Monday, November 30, 2009

Not Me! Monday! Thanksgiving/Black Friday Edition!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! Where we get to spill all our confessions for the past week, without really admitting to anything. Head on over to MckMama's blog when you are done here to see what everyone else has NOT been doing this week!

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I did NOT ignore my blog completely, meaning there were no entries for four days. Nope, I am a dedicated blogger and would NEVER prioritize family/eating/shopping/sleeping over blogging.

I did NOT eat two huge pieces of caramel apple pie for dessert Thanksgiving day. And the afore-mentioned pie did NOT somehow make it's way to my house, where I had more the next day, and then the rest of it for breakfast the following day. Nope, I am proud of my recent weight loss and would NEVER subject myself to pie-induced belly flab, NOT me!

We did NOT have a wonderful, full, busy Thanksgiving day. I did NOT fall into bed around 10:30, despite my best efforts to go to bed early. And there is NO WAY I would get up at 2:30 the next morning, just to stand in line at various stores with thousands of other people, just to save a few bucks. NOPE, Black Friday is NOT one of my favorite days ever, and I would NOT have giggled in excitement to be standing in line outside of Kohl's at 3:45 in the morning, awaiting the chaos that was about to ensue.

Speaking of Black Friday, our family does NOT have a system of shopping down to an art so much that my Mother-in-law was featured on the front page of the Herald on Thanksgiving day. You can NOT find that article HERE. I do NOT have a method of systematically going through the ads, cutting out the things I want and taping them to a notebook containing my Christmas lists and budget, with notes and door buster deals. My sister-in-law and I did NOT end up giving tips to some new-to-Black-Friday shoppers while in line on more than one occasion, and we did NOT decide that we needed to teach a class on the finer points of Black Friday.

We did NOT snicker at a man in line in front of us at Target with two small items in a cart. We did NOT call him a "rookie" behind his back because seriously, you never get a cart unless you physically cannot hold everything you are buying. Carts will just slow you down.

I did NOT get 95% of my Christmas shopping done before 8 am.

We did NOT have a wonderful four day weekend, filled with family time and extended-family time. Marty and I did NOT decide to open a bottle of wine last night for a little relax-time. I most certainly did NOT break the cork upon opening it, it has NOT been that long since I have had wine! We did NOT decide that in order to preserve the wine's freshness without a cork, that it would be best for us to drink the entire bottle last night.

We were NOT such light drinkers that two glasses of wine each gave us quite the buzz. I did NOT realize that my husband is a lot more funny when he's been drinking. Or maybe he's just really funny when I've been drinking....

What did you NOT do this week?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Successes and Failures

Last night, IT happened.

The IT we have been waiting for.

Ben pooped IN the potty. (insert big sigh of relief here)

That's right, IN the potty. Not on the potty, near the potty, in the same room as the potty, or while touching the potty with his foot. No poop in his hair, or on the couch, or smeared on the carpet. It was where it belongs. Finally. Do you know how long I have wanted a child to poop without me having to clean up a giant, poopy mess? Ahhhhhh, pure bliss.

(Please hold while I enjoy my moment. Do you see the beam of light shining directly from heaven, illuminating my pure joy? Do you hear the angel choir? Take it in....)

So what does a naturally over-enthusiastic parent do when a success like this happens? Well, if it were me, (do you like how I pretended, even for a moment, that I wasn't talking about myself? Oh, that wasn't as funny as I thought? Whoops.) I would immediately set down the baby I was feeding and run into the bathroom to throw a party. We screamed. We yelled. We celebrated. We broke out in the happy dance. I wiped him up, scooped him up, and had a little parade through the living room while carrying him and singing the "Ben went poopy on the potty!" song, complete with conga line.

Appropriate, don'tca think?

Do you notice anything strange about the situation I just laid down for you? I sure didn't at the time, I was too busy celebrating Ben and making him feel great about his huge accomplishment.

Then I heard Grant's voice. "Mommy! Baby Drew's in the bathroom!"

Oh, crap. Literally.

I ran and found Drew playing with the stool. And by stool, I mean the thing the kids step up on, not stool like, well, nevermind.

(Sigh of relief)

In my haste to celebrate the accomplishment, I had not emptied the potty. Wow, that was a close one.

I grabbed Drew and sat down to give him his bottle. We cuddled for a moment until I realized that he smelled strongly of poop.

The close one wasn't as close as I thought. Rather, it was a direct hit.

Mr. Baby Drew had been playing in the poop prior to spreading it all over the stool. It was on his hands, his jammies, and smeared on his cheek. I cleaned him up, changed his jammies and Marty made a new, poop-free bottle.

So much for keeping the poop contained and not cleaning it up all the time. Thanks, angel choir, for my moment of joy. Next time, I'll try not to cut you off early.

