Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Graduate, PreK that is!




There's not much cuter than a whole bunch of 5 year olds singing "God Bless America" at the end of their preK graduation. I've been listening to Mark sing "God Pless America" for weeks in the car. It's adorable. He smiles really big and sings his heart out. I couldn't wait to see him belt it out with all his buddies at the graduation. He did sing it loud and proud. In between his yawns.


Another song they sang was "Take me to Kindergarten" set to the tune of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." Although he didn't actually sing that one. The video isn't very good but if you look really closely, you can see him in the front row, about in the middle, wrapping the sleeve of his gown around his arm, and around, and around again. Still pretty cute!


video

The "lyrics"

Take me to Kindergarten.
Take me to my new school
.

Buy me some paper and pencils too.
Crayons and markers and school is so cool.

It's time to say goodbye
To all our teachers and friends.

Cause it's one, two, three here we go
To Kindergarten!


He at least did sing the other songs and was very cute recieving his diploma. I smiled like a proud momma the whole time, and amazingly got to sit in the audience the entire time. Amazing! Ben didn't even fuss even though he was up way past his bedtime. And Zack (aka Wild Man) sat in his daddy's lap and listened to the songs. Such good babies! And Eric is such a big boy and sat so nice and quiet and, yea, I'm rambling, but they were just awesome! I figured either Kevin or I would be out in the hall keeping track of someone.


Wow, that's a lot of gushing for one post! Here's a few more pictures... they aren't great, but it's what we got!


By the way, they aren't flashing gang signs, or giving inappropriate hand gestures, you can't tell from the picture, but that's the ABC's in Sign Language. So adorable!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Can Anyone Explain...

... how Ben managed to unstrap his diaper with his shorts on? Because it is beyond me.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

For the Record...

...Crayola Washable Sidewalk Paint really is quite washable. It comes out of carpet very nicely. Don't ask me how I know that. I'm just sayin'.

Also for the record, I heart my Bissell Carpet Cleaner. It rocks! My carpet is not only sans pink sidewalk paint footprints, it is also free of all other stains, and trust me there were many.

Don't even ask me what the heck I was thinking letting Mark buy Sidewalk Paint (with a giftcard). It was a momentary lack in judgement. I get that a lot these days.

Would it be wrong to um, lose the rest of the paint. Yea, it would, I know. I won't do it. But it really is tempting.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tears in Target

Oh goodness, when will I learn to never go to the store with more than two of my children. I prefer 1. Or zero. Zero is good. I don't want to sound like a wimp. It seems that at one point I was able to manage three and sometimes even four children by myself in the store. It seems I have completely lost that ability.

We were in the candy aisle, which I usually avoid because 1. I am trying not to eat candy and 2. I don't want the kids asking for every single item they see. I grabbed some m & ms for a treat for the boys and Mark tells me "Mom, I found a big chocolate and it looked so good that I ate it." So I said "Ohhhhh, where did you find it," and he led me to the bulk candy section. Crap. I didn't even think to explain to him that those weren't there to just eat. I mean, I thought he would know. I calmly told him that we shouldn't eat those, and you are supposed to put it in bags to buy, and they aren't free. I was careful to be extra nice and not make him think I was mad or that I thought he was bad. About this time two things happened. Simultaneously Zack started running away from us and Mark got the saddest look in the whole wide world on his face. And a tear running down his cheek. I didn't know whether to talk to Mark or chase Zack down, so I tried to do both. I picked Mark up and tried to get him to tell me why he was so sad while walking as fast as I could pushing the shopping cart and hefting a 40 pound boy around. As usually happens when I attempt to multitask, I failed miserably. I put a still teary Mark down and held his hand and said "we'll talk in a minute, we have to chase Zack down real quick." He said okay and we followed the turn I saw Zack take. He was long gone. I couldn't find him anywhere. It was my turn to get teary. I called his name and alternated being scared, upset and really irritated at him for running away. Finally I heard his little voice over near the pharmacy, and then I called his name again. The pharmacist said "I have him" and I was able to calmy walk over and get the him. Sigh.

I put the runner in the cart and knelt down to talk to my still very sad Mark. I asked him why he cried, explained I wasn't mad and asked him "where you sad because you thought you did something bad?" He said yes. It broke my heart. I told him that he didn't know it was wrong before, but now he does. I reminded him that I wasn't upset with him. I reiterated that it was something he shouldn't do again, but that he wasn't in trouble. We shared a sweet moment and hugged and he kissed my cheek, and I told him he was a good boy and he told me I was a good mommy. The tears were all dried up, and we continued to shop.

I am actually glad that he was sad when he realized that he shouldn't have eaten the candy. It tells me he is learning right from wrong and it made his little heart sad to think that he had done something wrong. It was a big deal to him, and one more lesson he has learned. I guess sometimes the important lessons provoke tears for me too.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Songs

Zack loves life. He likes to run in circles and get really dirty. That's dirt around his eye in case you were wondering. He loves to sing songs. His favorite is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. "Twinkle star, twinkle star, how I wonder what choo are." And ABCs "Abcdefg, wxy and z. Next time sing with me." I love how he doesn't quite have the words right and how he skips right over half the alphabet. I know he'll get it right someday, so the mistakes just make me smile. Zack also likes to sing his own songs. The ones he makes up on the fly. I love these too. My all time favorite is "Benny Ben, don't cy" that he sings to Ben in the car. Ben likes it too, and usually stops crying right away.

Tonight, Zack made up a brand new song. I was putting him to bed, and he asked me to help him close his eyes. I wasn't sure what he meant, but it soon was obvious he wanted me to lay by him. I told him just for a minute. He wrapped his little chubby hands around my neck and smiled. "I hug you momma. I hug and kiss you." So sweet. He backed away and looked at my face, putting his hands on my cheeks. I started singing a good night song and he said "No, momma, I sing my own song. I stopped singing and listened for his song. It went like this "Stinky pants, you are a stinky pants." He giggled and I giggled. I declared that my pants were in fact not stinky and he laughed and sang his song again.

What a silly boy!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Arguing With Myself at the Checkout






The picture above is the magazines I subscribe to that I haven't yet read. Most of them, I haven't even opened. So, explain to me why, as I stood in line at Sweetbay, I found myself eyeing the April issue of Real Simple. Really. Why? Clearly, I have plenty of reading material, and clearly either I don't like magazines or I just haven't had time to read them. Trust me, it's not the former. I've never been a magazine subscriber, but when I hear about a really good deal, and it's a magazine I love (or one I think will really benefit me) I'll go ahead and do it. Parents, I got something like 3 years for the price of one. Rachel Ray was FOUR dollars for a year. How can you go wrong? I think I paid full price (14.95) for Women's Health, but I figured it would be good to keep me motivated. Which is true, when I read it. Now, this pile does not include the 2 issues of WH I've already read recently. Or the issue of People I picked up from the grocery store a month ago that I sat and read one night. So why was this so appealing?

