Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ballet, etc.

I signed Olivia up today for a ballet class in the Spring semester. Then of course we went right out and bought her a ballet skirt to wear with her leotard and white ballet slippers. She can't wait to be a "bawaweena!"
Jackson asked "What is ballet?"
I answered that it's a class where mostly girls learn to dance.
J: "Well, I wanna go to ballet. How will I learn to dance?"
Me: "You already do karate. Plus, it's dancing mostly for girls."
Sam jumped in at this point to say, using his hands as he talked for emphasis "Yeah, cause Jack, boys do stuff that is cool or maybe scary. And girls do stuff that is sweet."
At the age of three. Where does he come up with this stuff?!

Tonight at bathtime Jackson told me he doesn't want to grow up like Daddy. When I asked him why, he said "Because I want to stay little forever and make things for you."
So, so painfully sweet.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Advent activities

The tree is up, it's December 3rd, and we are well on our way to the holiday festivities. We have already made and decorated with paint and glue some clay ornaments that the kids proudly display on the trees in their rooms, and have read Christmas stories for a week. We have had hot chocolate and candy canes, watched the Polar Express, and oohed and aahed over the smatterings of Christmas lights we've passed in the dark. We've taken the pics and ordered our Christmas cards, and I am ALMOST done with my shopping. On Saturday we will have breakfast with Santa, and our holiday will be officially underway. Hurray!

The magical marble jars

We have had a few behavior problems here lately in the house, particularly with Sam, our pronounced MIDDLE child. I am hoping that when he shares that role with Olivia in about 3 months, he'll get over it, but I won't hold my breath!
I discussed the situation with our pediatrician who recommended a jar with marbles, where the kids earn marbles for good behavior, and lose them for bad. It is very visual and they can redeem them for rewards. We've done it for two days, and it is AWESOME! It managed to take care of two problems at once. The boys got a Wii from their Grandpa for Christmas, but since he was in for Thanksgiving (from Alaska) and won't be back for Christmas, they received it last week. They could basically forgo food and sleep and play Mario Kart All.Day.Long. if we let them. Asking them to take a break results in an eruption of whining and crying, and gnashing of teeth. Plus, I'm a weenie and it IS kinda nice to be uninterrupted in the afternoons while they zone out.
We actually convinced Sam the other day when he had a nosebleed that his brain had turned to mush from playing too many video games, and was leaking out of his head. We told him he needed to take a break before it ALL leaked out and he couldn't think anymore, and that if he didn't play for a while, it would have time to harden back up. I asked him what day it was and when he didn't know (which he never does if it's not a Tuesday or Thursday when they talk about it at school!) I gave him the old "OH NO! That part must be the part that already leaked out!" - Yeah, we're totally prepared to pay for therapy, let's just hope not playing too many video games makes up for it with a scholarship ;-)
ANYHOO, I digress. The marble jar. The kids earn marbles by playing well together, staying their seat at mealtimes, sharing, using good manners, being good at school, etc. etc.
When they accrue 10, they can redeem them for ONE hour of Mario kart, during which time they cannot earn marbles, but can still lose them for bad behavior. They can earn one if they are good when it is time to turn OFF the game.
We love the marble jar, oh sweet peacemaker among siblings. You, marble jar, are my new best friend. We'll see how long this friendship lasts.

Sam continues to mess with Jack...

On Tuesday when I picked the boys up from school, we were on our way home when Olivia said "Mama, you have a spider on your hair." I of course, began freaking out and trying to swat the supposed spider from my head, frantically asking the boys if THEY could see anything.
They assured me nothing was there and Jack said, "Mom, a spider couldn't be on your head anyway, right?"
I corrected him to say that yes, a spider could be on your head. It could fall from a tree, or climb up, or sometimes even jump from one surface to another.
Out of nowhere Jack said "Mom, what's a tick?"
"Um, it's a bug...why do you ask?"
J- "Because I had one on my HEAD one time, REMEMBER?!" (Obviously I'm a moron!)
S- "Yeah, ticks can jump on your head like this....boing, boing."
J- "How do YOU know, Sam?"
S- "Because we talked about Ticks today at school. We read a story about them, and learned facts about them, and I even drew a PICTURE of a tick jumping onto a person's head. I call it 'A tick on a cloud.' "
Jack, obviously impressed, proceeded to ask Sam questions about his newfound knowledge of ticks, and Sam repeatedly answered without missing a beat.
Throughout the day, Sam continued to rattle off random bits of "tick trivia" to Jack, who soaked it all up like a sponge. At dinner, Jack asked Sam a question about ticks and said "Did you learn about that today too?"
Sam, grinning like a cheshire cat said "Nah, we didn't actually learn about ticks today. I was just kiddin' ya."
Jack was very upset, yelling "MOOOOM, Sam LIED about school today."
After he composed himself he said "Well, I made a Christmas tree at school today."
Sam barely glanced up from his plate and said "No you didn't. You're just saying that to trick me because I tricked you."

Yup, he's still THREE. We are so screwed. ;-)

Jack and Olivia's Thanksgiving Feasts

The week before Thanksgiving Olivia had her first official class business at the preschool, with a luncheon to meet her classmates. She LOVED it and I can't wait for her to start!

