Mar 28, 2006

Sew Girl

3/28/2006 — cori
So...guess what I'm doing right now? Making a costume. Do you think I even know how to sew? Nope. But my kids think I do - that's all that motivates me. :) Since one can never have enough costumes in this house, we decided to make one main costume, out of the color of their choice. Then attach to that, whichever super hero logo we choose to be that fine day. Of course these logos will be interchangeable and removable in one fail swoop. Velcro does wonders! Now I don't have to buy 29 more costumes...I just have to sew for the next 2 months. This is not going to be a pretty sight. But my kids will be happy and that's all that matters, right?!

Actually, right now, I'm procrastinating...it's far easier for me to write about sewing than to actually sew. I'm not even sure how to read the instructions - they just confuse me even more. So, I decided to wing it. Who needs directions anyhow? Not my husband. If he can put stuff together without directions, so can I.

As far as my sewing history goes...I've sewn a shirt to my bed (accidentally, of course) while I was attempting to sew a button back on one of Chuck's work shirts. Let's see, I've also 'helped' my Mom sew curtains for our windows. My helping entailed being the all important 'cutter' and 'holder' and 'pinner'. Tasks I will now bestow upon my children as they get in my...er, I mean, as they try to 'help' me. Once, when I was allowed to actually sit at the sewing machine, I couldn't even sew a straight line and ended up sewing the front and back of the curtain together in a part that was not supposed to be together.

And let's not even talk about figuring out how much fabric you need. There are some major equations going on there. I am not one to do math in public. I would rather suffer the humiliation on my own and have to run back for more fabric later or cut off all the extra. But if I have to pull out formulas and start doing conversions in front of the fabric lady to determine how much I need, she will surely hone in on my facade and yell out for all the other 'real sewers' to see that I am an imposter sewer.

Thankfully, my children don't know or just don't care that I can't really sew. I'm their Mom and in their eyes, I can do anything. Let's hope they're still that optimistic once they see the costumes I make them. I will really need to do a follow up story here and present to you a visual once my line of costumes rolls out - who knows, I might just have to start up a side business. Here I go...I'm off to sew!

P.S - Can anyone tell me what a flange is??? I know it's a sewing term and I'm supposed to cut out four of them, but, for the life of me, I can't figure out why. I might just have to consult those directions after all.

Mar 23, 2006

I Didn't Mean To...

3/23/2006 — cori
Bennett and Chloe have this 'thing'. Everytime he has to go potty, he invites his sister along with him. Actually, its more like a command rather than an invitation as in: "Chloe, don't you want to go to the bathroom with me?" If she ever refuses, he refrases his question in a more irrisistible way, "Chloe, I'm going to the bathroom now...don't you want to come with me?" Seriously, the kid would rather hold it than go into that dreaded small space alone. None of this concerns me, of course, since I just see it as Bennett usurping my role in potty training Chloe. More power to him!

All that said, they were in the bathroom together tonight and we didn't think anything of it - that is, until he comes out alone. We ask him where Chloe is. "Hmmm" he says, as he gives us his best impression of a puzzled look, including wrinkled eyebrow and all. "Well...." (beware of any sentence that Bennett speaks that begins with the phrase 'well' - it's just his stall tactic for coming up with a really good excuse - he's just buying time). He continues with, "...I just wanted to protect Chloe, so I locked her in there."

Oh really, how would that be protecting her? We sent him back to go unlock the door for his sister when she suddenly appeared before our eyes - much to Bennett's surprise. He runs over and gives her a little hug, like he was glad to see her. Then he questions how in the world she was able to open the lock. She just replies, "daw" (her word for door) and gives a big smile. Well, there you have it, that answers alot of questions.

