Sunday, December 27, 2009

I Don't Have Time for That...

So, it has been snowing non-stop for the past couple of days - and the girls are beside themselves with zeal. There has been quite a bit of sledding in the yard, and the snow is literally waist-high on the babes. (Rather entertaining for adults too.)
We've been enjoying it as well. I think having kids adds to the excitement of the first great snows. I'm still in the 'romantic' stages of winter... (In about another week, I'll be ready for spring again!)

This morning, daddy mentioned to Myla that it might be fun to go play outside. Once it got warmer out, the snow became heavy and thick - perfect for building snowmen! 
To our astonishment, her reply came as such: "No no no, Dada. I don't have time to go play outside today. I have to play with my babies...." 
Oh. Well. I see. (Sounds like the story of my life at this stage with the girls!) At least she's prepared for the responsibility of having children when that time should arrive. Many years away yet - but it does go by quickly. Before we know it - I'll be blogging about the joys of being a grandparent! (Our reward for going through parenthood!!)

TIP: If the snow is too deep and the kids just keep getting stuck and/ or falling, you can shovel a little zig-zag path around the yard. Before you know it - they will be running and throwing snow and laughing again :)
A QUOTE: "Snow and adolescence are the only problems that disappear if you ignore them long enough." ~Earl Wilson
WHIDFML: Savored some cookies. I figure, if I give in to this weakness once per year, I can live through the mini-gluten-attack... It was worth it! 

Christmas Crabbies

The way Addie's nature has been lately - I wasn't surprised that she was crabby in general throughout much of the celebratory weekend... I was, however, a bit staggered to witness her tears as she unwrapped gifts on Christmas morning. WHAT? Seriously? Really....... Not what you were hoping for this year? Me neither! Thankfully, the deluge of sugar-laden treats and the continuous attention from various family members as the celebrations commenced, brought about a sense of contentment in her. 
So, all in all, it could certainly have been worse ;) They were both really excited for Christmas this year - and Myla was absolutely thrilled with every minute of it! I guess if one isn't crabby, the other one must take over, huh? Her teeth are almost through now, so we should be getting a more 'normalized' Addie back again shortly. She has been coming back around gradually. 
Still just can't understand how one could be happy about her gifts, yet crying at the same time. But then again - - pain can do that to a person! So I can't really blame the poor girl. The post-stress migraine I got to endure following the holiday happies, reminded me just how living with pain can affect a person. I suppose I may have needed that reminder in this case.

TIP: Baby pain relief: Don't leave home without it! (Sometimes you just have to administer the pain meds...)
A QUOTE: "Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!"  ~Hamilton Wright Mabie
WHIDFML: Lazy lazy day-after-Christmas this year!! :):)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Live, Love, LAUGH Some More!!

Been a stressful few weeks - and it all came to a close with a fabulously well-spent birthday celebration: No kids for over 24 hours... Nothin' quite like a 24+ hour date with the hubby! Yay grandparents!! 
I was feeling refreshed after all of the quiet, the spontaneity, the music, the wine, chocolate, fire ablaze, card-playing, & fun-having... The perusing where we pleased with no time constraints, arguing with unruly toddlers, or wishing we hadn't bothered to leave the house in the first place. And of course... the staying up late and the sleeping-in :) Marvelous dinner for 2 at the Sample Room... and just plain ol' good times and new memories for Joel and I to revel in.
Of course, reality set back in pretty abruptly after retrieving our over-tired, under-slept, sugar-crashing babettes. (Something to look forward to as a grandparent one day, eh?) 
Taking it all in stride... (after outing some frustration via loud noise and use of profanity) I realized this is a short week... a little hop, skip, & jump on our path to the celebration of CHRISTMAS! Joel will be home from work for 4 whole days. We will eat, drink, share some love with the fam, and be oh-so-merry. 
This morning (and throughout the day) Myla was nothing less than angelic! (Thank you Lord!) Perhaps she (in her strife over the need to adjust to change while sleeping in a less-familiar locale) found herself rather appreciative of her daily (boring) routine with her good ol' mom. (I plan to mix it up once they are a little tiny bit older! Right now - Addie's going through a phase, and it truly isn't worth attempting any new and exciting "projects" with the girls at this juncture. Trust me on this one.) Maybe this newly-spun enjoyment of mommy will last?? We can hope. And hope we must!
Addie, on the other hand, is still her crabby, clingy, attention-requiring not-herself-self again... The whining. The screaming. Today - I did a remarkable job (2 days, 2 days, 2 days... Wednesday is Grandma and Grandpa day... then we're on to the weekend!!! Ohm.) of staying unfathomably calm during the continuous riot, while also ignoring all outbursts and unnecessary whimpering. She is nearly 2. She is NOT an infant... not even close. She doesn't need the coddling she thinks she does. It's hard. I mean - she is the baby. AND, she's seen too often how Myla has been able to maintain her daddy's coddling via similar means leading up to just recently. Joel and I have really turned a new leaf in the way of upholding a like-minded and consistent approach to child-rearing - together. This (combined with her recent new-found appreciation for the day-to-day) are conjoining to provide a fab and well-deserved reprieve from her previous typical, regular drama. SO BE IT. (Whoot!)

