Thursday, November 29, 2007

And two more things

I spent Tuesday night redecorating -not blogging - a wall in my kitchen. I was so pleased with the results that I had to share. The lettering is actually a vinyl letter product from a company called Uppercase Living. The expressions are easy to apply, reasonably priced, and so creative. The window frame is something I salvaged from an old farmstead.


On Wednesday, I captured this all too perfect picture of Tucker. He got a new t-shirt from his cousin, Henry, and I wanted to get his picture in it. He has such a happy spirit!

Number recognition

Today was a good day until the policeman showed up. (We just have one on duty. It's a small town.) As surprised as I was to have an officer at my door, I was even more surprised by what he was about to say.

"Hello ma'am. I'm following up on a phone call to 911 made from your house. A short while ago a call was placed and the caller quickly hung up. Is everything okay?"

"Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry. One of the kids must have done that. I will take care of it and I promise it won't happen again."

"Okay then. Well, let me just get your name and I'll be on my way."

While brewing with anger and embarrassment, I summoned the troops from the toy room. The troops consisted of my two-year-old and three preschoolers. I asked firmly for the guilty party to step forward. The preschoolers named my two-year-old as the caller. (Now I know for a fact Noah is capable of pushing the speaker phone button and the handset locater button, but I highly doubt she is able to put together the number combination 9-1-1 successfully.) I inquired again, a bit more firmly, and Braden, a highly active and very intelligent four-year-old, began to squirm in his chair. His confession followed shortly.

Now, what sort of punishment would fit this crime? I walked him, and everyone else, to the front door and showed him the police car still sitting in my driveway. Fear fell across the crowd.

I do not think he will be calling 911 ever again.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Trimming the tree

Somewhere in the hullabaloo of the past six days, autumn and all its glory came to a close and the winter holiday season began. It happened so fast that I think I understand how my two year old feels. She's still singing "Happy Birthday" to herself; still saying "trick-or-treat." Meanwhile, we bundled her up this evening, rehearsed her on what to tell Santa she wants for Christmas, took her downtown and plopped her on Santa's lap. Her own look of bewilderment perfectly captured my feelings.

Nonetheless, I pitched my pumpkins and trimmed the Christmas tree trying to work myself into the holiday spirit.















Before I move forward too far, I want to pause and reflect on my family's Thanksgiving. Here are some highlights that come to mind...

~ We celebrated with my husband's family this year, and for the first time we didn't spend the day in a bar. For that, I'm thankful. (His family is so large that they have had to rent space at the Knights of Columbus Hall for holiday gatherings.)

~ Noah won the "paci battle."

~ Tucker ate his first sweet potatoes. How timely!

~ My husband and I did not argue the entire Thanksgiving day. Again, I'm thankful.

~ Besides spending four days away from home (at the in-laws), sleeping too little and eating too much, it was a pleasant Thanksgiving.

And one final thought...as I rushed to perfectly fluff the branches on my Christmas tree this afternoon and jitter with anxiety over the boxes of decorations yet to put out, I realized I do have something for which to be so thankful. I had one long, quiet hour today to do just that - to fluff my tree and agonize over where to put the nativity. I am so fortunate to be at home, to be with my children every day, to be wearing my tattered sweats, to be fretting over Christmas decorations. Oh how I'm thankful for this life...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Gross

I feel like an official blogger now. I had my first comment today. Thank you, "Urban Swan." (I'm curious as to how you find my site. I am still clumsy at figuring out this thing.)

Today was a record day in terms of the Kansas weather. The temperature fell something like 20 degrees in a matter of an hour. I, however, had a record day in terms of the number of gross issues I had to deal with. It all started at 5:55 am when my daughter announced to my from her bedroom that she was poopy.

From there, we got dressed and began making some oatmeal for breakfast before the rest of the daycare crew started to arrive. Apparently "paci withdrawl" is causing some regression in her potty training because she pottied twice and pooped her pants before 9:00 am.

The baby was up by 7:30 and woke up dirty. He was a fountain of breastfed baby poop for the rest of the day. And when a breastfed baby poops, it means not only are his clothes dirty, but so is the changing pad, your t-shirt and any toy or article of clothing within five feet.

(You can only imagine what the pile of dirty laundry on top of my washing machine looked like by bathtime this evening.)

And that was just my own children. The daycare kids were responsible for the following:

- 3 of the 5 kids have runny noses (nonstop, greenish, slimy runny noses)
- the other baby I watch had a poopy diaper mid-day
- administered a cream medicine for a yeast infection, and
- one of the boys puked up his oatmeal cookie at snack time

Some days the financial reward is little compensation for the yuckiness I put up with.

You know what would bring justification? Mike Rowe from "Dirty Jobs." Come on, Mike. I'll show you a whole new kind of dirty.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Kicking the habit

If you keep up with "The View," on ABC, you would have noticed that Whoopi is trying to kick her smoking habit. Well, we're trying to kick a habit around our house, too - our daughter's addiction to her pacifier. We are into day three, and I think I'm having nicotine withdrawl.

Up until now, that pacifier has been our saving grace. So many ugly situations have turned around thanks to the magical comfort it brings her. In fact, thanks to her "paci," she has put herself to sleep since she was three months old. She refused to be rocked to sleep or cuddled. Nope - that independent little lady simply wanted her "blankie and paci."

Our pediatrician gave us the nod at 18 months that we should toss them. However, it was just about then that her little brother was born. We thought that becoming a big sister was trauma enough for the time being, and my husband and I decided to wait until her second birthday to work on breaking the habit.

