Friday, August 21, 2009

Buy Me Some Peanuts and Crackerjacks...

I don't know about you, but we had quite a night around here last night. Both girls were screaming, yelling, and generally being insanely loud, and it was totally fine. We took them to a baseball game, and I have to tell you, it was a ton of fun. We got tickets to see the San Diego Padres play the Saint Louis Cardinals. My husband used to be a huge fan of the Card, back in the Mark McGuire days, and I thought he might like the game. So, when I found a way to get us tickets for free, I signed us right up. The housing community that we live in sponsors great events for all the military families that live here. This was one of their fabulous events. We got free tickets to the game, and each person for a $5 food voucher to use. That was all totally cool to me!

We weren't really sure where we were supposed to go or park when we got down town. We muddled through and found a nice little lot on 8th Street. Then, we realized that the lot we had to find to get our tickets was on 13th. It was just a 5 block walk with 2 girls that didn't want to hold our hands, but did want to stop and look at everything in a crowded downtown area. No big. (Insert eye roll here).

We were told to go to the tail gating lot, which no one downtown seems to know exists. However, if you say the corner of Imperial and 13th, they get you and can send you in the right direction. We finally found this mysterious lot and the big red tent where our tickets were waiting. We hoofed it as fast as we could to the tent. There were lots of other families coming, and only the first 200 people got the food vouchers. I'm cheap. I told The Husband to leave us behind and run ahead of the others. He said he would stay with us and it would be ok. It was ok. They still had vouchers when we all got to the tent together. We go our tickets and baseball cards for the girls, and headed in.
Let's Go Padres!

Our seats were about 4 rows above the nose bleed section, but honestly, we didn't care. The girls just got a big kick out of everything. They love the Friar, and wanted him to be on the field more than the players. I tried explaining the game to Lilly, and she got it. Somewhat. She was cheering for both teams, but..ehhh..we didn't care. As long as they were having fun.
The food vouchers were awesome. They have this great 5 for $5 deal now that rocks. You got a hot dog, peanuts, drink, cookie, and something else that I can't remember all for $5. It was tailor made for my kids. So, we got them both that, and they went to town.
We let them eat, yell ,and be wild until they started to wind down. Shortly after the start of the bottom of the 7th inning, we took off. We had all had enough for the night, and even though we were leaving early, I think we were full up on fun. It was really a great time, and a great experience.

I am thankful to those who donated tickets, and let us have such a cool family experience, and create more beautiful family memories.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Ok, Ok, I Want to Potty Train After All

A while back, I posted about how much I did not want to potty train The Little One. Well, I take that all back. I want to potty train her, and I want to be done with it!
In the past couple of weeks, we have regressed from nearly being completely potty trained, to using diapers almost all the time. I have no idea why, either. While things have been a bit stressful around here, the past couple of weeks have been the best in the last month or so. So, why would it get worse now?? I just don't get it.

My guess is that The Little One has decided that she needs to make this decision, and wants to have complete control over this whole situation. If you have ever met her, then you know, this is a serious issue. Saying she is bull headed might be an understatement.

I'm not sure what else we can do, other than just give it time. I want to be done, but if she isn't ready, then she just isn't ready. Sometimes, you just have to give in and get on board their train, even if it isn't on the track you wanted to be on.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Losing Someone Close

Today, I found out that we lost a dear family friend. I am devastated. Though I knew she was sick, and very sick at that, I still feel shocked by her passing. It seems like there should have been more time. I had plans. I wanted to make her a card and send it to her. I wanted to send her a little get well gift. None of that will come to fruition, now. Life, or death really, trumped my plans.

Linda was a wonderful woman. I have so many fond memories of her. She is my mother's age, and I grew up with her. More than just my mom's friend, though, she was my friend. I would go places with her. I would hang out with her. She made every formal dress I have ever owned, including my prom dress and even wedding dress. We shopped a lot for that one. We drove an hour and a half to the best fabric store we could get to so that we could find exactly what I wanted. She custom made my Renaissance gown, with a partial pattern because nothing was exactly what I wanted. She hand sewed the pearl beading around the edge of my 10 foot train. She made my sister's dress, too. Then, as if doing that wasn't enough, she even served as my wedding coordinator. I don't know how I would have gotten married had it not been for her. Well, I suppose I would have gotten married in a dress that I didn't love, and a whole lot less organized without her.

I remember thinking she was such a cool mom. Not that my mom isn't cool, but Linda was in many ways a much more liberal parent than my own mother. Sometimes a little more liberal is good.

Yeah. She was great.

