Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Athena's Budding Humor

I enjoy Athena’s budding humor. She’s only four but her humor is clever. I’ve told her before that I don’t want her leaving messy chap-stick kisses on Anna’s sweet head. I don’t want anything defiling her sweet baby smell. She also knows not to go in Anna’s room while Anna sleeps.

Well I had just rocked Anna to sleep and laid her down for a nap when Athena came downstairs and nonchalantly said, “I went into Anna’s room, and woke her up, and gave her a kiss with my chap-stick.”

I turned around with my angry mom face and said, “You are in trouble!”

“Just kidding mom!” She countered quickly with a smile.

I looked at her and laughed in surprise. Clever girl has picked up on sarcasm! And not the condescending type, but the ironically comical type. I was proud of her! Later she walked into the office as I was on the computer. She was holding her crotch doing the potty dance like she was going to lose it.

“Go potty! Don’t hold it!” I demanded, my eyes big and serious. You know the look- the one moms give when they want to be listened to now.

“Haha! Kidding!” she said triumphantly.
“You bugger!” I said laughing, and I poked her tummy. “I can’t believe you got me!”

As I put her in bed tonight I said, “You were so funny today. You are a joker now.” She laughed and rehearsed all the jokes she had played on me that day. But she added one I didn’t recall. She said, “In the car I told you I ate a tree at the restaurant.” But my mind was driving then so that one slipped by me.

I probably replied something like. “You did? That’s crazy.”

Monday, July 26, 2010

Thinking Back on my Old Job

Before I was a full-time mom I worked as a receptionist for a local college. And every so often corporate people would come to visit. Depending on what rung of the ladder these corporate people were on, many of my co-workers would throw themselves into a tizzy getting ready for the big arrival: Quick, get your files in order! Dust! Clean the carpets! Prepare everything! Perfection people!! Stand here when they walk in ...it goes on. It was somewhat comparable to the frenzy seen in The Devil wears Prada. I even had a co-worker run out quick and buy some nylons for the corporate visit.

I'd sit at my desk amused. And I wondered if I should care more. I was happy that my role to impress was small. I was just the lowly receptionist- no big job duties there. I'll offer them water. Lets see, can I get that right? Yeah, I can handle that.

You see, I had never witnessed this kind of frenzy over 'important people.' Up until then I had never met anyone worthy of my frenzy. In fact I have a natural tendency to be casual with everyone. And if I think that someone presumes himself to be important, well I smile, and I know different.

I even had some of my 'higher-ups' try to give me a loose script for conversation with the 'big-wigs': "If this topic arises say this, if that topic, say that. Don't say this. Don't say that."

Part of me knew the reason they felt the need to rehearse with me was because I have had a tendency to be candid, honest, and a little naive. I'd nod, and keep some of what they said and toss the rest. After all, I've got to be me. And while I learned a lot about personal improvement, I was always silently at odds with many of the people I worked with.

I liked them, but our goals were so different: They were eagerly chasing a professional career at this place, while I just wanted out! They wanted careers and I wanted a baby! I had only accepted the job because I could find nothing entry-level with an editing or writing twist. So here I was, a receptionist for a school I did not fully believe in. I would never have gone to this school myself. But I was told by my 'higher-ups' that as the receptionist I was the face of "will-remain-nameless" college. I'd give them one of my oh-so-famous 'blank stares of Sarah' because I had no ready reply. I think everyone I worked with knew I had no school spirit. I tried, but it just wasn't important to me.

However, the one thing I liked about my job were the students. I knew each of them by name, first and last. They were my priority. They were human and talkative - not stiff and professional. And they loved me! I worked hard to please them. I aimed to exceed their expectations. They had constant needs and I was there to fill them. I was their receptionist and they were my students. In retrospect, those students taught me what it means to be a friend. I felt loyalty to them.

But big-wigs never motivated me. I don't like pompous people. I don't like the politics of the workplace, the little power-plays, and the lame cat-fights that women-in-the-workplace, particularly, find themselves in. Some of my co-workers liked to think I was their personal assistant. I had one woman call me her 'underling'- she was all sorts of power hungry and very insecure and defensive. It was a real roadblock for us.

