Friday, December 22, 2006

The Loosing of Teeth

Loose teeth freak me out.

When they were my loose teeth I wasn't bothered. But when C started wiggling his first loose tooth, I got all grossed out. I survived the initial spate of teeth falling out (4 years ago) and have peace in the wiggly tooth arena.

Until . . .

M came home from school on Monday thrilled that she finally had a loose tooth. And now, Friday, she has THREE of them.

And E could get a wiggly tooth any day now.

The mere thought of all those possible loose teeth sends shivers through my body.

What strange thing grosses you out?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Christmas Tan

There is something wrong with getting a tan while hanging the Christmas lights.

I know there is only a week left before Christmas, but the kids have been begging me to decorate the house and when I started the project there was almost two weeks left until Christmas, and I have been looking for the suction cups I needed to hang the wreaths on the windows even though I could only reach 4 of the 10 windows that should get wreaths and any way we now have a 5 of wreaths, 3 strands of rope lights along the porch - and just so you know the clips that hold those ropes lights on are not coming off - and 3 small lighted trees. Hopefully the kids are happy with it, cause we don't have a ladder tall enough to reach the rest of the windows and it just might be too much work to borrow one from the neighbor and I just don't think I'm up for hanging the icicle lights - but again I'd need the ladder. But now back to the point of the story.

It was 70 degrees yesterday while I was hanging Christmas lights. I had to change into a short sleeve shirt. I worked up a little bit of a sweat. It's just wrong.

Now don't get me wrong. I don't want New England winters. I am morally opposed to jackets (you do the jacket thing for 5 kids and see how fond of jackets you are). The putting on to walk to the car, the complaining because they are too hot with their jackets on while in the car, the taking them off and keeping up with them while in the store/church/where ever. I'd just rather not.

But 70 degrees a week before Christmas? I don't need to freeze but a little chill would certainly help me feel like it was Christmas.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Spell Check . . .

So I ran the spell checkon my previous post prior to posting it and oddly enough only two words showed up as errors . . . .

blog and blogging . . . .

You'd think a blogging site would have those added to it's spell check dictionary.

The rumors of my demise . . . and all that . . .

Okay, so there weren't really any rumors, but you have to admit you thought I'd fallen of the face of the earth. But I am still here. Just without inspiration. And with a new sort of job that I can't tell you about but that is really fun and I can usually work around the kids. And my photo biz has been busy lately which means lots of computer time, but not much blogging time.

So I am back, with a renewed energy for this little blog.

Now if I can just remember what it is that I wanted to tell you. . . .

Monday, September 11, 2006

The End is Near . . .

I saw a commercial once where a Kindie kid had a cell phone on his desk. Forget the other reasons why this would never happen (what teacher is going to let a kid have the phone on his desk), it would never happen for MY kids because they would have to be in high school before I'd let them have their own cell phone.

This is where I eat crow. . .

However, over the weekend (and again today) C has asked to see if he could play with a new friend, one we do not have a phone number for (but we have met, so don't completely freak out). To ease the nerves of this freaking-out mother, the Husband handed C his cell phone that he doesn't use anymore, but we keep a few minutes on so we can keep the phone number because it's a good match for the other cell phone numbers in the house.

Yes, that's right. We gave him a cell phone and he is NOT in high school -- he's not even in middle school.

It's not his own personal phone that he can do whatever he wants with, nor does he get to take it with him every where, but right now he has it.

I want to encourage him to have friends and be outside away from the computer and video games, but letting him do that is a whole 'nother matter if I don't have a way to contact him. So this works.

And then I saw this and well, it's green and small, and I will resist the temptation to run right out and get one for each of the Big Three (what we call C, M & E).

How did my mother ever stand it? We kids used to walk (without an adult or anyone over the age of 12) more than a mile one way, crossing several major roads to go to the 7-11 and I wasn't even as old as C.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Best Friend

When my twins were little I stumbled into a conversation with someone I kind of knew but wasn't really friends with who had a son a few months younger than my girls. We were both really stressed and decided to get together that week because 2 against 3 is always better than going it alone. It was so fabulous we made it a habit. Once a week, without fail, we got together for lunch or shopping or just to let the kids play at the park.

Before long we were calling each other nearly everyday, meeting up two or three times a week. She was my emergency babysitter, and I was hers. We new where the cups and plates where in each others homes and what each others kids would and would not eat. We even started calling each other just to run errands so one of us could sit in the car with the kids while the other ran into the post office/bank/whatever that only ever takes you a minute, but is so daunting to do if you have to load and unload all your kids that you put it off forever.

About 18 months ago she moved to the north side of town to be closer to her husbands job. We weren't sure if we'd manage to still get together once a week, but knew we were going to make and effort to keep this going. Despite the rising gas prices, the addition of children to our families (2 each since we started getting together), her oldest going to school and the distance we still get together as often as possible.

We are each other's sanity. The place we turn when we just can't believe what one child or another did today, or when we aren't sure we can handle anymore of life's junk.

We started with 4 kids between us and our total child count has doubled since the early days of our friendship. Now we are our own playgroup. Our kids have grown up together. Our husbands get along great.

She's the sister I never had, the best friend I always needed. Found on a day I really needed someone to understand my life and having her has made all the difference.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Fashion for Everyone (unless you're not an acceptable size)

I had planned to post a comment to Mom-O-Matic's original post, but life (aka 5 kids) got the better of me and I didn't get back to it.

The problem at Target is really the almost complete lack of a plus size department. Literally there are 3 or 4 racks of clothes compared to the 30 or more racks of clothes for the "regular" sizes. (Admittedly this might be a quirk of my particular Target, but the 2 in my area have the same meager plus department, and given the fact that most of these national place have detailed plans for layouts and where and how to hang certain things, I'd bet all Targets are pretty similar.)

Forget fit and fabric. You can't find what isn't there.

What is there is stretch jeans (yuck) and t-shirts with zero shape and clothes that bring to mind fat hookers.

I am not a fashionista. I am mostly a t-shirt and jeans gal (although I'm trying to dress it up a bit more - Stacy and Clinton would be proud), but even I at my most lazy cannot bear to wear Target clothes.

So get a clue, Target. We are here. We may not be completely satisfied with our current body shape or size but we would like to look good. Give us a little help.

It's Broken - Really - Well Sort Of

M broke her elbow. Two and a half weeks ago on J's birthday (thankfully after the party). Her cast comes off on Thursday. I forgot to tell you? She fell off her scooter. No she wasn't wearing a helmet, but she didn't hit her head (this time, I know already) so get off my back. Yes we own elbow pads, no she wasn't wearing them. She can't put them on by herself and we don't require it, so no pads. Not sure they would have helped anyway.

So again the ER doc says definitely broken. So we head to the orthopedic office. He says he'd be hard pressed to show me where it's broken. What the ER doc said was a break, that looks a lot like a break to me, was really a normal looking growth plate and that the "break" wasn't really visible, but certain things on the x-ray that look like nothing to me, coupled with the pain, swelling (we're talking baseball on her elbow) and her extreme refusal to move it, indicate a break and so she is in a cast (red) for just under 3 weeks, at which point the cast comes off so she can start moving it (otherwise it gets too stiff) and we go home with a removable splint and a "no running no jumping order" for about 3 weeks meaning she will miss the first couple of weeks of PE and recess.

She has been a real trooper. No complaining or crying even though she missed out on swim lessons (which we will hopefully be able to make up during August). We went to Six Flags with the cast on (because the Ortho said definitely not after it came off for at least 3 weeks and by then the ticket she had earned from school would have expired and there is no way we can afford to take 3 kids and 2 adults to Six Flags without 3 free kids tickets and a buy one get one free for the adult tickets ($53 versus $200)) and even road the Mind bender with 3 loops and the Wheelie. Way to go M!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Way too soon for me . . . .

In the beginning there was a tiny 6 lb 13.6 oz baby girl with cheeks that practically touched under her chin. She had enough attitude invitro how she'd be positioned from one appointment to the next. At the time of delivery she jack-knifed, feet to face, and tried to come out two feet and a hand first, forcing and emergency c-section.

I thought that I had 12 years or so before that stubborn attitude turned into a tween that talked on the phone for hours with her friends.

She has been on the phone for 45 minutes.

She is 6 years old.

I am in so much trouble.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Four Things I Miss Now That I Can't Find Them

1. Mini Taco Shells -- perfect for kid-size hands and just so darn cute. Of course now they have ones with flat bottoms so they stand up while your trying to fill them. Also a great idea, but I still miss the minis.

2. Crustless Bread -- perfect for my non-crust-eating kids, and they miss it more than I do. It was so nice for them to eat and entire sandwich, now we are back to leaving the "rind" and complaining.

3. Huggies convertible Diapers -- I can still find these, but only at Babies R Us and that just isn't one of my usual stores. And to make it even worse, the diapers are at the very back of the store, forcing me to walk by all the cute clothes and such, at the very top of the very tall shelves, forcing me to either look for an associate to assist me (yeah, right) or climb the shelves, especially if I want two packs since I know I won't be back soon.

