Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mom! MOM!

Lately Emma has developed a bad habit of screaming for me in whatever room she finds herself at the time. If we lived in a glorious rambler, this might not be a big deal. Unfortunately we lived in a three-storied townhouse, and the run to find out what the screaming about can be tiring. And so not worth the trip.

For example, two days ago. Mom! MOM! Emma was screaming upstairs and so I ran to find out what was the matter. Apparently she wanted help putting the shirt on her Belle doll. Emma got a lecture about how we don't yell over doll clothes.

Then there was the Mom! MOM! when it turned out that she was hungry and could I get her a fruit roll-up? For a million reasons, um, no, and we do not yell over fruit roll-ups.

The other morning I was trying to get breakfast ready and I heard what I thought was Mom! MOM! I ran upstairs (you'd think I'd learn) and discovered she had not yelled Mom! MOM! She was watching Little Einsteins and had yelled BLASTOFF after she pat, pat, patted because they told her to. Darn cartoon.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Happy Birthday, Baby!

Yesterday Molly turned five months old.

Molly loves to be held and snuggled. She likes to face out so she can take in the whole world.

She likes sweet potatoes and squash but not peaches. She likes warm bottles but will accept lukewarm ones, too!

She spits up a lot, especially if she laughs too hard. She smiles a lot and is a joy.

She will finally take a pacifier but refuses to be muted. If she has to cry, she has to cry. Loudly.

Happy Birthday, Baby!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Wow, That Would Be Embarrassing!

Have you ever had a close call in a store when your child got too close to a display and almost tipped it over?

Quickly you imagine in your mind HOW EMBARRASSING that would be. If something broke would you have to pay for it? Would you walk away and pretend that it was not your child that did THAT. How would you clean up the spillage and ruin? Or would you just apologize profusely and quickly leave?

Today I took all three girls to the grocery store. They asked if they were really good could they please have some donuts?

Um, there were no donuts and, yes, it was just as embarrassing as I always imagined it would be.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Going Around the Block

Garry and I used to watch "Everybody Loves Raymond" quite frequently. One episode we still laugh about is one where Ray gets busted by his wife for driving around the block a few times after work before he comes inside. Just a few more minutes of peace!

Last night we had a great time with my sister and her family. We went out to a Thai restaurant in Shirlington and then out for ice cream and finally back to their hotel for swimming. It was fun, but it was very late by the time that we pulled into the driveway.

Garry was in a separate car because he had to ref at a few flag football games earlier that day. I called him on his cell phone to warn him about 20 deer that were hanging out on a nearby road.

"Where are you?" I asked.

"Bensville." He answered.

Well, to me that meant four minutes away, but I should have remembered that Bensville is a very long road. I started getting the kids out of the van, hopeful that Garry would be right there.

And then the perfect storm hit.

Molly started screaming. Macey started crying really hard and then peed her pants. And Emma started yelling at Macey.

Still no Garry.

I put a screaming Molly in her bedroom, gave the wet and crying Macey a quick bath, and tried to help Emma get into her pajamas.

Still no Garry.

I got a cleaner Macey into her pajamas and then picked up a crying Molly and grabbed a diaper so I could change her.

Macey was still crying. Emma was still yelling.

Still no Garry.

Finally, Garry arrived and took over, trying to help Emma and Macey settle down.

And I had to wonder, since it took longer than I expected, did he hear the crying and screaming and decide to take a few more laps around the block?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

This Is Going To Hurt Me More. . .

We've all heard the saying "this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you" in regard to discipline, and when we're the child, we roll our eyes and label it as a complete falsehood.

But now as a parent, I'm starting to believe it.

It has been very difficult to potty train Macey. VERY difficult. I thought that we had a break through and for two weeks she was perfect. It was when we were on Spring Break and she thought that she could not go to school until she did a better job. And also if she did a better job the Easter Bunny would bring her a Tinker Bell dress.

But this week, she just fell off the bandwagon! On Sunday she had three accidents in one day. And then another accident again on Tuesday and another accident again on Wednesday.

Fine. I told Macey that she could not go to school.

