Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas 2008

Pics to come!
We had a great Christmas day at Mimi's house. We left home Wednesday morning (Christmas Eve) and arrived here in the early afternoon. We unpacked and then headed out for the 5 o' clock Candlelight service at church. Of course I spent the entire service chasing Olivia, and then Olivia and Sam in the vestibule, but the boys absolutely LOVE doing the candle thing.
They were so excited waiting for Santa, and Jackson had a hard time falling asleep. But once they were out, Santa did indeed come and left them quite a haul!
The next morning they were VERY patient and waited until Mimi and Grandma came downstairs to watch them open their presents.
The rest of the day was eating, spending time with their cousins, and opening the rest of their presents.
Today I was savoring my last day with Sam being two. Tomorrow he will turn three and I simply can't fathom where the minutes, hours, days, and years are going. Must.slow.down.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Olivia whispers sweet nothings...

The other night we had manwiches for dinner. They are a superyummy homemade recipe (we can't even eat the canned stuff anymore!) and Olivia loves them. I cut one sandwich into fourths and after Olivia ate two of them, she was still clamoring for more. Jackson didn't like his so he gave his fourth to her, and she began devouring it, stopping only long enough to shove some pears into her mouth. Once the pears were gone, she picked up her manwich (which looked just like plain bread), turned it over, and upon finding some manwich stuck on the bottom of the bread, whispered "Day doo" (thank you) softly into the air before cramming the whole thing in her mouth. Such appreciation for the lost manwich meat! That girl LOOOOOVES to eat!
Her other thing right now is saying, in a very indignant voice, "HEEEEEEY! Das MIYNE!" It cracks me up every time.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Yeah, he likes it

I picked up a "Cookies for Santa" plate and cup at Target today and when I brought it home, Jackson said "I am going to hold it up in the sky for Santa to see it." He was clad in his underwear and dress shirt ala "Risky Business", and he headed to the back sliding glass doors and held the plate up while looking up into the gray clouds. He turned back to me with a nod and said, "Yeah, he likes it."

Jack's Christmas concert

This morning was a whirlwind as I delivered the teacher gifts, ran errands, and had to be back at the school by 11 to help set up the cookies for the reception after the 3 year old Christmas concert. My friend Emily saved me a front row seat, and I got out my trusty camera and set Ryan on the job of camcording. For weeks Jack has been singing his little songs and doing the motions, sometimes for us and sometimes just when he's by himself. I wasn't really sure how he would do once he was in front of a crowd, but my fears were confirmed. He smiled shyly as he marched in with the others.
He didn't sing the first song, but dutifully rang his bells, and then when the applause began... he crumpled. At first you could see the tears welling up and his face beginning to struggle to maintain composure. I know that feeling SOOO well, having had it myself many times as a child. I have never been particularly shy, but when I get embarrassed, I can feel my face start to burn, and then the tears come. The more I try to push them away, or if anyone notices and tries to comfort me, I lose it completely. Apparently so does Jack. He tried to hide behind his friend Charlie, but then when Charlie hugged him, he was already too far gone. The teachers let him sit on their lap for the remainder of the program, and I cried too. Seeing him struggle in the limelight like that was so very hard for me. Harder than I expected. Whew, this parenting thing is so tough!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Olivia IS my girly girl!

The love affair she has with shoes just keeps getting worse and worse. Then, Friday afternoon I decided to paint my finger and toenails in preparation for our weekend plans. She went over to the cabinet, selected the color she wanted (a very tasteful mauve, might I add!) and then sidled next to me on the floor, sticking out her feet and her hands. I painted her little toenails for the first time and she actually sat still and blew on them until they dried. Sigh. They are just TOO cute.

The latest Jackisms and other business

Tonight Jack is EXHAUSTED and lost the privelege of his bedtime story because he was misbehaving. Then, when I was reading Sammy's, he kept asking a million questions and I kept saying if he would listen and stop talking he would hear the answer. Finally, the answer to his biggest question was coming on that page and I could tell he wasn't listening. When I said "Are you listening, Jack?" he stuck his tongue out at me and so I sent him to bed without hearing the rest of Sam's story. He immediately went into his usual dramatics, crying and writhing on the bed, but instead of going directly into the "Everybody hates me," routine he said "I'm a stupid little boy." We have a rule in our family that we don't say the word stupid, and it's about as close to a swear as our kids have ever really gotten. My sister's kids, however, aged 9, 7, and 2, say it a million times a day. I can only imagine that since they spent the night last night, he heard it a bunch of times. For some reason it cracked Ryan and me up!
Yesterday morning I got up early and baked pans of homemade cinnamon rolls to take to all the neighbors. When I got home from my delivery route, we started to eat the pan I kept for us, and Jack took a bite and said "Oh, Mom, these taste DELIGHTFUL!" Heehee! Ryan nearly fainted! I guess it's not enough that he loves pink!!!

In other news, things are plugging right along towards the holidays! I think I'm just about done with everything, and we only have one more holiday dinner to attend before we head to my mom's on Christmas Eve. Last night my sister came to spend the night and babysit so we could attend Ryan's work party and then a fabulous catered party that some friends host each year. I think for posterity I should say that Ryan was pulled over on the parkway on our way from party 1 downtown to party 2 on the southside. I had JUST said to slow down, and our Garmin GPS was showing that the speed limit was 55 and Ryan was going 75. So after I nagged for a second he slowed his pace. Then, there's a split in the highway where an exit takes two lanes, and he had to make a sorta quick lane change to keep from taking the exit we didn't want, and the blue lights began flashing behind us. When the cop (from the unmarked car- ugh) came up the window he said he had pulled us for 2 reasons, but first, did we know what the speed limit was? Ryan said "Yes, 55." He said that no, actually there is a brief period where it drops to 45. I said "REALLY? Cause our Garmin said it was 55 and I had just told him it was 55 and that's REALLY tricky" in a pleading, semi-whiney voice. He then said Ryan had also made an unsafe lane change and failed to use a signal. Right before he left, I pleaded with him again and said "Is there ANY way you can give us a warning? We NEVER get out of the house and we have a sitter tonight and that was really tricky and we would just REALLY appreciate it..." He looked torn but then just said "I'm going back to write your summons. I'll be back in a minute."
When he came back he said "Well, you should thank your wife because I can relate to the never getting out thing and I decided to let you go with a warning for the speeding and the lane change. I'm just writing a ticket for the failure to use a signal, and that's a very minor infraction." I was SOOO happy and immediately said "Oh, thank you SOOO much! We have three kids and our oldest is four, so we really never get to do anything!"
He was really nice and I can't help but feel it was a little something of a Christmas miracle! Heehee!
We spent the morning playing with their cousins, and I made some hairbows for the girls, did makeup and gave them haircuts, complete with a blowout and rollers. They were some stylin' cuties! After they left, the boys and I did some online games to decorate Christmas trees and Gingerbread men, watched the Charlie Brown Christmas special, and made a few crafts: paper snowflakes, glitter paint window snowflakes that should be window clings when they dry, and styrofoam (recycled take out container) airplanes to fly off our balcony.
Then this evening, we went to our friend Ainsley's fourth birthday party today which was a really cute Gingerbread house decorating party. There were whole houses for the 4 year olds, and large Gingerbread men for the younger siblings like Sam and Liv. The decorations were adorable, as were the chocolate Gingerbread man-shaped cake, the homemade apron the mother and two daughters were wearing, and the stenciled Gingerbread shirt on her teenager. Too cute, and the kids had a ball! Then we grabbed a fast food dinner on the road so we could take the kids to see some more of the great Christmas lights in our area. The "dancing" lights that are set to certain radio stations are still their absolute fav, but we saw some other doozies!
All in all, it was a great weekend. Packed, but so much fun and definitely memorable. I love that.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmastime! Yay!

