Monday, February 27, 2012

A Moment, Just Now

Me: "Finish up your lunch guys, it's nap time."

Brighton: "Nooo, it's NOT nap time." (mumbles something else)

Me: "Excuse me?"

Brighton (raising her volume and looking me right in the eye): "I actually not like you anymore. I want daddy."

Me: "..."

I am so screwed.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Week in Pictures

Chris arrived back in Minnesota early this morning from yet another business trip. We do ok when he's gone, but I am so happy he's home now for the next couple of weeks. Being a solo parent is hard work, but it's also sort of lonely and hard to get motivated to do any more than maintain status quo.

Anyway, it wasn't a particularly inspiring week but I got some share-worthy shots. Not sure what's going on with the quality in some...they are all from my phone. It's been pretty gray and grim outside this week so perhaps a lack of natural light.

You know what's a great idea when your partner is out of town? Starting a sizeable home improvement project (no, not really, it's a terrible idea). I blogged before about the new play room I am creating for the kids, and job #1 was to paint it. I made a couple of distressing discoveries in the course of getting the first coat of paint on:

1) Behind one of the outlet covers was a collection of five or maybe six dead spiders. not do spiders. Dead or alive. When I first discovered them, I literally had to leave the room and do some deep breathing. Unfortunately my go-to Dead Bug Getter was out of town so I had to deal with them if I wanted to carry on with the project. I worked up the courage to go in there with the dusbuster and try to just suck them up as quickly as possible. When I tried to execute a quick suck-em-and-run move though, they were...oh god, I don't know, they were stuck or something. The dustbuster couldn't budge them. Again, I didn't want to cease forward progress til Chris got home over some stupid dead spiders so I did what any sane person would do. Stuck several layers of painters tape over the open outlet. You know, so they couldn't come back to life and crawl out and onto me (hey, I never said it was rational). Since I didn't have to look at them I was able to quickly do my cutting in around the area and carry on. I couldn't bring myself to remove the air vent covers on that wall though, for fear of what I might find in those. Ugh. They sucked to paint around.

2) There is a lot more wall space in that room than I thought. I used almost 3/4 of the single gallon I bought on just the first coat and it took me three days to get it done. Now I have to go back to Home Depot and get another gallon and spend another three days putting on the second coat, which everyone knows sucks more than the first coat because you don't have the satisfaction of seeing flat gray builder's paint getting covered up. Oh, and then I'm doing some detail painting. In a room that, more likely than not, my kids will only use to store their toys because they prefer to play out in the main family room area.

But I did let them each have a go with the paintbrush which they are still talking about two days later. Definitely the highlight of their weeks.

I have yet to teach her proper brush-holding

B's masterpiece

P grabbed the brush and went to work

He hasn't yet learned that if you're going to
graffiti something, best not to leave your
signature (but seriously, how awesome that
he casually just wrote his name!!)

I try to send Chris pictures and little videos of the kids when he is gone for more than a day or two. They will sort of talk to him on the phone, but they're still hard to understand so it's easier to make videos and snap pics of what we're up to so he feels connected. I got this one of Pacey building with blocks. He's just recently started building actual structures with blocks...pretty cool to see that developing.

Brighton likes to sit at our dining room window and look for birds (we get quite a few cardinals out in the trees in the winter). Anyway, the other morning she saw a squirrel right at the top of one of the trees and thought it was just the funniest thing ever. Every morning now she goes to look for "my squirrel," and if she doesn't see it we have to make up a story about where the squirrel is and what it might be doing.

Yesterday after we picked up Pacey from school I took the kids to get an ice cream cone. Pacey branched out and insisted on trying chocolate. I think he liked it.

Then we went to Target across the street where the kids lost their ever-loving minds and very, very nearly got left in the parking lot. What's that you say? Maybe it wasn't a good idea to amp them up on sugar and then confine them together in a small space while I perused bargains? Huh...

Not pictured: my morning bedhead which my husband
says reminds him of Kramer. HOTT.

