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Friday, November 30, 2012

I'm that mom

Dear me, but it's been awhile, eh? Sorry 'bout that. All I can say is that. . .well. . .life.

First a little catch-up from Halloween:
Although we received plenty -- and seriously, I mean P.L.E.N.T.Y. -- of treats, we also were the recipients of a trick, and an odd one at that.

Our neighborhood has a little get-together every year in the cul-de-sac our in front of our house. The neighbors and I make up fliers, then everyone brings chili and treats and we all stand around, gabbing and eating. It's really much more fun than it sounds, especially since you can't always be completely certain who you're talking to (you know, because of the costumes and all).

This year, our house became the designated potty for several smaller visitors; if you've ever been through potty training, you understand the immediacy of the need to go, especially if you're wearing a costume that could take some time getting out of.

As I was showing a visitor and his mom to the facilities, we found something rather odd in the powder room:


Socks. Specifically, ladies hosiery-type dress socks. Now, the socks themselves aren't so odd, but the only people who'd been in the powder room before the socks were discovered were Boy #2 (who's below the age of 7) and a friend's daughter, also less than 7 years old. Not sure where they came from, but it gave us a laughable mystery.

_________________
And yes, I am that mother

On our return trip from Thanksgiving, we decided to not push through 15 hours of driving -- the last in darkness with 200 of our craziest-driving neighbors and acquaintances -- and opted to spend the night in a hotel. 

Hotel stays are always an adventure with my crew, because The Boys assume it's an opportunity to see 1) how late they can stay up, 2) how utterly deranged they can make their parents, and 3) how long it takes before we finally threaten at least one of them with sleeping out in the car. Alone. (For the record, on this stay Boy #1 was awake until 11:30 p.m. We'd all gone to bed around 8. No one spiraled into darkness, mainly because 3 of us were hopped up on various cold and cough meds. And the sleep-in-the-car threat never materialized. See? I'm a good mom, after all!)

Next morning, as The Husband took his turn in the shower, we were gleefully flipping through cable channels -- Why, in the name of all that's good, do they always HIDE the Disney Channel??? -- when "'80s music videos" caught my eye. 

How fun! I thought to myself. The boys love '80s music. This'll be great!
So I pushed the button. Honestly, I should have known -- after all, I experienced the '80s firsthand, in all its wonder -- but I'm blaming the cold medicine.

There was David Lee Roth, frolicking for all his long-haired, icky '80s self was worth, in front of a barely bikini-clad woman. Boy #1 got a confused look on his face; Boy #2 was still slack-jawed, so I'm hoping nothing registered with him. Because it was a hotel remote, immediately pushing another button did nothing for a good 5 seconds. . .which seemed like 5 minutes as I prayed for a new image to appear on the screen.

"That was just. . .weird!" exclaimed my boy. Yes, honey, yes it was, I agreed.

So if you find us in therapy in a few years, you'll know it was all my doing. However, I'm sticking to my guns: It was the cold medicine's fault.

-ma'am

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Denouement

It wasn't really a restful night at The House. I kept imaging a lizard of gargantuan proportions traipsing through the butter dish, maybe climbing the stairs and scampering across my fingers as I lay sleeping. The Husband even (inadvertently) left a bowl of popcorn open on the counter overnight. Sad to report I accused him of trying to feed the creature.

I was glad to be out of the house for the morning -- finally attending the Bible study I'd prepared for yesterday -- if, for no other reason, than not to be looking over my shoulder or picking my feet up off the floor (couldn't stand the thought of it crawling across my toes).

During my regular afternoon computer time, I happened to catch a small movement out of the corner of my eye: A tail and tiny foot underneath a stuffed bear chair in the room. So I did what any red-blooded American woman (who just happens to find any sort of creepy-crawly things inherently repulsive) would do. I ran outside and called the Boys.

"There's been a sighting! Get in here!"

