Friday, June 27, 2008

Vacation -Part something or other - just some random stuff

Today is the day that Kevin arrives! Well, he gets here at 11:00 pm, but I am way excited! Can't wait to see him. Ten days is too long to be apart. It's been good spending time with family, but I do MISS him. Plus feel insanely guilty that I'm off vacationing and playing and enjoying our kids and he's at work. Today it will all be right again.

The last few days have been fun. We've done the zoo, and played more on the water slide. They just love that thing. In fact, I awoke this morning to Mark saying, "Mommy! Mommy! You have to come quick! It's about to rain! And the water slide says on it not to let it get rained on! I tried to tell Granny but the door is locked!" So, I trudged up and unplugged the water slide and dragged it onto the patio. I did check before doing all that and it does, in fact, say "do not leave out in the rain." When did they get so smart?


Last night was a bit of musical beds for me. Mark has been sleeping with me at night despite having a perfectly fine bunkbed that fits the three bigger boys. It's been fine, but will have to stop now because daddy will be taking that spot. Zack was having trouble falling asleep last night and kept getting up. My mom went to check on them and came back to inform me that no one was in the bottom bunk. I checked the top bunk, the floor, Ben's pack n play, and finally, my bed but no Zack was to be found. I got a little freaked out wondering where he was and I whispered "Zackie, where are you" not really expecting an answer, but I got one "I in here momma." From the closet. I put him back again and before long we heard a clang clang clang coming from in there. He was playing with these decorative brass giraffes from the bookshelf in there. So, that time mom put him back to bed. It was quiet. We watched tv. I still wasn't convinced my child was in bed, and after checking it out I was right to be unsure. He was back in my room looking in my suitcase. I scooped him up and told him he needed to sleep and he told me "I sleep in here." So I tucked him in to my bed, deciding right then that I would be sleeping in the bottom bunk.

I did go to bed in the bottom bunk and had just fallen asleep when Mark came to join me. Darn, I was hoping to enjoy the double bed all by myself. But Mark was still, and we slept soundly. That is, until Zack came down the hall crying and freaking out wondering where everyone went. I took Zack back to my bed and we slept. At some point Mark came in, and at some point he left again, and then came back to tell me to rescue the beloved water slide.

Today, it is raining so that should be interesting. I kind of had hopes of going to the lake after my brother sleeps (he works night shift, but is off tonight) but that won't be happening. I guess we'll find something to do to entertain children and help me not lose my mind.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Few Things I Forgot Last Night

I completely forgot to post about a few things that are going on.

First, Ben is driving me completely insane here. Seriously, the kid is in turbo crazy mode and it's enough to drive me over the edge. So far he has broken a candlestick and a coaster, climbed onto the kitchen chairs, then onto the table. He got back into the bathtub the other night after I had gotten him in jammies (and yea, I forgot to drain the water.) This morning he climbed onto the top bunk which just freaks me out because of what happened to
Zack when he was just barely two. Just the thought of bunk beds gives me hives, but I figured for a week I could just chill. That was before Ben figured out how to climb the ladder. Luckily, Mark called for me and I got Ben down without incident. Unless, of course, you consider him kicking and screaming and throwing a fit an incident. What matters is, he didn't get hurt. So I have put mom's step stool away, closed off every room, turned on Sesame Street and sitting here with the laptop to post this. And he's still finding things to get into. Like the dog food. And the dog water. YUMMY. Yes, folks he ate a piece of dog food. Or maybe more. I prefer to think just one. The other thing I meant to post about is night before last my brother took me to the lake. It was awesome. Just Jason, Summer and I on the boat. I was nervous to try to ski because it's been at least 2 years, and maybe 3. I jumped into the water (icky gross Lake Arcadia. It didn't used to bother me but a few years in FL and I am a little skeeved by it) and got the skis on, and got up the very first time. I skied until I felt like my hands were going to fall off (so 5 minutes or so) and then let go. Summer wake boarded and then Jason. Now, my little brother is pretty awesome on that thing and I totally enjoyed watching him jump & even do a few flips. Then it was my turn and they talked me into trying to wake board. To my great surprise I got up in a few tries and after a few complete wipeouts I went a decent distance. Then the boat started to pull me out of the wake, and not knowing how to control my movement yet on that thing I panicked and fell again.


I think the one worst fall I had pulled something in my neck because it is still stiff and sore, but it was so much fun and I want to go back out. We'll see what happens!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Vacation - Part 3 Oklahoma or Bust... or something

So Saturday afternoon we hit the road and headed for Edmond, OK. My GPS croaked on the way to Kathleen's house that morning and I fully blame the dude at Target in Birmingham who told me "yes ma'am, this one is cheaper, and yes it will charge your GPS, and nooooo it won't be a problem at allllll." Yea, well, tell that to my GPS that won't turn on. Nice. Anyway, not that I'm going to dwell on that or anything. Especially since getting from KC to OKC is way easy provided you can find I-35. I got stellar directions so I found it just fine.

