Friday, August 31, 2007


So, turns out 3 1/2 is not the right age to take your kid to the toy store and let them pick out a birthday gift to give a friend. Who knew? Actually, I knew, so I devised a plan. I was going to buy a toy that we already had, one I thought the friend would enjoy. This way, there wouldn't be any screaming, fit-throwing, or crying because Olivia wanted the toy for herself, for we already had the toy on the shelf in our playroom. Brilliant, I know. I should put this stuff in a book and sell millions.

One problem, the toy store forgot to keep the toy in stock.

When Mike called saying he needed to work late tonight, I thought, we'll run up to Northpark, grab the toy and run back home to meet him for dinner. There is an entrance right by the toy store, perfect. I showed Olivia the toy I thought we should get for the gift. She agreed, perfect.

Everything was going according to my perfect plan until we got in the toy store, went back to the puzzle rounder and the puzzle wasn't there. I searched the puzzle rounder an extra three times, it still wasn't there. As I stood there perplexed, completely unable to have a conscious thought about what to do now, Olivia pokes me and says "I need to go to the bathroom."

You must know Olivia is really good at picking difficult times to say she needs to go to the bathroom, usually when there isn't one for a good 3 miles. Well, we rush out of the store, find a nice clean, mall bathroom, do our business and then go back to the toy store. I search and find a toy that seems suitable. We purchase it and we leave. Perfect. Olivia didn't ask for one toy. She didn't whine once. Thomas was happy as a lark in the stroller. I was SuperMommy.

Then we get home. Olivia pulls the toy out of the bag and asks if it is hers. I say no, that is for her friend who is having a birthday party tomorrow. She proceeds to fall on the floor screaming, throwing a fit, and crying. She is excused to her room, where she continues to throw an even bigger and louder fit. Man, life is hard when you are 3.

About 5 minutes later, she comes out and says (and I quote) "Can you read me a book, mommy? I think it will help me calm down."

In that moment I thought, maybe I am getting something right. Maybe she won't need therapy when this is all over. Maybe.

(I can't get blogger to let me upload a picture, or I would share some scrumptious adorableness with you. Hopefully soon.)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Over Budget

(Yes, my blog looks different. I decided to play with the other templates. Maybe this one is too dark, or colorful, or something....I can't decide)


Mike and I are a little weird when it comes to budgeting. We categorize everything we spend, down to the penny. Every receipt is hand entered and accounted for in our wonderful computer program created just for this purpose. It has made me slightly obsessed. My nickname around here is the Budget Nazi. Maybe it is not such a good thing.

Now, just because we scrutinize our spending constantly, doesn't mean we always stick to the budget. Every month we seem to go over in grocery spending, usually due to our ridiculous spending on fast food. And when I say over, I am talking hundreds, not ones. Really, it is out of control.

Always there is an excuse. We had meals to take to the sick or newly babied. There was nothing to eat for lunch after church so we had to drive through Wendy's (funny when my grocery shopping day is Saturday...). Thomas must have organic baby food, name brand diapers and special formula, for what parent would deny their heart patient son such luxuries?

Well, soon he went to generic diapers, for what parent paying for heart surgery can afford LUVS? It helped, but it wasn't enough. Then he started eating off our plates, instead of from the expensive reusable organic baby food plastic containers. Also helpful. And finally this month he started whole milk. It was huge. I had been concerned, fretted even, that we would have so start toddler formula. So many kids I have read about with Thomas' syndrome have eating issues. Whether it be because of extreme pickiness, texture defensiveness or out right refusal, some of the boys were still being supplemented with formula.

Now, Olivia never took to milk. She just wouldn't drink it, from a bottle or sippy cup. I had reason to fret. Thomas is barely on the growth chart, like 3rd percentile. There is little wiggle room here when it comes to the scales. More reason to fret.

Well, I met with the dietitian and we devised a plan. Guess what? The plan worked! In two weeks Thomas was on whole milk only, drinking it like a champ from a sippy cup, and later a straw cup. Yea! Go, Thomas, Go Thomas. Really, it has been so great to have an area where he is completely age appropriate.

