Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Excitement!

There's lots of excitement in the house right now. First of all, it's New Years Eve and we are having friends over. Ever ready for a party, my kids have given this thing a life of it's own. Where I was planning dinner, conversation and sending the kids upstairs to play while the grownups played cards (or something), they are sure we need balloons!! and streamers!! and party favors!

I am trying to clean the house amid being asked "Is it time to blow up the balloons yet? Are you making the cookies now? How many people are we inviting!" It's cute as can be and at the same time kind of making me feel like my head is going to explode!

I love the enthusiasm, but dudes, I'm only one Momma!

The other excitement is centered around our upcoming vacation. Granted, I'm really anxious to go too. Against my true procrastinating nature I have already started packing. The kids want to help though, which would be fine if they would do what I asked them to. "Put these things in the orange suitcase." However, they have their own ideas, mostly revolving around taking things OUT of the luggage and moving it around. OR packing stuff that I might not necessarily want to bring on a 7 day cruise (piles of toys, anyone?)

ANYWAY, lots of fun around here. I just have to keep up with the requests and billions of things to do. Mario Kart is to the rescue for now, so I'm off to scrub the kitchen floor. Such a glamorous life! And I love it!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Almost Two

As I'm sure I've mentioned on this blog a time or twenty, Benjamin, my baby is almost two years old. He's smart and happy and cute. He's mischievous and gets into trouble. Right now he has a bruise on his cheek, another on his forehead, and yet another on his chin. The cheek and forehead came when he tried to ride his Choo Choo ride on toy down.the.stairs. (I've tried the baby gate approach, but he climbs over it.) The chin was last night when he was climbing out of his brother's bed and bumped it on the way down.

Ben climbs onto the bathroom sink and turns on the water. When I rush to go get him down he looks at me like "what???" and says "teeeeeeth" and shows me his toothbrush.

Ben is in a toddler bed far before Mommy was ready (last kid should stay in the crib til their 3 at least I figured) because he wouldn't stay in the bed anyway, so we thought at least in a big boy bed he wouldn't harm himself. Although he never got hurt climbing out of the crib, but I knew the day would come.

Ben has been escaping into the garage for quite some time now. He's been able to open doors since we moved into this house. We tried door handle locks, but he just broke through them, so we started locking the door leading to the garage. Today, he unlocked that door. This is terrifying to me.

Ben has decided it is time to go pee pee in the potty. He's not potty trained by any stretch, but at every diaper change, and other random times, he'll announce "PEE PEE" and run to the little potty chair. He actually does pee, which is pretty amazing in my book.

I know I am still that mom that gushes over every little thing her baby does. It's probably annoying. You'd think after 3 other kids going through the same stages that I would be less amazed by every little thing. Somehow, it's every bit as incredible the fourth time around.



Ben in Washington DC in May (I think) of 2007, only a few months old.


Ben on Thanksgiving entertaining everyone.


Last night "reading" when he should have been sleeping.



Monday, December 29, 2008

After the Big Day

Many years, after the opening of gifts and general chaos that Christmas morning brings, I am sometimes let down because the kids don't always get excited about the stuff Santa brought and you know, Santa works hard to get Christmas just right. This year I think we, I mean he did very well! This is one of the games the boys got, and we had quite a fun time playing yesterday. Please excuse the piles of laundry that haven't been put away, as well as any other clutter. And my hair, please excuse my hair.

Part of what I love about this game is almost everyone can play. The easy level (colors only) is perfect for Zack, while the harder levels are a bit more fun for the boys... Even though Zack was playing on his own team every time his turn was over he'd run away crying and say "I NEBAH get a turn!!!!" He's a funny guy!

Poor Mark got stuck on my team. Kevin & Eric won almost every round. We did manage one victory towards the end. Before that he was pretty sure the ONLY way he'd EVER win would be to ditch Momma and get on Daddy's team. Whatever little dude!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Day was really great. Hectic, but great. Slightly stressful because Ben was on a "Mine" rampage declaring everything he saw his. It was quite ridiculous and irritating. Once he took a nap life was better! Who took my baaaaaaaaaaby and gave me this almost 2 year old? I'm just kidding of course, I love this age! Although I could live without the tantrums and the screaming.

I took the few days after Christmas to relax. I've partially reclaimed the house, but I still have work to do. Christmas is messy! Once I get that done it's time to start packing. And packing. And packing. Generally, my going on vacation philosophy is to pack minimally. Granted, travelling with four kids even minimal packing produces a.lot.of.crap. My theory is, there's a Target or a Walmart everywhere. There are washing machines at people's houses if I need them and if we're in a hotel there are laundromats. For this trip my typicala packing methods won't suffice. I have to remember everything. I have to have enough clothes for 6 people for 7 days (not forgetting extras for messes). Enough diapers for Ben for 7 days. Enough STUFF to get us through. There won't be a Target, and although I'm sure the cruise ship will have a place to buy forgotten items, I likely won't be up for paying the price. So, I must remember everything. One week from today we are setting sail! I'm soooo excited! Seven days of no cooking, cleaning or other household work. I just can't wait!!!

Contest Winner

The winner of the "How many ornaments will be broken before Christmas" contest is Fazzey! She guessed that 7 ornaments would be broken and that was the magic number. I have to confess I thought it would be more like 17, but everyone was right and the kids (ahem Ben) finally got over the obsession with the tree. Next year will be even better!

Fazzey, :) email me your address baileylifewithboys @ gmail.com and I will send you your prize!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

We Wish You A...



From my family to yours! Have a great one!

**Card designed by Tiffany

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Before I Forget It

Delivering goodies to the neighbors.

Children run exuberantly to the house!! "Hello," says the neighbor!

Eric: Merry Christmas!
Mark: Yeah! Merry Christmas! We made these treats!!!
Zack: (running in circles) Happy Holidays tooooooooo! (he's the MOST excited.)
Ben: (lifting up his foot) Shooooooeeeee!

So, Ben doesn't quite get what all the fuss is about, but he does want to add to the conversation. And he really, really loves shoes.

School Vacation DayTwo... Much Less Eventful

Yesterday was mostly one of those boring days that I crave. We cleaned up, went to the playground, we baked some goodies and the kids played like crazy. I decided at the last minute that I did want to bake some goodies for our neighbors.


Brownies, Gingersnaps & Biscotti

I really thought the boys would want to help and I was ready to let them, but instead they played, and fought, but mostly just played. It was just too easy.

I still have to wrap every single present. Kevin still has to put together the kitchen we Santa got the kids. I never got the capes for my kids made, although I may still do that today. Either that or I'll finish them in the next little bit and just give them to them.

Busy as it will be I am excited. It's a good kind of busy.

Happy Christmas Eve!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

School Vacation Day One: The Pickle Jar

Yesterday was going pretty well. We got up and did our usual morning routine at a slightly slower pace, and then went to the gym. Things were going great! Not much fighting, I was feeling pretty calm about the things that weren't going well (and this is really the key, I've learned) and I started to think about lunch. Mark wanted pb & j, Eric a cheese sandwich. They have to want opposite things every single choice, but I was okay with it. Grilled cheese and pb & j it is! Everyone is happy. Then they started talking sides and they wanted pickles. We had just bought a huge, ginormous jar of pickles at Sams so I got it out and put it on the counter. I opened the fridge and got some leftovers out for me, and cheese for the grilled cheese. I turned around and before I could put the stuff down...

