Thursday, February 25

checkers with a 3 year old

Ty-guy's favorite thing to do when Alexis goes to school is to play a game with me. Today when he asked if I'd play a game with him I prepared myself for another round of Candyland--his favorite game. But he surprised me by saying he wanted to play checkers. My mom gave him a "Cars" version of the game for Christmas, but I've never played it with him because he's 3. So when he asked for it I asked him if he even knew how to play. He assured me he did saying that his Aunt Rachel taught him.

I helped him set up the game and let him go first. His first move was to take one of the pieces on the back row and move it to the middle of the board. I'm not sure why I even attempted to bring sense into the game, but I told him that's not how the pieces move and showed him how to make a legitimate move. This went on for about 3 moves before jumping came into play. At that point I realized there was no point and I let him jump my pieces to his heart content--but I made sure to even the playing field. With about half of the pieces gone he lost interest in the game and set about stacking up the pieces that were no longer on the board. I decided to finish the game and play against myself. At first it was a little hard to not be biased towards the pieces I started out with, but eventually I was able to play it fairly even. But I'm sorry to say I lost.

Five minutes after the game was over, Tyler finally looked up and noticed me staring at him. He looked at the board, then back at me and said, "Is the game over?" If he ever asks, I'm telling him I won.

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If you want to pre-order the hottest new book out on the market, here's a link. I might be a little biased, because the author is my dad, but I think it's pretty awesome. If you live in, around, or near the Wasatch Mountains, his book would be a great guide to a lot of the flowers you see in the area. He didn't just write and compile it, he also took all the pictures! I will be owning a copy, but I'm lucky enough to hike with him and hear the flower names straight from his mouth. And so far he hasn't gotten annoyed that I can't seem to remember any of them! Maybe I'll study the book so next time we go on a hike I can say, "Hey dad, look at that cluster of Columbines over there!"

Saturday, February 20

2 points

I will warn you now, this blog post will have no structure or flow. To which you reply, "Do they ever?" But I'm in a bit of a cheeky (I've learned British!) mood and don't want to go to bed yet. I just watched a Hugh Grant movie with my sister so we'll blame the use of the word "cheeky" on that.

Do you ever wish that some mythical creatures were real? Like Santa Clause, leprechauns, or unicorns (and some of you might add Edward Cullen to that list)? There is one that I wish were real. I've never heard any stories about her but I'm certain every woman has at one time or another created their own version of her in their head. She is the Clean House Fairy. Basically, when you leave your house a mess and you've had a long day and know that you also have a long night ahead of you, the Clean House Fairy comes in while you are gone and...cleans your house! But she's not for everyday lazy folk who simply don't want to clean, it's for the people who truly deserve it. And I'm saying that this week I deserved it, which is not the case most weeks.

While there is no Clean House Fairy I've got something almost as good but nowhere near as effective. And that is the blessing of a forgetful brain (AKA pregnancy brain), so that when I leave the house I forget all about the mess that is left behind. That way I can enjoy my outing, whatever it may be, and make all sorts of plans for when I return home. However, and this is the part where it proves to be less effective, as soon as I get home the mess is still there! So while I did have a few hours of bliss, nothing is actually clean. I guess it'll have to do until the Clean House Fairy shows up--I will hold out hope!

Also, I could really go for a Cherry Limeade right now. Or a Cherry Fresh Lime, whatever you prefer to call it.

For the past few nights after the kids have gone to bed and Jeremy is preoccupied with his new gadget I turn on the TV to watch the Olympics. I've come to discover that I haven't the heart to watch the Olympics this year. I suspect it's the crazy hormones circulating throughout my body at this particular time, because I don't recall having this reaction before. But every time someone falls down I gasp "OH NO!" Every. time. Even if they are the crappy competitors who are lucky they even made it to the Olympics. The problem is that I start to imagine what they must be feeling and thinking. The bitter disappointment. The gut sinking feeling. The "Oh crap I've worked my whole life for these three minutes of glory and I just screwed it up" thoughts that must be going through their mind!

And I get so mad at the judges for giving them ridiculously low scores! Can't they just throw them a few pity points??

There there are the winners, standing up there on the stand listening to their National Anthem, waving their medals, looking so proud and happy. For every one person in that position there's got to be a handful more in their hotel rooms crying. Why can't they give everyone a medal?? Really, it's too heart wrenching for me to watch.

And the speed at which they are all moving makes me incredibly nervous!

Speaking of speed, here's a picture of Alexis and Tyler having a three legged race. They have an elastic headband around their legs. One minute after taking this picture it snapped in half. It was the elastic headband I use every night when I wash my face. I did not get mad! A minor triumph, really, but I have to take all I can get.


