Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer Vacation Begins

We are off to a great start this morning.  It is the first day of summer vacation and the kids are following their schedule I laid out for them for the summer.  We'll see how long this lasts but I've found that having certain scheduled activities keeps them out of trouble.  My 4 year old will go to his day care center, which he calls "school" two days a week because since I work from home I HAVE to get some work done this summer!  My 4 year old can be quite a handful as you may have read in my past blogs so he is best at school a few days a week.

We did have a long busy weekend as I'm sure most of you did.  The kids were pretty well behaved which was great.  Friday night my 4 year old actually sat and watched most of his sister's softball game, then Saturday night he danced at a wedding reception.  Sunday we went to two different parties.  The first party we attended had a very inviting mud puddle that we were sure our youngest would end up in before we left for the night and sure enough he drove a non-motorized go kart into it.  Nice!  Since I had used his extra outfit that I keep in the car just a few night earlier because he saw yet another inviting mud puddle a friend graciously offered a pair of her sons pants for us to borrow.

One of the parties was with my group of college friends and their spouses and kids.  There were six couples and 14 kids!  The kids had fun catching frogs and playing in the sand.  They blew bubbles and rode tricycles.  I'm more paranoid about other people's kids than my own.  One of my kids were climbing a tree and it was no big deal to me, yet I sat strategically placed on a playground deck because I was afraid some of the other kids would fall off the side of it.  A friend of mine asked, "Aren't you nervous that your kid is climbing that tree?"  I said "No but if that was your kid I'd be begging them to get down."  Is that strange??

Yesterday we played outside and enjoyed the sun even though the wind was outrageous.  Our patio umbrella is now stuck in a tree.  I told my husband that all we'd need to do is put a latter up to the tree and I'm sure we could grab it. He thought that was a silly idea and said that the umbrella will be in that tree for a while.  Now it's a nice beautiful day and I'm inside working away.  I'd better get my work done because I want to be outside this summer!  Summer always goes by way too fast!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bath time Blunders

Besides bedtime bath time can be another struggle in the life of a mom.  My 4 year old still loves baths but he does get the occasional shower when we are crunched for time and I throw him in with someone else.  Last night he took a bath and I let him play with his toys and soak for just a little bit before I shampooed and soaped him up to get him out.  I put him in the tub and went to the next room for something and I heard bubbles.  Since we don't have a whirlpool jet tub I realized he must be passing gas.  I asked him from the other room if he was okay and he said yes.  Not moments later did I hear the sink running.  I ran into the bathroom and there he was naked and washing his hands with soap and water.  I asked him what he was doing and his reply was, "My hands smell like poop."  Why do your hands smell like poop was my questions.  "Because I pooped in the tub."

Nice! First of all he's 4!!!  He hasn't pooped in the tub for years!  Second of all if you've ever had a child poop in the tub it's as if the poop smell permeates into the water and then permeates into their skin.  No matter how clean I tried to get him I swear he still smelled like poop!  I even scrubbed out the tub, got a clean washcloth and towel and soaped him up again.  Then I washed his hands yet again after he got out.  He could not have been sitting in that poopy water for more than a few seconds.  Anyway I smelled him this morning and he didn't smell so that was a good thing.

Typically we've had problems with just keeping the water in the tub.  My kids always liked to splash around and they'd get water everywhere!  The other thing that both my boys did when they were really young is they'd wait for me to get the bath water run then they'd pee in it.  Oh I'd get upset.  I learned real fast to make them pee before entering the tub.  I hate draining the water and having to run it again!  It's so nice now that my older two kids are on their own for showers.  I just have to remember to make sure my 4 year old gets bathed on a regular basis now!  In the winter when he's not hot, sweaty and dirty all the time it's easy to forget to give him a bath at least every other night.  Now that it's spring the kid could bathe several times a day!  The other day when I put him in the tub his legs were so covered in dirt that after he took off his socks he looked like he had tan lines but I knew better.  I swear sometimes dirt stains.  He just never looks clean!

"Bath time is successful when your kids get wetter than you do." Dee Ann Stewart, author

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Book Unreview: Go the F**k to Sleep

Today I'm doing a book unreview.  What's a book unreview you ask, well its a review of a book that I have never read but only heard or read about.  So essentially it's an unreview I guess.

