Monday, September 29, 2008

Fitness Update & New Goals

It occurred to me the other day that I've been working out now for a little more than 9 months. It's the first time in my life that I've done any actual exercise regularly, and on purpose. I was really active as a teen, but not really into organized exercise. I've started tons of times. And I always quit, until this time. I'm fairly confident that this time I'm not going to quit.

We are going on a cruise with Kevin's family in January, and I would like nothing more to lose 15-20 more pounds by that time. I am typically not very good at losing weight on a deadline. Okay, honestly I'm not good at losing weight period. Because while I've lost 17 pounds, and 2 sizes, I have been stuck here for quite a while. I still see changes. Like, when I started my weight training (toning) class and the instructor did bridges and then went up to hands, and back down to elbows, I made one pitiful attempt to do so and then collapsed flat on my stomach. Now I can do that. And I can go from plank to side plank. I'm not bragging, but I am pleased to see progress. I just wish it would translate to the evil scale.

So, 15-20 pounds more lost by January 1. That is my goal, and instead of simply whining about the weight not coming off, I've been devising a plan. I know that I absolutely need more cardio. I've heard to aim for 3-5 times a week and I'm getting two at the best. Zack's got a little class starting that interferes with one of those two times, so I am going to have to rethink things. When I lost the first 15 pounds was right around the time that I severely decreased my meat consumption, and was eating extremely healthily. Go figure. Now I eat basically no meat except occasionally seafood, but other things have slipped back in. Namely, chocolate and other deliciously evil things. Is my diet as good as it was when I started this weight loss journey. No. Is it worlds better than before I started it. Oh my goodness yes. Is there room for improvement? Obviously. When I was losing weight I was eating homemade vegetable soup for lunch almost every day, and somewhere along the line I stopped that. I think it's time to start that habit again. Especially since I make a pretty darn good pot of veggie soup, so it's not as if I feel all deprived or anything. That is part one of my plan.

Part two is hard for me even to write about and I'm not sure why. Setting fitness goals is tough for me because I'm nervous it sets me up for failure. I am trying to move beyond that mentality. So, there's some 5K thing (ok, there's tons, but this one is way off in the distance) in March and I am setting a goal to be able to run 5 K by March. Notice I didn't say I was signing up for the 5K, ohhhh no I'm not ready for that yet! Maybe I'll get to that point someday, but definitely not yet. On the days I can't make the classes I like to go to I am going to start getting on the treadmill and walk/jog and start working toward that. Without compromising my weight training class because I really believe that it is so important, I want to rev up my cardio to 3-4 times per week.

Okay, these are lofty goals. I'll update on my progress!

If you are interested in adding running to your fitness routine, but are like me and not a runner, there is a great beginners program at Cool Running. If you've heard of the Couch to 5K program, that link is where to find it! Let me know if you do this, then we can cheer each other on!

Friday, September 26, 2008

What Happens When I Turn My Back for .37 Seconds

I would swear the lid was on the tub of Eucerin when I went to find the kids school spirit day teeshirts. Either this kid is now moving on to removing lids, or I was mistaken. I'd say the odds of either are about 50/50.

But darn it he's cute.

Don't look at the floor in this one. We have to remove excess mortar and grout still. :)

Fun with Pancakes

The big question on my older boys' minds the millisecond I get out of my bed is "What's for breakfast." All school days, the answer is often cereal, because we have limited time to get everyone ready and out the door. You see, mornings are nuts around here. However, I've been torn for awhile because while cereal is easy, they have not been eating it. So I've been searching for something that we haven't eaten to the point of being sick of it, but that is still a little bit nutritious. Anyway, yesterday Eric was going on and on about making pancakes and putting faces on them with banana slices, and even in my sleep deprived stupor, I couldn't say no to his enthusiastic request. Banana pancakes it was.

And they ate every last bite.

PS If you look down you can see a preview of the new floor. I love it. Try to NOT see the mess, though. You might have to try REALLY hard for that one.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Am I Living Under a Rock?

Mmmmkay, so don't actually answer that. Today I was visiting a blog and I clicked on one of the comment links to see the commenters blog and I found out that Martha Stewart has a blog. I have to confess I am as far from Martha Stewart as you can get. I barely can keep up with the day to day stuff, and taking care of the kids. But I LOVE what she does. Everything is so pretty, and tasty and just CUTE. Anyway, how I missed that there was a blog I have no idea, but not only does Martha have a blog, she's having a contest and all you have to do is leave a comment and link over to the Martha blog. The prize is having YOUR blog featured on her blog. Also, there's also a sweepstakes and tons of good stuff over there. Go see! I'm going to go look around over there and see if there's anything that will help me in my homemaking skills (or lack thereof.)