Jackson's "feast" was also an adorable program, where they wore custom shirts and sang some super cute songs. Pics to come!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Halloween 2009

We ended up with two Peter Pans (the boys), a Tinkerbell (Olivia), a pseudo Captain Hook (daddy), and me with a Pumpkin on my burgeoning belly. I had joked for weeks that I would be "naughty Wendy," what with the obvious pregnancy...

Wendy: "What did you expect, MOTHER?! I had strange boys coming in my room at night, and you and Daddy left us home with a DOG for a babysitter! Of course I'm pregnant!"

However, when push came to shove, I just decided I couldn't pass up my final opportunity to BE a pumpkin for Halloween!

We trick-or-treated for THREE hours, and I kid you not. We left our house at 5:30 and came home at 8:55. Yeah. I had blisters and my feet were fat and swollen. But man have I had a ton of delicious milky ways and twix bars in the last coupla weeks. So there's that.

Jack's 5th birthday party

Jack chose a Halloween theme for his birthday this year. We threw a costume party with all the fixin's and he said it was his best birthday yet! Having the party two weeks before his actual birthday totally blew his mind, though. In the two weeks between his birthday party and his "Actually" birthday, as he called it, he kept saying things like "Why am I not five yet? I can't wait to have another party on my actually birthday!" and "Wonder what everyone will get me for my actually birthday!"
So on the real day, we took cupcakes to school, went on a field trip to the firehouse (with his class) and let him choose dinner- "chips and salsa place." Sam had been diagnosed with a potential case of flu/swine flu the day before. Sudden temp, red eyes, and a persistent cough sent me running to the doc. BUT, since the kids had gotten the mist H1N1 vaccine 9 days before, the flu test was inconclusive because it could potentially have been registering the vaccine as the actual thing. Who knows. Anyhow, his fever improved that evening, then spiked again around midnight, when he came to our room and crawled in bed. I wasn't about to make him go back to his own room knowing how sick he was, but after dosing him up with Tylenol, he was like an oven pressed against my back, so I thought quick and woke up Ryan to ask him to bring in the toddler bed from the guest room so Sam could sleep beside me but not on top of me. Sam became distressed as I told him it wasn't a good idea for him to sleep with Mommy because he could give me his sick germs, but that he could sleep right beside me, and as Ryan brought the toddler bed in the room Sam said (from his position plopped right in the middle of our bed) "How are you both going to fit in that?"
Totally cracked me up! Stinker thought he got our bed and we were moving! Haha!
Anyhow, back to Jackson's birthday dinner at the local Mexican joint- they did the whole song and sombrero and whipped cream on the face bit, and Jack loved it all!
Then Sam threw up in the parking lot. (and we rejoiced because hey- not in the car, not in the house, not even on his clothes----score!)
Then we went home to have Pumpkin pie (Jack's requested dessert) and popcorn while we watched "The Sword in the Stone" that he received for his birthday. All in all, I think turning 5 was a great experience for him and one that he will hopefully remember!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Disney 2009

We finally made the 12 hour trek from our house to Orlando last week. My mother in law lives in Orlando, and we've been wanting to get down there, but it just seemed impossible with the small ones to survive a drive that long! However, the kids were as good as gold, and we made it with only two short stops to eat each way! Wow!
On the way down, I showered them with NEW.STUFF like Disney pez dispensers, Search for object books with magnifying glasses, magic ink books, candy, snacks, and the Game boy I had put away for about a month before our trip! On the way back I was far too tired to care, made absolutely NO forages into the back of the van, and they did just as well as on the way down with only endless DVDs for entertainment. I was VERY pleasantly surprised!
We spent the first couple of days of our trip at my MILs house, where the kids swam in her pool, played Wii, played with the dogs, rolled the pool table balls into finger-smashing games they made up as they went along, and spent hours creating new potato-head families out of the kit Grandma bought them from Costco.
On Tuesday, we went to downtown Disney to shop and look around, and bought the boys their "build your own" lightsabers. They were thrilled, and actually Ryan may have been more excited than they were! Olivia chose a princesses toy kit as her souvenir, and in light of their renewed love of potato heads, we filled a box with Disney-inspired potatohead accessories (like a Peter pan hat, Mickey ears, and the piece de Resistance- Ariel hair and mermaid bottom- HILARIOUS!).
Our trip was packed to the brim and we literally ran from park to park with the kids strapped in the strollers. Wednesday morning we checked in to the Grand Floridian hotel and I swear that is the cleanest hotel ON EARTH! The monorails were down, so we took a ferry from our hotel to the Polynesian for our character breakfast with Lilo and Stitch, Mickey, and Pluto.
Entering the Magic Kingdom was truly magical, and the kids were besides themselves with excitement! Olivia's favorites right now are Tinkerbell and Ariel, although since our trip, Cinderbella is making some swift strides! We rode tons of rides and stuck around that night for the parade and fireworks.
Thursday morning we headed back to the Magic Kingdom to finish up, then dashed over to Hollywood Studios for our character lunch with The Little Einsteins and Jojo and Goliath. The rest of that day was pretty laid back, and there wasn't terribly much for our kids to do at that park.
Friday morning we set out for Animal Kingdom, where we checked out the Lion King musical, the safari that was chock full of wildlife, a walking tour of animals, and A Bug's Life.
Another jog to catch transportation to Epcot where we had dinner reservations at the Biergarten German restaurant and hung around for a few rides and the Illuminations fire and fireworks show.
We were EXHAUSTED by the end of the trip, but it was definitely worthwhile and magical for the kiddos. We can't wait to go back!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Just kiddin' ya

The other day Jackson came to me looking for his "blue guy gameboy game."
"You mean Sonic?"
"Yeah, that one. Where is it?"
"Well, I'm not sure so you'll have to look for it."

