Monday, January 31, 2011

Using My Words Against Me

There are a lot of "Mom" phrases I use frequently with my boys. Three of the more popular lines are:

"That is not for boys" - when they are into something I don't want them in.

"Mommy doesn't listen to whining and crying" - when they are crying for no reason.

"If there is no blood, there are no tears" - when they have a minor fall or injury and try to milk it.

Within 20 minutes this morning all three of these lines were used on me.

During the boys breakfast I was in the kitchen cutting up onions for dinner tonight.

Peter - I am all done, can I get down please and play?

Me - Hold on, Mommy needs to wash off her hands and face, this onion is making me cry.

Peter - I thought you didn't like crying?

Me - I don't but onions have a strong smell that makes my eyes tear.

Peter - MOMMY! If there is no blood, there are no tears!!!

Me - (eye roll)

After I was finished in the kitchen I went into the living room to play with the boys. They were playing with their vast collection of "Silly Bands". I picked up one of them and put it on.

Me - These are cool, can Mommy wear some?

Peter - These are not for Mommies. They are for boys.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Out With The Old!

As we prepare for Baby #3 we are doing some early spring cleaning.

Here are some items we have listed on Craig's List if you are in the market:

Dish Drying Rack

Cars Electric Race Track

Queen/Full Bed Frame - SOLD

Blue Toddler Drawing Table - SOLD

Wire Cube Shelving System - SOLD

Swan Caravan Lite LX Double Stroller - SOLD

All prices are subject to change (be waved) for friends and family, I really just want this stuff out of my house!

We have more coming, including: my purple golf clubs, old video game systems (Game Cube and X-Box with DDR Pads), 2 more double strollers, umbrella stroller, Kid's A-B-C Play mat, and MY CAR!

If you know anyone in the market for a 2002 Honda CRV, Silver, with 118K miles let me know. New tires, new windshield. The Kelly Blue Book is lists it at:

Excellent Condition - $8,805
Good Condition - $8,255
Fair Condition - $7,380

We will probably be asking $7,000 - Pictures to come in the next month!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Brett and I joined a gym new gym - Xsport - this past Fall and before signing up we made sure to use the 7 day free trial to make sure the kids liked the day care. At first we had to bribe them with ice cream after if they were good, but now they ask to go (when I am too lazy to work out).

This morning I told Peter we were going to XSport.

His response, "OK Mommy, but this time you can stay with me in the play area - you should get to have a little fun too!"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Coming soon - A Niece or Nephew!

Last October Brett's brother and our sister-in-law called with VERY exciting news - they were expecting. I literally screamed with excitement and started crying with joy.

The first reason (of course) was a selfish one - I have been DYING to become an Aunt. Being an Aunt seems like so much fun. You get to spoil and be fun, without having to worry about the discipline or sleepless nights. Perfect situation! I am almost more excited about becoming an Aunt than I am about becoming a mom for the 3rd time (ALMOST).

I had really fun Aunts growing up, that I was able to go visit and take trips with as a kid. I am already hoping that Don and Jen give us that opportunities when our niece or nephew is older!

The second reason for my excitement, is that Don and Jen are AMAZING with my kids. I honestly could not have married into a family with a better pair to be Aunt and Uncle to my boys. If they parent with half the love, generosity and attention that they show their nephews (and you know they will!) they are going to be such great parents.

Jen is due about 6 weeks before me, so our kids will be close in age and hopefully be good friends! They are not finding out the sex (although, from past history I am pretty sure Gardners only make boys), but here is a sneak peak of his/her adorable profile:

Monitoring my Boys

We have a 2 room baby monitor. This means that we have monitors in each of the boy's rooms and the receiver switches back and forth between the rooms every 30 seconds.

This afternoon when the kids were waking up from their naps I heard the following:

Aaron - (Crying) Mommy, I need you.

Monitor switched to Peters room.

Peter - Don't worry Aaron, Mommy is in the basement, but she is coming. Mommy, Aaron needs you!!!!!

