Mountain View Mommy: Sand, Trucks and Testosterone

February 28, 2007

Core Competency

Filed under: Thinking — by mvmommy @ 8:25 am

When Andrew was about 4 months old, I was at my Mom’s group discussing life with kids and staying at home. This Mom’s group is made up of 5 women. These women have subsequently become my lifeline throughout motherhood; but at the time we were just getting to know one another, and figuring out what we were going to do with the rest of our lives as mothers.

One of the ladies was telling us about her girlfriend (an experienced mom with 3 kids who were all older than our 4 month olds). She said that this woman told her that over the years, she came to realize that she is a horrible stay at home mother. No, that doesn’t mean she chose to go back to work. It means that she IS a stay-at-home mom, but she hates staying at home. She found that if she planned excursions for her & her children to go on, she was a great mom. Everyone would have a great time. She would enjoy the time spent with her children & they would enjoy her as well. However, if she was stuck at home for the day, she would go crazy. Likewise, the kids would too. This woman had explained to my girlfriend, that in time we would all figure out what type of mother we were… and when we did, we should embrace it.

At the time, I listened to the story & didn’t really get it. I myself was going to be a stay-at-home mom. And so far, after my 4 month initiation, I was loving being at home. I could sit for hours at home next to the playmat, staring at my child, watching every breath and every move. Yes, it was boring at times – but I was loving it. I couldn’t really relate.

As the months went on, our group of five ladies started settling into their paths. One went back to work full-time. One went back to work part-time. Three of us decided not to go back to work & stay at home. Of the three stay-at-home mothers, one spends most of the time at home playing with the kids, she rarely goes out. The second spends most of her time out & about with her children, at classes or friend’s houses. And I myself fluctuate somewhere in between. We still get together every week, but we bring a great variety of perspectives to the table. Each of us marvels at the other one, constantly saying things like “how can you deal with that, that would make me crazy.” It’s great! It’s the glue that holds us together & helps us all learn from one another.

It is because of these women that I have realized that I am not a stay at home, stay-at-home mother.

At first I didn’t understand why a quiet day at home would usually end up being one of the worst days of our week. The kids would act up. I wouldn’t be able to get anything done that I was trying to do around the house. Everyone would end up miserable. By the time 6:00 rolled around and Nathan walked in the door, there was a collective sigh of relief that another adult was going to be in charge… and that adult would not be me.

On the other hand, when we would go out… everyone always had fun. We would do things we wouldn’t normally do. We would explore things that were off-limits at home. No one had an agenda that wasn’t being fulfilled. Everyone just enjoyed each other and the time being spent together. And when we would come home for nap-time, I could get done everything that I wanted to before the kids woke up. For some reason, the whole scenario was just easier.

When I am with my girlfriends, we often compare our different situations… and I was distinctly getting the impression that I was not meant to sit at home. I thought I was, but I am just not that mellow. I have to be organizing. I have to be picking up, cleaning, cooking dinner, calling people back, doing laundry, checking email, changing diapers, folding clothes, taking out the trash, restocking diaper stations, etc. Each task gets a few minutes here & there, as I buzz around. This includes my children who get a few minutes of car racing, a few minutes of tower building, a few minutes of music & singing. Clearly they aren’t pleased with a few minutes. Likewise, I am not pleased with my inability to sit still before the urge to pick up that stray toy in the corner takes over. I end up feeling horrible about leaving them, but just can’t stop myself.

In the beginning, I didn’t have that urge/compulsion. I could keep things organized and play with Andrew. But now with two kids… the chaos is greater. There is more to juggle, and less time to do it in. And an organized home is the only thing that brings some sanity to my day.

Having realized this weakness, I also just figured out my strength – my ability to take my kids on adventures at the drop of a hat. The car is always packed. The diaper bag always stocked. Food is usually ready in the fridge to pack for a lunch on the spur of the moment. And we can be out the door by 8:15 if I am motivated. This is definitely my core competency… using my organization skills to get us out of this house!