And finally, a picture snapped at 6:45 this morning. It might make you hate me, but on a normal morning my kids stay in their rooms until we actually go up and get them around 7:30 to 8:00. Brighton has been in a big girl bed for months now and has never once come out of her room on her own. This morning I was having a cup of coffee and reading a book in bed when I heard a little voice from upstairs. I went up and Brighton was at her door, peeking out and letting me know with some urgency that she required assistance putting her baby's hat back on her head. At 6:45 am. Needless to say, the day got an earlier start than usual and so we all watched a couple of episodes of Go Diego Go and had some snuggle time. Not a terrible way to start a Friday.

We have a busy, busy weekend planned so I should have some good material for next week. Happy weekend, everyone!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Mommy Training

The reason I'm about to write a potty training update is not because I think a single solitary soul out there cares how successfully my daughter is controlling her bladder and bowel functions at the moment. Well, besides my husband. The look on his face when he's home and I tell him she's in big girl underpants is hilarious, as if he's been handed a loaded gun with an invisible trigger. Anyway, it's really more about marking the dramatic difference in my own anxiety levels and general ability to cope with parenting small children since I started this journey.

Potty training is celebrated as this huge accomplishment and something we're supposed to yearn for. "Oh, I can't wait to have all my kids out of diapers." Me? Not so much. How easy is it to carry a diaper and wipes with you, versus carrying a full change of clothes (you need extra socks, trust me on this) for a child who will, inevitably, inform you with some urgency that they need to use the facilities at the very moment you reach the very furthest point from said facilities. I hear about these people that practice elimination communication from very early ages (Google that), and the ones who eagerly watch their 15 month-olds for signs of potty readiness. More power to them, but that's definitely not my personal approach.

All this to say, I haven't been an enthusiastic potty trainer. When Pacey was three, I'd been hiding behind the fact that "children with Down syndrome often potty train later than their typically developing peers." And he's a boy. Not to mention that he had very little verbal communication at that time and struggled with removing the necessary clothing to use the toilet. Of course, I wasn't actually working towards him being able to do anything of these things either. It was his wonderful, wonderful preschool teachers that gently pushed me in the direction of letting him show us what he could do. I delivered him, clad in the tiniest little boxer briefs you've ever seen, and they took him religiously to the bathroom every 20 minutes. Now, I have a confession to make. Although I gave the appearance of being on board with this and being consistent at home, I TOTALLY WASN'T. I'd dress him in the morning in pants, a Pull-Up and then undies on top because I just couldn't bear the thought of an accident in the carseat. I'd load up the kids, drive the four blocks (literally) to the school, furtively tear the Pull-Up off and present him to his teachers as if he'd been in underwear all morning. Shameful right? Then after daycare, back into Pull-Ups he'd go until the next morning.

Somehow, despite this completely counterproductive approach I was taking, Pacey figured it out and he was pretty much potty trained. Even though he rarely had accidents, my stomach would literally churn when I was out and about with him, fearing that at any moment he'd erupt in a geyser of urine. When he had surgery a few months later and we temporarily put him back in diapers so we wouldn't be dealing with potty issues on top of everything else, I felt unbelievably relieved. Of course I totally shot myself in the foot because I then had to re-train him myself, but the hard work had been done for me.

So anyway, fast forward to now. I've been dragging my feet on potty training Brighton, despite her exhibiting many signs of potty readiness. Trips to the bathroom when we're out and about tend to be a nonstop stream of admonishments (increasing in volume and pitch) from me...don't lay down on the bathroom door, PLEASE DON'T OPEN THE DOOR WHILE I AM STILL USING THE TOILET, don't touch that, don't open that little box, that's enough toilet paper, etc. And logically, the frequency of these trips would (spoiler alert: they have) double with two kids out of diapers.

