January 21, 2010

A Bulleted List of Random Thoughts

Since I am really lacking any real creative juices about now, I'm just going to make a bulleted list of whatever flies out of my brain and off my fingertips. So there.

  • My dog is missing. We had a storm on Monday were gone for a few hours and she got out. I miss her. Aly totally misses her. Now, all she does is mope around and nap a lot. *sniff*
  • 4YO loooves golfing on the Wii. I really don't get what all the fuss is about with golf, but she really gets into it. So, YAY HER!
  • A few months ago, I used to say that she could be the next Tiger Woods.
  • I guess I have to learn the name of a new golfing icon, huh?
  • I got an immersion blender for Christmas. (THANKS MOM!) Seriously, I'm not sure how I survived without one. LOVE. IT.
  • Aly is still eating well, so long as she has her cat eating from the bowl right next to her.
  • I really had bigger plans today that what will happen now. I procrastinate. Even the shows on my DVR are long neglected.
  • There must be a pill for that.
  • A friend of mine just had a baby. He used to say he didn't want kids. I'm so glad he changed his mind. (For that matter, I bet his wife and new daughter are, too!)
  • Isn't it funny how becoming a parent gives you the right (in your head, anyway) to decide who should and shouldn't have kids? If you have kids, don't deny it! We know what this job entails and make our own decisions as to who should and shouldn't be granted children.
  • The world doesn't work that way, but it does in my head!
  • 4YO is trying to get Aly to crawl for a treat. I should really take a video of this. It's hysterical!
  • Snickers the cat has gotten to be very possessive of me. When the kids come close, he automatically tries to scratch them. Same with the dog. He will not share, apparently.
  • 4YO and 7YO both bought roller skates with their birthday money. Since the weather has been so crappy, they don their helmets in the house and skate up and down the tile hallway. It really is a sight.
  • Speaking of crappy weather, we live in a desert. (Technically speaking, of course!) Since we are known for having way less than 10 inches of rain a year, we really are ill-equipped for as little as two days of rain in a row. Throw in some wind (you know, like what most people consider to be REAL WEATHER) and all of our local news stories consist of power outtages and how many buckets are lined up down our local mall to catch the water through the leaky roofs. OH...and car accidents. We don't get real weather often enough to know how to actually drive in it!
  • And why is my missing dog not news?
  • I have been making my own laundry soap for many months now and I cannot imagine ever buying laundry soap again. Unless, of course, I ever bought a fancy little top-loading number. Then, I would have to do more research first.
  • Tonight is....drumroll please....LEFTOVER NIGHT! YAY! Anyone who has been responsible for making the majority of the meals is truly grateful for such a night.
  • I appreciate the fact that 4YO entertains herself so well at times, but why is she only entertained when she's making a MESS?
  • I miss Lily.
  • I've been doting on Aly a lot more. She just looks so sad. (Okay, so she's a boxer and their faces are shaped that way, but STILL.) She has also taken the roll of 'protector' in the house and growls and barks at any noise she hears outside....especially when I'm home alone with the girls. That was Lily's job before, evidently.
  • How can such a goofy dog be so intimidating? I'd hate to be the stranger that poses a threat...she really cares about her people! Some delivery guys won't even come NEAR the front door if they see her through the security door. HAHAHA!
  • I really need motivation.
  • I'm starting to decrease my coffee consumption. I've been down to two cups a day for a few weeks. Now, I think I'll go down to one cup of coffee and one cup of English Breakfast tea. The rest of the day I drink decaf peppermint tea or water. I need to drink more water, but the hot cup of peppermint tea feels so good in my hands. There is a window when the temperature is perfect, though. It's a small window, but totally worth it.
  • I miss my dog.

January 13, 2010

3-Ring Circus? No, those are ORGANIZED.