I smelled poop for a while afterwards, till I found a smear on my t-shirt and favorite hoodie. Great.

Yesterday was a great potty training day for Ben. And a big ole' failure day for Mommy. Luckily, they will only remember the happy dances and conga lines, and not the poop smears and possible e-coli contamination. I'll have enough memories of those things for all six of us.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What He Said:

"Mommy, I poopy, I poopeeeee?"

What I heard:
"Mommy, I have a poopy diaper, will you change it, prettypleaserightnow?"

How I responded:
"Buddy, I'm fixing lunch right now, but I'll change you when I am done, OK? Have patience, you can wait a few minutes."

What he actually meant:
"Hey, Mom! You know how before we left this morning, you put a diaper on me? Well, when I was supposed to be finding my coat, I actually got undressed, took the diaper off, and put my pants back on over, well, nothing. That's right, I have been without a diaper all morning. Even in the car, and through the errands we ran. Yup, I've been naked for a few hours now, and I've been dry the whole time. And now, I really have to pee, so could you give a kid a hand?"

How I felt when I ignored his whining and then watched as he peed all over himself and the living room floor:
Well, let's not even go there. But it was baaaaaad.

Another Boring Post

Last might was unlike any we have had in a while. Drew was fussy screamed for a good part of it, and I got a combined total of an hour and a half of sleep. Fan-freaking-taszzzzzzzzzz...

Sorry, little cat nap there. I'm taking him into the doctor this morning. I would usually give something like this a bit more time to see if it resolves itself, but with Thanksgiving coming, I don't want to wait. I need to know if this is treatable/curable/contagious/going to repeat itself.

Then we have Emma's parent/teacher conference this afternoon to go over her report card. I'll post about that one later, but I will say that Emma's very first report card was fantastic! We couldn't be more proud.

I was planning on taking the van in today to have some work done (one power door was not working when we bought it,) but now I need the van to go to the doctor so I re-scheduled that for tomorrow. I hope it can get done, I would love to have it fully-functioning by Thanksgiving. The guy said there are most likely two possibilities, and one of those possibilities involves a part that is on back-order. Here's hoping it's the other one!

Sorry this post is so boring, even my thoughts are very dull and monotonous in my very tired brain. I can't think of anything funny at all. In fact, I'm feeling like I haven't been funny in a while now, and I feel bad about that. I really want more sleep so I can get back to my normal self. Or maybe now that I am getting a bit more sleep than when I was up every six minutes all nigh long, I am becoming my normal self, and my normal self is actually quite boring. Which would not be cool, since I have basically relied on my sense of humor in almost every situation and I'm not sure what else I have to offer. Really, who wants to be at a party and listen to a story about poop if there is no humor thrown in? For that matter, who wants to be at a party and listen to a story about poop in the first place?

Last night, Ben wanted to wear undies instead of a diaper to sleep. Since he can't go all day without at least four accidents so far, I'm not going to try that yet. We compromised on a pull-up with undies over it. When I went to check on him before I went to bed, he had removed his jammies, his undies, and his pull-up. He had then put his undies back on, and was sound asleep with a pull-up and jammies on the floor next to him. The boy really wants to be potty trained!

Well, I gotta go get ready for the doctor so I don't look like death warmed over. Although, it would encourage everyone to leave me alone in the waiting room...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Not Me! Monday!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! this was crested by MckMama, head on over to her blog to see what everyone else has NOT been doing this week.

I am an EXTREMELY organized person. REALLY. So during my whole van-shopping/test-driving experience, there is NO WAY that I would have just stuck my driver's licence in a pocket instead of putting it back in my wallet where it goes. I would NEVER have forgotten about it and gone out again without it. So, there is NO way I sat down with a salesman, ready to buy a van 100 miles from my house without a driver's license. Nope, NOT me!

As my husband is my insurance agent, there is also NO WAY that I would have been in the same dealership, ready to buy a van, without proof of insurance in my current vehicle. I did NOT automatically assume (without communicating my assumption to him, mind you) that because he is the insurance agent, that he is responsible for putting the cards in my car. I did NOT give his entire office a good laugh at his expense when I called to have them fax a copy to the dealership.

My children are VERY well behaved. Nap time ALWAYS goes smoothly around here, even with two almost-three-year-olds sharing a room. So when I reminded them that they needed to stay in their beds and stay quiet, Grant would NOT choose instead to get out of his bed, move the laundry hamper next to his bed and the dresser, and use it like a step stool to climb up onto his dresser and walk across the top. He would NEVER walk over to where he could peek over the edge and see Ben, and then proceed to giggle and throw things at him. NEVER!