A few minutes later he came back and said "Mooooooo-ooooom, Olivia put it in the air conditioner in the playroom (The dreaded vent hole)." I went to investigate and after questioning Olivia, who nodded her head vehemently in confession, I reached my hand into the abyss to find....crayons, paper bits, lots of random game.

So Sam jumped in on the action and with his finger to his chin in an obvious sign of thinking and remembering said "Oh, RIIIIIGHT. I saw Olivia with it in her hand and she dropped it in THIS vent," pointing to the one in the foyer. I questioned Olivia who once again, confessed with an emphatic nod. I reached in to that vent and found more game.
Sam to the rescue again! "OH, RIIIIIIIIGHT. Cause she had it in her hand when she went back THAT way and put it under the ottoman."
Grinning to the side as he watched Jack scramble to the ottoman and frantically search underneath it and come up empty handed, I was suspicious.
"Sam," I asked, "do you REALLY know where it is?"
He grinned sheepishly as he said "Nah, I don't. I'm just kiddin you guys!"
Jack of course went into orbit, reaching new octaves with his cries of injustice and frustration. I went back to the laundry, chuckling to myself at how my three year old was "punking" us all out, until I heard bins in the playroom being emptied.
"Come on Olivia, it's in the BOTTOM!" I heard Jack yell as the two of them worked together to dump out a box of blocks.
"SAM! It's not in here EITHER," Jack yelled.
"OH, RIIIIIGHT because then I saw her...."

He successfully had those two following his every move. His OLDER brother was duped, and the younger sister he was pinning it on was also believing she had done what he had said. YIKES!
I found the my purse...a week later!

Funnyisms from the boys

Sam, while staring at me as I sat on the couch over the weekend...
"Oh, so when your belly gets bigger, your boobies get bigger too, huh?!"
I swear that kid is gonna be a "boob man" and by the way, thanks for noticing! KIDS!

Our nightly ritual lately has been a family round or two of uno, then a coupla stories, then tucked in and each choose a song for mom to sing (Almost ALWAYS "Somewhere Over the Rainbow") and then off to sleep. But each night as I leave the room Jackson says "Mom, will you check on us?" and his favored response is for me to say "I always do." Any variation results in some kind of comment on his part and a general unsettling until I say "I always do."
Tonight as I left the room we proceeded with our new ritual, and when I responded correctly Jackson smiled and said, "That's my girl!" Cutie!

Perhaps this one is TMI, but it's for posterity (no pun intended!) so whatever. The other day as i was peeing, with Sam looking on as usual, he said, "You have to wipe your heinie after you pee, right Mom?" I gave an absentminded "mmmhmmm." Then he said, despite our MANY discussions about this, "Yeah, because you pee out of your heinie."
"Oh, yeah right, you pee out of your 'gina....(then chuckling and shaking his head a little) 'Gina sure is a funny word for penis."

Monday, August 24, 2009

Jackson declared this weekend that he had an "ear election."
Yesterday, as I played video games with the boys, I whispered, "You know what? I love you?"
Jack said, "That's not a secret!"
So I looked at Sam and said "Did you know that I love you?"
He said, "Yep!"
"Hey! How does everybody already KNOW that?" I declared indignantly.
And Jack replied "Because you tell us all the time!"
The boys earned their white belts in karate on Saturday, and will receive them at graduation on Thursday. They got progress reports from it, which they tried diligently to decipher by themselves. It took some reassurance that they did a great job! I can't wait to see them in their little belts!
I had my house professionally cleaned last Tuesday for the first time ever. Bliss. My entire house has never been clean at one time before. It was fabulous. And now it is not clean again. Not even for a week. Sigh.
Ryan threw a surprise 30th birthday party for me last weekend, complete with boat rides and out of town friends. It was great. BUT there were nine kids at my house with one 17 year old babysitter. See the professional cleaning above!
School starts 3 weeks from today! HURRAY for fall!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Piggy bank

The boys have been finding coins around, and they LOVE to put them in their piggy bank (which is actually a football, and a gift from their Aunt Leah!). Yesterday morning, when Jack was the only one with me, I found a dime on the desk and handed it to Jack. "What is it, Mom?" "It's a dime, so it's 10 cents!"
"Wow, we have alot of money now, and if we keep saving, we could buy anything we want, right Mom? But I would share my money with you, and that way Daddy wouldn't have to share HIS money with you, and we could all stay home together."

Awwww, so sweet!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The new baby...

Jackson, upon arriving at the beach, excitedly told my sisters, "Aunt Jen and Aunt Shell, my mommy has a baby in her tummy."
"Yes, we know. Do you want a boy baby or a girl baby?" they asked.
He thought a moment and said "I hope it's a girl. But if it's not a girl, I hope it's a boy."
Yep, we're definitely hoping for a boy or a girl! ;-)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Swimming lessons, karate, and cousins, oh my!