My book unreview for today is a bedtime book for parents called Go the F**k to Sleep.  This book is about all the profane and honest things that you think but don't say when you are trying to get your little one to sleep.  This is NOT a book that you read to your children!  For those of us who have been parents for a while you know that bedtime can be an absolute nightmare!  My kids were always whining..."I"m hungry, I'm thirsty, I have to go pee, I need my blanky, I need my teddy bear, will you read one more story" and I just wanted to start shouting profanities at them but I didn't.  I took my deep breath and smiled and thought...They won't want me tucking them in forever.

I for one would love to read this book because I've heard it's a pee your pants hilarious book.  I no longer struggle with bedtime for the most part and here's a little tidbit on what worked for my kids.  About an hour before bedtime I started a thing called Last Snack.  This is the time where the kids got their last drink and snack before bedtime and that way they were never hungry or thirsty at bedtime.  Then at bedtime I made them pee and brush their teeth and then I'd tuck them into bed with any blanket or stuffed toy they needed and they got one story.  Only one and it was a short one, no 50 pagers!  And I'll be honest I am totally guilty of skipping pages when I wasn't being watched closely to hurry the story along. 

My oldest two children no longer require a story or me tucking them in for that matter.  They are old enough that they just give us a hug and a kiss and go to bed.  My 4 year old however has resorted to me making up stories instead of reading them.  Lately it's been the same story every time about how he's playing in our creek with his brother and sister and they meet a turtle and the turtle is sad because he lost his friend Mr. Rabbit and so they all go on an adventure to find Mr. Rabbit.  Retelling a made up story is much quicker than reading one so I don't mind one bit.

My 4 year old has consistently slept through the night for several weeks now but I did have those kids that would still get up in the middle of the night until they were 4 or 5!!!  I'd be exhausted wondering when will I ever get sleep!  They'd crawl in our bed and I'd be too tired to take them back to their room so I'd suffer while they tossed and turned and moved and put their foot in my face.  Then I'd finally get to the point where I'd carry them back to their room.  So then we made a rule that if they got up they could not get in bed with us but they could lay on our floor.  So in the middle of the night you'd hear a small child dragging a pillow and blanket and laying on the floor.  After a while I said that if they got up in the middle of the night they could no longer come in our room but they could lay on the couch.  Anyway the further away I got them from our room they eventually just didn't even get out of bed anymore.  Thank goodness.  Now at ages 11, 9 and 4 I'm finally getting some sleep!

So anyway if you are having troubles getting your children to sleep or you just want to read a hilarious book I suggest you read Go the F**k to Sleep.  Just be sure to hide it from your children because I believe the book actually looks like a children's book and you really don't want your kids learning new words from that book...well that's if they haven't already learned the word from their dad.

"Any kid will run any errand for you, if you ask at bedtime." Red Skelton

Monday, May 23, 2011

Laid Back Mom vs. Crazy Psycho Mom

After I became a mom I think I started developing multiple personalities.  I'm typically a super laid back mom and as you may have read before I allow my children to climb trees, swim in ponds, play outside and get dirty, muddy and wet and I also allow them to eat food that they've dropped on the ground.  Now I don't let them eat other people's food that has been dropped on the ground, I mean come on people, I'm not crazy.  Or am I?  Just thinking about the fact that my older children are going to start driving in a few short years makes me crazy.  This is when I become overprotective, stick my child in a bubble mom!  I'm thinking of petitioning to the state for a few new driving laws concerning teenage drivers.

First of all I think all teenage drivers should be forced to wear a driving helmet.  Now they don't have to be dorky ones but they could be cool race car driving helmets.  Once I get that law passed that will be a cool business idea for someone...designing fashionable driving helmets for teenage drivers.  Since sun visors with fake hair in them seem to be popular be sure to include a line of driving helmets with wigs attached to them.  Preferably highlighted mullet wigs.

Secondly, I will petition to pass a law that requires teenage drivers to wear driving suits made out of bubble wrap.  They can be thinner in the arms and legs to allow for movement but thicker in the chestal region to prevent injury.  Again this may be a good use of someones time to create a line of fashionable bubble suits for teenage drivers.