We hurriedly went about the rest of our evening activities. It came time for me to put Chloe to bed. As I was cuddling her, Bennett comes walking into her room. His conscience must really have been eating at him. He goes over to the side of the bed, takes his hat off and holds it in front of him and says, "Chloe, I didn't mean to lock you in the bathroom, I was just trying to protect you, that's all." She just looks at him, then she decides to reply, "la lu" (love you). To which Bennett smiles humbly and says, "I love you too, Chloe, but I'm sorry I locked you in there." Chloe says, "oh tay" (okay) and all is forgiven and forgotten. He leaves with peace in his heart that his little sister still knows of his unstoppable love.

No one promted him to go in there. He did it all on his own accord. He has such a soft spot for his sister. He acts as if its his mission in life to teach her everything she must know, to protect her from any harm and to dress her in his underwear and make her go to the bathroom with him. He's definitely raising the bar for anyone who dare's to be her future husband!

Mar 22, 2006

Coasters

3/22/2006 — cori
The other night I gave the boys a break and set the table for them. Nice of me, I know. (I hope you see my tongue in cheek here). Actually, they had been so sweet all day just helping out where needed without any argument or complaining. So, instead of asking them to do their nightly chore, I did it for them because I had a plan in mind.

We have two 'special' plates. One that says: You Are Loved on it and another that the boys painted themselves at a pottery shop. They both hold high value in this house. Everynight at least one person has the honor of the You Are Loved plate. Normally that one person is always me. Gavin is in love with me right now and always prefers to give me that special plate much to Bennett's shagrin. Bennett feels he deserves this plate every night.

So, on this very special day, I decided to set the table and distribute the 'special' plates at my own discression. I gave Bennett the You Are Loved plate and Gavin the painted plate. Since they had such special plates, I decided to round out the setting and even give them a coaster on which to place their drinks. Normally, their plates fit inside their little plastic placemat area leaving enough room for the drinks to also fit without the need for a coaster.

But this was no ordinary night. I even set their plastic little cups on coasters. This attention to detail did not escape Bennett's line of sight. As they came running into the kitchen for dinner and settled into their places, Bennett declares, "Gavin, look....we even have COASTERS!"

Ahh! The simple things in life. Therein lies our parenting philosophy...it's the little things in life that matter most and make you the happiest. I know I won't remember this moment in the years to come, but they will. And I will always be thankful that I took the time to give them coasters.

Mar 20, 2006

Tentacles

3/20/2006 — cori
Right now the boys are upstairs playing Spiderman…I’m not exactly sure how one ‘plays’ Spiderman. From the sounds of it, it involves lots of jumping, making noises like one is jumping and singing about jumping and web slinging. There is also the occasional conversation. The one I’m hearing now involves Doc Oc (as in, octopus) – he is one of the bad guys. He is a guy with mechanical tentacles coming out of some mysterious place on his back. Gavin is narrating something that sounds like this...”okay…his testicles are still hanging there…uh oh…now they're stuck on my face!...ahhh!” I had to stop and laugh at what a slight variation in letter placement of the word ‘tentacles’ has the ability to turn into! Of course, he’s clueless and that’s what makes this moment so funny. Innocence is a beautiful thing.

In Chloe's Opinion

3/20/2006 — cori
Keep in mind, Chloe is still a month shy of two years old, yet she already has formed very extreme opinions about the world around her. To call her opinionated is an understatement. Not only does she feel free to give you her opinion, she also demands that you agree with her and make any and all changes necessary inorder to accomodate her. For example...

Today, since we didn't plan on leaving the house, I decided to wear a very pathetic looking outfit. Afterall, I was just going to be bumming around the house, who cares what I wear, right? I was soon to find out that Chloe did. So, there I am in my brown overalls and white t-shirt. Chloe wakes up and comes running over to me to greet me. But upon further examination, she stepped back, looked at me and made the 'yuck' look on her face accompanied with her special 'yuck' sound. This look and sound are typically reserved solely for her dirty diapers.

Now I'm being compared to a dirty diaper. Not quite the outlook I had envisioned for this lovely day. After her very verbal disagreement of my clothing choice, she pulls at my overalls and says, "New. New clothes, Mommeeee." I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry. My daughter thinks I look yucky today. Where are all the 'pripee Mommeee' praises? I don't think I can survive a day with such disapproving looks and comments coming from my tiny dear. So, I reply, "Chloe, you don't like my clothes today?" I receive an adamant "No!" This word, she says very well of course. She likes to practice it many times a day.