The summer has been so full! The boys have taken swimming lessons, and are now doing great at the pool without any assistance, which is LOVELY! Even Olivia is swimming with her water wings, and there are days I don't even have to get in with them! Hurray!
This week marks the second week of karate lessons for the boys, which they adore! Playing dodgeball at the end is their favorite part, and getting their uniforms yesterday was so exciting! There have been lots of "yes SIRS" since it started, and I'm looking forward to watching them develop more and more confidence and independence as a result.
Not only were their cousins Becca, Kiki, and Josh here the week before July 4th, but their cousins Leah, Emmy and Matt were here last week, and Ryan and Jacey were here over the past weekend. The kids don't know what to do with an empty house now, but with beach preparations in full swing, we're definitely filling the days. It's time now to start buying school supplies, enjoying our beach vacation, and soaking up the last of the summer fun!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Scene from yesterday

The kids were hungry, and it just so happened there were four yogurts left in the fridge. Peach was about all I could stomach, so I doled out the other three without checking the flavors. Sam ended up with mixed berry, Olivia got peach like me, and Jackson got mango. He looked at the front and immediately the complaining began:
Jack: "I don't like this kind. That's not fair. I like the other kinds, but not FLAMINGO!"
Me: chuckling, "Flamingo is a bird, Jack, and they don't put birds in yogurt. That's all there is so stop complaining and eat your snack."
Sam: "What kind is it then, Mom?"
Me: knowing that saying mango would be a death trap at this point, "It's tropical."
Sam: "Mmmm, I like trockipal!"
Jackson immediately corrected his pronunciation, and Sam agreeable said
"Well, sometimes I say stuff wrong because I'm a kid, right mom?"
So right, Sammy, and I'm going to miss it someday! Love you, buddy!

Olivia's 2nd birthday party

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The "fast-poke"

The other day as I was buttoning Sam's pants after he used the potty, I felt some moisture on them. "Sam, why are your pants wet?"
His reply, "Oh, yeah, well my peepee was a fast-poke."
As opposed to a slowpoke, you know. Too fast to make it to the potty! Silly goose!

Four 5 and under

I'm officially pregnant again, so I'll have to change this blog to "Four, five and under" unless it's twins in which case there will probably be no blog (seeing as how I will be fleeing the country ALONE!)
Nauseous, tired, grouchy, and do I always forget between pregnancies what it's like? First dr's appt is on July 13, so here's hoping for ONE healthy baby!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Since it's been so long since my last post, here's what's up RIGHT NOW (seeing as how it's too overwhelming to cover the last 3 months!):
The boys are taking swim lessons at the pool. They have had 6 lessons, two to go. They are swimming with a noodle for support, and able to stay underwater for a few moments at a time. I'm hoping they'll be diving for stuff (in the 3 ft end) by the end of the week, but we'll see!
I sing for them each night as i tuck them in. They each choose a song, but 9 times out of ten, Sam will choose "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and the other day he sang the whole song for me out of the blue. I teared up immediately and MUST remember to get it on tape!
The favorite movies of the moment are "The Golden Blaze" and "Bolt" and we have seen both a jillion times already this summer! The pool, the garden, the scooters, and the power wheels truck have been the main diversions, and I am going to have to come up with some new material here soon!
Olivia is more of a handful than ever. She is fully speaking in sentences, very intelligible, and also VERY bossy! She knows most of the alphabet letters and their sounds (thank you LeapFrog DVD's!) and is Crazy about babies! She'll be two in a week (WHAT!?!) and I'm in the middle of planning her party- a pink, chocolate, and polka dot theme- which will take place this Sunday.
Some of her current catch phrases - "Dat's it!! I 'pank a heinie!" "Hop up, Mommy, come here, mommy, RIGHT NOW!" "I wuv YOU, mom"
Oh, there are too many to remember them all. I'll have to do a better job of posting now that I've let go of catching up and decided to start over!

Place to update for the last 2.5 months!

Here is where I plan to update and post pics of the last 2.5 months. Eventually. Maybe. When you're all five and in school...
At least now I can hopefully start posting again without thinking about how I can't post until I'm ready to fix the backlog, and I'm just too tired for that...blah blah blah, excuses, excuses. Back to our regular programming!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Umm, hello, April, where did you go?

Wow, I knew I was a slacker but letting a whole month get away- not cool! So here it is May and I have lots to go back and document. Easter, playdates and birthday parties, school events including Mother's Day teas at school, my garden planting, etc. etc. etc. Hopefully the coming week will be a little slower and I'll actually get my pics uploaded onto the computer. Maybe not. We'll see! I've had 6 kids who aren't my own in and out this week (along with my three) and I am watching a neighbor's baby on Monday too. We'll see how it plays out! BUT, to my kids, I loved you as much in April as in March and in May and I'll try to tell you all about it soon! (as soon as you leave me alone for more than 30 seconds!)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Boys will be boys!

