Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Who's in Charge Here?

Who's in charge here? My father used to always say, "If you have to ask who's in charge, it's NOT you." Well, who's in charge here?
The rain has challenged us for the past week, apparently we had a tropical storm - Tropical Storm Isaac...not Jackson, allegedly.
To be honest I hardly noticed our wrecked backyard; I just guessed Jackson was let outside without anyone watching for a couple minutes. The flooding? Oh, Jackson likes to squirt the hose, expected water bill would be high this month.

Friday night I was suckered into taking Jackson to his first concert: The Fresh Beat Band...I say this like I don't know the words and choreography to all the songs.

How happy is he...first concert
For a mere $52/ticket, $20 for parking and $25 for his first concert t-shirt, we made it to our Friday night event. A friend and I both took our toddlers, but prior to entering this torture session we made our way to a nearby Mexican restaurant. Our kids trashed the place, (to the point that we had to leave 100% tip) while we slammed enjoyed a couple margaritas...mothers of the year once again. Then we walked over to the concert, only to realize that inside there were actual beer concessions. Oh but you can't bring your kids drink from home in because that might be a bomb. Yet the 1000 drunk parents dancing in the rain and lightning feeder bands holding their toddlers on their shoulders seems safe and reasonable.
During this concert I think, won't it be nice when Jackson can drive himself to these things...But this is South Florida, perhaps he can start driving now.
Those lines are merely a suggestion of where to park
Luke, of course, explained that the concert would be a fine mother/son experience, and that he and Blake would stay home and have guys night. Little did he know this night cost him $700 by the time all was said and done - at least it felt like highway robbery.
All set for a night with dad, got my blankie...now bring on the pizza

The library is another rainy day safe haven for us... Jackson and I went to check out some new books - "6 new books, momma" is what I was instructed. First things first though, Jackson likes to play with the beads and sometimes he likes to sing songs at the top of his lungs. An example of a totally inappropriate song that he sings, "Doing the butt...Oooowwwww...sexy, sexy"...Just perfect. The other parents just look at me and shake their heads. I'm pretty sure my chipped toenail polish is also causing them to figure I was at library while my trailer blew away in storm.
Hurry and get my 6 books before I start announcing embarrassing family secrets!
Before we leave the library we had to stop at the bathroom, which is always busy due to this being next to a retirement community. In the stall Jackson yells out, "Momma, I want to see your penis!" Wow...what do I say..."Well remember I'm a girl and girls don't have penises." That should appease him - not this time. "So do you pee out of your butt?"..."Yes." As we leave the stall, 2 more dirty, questioning looks...guess we won't come back to this library for awhile.

Sunday night brought the worst of the tropical storm for us; loud, thundering, driving rain. Jackson did not like this one bit...so to our bed he came. And once his head hit the pillow between mine and Luke's the shenanigans started. First he lets me know that he would like to watch a show...NO. Then he sings songs like twinkle, twinkle little star (We save the offensive singing for when we are out in public), I shush him. With each crack of thunder, he freezes and barks, "what's that noise". Then its back to his repertoire of songs. I can't take it, its 10:30, go to sleep. He lays quiet for 8 seconds..."10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, BLAST OFF!" He's now screaming this. I falsely threaten him that if he isn't quiet I will put him back in his bed. Just then a loud thunder crashes and lightning lights the room, I'm pretty sure it almost struck us in our bed. He yells out "I don't like this storm! I don't like that guy!" - Me neither. Alright, you don't have to go to your room alone, stay here...Oh what's that? You would like to put your knee in my back and pull my hair?...Sure, why not.

Go to work on Monday morning?  Why yes, I think I will!

Peak - Jackson has a new best friend, Diego

Pit - I'm now allowing Diego to bath Blake to save time and water...
Have a wonderful week...and try not to get suckered by your kids....

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

So Many Classes, So Little Time...

It's back to school time for so many of my friends children.  I am learning that back to school brings a variety of emotions for parents. The emotions fall somewhere on the spectrum between elation that their kids will be out of the house for 8 hours a day, to sadness that their kids are getting older so fast.  I've heard complaints about the costs of clothing and the amount of school supplies that must be purchased. I've listened to out and out whining about how early these kids go to school. Also, I have seen tears on the faces of moms who have either just; sent their baby to kindergarten or realized that this is the start of their senior year in high school. Never the less, and without fail, the school year begins. As I discuss school day activities with friends, I realize that I am already in the warm up phase for the school years.
You see, Jackson attends many toddler "classes" during the week. Since Jackson does not go to daycare these classes serve as a social experience for him, he's clearly making life long friends. And it gets him out of the house to burn off some energy, knocking holes in walls other than ours for an hour or so a day. Where are such activities and who are the masochists who teach these classes? Both fine questions that prior to two years ago I would have had no answer. But after having Jackson, I found in chapter 11 of the "Mommy Manual" an entire list of places and activities for our kids. You see there is an entire subculture of activities for children that go on in your community that you know nothing of, until you have one of these little monsters.
So Jackson goes to the library for story time, and to the community art center for "young explorers", and to the School House Museum for a whole host of fun activities, and then there is the Little Gym, and Kindermusik...I think that covers most of the very important places he goes.