It isn't even the current issue. But how could I resist the neatly folded laundry and the promise of "faster, easier ways to wash" stuff. And having a good night's sleep. Yeah, I really need to read all about that (do you suppose they have the magic answer for getting children to not wake up 3 times in the night? I could use that.) Clearly, there were things in these pages I needed to read. Clearly. On the other hand, it was the April issue. It's almost June. That one's easy though because I'm that behind on all my magazines. At this point current doesn't matter. Then there is the fact that it is entirely unpractical to buy a magazine when I have a stack of them at home to read. But I wanted it. It all boiled down to that. So, after picking it up and flipping through it, then putting it back, and picking it up again, I put it down on the check stand. After all, I was taking Eric and Mark to the pool when I got home. I could sit on the side of the pool and watch them with one eye while I skimmed Real Simple with the other. That convinced me.

At the pool, I read about 3 pages of Real Simple before I couldn't resist getting in the water with my buddies, so now I have another one for the pile. I'll probably read it first, leaving all the others to remain neglected.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Last Day

It's the last day of Preschool. The last day of semi sanity. The last day of only having 2 kids home for part of the day. Don't get me wrong, I love Mark, but man, he is a challenge. He's the one that argues every point. And the one that talks non stop until I say things like "hmmm let's play the QUIET game. Which I never ever thought I would find myself using that little line.

So, real school has another week and a half. Maybe this is the school system's way of easing me into summer. One kid back at a time. Or maybe that's just the side effect.

The last few days have been hard on me. Yesterday I hit that critical mass and I just felt at the end of my rope. When Kevin got home I was sending Eric and Mark up to their rooms for fighting. He asked me what was wrong and I fell apart. I cried. I cried about making my bed to have them immediately go in there and throw pillows on the floor. I cried about Mark leaving crayons on the floor for Ben to eat. I cried about Ben eating crayons. I cried about the tantrum that ensued after I threw the crayons away. I cried because these are just things that little boys do, yet I felt so unable to cope with it, so angry at the time.

He, being the incredible man that he is took over dinner and told me to sit and relax, and I did.

I despise getting upset over these little things. Yesterday crayons and pillows made me cry, they made me yell at my kids. Granted, these were only 2 of the many messes and crazy antics that happened so it wasn't only that. It just all built up. I want to be the mom that doesn't let these things get to me, but I also want my children to learn responsibility and appreciation, and how to take care of their things. I want to strike the balance.

So, given yesterday's chaos, the last day of preschool has me nervous,no terrified. I'm shaking in my sandals. Summer will be hard. It can be fun too, so I still plan on executing my Summer Survival Strategy to help with the boredom and the craziness. Hopefully, it will allow me to make it out on the other end sane, or at least alive.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Answers to My Own Questions

Instead of cleaning my closet I am going to sit here and answer my own questions.

1. The mop. I hate mops as much as one can hate an inanimate object. I have hated every mop I've ever owned. Pre kids when I mopped (which wasn't often enough, mind you) I just got down on hands and knees and scrubbed. I have neither the time nor the energy to do that now. Right now I have a sponge mop thing from Lowes and I LOVED it the first time I used it. I thought I had overcome the mop dilemma once and for all and then the second time I used it it wasn't as great. Hmph. That's how it goes. I can't replace the 5 dollar head every time I mop. Ridiculous. So then Kevin saw this commercial for the "Sham WOW" cloths and he bought the hype and bought the cloths (which are fine, but not worth the cost.) While we were frivolously spending money on cleaning cloths (aren't we FUN) I saw the mop and wondered "Hmmm, suppose that is a good mop?" So Kevin ordered it too. It was lovely! Well, it was lovely the first time I used it. Then despite my initial declaration of love, I hated it the second and subsequent uses. Then somehow one of the boys BENT THE HANDLE, and when I tried to unbend it IT BROKE IN HALF. Cheap piece of crap. Luckily, it wasn't that much money. So, I've been to the store and seen the Magic Eraser mop (I think I will spend a fortune on replacement sponges though but I do love the magic erasers, so maybe?), I looked at the mop Ambre suggested too, but I haven't bought one yet. Shanna mentioned her steamer and I realized I had one so I used it, but I lost the mop part so it was a hands and knees ordeal, and the floor was sooooooooooooooooooo clean. And it's staying cleaner for longer I think, so I am definitely going to get the mop pad part for it and use that. Hands and knees is for the birds, or Cinderella. Or anyone other than me.

Ok, enough rambling about mops. I'd still like to find a good one for in between steam cleanings. Because even with the attachment I don't see using it more than once a week, and let's face it, my floor needs mopped more often than that.


2. Wasn't question two something about vacation? I've forgotten what with all my ranting and raving about mops. We go to Oklahoma every year to visit family, and this summer is no exception. Except my message board friends are holding a gathering in Kansas City this year the weekend before we usually go. I thought it all through and decided to have my mom fly here and drive with me and all the kids to KC, stay there a day and drive down to Oklahoma. I just couldn't be that close to family and not go down. So instead of 7 days in town we'll get 14. Kevin will fly out to meet us midway. I'm excited, but Kevin totally got the good end of this deal. Besides that, we'll probably do a lot of local stuff. Apparently Kevin has reached his vacation cap, so he has to start using it or he won't gain anymore. So a few long weekends are in order I think.

3. Books. Oh how I love reading. I just don't do it enough. The most recent book I've read is "You're A Good Mom" by Jen Singer. Awesome read, I can't recommend it enough! I also like to read magazines. I have subscriptions to Women's Health, Parents, and Rachel Ray and I have like 3 of each I haven't even cracked open yet. So, I think that's my next reading project. I'd like to be caught up before the next round arrives.

So there are my answers, thanks again everyone who entered!

And the Winners Are

The Pay it Forward Game is over and I put everyone's names in a bowl and let Eric and Mark draw the winners. I thought they would think it was fun. I don't think they got it though. Anyway! The winners are

Angie

Mary Kate

Karen

Crisa

I think I have all of your addresses except Mary Kate. Could you email it to me at becnkev@gmail.com? Thanks! I will send your prizes soon!

And if you want to "Pay it Forward" on your own blog feel free!! It was fun! Thanks for playing!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Doing My Part to Save the Animals... or not

Such a great morning of oil changes and going grocery shopping with a list. Ben was fussy so instead of quitting like I usually do, I opened the pretzels and fed them to him. That is another one for the list of things I said I'd never do. Ben just can't stand to see all that food and not be eating. It's hard to blame him. So I managed to get every single item on my list. YAY!

