I hate how Christmas kind of blows it's load in one day and then we sit around aimlessly waiting for New Year's Eve. There should be more second and third day traditons. Like today should be "share a pastry with some neighbors around brunch time" day and tomorrow should be "evening cocktails with friends day." And then we could have white elephant exchange day. I would put up the snap on camisole dickies that I got in my stocking. Do you think my MIL was giving me a hint?
Aldo woke up and found the presents that we wrapped and added to under the tree. Not the Santa presents, of course, but the ones from mom and dad. He quickly did the accounting and figured that there were 4 MORE presents.
The excitement is real around here. The boys discuss Santa's itinerary even though I haven't introduced NORAD's Santa Tracker. We've still discussing the implications of the Portable North Pole's message to the boys. Owen knows he is on the naughty watch (because of some bad choices in school and is aware of the possibility he'll get nothing but a clump of dirt (lump of coal.) It's heavy stuff.
I haven't figured out a way to stem the avalanche of toys that hits us tomorrow, but some might disappear before the new year to make an appearance sometime next summer. I am glad that the boys really got into playing Uno and Jenga and that they feel like they've missed something if I've given out homeless sockings without them.
Aldo couldn't reach the oatmeal crock in the fridge so he was a little grumpy when he greeted me with "Oatmeal please, pretty mommy sweetheart." Owen came in and just flopped on the bed with his feet up near my pillow.
I heated up the oatmeal, made to specifications--with raisins, dates, walnuts, cinnamon, and a splash of milk. I take the walnuts as a small victory because Aldo refused walnuts for months. Every morning, I'd make his oatmeal and then add walnuts to the leftovers for me. But then, out of the blue, he announced that he's ready to try walnuts and that, in fact, he likes them. I'm waiting for that to happen with mushrooms.
Anyhow, Owen requested fried egg and English muffin. Aldo finished his oatmeal and asked for his usual, "and what Owen has." And Pandora played Disco for us.
The stale helium balloons we've had for three days are still playable and they've been trying to figure out how to play catch with them. I taped one up to the livingroom doorway and they've been swatting it with swim noodle light sabers as a makeshift pinata.
And now I 'm typing this while sipping coffee mixed with sweetened condensed milk. Did you know they sell it in a reclosable squeeze bottle? I found it in the Mexican food section, but it reminds me most of the coffees I had in Vietnam. Sure, they had those individual dark coffee filters dripping directly into your cup and I'm using Starbucks instant, but close enough.
I like these non-school day mornings. I can't quite handle that we're giving them up for kindergarten.
Aldo and I had a date last week and I rented a game to rival Owen's Laser Tag date with Greg and the Adventure Guides. Although it's hard to beat Laser Tag, I combined Mario with a trip to TGI Fridays where they have BLUE DRINKS!!! that TASTE LIKE SODA!!! and the waitress bring you 3 extra maraschino cherries!!! Not to mention the brownie sundae.
I am at the moment watching the kids play Mario Kart on the Wii while I write this. Parent supervision doesn't get much easier than this.
Since this is screen time, I'm probably just allowing another layer of ADHD to settle on top of their bouncy boy brain cells, but at least they're playing nicely together and uh, learning to drive? If the freeways of the future have giant menacing mushrooms and crabs that take out cars, my boys have a head start.
I try to keep up my continuing education for this mom job and what I keep learning is that everything that makes life a little easier combines to make my kids prone to obesity, ADHD, and cancer in the future.
Childcare makes kids more aggressive and impulsive later in life. Oh well. I have to console myself with the fact that I think our Montessori program is pretty good about taking care of the kids and teaching them how to get along. When asked, Aldo recently told me that his teachers weren't nice because when you hit someone they get angry at you. That's a sign of quality right there.
And television viewing--it enables me to take a shower or get the dinner cooked and dishes washed, but at what cost? Childhood obesity, an inability to pay attention to things and rampant materialism. My kids don't watch that much television, but probably just enough to put them in the danger category. Are we really expected to pay full attention to them every minute that they're home? Who does that?
Family dinners are supposed to help heal the damage done by the rest of the day, but now making dinner is getting harder because... Basically all canned foods contain BPA which mimic estrogens contributing to breast and endometrial cancer and early puberty in girls and low sperm and prostate cancer in boys. I just restocked the pantry with cut green beans (which the boys LOVE,) and kidney beans which I'm going to use today in chili with the canned tomatoes. I don't know how to replace these. Good thing red wine is still supposed to be good for me.