4. Licorice Altoids -- They took a little getting used to, but they were great. P loved them too. I've checked into buying them online, but I always hesitate when I see how much they want for shipping. P likes the cinnamon altoids as wells, but she eats them by the handful, I visions of her poor little tummy developing an ulcer -- unlikely I know, but worrying is what we mother's do.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Before You Know It . . .

My children go back to school in 31 days -- not that I'm bragging -- which, of course will bring “back-to-school shopping.” As much as I’m for starting school the second week of August (it’s too hot for them to play outside in August so they might as well be in school), it brings with it a problem. You’d like your kids to look good for school, which means shopping, and basically buying a new “summer” wardrobe, because it won’t be cool enough for long pants, let alone long sleeves and jackets for at least the first 2 months of school, and the kids have run all of their current summer clothes through the red clay at least once (rendering them completely unacceptable as good clothes anymore). However, the local stores are clearancing their summer stuff and have put out the back-to-school (long pants, etc) clothes despite the known weather conditions, making it extremely difficult to re-outfit the kids for warm weather (and don’t tell me I should have shopped earlier, if I knew the summer stuff was going to be gone because 1) if it’s in the house they’ll find it and wear it (exhibit a – M and E still wearing sweats to bed even though I keep trying to hide them), and 2) we all like the thrill of back-to-school shopping (don’t deny it, you love it) but it’s no fun it you do it the week after school gets out, or earlier, seeing as how short’s weather starts here in April, and 3) growth spurts, hello, there’s not much worse than having a closet full of clothes that your kids can’t wear because the universe has laughed at your fervent hope that just this once they won’t grow 2 inches over the summer) especially as you add up the price tags and realize that in about 2 months you’ll be doing it all over again as the weather gets freaky (below 32 at 7:00 am when the kids get on the bus, and nearly 80 at 3:00 pm when they get off) and then just cold, and you pack away the warm weather school clothes hoping again that the kids don’t grow during the winter so you don’t have to shop again in the spring . . . and the circle of shopping continues . . .

But my kids go back to school in 31 days.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Weekend Recap

I'll start with Thursday when we watched the rain we desperately needed to soak the 17 pallets of new sod in our back yard slide by our house in a riotous display of wind and lightening without leaving even a drop.

Friday we again watched that rain pass us by again, although it did tease us with a few drops and even more wind.

Early Saturday morning we began the last minute preparations for M an E's 6th birthday party. $18 for a cake I could have made for a lot less, but in the end it was probably worth it -- Publix makes a great cake. Great fun was had by all. We experimented with Floam and found it lacking and altogether too sticky. We continued the rain watch well into the night hoping against the Weather Channel that said the rain was past us, even if the lightening wasn't.

We awoke Sunday to find we had received just enough rain to give the sod a fighting chance.
Somehow it rained again Sunday afternoon and here we are at Monday morning and there is even more rain (although without the fancy wind and light show).

disclaimer - no we are not complete idiots, we have been watering the sod, but a good rain gives much better coverage and it's free.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

I Love

I love that M thinks I'm comfortable.

I love that C is a great big brother - that P and J adore him.

I love how E rolls her eyes at me - eventually this will drive me crazy, but for now I think it's hilarious.

I love that J wants me to play with him and watch him ride his bike. I love how he sucks his thumb and holds his blanket, very much like Linus of the Peanuts.

I love P's curls and her giggle and how her eyes light up when she sees anyone of her family. I love her determination. I love that she knows where we keep her pacifiers.

One Done, One to Go

What a week. Tuesday we had sod delivered for the backyard. Finally the Septic Saga is complete. We have grass in the backyard. It took The Husband and I almost 2 hours to lay a little over one pallet of sod. It took the 13 volunteers (9 from church, my 3 brothers and a friend) just under two hours to lay 16 pallets of of sod.

Today was E and M's birthday party. We are very old-fashioned and have home parties. We don't rent bouncers or water slides. We do a pinata (next year I really need to buy a bat to whack the pinata with), cake and ice cream, some sort of game and open presents. We had small turnout - only 3 of the 10 invited. But at least it was one mutal friend and one girl from each of E and M's classes.

Now on to planning J's party. Thankfully we only have kid birthdays in 2 months so I only have to deal with this stress twice a year.

I promise I will work harder to blog more regularly and have more interesting topics.

For now I'm going to spend some quiet time reading. I'm nearly finished with The Husband by Dean Koontz. I'll give you a review soon.

What are you reading now? I'm always on the hunt for good books.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Feminist I'm Not

I'm considering changing doctors for what boils down to one reason - my doctor, a woman with 2 children would like to "have it all" (and by the way her husband is a surgeon which I suppose it both good and bad). She works 3 days a week, and it seems like those days are only mornings or at least not full days. Which means that if I am sick and can't make my appointment 2 weeks in advance I cannot get into see her because she will either be completely booked (why don't they leave a few holes in the schedule for sickies, the ped's office does, or maybe they do, but they get booked up fast too) or not in the office at all. Which leaves me with a slight chance that I could get in with her PA, but often find that she's also booked up. And the the offer of seeing another doctor in the group has never been made (again this is standard practice at the ped's office).

So I am leaving her for another doctor - another woman doctor, who has one child and will be in the office 4 full days a week. Hopefully this works out better. If not I just might have to go back to seeing the male doctor I use to see. Even if I do have to wait forever, at least I can always get an appointment.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Cleaning Up Is Hard to Do . . .

Yesterday, M and E provided this little tidbit of entertainment . . .

E: We cleaned up P's room AGAIN.
M: Yeah. We cleaned it up before and they just messed it up again.
E: So we put the Legos up high where they can't reach them.
M: They can only play with them if they ask us first.

(side not from Me -- I have put most of M & E's toys on a shelf above their reach, so they have to ask for them. This is to help them learn to put one thing back before playing with the next. Otherwise their room turns into a disaster.)

E: We want her room to stay clean.

This is where I left the room, praising their effort and trying to stiffle my giggles.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

It's been coming for a while now. I was less than excited about each week's meeting, but kept our weekly appointment out of loyalty and a strange desire see how things would work out.

I approached each meeting with the slightest bit of dread. Just enough to delay but not cancel our relationship, unsure if I really wanted things to end or if I was just tired.

But it seems fate has stepped in. Just hours before what was to be our final meeting I learned from a third party that this really would be the final episode in our story. Regardless of this evening's outcome there would be no new episodes.

I feel a small sense of loss, but am relieved that the decision was removed from my control. But I am also left with so many questions. We weren't allowed to properly end our relationship. There is no closure. I just would have liked answers to a few small questions . . .

What happens to Larkin now that Tom took her to the water? What about her baby? Is Zura really dead? What about all those pushed into the water? What about the pregnant women -- do they survive the delivery? What do the "babies" look like? Where did the lights in the water come from? Are they aliens?

Monday, May 01, 2006

It's Broken - or Maybe Not

Isabelle got stepped on yesterday at church. It was an accident, but she cried long enough (not usual for her) that we headed to the emergency room. We waited 3 hours before even being seen.

After spitting up her first dose of Tylenol with Codeine, which got her the cute hospital gown, Isabelle managed to keep down the second dose. She was quickly taken for x-rays. A combination of codeine and, I'm sure, angels helped keep her still for the x-rays. She was a real trooper.

The ER pediatrician announced definitively that it was broken, had her food splinted and then sent us home with instructions to follow up with her regular pediatrician in the morning for casting.

Her regular pediatrician concurred with the diagnosis and sent us on to an orthopedic, where Isabelle threw a gold-medal-winning tantrum. She calmed down the instant they began taking off the splint. The orthopedic decided that he didn't see anything on the x-ray that need to be casted. When Isabelle didn't flinch while he examined her foot and was able to walk without signs of pain, he decided to send her home. He said if she isn't running around like nothing happened by next Monday to bring her back. He does not expect to see us again.

Isabelle fell asleep as soon as the doctor left the room. She is still asleep now. We'll see how she feels and walks when she wakes up.