I feel so much for her family right now. The kids must be so distraught. I can't imagine. I so wish I could be there to support them in person. I would hold her daughter's hand, and send The Big One off to play with her oldest son. Sometimes, distractions for kids are a great thing. I would hug the middle child, because words just wouldn't do.

To the family: I am so sorry for your loss. I loved your mother dearly, and will miss her terribly. Know that she was and is a greatly loved woman, and there can be no greater legacy than that.

Goodbye, Linda. I wish I had gotten to tell you that myself. Thank you for everything. I mean everything. You meant a lot to my life, and I appreciate your being a part of it. I hope your body is finally healed, and you are in paradise, relaxing now. Rest in peace.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Time to Let Go, and Let...

I think I am having one of those days. You know, those days where I should be completely down and upset. The kind of day that makes you want to crawl into bed and eat Oreos.

However, I have decided phooey on that for today. Instead, I have come to the decision that it is time to just let go, and let .... (Insert appropriate Deity or force here God, Dog, Buddha, The Goddess, Mother Nature, Fate, etc) take over. I can't do anything about anything, but my attitude. I could, and rightfully so, curl up in a ball and wait for it to be over. Then, my house wouldn't be any cleaner than it is right now and probably a whole lot dirtier. My kids would be a whole lot hungrier. I would be a little smellier for not having showered, and my sheets would need to be washed because of the cookies. So, why add more onto the day? Why not just make the best of what you have? That is what I choose to do.

So far, I have started on one of the three major cleaning projects that I have to get done in the next week. I got in a great workout at the gym. My girls are eating lunch, and I am about to shower while they are occupied. After that, I intend to finish the project that I started, do my normal cleaning, and then make a fantastic dinner for tonight. That is all to be followed up by a walk around the neighborhood with mi familia and a visit to our park before we walk home.

Today will be a great day.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I Hate Baloons

I hate balloons. No. There was no quirky, slightly misleading title to this post. There is no interesting build up. The truth here is bad enough.

I am a mother who loathes balloons.

I do. I can't stand them. They make me cringe every time I see one, and I am not allergic to latex. So, the reaction is purely mental for me.

I have to say that my hatred probably stemmed from my own mother. As a child, like most children, I loved balloons. Every time we would get a balloon, though, my mom would tell us this horror story about a little boy who put a balloon up to his mouth and popped it. According to her, pieces went into his throat, and if I remember correctly, they couldn't get them all out, and he died before anyone could get him to the hospital. Now, I have no idea how true this story is, or when it happened, but I believe my mom really feared for us when she told us this story. So in turn, I now fear for my children, and think of this very story every time they have one.

The hatred is so deep seated, though, that they don't even have to have a balloon for me to get agitated. Just seeing one is enough to start my skin crawling.

I know that the moment someone beside them gets a balloon, or there is an opportunity for them to get a balloon, that we have to have that discussion about why they can't have one, and I have to come up with some terrible excuse. I feel like a bad mom because I won't let them have a simple little balloon, one of life's joys for a child. It isn't even that I am being a bad mom, but more a little nutty and overly concerned mom. It is just the way I am and I like to avoid the situation at all costs.

I try to be cool about things, and realize that kids will be kids, but seriously, I just can't quite get past all my fears when it comes to balloons. I know in my head that this is my issue, and that kids get balloons all the time without inhaling them. So, I am trying to work on that. I am trying to give them some time to play with them, and just not freak about them all the time. Maybe one day, I can even be excited with them when they get a balloon, or at least not want to handle them like I am a member of the bomb squad, taking care of a suspicious package. Maybe.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Someone Make the Lambs Stop Screaming

I have been blessed with two wonderful, beautiful, intelligent daughters in this life. I have also been blessed with the ability to hear. While it may seem those two blessings are unrelated, when your children are constantly fighting and screaming, they don't seem so unrelated.

My girls fight constantly. I could use a string of colloquialisms to describe their behaviour around each other; they fight like cats and dogs, or they are like oil and water, but no matter how you describe it, the fighting is exasperating and painful, even. I don't think we have had an entire hour where the two of them are on the same level of our home, with out a fight. They don't even need to be in the same room, just the same floor, for something to erupt. And erupt it does. The fight starts out with some sort of low rumbling. Then, it build with larger quakes and noises. Until, it all out explodes and drenches us all in fiery, ugly meanness.

They fight over the most ridiculous stuff, too. I swear to you, today I spent a good 10 minutes listening to them argue over the same blue crayon. Now, in order to avoid fights, I have placed at least two packs of crayons into our crayon container, and over half of them have been broken into two pieces or more. So, there are multiples of every single color in there. It doesn't matter, though. That blue had the best wrapper, or was the longest, or what ever menial reason they could give to try and fight over the crayon. It was ridiculous.