And thirdly I would petition that teenage drivers be required to drive cars that have like 20 air bags in them as well as no radios, no cup holders, no cigarette lighters, no cellphone charging apparatuses or anything that could be considered distracting.  These new cars won't start unless the cellphone is placed in a certain holding device because you want your child to be able to have a cell phone with them we just don't want them talking on it or God forbid texting while they are driving.  The new car will have onstar and a tracking device so that you as the parent could keep tabs on the vehicle at all times.  The inside of the car will also be outfitted with a web camera so you can always check in on them from time to time too.

So with all of that I don't see how a child could possible get hurt or hurt anyone else while driving.  I suppose I should extend the driving helmets and bubble wrap suits to all teenage and younger passengers of a teenage driver as well.

So to all the moms who wash down grocery carts with antibacterial wipes, disinfect a pacifier every time it falls on the floor and makes your 10 year old continue to ride in a car seat, whose the crazy person now??

"I'd like to be the ideal mother, but I'm too busy raising my kids."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Queen of Multi-tasking

I would say that I to some degree suffer from a lack of focus.  My brain works overtime much of the day and I have so many things going on up there that it is exhausting.  I have several calendars, lists, sticky notes and all of these things help to keep me focused and moving forward so that I don't forget important things.  I"m also a multi-tasker.  Now I didn't say I was very good at it but I try.  The other day I emptied the dryer, opened the washing machine to fill the dryer and before I actually got the clothes out of the washer was asked if I watered the flowers. oops nope.  So I watered the flowers, then I noticed the recycling needed to be taken out, then my kids said they were hungry so while I fixed supper I did the dishes.  My daughter needed help studying for a science test and my 4 year old needed a bath.  I did all that and at 9 o'clock got everyone tucked into bed and as usual I was pooped and ready to watch t.v. for an hour.  Around 10:15 or so I went up to bed.  The next morning I got up and did our normal morning routine and when I walked into the laundry room guess what???  The dryer door was still open and the wet clothes from the day before were still in the washer.  I hate it when I do that!!  If the clothes smell in the slightest then I have to rewash them but on this morning the clothes didn't smell at all so I put in the dryer with an extra dryer sheet or two for good measure and dried them.

Once I left a car door open over night after unloading groceries and cleaning out the car.  I've forgotten to set the timer on the oven and burned supper.  I've left my curling iron on and left the house but fortunately it has an automatic shut off.  I guess you could say I'm easily distracted.  Even while typing this post I have stopped to check my Netflix online and to inquire about my Clinique foundation that is temporarily out of stock.  But like I tell my husband these are normal things that happen to everyday people.  I still manage to get quite a bit done in a day and do it well so I guess the stuff that I may forget at least isn't super important stuff like a kids ball game, a Dr. appt, paying the bills etc. I have to remind him that I do do some things right. Ha!  However I know people who have forgotten important stuff too...such is life.

Also on a random note to further my claim that I'm screwing up my kids when I picked up my 4 year old son from preschool yesterday he requested a song.  He thinks that the radio plays whatever he wants on demand and we've had to tell him multiple times that we have no control over the songs on the radio.  Anyway he says to me, "I want that panty snatcher song."  Nice!  My kids do love Pink!

In all honestly my kids really aren't turning out so bad.  It's nice to visit with other moms and read other moms stories and realize that all of our lives are a lot alike.  The grass is not greener on the other side....it's brown and full of dandelions just like ours.  But it's our grass and we love it!

So in my typically fashion I went from talking about multi-tasking to grass.  Hmmm.  I think today is a good day for a Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy quote, "If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down?  We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason."

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Parents in Training

Do you ever feel like you are the worst parent in the world?  Trying to navigate the emotions of a child is the hardest thing ever. I'm never quite sure if what I'm doing is helping my children or hurting them.  And every kid is so different.  Sometimes I step back and put myself in my child's shoes...I"ll be like okay let's pretend I'm 11 years old and my mom did this or my dad did this or they said this to me how would I feel.  Wow!! I'm not sure I should do that anymore because I'm afraid I'm really messing my kids up!