And you know, it's been a giant pain in the ass, I won't lie. Lots of accidents while she gets the hang of it, lots of setting alarms on my phone to remind ME to remind her, extra laundry, etc. But I've surprised myself in how frequently I've been able to just shrug my shoulders and get on with the inconveniences. She had an accident in her carseat, and no one died. In fact, I didn't even have time to remove the cover and wash/dry it between school runs so you know what? I just threw a towel in there and we survived. We were in McDonalds the other day (don't worry, I only let the kids order from the organic menu) and about halfway through our meal Brighton stood up on her chair and announced with consternation, "Oh no Mama, I SO wet!!" Indeed, she was very wet. Three years ago I'd probably have had a nervous breakdown at that point, but instead I just whisked them off to the bathroom, wiped her down, changed her pants and that was it.

Now, part of this metamorphosis is absolutely the fact that I am no longer juggling a full-time job in addition to everything else. I have the gift of time - time to focus on bladders the size of peas, time to do extra laundry, time to make it a priority. And part of it is undoubtedly the low dose of Zoloft I started taking a couple of years ago. But I also think, dare I say it, that part of it has to do with the fact I'm getting better at this. Better at being a mom, at putting the kids' needs first, at gritting my teeth and just getting on with the messier parts of it all. I'm grateful my kids have been patient with me as I learn.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pull Up a Chair

I was out with my friend Sharda last night (Ladies' Night, yahoo!) and we were talking about how sometimes, when you're friends with someone who lives far away you can get to a place where you haven't talked for so long you almost feel a paralysis in trying to connect again.

That's how I have been feeling with this blog lately. It's not that I haven't been popping in here and there with inane posts, but I keep waiting for that one big thing to prompt an in depth discussion of...well, something. I guess it's good that things have been relatively status quo, but there are a few things I've been meaning to at least write some notes about so this will be a big mish-mash of What's Been Happening.

I've been doing more of the planning tasks relating to Pacey starting school in the fall. Kindergarten here offers a lot of options; there is the half-day option, 2.5 hours five days a week. Pacey will do this regardless. Then there is a full-day option, which is a full academic day similar to first grade. Then there is a sort of in-between option where the afternoon portion of the day is spent in a smaller setting with more play-based reinforcement of the morning's curriculum and opportunities for one-on-one help. This is what I am leaning heavily towards, but still haven't decided how many full days a week we'll sign up for (you can do 3, 4 or 5). In the course of planning for the fall I've been investigating the summer options for both kids, as well as other classes and camps that Pacey can attend to make sure that he is ready to rock the kindergarten class in September (I'm 99% sure he'll be in a fully inclusive environment). It's a lot to research and consider, but I'm lucky to have some great people helping me figure out what's best.

We've actually been going out, like with friends and without kids! Actually we did a really fun Friday night out with the kids too that made it feel like we've turned a corner and have real little people that are enjoyable to hang out with rather than imperious little dictators. But anyway, we have had a few work functions for Chris, a couple of solo nights out for each of us and we have a couple of dinner parties we'll be hosting in the next month. It feels good to start expanding our circle outward a little. Perhaps the most gratifying gathering I've attended was one I set up with three other women I have met who all have little boys with Down syndrome. The boys are 20 months, 2, almost 4 and 5 (that's Pacey). Apart from two of the women who hadn't met before, we'd all met each other in various combinations at various functions. It was so, so nice to get together at one woman's house and chat about life and having children with Ds. I'm pretty sure all three are women I would not have met otherwise and it's so cool to see what Down syndrome can bring into your life. It's also nice for me because in general I have not been super comfortable attending larger events centered around Down syndrome awareness or support or whatever. I think that's more about my social nature - I prefer to have a smaller group of close friends than a huge group of casual acquaintances. Anyway, it was a wonderful evening, good for the soul, and I'm hoping we can do it every month or so.