Today the kids let me sleep a freakish amount! Not ONLY did they let me sleep in this morning, even shutting my bedroom door as they crept out to play in the hallway, but I took a TWO hour nap from 12 to 2 on the couch, which means they didn't make me get up to give them snacks, drinks, toys, wipe bottoms, etc. Awesome. As I lay in bed this morning, Jack had come into my room complaining that his throat hurt. When he came back later, he said "Mom, my throat feels better. It's broken!" I was totally confused. "It feels better? What do you mean it's broken?" I asked. "The spell is broken!" was his enthusiastic response. Apparently there was a magical force causing his sore throat. Nasty witches!
When I came down the hallway where they had been playing, the scene was too funny. All of their jungle animals were arranged in particular manners. The giraffes were all eating from play trees, the elephants were grouped together, and the tigers and lions were in a circle, all eating from a GIANT clownfish. Apparently they were craving seafood!
Finally, the other night as we were reading stories, Jack was sounding out the words, and Sam was choosing to just listen. Until he said "Jack, that's a comma. You're supposed to pause there." Ryan and I looked at each other, smiling, and Ryan said "That's right, Sam. And what is that called?" Without missing a beat, he said "Punctuation. And at the end, that's the pyramid." Really it's a period, but hey, I'll take it!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Jack is now officially a grown-up

Today on our way home from the grocery store, out of nowhere, Jack said "Mom, what does beer taste like?" I was all "HUH?, Whaddya mean? It's for grown ups."
He said "I know, but what does it TASTE like." I was kinda stumped and the best I could do was, "Well, it's hard to describe but it's kind of tickly and spicy like soda, but sour instead of sweet. Mommy doesn't really even like it much, but Daddy does. Maybe one day Daddy will let you taste it just so you can see what it tastes like." And Jack said, "And then if I like it, I can have it ALL THE TIME!"
"Well, no you can't have it unless you're 21."
"Or if I'm 22, right Mom?"
"Right. You have to be AT LEAST 21."
We went to the library this afternoon and Jack found a Lightning McQueen wallet attached to his bookbag in the car. On our way home, he said "Mom, can I put money in my wallet?"
I said, "Well, do you HAVE any money?" He responded "No, so can you give me some money to put in my wallet so I can buy toys and stuff?"
I told him he would need to do some work if he wanted money, just like Mommy and Daddy do. He was quiet for a second, then whined and said "Can't you just give me like 3 or 6 dollars? I don't know HOW to have a job." And after I chuckled, thinking to myself that the asking for money has already begun, I said, "Then you're going to need to learn because someday you will need to have a job and pay for things by yourself like Mommy and Daddy do."
When we got home, I threw the lasagna I made earlier in the oven and called the kids to settle in on the couch with me so we could start reading through the stack of books we selected. Jack said "Sorry, but I can't right now. Mom, I need to use the computer so I can do some work." Fiddling with the mouse, he said "MOOOOM, this isn't working and I can't do my JOOOOOB."
Ryan had a beer with dinner, and Jack said, "Daddy, Mommy said I could have some of your beer." Ryan looked at me with a raised eyebrow, ever skeptical since I am the definite prude in the household, and I recounted the conversation we had in the car. So Ryan HANDED HIM THE BOTTLE, to which I said, "Well, let's just put a sip in a cup and you can taste it."
Jack took a swig, nervously smiling and said "Mmmm, I like it!" Then throwing an arm into the air and having it land in a finger pointed at me, he said "I TOOOOLD you I would!"
Sam took his sip and said "MMMM" as it was touching his lips, but the cringe on his face said otherwise. Neither finished their sip.

At the ripe age of four, Jack has a job and an evening drink. 4 going on 40 maybe!

Friday, March 13, 2009

The complexities of motherhood

Last night, I heard Sam coughing from his bedroom. I crept into the room to watch him sleep, to make sure he was safe, secure, and asleep. Jack was laying horizontally on his bed, so I gently righted him, laying his head on the pillow and smoothing the blankets back over him, snug and warm. He didn't even open his eyes, but curled back up on his side murmuring "Thanks, Mom" in his sleep. I checked the thermometer in their room to make sure it was a perfect 74 degrees, and then sat on the edge of the bed staring at these little people that encompass so much of my world now. I thought to myself "How is it possible to love someone SO much? Has any child on earth ever been loved this much?" And as always, I began to think of the children who were not asleep on soft beds, who had not eaten dinner, taken a warm bath, put on clean pjs, read stories or received a kiss from their adoring parents. I think often of those children as I stare at my own, wishing I had enough time, enough energy, enough resources to give those children the life they deserve. And then I began to wonder if other mothers feel that way. Is it motherhood that makes my heart ache for those other children; being a woman perhaps, or maybe even just being a human.
A vision flashed back to the morning preschool rush; pushing the kids out the door, racing down the road, running into the building, flying back for pickup. As I sat in the pickup line waiting for Jackson, I saw three older women leaving the church, slowly and laboriously walking, limping, towards their cars. The sounds of their voices was mingling with the sounds inside my minvan, those of Sam and Olivia talking and babbling, the Leapfrog DVD playing AGAIN. I thought about how nice it was to have the leisure of standing in the parking lot, taking their time going places, chatting for a few moments, obviously no need to hurry anywhere. The mixed emotions I felt were both not wanting to grow old, not wanting my kids to grow up, leave me, and lead their own lives, but also having a lifetime of memories to carry with me. I began picturing these women having their morning coffee on a sunfilled porch, napping in the afternoon, and spending the evening with their children and grandchildren over a comforting homecooked meal in the house that is filled with their memories. Suddenly, being old didn't seem so bad through my rose colored glasses.
Sam woke again, interrupting my thoughts and making it clear I would need to sleep in their room after all. I snuggled in next to Jack, Sam placing his hand inside mine, his new favorite way to fall asleep. Not JUST holding hands, but hands intertwined. I kissed the chubby dimples on his knuckles, whispered an "I love you" and tried to close my eyes, but their smell was intoxicating and I once again feared the day when I will no longer sleep between them in a bed, feeling their soft skin, stroking their smooth cheeks, and running my hands through their tousled hair as they drift. I will no longer hum "You Are My Sunshine" over and over or answer random questions like "Mom, when I lose a tooth will I still be able to eat crunching things sometimes?" in the glow of their nightlight. Soon Jackson won't lay in bed sounding out words, and trying to spell them... "P-p-p-pig. Starts with P! P-I-i-i-i. Then I! P-i-g-g-g-g. Then G! PIG!" Soon I won't be a goddess, a magician able to produce lost toys, make favorites foods out of nowhere, and make boo-boos disappear with a simple kiss.
I love being a woman and I love the gift of motherhood. I hope it lasts.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Shush, mama