CRASH!! Glass breaking, Zack crying. Zack was bleeding so I went into crisis mode. I cleaned him up and upon seeing his finger thought he'd need stitches. I also thought I'm no doctor and maybe I'm wrong. I hoped for the latter, but started gearing up for a long afternoon in the ER.

Thank goodness for friends! I called my friend to see if she could come sit with the boys. To be honest I was first going to ask her if she could come tell me if I was overreacting or not, but then the amount of blood coming from his finger told me I needed medical help.Thank goodness for Mark, who when I shouted "Someone bring me the first aid kit!" ran and got it right away. Thank goodness for my neighbor who came over until my friend could get here. Which was seriously 5 minutes, but I couldn't think about anything except getting out that door and to a place that could help my buddy.

My older kids were on my not so nice list (watch out, it's not too late to call Santa!) as I walked out the door and they were both in tears because I wouldn't let them eat the pickles that were on the floor, amidst glass and Zack's blood. I left with one behind the couch, and the other in a puddle of tears. About PICKLES!! Nevermind the fact that their brother was going to get stitches. Clearly we need to work on compassion and not being total selfish little brats. I usually don't call my kids names ESPECIALLY on the blog, but Selfish Little Brats fits nicely in this case.

Long story short (and it was a looooooong time in the ER) he now has 3 stitches in his middle finger and some dermabond on his other hand. He'll be all better soon.

So, first day of Christmas Break... survived. But not by much. We'll see what day 2 brings. Hopefully lots of quiet, peace and loving sweet children who play for hours without fighting. Hey, I can dream.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Countdown

3 days til Christmas... are you ready? I can say that I totally am. Except for wrapping... and planning our Christmas day meal. But other than that READY! I'm super excited.

10 days until New Years Day! How is that even possible? A whole other year gone. It's unbelievable.

13 days until our vacation. A much needed one by everyone too. I'm not even close to ready for this, but boy I am READY. I need the downtime.

Now I'm off to try to stay sane on the first day of the kids break from school. Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Join Me in the Deep South

I'm at Deep South Moms today... talking about the Holiday Party.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Homemade

I've been trying recently to do a little better in some homemaking areas. We recently got a wheat grinder attachment to my kitchenaid mixer, also the pasta attachment. Just because it sounds cool to make your own pasta and stuff.

My first few attempts at totally homemade were learning experiences. That's the positive spin. The reality is my first try at bread was a total flop. My first attempt making pasta, a dismal failure. So, trying not to just say forget the whole thing & give it all up, I tried making flour tortillas. Half fresh ground wheat flour, half regular flour, rolled the dough myself, and cooked them and they were edible! Whew! Excited about finally having success, I tried this recipe last night.


This is just the spaetzle after being cooked, but before adding the cheese & cooked onions. It was so good! If you want to make these I will tell you the batter started out way too thin, so I added a full cup of flour (1/2 whole wheat, 1/2 all purpose) and it worked better. The dough was still too sticky to go through the pasta extruder, but I pushed it through my potatoe ricer to make the noodles.

So, two successes, and I plan to try bread and the pasta maker again very soon....

Also, I'm working toward getting my house ORGANIZED so that cleanliness will be easier... I'll be posting more on that later I'm sure.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Randomness

Life is pretty crazy this time of year even without things like hurt feet and projects that should take hours that end up taking days. I finally got the neice and nephew gifts mailed though. They aren't perfectly crafted, but I think they are cute.

Just popping on real quick while I eat lunch... pierogies...mmm... They had them at Sams. Pasta! Potatoes! Cheese! LOW FAT!! I had to laugh... Your selling me on the fact that these are low fat, but talk about carb overload. Yes, I bought them anyway and yes they are delicious (ahem, and low fat!)

Anyway, I went back to the podiatrist and he said the joint just has a little arthritis and gave me some orthotics to put in my shoes. This is sort of a nightmare given that I usually wear cute little sandal type shoes and go barefoot a lot of the time at home. Apparently no longer as my feet need the extra support. Yes, I'm rolling my eyes, but I will play along because I don't want this situation to get worse. Otherwise, my pain is almost completely gone. YAY.

There is only 1! more day of school until Christmas Winter Vacation and I am thinking of ways to stay sane. I've lacked patience lately (that's putting it mildly) and I need to obtain some somewhere. Quickly!

Anyway, writing has been somewhat difficult lately. Not sure if it's just the time crunch of the holidays, or my general funk I've been in, but I hope to be back soon posting daily and in a better mood. :)

In the meantime I have a zillion chores to do and my pierogies are eaten, so I'm off!

7 days til Christmas!!! Are you ready?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Life Without Cell Phones

A while back Kevin's cell phone mysteriously disappeared. We're thinking Ben. Anyhow, we haven't replaced it because he's probably getting one through work anyway, so we've been holding off. It hasn't been too horribly inconvenient (for me anyway!) We've managed. I know it's been annoying for him because he uses his cell for work quite frequently, both for calls and email.

This morning was the first time I had the thought HOW ON EARTH DID PEOPLE FUNCTION WITHOUT CELL PHONES?!?!

I had just dropped the boys off at school and was walking in the door when I got a call from a number I did not recognize. It was one of the guys that works for Kevin. He said "I don't want to alarm you, but have you heard from Kevin?" I knew this must mean he wasn't yet at work. I looked at the clock. 8:42. He had left the house at 7:00. It generally takes 45 minutes to an hour to get to his office in morning traffic. I told him there might just be traffic trouble, and asked him to please call if Kevin got in.

My head spun. What could I do if something had happened. I was pretty limited in my course of action. At 8:44 I got a second phone call. After talking to Kevin's boss, who lives near us and drives the same route, they learned the traffic was in fact really horrible this morning. I was less worried, but still concerned. Traffic jams could cause horrendous accidents right? How long until I would know. At 8:46 I got a call from Kevin. He was safe and sound in his office. In his words "I'm neither dead nor in a ditch, traffic just sucked."

I can't help but think I would have been spared 4 minutes (it sure felt longer) of panic if he had just had his cell phone. How many years did that take off my life?

Monday, December 15, 2008

One of the Things I've Been Working On...

Aprons... kid size & doll size. I had a rather fun time with hot pink with green polka dots in this house where pink isn't all that common...


More projects are nearing completion (hopefully tonight) and I will post pictures when they are done!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Another Conversation...Sort of...

Me: Ben why aren't you in bed...

Ben: Hehe (crawls into my lap)

Me: (cradling him- singing) Twinkle twinkle...

Him: NO

Me: Little Star

Him: Go WAY!

Me: How I wonder what you are.

Him: No, go way!

Me: Up above the world so high.

Like a diamond in the sky.

Him: Di- ma, sky.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Conversation

Him: I tricked you mom! Because I'm sneaky.
Me: Mmmmhmmm you sure are...
Him: And smart, and clever.
Me: You sure are. And ornery...
Him: Don't forget cute.
Me: (laughing) you certainly are Mark.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sew Busy

I've been busy lately sewing my heart out. I decided to make things for my nieces and nephew this year and it's been so fun. Unfortunately, my crafty inspiration didn't hit until December 1st. If I'd have started a month ago I'd be done. My goal is to get everything shipped by Monday. Pictures to come of all my craftiness (things haven't gone perfectly, but I think my sewing skills are improving. It's all turning out cute!) I think I'm well on my way to getting done in time... barring any mistakes or disasters. I might be finished already if not for having 2 days that I couldn't use my foot.