So far here at "home" has been great. My parents bought this ginormous water slide thing that the boys have been on a ton, and I've even gone down a few times and it is FUN! Try not to picture me doing this as I'm relatively sure it's NOT pretty. Every time Zack went down he said "Momma, did you see me?" And occasionally he mixed it up with "did you see me Ganny." Too fun! The best part of the whole water slide thing is the kids are going to sleep so easily and today I didn't get woken up until 7:50. That's practically mid day.

I've also shopped. Ooooh I love shopping. I don't generally let myself buy stuff just because but I saw a realllllly cute skirt at Anne Taylor Loft in KC and they gave me coupons. Coupons that expired before I went home. I simply couldn't let that go to waste. So, I have some new clothes and that is just thrilling!

Today we had lunch at my super duper favorite Mexican place ever. Nothing compares. And they are only in OK. Boo. But it was so yummy and I have leftovers to have for lunch tomorrow. Yum!

We have come down with our mandatory kid rash that comes with every trip we make to Oklahoma. Except... it's a different kid. Used to be, Eric would get a full body rash every year when we came to OK, but for some reason, this year it is Mark. I have no idea why. It started before we did any laundry and I don't think it's a soap allergy but the poor guy is so itchy he can't stand himself. He has excema too, but this seems different to me. And speaking of eczema, Ben has the worst outbreak he's ever had. It looks so pitiful I just hate it. They are having fun in spite of all the itching, and so far Eric and Zack are unscathed. I am dousing them with hypoallergenic lotion, hydrocortisone cream, and this natural stuff my sister in law gave me. All of it is easing the itch, but none of it is coming close to getting rid of the rashes, yet. I'm holding out hope. I'm really liking the Everything Balm (see natural stuff link) as it smells lovely and really seems to soothe the itchies pronto. ANYWAY, what's a vacation without someone getting sick or a rash or something.

Speaking of sick... My dad is sick today. He threw up this morning and then had horrible pain in his leg. He said it was super sore to the touch, and just felt like crap alll day. He was in bed literally all day long and I feel horrible for him. And then really really guilty because I keep thinking please don't let us get this, please don't let us get this, PLEASE.don't.let.us.get.this. Such compassion I have. No really, I am so sad my sweet daddy feels yucky. I hope he's better tomorrow! (pleasedon'tletusgetthis!)

Tonight, I went and got a mani/pedi. Another treat that I pretty much only indulge in on vacation. I have to say it wasn't the most relaxing thing ever. They were so fast and efficient and did a really good job, but it was just, well, rushed. It's ok though because the results are so very pretty! My nails are hot pink now, and I only managed to smudge one toe as I walked into my parents house.

While driving around looking for a place to get the mani/pedi, I let myself wander a little. I drove past old friends neighborhoods and thought about them, drove past new shopping centers that used to be old stores that have been torn down and rebuilt over the last year. I remembered people and places and got kind of sentimental about this place. This place that I really never would have come back to if not for family. I wondered if we'd ever come back when before I never even would have thought of it. I realized that I really do love this town and that while I'm happy where we currently live, that Edmond, Oklahoma will always have a home like quality to me, no matter where I live or how long I'm away or how much it changes. Ok, all done being sappy!

Anyway, I guess I should go to bed. OR I could read all those blogs with new entries on my sidebar. Maybe a few. Goodnight internet!

Vacation - Part 2 Kansas City

I miss you, oh bloggy friends! I miss writing something every day, even if it's silly and unimportant and useless. I miss reading your blogs every time something new pops up. Don't get me wrong, I am enjoying vacation, and I'm here to tell you all about it! So here we go! You know, before I forget it all.

Kansas City was awesome. I'd never been there before and it was just a really pretty city. And getting together with friends was so nice! The kids all played great together and I was impressed that with so many children (especially two year old, and let's be honest, my kids) that there wasn't much arguing, and only a few teary episodes.

Thanks to Kathleen and Matt for hosting this and for welcoming my entire crazy crew. I had so much fun!

Saturday they broke out the water toys. Slip n Slide, baby pool, squirt guns! The kids had so much fun and it was really nice watching them just have fun. No whining, not much misbehaving. It was lovely!

The highlight for me is when after about 3 minutes of being with Mark, Matt said to me..."I know which one is the handful... he's just like me."

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Vacation Part One-- PCB and The Long Drive

Helllllooooooooo? Hellllllooooooooooooooooooooooooooo? Is anybody here? No? Ok, well I'll post anyway!

We set out early Wednesday morning. Started the day off with a glitch because somehow the car charger for my GPS fell apart when I had unplugged it to plug my mom's phone in the day before. And I couldn't find the pieces. With a great deal of unease, I went, printed off directions from Google Maps and was on the way.