Taming the She-Beast
I think we're getting a preview lately of what age 3 is going to have to offer. On the one hand, Brighton has been utterly charming. Talking up a storm, saying some quite witty things at times and generally applying her natural enthusiasm to almost everything we do. On the other hand, she is developing a bit (well, a bit MORE) sass. The whole 1-2-3 Magic concept has worked pretty well for us with her, despite the fact I've never exactly made it clear what happens when I get to 3. Anyway, the other day I started 'counting' her, and she put one hand on her hip, held the other hand up "Talk to the Hand" style and said, "No, don't count." It was really, really hard not to laugh at her. She's also told me to "just stop talking, Mama" when I'm asking her to do something. It's all fairly small potatoes so far, but her own developing sense of self combined with her epic strong will is going to make for some interesting battles. Oh, and this week she appears to be on a nap strike. I'm really looking forward to a time when my schedule is not dependent on getting anyone home to nap, but the reality is that she still needs the sleep. Things are tending to fall apart around 5:00 and I think we'll have to move bedtime up a little (aw, darn).

Bleeding Ears
Hands down the hardest thing for me about parenting these ages is the constant need to engage. I'm perfectly fine with a comfortable silence, but my children don't seem to have inherited that from me. It's a real challenge with Pacey because, although he's talking SO MUCH MORE and it's truly awesome to hear his cute little gravelly voice, he doesn't speak very loudly and is still hard to understand if I'm not looking at his face. He especially likes to talk in the car, when I can't turn around to see him and doesn't usually respond when I ask him to say it louder. I can only imagine how frustrating it is for him...more often than not I have to give up until we're stopped and by then he's forgotten about it. I love to feel needed and I love it that I am the absolute epicenter of my kids' worlds for this fleeting time, but by the end of the day I am just done with the constant chatter.

Winter Blahs
I know it's like a broken record around here when it comes to weather-talk, but I have really, really hit a wall with this winter. I'm fantasizing about playgrounds and longing for days of just leaving the house without a big production. This is about the time that both kids got so sick last year and Pacey ended up in the hospital for a week, so I am feeling more wary than usual about exposing them to huge groups of kids indoors. This has resulted in a LOT of home time and it's been harder than usual to muster up any enthusiasm to do more than plod forward to spring. But! I am forcing myself to tackle the playroom project and picked up some paint samples today to help pick my color scheme. As soon as I decide on that, I'll paint and then it's a big trip to IKEA for lots of cool storage and decorating purchases. I finally jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon and that's been a good source of ideas for the project as well as other activities to do with the kids. Are you on Pinterest?

I used to listen to BBC Radio 1 on satellite radio in the car. It was a true tragedy when they didn't renew their contract and at that point I pretty much gave into the kids' desire to listen to their tunes in the car (namely a CD provided by Brighton's school of the songs they listen to during their circle/dance time). Anyway, after awhile it makes me want to stick hot forks into my eardrums so I'm trying to get them into something more in line with my own tastes. Clearly hip-hop has to wait a few years so I am beginning their country music education. In my experience, a non-country-lover has to get hooked on one song and it acts as a gateway that end I've introduced Need You Now by Lady Antebellum. Now, the theme is obviously rather adult and they mention being drunk, but otherwise it's a fairly benign song and one I don't mind listening to over and over. They call it Mommy's Song. Anyway, here's Brighton rocking out...I think I might have her hooked :)

Valentine's Day
You may recall I was taking the kids to a dance on the Friday night before V-Day. C was still on his business trip and hey, a preschool dance about as exciting as things get around here. Anyway, Pacey and Brighton had an absolute blast, no one peed where they weren't supposed to, and their behavior was great despite being out past their bedtimes and also consuming much, much more sugar than they are accustomed to.

They did NOT get their love of public dancing
from me. 

She was so excited and proud that this awesome
thing was happening at HER school. 
And Valentine's Day itself was lovely. The kids got little treats and heart-shaped food, I received Godiva chocolates and didn't have to cook dinner. Can't ask for much more.

Behold my pizza-making skills. Please ignore
the schmoopy card that accidentally made
it into the frame. 

So I think that just about brings us up to date. Here's hoping for a more regular posting schedule going forward.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Lost in Translation

What I say: "Please sit down in that chair, it's not safe to stand up."
What they hear: "Please lean harder against the back of that chair. It's exhilarating to watch and wonder whether today is the day you'll tip over and crack your head open."

What I say: "Sitting in your carseat is NOT. NEGOTIABLE."
What they hear: "Garden variety opposition is not going to cut it on this one. Perhaps if you arch your back and kick your legs at my face, I will consider allowing you to just drive the car."

