Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008

Hope that you and yours had a wonderful holiday. Ours was awesome, thanks for asking. Santa, nice guy that he is, left some lovely items for us to enjoy.


Socks for J. And some other stuff too.


Sit & Spin for the babies. Here's C enjoying it.



Oh, and a Wii for the whole family. It was kind of a big hit. Can you tell? (I dominated the first day of Wii bowling. But have since been completely schooled by my seven year old.)



We ended the evening with some casual company and comfort food. Here is my baby enjoying a 9x12 full of Buffalo Chicken Dip, which is laced with hot wing sauce. He actually ate it.



And here is my baby looking for a little more wine to wash it all down. The perfect way to end the holiday.












Friday, December 19, 2008

Lots of Candles and Holidays

Yesterday was my birthday. When I walked into the kitchen in the morning, my seven year old said:

"Mom! When did you get taller?"

Gee, I wonder if he's heard that on a birthday or two himself...


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

Also from G:

Mom, can we celebrate Hanukkah?

No, probably not. We're not Jewish.

Oh, darn it! And we don't even speak Jewish...


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

That was followed the next day by:

Mom, can we PLEASE just TRY to celebrate Hanukkah and Kwanzaa?


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


Busy day today. We went and bought a new car for me. Updated version of what I had before. New color. And fancy wheels. Mama's got rims.

And then we took the big kids to see the Rockettes Christmas show downtown. It was really good. I expected more kids but this was truly an all ages show. Tons of adults there without children.

As we crossed the street from the parking garage to the arena, G commented that "Sprint Center looks like a disco ball cut in half." And I looked. And it does.



Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Still Here!

Slightly fewer things on the to-do list. Not really actually, now that I think about it. Things drop off and new things get added. I've been at the computer most of the day, trying to get a few things completed. Oh, I also watched the snow.

The snow makes it a lot easier to see the various wildlife in the wooded area behind our house. Today, four deer and a mangy coyote. I had only caught a couple glimpses of the coyote before, usually from afar. This afternoon, he trotted right past my window - even stopped to shake the snow from his fur. He was probably hungry. Keep your pocket dogs inside, neighbors.

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

Last weekend, G and I spent about an hour working on an Usborne archaeology set that he received for his birthday from one of my sisters. It was really pretty cool.



Sweet safety glasses? Check.


Hammer and chisel thingies? Check.

Brush to clean the excavation site? Check.



Priceless Egyptian artifacts unearthed from centuries-old pyramid? Well...not exactly.


Plastic replicas of things that look kinda Egypt-y? You got it.


Fun with my kid without the presence of a piece of electronics? CHECK!!!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I'm Still Here

Sorry for the lack of funny kid-ness lately. So busy, I can't see straight. Every time I think I'm pulling my head back above water, the angry, evil to-do list monster yanks my feet back under.

Lots of work to be done before year-end. It's not that different from when every plaintiff attorney in town decided that their cases needed to settle before the books closed for the year and the entire month of December was a feeding frenzy. Now it's just writing deadlines, internet retailer shipping deadlines, Christmas decorating, trying to remember to send money in the kids' backpacks for class teacher gifts, more writing deadlines, ad selling, search engine optimizing, marketing strategy formulating and the like. And trying to figure out which invisible, secret fairy is going to clean my eff-ing house overnight while I sleep.

Funny kids soon. I promise.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pathetic.

We picked the big kids up at school this afternoon and had to run some errands. As we pulled into the parking lot of the grocery store/strip mall, my youngest son - 23 months old - screams.

"Hey! Hey! HHHHHEEEEYYYYYYY! I fies! I fies! I fies!"

Quickly, he was joined in his chorus by my other 23 month old.

"Wan fwies? Wan fwies? Wan fwies?"

Yes. They spied the Golden Arches.

And yes. They are eating their fies and their fwies right now.

Monday, December 1, 2008

He's Totally Fine.

This? Is my closet floor and what used to be my full-length closet mirror.



My handy husband removed some too-large-for-the-space shelving this weekend and, per my request, carefully removed the mirror from the shelving so that it could be reattached to the wall after the new normal-sized shelving was built. So, the mirror was leaning against the wall in the closet...

Until it fell over my baby's head this morning. Knocked him flat. Thank God for tempered glass and divine intervention. Is all I can say.

