Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What's In a Name: Part 2

I hope Griffin is prepared for the wife that he is betrothed to, because she has already decided on their childrens' names. And by "prepared", I mean willing and able to accept without question. Because these names, well, I'll just let you decide.

According to Ray, they are having one boy and one girl. The girl will be the oldest (hmmm...wonder why) and her name will be .....


I made her spell it for me so that I knew I heard it right. She likes how it sounds.

The boy's name will be Jariff. I'm guessing on the spelling, because she couldn't spell that one.

My guess is as good as yours as to where these came from.... at least they are creative!

Monday, August 23, 2010

School Daze: Day 1

For exactly one year, Ray has been harassing me about starting Kindergarten. "When will I start Kindergarten?" "When I turn six, will I be in Kindergarten?" "When I go to Kindergarten, I'm going to ride my bike to school." And, every morning for the past week, "Mommy, can I go to Kindergarten today? I know today is the day!"

Ray chose her (ugly, in my opinion) first day of school outfit and was prepared to ride her bike to school this morning. Why did it have to rain? She was so disappointed, but I promised her that the first sunny morning that she could ride her bike (luckily, we live less than a mile from the school so that's easy peasy). I'm just going to have to walk it back home, so that little adventure won't happen all that often.

She was all attitude walking into school. When her vice-principal said "Hi!", I told her his name. When I tried to tell her her principal's name, she was all uppity, "You know, Mommy, you've told me this before. You don't need to keep repeating it!"

Yet, she asked me five times on the way to school what her teachers name is. Go figure.

Miss Attitude
Once we walked into her classroom, Ray took control. She listened well at the meet 'n greet. Knew just what to do to check in and found her desk right away.

I was feeling all emotional this morning. I'm not supposed to be a mom of a school kid. Ever. They are supposed to stay babies, which means I'll never age. But, Ray is clearly ready to move on.

Don't most kids cry when their parents leave them on their first day of Kindergarten? Mine just straight up kicked me out of the room. But I didn't leave without a fight...

One last picture - with an attitude

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What's In a Name?

Ray has been betrothed to a boy named Griffin since she was four and he was five. Griffin's parents are good friends of mine and E's, and we all love this idea. Hey, we already like our inlaws and they like us. The wedding would be one big party, and that's all that's important, right? Oh, and their daughter, Reese, has been promised to Chay, as well. The best of both worlds. For now, all four kids are on board with this idea. We'll see how they feel in, say, 20 years.

A day at the beach today led to a conversation between E and Ray about maiden names. She asked and was told my name before I married E, Nana's name before she married Papa, and Grandma's name before she married Grandpa.

Ray: What will my name be when I marry Griffin?

E: L***

Ray: Hmmm.... Ray L***. I like that. Ray... what was that name again?

E: L***

Ray: Oh, OK, Ray L***. Will Chay's name be Chay L*** when he marries Reese?

E: No, he is a boy, so he'll still be Chay M***.

Ray: Oh, I get it. So he'll be Chay M*** and Reese will be Reese M***. I hope Chay's mother-in-law will like that.

Of course, I immediately had to call my future inlaw and let her know that my daughter is already concerned about her feelings on their future marriages. Ray will make a perfect daughter-in-law one day. I just hope Reese is just as perfect. I have a feeling she will be.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Princess Peach and Bowser

Ray and Chay received a birthday party invitation today. The theme is Super Mario Bros. and the party is for two little brothers who are turning 7 and 4. The boys' mom is super creative and created these little cards for the kids to rub off lottery ticket-like thingies and discover which characters they will represent at the party.

Being a Super Mario Bros. novice, I had to rely on Ray and Chay's identifying the characters for me. Birthday boys' mom wisely made Ray a Princess - Princess Peach, I have been informed. Chay scratched off his card and found out he was Luigi. Fits have been thrown over this one.

Turns out Luigi is a good guy, and Chay has decided that he is a bad guy, through and through. He wants to be Bowser:

Because "He's got spikey things on his back and wikes to wun over cars." He makes me so proud sometimes.

When asked why he likes Bowser's spikey back, Chay responded, "Cuz I's gots staples in my head and dose are spikey!"

I have relented and told him he can be Bowser. Ray was the mediator and the agreement was reached when Chay agreed he wouldn't run over any cars or hurt anyone. I tried to throw in a no fit throwing clause, but I lost that argument.

So, Bowser it is.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Frankenstein (aka The Bull)

Chay has earned his nickname, "The Bull," many times over.