On the way home we saw a huge turtle crossing the road. I said "LOOK Zack a turtle!" And he couldn't see it. I started to worry about Mr. Turtle because he was sitting in the road, taking two steps, then getting freaked out and sticking his neck out really far and standing really still. Which, while I'm sure effective in the wilderness, not so much in the middle of the road when you are trying to avoid speeding cars. So, I've seen people get out of their cars, pick up the turtle and place them on the side of the road. "I can do that" I thought. I was really worried that the turtle wouldn't be able to get up the curb on the other side of the road, too. Thus staying in the middle of the road. Not good for his life span.

Anyway, I did a u turn and went to help Mr. Turtle. I parked in the turn lane and turned on my hazard lights. I got out of the car and immediately thought. "Can I do this?" Then dismissed my doubts with "Of course I can. It's just a turtle." Then I got closer. It was a big turtle. Apparently, my presence bothered him because he did his sticking his neck out really far trick for me. And it bothered me and I stopped in my tracks. Why it scared me I don't know, but it did. I collected myself and walked towards him. He was big. Not just a little fella, nope a great big turtle. I took a picture with my cell phone to show the boys (and forgot to save it, go me) and walked back to the van. I got in the van and thought "I can't leave him in the middle of the road to get smushed. I can't!"

By this time he had made it about halfway across the other side of the road and I just felt like an idiot. It's a TURTLE. Then, it's a WILD ANIMAL. Yes, I was arguing with myself. Deep breath. Just touch it. I did. He stayed still. Pretend you are picking up a rock. So I wrapped my fingers around him and almost lifted him but I freaked out. I couldn't do it. What if I hurt him? What if HE hurt ME? So I ran to my van and started do drive away.

I was still rather traumatized by the whole thing when a nice lady ran by and kind of flagged me down. I rolled down my window and she said "be sure to wash your hands, they can make you really sick." Which I knew, and totally planned to wash my hands, but I was thankful for the reminder. The rest of the conversation went like this:

Me: I wanted to help him up the curb but I just couldn't because I'm a wimp."
Her: Was he too heavy?
Me: No, I was too freaked out.
Her: Oh I would be too, I don't know which ones bite and which ones don't.
Me: I just hope he gets over there okay.
Her: Well, my husband is a FWC officer and I'll call him when I get home.
Me: Oh good! Thanks!

So, now I can rest easy knowing that help is on the way (FWC, upon googling it is the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.) And, now I know, unequivocally, that I am not the type of person who can help a turtle across the road. Nice.

PS I have spent entirely too long trying to find a good picture of "my" turtle to post here or at least identify the variety. However, I have come to the conclusion that turtles are icky. Sorry turtle lovers.

PPS Go enter the Pay It Forward Contest... It's the last day! Maybe if you win the prize you can forgive me for saying turtles are icky!


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

More on Homemaking (or lack thereof)

I'm clearly trying to make an effort to do better at the housekeeping part of this stay at home mom gig. I worked hard yesterday and it came to that dreaded what's for dinner hour. I thought for a minute and saw that we had some leftover roast. It was a little dry when I made it so it would need some sort of sauce to disguise that fact. So, I decided to do a little pepper steak with mashed potatoes. Technically, I guess it was Pepper Rump Roast, though. Anyway. I was cooking it up and it smelled pretty good. I haven't been eating meat for the last little bit so I didn't try it. I was proud that I threw a decent dinner together until Kevin ate it and made a face. I asked what was wrong and he said it was salty. So I got upset. I thought he was just being picky until I realized that I had read the instructions on the beef base wrong for the sauce. I should have used 1 teaspoon of the base instead of the TABLESPOON I used. So, yeah, I guess it was kinda salty. Or maybe really,grossly, unbearably salty.

And here I am today with the day half over and again having NO idea what is for dinner. Time to start menu planning again. But it's so hard. The menu, the shopping, the actually preparing the dinner without creating something inedible.

I was typing this and I had to stop to get Mark and decided to run to Target for "something for dinner." With three kids and no plan the best I could come up with was frozen pizza. Heck ya! Oh and don't worry, I didn't forget the diet coke. Because that would have been TRAGIC.

So I feel like as I try to get one area of my life under control (housework), another area falls apart. Or at least it becomes more evident that I lack talent in the what's for dinner department.

SIGH... I am trying to wrap this post up in a nice little package but it's just not coming together for me. So we'll just end it with the note of frustration that I'm feeling right now. Oh and this thought... At least tonight is frozen pizza. That one is really hard to mess up. Although, I'm sure I could manage to find a way.

Strong Willed Child?


Ben is showing signs of being strong willed. Which, may I say, is entirely unfair seeing as how I already have a strong willed child. I thought I heard somewhere that one per family was standard. Or maybe it's because I have more than the average 2.5 kids, it ups my numbers. Or maybe I just made that little one per family statistic up to suit my own interests. Who knows?


So what has my bitty boy done to have me concerned that he is a bit strong willed and stubborn? Just the usual stuff. Insisting to get down and walk (he doesn't talk, but he's mastered the slide down mommy trick.) Screaming when I take something away (sorry Ben, 1 year olds can't play with scissors.) This doesn't sound unusual now that I type it out but in the middle of it, he is unrelenting. He just wants what he wants, and uses whatever means he can to get it. With uncanny understanding and effectiveness for his age.

Maybe he's not strongwilled. Maybe, in spite of going through this stage three times previously, I just don't remember. Mommy brain is funny like that. Yet, he just seems too smart, too knowing, too stubborn. I almost feel like I'm dealing with the "terrible twos" at 15 months old. Which is loads of fun since Zack is hitting the peak of that stage right now. How do mom's with twins do it?


So, since I'm complaining about Ben here, I feel it necessary to highlight some cute things he's done recently. (That and I'm a momma and I can't help it!) Yesterday when I was cooking dinner he was playing in the cabinets. He was taking out pots and pans and lids and I didn't care because he wasn't pulling on my leg crying as often occurs at that time of day. It was kind of quiet so I glanced down and he was putting the lids on the pans. The right lids on the right pans was the part that caught me by surprise. This entertained him for a good ten minutes. Which leads me to this thought. Maybe he's just smart. Maybe I'm just not giving his little brain enough stimulation. That could be why he is fussy and irritable during the day. Maybe what I see as strong willed is just him trying to explore his environment and learn. Maybe that's my answer.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Addiction

I have a new addiction. Unlike my other addiction (ahem, internet) it is very productive. Shanna mentioned getting the Shark Steam Cleaner and recommended it for my mopping issues. Because it comes with a mop attachment. Which of course, I can not find. Yesterday I decided to do the floor with it anyway and just steam & scrub and wipe dry. It gets the floor fantastically clean, but it was a lot of work (I think if I had the mop attachment I could easily mop that way all the time, but not the way I did it yesterday.)

