Tuesday, March 30, 2010

got P?

I love family dinners. We try a couple times a week to actually sit down together for dinner. By together- I mean all 6 of us. It seems to only get tougher to make it happen. Most my mom friends with older kids have given up or push dinner time to 730 or 8.  Generally I eat with the kids- sometimes I feed them and make adult food for Phil and I when he gets home. Even then, we usually eat pretty late by my standards and sometimes that leads to gastrointestinal distress.  I think there are still groups studying the effects of eating late and sleep patterns, but any mom can tell you- eating too late causes major disruptions.

The other day we had eaten a late lunch. The kids are always hungry so I fed them at the normal time and Phil and I opted for a later dinner. Since our lunch had consisted of mostly fruit and veggie leftovers from the birthday party, I felt like something bad for me. This equated to what we had on hand- which was hot wings.  As I age, my stomach is a lot less tolerant of a variety of foods. I was surprised the last time I had hot wings that there were no ill effects. This time not so much. A few hours later I lay in bed with a bit of fire warming my digestive tract.  The trade winds picked up on the island and were lashing through the blinds. I love the wind. Phil does not. Unfortunately for both of us- the wind flows most steadily through HIS window. He therefore generally blocks the deliciousness of the breeze and depending on his day's activities- sometimes all out spoils it. He proposed that we switch sides for the night.

Sides of the bed are a tricky thing. We've tried it before. It rarely works out. During sleep there is a gentle- and sometimes violent migration towards the accustomed side. But I thought the cool breeze would counteract the heat threatening to boil out of my stomach, so we gave it a shot. I closed my eyes and listened to the semi rythmic clapping of the blinds against the windowsill.  It was a restless sleep. I remember being chased and then screaming. I woke to Phil shaking me with a look of terror on his face. In that weird twilight- half awake place I had been caught by whoever was chasing me.  AS I regained consciousness- I realized it was Phil waking me. Thank you, I said and took a deep breath and rolled over to snuggle. He got up and walked around the room and finally laid back down. Then the laughing starts. And continues. And continues. When we both stop he tells me how the events transpired on his end.  He woke to violent scissor kicks on my part that were shredding the sheets. I started rolling away from him and he thought I was going to roll off the bed, so he grabbed me. That's when the screaming started as he tried to deflect kicks and punches. Suddenly I stop, say Thank you and try to snuggle. Meanwhile he is recovering from combative evasive maneuvers. We laugh again, try to make sense of the tangle of sheets and finally go back to sleep. I notice he is a little punchy every time I move, so I try to be still.

The next night, we get to sit down as a family for dinner. We are reliving the nightmare for the kids who find it to be really amusing. The moral of the story was that eating junk late at night is not good for you,  but mostly they just liked Phil's re-enactment of me thrashing around.  The kids have standardized tests this week and I wanted to get them fed early and off to bed.  Kiera has been really worried about the tests. She is worried they will affect her grades and since her social life is regulated by the state of such grades- she is panicking. We let her know that these tests are independent of school grades. She starts recounting her most recent grades.- I got an MP on my reading constructed response and an MP on the Math one a couple of weeks ago. I got mostly MP's but last week I got 2 DP's.  Phillip chimes in that he is good- pretty much all MP's with some ME's. I notice that Lily is sitting there patiently with her hand raised.   Yes, Lily.

Sometimes when I go swimming, I got a P. And then I get out and go.  And the laughing starts again. That is precisely why I love family dinners.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Lily takes on 5!

It was a day of choices, which Lily always makes with conviction. What would you like to do today? I want scones for breakfast and pizza for dinner and an ice cream cake with Jasmine on it. I want to talk to grandma on the puter. I want to go see Alice(In Wonderland) and I want to open my presents. check. check. check, check, check and check.   A few minor setbacks were that Kiera did not wish her a Happy Birthday within seconds of waking and that Birthdays do not grant you adult priveleges, unless you achieve an adult birthday number. 5 is not an adult birthday number? No. How many more until I get to an adult birthday number? 13-16. Days? No, birthdays. Oh.  The first problem was solved by getting Kiera to wish the little monkey happy birthday every couple of minutes until Lily decided that she no longer felt slighted. The second was quickly realized in time out.

We have a joint party planned for Lily and Bella. It's just easier since they run in the same circle of monkeys. So yesterday was just about Lily. She spent about an hour on the phone with Grandma, opening her presents and playing games and Barbies electronically. She only parted with the computer to field a call from her best friend Maggie.

I loved the idea of an ice cream cake. I have tried making them- it is not pretty- some things are just better left to professionals. And since Jasmine is not a standard cake topper- I found some figurines on sale.  There was also a request weeks ago for a Barbie and the 3 musketeers DS game. The victory smile made the trip to 6 different stores and calls to just as many, TOTALLY worth it.