Always taking care of his brother. So sweet.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


As I said in the below post - Peter is starting to show signs of sounding out words and learning to read. It has stirred up some interesting conversations in my house that prove to me that I really need to be quicker on my feet with answers if I am going to keep up with this kid.

Setting - we are reading books one night, and in the story the word "book" came up.

Peter - Mommy, that doesn't spell "book".

Me - Yes it does, let's sound it out. What does a "B" say?

Peter - Ba

(We go through each letter and say all the sounds)

Me - See, you put that together and it says "Book"

Peter - Well there are two "O"s - that says ooo, like "zoo" or "boo", so it says BoooK (use the "OO" sound in Zoo or Boo).

Me - Well, when there is a "K" after the Os the two "O"s make a different sound, so they say "Book".

Peter - I think you are saying it wrong. Can you finish reading me the boook (again with the "oo" sound in zoo).

Building Words

I was a late reader... VERY LATE (and I still cannot spell to save my life). Because of that, I have irrational freak outs that my kids will be the same way.

My Aunt Marilyn (a life-time educator) told me that as long as I read to them a lot and talk about letters and sounds they should be fine. As a result of me probably going a little over board with her advise, and using a few of the PBS shows* as reinforcement, my boys both know all their A-B-Cs and the sound that each letter makes. Peter is actually showing signs of reading by sounding words out!

One of the tools we have are a set of flash cards that make words with a picture of the word above them.

Peter LOVES playing this game, because it is very similar to "building words" in the show Word World.

We put the cards down one by one saying the sounds, then push the letters together (building the word) and he says what it is. Peter is pretty good at actually sounding out the words. Aaron is not, but he still loves to play.

This morning we were playing and the following word came up. As we put down the cards we said the sounds of all the letters, and then I asked what the word was. Aaron pushed the letters together and shouted, "BREAKFAST!"

Then we did it again with this word and he yelled, "MONKEY!"

He will get it one day, but for now I will enjoy his funny answers.

*PBS Shows with a concentration on letters and reading readiness that we have found help:

Sesame Street
Word World (this is the one where they "build words")
Super Why

Saturday, January 15, 2011

More Literal Interpretations

We got ice cream the other day and Aaron was (as always) going to town (he got his Aunt K's sweet tooth).

So I asked him, "Aaron, is that yummy in your tummy?"

His reply, "no, Mommy, it is yummy in my mouth."

Toot toot

The other day Peter and Aaron were playing in their playroom when I walked in to check on them. I found them both giggling and asked why.

Aaron - I made a toot, Mommy! HAHAHAHA

Peter - Yeah, Aaron made a toot - now you HAVE to laugh! Daddy thinks it is SO FUNNY.

Me - Ok guys, are you ready to come up for dinner?

Peter - Um, you aren't laughing... I said Aaron TOOTED! LAUGH!

So, we can officially say that Peter has his father (and my father's) sense of humor and my bossy gene.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


This evening during bedtime, Brett decided to inform Peter about one of the worlds great superheros - SUPERMAN!

As he told Peter all about Superman's amazing abilities, including that Superman could jump higher than a house!

Peter looked at Brett with confusion and said, "Daddy, that's not very amazing - houses can't jump!"

Picture of Mommy

Peter made this picture of me and wrote my name all by himself. I was so thrilled by his letters, but thrown off by the picture.

He knows how to draw people better than this. Usually they look like a head with a face, and arms and legs coming off the sides and bottom.

When I questioned Peter about why I looked like a tornado instead of a person he said, "this is you in the morning."

The Season of Giving

Last week Peter went to a dinosaur class at the nature center. At his little class they did a dinosaur craft, which Peter gave to me and I hung up by my desk. Aaron is obsessed with the little dinosaur that Peter made and is constantly asking me to play with it.

This morning I was doing some work on the computer when Aaron came over.

Aaron - Mommy, can I play with your dinosaur please?

