Saturday, November 27, 2010

Willing to Trade: One Preschooler for... ANYTHING

Seriously, I love my son.  Please don't get me wrong.  He is my whole stinking world and I adore him beyond belief.

BUT I am so willing to board him somewhere until he's 4.  Maybe 5.  I don't know.  Whenever it is that this stops. 

This, meaning: obstinacy, defiance, selective hearing...ance, hyperness, moodiness, pickiness... just... issue-y. He's an issue-y kid.  I'm pretty sure he could be diagnosed with, at any given time, any combination of: sczhizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, OCD, anorexia, and probably senility.


He's brilliant, he's hilarious, he's sweet, he's kind.  He's helpful and eager and fun.



I just put him to bed wearing a pj top, khakis, socks and loafers with his Woody hat.  To avoid a tantrum.  Because he has been up since 8 am and up my fanny the entire time.  And I don't have it in me to deal with a tantrum.  Because I feel like every single day 98% of my energy goes into Jack-management.  To keep him from melting down, to keep him from busting up his sisters, to keep him from being a douche bag.  Sometimes I succeed.  Sometimes I don't and I end up listening to grunting noises and being glared at from beneath furrowed brows at best, watching him scream and cry and beat his fists on the floor like a monkey at worst. 

Where is the child who would cease misbehavior at the almighty throat-clear, without even needing me to chastise him?  What happened to the docile, eager-to-please kiddo who responded so well to positive reinforcement?

Oh, that's right... he turned 3.

I'd like to find the idiot who coined the deceptive term "terrible two's" and beat him over the head with the parenting book that began the chapter on preschoolers with, "...three year olds are, by-and-large, pleasant, lovely children to be around." and then I'd like to water-board him with the buckets of tears shed between me and Jack.

Not that I'm frustrated or anything.

Where is the chapter in the books that begins with, "When you get to age three, consider a medically-induced coma to best cope with the challenges you'll face"?  I mean, seriously.  If I hear, "I'm hungry! I need some foods!" only to present him with food and be told, "No! It's yucky!" and endure a tantrum over bites of lousy hot dog that amount to about 45 calories one more time, I'm going to put myself in a coma.  I think I present the child with about 7 meals a day.  I think he eats about 1, total.  I am fairly positive that another day of, "Jack, take it easy, keep your hands to yourself, we listen, we share, we keep our hands to ourselves" and I'm going to barf.  On him, ideally.  Just because it'd be poetic. 

I know it gets better.  I know he's testing boundaries and trying to ascertain how he fits into the world and I know that it's part of the learning process of a child figuring out how to deal with emotions and how to make good decisions and so on.  I get it.  I'm not an idiot.  But when I've spent the 4th consecutive day without taking a shower listening to the same whiny tone and being demanded to build my 900th mile of train track or Lego house that is deemed insufficient, I just don't care about the psycho-babble crap behind it; I want it to be over.  I've never wished my kids' lives away and, to be fair, I'm not wishing the time away, just the behavior.  And since I doubt wishing is going to do much good, I spend the other 2% of my emotional energy praying ardently for patience.  And wisdom.  But mostly patience.

Jack, my love, please figure it out soon for my sanity. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Dudes, seriously, I can't even keep my head above water right now.  My life is being super high-maintenance and that means blogging is the first ball I drop (because a blog doesn't have fees for being overdue on posting or end up in the E.R. if I'm not watching it constantly or burn because I leave it in too long).  I'll do what I can, but every waking moment is currently occupied with... junk.  Just junk.

Our trip to Virginia was a ton of fun - and successful, since we nominally won our court case.  However, it was in District Court so the Defendant has a chance to appeal the ruling in Circuit Court which will mean another trip back to VA for us and also means I can't talk about the case yet.  BUT we got to spend time with some of the greatest people in the world while we were there, and it's an enjoyable drive, so we had a good time and are looking forward to going back!

I'm decorating for Christmas early (because I'm so excited for it this year!) and spending lots of time playing with the kids - it feels wonderful to get back to the basics of being a Mommy.