Originally, we started calling him Bull because he would indiscriminately run into something. A glass sliding door? Walked right into it and left a perfect face print on it.

Another time, Chay took off running head first into the TV cabinet. Bounced off of it and landed flat on his back. He just laid there and stared up at the ceiling. I watched him, praying that he didn't knock himself out. He didn't, I guess he was just thinking about what a stupid move that was. About a minute later, he stood up, shook his head and took off running full speed ahead directly to his right. And directly into the wall.

Friday night, The Bull was was rough housing in Ray's room, and he decided to dive off of her bed into a pile full of toys. I was in the living room hanging out with friends when he came out crying. Being used to it his antics, I didn't think much of it and figured it was just another bump or bruise. Until I found my hand covered in blood.

Head wounds like to bleed. And they don't stop easily. I took him to the ER at Gulf Coast Memorial Hospital. Thankfully they weren't crowded, but we were still there for five long hours. Chay was a trooper...he played and laughed and entertained everyone in the waiting room. You never would have known that his head was spewing blood. Well, except for me having to chase him down constantly to wipe it up.

In the end, it took two male nurses and the PA to hold The Bull down to treat him. He can be strong when he wants to fight you (which, truth be told, is often). They put four staples into the gash in the back of his head. He really didn't like that, but he did like the gummy bears I gave him. I normally wouldn't give my three year old gummy bears at 1:00 in the morning, but it seemed like the thing to do at the time.

The staff at Gulf Coast Memorial ER were awesome. They put four staples in a fearless three year old's head professionally, gently, and amazingly, pretty easily.

The Bull even earned a new teddy bear. He is proud to say that its the second teddy bear he has been given from an emergency worker. I say that's a trend that needs to stop.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Little Ray and A Little Chay


Ray likes to make up songs, the sillier, the better. She made this one up in the restroom at Chili's today:

(Sung to the tune of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town")

I'm going to poop,
I'm going to pee,
I'm going to poop,
And I'm telling you why,

You need to get out of the bathroom, right now.



Chay has been in a goofy mood lately. Silly boy, 100%. He's been in the best of moods, and he is making up all kinds of ways to cuddle.

Today's version of kissing:

Mommy, let me kiss you on the lips (Kisses me on the lips)
Mommy, now the cheek (Kisses me on the cheek)
Mommy, let me kiss you on the nose (Kisses me on the nose)
Mommy, now the forehead (Smacks me in the forehead with his hand.)
Mommy, now THAT'S funny!!!!

Yeah, not so much.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

VPK Graduation

Leading up to Ray's VPK graduation last week, I was hesitant and slightly negative about the whole thing. Graduating from VPK? Really? I only graduated from high school and college. VPK seemed a little like overkill. I looked at it like it was just a reason to pay $35 for the honor of hearing my baby sing songs I've been hearing her sing for six months.

I am happy to say that I take all those thoughts back. VPK graduation rocked.

Ray's teachers did a great job. They put on a beautiful, fun, and emotional ceremony. Ray's graduating class had 52 students and six teachers. Six absolutely fabulous teachers.

The entire class sang songs like Fifty Nifty United States, Macarena Months, My Florida Alphabet and Hip Hop Hokey Pokey. Ray headlined the school's theme song and loved being in the spotlight. Because of these songs, my baby can name all fifty states in alphabetical order, all of the U.S. presidents in order, and the days of the week and months in both English and Spanish. She is beyond brilliant (yes, I am biased.)

Ray stood proud after she received her diploma (not the real one to be sure, that was placed safely in a folder for us to take home later). Her teacher announced that she wanted to be a teacher when she grows up, and my baby grinned ear to ear.

The VPK teachers also put together a book called, "Recipes from Imagination Station." Ray's entry, verbatum:

My Dad's Great Waffles
2 Waffles that you buy from Publix
Put the waffles in the oven for 5 minutes. Take out and put them on a plate. Put lots of syrup on them. If you don't want syrup you can just eat it whole.


They also showed a slide show containing pictures from all the years the kids were at the daycare. It brought tears my eyes and made me appreciate how well Ray's school took care of her. Ray started there when she was two years old, and it is truly more than a daycare and VPK school. They have taught and comforted and helped my baby grow. They help make her who she is today.

I also cried because I realized why I had not been the most positive towards the graduation, and its why I delayed writing about it. Because it means my baby is no longer my baby. She's going to Kindergarten next year. Kindergarten! I have never looked beyond this point. Its quite odd. And I like it.