Me - Aaron, Peter made me this dinosaur and I don't want it to break.

Peter - Mommy, Christmas is all about giving. Did you forget? You need to give Aaron that dinosaur.

Laughing to myself I told Peter he was right and handed over the dinosaur for Aaron to play with.

Not long after Peter and Aaron were fighting over a toy.

Me - Peter, don't forget, Christmas is all about giving. You need to share with Aaron.

Peter - Mommy, did you forget? Christmas is over.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Peter Wants a Baby

The other day we asked Peter what he wanted to be when he grew up.

Peter - I want to be a daddy.

Me - That is a good thing to be.

Peter - Yeah, when can I have my own baby?

Brett - Well, Peter you are going to have to wait at least 10 years.

Really, Brett? So 13 is the appropriate age to let your children start having their own kids?

Getting the "H" Out

Brett told me a sweet story about trying to put Aaron to bed tonight and Aaron trying to stall him.

Aaron - Daddy, I am not sleepy, it is not bedtime!

Brett - Bedtime Aaron, say good night.

Aaron - But I need to give you a kiss.

Brett - OK, give me a kiss.

Aaron - But I need to kiss your nose.

Brett - Alright, kiss my nose.

Aaron - Now I need to kiss your head.

Brett - OK

Aaron - Now open wide.


At this point Aaron puts his entire hand into Brett's mouth.

Aaron - You have an "H" in there. I need to get it out.

Now Aaron waits about 15 seconds.

Aaron - GOT IT!

Brett - Thank goodness.

Aaron - OK, Daddy, bedtime. Night Night Daddy.

Brett - Night Night Aaron.

Aaron - Wove you.

Brett - I love you too.

Aaron - But... I need to give you a kiss.

Scroll back up to the beginning of the conversation and re-read three times. Finally after the fourth round Aaron didn't ask for a kiss and curled up with his Lovey Lamb.

Officially the most original way one of my children has held off bedtime... so far.

To My Health

Brett and I are getting hit pretty hard by all the changes in medical insurance this year. Our new plan means that giving birth this summer will cost us a lot out of pocket (I don't think we paid a cent for Peter or Aaron), so we put the max allowed into our FSA account.

This weekend we were working out our budget for the year and I said something to the effect of, "you had a great promotion and bonus, yet we are only bringing in $12 more per pay period."

Brett responded that it only seems that way because this year we have to budget for surgery (c-section), but normally that money would go into his pay check and not into the FSA account.

Really Brett? What is "normal"? Because as I calculate it I have had at least one surgery every year that we have been married:

2007 - C-section
2008 - C-section
2009 - Ureteroscopic Kidney Stone Removal
2010 - Thyroidectomy and DNC

Not to mention swine flu (Brett calls me the outbreak monkey because I had it before it was "cool"), seizures, tuberculous, pneumonia, 7 months of mono, hypothyroidism, asthma, boarder line diabetic, gestational diabetes, anemia, low blood pressure, fainting spells, sciatica, chronic migraines, a tumor and infections after both c-sections in my medical history.

I think he momentarily forgot that he was married to a 28 year old with the medical history/immune system of an 82 year old.

He had a similar laps in judgment when he thought it wasn't necessary to have life insurance on me.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Child Birth

When we told the kids about the baby that is coming this summer Aaron was not remotely interested, but Peter was intrigued. Ever since the questions have been coming like rapid fire.

He frequently wants to know how big the baby is, and has even asked me to open my mouth so he could look in and see the baby. He is very upset when this doesn't work.

He is also very interested in how the baby is going to get out of me. When he asked I countered him and asked what he thought. After much deliberation he said:

"I have a hypothesis, the baby is just a little bean right now, but if you keep feeding it the bean will grow into a baby and your belly will get REALLY big like Aunt Bubbs. Then when the baby is big enough he will climb up your ladder and out of your mouth."