Other things I have to do is find a dress for Kevin's company party. I thought I had one but I tried it on again last night and I think I kind of hate it... So shopping is on the agenda sometime in the next few days. Plus I haven't even STARTED Christmas cards... And I have a Cub Scout leaders meeting thingie tonight and 10 more things I'm probably forgetting.

Tis the season, right? At least our Christmas shopping is (mostly) done.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Crutches

Update on ornament contest - no ornaments were broken yesterday - I was shocked. If you haven't already entered go here to guess the total # of ornaments that will be broken by Christmas Day. Guess the closest and win a prize!
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So, not to be a total whiner, but this post is whiny... Fair warning.

I went to the podiatrist yesterday for my foot. Which was feeling much better, but I decided to go in so that I could ask why I get these random injuries for no real good reason. Plus, it still hurt to walk, just not as badly as the days before.

More x-rays.


Turns out that I do not, in fact have a stress fracture. Instead, it's some joint pain thing caused by my chronic ankle twisting in my younger days. Also, he said there were some cysts on the bone which I guess is possibly a sign of arthritis (dude, that word is SCARY at 31) but he wasn't concerned about that as they were few in number & tiny.

Anyway, he recommended a cortisone shot in the joint that is hurting and mentioned that it might hurt worse for a few days and then get much better.


So, long complain-y story short, I've gone from walking with pain, to walking on crutches. I can't even drive. Can I tell you chasing after 2 toddlers on crutches is HARD? (The older guys don't require much chasing and are being awesome to help me out right now. However they are now at school so it's all me with Zack and crazy man Ben.

Some notes about walking with crutches.

1. I'm much better at it than last time I had to use them. I guess that time in the gym has made me a little stronger.

2. It really sucks when you can bear no weight on a foot and your lovely children KEEP stealing your crutches to use them as fishing poles, and or weapons. Then when you need to do something like go to the bathroom and there is no crutch to be found anywhere so you are left to hop into the other room.

3. Stairs. I haven't attempted them because I'm fairly confident I will die. However, this will make naptime somewhat of a dilemma, so I'm totally hoping to be miraculously able to walk unassisted by around 12:00 or so.

4. Mark calls crutches "crunches" which I find totally adorable.

I hear on good authority that these cortisone injections are awesome to relieve pain. They better be because so far I'm thinking they are pretty evil. Notwithstanding the pain they are causing now it hurt like crazy going in and I am thinking this better be WORTH it.

One more funny thing in all this. Mark suggested I just get a wheelchair. Made me laugh, but definitely excessive. Although I'm thinking maybe I can scoot around in this computer chair a little for those times my crutches mysteriously disappear.

The time frame for the pain is supposed to be 1 -2 days so hopefully by noonish tomorrow I'll feel lots better. I'm glad it's a short lived thing because I'm pretty sure my friends and family couldn't handle my incessant griping much longer.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Contest...

I've decided to have a contest!

Here's the deal. Guess how many ornaments are going to get broken before Christmas. The lower part of the tree is not decorated, so far 3 have been shattered. I'm hoping that's all as I'm watching the kids closely so they don't mess with the tree, but I'm pretty sure that there will be more. They are quick! And by they, I mostly mean Ben. So enter your guess and if you are the closest to the actual number of total ornaments broken, you win a prize! (Prize to be determined.)

On the topic of contests... I ran across a contest today for a Leapster Didj on a blog called Smiling Mom... Go enter if you are interested!

Oh and enter my contest by leaving a comment on this post! How many ornaments will be broken? 3? 10? 17? Your guess is as good as mine.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

It's The Most Wonderful Time...

I love Christmas time. I love the hustle and bustle of the shopping (even though we just did a lot of shopping for gifts we have to ship on Amazon) and the spirit of the season, and the coolER weather (I can't stand cold, but winter in FL is just perfect!)

Yesterday we decorated our house for Christmas. It was fun and now it's a "winter wonderland" according to Mark.

Working hard.

Excuse the van in way, our garage is full of a project to be blogged about later.

Being SILLY!

This palm tree looks better in real life. I get such a kick out of decorating palm trees at Christmas!

Our inside Christmas Tree. I feel like it needs some more color, but we'll work on that. Any bets on how many ornaments will be left by the big day?

I'm keeping track of broken ornaments to the left.

Friday, December 5, 2008

When You Can't Walk, Write

Okay, I exaggerate, I can walk but it hurts. Apparently I have a stress fracture and am being sent to a podiatrist. Such fun!

It's less than 3 weeks til Christmas, I have basically not started my shopping and walking hurts. Niiiice. Anyway, don't know how I hurt my foot, but clearly it is hurt.


So today I've sat around a fair bit and wrote a bit for Deep South Moms. It's still hard to think about that day, but I have been wanting to write more about it for a while now. Go check it out!

On My Shopping List

On my shopping list for today:

Toilet seat locks - it seems Ben has discovered what the toilet is for, however still likes to paddle in it. Ew. I've had other kids that liked to play in the potty, but I could just shut the door. He opens the door, and if I put a gate up he climbs it.

Something to make it so Ben can't turn on the water faucets. He climbs on the toilet and then on the counter and turns on the water. I have nightmares of him flooding the bathroom while I sleep. I only say this because when I woke up this morning with him on the bathroom counter and the water running. Luckily I got there before any messes were made or kids drowned, but I don't think I'll always be so lucky. Anyone know if this kind of child proof device exists? They are just the regular round handles.

Looking into getting the "Mark detector" back out and re-dubbing it the "Ben detector."

Flashback... Mark's always been an early riser. When he and Eric were 2 and 3 and Zack was just a wee little baby Mark used to like to play "camping." Unfortunately this entailed taking the contents of the fridge outside into their little play fort. We finally did get a lock for our sliding door that was way up high so they could not get out, but Mark found more mischief to get into. True to personality, Eric was happy to participate, but also happy to announce "It was Mark's idea." Finally, I decided the root of the problem was when he woke up he never came and got me, so I would wake up when the craziness escalated past an acceptable point. So Kevin made a little alarm for Mark's door. It went off as soon as he left his room, so I could get up and keep both eyes on the boys. I think it's time to revisit this technique.


I'm off to take boys to school and then to the doctor to find out what is wrong with my foot. I don't remember hurting it but it HURTS.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Do They Know Something I Don't??

Yesterday in the mail I got a package from Pampers. I don't use Pampers, but it caught my eye because there was a pregnant lady on the front and titles like "Hospital Checklist for Dads" and "Life Inside the Womb." And when I opened it up.... there was a teeny tiny diaper. Size Newborn. So tiny, and so cute, and I can't imagine how my four big boys ever fit in them. Yet they did.

So I sat there contemplating how my diaper days are soon to be over (well, soon in a year or so, but still...) and we are almost done with the crib, my breastfeeding days are long gone.

I'm left wondering how Pampers got me on their list to send out the newborn stuff too. They must not have gotten the memo that my baby making days are over. They thought... hey isn't it past time for her to have another one... we must have missed the announcement.

Or maybe they know something I don't.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cards

We played a lot of cards while my parents were in town. A LOT of cards. We stayed up too late and some things I noticed while playing are...

Everyone is happy when they are winning. Mostly we can stay friendly when we are losing. Unless we get a hand like this..







How he plays cards without sorting them I'll never know.