Have I Told You About the Crazy?

If you've read Life With Boys for any amount of time, or even if you've only just read a few posts, it should be clear that it is crazy around here. It's usually a good crazy, but there's always this buzzing, energetic, chaotic, insanity in the air. Last night was an example of the good crazy. I was doing dishes after dinner, but I couldn't help but get in there and take some pictures of the jolly (nutso) fun that was occurring.

I don't think there's any denying who's boys they are. Am I even in there or are they just carbon copies of Daddy? What do you think?

When our little Ben was born I always said "What's it going to be like when you have FOUR little guys crawling all over you?" Well, the answer is in the above picture. Ben crawled right up on top of Kevin to join his brothers.

I don't know why little boys and daddies love this game so much. It stresses a momma out. But they love it. The others are saying "My turn!! Me next!!"

I'm kind of speechless on this one. CRAZY, that's all I'm sayin'.

Hey, look at mom. Let's POINT. I dunno what's going on here, but it's kinda cute!

And last, but not least, I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again. My littlest boy is fearless and crazy. Ben thinks it's SO fun to

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Boring, Nonetheless I Write It

So, now that the stomach virus (which is the absolute least gross way I could think to phrase that) has made it's way through half the family, and then Mark and I had some random fever thing, leaving Ben the only one who hasn't been ill. Thank goodness for the little things. At least one of us was spared, so far. While we were dealing with sickness and such, my house was completely destroyed, and I've tried to recover a little from that today.

My broken door was finally fixed today, which is almost not even worth mentioning since we just replaced the glass with new, unbroken clear glass. Can't get much more boring than that, but it was the best option for the bank account, so we went with it.

I had grand plans today of cooking a few meals ahead, however I started with this recipe and it just wore me out. It wasn't hard, but it did take awhile. So, I don't have days worth of dinners in the freezer, but I do have tonight's ready and that is pretty awesome if you ask me. I'll post later on if the recipe was worth all the fuss. I think it's going to be pretty fabulous! My menu this week and most of next is straight from the pages of Rachel Ray magazine. I will post the recipes that we like if I think about it.

The floor, I haven't mentioned the floor in ages. We are still not done, but we are really, really close. You know I'll post pictures when (if?) it is (ever) complete.

I guess that's about all that's going on around here lately, but I'll leave you with one funny story.

Eric and Mark came home from school yesterday with "Pay It Forward" bracelets. At school, they are going over the concept of doing kind things for others. Eric walked in the door, handed me a flower (from our flower bed) and the bracelet, and said "Pay it forward" as he raced past me. Then Mark told me all about how it meant that if someone was bleeding and you saved them they should pay it forward by helping someone else later. I explained that it didn't have to be someone bleeding, but that we should do nice things for people. He persisted in telling me about the bleeding guy. So I told him, yes if people are hurt we should help them, but not just that. Or something like that. Later in the evening, it was nearing bedtime and I told them that I was proud of them for how nicely they had behaved in the afternoon and evening. Eric said "did we earn a reward?" And I explained for the umpteenth time that you don't always get a reward for behaving, you are just expected to behave, etc. Then he vanished for a bit and not long after the pay it forward bracelet came flying at me. I guess somehow, instead of thanking him for being well behaved, I should pay it forward by behaving myself. I don't know if they totally get the concept... I'll work on it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Damsel in Distress (Enter Eye Roll Here)

I despise having to be rescued. It annoys me when I get into a situation that beyond my control and I can't get myself out. I'm not good at asking for help and, well, I HATE having to call my husband, resulting him to leave work to bail me out of whatever nonsensical situation I've created for myself. And you better believe I can get into some stupid situations what with my brain being permanently damaged by all these kids and all. Really.

Yesterday I went to the gym to spin because evidently I enjoy feeling like death is eminent. Actually, it's less feeling like I'm going to die now, which is good, but it's still HARD. But that's another story. I was running late, another thing that I detest, to the point of it creating anxiety, but I decided to go spin anyway. Somewhere between checking in at the front desk, and getting to the locker room, I realized my keys were not in my hand. Feeling comfort at the fact that I had used them to check in, I figured I stuck them in my bag, or left them on the counter at the kids club so I didn't worry about it at all. I should have. An hour and a half later, I had sweated buckets, showered and done something with my hair and face, and felt pretty darn great. I went and got my two littlest buddies and went digging through my bag for keys. Not there. No one in the child care had seen them, so I went to the front desk and no one had turned them in. I KNEW they weren't in the locker room, but I looked anyway because I was convinced they were somewhere in that gym.

