Friday, December 23, 2011

Letter To Santa

Before Sonya left for Christmas break, her teacher had all the kids in the class write letters to Santa.  It was a great way for them to practice their writing skills and an adorable keepsake for us parents.  Ms. Oh kept a copy at school, but told all the kids she was making a copy to mail to Santa at the North Pole.  Welcome to the North Pole!  She sent them to all the parents and I'm so glad she did.  I knew it was coming, so when I saw the school address I immediately grabbed it before certain other people saw and inquired about it.  Later, when Sonya wasn't around I read her Santa letter and, of course, cried.  I cry at just about everything my kids do that's like this.  During their recent Christmas performances, I teared up at each one.  Even when they sing the songs on their own now, I have to fight back the tears.  It's that overemotional mom gene I got from my mom.  Thanks so much mom!  However, how could I NOT cry when she goes and asks for things for everyone else before herself. Oh and the still being concerned about Santa's hurt feelings.  So sweet.   Plus she does recognize her attitude toward me and has promised to work on it.  What 7 year old is that self aware?  She may infuriate me sometimes, but she really is one damn great kid and I will always be proud of and love being her mom.  

Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope Santa brings you everything YOU want this year too.  Thanks for reading and keep the comments coming.  For any Jewish readers out there-Happy Hanukkah! 

Monday, December 19, 2011


About a month ago, Georgia started doing this.  I don't know how she learned to do it or who taught her, because the other two are amazed by it and can't do it themselves.  She does it quite often when we are eating a meal and we can't help but laugh at her, which only makes her want to do it more.  We are raising some VERY classy ladies here at the Dadekian household.  Very classy indeed.  

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Sensitive Issue

Well, after the bring down post I left you with on Monday, I thought I should quickly get back to the funny.  Good thing I've got three girls who provide me with plenty of that!  

Andy and I try our best to teach our girls to be kind, sensitive to other's feelings, and tolerant of different kinds of people, regardless of shape, size, color, religion or sexual orientation.  I've always felt that we had done a pretty good job so far.  Perhaps a little to good in the case of Sonya, and Lana may need a bit more work.  

Lana is four, almost five, and is one of those kids who has no filter.  I recently found out she said something to one of my friends, which I was mortified by.  She asked this particular friend of mine why he/she was fat.  I guess she's asked him/her a couple of times now.  OH LANA!  This is something Sonya would NEVER do.  I wasn't around when she asked this, and I guess Sonya even scolded Lana for saying it.  We talk about how it isn't nice to say that to people and it could hurt their feelings, but apparently Lana does not care.  (See post from Monday about her having no empathy/sympathy. )  I know she doesn't really get it and I apologized to this friend of mine and I apologize to her/him again now.  So sorry!  Lana is just going to be that blunt to the point girl who doesn't think before she speaks.  Okay, that just sounded a little like me, but I am MUCH better than I used to be and would never ask someone why they are fat.  At least I wouldn't ask that NOW anyway.  

In contrast, Sonya has been beside herself this Christmas season because of everyone calling one particular person fat.  Santa Claus.  

About a week ago I was saying something about Santa.  Somehow I must have said something about Santa being fat.  I mean it's no surprise.  It gets talked about in songs, poems and Christmas shows, how Santa is fat and jolly.  I never really thought about it before.  So after I said whatever it was I said about Santa and his size, Sonya said to me,

"Mommy, that is not nice!"

"What isn't nice, Sonya?" I had zero idea what I said that she was so offended by.

"About Santa being fat!  That could hurt his feelings!" She insisted.

"Ummm...noooo..., Santa is okay with it," I tried saying.

"How do you know?" She challenged. "It's not nice to call people fat, even if they are." 

Huh.  Well.... I was completely flummoxed as to what to say to her.  I mean on the one hand she was right.  This IS what we had taught her.  On the other hand, it's SANTA!  He's SUPPOSED to be fat.  We like him to be fat and encourage it, by leaving milk and cookies for him.  In the beginning of Rudolph he is stressed out and skinny.  Mrs. Claus tries to force feed him saying, "Who's ever heard of a skinny Santa?" (yes, I just watched it two days ago. It's my favorite holiday special.)  

I never really did give her a good answer.  I just said something about him eating lots of milk and cookies and that is why he is so fat.  Her response to that was,

"Yes!  But people should stop calling him fat!"

You guys, this has been an ongoing conversation for over a week now.  Just about every day she gets upset about someone saying Santa is fat.  They even wrote letters to Santa at school, and she asked him in her letter if it hurts his feelings when people say that.  Then Andy asked her to draw some Christmas pictures for us.  Her picture of Santa is almost anorexic. (See below) I am not sure what else to say to her at this point.  I feel like this is a total FAIL moment as a parent.  I did my job as far as making her sensitive to other's feelings, but now I can't explain why it's okay for this one certain person to be fat and for us all to say it.  I think I may have the most "politically correct" seven year old on the planet.  I wouldn't be surprised if she made us leave out cucumbers and tomatoes for Santa this year instead of the milk and cookies.  I suppose that would be better for the Santa waistlines in this house anyway.