But isn't this an adorable picture?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Timeline of a Monday

12:39 am - crawl out of J's bed where I have been for about an hour because he woke up screaming
12:41 am - crawl back into my bed (no the house isn't that big, I stopped for a class of water)
1:12 am - retrieve J from his bed because he his crying and I'd rather sleep than force the "sleep in your own bed: issue)
1:13 am - deposit J in my bed after pushing The Husband's pillows back onto his side of the bed.
1:14 am - sleep
3:18 am - kick The Husband out of bed to go give P a new paci. Really I should let her figure it out herself, but again I'd rather sleep than force the "sleep through the night" issue.
4:15 am - push J back to the middle of the bed before I fall out of the bed.
5:17 am - repeat
6:15 am - snooze alarm
6:24 am - snooze alarm and then try to convince myself that it would be easier to get out of bed now than to try to get 3 kids out the door in less than 20 minutes.
6:30 am - get out of bed
6:31 am - wake C, realize he has no clean clothes in his closet, continue down hall to wake M and E and find that they don't have any clean clothes either
6:32 am - put away kids clean clothes while kids get dressed
6:35 am - do M & E's hair while they brush teeth
6:48 am - arrive in kitchen to feed M & E. Check C's teeth and send him back upstairs to try again (those darn braces).
6:50 am - start making lunches
6:55 am - recheck C's teeth and take matters into my own hands
6:58 am - kids put on shoes and chose #'s between 1 and 10 to see who gets on the bus first.
7:00 am - close door behinds kids and sit down to check email and blogs.
7:05 am - hear bedroom door open, J is awake. He wants koolaid for breakfast but it's gone so we settle on caffeine free Mountain Dew
7:07 am - continue checking blogs and email
7:25 am - kiss husband good bye and hear P waking up.
7:30 am - get P out of bed
7:32 am - J and P decide they want Oreos for breakfast, I give in because the crying and whining has already been too much this morning.
7:47 am - realize if I go to the gym an hour earlier than usual, I won't have to take the kids
7:48 am - okay this with my Mom (aka Nan) and head downstairs to get dressed
7:49 am - change P's diaper and take of her already dirty pj's (darn those Oreos)
7:50 am - change into workout clothes
7:51 am - pretend to try to fix my hair, realize it's hopeless without at least a shower and possibly a hair cut and give up.
7:52 am - tell Nan I'm leaving
7:53 am - spend 5 minutes trying to convince J that he didn't want to go play at the gym, that's why I'm going early. doesn't work, distract him by having Nan make koolaid
8:15 am - check in at gym and head for treadmills
9:00 am - leave gym (I know it was a short workout, but it was all there was time for)
9:15 am - arrive home in time for Nan to leave for her meeting
9:20 am - get in shower
9:25 am - turn of shower and dry off, realize I forgot to wash my hair and get back in shower
9:27 am - get back out of shower, hear J screaming, run through house naked to let him back in the house (don't lecture me, I don't know how he got out)
9:30 am - get dressed, try to do something with my hair
9:40 am - dress P and J
9:47 am - try to convince J that he does want to go out.
9:52 am - I win, if only because I have the power to carry him to the car.
10:00 am - get hair cut, ahhh I get to sit still for a few minutes. J and P are remarkably good considering the amount of crying and whining we've had this morning.
10:25 am - leave hair-cutting place (hey I have short hair, it doesn't take that long to cut)
10: 45 am - arrive at destination 2 - Home Depot, explain to J that it doesn't matter if he doesn't want to go to Home Depot, we are going. Again I win because I have the power to put him in a cart.
11:15 - load back up and head to restaurant for lunch with the girls. I'm first.
12:58 pm - Lunch was good, conversation was great. Leave restaurant covered in salsa.
1:05 pm - J and I arrive at Walmart (P went home with Nan whom we met at the restaurant)
2:00 pm - leave restaurant with another car for J, the laundry detergant we forgot on Sat and several other things we just couldn't live without including the Frogger plug-and-play game that I wanted for Christmas, but couldn't find.
2:20 pm - home. start this entry
2:52 pm - kids get off the bus
2:55 pm - start C painting his puppet for his book report that is due on Wed
3:11 pm - make hot chocolateloate for M -- still writing this entry.
3:18 pm - have to stop now because C needs to do research for a paper and I want him to be up here when I can be sure he's working.

Are you tired yet. I still have to take M & E to a doctor's appt, attend a Homeowner's Association board meeting, get the kids in bed and watch Prison Break and 24.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That

In February I photographed the contestants of for a local High School scholarship pageant. A few days after mailing off a re-order, I received a call from the contestants mother. She very nicely stated that she was not happy with the pictures and could I replace them. Of course (and when I looked at them again, she was right they were too dark). Anyway, she sent them all back (now that I think about it I should have told her to just trash them) and now I have them. Pictures I don't need. I can't get a refund from the processing company because it was my fault - I gave them a bad picture and they state right on their page that they don't adjust, they just print what you send them (part of the reason I use them). I know I should just shred them (I'll probably hang on to the 8x10 for my portfolio - it's not really bad, just not as good as it should be) but I just can't do it. But I will.

Conversation with a nearly 6 year old --
M (as she's watching me try to use hem tape on a project) -- What's that?

Me -- what's what? The fabric?

M -- no the thing your using?

Me -- an iron

(No I don't iron much. Truthfully, do you?)

Conversation with a client's mother before a Senior pictures session

Mother - Do you have an ironing board I could use? I need to knock a few wrinkles out of her blouse.

Me - I don't own an ironing board.

(my mother would be mortified. Oh wait, my mother sends her ironing out so she has no room to judge.)

I have been to the gym two days in a row (thanks for asking, April). J and P go to the child care center while I'm working out. Yesterday, P cried when I picked her up after my work out. Today she whined/cried the whole time I was working out. She sat with her back to the door and refused to be consoled by anything. I cut my workout a few minutes short to put her out of her misery. Hopefully she gets the hang of this soon. J, on the other hand, had a grand time.

Monday, April 17, 2006

You Know It's HOT When . . .

1. the air conditioning must run continually to keep the house at a tolerable (but not really comfortable) 78 degrees.

2. the chocolate in the cupboard is soft, semi-melted.

3. the kids are camped out over the air vents.

4. you're tempted to drive aimlessly (yes, even at these gas prices) just to feel cold for a few minutes.

And it's only April.

Come y'all give me your best.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Of Bottles and Gyms

We have run out of bottle liners for P's bottles. Oh the dilemma. Do we take this opportunity to ditch the bottle forever? Do we buy more liners knowing full well that the bottle is really a crutch the parental units in the house and that P, right now, could probably take it or leave it, but in a few months may be more vocal about her need for a bottle. My brain says get rid of the bottle and celebrate. My hearts says keep the bottle rather than be forced to accept the undeniable fact that my last baby is growing up way too fast. I suppose we meet in the middle somewhere -- mourning the loss of my last baby and celebrating the arrival of my last toddler.

Excuse me while I break for a brief moment of silence and a short cry. . . .

Okay, I'm back.

As for the gym, I have joined one! I have gone over to the dark side. But how do you turn down a "free" 3 year membership? (Yes there is a small maintenance fee that amounts to less than $10 a month, but is anything really free anymore?).

So I will now be attending the gym 4 mornings a week. My goal is to get back to my wedding weight.

Feel free to check up on me. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Spring Break, Day 4

We made it to day 4 (not counting weekends) of Spring Break. Only one day left (not counting weekends) before the my sweet little angels thankfully go back to school.

Because of the Septic Saga, we could not afford to actually go away for Spring Break (although I really prefer not to go anywhere during Spring Break because it seems like half the world is on Spring Break too. I would rather go somewhere - usually the beach - during our school's winter break in February, but again the Septic Saga prevented that as well. I promise one day I'll tell you about the Septic Saga.) so I chose do take the kids on a couple of day trips instead. Monday was the Mayfield Dairy and shoe shopping at the Mall of Georgia (I know you're thinking "shoe shopping again!?!?", but with 5 kids there is always someone needing new shoes).

Today we went to the Fernbank Museum, which we will probably not do again. The kids had a good time (we left P home with Nan) and it was very interesting, but once you've seen it, there's just not much to pull you back. Maybe we'd go to the IMAX again if they were showing something really good. After paying $56 for one adult and 3 kids (J is still free) to get into the museum and see the IMAX movie, we spent some time with the dinosaurs and then checked out the Chocolate Exhibit, which was not terribly child friendly nor overly exciting, despite the fact that chocolate is my most favorite thing (I even gave a speech on chocolate in my HS freshman speech class). We did however leave with a bit of chocolate, not for free but for $8. Very smart of the museum people to force visitors through a chocolate gift shop before leaving the exhibit. And no it wasn't even great chocolate, merely okay. But $8 is worth avoiding a tantrum times 4 (yes, my 9 year old still has tantrums on occasion, although they aren't the kicking and screaming variety anymore and M & E can cry on command, so better to just pay the money and avoid the spectacle.)

We moved next to the museum's permanent exhibit - Georgia in Time (or something like that) which started with the Big Bang and worked it's way up to I suppose the present, but we turned back at the Giant Sloth because it was getting close to our IMAX movie time and the exhibit seemed to have worked itself into a cul-de-sac (but now that I think about it, perhaps the corridor that looked like it only went into another viewing room for a short film was really the way to the rest of the exhibit) so we worked our way back to the Big Bang and a definite exit.

After stopping for a short chocolate break, we saw Wild Safari at the IMAX, which was really good, but not very wild.

Next was Lunch, with a capital L because it cost us $30. Why didn't I pack lunches, you ask. Why didn't I take them to a less expensive place outside the museum? First, I hate packing lunches and it didn't really occur to me this morning. Second it's way more fun if you get to eat out. Third, there's no way I was going to walk four kids back through the whole museum, load them in the car, go crazy trying to get them to agree on one place to eat, while driving around the city that I'm only marginally familiar with and seems to be strangely devoid of fast food. So pizza and hot dogs at the museum dining room it was.

