Saturday, February 26, 2011

Get back in your bubble!

I admit it...I am horrible at video games. Not any specific video game, but ALL games.

It started as a child. Our family had gotten the original Nintendo, and even though the only buttons to push were Up/Down/Left/Right and A and B, I could not do it. I could never go to different worlds or be able to do fancy tricks. I had this secret through high school and college, never needing to play video games...until now.

When Greg and I started dating, he was an XBox player. I understood nothing. No gaming lingo, no games, no button pushing...and had no desire to know. This was ok with Greg, because he did try to teach me, but soon he found out how horrible I really was. The birth of video games were of my generation, how can I be bad? I just don't think I can push more than one button at once. I am also one of those spastic players that you see. If I want my person to jump, I make my controller jump two feet in the air. When I'm supposed to be pressing a button continuously, my whole remote control along with my whole body is shaking. It's sort of scary to watch, seeming as though I might hurt someone swinging the controller all around, even though it does no good.

After getting rid of the XBox, we got the Wii system, thinking (fingers crossed) that it really couldn't be that hard for me. It was the orginal A and B and directions. I CAN play the Wii fit games, only because there is no button pushing involved, just swinginng of the remote control. Then, my confidence rose thinking we could actually play using the buttons. We went out and bought Super Mario and have been practicing. Our friends have beat all 10 worlds, I have not beaten the first level.

It's as though I'm trying to re-learn some important function that I learned as a child. But the problem is I never learned to play video games as a child, just sat watched other people play. You can't learn how to play unless actually doing it, not just watching. My sister, Carrie brought back the original Nintendo from my parents house to her house and we blew in the cartridge (like we're supposed to, right?) and played. I died again, and again and again. A hopeless cause.

So, in all this practicing Nolan has wanted to start playing. We told him to press "2" to jump and push the "right arrow" to walk forward. Then, Nolan figured out that you could just press the letter "A" and be put in a protective bubble and not have to actually do anything, just follow Greg's Mario around. Yes! The answer I've needed! Sadly, Nolan has beat more levels than me, every time his bubble gets popped we started yelling,"get back in your bubble!" he just hits the "A" again and he is safe from all koopa troopa.

I am shamed that my almost 4 year old can get further in Super Mario than his 27 year old mother. I AM better than Nolan at MarioKart, but I do have the leg-up of practicing real-life driving for 11 years and he has no idea about steering wheels and driving.

I do love it that Nolan tries to participate with us. It's great to see us as a family doing something fun. Every time he asks me to play I am sad to say that he has to wait until dad gets home.

Maybe it's not so bad that I'm horrible at video games, not the end of the world. I will continue to play, maybe one day be good enough to beat the first level. But for the moment I classify myself as a non-gamer and proud of it :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Planes, Trains and Dinosaurs?

Who ever sits around and thinks of kid show ideas must be absolutely crazy or amazingly brilliant.

I don't know if it's a boy thing, but Nolan loves trains, an obsession where we go online and go through the list of all the trains from the show. He's working towards collecting all of them, there must be hundreds of dollars of trains and tracks. Back to the point...he has also started getting in to dinosaurs. I guess somebody got the memo that boys like trains AND dinosaurs, so the birth of "Dinosaur Train" came about on PBS.

If you haven't seen it, the premise is talking dinosaurs that ride a time-travelling train to different eras (cretacious, triassic, jurassic) to meet different dinosaurs. I time-travelling train?? It wasn't enough to have talking dinosaurs? Well, Nolan loves the show, and I have to give it is very educational. My only complaint is that instead of the dinosaur names that I had learned in elementary school, they have changed them, but the dinosaur looks the same. For example, instead of brontosaurus it is now brachiosaurus or instead of pterydactl it is now pteranadon. Not a big deal, but still it bugs me.

Then, I got to thinking of the ridiculous shows that I watched as a kid. Did anyone else watch Gummi Bears? They were fantastic!!! A family of bears who lived in a hollowed out tree that would drink gummi juice which gave them the ability to bounce around uncontrollably. Of course there was a horrible bad guy that would try and steal their juice. Silly? YES! Entertaining and fun on Saturday morning? Of course!