Yesterday I attempted the ever elusive Christmas card picture. Luckily I got a decent one of each of the kids separately, but definitely NOT one of the three together! Maybe someday! The kids are so excited about Christmas, and we've been doing some Christmas activities, reading lots of Christmas books, driving around to see some great Christmas lights, and watching "The Polar Express" pretty much every day!
Yesterday after baking 6 dozen cookies for our annual cookie exchange, I went upstairs to wrap some presents. I brought them down and put them under the tree and the kids went crazy! They sorted and resorted them about a million times and it was adorable to hear their little voices saying "Oh, here's a J, this one's yours Jack" and "Here you go, Sammybear. Merry Christmas, this one is for you!" I had very few things for Olivia so the boys were letting her play with their wrapped gifts and saying, "Here Olivia, we don't mind!"
And after the way they behaved during the morning and early afternoon yesterday, I'm tellin' ya it was DEFINITELY a Christmas miracle!
Friday night Jackson went to Jacob's house to spend the night, and I was a little worried about how the boys would do being separated. To be honest, it was GREAT! There was no fighting, no competing, no arguing, and very little vying for attention because with 2 kids and 2 parents, there was plenty of attention to go around. Jack had a great time and came home with yummy sugar cookies he had made and decorated. Jacob came back with him so we could do our annual holiday fondue dinner with his parents, so the kiddos were all up really late two nights in a row. But I'm not complaining cause we didn't get up until 8 this morning, and Olivia is still in bed now at 9:30. Yep, we had some TIRED kids. I did have to laugh when the boys got out of the bathtub on Saturday night and the scene went like this:
Sam- "Heehee, Jacob has a siwwy (silly) penis. A curwy (curly)one!"
Missy (Jacob's mom) - "Did he just say a GIRLY one?"
Me, laughing - "NO, he said a CURLY one!"
I'm still waiting for our new laptop to arrive and am hoping to pick up the pace with the blogging then. It should be here any day! Yay!
My current quirky laptop decided to recognize my camera cord yesterday (it knows it's days are numbered!) so I can finally post a few pictures on the old posts. Hurray for Christmas miracles!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Hustling, hustling, holidays are here!

Things have been a whirlwind lately, with my MIL in town Monday through Friday, followed by my FIL in town Sunday and Monday, my Dad and stepmom Monday, and then a trip in to my mom's on Wednesday through Saturday for Thanksgiving. Then my FIL back at our house for a Thanksgiving meal on Saturday evening, and he'll be leaving tomorrow. Toss a small virus, no sleep, and Black Friday shopping from 4 am to 3 pm in there on top of all of the chaos and you pretty much have my past two weeks!
Today we put up the tree and other indoor decorations, I gave the kids their new Christmas DVD set to watch, and we spent the evening driving around to see the "Tacky Lights Tour" in our area. The highlight of the night was the house that has its lights coordinated to a radio station so the lights appear to "dance" to the music. It is really wickedly cool. The kids were laughing and clapping and kicking their feet! But the true highlight of the evening for me was when Jack came up to me when we got home and said "Happ...Merry Christmas, Mom" and gave me a hug. Love that kid.
I put a small colored lights tree in the boys' room and let them decorate it with all the ornaments they have been given. They LOVED that, and when we got home tonight the house was aglow with only the light of the Christmas decor. Sam came upstairs, peeked into their room and said "WOW, our tree looks GREAT!" Too cute. I can't wait for all the Santa fun to come. Hooray for bustling holidays!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sam's corrections

My father-in-law arrived yesterday, bearing gifts as usual! One of the things for the kids was a pack of ocean creatures for the bathtub. The boys wanted to take them with us for lunch so we had them in the car. As they would inevitably drop them, I would pick them up and hand them back. I handed Sam one and said "Here you go, here's your seashell." He responded "No, Mom, that's a clam!" He was right and I'm not sure how he knew that because none of us had told him. Then a few moments later, Jackson was fussing because he wanted some of the toys Sam was holding. He said "I want that WHALE!" Pleading with Sam for peace I said "Sam, can Jackson please trade and have the whale?" He said "Yeah, but it's a dolphin. See that fin on top?"
Of course he was right again. How the heck does he know this stuff? Noggin? Preschool? Omniscience? All I know is we're in trouble when he starts reading!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Overheard tonight in our bathtub

Ryan: "Sam, get your nose out of your sister's heinie crack!"
Me, coming in the room and laughing:" WHAT?"
Sam: "Mommy, I put my face right up in her heinie."

Ewwww! Maybe it's time to start separate baths!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The things Olivia can say

With Jackson and Sam I kept some records of what they could say at different ages, so here's a short list of Olivia's current vocabulary at 16 months:
"Cheeeeeese" cheese when having a picture taken, totally hammed up and in front of all cameras
"Peeeeese" please
"Day doo" thank you
"ba" ball
"bacee" paci for pacifier
"bundee" bunny for her lovey which is a pink bunny
"ACK "Jack
"boyzzzz" boys for when she is calling her brothers so she can further boss them around
"wharyou" where are you?
"mohr" more
"Mama "
"Bye bye"
"yuh you" love you
"sohsee" sorry
"pilled it" spilled it
"Mimi" my mother
"caca" cracker, not poop ;-)
"poddy" potty, which she sits on now every time I go, and then wipes herself with tp
"mil" milk

I think those are the main ones in circulation right now. She repeats alot of other words, but those are the ones she says unprompted. She's such a stinker right now. She puts herself in time out if you tell her no, and also pretends to be in time out if the boys are there. She sits beside them and cries right along with them. Cute, but LOUD!
She loves to help clean up, and if you sing the WonderPets little song "What's gonna work" she'll add the "teamwork" part almost every time. We love it and do it to her all.the.time.
Yesterday while helping me fold laundry she got mad at me and spit, her main mode of anger expression these days. When I scolded her, she said "Sohsee" and came over to hug me. She turned away and then turned back to spit again and apologize and hug before I could say anything. She did it over and over and over.
She claims to be poo poo all the time, whether she is or not, and will bring me the diapers and wipes if I mention ANYONE being poopoo.
She fakes getting hurt to blame it on the boys, throwing herself down in front of them and then crying and pointing her finger in blame. My neighbor witnessed that today and it cracked her up!
She acts like she doesn't understand what you're saying until she hears what she wants and suddenly everything is clear.
She blows kisses to everyone, says hello as though she has never met a stranger, and adores her brothers more every day. It's so cute to see her mimicking their every move and seeing how much she wants their approval. I can't believe she'll be 18 months at Christmas. Sigh. I love that little manipulator. Snotty nose and all.