But it was not that simple. Emma still got to go to school. So Macey got to see school, touch school, see the other kids at school, and then leave.

She seemed to take it okay and promised to do better. But I was a wreck! Knowing how much Macey LOVES school, I was nearly in tears walking out of the door with her because I knew she was sad.

I'm pretty sure it hurt me more than it hurt her.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Something To Look Forward To. . .

This is how interesting my life is. . . Tomorrow I have a dentist appointment at 8 am, and I am so excited!

Not because I like going to the dentist.

No way.

Not because I enjoy that "fresh from the dentist" feeling I hear about on commercials.


Why? Because Garry is watching all three girls. And for a blissful hour the only person I hope to hear cry is me.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Put The Cookie Down!

Molly has miraculously started drinking from a bottle. This has been a great thing for the both of us. I am no longer having to feed her everywhere around town and having her starve while I am downstairs teaching piano.

But there is one really big downfall.

Unfortunately that big thing is my butt.

I have gained 5 pounds in the last few days.

I am no longer pregnant and no longer nursing so I can no longer eat what I want whenever I want. Farewell to the days when I ate Swedish Fish by the pound. So long precious Dorrito chips!

So, it's time to put the cookie down and pick up the carrot stick. Is this any kind of reward for having a baby?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I have a dry sense of humor. I hope it's intelligent humor. I hope that it's witty. It may just be ridiculous, but I try.

I have realized lately though that my sense of humor is completely wasted on my kids.

I come up with the best one liners. Just fabulous zingers. And my kids totally miss it.

Like today. Macey needed to wear brown pants. She came downstairs holding black pants. "No, Macey, you need brown pants." I said. "Momma, these can be brown!" she answered.

"No Macey," I said, "black is not the new brown."

Dead silence. Crickets.

This is fabulous stuff and they are totally missing it!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Pick Your Trash Carefully

In a dark corner of our townhome you will find the ugliest computer desk ever created.

It was purchased April 2003. From WalMart. $50.

It has a fake oak finish, and I have hated this desk from the moment we put it together.

When Garry and I moved into our first apartment in Alexandria, we needed a computer desk. And we needed a cheap one. And I wanted it fast. And therefore we ended up with the ugliest desk ever created.

In that first apartment we had a couch (now gone), a TV (now in the garage in storage) a table for the TV (now gone) a dining room table (now gone) a bed (still have the mattress, but everything else is gone) a dresser (gone) shelves in the bathroom (in the garage) bookcases (still have them, but they are lovely) and that stupid computer desk (still here).

Do you see the irony in that list?

That's right. The piece of furniture I hate the most is still kicking it in my home.

I've moved the thing five times, trying to find a spot where it does not look so darn ugly. I have given up. You just cannot hide ugly. And so here it sits in its ugly triumph.

But not for long! We mainly use our laptop and I just bought a WiFi printer (that is changing my life in so many blissful ways) and so it is time to retire the computer desk! Woohoo!

It's too big to throw away, so does anyone want it? It's free! And the faux oak finish has held up nicely.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Get Out Of The Way!

One of the things that I am struggling with as Molly gets bigger is staying out of the way as she develops relationships with her sisters.

I'm sure that she thinks that Macey is nice, but Molly LOVES Emma. Emma can always make her laugh and smile. I realize how important that relationship is, and I want it to get stronger, but sometimes Emma does not know her own strength. She pushes too hard or gets too much in Molly's face.

Is there a way to encourage them to be best friends but stay an arms length away?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Goodbye, My Friend

When Garry and I had been married a few months, we adopted a dog from the nearby shelter: Quincy. Since we did not have any kids, Quincy was our world. He went on trips with us, got walked probably five times a day, went to doggy day care once a week. It was a good life.

As we had more kids, Quincy fell further and further down the totem pole. It got to the point where the only exercise he really got was when he was in the backyard. And since he always seemed to be under someone's foot in our tight quarters, he spent a lot of time on his pet bed or near the window.