So if you know my kids, or ever meet them, and you want an honest answer about something, ask Lana.  On the other hand, Sonya will sugar coat anything, if you are in need of an ego boost.  

svelte Santa

Monday, December 12, 2011


So remember how last week I was super busy, but told you about something sad that happened to us and yes, I wanted to talk about it, but had to wait until I had the time?  Well, I have a couple hours now.  Grab a seat, and possibly a tissue and read away.  Here is that story.  Just a warning-it's a long one.

It began eleven and half years ago when Andy called me from work one day in May, to tell me he was holding this adorable little kitten.  One of the girls from work had brought her in.   The kitten, her sister and her mom were all found outside in this girl's garden.  The friend at work wasn't sure what to do with them, but there was another woman at Andy's work who was very involved in an animal shelter.  In fact, the place Andy worked had quite a few cats running around that had been brought in by other people.  The problem was, the kittens were about five weeks old and would soon become feral, if they weren't around people soon.  They needed to be held constantly, to try help domesticate them.  Andy, who has always been a cat person, grabbed the calico one and she laid on his shoulder for the better part of the day.  He was hooked.  We had gotten engaged just a few months before and were preparing to move in together.  So he called to tell me and told me about this cute little kitty he was holding and could we keep her, please, please, huh can we??

Here was the problem.  I was very allergic to cats.  This is something I discovered when I was about fourteen.  I am a dog person and always had dogs around, so never really entertained the idea of having a cat, especially when I became allergic.  I could tell he really wanted to keep her though. I did have  friends I knew who had been allergic to cats, but after a month or so, became used to their own cat and the allergies all but disappeared.  Since I loved my soon to be husband, I was willing to give it a try.  If my allergies didn't go away, we were prepared to give the kitten to Andy's roommate when they moved out.

Well, for about a month I was completely miserable anytime I would go to their house.  Sneezing, itchy eyes, stuffiness, the whole thing.  But after a while I realized that my allergies started to subside.  It would take a longer period of time being around her, before they would start, and as long as I washed my hands after playing with her, I was okay.  We decided to go ahead and keep her.  Jazz became our first "baby".

Since I had never had a cat before, I wasn't sure what to expect.  She was fun as a kitten and always wanted to play, much like a puppy or dog, but as she got older she became more independent and aloof.  I liked her, but she didn't always like me and would sometimes hide in the bathroom in the hallway to take a swipe at me as I walked by.  This used to drive me crazy. Andy would defend her saying she was just playing, but she rarely did it to him.  In fact, she LOVED Andy.  Like a dog, she would run to the door to greet him when he came home from work.  She was always ready to sit in his lap when we would watch TV at night, and loved to lay on him when we went to bed.  If Andy wasn't around she would sometimes do those things with me, but it was always clear who her favorite was.

Then we went and had a baby.  I will never forget the day I came home from the hospital with Sonya.  She came running out to greet me, only to be surprised by this big bulky thing Andy carried in that held something tiny and moving inside of it.  Andy placed the car seat on the floor and she sniffed it for a bit.  Then she decided she wanted nothing to do with it, turned and haughtily walked out of the room.  She refused to sleep in our room for a week and a half.  Eventually, when she realized the little thing wasn't leaving, she got over it. She even became protective of the little pink screaming being.   When Sonya would cry she would even become concerned.  Jazz would run to us and run to the room where Sonya was crying.  Then we would get the baby and put her on the bed and Jazz would hop up look at her, look at us, then back to her.  You could almost hear her thinking,


Trust me, Jazz, we were trying.

This past April she turned eleven and was in fine health.  I've had friends with cats who live upwards of 20, so I never thought of her as old.  We hadn't taken her for her shots in a while, and over the summer Andy made a trip to the vet to get her caught up.  She had always been an indoor cat, but sometimes we let her go in our walled in backyard when we were out there.  She adored being outside. After all, it is where she was born and spent the first five weeks of her life.  She would always try to make an escape outdoors if she could.  Then at one point this past summer, she started to get mad at us when we wouldn't let her go out.  Usually in the form of shitting on Sonya's rug in her bedroom.  I think she chose there, because she knew what a pain in the ass it was for me to clean it.  I swear that cat knew those kind of things.  My husband thinks I'm crazy and would say she was just an animal and didn't know.  I'm telling you, she knew how to piss me off.  So eventually, I said screw it.  Let's let her go outside.  She can't get out of the backyard anyway and all she wanted was to be out there in the sun all day.  Andy agreed and she became the happiest cat ever.  The pooping and throwing up everywhere stopped.  She would come inside and spend the nights with us, but first thing in the morning she would be meowing to go outside again.

When we came back from RI in October, our friends who looked in on her while we were gone, Norb and Cecelia, had told us she seemed to be drinking a lot of water.  More than usual.  We noticed she had also started to lose some weight, which we had attributed to her being outside.  I thought it might be a good idea to get her checked out though, so Andy took her to the vet.  They diagnosed her with hyper thyroid, gave her some pills and ordered some special food for her.  After ten days of taking the pills, she was still losing weight and now wasn't eating as much.  Then we noticed her limping on one side.  Back to the vet she went, where they x-rayed her leg and found nothing.  The blood tests showed nothing, but she did have a fever.  Perhaps it was an infection.  So they gave her an antibiotic shot and sent her on her way.