Now...  It's play time! I'm served a cup of tea, and when asked what flavor, Myla's response came as such, "It's Strawberry-WATERMELON!!!" (Pause... begin to walk away, and return to conclude...) "WITH chocolate-sauce with blueberries and WATERMELON!" Mmmmm. How could I refuse?! She was quick to follow-up with a warning, "Um. It's kind of spicy... It might be too spicy for little mamas... " Upon hearing this - Addie decided she'd better step-it-up a notch if she wanted to remain part of this restaurant's service. She turned to the "cabinet" and extracted the little red "bottle". "Ketchup?!!?" She asked enthusiastically, while "pouring" some into a cup for me. Sure, why not? It will probably only enhance my strawberry-watermelon tea with blueberry and watermelon chocolate sauce. 
Just when I started giggling, and didn't think it could get any cuter or funnier... it was bed-time for me (according to baby-watches, that is.) Okay! (This is my favorite game! I get to "pretend" to snooze... Yeah. I know. Best game ever.) But... this time I had a serious case of the giggles - as I lay there thinking about all of the personality and imagination just mixing away in these little, growing people... I was reprimanded without delay, "It is BED-TIME mommy! You have to be quiet and go to sleep now." This only turned up the intensity of my laughing fit (now officially a fit, indeed), because it was just too damn ironic!!!! HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! (I just got a tiny sliver of revenge, and I didn't even have to try.) Hmmmm. How's that medicine tasting there little lady of no-sleep-ever-if-she-could-help-it?? Hmm?? Kind of tart? I decided it was best to use this open window and elaborate. "What happens to me if I don't listen to you and sleep?? What are you gonna do?!" She placed her hands on her hips, gave me sly-eyes, and said without hesitation, "I will put you in, um, mommy and daddy's - wait - in YOUR - okay in YOUR room by yourself!" (She seemed to realize, as she stuttered, that when we separate her from her sister by placing her in our room - that this might not be the best form of "punishment" for me... as it is in fact, MY room.) She also said I don't get an ice cream cone. (Dang. Now that one I might have to give into! I am a sucker for ice cream.) But, nonetheless, the laughter ensued, as I had completely lost all control. (Man - it felt really good to laugh that hard - even though no one around me at the time understood.) I think the mere fact that Myla wanted me to be "sleeping" during this laugh-fest, made it that much more enjoyable - despite the fact that she was in no way whiny or dramatic at all today - [aside from this hands-on-hips sternness she'd acquired for the purpose of making sure I get my rest - like a good mommy should.]  ;) 
A friend had dropped by with a b-day and Christmas gift for Joel and I (his b-day is just a couple of weeks away as well...) We received a TJ's G.C. - which means none other than - MORE WINE! (We enjoy trying the different wines, and it really is just a relaxing thing to sip on during the weekends. Also happens to be good for you in such moderation. Hey - we have 2 toddlers, and we don't get to get out much right now... Therefore,our "going out" is often a matter of trying new wines when we can!) I expressed this to Myla as we opened our respective gifts. So fun!!
Daddy came home shortly thereafter, and Myla showed exuberance over the newly acquired goods. She held in her hand the venerated gift card while Joel asked her, "What do you have there?" (She was really excited. This is a direct reflection of my exclamation of joy earlier.) She stated in reply, "A Trader Joe's card for WINE!!" Joel and I just laughed until we cried. If only you could have heard her!
So begins a new week, shortly following a new moon, and leading up to a new year... And I too have a fresh new perspective on the day-to-day :)