One day I want to go back into the workforce to chase a career, and I think often about what I want to be when I 'grow up.' But for now I am a mother and I'm quite opinionated on how my little sweeties are raised. No one can appreciate Carson's baby cheeks the way I can. No one can adore him more than I can. I want to be here to watch him grow before he's too old to cuddle. I want to be here to answer Athena's questions and help her make sense of her world. I like being the one she learns everything from. We build trust this way. These children are the work of my life and I won't have anyone else do it for me so I can impress big-wigs. I can't take full credit for being here though. Conrad makes it all possible.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

kid update

I need to have another blog where I be Sarah and not just 'mommy'. I might just set one up. Maybe later. Maybe.

Well - We're having a little girl in October. At the rate I blog my next post just might be pictures of her! I lent my girl clothes out but I get them back in August and I am so excited to go through them again. I love doing that. Carson is moved in to Athena's room and he still takes his naps no problem. They goof off before falling asleep each night. Athena is so kind to him and they play well together. I love that they have each other.

We call my growing belly "Baby Annie" but we are not sure what we'll name her yet. We do have a list going. Carson is allergic to dairy, eggs, and peanuts still. I think he may becoming more tolerant of dairy though! Which is exciting because that will open a whole new world of foods to him.

Kid moments that made me smile: (I jot them down to write here later)
I was explaining to Athena what it will be like at Conrad's company BBQ - so she knows what's going on.
me: "You'll be one of the smaller kids there."
Athena: "But I'm a little bit of a big kid."

She calls root beer 'Root Bear'
"I need a root bear," she says
I get it for her.
"I need a scoop of ice cream in it."
wish granted.
"and a straw."
I give her a look, but I get the straw.
"And a spoon"
"Are you done?" I ask her
"I need a little umbrella in it!" she replies.
I laugh, "no umbrella honey."

During lunch:
Carson is playing with a hat in his high chair. He's got a plate of watermelon in front of him. He puts his hat in his watermelon.
Athena: "uh- don't put that in your food; that is gonna be gross." - she sounds so mature when she says it.
He puts his hat in his watermelon.
Through clenched teeth- "that is de-sgusting!" - I smile from the other room. I like hearing her have an opinion. And I love that she is having a mature conversation with her little brother.

Sometime during the day: She approaches Carson with a bossy tone: "What did I said?!"

And this one surprised me:
"Ahh, I'm enjoying a cigarette. It's good for your body." She whispers it so quietly.
"Where did you hear that?" I ask quietly.
"From myself," she says.
"We don't say that. Cigarettes are not good for your body," I say.
"but I just pretend to eat one," she says.
"I don't want you to pretend to eat one either," I say decidedly.
"okay," she says sheepishly.
(We checked out a book at the library that discusses smoking. We also have neighbors who smoke. I told her, "When people smoke we still be their friend, but we don't smoke. It hurts your body.")

She's very interested in the difference between the look of a smoker's lung and a healthy lung. She's also interested in the development of a fetus. She loves the pop-up book that shows developmental pictures of a baby in utero. We skip the page with a giant pop-up penis. It's one of those see through views where you can see the tissue and organs and urethra and all that. I don't think she would understand what it was, but I'm not taking any chances. Maybe when she's older. Much... older.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I guess I'll update

I am learning to relinquish a little control and say "no" less often. I need to let Athena have her way more and give her more wiggle room. She's getting older, and more independent; and lately she doesn't comply with a lot of my requests. Many of you recognize this behavior as childhood!, Or human nature. So I'll relax and let her 'fart around' as I call it.

I'm also taking this approach to scouts. I teach the bear cub scouts and there's a side to my temperament that allows me to be quick-witted with them and take them off guard with my surprising humor. It ropes them in and allows for jovial give-and-take that we both really enjoy. This side of me is laid back, casual, and a bit of a goof-off. The other side of my temperament demands control of the room - I must be listened to now; IsaidNOW! I hate the way I feel when I let this side take over and I know I'm wrong when I do it. Scouts is drudgery when this side prevails. So - now I plan well and then once I get there, care less, and enjoy them for what they are.