Now back to the budget. Did whole milk save us? Was formula the culprit all along? As of today, I am only $9 over budget. That is amazing. The only problem is we have 3 diapers left in the drawer. Ouch. Guess we are going to have to start working on potty training that boy.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Group Play

So the basic difference between a playdate and a playgroup is the number of people. Today we had about 15 of Olivia and Thomas' friends and mom's over to play. Probably a category 4 playgroup.

This was only our second time to host playgroup with the Early Childhood PTA. The first time was fine. There were three boys Olivia's age and another sibling that was Thomas' age. The kids who came seemed to have a fun, however Olivia clung to me almost the entire time. The mom's chatted, as usual. There were snacks which hardly anyone ate. Overall successful.

Today there were 8 moms, 9 three-year-olds, 7 one-year-olds and two newborns. It was a party. This time I hardly even saw Olivia. I had forgotten to buy snacks, so of course everyone was hungry. (Luckily my SuperMommy friends came to my rescue.) There was hardly much chatting due to the fact you couldn't finish a conversation before somebody needed to be taken to the bathroom, or helped down the stair, or fed a snack. Just about every toy we own was licked, thrown or played with. And of course there were frogs, for every good playgroup needs frogs.

Here are the kids looking at the frogs eating the web worms we caught (die, web worms, die!). I will have to elaborate on the frogs in another post, it will only bog this one down. And, no that is not a real baby on the other side of the aquarium, or in this case, terrarium. It is just a very real
looking doll.

The moms got the most enjoyment out of the dressing up that was going on. Oh, the careless life of a three-year-old. They have no idea what will come back to haunt them in their teenage years...

I didn't take any pictures of the aftermath. No need to scare Mike, or any of you for that matter. I don't want to be the cause of you never signing up to host playgroup in your own home. It really is a gift to be in a room of women who are in your same life stage, trying to feel your way through a foreign land. It is freeing, it is comfortable, it is what made today a great day.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Learning English

Today while leaving church and carrying Olivia out to the car, I commented on how big she was getting. Very concerned she said "I want to keep being holded." It took me a minute to understand what she was trying to say, and when I did, my heart melted. I love the grammatical mistakes these days, saying her instead of she, foots instead of feet. It is such a perfect reminder of her age, her innocence, and how she is just trying to figure things out. I want her to keep being holded, too.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


For the longest time we thought Thomas had a severe hearing problem. This stemmed from a lot of things, like the fact that he rarely startles, is hard to wake up and is not interrupted by noise. When he wasn't responding in fear to the vacuum cleaner, I began to really get worried. We scheduled hearing tests, but they were always cancelled due to illness. Then one day he startled. He turned to his name. And he started crying when the vacuum cleaner came on. I was no longer very worried. Annoyed that I had to now carry my baby while vacuuming to keep him from screaming in fear, yes. Worried that he was deaf, no.

Then last week our air conditioning slowly started getting louder and louder. Finally it maxed out at a mind numbing hissing like, ticking like, screeching sound that nearly drove me crazy. Literally. I could not stop complaining about it. I think what made it worse was that when it wasn't running it sounded absolutely silent in comparison, and then VROOMHISS it would kick back on, infuriating me. We watched a movie Saturday night about two feet from the tv. It was the only way we could hear what they were saying when the AC kicked on, even with our volume maxed out. And I am not exaggerating. Infuriating.

What was weird to me was that our kids never even noticed. Not once did Olivia ask what was that sound (maybe she was too afraid that by bringing it up steam would begin seeping from my ears). Thomas didn't even flinch. Not once did he look up, or stop what he was doing when it kicked on. Nothing.

Then miraculously the AC healed itself. At 3 am on Sunday night (Monday morning?) I got up with Olivia (who was going to the bathroom, and seems incapable to do so without one of us getting up with her) and the AC was running and I could barely hear it. No hissing, no ticking, barely even a hum. I think I smiled in my sleep for the rest of the night.

The next day I went to vacuum the living room. Thomas was awake and playing in his saucer, but I thought for sure it would be no big deal since he had given no notice to the demon possessed AC, why would he even look up for the mild mannered vacuum cleaner? Boy was I wrong. Immediately he lost it, and truly, crying is so unlike him. Fuss, yes, but cry? Hardly ever.