He had a little collar to keep him out of the kitchen, but one morning either the batteries were dead or he decided that it was worth it, and he got into a few things. The worst was the apple juice. He got the lid off and there was juice everywhere!

Garry and I had talked often about finding Quincy a new home where there was another dog and more room to run around. But I always fought giving him away because I saw pets as a stewardship, one that you just did not get rid of when things got tough.

After the apple juice incident, I called my parents: the originators of the "pets are a responsibility" stand. I told them that I was overwhelmed, and would I be a horrible person if I gave Quincy away?

My father, Mr. Responsibility, told me that there were five to ten decent people in the world, and I was one of them. No, they would not think that I was horrible, just that I was overwhelmed.

Clearly my father does not know very many people. But for the first time I got this little glimpse of how my Heavenly Father views me. I always heard that He wanted me to just do my best, but I never completely believed it. But here was my Dad telling me that it was okay, I just had to do my best and if life was a little more manageable without the stress of a dog, so be it.

We found a family in Northern Maryland that agreed to take Quincy in. They have two kids, live on a farm with a lot of animals, and they have a ton of room. The kids are homeschooled and so they can love on Quincy all the day long. We hope that it will be heaven for him.

I still miss my dog. I am not proud of how ignored he was over the past few years, but I am proud that we made the tough decision to make his life a little better. When he left I just cried and cried and thought, "I should have never got upset over the stupid apple juice."

Goodbye, my friend.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


This year we shared our Anniversary, April 12th, with Easter. But Garry made the day special by planning a trip to Hershey, PA. Who knew that my own personal heaven was a mere 150 miles away?
We took the girls to Chocolate World on Sunday and then headed back to the hotel, Hershey Hot Chocolates in hand!

On Monday I went to the Hershey Spa! You check in, get a comfy, heavy robe, slippers and taken to one of three waiting rooms. I mainly hung out in the Quiet Room because it had hot chocolate, chocolates, chocolate muffins. . .heaven. I thought that the slippers just came in "small", "medium" and "large" and so I lied about my shoe size! And felt stupid the rest of the morning, hobbling along!
The first step of the spa was a shower where you stand (in a swimsuit) in a circular room with all these jets coming from all angles and then one of the employees takes a power hose up one leg, up your back, down the other leg. And I just kept thinking, "Didn't a lady get turned into Child Protective Services for doing this to her daughter?"

After a stop to the Quiet Room, I had a milk & honey bath. They had lights in the bathtub that were synchronized with the music. Too fun. And on the side of the tub were more Hershey kisses. I ate 'em. Garry said they were probably just decoration, but why risk it?

Finally I had a cocoa massage. I made the mistake of talking to my massage therapist the whole time. I should have just shut up and tried to relax. It was still lovely.

After I ate a ton more Hershey Kisses and picked up another Hershey Cocoa. Garry picked me up with the girls and Macey asked if they were nice to me. We are not apart very often, and I guess she worries about me like I worry about her when she's in school.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter!

We had a wonderful Easter this year! Here are some pictures from Easter morning.

Molly's little "First Easter" outfit had little bunny feet. Too cute. She played with her feet most of the day. Loving this baby!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bunny or no Bunny?

I think that I was ten before I found out that there was a segment of the population that believed in an Easter Bunny. We never had an Easter Bunny in our house; my mother strongly believed that Christmas had been harmed through commericialization, and she was not going to allow "them" to ruin Easter, too.

I have been inconsistent with my own decision on the Easter Bunny. It's fun to have the girls look forward to the holiday, but they do not realize that there is more behind Easter than the hope of a chocolate bunny in their basket. Should I follow in my Mom's footsteps or have an Easter Bunny?

This year we have had an Easter Bunny. I must admit, I used it to encourage Macey in her long-suffering potty training. If she would just do better, I bet that the Easter Bunny would bring her a Tinkerbell dress!

Yesterday it all came back to haunt me. We were taking the girls to go see the Easter Bunny on Good Friday. Not the best of ideas. The line was very long, and I was hungry. Standing in line forever was not what I wanted to do.

"Girls," I said, "The line is really long. Maybe we should just come back later."

