Friday, February 27, 2009

Your Favorite Contest Winner

Thank you to everyone for telling me your favorite blogs! I've really enjoyed looking at them & have a few more to go take a peek at.

This would have been up earlier except that I am sick and did nothing last night except watch tv, and this morning had to run Mark to the pediatrician because his ear was hurting. Sure enough, he has a bad ear infection.

Anyway, with no further ado... I am happy to announce that the winner of the contest (chosen by random number generator) is The Kundin Family! Congrats!!! Please email me (baileylifewithboys@gmail.com) your address & I'll get your prize out soon! Thanks for playing, and sharing your favorite blog. And I totally agree, no one understands boys better than moms of boys.

Now I must go report Mark absent from school. I forgot to do that with all the running around.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

One of My Favorite Places

Living in Florida has been such a great experience for our family. So many places to see... and we haven't even been to Disney yet. This past weekend we went to one of my favorite places. Tarpon Springs. The town is just amazing to drive through. I love looking at the beautiful houses, it's right on the water and it has a really incredible park for the boys to play.

We took our picnic lunch to the park and let the kids play on the playground.
Somewhere along the way we decided to check out the city's main tourist draw... the sponge docks. Full of shops & Greek Restaurants we had a lot of fun wandering around and the boys had ice cream. I was more interested in the pastries & got a canoli and some baklava to take home with us.
It was a great family day. Only about 30 minutes from here & all that walking was good for us and made the kids nice and tired so the ride home was quiet! Who could ask for more?
I didn't take any pictures at the sponge docks because I was in awe. I love that area and I felt like I was somewhere exotic.

PS Today is the last day to enter the Your Favorite contest. Tell me about your favorite blog and win a prize!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Further Proof I've Lost My Mind



As if we need more proof. Let me tell you what crazy people do.

Crazy people put off getting a hair cut for a really long time, partly to save money, partly because they keep forgetting to make an appointment.

Crazy people look in the mirror on the day they are going to check out a new playgroup/moms club organization, and lament deeply that they did NOT get a haircut as their hair is now too grown out to look good but not long enough to pull back.

Crazy people get out scissors.

I started out just wanting to even it up a bit. The cut was a bit asymmetrical which was cute and edgy when it was short, but looked kind of dumb at it's current length. Well, somehow that turned into a full fledged haircut.

Surprisingly, I did a pretty good job. Not that I'll do it again... I don't think I'd get that lucky twice.

It's not the best haircut I've had, but it's not the worst either.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Photo Tag

Shanna tagged me for this photo tag... which I am pretty sure is the most fun tag ever.

1. Go to my documents/pictures.2. Go to my 6th file folder.3. Go to my 6th picture.4. Blog about it.5. Tag 6 people to do the same.

Sooo this is a not so distant photo because of our recent computer crash.

From the pictures surrounding this I remember this was in late November when we were putting up outdoor Christmas lights. Ben was reaching up to grab the camera if I remember correctly. Seeing this picture makes me realize that he too, looks a lot like his father. I really thought he might look like me until I look really close. It's the jaw line. They ALL have it.

I will post the people I"m tagging in a bit... Gotta run for now.

AND don't forget to enter the Your Favorite (blog) contest to win a few of my favorite things.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Your Favorite - A Contest

For quite some time there have been blogs I've wanted to add to my blog list ------> over there. And for some reason, whether by something I did or some weird blogger glitch I couldn't add or take off anything from my reader. It was just there with no option to edit. I didn't want to take the time to delete that list and readd everything (and I made a new google account awhile back and hadn't added anything to the reader on that account so I couldn't easily fix it.) BUT today I did.

I haven't added all of the blogs I want to yet, but now I CAN!

So, my question to you is What is your favorite thing on your reader that's not already on my list over there. I will look at all of the blogs and add them to my reader. Out of those comments I will pick one at random to win a prize! Prize will be a surprise, but a few of my favorite things. Little things that make me happy!

Comment, comment, comment! Contest will close at 7 PM on Thursday, Feb 26. If you don't have a blog with a bloglist, still feel free to enter with your favorite blog!