How about Darkwing Duck? A crime fighting duck with a horrible lisp and wore way too much purple. I remember watching that show every Saturday morning, have even considered buying a season to introduce Nolan and Mallory to it.

The thing that these shows all have in common is some semblence of a plot...fight bad someone...learn the moral of the story. Now, when ever I turn it to Nickelodeon there is Spongebob, and call me old, but I just don't get it. Or pretty much all the shows on Cartoon Network are all sort of mind numbing.

After thinking about all the shows we do watch, maybe that should be a reminder to turn off the TV once in a while and go play outside and make up our own show...maybe about dinosaurs and ducks and bouncing bears.

***Disclaimer: The spelling of dinosaurs might be right or wrong, tried the best I can from memory :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

To pee or not to pee

That is the question.

It has been amazing for Nolan to figure out how to use the restroom, but the following scenario happens atlease 5 times a day.

Scenario: Nolan is engrossed with blocks/trains/reading/tv and I ask him, "do you need to go potty?" No is always his response. Then, like lightning struck him, he shoots up and starts edging to the bathroom steps (babys steps of course). I ask him again if he needs to use the is still his response. Then, slowly his knees touch and he starts swaying side to side and wiggling around. Yet again, "do you need to go potty?" "NO!" I always think his thoughts might be, "woman, stop asking me if I need to use the restroom! That question is getting old!" Then, suddenly out of nowhere he shoots for the bathroom door screaming," I got to go potty, I got to go POTTY, I GOT TO GO POTTY!" He starts banging on the door (because of those child proof knobs) and is begging to get in. All I can do is open the door for him and die laughing.

You would think after this multiple times a day he would figure it out. You don't have to wait until you are about to burst. But I have found through many years of people watching that this "I'm holding it until the last moment possible" syndrome does not just plague 3 year olds, it plagues adults as well.

For example, P.C. (pre-children) Greg and I would go out (crazy, right?) to the Chicken and play 42 (a dominoes game). I would sit there and watch Greg play with three other guys while they were chugging back beers. If you've never seen anyone play 42, they never want to leave their hand, thinking they always have to finish before leaving the table. So, this being the case, I would watch the 42 players for the symptoms of "I'm holding it until the last possible moment" syndrome. Their eyes would sort of glaze over, they would lean forward, and then when that method failed, they would start playing dominoes as fast as possible for fear of having to leave their hand in the middle of a game. The energy that they would shoot out of their chair and sprint to the bathroom always amazed me.

So, as much as I ask Nolan that very important question, I guess it is built in to his genes that he has to say no, for fear of missing something spectacular while in the restroom for two minutes. Now all I can do is sit back, be the door opener on request, and get a few laughs a day :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hoarding Tendencies

I am now fascinated with the show "Hoarders" on A&E. It's a crazy concept. Let's go in to people's home who have not thrown anything away in years and let's fix the problem. I've always wanted to go and sift through the stuff. I would rather the house with just the things and not the food or animals. Everytime I see an episode with 100 cats or rotting food laying around, I can almost smell the stench coming through the TV. Thank God that no one has created smell-o-vision yet, because I wouldn't be able to handle.

It would be amazing to see what kinds of mementos people hang on to...every memory attached to that object. My curiousness is probably due to the fact that yes, if I let myself, I could probably be a hoarder. There's that little hoarder voice inside my head saying,"No! Don't throw this piece of paper away, you might need it again" or "Stop! Eventhough you don't eat olives, don't throw me away!"

I think all of us have a little hoarder inside. Do I really need 3 pairs of tennis shoes? YES! One for yardwork, one for running, and one "nice" pair. A little excessive? I say no, because I recently got rid of two pair. Had five, down to three. The only reason I got rid of them was lack of space.

As for Greg, how many hats does he really need? He only has one head. I understand him wanting to represent different teams, but does he really need 5 different Texans hats? I think this might be his hoarding tendency. Every time I suggest about getting rid of some, he looks at me appalled as if I just asked him to sacrifice his first born.

Moving on, it seems that all of these people have vices. Wanting to love cats, not liking to do dishes, keeping tons of food just in case they get hungry or keeping cherished memories through objects.