She may be growing up, but she'll always be my baby. No matter how old she is.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Funny Things They Say

Chay is starting to come out of his shell in a major way. He flirts with his teachers. He disagrees with Ray when she tells him to do something. And, man, does he grunt at me when he's not happy. My little Bull has developed his own sense of humor, and its a pretty good one.

He is also coming up with some doozy sayings.

Take this conversation, for instance:

Chay: I want watamewon. Pweese? Can I have watamewon?

Me: Let's work on this. It is WATER MELLON. You aren't Elmer Fudd.

Chay: I just want watamewon. Pwease.

E: You kinda look like Elmer Fudd, with that new hair cut and your ears.

Chay to me: That's messed up. (And you will need to picture his face, with his eyebrows all crooked and face scrunched up, the perfect facial).


Chay has been wearing his sunglasses EVERYWHERE. And when he puts them on, he is a "rock star." And he will tell everyone he sees that he's a "rock and roll rock star."

As much as he loves his drums and guitar, I do see a future in music, despite the cheesy sunglasses.


And then there's this sweet compliment he paid me last week after I ran six miles:

Chay: Mommy, you stink.

Me: Chay! I'm the stink monster. Give me a hug!

Chay: Oh, no. AAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!! Get away stink monster!

Me (after a shower): Chay, will you give me a hug now?

Chay (after smelling my arm): Mmmmm....mommy, you smell good now. Before you smelled like a trash can. Now you smell like a rose.

Me: Well, I aim to please.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ray and Chay's Great Grandma

Ray and Chay have been lucky to have their Great Grandma in their lives, and they are her "Pride and Joy." She loves them with all her heart, even if she couldn't keep up with their energy the past few months.

Great Grandma and The Bull

Great Grandma swears that Chay is crazier than a bed bug. Her nickname for him is "The Little Shit." She knows crazy best...she's the oldest of 14 crazy Canadian brothers and sisters. Great Grandma is a hard working, hard headed, and absolutely beautiful woman.

Great Grandma and Ray at Easter

Ray is Great Grandma's love of her life. My grandpa is Ray's namesake, and therefore, a constant reminder of my Grandma's great love of her life. Ray and Great Grandma were so sweet together, always giving hugs, holding hands and blowing kisses to each other.

Great Grandma passed away yesterday morning. While we were sitting with her saying our final goodbyes, Nana wondered how I was going to explain Great Grandma's passing to Ray and Chay. My response, "I'm going to be honest."

I received the call from my mom at 6:30 Monday morning, so the kids weren't awake yet. I raced around getting dressed as quickly as possible, and Ray woke up and was curious why I was leaving and not getting ready for work. I explained that I was going to see Great Grandma and had to hurry. I didn't have time to sit down and tell her fully what had happened, and I planned to do it later in the evening when we could all sit down and have a serious talk.

Ray had a different plan. She is so perceptive, it throws me off sometimes. Later that afternoon, I went to pick Ray and Chay up from their school, and the first thing Ray asked after we pulled out of the parking lot, was this: "Mommy, what happened to Great Grandma?"

Luckily, I was at a red light, so I could glance into the rear view mirror. What I saw shook me. Beauty had tears in her eyes. How did my baby know?

I told them there and then that Great Grandma died and was now in heaven dancing with their Great Grandpa. Then I handed out presents that I told them Great Grandma had left them. I gave Chay a stuffed dog that Great Grandma's brother had given her that has USA stuff all over it, and I told Ray that Great Grandma gave her the PURPLE blanket she had been using to keep her legs warm.

Chay carries that stuffed dog with him everywhere, and Ray now sleeps with that blanket. They are sad, but not fully understanding the concept of death. Yet, Great Grandma will be with them forever, and I cannot think of a better way for them to remember her than through her many gifts that she has passed on to them, whether they be stuffed, metal or just memories.

Cheers, Grandma. You are already missed, but I know you are dancing with Grandpa in heaven. I love you.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day on My Wrist

I received extra special Mother's Day presents from Ray and Chay; gorgeous and expensive bracelets with colorful jewels and meaningful charms that represent just how much they love me. I am a lucky woman.

OK, maybe not so fancy and expensive. And, not so gorgeous either. But truly made with love.

Ray walked me through every bead on her bracelet and explained to me what each one represents (her bracelet is the one closer to my hand). From right to left:

*A purple glass bead - She loves purple and it was the fanciest there was.

*A small silver rose - She's the baby rose.

