Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fly on the Wall

Kate is dancing around the living room in nothing but winter boots -- literally naked and wearing snow boots. I wonder what someone would think if they came to the door right now. For us, this is the uncomfortable norm of living with two toddlers. Others have said they would kill to be a "fly on the wall" of our home for one night. 

So here it is. Your preview. A typical Sunday morning (just the morning because reading about a full day would exhaust you) in our life. Not too exciting, but always entertaining. 

"Wake up Ned!" This is what you hear every morning. Kate wakes up first and yells to her sister. Weekend rule is that they don't get out of bed until 7:30 on the weekends. It is how we pretend to sleep in. They spend the next 30 minutes tossing toys from crib to crib, ripping the blinds off the windows, pounding on the wall, jumping on their mattresses, and singing versions of the ABCs and Twinkle Little Star. 
I open the door to let the Reds escape. Someone always has poop in the morning...always. And the smell hits you like a brick wall the moment you open the door. At this point they have found some sort of paper product to shred and throw upon the floor -- wipes, a book, a magazine, etc. Kate goes potty and gets off the toilet before she is finished. This is why our bathroom always smells of urine.
Dad decides to attempt breakfast. This is never good and always requires a lot of support (but we have to let him try). As I am showing him how to pour the egg into the pan, I hear giggles from the bathroom...not good. Neddy is sitting in the sink (again), Kate has the water on (yes, Neddy's clothes are soaked), and both girls have decided to brush their teeth...with Neddy in the sink. I am so proud of them for having such good oral hygiene. 
Today, Kate has decided that she no longer likes eggs. Or meat. Or cheese. She just likes ketchup. So she eats the ketchup and feeds the rest to the dog. Neddy has decided that her omelet makes a good hair conditioner (must be that protein). She also has poop...again.
The ketchup queen needs a bath and the omelet conditioner should be washed out. I start the bath. Kate throws her stuffed animal in the tub even though I have asked her (repeatedly) to not do that. Kate dumps a bucket of water over Neddy's head. Neddy cries, hits, and then spits in Kate's face. Kate tattles and repeat cycle. On this special day we had a first: Neddy pooped in the tub when I was drying Kate off. Kate saw the poop and said, "Oh! Nice circle Ned!" Yes, the poop was in a circular pile. I am so proud -- my girls are celebrating each other's successes and they know their shapes!
Kate tries to convince me that she doesn't need underwear or pull-ups. She wants to "wear nuffin." So the little nudist opts for winter boots and begins to dance in the living room to Ke$ha's Tic Toc. Daddy is uncomfortable and making comments about him really not wanting her to get used to dancing in the nude. Neddy spins in circles until I realize that she has poop...again. I go to change Neddy who flops all over the place. Seriously it is like trying to put a diaper on a fish and at the end the diaper is all kitty-wampus but it is on.
Both kids are in time-out. Kate hit Neddy in the face for looking at her. Neddy tried to bite me because I brushed her hair. Everybody has clothes on...finally but I am still trying to brush Kate's hair. She starts screaming "OWOOWWWOOO" before I even touch the brush to her hair. Gilbert is outside and body-slamming the back door. Brent is at the grocery store because I insist on having a Bloody Mary today to get me through the Packer game (don't worry, I have my jersey ready.) I tackle Kate to the couch and begin to brush her hair. Neddy is climbing the diaper changing table. I get her down. She spits and begins to climb again. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Then she notices that Mom and Dad's bedroom door is open. She finds Mom's shoes. Bonus!
We tried to insert church into this space. It has not gone well. After we hit the old woman in the back of the head with a hard plastic bunny, we decided to do our prayer service from home until we get things under control. 
Dad is back so I decide to shower. I lock the door. I try to relax and enjoy my alone time in the bathroom while both kids are crying and screaming outside the bathroom. "Mom! Mom! Momma! MMMMMAAAAMMMMAAAA! Mom. Mommy. Mama. MOM! I need come in!" I decide make-up is overrated. So are regular clothes so I put my jammy pants back on along with my Clay Matthews jersey. Kate takes the opportunity to use my deodorant as an art tool and draws on the wall with it. Neddy is jumping on the bed. Daddy is doing laundry. Gilbert is laying in the middle of the clean clothes. The girls realize Daddy is doing laundry so they make way for the laundry basket and the neatly folded piles of clothes.
It is snack time. Neddy is standing in the dog water dish with her shoes on and screaming "TREEEAT!" 
Mommy guilt takes over and I feel sorry for my kids because I don't do any of the cool things that stay-at-home moms do. I decide to make up for it by doing an art project. Today we are going to make hand print turkeys. Everyone is excited for paint. I cut a shirt in half and put it on the girls for paint smocks. Things start off well because I start with Kate. We make 6 turkeys and then I let her "free-paint" (but she gets bored of paper and turns to the wall)  while I help Neddy make turkeys. I remember why I hate doing art projects because they never turn out the way that I plan. Neddy smears paint all over her face, hair, wall, clothes, etc. but she is happy. Her turkey looks like a brown smudge. I clean them in the kitchen sink for the next 30 minutes. I realize that we have just done 30 minutes of clean-up for a 6 minute art project. 
Kate wants a corn dog for lunch, not a hot dog. But she peels off all of the "bread" from the corn dog. Neddy eats an entire corn dog, a pile of green beans, a slice of cheese, and a cup of soy milk...and then poops again.
Kick-off for the Packer game. The moment of the day where Daddy becomes slightly useless. He can't see or hear anything other than Packers. Kate is trying to cheer with him so she just keeps screaming "Go Double D!" We are on defense. I decide to put Neddy down for her nap. Kate wants to use the iPod before nap. She tries to make things interesting by playing Peek-a-boo Barn with her nose. She is using her nose to tap the screen instead of her finger. 
Nap time for Kate. I put her to bed with her puppies, Ga's, pillow pet, bear, 2 towels, 5 blankets, 1 quilt, etc. She screams "Luv you guys!" which is what Daddy says to the girls when he puts them to bed. 
Now I sit with my Bloody Mary rehashing the morning for you. I am exhausted and I think I will take a nap so we can get up and repeat at 3:00.

