Saturday, April 28, 2012


I am NOT Superwoman, or Supermom or anything "super" for that matter.  But, I try to do my best to balance my life on the weekends.  It's a difficult job to be "mom," "housekeeper," "entertainer," and SANE!  My weekends are so full, mostly because I have chosen to be a working mom.

On Saturdays we have to play catch up from our work week.  There is laundry to do, bathrooms to clean, floors to be vacuumed and scrubbed, and grocery shopping to be planned for and completed.  This long list of time-consuming tasks are only made more difficult to finish when one parent is absent.

Jason has a play date with one of his buddies today.  They are currently fishing on a little lake with their bows and arrows trying to win a fishing tournament.  Don't ask me why this is fun, I will never understand it.  They are fishing for large carp-like fish that are not native to our area, but were introduced to our lakes and rivers after the Missouri flooded our area last summer.  I'm not sure if the contest is decided by the amount of fish they catch or by the weight of the fish, but either way these are not fish that this family will be eating. ;)

At any rate, since Jason is off having, what he calls, "fun" with his friend, I am tasked with completing our Saturday "to-do lists" by myself.  Well, not really.  I have two "helpers" to involve as well.  Ha!  So this is how our Saturday is going at this point:

  • "Sleep in."  Check.  (If your idea of sleeping in is having two kids in your bed watching Phineas and Ferb while you try to snooze through their giggling.)
  • Get up, throw on some clothes and go get donuts and COFFEE!  Check.  Awesome donuts by Jitters, and a large coffee later I am more prepared to take on my day of single parenting.
  • Come home and play on the Internet.  What?!  I had to check out the worlds of Facebook, Pinterest, Zulily, Crazy 8, other blogs I follow, and then updating my own.  I swear that this is how Saturdays are supposed to go....really!
  • Help Lauren clean up the finger nail polish remover she spilled all over the kitchen floor....check.  Shhhh.....don't tell Jason!  He would ban all girly products from the house for sure!!!  If the wood floor starts looking a little lighter in that area I will blame it on all of the sun that comes through our kitchen windows and maybe, finally, get the new flooring I want anyway!  LOL
  • Explain to Braden that he is not, in fact, a lion tamer and that Sadie (our dog) is not, in fact, a lion and that if he actually hits her with that leash then I get to play the part of the tamer and HE gets to be the lion!  (Don't call DHS, I won't actually hit him with the leash, but HE doesn't know that so this comment works for getting him to take a step back from the dog.  Hey, don't judge me, SHE was my FIRST child, so naturally my favorite!  LOL)
  • Now, on to the rest of my day.  This is what we have in store:
    • Laundry - What this consists of at our house is getting it all clean, piling it up on our chair in the living room, and folding it a few days in the future.  Then a few days after that we will actually put away the piles that are left, and refold the piles that we have been rifling through for days on end looking for clean clothes to wear to work and school.
    • Vacuum and Clean Floors - Sounds pretty straight-forward right?  I should mention that I hate vacuuming stairs so I pay my 5 year old $1 to do it for me. LOL  And I am too lazy to sweep the kitchen and bathroom floors, so those get vacuumed too.  And maybe not mopped today....we will see how things go.
    • Dusting....hahahahahahaha!  Yeah right!
    • 1:15 movie of Chimpanzee.  This has been requested by my slaves children for a nice break in our day.  I am thinking that I will not eat lunch today so that I can eat a whole bunch of movie theatre popcorn with out all of the guilt. :)
    • After the movie we need to kick our cleaning into high gear before the man of the house returns and asks, "Huh...sooooo, what did you guys DO today?" as he looks around the house that really isn't much cleaner than when he left.  
And if he were to actually say that, then HE would get to enjoy a weekend of single-parent activities very soon!!

Enjoy your weekends everyone.  Take some time to be silly with your kids, make a few messes, make a few memories, and maybe get your laundry put away. :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Short-Order Cook

With the birth of our daughter, Lauren, we became first time parents.  As first time parents we made lots of mistakes and learned lots of lessons.  Seeing as how that was over 7 years ago, and both of our children are happy and healthy, I think we're doing an ok job.

Lauren was an exceptionally easy baby/toddler/little girl, and still to this day she doesn't stress us out too much.  But one "phase" she did go through, which I believe to be very common with kids, is a picky-eater phase.  There was a time, when she was eating solid foods pretty well, that she would only eat certain things.  She went through a phase where I swear the only thing keeping her alive was crackers.  Then there was the hot dog phase.  And finally, the chicken nuggets phase.  Just about the time that I considered saying something to her doctor about it, she would get over that particular phase and move on to something else.

Now, being a relatively new mom, I got a little tired of unsolicited advice, so when my child was going through something that I knew wouldn't kill her, I didn't say much about it to anyone.  Looking back, that was stupid.

I remember having a conversation with one of the smartest moms I know (my sister!).  I happened to offhandedly mention that I was tired of Lauren's phase she was in at that time, probably the chicken nugget phase.  My sister, who has always been great about not judging my parenting skills, managed to slip in a comment that didn't offend me, it actually made a light bulb go on in my head.  She said something to the effect that her kids have had to learn that she is NOT a short-order cook and if they don't eat what she has made for supper, they go to bed hungry.  Wow.  Now that was awe-inspiring!

I remember putting that theory to the test not long after that conversation.  Lauren was probably about 3 at the time and most likely made some disparaging comments, or bawled about what was for supper.  So instead of making her something that she would eat, I calmly put her to bed.  Lesson learned in ONE night.  She has never had to go to bed hungry again, and I can cook ONE meal each night.

Enter little brother Braden.

He has never been an easy child.  And he is a bit of a picky eater.  Over the years I have done a pretty good job of making meals that everyone likes, or that contain at least one healthy element that everyone likes.  Braden has heard the story a couple of times about when his sister had to go to bed hungry.  We have used it as motivation for eating his meal.  It has worked every time.

Braden's problem is different.  He will take one look at the meal that I, or my husband, have prepared and deem it gross, or "bisgusting" and tell us that he is not going to eat it.  But more times than not, he ends up eating enough of the meal that we are happy.  Tonight started out feeling a LOT like the night we sent Lauren to bed hungry.

I tried a new recipe (very rarely is this a good idea with small children).  Both of my kids made the "disgusting" face just looking at it. Lauren was easy to convince to eat it after I explained that all that was in it was chicken, veggies, and stuffing.  Braden still refused to eat it.  So, we recounted the story about Lauren getting sent to bed hungry.  He still refused to eat it.  We took the "ignore" approach.  Meaning, we ignored his whining and just ate our meal.  When he realized that no one cared that he wasn't eating, he poked a piece of chicken and put it in his mouth.  Then he says:

"Huh....Mom!  You're right!  This IS good!"

Seriously!?  And THAT was worth the 30 minute fit and refusing to eat?  Good grief.