The tides have turned…a new season

I can measure much of my life in seasons. Without elaborating in too much detail, the first season I remember in life is probably when I was 4, before my mom and dad divorced, the next season I remember is when I was in grade school and my siblings were my best friends, moving into adulthood there was the college season, then the season where I learned a bit about who I was in the Army, marriage, kids, divorce, remarriage, more kids. Seasons change and sometimes there isn’t really a defining moment, I just realize that something has changed and we have moved forward. Another season in life has recently passed and noticing Elmo on my Suburban DVD player brought it to my attention.

When we got the DVD player the movies were enjoyable for both Dorothy and Liam, poor Dustin has been shafted since the get-go. SpongeBob, Labryinth (yes, the cheese David Bowie muppets on heroin variety), and Nemo graced the screen so that the kids would ride in silence from point A to point B. Gradually Dorothy began to lose interest in the movies and they were specifically catered to Liam. If the DVD wasn’t on, Kidz Bop blasted from the speakers because Dustin, Dorothy and Liam liked to sing along. Maggie had no interest in the movies or the music, and everyone was happy.

Now that I think about it, I think the change was set in motion after a trip to visit friends when they loaned us a Baby Einstein video to help Maggie out on the ride home. It wasn’t immediate, Liam’s movies still took up most of the screen time, but since that point Maggie’s billing on the screen increased rapidly. Music has ended. Now, when we get in the car Maggie becomes anxious pointing at the drop-down screen, waving frantically and shouting *MELMO* until his little red body and irritating high pitched voice appears. Liam kind of watches, but Elmo is definately not his choice and he watches primarily when the batteries on his Leapster or Gameboy have died.

We have passed the season of “Anything to keep Liam happy” to the new season of “Anything to keep Maggie happy.” To an outsider, these may seem very much the same, but to me, there is so much more. My seasons of life have been dominated by babies and little bitty kids for a long time. The kids are becoming more independant every day. Dustin is growing into a young man and will turn 11 in March. Just a short time ago he was pushing a popcorn popper across the floor squealing in delight as he chased the dog, now he is trustworthy enough to leave home alone for a bit and asking for a cell phone. He had a girlfriend for a couple of days and the girls are starting to notice his big smile and deep dimples. I think that the next decade will be filled with the season of teenagers….

Toy Time at Aldi

I’ve mentioned Aldi’s in the past. I really LOVE Aldi. That store allows me to feed my small army of a family + daycare heathy, deliciously, and inexpensively when compared to large retail grocers. There is very little overhead at the Aldi stores and I think I read somewhere that each store has a maximum of 12 employees. There are no baggers, sweepers or eye-catching end displays, but the food is good, the food is yummy, and we like it.

So, where I was I? Ah…yes…the TOYS!!! Toy time is two weeks a year. All I have to say is WOOT about the prices and the selection! Littlest Pet Shop 12 pack, Fisher Price Little Mommy set with doll, walking/talking Transformer, Spongebob video game, LeapFrog games, and Barbie dolls are in our hillbilly hayloft (the storage space created in the top of our garage by placing plywood across the rafters) along with a stand mixer, crockpot and more! Yup, we hit the toy sale hard this year. My only regret is that I didn’t find a way to show up on Thursday morning at 9:00am when the goods were stocked because I missed out on a really cool fake kitchen set for Maggie and a tool bench for Liam.

39 days till Christmas!

…and the number one reason is

A few weeks ago, when it became evident that Dustin and Dorothy really are headed to Hawaii for the summer, I sat down with Dorothy and asked her if she was excited. Bare with me as you read this dialogue.

Me: You don’t seem happy, what’s wrong?

Dorothy: I’m really worried that Dad and D (stepmom) won’t be careful about what they have in the house to eat, like nuts.

Me: I’ll talk to them about it and give them a new list of safe foods. What else?

Dorothy: I don’t want to be gone from home for so long. I’m going to miss you.

Me: I’ll miss you too. It will be like camp. Everyone wants to go to camp. You will be home before you know it. Is that it?

The tears start to cascade from her little blue eyes.

Me: Sweetheart, what’s wrong?

