Thursday, January 24, 2008


Today was my parent/teacher evaluation for Brandon. After our great day yesterday, he did get a fairly glowing report today. He's doing quite well in his Pre-K class. He can count to 99, which is pretty high for his age, and recognizes all his capital letters, and all but a few of his lower case letters. That surprised me, since he is sounding out every word he sees and reading quite a few of them. His addition and subtraction is way above normal, as is his ability to do puzzles. Those are things he likes, and things we do at home all the time, though, which could explain it. His vocabulary and sentence structure is above normal as well. Those of you who know Brandon know that he's always been an avid talker! I use to notice a big difference in his speech compared to other kids his age, but that's all starting to even out. All in all it was a good report. I'll be signing him up soon for kindergarten this fall, so it's good to know that his teacher thinks that he's ready!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Great Moments in Parenting

Got a note today in Brandon's cubby. It told me that during recess a girl took Brandon's ball away from him. What would he usually do? Cry. Get upset. Grab it back. What did he do this time?

Socked her in the face.

Great. Not only do I have an emotional child, but now I have a violent one as well! According to Brandon's teacher, who was completely shocked, the girl took his ball and he just punched her in the face to get it back. Didn't ask for it back. Didn't cry. Just hit.

There was a part of me was horrified to hear this. You never want to be the parent of the school bully. And hitting is rarely an acceptable option, especially at this age. Then there was this little part of me that said "you go, Brandon". Brandon rarely defends himself when something happens, so there is a part of me that is happy to hear that he stood up for himself. I don't want him to be a wimp! In the same way that no one wants to be the parents of the school bully, no one really wants to be the parent of the school wimp, either. Still, there are other options. I also felt a little better knowing that he was provoked and lashed out, instead of being the instigator.

Brandon's teachers were so shocked that he did this that they didn't even give him a time out. They did talk to him at length about how our hands are not suppose to be used, and what his options were. I know it got to him, because when I picked him up he said "Mommy!" from across the room, and ran and gave my legs a hug. He wasn't unhappy, but he doesn't usually greet me like that unless something personal has happened.

We talked about this on the way home. When I asked him what he should say if someone takes his ball again, he said "Thank you?" I laughed, said "no", and asked again what he should say. His response? "Sorry?" Why is the response "Please give me my ball back" so hard to figure out when you're 4? Hopefully he'll get it next time.

In his defense, it has been a hard week. Brian has been gone since last Thursday. I have been sick the entire time, am tired, cranky, and want little else than sleep. Caitlin had a second birthday, and there were only the 3 of us to celebrate it with her (although we had lots of great gift sent to us by loving relatives). Brandon even told me he was sad that Caitlin didn't have a party. Our whole routine has been way off course all week. Brandon's teacher said that his reaction made so much more sense after I told her about our week's circumstances. Brian travels regularly, though, and I, she of the crappy immune system, catch just about every cold that comes my way. Let's hope these patterns aren't leading us down a path of destruction!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Caitlin's 2 Year Stats

Took Caitlin in for her 2 year well-baby appointment this morning. We had an 8:30 appointment. I am not a morning person, so the only reason I do early morning appointments is so Brian can go. Yes, Brian. He who is out of town all week!!! I dragged my sorry, sick butt out of bed early this morning, and managed to get to the pediatrician's office on time. Yeah, me! It was 5 degrees below zero when I got up this morning. Lucky for me it had warmed up a mere 2 degrees before we left. I know, I know, I am a wimp for talking about how cold it is lately, but do you have any idea how many layers of clothing your child must wear in order to go outside in that kind of weather? -3? My kids looked like little sausages in clothes and mittens. All of yesterday's snow had frozen over, so it took a while for the sausages to walk from the car to the pediatrician's office, too. It did warm up to 35 later on, so the sausages got to shed a few layers later on.