TIP! We gotta stop "babying" our babies! (You know - the youngest one... the one you can't let grow up too quickly because they are your last baby.) It will catch up with you if it hasn't already. Ignoring the outbursts did result in eventual (spurts) of quiet with each occurrence, accompanied by a sudden willingness to eat meals where appropriate. I kind of like this approach. We have to be a little bit more diligent now - to reverse the trend. Seems to be helping gradually. Every bit helps when your kid is throwing tantrums!
A QUOTE: "A perfect example of minority rule is a baby in the house." ~ Milwaukee Journal
WHIDFML: Celebrated my birthday just the way I wanted to - with just the hubby and me - and a little flying by the seat of our pants into pure relaxation.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The "A" List

 Here is Addie's (growing)  list of "funnies" & follies...

Addie: (Every time a timer goes off...) "Pizza's done!"

Addie: (Every time a toaster pops...) "Waffles done!"

Addie: (Every time a phone rings...) "Phoooooone!"

While daddy was rocking Addie before bed time one night, she whimpered, "Tummy Ache" - and then forced out two incredibly audible digestive noises that just shouldn't be possible for someone so little and cute. ;) After passing the gas, she attempted to pass the blame, and accusingly stated, "DaaaaaaDaaaaa!" 

More to be added over time, I'm sure!

TIP! Laughter is great medicine - and cures pretty much everything :)
A QUOTE: "I must learn to love the fool in me the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries." ~Theodore Issac Rubin
WHIDFML: Started working-out again - on the stationary bike. Feels FAB!

Friday, December 11, 2009

T is for Toddler...

Or rather, TEA is for mothers-OF-toddlers!! It supersedes all that I've tried thus far: Cookies, chocolate, alcohol/ wine, vitamin-D - - even hot baths, music, and adequate sleep! Nothing has compared to the great comfort - physically & psychologically - of sipping some hot, delish, nutrient-filled, (and mildly caffeinated) TEA! WHAT did I do before Teavana?? :)
"Tea" is for Energy, Calm, Serenity, Comfort, Peace, Clarity, Creativity, JOY! I really do relish life's simple pleasures.........

Tip & WHIDFML are obvious in this min-post :)
A QUOTE: "There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea."  ~Bernard-Paul Heroux

Thursday, December 10, 2009

"My Spanks Went Away!"

OH my Lordy-Lord. Today - the spanking needed implementing yet again. Myla was being stubborn (X 2 - as she acquired this from both parents!), refusing to listen/ obey, and sass-talking... (Seriously - sometimes I think the kid is already a teenager... I have to remind myself that she's only 3.) However, I seemingly didn't apply this particular rearing with enough vigor - since she stood back, one foot forward, hands on hips with one leg bent, a gleam of defiance in her squinted, glaring eyes saying, "Hmf! My spanks went away Mama. Hmf!" So, round two... DANG! Same response from her....

So now I'm thinking, "Well SHIT. WHAT do I have to do to instill the fear of repercussion into this child!?!" I thought back to my own childhood. Many a "wooden spoon" (though cheaply made and collected by the dozen for this reason) were broken over our asses as kids - and we turned out pretty darn okay -- I think (despite the "crazy" in me!) ;) So anywho...
I pulled out the biggest rubber spatula I could find, held it up, gave her back her "glaring eyes" and asked sternly, "Maybe I'll need to use this??" She looked as though she'd just been defeated again, backed away slightly, eyes now drooped and pleading. She shook her head meagerly while uttering this reply, "No mama. I'll be good." To that I say, "Hmf!" (And THANK GOD! SERIOUSLY. What am I gonna do with her?)