*A gold bead - Because its GOLD, mommy, and really expensive!

*A big silver rose - I'm the mommy rose.

*A hot pink dolphin - Because its a dolphin and they are cute.

*A red heart - Because she loves me. Duh.

*A pink butterfly - They are pretty, just like us.

*A purple bow - Because she loves purple and hair bows. It just made sense.

*A silver flower - Flowers are pretty and I wear a lot of silver.

*A black bead - I also wear a lot of black and its one of my favorite colors (I do, in fact, wear a lot of black. But I never made a deal about it, so I'm impressed that she is working on her observation skills).

*A sparkly pink heart - Her teachers didn't have any diamonds, so this heart was the sparkliest thing she could find. And its pink.

I love the thought process that she went through as she put it together. I can just imagine her facial expressions and the conversation she had with CG while they made their bracelets.

I asked Chay to explain his bracelet to me kind of in the same way that Ray did. He said, "It has a dice on it," then walked away. So, I guess it represents that I like to gamble? Great! (I don't have a gambling issue. I swear.)

He came up to me last evening and told me he was happy I was wearing his bracelet. I said, "Of course, I'm wearing it. Its beautiful and its from you."

His response was, "Its beautiful just like you, Mommy," and gave me a kiss.

I truly am a lucky woman.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day According to Ray and Chay

Yesterday, Ray and Chay wanted to do something special for me for Mother's Day. Ray's original idea was to go on roller coasters. That got nixed because we're going back to Disney in a couple weeks, so economically, E couldn't justify spending the money on yet another amusement park (a good decision on his part!). Then she wanted to go to Sun-n-Fun Lagoon for Mother's Day. That was nixed because, while fun, its not relaxing for me. Neither kid can swim yet, so I am a nervous nelly the entire time we're there.

After much hand wringing on E and Ray's part, and at my suggestion, of course, we ended up going up to Lindo Beach for the day. We swam, enjoyed the sun and relaxed. Then we headed to the Columbia Restaurant for tapas and Sangrias. My favorite. Ray and Chay knew that, of course, that's why they picked it. At least, that's how they will tell the story if you ask them.

I have so many favorite, and not so favorite, stories to tell from yesterday. But my first is a short little tale involving The Bull and a man with a dog.

Chay to a man walking a German Shepherd: "Hey, look, its a puppy dog!"

The man walking the German Shepherd (while puffing up his chest): "Yes, and he's a BIG DOG!"

Chay: (Shrugs.) "Huh. My dog's bigger."

Truth is, he's right.

Sampson, The Bull's Best Friend

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Maybe Telemundo Really Is Teaching Them Something?

We went for a family dinner at an authentic Mexican restaurant this evening to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. No, not Iguana Mia or Casa Laredo, both of which we like, but not what we consider authentic. And, we know, Cinco de Mayo is essentially an American holiday. But, hey, I like to celebrate when Mexico resisted French occupation and won!

The restaurant was all dressed up in red, white and green balloons and streamers with "Fiesta" posters all over the walls. They had Mexican music playing and bull riding on the TV. Cheesetastic. The food was great - spicy, fresh and delicioso. My kind of food.

As we sat down to eat, Ray and Chay wanted to know why we were eating out on a school night. We explained to them that it was Cinco de Mayo, and we were really craving some good Mexican meals. Ray burst out with, "Cinco means five, and de May0 means May. So Cinco de Mayo must mean its May 5!"

Impressed, we praised Ray for translating Spanish to English. Then Chay had to get in on the action.

"I can speak Spanish! Bagalo balafo balago de mayo!" He yelled. "See, that was Spanish." Then the whole restaurant laughed. (He can't seem to say anything without the whole restaurant hearing him, regardless of where we are.) Of course, he couldn't tell us what "Bagalo balafo balago de mayo" meant.

Chay did count to ten in Spanish though, so I'll give him props. Not to be outdone, Ray proceeded to say "Hello" in three other languages - Spanish, French, and Chinese. The competition between these two never ceases to amaze me, but if it keeps each one challenged and learning, I am not going to complain.

Maybe watching Spanish soap operas on Telemundo really have taught them something?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Chay Knows the Ladies

Ray and Chay's Godparents are visiting this weekend along with Em!!!! We are so excited, and Ray is hopping like a frog in a frying pan.

E's birthday is today, but we are celebrating Friday with an adult evening for dinner and drinks (Thanks, Nana and Papa for babysitting!). Em's 8th birthday is Saturday (Egads! 8 already???)