Then things start to get a little tense sometimes. Another thing that makes card players cranky is when a seemingly good hand goes bad... or when there just isn't one single thing you can do to pull back from behind. I said it many times through out the week, and I'll say it here. Cards can bring out the worst in people.





Another really crappy hand is above. If you've never played Spades, the idea is to bid how many "tricks" you can win by playing the highest card. If you are out of a suit, you can play a spade and that "trumps" the other cards and wins the trick. Anyway, another way to wrack up the points is to bid zero, or "nil" and get 100 points if you don't take any. That's why having a bunch of low crap and the ace of spades is pretty crappy.





And then there is this beautiful practically perfect nil hand and I didn't make it. And that made me pretty MAD. Like I said, cards bring out the worst in people. Well, at least me. I generally try to hide my competitive nature but sometimes it just shows through.



Losing 6 times in a row (over two days) is NOT fun... however a sudden death match due to a tie is quite fun. Even if you lose.

Which we did. Still, when is there ever a tie? I've been playing cards since I was 12, and I've never seen it.

We didn't lose every single game. The first night we won 3 for 3. The last night dad and I hit a winning streak and things were a little happier for me. It was those middle nights that had me being cranky and irritable.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Things They Say

My dad told Mark he could be anything he wanted when he grew up... even President. This sparked a whole lot of conversations about Vice President selection, and other important things. Apparently, when Mark is President of the United States I will be Vice President. And then he asked me "but mom, when we are president and vice president, who will watch all the kids?" Because apparently he is the only one who is going to grow up in the next 30 years.

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Ben is starting to say people's names. He says Granny (Grrraaa, but I count it), Poppy, Daddy, Mommy, Mark (Mar), and when I ask him to say Ben he says "meeeee."
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These are only two of the things that have made me laugh this morning.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Something to Do in FL for Free

If you are ever in the Tampa Bay area in the winter time, you should check out Tampa Electric's Manatee Viewing Center. It's free (they take donations) and pretty awesome! I wasn't sure what to expect and stayed away last year because of the whole power plant part... but they do a really good job of making you forget that is where you are. The power of nature sweeps you away. Apparently in the winter, the manatees congregate here to keep warm from the warm water discharged into the bay from the power plant. I guess it's safe for them and all that.


Aren't these the cutest little fish?

If you look closeley you can see tons of manatees right under the surface.
There were also several varieties of Rays.

Also seen but not photographed... A leaping Tarpon. It was impressive. There were also some leaping rays and a shark but that wasn't photograph-able either. Nonetheless, very very cool.
But my favorite part of the trip. Children enthralled with nature. And power. It was an awesome day.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Recap

Ohhhh I was so right when I said blogging time would be limited. Some unforeseen global event space time continuum anamoly thing has caused my children to start sleeping until 6:30, and simultaneously, and equally shocking, other people have been getting up with the kids. It's pretty awesome on both counts!!

So, I know you are watiting with baited breath to know how my Thanksgiving and days after have been. So here is a recap.

Thanksgiving was great. We started out by having cinnamon rolls for breakfast. I had planned on being up at 5 (due to kids) and getting it all ready before the other adults were awake, but I ended up not getting up until about 6:45. By the time the dough was ready everyone was starving and Kevin said "Ohhh you are making Christmas cinnamon rolls. I looked at him perplexed and he clarified "because they'll be ready around Christmas." I laughed because the man I married is sooo very funny. In the end, it turned out that I kind of shouldn't have trusted the part where it said the prep time was one hour because there was an additional 45 minutes of rising that I skipped because I had 8 starving people to feed. They turned out so yummy anyway and everyone was happy. Thank you Paula Deen.



Cooking was uneventful and I am happy to say my first Thanksgiving of cooking almost everything myself (Kevin handled the turkey and got rave reviews) went off mostly without a hitch and I didn't mess anything up.




Best moments:



Ben putting an olive on his finger and eating it off after watching his brothers do it. So funny!





Eric and Mark helping me cook. They punched the cinnamon roll dough down and helped me peel boiled eggs for deviled eggs amo

ng other things. They did a fantastic job!



Having things prepped well enough so that I wasn't stressed about getting everything ready.





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It's not a holiday without someone getting sick or hurt. Fortunately Mark's cough wasn't too bad and only bothered him the night before the holiday. I did get the fun of worrying whether Ben had a concussion after his bad fall right before lunch time. The boy has luck on his side. He's fine, just a little banged up.





There's more to tell, including how my mom and I stayed out until 4 am Thanksgiving night, but it will have to wait. Off to make biscuits & gravy. Frozen biscuits and gravy from a mix. I think I've filled my quota of from scratch cooking this year with the cinnamon rolls.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

In an Hour

We will be driving to the airport to pick up my mom and dad. AKA, Granny and Poppy. I have been cleaning and stressing and trying to get the house just right, not because I think they care what my house looks like, but because I care. I want it to be nice. It's not perfect... but it's a whole lot better than it has been in recent days.

I anticipate the drive to the airport to be a whole lot of fussing about are we there yet? And this is "Boooo wing" and the like. It's a thirty minute drive though so it won't be too much fussing. I expect that about the time we get close to the highway exit at least 2 of the kids will be sleeping.

When we get there all of the crabbiness will melt away. The kids will rush to them and give hugs and kisses. Zack will stand back a little but in his excitement will do his little "dance" where he hops around and kind of skips in place.

I can't wait to see them all happy and excited.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Finished With Lost Teeth For Awhile, Lost Marbles, Another Story

Eric lost another tooth last night (and the tooth fairy recycled money that the Momma confiscated while cleaning bedrooms since it was all.over.the.floor. Is the tooth fairy evil, or just resourceful. You tell me.) With that lost tooth, we no longer have any loose teeth in their mouths. Our running total is 5 lost for Mark and 4 for Eric. Which is kind of crazy since Eric is a year older. But, at least it's something that Mark got to do first. That's important to him. Anyway, I am grateful for the break from wiggly teeth but I am wondering where in the heck some of these new BIG teeth are supposed to fit. They both have their bottom middle permanent teeth in, but I just don't know how the rest are going to have space. I have horrible thoughts of pallate expanders and braces in my future.

While we may be getting a break from lost teeth, I do think I'm losing more brain cells on a daily basis. There are many reasons why...

1. Millions of things to do... Mostly getting them done only to have them undone at an alarming rate.

2. My parent arrive tomorrow and while this is a very positive thing I still have yet to go grocery shopping for Thanksgiving. I think I'll be able to swing this tomorrow morning as Kevin is taking off work. Whew.

3. My kids were up at ... wait for it... 4 freaking 30. That's not morning folks. We sent them back to bed but I have a feeling they merely went upstairs and decided to rearrange the furniture. As evidenced by the fact that the under bed storage part of Eric's bed is now at an angle. When questioned not so patiently by me, I was told that they were making a secret passageway. Mmmmkay.

4. Mommy brain, mommy brain, mommy brain. Thankfully, I've only ALMOST forgotten things like sending stuff to school for their Thanksgiving feast... but there have been close calls.

5. Mark melting down because his backpack was tooooo heavy and then really ultra melting down when Eric had the audacity to offer to carry it for him because it made him feel like a baby. Picture total tear filled freak out. That was my morning. Oh, and I made things LOTS better by threatening to keep him home to miss his party. It worked but I felt like a jerk.

6. Did I mention Mommy Brain? Go read about my recent experience with losing my shampoo at the gym at Deep South Moms. I still don't know if I'm more irritated that I left it or that someone took it. Tossup.

