Saturday, March 31, 2012

Perfect Spring Break

We really ended up having a perfect spring break. (I was pessimistic about this.) It was perfect because we rested and enjoyed each other. It was perfect because I think we chose the right activities and are now ready for school to start up again. I'm ready to get the next 2 and 1/2 months done...summer here we come!

We usually try and go somewhere. When my youngest was born, we did not. My husband is a school teacher so we all get the week off together. But the year A was born we wisely chose to just lay low, or so I thought this was the wise chose. But, spring break in Oregon is often freezing and wet. It was. We were a bit bummed out, and at the end of that Spring Break 2009 we realized that we thrive on a bit of travel during our vacations.

It has been three years since that spring break of no travel, and we found ourselves (this last one) not going anywhere of real significance. However, we had someone we were anticipating and this made all the difference. We counted the days. The boys kept asking how many more, how much longer...does Grammy come tomorrow? And finally she did. Our vacations came to us and it was good. It still rained. It was still freezing. Oregon still did its thing. But we had someone special and so it was good. We had some local outings: went swimming, out to eat, saw The Lorax, and the everyone except A and I went to a Timber's game. My husband worked on a few house projects and our youngest treated us to a trip to the ER. (Legos should not be placed in nostrils.)

Each morning we took our time. We ate well prepared breakfasts and lounged in our pj's, coffee mugs in hands.

My husband game me a hug this morning and said, "You know what, this Spring Break was perfect. I know we didn't go anywhere, but it was exactly what I needed."

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Mind of a 5-Year-Old Boy

(My middle son wrote this story on Saturday, enjoy! He dictated it to me.)

Indiana Jones and the Battle War-The End of the History

Chapter 1: The Leader of the Bad guys

The missile ship was calling. The storms interrupted; the ship was about to explode. When the earth was shacking, their planet and baby was exploding and so they put him in a rocket and sent him to the sad desert. Then their planet turned back, black. Then their baby was...Indian Jones.

Chapter 2: When He was Born

On his birthday he was one. When this other kid was born, the other one was evil. And that evil kid was 2. His name was Colossus. So the satellites were breaking. When the ground was shaking-the dinosaurs were attacking.

Chapter 3: The Dead of the Sand Storm

They were building really big pyramids. The pyramids' bricks fell down. And so there was really, really, quick, quick, quicksand. And the volcanoes were about to explode. So the earth was safe, but the sand part was not very safe...DINOSAURS!

Chapter 4: When the Dinosaurs Happened

One of the 1st dinosaurs was the very small raptor, Minoraptor. And the 2nd one was Veloceraptor. The Taranadon was next. The next one with the 3 horns with the Triceratops, the next one was the duckbill dinosaur. Next, Braciosoraurs. And the next, a plant eater, Stegosaurus. Then the T-Rex!

Chapter 5: All the Dinosaurs

When all the dinosaurs were there, one a spaceship crashed on the sand. Then there was another one. The 1st one was Indiana Jones and the 2nd one was Colossus. These 2 kids landed, on a strange, sandy, world. there were some camels.

So, then they started to get new weapons in the sandy land.

Chapter 6: When They Turned

When they found a basket was on 2 robots. One was blue and one was black. So, Indiana Jones went on the blue robot. Colossus went on the redish, blackish robot. Then it took them to 2 tunnels. One said, "Are you a bad baby or a good baby?"

Indiana Jones said, "Good."

Colossus said, "Bad."

Chapter 7: The Mummy of the Death

Indiana Jones went into the blue tunnel, good. And Colossus went into the blackish, red because he was evil. When they found these people who were going to adopt them. So the robots took them to their new leaders, but the bad tunnel did not have a leader because they were the leaders.

So they found their tombs and then their birthday was today.

So, they Egypt Solar System, so the Dead Mummy arrived when the bad baby was born, but they put the bad baby into a machine and turned him into a man.

Indiana Jones got his weapon, his lasso, then they fought to the end of the war.

Chapter 8: Attack of the War:

The start lines were finished. The lights were on and they were battling with their weapons. The bad man head a surprise for Indiana Jones and he let him mummy out. Indiana Jones kicked the mummy with a double split kick. SO that was the end of Colossus.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Poop Fudge

Through the fog of early morning, I spied two large, round eyes and a sweet voice said, “Mama, I’m poopy.” If you’ve been following my parenting escapades long, you know that I do not call myself an expert in potty training. Where’s the magic button that I can push that reboots my three-year-olds to automatically transition from diapers to underwear? I know these buttons exist because it appears that many other mothers have located these devise on their children. (Not all of us, mind you, I do know that I am not alone.) It seems like the world of mothering can be categorized into two groups: those that beam with potty training ease and those that do not.