Not a single scratch on him. He did lose his Pop Tart though (the last piece of it is on the floor to the right of the mirror in the photo). Bummer.

I love him.



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Little Hope for the Future

Someone who sounded about 12 years old: Hello? Papa John's. This is Tyler.

Me: Hi, Tyler. I ordered pizza about 20 minutes ago online and I haven't gotten an email confirmation yet. So, I was just calling to make sure that you received my order.

Tyler: What's your phone number and I'll check.

Me: 9xx-xxx-xxxx

Tyler: Oh yeah. It's here. Sometimes? The online ordering is retarded and stuff and the email never goes out.

Seriously. Tyler thought it would be appropriate to tell a customer that the computer system is "retarded." Papa John's employee training and, well, his parents have failed him.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Seven.


My beautiful boy. Is seven.

I vividly remember looking at the clock on the wall of the hospital room just before he was born. Wondering, I suppose, when he was going to make his appearance. And quite an appearance it was. Ten pounds, four ounces. And yet so tiny to me.

Now, he is over four feet tall and weighs 60 pounds. He answers the doctor's questions at his check-up by himself, without my help.

But I can still get him to snuggle with me on the couch to watch TV under a blanket. Just like we did seven years ago.

Lesson Learned? Probably Not.

Why are you taking pictures? Why won't you help me?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My Kickass Mudroom

We moved into our house almost two years ago. For two years, I have been wanting some built-in shelving and cabinetry in this weird little section of my garage.

My garage sits at a slight angle from the main portion of my house. This angle creates a bizarre triangular shaped entry-way between the car-portion of the garage and the house. The previous owners put hardwood down on this platform. It is huge and served as a ridiculous gathering spot for shoes, recycling, paper towels and crap for two years.
And then my husband decided to take a week off of work and hang out at home. And build me a mudroom.





This sucker is 9 1/2 feet long.







A bench! For kids to sit on. And put on their shoes! The shoes that won't be cluttering up my back hallway anymore!


A thing of beauty. Spots on the bottom left and right for my recycling cans - cardboard, glass and cans. Shelves for me to fill with crap. Space under the bench for baskets. Baskets to fill with shoes! A bench for my girl to sit on! Hooks for jackets and backpacks that will no longer be thrown on the floor of the coat closet or the floor of the back hall! Yay! (Go ahead - click on the photo for the full-size glory.)



A rockstar.




Saturday, November 8, 2008

Twisted

I was watching M's dance class earlier this week and next to me was another mother and her probably second grader. They were waiting for another child in a gymnastics class. The second grader asked for money for the vending machine. Mom forked it over with the admonishment that he choose "something healthy." He said that he wanted a candy bar. Her response? "No! Something healthy! Like fruit snacks."

Really? Fruit snacks are healthy in her world? Marketing has won. She just told her kid that what is basically gummi bears is healthy because it has 1% fruit juice in addition to 1,457,839 ml of high fructose corn syrup.

When he got back from the vending machine with his Lays potato chips, she handed him his 1/2 liter of Dr. Pepper.

I am so NOT making this up.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Politics in the Primary Grades

Monday night, we asked the big kids who they would vote for if they could vote. G said "Brock" Obama. We asked why. He said, "I think he's just the right choice for me." First grade, people.

M, of course, being so in tune with the world, offered that she would choose "Jason McCain."

Then, last night at CCD (religion class), I asked my class of first-graders* who they all voted for at school. Several of them had stickers on their shirts which indicated that they had participated in a school election. I polled all eight of them as well as my 10th grade helper. 9 - 0 for Obama.

So, next time you need to know who's going to win an election? Just ask a bunch of kids who mix up the Our Father and the Pledge of Allegiance on a regular basis. Also? They refer to St. Joseph as Jesus' stepdad.

* I teach first grade Catholic religion on Tuesday nights. Yikes! More stories to come.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I Love Jon Hamm

Nothing funny about my kids today. Oh, I'm sure they're funny today. I'm just not writing about it.

I love Jon Hamm. I watched the season finale of Mad Men last night. Seriously? If you're not watching this show, you are missing out. I can't believe that I have to wait until July for new episodes. Watch seasons 1 & 2 on DVD or reruns!

