These brothers' dialect

^^^ Their parents look like goofs, but let me tell you about those boys ... ^^^

I remember listening to Fountains of Carrots once and grinning when Christy described her boys' interactions as an ongoing wrestling match. Oh, I KNOW. These boys speak a dialect of English that adds tackling and wrestling as punctuation and allows for quite the volume elevation. It certainly conveys enthusiasm and can successfully be used to get on a mother's last nerve, but don't look for it at a world leader summit. Anyway! A tame use of this was captured at my aunt's wedding last weekend if you care to watch: 

I love my cousin Melissa in the background saving six year old Henry from terrible twos and terribly confident Conor. Pretty much sums him up.

Sweeping my own words

This morning I decided that today was the day I was going to hem the too-long curtains in the boys' room. The task was a long time coming considering I originally bought the blackout fabric and the striped  material for the curtain when I was pregnant ... with Conor. Our move this summer and Chris' helpfulness finally got them hanging, but I put them up with frayed edges and brushing the heater which just won't do in the winter. Today I felt productive. So I completed my strength workout for the day by maneuvering boxes around and getting my sewing machine down. I set it up, found a bobbin, went to thread it and discovered that my recently fixed machine was broken. Fine. 

Later I thought I would be a fun mom instead of hopping from to-do to to-do. Last week I had picked up some dinosaur fossil toys from a neighbor. I told the boys to go to the other room so I could get their surprise all ready.  As I put the bones in containers and then covered them in uncooked rice, I thought, "Should I really give this to them? It's going to be a B to clean up. No, I think they'll keep the rice mostly in there. Maybe ..."

Ha! Oh Katrina. 

This is what it looked like when I just released a new product in my shop:

The picture is very forgiving. 

And then the vacuum died. Or maybe it's just taking a rest, I hope.

So here I am sweeping thousands of grains of rice on carpet. With each sweep a few grains go where I want them to, but others just hop up in search of more fun.

It's a good thing it was today that I released these mugs, isn't it?

Offer it up, Katrina!

A morning in the life of three, three and under

I always love these "A Day in the Life of" posts that people share so here is my version. I didn't keep track of time because I just don't know how anyone does that. I'm not on top of my game enough to accomplish such an endeavor. I also don't have photos except for the one above that I took when we got home on my camera because my phone repeatedly reminds me when I try to capture a Kodak moment, "There is not enough storage to take a photo." This morning was nonstop, and I would say it was a typical day for us, but it was missing a few level "wine me" tantrums.

-          Some unknown hour – see Ryan’s silhouette standing next to our bed and groggily realize that I didn’t reset their magic clock when I saw the time was wrong (ahem, Conor!) the previous day. WHY KATRINA WHY. I don’t really remember talking to him but then at some later unknown hour – wake up again and realize that Elise is nursing on me, Ryan is, in fact, to my left and Chris is to my right. Fall back asleep

-          Here Conor calling, “Wyan! Wyan!” Reach over Ryan, press the light on the clock on the bedside table and see 6:30am which is 30 minutes before the magic clock is supposed to turn green when set correctly. Wake Chris up to deal with the boys because I just can’t right now. He goes and tells them that he is going to turn the play room light on as long as they don’t bother us. Exhaustion really brings out awesome parenting. 

-          Kind of sleep while listening to little boy clamor.

-          Finally wake up. Elise is sleeping sweetly on her back which she rarely does in the cute sleep dress Chris bought.

-          Conor is chirping, “Eat! Eat! Eat!”

-          Step over a mountain of laundry to walk to the kitchen, pour Honey Nut Cheerios left over from my parents’ visit in two bowls and triple check they both want milk in the bowl, too. Let’s not start the day off with hasty assumptions that spark senseless tantrums!

-          Print off shipping labels for Hatch Prints for the day. Hide them so the boys don’t get into them.

-          Chris turns the shower on, goes to pack his clothes for the day, and I walk by the bathroom and cut in line and take a quick one minute shower.

-          Get dressed. Put on at least one article of clothing I wore the day before. Offer up how much I dislike fall and winter clothing. Even leggings!

-          Decide to take a whack at our favorite story time for the first time with three and for the first time since we left for May in California

-          Get the rundown of Chris’ schedule for the day. He is only going to be home for less than one hour in the next 15 hours. Joy.