Yesterday marked a great day for me. It was the first day I could actually button my leather coat closed, meaning I am almost back to my pre pregnancy size! WooHoo! So I would NOT decide that I needed a snack when I got home from the grocery store at midnight, and eat an entire bag of butter flavored microwave popcorn by myself. At midnight. I DEFINITELY know how bad that is for you, and I would NEVER do such a thing, especially after such a good day. Nope, NOT me!

What did you NOT do this week?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Facts

Thankful for: MY NEW VAN!!!! And of course, my fabulous, wonderful, and oh-so-sexy insurance agent who worked his magic and even though we added a van that was 10 years newer and worth five times as much as my old one, we are only paying $7 more a month in insurance. Oh, yeah, he's that good. And only I can say he's sexy. Well, I guess I can't stop you if you decide to call him that, too, but he is my husband.

Listening to: The Little Einsteins. I know it's a real animal, but I always crack up when I hear "baby boobie bird." I can't help it, the teenager in me snickers a little every time.

Looking forward to: The Christmas season! Oh, the Santa Train, the Lights of Christmas, getting our tree, everything. I love it. The kids and I have been singing "Baby it's Cold Outside" for the last week or so. Emma does the Sammy Davis Jr. part and I sing the Carmen McRae part. The boys jump in wherever they see fit. It's awesome.

I am needing or wanting: A maid. That would make my life a lot easier. I can barely keep up with all the pee on the bathroom floor.

Missing: Still missing my tennis shoe. Which is such a bummer this time of year. I want my tennis shoe back! I finally took everything out of my closet, and no shoe. Everything from under the bed, no shoe. Where in the world is my shoe?!?

Quote of the week: From Grant: "Mommy, I, one time, ran Lightning McQueen on your van, an' then Lightning McQueen get-ed taken away. I missed him, an' so I prayed for him, an' he came-ded back! An' I not run Lightning McQueen on your van anymore." (WooHoo! He's learning!! And is it not adorable that my two year old prayed for his toy? I love it!)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Welcome to the family, Smurfmobile!

Yesterday was a good day. I went into Bellevue, a city about 100 miles from my house. For you non-Washingtonians, it's just on the other side of the Lake Washington from Seattle. It's actually pretty close to where I grew up, so my Dad had been scouting vans for me around the area.

He had found three that we were going to look at. We picked the best one and started there. We didn't get any further.

Let me introduce the newest member of our family, the Smurfmobile:

I had taken several pictures throughout the day yesterday, but the battery died in my camera and I didn't have a chance to charge it to upload the pictures before someone (cough Brenda cough) started giving me a hard time about not blogging about the van. So I pulled this pic off the listing.

She's a 2007 Dodge Grand Caravan. She has 32,000 miles, stow and go seating, power doors and liftgate, and some sort of connecty-thingy where you can sync your garage door opener to the van and it'll open you garage door for you. Which would be really handy if, you know, I had a garage.

The salesman was awesome. He treated me well, was honest and straightforward and even fed me lunch. Hey, I love a free lunch. As it turns out, we went to the same high school, he was the year behind me. Neither of us recognized each other.

I got the van for six thousand dollars less than it's Kelley Blue Book value, and I negotiated my way into a full tank of gas. I'm a happy girl.

Emma loves it. "Mommy! Guess what! I have my very own blower thing back here! And my own light! And a cool handle that I can grab hold of if we ever get into an accident, Mommy, if you know we are going to get into an accident, just say, 'Emma! We're going to get into an accident!' and I'll grab my handle and I'll be safe."

Well alrighty then.

The only downside is that it's blue. The picture there is muted, it's actually almost periwinkle. Marty calls it Seahawks blue. I think it would be really pretty as the color of my bedroom, but not necessarily my car. It'll grow on me, I'm sure.

So there you have it. The great van hunt is over. They took the green machine in on trade, and it did not die before I traded it in (thank you, Jesus!) Now I can move on to better things. You know, like cleaning up pee.

Dear Ben,

Thank you for your interest in potty training. I am thrilled that you get so excited about going on the potty and that you love wearing your big-boy undies. I am very proud of you.

I know that you are only two and a half, but I would like to ask a favor of you. If you would be so kind as to try and remember to flush the toilet, I would be forever grateful. If that is too much to ask, simply closing the door behind you when you leave would be fantastic. See, in the mornings when I am trying to get Emma ready for school, get breakfast for everyone, solve Grant's dilemma of where his Mack truck is, and save the cat from the baby who is trying to teethe on his ear, I do not have the time to follow every step of your potty training process. And of course, you do not want me to, which was made clear last week when you yelled at me to get out of the bathroom, and then slammed the door behind me.

But I digress.

See Ben, the thing is, if I cannot follow you every step of the way, and I am running around like mad again, there will be another opportunity for Drew to sneak into the bathroom, pull himself up on the toilet and decide the used toilet paper in there would be fun to chew on. Really, removing used, toilet-water-logged paper from my ten month old's mouth is not something I can handle again. That's right, Ben, the two times I dealt with that this morning are more than plenty for me.