The next day she seemed to rally a bit and act more like herself, but she was still sleeping an awful lot and eating next to nothing.  She wasn't really even asking to go outside.  Then, when my sister was here,  at one point she ran around the house to every rug trying to pee.  She would leave less than a drop of pee and it appeared to be tinged with blood.  There was something so obviously wrong with her, but we couldn't get her to the vet before Thanksgiving.  Some days she seemed like she was doing okay, then some days she completely ignored her litter box, peed anywhere, slept constantly and ate nothing.  That weekend Andy went back to the vet, where this time they did a full body x-ray.  I took the phone call two hours later from the vet informing me that she had two tumors.  One on her spine and one on her kidney-which explained the peeing problems.  They had metastasized and there was nothing really to be done.  His words to me were,

"So if she's eating and doing okay, you can let her go for a while.  Otherwise...."

I knew what that "otherwise" meant.  I had a dog we had to put to sleep because of brain tumors when I was 16, and I knew that there was no coming back from what she had.  Through tears I told Andy what the vet said and what our options were.  He was not ready to let her go yet.  She still seemed to be more on the life side of things at that point, even though she wasn't eating at all now.

Cecelia, who volunteers at an animal shelter and fosters kittens, came over with a bag of tricks to try on Jazz to see if we could at least get her to eat again.  But after three days of force feeding her, Andy and I gave up.  I felt like we were only torturing her at that point.  All she did was sleep.  Andy was reluctant to put her down, because of how much she hated going to the vet.  I don't think any animal loves it, but Jazz had a bad experience once that really put her off going.  That was when I remembered that I had heard somewhere about vets who would come to your home to put an animal down.  I did some research and found a couple.  I talked to Andy about it, but he was still not ready.  He wanted her to go on her own, although I knew that might take a while. With three little kids in the house,  I didn't think that was probably the best option.  Not to mention, she seemed to be miserable and in pain. However, she was more or less his cat and I wanted him to make the final decision, so I left him alone.

By that Friday, not yet a week since she had been diagnosed, she was looking worse than ever.  Twice that day she had tried to escape outside, which was something she hadn't done in a while.  Then that night she found a spot to lay down in the corner of the kitchen where she had never gone before.  Andy figured she was probably trying to find a place to die.  When he came home from work that night, after seeing her, he said to me,

"We need to call someone and do it tomorrow.  She is just not our Jazz anymore."

She wasn't and she looked like she was done.  So the next morning I made an appointment for the vet to come over at 1:30pm.  We let Jazz outside in the morning.  It was sunny and breezy, perfect weather for her to be outside.  Sonya was crying on and off most of the morning.  Andy was sitting outside with Jazz for a while.  I put off all the things I had to do that day and Sonya and I went outside to spend some time with her too.  The younger two, oblivious to this part of life, ran around and played.  Then the vet came at 1:30.  She was a wonderful, sweet lady, but it was like looking at a personified grim reaper.  Jazz was laying under a rose bush when she arrived and she told us we could leave her there.  She would give her one shot to knock her out and then the second shot would, well, send her to the big scratching post in the sky.

I had all the girls come over and give her one last pet and say their goodbyes.  Sonya was sobbing, and I wasn't far behind.  Then I tried to usher them inside, but Lana decided she wanted to stay and watch.  I told her no and she argued with me, until I promised her a cookie if she would join us inside.  She willingly ran in he house.

Andy stayed outside to be with Jazz.  Sonya and I sat on the couch and cried while Georgia sat near us, looking like she wanted to be sad, but didn't really understand why.  Lana jumped up and down on the floor near me asking for,

"COOOKIE!!  I want my COOKIE!!"

Seriously Lana!  Some of us are trying to mourn here!  She would not shut up about the cookie.  I think my daughter may lack empathy, or sympathy.  Perhaps both.  That might be a problem, but I couldn't think about that right now.  I just wanted her to stop, so I got up to get her cookie and looked outside to see  Andy holding Jazz as the vet administered the final shot.  Then I saw my husband, who up to that point hadn't shed a tear, break down and cry like I've never seen.  We've been together for 16 years and I've only ever seen him cry one other time.  That day, he broke.  He got it back together after about ten minutes.  Can't cry to long, you know, because he's a guy and all.  Sonya and I however, cried on and off for the rest of the day.  It was a pretty miserable day and in the middle of it, we were trying to put up Christmas lights and decorations.  Because nothing says Christmas like putting your beloved pet to sleep!

It's been hard on all of us.  Well, Andy, Sonya and me anyway.  Sonya came across an ornament when we were decorating the tree that held a picture of Jazz and started crying again.  Andy has had the worst time of us all.  There hasn't been anymore crying, but he was definitely brooding for the earlier part of last week.  I think the hardest part for us was that she wasn't that old for a cat and that it happened so damn fast.  One minute she's fine, normal, swiping at my legs in the bedroom Jazz and the next she's  a five pound mass of fur barely moving.  