Whenever I sing now, Olivia waits a second, gets a serious look on her face, cocks her head to the side, points her finger at me, squints her eyes and says, "Shush, mama." When I laugh, she throws her head back and laughs maniacally. Today she would tell me she wanted to hear the ABC's and then when I would sing, she'd say, "Shoosh, Mama." I would feign hurt feelings, and she would say "Ohhhh, HUG?" reaching out to comfort me with a hug before the whole scene would begin again.
Whenever anyone gets hurt she says "Wha happened?" in the sweetest, most concerned voice, almost always holding her head to the side and gently rubbing her hand on the person's arm or back. SO.CUTE.

My boyfriend

Jack has been really into drawing lately. Letters, people, trains, houses, you name it, he wants to draw it! The other day he came running to me with his latest creation and said "Mom, I drew a picture of your boyfriend. What's his name?" I chuckled, only half listening and said "Well, I don't know." He quickly responded "Oh, right, cause you have a boyfriend but you don't know his name, right?" All I could do was laugh and HOPE TO GOD that he hasn't told his teachers that! It only got better when he showed me the picture...a stick figure laying on a BED! He added "So, there's your boyfriend laying on the bed. But you don't know his name, right Mom?" I decided I better set the record straight before it went any further and said, "Well, actually Daddy is my boyfriend." He answered, "Oh, okay. Well I'll show Daddy this picture when he gets home then since it's him and he'll like it!"
He liked it alright...and thought perhaps he should have a heart to heart with Jack about what goes on when he's at work! Heehee! Good thing he knows I don't have TIME for an affair because the story and picture Jack cooked up looked pretty incriminating! Gotta love their imaginations!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Snow 2009!

NYC wedding...Swanky!

We had a great time in NYC, and thankfully there was NOT an anvil rainshower. We did return to a snowshower, but more on that in the next post! The wedding in NYC was AMAZING; Fabulous location, food that was unbelievably good and delivered in copious amounts, perfect couple, and good friends. Can you really ask for anything more than that? Here are a few of the bajillion pics I took that night...
Katie was one of my best friends in college. We met our freshman year when we lived next door to each other in the dorm. We became sorority sisters right after that, lived together in NYC for a summer (there are some tales to tell from that!) and the rest is history. She married a great guy, and I'm so very happy I was able to go and be a part of their special day. I did a reading of a poem by Nikki Giovanni called "Love is", who in addition to being a famous poet, was one of my favorite professors in college. Katie was absolutely stunning and radiant.

Circus (and not the one at my house!)

We went to the Ringling Bros. Circus a few weeks ago, and here are the pics to prove it! Being the cheapskate that I am, I brought our own dollar store light wands, lollipops, bags of goldfish and cookies, and juice boxes to try and ward off the gimmies. Unfortunately those darn circus toys and treats get more fun every year and it was SO hard to say no. Jackson was fine with it. Sam, who we later found out was battling a case of the flu, was a little less grateful. We went out for pizza afterwards, and made some great memories.

Friday, February 27, 2009


I am typing this from a computer in NYC. Ca-ray-zy! It's so strange being away from the kids. At moments I actually ache for them. Leaving them wasn't as hard as I expected, but Sam cried and basically broke my heart. Ryan said if he had known it was going to be so difficult for me he would've made me do it sooner because it's healthy and blah blah blah. Anyhow, now that I am actually away, it feels nice. But I have an irrational fear that an anvil will fall suddenly on both of our heads and leave our children orphaned. Scary stuff. And if something were to happen to me, just in case anyone needed to know, my will and trust are on top of the washing machine (there's a file holder there waiting to be hung on the wall) and my kids need to know that I loved them more than life itself. There. I feel better already. Off to have fun with my college girlfriends at one of my best friends' weddings. Pray that anvils won't rain today or tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

We've been hit!

