Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Next Blog Saga Continues

Now they're all aviation blogs! What's up with that? I complain about Newark Liberty International so often that now I'm linked to aviation blogs? What's next?

Heat Wave

I can't believe my eyes. It's actually raining here today. It's 35F, and it's raining. It feels quite tropical outside. For the last two weeks the temperature has been hovering around 20F, give or take a few degrees, and then we woke up this morning to rain. I didn't even have to start the car to warm it up before loading the kids in for the AM school run.

A year and a half ago when we first moved to Newfoundland I'd warm the car up if the temperature was below 50F. We were straight out of Houston, and Brandon was only five months old. By the end of our first winter I was only warming the car up if it was 40F or less since we were acclimating and Brandon was pushing a year old. Now the threshold is freezing. If the temperature is below 32F I'll preheat the car, and if it's above that then my poor little monsters are just going to have to deal.

Now if only the sun would make an appearance one of these freakishly warm days it might just lift my mood long enough to tide me over until our trip to Disney World in sixteen days.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Team Conan or Team Leno?

Team Conan? Team Leno? Team Letterman? Or Team I Don't Care? Seriously. How long is this drama going to go on? Isn't there something more interesting in the news to talk about? Maybe an earthquake wreaking havoc in Haiti? I can't imagine how much time the media would spend discussing the Leno/Conan debate if that earthquake hadn't happened.

I'm on Team It Makes No Difference to Me Because I Live in Newfoundland, Which is in a Time Zone an Hour and a Half Ahead of Eastern Time, and I Have Three Small Children, Therefore I Cannot Stay Awake Late Enough to Even Watch the Nightly News Let Alone Late-Night Television.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I have a serious case of the blahs this week, and I really dislike blahging. Blahging would be defined as blogging during a case of the blahs (not blogging with a Boston accent, as you might have incorrectly,though understandably, guessed). Not only do I just not feel like sitting at my computer typing, but you really don't feel like reading about how cold the weather is, how annoying my kids can be some days, or how tired I am.

I promise to return just as soon as the blahs have ceased. It shouldn't be more than a few more days. I can only stand wallowing in the blahs for so long. I just didn't want you to think I forgot about you. All eight of you.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

No More Next Blog For You

I think I'm being punished for complaining about the Next Blog.

For a couple of days after my blog post about the Next Blog I could only access religious blogs via the Next Blog. The Jesus talk really did screw me up on that one.

But now I can only access three separate blogs via the Next Blog. It doesn't matter how many times I hit Next Blog--it just keeps looping through these three blogs:

Interesting. I kind of get Downtown Dad. I kind of get Kate's Random Musings. But why Durova, the wiki witch of the west?

Very interesting. I will continue to ponder this question of the Next Blog. I'm sure you're all fascinated.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Seatbelting by the Numbers

I've been doing a little mommy math, and my typical week includes, at a minimum, the following:

Seatbelts buckled/unbuckled = 170.

School-related buckling makes up 134 of these seatbelt interactions. If I add in one trip to the grocery store, a ballet lesson, one Little Gym class, and one playgroup that number goes up to 170. Those numbers include my own seatbelt, but do not include an adjustment for the fact that Brandon and Natalie are both still in five-point harnesses, therefore requiring three separate buckling actions per seating. The number does allow for the fact that any one child over the age of five is buckling their own seatbelt, therefore excusing me from the duty.

This number does not include any extra excursions. If doctor's appointments, birthday parties, or trips to Wal-Mart arise the number only increases. If we decide to leave the house as a family to either go out to dinner or sightsee the number will also increase, but the amount by which it increases varies depending on how slowly I get ready to leave the house, possibly forcing Shaun to do all the seatbelting.

This buckling number also doesn't include a difficulty factor for when children are squirming, crying, carrying backpacks, or wearing snowpants.

It does not allow for weather.

In any given week I buckle or unbuckle at least 170 seatbelts. If I were to adjust this number for five-point harnesses, extra activities, and just sheer difficulty it would have to be close to 300. Is it any wonder that I shudder at the thought of afterschool activities?!

Friday, January 8, 2010

What's Up with the Next Blog?

Has anyone else tried the 'Next Blog' feature at the top of their page? I'm a little confused by all the Next Blogs lately.

I like to occasionally check out the Next Blog while I'm killing time on the Internet, and I was excited to learn a few weeks ago that Blogger had updated the 'Next Blog' function to take me to other pages similar to my own in content and language rather than to any random blog. At least that's what it's supposed to do according to this post in the Blogger Buzz.

Can someone explain to me then why all the Next Blogs are now about either religion (Christian or otherwise) or the Middle East? Does it seem like I'm posting from the Middle East? Perhaps Blogger thinks Newfoundland is in the Middle East? Have I posted about going to church or something? I'm pretty sure I haven't been discussing Jesus on my blog. Uh oh. If I type the words 'Middle East' and 'Jesus' have I just guaranteed that all the Next Blogs will continue to be about the Middle East and/or Jesus?

Why isn't Blogger taking me to other mildly sarcastic Mom blogs?

At least the Next Blogs are all written in English. They got that part right. It's a relief to know I really have been blogging in English all this time--even if I thought I'd been blogging in English about my kids rather than about Jesus.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Knock, Knock! Bang, Bang!

Brandon started trying to climb out of his crib a couple of months ago, so we decided it was time to move him out of his crib and into a toddler bed. He was only about eighteen months old at the time, but both Kyle and Natalie moved out of the crib around the same age because we needed the crib. I swore that Brandon would be allowed to stay in the crib until he was three because I wasn't anticipating needing it for another baby, but once he started climbing I wasn't comfortable letting him learn to scale the side of the crib and jump to the floor.