I tried to call my friend who would for SURE have come and picked us up, but I couldn't remember her phone number. It was programmed into my cell phone which was locked in the van with a totally dead battery. I debated calling AAA, but didn't think they were much help with no key to start the car with. Anyway. I called Kevin's cell and asked him to 1. Find the number of the glass company that was due at our home any minute to say I wouldn't be there, and 2. Find the phone number I couldn't remember. Turns out, the number we were looking for wasn't in the phone book yet, so he just came to get me. He, who was in California for 3 days last week, and probably had a zillion things to do. UGH.

While we waited, we wandered around the shopping center. At one point Ben managed to get his diaper off out from under his pants. That ,my friends, is talent. Also, I had no diapers with me (yes, locked in the car.) However, under the circumstances, my tired and hungry boys were so good and patient.

In the end, the keys were found and the gym called me at 7:30 last night. I'm about to go get them now. Kevin keeps saying to me that I've lost more keys than anyone he's ever known, and he's right. I argue back, however that only one set have I lost FOREVER. Yes, I have issues with keys. I wish I didn't because it's annoying.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Fort

My gut reaction was to get angry. I blame that on my current state of severe sleep deprivation, combined with the fact that I've been working really hard to make some headway on deep cleaning the house. I had just right that moment been folding a pile of laundry that you could lose a small child in. Fortunately, that hadn't happened, but I'm confident it could.

So anyway, I was irritated, but suppressing it because deep down in my heart of hearts I knew that they weren't trying to make a mess, nor were they trying to make me crazy... They were having fun. That's all. It really sucks when you know something in your head, but it does not one thing to quell your aggravation. So, I faked it, grumbling in my head (but silent outwardly) everytime I walked by. Then I noticed how cute the little feet were sticking out from under the table.

Little feet sticking out, playing in the fort. Come on, it's just a couple of blankets anyway. I came out of my funk, and decided that instead of being grouchy, I would take pictures. It was a much better idea.

Later, when they were done with with fort (it was a bit cramped in their with 3 boys and tight quarters) and the blankets were on the floor, I requested they be taken back upstairs where they belong. And they happily obliged. I'm really glad I didn't ruin their fun with my grumpy mommy-ness.

This could have been a different scenario. Recently I read a post over at 3 Cute Kids, where Shanna documented a totally frustrating situation through pictures. She said it was easier to stay calm, knowing she was going to be blogging it later, so I am stealing the premise from her, and agreeing that yes, it is easier. Blogging helps me keep things in perspective.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Why You Should NEVER Say Things Are Easy

I'm not a superstitious person per se. I kind of believe in making your own luck, and making the best of every situation. However, I am now 100% convinced that if you talk about how well things are going, they can totally take a turn. The jinx. I don't know if it's to keep me humble, or WHAT, but dude. Yesterday I was all look how smoothly Wednesday went, such a nice day, and Thursday was okay too (until the "bewitching hour" but we even recovered from that rather nicely, if I do say so. Wait I should SO NOT say so. Scratch that.)

When Kevin is out of town, I pretty much have to stay up until I can barely hold my eyes open to prevent laying in bed awake for hours. So, I had a pretty great time just relaxing, hanging out doing silly stuff on the computer, and just soaking up the silence. It was nice. Finally, I quit thinking about the little house noises and went to bed. Within literally 5 minutes, the first kid was up crying. Zack. Somehow the door to his room was locked and he couldn't get out. I talked him through the unlocking process, not wanting to go back down the stairs I had just ran up to retrieve the little door key. Anyway. I just brought him downstairs with me to sleep. Well, Ben saw me on my way down and started screaming, so I soothed him to keep him from waking all the other kids. About 12:30 I collapsed back into my bed.

At 1:40 I awoke to Eric screaming "MOMMY I THREW UP." Which is pretty much the worst news I could get right now. I got him cleaned up and settled back in, but he was sick several more times in the night. Even now, he's laying on the couch just vegging, and I sincerely hope the pukey part is over.

So, today, my plan is to clean, clean, clean and now adding taking care of my sick bubby into that mix. It's fine, but I just feel awful for him. Being sick is lousy.

