Friday, May 29, 2009

Things I Love Right Now

1. Ben's new phrases: "Tank oo Mommy," "Can I?" and

many many others. Also, that he calls ours chins "beards." This comes from a certain silly song we've been singing for a few years off of a Laurie Berkner Band CD. Yesterday we was kissing me and telling me where he'd kissed me. Smack "ear". Smack "two ears." Smack "nooose." Smack "eyes." Smack "beards."

2. Our new decorations: This hanging as you walk in the front door.

And this table at the end of the hall as you walk in from the garage.

I wasn't even convinced we needed a table there, but Kevin was and tasked me with finding it. We looked and I couldn't find the right thing for the amount of money I wanted to spend (read: cheap!) until I saw this. We hit a snag when we learned they didn't have any in boxes and the floor model was all scratched and gouged up on the wood. I couldn't see buying something already damaged even if it will get scratched & dinged in this house. So we drove across town (after a phone call or two) and got it and everytime I walk in through the garage I get a little giddy. Who knew a table could cause such a feeling. PS those bowls have been collected over the years when we've gone on cruises. The smallest was from our first cruise and purchased in Belize. The other two are from Guatemala. This is the first time we've been able to prominently display them in our home.

3. That Eric sneaks off to read books. And then tells me what he has learned in those books. Like did you know that lungfish can breathe on land or in water? I had no idea until my biggest boy told me. And if you need to know something about space, he's your guy. I can't tell you how many days he's gone missing and I find him reading a book. I hope his thirst for knowledge and his love of reading continues. It will take him so far.

4 Mark's poetry he brought home from school. I love them all but will share just one in the interest of brevity (ha!) Spelling errors left in tact because they are part of him at this age.

Broclee by Mark Bailey

Broclee, broclee
on my
plate. You
me so sick. I do
not wot to lick.
I throe you
on the flor.
Ben eats you.
I spit you in the sink.

I actually thought he liked broccoli but I this was so creative and fun.

5. Zack is getting so much bigger and has his own thoughts and ideas and plays with words. He can buckle his own seatbelt now and asks me every day when he gets to go to his school. I get a little choked up thinking about it even though I know it will be good for both of us.

Life is full of amazingness and when I get caught up in the details and the chaos I try to remember how lucky I am.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Another Taste

Another taste... this time of how you can do every single thing your child wants to do and still have him treat you like crap. Oh the fun!

Today was another great day. The big boys went to school (yay!), the little ones and I cleaned a little, went to playgroup, came home and Ben napped while Zack played and I got a few much needed things done.

I figured Mark would come home happy. Today was their Splash Day in which they get to play on water slides and bounce houses at school, as well as other crazy water games. Should have been a good day. He did come home happy. We played with clay, and then he made a guy out of wooden skewers and when I say he made I mean he laid the guy out and then ordered me to hot glue it onto a big sheet of paper so he could cut it out. Any guesses who cut it out.

All of this was fun and I was kind of feeling like a good mommy for having my chores done so we could play when they got home from school. Then he fell asleep on the couch for about 3 minutes and when he woke up OH BOY suddenly his day sucked.

And it must have been all my fault, naturally because nothing made the child happy. Nothing. He didn't want meatballs in his spaghetti and he was NOT going to eat a VEGETABLE (the horror!) and there were tears involved and frayed nerves too.

Then somewhere through dinner Mark decided he liked meatballs (vegetables too) and then I didn't stop them when they took water & soap outside to play in bubbly water.

Somewhere along the way it all went awry and I ended up putting them to bed at 6:45. Which brings us to now and there's some unholy racket up there so I must end this post and go deal with that.

And something tells me this is what I get for having such a lovely day yesterday and thinking that might be what summer is going to be like. Me jumping through hoops only to have someone mad at me all the time. Reality check, anyone?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Taste

I got a taste of what summer is going to be like today.

It wasn't all that bad.

