August 27, 2009

'We'll see' means 'NO'

Sometimes I think we don't give kids enough credit.
We were having lunch out today. We didn't have a lot of time since 6YO would be getting out of school soon. We had to finish eating and run one more errand before we headed to the school. From the window of the restaurant, 3YO could see some of those rides that you put a quarter (or two) in. She wanted to ride one so badly.
She asked me repeatedly and I finally said that we had a lot of things to do and were running out of time, but 'we'll see.' She turned to my mom, who was sitting next to her, and said, "We'll see' means 'NO."
She was right. I think we use that term so easily because, if circumstances are ideal, we'll be able to given into something. Being a parent and having been around a few years, we pretty much know that the odds of any given situation being 'ideal' are usually slim-to-none.
But we didn't say 'NO,' right?
I think I've stumbled upon something worthwhile. Since I have three kids and getting them to practices and birthday parties and dentist appointments and basically keeping them alive is pretty much my job, I am in a constant search for the PERFECT CALENDAR. Who isn't, right? Well, I happened to hear someone on televsion talking about being organized. Yes, I was paying attention at that point because I'm the least organized person I know. The lady in the glowing box said something about an online calendar. There are a bazillion online calendars out there, this I know. I logged onto the site she mentioned and waited for the catch.
So far, there isn't one. If you want to try it out yourself, go to HERE and sign up. It seems easy enough to navigate and even sends messages, calendars and lists that you select to your cell phone in the form of a text message. You can set it up pretty much however you want and only you can see it...for now. I guess they're working on making networks of people that can view each other's calendar, if that's what you're going for. For this family, we just need a better way of keeping our crap straight.
I'm sure no one else has this problem, right?
Anyhow, give a try and let me know what you think! I've really taken a liking to their 'Live Simply' section. I'm sure there's something there for everyone. Yesterday, I had the site send a text message to 13YO for a list of things to do when she got home...while she was on the bus coming home from school! Now, she has the whole list on her phone, which is really good because if I lose one more scrap of paper with an important list on it....

August 21, 2009

Morning People vs. People Who Aren't

6YO took this picture of herself. I just found it. I never know WHAT I'm going to find on my camera when I go to use it!
As happy and sweet as this child might look in this picture, she is NOT A MORNING PERSON. In fact, some mornings her head spins and everything! I've walked into her room to wake her up in the morning and heard this demonic, gravelly voice booming, "GO AWAY!" Seriously. And it doesn't matter if she gets to bed early enough or any of that. What matters most is that she has something look forward to in the short term. As in, something she really wants THAT MORNING. For instance, the first morning she was going to be able to ride the bus (beause we do, in fact, have a new bus driver. YIPEE!!!) she popped up on her own at 6:30 and had herself dressed and ready to go in a matter of minutes. As a matter of fact, she even asked if she could make her own lunch that day! She did a pretty good job, too. I guess she's hired!
It's really hard tough to come up with something every single day that will quiet the demonic voice inside of this otherwise sweet kid. She shouldn't need something to look forward to (Okay...BRIBERY!) just to be nice to people. She should just learn to be nice on her own. Because she should.
Then, there's 13YO. She IS a morning person. She has bounced out of bed happily almost every morning for years. (Yes, the rest of us don't always like her!) She is perky and happy and bright and...she can push every single one of her 6YO sister's buttons without even trying. Needless to say, the conversations around the breakfast table can often be hateful but are almost always entertaining.
(That's one of my personal favorites!)
13YO-"Are you excited to go to school today?" (She knows her sister is not a morning person and she still insists on asking her this question almost every morning.)
The response from 6YO is always the same: "NO! STOP TALKING TO ME!!!"
I know that 6YO should be nicer to us, but I also know her usual response to things. So does 13YO, so I can't help but be irritated by her most of the time when she insists on asking the same questions KNOWING what the response will be.
Then again, what are siblings if they aren't someone to fight with?
I don't necessarily like mornings either. In fact, most mornings every cell of my being is telling me NOT to get out of bed. But, I have grumpy children to wake, cereal to pour and lunches to make. And it's much easier to get through all of that when given enough time.
It's gonna be a looooong school year, isn't it?

August 17, 2009

School Days and Budding Photographers

3YO is enjoying having time at home without her sisters and loves to play with my camera. I find some of the funniest things whenever I upload the pictures from my memory card!

On the first day of school, David took the girls outside to get pictures of them while I finished getting myself dressed. He chose a great spot to take the pictures. Unfortunately, the bees like that spot too!

13YO finally loosened up to smile. I think he must have told her that she's have to stand there until he got a picture of her smiling.

6YO jumped right into the threats needed. That's not typical for her...she's our moody one...but we'll take it when we can get it!