TIP! The idea is really to 'scare' the kid into realizing that there are consequences to their actions... Not to physically hurt them. But apparently in my case - I have to induce pain to get my point across! HELP. (If I'm lucky - just the threat of it will do... I can hope.) Taking away the opp to watch vids, and play with dolls didn't work either! What else can I "take away" from a 3-year-old?! Can't take away food, for crying out loud!! We are in TROUBLE. Maybe if we're REALLY lucky, she'll get it out of her system now, and be a good girl in Jr. High/ High School. (Hey - like I said, I can hope! And actually, if she takes after me, this will likely be the case. If she takes after her dad - we're screwed.)
A QUOTE: "When we teach ourselves and our children discipline, we are teaching them and ourselves how to suffer and how to grow." ~M. Scott Peck
WHIDFML: Yesterday - on my day off - I ran a few errands (2 fun ones besides!)... Then, I ran a hot bath with Aveda bath salts, read a magazine by candle light, lit a fire in the fireplace, more candles, and wrapped gifts - all to the tune to Christmas music, while sipping wine! What a rejuvenating day!! I needed that!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Myla Moments... (To Be Continued, I'm Sure!)

Myla (Upon hearing that it is snowing outside): "Oooooh. We can go SLEDDING!!! Yay!"

Myla (Upon hearing that we'll soon be able to go out and play in the snow): "Oh Mama - You're the BEST mama - - EVER!" 

Myla (Randomly out of the blue), "My dada is my favorite boy!" (heeheeheeehee. And he'd like to KEEP it that way - until you're 30!)

Myla (While watching a new Disney Christmas show on ABC) "Hey - that's really Santa!!! He's riding on those silly creatures..." (Aka: reindeer!) Hahahahahahaha! Kids are funny.

Tonight while supposedly falling asleep in bed... 
Myla:(on the monitor) "Mama... Mama. Please come here. My eye is hurting. I need you... Pleaase.." 
Me: "What's wrong?"
Myla: "Addie poked my eyeball..." (whimper)
Me: "Hmmm. Let me tell you something here. If you stayed in your bed, Addie wouldn't be able to reach your eye, and poke it in the dark! Why don't you try staying in your bed to fall asleep?? Here. Now let me kiss it." (Smoooch.)
Myla: "I need Dada to fix it. He is stronger and he can make my eye feel better!" 

Myla: (During a crabby-melt-down after some much-needed disciplinary action was taken) 
"I want my dada to come home and get rid of your CRABBIES! Hmf!" (hands on hips.) lol - Sometimes he can do that... other times, he adds to 'em! Ha!

Myla: (Telling her dada this upon my exuberance over her beautiful "letter" created for me while at Grandma & Grandpa's house one day) "See dada. I know how to get rid of mommy's grumpies!" LMAO as I write this!

Myla: "Can we go outside and blow bubbles today?"
Me: "I think it's supposed to be pretty windy & cold today... I'll have to check the weather on the computer and see." 
Myla: "Oh. Okay. I can tell you how the weather is going. Look! (pointing out window) See?? (with a very matter-of-fact tone) It's not cold outside."

TIP! Memories are what matter most :)
A QUOTE: "Experience: That most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God, do you learn."  ~C.S. Lewis
WHIDFML: Had a major heart-to-heart fab talk with the hubby, completely reconnected, and laughed - a lot - outloud! 

Reintroduce the Spankings!