Chay and I had a Mommy/Chay night tonight, getting his "Mo"* redone and going grocery shopping, while Ray and Daddy cleaned. Surprisingly, Ray did a good job cleaning her room. And E did a great job, as always, cleaning the rest of the house (yes, I asked him to clean the house on his birthday. We are pretending his birthday is tomorrow. It was his idea; I swear!).

While at Publix, Chay and I ordered Em's birthday cake. While flipping through the book, he saw a cake and screamed, "STOP!" Everyone in the deli line stopped and stared. Chay didn't care. He had found the perfect cake for Em.

And, he did. The Bull picked out a Barbie cake with purple icing and Hawaiian flowers. He yelled, loudly enough that I swear the seafood section heard him, "Em loves Barbie and flowers, and Ray loves purple. ITS PERFECT!!!"

And, it turns out, it is. Does Chay know his ladies or what?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ray and Chay Marched for the Babies!

When Momslikeme posted that they were forming a team for the March of Dimes Walk in downtown Fort Myers, I signed up immediately. I thought it would be a good lesson in philanthropy for Ray and Chay, and it would teach them how good it feels to do something generous to help others. I recruited CG and Ms. Amy to walk with us, too. The more, the merrier!

Leading up to the walk, we explained to Ray and Chay who we were walking for and what the March of Dimes did to help children. We raised the money together (and by together, I mean I hit people up for money on Facebook and through emails), and we managed to raise $110 with a little effort. Ray was very excited for Saturday evening, and she told everyone that she was going to walk for "the sick babies!" Chay was excited too, but I don't think he really understood why. He knew we were walking, that Ray was excited, so he would be excited too.

Ms. Amy heard there was a competition for the best decorated buggy. She has a "thing" for crafty competitions, so I let her have complete control over the theme for our wagon. I think she did a pretty good job, but if we don't win the competition, I think her head will explode. (The voting is over, so I'm feeling confident that we won. Or not. I really have no clue).

The night of the walk could not have been prettier. I have no idea how many people walked but my guess would be about 1500 people? The atmosphere was inspirational, and everyone was in a festive mood. A dad and his son colored their hair purple, which, of course, Ray absolutely became obsessed with. Several others decorated their buggies, and people driving down the road were honking and cheering us walkers on. The only negative thing I have to say - at one point three gentleman walking ahead of us were smoking cigars. Really? On a walk for sick children? When children are all around you? But, like I said, that's the only negative thing I have to say about the whole experience. Oh, and Ray was being an absolute hard head and didn't listen to me all day, but what else is new?

CG, Riley (Pam's daughter), and Ray took control of the wagon from the get go. Chay was a good sport and walked most of the way. I was proud of all the kids, but especially Chay. He walked at least two of the three miles, which is a lot for his little legs.

The Diva's ride, while their man-servant follows behind

Ray was forced to shield her face from the Paparazzi

Mid-way through the walk, Riley volunteered to walk so that Chay could ride in the wagon. Which meant that all the girls had to get out. So, Chay got the wagon all to himself.

And I think that made him a little sad.

The conversations between the girls were hilarious. They sang songs, including "Fifty Nifty United States," in which they proceeded to sing all fifty states in alphabetical order. They quizzed each other on their addition tables (Who knows what 2 + 4 is?! Me!). And, they made up silly rhymes to entertain themselves. I just wish little Chay had a buddy with us too. I do think he felt a little left out.

The Divas were easily distracted by the flowers along the route

When it was all said and done, the evening was a fun family night. Ray and Chay walked their hearts out and were proud of themselves for helping those sick babies. We burned a few calories, laughed a lot, and managed to help some people while doing it. What a great way to spend a Saturday night, surrounded by family, friends and a great event!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Spanish TV

Ray and Chay are currently sitting outside on the lanai eating popsicles and watching Telemundo. They are laughing hysterically, commenting on what is being said, and clapping their hands. They are clearly loving whatever show they are watching.

Why do I find this odd?

They can't speak Spanish.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Stage Fright

Ray has an irrational fear of the stage. Two and a half years ago, I tried to take her to see the Nutcracker. As soon as she walked into the theater and saw the stage, she started screaming and ran out. She enjoyed watching the Nutcracker with Nana from the lobby on the LiveAction TV.