Anyway, I digress. Here are Caitlin's 2 year stats:

Height: 35 3/4 inches (95th percentile)
Weight: 25 pounds, 14 ounces (45th percentile)
hat size: 19.4 inches

She has always been around the same height and a few ounces larger than her brother. It changed here. At the same age Brandon was 26 pounds, 8 ounces, and was 34 1/2 inches tall. Although he was heavier at the same age, he was in the 30th percentile for weight. I think we all did a cheer, since he'd made it out of the teens in weight percentile. Woo hoo!

Other Caitlin stats:
**she uses a fork and spoon well. Still sloppy, but getting better
**Has a huge vocabulary.
**Talks in full sentences, and constantly spews facts, such as "Brandon is still sleeping", "Elmo is on the floor", or "Daddy's at work." I love that she can tell me how she feels (happy, sad, tired), or what hurts when she's crying.
**Talks all the time
**Favorite word is "no"
**Very independent. Wants to do it all by herself, all the time.
**Actually went pee pee on the potty yesterday! I think she surprised herself.
**Always wants to be first. Gets that from her brother. "Me first!" is a common phrase around here.
**Still a great sleeper.
**Slowly giving up her pacifiers. The saying at our house is "big girls don't need pacis when they're awake". Paci's are for night or nap only.

On top of it all, she now wants her cuddle time! Yeah! Finally, my second child wants to cuddle. Mommy is happy.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Imitating Reality?

Brandon and Caitlin are in the living room playing house. Their houses consist of their quilts draped across our dining room chairs. Brandon is complaining to me that Caitlin needs to go shopping. He doesn't want to do it because he wants to stay home and watch TV. Where is he getting this from?????? I often don't want to go shopping, but it's mostly because I don't want to take 2 kids with me. Not because I want to stay home and watch TV!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

2 Years Old!

Caitlin turns two today. This shouldn't really come as a shock, but sometimes I just look at her and think "where did you come from?" After all, I gave birth to a chubby little baby. Now I have a full-fledged girl. She wants to wear my lip gloss and my shoes, but also thinks trains and fire trucks are equally as impressive. When Brandon was little (as in baby), I was in no hurry for him to grow up. He was my first, and I really didn't know what stages came next. Unfortunately for him, he's still to the experimental, wait-and-see-what-happens next kid. It's that whole stupid birth-order thing, I guess. Caitlin was different. She cried a lot as a baby, and I couldn't wait for her to get a little older. Having a massive case of PPD didn't help, either. I could barely drag myself out of bed each morning, and would fall off to sleep each night dreading the next day. It was fun when Caitlin started crawling at 6 months. Crazy, but fun. I was happy when she reached that stage. Even better was the sleep-through-the-night phase. That made this mommy's life a heck of a lot easier! Even though it has been occasionally punctuated by nightmares and much screaming, Caitlin's been an easy sleeper. At 9 months she started to walk. She was seemly made of jello and couldn't stand. That soon changed, and my second little baby become a toddler. And my, how she toddled! Into every wall there is. Still a klutz, even after over a year of walking.

A couple of weeks ago Caitlin looked at me and said "Mommy pretty flowers on the wall." At first I didn't know what she was talking about. Then I realized that she'd seen the new flowers in the wall vases. I'd taken out the Christmas decorations and replaced them with red flowers. Smart girl. Nice sentence structure. She says a lot, and her sentences are better formed than most kids. She's not as easy to understand as Brandon was at the same age, but she's getting there. She wants to wear her "boops" (boots) every time it snows, and pronounces "train" like "bean".