And to answer the question everyone asks, yes we will most likely get another pet.  I've been wanting a dog for years, but to be honest I liked having a cat.  I wouldn't mind having both.  For right now though, we are going to grieve over the loss of this one for bit and take some time to miss her.  She was a huge part of our lives for eleven years.  She was there for some of the most important times from marriage to births.  She was a part of our family and we were in no way ready for this.  It's going to be hard without her, even if she did drive me crazy, or annoy me half the time, I still loved her.  In fact, I knew this was going to be hard on Andy when she died, but what I didn't count on was how sad I would be.  Even now writing this, I've done part of it in tears.  She was a great pet and we will miss her terribly.  Rest in Peace Jazzy cat.

Jazz and Sonya 2005

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

From The Mouths of Babes

Sooo, things are a tad crazy around here again.  This week is just chaos for me, mostly because of the Christmas party Andy and I are throwing Saturday night, but also because we are finally getting our new heater/AC unit.  I have something I really want to write about and share with you all.  A sad thing that happened over this past weekend, but I just don't have the time right now to devote to it.  In the meantime, I thought I'd share a quick funny Georgia story. Then when my head stops spinning next week and everything in our lives stops breaking down or dying, I will share with you all the story in my head that need to come out.  But for now-Georgia!

First I have to tell you about two words that she uses constantly, that coming from a three year old is cute enough, but then the way she says them... I giggle every time.  The words are, in Georgia language, "Emazing" and "Ennoying".  I'm not sure why she thinks those words start with an E instead of an A, but she does.  She will say things like, "Lana!  That is so ENNOYING!" Or, "Oh my gosh, dose lights are so EMAZING!"  I can't bring myself to correct her.  I love it.

Then there was her comment yesterday, when we dropped Sonya off at piano lessons.  She takes piano from a gay man in Burbank, who's house inside and out is well taken care, nicely decorated and just beautiful.   Not really surprising I suppose.  He and his husband live there with their two boys.  He is awesome and yes, as the house implies, he is your stereotypical gay guy.  Not that there is anything wrong with that!  He is very flamboyant.  Even someone with no gaydar would know this guy is gay and as I said, he has impeccable taste.  Think Cam from Modern Family.  Sonya absolutely adores him and loves going to piano.   I only tell you about all this gayness,  because it makes what Georgia said that much funnier.

When we drove up yesterday, we noticed they had decorated their house for Christmas.  For some reason, people seem to think throwing up any lights they have on their house in any formation as long as their house is illuminated, is okay.  In other words, most people have tacky light displays.  His house, was, of course, lovely.  It was daytime, and we didn't see it lit up, but you could see how it was layed out and there was garland and decorations that were overall, tasteful.  The girls and I were all commenting on how they had decorated for Christmas and how pretty it was.  Then as we were getting ready to drive away, after dropping off Sonya, from the back seat Georgia says,

"Wow!  Dat house looks FANTASTIC!"

Two things- I've never heard her use "fantastic" before that moment, and two- isn't fantastic one of those words people like to use when mimicking stereotypical gay guys?  I think she might have even accented her "s". 

Friday, December 2, 2011

You Ought To Be In Pictures

While my sister and her family were here, we had my good friend BethAnnDoodKoehn, come up to take pictures of the girls.  Plus, she and I took a few with them.  We spared the husbands of such torture and they headed off to the Los Angeles Auto Show for the afternoon.  BADK has always loved taking pictures since I met her in high school.  She is always trying to learn more about photography and recently has started a little side photography business.  So I thought I'd give her a shout out and share a few of the fabulous pictures she took.  If you live in the Southern California area and are in need of some new kid, family, pet, wedding, pregnancy, whatever pictures, (ok, maybe no nude pictures) check out her facebook page and hire her.  She's fairly cheap right now, since she's just getting started, but she knows what she's doing.   Thanks BethAnnDoddKoehn!  

How adorable are all these girls?!

From Left: Vivian, Lucy, Sonya, Lana, Georgia-so much personality in these five!

Okay, may I just compliment myself and my sister for a minute? We look damn good in this picture.  Especially for having five kids.    Just sayin'.   It could just be Beth's awesome work though. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Last Friday, while I was getting dinner ready for FIVE kids, they were all playing in the living room. Things were going well and then Georgia said,

"Somting stinky!  I tink Vivian pooped!"

Then Sonya chimed in "Yeah, she pooped.  It stinks in here!"

Now, it's been almost a year since I've had to deal with a kid in diapers.  I know how they like to lie about their poop, at least mine did.  

"No, mother, I have no idea why I smell so badly. Pay no attention to that load in my diaper."

I don't know why they hated being changed.  So it was no surprise when I walked to Vivian and asked if she pooped and she gave me a flat out-"No."  Not believing her I checked her pants, but turns out she wasn't lying.  No poop.  Huh.  

"She didn't poop girls.  Maybe she just farted or something."