So if you will grant me this simple request I would be forever in your debt. I know you would rather have a happy Mommy than one you have to visit on Thursdays in a padded room, right? Can we work this out?

Thank you for your consideration. You are truly a delight.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I am going to try and buy a van.

I hope this works out, I hope that everything the salesman told my Dad is true and we can make this particular van work.

And I sincerely hope that my sweet little van will actually make it to the dealership, and not break down or explode into a ball of flames before I get there.

Thank you, Holly for watching the boys, you rock!

(deep breaths)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Not Me! Monday! Car Shopping Edition

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! Car Shopping Edition! Not Me! Monday was created by MckMama, you can head over to her blog to see what she and everyone else have NOT been doing this week.

I did NOT borrow a Durango from a friend while my van was in the shop. As I am used to my sweet mini-van, I was NOT freaked out by the very loud off-road tires. Very, very loud. I did NOT end up calling my friend to make sure I was not destroying the vehicle, since I was freaked out about the sounds that I was not used to.

I did NOT have the brilliant idea to bring along a portable DVD player while car shopping so that Marty could sit with the kids and they could watch a movie while I looked at vans. It did NOT work like a charm.

I did NOT decide to earn some cool mommy points by letting the kids watch the movie on the way home. I did NOT start to freak out royally when I heard the borrowed SUV start to make some holy-crayola-the-engine-is-breaking noises, and actually panic about how I was going to break it to my friends that I broke their SUV and would be returning it on a tow truck. I did NOT feel a little foolish when I realized that the kids were watching a John Deere Tractor movie, and they had talking about antique tractors and all I heard was the chugging and puffing of the antique tractor, not the Durango.

I did NOT at one point decide to let the kids have drive-thru dinner in the Durango because there was no other way. I did NOT threaten them within an inch of their lives to keep everything neat and tidy. And I most certainly did NOT dump my super-sized root beer straight out of the cup holder and onto the floor under my feet, and have to pull over to retrieve it. There is NO WAY I would do such a careless thing in someone else's car! (And I did NOT shampoo the rug to get it all clean, too. Don't worry!)

I have NOT felt the need to smack a few car salesman upside their heads this last week. And I was certainly NOT thisclose to actually cussing one particular gentleman out yesterday, after the price of a van I was ready to purchase suddenly jumped two thousand dollars. I would NEVER be so angry that I would lose my cool like that, especially in front of my father. (Who probably wouldn't have minded a few choice words at all, considering what had happened.)

I do NOT think that Internet car shopping is freaking awesome. And I absolutely LOVE taking the Internet info and actually seeing the vehicle. I mean, there are NEVER discrepancies, EVER! And I am NOT extremely frustrated by car salesman who lie outright and aren't really good at it. I am NOT an educated shopper who knows about the vehicles, and will call you out if you tell me you own a particular model that doesn't exist.

I am NOT sick and tired of trying to buy a new van, and want this to be over with. I am NOT trying desperately to learn what the lesson God wants me to get out of this, so we can just be done!

What did you NOT do this week?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Freedom Isn't Free

SPC Aaron Aamot
Age 22
from Custer, WA

I'm proud to be an American,
Where at least I know I'm free
And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me
And I'll proudly stand up next to you,
and defend her still today,
For there ain't no doubt, I love this land,
God bless the USA
In loving memory of SPC Aaron Aamot, KIA November
5, 09
Thank you for making the ultimate sacrifice.
To read more, click HERE.

What We Do When We Are Bored

It has been a bit crazy around here lately. I know, it is always a bit crazy, but lately, well, it's been two bits crazy.

I still haven't found my new van, and I made the decision to return the Durango to it's rightful owners as I do not know how long I will be without a vehicle. I'm back to driving my own van, and hoping and praying that we do not break down on the road. Because of this, we have been sticking around home as much as we can.

But we are getting bored.

I mean, you can only eat cereal and watch so much TV.

And you can only eat so many refrigerator magnets.

I brought in the little outdoor slide, which was great for about a day. When they started jumping off the top of slide and seeing who could fly the furthest, I said no. Some games are for outside, but taking outside games inside could get someone hurt. Then they decided to bring out all their pillows and blankets to make a padded area to jump off the slide onto, like the high-flying circus children that they are. ("Hey, Mom! I know you said we couldn't be trapeze artists, but now we have a net, see? So it's OK, right?") When I put the kibosh on that one, they made a "snuggle fort." My kids are the greatest!
Many of you will remember that a few months ago, I tried potty training the twins. If you were not here for that experience, I'll make it easy for you. It didn't go well. We went diaper-free for seven days, and finally came to the realization that they just were not ready. They are only two and a half, and I know that's pretty early (especially for boys,) so we went back to diapers for a while. Well, Ben has been showing interest again. Like showing up on the kitchen with a wet diaper in his hands, naked under his pants.

