Monday, November 30, 2009


I despise carpet. My dream floor is a child proof, waterproof, life proof wood floor, which I'm pretty sure does not even exist.

I am fed up with the carpet in our family room. It is disgusting. I steam clean it once a month at least. And if I tell the truth, it seems to need it within 2 weeks. The rest of the rooms fare a little better. Primarily because we spend less time in them. Or, more to the point, the boys spend less time in them.

Can I just tell you what happened to my poor, pathetic, builders grade carpet in the five days we were all six at home.

1. While I was at the store Wednesday with Eric getting a few last minute Thanksgiving dinner things, Ben got a packet of "Wemonade," which in reality was RED Kool-Aid. (Oh wait, is this de ja vu?) He spread it into a 1x2 area on the carpet right in front of my bedroom door.

And 2. Zack and Ben, whiling I was preparing Thanksgiving Dinner decided it would be fun to bring the sidewalk chalk INSIDE and color the carpet pink and green.

Now, my reasons for not dealing with these things immediately were two fold. First, the Kool Aid would not be coming out anyway, therefore we vacuumed, sprayed it with stain remover & blotted up what we could, but I had cooking to do and I could deal with that later.

Second, Sidewalk chalk comes up easily, so we vacuumed what we could & again procrastinated.

Today I shampooed the carpet. I put bleach in the water and I hoped for the best. (Pretty sure bleach is bad for carpet, and probably the cleaning machine, but this carpet is shot anyway, and I drastic times call for drastic measures.) I still have a large pink stain in front of my bedroom door. Also, the streaks of sidewalk chalk are now lighter... but not absent.

Overall it looks better than it did.

I would be in there pulling it up right now & calling the wood floor people except any money we might have to go towards something like that is already spent. On a vacation for my husband and I. Just us. Which, I think we might just need.

A Comment Issue

I had to make some changes to the way I deal with comments due to a certain comment I keep getting on one of my older post. It's in characters and not English, and when I clicked on the user name it went directly to what looks like an Asian porn site. Um... No. Not cool. So, I deleted it, and the next day it came back. Then I deleted it, and today, another one. I have changed my settings so you have to be logged in to blogger to leave a comment and hopefully that will fix it. The next step is put that annoying "type this unreadable word" back on and I know nobody wants that.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Just Us

I'm sad Kevin isn't in these pictures... but he was taking them. Next time we must set up the tripod.

Our Thanksgiving dinner was perfect. I felt so blessed to have us all sitting there. The boys used perfect manners and actually ate! In years past they pretty much just ate turkey and rolls. This year, they added cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes to the list. Kevin said to me this is how it is supposed to be. He is absolutely right.

The boys new thing is after we get a good (ish) picture of them, they want to do a silly one. So we did!

I hope everyone's Thanksgiving was as perfect as ours was.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Another Reason I'm Crazy

I'll be honest, it's been a rough day. The boys have been fussy, I've been cleaning and generally grumpy. Luckily, I pulled out of it in time to enjoy part of the day...

But here's the crazy part. We decided to just feed the kids and get takeout a little later for ourselves so they were eating and I was just kind of looking at the menu of the place we are getting food from to see what I wanted to order and I glance up, and Ben is totally naked. I shout "BEN!" and he grins and says "I nakie mommy."

And I wonder why I get crazy some days.

PS Fortunately by this time in the day I've regained my sense of humor and could laugh at this.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

In my fridge waiting to go in the oven are dressing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole. A turkey is brining and three pies are made. I got everything ready yesterday in hopes that today would be relaxing and stress free. We'll see about that.

There is so much to be thankful for that words don't really do it justice. Family, health, love, little boys, friends and on and on.

Over at Deep South Moms, I wrote a little about my struggle with getting excited about the holiday with just our little family. Thankfully, I got over it.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Cute: Ben calling Zack "Zachary". It's just such a big long name, and Ben is such a little tiny guy.
Cuter: Ben calling Mark "Markary."

Cute: Ben asking to go to "Pugwix" (Publix)

Cute: Ben nodding his head to answer yes. He nods with his entire body.
Less cute: Ben head butting me in the lip when doing this nod while I was carrying him.

Cute: Mark animatedly describing the live performance of "Beauty and the Beast" he saw on his class field trip.
Cuter: The fact that I had to talk him into going to school on the day of the trip. Because it was going to be too girly. I bet if I'd taken him it would have been BOW-ing.

Cute: Mark offering to bring me a book, so I could read with him until bedtime.
Cuter: The book was The Magic Treehouse # 18.

Cute: Zack at the store said "Look at that big, normous thing." (I can't remember what he was talking about.)

Cute: Zack asking me to spell every single word under the sun.
Less Cute: Zack asking me how to spell every.single.word.under.the.sun.

Cute: Zack's school pictures. How am I going to pick which ones to buy??