Clearly, I need to be outside of my home to be a good mom. It doesn’t matter how we get out, just that we do. It can be to take a drive to the airport to watch the planes take off & land. It can be walking to the park and having a picnic. It can be running to the grocery store and letting the kids help me. Or it can be a big trips like to the zoo or museum. In the end, I need to do something that allows my kids to have my undivided attention, where they don’t feel like they have to fight with the laundry to get it.

Now that I know what I am good at… how do I fix what I am bad at? There are days that it is good to stay at home. The kids need it & I need it. However, I can’t just sit and play in the playroom for hours on end, with no agenda. It doesn’t work for me. So knowing that, I need to find some fun activities that we can do at home … like planned events. Things that will keep me involved and engaged… and not running to the next chore on the chore list. Any suggestions? I am up for them!

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February 27, 2007

Big brains?

Filed under: Body Parts — by mvmommy @ 2:33 pm

If anyone has seen my children, they know that they are top heavy. Yes, Yes, they have big heads.

Andrew’s head has evened out now that he is 2.5. But for a long time we had to cut all the necklines of the shirts we bought, just to get them over his head.

Justin, unfortunately, still has a long way to go until he will grow into his head. We have to get shirts that have buttons at the neckline & even those are too small for his head. Likewise, he wears hats the same size as Andrew & always has. No cute baby beanies for this kid. Yesterday’s doctor’s visit only helped to point out the obvious.

Apparently the poor kid has a head that doesn’t even register on the charts. In fact, if he was 2… it would STILL be off the charts. And if he was 3 .. his head, as it is now, would be around the 85th percentile. Now that is one big noggin!

I don’t care, I think he’s adorable. And there is nothing wrong with him (so don’t start worrying), he just hasn’t grown into his head yet. The only problem I see, is the fact that he is still bald.

So he has this enormous head, and he’s bald, which pretty much is like a beacon telling people to come over and gush over him. If I have a hat on him, he is like every other kid. When I take the hat off… millions of women come over and want to touch him like he’s Buddha. The other day at the mall I had 4 ladies who didn’t speak English following us around for about 10 minutes giggling and smiling at him.. trying to make him laugh. All they could say in English that I could understand was ‘cute’. Justin of course eats that stuff up. So he’ll turn on the charm and smiles, which pretty much melted these ladies into a ball of goo on the floor.

From the way I describe him, you would imagine him to be this tiny kid with this gargantuan head. He’s not. He’s a huge kid… with an even HUGER head. So he’s a force to be reckoned with, especially now that he has started using his head as a weapon. Now that he can walk, he has started head-butting me whenever he wants me to put him down. I think I can safely say that it’s only me who is getting hurt when this happens.

I must thank my darling husband for this. Without him generously passing on this hereditary trait … I wouldn’t have the big bruise on my forehead from today’s head-butting match. Thanks Nathan.

February 25, 2007

Adventure Week: Part 6 – THE END!

Filed under: Parenthood — by mvmommy @ 3:25 am

Good Bye Adventure Week.  It was fun while it lasted.  But now it is time to say ‘adios’, and just enjoy the adventure of parenting.   

Today, my better half will arrive on our doorstep, and I hope he is not jet lagged…..because I think I would like to make next week, Mom-is-on-Vacation Week. 

We wrapped up Adventure week by spending the last two days with family.  

We had a play-date with Cousin Savannah at the park.  Savannah is 7 and since she’s the youngest of her siblings, she loves it that she is older than her cousins.  Andrew thinks she walks on water, and would do anything to spend one minute in her good graces.  So the combination is great.  She says ‘jump’ – he says ‘how high’.  Today Savannah taught Andrew how to get over his fear of big slides, how to climb up a spider web rope while she shook it, and how to swing on the big kids swings.  I am thinking that I should pay her to teach him how to give me a foot massage too.   

