Typing One Handed

Parenting is a game where only the kids know the rules.

May I Offer You Some Plastic Peas? December 29, 2009

Filed under: Cooking,holidays,kids — Kelly Jo @ 2:00 pm
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Now that my oldest is two, and old enough to be aware of who Santa is and what he does, I realized this year that Christmas really is for the kids.  In years past I have always put together my list and waited anxiously to see what Santa (Mom and Dad) would bring me.  Except the year I looked in Mom and Dad’s closet and knew everything I was getting.  Best. Christmas. Ever.

This year was different though.  As my husband and I were putting together the kitchen that Grandpa and Grandma Santa had gotten Zoey, I realized that I was more excited to see Zoey’s reaction to her new kitchen than I was to see my own gifts.  Does this mean parenthood has made me less selfish? That can’t be right.  Anyway…

The kitchen was the biggest hit of Christmas.  Bigger than Uncle Tyler’s smoker, Uncle Brett’s iPod, or Mommy’s new Keurig (which, obviously, was a close second).  It was such a big hit, in fact, that she didn’t want to continue opening presents, she was too busy playing with her new kitchen.  She finally finished opening her presents around three that afternoon.  And I opened most of them for her.

It’s really cool when your two-year old has her own kitchen.  And I’m not at all jealous that her kitchen is nicer than mine.  Really.  In her kitchen with (plastic) stainless steel appliances, Zoey has cooked for us many fine dishes, such as (plastic) roast chicken, (plastic) corn on the cob, (plastic) pink carrots, and (rubber) fried eggs.  She has also tempted our taste buds with some imaginary culinary treats, such as microwave popcorn from an empty cardboard box, coconut milk from a can that can’t be opened, and apple juice from a sealed carton which Zoey insists you drink from a teacup with a spoon.

Occasionally she lets us cook with her.  “Mommy, do want to cook?”  “Daddy, do want to cook?”  (This isn’t a typo, she doesn’t say the word “you”.)  But mostly she is busy working by herself.  She spends so much time in her kitchen that I am tempted to give her real ingredients and see what she comes up with.  If I hated myself even a little and hadn’t had the carpets shampooed just last month, I might actually do it.

In the meantime I am enjoying watching her face light up as she serves me her latest concoction.  Little smokies with oregano and cinnamon?  Yes, please!

I am also considering re-wrapping the unnoticed presents.  Maybe her birthday won’t cost too much next year.


Lying as an Artform December 16, 2009

Filed under: holidays,kids — Kelly Jo @ 11:37 am

I have a little problem.  It’s not exactly a a bad problem, the only person it adversely effects is me.

I am a terrible liar.

I used to think I was so smart and getting away with so much.  I know now that pretty much everyone can read me like a book.

“Do you like my new hair cut Kelly?” ” Um, yeah, uh, it looks, uh, like, um, really good.” Convincing, I know.

Normally I just deal with it- I tell the truth.  Or I don’t comment on your new haircut.  (Which probably half the time I don’t notice anyway.  So if I didn’t comment on your new haircut you have at least a 50/50 chance I just didn’t notice- which is also probably kind of offensive, so nevermind.)  The problem is that at Christmas you kind of have to lie when you have little kids.  Oh you didn’t get the memo?  Santa is fiction, don’t tell the kids.

Truth be told, I don’t really care whether or not my kids believe in Santa.  However, I do care a great deal about what people I hardly know think of me, so I don’t want the other daycare moms to hate me for letting my kids ruin their kids’ Christmas.  Because of this, we go ahead and have a lot of talk about good ol’ St. Nick around here.

This year isn’t too bad.  I asked Zoey what she wants Santa to bring her and she said “Cupcakes!”  Cool.  Santa/mommy can easily pull that off, and the legend of Santa remains.  I asked her if she knows what Maya wants, and she tells me Maya wants a blue present.  Homemade blue burp cloth (singular), done.  Get busy little elves.

At what age though, will she be asking Santa for something I can’t afford, like a 60″ HDTV, or something I don’t want her to have, like a Red Rider BB gun? (Nice.)  Bad example, I would be proud if she asked for that.  Lets go with anything Hannah Montana.  That girl drives me nuts!  And even worse, what if she asks for both?  How on earth will I be able to spin a good  lie as to why Santa didn’t bring her these things?  If I could type a response, it would be easy.

“Oh Zoey, since we have a gas fireplace we don’t have a chimney.  Santa has to take a special route because of that, and he can’t get that big a package in through the way he comes.  Is there something a little smaller you’d like instead?”  (I know, that was good.  You should totally use that.)

However, my spoken response would sound something like this.  “Oh Zoey.  You see, well, what I’m trying to say, um, chimney, uh… too fat.  No.  Well, OK.”  By the way, I WILL be blushing furiously during this response.  And then I will have to see my child’s heartbroken face when she ends up with a mere plate of cupcakes.

It was so much easier when this was how she felt about Santa (Christmas '08).

So what do you do when lying is not an option?  I guess I will start by apologizing that my kids ruined your kids’ Christmas.  I hope the daycare moms are reading this.  (I had to apologize to a daycare mom last year when at the Christmas party her son said “Mommy, can I play with my new toy before Zoey starts chewing on it?”)

Or I suppose I could put my selfishness aside and get her the Hannah Montana at the sake of my remaining sanity.  I could also stop spending money so frivolously on things like the mortgage and groceries so that she may have these important gifts.