"Yeah, maybe," Georgia agreed.  

Then Sonya fessed up, "Actually, I farted."

"SONYA!"  I said.  "So you just blamed Vivian for you stinking up the room?"

"Yup!" She said, giggling.

It seems like she's practicing to be a grandfather.  

Monday, November 28, 2011


Hello everyone!  So when last I left you, I was about to embark on the journey that is five children.  ALL girls no less.  And look here I am on the other side!  I survived!  In fact, in some ways it was easier than I thought it would be and in other ways...well you people with 4 or more kids are a wee bit on the crazy side, is all I'm saying.  

My sister and her family came in the Thursday before Thanksgiving.  She and her husband left on Friday morning to head to Arizona for the weekend, as I mentioned, to support their friend competing in the Ironman there.  (Also a crazy person.)  Friday went pretty smoothly.  The girls all played well together and had fun.  I was breezing through this five kid thing on my own.  In fact so much so I thought, huh, maybe I could have another one.  I took care of them all day-FIVE OF THEM, cleaned the house, made dinner and STILL had energy for sex that night.  Oh sorry, that last part might have been too much information.  Then Saturday happened.  The good news was Andy was home to help.  The bad news, everyone of my girls had a MAJOR breakdown/temper tantrum between Saturday-Sunday.  

It started with Lana.  Who's surprised?  Then you haven't been reading this blog very long.  Thursday night she came down with a fever and threw up in the middle of the night.  Just what I needed as I was about to take care of two extra kids.  She continued the fever on Friday and stayed home from school, but seemed better by the end of the day.  I was so paranoid that this was going to get to everyone, but it didn't really.  My stomach was a little funky for a couple days, but nothing I couldn't handle.  I am constantly willing myself not to get sick, when I start to feel it.  I do NOT have time for that crap.  

Then on Saturday she woke up super cranky.  Maybe it was leftover sickness, but still, a cranky Lana is fun for no one.  Trust me.   In the morning, we went to a little get together for kids at the adult school I take her and Georgia to.  They had a drum band playing and an art project for the kids to do.  It was there that Lana started to lose it.  She decided she was hot, even though it was in the 60's.  She kept complaining about being hot, so I finally just let her take off her long sleeve shirt and walk around in her tank top undershirt.  I know she had to be cold, but that kid is so damn stubborn and refused to admit it.  So there she was in a tank top in the 60 degree weather. Needless to say, we were getting "you're a bad parent" looks from the other moms.  Whatever, you deal with her "I'MMM HOOOOTTT!!!" whine then.  

When we got in the car to go home she started screaming and crying about her seat belt and she never stopped.  As soon as we walked in the door I marched her to time out, where she proceeded to throw whatever object she could find at the bathroom door.  Warning to Lana's future boyfriends: Duck.  She's a thrower.  It was one of her bigger flip outs in a while and it took a good half hour to get her back to normal.  

Georgia wasn't in much of a mood for the competition of someone her age and younger than her.  Vivian needed the most attention and I had to give it to her.  Lana took a serious liking to Vivian and was glued to her side most of the weekend.  This sorta sent Georgia into a tailspin, since she is the baby in the house and Lana's usual partner in crime.  It came to head when we took all of them out to dinner at Outback.  I don't know why we are that crazy, we just are.  It seemed easier than cooking and cleaning at the time.  Georgia behaved terribly at dinner.  She whined and wouldn't eat.  Honestly, she is hardly like that.  Usually she gets in trouble for being to crazy and goofy when we go out.  She only got worse once we got home.   Hence the temper tantrum she threw followed by her own time-out, which she rarely gets.  

Then we had Sonya.  Who, I swear is way to old to be throwing the three year old type temper tantrum, yet every once in a while she does.  Bright and early Sunday morning is when she decided to throw down. I'm still not even sure what it was she was so upset about.  Something along the lines of wanting Lucy and Vivian in her bed, but not her sisters, but Lana and Georgia wanted to be with everyone, as did Lucy and Viv.  I tried to smooth it out and let them all go watch TV in the living room, but Sonya was NOT okay with that.  Andy came in and told Sonya to knock it off and serious crying and screaming ensued.  Well, he did tell her she was now confined to her room the whole day.  Why is it that the husbands go so far in the other direction?  It was 6:30 in the morning and now she was not only upset because she hadn't gotten what she wanted, but now she thought she couldn't leave her room the entire day, even to pee.  

Eventually, she got herself under control and was allowed to leave her room.  It just took a little while.  At 6:30 in the morning.  Yay.

And in all of this, my sister's girls were perfect.  There was really no whining and very little crying.  Vivian was a bit more upset on Sunday, but I think she was also not feeling well.  She decided I was her mom the entire weekend, because she kept calling for me, "Moooom!!"  It took me a bit to figure out she was talking to me.  I tried to tell her I was Auntie Kristi, but gave up by Saturday.  It wasn't until Megan came back that she realized I was "Kisti".  So the whole time I'm dealing with my demon children, I'm tying to figure out what the hell my sister is doing so right making her girls are so well behaved.  Where did I go wrong?  What kind of secret did she have?  Was it something she put in their cereal-and where can I get some?  