Can I just start the caffeine IV now, because MAN I am TIRED.

On the positive side, I shouldn't have any trouble sleeping tonight!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ben at 19 months

This is probably not of interest to anyone but me, but I need to document Ben's words at 19 months so I can remember later. Indulge me, please.

Ni - ni (night night)
Bye bye (and he waves)
hi (actually it sounds kind of like ha, but he means hi)
baba (bottle)
no - this might have been his first actual word... of course. He uses it quite appropriately too.

I think there is more, and I will add as I think of them. It makes me smile every time I hear an actual word out of his mouth. He's not ahead of where he should be, but I love it because Zack didn't talk at ALL at this age and I worried about it so much. It's nice to hear those little words come out of such a teeny mouth.

Some Days Are Just Easy

It's few and far between, but it happens, and today was one of those days. It's a darn good thing because I feel like I was entitled to an easy day after the past few weeks.

In case you've forgotten, let's do a recap...

There was the seizure... which all on it's own was enough to send me over the edge. Then there was the sickness of all of the kids and ME within a few days time. Then there was the never ending tile project which is WAY harder on Kevin than me, but still I persist to whine about it. Of course we can not forget our cute little Ben, who smashed the front door. And then... I didn't even blog about it, but that same cute little baby Ben got ahold of our not so cheap remote control and put it in a bucket of water that accidentally got left out after a riveting night of grouting. Yep, it was fried. And so was I. I'm soooo taking the money for the door and the remote out of his college fund. Kidding, of course... kind of. Oh! And I almost forgot about inconclusive allergy tests and such. It's not been easy for quite a while.

Wednesday was a great day!

Started off with the usual hustle & bustle of getting out the door and the big boys to school. I came home, packed a lunch, dropped off the little guys and headed up to school to help Mark's teacher with some things, then got to sit there and chat with the boys during their lunch. I had planned on eating with them, but Kevin called me while I was busily filing away kindergarten papers and told me he was still home, but was going to go to the office to get a new laptop battery, and if I wanted we could go to this sandwich place he always raves about.

After I picked up the little kids, we headed down to St. Pete and Zack and Ben slept the entire way there. Quiet conversation with my husband, without a million distractions and stressors was a rare treat. We got to Mazarro's and ordered our sandwiches, then wandered the market for a while. Lunch was so nice with only two little ones, who munched on chips (they had already eaten) and were just cute and happy to smile at passersby.

By the time we got home it was almost time for the big ones to get in and they were so happy to see daddy home. They did homework, watched cartoons, and "helped" Kevin plan out the next section of tile (in the hall, the kitchen is just so close to finished, but he needs to do this one spot before he can complete the last bit of kitchen tile.)

I fed the kids and my friend and I ran out to Chipotle for my last moment of being alone for the next 3 days. Got home, and helped Kevin pack and vegged a little and realized that for the first time in a long time, I didn't feel frazzled, or anxious, or just plain worn out. Okay, so I was still pretty worn out, because even the easy days are exhausting. It felt good to have a little break from total insanity though.

This morning we waved goodbye to Kevin as he left for the airport. Bye bye daddy they all waved, including Ben.

Please excuse the picture quality... it was a camera phone picture inspired by the cuteness of the moment.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sometimes They are So Sweet

Little boys are full of silliness and mischief and noise. They can be a handful, they are known to on occasion be obnoxious. When you have four boys, you know these things. When you have four boys, (or one, or two, or three for that matter) you know that raising boys takes energy, patience and sometimes you just have to white knuckle your way through the day. Hold on tight and ride out the chaos.

Even though all that is fundamentally true, there is another side to little boys. A side that makes it all worthwhile.

On Sunday I fell down the stairs. It wasn't too bad of a fall, just my foot slipped on the third to last step, causing my leg to buckle underneath me as I slid down the next two steps. I shouted something on the lines of "CRAP! OUCH!! THAT HURT!" Also, I was holding Ben at the time, and he was unscathed, and in fact thought the whole thing was quite amusing.

I'm a bit melodramatic about hurting myself. I have never broken a bone (except hairline fractures in my feet a few times) but I'm horrified of breaking a bone. Especially at this stage in my life because what in the WORLD am I going to do if I get hurt? How would I take care of everybody hobbling around on crutches? It's scary. So, I sat there contemplating if I was going to be able to walk or not, when 3 little boys came thundering down the stairs. And they said, "It's okay, mommy, you are okay." And they all four took turns giving me hugs and kisses. I told them they were right, that Mommy was okay.