So I will subtly add our annual parental joke, which is- yay... we kept another one alive for a whole year. It took on an entirely different meaning this year. The 5th year has nothing on Lily and I'm sure she has a thing or two up her sleeve to show it! Happy Birthday 5th Monkey!

Friday, March 5, 2010

I have a strange love hate relationship with 3-4 year olds. I love that they learn at phenomenal rates but hate that they seem to be empowered by such knowledge in a way that leads them to be openly defiant. Bella and I have had multiple discussions daily about this matter. I tell her she's not the boss, she disagrees.  Part of me wants to let her forge her way in the world as is to just see how far she'd get. 

Last night we get home from a double header in bball and my lovely husband has dinner ready and waiting for us.  Since the scrimmage was at the same time as Kiera's dance class- my neighbor and I swapped kids-she took the girls to dance and I took the boys to basketball. I returned her son and went back home. The girls were streaking around the house naked and freshly bathed. I started to wipe down the counters when Bella presents me with half of Lily's hearing aid. Oh crap. Fortunately it is the more expensive half- but the ear mold is missing and that part takes weeks to replace.  Where's the other part? I ask.  Bella looks at me- in the toilet. Where's Lily? - in the bathroom.  Is she getting the other half? - No, her flushed it. AAAAAGH.

Lily creeps around the corner with that tail between her legs kinda look.  Where's your hearing aid? It fell and I flushed it- I already...(she mimes flushing and shrugs.)  She is already parking herself in timeout as I embark on my tirade about hearing aids do not belong in bathrooms unless they are attached to ears.  Phil takes over lecturing while I go to see if the ear mold portion of the hearing aid can be salvaged. He seems to be a little more understanding than me- but that is probably because he threw away a retainer or two in his day. Bella skips along beside me rolling her neck and babbling about Lily being in trouuuuuuu-ble. She likes being the bearer of bad news especially when the bad news is one of her siblings.  Probably because it's usually her and they're the ones chanting ....you're in trouuuu-ble.  I scan the bathroom, hoping to see the little purple glittery ear mold. Nothing. I look in the toilet- clean as a whistle. Phil joins me. He declares that if it was in the toilet, it is gone. What is it- declare the obvious day?   He picks through the trash, I look in the tub. I squat down to look behind the toilet and a glimmer catches my eye behind the leg of the stepstool over by the sink.  Please be it, please.....Aha! I look at Phil and grin. Here comes the fun part of parenting.

Wet your arm- I tell him. No- you wet YOUR arm! he tells me and looks disgustedly at the toilet. I turn on the faucet and run my arm under it. Splash me, he says. I spray water all over him. You ready? He asks. I nod. Act scared.  We both start screaming- almost there! he yells. I put the aid in his hand and he propels himself into the hall- combat roll style. I flush the toilet and come around the corner dripping.  Lil Phillip has caught on and is laughing hysterically- he after all has our sense of humor. Lily's eyes are huge and we hand her the aid.  She looks from my dripping arm to Phil's wet face and scrunches her nose. Hopefully the message learned is -do not take hearing aids in the bathroom and not- mom and dad are the coolest ever and can fix anything so let's keep challenging them.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Oh Go Fly a Kite

I was just lamenting my lack of playfulness. Goofy, yes. Silly, definitely. Playful, not so much. I don't particularly care for dressing up- formal or costume. Sure it's ok once in awhile- and by once in awhile I mean the mandatory fun military banquet type shenanigans we go to, or a random date night kinda thing. Phil and I have a new favorite date place. It's Chuck's at Koolina. The whole idea is that it's silly to get all dressed up in uncomfortable clothes and then try and eat a good meal. I agree. But then again, I'm not a calorie counting kinda girl and I do enjoy a good meal. I particularly enjoy multiple good meals and daily if possible. I married a man with similar beliefs and we believe it is important to impart our beliefs on our children. Bella would like approximately 6 good meals a day and a good meal for her consists of anything of, pertaining to, or including cheese.  I spend all day trying to get her to taste the joys of fruit and veggies, but unless said fruit and veggies have been doused with a healthy helping of cheese- she's not interested. One morning I fixed them a breakfast of bagels and cream cheese with bananas on the side. I figured that bought me a half an hour workout and decided to wait and eat my breakfast later. One of the other realizations I have had is that all that good food makes for a fairly squooshy mom and at some point I have to counteract it all. I managed a 34 minute workout and returned to the kitchen to fix myself a bagel. There is Bella with her entire fist in the tub of cream cheese. She scoops whatever she can into her mouth and throws the container on the counter like I didn't just see anything. Her fruit was untouched and the bagels sat whole on her plate- a little soggy from where she licked the cream off. I decided it was a fruit and yogurt kinda day after that.