Oh, and Jon Hamm is super hot too.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Did You Know?

M: Mom, did you know Barbie is a teenager? Did you know that?

Me: Really? How do you know?

M: Because she has a TV in her room.

I think the "duh" at the end of that sentence is probably presumed.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Happy and Sad

The babies were running around the house today, playing together. I was working on some stuff for my kids' activities website. Suddenly, I heard peals of laughter. C and H were giggling in chorus. Actually, giggling is an understatement. There were belly laughs. And there is nothing better than a baby belly laughing - except two babies belly laughing. So, I got up to investigate.

Turns out, they were in the office. The afternoon sun was shining in the transom windows, illuminating the blizzard of dust present in the air (because I'm a really bad duster and vacuumer). The babies were running around the room, trying to catch the dust in the air. And cracking themselves up.

Happy? I sat down and watched them for about five minutes. It didn't get old.

Sad? The dirt in my house now entertains my children.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I am Highly Disturbed

I was just looking around the internet costume shops for a pair of cow print chaps for my eldest (I successfully manipulated him into wanting to be a cowboy for Halloween).

Don't ever search for chaps on a costume site. I'll just leave at that. And to your imagination and/or Googling skillz.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pumpkin Patch 2008

Thursday was my ninth wedding anniversary. J took a half day off of work as a surprise to me. We picked the kids up from school at the regular time and headed to a pumpkin patch close-by. We were one of about three families there because it was a weekday afternoon. It felt like we had the whole place to ourselves - it was really fun.

At the risk of sounding incredibly sappy, there was actually nothing more romantic than spending the afternoon with my husband and our four children at the freakin' pumpkin patch. Weird? Probably. Nothing gives me those early-relationship-butterflies back like watching J be a good dad. It's really, really cool.


C and Dad.


The whole family (minus me) - H refused to hold anyone's hand but fell down every third step by tripping on pumpkin vines.


H - the wanderer.


H - the whiner.

Monday, October 6, 2008

This is What Happens When the Babies Are Quiet


The most mischievous things happen at my house in relative silence. Silence is always the giveaway that something ridiculous is going down.

I put everyone to bed the other night. J went to a friend's to watch football. And I straightened up a little then headed downstairs to turn off lights.

I discovered this in the guest bathroom.

It was sopping wet. My two little friends apparently had quite a time unrolling half a roll of toilet paper, dipping it in the toilet and then piling it on the floor. I'm only surprised it wasn't worse. And I'm glad I discovered it before it had a chance to dry out and harden.

We now have more doorknob covers in our home than Babies R Us has in their entire inventory.





They look kind of evil here. Little thugs. Tearing up my house and shit.

Sorry...It's Been Quite a While

I don't know what happened. Life, I guess. Between my last post and tonight, we've had multiple soccer practices, multiple soccer games, two CCD classes (there's some good stories there - I'll share them another time), dance classes, My Gym mommy & me crap with the babies, kindergarten volunteering, 1st grade volunteering, a wedding, early dismissal and four work deadlines. And the website that I run too. It's nuts.

Anyway, here's a good one. M is working on phonetic spelling at school now - doing the whole journaling thing that G was doing this time last year. This is a list she wrote out the other night after she lost her first tooth. (She lost her first tooth! Very dramatic, as to be expected.)



It says:

[Her name]
Ice Cream Set
Toenail Polish
Ariel Costume
A Lamb
Puppets and a Puppet Show

Santa
Ornament
A Plate of Cookies
A Christmas Poem
A Glass of Milk

Tooth Fairy
Tooths
Golden Wings
A Butterfly Dress
Glass Shoes

Easter Bunny
Lollipops
Tootsie Rolls

By [name]
To Important Friends



I believe it is a list of things she wants for Christmas and things that are somehow related to her "important friends" Santa, Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Two Anecdotes from a Tuesday Morning

M wore hot pink bermuda shorts and a white smocked top with darling eyelet cap sleeves to school today. After I brushed her hair and put a white bow in place, she grabbed a necklace of plastic beads that she strung herself this weekend. Putting it on, she told me "I'm going to wear this necklace today because my shirt is so boring." In her world, that means that it doesn't have something cool on it like Ariel or Hello Kitty.