I had scheduled Eric and Mark's well child doctor visits for today and got the pleasure of taking all four kids with me into the pedi's office. That's almost as fun as having a root canal. I remembered to bring snacks but there was a little more of a wait than I had planned for (not excessive, it's just they are usually lightning fast. Eric and Mark were wrestling on the exam table and I told them to knock it off or we would not be going to the playground after. To my utter disbelief they listened and we actually got to go to the playground. They must be figuring out that I mean business!

After only minor annoyances at the appointment we grabbed lunch and headed to the playground for a picnic and playtime! Unfortunately some school group was there cooking out hotdogs with some older elementary, maybe even middle school kids. Now, I have nothing at all against older kids. It's just that some of them are ANNOYING! They were sitting all over the play structures, in the way of the little kids, blocking the slides, etc. There were even some girls swinging on the baby swings! I feel like such a whiner and I'm sure I have it coming when my kids are in the tween years, but dude. Let the little kids play on the playground.

The rest of the day was uneventful. We cleaned up a little. The big boys helped. They are getting to be quite the good, hard workers! Then we went to the store and I only wanted to pull my hair out a little bit. Oh, did I mention Kevin's out of town again? But it was fine! We had a great day!

Now they are in bed talking and giggling and I sure wish they'd sleep. They are staying in bed though so I'll take it!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Goings On

The big boys have BIG plans for the summer.

They are opening a bowling alley upstairs. A REAL bowling alley, not pretend. They will charge you either five dollars or nothing. I'm not sure what the determining factor is on which you will pay. Luck of the draw I guess. This lovely establishment will open up on the 15th of Summer. Be there!

In addition to their brand spanking new bowling alley, they will be opening an Ice Cream Shop. Mark told me that you can get three scoops for $5.00. Or one scoop for $20.00. Hey, they're saving up for a Wii game! Logic? Who needs logic. I did mention that no one will pay $20.00 for one scoop of ice cream so they might want to rethink they're menu prices. Then they came downstairs and climbed onto the counter to get ice cream cones. I reminded them that this was a pretend ice cream shop. I bet you can imagine how well that went over. I am SUCH a stick in the mud.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Garden Pest

Other considered titles: This is What I Get for Opening My Big Mouth (Again), We Thought We Knew So Much, or Don't Pick the Peppers!

Day before yesterday Zack came to me. "This tomato is ready because Ben picked it. Is it big enough?" It was green. I talked with the little guys about not picking the veggies unless mom & dad are there and say it's okay. It went over sooo well.
Yesterday, only a few hours after posting how well our little garden was doing Eric came to me to tell me Ben picked some peppers and ATE THEM! They look big enough but they aren't ready yet as evidenced by the fact that despite being hot peppers, they had the flavor of a bell pepper.
That's what I get for bragging I guess. That's what we get for thinking by putting our garden in pots on the patio we could avoid certain garden pests that ate all of our tomatoes last year.

Who knew I was raising my very own garden pest?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Quite well, thanks!



and one lone lime (the baby one next to it formed at the same time but hasn't grown.) Since we didn't expect anything from this tree for a year or two this amazes me!

Okay, so the carrots have failed to form carrots and we are not sure why, but everything else is producing actual food and I am so excited!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Rain Storms

It's actually been raining here in FL the past week or so. Occasionally, we will get an actual thunderstorm. We are so happy because with all the dry weather, the Tampa Bay area is experiencing critical water shortages. So, YAY for rain!

One day last week we decided to go to the playground and a few minutes after we arrived we heard thunder. Then Ben pointed to the sky and said "Oh shoot!" It was one of those moments when I looked at my friend and asked "Did he just say...." and she confirmed that he did. I laughed hysterically and now every time he hears thunder he grins and says "Oh shoot."

Friday night there were thunderstorms and it started right as we were putting little boys to bed. It was not an easy bedtime and Ben kept trying to get in bed with Mark. Kevin went up to check it out and our littlest boy was pointing to the window whining "wight-nin." He was scared. We let him sleep with Mark. Until he fell out of bed and then I put him back in his own room. Oh how I wish I had heard him say lightning because it sounds so awfully cute!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Will I Ever Learn?