Four year old checkup

Jack had his four year check up today at the doctor's office. My friend and neighbor "Ms. Tammy" mercifully watched Sam and Liv so I didn't have to wrangle all three at the visit. Jack was great, although VERY quiet and shy with both the nurse and the doc. He passed everything with flying colors, having grown 3 inches and gained 4 pounds, landing him in the 50th percentile for weight and 75th percentile for height. His hearing and vision were perfect, and he passed not only the four year old milestone assessment for development, but most of the 5! Hurray! He didn't even cry when he got his flu mist, finger prick, or vaccine shot. He was an absolute trouper!
There are so many things he can do now. He identifies pretty much ALL the colors including "morning blue" and silver! He counts consistently to 14, then it's all a gamble what will come next. He knows all his shapes and all his letters, and can draw/write most of them. I really think he's ready to start learning to read, but I don't really have a clue where to begin. That and I'm kinda lazy. I mean busy. ;-)
Still no pics cause the hubs is gone tonight and I need his work computer to upload. Bummer. C'mon black Friday, bring on a laptop deal!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Jackson's Lightning McQueen party

Today was Jack's birthday party. I spent the last three days doing pretty much nothing but party stuff. There was a homemade Lightning McQueen cake, ritz "wheels", chocolate covered race car pretzel "dip sticks," apple slice racers with grape wheels, and other yummy car inspired treats. There was a pinata, and a bubble machine for the "car wash" and several cars to zoom around the backyard. The weather was sublime, and saved the day (and my sanity) by allowing all 20 of the guests to run around in the sunshine and not trash my house! My nieces led a fabulous round of red light/green light that the little kids all LOVED, and Jackson got some great art supplies, books, and other fun presents. Now their cousin Josh is sleeping over in the new Cars sleeping bag Jack got for his birthday, and I'm pretty sure contentment is filling the air in their sweet bedroom. Happy birthday my precious four-year old boy.
Pics to come, I hope!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The end of an era

Tomorrow Jackson will turn four. And it just occurred to me that after today I will never again have a 3 year old, a two year old, and a one year old. Melancholy as I lay here in bed, feeling not terrible, but certainly not 100 percent. I am thinking about the million things I need to be doing, and my blood pressure rises as the stress takes over. But then I listen to the noise from downstairs; boys playing, bikes going over the hardwoods, playroom doors opening and closing, laughing, crying, Olivia calling "DAAAADAAAAA" and it makes me smile. And the million things I have on my to-do list are much less important than getting better so I can spend time with my little babies. Can you call a four year old a baby? I think I will anyway.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sammy's song

I am sick today (like I have time for that!) and while Ryan was peeling an orange for the kids, I overheard Sam singing a made up song that made me smile:
"I love oooorrranges,
but I don't like pasghetti on them,
I like them with the not pasghetti,
for diiiiiiiiiinnneeeeeeer,
or for snaaaaack."
*pause* "Dad, is this snack?"
*without waiting for an answer* "Or for bweeeak fast!"

By the way, we voted this morning and apparently they are still confused. During breakfast the boys asked for a rice krispies treat and I said they could have one when we went to vote. Sam said excitedly, "JACK! Mom said we can have one on the BOAT!"
Me: "No, Sam. We're not going on a BOAT. We are going to V-V-V-VOTE."
*taking out his pacifier*"Yeah, vote. That's what I said, Mom."

Monday, November 3, 2008


That's Olivia's new thing. When asked to do something (if she's feeling agreeable) she will say "Ooookeeee" and nod along. SO cute.


Tonight the kiddos and I were on our own at dinner, and as we dined on spaghetti we chatted about the week ahead. I asked the boys if they knew what tomorrow was, and after guesses like "Our museum day!" "My birthday!" "Mimi's coming!" etc., I said that it was election day. They nodded as if they knew that all along, and I asked if they knew what it meant to go and vote. They said no and I gave an example that if I asked who wanted dessert tonight and they both said yes and Olivia said no, we would have two votes for yes, one vote for no, and dessert would win!
They nodded knowingly some more and then Sam said, "But Mommy, if you get on a boat we will be vewy vewy sad."
"I'm not getting on a boat, Sammy."
"No? You gonna stay here with us?"

I sure am. Even though the whole election day thing went right over your heads!

Then Sam said to me as we ate, "Mommy, you dwiving me cwazy!" I laughed and so did he and I said "Who says that?"
He said "You do, Mommy!"
I smiled sheepishly and said "And to whom do I say that?"
He smiled back and said "You say it to us when we're being WILD!"
Then we both laughed together and he said "That makes you laugh, huh, Mom!"

It's a good thing they're cute!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween and other tidbits

I'm going to have to come back and post pictures because apparently our laptop is dying a slow and painful death and I am having to store my pictures directly on the backup drive. And to be honest, I'm far too lazy to even consider going upstairs to the desk to do that to come!
We had a fun Halloween celebration yesterday and today. Yesterday at the preschool the kids dressed in costume and the parents stayed for a fun parade. My two little supermans were fabulous and marched right along as they should. Then as room mother for both classes, I provided the treats and favors for Sam's class and stayed to help with the party in Jack's class. It was so much fun to be able to watch him in action. He's quiet, but not too quiet. I was pleased to see him thriving there. And I have learned SO much about food allergies this year! In Sam's class the treats have to be Gluten free, egg free, dairy free, and peanut free, so it has been an interesting challenge. But I enjoy a good challenge and so for the first teacher birthday we had colored rice krispies treats made with gluten free rice cereal, dairy free butter, and gluten free marshmallows! For Halloween I made a trail mix with the gluten free rice chex, dairy free butter, marshmallows, dates, dried apples, and raisins with a cinnamony, sugary, appley flavor. It was actually pretty good! Much better than the way too sticky rice krispies treats. I offered Sam a second one when we got home from school that day and he said "NO, I don't want those. They're TOO STICKY!" Well, thanks kid. That's appreciation for ya'!
This morning we went to a local outdoor mall that does trick or treating, hayrides, and a petting zoo. Then we grabbed pizza. On our way home, I told the boys that Halloween wasn't over and when it got dark we would trick or treat in our neighborhood.
"AGAIN?!?" Jackson asked incredulously.
Ryan and I laughed and said yes.
Jackson began explaining to us complete with elaborate hand motions all about trick or treating in the daytime and THEN trick or treating at night. When Ryan and I laughed again, he got mad and said "Hey, guys, STOP laughing at me."
I said "Jack, we're not laughing AT you, we're laughing WITH you." He paused, deep in thought and was quiet for a moment. Then he said "BUUUUT, I wasn't laughing AT ALL!" Which of course made us laugh AGAIN and further agitated him!
They were troopers out trick or treating, but by the end of our street, Jackson was DYING of thirst, so we headed one street over and then cut back through our backyard.
Each time I took off Sam's costume, both yesterday and today, he would say "And now I'm turned back into Sammy!"
Olivia marched up and down the streets, trying to trade candy with the neighbors, politely saying her "Thank you" which sounds more like "Day doo" in a sing songy voice that I LOVE! She was a hit and charmed everyone we met. I think I was threatened with kidnapping about a million times today! My adorable little supergirl! I'm not sure who loved them being the "Superteam" more- Olivia or the boys!
Jackson's fourth birthday will be Thursday and I simply can't believe that's possible. And while for the past three years I have gone pretty much ALL OUT on his birthday, I had made some elaborate plans this year and was staring to laze out a little on them. UNTIL yesterday. One of the projects he brought home from school was a long strip of paper with his handprints on it. It said "My family is special because..." and he responded "We have good birthdays." And suddenly all the HOURS I have poured into their birthdays in the past are all worth it. And I can't wait for his party this weekend. It's going to be the best one yet, buddy. I promise.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Bizarro World

