Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Better Luck at Dinner Time

The past two nights I have done two things that have made dinner time much more enjoyable! I thought I would share them (in their simplicity).

  1. I’ve made VERY simple dinners (read chicken nuggets with Kraft Mac & Cheese and Campbell’s Soup with Cheese Sandwiches plus salads on both nights).
  2. I’ve involved the boys with preparations. Usually, they are clinging on my legs (literally) or trying to get me to “do” something with them.

The other day I talked with Frank (50 months) about giving him a “special new thing” to do each night for dinner – where he gets to make us a salad and he can choose what he puts with the lettuce. I mentioned how when we go to a salad bar there are so many choices and that he can pretty much do whatever he wants, but we get to choose our own dressing to go on it. While Frank’s working on the salad, Jack (22 months) sets the table. Normally, Frank would do the table so quick that Jack hardly had a chance, so having Frank occupied with something else gives Jack a chance to do it himself.

It’s been amazing how much more peaceful getting ready for dinner has been, but also how we have something to thank the boys for and talk about what they’ve done. I also know this is good – giving them assignments and chores and responsibilities. I figure we’ll get back to “real” dinners too, but simple is good to start.

One other thing – I’m delighted to start having salads again. I’m always so busy shaking the boys off my legs, that I don’t take time to make salads. Also, I envision letting Frank shop each week in the produce department for a “new” item to put in "His" salads. I know we won’t like everything, but I hope we’ll all learn to eat a little more and different produce in the process.

Anyway, I thought I’d share.

Suzy :)

Hurry Up and Slow Down

Ever notice how at this time of the year (with all the "big" holidays) we rush around so very much, but all we really want to do is sit around and enjoy our friends and loved ones?

I find myself with about two hours each afternoon. It's fairly quiet time, spent at home. My boys are suppose to be napping - and even if they aren't alseep, they are more-or-less in their room and quiet. Today I listed off all the things I wanted to do in those measly two hours:
  1. Finish machine quilting a Santa Advent quilt (for December 1st).
  2. Do my "homework" for The Pampered Chef.
  3. Listen to the recording of a conference call I missed today, for The Pampered Chef.
  4. Go to the toy store to look for a Lightening McQueen car for Jack.
  5. Go look for fabric for a coat for Frank.
  6. Work on Photos (for Aunt / me / book).
  7. Pay the Bills (12 days late).
  8. Sit and read a book - ahh!
  9. Take a nap.

Most of these are things I find easiest to do during the few quiet moments I get. I of course still have house work and laundry and meals that need my attention today. Not to mention yardwork and Christmas lights and decorations and ..... I'm getting more and more tired just looking at this.

I paid the bills. Now I think I'll nap. When I get up, perhaps some of these other things will be doable with the boys "help".

Suzy :)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Warm Fuzzies with Lumps

I keep getting warm fuzzies with lumps in my throat. I've been working like a maniac - not just for a day or two, but pretty much for the past TWO MONTHS! When I haven't been working, it's because I was working so hard I got sick (first a cold, then Strep Throat). Still, I kept working. (I'm working so hard to get my Pampered Chef buisness off the ground!)

Frank comes to me and wants to "tuddle". Jack comes to me and trys to shimmiey up my leg. So often I'm "busy" and I push them away; telling them to "leave me alone" or "I have work to do". But (for the moment) they are like puppies and keep coming back over and over - although, already, there are times when I wait too long, and when I finally sit down to snuggle with them, they've moved on and can't be lured to my lap.

Anyway. Frank's suddenly learning to write. (He's 49 months today.) Constantly I find him writing and drawing on slips of paper. (I really should upload a stick figure or two). He's doing well with a few choice words (his name, his brother's name, and my name are the three that he writes all the time).

I'm up (VERY past my bed time - working on The Pampered Chef again). I look down at a crumpled note beside my feet. It's my first Love Note / Valentine from Frank. He drew a picture (I honeslty don't know what of) then wrote Frank (very tiny heart - I didn't know he could draw a heart) "Susy" (my name is "Suzy"). Everytime I think of it or peek at it, I get a lump in my throat, tears in my eyes and Warm Fuzzies.

I love my boys and so soon I know they will be gone. I am struggling so much too learn to enjoy the here and now - sometimes I think I just don't know how to "relax and have fun". I've actually been soliciting help from my husband and friends on this, but perhaps my children would be better able to teach me.