Normally I enjoy a morning cuddle, but not when my youngest announces that he is poopy. I lifted my comatose body from its warm covers and was immediately filled with horror−and immediately wide awake. A’s pants were poopy, yes, but also his feet! His feet! The trek to my bedroom from his is a long one that includes steep terrain and white carpet. (White carpet, another worthy column.)

I quickly rushed this dangling mess to the bathtub while he cheerily chatted about his morning adventures in poop. The horror grew. What did the house look like? I decided to assess the damage: little brown footprints recounted his journey all the way up the stairs and into the boys’ bathroom. Nightmare. The entire floor of A’s bathroom was covered from toilet to doorway with a fudge-like substance that, unfortunately, did not smell or act like fudge. It was a mirage that I could not deny.

How would I get the older boys to school? This was not a quick clean up, but would require hazmat vigilance. I called my father and begged him to take the older boys for me. I didn’t have to ask twice once I explained the situation. We all went into emergency mode.

After an entire tub of Lysol wipes, several stop-and-gags, and 40 minutes of hand-and-knee-deep-cleaning the bathroom was disinfected. Time for an intervention. After a short, but firm discussion in regards to the nasty nature of poo and that mommy is A’s helper, I felt satisfied that this experience was one we could all learn from.

The next three days were a beautiful thing. A asked for help all day long when it came to the use of the potty. I felt we had turned a key potty-training-corner. He kept telling me, “Poop is messy.” Yes, yes it is. I was starting to think that life’s hard lessons could be learned from, and that if we captured this at a young age our teenage years would be smooth sailing. (Fantasy: perhaps when I become the mother of three teenage boys I can align myself with the mothers whose children do well in school and seem to cause no parenting woes. I’d rather have that than easy potty trainers, right?)

I only shared my success with a few mothers; I am actually getting a bit wiser in my parenting− just a bit. The positive effects of the Floor Fudge Extravaganza only took us from Wednesday to Saturday. Then it was back to business as usual, not floor art, but plenty of messy pants−plenty.

I try and talk myself out of my panic attacks. I know it’ll all come together. I know he won’t still be doing this in a year. I know it has to end. He is my last boy, my last baby, but don’t tell him that. The other night I put him in a pull-up and he looked at me with disgust, “I don’t like those. They make me feel little.” No joke, these were his words and feelings. “Well, maybe if you didn’t have accidents, then mommy would let you wear big-boy-pants all the time.” My passive-aggressive son seemed to comply and let mommy dress him in these safety precautions. But this morning when he came running down the stair, jumping into my happy arms, I could feel that he had put underwear on beneath his pajamas and no longer resided in a pull-up. “Did you put on underwear?” (Knowing my youngest, he did this last night after I was sure he was warm and cozy in his bed.)

“Yes, I am a big boy.” He beamed and was quite pleased. I think I might as well surrender now, the teenage years just might prove to be even trickier for this parent than the toddler years have been.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Oregon Women's Report: The Writer's Network

As a young girl/boy we all have dreams. Some dream of travels, fame, fortune...some dreams are easier to attain than others. The line between dreams and goals sometimes gets blurred. I guess a dream that becomes a reality needs to become a goal first. And a person needs to know how to get to that goal in small steps.

My goal was to become a writer. I remember pulling out the heavy typewriter and pounding away on my first novel: Sixteen Children. The plot thickened as I rested my elbows on a bright, 70's rag rug. In this fiction, a mother has 16 boys. Luckily, I am not a prophet and only ended up with three. Strange that my main character was the mother of only boys though...

Anyway, I digress, the point is that to be a writer (to be anything) it helps to know people and to make connections. This is how I've seen bits of my writing be achieved. And so I join another network that will help me along in my credibility as a writer: Oregon Women's Report. Plus, it is super nice to hear that someone loves your writing style especially when they do not know you and have never spoken or seen you...the writing speaks for itself. Of course, I had a little help, I cannot lie. My writing friend Jen (You can find her blog on my blog list.) sent them my name. So see, writing success is about networking and connections, and that is why I feel like being featured on this site is a good thing. If you'd like to read my column that was featured on March 1st, follow this link.