So the scientist in me is perplexed. Is my hypothesis all wrong that it is the noise that scares him? Is it possible that he understands the function of the vacuum and fears being sucked up with the goldfish crumbs? Oh, to get into that little head of his. It would make house cleaning so much easier.

And for the SEVEN of you that voted for the calendar picture (I am really trying hard not to take this as a blow to my ego), no, Super Mommy did not show up at the appointment on the 14th. Man, I could have called it. We all layed down for a nap, and then I rolled over and looked at my watch and it said 3:59. The appointment was at 4:15. We ran out the door, shoes in hand and I drove in a safe, mad fashion to the clinic. There was little chance for SuperMommy. Anyway, the good news is that I know how to pick good friends, and Carole, the mom of the other adorable DOC band baby, sent in four snap shots. The bad news is we are competing with babies from all over the United States, not just our little Dallas office like I thought. So maybe we won't get in. And maybe I really am becoming a showbiz mom. I am going to have to watch it.

Monday, August 6, 2007

SuperMommy Wanna-Be

So I will admit, I love the feeling of accomplishment when I pull off a SuperMommy moment. SuperMommy can thwart any attack of the whines, she handles all tantrums with poise and patience, she never runs out of healthy snacks, wipes, or antibacterial gel and she always has an extra change of clothes for accidents not just for her kids, but for any kid at the playground.

SuperMommy makes rare sitings around here lately. Like last week I took my kids over to my dad's house to nap so I could go to the dentist and I had no bottle, no formula, no lovey blankets. Even after a trip home to get the forgotten bottle and formula I STILL had no lovey blankets. Happy napping! Or when I took the kids to Scottish Rite for Thomas to be measured for orthotics. A visit I thought would take mere minutes. I mean his feet are only 3 1/2 inches long, how long could it take to measure them? Turns out it took about an hour and a half and I had no snacks, no books, no toys, not even a sippy cup of water. Olivia was not thrilled.

So Thursday night when I was walking through Northpark Mall alone, on my way to make a return and my husband calls asking where Thomas' pacifier was, my heart sank. Both of the ones I knew of were in the car, in the diaper bag that my hands were too full to carry in when we came home from the doctor earlier that day. I could hear Thomas crying in the background and I knew the frustration Mike felt. I gave him the grim news and hung up. But wait, what's that? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it's SuperMommy! Braincells start firing and I remember, I had put a runaway-paci-found in the dishwasher that afternoon. I dial home and relish in my moment of saving my husband from a torturous bedtime, for trying to give medication without a pacifier is a difficult task, as it aides so nicely in the swallowing that is necessary.

Victory at last.

Now I have a favor to ask. I need your help picking the best picture to submit of Thomas and his friend Hunter to a calendar photo contest. And for those of you worried that I am becoming the next Lynn Spears, fear not. I don't even think it is fair to call it a contest, as it appears that as many pictures as can fit are in the calendar. Anyway, here's the story.

My dear friend Carole has a son who also has had to wear a DOC band. In fact, the boys got them only a week apart. For Thomas' birthday, Carole has Thomas' helmet painted like a Cowboys football helmet just like her sons. So when we heard that the DOC band company was having a calendar photo contest, we knew our boys would be a shew in for the cover (that is as long as those people over there at DOC band have more sense than Babygap).

We had our photo shoot this weekend and now we need your opinion on which one to submit.

Picture 1
I will edit out the red line.

Picture 2
I like that you can see the stars

Picture 3

Not a candidate, but how cute is this picture.

So this is how this works. You pick the picture you like. You click on comments at the end of this entry. You post a comment, either as a member (if you have a blog on blogspot) or as anonymous, which you will have to sign your name in your comment if you want me to know who you are.

So vote people! Exercise your right as an Internet user!

And let's all hope that SuperMommy will show up to Thomas' helmet check appointment on the 14th with a printed copy of the winning picture and a copy on disc, for that is the last day to enter. (And seriously, every month of the 2006 calendar probably had 20 snap shots of kids in helmets. This is not the Mr. Universe Pagent.)