Posts made in June, 2011

Experiment: Day 2

Posted by on Jun 29, 2011 in Mothering | 1 comment

One half of a star was earned.  There was a fight.  Not a violent fight, but a fight none the less, over nothing, meaning nothing, accomplishing nothing.

Now our white board has one red star and one half of a red star.

Here’s hoping for a total of two and a half soon.


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Experiment: Day 1

Posted by on Jun 27, 2011 in Mothering | 2 comments

My kids are probably like your kids.  Or maybe your kids get along all the time and the only thing they drop on each others’ heads are kisses and sunshine.

The past few weeks around here have reminded me more and more of the epic battles of my childhood, the one that involved who would win at selecting the Saturday morning cartoon. We didn’t own a remote control and, in fact, our screen often flickered down to one small line of indistinguishable nothingness without any warning.  We would pound the back of the television with our tiny fists until the image popped back out.  It was amazing the kind of force we could muster when tv was involved. Whoever was currently winning Battle TV would position themself directly in front of the screen while essentially hugging it so that the other person both could not see the screen and could not change the channel buttons. Of course, the other person could never do those things AND beat the person who was almost watching television at the same time.  We were ruthless.  There was sometimes bleeding.  It was always really violent, but carefully never loud enough for the parents to intervene.

That last part there is where the four-year old and two-year old who currently reside in our home are different.  They haven’t learned how to be quiet about it. Instead they scream. They holler. They hit and kick and punch and moan and sometimes, she bites. It is never over the television.  It is usually about Piper wanting to play with Gideon but him not having the time to spare making his Lego creations. And it always makes me feel crazy. I ask myself the same question mothers everywhere and Rodney King have asked themselves.  Why can’t they just get along?

Initially they can’t get along because they are self-centered little sinners who have no power to overcome their flesh on their own.  But things have changed there for him, I think. Not for her, yet, although we are praying.

In an attempt to regain my sanity, I decided to see if a reward could change the game.  All the discipline after the fact and all the discussions on the topic have, to date, net me zero. The Sunday sale papers proved just the right impetus for the experiment. Slip and Slide meet the coveted status of four and two-year old desire.

It works like this: If the children can go an entire day without fighting with one another, they will get a star for the day.  Once they have accumulated seven stars, we will buy the slip and slide.

They agreed to the terms yesterday and I figured this was going to be an exercise in futility.

Until today happened.

And they did not actually fight with each other, save one tiny mishap with a reminder about the prize about 8:30 in the morning.  They are both in bed right now and there is nothing but stars in their eyes.

I’ll let you know when they earn another one.

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Posted by on Jun 22, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

– Watching the kids get into the College World Series makes me feel like they are much older than they are. If only I could convince them to cheer for the teams I think should win (NC over Vandy? C’mon Gid! At least he was doing it for honorable reasons. His very good friend just moved to NC and once he heard where they were from, he was all in. Too bad Mama’s team won).

– I am sure that I’m not the only one who appreciates English subtitles for people who are already speaking English.

– Gideon has helped Piper go down for her nap twice this week. He sings songs. He prays for her. Then he tells her to sleep well and shuts her door. It’s one of the sweetest things I have ever listened to.

– Do you follow the Gaffigans on Twitter?  You should. It will bring so much joy to your corner of the world.

– Piper has an intense love for stocking hats. She will wear this particular pink one every time she sees it.  When she pushes her shopping cart around at the same time, she looks like the most adorable homeless two year old ever.

– I am really loving Pinterest these days.

– Summer took a vacation this week and while we love that our air conditioner could be turned off, we have greatly missed the sprinkler. Come back to us soon,  friend!

– The show “I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant” always reminds me that I shouldn’t judge these women, but you know I can’t stop myself.

– Naming kids is one thing, naming a business is so much harder.

– The firework stands are back. Must be time for people to blow off their own appendages for no good reason at all.

– Have you been to Cilantro’s?  I’ll write up a review for you soon.

– I am fighting with my hair right now. Frizz. Flat. Dull. Probably directly correlates to all of these self inflicted hair cuts I’ve been enduring.

– We didn’t have any tornados the other night, in spite of the sirens that sounded.  They set them off because of wind. I get it, but still. This is tornado land and we ought to keep those real warnings for the real things. I am a purist.

– If you’ve never, you should read this book.

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Glowing Green Thumb

Posted by on Jun 22, 2011 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

Everyone keeps saying that the nuclear plant up in Fort Calhoun is fine. The core is GREAT! The reactor is AWESOME!  But, I have reason to doubt.

My horrible reputation at growing things was happily passed down from my mother. She is a minimalist when it comes to her plants.  She does minimal things to keep them alive.  I like to think that she only has their best interests at heart and that she is putting them through the school of hard knocks.  Need more sunlight? Tough. Oh, did you want WATER? Pansy! A new pot? Give me a break!

I have followed in the tough love for plants and as a result, I have none that live permanently in our house, which is especially great because I never have to worry if someone is eating one of them.

My mother’s inside plants are still kind of sad.  They lean. They have dead patches.  Jud swears they are begging to be put out of their misery.

But outside?  Something has happened.

Usually for Mother’s Day each year we plant flowers in her garden.  She picks them out. We pay. She points to where she wants them.  We plant.  It’s a fabulous deal and everybody is happy.  The plants get the sun they need because they are outside.  My father’s love of his lawn requires his sprinkler system to water every fifteen minutes (yes, that is hyperbole, but yes, he has giant water bills.  GIANT). They grow fine.  Everything is normal.  It’s lovely.

This year, we didn’t buy her anything new, primarily because the stuff that comes back every year (annuals, right? or are those perennials? hmm. yeah, I still don’t care) looked like it was going to come back in nicely. We bought a combined Mother’s Day/Father’s Day gift of lawn furniture. Everything seemed normal.



What used to be normal sized plants are now gigantic towering beasts of the garden.  I only see one explanation.  Fort Calhoun.


[disclaimer: I don’t actually think there’s been a breach. I realize that crazy people who somehow have access to the world wide web do believe that.  I just haven’t joined them. Yet.]

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Happy Father’s Day

Posted by on Jun 19, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

You might have done all the work today, guys, but these kids wouldn’t celebrate with you any other way.

Hope you enjoyed the fried chicken and steaks as much as I did!

You are loved!

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