It is times like these I wonder why didn't God call and tell me how to handle this. Can't he see that I'm mismanaging so many other things in her life? Doesn't he want to step in just this once so at least she'll have a chance at turning out alright?

So when the birthday dust finally settled, we decided it was game time. Somewhere - in that stack of motherly wisdom beside my bed - I read that you should try this "three day" method. Over the course of three days, you are to prepare you toddler to give up the pacifier. You begin with, "In three days, your pacifier is going bye-bye." (I think you can figure it out from here.) The idea is that by the last day, the toddler will have taken ownership in the idea.

She no more took ownership in that idea than when we tell her, "It's lunch time," or "It's sunny outside today." She had absolutely no idea that we were about to rob her of her primary source of comfort. If she had known, she would have packed her elephant bag and headed for grandma's house three days ago.

At the present moment - night three with no pacifier - she is asleep. I had a meeting this evening which relieved me of bedtime duty. (I think I nearly skipped out the front door this evening.) The rath of daddy scared her to sleep. She and I will battle tomorrow for her daily nap. As for me, I'm stepping outside for a smoke!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Surviving

The range of emotions motherhood has brought upon me this weekend have run the gamut. Maybe it's the anxiety of the holidays; maybe it's the flu strain that just won't quit; maybe it's the clutter consuming every room of my house; maybe it's wailing coming from my daughter's bedroom as she tries to go to sleep without her pacifier. Whatever it is, I've felt anger, frustration, peace, pride, and satisfaction all in a matter of a few minutes.

There really, really isn't anything in your life you could possibly do to prepare you for your role as a mommy. I have a stack of books beside my bed offering the best advice on how to care for babies. I have read all the magazines and websites. But none of that can ready your heart for the emotions motherhood brings.

Truthfully, that's the reason I am blogging. I know there are lessons to learn amidst the tears and toys and clutter and tantrums. Yet in the heat of those intense mommy moments, I'm just trying to survive. And I am hoping that as I peck away at my keyboard, those dark moments give way to brighter memories of loving my children through our best and worst days.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I don't have time to be sick!

The birthday flu woke me around 12:30 am last night. Our oldest daughter just celebrated her second birthday and came home with a flu bug from Grandma's house. She was so gracious to share the gift with her mommy! So after numerous subsequent pre-dawn trips to the bathroom and facing a house full of kids today, I'm left with little inspiration to blog.

Mostly, I'm left with a sudden urge to be in college again - to skip classes, crawl under the covers and ignore the world. There I could sleep the day away and wait for my roommate to come in and ask how I'm feeling. Instead, I chased around kids, fed the babies, tripped over toys and tried to keep down a few cheerios while my husband giggled at my discomfort. (Let me pause to say, "Thank you, dear, for coming home to cook lunch today!)

With that, I'm retiring early. Another "thank you, dear," to my husband for bathing the kids and getting them ready for bed. And unlike those college days, tonight I'll crawl under the covers knowing my world - err, my family - deserves my utmost attention.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Do boys really come from the Sandlot?

While folding laundry this afternoon, I caught a few minutes of "The Sandlot" on the tube. I laughed out loud at those boys' antics! And then I began to daydream about my precious baby boy sleeping away in his crib in the back bedroom. Would my chubby and giggly five month old baby grow to become one of these dirty, foul-mouthed, sports-crazed boys?

I've only been a mom to a boy for five months now. Our first child was a girl, and I can so easily relate to all things girl. I was never the "girliest" of girls (sorry about all those snide cheerleader jokes), but I so dearly loved my baby dolls, playing school, and cooking from my toy kitchen. So it's been natural to know how to care for a girl - how to make the perfectly perky blond pony tail atop her head, how to sit her on the counter while we make cookies, and how to encourage her to care for her own baby doll. In fact, I have birthday and Christmas gifts planned out for years to come. But what in the world am I going to do with this baby boy?

And how am I going to deal with trucks and tractors and backhoes and four-wheelers? I don't know much about football - except how to cheer for my favorite team. So what will I do when he asks me about the "option?" Will I be able to find the right way to tell him that all sticks are not swords to wield upon his sister? Will he ever want to take a bath?

I suppose one day my baby boy will resemble those dusty, sweaty, trash-talking boys from the "Sandlot," but for now, I'll relish the wide, slobbery, toothless grin he saves just for his mommy.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Turning a New Leaf

Welcome to the "Potted Goose!" I've created this blog as a way for myself - and my goslings - to bloom where we're planted. It seems as though in a few short years I've been swept into this delirious mommy life with little time to stop and gander about what's happening before my eyes. Quite simply, I've been needing a way to pause each evening to pull the weeds and marvel at my flowers. When "Mommy Bloggers" hit ABC News, I was inspired.

I'm living a classic mid-western life. My family and I live in rural Kansas - by choice. We love small communities, dirt roads, the rural lifestyle. I'd like to think I've taken my turn at experiencing the "bigger and better" world beyond my door; and I've made the decision to come home.

Besides rearing my own two children, I also provide childcare for some additional preschoolers in my community. Material for a mommy blog is abundant! Each day I have five to seven children in and out my door. I fill and refill half a dozen sippee cups, prepare lunch only to watch 4 year-olds push around their peas, change diapers, wipe runny noses, tie shoes, and dry tears.

So welcome to my (sometimes weedy, overgrown) garden of stories. If you look closely, you can see the flowers.