So today, I decided I should use Mr. Steam Cleaner even more and have steamed both of the downstairs bathrooms. They are SPARKLING I tell you. And it's pretty easy because it melts whatever grime is on whatever surface, and you just wipe it away. Dude. We have a LOT of grime around here. (4 boys, remember?) I am excited, and slightly perplexed as to why on earth it sat in the closet under the stairs for the past 6 months. Hmm.

Thanks Shanna! Who knew cleaning could be fulfilling for once :)

2 bathrooms to go with the Shark and then I can collapse into a heap fold a whole pile of laundry and put the sheets back on the beds. Then I can call it a day make dinner, feed & bathe four kids and get them to bed. Yea, it never ends does it?

Please Enter the Pay it Forward Game!

Thanks to those who have entered already, I am enjoying your answers! Even if you've never commented before, don't be shy! Enter now! Or anytime before Wednesday at 11 PM. Winners to be announced Thursday morning!

Today I am skipping the gym and trying to get a lot of stuff done around here. Let's hope I stay on task. To possibly help a little, I have posted a to do list over to the left. It's not all inclusive, but it's a start. I'll edit it as I get stuff done! I'm hoping this will provide some motivation to really get things done.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Yesterday

I woke up yesterday to clang, bang, clang. I wasn't sure what the noise's source was but it sounded like glass and I was confused because Eric and Mark know better. Zack was in my bed and Ben can't get out of his crib. So I grumbled and I got up. I walked into the living room and my eyes about bulged out of my head and my jaw dropped. There was Ben in the middle of the floor with my cell phone and a bowl banging them together quite happily. After I recovered a bit from the shock, I said "guys, how did Ben get out of bed?" And Mark said "He wasn't very happy that we were going downstairs, so I just got him up." Uh huh. Add this to the list of things I never really thought would happen. "Mark, I'm glad you wanted to help your brother but please don't get him out of his bed again." "But mommy he wanted out and nobody got hurt! "But somebody might have gotten hurt. It's dangerous." "Okay!" I went upstairs and there was all kinds of stuff piled in Ben's bed. I asked why all that stuff was in the crib and apparently Mark had tried to appease Ben with toys and blankets before getting him out of bed. Lest you think I was leisurely sleeping in late while all this was going on, I will put your mind at ease. The clanging woke me up at 6:15.

When I took Mark to school later one of the teachers told me a funny story. Mark loves this teacher. His eyes light up when he sees her. I can't blame him because she's sweet and young and pretty. She's not his teacher, but the teacher in the "baby class" according to Mark. So yesterday she came up to me and said "I just have to tell you. I was telling Mark I would miss him when he went on to kindergarten and he smiled and said 'Don't worry Ms. Michelle, I'll find your house and come see you because I have a GPS in my car!' " What a sweet, funny boy! Luckily she thought it was sweet and funny too, and he's little enough we don't have to worry about him actually stalking her.

Remember the contest here! Contest closes Wednesday night!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Parent Teacher Conference

Go enter the Pay it Forward contest!!

Last night was Eric's Parent Teacher Conference for the end of the year and discuss his progress, etc. I was nervous. Not because I was worried of some horrible news, or anything I would hear. I've been in fairly regular contact with his teacher. I'd send a note, and once made a phone call to discuss his difficulty focusing. Every time, she's said it is probably a matter of maturity and that he is still a little kid, and very likely he will outgrow it. I wasn't nervous about what she would say, because I was aware of the issues he has, I was armed with questions, and he is a good boy and he's smart. I was nervous because I am just intimidated by teachers. Even typing it out here it sounds ridiculous. Teachers are just people too, and they are often parents. So why did I get all anxious before the meeting? I guess it's lack of confidence and an underlying fear of looking stupid, or looking like a bad mom. I hope someday to get past this.

The conference was fabulous. We had a great discussion of Eric's strong points. He is a strong reader, and well above the kindergarten standards. We talked about the areas he's shown growth in. He has come out of his shell so much this year. Before, when he would read quietly, he now speaks up with confidence. Before, when he would be shy around the other kids, he now runs right up to play with them. And, of course, we talked about the area of great concern for me, his writing and focus. I told her I feel like the quality of his writing has gone downhill and she agreed. He still meets expectations in this area, but I don't like the regression. She told me she will say things like "Eric, I know you can do better than this," and have him erase and he does better. Then, there is the focus. He is a daydreamer. She has started removing distractions such as his pencil box, and name tag from his desk. I use the same tactics at home. I asked for recommendations for a workbook or something I could use at home this summer to work with him and help him with his writing and she pulled a paper from a pile that had a book I could order through the school.

I love Eric's teacher. Not once in that meeting did I feel inferior or silly or like a bad mom. None of the things that worried me occurred. I can tell she really cares about my child. I appreciate her taking the time to work with him and to help me know how to help him. It means so much to me that at this tender age, he has someone to teach him that is so amazing. I know not every parent is so lucky.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Down with Mommy Guilt!

I finished reading Jen Singer's book "You're a Good Mom (and your kids aren't so bad either.) Can I tell you I have never felt better about my parenting? Can I also tell you that there were times while reading it that I was like "Wow. Jen Singer lives inside my head because that's exactly what I was thinking." I laughed so much at this book and it made me think a lot. I won't say more, though because I want you to go out and and get a copy and read it right now. K? Seriously, it was a great read. It will make you laugh, I promise. It might even make that voice inside your head that drives you crazy with insecurity and mommy guilt shut up for awhile.

You know the voice, surely. I know every mom has that evil mommy guilt voice. I hope, anyway. Maybe it's just me. Wait, is it just me? See, there's the insecurity rearing it's ugly head. I confess that I have spent much of the last 6 years feeling like I have no idea what I'm doing. It's a little better with the babies because I've done it before. Until they do something that neither of my big boys did and then it's back to Clueless City. And poor Eric is in unchartered territory, and while he's more independent I worry that I am not doing enough to help him manuever it. I do my best and I think I've got good kids. So I give myself a little credit for that (or maybe they are just good by nature?) I've felt guilty for not being able to do as much at Eric's school as I'd like, and guilty for needing time to myself. Guilty when I don't have enough patience. Guilty for feeling such relief at the end of the day when I tuck them into their beds. Guilt, guilt, guilt. So stop it with the guilt already! Easier said than done, right? Definitely. I still don't have the answers to get rid of it altogether but Jen's book made me realize that I don't have to be "Supermom" (good thing cause I am surely not) to be a good mom. I love my kids and I want what is best for them. I am imperfect and I may not always know what I'm doing, but I think I'm catching on. I can think of times that I have been unsure of my actions and later realized it was right on the money. I don't have it "all together" and I make mistakes, but I try to do my best to pick back up and make sure those boys know they are loved, and know what I expect. I think that's what matters most.

Reading
the book really sparked these issues for me. What do I need to do to feel more secure in my parenting, and how the heck do I lose the guilt? I'm still working on the answers, but I really think I'm on the right track now.

Oh! And if you have a funny story about being a mom, go enter The Housewife Awards contest and see if your story will win!