What I say: "Please move your cup back from the edge of the table and try not to spill."
What they hear: "Pour one out for your homies. I need to mop anyway."

What I say: "You can have the iPad as soon as you are buckled into the cart."
What they hear: "I am an evil sorceress who has confiscated the iPad forevermore. Please relay your response at top volume."

What I say: "Next time, tell Mama when you need to go poop so we can go to the potty."
What they hear: "Oh how I love rinsing poop out of these adorable little underpants."

What I say: "In a minute, I need to finish doing this."
What they hear: "If you really want me to help you, you will need to repeat the request incessantly at increasing volumes or I might forget that you asked."

What I say: "Go get in the bath."
What they hear: "Please run naked into your sibling's room, laughing hysterically and shouting, 'Come get me mama!'"

What I say: "Go put your coats on, we're going to be late."
What they hear: "Blah blah blah de blah."

What I say: "I love you so much."
What they hear: "Tomorrow you should probably try harder to make me completely lose my mind."

Friday, February 10, 2012


Love: It's Friday and that means my husband's business trip is nearly over.

Hate: He's been gone since last Saturday and it's been a looooooong week. My patience is at an all time low. I've eaten bean burritos three times for dinner. That's a lot even for me.

Love: It's been an exceptionally mild winter so far here in MN.

Hate: Regardless, it's still winter. I'm over it. I hate being cold. There's no snow to sled on or play in. Most days recently have been warm enough that the dogs come in with muddy feet. I'm so tired of mopping our light gray tiles.

Love: Recently I've started a tradition of pancakes for breakfast on Fridays. It makes me feel like a good mom to give my kids pancakes for breakfast on a weekday.

Hate: This morning B managed to catapult her cup of orange juice off the table in such a way that it sprayed ALL OVER the dining room. Sticky mess. More mopping. UPDATED TO ADD: I'm not even kidding, P just spilled his cup too. I quit this day.

Love: I found and ordered really cute personalized valentines for the kids on Etsy.

Hate: I'm not 100% sure they are going to arrive in time.

Love: I'm a really still sleeper so when C is gone making the bed is a snap.

Hate: Putting a freshly washed duvet cover on our winter-weight king-sized duvet by myself is surprisingly difficult.

Love: We're going to spend the morning helping a friend pack and ship the products her small business sells.

Hate: B is insisting on wearing big girl underpants today so there is a better-than-average chance she's going to pee somewhere in my friend's house.

Love: I'm taking the kids to a Valentine's Day dance at B's school tonight. They have this awesome local kids' DJ coming and I think they'll have a blast.

Hate: There is also a better-than-average chance that B will pee somewhere at the dance as well.

Love: My city has a really great system of sending you an alert when your water meter reading indicates you might have a leak somewhere.

Hate: The reason I know this is that I just received one such alert.

I'm off to hunt leaks and, most likely, call and beg someone to come out and tell me what the heck is going on. Happy weekend all.

Monday, February 6, 2012

In Which I Use the Word "Awesome" a Lot

So I've mentioned a few times how much I hope my kids are readers. Every day that goes by they get more and more into books which makes my heart so happy. So imagine my excitement when we arrived at the Minnesota Children's Museum yesterday to see that their feature exhibit is based on classic children's story books.

The kids weren't familiar with every single book featured, but they are well acquainted with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, The Snowy Day, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and the Find Spot series. The exhibits were interactive, imaginative and just so incredibly awesome. I think I just added Create Awesome Children's Museum Exhibits to my list of dream jobs.

Pacey's favorite by far was the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree. If you're not familiar with this story, it's about the letters of the alphabet climbing up a coconut tree and subsequently falling out. Anyway, they had a huge coconut tree with a vertical conveyer belt that had little shelves you could put these wooden letter tiles on and watch them go up the tree and then shoot out the bottom of the tree. I literally couldn't drag Pacey away from it. The coolest thing was that when I watched what he was doing, I noticed that he was selecting a letter tile and then waiting for the matching letter shelf to come up the conveyer belt so he could put the letter on the "correct" shelf. It's so interesting to watch this kid in action. Sometimes it can seem like he's using a toy or activity in a really strange way, but there is always a method to his madness.