We also visited Grandma & Pops for dinner and art projects.   This week it included glue, glitter, and truck pictures.  Pops was pretty much guiding the art project, which Andrew was not pleased about.  However, Andrew got him back by smearing all his work.   I think that pretty much evened the score.  In the end, the glue was taken away because someone was eating it.  I am pretty sure it wasn’t Pops… so you can guess who that someone might be.  I cannot decide who was more disappointed about art time ending – Pops or Andrew.  It’s a toss up.  I felt like I had put them both in a time-out, which is an odd feeling considering it’s my father and my son.

The kids don’t know that Daddy is coming home today.  I didn’t want to get them all excited & then have them wait 8 hours for Daddy to walk through the door.   So we are going to have to come up with something to kill the time.    Hopefully whatever we come up with will allow my house to stay clean.  Because I am really trying to look very impressive when Nathan comes home… you know… Mrs. Cleaver:  clean house, clean kids, clean clothes, dinner ready.  I have a feeling that this might not happen.  But it’s nice to dream.

February 24, 2007

Music Time!

Filed under: Parenthood — by mvmommy @ 12:02 pm

Often you will hear Andrew call, “Mom, it’s Music Time!” Then something like this will happen:

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Let’s have a little piano music. That should be nice. Mom why don’t you clap while I play, and Justin can play along with the maracas.
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Oh, hey wait. What’s this? A microphone? GREAT! Is this thing on? One, Two Three testing. Let’s do a quick sound check.

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La la la… I am singing so nicely mom. How ’bout I sing some songs from Teacher Juliet’s music class? Don’t I sound like John Mayer?

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AHHAHAHAHAH

ROCK ON MOM!

AC/DC has nothing on me! Maybe I can join Disturbed on tour next year?

Aren’t you glad that Grandma and Grandpa bought me this great toy?

Who needs a drum set when you have a microphone that doesn’t have a volume control?!

Adventure Week: Part 5 – Home

Filed under: Parenthood — by mvmommy @ 1:00 am

Today was designated ‘let’s be normal’ day. Thus, we stayed in our jammies for a while. We played in the playroom with our blocks and trucks. We ran some errands. You know, normal stuff.

Nathan is still gone for a few more days … and the boys are starting to miss him. You can tell. They ask about him at breakfast. They want me to set a place for him at dinner. They talk about him when going to bed. I think the novelty of Adventure Week is wearing off, and reality of Daddy being gone is setting in. So we shifted our tune and made things low-key today – with a few fun exceptions to brighten our day.

First of all, we played a lot of hide & seek. Andrew would hide, and Justin & I would go find him. Andrew thought it was funny. And Justin really knew what the game was about, because he would head straight for Andrew the minute I would let him. So it was fun for everyone.

blog112.jpgThen we changed the rules and I introduced… Hide & Seek Animals. I had been saving a pack of dinosaurs and zoo animals that I bought at the grocery store one day. So I busted those out and told the boys that I was going to hide them and they had to find them. Andrew really got into that game. He would go count in his room to 11. Why 11? I don’t know. I told him 10… but he always goes the extra mile. And after 11, he would come running back to blog215.jpgsee where I hid the animals. Justin had a hard time not spilling the beans on the hiding spots… he kept trying to pick up all the animals I was hiding. But Andrew was much more stealthy about the whole process. He would tiptoe up to them telling them ”I’m gonna find you!!!”… and then he would snatch them from their spot and do a little victory dance. It was highly entertaining.

Here are the pictures of him sneaking up on the unsuspecting t-rex, and the subsequent victory dance.

Then we decided to go to Costco. That sounds boring. But really, it’s not. We go to the tire department and watch the mechanics replace and fix people’s tires on their cars. If you blog311.jpghave boys, you know that is fun. We watch the cars go up & down on the lifts. We watch them roll the tires around the shop. We watch the air-pressure machine work. We see them glue up holes. We watch them tighten bolts. All in all, lots of testosterone fun.