Now here is where you really need to pay attention because I am going to teach you the Top 5 Things I have learned by attending these classes with him...that's right I have learned perhaps more than he has...
1.  There are parents who are WAY more into this than you are. These are the parents that take video of their 2 year old eating handfuls of play doh. They are the ones who are certain their children are geniuses...and in the mean time their kid is licking the bottom of his shoe while the teacher is giving the instructions for the day's project...YES, I do think he will be the next Steve Jobs. But you cannot at anytime make jokes about the activities or the children because these parents will find this offensive...live and learn. These are not classes or activities to joke about, we are apparently building a foundation for their Ivy League college entrance exam.
Some activity that will help with calculus
2.  You will run into these parents/children many different places. So you can't act like a total ass to them in one class and then expect to never see them again...you WILL see these people again; likely over and over again for the next 18 years. So if their kid is annoying, or they are annoying, just move to a different city.
3.  Most of these classes involve some art project or science experiment. And in the end the teachers will want you to take this crap home with you. It's as if you live in a 15,000 square foot house with unlimited wall space for all these Picasso pieces your 2 year old is churning out. And do I really want to take home the coffee grinds/plaster of Paris "Dinosaur Egg"?...It looks like dinosaur poop. I'm sure this makes me a bad mother because I don't want all the flammable tissue paper that we decoupage to cardboard and then splatter with rainbow paint art that Jackson crafts. And no doubt the parents from lesson #1 keep every single scrap of this junk...I just can't do it. I generally say I'm gonna take it home proudly and then chuck it in the trash in the parking lot. I mean, let's face it, I don't need a layer of glitter over the layer of crushed gold fish in my car.

Here's some of Jackson's  Louvre quality work
I've started just photographing it all and then I don't have so much guilt

4.  If you even think about running errands after one of these classes you will find your child covered in paint, glitter and other art supplies that are unidentifiable. They will have glued one eye closed, shoved a bead up their nose and painted their arms, shirt, shorts with each color provided. Oh, and you will obviously only have enough wipes to get off the paint...you will have forgotten to refill your wipes. And without a doubt there will be a blow out diaper just to add to the debacle. You will have to make the decision to unglue the eye with the wipe and use his shorts to wipe his poop and then throw all of it out with his art work.
Here's a day that I ran short on wipes...he rode home like this!

5.  They do NOT serve alcohol at these events! Apparently EVER...that's a Big one...

I hope these lessons help you out, I wish someone would have forewarned me...I may have to move!

Peak - Blake is 4 months old and eating cereal

Pit - We have a pet turtle "Toes"...they carry Salmonella and he's sitting on my kitchen counter...want to come over for dinner on Saturday?

Have a wonderful week...Sharron

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Weekly Minefield AKA The Grocery Store

     I really hate those people who walk in the middle of the aisles at the grocery store. You can never get around them and inevitably you will meet them in each and every aisle during your shopping experience. You will say 'excuse me' or you might move their cart a little hoping they will get the hint that they should pick a side...Oh by the way, since I grocery shop with Jackson, I am this person that I hate. Every Sunday morning Jackson and I make our way to the grocery store. This is our weekly, prescheduled date; he will tell you that we go to the grocery store on Sunday Funday.
    As Jackson becomes more aware of his surroundings I have discovered that the grocery store is a minefield. From the moment we enter the store, the parental difficulties begin. First and foremost, there must be an available race car shopping cart. If there isn't one, we just abort mission right then and there; no questions asked. I am ok with no food and a Mother Hubbard title for an entire week. You see, I one time attempted to grocery shop without the race car cart...every 3 to 5 minutes we had to discuss the fact that we were NOT in a car cart, where were they all? Jackson wanted to make sure that I understood how much he preferred the car cart...then we ran into a family who had a car cart...the melt down ensued and it was obvious to him that those parents loved their children much more than I love him. Jackson wanted those children to get out of his car cart...Never Again!

Got my Car Cart...Now let's get to shopping

     So once we get our car cart and we wipe the 475 different bacteria off of it...we begin to shop. Oh wait, that is only after I am instructed to take Jackson directly to the bakery where he will get his free cookie "with Sprinkles, momma". If the bakery employee dare be waiting on someone else, he will just announce that he's there for his cookie in a repetitive rap that gets louder and louder with each passing moment. We get the cookie...now we are off...
I have my cookie...and I licked the steering wheel twice

     Things are usually fairly calm for the first few minutes. Jackson eats his cookie and I try to cover as much ground as possible. Because once the sugar from the cookie kicks in the real trouble begins.
I'm not sure why the grocery store insists on putting toys in random spots that adults never see until its too late. But Jackson has memorized the location of every toy car and monster truck that Publix sells and the finger flash lights...Oh yes we own 2 sets of finger flash lights.
What could be cooler than finger flashlights?