Our celebration this year was small. Brian is in San Diego for work for a week and a half. Love it when his job combines things. Single parenting is really my thing (not!). He travels a lot. After our 10 days of traveling over the Christmas holiday, I just couldn't bring myself to do anything for Caitlin's birthday. I'm tired. And besides, we really don't know anyone. I could have invited Emily and Ethan over, but didn't. We did have a little celebration this morning when she opened her presents, and the three of us headed over to Chuck-E-Cheese's for lunch and play time. It's waaaayyy to cold to be outside (hovered around 5 degrees). Besides, the kids love it there. And they can't escape, which is nice for me. Brandon and I made a cake for her during her nap, and we'll have that after dinner tonight. I know that I shouldn't worry too much about having a party. She is, after all, only two. But I still feel a little bit guilty. I'll have to do something next year. I'm sure by then she'll know what a birthday party is, and will want one of her own! But for now, this is okay. She's happy. She's had fun with her toys. And I'm sure she'll love her cake. Now... on to wake up my napping girl!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

4 Degrees

So far, this is the lowest that I've seen our thermometer go since we moved to Colorado. However, it's not even 10:30, and they say it should go even lower.

It's been a cold day today. Brandon really wanted to go outside and ride his bike this afternoon. We are right by a great walking path that the kids can ride down free of the fear of cars. From our warm family room in our insulated house, the outside was very deceiving. The sun was out, most of the snow has melted, and it looked very warm. Unfortunately it was 10 degrees! Mommy was just not in the mood to bundle up her children and hang out in the 10 degree weather with a below zero wind-chill factor. I went outside yesterday, and it was a balmy 25 (I was in a sweater, too). The wind-chill just kills you though. I had a scarf wrapped around my head, with the hood over it, just to keep my ears warm. I wonder how many of my neighbors, who are never outside, wondered about the new Muslim woman in their neighborhood. Brian said I should have let the kids stand outside this afternoon without a coat for a minute or two so they could see how cold it was. Instead, I opted for a newly recorded episode of "Word World" and some Cheez-Its. So much for the good mommy theory. TV and crappy snacks seem to make everyone happy!

Friday, January 11, 2008

We're Still Around

Sorry for the lack of posts recently. We've slowly been getting back into the regular life routine after abandoning it for close to 3 weeks. The kids have had to go back to a regular bedtime and an early wake up time for school. Besides just getting out of the house by 8:00 to get Brandon to school, this was the week of both MOPS and my women's Bible Study. Not only do I have to get out of the house early, but I feel compelled to shower and look good, too.

I've also had some serious sinus pressure for the few days. The headaches and nausea are almost unmanageable at time. Sort of like having a migraine. Taking Benedryl helps, but it's made me really loopy. Yesterday I made myself a nice cup of hot water. I put the coffee filter and the water in the coffee pot, but not the most important ingredient - the coffee. The initial disappointment was huge. I also tried to wash a load of towels without soap. Glad I figured that one out prior to the finish of the wash cycle. The worst is that I'll stop to have a thought, and don't finish. I find myself staring off into space, wondering what I was thinking about in the first place. I have a hard time being on the computer when I get these headaches (my eyes never idle, which isn't a fun vision problem to have, and work overtime focusing on the computer screen, which just exasperates the situation). We got a new laptop last week, and I can handle the screen a heck of a lot better than our old one! Yeah! My typing has also improved, except when under the influence of Benadryl. I'm hoping to post more next week, and get some new pictures up, or tell you about Brandon's new love - reading. He's getting pretty good (or "perty good" - Benedryl speaking). See you then!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me

Today is my birthday. I'm 38. I don't feel old. I don't feel 14, but I don't feel ancient, either. Although I think I look my age, most people think I'm 3 to 4 years younger than I am. Maybe they're just being nice. Better than them thinking I look 3 to 4 years older! But seriously - how do I know I'm old? Here's how:

-I have a mortgage.
-I have little kids. The days I can't keep up with them make me feel much older than I really am!
-I can talk about things I did over 20 years ago (example - I've been wearing glasses for 27 years. I graduated almost 20 years ago. The list goes on).
-My younger brother, Keith, use to watch classic Weird Al videos. I cringed because I remember when they were new!
-Yes, I watched "Friday Night Video's". We didn't have cable, so it's where I saw those classic videos in the first place!
-I started doing freezer meals because it's easier to prepare several meals at one time than spontaneously take my children to a restaurant when I don't feel like cooking.
-I'm reading a home organization book.
-Massages are more of a necessity than a luxury. But I just love getting them.
-I can afford a massage (the young usually cannot)
-My jeans are much lower than I'd like. While I don't want to wear "Mom Jeans", there's a pair out there somewhere that doesn't create the "mushroom top" effect that is ever so popular, yet ever so unflattering, these days. Even my thin, in-shape friends have the same problem! Almost no one looks good in today's jeans. Someone has got to make jeans for those of us who aren't 20, but are not yet 50!
-I think popular fashion is highly unfashionable.
-Every now and then I see a shirt or skirt in the window of Coldwater Creek or Chicco's that I think is really cute (so far I haven't gone inside to try anything on, so I'm still okay!).
-I'm no longer in any demographic. I don't matter to the television authorities, since the viewership they care about is males between the age of 18 and 34. All Old Navy clothes that look cute on the models look like crap on me, and are usually such poor quality that I wouldn't buy them anyway! 'Cause now I even care about that!
-Wait - I'm in the mini-van demography. Oh yay.
-VH1 is far more appealing than MTV (if I watch either one of them at all)
-I listen to talk radio more than I'd like to admit
-I don't get a lot of the "music", or what stands in for it, that I find on the radio
-I confess, I do love to listen to the "all 80's" weekends on the radio when I'm out and about by myself (provided they play more than the most common tunes). I turned up Billy Idol's version on "Mony Mony" the other day and sang at the top of my lungs. Good thing I was alone.
-I really don't get rap.
-I like naps. Don't get them often, but I like them.
-The only time I get looks anymore is when my daughter yells "NAKED" at the top of her lungs while running through the airport or mall. And those stares aren't anything like what I use to get when I was younger, thinner, and blonde.
-Over Christmas I found a sweater that I got when I was 14 (24 years ago - See point #3 above). It's back in style. In fact, I bought one very similar to it in early December. Why it was still in the closet at my parent's house, I'll never know (they've moved 4 times since I left home). Still, I washed my old sweater and brought it home with me.
-It's okay if I don't go out on a Friday or Saturday night.
-My four year old tried to count up to 38 on his fingers. He gave up.

Such is life, I guess. I'm not bemoaning my state. I still don't feel grown up. Just old. I'm happily married and have two wonderful kids. We're slowly figuring out our new lives in a new state with new people. Maybe all the change has made me feel old. Maybe it's the kids. Moving is such a great time to reinvent yourself, but I don't have the time or energy. Oh well. My birthday was happy! Even if I am old now! I got a gift certificate to a spa. For a massage. Now that's a good husband!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Things I Did Today

Today was the first day back to solo child rearing during the day. Meaning - Brian had to go back to work. I think I did okay. Here are the highlights of our day:

1) Took both kids in for haircuts. The boy was looking shaggy.

2) Contemplated sending the boy to boarding school.

3) Chipped the last of the outdoor Christmas lights out of the ice on the front porch (we put the ornaments away yesterday. Tree is going tonight). Unfortunately, one bulb did not make it.

4) Decided to pick up and toss the Victoria's Secret bra that has been out on our front lawn. I thought someone might claim it by now. No such luck. It's brand new, too!

5) Contemplated sending the boy to boarding school.

6) Planned out meals for the next month.

7) Plundered the Ralph Lauren hand towels at Dillards. With 4 bathrooms, hand towels are quite the commodity around here. And they were on sale for $1.00 or $2.00 each.

8) Fed my children fast food for lunch. It was their treat for being good at the salon, they were happy at Chick-Fil-A, and I didn't have to clean up my kitchen!

9) Contemplated sending the boy to boarding school.

10) Picked up the plethora of books that Brandon and Caitlin managed to spread all over the "bedroom library", as Brandon calls it.

11) Turned on the Roomba (robotic vacuum cleaner) so that my house might start looking neat. Until Caitlin cried. She visits the Roomba daily, when it's turned off. But when it's on - gallons of tears!

12) Contemplated sending the girl to boarding school.

How was your day?