It is disabling for me. I start to shut down when they fight. I can't accomplish the tasks that I have designated for myself. Instead, I find myself either trying to stop the fight by reasoning with them, or just hiding to try and avoid it all together. As proof, I sit here mulling over all this, while my bathrooms sit in desperate need of a good cleaning.

I've tried different approaches to handle it. For a while, I just immediately took away what ever they were fighting about. I have separated them. I have threatened them. I could go on with all the things I have tried. However, today, I read an article that gave me something new to try, and I think I like this one the best. A child psychologist suggested that you just ignore it. While there were a few things that were considered unacceptable, and would require the parent to step in immediately, outside of those situations, you just let them work it out. I don't know why I haven't tried this before. I have always made my oldest work her own problems out with her friends and would not step in unless there was blood involved. As a result, she knows how to work out problems with her friends, and use her words to solve them, very well. So, I don't know why I haven't been doing this with my own two, in stead of constantly trying to referee. I don't want to referee and I'm not going to do it anymore. I'm going to get off here, in a few minutes, and go clean my bathroom. Unless they start to bully or physically hurt each other, I'm just going to ignore the them to the best of my ability. I'm even going to try and find The Husband's mp3 player that he keeps telling me I should use, and enjoy some sweet music while I clean the bathrooms. While I will still be cleaning the bathroom, at least I'll be listening to something I enjoy hearing while I do it.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Family that Plays Together...Burns Together

Ayer, mi familia y yo fuimos a la playa. I have no idea why I felt the need to put that in Spanish, but I just think it is cool when people use something from the more common vernacular to talk about their family, but "the fam" felt all played out.
Anyway, for those who don't know how to use the google translate feature, yesterday, my family and I went to the beach. We have the burns to prove it, too.

I am pretty sure this was the first time that we have taken Ava to the beach. Sad for a two year old born in San Diego, I know, but I am just not a fan. I hate being all itchy from the water, and I really hate finding sand in places that sand shouldn't be.

Anyway, we took them to Breakers Beach on base. It may not be the best beach in the world, far from it if you have ever been to Hawaii, but it is never crowded, and has decent bathrooms. That makes it tops around here in my book. I packed lunch for a picnic, and we took all kinds of great sand toys the girls have been begging to get into forever. We loaded up and headed out just before lunch time. The Little One is still limping pretty badly. So, it wasn't the easiest walk for her. Also, the water was pretty cool. She got in once, then decided she would rather sit with me and play in the sand. The Big One and The Husband spent almost the entire time in the water. She loved it. For a kid who can't stand to get dirty, she thought all the seaweed in her hair was hilarious. The Little One, well, her father dug a whole that went to her waist, and she spent a good amount of time playing in it, then just filling it back up. By the time we left, she was caked in sand from head to to. Really. Caked in it. I think her big sister transported a good portion of the beach into the showers herself. I'm really not sure whose suit was smuggling more sand, but it took me forever just to get enough off to make them passable to go to the grocery store afterwards.

I wasn't too bad on the sand, because I tried to avoid it like the plague. However, when you have a husband whose mission in life to cause havoc and mischief, you have to expect to get at least a little wet. Knowing full well that I would act like a cat with the water, He brought up a bucket full of water under the pretense of carrying it for the kids to use. I, knowing his nature well, figured out his ruse and immediately started beating feet. Didn't matter. He can outrun me in a flash. And he did. I gave my evasive maneuvers my best shot though. I even worked so hard that a boob fell out of my built in shelf cup bra. It stayed in my suit, and I didn't flash anyone, but I did have to adjust, as soon as I quit moving and he threw the water on me.
Even though I was itchy and wet, it really was a good time. I even, mistakenly, thought I got away without being too badly burned. However, it seems that all of us ended up with some little, but painful ones. Both of the girls have faint outlines on their shoulders. The Big One has about an inch strip right above the top of her suit back that I must have missed in out sunscreen rub down. The husband has a funky U shaped burn on his back, where apparently, I only put sunscreen on the middle of his back, and not anywhere near his sides or the top of his swim trunks. I have some horrible and painful burns where I neglected to put sunscreen in the very delicate area on the inner part of my arms and on my side boobs. Not fun. Not fun at all, I tell you. I went out and bought more aloe and even some that has some kind of pain reliever in it. We gooed our selves up pretty well last night, and will keep putting it on for a while. All in all, though, I think the day was well worth the little bit of burn. It was a great time. One that I hope we repeat, with slightly better sunscreen application, again soon.