     He also knows there whereabouts of all gummy spidermen and goldfish. Which will really come in handy if we are ever stuck in the store for days without power.
     This week in the candy aisle, Jackson sees a lady holding a couple bags of candy and he tells me in his best whisper, "she's getting a lot of candy!" Of course the whisper of a toddler is some volume just below rock and roll concert. The woman gave me a dirty look...I didn't say it; give the kid the dirty look...oh well, me and the candy lady will never be friends. Oh and the girls with the freckly arms...Jackson asks, "momma, what's on her arm?" I say, "Freckles, just like I have on my arms." He then says, "Oh but she has so many!" Another dirty look sent my way.
      After these instances, I feel like we are good to finish the rest of our grocery experience...Oh but wait I need to turn my back for a second or two to grab an item...big error. Because I ride in the middle of the aisle, Jackson must stand up in order to reach the items on the shelves...And here he is doing it.
you can see he has launched a car out of the cart to divert my attention

And if you ever wonder why I get home with only half the items on the list, this would be the reason!

See my grocery list on the ground...I almost didn't

      Whew!...we made it to the check out line. Of course we still have to pay, and Jackson loves running my debit card through the reader. All that's left is to put in my passcode for my debit card. Jackson has to do this, so I have to call out my code. So if you work at Publix you can rob me blind...

What's your code...Loud and slow please

Pit - I gave in. He's the winner!

There's the new car, just purchased at grocery store...I hate Publix

Peak - Another Sunday Funday date to the grocery store with the cutest 2 year old I know.

I hope you get to grocery shop alone...or at least I hope they are having a wine tasting while you shop...

Friday, August 3, 2012

I'm an Olympian..."So Call Me Maybe"

     As we are driving down the road Jackson yells out..."Here's my number, so call me maybe." HUH?I don't even think that song had been on the radio during this outing. I'm pretty sure we have only listened to the Fresh Beat Band for the last month while in the car. (If you do not currently have small children you may be missing out on the Grammy caliber music of the Fresh Beat Band. I will tell you that it is quite catchy, but without a doubt after the 3000th time you want to pull the radio out of the car!) The minute he gets in his seat he instructs me to put on some songs...then he says "I want the Get Up and Go Go song"...I know every word to this and every other Fresh Beat song, and frequently I sing them when I am alone. I did not, however have any idea that he knew some Top 40 jams! This completely changes how I approach our errand running experience, now I may not have to drive 90 miles an hour every where we go! I'm also truly ecstatic that it was the lyrics to this song and not some Jay Z song that I so enjoy...people tend to judge when your child yells out things like "I got 99 problems..."

     So now you know what we listen to and frequently watch, but for the last week we have traded in our "movie Cars" and Fresh Beat Band shows for the Olympics. With each channel, Jackson will say "is this the Olympics?" He really likes the swimming, probably because he has recently been learning to swim; plus he likely enjoys the outfits as much as the rest of us....and why shouldn't he? He himself wears the same outfits as the male divers.


  As the Olympics began, I had Jackson carry the torch and receive a medal so he could feel connected to the games. These are in fact his first Olympics, so we should celebrate.

And after watching only a week of the Olympics I realize that my children are Olympians...Jackson competes in 3 events....

1.     The Clean Laundry Toss - this event requires the athlete to quickly gather freshly folded, clean laundry, run to the top of the stairs and launch it over before being caught by a parental unit...Jackson Evans is competing for the gold
Clean shirt...

One of Blake's toys

The bottom of our stairs...this took less than 3 minutes

2.     Sleep Stalling - this event is clearly a marathon and demands more than just physical prowess. The competitor must also have extreme stamina in order to wear down and outlast the competition.

Here is Jackson with his face against the video monitor in his room...announcing that he is not sleeping

3.      Shopping Cart Dash - 100 meters of all out sprinting while pushing a shopping cart. You may think this looks strange, imagine being my neighbor and watching the daily training sessions! I yell out "supermarket sweepstakes" and Jackson takes off running. The best part is he can push my wine in his cart while we walk through the neighborhood.

Blake only competes in one individual event. Bubble Blowing - unfortunately he didn't take any medals in this category; he lost his concentration when a stuffed owl caught his eye. I really think it had something to do with him being so exhausted from all the "doping" allegations. His 19 pounds is "Au natural" baby!
He doesn't seem to mind that he lost
he got one bubble off before the owl went flying by

I hope you too are enjoying the Olympics as much as we are. Hopefully your children are winners in their events...

Peak - this isn't a personal peak, but Jackson thought it was tons o fun...which makes me laugh...enjoy it - its the Olympic Swim Team giving us their version of "Call Me Maybe"


Pit - Blake and I did not medal in Synchronized Lunching -

Have a great week,