And after Costco, we headed back home to have lunch and wait for Jerry the Garbage Man. Today was recycling, yard waste, and garbage day – the trifecta. But Andrew only likes Jerry. So every time one of the other guys took a loop around… he’d say…. “You’re not Jerry. I’m waiting for Jerry. Jerry’s gonna come soon.” As it turns out, Jerry is always last. So right before their nap, he showed up and we ran outside to give him a Pepsi. He tooted his horn for us and let Andrew guide the garbage truck claw to our trash can. It was all very exciting. Justin chased him down the street waving at him, as he went to our neighbors’ houses. So clearly everyone was getting into the Garbage Day fun.

After naps we were rewarded with a visit from Jose, the neighbor’s landscaper. As mentioned in previous blogs, Andrew almost considers Jose his best friend – he follows him around to help him mow, blow leaves, and trim the hedges. Jose is a good sport about it all. In fact, he usually comes over and asks Andrew to help him, which of course Andrew is dying to do. So today, Andrew asked if Jose could come in for a beer with mommy & have a play-date. Seriously, I am not sure if this is wrong on many levels… or just downright funny.

Later before bed, the kids were taking their bath and playing with a squirt bottle. At one point Andrew looks at me and says, “I’m gonna drink my beer & you can’t have any” while he starts drinking the water from the bottle. I say, “oh, you have a beer do you?” Andrew looks at me seriously and says, “No Mommy, I can’t drink beer. The policeman says no, until I get older. I am drinking water.” What a character that one. You would think I was drinking beer all day long from the amount of talking he was doing about it.

All in all it was a mellow day. Just what we were going for. Now if we can get through these last two days without incident, I will consider Adventure Week a success.

February 23, 2007

Radar Detector

Filed under: Stories — by mvmommy @ 1:35 pm

Andrew:   “Can’t drive so fast mommy!  Policeman’s gonna come”

Me:  “Okay, I will slow down”

Andrew: “I’ll keep my eyes peeled (for the policeman)”

Thanks Andrew, keep me posted!

And while your at it, if he pulls us over, start crying too… and hitting your brother… and maybe he won’t give me that ticket.

Adventure Week: Part 4 – Discovery Museum

Filed under: Parenthood — by mvmommy @ 3:03 am

Today’s adventure was more than an adventure. It was a test of sheer will & determination.

  1. blog19.jpgFirst, it definitely rained. And not a little – a lot. So I decided to cancel the trip to Happy Hollow (an outdoor playland for kids under 5), and instead go to the Children’s Discovery Museum in San Jose.
  2. Unfortunately, I think every other mother on the west coast decided to do the same thing; so we were crammed in like sardines in a tin can. I literally was sweating from every pore of my body trying to dodge 3 buses full of kids that arrived when we did… and every toddler born from 2002 on.
  3. And if that wasn’t enough, it seemed like every child brought one or even two adults to supervise them. Sounds normal… but come on… where were the mothers who had multiple children to look after? Why did it seem like I was the only one running around chasing my children?
  4. The sheer chaos of it all seemed to be enhanced by my self-imposed mothering rules:
    * don’t put my children on leashes
    * if they (and those around them) are safe, allow them to explore at will – no matter how dirty they get
    These seem like reasonable rules until they are put into practice in an environment like today’s.

Let me give you a 5 minute snapshot of today’s adventure from my perspective, while considering the above factors:

Andrew has gone running ahead to play in the firetruck – which is right in front of me. I can still see him, so I bend over to take Justin out of theblog66.jpg stroller. I plop Justin on the ground (across from the firetruck) to watch the balls that float. At this point, Andrew jumps out of the firetruck and goes to see the Stage Coach, which is around a corner. I then shove Justin under one arm like a football, and push the stroller with the other hand…. while trying to ram about 50 people to get around the corner to find out where Andrew went. After 1 minute of scanning the crowd, I spot him jumping out of the Stage Coach and running towards the water play area. Justin at this point is wailing because he wants to get down too, and he is pissed blog210.jpgbecause he wanted to play with those balls some more. So I put Justin in the water play area, which also has balls… and put on his rain jacket (because all the protective smocks are taken)… and let him play there while going over to Andrew to convince him to stay in the baby area for 10 minutes with us. At this point, I can see both children, but I can only be next to one since they are 10 feet apart. Justin stumbles and falls… when he doesn’t see me within arms reach he starts screaming as if he broke a limb. I forget about Andrew and leap over the chained fence to get to my child. The other parents are glaring at me as if I had just ditched my kid on purpose. As I grab Justin off the floor … Andrew decides to almost dive into the water to play with the balls … so I have to leap back over the railing and rescue him (with Justin under my arm again like a football). That was literally 5 minutes. We were there for 2 hours. You do the math.

