Wednesday, December 28, 2011

And Just Like That, a Month Flies By...

Greetings loyal blog readers. Because at this point, you're the only ones left!

Right before Thanksgiving, time sort of went into hyper-speed. And life? Well, life happened. Some good, some bad:

1. Thanksgiving happened and it was fabulous. If you know me, you know I'm always a fan of food. And family.

2. My sister-in-law had major surgery. The results of the doctors' findings wouldn't come for another week.

3. I had surgery to remove a 10mm kidney stone that had been plaguing me for over 2 years. The recovery was far, far worse than I expected, which I guess isn't hard when you're expecting it'll be a piece of cake. I'll blog more on this later, but thankfully, I'm 100% fine now.

4. Michelle, my sister-in-law, got the results of her surgery. The doctors revealed that she had stage 3a ovarian cancer. Unexpected and scary. (However, prognosis is very good, thank God). Michelle is pretty much my hero at this point. Tough stuff yet she has been incredibly faithful and strong through it all. Follow her journey here: You'll be blessed just through reading).

5. I got the stent removed from the surgery and after a few days, I felt much better. So long stupid kidney stone! Good riddance.

6. I got a notion to do a handmade Christmas this year and started crafting in my spare moments. I apparently forgot I had 4 kids and craziness happening around me.

7. Michelle started her chemo which was ROUGH for the first several days. She's feeling a lot better, thankfully.

8. Christmas happened! It was a wonderful celebration this year.

So yes... There's been a lot going on. Some of it good, some not so good. But even in the rotten stuff, I'm learning to find the good.

And one of the things that I know is good is my family, so I'll be back, writing it all down once again.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a baby biting me on the toe and another clamoring for breakfast.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Card Outtakes 2011 - Part 1

Yes, it's that time of year again! The time where I attempt to wrangle multiple children into a semi-presentable picture that I can send to far-flung relatives and friends in our annual Christmas card.

It's gotten to a point where I think my kids can inherently sense that I'm attempting to catch them with their cuteness in sync.  So they take turns doing things like this:

Quick!  Everyone glower! And look down!

Yeah, no.

Or there's this:


Or, sometimes, they smile fantastically!

In the wrong direction.

But alas!  I sense I'm coming closer to capturing my goal. Or at least, losing the last vestige of my sanity. Because at that point?  I'll be too crazy to care!

Monday, November 28, 2011

We're a Pile of Nuts... and Sloths?

Yesterday, Shaun and I were attempting to discuss the day's plans but kept being drowned out by the din of 3 children expressing their opinions on what to do for the day.  Generally, it's fine for the kids to tell us what they want to do... the first time. And maybe the second. But after the 56th time I heard that my oldest really, REALLY wanted to get this year's tree ornaments and 87 times about how my middle HAD to go to jumping place, I thought my brain might explode. So Shaun lightly asked them to go into the living room for a few minutes so we could talk.

"Why Daddy?"  Someone asked. I don't know who because that question is asked 9345 times a day by each verbal child. (I swear that will be Zoen's first real word).

He teasingly said,

"Because we need to make a decision without hearing from the peanut gallery."

Then he tickled Sayer and said, "Go ahead in the other room, you peanut!"

Sayer looked very serious and said, "I am NOT a peanut!"

Of course, we had to know what he was if not a peanut... so Shaun asked.

Sayer was quick to respond, "I'm a DONUT!"

Definitely my favorite kind of nut, right there.

Oh, and not to be outdone as the catalyst to our laughter, Lex piped up, "AND I'M A FLAPJACK!"

Yes, she's as random as her mother... and anyway, who says FLAPJACK?!

She's the same kid who felt the need to act out the habits of her current animal obsession a few weeks ago at the park. 

She hung from the diagonal bar and stayed very still.

Like... a sloth.

So then I told her it was time to leave and she needed to come up to the steps towards the car.

She listened right away.  Except, instead of walking, she was crawling to me. Ve-r-r-r-r-ry slowly. When questioned, she matter-of-factly stated, "I'm a sloth. We are very slow."