Those are only part of the reasons I am losing my marbles!

Soooo, the parents will understand if Kevin and I run away 5 minutes after they get here right? Nah, I wouldn't do that, but maybe I can get a date night out of it :)

Have a great day! I may be hit and miss for the next week or so since I'll have company and have to semi hide my blogging addiction. Who am I kidding, I'll be the only one up when the kids get up at 4:30 so I'll blog then.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ohhh Potty Training

Alternate titles... When All Else Fails, Blog About Poop, or Potty Training, or Mommy Training?, or maybe Oh For Crying Out Loud Why is it SO Hard!?!

Seriously, shouldn't it be easier by kid number 3? Yea, no.. it's not.

We are to the phase that I feel like I should be backing off and letting him tell me when it's time to go. Fewer reminders, in our case, equals more accidents. He just gets so hyper focused on whatever he's doing that he will suddenly say "Mommmmmmmy, I POOPED." The good news is that while a month or so ago, being wet or poopy seemed to be just fine and dandy, now it really bothers him. And it is getting better. Sloooooooooowly but surely.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

How Many Times Can I Say Thankful in One Post?

As we enter Thanksgiving week I have been contemplating the things that I am truly thankful for. It started out with the obvious. I am so thankful for my family. For my babies. I look back and remember a time when I wasn't sure I would ever get one baby, and now I have four. I am thankful that we have a home and our health and are happy. Those things are always on my mind though, and I was trying to think of something beyond the status quo of things to be thankful for.

I did come up with a few, and here they are:

I am thankful for a break from school for the kids. I love school, don't get me wrong, but it's always nice to have a little time off to just breathe and take things a little slower in the mornings. This also means, since next week is a short week, there is no homework!! I am beyond thankful for that. Because, even though it is their homework and they do it, it is one task I don't have to oversee next week.

I am thankful that my parents are coming to visit for Thanksgiving. We are always more than happy to make the trek to Oklahoma once a year to see all the family, but there is a certain giddyness I feel when people come to see me.

I am thankful that the kids and Kevin did not get the strep throat/ bronchitis combo I had last week. I'm probably jinxing myself by saying so, but I am so, unbelievably relieved and happy that they (so far) were spared.

Totally superficial, but I am thankful that I got to go buy a few pairs of pants yesterday. Because now I can be warm! (A side note, I am NOT thankful for the 15 degrees below average temperatures we are having. This is FLORIDA... were is my warmth?)

I'm sure there are more little things that I am thankful for, but I have to help Zack get dressed. My goal for this week is to focus on the things that are good in my life instead of the five zillion things I have to do between now and Thanksgiving Day to be ready.

What little things are you thankful for?

Friday, November 21, 2008

I Got Nothin' Go Here Instead

The title says it all. I don't have much to say today mostly because not much is going on and partly because I think I might have writer's block... or blogger's block... or SOMETHING.

However, there's lots to be said over at the Silicon Valley Moms Blogs. They are having a topic day on diversity and what I've read so far has been great! So, head over! Start out at
Deep South Moms (I didn't get a post put together in time, but go anyway!) and make your way through the rest. Keep checking back because more posts will be added throughout the day!

While you are there be sure to enter to win this awesome printer on the Silicon Valley site!

Hope everyone is having a great Friday!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Listening to Kids

Sometimes I find it really hard to listen to my kids. Especially the ones that are constantly talking. Wait that's almost all of them. I mean I hear them, but sometimes I find myself saying "uh huh, wait WHAT did you say?" Yea, it's bad.

Turns out I should be listening better to Ben too. Now Ben gets a bad rap around here what with all of his crib climbing and baby gate leaping lately. BUT he's cute as a button regardless of his other escapades. He does talk, but not so much for communication sake as just to make me go "Ohhhhhhh Ben you are TOOO cute." Gush.

Anyway, today as we were leaving the gym he kept fighting me. He was pulling back and whining and kept trying to go back in the door. I, on the other hand, kept ahold of his little hand and was pulling him in my direction, without really considering that there might be a reason for his carrying on. About 3 steps into the parking lot he tried to go back again, at which point I said "forget this junk!" and picked him up. It was then that I noticed that one of his shoes were missing. I said, "Ben did you lose your shoe?" He replied "hehe" and pointed to the doors of the gym and said "Shoe." We went back and got it and he was then willing to go back to the car.

I'll get this mom thing figured out one of these days. Unfortunately, I fear my kids might be grown by the time I do.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wardrobe & Fashion

My winter wardrobe is lacking. I'm not a clothes fiend or anything but all I have for the cooler weather is one pair of jeans, one sweater, and some work out pants. I keep meaning to go out and find a few things but time is limited (not to mention $$) It's 35 degrees today. Sure, it will be warmer a little later, but for now BRRR. I guess I'll have to go shopping this weekend, unless as usually happens there is a warmup and my capris become acceptable attire once again. Did I mention it's 35 degrees. I must be confused because I thought I lived in Florida. I'm freezing.

In other fashion news, Mark decided to wear two shirts today. Not as in a tshirt under a polo shirt, or even a long sleeve shirt under a short sleeve shirt for added warmth. No, he has on a green polo shirt under a blue polo shirt. I am in debate weather or not to fight this battle. Everything is a battle with Mark. I could let this one go and it would make my morning immensely more peaceful. He's five after all, fashion doesn't matter really. On the other hand I don't want the teachers to think I sent him to school not KNOWING that he was wearing two collared shirts.

Maybe I could just sneak it off of him as he tells me facts about the eye. "Mom did you know there are six muscles in the eye?" "Why, no Mark I did not." I'm sure he wouldn't notice. I could just slip it off while he continues "The eye is 6 times stronger than your body."**


**Eye facts are not known to be accurate. They are doing a unit on the eye in class and apparently got to see a real eye. (eww) I'll have to look up the statistics to see if he is right on his info or if something got lost in translation.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What to do When You Can't Contain a 21 Month Old

We are back online with a shiny new computer. Not exactly a purchase I wanted to make right now, but necessary.

Last week was not so bad considering Kevin was out of town for five days and the computer crashed after two of those days. We kept busy. Not to say it was stress free, exactly, but what day is? None lately that's for sure.

All went great and then I got sick (after Kevin got home thank heaven) and felt like crap all weekend.

I did feel slightly better on Sunday for my 12th anniversary and after Kevin helped our friend fix his car (it worked! It runs! He's so multi talented!) we got to go out to eat. Then, we went to Best Buy purchase the new computer! Fortunately for our finances, we had both pretty much had no free minutes to sneak out and purchase gifts, so Happy Anniversary, here's a computer to replace the one that DIED.


Anyway, on to what I wanted to write about. The title, "What to do When You Can't Contain a 21 Month Old." Desperate plea for help, or advice on how to deal with YOUR climber? Take a wild guess. Here's a hint, I don't do advice columns, I don't know what I'm doing over half the time.

Ben has escalated the climbing and now not only gets out of his bed (which should probably be converted to a toddler bed, but as yet has not) but he can also climb right over the baby gate and out into the house. Monday morning Kevin heard noises in the house at 4 in the morning and went to investigate. I assumed it was Mark and when I heard him come back in I felt a kid climb into bed with me. Without opening my eyes I said "What are you doing up, dude?" And then when there was no answer I rolled over and cracked my eyes open and saw it was my teeny tiny baby. The one who sleeps in a CRIB and has a baby GATE on his door. Anyway, an hour later I had Ben back to bed and collapsed in mine. Then everyone including Ben was up a mere hour after that.