To their credit, they stopped playing basketball after only 2 more shots and did, indeed, come to conquer the lizard. Boy #1 had the presence of mind to grab his work glove -- only 1, for some reason. I gave him a bowl. Yeah, he didn't know what to do with it, either.

Turns out it wasn't a lizard, after all, but a "5-striped Skink," according to our resident expert in all things reptilian. I wasn't getting close enough to count his stripes nor to see if his tongue was blue, but his tail certainly was.

After about 10 minutes of screaming, squealing, frenzied moving of furniture, toys and just about everything else in the room (several times), we all had our heart rates up, but capture eluded us. The scene wasn't pretty:



We'd lost the lizard, and had a massive clean-up to do. The only redeeming point was that my eldest had managed to dislodge and kill a huge centipede during the episode. So we started putting things back in place, when the creature showed himself again. The chase was back on!

This time, my boy was cleverer. Instead of trying to trap it under the bowl -- which he, apparently, is unable to place completely flat against any kind of surface -- he worked up his courage to try to grab the thing. He succeeded, but dropped it before reaching the front door. I helpfully screamed informed him it was behind him (reminding him not to squash the silly thing). He pivoted, made one final, desperate lunge and tonight, Boy #1 is my hero. He is. . .
the skink whisperer.
We're all sleeping peacefully tonight.

-ma'am

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I'm a dork

It's official: The Husband married a dork.

It all started innocently enough (as these things usually do). Once the boys got on the school bus, I hurried back inside to get ready for my Bible study. No time for my usual workout -- I had to get to church. So I showered and primped and looked more than presentable when it was all over. Grabbed my keys, shopping list (to hit Target before and Whole Foods after), and cash, headed for the door. . .then realized it was Wednesday. Not Thursday, which is the day I'm supposed to go to Bible study. At least I looked lovely for the wonderful folks at Target and Whole Foods.

Yep. Dork.

Things I'm wondering about right now:

1. If The Husband finds a lizard in the house, but then somehow loses it (without its being caught), what's the best course of action? I know better than to search for it myself, but then, I also don't cotton to the idea of stumbling upon it by accident, should it not be able to find its own way back outside. And the Boys are still at school.
For the record, eHow.com recommends steps that include mealworms and/or large crickets. Nothing doing, but thanks.

2. If this has happened before -- the finding of a lizard inside The House -- is that some sort of divine sign that maybe this isn't the house for you?

3. Are there professionals who'll come find the silly thing? More importantly, do they also figure out how/where it got in so we can rectify that particular issue?

4. And do we really need a zoo membership when there's a plethora of fauna right here in The House?

-ma'am

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Lego Saturation

There's a delicious new calm at The House. Boys play together -- quietly -- with few squabbles, almost no raised voices. The TV sits dark, looking almost lonely. Cars idle in their Matchbox storage cases; Buzz Lightyear hasn't blasted off in some time. For hours on end. I can get things done, even talk on the phone if I so desire. Homework is done without arguing; bedtime is pleasant.

Of course, it can only mean one thing: New Legos. Lots of new Legos.

Yes, Boy #1 recently had a birthday, and his friends and relatives came through in a big way for him. He's got Star Wars Legos, Monster Fighter Legos, Ninjago Legos and some other stuff, too.

And then there was the gift from us. An iPod Touch. Before you get all excited, know this: There's no phone or camera and it's cheaper than any flavor of DS. He can listen to music, play games, watch movies. . .and he thinks he's all that. Oh yeah, he's cool now.

I'm not sure, but I'm starting to think there ought to be a way to harvest this and put it away until summer. If you have any ideas, you know where to find me.

-ma'am

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Boo-boos & questions

Injuries trump anecdotes, so here's the latest: Boy #2 took on the deck stairs at the home of some friends. . . and the stairs won.



And I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but The Questioner moved in with us sometime after school got out. I realized this only yesterday, after a 15-minute car ride that covered graffiti, gangs, The Mob and poison.