And then, she would periodically drop to the ground to catch a nap. 

Oh, that kid.

They keep me busy... but they keep me laughing, that's a constant.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Falling Into Fall

I love a good cliche. 

I also love a deliciously warm fall afternoon.

The kids were inclined to agree

(She's just sassy. Like her Mama).

He had remarkably good aim.

But the girls didn't seem to mind at all.

I let the kids bury themselves in leaves and I stayed with Z, (who I don't think would have appreciated getting a pile of leaves in the face quite as much as his older siblings seemed to).

Today the weather is 32 degrees and breezy... which kind of makes me feel like this:

Good day.  One that we're anxious to repeat if the weather cooperates.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


You know what I hate more than the scuzzies that get into the drain catch in the sink?


The cold and flu season has barely started and we've been through a wicked bout of croup, a couple of colds, a stomach virus, and now, a nasty double ear infection for S.


Anyway, we've wiped down the house from ceiling to floor and we're hopefully on the mend. 

So, share with me... best cold and flu prevention tips. AND! Best home remedies for when you or your little people are under the weather. 

We're currently taking vitamins, (multi, vitamin D, acidophilus and DHA), eating tons of fresh fruit and veggies, washing hands when we can, playing outside often as my kids will let me push them out the door, and staying away from sugar as much as possible. 

As for when we've gotten sick, we've found that humidifiers are golden, the shower is a lovely anti-croup chamber, (though mildew can flare up, so vent well when done), and honey makes a decent cough calmer.

What'cha got, people?  I'm all about upping my arsenal against the wiley, beastly germs.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Fun

Halloween has been a low-key holiday in the past. But this year, my kids were all about actually doing some sort of trick-or-treating.

After a considerable amount of debate, (and lots of "NO, I do NOT want to be a ladybug/fairy/princess/lion/monster/robot/chicken!"), the kids decided to be:

A barista! (Lexi - 5) She was enticed by being able to match me, (that's what I was too).

She donned the costume, tipped the cup in my direction, and asked if I'd like a pumpkin latte. She's hired.

Caly (3), decided to be a chef. This was an odd pick, namely because the child has professed the desire to be a ladybug since April.  Then, randomly, she wanted to be a fairy.  But she landed on this outfit after I pulled it out of the dress-up box. Score for no money spent!  Also, she was insanely cute, despite blatant refusal to smile for me.

At one point, she got a pack of skittles and grabbed them out of her bag and walked to Shaun, "Daddy! These are for you!"  Cute, right?  Then she walked right back up to the lady handing out the candy and got herself another one, muttering, "And this one's for me!"  The lady didn't notice.  The guy handing out full sized chocolate bars did.  But she smiled disarmingly and said, "I gave the other one to my Mommy! They're her favorite."  I made a (half-hearted) motion (they were peanut butter cups!) to put mine back but he waved us on with a smile. 

She's a stinker. But she scored me some chocolate. Win!

Sayer (2), was a firefighter.  I had intended to put him into the chicken costume his sisters had worn before him, but apparently, with the age of 2 comes an opinion.  Thankfully, he was swayed by the firefighter suit from our dress-up bin and rocked it, even without the helmet after awhile.

He was enthralled by this strange practice and kept saying, "OH!" and showing me EVERY. SINGLE. PIECE of candy he received.  It was cute. Slow-going, but cute.  Today, he's insisted on sleeping with his candy bucket and he snuck it into the car with him earlier.  Thankfully, he still thinks he needs Momma to open them so I don't worry too much about leaving him alone with his stash.

His 3 year old sister is a different story.  (Remember this?)

Zoen was a chicken. Partially because I already had the costume, partially because it's an unbearably cute get-up, and partially because it was toasty warm beneath his furry feathers.  He was charming. Of course.

Here's a group shot!  (Which I'm remarkably a part of!)  The light started to get low, but this picture makes me happy whenever I see it, so here it is :)

It was indeed a happy, happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far

There are members of this family who walk to the beat of their own drums. If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know that I'm certainly not one of them.