First stop, Panama City Beach. We met up with my brother and his wife and had lunch at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville. I was a bit concerned about taking the kids there, but there were billions of other littles there and my fears were alleviated when I saw the guy on stilts walking table to table to make balloon hats for all the little kiddies. They loved those hats. Unfortunately they managed to pop them before we even made it out to the car. The food was was awesome and even though I was feeding Ben off of my plate, he preferred to snatch handfuls of spaghetti off of Zack's plate. After lunch, we hit the beach and I even got to go boogey board a little while my brother played with the boys. Um, by boogey board, of course I mean getting pummeled by the waves while trying to get on and stay on the board. It was fun though! Then we got on the road again, still sans GPS.



On the way to Alabama we got a little off course. Our directions said to turn off on 83 and there were no signs (that I saw) for 83. There was an 883, but I wasn't sure if I should turn there. In the end, I knew that the road I was on was heading North and would take me to Alabama. So I trudged on. Across the state line, we stopped and asked for directions just to make sure we were still on the right path. We were, albeit about 30 miles out of our way, but that was okay, we were heading in the right direction.



Somewhere in here we switched drivers. I was pretty worn out from battling the sea so I welcomed the break. I wasn't sure why but it seemed kinda like my mom was driving slightly over the white line. I didn't say anything until she said "I can't figure out where the cruise control is" and then I said "I wondered why you were all over the road." As I explained to her where the cruise control was I noticed flashing lights come on behind us. Oh yippee skippy we were getting pulled over.



We sat in the car and waited for the man to come trying to think of the best way to not get a ticket for driving erratically. And he just wasn't coming to the window. Then my mom said "Maybe he's coming to your side and that's when I noticed the nice Chief of Police of some very small Alabama town at my window. I rolled it down. I handed him mom's license and my proof of insurance and mom said "I usually don't drive like that but..." and he asked us some questions, and we answered and I even asked him to confirm we were heading in kinda the right direction. Oh, and did I mention Zack and Ben woke up right about then and were screaming bloody murder? No? Well, they were. I tried to calm them down while mom talked to the very nice Chief of Police and after he said "You have precious cargo there. Be careful. I don't envy you right now, you have a long drive," we were on our way without a ticket. We laughed ourselves silly after that encounter and kept on going. Finally, mostly uneventfully, we arrived in Birmingham and stopped for the night. That was about midnight and it took around two hours to get everyone else to sleep. It was all I could do to keep my eyes open. The problem was I hadn't brought in Ben's pack n play and thought he could just sleep with me. The problem with that was he had no desire to sleep. He wanted to play.

You'd think after a whole lot of playing in the wee hours of the morning that my child would sleep in, but no. He woke up at 5:40 and managed to wake Zack in about 3 minutes despite my best effort at keeping him quiet. I got the two little ones dressed and took them down to the hotel breakfast so that the two older guys and Granny could sleep.

We left Birmingham and hit the road. After buying a charger for the GPS so that I could feel less anxious about following my directions from Google Maps.

Nothing noteworthy happened that day. Lots of driving, quite a bit of whining, talking about the day before, and a few screaming fits from Ben. In the end, at about midnight we rolled into KC, found a hotel, and more or less repeated the trying to get kids to sleep routine, only this time Ben was confined to his pack n play. It felt really great to reach our destination, and it felt even better to sleep until after 7 the next day (ok, it was 7:10, but still!)

More to come... hopefully soon!!!


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ack!!

The time has come for summer vacation. Today I have to finish cleaning the house and pack to be gone for about 18 days. That's almost three weeks! Ack!

The point of this post is that my daily blogging will be on hold during that time, as I will be very busy keeping boys out of trouble at my family's home, and then my inlaws home. I will try to sneak a post in here and there though.

Our vacation plan?

Day one: Drive to Panama City Beach to meet up with brother & his wife who are vacationing there. Play on the beach, and then drive to somewhere in Alabama.
Day two: Drive to some point between where we are and KC.
Day three: Arrive in KC sometime mid to late afternoon. Hang out with friends!
Day four: More playing in KC with friends and leave around 6 or 7 pm to head to OKC.
Day five - eleven-ish Hang out with family in OKC, various activities. Kevin arriving to join us on Friday of this week.
Day twelve - sixteen Hang out with Kevin's family in OKC.
Day seventeen - eighteen - drive our little family back home to Florida.

There will be lots of fun had and I'm sure we'll go to zoos and science museums, and I'll tell you all about it!

For now, my mom arrives this afternoon (you didn't think I was driving all that way alone with four kids, did you? And we head out early tomorrow! Wish us luck (and sanity!)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Rain, Rain Go Away.. on second thought, you can stay!