Kind of funny. A friend with a son who is now 12, advised me that I should "hang onto them while they are still babies". Her reasoning was that he is testing them, and has been challenging everything they say. My MOL recently said, " you have your hands full. When they get older, the head-games begin..." 
I'm wondering what in the hell they are all talking about - because my 3-year-old is already acting like she's 13! Time-outs have not been working... and for a while now. (Surprisingly, they still deter the near-2-year-old!) The back-talk, sass, and pure disobedience have been increasing in valor and frequency. 
We had attempted spanking them both initially - when discipline was due. However, that seemed to backfire. Every time they were angry with us, or each other, or didn't get their way - they would hit us/ each other. Not good. So we ceased and desisted - and went another route with the old "time-out". That worked incredibly well... and for quite some time. Sadly, it is time to move on... Before I throw something through a window!!
So - the other day, Myla had me stretched to my very limit. Blood boiling, and ears smoking, I grabbed her arm to position her for an all-out smack on the (diapered) arse! This took her aback (thank GOD, I'm running low on ideas with her ~ in her late-stage terrible-two's)... She cried out, "Mama... that HURTS!" I bellowed, "It's supposed to! It's called a SPANKING. And, it's what you're getting from now on every time you refuse to listen or talk back to mommy or daddy!!! By the way - this can be accomplished anywhere we go; The store, the credit union, grandma & grandpa's - ANYwhere!!! So I suggest you be GOOD and listen." 
Today, she decided to test me on that theory... I don't think she believed me. So I made sure this time. She didn't listen, and caused her sister great pain and agony. I spanked her. She cried again, and expressed her discontentment with this new ploy. In doing so - she decided to give me some sass... Stating that she was NOT going to listen to me... Hmmm. Well let's see about that then. SPANKING #2 ensued. A few tears (seemingly more out of frustration that she wasn't going to out-do me in the dual this time...) followed-by  - ah huh... more sass. So, Spanking number 3 ensued. More tears followed, when suddenly - she had on a halo. She was now "promising" mommy that she wouldn't do it again, and that she wanted to be a good girl. (Ahhhhh. The sweet smell of victory. Hmmm.... or is that a poopy-diaper?) PLEEEEEEEEEEASE Oh planets,keep this trend of successful discipline ongoing. Perhaps, if I'm a very good girl, Santa will grant me the ability to merely threaten the ominous "spanking" response in order to keep little sassy-pants in 'order' herself. 
Amen. (Wishing on stars, belief in Santa, and Prayer... Together, they have to get me somewhere!)

TIP! Sometimes, tough-love is necessary. If you had lived in my shoes for even just one day out of roughly the last 3 weeks, you'd agree. Maybe you agree anyway - as is probably the case for most parents who care about their children's well-being and their own level of sanity. In any case - I did what I had to do. When I told her "Mommy is in charge here, NOT you..." She responded by saying loudly and with vigor, "NO YOU'RE NOT! I AM in charge. I'm going to put you to BED!" [For the full effect, visualize arms folded and a "hmf!" to follow these words.] 
A QUOTE: "Loving discipline encourages a child to respect other people and live as a responsible, constructive citizen."  ~Dr. James Dobson
WHIDFML: Planned few errands for my "day off" this week, so as to allow adequate time for relaxation and rejuvenation. Ahhhh. Looking forward to that.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Seems like the girls were on a much better behavior pattern today. They both slept during naps, which helps in that regard (sometimes Myla just won't sleep...) I'm hoping this trend will continue. 
Perhaps it was all the cheer of Jolly Old St. Nicolas that put a more positive spin on the mood today. (Or, the fab music he delivered. Mommy received a new Christmas CD - Yule Swing! I LOVE Christmas music - especially all of the unique stuff out there now... and the romantic stuff... I know, I'm a sap.) He visited our humble abode last night, and left all kinds of wonderful goodies for the whole family! The girls were particularly excited about the dual-matching sets of baby bottles, sippy-cups, bibs, and pacifiers for their collection of dolls :) They love being mini-mommies. 
They also enjoyed presenting Bailey (the family dog) her chew toy and dog biscuits. 
The best gift of all, though, seemed to be the stuffed dog (the size of Addie!) who sings and dances to Christmas carols. He also shivers (even though he's adorned with a hat & scarf), and barks. It's rather cute, I must admit ;) Addie, however, thinks it's the best thing to come along since ice cream! I pressed his paw to begin the performance, and she squealed and pulled him right out of my arms and into hers. She squeezed him, then held him out in front of her. Looking him in the eyes she nodded knowingly and said, "Hold you." Then she hugged him again - all asmile, and began to dance along with him as he sang! Made my heart melt and my belly shake like a bowl full of jelly.
Many oohs and ahhs followed, while I unveiled each of the many wonderful treasures that spilled out over the rim of the giant red stocking. The puppy came wrapped separately - he didn't quite make the cut for stocking-stuffer. It did make for a rather enjoyable start to a much more pleasant day. 
Now If I can just survive this week, the rest should be nothing BUT enjoyable!! Six more days and couting.  :) 