Perhaps the best part of the museum was the Nature of Senses room. The room was full of activities for the kids, mostly involving optical illusions and the like, complete with explanations of why they worked and what was happening. Great for the 9 year old who can read. Not so great for the 5 year olds who really can't read and the nearly 3 year old who had to be boosted up to everything. And really not so great for the mommy who was pulled in 3 different directions trying to help them all. But despite that it was great fun -- especially the bubble tub. I really need to get a BIG bubble maker.

Overall it was a great day, but I don't think we need to go back anytime soon. Next time we'll go to the Fernbank Science Center and visit the Planetarium.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Who Knew

Windex Multi-Surface cleaner with Vinegar kills little blacks ants nearly as fast at Raid (and I'm not nearly has worried about the kids accidentally stepping in it). I think I've found my new ant-killer, although if the bug guy that's coming today is as good as my friend who recommended him promises, I shouldn't need an ant-killing spray anymore, but it's always good to have a backup plan.

Friday, March 31, 2006

What's for Dinner?

Like Noelle Robbins, I don't enjoy cooking. When I was first married, I tried to cook most evenings and The Husband often tried is hand at cooking dinner. (Truth be told, he enjoys cooking more than I do and is better at it, too.) But my repertoire was limited and I wasn't a very adventurous cook. It didn't take very long for The Husband to announce is that he had never really liked spaghetti, was tired of chicken and Rice-A-Roni, and didn't like the way I flavored the pepper steak.

This was the beginning of the end of dinner in our house. The final nail - or nails- came in the form of our 5 children - 2 picky eaters, 1 who will try most things and 2 who will eat almost anything.

Now trying to decide what to make for dinner requires evaluating the pros and cons of each meal in relation to every member of the household. (Let's just skip the lecture about making them eat whatever I serve - I just can't do it. Being a picky eater as a child I am too familiar with the child's side of that philosophy. More on that in a later post). If I make something that the majority of the kids will eat, The Husband will most likely turn up his nose. If I make something that The Husband would enjoy, chances are only 2 of the children will eat any of it. Either scenario will probably lead to the making of an alternative dinner or allowing someone to have cereal for dinner, thus creating dinner envy amongst those who ate the original meal, but would have preferred the cereal.

Really it's too much stress for me. About once a week I attempt to make something that the majority of the household will eat. About once a week The Husband makes something that he would like and about half of the family will try it. The rest of the week, well let's just say, we eat a lot of cereal and spaghetti.

While I do not enjoy cooking, I love to bake. Cookies mostly, but I also like to try brownies, fudge, pies (but only those that are made with a graham cracker crust), and cakes (yellow with chocolates frosting mostly). I make the best chocolate chip cookies (ask my friends, they'll back up my claim). For me baking is therapeutic (unless I have more than one little helper, then it's not quite as relaxing). It is also how I can show my love to my family. I have been known to make 3 different cookies in the same day just to appease varied tastes of my children (of course they can't all like the same cookie, that would be too easy). I will gladly whip up a batch of cookies whenever one of my brothers visits (or needs to bring something to a work function). I rarely visit a friend without also bringing a plate of goodies, and my annual Christmas Plates are eagerly awaited by the lucky recipients.

I believe in the grand scheme, my cookies compensate for my lack of gourmet dinners joyously prepared and served. At least that's my story.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Conversation with a nearly 3 year old . . .

One of J's favorite TV shows is Scooby Doo (in all incarnations). Today, while getting him dressed we were singing the Scooby theme song (note to mom -- look up the words to this song). The following conversation ensued.

Mom: Do you like Scooby?

J: No.

Mom: No?

J: I like Daphne?

Mom: Daphne? Why do you like Daphne?

J: 'Cause her cute.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Shoe Shppping . . . again

Size 7.5 wide blue sandal to replace the size 7 wide blue sandal - $3.21

3 gallons of gas to drive the 60 mile roundtrip to a Payless outside my normal shopping zone - $7.50

Finding the last pair of last years sandal that happens to be the ONLY shoe my stubborn nearly-3-year-old will wear - PRICELESS

Friday, March 24, 2006

Conversation with a nearly 6 year old . . . take 2

M: He's the one we love (said while watching the septic* man put things back in his truck).

E: Yeh, we love the skinny one.

M: Yeh, he's the one we love.

Well at least he's gainfully employed (even has his own business, okay he and his brother), he's very polite (but all good Southern boys are), and even a little bit cute. But he's got to be nearly 30. Sorry girls, you'll have to love only from afar.

I'm in soooo much trouble with these two.

* maybe someday I'll post the Septic Saga, but for now just know that the septic guys have spent some quality time at our house lately.

Conversation with a nearly 6 year old . . .

M: Mom, do you know who is my boyfriend?

Mom: No. Who is your boyfriend?

M: Justin J.

Mom: Really. What makes him your boyfriend?

M: He has a really pretty [nap] towel.

And so it begins. Does this mean she'll be dating the boy with the best car?

Monday, March 20, 2006

Accessories Make the Baby

I have noticed lately that I have a uncontrollable urge to coordinate P's paci with her outfit. Blue pajamas, blue paci. Put her in purple clothes in the morning, swap the blue paci for purple. She ends up in a new outfit after lunch and I again swap pacis.

I know your wondering about several things now. First, blue pajamas. Despite after two older sisters P has very few handmedown's, particularly of the pj kind, since M & E were summer babies and P is a winter baby, the sizes just don't match with the seasons. So she is wearing J's sleepers from last winter. Poor girl only has one pink sleeper.

Yes I do really have pacis in all those colors, plus red and yellow. You know how it goes -- all the paci's disappear, so you buy more and then one day every paci you've every purchased finds it's way home and you have about a dozen of them. So now I have pacis in nearly every color -- I'm missing pink and orange and trying very hard to resist the urge to buy them. P is, after all 15 months old and really should not be sucking a paci all that much longer. (I hear you laughing. It's denial I know, but let me pretend, okay?)

Now, if you'll excuse me, P is currently wearing purple (although 2 very different shades) and sucking a blue paci . . .

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Shoe Shopping

After a fabulous trip to the park with all the kids, we ran into Walmart to look for light-weight pjs for P and J (ha) now that the weather has taken a warmer turn. When the pj search did not yield the results we had hoped for we moved onto shoes since J's toes are beginning to hang over the edge of his beloved sandals.

While I was searching for a pair of 7 1/2 wide by sandals, J was pointing to all the pretty pink shoes that he liked (should I be worried about that, or is just because the girls shoes are always on the lower racks and therefore the only things he can see?) E announces that she also needs a new pair because (and I kid you not this is a direct quote) she is "bored with her shoes" and doesn't want to wear them anymore. (Insert mom banging head on wall here).

Oh the joys of shopping with children.

Someone's Sleeping in My Bed

At Thanksgiving we bought a big boy bed for J and moved him upstairs with M & E. It took a few tries, but he was sleeping through the night in his own bed. Things were going great. J was in his own bed and going to sleep at a decent hour and P was finally sleeping through the night.

But in the last couple of weeks a new pattern has emerged. J returns in the middle of the night to sleep with mom and dad. The "good parent" would promptly return him to his own bed, despite any screaming or fusing that might occur regardless of whom it might wake up.

The sleep deprived parent (aka me) allows him to crawl in bed with her, just for tonight rather than risk the possibility of screaming that might wake the baby and therefore trigger further screaming.

So for about a week J has ended up in our bed. A couple times he has called from his bed until we retrieved him. A couple times he has arrived under his own steam, but has made sure we knew he was there. Once he even arrived with an escort in the form of Nan (whose room is upstairs).

But this morning I awoke thinking we'd had a good night. Everyone remained in their own beds and there was no breakthrough screaming or crying.

But there was something curled up at my back, stealing my covers and my space. J has developed a new technique -- stealth. How is a parent supposed to combat that?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Brain Dump

I am currently fixated on making the perfect brownie. Now before you think I'm going all Martha Stewart on ya, I'm using a box mix -- Betty Crocker, I think. And I'm not adding anything extra. I just would like to be able to figure out how to bake them without the edges going all crispy, but having the center still cooked. I think I have mastered this, but a brownie really needs to be completely cooled before you can really tell if it's perfect, but my kids like to eat their brownies warm so I can't keep a pan around long enough to be sure.

Survivor. All I can think is that the lack of food is really affecting their thinking. Last week Terry voted for Dan even though they promised they never would. Now I'm not debating the move to vote Dan off. Without the option of voting the lone girl out, Dan was the next most logically choice. But Terry did not have to vote for him to achieve that end. They were so worried about a 2 vs. 2 tie vote that they didn't see that if Terry voted for one of the young guys, Dan voted for the other young guy and the young guys voted for Terry, every would get what they wanted -- Dan out without Terry having to vote for him.

And for all the hype about Exile Island, it really hasn't lived up to the billing. They just don't show us enough of what the poor person has to go through by themselves. Well and Terry had to go and find the immunity idol so early.