I think I have spent the last two days in bizarro world. After a couple weeks of the kids driving me nearly mad, it seems they have become DIFFERENT kids.
I think Olivia has been teething or something because she has been an absolute monster for a few weeks. She wants up, no down. She wants every toy her brothers pick up. She wants her milk AND their milks AND my coffee and don't you dare tell her no. The theatrics she pulls, OH the theatrics; she throws herself down (carefully of course) looking over her shoulder between wails to make sure someone is watching, screaming like a banchee, nose dripping snot. Her most used word has been "MINE" and anytime I am trying to accomplish something, aka a phone call, cleaning, or dinner, she wraps her arms around my legs screaming "MOMMEEEE" over and over until I pick her up. I mean, she's been a REAL treat is all I'm sayin'!
The boys have been fighting like cats and dogs. Screaming matches, hitting each other, stealing toys, you name it, they've been doing it.
But for the last two days, the three of them have been heading into the playroom TOGETHER, without being asked, and have played happily and quietly together for HOURS at a time. I kid you not. It has been AWESOME but also totally freaky. I'm starting to think there's been some kind of alien abduction/substitution prank pulled on me. We'll see what happens. Perhaps the Halloween sugar implosion will bring back my usual holy terrors. Only time will tell! Until then, I'm gonna LIVE IT UP! Woohoo!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

One fine day

The kids and I had a really good day today. We woke up pretty late, snuggled under the warm covers watching tv for a while, and then finally snuck downstairs for some breakfast- if you can call fudge covered granola bars and milk "breakfast!" The kids played away the morning, peacefully if you can believe it, and Olivia took a decent nap. When she woke up, we headed out to McD's for some lunch, then headed to Target to browse, and finally hit the library for a new stash of books to snuggle up and read together. Of course at Target we found more than the items I planned to buy, including some Halloween flashlights with little disks that change to witches, or pumpkins, or ghosts. Those have been tons of fun for the boys today. We also found these little spider craft kits that I assumed (because they were called RACING spiders) included two full motorized spiders that you decorate and race. However, when we got home, my sister called and I had to take that call and give fondue ingredient advice. Sam threw a fit and I sent him to his room where he promptly fell asleep, and my neighbor called to get an opinion on the new paint color for her kitchen. The kids and I ran over there for a bit, in the meantime getting a call from Ryan that he had a last minute black tie dinner to attend and did I mind if he went? Not really, so when he got home to change clothes we were at the kitchen table making our "racing spiders" who turned out to SHARE a motor, so only one would go at a time. The boys handled it well, but were disappointed, so we hopped back in the car and ran back to Target where we got not only the last spider box, but also some monsters and skeletons to do another day! We grabbed Arby's on the way home (or the curly fry place as the boys call it- yeah, not a banner day for health food around here, but whaddya gonna do?) and as they heard me order the coveted Jamocha shake, cheers erupted from the back of my van- the silver rocket. Jackson said "Mom, this is a great world. And this has been a really great day."
We wrapped it up by coming home to eat, and the boys drank the shake while I put Livi to bed. They played with their new racing spiders and flashlights while I cleaned up the kitchen and put away toys, and then they took a lingering warm bath. We read 5 new library books, and they are now peacefully resting in their beds waiting to drift off to sleep.
I couldn't agree more, Jack. This IS a great world, and it was a really great day.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Apparently my boys think I'm BEEEUTIFUL!

Sammy one day while playing with my hair and piling it up on my head: "There, Mommy. I covewed up all the owange, and now you can onwee see da bwack." Um, time for highlights, ya think?

Jackson yesterday while we snuggled in bed first thing in the morning. He went from lovingly stroking my face to saying in a concerned way, "Mommy, your eyes are cracking. Like eggs. There and there and there." as he pointed out all of my wrinkles.

So thanks, guys. I'll do better. If you'd let me sleep!
Love, Mom

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The potty playdate

Today Jackson had a friend over to play after school. This particular friend is in his class at school, and his babysitter lives on our street, so while his parents were out of town, I offered to take him to preschool with us, pick him up, and bring him home to feed him lunch with my boys. My sister called the day before to say she and her kids were coming for a while that day as well. I picked up Aidan on our way to school, ran errands and did some cleaning while the boys were at school, and then headed to the pick up line at the school. I went to the playground to collect Sam, and we sat in the car with the battery on until it was time for Jack and Aidan to come out. BUUUT, when I went to start the car it made a wierd grinding/cranking sound instead of starting. I freaked. I was the second car in line, so this was going to be a problem. Luckily, there happened to be a mom AND dad in the car in front of me so the dad used my jumper cables to jump the car. Fine. Done, and thank heavens. Started up, and on our way. Turned out Jack had left his light on for a few days and drained the battery. Oops!
After we got home and ate lunch, my sister and her crew showed up and I decided the boys should go out and play, but Sammy was poopy. So I started across the living room to change him and as I glanced out the window at Aidan and Jack, I was shocked to see two bright white pairs of buns staring back at me from the back of the yard. I did a double take and sure enough, the two of them had dropped trow, and were totally peeing all over my mulch bed and bushes. EEEEWWW! So of course I opened the door and yelled "HEY! What're you DOING? STOP THAT!" at which point, Aidan made a beeline for the house, pulling up his pants as he came, and ran to the potty to finish his work, and Jackson penguined back to the house, complaining the whole time that I startled him and made him pee on himself. Well that's what you get! And do you wanna know what Ryan asked when I called to tell him at work? "Did you get a picture?" EW, no. Didn't stop to grab the camera. I had enough flashing for one day, thankyouverymuch!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Right now...