Emma panicked. "No!" she cried! "If we do not see the Easter Bunny we will not get anything for Easter!" I was trapped, and I had only myself to blame.

Friday, April 10, 2009


I freely admit that I am not a fashionista. I truly have litte, if any, fashion sense. It's just not that important to me. Right now I just want to be comfortable. And if that comfort comes in jeans and a t-shirt or another blue sweater, so be it.

But lately I have been reminded that my fashion sense really is poor.

It all started with Macey. I was taking Emma and Macey to school last week and she saw another one of the Moms in a purple, colorful shirt going into the school. Macey sharply inhaled and exclaimed, "Mom, she looks BEAUTIFUL!" Wow, clearly I need to work in a little color into my wardrobe. I headed straight to the store and started looking for anything with color. It'd be great if my three year old thought I looked beautiful!

Then last Saturday Garry was cleaning out the garage. We made a big pile to take to the Salvation Army, and I started taking a look at what Garry had put in the pile. There was every shirt I had ever gotten him for his birthday or Christmas. It was like a shirtistory of our time together, now heading off to a new home. Ouch.

Calling him on it, I asked, "Why are you giving away all of the clothes I've given you?"

"I kept the black sweater," he answered.

Well, that's somehing.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Plead The Fifth

Garry just finished painting the second floor of our townhouse on Tuesday night. Wednesday morning I was feeding Molly while the girls were watching Mulan II when I looked over at one of the newly painted walls and saw deep, dark scribbles all over it.

I was shockoed because my girls rarely scribble on the walls and I could not believe that they would do it the morning after it got painted.

I put Molly down and demanded that both girls report to the scene of the crime.

"Alright, who did it?" I asked.

They both denied doing it and after repeated questioning were not turning on each other, either.

Finally, Emma could not take the pressure.

"Macey did it!" she said.

I thought it was Macey. Emma usually draws people and faces and this was just plain old scribble.

"Macey, did you draw on the wall?"

"No!" she said. But she was getting nervous. Her eyes kept shifting from her artwork, to her feet, to my angry face, back to her feet.

"Macey, did you use a pen or a pencil?" I asked.

"Pencil," she answered.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pay Up!

We started potty-training Macey on Inauguration weekend. Garry was home for several days and it was a good time to start the process. It's been over two months, and Macey is perfect with Number One. But she's doing horribly with Number Two.

We've tried everything! Truly. People have recommended it; we've tried it. Bribes of every kind. Alright, that did not work. Punishment when she had an accident. That really did not work. Nothing has worked. Macey is Macey and she does things on her time table and refuses to negotiate. I just could not find her currency -- something that she would work hard for.

But I do know she loves soccer and school.

She loves going to preschool and soccer so I told her that she could not go back to school or soccer until she was doing better at the ole Number Two. I figured that this was a win-win threat since it was Spring Break and she actually was not missing school -- she just felt like she was.
Monday went by. She had an accident. Fine! No soccer. No school. (There was no school anyway).

Tuesday went by. Success. All on her own. No threats, no medicine, no begging. Just happily on her own.

I was teaching piano, but when I was done she proudly told me of her success. "Now I can go to school!" she said.

Woops. Clearly I did not think this out very well.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


A few weeks ago I had to make a decision: Italy or no Italy. My Mom and sisters had been planning a trip for almost a year, and I had a hard time deciding whether to go or not to go. (Insert theme music: Should I Stay Or Should I Go -- Love that song.)

After Molly was born I was pretty convinced that I should not go. At that time she would not take a bottle (though she had nearly two ounces of formula yesterday -- wahoo!) or a pacifier. So it would be really hard to leave her since the only way to calm her down at times was to nurse her. And financially it did not make sense since Garry and I plan to sell the townhouse this summer and move into something bigger where our kids can run and scream and play all day and the neighbors cannot complain! So I knew that we needed all of our pennies for that big move. Emotionally, it would have been great! Europe! No crying! No tantrums! But I just could not justify it. So I did not go.