Monday, November 5, 2012

I Can't Handle Even One More Day

Mom always said, "Two things you don't ever talk about with a mixed group are politics and religion. These subjects can change the mood very quickly and make new friends into enemies." 

Mom is a wise lady. However, no one seems to listen anymore. Politics is all I hear about on the news, commercials, phone calls, Facebook, etc. And most don't seem to be as irritated as me. Can you imagine the stir it would cause if the Pope called your house and wanted to talk religion with you? Yet, no one seems to be too upset when Bill Clinton calls to discuss voting on Tuesday. What's the difference? 

I don't think there is one.

So this isn't a blog post to tell you who I am going to vote for or who I think you should vote for. It is just to show you that all of these campaign ads/phone calls, etc does nothing but waste time, waste good commercial space, waste of money, and sometimes even waste friendships.

I was reading Time magazine and came across an interesting study by Georgia State University. 
They "gathered conservative and liberal students to test their resistance to factual information. First they as the group to read an article that included President George W. Bush's claim that his tax cuts had increased revenue for the U.S. Treasure which was provably false. they they added a factual correction: the Bush tax cuts led to a three-year decline in tax revenue from $2 trillion in 2000 to $1.8 trillion in 2003. The correction worked among liberals, but among conservatives it produced a curious backfire effect: conservatives were nearly twice as likely to say the Bush tax cuts increased revenue after they had been told this was not true."

They did the same study with a distortion to the liberals and it had the same effect. 

So, basically people are set in their ways and they are only going to take in the information that supports what they believe about their candidate. That means they aren't going to change their mind on which candidate is best to lead the US for the next four years. That means, 
AND PLEASE, just go back to funny cat videos or other make-me-laugh posts.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Let Me Tell You About Cool!

It was a chilly high of 45 degrees yesterday. I had recess duty and, just like every school year, there were several kids outside in short sleeves, shorts, dresses without tights, etc. Their reason? Winter coats are not cool. According to one student, "They make you look all chubby and fat!"
My poor, poor third graders! What has society done to you already?

For the last three years I have written persuasive pieces in my classroom trying to get kids to wear coats/hats/boots/(God-Forbid) snow-pants out to recess. Although I think I am a pretty adequate writer, I have convinced few students. The desire to be cool in front of your peers is a much stronger argument.
This year a will be taking a different approach...

You want to look cool? Let me tell you about cool! Let me paint a picture of how I used to dress to go outside and play:

First, I wore a blaze orange hat. I had to wear this because most of my play time was at Grandma's house up north. We had to wear something blaze orange so the hunters would easily spot us. Now blaze orange was a little easier for my camo-clad brothers and male cousins to match with but for a girl, blaze orange does not match pink or purple. At. All! But I sucked it up because I would rather the hunters not mistake me for a deer.

Second, I wore cotton in my ears. I am not entirely sure why Grandma had us wear cotton in our ears. I think it has something to do with ear infections. I am pretty sure she still wears cotton on very cold days. The purpose is not the point. The fact is, Grandma says "wear cotton" so we wore cotton....and we ROCKED it!

Third, Great-Grandma knitted our mittens for us. Every time we went to Great-Grandma's house she would grab a scrap or some cardboard and trace our hands so she could knit mittens for us. So sweet of her. But Great-Grandma was practical. She used the yarn that was on sale. The yarn that no one in their right mind would pay full price for. The yarn that often had a vomit color to it. This did not match blaze orange, pink, or purple. But you wore them because that is what you had and Great-Grandma made them for you. (I question the resistance to water with these mittens still. The moment you touched the snow, you got wet, which made you toss your mittens off and get cold anyway....)

Fourth, and most popular, I wore bread bags in my boots. This kept my feet/socks from getting wet if I had a leak in my boot. The bread bags were always longer than my boots so I was able to fold them over the outside and display the Wonder Bread logo proudly.

Now, my third graders, what do you say you toss on that North Face fleece of yours and the matching hat  and mittens, and head outside to play? Stop trying to be cool, we all know my cousins and siblings and I have set the bar pretty high.