He was rather proud of himself, to say the least.

Yesterday morning, he came up to me and said, in his little Ben way, "Mommy, I go peepee, I go peepeeeee??" So off to the bathroom we went, where he went peepee in the potty and refused to put on a new diaper.

Well alrighty then. Potty training readiness cues, anyone?

I let him pick out some undies and he was off, happily playing. He continued to go potty every ten to fifteen minutes on his own and stayed dry all morning. Wow, this is going to be great! I thought stupidly to myself.


I had invited the neighbor girls over for the day, as there was no school and the kids could have a distraction from the everyday routine. Of course, having a eight year old, two five year olds, two two year olds, and a ten month old wasn't exactly calm. Six kids in 1,400 square feet is just plain loud, no matter how sweet and well behaved these girls are.

Nap time came, and I put diapers on the boys and tucked them into bed. They were a bit riled up, and I heard giggling and banging coming from the room of the supposed-to-be-sleeping boys. I yelled one warning from the living room, and as the noise continued, I went in to intervene.

What greeted me from the moment the door opened was the assailing stench of poop. (Insert opportunity to remain calm and take deep breaths here. Immediately stop taking deep breaths, as the poop smell is nauseating.)

Ben had decided once again, that he did not want his diaper on, and had removed it mid-poop. He then proceeded to sit everywhere, smearing gobs of poop on every surface and then pee all over his bed. By the time I discovered this lovely little mess, he had smeared poop all over his sheet, his blanket, his pillow, and his Ted. He had gotten poop on his owl and stuffed rocket and then apparently decided that since they were dirty, he didn't want them, so he flung them across the room. The rug was poopy. His bed frame was poopy. And Ben, well, Ben was covered in poop.

I turned and left to gather my thoughts and inform the girls that they would need to work on their craft project with what they had so far, I was not going to get out paint for them until I had cleaned up the boys' room. Of course, the immediately ran into the boys room to see, and dissolved into a fit of poop-induced laughter.

I shooed away the pack of giggling girls, cleaned up the poop mess, changed Ben's bedding and tried to calm the boys down. Yeah, right. They eventually yelled and screamed for three hours, not napping at all. As a result, Drew did not get a good nap, as it is hard to sleep through someone kicking the wall right on the other side of your crib.

Today, the sun is shining, so I think we will be heading outside for a change of scenery. Maybe we will "go leaf-piling" as the kids call it.

Whatever adventure we end up with, as long as it doesn't involve poop, I don't care.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


My kids have been taught that super-heroes do exist.

We occasionally see them in the mall, in Costco, in church.

Some are retired, and some are currently working their super-hero duties. Some live here, and many, many live far away.

No matter how far away they are, or how long ago they held the title of "active duty super-hero" they are still heroes, and they protect us every day. We would not be able to live the lives we do without their sacrifice and their willingness to do the job.

Instead of capes, they wear fatigues. They prefer not to wear masks, but can sometimes be seen in dress blues.

Today, I'd like to say Thank You to all the men and women who have ever served our country in the military. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for putting your life on the line so that I can tuck my kids in bed at night and know that they are safe. Thank you for the ability to attend church with my family, and for the ability to say whatever I want, whenever I want without persecution. Thank you for our freedom, and thank you for our lives.

Happy veteran's day!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Not a Fan

I despise van shopping.

Really, truly despise it.

And yes, I am saying despise a lot. My mom told me never to say hate.

As you can probably tell, it's not going so well. I am praying and trying to listen, and I think I am getting frustrated that I am not finding anything. Well, I found one great van at a reasonable price with tons of bells and whistles, but it was on Consumer Reports list of The Worst of the Worst and Vehicles to Avoid.

Why is it that shopping for a new vehicle is so hard? Especially shopping for a new minivan. I am not a picky person. If I don't like the color, but is is what I need and in my price range, I will live with it. I don't need fancy features, a van without gizmos is fine. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of doors that open themselves and hooking your phone up to the car and having hands-free cell phone use through your car, but it's certainly not a requirement.

I have a short list of must-haves for me. And it is as follows:

1. My new van must have a working speedometer and gas gauge. Call me picky, I know, but after three years of guessing how fast I am going and trying to remember when the last time I filled up was, and how many trips have I taken since then? I am going to get particular here.

2. My new van must have tinted rear windows. Ben is sensitive to the sun, and we moved the twins into the backseat of our van because he would scream when the sun would shine through the windshield and get in his eyes.