Oh! And go enter my contest by answering the questions in the post below because I will feel really silly if no one else enters :) (Plus I need a recommendation on a mop!)

Pay it Forward Game!!

I won a contest over at Shanna's blog and the purpose of the game is to pay it forward. I like this so here goes!

The rules:

1. Answer the following questions in the comment section on this post.

  • What kind of mop do you use? Do you love it? Hate it? (May seem like a boring question but I NEED to know.)
  • What are your summer vacation plans? Are you going anywhere fun?
  • What book are you reading or have you read most recently?

2. I will pick four names at random from all of the comments and send a prize to the winners!

3. Contest closes Wednesday the 21st at 11 pm, and I will announce the winners Thursday morning.

4. Adding this because I forgot to mention there are actual prizes!

Have fun and good luck!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

To Mark:

"NoIwillnotwritethewordsforyourlettertoGrannyforyoubecauseIamtryingtofoldthelaundryandifyouthrowafityouwillbegoingtobedNOW."

He "hmphed" off (and I said the fit part was because he had already clenched his fist and had the mad face on.) Now I'm sitting here telling him how to spell the words because he can not do that himself. And I felt guilty for being impatient. So the laundry (that which I was going to fold last night, and instead laid on the couch watching House like a lazy bum) awaits me patiently still on the couch. Laundry doesn't get impatient. I guess that's just me that does that. Sigh. Anyway. Off to spell words while folding laundry and trying to have patience. Deep breaths. I think I need to go book that massage. Think they can get me in tonight?

Brotherly Love

Brotherly love is giving your younger brother half of your tooth fairy money AND half of your "no potty words for a whole day" money. Mark gained $1.25 out of Eric's generosity. I find myself saying, "should I let him do it? What if he regrets this later?" Then I thought why not? I did ask Eric if he was sure he wanted to give it away and he said yes. So, I swallowed the desire to say "NO" and let him be giving. It's a trait I definitely want to encourage. I just hope I don't hear about it later.

Brotherly love is the hug you get from your brothers at preschool dropoff. All the parents comment on how sweet this is. It makes my mommy heart swell.

Brotherly love is sitting on your one year old brother while he screams bloody murder until mommy stops you. Okay, not so much. But I'm not sure Zack realizes that's not a good way to express affection.

Addendum:

Brotherly love is playing 2 player bowling on Wii so that your 2 year old brother thinks he is playing. Thanks Mark, that really helped your momma out today!

Brotherly love is singing "Benny Ben don't cy, Benny Ben, don't cy" when your baby brother is crying in the car. Thanks Zack! I know you really love your brother and it does wonders for your momma's nerves when Ben stops crying when you sing to him. Amazing!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Updates and Randomness

First of all, I have to confess that Mother's Day, while wonderful, was not perfect. What day is? I didn't include some of the funny things that happened because, yesterday, I chose to highlight the good. Which I should be doing more often. Today, I can find the humor on things like being peed on, so today, I will post them. I woke up yesterday, tired and cranky. I decided that I better snap out of it and faked it. Ever heard the term "fake it til you make it?" It actually works a lot of the time. Who knew. So I put on a smile. At some point in the day I started feeling dizzy. Once that passed, we went to the beach. It really was every bit as fun as I told you. I forgot to mention that Ben ate sand. Quite a lot of sand despite my trying to stop him. And shells. And a rock. Okay, he didn't actually ingest the shells or the rock, but they did go in his mouth. And he got a face full of water once because he wouldn't hold my hand in the water. Anyway! Beach was fun, daddy got a sunburned back, but the rest of us fared pretty well. The nap I talked about was undoubtedly the worst nap ever. Kevin took the big boys out, Ben was asleep and Zack was going to sleep with me. Except the second I laid down and Kevin left, Zack decided sleep was not on his agenda. Pulling on my face, pouncing around the bed, and numerous other aggravations were. When Kevin got home I kicked out the crazy boy and slept for about 30 minutes, but I woke feeling groggy. Then Ben woke up and holy cranky kiddo! It was bad. Kevin worked on dinner (yum!) and I snuggled with Ben. I had changed his diaper and not put his clothes back on and suddenly I felt a warm wetness. There was clearly a major diaper malfunction and I was covered in pee. I have no idea how that even happened but I wasn't loving it. I changed and we ate dinner. Well, Kevin and I ate, the big boys whined about it. They were all oh so whiny! So, you see, this was the reason that at 6:30 I was typing about my day and that the kids were in bed. It really was a lovely day, I don't want to diminish that. But, you know, I also don't want to forget the crazy, funny, ridiculous things that happen around here. in case it calms down someday.

**********************************************************************************

Update on housekeeping:

Guess what! I'm still not Martha Stewart. Bummer. I am getting back on the Flylady system full force tomorrow. Right now my dishes are done and my LR is clean. For today, that's going to have to work, because I have another mountain of laundry to fold tonight. If I keep trying to do better and keep the house cleaner it will fall into place someday right?

On a positive note, the
desk is still clean!!!!!

************************************************************************************

Update on fitness:

Well, the weight loss has stalled. I haven't gained any, but it's been a few weeks since I've seen a loss. I'm still working out. I'm pretty sure the stall is caused by things like cookies and pie and chips that I've been eating a little too much this last week. Overall, my meals have been very healthy, so I just need to do better about snacking. Starting now.

************************************************************************************

Random funniness:

Picture me trying to catch a naughty two year old who was out of bed for the third time around the living room table, saying "Zack! This isn't funny! Stop running." All the while trying not to laugh. Then as we walked up the stairs "Oh man!" (a la Swiper the Fox) I had to press my lips together really hard to not laugh at that one.

Picture Ben on top of the little table at the gym child care scaring the workers half to death. Okay, that one's really only funny because someone else was in charge and I didn't have to get him down myself.

Picture Eric and Mark in the back of the car having this conversation:

Mark: So and so behaved rudely at school today.

Eric: Did he have to go to the principal's office?
Mark (indignant!): I don't have a principal Eric, (then not so indignant) but we do have a front office.

**************************************************************************

And one more thing:

Eric lost his second tooth today. He is soooo big!



Oh the Screaming

Zack thinks it's funny to scream. I'm sure you've heard it. The high pitched, ear splitting shrieking that some kids do. I hate it. Ben, on the other hand finds it pretty funny. Yesterday afternoon Zack was running around in circles doing the scream thing and Ben was running around after him laughing his head off. So, it was cute. Still painful to the ears, but fun to see my two little ones interacting and enjoying each other. Good mommy moment. Well, today I am enduring another scream fest and Zack said "Ahhhhhh." Be glad I am not posting audio of this. The written word can not describe the pitch of this noise. Just before I had a chance to say "Zachary, stop screaming!" I heard a smaller, less high pitch, clearly coming out of my itty bitty baby (yea, still in denial, shhhhh don't tell me otherwise.) It made me laugh and that is hard to do on a school day before the lunches are made and the kids are dropped off.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day



Happy Mother's Day to all of my mommy friends! Also, I hope my mom and mother-in-law both had fantastic days! They are great mothers and deserve the best!