Ugh. We've been hit with the flu! Sam and Liv have been running a fever off and on for a week, and the doc and I finally decided it was time to check it out yesterday. Because of Sam's egg allergy, he can't get the flu vaccine, so she decided to do a flu test. In her words, it came back "ragingly positive" with an ear infection to boot. A DOUBLE ear infection for poor Olivia. But 24 hours on antibiotics, and everyone seems to be on the mend. Makes for some LOOOOONG nights, lemme tell ya!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Olivia is changing and growing up so quickly now. The things she says just crack me up, and I wanted to document a few before a. she stops saying them and b. I completely flake out and forget them!

1.) Sammy = Hammy and it is SOOO cute to hear her say it. Especially when she's bossing "hammy" around.

2.) She came running out of the playroom tonight with the kitchen timer in her hand yelling at the top of her lungs (and topless, no less!) "IN A MINUTE!" - too cute!

3.) We were playing patty cake today and she was loving it! Hearing her say "padee tate" and doing all the motions melts me. And if Daddy is anywhere nearby, she has to call out to him so he can watch her as she beams. love it

4.) She is a complete helper now, and shockingly REALLY helpful. She helps unload the dishwasher and correctly matches sippy cups to their lids. She also tries to wipe me after I go to the potty, but we won't dwell on that. Eww.

5.) She sings her ABC's all the time now and is fairly accurate. It's good enough that other people can tell what she's saying and are amazed.

6.) She also sings Happy Birthday all.the.time. but it goes like this "Hap bir-day to ew, Hap bir-day to ew," and that's it. Then she just dances for the rest of it (because of course we all join in as soon as she starts!)

7.) She hangs out with the boys more than ever. She follows them, imitates them, and loves them all the time. That is, when she's not wagging her finger at them, screaming like a banshee when they come near, or head butting them when she doesn't get her way.

8.) She and Sam are like my siamese twins right now, constantly competing for real estate as close to me as possible, be it my lap, being held, or just being RIGHT next to me. Sometimes it makes me feel good. Most of the time it annoys the crap outta me.

9.) When we were in Roanoke 2 weeks ago, she began playing with my neices (11 and 9) and two of my nephews friends (girls, age 6) and they turned on music. She immediately started dancing and the 5 of them formed a circle. Either Olivia would lead and the girls would crack up at her dance moves, or she would imitate them, VERY accurately, which would also make them laugh hysterically. And of course that only egged her on more. She was in full on hammin' it up mode. I hope I never forget it.

10.) I love to listen to her say thank you "day doo", you're welcome "you walcum," and sorry "soshi" all the time. I love to hear her say something new, like wandering into the kitchen to ask for soup, or chips, or cookies. I love every time she does something that lets me know she "gets" a whole new concept. I love the way she sometimes hurts the boys or me deliberately just so she can say she's sorry and snuggle us. I love (and hate sometimes) that she is so loud and bossy and full of herself. I know one day soon I'll miss it more than I can imagine. I only hope the memories remain vivid as she gets older.

Olivia, you are definitely the light of my life. Having a girl is different from the boys, and although I love them the same as you, they have each other and so our relationship isn't the same as the one I have with you. I love you more every day and I'm so glad you're my daughter.

Valentine's 2009

Last week was filled with activites for the kids and me. I spent pretty much every evening getting ready for their Valentine's Day parties at school. I bought 30 of those cute tin mailboxes from Target and bunches of craft supplies to decorate them. We made about 35 of the chocolate covered marshmallow lollipops, not to mention the regular Valentines that needed to be ready to hand out to their friends! All in all, I spent a FORTUNE (which is so unlike me) but there were just so many cute things that I wanted to make and do this year!
Wednesday, we attended a Valentine's party for the kids on our street. Thursday was the parties with both of their preschool classes. Friday we had a playdate come over. And Saturday was the big day!
It was relaxing and totally lazy. Ryan got me 2 dozen roses, and the kids presented me with a jar filled with nice things they had said about me that Ryan typed up and actually made cute! I know it took alot for him to be so crafty! My mom and stepdad and Ryan's mom sent care packages filled with goodies, and my dad had a gift box of yummies sent, even though he's currently living in Italy. It was a great surprise! We ordered Papa John's for dinner, and generally just rested, watched movies, and read books all day. Couldn't have asked for a better day.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Manners...or not!

The kids and I spent the last couple days at my mom's house, and while my sister and I were out shopping, Sam needed a bit of an attitude adjustment. SOMEHOW, pointing that out to him only made him madder. But after a few minutes of stomping behind me, he began sweetly saying "Excuse me, Mommy. Mommy, excuse me. Excuse me Mom," because my sister and I were talking to one another and he knows it is rude to interrupt two adults. When I turned and said "Yes, Sammy" I was expecting to hear an apology for his attitude, or some other sweet revelation, but instead he looked me right in the eye and said "I don't like you." Humph. At least he used his manners. Kind of.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sam's third birthday party

All in all, Sam's safari party was a complete success! I was thrilled to use fondant for the first time in a cake decorating attempt, and it actually worked out pretty well. I made binoculars for each of the kids out of toilet paper tubes, and they went on safari for animals with their names on them that their parents had hidden around the house. They also played "Simon says" with jungle animals, and we danced to some playlists that included Jungle themed songs like "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" and songs from "The Lion King" and "Jungle Book." The themed food included "Warthogs in a blanket," "Tropical fruit kabobs," "Ants on a log," and "Chips with quicksand" and I draped the entire first floor in green streamers (intended to look like vines, but whatever!) My good friend did face painting for the kids, and Sam had a blast. Time to start planning for next year! Happy Birthday my sweet big kid 3 year old boy!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