I found out yesterday that an old roommate of mine is facing a similar decision. To take a trip or not to take a trip? Her kids are older and in school, so it would not be too hard to leave. But financially it does not make sense for her family or for their future goals. So, what is she going to do? She's taking the trip!

For the last few hours I have been so angry about this. Her actions do make sense to me, but she's getting something that I wanted. I'm started to feel a foot stomping tantrum come on and it's not from my four year old -- it's from me! Does she lack responsibility or do I lack faith?

Monday, April 6, 2009

So Close. . .But Yet, So Far. Really, Really Far.

I broke my glasses a few weeks ago and so sometimes in the morning, until I find time to put in my contacts, my vision is not so good. This morning, while I was doing the laundry, I stopped at the computer to check Facebook.

For those not acquainted with Facebook, it has a neat feature called "People You May Know". Some master computer somewhere looks at your friends list and the lists of your friends and suggests people you may know that you might want to add as a friend.

This morning when I logged on, I checked out my "People You May Know" box and for one glorious second I thought that it was suggesting Jude Law as a friend. It was a beautiful second.

I squinted and looked again. Nope, not Jude Law. It was suggesting Jori Law. Though nice, I'm sure, she looks nothing like Jude Law.

Better luck next time.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Different people find temptation in different places. I happen to find mine on the first aisle on the right at Target. The laundry aisle.

At the end of the aisle, there are several boxes of laundry detergent. Let me confess right here that I am a powder kind of a girl. I just do not find liquid detergent to be economical though I appreciate its ability to instantly dissolve in the coldest of waters.

In front of me on said aisle I find detergents that smell nice, detergents that do not smell at all, detergents with proclaimed special fighting stain abilities. It's a fun place to stop and peruse. And so I do.

Occasionally I stray and I pick a detergent that is economical and smells sniffy and promises to make me smell sniffy as well.

But, like the girl who discovers too late that you should dance with the one that brought ya, I always go crawling back to Tide. I admit my mistake, apologize for straying, and beg Tide to follow me back home.

Because truly you cannot beat the power of Tide. It's a wonderful thing.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Tick Tock

Try as I might, it seems that I cannot stop making mistakes on my oldest child.

I seem to have the shortest temper with her and expect more than I should from her. Every night when I see her asleep (usually on my bedroom floor) I realize that she deserves better, and I resolve to do better. Sometimes I do; sometimes I fall short. Way short.

Up to this point I have comforted myself with the fact that she is so young that she will not remember all of my mistakes.

But, now she's four! I remember things from when I was four! So the chances are that she will, too! I have officially run out of time to greatly improve my parenting skills.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thriftier Than Thrifty

Today I discovered that I am thriftier than thrifty. How? I just experienced sticker shock at The Salvation Army.

I'm in the market for a mirror for my downstairs bathroom. We're putting the townhouse on the market in a few days and that little bathroom is going to be one of the first things a prospective buyer sees. So, I am trying to make it snazzy and a new mirror would be nice.

But, I really do not want to dish out the money needed to get exactly what I want, and so a friend suggested I check out the thrift stores.

I tried one. No mirrors.

So I went to the Salvation Army. There, on the ground, was a mirror that just might do the trick. I picked it up and looked it over. Well, there were a few scratches. But, I thought I could clean it up. So I checked the price. $19.99.

What?! What?! $20 for a little used mirror?

I put it down and then went to the furniture section. Our end table has seen better days and it might be a good idea to get a new one. I saw one that might do the trick. The right type of wood. The right size. A few scratches, but nothing too bad. I looked at the price tag. $39.50.

What?! What?! Haven't these people been to IKEA?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

All Of The Smiles Are Gone. . .

Today I took Molly and Macey to the doctor. (A big thank you to Tara for watching Emma!)
Macey went for her three-year well visit and Molly went for her 4 month. Macey just get weighed and checked but Molly got a shot.
Molly cried and cried after the shot, and when we got home I finally got her to take a nap. I realized that she was still having a hard time after the shots when I picked her up from her nap. All of my baby's beautiful smiles were gone! I did not get so much as a grin. Here's hoping that they come back tomorrow.