Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Riley's take on cavities

I'm always discovering interesting things when I ask Riley what he learned in school.

Like yesterday, when he came home and informed me he had the dental hygiene lecture. (You remember the one, right? A person who may or may not be a dentist comes to your school, possibly dressed as a giant tooth, and teaches you all about brushing and cavities and etc.).

Well, apparantly, things have changed since I had the lecture. This was Riley's take on it.

Me: learned about teeth, huh? What did they tell you?

Riley: They said cavities grow in there and you gotta brush em' weeely good to keep those cavities away.

Me: Yep, that's right.

Riley: And then my teacher told me a story about her yittle girl who never, ever brushed her teeth and then they fell out. And then the yittle girl died from all the cavities.

Me: Wait, what? No, that's not right. You don't die from cavities.

Riley: My teacher told me so.

Try as I might to convince Riley that he surely must have misunderstood his teacher (unless she is attempting the scare em' straight tactic?), he could not be convinced.

The plus side of this? Right now, Riley is the best little tooth brusher in the world.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Post-Christmas Musings

As I took down our Christmas tree today, I had this realization: It was definitely on the ghetto side. There was the multi-colored/white light combo necessitated because Riley and I just could not agree on a lighting scheme and the red, glittery, fake poinsettias from the Dollar Store, which have revealed themselves to be completely garish now that Christmas is over. (My only excuse is that I can not resist a $1 price tag, no matter how sub-standard the product.)

I do have to say, though, that I think it's pretty much a requirement for mothers with young children to put in their years of having a not-quite picture perfect tree.

These days, whenever I go to my parents' for Christmas, I'm always greeted with a Martha Stewart-esque tree, complete with a coordinated color scheme and high-quality LED lights.

That wasn't always the case, though. If my memory serves me correctly, the Christmas trees of my childhood mostly fell into the ghetto category. My mom let us do our share of the decorating and hang strands of cheap, sparkly tinsel wherever our little hearts desired.

I'm not really sure when it happened, but at some point mom decided she had paid her ugly tree dues and our Christmas evergreens grew progressively more beautiful. And because she no longer had a use for them, after I was married my mom gifted me with some of the old, more homely of the homemade ornaments. And I took them, not because I wanted them, but because we were too poor to afford any decent decorations of our own.

Ever since we have been married, mixed in with our oh-so-fancy Dollar Store ornaments, are little treasures like this:

I distinctly remember painting this in the sixth grade and thinking it would be the most beautiul and sophisticated thing to ever grace our Christmas tree.

There's also this one:
I don't even know what to say about this one. I'm not sure which of us kids made it, and the picture doesn't do it justice, but it looks like what would appear to be an angel holding a star and sitting on a juicy, fat wad of pink bubblegum.

Looking at these ornaments, I can only conclude that they should have been safeley tacked onto the side of the tree facing the wall, well out of eyesight. That wasn't the case, though. They were always prominently displayed where everyone could see them, along with all of the other handmade ornaments my siblings had created.

Now that I am the ripe old age of 27 and have oh-so-much-more wisdom (ha) than the newly-married 21-year-old me, I'm glad that poverty forced me to accept these ornaments. They hang on our tree as a very-ugly, unignorable reminder.

They are a reminder to not get caught up in the picture-perfect aspect of Christmas and to just let kids enjoy the magic of the season on their own terms. Trees that can't be touched or decorated by chubby, dimpled little hands don't make for lasting memories.

And the most beautiful part of all this? Now that Riley is four, I'm starting to accumulate a few crappy Christmas ornaments of my own. This year, our tree was graced with a wooden, hand-painted and sticker-adorned Santa Claus and a wreath-encircled, laminated picture of Riley's giant head that he made in Prek-K.

By all possible standards except a mother's, those ornaments are unrefined and, well I'm just going to say it....downright ugly. But Riley gave them to me with sticky lemonade fingers and shining eyes and the unquestionable knowledge that I would find whatever it was that he had created absolutely beautiful.