I took a risk, and Amy and I escorted Ray and CG to see Beauty and the Beast at the Barbara B. Mann Performance Hall last night. We had great seats, row K Center, aisle. Ray was fascinated with the man sitting next to us. His daughter was performing in the play, and he was clearly proud. Ray asked which character she was, and when the play started she told him his daughter was beautiful (she wasn't lying, either...the girl was gorgeous). She laughed, loudly, throughout the introduction number, and the people around us told us they loved her laugh. It was great! And fun.

Until, the second scene. (You knew this was coming, right?)

When the mood turned dark and the music became intense when the Beast became "The Beast," Ray covered her ears and screamed as she ran up the aisle towards the back of the theater, "Mommy, Get me out of here!!!!!!"

No one was laughing at that point, at least not me.

The ushers standing outside the doors to the theater in the lobby were extremely nice and understanding. They helped calm her down and let us sit towards the back corner where Ray would be able to enjoy the happy parts and hide against the wall.

Ray enjoying Beauty and the Beast in the "Safe Seat"
This worked well throughout the "Be Our Guest" portion of the ensemble. However, during the, as Ray describes it, "scary rawring Beast" scenes, she spent the time hiding behind a wall.

A Scary Loud Rawring Beast Scene

Regardless of the drama created by Ray, it was a fun night. Ray and CG acted like perfect little ladies in the lobby (well, as much as 5 year olds can)...

Ray and CG were very excited about their cookies at Intermission

It will be a long time before I try to take Ray to the theater again. She brings a whole new definition to "stage fright."

But, in the meantime, I want to send a big shoutout to the staff working at BB Mann on Saturday night. Without your patience, Ray and I wouldn't have been able to enjoy a fabulous production of "Beauty and the Beast." To you, we send a big Thank You!

Monday, April 5, 2010

We're Crafty Like That!

I created the latest blog on the momslikeme site...but it won't let me cut and paste. Boo.

So here is the link....

Monday, March 29, 2010

Girls Night Out

Ray has a BFF. She thoroughly loves this BFF and can't get enough of her. For the purposes of this blog, we will call this BFF CG. And CG loves her Ray just as much.

These girls have attended the same daycare and VPK since they were at least 2 years old. They are inseparable, love each other, and, well, are best friends. Their favorite thing to do together is just hang with the girls.

Last Friday, CG's Mom, Ray, CG and I met for dinner and had a girls night. Luckily, CG's mom and I also consider ourselves friends....

Ray and CG at Red Robin for Dinner, pre-Circus


After dinner, we checked out Circus Sarasota. I do love the circus, and this one didn't disappoint. Its not the biggest and shiniest, but its fun and interactive and gets the croud involved. And the girls were impressed with the acrobats and tight rope walkers.

The "Lion" Tamer

The Crazy 7-Layer Tight Rope Walkers

I highly recommend a trip to Circus Sarasota if you get a chance. Ray and CG were impressed. And it is saying something that Ray stayed for the entire show!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Leprechaun Shenanigans

I know, I'm a week late on this post, but I've been busy. And had writers block. And...yeah, I have no excuse. But, the truth is, I've been wanting to tell this story for a week.

Leprechauns have visited Ray and Chay's daycare every year for St. Patrick's Day, and they love it. So we thought we would implement Leprechaun Shenanigans at home!

Unfortunately, it didn't go over so well with Beauty. She was very excited when she first came home. Ray loved following the little green footprints that E drew on the tile with her washable markers. She thought it was funny that the Leprechauns peed green pee in the toilet (and Chay would NOT let us flush the toilet all night!). But she stopped finding it funny when she discovered that they turned our milk green and, GASP!, the Leprechauns turned her macaroni and cheese dinner green, too.

Unfortunately, we didn't have any green grapes to completely torture her.

Clearly, Chay was not worried about Leprechauns turning his food green.

She clearly has a problem with him eating the green food.
Ray lightened up after I told her it wasn't Leprechaun pee that turned the food green. It took awhile but I finally convinced her that I was pretty sure they used green food coloring. Unfortunately, she refused to eat anything but the grapes. Again, unfortunately for Ray, since she didn't eat dinner, she didn't get the special treat the Leprechauns brought - Green Cupcakes. She told me she didn't care because she was pretty sure the Leprechauns peed in them.

I was able to convince her to drink the green milk! Success!
I did manage to get her to go to sleep without fear of any rogue Leprechauns by telling her they all went back to Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Ray is totally and thoroughly convinced (with no help from me, mind you!) that Ireland is full of green, four leaf clovers, pots of gold, and naughty Leprechauns!

Looks like Leprechaun Shenanigans will have to be tamed down next year... at least no green water in the toilets, right?
(PS - I know my kitchen is a mess, please excuse us...but I'm just keeping it real!)