-          Ryan is asking to put pajamas on like he does every morning. Conor has spilled milk all over the front of his shirt.

-          Explain that we are going to go to story time today! Woohoo!

-          The boys yell, “BYE DAD!” as Chris takes his bike out of the apartment for a day of class, meetings, paper writing and work.

-          Ryan takes something from Conor, send Ryan to his room. Conor needs his fix and the marching band addict frantically begs, "Rah rah notre dame, march, dome, rah rah notre dame?" in a pitiful voice. Turn on the Notre Dame Football playlist.

-          Wash the breakfast dishes, clean up stray things in the living room/kitchen, hear Elise and discover that Conor went to release Ryan from his room. Explain to Ryan why he went to his room.

-          Pick Elise up out of bed, and make the bed. I think I made my bed maybe 10 times in college, but now if my bed is bed, I feel somewhat put together if the rest of my home is a trail of disaster.

-          Conor is occupied with a magazine, Elise is content, and Ryan is flipping through a book. Tell Ryan to get dressed, and decide to deep clean the bathrooms since I’m supposed to that on Mondays according to my very flexible cleaning schedule. (Bathrooms are the one thing I try to stay on top of since ours are really old and unsightly so it comforts me knowing that at least they are bleached once a week).

-          Clean the bathrooms in parts with lightning speed. I love small homes.

-          Ryan asks me what I’m doing. I tell him I’m washing the bathrooms like I always do. “No you don’t!” is his reply. Hmmmm.

-          Elise starts hollering, finish up the last bits hoping she will settle down, she is still hollering, throw the rags in the washer, wash my hands, nurse the baby.

-          Realize it is the week before Halloween so today’s story time must be a whole wear-your-costume shindig. Pack the boys’ costumes that just arrived yesterday into this bag. Pack some animal crackers and a water bottle. Set the bag on the counter so I don’t forget it.

-          It dawns on me that I don’t have Elise’s costume ready. After three years of making costumes, I already conceded this year that I was just too overwhelmed so Amazon to the rescue! But I’m kind of an annoying person who can’t give everything up so it’s still in the plans to crochet Elise a hat to match the boys. I remember that my friend Meagan and her mom kindly sent a pumpkin tutu outfit so problem solved for today.

-          Decide to stop at the craft store before story time to pick up yarn for Elise’s hat for later in the week so now we need to leave in twenty-ish minutes. We can do it! Pull the play mat thing that has dead batteries out for Elise to maybe stop the crying. She eventually is entertained. Both boys try to "help her" = more yelling and hollering and shouting, etc. But, they have good intentions.

-          Ryan is still not dressed in appropriate clothes, tells me, “NO!” when I remind him so it’s off to a timeout in his room.

-          Find Conor ripping pages out of the Notre Dame football preview magazine he was paging through. Stop him. He starts telling me, “Ankle! Ankle! Broken!” when he sees a photo of our former starting quarterback.

-          Go get Ryan to explain why he was sent to his room. Find he has picked out his clothes, but he isn’t being successful with turning his shirt right side out. Help him. Let him know he gets to wear his penguin costume when we get to the library! Also prep him with what’s going to happen – get dressed, go to the craft store, Conor gets to ride in the seat in the cart at the craft store not him, he will be on his best behavior and helpful, we will get the yarn, we will pay, we will get in the car to go to story time, we will change into his costume, he will listen to the librarian, we will get some books after, etc. Ryan is a lot like Kendra’s Frankie (read her post from yesterday!), and I’ve found this really helps him if we are going somewhere!

-          While this is happening, Conor is throwing a tantrum about what? No one knows. Elise is screaming.

-          Conor calms down; nurse Elise. Gather her outfit. Put it on the bed, put her in her cosleeper. Brush my teeth. Elise cries again, Ryan is trying to put the pacifier in her mouth, loudly narrating all that he is doing to help her.

-          Dress Elise. Lots of crying. Carry her as I sneak off to the kitchen to secretly eat a breakfast bar. Hear the pitter-patter of food-moochers coming and toss them a bone (legos I found on the floor) to distract them.

-          Toss my phone in my bag. Nurse Elise again. She falls asleep! Find the boys playing on the computer. No! Stop! Ryan said he was spelling the word band. This is what was typed: mjgjgkhgdtf.

