As Good As It Gets

This past Easter Sunday I took some pictures of the kids. I really want to capture all of those special moments. As I was going through the pictures this morning I realized the pictures really don’t tell the whole story sometimes. Here’s the low-down on what was going on with each picture:

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I told the kids they could do better than this. Bency looks like he wants to bite someone. Iris looks sad. Cesar isn’t even looking at the camera. “Come on kids, get it together,” I repeat over and over!

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This is 7 pictures later. Things aren’t getting much better. I have a million things to do to get the Easter lunch ready before everyone arrives. There is slight panic and irritation in my voice and I tell them just smile and we can get this over with.

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Guess who tooted??!!

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323 pictures later I finally get this. I’m happy with it. I have however popped out 72 more grays hairs and 19 more wrinkle lines. Yet, I still want my husband to take a picture of the kids and I. It is a special occasion after all and I just want to capture these “happy” moments!

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In case you can’t tell, I am talking through my teeth in a hissing tone and telling them they can each have 5 jelly beans if we can just get one nice picture….

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After 10 more pictures my husband said this is as good as it gets! I doled out the jelly beans and we had ourselves one happy Easter with no more picture taking involved! Well except for one more….

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Now, this is a true happy Easter moment…..eating a chocolate bunny!!!

The Old Bug Trick

It was going to be GREAT!

It was going to be EPIC!

It was going to go down in history as the funniest moment in our family’s history of all time!

I was so sure April Fool’s Day of 2012 was going to be the best of all that I laid awake the night before giddy with excitement!

I woke up early and prepared the kid’s oatmeal. I then tracked down my son’s little plastic bug and lizard collection and sunk them in the oatmeal with only the heads and antennas poking out!

I grabbed my video camera and called the kids to the table.

I was absolutely certain that oatmeal was going to go flying everywhere. Even though oatmeal is the same equivalency as Super Glue when it comes to trying to clean it off of walls, I didn’t care! This was going to be epic after all so it was the price I was willing to pay.

I was absolutely certain there was going to be screaming. Shrieks so loud and earth-shattering that our neighbors would come knocking on our door out of concern. This was going to be so funny that it was entirely worth it!

The children approached the table and stared into their bowls for a second. Simultaneously, my son and daughter pulled the plastic bug out of their bowl, looked at each other, shrugged their shoulders and muttered, “I wonder how toys got into our bowls.”

No oatmeal flying all over. No screaming.

It was an April Fool’s Fail.

Yesterday, April Fool’s Day 2013 rolled around. I actually forgot about it. It’s really not fair that it was the day after Easter, a Monday, and my daughter wasn’t feeling too well. There was just too much going on that I didn’t have time to plan one of my favorite days of the year.

At lunchtime, after I finally realized what day it was, I decided that I was going to try the old bug trick again. Certainly last year had to be a fluke.

I served the kids their lunch and called them to the table. They approached the table and stared into their bowls.

No noodles flying all over. No screaming.

From now on I’m just going to keep these pranks to myself, because in my head it was epic and it was great!

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There Might Be a Story There

There might be a story there.

Have you ever witnessed a parent who forbid their child to do something that yourself wouldn’t think twice about letting your own child do? You find yourself wondering why that parent is being so strict.

There might be a story there.

I consider myself a laid-back parent as to what I let my children do. I want them to experience life, take risks and feel free and unrestricted to a certain extent. There is one thing however that I do not let my children do.

It’s because there is a story there.

When I was in 3rd grade, there was a boy in my class that I was good friends with. We sat next to each other and would giggle and laugh during our lessons. He was part of our group that played tag at recess. He was sweet and nice to all of the girls.

One day he didn’t show up for school.

The teacher sat us all down and explained that he had died.

She told us that the boy had been eating a hard candy called Lemon Drops. He had tilted his head back and tossed one in the air in the attempt to catch it. He did catch it but it got stuck in his windpipe. His Mom was sitting right next to him and witnessed this. She was a nurse and immediately began doing the Heimlich maneuver and other things to dislodge the Lemon Drop. She did not succeed.

Two girls and I sang at his funeral. It was the first funeral I ever attended. It was the first death I ever experienced. It was something very confusing to me and I remember holding out hope that he would come back. I didn’t understand the finality of it all.

That story has stayed with me forever.

It became even more profound when I had children of my own.

People have offered my children pieces of hard candy and I have politely declined on their behalf. My children have asked for hard candy and I have told them no. I go through their Halloween bags every year and remove it.

I do this because there is a story there.

 

Don't worry, my kids still get plenty of sweets!

Don’t worry, my kids still get plenty of sweets!

The Most Shocking Easter Decoration Of All

The past few weeks my kids and I have been busy making Easter decorations and decorating the house in an attempt to make it feel “Springy” inside despite the amount of snow still outside.