Mine, you ask? LAUNDRY! I've done the math. I usually am doing some kind of laundry 4 out of the 7 days in a week. I am sorting, washing, folding or putting away clothes more than half of my week. Pathetic, I know. I saw a lady once (on TV of course) who would use her kitchen table as the "clean pile". It was never folded, but atleast it was clean. I have almost considered that method. It's like that mythological creature, the Hydra. Every time you cut off a head, three grow back in its place. That's how laundry is for me, as much as I do, it keeps multiplying wanting to take over house and home and bury me alive.

But, alas, I like having clean clothes and the smell of Tide is one of my favorites. Hopefully you will never see me on Hoarders with laundry piled high to the ceiling. And now I leave you for the day to do my favorite chore....laundry :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Impressive Wingspan

After sitting and watching Toy Story 3 for the billionth time, it got me wondering what makes Buzz Lightyear and Woody heroes? Is it Buzz's impressive wingspan, how his helmet does that swishy sound? Is it Woody's calmness with a snake in his boot, his quick draw of his gun? I think not.

The definition of a hero is a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and nobel qualities. I have to admit that Buzz is pretty brave, and Woody is nobel. But outside of the 3-year old mind, what makes a hero. My definition of a hero is also courageous, brave and nobel; but also does the right thing when it's usually the toughest and puts others before self.

My hero this morning was Greg ( who was quite surprised that his name ended up in the blog URL, but that's what he gets for marrying me) as he was very brave and nobel. I had needed a quick shower for church and stepping in to the shower, apparently a large bug needed to be clean before church as well. I started screaming Greg's name like my life depended on it and he ran in there in 0.5 seconds thinking I was dying. Come to find out it was only a bug, he scooped it up and flushed it. Even though he gave me the "you are crazy and you need to get over your fear of bugs" look, he was still my knight in shining armour.

I would like to think that Greg and I are the kids' heroes. We cannot leap tall buildings, but I can get the house cleaned fairly quickly. We cannot stop a moving locamotive, but Nolan would testify that we do a good impression of Thomas the Train. We cannot fly, but we can throw the kids pretty high! I would hope our actions would show selflessness of putting them first. Feed them first, bathe them first, put them to bed first. And all of this done with a nobel quality (most of the time).

In short, I would guess that you fulfill one of these "hero" qualities to someone somewhere. Whether it be a roommate, neighbor or child, they look up to you in some way. Congratulations, because it is an honor and we don't even have to wear spandex or a cape!

As Buzz would say, "To infinity and beyond!"

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Push Repeat

I have now entered the world of "blogging". Upon Greg's thoughts of this is what stay-at-home moms are supposed to do, I have decided that this venture might not be such a bad idea.

A little background: Greg and I have been married a little over 5 years as of Feb. 2011. We have two children: Nolan (3 1/2) and Mallory (almost 1). We lived in Bryan the beginning of our marriage, moved to Houston for better job opportunities and are now back in Bryan. Greg works at the BEST grocery store ever...HEB! Yes, I am a little prejudice b/c they do sign the paychecks. I love our old house with creaky floors and "old house smell" as my sister describes it.

So, as my title professes, I feel as though my voice is on constant repeat of the same phrases daily, hourly and usually every few minutes. Here are a few of my favorites: "Mallory, stop pulling the cords out of the wall." "Say please", "Do you need to go potty?" "I'm counting to three and we're going to timeout." Yes, some of these are rather negative and tend to get on my nerves after trying to teach manners/bathroom skills/behaviors. I could probably record my voice and just play them over and over to any situation and they would probably work. I could probably even use different tones. The "angry" tone, the "you're going to get in trouble tone" or the "the question mark" tone.

I do have to admit though that saying these things repeatedly to Nolan for over 3 years now have actually gotten positive effects. Now, when I give him something pleasing, he says, "thank you" without being prompted. Granted, it's not everytime, but it's better than nothing.

So, I propose for any one else who might have this same problem to pick a batch of new phrases to use throughout the day to share the love! I think today I might use "you are awesome" or "that's amazing!" Maybe I love you in a different language "Te amo" sounds much more lovey-dovey.

Hopefully this will get me out of the Negative Nancy mind set and start looking at the positive situations instead of the negative

Good luck and "YOU'RE AMAZING!!"