(OK, if you've known me for awhile, particularly in high school and college, you're laughing and saying, "um, yeah, RIGHT.")

However, I married someone with a slightly larger penchant for procedural deviance than myself.

Case in point:  When Shaun was just a wee lad in kindergarten, his very sweet kindergarten teacher asked the class to draw a picture of an animal.

Shaun didn't much like the constraints of this particular assignment. 

But he did it anyway.

Sort of.

The teacher received a piece of paper with nothing on it but a giant black circle, completely filled in with black crayon. 

Knowing kindergartners were capable of more than just giant blobs, (and frankly, probably curious as to what the heck this thing was), the teacher asked Shaun to explain himself. 

And explain he did, "It's a black bear. In a cave."


So, of course, one of our children was bound to end up following in her father's footsteps.

Today, Lex and I were working through some phonics stuff on the floor in her room. Not to be left out, Caly clamored for her own book so I set her up with a book of random preschool activities.  The first page she turned to had a maze on it. 

This particular maze had a pirate at the top and various pirate-y things surrounding it, (a ship, a parrot, etc), and a giant treasure chest at the bottom.  I showed Caly how to start at the top and made a vague path through the maze and told her that her job was to find a way down to the treasure.

She bent her head over the book and put her crayon on the pirate, concentrating. I turned back towards Lex, thankful that this would probably keep C busy enough that we could finish our phonics review.

Ten seconds later, C pipes up, "Mama!  I'm done!" 

I glanced over at her book, about to congratulate her on finding the correct path so quickly when I noticed something odd.  Her path started at the pirate...

But then it was a straight, bold line directly down to the treasure.  The maze borders were obviously just a suggestion.

I looked up at Caly and attempted to reexplain the directions, "Uh, kiddo, you have to follow a path down to the treasure... you know, you have to see if there's an open way to go..." I traced my finger on the paper, showing her potential routes through the printed borders.

She stared at me and flatly said, "Momma, the pirate reached the treasure."

I tried again, "But Caly... the edges of the maze are like... walls. You have to go around them..."

She was totally nonplussed, "No. The pirate went through the walls. He got to his treasure. I'm done." And with that, she turned the page.

I applaud the kid's creativity. But she's going to wreck havoc on my sanity, isn't she?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Laughter is the Best Medicine

The kids have been quite sick for the past week but that hasn't stopped them from making me giggle. Sometimes out loud, sometimes behind my hands.

Why is it that they're the funniest when I'm not allowed to laugh because it will encourage them into more mischief?

Yesterday, I set the kids up with lunch at the kitchen table and told them that I was going back to my room to feed the {highly distractable} baby.  I implored them to be good, put Lex in charge of telling me if there was a need for me to address, and told them to eat their food and hang tight.

Not two minutes passed before Lexi came trotting in,


(How can they take a one syllable word and drag it into 11?  How?!)

"What's the matter, Lex?"

She put her hands on her hips and in a very disapproving voice, she said, "Mom. Sayer dumped out his yogurt drink all over the table."

It had been one heck of a week.  I closed my eyes, took 3 deep breaths and instead of freaking out, (clap for me, please), I told Lex to go to the cabinet under my table and get some napkins to help him clean it up.

Rational solution, right?


She shrugged her shoulders and chirped, "Oh!  I don't need to do that!"

"Um, why?"

"Because Sayer is licking it up with his tongue!"  And she trotted back into the kitchen without another word.

Well, I suppose that's another solution.

Later yesterday, I had to take Sayer back to the doctor's office and he capitalized on having Mommy's undivided attention.  Despite being quite sick, he was singing me songs, "Uh oh, oh no, things are kinda tricky!" and "Yo ho, let's GO!"  (Name those kids' shows for 1 million... points!)

Then he was messing with the hood on his shirt and said, "Oh Mama, LOOK! I have big giant ears!"

"You have big giant ears?"

"Yes, I have big giant ears!"  He put his fingers behind them and made them stand out.  I grinned and asked, "Do you have a little tiny nose?"

He very seriously said, "No. I have a big giant nose. And big giant ears."