It is amazing how three kids can come from the same two people and have such different personalities.  We have five very different personalities in my home and for the most part we mesh well together but there are times when I forget that I'm not them and they are not me.  I have to remember that when they are thirty three years old it's not going to matter if they did well in softball at age 11 or if they went out for basketball at age 9....or if they peed behind the outhouse and all up the side of it at age 4.  I guess I'm just as guilty as the next parent who wants the best for their child.  I want my kids to be happy and healthy and rich so they can buy all the stuff I like and then I can move in with them.

I have realized that at times it is pointless to figure out a child.  I try and try and realize I don't even know why I did some of things I did when I was growing up.  For instance in high school I was consistently late for curfew and my parents punished me and were disappointed with me every time, yet I continued to do it.  I don't know now and I didn't know then why I did that.  There is no explanation for some of the things we do, we just do them.  Now I'm a parent and have to realize that kids are funny, strange, awkward human beings.  They have funny quirks and make funny noises and ask really hard questions.  They look up to adults and their parents are their whole world but someday they'll grow up and realize that adults aren't as mature as they thought they were.  In fact I know some adults who are less mature than my kids!

My older two children have figured out that I am Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy blew her cover too after one too many times of forgetting to leave money for a lost tooth.  I was excited to at least have my 4 year old to still believe in Santa and the Tooth Fairy, however he's big into Mascots and so he things Santa is a mascot.  Whenever he sees Santa he asks.  "Whose the guy in the costume?"

I guess we all have to give ourselves a break, we aren't perfect and our children aren't perfect.  As long as we are happy and healthy and have the necessities...food, air, water, shelter (My 11 year old studied for her science test last night about the ecosystem).  I think we also need love and laughter.  So when my husband gets mad at me for something my reply is..."Well your head has a thick candy shell on it."

Paul Reiser was talking about children on The Talk and he said that you are in awe by the miracle of life and then it gets hard.  "This is how smart the powers are that be.  It's sort of like a movie that's great in the first ten minutes, the rest of the movie might not be great but it keeps you there because you think it's going to be great.  That's why the beginning, when you look at a kid you think, 'oh this is going to be great.' but then it's all up hill from there." Paul Reiser on why people have kids.  I think I need to read his book....Familyhood because he and his wife think they are the worst parents so it's gotta be a funny book.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Red Rover

I love to listen to the radio in the car and lately a particular station has been talking about all the games that we played as kids that are now looked at as dangerous for our own children.  The main one being Red Rover.  I grew up playing outside, riding my bike through town, swimming at the river, playing kick ball, freeze tag and hide-and-seek and I turned out okay.  We had what is called 'free play'.  Our lives weren't scheduled down to the second and using our imaginations and playing outside was encouraged.  I can see how kids can screw around while playing red rover and clothesline a few kids here or there but are there that many children in America that are becoming severely injured while playing red rover that it has become a game that is now banished on at the school yard?  Dodge ball is another frowned upon game.  I mean come on people!  What is so bad about drilling your classmate with a ball?  LOL!  Really I don't remember it being that bad.  You just have to hit the person with a rubber ball not inflict pain or cause welts, however, I know a few of us left gym class with a welt or two on dodge ball day.

I feel like the same people who jumped off of bridges into rivers and used to sled on top of car hoods attached by chains to pick-up trucks are the same people who want their kids to live in a bubble.  During a radio show this morning they asked people to call in and share the games they played as children that some may deem dangerous today.  One caller said she and her friends played a game called Spears.  They'd form two teams and go out into a field where they'd pull these six foot tall weeds straight out of the ground and throw them at the opposing team.  If you were hit by the weed or it's spear-like root you were out.  Another caller said she and her brother used to use garbage bags as parachutes and jump off of a shed to see who could jump the farthest.  I'm really glad right now that my kids do not know that this blog exists!!!

Besides jumping off of bridges into a river and sledding on car hoods my friends and I used to see how high we could climb a tree or we'd climb swing sets and then walk across the tops.  A lot of kids do a lot of stupid stuff and that's just what kids do.  I've seen my 9 year old outside walking across the top of the swing set and of course I yelled at him to get down.  He also likes to explore the timbers behind our house and he builds forts in brush piles.  The other day he had his friends put him in a garbage barrel and push him down a steep hill into a parking lot.  These are the things I'm seeing!!!  What he is doing when I'm not around!