-          Realize Conor still isn’t dressed.

-          Buckle Elise into her carseat.

-          Rush to change Conor. Change a bomb. Put his clothes on, wrestle him to put his shoes on. I DO IT he says about the button on his sweater. Let him try, then finish the job.

-          Tell Ryan he can go outside, try to print off a coupon. The printer is out of paper. Finally the printer prints three copies of the coupon when I can only use one.

-          Conor follows Ryan out. Pick up Elise, my bag, and the keys, go out the door. Ryan reminds me about the costume bag. Turn around, go back inside and grab it from the counter where I wasn’t supposed to forget it.

-          Go outside, hear my name being called. It’s my neighbor randomly bringing us muffins! Well, that was very nice.

-          Put Elise in the car, buckle Ryan in, buckle Conor in.

-          Say out loud, “Mary, help me. Pray for me.”

-          Drive! Think about the Walking Dead episode that aired on Sunday. I call that he got away!

-          Talk about cement trucks since one in front of us.

-          Make it to the craft store. Unbuckle Ryan, take Elise’s car seat out, unbuckle Conor. They both run to the pile of rocks and kick them. Instinctual? I don’t know.

-          Enter the store, put Conor in the seat, Ryan in the cart and look hilarious as I push the cart with one hand while carrying Elise’s way too heavy car seat in the crook of my other arm. I should start working out.

-          Reach the yarn. I had told myself I was only going to buy one skein. Leave with three colors, oops. And a crochet hook because I’m not 100% positive mine aren’t lost. Which means they probably are, right?  Conor holds them carefully without unraveling them which is just a miracle.

-          Encounter three variations of “Hands full!” “Busy lady!” (all very kind, reminiscent and encouraging!)

-          Reach the checkout. Conor gives the cashier each skein and the hook without any fuss! Another miracle.

-          Pack everyone back into the car. Give each boy a muffin.

-          Arrive at the library, spy a princess in the parking lot. Woohoo I wasn’t mistaken! Halloween Day!

-          Get the boys changed in our small car. It’s pretty funny.

-          Ryan waddles into the library barefoot.

-          We get to the story time room and it’s pretty busy already! Elise is crying. Ryan wants his costume feet on. Sit down and try to give Elise a pacifier. Put one foot on Ryan. It’s trickly. Elise doesn’t want the pacifier and has escalated to her screaming. Heads are turning. Smile. Grab the baby carrier and nurse her while putting Ryan’s other foot on. Conor had stayed close by which was rather uncharacteristic.

-          Storytime begins! Tell Ryan to sit. He sits. He forgets while listening to the story and stands again. Tell him again. He sits again. He stands again. Put him on your lap while I’m still nursing Elise cross-legged on the floor. He leans back putting all of his weight against me and Elise. I try not to topple over. Repeat over and over until finally it’s a dancing song and he can stand! Rejoice!

-          Another story. Both Conor and Ryan want to stand. Repeat over and over. Finally, look around, kids aren’t behind us so I just give up and let them stand next in front of me because I don’t care if I see or not.

-          Ryan is participating and dancing! This is a new development.

-          Elise is smiling.

-          It’s the librarian’s idea to go on a Halloween parade which means bringing all of the kids into the main, quiet library. Okaaaaaaay.

-          Conor makes a beeline for wherever the group is not going. I’m trying to get him while holding Elise (should have put her in the sling!). A librarian sees me in need and helps me herd Penguin Conor back to the group across the library. This really happened. He misses the group photo, no biggie.

-          We all go back to the room. It’s craft time! The boys don’t want to do the craft as always and sticks with the cutouts on the felt board. I’ve learned that it’s just the way they are!

-          I put Elise in the sling. I realize I put it on twisted and redo it. She falls asleep.

-          Ryan wants to “wash his hands” which means use the pump of hand sanitizer that he always looks forward to seeing at the library. Cheap thrills.

-          The librarian is standing at the door with baskets of treats and Ryan is waiting patiently by her because she can’t give him anything until I’m there. But where am I? Trying to get Conor out from under a chair in the back of the room behind a lot of people because he is hiding from me because he doesn’t want to leave. I look like such an awesome parent, “Conor! It’s time for your treat! Do you want a treat?” Finally Ryan crawls under and tells him that candy is at the door.