The boys definitely had fun… but I am not sure that I can say it was ‘fun’ for me too. I was getting pretty tired of avoiding the glaring eyes of many judgemental parents who only had one child to look after. Yes I could practically HEAR them saying – ‘did you see that horrible mother? did you see how she let her child fall down? where was she? I would never have let my child get so wet, they are going to be sick! And what about that other boy, did you see him splashing in the water? My little Johnny would never have behaved like that!’

However, from the boys perspective … a much more positive perspective… it was a great time. So let’s go with that version instead.

Upon arriving, Andrew immediately got to know the doorman. This was a lucky break for us, because Doorman Guy kept Andrew inside about 3 times when he was blog2a1.jpgtrying to escape. Thanks Doorman Guy! When he wasn’t harassing the doorman, Andrew was often driving the ambulance, firetruck or stage coach. After canvassing the vehicles, we washed some clothes with an old fashioned washboard… and dried them with a press. We went back to the floating balls for a little bit – since Justin didn’t get the full amount of time that he wanted there. And both kids had a good time trying to figure out how they were floating. We spent some time pushing red plastic pegs through a peg board to see them come out the other side. At one point, Andrew would push them from the back… and Justin would push them from the front… and they both found it hilarious the way the pegs just kept springing back and forth. We even did a little digging with some sand to see how it would flow out of funnels and tubes.
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blog45.jpgLast but definitely not least – we spent time in the infamous water area. Every time we go to the Discovery Museum, I bring a change of clothes, and we put this exhibit last on our to-do list. This time, we hit it first… which quite exciting & quite cold. Who knew we would be making it rain indoors as well as outdoors. As mentioned before, there were so many kids that there weren’t enough water-proof smocks to go around. So instead I just zipped up their raincoats and let them have at it. Justin went straight towards the three shooting fountains and started sticking his hands in to try to catch them. And when he couldn’t do that – he just stuck his face straight in the middle of them. Then he would laugh hysterically. Yes, he was definitely the most wet child that I saw there. But he blog75.jpgwas having a great time and no one was getting spashed… so I figured what the heck. Andrew on the other hand went straight to the water funnel… and watched the balls get sucked into it. After a while he stopped watching and started ‘participating’ by trying to see if the funnel would suck his arms down instead of the ball. He might as well have gone swimming in the tube of water because he was soaked from his fingers to his waist – thus taking Justin’s status as the child who was the most wet. blog81.jpgBut he was exploring & trying to learn… so I didn’t stop him unless he was blocking some other child from having fun. Yes, I would say both my boys were not behaving in the ‘norm’. But I have never claimed my kids were normal. You can tell from Andrew’s face in the picture above that he is trying to come up with some new way to play with the funnel other than by just following the rules – he was definitely up to harmless mischief. So I steered him to the paddle wheels instead. These had him bent over checking them out as he would watch them spin whenever water would touch it.. and even Justin went over to see what all the excitement was about. Everyone knows that he won’t be left out!

In the end, the boys had a great time – but they didn’t complain when I took them home either. I think they had enough of the crowds and the chaos. Just like their mommy. As we drove home, we talked about all the fun things we did. Andrew of course talked about the ambulance and firetruck … and Justin just kept saying Tuck, tuck tuck… backing up whatever his brother was saying.

