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Jen, Kristen, and Patience

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Posts in Kristen Category


Things You Don't Say to a Pregnant Woman and Grand Prize Winners!

Posted by Kristen on February 16, 2009 at 8:37 AM in GiveawayKristen
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Normally, I would lift up my shirt and take a picture of my pregnant belly, but it seemed kinda weird to do over here and frankly, I'm a little creeped out about my outie belly button that miraculously appeared when I was 10 weeks pregnant. The Baby was like the size of a quarter at that point and I had an outie? Odd, I know.

This weekend was a busy weekend for us. We had a birthday party for the boys yesterday (more to come on that on a later day) and then I had to work a wine festival on Saturday. While a majority of my sales for my small business involves selling my tees online, my friend Wendy has opened my eyes to the world of craft fairs and shows. Opened my eyes in that if you attend a craft show or a fair, you apparently are there to spend money and if it is indoors, you are a relatively captive audience.

So there I was on Saturday in my little booth, selling away. I imagine in a perfect world at 36 weeks pregnant, I would have foregone this festival this year and waited until next year when things, I'm sure, will be SO much less complicated (hahahahaha). But thanks to this being the year that the dollar is not quite stretching as far as it used to stretch, I found myself under a mound of shirts, looking positive and cheerful and sales-y.

I had a FABULOUS day and sold out of most of my stuff. That is always good. But I had to pay for my successful day.

A kindly older gentleman stopped at my booth as I was sorting things out. With the air of an OB, he said, "You know, when you are this far along, you really should be at home in bed with your feet up on a Saturday."

My response? "If only Dominion Power would agree with you on that one rather than sending that pesky, 'we really weren't joking last month when we sent you that bill so you should pay us already' notice." We all laughed and he wandered away, enjoying his delicious looking Pinot Noir as my ankles swelled another 1/4."

His heart was in the right place and it was a lot nicer comment then the woman who stood three feet away from me and pointed me out to her friends and yelled "LOOK AT HER! SHE'S ABOUT TO POP!!!" In case you were wondering, I was NOT behind glass so I could hear her perfectly. She was (and this is lucky for her) outside of my swing range.

People mean well and we have all had a moment when our social filters are a little less effective than they should be. Share the best comment you have heard (said to you, said to a friend or, gasp, said yourself by accident). I know there is nothing to win today other than my undying love, but comment anyway.

Wasn't I cruel to make you wait for Friday's winner AND the grand prize winner announcement? HEY, I have heartburn. Cut me some slack. In the awesomeness of random number generator, our winner of the Philosophy Recipe Box was Commentor #1--Ann. Ann whose comment was thanking us for being a winner the day before. Ann, your lovely manners won you yet another something!

And the grand prize winners???? We made Jean pick the winners. We figured it was kinda like picking up your million dollar lottery winnings at the corner stop-and-rob. Everyone KNOWS you can only get your scratch off winnings THERE. You have to meet the BIG PEOPLE to get the BIG PRIZES!!!

Carrie wins the Graco SweetPeace (from her comment on Feb. 4 at 10:10 on the post Sing Me the Wintertime Blues) and Jess wins the HP Wireless Printer (from her comment on February 9 at 10:27 on the SuperWhy Super Giveaway post).

Thanks so much for everyone's participation. Don't ditch us because rumor on the street is that we are going to have a BIGGER giveaway right around the corner. Seriously. Trust me on this one.


SuperWhy Super Giveaway and Being Sick

Posted by Kristen on February 9, 2009 at 8:23 AM in GiveawayKristen
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A couple of nights ago I asked Derek if he wanted to give Ethan the cold medicine before he went to bed. Please don't look at me that way. I know the recalls and the warnings and the fact that the back of the box says "NOT FOR CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF FIVE WITHOUT A DOCTOR'S CONSENT." He turns 4 in a week and he has had the most horrific runny nose and chest cough for the last six days. It's so bad that the skin on his upper lip is so raw from wiping that I think he might need a skin graft. I know they normally take skin graphs from your backside but the child has no backside. I figured we were going to have to fix this thing pretty quickly because we clearly don't have the normal solutions to these grave problems.