Lastly, let me tell you about the nice charts Alexis made, of her own initiation. Or rather, the "nis chaerte" as she spelled it. She and Tyler each have their own, but Jeremy and I have to share one. Alexis' chart has 42 squares, Tyler's has 20, and ours doesn't matter since we aren't earning any "points" anyway. The premise is simple--to earn points you have to be nice. Or do whatever Alexis says, since she is the chart creator. Coincidentally Alexis earns points at twice the rate of Tyler, so their charts should be filled up around the same time. When they are filled up, I've been instructed to take them to the Dollar Store and let them pick a prize. Except Alexis gets to go to Target and get a Barbie bathtub she has her eye on--it costs ten dollars. I'm hesitant to tell her that I'm not buying her the bathtub for fear that she'll cross out some of our points--and we only have two anyway. Jeremy really, really has his heart set on a Dollar Store prize, I'd hate to be the reason he doesn't get it.

It's actually been kind of funny to watch them with these charts because they are doing nice things for each other and constantly showing me how many points they have. But this morning I think Tyler caught on that things were going a little unfairly--and not in his favor--because I caught him at his chart trying to fill in some of his squares while Alexis was preoccupied. It was one of those moments as a parent that I wasn't quite sure what to do. Should I applaud him for asserting himself or should I scold him for deliberately trying to make his sister mad? I think I decided to look the other way, but took his pen away just the same.

Maybe I should ask Alexis what she would have done. In fact, maybe I should turn the parenting reins over to her. I have to admit, she's way more consistent with these charts than I have ever been. But does she know how to get to the Dollar Store??

And with that, I'll go to bed.

Tuesday, February 16

And so it begins...

I know I shouldn't make light of this situation, when Alexis' delicate feelings hang in the balance, but some things are just too funny.

We've been hearing about a boy named Paxton for a few months now. Alexis tries to kiss him regularly and often tells me about how cute he is. Her friend in her class also has a crush on him, however, it's never seemed to bother them that they both like the same boy. I know Alexis felt she had a special connection with him since they both have an X in their name, and maybe that's enough to create love in kindergarten.

But I just got back from walking Alexis and her friend home, and they were quite literally singing a different tune about Paxton.

Now, I don't remember kindergarten or first grade, and I have no idea if I was boy crazy then, but I wish someone would have prepared me for this as a parent. I just sent the following text to Jeremy:

"Paxton is in the doghouse. Alexis does NOT even want to hear that name!"

What did poor little Paxton do to anger these miniature women? Apparently he now has a crush on another girl (who's name I'm not even going to try and spell)! So the two spurned females walked all the way home singing "No more Paxton, no more Paxton, no more Paxton!" Their song won't win any points for creativity, but I suppose it was the best their broken hearts could muster.

I was enjoying the song until Alexis added "and no more (insert Paxton's new crush's name here)!" At that point I realized that I'm going to have to do some actual parenting and talk to her about why she can't hate this poor girl for no good reason--that's when the song stopped being funny.

But here's a question. Would it have been better for Paxton to break her heart before Valentine's Day? Or is it good that he waited until after?


P.S. Alexis just informed me that during centers at school she wrote Paxton a note, and this is what she could remember of it: "I don't like you Paxton. Break up with (other girl)." We are going to need some intervention here before she turns into THAT girl.

Wednesday, February 10

the things we do for our kids...

Today as I was preparing lunch I pondered on the amount of ridiculous things I do for my kids. What made me think of this was the fact that I was peeling Tyler's apple. I slice and core an apple, and then I cut the skin off before serving it to him. It is pure ridiculousness, if you ask me. Now, without thinking, I've begun doing it to Alexis' apple slices as well. The reason I did it in the first place is because Tyler simply would not eat it with the skin on, and I was desperate to get more fruits and vegetables in him. But now it's habit, and it's a bit ridiculous.

Then there's the matter of their special blankets and three stuffed animals they sleep with. As soon as the kids get up in the morning they are dragged downstairs, and left to sit on my living room floor until I get too annoyed and make the kids move them or I move them myself. And then every night because they've been dragged all over we have to spend time searching for everything they "need" to sleep with. Ridiculousness.

There's a fine line between doing ridiculous things for your kids because you are hoping for a positive end result, and getting walked all over. Consistency is not my strong suit, so I'm afraid most days I'm straddling this line more than I care too.

For example, I peel the apple because I want him to eat his fruit. I let them carry around their blankets because I like that they have a comforting item (and because I remember when my mom took my blanket away from me!) that brings them so much happiness. But why do I spend 5 minutes before each bath arguing over which toys they can and cannot take into the bath, when the bath already has toys in it? And why don't I always make them eat their crusts? And why do I let them watch "Dinosaur Train" in the morning even though they've been fighting since they woke up?

Because mom's do ridiculous things. And mom's aren't perfect. Right? And some days I don't want to argue. Some days I want to feel like my kids like me. Other days I guess I just want to be mean...or at least that's what Alexis and Tyler will tell you. Sometimes I just don't have all the answers, and there doesn't seem to be a book I could look some of them up in.

Last night as I was putting Alexis to bed I told her that I love her lots and lots. She replied with, "I love you lots and lots. More than you love me!" What she doesn't understand is that I love her more than she can ever comprehend. She'll be a parent someday and will then understand, but she will never know because everyone is different and every love is different. But all that love is why I do the ridiculous things I do, which I guess can only mean it's going to get worse.