As we made the final turn towards home Andrew yelled “yeah we’re home! I love my home!” I think that sums up Adventure Day #4. Tomorrow will be a mandatory hiatus from out-of-home adventures. I think we could all use the break.

February 22, 2007

Fun with Last Names

Filed under: Stories — by mvmommy @ 12:22 pm

Recently we have been teaching Andrew his full name. He loves to go around naming family members and tries to get their last name correct. If you think about it, it’s sort of a confusing concept. For example:

If you are Jill Smith Jones. Your husband might be Bob Jones
That means your child is Joe Jones
One set of grandparents are Grandma & Grandpa Smith
The other grandparents are Grandma & Grandpa Jones
And that doesn’t even count aunts who are married… and don’t fall into Jones or Smith… since they took their husband’s last names.

Have I confused you yet? Well, good. That pretty much sums up Andrew today when Auntie Katie came over. And thus, resulted in the following conversation:

Andrew: “What’s your name Katie?”

Katie: “Well, Uncle David’s last name is Schurtz… so my name is Katie Schurtz”

(Please note that Schurtz… sounds like SHIRTS. You can imagine what comes next.)

Andrew: “No, you’re name is not SHIRTS…. it’s UNDERWEAR!”

Good one Andrew… Good one. And you all know he was super pleased with himself for making his first joke. What a comedian.

Adventure Week: Part 3 – Oakland Zoo

Filed under: Parenthood — by mvmommy @ 3:12 am

Rain Rain, Go Away! Come again some other day!

This is what we sang the entire way over to the Oakland Zoo this morning. A little rain was not going to affect Adventure Week! No WAY! I just put layer, upon layer, upon layer on the kids and we headed out with umbrellas and rain boots. In fact, we were so anxious to prove our point, we were there 5 minutes before the zoo even opened!

blog1a1.jpgThis time I was smart, I didn’t tell the boys where we were going the night before… so they wouldn’t wake up early. Sure enough – they slept in until 8:00 and were in great moods for the trip. Opa decided that he would join us on Adventure Day 3… and so that made it even better! Everyone couldn’t wait to go see the animals. When the boys finally got to go into the zoo, they almost couldn’t contain themselves – and that was just upon seeing the flamingos! Since we had arrived so early, there was practically no one there. Thus, all the animals were out & playing. It was amazing! Justin’s face in this picture pretty much sums up the entire zoo experience.

blog1b2.jpgFor the boys, the most exciting part of the zoo was the apes and the chimps. Often our Darwin friends are sitting on branches as high up as they can go – so as not to be bothered by the visitors. But today, they were right out front. One of the gorillas sat right next to the window and watched Andrew for a while. He was literally 4 feet from us. (Usually they hide since they are so sensitive to noises.) That experience alone made me a huge fan of getting to the zoo early. And the chimps were really putting on a show. They were swinging back blog27.jpgand forth on branches all around us – I almost felt like they were trying to impress us (which they did). Andrew LOVED it when he saw one of them grab a handful of grapes and shove it in his mouth. It was almost like he now felt connected with this crazy furry little animal, because he ate grapes TOO! One chimp just hung on a tree branch, as if he was stretching, right in front of us for at least 5 minutes. I couldn’t believe it, usually they don’t seem so friendly and relaxed.

Ironically the animals that came second to the monkeys were the birds. Who would have guessed? But the boys loved them. They would try to imitate their sounds, and thought that it was hilarious the way that they would screeched at one another.

blog34.jpgWe then headed over to the Children’s Area… where they have the little animals (reptiles, otters, turtles, bunnies) and play structures shaped like animals so the kids could climb. They even had animal footprints pressed into the concrete paths where we were walking, and little fake insects on the ground. I didn’t even notice until Justin kept trying to stop walking and touch the ground (of course while yelling, “DAT DAT DAAAAT”). We had a great time climbing on everything we could find. And now that Justin is walking, so did he! I was glad that Opa joined us because I don’t think Justin is going to be a stroller baby anymore. (Note to self: this might affect the rest of my plans for Adventure Week).