Tomorrow needs to be a day of play (with a little work) instead of the other way around!


Running Nowhere

How can I feel like I am running all the time? And why does it feel like I am running to “nowhere”?

No time to expound on these random thoughts - gotta run!


Saturday, October 07, 2006

Perfect Epiphany

I know I'm a perfectionist. I realize that this causes me a GREAT deal of grief for ME! Today I had a new and even bigger epiphany about my perfectionism. I want everything to be perfect - most of all me. Because I set such high (and impossible standards for myself) I tend to set them for those around me too - especially my family! I'm just now (as I'm typing) thinking this TRULY isn't fair for two small children - namley my sons - to be expcted to be perfect... but I diverge. My epiphany was that even if I do everything absolutley perfect regarding raising my children, they're would still be problems, and troubles, and obstacles with my children. I know, for many of you, this seems like a "duh" statement. But when I had it today, it was like someone slapped me across the face. Not only am I striving for something I could never obtain, but if I could obtain it, the "desired" result still wouldn't be there. This really was the Perfect Epiphany for me to have.

We - I totally lost my next train of thought. I'm tired, so, I guess I'll be off to bed now to dream more insight into relaxing my standards - for me and for those around me.

Ponderous Suzy

Friday, October 06, 2006

Poop-in Time

Jack spent the entire morning in one pair of training pants and even pooped in the potty today (I noticed he was starting to bear down and took him in there). This was his first day ever with training pants. I'm so tickled, he's just 20 months! I think it definitley helps to have an older brother to watch and immitate. At this rate, he may be potty-trained in time for his second birthday!

I do have one gripe about the whole thing though... cleaning poop out of children's potty's is a pain in the - well - in the butt! My older child was much older when he got around to pooping out of a diaper, so, he did it on a seat on the big potty... we may graduate the "little guy" to this soon - I don't want to be scrubbing poop out of that little potty for long! Yuck!

Suzy :)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Happy Days for Us All

Today was Frank's 4th Birthday. Of course I did the usual mulling and amazed thinking, but then I also did something new and different. I remained calm. I remained upbeat (mostly). I didn't stress or wig out. I did a good job!

We invited grandparents and a couple of close friends over for a family type celebration (dinner, cake, and ice cream). Frank's 1st and 3rd Birthday's had large kid parties. Frank was asking for a party the past few days, and was quite happy with this smaller, simpler celebration. It didn't take hours and hours of preparation and was generally easier.

Anyway, I'm glad I stayed so calm. It was a big step for me. It's also important for me to remember that simple is good and calm is easy to do.

Suzy :)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Careful What You Wish For

The fact that we keep wanting new and different things is good, right? It keeps us growing and changing. But, also, I think it's important to find peace and contentment with where we are right now. Presently, I have a doting husband and two loving and happy boys (just what I've wished for for many, many years), but I seem to be going crazy with the need for some time and space for just me. It feels like each and every minute must be devoted to them or else they are literally climbing all over me. I feel bad about feeling this way, mostly because I know it will be just a few short years and they will be off on their own and I'll be wishing for them again. In the end, I'm making myself grumpy and grouchy for no good reason; I think it's just because that's how I've gotten use to being. Sometimes I feel like I should just throw out (quite literally) everything that surrounds me that doesn't revolve around my young sons (amost 4 yr and 20 mo). Now I'm feeling more guilty than ever because my older son is showing some of the same nervous signs that I exhibit - they are painful and upsetting, and he certainly doesn't need to be feeling them - he's not even four! I know that "if Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." I want to be happy, but I can't seem to kick myself in the pants! The formative years are the first five and I find myself with just one left with Frank. He knows how to be clean, and neat, and cook, but I worry I haven't taught him how to be happy and content with life.


Saturday, September 16, 2006

Learning From the Masters

I recently became a consultant for The Pampered Chef. Since doing so, I've been calling on many people for many things and I've been amazed at how well so many people have mastered an art I'm still challenged at... Learning to say "No". They do it polietly and curtley, some say "yes" but then won't commit. I'd rather they just say "no", at least then you don't spend your time chasing down the "yes". Anyway, I truly am amazed at how easy it seems to be for other people to say "no". I'm trying to take notes so I can learn this art myself.