I do have to admit to looking forward to the day when I can have a tree that I'm not embarrassed for people to see. But for now, Riley has asked if he can hang his ornaments "wight where everyone can see 'em.

And that's where they will go.

Monday, November 30, 2009

And so it begins

I always figured I had at LEAST a good ten years before my kids started being embarrassed by me. Not so, apparently.

Last week, I had on my early morning ensemble of sweats and a ponytail and was ready to head out the door to take Riley to school--which, by the way, begins at the horrid hour of 7:55 a.m.

Riley looked at me and said, "Mom, don't you want to wear sumpin' more pretty."

To which I responded: "Nope, I'm good."

To which he responded: Well, don't you want to make your hair look nice? You're 'posed to look nice for school."


To Riley's credit, I guess I can kind of see where he's coming on this one. I never bother getting dressed up just to drop him off. And when I pick him up, I'm usually coming from the gym. His teacher has seen me in actual clothes and make-up maybe five times. She probably thinks I'm a crazy bag lady.

To make up for my lack of PTA-momness, I decided to volunteer at Riley's school library book fair. I didn't mention to him that I was going to be there, and I just knew he was going to be oh so very excited to see me. After all, I was wearing actual non-pj clothes and even some make-up. Nothing to be embarrassed about there, right?

Wrong. Riley walks in the door, and I very giddily try to get his attention. "Riley, Riley!" I'm waving my arms and it may be possible that I'm beaming. Riley looks right at me. Then he looks away. And then he proceeds to completely ignore me for the next five minutes.

The humiliation was worsened by the well-meaning grandmotherly lady beside me who had witnessed the whole scene. She kept clucking her tongue and uttering phrases like, "They grow up so fast."

Then, just before the book fair was over, Riley fell down and skinned his knee and came running to me as fast as he could. (And yes, I do realize my child is possibly the only kid on the face of the planet who can manage to injure himself in a library). I was tempted to give him a dose of his own medicine and turn up my nose and find some other kid to hug. But I didn't because, well for one, that probably would have gotten me arrested. AND Secondly, I guess I'll take what I can get.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Germs, what germs?

Lately, I am turning into a little bit of a germaphobe.

Mostly, I blame it on swine flu. And Riley. It's pretty hard to stop thinking about germs being EVERYWHERE when you have a four-year-old boy who is always picking his nose or scratching his bottom (Note to reader: for some mysterious reason, Riley seems to think the scratching of the bottom can only be properly performed without the troublesome barrier of pants or underwear).

We've had the germ talk before, Riley and I. And I used to be under the illusion that some of it was sinking in, that maybe, just maybe, I could stop being the hand sanitizer nazi and have a chance at a normal life again.

Those hopes were pretty much dashed yesterday. Riley informed me that he had to go "poo"---Lucky for me, he always lets me know, and in those exact delightful words, usually as I'm about to take a big bite of dinner.

Anyway, Riley went to the bathroom and when I could hear that he was done, I decided I better intercept him and do a quick hand check.

Me: "Hey buddy, let me see those hands. Did you get them good and clean?"
R: "Yeah, mommy. They're weal clean." (yep, he still has a speech impediment.)
Me: Grabbing hand.."Let me see. Wait just a minute, they aren't even wet. And why is your hand all balled up like that?"
Me: Prying open Riley's fingers... "Is your hand full of teddy grahams? Why would you take Teddy Grahams to the bathroom?"
Riley: "They're just weally super e-licious and I didn't want Ashy to eat them. I just weally, weaally, like them."

For those of you who are wondering how an uncordinated four-year old can manage to hoist himself off the toilet, wipe properly, and zip up his pants one-handed and without any cross-fecal contamination of the teddy grahams, let me solve the mystery for you: It Can't. Be. Done.

Good thing they sell hand sanitizer in bulk.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

In other news...

