Boys and Their Guns

You have heard of the saying, “Boys will be boys.” Well, my 4 yr old is a boy’s boy. He loves cars, dirt, making messes, wrestling, and making his momma crazy. Now added to the list, is pretending he is shooting everything in sight. When I say everything, I’m talking me, the wall, TV, his sister, the sky, and strangers. I can play dumb and act like “I have no idea where he gets this from,” but the truth is I know exactly where he gets it from. No matter how much we have tried to not allow our children to watch people shooting each other, there have been times when we are watching a movie while the kids are playing in the other room and just when someone’s head is about to get blown off, here comes the innocent little man up behind the couch saying, “what happened to him Mommy?” Does he come in the room during the other times when nothing bad is going on? Of course not, kids have a way of showing up in the exact moment you don’t want them to. So based on past experiences, we don’t watch those kinds of shows while the kids are around, or if we do, we make sure they are locked away in a dungeon somewhere. (I kid) Then there are times when we finally sit down after a long day thinking the kiddos are asleep, watch Games of Thrones, where people are getting stabbed and things are happening you kind of wish you didn’t know about, and then BAM, you hear your little sweet boy ask, “Why’s it all red Mommy?” Your boy sneaked out of his bedroom and is laying on the floor upstairs where you cannot see him, right smack in plain sight of the TV! So great, you think you’ve scarred him for life because God only knows how long he has been watching. Now you realize you cannot watch anything else but Yo Gabba Gabba until he is 18, basically your life is over. (by the way, anyone else think that show is creepy?) So now he likes to build “guns” with his blocks, position his fingers to “shoot” things, and wants me to buy him a gun. I don’t know what is the right thing to do:  1) ignore it, 2) put him in time out for “shooting” his sister, 3) quickly tell him to not do that, or 4) give up and buy him an AK 47. This used to not be a big deal, kids used to play “Cowboys and Indians and  Bankers and Robbers,” but times have changed. Just like we don’t ride in the back of a pickup truck going 60 mph on the freeway and fight over who is going to ride the “hump,” or lay out in the sun without any sunblock and burn till you look like a lobster, we know better now. Studies show that kids who watch violent shows, videos, etc… at a young age have a tendency to become aggressive and violent as they become older. It probably takes more than watching a few clips of shoot em ups to get this way and there are other factors that come into play, but I can’t help thinking if I am being overly sensitive about this or if I should send the message that “shooting” people although it is just pretend, is not okay. I know guns don’t kill people, people kill people, and blah blah, and I have no problem if he wants to shoot a gun one day, but at an appropriate age and in an appropriate environment. So I tell him that it isn’t nice to “shoot” at people, he responds with “Why Mommy?” or “no, Mommy, it’s not a gun, it is a water hose.” See how they turn it around on you?
Maybe I’m worrying too much (Moms do that), because his innocence is still there and probably won’t disappear until puberty (then I’ll run for the hills). He comes up to me and gives me a kiss for no reason, always asks if I’m ok when I hurt myself, makes sure he gets his sister a cup of water before he gets himself one, and wants me to hold his hand and hug him for “5 more minutes Mommy,” before he goes to sleep. Hopefully, this is a normal phase and it will pass, but now I have  an additional problem: my darling 2-year-old girl has started to get into the “shooting” action and likes to “shoot” me too, but she does it with a wink. What  is that all about? Is she trying to send me a hidden message? 

Should I worry or just let this phase pass?
Tell me your thoughts, I’d love to hear them! (as long as I agree with them- jk!)

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Time-Out Thursday- Timeout with the Kids

Is it possible to take a time-out with the kids?  If someone were to tell me to take a time-out with the kids, I would probably give them my “whatcha talking ’bout Willis,” crazy look.  After an overwhelming week, that is exactly what I did, and I plan on doing more when I feel stressed out.

