Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I must have read 100 times over the past year that the way to deal with a dysregulated kid is to make short statements that name and validate what they're feeling. Yet I haven't been able to break the question habit. Yesterday, I finally did it, and lo and behold, it worked!

B was upset and being nasty to Z. I walked in and simply stated, "You're angry at Z." [Normally, I'd have asked him, "B, are you angry at Z?" and he'd have just gotten madder.] He sneered at me and said something snotty that was meant to convey "Duh, you moron!" Then I said, "You wish she'd go away." This time he actually said yes, with considerably less attitude. Then I said, "You wish it was just you, me and Daddy, like it used to be." He very calmly said yes, then "It was easier then." I agreed with him that it WAS easier then. Then I told him it was OK if he didn't like Z, even if he hated Z (which he says all the time). I told him those were totally normal feelings for a brother to have, and that I very often didn't like my own brother and sister when we were kids. It totally defused the whole situation! He stopped tormenting Z and sassing me, and our morning went on in a much more peaceful fashion.

I have learned a very big lesson.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Weekend update

We did our best to keep the kids busy last weekend! M took B rock-climbing on Saturday morning while Z and I hit Target in search of a birthday gift. In the afternoon, we all went to Mason's 7th birthday party. Mason is the son of one of M's oldest friends. In fact, M's friend & his wife were two of the four people present when we got married (not counting us). OK, five people present, if you count that fact that Martha was pregnant with Mason! It was a bowling party, and the kids had loads of fun. We adults were a little overwhelmed with all the noise (loud music) and flashing lights (black-light-disco-ball bowling, followed by a visit to the arcade). Too...much...stimulation! Throw in cake, and all the kids were totally hyper and the adults totally drained by the end of it. We wound up Saturday with a visit to the home of the family that threw the bowling party, with still more kids to play with, and NCAA basketball and a glass of wine (maybe 2) for me.

We hung around the house on Sunday morning -- it was a beautiful day. Z and I took a long walk around the neighborhood while B and M goofed off in the yard. That afternoon, I took B to Mr. Biggs. It was a scouting trip for a potential half-birthday party location. They have EVERYTHING there -- bounce house, go-karts, putt-putt, bowling, arcade, laser tag, and a "3-story foam factory." This is a mesh-enclosed area with thousands of foam balls, about the size of tennis balls. There are all sorts of contraptions that shoot the balls. I took out all my pent-up aggression up on the second level, where there are guns that fire balls down to the first level. I tried to aim at other grown-ups most of the time, but I have to admit that if there were no grown-ups in range, I may have pegged a kid or two. I'm pretty sure I had an evil grin on my face the whole time we were in there. It also turns out that B is quite good at ski ball. He's got about a bazillion tickets to cash in next time we go.

B bowling:

The birthday boy:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

3 things for Wednesday

1. B has his first loose tooth! Actually, we think both the bottom middle teeth might be loose. He is incredibly excited about it, so excited that he called & left me a voicemail on my cellphone about it last night when I was flying home from a business trip. He also had lots of questions about it. This morning, he asked why the leprechaun didn't leave money under his pillow overnight. He also asked whether he's supposed to put the tooth in a box or something before he puts it under his pillow. The kid wants to be prepared when the thing finally falls out. He's been looking forward to losing his baby teeth for at least the last year -- I remember him asking the dentist two visits ago when he could expect them to start falling out. The really funny part is that just ten days ago, we checked out a library book about a kid who loses his first tooth. B's been wanting to read it almost every night. Maybe we should look for a book about a kid whose parents win the lottery on our next library visit, and read that almost every night...Stay tuned for the adorable missing-tooth picture!

2. I was in a state capitol yesterday that I think I'll not name. Of course, they had the requisite post-9/11 metal detector and x-ray machines. The guy behind me went through the metal detector -- BEEEEEP. They sent him through a second time -- BEEEEEP. Then they told him "Go through it again, but this time walk really fast." !!! Apparently then the metal detector can't pick up the weapons, thus alleviating potential complications that would require them to get up off their comfy chairs and do something???? I felt so safe all morning inside that capitol. Not.

3. Over the weekend, I heard a radio ad for a local high-end strip joint (no, I don't know it's high-end because I've been there or used to work there; that's just its reputation). I'd like to note here that this was the first time I've ever heard an ad for a strip club on the radio. Are sales down because of the economy, thus driving the need to branch out from their traditional advertising strategy, whatever that is? I'd think sales would be up in places like that -- lots of depressed laid-off dudes looking for relief from their misery over the foreclosure of their home, you know. Anyway, they were promoting an Irish stripper -- excuse me, "exotic dancer" -- who would be performing on St. Patrick's Day. The key aspect of this promotion wasn't that she was Irish though, it's that she was under three feet tall!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Random pictures

These were taken in January & February, and I just never got around to posting them until now.

Riding bikes on a Sunday afternoon:

Giddyup Mommy:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Kindergarten, here we come!

I finally heard yesterday from our first-choice school -- B is in for kindergarten this fall! This is a public charter school, and a Montessori school. Right now it's preschool - 6th grade, but they're adding 8th & 9th grades over the next couple of years, so he'll be able to stay there until he goes to high school. And Z will now go in their sibling priority pool whenever we're ready to send her there too, whether that's for her last year of preschool or when she starts kindergarten. She'll stay where she is for now because she's happy there.

I felt a little bad when I called the other school to withdraw B because the principal was so nice, and it seemed like a good neighborhood school. They told me not to feel bad though, that I knew my kid best, and if I thought he'd do better in the Montessori environment, then they understood why I was withdrawing him. Nice people!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Rockin' new park

For about three years now, B & I have been on a mission: we want to find the best parks in the area. We've found some pretty good ones (although we still haven't found one that has both good shade & an awesome playground), but the one we went to today has to be in the top 3. It has this huge, man-made rock formation that's riddled with tunnels. The tunnels loop around like a maze, and there are places where you can drop down or climb up to another level of tunnels and holes where you can poke your head outside. At first, B was a little afraid of it -- it didn't help that he kept bonking his head -- but after a break to do some merry-go-rounding with Z, he went back to the tunnels & had a great time.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A good cause

Kreuer Fundraiser

I "met" Carrier Kreuer online back in 2007, when we were both a part of our adoption agency's Yahoo group for waiting child adoptions. Carrie traveled to China to meet her daughter MJ, who was 7 years old, just a few weeks after we left China with Z. Sadly, MJ died in an accidental fall in October of last year. A healthier child may have been able to survive MJ's injuries, but her body had been weakened by the malnutrition she suffered in China, and she was unable to recover. It was a true tragedy.

The Kreuer family had already started the process of adopting little Anna Grace, age 2, at the time of MJ's accident. The medical and funeral expenses they incurred have made completing their adoption of Anna Grace financially difficult. If you have $10 to spare, hop on over to the fundraiser my dear friend Hayley has organized for them. There are even some sweet prizes for the winners of a raffle, and an auction of some other fantastic items that you can bid on. I promise, you won't find a better cause than this!