Monday, October 22, 2012

Moving with Kids and Pets

Today is moving day. We're moving into a nearby rental house for about six months while some remodeling happens on our home in Houston. I'm 5.5 months pregnant so my inner planner is in high gear. It's mornings like today that remind me that there are just some things in life that aren't meant to be planned out with details. Go with the flow, Megan. I'm trying.

Last night, we finished most of the packing since the movers would arrive between 8:30-9:30 am Monday. After getting our daughter to bed and reassuring her (and calming down her intense excitement about the move), I bathed so that I'd be ready for Monday. We went to bed early too. The dog lay on his pet bed beside the master bed. The cat, who had been crying about not being able to join the master bedroom, was in the end allowed to enter the master bedroom so he wouldn't wake up our daughter. He took his place between my pillow and my husband's. Whatever.

Fast forward to 5 am. I wake up to the cat pawing at me and the comforter. I shoo him away, thinking he was trying to play like he usually does in the early mornings. Shortly after that, he returned and I tried to ignore his pawing again, only to be awakened by wet sheets. Yep, he urinated on top of my comforter, which went through the comforter, through the sheets, onto my leg and PJs to the mattress cover.

I sprang from the bed, yelling a word that I shouldn't, of course waking up my husband. I blabbered some sort of explanation and ran into the bathroom, where I proceeded to take a bath without removing my PJ top. I think I thought I could continue wearing the shirt because it had not gotten soaked by the cat, but I was also half asleep. I bathed quickly since I could hear my husband grumbling as he removed the bed sheets. I drained the tub and climbed out to learn that I had no towels because everything had been packed. I dried myself using the shower curtain, walked into the bedroom where my husband said: "Are you sure this wasn't you?
really?  "No, it wasn't me," I said strongly. "Why in the world would a full-grown adult pee on herself?"

My husband, not dressed for public viewing, carried the duvet & duvet cover to the outside trash can. Neither of us were pleased with the quality but the urine threw us over the edge. Upon returning inside where I was laughing, my husband helped me grab the sheets and take them to the laundry downstairs. It was 5:30 am. I finished adding soap to the load and returned to my unsheeted bed upstairs. I was still laughing when I heard my 7-year-old shout out: "Can you two turn it down some? I'm trying to sleep." She acts like this is a regular occurrence.

I barely had laid down when I heard my husband ranting downstairs. What have I forgotten to do now?

When I entered the kitchen, my husband explained that in the medlem, we didn't let the dog go outside so he decided to urinate on the kitchen floor. My husband stood with a wet mop in his hand, looking incredulous. He continued his hysterical rant while mopping the floor at about 5:40 am. When he mentioned some crazy things that he might do to add to the nut house, I burst into laughter so hard that... wait for it... I peed on the floor! (Yes, it's true and I just admitted it to everyone.) I ran, still laughing, to the downstairs bathroom and my husband shouted "Oh, well why not you too? Anyone else?" There was no toilet paper in the bathroom since I packed that too, so my husband brought me paper towels. Lovely.

He mopped the rest of the floor, cracking up himself. "Should I put the dog out now?" I asked.

"Oh, he's outside getting the second half out," Trent replied.

After scrubbing our hands, we returned upstairs, crawled on top of the bed and I shut my eyes. I could feel him staring at me so I opened my eyes again.

"See you in 11 minutes," Trent said. It was 6:04 am. "(God) never gives me more than I can handle," he repeated over & over softly with a little giggle in his voice. No, he doesn't but he will give you plenty of smiles along the way, I thought.

The alarm rang early this morning, but we got dressed and headed out for breakfast. No need to set the house on fire. Besides Little K spilling chocolate milk ALL over her white uniform blouse, breakfast went smoothly. Luckily, I had spare uniforms in the car since everything had been packed.

We arrived at school in time for announcements so we could see Cousin Claire dance on stage. The morning drop-off was a success despite a few early morning obstacles. At this point, the day has to get better. Hope this tale makes you laugh.

Until the next nap time..

Friday, October 12, 2012

Defining Wealth for Kids... reprinted from "Daily Worth"

I thought this article from "Daily Worth" was so good, that I had to share it.

Defining Wealth for Kids
by Marjorie Ingall

I blame Kit, the plucky American Girl Doll who survives the Great Depression. Ever since my daughter Maxine read the Kit books, she’s been asking, “What would happen if Daddy lost his job? Where would we live if the bank took our house?”

And she most wants to know: “Are we rich or are we poor?”

A lot of kids ask that last question, says Kiki Schaffer, an education director at the YMHA in New York City. The trick is figuring out what your child is really asking.

She might be seeking reassurance that she’ll be loved and protected no matter what the future holds. But if, like Maxie, your child really wants to know about family wealth, why not grab the teachable moment?

