Friday, October 30, 2009

You know you're a bad mom when... eat all the chocolate out of your kids Halloween buckets. And I mean all the chocolate. Down to the last Tootsie Roll.

What can I say? It was a really hard day. The kind of day that makes me want to move to Australia*. The kind of day that makes me eat my children's candy.

Here's hoping tomorrow is better.

*Did anyone else read that book growing up?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Guess who's back...back again...

Well folks, after much waiting and anticipating, you can relax. Your long wait is over. I'm returning from my 2-month hiatus from blogging. I know the suspense has been killing you. I know you're anxiously awaiting further news and developments from the Erickson household. I know you're dying - dying - to hear about our visit to Grandma's back in August.

The good news is that I am going to update you generally on the goings-on of the last couple months. But the better good news is that I have a cute new background on my blog...Happy Halloween, everyone! (Did you know: Halloween is quite possibly my favorite holiday?)

Okay, here it is. The top 20 things that you've missed out on over the last couple of months:

20) Our trip to Grandma and Grandpa's included lots of time with Uncle Greg, Uncle Eric, and cousin Dallin. We're grateful for any male association that Ethan can get, what with two older sisters and only girl cousins on the Erickson side.

19) Andrea learned how to play the drums with Uncle Eric, and she was actually quite good at keeping the beat on the cymbal, while Eric rocked out on the rest of the set.

18) The kids spent a lot of time in Grandma's vegetable garden. Here they are, eating their carrots they've just picked, and pretending to be the Fierce Bad Rabbit from Beatrix Potter's book, The Fierce Bad Rabbit (which we love).

17) We went bowling with Grandma and Grandpa. It was the girls' first time bowling. They both did well, but Natalie beat Andrea with a score of 76 by using the kick-n-roll method.

16) Andrea is growing up: She started all-day kindergarten in September. So far it has been a success; she loves everything about it, especially riding the bus, recess, and lunch.

First day of school-wearing her favorite outfit

Now that she is a big kindergartner, I guess she's in charge, because she came home after her first day of school and proceeded to explain The Rules to us. For 15 minutes straight. And then we had to "think about The Rules and remember them." And we couldn't talk to each other. And we had to raise our hands to talk to her.


15) With the beginning of school, so started the major meltdowns. They were a daily routine for a while. There was Andrea, melting down each night as she adjusted to her new schedule of all day kindergarten. And then there was me, melting down at least that often because I felt like this was the beginning of the end of my daughter's childhood. Luckily, we're both starting to get a handle on things.

14) Natalie is growing up: "I'm going to put this hat on and look like a woman!"

13) Ethan is growing up: He walks around, hands in pockets, eating big "happles," and calls after "Lollee" and "Sha-sha" (Natalie and Andrea).

12) I feel like I've become a legitimate Mom: I now volunteer in Andrea's art class at school. And I'm the Homeroom Mom. I'm sure this has to be some rite of passage into official motherhood.

11) We continued our 4-year tradition of apple picking at Hartland Orchard. This year wasn't quite as much fun because of the poison ivy Andrea found on most of the trees (her Eagle Scout father has taught her well), but we still got tons of apples and had a great time.

10) Family prayers have been shortened in response to Andrea's request to "make it short, Dad"

9) So the formerly potty-trained Natalie is now struggling in that department. She wasn't having major accidents, just little dribbles that were enough to require a change of clothes 3 times a day. Since I don't like doing that much laundry, I made her a little potty chart and promised her everything from stickers to candy to money in the hopes that it would motivate her to keep her pants dry.
Day One: She had 3 full-blown accidents. We're talking puddles, not dribbles.

We're open to suggestions.

8) We have finally solved the mystery of why Natalie dislikes wearing shoes with such passion - fierce, angry, tantrum-throwing passion: When she wears shoes, she can't cross her big toe over her 2nd toe, which apparently she really really likes to do.

7) Andrea's favorite music has come to include Beyonce and Taylor Swift. (All the single ladies-all the single ladies!) Not sure how I feel about this. Actually, I know exactly how I feel about this.

6) Natalie periodically transforms into "Fairianna," (pronounced fairy-AH-na). This is the magical fairy person she made up who likes to skip and frolic around the house, casting magical spells with her magical ice cream scoop.

5) With Andrea being gone all day, and Anders working his super-fun busy season hours, we try to make the most of our time together. We do fun things, like visit the farm at Frying Pan Park, watch movies, or my personal favorite: do nothing at all.

4) Andrea is learning to read and loves reading to "the kids." (Now that she is a kindergartner, this is how she refers to Natalie and Ethan.) Here she is reading them her first take-home book assignment (in the port-a-crib):

3) I have made some attempts at domesticity. Completed projects include: canning peach jam, raspberry jam, and applesauce; and sewing pillows, jammies, and a witch costume. Projected projects include: sewing more jammies, sewing curtains, sewing a quilt, sewing Christmas stockings, sewing Barbie clothes for Christmas, and sewing Christmas pageant costumes. A little ambitious, perhaps?

2)We went camping a couple of times. Once with Grandma and Grandpa in Idaho, where we had a pleasant time picking flowers, singing by the fire, and eating delicious food...

...and once in Shenandoah National Park, where they only sell wet firewood, and where we learned that our family of 5 doth not fit into a 4-person tent. Go figure.

1) We realized we have shot ourselves in the foot. Ethan does stuff like this...

...and then we point and laugh and take pictures. And then we tell him 'no'. And then we wonder why he's such a stinker who loves to get into trouble.

And there you have it. The last 2-3 months in a nutshell in our crazy family's life. Now that I'm all caught up, let's see if I can keep this thing updated a little more frequently. (But don't hold your breath...)