Monday, October 25, 2010

Tips for Puking Kids

  • Garbage bag, over the pillow, under the pillowcase.
  • Mattress protectors: 10 bucks and half an hour of wrangling the thing on over the mattress, no scent of barf embedded in the mattress forever. Barf smell sucks.
  • Cover the couch in towels, top with kid, keep a bucket handy.
  • Lysol.
  • Backup DVDs or a preschool cable channel is worth it when you're trapped in the house for 2 days.
  • Have Sierra Mist, chicken soup, saltines and chocolate in the house at all times. (The chocolate is for me.)
  • Buy a comforter that fits in your washer.
  • Woolite Oxy Deep carpet cleaner works.
  • When puked upon, remove clothing and get dressed again before trying to change her sheets. Half-asleep naked moms on Benadryl are not effective linen changers when shivering so hard we can't stand up.
  • Be thankful you bought the mega-mini-van-jogging stroller so at least you can get out of the house for 20 minutes to walk the dog.
  • Bake a cake to cover up the smell of puke. Eat the cake.

Sigh. She's recovered, thank goodness. And so far, no one else has caught it. Phew.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Star Bright

Star of David, Kennicott Bible

I hauled her sister's carseat up the stairs, gave her a hello kiss, and watched her run off again to play on the playground as I went in to the preschool to check her cubbie. In her neighbor's was a glittery star of David, the daily craft. I didn't see Rowan's. On the way home, I asked her about the art projects they'd worked on.

"Did you make a special star today, Rowan? Cool! Where is it?"

"I don't know," she answered, too busy eating her goldfish crackers to consider where it had gone.

"Oh, well. Maybe the glue wasn't dry yet. I'm sure we can get it next time," I said. "So, is it a star of David?"

"Noooo!!!" You could practically hear her rolling her eyes in the back seat.

"Mom, it's a Star of Rowan!!!"

Photo by 
zeevveez, on flickr.

Let's Dance!

Strike a Pose, originally uploaded by MrsBinParis.
Rowan is loving her dance class, Dancing with Grace with Hannah. Every Tuesday we meet downtown and they fly around like baby birds, galop like ponies, jump over mud puddles, and flip scarves around, to the delight of their parents, watching through the windows (and occasionally sneaking off for a coffee.) The rest of the photos I took of her before we left are mostly blurs--she loves to dance! Check them out here.
Rowan with Miss Hannah from Dancing with Grace

Bathtime Grin

Bathtime Grin, originally uploaded by MrsBinParis.

It's a teeny bit blurry, but I just can't resist that smile. 5 months old.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Best Compliment Ever

I was reading her post this morning, and it kind of touched on something I've been thinking about for a long time. Back when I read this article and then the book, Nurture Shock, it got something percolating in my brain.

Compliments, praise. When are they real? When do they matter? When do they change our behavior? Our perception of ourselves? Our reaction to others?

How can a compliment mean something real to someone I care about? How can my own interaction with them matter more?

I thought about answering her question. I could answer half of it, my favorite compliment ever. But the second half has me stumped.

Do I give to others, the way I hope I do? Does what I say and think matter? Is it just lip service, or does it matter to them? Does what I really feel come across to them in what I say?

I don't know where I am going with this. I don't want to make any crazy vows, or promise to journal my meaningful interactions, or ask you to tell me how I've impacted you. That's not what this is about. But it's got me thinking.

Praise is such an interesting thing. It can mean the world to you, or it can mean the opposite of the intent. The timing can skew it to take on whole new meanings. Tone of voice, what happened earlier in the day, how you're feeling about yourself--anything can color it. It's so rare that the intended meaning is the perceived meaning. And yet, we all really need it. It's important.

I wonder if what I say to my girls will sink in. I hope they will grow to be strong and confident, that they will value themselves the way they deserve. I hope they won't succumb to the feelings that make them believe they are less than they are, because they are so very special. I hope I can be a part of their building up, an example to them of a strong, confident and loving person. I hope that on the days I am impatient or frustrated or downright angry they don't forget how wonderful they are and how much I love them and that it's not their fault. I hope that I am showing them that making a mistake does not make you a bad person. And that pooping in your pull-up may be irritating, but that Mommy still loves you and believes that you will be potty trained some day. I hope that they can see my joy, my pride, my love. I hope they can someday understand how much they have expanded my life.