Cute: Eric explaining to me how to log into the "Study Island" site for his math homework. It amazes me how much he knows, and that he knew his log in info (clearly learned at school.)

Cute: That my big kids still let me hold their hands, still want to sit in my lap and cuddle. I just love it!

Monday, November 23, 2009

First Weekend Sans Little League

So, we marked the occasion of our first Saturday in months of no baseball, with an end of season pizza party! It was fun!

Then on Sunday, we had the opportunity for some of us to go to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers football game. I may have mentioned we are not huge sports fans. Anyway, Eric got four free tickets at school, and was super excited to go. So headed down to Raymond James stadium and I almost passed out when I saw that parking was $25.00. Twenty.Five.Dollars. Okay, so I admit I'm cheap, but dude. So, I drove right past that parking lot and found an off site lot for 15.00. Which is still highway robbery! But I forked over the exorbitant amount of cash and we made our way to the "Great American Teach In" tent to get our tickets.

On the way in, the boys walked excitedly toward the stadium asking me several times if I was sure we were going the right way, worrying if we would make it on time, and otherwise fretting that somehow I was going to mess this up. I was memorizing every detail that I could about the lot I parked in, the streets where it was located, and which side of the stadium we were walking into. Because while I was rather confident in my ability to find the rather large football field (if nothing else I simply needed to follow the masses of people headed the same to the same destination) I was less sure of my ability to make it back to our car several hours later. Just based on experience, of course.

On our way up to our seats, Mark kept saying he hoped we got to sit way up high. I told him I was pretty sure we would, given that our tickets were free. He sure did get his wish. We were the third row from the very tip top. The boys were overjoyed! We got some pizza and some drinks and waited for kickoff.

Somewhere between kickoff and the first touchdown Mark started complaining that he was bored. He enjoyed the tackling, but something wasn't quite right. I think it coincided with him being finished with his pizza. Because, you see, he had seen COTTON CANDY as we came in and he neeeeeeded some. He was still hungry. Nothing was going to be right in the world unless he had cotton candy.

I told him we should wait until half time. Because he could have one more thing and that was it. I explained how much time was left in the quarter, and that then there would be another 15 minute quarter, and then halftime. Shortly after this conversation, my son observed that the football clock moves much, much slower than actual time. "Why isn't the clock mooooving? I really need cotton candy." "You can have some later, please stop whining or we will leave." I don't actually recall if he stopped complaining or if I just started ignoring him, but I seem to remember some peace for a minute. Then, right as the first quarter was winding down, Eric whispered that he had to go to the bathroom.

So we did. Which was very lucky for Mark because I opted to get the cotton candy while we were up to keep from having to go back down, and then up the stairs into the nosebleed section one more time. Eric, of course, didn't want cotton candy, but instead a footlong corndog. So that's what we got.

I actually got to watch some of the second quarter, while Mark devoured his cotton candy. Then, when it was gone, so was his interest in the game. He began to complain again, and wanted to leave. I wasn't sure how Eric would feel about this, so I asked him and he said it was fine if we went home because he was feeling funny (not sure if this was due to the wind making him cough or the pizza & corndog but he was fine later.) Then I noticed the USF Marching band making their way toward the field.

I told the boys we could leave right then OR watch the marching band at half time. They made me proud and wanted to stay and watch.

USF played Bon Jovi and the boys were enthralled.

And then we left.

If you are interested in the actual game I don't have many details. The Bucs started off pretty well, and scored early. I think in the second quarter is when it all went awry with a tying touchdown for the Saints and then a field goal later. Then another touchdown brought the score to 17-7. We left before the 3rd period began, but when we got to the car (at which time Mark told me he wanted to go back to the game... um NO!) I turned on the radio to check the score and it was 31-7. By the time I got home it was the final score of 38-7. Um OUCH!

So, the takeaway from all of this. Mark: Sporting Events are alllll about the food. Eric: (in his own words) "Mom, I don't think I'll ever play football. It's a little bit too rough." (Good boy!!) Me: If you take your children to a professional football game & spend a small fortune on parking & snacks their favorite part will be the marching band. They are your kids after all. Also, marching bands should not play Bon Jovi... just saying.

(Yes both of them said their favorite part was the band.)

And here is a link to our picture...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Nature or Nurture

We all know the whole debate. Are kids the way they are because of dna, or the way they were raised.

Yet another example.

I am somewhat obsessive about being on time. I try not to show it to the kids, but I plan and work hard to leave in enough time to be on time even in the worst circumstances. When I was young, I made sure to be early to everything. As I've aged, and had a bunch of kids, I've mellowed out enough to the point that on time is acceptable. On the rare occasions that I am running late I experience turmoil. My stomach does flip flops, my heart rate elevates, I get all the classic anxiety symptoms. I'm working on it. I've given my permission to myself to be late to things like playgroups. Things where when I am on time, I'm the only one there.

