And we’re packing, we’re packing…

Lee and I got to spend the evening upstairs in the hot muggy attic going through the remaining boxes for our move Monday. It sounds worse than it was though, because we also got to do that fun couple thing where you come across some relic of your life/relationship/family and share the details with your S.O.

Lee found the “coffee cup he swiped from his job at Louisville Public Library, back in the day when there was only one area code in Denver”. I found the jewelry box “of Doom”, the one he handed to me upon returning from a business trip right after we had moved in together, making me think he was proposing and causing me to have the fight or flight response. We both found the myriad of odd things you end up keeping during a major move, such as all the magnets from our refrigerator.

It was a fun and cozy evening. We ended the work with an hour watching Comedy Central, seeing Mr. Vargus Mason on HBO was pretty darn cool, I must say. We laughed in between yawns, because midnight is late for us baby having old people.

Tomorrow is the Yard Sale From Hell, to be followed by the Move of Ickiness. However, when it is all over, we will live in the house we love, far away from soul sucking Red Bank and our soulless landlords. We will be renting from people we get along with and trust. Things will be better.

Until then, we’re packing.

And in this corner….

Weighing in at 19 pounds and seven ounces we have 11 week old Oliver Krebs!!
Yup, my son, the 25 and 3/4 inch 19 pound infant. I am going to be so strong after carrying this little guy around all summer!

He is not a happy baby right now though, as he had his shots, two in each thigh. Poor little man, he turned bright red and yelled a lot. I always feel like a traitor when my babies get shots. He was so sad all evening too, kept crying like he was being burned anytime I tried to set him down. As a result, it was a snuggly night.

Marlena, after a “legally blonde” watching fit, has declared her intention to be a lawyer, and wanders around with a case file and pen writing “lawyer stuff.” It is pretty darn cute. At the doctor today she kept asking me to ask her lawyer questions.
She has been trying to get me to let her watch Law and Order, but Lee pointed out it was too graphic. (I was too flattered by the desire to follow in my footsteps to really think it over.)

The strength to change the things I can, to accept the things I can’t, and the wisdom to know the difference…

I have recently come to the conclusion that many aspects of parenthood fall squarely into the realm of having the strength to accept the things I can’t change, and having the wisdom to know what they are.

The following are examples:

1. No matter how much catsup I place on a plate, there will never be enough to cover all the chicken also placed on the plate. It does not matter if there is more catsup by volume than there is chicken. She will always ask for more.

2. I will always have to cajole, remind, and threaten to get her to brush her teeth.

3. Chores and work requests will never be greeted with a cheerful “Sure Mom!”. There will always be whining, and likely a long face.

4. If I am on the phone, there will be an immediate need for conversation, whenever I am on the phone, regardless of how hard I have worked to insure all needs are met prior to getting on the phone.

5. Apply statement number 4 to any time I am in the bathroom.

6. Listening will only occur immediately if the context of my statement is pleasant, such as, “Who would like ice cream?”. All non pleasant or mundane statements will need to be repeated at least once.

7. If Oliver is asleep or entertained, and Marlena is asleep or entertained, and I think I may have a few moments to myself, the dogs or the cats will need:
a. food
b. to go outside or have the litterbox changed
c. attention

Once all the pets needs have been met, either Marlena or Oliver will no longer be asleep or entertained. (There will be a few hours in the evening when this is not true, but I will somehow squander these hours on nothing important.)

I am sure I will discover more examples of things that cannot be changed as my children grow, and I am sure these things will change as they do. I think I need to have the wisdom to recognize these things as they come along, let go of my need to change them, and breathe. If I can do that, maybe there will be more smiles and less frustration.

A new deal…

The “Gimmies” are a real problem with children of a certain age. They want everything they see, even if it will ultimately end of on their floor crushed to pieces under your shoe.

We have tried a bunch of different ways to avoid the “Gimmies”, from losing the ability to buy new gifts for a month, to only getting one “ask” per store visit, to yelling.

The problem is simple. Stores are filled with shelf after shelf of shiny attractive packages. It doesn’t actually matter what’s in them, it’s the possibility that gets children asking for hemmoriod cream or packages of sponges. (At least I hope so.)

So Marlena and I talked after a bout of the gimmies today, and we decided on a new deal. We nixed both sticks and carrots, because after discussing them at length she said something that made me think.

I suggested we try the approach where she only gets to ask for one thing each time we are at the store, she said it wouldn’t work. I asked her if it would help if she got to choose some of the groceries, like the cereal, milk, cheese, etc. She said if wouldn’t work. I asked her what she thought would work and she said nothing, because even when she tried not to ask, there were too many things she wanted, and she couldn’t help it.