As traumatic as child birth is, I think Peter's "hypothesis" seems more painful... but I have C-Sections so what do I know.

Killing me with Kindness

I don't write as many blogs about the funny little things that Aaron says as I do about what Peter says, but that doesn't mean Aaron isn't as funny. And trust me he talks just as much, actually Peter is sort of having trouble getting a word in edge wise lately. Aaron is just harder to capture in print. Half of what makes Aaron funny are the faces that he makes and his cute little voice.

Here is an example of "the face," but there is a range of ridiculous faces that he gives us ranging from distaste to over joyed.

The other "Aaronism" when Aaron talks is that he says things in a very polite way even when he is talking about something he doesn't like.

Give him food he doesn't like? His response, "No, thank you! This is NOT my favorite, can I have a cupcake? Please, Mommy, oh please pleeease?" (he has a bit of a sweet tooth and constantly asks for cupcakes, ice cream, pop tarts, cookies, or just generalizes to treats.)

"No, thank you" is a BIG one for Aaron. Peter will try to take a toy or play something that Aaron doesn't like and Aaron first response (before Wrestling his brother) is, "NO THANK YOU PETER, NO THANK YOU!"

But the tone and the words are completely opposite. Though all of his language is peppered with "pleases" and "thank yous" his tone is rarely polite when he wants his way. It is almost as if he is learning sarcasm (probably from his mother).

However, when Aaron drops sarcasm he is the sweetest, most loving boy ever. At night when I go to check on him before I go to bed he is occasionally sitting in his bed quietly with his eyes open.

Me - Aaron, whats wrong?

Aaron - I can't sleep. I need a kiss.

Me - OK (picking him up and kissing him)

Aaron - Thanks Mommy, I Wove you. (he cannot say his "L"s very well)

Me - I love you too Aaron

Aaron - Night night Mommy. I going to sleep now.

Heart. Completely. Melted.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Religous Conversations with my 3 Year Old

Brett and I were Baptized Christians on June 17, 2009 and before then had dedicated both of our children at our church.

We try hard to make our faith a part of our kids life, but honestly during Christmas is the time when I really talk to Peter and Aaron a lot about it.

They have a Little People Nativity set that we only get out at Christmas that they LOVE, and I use it (along with some books we have) to explain the meaning of Christmas. We also use Christmas as a celebration of Jesus's birthday (with a cake and everything) to emphasis the point.

Thus far Peter sort of understands the following:

1. God made everything (this is a point he follows up with all the time... "what about Rusty's teeth, did God make those?")

2. God is Jesus's Father.

3. Jesus was a special baby that came to take care of us.

4. Mary was Jesus's mother.

Pretty good for a 3 year old, but now that he has started to grasp the idea he is asking tougher questions. The following took place when we were playing with his Nativity set:

Peter - Mommy, this is Baby Jesus and EVERYONE loves him and he loves every body. This is his birthday party. He invited all his animal friends and these three friends brought him presents. This is his mother, Mary; and this is his father, God (holding up Joseph)

Me - No Peter, that is Joseph. God gave baby Jesus to Mary so that Mary and Joseph could take care of him.

Peter - Like God gave you the baby in your belly for you and Daddy to take care of?

Me - No, Daddy gave me my baby.

Peter - But God makes everything.

Me - ummmmmmmm... Well God gave Daddy the ability to give me a baby.

Peter - What's "ability"?

Me - It is like power - God gave Daddy the power to give Mommy a baby... Like the Super Readers have the power to read. That is their ability.

Peter - Daddy is a Super Hero?!?! But I think this guy is still called God (pointing to Joseph), OK Mommy?

Oh well, I tried!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Constant Cravings

For those who don't know, Brett and I are expecting AGAIN!

Baby #3 will be welcomed into the world this summer, and just out of my first trimester I am already suffering major cravings.

When I was pregnant with Peter and Aaron I would get cravings for Coffee Ice Cream and Oreos. Almost every night at 11pm. When I would ask Brett to go to the store he would always say, "I think you are just hungry, just eat something else and wait 30 minutes. If you are still hungry after that I will go to the store."

