June 02, 2014

I moved my blog!

I moved! If anyone is looking for new posts on this blog, I have moved!…over two months ago. I'm at http://www.canigetanotherbottleofwhine.com. Same address, but without the blogspot. Print Friendly and PDF

June 02, 2013

Did She Steal That Kid?

So my weekend was crazy because Steve took the boys up to Wisconsin to go fishing with his dad and I was left with Autumn. Sometimes I forget how much she and the boys play together, until they’re separated and she wants to play with me all day.

We played and we partied. We ate frozen yogurt and/or gelato three times, Autumn watched three movies, we went out to eat twice, we went to the mall twice in addition to five other stores, and we cleaned all three of our toilets.

We were able to fit all that in because we skipped church. I was planning to go, but then Autumn woke up late (because we were up past midnight partying) and I still hadn’t showered by then and I had to make homemade waffles, so we just couldn’t go.

While we were on our second trip to Target for the weekend, Autumn threw a tantrum. This was the first time I can remember any of my kids throwing a tantrum in a store. I’m sure it’s happened before, but it’s been so long, like five years, that I just can’t remember. Now, my boys just chase each other around our cart until they catch the other and tackle him to the ground, usually within arms-length of an elderly person leaning on a walker.

So you know when your kid is having a tantrum and everybody looks at you wondering if you stole the kid and the poor child is just trying to fight off this psycho serial killer? Well the tantrum situation is taken up a notch when your child looks absolutely nothing like you; I’m Caucasian, Autumn’s Asian.

I thought, How can I get this girl to calm down? People are gonna think I stole her. (I could see them looking at me in my peripheral vision.) I started pulling out the threats. “Do you want me to put back this Hello Kitty toothpaste? Hmm?” and “You want to look at the toys, right? We’re not gonna look at the toys if you keep screaming like that.” She calmed down for a few minutes then we approached another aisle and she began grabbing things off the shelves. I pulled her arms in and she screeched loudly. The threats worked that time.

We went to the toy section. She picked up My Little Pony, “Can we get this?” “No, we’re not buying any toys today.” I said. She picked up a Cinderella doll, “Can we get this?” No, we’re not buying any toys today.” This went on for at least 15 toys in four aisles.

Can I just say something on the side here? I was rather disappointed, albeit not surprised, that I did not find one single Asian baby doll while walking through the aisles. I may have missed a Mulan Princess thrown in for good measure, but if it was there, I never saw it. They had white babies with every color hair, black babies and Latino babies. But no Asian babies. Just sayin’, Target. Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now.

So after we looked at the dolls we went to the Skylanders section. Skylanders is a video game rated age 10+ for cartoon violence, but my kids are into it. According to Steve, the iPad version is more like SimCity and contains no violence.

I needed to get a gift for Josiah for his adoption day. He wanted this Skylanders portal-thingy or whatever. So I got that while Autumn looked at the figurines for the game and decided she wanted to get one. These adorably violent collectibles cost $10-15 each; they’re like jacked-up Beanie Babies.  She wanted it so she could be like her big brothers. For that, or to play with it in her dollhouse or push it around in her stroller. The one she wanted was a blue and white eagle with a giant machine gun that also acts as a vacuum to suck up all its prey. I said no, of course. Tantrum.

While she threw that tantrum, I remembered I needed to get birthday and Father’s Day cards. Crap. You know how long picking out cards takes.  So granddads and Steve, I apologize that you’ll be getting the first things I grabbed. When you get your Get Well Soon or Happy Anniversary card, consider it a sacrifice for the tantrum I was dealing with. We’ll at least sign them and change the words to fit the occasion.

We made it through the checkout line and out of the store and home, only after a trip to Trader Joe’s, for which she was surprisingly cooperative. The lollipop waiting for her at the register may have had something to do with that. Steve arrived home with the boys and the kids were happy to be back together again, playing and fighting. And all was right in the Hall house.

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October 25, 2012

Hot-Diggity, New Blog-Diggity and My First Giveaway

Check out my new McBloggy! If you're reading this via email, you have to come check out my new digs (Mom, that means click this link to my blog, so you can see it because I been pimpin' my crib and it's lookin' flyyyyyy.).

And I did it all by myself thanks to Desirae at Sommerfugl Design who asked me to test and review her Blogger Design eCourse.

Absolutely adorable.  Can I get an Amen?
Have you been toying with the idea of starting a blog? Have you been looking at your current blog, thinking it looks uglier than a tied-up, hissing, Canadian Hairless? Are you a moron with the mouse, but really want to take your blog from suckin' to rockin'?

Well, now's your opportunity to change all that!