TIP! Trying something new can be all it takes to get the babes' minds off of their crabbies. Maybe I need to mix things up a bit around here. I smell boredom ;) We will be indulging in the new activities, games, shows and books, compliments of St. Nick. Kudos!
A QUOTE: "In order to live freely and happily, you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice." ~Richard Bach
WHIDFML: I got to re-connect with some friends of the fam... Though "squeezed-in" - it was great to see them! The kiddos are growing fast :) 

Friday, December 4, 2009

Don't You Wish Everything Was Made, Like Rubbermaid?

Thank GOD that kids are made of sugar and spice, and rubber and resilience. I had one of the greatest scares thus far as a mom... My baby girl fell down the stairs :( 
It was horrible! I even 'had my eye on her'. Ha. So much for eyes... they don't have go-go-gadget-arms. 
I was putting some things away around the house when I was surprised to hear a squeaky little voice excitedly squeal, "Hi!" as my near-2-year-old made her way to me from the top of the stair case. 
"Hi to you! Hmmmm... Why isn't Daddy corralling you down there? Has he not noticed you're MIA?" At this time, she began to work her way backwards down the stairs again... one at a time, on hands & knees... "She's doing great!" I told myself, as I watched. She ran around the corner, so I assumed (that is, made an "ass" out of "u" & "me") that she had made her way back into play-land downstairs. After all, I was doing nothing nearly so exciting! 
Suddenly, I heard her again, and she appeared to be trying to close the door at the top of the stairs. (She is QUICK! This should have been a red-flag.) Before I could react, I heard the dreaded sound of a slip-thump, clump-thump. I darted to the staircase, my heart pounding, to see her tumbling sideways down the last of the 4 or 5 remaining stairs. She landed on her back. Crying ensued immediately. I screamed for Joel, and I don't think my feet touched the stairs before I reached the bottom. I hesitated for a mere instant while considering "Is it bad to move her? What if she hurt her neck/ back?" I felt a sense of confidence that she had rotated like a jelly-roll for at least the majority of the distance to the bottom of the stairs. And, she NEEDED me! So I scooped her up, and of course Joel and I were both angry at ourselves for 'letting' it happen. Finally, we concluded that it was an accident. I was thinking just prior to the incident, "Wow. She's getting big. She goes down the stairs so well now - and needs to practice that anyway..." Perhaps we both were a bit too over-confident. It was a harsh reminder that no matter their age, size, ability, or level of achievement... you can't stop accidents from happening. But perhaps an ounce of prevention? Yeah - like maybe allowing her to "practice" while standing about a foot below her with each step? Exactly. Now, if only my heart and psyche were made of rubber...
TIP! Doors. Baby-Gates... And don't let 'em out of your sight. They aren't teenagers yet, so they don't need to "learn the hard way". You haven't yet had the opportunity to "teach them to the best of your ability, and allow them to make a few mistakes while they put those teachings into practice..." When they are 2, you just have to follow them on the stairs, not matter what. And doors. Close 'em. Had I done that before running upstairs in the first place, she'd not have made it to the peak of her 'mountain' in the first place, before tumbling back down to it's base. Oh - hindsight. You cruel, cruel trainer. So many little things... That "ounce" of prevention... Life can be distracting, but remember your priorities. And also - accidents happen. Just make sure you learn from 'em. That's the point of the 'training' part. There's no reason to beat yourself up if you are learning. 
A QUOTE: "I am learning all the time.  The tombstone will be my diploma."  ~Eartha Kitt
WHIDFML: Sometimes if I feel like I'm "mothering poorly" (ie: they fall down the stairs!), or simply worried about their well-being/ health/ protection - I just pray about it. Then, I trust that He will protect them when I'm too unlearned, distracted, unable (ie: illness), or unavailable (ie: when sitters are with them, or over time as they increase their levels of independence) to do so myself.