This has been one crazy, no let me rephrase, one crazy quarter at school.  It seems like with each new quarter, comes more challenges, more work, harder classes, and thus more stress.  I still have a little over a year left with school and it seems like this is taking forever.  I am going for a B.S. (haha I know, BS) in Business, majoring in accounting and boy this is the most difficult thing I have ever done.  I would rather go through childbirth again than to be put through this daily mind scrambling and stress like you are going to explode type of feeling.  Maybe it is because going thru labor with my kids, although it was extremely painful due to no other choice but au natural labor, the whole process of squeezing the little ones out only took a few hours.  (but all of that is another future blog post)  So, going through a few hours of  pain, is so much easier than going through 3 years of excessive stress.  Now, I am not writing this to get people to feel sorry for me, “oh poor girl, college with kids is sooo hard, she is getting this opportunity of a lifetime and it is so stressful, imagine that….” and blah blah.. I understand that I am fortunate to be in this circumstance considering many mothers cannot stay at home  while their husband is the sole income while they go back to school to get a degree.  That being said, venting about your situation is different then complaining about it.

Ok, continuing….  I hear from other classmates or family members, “I don’t know how you do it, 2 kids and all this work, I could never do that,”  or I hear… “when do you have time to study?  How do you get all your chores done, and cooking and cleaning too?  You must be super busy all the time..”  To be honest, I don’t know how I do it either, but putting more time in one thing, means I’m not taking care of other things.  I study in the morning before the kids wake up, sometimes I “try” to do homework while they are awake, work on projects and papers during their nap times, and other studying or field trip/group meetings on weekends.  Chores you say?  Ha, my house is a mess 90% of the time and I do some trick cleaning before company comes over.  Dinners you say?  Ha, crock pot is my friend but also my enemy. I do not remember ever having a crock pot meal that made anyone say, “that was the best damn meal I’ve ever had,” yeah don’t think that will ever happen with a crock pot.  Mondays and Wednesdays, I usually pick up dinner because I have a late class and on weekends, I am so lazy to cook that all I want to do is sleep or sprawl out on the couch and watch a mind numbing show at full volume to overcome the “Mommy….I want peanut butter…..Mommy where’s my Mater truck…Mommy outside….Mommy I want to watch Yogi Bear…Mommy….Mommy….Mommy…..!”  This last week got to the point where I felt like giving up, and telling myself that I don’t know why I am doing this.  I don’t get to spend time with my kids, I get maybe 20 minutes/day of uninterrupted adult talk with my husband, I miss out on things with family/friends because I have to study, my house has a sign on the window that says “clean me,” and I don’t remember the last time I was able to relax.  My son tells me the other day, “Mommy, stay home, you don’t need to go to class, you go to school too much.”  I wanted to cry, the last thing I wanted was for my kids to feel neglected.  My son doesn’t understand why I am doing this, all he knows is Mommy doesn’t spend much time with me.  My daughter is too little to express how she feels, but I’m sure she misses me too.

So now coming to the time out part.  After another overwhelming day in the life of moi, instead of doing dishes, another load of laundry, or reading from my Accounting book, I stopped and told the kids we are going upstairs.  My daughter looks at me, “Mimi?” (shortened word for sleep in Spanish)  Then my son says, “I don’t want to go Mimi, Mommy.. I want to play 5 minutes.”  I said, “No we are not going mimi, let’s go play.”  I blasted some music in my room to the tune of one of my son’s favorite songs, “I need a dollar dollar, a dollar is what I need….hey hey…”  My son loves the hey hey part and my girl loves anything with a beat.  We just danced and ran around in the room and sang the song at the top of our lungs.  Then played a few more songs and we danced until I exhausted myself and of course the kids still had tons of never-ending energy!  Afterwards I felt so relaxed and wonderful that I don’t know why I didn’t do that more often.  I think it should become our end of the day routine from now on… dancing in our pjs, then brushing teeth, books, then bed.

What ways do you take a time-out with your kids?