I've been explaining to Maxie that even though we have enough for our needs, we try to not to waste money. We spend wisely. We work hard. We help those in need (in our tradition, we give tzedakah).

Maxie goes to a public school where 40% of the children qualify for free lunch; there, we’re pretty well-off. But she also goes to a Hebrew School where many families outearn us many times over. (I watched one middle-school girl show her shoes to another student, saying, “They’re my mother’s, they’re Prada, you touch them, you die.”)

This dichotomy, sometimes being the kid with more and sometimes being the kid with less, is healthy, Schaffer says. “You can explain how some people have less and are happy and others have more but are never satisfied.” In other words, wealth is, quite often, a state of mind."
Until the next nap time...

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Houston's Greek Festival Not Kid-Friendly

Festivus for the rest of us

So our family joined to the Greek Fedtival this Sunday at 2 pm & I was so excited since I hadn't ever been. On the way there, Little K asked me 20 questions about how much fun she would have. I reassured her that, yes, there would be a jumpie/moonwalk, face painting & tons of fun stuff for kids. I lied.

We paid $5/adult (no fee for kids under 12) to enter & discovered that there was beer, wine, water & soft drinks amongst a myriad of Greek food to eat, we grabbed three years for a total of $21, ate those & searched for family-friendly activities. The kids dance program wouldn't start for another hour & there was nothing else for kids to doz I grabbed drinks & we sat on the ground in the parking lot next to a trash can to figure out what to do.

The Greek Fest was officially a bust when Little K announced, "I'm bored."

I imagine it'd be fun on a Friday or Saturday night without kids. You could buy a bottle of wine from the festival & share it while you walk around the pretty campuses of Annunciation church & school as well as the University of St. Thomas. Besides that, there's just not much to do.

We're now heading to St. Cecilia Oktoberfest near I10 & Bunker Hill, which promises loads of kid activities. With the cooler temperature today, I just couldn't stay inside.

Until the next nap time....

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Good Deal on Haunted Houses

The month of October ushers in spooks and skeletons of all sorts. If your kids are oldest enough to enjoy these, here is a way to grab the fun with a discount. From today through October 6, Groupon is offering discounted prices. See for complete details.

Until the next nap time...

Monday, October 01, 2012

Tales of a Second Grade Nothing

Being a mom is hard. Being a GOOD mom is WAY harder.

When your 2nd grader forgets her homework & begs you to take her back to school at 3:45 pm so she can get her homework -- saying she'll even clean out the kitty litter if you'll take her back -- you do it. When your child sees that her teacher is in a private meeting with another parent and she's too scared to interrupt them, you coach her along but encourage her to own up to the situation. After reaching way down to find the courage to open that door and politely interrupt the grown-up meeting, when the teacher says that there are consequences to her actions and that she'll have to do the work tomorrow (during recess or lunch), you bite your lip 'cuz you feel like you're in time out too but you let the teacher discipline the student instead of rushing in to save the day (which is what you really want to do). This is not the second grade I remember with Jolly Rancher candies for good work, trips to the ice cream parlor when the class did really well and games in class. 

Oh, it doesn't stop there because Little K is tough on herself. (It doesn't help that her parents are a bit strict.) She slapped her arm in the car to punish herself. I quickly asked her about it and she said she was very mad at herself. This, of course, launches us into another conversation about never hurting her body. That action alone made me more upset than forgetting any piece of homework. 

And then, the doubt sets in. Before I can sort through if I replied to the teacher in the right way, did I correct Little K in the right way, was I too hard on her... Little K had cleaned the kitty litter for the first time, finished the homework that did come home with her, and asked if she could ride her scooter outside since she lost the privilege of TV. She's a good kid, who happens to be just 7 years old. 

After dinner and a bath, Little K breezes through another workbook I found and she does it with a smile. I stood or sat beside her and she smiled and giggled. She's a happy kid. She bounced into bed, singing and laughing as if the world was her oyster. Well, it is. 

"You need to calm down and get a good night's sleep so you'll be well rested for your big day tomorrow," I said. "I don't want you to forget anything and I want you to be able to do all your work tomorrow just like you did today."

"Okay, Mommy," she replied. "But can you set my alarm for extra early so I can do some more of that workbook?" 

We say our prayers. I tuck her into bed and Daddy pecks her forehead. I kiss my girl good night and close the bedroom door behind me. Good Lord, I hope she remembers her stuff from now on, I think. I can't take much more of this. My mom warned me about motherhood but it was the child-bearing part that worried me. I didn't realize that when your kid hurts, your heart hurts too. Luckily, tomorrow is another day for both of us.

Until the next nap time...