God knows our needs. He'll provide. Then I can rest those worries (at least for a while!) 


You wake up... you try to fumble around getting ready - hurriedly, but also quietly - when the 3-year-old decides to join you in your efforts. (You know how quiet and patient 3-year-old children can be.) Dang. Of course she woke up! You spill something on the floor, and in the process of cleaning it up, you create a bigger mess by spilling the water... Now, you're explaining your issues to the inquisitive child, who thinks she can "help". We all know how "helpful" 3-year-olds can be too, don't we? And they always help quietly. 
It was one of those days - where everything I touched seemed to blow-up in my face. I would have been better off staying in bed. Some day, I'll do just that. But with 2 toddlers in the house, not really an option. Plus, Kimmy (sis) and I had to spend our "free money" from Kohl's that we earned on Black Friday this year!! (One week to use it.) 
Addie has accomplished 3- #2's and 2- #1's on the kid-potty now... (are you confused?!) - and we needed a special toy of celebration and further encouragement.  So, I stumbled my way through breakfast and corralling kiddos into jackets, shoes, and car-seats, and we were off. (Off our rockers, that is!)
There was a certain calm that did come over them initially - while taking in the new sights and surroundings. That lasted a good 5 minutes. After that point in time, we were "those people". You know... the ones who everyone is looking at with glaring eyes and frustration over their inability to work up the nerve to come over and smack me - for my unruly, bossy, screaming brats. In between chaotic moments of Myla crying over not getting a toy (though she was promised one if she, too, decides to be the "big girl" she claims to be, and use the potty as well), Addie crying over not being able to hold and touch or open EVERY toy, both girls screaming because they want "out" of the stroller, and the back-talk from Myla, we managed to pick out something to reward Addie for her 'achievements'. Had we not met Kim and Gracie there - I'd have been running out the door approximately 10 minutes beyond arrival, empty-handed, but still somewhat sane. But because I didn't have that luxury in this case, we quickly gathered the last of our needs/ gifts, and scurried to the nearest, shortest line at checkout. 
After all was said and done, I was met in the parking lot by an 'older' gentleman, parked next to me, who was asking his wife very loudly with irritation in his voice, "How am I gonna get into the car?!" I had 2 doors open on the truck, one screaming 2-year-old in her seat, and I was now attempting to get the writhing, screaming 3-year-old securely into hers... It's cold. I have a double-stroller parked behind the truck to be loaded. I'm thinking, "Really. NO - REALLY??? Can you HEAR? Two children. Screaming. Merry effing Christmas to you too, jerko!" (See what these crabby kids bring out in me?! College seems so far away still...) I SLAMMED the door, and then my door too... and proceeded to pack up the giant, useless stroller, while old man and his wife entered their vehicle. I slid sideways past his open-door, to get into the truck, now thinking, "NERVY! Perhaps you should close your door once you get into your car, hypocrite." (Seriously, I'm generally one to give people the benefit of the doubt, especially the elderly. But by now it should have been evident to any onlooker that this was no time to mess with Mama Bear. The steam coming out of my ears, and the tint of my skin, the furrowed brow... these things should have been plain as the nose on my face by then.) 
I'm thinking that this has to end -  soon... (Or my head might explode!) But no. It was one of those days, remember? They continued to cry and whine and scream the ENTIRE drive home... a good 20 minutes straight. I learned a valuable lesson that day. When the day starts out like that... you don't leave your house. The bills, the free money, whatever is looming on the other side of your door... it can all just wait. It's so not worth it, trust me on this one. I also learned that very loud music on the radio helps drown-out the unstoppable bellowing and bawling coming from the back seat.