It's the rainy season in Florida, also known as hurricane season (none so far thank goodness.) Also known as don't make any afternoon outdoor plans unless you have a plan B or are prepared to wait out the storm. The other day I was heading home from Target and it was POURING on me, yet the sky in front of me and to both sides was clear and sunny, but if I looked behind me, boy was it ominous. That's just how it is here this time of year. I can't get used to it. After I got home we sat on the patio and watched the storm heading right for us. And then we watched it totally miss us. Kevin said, "I guess I better mow while I can" and right after he finished there was a total downpour. Out of nowhere as the first storm was long gone by then. That night was full of thunder and lightning and frightened children, but no real scary weather, just noisy.


Yesterday was more of the same with the afternoon/evening rain and we again, sat outside to watch it roll on by. The boys wanted to run in circles in the rain, and we said "Sure!" It pretty quickly descended into mud puddle jumping and I held back my desire to say "Nooooooooooooo." They are boys after all. After the mud jumping good time, they got hosed off by daddy and then came in for a bath. They were some dirty little boys.









You'll notice Eric is absent from these pictures. He, being the smart and rational creature that he is did not want to participate in the mud part. He did participate in the hosing down, but he can RUN and I wasn't fast enough to snap any pics.



And for your viewing pleasure...


video

As you can hear, Daddy was totally encouraging this. I was just cracking up at their willingness to get drenched and dirty. Just one more...

video

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Mayday, Mayday! Come in? SOS?

Yesterday I got a glimpse at our addiction to electronic devices. I was getting ready to go to the gym and the internet went out. No biggie, it happens sometimes. I, in all my smartness, knew just how to go into my closet and reset the modem. I went to the gym, and when I came home I did reset the modem and still no internet. Hmmm, wonder what's up with that? I didn't get totally freaked out because I really had a ton to do yesterday afternoon, and while I needed my internet fix, I was okay. Then the kids asked to watch tv. They were being cuh-razy so I agreed, tv time would vastly help me accomplish my goals to get something done around here. So I turned it on. Except it didn't turn on. At which point I commenced freaking out. You see, Kevin was in Orlando for a business thingie last night and my total plan for the night involved sitting at the computer chatting with my friends, reading blogs and just being a total slug and not feeling one.bit.guilty about it. I knew it must be the breaker that runs the power to my closet so I went and flipped it back on and it promptly snapped again. I then did this 500 more times and realized that it was busted. Ohhhhhh what was I going to do? I then thought extension cord! Yes! That would work! I plugged the power strip into an extension cord and ran it over to another outlet, and voila! We were connected again! Then I did my chores because just knowing I was connected to the world again made me feel better.

Incidentally, Kevin went ahead and came home last night after all his conference-y stuff instead of sleeping in the hotel room and he went out flipped the breaker, and it stayed flipped. Not sure what's up with that.

To further prove to me my dependence on the internet and particularly one little corner of it, I sat down this morning to look at my message board where I chat with a lot of my favorite mommy friends. We all met up over at IVillage and later set up a private message board. But when I clicked the name on my favorites.... well, Houston, we have a PROBLEM. I got an error screen. And it says (gasp) that the domain has (gasp) expired. As of yesterday. I'm hyperventilating.

Did they close shop and move overnight? (That's me being paranoid.)

Is it an oversight and it will be back up later today?

Is it an internet glitch and just all a big mistake? I really hope so.


I don't know if I could function without these ladies. So come baaaaaaaaaack message board. I implore you.

In the meantime, I am off to google internet addicts anonymous. Because I totally qualify.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Potty Talk

With four boys you better believe I hear my share of potty talk. I'm not talking about anything really profane (yet), but the butt and poopy and stupid and crap talk is driving me absolutely out of my mind. I admit that my standards are a bit stringent here. But, with my oldest being 6 I think that's appropriate. My husband says, it's good that I don't allow it, that I tell them not to, but that I need to not let it get to me and maybe just lighten up a bit. Okay, he didn't say that last part, but I'm pretty sure it's true.

I am just rambling and thinking this through here. Sometimes I come here desperate and hoping one of you awesome people that read my blog has my perfect answer. And sometimes, in the midst of typing it all out I come up with something on my own. If nothing else, it's kind of therapeutic.

I feel it only fair to confess that my children learned the word crap and stupid from me. It's true. I'll never ever forget the day that my then three year old (Eric) was struggling to put his pants on and got two legs in one leg hole and said "Cwap cwap cwap." Oh that still makes me giggle. And I am notorious for calling inanimate objects stupid. But I swear that I have never ever called another human being stupid in front of them. Just things. Like pens that don't write, and other stuff that doesn't do what it should. Not that I'm above reproach with my language, but I do attempt to protect them from most of the ones I don't want to hear out of their innocent mouths.

I know without a doubt that it is not okay with me for them to call each other stupid butt, or poopy, or stupid little piece of cap (which actually came out of my 2 year old's mouth recently). I want to teach them to use words to build people up, not tear them down. There is enough negativity in the world and I do not want them to endure that in their own home. So, that I know. But should I lighten up on some of the other stuff. If it's not calling names but just being silly and a teensy bit naughty. That's what I don't know.

