I'm taking a little va-cay from the kids and husband this weekend. The only catch is that I
have to get to dress up like Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman and trek 7 miles with a bunch of teenagers.
Here's a sneak peek -
More to come on Monday.
I'm taking a little va-cay from the kids and husband this weekend. The only catch is that I
Posted by Cristin at 3:37 PM
I never thought my 3 year old would be begging me to let him pick up his toys before he goes to bed. Yet, it happened tonight because I am a sucker. I agreed to pay Luke 10 cents for each "job" I give him. I created a chore chart with very basic things like -
Pick up your toys
Make the bed
Set the table
Put away your clothes
He is obsessed with making money. For example, this afternoon, I ran downstairs because Luke was screaming. I thought he was hurt, but instead he was screaming out of frustration from not being able to get past the baby lock on the dishes cabinet. He really wanted to set the table even though it wasn't mealtime. A child wanting to help out around the house sounds like a dream, right?
Here's the problem: I told him I would pay him only once a day for each job. Then I did the math. He has the opportunity to make 70 cents a day or $4.90 a week! That kind of allowance seems a little high for a 3 year old who almost passed out from excitement when I gave him his first dime.
What is the allowance that normal middle class people pay their children these days anyway? I feel bad giving him $1.00 a week because he'll never be able to buy any of the toys off the laminated Geotrax advertisement he sleeps with. Then again, maybe I'm being way too nice and he should have to use his allowance to buy food.
Posted by Cristin at 10:13 PM
When we cut the cable and gave up on using an antenna, I unfortunately cut Sesame Street out of our lives as well. I never realized how hard it would be to find full length episodes to rent or watch online. Sadly, I've resorted to setting up a queue of Sesame Street clips on Hulu for the kids to watch. It's pretty pathetic. Last week I rented Sesame Street:40 Years of Sunny Days from Netflix in the hopes that it would contain some full length episodes for the kids. The kids could care less about the DVD, but I was enthralled.
As I began to watch clips from the first few seasons, I was struck by how familiar it was. I mean, I felt like I was coming home or meeting my "real" parents. It was pretty eerie. I wanted Erik to watch it to see if he felt the same thing, but he said that would only happen if he watched old Dukes of Hazzard episodes. So, maybe it's just me that has this weird connection to early Sesame Street?
At first, I thought the only logical explanation for the way I was feeling was that I am older than I think I am. Why else would watching this stuff from the early 1970's feel like home to me? I immediately called my mom and demanded to know if my birth certificate was forged. She said sarcastically, "Yup, you're 38." Yet maybe she wasn't being sarcastic. Maybe I really am 38. (I say 38 because I could see myself actually being 38. 39? No way. Too old.) I tried to probe the details of my birth further, but she kept changing the subject and laughing. Interesting, huh?
So, let's "pretend" that my parents didn't forge my birth certificate. My next question was, "How much t.v. did I watch as a little kid?"Undoubtedly, it was a lot because as I watched these old clips, I felt like I knew these people, personally. Obviously, there are much worse things than watching hours of Sesame Street as a little kid. I'm not accusing you of anything, Mom.
Let's end on a positive note. What aspects of the new Sesame Street do I like? The musical guests. Just when I thought I couldn't stomach this song one more time, they make it likable again.
Posted by Cristin at 2:15 PM
I've started reading again... not like I ever stopped reading. It's just that now I'm making a new attempt to read more than Facebook status updates, blogs, and teen mom biographies on the 16 and Pregnant website. I joined a book club at the beginning of this year and it's been good for me. I normally only read non-fiction books, so it's caused me to branch out with things I might normally disregard.
This month was my chance to choose the book and I picked The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I read this 350+ page book in 4 days. Now I can never use the excuse that I don't have time, because obviously I make time for silly things I find important. (As if you already didn't know that by the mere fact that I am still updating this blog.)
I loved The Hunger Games. It's post-apocalyptic (my absolute favorite genre), a love story, and people die. It was awesome. The story about these poor kids being forced to enter into a fight to the death isn't the most creative idea, but I forgive the author since her target audience is teenagers born long after The Running Man. Since the book is written for teenagers, it is extremely easy to read and get sucked into. The world of the future in this book is really creepy, yet familiar. I kept waiting for someone to scream something like, "Soylent Green is people!" or "I love the smell of napalm in the morning!"