Dorothy: I don’t want to wear a coconut bra. Dustin said all the girls have to.

 

I told her that Dustin was just joking, and that of course she doesn’t have to wear one of those. I think she believes me. I tried to figure out why Dustin would even tell her that, he’s normally fairly sensitive to Dorothy and will tell her when he’s joking. After much thought, and talking to Dustin, I’m confident that he really thought girls in Hawaii really do have to wear them. He’s never been there, and every picture he’s seen, heck even on Lilo and Stitch, the girls wear grass skirts and coconut bras!

 

—————————-

Dustin handed me his homework from last week. I’m supposed to sign it and send the form back. I look through the packet and see he’s been learning about timelines and on his there is a comment that says “Not Appropriate.” I take a closer look. Dustin had put his birthday on the timeline and the words “Went pee for the first time.”

—————————

Maggie’s first birthday is coming. To quote Liam, “I don’t love it.” It seems like she shouldn’t be one already. I cut her some bangs the other day so she could see, they gave her the Kid look. Gah.

—————————

Liam is full of piss and vinegar these days. Some days he’s sweet as an angel and then the next he’s out of control. I won’t miss this stage.

—————————-

On Mother’s Day we went to a restaurant that you have to ride a ferry to get to. It was really wonderful. Here is me with the kids

Mother's Day 2009

Are you going to watch Super Why, or not?

That is the big question with Liam right now. Every morning he YELLS from the family room. MOM! Are you going to watch Super Why, or not?! Everyday my answer is that I will watch it during naptime.

He is going through a rough time right now. He struggles between wanting to be big, which he demonstrates by standing fully erect and puffing out his chest, and wanting to be a lap baby. One moment he tells me that he is a “big strong man” and the next he is climbing onto my lap asking me to hold him. As annoying as it can be that he wants to regress, I’ll take it for what it is, just one more phase, and likely one of the last where he’ll still act like the sweet little baby he used to be.

Oh the tragedy!

Dorothy wore a pair of no-show ankle socks today. When she got home today, she was quite distressed.

“Mom! Everybody thought I didn’t have on socks today!”

“Really? Why do other kids care about your sock status?”

“I don’t know, but I was sooooo embarassed.”

“Dorothy, you have socks on. Why didn’t you just show them?”

“I don’t know, but I’m never, EVER wearing these again.”

Now, I’m sure I had my fair share of dramaz when I was 7, but oh my goodness. I would have never suspected that the lack of visible socks would be so tragic in a first grader’s life.

Where do I pick up my award?

What was I thinking when I boiled 18 eggs? Seriously, I think I have finally lost my ever-lovin’ mind. I’m not worried that they won’t get eaten or used, but I may never be the same again after guiding my children through the egg dying process.

Dustin: The careful egg dyer. Ensure that each color is properly represented and that a few eggs are double dyed with one color on each side.

Dorothy: The experimental egg dyer. Overdying colors and long soaks in single colors is the key to really cool eggs.

Liam: The more colors available, the better, and all eggs should go in all cups of dye, even if that means removing a sibling’s egg and putting it into the *wrong* color, or worse, breaking it.

Maggie: Sits and watches and wonders why she can’t fling pretty colors and eat the eggs.

Our egg dye process took about 35 minutes from start to finish. All of our eggs are a muddy shade of blue, thanks to Liam and his assertive personality, though some do have SpongeBob and Hannah Montana wraps on them. Only 4 eggs met with a tragic end before their time.

To the Spring Sing we go!

Tonight is Dorothy’s spring sing. I am not really excited about going. It starts at 7:00pm. Dorothy, Liam & Maggie all go to bed at 7:30, so this should be fun…especially since, as of this entry at 3:20, Maggie has only napped for 20 minutes due to one really loud big brother. Did I mention that I will be attending this wonderful event alone? Like without my better half, who has been sick for the last few days and will be working tonight.  Oh, and Liam freaks out in crowds. Seriously freaks out. Our last two attempts at school functions with Liam have not gone well at all. He has had major meltdowns both times. I’m sure Dustin will behave wonderfully, it’s just the two littles I am concerned about. I really do wonder what childless person scheduled this.