Saturday, May 31, 2008

Uncle Mark

My brother and niece are in the area for a few days. I was telling Alyssa last night that Uncle Mark and cousin Brandy were going to come over today. Here's the rest of our conversation:

A: I don't like Uncle Mark*! (I really think this needs to be translated to I don't know/remember Uncle Mark)
M: Oh Uncle Mark is nice ~ remember last year he brought you your chairs for outside, your tent, and the elephant game?
A: I LOVE Uncle Mark!

So fickle.

This morning I reminded her that Mark and Brandy were coming this afternoon and she told Adam "Uncle Mark bring elephant game and chairs!" and declared that she likes Uncle Mark.

It makes me really sad that I had to create the "memory" of Mark by describing the gifts that he brought her. And then it makes me sad that I'm not closer to him to give Alyssa and Joel a better chance of having a good/familiar relationship with him. But we live 10 hours apart and see each other about once a year. I'm 28, married, with 2 young children and he is 43, divorced, and a single dad of an almost 18 year old. I'm not sure in that situation how close you can get/be. When you think about it, pretty much all we have in common is some DNA. And that we both like to bad mouth our sister from time time. ;)

* Several months ago Adam asked Alyssa who her favorite uncle was and then listed off her uncles. She immediately replied with Uncle Mark, which surprised us both because we assumed it would be one of Adam's brothers that she sees fairly regularly. Nope, it was "Uncle Mark ~ big dog!" that made the top of her uncle list. Evidently the wolf-dog and the gifts made quite the impression on little Miss Alyssa last summer.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Another "mommy moment" to check off my list

My list of things that I feel like I should experience once, and then never again, that is.

This afternoon I experienced the "child takes off diaper during naptime and finger paints/creates artwork with it" horror. Except in my child's case he rubbed it into his eye and then went super-duper high-pitched screaming insane. But same difference.

I *think* this is what went down. I put Joel down for a nap about 1, per usual. It was soo humid and sticky today that I decided to just put him down in a diaper since he hadn't made any attempt to take off his diaper yet. Mistake number 1, never underestimate the diaper taking off ability of a child. And now that I think about it, I think he took off his own diaper at about 4 months. Anyway, he woke up after about 45 minutes (about the time I was wrestling Alyssa into bed for her nap, imagine that) and I let him fuss for a few minutes and he fell back asleep. My theory is that he removed said diaper at this point in naptime. I also hypothesize that he pooped at some point and then rolled around in it enough to get some on his legs and hands. Then woke up and went to rub his eyes and VOILA! poop in the eye. At least it wasn't all over the walls. And there were just a couple spots on his sheet/pillowcase. But I think he did pee while standing up because there was a suspicious looking "arc" on the floor near his crib.

I love having a son ~ he's such an experience.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I don't like the money side of business

I hate talking money with my daycare customers. It makes me so uncomfortable ... like I feel like I don't *deserve* to be paid or something.

This morning one family dropped off and only had a check for 2 days worth of daycare. Monday, Memorial Day, is one of very few paid daycare holidays. And I figured that she just didn't think about that. But when I brought it up, the mom kind of got attitude with me. Said she would write me another check when she picked up the girls, but I felt like she was ticked that I was getting paid for not working. But SHE got paid for not working. So why is she any better than me? *disclaimer* I'm probably being much more sensitive that I should be about the whole situation, but I'm still feeling very uncomfortable around her. Then I realized that she probably didn't remember/realize that she needed to give me a deposit check to hold her kids' place in daycare for next fall because they are taking the summer off, so I e-mailed her about that. Now I'm afraid she'll be even more ticked at me. But I'm just following my contract which SHE signed. *sigh*

I got a returned check for non-sufficient funds for the second time for the other family that is dropping off/making payment today. I have in my contract that they have to pay a $25 fee and I will only accept cash from then on out. Well, its more of a pain for me to take in cash, so I told the mom last time that I'll give her another chance but if it happens again I would only be able to take cash. I didn't think it would happen again. Especially only a few weeks later. But it did. So now I have to tell her that she owes me back payment and that I'll only take cash. Which she was very open about warning me last time that she thought one of her checks was going to bounce, so she probably won't care, but it still makes me uncomfortable.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Come and get it!

Grandmom and Grandad gave Alyssa this little bird feeder for Christmas. Its pretty cute ~ it suction cups to a window, so you can see the birds up close and personal. I figured there was no way in heck that we would ever seen any birds since we have very few birds in our neighborhood (no big trees yet), but we put it up. This morning I was on the phone and I almost peed my pants when I saw two beautiful yellow finches breakfasting outside the playroom window! Since then we've had 3 finches (I think) and a wren ... its turning into THE PLACE for meals!
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Strawberries: Day 1

My mom and I were shopping on Mother's Day and I found this strawberry plant pot (try saying that 5 times fast) on sale for $4. I've always wanted to grow strawberries, so I figured it couldn't hurt. My friend Staci was over yesterday and was admiring my pot (in the box and unplanted), so she motivated me to finally mix it all up and plant it. So we'll see what happens. Germination is supposed to happen in 10 - 15 days, so hopefully in a couple weeks I'll have some "buds" to share.