On to nap time. Surely he'd be tired enough to just crash. Right? Ha!! Yea, no. Short version, I worked with him over an hour, used Super Nanny techniques, used stuff that I made up, and banged my head against the wall and finally, when I went to change over the laundry and Ben climbed INTO the dryer... twice.... I took desperate action. I buckled both little boys into their car seats and went for a drive. Any guesses as to who was asleep before we got out of our neighborhood? Anyone? Oh well, I got the bonus that Zack fell asleep too. Both transferred into beds. Thank goodness. But, it shouldn't take 1.5 hours and a drive to achieve nap time. Should it?

Bedtime was a similar fiasco and I was visibly frustrated. At some point Kevin sent me to run my errand and took care of it for me. Thank goodness.

Any tips to control the climbing? I've got to get this issue resolved or it might kill me. That is if potty training Zack doesn't get me first.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Brief

I'm at a friend's house so I will be brief. Just a few little updates...

Computer is still broken. Kevin says it's dead. So I guess we are going to get a new one. Preferably today. After he helps our friend fix his car.

Mark's ear is all better. No more puncture. No surgery. I couldn't be more relieved.

I think with no computer and therefore no blogging for the past 5 days has affected my ability to think clearly and/or write a coherent sentence. Or maybe I was just fooling myself and never had that at all.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

PS

I have a new post over at Deep South Moms... Go check it out...

Another thing... think about Mark tomorrow... we are getting his ear checked out... let's hope for a totally healed up eardrum. I'm not so sure I could handle it if he had to have surgery... Eek.

Kevin will be home tomorrow night. First item on his to do list... fix computer.

DropOut

Well, I guess I am a NaBlogPoMo dropout. Not willingly. Yesterday my computer would not boot up. Not even in safe mode. I have no clue. Hopefully Kevin will when he gets back in town tomorrow evening.

So just a quick post since I'm at a friend's house borrowing her internet. Feeding the addiction and stuff. And letting some folks know I haven't dropped off the face of the earth.

In the meantime I'm amazed at the amount I can get done without the distraction of the computer. There's the positive spin I guess.

Besides that there's not much going on. Except for this week is totally confusing me. Sunday Kevin left to go to CA and made it feel like a Monday. Except that the kids were all home so it was extra confusing. Then, I might have gotten back on track if not for the fact that the kids were home from school yesterday too, so it felt more like Saturday than Tuesday. For some reason today feels like Thurday even though I really figured it would be Monday all over again. Tomorrow Kevin gets in but will be off on Friday so I'll be pretty confused again I guess. Maybe I'll get back on track on Monday. Sigh

Am I the only one who gets hopelessly off track from a minor change in schedule? Because if I have to be totally crazy it might be nice to have some company.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Questions That Have No Answers

Why do you sleep on the floor Eric when you have a perfectly good bed? I heard a kid get up last night around the time I was going to bed. I waited for someone to come down the stairs but they never did. I heard snoring that was too close to be from anyone in bed, so I investigated. He was laying in the floor in his doorway. Why? This happens often.

Why is it that even though I spend a fair amount time cleaning each day that I am never "caught up" and my house is never "clean?"

When is the laundry going to be done?

Is the laundry ever going to be done?

Will my kids ever stop fighting? Will they be friends someday?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Impromptu Adventures

The only bad thing about our little adventure yesterday is that I didn't bring my camera. I wanted to pick up a new book I've been wanting to read. I tried checking it out at the library but I was # 84 on the list and I'm just not quite that patient. There were 17 copies, at 2 weeks each being checked out and if my calculations are right that would put it in my hands about February. I wanted it NOW.

On the way to the book store every last child of mine fell asleep. So, I just ran in and got it...

I love bookstores. They make me feel so lovely and just in awe. All of those words, all of that paper. I love the library too, but something about crisp, new, fresh pages waiting to be read for the first time is amazing to me.

Now that I sound like a complete wacko I may as well confess that I got a little lost. Kevin was out in the car waiting for me. As I walked out the door still in my book induced stupor it took me a few minutes to realize that I had walked out the wrong door. This brand spanking new two story Barnes & Noble is part of a brand spanking new outdoor mall so there is a front and back entrance to B&N. I got my head back on straight and resisted the urge to further explore the mall and made my way back to the front and found my snooze mobile. The kids were still sleeping and Kevin and I tried to decide what to do. If we tried to go home and transfer kids to beds someone would wake up. They were obviously tired and needing to sleep. On the other hand, while there was a time when we would aimlessly drive with no known destination those days ended around the time gas hit $3.50 a gallon. Even though gas is hovering right around the $2.15 mark, I still can't justify the needless waste of fuel.

So, I had an idea. Let's drive out to this park that I love, but we don't go to often because it's 45 minutes away. The kids started to squirm just about the time we got into the town and suddenly Mark said "Huh, this place is unusual!" Then, the kids started to recognize where we were and remember the awesome playground which they've dubbed "rock forest." They were convinced we had tricked them about running errands and had planned this outing all along. I told them what had really happened, but I think they were pretty solidly believing that their own theory was correct.


For Kevin and I this little excursion was an answer to a dilemma, we decided to go based on logic and reasoning. It was a bonus that it would be fun, of course but there was a problem (kids needed to sleep, we needed to keep moving) and this gave us a solution. To the boys, it was a grand adventure.

The time at the park was great! We walked around, then the kids played. There were some serious tree climbing lessons with the bigger boys and daddy. We sat and watched the butterflies in the butterfly gardern. Despite wishing I had my camera it really was a perfect outing.

Watching my kids have fun gives me the same feeling being in the bookstore does. They are so amazing, even awe inspiring. Watching them run and play with no thought to the worries of the world. Motherhood doesn't get much better than that.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Zack Makes Me Laugh

Zack is a funny guy with a funny smile and the cutest dimples ever... He's the one that I worried would never talk and I was this close to having him evaluated for speech therapy when he had a language explosion. He hasn't stopped talking since.

Just a few quotes from today...

"Mommy, your bwack jammies are boo tee ful." I was wearing work out clothes... that's the funniest thing.

"Mommy tank oo for the dee wish ous bweakfast."

And let's not forget when he was getting into trouble and I told him to look me in the eye, when he looked straight up at the ceiling and said "I NOT wook at you, I WOOK at the SKY."

Three is such a fun age. Except when it's not!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

When We All Work Together

I've been trying to get some help around here from the bigger boys, but the other day the little ones got in on the act too.

I was a happy momma having everyone work together... although I'd prefer Ben not STAND in the dishwasher. But he hopped right in there and was handing Eric the cups and plates. Helping... as opposed to right now when he's pulling the dishwasher tray OUT of the dishwasher. Yea, I better get on that!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My Student Of the Month

Mark, in spite of being capable of all sorts of naughtiness at home, is a very, very good boy at school. He was selected as the "student of the month" for his class. I was so proud! Today there was a little award ceremony and breakfast. At the end I was going to take his picture. He was mad at me about something and I can't even remember why... So he would NOT smile.


I used my "don't you smile" tactic on him and he hid behind his hands and giggled like crazy.

Then, finally, a hands free, non scowling picture. So, he's looking off to the side and the behind the hands smile was much bigger. This is what we got. Congrats on being Student of the Month Mark-o... Now could you bring that good boy home from school today?