On Monday we picked Megan and Matt up from the airport and their girls were so excited to see them.  By the end of the evening, I realized that Megan didn't have a special secret.  Her girls did what most kids do.  They held their shit together while Mom and Dad were gone.  Lucy became more whiny than she had been all weekend and even ended up with her own temper tantrum and to time out.  Vivian was pretty much the same, but may have let loose a bit more with them around.  That temper tantrum that Lucy threw that night, made me feel so much better about my parenting skills.  I wasn't sucky at it.  I know my girls would have behaved just as her girls did if the situation was reversed.  They are always good at someone else's house.  Everytime they have a babysitter we always hear how great they went to bed.  (With the exception of Melinda, who they know well and feel they don't have to hold their shit together in front of)  When I put them to bed it's a good 45 minute excursion.  

So, turns out I made it through four days with five kids and I did a bang up job.  It was A LOT of work though. I didn't think I could spend anymore time in the kitchen than I do now, but guess what!  I did.  We had a fun Thanksgiving week when my sister and brother-in-law came back, despite our heater unit dying and our cat being on her last legs, but those are stories for other posts.  I do know for sure for sure now  that I am all good with my three girls.  All done now.  Vasectomy, here we come!  That was too much information again, wasn't it?

Friday, November 18, 2011


Sonya, Lucy, Vivian, Lana and Georgia

I should be able to handle all of them for four days, right?  I mean they LOOK harmless enough.  As long as nobody gets sick we'll be fine!  Just as long as nobody ends up with a fever and throwing up in the middle of the night it will be ALL GOOD!  Yup-healthy kids are easier to take care of, so this should be no problem.... be continued....  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Because I Am THAT Crazy

I thought I should warn you all that I may go missing from blogging for the next week or so.  The reason is that I'm about to gain two extra kids for four days.

Back in May my sister, Megan, told me she and her husband wanted to go to Arizona for a couple days.  They want to support one of their best friends who is going to do an Iron Man.  Let's not even go into how crazy THAT guy is.  I understand them wanting to go there to support him, because not many people can complete something that difficult.  They didn't want to bring their girls.  Lucy is three and Vivian is 18 months, so not exactly easy to run around cheering for someone running/biking/swimming with them in tow.  They thought that maybe they would wrap their trip to Arizona with coming to visit us, and spending Thanksgiving here. Sounds good!  Oh and also could I watch the girls for a few days while they were in Arizona?  Suuurree!  No problem!  I can handle it!  Perhaps something else that sounded better in my head.  Plus it was May and November was soooo far away.

Well, here we are in November and my sister and her family are ready to hop on a plane out here tomorrow morning.  Megan and Matt stay Thursday night, and leave on Friday leaving me ALL ALONE with FIVE KIDS!  FIVE!!!  ALL GIRLS NO LESS!  WHAT WAS I THINKING???  At least Andy will be here on Saturday and Sunday to help out and my sister gets back on Monday afternoon.   So, I will only have to be alone for like a day.  I can handle that!  I think.  God, I hope I can.  Just kidding Meg-I will be fine!!  Maybe.

Yeah, so needless to say I won't have much time for extra things like writing.  I don't know how I fit this in most days to begin with, but now that I have an extra 3 year old and and 18 month old to take care of, forget it.  Plus I have to change diapers again.  I've gotten very used to my non-diapered life.  I'm not sure I even remember how to do it anymore!

This is what family is for though.  In all seriousness I am excited to see my sister and her family.  We don't get to see each other pretty much ever.  Wisconsin might as well be the moon since I live in Los Angeles.  We can't exactly afford to fly five people all over the country whenever we want.  I wish we could.  So, it will be fun for our families to hang out and spend the holiday together.  And I love the fact that I get to watch my nieces for a couple days.  It's something we would probably do all the time for each other if we lived closer.  My girls will get to know their cousins better and I know we will have a fun, albeit crazy, time.  Even if I do have to break out the wine at 5pm on Friday night.

Meg-I can't wait to see you and hope you and Matt have a fabulous weekend sans kids.  Just remember you owe me one!  Oh and I do intend to collect.  Only to bad for you I have an extra one to watch.

I will update when I can.  I'm sure I'll have plenty to talk about by the end of all this.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Seven Years Ago

Saturday, we celebrated Sonya's seventh birthday.  She had a fun filled day with a trip to Disney Studios to see a screening of the new Muppet Movie, (thanks to Melinda!), In-n-Out for lunch (also Melinda), then an evening slumber party.  That part sounded much better in my head than it did in person.  Five seven year olds in our house made it very, um, screechy in here.  Our house is not big enough for that much screechiness.  Sonya did have a great time, and fortunately only two of those girls actually spent the night.  However, I didn't plan to write about her party this weekend.  Instead I thought I'd give you all a story about baby Sonya.  Since I didn't start this blog until she was four, I didn't get to write about all the crazy baby stories that happened, what now seems like forever ago.  I know I've mentioned things here or there about when they were babies, but not an actual tale.  So in honor of her birthday, here is one of my favorites. Some of you may already know this one.  It's an oldie, but a goodie.