My favorite exhibit was The Snowy Day. There was a path you could walk that was printed with Peter's footsteps pointing "out like this" and "in like that." The coolest thing was that as you stepped onto the beginning of the path, speakers played a recorded sound of feet crunching in the snow. So, so cool.

I could go on for a long time about the ingenuity of these exhibits but I'll just share some pictures instead. Not pictured would be the moment at which I lost Brighton (thanks to an observant employee I found her right away in an adjacent alcove) and that other incident where Pacey got into an elevator by himself. Thankfully he didn't push a button for another floor so I was able to retrieve him without dashing up and down flights of stairs. Always an adventure with these two.

Mr. MacGregor's farm stand

Putting Peter Rabbit to bed

Giant game of Operation in the Grossology

There was an anthill maze in the nature
exhibit, featuring oversized insects lurking
in dark corners. The kids loved it but I spent
the whole time praying I wouldn't have to go
in and rescue anyone. *shudder*

Absolutely awesome behavior and endless
energy until it was time to go and then
they lost their collective minds and use of
their legs. 

Oh, and I know it's juvenile, but I love that I have kids old enough to appreciate the humor in an exhibit designed around the less savory functions of the human body. Think: giant man who "drinks" soda and lets out belches, a Vomit Center, smell tests for the various gross smells produced by bacteria in our bodies, an explanation of the origin of farts, etc. So awesome.

Friday, February 3, 2012


Just over a month into the year seems like a good time to check in on my To Do list for 2012.

1. Actively practice random acts of kindness. 

FAIL. I was a total hermit in January and while I made a point of being nice and friendly to people I encountered along our routes, I did not go out of my way to do anything unexpected. Must do better.

2. Read 50 books. 

Doing well on this one. So far I have read: Nice to Come Home To by Rebecca Flowers, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews and The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball. The last one was nonfiction, so that takes care of one of the five I'd like to read. Currently in my stack to read are: The Orchard by Theresa Weir, Set This House in Order by Matt Ruff and I am in the middle of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. My next book club selection is Cinderella Ate My Daughter and I suggested it so I better get cracking on that one too.

I'd love to give away my copy of The Fault in Our Stars. I absolutely loved it, bawled like a baby and would like to give someone else a chance to enjoy it. First one to leave me a comment gets it.

3. Continue this blog. 

Eh, I'm doing ok. Haven't felt all that inspired but I have gotten some memories preserved.

4. Exercise. 

I've actually been doing really well on this. I love having the elliptical right here at home, and I made it to the gym to do some weights as well. I have been fighting a cold for the last week or so but plan to get back to it as soon as I'm feeling better.

5. Go paperless. 

I signed up for auto bill pay to my electric company, so that's one less check I'm writing a month. Progress.

6. Nurture friendships. 

I give myself a solid B on this one. We didn't do much in the way of attending MOMS Club activities in January, but I managed a night out with friends, a couple of family dinner parties and generally kept in contact with people. My best effort came to fruition last night, which I'll write about in a different post.

7. Potty train B. 

Hmmm. Well, we're making progress. Neither of us is traumatized by the situation yet and I'm not doing loads and loads of pee laundry, but I did just place an order for more Pull-Ups. I'm cool with where we are.

8. Redesign the basement. 

We've made a little progress here, but I give us an A anyway for the impromptu kitchen project. We have two dinner parties here in the next six weeks so I imagine that will continue to motivate us to move forward.

9. Library trips. 

Doing mostly ok on this. We've actually been sort of busy with appointments and things so we haven't been in a couple of weeks. Going on my list for next week.