I'm still editing, but I think I want to stop for a while and throw my energies into something else; Yard projects sure, but I want to learn how to develop web pages; I want to learn how to make things pretty. I don't know if I have the interest and patience to learn how to write code that makes the website 'do stuff' though. I've dabbled in html and I get the concept. I love tizag.com btw. It's taught me a lot. My web design interest got derailed a while because morning sickness sapped my will for a bit, but I've come out of that. And then editing projects keep coming up that I keep saying yes to -It's habitual for me to always have some editing project I'm working on. They slip into my email and I do them. It's comfortable and comes easy but it's time to challenge myself with something I'm not good at now.

We had the flu last week and I got it the worst. I was in bed all Saturday and only got up to puke and lose other fluids. Conrad was home to take care of the kids. They scrounged on sugary foods and left a mess through out the house that would make rabid monkeys look tame.

Kids are happy and growing. Athena likes to pretend to be the mommy and she puts on my lip gloss many times a day. Yesterday I taught her that she can chew gum and wear lip gloss at the same time! When she pretends to be me I see myself through her eyes. The other day she dutifully scanned the stud finder across the pictures on the wall. Once that chore was done she climbed in my bed upstairs.

She informed me, "I have to take a little rest. If you come in here I'll give you a wittle spankin'"
"Okay" I said, trying not to laugh at the exact words that always come out of my own mouth when I'm trying to take a much needed nap.
She came downstairs ten minutes later.
"What are you going to do now?" I asked her
"I'm going to work on my cup-uter." She said, a serene but decisive look on her face.

Later - "Why did you put Carson in his room?"
"I'm putting Carson in his room because this toy is stupid." - hmm is that how my reasoning comes across to her? Yikes.

During lunch: "Mom! Look I have power!" - she said, her fingers all pointed in my direction.
"What kind of power?"
"Red Power. And Carson has orange power, and Daddy has green power," she said.
"What kind of power do I have?" I asked.
"You don't have power," she replied.
"Athena, what's power?" I asked.
"Power is a drink," she answered.

Later- "Mommy. I'm sorry I puke in your room. It was a lot of puke, and I'm sorry to do that puke... it was yellow." - I checked my room. No puke. Whew!

Carson is very clingy lately. He's got diarrhea and doesn't want to eat much. When he doesn't smell like sneeze he has his usual baby sweetness. I know he is a small toddler, yet I still cradle him like a baby and he loves it. I love to squeeze his little cheeks lightly and just hold them. He is a cuddler! He loves his bink and a soft thick blanket to cuddle with. I like to watch his face change as he watches tv or as he plays. He also likes to chase the vacuum cleaner. He can walk, but he is in no hurry to do it so he crawls for now. Carson is a big boob; he will cry about any owie and he likes to be babied. I like to baby him, but sometimes I say, "you're okay ham-bone." After dinner sometimes he smells like a 'ham-bone' or a 'beef-cake' because he likes to rub whatever he is eating all over his face and head.

We play monster and he runs from me. I muster up my deepest scary voice, "FEEee FIE FOE FUM! Here I come to spank your BUM!" or 'get your tum!' They scream and scatter. The kids love to jump and play on Athena's bed. It's the 'fun place.' Carson and Athena will be roommates in August because new baby will come two months after that. I've already re-arranged her room and Carson's toddler bed will be arriving next week! I'm excited to set it up but I will miss his being in a crib and the control that gives me over his sleeping schedule. This boy could be in a crib for sooo much longer. He is not a limit tester and he would not try to climb out, but new baby gets here Oct 10th. (Due date is 10-10-10) We find out May 14th what we're having! :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Are these Good?

I'm not necessarily getting into photography, but I do enjoy taking nature shots like this and I like taking pictures of old things like weathered wood or rusting metal. I like catching the beauty of it. Some things just don't 'catch' in photos. My favorite is the first one with the dying leaves on the ground.

