Thursday, April 19, 2012

Flora, Fauna and Merryweather

As Big Girl reached her 5th birthday, I had a plethora of family requesting present recommendations. Since Abigail is the first grandchild on both sides and even the first niece for all of our siblings, the child has been more spoiled than you can imagine. Not that I am complaining but how do you tell someone what to get for her when we are overwhelmed by books, toys and clothes. So this has forced our family to become creative.

My parents called me about a month ago and wanted to see if it would be alright if Abigail had a fish tank. After talking with Josh, we said go for it. At least it can be a lesson about life, death, and responsibilities. Though with our luck of having fish, life was going to be short, death was going to be quick and the responsibilities will transfer when we get rid of the fish tank. But we will just see what happens.

Last week, my parents visited and Josh and I came home to Flora, Fauna and Merryweather.

Don't ask me which one is which because Abby changes them, not that you can see it in the picture anyways. We have two Mickey Mouse Platty:

And one Guppy:

We only have to feed them once a day before bed and of course Abigail picked out pink rocks for her fish tank.

Everything had been going well until about 5 days in when the guppy started to look a little rough for wear. (Told you we aren't good with fish!) We just told Abigail that she is tired and once she gets a good night sleep (expecting her to be floating on the top by morning) that she will be much better.

The next morning I went in and the guppy was no where to be found. Like NO WHERE! Not in the filter, not floating, no where in tank. Josh and I are assuming that she died and the platty just ate at the all night fish buffet.

So your next question is probably, what was Abigail's reaction. Well...I am a master at diversion (you didn't even see that I just swiped the chocolate bar on your desk) and was able to get her dressed and out before she even saw her fish. I figured it would be hard to teach a life lesson on life and death of fish before breakfast. I opted for the discussion before bed that night.

That night we got home and did our normal routine. Abigail greeted her fish, fed them, we watched them and she went to bed...without even realizing she is only down to two fish. Josh and I exchanged looks and let it go. Even this morning, she didn't even ask where the guppy is.

Did I seriously just escape having the talk about life a death? The kid remembers that she doesn't like the doctor because she gets a shot from a year ago but not that she had three fish 12 hours ago?

Point goes to the parents.

Parents: 1
Kids: 3,234,743

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Trim and a Haircut, 2 Bits

I came home late the other night and found Abigail at home already with a nice scrape on her chin. I asked her what happened and she just waved her arms about and said "I told the truth!". Ummm. Okay.

It finally took me talking to Josh to find out that she found a razor in the bathtub that my parents are currently using downstairs during their stay. Being a curious 5 year old, she decided to shave the stubble on her chin. Right. You may want to read that again.

What the most interesting part of this is, and ultimately why I am documenting it, is because I did the same thing when I was her age. I took a razor out of the bathroom and wanted to shave like my dad. I still remember vividly screaming as my dad took a styptic pencil to my chin which stung like he was using the razor blade to dig into my chin. I am totally damaged goods from that. Maybe. Not really. Thankfully for Abigail, there is Neosporin.

I then came to find out that my mom and also grandma had done it when they were around 5. So is it genetic?

Whatever it is, I do enjoy her curiosity and know that the bumps, scrapes and bruises will be part of our life since she has my clumsiness. But guys totally dig chicks with scars.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The Hiatus

I sadly looked and realized I am almost approaching a year since I posted. I am between sad and mad that I can't find a few minutes to post. I think because once I get writing, I can't stop which means finding 10 minutes to post turns into an hour long post. And frankly, I just don't have the hour right now. Yes, I sadly do not have an extra hour to spare. My mantra lately has been:

I do not have the following:

1. ESP
2. A time machine
3. A clone
4. An administrative assistant.

Please plan accordingly and stay tuned.

Monday, May 02, 2011

An Important Decision

Abigail’s fourth birthday was coming up and she had an important decision to make.

After being gone half of Friday, March was upon us before we knew it which meant we had a three year old turning four very soon. The big decision, we decided, was going to be up to her. Shall we have a party at our house, destination party or maybe pay someone a lot of money at a location like Chuck E. Cheese? I am even cringing at the fact of going back to a birthday party at that place let alone paying them to host it. Josh and I decided that we would put the decision up to her since she was pretty much officially leaving her toddler years. (Yes, I totally just made up a milestone.) We had been talking about getting four day passes to Disney and we could swing her birthday in there and call it complete! I didn’t think that I would have a hard job of persuading her to have a Disney day for her birthday versus a party at our house but I did want the decision to be up to her. As long as she went along with what I want to do. What? Too mean? I only have a few years of her life I can do this so back off. Soon she will outsmart me and I will have to go along with what she wants. So there!