The house is hurrying along - we have walls and will have a roof up and a sealed home by Friday!  We're planning to pack up the house we're in around mid-January and close and move by the first week of February!  Our builder is a total rockstar and seems super duper proud of this house - he's as excited as we are!

My dad is going to come out for a visit in early December and I'm working on planning fun holiday stuff for that trip, then there's my favorite holiday EVER, then we're headed to Disney World in early January with the other grandparents before we head back to pack up and move.

Somewhere in there I need to shop for the kiddos' gifts and pick up charity stuff and make monumental decisions like paint, hardwood flooring, granite, fixtures, lighting, where outlets go (um, everywhere!) and carpeting.  I've got cookies to bake and decorate, big meals to fix, and Christmas cards to think about maybe doing.  I'd like to breathe a couple of times, but I'll have to see if that works out.

And it might not sound like much, I realize, but the kids are being really demanding lately and the babe in my belly seems to enjoy causing a fair amount of pain on a pretty regular basis (and at 23 weeks, that's not encouraging, by the way.  Sigh.) so everything takes me about 3 times as long as it should.

Oh! And I turned 28.  3 days ago.  It was a wonderful birthday because NO ONE had a single tantrum AND I got Dunkin' Donuts because my husband is a total angel.  I consider it a success - and a monumental age because it's probably the last birthday I'm going to acknowledge.  I will be 28 every year from here on out (even if I can only realistically pull it off for another few) so feel free to file my age away for memory - it's not changing anytime soon.

So, on that note, I'm going to finish feeding my girls lunch, bathe them, dress them, pick Jack up from school, put the girls down for nap, and keep working on my Christmas decorations (currently 4/5 trees complete!)...

I'll do my best to come up with something witty, amusing and fun soon!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

House Progress

Um, it's insane.  I can't believe that we'll be in the house a full 6 weeks before this child is due.  Can that even be real?!

Check this out!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Oh sure, we can talk about the merits and draw-backs of social networking all day long.

We can talk about how Facebook has changed forever the meaning of the word "friend" and ask the question: "Really? Who has 963 'friends'?" and point out that Facebook "friending" is not the same as making new friends in real life. 

We can even debate whether or not "in real life" even exists when people are so plugged into social media by their phones, their wireless internet, their watches (well, maybe not, but soon, I'm sure)... When people hand out cards that list name, phone number, website, Facebook page, Twitter handle, etc., can we even make a distinction between how we make friends face-to-face and online?

People, let me just say, there is one gigantic, glaring difference between our beloved social media and the real world: In real life, we cannot simply click a radio button and disappear from someone's news feed.  We can't unfriend a person and hope that they just assume we're not posting updates - that we've gotten lost in the melange of statuses that flood their electronic wall each day...

Oh no.  No, there's no simple "unfriend" action in real life... no matter how much we wish there was.  There's no way to simply disappear from one's life and hide behind the anonymous mesh of 1's and 0's the internet affords.  Privacy settings don't apply to our large-windowed mini-vans and we can't grant exclusive access to our whereabouts to "friends only" in reality.

I realize how horrible this makes me sound.  I do. I'm always looking for new friendships and excited about connecting with people - both for myself (and my sanity) and my kiddos... But if I've ever wanted a do-over in my social life, I'd want it now.  And please understand that I'm talking about now - I wouldn't take back any of my shitbag ex-boyfriends or ill-advised high-school hookups or my crashing, burning, drama-laden Zeppelin-style friendships from my past.  I'd take it now with one person who is a very kind, very sweet individual who doesn't understand boundaries, appropriate discussion topics, human anatomy, acceptable questions or time-limits.  This person does not take cues such as "(toddler wailing in car seat) Honey, I know you're starving, we're on our way home and I'll feed you as soon as we get there, I promise." or "(phone rings) I have to take this; it's our attorney... (answer phone and have person continue waiting)". 