Cirie has turned out to be my favorite player so far. She's just watching that tribe disintegrate and gently nudging things along as needed. I hope she manages to stay around a while longer.

School Pictures. Seeing as I take my own pictures of the kids on a regular basis, I don't need the school pic to be great. But is it really too much to ask of a professional photographer to attempt to get a smile out of these kids? Of my three kids I have three unsmiling photos. If this was the only time I had my kids pics taken I'd be devastated. Thankfully for me I'm a talented photographer in my own right.

3 out of 5 of my children do not like Girl Scout Thin Mints. I am shocked and appalled. Unfortunately this disappointing mutation does come from my side of the family. My older brother is also not a Thin Mint lover. Oh well more for me.

Guess that's all for now.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

World's Cutest Child

Beth, of So the Fish Said, whom I enjoy reading immensely, claims to have the World's Cutest Child. While Mia is truly a doll, Beth is, understandably, biased.

I submit for your viewing pleasure, P, the World's Cutest Child. I, too, am biased, but I believe you'll agree that P would give Mia a run for the crown (and probably win, but that's a mother talking).

So am I right? She's definitely the World's Cutest Child.

The latest Craziness from My Twins

It started on Sunday during church. E, who is quite the little mother, folded J's blanket into a pillow so he could lay down on her lap. This was seen a unfair by M, she wanted J to lay down on her lap, and brought on a round of tears.

At home the same day M and E asked J, who is not even 3 and can't really be expected to understand the full ramifications of his answers or even that 10 is more than 8, how much he loved them on a scale of one to ten, followed by complaining and crying that he loved one more than the other.

But like the weather, just wait a few minutes and it will change, because J just doesn't have a complete grasp of what numbers beyond two represent yet.

If it's this bad when they are fighting over the affections of their little brother, I'm really not looking forward to the teen years and fighting over boyfriends.

Save Me!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Um. . . .

In a world that revolves on a dozen why do They sell hangers in a pack of 13? Don't They know this is going to bother me? Or maybe They do know and it's just Their way of messing with my already befuddled head.

I know there's such a thing as a bakers dozen (is that so there's one left for taste-testing?) but hangers are hard plastic - not at all food-like.

And the number 13 has such a bad reputation. It only ever seems to be associated with bad things, so buying 13 hangers (even though I'm not really a superstitious person) just seems wrong.

I know I'm crazy, but I'm sure you have your oddities too. So fess up. What bugs you?

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

It's the Little Things

1. It's definitely genetic. Today I caught M sucking on the ends of her hair. Her hair is a couple of inches shorter than E's so it's just making it to the length that she can do this. So when do I say enough and chop off the hair?

2. The kids have been bringing home these pencils that are driving me crazy. They are cool -- they have glitter on them. But to keep that glitter on them the manufacturers have put a plastic cover over the pencil that is not sharpener friendly. The plastic cover bunches up, gets stuck in the sharpener, etc. I'm starting to toss them in the trash as soon as I can. I like my pencils yellow with red eraser that actually works. I'm a simple girl at heart.

3. P cannot walk by the fridge without begging for something to eat. This girl is going to eat me out of house and home. At least she likes good stuff -- strawberries, watermelon, bananas, yogurt. Although she also has also discovered hot dogs (of which she has had 3 of just today - no flames, I know about the nitrates etc.)

4. 58 degrees in the house is not really great for sleeping. Thank heavens the house is only 8 months old and everything is still under warranty. Well nearly everything, but I won't go into the biggest headache I'm dealing with lately.

5. I love the internet. I'm trying to plan my scout activity for tomorrow. I know what I should do, but wasn't certain I could come up with anything before tomorrow afternoon. Then I googled my topic and bam -- everything I need. Now I just have to spend some quality time with my printer.

6. I hate homework. This is a new aversion for me. When I was in school I just did it. I was a good student (National Merit Scholar - oh I've mentioned that before.) and homework was just part of what I knew I had to do to get the scholarships I needed to go to college. (Geek, Nerd, Brainy, call me what you will I've heard it all.) But now that I'm trying to get my kids, who haven't yet developed the understanding that homework will always be, to do homework, I HATE it. No matter how hard I try to get them to do things before the night before it's due, we still end up doing it at the last minute. This time it was a presidential report - we had Teddy Roosevelt (did you know he didn't like being called Teddy) and we didn't even mention the teddy bear. Next it's a book report. 2 weeks until that's do.

7. The Bachelor. Come on I know you watched it. Finally I think the guy picked the right girl. Although I was unsure down to the wire that he would. Can't wait to here how they are doing.

8. How did we ever live without TIVO? I've only been without it for 2 days and I've decided I want my TIVO back even if it mean sitting in the basement with no carpet and a huge whole in the wall (goes back to the big headache mentioned above). And in a similar vein, how do you central time zone people do it? Sure you're done by 10, but can you really start at 7?

9. The last 5 minutes before the kids gets home seems to fly by, but 5 minutes on the exercise machine seems to last forever. Maybe I should do my 5 minutes of exercise (don't laugh it's all I can manage right now) in the last 5 minutes before the kids get home. Either the exercise would fly by or the last 5 minutes of peace would seem like forever.

10. Spell check is the greatest!

Okay I'm done for today.

Monday, February 27, 2006

What A Difference A Week Makes

My kids have been out of school for a week (they went back this morning. Yipee). This is called mid-winter break. I have yet to figure why we need this break seeing as it's only been 6 weeks since Christmas break, but it does make for a nice time to trek to the beach without all the crowds and intense heat. Yes, it's still a little chilly, even at the beach, but it's more than made up for by the heated pool and no crowds.

But I digress.

Before mid-winter break it was nearly dark outside when I put the kids on the bus at ten after seven. But this morning, there was light, a lot of light (even if it was only 24 degress). The sun still had a little rising to do, but it was so much better than feeling like I was sending my babies out in the middle of the night.

Could it be that spring is nearly here? The cherry trees are blooming and the pears are following suit. The dogwoods will be next and I've already seen a few daffodils.

Not that I'm eager for it to be summer. But spring would be nice, very nice indeed.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Gold Donuts

Are the gold donuts in honor of the donut-shaped gold medal or the 4, count-em 4, donut spins Arakawa did in the long program?

Just wondering.

When the Crib Breaks

The crib that P sleeps in is the same crib that C slept in (although I'm sure P has already spent more time in it than C ever did). It is also the same crib that either M or E slept in (you don't really expect me to know which twin slept in this crib do you?). And yes even J slept in this crib.

It has been put together and taken down at least 5 times, lived in 4 different rooms in 3 different houses. It has green paint splattered on it and teeth marks on the rails. It has never been climbed out of (knock on wood - lots of it).

This crib is over 9 years old and was only a $99 crib to begin with. So it really isn't surprising that this crib finally popped a joint last week and is now being held together with Gorilla glue and cable ties.

Dear crib,
I know you have seen much in your 9 years. You watched over my sleeping babies and and the screaming ones too. You've done more than we ever expected you too. Please, dear crib, give me one more year, just one. I'd really prefer to not have to replace you, but P is just to little for a real bed yet. And this mommy needs her last baby to stay a baby just a little bit longer.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Down Side of Sleep Training

Two weeks ago P was a perfect sleeper. Down at 7pm, up at 7am. She took two naps and went down for it all with a smile and a coo.

Then the day before she was scheduled to get tubes, she started working on an ear infection. The tubes went in but the ear infection didn't go away right away so it was 3 days before she was up for sleeping in her bed, which is long enough for a 1 year old to become accostomed to sleeping on a warm pillow called Mommy.

Now that she is better, she no longer goes to bed without a peep. Bedtime can be accompanied by screaming. We know from experience that in a few days she will get over this and again be the great sleeper she was a month ago.

Which is why we let her cry last night after we put her to bed. It was by no means her longest crying stint or her worst. And once she's out, she's good for the whole night.

Which is why she slept in vomit (thankfully most of it was on her blanket and not her).

This mommy feels about this big.

Monday, February 20, 2006

My Very Own MeMe

Five Strange/Different/Interesting Things From Your Childhood

1. At the tender age of 2ish I rode my first bull (on a friends farm, in the winter, wearing a pink coat, it was probably a cow not a bull and I don't have a real memory of this, but there is a photo)

2. I kissed my first boy in Kindergarten (it was only a peck on the cheek and he was my on and off again boyfriend through the 5th grade)

3. In the 5th grade I played kissing tag during almost every recess (again the kisses were pecks, this time on the lips. Strange game - kissing tag. We had 3 or 4 "couples" playing and we only ever chased our own)

4. One summer my best friend and I wrote a neighborhood newpaper. We weren't more than 10. We put in jokes and interviewed each other and other things we were interested in. It was only one page folded in half. And then we delivered it. Not to the other kids in our cul-de-sac, but to the adults. I still have a copy of one of the issues. It's a hoot. Oh and we typed each one.

5. Another time the same friend and I made cakes in an easy bake oven and sold them to the neighbors. But we put too much baking soda in and they tasted terrible. Sold them anyway.