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Since there was a petting portion of this zoo – there was no way we were missing that stop. The boys not only got to pet the goats, but they also were given a brush so that they could brush them! (simply fun for the kids? or a clever trick to get visitors to do the work for them? who cares – it was a win win!) At one point Andrew started following around this little black goat trying to give him a hug. Luckily the goat didn’t seem to mind terribly, though Andrew did look up at me and say “Mommy, he said no hugging” as the goat trotted away. Justin, on the other hand, didn’t seem as impressed. I think he thought the goats were a bit peculiar (probably due to their smell) and was justifiably sceptical. His face indicated to me that no amount of goat grooming was going to make these creatures nicer. So we moved on as soon as we could drag the ‘goat hugger’ away from the animals.

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Our next stop was the heavy hitters: Giraffes, Lions, Tigers, Bears, Elephants. You know… the main attraction. Surprisingly, my kids couldn’t have cared less. We pretty much cruised through them in about 15 minutes. In fact, at one point I asked if Andrew wanted to see the Tigers and he said ‘no thank-you’ as he turned away and kept walking. At least he was polite about it. Justin, on the other hand, decided to throw manners out the window as he attempted to taunt the lions by repeating “BOO BOOO BOOOOO” over and over to them. I guess he thought they were boring.

blog9.jpgThat was a clear indication to wrap things up. So we headed to the kiddie rides and took a quick spin on the train. Which then resulted in Andrew insisting upon one ride on the cars, while Justin watched longingly from the sidelines. Both were rewarded for their overall good behaviour by Opa – when he bought them french fries and hot chocolate to go with their peanut butter & jelly sandwiches for lunch.

I was rewarded by the fact that they did not fall asleep in the car ride home. Translation: They will sleep for 2 hours when they get home and I will get a break to do whatever I want.

All in all another perfect day. No rain gear was needed.

Andrew once more summed up the day nicely by saying “that was sooooooo much fun mom. I liked those silly monkeys eating grapes.”

I agree Andrew. I like my silly monkeys too.

February 21, 2007

So sweet it hurts

Filed under: Parenthood — by mvmommy @ 8:08 pm

There is a point at the end of every day when I literally take a huge breath and know that the end is near. It is the point when all the tension usually is expelled with one enormous sigh of relief. And when I inhale again… I suck in a tremendous sense of joy and satisfaction. This moment happens in the 5 minutes before my children are put to bed. And it’s one of the best moments of my day.

I am not saying this because my children are going to bed (though that sounds like something I would sarcastically say). I am saying this because of our bed time routine.

After bath we read two books. The first book, both boys get to climb into Justin’s crib and I will read the book to them there. The second book, they both have to be in their own beds.

After the books, I tuck Andrew into his new Big Boy bed with the new Truck Sheets, to which he will giggle with delight. And then I pick Justin up and sing him the Rock-A-Bye-Baby song while I hug him. He’s too old to be rocked now (and too heavy at 27 lbs), but he still loves it… and if I leave without singing it to him he looks so broken hearted. So I sing to him and snuggle him and enjoy the moment.

Then I walk to the door and turn back and look at them both, and say “Good night boys”.

Andrew always replies in the sweetest voice imaginable…. “Good night mommy”. Justin just smiles contentedly with the pacifier in his mouth while he pulls on his ear.

When I say I love you. Andrew replies… “I love you too Mommy” and smiles at me so lovingly that it makes my heart melt. He is not my outwardly affectionate child, so this equal to 10 of Justin’s biggest hugs & kisses.

And when I turn to close the door I hear Andrew say … “see you in the morning” so I peek back and give him a smile and say “see you in the morning sweetheart, it was a good day today”. To this I am rewarded with another smile from both boys … and it makes me forget why I was tired at the end of the day.

It’s doesn’t sound like much when I write it down. But it’s everything. It’s why I wanted to be a mom. It’s why I love my kids. It’s why there is not another job in the whole world that can compare to this one.  Sometimes I feel like the luckiest person on the planet.

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