the house is actually pretty peaceful. Jackson is quietly watching "Cars" while Sam and Liv play pleasantly together in the playroom. The last few weeks, however, not so restful.
Last Tuesday the boys decided to guzzle some Robitussen while I was in the shower, so I had to call our doctor, poison control, and once determining that they were fine, tell their teachers at preschool that they might be a little "off" because they drank cold medicine that morning. Yikes! I think I scared them by crying and saying they could die, because for the rest of the morning everything was "I will go really quick and then sit back down at the table so I don't die" and "Oh No! I finished my breakfast but Sammy didn't so he's going to DIE!" Dramatics- I can't imagine where they get that from!
I am in the midst of my sewing class, which has meant multiple trips to the fabric store, and Tuesday evenings are completely tied up with that. Add to it practicing during the week and completing "homework" for the next week and it's a little more work than I expected.
As the room mom for both of the boys classes, I have two Halloween parties to plan, party favor bags to make, and a teacher birthday party to take care of.
Jackson's birthday is in the beginning of November, so I've been trying to hash out the details of his "Lightning McQueen" party, making invitations, gathering materials, and ordering supplies. On one hand, the way overboard thing I do with their birthdays is tiring, but I know I only have a few years to do these things before they don't want it anymore, so I'm trying to live it up and make some fabulous memories for them while I have the chance.
I have seen a million adorable Halloween decorations online, and I've been dutifully heading to Michael's on Tuesdays and Thursdays to gather craft materials to make some of those things. When I'll have time to actually make them- who knows?
Halloween costume decisions have changed about a million times and I need to head back out to take care of that. The first round didn't fit, and now we can't seem to decide what to be! I wanted to do a little theme or something (like the three little pigs and Big Bad Wolf), but the boys are pretty determined to be superheroes. Occasionally monkeys or bears, but mostly superheroes.
We had a yard sale last Saturday, so most of that week when I had a few extra minutes I was working on getting ready for that.
I know all these little things shouldn't be enough to make me feel swamped, but man they do!
Hopefully things will settle down next week!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Jackson's new favorite game...

goes like this:
Jackson (out of nowhere): Hey Mom, how 'bout a bunny on top of a car on top of a cake?!? (chuckle, laugh, snort, hand over mouth that's just SOOOOO funny!)
Me: Hey Jack, how 'bout a bunny on top of a car on top of a cake on top of a POTTY!?!
Jackson: (HAHAHA! SNORT, cackle) Hey Mom, how 'bout a bunny on top of a car on top of a cake on top of a POTTY on top of the OCEAN?!? (hahaha, squeak, snort, hilarity ensues)
Me: Hey Jack, how 'bout a bunny with a dirty diaper on his head?!?
Jack: (in a silly Adam Sandleresque voice) Aw, man, how can you even TALK about that?

Apparently dirty diapers are going too far. Who knew?

Aunt Leah's wedding weekend!

Ryan's sister, Aunt Leah, got married this weekend in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We left Friday morning with my sister Michelle in tow to help with the kids, and drove down to start the festivities! Friday was a long drive, a rehearsal at the aquarium, and a celebration dinner at Aunt Leah and Uncle Anthony's house. The food was delicious- shrimp and steak kabobs, salad, sweet potato rolls, and cajun rice. Mmm, mmm! The kids played in the coolers on the driveway "fishing for ice" (and cans, if you must know) but at least it kept them occupied for the greater part of the evening. Our accomodations were blessedly free since my sister has a good friend with a beach house, and everything went smoothly. I played flute for the wedding, and Ryan was a groomsmen so my sister was a lifesaver. The kids enjoyed dancing, especially Olivia who literally danced the night away, and the boys loved browsing the aquarium checking out the alligators and sharks. At once point, Jack was missing and we found him at the "touching" station with a blonde worker on each side of him! He's his Daddy's boy, that's for sure! He loved exploring the ray tank and the hermit crabs and starfish.
Sunday was Ryan's employee day at Kings Dominion, so we spend the day there (after another long ride in the car) and the boys rode their first roller coasters! I was shocked to discover that Jack was more of a thrill seeker than Sam, but they stayed true to my expectations in the bumper car arena. Jackson sat with his hands at 10 and 2, diligently going AROUND all the other drivers, and deliberately staying on the outskirts. Sam, however, took great pride in his battle cry as he rammed EverY.sINGLE.Kid. in a bumper car. He came out yelling "Mommy, I crashed into EVERYONE, I was bam, bam, I was crashing all over the place!" He didn't like "the mountains" on the roller coasters, though. He thought they were scawy.
Jackson's favorite ride was the Scooby Doo haunted house, and we had to run back across the park for him to ride it one last time before we left for the night.
Olivia was a trooper, and wasn't scared of a single thing, person, ride, etc. She rode her first merry-go-round, and a number of other small kids rides without blinking. In fact, after the first ride she screamed when we took her out because she wanted to go again. I'm sure I can find some pics of me at her age riding the rides, since apparently that was right up my alley!
There was no time for adult rides, and even thought I love roller coasters, I was okay with that. It's funny how easy it is to just WANT to do everything for your kids, isn't it? All in all, the weekend was a success.

We had a perfect butterfly!

Yesterday we woke up to a beautiful butterfly fluttering around in our bowl! The boys were so excited! Unfortunately we were running late for school and didn't get a chance to release it until we got home, but he flew away while we stood at the door and waved goodbye. Watching my two sweet boys wave good-bye and call out "Good-bye butterfly, Good luck" brought about almost too many metaphors to bear.

Monday, September 15, 2008

said the elephant...

This morning as I was playing animals/dinosaurs with Sam, he had the baby elephant and I had the mommy elephant. After he said something cute (I can't remember- already!), I smiled at him and stroked his cheek. He looked at me and said gently yet emphatically "Said the elephant" like, that wasn't me talking mom...that was the elephant. DUH!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The first day of preschool

The boys began preschool on Tuesday. I spent the night before getting the teacher gifts ready, packing their snacks and change of clothes, and going over all the information before the next morning. I am so excited to be the room mother for BOTH of the boys' classes this year, but we'll see how I feel about that in May ;-)
The morning was rushed, and I made a special smiley face breakfast with mini peanut butter waffle sandwich eyes, half a banana for a nose, and bacon for the mouth. They also asked for blueberries and milk, so all in all it was a pretty solid breakfast. We were running late because the ONE THING I didn't pack the night before was socks, and I could not find TWO matching pairs that went with their clothes, so Sam ended up wearing sandals.
When we got to school, I loaded Liv into the stroller and the boys put on their backpacks and we marched up to the front door. They took the stairs and Liv and I took the elevator and met them on the bottom floor. Jackson was a little timid about going into class, but once he realized 3 of his playgroup friends and 3 of his classmates from last year were already in there playing, he dove right in.
Sam was basically like taking a 12 year old to school. He went in, put away his bookbag, said good morning to his teacher, and set about playing with his friends. He didn't tear up, he didn't look back, he had absolutely no fear. I love that about him.
In the completely opposite way, I love that Jackson DOES tear up, that he wants to be reassured that I will be back soon, and that he still "needs' me. He actually asked on Thursday on our way in to school if he could just be in Sam's class with him! Um, no cause he's 2 and you're 3!
At pickup, Sam was happily kicking a ball with his teacher, and was thrilled to see me. We picked Jackson up in the car line, and he looked so small and yet still so grown up standing in line with his bookbag on his little back.
I think it's going to be a great year.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sammy the sidekick

Sunday morning the kids were driving us CARAZY inside, so we shooed them out and then joined them on the back porch with the newspaper. I sipped my coffee, read the circulars and comics, while Ryan read the actual paper. The kids went to the sandbox for a while, then to the treehouse, then to the garden, then kicked a ball around, making their way back to the deck after each activity. At one point, Jackson came up the steps and wanted a chair to sit in. I told him to just sit on top of the two that were still stacked. "What?" he said. "You want me to sit on the DOUBLE?"
And then he yelled "Sammy, WHOA-EEE-EEEEWWWW-OOOOO" in this strange call to sidekick sort of thing. "Look, Sammy, I'm sitting on a double!" Ryan and I both started laughing- I think I may have gotten coffee up my nose. BUT I may have peed my pants if Sam had A. responded with a similar yell, acknowledging the call of his leader, or B. gotten up from the sandbox and started running toward Jackson. Look out, Batman and Robin- there's a new team in town!
Aaaah, good times.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Wounded butterfly