In the end, my foot was fine, I suffered nothing more than a carpet burn on my ankle, and I gained a very full heart. My boys are sweet. They are compassionate, caring, and sympathetic. They wanted to make sure I was okay, at the same time reassuring me that I would be fine. How much more can a Mommy ask for?

Monday, September 15, 2008

He Made It

Mark made it to the end of our agreement and is now the proud new owner of a fish named Feather.

And since Eric follows the rules most of the time without being prodded, bribed, or punished, he got a fish too. Then Zack proclaimed that HE wanted a fish too, never wanting to be left out. I talked him out of that by saying that (spin, spin, spin) this was Mark's reward and Eric's reward, but the fish were for us ALLLLL to look at and enjoy. Miraculously that smoothed it over and Mark didn't even freak out or insist that it was only HIS fish! Whew. Sometimes things just work out. Or maybe it was because they were all so excited that it didn't really matter anymore. So we are the proud owners of two bettas. Eric's fish is as yet unnamed, but it is the one on the left.

The tank is divided so they each get their own side, and don't go crazy and, you know, kill each other.

I've learned a few little things from this experiment.

1. Mark can be extremely good when he wants to.

2. A week was TOO long. The end got a little sketchy. We had a few near misses. The LAST day before fish day Mark did something (I don't remember the details, but it was big) and I was walking out the door to run an errand and didn't know what Kevin was going to do about it. He deserved to be sent to his room, that was FOR SURE. I was relieved to hear that Kevin decided the ramification would be Mark cleaning the playroom by himself. I rolled my eyes when I heard that because I thought it would NEVER happen. I went up to look and almost passed out because everything was put away. He did it! So, it was a close call, but he made it.

3. Motivate motivate motivate and use positive reinforcement. Not always a big thing, but the promise of reward goes a long way, I've discovered. Well, I probably already knew that, but it was a good reminder.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Not A Day Too Soon

Yesterday, I gave up on my efforts to find my camera, and went and bought a new one. I was holding off because I was sort of hoping it would just magically appear out of nowhere, and also I was hesitant to spend the money what with the floor tile and the oops, the baby broke the door situation. In the end, we decided to just do it, because I have so many times in the past few days said "Gosh I wish I had my camera, I would take pictures right now." Anyway.

This morning, Kevin was standing at the back door and said "Hey look, there's a bird out here with a fish." I ran to see, and sure enough there's the bird, with the fish. We watched him drop it.

Then he picked it up again. It was crazy, like the national geographic channel in my backyard or something.

And just then, a hawk swooped down and STOLE THE BIRDS FISH.

Not cool, Meanie Pants Hawk, not cool at ALL. I know, it's nature, but can you say RUDE? Later we saw the bird (or A bird, maybe the same one, I like to think so) with another fish.

*Don't worry about the pictures looking strange. I took them through the screen of my bedroom window. I was afraid the bird would fly away if I went out to take them.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Potty Training Freak Out

On the agenda this afternoon is potty training and cleaning the house. That is lack of enthusiasm you hear in my tone, in case you weren't sure. Neither is on my list of things I love to do. Fortunately, potty training isn't something that must be done as regularly as cleaning. And, with any luck, once Zack is potty trained, he will STAY trained. Much unlike the house, which if I do manage to get clean, will be messed up again so fast my head will spin.

Ahh potty training. My nemesis. I should be good at it by now, having succeeded twice, but it's hard ya'll. I've tried a few times with Zack. First, he wasn't ready, then I wasn't. Then, we were too busy in the car dropping off, picking up, and running kids every which way. Then I was too crazy with four kids home all summer to work on it. Then I'd decide TODAY is the day, and we'd do great and then I'd put him in a diaper to run a quick errand, or just for the gym, and then suddenly the day was over and I realized I'd forgotten to take him out of the diaper when we'd gotten home and HOLY CRAP THIS KID IS NEVER GOING TO BE POTTY TRAINED AND IT'S ALL! MY! FAULT!!!!!!

So today, I try again. One of these times it will stick. He's really ready, he always asks to go potty before his bath. He pees in the potty often, it's just that he pees in his diaper too. Because his mommy can't get her act together long enough to take it off of him.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

He's Halfway There

For the longest time Mark has wanted a pet.

"Mommy, I want a kitty cat."

"Sorry buddy, Mommy's allergic to cats."

"Mommy, I want a puppy."