-          We make our way to the door, the librarian kindly lets me know how patient Ryan was, Ryan chooses skittles, Conor chooses pretzels. I try to tell him he wants something else, but no.

-          I have them eat their goodies in the lobby before we go peruse through books. I open Conor’s bag, he looks in, and asks for candy. Another miracle: Ryan shares his skittles!

-          The boys run around a bit. Conor asks for water, and for once, I have some! I wish it were the case that that feat wouldn’t be noteworthy.

-          We enter the library, Ryan runs ahead and I hear him say something about a caterpillar! Walk around the bookcase and see a bewildered little girl lying down on the long window bench and put two and two together than Ryan had yanked away the stuffed caterpillar she was resting on. Make him give it back.

-          The boys rush off to the toy area. Conor invades a family’s table. They are nice. I look at books on the shelves nearby, but hear the boys getting restless. Spy two puzzles on a table and redirect them over there. Perfect! Puzzles are their favorite. Sit with them for a bit and notice after a bit that a saint book that Dwija mentioned the other day on Instagram was propped up right there in our public library!

-          I raid the library’s section of children’s books about saints. Here’s what’s in my loot: Saints, Lives & Illuminations, More Saints, Lives and Illuminations both by Ruth Sanderson, The Holy Twins, Benedict and Scholastica by Kathleen Norris, illustrated by Tomie dePaola, Brother Wolf, Sister Sparrow Stories About Saints and Animals by Eric Kimmel, Saints and Angels by Claire Llewellyn, and Ablaze, Stories of Daring Teen Saints by Colleen Swain. I probably went overboard considering Ryan is only three, but I just couldn’t help myself!

-          Go grab some more books. A lot of times I forget to just request books I know are winners and end up checking out duds so I stick with Mo Willems books and Amelia Bedelia books.

-          Hear a girl cry for her mom, get Conor. He had swiped her purple sparkle sunglasses. Fortunately, he gave them back and apologized!  

-          Elise is stirring, round the boys up.

-          Realize it would be better to nurse Elise now. Read the boys a book while nursing Elise. My shirt keeps blocking her way and she fusses. Conor loses interest and starts scaling the ledge behind the window seat we were reading at. He gets all the way up and is just standing there in his penguin costume looking at me defiantly while I’m trying to nurse Elise and read. Grrrr. But he’s in a penguin costume! He doesn’t know that it really is a good self defense. I get up, secure Elise in the sling and grab him from the ledge.

-          We make our way to the check out. Find my library card in record time.

-          The boys help for a bit and then try to run off. I chase after them, we regroup. Finish checking the books out, put them in the bag and Ryan makes his way toward the door. Conor goes the other way.

-          I grab Conor’s arm, he just goes limp and lays down on the floor. (Remember to imagine all of this with him still dressed as a penguin!)

-          Look up at the info desk. All the librarians are laughing and smiling at this sight.

-          I have Elise on my chest, a bag of 15 books plus a diaper bag on my arm, and I’m trying to lift 99% percentile Conor up off the floor by one arm without dislocating his shoulder. I crouch down to try to be able to “lift with my knees!” I struggle. I really need to start to work out. A lady walks through the door and asks, “Oh can I help you? How about I take your bags so you can stand up?” Thank you, kind stranger! I pick Conor up, get the bags back on my arm and we make it out to the car with Conor sliding farther down out of my scrawny arms little by little.

-          Buckle everyone in. Notice Conor already starting to drift off to the land of the day-ruining car nap.

-          Animal crackers for everyone! Anything to keep you awake! Distribute animal crackers to my penguins. Laugh.

-          Drive home. Check mail. Notice my new fertility monitor has arrived! Yay! (Kind of …)

-          Conor fell asleep in spite of my efforts. Throw up a prayer and start unloading. Conor first! Car to bed transfer was a success. Then unbuckle Ryan and gather all of the bags in the car. Fit them on my arm and then take out Elise in her car seat.

-          Get inside. Feel happy that I had straightened up before we left. Ryan requests to no longer be a penguin and we take his costume off. Change Elise’s long-awaited explosion. Ryan goes to the bathroom. Help him finish his business.