He is a smart guy, 99% of the time I ended up falling asleep and in 18 months of pregnancy he only had to go get my ice cream and oreos ONCE!

Baby G3 (as we call him/her) gives me a much spicier craving - Chipolte Veggie Burritos. And not just at 11pm - all day long. It is hard because we have one right next to our gym, but I have been good and stayed away (they are like 2,000 calories each). Until tonight.

Brett asked what I wanted for dinner and the following conversation took place:

Me - I think the baby wants Chipolte.

Brett - The closest one is a 15 minute drive... are you sure?

Me - Very sure.

Brett - How would the baby feel about Taco Bell?

Me - The baby is EXTREMELY specific about it's Mexican take out.

Brett - Why don't we have something from Taco Bell and see if the baby is satisfied? After 30 minutes if you are still hungry I will drive to Chipolte.

Guess who is currently at the Taco Bell drive through? Dang it!!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Email Forward Worth Posting...

11 Step Program for those thinking of having kids

Lesson 1

1. Go to the grocery store.
2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
3. Go home.
4. Pick up the paper.
5. Read it for the last time.

Lesson 2

Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their...

1. Methods of discipline.
2. Lack of patience.
3. Appallingly low tolerance levels.
4. Allowing their children to run wild.
5. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's breastfeeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior.

Enjoy it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.

Lesson 3

A really good way to discover how the nights might feel...

1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly. (Eat cold food with one hand for dinner)
2. At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.
3. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1AM.
4. Set the alarm for 3AM.
5. As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink and watch an infomercial.
6. Go to bed at 2:45AM.
7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.
8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM.
9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive)

Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.

Lesson 4

Can you stand the mess children make? To find out...

1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.
2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed.
4. Then rub them on the clean walls.
5. Take your favorite book, photo album, etc. Wreck it.
6. Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

Lesson 5

Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.

1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.
2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.

Time allowed for this - all morning.

Lesson 6

Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don't think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that.

1. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment.
Leave it there.
2. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.
3. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Sprinkle cheerios all over the floor, then smash them with your foot.
4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Lesson 7

Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice). If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys. Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Lesson 8

1. Hollow out a melon.
2. Make a small hole in the side.
3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.
4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.
5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.
6. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.

You are now ready to feed a nine- month-old baby.

Lesson 9

Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street , Barney, Disney, the Teletubbies, and Pokemon. Watch nothing else on TV but PBS, the Disney channel or Noggin for at least five years. (I know, you're thinking What's 'Noggin'?) Exactly the point.

Lesson 10

Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying 'mommy' repeatedly. (Important: no more than a four second delay between each 'mommy'; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

Lesson 11

Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt- sleeve, or elbow while playing the 'mommy' tape made from Lesson 10 above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

This is all very tongue in cheek; anyone who is parent will say 'it's all worth it!' Share it with your friends, both those who do and don't have kids. I guarantee they'll get a chuckle out of it. Remember, a sense of humor is one of the most important things you'll need when you become a parent!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

11 Months Apart

My boys are almost exactly 11 months apart, and being the nut that I am I usually try to dress them the same. Aaron (younger) is big for his age and Peter is a little small for his age; so around the time Aaron was about 10 or 11 months people naturally started asking me if they are twins. Every single time we are in public.

It has become so frequent, that before I can respond Peter will say, "No, we are 11 months apart."

He has actually gotten sort of obsessed with how far apart people are in age. He will tell me, "Mommy, you and Aunt K are 3 years apart, and Daddy and Uncle Don are 2 years apart." He will also randomly ask me how far apart I am from other people.

Today, Peter and Aaron were playing with cars and Peter picked up two cars that looked identical to one another. He handed one to Aaron and took one for himself, then he told Aaron, "You can play with that one and I will play with this one. But they aren't twins, they are 11 months apart."