3YO cannot be left out of the festivities...but doesn't her mother own an iron? (I do...I just don't like to use it! If I can't toss it in the dryer with a damp towel to make it less wrinkly...we just don't wear it!)
So far, 6YO and 13YO are loving school! 6YO has the same first grade teacher that 13YO had, so we already knew what a great teacher she is. 13YO is a big, bad 8th grader now. (Though, she's still smaller than most of the 7th graders!) She's excited to be able to call them 'Sevvie's' though...which is what the 8th graders called her last year!
So, now that 13YO and 6YO are back in school, 3YO and I have the days to ourselves. It doesn't take long for her to stop missing her sisters and get used to being an 'only child' again. She really is so easy-going when she gets her one-on-one time with us. She doesn't have anyone to compete with for attention and she really gets to shine. She goes from being a demanding, combustible preschooler to being a fun little compainion to have around. Since she was born, she's pretty much always had to share attention with SOMEBODY. I think all kids need an opportunity like this at some point.
Well, I need to hop in the shower and pick 6YO up from school soon. To my knowledge, we still have that bad bus driver on our route, so David and I will be dropping her off and picking her up from school. You can read about how our relationship with the bus driver started HERE and then about the straw that broke the camel's back HERE. If it's the same bad driver (and that is totally a matter of fact, not opinion...most people can actually park where they mean to, right?) then we will just keep her off the bus all year. It's a shame, too. 6YO loves the bus and it would make things so convenient! But, I think children should be a bit older before they should be subjected to that much whiplash! It's sad...13YO rode the bus almost every single day from the time she was in first grade and we never had a problem like this. Ever.
I think we'll be taking Aly to the school with us to pick 6YO up. She tries to be dominant most of the time, but becomes totally submissive when she's on her leash. Plus, it will be a good way to keep her socialized.
Being mauled by a bunch of children builds character, right?

August 2, 2009

Hmmm...maybe we should have named her 'Winona'

...and yes, that's a 'klepto joke' for ya! Aly has some new horrible, yet entertaining habits as of lately.
Aly is a klepto. It started out with a couple of Barbie dolls ending up in the backyard. Then one day, one of the running shoes I had kicked off next to my desk at night was gone the next morning. It was in the backyard.
Yes, shoes and toys seem like obvious temptations to a boxer puppy. Who hasn't been tempted to chew off a Barbie foot and then drag her to your secret playground, known as the backyard? I know I have. But how on earth does one explain her fascination with fruit? We have a table in the living room where we keep a fruit bowl. Sometimes, the larger bags of apples and bananas don't immediately get taken out of the bags on the table and put into the bowl. Since poor Aly currently has more leg length than she does brainpower, she can easily reach things on the table yet cannot easily be reasoned with. Yes, this is an 'awkward phase' indeed. I had seen her trying to get something off the table. I didn't see what she was after, but though I'd chased her away before she could nab it.
I guess I was wrong. While I didn't notice it right away, the next morning I found an entire bunch of bananas lying just outside of her dog door. They had bite marks in them and they were pretty bruised up...and they were bananas for crying out loud! If that had been a table where we kept lunch meat or cheese or something, I would have been worried. But fruit???
I think there's something wrong with my dog.
Just after the 'banana incident,' I saw her grab an entire 5 lb bag of Granny Smith apples and high tail it out the dog door. I was able to save those apples, but she must have done it another time too, as she now has a stash of apples hidden outside somewhere. Once or twice a day, she brings an apple in from the backyard and eats it in my living room floor.
Is it safe to say that perhaps my house has gone to the dogs?
This list of things she's taken gets longer every single day. She used to let herself into the girls' room and grab a toy as if it was her own personal toy box. Those ended up in the living room and she really only chews up the hands and feet of the Barbie dolls. So, we would usually just groan about the extra clutter and send it back to their room. Now, those things end up in the backyard. Our sprinklers go on at 10:00 at night and I can't tell you how many things have had a 'shower' in the past week or two. And, while it certainly makes ME feel better to chase her down with flames shooting out of my eyes, it doesn't seem to really matter to her. She appears to have no short term memory whatsoever and is really in a whole new state of mind from one minute to the next. Or, maybe she's just that stubborn.
The thing that seems to work the best is when we put her on a leash and just make her sit next to us, whereever we are. We call it her 'time out' and it's the only thing that seems to calm her down. It doesn't necessarily seem to sink in as to WHY she's in a time out, but at least she stops whatever obnoxious thing she's doing at the time. David told me today that getting Aly was a heck of a way of making him appreciate our other dog, Lily. As amusing as that seems, Aly was actually HIS IDEA. HAHAHA! I'm not taking the credit for this one!
She's only six months old, so I guess it stands to reason that we have another 10 or 12 years to deal with this phase. I hear that boxers never really grow up.
I really hope I heard that wrong.