Top Chef Wannabes

January 30, 2009 at 11:51 am (Uncategorized)

I didn’t just drink the kool-aid, now I’m making it and serving it to others.  Montessori is simply the best thing that has happened to my kids, and I couldn’t imagine a better way to educate them.  I don’t have nearly enough time to describe the amazing things that Sunshine does in her classroom.  But it’s not just Sunshine.  It’s totally rubbing off on Ladybug.  

Now I’m lucky enough to have two great helpers in the kitchen.  And no, that’s not sarcastic.  Well, not really.  Sunshine cooks and empties the dishwasher and Ladybug has been watching, closely.  She’s actually tall enough to open the dishwasher.  And now all my perpetually helpful kid wants to do is empty the silverware.  The only thing she hasn’t learned yet is how to tell whether or not the dishes are still dirty.  All it takes is two minutes in the bathroom for her to have emptied the silverware bucket.  Lately I’ve found more dirty silverware in the drawer than I care to remember.  
Still I have no desire to staunch their unfailing need to help with everything that I do in the kitchen.  God willing, it will last through their teen years.  I’m alright with dirty dishes put back as if they were clean and a lot of spilled milk.  I just want them to love being in the kitchen. 
I have lovely memories of trying to sneak into my grandmother’s kitchen when my aunts were cooking.  I would try to steal a seat in the corner and hope that no one would notice me and kick me out.  A little was learned about cooking, and I heard far more than my share of family gossip.  But now it’s my mom, sisters and me in the kitchen, with an occasional aunt or cousin thrown in for good measure.  Well at least when we visit.  The laughing is endless, and the arguments are riotous.  
I’m trying to be different with the girls in the kitchen; not the disciplinarian I am in the rest of the house.  Good Lord, that’s hard for a control freak like myself.  But you have to be creative in the kitchen.  Actually, Sunshine made her first risotto several weeks ago.  She did everything from dicing the vegetables to constantly stirring the rice.  It was fabulous, and she ate four bowls of it.  And last night, she made the homemade applesauce. Ladybug is jealous.  She wants to do more.  I know it’s hard for her to see her big sister do things she can’t.  But soon she’ll be making pizzas with the rest of us.  


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It’s a Jungle Out There

January 29, 2009 at 10:27 am (Uncategorized)

As I’ve said before, I have a comfort zone within which I travel here in the sprawling town of Atlanta.  This comfort zone absolutely does not include interstates.  We’re fortunate enough to live in a part of town where I can find almost anything I need using neighborhood streets.  

Southern hospitality pretty much stops the moment you start seeing signs for Atlanta.  Going 70-75 in a 55 will result in someone flying around you, on the right, while most likely flipping you the bird.  And for those of you who are polite enough to signal your intent to change lanes by using your blinker, don’t bother.  That will be met with the other person actually speeding up so as to prevent you from going anywhere.  Oh, and a note to city planners everywhere.  Sixteen lane highways should NEVER wind anywhere.  Those lovely, tight S-curves around Courtland Street and Grady Hospital are death traps.  
So needless to say, I hate driving on the interstates here.  But yesterday I sucked it up.  I strapped my Ladybug into her car seat and headed up the Connector to pick Sunshine up from her play date.  It was raining, which I hoped would slow people down a tad bit.  Wrong.  I still cringe when I think about how fast people here fly down a rain-soaked highway.  I only saw two spin outs though.  And the massive accident that closed all eight lanes of I-75S was south of my exit.  
Driving on the roads here forces me to confront my worst nightmare on an almost daily basis:  that my children will perish in a car accident.  It’s not specific to Atlanta.  But the drivers here are exponentially more aggressive.  It’s made the whole play date situation difficult for me.  It’s hard for me to let someone else drive my child around.  I’m starting to let go a little, and  I haven’t requested a status report when they arrive at their destination.  But it doesn’t stop me from worrying.   God help me when it is my child actually driving the car.  I can’t even begin to imagine the ulcer that will result from that milestone.  

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January 27, 2009 at 9:46 pm (Uncategorized)

I’ve been in denial for the last six months.  Every week that Todd works insane hours, I tell myself that it’s only a busy cycle.  It will be better in a week or two.  But tonight it hit me that it will never get better.  I guess the only surprising thing is that it took me 6 months to realize that.  
So because I’m a little worn out, Ladybug is still sick, and I’m feeling about as creative as a lump of clay, a photo thread is about all I can muster the strength for.  

Every time we go to the zoo the kids love to “order ice cream” at the Naked Mole Rat playground.   Sunshine always asks for chocolate.  

I love that the girls still love holding each other’s hands.  

The pink chalk residue is still all over the floor.  But it was worth it to watch them coloring together.  

Love you all!

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Behold The Manipulative Mind of My Four Year Old

January 25, 2009 at 9:00 pm (Uncategorized)

Sunshine had a friend over for a bit on Saturday while Ladybug was getting some much needed rest.  The play date was not going well.  Sunshine was furious that I had unceremoniously placed her in timeout and proceeded to throw a massive tantrum.  I carefully warned her that I would be very upset if she woke Ladybug up.  Then I left to walk her little friend home.  Todd filled me in on what happened later.

Apparently Ladybug woke up right after I left.  Sunshine wandered over to Todd and said, “Mommy doesn’t need to know who woke Ladybug up.  And if you tell her, I will be very upset with you.”

I think we’re just a little worried about this.  It’s not like she’s been studying Game Theory, and I know that kids are master manipulators.  But seriously, this is pure deception.  And what else does she think that Mommy doesn’t need to know?  

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It’s baaaaaaaack.

January 22, 2009 at 4:32 pm (Uncategorized)

I knew it was back.  Just when we thought things were getting better; it started again.  The rising temperature, the spastic coughing, the overwhelming need to be suction-cupped to my side.  Then finally, the awful wheezing.  I dragged my poor little Ladybug back to the doctor again this morning.    Two more rip-roaring ear infections, a still-sore throat, bronchitis-induced asthma, and many prescriptions later, we left.  

Ladybug has been great about it.  She’ll cheerfully slurp down any orange or grape flavored medicine.  She even says thank you after I wipe her nose.  She’s been such a trooper.  Until I brought the nebulizer back out.  Now she’s no stranger to the gas-spewing fish mask.  We spent almost two months attached to it last year after a nasty bout of RSV.  Unfortunately she can’t remember that far back.  
It was so much easier when she was an infant.  She would curl up in my arms, and I would place the mask over her face.  She’d usually fall asleep within minutes, lulled by the hum of the machine.  Not so anymore.  She fought that thing tooth and nail.  And I have the scratches on my arms to prove it.  She wanted nothing to do with being in my arms if it involved having that thing on her face.  It was so difficult to hold her rigid, squirming, scratching body.  I felt awful having to contain her that way.  After about 10 minutes of screaming, her body completely relaxed and she gave into it.  Staring into her sad eyes, I felt even worse.  She seemed broken.  I know it will get easier.  She’ll get used to it in no time, but these next few treatments won’t be pretty.

So once again my house has devolved into chaos.  Cause NOTHING happens when there’s a sick kid.  I’ve got tons of emails to flip through, mountains of laundry to fold (though don’t I always?), and dust bunnies in my corners that are approaching the size of actual rabbits.  We had a play date today, so it’s even worse than normal.  Who knew three 4-year olds could do so much damage?  Thank goodness for Magic Erasers.  I probably should have cancelled, but it was actually a great diversion.  Let me concentrate a bit on Ladybug.  
Well, I can hear the whistling from downstairs, so I’m guessing it’s time for another go with the nebulizer.  Wish my little one luck!

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