Enter to win a Blogger Design eCourse that takes you step-by-step through the process of designing your own blog. 

One lucky follower will WIN a spot in the Sommerfugl Design eCourse (a $25 value)!  Just enter the giveaway below.  The eCourse is November 15th, so mark your calendars and enter away (should you enroll in her eCourse directly, then win the giveaway, Desirae will refund your money)!

Off the top of my head, here are a couple benefits of designing your own blog
  • You own your design.  It belongs to you, nobody else.  You get the credit...or...get laughed at for your creation.
  • I learned a lot of things (see "what is taught" below) that I would never know if someone else designed my blog.
  • I learned a lot about html.  I can now make future changes (with Desirae's included eBook close by) when I get sick of my new site.
  • I get to design it myself.  I majored in Design in college.  Okay, it was one design class...Interior Design, but I got an A...(pause for effect)...so, of course I want to use those same skills I used to create that sleek and modern man-cave to produce something that totally represents me on my blog.  And I think I did that: feminine and simple (wait...), with a focus on my writing (I decided against the designs that represented me as someone who rarely showers and lives in a pig-sty, no matter how accurate they might be). 

When is the eCourse: The first course will start November 15th, with other courses to follow (you can sign up for December 15th as well).

Price: $25 (unless you're the lucky winner!  Then it's free.)

Length: There will be a number of lessons over a two-week period. You'll have access to all lessons and personal help from Desirae for one month.

Size of Class: Limited to 30 people.

What’s included: One month access to the lesson site, an eBook with the general lessons for future reference, free blogger templates, resource lists, one-on-one help from Desirae, peer feedback on your design, and video tutorials.

What is taught: 
  • The basics of coding for your blog (CSS and HTML).
  • How to design a great looking header image and blog button.
  • Fonts: How to install them on your blog, and use them in your designs.
  • Backgrounds: How to add them, and what works best.
  • The blogger elements, and how to customize them.

  • The Navigation Bar: how to customize it and how to create drop-down menus.

  • How to add social media buttons.

  • Adding additional widget areas to your blog.

  • The little extras: post signatures, post dividers and more.

  • How to install your new blog design.

Want to ensure you have a spot in the November 15th class? You can purchase your place in the Desirae's Design Shoppe by clicking here. The December class is also currently on sale.

Now, it's time to enter to win!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway Print Friendly and PDF

September 20, 2012

Where Disobedience Really Shines. Or, A Six-Month Update

After the joy of embarrassing my husband with last week's post, I decided to settle down and write a six month update since we adopted Autumn. I really thought the five month update would be the last, but BAM! Autumn started speaking English. Like overnight. She's not speaking in full sentences, but is putting together two to three words at a time. So, I figured while I'm sharing that, I'll share some other tidbits.

Howdy Folks!

As I've probably mentioned before, Autumn is pretty social. She's living in a house with three introverts and an ambivert (it's a real term), so all of this talking to other people stuff is taking us out of our comfort zones – which is good...I guess. She regularly greets people we pass anywhere. We were at McDonald's last week and the kids were playing in the Playplace. I couldn't find Autumn, so, being the good worrywart concerned parent, I started walking around looking for her. Oh me of little faith. I found her at a table under the Playplace sitting down with a family, dining on their french fries and ketchup.

As also mentioned before, she's very active. I'm pretty sure her future entails one of the following careers: professional skydiver, missionary in the Middle East, Navy Seal, or human cannonball. Here's just a little taste of life with Autumn: I heard her messing around with the TV, so I went to see what she was doing. She had turned the TV off via the wall switch, which we've told her not to do, something like, 2,178 times. I reminded her not to turn off the wall switch and turned it back on. She picked up a DVD, which she knew she wasn't supposed to touch. I reminded her and took it away. She grabbed another DVD and before I could take it, she licked it, slammed it on the table, went behind me, wiggled her fingers in my butt crack then took off running before I could grab her. She does stuff like this at least 186 times a day.

And me being behind a locked door is unacceptable.  No matter whether I'm showering or takin' care of business.  She wants to be. with. me.  So, if I lock her out, that translates into a directive.  Locked Door Directive:  “Autumn, please go into Mama's drawers and break, ransack, destroy, and blow up all of her things. Thank you.”  And she does.

She's getting better with the potty “training”. She's been letting me know when she needs to go more often. She no longer flings her diaper across the bedroom at night. Now, she simply removes the flaps of her diaper, pulls the diaper down, pees all over her bed like a fire hose, pulls the diaper back up, then repositions the flaps. I know this because she wakes up in the middle of the night every night, staggering into my room, with her diaper hanging low on her hips like a loin cloth. I stagger into her room and change her, then take her back to bed, check the sheets for wetness and splash my hand in a puddle of pee. That usually wakes me up.