I instructed my kids to make me lots of Easter pictures to decorate the walls:

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We also made an Easter Egg by gluing string to a balloon and after it dried we popped the balloon (My Mom painted the Easter Bunny next to it several years ago for me!) :

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I gave the kids some felt and told them to make me Easter Eggs. In case you can’t tell, my daughter’s is the sweet one with the flower and my son made a “weird guy” Easter Egg.

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We also made paper chains of bunnies and Easter Eggs. I had just purchased some really pretty “Springy” paper but my son still opted to use our 4th of July themed paper!?

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I really thought we had covered all of our bases with our Easter decorating, especially with our Easter Egg decorating we did here! However, my daughter thought we clearly missed one more important decoration. She really thought we should have some….SNOWFLAKES! I gave her a puzzled looks and said, “Really? Do you really think we need snowflakes?” She was absolutely sure about this. So yesterday, we added the final detail to our Easter decorating decor! It truly is complete now!

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Who Am I?

I love starting my days off early.

I love books.

I love making noise.

I love asking questions.

I don’t like the word “no.”

I love helping people, whether they want me to or not.

I love opening the refrigerator door and closing it and then opening and closing it over and over and over.

I love pushing buttons (both figuratively and literally).

I love running.

I love practicing my facial expressions and deciding which ones work best to manipulate people. (I have come to the conclusion that a slight cock to the head, a smile and fluttering my eyelashes generally works best).

I have figured out how to use Netflix and don’t need help from anyone to find my favorite shows.

I love watching other people go to the bathroom.

I love everyone with reckless abandon and am not afraid to show it.

Q: Who am I?

A: I am a 2 year old

I am 2 year old

 

The Year the Easter Eggs Came Alive

The kids had a blast coloring Easter eggs today!

All of the kids coloring eggs

All of the kids coloring eggs

After we were done with the dyeing process I had the kids make “clothes” for their eggs using construction paper. After we had them dressed we set up them up for photo shoots in my daughter’s doll house! Enjoy our Egg Photo Shoots:

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Problems With the Easter Bunny

This weekend we made our yearly visit to the Easter Bunny.

Last year while we were waiting in line at our local grocery store to see the furry fellow, a much older, sophisticated child behind us stated, “I know that is just someone dressed up in a costume.” My then 6 year old daughter, Iris, looked up at me with inquisitive, huge eyes while the Mom of the whistle-blower shushed her child and mouthed, “Sorry” to me.

After the visit, the questions began pouring in from Iris as to whether what the other child said had any truth to it. I hemmed and hawed over this particular matter. I really want my kids to believe in all things wonderful, whimsical and magic. However, I thought this circumstance needed a different approach.

I told Iris, “Well, it is true. That really was someone dressed up in a costume. However, there is indeed an Easter Bunny. But unlike Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny is uncivilized. He lacks in social graces and proper manners. He is an animal after all. If they were to have the “real” Easter Bunny at the grocery store he would be hopping all over the place, peeing and pooping on the floor. He would also be making a mess of the carrot display and eating all of the carrots.” Iris found this a perfectly acceptable explanation.

I had actually forgot about this conversation until my 5 year old son, Bency, said, “I know the Easter Bunny is just someone dressed up in a costume” as we were about to leave yesterday to go visit him. I stood there looking at him and finally said, “And why do you think that?” Iris quickly piped in admitting she had told him and reminded me of our conversation from last year. So, I went through the explanation again for Bency and made both kids promise they wouldn’t tell other kids about their revelation.

So, off we went for our visit with the Easter Bunny. We’ve been going to our local grocery store for the past couple of years. Not only do they have the “costumed fellow” but they have different stations set up throughout the store handing out various treats of candy, bags of carrots, Homemade Rice Krispie bars, Doritos, string cheese, chocolate milk, and a cookie decorating station. The kids love it and I can do a little grocery shopping along the way.

My 2 year old son, Cesar, was particularly enamored with the Easter Bunny this year and didn’t want to leave his side after the photo op. We had to coax him away with the promise of cookies.

As we were traveling through the store, I told my husband to wait a minute as I needed to make a quick dash for a bag of onions. After I retrieved my onions I came back to my waiting family, I noticed Cesar was no longer among them. I asked where Cesar was and my husband looked puzzled and said he thought Cesar had gone with me. He didn’t.

We began searching frantically for our 2 year old and screaming his name. After looking in all nearby areas and having no luck, we branched out our search. My husband went back to the Easter Bunny and lo and behold there was Cesar. He had managed to find his way back and was standing next to the gray rabbit, looking up adoringly. I have a feeling; Cesar is now in quite a few other families’ Easter Bunny photos.