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The Tivo Generation

Alyssa has started getting VERY upset with me when I can't "start it over!" when we turn on the TV and its the middle of a live show. Or when we're in the car and she wants me to start a song over on the radio. She's a demanding little turd.

Mixing business with pleasure

I'm really struggling lately with one of my daycare families and its really, really eating away at me. Hence the 3:50 AM blog post because I can't sleep. I feel like the situation is all my fault, but I have to keep reminding myself that it is a two way street. I feel like I crossed the client/friend line, which I wish I could take back. But I also feel like this family has started taking me for granted, which isn't fair to me. And who the hell announces, right in front of their daycare provider, that their child hates going to daycare? I understand that most kids would probably prefer to stay at home with their parents instead of their parents having to work, but the statement could have been worded a lot more "delicately". I know I'm probably being too sensitive about it, too, but it still stinks. Thank goodness I only have 2 more daycare days with this family until they are "off" for the summer. Maybe we just need some time apart. And there's a chance that the mom will start working full time next fall, which I'm definitely not going to sign up for. As my wise old Dad says, "everything will come out in the wash". But in the mean time, I wish I could just let it go and go to sleep!

We're supposed to go to one of the girls' birthday party on Sunday and I'm dreading it. I really don't want to go and I feel like we wouldn't be missed/it would be a relief if we skipped it by the mom, but I don't want to disappoint the birthday girl by her buddy Alyssa not showing up. And it would probably make things worse in the long run if we played hooky. So I guess I'll just grin and bear it.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

That's what Godfathers are for!

After dance tonight Alyssa and I went to visit the newly expanded Dwight family ... congrats to Angie, Eric, and Lenka on the arrival of Janika Lee yesterday morning!!! She's a cutie!!! Anyway, Alyssa mentioned that she wanted something to eat, so I suggested that Eric could take her to find some graham crackers since he had been talking about the awesome "free" graham crackers the hospital provided earlier in our visit. So off Alyssa and Eric went to check out the grub. And back Alyssa came with her hand behind her back and a suspicious grin on her face. She walked over to me and whipped out from behind her back ... chocolate ice cream. Eric now ranks up there as pretty high on "the coolest" list in Alyssa's book.

Oh, Joel.

I love that kid.

Sunday afternoon Adam, Amy, and I were sitting out back watching Alyssa, Sophie, and Joel play. Joel toddled up to my chair and pulled my glass of water out of the cup holder. I could just see the "Whatever is in this cup is going to be dumped in 3 seconds" gleam in his eye ... he gets it all the time. Quick as a wink, he dumped the cup over his head. The cup of ice water. Looking at the adults in pure SHOCK he immediately began sobbing because of the bullying that he had endured. Surely someone had wronged him horribly. His face was PRICELESS and Amy, Adam, and I couldn't help but laugh ~ but I did hold him to try to comfort him as I cracked up.

Last night Adam, Joel, Alyssa, and I were goofing off in Alyssa's room while she was getting ready for bed. Joel picked up Alyssa's (unused) diaper and promptly said something that resembled the word "diaper". I looked at him and said "are you sure it isn't a hat?" and without missing a beat he immediately plopped it onto the top of his head. I love those moments where he really seems to understand what I'm saying to him ... affirmation that there is a real little person in there and not just a baby "blob" anymore.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Joel climbs and Alyssa's worries

Yesterday Joel realized that he could push the booster seats in the kitchen over to a kitchen chair and use them to climb up on the kitchen chair. And then he realized that he could climb onto the kitchen table from there. As he stood proudly in the middle of the table admiring his accomplishment, Alyssa looked at him and said "Oh Joel, you worry me. You stress me out." I think she's heard her mommy say that to him about 15 million times a day. He's all boy. And I love it.

But hearing those words come out of his mouth made me think of my Grandma Dora who always worried about EVERYTHING. And how my mom tries desperately hard not to worry as much as my grandma did. And how I know I worry as much as my grandma did and my mom tries not to. I guess Alyssa is just doomed to be a worrywart, too. At least she's in good company.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Friday, May 02, 2008

Out of the butts of babes

This morning I took Alyssa into the bathroom at the pediatrician's office as we were waiting to get Joel checked out for his 15 month appointment. She sat on the toilet saying, "Open, shut! Open, shut!" over and over. The hilarious thing was that she was "shutting" her butt by clenching her butt cheeks and then when she "opened" (or relaxed her cheeks) she would toot. It happened 4 or 5 times ... I was rolling. Her daddy would have been so proud.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

My latest addiction

Products from Uppercase Living ~ I LOVE this stuff!!!

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