Random Rants

The 5 (or earlier) AM wakeups are starting to get to me and I think I'm cranky. Things are bothering me. Or maybe it's not just me, because what is bothering me is actually disturbing.

First of all, when I went to school yesterday it was on modified lockdown because of multiple calls to 911 on election day in which the caller was threatening teachers. That's all the info I had, but there were police at the school and all the classrooms were locked. Who on earth threatens elementary school teachers? Oh and the calls were made from a pay as you go type phone so they couldn't be traced. Poor teachers. Luckily, I guess the issue was resolved. But I have so many questions that I'm sure won't be answered. Who did this? Why? Was it a prank? Someone who had a beef about the election? Just some random psycho who gets his thrills scaring the crap out of people? Or someone who truly intended harm to someone? I hope not the last.

This bothers me too. People just dropping their kids off and giving up on them. I can't even imagine how much it would screw a (probably already troubled) teen off to have mom or dad go dump them at the nearest hospital. It looks like Nebraska is making an attempt to rewrite the Safe Haven Law for infants only. (Just to be clear, I do agree that the Safe Haven Law is a good thing for babies. I'm all for keeping newborns out of trash cans.)

Oh and we have a lovely popup spyware virus-y thing on our computer. Norton isn't finding it, but seriously, UGH. It's annoying and it's slowing down my computer. I found instructions for removing said spyware virus-y thing but it's like reading Greek so I'm waiting for my hubby to have time to do it. In the mean time let's just hope my computer doesn't crash because then I might be in a REALLY bad mood!

And I have a headache. And did I mention that the kids were up before 5 again? Yea, I'm cranky. Enough with the ranting though, everyone have a great day!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Potty Fiascos

Just a quick post today... By quick I mean I'm going to type as fast my fingers will fly and not proof read OR spell check so there will be sentences that don't make any sense and plenty of type -os. I might have just skipped it, but there's the whole NaBloPoMo thingie. :)

So, the last few days I've regressed on potty training Zack. First, HE regressed and then I, to save the small shred of sanity I might have left, just took a few days o-f-f. This morning I got right back down to it.

He and Ben stay at my friend's house on Wednesdays while I volunteer at the school. It is awesome! Unfortunately the last few times he's been over there he's been too distracted playing to care about potty time. This translates to LOTS of pee in the pants. Not cool. So, today I bribed him. If he could go allllllll day staying dry I would buy him a car. This was of course, after on the way out the door he announced "Mommy, I POOPED!" Argh.

So, being all full of inconsistency like I am lately, I gave him the car early. But he HAD stayed dry up to that point and we were waiting in the car pickup line at school and that is some boring time for a 3 year old. I also threatened that if he peed in his pants I'd take it away until he could stay dry like a big boy.

Bribes and threats, that's good mothering for ya. But, it's working cause he's not had an accident all day!

This should be easier the 3rd time around, shouldn't it? Cause it's not...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

I guess I should stop reading news headlines when I am sleep deprived and up at 5 AM because I read the headline "Turnout records fall even in GOP-friendly states" I got a little crazy wondering HOW in the world they could possibly know that given it's just now election day. Was this some sort of approximation based on the voting turnout in the early voting? How in the world with as adament as most of the people I know are about their candidate (on both sides) winning would turnout FALL from the last election. Then I clicked on the link and said to myself "OH the RECORDS are falling NOT the turnout.

Well good! I hope we blow the previous election turnout records out of the water. No matter who the vote is for.


What I don't want, however is to stand in line for 3 hours, so I'm hoping everyone around here took advantage of early voting. I, true to form, am waiting until the last minute... well the last day. I plan to vote after taking the boys to school, but will have the two littlest with me. This makes me happy that there is school though, because when I lived in GA election day was a school holiday. In the last major election I only had 2 kids to drag with me, so it wasn't a big deal, but 4 might just be too much!

So go vote everyone! I'm sure I'll be up way too late watching the results.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Methinks the Twos Might Be Terrible

Ben is an individual. He has such an opinion about everything and it's a teensy bit hard to manage sometimes. He's in an age with almost no impulse control, and it's hard to enforce the rules amongst his SHRIEKING.

He's gaining words daily, though he still does not have very many. However, NO, he has down, and uses it very often and emphatically.

Recently, we were at a friend's house and he was sitting in a chair. Zack tried to get in the chair with him and Ben put both arms out and declared "NO" with a kind of growl like I've never heard out of such a little guy. I couldn't stop laughing


Last night I was bathing him and he ripped the wash cloth out of my hand and declared "NO!" His eyes said the rest "I'll do it myself thanks so much!" Then, it was even worse when I was trying to get him out of the tub. "NONONONONO," complete with kicking and screaming. Ay yi yi.

As I was getting his diaper on it was "Go WAY, go WAY" Now, we aren't 100 % certain that he is actually saying go away but it sure does sound like it. However, he'll often walk through the house saying in a sing songy voice "goooo way, go way, go waaaay" as if he's trying out the phrase. Where on earth did he come up with that? Anyway, after the angry tirade of "go away" I got an even angrier (more angry?) chant of "No NO NO NO" as I put him in his pajamas.

If this is 20 (and a half) months I'm not sure what I'm in for when he's actually two.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

NaBloPoMo

I've seen lots of bloggers signing up for NaBloPoMo, and besides the name cracking me up, I decided it might be a nice challenge. The idea is to go over and sign up and commit to posting once a day, every day (even weekends) for the month of November. I post most days, but lately I seem to be so busy that I've been letting a few days pass me by... especially weekends.

So, today I was just going to be all "HEY look at my post over on Deep South Moms" (if you are here early it may not be up quite yet, but it should be posted sometime this morning!) Instead, I'll try to post something real here too... well, as real as it gets.

Many of you know I have been terrified of daylight savings time. Last year, the boys had been steadily waking at 5:45 in the days leading up to falling back. So when we actually changed the time that magic wakeup time changed to 4:45. Since 5 am has been wake up time around here, I was certain I was going to be summoned for various kid needs at 4. I was afraid...

Also, for the past few days, I've been getting up with Mark (the earliest riser) and keeping him from waking everyone else up SO early... and also using this time to get some stuff done. (Instead of waiting for the baby to wake up and wake up to disaster most mornings.) It was working pretty well except I was getting so tired after only a few days. Then there was the matter of me trying to sleep in and being unable to on Saturday.

So last night I decided... who am I kidding I couldn't hold my eyes open... to go to bed early. I was asleep by 9 and it was a good thing because I was awoken to meet different kids' needs 3 times in the night.

However, when my 5 AM alarm went off nooooo kids were up. I tried like crazy to go back to sleep, but could not, and when Mark closed my door about 10 after 5 I just got up.

I am so thankful for small miracles!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Costumed Cuteness!

Eric the Ninja! Who apparently couldn't look up at the camera or put his candy bag down to show the whole costume...



Buzz Lightyear, AKA Zack. He has the BEST smile EVER!!!



Ben as Woody the Cowboy... He wore that hat just long enough for me to snap the picture. And I had to work for that!





And Spider Mark... I mean Man, Spider Man. He felt the need to pose.



We had so much fun!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!!

Just a drop by to say Happy Halloween. It will be a crazy busy day!

Character Parade at school!

Zack & Ben's little class!

Nap time! (For Ben, not me... darn!)