A few weeks before Abby’s birthday, we figured we would test the waters. Especially since she likes to change her mind from day to day. I was not going to have a party planned for 20 kids only to have her throw a fit that we should have gone to Disney. So we approached her very slowly. Her birthday was still a few weeks away but if she went with the party decision, we needed to get invites out ASAP.

M: “Abigail, we need to talk. You have a birthday coming up and have a very important decision to make.”
A: “Okay, Mommy!”
M: “We can do one of two things for your birthday. It is your decision. We can have a party at our house with all of your friends, or.”
A: “I want a party at my house, Mommy!”
M: ‘Wait there is another option! We can have a party at our house with all of your friends, or we can go spend the day with Mickey at Disney.”
A: “I want to go see Mickey!”
M: “So you don’t want to have a party?”
A: “Nope. I want to see Mickey.”
D: “How about we sleep on it and then we can see what we want to do. Your birthday is still a few weeks away.”
A: “Okay, Daddy!”
The next morning we woke Abigail up and before we even said good morning she said:
A: “Mommy, I have a very important decision to make. Should I have a party at my house or go to Disney to see Mickey. Mommy, I decided. I want to go see Mickey for my birthday.”

Josh and I just looked at each other and said “Great decision! We will go to Disney! Do you think we should see if anyone wants to come with us?

Abigail immediately said “SPRITE!” Next phone call was to solidify the plans with the Sprite’s Keepers, who I had already pre-warned to make their calendar available at the end of March. I knew exactly what the decision was going to be. What? Too pushy? Not when it comes to talking your family into going to Disney with great friends!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Just Need to Stop...

Breathing…Just kidding.

I feel like I have not been able to catch my breath lately. I feel like I am constantly being swept out to sea by a fast moving wave and can barely stay afloat. My toes brush the sandy bottom occasionally and if I do manage to stand still, I continue to run hard not making much forward progress.

I worked during my vacation in December and knew that I had another vacation coming in February. However, this time Josh and I had a vacation planned for the second week in February. This vacation could not be compromised by work. We had planned (and paid) for a Caribbean cruise months ago. Work was just going to have to deal without me for one week. I do like the fact that work can’t seem to manage without me for just one week but on the other hand, I am not performing brain surgery or any other life saving function that can’t wait a week. Yes, I deal with the Governments of the US and other countries but as everyone knows, things don’t happen in a week. Anything that must be worked can wait. I was not taking my cell phone, Blackberry, computer, email or watching for smoke signals on the horizon from work. I was going on a truly unplugged, kid free vacation (I love my babies but mama needed some “me” time). Josh and I had a lovely time enjoying no bed times, no early rises, no dishes, laundry and all the other wonders of home that we usually have. It was one week to be selfish, take naps, and eat until our eyes popped out of our heads. But then there was the inevitable return to reality. Work had been trying to channel me through ESP and let me know that I was going to be traveling to Dayton, Ohio the next day. Okay, in their defense they warned me that this could be coming and I need to check my email for a plane ticket when I return home. But still! We got home around 9:30 AM on Sunday and I was on a plane at 11:00 AM on Monday heading for cold and snowy Dayton. That just sucked. What was worse, we couldn’t bring ourselves to tell Abigail that I was going away again. She was fine while we were away but she actually got teary when she went to go down for a nap because she thought we were leaving again. So we would just tell her that I was working late. Thankfully I was going to be back home on Wednesday so that story was going to work quite well.

There is nothing like trying to travel and catch up with work when you have been away for a week. I have never had to change my out of office response on my email immediately from one trip to another. Sure I have had to change it from coming back on a trip on one day and then unknowingly having to extend the trip but two back to back? Forget it. I got home Wednesday night and Thursday was a nightmare at work. Still trying to play catch up on my email when work isn’t stopping for you to catch up can be challenging. Thankfully I had no immediate plans to leave any time soon so the pain would be temporary. However, our weekends were packed and the end was not going to come any time soon. Then I went into work at the end of the next week for my yearly merit discussion (yippee!) at 9:00 AM and was asked if I could leave on Sunday for Bethesda, Maryland to attend a training class. Sure. I had only been home one week out of three. What is another trip? So with 48 hours notice to get on a plane, I planned a trip to MD. This training class was at our corporate headquarters. Since I have only been there once in my almost 10 year career, you don’t say no when your manager asks if you can go. I didn’t even have to dust off my luggage, packed and headed for MD. I had a nice time learning lots. But I was really ready to just plant myself in the state and sleep in my own bed for a little.