And if your blog isn't on there & you want it to be smack me upside the head... or just politely let me know. Chances are I'd like to have it over there, I'm just too scatterbrained to remember right this second.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Crash

We were out riding bikes around the cul de sac. Well technically, Eric was running, Mark biking, Zack scootering and Ben being pushed on the trike. We were at the driveway across the street, and Mark tried to zoom past me & Ben. He crashed right into their car!!!! Horrible! There were tears (he was fine) and I examined the car. If we damaged it, it was just a scratch, one among many. The neighbors had to be told.

When I let Mark know we needed to go to the door and tell them that we had crashed into their car. Oh the drama! More tears, and he ran into the house. I explained that if he did not accompany me to tell this family about their car he would miss fun things this weekend. Soccer, birthday party, and any other fun thing we might do. If he didn't obey me, he could spend that time in his room. Finally, he relented, after going through all the reasons why he couldn't. "He's a stranger!" (he's not!) "What if he hurts me?" (yea, I'm gonna let that happen) "He'll be maaaaaaaaaaad." (well, maybe, but would be moreso if we didn't tell him.) Anyway, it was such a non event. I asked him to look at his car and he laughed. Said "Look at all these scratches. If you made one of them, it just blends in."

But it was a good learning experience for Mr. Mark.

1. Don't speed by people when there is little room.
2. When you hit someone's property you have to tell them.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Grounded

I'm grounding myself from Facebook, Twitter, Blogging & Message Boards until my house is clean. Not perfect, but picked up and CLEAN.

In the meantime I wrote a little about Ben being my little office supply fiend at Deep South Moms.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

From My Childhood

Often I shake my head and wonder if the things my kids do are NORMAL or if I should worry when they do crazy things. Some of my favorite moments are when I see someone else's kid act squirrelly, or do something silly, or drive their Momma nuts. I know, that sounds so evil, but really it's just a matter of "Oh thank goodness it's not just my kids!" That feeling of not being the only one in the boat is a huge relief!

Recently, my 2nd cousin (hi Pam!) emailed me because she was remembering something my little brother did when he and I were kids.

I think I was about 13 which would have made him about 7. Eric will be 7 very soon. It's hard to remember my brother being that age. We were home alone and I was supposed to be keeping an eye on him. I vaguely remember trying to read and he was driving me a little crazy. I clearly remember him putting a shoe in the microwave and it did nothing. (One of MY shoes by the way!) I think at that point I went to my room and kept reading. It NEVER occurred to me that he would put something else in the microwave. Something else being the television remote control. Suddenly he ran to me saying the microwave was SPARKING and I went and sure enough, craziness in the microwave. I opened the door and soon realized the remote control no longer functioned. When mom and dad got home, I played cool like I thought the remote just needed batteries, not mentioning the incident. I sincerely was hoping and maybe even praying that it would work. Okay, so my knowledge of electronics maybe wasn't great. I let my parents go to the store, buy batteries, and only when that didn't work did we fess up to the microwave incident. To the best of my memory the microwave still worked... we got a new remote control. I only slightly remember getting in trouble for LYING (by omission, but still...) I'm sure some punishment was enforced but I can't recall what it was.

I do remember that when Jason was questioned WHY he did such a strange thing he answered "because when I put the shoe in it didn't do anything." That's little boy logic if I've ever heard it!

I share this story because, although it wasn't particularly funny back then, it is hilarious now. Frightening, too, because I have to go through 7 year old boyhood FOUR times!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Positive Reinforcement

I've confessed before that I stink at things like behavior charts, chore charts, and the like. I want to do things like that. I am a huge believer in positive reinforcement. Reward good behavior to help it stick around. One problem I face is that the kids think they get a tangible reward every time they please me. While I want to make them happy, sometimes a pat on the back is not exactly what they have in mind. At the same time I don't want them thinking they get a super cool new toy or treat every time they mind me.

I've mulled this over at great length, and finally it came up in a conversation with a friend the method she was using and that was working fabulously for her.