I've tried the traditional methods of fixing this. I am forcing large amounts of liquids down him at a rapid pace. The trouble is, I have been gone most of the week working and even when you tell people, "he really needs to drink this entire gallon of watered-down juice before I get back," you still come home to it 3/4's of the way filled. I have given him soda (SPRITE, GASP!!) in my attempts to encourage him to participate in flushing this out of his system.

I have the vaporizer going in his room. The trouble is, if you have a child that insists on keeping the door OPEN all night, it sort of negates the success rate of the vaporizer. Forty-five minute long hot showers in steamy bathrooms? Check. The child has traded in his snuggly bear at night for a roll of toilet paper to wipe his nose. He honestly has been cuddling a roll of toilet paper. I feel awful.

So two nights ago I gave him some medicine to dry him out. It felt slightly like handing him a pack of cigarettes. In case anyone was wondering, it didn't make him sleep better and it didn't hype him up. So there goes THAT remedy for long plane rides. It did, however, seem to dry him out a little bit. I was hoping for instant and complete success that would make it seem worth going against the tide of public opinion, but something is better than nothing. He seems to be back to his cranky nearly 4-year-old self. The nose is still running but I think we are on the back end of this illness.

Tell me. Illicit low dosage cough medicine for extreme situations or no? You can flame me out if you want. My feelings won't be hurt. The Valentine's Supersisters giveaway of the day is SuperWhy DVD's for FIVE (you read that right) people who comment today by 8 p.m. Remember that every day you comment is another chance to win one of those fabulous grand prizes: the Graco SweetPeace or the HP Wireless Printer.

Our winners of the flash drive bracelets from Saturday go to everyone who commented on Saturday. YAY, you for checking out Supersisters on the weekend!!


All You Need is Love (and lots of liquids)

Posted by Kristen on February 5, 2009 at 7:00 AM in GiveawayKristen
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Both of my kids are sick. It started out with the little one and a chest cough that makes him sound like Mickey Rourke the morning after a particularly difficult night out. I kept him out of preschool on Tuesday because I felt bad.

This was particularly magnanimous of me since I should probably admit that a very large part of me just wanted to send him to school. He only goes to preschool twice a week. Keeping him home means that my already slim me time gets cut in half. He was chipper enough, with no fever. But bless his heart, he was sick. We walked past his class to drop of his brother and Nathan's teacher was surprised I was taking him back home. Surprised but clearly pleased with my good mothering. And pleasing Nathan's veteran preschool teacher is no small feat.

I remember how I used to feel about those snotty-nosed kids I saw out in public before I had kids. How dare those mothers take those poor children out when they were clearly ill. It only took me about 20 seconds of motherhood to realize that it is possible to be stuck in your house for a good six months in winter if you are waiting for a day when your child's nose isn't running like a faucet. Schools have those fever/green snot/diarrhea rules for a reason. Anything less and the schools would be empty.

My first born woke up this morning with the same hacking cough. Today wasn't a school day so I had no moral dilemma. Nathan spent the entire day hacking up a lung and jumping off the top of the futon couch while his brother asked me to make him a "comfy fire in the fireplace" and snuggle him on the couch. Somehow I think I'll be dropping off one and bringing the other home with me again tomorrow. That "me" time? It's only a matter of time before they are grown up and I'm wondering where the time went. I'll just keep telling myself that.

OK, let me off the hook. Share that one time in your memory that you just may have taken that slightly sick baby out or dropped that slightly too snotty preschooler at school because Mama just needed a break. We have these awesome snuggle-able Grover and Elmo (along with stickers and other good stuff) to send to two lucky people who leave comments. And don't forget that leaving a comment enters you into our kicking grand prize drawing for a Graco SweetPeace or an HP Wireless Printer.