Today - I need a TIP! Suggested appropriate form(s) of discipline in public locations (when simply leaving isn't an option...)?!? Next time... I'll apologize to Kim, and simply leave. She plans to have another child in the next year... She'll understand one day, if not now. 
Now I know why so many people our age who are having children have stopped after 2. A cousin intended on 6 at one time in her life. They have stopped after 2. We have friends with more, and we've asked, "How did you do it?!?" To which they replied without hesitation, "Lots of beer." I've had a few friends mention alcohol as a part of their every-day attempts at relaxation during the early child-rearing years. Maybe I need to reconsider this option? ;) 

A QUOTE: Taken from the Peanuts Treasury, by Chalres Schulz "Linus: Oh oh! Lucy's got her mad face on! No matter what I do or say today I'm going to get slugged. I might as well get it over with. (He walks to Lucy. And gets slugged.) Now I have the rest of the day to myself!" 
WHIDFML: Spent far too many hours during my last 'day off' to prepare and organize all of our tax information. It had to be done. It's complicated this year. But it is, in fact, DONE! (This is a huge weight off.)  Now all we need to do is schedule our meeting, and we're good! The rest is up to the accountant. TIP: Candlelight and music make tax-prep much more tolerable. Parenthood too ;)

What Did Christmas Mean to YOU at Age 3?

Myla and Addie's Great-Aunt Debbie (my auntie too!) purchased an adorable, kid-friendly, soft-sided nativity-Advent-Calendar. Super cute. We've been reading about Christmas with Myla since last year at this time... She's very intrigued. But she just can't seem to understand why we can't go visit that "cute little baby Jesus"!  (Awwww.)
I tried to explain that we believe he is now all grown-up, and in Heaven with God. "In HEAVEN??" came her reply... Yep. "Plus," I continued, "Look all around you - and you can see Him anytime... The trees, the flowers, the sun, the water, the snow, the animals, people.... He's in everything!" As smart as she is, I'm not so sure whether the more abstract idea of seeing 'someone' in these physical surroundings is sinking in... but I'm guessing she'll surprise us yet. 
I surprised my family at age 2, by expressing my 'Happy Birthday Jesus' wishes aloud during a quiet moment at a church service on Christmas Eve that season. I've said it before - they absorb more than we give them credit for! 
We make a point to remember that we are giving gifts and celebrating because we are honoring the day that Jesus was born. She gets that. But now we have to remind her about how long ago that was - and that we can't take the "long trip to go visit her"...  (She calls most babies "her" - as she's been surrounded by primarily other little girls thus far in her little lifetime.) I don't argue, since God is all-encompassing. "He made 'man' (as in HUman) in His image..." male & female. 
So now, she turns her focus back to Santa... And we try to remind her that if she doesn't listen to Mommy & Daddy, Santa is only going to bring Addie presents. This year, Myla will ask Santa for something for the first time! She plans to ask him for a pink baby (dolly) bed. Then I guess she better not pout, better not cry, better not shout... (Or I might freak, I'm not gonna lie!)

TIP! It occurred to me, during this especially stressful time of 3-year-old limit-testing, that it may perhaps be in my best interest to write to Sir Santa, and inform him of this recent and enduring,  naughty behavior. Maybe he'll be willing to write to Miss Myla in response, and encourage more appropriate conduct? This couldn't hurt! Next writing project: MOMMY'S letter to Santa!!!!!!!!!!!!
A QUOTE: "Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time."  ~Laura Ingalls Wilder
WHIDFML: We cleaned the basement carpet (with sis's machine! WOW. Impressive.) Then, we rearranged much of the basement.... SUCH better use of space! Twas a bit of an undertaking - but SO well-worth it. Very happy with my new basement feng shui! Now, there is room for that refrigerator in the kitchen down here too. (Bonus.)