I guess the best option would just be to start practicing now.  I guess that means that my New Year’s resolution will be to lie more.

By the way, I LOVE your new haircut!


Wish List (Heavy on the Wish) December 14, 2009

Filed under: holidays — Kelly Jo @ 8:52 am

Remember when I mentioned in an earlier post that I love Christmas presents?  I’m sure that is all you can think about, seeing as people have been pounding down my door asking what they should get me.  Or was that a dream?  To a sleep deprived mom, there is a fine line between fact and fiction.

Anyhow, in case I wasn’t dreaming, here is a little list I’ve put together to aid in your holiday preparations:

1. A full night of sleep.  Eight hours of shut-eye, no interruptions.  That means no middle of the night feedings, no potty emergencies, no one under 4 feet tall climbing into my bed, and certainly no Little Bear at 2 AM.  Just me and my handsome husband getting into bed at 11:30 after watching the news, and waking up at 7:30 to this:

Now this says "Good morning!"

Now this says "good morning"

2. The Washington State University Cougars win the Rose Bowl.  I don’t care that we were 1-11, I don’t care that the Oregon Ducks have already claimed the Pac-10 spot in the 2010 Rose Bowl.  I want the Cougars to go, win, and thank me that I never stopped believing in them.  (If you can’t wish for a miracle at Christmas, when can you?)

3. Lottery tickets.  Lots and lots of lottery tickets.  At least one jackpot winner.  Go make it happen.

4. To be back in marathon shape without actually training.  Or cute work-out clothes to wear while I train.  Either/or.

5. An extra room in my house that I can use just for toy storage and playtime.  If adding a room to my home seems like a big task (especially in such a busy season) you could just go ahead and buy me a bigger house.

Something like this should do.

I think that about wraps up my list.  If those seem like lofty requests, you could just keep reading, that would make me happier than you can imagine.  If you have something you are dying to hear my opinion on, let me know.  I have lots of outrageous opinions on many topics, and would be honored to share those with you (as long as you remember that I am right).

So now that you know what I’m wishing for, I would LOVE to hear what you’re hoping St. Nick will throw down your chimney!


If I Could… December 4, 2009

Filed under: holidays,Writer's Workshop — Kelly Jo @ 10:48 am

One thing I have enjoyed since switching over to my shiny, new, grown up blog is the ease of checking out other blogs.  I have spent many hours holding Baby Maya in my left arm while alternating my right hand back and forth between the mouse and keyboard, checking out all kinds of new blogs.  One blog I came across about five minutes ago is called Mama’s Losin’ It.

My first thought when looking at the title is- Hey, I can relate!!!  But in reading her blog I not only found myself  laughing and enjoying her posts, but I also came up with today’s inspiration.

Every Wednesday she hosts a writer’s workshop where she posts topics for bloggers to choose from, and encourages you to choose one topic and blog about it.  So for today’s blog I present to you my Writer’s Workshop Post:

Describe how you would celebrate the holidays if it was totally up to you and money was not a factor.

This is a good topic for me to write about right now.  And I would like to start by saying that I LOVE PRESENTS.  In fact, I love them so much that if you want to give me a present I can promise you that I will happily accept it, as long as it is something that you have carefully chosen from my detailed Christmas list.

That said, I am one of those dorks that truly believes it is better to give than receive.  There is nothing I love more at Christmastime than having so many presents stuffed under my tree for all of my loved ones that they are spilling out all over into the living room.  I love to see the look on someone’s face when they unwrap a present that they truly love.  I love to see the joy on my daughter’s face as she and daddy play with her new toy and have so much fun together.

I have been so lucky the past few Christmases that this has been a reality.  However, circumstances are different this Christmas.  I had Maya in October, and she came right on time.  She did try to come early however, so early that I was placed on bed rest about a month and a half before my due date.  As my maternity leave is unpaid, this really made things tight. My husband and I crunched numbers and decided we have enough in savings to make it work, so I could still take my full maternity leave.  Then the bomb dropped.

My husband lost his job one month after Maya was born.  Although he has some good prospects and is collecting unemployment, in this economy it is hard to know just when he will be working again.  Let alone what kind of position he will be able to get with so much fierce competition out there.  So, of course, the most rational way to be cautious about our expenses is scale back on Christmas.

Suffice it to say, this topic is easily answered.  If it were totally up to me (and money was not a factor), I would have to buy a bigger house to fit all of the presents I would be giving people.

I would start by purchasing every item on my sister’s baby registry, so that my niece will have everything she could need and want when she arrives in January.

I would buy my mom a new stove, and probably the other kitchen appliances to match.  Then I would make sure my dad had top of the line cookware so he could prepare an amazing prime rib in his new kitchen (this Christmas dinner could be his gift to me).

I would have every pointless plastic object that Zoey doesn’t need, but oh-so-badly wants.  Plastic computers, plastic musical instruments, and maybe even a plastic pony to “ride” around the house.

Maya would have a brand new Gap Baby and Gymboree  wardrobe, instead of her sister’s hand-me-downs.

And most importantly, I would have the perfect gift for my husband.  I don’t know what that gift would be.  Even with all of the money in the world, he wouldn’t ask for much.  So I would have a gift for him that lets him know how happy he makes me, what a wonderful father he is, and how honored I am to be his wife.

I would finish the day by watching It’s a Wonderful Life by the fire, with my husband and my two beautiful girls by my side.  The best part of Christmas is enjoying the day with the people you love the most. And that is something we will do.  Because for the most important things, money is never a factor.