Thankfully, I was allowed to pick out my own 'new clothes'. They met with much approval. However, I didn't have a 'nitnee' (button) on my pants and that bothered her slightly, but she was able to look past that fact and give me an approving nod on my new outfit selection.

I thought the difference in opinionn about clothes was supposed to go the other way around and start in about 10 years. I guess this just ensures that I bring Chloe clothes shopping with me from now so that I always meet up with her ever changing opinion.

authors note: Granted, I looked pretty bad. I never should have put that outfit combination together - it was so early 90's. What was I thinking? I can only be truly thankful that I have a daughter who does not spare my feelings and tells me the truth for my own well being. How loving of my children to help keep me from common fashion faux paus and not live stuck in a particular decade.

Mar 16, 2006

Deep Thoughts...with Bennett

3/16/2006 — cori
Here’s a sampling of some of the things my son has pondered today:

1. “Why can’t I get married right now?”
Mommy’s answer: First of al,l it’s illegal Honey. Second, you’re too young. And third, because I said so.

2. “I still love you Mom, even though I’m making bad choices today.”
Mommy’s answer: Thank you, Sweetie. I never doubted that.

3. “Why did God make me a boy?”
Mommy’s answer: Because he knew you wanted to be a superhero, Honey and boys are normally stronger than girls. So, in order to be a strong superhero, you needed to be a boy.

4. “I can’t go to sleep cuz my eyes are too blinky.”
Daddy’s answer: Deal with it.

Mar 15, 2006

Trip Talk

3/15/2006 — cori
Oh to be the lucky soul that is privy enough to be on a long car trip with us! That would be a life altering event for you. The phrase ‘what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger’ comes to mind. At least, that’s the way it works for me on one of our road trips.

We desperately try to limit our road trips. Maybe 3 or 4 a year at max. Then we like to cap the drive time at no longer than 5 hours. Five hours alone riding in the car with my family is enough to earn one the purple heart for courage under fire!

We recently took one of these 5 hour adventure trips. Oh the joy we had! Seriously, we had a blast, but one has to be able to overlook the multitude of frivolous talk, whiny talk and abrupt, random, loud noises from the back seat area.

A drive time that lasts 1 1/2 hours or longer is deemed a bonafide ‘trip’ in our book. We pack for any and every kind of whether, thus the need for multiple suitcases. We CANNOT go without food, thus the reason for packing the van like we’re awaiting Y2K. We could probably feed all our friends plus their friends for days with as much food as I pack. But being left in the car with three wiggly kids and no food is a disaster waiting to happen. So, I prefer to avoid that scenario at all costs.

As soon as we back out of the garage, Bennett is normally the first to ask, “How many more minutes till we get there?” First of all, he still doesn’t fully grasp the concept of time. So, it is an utter waste of time for me to make this mental calculation to give to a 4 year old. Second, WE JUST BACKED OUT OF THE DRIVEWAY! How long do you THINK it’s going to take?!? For now the answer, “A long time, honey, a long, long time” is enough to quench his curiosity.

It also seems, that upon putting Chloe in her car seat, a tiny little trigger somewhere in her brain alerts her to the dangers inherent in sitting down in one place for an extended period of time and she begins her decent into what I like to call ‘Whinyville’. She stays in this place for the entire journey. Every once in a while she’ll return to the land of the blue traveling minivan long enough to yell out my name and then tell me she saw some random truck or color. We are all grateful for these moments of coherence.

She also seems to have multiple needs during a trip of any length. The first is the need for her ‘BLAH’. That would be translated into ‘drink’ for those of you not yet familiar with her rudimentary English. But she prefers to accentuate the BBB part of that word until it makes a nice little raspberry type sound and then the ending letter combinations LAH must be defined with a distinctive whiny sound. This is to ensure that we, the people who dragged her on this trip, will indeed be aware of how very thirsty she is at each and every moment and that it is our job to provide her with her immediate need in order to quench her thirst. We refer to this as her ‘diva complex’.