As I've mentioned time and time again, Sonya was a screamy baby.  Not colicky exactly, but she cried.  A LOT.  If she wasn't eating, sleeping, or in a trance next to the stove under the exhaust fan, she was crying.  Therefore I was stuck in the house for most of the first three months of her life.  I was afraid to go anywhere, unless I was sure she would stay asleep.  If she woke up, it was all over.  Once, I had to leave CVS in the middle of shopping, because her eyes popped open and she started to scream.  Now to be clear, that was the new mom Kristi.  The experienced mom of three kids Kristi, would just let her scream until I was done with my shopping, and if you don't like it you can go to another CVS, but I have to get this done now, thank you very much.  It's so funny how different first time moms are from those of us who have been around the block a couple of times.

Anyway, I hadn't yet taken Sonya into Andy's work to show her off.  This was mostly because I was worried about her crying, and disrupting the office. You know, my husband sorta needed to keep his job.  But it had been two months, and people kept asking to see the baby, so we said screw it.  If she cries I'll just leave.  Luckily, she slept  through almost the entire visit to his office.  Everyone oooed and ahhhed over her.  She was a very beautiful baby, as far as new babies go.  Still a little alien like, but adorable alien.  We were there for an hour or so and decided it was time for us to leave.  It was around then that she woke up.  She was okay for the time being, but I knew that the peace wouldn't last long.  So I said my goodbyes and headed to the car.  That is when the wailing started.

At the time Andy was working in Beverly Hills and we live in Burbank.  If you look on a map it's only about twelve miles.  Quick, right?  Only if you live anywhere but L. A.  It can take anywhere from 25 minutes (at 2am) to an hour to drive those twelve miles.  Since I was leaving at 4 pm on a Friday, I was looking at the hour plan.  With a screaming baby.  Yay.

So I started my drive and I did all the things I had done before to try and stop her from crying.  Things that had worked at one point for five or ten minutes.  Shushing, humming, shaking the car seat back and forth, chanting in a Native American like style-you have NO idea.  Nothing was working and the sobs only became louder.  I was ready to lose it, so as a last resort I decided to try music.  A song that I had played incessantly when I was pregnant with her.

I'm not sure why, but for some reason the first time I was pregnant I became obsessed with Barry Manilow.  Don't look at me like that.  Come on-tell me you can't belt out all the words to Copacabana.  My mom was a Manilow fan when I was a kid and I remember listening to him often.  I don't know if it was some sort of pregnancy craving or what, but I listed to that Greatest Hits CD over and over again.  One song in particular, which is one of my favorites,  Mandy.  I was so obsessed at the time, we even considered naming Sonya, Mandy.  She's so not a Mandy though, so it's a good thing we nixed it.   So I put the song on thinking maybe it was one of those things she heard so much in the womb, like the white noise, she would like it.  It was probably my first real parental instinct success.

I started the song on the CD and within two piano notes, she stopped screaming.  Although, I could hear her kind of whimpering a bit still. It was like she wasn't sure if she was okMandy, she was quiet.  So for 45 minutes I sang Mandy, over and over and over again.  Needless to say, I was a little sick of the song by the time we pulled in the driveway.

After that, car rides were much more quiet.  Anytime she would start to cry we would pop the CD in and BAM!  Tears ended.  It was the craziest thing.  Thankfully, I didn't have to sing EVERY time.  Although, anyone will tell you about how fabulous my singing voice is.  As long as you ask them after a few drinks at a Karaoke bar.  

 Eventually, she did become a better baby and didn't hate just being awake, but anytime she started to have a break down in the car I would break out that song.  Worked every time, up until she was about two.  Although she still did like the song, and would ask us to play it over again when she heard it.

I haven't had Barry in my car for some time now. I should play it and see how much it still effects her, if at all.   Even if it doesn't help her now, it saved my sanity back then.  Because Mandy-she really did come and give without taking,  and I thank Mr. Manilow, and my mom who introduced me to him, for that.

Happy Birthday to my beautiful first born girl!  Even though at times you might be difficult, I will never forget  how happy you make me, and I won't ever send you away.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Comedy Competition

Remember how I recently wrote about Georgia being the funny one in the family?  Well, either she's reading this blog (which I don't think would be the best thing for her) or she thinks of herself in this way. Even though she's only THREE.  

Last week we were in the car on the way back from picking Lana up from pre-school.  Lana had on her favorite pink sparkly shoes.  She was admiring her shoes and then told me,

"Mommy, my shoes don sparkle in da shade." It was cloudy that particular day.

"Oh, no?" I asked.

"No, day only sparkle in da hot," she informed me.

I giggled and said, "Oh you mean in the sun?"

"Oh yeah," she said.  "Da sun.  Dats what I mean."

I kinda chuckled again then said, "Lana, you're so funny."