A friend of mine tells her boys if they are going to use potty language they can do it in the bathroom. The theory is that it won't be nearly as satisfying to use that language without the audience. My boys tend to play in the water in the bathroom so I hesitate to use that option.

My new tactic is to remove the potty talker from the room. A time out of sorts. Today I sent Mark to the formal living room to sit alone after he went on some tirade about poopy smelling something or other (directed to one of his brothers who did not smell poopy at the time.) It's been about 30 minutes and no more bad words so far... Maybe that will come through for me. I just hate feeling like the big bad mean momma all.the.time.

How do you handle potty talk. Am I too uptight? Do I need to tow the line on this one every single time? What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Some Random Thoughts

Before we headed out for the free movie today, I wanted to post some random stuff. None of it ties together at all, but here it is.



Yesterday morning, I woke up and Mark and Zack were the only ones up. Mark wanted to play on the patio and I said "heck yea!" I checked on them a few minutes later and there was PEE on my patio. I asked "WHAT is this?" And Mark said "I just had to pee really bad!" I know this is a pretty common boy thing to do, but it's a first for us. Pee goes in the potty people! Is it really that hard?



Zack sees a paper with letters on it or a book and says "I read it" and then says "A... B... C..." today he saw a paper with words and a picture of an eagle. He says "A...B...C... bird!" Funny stuff!



Mark Complains about pretty much everything.



Ben, who I haven't posted a picture of lately, is getting tooooooo big. He's my sweet, busy boy and those cheeks sure are kissable!




We are off to our free movie and I'm leaving with this thought... Is a movie still free if it costs the mom her sanity? I guess we'll find out.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bowling

I think I mentioned that I signed Eric and Mark up for a bowling league for the summer. I was all for an indoor activity. It's on Saturday mornings, but we got 2 free games for each kid for signing up. Anyone guess what we did today? Yep, bowling. Everyone had fun, but let me just refer to my statement in my previous post. It is virtually impossible to go anywhere with four kids without a fiasco of some variety. Let's just strike out that "virtually" part and now we have accuracy.

Bowling was actually fun, in spite of the following.

  • The 5 year old who is bound and determined to not have fun no matter what we do. It's never enough and it's never quite right. Someone is always out to get him. Or bothering him. Or something. What am I doing wrong, I just want him to be happy, or thankful, or some kind of satisfied. Whew, didn't mean to go into all that... sorry.
  • The almost 3 year old who wanted every turn to be his. Who threw the ball down the wrong lane twice, and somehow in spite of the bumpers on the lane, managed to get the ball stuck in the gutter. How does this even happen?
  • The fight over the bowling ball that ensued when Zack tried to steal Mark's turn. Oh boy was that one fun! (Actually, it was rather amusing from my end, in retrospect.)

Ben was held by my friend and somehow her 2 year old did not cause any of the chaos that mine did. Ben tried to wriggle down but was overall very well behaved and did not terrorize the bowling alley.


Because Everything's an Adventure

It's virtually impossible to go anywhere with four kids without a fiasco of some variety. I've been trying for weeks to get a passport for Eric and Ben for our trip in January. I'm pretty pleased that I'm getting this done early and not waiting until the last minute here. Yet, it seems that some sort of force has been working against me to keep this from happening. I even had an appointment last week to get this done and only had 3 kids with me. Sadly, I had forgotten that the child had to be with you and since Eric was in school they couldn't do his. So, I rescheduled for yesterday.


I misjudged how the traffic would be, and somehow managed to hit every single red light on the way so I was about 5 minutes late. I hate being late. It gets me all anxious and stressed. Even with four kids in tow I usually manage to be on time. It's just one of my things. So, I was already flustered. In my attempt to not be even more late I opted to leave the double stroller in the car and just let Zack walk and carry Ben. Remind me to never do that!

Despite being late, I got right in, which really hacked off the guy behind me who apparently had been waiting awhile. The post office guy explained to him that I had the next appointment and his appointment wasn't for 20 minutes. I felt kinda bad for him that he got their responsibly early and I fly in late and don't have to wait. Ultimately, it worked out well for me, though. The first little bit went okay, I had to fill in a few spots I left blank because I have been left so addle brained from all these kids that I can't fill out a simple form correctly. The kids were standing in a corner of the very small office and that was fine except they were getting increasingly louder and louder and oh my goodness could they be any louder? Yep, they sure can! I shushed them and tried to remain the calm but firm mommy and they kept getting louder. Only now Eric and Mark were on the floor rolling around and at some point it looked like they were trying to play leapfrog. I had enough of the shenanigans and pulled the instigator out of the mix and made him sit on the floor at my feet. Success! It was suddenly calm and quiet... for about 3 seconds. Then there was a crash and an ear splitting scream and my Zack was on the floor with the stool that was in the corner on top of him. It had smashed his poor little finger and he was distraught. I tried to comfort him but the time had come to write checks which meant I had to put him down. Lots of tears later, we were heading out of the post office with my mission accomplished.