Oh. And our winners from yesterday? Jenny, Dana Fontaine, Susan F., Amber, Carrie, The Bearded Lady, Nancy, Leticia, Libby, and Ann get the SteveSongs CD! YAY!!! Thanks so much for sharing all your cheesy songs!


Sid the Science Kid Journal and Magnifying Kit and Becoming an Expert

Posted by Kristen on February 2, 2009 at 6:33 AM in GiveawayKristen
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Sid the Science Kid Kit_2-1.JPGEthan has taken to questioning everyone's qualifications on everything lately. He has learned the word "expert" from one of his shows (I'm not pointing any fingers but I may be nodding in your direction, Martha Speaks. Or would that be Word Girl?). Either way, he wants to know exactly where you stand on all information you share with him.

Ethan: Did you know that Dad is an expert? He is an expert about using tools.

Yeah, Dad is an expert in a Tim, the Tool Man kinda way. OK, so he is pretty good with the tools but I don't think Bob Vela is calling him any time soon to stand in for him.

Ethan: You are an expert too.
K: What makes me an expert, Ethan?
Ethan: I don't know. But I know that me and Harrison are experts too.
K: You boys are experts of what?
Ethan: We're just experts.

I'm thinking they are both experts at negotiating favorable dinner choices, at negotiating later bed times and experts at asking questions--if expertise is measured by sheer volume of questions.

So now here is your question of the day. Share with us what kind of expert your child (or niece or nephew or grandchild or your even what kind of expert you were growing up) to enter into our random drawing for one of these great Sid the Science Kid Journal sets during our fabulous Valentine's Giveaway. Please don't tell Ethan that they exist because he'll be trying to figure out how to enter himself. I am not quite ready for him to be a computer expert just yet. And remember that every day you comment, you are giving yourself another shot at the brand new HP Wireless Printer and the Graco SweetPeace grand prizes we will give away on Valentine's Day!!


Supersisters Super Valentine's Giveaway

Posted by Kristen on January 30, 2009 at 8:31 AM in ContestsKristenNew BabySleep
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I went to PBS for a meeting with Jean yesterday and she made the mistake of not being in her office when I showed up. (Click here and choose "watch in high quality" if you want the less-seedier and slightly louder version)

In honor of the box of goodies I discovered and expropriated, we are going to have a giveaway here at PBS Supersisters. Okay, we are going to have LOTS of giveaways. Starting on Monday, for two weeks we will be giving away all manner of PBS Kids awesomeness. We have videos and stuffed animals and stickers and activity books. We even have SUPER WHY stuff. I know. Your kids will love you. Forever.

What do you have to do to win? All you have to do is leave a comment (you can comment as many times as you like but your name will only be entered once for the daily drawing) on our posts from Monday, February 2 through Saturday, February 14. Each day we will do a random drawing (here are our giveaway "rules" if you want to check them out) and post the name of the winner on the following day's post. But wait!! There is a big prize on Valentine's Day. In addition to our daily prizes, we will take all the comments from all the days and throw them together. So if you comment every day on every post, you'll have 12 chances to win the big prize.

Graco has been gracious enough to give us a SweetPeace Newborn Soothing Center that we can give away to one of you!!!

If you haven't seen one of these yet, you won't believe your eyes. It is almost as good as Mama's arms. And Mama's arms are now open to fold the laundry or pull one of the older children off the top of the fridge. Even if you are beyond the newborn stage, I'm sure you know someone who would LOVE to have one of these.

So be sure to tune in every day starting next Monday, February 2, and leave a comment to win some fabulous prize. It will be loads of fun. And don't forget to grab your "I'm a Supersister" badge from over there on the left. It's just another way for us to spread the news and share the love.


Walking the Parenting Fine Line

Posted by Kristen on January 29, 2009 at 8:37 AM in KristenRaising Boys
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My children never cease to amaze me. I walk this fine line between protecting them and letting them be free to be children. I guess I am always walking the line because I am forever trying to anticipate what the end result is going to be to some specific action.