After a very, very, very long hiatus I have decided to rejoin the blogosphere. At least until I get tired of it again---which, to be honest, is likely to happen sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Too much has happened around here in the past six months to cover it all, so I'll just hit the high points. Let's start with me, me, me, me. I have been really into running lately.

I honestly never thought I would hear those words come out of my mouth. Or technically, see them on my computer screen after my fingers typed them. For the past couple of months, my friend Judith and I have been training for a half-marathon (which, by the way, is now right around the corner.)

Two months later, and I've learned some pretty important things. 1-Jogging makes your behind huge. Seriously. No one warned me about this phenomenon, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. Apparently, rumor has it that the general male population likes some junk in the trunk, which is kind of weird but whatever. But it just makes me feel unbalanced (physically, not mentally.) 2- If your prior lifetime running experience consists of a half-dozen fun runs and then you jump immediately into training to run 13. some-odd miles, you are likely to be really, really, slow. Pathetically slow.

In preparation for the half, I ran the 9.3 mile Tulsa run on Halloween. Halfway though, I was going strong and feeling pretty darn good about myself. Then, I glanced up and noticed I was being passed up by a fireman in full-out uniform, complete with a huge oxygen tank strapped to his back. I give you permission to call me speedster, if you want.

In other news, this guy:

... is now one. His birthday was like two months ago, but since I haven't posted since May, I feel like I've got to mention it somewhere. He is still as good-natured as can be but refusing to walk. I'm thinking he might have a little bit of a lazy bone in him. Pretty sure he got that from me.

And this guy: now a certified school boy. He goes to Pre-K four hours a day and by all accounts appears to be doing quite well. They haven't kicked him out yet, so that's got to be a good sign right? Between music and gym, lunch time, and two recesses, I'm not sure how much actual learning takes place, but he loves it and that's all that matters. After all, what are our tax dollars for if not the amusement of our children?

I guess that pretty much wraps things up.

Oh yeah, the hubby. Guess I should mention him. Sam is enjoying being a third-year medical student and all of the responsibilities that go with it. He is rotating in the hospitals and doing doctorly-ish chores. Can you believe they actually gave him a scalpel and let him cut some sort of growth off of someone's face? He's almost a real doctor now. We only have to wait approximately six more years before we start making money to speak of.

Sam is also really, really, really looking forward to the ward Christmas party, where our family has been asked to sing "I want a Hippopautamos for Christmas." No matter what he says or how much he complains, I can secretly tell he is mega excited about it. I bet he's secretly choreographing a dance routine.

That pretty much wraps it up for now. Stay tuned for additional updates.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

It's the circle, the circle of liiiifee

Today, I was able to spend my mother's day with two of the most important gals in my life: my mom and my grandma. And although I'm not glad of the circumstances that brought us together --my grandma had a stroke so my mom flew in to help--I was especially grateful, on this day of all days, to be able to observe the commitment to motherhood that these women have always had.
Mother's days always leave me waxing a wee bit contemplative, and promising to be more patient and enjoy the journey a little more and worry about the things that don't matter a little less. With examples like these, maybe I'll actually be able to keep that promise.

Please ignore the fact that Riley appears to be (and most likely is) licking my grandma in this photo and that my grandma is also sprouting an arm from her ear. My newly-cut and still-confusing-to-style bangs looked good in this picture, and that's all that really matters.

Hope you all had a great mother's day! I also have to give a shout-out to my hubby for my yummy mother's day breakfast, bookstore gift card, and Sunday nap. Oh yeah. Too bad the next mother's day is an entire year away.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Winter's Last Hurrah

For the past few weeks, it's been all green grass and chirping birds around here. But Saturday, we woke up to this:

Six inches of new snow! I'm not sure how my blossoming perennials felt about that, but a certain three-and-a-half year old sure was excited. And luckily, we have some neighbor boys who were all too willing to roll around in the snow with the Riles, while I sipped my hot cocoa and watched through the window.

Winter, it was a fun good-bye party, but please don't show your face around here again until next year.