Then school's out and before I know it!!!! Trick or Treat!!!!

In other Halloween related things...

Zack is so flipping cute saying

"Twick o Tweet,
Mell my Feet
Give me Some-ting
Good to Eat"

Cracks me up every time.

Later I hope to post one of the Halloween projects we did (it was sooooo simple, but so much fun for the boys) over at Artsy Craftsy (link over there on the left.)

Happy Halloween to all my friends!! What are your little guys and girls dressing up as?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Two Major Issues

I've decided that most of my problems in life stem from 2 root causes.

First, lack of sleep.

Two, poor time management.

Without getting into why my time management skills are lacking (ahem, internet.. four boys...) I'm trying to solve this problem. My house being a mess drives me crazy, but I don't want to give up blog time, or playing with the kids time. So guess what gets neglected.

After about 5 seconds of thought on this matter yesterday I reached a conclusion.

Most days, Mark wakes up at 5. His usual routine involves waking up every other child, which leads to mass chaos. Only he's smart and will sneakily close my door. It also leads to realllllly fussy other boys later in the day. So, I in all my wisdom, decided that I would get up with him at 5 (AM ya'll... Have I mentioned mornings aren't my thing?) and try to get some quiet chores done while Mark hangs out with me. He'll have my company, and I'll be able to keep him from waking up th0se who need more minutes of snooze time. This morning went well. I made some progress, and it is a bonus that Mark also likes to help! It's much easier to manage one kid helping than three or four.

Unfortunately this does nothing to remedy problem #1. In fact, it makes it much worse. We'll see how long I can keep up before my next crash and burn.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Old

I think I'm getting old. It's a sad thing, but I really feel it lately. Allow me to present my evidence.

Exhibit one: Grey hair. I've pulled out one or two over the last year, but after getting a haircut this last weekend I noticed quite a few right up front. Time to break open that box of hair color. Just not ready for grey hair. Not sure I ever will be.

Exhibit two: Achey wake ups. Every morning I wake up all achey. My shoulders are so tight, my neck hurts, even my legs hurt.

Exhibit three: I find myself wanting to go to bed earlier and earlier. Now, this could be a symptom of my early rising children, but DUDE, where'd the energy and love of teh night go?

Exhibit four: Injuries from normal activities. After the gym on Monday my knee started to hurt quite badly and it's been bothering me since, rendering me pretty much useless. I can walk and all that but not pain free. I, being the total whiner that I am, haven't shut up about it since.

Exhibit five: Faulty memory. I could give specific examples, however, unfortunately I can't recall them.

Exhibit six: Mark said 32 was OLD, therefore it must be true. Please allow me to point out that I am ONLY 31... No need to claim that extra year before it's time.

Exhibit seven: I find myself saying things like "Why won't those KIDS (teenagers) get out of the ROAD" and "Wow those kids (again teenagers) have, like no respect." (In my defense the "kid" was flipping me the bird from the back of the school bus. No, seriously.

Yep, I'm definitely getting old. Excuse me while I go find my cane...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Floridian

Burr. I think I am officially spoiled to Florida weather. Heaven help me if I ever move anywhere COLD. I'm mostly saying that because I nearly froze on our recent campout. And then there is today, walk to school day. Where we met up with loads of other kids and parents and walked to school. Not sure why we didn't do this a few weeks ago on the National Walk to School Day (when it was a TON warmer), but today was our school's day. It was fun but it was COLD. The coldest day here so far, and I'm not even sure what the actual temperature was but the forecast said morning would be 49 degrees.

Now, 49 degrees is cold, don't get me wrong. I put jackets on the kids and even pulled out my leather jacket. That's not what makes me laugh and say, "yep I'm surely a Floridian now." What cracks me up is that I was cursing my misfortune that I didn't have a heavier coat, blankets for the stroller kids, gloves, earmuffs, scarves, hot chocolate! I was freezing.

By noon it will be 60 and I'll be comfy and basking in the glory that is fall in Florida. For now, I'll sit here, still chilly, sipping my herbal tea. It's late October, what is the temperature where you live?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Why I'm Not Posting

I'm not sure what my problem is but the creative juices are not flowing. I don't know if it's the fact that I'm exhausted, or busy, or just out of ideas but normally before I get breakfast ready for the boys I have a pretty good idea what my post is going to be for the day. Not today.

I could post about how we let the boys stay up really late on Saturday night and then how hard Sunday was for that reason. Whiny, cranky kids, and impatient cranky parents. It was a looooong hard day.


I could post about how about 2 PM Sunday I sat down with my head in my hands trying to muster some motherly patience and then Kevin sent me out for a mental break. Thank goodness cause I was DYING. And over nothing serious, just little stuff that moms deal with... leaving me asking myself what on earth my problem is.

I could post about how Ben not staying in bed is messing with my sleep so much because he is getting up way too early and I don't know how much longer I can keep this up. Oh and he's only napping about 1/2 the time. Not good for a boy who NEEDS his sleep.

I could post about how TERRIFIED I am of the time change because I'm pretty much positive that our 5 AM wake ups are going to turn into 4 AM wake ups and OH MY GOODNESS I WILL DIE.

I could post about how going back to spin class after 3 weeks off almost killed me this morning, but I was pretty proud of myself for going back.

But all that is kind of negative and I wanted to be upbeat this morning. I guess this will have to do.

I promise to be in a better mood tomorrow!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Double Toothy Trouble

So last night went a little like this. After making a slacker mom dinner for the boys (fish sticks anyone?) and trying like mad to get a few things done before Kevin's flight got in from Atlanta, I sat down to check my email. I got one from Sue that said "Any response?" I replied "NOTHING... I've sent her my numbers three times though... I just don't know what to do... I don't want to be a stalker, but she did say she wanted me on board. Wahhhhhh. LOL" And then Mark freaked out because somehow he walked right into the couch and his loose tooth was sticking straight out. I abandoned the email conversation because there was BLOOD. I had to face the thing that way back when the first teeth were lost I declared Kevin's job. That tooth needed to come out. Now. It took a little doing and a lot of convincing (myself, Mark was gung ho because, in his own words, "I want the money mom") but that tooth came out. I still shudder. The evening went on, I put Ben to bed and emailed back and forth a few more times with Sue pondering reasons why I hadn't gotten a phone call I've been expecting for a few weeks. Then I had to put Ben back to bed (yes, again) and then all of a sudden, the phone rang. The very call I've been looking forward to! Unfortunately, she had another call that she had to take. Sue had advised me to have cookies to hand to children while I talked about this new opportunity. Lo and behold, I had actually bought cookies while at the store today. They came in handy too, because in the 5 minute conversation we had when she called back Ben fell down the stairs, Eric was telling me he needed me to pull HIS loose tooth, and just the general chaos that exists in this house as a matter of course. The cookies fixed all that and I could LISTEN. Thanks for the outstanding advice, Sue. It worked!

After my phone call, I took a closer look at Eric's tooth and it seemed he was correct when he informed me the tooth was ready to come out. I could have saved it for daddy, but emboldened by my tooth yanking success earlier in the evening, decided to give it a go. Sure enough, I have two boys missing teeth again. And the tooth fairy is a little poorer.

Regarding mysterious phone calls and emails, I promise more details after I get more confident that they aren't going to read my first post and say, "oh GOSH what were we thinking, never mind, run along little girl." It does involve writing on another blog a few times a month, though. Specifics to be announced at a later date! I'm so excited!

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