Today, Eric had to be at school an hour early. It wasn't a big deal, considering my kids are up by 6 most days. We had 2 full hours before we had to leave to get there. School is 3 minutes away. It was not a thing. I had time to get all the kids ready, and even whip up a little pilgrim hat out of foam for Mark for his Colonial Tea. Yet every five minutes my oldest son was saying "Mom, are we going to be late?" "Mom, when do we have to leave?" "Mom I'm going to be LATE."

And I wonder, does he see my anxiety about being late? I do try to stress timeliness and let them know exactly how long they have to get ready in the mornings. Hardly ever do I utter the phrase "hurry up or we are going to be late!" I keep my slightly insane anxiety about being tardy to myself.

So, is this just something he inherited from me? Or am I less adept at hiding this part of myself than I thought?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Writers Block

I am working on a post for Deep South Moms. I keep running into a problem, one that I run into here. While I am busy working on other things, thoughts swirl around in my head. I come up with ideas of things to write about, get it organized, sometimes a whole post will be up there just waiting to pour onto the computer screen. Yet, when I get time to sit down nothing flows. No words fly out onto the keyboard because I just can't access the part of my brain where the ideas are stored.

Yesterday, I scrapped the idea I had been working on. It was a great idea, but I never could get it flowing. Something else came to me so I pursued it. I wanted to strike while the iron was hot & attempted to do some writing while the kids were around.

What a mistake! Even though they had been really good all afternoon the proceeded to turn into screaming, running, jumping, loud, chaotic creatures. Otherwise known as... boys!

So, today my mission is to finish the Deep South Moms post. It won't be the best in the world, but it will be something. I need to figure a way out of my writing rut. I feel like I'm almost there.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My Latest Project...

First of all, let me say I plan to start posting regularly again. I have been in a little of a time crunch lately. More to do than hours in the day, and I just can't get it together in time to write. Baseball is almost over, and I do believe I'll have all kinds of extra time on my hands. Until I fill it with something else.

I'm slowly trying to decorate my house as inexpensively as possible, of course. So, I painted my bedroom.

Then I decided to paint the light furniture a dark grey because I no longer love the light maple-ish color that it is now. So far I've done a book shelf. It should have been such an easy project but I tried to be LAZY and used spray on primer and the first problem was one can was not nearly enough, and the second problem was it was all bubbly, bumpy and gross. So the bookshelf sat in the garage for a few weeks while I mustered up the desire to deal with it.

Do you want to know what finally prompted me to deal with it? Well, I'll tell you. And this has absolutely nothing to do that the books that belong in said bookshelf were in a pile in my bedroom floor. Or that Benjamin loved nothing better than to go in there and scatter them around all over creation. Nope, not that. It was the door bell that rang at 4:30 one morning when one of the kids had turned a light on in the van & I forgot to turn it off. Evidentally, I had left my door unlocked too, and a nice officer gave me a little lecture about that and that the light being on was a tell tale sign of burglarly and we've been having problems with that and such. Which, obviously I know all too well. Anyway, I was happy the officer was doing his job, and watching out for us. But clearly the bookshelf had to get out of the garage so I could park in there again. I sanded the bumps down, used regular primer & then painted the darn thing. I think it turned out pretty.

Next I painted the Living Room and the Dining Room (which still had the lovely builder white on it... I've mentioned that I hate builder paint right?) There's not much to tell but I LOVE the color.

Finally, my latest project was to attempt to make something similar to this. (Scroll down to see her finished project.) A friend had mentioned making this and I decided to give it a try. I wanted it to be in greys/maybe blues/maybe black instead of the browns pictured though. So, I had Kevin cut the squares and I painted the edges

If you notice some of the squares have crayon on them. I wasn't exactly prompt in my completing the project after the squares were cut. Zack liked to use them to color on. It's kind of fun to think about his little pictures underneath my completed project. Then I gathered my paper and my Mod Podge.

I was pretty nervous attempting this, so when I got started and it was working, not to mention easy, I was thrilled!

I decided to paint a grey square on the wall to kind of frame in the piece, and I think I will go get some moulding to frame the whole thing in. Which will require help from Kevin because really, power tools and I don't get along well. I'll use them, but they scare me. While drilling the hanging hardware (I'm sure there's a name for it, I can't remember) to the wall I slipped and nicked my finger. Hanging it was really the hardest part.

Next up, paint that headboard. And figure out something pretty for about the couch in the Living Room.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Not too long ago we were having issues with going through every single plastic cup we owned in a day. Because every time my bigger boys wanted a sip of water they got a new cup. I was trying to teach them, and get them into the habit of reusing the same cup, so I got out our label maker & put their name on a cup. They used the cup the whole rest of the day.