6. Once my brothers and I had a "water stand." It's like a lemonade stand, but we didn't have any lemonade so we sold glasses of water for a nickel. It wasn't even ice water. And we didn't have paper cups so our customers had to stand there and drink their water and then we'd take the cups inside and wash them. What were we thinking?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Multiple Choice

Your 9 year old, honor student son brings home a certificate for a "free" month of karate lessons, including uniform, do you . . .

a) throw certificate in the trash as a mere marketing ploy - you couldn't afford to keep it up after the free month anyway.
b) sign said son up immediately, even though it is a marketing ploy and you can't afford to keep him in it after the free month, but it will reward him for the good grades (again) and give him the opportunity to try something he's always wanted to try, explaining to said son that it is only going to be for the free month, feeling no guilt whatsoever.
c) sign said son up immediately, even though it is a marketing ploy and you can't afford to keep him in it after the free month, but it will reward him for the good grades (again) and give him the opportunity to try something he's always wanted to try, explaining to said son that it is only going to be for the free month, while feeling guilty 1)that you've bilked the karate studio for a free month (even though it was their idea) 2)that said son will be pulled from something he loves even though he understood from the beginning that it was only for one month.

This is where someone with a loyal readership would say discuss, give your comments. But my readership is spotty at best (thanks though to Sarah, Ali, Tracey and any other twin moms that pop by), I'll just tell you . . .

I choose c. But the really sad thing is that he's pretty good at this. But alas, finances do not currently allow for outside recreation of this magnitude.

So is it truly better to have karated and lost than to never have karated at all?


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Emerging From the Fever Fog

After two days of crabbies and two nights of sleeping on the couch with P, which means she gets to sleep and I try to sleep while worrying that her fever isn't coming down, hoping she'll be well enough to get the tubes put in her ears so that this can be our last horrendous ear infection, praying I'll be able to stay awake enough to get through the next day, hoping The Husband remembers to give the big kids their medicine in the morning because there is no way I'll be able to get them off to school, we have emeged from the fever fog.

P slept in her bed and I slept in mine (I'd almost forgotten how good that feels). Unfortunately, this has taught me that just because the kids have tubes in doesn't mean we can't get ear infections. Exhibit A - the bottle of pink stuff in my fridge for J, who had tubes put in 3 weeks ago, and developed a fever the day after P, quickly followed by green stuff seeping from his ears. This is what the drops the ENT gave us are for, but even though M and E had tubes put in 2 years ago, I have never seen this much stuff seep out of ears. M and E never had an infection after tubes.

I suppose I was niave. Now I know better.

Friday, February 10, 2006

So Says the Man

I promise this will not turn into a Survivor or Reality Show blog. But last nights Survivor really has me steamed.

The women completely rolled over last night. "Younger man" tells the tribe "one of you two are going, even though detoxing Shane begged to be voted off" and the women took it like gospel.

Hello women -- you had the numbers, you could have voted off anyone you wanted to. You didn't need to make a permanent alliance - just get together for one vote to let the men know you weren't going to be pushed around.

If you couldn't at least figure that much out, then you don't deserve to be there.

Enough said.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Miracle at the DMV

Although our DMV is now called the DDS (isn't that a dentist?) which apparently stands for Department of Driver Services and they wear sunny yellow polo's and khakis rather than the dreadful blue not-quite-police-uniform I remember from my last visit, which was about 5 years ago, since they now have an online renewal and address change system, which works great if your address is in the postal database, but if it's not then the DDS can't verify it as a real address and you have to go in anyway, which didn't really matter at this point since my license is lost somewhere in this house (as is my bank card, don't tell The Husband) so I had to go in anyway, after finding the required two forms of ID and a bill with my new address on it (the very reason I put the water bill in my name), of which they only asked for one form of ID and then took my word for the new address (so why didn't the online system work), but I did get a new picture since the old one was 10 years old and I updated my weight so it's only 40 lbs off (don't go there) and this time they wanted my fingerprint (not sure how I feel about that) and I decided again not to be an organ donor (I know, I know, selfish me) and re-registered to vote with the new address and I don't have to renew it for 10 years (here's hoping I don't loose it again, I have a terrible time keeping track of it, which I suppose wouldn't be a problem if I'd just leave it in my wallet and get over trying to get by without a purse)!

Oh and the miracle -- the whole thing took less than 10 minutes.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


And if you know what that is, you're probably Hawaiian.


Stumbled across this article a couple weeks ago ( about Hawaii's state fish (or lack thereof) and I actually remember the original vote that happened in 1985ish. No, I didn't live in Hawaii, but my boyfriend (yes, I had a boyfriend in the 5th grade, more on that another time), who was born in Hawaii brought the fish vote for a kind of "show and tell". Our class voted, (for the record we liked the Humuhumunukunukuapuaa) and Matt (the boyfriend) sent a letter to a Hawaiian paper including our results. Cool, yeah?

But who knew the Humuhumunukunukuapuaa had been ousted from it's throne as state fish? Apparently no one. The Humuhumunukunukuapuaa is still my pick, if only because it's an incredibly fun word to say. Kind of like 555,555 in German.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Gotta Have Shoes

Today is an historic day for our family, particularly for P. Today I purchased P's first pair of real shoes. Yes, she managed to make it to 13 months without owning shoes. I've have purchased shoes for her before, but never with the real intent of putting them on her. What's the point if her perfect baby feet aren't going to touch the nasty ground? It's just a hassle, one more thing for me to remember. But now that she's walking (okay she's been walking for 4 months, so I'm a little behind), and trying to wear everyone else's shoes and whining and screaming whenever we walk by shoes in the store, I figured it was time to get serious and buy the girl a pair of shoes suitable for walking in stores and out of doors.

The problem with shoes for P has been that she curls her toes up whenever you try to put shoes on her, making it very hard to determine if we had a good fit. Today, however, she uncurled her toes and then ran all over the store breaking in her new shoes (and shopping while she was at it. The girl can pull clothes off a rack faster than any baby I've seen.)

I know you wondering how I could have not purchased shoes for her for 13 months. All I can say is that J was 18 months plus before he wore shoes. But that was because I refused to spend $40 for an extra wide shoe and he didn't want to walk anyway. He still prefers to be carried.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Save Me From Stuff

This last weekend something happened that I had really lost hope would ever happen. The Husband helped me clean out the garage! Not only did he help, but it was his idea in the first place.

Because of the size of our garage and the shape of the driveway it is nearly impossible to park the van in the garage. I can easily get in at an angle but that precludes ever parking a second car in there. In October we spent most of a Saturday bringing everything over from our storage unit. But we didn't go through any of the stuff; we just stacked it haphazardly in the garage with a narrow walkway down the center. And there it sat for months. Occasionally E would see something out there and beg to bring it in the house (E doesn't forget about anything) but that was the extent of it.

Until I mentioned that I still couldn't find a book of negatives and it was keeping me from completing a reprint order for a very patient mother-of-the-groom. That spurred The Husband to action and we did find the negatives.

But we also found a lot of stuff. Box after box labeled "Japanese Things" from The Husband's mission there 14ish years ago. He has more stuff from those two years of his life than either of us has from our entire childhoods and he has a very difficult time letting go of any of it.

I, on the other hand, have been very good about letting go of meaningless pieces of my past. Painted wooden hearts from church camp, buttons from junior high, party favors from elementary school class parties -- all gone. Plaques from junior high and high school proclaiming that I took 3rd place in a math competition or was an alternate for Governor's Honor two years in a row or that I was a Master Scriptorian have found their way to the trash (after having been photographed of course) to free up space in my garage as well as my life.

The most important lesson I've learned from this weekend of purging - don't go through this stuff while the kids are around (especially E). They kept taking stuff out of the throw-away pile and begging to keep it. I think they get that from their dad.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Save Me From Frivolous Lawsuits

I'm sure you heard about this lawsuit last week. A mother is suing Kellogg and Nickelodeon for using kids TV characters for advertising. Basically these companies are aiming advertising at children - young children.

While I'm not exactly for turning our children into monsters that want everything they see on TV, I really can't get behind this lawsuit either. Kellogg and Nickelodeon are really just doing what they do. It seems to be the parent, in this case, that's falling down on the job.

What happened to the word NO? No, you can't have that, No, you don't need that. No, you can't watch TV all day, every day.

We are the parents. We chose what to let our kids watch on TV. We chose what to buy at the store. Our job might be a little harder because our kids see their favorite TV character on everything from food to toys, but it doesn't change the fact that it is our job to teach them self-control, good food choices and money management.

The article points out that "the lawsuit assumes that parents can't turn off televisions, have no control over the food they buy and can't make their kids go outside to play."

Enough said.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Rain Rain Go Away . . .

Rain is the bane of every mother trying to get her kids on the bus in the morning. The Big Three (what I call my three that go to school, the younger two I call the Itty Bits) had to run through the rain to catch the bus. In my defense it wasn't raining nearly has hard two minutes before. It's a judgement call, and when there's two little ones to have to schlep into the mix, the call usually end ups on the side of what's easiest.