Again, I'm talking about a fabulous person, I'm sure.  I'm just finding myself utterly and completely unable to find a commonality between us, I'm uncomfortable (beyond all comprehension) with the subjects chosen to discuss (despite desperate attempts to steer the conversation elsewhere) and beyond frustrated with the lack of regard for me, my schedule, or my kids.

Sigh.  I need an unfriend button in real life.  Or maybe just a rewind button.  Or at the very least, a mute button.

Monday, November 8, 2010

In Zoo News: The Newest Exhibit Is...

I can't even believe I forgot to mention that our fourth blessing is a little girl!  I was totally going to keep it a secret, but I'm terrible at stuff like that, so here she is: the littlest Gallagirl!

BUT, what's more important is that she's apparently healthy - no indications of anything amiss and my bloodwork came back with low risk-factors on the major issues for which they test.  Lends me a little peace of mind and gives me a pronoun to use with certainty until we figure out a name.  In that vein - any suggestions?  Other kiddos are Jackson, Addison and Jordan so something like-sounding would be great... THANKS!

Kids Are Funny...

...or maybe I'll just laugh at anything. 

Jack (following a big tantrum): "Momma, look at me.  I'm so cute!  Don't kill me."


Jack: "I have to fart."
Me: "Well, go ahead!"
Jack: "I'm going to fart on you."
Me: "No, fart on Daddy; he likes it."
Jack: "Yeah, he's really stinky!"


Me: "Jack, let's get ready for bed."
Jack: "Actually, you can do that. I'm going to sleep here (gestures to laundry basket) okay?  Sound good? I thought so."


Me: "Jordan, we don't throw our plate on the floor."
Addie: "Uh oh."
Jack: "Yeah, uh oh Addie, you're next."
Jordan: "Uh oh."
Addie: Cries


Jack: "Momma, how's your penis this morning?"
Me: "Jack, Momma doesn't have a penis."
Jack: "A monster ate it off?"
Me: "No, God gave me a vagina instead."
Jack: (after a pause) "Well.... that's no fun."


Jack: (patting the top of my head while I help him tie shoes) "I like your hair, Momma."
Me: "Aw, thank you Jack.  I like your hair too.  What color is your hair?"
Jack: "Um, yellow!"
Me: "Good, you have BLOND hair!  What color is my hair?"
Jack: (Contemplates) "Brown!  Wait... actually... brown and WHITE! (picks a long gray hair to show me)"


Jack: (comes out of his room at bedtime to use the bathroom, but is told by Justin that I'm occupying the toilet in our bathroom) So I have to use the other potty?
Justin: "Yes, you do."
Jack: (sighs) Fine, but you go tell Momma not to put her fat butt in MY bed then."


Me: "Jack, hurry  up, we have to get to school."
Jack: "I'm coming Momma!" (Continues to dink around)
Me: "Jack, now!"
Jack: "Oh just drive faster - it's okay!"


Jack: "Can I say hi to the baby?"
Me: "Sure, honey, come here."
Jack: (Shouting an inch from my stomach) "Hi, Baby!  You can't play with Jack's trains!"
Me: "Well, I'm glad you set that straight."
Jack: (looks sadly at his own stomach) "Momma, I don't think there's a baby in here after all."
Me: "And why not, kiddo?"
Jack: "Because mine isn't all fat like yours."


Jack: "Baby Addie smells like POOOOOOOOP!"
Me: "I know Jack, thanks for telling me, I'll be right there."
Jack: "You needa change her diaper."
Me: "Jack, I know, I'm coming; I need to wash chicken juice off my hands."
Jack: "Well hurry! I can't take the smell!"


The child makes me want to pull my hair out at least 50 times a day if not more.  But good grief I love him so darned much it's unbelievable.  I don't know if he MEANS to be funny when he says what he does, since he almost always delivers it dead-pan, but there's a twinkle in his eye that suggests that maybe he knows he's a ham.  I don't know.  All I know is I treasure him beyond all comprehension.  I love my kids and their giant personalities... Sigh.  I need to go wake them up so I can dole out some lovin'.


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