3. I need to be able to crawl into the back seats easily. Having those huge comfy captains chairs in the front-back row is nice, but I have to be able to get to the back to buckle the twins in their seats sixteen times a day. And if you think sixteen times a day is an exaggeration, well, you've never been with me on payday, as I am running to Costco, Target, the Green Barn, Safeway, and on and on.

4. It needs to have low enough mileage that I can drive it for a long time. I am not interested in having a cheap, 120,000 mile van that might leave me stranded on the side of the freeway in the rain. I would rather spend a bit more and get something that lasts for a longer time, which will be cheaper in the long run.

5. It cannot be previously totaled, flood damaged, have ever been on fire, or sucked into a tornado. Yeah, this one's kinda obvious, but I wanted to add it to my list. My old Cavalier caught on fire twice and I still drove it for seven years. Not going there again.

That's about it. My complete list of requirements. I don't think I am being too picky. So why is this so stinking hard?

And what is there about me that makes sleazy car salesmen think that they can get me suckered in by telling me, "You know what you really need is a Cadillac!" And that has happened twice now. If I were the type of person to cuss people out, that second guy's ears would still be ringing. Instead, my Dad and I walked away. And the salesman was still talking as we drove out of the lot.

I am tired, I am frustrated, and I am sick of it all. I am praying and I do have peace that the right van is out there, and I know God knows where it is, but I want Him to clue me in right now.

"Come on, God! Can't you give a girl a break? I now that your timing is best, and I'm supposed to be learning patience here, but I don't wanna be patient! I want to know now!!"

"Be still, my child, and wait. I will take care of you."


Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Facts

Friday Facts was stolen from created by Tiffiny at The Story Of Our Life. Won't you join in on the fun?

Thankful For:

I am thankful for my family. When things happen unexpectedly, our family is always there for each other, and I am so glad to be part of both my original family as well as my married-into family. They are truly the best!

Listening To:

The rain on our metal roof. I love this sound. If ever I win the lotto and build my dream house, I will definitely consider a metal roof, just for the sound of the rain.

What's For Dinner:

Ham and cheese sandwiches, and whatever else I pack in a picnic to eat while we are van-shopping tonight. It would be a great night to eat out, but we can't afford to, since, you know, we have to buy a van.

Looking Forward To:

Being done van-shopping. This stinks, and I'm not having fun. I just want to be done and appreciate the new(ish) van, without trying to coordinate test drives in the rain where you have to take four small kids along, meanwhile stressing if you are really getting the right one or if it's going to break down in three years.

I am needing or wanting:

A date night with my hubby. It would be so nice to get to go out and shoot some pool, like we did when we were dating. Sometimes life just takes over and you wonder where the month went, till you realize you were dealing with all kinds of stresses and you need a re-connect. Oh, and I am still wanting the winning lotto ticket to blow into my yard, since I never buy one...


Well, Ben's shoe has been found! I took the kids' bike helmets out to storage for the winter, and lo and behold, Ben's shoe had been neatly tucked under Grant's helmet. Which was kept, ironically, in the cabinet that we store the shoes. I wonder why we never looked under the bike helmets before. Maybe we are dumb. Or just sleep deprived. Or, we actually did look there, but the black-hole properties of Ben's Secret Stash actually move objects around the house at random.

Grant's Ted went missing for a while this week, but was then found in the top drawer of Emma's bathroom organizational thingy where her hair ribbons are kept. Makes sense, right? No? OK, not to me, either.

I am still missing my tennis shoe. I have checked behind the TV and in the outside freezer. You just never know where things might be around here...

Quote of the Day...

OK, this was actually a while ago, but it's too cute/strange not to share. My kids like to try new foods, and Emma has had it in her mind to eat bear meat. Since Uncle David is a hunter, I had Emma ask him if he could shoot her a bear. And then I laughed, since I'm sure Uncle David would rather not run into a bear on his pheasant/duck/elk/whatever he was after at the time hunt.

Well, Uncle David went hunting recently, and I told Emma that he was going hunting, and just for fun, asked if she thought he would shoot a bear for her. She thought about it, and replied, "Well, I don't want him to kill a bear. And if he shoots it, he might kill it. I just want him to find a bear, and scoop out a little bit for me to try, and let it go back to it's family."

Well, okey dokey then. Good luck with that one, Uncle David!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Sorry to all my RSS and Reader subscribers, that car shopping post was not ready to go out yet. I inadvertently hit publish instead of save. Please ignore it, I will finish it after I have completed the car shopping experience! Thank you!

For all you regular visitors, today's post is below, scroll down to see it...

Skills That Will Serve Them Well Later In Life

Yesterday was a crazy day.

I know, I know, it's hard to believe we would ever have a crazy day around here. But we did.