I'm sad I finished the book.*
*I ordered Catching Fire this morning.
Posted by Cristin at 11:25 AM
Charlie turns 2 tomorrow. I love this age because he talks and says funny things which make no sense. However, on the other hand I find myself saying to him way too much, "Hey, Crazy, put your clothes back on." This morning he threw two practically identical temper tantrums. Both times, I walked away once he began throwing things, and minutes later he had taken off all his clothes. In our house, toddlers who refuse to wear clothes wear onesies.
So, what's my strategy for dressing an uncooperative toddler? Today, I unsuccessfully attempted to hold him down with my legs. Since that didn't work, I got desperate and asked Luke for help. Luke walked over with one of Charlie's toys, which I thought he was going to give to him. No. Instead Luke hit him over the head repeatedly with it, saying, "Listen to Mommy, Charlie! You need to wear a diaper!" Did I mention that this toy was a hard plastic spinning top? Luke's strategy worked.
In completely unrelated news, it has snowed for the past few days. Luke asked me if we could set up the Christmas Tree and we read Twas the Night Before Christmas last night at bedtime. It still is April, right?
Posted by Cristin at 1:48 PM
This is a picture of Luke giving me a fake smile in his favorite outfit. My poor indigent children. I actually try really hard to not dress them like slobs. I insist that Luke wear a collared shirt to preschool and I try to make their Sunday clothes look semi-decent. However, since Luke started dressing himself this past year, I feel like I have no control over what he looks like. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful he is so independent and I'm thankful for the hand-me-downs from our friends, I just wish Luke had better taste in clothes. (He must take after his Mommy.)
Luke is extremely rough on his clothes. Last month he only had one pair of jeans (out of 8 pairs) without a hole in the right knee. I had become accustomed to buying him a new pair of jeans every month and I was sick of it. I don't really sew, so that wasn't an option. Fortunately I found Dritz Iron-on Patches at Joann's for domestically-challenged people like me!
I bought two packages for less than $4. It was incredibly easy to do. Just cut out a patch and iron it on.
My big failure was that I neglected to match the patch to the jeans appropriately and I was too impatient to go back to Joann's for the right colors. Oh well. Luke is only 3. I would rather he look like a pauper with mismatched patches on his jeans than a pauper with holes in his jeans.
I even did my own pants. This is after I washed it. It stayed on! I may no longer have pride, but at least I'm saving money!
Posted by Cristin at 12:05 PM
Last Friday I joined a cult. No, really, I'm beginning to think it is a cult.
It's called FlyLady and she claims to be my personal coach to help me gain control of my home. To assist with my journey, she insists that I buy overpriced purple cleaning tools. She sends me 15 emails a day containing testimonials about how her program will change my life and little de-cluttering missions to accomplish.
I must admit that (so far) this cult has made me feel really good about myself. Presently, I am only on Day 4 of the Baby Steps. All she wants me to do is shine my kitchen sink, put on my shoes and read her website. What kind of people is she dealing with here if these are "huge tasks"? FlyLady says not to skip ahead, so I'm trying to be patient. It just seems kind of silly that putting on my shoes would be a task. I won't question her system though. I don't want to be a bad cult member.
We'll see if this eliminates "the chaos" that has taken over my life. I say "chaos," but I don't think my house is that messy. I mean, someone can definitely walk through the living room without tripping over tiny troll figurines or stepping in dirty diapers. Then again, my standard of cleanliness has definitely changed since Luke and Charlie joined our family.
Posted by Cristin at 1:23 PM
Something life changing happened last month. I discovered The Pioneer Woman's cooking section on her site and made several of the most amazing sauces using heavy cream and cooking wine (yes, wine, I'm not drinking it, don't you judge me). Consequently, I also gained 7 pounds and my tactful sister, Kaci, told me that I look pregnant. I don't think it helped either that I was eating ice cream almost every afternoon. (Hey, it was on sale!)