I debated whether to take Zack to the doctor, and got some opinions from friends and ultimately decided that I'd wait until Kevin got home and let him make the call. Zack, while being really careful with that finger, was not complaining or whining or really doing anything besides being his happy, bubbly self, so I felt pretty confident that no bones were broken. Kevin did all the movement tests and all that and my boy didn't even flinch. It seems he could move the finger just fine and while it looks horrible, the swelling is down today, and I only feel a teeny bit nervous that I didn't take him in to the doctor. I've told myself if he starts acting like it bothers him that I'll take him in. In the meantime I'll just wonder if I've made the right choice and fret and worry until his finger no longer looks like this.



Monday, June 9, 2008

All About the Weekend

How is it already Monday?

This was one of the best weekends we've had in a while. I didn't even feel the desire to escape, scream, or run away until about 6 last night. And it was almost bedtime! I got a little twitchy about then, but it was short lived and the kids even got to stay up a little later than 7.
Saturday morning was bowling. That was lots of fun after the first kid freaked out about not bowling with his brother, and after the second kid freaked out about not bowling with his friend. That part had me literally rolling my eyes and probably looking like a crappy mother. In the end, Eric was able to play with the younger kids, and Mark finally warmed up to the boy who he was paired with. (They put Eric with Mark's friend.) Everyone was happy! Hallelujah. There was a little whining throughout but I think it's just some law of childhood that they must whine no matter what the occasion or how much money mom and dad have shelled out so that they could have some fun. Oy. Anyway, afterwards we had lunch at McD's and made grand plans to visit Pier 60 with our friends later that night.
Pier 60 was awesome and I can't believe we've lived in Florida for 18 months and haven't been there. We've been missing out. First there was a really awesome playground with things to climb and climb they did. To the top of that rope structure. And they were jumping off of that rock. Which made me wonder, who the heck are these kids? A year ago neither of them would have jumped off of anything that high. I'm proud of how far they have come, and terrified of the broken bones that are surely in our future.


After everyone was covered in sand, we went to wander a little bit. There were lots of "street" performers and we walked by just as this 16 year old kid was setting up to escape from his strait jacket. He picked Kevin to be one of his helpers. Kevin was reluctant, but helped and had maybe a little toooo much fun helping the kid into the strait jacket and then tying him up with a rope. I know it's all trickery and stuff but it still looked really hard. And he (of course) escaped just fine. Very entertaining (and I don't have any pictures of that part because Kevin had the camera with him. Our friends got some good ones though, so I may add them later.)
Then we got ice cream which made everyone happy.

Then we walked out on the pier, where there were lots of vendors and at the end it was just breezy and relaxing and beautiful. We stayed out until 9:30 which is late for us parents of four kids and all the kids fell asleep on the way home. I then broke my cardinal rule of parenting... never wake a sleeping child... because they were so dirty it was ridiculous. So at 10 PM I woke four sleeping boys and bathed them, much to their dismay. Luckily for me they all went right back to sleep and life was good. And for the first time since Ben was born he slept until 8 AM.
Whew, that was a fun day! Sunday wasn't as fun, but it was still great! I had this grand idea last week to sew a tote bag for our library books. I haven't used my sewing machine in ages, but it seemed like a fun and (maybe) easy project. So, my objective for yesterday was to get fabric, dig my sewing machine out of the closet, find some little corner of my bedroom to set up the sewing machine and make a bag (or two depending on how the first one turned out.) So, we needed paint too to finish our "we hate builder paint so we must repaint every wall of our home" mission. We got paint and we got fabric, and on the way there and back home we talked. We talked about where everyone sleeps and someday we won't have to have a playroom for the boys and someday we should use that room for a hobby room. Somewhere along the way I thought. Hmmm, we could do that now if Zack and Mark share a bedroom, we could put the playroom upstairs and I could have a sewing room now. Why the desire to make a bag necessitates a whole room designated for sewing I'm not sure, but Kevin thought it was a good enough idea to spring into action and we started moving Mark into Zack's room. They loved the idea. So tell me friends, why do I feel horribly guilty about this? We bought this house because it had enough rooms for everyone. Then we decided it would be better to have Eric & Ben share because that way we could have a playroom. I'm okay with that because the playroom benefits them. Putting the other two together just so I can have a space makes me feel terribly guilty. I've been told to get over it, but it's still there. Anyhow, the room needs painted just as soon as I can go get the paint because DUDE the boys did some damage to the walls in there. Not by coloring on them or doing anything destructive, but seriously have I mentioned that BUILDER PAINT SUCKS? Cause it does. We aren't completely finished with the moving process, but I did get my sewing machine set up, and I made a bag. It's not perfect, but it does hold library books!