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

While waiting in the car line to drop the big kids off at school, I pointed out a woman walking a fluffy white dog. Probably a poodle or poodle-mix of some sort. All the way in the back of the Suburban, I heard M tell G "I think that's a Ninja Smouzer."

I'll wait while you say it out loud. Go on.



(...Miniature Schnauzer.)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Whoops

I had to take 2 of my 4 to the pediatric urgent care yesterday after dinner. M and C both had fevers that had outlasted a few doses of Motrin and the school nurse told me earlier in the week that strep is making its rounds. So, I packed up all four kids and headed to the doctor's office.

We checked in and the kids played in the waiting area while we waited to be called back. H pulled out a little dump truck meant for pushing around on the floor. He, though, decided to sit on the back of the truck - which promptly "dumped" him headfirst onto the concrete floor. Forehead to concrete. Hard.

I ran across the room and scooped him up. As I held him and asked the front desk receptionist for an ice pack, I watched the bump on his head grow and grow and grow. It was like a cartoon. Except with screaming. And fear of closed head injury.

In that regard, the doctor's office is a pretty convenient place to suffer such an injury. H ended up being triaged ahead of my other two kids and was thoroughly checked out. He is fine. And is sporting a lovely purple oval on his forehead today.

(The other two are fine as well. No strep. Just a virus that causes fevers and bright red throats. Between the three of them, we should buy stock in whatever company manufactures Motrin.)


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More on Food

Me: M, what did you have for lunch today at school?

M: A roll and chicken nuggets shaped like J's.

G: I had chips with that brown stuff and cheese.

******

A quick check of the school lunch menu when we got home revealed that today's lunch choices were nachos and fried shrimp.

"Chicken nuggets shaped like J's." Heh.

And "brown stuff"? That's ground beef.



Monday, September 15, 2008

Picky Eater

G [in a really whiny voice while picking at his chicken casserole]: Mom, I don't want to eat these nerds.

Me: They're herbs. Not nerds.

(And for the record, they were actually green beans. I thought he might eat them if I told him they were herbs and spices. And, clearly? We don't eat green beans nearly enough in this house if I assumed that my 6 year old would believe that they were nerds. I mean, herbs.)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Random

G had soccer practice yesterday at 5:30. It was unseasonably chilly for Kansas at about 58 degrees. It had rained earlier in the day and was a bit misty on the way to practice but I didn't even get the umbrella out when we got there. G had on shorts, a long-sleeved T and a track jacket. The rest of us threw on sweatshirts before we left.

Practice was cancelled. Because it was too cold. Are you freakin' kidding me?! The coach said that a lot of parents started calling to see if practice would be called off because of the rain and the cold. Mind you, I had no problem having my 20-month old twins out there with me. No one even had red cheeks! I asked the coach if he reminded those parents that soccer games are played until late October (when it can actually be cold - real cold, like freezing cold). He just gave me a "what are you gonna do?" look. What a wuss.

We ended up staying out there, running the middle school track and playing soccer (including the babies) for another hour. J even came and joined us.

In other news: H now says "puppy" whenever he sees a dog. And then he meows. He is so very bright. :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Jobs

M: Mom, you should get a job at a shoe store.

Me: Uhh, okay. Why?

M: So that you can make money. Because when you do a job really, really good, people will pay you a lot of money. And you can buy things.

Me: Well, we have enough money.

M: But you need enough to buy things like make-up.

I walked away from a law degree and a career as a trial attorney to stay home with this child. And she wants me to work at Steve Madden? For make-up.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Why People Hate Mommyblogging

Bear with me here. I just changed the diaper of my second son - C. It was dirty. As I set it aside to clean him up, I noticed a glint of metal amongst the poo.

A mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do. And for those of you reading who do not have children yet, I hate to break this to you. Sometimes, you have to inspect the poo.

Now that you're hanging on the edge of your seat, I'll tell you what it was. A pop top. Likely from the top of one of my Coke cans. I am now officially the world's worst mom.

I hope you weren't eating anything while reading this. I apologize. Thank you for your forgiveness. And thank you for not reporting me to SRS. Have a great Labor Day!


Friday, August 22, 2008

Okay, so she gets it.

G & M in the car on the way home from school today: Can we have dinner at McDonald's?