One of many surprising blessings is how often Autumn says thank you. She says it all the time, like every time I hand her anything. “Thank you, Mama.” Hearing those three little words in that precious voice just fills something inside me that's been empty for a while. It's like a little message to me from God, saying, I know this parenting thing is hard; but I'm in it with you.  I so need that some days.

The kids started gymnastics a few weeks ago. This is where my children's disobedience really shines. There are three separate groups of kids, but all of my kids are in the same group. It's just plain magical how that worked out. So, here's what I witness, when I'm not hiding in the bathroom pretending they're not mine.
  • Josiah beating Autumn over the head with a carpet square.
  • Autumn running to the window to wave hello to me every three minutes.
  • Sheehan dragging Autumn like a cavewoman back to her carpet square every time she runs over to say hello to me.
  • Josiah trying to use the plastic ring meant for standing in, as a hula-hoop.
  • The teacher tells Autumn to sit. Autumn bounces on the trampoline. The teacher says jump. Autumn sits. The teacher says, do a somersault. Autumn runs off, looking over her shoulder, laughing and singing, “nanny-nanny-boo-boo”.

I was talking with a woman at gymnastics and she asked how things were going. And I told her it's challenging and the transition after an adoption can take six months to a year to get through. She said, “Oh, every mom has a transition like that.” I thought, Wow. I didn't know there were so many six-month old infants running around climbing on toilets and breaking into locked medicine cabinets, then sticking their hand in your butt and saying “nanny-nanny-boo-boo”.  I'm so clueless.

We started homeschooling at the end of August.


Here's how Day 1 went.

Day 1 - My Plan: Study the Arctic with the boys while Autumn plays quietly in the basement. (don't laugh)

What Actually Happened:
  • Sheehan made a spy notebook for his stuffed harp seal.
  • Josiah drew a giant hockey rink on butcher paper for his hockey figures.
  • I studied books of Arctic whales with Autumn as she smacked my arm (hard) every three seconds because she thought I wasn't paying attention (which I wasn't).

End of day: Josiah prayed, “God, thank you for homeschool.”

Day 2: We did everything I planned.

End of day: Both boys said, “We don't like homeschool.”

Needless to say, I've made some adjustments and compromises to our homeschool plan.

Slacker parents letting their three-year old go too high on the spiderweb.

We were riding in the car the other day and Autumn was singing a song repetitively and loudly. Sheehan shouted out, “She's really pissing me off!”

Oh crap. I thought. Did he just say...? Steve's gonna kill me. I swear I've only said it once...maybe twice...I think. I quickly assured him that the correct pronunciation was “Ticking. She's ticking me off.” I explained how “pissing me off” probably wouldn't go over well in Sunday school.

Josiah piped up, “Well, why do you say it, Mama?”

“I've said it twice, Josiah. And really it's not about the word, but what's in your heart. When Mama says that, I've got some anger in my heart and probably some discontent.” (Conviction pimp slapping me across the face) “I guess I should probably pray when that happens.”

“Yeah, that's a good idea.” Sheehan said.

Which ties into how well I'm doing with that whole not exasperating your children thing. On multiple occasions I've caught myself screaming, “Stop yelling!” And I found myself saying, “Stop talking (garble, garble) with food in your (garble) mouth,” and then accidentally shot two half chewed Raisinets across the table.

We took the kids on a camping trip...to the backyard. We agreed to test the waters before committing to anything bigger. Good thing. Autumn ended up on the air mattress which left me in her Teletubbies sleeping bag and Sheehan said he couldn't handle it and went inside to his own bed.

The weird thing was that our neighbors, the ones we never talk to (Ha!  Like we ever talk to any of our neighbors; we're introverts), also camped out in their backyard the same night. They had their tent up a day ahead of us. And on top of that, the weekend before, they had a yard sale on a Thursday and ours was on Friday. Of course you know what they're thinking: Those jerky neighbors that never talk to us are copycats! Well, the following weekend they bought a fire pit. But, we already have one of those and had been smoking up the neighborhood with it for two years, so mnaahh.

Well, that about sums it up.  Oh, in case you missed it, I joined Twitter (@KateWhineHall is my handle. Is it called a “handle”? Or is that just for a CB?) Don't miss all the exclusive, never before seen on my blog or Facebook page material...maybe. For example, “Modern Art = I could do that + Yeah, but you didn't” - Craig Damrauer. See the great stuff you're missing! Actually, I think that's the only thing you're missing. I'm just not pithy. I mean look at how stinking long this post is!

Don't forget to leave some love in the comments.

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