I have only myself to blame. We'd stopped for a train and, while I was remarking how all of the cars were empty, I added, "And did you notice the graffiti?" It was precisely the sort of invitation The Questioner likes best. "Graffiti? What's graffiti?" That explanation devolved into a discussion about gangs -- who's in them, what they do, why, etc.

"Are they like gang-sters?" Well, no, not really.

I'm not sure how that morphed into The Mob and what it's about -- in various incarnations -- but it did. He finally seemed satisfied with the idea that The Mob is like a company (sorta like where Daddy works) whose business is illegal stuff: selling drugs, guns. . . .

"And poison?" No, probably not poison, although lots of people say that drugs are poison.

"What about poison darts?" Oh look, we're home!

Our lunchtime discussion was brought to you by Nabisco and its America Idol sweepstakes; we covered "void where prohibited" -- which took much longer to be fully understood than you'd think -- and the District of Columbia, along with "Fremantle."

And to think, that was only Monday.

-ma'am

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Ledge of success

By all measures, Boy #1's week of sleep-away camp was a success. Well, unless you consider eating regular meals a measure of success.

I'd appropriately prepped all branches of the Family, so he got plenty of mail. Of course, I failed to figure in the decades several years since I'd first gone to camp; he was able to call us several times, along with text reports from the kindly Cub Scout leaders accompanying him. In all honesty, these texts and calls went quite a ways toward calming my anxious heart, so that we all got some sleep that week.

The only other negative -- besides the worrisome pattern of calls coming later each night (We missed the Thurs. night call, which rang in at 11:30 p.m., I believe) -- was the heat. His week of camp came just as those record summer temps were ramping up, which brought them all home about 12 hours early. Perhaps the in-tent reading of 115 degrees had something to do with it.

My proudest moment was learning that he'd passed his swimming test after they got checked in. That's my boy! But the highlight of each day was his first statement when we answered the phone:
  1. "I almost caught a whopper!" This was followed by a drawn-out littany of the fish that, literally, got away, as well as what its make and model could have been. . .never mind that he hadn't actually seen said fish. The best part was his elation at having been "on the ledge of success" before the trickster made his escape.
  2. "Dinner was brussel sprouts and artichoke casserole!" Turns out it was turkey and dressing, although there was a side item that might have been something like this. Personally, I suspect it was broccoli casserole, but no matter.
Not to be outdone, Boy #2 has also added to the family lexicon of sayings.

We ventured to the Midwest to visit the Maternal Grandparents over the 4th of July. Since we've made the trip many times, we've learned where to stop along the way. As we were refueling, he must have recognized the gas station, because he remarked, "We're almost where we are!" To which my quick-witted Husband replied, "Yes, the 'here-ness' is all around us." Indeed.

And then he went to kindergarten camp. I picked him up after the first day, asking that age-old question, "So, what did you learn today?" He replied with the thoroughly disgusted tone that only a 5-year-old can muster, "We didn't learn nussing!" (Yep, still working on those 'th'-es.)

And so it goes.
-ma'am

Monday, June 25, 2012

Intestinal fortitude

It's been said that parenting isn't for wimps. I have to agree, mostly because this weekend brought to light 2 very different occasions to prove my courage.

First, our very favorite summer day camp of all time -- Camp All-American -- opened its pools and zip lines to all the families whose kids are attending this summer. I've wanted to do this for at least the past 3 years. . . and this year, I made it! Here's me climbing the 90+-foot cargo net to get up to that terrifyingly small platform, 60 feet up:

Now, I've been working out and figured I had some decent upper arm strength. But when I got about 2/3 of the way up, I started looking around -- but not looking down, for heaven's sake! -- for the friendly, muscle-bound guy who'd just haul me up the rest of the way. Sadly, it was not to be. I soldiered on.

At the top, it was quite warm after all the exertion, plus being closer to the sun. And it was crowded. Not sure if you can tell or not, but there were already 6 or 7 people up there when I arrived. The helpful pushers people-launchers asked me to just kindly stand next to the big pole, and I gladly hugged it tight.