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One Day

ONE DAY

One day, I’ll make more money

One day, I’ll wear that dress

One day, I’ll take care of myself

One day, I’ll stop being a mess

—–

One day, I’ll be strong

One day, I’ll be free

One day, I’ll be more patient

One day, I’ll take you seriously

—–

One day, I’ll have more fun

One day, I’ll keep in touch

One day, I’ll make more friends

One day, I won’t stress so much

—–

One day, I’ll go to the gym

One day, I’ll play more with my kids

One day, I’ll take them to that place

One day, I’ll forgive

—–

I need to stop saying one day and change it to today, cause before I know it

One Day, I’ll pass away

—–

What Life is About
2 Reasons for Doing Things Today

 

Are there things you are putting off for another day?  What is stopping you from doing them now?  

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Santa as a Discipline Tactic

The innocence of childhood means you can tell your children literally anything and they will believe  you.  (Suckers!)  In some ways it is a right of passage, your parents lied to  you, their parents lied to them, and now it is your turn.  Tricking your kids to believing in a fat, jolly, white-beared man who rides in on a sleigh and somehow squeezes his big ol’ butt down a chimney to deliver presents, is now your job as a parent.  I was conflicted about whether or not to continue this tradition with my kids because I felt a little uneasy saying, “Santa is going to give you toys,” and “you better be a good boy, you don’t want to be on the naughty list.”  Once I realized that I can use this as a discipline tactic, my qualms quickly vanished.  Common sayings in my household this holiday season have been, “pick up your toys or Santa isn’t going to bring you anymore,”  “Don’t you want to be a good boy?  I guess I need to call Santa and tell him not to bring you anything,” and “be nice to your sister, Santa knows if you are being naughty or nice.”  Another usage I have found for the whole Santa fiasco is that I have been able to get out of the store without the usual whining and temper tantrum scenes after I tell my son he can’t have a toy.  Every freaking time we go to the store, he thinks he will get a toy, and when he realizes that Mommy isn’t buying that, he will scream and try to jump out of the cart.  Now, thanks to Santa,  I tell him that we can’t buy him anymore toys right now because Santa is going to bring him toys for Christmas.  If we buy him a toy now, Santa will have to take his toys back.  It works like a charm!  My darling son will just say, “Oh, ok Mommy, I get it.”  Then I pat myself on the back, pause, then start thinking that maybe he is really saying ok Mommy, I get it, you are screwing with me.  I’ll get you back one day.  Hahaha!  Then my senses come to me, not my sweet son, he wouldn’t think such a thing,no way!  I just don’t know what I am going to do when Christmas is over.  How am I going to get out of buying him that millionth car that he just has to have so he can take the wheels off and tell me that he broke it?  Or another train that he likes to get so he can lose it and tell me a lion took it?  His birthday is in March, so I can probably use the same tactic as that approaches, but what will I do before then?  Just tell him “no” like the good ol’ days and then remind myself that this is why duck tape was invented?  Well, I know that once I see the light in my kid’s eyes as they open their presents, all my uptightness will go away (for the moment) and will see how the whole rush and stress of the holidays is all worth it.  I can’t wait to see the glitter in their eyes as we look in the sky to see if Santa and his reindeer are up there.  Later coming back to the house after looking at Christmas lights to see a half eaten cookie, a little milk spilled on the table (Santa’s a little slob ain’t he?), and presents left for the kiddies, all to see the amazement on their faces will be priceless.  I guess I need to sit back and enjoy all the wonderment that is Christmas and if for only because of the joy it brings my kids.  Seeing their cute little faces smile and laugh is worth everything.  So before Santa is ruined for them, most likely by another kid like it was for me, I’ll embrace the holiday, Santa and all. Hang in there everyone, and have a very jolly, drama-free (hahahaha) MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

How are you surviving the holidays?  Do you use Santa to keep your kids in line?  Tell me!