HELP! I am being swallowed up by chaos and mayhem. Really.
I was thinking that my home is a regular circus in the mornings as my clowns piled into the car this morning. But, then it occured to me that a circus is actually an organized event. That doesn't seem to apply to our morning 'routine,' if you will. I'm using the world 'routine' very loosely here.
On the mornings that we do actually find an entire pair of shoes in a timely manner (and I'm not even talking about shoes that match the actual outfit the child in question is wearing that day!) and finish our cereal and brush our teeth, the children scatter (and in the wrong directions, mind you) when it's time to walk out the door. None of it makes any sense; 'up' means 'down,' 'right' means 'left,' 'go brush your teeth' means 'go stare in the mirror for five minutes and make funny faces,' and 'get in the car' means 'go play in your room.'
The only perk for me is that David takes both 7YO (yes...she's SEVEN now!) and 13YO to school on his way to work. The three of them whoosh out the door and I am left with only 4YO to argue with for the rest of the school day. And anyone who has three or more children will tell you that only having one to argue with is an EASY DAY.
I'm not even sure why I feel the need to make my coffee before those three have left. There is never any time to drink it anyway, between the making of the lunches, the brushing of the hair and the nagging of the children. Those are all-consuming tasks, you know! I really should wake up earlier, but I'm not ready to give up any of my precious minutes of sleep, nor am I willing to go to bed any sooner. I really need my quiet time late at night when everyone else is asleep.
I really wish I could survive on less sleep. Or be more efficient during my waking hours. Or shoot rainbows out of my butt...wouldnt' that be awesome? Needless to say, those pipe dreams will come to fruition when I get a pet unicorn and a husband who knows how to change the toilet paper roll.
But a girl can dream, can't she?
Even the dogs create their own brand of chaos in my life. I've taken it upon myself to change both the food I feed them and the way I feed it to them. Aly can eat adult food now. Lily started to get a bit pudgy and could really benefit from eating adult food as well. I've never done anything but free-feeding with my pets, so both dogs were destined to eat the same food. Now they eat a new dog food, in measured amounts according to their age and weight, twice a day.
And boy does that confuse them!
I knew they liked the new food when I was measuring their first bowls of it out and one piece of kibble hit the ground. They both went after it and attempted to tear each other to shreds to get it. (Okay, so it only sounds like they are tearing each other to shreds...no harm comes to them but they make quite a ruckus when they get in a scuffle!) Aly is supposed to get about twice the amount of food that Lily needs. Aly is still technically a puppy and twice the size of Lily, so it makes sense. But, that means that each dog needs to stick to her own bowl of food, right? But, each dog knows that what the other one has in her bowl MUST be better than hers. I know they are capable of learning how to each next to one another. This should not be too much to ask. But, keeping them interested in what is in their own dish is a bit tricky. However, once they get a few mouthfuls of food down they get more excited about thier own dish and less distracted about what the other dog has.
Who said pets aren't just like children?
What's even better is that, the more excited they get about their own dish, the more worried they become that the other dog will take it. Then, they slam their heads into their food bowl like it's some sort of competition, always keeping one eye on their competitor while they inhale their kibble.
Mealtime is over before we know it.
The other factor that makes this whole new feeding process a bit tricky is that Snickers the cat also likes the dogs' new food. While Lily makes it more than clear that she will bite the head off another animal that tries to share her food, Aly doesn't really seem to mind. So, the cat pokes his head into Aly's dish and Aly just sort of eats around him.
I should probably get some pictures of this, huh?
Yesterday, I figured out that the best way to deal with this is to have a bowl of cat food on hand and let Snickers just line up with the dogs and eat his own food out of his own dish. In case I haven't said it before, my cat is not a normal cat.
Other than that, my days have been filled with the Chrismtas decorations that won't put themselves away and attempting to conquer Mt. Laundry. Again. And again.
Plus, this happens to be Hump Day and the elevation seems to be messing with my ears or something...