I may have two children now that know that there was a person underneath the layers of fur but I still have one little boy that could only see the magic of the Easter Bunny.

Iris with the Easter Bunny in 2006

Iris with the Easter Bunny in 2006

Iris with the Easter Bunny in 2007

Iris with the Easter Bunny in 2007

Iris with the Easter Bunny in 2008

Iris with the Easter Bunny in 2008-Bency wouldn’t go by the Easter Bunny!

Iris with the Easter Bunny in 2009-Bency still didn't want anything to do with the Easter Bunny

Iris with the Easter Bunny in 2009-Bency still didn’t want anything to do with the Easter Bunny

Bency finally went by the Easter Bunny in 2010..as you can see he still was a little leery!

Bency finally went by the Easter Bunny in 2010..as you can see he still was a little leery!

Iris with the Easter Bunny 2010

Iris with the Easter Bunny 2010

Cesar's first visit with the Easter Bunny in 2011

Cesar’s first visit with the Easter Bunny in 2011

Bency and Iris with the Easter Bunny in 2011

Bency and Iris with the Easter Bunny in 2011

The kids with the Easter Bunny 2012

The kids with the Easter Bunny 2012

The kids with the Easter Bunny this year!

The kids with the Easter Bunny this year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Good Ol’ Scolding

Parenthood is full of scolding….

“Why on earth would you stick a crayon up your nose?”

“What would make you think it was okay to draw all over your body with black marker?”

I am a master of finger wagging and dramatic, guilt-ridden tones.

The other day was no different. A good scolding was handed out. However, this time I was on the receiving end. My 5 year old son, Bency, proved he has what it takes to dish out a good ol’ what for?

It started when I got a call from Bency’s teacher. She said Bency was complaining he had a stomach ache, was tired and just wanted to lay down at 10 o’clock in the morning. I told her I would be right there to pick him up from school.

I retrieved Bency from school, gave him a big hug and said, “Hey little Buddy, what’s wrong? Are you feeling sick?”

Instead of melting in my arms and seeking the comfort that motherhood has to offer he stepped back and began his little tirade:

“This is your fault. I am so tired. You kept me up all night with your slurping.” Can you picture the finger wagging at me with the scrunched up eyes and pursed mouth that went along with this?

I stood there dumbfounded with my mouth agape trying to figure out what he was talking about.

He went to explain further:

“I heard you last night. I heard the blender going. I know you and Daddy had smoothies after you tucked me in. Then you kept me up all night slurping away.”

Can you hear my exasperated sigh? Can you picture me standing there at a complete loss for words wondering if he truly just said that?

The truth of the matter is; after we had the kids all tucked in bed, my husband did in fact bust out the blender. They were actually milkshakes that he made using vanilla ice cream and crumbled up Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies. They were so good. Trust me they were so delicious that I think I had it gone in 5 minutes. As for the slurping….well of course there was slurping. Something that good you want to make sure you have every last drop.

I think the real culprit was Daylight Savings Time. Bency had a hard time with the adjustment. Instead of pointing this out to him, I just hung my head and promised I would not keep him up all night with my slurping ever again. I added an eye roll and dramatic sigh that every good scolding needs at the end.

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I Love Irish

My 3rd favorite holiday is coming up! Yes, St. Patrick’s Day is almost here! I love this holiday because there is nothing to do for it except cook up a delicious corned beef and cabbage and have Reuben sandwiches the next day with the leftovers.

This is actually my 7 year old daughter’s favorite holiday! She thinks it’s all about her. You see, her name is Iris. When she was 5 years old, she found out that St. Patrick’s Day was an “Irish” holiday. She found that remarkably close to her own name. She does have a point.

Humphrey Bogart

Humphrey Bogart

I think if Humphrey Bogart were to meet my daughter he would say, “Well, Hi there Irish! Here’s looking at you kid.”

Fire Marshall Bill

Fire Marshall Bill

Or if she stumbled upon Fire Marshall Bill he would say, “Let me tell you something, Irish.”

(I wish you could see me doing my impersonations of Humphrey and Fire Marshall Bill!)

So, since my daughter is such a fan of this holiday and I too have great enthusiasm for this day I dress her up every year and send her off wearing her “special” pin:

Kiss Me, I'm Iris

Kiss Me, I’m Iris

I don’t have a drop of Irish blood (actually I think I have a pinky full) in me but none the less we will be celebrating this fabulous holiday with as much festive spirit that we can muster because I sure do love corned beef and even more I really love “Irish!”

I hope your St. Patrick’s Day is full of gold, rainbows and leprechauns!

My son, Cesar's baby feet on St. Patrick's Day 2011

My son, Cesar’s baby feet on St. Patrick’s Day 2011