New Baby Brother Jonah

Crazy friends camping out with me for
preschool classes ;-)

I loved that episode of Seinfeld, and could totally use a dose of it right about now. My week has gone like this thus far:
Sunday: go to 10 stores in search of a coveted party favor for Sam's upcoming safari birthday party. Come up empty handed
Sunday night: get picked up at 8:15 to spend the night trying to catch sleep either on the ground in front of the preschool or in the back of a minivan in the preschool parking lot. Have big plans to organize coupons, synchronize calendars, solve world peace, etc. etc. Accomplish nothing, including sleep.

Monday morning: arrive home at 7:45 having successfully registered all three kids for preschool to a quiet house with sleeping kids and a showering husband. Talk to hubby for a few minutes before he dashes off to catch a 10 plane, handing you a paper before he leaves to take care of for him. Paper is a traffic ticket, for which the court date is TODAY at 9:30. Call to make payment and discover payment cannot be made over the phone. Make mental note to kill husband. Call neighbor to come to your house and feed your kids frozen waffles while you run to a friend's house to fax necessary info to the courthouse with a 45 min deadline. After several failed attempts, success at last! Catch husband on cell before he boards plane to threaten that if this ever happens again, jail will be preferable to living with extremely pissed off wife. Husband understand and apologizes profusely. Run home to shower and get kids ready to get in the car. Drive an hour and a half to sister's house to meet Dad, stepmom and new adopted baby brother for the first time. Spend the whole day there and leave at 8:00 still functioning on no sleep and listen to Olivia yell "MOOOOMEEEEE" over and over the whole way home. Fall asleep on the floor of the boys' room at 9:30 and sleep there all night.

Tuesday: Rush to get the boys to school on time, then run errands like a madwoman. Pick up boys from school and run home to make lunch/put Olivia down for a nap. Talk to neighbor (and best friend!) who needs you to caulk her ceiling TONIGHT cause she has a showing on her house tomorrow and it has to be done. Decide to run errands with kids in the afternoon instead of after bedtime because that time is now allocated! Come home to make dinner and begin crafts for Sam's party. Finish around midnight and collapse into bed. Comfort Sam who crawls in my bed around 4:30 am and begins coughing. Medicate him and fall back to sleep with him sharing my pillow around 6.
Wednesday: Get up late and finish crafts for the birthday party. Clean and organize upstairs and down, make frozen pizza for lunch, and prepare for a playdate in the afternoon. Playdate comes, house is trashed again. Invite playdate to stay longer while making salad for a neighborhood girls' night birthday event because why not at this point, and hope hubby gets home soon!
Dash out for some fun and wine, and come home to a house retrashed. Do dishes and reclean playroom. Current status: sitting in the glider waiting for Jack to fall asleep and listening to Sam cough. Thinking anxiously about all that still must be done and the 3 other social obligations in the next two days, not counting school. Sigh. No wonder I'm so tired. I need a vacation!

Friday, January 9, 2009

WHAT did he just say?

Last night after bathtime we were getting the boys in their pjs. Sam wanted to put his shirt on by himself, but he was putting it on backwards and all twisted up, so I helped him straighten it out. After he got it on, he said "Mom, I sure do have my shi* together!" Ryan said "WHAT did he just say?" I said, "He said he sure does have his shirt together!" But when Ryan started laughing I realized what it sounded like to someone who doesn't speak "Sam"ese as fluently as I do! So no, he didn't just sounded like it, and the context was too perfect!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy New Year!

That's what Sam said to Olivia when he kissed her goodnight, yes, it is January 6th!
Since turning three, Sammy has been hammin' it up even more than ever! Today was the boys' first day back at school, and I made cupcakes for Sam's preschool class. When I picked him up, his teacher returned the basket I used for the Christmas favors, and I had to ask about the cupcake container.
Me: Is the cupcake container still downstairs?
Her: What cupcake container?
Me: The one I used to send in the cupcakes for Sam's birthday today?
Her: We didn't get any cupcakes today.
Me: Um, are you SERIOUS? Cause I sent in a dozen cupcakes with the teacher with the little raccoon puppet this morning!?!
Long story short, they were left in the wrong room and I'll be sending cupcakes again Thursday! HOWEVER, she also said when Sam got to school he wanted to sing the "Shake, shake" song. She said "Sam, I don't know what song the Shake Shake song is" and he said "You know, the shake your booty song!" Heehee! I still don't really know what that means.
For Christmas Santa brought him the geotrax airplane track barn and Loopy Loco the airplane, so when I asked him what he would say if his teachers asked him what Santa brought, he said "He brought me a stable, right Mom?" and proceeded to chant "Stable, stable" while dancing in his car seat. Too funny!
Then tonight after bathtime he was running around in a hooded towel. Ryan said to him "Oh, are you a little baby" and he said "No, I'm a wedding one." I guess he meant a bride! Our naked little bride...