Take the sledding, for instance. Ethan, while being a wild and crazy child, has his very sensitive moments. He is either falling down and laughing or falling down and assuming that the world has just come to an end. I am constantly trying to gauge what the final outcome will be before the event. Doesn't it sound like I am just trying to protect him like a good mom? Right? Actually I am just trying to avoid the 45 minutes of wailing for a crushed ego in case that is the emotion that chooses to surface. Because seriously, you mothers of girls who say, "at least you don't have the DRAMA all the time" really need to just knock it off. We know drama over here.

The picture above? Ethan started pulling Nathan in the sled down our ridiculously treacherous driveway. How treacherous is your driveway, Kristen? Um, my car, while being completely shoveled out, is stuck there until the ice melts. Sure I can try to drive it up the driveway but the last time I did that, I slid to the bottom and stopped just inches from the garage door. Inches. Whatever engineering scientist who came up with the slope to this driveway should be beaten with a wet noodle.

However, if you are nearly 4 and nearly 2, it is an excellent driveway for sledding. At their father's suggestion, Ethan began pulling the sled from the very top. About 2/3's of the way down, he slipped on the ice and when face first into the snow. The sled continued to go, pushing him down the driveway. His face was like our own personal driveway plow. When he got up after the last 20 foot slide on his face, he screamed, "AGAIN, NATE!!! AGAIN!!!!"

While I was glad to avoid the drama, I must say the window into my future was one filled with more trips to the ER. We've just added winter to the mix now. Oh, well.


Stranger Danger

Posted by Kristen on January 26, 2009 at 6:56 AM in Kristen
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The conversation started and seemed to spiral out of control before I caught on.

Ethan: Why do witches have gingerbread houses?

I swear, I do not know where these kids come from sometimes. Or what is going on in their heads. The total extent of our gingerbread house knowledge at our house (as far as I know, or should I say, knew) was making a gingerbread house for Christmas.

Derek: Well, witches have gingerbread houses so they can lure children in who love candy and then eat them.

I swear, I do not know where my husband comes from sometimes. Or what is going on in his head. I'm not exactly sure how I would have fielded that question but I know in all certainty that it wouldn't have involved eating small children. Call me crazy. But in his defense, my husband kept going.

Derek: That's why you are never supposed to take candy from strangers. A stranger could offer you some candy but then could hurt you.

Hmm. Not bad. Not my first choice but apparently effective.

Derek: So if someone you don't know offers you candy, what do you say?
Ethan: NO, SIR!!! (yelling)
Derek: And then you yell for help. You yell "I want my mom and dad!!"
Ethan: I will, Dad.
Kristen: What if it's really good candy?
Ethan: I won't take it, Mom. I know you will give me some candy if I don't take it from someone else.
Kristen: That's right, Buddy.

Life lessons come in the strangest ways sometimes. Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches.


Airplane travel with toddlers

Posted by Kristen on January 22, 2009 at 6:40 AM in KristenRaising Boys
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Do you ever have one of those moments in parenting when you think, "I'm thinking a do-over would be helpful right about now?"

I got on a plane last week with Ethan and Nathan. I am 8 months pregnant. We had two seats for the three of us. Several people asked why I didn't buy an extra seat so we would each have one. Besides the fact that money doesn't grow on trees around here, it was a matter of principal. The airline will be extorting money out of me as of February, when Nathan becomes two. They are already getting me for $15 a bag and a 50 pound weight limit for my bag. I'm not giving them one extra dollar until I am required. I think there may have been a fee more fees I am forgetting about right now but it seems like you are constantly pulling out your wallet.

It's always that game when you get on a plane. Do you go during nap time and hope for the best (only if you have lost your mind)? Early in the morning, requiring you to wake the kids up before their normal rising time? I did all of these things and needless to say, I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown right there on the plane.