He loves to climb trees and jump off of stuff and sled down steep hills and see how fast he can drive his 4-wheeler (wearing a helmet of course).  My daughter on the other hand is not much of a dare devil.  She does ride a 4-wheeler and she sleds but she's a lot more careful.  She doesn't climb trees or build forts in brush piles.  Now my 4 year old son has been a dare devil since he was born.  He rode a toy car down our basement steps once, he's hopped in a wagon and rode it down a hill, he's climbed higher than I'd like him to climb and he's climbed out of my vehicle through the window before...fortunately the vehicle was parked in my driveway and not flying down the interstate.

Some of us may think that what we did as children was dangerous but ask your parents some of the things they did.  You might be surprised! Well that's my ramblings for today.  I'm going to run through my house with scissors now.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Mom Confessions

I love the show Modern Family and the Mother's Day episode last week was hilarious.  Claire is a such an honest down to earth mom and Gloria feels bad thinking or saying anything bad about her Manny.  The characters Claire and Gloria each remind me of so many moms I know.  We all know that motherhood is hard, it's really hard and just as in any job or relationship its okay to blow off steam now and then.  In fact it's better to blow of steam in a reasonable manner than to take out aggressions on people.

I was listening to the radio the other morning when a woman said it's better to put your screaming baby down in a safe place and walk away for a few moments than too stay in the moment and try to console a screaming baby.  We all know there are times when babies cry and to us for no apparent reason.  I completely agree with her, however, a man in the studio said that some view that as a form of abuse...to leave a screaming child.  I wondered if the people who think that leaving a screaming child in a safe place for a few moments while you collect yourself has ever had a child??

We all do what we have to do to get through the day and if walking away for a moment to relax is the key then it's so be it.  If hiking to the top of a hill and screaming about your kids, like Claire and Gloria did, then do it.  We all need to relax somehow and the older the kids get the harder I'm finding parenting to be.  When they are babies and toddlers they are more physically exhausting.  My kids are 11, 9 and 4 and now they are more mentally and emotionally exhausting.  I'm living in a house with four other people, all of which now have their own personalities, likes and dislikes and little quirks.  All of my kids like to talk and talk and talk and talk.  I found it hilarious the other night when I was reading a magazine and found an article about a mom and her confessions.  She confessed that sometimes she nods and makes noises like she's listening to her kids when she's not!  I know I do that.  Then they'll ask me a question and I'll have to say, "I'm sorry what did you say again?"  and since they know me so we'll they'll say, "Mom!  You weren't even listening?"  They'll understand one day when they have kids.

As in life every person is different and every parent is different.  Some parents make their kids bath every single night.  I get to the point where I'll be like, "Nah, just bath tomorrow morning."

I am pretty good about making my kids finish their food and drink their milk unless we are at a social gathering.  I'm not the mom who sits there and makes her kid finish every bite of food before they can get up and play but I do make them eat most of their meal.

I do like to be near my kids but sometimes I just like to watch them play while I relax and read a magazine or something...especially in the summer.

I'll admit, sometimes I'm the one asking if we can watch television yet.

Sometimes the tooth fairy is unreliable and money ends up who knows where??  Mom's purse?

I try really hard to pay a regular allowance but get sidetracked easily.  I'm a "oh look a squirrel" kind of person.

I will admit that at times I've bribed, guilted, threatened and screamed at my kids to do things.

I do think that playgroups are really for the moms!!

“If I had my child to raise all over again, I’d build self-esteem first, and the house later. I’d finger-paint more, and point the finger less. I would do less correcting and more connecting. I’d take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes. I’d take more hikes and fly more kites. I’d stop playing serious, and seriously play. I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars. I’d do more hugging and less tugging." Diane Loomans

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Awe of Animals

I was reading a magazine last night while my husband and children were watching our beloved St. Louis Cardinals play baseball on TV.  My husband got up to do something and happen to look out the window to see a raccoon in our yard.  He turns and says, "Kids do you want to see a raccoon?  Come here quick."  So all three of my children bound off the couches and head over to the window.  Then my husband shuts the light off in the house...because you know the raccoon might see four people staring at him through a window.  So now I'm sitting in the dark trying to read a magazine as the rest of my family is ogling over a raccoon.