~Have a great day~


Saturday, June 7, 2008

Look Who Came to Visit




Apparently, while I was at the bowling alley watching Eric and Mark at Junior Bowling League we started today (fun!) this guy came to visit. Cute? Not really. Just so you know this is exactly the kind of turtle I tried to help across the road awhile back. And Zack loved it. I suspect this is the guy I keep wondering about when I see his nose poking out of the water. Nice of him to make a visit (now please stay in the water, sheesh.)

A Day Off

Since beginning to post my to do list on this blog, I have been super productive. Things are going great! But I hit a snag this week. Monday we had Eric's award ceremony at school and then sat at my friend's house for a long while afterward. I got my daily stuff done, but none of the extra weekly stuff that really needs done. Tuesday was my class at the gym, and while I really could have done quite a bit before or after, it just didn't happen. Wednesday, daily stuff got done, but nothing off the weekly to do list. Thursday hit and I was in a funk, crabby and just plain irritated with myself and the boys. Combined with the fact that it was the first official day of having no school and I just sat there thinking about all I should have been doing and not doing it. Productive! Yesterday, I made the conscious decision to just have fun with the kids, and take a break from the list. I think it helped.

So today, I plan to get busy (right after I write about it!) and get the house picked up and try to get a few of those chores I assigned for this week done. Then I get to take Eric and Mark to a summer bowling kiddie league activity this morning.

I still struggle with the balance between getting stuff done, giving the kids the interaction and attention that they need, and not completely feeling like a nutcase in the process. The balance has to exist. I just have to find it.

I'll keep posting my to do list on my blog side bar, because it really helps. Despite this last setback, it has really helped me get things done. I mean, I can't post it online for all to see and not put that little DONE!! by at least a few things. Much more satisfying than just crossing it off a regular old to do list.

So, with no further ado, I am going to go do my dishes from last night, and then go work on that dreaded "To Do This Week" list.

Have a great Saturday everyone!!

Friday, June 6, 2008

A Moment to Remember

A rare moment of quiet snuggling, Momma cradling baby and eating up the moment. She thinks, "what a priceless moment. I'll soak it in and enjoy." Baby smiles and clocks her in the head with his sippy cup. Moment over.

This precious memory brought to you by Ben.

Stalking the Pond

My hobby of sorts lately is staring at the pond. It might sound boring, but there is so much activity out there. It’s fascinating and intimidating all at once. If I hadn’t seen that alligator awhile back it would be lovely. Instead, any time I see the slightest ripple, I’m at the door staring to see what made the ripple. Oftentimes it’s these crazy diving birds. They amaze me with how long they stay under the water. Then there are the turtles. Skulking beneath the surface with only their head sticking out peering at me. Sometimes, I can’t quite tell what I am seeing. Binoculars in hand, I race outside to get a better glimpse. I haven’t seen Mr. Alligator again, which makes me think he’s not there anymore. He’s moved on to another pond. Or at least that’s what I tell myself to make me feel better. Part of me wants to see him again, just for the excitement. However, I know if I do see him it will also freak me out. I like to watch the wildlife here. It’s crazy to see what lives in my own back yard!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Lofty Goals for Summertime

1. Get dressed and ready early in the day.
2. Get as many chores done as possible before going to the gym.
3. Be sure to go to the gym.
4. Let the boys be boys and resist the urge to squelch their fun. Unless it's going to interfere with # 5.
5. Retain some semblance of order and or sanity.

With #1 and #2 in mind, I must cut this post short and go get dressed and get a few things done.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Did you ever...

... realize you had no idea where your children were? I mean, I knew they were in the house, but other than that, it was fairly quiet, and that is rare. And in my experience, it is bad news. I had called for them a few times and was met with giggles. Also a sign of not good things. I was paying bills, so the quiet was good, but once I got my head out of the numbers and dollar signs and got the bills all paid I figured I better find them. The soft voices seemed to be coming from my bedroom and when I opened the door I found them. Kind of. It seems they had decided to play let's hide under the covers in Momma's bed. It was cute and harmless, and they actually hid pretty well. If it weren't for the giggles and the three big lumps under the comforter I might have even missed them. I guess quiet isn't always bad. Only 99% of the time.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Ben... A Day in the Life

I am Ben and yesterday was a busy day. Every day is a busy day in my world. I am 15 1/2 months old and Momma says I am crazy. She calls me trouble. I think she is funny. My day started early as usual. I let the world know I was up, and sure enough, Momma came to my rescue. I was changed and fed and the day was off to a great start. I followed my brothers up the stairs and on the way down I realized that my brothers do not go down the stairs backwards on their tummies. They go down standing up. I tried this and tumbled down. It hurt bad. Momma scooped me up into her arms and I cried and cried on her shoulder. Then she got me a cup of milk and I was okay. I ran around in circles with Zack and Mark for awhile and then we got in the car to take Eric to school.