So she can’t help it. She is trying, she just literally can’t stop herself from begging for everthing from Jergen’s lotion to cookies.

Our new deal? I will try not to get mad when she asks for stuff, and she will try not to get upset when I say no.

I think this just might work.

Ooh! Hatchet! I am actually geekier than you are! (Eric still beats me though, and how could he miss the Han question?)
77% Geek

A day without screaming…

It’s true! She woke up this morning and was cheerful! She put on Legally Blonde and let us sleep until after 10 am. I haven’t done that is ages. She got her own breakfast of yogurt and cereal. Not a lot of food for a growing girl, but enough to tide her over until I woke up and got her a pile of fresh organic raspberries, watermelon, and bing cherries.

She was cheerful through Lee and I packing, through errand running, through leftovers (which she actually ate and requested I make every day) and through bathtime. She and I even splashed, played, and laughed while I washed her hair.
We sang the following to the tune of Macho Man during the hair rinsing:
Me: Monkey, monkey butt, my daughter has a monkey butt. Monkey, monkey butt, my Marlena has a monkey butt.
Marlena: Monkey, monkey butt, my mommy has a monkey butt. Monkey, monkey butt, my mommy has a monkey butt.
It may not be great lyrical styling, but boy does it make a 5 year old laugh. (Anything involving the word “butt” makes a 5 year old laugh, but the genius here is tying the word “butt” and the word “monkey” together. Irresistible.)

Of course, we haven’t done bedtime yet, but I have high hopes for this evening. I think she may even brush her teeth!

Random kiddo picture: (Note the goony expression on Oliver’s face. He obviously inherited my silly genes.)

Addendum: She went to bed without screaming!! It was a happy bedtime with story and song and tickles and snuggles and laughter!!

The following is the oddest thing I have seen listed for free on Craigslist:

Wooden deck 8’x11′ in good condition in North Middletown (8 miles from Sandy Hook)

Yes that’s right! A free deck, completely detached from the house, ready to be given away to whoever needs a new deck. Truly, truly odd.

Well the saga of the psychopath continues. Tonight, after a day spent playing, watching movies, eating chips, and hanging out at a BBQ, Marlena is once again locked in her room screaming bloody murder. Why? Let me tell you why.

We went to Whole Foods. While we were there Marlena asked for a Lollipop. Automatically I said no. We were there to get toffee and root beer for the massive online computer fest Lee and I intend on engaging in tonight. When we got home I began to make dinner. Lee came over to me and said that he felt bad telling her she couldn’t have a lollipop when we were at the store to get junk food of our own. His exact words? “I thought, wow, we are kinda a&*holes.”

I thought about what he said, and while I think she should absolutely eat less sugar than I allow myself to indulge in, I agreed. So Lee snuck out while I finished up dinner and got her a bag of Skittles, her favorite thing in the world. When dinner was over we gave her the Skittles to eat while she finished up her movie.

So why is she currently screaming such gems as “I am all alone! I need to brush my teeth!, I am not going to sleep! and I feel like a kid who was born and not adopted!”? Well, it’s pretty simple. After the movie we asked her to brush her teeth. We explained how important it is to brush her teeth after having eaten so much candy. So she went into the bathroom and emerged ten minutes later without having brushed her teeth. We asked her if she had brushed them, she said she was using the potty and wandered back into the bathroom. Then she came out and said “I have the hiccups, I can’t brush my teeth.” Lee waited to see if she would hiccup. After a few minutes of no hiccups, she said “oh, I guess it was just one hiccup” and went back in the bathroom. She came out again a few moments later “My tummy hurts, I can’t brush my teeth.”

So Lee threw away the rest of the Skittles.

She threw one of her new and improved screaming, stomping, crying, throwing things, fits, complete with “You broke my heart!”, and we locked her in her room.

This makes three weeks of insanity.

I have asked for help, and I love all who have offered it, but there is no “talking to her” or “letting things go”. How can I let things go, if she screams whether or not I make her do something? If I ask her to clean her room, she will scream about having to clean it, when I say it’s fine to let it go, she will scream about how much she needs to clean it. It’s the same about everything else. She screams at me no matter which side I take on each and every bone of contention we have.

As for the talking, we have tried talking to her about Oliver, her feelings, change, settling in, moving, family, how much we love her, you name it. Each time she gets distracted and runs off, or she seems to listen and responds with a request for candy or a tv program. When she is upset she is too upset to talk or listen.

We have tried being extra nice, extra loving, doing more Marlena centered family activities, nothing helps.

There is nothing I can see to do but lock her in her room until she is done and hope she doesn’t break anything.

Oh yeah, and eat chocolate, as I can’t really drink.