A few weeks ago the boys found 2 caterpillars on my dill plant while I was out working in the garden. They had two friends over, and all four were SOOOOO excited and insisted we bring them in the house and made a home for them. They put in leaves,twigs and grass. After their friends left I went in hot internet pursuit of an identity for those little caterpillars. By the time I discovered they were black swallowtails and that they eat dill (DUH!) and parsley, one had already met his maker. The other was still alive and well and eating up a storm (and more grossly POOPIN up a storm- I mean seriously, don't I already deal with enough poop every day?) and we decided to keep him to watch him morph into a butterfly. WELLLL, he sat on the kitchen counter in his little container with the slits cut through the top while I worked on his new home. And when I finished his home and went to get him, I was all "WHA? WHERE'S THE CATERPILLER?" He was gone. I searched all over the darn kitchen and couldn't find him and wat TOTALLY grossed out thinking about how one day I would find a dead dried up caterpillar somewhere in my cabinets.
Fast forward to yesterday. The boys were playing spiderman at the gas fireplace because they think the metal screen is his web, and all of a sudden I was interrupted while cooking dinner by the boys yelling "Hey! Mom! A butterfly!!!" I went to see what all the fuss was about and sure enough, there was a butterfly with only one good wing flopping around but totally blending in with the black marble floor. I thought there was no way, but sure enough there was his chrysalis hanging from the side of our fireplace, and he had popped out while the boys were right there playing. Poor guy was probably STARVING by the time he made it the 30-some feet from the kitchen island to the fireplace. Ryan and I were laughing how he must've totally survived on goldfish crumbs he found all over the floor along the way. I'm fighting for him, but Ryan thinks with the broken wing and all, the writing is already on the wall for our little butterfly. Last night the boys found about 12 more caterpillars on the dill plant, so it looks like there will be many butterflies roaming my house in the coming weeks. Wish us luck!

I'll post pictures when I get a minute!

Monday, September 1, 2008


In the car today:
Jackson while trying to convince Sammy to watch Finding Nemo: "Daddy, Sammy says he loves me a little, but not that much."

Me: "I love you Sammy. Do you love me?"
Sammy: "Yes, I love you Mommy."
Me: "You do? How much?"
Sammy: "Mommy, I love you all the time."
Me: Sigh of contentment.

An outing with three very small children...

goes a little something like this...
Pack up all the stuff. Pacifiers, loveys, drinks, snacks, lunch, diapers, wipes, changes of clothes, hats, sunblock, strollers, etc.
Take a 75 minute ride in the car with noisy kids either fighting, crying, or asking if we're there yet.
Pull up to the apple/peach orchard at lunchtime (read: naptime) with high hopes, and a small brain
Eat a fairly pleasant picnic lunch and then head out to pick fresh fruit
Walk past all the apples (up a very steep dirt road) in search of fresh peaches only to find the peach trees are COMPLETELY picked over- no peaches, not even on the ground
Send husband and baby on a scouting mission for peaches
Drag tired, thirsty, hot, and whiney boys up several more hills in search of Daddy, baby, and peaches
Find them and collect the peaches they have stored in their pockets
At this point, the Daddy decides to leave the Mommy alone with the three kids despite her fervent pleas not to leave her alone for the sake of a few crappy peaches
Have two year old rub a peach on his neck and start shreiking that "Ack! The bugs are getting ME! I'm gettin' sunbuwned! Ouch!"
While you deal with the two year old, have the one year old tumble BACKWARDS down a steep hill, head over heels while you scramble to keep the other two up on their feet, screaming at your husband to get back there RIGHT THIS MINUTE!
Engage in dramatics as you calm your baby while your two sons decide to take off their shoes because they are dirty and have gravel in them and they don't want to walk anymore.
Have husband carry one child on shoulders, one (now poopy) child in his arms, with sweat dripping off his nose while you carry the baby and you pass the bag of peaches back and forth
Head to your stylin' minivan to change the poopy diapers and regroup before heading back out for apples
At this point, things will start to look up except for the fact that when you go to pay for the peaches, you will find someone (probably a couple of small someones) have been JUMPING on the bag and you have several good peaches and alot of peach soup
Taaaadaaaaa! Day trip. Don't you want kids?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Marry me?

Jack has been saying for about a year that he wants to marry his Mimi. But today he came out to the kitchen, pouting, and reached for me to pick him up. When I did, he mumbled, "Mommy, I wish you could marry."
"What? You want to marry ME?"
"Yeah. But what about Mimi?"
"Well, she's already married to Grandpa. But what about Daddy? Who will he marry?"
"I think he can marry Olivia."

I think we have some 'splainin to do!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Wow- the kids in bed by eight in the summer?!

We wore them out today. They played outside literally from dawn to dusk while Ryan worked on the front bushes. They ate outside, they drank gallons of milk, water, and juice. They didn't take naps, and they came inside for dinner with little pink cheeks and noses. It was great! And the best part...they were all asleep by 8! I think that's some kind of record since May! Yay!

Yesterday Olivia was adorably playing "tea party" with me in her room. She insisted I hold both cups while I poured our pretend tea, and after the first time I made a psssshhht sound as I poured, she made the sound too. Then she decided her brothers, who were next door in their room jumping on the beds and making a fort out of mattresses and blankets, should definitely have a relaxing cup of tea. I loved watching her toddle over to their room and yell happily as she held out two teeny tiny floral cups for the boys to partake of the tea. They both used their best manners to say "Thank you, baby," and pretended to sip before giving the cups back to their beaming little sister. Those are the moments that make me truly feel it's a wonderful life!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Get outta my bed, Jackson!

I am up late tonight uploading pictures to be printed, and as I lay in bed on the computer listening to Livi fuss as she falls back to sleep, I heard talking. I quickly changed the video monitor from Livi's channel to the boys' and had to do a double-take when I saw TWO little bodies in ONE tiny toddler bed! I jumped out of bed and ran down the hall and as I came into the room I heard Sammy saying "This is MY bed, Jackson. Get outta my bed!" Jackson started to cry and I lifted him back to his own bed. He cried brokenheartedly for about 15 seconds, then promptly passed back out! Poor Sam. He's still laying in bed with his eyes open probably wondering what the heck just happened!