Okay we live in the timber in Iowa!  We see wildlife in our backyard daily and it still amazes me that my family treated the incident as if it was the first time they've seen a raccoon.  I mean is it just me, if you've seen one raccoon you've seen them all?  My husband is the same way with deer.  I'm trying to drive us somewhere and he'll be like, "Oh a deer. Stop, back up.  That was a nice one."  So I stop, back up, try to spot the deer again and after he's seen it we are one our way.  Apparently he also has the ability to tell deer apart.  He can tell you if that deer has been around these parts before or if it's a new deer.  He can also tell you if he's seen that particular deer before.  It really is amazing and comical at the same time.  It's as if the deer are friends.  It would be easier for me if he'd name them but then again, probably not a great idea to get the kids too attached to the deer that we may find dead on our roads.  Like I said, it's Iowa.

I love that my kids and husband love the wildlife and I love wildlife too. I guess I just don't need to stop the car for every deer I see or get off the couch for every raccoon that's in the yard.  Now if they see a bob cat or a mountain lion, a bear or a unicorn...now I'll stop the car or get off my butt to see that!!

"Is there anything more beautiful than a beautiful, beautiful flamingo, flying across in front of a beautiful sunset?  And he's carrying a beautiful rose in his beak, and also he's carrying a very beautiful painting with his feet.  And also, you're drunk."  Jack Handy

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Simmer Down Now

I think one of the hardest things for me to do now as a mom is to watch my kids play sports.  They are frustrated and learning and since I know all the rules I have this urge to go out and do it for them.  Wouldn't that be something...to watch a mom go out to third base and relieve her son, or a mom decide she's going to pitch the rest of the game.  Now I know what my parents went through watching every sporting event I was in and now I really appreciate that!  They made it to every game and now my husband and I are doing the same for our kids.  I will be honest, watching super young kids in sports is a bit like watching a pond freeze over but they have to learn sometime.

The lack of agressiveness is what I see in a lot of the 3rd thru 6th graders that I watch.  I guess we teach them growing up to be calm and polite and then they get to sports and we teach them to be agressive and not polite and maybe they get confused.  The other day in my daughter's 5th and 6th grade game our team's base runner was standing on 2nd base when the opposing teams catcher overthrew to the pitcher.  Our base runner bent down and picked up the ball and handed it to the second baseman!  The coach yelled at her not to touch the ball!!  But she was being polite and thought she'd help the other team out.  My daughter was going to catch a pop fly when she saw her friend near by and thought her friend was going to get it so my daughter lowered her glove and the ball hit her smack dab on the face!  That was a lesson learned!

I wish I could get inside their heads to understand their thinking.  It seems at times that coaches are having to repeat themselves over and over again and the kids still don't get it.  I guess it's just like at home. I have one child that I have to ask EVERY morning if he combed his hair, brushed his teeth and put on his deoderant and almost EVERY morning he has not done these things.  You would think that after 365 days a person wouldn't have to be reminded to do something.  Oh crap!  That reminds me I have to go water the flowers.

Every year for Mother's Day my husband gets me flowers for my pots and every year I forget to water them.  Hmmm, I guess that is where my kids get it.  :) LOL!  I  guess I just have to remember to simmer down.  My kids are not me and I am not them and they have to make mistakes and learn from them and I will probably go crazy trying to teach them that!

"Success seems to be connected with action.  Successful people keep moving.  They make mistakes, but they don't quit."  Conrad Hilton

Monday, May 9, 2011

Growing Up

My youngest celebrated his 4th birthday this weekend and so now he is so proud of himself because even though he was a big boy before, now he's really a big boy.  When a friend of mine asked him what he was going to be doing for the weekend he said, "We're going to go visit my mom's parents." LOL!!  We did have a packed weekend!  I took him along with his sister, who is 11, to the March of Dimes walk in Des Moines and the Tulip Festival in Pella.  It was a long weekend but he was a trooper!  At the walk he saw the mascot for the Drake Bulldogs and said, "Hey mascot, I know you're fake.  I know that there is a person inside of you!"  Perhaps you can also tell that he has two older siblings??