Option One:
Give the kids umbrellas. Sounds easy and at one point they did each have their own umbrella. However they played with them and broke them. Now the only umbrellas we have are in the cars, negating the simplicity of the whole umbrella thing. In addition I don't have one big enough for all of us, so there would be fighting over who got to hold the other umbrella, someone would complain that their arm was getting wet, and I'd be yelling before 7:30 am. Never a good way to start the day.

Option Two:
Load everyone in the van and drive them to the top of the driveway to wait for the bus. In theory this is also sounds like a simple solution and I've done it a time or two. It does have a couple of drawbacks. The van is not parked in the garage, therefore the kids get wet fighting over who gets in the car first and waiting for the others to get in. And then getting out of the van means they get wet again. And what do I do with the Itty Bits? You get the picture.

Option Three:
Rain coats. Sounds very reasonable but honestly the expense (as small as it may be) times 4 (because the oldest Itty Bit would insist on having one also), multiplied by the few times they'd need them and the hassle of storing them when not in use, equals not going to happen. So I don't win mother of the year.

Option Three:
Stand on the porch until the bus stops at the stop sign right before our house, then run. By the time they get to the top of the driveway the bus is waiting for them. This is the option we usually use unless it's a deluge. Of course this only works because we know the bus driver will stop at our house even if the kids aren't out there. I turn the porch light on as a signal that they are coming (not that I've ever discussed this signal with the bus driver, but he seems to understand).

So this morning my kids ran through the rain that was heavier at the time of the running than at the time (2 minutes previous) that the decision to run was made. M & E's hair will not be in the pretty glossy state it was when I sent them out the door. They will arrive at school looking like partially drowned rats, but so will half the other kids, so I can't be the only mother that made her kids run through the rain.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Of Ear Infections, Shots, Genetics and Resolutions . . . And Maybe A Dash of Grammar

Ear Infections and Shots
A week ago I took P into the doctor for what I was sure was an ear infection. 2 points for mom - P had a "raging" (to quote the doctor) double ear infection. Off we go to pick up another antibiotic (it just isn't the Save Me home without at least one antibiotic in the fridge). After 2 doses of the pink stuff P was showing signs of feeling better, or at least the fever was gone. After 3 doses all she wanted to do was sleep. After 6 doses she didn't want to sleep or eat and even threw up once. But I decided to write it off to the continuing snotty nose and the new tooth (#4 thank you very much). After 3 more nights without sleep (and a 5th tooth just to keep us on our toes) I had her back at the doctor. Both ears were still infected. I'm dreading the new antibiotic which would most likely be one of the white ones (which all mom's know taste twice as bad as the pink ones and are much harder on delicate bums) when the doctor utters the sweetest words I've ever heard -"I think we'll just give her a shot this time."

This is the point where I jump for joy. No fighting to get medicine down and then praying it stays down. But poor P, you say. No one likes shots. Ah, put P is actually very good at getting shots - she doesn't even flinch and there is very minimal crying. We do have to go back tomorrow to make sure she's getting better. If she not, it's another shot. I'll keep you posted (I'm sure you're dying to know).

I have a confession to make. When I was young and my hair was longer, I used to chew/suck on the ends of my hair. Gross I know. Get over it.

My hair has been short for almost 20 years now except for a couple of occasions (my first 2 pregnancies) when I decided to let it grow out. On those couple of occasions I realized that this hair-chewing habit was not one I had broken, but was merely unable to do because of the length of my hair.

Last year E expressed in interest in growing her hair out. So we have been working to that end. However a few days ago I noticed E doing something eerily familiar -- you guessed it, she was sucking on the ends of her hair. She's very good about stopping when I call her on it, but when do I say enough and make her get it cut?

At the beginning of the year I had 5 resolutions. One of them being to blog everyday. So you may have noticed I'm not doing very well on that one. I do have a couple of very good excuses:
1. It is difficult to blog when ill.
2. It is even more difficult to blog when one's child is ill (see above).
As for the other resolutions, the previous excuses also apply.

Back in my day we took the PSAT (do they even have that anymore?). Part of the PSAT was the TSWE (Test of Standard Written English for those who may not be as old as I am). My freshman and sophomore English class revolved around being prepared for the TSWE - after all if we wanted to be National Merit Scholars, we had to do well on the PSAT including the TSWE.

I don't recall my PSAT scores (although it was good enough to make me a Nation Merit Scholar) but I do know I earned a perfect score on the TSWE thanks entirely to the teaching of Mrs. Houghton. I only bring this up so that you know I do have a good working knowledge of the English language (even if it is not always evident).

During my freshman writing class in college the question of the proper use of parentheses and the dash and if there was a correct time to use one and not the other. The outcome of the discussion was that, other than parenthetical documentation which obviously uses parentheses, the parenthesis and the dash are pretty interchangeable, but that most writers preferred one over the other. At the time I was a committed dash-person, but as you can see I have morphed into a hybrid of a dash-person and a parenthesis-person.

Just thought you might want to know.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

So I've Missed Two Days . . . .

I'm not doing so great on the resolutions -- I've missed two days of blogging, and I haven't started exercising yet. But in my defense on both counts, the sickies didn't leave with the old year. So far I've had strep and P (the child formerly known on this blog as I) has a double ear infection . . . again. While the first left me laying on the couch moaning the second left we laying on the couch with a moaning 1 year old. Neither condition is conducive to blogging or exercising

Enough excuses. Today's topic . . .

I am eating chips and salsa for breakfast. I had it for lunch and dinner yesterday and at least twice the day before. Separately, I don't like anything that goes in salsa. But put it together and I can't get enough of it. My favorite at the moment is Tostitos Medium restaurant Style, although I do run it through the blender before eating - I don't like chunks in my salsa.

Next topic . . .

The breakup of M and E has been quite successful, although M has had a hard time sleeping through P's wakings. I did have to warn E that she would not have her own room for long. Since M took J's space in P's room, J would have to move into E's room when he was ready (okay when I was ready for him to move). Well E latched onto that and was adamant that J needed to move up NOW. So last Sunday my baby J (okay he's 2.5) moved upstairs out of my room.

This is a good thing and without E's pushing I might have put it off for months. All this room switching has had the added benefit of getting us out of the habit of laying down with M and E every night. It was easier to lay down with them then to tuck them back in 12 times each night. But now it's just not feasible.

Now I'm off to catch up on my shows. I love my TIVO.

Monday, January 09, 2006

'Til Death Do You Part . . . .

My husband owned a house when I met him. He therefore already had appliances -- an ancient fridge, an even more ancient washer, a new dishwasher that was louder than most sporting events, and an oven that was very adequate for our needs, but nothing special.

During the first seven years of our marriage we had to replace the fridge, the washer and the dryer. The fridge died a slow death that allowed us to purchase a replacement and have it delivered without losing anything but the mayo. The dinosaur side-by-side fridge was replaced with a lower-end, but not rock-bottom, freezer-on-top model because I hated the side-by-side.

When it was the washers turn to go, it two was replaced with a good, but not fancy machine.

The move to our second home required replacing our gas dryer with an electric one. Again, we were modest in our spending, and it's been a good dryer. It's not it's fault that it doesn't match the washer that became our 7th anniversary present when the previous washer died an early untimely death at only 2 years old. This time I insisted on a front-loader, with out really realizing what that meant price-wise. But once decided I could not be swayed.

The move brought into our lives a oven and a dishwasher that, while they worked, were old and ugly. Unfortunately during our four years with them I could never find sufficient cause to replace them. They each tried once to die, but were easily revived with inexpensive parts.

Our third home is a new, semi-custom, job for which we picked out all new kitchen appliances. This time we splurged - but just a little. All black and shiny they are beautiful.

There's a side-by-side fridge with water and ice in the door. Apparently appliance purchases are a little like labor - time makes the pain seem less than it was. I had forgotten how much I truly disliked the side-by-side model, although the water/ice in the door was a big draw. We bought the fancy microwave with sensors and programs for all kinds of things. It makes a perfectly popped bag of popcorn every time - regular or snack size. Which is a good thing - that's about all we use it for.

The silence of the dishwasher is lovely. The location of the silverware basket - not my favorite. I thought having it in the door would be great, but really it's not. I have to think twice as hard about how I load the utensils to be sure they will all get clean. I just don't have the time for that kind of attention and planning now that I have to load faster than Little Miss Grabby Hands can unload.

But these are big ticket items. Not easily replaced. It's not like hating the way a sock fits, so you toss the pair and replace it a few bucks. Nope these are here for the duration. And we bought Whirlpool so we really are in for the long haul. 'Til death do us part.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

C is for Cookie . . .

And G is for girl scout and for the first time in a very long time a girl scout came to my door selling cookies. YIPPEE!! And thankfully we can pay her when the cookies arrive, which gives us almost two months to "save up" for our cookies.

Usually I don't even know it's cookies season until little gangs of girl scouts start hanging out in front of the Walmart and Kroger selling their addictive treats. I pounce on them before they can pounce on me. I am an eager cookie buyer, hoping they will have my favorite cookie - Dosie-Dos (as we called it when I was a girl scout), also known as the Peanut Butter Sandwich.