So I asked, "Do you have a little tiny head?"  I couldn't help it.

And of course, he replied, "NO! I have a big giant head!"  And after a pause, "And I wear big giant hats."

I guess I should stop talking about the kid and his big giant cranium while in his presence. 

But look!  It fills out a fire hat!

Before the plague visited our house, we went to lunch with Shaun's mom and dad.  Caly was looking through pictures on someone's phone as we waited for our food and she suddenly piped up,

"OH! That's my gorgeous face!" and after scrolling through a few more, "Oh there's MORE of my gorgeous face!"

Well, I guess all of my fears about her self-esteem being wounded from being a sandwiched middle child are unfounded.

And finally, I'll leave you with this picture. I think it speaks for itself.

No, he's not really for sale.  Priceless, I say :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Froggy Fun

Not too long ago it was hot enough to bake cookies on the driveway.

(No, we didn't try... but trust me, it was HOT).

Anyway, what better fun than letting the kids run wild with the hose? Of course, they ended up soaked and happy, and then one day... they found a friend.

"MOOOOOM!  WE FOUND A FROOOOOG!"  (Yes, I know he's a toad).

Lexi would not pick the thing up until she was assured that the creature wouldn't pee on her.  (And maybe it would have? But I was dying to see her pick it up... so I told her that the frog/toad probably wouldn't)

Sayer and Caly would run up to Lexi while she held the frog and reach to touch it... then it would move.  And they would shriek, giggle, and run away. 

It was cracking me up. Sayer would look at then turn to me and say, "Mama! The fwog! He's LOOKIN' AT ME!"

The poor toad. Caly and Sayer eventually said they wanted to hold it. Well, sort of.  They SAID they wanted to hold it, but whenever Lex would try to deposit the toad into their hands, they'd fling their hands backwards out of the reach of his toadiness, and the poor creature flopped onto the deck and tried to escape.

I could hear him wishing for a cat or something to come and eat him to put him out of his misery. 

But instead, Lex chased him down over and over.

And then she would shove it towards her sister's face

And C would shriek and cringe and back away.

Mr. Toady provided a good hour of entertainment before they set him free with shouts of, "BE GOOD, MR. FROGGY!" (Lexi)

And "Go see your froggy MAMA!" (Caly)


Um, NO.

Because it's a toad, silly. And EW.

Friday, October 14, 2011

I'm Still Here! Just Check For Me Under the Pile of Children

Miss me? 

You didn't?

Fine, I'll pout.

OK, that's not me, but isn't that the best pouty face ever?

Only temporary, anyway.

Just like my blog absence. 

Things are good around here, just busy.  Let's see... a recap of sorts... Um... Oh! I have a kindergartner! She's as sassy and hilarious and ridiculous as ever. 

We're well under way with our homeschool year and it's going quite well.  Our biggest challenge has been figuring out how to teach the 5 year old while the 3 year old is demanding that she be homeschooled too.  And by homeschooled, she means that I need to pay her undivided attention.  But it's coming along. 

Said 3 year old is coming out of a long phase of being completely impossible.  I'm thankful. She's far more commonly irresistible, which I most certainly prefer. As always, she has loads of personality and exudes it at every opportunity. I'm thankful for her perpetual comedy relief.

Sayer, the resident 2 year old, is one part Mr. Independent Temper Tantrum MUST DO IT HIMSELF and one part utterly adorable snuggle bug. We're learning to balance the two. For now, the first part of him is often diffused easily with a "do you want to help me?" or a chocolate chip. Coping methods, I haz them.

The baby has me firmly wrapped around his little 7 month old finger.  He's quite possibly the happiest baby on the planet. Almost crawling, eating everything he's close to, (including his siblings' appendages), and constantly grinning and squealing.  He's a delight, which probably is why I haven't been around much.  Too busy nomming on his cheeks and letting him climb all over me.

But we're settling into a nice little groove for the fall, so I'm hoping to blog this laundry list of stories and silly things that I have stored. For now? Attempting a good night of sleep. Yeah, fat chance. I am a mother of small children, after all.