-          Lunchtime! I could heat up chicken and spaghetti from last night, but we don’t have a microwave so that would involve getting a pot dirty so cheese, crackers and salami it is! I think about cutting an apple, but Elise wants to nurse. So let's think about this: at point my kids have had a whole lot of Cheerios, milk, muffins, Skittles, animal crackers, actual crackers, cheese and now a processed meat recently listed as a carcinogen. A++++ over here!)

-          Sit down with Ryan to eat lunch. It’s nice to just talk with him. We remember halfway through to pray and so we do.

-          Lunch is over. Stealthily snap a photo of Conor because he is a thumb-sucking penguin.

-          Read the Cat in the Hat is Back to Ryan and then put him down for a nap.

-          Elise needs yet another dirty diaper change.

-          Then she is laying her head quietly on my shoulder as I walk around putting lunch away and straightening up. Soon she is out and synchronized nap time begins.

And that was the day until 1:30pm. 

(Also, I have idea where my yarn went! My bag is empty and the boys are playing innocent. Send up a prayer?)

A is for Atrium!

Today was a very special day that has been wished after for a long time by our three year old. The first day of Atrium. All of his older friends have gone, so we would always tell Ryan, "Someday! When you're three!" As a result, Ryan would sometimes blurt out very quickly after telling someone his age, "ICANGOTOATRIUMWHENI'MTHREE!" thus confusing most people because who knows what Atrium is and who understands a three-year-old speedtalking?

This morning I asked Ryan what he thought he was going to learn, and he matter-of-factly declared, "I'm going to learn about Jesus so I can behave." Well, there is a lot more to it, but I'm excited for you to learn about the Shepherd of Shepherds in your own way, Ryan. 

He kept telling me about how he was going to walk there ALL BY HIMSELF. I countered with the fact that I had the important paperwork that the catechist needed so he couldn't skip out on me even if he were three whole years old. 

Paperwork! I was laughing at myself today as I fretted, "Okay Katrina, you have to remember to turn his paper in. You're a mom!" There is just something about having to turn paperwork in for a sort of education even if it is just an emergency contact/allergy form for a once a week thing.

Today's session was only thirty minutes long so after a smooth drop-off, Conor, Elise and I played on the playground ... well let's be honest, Elise slept ... and I kept checking my phone for the time. Each time only two minutes had passed from the previous nervous check, but I didn't want to be late picking Ryan up. And so I was a minute early waiting outside the door kept company by cute shoes lining the hallway walls. Ryan was the first one out, put his shoes on and promptly went back to the playground. The other children came out with folders, but the catechist told me that Ryan wanted to leave his in the atrium. Later I asked Ryan about his folder, and he plainly told me, "I didn't want to bring my folder home because I didn't want it to get lost." I can take that as either an unsolicited and honest statement about my housekeeping or a pleasant and sweet reminder that right now the biggest decision my oldest has to make is the place of residence for his folder. What a stage in life!

Julia Donaldson Fan Club #StreamTeam

I have finally found the pot of gold - a movie that Conor follows the whole time. I hope that doesn't sound too horrible that I'm finding this find monumental rather than writing about a book, but as I tell Chris, screen time really helps me out especially since I started working from home. You see, neither of our boys have been great nappers, or really sleepers, ever. Thus, I use Netflix to stretch out my supposed-to-be-productive time. They get to watch their one TV show (or when I'm really struggling to tread water, more than one) for the day after their nap. It works for Ryan, but half of the time Conor bids his daily attempted babysitter adieu and ends up in my lap while I'm finishing up on the computer. Until now all thanks to Julia Donaldson's books being made into shorts (and Oscar-nominated shorts at that!) Room on the Broom just has magical powers, as do the The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child. I believe the key is that the dialogue is kept to a minimum so there is more visually to pay attention to and the stop motion animation is interesting and more lifelike to him. If you have a toddler, do they love Room on the Broom as much as mine does? 

I am part of the Netflix #StreamTeam so I will be writing one post a month about movies and shows that have made me happy to have in our family queue. To be totally forthcoming, I have been compensated with a streaming device and a one year streaming subscription to Netflix, but this is a service that I have used at minimum four times a week for the past four years (and at many points in the timeline, everyday) so you can say that I am definitely excited to be partnering with them. Woohoo!