Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'd Like Peanut Butter on the Side with Crackers on the Side

This is a common request around our house at lunchtime. Both Princess TD and Little TD love to spread the peanut butter on crackers, or not. Sometimes they eat the peanut butter with a spoon and then the crackers for dessert. Any way they eat it, they usually eat it without delay. This has become one of their favorite meals.

So today, when they asked for this for lunch, it was not a problem. We didn't expect it to come with a twist. They wanted pickles to go along with their peanut butter. They love dill pickles and eat them whenever we get them out. OK, not terribly crazy for a kid to like pickles, but to me, the thought of pickles with peanut butter no matter how it is eaten just doesn't sound palatable to the taste buds!

Mr. TD came up with the bright idea to get Princess TD to put a pickle on her cracker and peanut butter sandwich. She did. She even said YUM! All I could think was BLECHHH! This was coming from the girl who pretty much hates anything we give her to eat. Oh, she may eventually try it, and maybe learn to like it, but her first response is always that she doesn't like it.

So me, being the quick thinker I am, convinced Princess TD to make one for Daddy. Mr. TD shot me a few quick, ever so telling, glances across the table as she was preparing his "sandwich." I convinced her to make it with promises of more peanut butter, crackers and pickles if she found she was running low. Just as she was about finished with the peanut butter portion, she licked the side of the cracker all the way around. You see, she had over spread the peanut butter and I guess was going for the "presentation" of her delicacy. Mr. TD and I started laughing hysterically! No really, this was the kind of laugh that liquids would come from your nose, should there be any in your mouth!

Mr. TD graciously took the "sandwich" dipped it in honey mustard and ate it. Still my stomach was turning and we were both still laughing, even as he said "Mmmm."

Then he did the unthinkable. He had her make one for me! He even gave her a large pickle slice just for Mommy. But she left out an "ingredient." You see, she was a little more controlled in her spreading this time and didn't need any clean-up around the edges. She even told Mr. TD that she didn't mess up so she didn't need to do it to mine!

So, I took a bite and the look on my face must have said it all. Mr. TD said, "That's why you don't take a bite, you just eat it whole." All the while continuing to laugh hysterically. I couldn't finish it. Just one bite. I tried her food she prepared and I just couldn't finish it. That's all we ask of her when she's resistant to try something new, so that is all I did. Mr. TD thinks I cheated, but no, I just used my brain to come up with a way that I didn't have to eat it. (Do you think that's where Princess TD gets it, from me?)

Needless to say, we will not be serving peanut butter and pickle sandwiches here in this house again, at least not on purpose.

Later this afternoon, we had Food Network on in the background as we were preparing to get our Christmas decorations out. They began talking about sandwiches around the country, and believe it or not, there is a restaurant somewhere in the United States, that actually serves a peanut butter and pickle sandwich! I wish I knew where it was so that I could be sure NOT to stop there when I was hungry!

We really had a good laugh today! Sometimes that's what you need!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is the day that we set aside to ponder our thankfulness. I am thankful for many things, more things than I can name here. Growing up our family had a tradition of naming one thing that each of us at the table were thankful for in our lives. Today, we carried on that tradition in our home. It is always so sweet to hear the what is on the hearts of little children. Princess TD said she was thankful for Sprite. Little TD said he was thankful for remote control Jeeps. I am most thankful today that Mr. TD was able to come home to spend the day with us. Mr. TD was thankful to be home as well. We enjoyed the traditional feast: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole and rolls. It was a great day for our family. It was a short holiday, Mr. TD leaves again early in the morning to go back out of town. We will miss him, but are so thankful that we were able to spend today together.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Have "Sucker" Stamped on My Forehead

Really, I do. Just check the next time you see me!

We went to see Bryan today. You know the Bryan I am talking about. He's the one at Portrait Innovations who loves to take 120 or so pictures of my kids. He's the one (maybe the only one) who can capture their true personalities on film, or at least digitally. See?!?

So, you see where this is leading right? Yes, we went in to have Christmas pictures done. Did it! Could I decide on one? NO, absolutely not! We also had the 3 year old pictures and the 5 year old pictures taken. You have probably already guessed that I couldn't decide on one there either. See, I am a sucker and Bryan knows it. He does such a great job photographing my kiddos and getting them to relax and have fun that I just can't leave without a ton of pictures.

Here are a few more:

I really do adore Bryan and the way he interacts with my kids.