"Sorry sweetie, daddy's allergic to dogs." (No, really, we aren't liars. All this is true. That and I love dogs as long as somebody else has to walk them and take them out to pee, aka not mine. And oh yeah, I need one more thing to take care of almost as much as I need a hole in the head. Truly.)

Being the rational and intelligent child that he is he said, "Well, how about a fish. Fish aren't furry or ANYTHING so they won't make you and daddy sneeze."

"Yes, Mark that is true. We could probably get a fish."

Except, that at that very moment we were days away from leaving to drive half way across the country to Oklahoma, so I thought that maybe it might be a good idea to wait until after our 3 week vacation so Mr. Fishy might have a chance to survive (still debatable in our home.)

That was in June. We never got Mr. Fishy. Why, you ask? Well, right around the time we got home from vacation, Mark decided it would be a great idea to start lying to us and after various punishments we decided that little boys who lie don't get to have pets. A lot of tears were shed. And we forgot about the fish. For awhile.

Lately, he's been asking about the fish from time to time. Lamenting the fact that he lost his chance to have a pet. Saturday, we were out running errands and he mentioned it. I took a deep breath and said "Well, Mark, let's make a deal. If you can go a whole week without getting sent to your room, we'll get you a fish. Today is Saturday, so next Saturday, if you are good for a whole week, we'll go to the pet store." Then I wondered what the heck I had done because, Mark had been excessively naughty at home since school has started. Picking on Eric, potty talk, crappy attitude, you name it he did it and I was nearing the end of my rope. I alternated between thinking NO WAY he could not get sent to his room for a week, and OH CRAP do I really want a freaking fish?

There was one incident on Sunday. I can't remember what he did but Kevin sent him upstairs and then he looked at me and whispered "Sorry, I forgot about the fish." I told him not to worry, because he had committed a send to your room offense. When Mark was able to come down again I asked him to come talk to me and he was so sad until I explained that we could start fresh and try again. All was well.

I can't believe it, but Mark has not been sent to his room since Sunday. Has he been perfect? Of course not. Has he been reminded a few times to "Shape up the attitude if you want the fish?" Yep, sure has. Has he been remarkably better behaved than in previous days. Absolutely.

Tonight we had a near miss. I was folding laundry, so I didn't witness it but I heard Kevin say, "Did you just hit Zack? Why did you hit him?" And I held my breath hoping against hope that he would be lenient. We don't tolerate hitting, but ... but... but... he's been SO good. In the end, he wasn't sent to his room tonight. He apologized. I talked to him and said he was lucky daddy didn't send him straight up to bed, and he would have had to start all over. He looked at me and said "Daddy said if I hit someone again, the deal is over."

I'm rooting for my boy. I'm willing him to be well behaved. I'm willing myself to be patient and reserve room sending only for the worst offenses without letting truly bad actions slide for the sake of the deal. That would negate my whole objective. I hope by Saturday he'll have a fish. I hope that we've both learned some lessons in this endeavor. I hope we've made some habits that can help our home be more peaceful and fun. I hope that little boy knows I love him no matter what, whether he acts like a little turkey, or as saintly as they come. I hope that this is something more than a bribe and that a deeper lesson is learned.

You can do it Mark! Just a few more days! You are more than halfway there!

And Cue the Thunder...

Yesterday, the boys discovered a monstrous, ginormously huge container of water balloons. 450 water bombs to be exact. first, they wanted me to blow them up. Since my lungs can't take that (I can blow up balloons, but not these teensy things) I reminded them that they were water balloons. "SO FILL THEM WITH WATER MOM!! Please, Momma, PLEASE." Sigh. I promised them today they could and I set it up to even have friends over to enjoy in the water play.

There was a chance of rain today, so as I sat and ate lunch with the older two at school I mentioned the water plans, but with the caveat that it MIGHT rain, and if it does, we'll have to do it another day.

I was even looking forward to it and as of 2:45 it wasn't raining. But there were clouds wayyyyy off on the horizon.

Those clouds burst just a few minutes ago, complete with thunder and lightning. So far, there are no tears, or fits or demands to play with water balloons anyway. So far.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

You Aren't Going to BELIEVE This!!!

Ben broke our front door. Yes, you heard that right. Ben the BABY broke our front door. You see, I was using this tool we have to scrape the mortar out from between tiles and I guess I got distracted (go figure) and left it out. When I heard the banging I said "GUYS, quit BANGING!!!" Mark said "Moooooom, it's Ben." So I grumbled and let it go, then JUST as I started to go stop him Mark comes running, Ben in his arms, and says "MOM Ben cracked the DOOR." And I believe my exact words were "Ben cracked the WHAT? Which door? Wait, what's that noise?" I took Ben in my arms and looked up at my glass door to see cracked glass over the entire bottom half of the door, and it was moving up. Crackle crackle. Unsettling.