Monday, August 18, 2008

My birthday

I turned 29 (YIKES!) on Saturday, and I had a truly perfect day. The weather was beautiful, and my sweet husband and kids made me feel very special. The night before I had margaritas and games with the girls at a friend's house, and my hubby let me sleep until 9:30 the next morning! When I got up, I lounged for a bit and then Ryan took the kids for a long walk while I went out to do some shopping. I found some great stuff for the house (since I'm always to scared to go into homegoods stores with the kids...all that breakable stuff just waiting for them to trash it!) and had sushi for lunch. I played with Jack for a while during naptime, and spent some tickle torture time with all three kids in the afternoon before deciding to head upstairs to read some magazines, watch HGTV and doze for a while. Ryan and the kids made me some delicious chocolate cupcakes, and I hopped in the shower for a great dinner out at Bonefish with my honey. Our neighbor came over and sat in the house (we had already put the kids to bed) while we went, and dinner was delish! A glass of wine, fantastic warm bread with a basil/olive pesto, shrimp and scallops martini appetizer (SUPERYUMMY!), a caesar salad, and an asian shrimp and scallops entree later, I was pleasantly full and ready to snuggle up at home and watch the Olympics for a while. Truly relaxing, energizing, and perfect. To top it all off, Ryan had gifts sent all week- mostly accessories for my new digital camera, which I loved, and today I received an adorable personalized $25 giftcard for Starbucks. It has a cartoon picture on it that looks like me with a tiara (too true!), a coffee in one hand, and my camera in the other. So thoughtful and a great surprise! Thanks to all for my great birthday! I love you guys!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sense of humor

It's been so much fun lately to watch all three of the kids developing their senses of humor. Olivia's latest trick (among many) is to hold her nose while she walks around and says in a sing-song voice, "Peeeeeeee-uuuuuuuuu" both cracking up her adoring brothers, and herself along the way.
Sammy has begun to grow self conscious, and although doing something deliberately funny, like making a funny face or a silly sound, will immediately turn to a frowing "Stop waffing (laughing) at me, Mommy!"
Jackson grows sillier each day, but last night as we read stories at one point, he belted out in a strange and funny voice "AW, MAN....WHAAAAAT?!?! That's RIDICULOUS!" and Ryan and I cracked up!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I wuv you too, Mommy

Sammyisms. I love them. He is such a snugglebear (when he's not beating the crap out of you) and lately when I hold him, or hug him, or just plain ol' snuggle him, he places his head in the crook of my neck so we are as close as we can be. I will usually say "Sammy, I love you so." And he will say "I wuv you too Mommy," and then make a contented little grunt as he snuggles even closer. Can't he just stay a pudgy little toddler/preschooler forever?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

SOOO embarrassing, even to a three year old

We had our next door neighbors over for dinner on Saturday night, and they decided to go home and put their toddlers to bed (with their teenaged son, who was home) and then come back to play games. We attempted to quickly put the boys to bed while they were gone, but it has been a rocky road since Jackson gave up his beloved facifier.
When they got back to our house, the games commenced, and it seemed (from the rumble on the ceiling above us) that the boys were still awake. At one point Jackson started calling for us (which he rarely does), but we ignored him both because we had company and because we thought it was a stall tactic.
Ryan finally went into the room to find a crying Jackson, declaring "Daddy, I made poopoo in my pants because I called for you but you didn't come and so now I made poopoo.." and on and on as Ryan took him down the hall. Upon coming downstairs, Ryan chuckled that after he had removed the soiled underwear, and had Jackson bent over touching his toes to be wiped, Jackson had said "Dad, this is embarrassing." Of course, on Jacksonspeak it was probably more like "dis is embawwasing." Heehee.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Picture this...

We leave the house this morning to head to the library, needing something to occupy us on these days that are too hot to head to the pool or the backyard. The quick run-in and pick up of books goes fairly smoothly, although Livi begins to grow impatient as we wait in line to check out our books, and Sammy has made a poopy diaper. I panic a little because I'm not sure I put wipes back in the car after Ryan cleaned it out this week.
We encounter a friend and her two little ones in the parking lot and stop for a moment to say hi. I find wipes in the bottom of the stroller (thankfully!) and change Sammy's poopy diaper on the floor of the van while Livi's irritation begins to grow to a full-on tantrum. It's hot, and I'm starting to feel flustered while I clean up the mess, strap the boys in, and try my best to comfort a now-wailing Olivia.
I have promised the boys that we can eat lunch at Chick-fil-a, and that yes, we will go in instead of hitting the drive-thru so that they can play in the coveted (read: germy) play area. The whole way there, Livi's cries are escalating, and I'm wondering what in the world is wrong. I rub her legs as I lean way back in my seat, chanting a soothing shoosh, but nothing seems to be helping. I figure she's just hungry and maybe a bit tired, but will feel better when I pick her up to go into the restaurant.
By the time we arrive she is so hysterical she has begun writhing in her seat, trying to escape from the clutches of her five point harness, and her face is beet red with frustration and emotion. We head into the Chick and I grab a rolling highchair to plop her in while I order, pay, and hopefully navigate successfully to a table near the play area. She is having none of it, and is trying to climb from the high chair while reaching for me and continuing to scream hysterically. People are starting to stare. The boys are doing fairly well, but Sam seems to be deliberately antagonizing her by pulling on her legs and dancing all around us. I manage to order, pay, and get the drinks so I can park the boys at the table and run back up for the food. Oliva continues to scream. I desperately try removing her shoes, checking her all over for any spot of injure, but give up and just hold her in my lap. Finally, after we begin to eat (and after she has pushed food away- NEVER HAPPENS), she calms down on my lap and begins to regain composure. We eat and I'm starting to relax a little. The boys head into the play area and Olivia and I munch on fries and sing songs, waiting for them to come running back time and again to cram a nugget in their mouths before heading back off.
It's time to go and I tell Sam to go get his shoes. He brings Jack's. I send him back to get HIS shoes and also to tell Jack it is time to go. He comes back to report that Jack is stuck and needs help. I have to take Livi with me into the play area to see what's going on and as I call up to him, a teary voice responds that he's "at the vewy top" and is too scared to come down. Some older kids try to lead him to the slide, but he won't follow. I start trying to put Sam's shoes on, who is demanding to do it "hisself" and he proceeds to put them on the wrong feet. Meanwhile, Jackson's cries are becoming more frantic, and a father comes in to ask if I want him to go after Jack. He starts up the plastic trail, and Jack appears at the bottom of the slide in the arms of a 7 year old boy. I thank them both profusely before putting shoes on Jack, and getting the heck outta dodge. Screw the heat, I think we'll be heading to the pool next week. Or maybe at least the gym nursery.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Movie time