Will I ever learn not to think so highly of my mommy skills? Maybe not. As of yesterday that answer is still no. I wrote about it at Deep South Moms. Someday, I'll Learn.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


In Florida, we are having these swarms of Love Bugs. It's not the most fun experience to be outside to say the least. Yesterday we were at the playground and they kept landing on me. The other kids at playgroup were screaming, and really, I couldn't blame them because bugs... they are icky.

Mark & Zack's approach to love bugs are at opposite ends of the spectrum.

I was growing weary of opening the front door and having billions of these things in my face so I decided to coat my front door with bug spray. Also, I was vacuuming the dead ones off the porch so that in the event someone came to my door they wouldn't be walking on a pile of dead bugs. Mark came to me while I was vacuuming them to ensure I didn't suck up any live ones. When he noticed the bug spray, he lectured me about how love bugs don't hurt anyone and "please don't kill them mommy." I put the spray away. He also willingly let them land on him and gently placed one that had gotten in the house back outside. No doubt to save them from his mean mommy.

On the other hand, Zack took delight in smashing as many as he could at the playground yesterday.

Could they be any more different?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothers Day

I intended to post this yesterday, however was trying to stay off of the computer, therefore never got it finished. So, here is my Mother's Day post a day late.

I want to direct you again to the Mothers Day post my good friend Shanna wrote last year. It is beautiful, timely, and a fantastic reminder to me to take a step back and realize how lucky I am to be a mommy, and especially the mommy to my kids. They are pretty awesome.

With that said, my family has spoiled me. They spent a few hours Saturday shopping for gifts, which allowed me to have some rare time alone (well technically with Ben, but he was sleeping part of that time.) That was a gift in itself. I, who used to get antsy in the quiet and never liked being alone, now really appreciate both.

The gifts the boys gave me started on Thursday when we went to Target and they whispered to Kevin "can we get Mommy a gift for Mother's Day while we are here." There thoughtfulness and desire to give me a gift was so touching and sweet, I almost teared up right then and there.

On Friday was the Mother's Day Tea at school. Luckily, I got to sit with both boys and eat a donut hole and have a teenie Dixie cup of tea. At school, they had made frames with puzzle pieces and a picture of them inside holding a sign saying "I love you to pieces." Just too perfect. But the real gift that day was the fact that I was able to attend. Several children had moms who had to work that day and I feel blessed that I am able to stay home and attend these things (which maybe should be held in the evening to accommodate the moms who do work.) I am also blessed to have a good friend who is willing to watch my little guys so I can run up to the school for things like these.

On Mother's Day I got to sleep in. A rare treat and it was so appreciated. I woke up many times and had to force myself back to sleep because I wanted to take advantage as long as I could of my chance to sleep as late as I wanted. I slept until 9. This makes me laugh so hard because seriously, it felt like the equivalent of sleeping until noon. You know, back in the day when I sometimes slept until noon on the weekends.

Kevin made breakfast for me and got the day off to a great start. I got actual presents, but the real gifts were thoughtfulness, time, and love. What more could I even ask for?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Parenting Styles

We all have different styles of parenting and I think it is important to remember that we all do what we do with and for our kids out of love and the child's best interest. There are obvious exceptions but I don't think that is the norm. I recently heard about a book called "Free Range Kids" and the author talks about how she let her 9 year old son ride the subway in NYC home alone. Read what I think about this over at Deep South Moms. And tell me what you think about it, because I'm curious where you all stand.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

It's Official

The kids are driving me CRAZY! I am officially ready for Kevin to come home. I held up fine until yesterday afternoon when everyone lost their minds. Suddenly I feel like no one listens, everyone is wild and crazy and LOUD. So, pretty much like usual except I don't have the backup "listen to your Mommy!" around 6 every evening.