As for me, my sixth year celebrating the holiday was pretty great. I started out the day with a pretty good attitude and no grand expectations thanks to my friend Shanna's reminder earlier in the week of what this day is all about. Then early this morning, I read my other friend Sue's blog and there was another beautiful post all about moms, and her mothering experience. Thanks girls for your insight and thoughts on this topic. I am lucky to have you both as friends and I am thankful that through the internet I can pick your brains, so to speak, and learn from your experiences. Happy Mother's Day to you!

When at the early hour of 6:07 my boys rush into my room announcing they had made me breakfast (keep in mind Kevin and I had been in bed sound asleep), I was alarmed and rushed to see what insanity was going on in the kitchen. Fortunately for me, it was a bowl of cereal. Whew! They were even considerate enough to not pour the milk yet "so it wouldn't get soggy." Pretty awesome if you ask me! It wasn't too long later that Kevin got up and made us a real breakfast and then I sat on the couch to read (remember the book I won? Good one! And I'll talk more on that after I finish it!) Then my husband said to me "excuse me ma'am, there is no reading in here. Take that to the bedroom." Which clearly told me something was up. I obliged and took my book into my bedroom. The tub was calling my name so I ran a bath and soaked and read for a little while, enjoying the quiet (and no one knocking on the door, score!) I got out and they were ready for me. I had two original masterpieces designed by Eric and Mark. Apparently, Zack didn't WANT to draw mommy a picture (oh no, remember, that's MY job), and Ben thinks crayons are snacks so I just had the two. But it was great. And a letter, which was so funny that I'll type it out here.




Mommy Shore Excursion: (haha cruise joke!)**



Activities included:
Massage relaxation at Spa Bella (call ***-***-****) and act like they don't know who you are and there are no pre-made arrangements)
Shopping trip, minimum $50.00 spending limit (Kohl's gift card included!)**


Limitations: No children are allowed.
You pick the day you want to go.

** comments added by me.

I loved it. First of all, I have never had a massage and it's one of those things I would never just do so I'm excited! (I need advice on massages though. Swedish? Hot Stone? Tell me what to do.) And it had the added benefit of making me laugh. Oh! And I get to go shopping. Alone. YAY! I really didn't need a gift but to feel appreciation was so very nice.

Then we hemmed and hawed about what to do with the day and decided to go to the beach. I love the beach! Ben is old enough now to romp around and play and actually enjoy it, whereas previously it had been kinda miserable for him, so I'm thrilled that he can have fun there too now, because we LOVE the beach.
After we got home we had lunch, and I took a nap! (I think the last time I took a nap was my birthday, and we just enjoyed the day. Kevin cooked a wonderful dinner and we put the kids to bed early. It was time, that's all I'm saying.

A huge thanks to my amazing family for making my day incredible. I love you!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Coloring Time

Zack loves to color. Only, he's no longer content to scribble all over the page. He wants pictures. Of things. Which means often when he wants to color he wants someone else to color for him. Yesterday he asked to color so I got out the supplies and set him up at the table. It was just Zack and I. Ben was napping and the big guys were at school. So, I thought great! He'll be occupied and I can get some stuff done around here. Alas, my buddy had other plans. He followed me around with his crayon and his paper saying "Dwaw ging-a-bwead momma, I need a ging-a-bwead." Don't ask me why it's May and we are still drawing gingerbread men. It's beyond me. However, Mark has a fascination with them and draws them often. So, I sat down with Zack on my lap and dutifully drew a "ging-a-bwead." Then I tried to make my escape. No dice. "He need SHOES, momma." I didn't even mention that gingerbread men don't wear shoes, instead I just drew them. "Dwaw him eyes momma." Again, I drew. Now, I'm no artist, but every time I added an element to the Christmas cookie he giggled with delight. Then, after Gingie was complete I hugged my boy and tried to get him off my lap. He had other plans. He grabbed another piece of paper out of the printer and said "dwaw apple twee, momma." Not sure why he wanted an apple tree, but I drew it. "No, momma bigger apples." I was starting to get tired of coloring but I drew a few bigger apples on the tree. "Dwaw Little Beaw." This was really getting beyond my capabilities so I did the best I could and he was pleased as could be. Then the funniest comment in our coloring session. "Momma "Little Beaw can't reach the apples," and reaching for another sheet of paper, "dwaw a biggew little beaw."

I laughed. Then I drew a bigger bear.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Summer Time

Yesterday, I made an offhand comment about being ready for summer. I am here to officially say, I take it back. The next 20-ish days can go as slowly as they like. While I am ready to leave behind the morning rush..."hey guys, get your shoes on. Ok, brush your teeth. Get your backpacks and get in the car. HEY! Why aren't you wearing SHOES?"... and the homework...."Eric, please focus... Mark leave Eric alone so he can do his work... Zack, nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. We don't color on Eric's homework!!!" As much as I'm ready to leave behind the lunch packing and the driving two kids to two schools at two times, not to mention picking up two kids at two schools at two times, I don't know that I'm ready to have them all home all the time. I need help. I need a babysitter (one that doesn't cost an arm and a leg... I like my limbs, thanks.) I need a PLAN! So I'm formulating a plan for the summer. Despite my complaining and fear and alllll that, I'm not willing to ship my kids off to camp just yet, and I really don't like the idea of doing the expensive programs offered all over the place, so it's all on me, guys. So, my Summer Survivor Plan so far consists of this.

1. Go to the gym every single day. That's an hour (at least, I can leave them as long as 2) to exercise, get some stress out, and take a shower and get ready without anyone banging on the door, hurting themselves, or playing in my makeup.

2. Find some sort of summer curriculum to keep them learning, help Eric improve his fine motor skills, and some crafty things that my kids love. I'm not
supermom, I'm looking for something for 15-30 minutes per day.

3. I recently discovered I can take all four kids to the pool and not get anybody drowned, and leave with all of my hair, so I plan to visit the pool on a daily basis (well, as often as I can.)

4. TV time... let's just be honest.

So, tentatively that's my survival plan. I'm open to suggestions to add to my list. Ok, after typing this post, I feel ready for summer again. Now to get the big boys to school!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mother's Day is Coming

My husband asked me the other night what I wanted for Mother's Day. I did my usual "Oh, I don't know. I don't need/want anything really." And I actually meant it. I mean, I like gifts as much as the next girl, but I have issues with buying something just to buy something just because it's Mother's Day. I struggle because sometimes what I want to say is "don't buy me anything, what I really want is the day off... alone... in a quiet place." Then I don't say that because I also feel like what is Mother's Day if my kids aren't with me. I know others who do this and it is fine for them and I think it's great. But for me... too much mommy guilt involved. Truth be told, I like spending time with my guys so why the overwhelming need to get away, anyway? Well, that's a loaded question, right? I still do feel the need for time away, just not on Mother's Day.