After we dropped Eric off we went to the post office. I got stuck in the stroller which kind of annoyed me, but I didn't cry. In the post office, I threw my milk down and Momma handed it back to me. I threw it down again. It didn't come back that time. The next stop was the gym and I decided to try to work on my climbing skills a little. People just kept getting me down. I heard them say something about not getting my head bonked again.

After we went home from the gym I was exhausted. Momma put me in my bed and I slept for about 2 hours. When I woke up I screamed like crazy to make sure someone heard me and would come and get me. Then it was time to play. Momma was trying to get a few things done before going to get Eric, and I used that opportunity to play on the stairs. I really want to get the walking down them thing down. You don't think one little fall is going to deter me? Because it won't. This time she saw me trying to walk down the stairs and came over and grabbed my hands. That made me so happy I couldn't help but giggle. The stairs weren't so hard that way.

We went to get Eric and I fussed until Momma gave me some snacks. I have her trained to keep animal crackers in the car now. It makes the riding much less boring. After we got Eric home she said she must get the dishes done and the floor cleaned. I don't know why she didn't do it while I took my nap. I am glad that she did not though. I love helping Momma do the dishes. It's one of my favorite things. I don't think she appreciates it very much though. All she does is tell me not to climb in the dishwasher. All I'm doing is standing there taking stuff out to look at it. She really gets upset when I take a knife out. That's too bad too because that is my favorite thing to look at. Sometimes, if I go really fast I can get two knives and scrape them together. That is very satisfying. It also gets Momma to run REALLY fast to come take them away. I don't know why she doesn't like these things, but she usually says something about dangerous and hurting. So, I guess Momma got tired of trying to do the dishes and taking me off the dishwasher door, because she put me back in my bed. I wasn't really tired, but I played around in there for awhile. I got bored pretty quickly. After I got downstairs, Momma wasn't quite done with the dishes so she put me in my chair with a snack. This made me happy. For a minute. Then I realized the bigger boys were playing outside and I.wanted.out. I fussed and complained and she let me down out of the chair. Then I fussed at the door and she said "Oh, Ben, let Momma do just one more thing" and I kept fussing and finally she gave up and we went outside. That was SO fun! I climbed up the slide and ran around on the patio. We stayed out awhile, but then I guess she had more stuff to do so we came in.

While Momma tried to make dinner I was all over the place. I got in the trashcan and rescued a bag of chips that she threw away. She said they were stale, but I bet they were fine. I put them down, but they were gone when I came back for them. Momma went to the bathroom and while she was in there I got her razor off the tub. She took it away when she saw me with it. She continued to cook and I got into my favorite cabinet. The glass container cabinet. I love to take stuff out of there. Momma closed the cabinet door & mumbled something about cabinet door locks and opened up a much less exciting door. But I did play with the plastic containers for awhile. Then I got bored with that and got out some pots and pans. I was so glad that she let me. The pans make a great noise!

Finally, it was dinner time, so I ate and ate and ate. All that running around makes a boy hungry. And then I fussed and tried to get her to put me to bed, but she kept me up just a little longer. I'm not sure why she does that. I get tired after dinner, but for some reason she will never put me to bed before 6:30.

That is basically what a day is like for me. I love to explore, and get stuff out. I sometimes fall and get bumps and scrapes, but I love being a little boy!

This morning I've started the day great. I figured out how to get my pajama pants off and took my poopy diaper off too. I was nice and didn't spread it on the walls or the bed. I just called for Momma. I got a bath out of the deal too. And a nice clean sheet for my bed!

Monday, June 2, 2008

I'm a Big Fat Copy Cat

Shanna's blog got a new look and I've been kinda tired of dots for a while, so I copied her idea and after numerous attempts that really messed my blog up (entirely me being a bonehead, it should have been easy) I have a new look too! Go check out her blog too, it looks amazing!

More Ramblings of a Proud Momma

Today was Eric's Kindergarten Awards Ceremony and I got to attend A-L-O-N-E which was beautiful thanks to a friend who kept my other 3 crazies. I seriously enjoyed every minute. Even when it got a little on the long side. Eric got an award for "Outstanding Reader" in his class. I knew he was reading well, and the teacher had even told me he was the best reader in his class. But seeing him up there with his teacher and his certificate, being recognized in front of his classmates and other parents, well that was priceless.


I took pictures, but I was sitting too far back to get a good shot even zoomed in to the max.

After the ceremony, it was picnic day for the Kindergarten & First Grades, so I got to eat lunch with Eric and we chatted and had some far too rare one on one time.



I was asked if Mark's PreK graduation made me cry, and it did, but only a little. This one had me teary too. And there weren't even caps and gowns or cute songs but I was just so proud of my biggest boy.

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