To be honest, I think the key is a crowded vs. empty flight. No good is ever going to come from having someone sit in the seat in front of your toddler. Especially if that person is not quite bright enough to realize that the little feet couldn't reach the seat to kick it until he placed it in a full recline mode. And he didn't think to just put the seat back up to solve the problem of the kicking feet or my 300th "STOP TOUCHING THE SEAT." He just turned and glared. I wanted to feel bad but his solution was right in front of him. I have to live with my problem until high school graduation at least.

I had the complete bag of tricks (stickers, markers, paper, books, glue, fruit snacks). There is really nothing you can do when you have two children with more energy than a power plant. The trip was well worth it but I have to say I'm glad that I will never again have to travel as a big pregnant woman alone with two kids. At least the older one didn't throw up. Tell me your tragic travel story. I need to feel like I'm not the only one to make such a crazy decision in my emotional/physical state.


Martin Luther King Jr.

Posted by Kristen on January 19, 2009 at 9:47 AM in HolidaysKristen
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Life's most urgent question is: what are you doing for others?

May this day remind us the importance of teaching our children what is right and good and kind.


Potty Training Success

Posted by Kristen on January 15, 2009 at 6:37 AM in KristenPotty TrainingRaising Boys
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My firstborn trained himself at 6 months.

Kidding. I'm kidding. Oh, laugh already. You guys need to lighten up. I like to think that without my potty training failures the other mothers in preschool would have to complain about my inability to control my children at drop off every day of school. And my excessive use of the word "FOCUS" as we try to navigate all those mothers with carefully coifed little girls who appear to always walk nicely beside their mothers.

Potty training is craziness. Some start it later, some start it sooner and there is not a person in the world who won't tell you EXACTLY how they did it successfully with their children. Which will, under all circumstances, NEVER work with your child.

Nathan has decided to potty train himself at just under two but I ask you, who is actually potty trained? Me or him? If I don't ask him, he can either stay dry or fill his diaper. If I ask him, he wants to go to the potty. He woke up in the middle of the night and if I had been able to understand him, I would have realized he was saying he had to go the bathroom. He ended up going in his diaper and then he was mad at me. Really, really mad.

Then we had the incident at the mall where I am positive he was wearing a diaper when we arrived but when he peed down the front of his father who was carrying him, we discovered no diaper. Nathan likes to take it off when it bugs him now. No, I don't know what happened to that diaper. Every once in a while I tell myself that I am sure I just forgot to put one on him but I know in my heart of hearts that is not true. Someone somewhere in a mall found a slightly used diaper under a rack. I just know it.

Me? I'm not so great at the remembering to remind. I'm all about remembering around that stinky time of the day because never have you known such a foul odor as the one that comes out of this child. Last week I timed it perfectly 5 days in a row. Then I got caught up one day at 8:55 a.m. with something important like Twitter or a rediscovered stash of chocolate or "look, something shiny!" and we were back to square one.

I mentioned at preschool that Nathan had expressed an interest in going to the potty and Miss J questioned me on my methods. A mother of 4 grown children and a toddler preschool teacher for 24 years, I knew my answer to this bastion of childhood development was going to be wrong.

K: Um, I sit him on the toilet and he goes.
J: Does he ASK to go or do you ASK him?
K: I don't know (wondering how I can't possible know the answer to this question. It's not complicated).
J: You don't allow him to stand.
K: Heck, no. I make him sit.
J: OH.
K: (realizing I just answered incorrectly and now I am NOT getting that rose that says I am still in the running). Isn't that what you do?
J: NO. We teach them from the beginning how to pee.
K: Miss J. You are more than welcome to teach him how to pee that way. Me? I'm too lazy and too fat to be cleaning the bathroom all the time while he is hosing it down. Knock yourself out.

The trouble is, I'm not even trying with this potty training thing. I'm sure this is a window and I should take it, but I have bigger fish to fry like heartburn and "look, something shiny." The whole stay at home for a couple of days in your birthday suit worked like a charm with Ethan. Maybe I just need a timer for Nathan. I mean for me. Well, you know what I mean.

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