Today was the kids' first movie theater experience. Our local Regal cinemas has free kids movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the summer, and $1 popcorn and drinks. I have been promising myself to take the kids for two years, and we made our first trip today!
The selection was Peter Pan, and I was expecting the Disney cartoon version. Not so much. It was a live version, and not the one with Robin Williams either. It was good, but let's just say a little more intense than I was expecting for the little guys. Those freakin mermaids could give ME nightmares! Oh well.
They LOVED IT! Of course I took pictures (that I haven't downloaded yet) and Jackson managed to sit quietly in his own seat for the whole thing, completely riveted by the show. Sam sat on my lap and basically watched the movie. Olivia was more of a challenge.
Thank heavens my neighbor was there with her 14 year old, 5 year old and 2 year old boys. Her oldest fed Livi popcorn, shared his drink with her, and held her on his lap. When she got restless, and began wandering around peeking around the seats to giggle in people's faces (which cracked me up, incidentally), he strolled her around the lobby and kept her happy for the whole movie. When we walked out of the theater at the end, she was fast asleep in his arms out in the lobby. SOOOO cute!
Of course my neighbor also took Jackson to the bathroom for me during the movie while I watched the two year olds, and he needed to go again after the movie, but I was NOT down with waiting in the eternal line, so I told him we'd stop somewhere else. On our way out to the parking lot, I hit the door open button a ways away and an 8 year old boy started to get in, realized it wasn't his silver minivan, and sheepishly walked back to his mother. It was one of about a trillion silver mini vans in the minivan soccer mom brigade. As I strapped the kids in, Jackson started again with the "Mommy, I REALLY need to go potty."
I grabbed the Chick fil a cup left in the car from Club Mom at the mall yesterday, and shut the door. He started peeing, and peeing, and peeing until the cup was full and I had to scramble for another cup to put in overflow! Gross, I know, but these are the days of my life...someday I'll reread these and probably not remember this kind of stuff without having recorded it.
So, after two years of dreading the movies with all three, it was actually really enjoyable. Guess that means my kids are getting older. Pass the tissues, please! Sob.

Straight from the garden

Having a garden has been a great outlet for me this summer. I have LOVED spending the evenings out watering, weeding, and picking my fresh, organic produce. I spent the summer checking out every possible book on growing a garden, and I really wasn't sure what to expect from my first attempt. I actually picked over 40 tomatoes this week and made 5 large containers of homemade marinara, complete with fresh basil, parsley and peppers from my garden, and jarred two large containers of salsa. We've had fresh minestrone soup this week already and the kids and I have been snacking on the salsa like crazy!

I have fond childhood memories of eating from my mother's garden, and every time we visited my grandparents, my pappy smelled like tomato plants. I revel in the earthy, woodsy smell of the dirt and plants, and it has taken alot of the "girly" out of me, actually enjoying getting dirty!

The kids have also loved planting the garden with me and watching it grow. They eat the fresh herbs all the time, especially the basil, mint and dill, and all three pick cherry tomatoes to snack on when they're out playing in the backyard. The other night, Livi was out there just helping herself, and Sammy was happy to get in on the act.

Kids say the darndest things

The other day on our way to brunch, Sammy said "Mommy, Daddy, I have haircuts in my mouth."
We both smiled and said "What?"
"I have haircuts in my mouth. I still have haircuts in my mouth."
We were about to dismiss him for talking nonsense when we realized he had the hiccups!

Tonight in the car the boys were having their own little conversation when Sammy started yelling, "Daddy, Daddy...Jackson's two-er than me." Apparently being three makes you "twoer" than someone who is only two and a half.

When I was watering the garden, the boys came running over with their watering cans to help. I had the hose sprayer set to "shower" and I just held it over their buckets, which was taking a while to fill. Sam looked at me and said, "No, mommy. You have to put it on 'jet'!" Can he read or something? Sheesh.

Tonight when storytime came, it was late for bed so Ryan chose two books for the kids instead of letting them choose their own. He said "Guys, it's late tonight so we're going to read "Kiss Goodnight" and "Goodnight Moon." Jackson grabbed another book and said, "This one says goodnight, too."
We looked and sure enough, it did. Spooky.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Buh-bye, Facifier

Ryan decided that the night we came back from the beach (Saturday), Jackson would start going to bed without his pacifier. He has ALWAYS used one, and to my knowledge has never fallen asleep without one...even in the car. Since he was about 16 months, we have limited him to bedtime and car trips, and he had chewed this one to the point that it didn't really work anymore anyway. We were worried about him choking on it if it came apart, and truthfully I was going to give him one more new one and make him give it up when he turned four in November- (theoretically anyway!). HOWEVER, my husband had different ideas.
He mentioned it to Jack as we pulled away from the beach, and a panicked Jackson began asking/pleading over and over for Daddy not to take it away. After admonishing my hubby for putting us all through this (saying it in the car- REALLY? at the beginning of a long car trip- REALLY??? have you taken a recent blow to the head or something?!), and reassuring Jack that we would talk about it later, he finally calmed down.
That night when he went to bed he cried and cried. He pulled out all the stops, even saying "But I'm still three!" and "But I'm still just a little boy!" and basically ripped my heart out of my chest in the process.
I tried to tell myself that it is for the best. His teeth are looking a little bucky, and seeing as Ryan had buck teeth as a kid, he's already got genetics working against him. I finally told him if he could go to bed this week without his paci, we would go to Chuck E Cheese. Aah, sweet, sweet friend. It got me through the potty training...why not this?
I was futhermore sure that he would promptly stop napping. He's already been teetering on the nap thing, and I've been struggling for a couple months now to get everyone to nap at the same time. So far this week, he has slept both for naps and at night, but it has required someone to be in his room with him. So any tiny-fractional-minute-little break that I was getting before is now spent sitting in a dark room listening to him whimper as he falls asleep. It's excruciating.
And still a part of me wants him to use his paci because it makes him my baby. It means it's still okay to snuggle him all the time. To carry him up the stairs when he says he's too tired. To baby him when he skins his knee, instead of saying "Be a tough guy- you're okay!" To long for him to stay a little baby boy forever.
Sunday morning when he got up, he came into our bed for some snuggles. When Ryan and the kids went down for breakfast, his lovey, Lambie, was laying in the floor by our bed in a heap. And the last piece of my heart shattered. Honestly, I had visions of him using lambie to sleep until he was, like, 15. I had visions of clutching the lambie he had used for SO MANY YEARS in my wrinkled hand as I watched home videos and rocked back and forth on the couch the night he left for college and/or got married. I felt like lambie was a part of the family, and I swear he looked sad as he lay there in the floor. I cried like a baby myself and snuggled that lambie like it was my job. I think if I had ever been a thumb sucker I might have regressed that far.
The analogy was too much for me. I saw lambie on the floor, forgotten and left behind much like I see Jack heading into boyhood, teenagehood, and manhood. Soon he will be leaving his babyhood (and me) behind, and crumpled in a heap on the floor. And I know I'll never be ready for that.

Monday, August 4, 2008

What now?

Add this to the list of things I never thought I'd say, even to myself.
I just picked something up off the bathroom floor and said OUTLOUD, TO MYSELF:
"What is that? Poop? A Bean? Chocolate? EW." And then I sniffed it before I could even stop myself. (I'm going with cookie, but it's really still a toss up.)
What has become of me?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Blonde Jokes

We spent the past week at the beach, and it was heavenly. The kids (all nine of them!) were well-behaved, and the trip was relaxing and fun! I'll have pics and such to post hopefully tomorrow, but one of my favorite anecdotes was this:
Two of my nieces were showering, and my sister was in the adjoining bedroom putting on makeup so the girls could not see her as she heard their exchange.
Leah (nearly nine years old, sweet and timid): Becca, your hair looks really dark in the water.
Becca(10 years old, going on 21): Yeah, its not REALLY brown, but it's mostly brown. But that's okay because they say blondes are dumb anyway.
Leah: I would agree with that.
Becca:'re blonde.
Leah: Oh yeah.

Game point...SCORE! Heehee. Love it.