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My Nurturing Son

As a mom you always think your children are the best in the world and maybe it is my parent “googles,” but I think my son is one special little guy.  As a 3 1/2 year old, he does what any other 3-year-old is supposed to do, drive mommy crazy!  He asserts himself more and more everyday, tests me on a daily….no wait… on a minute to minute basis, asks tons of questions that I run out of answers for, picks on his sister, and loves to make messes.  I am trying to raise a sympathetic and caring child(like all of us), but there are times when I wonder if what I’m doing is working.  Is he ever going to get over this “wanting to destroy and take apart everything and then throw those items at his sister” stage.  He loves to push his sister just as much as he loves to give her hugs.  He loves to take her books away from her just as much as he loves to sit next to her and “read” to her.  He loves to take her food while she is eating just as much as he loves to feed her.  So I’m conflicted.  Is he trying to keep mommy confused or is it just normal boy behavior?  I teach him to be “nice” and “take care” of his sister and to watch out for her and to “protect” her.  So when things are starting to seem like he will never be this way.  A “bit and piece” appears that shows me that my worrying is for nothing.  I bought a doll and play crib for my girl and we were all playing with it.  My girl was taking care of the baby and  my son was throwing the doll around.  I told him he needed to help his sister take care of the baby, sing to the doll and put her in the crib so she could “sleep.”  Then we all get ready for bed.  We go upstairs and I put the doll in her crib between my son’s bed and his sister’s crib(they share a room).  I go to check on them a little while later and find that my girl is asleep, but my darling son is still awake.  I notice that he has something in his bed.  I realize that the doll’s crib is next to him, but I don’t see the “baby.”  I ask him where the “baby” is and he says, “right here” and points to his chest.  The doll is upside down, underneath his shirt.  I’m thinking why in the heck is the baby underneath his shirt and why is it upside down?  So I calmly ask him, “Why is the baby under your shirt and not on top of your chest?  You should have her on top of your chest to rock her to sleep.”  Then he says, “No Mommy, the baby was thirsty?”  So I ask kind of puzzled, “Well then why don’t you give her some water?”  In which he then responds, “because she wanted milk Mommy, so I am giving it to her!”  Aww, my sweet innocent son.  He will be a great dad one day and if his wife can’t breastfeed, he’ll gladly take over.  I guess I know what to get him for Christmas!  Maybe a breastfeeding doll?  Lord help me now!

Do have any shards of evidence that your parenting has worked?   

Thanks for letting me share!

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I Need a Mute Button

How can so much noise come out of two little kids?  If it isn’t coming from their yelling or crying, then it is coming from banging on their piano, rolling the toy lawn mower on the floor, cars being scraped on the wall, chairs being pushed on the tile floor, and toy trains/cars/planes/anything they can get their hands on crashing together to make the loudest freaking “clang” you can think of.  Also, who was the genius who bought these noise creating, make you go insane toys?  Oh yeah, it was me.  When you are at the store, you think “oh this is a good toy, educational, hours of fun” and then you bring it home and you soon realize it was a huge mistake.  Later you decide to put one up and soon follows another loud toy in its place that you thought you got rid of.  After some thinking,  you then decide that  you’ll only let the kids play with one noise inducing toy at certain times of the day when you have more patience.  That doesn’t work because now the kids are fighting over who gets to play with the ear-piercing toy, so you bring out two noise enhancers and surprise, they both want what the other has.  So, you try to negotiate over the crying and screaming until you get to the point where you want to cry and scream and finally you yell, “Enough, no one gets to play with the stupid toys!”  Yes, not exactly your finest moment. What also doesn’t help is when your significant other says “Well why did you buy that for them?”  Yeah….not a good time ok!!?? 

So then it occurs to me that it be nice to have a portable mute button that you can use whenever the noise level exceeded your toleration level.  You could set it so when noise is > toleration level, mute button goes on.  Then everyone is happy.  Kids get to make all the noise they want and mommy doesn’t have to hear it.  Daddy is also happy because then he doesn’t have to hear mommy gripe about how she is going to go crazy if she hears one more freaking scrape on the floor or how she is going to break the toys in two.  Aww yes, the magical mute button, it could have other uses as well.  You spent how much at the store?  (mute to not hear husband)  Do you want to sign up for this newspaper to get all the coupons?  No? Don’t you like to save money? (mute to you annoying person at the grocery store Person next to you in class that is talking to you while the teacher is talking. (Mute to you blabber mouth.  I am trying to get an education)  It might even work for other people’s kids! (might have to tweak the settings)  So much potential!