The problem was that, just about that time, I looked down to the pool. There were The Husband and Boys #1 and #2, cheering for me; they had absolutely no idea that, had there been a chicken door*, I'd have taken it in a heartbeat. It was breezy. The platform seemed awfully insubstantial beneath my feet. And every additional person climbing up the blasted cargo net -- Where are they going to put all these people?? -- sent tremors and waves up the cables to shake and volley the platform.

And then it got better. 

Because I got to step up on an even tinier platform all by myself, with a hook ramming into the small of my back. (If you can see the 3 things that look like boxes jutting out of the front, that's what I'm talking about.) That lovely pole I'd been hugging was now behind me, making it next to impossible to hug securely. Then the pusher people-launcher unhooked my safety tether. They nonchalantly explained how to squat down and then, when you're ready, just lift your feet.

It truly sounded undoable, and the lady next to me was even more chicken than I was (which is one of my favorite gauges of success these days. See Facing fears for more detail). I was thinking maybe the 3 of us would go at the same time -- which seemed to be what her husband was coaching her to do -- but, when she failed his second countdown, I decided just to go and maybe spur her on.

Oh. My. Goodness. Once my feet left that cipher of a platform, it was truly glorious. Swooshing down 1300 feet over the pools and playing fields, thinking that must be how it feels to fly. Wow.

Getting down at the other end of the zipline was another trial, but much less traumatic. It involved a couple guys, one of those really tall, free-standing, movable ladders that you see at Lowe's, and trial-and-error.

In the second incident, I dropped off Boy #1 this morning for a week of Cub Scout camp. Sleep-away camp. For a week.

I know, I know. He's growing up, which is what he's supposed to do. He'll be safe. He'll be with friends -- those his age as well as their fathers, whom we know and trust. It'll be good for him. Build character. Learn about himself. Blah, blah, blah. All this mama's heart knows is that he's an hour and a half away, sleeping in a tent when it's 10,000 degrees outside, and I'm pretty sure they won't let him eat peanut butter for lunch every day. He's already skinny! Will he come home starved? Will he be homesick? If he is, will they let him call?

Yeah, yeah, I know. I know. The good news is he's been gone more than 8 hours and nobody's called (yet) to say we should meet them at the hospital.

-Ma'am
________________
*The chicken door is that camouflaged door near the getting-on place for rides, specifically at Disney World, but probably found elsewhere, that lets you leave if you chicken out at the last moment. Having recently visited the Mouse kingdom, our less-than-intrepid older son is now expert at finding -- and using -- the chicken door.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Bucket List

For the past several years, we've been a 1-bucket family. I know there was a time when we owned multiple buckets, because I usually filled the wrong one full of hot, soapy water to mop the floors. Inevitably, I realized the error of my ways -- because the mop would. not. fit. ARrrrrggghh! -- and schlopped the water into the right bucket.

But then Swiffer came along. Who needed buckets at all? Turns out we did: We still had a car to wash, the occasional floor to scrub in the time-honored fashion of my grandmother. . .and then kids would get sick. Gotta have a bucket for a sick kid.

This post-Swiffer generation House has reached a new milestone: the need for TWO buckets. We've made it more than 8 years with having only 1 person sick at a time. No more.

Once things had stabilized at home this morning -- which means the washer and dryer seemed to be humming along with their work and no one was actively dislodging former foodstuffs -- I set off to procure a second bucket.

I've learned some helpful bits of knowledge the past few days, including:
  • When you put a bucket by a child's bed, be sure to tell the child why it's there.
  • Once he knows it's there, be sure to provide explicit instruction in how (and when) to use it.
  • Be sure the instruction includes the helpful hint that, even if you throw up in the bucket, it still counts, and you should let Mommy know about it.
  • It's good to put an old towel under the bucket, because the aim of a small child in the middle of the night is not true.
  • Failure to do or convey any of the above will result in extra laundry until you get it right.