A few days later I saw the label maker was out and it had their names on it, and the word bathroom after. I asked why they had done that, and they shrugged and said "I dunno." So, fast forward until bathroom cleaning day. After I scrubbed the toilet I stood up and laughed so hard when I saw this.

I'm not sure why Mark's name isn't on there. I just couldn't stop laughing. It never occurred to me they would label their bathroom.

Edited to add:

I didn't notice before, but apparently they also have labelled the towel bar "lame." I thought it was nice!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Okie Dokie Artichokie

Today we were at the store & Mark begged me to buy an artichoke for us to try. My general rule is if they ask to try a new food, especially a vegetable(!!) my answer is yes.

So we bought the artichoke, and as it rode around in my cart, Kevin asked me if I even knew how to cook an artichoke and of course I said "no." I assured him that I could find a way to prepare it on the internet. Because you can learn how to do anything online. Right?

So I came home and found many, many websites detailing how to prepare the vegetable. There were even tutorial videos detailing step by step how to do so.

I got it all ready, and then boiled it, and then to be honest I wasn't really sure how to eat the thing. So I went looking again, and found a Good Eats with Alton Brown video that showed me even more about preparing the things, and maybe even ways to make it easier next time.

And then even more videos on how to eat the things. Which honestly was a little strange. And I felt ridiculous for wondering if that little bit of yumminess in the bottom of the leaf was all there was to it. And it was. And watching people eat artichokes is kind of creepy. But it was really delicious and I will be making them again.

For the record, everyone enjoyed the new culinary experience except for... Mark. Who I couldn't get to try it at all.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Let's Just Stop Messing With the Clock

So, I'm pretty certain I've mentioned my strong hatred for this thing called Daylight Savings Time before. Possibly every time the clock changes, and then changes back, and back again I gripe & moan about my kids schedule's getting all messed up.

The day after Halloween it was 4:45. I grumpily sent them all back to bed. When I arose a little while later they were eating peanut butter on a spoon watching cartoons. I shewed them into the kitchen with their snack and tried to degrumpify myself before dealing with anything else for the day. It really didn't work. Because, no matter that the day before it was really 6:30, the clock said 5:30 and being up that early, for whatever reason just makes me mad. There, I said it. I am not a morning person, and no matter how I try to be, to convince myself that it's ok. If I'm up before 6:30 it takes a little while for me to be cheerful. Ok, cheerful is stretching it.

Talking to my friends, I don't know one single person (who has kids) that doesn't get their schedule completely fouled up from this little clock tweaking. Is it really that great to have the sun come up a little earlier? I can't stand how early it gets dark now. I can't keep my kids up super late to get them to sleep in, because they never sleep in. Ever. This results in a cranky mommy with four cranky kids and that's not good for any of us.

Can we start some sort of petition to stop messing around with the clocks and the lives of Mommies everywhere?

Someone, somewhere (someone with grown kids) mentioned that DST meant they got an extra hour of sleep due to the time change. I couldn't stop laughing. I guess it's all in your perspective.

Today they didn't wake up until 5:15, so it's inching back. I am not asking for much... just sleep until 6:30 kids!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I've written this post before. Only about Zack and his misuse of pronouns when he was right about the age Ben is now. What can I say, there's just something about the development of language and how cute it is when they say things just a little wrong that makes me smile. Maybe I should correct him (Zack is over most of his confusion, although he will still make the occasional him/her slip.)

But Ben, right now is full of little funnies and he'll I'm sure outgrow it soon enough, so I better make a record of it before I forget.

The funniest thing to me is that he pluralizes every thing.

"That's mines." (Or is he putting an apostrophe in it? Like that's mine's. It is hard to say.)

"There's ours car!" (He can actually spot our van from an amazing distance away.)

"Thems go to school?

Etc. Now that I type this he doesn't really confuse his pronouns as much as just adding that s. It's still adorable in his little 2.5 year old voice.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


I found the choo choo costume online and knew I had to make it. It was super simple and fun! And super cute (I think.)

Originally Zack wanted to be a spider. Well, originally a pirate, then several other things, then a spider. Then, while I was looking for something other than a Power Ranger for Mark to be, we ran across this skeleton and he had to be a skeleton. So I got some plain black clothes & felt & started cutting and gluing. Easy! And he's pretty much the cutest skeleton I've ever seen. (But that has more to do with the smile underneath that mask than anything else. The mask didn't make it to any houses, but that was fine!)

You can see who won the great Power Ranger debate. I saw this at a consignment store & decided since I found the exact costume he wanted (the right color and everything) for a good price I would go for it. He was so happy it was totally worth it!

And my little (big) werewolf. He wasn't sure about the hood at first but I think it grew on him. He even perfected his howling for the big night. Thanks to my mother in law for helping me with this one. Because I was really nervous. But it all turned out!

Here they all are, ready to go collect more candy than anyone could possibly need.

We had a blast! I love Halloween!

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