Me: No. I don't think so. We'll have something better than McDonald's.

M: If you don't let us go to McDonald's, I will follow you around all day and ask you 200 questions.

Me: Ha, that's good. But, really, how would that be different than any other day?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wise Beyond Her Years

This evening, M started dance class again. This will be her third year. It is the first year that she has taken an evening class. And, thus, it is the first year without her beloved Miss Marilynn.

Miss Marilynn has been the sweetest, kindest teacher. She loves on M. And on G and C and H. Her children are grown and she dotes on my kids. On all of the kids really.

On the way home from dance, I asked M who her new teacher was. "I don't remember her name."

And then, "I'm not so sure that this dance class is going to be good, Mom."

"Why?"

"Because I don't know why Miss Marilynn couldn't be the teacher."

I explained AGAIN that Miss Marilynn only teaches during the daytime and now that M is at school all day, she can only do dance in the evening.

"I am just going to miss Miss Marilynn. [pause] Sometimes, Mom, I don't really like change."

"I know baby. Nobody does. It always works out in the end though."

Heavy sigh. It's a hard lesson to learn - change - no matter if you're 5 or 35 (okay, so I'm 36 but who's counting?).

Getting There...

We've been working for years (literally, years) with G on his conversational skills. It doesn't come easily to him but he's getting much better. Anyway, he apparently tried a cool, casual greeting with his sister yesterday at school. They each reported it to me separately but identically.

M was standing with her class in the "car rider" line at dismissal. G left his class to find her as they (obviously) ride together. Upon reaching her, G tapped her on the back and said,

"Heeeeeeeeyyyyyy little bro! What's up?!"

Upon hearing this, I asked him why he called her "little bro"? His response:

"Uh, because she's my little sister, mom."

Apparently, the "duh" at the end was just implied. And M's response? An equally nonsensical:

"I am NOT your little sister. I am a big sister."

To which I replied:

"You are, in fact, G's little sister. You are C and H's big sister."

"Oh."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

12 Months Later

Sigh. School started Monday. All is well. Corn dogs in the cafeteria are a hit. Teachers are nice. The kindergarten class has a pet guinea pig named Albert. Don't know much about 1st grade because my son won't discuss it beyond "it was good."

But look at what happened to my children. In one measly year. They grew. Damnit. How does that happen?



Last year: Cute. Preppy. Short.


This year: Cute. Preppy. Not short. (He is wearing the same shorts though.)



Last year: Cute. Spunky. Teeny!


This year: Cute. Spunky (not sure where the glamour pose came from). And not even close to teeny. (Also? Same shoes as last year.)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Madness

School starts on Monday. Yikes! Today, we picked up everyone's school supplies. Tomorrow, we get class assignments and meet the teachers. Yesterday, though, was the biggest task of all. Back-to-school haircuts.

And I scheduled all four of them at the same time. Mind you, the babies have never had their hair cut anywhere outside of my bathroom counter. But C's hair was turning into the Little Dutch Boy. Or Javier Bardem from No Country for Old Men. Both? Are creepy.





Anyway, where was I?

Oh! Haircuts 1 through 4. Here's a photo montage:


Still a few lingering sensory issues. But nothing so bad that it would interrupt his video game.




And after. Did I mention that his teeth are falling out at an alarming rate?!



Yes, M was there too. Watched Shrek and talked the stylist's ear off. Shocking, I know.



"Before" - everything's okay with a sucker. Funny cape? Sucker. Scissors? Sucker. Hair falling in face? Sucker. Hair falling onto sucker? Sucker. Electric trimmer? Who gives a crap, I've got a friggin' sucker, people.



He was watching Dora. And notice the sucker spit on his cape.



"After" - with sucker.



Kicked back. Arm hangin out. Wearing a pink cape. Waiting to get the pompadour cut off. And the mullet curls in the back. It was a sweet look while it lasted.



And yes. A sucker. If only he was still leaning out the side of the car with that stick hanging out of his mouth. A perfectly white T vignette.


And "after." I think he ended up eating about half the lollipop stick. You know how mushy they get after a 19 month old chews on them for a half hour? Delicious.




Three out of four ain't bad. H wouldn't cooperate for a group pic. He's anti-authority lately. Damn the Man.