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.
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