Oh, and I got my Christmas cards too (no, this is not a preview). I will try to wait until December to send them out this year!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Me Time

"You need some time to yourself."

"Take some "me time" you need it."

I hear this a lot. I hear it most when Mr. TD is traveling for work and I am home with the kids. It bothers me for many reasons. I have had these things mulling in my mind for quite a while now.

I feel I need to defend my choice NOT to have me time when Mr. TD is traveling. I feel like I have to explain that my kids wouldn't do well with a babysitter at night while he's gone and I am out with the girls. I feel like I have to explain that they are both missing their Daddy, and that I need to be there with them to comfort them.

What is fun for you might not be fun for me. I may not enjoy getting together with the girls, especially since I am not overly girly or concerned about girly things. (OK, I do admit having a girly daughter has moved me in that direction, but I am still a geeky, gadget loving engineer at heart).

It's not that I don't enjoy time away from my children. Sometimes it is nice to go to the store without having to pack an extra bag to carry the snacks, drinks, diapers, wipes and various toys to keep them entertained and without having to say "no" at least a 1000 times to each of them. That's awesome! It's not that I don't enjoy a massage, pedicure or even dessert with the girls. I do, and I get an hour or two here and there. I just don't live for these moments. I have really been struggling with how to address these things - about how to clearly communicate that I have chosen this life - my life.

Last week I recieved my latest copy of The Old Schoolhouse magazine. This is a magazine for homeschoolers. In the magazine there was an article titled "The 'Me-Time' Myth," by Amy Roberts. In this article, she discusses that although time away from her family helped to refresh her, she was always wanting more when she came home to the reality of a sink full of dirty dishes and baths for the kids. When she came home to reality, she would want to head right back out the door. She went on to describe the many ways she searched for her own alone time and the conclusion she would reach every time was the same. She would become resentful of her husband's time off work, and she would take weekends off and then her weekends would spill over into the week. She commented she was left feeling overwhelmed and had more of a desire to escape. The following paragraph spoke to my heart:
"Me Time is a myth. It is an unattainable, always interruptible, never satisfying piece of junk psychology. Me Time, by its very name, suggests that who we are during the daily grind is not who we truly are. It begs us to search for fulfillment outside the titles of "wife" and "mother." It accuses precious little ones and God-given spouses for suppressing us. It reduces motherehood to a disease in which little dirty faces and endless monotonous tasks slowly suck the life out of us. It
says that we can never be refreshed by spending time in the presence of those we care for day in and day out. It points out a perceived hole in our world that needs to be filled, a tank that must be refuled, a monster that will swallow us if we neglect to feed it Me Time."
She went on to conlcude that unless her time alone, away from the family, was in fact, time seeking God, she never felt fulfilled.
This article was perfect for me right now. Mr. TD has always traveled with his job, and it is usually at the most inconvenient times. But I chose this life. I chose to marry him knowing that his job required travel. I chose to quit my job as the inside sales manager/design engineer of a small company to stay home and raise my children. I chose not to send Princess TD to school, but rather to homeschool. I love that I have these opportunities and choices.

Oh, I do have THOSE days, when everything that could go wrong does. It is on those days that I remind myself that the last five years have gone by in a flash. Although I have a few more to go before they leave home, it will happen before I want them to leave, and I have so much to teach them and so much to learn from them in that time. I don't want to miss a thing!

So, no. I don't need me time, I already have it. My life and my time is defined by me being a good wife to my husband and a good mother to my children.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Big Thank You

I want to be sure to express my huge appreciation for the youth group at our church. This past Saturday, they hosted a Drop and Shop for parents of children 2yrs - 5th grade. This meant that we could drop off our kids and spend the day shopping for Christmas gifts. Since Little TD was born in December, we also had birthday shopping to do for him too. We were able to get most of our shopping done for the kids, both from us and from Santa. We lack one or two items for them, but I think we will be able to get that completed.