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Yellow Team That Has To Wear a Green Jersey

Chay is a stubborn boy. He knows what he wants and he is extremely verbal about what he doesn't. So we have learned that deceiving him into thinking he is getting what he wants works just fine. Bad parenting? Perhaps. Practical? Yes.

For instance...

On our last two trips up to and back from DC, Chay did not want to fly on the plane. Well, back up. He was fine with the idea of the plane...until we were directly outside of it getting ready to walk through the door. At that moment, all four times, he put the brakes on and started yelling, "No! I don't want to fly!!! I don't want to be on an airplane!"

To which we replied, also all four times, "Chay, its not a plane its a bus."

Chay: "Its a bus?"

Us: "Yes."

Shoulder shrug. "OK." And he walks on to his seat and plays his game.

About 20 minutes after take off, we had this conversation (again, on all four airplane rides): "Mommy, this not a bus! This a airplane! Hrrrmph!"

Then he went on and played his game. Can't pull one over on him...

And for our latest example...

For some reason, my children, starting at around age 1 1/2, chose their favorite color and surprisingly, stuck with it. Ray chose her favorite color as purple at 18 months. It still is and she is known as "Purplicious" by her teachers because of the veracity of love for her purple. Chay claims his color is yellow. Well, claims is an understatement. Insists, strongly insists, is more like it.

Chay starts in the Christian Soccer League next week (It actually started last weekend, but we were at Disney, and tomorrow's game was cancelled due to the rain...bummer!). We told him that he is on the Green Team, and that did not go over so well.

He wants to be on the yellow team. I tried to explain to him that he can't be on the yellow team, he is on the green team. Arguments ensued. Screaming and yelling on his part about not being on yellow team went on for a few days. Finally I gave up. I told him that he is now on the Yellow Team but he still has to wear a green jersey.

Fights ended. And he's happy to be on the Yellow Team That Has To Wear a Green Jersey, as he calls it.

And that is the official name of his team now, as far as we are concerned.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Disney Princesses, the Lucky Ones

The above flower represents the love and support of my family. You see, I ran in the Disney Princess Half Marathon this past weekend. Six months ago I couldn't run more than a 5K. Sunday, I ran 13.1 miles. And, I couldn't have done it without the support of my husband, children and parents.

Without my family, I wouldn't have had the hours that I needed to train for this run. E watched and fed the kids while I ran. And on my long runs, he piled the kids into the van and met me half way with a bottle of water so that I wouldn't get dehydrated. Most importantly, he provided inspiration and listened to me babble incessantly about times and fuel and mileage and shoes and gear and...well, everything else that has to do with running. And he hates running. That would be like me listening to him babble on about selling insurance. Which he does.

My parents, E and the kids all trekked up to Disney with me on Saturday. They ate what I wanted to eat (gotta fuel the body, remember?) and walked and played around Magic Kingdom. Ray and Chay slept in Nana and Papa's room so that I could get a good night's sleep, which was only up until wake up time at 3 am.

At the end of the race, Ray and Chay presented me with pink roses. How sweet! And then, Ray immediately asked for one back. Which I was all the more happy to give her, just because it made her happy.

So, yes, I ran 13.1 miles. I am proud of myself. I worked hard to make, and then beat, my goal, which was originally just to finish. My time was beyond what I thought I could do. But without my family's support I couldn't have done any of it. And for that, I am a true winner.

Me and My Beautiful Princess

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tough Guy

Ever since The Bull was a tiny little dude, I swore his first hair cut was going to be a mohawk. I could imagine the cute little one year old Bull with a tough dude haircut, and my heart melted. But when we took him for his first haircut, the barber refused. Said it was "too difficult". Whatever. So my dreams of a mohawk were quashed forever. (Am I being a little dramatic? Uhm, yeah, maybe, but I really was disappointed!)

But E took Chay to a decent barber yesterday and I am proud to announce....

my little Bull has a mohawk! It should be spikier, but this is after an evening's worth of head rubs...so its a little flat. But it is so cool! Finally, a hair cut to live up to his native American name.