Basically, she took a jar, and some large glass pieces (she calls them glass globs, hers have shapes, the ones I'm using are decorative vase fillers) and every time the kids do something great like make the bed without being reminded, or go an afternoon without fighting, they get to put a glob in the jar.

I'm totally stealing her idea! We started yesterday and you know what? The boys got up, got dressed and made their beds and then came and got me. I've been trying to achieve this routine for months with no luck. So, they each got a glass bead and when the jar is full we will go out for ice cream!

I can't wait to see if this really has lasting impact.

Some things they get beads for...

Making bed.
Not whining when asked to do something.
WOW - ing mom & dad.
Not arguing.

I'm going to work on more positive behaviors to reward so they can work toward their treat and hopefully make some good habits in the process.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Birthday!

Yesterday my last baby turned two. The big boys also started soccer and we had a busy, but fun filled day!


Granny sent a giant Teddy Bear that Ben loves. He is a snuggly little boy and this made his day.


Messy cake & ice cream boy.

Gross, but too funny not to take a picture of!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Three Billy Goats Gruff

This was the cutest school program EVAH! Yea, I'm biased.

video

Not the best video quality, but I hope the cuteness can overcome that!

And possibly the funniest moment of the program... Eric's grouchy face (I'm sure they were supposed to be doing this. At least I hope because both of my kids were rocking this look. Although no one else is really... okay maybe the kid on the top right.)




The picture of Mark's grumpy face was too blurry to post, but it looks a lot like Eric's just with different kids surrounding him.


Before the program, waiting for the other kids to file in.

Mark was kind of tired.

Ben thought the program made a good hat.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

When I Was a Kid

Eric is always our first kid to fall asleep at night, so when he has a little trouble falling asleep I tend to give him extra time. Last night was one of those nights. The second time I tucked him in he requested I sing him a song. I started singing and was quickly interrupted with "No, no, no, not that." So I asked what he wanted me to sing. He requested, "Old MacDonald with a cow & a sheep." Gotcha. So I dutifully sang and at the end he said, "Thanks mom, that was one of my favorites when I was a kid."

Don't worry, I made sure to mention he was STILL a kid, and he corrected "when I was a little kid."

Sigh. They grow up way too fast. But I confess I am loving 6 and 3/4 an awful lot!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Memory Lane

I was browsing through my archives the other day searching for this picture.


So that I could compare it to this picture.


It's a different little boy and a different house, but the same silliness!

While I was searching I read many posts from the past. I don't do this enough. I wanted to read the whole entire thing from the beginning, but my home dissolved into chaos around me and I had to stop. Funny how that happens.

Today I'd like to post some of my favorite stories from the past (almost) 2 years of blogging and raising kids.

It all started in April 2007. I don't know really what inspired me to begin blogging, other than the fact that I wanted a record. A timeline if you will of my journey with my family. I wanted to be able to remember the little things and the big ones too. More than anything, I wanted to preserve some of the boys childhood in a way that would work for me. Not being big on scrapbooking, I thought this blog might be the way to go. It also would be ideal to share with far away family and friends. So, I began not really sure how long I'd make it. In my first ever blog post I even declared myself the worst journal keeper ever.

One of the early posts was when Mark stuck a popcorn kernel up his nose and there was much drama in getting it out. By the way, that was NOT the last time we had stuff up the nose.


I wrote about the crazy things they did.

I confessed when I blamed the baby for losing my keys when they were in fact never lost.

I shared bad days (continuation of that story here) and good ones.

Some of my favorite posts are about days that I have completely forgotten about, but that make me laugh out loud when I reread them.

It hasn't all been about the kids... I've told you all about our remodeling. Before... during and for some reason I can't find the after.

I wrote when we got to be in the newspaper.

When we went camping with our friends.

When I just couldn't laugh about it... and also when I could.

There were actually a few easy days...

I confessed that I'm not perfect... far from it.

And recently, I posted about some things that are making me crazy lately, happily I'm feeling better now. :)

I wish I would have started blogging the minute Eric was born, but I am thrilled that I will always have these stories, along with the zillion others I've posted.