My friend Shanna wrote an awesome blog entry about Mother's Day, and it inspired me. It might have even changed my attitude a little (we'll see if it's still changed about 5:30 when I'm trying to prepare dinner with one "helper" who only wants to do things HIS way, and forget about stirring, he wants to do the hard stuff, and then the 2 year old running around like a crazy man, and oh, the one year old pulling on my pants legs crying for reasons unidentifiable.) Yes I get frustrated, yes I need time away, but the fact remains, I love these kids. I wanted them so badly. I'm so glad they are mine. I want to convey this to them every single day. Especially Mother's Day.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Wait Just a Minute!

I'm not sure what happened but I did NOT put that thing at the bottom of my posts for ratings. That is really wierd and I'm not sure I like it.... Anyway, please stand by while I try to figure out how to fix this. (That burning smell is my brain frying.)

Are You Kidding?

I ran across a story in the local news yesterday that made me say "What? Are you kidding?" Then I saw the name of the school where the incident occurred and, um, it's in my town. Lovely. Am I the only one screaming "It's a MAGIC trick. Come on let's not be ridiculous!!"? Wizardry? Has someone been reading too much Harry Potter? To be fair, there could be other issues related to his firing like not following lesson plans and letting the kids play on "unapproved" computers. So, I don't know, maybe the guy was a bad substitute. Maybe he is playing up the wizardry thing to get on the news. Maybe the school district is overreacting. Maybe this was the last straw and we just don't have all the details. I don't know. What I do know is that now my town has made national (and maybe international) news for firing a substitute teacher for wizardry. And that just irritates me to know end. Anyway, you decide... is it wizardry, or just a fun magic trick?(Picture me rolling my eyes here.)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Ummmm, maybe I should stop them...

But I need to blog it first, because it's one of the very hilarious things my children do. It started with having Marshmallows for a snack. It's not high on my list of things to feed my children, but I let them have a few. Then Mark went and got a zipper bag and sealed up some marshmallow "for midnight." I told him he didn't need to be eating marshmallows at midnight and continued with what I was doing. Then, I guess they got in the pantry and got the Ziplock Big Bags out. I have to say, I wasn't quite sure what to do with these. I got them to try from Buzz Agent which is a word of mouth advertising site. Occasionally they will send me free things to try, in return for me talking about the product I'm trying. It's kind of a neat thing! So, back to my kids. Apparently, they had their own ideas for the XL size Big Bags. They came downstairs with a sleeping bag in one bag, the other sleeping bag in another, and a whole lot of books in the other. And, I suspect, marshmallows somewhere in one of the bags. I asked what exactly they were doing and was informed "it's our midnight equipment, could you zip them up please?" So, I did because they were having fun and I asked them why they needed all that stuff and Mark told me "because sometimes at midnight we might need to read a lot of books." Since, I have some other ideas for the bags (like, storing stuff maybe?) and I really would prefer they sleep at midnight (shocking expectations!) I must go retrieve the bags and make them replace the stuff inside them. But it was a funny little thing they were doing and pretty cute and creative. Off to stop the insanity! Oh, and I have some one dollar off coupons for these bags if you want one, email me or leave a comment and I'll mail it to you.

Running Away..

If I ever had to run away from somebody, or something (like the alligator in my pond for example) I'd be out of luck. Really, really, painfully out of luck. I've been working out for roughly 5 months. Consistently, and I'm seeing results. I've lost 17 pounds and I'm working toward losing about 36 more. My plan for doing so includes ramping up the cardio so I can burn more calories and get in better shape. Besides, darn it I've always wanted to run. In the past I've given up after one or two attempts because it hurts my body, but with my recent improvement in fitness I decided to try again. The first time I ran I walked on the treadmill at the gym for ten minutes, then ran (can I really call it running though? Let's say jog instead) jogged for 5 minutes, and then walked for 15 more. I felt pretty good. Until later that day when my shins were absolutely killing me. Ouch. Figuring I probably shouldn't give up after one time I decided to try again. I didn't make it to the gym yesterday morning because Ben was screaming his fool head off and I was pretty sure the ladies in the Kidz Club would appreciate it if I didn't bring him and let him take a nap at home instead. So, last night I got on my treadmill and walked for a few minutes but it felt off, not like the machines at the gym and then when I started to jog every step was excruciating. I decided either our treadmill is cheap and crappy (well, I know it was cheap, crappy is probably true too) or my body is just not cut out for jogging. The latter may also be accurate. I decided to go out in the neighborhood and at least go for a brisk walk so I could at least say I exercised for the day. I did and started out walking, then jogged what might have been a tenth of a mile and went back to walking because my lungs were burning and I was huffing and puffing and my knee didn't hurt (it did on the treadmill) but the arch in my left foot was cramping. I did two more jogs exactly like that with fast walking in between and came home feeling discouraged. I know I need to start slow, but I was and it still hurt. Shouldn't the weight classes and the other time spent at the gym make this a little easier? I admit, I've only tried it twice this go around, and I'm striving to not quit this time, or at least not without a few more tries to see if I gain any ground. So I ask, if you are a runner what can I do differently to make this work? What's up with the pain and the panting? Anything I can do about that left foot? Why is it cramping up on me? (I do have good shoes.)

So there's my I'm in bad shape whine for now. I'm getting it all out here and moving on to more positive things. I'm in better shape than I was 5 months ago. I'll move forward from here.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Birthday-Palooza

Mark's birthday party Saturday night was great! I can't believe he's five. FIVE. That was a hard one for me with Eric, but I kind of thought I'd be okay with Mark turning five since I'd been through it before. Not so much. Mark kept saying, "Now I'm five" on Saturday and I would tell him "nope, not yet, not til tomorrow." It is just such a big sounding number, and you know what? He is big. On Sunday I kept remembering all about the day he was born. I had him and they took him off to clean him up and he'd been gone a really long time and when the nurse came by I asked if I could walk down to see my baby. She looked at me like I was insane but then said, well, I guess but let me ask a doctor. He had low blood sugar at birth and a broken clavicle which I must say freaked me out even after the doctor said it wasn't hugely unusual or dangerous and that it would heal just fine. I remember when he finally was brought back to me that he was so little and sweet and I was thrilled and terrified all at once about adding this new baby to our family. I remember seeing Eric that day and thinking how huge he was even though he was still only a baby himself. I knew almost immediately that he had a very different personality than our first born. That proved to be very true. Mark is such a smart boy, very challenging, and he pushes every limit. I don't say that to be negative, because I think these can be good qualities if tempered and shaped and directed to be used in a good way. He is such a sweet boy and takes such good care of his little brothers. Yesterday, on his "real" birthday we had lunch at Wendy's (his choice) and went to "Rock Forest," otherwise known as Fred Howard Park and played on the playground and flew the airplane he got for his birthday. Fun day! Ben
pretty much hated the pinata
until he managed to get his hands on some candy. Then he loved it. I even let him eat some. Wow, I've lightened up a lot. Anyway, I think everyone had a great time!
