To make me feel better the next time I'm taking the skin off an apple slice, tell me about some of the ridiculous things you do for your kids.

Monday, February 8

the blue guys vs. the gold guys

Last night Tyler attached himself to "the blue team", AKA the Colts. Which means Alexis was cheering for "the gold team", AKA the Saints. Who knows why they picked the ones they did, especially since Jeremy really hadn't been cheering for either one, and I of course don't care who wins. It's a good day if I even know who is playing.

Now forgive me for this next part because Jeremy isn't here to help me with my football terminology. But you know that play that gave the Saints the larger lead, wasn't it with about 4 minutes left in the 4th? All I know is it brought their score up to 31, which made Tyler very upset.

See for yourself:

video

The video was taken with Jeremy's phone, so sorry for the quality.

In related video camera news, I did get a hold of the guy fixing mine and will hopefully pick it up today or tomorrow!

Also, I don't have ringworm, according to the dermatologist. I have some albino form of eczema, he thinks. So while he didn't do anything for me and just gave me his best guess, he did tell me I could come back if I need to and not pay another copay, so that's good enough for me I guess.

Tuesday, February 2

It's FEBRUARY!

Jeremy basically hates that picture of Tyler from my last post--so I suppose it is possible to look at it without laughing. It doesn't look anything like Tyler, which I think is why he doesn't like it. But anyway, I figured I better post something new so that's not what pops up every time he pulls up my blog. P.S. regarding Tyler, we cut off his Mohawk (and the scab from his head wound in the process--oops!). We're all much happier without it, though I have a deep love for the Mohawk. But Tyler didn't and hated having it fixed. My policy is that I can only fight with one child about hair, and so Alexis is left the job (which she does quite well).

Another P.S. regarding Tyler, he also hates Primary. I'm sure that will change once he gets used to it, but for now he makes our Sunday mornings fun. Not.

So, are any of you list makers? Because I have turned into a full fledged list maker. I've always know about myself that I do better when I can see in writing the things I need to accomplish. But like most things, I don't do anything about it until an opportunity falls into my lap. Fortunately, awhile ago I won a bunch of notepads like the one you see below:


This weekly planning pad has changed my life. Well, it's made it more efficient at least. I put down all the things I need to do, and add to it as the week advances. I even have one started for next week already, and blah blah blah, this is getting boring--even to me.

Let's take a look at my week. On Sunday, I have written "Emma @ 8". This may have been one of the highlights of my week (which is probably pathetic). But on PBS for the last two weeks, and concluding this coming Sunday, they've been showing a new Masterpiece Theater version of Jane Austen's "Emma". And it is GOOD (unlike some Masterpiece Theater versions)! So good I capitilized, italicized, and bolded the word "GOOD".

Moving onto something not so exciting, today I have written down to change the fish water. I haven't mentioned yet that a few weeks ago my sister bought us two betas (one female, one male) who could not be in the same bowl. Already the female has died and I feel a little responsible. But we buried it Fancy Nancy style (in the dirt, sprinkled with a few rocks from her bowl, and a sign Alexis made) which is how we do everything around here these days. That Fancy Nancy is beginning to make my life a little harder. Anyway, I have to change the male's water today and I keep putting it off because, quite simply, I can't handle pets. Not even a little fish. So thanks for the gifts Rachel, but please, never again!

Also, today I have written down "video camera". That means last week I dropped my video camera off at a place I found on the internet, a business run out of a guy's really sketchy looking shed off the side of his house. He promised to call me with the diagnosis of what is wrong with it, but he hasn't yet--so I need to investigate. I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever see my video camera again, or if the shed was sketchy looking for a reason.

Another not so exciting event of the week is written down on Thursday. The dermatologist, at 10 AM. Here's a little known fact--I have ringworm. Two patches of it, on the same arm. Alexis had it first, hers seems to have disappeared but according to my doctor that doesn't happen. We probably got it from some one's pet she touched this summer. Do not be afraid, while it is contagious, no one else in the house has caught it. And I'm fairly certain I touch both Jeremy and Tyler way more than I touch any of you. I'm really hoping the dermatologist has some miracle cure because I'm a little embarrassed by my ringworm, and I want it gone before this little baby shows up. Anyone out there ever have ringworm? I had a roommate in college (I'm looking at you Jennie) who got a patch of ringworm on her neck and had another roommate try to burn it off with straight bleach. She would not recommend that approach--unless the bleach was diluted a bit. But I think I'll use my insurance and go see a doctor.

----BRIEF INTERMISSION TO ANSWER THE PHONE----

My phone just rang 5 times in a row, all from different people. That never happens, and now I've lost my train of thought. Not that this post was going anywhere good anyway.

Oh, but you know what I noticed isn't on my list? Laundry! I sure hope Jeremy has added it to his.

3 morals of this story, in list form:
1. I like making lists, it helps me get things done.
2. My weeks are none too exciting.
3. If ringworm travels to a patch of your scalp it will cause your hair to fall out and never grow back in that particular spot.