Thanks for indulging me in my stroll down Memory Lane.

OOPS

Apparently when I was recently trying to burn a feed I did something weird and screwed up the people who already have my blog in a reader or linked in a blog list. Sooooo, I really don't know how to fix this on my end. SO, if you have me in a reader I think if you delete me, then readd me it should fix the problem. Sorry... I promise I won't mess with anything else any time soon :).

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Blast From the Past

Once upon a time, many years ago I had only two small boys. They were 3 and 2 and very, very cute. Then 3 year old Eric was playing this game where it sounded an awful lot like he was saying he was putting "roses" on us. Well at some point this evolved into him licking his hand, wiping it on us and saying "I put roses on you." First off, cute as he was, I didn't really enjoy him wiping his slobber on my arms, and secondly I couldn't for the life of me figure out why he would be putting ROSES on me. Until one day, out of the blue we realized he was saying he was putting LOTION on us. Still gross, but made a teeny bit more sense.

I hope this is humorous to someone else because it popped into my head the other day and I couldn't stop laughing. I'm still giggling as I type it in fact. Thankfully, Eric doesn't put lotion OR roses on us any more and if he licked his hand and wiped it on me I'm afraid I wouldn't laugh now.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I Sure Love Those Little Turkeys

Despite the fact that life is making me a bit crazy lately (and adding to the list of things that make me insane... Ben coloring on the couch with marker... OY) life is good. I have four GOOD boys who love me and I love them more than I can express. Even when they throw crayons all.over.the.floor.afterIjustpickedthemup.

Today, I want to focus on the things I adore about these boys. The things that make me smile.



I'll start with the littlest. Ben is cute as a button! I love when I pick him up and he adjusts his little legs so they are wrapped around me tight and he holds on with his feet. I love how he throws his arms around my neck and leans his head back with the biggest smile. Ben is wild about his stuffed animals and now must have both "Puppup" and "Seepy Sheep" to go to bed. One day recently I was upstairs enforcing bedtime and found him holding up his little stuffed puppy and then saw as he snuggled him close with the biggest smile. I also love the way he says things. For example, puppy is 'puppup', blanket is 'bwank,' ketchup is 'chup,' outside is 'side' and until very recently it was 'ide'. I love baby language and the progress he makes on a daily basis.

Then there is Zack. He is such a bubbly fun little boy. So affectionate, so silly. He loves to laugh and make others laugh. He is also very caring. If someone is upset that they don't have a toy, he will find them one and bring it to them. If he can't do that, he is there with a hug. Zack loves to run. I think it is so funny that when we go outside his favorite thing to do is run in circles. He's a racer like Lightning McQueen. Only these days he's a racer on Mario Kart. He loves to imagine and make me "food" in his play kitchen, but he did it even before he had a play kitchen. He also loves to swipe "sips" of my diet coke. Which is slightly annoying, but also really cute because he is pretty sneaky about it.

Mark... He is so enthusiastic. He is happy or sad, things are good or bad. There is no real in between. I do complain about this but it is so fun when he is on the upswing. When he's happy. When I do something little for him and he says "MOM, you are the BEST!!!" This past weekend I made English Muffins after reading about them on my friend Shanna's blog. They turned out really good, but Mark was so excited about them. I found out yesterday that he went to school and told his teachers about my "FAMOUS English Muffin recipe!!" I love that enthusiasm! Although, it wasn't exactly my recipe and I'm not sure it's famous. I can just picture him saying it though, and I'm so overjoyed that these are the things he chooses to share with his teachers.

And lastly, my biggest boy....Eric. Eric is such an easy going boy, and he is the one that I can almost always count on to follow the rules. He loves to read, and is often known to say when I remind him he's supposed to be getting dressed "Sorry mom, I just got stuck in my book!" I love it that he gets distracted and "stuck in books." A boy after my own heart! Besides loving to read, he is fascinated by science and loves to know facts about things, particularly space. His favorite book right now is called Earth & Space and it is a very thick one, but he loves to read and learn things about the planets.