Thank GOODNESS it didn't shatter. I got everyone FAR away from the door because I was pretty sure it was going to come crashing in any second. Then I called Kevin to ask what I needed to do next.

Thank GOODNESS it was double pane glass, so we could take down the shattered glass and still have a barrier to the outside world.

So now is the great debate. Here are our options.

1. Replace the glass with clear glass. Same as it was.

Pro - Probably the cheapest option.
Con - We don't like having the clear glass in the door (basically the entire door is glass, so people can see right in. We've just been waiting til later to do something about it... I guess later is now.)

2. Replace the whole door.

Pro - We can pick one that doesn't have glass where little toddler hands can reach. Fewer finger prints, etc.

Con - Apparently, in FL there is an exorbitant permit fee for replacement doors. Or at least that's what we have been told. Plus a large installation fee, plus the cost of the door. OUCH.

3. Replace the glass with something non see through.

Pro - Pretty and given #2 possibly cheaper

Con - I have to figure out who to use and make phone calls and all that to get it done. Plus it takes time to order the glass, get it installed, etc.

I still have LOTS of research to do. It is feasible that we could install a replacement door ourselves, thus negating the $250 or so installation fee (not to mention $150 for the permit!!!! Oh wait, pretend I didn't say that!)

So, I am looking forward to an afternoon of calling glass companies. And allergists, but that's a different post entirely.

Monday, September 8, 2008

And the Nominees Are...

Last week, Shanna nominated me for this award! I am so excited as it is my very first blog award! YAY! Thanks Shanna!

The award comes with these rules:

The winner can put the logo on their blog.
Link to the person you received your award from.
Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
Put links of those blogs on yours.
Leave a message on the blogs you've nominated.
Write an acceptance speech in the style of the Academy Awards, thanking everybody’s mother, father, sister, brother, aunties and uncles and the kitchen staff at your favorite restaurant!

First of all I would like to thank Shanna, without whom my blog might have continued to be one or two posts a month, and might have even dwindled into nothingness. By sharing her blog with me, it got me addicted writing again. And, I would, of course, like to thank her for this award, because, it just makes it all worthwhile (sniff). I would like to thank my
4 little boys for just being their crazy, little selves, and giving me more blog material than I could ever actually put into writing. I would like to think my husband, who is understanding about my blogging habit, even if he does tease me about being addicted. And of course, I'd like to thank every single person who takes the time to read this blog. It means so much!

Now for the nominees.

1. Sue at My Party of Six... She makes me laugh, she makes me cry. She is a great writer with a flare for making the chaos of this mommy gig FUNNY. Here is your award Sue!

2. Jenny at Desperately Seeking Balance... She has two adorable little girls and I hope to hear lots more about them soon. But the posts she has written have been fantastic, funny, and I think she has lots of grace dealing with surgeries and such for her little one. Here's your award Jenny! For what it's worth, I think you are doing GREAT with everything that's been thrown your way. AND your writing is awesome!

3. Crisa at Dear Lord... Two kids, lots of humor, and great ideas for crafts that she has done with and for her kids. Crisa is another great blogger that I rush right over everytime I see that there has been a new post! And here is your award Crisa...

4. Kellan at On the Upside... I'm so glad I found this blog! Always fun, always uplifting! I love her positive spin on life and all the awesome stories about her family! Kellan, here is your award!

5. Caroline at Take Two... This is Shanna's niece and I LOVE that she has a blog. I think it is toooo much fun and hope she posts more soon!

6. I am probably not supposed to do this, but I just can't see how I can do this and NOT give Shanna the award again... You don't have to do the nominees and all that again... But Shanna, your blog is awesome! Your kids are awesome! YOU are awesome... so here you go, even though you already have one!

7. And, I know she has not a clue who I am, and her blog has already received countless awards, but I have to extend this award to Tootsie Farklepants at Vintage 30. I love to laugh and I can't remember a post over there that doesn't make me giggle, and even spit out my diet coke laugh out loud.

Whew, that took FOREVER! Thanks again to Shanna for the nomination!