Hugs!

Zack is a hugger. He is probably the lovey-est boy I know. He loves to snuggle and kiss and at one point I was his sole object of affection, then daddy started getting hugs, and then brothers. Well, now the boy will hug anyone he sees, and I do mean anybody. Last night we were doing some yard work. Kevin was mulching and I was chasing Ben to keep him out of the road, and the other boys were running and having a blast playing outside. Our neighbors were walking by and stopped to chat. He ran up like these were his best friends (we've talked to them one other time) and hugged them both. He then pointed at me and said "that my mom" and then Kevin "that my dad." Then he pointed at the house, "see, that my house, my BIG house, you come in my house?" Then, when they laughed and politely declined his generous invitation he said "hey, where YOU house?" He's just a social little guy if I ever saw one. So, I said in the midst of his entertaining us "he'd hug a stranger I think." And then today, he did. A nice man at the post office stopped me to ask a question about stamps and Zack hopped off the sit and stand stroller and gave him a big ginormous hug. The nice, grandfatherly type man hugged him back, and I said "um, he's a friendly kid, sorry." Because what do you say when your child hugs a random stranger? It was awkward but the gentleman thanked me for my help and we bounded off. Well, Zack bounded, I followed.

I'm so happy that Zack is loving, and cuddly and sweet. Today as I checked my email he sat on my lap and had his left arm slung around my neck, his other hand occupied with some snacks. These are the times I'll miss when he's bigger. They are the times that make me want to freeze him right where he is in spite of other not so fun parts of raising a two year old.

So, if you find yourself in need of a hug, Zack is happy to give you one!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Stalker Daughter

There was a time albeit distant that people would leave a message after the beep if the person they were calling didn't answer the phone. A time before cell phones, and email, and IM and bluetooth and caller ID. I like all of this technology. I live 1200 miles from my family, and I have friends all over the country. I like the "free" long distance that my cell phone provides and DUDE the friends and family plan rocks! It means that I don't even have to touch my cell minutes to call my mom, dad, or brother (or anyone else on Cingular-wait, I mean AT &T.) What has all this connectedness done though? It's made it so I kind of freak out if I can't get ahold of people that's what it has done. Before I'd leave a message and wait patiently until I got a call back. Today I felt slightly stalkerish when I called my mom at 8:15 her time this morning. Then I thought, well maybe she's at church already. Then at noon her time and thought, well maybe she wasn't at church earlier and is now. Then I called her again at 4 her time and when she still didn't answer I started wondering exactly what I'd done to upset her because we never go this long without talking and it's Mark's birthday and it's very odd for her not to call on his birthday and oh my goodness WHERE is she? Then I remembered it's Mark's birthday which means it's also my parents anniversary, so maybe, just maybe they are out doing something fabulously fun that a couple does when they've been married 34(?) years (I hope I got that right guys, I'm sketchy on the math here.) So, I left her a message saying, I hope things are ok and you guys are having a great anniversary, and call me later! Cool and calm I was! Then I called my dad's cell phone and got voicemail again, so I called my brother to find out if they were gone somewhere and I just didn't get the memo, and got his voicemail. Well, Jason works nights so maybe he was still sleeping, or getting ready for work, or at the gym or something. The fact remained that in this age of connectivity I could not reach one person in my family. It disturbed me. A lot. So I tried reasoning with myself that 1. I had not done anything to make everyone so mad at me that NO one would answer my calls. 2. The odds of them having vanished off the face of the planet were pretty slim. 3. Even if someone had broken into mom and dad's house, tied them up, or done them bodily harm, that wouldn't explain why Jason wasn't answering. So then, unable to be rational my mind went to, oh no what if they were in an accident, would I know by now? What if someone HAD hurt them. Alien abduction? Ok, the last one is a joke, but I really was quite concerned about the potential for the other two. Because, you see, I talk to someone in my family every day. Sometimes multiple times, and to go so long with no word was unusual. I finally calmed down and decided to stop stalking and go do something else and before I knew it my phone rang and it was my mom (whew, not dead!) and she asked if I had called three times (yes, ma'am that was me!) and told me they were in their scuba diving class. Which I knew about, and they had a great time thanks! I feel silly for overreacting but seriously, next time a reminder would be appreciated!

I love you mom and dad! Happy anniversary! And, I'm just kidding about the reminder... kinda.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Goggles

Our kids had to have goggles for the pool. They were so excited. Zack will only wear his around the house, Mark won't put them on, and Eric loves to wear his at the pool but perish the thought of actually getting his head under the water. So, maybe they didn't really have to have goggles, but they sure do look cute in them!

So Sleepy

Last night I was busily getting ready for date night and I looked over to find the following.

Poor guy was so tired he couldn't hold his little eyes open, so I cleaned him up and put him to bed.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Date Night

Babysitter for 4 boys - $60.00
Dinner out -$40.00
Riding bikes with hubby -$100.00 (had to buy a bike rack)

Coming home to children in bed and I didn't have to put them there - priceless

And cha ching there is a reason we don't go out very often! But it was so worth it!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I Wasn't Going to Blog Today

.. but I can't help it. I don't even have anything pressing or earth shattering or even terrifically cute to share, but this has become part of my day so here I am.

A few cool things!

We have a babysitter tomorrow night! Insert me jumping up and down with glee. We just decided we needed a date since we haven't been out since my birthday. Once a quarter is good right? And Kevin came up with a lovely plan to get a bike rack and pack a picnic and find a trail somewhere. It made my whole day that he thought of that and I am excited. Yay for a great and thoughtful husband. Now I just hope I can keep up with him!

I am planning our summer vacation. To Oklahoma. I am really really excited to see family and spend a little extra time this year.

Mark will be 5 on Sunday. We are having his little friend from school over to spend the night and before that having the friend's family over for dinner. My plans were to do a Cinco de Mayo theme, complete with pinata, but then I realized pizza is Italian. So, um, kinda Cinco de Mayo, kinda Italian. That's just how I do things! Hey, at least the kid gets a party!

Today has been great. We were all ready with time to spare, everyone went to school, and (dare I say it?) no one is sick right this minute. I can't quit sneezing, but it's allergies, I'm sure of it. There's no school tomorrow and I'm a little bit terrified. Because, um, my boys have been insane lately. So, I will quit blathering on here and go clean up the house for the babysitter tomorrow and the party Saturday.

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