I was at work all last week and of course work just keeps piling up. I feel like I have one of those “IN BOX” bins on my desk that magically keeps multiplying like rabbits. I am hoping that I am going to stay put for awhile. I have no plans but I didn’t have plans for the last two trips and only got 24-48 hours notice. I guess that it is great that they want me but I really wouldn’t mind a small break to give my feet a rest.

Maybe by June…

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

When the Ingredients Separate

Poor Abigail. We have been experiencing some separation anxiety lately. What makes it worse is that I am the only one who does drop off with the exception of one day a month when I have a 7 AM meeting. We have no idea where this came from. Abigail has been going to the same day care center since she was 5 months old. Granted she gets a new teacher every year but everything else is the same. Same core group of kids, same location, same cafeteria, etc. The only real change has been the food and for the better! I liked their menu before but now it is including neat things like fettuccini alfredo with broccoli and chicken noodle soup. They still get pizza and chicken nuggets but only once a month.

So back to the problem at hand. Drop off hasn’t always been good but this year we settled into a routine in the 3-4 year old room. Abigail would help me take Madeline to her room. Madeline is content to give a kiss and runs over to her friend Riley where she is greeted with a plethora of baby dolls. Madeline LOVES baby dolls. She likes to put them face down, say “night night shhhh” and puts a blanket over them. Total cuteness. But that is for another post. We had been going great until December. We took the kids out for a week between Christmas and New Years like we do every year. I am off of work, Josh is off of work and my parents are usually in town. Plus we save a week of tuition. It is a win/win situation. The first week back was easy but starting the second week of day care, meltdown city. I don’t know what changed but Abigail couldn’t let me go. I had to peel her off of me and let her sit on the floor in a pile of whiney while I went to work. Not really what I want at 7:30 in the morning to start off my day. Josh would get the scoop from her teacher at the end of the day and for a few days the report was Abigail being sad for a little and then after nap she was her happy, cheery self. Well, then came that one day that Josh had to drop her off. I called to check on things and was told she cried for Daddy for over an hour and had to go to the office. Great. Not only do I feel bad that my baby is so unhappy but she is disrupting class so much that she had to go to the front office. Now, the front office at day care is not like going to the office when you are bad. The front office staff had her sit in a chair and read some books to calm down. Abigail, being a book fiend, thought this was great. The next day the meltdown started before I was 3 minutes out of our driveway. I had to sit and talk through the crying and whining for almost 20 minutes before we got to school. This was just going downhill very quickly.

Josh talked to his mom and I talked to mine. We even called the pediatrician because not only was it affecting her, it was affecting me. I was so stressed out that I started to break out like a 15 year old. Not to mention, I am stressed at work. I can deal with being stressed at work and not home or vice versa. But both starts to take a toll on me. Such is life of a working mommy. Thankfully we could tell that she did not have a separation anxiety disorder (can actually result in physical results such as fever, vomiting, passing out, etc). Just a bad case of missing her mommy.

We actually thought we had it licked a couple of times because Abigail decided she wanted to be dropped off in the front office with the books. Fine with me and thankfully fine with the front office staff. Unfortunately, when it came time to go back to her classroom, she melted down. At least it wasn’t with me there. We tried rewards, stickers, happy faces, Ouija boards and nothing. Her teacher was even trying to help us by making Abby her special helper for the morning. Finally last week it started to work. Thursday morning came and Abigail said “I am going to be Ms. Wendy’s special helper today and make you happy Mommy!” WORKS FOR ME! Sure enough, she went right in, kisses and hugs to me and went about being a special helper. Later that night we over did it on showering her with affection and how much she is a big girl. Friday was even better! Then of course the weekend came. Darn weekend!

Yesterday was sad but no crying. I had to say goodbye to the saddest face in the window of school. Her little bottom lip curled out and her eyes on the brink of tears. I just made silly faces and got into my car. Today there were no real tears until she was running to the window to give me a kiss through the glass…and banged her hand on the counter which just brought sad face and tears. Great.

Just have to keep taking this one day at a time. And she thinks this is just hard on her!

Monday, January 10, 2011


New format!!!!

When I first started blogging, there were about 3 choices for your background. I didn’t have anything fancy to say so why get a fancy background. I just stuck with some basic design and started blogging. However, I know that there are people out there with neat backgrounds. I was curious as to when Blogger would get on the ball because I know I don’t have the time to change my background, let alone learn how to do it. So last week I posted and noticed that Blogger had some new enhancements. Well, 5 minutes later and here is the finished product!

The only thing that is seriously bothering me is the fact that my Katz Cradle picture is not centered. Now, this is not a function of the picture nor the layout of Blogger. It is just something in the HTML that is making everything justified to the left. It is driving me only mildly crazy because I only have a mild case of OCD but we will see how it goes. Just pretend you didn’t notice it.

Notice what? Exactly!