January 6, 2010

Lie To Me

Dishonesty. It's such a funny thing.
To me, lying is not such a black-and-white issue. There are a lot of grey areas hidden all over. I blame Miss Manners for that one! Have you ever eaten something that someone has made especially for you and it just tastes HORRIBLE? Do you tell them that? Do you try to be polite and say you like it, all the while eating as little as possible or pretending not to be hungry?
Face it: Sometimes we just tell people what we think they want to hear.
Kids seem to pick up on this skill pretty early on. When they begin lying, they are really just telling you what they think is the 'right' answer. They haven't necessarily picked up on the art of deception just yet, they just know that it makes their mom or dad happy to hear that they finished their dinner or picked up their toys. They have figured out that the answer brings praise, only it hasn't occured to them that the action needs to fit the answer or the praise will turn to punishment.
Did that make any sense at all?
This brings me to last night's conversation with 4YO. (Yes, she has turned FOUR now since my last entry.) She and her sister were eating burritos. 6YO finished hers, like always. 4YO began asking for an orange. I asked her if she finished her burrito. Her answer was, "Yes." She than dug herself into a hole when she said, "I'm full with the burrito." That always means that she DIDN'T, in fact, finish the burrito. She just didn't want anymore and wanted to move onto something else. While I'm not one to force children to eat when they are not hungry, I'm doing my best not to let half my pantry get tossed in the garbage out of sheer disinterest.
I explained to her that, if she still had room for an orange, then she must still have a bit of room to finish that burrito first. She looked as if she was getting my point and went back to the table. However, the next thing I heard was the slap of the trash can lid and the the clomp of her plate being dropped into the sink. She then came back to me and told me her burrito was finished and asked if she could have an orange now.
"Did you eat the whole burrito?"
After a moment of hesitation, she said, "Yeah."
I then looked her straight in the eyes and said, "Really? You ate the WHOLE THING?"
"I ate the last bite. Then I threw the rest away."
"If you had any left to throw away, then you certainly didn't eat the last bite. Now, did YOU finish your burrito?" This whole time I'm starting straight into her eyes and she's starting to look more and more uncomfortable. I just had to hear her give me a straight answer, truth or not. We would deal with that answer when I got one.
After a few more moments of a staredown, I could practically hear the gears turning in her head as she came up with the 'right' answer to this one, she gave me an answer.
"No. I didn't eat the whole thing."
It was like something was 'clicking' in her mind...if that makes any sense. My normally argumentative child was calm and seemed to completely understand what I was getting at. I told her she couldn't have an orange and that she was done eating for the rest of the night. (It was 7:30 at night...so don't go calling Child Protective Services on me or anything!) For the first time, there was no dispute from her. She accepted my answer and went to sit on the couch for a few minutes before it was time for bed.
I was just so proud of how calm we BOTH stayed for a change. I know it won't always be like this, but I really feel like it's a milestone for 4YO. She's becoming a reasonable human being. Oh, I figured it would probably happen eventually, but had my doubts many days just the same.
After she walked away, 6YO came up to me and said, "Mom, I know how you knew she was lying."
This had my curiosity. I couldn't wait to hear what SHE had taken away from my conversation with her sister.
"When you asked her the question, she took too long to answer you. It was like it took her time to think of the answer. If it was true, she just would of known the answer and said it."
6YO=Future Interrogator of Something Big and Important
I just hope she uses her powers for GOOD and not EVIL!
I really do think honesty is important. But so are good manners, so that's where the whole thing gets kind of fuzzy. For example, anyone who knows me well knows that they should probably lie to me about what time I need to be somewhere. I don't mind this at all. In fact, I rather appreciate it! I am late for most things. It's usually within a few minutes of the time I'm supposed to be there, but I just can't seem to get it right. In fact, even the rare times I'm on time or even early for something, something always happens. Car problems, traffic jams, lost keys...that's when I tell myself that I wasn't meant to be punctual and try to assure myself that there is still a place in this world for me.
In fact, most of the punctual people I know want to get where they are going so they can do what they need to do and leave quickly. While I'm not the first to show up anywhere, I don't mind staying later most places. There's gotta be room in this world for all of us, right?
If you've met my mom, you know that this MUST be a genetic trait, but it's hard to blame her when it's MY KID that can't find her other black shoe!
So, if you want me to be somewhere at a certain time, just go ahead and 'tweak' the time a bit. Trust me...you won't be sorry and I won't be the least bit angry if I find out the truth. I think it's the combination of my optimistic side with the part of me that procrastinates constantly. Whatever it is, I'm defective but my parents didn't save their receipt! Trust me...they've looked for it!
It's just funny how I'm trying to instill honesty in my kids while still telling little white lies all over the place. I think that if we didn't tell those little while lies, then we would all walk around talking to people like Sheldon from 'The Big Bang Theory.' While I love him on the show, I would probably avoid someone like that in real life!
So, I'll punish my children for lying, but I'll still lie to them when they do their own hair and it looks horrible, yet they look so proud. And I hope that they will lie to their children the same way.