He walked quite a bit at the walk and at the Tulip Festival.  Otherwise he did have the option of either a wagon or a stroller to sit in to rest.  It's just amazing how much they learn and remember at such a young age.  On the car ride to Des Moines Saturday morning he said, "I love the March of Dimes walk because of all the animals there."  He had just turned 3 years old for the last walk and it was at the zoo.  I had to tell him that they move the walk every year so this year it would not be at the zoo.  Then while we were in Pella he brought up the fact that the last time he was there they had a tornado warning and they had to go to the basement.  Again he was 3 years old!!  I really wish my memory was THAT good!  I'm lucky to remember at the end of the day what I ate for breakfast and whether or not I ate lunch.

He's really big into baseball right now so he was so excited to get a pair of baseball cleats, batting gloves and a bat bag for his birthday.  He taps his bat on the ground, takes a practice swing, spits and then is ready for me to 'throw balls at his bat' as he likes to call pitching.  He's also big into guns that shoot anything from water to balls to darts so he was excited that he got a huge water gun and a gun that shoots balls for his birthday too and he played with both of those all day yesterday!  It's refreshing to watch a child play without a care in the world.  The older I get the more I try to be that way.  Obviously I have certain responsibilities and obligations I have to up hold but for the day to day stuff I find myself saying..."You know what the dusting can wait, you want to go out and play ball, let's go out and play ball." Or "The dishes can wait, I'll read you a story right now."  The older I get the shorter life gets and my kids aren't going to remember if the house was super clean or semi-clean but they'll remember that mom always made time for them.   Below I've included my new favorite quote.  My mom came across it at Tulip Time and these are truly words to live by.

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.
            If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.
            If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.  Succeed anyway.
           If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.  Be honest and sincere anyway.
            What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.
            If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.
            The good you do today, will often be forgotten.  Do good anyway.
         Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.  Give your best anyway.
         In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.
-this version is credited to Mother Teresa

Monday, May 2, 2011

Cardamom Cookies

I really should carry around a pen and paper with me so I can write down all the funny things my kids say.  We had a lot of fun this weekend playing outside in the beautiful weather!  The kids rode four-wheelers, went fishing, we hunted for mushrooms, we visited some friends at a nearby campground and we roasted marshmallows. 

I find it interesting how kids want to eat a s'more so fast that they purposely burn the marshmallow just so it gets done faster.  Heck, I guess I know adults who do the same!  I love to slowly roast mine until it's golden brown and super gooey in the middle.  How do you like to roast your marshmallows?

Yesterday my three year old wanted to play t-ball outside and so I told him to get dressed and I'd go out with him.  He comes out of his room wearing a tank top and shorts.  It was 50 degrees outside!  Anyway I told him he'd need a pair of pants over his shorts and a sweatshirt over his tank top and he'd be good to go.  He comes back out of his room with a pair of mesh pants and a sweatshirt.  I was going to help him put his pants on when he said, "Wait I have an idea.  Why don't I put my shorts over my pants."  He really wanted everyone to see he had shorts on and when you have kids especially multiple children you learn to pick your battles so of course I said, "Ok."  So he dressed himself and put his shorts over his mesh pants, put a hooded sweatshirt over his tank top and then put on cowboy boots.  I think he's going to start some sort of fashion trend here!

I baked again this past week and am a bit behind on blogging about it.  I made Cardamom Cookies and they are so delicious.  They are a melt in your mouth shortbread covered with confectioner's sugar and pretty tasty with a tall glass of milk.  Enjoy!

Cardamom Cookies


  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 2-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, divided
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts


  • In a large bowl, cream butter and 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar until smooth. Beat in extract. Combine the flour, cardamom and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in walnuts.
  • Roll into 1-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 15-17 minutes or until edges are golden.
  • Roll warm cookies in remaining confectioners' sugar. Cool on wire racks. Yield: 6 dozen.
"You know what would make a good story?  Something about a clown who makes people happy, but inside he's real sad.  Also, he has severe diarrhea."  Jack Handy