We were also able to take in a movie in the amount of time allotted us for "shopping." We don't get to the movies much for a couple of reasons, one being the cost. It just seems silly to spend that much money when we can usually buy the movie cheaper than seeing it in the theater. Anyway, I digress. We went to see the new James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace. I have to say, Mr. TD is a HUGE James Bond fan. We own all of the movies on VHS and DVD, we have several of the books and the James Bond version of Scene It (the movie game). I have to confess, I am not as big of a fan. In fact, I don't think I watched a movie in its entirety until I met Mr. TD. However, being the nerdy engineer type that I am, I did kind of get hooked on all the gadgets and the cool cars. But really...this is not Bond!!! I don't even think he introduced himself in the famous way - Bond, James Bond! Can this really be a Bond movie without that??? OK, maybe. Mr. TD says that one of Pierce Brosnan's films lacked this too. But the Bond character played by Daniel Craig is lacking, even to this minimal bond fan. I would say he is missing some of the finesse that other Bond characters have and I'll leave it at that. If you can go into the movie just thinking of it as an action film, it's pretty good. But if you are a die-hard Bond fan, wait for the DVD...oh wait, you probably have already seen it!

Anyway, thank you again to the youth group. Because of you, we were able to break our record for movies seen in the theater in one year since having children. Would you be willing to plan another one about the time that Angels and Demons comes out?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

An Angel

Today was one of those days that every mother has and every mother dreads. I was running errands, nothing special, just your run of the mill household stuff. I was prepared. I had drinks. I had snacks. I had stickers, paper and pen and of course, my trusty PDA that the kids love to use as a doodle pad. Things were going great. I was at the second stop. It was a short one. I was stopping at Michaels to pick up the icing colors and a larger cake pan to make Little TD's birthday cake. We were doing great until we went to the checkout. Princess TD put something in the cart for me, and Little TD had a total meltdown. He thought that she was getting something and he wasn't. No matter what I said, what I did, he wouldn't stop screaming. I mean SCREAMING!!! Really, what did he want there? All he could see from his vantage point were the rows and rows of silk flowers. Did he really want a flower? No, he just thought that his sister was getting something and he wasn't. Princess TD was great. She stood right by him and tried to sing the song she made up for him when he was a baby that would calm him down. Not working. She tried to hug him, stroked his hands, talked softly, gave him kisses, made silly faces. Nothing worked. Now while she was doing all of this, I was just watching, very proud of my little girl and her compassion for her brother.

That's when we met Terry. She was in front of us in line. She talked to me and said, "I remember those days. Don't worry Mom, we all have days like this. It will pass. " I smiled, thanked her and told her that I do realize that one day I will miss them being this little. It was then that she began talking to Little TD. She asked him how old he was going to be on his birthday, what kind of cake he wanted and a couple of other innocent questions that made him stop screaming immediately. He answered his questions and that was that. He was done. The rest of the stops went smoothly. I don't know who she was, but Terry was an angel sent to help us out today. Thank you, Terry!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

What's your name?

Mr. TD was in the living room tonight playing with Little TD laughing and having a good time. Little TD asked Mr. TD what his name was. Mr. TD answered and Little TD asked, "Why "Wayne?" Mr. TD said, "I don't know that's just what Grandma and Grandpa named me." Little TD promptly said, "My name is Little TD (first and middle) Come Back!" Do you think I say that a little to often????

Friday, November 7, 2008

I Don't Wanna Grow Up

Conversation in the van today:

Princess TD: There went a police car like Pat's.

Me: Princess TD, we call him Mr. Pat.

Princess TD: Why?

Me: Because he is older than you and that's how we show our elders respect.

Princess TD: I guess I need to call Maddie "Miss Maddie" then, because she's 5-1/2.

Little TD: I'm 2.

Me: Yes, you are and in a few weeks you'll be 3. Your birthday is right after your friend Hailey's birthday.

Little TD: I don't want to be 3!!! I like being 2!

Princess TD: Why don't you want your birthday? It's fun, you'll be 3 and then I'll be'll be 4 and I'll be 7...and on and on she went.

Little TD: I don't want to be 3, because then I can't play with you anymore.

Princess TD: Oh, Little Man, we can still play. I love you.

Little TD: I love you too Sissy.

All of this after literally screaming at each other the whole time we were running errands and especially in the grocery store. Maybe they'll remember that the next time they both want the same toy. Or maybe they won't!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Our Trick or Treaters

We had fun trick or treating on Friday night. The weather was beautiful. There were tons of kids out and we met a new neighbor. It was at the very end of the night as we ran out of candy. They are very sweet people and Princess TD and their youngest daughter hit it off...they both LOVE princesses. Go figure.
We had Alice, of Alice in Wonderland fame.

True to our Toy Story fan, Little TD was Buzz Lightyear. It was an awesome costume. He wears the wings almost daily.

We had an awesome time with our friends. We had the DeCarlo family join us and we took one of our neighbors, Kenny, with us as well.