Suzy :)

Friday, September 15, 2006

And Then Some

I've no idea how that Title will play into this post, but it popped into my sleepy little head.

Today I felt like I had so much going on, I just did what I had to do to get through the next level; then, as soon as that step was done, I worked like mad on the next step.

It felt good to have my husband back at work, but I worried about him all day, because I knew he was still in a lot of pain. He likes medicine, "better living through chemistry" he always says, but he also tends to push his limits and wait to take medicine until he's in so much pain it takes a long time to kick in. Also, with his back hurting, he gets in a groove and forgets to get up. So, every hour I sent him a page reminding him to get up and stretch. I also paged him every four hours when he was due for more Tylenol. He came home so grateful and boasting that his co-workers think I'm this great wife! They couldn't figure out why his pager kept going off, so he started showing them the pages. I also send little one or two line notes when one of our boys does something "interesting". They actually thought I was "bothering" him and "complaining", so that's why he started showing them the pages. Anyway, they were all terribly impressed that I would "take the time out of my busy day" to write my husband. The way I figure it, my job as wife and mother is this: 1 - take care of me so I can, 2 - take care of my husband, and then, 3 - take care of our children. Taking care of our home falls into that category as does taking care of everyone's health (and diet). Now. This doesn't mean I do everything for them, but I help guide them along... my three (almost four) year old, Frank, tonight didn't like what he saw me fixing for dinner. So, he got out the tortillas and shreeded cheese, along with a plate to make himself a quesidilla (starch and protien). I ask what he was going to have for a vegetable, he got out a carrot, and ask for the potato peeler and crinkle cutter so he could clean and cut it. Then he took out the trash can (for the peelings) and a cutting board, and fixed his own dinner. He's not even four! I was proud (and a little sad) at the same time. I'm just tickled pink at how he can take care of himself and amazed at "how quickly they grow up!"

On a related note of growing up, when I got out of the shower it was to the sound of the boy’s bedroom door opening. When I stepped out of the bathroom, I found Jack, naked, holding his romper, which he'd unbuttoned (a first) that he’d been wearing in one hand, and a Buzz Lightyear glove in the other hand. He was using the Buzz glove to wipe his butt. Yep. Poppy! Big piles of poop on his carpet next to an empty diaper. I ask Frank “why’d you let your brother get undressed?” Frank turned around and said “What? Oh man! Why’s there poop on my floor!?!” He’d been so busy playing he never noticed Jack undressing or leaving the room. Did I mention I was late to pick up my friend's children this morning?

I've been thinking Jack's ready - at 19 months - to start potty training. Every time he sees someone near the toilet, he wants to sit on his potty, and he ALWAYS PEES in it! This kind of pushes it over the edge for me; next week perhaps we'll start. Once I got the carpet cleaned up, I picked up my friend's two boys. For the second day in row, I watched four boys (ages 19, 26, 44, and 47 months). Our friends are moving and trying to organize a huge, blow-out, sell-everything-they-own yard sale. They are also 7 months pregnant with their third child (a girl).
I'd offered to go over and help prep things, but then we realized that I'd be a much bigger help to just take the kids for a few hours at a time. Also, the boys have much more fun playing over here unincumbered by boxes of stuff they can't touch and able to delve into toys galore - inside and out. It's so nice how they are getting old enough to play more or less on their own and together. I can supervise from the kitchen window and still be doing my own thing in the house.

Speaking of "my own thing", I have a Library (ie: junk room) that I wanted to devote 30 minutes to before going to bed tonight, so, I'm off!

Suzy :)

Back to (A Little Bit of) Work

Today my husband is back at work! He injured his back last week, and still is in a lot of pain, but it's good to have him able to go back - even in limited capacity. HR called him with a “transitional work program”. His doctor sent a note specifying what he could do and then his boss found something to keep him busy. He took a bottle of Tylenol, a heating pad, and two ice packs to help him along. We’ll see how long he can make it today (without prescription narcotics or his recliner to ease the pain!)

In other news my left ovary is killing me this morning! Jack is sneezing and just had a snotty face, but it seems to have stopped. I’ll be watching my friends two boys again this morning and taking them home after lunch. This afternoon, I plan to get an allergy shot, then head to the mall to pick up Jack’s portraits, after that I’ll pick hubby up from work / his friends'.