I love these little guys more than I knew I could. I confess, yesterday was pretty frustrating again, but as Kevin pointed out last night "you must be doing something right... doesn't it make you feel good when they ALL want to sit near you at prayer time." You know, it really does. It makes it difficult to get irritated when I go to start my morning load of laundry to find the washer full of shoes. I couldn't help but laugh at that one.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Oh the Craziness!

I keep hesitating to come post this because I don't want to come off as some whining, complaining mother who doesn't enjoy her kids. I love these little turkeys with all that I have... but lately... I can't express clearly enough how CRAZY they are making me. So, I will post it because you know, sometimes getting it all out helps me stay sane. Just a few things that are on my mind (and making me lose it!)

The screaming... Zack and Ben are still screaming. I've never had a kid who screamed until we went on vacation a month ago. Somehow, they picked up on the fact that screaming with the shrillest, highest pitched scream gets Momma really riled up. I figured a few weeks of routine and being told "NO" would break it, but it seems to be getting worse. In fact, when Ben doesn't get what he wants he pulls out that scream. It doesn't get him what he wants, but he seems to take great delight in bursting my eardrums.

The fighting... is ongoing. Eric and Mark still bicker non stop from the time they walk in the door to the time they go to bed. Mark pesters Eric until he gets mad, Eric whines and makes Mark mad. I just get mad. Can't they see how lucky they are to have a sibling close in age to play with? Short answer, no. No amount of scolding, grounding from Wii, or time outs help. But it's not just Eric and Mark. Now Zack and Ben have started fighting. Usually Ben will have a toy, Zack will grab it and Ben will (guess what?) SCREAM bloody murder. Fun times.

The potty accidents... We should really be over this by now I think, but Zack is still having multiple accidents per day so I can't really even say that he's potty trained. He does great when I take him, but at some point I think he should be able to tell me when he needs to go. EVERY time I leave it up to him he pees his pants. OY By the third kid I should have this down, right? I don't.

Ben taking his pants, and diaper off... Seriously, the peepee on the potty trend was cute and fun, but now he doesn't really want to pee on the potty as much as he just wants to be naked, and or drive me crazy... probably a combination.

The escape attempts. Zack and Ben got out of the house last week. I was making a phone call, realized it was suddenly too quiet and upon investigating realized the front door was open. I ran out the door to discover Zack and Ben running away from the house, toward the culdesac. On the sidewalk, thankfully, but still not good. There have been numerous escape attempts since and my heart can't take it.

Early rising sneakies... I thought we had this under control. A few days of spy cam monitoring and they were sleeping until 6 and not pulling any craziness in the wee hours. Until today. Apparently Ben was up without my knowledge (this is BAD!!!) and decided to play in the water (WORSE) in the upstairs bathroom sink. I woke up to "MOMMY BENS FLOODING THE BATHROOM!!!!!!!!!" Fortunately the big boys knew to turn off the water and get us up. It could have been way worse. Kevin cleaned up the water and I told the boys if they are up and ESPECIALLY if Ben is up they MUST come and get me. Period. No exceptions. We'll see if the reminder will help.

And now I must go see if I can find Eric's missing cub scout tee shirt which hasn't turned up yet.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Superbowl Time

It is so strange to me that the Superbowl is just down the road (okay half an hour away) and here we are, at home, playing Wii and I haven't even thought about it.

I grew up in a house where this would be unheard of. I like football just fine, and would watch it if Kevin were into sports at all. However, he is not. In fact, he really couldn't care less. I'm fine with that because it alleviates hours of tv watching time around here.

Our past superbowls have varied. Some we didn't even try to watch, others we'd go to a party and watch, visit with friends and watch the commercials, and eat lots of snacks! Recently, we've taken to DVR-ing the whole shebang and (don't shoot me football fans) fast forwarding the game in order to see the commercials. This year I don't know if we'll even do that. But a big part of me wants to make a ton of junk food and prepare for some good munching and laughing. Last year the commercials were only so so though, so I'm in a dilemma. (I know, such troubles I have!)

So, comment here about what you are doing for the superbowl... and then go answer my poll over there ---->

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