Georgia, who sits next to Lana in the van, had listed to our conversation.  Right after I told Lana how funny she was, GG did what can only be described as a courtesy laugh then immediately said,

"Yeah, but I's more funnier."

Since that made me laugh harder than what Lana said, I guess she had a point. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Look What I Found!

Under the couch yesterday I found G's hair:

 It was on this piece of paper from the Sesame Street coloring book, that Sonya had given to Lana, if you notice.  Apparently, sneaky little Lana hid it under the couch just like this.  I will give her credit though, when I asked her if she hid it there she fully admitted it, smile and all.  I did realize she cut off WAY more than I thought she did.  Good thing Georgia has unruly curly hair and it is less noticeable.  Well, except for in the bangs.  I will be making daily checks under Lana's bed when she is a teenager.  I shudder to think what will someday be hidden under there.  

Monday, November 7, 2011

Beauty School Drop Out

Saturday I was in and out of the house all day.  I took Sonya to a birthday party in the afternoon and Andy was in charge of the Wonder Twins.  He cleaned out the garage most of the day and the girls went in and out between helping him, and playing inside.  I did request that they not completely destroy the house that day, because I was having some girlfriends over later for a little party.  Well, it wasn't COMPLETELY a mess when I got home, but you know, they're still kids and he's still a husband who thinks dishes in the sink and crumbs on the counter is a cleaned up kitchen, so whatever.  I wasn't surprised to come home and find a piece of red construction paper cut up all over the living room rug.  No biggie since I had to vacuum anyway.  What I didn't see, while vacuuming, that was also cut on the floor was hair.  Hair belonging to one miss Georgia. 

I didn't notice GG's lovely new do until after she had a shower later in the evening.  She and Lana have the same type of hair.  It's curly and hard to manage, so it is not unusual for it to look unkempt most of the time no matter how often I brush it.  Her bangs can also look unruly from time to time.  I guess I just hadn't looked at her straight on, until she ran into the kitchen after Andy dried her hair.  My girlfriends were all over and we were into shopping for some jewelry, drinking wine and having a few appetizers.  Georgia came running out to show us all how wonderful her blown dry hair looked, when I realized something looked amiss with her bangs.  I thought perhaps they were just tucked up under some other hair, so I went to brush them down and fix them, only there were no bangs to brush down in that spot.  That's when I saw it.  A very distinct chunk of hair was missing.  

"Ummm, Georgia?  Did you cut your hair today?" I asked, my mind going immediately to the cut up pieces of red construction paper that had been strewn all over the living room rug. 

She looked at me a minute, then said, "Yeah."

"You cut your hair?  When, how...?" Never mind I'll got ask Andy. Maybe he had known about this, but had hoped I wouldn't notice.

I marched Georgia back to the bedroom where Andy and the other two girls were.  

"Did you see this?" I asked pointing to Georgia's bangs.

"What?" He asked.

"Look!  She cut her bangs!" I said.

", I didn't even notice that.  Huh, well they were playing with scissors today cutting up paper," he told me.

"Yes, I saw the red construction paper everywhere," I said, trying not to sound annoyed with him.

He continued, "So when I came in from the garage and saw them with the scissors and I took them away."

"Well she must have cut them before then," I concluded.  "Georgia, why did you cut your hair?" I asked, not really sure what kind of answer I expected from a three year old, but I felt I had to ask for some reason. That is when Lana stepped in with a big smile on her face and said,

"I did it!"

"What do you mean you did it?" I asked.

"I cut GG's hair?" She informed us, extremely pleased with herself.  

"LANA!  Why!?" Again, not sure what I expected, because she just kind of shrugged her shoulders at us.  I mean it's not like I haven't been through this before.  But at least Sonya had a reason for cutting her own hair.  Not a great reason, but a reason none the less.  

"Okay, well, no more scissors for either of you for two weeks," I told them.  I'm not really even sure they care about this punishment, but there is not really much more I can do.  It was way past the point of getting a time out.  I also can't figure out why Georgia said she was the one who did the cutting, when it was Lana.  Maybe she figured Lana gets in trouble enough, so she threw herself under the bus.  It's pretty nice of her considering how silly Lana made her look.  

I'm hoping at some point in the two weeks they will want to use scissors, and I will tell them no then maybe the punishment will make an impression, but  who knows?  This is one of those things that I think just about every kid does and in the long run, it really is harmless.  Although it did cause harm to our Christmas pictures this year.  I'm not sure where it is written, but somewhere it states: 

"If a child cuts their own hair or their siblings hair, you can be sure professional pictures of some kind are being taken in the time period before said hair grows back."

Yesterday morning were those pictures for us.  The Booster Club at Sonya's school was doing a fundraiser where you could get your family Christmas pictures taken. Our appointment was 11:30.  Not even 24 hours since the hair went missing.  So those of you receiving our Christmas card this year will see just how lovely Georgia's hair is.  At least it will be a fun memory and something to laugh at years down the road.  Here is a preview.

I'm going to go on a limb and say that perhaps Lana doesn't have a future career in hair, but then again, the short spiky bang look could come back in style.  I think I'm hiding all the scissors until the girls are twelve.