And yet, the things that stick with them will probably be ones I don't remember doing. Some weird, random thing I say that I didn't even think about. Because we never quite know how what we say will impact someone, do we?

So, my favorite compliment ever. Yeah, you probably wouldn't expect it. It's not from my husband, or from my daughters. Had nothing to do with how I look, music I played or sang, or what kind of person I am. The person who said it likely has no idea that it meant so much to me, but it did.

"If they had a Lefse-Off, you would totally win!"
                                          -Katya Delak

It just struck a chord. The right time, the right frame of mind, an achievement I really cared about. No grand pronouncement, but it really did mean a lot to me. Thanks, Katya. It still makes me smile.

(Note: Lefse is a Norwegian potato flatbread, very popular in the northern plains states of North and South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota. It's a pain in the wazoo to make, takes a long time [2 days], and makes a real mess of your kitchen. But it is delicious, and I've tweaked my grandmothers' recipes in a way that makes it my own. I've never seen a Lefse-Off, but if I ever do--thanks to Katya--I will enter. And I'll win.)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

I’ll Show You Mine, Now You Show Me Yours


She asked, I delivered.  Yep, that's me. In powder blue terry cloth that matched my sister, and the ubiquitous girl mullet. I just wish my dad had scanned in the one with me "thinking about" my sister as  her face floated above my head. (What was up with that anyway? What a weird thing to do.)

Worst part is, there are much more embarrassing photos in the set it's a part of on Flickr. And yeah, with a tiny bit of clicking, you can see those, too.

On the bright side, compared to that? I look pretty darn fabulous now.

So I did it. Now it's your turn. Let's see your awkward photos. And please, link me back so I can find them. On days like today when there are no naps and many, many poopy diapers and wet "big girl panties", I might just need it.

*EDITED to add:

Trying to get a good Xmas card picture.

I just had to. Is that not the worst photo ever? The perm! The "wet look" gel! The pattern on my shirt and the pinky ring!

Yep, looking at that photo definitely boosts my self esteem now. Uff da.

Monday, October 04, 2010


Sioux Fan!

"MOM! I pushed a poop out!!!"

"In the potty?"


I ran up the stairs, yelling "HOT DOG!!!" We examined the evidence.

"Is that corn?" she said.

"Yeah. It is. One kernel. Um, good job, honey! Way to go! You earned the right to use the Dora soap, and a jumbo marshmallow! I'm so proud of you!"

Yes, one corn kernel. But she pushed it out, by herself, without prompting. At this rate, she'll have a whole bag of marshmallows for a real turd. But hey, whatever it takes! (She will get it, someday, right? Please? We've been potty training for 10 months, for one stinkin' corn kernel. I'm starting to lose hope.)

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Fun at the Farm

Joy, originally uploaded by MrsBinParis.

Rowan's first field trip was last week, at a classmate's grandparent's farm, tucked along Spring Creek. Though our first day was rained out, we were able to go on Wednesday. The kids had a blast feeding the Vietnamese pot-bellied pig (had to be 2 or 3 pots in there, if you ask me), chasing the free ranging chickens, going on a nature walk, and listening to a story next to the creek. But the best part of the day, apparently, was this--our best efforts to distract the kids from walking into the creek was to get them running in circles around a tree through the crunchy fall leaves. You've got to love the 3-year-olds' ideas of a good time! Next week we head to the pumpkin patch down the road.

Today, the girls and I joined our neighbor and his kids at the Penn State Great Insect Fair. We saw live cockroaches, beetles, walking sticks, bees and butterflies, and Rowan and I even sampled some cricket candy. (It wasn't very good, and I'm pretty sure it's still stuck in my throat.) We came home with a butterfly larva (I think?) in a little container. It will be fun to watch it change and grow.

Well, if I don't manage to accidentally kill it, of course.

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