Kyle and Natalie transitioned from crib to bed almost seamlessly. It was almost as if they didn't realize they weren't in a crib any more. Kyle was three and a half before he'd even get out of his full-size bed without me coming to get him in the morning or after naps. Natalie has only started getting out of bed on her own within the last few months. From the time of transition all it took to keep them in the bed was one look from me (you know the look--the one I wish I could bottle and sell), a finger-point, and a stern, "Don't get out of bed." They never got out of their beds. They didn't have the nerve.

Enter Brandon. My easy baby. The Best Baby Ever. The miracle that has been sleeping like a pro since birth. The child that rarely needs discipline because he's so easy-going and because the 'bad stuff' he does pales in comparison to what his brother and sister are up to.

Guess what happens when the good baby turns toddler? He thinks he can get away with murder! Why? Because he's not afraid of me! And what happens when you put this fearless toddler in a toddler bed? He gets right back out of the bed and starts banging on the bedroom door when you tell him sternly, "Don't get out of bed."

Every night we escort Brandon to his bed, tuck him in with his two Winnie the Poohs, turn off the lights, walk out of the room, and shut the door. Less than five seconds later we'll hear a little voice yell, "Knock, knock!!" followed by bang, bang, bang, bang. What's that banging, you ask? Only the sound of my little angel slamming his feet into his door repeatedly while he lays on the floor yelling, "Knock, knock! Daddy, where are you?! Mommy, where are you?! Knock, knock!"

For awhile we'd go back into Brandon's room and walk him back to bed to have the entire scenario repeat itself. But we're not third-time parents for nothing. Now we ignore him. The knocking and banging only lasts for about three minutes before Brandon either falls asleep on the floor behind his door or walks himself back to bed and falls asleep there. We have to remind ourselves to be careful when we check on Brandon before we go to bed because we've opened the bedroom door a handful of times to find him wedged right up against the door.

It could be much worse than it is. Brandon could have given up going to bed entirely. At least he still goes to bed and sleeps all night. He could spend hours at night crying or getting out of bed to play with toys, but he doesn't. It's not very amusing to be awoken at 6:30 AM by a loud bang, bang, bang noise, but he'd be awake at 6:30 anyway, crib or toddler bed.

However, Shaun and I are still mildly horrified that The Best Baby Ever is turning into a tyrant. I think perhaps we've been spoiled by how easy Brandon has been up to this point. We expected him to have the easiest transition to a bed of all our kids. The control freak in me struggles with the long-term effects of allowing Brandon to think he can just fall asleep banging on his bedroom door. What kind of message does that send? Certainly not the same 'Mommy is in charge' message that Kyle and Natalie seem to quite clearly grasp. But the experienced mother in me knows that I need to pick my battles, and who cares if Brandon is sleeping on the floor as long as he's sleeping--and more importantly, as long as I'm sleeping?

The bottom line is that my third child is turning into your typical 'baby of the family'. He gets away with murder. We all smile and laugh as he commits his crime. And I'm going to totally let him get away with it because he's my baby.

I'm afraid to even imagine what potty-training is going to be like.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Is That a Granola Bar Stuck to His Butt?

You've probably noticed that I've been incredibly lazy about this blog lately, but I really can't force a blog. I need to feel inspired to blog before I can blog.

I've spent some time wondering what my first blog of the new year would end up discussing. Would my first blog of 2010 be a Christmas wrap-up describing all the madness, mayhem, wrapping paper, and sheer joy involved in having three small kids discovering what Santa left behind on Christmas morning? Would it detail the New Year's Eve party we held at our house and the resulting Dance Dance Revolution marathon? Should I do a top 10 countdown for 2009? No. We didn't move, no siblings graduated or got married, we didn't have another baby, and no one new completed potty-training; 2009 paled in comparison to 2008. Maybe I would write about all the resolutions I felt I wanted to make for 2010 before I realized my New Year's Resolution for 2010 would be the same one I make every year--to try to just relax and be happy since I already have everything I need in this life but could stand to slow down and just appreciate it all once in awhile. What to blog? What to blog?

Shaun and I were rushing around this morning, attempting to feed all the kids breakfast and get them dressed for the day. Brandon has become fairly particular about breakfast. By particular I mean that he prefers donuts to all other foods, and complains that we force him to eat other foods. He grabbed a chewy granola bar out of the cupboard this morning, and I was satisfied that at least he was choosing something other than a donut, so I went along with this choice. Brandon sat at his booster seat at the table for awhile, breaking the granola bar into pieces, nibbling on a few crumbs, guzzling his milk from his sippy cup, and then he declared that he was, "All done!!"

About half of the granola bar had disappeared, and before cleaning Brandon and turning him loose Shaun checked to make sure that Brandon hadn't just shoved the other half of the granola bar under his booster seat. Because he will just shove food under his booster seat. Your kids probably do it, too. If they're not just blatantly throwing it on the floor they're covertly shoving it under their booster seat or into some crevice of their high chair. But for once Brandon hadn't shoved his granola bar under his booster, so he received some enthusiastic praise for eating his breakfast, and he was cleaned up and set free.

Brandon ran through the house, grinning.

I walked through the living room, picking up toys, sending Kyle upstairs to brush his teeth, telling Natalie to go use the potty, and then I turned and looked at Brandon and said, "Is that a granola bar stuck to his butt?!"

He didn't eat any of that stupid granola bar. He didn't shove it under his booster seat. He shoved it down in the seat next to him, and it got stuck to the rear-end of his dinosaur footie-jammies. And it was pretty darn funny to see him running through the house, grinning, with a granola bar stuck to his butt. It was so funny that I almost didn't care that the little monster managed to get out of eating something other than a donut for breakfast.

This is my life. This is what I shall blog about. This one little question sums up my entire existence right now: "Is that a granola bar stuck to his butt?"