Sleep or no sleep, it's so worth it.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Space Cadet

If Shaun isn't home and I have to feed the kids, I generally get them set up and eat later when he gets home. I hang out in the kitchen with them though. But since I'm not usually sitting at the table with them, they tend to go running with their own conversation. 

Lex started talking about who was in my belly and when. Caly, of course, was fascinated.  "We all lived in THERE?" Then Lex talked about how Shaun and I took her and Caly to a baseball game the night before I had Sayer.  "So, Sayer was still in your belly!"

Not to be left out, Caly had her own story to contribute.  Her face got serious and she started, "Mom. When I was in your belly?  You know, when I was a little baby in your belly? Well, when I was in your belly, Daddy took Lexi and Sayer.  He took them to outer space."

Wait, um, what?

I decided to go with it.  "Oh really?  Um, how did they get there?"

"Oh, Mom.  They totally borrowed a space ship."

I was having trouble keeping my face as straight as hers was.  She was totally serious. 

Lex, my literalist, piped up next.  I assumed she'd give Caly a bit of a lesson on the finer points of space travel.  You know, like how we can't just borrow a spaceship and pop through the stratosphere for a spot o' tea.

Not quite. 

"Caaaallllyyy... when you were in Mommy's belly, Sayer totally wasn't born yet."

And that was it. 

Caly, "Oh. Well, then he didn't get to go to space."

And... nothing.

Either Shaun took Lex on one heck of a trip before Caly was born or Lex has an awesome dreamworld.

These kids.  Sheesh.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Car Craziness

Driving in the car with these kids is never a quiet experience. More often than not, there's a little humor mixed in.  Why is it that kids say some of the most hilarious stuff when they're strapped into car seats?  Kind of makes me want to bring the car seats into the house.


Sort of.

Lexi, at 5 years and three quarters, (and don't you forget it), is very big into "teaching" her younger sister. Yesterday, this involved peppering her with random questions. I was actually surprised that Caly(3) was getting most of them correct.  "What makes a rainbow?" "How do plants grow?" "What time of day does the sun come up?" When Caly would get stumped on a question of when Lex didn't really know the answer, she'd ask me.  I'd answer and she'd move to the next.

Then she asked Caly, "Where do babies come from?"

Caly was silent for a minute and I held my breath. I'm not scared of that conversation, but I really didn't want to chat it up about how babies were made while driving 70mph down the interstate with a squealing baby and rambunctious toddler in tow. 

Inevitably, they asked me, "Mama?  Where do babies come from?"


Then Lex saved the day, "OH! I know!  They come from bellies! Of course!"

Of course indeed. I was 2 seconds away from saying, "Let's ask Daddy when we get home!" Shaun can thank me later.

Later, as we drove through my parent's neighborhood, Lexi commented at how all of the houses were made of brick.  Caly agreed, then said,

"Yeah. And that's good. Because, you know, then the Big Bad Wolf can't blow them down."

Forget tornadoes and hurricanes, Big Bad Wolf prevention ranks as number 1 importance.  I think she has a future in national security.

Driving home from places around bedtime usually means that I'm hoping, praying, and trying to get those kids to just STOP. TALKING. FOR. ONE. STINKING. SECOND. AND. GOTOSLEEP.

Because they will talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and keep themselves awake.  It's like a ninja skill.

The car had settled into a relative silence and I peered back into the rear view mirror to see who was asleep.  No one, but hey... oh well.  Soon.

Then Sayer spotted Shaun driving in front of us and exclaimed, "MOMMY!  Dat's Daddy's car! Dat's Daddy!  Let's go TACKLE HIM!"

I said, "OK, um, maybe when we get home? We're driving!" 

Of course, when you're 2, that is so not a problem, "No, Mama!  Let's go tackle him! WIT OUR CAR!"

Yeah, he's totally not allowed to drive.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Who's On First? Er, What?

Sometimes, conversing with my children is a bit like living inside of an Abbott and Costello sketch.