It will be okay, but whew, am I ever glad Kevin is coming home today.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I made myself quite the to do list today and then proceeded to not be home Fortunately I had thrown dinner in the crock pot this morning and was able to feed & bathe the boys early and sit them in front of a movie. Mommy is TIRED.

Hopefully tonight I'll get the motivation to get some things done. If not, there is always tomorrow. Right?

Monday and Tuesday I got to spend some time with my brother and his wife. It was so awesome to see them and for a couple with no kids they are phenomenal with my crazy little guys! We really couldn't have asked for a better visit.

I've gotten myself into a Moms Club (about time, really) and the activities have been really fun. Today was playgroup plus Eric and Mark ended up having playdates after school (one at a friends house that took just him and one that I don't know the mom as well so we all stayed.

To those of you that have jobs and stuff this sounds so trivial and FUN. Which it totally is. I'm not complaining, I'm just tired. Although that could be because I really have trouble sleeping when Kevin is travelling and this is a travel week.

So, as soon as this movie wraps up I am going to put everyone to bed and try to tackle that to do list. If I have any energy left. I think Diet Coke is in order.

**how's that for a rambling pointless blog post???

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mark is Six (plus a day!)

Dear Mark,

Yesterday, you turned six. We celebrated on Sunday because daddy had to go out of town on business. You took it like a champ and told everyone we saw that you would be turning six. You have such a winning personality that everyone you saw (including the cashier at Target) beamed right back at you and wished you a happy (almost) birthday.

You requested cheesecake instead of actual cake for your special day. You are your own person and know what you like. Even if it is unconventional.

You reacted with equal excitement to all of your gifts, from the spider man pajamas to the magic kit you coveted on our cruise in January. (Yes we bought it for you on the cruise and hid it for five months until your birthday.)

You gladly shared your gifts with your brothers.

On your actual birthday, we were so lucky to have Uncle Jason and Aunt Summer come to see us. You got to eat out and get more presents and have a ton more fun.

The neighbors brought you a homemade birthday cake and water balloons for your special day.

You are a wonderful little boy. You know what you want, and will fight for it. Although this quality tends to make for long days when I have to say "no" I firmly believe that this quality will take you far in life. Hopefully someday (soon!) you will understand that when I do say no it really is because I believe it is in your best interest.

I love you Mr. Markie!

Your Mommy

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Hide and Seek

This morning Kevin and the boys and I played hide and seek. It was pretty fun. Kevin was showing them good hiding spots so it would be harder for me to find them. I found Eric and Kevin whispered something to him. A few minutes later Eric said very seriously to me, "Mommy, don't look in the cabinet above the fridge because NO one is in there. Obviously that was the next place I looked and I could not quit laughing. He couldn't understand why I would look there when he said not to. Kid logic is such a fun thing!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Fishy Results

Steps involved in gutting a fish.

1. Watch video on youtube about topic.

2. Try really hard not to throw up.

3. Remove fish from refrigerator.

4. Try hard not to think to hard about the video.

5. Take a deep breath.

6. Try not to throw up.

7. Lay fish across a plastic bag so as not to have grossness on the kitchen counter.

8. Insert hand into a smaller plastic bag so as not to have to touch any grossness.

9. Select knife.

10. Turn fish over and prepare to cut.

11. Breathe a huge sigh of relief upon realizing Mr. Fishy has already been gutted.

12. Laugh hysterically at self for stressing out about this for the last two days.

13. Place Mr. Fishy in a baggy and back into refrigerator until time to prepare dinner.

14. Resume laughing at self.

Mr. Fishy did get cooked, and eaten. However, despite having already had the yuckiest part done for me, I was stressed the entire time I prepared dinner. I guess having him in his "whole" form was just too much for me. However, I pushed through and it was tasty!

Anyway, lessons learned here are:

I'm more of a filet kind of girl!
My kids actually will eat fish! Woot!
I do not wish to cook anything that still looks like an animal. Ick.
I actually hate wasting food enough to push through and do it anyway.
A one pound fish doesn't yield very much actual fish. Should have bought 2.

Not doing this again, but it was an interesting experience.

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