Today Bella made it through her first dance class. She's been to at least a half dozen and this either was a breakthrough or a fluke. After dance class, I opened the windows to the car and it was so blustery, it actually took my breath away.  A perfect day to go fly a kite. That is a reasonably playful, spontenuous kinda thing to do. I looked through my old party supplies-I went through a phase where I decided any good clearance item was a potential party decoration and found a stash of kites. Perfect. After assembling them, we almost got them out the door without them being tangled. almost.  We drive down to a big open field park.  Phillip throws his in the air, it crashes. I am trying to keep Kiera and Lily from crossing their streams while saving bella from death by string. Phillip throws his into the air again, again it crashes. Mine won't work- he tells me. Yeah dude- you actually got to try to fly it. His is the only one that is actually a real nylon kite- the rest are 79 cent plastic jobbies.  Lily's keeps diving to the right. We fight with it for awhile until she learns the run and weave technique. Bella discovered there was a playground and left. Phillip followed her. Kiera has her kite up and notices they are at the playground. Hey mom- can I go play now? Me too chimes in Lily, I wanna play. Not exactly the positive reinforcement I needed on the playful front.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Springing into action...

I am in complete and total denial. It can't be March. It can't. That would mean in the next 6 weeks, I have 3 birthdays to plan for and well, I haven't. No planning. none. A thought here and there. darn it. So maybe it's time to scale back the Mallory birthday extravaganzas. yeah..right. I remember Kiera saying she wanted a sleepover birthday, no wait she switched it to a beach bash overnighter. Might have to reign that one in.

Lily wants a birthday at home. I like that. A little easier to plan for. And since her and Bella have all the same friends- we lump them. Someday that might result in an issue for one or both of them to discuss in therapy- but they will just have to add it to the list and work through it.  I honestly don't know how this got out of hand. I hate birthdays. Well that's not true- I hate my birthdays- I love throwing parties for the kids. I don't know why I don't like my birthday. I had lots of good birthdays as a kid.

January was slowish and mostly we spent it recovering from the holiday craziness. Much too early to start planning spring birthdays.  Then February hit....we had an amazing anniversary weekend...alone....and I thought about maybe starting to plan the girls' birthdays.  But mostly I got distracted by this hunky guy who kept winking at me....maybe next week I thought. But then there was Dance class, and basketball, and karate and a doctor's appointment here mixed with a little roid rage in a 4 year old there..and here we are...March.

A week ago, Phil had drill weekend. yaaaaaaay. So it was me and the kiddos- hanging out. We had Phillip's basketball game and on the way to the car- Lily tells me I need to take take the training wheels off her bike- she can ride it without them.  I don't really want to much less think I need to. Taking training wheels off means running and pushing and waiting for the inevitable crashing. Then the screaming, and sometimes bleeding. Not the kinda low key weekend I was hoping for. Plus there is an unspoken contract between the man of the family and myself- whenever possible he deals with sports and injury prone area training of the children. Two wheeler training falls in this category.  It also involves jogging or running and as I have mentioned before- no fire-no running.  Well that's not entirely true- just the other day Lily came screaming that Phillip fell off his ripstick and hurt his head. There was running then. No injury- the fall was on grass but he thought it would be funny to play dead and freak Lily out since she had ridden in front of him. Har de freeaking har har.  And yet I have no grey hairs.....yet.

SO we get home from basketball, Lily again says she needs the wheels off. So I get the wrench and take off the wheels. I preface this with...I am not running around after you- daddy will when he gets home.  She looks at me like I am silly, hops on her bike and starts trying to pedal it around the lanai. I am chatting with my mom on the phone and the kids are acting like they have ants in their pants. Except Phillip- he has discovered the Percy Jackson series and has his nose buried in the second book. Kiera runs in and out and Lily asks if she can ride her bike outside with Kiera. Sure, I have already completely forgotten about the training wheel thing. Bella is bathing the rubber duckies in the bathroom sink. I wander outside in a few minutes to check on the girls- and there is Lily riding her bike around the alley like a pro. So I run inside get my camera, take a few pictures then run back inside to get my computer to show mom. Bella follows with her duckies in a bucket. We are the living breathing skype commercial. Skype rocks.

I'm not sure if it's her personality, her size or her maturity...but she does her thing that Lily. She's the same way with the wii or anything else she wants to do. I asked her to show me how she gets going on the bike, after all that's the hardest part, and turning. She pushes herself along with her feet and away she goes, she rides to the end and turns around. That's my monkey!

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