Fortunately, I've never really had to struggle with my weight and as a result I have grown up loving whole milk and chugging heavy cream straight out of the container. (I salivate just thinking about it.) I even remember my Dad (who today probably doesn't weigh more than 150 lbs) buying my sisters and I our own individual half-gallons of ice cream to eat whenever we wanted. I often wonder how my "cream and butter" years have affected my body. Skinny doesn't always mean healthy.
So, this has led me to make some drastic changes in my life, namely, going "low-fat." This was my first low-fat week and... it was disgusting. I made strawberries and cream with 2% milk. I ate the yogurt that doesn't have the cream at the top. I even bought "light" sour cream and it's texture seems strange. I can't even think about transitioning to skim milk at this point.
How do people live like this?
Posted by Cristin at 12:27 PM
I had a really good weekend. I got to go to the movies and laughed hysterically while watching Date Night. I visited Alcoholly. (Sorry, no photos. She said I'm never allowed to take any more pictures of her, ever again. She was serious.) I have to say though that the greatest part of my weekend was making Raclette on my new Toastess Party Grill and Raclette!
I know, it doesn't look like much, but this grill is the kind of the thing that dreams are made of. It had been almost 10 years since I had eaten Raclette during my mission to Geneva, Switzerland. The more time passed, the greater this meal became in my head. Fortunately, it delivered.
Raclette is a very simple dish. Just potatoes and cheese. Unfortunately, in my little podunk town, the cheese I wanted, Gruyère, was $16.00 a pound. So, I resorted to buying only 4 ounces of Gruyère and 8 ounces of Gouda. The Gouda was fine, but when I ate the Gruyère, I had a moment like in Ratatouille when the "Grim Eater" eats the ratatouille and it takes him back to his childhood. I swear, I almost started crying.
Unfortunately, the Raclette wasn't all fun. We ate what should have been a 90 minute meal in 10 minutes. It left us both feeling a little sick. Bad idea. In addition, Erik ignored my instructions to not drink anything cold with the Raclette. He chugged a huge glass of ice water which caused a cheese ball to form and harden in his stomach.
Erik might not agree, but I think the Raclette was worth it.
Posted by Cristin at 1:03 PM
A few weeks ago, I found this library book in Luke's room -
No, we don't have a dog. Charlie did this. Unfortunately, he has a history of destroying books. This, however, was probably the worst damage he's ever done to a book. No amount of scotch tape could fix this book, so I took it back to the library, assuming I would just pay the price indicated on the back cover - $14.95.
Uh, no. In my dreams would it be $14.95.
It was $24.00 to replace this book.
Get this. They actually have a fee schedule unrelated to the actual price of the book. The most expensive book to replace is an adult non-fiction at $41.00!
So, let's pretend that you check out 8 children's books during a library visit. If your child was to destroy all of those books (which is very likely in my house right now), you would owe at least $192.00. I can't believe how careless I have treated library books in the past. If I only knew how expensive they were to replace, I would not even let Charlie look at them, let alone put them in his crib like Erik did last night. Eeek! It's like letting the kid play with blocks of gold.
Way to go, Mr. Destructo.
Posted by Cristin at 4:33 PM
Last week, one of my sisters told me that if she had a billion dollars, the first thing she would do would be to give me $10,000 for a new wardrobe because I "dress so badly." (How sweet. Her own personal What Not to Wear just for me.) I would like to think that I dress bad because I hate shopping. With a personal shopper (and unlimited funds), I could look really good.
So, yesterday, I tried to shop. I now remember why I have a hard time buying clothes.
[Yes, I know I am dressed bad. I rolled out of bed and threw on whatever I could find for this impromptu shopping trip, don't you judge me or my glasses. It was last minute!!]
Seriously, have you ever seen so many ugly clothes in one store in your entire life? Obviously, I am in the minority since their company is expanding faster than the hey-day of Krispie Kreme Doughnuts. I just don't get how they are staying in business. Accessories alone can't carry the store, or can they?
Speaking of accessories, I desperately tried to talk my sister into buying the peacock headband she is wearing in this picture. She refused. Can you imagine someone wearing that to church? It would be awesome.
Who buys shoes like this?? I must be getting old. I need a store called Forever 31 with personal shoppers, free babysitting (like Ikea), and affordable clothes that actually fit normal people. I should get paid for these ideas.
Posted by Cristin at 4:37 PM