Monday, August 17, 2009

Xbox Talks

I was quite opposed to getting a video game system because I feel like boys become addicted to it and stop wanting to do anything else (things I consider more worthwhile like playing outside, reading books, making things with legos, spending time with their wives, etc.). Well, I gave into all the men-big and small- in my life and conceded to let Dave's parents buy the family an xbox 360 for Christmas. There was a lot of rock band played by Dave and my brother over the Holidays and the boys really began to enjoy lego star wars, but it hasn't really been an issue at all since then. In part due to the fact that after Dallas broke the LCD tv in January they were grounded from playing. That grounding stayed in place until the big move in June where Dave hooked it up to the DVD player in our car and let them play as we drove cross country.

It's been hooked up in our basement and pretty much all they ever wanted to do is play it since we moved here. It drove me crazy They would moan and whine and throw fits if I asked them to do anything that would interupt their precious xbox playing. Well, I was about ready to do my own throwing (of the xbox in the trash), but Dave helped us come up with a better plan where we use the xbox for incentive to get other things done. The boys now earn "xbox" time by doing chores, practicing reading and writing. etc. That has been working out well and I love that they are doing more constructive things in addition to playing a lot less xbox.

However, now I love the xbox (and brooklyn) and here is why:

Last week Brooklyn had a few successful day after day potty trips on her own accord so I decided it was time that I buckle down and attack the whole potty training thing. She woke up dry on her second night of no diapers and so of course we had to point out to Dallas (going on 4 1/2 and not ONCE having ever stayed dry at night) how Brooklyn had dry pants in the morning. I think he was just as shocked as I was and totally baffled by how she had done it. Anyway the combination of his two year old sister not wetting the bed and Dave's huge incentive of 2 hours of xbox time if Dallas could wake up with dry pants FINALLY motivitad the kid. Many of you know that up to this point I was convinced that I would be buying night time diapers for this kid until he moved out of the house as he has never been able to do it. We had even tried waking him up and having him go to the bathroom 2 and 3 times during the night and he would still wet the bed! Well, now that he finally decided it was worth it (little rascal), he has gone 4 nights in a row with success!! It's amazing.

I have gone from having three kids in diapers at some part of the day down to one! As a mom, and financially challenged mom at that, this is really exciting. Brooklyn still isn't perfect but she's doing totally fine and definitely good enough that I don't plan on ever returning to diapers. I'm thinking we should go out and celebrate using the money that I won't have to spend on diapers. It'll be a potty party!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Circus at the Zoo

What's wrong with this picture?? The fact that it is just two moms with 7 1/2 children (my firend is pregnant) and not a daycare. At least it seems others think something is wrong becuase they are always staring!! I know we are entertaining and most people are just thinking "glad that's not me" as they politely comment "wow, you've got your hands full." I think I am going to continue to agree with them and then politely ask if they'd like to help.
I don't venture out too often with all the kids because really it's hard to keep track of all of them let alone try to keep them behaving appropriately. But sometimes we just have to get out so we do and we walk around in our happy (at times anyway) little bubble and ignore the fact that everyone else is staring wondering why anyone would have that many little kids so close together.
Last week we took a day trip to the Louisville Zoo with our new friends. We had done this once before and miraculously spent all day there without any naps, major tantrums, issues etc. I should have known our luck had worn out before expecting such wonders again. This round was sprinkled with a lot more whining, tantrums. arguments, etc, but it was still fun. The Portland Zoo is huge and great and I think I'd have to say this zoo is just as good if not better. It's similar in size but seems to have a better variety of animals to look at. It also boasts a tram, carousel, playground and splash park in addition to the traditional seasonal attractions and train.
The lowlight of the trip is a toss up between Brooklyn's tantrum where she bailed out of the stroller and ended up with a huge bleeding goose egg on the side of her head and our time spent by all the snakes where I got to watch a cottonmouth repeatedly strike the glass anytime a person would get close (freaky aggressive snake!) or watching a rattlesnake ingest its lunch-a lovely little mouse. I HATE snakes. They absolutely creep me out and this did not help anything. The only joy I found was pointing out a California King Snake to the kids and telling them that they eat rattlesnakes.
Otherwise I spent the weekend as a sinlge mom as Dave was out of town for a conference and I somehow managed to keep track of my friend's kid for one of those days and nightsas well as a favor to my friend who was also out of town. The kid is the same age and has a similar temperment to Dallas . .need I say more? I've decided that sometimes the more challening they are to take care of the more they make you laugh though.
As I was nursing Lexi he says, "Is she drinking your milk?"
"I like it when my brother drinks from mommy's boobies"
Oh, why?
"Because I like boobies."
What a little man he is at the ripe age of four.
I am finding joy in motherhood . .because I love my children while wondering if being a man is really all that bad? I've always appreciated not being a father who feels the weight and stress of being the head and provider for a family. Then weekends like this make me realize being a man also has its perks.
Weekend in review:
Mother-stay at home with 5 kids
Father-travel to an ortho conference for golf tournament, cocktail party, movie, banquets and "networking"
Really which one would you pick?
Okay, I've given it a lot of thought and I'd still pick mom because being here to take care of my family is my passion and I truly feel like I am doing what I was meant to do and find great satisfaction in that. (But I'd totally be okay for a weekend getaway here and there. I guess I'll cash in on those when the kids are a little older and we hopefully have a few more resources to foot the bill.) For now I'll bask in the days where I get to soak up the sun while the kids are napping, enjoy the chaotic day trips to the zoo, enjoy staying in bed when the kids decide to sleep in and treasure the moments while my babies are still babies cause I already see them slipping away too quickly.