I have been car-shopping for the last couple of days. I have been using the oh-so-wonderful Internet rather than load up children and cart them around from dealership to dealership, trying not to teach my children inappropriate things to say as I deal with the salesman who, upon hearing I wanted a van, tried to sell me a Cadillac. (Yeah, that happened Tuesday.)

So I've been a bit pre-occupied.

And a pre-occupied Mother makes for screaming, high-flying circus children who think they can get away with anything they want.

It's been bad.

Yesterday morning I had had enough. We had some good quality time together, and they were riled up. Leftover Halloween candy might have helped, but they were actually sugar-free. I decided to break up the day by giving a bath before lunch, and letting them try out the new bathtub crayons they had recently received.

I let Drew have free run of the living room, as he loves times where he gets all the toys to himself and isn't tackled by two thirty-or-so pound brothers who try to show their love by tackling and dog-piling him.

I put three crazy, loud, screeching, tickling, jumping children. In a bathtub. Together.

Seriously, what was I thinking?

It started out great. They were thrilled with their ability to draw on the walls of the tub, and I showed off my never-before-appreciated ability to draw a cartoon cow in every color they asked.

Then, the splashing started. Grant has this face that he gives, this face of a child who knows that what he is doing is wrong, but does it anyway. Because he thinks it is fun. So when he was warned that splashing the water out of the tub would result in a consequence, he looked me right in the eye, grinned, and very deliberately splashed again.

Yeah, 'cuz that's gonna fly.

He was immediately pulled from the tub, wrapped in a towel, and sent to time-out. I have several time-out spots, and from past experience I have learned not to send a naked child to a carpeted spot. At least I learned after cleaning up pee once twice.

I left him there to serve his time and returned to find Drew had crawled into the bathroom and was sucking on a potty seat. Fan-freakin-tastic. Well call that his immunity-boost for the day.

I pulled the excersaucer out of my bedroom and put Drew into it, hoping and praying he would be happy, and went out to excuse Grant. I found him standing, facing the file cabinet. Oh, noooo... Sure enough, thee was a lovely trail of pee running down the side of my filing cabinet and pooling on the floor in front of it, and of course, underneath. I will admit, my reaction was probably not something you will find in "Perfect Parenting" Magazine. Not that there is such a thing.

"Grant, why did you pee on the file cabinet? I swear, you are like a puppy sometimes!"

Then, a solemn, quiet, little voice came: "I's not a puppy, I's a Gwant."

(Insert heart melting here.) "Ok, you're right, you are a Grant. But why did you pee on the file cabinet?"

"A'cuz pee-pee not go on the floor. You say, 'No go pee-pee-on the floor' so I not go pee-pee on the floor."

Honestly, I can't argue with that logic. But a part of me would have loved to be inside his brain, as he sat there needing to pee, and thinking, "Mommy doesn't want me to pee on the floor. What do I do? Oh, here we go! I'll pee on this thing!"

He's a problem-solver, that one.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Still Raining...

I am, by choice, a glass-half-full person. I work very hard to see the positive in most things, and not to let stresses get me down.

This last month has provided me plenty of opportunities to practice that habit.

Marty's Grandma was doing much better. They had found a medicine to help her digest her food, and she was starting to eat. She felt so much better that she decided she wanted to brush her hair, and tried to get out of bed, by herself, to reach a brush. She fell and broke her hip and her shoulder in three places. Now, she has pneumonia, and is too sick to have the breaks operated on, so she is in a great deal of pain and very sick. She needs a miracle. Would you join me in praying that God grants her one?

We took my van into the shop yesterday to find out why it was making some strange noises. The diagnosis is that it is fixable, but will cost more than the van is worth, and they suspect that there are other issues that will surface once the known problems are fixed. (Side note: a huge thank you to Chuck's Midtown Motors in Bellingham. These guys are some of the most honest mechanics I know, they told me everything they knew was wrong, and alerted me to problems that had not yet surfaced, but were forthcoming. They knew they were talking me out of the repair, but had my best interest in mind. They are great!)

Last night I went van-shopping. Personally, I am a little bit excited at the prospect of a new van, since I could really use an upgrade. But my van has been great, and there is a part of me that doesn't want to let it go. We brought three of our children home from the hospital in this van. Yes, I am one of those people that gets emotionally attached to inanimate objects. Even ones that don't have a working speedometer. Or a gas gauge.

On the bright side, I am very thankful that the kids are still healthy. Drew's ear infections have cleared up and he is doing better. I am thankful for my dear friend Kristen who is letting me borrow her Durango for a week while I find a new van. I am thankful for her husband, Tom, who didn't say, "You want to let Tiffani borrow a car? No way, she's crazy!" I am thankful for everyone who is helping us out in this car-buying process (you know who you are!) and I am thankful that God has his hand in my life and isn't surprised by any of this. He knows where my next van is, and I just need to listen to Him to find it.