Particularly the 3rd born. At just over 2 years old, he's rather verbal.  Generally, he can make it known precisely what he wants, though on occasion, especially when he's exhausted, he's been known to lapse into mumbling and garbled speech.  (I've only myself to blame for the mumbles). 

The other night, we were snuggling in his bed as he settled for sleep.  I asked him if he wanted me to sing a song.  Yes, believe it or not, my kids actually dig when I sing.

He mumbled something so I asked him to repeat,

"Put some socks on."

Weird, but ok.  "Sayer, you want me to put your socks on?"

"Put some SOCKS on."

"You want me to go get your socks?"


"Uh, ok... can you wait here a second while I go get you some socks?"  The night promised to be a chilly one, so really, why not?



"NO, mama!"

I was a bit baffled.  "Sayer, do you want socks or no socks?"

"Socks on!"  His face was turned into his pillow so I asked him to say it again. 

"Socks or no socks, buddy?"





"Songsong! SONGSONG!"

I had a feeling I was missing something... so I asked again,


He turned his head to look me dead in the eye, "Sing. A. Song!"

Oh.  Um, ok.  "You want me to sing a song?"


What the heck, dude?  Wasn't that where we started this melee?

"Ok, um, so what do you want me to sing a song about?"  (He likes to pick his topics... most notable are trucks, trains and pickles). 

I swear the kid looked at me as if I had just forgotten my own name.  "Mama. Put socks on."

I kid you not. 

Then, it hit me.

"Sayer, do you want me to sing a song about putting your socks on?"

He beamed, "YES!"

And then he rolled over, sighed and started to close his eyes. 

And I sang a song about putting on a pair of socks.

Ah, parenthood.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Caly-Isms: Episode Eleventy Billion

I've decided that my second daughter was born to make me laugh at least twice for every time she completely exasperates me.

It's a survival method. Trust me.

Anyway, here's a few of her latest.

A couple of mornings ago, we had a firetruck visit our little house. (Long story short: malfunctioning CO detector). The firefighters were sweet enough to let the three big kids clamber around on the truck.  (They're now officially in love with fire trucks... and firefighters).

Later, Shaun mentioned that his uncle had posted a picture of Shaun and his cousin on a fire truck from when they were young. Then Shaun said, "Oh, and Michelle was in the picture too, but she's irrelevant."  Caly, who was snuggled up next to me and listening more than I thought she was, piped up,

"Aunt Michelle is NOT an ELEPHANT!"

Indeed she's not!

This past weekend, Lexi started golf lessons through First Tee which leaves the boys here to nap and Caly here to have one on one time with Mommy.  She was messing around with Legos and I decided to finish watching the final episode of the shall-not-be-named teen drama show that I got completely sucked into.  (I know, I KNOW).  She came over and nuzzled up during the final 3 minutes.  The only thing that was left to watch was the final gymnastics meet, full of the fun camera angles and dramatic music so when she asked if she could watch too, I agreed. 

Each time the gymnasts flipped across the screen, Caly would fling her arms and legs in the air and proclaim that her move was just like their move.  "See, Mama? See?  I have cool moves too!"

The show ended with a glowing victory for the main characters and I turned it off.  Caly proceeded to jump on top the ottoman.  I asked what she was up to and she said, "I'm gonna do my own gymnastics show!"

So I started to gather the laundry to put away.  But then I stopped when I heard her start talking.

She flung her hands in the air and said, "I just don't think I can do it! I don't know if I can be good enough!"  Then she tipped her head to what I could only assume was her imaginary coach and said, "Do you believe in me?  You do?!  Then I can do it!"  And she shoved her hands back in the air, jumped and contorted her legs in some weird shape and fell on her stomach.  Immediately, she shot up and puffed her chest out, saying, "I did my move! I knew I could do it if you believed in me!" 


Someone isn't allowed to watch teenage dramas ever with that stellar recall.

(The imitation was uncanny).

We got home from some miscellaneous errand and after I parked on the gravel portion of our driveway, I realized that she didn't have her shoes on so I told her to wait so I could carry her over the rocks.  Except, when I placed her on the paved part, I inadvertently plopped her heel right onto a sharp rock.