And finally, I've learned that maritime flags are useful for Facebook updates. I've already enlisted:
Signal flag "Lima" called the "Yellow Jack" which, when flown in harbor, means ship is under quarantine.

But, given the right circumstances (such as most any morning), I could certainly use this:
"Y (Yankee): 'I am dragging my anchor.'"

Two for The Boys:
"U (Uniform): 'You are running into danger.'" and

"X (Xray): 'Stop carrying out your intentions and watch for my signals.'" (emphasis added)

And then there's the flag for The Husband:
"V (Victor): 'I require assistance.'" 'Nuff said.

So there you have it -- bucket list, House style.

-ma'am

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Cheating the Tooth Fairy and such

Here at The House, we seem to have a tenuous relationship with the Tooth Fairy.

Boy #1 lost his first tooth on a school day. Despite herculean efforts by both his kindergarten teacher and the new principal -- who each spent time on their knees in the hallway trying to locate the tooth -- he also lost his first tooth. I suppose I'll forever remember the message his teacher left me, describing (in her heavy Southern lilt) the search and how both she and Mr. Principal said that if you lose your tooth, the Tooth Fairy still comes. So she did; she even left a note, explaining that she understood he'd lost it, but it was OK.

Boy #2 didn't lose, but rather knocked out his first tooth a few months ago. In recent weeks, his 2 front teeth on the bottom have been swinging in and out like little barn doors, making every morning's flossing an adventure for this squeamish mom. And then last night, during dinner at the home of friends, he apparently swallowed one of the loosey-goosey teeth. Again, we did the search. . .but to no avail. So the Tooth Fairy has now written to both our boys.

______________

In other news, I "graduated" from swim class! You won't see me swimming laps anytime soon -- or even venturing much past the 4-foot depth -- but I did it. I can do the breaststroke, elementary backstroke, and flip over without swallowing too much water. There's some other stuff, too, but it wasn't much fun and so I'm not eager to pursue it much further at this point; I'll be taking at least one more class, once I can figure out the scheduling.

______________

And Boy #2 has found another food he likes: the "juice" from green beans. We were cleaning out the leftovers for dinner the other night and he got the little container of green beans; he ate the beans, then I looked over in time to see him lift the cup to his lips. Really? He offered the dregs to me, but I declined. On the positive side, perhaps that's where the nutrients go, ya think?

- ma'am

Friday, April 13, 2012

Facing fears

Some of my friends who blog have a feature they call "'Fess up Friday," where they. . .well, choose something to admit to their readers. Now, I'm not fool brave enough to tackle that regularly, but there has been something on my mind for quite some time now.

Next month, I'll celebrate a "milestone" birthday.

I'm not one to lament the passing of time or to shrink from admitting my age, but there's something about this one. So last summer, I started thinking about what I'd like to be doing differently when May 22 rolled around. I came up with 2 items:
1. Be in better health.
2. Learn to swim.

And I have to say I've done well. Lost 30 pounds, cholesterol level is down and I'm off the meds (well, except for the thyroid stuff, which -- like the poor -- will be with me always).

So this week I started swim lessons. You have to know that, while I don't think I'd actually drown, I wouldn't be much above the "survived" mark. And my in-laws like to sail, so I thought I'd take a little pressure off The Husband, who will admit that, before most of our sails, I cheerfully remind him to decide which of us he loves most -- me or the kids -- because he can't possibly save us all if something happens.

Thankfully, class has been much better than I imagined. It wasn't me and a bunch of 12-year-olds; everyone else in the class was a bona fide grown-up. I wasn't the scardiest girl in the class, either. The instructor is the same lady who taught Boy #2's class last spring, so she's familiar. And I'm doing it so far!

I've tried very hard not to pass my fear of water on to my children, which was especially hard when Boy #1 attempted to drown himself during his first round of swim lessons a few years ago. (Misplaced confidence is a continuing theme with him.) But this takes it up a level. I think it's valuable for my boys to see me face -- and conquer -- my fears, so we've been talking a lot about what scares us and how we can approach those things.