And then lunch! Just this week, there's the news that eating red meat doesn't cause heart disease but serving deli meats and processed meats does. We love turkey bacon and turkey sandwiches. I've always felt a little relieved that we don't do the red meats, but now I don't know what to put in lunch boxes if I can't stock turkey slices. Sure, sometimes I make quesadillas or put in dumplings, but there are a lot of school days and only so much on the leftover menu.
Even being online while talking to your children teaches them that it's okay to text while having conversations and not pay full attention to people around us. And I'm doing that right now.
It's tonight! We've been looking forward to this all year. It's like a prom for moms and young boys (aged 3-10) so this is the first year Aldo can go. And you can dress up--as super heroes for this year's theme. That Princess Leia outfit is turning out to be useful.
Last year, they had insects and reptiles we could touch (including hissing cockroaches and a centipede,) and "Survivor" games where we relay races to make a jigsaw puzzle. The dinner was edible but forgettable (spaghetti? taco bar?) but Owen remembers the dessert in loving detail: chocolate pudding with gummy worms sticking out of it. We got an ugly coconut tiki to take home when we won the door prize. It was awesome.
Greg would be so envious--if he weren't on the four-day fishing trip of his dreams.
We stayed in Disneyland until the 7:00 dance party parade. It was a Monday with a chance of rain and I think that helped with the crowds. Most rides we only waited 10 or 20 minutes. It was weird--in the Haunted Mansion we went right in to the elevator room.
I don't think Greg wanted to push a wheelchair and I am impatient and a fast walker, so we didn't do the wheelchair. It didn't seem worth it.
Oh, they loved everything. Even though they weren't chosen for Jedi training, they thought it was cool. The loved their drivers licenses at Autopia, shooting things with Buzz Lightyear, and perhaps most of all, the bunkbeds at the hotel.
California Adventure seems like the overflow waiting room for Disneyland. There aren't as many rides and it's just not as cool. Maybe being a Californian makes the theme seem a little bland. I'm glad we did that one first.
I have 4 loads of laundry to do now. :laundry: And two still excited kids at home while I do it. A naked boy in a clone trooper mask just tripped on his own pajamas. Parenthood is so surreal.
I've been training to ask the boys nicely. This involves the word "please" and the lack of the whine or the scream in the voice.
But they've taken it to the next step and somehow have learned to say, "Pretty Mommy Sweetheart, can I PLEASE have a cookie?" If that sounds a bit coached, that's because it might have been a suggestion. Greg requests, "Daddy, Best Daddy in the world who I love so much...."
But Aldo just created his own. He asked, "Can I play Blue, Pretty Mommy? Because you make the best food?" We're going to have to watch this kid.
Our first deliberate shoplifting incident happened last Thursday. They craftily hid the wind-up toys in their pockets and proudly revealed them to me when they got home. The toys were promptly confiscated and a lecture ensued. Owen's defense: "Aldo told me to take it." I totally believe him.
I took them back to the scene of the crime, put the toys in their hands and told them to go say sorry for taking them. I asked the saleslady if we needed to call the store police, or if they only did that the second time it happened.
She asked the boys, "What do you think? Should we call the police this time or the second time?" Owen smiled and said, "Third time."
When you walk with a dog, you are alerted to every other living animal in sniffer range--bird, bug, or ground squirrel. When you drive with a dog, you can't hear anything above the sound of the air blowing through the crack of the window.
When you live with a 5-year-old, every new person you run into will be informed that he is, in fact, five years old, that he used to be four, but not anymore. A five-year-old girl wants to wear make-up. A five-year-old boy loves his (toy) gun--even if he isn't allowed to have one until have one until he's 7.
When you walk with a 5-year-old, he might shoot everything he sees with his pointer finger pistols until he is caught and told to stop.
When you live with a 3-year-old, he will tell you every time he farts. Sometimes with details. You will consider stealing disposable seat covers for your own bathroom until he learns aim. You are proud of his backwards pants and wrong-footed shoes because he got dressed by himself. When you live with a 3-year-old, he will show you how much he loves you on his fingers.
I just went to Sears to spend my new Christmas gift card, (thanks Aunt Liz!) and picked out some gardening tools which is exactly what I was hoping to find. And they had an Office Depot next door.
As it happened, I needed some new colorful paperclips. So, I walked in and found instead new pens. I got a very pretty little turquoise number and bought its refill. And a Ultra fine Sharpie collection called Couleurs Cafe (with an accent.) They have earl grey, blueberry, pomegranite, hibiscus and mocha.
Oh, and I got a pencil box for Owen because he needs writing utensils for all his writing and stuff.
And then a the checkout counter, they had paperclips.
I'm going to break out Earl Grey right now to write down a recipe.