So I have a few shots I've taken and I'm asking the experienced and inexperienced alike to give me your opinions on what you think of these photos. None of them are lightened or altered in photo shop. I can see where the water could be more in focus- but I don't have a high end camera. I can see where the water photos need more of a focal point. And then I can see that the three trunk -the one with the two knots in it- could use some lightening up.

I want to go out and do some more.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Halloween Pics

Carson was a tiger, Athena was a Lion, Conrad was Indiana Jones, and I was an elf. (Those ears are not real) We did a trunk or treat, then Conrad and Athena went around the neighborhood while I passed out candy at home and put baby boy in bed. I set the candy bowl out for ten minutes while I put baby in bed. I heard three knocks while I was up there putting him down and when I came out the candy bowl was empty. I was angry about it and it stuck with me for a while. But I guess I'll never do that again. The night was just a lot of fun and I was in a trusting mood. I fantasized that the kid who took ALLL my Halloween candy had a reoccurring nightmare for a month that he was inhaling my enormous bowl of Halloween candy. Tsk tsk tsk. So vindictive. :) Bwahaha!!

Men Means... Lot's of Mans.

I was sitting/hunching over my computer- soggy posture when Athena walked and and noted my stomach. I watched her face change to one of sudden curiosity as she did a double take. She then asked, "Do you have a baby in your tummy? ...You can’t have a baby in your tummy right now. Carson is not in. He’s sleeping in his bed. You can make a baby another time."

Later she was playing with some sticky paper. She was talking to it and I caught, "And I say, 'get off my hand! Get off my hand! You stupid-naughty-paper!'"

I like hearing her thoughts stream from one idea to the next. Yesterday while we ate lunch she said, "You love me mom. I’m a baby to you. I’m not a cream cheese, or a bubble head, or uh eyeball. I love eyeballs and I can choke on them. (She’s talking about Halloween eyeball gum. And we were eating cream cheese. Not sure where the bubble-head came from though.)

Athena knows that Conrad is a man but she wasn’t familiar with the plural form ‘men’ when I used ‘men’ in a sentence.
She asked, “What’s ‘men’ mean?”
“Oh... man?” I asked her my eyes level with hers.
“No men!” She corrected.
“Men means… lots of mans.” I said simply.
She understood perfectly. “Ohhh,” she said with a smile.

It’s easy to tell when Athena is plotting general naughtiness; Just now she closed the office door so I wouldn't see her getting into things she shouldn't. Sometimes I let her believe for a while that I don’t know what she's up to- mostly I only do that when I'm too tired to stop her.

Sometimes she will say, “Mommy, go away. I want to be awone,” (so she can be naughty.)
"Do you want me to go away so you can push the bar-stool over to the pantry to get gum?"
"Yes" she says honestly. I love the sweet honesty for now. That'll change but I enjoy it for now.

A few days before Halloween she was in the office, pooping behind the door. That's where she poops- behind that door as she wears a pull up. She won't use the potty for that yet, so I let her use a pull up for now. Anyway it must have been roughly 7 minutes she was there as I busied myself in the kitchen. I realized it was too quiet and that she must be up to something. Sure enough, she had relocated to the office closet where the Halloween candy was stashed, and she had inhaled eleven or twelve peanut butter cups in that short space of time.

Just now she closed the office door while I typed in here. Then she pushed a bar stool across the kitchen floor. (I know from all the way upstairs when she is being naughty because I can hear the bar-stool scraping across the floor.) This time she climbed up to get a sucker off the counter. When she opened the office door again with a big fat sucker in her mouth I gave her a look that caused her to pause and wonder about her status. Was she in trouble? Was I okay with her sneakiness? She squirmed under my all-searching eye. You could see it in her sweet little face. She whispered humbly, “It’s okay. It’s own-ee a little bit naughty…. You’re own-ee a little bit mad.” I was enjoying the moment. I stared at her with a blank expression and she tried to convince harder, “Mommyyyy!! Your own-ee a little bit mad!” She was hoping to persuade me to be fine with it. I broke a smile and laughed. She got away with the sucker. Well, I can’t get after her for every little thing!