And who knows? One of these days, you just might see me jumping off a diving board. Just not this week. . . .

/ma'am

Monday, April 9, 2012

Lousy at this

I certainly don't need to tell y'all this, because you already know: I'm awful -- A.W.F.U.L. -- at keeping up with the blog. But can I blame it on the kids? They haven't been supplying their normal plethora of foolish and/or adorably cute childness for me to share. So there.

But there are a couple things to pass along, so here goes.

1. I'm frugal. Not cheap, because you won't find generic pasta or sauce here at The House (we're Barilla-philes through and through), but frugal. So The Husband and I made yet another a vow to have regular date nights this year. We signed up some friends we could swap kids with so they could have regular date nights, too.

And. . .it's working! We've actually been out at least a month all year long. [Yes, I know it's only early April. What's your point?]

One of our favorite new places is Smashburger. It's sort of a healthier version of Five Guys. Plus they've got sweet potato fries, which endears them to me quicker 'n one of my boys can ask for more Legos. And chicken (on the menu, not something my children ask for).

They're currently running a deal where, if you give them your personal info, they'll send you a coupon for a free sandwich when you buy one. They've got this fresh Mex sandwich that's really good done with chicken. I highly advise it.

So sign up, grab your honey, and go have yourselves a frugal date night. And be sure to get a card, too; after you've been there a few times, they'll give you more free food. You can't lose.

2. Spring break was lovely. The boys are learning to play together for increasingly longer periods of time and without too much drama. We mostly stayed home: had friends over one day, then visited the new Legoland Discovery Center and Tanglewood Farms.

The Legoland place was a lot of fun, really! My favorite part was being clever enough to ask the person minding the queue if we really had to stand in that long line when we'd pre-purchased our tickets. We did not.

We spent 5 hours building Lego creations of all sorts, riding their fun little rides, seeing 2 different 4-D movies, meeting the local Brick Master (who really was delightful), eating in their cafeteria and repeating. They've built amazing replicas of some of Atlanta's most recognizable buildings, even though a few of them stumped me and The Husband. But the Boys thoroughly enjoyed themselves and are willing to go back.

Tanglewood Farm is a petting zoo that's all miniature farm animals -- teeny cows and horses, donkeys, sheep, goats, pot-bellied pigs, chickens and the sweetest, softest little alpaca you've ever seen. The baby lambs and calves were about as big as puppies -- so darling!

3. Birds like us. Thankfully, I am NOT reporting that Earl is back, but he seems to have been training other breeds to take up where he left off.

I believe the one bothering our windows most recently is an Eastern Towhee; he's not as persistent as Earl, and seems to prefer to flutter against the window, rather than peck the bejesus out of it. For this, I am grateful. I'm still trying to remember where we put the bird netting last fall, but I'm grateful.

So that's about all that's been going on here at The House. We're glad that spring seems to have returned -- after being skipped over for an early blast of summer.

I'm feeling very prideful this morning that, cooking Easter dinner, I was able to make the house smell almost as good as my Gramma's house on a given holiday. If only I'd had dozens of cousins and other relations show up. . . . Hope y'all had a wonderful Easter! He is risen!

-ma'am

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Food postscript

I received an e-mail from my mom the day after posting: "Just read your blog to Dad. He says he STILL loves peanut butter cookies." So there you have it. :-)

-ma'am

Monday, February 27, 2012

Food, glorious food

You're ready, right? All your preparations are made and you're fixin' to get ready to celebrate on Thursday? Because you know it's the high holiday, at least here at The House.

What, you can't recall exactly which very special day we commemorate March 1? Silly. . .it's national Peanut Butter Lovers Day, of course!

If you know us at all, you know how very central peanut butter is our existence. I'm rather famous in these parts for snatching up as many 2-pound jars of PB as I can when they're BOGO at the grocery store. (That stands for Buy One, Get One free for you non-couponers in the crowd.) At the moment, I have 5 unopened jars -- OK, tubs -- in the pantry and the in-use jar is about half gone.

