably in her early 50's. . .and me . . . well, I just wanted to be anywhere but there.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I know someone that snores. And as this person gets older, the snoring is becoming more frequent. And deep. And prolonged. This person's spouse will sometimes kick the poor snorer and demand that he "STOP SNORING!" This works for awhile. But sometimes the snoring comes back and the spouse has to kick and yell "FOR THE LOVE, STOP SNORING!" It's the "FOR THE LOVE" that gives the snorer a heads up that he's on thin ice.

Now, sometimes said snorer takes it all in stride and tries to move positions in order to stop snoring. But then there are other days. . . And on those days. . .

HE DENIES SNORING! That's right! Snorer responds with, "I wasn't snoring! Let me sleep."

Let ME sleep, indeed. I feel a FOR THE LOVE coming on.

This drives me, I mean, the spouse, INSANE. Why would said spouse wake up at 3:30 in the morning and demand that he stop snoring if he is not snoring? Does he think that I sit up at night and think of ways to be devious and interupt a perfectly nice night's sleep? Does he think that the spouse is up at 3:30 in the morning and wants company? And so she tries to think of a way to wake him up, too, and thinks that an unfair allegation of snoring may do the trick?

Oh, and somedays, said snorer denies snoring and insists that he was just "breathing".

For the love.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Line Has Ended

The holidays are officially over for the Cunningham family. We've had visitors nearly every day since Thanksgiving, and it has been a lot of fun, especially for the girls. Now that they are gone, it really is January.

My Mom and Dad at my Piano Recital with Molly. My Dad likes to take pictures more than he likes to be in them.

Garry's Mom, Theresa, with the girls.

Garry's Dad, Stepmom, and stepbrothers.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Miss Molly Discovers Brad Pitt

This weekend Garry's Dad and Stepmom were in town. They wonderfully watched Emma and Macey, and so Garry and I took advantage of the free night and hit the town of Waldorf! Our first stop was to our fabulous AMC Theater where we went to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

We were not totally alone, we did have Miss Molly. We thought that it being night and Molly being a newborn, she would sleep the movie away.

Go ahead, ask me how much of the three hour movie Molly slept through.

Go ahead, ask.

Not even close.

She slept maybe five minutes.

We were wonderfully blessed, though, that there was a little walkway in the back where Garry and I took turns walking Molly back and forth, back and forth, while she watched her surroundings.

I guess the first time you see Brad Pitt, it's hard to look away.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Lost It On Day One

It's January 1st, and I think that Garry & I already lost the "Parents of the Year" award. Well, here's hoping for a better 2010.

I think that we lost it when the girls had Rice Krispie treats for breakfast.

But, the more that I think about it, the more that I think that it might be alright. Are Rice Krispie treats not made from a breakfast cereal? And, okay, the marshmellows, well, if I made my children hot chocolate and gave them marshmellows on top, would that not make me a fabulous mother instead of a bad one?

To even things out, they did have to eat a yogurt, too. But it was a Kung Fu Panda yogurt. Yeah, 2010 is looking like our only hop right now.