Word Associations

Knees - sore & raw
Hands - dry & cracking
Back - achy
Shoulders - knotted
Kevin - the hardest worker I've ever seen
Floor - coming along quite nicely... but we are SO ready to be finished!

Thursday, September 4, 2008


A few confessions to cleanse my soul...

1. I wasn't really all that calm or collected during Zack's seizure. You all give me too much credit. I called 911 because I had no freaking clue what else to do.

2. I have not gone to the gym one single day this week. And I plan not to tomorrow. I have excuses? You want to hear them? No? Here they are anyway.
Monday... I was sick
Tuesday... Eric was sick
Wednesday... I volunteered at school.
Thursday... Ben, Zack and I were too traumatized after Ben's blood draw to think about it.
Tomorrow... Well, heck, why not round out the week of NOT exercising and go play with a friend instead.

3. I stink at things like sticker charts and long term ways to motivate the boys to be good. I usually make a great chart, use it for maybe a week and then it goes by the wayside.

4. In spite of having a really great day yesterday, I felt the same impatience & stress at dinner time that I usually do.

5. I kind of hope Ben is allergic to some food so I can remove it from his diet and CLEAR UP THE ECZEMA once and for all.

6. I need to potty train Zack. He's ready. I'm not. I must get over this and DO IT ALREADY. Next week, k?

7. I am losing my mind a little. As well as everything else. I've lost my camera (which I mentioned), my cell phone (which the kids found in the back of the van 2 days later) as well as other things that I can't remember right now.

8. I don't always keep things in perspective. I try. Really. But I fail more than I succeed. (Another case of you all giving me too much credit-- going from your comments.)

9. I had a bad case of the I don't want to's last night when Kevin came home ready to work on tile. I didn't speak of it to him, but I dreaded it. We got a lot done though, and now I'm glad we did it (plus he's doing all the hard stuff, I was just being a whiny baby.)

10. I am so happy and get giddy every time I get a comment on this blog. It amazes me that you all show up here to read what's on my mind and about my silly guys. It's fun for me to write it, but so rewarding that you actually take time out of your day to read it and even more time to comment. Thanks so much!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Score One for the Momma (and the Daddy)!

It never fails to thrill me to the highest height when I realize that the things I am teaching the boys are actually getting through. It's sinking in. Sometimes, I realize that all of that talking, and sending to their rooms, and timeouts, and the occasional spanking, and praising the heck out of good behavior is actually making an impact. Those are the days that I smile and remember that my goal in all of this is to turn these crazy little boys into good, functional grownups. I can't even fathom my kids as adults. I go to stores and see boys in their teens and think WHAT will I do when these little guys are taller than me and won't want to hold my hand while walking into the school, much less get a kiss goodbye. When I can't monitor their playdates and be there to correct their errors. What will I do when they are BIG and making their own decisions for REAL? It's scary.

Yesterday, I had a moment of AHA! They are getting it! When another mom overheard Mark say to her son "I can't LIE to my mom anymore." The friend said "Why?" Mark said "Because she always KNOWS and I get in TROUBLE."

I fear for the day that I don't always know when one of the boys are lying. Right now it's pretty obvious because they aren't GOOD at lying. I just hope that he keeps believing that his Momma is all knowing. It may help me in the future. In the meantime, I am so ecstatic that he knows he shouldn't lie. Now I just need to get him to tell the truth because it is the RIGHT thing to do, and not merely to stay out of trouble. I think we will get there.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It Would Appear...

... that I was wrong about the cause of Zack's fever. I blamed the immunizations he had Wednesday, but evidently it was some virus which probably originated at school. (Do you like how I always have to have a REASON, someone or something to blame?)

The long weekend was pretty good. Kevin took Labor Day weekend very literally and worked tirelessly on the floor.

Sunday, we were at our usual ready for the weekend to be over point (actually it was more at our ready for kids to! point.) There was, however one more day of the long weekend.

We decided that Monday we would do a little tile, and then go do something fun or at least something OUT of the house. I felt crummy, but attributed it to lack of sleep, stress, etc. Then we noticed Eric acting kind of irritable and guess who had a FEVER. Because that's exactly what I needed after Friday's events. Or not. Then Ben woke up from his nap, with... yep... a fever. Whatever this virus thing was it passed quickly and everyone seems okay today. Eric is home awaiting that 24 hour fever free able go back to school time. Everybody cross your fingers that Mark doesn't get this.

I am calling for a time out. Time out from sick kids, household projects and kids waking up in the middle of the night. Time out from all this craziness so that I can get back to normal. Whatever that means.

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