Meanwhile, the sun is shining, and the glass is still half-full.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Not Me! Monday! Tuesday! Halloween Edition!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! And yes, it is Tuesday. So sue me.

This Halloween, I did NOT decide to make the kids' costumes myself again. I do NOT do this every year, and it does NOT take up every available ounce of my energy and spare time for a couple of weeks.

I did NOT get the idea to have them as characters from the Wizard of Oz right after last year, before Drew was even born. I would NEVER have planned, prepped, and plotted as to how I was going to A. convince them that this would be fun, and B. convince them that this was all their idea to begin with.

It did NOT work like a charm, and the costumes did NOT turn out fabulous.

For Awana dress up night an Wednesday, I did NOT give my hubby the idea to go as a Hawaiian tourist. I did NOT tell him to put on his long socks with his sandals, just to complete the look.
And I would NEVER put make-up on my husband to make it look like he had gotten a sunburn with his sunglasses on. And I most certainly would NOT blog about it. What kind of wife would do that? Pssssshhhhhhh...
There is NO WAY I would just have an idea for the kids' costumes, buy what looked like enough fabric to my un-trained eye, and skip the pattern and just decide to wing it.

I did NOT decide to spray-paint Grant's sweats silver by using regular spray paint instead of fabric paint. I did NOT end up with a silver chair out of the deal. No way am I that daft that I would think that would actually work.
Upon returning to the fabric store with plans for Toto's costume and the decision made that I was simply going to go buy duct tape to cover Grant's sweats with, I did NOT find silver satin costume fabric on a great deal ($1.98 a yard, if you must know) and decide to make him a whole new costume.

I may be crazy, but I am NOT that crazy.


I did NOT decide to cut corners on the whole project and instead of finishing the seams the right way, hot glue them instead. Really, who would be that lazy? NOT me!

Mr. Darling Baby Drew did NOT decide that the time when Mama was a-sewing would be the best time to try out his new "crawling on things and standing" skills, in the attempt to give me a heart attack.
I did NOT actually finish all the costumes the day before Halloween, leaving me no last minute rush the morning of. Take that, HPS! (Yes, only a select few will get that one.)
(Just so you know, the lion costume was purchased at WallyWorld. I had no hand in that one, except for pulling it out of the package. Thanks, Mom!)

We would NEVER think it was a good idea to skip the boys' naps and take the kids trick-or-treating all over town for ten hours. I mean, we know our kids are young, why would we even try?

I did NOT add up all the stops we made, and realized that we buckled and unbuckled kids from car seats 106 times. This didn't include Emma, who can do it herself.

I was NOT completely exhausted by the end of it all, but a happy exhausted, since we had had a great day.

I will NOT do it again next year, and I do NOT already have the wheels turning to see what I can convince the kids to be next Halloween.

I am NOT crazy!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Halloween!!!

I love Halloween. It's just fun, a time to have a great time, get dressed up, and be a kid again. With Halloween on a Saturday, and the clocks falling back that night, we were relaxed and willing to pack the day full. We might have been a little overzealous with our plans to hit a couple of events in town and go trick or treating that night. We left the house at 11:15 am and got going. Yes, we are crazy. Isn't it obvious by now?

With a forecast of showers, a lot of people were praying hard that we would have a rain-free day. And it was! My only fight was sun-spots in the photos, but I'll take it. It was warm (for here) and dry and wonderful. We did not need coats (a first in this area, I think!) and it was absolutely beautiful. Thank you, Lord, for a beautiful day to spend outside!

The costumes were completed on time, and the kids were adorable (if I do say so myself!) Drew's lion costume was bought, all the rest I made myself.
We managed to lose Grant's Tin Man hat at our church trunk-or-treat, so we ran out and bought a new funnel and elastic, and went to Uncle Rob and Auntie Jessica's house to borrow their hot glue gun. While we were there, we had to pet the sweetest chickens in the world.

Since we had done the church event, and then gone downtown to trick-or-treat there, the kids were pretty riled up and we got dinner and headed to a park to let them run off some energy sugar.
While we were there, Emma Dorothy went across the monkey bars all by herself for the very first time!
And the lion climbed a tree, as lions often do, right?
Then on to family trick-or-treating. We went on the round of aunts and grandparents houses, trick or treating and taking pictures.
At Grandma and Grandpa's house, we met up with the rest of the family and Emma and Lily Dorothy and Thumbelina rode Uncle Wade, who was a very good sport.
And at Auntie Amy's, she reminded me that we needed a group shot.
By this time, it was waaaaay past bedtime, but my sugar-filled children did great.
As we were leaving Amy's, which was our last stop, Grant said, "Mommy, we go trick or treating tomorrow?" I love this age!

But as fun as it all was, at the end of the day, there's no place like home!