Tears ensued. 

I felt horrible.  I picked her up and told her I was sorry and then I said, "Oh Caly, I'm a bad Momma!"  She stopped crying and looked up at me and said, "No you're not!!" 

That'll carry me through more than a few rough days with that. 

She's my girl.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

No Matter How Much Water, Flowers Won't Grow There

My kids are fascinated by the hose.

Or obsessed.

Of course, the hose is a fun way to stay cool in the summer. But it got to a point where I would leave the room and my middle two would beeline out the front door and turn on the hose. And then I'd find them and lose my mind at having to get them completely dressed again, (because inevitably, I would have just finished getting them dressed and ready to leave the house).

So I decided to indulge them while I unloaded the car after a recent vacation. The three big kids used the hose to create some elaborate waterfall/river system up on the front deck and steps. I unloaded the insane amount of luggage that 6 people take on a road trip for 3 days and started on getting the car clean. I filled one bag with trash, and filled a laundry basket with the miscellaneous nonsense that the kids accumulate in the car with every trip.

(SIDENOTE: Do all kids insist on taking their "Oh-but-mommy-it's-my-favorite-thing-ever," item into the car only to leave it there later? And then, obviously, they absolutely have to take the next must have toy into the car the next day? And then, you end up with a veritable toy store in your back seat. Am I the only one? Really?)

Anyway, I digress. So, I had actually found the mythical carpet on one side of the car and moved to the other. The kids were happily spashing through their water trails on the steps. As I stacked and sorted books in the basket from the back of the car, I heard Caly giddily exclaim, "Sayer is watering the car!" since my kids are obsess with car washing, I figured he was spraying the outside and continued my sorting.

(When will I ever learn not to assume?)

Moments later, Lexi yelled, "Mama! Sayer is watering IN your car!" I shot upright and peered in through the open sliding door on the drivers side of my van to catch sight of my 2 year old calmly holding the water hose In through his open sliding door over the carpet in front of his seat as water poured out.

"Ahhhhhhhhhhh!" I yelled. I didn't know what to do first. So I made motions to get Sayer while exclaiming, "No, no, NO SAYER!" Confused, he lifted the hose and started backing up. Every step he made bounced the water further into the car. Finally, my brain turned on and I shouted to Lex to run and turn the hose off while I attempted to grab the renegade hose or its wielder.

She managed to turn it off and I tried to explain to my middle two that you're NEVER allowed to put water into your car. "I was a-washin' it, mama!" my 2 year old kept joyfully exclaiming, convinced he had helped. I still don't think we're on the same page.

But you can bet that I'm going to keep the hose obsession contained to the back yard while my car is open.

(After airing out for 3 days in 90 degree heat, the car dried for the most part. But it smelled like old gym socks. So I sprinkled baking soda all over the carpet, which drew out the moisture and most of the odor, but definitely hasn't come out of the carpet completely. My poor blue van will never be the same).

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Good Advice... Not What I Was Thinking Though

I'm sure every parent of a child who is over the age of 1  is familiar with the phrase, "are you listening to me right now?"

Caly and Lex, at 3 and 5, are in a phase where they've learned how to diligently stare at me while I talk to them about some misbehavior and when I'm done talking, they chirp, "Ok Mommy!" and trot off only to repeat the transgression 30 seconds later. 

Cue the "What did I say a minute ago?  No hitting/spitting/throwing/screeching/punching/etc.!"

The other day, Caly was having a particularly difficult time with doing the same things over and over.  Nothing seemed to be getting through to her.  So I changed tactics and brought her over to my lap.  I asked her to look into my eyes and I spoke veeeeeery slooooooowly,

"Caly. You can not hit your brother. Ever. Do you understand?"

She stared at me and nodded, "Yes Mommy!"

"Hitting is not kind. Do NOT hit your brother."  I started to sense that she wasn't necessarily looking at me but rather... looking straight through me.  Miss Caly was on some other planet. 

"CALY!  Did you hear what I just said?"

Of course, she had her answer down pat, "Yes Mommy, I did!"