The deal is that both boys eat PB with their crackers of choice almost every day for lunch. They have peanut butter on toast for breakfast during the week and on pancakes or waffles on the weekend. (Although they've recently been trying syrup, as well.) And if they don't happen to care for whatever's on the dinner menu. . .yep, a peanut butter sandwich.

With few exceptions, Boy #1 has eaten peanut butter as his lunch entree every day since he was 2. Every. Single. Day. He used to favor Cheez-Its to add a bit of diversity, but currently enjoys Goldfish. And he's passed his love of all things peanut buttery on to his brother, who prefers Cheez-Its at the moment.

So you know we'll be celebrating on Thursday.

The one oddity in this love affair with the sticky brown stuff is that both boys refuse to even consider trying a peanut butter cookie. Can you imagine?

I have my own storied past with said cookies. One summer, when I must've been about 10 (I think), I decided to enter my peanut butter cookies in the county 4-H Fair. I have no idea why I decided this, but I did.

The problem was that, in order to enter, you had to present 4 -- FOUR! -- perfectly identical cookies to be judged. Same size, same shape, same perfectly matched cross-hatch marks across their very same shade of brown tops. Do you know how hard it is to achieve that degree of perfection as a 10-year-old novice baker?

My father can tell you precisely, because he had to eat all the cookies that didn't make the cut. As best as I remember, I made somewhere in the neighborhood of 7-to-8 complete batches of cookies to get the 4 I finally entered. The others all went into the freezer. I don't think I even got a ribbon for all my efforts. . . which could be why I haven't baked peanut butter cookies since. (And it's been a good, long while since I was 10!)

But that's all changing in light of national Peanut Butter Lovers day. You see, my boys have recently gotten adventurous -- for them -- in their eating. They've tried things that wouldn't have received a second glance just a few months ago. Get this: They both took several bites of a chicken florentine dish I made the other night. . .and they tried the spinach! They didn't necessarily like it, but that's beside the point.

So I'm striking while the iron (or the oven, as is were) is hot. I've decided to try peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips because, really, who could resist? They both love Reece's peanut butter cups, so this is just the cookie form of that, no?

Celebrate well! I'd love to hear what peanut buttery concoctions y'all come up with.

-ma'am

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Shift in attitude

Not too long ago, we all went to a friend's birthday celebration. Since the party was for an adult, the kids all retreated to the host child's room to play while the rest of us were chatting and finishing up the cake.

During the ensuing adult-free time, both boys did something very unkind to another friend who was also at the party. While they apologized under duress, it was clear they didn't understand the severity of what they'd done, so The Husband and I brought them home early. (This, btw, is one of my least favorite aspects of parenting. Just so you know.)

Getting ready for bed the next night, Boy #2 started his prayers. "God, thank you for the good day and the fun time. Thank you for the fun playing Wii. . . ." He wrinkled his little brow and looked at me accusingly. "Mommy! I didn't get to play Wii today!"

Yes, I explained, that was true, because the consequences of their actions at the party meant no Wii for 3 days.

With a heavy sigh that only a 4-year-old can muster, he continued his prayers, "Thank you, God, for the BAD day. . . ."

I got a good chuckle at the time, but it's stuck with me -- this attitude of his. Of course God knows we'll have bad days; He allows them and sends them. And He knows exactly how we feel about what's transpired on those days.

And then He tells us to give thanks in ALL things (1 Thes. 5:18), no matter how we feel about them. It reminds me of writings I've read by people who are grateful for their bills -- because they have a roof over their heads and a safe place to sleep. Or those who are grateful for a rotten day at work -- because they have a job and an income. Or those who are even grateful for dirty socks and underwear on the floor -- because their life is graced with family.

Less than 2 months after Thanksgiving, my littlest boy (who is one of the sweetest munchkins you'll ever meet -- really) reminded me of the attitude I need to have. Thank you, Lord, for this boy-shaped blessing. Please make me more like him.

-ma'am