It seems to be a rare commodity. Either it's a big seller and they are always sold out before I find them, or they aren't a big seller and the few other devotees have found them before I have. Either way I sometimes don't get my fix. I then have to prowl the surrounding towns looking for girl scouts selling cookies, hoping that this will be the location that has my favorite cookie.

Aaahh, but this year, I was able to preorder as many boxes as I my little heart desired. There will be no cookie shortage at our house this year. I will have four beautiful boxes of Dosie-Dos.

Only 4?? What was I thinking? Get that girl scout back here. FOUR boxes won't last me two weeks. I have to have more than four . . .

Friday, January 06, 2006

Just a Random Thought

Have you noticed that every cover of O magazine has Oprah on the cover?

I know at some point in the magazine's history there have been others, but always with Oprah, if my memory serves me (which is iffy, really, I do have 5 children). And lately, it's only been Oprah.

Does this strike anyone else as, I don't know, I hate to say vain, but . . . .?

It's her magazine and she can do as she pleases. It does, I suppose, lend a bit more "authority" to the publication. Reminds us it's hers (just in case the name doesn't do it).

Anyway. Just need to get that off my mind.

If Only I Had More Shelves . . .

While reading WorkingMom's most recent post, I too realized that I'd love to live in a catalog -- I'm not overly picky about which one. Just somewhere where everything has a place. I could even be happy in a catalog form the Container Store.

I want to be organized, I can see in my head. But, alas, like the unpainted masterpieces, there is a missing connection between my head and reality.

I suspect, but can not prove, that the missing connection is money. Okay, I could prove it, if I had the money, but since it is unlikely that I will, in the near future have the money, my theory will have to remain just that.

I am quite good at creating space and finding space and using space. I have fully grasped the concept of using vertical space. I love shelves. I am completely happy with wire shelving (which you'd think is inexpensive - and relative to the more decorative options, it is - but even it adds up quickly) Cool a hyphen within a parenthesis, more on that in a later post, at least in the less public places of my house - laundry room, closets, garage. I just need more of them.

But I would probably also need a family as keen to be organized as I am. All the bedrooms have plenty of closet space - I designed them that way. I have even provided them with as much shelving as we could possibly fit in. And still there are toys all over the floors. I give them buckets for each type of toy (barbies in their own box, dinosaurs in another, ponies in yet another, you get the idea) and still there are toys on the floors.

The Husband went to considerable lengths to find the perfect bedside table when we moved into the new house so that he would be able to adequately house the things he must have within an arms reach of the bed - every CD he owns, a novel or two, a couple of puzzle books, things he will only need once a month, if that often, but would rather die than have to walk downstairs to find. (Love ya lots Husband, but you know how I feel about your corner). And then he has moved the hope chest to prevent I, the wee one with sticky fingers and more curiosity than George, from getting at his stuff (a move I agree with in theory because it keeps me from having to constantly pull her out of a newly found treasure of choking hazards), but which created what the Husband called a "box to put all things in!" Egads!

So I can understand his need to keep his things close (as much as it drives me batty) because the next most logically place for him to keep these things (if he were willing to let them be on acompletely different level of the house - which I'm not really sure he'd agree to) would be in the basement computer area which houses a lot of things, mostly in slightly organized piles that only I understand, which I'd gladly organize, but as of yet as not had the benefit of properly arranged vertical storage.

If Only I Had More Shelves!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Happy New Year . . . Not

Five days into the new year and I'm sick. Strep. At least it's something I can take a pill for. But I have been in real trouble if my mother didn't live with us.

The husband go the kids off to school this morning with only minimal assistance and then my mom took over while I laid on the couch waiting to go to my doctors appointment.

I know how spoiled I am, how lucky I am. Life without her here would be markedly different. The clothes would get washed, but rarely folded. The floors would get swepted but not nearly as often. I'd be much more dependant on my Zoloft. I could go on, but needless to say I'm the luckiest girl in the world.

Here's hoping I feel better tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

We Need a Patch for That

After reading this post by the Weirdgirl and having struggled with giving FIVE children their medicine I've come to the conclusion that we as parents need to be lobbying the pharmaceutical companies for an amoxicillin patch.

Really if they can put nicotine and birth control in a patch why not amoxicillin? There must not be any parents working there.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Save Me From Fighting Twins . . . Again

For perhaps the first time in their lives the twins are sleeping in seperate rooms.

After many nights of "she's bothering me" from one or both, I finally decided a threat was in order.

"Do I need to put one of you in I's room?" I asked, thinking for sure they would decided they really didn't want to be seperated. "I'll go," M immediately replied.

"But she'll be scared," E piped up. Ah the voice of reason, I think. "She'd better take a night light."

So the mattress has been moved and all seems to be quiet. We'll see how long this lasts. I'm not moving clothes or toys yet. I don't have the patience or wisdom of Solomon at the moment and I'm sure that process will take both.

Save Me From Children Who Will Eat Spaghetti But Not Elbow Noodles . . .

I mean really they are the same thing, just the shape is different. Of course this phenomenom also manifests itself in chips -- sour cream and onion Lays are good, but sour cream and onion Pringles are not. Again it's just the shape that's different. Shredded cheese is a definite yummy unless it's preshredded in a bag, and then it might as well be poison. Shredded cheese must be shredded from the block within sight of the shredded-cheese-eater or it will not pass the taste test.

Of course I do have my own food hang ups. Green and cooked - not going to eat it. Orange and cooked, yellow and cooked are also no-gos. And don't get me started on store-brand Cheerios. They are not the same!

At least I have one great eater and another one in training. Joran will eat almost anything and toothless Isabelle is well on her way to following her older brother.

And then there's the oldest of the bunch who wants to be a chef, but refuses to taste anything new.

Save me.

originally posted Aug 24, 2005

Save me from incomplete thoughts . . . .

So it would seem I didn't really finish my thoughts from last night. But I think you get the picture. School starts in a week. YIPEE!

So whats got me thinking tonight? Not much. Maybe I'll expound on the youngest of the family I.
I is 7 months old. She has mastered crawling and all that goes with it (rolling over, going from sitting to crawling, crawling to sitting, etc). She's not very speedy yet, but she can get where she wants to go, although the hardwood floors do give her fits. And now she is showing signs of wanting to pull up. I am in so much trouble.

She loves to stand. And better than standing is jumping. We all have little bruises on our legs from her tiny toes. When you hold her she can't be still. She's always wiggling and if you let her stand on your legs, she's jumping, jumping, jumping, jumping.

I thinks the world revolves around her big brother J (age 2). You can see it in her eyes -- they light up when she sees him. I know that sounds like romance novel drival, but it actually happens. Didn't believe it was real until I saw it. She also loves his blanket, even though he's not into sharing it. Whenever possible she likes to get her hands on just a piece of it.
Ihas several family nicknames. The big kids call her Issy. J and the adults in the family call her Belle. Of course I can't stop with just one. Sometimes she's "Issybit", other times she's "Ittybit" and worst of all sometimes she's just "Bit." So I, when your in high school and for some odd reason your still known as Bit -- I take full responsibility. Sorry -- okay, not really -- your my itty-bitty baby.

orginally posted July 31, 2005

Save me from fighting twins . . .

School starts in 1 week.

This is a decidely good thing. Although it means I have to get up every morning before 7 am (definately not fun) and get the 3 big kids out the door while taking care of the ittybits, it is still a good thing. Although it means making lunches that at least one of the kids will complain about and force feeding breakfast to a sleepy crew, it is good thing. Although it means the beginning of fights over homework (which I'm told is exponentially harder now that we are in the 3rd grade) and bedtimes, it is a very good thing.

Because the beginning of school also means a return to a predictable routine. It also means the girls will have some time apart from each other, which will hopefully mean they won't be as likely to fight over even the tiniest of things. The beginning of school means a return of quiet --or at least what passes for quiet when there are still 2 kids at home. The beginning of school means a return to weekly visits with my best friend and shopping trips that don't require the patience of Mother Theresa to complete.

originally posted July 30, 2005

Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Years Resolutions

I will write in my blog every day. I may not have anything insightful or thought-provoking, but I will write something. I spend enough time sitting at my computer everyday that it should be cake to spend five minutes putting down a few thoughts.

My biggest problem is that I write beautifully in my head. I'm witty and have an excellent turn of phrase. But as soon as I try to type it out, it disappears. I have the same problem when it comes to drawing. I can see in my head exactly what my hand should do to make the picture appear, but put a pencil in my hand and the connection is bad -- the commands just can't get through from my head to my hand. So the masterpieces remain locked in my brain.

So on this first day of 2006 how about a few more resolutions.

1. I will not allow my kitchen table to be junked up. It is not a storage cabinet.
2. I will exercise at least twice a week, beginning as soon as the kids go back to school.
3. I will send a flyer around my neigborhood annoucing my photography business.
4. I will scrap two pages per week -- I'm only 9 years behind.

I think that's good enough for now.