It would be a great stress reliever, don’t you think?    Do you have any other ideas that would make your life a little easier?  Tell me about it!

Thanks for reading!

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I’m Having an Affair…

… with coffee!  Oh coffee, how I love you so, you never seem to let me down.  Those who know me might remember a time when I never drank the stuff.  I have always loved the smell of coffee brewing, but never cared for the taste.  It has been a gradual process from yuck, I can’t believe people drink this stuff, to:  Oh Starbucks, yum, I’ll have a sugar laden Mocha frappucino with some sugar sprinkles, and oh yeah with an extra pump of sugar!, to:  Ok Starbucks, I’ll try your regular coffee.  Ok, pretty bitter, me no likey.  I think I’ll stick with the sweet stuff.  Give me a Caramel Macchiato please with extra whipped cream and some extra caramel, oh and a side of diabetes please. Thanks!  Then another progression to: Ok, I think I get this coffee thing now, ok barista, I’ll order a tall, iced Caramel Macchiato, upside down, with an extra pump of vanilla, yeah baby!  (I’m getting better, I kinda laid off some of the extra sugar right?)  To the present:  Ok Starbucks, I am tired of wasting all this money on you when I am capable of brewing my own coffee in the comfort of my own home.  As long as I have a bucket size of coffee grounds, a gallon of half/half, and some splenda, I am set!  I never need to see you again!  I am talking to Starbucks, not the coffee itself, because my love affair is not with Starbucks though you could have interpreted it as so, but my affair is still with coffee and I do not intend in ending it, ever!  My husband will just have to understand that coffee will always be the other man in my life, please do not make me choose.  I would hate to split up the family, sad I know. 

I have listed below my 5 favorites in case you were wondering which ones are worth “cheating” on your partner with.

1.  Jose’s Vanilla Nut (at Costco) – delicious and sinful at the same time

2.  Don Francisco’s Hawaiian Hazelnut – reminds of the time I spent in Hawaii, or wait was that L & L ?

3.  Don Francisco’s 100% Columbian Supremo

4. Don Francisco’s Vanilla Nut

5. Yuban’s Dark Roast 

As a mom, coffee has become a life saver.  It helps pull me through the days when all I want to do is shut my eyes and sleep till noon like my pre-kid days.  So since those days are far behind me and I will probably never be able to sleep that long again, I have to rely on Mr. Coffee to get me up in the morning.  On the days that I don’t feel tired and do not need that caffeine jolt, oh wait, I don’t think that has EVER happened, so nevermind…

Well, what are your favorite coffees?  Please share so I can try them!  I always like to spice things up!

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Orange Juice Doesn’t Make It Breakfast

The Nutella commercial that shows the fake family enjoying a piece of bread with Nutella spread just drives me crazy.  They advertise the Nutella as a breakfast and even have the good ol’ OJ to drink with it.  Ok, OJ does not make it a breakfast.  If I eat a snickers bar with a glass of orange juice, does that mean I can call it a breakfast?  I’m not saying you can’t eat this for your first meal of the day, but don’t make a commercial and advertise it that way.  The kids in the commercial look a little too happy to be having this as a meal, but this is definitely not reality.  Call it what it is, Nutella is a snack.  Just like when they used to advertise pop tarts as a breakfast item, they now show it for what it is, a dessert.  Now you see pop tart commercials that show to eat them with ice cream or as afternoon snacks, but not for a food to consume first thing in the morning.  I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised since Nutella is made by the same company who makes Ferrero Rocher.  I wish ad companies would be more responsible for what they put on the air, but that is wishful thinking.  (ok a little redundant)  I also wish my kids would sleep till 10, but that isn’t going to happen. 

As a side note, I googled “I wish my kids would,” and you know what popped up?  I wish my wife and children would die in a fiery explosion. Ok, that person seriously needs a break or to be locked up!

So what do you think?  Should Nutella advertise itself as breakfast? Leave me a comment below and tell me your thoughts.

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