She also has a propensity to throw each and every toy, book, pacifier and random object onto the farthest side of the van floor that nobody can reach, otherwise known as ‘no-man’s-land’. At this point, I wish that I were indeed a superhero made out of stretchy plastic so that I could bend all the way around, without getting a cramp in my back or crick in my neck, and pick up each and every item my little dear needs but ‘accidentally’ threw on the floor. I’ve been surrounded my superhero mentality way too long for that thought to even occur to me. I can’t believe I just wished to be a superhero!

Gavin likes to also make us aware of his presence in the van by gracing us with multiple life questions that we are not prepared to answer and not sure exactly how to start. We normally avoid these types of intimidating situations by rapidly changing the subject matter. Our two standbys are: 1) asking, “Who wants an ice cream?” or 2) “Maybe you could call Grandma and Grandpa and ask them that question.”

Now before you begin to feel sorry for Chuck, the lone driver, let me just tell you a little about him. My dear husband loves to read every sign ever created. And he loves to do this out-loud. I can’t even begin to describe to you the pleasure of hearing every random sign read to me. It’s not like I have enough other people trying to talk to me at the same time already. He also likes to talk in a very low, mumbled, hush tone. This ensures that I repeatedly ask him, “Were you talking to me, Baby?” To which he replies, “Nope, I was just reading that sign over there.”

Another one of those special little idiosyncrasies that you don’t know about someone until you marry them is how they love to ask you rhetorical questions. Here is a sampling of the few I received on our last road trip, “Why’d they put that big one on top?” WHAT?!!? I wasn’t even looking in the same direction as him, yet he felt the need to question (out loud) why someone loaded their semi with cylindrical tubes and then had the gall to put the biggest one on the top of the pile and not tell him. How am I supposed to answer this question? The other question I was asked was, “Why wasn’t this section of town ever built up?” He didn’t really want me to answer that, I’m sure. Yet he asked it out loud. WHY?? I have no information on the infrastructure of this particular town. I cannot even make an educated guess. Yet, he proceeds to ask me random questions like this throughout the entire length of the drive.

During Chuck’s and my special ‘talk time’ in the car we are often interrupted with random statements from Bennett that include but are not limited to the following:

“I would like it if we were there now – I’m tired of waiting.”
“Mom, I feel like my bottom is squoooshed.”

From Chloe we hear:
“BLAHHHHHHH!!!”
“Lelow tuck” (yellow truck)
“Mommeeeeeeeeeee!!!”

Interspersed with thoughts from Gavin:
“Why is it cold now, if it was warm when we left?”
“If we’re going to see dinosaur bones, why can’t we see the whole dinosaur?”

Thankfully families come equipped with unconditional love, immense patience and a large sense of humor!

Mar 7, 2006

Mistaken Identity

3/07/2006 — cori
I was thrilled to come across the bargain of the century, a cute, little black satin number. I absolutely love pajamas. But its hard to find something that meets all my criteria: cheap, cute, modest, something I can wear in front of the kids, yet still feel pretty in. However, all my criteria were met in these sleeveless, black satin, long pant jammies.

Last night, after getting all cozied up in new, soft, feminine pajamas, I went up stairs to kiss the kids good night. Upon entering their room, the boys looked at me as if I were a movie star. They are both very much in the ‘in love with Mommy’ phase right now. They sat upright in bed and asked me with awe in their voices, “Were did you get those?”

I went on to explain the terrific deal I found and asked them why they liked my jammies so much. Bennett replied, “Wow, Mom, you look like Catwoman!”

Oh great! Now I will never be able to glance at a mirror again while wearing my new favorite pajamas without purring or meowing. In this family, it seems everything has some sort of superhero element to it. Now all I need is a mask to make my ‘outfit’ complete!

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