Suzy :)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Worker's Comp SUCKS!

Last week my husband was injured on the job. Can I just say that Worker's Comp SUCKS! We're forced to pay money into some Grand Government System to "help" when you're injured, but, now that it's happened to us... we're finding our hands completely tied. First you're told that Worker's Comp pays 66% of your wages... WRONG... they pay 66% of some arbitrary number they choose... we're only going to get 29.0465% of OUR ACTUAL wages. Then, we're told we're "lucky" we can keep using our own doctor, and that if the doctor orders too many questions, we'll no longer be able to use our doctor. Oh! And we can't use our own insurance any more, because they say it's a Worker's Comp claim. So, if we don't like who they suggest we can take our whopping 29% of our pay and pay out of pocket for the procedures (take a $1,000 MRI for example... that'd be 3/4 of a month's worker's comp "pay".) It's been a long week and a TERRIBLY long day! Oh. but for the migrant, illegial worker who's injured, this is a good deal because they suddenly get better and free medical care. How about this? How about all the money that i HAVE to pay to goverment medical / insurance programs, how about I get to KEEP that money and use my OWN insurance when I have injuries? Hmm... do you think we could do that?

I exhaused and now I'm pissed too... I really hope I can get to sleep!
Suzy >{

Time Really Does Fly

Wow! A month ago a friend started her blog and I started reading it, I also created this spot for myself (since I couldn't post to her's without it.) I've been enjoing reading Becky's Blog, so, I keep thinking to myself, I really should write some stuff on mine... so much has been happening and it would be fun to keep track of what I'm thinking and doing. Now, I realize it's been nearly a month I've been having these thoughts. So, let's take a look at what's been going on...

  • Thursday 17 August - Start Blogspot, Email Infant Resource Swimming Instructor about end of season practise for boys.
  • Friday 18 August - Jack's 18 month well visit (he's doing great and is the same size as his 45 month brother, Frank, was at 15 months). Both boys are BIG for their age (mostly over the 90th percentiles). At 35", Jack is one inch from out-growing his crib's maximum height and has reached the max for his porta-crib.
  • Saturday 19 August - During naptime, Jack learns to climb out of his portacrib, so I move him to his crib in the bedroom he shares with Frank. He climbs out of it too. I finally take the side off the crib and convert it to a toddler bed. In desperation, after three hours of working with getting them to nap, I take the boys for a drive until they fall asleep, then carry them into the house. It's over 110 in Mesa, Arizona and gas is expensive, so, I don't like this option, but, it'll have to do for now.

  • Saturday 19 August, cont'd - In the eveing I mow the lawn before my husband heads to a bachelor party. Have you ever heard of a co-ed bachelor party? Neither had we, but he came home with stories of the WOMEN getting lap-dances, at a Girlie Strip Bar, in front of their husbands... it was all VERY WEIRD to us!
  • Sunday 20 August - Nap time poses challenges.
  • Monday 21 August - When we returned from vacation last week, our Air Conditioner was making LOUD noises - well, I could tell they were different anyway, so, we'd had a service man out on the 16th (the day after returning home). Good news! The parts (motor and compressor) are under warranty, so, all we have to do is pay for labor. Bad news! Labor is almost ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS! What?! For parts covered under warranty?! Today I called around to a few other vendors and the manufacturer... they all said the same thing, that this is the "industry standard" and perfectly acceptable. Well, it may be acceptable for those who stand to make a profit, but from a consumer standpoint, something is under warranty, it breaks, why do I have to shell out a grand to make it right again!?!?! The unit still works, it's just louder than normal and the motor has six months left under warranty, so, we'll wait a while before we start handing out the cash. I also go to the densit to have two filling replaced. On the way home I pick up portraits from last month of my boys. Also, I stopped at a quilt fabric shop (Fashion Fabrics) looking for some items for my Aunt. I find one exact and two substitutes I think she'll like. While I was out, my climbing monkey went onto Frank's bed, then the laundry hamper, then the top of their dresser/changing table. My husband found Jack up their throwing diaper changing supplies off of the shelves onto the floor. When the laundry hamper was removed from the sceen, Jack immediatley started looking at the window sill and the post of the bunk bed for a new way to climb up. He's a MONKEY!

Well... I've been at this for over thirty mintues now, and still have WORK to do! So, I must go...

ttfn! Suzy :)