But something told me to follow up,  "Caly, what did Mommy just say?"

Without a moment's hesitation, she shouted, "DON'T BITE YOUR FRIENDS!"

Worthy advice... but um, NO. 

She got the selective hearing from her father.


Friday, July 29, 2011

It's When They're in Cahoots that Scares Me

My kids are not gigantic mischief-makers as a general rule.  Yes, they get into trouble. And yes, they occasionally think up wild ways to make messes, but not too often.  (THANK GOODNESS)

At least... when they're working alone. 

I've noticed a trend lately. When two or more of them are together, the mischief making compounds exponentially.  (Do you like that math talk that I'm throwing around?  Because I remember all sorts of stuff from 12th grade calculus. Or not).

The other night, Zoen was freaking out due to a combination of teething, tiredness, and over stimulation.  He needed to be jammied and put to sleep, but keeping him somewhat calm was proving to be difficult, so I asked Caly to go into my room and get his pj's.

Now, awhile back, we inherited a large wooden bookcase and placed it in our room.  Because Z still bunks with us and because there's limited storage in the boys' room, I decided to put Z's blankets, clothes and the like on the shelves. It's turned out to be a nice little system.

So, I sent her in there with the instructions as to where the jammies were, (shelf on the bottom closest to the door).  She was gone for a long time. 

Then she came back empty handed.  "I can't find them!"  She's my finder kid, so I tried describing the shelf again.  And she trotted off saying, "I'll get them now!"  Of course, Sayer heard her and started yelling, "NO! I WILL FIND DEM!" and the two raced into my room.

I focused my attention on the 4 legged octopus that was still fussing in my arms.  I finally got him settled and realized that the two middle kids had been gone... and quiet... for way, way too long.

I asked Lexi... "Hey, so um, where are your sister and brother?"

She cheerily responded, "They're in your room!"

Uh oh. 

She ran off to investigate.  Thirty seconds later, "Mooooooooooooooooooom!  They took all of the clothes off the shelf!"

I sighed, knowing that I'd have reorganize the shelf they took apart.  But no biggie.

Then I got up and walked into the room. 

And this is what I found:

Of course, that meant the floor looked like this:

Every shelf emptied.  They were even innovative enough to get a stool for the top few shelves.  And it included dumping a bag full of recently outgrown clothes into the pile and MIXING THEM UP.  "We stirred them!  It's like soup!"

I dug through the pile, found some jammies, and got everyone in bed.

Then I collapsed on the couch and turned a movie on.  And my gaze traveled downward and landed on this:

 Those would be the pj's I sent C in to find.  The ones I put aside earlier in the evening.  The ones that were totally not on the shelf.  Any of the shelves, for that matter.

Of course.  (Murphey's Law of Parenting: Episode 1289)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Zoen - The Fourth at Four Months

Hey, remember how I used to do monthly updates from pregnancy onward of my first born?  Then remember how it was almost as frequent with my second?  And then, remember how I periodically did it with my third?

Oh, and remember how I have a fourth kid? 

And he's four months old?  Well, better late than never, I'm thinking.

Zoen is 4.5 months old.  So far in his short life he has:

- Rolled over front to back and back to front.
- Erupted in belly laughs, (and does so often)

- Smiled at me, daddy, his sisters.... um, everyone.
- Sprouted a tooth, (I know, RIGHT?!)
- Gotten a cold, (at 2 weeks old, sad baby).

- Grown to 17.5 pounds, (oy)
- Developed a preference for being held under my chin
- Sucked his thumb... then a pacifier... then both
- Been sat on by his brother

- Been dressed up by his sisters

- Progressed to a nap longer than 45 minutes
- Learned to grab and eat anything within reach, (including my face)

Busy, right?

He's a lovable, squishable, easy-going little monkey.  He prefers to be carried on my left side or in a sling. He gets excited and all four limbs start kicking and flailing. He can squeal when happy and does the best pouty lip ever when he's sad. He still looks perpetually surprised and often reminds me of a little old man.

I love him. Of course! But could he stop growing up so fast? Geez!

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