10. Pay attention to my marriage. 

I think Chris and I have been on more dates this year than most of last year already so I'd say we're doing pretty well. February sort of stinks because he has a long trip and a couple shorter ones for work and a weekend ice fishing trip. I guess I'll have plenty of time to work on #s 2, 3 and 4 while he's away.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


February, you beauty. There is so much to like about February: it's my dad's birthday month, it's the anniversary of my first date with Chris, Valentine's Day (the third best candy holiday), fewer days, more light and this year especially, lots of pleasing dates. Like today, 2/1/12.

Anyway, I do want to check in on my Not Resolutions but a couple of orders of business first.

1. At the ripe old age of two years and nine months, Brighton told me her first real lie. I had just finished strapping Pacey into the car and came back inside to get her. She pointed to her hand and told me it was "really owie." There was no evidence she had actually been crying, and no visible marks on her hand. I gave her my usual light sympathy (too much tends to reinforce the fake injuries) and she said, "Simon bite me." Now, I know dogs are animals and you never know when a dog could snap and all the rest of it, but Simon did NOT bite her. I know this for a fact. I don't even need to go into all the reasons why I know this, because the most irrefutable is that he was nowhere in her vicinity.

It's interesting actually, because she's been really focused on biting lately. She talks a lot about monsters biting her and I repeat about 35 times a day "There's no such thing as monsters, monsters are just pretend." (side note: I always feel uncomfortable telling her this because I know full well that there are plenty of monsters in the world. Just not the sort she's imagining. I hope it's many, many years before she realizes my own lie). Anyway, I think this was just another experiment to see my reaction. I didn't make a big deal out of it, but it's a good indicator that we can start working in some discussions about truth into our days.

2. I read one of the best blog posts I've ever read the other day. I literally got chills reading it. Although I am ashamed of the feelings, I am not ashamed to admit that I had a moment like she describes with each of my babies. If you can't or don't want to read the post, the author talks about a moment of complete and utter frustration with her fussy baby interrupting an attempt to spend time with her husband. She was just at the very end of her rope and found herself in that ugly place where you can imagine doing something awful to your baby. The vast (VAST) majority of us never do that thing, but it is easy to see how someone could find themselves so overwhelmed, so isolated and so blinded by what motherhood asks of us that a bad thing could happen. A big trigger for me used to be trying to put a baby to bed so I could eat dinner, only to hear crying as soon as I was about to take a bite. In retrospect, the solution is so easy - eat a snack before putting the baby to bed, or even eat dinner earlier. But I felt, like the author of this blog, that I just wanted to do this ONE THING (eat dinner with my husband) and the baby wouldn't LET ME. Anyway, one of the things I find so amazing about blogs in general is the opportunity to connect with other people and share experiences - both good and bad. Maybe you'll find solace in knowing that babies (and kids in general) bring us all to the brink sometimes.

3. A commenter asked me about the snow painting we did; she wondered whether we used food coloring to color the water because she thought that would stain. Well, Amy, funny story about that. Snow painting was one of those ideas I'd read about and thought yeah, that would totally make me a good mom if we did that. I'd read that liquid water colors work well but couldn't find any at the particular store I went to so I did use food coloring. When we got outside, I discovered that the kids couldn't spray with their mittens on so they had to take them off. Luckily it wasn't too terribly cold but it wasn't ideal.  So then Pacey started spraying the house. We have vinyl siding and I wasn't sure whether it would stain that, so I was frantically going along behind him rubbing at the sprays with snow trying to get it off. Then the kids started spraying each other. I'm not too anal about stains and stuff on clothes, but they do have to wear their snow gear for another couple of months so I wasn't too happy about that. Then one pushed the other down. Recall they were not wearing mittens and cue meltdowns about cold, wet hands. At this point I may or may not have completely lost my temper, hauled everyone inside and abandoned the spray bottles in the garage, muttering all the while about stupid freaking winter "fun."

So, Amy, I've heard liquid watercolors work great, or maybe powdered tempera paint if you can find washable? Alternatively you could just throw some dye on your kids' clothes, rub their hands with ice and get your dog to pee in the snow and save yourself getting cold ;)

Hmm, this post is long enough already and I have a school run to do. Resolution check-in tomorrow.