He had to show off his tattoo from the Lee County Fair... along with the attitude:

And, apparentally, he was bragging to the barber and the barber's pops that he also was a biker dude "cuz I like motorcycles." He's one tough dude.
Unfortunately, I think the tough dude hair cut went to his head, literally AND figuratively. He was rotten at school today. Every single part of his report for the day was filled with "Needed
Guidance" and "Did Not Follow Directions". Ooohhhhh......he was in trouble.
His response when E disciplined him tonight? "Dad, I'm a tough guy!"
Our response? "We're growing your hair long and going to start curling it."
How you like that, tough guy?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I Live with Oscar and Felix

Ray and Chay are complete opposites when it comes to cleanliness. Chay doesn't let me touch him after a run until I take shower because he doesn't want me to make him "stinky." Ray doesn't care and will hug me to her hearts content no matter how sweaty I am.

Chay can't stand to be "sticky" after eating a breakfast of waffles and syrup with his hands and immediately runs off to the bathroom to wash up. Ray, who uses a fork to eat waffles and syrup, is fine without washing up, so we have to remind her after every meal to wash her hands.

And, then, there are their rooms.

We have to force Ray to clean her room every day. Exhibit A:
No. I am not proud. Please note how the bottom of her baby crib next to her bed is on the floor, instead of, well, acting as the bottom of the baby crib. And, why is there a random hanger on the floor? Surprisingly, her princess dresses are hanging up on the hooks Dad installed. She must have decided not to play with those this particular day.
Exhibit B:

The rest of the room. I am embarassed to post this picture, but I'm all about honesty. She is a slob. But we're working on it.
And then there is Chay, who (attempts) to clean his room on his own, because every single item has its own place. Granted, it might not be where I think it should be, but I do not argue with him. Because, I know, he puts a special effort into making his room organized.

Exhibit A:
His dresser, which I will accept as clean for a three year old. Come on. Tell me your dresser looks this nice.
Exhibit B:

Please note how he tries to make his bed with his tiny blanket (He refuses to sleep with a comforter, its rather frustrating, but its not worth the fight.). He also makes sure his toys are in the bin next to his bed. His drum set is placed against the wall with his sticks within reach on the dresser. Yes, his shoes are laying there on the floor, but that is where his favorite pair goes. Ask him why, I don't know. The rest go up on the dresser. He has a place for everything, in his three year old way.

My girl and boy are complete opposites, in almost every single way. Does anyone else have a clean obsessed kid and a slob another?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Playing the Tooth Fairy

A couple months ago, Ray was eating an apple and walked up to me and said, "Mommy, you know what hurts?"

"No, what hurts?"

"My tooth." She then started wiggling it.

Ack! She's only 5 1/2! Isn't that early? Did the apple knock it loose??? I'm not ready for this yet! I thought I had more time! All of these thoughts ran through my head at the same time.

As the weeks passed by, the tooth slowly became more loose and Ray was having fun showing me every day how much more it moves. And, I spent more time freaking out about how to play Tooth Fairy.

I polled all my friends on Facebook, in real life and on Momslikeme.com. The response was varied. One Facebook friend said that the Tooth Fairy gave her daughter $20 for the first tooth.

$20?!? Really?

Another friend said she gave $10 for the first tooth and $5 for the rest. That still seemed high to me.

And another friend told me that you can't be a cheap Tooth Fairy, because the kids compare. I said, "Who cares?"

And, one wise friend told me to remember that whatever you start with, you are stuck with, so don't over-achieve!

Ray's Godmother bought her a sweet book about the Tooth Fairy (which can be found here) to help calm her fears and a Tooth Fairy doll to store her tooth overnight. Ray was so excited and felt like such the big girl. Her friend, Em, didn't lose her first tooth until she was 6 1/2. She was going to be the first one of the kids in her class to lose a tooth! Fears? Non-existent.

On Superbowl Sunday, that tooth fell out.

I didn't know what to expect when it happened. Tears? Shouts of joy?

She spit it out into her hand, placed it gently on the table, and said she needed a bandaid because her mouth was bleeding. No fanfare. No jubilation. Just stating a fact that her mouth was bleeding and she needed it to stop so she could finish lunch.

Go figure.

In the end, the Tooth Fairy brought Ray two quarters and a personal note telling her how proud her Tooth Fairy was of her for being such a brave little girl.

I was worried about being a cheap Tooth Fairy, but like I expected, it wasn't about the money. Ray woke up, excited to see what the Tooth Fairy brought her. Ray latched on first to the note. "Look, Mommy, she wrote me a note!" The money was secondary. She enjoyed hearing the quarters clink into her piggy bank, and that was about it.

I was proud of my girl, all around. For being brave. For being proud. For enjoying the basic things in life and putting more value on a handwritten note than the money.

I like being the Tooth Fairy.